Digital Photography Class

Last May right around the time that I vanished from blogosphere I went with my guy to a digital photography “class” sponsored by the Appalachian Mountain Club. If you haven’t attended one of AMC’s programs I can highly recommend it as a good value and beauty in the setting. We spent 3 glorious days hiking the Delaware Water Gap, camera in hand, then would huddle up in the lodge after a tasty meal for some educational time with a semi-professional photographer.  At the end of the program each participant went home with one photo enlarged to 11×15 taken by “you” and then edited to your preferences. The photo of the pine tree is the one I selected for editing and enlarging(done by the instructor with my input).

Appalachian Mountain Club logo

Appalachian Mountain Club logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How I long for springtime!

Discovering this idyllic place, we find ourselves filled with a yearning to linger here, where time stands still and beauty overwhelms.

~Author undisclosed

As the sign says

As the sign says

Natures True Beauty

Natures True Beauty

My Favorite Guy being Silly

My Favorite Guy being Silly

The Boat House

The Boat House

Ferns in the Wood

Ferns in the Wood

Little White Flower

Little White Flower

Lady Slipper in the Wood

Lady Slipper in the Wood

Dreamers and doers

The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers.  But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.

  ~Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, 1996

Early on in my blogging journey I shared one of my inspirational reads that helped me to discover “Me”. Today’s inspirational quote is taken from that book.

I am a dreamer but I have not been a consistent doer in all things. In early 2012 my pastor preached a sermon that helped me to easily identify why I did not always reach my dream—I do not always follow through. Yep it was true, I often lacked the stamina to see my dream become reality. Once aware of this truth I could hardly ignore the cold, hard fact and God in His faithfulness wasn’t going to let it go either. So I embarked on a journey toward goal setting with accountability–much of the time blogging about my successes. I still miss the mark but it happens less frequently now. And as His word says, as I have become faithful in small things, larger things have been entrusted to my care(Luke 16:10).

We need to be dreamers who do because as the quote says, the world needs us.

Aim High

 

Thanks for reading today.

Winter Birds

These birds showed up recently at my backyard feeder. The bluebirds are a very unusual winter sight, I haven’t seen them since.

Woodpecker on the Suet

Woodpecker on the Suet

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Cardinal in the snow

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Beauties at the suet feeder

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Caught this beauty in flight

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Bluebirds in the snow

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Looks like the bluebird is telling secrets to the little brown bird

Caught this cardinal in flight

Caught this cardinal in flight

These bluebirds showed up at the winter feeder one day in January

These bluebirds showed up at the winter feeder one day in January

Captured in flight

Captured in flight

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Hello from Sunny Florida

map of the CDP of North Key Largo, Florida sho...

map of the CDP of North Key Largo, Florida showing boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well I tried to get this post up before I boarded my ship but it wasn’t meant to be. We have returned from our fabulous vacation—we were not on the ship that was disabled for days in the ocean requiring a tow back to port. I will post more photo’s and tales as the weeks progress. In the meantime here is the post I wrote prior to our escape to the sea.

With the crazy weather up north we left CT a day earlier than expected. We decided to rent a car and drive down to Key Largo. Below are a few shots from our first night and then day here. Enjoy. We will be heading off to our ship very shortly.

Coconut in a treeTwo Dogs in a BoatFirst night in FloridaBirds digging in the beach debrisSea Turtle

Key Largo at Sunset

I need a vacation, bad!

Cruise Ship - Celebrity Infinity

Cruise Ship – Celebrity Infinity (Photo credit: blmiers2)

I’ve been planning it for months. But it wasn’t until sometime last week that I actually started to get excited and realized just how badly it was needed. Work has been very busy since the beginning of the year, it almost seems as if someone turned on a switch and I constantly don’t have enough time to accomplish all I would like to get done. And my peeps, as I call them, are sick and I want to provide wonderful care to them. But as the weeks wore on I began to realize that I am tired, exhausted really. My job is very draining all the time! Don’t misunderstand me I really love what I do and am honored to be in such a trusted place by God and man…but it is hard to be “on” my game all the time. But long last the hours have pushed on toward the day…then the news…a major snowstorm is predicted for the Northeastern US scheduled to arrive…yep you guessed it…at the exact time I should be boarding my plane for our Caribbean cruise. OMG, what to do! A couple of consults with my  future meteorologist who is back at college and I make the decision to move up my flight by a day and a half to avoid the snow. Wonderful right?! Yes but I am no where near ready! Yikes I have a lot to do but it will be so worth it. I gained an extra day in sunny Florida–I know that is tough to take, huh? So I will be taking off tomorrow. I had to do some fancy rearranging but who cares, I am going on vacation for one glorious week with my favorite guy!

See you all when I return. Hope to capture some great snaps to share.

Bon’ Voyage

Paige

Meet Grace

Last year I attended several photography classes in which the instructor would give us an assignment and we would interpret using photographs. On the particular class we were to photograph someone into who’s soul we could see. What follows is the narrative that preceded the photograph’s I shared with the other participants. I must give full disclosure by telling you that there was not a dry eye in the house by the time I completed the story. I hope you enjoy.

February 2, 2012

In my role as breast nurse navigator I am in a unique position to meet and minister to many women and families who are in a trying and vulnerable season of life. I am often extremely impacted emotionally and spiritually by the struggles, fear and pain that I witness and must provide support through. I have felt a deep stirring over these past couple of months as I struggle with the injustice of this life altering disease.

