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?

DRUMS, Rhythms and Relationships

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Synchronicity of Baltimore!!

Niece Rebecca called and asked if we could spend some time together!  What could I say but SURE!!  Then the synchronicity of it all...I found a B & B there for us called 'AUNT REBECCA'S'
Here is the from our time together to follow!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

B E A N S !!!

There is a place in Woodstown, NJ where IAllison and I meet- like our own living room away from home.  We can get a cup of tea - today was white monkey and Egyptian chamomile - together in one giant cup.  There's always a special on the board or a giant salad with a huge serving of chicken salad.  Music from the 60s is playing in the background.  The baby grand piano creates a welcoming atmosphere. There are always paintings and photographs from the Salem County Art League and GREAT PEOPLE BEHIND THE COUNTER!!  What more can we ask for??  Well, for Photo Schmoozer,there is one more thing!!  It is definitely to talk to people and learn their stories. Today I received that gift!!   Allison calls Beans "our favorite place" and a halfway spot for us to meet, eat and create (well, the words almost rhyme!)  We were there again today.
The place was crowded and the young children there for a birthday party discovered the ramp leading to the back door and ran and ran and ran.  As an early childhood educator,  I sat listening to the moms restricting their children's movement and all they really needed was to get out and run!!  But it was cold, so inside was second choice.  Then there was the clump, clump, clump.  of Daniel 's roller blades.  He was skating up and down the ramp!!  When I asked why he wasn't in school, he told me that he was home schooled and this was his phys ed time!!  OK he was Ann's son and she is the owner of Beans so it's an ok thing to see happening!!  Then we met Eric.  He joined us in the living room - a recent law school grad who could not find a job in criminal law.  Today, he was taking a break and playing Farmville!!  As Allison and I worked on topics for presentations, Eric used his wit to add comments.  At one point he said, "No don't use that title.  Your words are putting me to sleep!!"  We were  strangers who quickly become friends sharing a space.  When it was time for lunch,and  I was reading the  newly printed menu, I noticed the words you see above.  Oh my goodness!!  What a shared philosophy with DARE to AFFIRM.  It seems these words have always represented Beans, but today,  I saw them for the first time.  They are Ann and all she represents.  They are the staff who work at Beans!  They bring us all a message on how to live our lives each day.  I am sitting here listening to the State of the Union speech and isn't Barack asking us  to live these same words?  Isn't  he saying it time to stop the partisan bickering and realize that there is a bigger meaning to our living, working and caring for one another!!  Now, let's move forward for peace and understanding!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Spring is Coming! Spring is Coming!!

It was a long and wonderful day in Delaware yesterday - successful projects, good food and especially good friends!!  The day was long, but the warm feelings in my heart accompanied me on the ride home.  With reassurance from Pete, our Toyota sales friend, about the news stories related to recall, I put on the Fairy Magic music and drove off into the sunset!!
When I arrived home, there on the kitchen table sat a gift from my special guy!  There were two packages of zinnia seeds.  He had been to Lowe's to pick up some 'stuff' for his work, and the seeds were already in the store and on the racks!  These are some of our favorites - not to mention the favorites of the finches and the butterflies and even hummingbirds!  In eager anticipation of what is to come, he brought these home and is talking of starting some in the house within the month!
We have been noticing that the days are getting longer, the smell of Spring in the air, and well, dreaming and hoping of the changes coming. For PhotoSchmoozer, there is no better time than Spring!  It is a time to renew and refresh.  I go out and find old friends coming back to spend the summer and nothing makes me happier!  Today Bill and I walked to the lake with the bright sun shining in our faces and the temps in the 40s.  Sonia Choquette tells us to go out and share a walk with a friend!!  We met Nora from across town.  She drives over to walk by the lake. She wondered if she had met me before but I said, "NO, but let's introduce ourselves so that when we meet again, we will remember one another."    Tomorrow more and better is to come and the fun of it is that we don't yet know what it is!!  Oh JOY!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Feathers Floating on the Breeze

