#Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Stipes & Check Join Forces – Sort of

#Lens-Artists Challenge #132 – Striped & Checked | Leya (wordpress.com) Leya’s quote started me out in stiches.

Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.

Albert Einstein

New to me, usually I don’t include music with my posts, but I found the White Stripes, and if you watch the YouTube you’ll see so many stripes and checks, you won’t be able to count them. Besides, I thought the song was cute. Hope you like it.

“Take care not to wear stripes that are out of sync with your wrinkles.”

George Burns

Wrinkles are the furthest thing from my mind as I sit at my desk, I’m inspired by the beauty of the snow. Keeping the cold from touching anything but my eyes is an network of stripes and checks. Okay, you got me, the checks are a stretch. 🙂

On the other hand, if you are more interested in stipes than checks, here is a picture of our upstairs neighbor’s steps. They left for their winter home last week. The amazing thing about living here is that the condo cleans off all the sidewalks and stairs. Heavenly – all the beauty – none of the pain. 🙂

It was hard to find checkered and stripes or even checkered in my recent photos. So you will have to settle for rectangles and stripes. Possibly those three blank areas in the bushes could be a checkerboard, don’t you think? See the back of the sofa where the cushion blew over? Do diamonds count?

“The way money goes so fast these days, they should paint racing stripes on it.”

Mark Russell

By the way, a bit of random information, a diamond popped out of our garbage disposal a few days ago. It’s amazing what some people think is junk! 🙂 It didn’t survive perfectly. The former residents did not claim it, so who knows how long it’s been there. It fixed the funny noise the garbage disposal was making, though. 🙂

I liked this picture so much when we first got to Prescott, that I made a mousepad of it. I’m sure real mice love it in real life.

Again, these are not perfect checkerboards, but let’s see if they pass the mustard. This is on the way down to the bridge above. Cindy’s condo has some excellent walking trails.

Phyllis Diller has defined my sister-in- law’s and my weight goal in a year.

My sister-in-law is so skinny that she has a striped dress with only one stripe.

Phyllis Diller

More stripes without any pretense of checks. This is what we saw from our front porch this morning at about 9:00. The hills are obliterated by the clouds for only a few minutes longer.

Even Einstein might think this combination of lines would be too much.

Remember when?

Martha Stewart was found guilty on all charges. You know what that means, stripes are in this year.

Jay Leno

Go surf all the Lens-Artists comment sections to encounter the Striped and Checkered experience in full measure.

Attention Photographers

A hobby blogging friend of mine, Frank, is looking for photographers to collaborate with him on his website. He writes but wants to promote your photographs. It’s a great opportunity for fun and exposure. Contact him here. Collaborators – Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking while walking (wordpress.com).  He will be host #WQWWC on February 10 – LOVE!

Announcements

  • This month our  Story Chat features author Anne Goodwin and her short story, “A Post Card from the Past.” Join in the conversation and give us your perspective. We’ve heard from writers, teachers, social workers and clinical psychologists each with their own theories. What’s your take?
  • I’m super excited that Carrot Ranch ran an interview about Story Chat in the Saddle Up Saloon.
  • Autty Jade, A Day in the Brine hosts this week’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge – Change. There’s still time to write your post and link to her blog. She’d love to visit you. 🙂 P.S. So would I. 🙂
  • Watch for a reblog from Hugh Roberts about Tweeting on Monday
  • Welcome Restless Jo as the newest Featured Blogger on the Challenge Host Interview Series coming up Tuesday.

See you on some of your favorite challenges. What are your favorite challenges?

#Becky B’s Square Upsidaisy Street Shot Twosomes

Happy end of palindrome day. 1-22-21 (same backwards and forwards)

The featured image was one of those screens and mirrors-type pictures taken in Las Vegas. The person on the left reflection seems to have her feet going the wrong way.

Horses
On Main Street
Woodlake

The Saturday before each Mother’s Day, except in 2020, the Woodlake Rodeo Parade reigns supreme in downtown Woodlake. My favorite parade participants rode up on their horses. Clip, Clop, Clup down the main street called Valencia – a type of orange, the other symbol of Woodlake.

