7 Day Black & White Photo Challenge

A lot of my friends were tagging each other on Facebook to encourage them to participate in the “7 Day Black & White Photo Challenge”.  The idea was to post a random black and white photo to their Facebook timeline every day for seven days. The catch was that it couldn’t include people or an explanation as to what the photo was about.

Quite a few people were annoyed by it and ignored the challenge. When a friend finally included me, I was delighted and couldn’t wait to get started. My inner photography nerd was beating its chest and rearing to go.

I’m a big liar. I took my seven photographs but they were hardly random. I already knew what I wanted to capture and share to my Facebook. Then I spent probably fifteen minutes on each photo carefully crafting the right shades of black and white in Photoshop Express on my iPhone.

I blame it on that inner photography nerd that was beating its chest. It was a total out of body experience and I have no control over that guy or gal. Whatever that inner photography nerd identifies with. Believe me, I just rolled my eyes as hard as you did.

The challenge is still active on social media. If you get tagged to participate, I hope that you’ll embrace the idea and take part. I thought it was a lot of fun.  If you’re friends are lame and won’t tag you or are ignoring the challenge, then I challenge you.

My submissions are below. They are set to appear in random order so they are not in order.  I didn’t add any explanations but I will gladly explain if anyone has a question in the comments.

I’m considering having prints made.  *looks away*

 

 

 

 

 

Disheartened 

So.. How was your week?

On Tuesday, I wrote about how I took my son with me to vote in the election. I mentioned how I don’t discuss politics or religion with my friends and family members for the sole purpose of keeping the peace.

I don’t know what it’s like around your neck of the woods but around here, it wasn’t socially acceptable to have voted for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I realized that pretty quickly even before the election happened. People were incredibly nasty about opposing opinions and ideas.  That really motivate me to keep my mouth shut about my decisions.

I’m certainly not opposed to debate with anyone or even a lively conversation but I also don’t like to be hassled. I find the thought of a debate or even a lively discussion about either of the candidates and the issues to be exceptionally tiresome. Mostly because I know what awaits if my opinions don’t match theirs.

As I read about the “protests”,  and let’s face it and call it what it is, “riots” that are happening in the country after the results of the election,  it makes me think that this was more about “your candidate” winning or losing than it ever was about the issues and what’s really happening in our country.

I really don’t care who you voted for or why. It’s none of my business. I do take issue with violence and the destruction of property. At that point, your cause is lost to me. When you’re attacking police officers, setting things on fire, breaking out windows and holding up signs about raping Melania Trump, I no longer want to hear your concerns. I do not support that.

Maybe that opinion will be unpopular but I stand by it. While you do have the right to protest whatever you want to, you don’t have the right to attack people or destroy property. If I was Hillary Clinton, I would be embarrassed.

I made the mistake of responding to a post on Facebook to make that point. The Facebook belonged to a very smart woman who is educated, a professional and hails from the same small town that I am from.

She posted an article that justified the riots.

I’ve known this woman since I was probably five years old. When I touched on the violence and destruction and the fact that people were calling for the rape of Melania Trump and reminded them that it was not going to reverse the outcome of the election, I was informed that I was a racist, had no compassion for the human race along with some other horrible and hurtful accusations.

If you want to know how that felt, it was hurtful and it was rather shocking to me.

Two things.

1. My resume proves these accusations wrong. I’ve worked as a public servant since I was 22 years old. I’ll be 40 on December 1.  If you were to ask anyone who has ever encountered me they will tell you that I am kind, generous and fair. I’ve also saved the lives of countless strangers that I have never even met. I’d give you the shirt off my back if you needed it.

2. Nothing screams compassion for the human race like attacking a middle aged white guy that you suspect is a Trump supporter. Or calling for and encouraging the rape of Melania Trump. Or setting a business on fire. You’re hurting your communities and your cause.

I was unfriended and blocked on Facebook because I pointed out that what was happening was wrong. I’ve never told anyone who I voted for. However, I will never stand by and justify these things. Anyone in their right mind wouldn’t.

My 50 something cousin also unfriended and blocked me on Faceboook because she made a false statement and I told her she was wrong and then backed it up with facts. Again, I pointed out a fact and never once have voiced who I was supporting in the election. The problem with that was that I won’t allow a false narrative or an outright lie. I didn’t even say anything on her personal Facebook. It was on mine.

If you’ve ever wondered what your worth really was to the people in your life, you probably found out this past week.  My question at this point is, how do you come back from that? I can only assume in the months to come, if and when things settle down and people aren’t so angry, that the people who were that angry at you over your opinion might try to make amends. What if they do? What if they don’t though?

I should’ve listened to my grandfather and just scrolled right on by and kept my mouth shut. I shouldn’t have to but it would probably be better. I would at least still have my childhood friend and my cousin. It’s easy to say that I don’t need these women in my life but I don’t feel that way. Apparently, I wasn’t valued by them.

I value the people who are in my lives every day.

If you’re having disagreements with your friends and family please think twice before you allow things to get too heated or you make the decision to disown them.  These are the people who are standing by you and support you and are around you everyday.

Disappointing.

How You Know Your Human BFF Is A Keeper- Hiding the Body

A few days ago I wrote a post about how my little red Australian Cattledog, Hilli, had passed away called “Death and Friends-Hilli Has Flown Away.”  I ended up placing her in the freezer at my friend Diana’s house  because I am in Indiana and it gets cold here. The ground is frozen. Frozen solid. You would need large equipment to dig a grave.

