Friendly Friday Photo Challenge-Illumination

   Another wonderful prompt from Amanda for this week’s Friendly Friday Photo Challenge, hosted by her and Snow.  It gave me a chance to go through old photos and I smiled a lot today! Most of these photos are already in other posts here, but it felt good to put them all together in one:)

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Home, New Jersey

 

 

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Tokyo, 2008

 

 

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Walk through the park, New Jersey

 

 

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Good Times, Minneapolis

 

 

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Dusk, Miami

 

 

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Dawn, NJ

 

 

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Diwali, New Jersey

 

 

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A snowy evening, New Jersey

 

 

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Home, New Jersey

 

 

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Sunrise, Maryland

 

 

“Darkness cannot drive away darkness, only light can do that. Similarly hate cannot drive away hate. Only LOVE can do that”Martin Luther King Jr.

Chairs- Friendly Friday Photo Challenge

  I am late this time but I finally have some for last week’s prompt by Snow for the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge that she co-hosts with Amanda !

   I have never photographed chairs and so when I saw the prompt, I was a little bummed as I thought I would have to miss out participating this week too (I had already missed Amanda’s prompt of Alleys the week before). And then I dug into my archive and found a couple and decided to present a different angle…not just chairs (or seats) but view from seats that are some of my favorites and I am hoping this will be okay. I am also going to keep a lookout for chairs that I can photograph and have a nice collection of my own! Thanks Snow for the motivation:)

 

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Someone had thrown this chair which looked to be in pretty good condition in the recycle dumpster the morning of the prompt! It made me think of a time, not that long ago in the past, when we as students, would be on the lookout for furniture, like this one in recycle dumpsters, that could help our apartment look like a home where people lived, rather than just an empty space! Nostalgia is a good thing 🙂

 

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And these stacked chairs outside the local grocery store, along with many others of a similar type, seem to say- ‘It’s almost summer…buy me buy me!’

 

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My boy was too little at that time to climb the stool and I remember him asking for some help ‘climbing the piano stool’. With no one around, he played it in his own way, lost in a world he has come to love dearly…that of music.

 

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A couple of springs ago, at one of the parks in our neighborhood.

 

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Ocean City, Maryland

 

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Not a very good photo, this is still one of my favorites…because of the memories attached to that particular day and moment. It was dusk and we were on our way back to the mainland after a trip to Liberty Island and as we looked on at her, the PA system on the ferry reminded us of what the statue stood for and a beautiful message that spoke about humanity in the face of all odds. It was a humbling experience.

 

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With not many options in this land that we have now come to call home,  this is how we have been celebrating Diwali and Christmas:)

 

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This was taken way back in 2009 in Silver Bay, Minnesota near the Split Rock Lighthouse. One of the houses along the shore that used to be the cabin of the keeper, has been turned into a museum of sorts with everyday items from that age (the early 1900s) preserved beautifully.

 

Thanks Snow!

Raindrops

Thank you Amanda for inspiring me to photograph raindrops! I just have a few to share for the moment, but I am going to work on this till I get the ‘the one’.

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(The last two photos have been used earlier for Amanda’s Friendly Friday Photo Challenge-Raindrops)

 

 

 

Monday Motivation

  A lot has been on my mind of  late that keeps adding to the troubles of the ever- anxious me. Spring is refusing to spring here with the almost incessant rain and overcast sky. Even the coffee maker is having to work harder than usual to help with the mood around the house!

   But today is a bright sunny day and everything looks cheery! It was a happy ride to the school this morning and the smell of the freshly cut grass especially after the rains, one of my favorite smells, was exhilarating.

   I took this photo right outside my kiddo’s class this morning… flowers are starting to pop up all around and adding to the beauty that is Spring:)

 

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And the thought that I want to leave you with this morning is something I try to remember when overwhelmed with circumstances beyond my control.

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You are welcome to leave a photo of anything bright and colorful in the comment section, if you wish to!

Have a happy week, you all.

