Tag Archives: explore

Shells & Alice Walker

 

Yesterday afternoon we were wandering along the shoreline, playing in the surf and happening upon gorgeous shells that were strewn along the shore.  Gorgeous shells just cast about like little gems.  No matter how many times I visit this part of the Gulf Coast – Marco Island and Sanibel Island – I’m always amazed by the shells.  Amazed someone has not already scooped them all up and hauled them away.  Surprised that there are always more.   And thrilled by all of the beauty that you will just stumble upon.

12141070_10205132430464774_4618564792574308454_o

As I woke up this morning and reflected on our experiences yesterday, I was reminded of this poem I love – on what we love and value.   Its a perfectly timed reminder to be present and elevate and focus on what really matters.  Thanks, Ms. Walker.

 

We Alone Can Devalue Gold – by Alice Walker

We alone can devalue gold

by not caring
if it falls or rises
in the marketplace.
Wherever there is gold
there is a chain, you know,
and if your chain
is gold
so much the worse
for you.

Feathers, shells
and sea-shaped stones
are all as rare.

This could be our revolution:
to love what is plentiful
as much as
what’s scarce.

Advertisements

Victory!

We were staying at the Sofitel right a couple blocks from the White House, and I wandered around with my camera while the family rested.  One of my favorite images was the dramatic gold of this victory statue against the deep blue sky and white clouds.  Beautiful!

3N2A3082

Victory statue, part of the First Division Monument in front of the White House.  President’s Park, Washington DC

Wonder! Stunning Exhibit at Renwick

We were in DC a couple of weeks ago to celebrate our oldest daughter’s 21st birthday.  I was excited to fit in a visit to the Renwick Gallery to see their exhibit – Wonder!   I love that  the exhibits were large and immersive – experiences that you could take in with all of your senses.  In the exhibit they basically turned over the museum space to nine contemporary artists, who filled the space with large, immersive and stunning exhibits.    The boys and I had a great time exploring the museum.  Highly recommend!

Check out this link to take a virtual tour of the exhibit.  It’s absolutely worth a visit the next time you are in the DC area.

Wonder! at the Renwick Gallery     The building itself is gorgeous!

3N2A3073

A few of our favorite images from the exhibit.

from the Patrick Dougherty exhibit

3N2A31803N2A3170

from the Gabriel Dawe exhibit

3N2A31963N2A31933N2A3190

 

from the Tara Donovan exhibit

3N2A32023N2A3208

 

from the John Grade exhibit

 

3N2A32363N2A32373N2A3235

from the Janet Echelman exhibit

3N2A32123N2A32233N2A32253N2A32173N2A3215

from the Jennifer Angus exhibit

3N2A32453N2A3243

 

from the Chakaia Booker exhibit

3N2A3242

from the Maya Lin exhibit

3N2A32403N2A3239

 

 

Christmas Decorations – Maker Style

The boys and I headed down to 757 Makerspace today after a little bit of a hiatus.  Great to be back and such a fun afternoon!

We got to use silicone molds to cast some snowflake ornaments, the customize some glass ornaments with the laser cutter.  Creative, hands-on afternoon and some really original ornaments to bring home.  Justin said we should plan to make a custom ornament every year.  Great idea!!

Here are a few pics.

We worked with the liquid plastics last year when we were first introduced to mold-making.  Last year we made this cool storm trooper using the same technique.

3N2A2521

This year Beau had snowflake molds already made up and ready to go.

3N2A2501

Both times we used Smooth-Case liquid plastics, mixing two part solutions that you pour into the mold, wait for it to cure, and voila!  (provided your measurements were solid) 🙂

Most times we have tried it it worked great.  Today one of my my snowflakes flopped, but we quickly mixed up another one.

3N2A2518

 

While the casts were curing, a small group of us headed over to the laser cutter.  We were able to design the images and text that we wanted on our ornament, then watch as the laser cutter did its magic.

3N2A25103N2A25083N2A2515

Pretty amazing that the laser cutter can hold and laser cut so many different substances – even wood, stone, and in our case glass.

11233417_10204546428935102_3036860035658592551_n

Always lots of great creative energy around Makerspace – and today was no exception.  🙂

 

 

 

3 Cheers for Surfers Healing!

Justin LOVES the water!  When he was younger, even though he could swim he loved to let himself sink to the bottom of the pool and rest there.  It was soothing for him, he said he liked the way it felt.  But how do you think lifeguards felt about that?  We know he could swim, but its unnerving.  You see, drowning is the leading cause of death for kids with autism.  And we live in Virginia Beach – surrounded by water at both the beach and the bay.  So the only way to retain our sanity as parents was to make sure he was a capable and confident swimmer.   So he swims, does SUP, and has tried surfing and snorkeling, too.  And he loves them all!

Today was Surfers Healing Virginia Beach, a highlight of the year for our autism community.

IMG_6616

The program runs camps around the world that pair pro surfers with kids with autism – to take them out to ride the waves and expose them to surfing.   If the organization is new to you, check out their website to learn more about this great org.  http://www.surfershealing.org

The kids love it so much that its in high demand.  The camp extended to two days, and the over 400 slots are reserved within less than an hour of opening!  And I can never say enough about the kindness and heart of the surfers who participate.  They are so great with our kids!

This was Justin’s second year and – true to its hashtag – it was #oneperfectday.

IMG_6581971597_4985424527790_1308432328_n

The weather cooperated so we had sunny, clear blue skies and warm water.  The dolphins even made an appearance off the surfing area to And while I loved watching my little surfer, we stayed for hours watching so many other families cheer on their sons and daughters.