Upsidaisy, Pup
Youthful enthusiasm
Tough to keep in tow

On Puppy Girl’s first big trip, we took her to Solvang for the day. She loved walking the city streets and getting attention for her “Flying Nun/Yoda” ears. Puppy Girl can leap onto walls better than Humpty Dumpty, and though she looks a little tipsy here, she really had all four paws planted firmly up on the wall.

Streets look deserted
Carol and Mandy debate lunch
I snap their picture.

This street-wise twosome, Carol and Mandy, her sister-in-law, made the best tour guides of the gold mecca of Australia, Ballarat. Here they stand debating the best restaurants where I could taste the Australia’s finest delicacies in the CBD – Central Business District. I think that was the day I had pumpkin pizza.

It’s not every visitor who gets to spend several weeks in the homes of those who live in the country, soaking up the culture organically. I can never thank all my wonderful blogging buddies and their friends in Australia who went out of their way to show me a wonderful time.

Given that there were a few teachers in the family, I also learned more facts about Australia that the average American on a three-week tour. It could be that Carol and Mandy were debating what questions would show up on my next Australia quiz but my bet is still on the food.

If you want to read up on Australia, I wrote a series about my 2016-2017 trip, so you can camp out in my search box.

Attention Photographers

A hobby blogging friend of mine, Frank, is looking for photographers to collaborate with him on his website. He writes but wants to promote your photographs. It’s a great opportunity for fun and exposure. Contact him here. Collaborators – Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking while walking (wordpress.com)

Announcements

  • This month our  Story Chat features author Anne Goodwin and her short story, “A Post Card from the Past.” What’s really going on in this story?
  • I’m super excited that Carrot Ranch ran an interview about Story Chat in the Saddle Up Saloon.
  • Autty Jade, A Day in the Brine hosts this week’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge – Change. Get your posts ready with quotes about change and your thoughts or photographs about the quotes and link to her post tomorrow.
  • Watch for a reblog from Hugh Roberts about Tweeting on Monday
  • Welcome Restless Jo as the newest Featured Blogger on the Challenge Host Series coming up Tuesday.

Have a wonderful weekend. See you on Lens-Artists and Sunday Stills.

#Lens-Artist Challenge #131 Emotions

This week Patti Moed in Lens-Artists in Challenge #131 encouraged us to get emotional in our photography.

Becky’s ‘UP’ Squares Challenge for January motivates us to square up all our pictures and tie them to the word UP, even it is housed in another supporting word.

To be honest, I’m great at getting the backs of people’s heads or other body parts, in this case. This little pouch clearly expressed his emotions as we passed him on the sidewalk.

“Please protect me, Dad. Pick me up – NOW!”

Speaking of needy and demanding pouches. We have one of our own. Puppy Girl, or Pee Gee, or PG Weegie, had no intentions of letting us leave home without her. No how, no way!

I went to the driver’s side to pick her up, and she scooted back to the passenger side. It takes two people to move this little mutt when she is determined. 🙂

Event pictures used to be my assignment as a Kiwanian at our July 3rd Blast. These kids clearly reflected joy as they splashed down the water slides and quickly scrambled up the ladder to go again.

Later in the evening at the July 3rd Blast, the families of Woodlake enjoy a spectacular fireworks sponsored by many of our local businesses. I didn’t take this picture, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen such awe expressed on a little girl’s face. Even the lady behind her smiles at the toddler’s enthusiasm. I’m sure it involved more than pointing up at the sparkling fireworks!

At another of our signature events, Toys for Joy, the parents shop and get the gifts wrapped while the children wait in another room. Apparently that did not bring joy to this little tot! His little sister looks on aghast not knowing quite what to say or do. Research says that girls mature before boys, and here’s one example.

She looks so stoic, like she’s saying, “Buck up, Bro.”

Emotions are enhanced, not expressed in this next picture. The colors, lights, and big screen shots manufacture excitement and joy to create ambiance at the Elton John concert in Las Vegas. Sorry Becky, I couldn’t bring myself to square up this picture even though Elton’s and the crowds’ expressions don’t show in the bottom section of the picture. They must have been thrilled to swarm around him as he played.

Finally, I want to end with a story. My brother and I took a trip to the Oregon coast and stayed in Newport, a fishing town for a few days. One day we took a boat ride out of Newport Bay into the Pacific.