Curious?  Story to follow!  Lesson learned:  there is always something out there waiting to be discovered and it is beautiful!!  Soon after lunch, I realized that I had NOT been out of the house at all yesterday and if I was not careful, today would turn into the same thing.  The difference was that the sun was brilliant and the day was calling me to come out and play.  Not being one to leave home without my camera, I slung it over my shoulder and walked to the Alcyon Lake.  Sure, there are other directions, but it is fun to go and visit with the ducks and geese and watch the parents and children playing together.  I wanted to see something special to share but WHAT??  OK Martie - be still and see what will come.  All of a sudden I saw a small white feather rustling in the breeze.  As I got down closer to look the details were amazing and I knew I had my project set for the day.  Somehow, when I start taking pictures, my mind goes to a theme and today it was feathers.  I often think in metaphors and today was no different.  I have been feeling very heavy hearted wondering about the changes that are happening and what they will mean.  Today I thought that I needed to float on the breeze like the feathers, and just breathe and see where the winds take me!  Quien sabe??  Some tell me that I need a plan - will I sell my photos?  Will I consult?  Will I????  Drive me crazy with those questions if you will BUT for me I am striving to be at peace with the questions and not need the answers.  They will come.  I would call this rather 'Zenish" and it feels right - now the challenge is to welcome the combination of the head and heart into a belief system that lives these words!!  This alone is an admirable goal!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You Made My Day!!

Continuing the Tarrytown sage with Susan, it was late breakfast time and we went right across the road to the Eldorado Diner.  Diners are always good places, especially for breakfast, and if we had not made that wise decision, we would not have met some new and wonderful friends.  After we sat and got settled, I happened to glance across the aisle and saw what to me looked like a scene from a Normal Rockwell painting.  I captured it with my eyes, but shame on me, the camera was in the car!  How long did it take for me to go over and schmooze (never mind Mom - talking to people is what I am all about and the only way to make new friends and gather memories)??  Oh all of a minute or two.  What did I say?  "I just wanted to say how 'cool' you are with the way you are dressed?"  Ruth, yes, meet Ruth and Ralph (married 65 years and in their 9th decade of life), looked at me askance.  "ME?"  "Absolutely", I said!  Then we chatted a minute and I asked if I could go and get my camera and take pictures.  Truth and honest, she said I shouldn't waste my film on them.  No, they are NOT in the digital age and do not have email either!!  No matter.  I got the pictures and in the meantime, learned their life's story.  She was a buyer for Bloomingdale's in Manhattan and he had his own business.  We heard about how they met at a very young age, their children, grandchildren and new great grandchild - see him with their son in the upper left!?!  They were headed to Atlantic City.  Seems as one ages, friends begin to leave and that is sad.  They were going for a few days just to get away.  No gambling, mind you but a show and nice dinners.  Lessons learned?  Always take the camera with you and always talk to folks!  Never can tell who your next 'best friends' will turn out to be!!  PS:  I can't figure out how to get rid of this blue background color!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Portuguese Beet Salad

My friend Susan and I live hours apart and visit daily via email or phone but hardly ever in person, so when we found a time and a half way place, we jumped at it.  It was a time to go on a journey together and explore.  We had no expectations, so there in itself is reason for satisfaction.  The location was Tarrytown, NY, right on the Hudson River by the Tappan Zee Bridge.  The hotel turned out to be right off of the highway and it was quite cozy and comfortable.  Now what to do on a rainy day?  Explore, with umbrellas of course!!  Little did we realize that the focus of our 24 hours together would be some rather incredible restaurants and one great diner (that's another story for another day.  Yes, there are pictures).  Susan put me in charge of food so I would make 'wise choices'.  This last lunch together, we found a Portuguese restaurant with terrific service (ok, he forgot to bring the spoon with the soup!!), vivid colors, beautiful presentations and tastes.  This is just one example - a beet/mango salad with goat cheese and watercress.  I actually hated to put my fork to it and destroy the presentation. MMMMM   MMMMMM good!  NO, I am NOT trying to be a food critic like our son, Jon - you have been to his site - Eating Out in Tokyo with Jon, but just couldn't help sharing this afternoon's delight.  Then we walked more and headed west, then north or south!  Thanks to Tarrytown, Susan and their great restaurants for 24 hours of friend time.  Photo Schmoozer was delighted!!
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Friday, January 15, 2010


Posted by PicasaI thought I had to be clever, witty and joyful with the words I published as Photo Schmoozer.   Now I have been still for days and I realize that the words in this picture say what is in my heart and soul.  I am reflective, I am open and I am aware.  I am allowing 'it' to come.  What can this mean?  I know that change is in the air and the uncertainty and doubt that accompanies this change brings a stillness, a waiting and a sense of curiosity and wonder.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

When I Am An Old Woman...

