Who hasn’t heard that quote, but did you know who said it? I didn’t. Ben Franklin made a lot of quoteworthy statements during his life. One man took them to heart and tried to remake his life living in accordance with Ben’s advice. If you haven’t read the book Ben and Me by Cameron Gunn, you are missing one of the funniest books in the history of mankind. I read it on a plane with tears in my eyes from trying not to laugh out loud. Here is my review, if you want a little taste of it. Sadly all my post’s likes disappeared when I moved it from my self-hosted blog, not because the book is bad. 🙂
Carol Cormier hosts a relatively new challenge, Thursday Trios, which encourages us to take pictures of groups of threes. Today my husband Vince brought home the most beautiful apples. Pretty as a picture, if you ask me.
An apple a day keeps anyone away if you throw it hard enough!
So pretty, in fact, the the three bunnies had to jump into the picture.
That tree is very old, but I never saw prettier blossoms on it than it now bears. That tree grows new wood each year. Like that apple tree, I try to grow a new little wood each year.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I like that quote. I am not growing any new wood, but I try to learn something new each day. Inspired, I walked outside at 5:00 to grab some golden hour pictures to experiment with lines and shapes.
Fortunately it wasn’t snowing today on Blooming Hills Drive, our street. Sure enough – three clumps of blossoms jumped into my camera, survivals of the gusty 30 mph winds on Wednesday and snow on Thursday.
Hope to see you here tomorrow for #Sunday Stills Respecting Your Cat.
Writers Quotes Wednesday’s new Quote Theme is Travel for next week – It’s time to get back to it. Have you seen the new Lens Artist Challenge #140 for this week – A Change of Scenery – hosted this week by Beth from Wandering Dawgs? It’s perfect for double dipping.
This week Amy challenges the Lens Artist Community to focus their efforts on the natural light coming from the sun. That gives us all the variety we need to create what photography is all about, capturing the light. If you want to join in, cut and paste the “natural light” link to Amy’s blog and walk into the light.
All of my pictures this week come from either Arizona or California where I have called home and enjoy sharing.
“I don’t paint people and things; I paint the way light reacts to people and things. This brings me to the basics about light and dark.”
This photo came from one of the resorts where we stayed in Sedona. I love the way the sun casts shadows on the maze making it even more amazing. I love all the contrasts. The sky is such a pastel blue and the trees trunks are so white in spite of the overall darkness of the body of the photo. The frame blocks out 100 percent of the light adding another dimension of texture.
“We cannot express the light in nature because we have not the sun. We can only express the light we have in ourselves.”
I chose this picture because the sun is not the obvious protagonist. Our focus turns to the rocks, the broad valley, and to the ethereal layers of foothills and the group of dormant volcanic peaks known as the San Francisco Peaks beyond the Granite Dells. Humphrey’s Peak, the highest of the peaks located eleven miles north of Flagstaff is 120 miles away from my home in Prescott, and I could see it that day.
“The light in winter is most varied; there are days when it’s clear and bright, carving the earth into light and shadow like a razor. Yet, at times, the light can be soft and quiet as a whisper, with color of the most intense chromatic variations anyone could ever need.”
When I went out to take pictures after our first day of snow in Prescott, my mouth dropped open at the color of the sky dripping and reflected in the snow turning everything salmon. I did not photoshop this picture to change the color at all. Amy, I finally experienced the “golden hour.”
To illustrate stark differences in winter photos that caught Peter Fiore’s attention, this picture taken January 16, 2008 “which carved the earth into light and dark like a razor,” can never be replicated. Even if there happened to be another crystal day with that much snow on the Sierra Nevada mountains, the old Visalia Electric railroad bridge burned several years ago leaving a only black scar.
“Why is it called ‘after dark’ when it really is ‘after light’?”
Maybe most of you know George Carlin, “American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic, and author.” Wikipedia. Unlike so many, my television hours were limited as a child, and I grew up liking that lifestyle – so, basically uncultured. But since I started hosting Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays, I’ve run into his sharp humor about several topics.
I took this point and shoot of a gorgeous sunset from our California home, Bellavista.
Most people would guess that the sun is fifty or a hundred times brighter than the moon, but it’s a half million times brighter – evidence of the amazing capacity of our eyes to adjust to light and dark.
Of the ten or twelve pictures I have of the moon, this is the only interesting one. I’m not sure why. It might have been a blue moon, or I might have been shaking as I held the heavy telephoto lens, at its most extended position. Or possibly the clouds make it dramatic. But as bright as it is, the rest of the sky is black. It obviously does not have the power of light that even the little dab of sunshine in the picture above has.
