March 5, 2014
I did something out of the ordinary this afternoon.
I took myself out for a coffee, a peppermint mocha actually, and the only company that came along with me was the book I'm currently reading.
I don't ever do this, take myself out by myself. I like to go shopping by myself and browse the library by myself, but to go out for coffee or lunch by myself is something I've never done. I'm the person who feels sorry for the other person that I spot in a crowded movie theatre sitting all by himself. David likes to go to movies by himself, the ones that I don't really want to see. He says that he likes it. But movies and coffee houses are meant to be social places, places that you go with your friends or your partner. I never understood the appeal of doing something by yourself.
Today I totally understood the appeal.
It was fun sitting at the rustic wooden tables, stealing glances at the other patrons in the coffee house. Some were there with their families, others were there with their sorority sisters, others still were buried in their laptops. The cafe I went to is a local place, with branches at the public library and another across town. This one that I went to this afternoon is located in the old train depot that is in the center of town, just off campus. It's full of amazing wood, brick walls, and in the warmer months, there's a patio that sits facing the railroad tracks. In the summer, there are tomato plants and basil plants and all kinds of other vegetables growing right alongside the bike trail that runs past. The coffee house uses them in the dishes that they prepare, and oh my goodness, that food is delicious. There's a funky vibe to the whole place, a busy kind of buzz floating through the atmosphere.
The place is one of the most happenin' places in Fayetteville.
I spent an hour there, sipping my mocha (with whip cream!), reading my book, people watching and taking the occasional photo. I felt alone, but not alone, too, if that makes any sense.
It's good to do something out of the ordinary.
February 25, 2014
I began volunteering at our county animal shelter last Saturday as a photographer, taking pictures of the dogs and cats that were up for adoption, then coming home and posting them on Pet Finder, a nation-wide data base for adoptable animals.
I should've known going in that I'd want to bring home every one of these animals.
Tom. Tom was quite the ring leader in the Cat Room. He discovered the reflection off of the other volunteer's camera lens (and who was showing me how to do everything) and proceeded to pounce on the spot, chasing it up and down the cinder block walls. Well, the other cats wanted to play, too, so the entire room of cats were running up and down frantically, causing Kimberley and me to giggle and to egg them on.
Cats . . . .what're ya gonna do?
Harlequin. She was fascinated by one of the dogs playing outside in the outdoor kennels.
Or she was planning world domination. Never can tell with cats.
Moby the Kitten. Very playful and black as midnight.
But it was the dogs that stole my heart. After playing with cats and kittens who just tolerated you because you were there to fulfill their demands, the dogs were rollicking, goofy, over-the-top playful, and were your instant soul mates. This is Iowa, the mother of the puppy at the top of the page. Her eyes and personality were sweet as sugar, and she would leeeeeeeeean up against you and look up at you with those eyes of hers . . . Yeah, just how I felt, too.
"Amazing" with the most amazing, beautiful eyes and the demeanor to match. She was a bit skittish at first, but once she licked Kimberley and me thoroughly, she settled down and posed wonderfully for the camera. I sure hope she finds a happy home.
Issia is a Corgi mix, and the volunteer helping out in the indoor kennels (it was wonderful to see so many volunteers at the shelter!) couldn't put her down. She was pretty darned cute.
But THIS guy, THIS guy had me at first tail wag. This is Maxwell, and I swear he lifts weights when no one is looking. When we took him out to the yard to photograph him, he strutted and showed off to the other dogs just like the muscle bound surfer dudes in Venice Beach, California.
I kid you not.
But my goodness, he was a happy boy. He bounced and pounced, licked my lens and grinned for the camera. He wagged his tail, well, his whole body actually, almost pushing Kimberley over, who was busy trying to take his portrait. He was just so jolly.
I plan on going in once a month or when they need me to photograph new arrivals. It's noisy and loud from all the animals saying "hello", but everyone there is friendly and truly loves what they're doing.
And from all the purrings and tail wags, I think the cats and dogs know that they are well loved, too.
February 17, 2014
I have missed this little place. It popped into my mind this past weekend, making me wonder how it's been holding up. But then I shied away again, wondering it I wanted to dive back into the waters of social media, following, the commenting, the time of it all.
I haven't been totally absent these past months. I've been keeping up with a few of you, writing my posts at Focusing on Life, skulking behind the scenes of Flickr, Facebook, Tumblr, 500px.
But it all still bewilders me. I don't know how to organize my visits to all these different sites and still explore and live Life the way I want. Do I have to give up one for the other? I don't think so, and yet I miss the connections I've made since I began my social media journey some five years ago.
Maybe I'm over thinking the problem too much. I tend to do that. But yet the questions still roam through my mind: how do other people do it? How much time do they put into Flickr-ing, Tumblr-ing, 500px-ing, blogging? And still enjoy other pursuits?
It's not just now that these questions go through my mind, I've often wondered about that time management conundrum. Even though I stay home, I really don't have that much time to myself to spend in front of the screen, and I go to bed at 9:00, with lights out at 10:00. I like to spend the time after supper working out with David and Joey, then kicking back and watching t.v. or reading.
I guess when I do spend time in front of the screen, it's too edit my photos and upload them to my 365 Project and my portfolio (where I still need to fix the pricing) and by the time all that is done, my eyes are pretty tired and I'm ready to move on to other things.
I don't mean to carry on like this, because I really do miss this place. I miss showing you my photos, telling you stories about my days, sharing quotes I come across. Maybe I should quit questioning so much and just do, write when I want to, comment when I want to, follow when I want to. And take breaks when I want to.
But maybe not quite such a long break this time.