Moments Photography by Sandy: Blog http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog en-us (C) Moments Photography by Sandy (Moments Photography by Sandy) Sat, 17 Feb 2018 03:52:00 GMT Sat, 17 Feb 2018 03:52:00 GMT http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/img/s/v-5/u921737924-o109626404-50.jpg Moments Photography by Sandy: Blog http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog 120 120 Set the Stage for Lizzy Pearl http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2018/2/set-the-stage-for-lizzy-pearl      To set the sage for something means that 'conditions have been made right for something to happen".  Whenever you see anyone on stage you have to know that there was much time and practice to get to that moment.  Sometimes it is just attributed to talent.  But even talent has to be used to prosper.  I was raised with the thinking, "If you don't use it, you'll lose it." And I would add that these gifts are given for a reason and when you engage in them, you are blessed with feelings that come from nowhere else.  Below is the sage name that I have newly adopted for my performances.  Given that my original songs are inspired from thoughts often times beyond my own "thinking".  Words and thoughts can come when I ask for guidance and at random times.  I piece them together into rhyme, rhythm and tones.  These songs convey the messages given to me through life's experiences.  The intent is to provide healing and help to others wanting to piece together the meaning of life with a compassion for this journey and all its inhabitants.  I perform alone.  This gives me the freedom to change the tuning of my guitar to that of healing.  This frequency 432Hz is also called the "scientific tuning".  It is mathematically attuned to the frequency of the earth which is 8Hz, making it "a harmonic intonation of nature."  ( https://attunedvibrations.com/432hz-healing/   - link to more information) .  It would benefit us all to make this change as the accepted frequency of 440Hz is disharmonic, while the 432Hz is considered a symphony.  The song "Imagine" was recorded at this frequency.   All together, all in peace and harmony with each other and nature is a wonderful thought.  "You may say that I'm a dreamer but I not the only one." John Lennon, Plastic Ono Band

 

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) 432 hz harmonic frequency imagine life's lessons lizzy pearl love stage name talent http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2018/2/set-the-stage-for-lizzy-pearl Fri, 16 Feb 2018 21:37:00 GMT
Adaptability, Not Intelligence, Not Strength http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2018/2/adaptability-not-intelligence-not-strength If adaptability supersedes intelligence and strength, then change is to be embraced. So, change is good. So, change is good? Hum,  I only changed one thing in that sentence - the end point.  And my, oh my what an impact of a change that made.  With a period change is seen as good. We even make a celebration to announce some of these changes.  Perhaps it's the birth of a child, a graduation of schooling or maybe a new place to live, some fresh food or some cut flowers for the table.  My Dad said that change was one of the two things you could always count on.  The other was death.  And death really is just change as well.  But that is one of the hard changes.  Even when the logic in your brain can remind you that it is inevitably a change we all must experience. Sometimes we struggle with the day to day acceptance of another's death until we do finally accept and the suffering ends.  It doesn't mean we don't miss the person, it only means that we embrace the changing days of life.  So life is really changing all the time.  I like learning so I embrace change with as much grace as I can.  And no, grace is not my forte, but I try.  I know that there is a zone of discomfort when you are learning.  It's proven in research.  So if you are to grow and change you will get uncomfortable.  Growth is outside of the comfort zone.  You can't skip over this part.  You can complain about it, but it only slows the process.  You want to get through it?  Then get to it!  It takes courage to make some changes. Choose the changes that your heart "tells" you to and release the changes that happen out of no control of your own.  And relax into this mysterious journey that we call life.

