Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Photo Challenge: DIRECTION/DISTRACTION

Oh this week, you guys. Some order, routine, and beauty are just what I need.




This one by Our Cindy feels like it encompasses the prompt in an ethereal way. I want to step inside it.



Our Janet, as usual, captures just the right mixture of specific and funny!



I was giving her all this direction and all she gave me was distraction. Love her.

Let's make it a FOOD challenge this time around. Any food at all.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday July 26th for posting on July 27th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and FOOD. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

You'll Know It When You See It

I am the girl who cried, "Wolf!" I am the voice of your mother reminding you to say, "Thank you." I am that weird humming the electric light in your bathroom makes. You're so used to me you can't hear me anymore.

Elvis is dying.

See? I've said it a million times. I've believed it a million and a half times. Why would any of us listen to me any more?

To be honest, there's a way to look at it where he's not dying, it's just that his death is now inevitable and near.

I should explain.

One side of his face looks like Marlon Brando in The Godfather. It's all rounded out and yet still cat-like enough that for at least a day I thought the other side of his face had collapsed instead. Both options seemed plausible.

Despite a friend look at him and trying to suggest what was really going on the only option I considered was an abcess. It was my own guilt. I know his teeth are terrible and I haven't done enough to fix that. So of course it was going to be a giant mouth wound filled so full of pus and blood and gore that it was hard to the touch. It was going to be another expensive and complex diagnosis followed by months of vet visits and medications.

Hard to the touch is the clue, in case you don't know. I knew and I still didn't get it. If the bump is hard and doesn't move around under the skin and off the bone then there's good reason to be worried. The moveable ones are usually fatty tumors or cysts (not always, I'm not a vet, but you at least have time to think). The unmoving ones are the ones where you want to maybe shut your brain off.

The vet touched his face for less than 10 seconds before he said, "Yeah, that's a tumor."

"Do you want to see?" he asked a few sentences later.

"No," I said, "but I'm going to."

There's no point in a biopsy. There's no treatment that would increase or maintain his quality of life. The next word problem in a feline lifetime of calculus tests is how to find foods that he can eat around this ever-growing mass along one side of his jaw and encroaching on his neck. I have broth and wet food with extra calories and supplements and oils and pain/anti-inflammatory meds. I have the brains God gave a goat and more experience in making this particular cat comfortable than anyone else on the planet. Now I help him eat and when he can't eat any more I help him die. The vet was worried that I might be one of those people so unable to make these kinds of decisions that I might let him starve to death slowly. I almost wish I were.

I'm not.

I'm shocked. I'm devastated. I keep trying to accomplish tasks and getting the order all wrong (plug in the vacuum before you turn it on).

I'm also shocked that I'm shocked. He's nearly 16 years old and when he was 4 they told me he'd live a couple more years. That was not the last time someone gave me instructions for how to ease his burden for the precious little time I'd have him. I'm used to being told he's going to die.



I'm not used to believing them.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Photo Challenge: BAKE

Better late than never, right? Or as a punny engineering-themed birthday card once told my grandfather, better Nate than lever.



Please welcome Our Maggie, her perspective, and her gorgeous baking creations to her first photo challenge!



Our Cindy captured something that I am drawn to and repelled by. Yum duck! Dead animal oof.



Often at a lobster bake you hear, "Do we have steam yet?" Yes, we do.


And here were are in the thick of summer. Direction is hard to find and distractions are the law of the land. I love summer. Oh hey, I think I just made my problem my solution! The prompt(s) are DIRECTION/DISTRACTION.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday July 12th for posting on July 13th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and DIRECTION/DISTRACTION. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Photo Challenge: INSPIRE

I've been thinking about my blogging a lot lately and wondering why I've kept the photo challenges up and pretty much nothing else. Part of it is accountability, sure, but I think a larger part of it is that the photo challenges give me a regular dose of inspiration. Thank you to everyone who ever participates and comments for doing that for me and for each other. I honestly appreciate it more than you may ever know.



While I was thinking about my blogging I caught up on Our Bethany's blog and it seems she's faced with inspiring things, like this trip, nearly every day. That's a beautiful thing.