It was during a time of prayer and fasting that I began to sense a bud of an idea. Cancer care is inclusive of what is known as complimentary medicine; the use of eastern medicine as well as the arts to restore the WHOLE person to health. We are after-all composed of mind, body and spirit. I believe that God wants me to act as an agent to aid in the healing process. This assignment gave be the motivation I needed to move to the next level.

Let me introduce Grace. We met my first week on the job; the first patient at my hospital to be navigated through breast cancer care. Early August she underwent the first surgical procedure to remove the cancer from her body. The day we took this photo she was receiving her last dose of chemotherapy medication…we are two-thirds of the way complete.

I asked Grace to answer a couple of questions if she was comfortable. What I will share with you next is her response which is being shared with her permission.

Me: I was wondering what your thoughts are about how cancer has changed YOU. I know how it has changed your life at least on the physical level but how has it changed you…your thoughts, the way you interact with the world, people, God. Is there something that you have learned during this time that you will never forget?

Grace:First of all I never thought about death. I was always on survival mode.  When I was just diagnosed I was sad for my kids; in my head I was ruining their life; they couldn’t lose their mother yet, they are momma’s boys and they are too young (14, 23 and 28). I would not allow myself to mess up their life. I needed to do everything without them; including them but without them being present; what if anything went wrong and they saw me suffering? No, no it couldn’t happen.

I decided to reach out to the women in my life; they would understand and sympathize with me in a different way.  I created two closed groups in Facebook, one named girlfriends and one named amigas for the ones that spoke Spanish. It was a hit! I was an inspiration for them and I was able to share very openly how I felt. They shared my fears, my inside battles and my little by little accomplishments. They made me feel so loved.

In the dark side some people I thought they were close friends disappeared from my life; people that I bent backwards for them so many times; may be they were scared, may be they were not who I thought they were.

Cancer taught me to be wiser in my choices.

Cancer brought me closer to God; showed me that miracles happen every day.

 I need to share this with you.  When I was 17 years old I fell in love with a boy and for some strange reason we got separated. He married, I married, and we never forgot each other.  Technology brought us together.  This year right after my surgery and 1 day before my birthday he found me in Facebook; it was some happiness in my life much needed and unexpected. He lives in Argentina (where I’m originally from) and he is very active in the Catholic Church; I told him about my cancer and somehow he convinced me that with prayer my cancer was gonna be gone; God was going to help me.

Here is the miracle- one day out of the blue he told me that I should go to church and find out when they have a special mass for the sick people.  I said ok I will go tomorrow to find out; that was in the morning something inside me made me go the same day to check; well my friend the mass that is held for the sick people and is only once a year was that same day; I couldn’t stop crying……..I knew at that point God wanted that for me………I went by myself and I cried my eyes out; I felt so blessed…….. The same guy from Argentina said to me ‘you know one day you’ll be able to share this miracle in front of people and I said yes I told my kids and I told Steve and he said no I went to church today and I got that message from God that you will be standing in front of people and you are going to be giving your testimony’. Now Paige I think your project make my miracle/message complete.

What did I learn during this time?

I learned to be more patient; I learned to give thanks every day for another day;  I learned that I was chosen to fight this cancer battle was because I was strong enough to make it through;  I learned there is people around me who love me unconditionally;  I learned to reach out in order to heal; I learned a life lesson. 

I never said ‘why me?’.  Instead I said thank God it’s me with cancer and no one of my dearest.  I can make it!  I will make it!

Thank you Paige for giving me an opportunity to share this with you!

Thank you for showing up in my life when I needed a hand and helped me walk though!

Love you Paige!!!!!!!

As with every other adventure I have been on when the Spirit is leading I have learned that the Divine Healer uses power to heal me while I am working to heal others…

Here is beautiful Grace on the last day of her chemo treatment. I met her to give her a Victory Rose which is pictured. Grace has passed the one year mark since her diagnosis of breast cancer. Even though her treatment is complete, the fear never really leaves.

Grace and her Victory Rose

Grace and her Victory Rose

A Winning Smile

The Walls around Haiti

In my blog hopping I recently discovered  No Fixed Plans who led me to Where’s my Backpack(don’t you just love how one click opens us up to such a bigger space?) Anyway, Where’s my Backpack hosts a travel theme challenge.  Travel Walls was a theme recently and even though I am a little late to the party I couldn’t resist sharing a couple of my snaps.

These were taken one year post quake in the small Haitian village of Milot. I have had the great privilege of serving these people on two occasions. The Haitian people of very expressive with paint. The wall from the compound where we slept, running up to the hospital was transformed with paintings as seen through the eyes of the Haitian people after the devastating earthquake in 2010.

The big quake in Haiti as seen in the eyes of the Haitian people

The big quake in Haiti as seen in the eyes of the Haitian people

Local hospital receives many quake victims–one year later the community remembers.

Weekly Photo Challenge-Unique

The weekly photo challenge this week encourages us to put up a photo of something UNIQUE to us.

Last July we spent some time in Boston. This musician was entertaining the crowds at the Boston Commons. I think that his creation of music is unique.

Unique Music Man on Boston Commons July 2012