Monday, May 30, 2011

A day of Remembrance

Memorial Day,
a day set aside as remembrance
of the vigor, 
and the courage, 
and the dedication 
honoring . . . 

A tribute 
to all of America's war dead,
a day to preserve the memories 
of those that have forged ahead 
for our freedoms 
and paid the ultimate price 
. . . with their lives


Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth;
Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth.

- Thomas Moore

 The brave never die, though they sleep in dust;
Their courage nerves a thousand living men.

- Minot J. Savage

Friday, May 27, 2011

Foto Friday - In the Sanctuary

With nearly eighty places of worship, Galveston is so very rich in its religious architecture from the 19th century and each is just as beautiful as the next.

My stop this week, on the way to the beach of course, was the Trinity Episcopal Church. This first picture is that of the Eaton Memorial Chapel, built in a Gothic revival style in 1882 as a memorial to Rev. Benjamin Eaton, who founded the Trinity Episcopal Church in 1841. The two structures sit adjacent to each other and were later connected by the Trinity Episcopal School.

As one of the two oldest churches in Galveston, the Trinity has made it through the tribulations of fire, flood and a number of hurricanes including the great storm of 1900. They eventually raised the building like so many other structures by the same method of  the hand operated jack screws, raising it by 4 1/2 feet.

There was this beautiful old bell where the school joined along side of the building.
I'm not sure if it was in working order, but there sure was a part of me that wanted to try!

Here you can see where the Chapel and the school meet, with the school being built with brick that was similar to the original Church.

This is the front of the church and these doors certainly do not prepare you for what you'll find inside. While I was taking pictures a gentleman asked if I had ever been inside and he gave me directions on how to get into the sanctuary. He wanted me to view the stained glass windows from the inside - and it took my breath away!

The sanctuary has 20 stained glass windows, of which many were made by extraordinary stained
glass designers such as McCausland Studios of Toronto, Jacoby of St. Louis, O. Smith Studios of Bryn Athyn and J.R. Lamb of New York. The one below, by Robert McCausland is called the Presentation.

The pictures really don't do them justice....they were breathtaking beautiful! Trying to
capture the gorgeous light and colors of the glass was difficult, especially without my tripod!

After I had been inside for a short time, that same gentleman came in eager to share something with me.
You see this window is one of two that are very special and as such, quite priceless as they were done
by Tiffany's of New York and it features the opalescent glass that Mr.Tiffany was so famous for.
It's called the Angel of the Resurrection.

No, the red doors on the outside surely do not indicate the opulence that you'll find on the inside. The ceiling
is all done in rich darkly stained wood, and they still retain the original handmade pews that in the early days they rented out to families to help pay for church expenses.

The other Tiffany window is the one here at the alter called Sealy Altar Window, and is also signed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Because of its size and the fact that it has remained in tact for over a hundred years it's pretty rare. Although during hurricane Ike in 2008, only a few pieces of glass from one of the panels in the window survived. They found all the pieces on the floor of the alter which the restoration company in Minnesota had to painstakingly sort into groups of color and texture - it took them a year and a half to complete that panel in the window!!

After a short time a woman came in and turned on the lights for me! 

This is the back of the church and up on the second story balcony you can see just a few of the 4,086
pipes which are made of various metals and woods that accompany their 69-rank organ. Wouldn't you
just love to be in there on a Sunday morning!

Just look at how those windows glow!

This is indeed a treasure and I'm very thankful that I was invited in.

There are many places of refuge sanctuaries,
where you can hide and feel protected, and surrounded
by what you value most. You just need to make sure you get yourself there...
...wherever that might be.

Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend!

Love, Kim

Friday, May 20, 2011

Foto Friday - Transformed by paint

Today's post is a little different . . . you see

although I have thousands of pictures, I really didn't

get any new ones this week.

I had planned on going to Galveston

for some architecture

but my check engine light came on and I wasn't sure I wanted

to be stranded should anything happen.

So, this week some of my existing photos underwent

a change in appearance.

I transformed them into paintings!

Not with real paint, but with my mouse one stroke click at a time. . .

I hope you enjoy them as much as I had fun doing it!

