Art, Creativity, Nature, Photographs, Photography, Writing

Cracks in My Soul

IMG_5856

I suppose the holes in my heart make room for the light. Cracks in my soul let the light in, sparkles in me.

Art, Creativity, Nature, Photographs, Photography, Writing

Perspective

20100722_1111

Once upon a time, I started this blog as What Is It?!? A Project in Perspective, and although the original intent of the blog has evolved and changed, the lesson continued to survive. After 365 consecutive days in a row of posting abstract macro photographs, I learned to find not only the beauty, but uniqueness, of each particular object in everyday life. Things that we might not ever notice with the naked eye, or just never pay attention to, started to jump out at me. Well, at least in the photography realm, or what my eye envisioned. Sometimes you discover the lesson years later … in my case, it truly is all about perspective, the way you choose to look at things, the types of statements you make to yourself, about yourself, about life. The same boulder that can break your back, is the same back that can break the boulder. A rock is a rock, or it can be a wall, it can be a foundation; it can be a ruin. But even in ruination one can find the beauty.

Side note: I snapped this image while driving along the Irish countryside in 2010; all over you can see boulders and rocks like these, and these ancient walls, once hand assembled such a long, long time ago, remind me of the sheer determination of the human will. Perspective.

Animals, Art, Creativity, Photographs, Photography, Writing

Boo!

IMG_9155

So why hasn’t Schelley been posting lots of pictures lately? What’s going on?!? Well, here’s your answer, and his name is Boo! Meet the newest family member of Casa Cassidy, our rescue dog. Actually, we’ve had him over five weeks now, and he’s thoroughly at home now. But it’s been a rough road for Boo.

This poor pup was found on the side of the road starving to death, eating roadkill. He was parasite infested, flea infested, and according to the vet that ended up treating him, he was close to death. Thank goodness for Christine and Barry Janks at Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation in Alachua, Florida; they were driving home and saw this deserted/dumped fellow and saved him. They rescued him from death! Here’s what Boo looked like at 29 pounds, sixteen pounds underweight. It just sickens me, especially knowing now that Boo was likely very abused before being dumped. He sports a very large scar on his back, and lots of scars all over his body. He doesn’t trust men, he quivers at the sight of a hose, clothes hanger, PVC pipe, or sticks in general.

boostarving1boostarving

Boo didn’t make a sound for almost three weeks. Not one bark. Apparently he howls when I leave home. But no barks ever. … until the pest control man was outside our house. Suddenly my quiet boy turned into a growling, barking dog! It took over three weeks for the poor guy to really know this was his forever home. He’d vomit each time we’d get in the car, probably because he didn’t know if he was being dumped again. But how in the heck did he end up with me? … read on. 😉

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

boospeaks

I knew about Boo because I follow Carson Springs on Facebook, and good for them, they posted daily updates about Boo, along with pictures. This one in particular got me. Or rather, Boo got me. Think me crazy or not, this pup spoke to me through a picture and told me he wanted to be a part of our family. Seriously.

Even though he was two and a half hours away, I KNEW that THIS dog HAD to be a part of OUR family. My gut told me this, my heart told me this. So almost one month after his rescue, I drove to Alachua, and picked up Boo.

IMG_9188

Bringing Boo into our lives was the best thing I could have done. He has so enriched our lives and he’s truly one of us. He’s a funny guy, he breathes loud and hard like an old man, snores, loves to play with blankets, has become quite attached to just one of my shoes, and now adores to go on car trips. He loves the Lake Jackson Indian Mounds just as much as I do!

IMG_9274

So this is why you haven’t seen many pictures lately. I’ve been busy with my pup, Boo! And yes, you can expect more pictures. 🙂

boo

Creativity, football, Photographs, Photography, Writing

Are You Ready for Some Football?!?

2014_02_01_9999_191Last year at this time, my die-hard football fanatic friend, Mitch, had posted about “the big day” and being my usual sarcastic self, commented, “You mean there’s something going on today? Oh yeah, I’m going to redecorate my porch with all the goodies I got at Home Goods last night!” His reply, “Oh Schelley.” (I can envision him shaking his head.) “It’s the game!” “Oh, is WWF on tonight?” I, of course, knew it was the Super Bowl, but I always like to play dumb with Mitch when it comes to football.

