Let your light shine!
Let your light shine!
Let your light shine!
Bring on the weekend!!
I say that, but the forecast is still calling for thunderstorms. They appear to be scattered storms, so I’m hoping there will be some breaks of sunshine in between.
How is the weather in your area?
I do have some Friday Faves to share, but also just some news about life and such.
It had rained here most of the time that I was away in the U.K. That led to saturated grounds. The area of Roanoke in which I live was hit with a storm last Sunday that dropped 6 1/2 inches of rain in three hours, causing flash floods and mudslides.
I have some friends that shared that they had to be diverted off of the main road because sections of it were impassable. Big Mr was with a friend over near our local library and said a flooded area was as wide as the Roanoke River. They had to turn around because the water too deep, and that was even barely into the swath.
I was at home quite oblivious to the extent at which the waters were rushing until I saw footage. Our property slopes downward with our home sitting on a hill. We are toward the bottom of what you could call a mountain…or a larger hill, but I’m not sure there is anything that would mudslide toward us. The placement of our home also means that our basement doesn’t flood.
Driving Miss Sunshine to school and passing along the road that runs near the high school, there are piles out for the trash that you can tell came from flooded basements. My heart is heavy for all those who have damage to deal with and memories that have been lost.
Monday was Memorial Day.
I spent time with my family and the hubby and I looked for some furniture for the back deck. Right now we are down to two plastic adirondack chairs that we bought for seating when we first moved to Virginia because our furniture hadn’t yet arrived. Of the two that are left of the initial five, one is broken and it is a matter of time before the seat fully gives way.
I didn’t find anything, but I do have some ideas for what I may get.
Big Mr. doesn’t graduate from high school until next Friday, but he is finished with school.
On Tuesday, they had a Senior Day where there is a field day for the Seniors (this was moved indoors due to the rain), and along with their graduation practice, they decorate their caps to showcase where they are going after high school.
Big Mr. will be heading to Virginia Tech in the fall. They sent him this sign to stick to his cap. Some of Seniors get very creative in decorating their caps (everything must be removable for the actual graduation ceremony).
It’s funny what your mind chooses to remember.
I needed to get the wrinkles out of his gown. I was talking with my mom about how strange it was that they come all folded in a package with deep wrinkles and asked her if she had to iron my gown for high school graduation.
The answer was yes.
And yet, I have no recollection about how I received my cap and gown, only wearing it (wrinkle free). I also recall a big discussion with my three close friends about the possibilities of rebelling against the fact that we were expected to wear dress shoes. I’m pretty sure there were more details to the type of shoe required, but we were told that they would be inspecting them in the lineup, prior to our ceremony, and we would be pulled from the lineup if not wearing dress shoes. We tried to come up with a way to switch to white Converse after inspection. We even had a teacher who encouraged our idea (he was a total nonconformist). In the end…we became like sheep and conformed because we had family in the stands and didn’t want to take the chance of not getting to walk in graduation.
What do you remember about your own high school graduation?
This week also finished out my May Challenge…31 days of yoga poses. It was wonderful to have Dee Dee come along with me on this journey.
I shared my pose each day on my Instagram Stories.
At this time, I have all 31 days shared on my Instagram Page under the Highlights section.
I thought I’d share a couple of my favorites from this week.
The Wheel Pose shown above wasn’t technically on the pose challenge. It was on the day of the Camel Pose. I can’t seem to touch my toes in Camel Pose without bringing my hips farther back than my knees and yet I can do the backbend required for Wheel Pose.
This shot was me proving to myself that I could still do the Wheel Pose.
Dancer Pose is one my favorite poses.
I feel graceful when I am in the pose, even if that is not the visual reality.
I was never a dancer, but I recall a time in my drama class where somebody’s mother came in to show us some ballet moves for the choreography of a musical we would be performing. I can’t remember exactly what she said to me, but it was a compliment in regards to the fact that my long arms and legs made the moves look nice.
