Sunday, May 31, 2015

Amazing May

Hard to believe that it is the last day of May already. I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed my month away from blogging and away from social media (except Instagram of course).

We began May in Marquette for the grand celebration of the Beautiful Girl's graduation from college.

Mallory graduated from Northern Michigan University on Saturday, May 2. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in History.

We are very proud parents.

After graduation, we packed her up and moved her home.

Within a week of being home, she had also secured her first life-beyond-college job. She will be working part time for Local First a local non-profit, committed to supporting and promoting local businesses. A perfect fit for her.

The first full week of May was our town's Tulip Festival, the tulips were just about perfect for it.

Mid-May had us departing for a week in The Great Smoky Mountains. A break down of the trip will be coming in future posts. We had a great time away, and even though rain was predicted every day of our trip, most days were more like this.

We returned home last week Sunday, thankfully with one more day off work thanks to the Memorial Day holiday. Mallory started her new job on Tuesday, May 26 and is loving it. Glen returned to work to travel yet again, thankfully only to the east side of the state. I conquered groceries, laundry and housework.

What lies ahead

In June I am going to participate in Vivienne McMaster's Be Your Own Beloved again. I did the class back in February, but I want to do it in warmer weather, where I can take shots outside, and not have three layers of clothing on. I also have a bucket list of shots I want to do, and even though I could do them on my own anytime, the class structure really motivates me to actually take the time to do them. Also amazing community in that class!

In July I am taking a writing class - Magazine Writing through Creative Nonfiction. I have ruled out Memoir writing as my style, but immersion writing or Magazine style writing really interests me, and is what my Coffee Shop Chronicles would be classified as, so I am going to explore that style of writing and see where it leads me.

Also more travel lies ahead. Glen is in charging of planning an away weekend for our Anniversary in mid-July. I am hoping to get to Chicago for a weekend in August. I am looking into possibilities for a week away for Glen and I in September, and in October I am meeting up with a friend for a week in Pennsylvania.

So much goodness lies ahead. I look forward to sharing it here.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy Birthday

Happy 3rd Birthday to the Paisley Blog.

It is so hard to believe that three years have passed already. It seems like just yesterday I was starting this blog, with the intention of it becoming my photography blog, my first picture/post - the original Paisley's caught in a mid-air jump for a shot for a self-portraiture class. I already had my writing blog, Becoming a Finisher, I just wanted someplace to post random pictures on a weekly basis. Who knows, if I had had an iPhone then and known about Instagram, this blog may never have come into existence. But I didn't have an iPhone or know about Instagram, so this blog seemed to be the logical choice for random photos.

What I didn't expect was for it to become my heart, my passion. A place that fueled my creativity, pushed me to continue to develop my photography skills, a place to share my thoughts and observations about life.

While I have been away this month enjoying life with my family, I have been thinking about where I want to go with this space moving forward. I thought about the posts that have meant the most to me; the backroads adventures, the posts from our vacations, The Coffee Shop Chronicles, The Northern Michigan Asylum, The Felt Mansion. All of them focused around exploring, traveling, observing and photographing.

I came across this great analogy from C.S. Lewis in my morning devotional the other day, granted Mr. Lewis is talking about faith, but the analogy got me thinking about this blog. This is what Mr. Lewis said "It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in...It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping."

For the past three years, I have wandered the hall, trying various doors, entering different rooms. Some rooms have been cozy and warm, they feel like home. Some rooms have been cold and sterile, like a hospital room. Some rooms have been pretty and shiny at first glance, but the more I explored them, the more their flaws were exposed, layers of dust in the corners, knobs missing on the doors, the bed as hard as a rock.

I think I have opened all the doors off this hall now, and the rooms where I want to live are the rooms of photography, travel/exploring, and immersion writing. Each a separate room, but they have pass-throughs from one to another. I know this is where my heart and passion lies, these rooms will be my home moving forward into this fourth year.

Friday, May 1, 2015

5 Random Friday Finds

Find No. 1

The first outdoor Antique Market of the year was this past Sunday. I love wandering the aisles, looking for treasures. I found this Miss America Depression era glass compote dish at one of the booths. No price on it, always my luck. I asked the guy at the checkout table, who was busily eating his Elephant Ear at eleven o'clock in the morning, how much? He pondered a moment and said how about $6. Sold. I knew Mallory would love it for her dessert/food photography. Doing some research on-line Sunday night, I see they are normally sold for $25. I think I did good.

Find No. 2

I also found this petite size book of hymns for five dollars. I want to use bits and pieces in my double exposure photography. Fellow Instagrammers keep watch.

Find No. 3

I also found this Beatles era costume. Glen and I have a 50's-60's rock and roll themed fundraiser to go to next week, this would be just perfect for him. Glen didn't think the cut of the suit would work for him, hence probably a little too tight. 

Find No. 4

Driving home from the Antique Market, I stopped at this little park next to a train trestle. I have driven by this train trestle hundreds of times, but never stopped, this is the year to do things differently.

Find No. 5

I found my favorite yearly magazine on the newsstand this week. This weekend while we are at college graduation, I will be pouring over the pages and planning my next adventure.

This will be my last Random Friday Finds until June. I am taking the rest of May off to enjoy time with my family.

Joining Kim for Friday Finds