Posted by: Kate | January 28, 2015

The Big Picture

I read this quote over a year ago, and it rings through my head so often.

…she closed her eyes for a moment, and saw the hills, and the burns tumbling down, and the veils of fine rain. And she thought, One can love a country until it hurts. ~Alexander McCall Smith “The Careful Use of Compliments

It is that last line that strikes me in my heart and rings true for me. When I look around me I am awestruck with what I see. Sure I have enjoyed traveling and seeing new places, but this, around me, this super natural beauty, this is my heart’s home. And I love it fiercely.

beach jan 282

Posted by: Kate | January 22, 2015

Lessons in Failure

Attended a parent math session last night, and one of the messages that stuck with me was around our concepts of failure. That for a student to repeat a course did not constitute a tragedy, just another step in the educational journey. That learning requires a brain maturity that happens when the time is right, not when the calendar or student’s age says it should.

When did we decide it was terrible for our children to fail? When did we start to shield them, as a society, from ever getting knocked down? I’m a little baffled by this, because we all know that as adults, life happens. You get knocked down. And success comes when you know how to pick yourself up, dust off and move forward. How do we expect our children to learn that if we never allow them to, for lack of a better word, fail?

The world doesn’t end at the failure. The lesson really begins with what we do with that failure. But by teaching our children to fear failure at all costs, we are creating a generation that doesn’t even want to try.

morning light2

Facing the light of a new day.

Posted by: Kate | January 16, 2015

Fleeting Moments

Sometimes the light is only there for a moment….

jan 16 sunset1

jan 16 sunset2

… fleeting moments of breath-taking beauty.

Posted by: Kate | January 11, 2015

Learning to Focus

As mentioned by several of you in the comments on the last post, the new camera definitely inspired me to think of the word Focus for this year. I’ve been playing around with the camera, rediscovering what you can do with a manual camera.

I like the idea of changing a picture just by changing how wide open the lens is. Applies to life as well. You can focus on what’s right in front of you, letting the rest of the things around you blur, or you can keep attention on the things in the background as well. Neither option is better or worse, they are just two ways of approach. I need to remember that, that one way isn’t the right way for every situation.

aperture experiment 11

aperture experiment 12

aperture experiment 21

aperture experiment 22

So here’s to my year of experimenting with focus. Up close and full background, and everything in between.

Posted by: Kate | January 6, 2015

I Love a Rebel

When Bushboy was born I was given a Canon Eos Rebel camera. Manual, of course. I loved that camera, loved the clarity of the pictures and the quality of image I could take. But time passed and film developing become impractical and expensive in a digital world. I moved on to my Sony Cybershot, which is an amazing little digital camera. But over the last year or so I have begun to feel limited with the Sony. I felt an itch to return to more manual control. I didn’t want a huge DSLR camera, but I wanted something more than my little Sony.

And Mr. Kate, my rebel man, found it for me. A Canon Eos Rebel, grown up to the digital age and yet so similar to my beloved manual Canon.

canon rebel1 canon rebel2

The best part is that my lens from my older camera fits on this one, as does my large flash. The pictures it takes – just like the Canon pictures I remember. My heart beats for a Rebel, my friends, I can’t help it.

rebel collage

Posted by: Kate | January 2, 2015

Focus

As an introverted daydreamer, a poet, a writer, I spend a lot of time lost in my head. Whether buried in a book or worrying about things or composing essays, poems and stories, my mind can take me away from the here and now very quickly.

This year, my word is FOCUS. I want to bring some clarity and focus back into my life, in many areas. Focus on my home. Focus on my work. Focus on what is in front of me, instead of what is in my mind. Focus on what is going on around me, instead of the next chapter in my book. See the world in front of me, not the one created in my head.

I want to focus artistically. I was spoiled with a new camera this Christmas (another post) and I want to recapture the love I have of taking pictures and telling stories through the lens as well as with my words. I want to focus on my knitting again this year, as I was not very focused with it this year and didn’t get to a lot of projects I wanted to do.

I want to focus on my family. Bushboy is going to be 15 soon, and he is very much becoming his own person. I want to focus on being a part of that journey. Mr. Kate and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage this year, and I want to focus on the time we spend together as well, on what our relationship becomes as our son loosens his grip on our dedicated time.

So there you are. Focus. I feel good about this one, my friends. I’m looking forward to the year and the word and the adventure.

Any words this year for any of you? Feel free to share!

Posted by: Kate | December 31, 2014

Tidying Up

New Year’s Eve. I never quite know how to approach it. When Bushboy was young, we did the family things that were easy to find – free swimming, early night at the theatre, hanging out with other families with young kids. As he’s gotten older we’ve stuck to family mostly, hanging out together watching movies and finding something good to eat. I’m awkward in big event social settings, and we live in a small town where parties and gatherings are generally quite raucous. As an introvert I’m never quite settled at things like that. People think I’m stand-offish when I’m not really, I’m just uncertain as to whether I really want to be there. At 4pm on New Year’s Eve I’m still not sure what we are doing or where we’ll be. Mr. Kate is sweetly tolerant of my ways, especially as he is a much more comfortable socializing extrovert than me.

Time to clean up the remnants of 2014. First up, the last knitting projects. I managed to complete three pairs of socks and a hat. Other gifts were pulled from my knitting stash of goodies made throughout the year. I didn’t get a picture of  one of the pairs of socks, but here are the other two and the hat.

ed's socks

louise's hat1

mum's christmas socks brown

I have one more pair of socks on the needles, my Mum’s second pair – I’m on the second sock.

As to my word of the year. I knew, really, that choosing ORGANIZE as my word in 2014 was a stretch. In the end it wasn’t the right word for me. I am organized when I need to be, but trying to make it a focus in my life was like trying to keep Chika out of water. A bit hopeless! Lesson learned, and now I am ready to bid it good-bye and move on to my focus for 2015. I will be ready to write about it in a day or two, I think.

I wish you all a New Year’s Eve that brings you whatever you need, whether that be a big celebration or a quiet night at home. See you in the new year.

Posted by: Kate | December 22, 2014

And Here We Be

kate dec

Me. In my element of waves and rocks and beach. Walking with my guys, ever watching. Ever composing in my mind poems and essays and scrapbook pages. Content. Amazed at how we got here, this little family. Awed by the journey.

Reflective these days, before the rest of the family appears for the festivities. Hoping you are all well, and feeling both love and loved.

Posted by: Kate | December 17, 2014

Musings on Reading

My whole family has been sick this past week, and I’ve been reading and knitting. Thanks to my Kobo I can even do both at the same time!

As I’ve been reading I’ve been noticing how I can tell what decade a popular fiction novel was written based on the descriptions of the main characters and their situations. Smokers as the lead man? Definitely pre 1995. Women wearing nylons? Also pre 1995. Desperately searching for a pay phone? Pre 2000. Board shorts at the beach? After 2000.

I find it fun to see how, although the underlying themes of fiction so rarely change, the trappings change so drastically, and can so quickly seem quaint, or out-moded, or simply strange.

Posted by: Kate | December 11, 2014

On the Shore

beach dec 76

I love that our beaches are not a wide expanse of tame sand. Those beaches are nice and fun to visit, but our local beaches have a wealth of character and treasure that sand beaches don’t offer. I especially like the giant tree trunks that wash up on shore. Who knows where they fell in and began their ocean journey, but often enough one ends up on a local beach, stranded at high tide and left to change the beach scape once more. It makes every beach walk an adventure.

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