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) adaptability be the change beauty change change is good death learning life is a journey love mind over matter http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2018/2/adaptability-not-intelligence-not-strength Thu, 01 Feb 2018 15:49:21 GMT
A Journal or Two or Three http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2018/1/a-journal-or-two-or-three A journal is a daily record.  I have been successful with journals I use to record interesting thoughts while reading a book.  My favorite journal is suggested in a book "Ageless Goddess".  In the journal you write a brag, a gratitude and a desire.  That's an easy, feel good kind of journal.  But, what I need to journal is food.  That not only means I am doing it on a daily basis, and I am doing it all day long, but I also need to break down the information into smaller specifics like the macros and calories.  Why?  My why is not only the release of excess body fat but also to rebuild an immune system that was compromised by diet.  I didn't know any better and now I do want to know.  My parents didn't know any better.  They were marketed to by businesses, namely the meat and dairy that had business in mind NOT the health of the people.  This massive marketing and processing of food by a number of other companies has compromised many digestive systems and created allergies and diseases for the masses.  But there is hope.  I am continuing a way of eating introduced to me in the book "Hot Belly Diet".  They must have picked the title to interest people who like to diet.  It is a diet but unlike any I have ever seen.  It's easy to follow. The first half of the book explains that this diet is Ayurvedic medicine which is based on the premise "Let food be thy medicine."  I have never felt better and had such an appreciation for nourishing my body with food.  By changing my diet I have cured most of my food allergies. But I need to take it further in order to lose weight according to the results from my body fat test http://www.bodyfattest.com/ by the business Get Tanked.  I got in a tank of warm water to determine my body fat ratio.  She talked to me about the amount of calories I eat.  No, I don't eat as many as she recommended.  And after years and years of watching not only what I eat but how much I am eating, I'm at a loss for eating that much!  So my first strategy was to decorate a journal so I would at least enjoy looking at it as it will be sitting out as a reminder in some prominent place.  The second strategy is to just journal what I normally eat for awhile.  I plan to analyze it on Sunday.  Then I'll make a strategy for increasing my calories with healthy choices.

Yes, there is more than one journal.  The one on the left is for food (artwork cut out from a Mary Engelbreit calendar).  In hopes of helping others I adopted the theme "share".  Many people have diabetes.  Dr. Suhas G. Kshirsagar in "The Hot Belly Diet" has documentation that eating a plant based diet with meat added on occasion can cure this condition.  It is a much different way of eating but in many ways it is more simple.  You just can't fast food it!  The additional journal on the right is for helping me to track my habits for other goals that I am working towards to see how the daily, weekly, monthly practice is working for me.

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) beat cancer brene brown cure allergies cure diabetes dare greatly food as medicine goals healthy habits hot belly diet journal mary engelbreit calendars plant based still life tea time http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2018/1/a-journal-or-two-or-three Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:12:14 GMT
Life as a Wrapped Package http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/12/life-as-a-wrapped-package Life is a gift.  And you as a person is the package.  I think each person determines what the packaging of this gift is like by how they act.  Some people appear to be like baking soda and vinegar in an overflowing bottle of continuous out spilling of a mess kind of package.  Others are tightly taped up, relatively perfect and appearing untouched by the world, never really showing what is inside.  I'd like to think that my package is somewhere between these two, but more like a Christmas present.  It's wrapped in paper that is imperfectly taped to cover perfectly all that can only be seen if I allow myself to be given.  You look at the package guessing what's inside but not really knowing until it is open.  And even then, it takes time to truly appreciate what's in the package.  Life is like that too.  Life is given to us and we look at it like a package thinking about what we might want it to be on the inside.  Sometimes there is a feeling of anticipation.  Sometimes we might be thinking about what we need to give back.  Always I hope that the unfolding brings what you want, need or don't know you need so that you can become more fully you as the layers of your packaging changes with time.

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) christmas package gift life life is a gift opening package still life http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/12/life-as-a-wrapped-package Tue, 26 Dec 2017 21:06:40 GMT
Inspire Means In Spirit http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/12/inspire-means-in-spirit To be inspired is to be "breathed into" or "communicated by divine or supernatural power" (Online Etymology Dictionary).  Although I don't have the direct reference for the the title of this blog, I know I found it online as well while searching for meaning and direction of thoughts and songwriting.  Logically it stands to reason, as well.  Within this vessel called a body is the eternal soul and a living spirit.  If you have learned discernment for the thoughts that run through, spirit or divine communication is happening.  It's always a quiet voice.  On this occasion it spoke with gentle prodding to try darker images.  Below is the result.  I used techniques learned from reading the photography books by Bryan Peterson.   One such skill is to take the light reading to the side of the sun and ignore the camera's meter after you reposition.  I set the speed on 250 to freeze action, the aperature was f32 so that I could stay at the low ISO 200.  The low ISO and f32 allowed for the depth in color.  With my finger freezing the focus just to the side of the sun I moved slightly to the right pushing the shutter down as the sun came into view while also closing my eye.  When you shoot into the sun it is important to protect your vision by squinting and/ or closing your eye when the sun comes in view of the lens.  Note the sacred geometry in the snowflakes to the right.  You might think it is the sunbeam, and they might be. I cropped the first image to show that the typical green dots from a sunbeam on the left.  The last image was cropped to show the rainbow around two of the geometric shapes and one that is completely a rainbow of light. I hope this inspires your awe and compassion as you journey along life's trails.

