Photo Challenges

With all the photo challenges on Instagram, I have a tough time keeping track of where they’ve all been shared and seen. Not so Virgo-y of me but whatever. So I thought, before I forgot, I should share some of my favorites from this past month. I had a family themed/inspired challenge back to back with a fall colors one which ended today. I bet you can guess which is which.
outside on

Wild horse at Assateague Island, MD on

Eastern Gray squirrel on


Virginia creeper on a monument in the graveyard on photo challenges on

shots day on

bedtime giggles on

Selfie on

Fiona in the rusty radio flyer on

tickles on

under the table on

She's ready for her close up on

Halloween blue on

The Shore’s Farmlands

There’s a lot of farmland here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore (we are a state divided by a Bay ergo Eastern and Western). The climate allows for abundant and beautiful produce for its growing seasons.The Giant Sprinkler Beast Eastern Shore farmland on

The Shore’s money was made in a canning industry boom in the early part of the 20th century.  I enjoy watching the farmers in action during the harvesting seasons and the way the fields and farmlands change character with the different crops.ThA barn on Eastern Shore farmland on

 Eastern Shore farmland on And being able to see over these distances makes you feel expansive inside. As if you can sprawl out into the space and you belong to it and it to you. I grew up in a city and I was used to the claustrophobic anxious jumbled up sprawl that is a city. Plenty to keep your brain busy and your senses piqued.

A boat and soybean field on  Eastern Shore farmland on

 Eastern Shore farmland on

 Eastern Shore farmland on

But once I moved here, although I don’t much like the flatness of it all, I began to appreciate the quiet peacefulness. A sense of returning to the old and honest days, the ways of yore. Grain silo on Eastern Shore farmland on

Horses on Eastern Shore farmland on

A great place to raise children to be sure. As long as you keep them occupied and involved in their life’s interests, away from the TV, and don’t allow them on ATVs. Dangerous those. This is a place where’s there’s one traffic light between me and civilization. Traffic light on Eastern Shore on

And sometimes I traverse that road once in a week if at all. It’s the Denton/Easton road to the locals. And all but three of these pictures were taken on my journey to drop off my daughter at her Grammy’s house. Story of my day and my life, thanks for reading.

Defining Myself in Negatives

Seems my inner voice can be quite contrary. When I pay attention to the louder conversations I am having in my head, I notice that I’m often using negatives to stop the conversations. As in, ‘I can’t do that because’ or ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I’ll never have enough’.

We gave our 9 year-old a hard time for his extremist expressions. We were having a “discussion” and his part went something like, “why don’t your ever let me…? I never get to…” And the extremist opposite which is, “You always…”. And I realized that, although that is probably his age talking, if I don’t provide another example, I will be leading this habit by example right on through to his adulthood. They do as you do, not as you say.

purple coneflower on

What I suspect I’m keeping myself from when I use my ‘can’ts’ and ‘nevers’, is success. I have a fear of it you see. So I am cluelessly calculated. I will never Succeed if I don’t try. Nor will I Fail. Imperfectly won’t be attempted either. And so the nevers and can’ts make sure I’m in control of the outcome. Twisted and yet makes perfect sense.

I have this aching memory of being at a pool birthday party. Side note, I nearly drowned twice as a child but by this time, maybe 11 or 12, I’d learned how to at least tread water or do the frog, still my go to stroke. When you attend public community pools, it seems a standard practice to have the children perform and prove to the lifeguard that they won’t be the first to drown. And I refused to take the test. And dis-included myself from the fun. I was an outcast by my own choosing. But at least I was in control of not failing. Or of not being accepted into the group.

Shirley McLaine in pink on

Conceptually, I could write down these thoughts as soon as I notice even a whisper of them. And allow them to sit somewhere until I’m ready to take a good look at what I need to do anyway despite myself. I can if I believe I can. Simple as that. I can’t if I don’t. But sometimes those negative thoughts disguise themselves as something else. Helpful and necessary perhaps.

When fear is standing in the middle of your psyche like a big bully daring you to pass, it’s prickly and oozy and scary and loud. It’s a familiar foe and may smack of too much effort to pass and shove your way by. But your story won’t get rewritten unless you redefine yourself right past that fear and into the “I can, I will, and I’m gonna” land beyond.

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