Two Lovely Blog Awards

I would like to extend many thanks to gahlearner from Flights of Fancy, and Linda from Sofia Wisdom of the Ages for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award! I was notified by these two lovely bloggers in September and October, only two weeks apart. Receiving two nominations in such a short time was very, very encouraging and a pleasant surprise since my blog is so new!

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The One Lovely Blog Award recognizes blogs considered to be lovely, written by bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with their viewers and followers. The nominees are chosen by fellow bloggers, and the nominations are presented to new and up-and-coming bloggers. The purpose of the award is to not only give recognition, but to help the new blogger reach more viewers as well.

If nominated, in order to “accept” the award, you must follow these guidelines:
* Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
* Add the One Lovely Blog logo image to your acceptance post.
* Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
* Nominate about 15 (I have seen 10 as a suggestion as well) bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

With that, here are my nominations for the One Lovely Blog Award. Continue reading

Blogging 201: Set Three Goals

Here I go with a new round of  Blogging University! Blogging 201 has begun and the theme is branding and growth. The first task involves setting goals and defining purpose. I’m not so sure what my “brand” is, but I do have purpose.

In Blogging 101 I decided that this blog will be fairly broad, limited only by my interests and inclinations; a way for me to exercise my voice, expressing thoughts and ideas via words and photography; to present myself, so to speak, to the world, … which, I’ve discovered, is literally what happens when you click Publish on WordPress.com. With just a click, my blog post travels the globe creating the opportunity to interact with people from all cultures anywhere on the planet. How great is that!? Absolutely incredible! I’m enjoying connecting with others who have put themselves out into the blogosphere and taken a few moments to read my posts. 🙂

I’m also blogging to create and build a web presence while becoming more familiar with the tools to do so, and it’s a catalyst for me to further develop my skill taking and editing photographs on a regular basis. For me the process of building this blog activates the same pleasure centers in my brain that light up when I do a complicated jigsaw puzzle. 🙂 Lot’s of delicious visual and intellectual pieces to fit together and figure out! It’s always a challenge, it frequently stumps me, but I enjoy the process and the results when I succeed.

I’m also hoping that creating this blog and my participation in the WordPress Blogging University will be a means to inspire, improve, and revitalize my other two websites which are hosted on GreenGeeks using WordPress from WordPress.org.  They both need lots of tweaking. (The websites are bostree.com and terrybyoga.com if you feel inclined to take a look.)  There’s also a SmugMug website I’m working on where I intend to sell prints of my photos. If it’s within the WordPress.com regulations, I’ll link this blog to that website sometime in the future.

So in a nutshell, ThroughTheLensOfMyLife is a work in progress, an exploration, and a catalyst. It’s a way for me to grow, create, learn, express, and connect with others.

A few concrete, simply defined goals which I’ve made for myself are…

1) Participate in the weekly photo challenge. I have already instituted  this. 🙂

2) Post more of my  photography, in addition to the weekly photo challenge, at least once a week beginning this week.

3) Make at least two text focused posts, or posts with no photos, challenging myself to write, at least twice a month.  This post is number one.

4) Spend one or two hours a week interacting with other bloggers.

Hopefully while working towards these goals, I’ll attract more followers, follow more bloggers, build a better web presence and enjoy discovering my brand!

Feel free to leave a comment to let me know how it all looks from where you’re reading 🙂

 

 

Fall’s Approach

Asters
Asters. Heralds of fall.

I was aware of fall’s approach, but hadn’t appreciated its wispy, damp presence rubbing up against the edge of my doorstep until reading posts by fellow Blogging101 participants, GaH and Tantoverde.

I had heard the geese on the move for the first time on August 8th, their distinctive trumpeting announcing their departure. I was aware of the changing sounds of the evening insects; crickets, grasshoppers katydids and the like. I saw the asters, harbingers of fall, blooming in my garden. It just hadn’t yet hit me that summer was over, until, as I said, I read these two blog posts.

Asters
More asters. Summer’s last hurrah!

Tantoverde’s post conjured images of copious amounts of apples and baking, baking with abandon, baking to keep up with the yield. It made me yearn for warm apple pie with a hot cup of tea.

Honey Crisps and Macs
Honey crisps and macs.

More visions of a bountiful apple harvest and abundant baking came to me with the reading of GaH’s post contrasting the lazy days of summer with the clues of  fall’s arrival.  GaH transitions between summer and fall with the phrase, “Then comes a storm, and when it ends, the air is cold, and won’t get warm again. And suddenly you realize that fall is here.”

Fall maples
Maple leaves beginning to turn color.

The day after I read this, the storm came as if on cue. Well, not exactly a storm, but a definitive rain which changed the quality and the smell of the air. Now, even when the sun is out and there is warmth, there is a damp crispness around the edges of the day like the juicy crispness you find when biting into a fresh fall apple.

After reading these two blog posts I just had to go out and buy apples. Not grocery store apples… orchard apples, newly plucked from a local tree.

Applewood Orchard
Apple orchard.

With the first bite, I  engage in being a locavore and it pays off. A perfect blend of sweet and tart, crisply yielding.

Apples awaiting harvest
Ready for harvest.