“Light is a thing that cannot be reproduced, but must be represented by something else – by color.”
This dazzling burst of color came from the Woodlake Botanical Garden, which I have talked about so often. I fell in love with these zinnias, but when I planted zinnia seeds in my yard they were much more spindly and not so vibrant. This is a perfect picture for a digital puzzle because of the many colors.
“The sky is the source of light in Nature and it governs everything.”
Artists have an “in” when it comes to light. So do these sun worshipers. I chose this picture to go with the quote because sunflowers turn constantly following the sun. It makes them look like spectators at a race.
My Reading Material This Weekend
Amy has over 200 comments on this challenge. Amazingly all four Lens Artists visit everyone who participates. According my my rough estimate that’s about 800 visits a week! The amount of time this takes boggles my mind, so I try to visit 25-50 of them. I’ve been listing them to make it easier for myself, then I cut and past the links to my blogging journal. You are welcome to use my journal or my list if that makes it easier to visit people. If I miss you, feel free to leave me a link in my comments.
With winter still in full swing in the northern hemisphere, Terri from Sunday Stills wanted to challenge us all to look at and photograph objects that are the color white. If you live in or around snow, then show us your snowy scenes. If not, the color white is all around us.
Grandma was a stickler for bright white laundry. I remember her adding bluing to her wash when all sheets and towels were white and men wore white shirts. Using bleach alone turned her whites increasingly yellow.
Where I could, I found pictures with blue the skies to brighter the whites. Did it work?
It must descend, as the dew, upon the tender herb, or like melting flakes of snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.
Prescott snow is almost completely gone.
WHITE FLIGHT IN AUSTRALIA
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.
C. S. Lewis
PUPPY gIRL gLISTENING WHITE
“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling the emptiness we didn’t ever know we had”
Welcome back to Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge.
It’s simple to join in! Find quotes (as many or as few as you want), your choice of response. If you want to participate, write a post, create a pingback to link your post. Not sure how to do that? See how to create pingbacks here.
Flex your creative muscles and share what you think about the topic of the week using a quote from a favorite author.
The Topic This Week
This week’s topic for #WQWWC is trustworthiness, trustworthy or trust.
Trust seems to be in high demand and low supply in some arenas of life today. But how valuable is trustworthiness?
“The glue that holds all relationships together … is trust, and trust is based on integrity.”
Integrity means the quality or practice of being honest.
In my mother’s preschool class a little boy took another toddler’s sunglasses and paraded around the room with them on. When Mom caught him, he cried and blamed a little girl across the room as he maintained tight possession of the sunglasses.
Blame creates distrust.
“Our distrust is very expensive.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
How to Build a Community with Trust
“A society that relies on generalized reciprocity is more efficient than a distrustful society, for the same reason that money is more efficient than barter. Trust lubricates social life. Networks of civic engagement also facilitate coordination and communication and amplify information about the trustworthiness of other individuals.”
Robert D. Putnam
Tulare County Office of Education(TCOE) teaches character and recognizes in children across the county for qualities like trustworthiness. Our leaders supported teachers with the program Character Counts so that students would learn the Six Pillars of Character that will make them good citizens and leaders when they grow up.
Until our department at TCOE studied The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey, I had never associated trust with economics and speed. It made sense though when I considered how easy it is to get something done when there is trust in the relationship.
One of the reasons that moving from Woodlake was so hard for me was the economics of trust that I enjoyed because I was part of a trustworthy organization. Getting things done for Kiwanis was simple. Sometimes we signed paperwork. Sometimes the city did the paperwork for us. Sometimes we paid a fee, but most of the time it was waived.
Kiwanis had built up trust with the city and it followed all of the members because of the years of honesty and follow through initiated by a few individuals.
Groups that did not have that degree of trust developed, got little done and had a hard time attracting members.
When I took an active role in Kiwanis, I felt my personal competence in trustworthiness grow. Kiwanians were known to always go the extra mile, therefore my personal level of trust with others in that community grew exponentially when I did business in their name.
How to Grow Self-Trust
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.”
My parents tried to build trustworthiness in my brother and me by assigning chores. One of my chores at age seven was emptying and burning the trash in the large oil drum in the backyard. (Showing my age here!) At least I thought burning was part of my responsibility. The trash barrel was humongous and I wasn’t, so I remember it being a difficult chore, but I loved the burning part. I remember my parents taking that chore off my list when the fire got out of hand one night.
The trash was not the only thing that burned that night. My self-trustworthiness went down a notch as well. What I learned was that if I botched the job, I probably would not have to do that one again or possibly would face some kind of punishment for not completing the assignment successfully.