Well, except for Florida State University football. Having been a Tallahassee Lassie my entire life – and having gone to elementary, middle, and high school on FSU campus – AND having gone to college and graduated from the College of Communications at FSU – AND my father having been a professor at the College of Business at FSU for well over three decades – well, you could say that FSU courses through my blood. Tallahassee, Florida, is a college town (FSU, FAMU, TCC) and we take our FSU football seriously!

Now I will admit to going through close to a decade of football fever burnout. This happened around the time of getting married and having Ian. Family just took precedence over football. And it’s not much fun lugging around an infant, the “Mule bag” as my hubby liked to call it, around some 35,000+ screaming football fans. The party starts well before the game, as tailgating is found all around the surrounding area of people ready for some football! But alas, by the time Ian turned nine, the football fever had returned. Plus, we were given three tickets because my sis-in-law and nieces had become ill, so we took their spots. How can you say no to a free FSU football game? You don’t.

2013_11_16_9999_28I was simply amazed to see how quickly Ian became one of us FSU football fans, and quickly learn all of our special football traditions. The Seminole war chant, the wave, the “1st Down” finger, the pounding of the feet, the excitement of the crowd, all garnet and gold, is contagious. It’s exciting. It’s college football! So needless to say, we’ve been to several home games now, and we’ve faithfully watched – or listened to the radio traveling the state of Florida – our awesome FSU football team beat every other team during the 2013 football season. We then went on to win the ACC championship. Then we went on to the BSC Championship game vs. Auburn in Pasadena. Our beloved FSU team WON THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! Now that’s something to cheer about! Which I did, very loudly. If you happened to see the game, you know it wasn’t a blowout. As a matter of fact, we were losing most of the game. It was what you call a “nail biting” game. Except for I cursed. Very loudly. A lot.

My son, Ian, who had already gone to bed, came out to say, “Mommy, I think the state of Texas can hear you.” I responded, “Well, I’m a NOLE and we do it BIG!” The three of us watched the final minutes of the game. All three of us were cheering. “Hear that roar?” I posted on Facebook. “That’s Tallahassee roaring right now!” “That’s how we play football.” I’m getting goosebumps just remembering how exciting it was to watch our team work their way to the #1 spot.

2014_02_01_9999_158Yesterday, February 1st, Tallahassee finally got to celebrate with our beloved FSU football team at the celebration held at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. It was a great day for us 35,000 fans getting to relive some of those moments, hear from Famous Jameis (Winston), our freshman Heisman-winning quarterback, Jimbo Fisher, the coach who has quickly won the love of all of us fans, and many others. Then we got to GO ON THE FIELD to meet the players and coach. Talk about exciting.

Last night, when I put Ian to bed, he said that at the stadium he was so excited he almost cried. I told him I knew exactly the feeling, and that it’s normal. It’s those time when the goosebumps arrive, and you’ve got a bump in the back of your throat, you’re so proud and part of the excitement, that you do want to cry tears of utter joy.

So are you ready for some football? Tonight’s the “big game.” It’s called the Super Bowl, Mitch. Will I watch it? Sure, parts of it. I actually love the commercials. But it’s not FSU football.

That’s where my heart lives. 😀

P.S. Jimbo Fisher was giving autographs, so Paul got his National Championship hat signed, Ian got his commemorative poster signed, and me? I asked Jimbo to sign my Canon 70-200mm 4.0 L lens (since I’ve taken so many pictures of FSU football with this lens). Now I call it my “Jumbo Jimbo Lens!” I said to Coach Fisher, “Next season I want to be on the field taking pictures of your awesome team.” He said, “That would be fine with me!” So I’m going to make it happen. Maybe you’ll see me on the field with my JJL. And Mitch. (He’s a great photographer who just so happens to be at ALL of the FSU games.)

Blogging, Daily Prompt, Photography, Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing

Say Your Name: Schelley

Can you spell that?

I’ve always said that my mom must have really wanted me to be a good speller considering she named me “Schelley.” Think about having to spell that name correctly in Kindergarten! I’m convinced that’s why I did turn out to be a great speller, walking dictionary that I am.

