America's Friendliest Photographer!
Sharing Life's Moments - One Story at a Time!
BE STILL...and SEE Photography
Reflecting on who I am...what is important to me...and the gifts I offer the world, I have reorganized this PhotoSchmoozer blog into separate pages for your viewing. I am about so much...people - relationships - drums and rhythms and especially photography...and I realize that although separate, they are all so INTEGRATED into the Whole of who I am!! It's a very peaceful thought and I am thankful for the intuitive gift to see the connections and the relationships. Enjoy the journey through the blog...and WELCOME. Contemplative photography is about being totally present and seeing exactly what is before you, without filters or judgment. It is about seeing with your heart.Doesn't everyone see what is before them? Not really. You may see a candle on a table. Do you also see the shadows it creates? Or the reflections that the light casts on it? Or it's underlying shape and form?
Stranger #5 - though I could count them as two? Our town has a "Restore" - a store for Habitat for Humanity. It's a second hand place with furniture and lots of other 'stuff' to buy to raise money for Habitat. Yesterday's outing took us there and we found a wonderful cream leather chair. As I was resting in it, waiting for Bill to pay, I saw this young man sitting on a nearby couch. Then I looked up at the woman standing near him. Gosh I knew they had to be related! Since she had a name tag on, I knew she was volunteering there. We started out by talking about the comfort of the couch and just kept going. Annette and her family are the lucky recipients of a Habitat house that is being built for them. One of the requirements is that you must work on your house. In the warmer weather, they helped dig for the foundation, but now that it is cold, Annette asked if there was something else she could do. YES, you can volunteer in Restore. Later when the house gets framed up and enclosed, they will go back and paint and do other inside work. What else?? Well she is a phlebotomist at a local hospital. Found that out when she asked where I had my surgery- not the same place. She has been doing it for awhile and really likes what she does. The biggest challenge of the work is to be able to spell what she does!! And the shy boy? He wants to be a professional football player. If that doesn't work out, he wants to work with animal rescue. Lucky for them - their new house is being built right near the county animal shelter and Amin is going to get a dog from there when they move in (though he says it is going to be this week...hmmmm) All you have to do is smile at someone; they will return the smile, and the conversation flows from there!!
It all started out as a Saturday morning trip to the grocery store. I'm still healing from my foot surgery (maybe 2 more weeks with the boot) so I got to have a blast and toddle around the store in one of their electric carts that turns on a dime! It is my second experience and I think I still have to go back for yet one more. It offers a different perspective on life from a different level and angle. When we were in the frozen food section, i spied a box of creamed chipped beef. Oh my goodness did it bring back memories. I looked at the ingredients and decided we needed to make our own "healthier" recipe. Off we went to the meat, cheese and dairy aisle looking for the package - IF it still existed. It was there!! While I was sitting and looking at the different brands, I realized I was blocking this guy from buying his choice of bologna. "Oh, am I in your way?" "No, I can reach it." He started telling me that I should eally be buying the bologna because there was NOTHING better than a fried bologna sandwich. I grew up with fried salami, but bologna?? It turns out Buddy does all of the cooking in his house and his two kids, Ruby Marie and John Tommy, love this sandwich. I commented on how lucky Buddy's wife was and he shared that he was a stay at home dad and had been for 11 years and absolutely loves it! How the rest of the conversation came about, I don't know. Turns out he loves music and goes to any festival in the area that he can find. Now he has taken up a new hobby - building guitars and has just completed the first one for his son. bill shared how he is thinking of building a stringed instrument from a cigar box and the videos hehas found on You Tube. then we talked about musicians and we just had to tell him about Home Made Jamz, the group we met who make their own instruments from car parts. Turns out Buddy lives in our town - we gave him our email and yet another stranger could well turn into a friend. It's amazing what can happen when the Photo Schmoozer says HI (anyone can do it!!). When I talk about the 100 strangers project on Flickr, people are fascinated and want to share. No problem friends. Just don't be shy!! Studs Terkel always tells us that everyone has a story to tell. Just have to ask...and then be willing to listen. Give it a try. You will be surprised!
Flickr is always creating new groups and inviting folks. This time I joined the 100 strangers project and well, it fits the Photo Schmoozer temperament!! Last night I was able to get out and go to a Crazy Quilt meeting to see my friends. When I walked into the room, I was immediately attracted to this smile and of course, the necklace!! I went right over and introduced myself to someone who was new to me. Meet Bobbie!! She is FUN and full of stories about her life. Where does one start?? Many years ago, she attended Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and majored in criminal justice. She worked in the prison system locally and thought, there just had to be more. So...off to join the Peace Corp and head to Micronesia. She was posted to "Truck" - the state, that is as big as Texas with a land mass the size of part of Rhode Island. She worked there in the prison system with sex offenders and was able to use her training as well as her skills with hypnosis to work with the prisoners. She also married a native!! When it was time for their child to be born (Matthew is 21 now), Bobbie taught her friend hypnosis for the birthing. She figured out she couldn't do it for herself. She stayed for 10 years and then moved back to the states with Matthew - his mom describes him as a talented musician!! She shared stories about so many other things too...she reads palms and has been doing so since she was 18. She has done firewalking and has been trained as a Reiki practitioner. And of course, she is a quilter. Her sister is the current coordinator of the S.Jersey Crazy Quilt group. I know we only touched the surface in our conversations for several reasons - we were in the midst of an 80th birthday celebration for our founder, we ran out of time, and Bobbie is a great facilitator and listener - and she asked me as many questions as I did with her!! We have only just begun, and imagine, I am only at #3 of my hundred strangers project!!