At the beginning of the trip, the guide set out traps to catch crabs. When we returned, she pulled out the traps and showed us how to handle the crabs. I love the expressions as people watched her pick one up.

Then she invited her audience to give it a try. Nobody seemed super eager as she petted the crab’s tummy and put it to sleep.

Finally one brave girl stepped up to the plate and gave it a whirl. Look at the change in the onlookers’ expressions when she tried it. The uppermost thought in the white coat lady’s mind was relief.

Or maybe, “Mmmm, clam soup for lunch!”

Not everyone was convinced to try it.

Thank you Patti for offering this chance to examine how we capture people’s emotions in our pictures. Check out her site for more pingbacks and emotional pictures. I will try to be more cognizant of expressions and emotions from now on.

Attention Photographers

A hobby blogging friend of mine, Frank, is looking for photographers to collaborate with him on his website. He writes but wants to promote your photographs. It’s a great opportunity for fun and exposure. Contact him here. Collaborators – Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking while walking (wordpress.com)

Announcements

  • Tomorrow is our next Story Chat with author Anne Goodwin and her short story, “A Post Card from the Past.”
  • Today I’m super excited that Carrot Ranch ran an interview about Story Chat in the Saddle Up Saloon.
  • Autty Jade, A Day in the Brine hosts this week’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge – Change. Get your posts ready with quotes about change and your thoughts or photographs about the quotes and link to her post tomorrow.

The Moving Blues

Terri Webster Schrandt’s challenge to us this morning on Sunday Stills is to find something that is glacier glue. Since I have avoided cold for the past 35 years, my photos reflect my life style choices.

But now we’ve moved, and still no glacier blue pictures. Like Terri, I walked by a treasure, my brother’s high school pottery project on my counter top waiting to go to the office.

As squared UP as I could get it for Becky B’s Square Up Challenge

My brother isn’t artistic in a traditional way, but Mom had kept all of his pottery masterpieces, which were very heavy. They had been in our garage for 20 years. Vince brought them out, and they stayed outside during the moving process while I got the blues as I debated about what to do with them.

One piece was particularly ugly, something that only a mother could love. I thought about mailing it to my brother, but then I thought about the cost of shipping. I hesitated, but on the last day in CA, sadly threw it away. It was maybe more glacial than this one.

I could not bring myself to give UP the other three pieces, so I stuffed them in the nooks and crannies in the car after Vince was already headed down the road – truly a last minute decision.

Now I’m so glad I did.

My friend Carol has the most unforgettable glacier picture on her blog the Eternal Traveler.

Attention Photographers

A hobby blogging friend of mine, Frank, is looking for photographers to collaborate with him on his website. He writes but wants to promote your photographs. It’s a great opportunity for fun and exposure. Contact him here. Collaborators – Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking while walking (wordpress.com)

Reminder

#WQWWC – Change will be hosted by Autumn Jade on her blog, A Day in the Brine, this week. Topics can be found on Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge. Thanks to Yvette Prior for host last week’s challenge on the Priorhouse Blog.

Story Chat has a new story coming up on Tuesday, written by Anne Goodwin.

Thanks for stopping by!

Get Squared Up for the New Year with Becky B.

#Challenge Host Interview #9

I am so proud to introduce today the hostess of the Squares Photo Challenge, Becky B. of Becky of Winchester on my hobby blog, Always Write. I met Becky through my Photo Challenge friends, Cee Neuner of Cee’s Photo Challenges, and Terri Webster Schrandt of Second Wind Leisure last summer or early fall. I love the word games Becky B. plays with her photo challenges. She’s so popular with many of my readers that I was thrilled when she said, “YES,” to an interview.

What prompted you to begin to host a photo challenge? – Squares didn’t actually begin as a photo challenge! The very first one began because I need a focus for a month. I was still reeling from the death of my Dad, and with what would have been his birthday in September and a busy month for my first ever festival I wanted something to keep the blog alive and myself distracted. So Square in September was born, and within hours a few friendly bloggers decided to join in the fun. By the end of the month there were around a dozen joining me daily, and I realised there was potentially a great challenge in my hands. So Squares as a challenge was born! I must at this point shout out to a few other amazing bloggers who run challenges such as Debbie from Travel with Intent, Jude over at Cornwall in Colours, Restless Jo and her Monday Walks and the Queen of Challenges the incredible Cee. I have learnt so much from all of them and other great challenge hosts.