20130512-2013_05_12_6089

I was recently asked by a fellow blogger, whose last name is Schell, how often did people ever spell my name correctly? Ha! I replied that not even the school I attended Kindergarten-12th grade could get it right! My BFF from high school told her daughter that if she wanted to get on my good side, to make sure she spelled my name correctly! (Which she did, by the way.)

So apparently, spelling Schelley is no easy feat. Sometimes reading it aloud isn’t either (think of Schelley being pronounced as “school.”) No, I’m not Skelly, I’m Schelley. Yes, with the c.

And that’s not the only way to spell Schelley. You can drop the c (Shelley). You can drop the e (Shelly, Schelly). You can even drop the ey and use ie (Shellie, Schellie). Or you can drop the S (Chelly, Chelley, Chellie, Chelle). No wonder the confusion!

But wait … that’s not even my real name! Huh?

Schelley is just my nickname for Michelle (that’s where the “c” comes from); neither of my parents ever called me “Michelle.” I used to joke that when I answered the phone and the other person asked for “Michelle,” I knew it was a telemarketer. If you call me “Michelle,” you don’t know me. Because I’m really Schelley.

“So, mom,” I asked a long, long time ago, “why did you name me Michelle but always call me Schelley?”

“Well,” mom replied, “I loved the name Michelle, but it was too popular when you were born, so I just called you Schelley.”

I’m so glad she did. I’m really not a Michelle, that’s just an official name on my marriage license, mortgage deed, driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, paycheck, etc., you know, all those important papers. The paper trail in the financial and legal world knows me as Michelle. But to the rest of the world, I’m really a Schelley.

With a c. And an e.

You know what’s really funny? My middle name is “Mari.” No, it’s not pronounced as Mary, as I’ve had to explain numerous times, it’s pronounced just like Marie (but without the e).

But you can just call me Schelley.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This was today’s daily prompt. Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

You can join, too! http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/daily-prompt-name/

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

Day 45 – Creating in Chaos

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star. – Friedrich Nietzsche

I can create a pretty picture but I cannot clean my own house. I seem to live in constant chaos, within piles of papers and boxes and too much furniture and too much stuff. And within all of that stuff is the never-ending supply of objects (and tons of art supplies) to spur my muse. Yes, I’m going to blame my lack of cleaning skills on my muse. (Okay, I simply don’t like to clean!) The constant need to create overwhelms any desire to bring order into our home.

There are rare times that our house is orderly, presentable, and visitor-worthy. That’s usually when we’re expecting the in-laws, or for birthday parties for our child (since then we’ve gotten smarter and have the parties away from the house). It is clean out of necessity. And oh boy, is it nice! It’s clean! Decluttered! No mess! Ah, let me sit back and enjoy this view.

But in this lack of chaos, my muse deserts me. The muse gets swept out along with all the other clutter. Suddenly I don’t know how to function. My mind goes blank. I am enthralled by the sudden order in my life and I just don’t know what to do.

I’ve been on a major creative streak lately, to be precise, 45 days now since I started this project/blog. But oh my, the messy house!

Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture was captured while more dust continued to settle. Can you guess?

What Is It?!?

20130214-2013_02_14_2121

What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 44)

Yesterday’s picture was a rarity – I was almost giddy with excitement when I viewed the pictures on the camera screen – because I thought, “there’s no way anyone can guess what this is.” The picture was quite abstract, which I love. One friend was bound and determined to guess, and she came so close a couple of times. “Doing the Snoopy dance” was one of her clues, along with the object could be used anywhere, but had to be used with something else.

The photograph was a side view of my JamBox, a portable bluetooth wireless speaker. And indeed it jams! So to Shahn I say, “Get your groove on!” Here are a couple of other perspectives of my lil’ boom box speaker. See what a change in perspective makes?

20130213-2013_02_13_209520130213-2013_02_13_2100

Creativity, Daily Prompt, Photography, Uncategorized, Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing

Daily Prompt: All About Me: What Is It?!?

The concept is simple: to post a photograph daily for 365 days, but not just any photograph, instead, macro photographs. And not just macro photographs, but to create images of ordinary objects that no longer look familiar to you, the reader. When you look at these pictures, you think, “what is it?!?”

Merge these funky photographs with some quotes, some writing, a little poetry, sometimes a little humor, and the “What Is It?!? A 365-Day Project in Perspective” blog was born. The title just seemed to fit.