I know I always say "Don't leave home without it" - the camera I mean. The only time I had to break that rule was when I was scheduled for surgery and you can be sure that the camera was NOT sterile and would not be allowed in the operating room. Besides, I had blocks and general anesthesia. Guess they thought I was 'too chatty' and decided to still me so that I wouldn't want to be a part of that team. Yesterday was different and I put Baby Fuji in my pocket for the adventure. It was time to go and see how the healing was doing. GROSS!! I only selected a few pictures because the others are NOT for the faint of heart. They actually make me feel queasy when I look at them!! The whole team was there - Danielle took off the boot and unwrapped the dried bloody caked bandages. Then the foot was cleaned off and Dr. Daniel (in the tie of course!!) came in to check on his work. He liked how it was healing. Next step was for DuBrill, the great 'tech' to come in with the scalpel and the scissors and cut out the stitches. Finally, they showed Bill and me how to take care of the foot with new bandages and wraps - and the BOOT! It is front and center for another three weeks. The beauty now...I can take it all off and TAKE A SHOWER!! It has been three and a half weeks. NO, the camera will NOT come into the shower with me. This is all a blessing and having the Photo Schmoozer camera with me was certainly a great distraction from feeling him cutting the stitches away! Yeah for the camera!!! Thanks too to my healing team. It definitely happens together and the body plays a major role in that tool.
To me roses are soft, gentle, beautiful to look at, touch and smell, and a magnificent representation of life in its glory and simplicity! I am sitting here now smelling their gentle fragrances on this, the first day of the New Year! Do I have resolutions? Do I have wishes? Do you?? As I reflect, I believe that I can honestly say that my wish for 2009 personally, is that it be as wonderful as the previous year. For the world, I have hope and courage that we will work together to realize that what we need is unity and love, a shared sense of purpose and a wish for a solid secure future for our children. As Barack and Joe are about to take the train ride from Philadelphia for a celebration to include ALL of the people, may we join together in wishing them well. Their task is not easy, but I like to think of it this way: "We may not have it all together, but together we have it all!!" I look around my little world, I look out into the bigger world, and I am filled with sunshine, hope and healing. Blessings to all.
Bill and I are making drums - they are beautiful and sound terrific!!We will consider selling some of them, so contact us and let's talk!! firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the Baby Drums: They are For Sale!!!
These are for the little ones - sit on the floor and play-alone or with someone else. Find your rhythm and have FUN!!
What fun to make Homemade Drums!
In September, 2010, I attended the Remo drum company's HealthRHYTHMS training. It was a fantastic 2 1/2 day event - learning about hand drumming and drum circles and the variety of ways that these activities are beneficial to people. Dr. Barry Bittman shared some of the exciting research that he has done that provides evidence of the benefits to participants - team building, stress reduction, FUN, spirit, communication and... Christine Stevens was our co-facilitator - an open free spirit who guided us in drum circle facilitation and then Alyssa Janney shared all of the ins and outs of the business/marketing piece for Certified HealthRHYHTMS facilitators. That I am after the training and fun...and meaningful it is. Call me to talk about scheduling a training event or a series for your friends, co-workers or community: 856-256-8380. At the training, I talked with Roy and he shared how he had made drums (so had Julie...and a few others) They sent us info about sonotubes and how to make drums. The rest has been persistent exploration from my curious husband (with my helping hands) and then my sense of fun in decorating them!! People are beginning to ask to buy them. Why not?!?
This one makes me think of Spring and all of the flowers that bloom in our garden.
Love the colors of this fish drum!!
Subtle yet Expressive
Different colors for African fabric - subtle but beautiful!
This fabric came from Africa. A guy travels there and brings it back to Sam's Fabric Outlet in the Berlin,NJ Farmer's market
Bright and Bountiful
The colors on this drum are so vivid! I am definitely attracted to BRIGHT!!
Beaded Hippie Drum
This one is Anne Marie's favorite. She calls it the Hippie Drum with the batik fabric and the beads.
Out of Africa
Another of the fabrics that have come to Sam's from Africa. I love the vibrancy of the colors I use on the drums!!
Fiery Red Flames
I love the vibrancy of this drum - looks like flamesand the buttons just pop out to add just a bit more color!!
Why This?? Why Now??
Welcome Each Day With a Sense of Purpose!! I have been reading several interesting books on Aging: lessons from other cultures - The Blue Zone and Healthy at 100 by John Robbins. Each tells how important it is to wake up each day with a sense of purpose. When I saw this at the Rt. 13 Flea Market in DE recently, I knew this was a SYNCHRONICITY and a message to share with my friends all over the world! Take it to heart and ENJOY!!
Photo Schmoozer is a registered trademark and a process for engaging people in sharing their life stories and reflections. Photo Diet is the creation of PhotoSchmoozer and may not be used by any one else without written permission from Martie Mollenhauer.