Archive for the ‘pictures’ Tag

Iā€™m Back

I returned from Spain late on Friday night. It was a *marathon* travel day that was not easy. The security ordeal (yes, that word is accurate, if mild to describe the misery I endured) in Madrid for the privilege of exiting the country was horrific. Not an understatement. But then an extra long (10.5 hours) flight back to Atlanta, courtesy of ice storms in our path forcing us North to Greenland before dropping down to the ATL, a seven hour layover there, and another two plus hours, and I was finally home, once I collected my bag and drove another 40 minutes to the West side of town. All told, nearly 24 hours on the go.

But so far (::knocks on wood::), no ConCrud!

And the trip was, overall, good. I got to see a bunch of colleagues I only see once a year. I got to participate in important leadership meetings and listen to senior leaders speak on key topics of focus for this year. I also got to experience a small part of an incredible city.

Some of my team and I went into Madrid’s city center and explored a few of the sights. Mercado de San Miguel was amazing! Such beautiful and delicious food! El Palacio Real was impressive. The Goya exhibit at the Prado was breathtaking. We went to a genuine neighborhood tapas bar and ate local food with the locals; my little group of four were the only non-locals there during our (typical) late evening repast. And the company event at the Platea, where we reserved the entire facility, was spectacular as a celebration of the last year’s achievements.

I enjoyed the event and the food. I’m paying the price still for the bazillion miles I walked. And I have a lot of great new memories to cherish. I’m counting it a win!

No Context

Quick post to keep the streak going. No context. Just some random pictures from the last couple of weeks of things that have made me smile.

Back in the Saddle

Ok, this is gonna be a quick one. I’ll try to do a more substantive, curated trip report on my epic Alaska Cruise Adventure soon. Right now, here’s what I need y’all to know:

  • I not only survived, I positively OWNED vacation with ZERO work content. I looked at no emails and I firmly body-checked the two sneak attacks by text message to my personal cell – punting them directly to my boss! (How’s that for mixed sports metaphors!?)
  • My bucket-list-level vacation was everything and more than I’d hoped it would be. Travel was easy (apart from the mandatory public groping by TSA), weather was nice, scenery was majestic, excursions were fun and memorable, and family time was fun and refreshing. (A very few of the many, many pics I took, below.)
  • I returned to my office today to find well over 350 emails accumulated, despite my thorough preparation of all my clients and stakeholders for my absence. The very first one was a hair-on-fire call for help fixing someone’s mess. I stiff-armed that right back at them with a minimum of guidance and a goodly amount of “suck it up, buttercup”-type tough love. I really like this feeling of freedom I get from not wearing other people’s problems for them – could get addicting!
  • To avoid the risk of tempting the universe to chastise me by being too smug and glow-y in my post-PTO euphoria, I will admit that I have yet another stye on my left eyelid. It is sore and irritated. It started last night when I mentally began preparing for reentry to the real world. I do not find this coincidental; rather, I firmly believe the two are causally linked. Perhaps I should test my theory by going back on vacation. šŸ˜‰

I hope you have all enjoyed your summer since my last post. And, hopefully, the rest will be filled with (not too hot) sun and fun. ā˜€ļøšŸ˜Ž

Tiny Bit of Catch-Up

It’s been too long and too much has happened in my life since my last post to truly catch you all up. But I haven’t forgotten about this blog or any of you faithful readers who still remain despite my neglect. Here’s a quick hit list of a few things I want to share with you all. 

  1. I had a neat experience today. I was asked to move into an office in the executive suite. While it puts me very close to my boss, it also puts me in a situation I’ve never experienced before – I now have the support of an executive assistant. It was weird to have her bring my mail, ask if she could help with my unpacking, and generally just be very supportive. Honestly, I’m not sure how to feel about it, since I’m so used to fending for myself. But I’ll admit it’s pretty nice! 
  2. Stress is a fact of life for everyone, to some degree. It is an unavoidable facet of being a corporate executive and attorney. I’m used to it in some ways. But it’s been sustained and even building for months and I’m exhausted. Balance. It eludes me and taunts my mind. I very much want to get back to a balance (or semblance of it) between rest and demand. I need to find that mythical happy medium of work-life. Dunno how to get there. Anybody got a map?
  3. It’s fall again. Soon (tomorrow!?) it will freeze and my eyes will stop itching and burning to the point of rage and I’ll be so happy! It also means better, more colorful skies, especially at sunrise and sunset. That I’m usually at my office for both events is a bit sad. But look at these pics from this week. Almost worth always being at work just for this! Mornings on top, evenings on bottom: 
  4. Blade Runner 2049 was a bitter disappointment to me. I know this is an unpopular opinion. Too bad – they could have done so much with the talent and resources they poured into that movie, but settled for what I can only describe as pedestrian, predictable, gratuitous flash over substance. What a shame. 
  5. My Vikings don’t suck too badly this season…yet. I have my annual hopes up and fervently hope they don’t dash them to pieces. Fingers crossed!
  6. BONUS:  I’m sticking with my moratorium on social media. Though this blog posts to Twitter, I haven’t been on Twitter or Facebook since the election – nearly a year and I don’t regret it. Even though I miss the interaction with friends, the hate and stress and anxiety I don’t miss. It’s just too hard on my heart and mind to be so saturated by all that negativity. So, I’m waving hello to all my Tweeps and online pals as this posts. I hope y’all are doing well. But I won’t be back online any time soon. 

