365-Day Project, Art, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Science, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 31 – It’s Simply Magnetizing!

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. – Albert Einstein

Yesterday I attended my son’s fifth-grade class field trip to the Mag Lab (the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory) for a tour. Carlos Villa, Mag Lab employee extraordinaire, was our host; he started our exploration with an experiment using a mixture of magnesium sulfate, a magnet, and two pieces of copper, attached to a 9-volt battery. The copper changed colors, reacting with the magnesium sulfate. That much I understood. I thought, “if my science teachers had been like Carlos, I would have paid attention!” The rest of the tour was just as enlightening. Did you know that helium is not replaceable? Those balloons just float off into space with the helium, never to return again. Now my son feels guilty for releasing so many balloons.

I was enthralled by the ingenuity and pure genius of those Mag Lab employees. I learned about the “Bitter Plate,” which is a round plate (think doughnut), with lots of tiny holes all around that help to cool magnets. Then we were shown the “Florida plate,” developed right here in Tallahassee, Florida, at the Mag Lab. This plate is also round, but instead of holes, it contains slits, which helps to cool the magnet faster. These Florida plates were the subject of yesterday’s picture. The Mag Lab has used some of these plates (both the Bitter and Florida) as decorations throughout the facility. I was inspired by the patterns. How cool!

I’m far from a scientist, but I certainly can appreciate these geniuses applying their knowledge, curiosity, and experimentation. And I learned you can find the beauty in science. You just have to look!

Ready for today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture? I promise this one was not taken at the Mag Lab. 😉

What Is It?!?


What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 30)

As explained above, yesterday’s photograph was inspired by my trip to the Mag Lab, and the patterns of the Florida Plates caught my attention. The picture was of the Florida Plates on a spool. I loved the Bitter Plates, too. Here’s a couple of different perspectives.

ImageThe top picture shows the Bitter Plate on the outside and the Florida Plate on the inside. Both are used to help cool magnets.Image

Many of these plates (both Bitter and Florida), such as the ones in the bottom image, are used as decorative pieces in the Mag Lab. Apparently I wasn’t the first one to notice their beauty. 






365-Day Project, Art, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 30 – The More I Think, the More I Wonder

“Think and wonder, wonder and think.”
― Dr. Seuss

After all these years, I still love to read Dr. Seuss. My son, now 10, still loves these books, too, the rhythm and fun, cadence and beats, silly funny creatures and wacky beasts. Sometimes I think we all need a dose of Dr. Seuss, if each one of us took only five minutes a day to escape reality … on a boat, with a goat … in a house, with a mouse, oh, just imagine the places we could go!

The more I think, the more I wonder
The more I wonder, the more I ponder
What’s over here and what’s over yonder
And yonder is such a peculiar word!

Interesting tidbit that Ian mentioned to me: In the book Green Eggs and Ham, we know “Sam-I-Am’s” name, but what’s the name of the other fellow? We read the book aloud and still don’t know. Funny, how he saw something I hadn’t noticed for too many decades to mention. 😉

For your thinking and wondering pleasure, below is today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture. I found it quite interesting! Do you know what it is?

What Is It?!?

ImageWhat Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 29)

It wasn’t a gold-colored screw, or top to a facial cream jar, not the bottom or top of a can, but it was the inside of a coffee can. My inspiration came from a friend’s guess of this on a previous picture. When I saw the coffee can I thought, why not?


365-Day Project, Art, Creativity, Life, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 29 – The World the Way I See Through My Eyes

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist. – Oscar Wilde

The world and its glorious, numerous, never-ending plethora of objects, I see within a frame. Not an actual picture frame, but an image singled out, sometimes focusing in, sometimes reaching out. I was trying to explain this to my husband, and I found it (still find it) quite difficult to describe the world the way I see through my eyes. 

I take these “funky” pictures because I’ve always searched out that “artsy-fartsy” viewpoint, that frame that screams out to me. I have not run out of subjects for my 365-Day Project in Perspective and I doubt I will, the challenge is finding the right exposure of my view to you. 

So how do you see the world?

Here is today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture, my inspiration purely on impulse, as I had already photographed an object, but then saw this. What would it look like if I were to … ? Do you know what it is?

What Is It?!?