I was the person in drama who took the leftover roles because I loved acting (playing the part of someone else), but did not audition (which required “me” to get up in front of my peers) for any part. This compliment from a stranger in front of my class meant a lot and stuck with me.
The final pose was crane pose. Crane Pose requires straight arms and your knees pressed into your armpits. I was happy with crow pose. I’m of the opinion that any arm balance is a good arm balance.
If you have already seen my June Challenge, then you know that today I will begin spending 20 minutes a day working a story or two that I began writing last year or possibly even coming up with an entirely new story.
This does mean that I will again be learning time management.
I had considered making June a month of no TV, but I do have a couple of shows that I like to watch with the hubby and rarely watch it outside of that.
Even on the long haul flight to and from the U.K., I did more reading than movie watching.
I managed to start and finish The Handmaid’s Tale and I started Red Queen. Once home, I’ve been a little sidetracked by simultaneously reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I stumbled upon it at the library and recognized it from knowing that she gave a TED talk on it (which I haven’t yet watched).
However, on the way over I did watch Lady Bird, which I watched again last night. This time with the hubby.
I also watched Black Panther and It on the return flight.
I didn’t love It as much as I expected to love it. I read and watched lots of Stephen King in my late teens.
Have you watched any great movies or shows lately?
How about any amazing books?
I also picked up Season 1 of Outlander. I’m always late to hop on the bandwagon, but after my time in the Highlands I’m curious to see the show.
What about you? Have you seen Outlander?
The photo is from our day trip around the Isle of Skye. This was our tour guide Sandy and the photo was taken toward the end of the trip.
That is Eilean Donan castle in the background.
I’m still getting around to processing my photos from my time away. Graduation time is a busy time.
I will not be back next week with a round of Friday Faves because Big Mr.’s graduation is in the middle of the day and my parents will be coming up for that as well.
I’ll have some posts up during the week though and will be back for Faves the following Friday.
I hope that you have an awesome weekend and week ahead.
Let your light shine!
On my most recent travels to the UK, I visited London for the first time.
We only had two days in London, but they were two full days….and, boy did we fill them!!
I knew that I would find a plethora of beautiful architecture in London, which would also include some amazing doors.
In this department, London did not disappoint!
Looking for doors was not the only thing that I did in my jam packed two day,s yet I still managed to have enough photos of doors that I will have to share them in more than one series.
Today’s series of doors is from a walk that we took in Belgravia
(According to the map. I admit to being confused by the breakdown of the quadrants on London. There was a sign that we passed on Bourne Street that said The Royal Borough of Kensington on Chelsea, so I assumed that I was in Chelsea).
On my list of “must see” items were some pastel colored buildings.
I stumbled upon a location to put into Google maps from this post by A Lady in London. While I would have loved to have seen every cafe that she recommended, time just didn’t allow for it.
After our trip around the London Eye, we took the underground to Sloane Square and proceeded to head toward my final destination.
I can never pass up the opportunity to photograph a red door (ok, maybe sometimes…like when there are so many to choose from that you’d stop every minute).
I loved how this one had the hedge to create a framed pathway.
Not only did the door itself look elegant, the inlay on the stairs added an element of posh.
I also love flower boxes.
I couldn’t pass this door without snagging a shot because I loved the door knocker.
I think the intricate tile work is very pretty, but we know that I snapped this photo because a blue door is going to stand out!
As we moved closer to my ultimate destination, the doors and displays became magnificent. I only wish that I’d had time to capture more, but rain was on the way and we still had so much to see.
Passing by flowers spilling into the street was just too gorgeous not to stop and capture.
However, if you are looking for a door, #51A & 51B to the left of the photo looks quite nice.
This was my ultimate destination.
I could not pass up the opportunity to see pastel pink in all its glory.
We were late enough in the morning that capturing an empty door would have been time consuming. And time was the one thing that I had in limited quantity.
