Saturday, 31 March 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 25

Spring is really starting to wake things up around here and stirring the old notion of spring cleaning as well as the desire to be outside more often.  Even though the weather was quite gray and wet this week it was so much warmer and I have traded in my winter coat for a spring jacket.
I started my hip and knee recovery class at the pool this week and yesterday was able to walk up and down a whole flight of stairs alternating steps just like all you normal people.  Woohoo,  healing is happening, be it ever so gradual.  So thankful to be almost pain free.  Time to get to the big reveal, so here we go . . .

1.  Clouds
 This archived shot could actually work for three of these prompt . . . clouds, sun flare, angle shot.  Taken at my beloved Surrey Lake Park last August.  The weather was just not cooperating for a great cloud shot this week.

2.  Sun Flare
 We had one sunny day so I got my sun flare, but not clouds . . . which is generally a good thing (except when you have a clouds prompt).

3. Seven
 Okay, this was taken 2 weeks ago . . . seven beaming crocus.  They were begging for an appearance in the hunt and I could not deny them.

4. High Angle 
 Went shopping with my girls this week (with camera, of course) and snapped this high angle shot at Metropolis at Metrotown Mall in Burnaby.

5. Low Angle
As these were just about eye level, I interpret that as a low angle.  
Beauty found down the lane . . . amidst garbage cans and recycle bins, litter and signs urging 'slow down, children at play'.

I should make my own sign  . . . "Slow down, photographers at play" . . . you could come play too.  
Linking up with my wonderful playmates at Ashley's Rambling & Photos.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Buy Hyacinths

                       "If, of thy mortal goods,
 thou art bereft
And from thy slender store 
two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one and from the dole
buy hyacinths to feed the soul."
~ Muslih-uddin Saadi

This last week whenever I step outside I am arrested by their heady perfume. 
 As it washes over me I stand still, breathe deep and release a joyful sigh before carrying on with my day.

Be still and know that I am God
Take time to look around and see
The beauty blooming everywhere
All nature speaks of Me.
© Andrea Dawn Olsen - 30 March 2010

Saturday, 24 March 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 24

A sunny day with lots to do so I am jumping right in.  Here are my interpretations for this week's prompts . . . 

1.  Whimsy
 The fact that a good Canadian girl has a whimsical Uncle Sam in her home is a point of whimsy on its own, but the fact is, all of my grandparents were born in the US and I have many American cousins and friends that are true treasures to me.  God bless America!

2.  Create
 Some of the hats I have crocheted for my granddaughters.

3.  Dust
 This is what happens when you spend so much time taking pictures or crocheting.  I will get to it later.

4.  Seed or Sprout
 My lovely Mother's Day rose from last year is sprouting new growth as are so many other plants in the garden.  Peonies, hydrangea, clematis, campanula, rhubarb, chives, peppermint, spearmint.  I don't see anything happening with my Virginia Creeper though so am concerned it maybe didn't make it.  I only planted it late summer last year so we shall see. 

5.  Swing or Drop
Heart-shaped stained glass sun-catcher with dragonfly pendant . . . both swing with the slightest breeze.  So pretty.

Take a few moments to check out the wonderful submissions at Ashley's link-up . . .

Saturday, 17 March 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 23

So this week I took the plunge and did an "I Am From" post.  It is a wonderful project to do and is so therapeutic to review your past and the people and events that have shaped you. I highly recommend the experience.  

Having invested a fair bit of time in that project, I was tickled to once again be able to get all my clues in a single location.  I am participating in a year long photo challenge that centers on Urban Parks in Four Seasons at various locations around the world.  I got to my chosen park just yesterday and very quickly snapped my way through 200+ photos.  Within the batch I found the following for my interpretations this week.  Hope you enjoy these shots from Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, BC.

1(a) Vintage
 Vintage miniature train tracks.

1(b) Vintage miniature train . . . 
 Eddie the Engine pulls three passenger cars through the forested area of the park.

2. Word or Quote
 Part of the sign at the entrance to Bear Creek Gardens.  
Interesting thing with the sign as I worked with it  . . . it is somewhat of an optical illusion as when I first look at it, the letters seem to be separate from the main beam, but they are actually recessed, carved out of the main beam. Try it and tell me if you see the same thing.

3. Nature's Own
 Gotta love the ducks.

4. People
 People love to watch the ducks . . . I spent more time here than anywhere else in the park.

5. Photographer's Choice
When you walk a little slower you sometimes catch a find like this beauty.

So looking forward to checking out the other submissions at Ashley's Ramblings & Photos.

Next Weeks Clues:
1.  Whimsy
2.  Create
3.  Dust
4.  Seed or Sprout
5.  Swing or Drop

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

I Am From . . .

I have been challenged by some dear cyber-friends to respond to their "I Am From" posts with one of my own.  Such a wonderful trip down memory lane and so surprised at some of the memories that surfaced.

