Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Just Believe . . .

Believe in what your heart is saying,
Hear the melody that's playing . . . 

{KK magic0916}

. . .  You have everything you need,
If you just believe.

"Believe" - Josh Groban from Polar Express

I might have been a little weak when I spied this cute cup, especially with this
sweet little bell tied to it. It reminded me immediately of the Polar Express, and the magic
 of the season, A reminder that when we keep our child-like qualities as we get older, we 
are better able to "hear" the true spirit of Christmas.
The real reason for the season.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
in whatever way you celebrate this week!!

I'm also over at Focusing on life, and as we wrap up our monthly theme
of seasonal light, I'm sharing my interpretational photo and accompanying quote.
Short and sweet - pop over - won't you.

Love, Kim

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Queen's Parade . . .

"I will honor Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year."

- Charles Dickens

On Tuesday I shared some general photos from the Dickens on the Strand in Galveston,
a yearly tradition with this being our 4th in attendance.

Today...the Queen's Parade.

We found a spot a waited and for the parade to start, but as our luck would have it
a crowd formed right in our viewing path. So, I crossed the street to get a better position
where there weren't many people, just to have another person with two cameras dart in front 
of me more times than I would like to say. Father Christmas, missed it. The queen in her
carriage, yep, missed it.

Then at the end of the parade when the Texas snow came down (aka dish soap bubbles)
my camera malfunctioned and I missed that too.

But, I did manage to have really good timing on one of them . . . 


THIS ONE! . . . Sometimes the timing God's are on your side.

The Battle of Galveston reenactment crew - coming up next month.

And, this is what a whole lot of my shots looked like...someone always stepping in my way, oh well!
We were lucky to make it several blocks to the very end of the "bed races" after trying to figure
out how to get my camera working again. This was one of those 'one shot' deals before I almost got run over by a reindeer bed! lol

Always such a good time, although there was no 'real' snow machine this year for the kids
to throw snowballs, and the elephants were missing? One year one of the elephants managed to try and steal the glasses right off my face. Just in case you were wondering, elephant spit doesn't
smell so good! ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Victorian Christmas Stroll

Every year, I look forward to  . . . 

"Dickens on The Strand" in Galveston.

For me, it's a photographers dream, to practice street photography where people
are not only dressed up, but where I don't have to feel like I'm stalking someone
while getting a hairy eyeball. They more than likely will want their photo taken.
It works for me . . . win, win!

And there just might have been a gazillion people, maybe the most I've ever seen.
Last year it was in the twenties, with a blustery wind, and the year before that I think we
were in shorts. This year, it was just right, although it was quite overcast and gray.

Since I'm linking up with Kathy's song-ography today I thought instead of writing
the lyrics, I would let you stroll to some music (if you like) to the song "Silver Bells"
and a little Bob Hope.


Let's take a stroll, shall we . . . .

First stop, a turkey leg....of course!

Or a corn dog.

A little pit stop,

to watch a Greek Gypsy sing while doing a scarf dance.
(I have no idea how this fits in with a Victorian Christmas, so just roll with it) :)


Nearly everywhere you turn there is entertainment, and it's fun to watch some of the same
kids grow from year to year both physically and musically.

Sometimes people are so moved that they break into dance...

This girl reminded me of a porcelain doll.

Perhaps she was amused by the fire eater?
(kids DO NOT try this at home, or anywhere for that matter)

I wonder if he realizes there were turkey legs and corn dogs just up the street?

I can never get enough of the costumes. I've always wanted to dress up, but the dress I saw and fell
in love with was over $500!

Sometimes, people will just stop when they see you have a camera and strike a pose.

This cutie, stole my heart and he was getting a lot of tips! I wonder
if he needs an agent next year? ;)

(KK happy heart)

And it wouldn't be Dickens on The Strand without the "Christmas Tree Lady"...
Joy to the world, she has real working lights!

Or Father Christmas, or Captain Sparrow. But, I never caught up with Father
Christmas, and I was having camera malfunctions through out the day and missed the
opportunity with Captain Sparrow. Yep, the dreaded ERR message on my only 5 month 
old camera which I thought I figured out, only to have issues again. May need to send it
to Nikon - BOO!!