Monday Motivation/Challenge

    Who hasn’t heard about the Monday blues…right? It affects, I think most, even my four year old (in his own I-can’t watch-TV-as-much-as-I want way maybe!) and is dealt with in, what I can assume, a variety of ways from heading straight on to procrastinating to trying to feel happy about a hopefully productive week. What do I know? As a stay-at-home mom, many think we have it easy. And, I would rather not engage in who has it easy and the whys and why nots associated with such a trending topic, that ironically has been a ‘trend’ since probably for ever! When I was a grad student, there was no time for the Monday blues and for a brief period after that during my internship, my  enthusiasm for the work I was learning about, took care of any hues of the blue. Things have been different for many years now, I have battled what I can only call a form of depression in a manner I knew best and with a lot of support and understanding from Neel. For someone who has always had a job and had hopes of making it in this new place, not being able to have one for whatever reason, has been and continues to be an issue that I struggle with accepting even today. And when I gave up looking for jobs, I tried to make peace with the fact that it was going to be okay. I can’t honestly say if it has been okay or not, but I have moments every day where I still find myself thinking about the big ‘what if’. But, I am beyond grateful for my munchkins who keep me busy and in spite of exhaustion that gets the better of me at times, I am loving and learning from all the madness and love that oozes out from the little ones!

    So, maybe I don’t ‘qualify’ for the Monday blues (though I have quite a few to set the record straight!) but nonetheless I sometimes need a bit of motivation to push me through the day…I am guessing we all do in our own ways. For the past couple of weeks, I have been beating my blues by taking photos on Mondays -photos of bright things, mostly around the house and, kids permitting, outside. Colorful things that make me smile or reminisce fondly. I have been surprised by how everyday things that we tend to not pay special attention to, are cheery in composition.  Cranking up music that I find myself humming at that time also helps! Here’s my thought- I am going to try and take photos every Monday, blues or no blues and share them with you and you are welcome to join in through the comment section! Maybe you can share how you beat the blues or what motivates you, how you seek inspiration or simply the photos!

 

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As I got down from the car this morning at my son’s school, this greeted me and felt as                                             if it had been set this way to cheer me up!

 

Colorful blocks, cars from an imaginary race and oranges, waiting to be                                                    washed…we are surrounded by colors!

 

A couple of things I had made a while back. for my son’s room, that I rarely                             look at when in there, but the colors caught my eye this morning.

 

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Though on its way out in many areas around here, its beauty is still                                                                          ethereal, don’t you think?

 

This was my Monday story and I would like to leave you with this thought. I came across this a while ago, reading ‘Consequential Strangers’ by Melinda Blau and Karen L. Fingerman and I keep revisiting this in my mind, especially under current global circumstances where ignorance and disdain seem to be the current mode of operation.

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Hope you all have a good week!

 

 

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge- Mood

   It’s Monday and I am a tad bit late for this, but here is this week’s prompt from The Snow Melts Somewhere for the Photo Challenge-Mood. Hosted by Snow and Amanda from Something To Ponder About, the weekly prompts have been my motivation for taking new photographs and I am thankful to them for that! In case you haven’t checked out their blogs, I  suggest that you do so:)

   As Snow pointed out, weather does have an impact on the mood of many…myself and the good man included. The gloomy and cloudy weather, that sadly seems to be spanning a significant portion of spring here in New Jersey for the past couple of years, at times dampens the otherwise cheeriness that tiny green leaves and chirping of birds bring. I don’t mind the long winter months as long as there is bright sunshine and so,  in spring when the cloud does not seem to disperse for long stretches, I weirdly find myself yearning for winter!

   We were at a stop light and this tiny barn shed flanked by two trees caught my eye, this Sunday. One was still bare while the other was covered in the spring leaves. I liked it and hence, I clicked! And once we got going again, it made me think about how sometimes change takes time. It can’t be rushed, it probably  shouldn’t be. The process unfolds on its own and interfering restricts the meaning. And I realized – that is what my ‘mood’ has been, for the past few weeks.

 

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   As someone who likes things done fast, this is an extremely valuable lesson. It lets me do things as and when they should be done, and that includes mundane things like doing laundry, but at the same time teaches me to pause and take a step back from rushing through life. It helps me take control of my emotions when my four year old is unable to grasp concepts that may look basic to me but are certainly not so for him! It’s OKAY if he gets confused by squares and rectangles, it’s OKAY if he gets distracted peeling off the wrapper from the crayons instead of coloring and it’s most certainly OKAY if he sometimes jumps on the bed while I wait to read him his favorite story. He is supposed to be doing these! It helps me wait for the right time to get a job, allowing me at the moment,  watch my kids achieve their own milestones. It also reinforces beliefs that I have always known to be true and which I have held on to at times when all was not smooth sailing.  It also guides me to remember Rumi’s ‘let silence take you to the core of life’, but a monumental piece of teaching that it is, I often fail to adhere to its principle. However, I am trying and I hope one day I will be able to grasp a tiny bit of its essence  and in the process learn to live organically and mindfully.