When it was Justin’s turn to surf, he confidently followed his surfer  out into the surf, and they paddled their board out a good distance to wait for some good waves.  They floated around for a while (my little guys might happily do that for hours) then caught their first wave rolling in.  With the help of his surfer, Justin rose to his knees and them stood up on the board.  Sometimes for a few seconds then a spill, sometimes longer as they rode the wave all the way in.  When they reached the coast, Justin would turn around and march back through the surf … ready to give it another go.  He was brave and confident and happy on the water.

Here are a couple pics I captured of Justin out on the water.  John Wright did the official pics and they should be posted soon.  Here’s his FB Page Link

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And here is a mesh of a few other pics I captured from the 1-2:30 slot on Saturday, Aug 15th.  (just click on the image to see the full image … the preview will just show a part).  Still trying out this new photo gallery, Mesh, to see what I think …

Thanks to Izzy Paskowitz for realizing that water helped your son, and growing a program to extend it to the global autism community.  We are so grateful!

Close Up – Tree Bark & A Poem

I couldn’t help but pair one of my favorite poems with this image.

bark
Hiking in Virginia

On Stripping Bark from Myself, by Alice Walker

Because women are expected to keep silent about
their close escapes I will not keep silent
and if I am destroyed (naked tree) someone will
please
mark the spot
where I fall and know I could not live
hearing their “how nice she is!”
whose adoration of the retouched image
I so despise.

No. I am finished with living
for what my mother believes
for what my brother and father defend
for what my lover elevates
for what my sister, blushing, denies or rushes
to embrace.

I find my own
small person
a standing self
against the world
an equality of wills
I have lived to understand.

Besides:

My struggle was always against
an inner darkness: I carry within myself
the only known keys
to my death – to unlock life, or close it shut
forever. A woman who loves wood grains, the colour
yellow
and the sun, I am happy to fight
all outside murderers
as I see I must.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/close-up/

Beneath Your Feet – Exploration Pics

Which of your photos capture you at your most relaxed, the relaxation or exploration shots?  Well that’s what I went to explore today …

Stumbled upon a photography prompt this week to post a picture of the ground ‘beneath your feet’ – or any variation on that idea that might inspire us.  I was noodling through my pics and remembered several pics that I had taken – out on a hike, on a kayak, by the lake, that all had my toes peeking onto the bottom of the picture.  Bit of a trend, seemed funny at the time.  But as I think about it … every one of those are me in anti-work mode.  I am out and about, wandering and exploring.  Or relaxing with my feet up (and that’s so rare a picture is required as proof!) 🙂   I guess, in a tiny way, for me the pics celebrate getting out of my head (and work mode) and enjoying the physical world.  All great memories!

And apparently I have no in-betweens … its boots or barefoot!

Enjoy other great fotos from the Beneath Your Feet challenge at: Link

…before they close forever …

Quote from Anthony Doerr, from the novel All The Light We Cannot See

My friends and family all know how much I love to travel.  To explore, to discover new things, to have adventures, and to share what I pick up along the way with others!  I just can’t get enough of it.  On the flight home from New Orleans I read the quote above: “Open your eyes and see all you can, before they close forever.”   And that’s it in the end – we are gifted with just a finite amount of time on this earth, and I can only hope to see, hear and experience life richly and to make an impact with the gifts and time I am given.

Sometimes we read things that just strike a chord with what’s on our mind or our heart.  Today this was it for me.   Find beauty.  Connect deeply.  Make an impact.  Love life.

Summer Vacation – NOLA Satchmo Summerfest

There always seems to be a great festival or concert going on in New Orleans, and this trip was no exception – it was the weekend of the Satchmo Summerfest.  And the great musical traditions of Louis Armstrong live on in his hometown!  The event featured many different traditional jazz and brass bands playing on the grounds of the Old U.S. Mint just off the French Market.

We saw some great bands – my favorite was the Paulin Brothers Jazz Band.  I loved the stories they told about growing up in New Orleans in a musical family and how much jazz music was a part of their life.  Forgot to take a video – but here’s a YouTube clip of them:

Between performances, the NOLA Jitterbugs taught dance lessons, and encouraged the crowd to dance during the performances – which they did.  It was as much fun to watch the dancers as to hear the terrific music 🙂   Something about swing dancing just makes me smile – it seems so happy and so free.  There was a dad out there teaching his little girls to dance, couples of all ages sowing off their great dance moves, and some colorful characters too!

We were loving the great dance moves!

Fun afternoon in NOLA!

Summer Vacation – checking out NOLA White Linen Night

As family vacations go – places with great music, art, and food tend to be high on the list of destinations.  So New Orleans is a family favorite.  We are back in NOLA for summer vacation and timing couldn’t be better: both the Satchmo Summerfest and the Whitney White Linen Night art event are going on this week.  Add that to the great restaurant destinations and you have the makings of a terrific week.

Part 1: Whitney White Linen Night

Basically its a mega-art party that shuts down 4 blocks of Julia Street in the Warehouse District of NOLA the first Saturday in August each year.  Lucky for us we happened to be here to experience it!  Apparently to fight the blazing heat of summer in August, locals took to wearing light colors and breathable fabrics.  That tradition gave a theme to the annual art event – where art lovers come out decked out in their best summer whites to enjoy the scene and tour the galleries. There were several shows opening on White Linen night, plus live music and food from local restaurants.

We saw some great artwork and love that so many people came out for the event.  Realized in seeing other pictures that we missed some big exhibits – so definitely want to get back by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Contemporary Art Center for some of the things we missed on White Linen Night.

And of course Nat and Josh had to squeeze in a photobomb – as I was trying to get a pic of one of my favorite sculptures of the night.

I fell in love with these metal sculptures
I fell in love with these metal sculptures

A few great links to check out the NOLA art scene:

Contemporary Art Center: Website Link

Julia Street Art Galleries: Gallery Web Link

Ogden Museum of Southern Art: Website