(I still have more to share, including the "Queen's" parade, later in the week.)

I would tell you that my tree is finished, but that would be a lie. It's been up for quite some
time, but I just haven't brought myself to wrap those lights. The way I look at it is, we are still way ahead of last year when I got the tree done a day and a half before Christmas because I was sick. But...on the plus side we are for the most part finished with shopping. Two hours, and the hubby and I pretty much had things wrapped up (pun intended).

Unfortunately, my son ended up with the flu and missed school all last week, and then got an acute respiratory infection. Yep, I was a little more than nervous about that since his infusions suppress his immune system and we have to be extremely careful. But he was back at school yesterday, and the best part is we are well past the period that the rest of us could have gotten it. (quick knock on wood)

Now I'm off to make another batch of fudge since the last one was commandeered by ants.
Don't even get me started. We've tried everything and they are so small that they find a way
in the house every time. Hmmm, maybe I could lace some bait fudge with ex-lax? lol

Have a great day!
Love, Kim

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas light fun . . .

(KK Waterfront7_magic)

This past weekend we went to the Festival of Lights and I threw all the rules right 
out the window.

Just pure magical fun!

I'm sharing the results of my fun today over at Focusing on Life and would
love for you all to join me!

Make it a fun day!
Love, Kim

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving . . .

"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant,
to enact gratitude is generous and noble,
but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven."
-Johannes A. Gaertner

{KK 1216}

I really wanted to prepare a nice post . . . But I plum ran out of time (and you don't even want to know what time it is that I'm typing this).  

We brought our girl back from college, my hubby is home for the week, we've pulled out a game we haven't played in a while (Carcassonne), dined with friends and went to a movie . . .  the tree is out and waiting for lights, and ingredients to start fudge making have been purchased.

I will pull out my grandmothers 'Johnson Bros.' dishes and place them on her table cloth (artfully, as it's for a round table and mine is rectangle), and we will embark on making one of our favorite family dinner traditions around the island. 

On Thanksgiving morning we will go to the sunrise (at least 2 out of 4 of us), a new tradition we started about 4 or 5 years ago and on Friday we will celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary!

And speaking of traditions, I'm sharing a favorite one today over at Focusing on Life today and I hope you'll join me!

I wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving week, filled with laughter and hearts full of gratitude . . . 

From my home to yours -
Love, Kim

Sharing with Texture Tuesday, Sweet shot Tuesday, Communal Global


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I have a 'Pocketful of Sunshine' . . .

"Take me away, a secret place
A sweet escape, take me away . . . "

- Pocketful of Sunshine , Natasha Bedingfield

Yep, this space...
feels like a secret place, early upon the dawn
at the first sign of life
when the darkness turns to light,
and out of blindness comes sight.

As you are reading this,
I AM here,
with friends,
braving the cold
not just because I can
but because I have to

this place IS my stillness
my peace
my calm...

my sweet escape from the chaos of life
my center in the unevenness

in this space everything is right
everything is good, and sooo many possibilities exist

{KK 411 & 99}

THIS, is my pocketful of sunshine
that I carry around in my soul.

So thankful for this!

Love, Kim

sharing with Texture Tuesday, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Song-ography
Communal Global

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thankfulness . . . it changes everything

"If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.
It will change your life mightily." - Gerald Good

It is amazing how this gratitude thing works. 
I mean it's not like it's a secret or anything,
 and I might even dare to call myself a pretty grateful person,
BUT boy,
life sure has a way of showing up and saying . . . 


It can be so easy to become idle in our own problems
that we temporarily can't see the all the connections.

It's all too easy when things seem so hard,
to get caught up in attitude instead of gratitude, 
with the latter setting us free. 

And that's exactly what happened last Friday.
After an extremely stressful week I was in great need of
a change of scenery, a different perspective . . . 

...some gratitude instead of attitude.

(all with a little help from my friends)

We started out meeting at our sunrise spot, and then moved on to coffee, 
with a side of instagram, to the nearest Starbucks. It's quickly becoming
our "Friday" spot.

I brought along a little project, a random act of kindness project,
which all by itself was good for the soul.
(maybe more on that later?)

And then, we hear this deep rumbling noise and people are looking out the window
and when we ask what's going on they tell us that a military helicopter is landing
in the parking lot - for reals?

