April Photo Challenge

And just like that….April is over and done with. Four months already on the books for 2018, and here we are again with PJ’s photo challenge. April’s prompt was One Person and I admit I didn’t really think about this until…..um….yesterday!

But, today I rallied and went through the April photo folder to make anything something work.

One Person: Entrepreneur
He’s my One Person and we’re going on 38 years this July. God knows we’ve been through a lot together. Nine moves, two daughters, four dogs, four cats (two not really ours, but The Golfer “abandoned” them to move to Florida!), and two grand girls. And now, the latest challenge….cancer…which has racked up two surgeries, 8 months of Bell’s Palsey, radiation and daily oral chemo. But he’s a fighter and we’ll face it together. As Rachel Platten’s song “Stand By You” says,
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’m gonna stand by you.
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you.
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you.

One Person: Peanut
The One Person who made me a Nana for the first time in 2008. Our original pocket rocket of a grand girl is now nine years old and one of the loves of my life.

One Person: Twix
And right on Peanut’s heels is her sister, who never ceases to amaze with what comes out of her mouth! Her personality is much, much larger than her little four-year-old frame. Definitely another love of my life.

Cabo’s One Person
I guess that would be me. Other people do help take care of him, but I’m the one he seeks out most often when he wants to play, or go outside, or sleep at my feet, or just thinks someone should be paying attention to him. Nothing thrills him more than when it’s time to throw the ball! He was Entrepreneur’s idea a year ago this month….so I would have company after he’s gone. So, he’s now in this with me for the long haul!

One Person: Old Man Winter
Yes, now I’m grasping for ideas. Old Man Winter has finally released his strangle hold on middle Missouri and Spring, with all her muses, has finally arrived. That means the windows are thrown open to let in the warmer air and scents of blooming trees and bushes. I have a Korean Spice Viburnum under this window, and the scent that’s drawn into the house through the window is heavenly.

I’m closing with what just might be the most famous “one person” quote of all time.

To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world. ~Dr. Seuss

Check out the Photo Blogging Challenge over at PJ’s and enjoy who other’s featured as their One Person….Or would it be One People? 😀
(P.S. He’s a bit behind, so you might give him one more day before you look for his PBC post.)

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Photo Blogging Challenge: Simple

Simple is such a complicated term. It seems to take great effort to simplify life, live simply or even enjoy simple pleasures. So, when PJ threw out the prompt of Simple, I had my suspicions this would not be as simple as it sounded.

I should have gone in so many different directions with this prompt. Directions that could have been wildly creative. But that would have involved simplifying my overly crowded schedule to actually take time to put creative thought into this month’s challenge. And, that didn’t happen. So, when I opened up my February 2018 photo folder, I simply had to shift gears to adapt what I had to the theme! So, here goes…..

Simple 1
A simple, single valentine’s rose. Simple beauty to bring a smile.

Simple 2
The simple joy of spending time with Twix is one of the highlights of Entrepreneur’s life right now. To be able to do something “normal” like teach a golfing lesson to a grand girl is something he values.

Simple 3
Who needs complicated technology for entertainment when simply playing with a dog offers so much enjoyment?

Simple 4
This showed up in my last post, but I think it personifies how simple things can bring great joy. The simple art of swinging can be so much fun…especially when one is only four years old! And, her expression brought a smile to my face as well. And reminded me to enjoy these simple moments before they are gone.

Simple 5
Seeing new life pushing through the mulch is a simple pleasure for me every year. I so delight in seeing my daffs make their appearance just when winter starts to get the best of my attitude.

Bonus!
Cabo is a lot of things….and simple may not be one of them. But, his insistence in sitting in my lap reminds me to stop and enjoy the simple things in life. Because, 50 pounds of puppy in my lap keeps me from getting up to do a bunch of other stuff when I should be chillaxing!

All in all, this prompt was a good reminder to try and stop making life so complicated. It is truly the simple things in our lives that should be the most valued. For more simplicity, head over to PJ’s to see how others interpreted the prompt. 

I encourage everyone reading this to consider joining PJ’s monthly photo blogging challenge. The themes are fun and offer lots of creative opportunities with a 30-day deadline! No one needs to be a professional photographer, and we all get excited when someone new joins in the fun. The only requirement is five photos…that’s it! How simple is that? The next theme will be posted at a ‘lil Hoohaa on March 1st. Why not join us next month? It’ll be fun.

January Photo Challenge: LEGO®

PJ’s photo challenge prompt for January is LEGO®. Now, you would think with two grandies, we’d have a lot of these little bricks lying around the house waiting for unsuspecting feet to step on them. I know a gajillion kids and adults love these little plastic building sets, but we’re, evidently, in the minority. What we do have (in limited supply) are the larger LEGO bricks called Duplos®. So, I’ll be modifying the prompt a bit, and adding a bit of trivia to each photo entry…mainly because my photo skills on this one were not that stellar.

