The other day the latest Gurney’s catalog arrived launching my inner gardening planner to action. Although it’s been years since I’ve purchased anything, they continue to send it in hopes that I eventually buy. As February rapidly approaches, I dreamily think of spring gardening.
Who else jots down garden ideas, browses through perennial books and sketches plots in mid winter? I do happily , while I can’t wait to dig in the earth and be connected to nature. My new spring goal is to plant a new perennial bed in front of my husbands’ beautiful barn. I am pretty excited to put up our greenhouse ( that my dad gave us) and start seeds a little earlier! I’ll keep you all posted with it all!
There’s this young woman I know who has inspired me to write this post and share her work with you all. I am thankful to say I know her and am getting to learn more about her everyday. She has given permission for me to share her photos and interview her on her love, photography.
Her name is Jojo Anderson and I know her because she dates my youngest son. They both attend the same college and have been dating for a year. There’s something special and loving about this lady…she’s kind, thoughtful and honest and has taken lovely photos, so it’s a pleasure to share her story and photography with you!
Jojo started taking photos when she bought her first camera in the sixth grade. Her photos were of everything with no rhyme or purpose, just for fun! Suddenly one day the camera broke and she stopped taking photos for a while. Years later, just before her senior year, her parents encouraged her to buy a new camera. Jojo says that the more photos she snapped the more the she fell in love with the power of it.
This talented young woman always had an interest in old cameras but she really doesn’t know why. She was attracted to how things were made, which lead to an intention to pursue engineering after high school. Jojo applied to colleges with this major in mind. While taking photos and exploring photography, Jojo realized that she loved it! With the change of heart and majors, she applied to Mount Ida College majoring in photography with a back up of being a vet tech.
Jojo started posting her work on social media and received attention from professional photographers. Her dad taught her some basic principles of art/ photography fundamentals such as the rule of thirds and the rule of odds. Her parents were a big influence on her goals, especially her dad.
One of Jojo’s favorite subjects is of people she loves. A few months ago this young lady snapped this gem of my son and he loved it so much that he used it for his social media profile. She values the fact that the photo highlights who Branden is as a person, a genuine capture of him without being fake. His smile is real and not posed for the shot. Jojo thinks it’s special that she captured his essence, as if the camera wasn’t there. Sometimes Branden changes or freezes up when a camera focuses on him,( as most people do) so this picture shows that he can relax for the camera. I do love this pose, spoken from a proud mama!
Jojo also took this great portrait of her younger sister. I love the outside backgrounds of these photos! She loves using photography to tell a story and enjoys taking photos that capture the moment in nature.
If you’re interested in viewing Jojo’s photos, you can sign up free on Behance.net. She also sells prints, cards and posters on Zazzle.com under her artist name Jojo Anderson. I ordered a beautiful card of a mesmerizing sunset recently. I was thrilled with its beauty and it was shipped to me within days.
As I wrap up this post I’m encouraged of Jojo’s promising photography career. I believe she will succeed in what she sets her mind to. She wishes to work freelance eventually but may pursue a job in the industry, just starting out. Whatever this young lady achieves, it will be great because she has heart and guts to reach her dreams. I’m happy she’s dating my son and proud to know her and call her a friend.
Tom and I were watching a silly movie last night, Surviving Christmas with Ben Affleck. Affleck’s character hired the family who lived in his childhood house to spend Christmas with him and recreate holiday memories. It was crazy but kind of cute. Check it out if you wish to take in a zany Christmas flick.
One scene that inspired this post was when Affleck and the daughter Christina Applegate were talking intimately about their favorite moment or memory. Afflict asked Applegate if she could relive a favorite memory, what would it be? She answered the magical moment of finding a sparkling ice-covered tree.
I’ve been thinking of this and it’s not easy narrowing it down to one moment to relive nor can I focus on just one. I have numerous memories I wish I could recreate. There were times growing up with my family when there was peace on Christmas and then later when my sons were small and we opened the tree and seeing their face light up with excitement. These moments filled my heart with joy. Maybe if I could wrap all those precious moments up with seeing my grandparents alive for a few minutes, that would be something I would want to relive. To be aware of that special moment and talk again with Nan and Gramp and introduce them to my sons. That would be my favorite moment, if I could intertwine the three.
As an adult I’ve never cared about having money or in our case, the lack of. I do like to keep our bills paid and have emergency money if we ever needed it. But beyond that, Tom and I feel rich in other ways. We both would give things away before we sold them for top dollar. We are plain simple people, with no agenda, airs about us or greed for money.
Our wealth securely lies in our marriage, a family we both hold dear to our heart and our jobs that we are so blessed with.We are rich in health and with a few exceptions. All these things are priceless without any doubt. I know that many people wish for all these precious things all their life and never obtain them and that makes it even more special.
There was a brief time that we got hooked, though. Do you remember the Megabucks last year when it hit a billion cash prize? In our area there was a frenzy and buzz around town about pooling money, buying tickets and racing to convenience stores to hopefully buy the life changer. We sat at the dinner table and played out our dreams. We would definitely make sure our sons would be all set in life, share with family ( although this is a tough decision because where would you draw the line?), go on vacations more often, continue renovating our house and maybe hire contractors to finish it so Tom could rest.
