Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece

A masterpiece, to me, whether it is a meal, a structure or a painting, is made up of things, that when combined, form something very satisfying or pleasing to the senses.

Frozen banana, avocado, cocoa, honey and peanut butter.

Frozen banana, avocado, cocoa, honey and peanut butter.

Not everyone will agree on what is or isn’t a masterpiece. Sometimes a masterpiece is controversial or abrupt and other times it is subtle or unassuming. Regardless it stirs something within a person.

Blend into a mousse.

Blend into a mousse.

In the end, a masterpiece is devoured repeatedly as we try to fathom what brought the creation to life. However, the simple fact of the matter is, it is all about getting the combination of those initial things just right.

From there, a masterpiece creates a life all of its own.

Love it!

Love it!

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Quotography?

A while ago I read a post on a blog I frequent, asking for interested people to take part in a collaborative photographic effort aptly named, “quotography”. The name of the game, each collaborator provided three quotes to Nick Exposed and with a little magic and time, they received three different quotes provided by another collaborator via Nick Exposed. They then had to provide a photograph that embodied the quote.

Of course not using your own choice of quotes made things exciting.  What would I be given for quotes? Could I manage to come up with something and what would other collaborators come up with?

When I got my three quotes I was not sure if I could pull it off.  Some quotes looked easier than others. We only had two weeks to get our entries in but I would have to say over all I think everyone had an enjoyable time and came up with an excellent selection of quotography.  Check it out in Nick’s Quotography Collaboration: Gallery at http://nickexposed.com/tag/quotography/

In the end I managed to get my three images (with varying degrees of satisfaction).  I themed mine, using teddy bears as my props across all three quotes to bring them together as a group.  It added a little humour too.  These are my entries but trust me there are way better quotography pics at Nick Exposed!

“Two roads diverged in a forest, and I, I took the road less traveled by.  And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

“Nothing is too wonderful to be true.” – Michael Faraday

“Life is not a problem to be solved, its an adventure to be lived.” – John Eldredge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

I do not live anywhere near my family. I have thought about this for the last few days and wondered, despite having photos of family, what I could take a photo of that, for me, would suggest more than a photo of actual family members.  So, for the photo challenge of ‘family’ I had to be somewhat inventive.

I look at family like a bunch of shoes sitting at the front door of a home…

They are all different shapes, sizes and shades.

They have various jobs.

Some are young and some are old.

Some are brand new while others are seeing their last days.

Some are pretty and some are not.

We tend to be more fond of some than others.

Some fit us well while others do not.

Some are hard, pinch, cut and bruise while others are soft, soothing and comfortable.

Some take some getting use to.

Some don’t even belong to us.

Some are borrowed.

Some are gifts.

Some are messy while others are neat.

Some smell nice but others smell like they could use a good clean.

Some we would just love to send back and get a refund or trade in if at all possible.  Usually we cannot, so, we keep them in the hope they will change in our estimation and we will learn to love them.

Despite everything, they find a way to nestle up side by side and exist together despite their differences.

Linus and his Fetching Blanket

The nightly ritual starts as always with me getting my dog ready for bed. He is an outside dog so I make sure he is kept warm in the cooler months by starting the process with a doggy jacket. Its well worn, a patchy green quasi military coat that has been mended multiple times, each time getting closer to a perfect fit. With that in place I go back to the dishes, the internet and whatever else is on my agenda.

An hour or so later when I’m about to head off to bed I go out to put him into his dog house. By this time he is quite happily laying comfortably snuggled up on my blanketed bean bag that he has most shamelessly appropriated. Scrunched into a gangly ball, head half cocked with nose stuck into the nervously nibbled fleece, eye nothing more than a slit, he naps. No matter how quietly I move he always registers me before I get to him. The eye lid rises, the tail wiggles and the head finally shifts from its contorted slumber to full alert.

