peripheral perceptions

a look at life from the corners of my mind

welcome autumn


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My 1,000th post!

welcome autumn
Texture by Kim Klassen; magic 0916, 70% soft light

Hey, guess what? This is  my 1,000 post! [Woot Woot; cheers of applause; release the balloons and streamers] That probably doesn’t seem like much to some of you, but I’ve been eyeing my count for quite a while. I suppose sticking with this little experiment since 2009 is more of a personal accomplishment in discipline more than anything else. :-)

But this little journalistic *experiment* has turned into something so much more. I discovered a whole new universe in the blogosphere. While I’m have accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+, it’s the blogosphere I’ve enjoyed the most. Meeting people as far away as Europe and as close as a short hour away, it’s blogging that allows me to really get to know others outside my little corner of the world. Others that I would never have had a chance to meet. People that are vastly different from me….yet share in this same interest. And in all the years I’ve done this, I only have had one caustic comment.

And I’ve learned a lot from you all as well. My writing skills have improved and through the use of textures, I discovered a whole new world in photography. I still have a looooong way to go to catch up with many of you, but blogging helps me push shove step out of my proverbial comfort zone. It offers me opportunities to research topics I wouldn’t normally write about. ABC-bible style was one of those extensive projects that pushed me personally and spiritually.  Photo challenges force me to pay attention to the small details in the world around me. The most involved photo challenge I accomplished was Project 64. This blog has morphed and re-morphed over the years, and I can’t say for sure that I’ve found a specific niche. I enjoy covering a range of topics, so I probably won’t ever pin myself down to a particular focus.

Many of you have been very kind and supportive outside of the comment box as well. Personal relationships can take on many faces, and although I only recognize some of you by your profile photo or name, I feel I know many of you on a much deeper level through what you share with readers. Do you think we share more with *strangers* in cyberspace than in the physical, real world? Would I strike up a conversation with someone in the check-out line at the grocery store like I do in blog comments? Doubtful. Do I share feelings and observations while in the customer waiting area while my car is being serviced? Not really. But in the blogosphere, I can and do just that and much more.  And imagine my surprise when somewhere along the way, I found there are people who actually think the things I have to say are interesting! My following is on the small side, but those of you who consistently comment, I count as very special friends.

So HAPPY 1,000 POST to me. I’m glad many of you are still along for the ride! Now, on to the next 1,000! :-)

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Texture Twist and LTTL
Texture Tuesday texture-twistLife through lens

black eyed susan


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Friday Finds the First Signs of Fall

grassesTexture by Kim Klassen; Monday, 100% soft light

You were given life; it is your duty (and entitlement as a human being)
to find something beautiful within life, not matter how slight.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

The daytime temps are now in the 60F range and nights are dipping into the upper 40sF. Autumn is here and the prelude before the big show is beginning. Let’e take a stroll and see some of the things I found this week.

The fountain grass is in full bloom now. I love the way it sways in the 20mph winds we’ve had lately. Wind and rain doesn’t seem to bother grasses. They seem to just wave, laugh and mockingly say, bring it on!

fountain grass

Found this little guy last weekend. Peanut actually found him on the frame of the back screen door, and we rescued him to a flower pot (before the door smashed him), where he immediately took off down the patio stair railing. We discovered “walking stick” insects are very capable of running. I hadn’t seen one of these in a few years and am happy to see their return. I have no idea if they bite but, thankfully, this one didn’t leave any marks on my hand.

walking stick

Waiting at the bus stop corner in the afternoons for Peanut gives me an opportunity to look around. Or, in this case, look down at what’s under my feet. Sedums are in full bloom now and unless you are looking closely, you can miss their tiny flowers.

sedum

Also at the bus stop are some black-eyed susan flowers still showing off their colors.

black eyed susan

When not napping, Twix accompanies me to wait for Peanut. She is fascinated by the fountain grass. I wonder if it counts as fiber if she eats some of it? You know, sort of like wheat? Well, it sort of looks like wheat.

twix-grasses

My yellow mums looked spectacular when I bought them. Sadly, now they are beginning to fade. And the blossoms are actively being plucked by a Peanut for behind the ear accessorizing.

yelo mum

The burning bushes are ablaze in their red coats…not to be confused with the lovely red coats of the poison ivy, which also hides in the yard waiting for me to make a mistake.

burning bush

So there’s my prelude to the big event. As soon as the trees are in full regalia, Twix and I hope to get out to a local park and capture some Autumn Splendor. Hope you all have an awesome Autumn weekend.