I am not afraid  to admit that this has given me a little anxiety.  It’s a huge favor and it’s a really big deal to me that she be honored for her lifetime of love and everything she’s ever been through. It also grosses me out a little bit.

Her response to my repeated THANK YOU! was totally classic.

She said “Everyone needs a friend that will let you keep a body in their freezer,”

I would totally do that for her too and she knows it.  How cool is that?

Our conversations are always the best too. The stuff we come up with would make hilarious Saturday Night  Live skits. We are a great Lifetime Television For Women movie about loyalty and friendship. We’ve both been through some garbage and our stories are similar. We just get each other.

We work the same shift and quite often depend on each other to keep the other amused and break the boredom or even vent or whatever comes up.  At least once in the shift I try to send a totally hilarious photo that I found on the internet that’s way too inappropriate for my Facebook.

So tonight, one of our co workers was bragging about how they had already been paid. Our automatic deposits don’t generally hit until at least 2am on Friday morning. Somehow, she claims, her check already hit the bank. Knowing her though, she just told us all that to laugh at how we would all check our accounts fifty times in the next hour.

This led to us talking about bills and kissing our pay checks goodbye the minute they even hit our accounts. Such is life. It then led her to disclose her mortgage payment at a house she doesn’t live at because she just got married.

This is also where Hilli is currently wrapped in a blanket and in several garbage bags, in her freezer.

Hello again anxiety.

This is what that conversation looked like..

Partner in crime.

Partner in crime.

 

In case you’re confused, the plan is to bury Hilli’s body, at a currently undisclosed location, where she liked to go hiking with me. It’s probably not legal and we aren’t going to ask for permission. It’s going to be a cover of darkness, plant shovels by the road, hide the car and hurry with a frozen beloved pet….

In reality if we got caught, we probably wouldn’t actually get in real live trouble considering our ties to local law enforcement. We would likely get the low or high brow reaction and probably an offer to help us dig. Seriously, who is going to scold us for this and mean it? I’m telling you, we are a made for television movie.

This is isn’t supposed to be funny but right now, I’m seriously smiling because I have a great friend who knows what matters and that’s the greatest feeling ever.  I’ve said that I keep my circle small. I would rather have a handful of amazing friends than two hands full of mediocre or just plain crappy ones.

Di is a gem and I am so overlywhelming grateful for her.

 

 

 

A Walk In the Woods: Cheaper Than Therapy

Worster Lake, Indiana

Worster Lake, Indiana

I managed to get outside to hike on two occasions this week. I escaped to Spicer Lake Nature Preserve for a couple of hours and then met my friend, Diana,  at Potato Creek State Park.  Potato Creek tends to be a lot busier than Spicer, but not too much in the wintertime.

I loaded all three of my dogs into the car and headed out.  It was a special day for Dingo Lu. Three years prior, she was adopted through the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue of Illinois. Not only was it the anniversary date of her adoption, but we decided that since we didn’t know her actual birth date, that it was also her birthday.

Happy 5th Birthday, Dingo Lu!!

It only made sense that we would go on a hike with all of my girls and my friend Di’s two other dogs.  She has two German Shepherds. One of which, was recently adopted also. All of our dogs get along, thankfully and are very well behaved. Hiking with five dogs wasn’t as stressful as it might seem.

We generally meet near the Nature Center and head out into the park from a nearby trail head. The trails connect to other trails and you can decide how far you want to hike. On Wednesday, we chose to hike just under 5 miles. We traveled along the shore line of Worster Lake and made our way past the Porter Rea Cemetery on the other side of the lake.

The Porter Rea Cemetery is a neat place to visit.  There is just something about old graves. Seeing a birth year from the 1700’s  on a headstone is amazing to me. It opens up my imagination and makes me wonder who these people were. Porter Rea was a community cemetery (as opposed to belonging to a church) that dates back to 1845.

It is the first local cemetery where African American residents were laid to rest with their white neighbors. Sadly, the first resident to be buried here was 9 year old, Emma Porter.  I’ve never been able to locate any information as to why Emma passed away. All I can say is that her final resting place is simply beautiful. Rest in peace, little Emma.

The highlight of the trip would be when we passed by the old Spring House. I forgot about its existence and probably haven’t laid eyes on it since I visited the park during a field trip in grade school. That was a long time ago. It was kind of neat to rediscover that.

Potato Creek is built on and around an old homestead. There is evidence of the old farm through out the park. Every now and then you will come across old rock walls and remnants of farming equipment and buildings.  The old Spring House is still standing and has been fairly well preserved.

Worster Lake finally has a thin layer of ice covering it. Very soon, people will be out there ice fishing. It’s a fairly popular place for locals to go fishing both in the summer and winter months. They don’t allow motors on the water so it’s generally very peaceful and the water is calm.

In addition to hiking trails,  the park also offers bicycle trails, bridle trails and a horseman’s campground, family campground, cabins,  bicycle, rowboat, canoe and kayak rentals.  They also have several pavilions for large picnics.

I always enjoy going on hikes with Di. It’s always nice to catch up and talk about life and work and whatever is going on with us. We hiked about five miles before we called it a day.She has a lot of experience and it’s nice to go with someone who enjoys hiking and doesn’t mind that there’s snow on the ground and cold.

We had a really good hike.