During my school years I developed the habit of excusing myself. Forgot my homework, Mom will bring it. Don’t want to speak in front of the class – play sick. Don’t want to do an assignment – wait till the last minute. It’s no wonder that I had very little self-esteem. I wasn’t building self-trust.
One way to build self-trust and reputation for trustworthiness is through participation in church, family, job, community service organizations, sports, local theatre, or musical groups. Being part of a group holds us responsible and develops character. But developing self-trust goes deeper than keeping good company.
“The process of building trust is an interesting one, but it begins with yourself, with what I call self trust, and with your own credibility, your own trustworthiness. If you think about it, it’s hard to establish trust with others if you can’t trust yourself.”
Trustworthiness is important at every level, as Stephen Covey points out. My husband and I vowed to walk 35,000 steps a week when we moved to Prescott. No one is checking up on us. This week we are not doing it because of the snow. It is going to be hard to make it up, it’s much easier to let it slide. If we want to increase our self-trust we will find a way to get those steps in or make it up later. If we do it, we will feel good about ourselves. And we will get in shape – a side benefit.
Being trustworthy is hard work for me. I have a post that I have to get out for Wednesday, January 27th. You are going to hold me accountable because the name of the challenge has the weekday built in it.
So what is trustworthiness to you?
Here are some other quotes I found that I wanted to share. There are hundreds of others that may inspire you.
“When we feel unsafe with someone and still stay with him (or her), we damage our ability to discern trustworthiness in those we will meet in the future.”
“Women in my focus groups, they say a bald man is trustworthy. He has nothing to hide. “
“Your faithfulness makes you trustworthy to God.”
Edwin Louis Cole
“People crave trustworthy information about the world we live in. Some people want it because it is essential to the way they make a living. Some want it because they regard being well-informed as a condition of good citizenship. Some want it because they want something to exchange over dinner tables and water coolers.”
I look forward to reading what you have to say on the subject. Talk to me!
These bloggers are incorruptible, so I’m going to face their preoocupations head on and give them something to chat up. I’m happy #Hobbyblogging!
First the Fog
Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now!
Searching through my archives sent me back to December 11, 2012 a few minutes after 8:00 am to find these extreme foggy day photos. Sometimes you have to pull off the road and enjoy the scenery. In this case there wasn’t any, so I enjoyed that, too.
All of these photos fit into Terri’s Sunday Stills theme and they are all squared up, so Becky B will have to bat her eyes to try to clear them up. Warning: There is nothing wrong with your eye sight.
I think this shot also applies to Cee’s CBWC – Vanishing Point, too except that you have to imagine that the point vanishes somewhere out there in the wild gray yonder. I can sort of see it. Can you?
All the rest of the foggy day pictures are from the same day. I liked these pictures because in the fog the cultivated field looked like a very choppy sea or river to me. I walked on the “water” to get a better picture. It crunched beneath my feet. If only someone had been with me to capture the moment. What a loss!
As the sun started to break through the fog, you could begin to see the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. There’s Sawtooth!
Of course you see it, don’t you?
It wasn’t long, as I waited, and the sun came out a little more leaving streaks of fog like layers of sandstone. The ground lost it’s choppy water look. Nobody would have believed me anyway.
You never realized how thick your fog was until it lifted.
Now the Clouds
“Ever changing clouds paint portraits on the sky, and each person sees a different image.”
Rhonda Savage Thompson
In the mile-high city of Prescott, AZ, we live in the clouds rather than under them. They are not painting a picture today as they do in other seasons. They are full of snow. Especially today. The Weather Bureau calls it a “Winter Weather Alert!” I call it a blizzard. Listen to the euphonious video Vince just took of the wind. Imagine flying in these clouds!
Just two of us
In the blizzard
Blanketed with cold
Giant clumps of snow
blown off hairy pine limbs
Drop in the path of no return.
I chose this picture for CBWC. Again the vanishing point is imaginary. The horizontal one cut off by the building, and the vertical one cut off by the square up. The sidewalk that was cleared three hours ago now is covered with about four to six inches deep.
I put on Vince’s boots and stomped out about five steps to look down the vanishing point. Wow. These clouds have been super busy.
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
This is all exciting the second time out this year. Vince and I feel like kids again. This morning we were living in the clouds. This afternoon, the clouds tried to blast a hole into our home. It clogged up the satellite dish and iced up my window so I can no longer see the snow as it falls.
As soon as the snow clears, I’m getting my own boots. I ordered electric socks to wear under them yesterday after talking to a young neighbor. Then I can take you on a walk the next time it snows.
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?
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 and so would I.