peripheral perceptions

a look at life from the corners of my mind


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October Photo Challenge: My choice

photo blog challenge

PJ over at A ‘lil hoohaa gave us a lot of leeway with October’s photo blogging challenge (PBC) topic…Photographer’s Choice. Might have been a cop out, but I’m sure it will return very interesting results!

So, I’ve decided to go with the Five Senses of Fall. You all know the five senses, right? Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste and Touch. Here we go……..

1. Sights of Autumn. Most everywhere in the northern hemisphere there are colorful eye-candy sightings of Autumn. Peanut, Twix and I spent a few hours at a local park where I enjoyed the beautiful sights of Autumn. And the leaves were pretty too! :-)
Peanut & Twix
Autumn '14 4

2. Sounds of Autumn. Who can deny the rustling of leaves is definitely a sound of Fall? One of the warmer Indian summer afternoons, Peanut raked and raked leaves into a pile just so she could run and jump into them. Rake. Jump. Repeat. This is a looonnggg photo, so just keep scrolling.
Autumn jump

3. Smells of Autumn. Fresh-baked bread and pies. Cinnamon and cloves. Apple cider. Add to those wonderful aromas a fire in the fire pit on a chilly October evening. You may think this would be better suited for Sounds of Autumn with the crackling fire, but we burn fallen/trimmed cedar branches that have a wonderful cedar-smokey aroma. Couple that with the aroma of a nice red wine, and life seems rather grand. Apple pie optional.
fire pit 1

4. Tastes of Autumn. Closely aligned with Smells of Autumn, cider, bread and pie rank right up at the top for Tastes of Autumn. But we all know that Autumn is soup season! We luuuvvvv soup at our house. Stroganoff stew, chicken corn chowder, beef and barley w/veggies, chili, gumbo. You name it…we’ve probably had it.
soup

5. Touch/Feel of Autumn. Cozy sweaters; soft blankets; bumpy gourds and pumpkins; the nippy chill in the air while the sun warms your face. Autumn feels homey and comforting.
gourd

Fall: bright flame before winter’s deadness; harvest; orange, gold, amber; cool nights and the smell of fire. Our tree-lined streets are set ablaze, our kitchens filled with the smells of nostalgia: apples bubbling into sauce, roasting squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cider, warmth itself. The leaves as they spark into wild color just before they die are the world’s oldest performance art, and everything we see is celebrating one last violently hued hurrah before the black and white and silence of winter. Fall is begging for us to dance and sing and write with just the same drama and blaze.
~Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.
~Lee Maynard

So there are my five for October. Please make time to visit PJ’s site to see what others chose to do this month.

Linking up with
photo blog challenge


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Wake up and live!

Autumn living
Textures by Kim Klassen: 1402 Magic; 50% soft light; Let Go, 50% hard light

There’s something about Autumn that wakes up our senses and reminds us to live.
~Unknown

It was one of those Autumn days where you knew you just had to be outside. The warm sun teased our senses into thinking it was late summer with not a care in the world. But the leaves rained down from the trees with every breeze, reminding us the days are short.

With all of Autumn’s beauty, what it most reminds us of is that nothing is permanent. While the Autumn trees entice us with their eye candy for a while, eventually we’ll watch them release their leaves, letting them cascade to the ground…completing their life cycle. We are so excited at the sight of new buds in the springtime..full of hope and anticipation. We relish the lushness of summer…the season of productivity and growth. But Autumn is the interim season that reminds us that life is fleeting…and we should probably appreciate what we have in our lives because it may not be around forever.

The climax of Autumn color reminds us to live each day to its fullest potential, celebrating the good, releasing the bad and appreciating all of it as part of the cycle of living. But do we really live each day to its fullest potential? I don’t. I take for granted I’ll always have another day to accomplish tasks, connect with friends and family, make a difference in a life. I tend to think I have lots of time to change my thoughts/words/actions. I have so many excuses for not changing anything today….because there’s always tomorrow. But, although Annie thought the sun will come out tomorrow, that’s not necessarily the case. Like Autumn’s splendidly colorful leaves, one day they will be gone.

We can learn a lot from Autumn. One is to drink in the beauty of the moment…every day…and appreciate the opportunities in life we’ve been given. The other is hidden in the season’s cycle. Instead of holding on tightly to bitterness, resentment, anger and worry, we need to learn how to release them to the wind. Our fears need to drop like the leaves. The need for these things to have permanence in our lives needs to die. Learning how to let go of detrimental areas that de-focus our attitude is a necessary step to healing and living life to the fullest.

For it’s only in the realization of dying, that we can truly start living.

Linking up with Texture Twist and Texture Tuesday
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Walktober and the Main Event

This past week, Peanut, Twix and I went on a walkabout to a local park to see the Autumn Splendor….and to play on the playground. After bribing blackmailing coercing requesting we take just a few photos of the trees, Peanut reluctantly agreed to humor me. You don’t even want to know the lengths it took to get her to agree to let me snap a few photos of her with her sister.

But snap I did. Oh my…….luv.

PeanutTwixAutumn2014

It’s  not New England, but our town did merit a mention in an article on architectureanddesign.net. about the Top 27 Exquisite Places Around The World To See Brilliant Fall Colors…granted, it was towards the end of the list, but who’s complaining!

I didn’t add any textures to these….didn’t think they really needed any enhancements over what Mom Nature already provided! I will probably play with them a little down the road…because that’s how I roll.

This Grandaddy Maple tree stands very stately. There are a lot of Grandaddy Maples in this park. Middle Missouri has had about 9 inches of rain this month. Can you believe how green the grass still looks?!

Autumn '14 3

It wasn’t easy getting my entourage ready, in the car, up to the park, out of the car and Twix into the stroller. But the trees won’t wait until it’s convenient. Most years I have to make time to purposely go, camera in hand, to try and capture the changing season. A few days can make all the difference in catching or missing peak color.

I love this shot.

Autumn '14 2

This year I discovered it’s not at all easy to shoot really creative shots while corralling a whiney six year old and keeping an 8 month old happy in the stroller. So most of these shots are quick snaps without much thought to positioning or the best lighting. [Sigh], maybe next year….yeah, next year I’ll have a toddler in tow…that will be soooo better! Or not.

Autumn '14 1

Saved the best for last. Usually by Halloween, the trees have most of their leaves ripped off by the late Autumn winds. In a couple of weeks this color will be just a memory.

Autumn '14 4

But for now, it lives gloriously for us to enjoy!

Autumn '14 5

 

Linking up with Friday Finds and 1440
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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
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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
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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?

 

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