Without hesitation, the entire place leaves their belongings to check it out.
We find out that two more are on their way, arriving in 15 minutes. We dash back 
to our cars and fetch our cameras in record time and anxiously await their arrival.
By now, we have learned that this is part of a Veterans Day event over the next four days.

We were there among only a handful of people, right there, front row
while they landed the next two in the parking lot with precision.

{KK Pinit8}

This lovely woman was waiving to her husband who was flying in this Cobra (if I remember correctly) that was borrowed from the flight museum.

...and here he is setting 'er down.

 And when you practically have the entire place to yourself, you just might decide to lay down in the parking lot...why not, right?

And then you may ask if she could look your way . . . and you get a great big smile!

And while down low to the ground, with this new found perspective (because it's not very
often that I lay down in front of military helicopters I tell ya) you get this awestruck wave of
emotion, gratitude, because everything else seems a little bigger, and you feel a little smaller in
matters of the world. You have an immense appreciation for those willing to sacrifice everything
when the cards are put on the table . . . for you, and for me . . . for all of us.

A deep sense of gratitude for their service, both my own family members and strangers. I have relatives that fought in the Revolutionary and Civil wars, World War I and World War II, and one that has had 3 or 4 tours in Iraq. Some, never made it back home. I also have a strong Quaker heritage and although they were opposed to war, it didn't stop them from providing aid. In fact, the Battle of Brandywine was fought on and around our (Mendenhall) family farm and they used their teams to haul cannon and supplies to aid Generals Washington and LaFayette. And they often provided medical care for the wounded of the battles. 

After some camera talk, a hand shake of thanks and a hug, I noticed the reflection in his glasses and he was such a good sport letting me move him to just the right place to get the helicopter in his glasses. I got his email so that I could send him a copy.

...and when I wasn't looking, this little experience DID turn my week around,

I honor, and thank you for your service!

{My post from yesterday at FOL - Focus on Gratitude}

Love, Kim

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's perspective I guess . . .

"Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music."
- George Carlin

Or perhaps if it appears you are aiming your camera at nothing....waiving it around in the air 
like you just don't care. Only the reality....it couldn't be further from the truth.

{KK re-entry}

Sometimes you may appear insane because they not only can't hear the music, but are unaware
that it sounds like musical chairs. Just when you think you're getting your groove on, the music stops, and comes back on with a different beat.

It makes it quite difficult to keep up with life when it feels like there is so much inconsistency.

Except of course, when a dragonfly tries to slow it way down by hovering right in front of you and you can hear the fluttering of his wings - which is music enough to your ears.

The past few weeks have been busy, incredibly busy.

There was our second annual get together for Focusing on Life in Galveston and all but one were able to make it! I haven't been feeling well for weeks, high pollen counts and trouble breathing. My boy hasn't been able to make it to his scheduled infusions so there was an impromptu appointment to the hospital. There has been bible study and booster club meetings and Friday night lights on the sidelines and editing marathons (although I'm now nearly 3 weeks behind) and one of those was Homecoming. Throw into the mix a lack of sleep and you have a bonafide (and emotional) mess. In fact, I had a meltdown in the infusion room last week...first time ever.

I'm in serious need of a pocket of solitude, and some sleep.

So it's possible that to anyone standing at a distance, not able to hear what I hear . . . I may appear insane. But please know that I've done my best to keep dancing even when I couldn't hear the music.

I'm so hoping that I will be able to get back to this space not only on a regular basis, but filled with the things only stillness can bring.

Have a wonderful day,
Love, Kim

** Oh, and P.S - I have a short read over at Focusing on Life today, as it's my day and I would love for you to join us!

linking with Texture Tuesday, Sweet Shot Tuesday

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

True colors . . .

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you

- Cyndi Lauper "True Colors"

. . .yep that's why I love you, nature,
you can't help but show your true colors

Whether it's the subtle colors of the sunrise,

Or the way the sun shines through butterfly wings.

I love the way your color shines when reflected back into the water,

And that your colors attract butterflies to my garden.

{KK Oh My}

I love how . . . 

"Nature always wears the colors of this spirit" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wishing you a colorful Tuesday...
Love, Kim

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