I’m ready now for fall, ready to enjoy the last few warm days that will tease us. Ready for the nights to cool more and more, plants tucking themselves into the ground for winter, trees shedding their excess in colorful glory.

Fall is a time of transition, a time to transition from outdoors to indoors. The tablecloth comes off the picnic table. Meals are eaten inside. The hammock gets stored. The gas grill will still be used, but not nearly as often. The raking will commence, hopefully to be finished before the first snow. The firewood gets stacked, the chimney cleaned, and the window screens are exchanged for storms.

Harriman State Park
Harriman State Park

I feel the transition beginning within myself as well, shifting my attention from external doings to a more inward view. Fall is a time to pause and reflect. To take stock. Some things end. Some become dormant, to rest and refresh. Nature turns inward and so do I. Fall brings clarity with bright color and light, a focusing introspection.

What meaning does fall hold for you?

This post was written as a response to the Blogging101 assignment, Be Inspired by the Community. All of the photos in this post, except for the last one, were taken a couple of days ago after reading GaH’s and Tantoverde’s blog posts. I would like to extend many thanks to them for the inspiration. 🙂

Letting Go

I drove by the building I sold earlier this year and my stomach unexpectedly churned. I thought I had moved on and let go of this part of my life and punctuated it with a period or perhaps even with a happy punctuation mark, but seeing the fence around the building that had occupied much of my time and housed my business for about 15 years hit me viscerally. The erecting of the fence signals that the demolition of the building is immanent. I thought I had come to grips with this in stages over time, so my reaction upon seeing the fence was unexpected.

fence

I thought I had moved on…
Continue reading

Blog Title, Tagline

As part of Bloggong101, we participants were asked to reevaluate our blog title and tagline. My title, “Through the Lens of my Life” and the tagline, “Thoughts and images from my perspective” might be too unfocused, but I’ll stick with it for now. They’re descriptive of my intent in a broad way. I like the freedom that this offers, allowing me to explore, through word and image, a variety of topics.

Yes, obviously the photos I take are taken through the lens of my old Canon G9, but they’re also taken with my particular “take” on whatever it is I see. Certain things pop out at me. This is why I chose the title and tagline which I did. Someone else would notice something different. They would frame a shot in a different way or choose a completely different subject. Everything that we mentally absorb, every event, scene, or scenario, comes to us through a lens. A lens formed by our own unique life experiences. Each time we express ourselves with either words or images or with any other creative process, it’s from our own personal perspective.

So, in keeping with my blog title and tag line I’m posting several photos that I took while my husband and I were in Cape May, New Jersey this summer. They’re  a few of the moments, scenes, shapes and colors that I collected as we strolled the town and beach.

Cape May is a beautiful Victorian seaside town. The softness of the sea grass contrasting with the geometric patterns of porches and balustrades are what caught my eye here.

Cape May. NJ

Even though the light wasn’t the best, I couldn’t pass up this touristy shot late in the day as we walked the beach.

Cape May life boat

The vastness of the sea and sky always leaves me in awe. The sunbathers and kite flyers seemed so small in comparison, just small swathes of color. I love the bits of red here and there.

Kite & sea. Cape May, NJ

I love seagulls. This one was such a poser. The sparkling water was a plus, although I’ll have to learn how to handle it when shooting and editing.

Seagull

This woman and her dog came rambling down the beach as I strolled in the opposite direction. As she passed, I pulled out my camera and managed to get this photo just as the dog gazed up at her. Perfect! Both she and her dog stood out as unique individuals. I love the contrast between her outfit (hat, long sleeves, full long skirt, bulky socks and work boots) and the sunbathers further down the beach.

Cape May dog walk

My husband and I were sitting on the beach, watching a hazy sunset when this group of children paraded by. Perhaps I could have caught more arm swing if I had a camera that could take lots of multiple shots very quickly in succession, but I’m happy to have caught what I did.

silhouettes

In this last photo the sunset, though beautiful, wasn’t enormously fantastic. I enjoyed it all the same. The surfers were fun to watch… even though the waves weren’t enormously fantastic either!

surfer at sunset. Cape May, NJ

Perhaps my future posts will be just words or perhaps just images. This one includes some of both, just to get myself going and to ride the blogging wave a bit.

An introduction

Hi, my name is Terry. I am just shy of being five years past the half century mark and have started this blog to access my creativity and put my thoughts, via words and images, out into the world. I am participating in Blogging101 to give some structure to the process and to improve my writing and communication skills. The thought of blogging makes me somewhat nervous, but it’s a journey and I love to travel, when I have the occasional opportunity to do so!

My shadow

I am creatively inclined, teach yoga, and can be quite chatty even though I am an introverted thinker and observer at heart. I am also a natural/alternative health enthusiast and have somewhat worn out the ears of my husband and grown-up kids with this topic. Maybe that’s what I should write about, though at this point in my life I am looking for a broader conversation. This blog will be a way for me to exercise my voice, communicate thoughts and ideas, and perhaps interact with others who have put themselves out into the blogosphere. It will be an experiment and an exploration. A way to not only create, but more importantly, to express and perhaps connect.