This is a well-known Instagram location so people were having shots taken while they sipped their coffee at the lovely outdoor tables. I crossed the street to take in more of the scene, but at that point someone had lined up in front of the door with a photographer. I have one of them as well, but I like this one of the server wearing his pink attire and entering the shop.
We considered lining up to eat, but again, time was a force working against us. It worked out rather well since we stumbled upon the Duke of York Square Food Market in Chelsea.
I’ll share more about this surprise excursion and some hilarity with dialect in a future post. I’ll also be sharing more doors from London and some from our time in Scotland, so be sure to check back.
Meanwhile, if you have an affinity for doors, hop over to Norm’s blog, where he hosts Thursday Doors, and you’ll find many more.
Let your light shine!
During my most recent trip to the U.K., my mother and I made a day trip over to Glasgow, Scotland.
There are trains from Edinburgh to Glasgow that take just around an hour and run regularly. If you are traveling during off-peak hours (which we did) the tickets price is nominal (We paid £13 each for a return ticket. It’s less if you are traveling with more because you can purchase a groupsaver ticket, which is what we were able to do last year when 3 of us traveled over).
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time then you are already familiar with the fact that many of my traced Scottish roots come from the Glasgow region.
I’m squeezing this photography series in just under the deadline. The weekly photo challenge is twisted, which ask us to consider things that don’t maintain a straight line.
Obviously, this challenge could be taken many ways and I have many photos from my time in the U.K. that would qualify.
However, I am rapidly preparing to witness my oldest child graduate from high school. Big Mr. is done with tests and done with all the “officialness” of school. Today, he has graduation practice and varying fun things at school. And then, it’s just wait until graduation day on June 8th. It would have made more sense for them to graduate this Friday, but I don’t make the calendar.
This culminating time is a busy one, but it also makes me reflect on family.
The River Clyde is the second longest river in Scotland.
Quite often you will hear it said that “Glasgow made the Clyde, and the Clyde made Glasgow”.
The Clyde Arc (also known as Squinty Bridge) stands out amongst the landscape. It connects Finnieston Street on the north bank of the river to Govan Road on the south bank.
These first two photos were taken during our trip to Glasgow in 2017.
We still have quite a ways to go in researching our roots, but we do know a few ancestors for whom the River Clyde must have played a part in their life.
My 4th great-grandfather, Hugh McLachlan, married Mary McLachlan on December 7, 1827. The old parish registers of Glasgow state that he was a seaman and that they were residing in Glasgow. I have not been able to trace either of these grandparents back any farther at this time. Their son, my 3rd great-grandfather, Hugh McLachlan, was born in in 1835 in Glasgow. That was according to his death certificate. By the time of his death in 1881, he was living in Airdrie and was a former miner (I visited there last year).
His daughter Agnes was my 2nd great-grandmother and she would emigrate to Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband and sons in 1911.
Her husband was James Scott and his family lineage would have also been affected by the River Clyde. His mother, my 3rd great-grandmother, was Mary Munn. She was born in Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland around 1842.
Her father was Thomas Munn. His death certificate lists him as a ship carpenter, journeyman and living at 67 High Street in Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland in 1874. He was born in 1815 in Irvine to David Munn (also a ship carpenter, journeyman) and Janet Orr. On the 1861 census, he was listed as a ship carpenter living on Keppoch Row Possil Road in Maryhill (once a burgh, now part of Glasgow).
Mary Munn gave birth to my 2nd great-grandfather, James, in Holytown, but by the birth of her son Thomas (two years later) and daughter Jeanie (two years after that) they are living in New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire. My 3rd great-grandfather, James would die in October of 1871 from Caries of the Spine (which appears to be caused from TB and would explain why the baby was living with her aunt and uncle, John and Margaret Hay, on Pollacks Hill in Holytown on the 1871 census).
