Monthly Archives: December 2015

2015 in review

Happy New year! Thank you to everyone for following my blog, providing prompts and feedback, and ย (most of all) for ย the interesting conversations! I wish you all the best in 2016!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Red Flowers-Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Tulip Haiku (Red)

Unruly tulips
Uncontrolled and beautiful
Tamed for home display

*posted for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Red Flowers

Country Market 2015-The Changing Seasons Review

It is hard to believe the year is nearly over. I took a look back at my Changing Seasons posts and put together a select photo gallery review, each row representing a month, starting from last January up to now.

The pictures reflect seasonal changes at The Country Market near where I live. I tried to capture the cold, snow and emptiness of the market in the early months building to the warm burst of flowers in the spring, fresh produce in the summer, fiery autumn colors and holiday highlights.

Now, I’ve come full circle. I am ready to start the challenge again with a new location and options. I want to thank Cardinal for hosting this year and the next! Participating was a great way to take a lot of photos and learn to be a better editor of photos and content as well as a great way to interact with a lot of interesting bloggers!

To see my full posts, you can click on the Changing Seasons header at the top of my page. To learn more about the continuing challenge, check out Cardinal Guzman’s cool blog!

Now Young At Heart


I have spent many hours over the last few days considering my genealogy and family history. I started a family tree and have been amazed to find that so many documents complete with information are readily available. I have been reminded of family stories and wished I had taken more care to note of the details.

It is fascinating to me to consider that these family members are not just names on a page, but real people that led up to my existence. It makes me want to learn more about their lives and the events of history.

I have been thinking about my mother as a little girl, trying to imagine her hugging her mother or sitting on her father’s lap. I have been thinking about my father as a young man ready to take on the world. I have been thinking about my place in history.

I have been thinking about the old and the young. We take aging for granted until one day our hair grays, our knees creak or we get a tinge in our back. It happens to us all. Still, some people seem to have a knack for staying young at heart.

My mother had physical ailments, yet she stayed on top of the news and liked experiencing new technology like ipads and facetime. She liked hearing about my day and sharing news I may have missed while I was at work. Staying in touch with current trends kept her young at heart.

My brother is an avid exerciser, lifting weights and staying strong. He says that it is important not to stop building strength so that you won’t lose ground. Working out and staying in good shape keeps him young at heart.

What do I do to stay young at heart? I think that learning something new is important to staying young at heart. Keeping up with technology, as best I can, means I am not left behind the crowd. Learning a new skill, like photography, keeps my wheels turning! Talking to old friends can be invigorating. And, taking notice of the simple beauty of nature and giving in to the amazement keeps me young at heart.

Today, the temperature was a record breaking 75 degrees so I sat outside on my back porch, reflecting on the past. I noticed a single dandelion, a pop of bright yellow cheer among the brown leaves on the ground. I took a moment to admire the contrast and the intricate detail of the tiny dandelion. I took a moment to live in the present, to appreciate the simple joy of now.


#beyoungatheart, #youngatheart

*posted in response to the daily post weekly photo challenge:

and also in response to the daily post daily prompt:
Young At Heart

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

Happy Ho Ho Holidays!

Happy Ho Ho Holidays!

I hope everyone was on Santa’s nice list this year!๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐ŸŽ…

Tidings of Comfort and Joy!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! Enjoy these special days! 2016 is on its way!

Christmas Tree Festival

I went to a city festival of Christmas trees this weekend held at the Hotel Roanoke. The historic hotel and conference center was fully decorated for the holiday. In addition, there were thirty four trees specially decorated and entered in the charity event. All of the proceeds went to the United Way. You could vote for your favorite. All of the trees had different sponsors and each was beautiful or interesting in its own way. I took a few pictures to show the variety. In case you are wondering, I voted for the Sweet Pink Tree that was entered by an elementary school because I thought it was creative.

I also included a picture of our Roanoke City Christmas tree, taken as I went through a walkway that joins the hotel property to the downtown area. It was a clear but chilly day. The outing was a great way to get into the Christmas spirit as we count down to Christmas Day.

Colleen of Silver Threading had the idea for people to share Christmas Trees around the world. These trees may not be in my home but they are in my hometown of a Roanoke, Virginia.

I always put up a Christmas tree. This will be the first Christmas that I will spend without my mother since she passed in August. She always enjoyed supervising the tree decorating and admiring the finished product. Without her this year, I settled on a simple table top tree. It may not be the biggest tree that I have ever had, but the tradition stands!

Tiny Tree

Tiny Tree

Happy Holidays everyone!

Gathering Plan

Team Gathering

Team Gathering

Okay, here’s the plan. You gather as many acorns as you can, and I’ll gather as many acorns as I can. Got it? Let’s go!

This gathering team is part of the Backyard Bunch that I love watching. You can click on The Backyard Bunch Header at the top of my page for more pictures and posts.

Posted for the daily post weekly photo challenge:

Centerpoint Collection

Cabbage Flower

Cabbage Flower

Sometimes it is better to break the rule of thirds and aim for center placement of photo subjects, as suggested by Cee for her Compose Yourself Challenge this week. This colorful, rounded, ornamental cabbage demanded to be center of attention!

I took my next photo on a recent trip to a park. It just seemed more balanced to place the stairway in the center of the frame. My eyes went straight up the steps, which seemed like a stairway to heaven from the bottom.

Center Stairway

Center Stairway

Next up is Bunny, one of The Backyard Bunch of critters I love to watch from my porch. Cropping the photo into a square shape put him right in the middle. His (her?) great big eye and long ears are the focal point of the picture. If you look close, you can see that he is nibbling on a piece of green grass that he has in his mouth!



Finally, I selected a photo of Winter Santa with his face at the center point. My eyes go straight to his eyes and then fan out to admire his beard and fancy Christmas coat.



Ho, Ho, Ho! Did any of you ask Santa for a new camera this year?

Artificial Blooms



Artificial Haiku (Unchanging)

Artificial blooms
Luckily need no water
Flowers unchanging

*posted in response to JNW’s One Word Photo Challenge: Artificial

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Tourmaline .

Small Scale Fabricated Photography, Toy Photography History, Art Creation Musings

The Godly Chic Diaries



Exploring my world with pictures and words.

Still life, room to breathe

My Journey through Still Life Photography

Words Like Honey

sow kindness


age is just a (biggish) number

52 Weeks Photography Group

A year in images, one theme at a time

Collect Life

A collection of life, inspiration and joy

A Walk in the Garden

"How quickly comes the sun when first it sets its mind to rise." - - j. s. v.

Susi Lovell

short story writer

Thoughts Of An E'ville Woman

The secret to having it all is believing that you do!

It's a long story ...

a light-hearted look at life by Tresha Barger

A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

Norm 2.0

Photography, fiction, humor, opinions, and whatever else I feel like posting

The Eye of a Thieving Magpie

My view of this wonderful and crazy life - as I travel and explore.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald


"Gradually, then suddenly." Quote by: Ernest Hemingway

photography, poetry, paintings

Minute Meetings with God

Meeting God Personally through his word

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World

Gale Weithers

Celebrating Epic Stories of Grit & Growth, Faith & Family, Love & Laughter

My Life Lived Full

If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space

Park Preview

A guide to Seattle area parks with an emphasis on accessibility, photography, and birds.

Jibber Jabber with Sue

Everyday Thoughts and Musings