"When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me." 
Jenny Joseph wrote these lines in her poem "Warning." Then she goes on to talk about practicing a little now so that people who know me are not too shocked and surprised, "When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple...and learn to spit."
Yesterday I talked about exuberance and enthusiasm and being who I am AND I BOUGHT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PURPLE SWEATER!!  Today, my niece Becca and I went for a jaunt to Ocean City, NJ, and there, sitting in the front yard of a B & B, I saw this bike.  I knew I couldn't put it in the car and take it home with me as much as I would have loved to, so in keeping with being PhotoSchmoozer, I brought home a few pictures instead!  It's a wonderful bike and would be a treasure to own.  But hey, I already have a purple bike with bright green accessories!  I am already wearing a purple sweater today, and I am having FUN!  Although I am counting down the days 'til I can sign up for Medicare, I know that I am NOT OLD and never will be.  I know that 'old' is a state of mind (and maybe a bit of a feeling in the body) that won't be in my vocabulary for about EVER!?!?!   Yesterday I talked about being myself as a professional.  Today I am talking about being myself as a person.  If you stop to ponder those words, you will realize that "THEY" are one and the same.  Someone once said to me that she is different at work than at home.  My question is WHY!?!  It's so much more of a treasure to be an authentic person.

Try it.  It could well suit you - whatever color you choose to wear!!
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Monday, January 11, 2010


"Exuberance carries us places we would not otherwise go...and if we ourselves are not so exuberant we will, caught up by the contagious joy of those who are, be inclined collectively to go yonder."  Kay Redfield Jamison, Exuberance
Look at these faces - excited, enthusiastic and celebratory!  OK, it is my son, Jon and his friend, Greg - they have known each other for eons and for a few years now, when Jon comes home from Japan to visit, they plan an excursion to Cape May for a meal at the Lobster House.  Of course, on the way, they get out their skateboards (and thankfully helmets and pads) and revisit every skateboard site from Roosevelt Park in Philadelphia to those along the Jersey shore from Barnegat to Cape May.  Why is this relevant today?  I read the quote from Jamison and thought about Jon and Greg and how life is to be lived and enjoyed!  They are mature and responsible yet they are engaged in their music and enjoying food and have a perfect balance to work and play.  We all need to learn lessons from these two!!  They are authentic and peaceful and living their life on purpose! 
There have been many times in my life, from the days of growing up, when my enthusiasm and exuberance have not been appreciated.  Some people enjoy being around me and value my energy level - others have told me that I am too loud and need to be more 'profesisonal'.  My question is what is there about me that is NOT professional when I have a joy and a passion for life and what I believe in and express it in my way???  If you choose to be cool and aloof and removed and consider that 'professional', then let that work for you, but don't impose on me how I need to be!  I am sure that there are many of you out there who could share similar comments and experiences.  My friend Allison has said that sometimes we live in a Parallel Universe.  But remember, we all need each other and in the end, aren't we all one and don't we all come from the same Source?!? 
Reflect on that and find the JOY in life!!

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Becoming Clear Little By Little

Woke up this morning feeling less than joyful and wondering WHY?  As I searched for a clearer understanding (maybe my glasses need washing for a brighter vision?!?) I thought about  possibilities: cold and winter, waiting for Bill's healing to progress so we can get out and about with less challenges, the lack of connections in my work situation, Jon's living in Japan and then, as synchronicities will preset themselves, I signed on to read my email and there was a posting from Gretchen for the Happiness Project!  There was definitely a clear message that"well being is attained little by little."  IF I want things to be different, hey, who is responsible and do I need it to happen all at once!  Rationally I know that this is definitely true.  Emotionally it is a tad more of a challenge to take that little step and know that these are building blocks for the life that makes me feel best!  What will I do differently today?  Well, I am going to watch Wayne Dyer's movie, The Shift and I know there will be messages.  Then I checked his blog today and what did I discover??  Wayne was talking about a new book by Jorge Cruise - The Belly Fat Cure. It was all about SUGAR!!  Oh my, I know about how that affects me!?!?!  Reading Wayne's words (which I share here is yet another clear message about LITTLE BY LITTLE and what I need to do:
 I had been harboring the notion, the excuse, that my 17 pounds of belly fat would be very difficult if not impossible to get rid of. After all, time had put it there! I decided to test my excuse by reducing my sugar intake down to about 20 grams a day. In 30 days, that 17 pounds had melted off my waist. And it wasn’t all that hard to do.
 The fact is we can do this with anything—from belly fat to any excuse-bound situation that is blocking our health and/or happiness. Once I decided to believe that I could release the weight that had accumulated around my middle, I let it go. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.” Why not believe you can?"
Enough said - the sun is shining, there are always joyful anticipations in life and it's time for me to move on...little by little.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Meet Filaree - My Guardian Angel

