Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Holding onto the light - January 5 on 5

I find it hard to believe that a year has passed since the start of this 5 on 5 project. A simple concept: five photos posted on the fifth of the month with no rules and no pressure (as my sister, who started the project, always reminded us). With this January 5th post, we have now come full circle.

Often I was blogging and uploading my photos at the very last moment...pushing myself to post scant minutes before midnight on the fourth. But the sense of accomplishment was a reward in itself.  The best part though? The community of women who have made up this 5 on 5 project. Although most of us live long distances from each other across the U.S. and in Ontario, Canada, and we lead very different lives, I feel a real kinship with them. What an unexpected surprise and joy to be a part of that.

And so without further is my last post to conclude a calendar year of the 5 on 5 project. This one captures some moments from December - the light found around the holidays of course, and a little extra.

Thank you for joining us all on this journey. Who knows what is next!

(Click on photos for larger or sharper versions.)
This little guy always adds light to our family. He deserves the numerous appearances in my 5 on 5 this year.

Have to include one of the tree. I have never had an artistic one, with coordinated lights and matching ornaments. This one is jam-packed with ornaments from childhood, multi-coloured and different sizes, and covered in glimmering tinsel. Love.

Pretty paper and bows. But it's the love they represent that lights the room.

Our Christmas table. Some years we have a dozen people seated around it, others just five. But the gathering together of friends and family at Christmas is our way to hold the light.

This may seem an odd photo to end this particular post but a few days before Christmas we learned that this is the lovely university that my eldest will attend next year. A symbol of her hard work and her dreams, it's all light.

Thanks for spending time here today and through all the past year. I have loved sharing the scenes and people, and of course the light, that caught my eye over the past 12 months. It has been fun!

Now, please step on over to spend time in the lovely warmth of Kris's lovely photographs - I know her words and images will make you smile. 

From there you can once more click on to experience all the wonder of the rest of our 5 on 5 community. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Falling into 5 on 5

My monthly 5 on 5 photo blog nearly slipped past again but I snuck it in under the wire.
 Glad you came by to visit - read on, and then check out the other blogs!

This year, October did not live up to its autumnal promise in our neck of the woods. Unseasonable warmth lingered till the very end of the month with only a nod to Fall on an occasional frosty morning or blustery day. Because of that, the rich hues that we normally welcome were muted - more yellow, less burnt orange, more leaves of speckled brown instead of rich red and rust.  

You can see that difference in the following photos but my determined search for Fall colour was rewarded, though sometimes in more subtle ways. Light helped.

It always does.
(Click on photos for larger or sharper versions.)
It's ridiculous how happy these warty pumpkins made me.

What are these? Don't know, but their delicate strength caught my eye.

Light drenched.

Golds, greens, browns were still beautiful. The plastic bottle? Not so much.

He was more red than the leaves. Pretty boy.

Thanks for spending time here today. Now step on over to see the breathtaking clarity and detail found in Maureen's lovely photographs. From there you can click on to experience all the wonder of the rest of our 5 on 5 community!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Earth to sky and all between, September 5 on 5

The time for the monthly 5 on 5 photo blog snuck up on me this time around, but here we are! Glad you could drop by - read on, and then check out the other blogs!

The days, hours and minutes of this summer are flashing by and I blinked this morning to find that the return to school is only two days away. So I settled in, slowed down, and spent some time wandering through the photos taken on our trip to Prince Edward Island in August.

We skipped and played in the beloved fields and woods where L.M. Montgomery wrote Anne of Green Gables, soaked in the sun on the island's breathtaking shores and ate SO much delicious seafood. But as I skimmed through the hundreds of photos captured on phone and camera, I noted that my photographer's perspective often seemed to pull the eye toward the sky. Sky obsessed, I call it.

But I ramble... so as the minutes tick toward the deadline to get this post published (!) I will simply present my chosen five.

(You can click photos to enlarge.)
PEI's red roads fascinated me.
My girl, Sea, sky, wind.

 Beach house garden - and a peek at the sunset.
Most easterly point of the isalnd - click on this one.

Thanks for spending time here today! Now step on over to see the heart-stirring images on Kris's photography site. From there you can click on to experience all the September wonder of the rest of our 5 on 5 community!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Room to breathe - August 5 on 5

It's August! Is Summer flying by for you, too? Thank goodness for this monthly 5 on 5 photo blog so that I can save the season to enjoy again later. Read on, and then check out the other blogs!

I spend a significant portion of our household's disposable income on vacations. Whether we camp or cottage not far from home, take a jaunt to the warmer coasts of California and Florida, or soar further afield to Europe or Asia - I believe wholeheartedly that every darn cent it costs to get us there is worth it.

Every moment I take to show my children the world outside our door, every opportunity I have to escape the more typical routines, deadlines and expectations of daily living, every photo I capture of vistas unseen from the safety of home, makes me feel that I have more room to breathe, to deeply and happily INHALE life.

Two weeks ago, I headed west to the Canadian Rockies and spent five whole days with my sister exploring the lands around the gorgeous town of Canmore (with the added benefit that a dear cousin lives there now and we had a mini family reunion). GORGEOUS. I gulped and inhaled huge amounts of that mountain air and despite a sniffly cold one day and a migraine another, felt joyfully alive.