Mary Munn would marry George Brown at the end of 1872 and some of the Brown children would be born in the Lambhill and Maryhill areas
It was with this family history in mind that my mother and I chose to make a stop along the River Clyde.
On our first trip, we only passed by on the tour bus. This time we wanted to walk across the River Clyde.
We chose to do that on Bell’s Bridge.
Bell’s Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that spans the River Clyde.
The bridge can rotate open to allow ships to pass.
From the bridge you can see the BBC Scotland building along with the Glasgow Science Center, which also includes the Glasgow Tower (which, according to the website is the only structure on earth capable of rotating 360 ° into the prevailing wind).
Of course, no tour of this area of the Clyde waterfront is complete without sharing photos of two architectural marvels.
One of those is the SSE Hydro. Located on the opposite bank as the Science Center, the SSE Hydro is the largest entertainment venue in Scotland. It can hold 12,000 people (all seated) or up to 13,000 (seated and standing in performance bowl.)
The shape was inspired by ancient Greek and Roman amphitheaters.
Located just beside the SSE Hydro is the SEC Armadillo. It was originally called the Clyde Auditorium. The inspiration for the 3,000 seat venue was a series of interlocking ship’s hulls. However, the nickname “armadillo” obviously stuck.
Have you ever visited the Clyde waterfront?
I’ll have plenty more to share from Glasgow in future posts, but if you’re interested in my time there last year, you can find my posts here:
Let your light shine!
Well if you hadn’t already guessed, I’ve made it back from the U.K.
I arrived back in Virginia on Tuesday evening.
…and have been playing catch up ever since.
I’m still playing catch up, but I thought I’d pop in with a few of my Friday Faves.
I returned home to our upstairs a/c being out…it had been out for a week…but the service calls require you to be available and the hubby has a job in a different city…so, no bueno… and I dealt with that on day one of my return.
While I was away Miss Sunshine had her middle school spring sports banquet and was awarded Offensive Player of the Year.
Mr. D made it to his AP exams.
I also heard rumor that my three teens know how to pack their own lunches and wash their own clothes. Upon my return, I learned that I’m not sure it was a factual rumor because I am back in the food packing and clothes washing business.
Big Mr. took his final test of high school yesterday and over the weekend we will be signing him up for his July University orientation.
I was so busy since my return that it was only this morning that I found time to import my photos from the trip. It will take me a while to sift through them since there were around 1,200 photos. I’m sure many will make their way to the trash pile, but I’m hoping the majority will have turned out nicely.
I thought that I’d share a quick few today, but be on the look out for more in the future.
We had one day in the Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis.
It was an early morning!
We caught the local bus in Inverness at 5:10 am to the airport for a 7:00 am flight. After landing, we picked up our rental car and headed straight out to the Callanish Standing Stones.
It was a day full of adventure before heading back to the airport in time for our 5:00 pm flight.
I have so much more to share about our day here, but that’ll have to wait until a future post.
We had a bus tour that took us all over the Isle of Skye along with some more stops.
This shot of my mother and me was taken at our stop to see the Quiraing . It had rained just a bit earlier and the cloud cover was low. It did start to clear up some as we made our descent.
I’ll share more in the future.
I didn’t mind the low clouds and the element of mystery they created, but I’m hoping as I sift through the photos that it translated well in the captures.
And lastly, a selfie with a Highland Coo. They were just so adorable. I was hoping that I’d be able to see one up close!
That’s all I have for today.
So much to do, so little time!
I hope that you all have a light-filled weekend.
We’ll be enjoying the three day Memorial Day Weekend.
Catch up with you all soon!
Let your light shine!
I’ve returned from my travels to London and throughout Scotland.
I’ve been back in my time zone for less than 48 hours. I’ll have my feet back in my current home city by this evening.
I have lots of catching up to do, but I wanted to pop in before I missed the weekly photo challenge.
This week the theme is liquid.