LEGO #1
Every hour there are about 2.16 million LEGO bricks being molded. That’s 36,000 every minute! Approximately 19 billion LEGO elements are produced every year.

LEGO #2
LEGO bricks have been around since 1958 (it was a very good year!). It’s estimated more than 400 billion LEGO bricks have been produced over those 60 years. To further blow your mind, there are about 62 LEGO bricks per person for the entire population of the earth…that’s about 6 billion people! Do the math.

LEGO #3
If you thought the United States was #1 in the LEGO market, you would be misinformed. Germany outpaces the U.S., and LEGO is the #1 toy company in Germany. The top-selling lines in Germany are Technic and LEGO City. The United States comes in second, with the top-selling lines being Bionicle and LEGO Star Wars.

LEGO #4
I’m sure you’re wondering, what is the plural for lots of LEGO bricks? Those across the pond say, simply, Lego….while some Americans say, Legos. Actually, neither is correct. “LEGO” is an adjective and, according to the company, should always be used as a descriptor. Example: LEGO bricks, LEGO building, LEGO products, etc.

LEGO #5
The best-selling LEGO set in all of history is the LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Invention System. More than 1 million sets have been sold since their debut. But, this is usually what I find when our grand girls design their sets. And, no, that is not an official mini-fig!

Bonus LEGO pics
Twix saw my post on the computer and decided it was a good time to haul them into the office and begin construction on a masterpiece.

Where did I get this fascinating LEGO trivia? Here.

So, there you have it….my five LEGO photos. Why not build on this and blog hop over to PJ’s to see more LEGO entries?

December Photo Challenge: Holly Jolly

With December’s photo challenge from PJ, we say adios to 2017. This month’s challenge is, of course, Holly Jolly in celebration of the holidays….which come the same time every year….yet I’m never fully prepared.

But, here are my five for December.

Holly Jolly 1

We kicked off the season with a holiday concert at Peanut’s school with lots of fun songs about the season. My favorite was Zoot Suit Santa, compete with “shades” and attitude. Peanut doesn’t normally like to be the center of attention, but seemed to enjoy herself as much as we enjoyed watching her.

Holly Jolly 2

The tree went up the day after Thanksgiving and I was a bit concerned it would be down by the first of December because of a very excitable 50 pound, 8 month old pupper. But he didn’t mess with any of it! The closest time came when Bridget, the kitty, ran under the tree….it was a bit touch and go for a few minutes, but it still stands.

Holly Jolly 3

Two little grand-elves, Peanut and Twix, celebrating the season of giving. I laughed when I saw the photo with the upside-down Ho Ho Ho paper. I think it may work both ways. At 9 and 3, they are growing up too fast.

Holly Jolly 4

It came the morning of Christmas Eve. White stuff falling from the sky just in time to ensure a white Christmas. Cabo’s first Christmas and first snowfall. He had a jolly time outside.

Holly Jolly 5

This is a Magic Tree. It’s one of a few trees like this around our town, but definitely the biggest. Our church created it from an 85 foot tall Sycamore on the grounds. There are 38 miles of lights on this tree, with 200,000 bulbs…representing each person in our county. The symbolism is each light reminds us of a person in our community that is precious in God’s sight.

As with each bulb on this tree, may we all strive to be points of light in the dark places of this world….especially when it looks like all the other lights are out. Our love can shine in the darkness and light the way.

I hope everyone had wonderful holidays filled with lots of Jolly Holly moments. Please take a few minutes and visit PJ’s place to enjoy more jolliness.

November Photo Challenge: Blue

Another month has come and gone…can you believe it’s one day away from December?! Yikes! PJ prompted us this month with finding photos that represent Blue. This prompt may seem a bit strange among the orange, crimson and gold colors of Autumn, but there is a method to his madness. Blue is the color for diabetes and November is National Diabetes Month. And, November 14th was World Diabetes Day.

So here are my five, lovely blue selections to bring attention to this battle many people fight on a daily basis.

Blue #1
I know they’re around all year here in middle Missouri, but I see  blue birds more in the winter than any other season. I’ve occasionally seen blue, indigo buntings with their iridescent, neon blue feathers. But this little guy posed so nicely on the feeder hook, I had to take the shot.

Bue #2
This is my go-to mug when I’m feeling a bit blue. It holds a lot of hot chocolate and just enough Bailey’s Irish Cream to make a blah morning a bit better.

Blue #3
I bet you thought this was a piece of artwork by world renown glass artist, Dale Chihuly. Well, you would be incorrect. It’s a wine topper…made out of pony beads!