ImageWhat Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture

I was inspired by the colors of cordial glasses yesterday. I took three of the set of six and photographed from different angles, directions, etc. And I loved the results! So much so I had a hard time picking out which one to post. Here are a few other perspectives of these colorful glasses.


365-Day Project, Art, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 28 – Color My World

I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them. – Pablo Picasso

I have been inspired by colors today. The brilliance of the hues, shades, reflections, the vibrancy of colors entice me. My muse beckoned me loudly today! I was happy, happy, happy to play. 🙂

Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture is the result of coloring my world.

What Is It?!?

20130128-2013_01_28_0620What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture

Okay, so my mind has obviously been at the bottom of the sea lately, perhaps it has something to do with planning my annual girl’s weekend with my BFFs just the other day. One friend guessed the subject immediately: a shell.

How can I not love something that’s part of my name? (Schelley) 😉

Life, Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing

Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words

Circle of Life

We’ve all heard of the “circle of life,” if you’ve ever seen The Lion King (Disney movie), you know all about the circle of life in the animal kingdom.

But it’s the same for us human folks, too. There’s a circle of life, whether we see it or not. For me, I personally got to feel that circle.

Flashback: Forty-six years ago, my mom gave birth to me, and she was the first one to welcome me into this life. Of course, being a newborn infant, I don’t remember a single thing. But my mom did, and she certainly let me know all about the severe back pain my birth caused her. Not to mention I was about two weeks late! Trust me, I apologized since I now know what it’s like to give birth. Alas, my son made up for that two-week lateness, as he came two weeks early. The circle evens out.

Flashback: It’s December 30th, 2011, I am in the Big Bend Hospice house with my mom’s best friend, Marie, who has been at her side ever since her fall the day after Christmas. It’s just the two of us, it’s late, the family already gone home. I hear the struggled breath of my mom.

I have given her permission to leave her body. I know that’s important to her, she believes that your soul has to be given the “thumbs up” to depart the body. She’s been waiting for this, for a very long time. Way before we ever made it this far, this close to the end of the circle, she has suffered at the end of a dialysis machine. The dialysis sucks. Her arm keeps on clotting where the plastic port has been surgically installed, and each time, requires more surgery. We’ve gone through this nine times so far. Mom claims her bucket list is full, she doesn’t want to suffer anymore. This is not the way to live, she says.

And I agree.

Flashback: The phone startles me awake, it’s just 8:00 in the morning, the day after Christmas. What a great Christmas we had, my mom finally had her wish fulfilled that my family and my brother’s family would all be together on Christmas Eve. I answer the phone … it’s my mom. She has fallen in the kitchen, she thinks she had passed out. It’s a blur while I frantically get dressed and grab my son. I might need him, as I have no idea what I’m going to face.

She’s on the floor, the tile floor. I cannot move her, and I know it’s time to call 911. I’ve got to get help from medical professionals, she’s in serious dire need. The ambulance ride is traumatizing as she screams in pain the entire way.

My mom has broken two vertebrae in her back. Almost two hours into the ordeal the ER finally gives her pain relief. Finally. The admitting doctor breaks the news to us, we’re talking at least 12 weeks in bed, and that’s after major surgery.

She looks at me. “I am not having any surgery. I am done. And you are NOT taking me to dialysis.”

Mom’s the boss. She knows what she wants. I know what she wants. I am not going to let them do surgery or take her to dialysis. Time starts to speed up. Rapidly.

Will the doctors give me grief like they did to my mother when her father was dying? “You mean you’re going to let your father starve to death by taking out his feeding tubes?” My grandfather was already gone, just a body on the bed. He had made his wishes known, my mom knew what to do. But just over 15 years ago, dying with dignity wasn’t “kosher.”

I need a referral to hospice, I tell the doctor. The head nurse said she would call. “I will make the call. You know what your mom wants, she has made it clear.” Wow, no guilt trips. Instead, a hug from a stranger.

Flashback: It’s Wednesday now, two days into this ordeal. My mom is already losing her mental facilities, the poison from her kidneys is slowly killing her brain, her heart, her organs. My brother rides with her to the hospice house. At least she knows who he is.

This woman on the bed here is not acting like my mom. She is crazy! She is throwing out crazy talk! But she is funny. Or maybe we’re just too in shock to do anything but laugh. Maybe we all need a moment of levity in this terrible time of sadness.

