It’s not the same road…

We all have our own roads to travel, don’t we?

It's all the Same Road

It’s Not the Same Road

The good thing about starting a new year (at least in our minds)  is the opportunity to evaluate life and how we are living it.  Resolutions, lists of things you wish to accomplish or goals to attain may have occupied your thoughts the past 24 hours.  How long the effort to work on these items may waiver as the year goes on, but we still must live our life until the end.  We can make all the plans and goals we want but sometimes life can make the decisions for us and we just have to roll with it.  So here’s to the new year and may your path be easy and smooth.  Hopefully, we don’t trip on our own feet!

It’s Photo Friday ~ Vintage ~

Here comes little red riding hood…

F3.5 ~ 1/500th ~ ISO100 Canon 5D Mark 2  70-200 L lens

F3.5 ~ 1/500th ~ ISO100 Canon 5D Mark 2
70-200 L lens

It’s Photo Friday – Bliss…

My world, my bliss

My world, my bliss

Bliss is a viewed as a positive term and something we are constantly searching for.  How far do we need to look?

My guess is bliss is there as long as I pay attention.

  • spending the day doing something I love
  • sipping wine on the deck, overlooking my palatial estate (the cowyard and back pasture)
  • appreciating God’s creation wherever we go
  • volunteering to help someone in need and feeling good about it
  • eating a meal with the primary ingredients coming from my garden and meat raised locally
  • remembering road trips
  • when my grandaughter smiles at me
  • my cozy bed at the end of the day
  • a warm house during a raging blizzard and knowing your family is home and safe inside
  • feeling as though our kids are doing well even if one lives in a college “Animal House” from the John Belushi era, another lives on the other side of the planet in another culture and the other is discovering the joys and challenges of parenting

I’m sure younger people, such as the young man in the image,  have a list that is much more exciting than mine but this is my life and my list.

What’s on YOUR list?

Affairs of the heart…

The ability to tolerate pain may be considered an attribute but my husband, Randy, may have carried this a bit too far.  We associate pain down the left arm and tightness in the chest with a heart attack but pain located in the neck and shoulders we tend to blame on strained muscles from something we did. Never did we dream that strong, fit, healthy eating Randy who regularly has complete physical check-ups could be having a heart attack. Fortunately, he had been taking multiple aspirin tablets for pain so his blood was thinned down during the 1 1/2 hour drive to Sioux Falls, SD. (Thank you, Bryon, for being a good and speedy driver. Now you can put ambulance driving on your list of accomplishments.)

A primary artery was blocked 99% and was the culprit causing the heart attack. A stent was put in to fix the artery causing the attack but the angiogram showed another primary was 90% blocked and two secondary were 80% blocked. Who’d have thunk it, huh!   Two more stents were put in to form a “Y” 3 days later to fix a main and secondary at one time. The remaining secondary one will be controlled with medicine.

We have been educated on affairs of the heart this week and I’ll always be amazed by the advancements in the field of medicine. The Sanford Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD is an amazing facility with  top notch staff.  Thank you for the exciting vacation – we were just discussing last week that it would be nice to get away for a few days and you were here to provide.

I try not to dwell on the “would have/could have/should have” so let’s just say that God was looking out for Randy in spite of everything we did or didn’t do out of either denial or ignorance. Randy commented that he was glad Pastor Mueller came to the hospital with a comforting message and Holy Communion. We are so blessed that we have Jesus and the promise of heaven. Sounds like a “win/win” scenario but I’m extremely thankful that Randy is all fixed up and after cardiac rehab will be good to go.

In time of trouble…He shall set me upon a rock. Psalms 27:5

It’s Photo Friday and I’m lovin’ summer!

Warm tones at twilight.

This is a blend of 2 images.

♦ The background is of prairie grass near a small slough facing the sunset during the last minutes of the summer solstice.  Camera was set at aperture priority 2.8 / 70-200 Canon L lens / Canon 5D Mark 2 and focused on the grasses in the foreground with flare from the setting sun.  The background is straight out of the camera with no editing.

♦Top image of the child was taken earlier in the same evening as she was walking on a gravel road using the same camera at aperture priority 2.8 with more direct side lighting.  I did some touch-up with the face blending and softening the highlighted area on the side of her face, lightened the shadow detail and used Kubota action, Golden Delish.  Dragged image to the background and opacity was decreased to allow the background grasses to show through and used the eraser tool to blend the transition between the two images.

It’s Photo Friday!! Photo Etiquette 101

Looking for tips to stay within photography etiquette guidelines when traveling.  I love exploring cultures with my camera, including my own rural environment, but don’t want to be offensive at the same time.  Often times I find that we are “same but different” in many aspects and appreciate the uniqueness of experiences.  I have found that purchasing or tipping generously will often provide plenty of photo opportunities, but my experience with a variety of cultures is limited.

I’m reaching out to others in the world that have travel photography experience to offer suggestions to best document the experiences but be within the realm of common courtesy.  Which cultures are particularly difficult or easygoing to document?