Turning Over A New Leaf – Seeing The Other Side

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For many, the phrase turning over a new leaf means making a big change in some way, but if you are anything like me it may mean something different. In the picture above, most people might notice the way the petals have lost their deep color and have taken on the look of old lace. At a glance, I can easily see the obvious fragility in the beautiful decay, but what really draws me in is the tiny sliver of the underside of the leaf in the top right corner.

The desire to see more of what is hidden in the shadow distracts me and one story becomes two as my mind digs deeper into the well charted mental landscape I refer to as,” What if ? ”  If you read my last post, then you know what a struggle it can be for me to keep things organized and focused especially with the never ending stream of ideas circling in my head.

I know it would be a stretch to think there might be a magic solution to help keep me on track, but I did want to share a link I received from Jennifer McGuiggan of The Word Cellar. Jennifer is a professional freelance writer and editor and she very kindly left me a link to a guest post she did over at Magpie Girl.  In it she talks about an idea known as The Wheel of Work and how having an understanding of the eight phases of a project can help when it comes to working with your individual strengths and weaknesses as you move a project from conception through post-production.

I also wanted to thank you all for your comments and suggestions on my Ground Control post. You were all so kind regarding my photographs and I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it is to share what I see here and have someone else enjoy it as well.

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Ground Control – We Have A Problem

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Sometimes life offers you so many choices you may have trouble deciding which one thing is the very best. I wanted to use one of my images from the other day for a blog post, but in trying to decide…well, I couldn’t. So went to John and asked him which one he preferred and he quickly pointed out the first one you see above. Still not completely satisfied, I then considered what was it exactly that I wanted to say this morning and which image might best suit the direction of my thoughts. This didn’t help either because each photograph has something about it that makes me think of how it might illustrate a variety of topics and even though the images seem very similar, I see a different image to topic “match”  for each one of them.

So that’s when I decided that the real topic for today is not about which photograph to use, but rather how my indecision and desire to do everything ” just right” creates an ugly scenario where little gets done. People talk a lot about having writer’s block which I always thought of as a problem grounded in a lack of words or ideas, but perhaps indecision can be a blockage of sorts too.

It’s days like this when I feel as if I need an air traffic controller to help me keep my ideas organized and moving forward in an on time manner so that while one project is say, taxiing to Concourse A and arriving at Gate 10, projects 2 and 3 can be circling and landing in an orderly fashion. To illustrate my indecision, what you get today is all the images. If you have any tips I can pass on to ground control, please leave them in the comment section.

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On Reflection

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Only when the clamor of the outside world is silenced will you be able to hear the deeper vibration. Listen carefully.

~Sarah Ban Breathnach

I took the image above yesterday at the end of a run/walk with my friend Tina. Although the sky looks threatening in the photograph above, it was actually a lovely blue sky morning filled with magnificent images everywhere we looked. Tina was extremely patient as I stopped more times than I should have to snap a picture that I just couldn’t resist.

What began as a desire to work my body quickly shifted to an exercise in pausing to see what was all around me. I only need open my eyes in the morning to feel an enormous amount of gratitude for the beauty I have in my life and mornings like yesterday make me feel as if I’ve won the lottery. I’ve always been a cup half full rather than half empty kind of girl, but truly, if happiness could be poured into a glass then mine would be spilling over.

Here are a few more images from yesterday for your reflection today…a look at the world just outside my door.

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I could see the tip top of the church through the morning mist as I was leaving to run so snapped this from the patio at the front of the house and decided to take my camera with me. These are presented in the order they were taken and are only a few of the 300 or so I snapped. The first four below are taken of the village green which is very close to the house where we live and usually makes me feel like we live in a park.

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This house sits right next to a lovely ancient bridge called Key Bridge. It dates from the sixteenth century and has a granite sundial post on it from the seventeenth century. The De Lank River flows under it and it’s a favorite of mine.

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A photo of the sundial post.

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This made me think of a high rise building for some reason.

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Public footpath signs can be found almost anywhere as Britain is a country where people are inclined to walk no matter how wet the weather or the age of the walker. It’s never surprising to see someone well into their 80s out for a stroll. I love the picturesque stiles that lead you to the next view like the one below of the cows in the field.

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The Camel Trail is a great place to run, walk, or bike and connects us to several larger places such as Padstow, Wadebridge, and Bodmin. It feels much safer to me to ride a bike to these locations on the Camel than it does to dodge road traffic in the lanes.

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We met a few runners and folks on bikes yesterday morning.

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I always love this view…plus it is part of the home stretch.

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There’s usually something hanging out in these fields as we pass through such as sheep, horses, or cows.

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Almost home.

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My new friend likes to follow me and sometimes he stops by to play hide ad seek in the garden with me.

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He’s still a playful kitten and kept pawing at my camera whenever I would get too close.