I also caught up with Our Cindy's blog and that gave me so much to think about. This Fern shot is but one example of the amazing photography she shares every day.



Before my blog reading binge I was inspired by someone making fun of selfies. For a couple of days I tried out different selfie...er...techniques? The results were often hilarious.

OK, this is going to sound weird but the next prompt is BAKE. Just go with me on that one, ok?

Please enter by 9am Tuesday June 21st for posting on June 22nd. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and BAKE. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Photo Challenge: COLOR

This one turned out spectacularly, I think. Don't you?



How exactly did Our Alisun manage to capture how a red (pink?) sky makes you feel?


I believe the only words to describe this vision by Our Cindy is "riot of color." If only all riots were so gorgeous.



My neighborhood had a tough time processing Prince's passing. We're moving forward, though.



This is some meta-art. Drawing by Our (Janet's) Dave and photo by Our Janet. A perfect lead in to a holiday weekend!


That worked so well let's go with another broad one, INSPIRE. That should, well, INSPIRE you, right?

Please enter by 9am Tuesday June 7th for posting on June 8th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and INSPIRE. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Photo Challenge: SUCCESS

SUCCESS! I made it to this point! Did you?



I'm not sure if this is what Our Bethany meant when she submitted this but for me there are few successes better than making someone laugh.



Is this success about the space or about the dancing or about being together? Only Our Cindy knows and she'll never tell.



Taking pictures of nervous dogs at adoption events is not an endeavor riddled with success. I tried!



I suspect that Our Janet sees success in things that many would overlook. I like that.


It's been raining and weird and dull and my head has been down trying to get my work done. One of my favorite lines from Barnum! is, "You gotta let me bring a little colour into this campaign or they’re gonna beat me!" So, there you go, the prompt is COLOR.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday May 24th for posting on May 25th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and COLOR. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Photo Challenge: OPPOSITES

This one was tough for me. I'm actually taking more pics but with specific intent usually. Taking a shot just to take one is rarer. I'm busy. Everyone is busy. Here we are and it's still fun and interesting.



Our Janet has great work flow. She's able to find and combine photos from different times and places in such beautiful ways. I want to learn from her.



I've found our weather this year to be full of opposition. May we all survive it.


I recently had a huge triumph and got my CPDT-KA certification (for dog training). While we work on this challenge I'll be in the home stretch for Listen To Your Mother, NYC (buy your tickets quick before they're all gone!). So the perfect prompt, as far as I'm concerned, is SUCCESS. Let's see where it takes us.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday May 10th for posting on May 11th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and SUCCESS. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Photo Challenge: HATCH

This one was a hoot. I really enjoyed it. I love what a great sense of humor you all have. Onward to hatching photos!



This is exactly the sort of hatching I can get behind. Our Janet is on my wavelength.



He doesn't so much hatch as explode out of this shape.



Our Cindy has her own chickens. I bet these eggs were warm when she arranged them.



And now for something completely different from Our Bethany! I had to think a minute and when I got it I cracked up.


The weather whipping back and forth has done a number on my attitude. I'm working for a prompt that opens the door for all your humor and creativity. How about OPPOSITES ATTRACT?

Please enter by 9am Tuesday April 19th for posting on April 20th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and OPPOSITES. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Photo Challenge: ROMANCE

Actions speak louder than words, right? So I'm just going to ROMANCE you with some photos.



Our Cindy puts ROMANCE right in my heart with this.



Me and Our Janet's poppet, we like a nice romantic tale.



Eddie and me, we've got this ROMANCE thing down, right?


This is going to sound weird (or with Easter coming up maybe not) but the next prompt is HATCH.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday April 5th for posting on April 6th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and HATCH. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Photo Challenge: Politics

OK, I was lost but now am found. I took my certification test yesterday and there's a lot more room in my brain for processing other information now. (No, I didn't offload the information I was tested on, I let go of the worry.) In 6 weeks we find out if I passed. Send all the good JuJu (or whatever it is you send), please.

On to our challenge! (New prompt below.)