So although I do not actually apply paint to surfaces,
I am an artist who paints transforms my experiences into pictures with her camera.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone,
have a look around and see what you can transform!

Love, Kim

Friday, May 13, 2011

Foto Friday - A sunrise and a beach walk


The sun rises
and nature wakes up
there is an instant reminder
we are alive

The ocean
and its ability to heal our hearts
brings joy to our minds
and wakes our souls


Finally, after three visits to watch the sunrise, we actually got to 'see' the sun rise!
I really do wish I could watch it everyday,
because it's painted with a different brush
and a different color palette
on each new morning!

Three minutes later.....

And then another 6 minutes . . .

After the sunrise, we drove to Galveston for a walk on the beach, and to relax. But it's that time of year again for the seaweed, which between May and August is a common sight along Galveston beaches. It's a gulfweed, called sargassum which grows in really dense mats in the Sargasso Sea, and this year it's the worst it has been in 10 years. The Sargasso Sea, in the North Atlantic Ocean, is the only sea that has no coastline. Yep, it's completely surrounded by water and known for its deep blue color, very warm and very clear water. When large masses of it break off and hit the gulf currents, it's brought to the Gulf of Mexico.

Now depending on what part of the Island you're on will depend on how much you find because each area manages the seaweed differently. There are some areas that are raked and others like the Galveston Island State Park which is a natural area and no raking occurs. After it dies some of the seaweed ends up at the base of the sand dunes and is important in helping to establish other dune systems, which during a hurricane absorbs wave energy and protects the sand from wave erosion.

The amount of seaweed that comes ashore varies from day to day. The lighter color being the seaweed that is still alive and the darker which is dead. On this day there were more seagulls than I have ever seen at one time and they were as far as the eye could see. They were feeding on all of the marine life that also finds food and shelter in the seaweed.

But really, it's just a minor nuisance. And when you love the beach, you just work walk around it.

 Being watched by a sandpiper . . .

Sandpipers in flight . . .

Isn't nature is a wonderful thing . . . these guys are so well camouflauged
not only in the sand but in the seaweed too!

Notice her tool of choice, it's an ice cream scooper - Gotta love it!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Do something that makes you feel alive,
brings joy to your heart,
and wakes your soul!

Yep, you know where you'll find me . . .

Love, Kim


Friday, May 6, 2011

Foto Friday - Some Four Legged Friends

To find the universal elements enough;
to find the air and the water exhilerating;
to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter;
to be thrilled by the stars at night;
to be elated over a birds nest or a wildflower in spring
these are some of the rewards of the simple life.

- John Burroughs

The simple life . . . it hasn't felt very simple this week, or I have made it too complicated! I have felt rushed with a million things and the crunch of the end of the school year and I will admit that I was feeling in a bit of a panic about having pictures for today. It's just that I forgot to breathe . . .

When I became still enough I was once again rewarded by the simple things in life, and some of those things just happen to have four legs!

Horses, beautiful and majestic:

I stopped one day this week to take photos of some horses and the owner
so kindly invited me in to take a closer look. It turns out that this big earth we live
on is really just a small world - She happened to be the person that loaned my daughter's
girlfriend a trailer to transport her horse to his new residence!

Tortoise, fruit loving giant:

Then she told me to follow her, that she had something in her backyard I might be interested in.
An African Spurred Tortoise (or sulcata tortoise). They just happen to be the third largest species
of tortoise in the world. This is benny and she is 11 years old and she loves her fruit and veggies!
There is nothing slow about how she eats those stawberries!

Green Anole Lizard, territorial stealth hunter:

And sometimes to capture a photo you too have to become a stealth hunter.
Just for the record, I won the stare down!

Green Frog, quietly camoflauged:

And if you are too busy to see when you look, then you would miss this very
cute tiny green frog. I was lured over by a beautiful orange butterfly to this agapanthus where
even I almost didn't see this! For some perspective, the stalk of this agapanthus is about 1 inch in
diameter. This is one very small frog that I had to resist taking home with me to my garden.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend filled the the rewards
of a simple life . . . remember to breathe!

Love, Kim

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