Art, Creativity, Photographs, Photography

Life on Jackson Street

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We passed this house on our way back from South Carolina to our home in Florida, and being armed with my camera, I was able to get this fairly decent shot while whizzing by in the car. This, to me, is the epitome of life in the South – the huge Oak tree, the front porch with columns, the hanging swing, the rockers, and the tin roof – that’s the Southern-style house. I think life must be pretty good along Jackson Street, even though there’s a road right in front of the house, it’s one less traveled.

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. đŸ˜€

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.)

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

What Is It?!? A Look Back

A Look Back on My 365-Day Project in Perspective

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I honestly thought back on January 1, 2013, that I’d end up with maybe 20-30 followers for my “What Is It?!?” blog, and I’d genuinely be happy with that. So here I am on January 1, 2014, with well over that number, currently 1057 followers! Wow! That’s just mind-boggling, and it makes me more than happy, more like ecstatic! I learned so much from a lot of you, whether being inspired by your own photography, or from your comments. For example, I had no idea that in the UK, y’all don’t have fire hydrants. I learned that some items are indeed universal, and others are not.

I took a virtual tour through numerous countries, and truly enjoyed seeing, and reading, about places I’ve been, or have yet to visit. My blog had visitors from 104 countries, some of which I’d never even heard about! … and it also taught me how poor I am at geography, and how the United States educational system still fails to really teach our future generations about the world outside of our small boxes. “Think outside the box, live outside of the box” has always been my motto. Perhaps that’s why I’m always searching for those “hidden treasures” I like to photograph. I’m constantly on the journey to discovery. And it’s not reaching the destination that’s so important, it’s the journey along the way that matters.

I’ve enjoyed each and every step, even if some days were more difficult to find anything I deemed “worthy” as a mystery subject. I also learned to stop being such a darned perfectionist, as some days I’d challenge myself to create a vision from the first thing I saw, even if it was a clothes hanger. I learned to plan ahead, especially with trips I’d know would limit my time, and looking back, I’m amazed at how many places I did get to visit. I was able to take a mystery subject picture each place I visited, to share with all of you. That included, Destin and Grayton Beach, Florida, Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida, including the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom (twice!). Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, on a Civil Rights tour with my son’s fifth grade class, Atlanta, Georgia (continuing the Civil Rights tour) including the Georgia Aquarium. Savannah and Tybee Island, Georgia, for our families spring break together. Another trip to Orlando, Florida, just to be lazy and enjoy the resort. A trip to Wilbraham, Worcester, and Lake Lashaway, Massachusetts (and a very cool picture of armor from the Armory Museum in Worcester), for a family reunion. Family trips to St. George Island and Apalachicola, Florida (our lovely, gorgeous beaches). More family trips to Miami, Florida. Legoland in Winter Haven, Florida, a night in Lakeland. Knowing me, I’ve forgotten a trip or two, but just listing all of these places makes me realize just how blessed we are. … and makes me excited for upcoming trips, like to New Orleans, Louisiana, in just a couple of weeks.

I became quite familiar with my Canon 5D Mark II (and do I love her so!), and my beloved Canon 100 mm. 2.8 Macro L series lens. I learned to use my Canon Speedlite 320EX and learned there are certain situations where you absolutely need a flash! I’ve also used my Tamron 28-75 mm 2.8 macro lens, my first lens purchase that started the lens fever. I used my sitting/standing workstation keyboard stand to photograph most of the mystery subjects, and the red walls and ambient lamp light made for some really neat background effects. There were many pictures, though, that resulted from me looking around all of these places that we visited. There are hidden treasures EVERYWHERE. You just have to look. đŸ˜‰

Thank you for being a part of “What Is It?!?” … you made my 2013 fabulous! Happy New Year 2014 to all!

What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture – The Final One! (Day 365)

I had to find something special to commemorate my final post for my 365-Day Project in Perspective and I think I found just the perfect subject. Jude thought, “Your last shot looks like angora and silk – a jumper perhaps?” Not angora/silk or a jumper. Gail got her guess in just in time, “Did I miss it? Did someone guess….fudge?” Not fudge either. So what was it?

What you saw was an antique glass punch bowl glass, just a very close up macro shot! Thank you again, all, for playing this guessing game. I look forward to stumping all of you again in 2014. So look for the next “What Is It?!?” picture coming your way soon! (Just after I take a little break, but knowing me, it won’t be long.)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Art, Astrophotography, Photography, Sun

Sunspots! Sunspots!

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Lots of solar activity today, numerous spots viewed while taking pictures using my camera, telescope, and solar filter.

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

Day 96 – It’s All Fringe to Me

Learning never exhausts the mind. – Leonardo da Vinci

What a glorious day! The sun is shining, birds singing (they’re ultra happy with me since I filled up their bird feeders), a gentle breeze, and it’s not overly hot. In just a few days, or perhaps tomorrow, the heat and humidity will make being outside unbearable. So I’m putting up with the pollen (that has coated everything once again, that’ll teach me for washing the cars!) and enjoying the great outdoors. I’ve even picked up my paint brushes and paints, not that I’m a great painter, but practice does make one better.