This image has a better composition.  It's like looking down a rabbit hole of light.

The new order of light.  Everything's going to turn out alright.  Choose the light.

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) beauty bryan peterson compassion discernment in spirit inspiration inspire listen love quiet voice http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/12/inspire-means-in-spirit Wed, 20 Dec 2017 16:41:24 GMT
Celebrating Snow http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/12/celebrating-snow In the south, where I live, snow is cause for celebration.  So what do we do when it snows? We stay home. Schools are cancelled. Work will send people home because if it sticks to the roads, no one will get home. We don't have the infrastructure to deal with snow on the roads. We don't have snow often enough to need it.    I love it because we get to play and then it goes away.

This day's snow was especially fun because it was a wet snow. The perfect snow for making snow persons: one snowman and one snowwoman. 

In the south, women dress their finest on special occasions.  Today was that day. With buttons for eyes (make-up implied), a guitar pick for her nose and of course, pearls.   She is a southern woman of snow.

You can see the ice mixed with snow.  That is usually how we get snow.  It is rain first and then it turns to snow.  And that is why it is really important to stay home.  The rain makes for black ice under the white stuff.  Even for drivers like myself who have experience driving in the snow, this snow gives you little to scrunch.  And truly, there aren't many things in life that can't take a one day later arrival date.  No matter what it is, stop, take a break, play in the snow and resume whatever it is ... tomorrow.

So here I am, with umbrella in hand to protect my camera (image by guest photographer, Jennifer Caulder) taking the pictures that follow this one.

And then there are the dogs...from white to brown!  Good thing I made them a place to stay warm and dry. (See my post entitled Working with Wood).  I can't bring them inside yet because they are both rescued dogs.  One is too shy.  One is too wild.  Having been with me now for 10 months, we have made large progress and I do enjoy their company.  But my goodness, they have fun running the fence but what a mess this is!

 

 

 

 

 

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) celebration playing in snow snow snowman snowwoman south southern style http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/12/celebrating-snow Sat, 09 Dec 2017 02:08:55 GMT
Working with Wood http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/11/working-with-wood Inflexible is the first word that comes to mind when I think of working with wood.  If your building a structure, which has consumed my time, that inflexibility is what gives your building strength.  You want to put up a wall and it stays up.  But in order for this to endure over time, another concept of square is extremely important.  Not only will your door or window not open and close easily if not built on a square but over time the structure will become lopsided due to the effects of gravity.  Now this might not be as evident if the structure only has posts and a few walls as the beginning space of my latest learning experience.  I've been visualizing this lean-to as a shed for years.  And fortunately it is close enough to square to work.  I'm told it's only an eighth of an inch off.  Good enough for me so I began.

Working with Wood - for blog post Nov 2017

This image looks like a clean start.  Oh, but the work that happened before this image took many days.  All the items collected within had to be moved into the yard and placed under tarps. The carpet that was put upon the ground to deter plant growth was removed.  Dirt and rocks were added to fill in low lying spots, and compacted.  And at this point a frame of cement pavers and wood have been place to begin the process of making a cement floor.  The floor consisted of 22 fifty pounds bags of quick cement dumped over some fencing I secured to the ground with stakes during the fourth week in October.  It is now three weeks later.  I'd love to have a complete "after picture" but that is not possible.  I did reach my goal and made an area for my two dogs and a cat to hang out and be dry and warm.  I needed this in place before Thanksgiving.  It is ready for them.  

This image is the same view as above.  When it is complete there will be a hanging barn door in the middle.

West facing.  The lawn mower goes in and out these doors.

East facing side of the She Shed.