One day I was driving down the road and I heard a voice in the car???in my head???where???  It said to me, "Filaree!"  I asked what that was all about and I heard, "I am your Guardian Angel!"Now what in the world was going on.  Being a trusting, intuitive person, I said, OK.  Nice to meet you.  What do you have to say? She said that she was here for me to guide me how to be light and joyful and playful.  OK...not my usual conversations, but I do say all the time that we need to pay attention to the synchronicities!?!  Later that day I was reading a book about flower essences - I have studied what they are about and how they can help us in our growth.  Well, again, NOT by chance, there on the page was a flower essence called FILAREE!  When I read the description, I knew that there was a message for me: "For those who are too involved in the miinutiae of life, who worry excessively about mundane events, unable to keep things in a broader perspective.  It helps to contain such wastage of energy, so that there is plenty in reserve for more productive activities and fulfillment of one's higher potential."  As I have been
reflecting on changes and life, reading about Happiness and thinking about what is to come next, I have to share one more message that I read the other day from The London Times(10/05).  "If people describe themselves as happy, then they are happy."  BUT what struck me is this..."Sometimes happiness is a judgment that life is satisfying and does not imply to an emotional state."  So reflect on this...IF we can believe that life is satisfying, and pay attention with gratitude, to all of the little ways that this is happening all of the time, they why shouldn't we be happy??  I look at the sun making the shadows dance of the snow - now isn't that happiness?  Sometimes we TRY TOO HARD to find the elusive happiness and just plain forget that it is here!!  Don't I often say that we need to BE STILL and just see what is all around us.  Oh, by the way, the picture?  It is my Guardian Angel, filaree (and yes, that is my face) that I made for our Crazy Quilt Guardian Angel challenge.  She's light and joyful!!  So if she is me...then I too must be light and joyful!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Posted by PicasaThis morning I woke up still thinking about the PBS series This Emotional Life that I have watched these past three nights.  The first session resonated for me because I am so involved in working with adults who care for infants and toddlers.  Attachment and learning through relationships is so vital for our very young children. Just wish sometimes that it would happen among the 'big people' who care for the young. I see this as a Parallel Process but sometimes this lesson is ignorerd or forgotten.  Then last night, the third session talked very much about Happiness and how this is so influenced and affected by Relationships.  For a few hours before the program, I went to a crazy quilt group meeting.  I had not been to the meetings for many months, and I felt SO WELCOMED!!  These connections brought total joy to my heart!!  When I watched the program and Relationships was such a key word, WOW.  I also was thrilled to hear Martin Seligman talk about Positive Psychology because, as you know, my personal philosophy is DARE TO AFFRIM.  I am a strength based person who believes that we all shine.  Rather than have any weaknesses, sometimes our 'shine' has been tarnished and we need to polish it up.  Always POSITIVE!!
Now one more might say "Then why do you have this picture on the PhotoSchmoozer blog?"  It is a relationship connection.  Remember I talk about Heather?  She sent me this Circle of Friends candle holder and every morning, I come into my office and light the candle.  Though I work at home, I know that I am connected to a very special Circle of Friends in other home offices around the country.  It brings happiness and joy to my heart.  We have a connection that will endure long after our work together is completed.  As Oprah would say, "This I know for sure."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hey Push Me...We ALL Need that!!

BRRRRRRRRRRR It's cold today!!
And guess who came to visit?
My friend Cardinal comes to find the seeds we have left and it is a pleasure to see him!  His Ms. is often close by too!
I often wondered why I connected to Cardinal and what messages he might have to share with me. 
Bless the Internet and now I know!!
"Cardinal reminds us that no matter what time of the day or year it is, there is always the opportunity to recognize the importance of our life purpose."
So what is the meaning for me...for us?  First of all, the contract for my current work project will be over in September.  Oh dear or Oh My!?!  See there is always a reason.  Then just the other day, my friend Maryi sent an email for a video and I just watched it.  Thus the title for this blog.  Even eagles need a push.  I have put the link here so you can go and find your own inspiration.
It comes from the website.
I just wrote to thank maryi for the site and the message and she asked, "So Where Will You Fly?"
I think I am still clinging on to the edge of the nest, but am feeling Mama Eagle's beak poking at me!  There are so many choices...and I just KNOW that I will stay awake and aware of all of my opportunities and the people who are bring them to me.  Come along for the adventure!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

To Touch or Not to Touch: There is No Question!!