While I did take a cruise along the Thames in London, it was my time in Scotland that brought me many views of water.
I’ll be sharing plenty more from my time in the U.K. after I get home and process my photos.
For today, I’m just sharing a glimpse of a view from a stop in the Isle of Skye.
We took a 12 hour bus tour with WOW Scotland (which I’ll share more about in a future post) from Inverness and through the Isle of Skye.
This shot was captured on a stop as we drove along the Trotternish Peninsula, the northernmost peninsula of the Isle of Skye.
I hope you enjoy the view.
I’ll talk to you all soon!
Let your light shine!
I’m sitting at the Miami International Airport and will be boarding my plane shortly.
London here we come!
I wanted to get in my interpretation of the weekly photo challenge before I head overseas
The theme was “where I belong”.
I belong many places, but the first place was the town of my birth…
I returned there to meet my mom for our trip.
We caught a gorgeous sunset on the beach and my mom convinced me to complete my yoga challenge there even though I don’t like to create a scene.
I hope that you are having an amazing week and I’ll be checking in from time to time during my travels.
You can also follow along on my Instagram stories.
Let your light shine!
wpc: Where I Belong
Let your light shine!
I can’t believe that it’s already Friday!
Not only that, it’s the last Friday in April!
Most of my week has been checking off boxes…but they have made me feel productive so they also qualify for my Friday Faves.
Over the weekend, I became more deliberate in my efforts to get my photos backed up to an external hard drive. I need the space on my laptop and I needed to feel comfortable about deleting the photos stored on my camera.
I still quite a way to go, but I made substantial headway.
They say that laughter is the best medicine.
I was trying to film a story for Instagram and Miss Sunshine kept waiting until I’d start recording and then ask me random questions.
It has quite hilarious.
Finally, I told her that I was going to post the one where she’d deepened her voice and said something random. She quickly deleted that one from my phone.
Then, I thought perhaps she’d head to the kitchen to eat her food, but she still photobombed me. I could see her from the corner of my eye, but thought I’d be able to maintain my composure.
This one did get posted to my Instagram story. Followed by my original intent of asking people what they found the hardest to give up on a vegan diet.
I have been following a mostly vegan diet for almost 3 weeks. We did make a conscious decision to eat vegetarian on Sunday because we needed to have a family meeting about summer plans.
Finding a restaurant that everyone likes is hard enough. We opted for Mellow Mushroom, which is a pizza place. The hubby and I got their Veg Out pizza and it was sooo good.
I am aware that Mellow Mushroom offers vegan cheese. However, I haven’t tried vegan cheese before and I notoriously choose items when dining out that turn out to be repulsive. Just ask my family about that time in Paris when the pasta dish I ordered came with a raw egg cracked on top. I ate around it and then waited to finish what was left on the other 4 plates!
I do plan to eat all types of food when I travel to the UK in two weeks. Given the fact that it may indeed bother my stomach, there will be days here and there leading up to it where I will add in things I’ve cut out to see if they bother my digestive system.
If you’re curious about the picture of the vegan lunch I made one day, it’s: Toasted Flax Ezekiel Bread, Roasted Garlic Hummus, Cucumber, Tomato, Shredded Carrots, Alfalfa Sprouts, and a bit of Red Onion.
The hubby finds that eating vegan agrees very well with him. I still haven’t found the proper ratios (or maybe vitamins and minerals) for my body. I think it shifted my hormones and I had a few days recently where I wanted to take a nap (but didn’t) in the afternoon. Occasionally, I also feel what I call a hollowness (for lack of a better explanation). Not necessarily hungry, but sort of.
We’ll be using all of those when my mom and I travel to the UK.
Yep. You read that right.
My mom and I decided to rent a car for our day on the Isle of Lewis. There is public transportation, but with only having a day, the timetable left us fairly restricted. My mom is going to be the driver while I navigate. Eek!
