Playing with My New Camera…So Much Fun!

Not sure if I mentioned that my sweetheart bought me a new camera! He noticed that for the past year or so I have not been doing much in the creative realm, and wanted to inspire me. It really did!

This camera is much more intricate than my little Canon that I have been using for years. Although, I loved the photos it took, I always shot on “auto”. Now, I am learning how to shoot manual and reading about the basics of photography. I’m really excited about something for the first time in a while..(well, besides him of course lol).

These are the first two photos I have ever shot in manual, and I am loving learning more every day. Heck, I’ve had to spend a lot of time just reading the manual that came with my camera bundle and my Dslr book for Dummies. I love that I am learning something new.

Juvenile Cardinal

Juvenile Cardinal

Bird Song

Bird Song

A Little Bit of Catching Up…Procrastinating Done

Since I have been MIA for so long I am going to try to catch ya’ll up a bit.

I mentioned that I am in a loving relationship with an amazing man.

I could probably write a hundred ways that this relationship is different from any other I have had, but I won’t bore ya’ll that way. I will share one recent experience that will show the level of care and understanding I receive from this sweet guy.

Since Darrell and I met two years ago we have dated on and off. Off only because I was not really ready to begin anything serious, but we remained friends all along. Our feelings for each other continue to grow and we are closer than ever.

Anyway, I have been honest with him about my mental health issues since day one, my anxiety disorder, my depression and PTSD, OCD…you name it. (It’s like alphabet soup, right?)

About a month my eating disorder reared its ugly head for the first time in years. Being in recovery from anorexia is like a hibernating bear….asleep, but not dead. Well, someone poked it with a stick and it has come back mean as ever.

I was terrified to tell Darrell about it. For one, he knows enough about my mental health, and two, eating disorders are a very secret thing. Telling is not something that is easy to do, not even in therapy.

We were on the phone the other night when I started to tell him…then, well, I just couldn’t stop. I shared all the scary, nasty, nonsensical, crazy, illogical reality I have dealt with for the past few weeks.

I told him how it started with just wanting to lose some weight before Summer. I explained how it is with eating disorders, how it is so easy to cross the line from dieting to starving.

I thought for sure that this would be the last straw. That NOW he would go running. He didn’t.

Instead he called me from work later and told me how he was going online to find out more about anorexia. He said he didn’t understand it, but wanted to help me.

Even later that night, while he was still at work, he called again. He suggested I try to get back into some of the things I used to love…like my photography.

I was so touched and in awe of this man for thinking of me so much in the middle of his busy shift at work. I know that might sound strange, but any of you that know me know that I have never experienced what it’s like to be truly cared for…not like this. I couldn’t fathom that he had me on his mind that much and while at work, trying to figure out what to do for me.

The next day he took me to Walmart and let me pick out a really fantastic new camera!

Even though this gesture did not silence ED (eating disorder), it did give me something else to focus on (no pun intended) for the past few days. This camera is so intricate and has so many functions that I have actually only studied the manual, and some lessons online so far lol.

I am hoping to actually start taking photos with it today or tomorrow. I have not had much sleep, so probably tomorrow.

Thanks for listening to all of this rambling. I am so incredibly blessed by him…he warms my soul.

Beautiful live oak

Beautiful live oak

A Room with a View….My Latest Project

Back in January, the housing program I am in decided to move a few people around. I was one of those who was moved into a smaller apartment. I actually love the complex more than the other. It is much quieter here and I am closer to the ocean.

When I saw how small the kitchen was my first thought was, “It needs a window”. I love to have a window to look out of while I cook or do the dishes. So I hatched a plan.

I found the window frame at a local antique fair, and then had one of my own photographs enlarged to fit. So, now I have a window “view” over my sink. I can also switch out the photograph if I’d like to change the view!IMG_4458

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Before I Was Homeless…A Short Drive and a Big Epiphany

My first day of school was so great! I love my instructor and my classmates, and I was so into just being in a learning environment again. I had thought that the “basics” would be totally boring, but alas, like any good scholar (who has a good teacher), I came away knowing things I hadn’t when I walked into class. I never thought I would be back in school at 54 years old! I’m so grateful I got this opportunity.

I even stayed after class and put in some of my mandatory lab time…I just didn’t want to leave!

Anyway…When I was finally able to tear myself away from my desk…I got in my car, opened the sun roof and cranked up the tunes. The sun was beaming down on my face…the breeze, with just a touch of salt, was wafting through the car…It was pure joy.

I turned down Fourth Street and passed through my old neighborhood…taking me past the house that is no longer mine, with the husband and dogs that are no longer there, past my old life…and you know what? I did not feel a bit of regret! Nope, not one bit. You know why? Because as I drove past all I thought of was the lonely, sad, defeated, hopeless woman who used to live there…and she is no longer there…Nope. Here she was, driving home from school, heading to her new apartment…THIS IS MY LIFE! Oh my gosh…I can’t really convey on the page what this felt like… I started to tear up with joy.

I mean, just a little over six months ago I was sitting in that house alone and scared. My husband had just left that day, and I had taken my sweet dogs to the shelter. I got back to that little house that last day, scared and not knowing what was to come. I didn’t know what I would do with all the belongings in that house. I had no idea where I would go two days later when the eviction notice took effect. I sat down and decided to order Chinese food…I mean, come on…it’s not like the $20 was going to get me a place to stay, right?  I was beyond exhausted by all the loss, pain and worry. I decided for just that night to eat Chinese food and watch my favorite shows in my little house one last time. I decided to just “be”.

As I finished what I now refer to as “The Last Supper Before Homeless”…I took the fortune cookie in my hand and prayed…I prayed for everything I had lost, and everything that I knew nothing about…where I would go, where would I live, what would happen to me along the way?…When I finished praying, I opened the cookie and this is what I found…

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I had no idea at that point what my future would bring, or all that I would have to face…but, it was that little ray of hope I needed to just keep going, to take the next step…So, I took that little fortune and taped it to the front of my laptop…it is still there. And look where I am now.

I would never have imagined that all that loss would turn into all this gain, all this happiness, and honestly, there are still five months left to this “current year”. Who knows what else in in store? Now that I have made it over all the loss…survived being homeless, gotten a wonderful new place to live, new friends who care so much about me…and now, a chance to go to school…I am sitting here tonight in what can only be called “BLISS”. I have more than enough food, enough love, safety, warmth…and best of all…more hope than ever before. What can I say…I am blessed.