Oct 29, 2015

Michigan City for a few hours

I needed to make some artistic pictures for class. (My teacher says that we make pictures not take them.) My final was on Tuesday and I needed five pictures. The weekends are all the free time that I have. So, I decided to take a little trip by myself to Michigan City.  I had only been there one other time and it was last year during the same season. The temperature was in the low 70's but rain was predicted by the weatherman. I decided to go anyway. I needed to be alone and think.   

I listened to Moroccan music as my little Fiat bug took me down the highway. It rained heavily a few times and I nearly turned my car around. But I was persistent and am glad that I didn't give in to the weather.  It was overcast when I arrived but no rain in sight.  The wind was blowing hard and after a short while my ears started to get cold; I turned up the collar on my jacket and enjoyed the sunlight that burst through the clouds for a short time. 

The view of Lake Michigan is like looking at the ocean for me. Where I live in Indiana is called the flat lands and it is heavily laden with cornfields. One needs a change of scenery when things seem a little monotonous, especially me. 

An hour later the sun came out and I was thrilled to see the beach as it really is. The intense blue sky and the water seemed to go on forever was thrilling to behold. There were men in the water wind surfing. Sometimes they would jump up with the waves while holding onto their sails.  

This day was the last burst of warmth before the dreadful winter comes and we are forced to stay inside longing to be set free again in the spring.  I have had a wonderful summer for the first time in many years and was busy enjoying new places and experiences.  I am hoping that my borders will expand even further and travel far from home.  

Oct 17, 2015

Huntington's Sunken Gardens

I had never heard of sunken gardens before but I was impressed when I visited. These gardens were constructed between 1923-1928 on the remnants of an old stone quarry in Huntington, Indiana  

A lot of people bring a picnic lunch with their family and relax while enjoying the scenery. 

The old stairway is made of stone and mortar but is considered unsafe to use now and is blocked off.  A wooden staircase is in use located on the opposite side of the gardens.

Weddings are performed here too as well as other large gatherings . This would be a great place to perform plays, listen to a band, or sit and relax.  

The garden changes with the seasons. I was told that at Christmas time it is decorated with lights. I am going back for another visit very soon. 

 If you want to visit it is located at 1125 West Park Drive, Huntington, IN. 

Oct 14, 2015

1812: The war that we don't remember much about

History was not my forte when I was in school. Actually, I dreaded history as much as I did math. The teacher gave facts in such a mundane way that I lost interest early on.  I remember talking about the various wars, but I don't recall ever discussing the War of 1812. Not ever. But it could of happened on a day that I laid my head down on the desk and drifted off until the bell rang. 

I didn't really become interested in history until I started researching my family's lineage. Now I know a lot more than I ever did.  When a friend from work told me about the re-enactment that takes place in La Fontaine, Indiana every autumn, I jumped at the opportunity to learn something about a war that I knew little about.

In a nutshell this is the three main points of the war: 1) Americans would be kidnapped, the ones with English accents, and would be impressed to serve on the side of the British. 2) The British interfered with American trade and France. For some reason they wanted us to pay them a tax in order to trade with the French. 3) Finally, the English stirred up Indian warfare.  

One of the good things that the British did was that they blocked slave ships from coming to the United States and any slave who escaped to Canada was considered free.  

On June 1, 1812 war was declared, lives were lost, and the Indians were defeated. Then the move westward began.  

My nephews and I sat and watched as the re-enactment took place and I wondered if there could have been another way of settling the differences. 

For some reason each people group thinks that they are supreme and expect the rest to bow down to them, which causes a lot of strife. 

And yet, war is still prevalent in our world today.  

This reminds me of a quote many use from Rodney King, "Can we all get along?" 

Oct 10, 2015

Austen Land

Today, I visited a tent while at an 1812 War re-enactment that brought me back to a place in time that I have grown to admire.  It was in the early 1800's that my favorite literary author was producing her memorable collection of novels. Jane Austen has a strong following still today. Women love to dress up, men too, and imagine themselves living in another place and time when life was simple and a lot less stressful.  

As I walked thru the door of the tent I felt like I was in an Austen novel.  I had two young boys with me who would have rather been outside watching the soldiers, and I couldn't savor the the moment as long as I would wish to. But I was instantly drawn in like a moth to the flame.  The hats were lovely, large, decorative, and elaborate.  

Not only were there hats but dresses too.  Those delicately made garments enhance all that is female. I ran my hands over the smooth fabrics and longed to be able to wear one, even if it was just for one day.

When I turned the corned a lady was wearing a straw hat that she was determined to purchase. One of the ladies companions was holding up a silk dress in hopes that it could be paired with the straw hat. 

The owner advised the customer that straw should be worn with a more casual dress such as a linen or muslin and then the owner noticed that I was watching her with my camera in hand.  She posed without having to ask.  

I enjoyed this brief moment of genteel life in the middle of a war raging all around us. The name of the shop I visited was Regency Remembered and they have a Facebook page if you are interested in looking at some of the things she has to offer.

"Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure."  Jane Austen

Oct 4, 2015

School Again and Busyness

A few years ago, I bought a lovely picture of sunflowers by a local photographer Camille Cruz. The picture was on display at the main library. When I saw it I wanted to replace the picture that I had hanging above my fireplace.  The rich yellows and deep orange went well with my living room. 

But it was something more that she shared with me that has stuck with me all of this time. She told me that she took professional photography classes at the local college.  Camille felt that these classes contributed to her understanding of photography and helped to establish her footing in a very competitive market. As you know, there is always room for improvement in anything that one may want to venture into, even if it is for part-time work.  Besides, who knows what the future may hold. We have pictures of what we want for ourselves in our minds and sometimes it is not what we are doing currently or we want a little extra income. 

Last October, I decided to put myself out there in the world and offer my services to whoever would want their portraits taken.  I enjoy bringing beauty into the lives of my clients. However, I get into situations with light that I somehow wish were ideal instead of trying to figure out how change the settings on the camera to meet my needs. So, I struggled. There were times that the exposure would be too dark, too light, grainy, and so forth. I spent a lot of time watching Youtube videos but I still lacked the knowledge that was needed to exceed.  

Class assignment picture

We have been working overtime with my job for months and I now have the funds to take the classes.  A few weeks ago, I began my first class.  There are nineteen people who started the same time as myself and should finish with me. I don't know their stories yet but should by October next year.  We all have reasons for wanting to continue or begin education in a specific field.

Class assignment picture

My only concern is time, which I have little of. I still want to do things that I enjoy. I would like to take a weekend and go on an adventure without worrying about homework, housework, or gardening.  Somehow, I believe that it will all balance out.  At least, that is what I am hoping will happen.