This is a look inside the left door.  On the far end is the dog door.  I had to put an old chair under it because it was up so high.  The blue pillow is on a pallet that was raised so one dog could sleep up high.  It also provides a space for a dog to get under it as one likes to do when there is a thunder storm.  An additional pallet is on the floor with a cushion. Along with the dog house that is outside there are 4 places to sleep for the two dogs.  On the top shelf is a place for the cat.  I made shelves up high so he could walk around and not have to hang out with the dogs.

Here is a picture of the doors made for two thirds of the walls and one picture with part of the framing that had to be made. The man pictured is my neighbor whose experience, helping hand and tools were invaluable!  And the mess in the yard.

 

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) building dogs kitty condo she shed http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/11/working-with-wood Thu, 30 Nov 2017 21:59:02 GMT
When Less is More http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/11/when-less-is-more Oddly enough when you add the word less to a word it can mean more.  Maybe it's the two negatives make a positive rule. Like this: add less to limit and you have limitless.  I love the possibilities of limitless.  When I look up on a clear, dark night, I can feel the lack of limits.  Or when looking at the horizon of the ocean, my limits are less.  Limitless is how many two-year-old children act.  They do whatever fuels their brain.  Jump off a couch?  Sure.  Run full speed.  No reason not to.  But as adults, we put many limits on ourselves.  Some are taught. I hear people ask me my age when I tell them I'm working on recording my music.  Or, gee that's nice, what are you going to do with it?  Huh?! Well, I'm not going to answer that directly.  We will just see how it all evolves.  American Songwriter, the magazine sent me a t-shirt when I subscribed that has printed on it: Don't Let the Music Die In You.  I took it literally.  And have been working my way towards that end for awhile.  

Day 59Day 59Music is my love.

This image of me is by my good friend and professional photographer, Linda Williams taken at the Recovery Shack.  It's a place where much music has been made over the years.  Music is limitless.  Consider the many types, Consider the fact that there are only 7 notes.  No limits - limitless and countless makings of music with only seven notes.  Who would think?  And really that's all it comes down to is thinking.  If you think and follow through, you too can be limitless.  Or mostly so, I have found some limits, not with learning music but in building with wood.  I actually found that I had limits.  You can learn a lot about yourself when you hit a limit.  I learned to walk away and come back with a different plan.  Sometimes the plan is to have someone else do it.  That works too.  

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) limitless love music making music http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/11/when-less-is-more Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:44:49 GMT
Pearls or Cowboy Boots http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/11/pearls-or-cowboy-boots Pearls or Cowboy boots is a statement not a question.  Those two items were my go to items when I needed to be reminded that being positive in the midst of all that was going on was the best option.  So I would wear pearls to work.  Or I would wear my boots.  And sometimes I wore both. It didn't matter what else I was wearing.  I personally think pearls go with everything.  Just like the image below of this precious "pumpkin".

 

I have my reasons of course. Boots just feel strong.  I like the way they sound when I walk.  They make me feel like I can do any kind of work and do it well.  Peals are the epitome of something beautiful that was created over time by being an irritant.  Just that small piece of sand that developed into a lovely object.  And when I wear them I remember that these life events that might strain my nerves, will turn out okay if I remember to have a good attitude and "take the high road."  And I did take this road less traveled.  To get a good mental picture you need to know that I was a school teacher for twenty-six years.  I always got long looks when I adorned my chosen objects but that didn't concern me much.  What was important was how I acted and these two items helped me to stay on track.  In fact I stayed on track so much so that someone gave me a sail boat.  I named the boat Lizzy Pearl. (And later I adopted this as my stage name for my original music - fun, huh?)

 

Lizzy is short for Elizabeth, my favorite name (although I didn't use this to name my daughters) and in honor of the lizard I found on the boat after I got her home.  It took me over a year to clean up the boat and recondition the wood, make new cushion covers, get new lines... you get the idea.  But she is ship worthy and she is mine and it was a gift.  After all those daily irritations, I got a boat. A sail boat was a gift from someone who worked with my husband.  A boat?  How incredible!  I felt like it was my payback for doing the right thing all those many years. A sail boat that I can enjoy.  Wow!  I learned to sail as a young woman of 14 years.  And I spent many summers on a friend's sail boat while my girls were growing up.  Now I have my own boat to share with those same friends.  And that means I get to be on the water.  What beautiful thoughts!