What is your purpose in hosting the challenge? How does it support photographers? – I hope to provide a friendly place where photographers can make new blogging friends and find inspiration as well as having the opportunity to share their photographs, thoughts and lives. By making it a requirement that every shot is square it levels out the playing field and so every photographer, whether brand new or experienced, faces the same challenge of creating a great photograph in a square. And it seems to be working as not only has my photography improved, but Squares has become a community. There are now between 50 to 75 bloggers taking part every week during the challenge month, and some of those have become great friends.

How long have you been hosting Becky’s Squares? Have you hosted other challenges? – Squares began in September 2017, and it takes place once a quarter. To date there have been 14 square challenges with the themes of flowers, sky, circles & squares, roofs, in the pink, time, spiky, blue, lines, words ending in light, top, perspectives, kinda and up. I have tried hosting other challenges, namely ‘Past Meets Present’ but as I host two blogs for myself as well as organising a major festival, managing website and multiple social media for a charity I volunteer for I now focus just hosting Squares.

How much time does it take from preparation to follow-up each week? Everyone’s challenges run differently. What steps do you take to get your challenge ready?  – ooh that’s a tough question! I guess each theme takes a few days or even weeks to be born, and then once I have decided upon it I have to start collating my own photographs. Prior to the pandemic I would decide themes months in advance and so I could easily take new photographs specially for the challenge as well as drawing upon the archives. In this new world however I tend to decide much nearer the time and need to dig deeper into my extensive photographic archives. Up to 6 weeks before the start of the challenge month I will share teasers and then an official announcement. Then a week or so before the challenge begins I will set aside a couple of days to prepare the photographs and then schedule every square post in advance. Occasionally the last few days won’t be scheduled until the end of the first week as I like to be inspired by everyone else’s fabulous squares. Everyone is so brilliant in fact that quite often once the challenge starts I will tweak posts or throw in new squares. Once the challenge starts I will spend up to 3hrs each day visiting other posts and responding to comments, and then there are my galleries. These have evolved over the years, but I now keep a record of every participant and my technique of creating prose for each one seems to have become a favourite for everyone. I have such fun collating the galleries, and the half day or so I spend on them is always a pleasure.

How did you attract people to participate rather than to just leave comments on your post? The trick it seems to me is to have a really simple challenge idea that just takes off on its own accord, however I admit it does help if some of the major league bloggers take part! Other things that seem to help is to connect with others both during and outside of your challenge, and this is best achieved by taking part in other challenges yourself and regularly leaving comments on other posts. I love taking part in other challenges so even when Squares is happening you will often find I am also taking part in others. 

Supermarket Views – The UP doesn’t have to mean the direction.

What do your participants say they like most about your challenge? What do you like most about hosting the challenge? It is an honour to host Squares; everyone is just so lovely. You’d probably have to ask all of them though why they like it. If I had to guess I suspect there are three possible reasons 1) there is only one rule your photograph has to be square, 2) it takes place for a whole month x4 per year and you can post as frequently or infrequently as you like, and 3) I collate a gallery so everyone can visit everyone else at least once.

What are you most looking forward to in 2021? Having the vaccine and being able to get out and explore again, and in particular meet up in person with some of my blogging friends and non-blogging friends. It has been so long since I saw them in person.

Do you have anything else to share? Tips for readers, advice for blogging? Take time to understand how your blogging tool (WordPress, Blog, SquareSpace etc) works, it will pay off in the long run, and most importantly have fun with your blog. Not only is it your voice, and a great creative outlet, it is a fabulous place to make friends.

Thank you again for joining me, Becky. I’m sure that my readers, many of whom are mutual friends, will love getting to know you better.

Becky’s Contact Information

BeckyB as in ‘Becky in Portugal‘ and ‘The Life of B‘Twitter – @BBWinch and @beckyinportugal
Instagram – @lifeofbb and @beckyinportugal

Other Photo Challenge Interviews

Attention Photographers

A hobby blogging friend of mine, Frank, is looking for photographers to collaborate with him on his website. He writes but wants to promote your photographs. It’s a great opportunity for fun and exposure. Contact him here. Collaborators – Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking while walking (wordpress.com)