Flashback: It’s Thursday. It’s been a long, long day. The grandkids have all been hovering in her room, it’s kind of ironic, that her hospice room is like a resort. My mom loved to travel. I told her she was still in style. Dozens of friends come and go. There are only a few moments of clarity in my mom’s world. Now it’s night. It’s late. I’ve got to get home, get a shower, get ready for tomorrow. How long do we have? “I love you mom.”

“I love you too.” The last words my mom ever said to me. And I’m pretty sure that’s what she said to me when I was born. We’re closing in on that circle.

Flashback: Friday. My mom hasn’t uttered one word. She is not going to wake up. The doctor says it’s going to be soon. Friday night. My brother has just left. I am telling Marie what my sister-in-law has said to me, that we’re going to do a better job of being a family. That’s all my mom had wanted.

As soon as I say those words, about being a family, my mom takes her last breath.

I feel my mom’s soul move through me.

My mom welcomed me into the world, and now I turn her loose, she has left this Earthly plane. The circle of life is complete.


365-Day Project, Art, Cartoons, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 27 – Ohhhhh … Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea?

A little perspective, like a little humor, goes a long way. – Allen Klein

I’ll tell you a little secret. Sometimes we watch “Spongebob Squarepants” even when our son isn’t even in the room. There’s something about that yellow fellow and his cohorts, Patrick, Plankton (my favorite character), Squidward, Mr. Krabs, and Sandy Cheeks (the astronaut squirrel). I mean, how can you not love a place called “Bikini Bottom?!?” And Plankton, he’s the definition of spunk packed in a small package. Always in pursuit of the infamous (yet top secret) Krabby Patty recipe. Spongebob and his silly laugh, Patrick and his utter stupidity, Squidward’s constant pessimism, Sandy’s constant cheerfulness, Mr. Krab’s pursuit of the almighty dollar, they all make me laugh.

There’s nothing better than a good dose of humor, it can change your perspective on life.

So are you ready? Aye aye Captain!

Here’s today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture, do you know what it is?

What Is It?!?

ImageWhat Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture

I admit, it was pretty easy to guess, but I became spellbound with its intricate details. Was it raindrops in the sand? No. Sea sponge? No. But close! A guess here on the blog post was indeed correct: coral. Congratulations Sonja!

365-Day Project, Art, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 26 – Spellbound

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. – Michelangelo

Being able to look at a block of marble and end up creating an angel is something that awes me. Michelangelo awes me. It’s the artists that keep me spellbound. Oh, to be able to create such magnificence! So instead of a chisel, a paintbrush, or pen, it’s the eyes, the lens, the shutter, that I use to create.

Here is today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture. Can you guess?

What Is It?!?

ImageWhat Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture

I’ll tell you what it wasn’t – glasses, vase, handrail, the edge of nested measuring spoons, inside of a tin can, ripples in coffee, or a perfume bottle. I love these guesses! Yesterday’s picture was of the binder and its reflection of my sketch pad.

A Word a Week Photo Challenges, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

A Word a Week Photo Challenge: Weather

A Word a Week Photo Challenge: Weather

The storm’s a brewing and the birds are flying, clouds rolling in on the ocean.

Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Children have such a fun way of expressing love!

365-Day Project, Art, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized, Writing

Day 25 – Think Left and Think Right

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try! – Dr. Seuss

I must have taken over 100 pictures today of various subjects and not one of them gave the effect I was seeking. The real problem is I didn’t know what I was looking for! I am all bound up, full of ideas but the nagging editor decided to sit for a spell and say “nope, that doesn’t work, that one doesn’t either, none of these work!” I just needed to stop focusing on the subject but let inspiration do the trick.

Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture was the result of walking away from my frustrated self and suddenly seeing what was sitting there all along. Goodbye nagging editor, hello happy Muse!

What Is It?!?

ImageWhat Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture

Real close-up picture of your rocking chair? Nope. A close-up of my iced tea with my ice? Nope. One of my son’s science projects? Nope. A beehive? Nope. Kaleidoscope? Nope. Cardboard box? Nope. Flashlight or headlight? Nope. Air vent? Nope. Kitchen appliance? Nope. Yellow glass? Nope. My friends have such imaginations!

Yesterday’s picture was of a bicycle pedal reflector. I never knew the intricacy of how the light is reflected until I took these photographs.