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?
Nola pet the puppy; Betty watches on Fourth Friday May 2010
It's a small town and the more places we go and the more people we meet, the smaller it gets - and that, my friends, is a wonderful thing!! Last May, we were at Fourth Friday in Uptown Pitman and saw this totally adorable puppy. These two women came over to meet the dog and I just found them charming. Yes, I took their picture because they were so special to me! About 9 months later, Bill and I went to Tai Chi class at the Senior Center in Glassboro,NJ, and there were two older women in the class from Pitman. Nice to meet them and I appreciated them as role models. Months later, I was looking through pictures for the Music Festival and lo and behold -yes, you guessed it - they were the same women I had first met last May. What a totally cool connection. Now we are in class together, and I also see Betty and Nola all over town. Why just the other day, Betty was in KMart to buy her favorite shoes. Says they are the only ones she wears!! Then we went to Fourth Friday music at the Bus Stop Music Cafe and there they were!! You guessed it - we sat and talked and listened to music too. They had lots to share - info on life and health issues too. Small world - and yep, Mom, I still am talking to lots of people and loving it! Why don't you all try it too!!
Have you heard of Roberto Capucci? Well, neither had I until the brochure arrived in the mail from the Philadelphia Art Museum. WOW is what I said - fabric, design, COLOR and glorious candy for the eye. I showed this to friend, Lindsay, and we immediately got tickets and off we went. We were not in the least disappointed!! Well, one disappointment - PhotoSchmoozer couldn't take pictures and couldn't touch the fabric. Other than that - totally out of the box, unusual, creative, a genius in fashion design. He started in his late teens and by age 21, was already winning major fashion design awards and recognition. We stayed as long as we could to look at the rainbow of colors, the black and white and even several dresses just studded with phosphorescent beads - when the lights dimmed, the beads glowed. He made these with the same beads that were in the nuns' rosaries in Assissi! We talked to so many interesting people - could go one and on with stories and conversations we shared with Sandy and Irwin Perlman (no, the museum annex wasn't named after them!!). Then when we were close to leaving, I looked over to a bench and there sat Diana Frederick - a college friend and a roommate oh so many years ago! Her friend Pat was with her - and she and LIndsay were talking about stained glass windows. Pat wanted a rose window and Lindsay's sister does just that. More phone numbers exchanged! What do I tell you all of the time - continue to be awake and aware and go out and seek adventures and always be open to conversations and synchronicities. Mom, you were wrong! It is definitely important to talk with people - they all have so much to share!! These conversations bring me stories, joy and just the thrill of life!!
We don't live in the city but we don't live in the country. I wouldn't call it the suburbs because it is not a development - so what?? I would call it our backyard environment in small town, USA. To say that we are lucky enough to have our yard go back 200 feet is a blessing and to say that we have a 'wall' of bamboo on one side is both a blessing for privacy and a curse for how invasive it is - and it is NOT even ours. (Anyone have a suggestion for removing it??) Every morning we wake up and look out the windows at the gorgeous flowers blooming in the garden, but most days, if we are observant, we are gifted with something unique! One day, a pair of mallards had wandered up Cedar Avenue to eat in our backyard. By the time I got the camera and then had to change the batteries, well, they were about moving on to other dining spots, but here they are.
I've been waking up early with the birds chirping around 5:30. Today the sun was shining as well!! Happy day!! I decided to get my friend, Canon S10IS and venture out to see what was gifting us with its presence today. Aside from six different colors of rose bushes in full bloom, there were iris, calendula and peonies. Those of you who know me well, know that Super Macro close ups going into the heart and soul of the flowers is a favorite for me. Today as I was looking at the iris, I found this bug? caterpillar? what? still sleeping - just being still so I could get in there and watch him closely! It's fascinating to BE STILL and look around - the gifts and surprises are amazing. I wonder how often you, my friends, allow yourself that gift!! Do it and you will be at peace. Stillness can be so settling!! Now off to do Tai Chi!
I had to stay home to finish Water for Elephants - both to find out what happened and to pass it along to a friend so she could read it. Bill went ahead to the Bus Stop Music Cafe for open mic night and I said I would WALK there to meet him. Did just that, stopping to visit with Kim at Barcelona for a chat. When I got to the Bus Stop, the 'gang' was sitting outside - said it was too nice to go inside BUT I was hungry and did just that. Bill was sitting at a table and there was a sandwich across from him - no person - a sandwich. Eventually the guy came back and we all met. His name is Richard Hawk - he came to play and sing, but we learned so much more about him. He's a writer and a motivational speaker - much on the same kinds of topics as DARE to AFFIRM. As we were talking, all of a sudden, I saw a finger puppet being handed to me. Why?? Richard said that he always carries a pocket full ( and he has zillions of stories connected to what happens when he spontaneously gives them to someone) and I asked to see the others. The one he has pulled out was a gibbon; the one I choose was this monkey! He needs a name and I haven't settled yet - suggestions so far...Art, Erk ...and? All I know is that this little guy and I danced through some songs as Richard sang!! He even dedicated a song to his new friends, Martie and Bill. Mom, you always asked why I talked to everyone. This story is one more example of WHY and how wonderful it is!! Some of the information that Richard shared could be life changing...time will tell!!
We bought this house in Pitman in 1982 - stop and think - that is almost THIRTY YEARS ago. Except for a few years in Shamong and Maple Shade (in a apartment can you believe?!?), we have been permanent residents. Once we ran away in anger and then we came back to make peace with ourselves and the environment. I digress, but isn't that what storytelling is all about?? When we bought the house, there was a giant mulberry tree in the side yard next to the driveway. Some would say it was beautiful; some would say it was messy; we would say that there was a lot of decay and it soon had to come down. Over the years, I have chosen to maintain it as a special spot in the yard - I just call it "My Stump"! You can see how diligently and lovingly Bill has worked to maintain it for us - it's becoming more bricks and less wood, but the Stump is still a focal point. This year it has been treated to begonias, geraniums and lots of Dollar Store spinners. It's the color that greets me as I sit at my desk and gaze out into our 'back forty"!! We treat it well...and it gives us gifts! Win - win!!
Last week, we journeyed to Wayne,PA to Chanticleer Gardens. Words can't express the glorious 'candy' for the eye that surrounded us as we strolled the 35 acres on a totally perfect Spring day- and the excitement was that we would have to come back many times over because it was always changing!! See, being 'retired' has its advantages. It's a pretty day so let's get in the car and go out into the world. It's not that we don't have things to do, but without a place to be daily, they can wait until another time!! YES!!
One of the first gardens we happened upon was a bed full of ranunculus! Oh my. The colors were totally spectacular and in my PhotoSchmoozer style, I just sat on the bench and gazed! No we are trying to find some of these flowers to plant in the garden so the party can go on!! Not yet,, but they will come soon. This brought back memories of a weekend in Annapolis where we first saw these blooming in the formal gardens of one of the mansions.
We would have to say that these gardens were totally welcoming and as we walked...and walked...and walked, we found even more evidence of it. There were chairs in peaceful settings everywhere! If I had to pick one, well, I could ask you to guess, but I will tell you - it is the rocking chairs , bottom center. The vista was out to the rolling hills of the property. I want to go back and just sit and read and write - or be still and watch - right in that spot!!
Coming around a bend and walking down the path, I caught a glimpse of what resting and being still is all about - notice the peaceful smile on this face! Sad to say, there were no chairs here to reste along with this peaceful person. You can only imagine. You can get a sense of Chanticleer from this face - S/he's walked the miles and now has taken time to set a spell, resting and reflecting on the gratitude for the gifts from Mother Nature!! You have to go...
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.