The idea was the inspiration from Noah Scalin’s book, “365: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life!  Besides the premise of doing something creative for 365 days (and creating this blog as suggested), that’s about all I managed to follow from this book. But that’s me. I’ve never kept the lines inside of the box. I’m the one that colors outside the lines, makes my own pattern, and meanders down a different road. I love to explore!

But I needed something to corral my creative energy and this book was exactly the tool I needed to start my latest adventure. See, one of my problems is I like to do everything creative, that means I’ve drawn, painted, carved, tie-dyed, crocheted, sewed, ceramics, pottery, origami, jewelry, macrame, celtic art, scrapbooking, mosaics, just to name a few … see, I could probably tell you what I haven’t done, that list would be shorter! Unfortunately, I start many, many projects but rarely finish one. So I thought maybe I can start this project and actually see it to its end. So far, we’re at day number 44. I’ve got a ways to go.

My premise is you can take these ordinary objects, and by looking at them differently, whether at a different angle, upside down, sideways, and really close up, your perception changes. Take this object out of context and suddenly you don’t know what it is anymore! What looks like a zipper, a tool, or a grater is really an earring. The picture that looks like foam on a latte, cinnamon on whipped cream, an orange, foam at the beach, or the inside of a shell is actually a gemstone. The thing that looks like a gemstone? It’s really an ice cube.

So I invite you to join “What Is It?!?” A 365-Day Project in Perspective.” and peruse my daily mystery “what is it?!?” picture. Each day I post a new, wacky photograph, in addition to a “What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture” section, where I give you the answer for the previous day’s image. Sometimes I even post another picture to show you a different perspective of the same object.

You can play along! My hope is this blog continues to grow and becomes interactive. Because I bet your perspective will change once you look at something differently.

What Is It?!?” Take a look and tell me your perspective.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Daily Prompt: About Me: Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/daily-prompt-all-about-me/

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

Day 37 – The Challenge of a Witty Title

I can live for two months on a good compliment. – Mark Twain

I think every artist/writer/creator feels a sense of accomplishment when others convey positive thoughts about their work. I know that I certainly do, especially when I’ve written something and hit the Publish button and then think, “what if I just made a fool of myself?” Trust me, I’ve cringed about 44 times now.

Yes, we are our own worst critics. I will admit to that. So even though I might be hesitant about the value of my work (or lack thereof), the community here on wordpress.com makes me realize my work does have value. And getting comments or likes or having something we created shared with others, now that feels really good. That makes me feel proud of my work. That gives me value.

Starting this blog was unknown territory to me, this is the first time I’ve ever publicly shared my photographs or my words (besides the work world, where I’m used to writing technical documentation, or earlier in my career when I wrote and edited newsletters). Sharing my work – the real me, in essence – has exposed me. And I’m pleasantly surprised … that other folks really do like my work, that I’ve already picked up 38 followers, had visitors from over 40 countries so far(!), and over 300 likes. Wow! I’ve been tweeted about and re-tweeted, too. Thank you, thank you!

Y’all know how to make a girl feel good. 🙂 This definitely fuels my fire to continue my wacky photographs. The greatest challenge now is coming up with witty titles each day. Now those stump me!

Ready for today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture? Take a guess! What’s your perspective?

What Is It?!?

20130206-2013_02_06_1077-3

What Was That?!? Yesterday’s picture (Day 36)

Yesterday’s picture sure was fun. Just an ordinary object looked like so many different things to my friends: a screw loose, edge of a coin, side of a large metal pipe, close up of string, the side of a bracelet or earring, a silver straw, and a kitchen appliance. But alas, the object wasn’t any of these. My inspiration was the curves and lines of a drill bit.

Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap – eBook or Printed?

I have always loved books; as a child, a book fair at school was pure heaven. The book store was even better! I was a library-card holding book worm! My books became cherished items – just as much or more so – than my toys. When I was 12, I asked for a dictionary for Christmas, and was uber delighted in this huge, mammoth book of words that Santa delivered. I still have that dictionary.

Words, words, words. My entire career has been built around words. I am a lover of the printed word. My bookshelves overflow with way too many books and not enough shelves. The books are three rows deep! And all over the place.