Linking up with Friday Finds and 1440
fridayfindsbutton2 1440

brown leaf


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Never count your life by the leaves that fall

brown leaf
Textures by Kim Klassen; Nested, 50% Multiply and 1402 Magic, 100% Soft Light
Light burning around the photo’s edges

Count the gardens by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall.
Count your life by the smiles and not the tears that roll.
~Unknown

Attitude and gratitude. Two very hard virtues to embrace, aren’t they? How easily we ditch the good and only focus on things in our lives that don’t go how we want them to go. How easily we count the tears instead of the smiles. Maybe the tears are coming from health issues; maybe they’re from relationships; maybe they’re caused by life-altering events. It’s all to easy to become consumed with how awful everything seems in our corner of the world. Let’s face it…we’re all a bit narcissistic at heart…thinking the world revolves only around us and what would make us the happiest…or saddest.

This past year has been a roller coaster of smiles and tears; Blessings and worry; Optimism and destroyed dreams. As I sit here looking out the window at yet another blustery, rainy day, it would be very easy to sink into an abyss of depression….focusing only on the things in life that are not perfect. Heck, there’s a lot that’s not even close to perfect. And Peanut has shared her cold with me…which means Twix will have one shortly. Perfect.

But mixed in with those tears, worry and destroyed dreams are these things:

1. Twix came into our lives. And while it was sooner than expected and she faced a few health concerns, she is now a thriving 8-month-old blessing.

2. Peanut is growing into a little girl with a quirky sense of humor and attitude to match. It’s a roller coaster of emotions with her, but I’m sure it’s hard for such a small package to sort out the mixed up bag of happy, sad, angry, worried and independent feelings.

3. The Investigator, Peanut, Twix, Entrepreneur and I all live together. Now this may seem like both a blessing and a curse (and sometimes it is), but through it all Entrepreneur and I have been fortunate to be able to help The Investigator get back on her feet and offer much-needed child care and support. The payoff has been that we’ve been able to be an integral part of our grandbabykins lives during these formative months and years.

4. The Investigator has a job she loves and is making a positive difference in the lives of children who need protection and families that need help.

5. The Floridian is doing well in her new job and keeps in touch with us via phone and social media quite regularly. Which is a total reversal from her college days! :-) She is living the Florida dream and (most days) loving it.

5. Financially we’re holding our own and are not in danger of becoming homeless! We have food in the kitchen, a solid roof over our heads, warm beds in which to sleep and enough to make our lives comfortable. The investment portfolio takes a beating every now and then with our up and down economy, but is still in the black.

I know the rain will continue to fall and there will continue to be more storms on the horizon. Life will continue to throw curve balls and tears will fall. But, at the risk of sounding Pollyanna-ish, I hope we can focus on the smiles amidst it all, knowing that nothing in life is perfect. We just have to do the best we can with what we’ve been given and understand that God will sort it out in the end.

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Texture Twist and Life Through the Lens
Texture Tuesday texture-twistLife through lens


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September collage

September 2014 collage

Almost the middle of October. Yep, that sounds about right for posting the previous month’s collage!

September brought The Floridian home for 10 days and a Labor Day BBQ. Twix turned 7 months and we had a couple of birthdays. We took a short trip to Branson to celebrate Peanut and Entrepreneur’s birthdays, and went to Silver Dollar City to catch the “Cowboy Days” festivities. That dovetailed nicely with the Dixie Stampede dinner show.