 

 

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) aggravation boots cowgirl karma pearls http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/11/pearls-or-cowboy-boots Tue, 07 Nov 2017 13:15:00 GMT
Eat Your Oats http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/10/eat-your-oats Nay, is only what horses say.  "So eat your oats!" I say.  I'll admit that I'm not fond of the sugary oatmeal packages that are so convenient.  It wasn't until I discovered the Steel Cut Oats that I became fond of oats.  Now, I eat them every day and who knew that oats were so packed with good stuff enough to call it a SUPER food?  I did not.  And if you did not, too, read on.  The links below have the information about oats. 

Science and Oats

Power of Positivity

Below the image is my recipe for Granola.  I love granola.  I don't love to pay the price at the store (and it's usually too sweet for my tastes) and this recipe will give you a tried and true formula that you can add or subtract from to make it anyway you might like.  On the cell phone is my recipe for Power Bars that have oatmeal.  You can find the recipe for that in my blog post from June 17, 2016 using this link:

Power Bar Recipe 

Granola

18 oz. old fashioned rolled oats; to make chunks: grind 2 cups into a flour using a Nutribullet or food processer

1 cup  dried fruit, any combination or selection 

1/4 c. chia seeds

1/4 c. sunflower seeds

1/2 c. chopped walnuts or nut of choice

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (boosts the metabolism, not enough to flavor it much; add more if you want a stronger taste)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 c. honey or half of a 1/3 cup of agave

1T - 3Tbs. coconut oil; If you want to have some granola chunks, double the oil and see the baking instructions below to NOT stir

1 tsp vanilla extract; Use the liquid, and add it to the coconut oil after it a cooled a bit or the powder to the dry ingredients

On the stove in a small sauce pan watch the coconut oil as it melts.  Take the pan off the stove as soon as it melts.  Add the honey or agave, and the vanilla extract if using the liquid.  You can put small dried fruit like raisins in the pan to plump up - optional, makes them so yummy.

In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, fruit, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts of choice, cinnamon and salt.  Add the liquid from the sauce pan to the dry ingredients little by little stirring until well mixed.

Place all of this in a cookie sheet with sides.  

Bake at 275 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Stir and rotate the pan at 15 minutes if you want a flaky granola. 

Only rotate the pan if you want flaky granola with chunks. Stir only after it cools.

Put granola in glass jars to maintain freshness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) granola healthy eating healthy habits oats recipe superfoods vegan http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/10/eat-your-oats Tue, 24 Oct 2017 20:14:15 GMT
A Beast of a Beauty http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/6/a-beast-of-a-beauty A beast of a beauty sounds like a judgment of a title.  But what does it mean? These days beast means that the girl is strong. In this case, strong and attractive.  Or would it imply that there is meanness packed into an image deemed pleasing to look upon?  Either one might ring with some truth dependent upon the thoughts and actions of the person.  We like to make comparisons and judgments.  Our brains like patterns.  Most everyone has some idea or opinion about what a female should or could act like and look like. This idea or belief system is learned.  We can continue the passed down ideas or we find a different way to think about what we are being taught.  I remember being taught to be modest and quiet.  Both were not easy for me.  I was taught to be giving.  I was always good at being sweet and still have a tendency to be ruled by the heart giving others thoughtful attention.  And yet, I was also taught that whatever I put my mind to, I could do.  Dad always said, "IF you think you can't, you're right, you can't. IF you think you can, you're right, you can."  You give it your all and you can call yourself a beast.  It's not a matter of perfection.  It's a matter of giving all of what you have, to the moment at hand.  Being in the moment and giving of yourself is beautiful.  Being in that place of trust where you can be vulnerable and show all that is you, is not for every moment nor every person.   It is for those people who have earned the trust to see all of you.  You are writing your own story. You aren't perfect.  You aren't meant to be. But if you own your story of light and darkness, "you get to write the ending" (Daring Greatly, Brene Brown) It's what makes you who you are at a given moment in time. To use your mind AND your heart is what makes a balanced woman.   The image says, "As one thinketh in his heart so is he."    When you put it all together, the heart is the beast. Your heart speaks in feelings and knowings.  The mind gives you words. Your thoughts become your actions and just as often, your actions become your thoughts.  You make your choices.  And your choices make you: beauty or beast, beauty and the beast, or beast of a beauty are some of the choices. 