Peace and love and light to you all. 

Spring is in the air

Today was a great day. I woke late, having slept deeply. I got a minute with my Lulu before she went to sleep. After a lazy morning vegging in front of the TV, I had a lovely drive downtown in the sunshine. Took in an art show and saw my brother and sister-in-law in their booth at that show. Another sunny drive around town and I’m resting some more in my easy chair.

Lazy, fun Sunday. I hope you’re having a great Sunday, too.

Took these pics of the first evidence of Spring. Can’t wait for my pear trees to blossom!

C’mon SPRING!!





Thankful for…changing seasons

Autumn is my favorite time if year. Always has been. I love the way the air smells, fragrant with leaves and wood smoke and frost. I love the colors of the world around me, as well as all the decor that folks adopt–rich, warm jewel tones and bright, sunny golden themes. I love the flavors that mark the season, also rich, warm and spicy. It is a time of change, but hopeful, not sad.

The change from any season to the next is always magical for me. I can be happy in any weather, though high heat and I aren’t the best of friends. Still, every season has it’s magic and I love to see how the earth lives through the changing of the seasons.

I’m grateful I live in a place where the seasons do change and more than just from frozen to blistering hot and back. šŸ™‚ I’m thankful to get to witness the dynamics of change in nature and in people, from slumber to awakening to vibrant life and back to slumber. It’s steady, beautiful evolution is a source of joy on so many levels.

Here are a few favorite pics from the seasons I’ve experienced in this, a personal water-shed year:










Thankful for…sunsets

All my Tweeps already know that I post an inordinate number of sunrise and sunset pictures. I even mentioned in a prior post on this blog how much I love the imagery of hope and eventfulness that the sky, particularly sunrises and sunsets, brings to me.

Somehow, though, sunsets seem to speak directly to my soul. I’m happier, calmer, more at peace under the glow of a sunset sky than almost anywhere else in the world. Add Special Femme at my side during the sunset, and there’s no other place on earth I’d rather be.

The sunset is a fleeting event, no less special for all that it happens every day. Each one is unique and every aspect of each one is ever-changing as the earth turns. The quality of the light, the relative beauty of the objects in the foreground, the dynamic shapes of shadows as the sunset matures…all these things are constantly in flux throughout the sunset.

But the ephemeral feeling of magic, the way everyday sights are transformed into amazing and wondrous visions, the way light seems almost tangible and shadows solid enough to grasp, is where the real beauty of each sunset is for me.

I could yammer on for ages about how glorious and magical sunsets are. But everyone loves a pretty sunset. What makes me particularly grateful for sunsets is the way each seems to open a portal into a whole new world of hope and peace. Seeing in the sunset evidence of our progress through time and space, knowing that each one is followed by a dawn bringing a brand new day full of possibilities, I am awed and, oddly, grounded by the sight of the sunset. Without putting anything physical into my hands, each sunset gives me a handle on which to grasp the baffling nature of my life and is a mile-marker along my path.

And each one just happens to coincide with the waking of my love far away across the sea. If that isn’t romance, then I don’t know what is. šŸ˜‰

So, today I’m thankful for the sunset. Here are a few pic’s of today’s sunset, capturing a bit of the beauty of the sunset from early to late and over the prairie and through the trees. Also, because they are emblematic of hope and fresh starts, there is also a pic of my favorite sunrise–pink and lovely, taken in my driveway this past summer.












Thankful for…whimsy

I have a secret. There’s a side to my life that I don’t let show. I keep it hidden from the world at large and the secrecy itself gives it it’s value. It’s a secret rebellion that gives me a secret joy. But it’s time to confess:

I don’t match my socks.