I am from Melmac dishes and mismatched cutlery for everyday use, from rotary egg-beaters and meat-grinders and CorningWare coffee percolators.  I am from fancy China and silverware stored in the red velvet lined chest, gracing the dining room table at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Sister Kari's 6th birthday
I am from window seats. From banisters and French doors and roll-top desks with claw feet and pigeonholes.  From a heritage home with wide front porch, stone steps and roll-up awnings.  From screen doors and clotheslines and bunk beds and cut-glass doorknobs filled with rainbows.  From rooms upstairs where the boarders lived and sandy basement that gave us the creeps.

Built in 1922 this is my childhood home as it looks today.  My parents were the last owners of the home before it was sold and turned into a funeral home . . . Clayton Funeral Directors, 582 Front Street, Quesnel, BC

I am from hollyhocks and cosmos and tulips that Mama dearly loved. 
Cosmos (photo source)
 From bamboo planted in cement ring to curtail its spread and cottonwood trees that dropped their fluffy white clouds all over the yard.  From the crab-apple tree that rained silky petals and then gave fruit for Mama's prized jelly.  From picking beans and dandelions and lilacs that grew down the lane.

I am from prayers at each meal and Sunday afternoon naps and Wednesday night prayer meeting. From sword drills and "Jesus Loves Me" and missionary stories of Sadhu Sundar Singh and Pandita Ramabai.  From DVBS and Sunday school picnics and Miss Riley and her handkerchief dollies in church.

I am from five children born to Ray Wallace and Agnes Grace in just four and a half years.  From big sister Kari Jane, younger brother Dallas Birk and the babies, twins Martha Lorraine and Mark Leroy.  I am from Old Spice and crew cuts.  From aprons and spaces between the front teeth.  I am from hand-me-down dresses and Singer sewing machines and scratching out the alphabet on each other's back with Kari at bedtime.  From soft-serve ice cream and gallon jugs of A&W root beer and the adult-sized three wheeler bike. From the line of kids marching behind Dad as he mowed the lawn.  

Ray Wallace and Agnes Grace, 3 April 1954
My Mama, Agnes Grace, with her brood.  I am on the left with the big cheesy smile.
I am from things my Mama said, like "fiddlesticks" and "horse feathers" and "j'entre dans le salle de classe" - the only French she remembered.  From father's "I'll give you something to cry about" and "this hurts me more than it does you".  From piano lessons taught by Dad's cousin Della and playing his favourite "Somewhere My Love".

I am from Christmas trees set up December 18th on Mama's birthday, from meticulously hung tinsel and a foil-wrapped cardboard star.  From breakfast before presents and old woollen work socks with Japanese oranges and nuts and hard candy.

I am from Quesnel, British Columbia and from two full blooded Norwegian grandfathers that I never met.  From grandmother's, Irma and Blanche that raised families mostly on their own.  From Anabaptist ancestors fleeing religious persecution in Switzerland and Germany, making their way to America in its infancy.  From school teachers, preachers, inventors and entrepreneurs, from farmers and loggers and WW2 veterans.  From family historians and writers and poets.  I am also from broken dreams, broken vows, broken homes.

 Fraternal grandfather Alfred Martinis 
Maternal grandfather, Lawrence Anton

Maternal grandmother Blanche
Fraternal grandmother Irma Irene

I am from city kids and country cousins spending summer vacation on Grandma Bjorklund's farm.  From riding the hay wagon, gathering blueberries in old gallon paint cans, and midnight runs to the outhouse.  From priming the pump and sulphur smelling water and chickens and cows and a horse named Prince.  From wringer washing machine and clamouring over who got to put the curlers in Grandma's hair.

Cousins Ron and Janet on the horse named Prince

I am from books and reading late into the night.  From weekly trips to the library with my sister for the unread Nancy Drew or Trixie Beldon titles. From Encyclopedia Britannica and Mario Lanza and Johnny Cash.  From playing Mousetrap and jacks and pick-up sticks.

I am from "toad in the hole", homemade bread and skim milk powder.  From "slumgullion" and "hardtack" and apple crisp, banana bread and chocolaty French cake.  From scalloped potatoes and raspberry jam and canned peaches.

I am from Martha Freelove, my great grandmother who with her husband and children left Arkansas for Canada in a covered wagon in 1916.  Who along the way went blind at the age of 35 and never saw the new country she was immigrating to, never saw her grandchildren or great grandchildren.
Great Grandmother Martha Freelove, centre circa 
1882, Arkansas.  I have the original of this photo.
Martha Freelove, Vancouver, BC 1960's

I am from photos old and letters kept and every birthday card from Great Aunt Nettie stashed away in my treasure box. From stick figure drawings saved by my Mama,  from newspaper clippings and certificates and memories triggered by sights and sounds and smells.

My great, great, great grandparents, Freelove and David Benjamin 
Grandmother Irma Irene, an accomplished horsewoman.
Great grandparents Wyatt Woodruff
and Laura Dorelia.

I am from "Amazing Grace" and whispered prayers and "This Little Light of Mine".  From "How Great Thou Art" and the Shepherd's psalm and John 3:16.  I am from He who forgives, heals and redeems, who crowns me with loving kindness and tender mercies and who has good plans for my life . . . plans for a future and a hope.

I am, Andrea Dawn.

If you would like to write your own "I Am From" story, you can find a template here.  It is a very helpful tool to get you started.