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) a actions beast beauty centered choices heart of http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/6/a-beast-of-a-beauty Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:33:35 GMT
Men Soldier On http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/3/men-soldier-on

To soldier on means "to continue or persist, despite adversity or difficulty" by definition from Webster's Dictionary.  And many men do this.  We have this cultural expectation that at some point in a male's life the release of emotions is not thought of as "manly".  Men must armor themselves with a facade so as not to appear weak or afraid.  Feelings of sadness, worry, and grief, the "dark arts" are covered up.  Like the rusty, chained suit of armor found attached to an abandoned building along the back roads, it remains unmovable.  So like this "soldier" it rusts and remains unnoticed only to weigh down the individual all the more as it weathers over time.

Chained by the "unrelenting message: Do not be perceived as weak." (Daring Greatly by Brene Brown - this whole article comes from my interpretation and rewriting of her work on "How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead.")  We want to see our men as knights in shinning armor riding high on horses of noble lineage.  Really?  Do we really want our boys, teenagers, men, and or partners hiding away the feelings of their heart so we can live in a world romanticized in books and movies?  Or do we want to share in the stories that dwell within the human like the living book that they each are?  

To share these stores we all must dare to be seen.  We dare to reveal the person within that has emotions.  These emotions are ever changing.  In order to be seen, we must dare to be vulnerable.  This type of courage shows less fear than hiding behind the mask of "being a man about it".  This sharing and "owning our story" is not granted to all who would listen, as the cultural norms still exist.  This book within needs only to open with another who's trust has been earned while living life in the small moments, as trust is earned over time.

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) amor cultural norms daring greatly emotions healthy habits mask for feelings owning your story trust http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/3/men-soldier-on Tue, 21 Mar 2017 15:44:55 GMT
A Murder of Crows http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/3/a-murder-of-crows Some sights make me stop and just watch.  On this particular day I saw this extremely large gathering of black birds.  I can't say that they were crows but knowing that a group of crows is called a murder, I fancy that's what this is.  

A murder of crows, a gaggle of geese. a congress of baboons all describe a group of animals.  We human animals have a tendency to gather in groups.  We are hard-wired for connections.  And getting together is what we humans do.  Sometimes these gatherings revel in a "Control Drama" of the Ego which reveals that many people are still living in the most primitive flight or fight syndrome.  With birds it's easy to observe. In the human animal the responses have more names for "the fight".  According to Deepak Chopra these names are intimidation, confrontation, argument, indifference, stubbornness, and manipulation ("How To Get What You Really, Really, Really, Really Want" by Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra).  Carlos Castaneda says that there are only three types of people in this control drama life.  The people are nice, nasty or indifferent. If you don't want to live this way, you have to pull yourself away from "the good opinion of others".

If you want to go beyond these types of responses, you need to understand that you can create a space between the stimulus and the response.  I first learned about this with Stephen Covey in his book "7 Habits of Highly Effective People".  He called using this space "pro-active" and described it as choosing your response instead of responding instantly.  Wayne Dyer calls this space "the witness".  You look at the situation with the eyes of an observer.  Deepak Chopra goes on to explain it as a way of looking without making labels, not judging it as good or bad, don't put any value on it or analyze it.

It's a practice that takes you away from the EGO (described as "Edging God Out" in the book "Lead Like Jesus").  Anything that isn't driven by the ego, is lead by the spirit.  That makes this a spiritual practice that gets easier to do when you practice.  Once you know there is another option, then you have to practice it to make it the default way of acting or reacting to any situation.  Practicing Yoga or any physical activity where you are involved in the movement of your body and focusing on your breathing and activity will help your mind learn to slow down.  Slowing or calming the mind is getting you to a place where you can observe, or witness what is going on, giving you the chance to really be in control of yourself.