We spend a little time snuggled up together on the slowly compressing beans. A pat, a snuggle, a little one way conversation intermixed with the odd lick and groan to tell me he has no idea what I’m saying but he loves me anyway and then its time for bed. This is not unlike putting to bed a child. He sometimes refuses to get off the warm and well dented bean bag so I end up just putting a blanket over him and tuck it in around him. Most nights however, he reluctantly moves from his warm spot to the cold but better sheltered dog house only two feet away and situated next to my bedroom window. Once settled, in goes a blanket over him, not to mention the already well padded, pillowed and blanketed interior. He seems to like having the blanket covering him. He snuggles down and with head lowered he becomes nothing more than a heap of blanket. He gives a bit of a snuff and a huff and I know I’m not needed any more, he is already on his way to slumber land.

Shortly there after, crawling into my own bed, out goes the light and I too become little more than a heap of doona. About twenty minutes later there is a shifting in the dog house. As usual the one eye flicks open, this time mine, not his, and out of the dog house pops a light tan blanket floating about like a ghost in the night. Lap, lap, lap, lap, lap, lap, silence and then a few moments later back comes the magically transfixed piece of fleece. Thump, bump, humf, and all is quiet once again.

Most nights he keeps his blanket, sometimes he even walks out in the morning with it still slung over his back. A Houdini trick that only he seems to know. Other times I go out to find the blanket vanished.

“Ok, where have you left it this time?” I ask, hands on hips. Eyes look earnestly up at me as the tail wags from side to side. No answer of course. Telling him to fetch doesn’t work either. He hates doggy games. If you throw a ball to him he steps aside and lets it fall to the ground beside him. He looks at the inanimate ball and then looks at me as if to say, “Well this is stupid!”

Sometimes I give myself a fright coming up on the blanket in the dark laying out front in the driveway as we head for our morning walk. It takes a moment to focus on the fact that the sprawling twisted mass is actually a blanket and not an animal. Other times its not so easily found. In that case, after we’ve come home from our walk, we go blanket hunting. Linus excitedly follows me around. The wagging tail speeds up with each false attempt at finding the newest drop spot for his blanket and that ball throwing look appears once again, “No, not there either Mummy!”

Eventually I find the dewy covered blanket along the back fence line. The game is done. ©

The Far Side

I walk my dog early in the morning. I’m usually awake before the alarm goes off so when it beeps incessantly on the nightstand I’m already half out of bed. With the addition of oversized clothes, a quick brush of the hair, doggy bag, lead and flashlight we are off out the door, out the gate and down the road.

Most mornings I’m the only dog walker crazy enough to be out by 5:30am. Others follow after but often I’m on my way home when anyone else braving the early hours is just starting out. I like this quiet time. It suits me just fine not to see another living soul while we walk along the road moving off the side once or twice for a few local ‘tradies’ to pass by on their way to work.

About a third of the way into our walk, alone in the dark and flashlight swinging back and forth, not really using it for the benefit of sight, more for preserving my life from on coming traffic, I almost step onto something protruding from the tarmac. As I side step the mound and point my flashlight downward I see a cow plop. This is not the first time this has happened.

My brain registers it on the odd-o-metre, but I continue on. A little farther down the road and some more dark mounds can be seen in the early morning light. Climbing the hill another little surprise or two await me. Yanking the dog aside so he does not step in it I come to the realisation that this is not normal.

The first time it happened I had just passed it off as a rogue cattle beast but the number of presents left for my dodging pleasure suggest something a little more robust than one, either that or this beast was in a spot of trouble. The first time I worried that I might actually stumble upon the beast(s) and get trampled. I’m not exactly a farm girl in the truest sense of the word. The big animals are frankly, BIG! This time I wondered if the farmer realised his cattle were sneaking out of a night to party hearty on the roadside.

By morning I figured they must get back through their little, wait, make that a LARGE escape hatch in the fence and saunter around as if nothing had happened and they had been snug in their fenced fields all night. Perhaps they were waiting just out of sight in the growing morning light watching to see if the idiot walking her dog in the dark would step on one of the large poo bombs dotted along the road. I could see the Far Side comic picture now with cattle in army helmets, a hoof on the dynamite detonator and the remnants of exploding poo swirling in the air with dog and owner incapacitated on the ground.

As before no cattle were seen on my walk and we returned home sans poo on shoes or paws. Perhaps next time I’ll be awake enough to keep my flashlight slightly ahead and down but sooner or later I bet the cattle will get the last laugh.  ©