Throughout all this money planning and dreaming, my humble thoughts transformed into ones I didn’t recognize! What if we won, we asked, unlike any spoken words we’ve ever given breath to. A twinge of greed consumed me for a few days and I had to give it to the Lord to rid it for me. The drawing came and went. We didn’t even stay up to check but went to bed like anxious and excited children at Christmas time.
In the morning the dream fizzled and we plunged back into reality…without a big lump of money that would take care of us for life. But I’m truly relieved that we didn’t win, for we have richness in love and family and money can’t buy that! I believe deeply in my heart that God answered my prayer and the result was that we lost. It’s nice to pay the bills and have a cushion to lay back on, but money causes many problems, feuds, resentments and brings out the worse in people. I don’t want to jump into that chaotic world where we could transform into strangers and not truly be ourselves.
Now we don’t play the lottery except for a few scratch tickets on New Year’s Eve for fun. We’ll keep it lighthearted and continue to bask in this terrific simple life! Money is okay to have but not a necessity for us.
Last September my husband, brother- in- law Chris and my son Dylan tore down a decrepit shed/ barn that was attached to the house. At first our plan was to build an adjoining garage to the house in the shed’s place. But one day I looked out our bedroom window with a charming view of our little yard overlooking the pond and suddenly I didn’t care for the idea. I tried to convince Tom but words wouldn’t make the difference, so I told him to look out that window. It didn’t take long for Tom to admire the beauty and dream, as I did about our bedroom view. ( which will be even superior with the other window we intend to install.)
In June Tom’s long time friend, Mike stopped by and on a whim offered to bring his tractor over. He offered to help dig and level for the post and beam garage. The dream was beginning to be reality and the first promising step taken!
Then a few weeks later Tom hauled discarded telephone poles to the site. They would strongly be the frame for the garage. The next step was to rent a machine to dig the holes and help place the posts. Our son Dylan worked a weekend with him inserting the poles into the dug holes.
In just a few fleeting days a frame appeared. With the use of a trusty ladder, my talented husband hoisted up boards to nail down. He was so speedy that I missed taking pictures of some steps. Here are some of the latest ones of this amazing project.
As summer days breeze on by, the garage continues to evolve. A determined man of many skills vows to complete as much as he can before snow flies( which could very well be in October around here!) Until it’s finished and cars are parked securely in its bays, I’m keeping track of every step along the way. After all, years down the road we may forget steps or memories may fade…but pictures and journaling will be reminders of the process.
This is garage project/ dream just solidifies my proud feelings. This man, my husband, knows everything there is to know about cars, building, welding, electricity, plumbing and the list goes on. Not only do I love this man, but relish in his God given talents and independence of getting everything done by himself.
It’s an afternoon at home…I’ve already tended to my garden and now it’s about time for a light lunch. In my kitchen window lies a roly poly kitty named Katie.She’s a gray tiger cat with cool black marking stripes. She’s lived 13 years this month, hailing from one of our neighbor’s litters. Once a tiny fragile kitten, now she’s grown into a pudgy cat with an extremely soft coat of hair and a magnificent striped tail. So lovable and a dear, she’s an important member of our family!
What a beautiful cat she is! I think I better snap some photos to remember this moment! She relaxes and naps in the sill, feeling the wonderful cool breeze. The hummingbirds frequent the feeder just outside the screen. A warm sun covers the yard with an uplifting gold light… but that breeze! How comfortable and inviting!
Oops! I think my Ipad disturbed her nap! A little voice inside me warns me to let her be. Tiptoe away softly so she can resume her napping. Time to go out and read a book in this heaven. I hope that you get to enjoy sunshine in your neck of the woods, read a summer novel or take a cat nap.
It’s an April evening in New England. The frigid air resembles winter, as animals of the wild scurry around in a cloak of pitch black. Inside our home the trusty stove continues its blasting heating duties, as it did mid- winter nights.
Supper dishes are neatly stacked in the dishwasher and Tom has the TV on for amusement. I tiptoe around with my iPad, snapping photos of our tranquil animals, as they start their nightly nap. They snooze to their hearts content, unlike their wild neighbors. Choosing their resting spots involves prancing around rooms, seeking quiet comfty nests.
We have a rocker that Tom’s employer, Mrs. Geneen gave us years ago. It sits humbly in our livingroom waiting for someone to sit down. Mostly our cats occupy it.This was Smokey’s spot every night and then suddenly Katy took it over! Surprisingly our black kitty boy has relinquished his hold on the bed and sleeps at the top of the couch or at the foot of our bed.
Do you think my cat Katy looks content with her home? I don’t think she could be any happier! It’s these peaceful moments that I cherish, absorbing their hanging it all out poses!
Wouldn’t you like to simply cuddle up in a cozy spot, stretch every limb out and sleep to your hearts content? My weekends resemble these poses. I stretch out under the bed covers, relishing a placid morning without piercing alarms waking me up. These are some of my favorite weekend moments…letting go of worry and anxiety and just being cozy!
Have a great week all and try to soak in your cozy moments!