The garden is pretty much finished except for the okra and a few bell pepper plants still hanging on. Autumn began to show some of her colors and we officially put away the pool towels! The days toyed with us giving us summer-type temps one day only to turn around and say, just kidding the next. Ahhh yes, life in middle Missouri…where it’s possible to go from heat to AC and back to heat all in one day.

How was your September?

 

Monarch


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A life of rainbows and butterflies?

Monarch
Texture by Kim Klassen; waterfront 7, 50% screen

Life Lessons from a Butterfly

Let go of the past
Trust the future
Come out of the cocoon
Ride the breeze
Savor the flowers
Put on your brightest colors
Let you beauty show
~Unknown

Summer has ended and we’re savoring the last remnants of the season. A few flowers are still hanging in there, but soon the nights will be getting too chilly. Recently, we took a short get-away trip to Branson and I was struck by how many butterflies were flitting around. Flower beds at a popular shopping area were covered in Monarchs and other winged friends taking advantage of the last of the nectar and early seed pods.

Watching butterflies is very relaxing, isn’t it? It seems like they don’t have a care in the world. Rainbows and butterflies is an expression to describe life that is easy, carefree and blessed. And taking time to watch these creatures seems to give a sense of peace and calm to our hectic days.

But when you really stop and think about it, life as a butterfly is about the farthest thing from easy and calm as it can be. What looks to be carefree drifting on the breeze is actually an everyday fight for life.

Caterpillars live to eat. And when they successfully avoid the many predators that can end their life, they encase themselves to begin the miracle of transformation. Completely liquifying their fat, bunchy body inside the cocoon, they emerge into a beautiful, delicate-winged miracle that can take to the sky minutes after its rebirth. But the fight continues. Birds, spiders, other predatory insects….as well as car grills and tires are a constant threat to survival every second of their life. Their only food source is temporary and they know they need to complete their mission soon. Urgency is the driving force behind every seemingly carefree butterfly.

And what about those rainbows? Beautiful color arches in the sky, they never appear on clear, bright, sunny days, do they? They only materialize after a period of dark clouds and storms. The birth of a rainbow is the result of chaotic conditions in nature that are sometimes extremely violent.

So maybe there are a few more lessons we can learn from those butterflies…and from rainbows as well.

Wishing you all a life of rainbows and butterflies….

Linking up with Texture Twist, Texture Tuesday and Life Through the Lens
texture-twist  Texture Tuesday Life through lens

Sarge


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September Photo Challenge: Black and White

photo blog challenge

Over at a ‘lil hoohaa, PJ’s theme for September was Black and White. And while I’m a 96-crayon-box girl, I do love black and white photos. When you strip out the color of a photo, all that’s left is the subject matter and the fine details that are sometimes lost in the riot of color of traditional shots.

So here are my five for the month.

1. This photo of the Princesses was shot in color and I converted it to black and white. After that, I played around with some textures and ended up with a shot I really like. You can see it HERE. These two cousins are about two years apart in age but were thick as thieves at our Labor Day BBQ. I can see many years of trouble ahead for all of us when they get older. Good thing there are lots of male brothers/uncles/cousins around to keep the wanna-be boyfriends in line. I pity the poor boy who gets crosswise with any of them…including the Princesses! Though she be little, she is fierce. (Shakespeare)
G&H black and white

2 and 3. Peanut, The Investigator, Entrepreneur and I visited our town’s Heritage Festival at a local historic park. Along with an 1877 mansion, a relocated/reconstructed general store, log cabin and smaller home, there were costumed vendors, Native American dancers, musicians and many treats for the tummy. Kettle corn and turkey legs were our tummy treats.
Blacksmith
An actual blacksmith showing how to heat metal to a ridiculously high temperature before crafting it into something useful or unusual.

heritage festival flute
A local Lewis and Clark expert…complete with raccoon fur hat and buckskin moccasins…who was thrilled to explain the nuances of the explorers’ lives as they ventured West. And finished it off by playing a “courting song” for Peanut on a hand-crafted Native American flute.

