a second look, family, finding my way, friends, photography, technology, travel

Tidying up…

I may have been the last person in America to read this book,

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo

Sorry for the size of the text but I had no hope of remembering the title so I lifted it from Google.  I went on an organizational binge after my husband died.  His hobby, well, one of them, was collecting coins, and I was in fear that somehow I would throw away one or more of his treasures, so I had to go through all of his stuff immediately in order to prevent a disaster.  Part of me didn’t think I could make such a mistake, but he was secretive with his stuff so I wasn’t quite sure what to think.  I had asked him if there was any sort of inventory, if he had ever written instructions down in case something would happen to him.  But that was when we never dreamed anything would actually happen, and when he said that yes he had written out instructions I thought he was lying.  Fibbing.  And he was, and I let him.  And, to my relief really, after digging through his closet, which I not-so-affectionately called his ‘toss-in closet’, I found no coins in pockets or any other odd ball places.  They were all in the safe deposit box.  But I had to look, I had to know, I had to be sure.  The responsibility I felt for taking care of his stuff was quite overwhelming.

I mention this because in this book the author doesn’t believe in organization.  You don’t organize your stuff, you get rid of it.  Actually you thank each piece for it’s service, and then you get rid of it.  Hey, I didn’t write the book.  And I did get rid of a LOT of my own stuff after I read the book last year sometime, but I didn’t thank each piece of clothing before it got sent to Goodwill.  So by her standards all my prior efforts to organize Charley’s stuff and my stuff was for naught.

But the big take-away from the book, for me anyhow, is that I have faithfully used her method of folding and storing your clothes every day since.  I haven’t even been tempted to NOT use her method almost from day one.  In her method your things stack in drawers, and not only can you fit a ton of stuff into a small space, you can see everything perfectly.  There is no digging for the particular tee shirt or pants that you might be looking for.  My only cheat has been with my socks, that drawer still looks like a bomb went off in there.  Socks should be folded neatly together, and not turned one inside the other to keep a pair together.  That would cause them stress you see.  So she said anyhow.

But her method has proven itself to me again as I get ready for a pilgrimage of sorts, up north to visit with family and friends.  I’ve had lots of time to get ready this week, so I started transferring pants into the big travel bag I use when I have to bring a lot of stuff.  And, amazingly, I didn’t even use half the bag, so I added the shirts I wanted to bring, and it all fits!  I’ll be comfortable, although not prepared for a formal event, but since that hasn’t ever happened before I think I’ll be safe.  I used to always bring this bag plus it’s slightly smaller matching cousin on a big trip, but not this time…6-12socks.jpgI see fuzzy socks!  I should pack them too.  Last time this Floridian went north she just about froze to death…

a second look, adventure, learning, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology

Back to Bayport…

My powers of observation have never been great, I know that.  Details escape me.  So maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised when I noticed this little shop on the way back from Bayport last night.  How many times had I passed it going back and forth to Pine Island or Bayport?  Hundreds?  But I never ‘saw’ it.  But with the new interest in night photography comes a little different perspective when it comes to a building sitting alone, with lights and shadows, and interesting details in the facade.  This shop is called The Country Store, and it looks charming, I’d like to stop in next time I’m passing by.  Sooner rather than later…

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learning, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, technology

How much is that doggie…

… in the window?  It was the Boston Terrier in the window that made me want to take a picture of this store window.  I was on the first night photo walk that I attended last March in Tarpon Springs, and I took a lot of photos that night that I never tried to use before.  It seems like I’ve bogged down a little, I need time to catch up mentally.  My constant quest to get out and take more pictures leaves me not a lot of time to think about the lessons I’ve been learning.  And I know how ridiculous that sounds since I’ve had much more time off than time at work.  So I decided to go back and look at some of the thousands of photos I’ve taken in the last year to see what photos I skipped over.  6-4caribongoHDR6-4fountainHDR6-4aquawindowHDR6-4streetlightThe big take away from this exercise is the ‘transform’ tool in Lightroom.  This last picture was hopelessly on an angle, and trying to fix it by straightening it in the crop tool wasn’t working.  Since the main street of Tarpon Springs is a hill, and I hadn’t tried to level the photo when I took it, I assumed it was hopeless.  Then I remembered to try ‘transform’, and hit ‘auto’.  Amazing.  I know that you should be trying to take the perfect photo as you take it, using the best settings and composition to tell the story of the photo.  But I’m glad to have the editing tools I’m learning about also.  Technology is a wonderful thing.

moon, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology, weather

Moonlight…

The moon wasn’t quite full this morning, but it was pretty.  I thought of the morning that I saw the full moon hanging very low in the sky, and I tried to get out to see it hanging low over the houses at Hammond’s Creek.  Tried and failed.  Twice I’ve missed a moon like that.  So I headed out this morning just in case this moon might be the one I capture, but no.

And it wasn’t raining, but it also wasn’t the prettiest sunrise.  But there will be another one tomorrow there always is.

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backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, friends, nature, neighbors, photography, squirrels, technology

And then there were two…

My plan was to edit the above photo a little differently, because last night when I took it I was brokenhearted to see Mama Sandhill crane returning to the nest with just one colt.  I was out there with the camera because I had just seen the other adult flying in, and he landed on my side of the lake.  I thought he had joined the family, but they weren’t there, then I saw the other adult and one baby.  Try as I might I never saw a second colt last night.  It wasn’t until I looked at this photo this morning that I saw him.  I almost couldn’t believe my eyes.  Whew.

My neighbor must have better eyesight than I do because she thought she saw a second one, but then we got distracted because she started calling her squirrel.  Yes, you read that right.  I happened to be heading out with both dogs a while back when her daughter pulled up out front and wanted me to see the three baby squirrels she was bringing to her mom’s house.  Over time I forgot all about that, but I got the rest of the story last night.  Two of the babies disappeared when they got bigger, but one, which has been named Rosie by her granddaughter, now has a little house within the pool screen.  And she has access to the outside through an opening in the screen made just for her.  So she is free, but comes back to her house at night, and will come when she is called.  Even with the dogs out there, all acting jealous because my neighbor was calling the squirrel, Rosie still raced around through the branches and eventually came down to get petted.  And I have proof…5-29rosie55-29rosie45-29rosie15-29rosie35-29rosie2That Rosie was loving her heavy petting session was obvious.  What she wasn’t appreciating so much was the camera clicking away in her face, so I left them to enjoy their moment…

perseverance, photography, technology, the big picture, unintended images, weather

Alberto…

The only living things that are appreciating Tropical Storm Alberto right now are the weeds that live in everyone’s yard.  They are growing like, well, weeds.  Last time this happened I had to hire landscapers to tame the jungle that had grown up when I wasn’t paying attention.  In the grand scheme of things complaining about the rain is rather pathetic.  It’ll stop sometime.

I took the opportunity to take some night photos the other night because the rain had stopped for a little while, and I really wanted to get out of the house.  I thought I’d ride through Brooksville and see if I could spot some nicely lit up buildings, but I hadn’t gotten very far up the road at all when Chulas lights caught my eye.  And in Brooksville I was surprised to see how pretty the courthouse looked all lit up.  It wasn’t the sort of photo I was going for, but that happens a lot of the time.  It would have been easier to stay home, but sometimes you just need to get out, if only for a little while.5-27chulas35-27chulas25-27courthouse35-27courthouse5-27courthouse2