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!

Monday Motivation

Continuing with my ‘Monday Motivation’ post!

   It was ‘Mother’s Day’ yesterday, and I was determined not to write anything on that topic. I have had several conversations with close friends on the importance and validity of such a day and those discussions have had interesting outcomes…let’s just leave it at that! For me, motherhood has been and is a huge part of who I am. It defines me and I have no objection to people rolling their eyes at that thought. Because it is true. At this point in my life, that is who I am and I proudly embrace it. It is exhausting and endless and yes there are times when I feel overwhelmed but at the end, every drop of sweat is worth all the craziness and ask any mom and she will happily say the same.

   The importance of the role that mothers play in the lives of their child/children is undeniable and it nurtures and shapes the young mind. However, we all have women in our lives who have played/play an equally important role in guiding us through the ups and downs, who inspire and lift up people around them and without whose presence we would not be who we are. They are present as aunts, grandmothers, family friends, cousins, teachers, neighbors, nannies, friend’s moms and play a variety of roles as our confidants, our friends, our role models and at times who raise us. They too deserve as much love and appreciation on ‘Mother’s Day’ as sometimes their stories go unrecognized and they are left in the shadows while the world celebrates the mothers only.

   My mother was raised by her two of her aunts and uncles and the love that she has for them is just the same, if not more, as that for my grandmother. Her aunts never had children of their own and were unmarried and my mother was fortunate enough to grow up in a household that had a bunch of people who all played the role of equally devoted mothers and fathers. They nurtured my brother and me too and loved us with their whole hearts, celebrated our victories and wept in our sorrows. I was more close to them than I was to my grandmother and I know that’s true for my brother too. They loved just like a mother does and I know how much my mom misses them, now that they are no more.

   To women all around fighting their unique battles, however big or small, to women driving change, to women taking a stand, to women celebrating life, to women standing tall in the face of unfathomable sorrow, to women pausing a bit to take it all in- you are invincible.

 

And here are the two pictures I took today!

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The thought that I want to leave you with, this week-

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Have a happy week, folks!

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!