4 and 5. Not exactly in the black and white genre, but here we find a couple of black noses on white snouts!
BW noses
Dixie and Peyton, The Investigator’s puppers. Tanner’s snout doesn’t qualify.

Sarge
Sarge, Entrepreneur’s parents’ pupper complies more with the black and white theme as he is a border collie.

So there’s my five for the month. Don’t forget to check out everyone’s selections over at PJ’s on September 30th.

 

yellow magic mums


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New seasons, new perspectives, new perceptions

So here I am again at peripheralperceptions.wordpress.com. And if you’re reading this, you’ve successfully found me! All in all it was a smooth transition. The accessories aren’t exactly where I want them yet, but all the furniture was successfully relocated…except the spam comments….didn’t pack up and move the spam comments. I’m sure the spambots will find me again soon. Until then, the other site can serve as a decoy. :-)

 yellow magic mums
Texture by Kim Klassen: Magic 0916

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall. 
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, THE GREAT GATSBY

Today, September 23rd, is the Autumnal Equinox in these parts. Beginning late yesterday, the sun began crossing the equator, and the northern hemisphere begins preparing for shorter, cooler days before our leaves explode with color. Depending on which farmer’s almanac you consult, the winter could be another dandy in the Midwest.

So as the season prepares to start over, I suppose it’s fitting to start over with my blog on the first full day of the Autumn…my favorite season.

Starting over. The words carry a variety of impressions and feelings.

The most common impression is that we start over when we’ve experienced failure at something we’ve attempted. Maybe it’s the death of a dream. Maybe, we’ve screwed up, realize we’re going in the wrong direction and need to stop and revise our attitude or behaviors. But one thing is certain…it’s never to late to begin again. It’s never too late to right a wrong. It’s never too late to change.

thistle

Souls reconstructed with faith transform agony into peace. 
~Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams

We also start over when we’ve finished an accomplishment and are ready to move on to something else…something more challenging. Been there, done that is the motto we use when we’re ready to begin a new chapter in our lives.  But turning a page in our book doesn’t mean we forget everything we’ve read. Any new endeavor needs to be approached using all the knowledge we’ve learned from the past. We can build on our past accomplishments….and, yes, even our failures….and make our present and future a better place for ourselves and those we love. We can never erase our past. But, there is no success in life if we can’t or won’t learn from our mistakes and use them as a guide for how to approach the future.

It’s humbling to start fresh. It takes a lot of courage. But it can be reinvigorating.
You just have to put your ego on a shelf and tell it to be quiet. 
~Jennifer Ritchie Payette

ocra flower

 A balanced life isn’t to do as we please, but to learn to do what is right.
A person that is truly free in life doesn’t try to balance the good and evil inside him.
He fearlessly fights the war between his heart and mind, by choosing
one path of standards to live by that will end suffering for himself and others.” 

~Shannon L. Alder

Whatever the reason, starting over begins when we contemplate where we are in life and where we want to be. It requires us to look back and make decisions on what we should keep and we need to ditch in order to fully enjoy life. Deciding what to keep is usually pretty darn easy. But realizing what to ditch is sometimes a little harder and about an enjoyable as a root canal. Sometimes we want to hang on to things that are not beneficial to our well-being; things that keep us from reaching our full potential; things that…while we cling to them because they’re part of our comfort zone….don’t stretch our abilities or allow us to grow.

Forget the former things and o not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
~Isaiah 43:18-19

Starting over…new beginnings…an exercise in futility if there isn’t a plan or guide to follow.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
~Jeremiah 29:11 

So Happy Autumnal Equinox! A new season with the promise of new beginnings and possibilities.

What will you accomplish?

Linking up with Texture Twist, Texture Tuesday and Life Through the Lens
texture-twist Texture Tuesday Life through lens

 

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