Now, that may not seem such a huge revelation. But believe me, coming from such a linear-thinking, rule-following, conservative attorney-type person, mismatched socks is a significant dissonance. But let me be clear. When I say mis-matched, I mean my socks intentionally clash with my outfit of the day. But both clashing socks match each other…let’s not get crazy. šŸ™‚

I like bright colors, stripes, crazy patterns, even words. I’ve even got some knee-length socks with funny sayings on them. Anything that injects a little levity into an outfit. And the clashier the better!

This kink in my fashion sense has really shown itself in some of the #battleofthesocks posts I’ve played in on Twitter. Some favorite pics of my more extreme examples from the Twitter battles are below for your groaning enjoyment.

It’s a tiny rebellion, just a means to keep a degree of control in my life when it so often seems like control exists outside of myself. This quirk brings a dollop of whimsy into a stressful life. And it relieves the severity that often comes with a staid, “professional” wardrobe. It’s just a bit of fun.

I’m thankful for a little weirdness, a bit of whimsy in my day.





Thankful for…creativity

Creativity is often personal, as singular as the person expressing (or experiencing) that creativity. In it’s most refined form, creativity produces art. But even less refined, the craft of creating is no less expressive.

Make no mistake: I am a crafts-person, not an artist. But I love it no less for the lack of innate talent to become a true artist.

I love color, texture, contrast and patterns. I love working with hand tools, wire, glass, stone, and found objects. I love working with fire and glass, fire and metal…sometimes just fire. I love creating things that are pretty, peculiar, quirky and fun. I love the joy I get when someone appreciates something I’ve created. I love making things that bring others joy. I love creating.

It’s an outlet for stress and frustration. It’s a means to take my mind out of a demanding, all-consuming job and let my conscious brain rest. And it’s a way to connect to beauty without being a mere spectator.

I am so thankful that I have the means to indulge my creative bent and share the results with others. Here are a few favorite pics of some of the things I’ve made, in the past and more recently:











Daily Prompt: Bookworms

Daily Prompt: Bookworms

Grab the nearest book. Open it and go to the tenth word. Do a Google Image Search of the word. Write about what the image brings to mind.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us BOOKS.

— — —

This WordPress Daily Prompt from last weekend (I think, eeep!) really caught my interest. Sometimes writing just to write is hard for me. But this prompt is fun.

The 10th word in the book I grabbed was “hands”. When I Googled the word for a pic, I was immediately struck by how expressive the photos and drawings were. I think I must overlook or ignore how expressive a person’s hands can be. Because seeing all those representations of hands, and the expressions I perceive in them, was shocking to me.

It shouldn’t have been, considering how central to the human experience hands are. Heck, there are whole languages spoken only with the hands; American Sign Language is only one of several. We even pride ourselves as a species on the construction of our hands as a differentiator among other species in the Animal Kingdom: opposable thumbs.

And the variety of hand-related metaphors, idioms and adages is wide: right-hand man; left-handed compliment; on the one hand; hand out; helping hand; hand up; hands down; hand me down; behind-hand; by a hands-breadth; back handed; hand of the devil; idle hands are the devil’s playground; hand-holding (coddling); right hand to heaven; stage hand; well in hand; and a plethora of others.

The point being that hands are important to human expression.

This is true even beyond literal substitution and replication of discrete words and letters by hand gestures. Although that is certainly higher-order expression, plenty of complex messages are conveyed in the abstract or representationally by the hands. Whole images and ideas can be expressed in a single gesture.

Non-verbal expressions of emotion and connection through the use of hands abound, with different meanings in different cultures. For example, laying a hand on someone’s shoulder when addressing them in conversation can have a range of meaning and significance within cultures and across cultures, running the gamut from support, care, concern, and attraction, to attention, dominance, submission, friendship, reprimand and confrontation. All of that with a single touch of the hand in a given context.

Let’s not forget the significance of hands to personal relationships, either. Greetings, expressions of emotion, invitations of various types, and a variety of signals, all delivered with the hands, all facilitate human interaction on a level different from verbal communication. A handshake, a hug, a pat on a cheek can make a person welcome, express affection or love, happiness, sorrow and belonging (sometimes all at once). Taking a person’s hand can extend a welcome, seal a transaction, convey support, or lay down a challenge. And the number and variety of hand signals to signify assent, give direction, identify affiliation with a particular group, or emphasize a point, is astonishing.

I’m amazed at how much meaning is derived from the posture in which a hand appears. Google returned an initial result of well over 2,000 distinct images. I’ve chosen just a few that ‘spoke’ to me of expression.

What do you see in these? What do you say to others with your hands, perhaps without even realizing it?









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