So when the Daily Post posed the question of whether we prefer eBooks over printed books (and to blog about it, thus, this post), my mind became a quandary. I am torn. I love both.

Honestly, I did not think I’d ever like reading on an electronic device – and resisted doing so for quite some time. And a disclaimer here: I love my technological gadgets! But I thought “there’s no way I’d ever like this over a real book.” And then my hubby gave me an electronic reader. I found it … easy to use!

And easy to buy books! Holy smokes, I can buy a book on this device and be reading in less than a minute! I don’t need storage space on my bookshelves for this book. And when I finish said book in less than three days, guess what … I can order another one! Painless ordering. Talk about instantaneous gratification, I am spellbound. I am hooked.

I don’t even want to know how many books I breezed through over the course of just last year. Most of them were on the technological gadgets – note that plural use – and found that I enjoyed it. I could purchase a book on one device and read it on multiple gadgets, even my computer!

But I felt like I was cheating.

Seriously! Because with an eBook, I can read anything, at any time, buy a book at 3:22 in the morning if I want, read that book in the dark because my iPad, iPhone, or Kindle Fire are all back lit. No need for lights or tiny book lights. I can prop up my device and read hands free!

But I’m not shopping in the local bookstore. Where I live, we have already lost Borders, a Barnes & Noble, and a Books A Million. I love book stores! I love perusing book cover designs, it’s the artwork or the wording that normally lures me. It’s kind of hard to do that on an electronic device (even if you do see a thumbnail image).

I don’t ever get a chance to put my imprint on that printed book if I’m reading it as an eBook. There’s something beautiful about a book that has been read many times, with all of its cracks in the spine, the worn edges of pages, the whiff of old book smell. It’s kind of hard to experience that on an electronic device. (I’m not holding my breath for the invention of eSniff devices!)

So I’m truly torn in claiming devotion for either the eBook or printed book. Although there are so many advantages of the eBooks (that instant dictionary feature by clicking a word is awesome, by the way), I feel disloyal to those printed relics crammed on my bookshelves.

Last week I took my 10-year old son to the book store, relishing the fact that he requested to go, and enjoyed a good meandering through the racks and racks of that printed word. Words, words, words, I can’t get enough!

I picked up the Life of Pi and quickly knew it would be accompanying me home, regardless of if there’s space or not on the overflowing bookshelves. I won’t be able to read it at night without a light, can’t look up a word just by clicking it, and I’ll have to actually turn the page. But I think I can live with that.

I can’t wait!

P.S. Please don’t tell my books but I plan on reading on my eBook devices again. 🙂

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/weekly-writing-challenge-mind-the-gap-2/

Photography, Uncategorized, Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing

Super Sunday! In a Football Minute

In a Football Minute …

20130203-football

I was just a mere teenager when I discovered the big difference between guys and girls (okay, I discovered just one of many big differences) – our perception of time. Time, such a simple concept, where a minute is composed of 60 seconds, an hour is composed of 60 minutes. That’s indisputable. But we opposite sexes don’t seem to function on the same clock, do we? Have you ever asked a member of that male species to do something and you hear this in return? “In a minute, honey.”

Yeah, right. In a football minute you mean. Because in your world, a minute is not necessarily 60 seconds, is it? Not in a football minute.

Because in the American game of football (not to be confused with soccer!), which is composed of four 15-minute quarters, you’d think the game would end within an hour, right? But this sport does not last anywhere near an hour, it can last for hours! Because remember, football is composed of football minutes. Sixty entire instances of football minutes, oh my gosh!, we could be here all day!

In a football minute, there is no set time of 60 seconds – no, one minute could turn into two, or five, or even 10. But that time clock seems to never tick down. After all, there are breaks, time outs, referee disputes, lots of reasons why the clock stands still. A football minute is not 60 seconds.

So that’s my theory. The men’s internal time clock operates on football minutes. I have to think about this reality anytime I ask my husband (or even my son!) to do something. “I’ll do it in a minute, in just a minute!”

Sigh. I know that nothing ever happens in a minute in their world. Yes, honey, I know you’ll get it done.

In a football minute.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

P.S. It only took me a couple of decades to finally write this piece. That’s because I was operating on football minute time! 🙂