Remind yourself:  I choose ease.  I choose peace.  I choose joy.  (Lesson from "Your Spacious Self" by Stephanie Bennett Vogt

 

 

 

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) control drama healthy habits spacious self witness http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/3/a-murder-of-crows Tue, 14 Mar 2017 15:56:45 GMT
Blowing In the Wind http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/2/blowing-in-the-wind

Bob Dylan wrote, "...Yes, and how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind"

Blowin' in the wind, he says.  Use that blowing wind, I say, because within the quiet of the mind, a voice guides.  When thoughts come up, observe them as if it is a movie or cartoon.  Don't judge them as good or bad.  Don't decide if you should have them or not not.  Look at them.  Feel them in their entirety. And then you can let them go.  Letting Go is like blowing in the wind.  Once you are able to let go of these events that come up, more will come up to be released.  Let them go, too.  They need to go.  They don't serve you anymore.  Only what is in your best interest in your highest level of love and light can stay.  (For more detailed information see the book of the same title: Letting Go by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.d

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) emotions healthy habits letting go picture a day http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/2/blowing-in-the-wind Fri, 03 Feb 2017 20:44:23 GMT
Cornbread Dressing http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/1/cornbread-dressing Cornbread Dressing was a new food for me when I came to the South in the 1980's.  My favorite meal of the year has always been Thanksgiving for the turkey, dressing, green beans, cranberry salad and pumpkin pie. The last two listed were made by my Grandma Jester and nobody makes it any better, unless they are using her recipe.  The recipe and a fortitude to follow it makes all the difference in the world, come tasting time.  So I asked my man how he makes cornbread dressing.  All the dressing I had ever had with Thanksgiving faded away when I tasted cornbread dressing. First you'll need the recipe for cornbread in an earlier blog post:

http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2016/12/cornbread-comforts

 

Thankfully you won't be using all of the two pans of cornbread to make the dressing.  There will be just enough for dinner the night you make the cornbread. You can actually make the cornbread the night before you make the cornbread dressing. So make two pans of cornbread then read on....

Ingredients: onion, celery, butter, cream of chicken/celery/or mushroom soup (only 1 can, choose), 1 egg, and 1 tsp. fresh sage (really, get some fresh sage for this cornbread). 2 pans of cornbread, 9"x13" pan

Saute the 2 stalks of celery cut into small pieces and cook in the pan with butter until they soften a bit.  Then add in the diced onions and cook until the onions become transparent. Remove from the heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl crumble up one and a half pans of cornbread (you get half of one pan for dinner.  So be sure you have your vegetables on low simmer while you are making the cornbread dressing mixture).  Add in the cream of soup of your choice, 1 egg (already beaten), 1 tsp. sage, a bit of salt and pepper.  Mix it but not too much.  It should be a liquid like texture.

Cook until brown, 30-45 min.

It's relatively simple to make.  It tastes fancy.  It's so delicious. 

 

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) comfort foods corn cornbread dressing healthy habits image a day simple recipes http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2017/1/cornbread-dressing Tue, 31 Jan 2017 12:45:00 GMT
Cornbread Comforts http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2016/12/cornbread-comforts  

It is said that a recipe starts with a list of ingredients.  I would not agree.  A recipe starts with a yummy thought of eating something that brings pleasure to the senses.   Anyway. that's how it starts in my world.  I think about the yummyness (I know this is a made up word.  It doesn't look right if I change the y to an i, so forgive me) of cornbread and how it comforts my senses.  It gives the sense that time is forever the "now feeling" of being in a warm kitchen with the smells of corn and vegetables lingering as they are slowly absorbed from my nose to my gut.  If you know what I mean, you are more than ready for the list of ingredients below and a few words for the how to part...

As seen you'll need an iron skillet smothered in vegetable shortening.  Yes, you can still buy this at the store, (Crisco makes it) in the south anyway. 

In a bowl, put 2 cups of White Lily: Enriched White Cornmeal Mix, Self-Rising.  The recipe is on the side of the package (except the part under the first picture, which is a southern secret).  You can substitute but don't complain if your cornbread doesn't look like the last picture. The package does say "Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray." No doubt someone paid them to put it there.  See note in parenthesis for recommendations by this "Army Brat" that found the best tasting cornbread makers to get this yum written down. You will also need 1 egg, 1/4 c. vegetable oil, and 1 1/2 c. Buttermilk.  Buttermilk makes the best bread.  Milk is a second best, because it's better than no cornbread.  But Buttermilk really does make the best bread.