Take a breath.

(You can click photos to enlarge.)
Quarry Lake above Canmore. Seriously, doesn't it look like a scene from an old movie?

Kim capturing the amazing hue of Lake Louise. I'm always fascinated to watch where her photographer's eye takes her.
Trees. Mountains. Breathe.
Look at the moss! (Inside joke, but really, another breathing moment.)
Sky capture, Emerald Lake.

Thanks for spending time here today! Now step on over to see the always breathtaking images on Janice's Shine photo blog. From there you can click on to experience all the August wonder of the rest of our 5 on 5 community! 

(And because you came this far, you get a little're welcome.)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer starts here - July 5 on 5

Wow - it's time again for the monthly 5 on 5 photo blog! I'm posting from cottage country where internet is intermittent at best, so let's hope I can make this happen!

In 2008, a dear friend invited a group of us to a family cottage on the shores of Lake Huron, Ontario. Little did our four families know then that that lovely week would be the start of an annual escape from our busy lives. Always at the end of June as soon as school let out, it marked the start of summer for all of us.

Our children looked forward to those seven days all year. "Sister-friends" from babyhood, they waited to reunite at the cottage, and spent hours exploring beaches, playing board games and hanging out in their own bunky. The moms would go a little crazy planning a plethora of delicious appetizers and cocktails for the week, then would slowly wind down as we settled into Muskoka chairs to chat, read and catch up on our lives.

Fast forward almost 10 years and the oldest of our girls is about to head off to university. The youngest two will be starting high school in September and all are busy, as teenagers are, with their lives. Adding another facet to the changes this year, the magical cottage is being sold. As I prepare this post, we are in the countdown of what may be the final days in our little piece of paradise.

But we can't be sad. We are all together now in this gorgeous place. Maybe we will return, but if not there will be other adventures. For now, we are enjoying every beautiful moment.

Sister-friends in the cottage hammock, circa 2008.


Ever changing, the view from our summer home.

Pebbles and driftwood.

Serenity. Peace. Beauty.


Thanks for spending time here today! Now step on over to see the meaningful images on Kris McNeil's 5 on 5 photo blog this month. From there you can click on to experience all the July wonder of our 5 on 5 community!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Oasis - June five on five

Wow - it's time again for the monthly 5 on 5 photo blog! I missed last month but I think that was meant to be. A little something that I've always wanted is now a reality and I get to share it here. 

We have been in our home for almost 14 years. The girls like it - a lot. But in all that time, I have never used the master bedroom balcony. Poorly designed, it was more like a massive cage with walls that towered over my head than a place to read a book or enjoy a wee drink. So for 14 years I have watched sunsets bloom, storms threaten, and snowflakes drift and settle - through the windows of my room.

Fortunately for me, the old spindles and posts of the balcony finally rotted out. (Even spongy, insect-ridden, peeling wood has a purpose!) And now a new gorgeous railing, built by a real carpenter, has transformed the cage outside the windows into the oasis I had longed for in my sometimes crazy life.

Oasis. Say that word out loud. It's marvelous. And the definition? Oh not the one about a water hole in the dry desert, but THIS one: Something serving as a refuge, relief, or pleasant change from what is usual, annoying, or difficult.

Perfect. So come pull up a chair and I'll pour the wine. You're welcome.

Just a sample of my end-of-day view. Ahhh.

I bought a planter! For the balcony! These beauties make my heart happy.

Honestly, who needs palm trees with this in my oasis?

This buddy finds his way out there every chance he gets.

Hello lovely.

Thanks for spending time here today! Now step on over to see the glorious blooms on my sister Kim's 5 on 5 photo blog this month. From there you can click on to experience all the June wonder of our 5 on 5 community!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Embracing magic - April five on five

MAGIC, I love the thought of it. I love fairy tales and castles and imaginary princesses trapped in solitary towers (especially when the princess saves herself). Oh, and sparkling pixie dust and musical spells and mice who wear clothes.

So, of course, Disney World. Loved it when I was little, loved it as an adult, ADORED it when my girls were wide-eyed toddlers. When she was not quite three, my now almost-17-year-old stared up at Cinderella and BELIEVED that she would keep her safe from that nasty witch, Maleficent, hanging out nearby.

My girls are almost past magic, but not quite. So a few weeks ago, I grabbed my two teenagers and we set off for Florida once again and bundled a lot of fun and exploration into a very short few days. And I discovered (remembered?) that magic is always waiting to be found. 

The magic I grew up loving. I felt like bursting into song when we turned a corner from Tomorrowland and were met by this vision.

You would think I would have focused on the castle. But no, it is my lovely, brilliant daughter who captures the moment.

It's not a magic fountain, certainly not a perfect photo, but the light pulled me toward it every time I walked by,

Seriously, these two. If this isn't magic, I don't know what is.

The castle again. But different. Not the perfect fireworks shot, but powerful. And the shadowed tower in the foreground? MAGIC.

Where did the month go? Can't believe this is my third five on five (five photos on the fifth of the month) - a project I share with some very talented photographers. As usual, I scrambled to pull my five together. But no matter, I made it! 
Now you MUST travel on and visit my sister, Kim's, 5 on 5 post - you will definitely find magic there!