Blue #4
This is a blue dish, handmade by an artisan in Cabo San Lucas. The colors are every bit as bright as they look here. No photo manipulation at all.

Blue #5
I swore I wouldn’t opt for blue sky shot, but couldn’t resist this one. While most might see the vibrant orange of the clouds at sunset, my eye first went to the aqua blue of the sky.

There’s my five for November. Be sure to visit PJ’s place and see what colored everyone else a bit blue this month.

September Photo Challenge: Selfie

Oh my. PJ really pushed me completely outside my comfort zone for September’s photo challenge with to prompt of Selfie!

Love them or hate them, the selfie is here to stay. Interesting how people respond to selfies. Some believe it’s an outcome of our increasingly narcissistic society. Others believe it’s simply an offshoot of the self portrait. Is there a difference? Some say yes, as you will read HERE. Selfies are easy to take, so why was this challenge so difficult for me?

First of all, I don’t think I’m very photogenic. Call it self consciousness or whatever, I don’t really like having my photo taken. Like looking in a mirror, I see every flaw and imperfection magnified 100 times. I suppose I’ve succumb to our culture’s ideals. Sad, I know.

Because of my head trash, I tried to approach this month’s challenge a little unconventionally. The first two shots are the only really, true “selfies” I took this month. The first one is unretouched, SOOC. The second is the result of playing with PhotoShop filters. The rest….well, you can decide.

This next one is technically a selfie, but I tried to make it represent an aspect of my personality. Some might call it an un-selfie. It does include my face, so I’m thinking it falls within the parameters. it was a lot harder to achieve this idea than I thought.

Technically, in our culture, a “Selfie” is a photo taken of yourself with some type of digital camera and shared on social media. Since you must know the rules in order to properly break them, I think we should expand the definition and have a Selfie represent an aspect of our individual Self. Some people think of this as an alternative self portrait….without the portrait part. So, these next two shots represent part of my-SELF… without my face! Perfect.

This “Selfie” represents the aspect of my Self that loves to read. My interests cross all genre of the written word. As you can see here, my collection includes high fantasy, apologetics, science/theology and, represented by the open John Grisham book, novels that range from legal thrillers to historical fiction. I own just about every John Grisham book ever written. If there’s not a book or magazine at arm’s reach, I’ve been known to read a cereal box. 🙂 And curling up with a good book is only made better by accompanying it with a beverage.

And speaking of beverages, this photo of my-SELF represents my love of the fruit of the vine. Like books, my tastes span from budget-friendly to stupid-expensive selections. But, mainly they’re always red. Did you know W.I.N.O.S actually means Women In Need Of Sanity? Yep, for sure.

So there’s my five September Selfies. The bonus one below really is not a Selfie, but I was on a roll and had some fun with PhotoShop to share a bit more about my Self. It hope you can get a better sense of what I’m all about with this alternative un-Selfie portrait.

Please take a few minutes and check out the Selfies over at PJ’s. I’m sure most everyone else played by the rules!

 

 

August Photo Challenge: Summer Fun

I think PJ threw us all a bone this month with his prompt of Summer Fun. The only problem I had this month was whittling down the photos to only five! So what did I do? Well, some would call it cheating. I call it being resourceful.

With Peanut and Twix back from Alabama, we worked on packing in as much summer fun as possible before school began mid-month. I’m always astounded when school begins mid-August. Just doesn’t seem right.

But, anyway, here are the five I chose to share with you for August’s Summer Fun.

Summer Fun #1

Twix turned into a water bug this summer…and is working on her tree-climbing skills. What? Doesn’t every girl climb trees in a skirt?

Summer Fun #2

August began Cabo’s Walk/Heel 101 classes. I’m happy to say at 5 months old he can walk two miles before he is totally distracted. Heeling is more of a challenge, but he’s starting to get it. It’s going to be nice to have a walking buddy again.

Summer Fun #3
You would think after those two-mile walks, Cabo would be exhausted but Noooooooo. He can come home and play like he’s slept all day. Fetching the ball is a favorite any time of day. And, his Golden Retriever roots show every time water is present. Yes, that is HIS baby pool. 🙂

Summer Fun #4

Peanut is a vociferous reader and summer vacation is no exception. She does take a few breaks, but her love of books is only rivaled by her Nana.

Summer Fun #5

If you were in the path of totality, all eyes were on the heavens August 21st for the eclipse. Peanut watched it at school, but Twix, Entrepreneur and I hung out in the backyard to experience the event. I’m not sure how much Twix will remember, but she thought her eclipse mask made from a paper plate with a pair of eclipse glasses taped to it was pretty cool.

August is now ending and pumpkin spice everything is just around the corner. Our weather feels more like late September than late August with cool nights and below-normal temps during the days. Please stop by PJ’s place to enjoy some more summer fun before it’s all gone.