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I’ll finish with the same flower that was in the first photograph, but taken from a different angle illustrating how a shift in perspective can change what you see quite dramatically.

By Air And Sea

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If you are coming to Jersey where John and I have been for the last eight days there are only two ways to arrive and depart. You can fly in on a small aircraft like the one you see John looking at in the shot above or you could come over on the ferry. John did add that you could swim if you were a hearty sort and could handle 80 miles across the English channel.

We’ll be leaving in a few hours by ferry. We came over with the car last week and have had a great time playing with JG, John’s granddaughter.  We went out for a little lunch today and a return visit to a shop I had been in not long after we first arrived. Later we stopped by the sunflower field where I took these photographs on a blue sky day on our second day here. Even though today is grey and drizzly with rain, I wanted to try snag a few more bits of my favorite flower before leaving for the ferry.

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Some of the flowers are finished for the season, but the field is still glowing with many more.

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When we stopped, I realized that the field of flowers was behind a war memorial and someone had left a sunflower on the stone marker.

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I stepped through an opening in the center of the memorial to take my photographs walking deep into the field of flowers. When I turned to go something very strange happened. It was as if the sunflower stalks said, ” No, don’t go” and they twined together forming a barrier so tight I had to stop and unwrap the stalks that were linked about waist high. It was so unusual that I had to try to photograph it. You can see my images below.

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Last one for now.

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Tell Me A Story Tuesdays – Guest Story Teller – Jersey Girl

If you follow my blog, you may know that I’ve been in Jersey doing a bit of child care with John helping to look after his granddaughter who I’ll refer to as JG (Jersey Girl) from now on. With her parents return from Spain last night, our main duties have ended and we are off to France on a day trip in a little while. This morning I was explaining to JG that I couldn’t sit with her as I had been each morning because I needed to write my story for TMAST and then I explained what Tell Me A Story Tuesdays were all about. She responded that they had Manners Monday at school where they learned how to do certain things such as wait until the teacher is through speaking before speaking herself. I poured her some juice and cereal and went up stairs to write. Her mom was moving around the kitchen so she wasn’t alone and when I left , she had her crayons, pencils, paper and tape spread all around her.

When I came back down for another cup of coffee and to say goodbye for the day, quite to my surprise she had created a story of her own for TMAST.  So I’d like to welcome JG to TMAST today as our first guest storyteller. She’s five and whipped this up complete with illustrations and assembly in thirty minutes.

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Thanks again to all who follow TMAST. I’ll be back later today as I said with my story for the week. For now you can check out stories from Gaelikaa and Judy Harper by clicking on their names… they’ve been joining me for TMAST each week and it’s always a pleasure to read their stories. Please check the TMAST site for next week’s photographs and topic sentences.

Sunday Into Monday

Sunday was a full day here in Jersey. We’ve been here for a few days taking care of John’s granddaughter and every day has been a fun day. I think we’re both feeling the fatigue that comes with the near constant questions, chatter and movement of a busy five year old. We’ve painted pictures, taken long walks, picked berries, played at the playground near the beach, done school runs, and swimming lessons, read loads of books, watched as she did her Math homework or (Maths, as they say here) and last night we baked chocolate chip cookies, chocolate muffins and some peanut butter cookies too. All of the recipes for our evening of  baking came from the book you see John’s granddaughter reading to her bear Boz. I brought it for her and  I think it was a hit. It has five different stories along with a CD of songs and a variety of recipes.

Her parents return from Spain tonight and John and I will scoot off for the day tomorrow on a short visit to France. The ferry ride will take about 30 minutes to reach Saint-Malo and we’ll be back in time for dinner. Below are a few pictures from the last few days.

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Bapa & L

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She’s carrying a heart shaped leaf she found.

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Reading to Boz.

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Still reading to Boz, but from a distance.

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Checking for chocolate

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Showing off our Moose muffins.

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Showing me how it’s done.

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I’m still not doing it right.

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Me begging for a picture.

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Tickling her into posing.

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Perspective

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You can’t spend time with a five year for very long without shifting the way you look at things, especially when taking a walk in the country. John’s granddaughter is constantly in motion or conversation and we’ve been very busy here while her parents are away on holiday. I arrived well equipped with the all necessary items a forty-nine, I mean five year old might like to use when settling in on a rainy Saturday morning. Below are a few pictures of our young artist at work.

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You may have noticed that our art table has some flowers and leaves scattered around mixed with in our water colors, acrylic paints and oil pastels. We tried using some of them as paint brushes with varying results. We’ll be painting a little more later today, but the sun is out now so we’re off in a minute for another nature walk.

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We couldn’t find a painting smock for our little artist so I used one of my t-shirts that I normally use for running. After a liberal use of safety pins, we managed to make it fit nicely. It was only after I began to review the photographs that I realized she’s wearing a perfect shirt for October since it’s Breast Cancer awareness month in America.