Just like taking these mystery “what is it?!?” photographs! Today’s subject called out to me, said “hey, look at me closely!” So I did, and now it’s your turn to guess what this is. Do you know?

What Is It?!?

20130406-2013_04_06_4542What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 95)

Funny, sometimes I post photographs that I think y’all will figure out right away, and you don’t. Other times, I post pictures that I’m sure will never be guessed, and one or two guesses later, I’m ringing the “ding ding ding” winner bell! Go figure. Such was the case with yesterday’s picture. It still remains a mystery! But not lacking guesses, oh yes indeed, there were bunches. Let’s go down the list: rope, floor mat, woven basket, sweater, weaved rug, rope (again), hair (I think it looks like Barbie hair), Chianti bottle wrap, yarn, beach bag, woven hat, wicker seat, woven blinds, soft rope, covered cork board, trivet, belt, bookmark tassel, part of a sandal, Berber carpet, and a re-useable bag. Looks like so many different things!

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So here’s the reveal! Yesterday’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture was inspired by a pretty pillow with braided fringe. Yes, what you saw was a close-up of the braided fringe. đŸ™‚

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

Day 91 – The Easter Bunny Ate My Post!

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. – Rabindranath Tagore

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the Easter Bunny that ate my post, maybe one of my three cats ate it. Not going for that, hmmmm?

I have managed to complete three full months of daily “what is it?!?” posts, can’t believe how quickly time is rushing by, just as fast as trying to keep the sun or moon in frame on the telescope. Got it! Shoot, it’s gone!

Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture was inspired by a pattern emerging in an unexpected place. Can you tell? Do you know?

What Is It?!?

20130401-2013_04_01_4023What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 90)

It wasn’t cotton candy and it wasn’t pastry. Something we use every day can be unrecognizable when taken out of context. In this case, a stack of paper napkins.

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Art, Astrophotography, Moon, Photography, Space

Day After a Full Moon

So I was just a few hours late of capturing the last full moon, but probably best that it wasn’t in totality since I managed to see some mighty impressive crater shadows. Here are two photos, one of the “full” moon, and the other one focusing on the craters.

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You don’t realize how deep these craters are until you see the shadows!
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The moon in full-blown beauty mode! đŸ™‚
Art, Astrophotography, Nature, Photography, Science, Space, Sun

The Traveling Sun Spot

I viewed the sun at three different times today, and each time this glorious orb gave much to see. Following are pics from the second and third viewings (using my telescope, camera, and solar filter). Click the pictures to see the descriptions and all of the sun spots!Image

Art, Astrophotography, Photography, Space, Sun

Monster Sun Spot!

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Lots of solar activity today, including a monster sun spot!
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This photo was taken with a 2x “doubler” so this picture is not cropped! Looks much more impressive through the eyepiece, in this case, my camera.
365-Day Project, Art, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 88 – Taking a Magic Carpet Ride

Imagination is the true magic carpet. – Norman Vincent Peale

I feel like I’ve taken a magic carpet ride with all of the sun and moon gazing I’ve done the last couple of days … and nights. While most were asleep in my “neck of the woods” (as we say around here), I was up outside, whispering many bad words at my telescope/camera contraption, while attempting to get it positioned just so. You’d think it would be easier to get this huge orb in frame. Ha! And then finally, there she was, Bella Luna, shining like, well, I’d say a “star,” but … she was all aglow. Magnificent craters were visible and I managed to capture some of those (look for another post later).

Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture has absolutely nothing to do with the sun or moon. Just like yesterday’s photo, this subject found me, the inspiration was just there! Let’s see if y’all can figure out what this is. Do you know?

What Is It?!

20130329-2013_03_29_3673-2What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 87)

Yesterday was epic; I’ve never had so many varied guesses as last night, it particularly showed me just how vast our individual perspectives can be. How one item can look like oh-so-many different things. So, shall we go through the list of what this item was not?

20130328-2013_03_28_3390It’s not the round part that holds bike gears, bubble wrap, shower head, garlic press, potato masher, colander, gold jewelry, costume jewelry, iron, it’s not laying on or mounted to wood, thinly sliced Swiss cheese, drain or the “thing” you put in the drain, part of a meat grinder or pasta making gadget, nor is it a French coffee press, receiver to an “old” type phone, speaker, dip stick in honey, rain on a screen door, it’s not oil, flowing liquid, salt water taffy, cat’s tongue, carpet pad, a tool, washing a car, nor a muffin tin, and we’re still going … bird feeder, condensation on glass (okay, it’s glass, but on what?), part of a wind chime, light house light, or plastic window. Whew, that’s a lot of guesses!

Drum roll … yesterday’s picture was an angled view of a glass pane in an outdoor candle lamp. As a matter of fact, I’ve used a different part of that before for a mystery “what is it?!?” picture. Does this look familiar?

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