Meet Ivy and Grandad!  When they went off to the Nebraska State Fair together, there was no doubt that they were connected.  They were sitting and waiting for their ice cream, and Heather (Ivy's Mom) just happened to look over and see the love the two of them shared!  When I talked about photos of hands for Photo Schmoozer, Heather immediately sent this one.  Wonderful!! When I think of attachment, I reflect on the PBS series, "This Emotional Life", hosted by Dan Gilbert.  There was a focus on attachment...or not.  Relationships are how very young children learn about themselves and the people in their world.  Last night, we saw strong evidence of how  only caring for a child 's physical needs and ignoring the emotional needs can cause Attachment disorders and problems throughout life.  Remember Erik Erikson?  He talked to us about the Ages of Man. The first  age was Basic Trust vs. mistrust.  When the children in the Russian orphanage just have their physical needs met, they don't learn to trust that their world is a great place and responsive to them.   They never really have success in developing relationships. This happens not only in Russia - how many children in our own country are fed and cleaned and then left in cribs, high chairs or swings.  How many of them are never really touched with loving hands, soft and gentle words or fond gazes?   Then I remembered Tiffany Field's research years ago about massage with the elderly and infants.  What really impacted me was that the elders GIVING the massage actually benefitted more than the babies receiving it. So do we have any doubt that our babies and US too, deserve the touch connections from those around us??  I 'break' for babies and take the time to make eye contact, touch with words or a gentle gesture, and then I always make sure to 'touch' their parents too by sharing and thanking them for allowing me the gift of time spent with their babies.  Now, I know the time will come when I will get a giant smile and a hug from Ivy...hey, I have never been to Nebraska...yet!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy Birthday MOM...We Remember

Today is Mom's birthday! We remember and honor her for who she was, the life she gave us, and the strengths that we received from her. There were challenges, but in all of our memories, it is special to remember with gratitude the gifts of a lifetime that made us who we are today!! Thanks MOM. We love you.
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Stumbling on Happiness

Driving home from Delaware the other day from a great work/play day with my friend Peggy, I looked up ahead and knew I had to slow down for an icy patch on the road.  Strange because it was a cold and sunny day and there was no other ice or snow anywhere.  WOW was I ever glad I had to go slow and take my time, because as the title says, I once again 'stumbled onto happiness'.  Just to my left there was a small stream and just a few small trees just loaded with thick chunks of ice.  At the end of the day, the light was pretty special too and the glows it cast on the icicles, made them magical.   Since I discovered The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin a few days ago, I have been planning my own Happiness project.  Gretchen mentions Dan Gilbert's book, Stumbling on Happiness, and I decided to go and find it.  Hey, this is NOT rambling - there is a purpose to what I am writing.  Right on the shelf next to his book, I found Wayne Dyer's The Power of Intention and brought it home too.  After all, it's about co-creating your world your way, and if that doesn't fit into the Happiness Project, well, what does?!?  Now, there is a connection to the books, the project, PhotoSchmoozer and the ice photos.  Wayne Dyer talks about The Power of Intention and his definitions just so aptly describe how I felt about the ice hanging from the low trees:
  • A sense of the possible
  • A sense of awe
  • A sense of humility
  • A sense of knowing
  • A sense of belonging
I was awed and humbled by the beauty of nature and the knowing that these gifts are there for us all the time - in the world that we are all one with - anytime we stop and just look.  I wanted to flag down all of those drivers who sped past me, but then I thought that they had to discover their own happiness and awe and sense of the possible- each in his or her own way.
So I stopped and got out - I saw wonder and I share my thoughts with all of you!
I know that Happiness and Intention are a big part of my 2010 plan.  Let the adventure continue.
Happiness Project

Friday, January 1, 2010

What Life is All About!!

Last night at the stroke of midnight, I definitely had an AHA of what my life is all about...I was sitting on the couch with my husband and the phone rang and Jon called from Japan.  It's all about family and love and caring.  Who could ask for anything more?!?  OK...continued health and healing too!
May we continue to respect, appreciate, love and value everyone in our lives - those we know and those we are yet to meet!!