Our Janet found us an actual politician! Well, a statue of one, anyway. If you click on Janet's name you'll see her write up on who it is.



Every time I teach class we navigate puppy politics. Bella (front) is a go-getter, Lucy (middle) doesn't push and waits for her opinion to be solicited, and Indigo (back) is cautious and fierce by turns. Love them all.



If a local politician has not contacted Our Cindy and asked to use this as part of their campaign materials then they're just not trying hard enough. This has everything!


Here's my confession: I've been reading a bunch of fan fiction lately. It's the modern alternative to Harlequin Romance books. Therefore your prompt, should you choose to accept it, is ROMANCE.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday March 22nd for posting on March 23rd. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and ROMANCE. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Photo Challenge: TRY

Well, look at me all late to the party! Ed has a bunch of dental work yesterday and I'm a little discombobulated. So is he! Even the cats are. We have 2 fun entries and a new prompt, though. Please enjoy.



Well, I say to Our Janet, "I would love to try that!"



When Bu comes over to my house he tries to do a complete inventory of our dog toys but he inevitably gets drunk on joy before he finishes.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest the prompt POLITICS. Let's see what happens with that.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday February 23rd for posting on February 24th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and POLITICS. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Photo Challenge: FRESH

This year. Oh my. It started so well and now it's trying to kick my ass. Thank you for the stability and beauty of these photo challenges. I hope they bring you the same good feeling they do to me.



Oh yeah, Our Bethany married a fresh one all right. It's ok, she knew that going in.



A twofer from Our Sara. That's a fresh ball and a fresh new, hand knit cowl on Our Bu



Being in front of the camera is always fresh for this family. I like to let them kid around a little to shake the cobwebs off. #GrandparentLove



I think this is the view from Our Cindy's office. She gets so many beautiful shots from there. This pastoral new snow shot is making it easier for me to slog through the old snow outside this office.


As things have gotten a little more challenging I remember that I'm just TRYING my best. Let's use TRY as the next prompt. Does that give you enough room to create?

Please enter by 9am Tuesday February 9th for posting on February 10th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and TRY. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Photo Challenge: Let Go

The final celebration of the season has occurred (my birthday) so now it's time to buckle down into this year. Thanks for helping me think through the process of letting go.



I love that Our Alisun lightened it up. I was taking all this letting go so seriously. #DropItLikeItsHot



Our Janet has had to let both of these furry treasure go. I hope they're together wherever they are.



I turned 47 on Saturday. A couple of times people made weird cracks about my being open about my age. I never really think about how old I am being old, even when I joke about it. I guess I've let go of that. Who knew?


In a sort of opposition to the previous prompt I think FRESH is the right prompt. Let's see what happens with that!

Please enter by 9am Tuesday January 26th for posting on January 27th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and FRESH. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Photo Challenge: HOPE/WISH/DREAM

If you all remember back to when I put out the prompt I made it vague on purpose. I wanted these pictures to help us think about the year we're leaving and the one we're leaping into. Since that's happened my family has gotten a couple of pieces of sad news, making the new year celebrations feel more melancholy. I hope you're getting good news for the new year and I think these photos will brighten even well-lit days.

Thank you for a glorious year in images. I'm truly looking forward to another year of sharing this tradition with you.



Our Cindy has taken some wildly Christmasy photos this season. I can feel the wishing sparkling out of this one.



I spent the holiday in New England and was unable to connect with Our Janet in person. If we'd managed it I assume it would have looked like this.



Our Sara lives with a perpetual dreamer. Even discarded on the street he had to try this pogo stick to make sure it didn't work.



The friendship here is the fulfillment of so many of my hopes and dreams.



I don't even know what to say about what Our Bethany offered here. It feels like everything I felt when I posted the prompt. I miss her.


One of the unexpected sadnesses for my family this week is that my uncle died. Sudden heart failure in his home. One of my greatest continuing challenges is learning to release things that I cannot or should not control. In view of both those things let's have the first prompt of 2016 be LET GO. How's that?

Please enter by 9am Tuesday January 12th for posting on January 13th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and LET GO. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.