Stir all the ingredients with a fork.  Allow the mixture to be somewhat lumpy. Pour this into the iron skillet.  There is a debate if you need to put the iron skillet in the oven while it preheats or pour the batter into a cold skillet.  Both methods work well.  I prefer the heated pan because I love the thin crusted edge it makes all around the bottom of the bread.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minuets, give or take 5-10 minutes.  And oh, that does look like a good beginning for some cornbread.  I just might have to make some more after writing and viewing this post. Shear yum.  The peas are from the garden and are cooking while the bread cooks.  Below, the bread is cut so you can view the bottom of the bread on the left and the piece to the right is how the top side of the bread looks.  How the bread tastes is left for you to describe after you make some of your own.  Within the next week I promise to extend this blog with another post using this cornbread recipe as the start to cornbread dressing.  I have always loved dressing for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But, I had no idea how much more I would love dressing when I moved south and had cornbread dressing.  It's not hard to make once you can make cornbread.  And it is beyond good to eat. (Keep your eye out for some fresh Sage to use in the next recipe of cornbread dressing.)

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) comfort food cornbread love southern cooking http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2016/12/cornbread-comforts Wed, 14 Dec 2016 17:30:10 GMT
Pumpkin Faces http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2016/10/pumpkin-faces Sand art

Faces make a statement.  There was a time when I carried a pumpkin face on the clipboard I carried every where while on the job.  It was there to remind me that I needed to wear a "pumpkin" face with a smile.  Not like the one in the image, although I felt inside more like what it looks like. 

 

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) faces we wear facial expressions pumpkin http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2016/10/pumpkin-faces Tue, 01 Nov 2016 01:53:44 GMT
Supersized is Not Super http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2016/10/supersized-is-not-super Supersized chair in Dr office. We sat comfortably together.

It's kinda like adding just a little more changes it.  And it does.  It's called super size for that reason I suppose.  Supersize this meal and you may as well supersize everything else to go with it.  The chair above is a size bigger.  It is definitely super sized.  My daughter and I could both sit in the chair easily.  Although we are wearing smiles in the picture, it is not a laughing matter.  These chairs were found in the doctor's office for sleep disorders (although I have also seen the size difference in the public restrooms lately).  That being a circle story: weight can interfere with sleep and lack of sleep can increase your weight.  How about we just super size the word super by adding the letter "p", then it will be supper and that would explain the extra size!?

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) healthy habits super sized http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2016/10/supersized-is-not-super Tue, 04 Oct 2016 16:30:00 GMT
Four Plus Three Equal Seven And Peaceful Easy Feelings http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2016/8/four-plus-three-equal-seven-and-peaceful-easy-feelings Breath is the process of life.  And it is in the very process of breathing with intention that can be used to change everything.  It's simple and profound: Breathe in four counts.  Hold this breath for 3 counts.  Exhale for 7 counts.  Repeat.  

This simple act of controlled breathing changes how your body lives, operates and feels. It will calm the body, senses, nerves, emotions, blood pressure and more.  Make it a daily practice.  You'll certainly notice immediate results if you do this under duress or at the next meeting while someone else is exhibiting stress. Change your body with breath.  Change your life by your own design. Breathe.

 

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) breath breathing techniques healthy habits life is breath stress reducer http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2016/8/four-plus-three-equal-seven-and-peaceful-easy-feelings Tue, 23 Aug 2016 18:41:33 GMT
Dragonflies Extraordinaire http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2016/8/dragonflies-extraordinaire Dragonflies frequent my life.  They remind me that life is magical, to see through the illusion of life and remember that this is a spiritual journey.  Focus on your spirit as it is lived through the experiences of the body.  Live happy and healthy.  Be joyful and grateful.  These habits will help your spirit soar like the dragonfly.

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(Moments Photography by Sandy) dragonfly dreams healthy habits love picture a day spiritual journey http://momentsphotographybysandy.com/blog/2016/8/dragonflies-extraordinaire Sat, 13 Aug 2016 02:57:23 GMT