I also booked the remainder of our trains, so there is only some to and from the airport in Inverness stuff left to deal with, but buses and taxis are both available.
I think that I’m going to bring my tripod with me on this trip, which is another reason why my suitcase needs to be packed lightly. The tripod only weighs a little over five pounds, so it should be fine.
One of my thoughts behind packing leggings….which I haven’t shopped for yet…was minimizing space.
I learn a little more about packing each time I travel though and while I love to look cute in a city, I much more prefer staying dry…warm…packing lightly… than I care about making a fashion statement.
I made the announcement for my May Challenge. The fact that I will be traveling for a portion of it helped with the direction that it’ll take.
The response to my poll on my Instagram story was 100% Yes.
Not only did I drop something heavy on my big toe over the weekend, but I had a major mishap on Wednesday.
While talking on the phone with my about what sightseeing we should do in London, I proceeded to walk down the stairs from my office (need a visual of the stairs, they are in my Photowall review post).
You know where this is going don’t you?
I proceeded to slide down about three or four stairs. In trying to catch myself with my left hand, I wrenched my back and jammed my shoulder. I still landed on the tailbone and right sits bone. I’m sure I scared my mother as I yelled (maybe cursed a little) and then took deep breaths to pretend like I could breath out the hurt.
Most of the back and shoulder pain left the next day. However, there is monstrous purple bruise on my bottom that is still sore enough that I bypassed Pilates today because I can’t imagine doing roll-ups and some other moves up on to it.
Last year I was asked to take a photo of Miss Sunshine’s middle school soccer team. They have professional photos taken, but it’s usually still wintery and they wanted a warmer weather photo of the team to give as part of the coach’s gifts. I also took a photo of the girls’ cleats which I shared in this post.
This year, I was asked again to take a team photo and agreed.
I will tell you that these types of shoots make my anxiety climb…and climb. Yes, I am doing it as a favor, but I am still hoping to meet somebody’s expectations. I am a people pleaser by nature. I don’t like people to be disappointed in me. So the team shoot already makes me nervous. I photograph landscapes (some of which I shared on Tuesday and Thursday . Their eyes don’t blink. They rarely move unless the wind blows.
Lighting and angles of humans are not my strong points.
I had heard rumor that I was going to be asked to take individual photos. This made me feel even more pressured. I will reiterate that this is pressure I put on myself. The people I interact with I’ve known for years and are great.
I had around a 20 minute timeline to shoot a team photo and then take individuals of 24 girls. This meant there wasn’t time to check my work and see if the photos came out as I went along. I imported them this morning. It does appear that I have a group shot were all 24 girls and the coaches have their eyes open (the first thing I look for), but I’ll need to look at them more closely. Same with the individuals. In review I noticed two of the girls weren’t in line for individuals, but I know them and can take them later if they want them. Still I know the photos aren’t professional grade and looking back I wish I’d changed the f/stop, but time was short, I needed to get through them all, and I didn’t think about it.
The one of Miss Sunshine is just a quick edit that I did for this post. I don’t know if it’s the final product.
Here’s to hoping the parents like them.
At the final home game, the 8th grade girls are recognized before the game. Along the fence surrounding the fields, they attach a giant cardboard soccer ball that has the name and jersey number of each girl. During the ceremony, the eighth grade girls step forward from team and then each one is named and presented with a rose from their coaches.
This isn’t the final product of this photo either. I just don’t share too many faces of teens that aren’t mine.
Both of her brothers had the day off from work so they were able to come to her game. I think she’d have like to have scored a goal, but she had a clean assist and some nice shots on goal.
I mentioned in my post on Wednesday that I need to see some of my people. Miss Sunshine are in the early stages of planning an extended trip to Florida (mainly Naples) over the summer. I’ll let you know more about that as I begin to have more concrete plans.
I hope that you have a beautiful weekend and fabulous week ahead.
We have warm days ahead and I couldn’t be happier.
Let your light shine!