CREATIVE SPARKS: SATURDAY SNAPSHOTS — FAMILY & YULETIDE MOMENTS — DEC. 8

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Welcome to another creative opportunity to showcase photos, via our weekly Saturday Snapshot event, hosted by Alyce, At Home With Books.

Every week, I seem to share the same kinds of photos:  family, home, and more of the same.  I guess you can tell that these are important to me.  And as the kids grow, there are always new photos to share.

Here’s what’s happening in our world these days:

In the first photo, L. to R.:  Alec, Aaron, Brett, and Aubrey enjoying a game

Happiness is a Laker's Game
Happiness is a Laker’s Game

 

Or just mother/son time for no reason at all.

Heather and Noah
Heather and Noah

And as a nod to the season, a little bit of “decking the halls”

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Since red is a primary color in my abode, the Christmas touches blend right in.

Now…what are you sharing today?  I’m off to check it out!

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SPARKING A STORY ON A SATURDAY — SEPT. 22

Good morning!  Why don’t you pull up a chair, as I have a story to tell.

Yes, a story that might sound like total BS…or maybe not.  Over at today’s Saturday Snapshot, I had a visitor who suggested that I write a story that “connects those three disparate photos” I had presented.

I took that as a challenge, although even as I write this, I have NO IDEA where the story will begin or end.

Let’s start with Brett, the happy and enthusiastic sports addict standing by the Stanley Cup in the first photo.  From almost Day One of this young man’s life, he was obsessive about certain things.  Like his Binky when he was a baby and then, later, about his comic book collections.

You see, collecting and obsessing about things is a family trait.  At least for some of us.

While “growing” these kids, I obsessed about reading and writing.  And as they grew, I began collecting my own objects of passion.  Quirky things.  Old things. I still have a very unusual candle holder that I discovered when Brett was a baby.

I love looking back at items I’ve “obsessively” collected and recalling when and where I found them.  Now this one will have to find its way into a Saturday Snapshot post…or perhaps into a blog header.

Brett turned his comic book collections into something of value.  Later he would bring in a lot of money for them.  Sports remained a passion of his.  We always had to have a basketball hoop nearby, as he LOVES basketball.

Later in my life, I found another obsession when I discovered blogging.  It didn’t take long for my passion to extend to editing photos for blog headers.   Photographing everything around me and turning the creations into something else, like scrapbook spreads and blog headers seemed a logical progression.

Hence…my photos today for possible new blog headers.

So…what links the photos today is a family tendency to develop passions that extend to collections and…yes, obsessions.

Do you and your family members share any unique (or quirky) passions?  What do you all enjoy doing?

CREATIVE SPARKS: SATURDAY SNAPSHOTS — SISTERS — AUGUST 25

Welcome to another creative opportunity to showcase photos, via our weekly Saturday Snapshot event, hosted by Alyce, At Home With Books.

Today’s feature is about sisters.  Specifically, the four sisters born to my sister.  In other words, my nieces.

Emily

 

Dorothy and her Flute

 

Dorothy (left) and Beth (right) at Beth’s Wedding
Emily, Dorothy, Beth, and Katie

 

And now for a Sisters’ Collage:

Little Women

 

Now I’m eager to see what the rest of you are showcasing today!  Come on by and leave some comments and links, please.

 

 

 

“SNOW” STORIES — FEB. 24

This month, my two granddaughters (above and in the header) celebrated their fifteenth birthdays.

This photo shows them as snow bunnies (at age seven).

To find out more about this snow story, visit HERE.

Enjoying family moments in special places is what the “cabin in the woods” was all about.

Nowadays, we’ve moved on and the cabin is no longer “our place.”  But we still enjoy traditions, like our family get-togethers that inspire photos like these.

What special family moments do you enjoy?  Do you have special traditions?

MISSTEPS, MISUNDERSTANDINGS, & DARK SECRETS — A REVIEW

A family saga, The Sisters: A Novel sweeps the reader forward from 1927 through the year 2007, depicting the branching out of a family tree that was torn asunder through missteps, misunderstandings, and horrific secrets that seemingly set the tone for many more secrets and misunderstandings. Almost as if errors, missteps, and wrong choices were written into their genetic code, the two Fischer sisters seemingly leap into an unseen future without one another and not knowing why.

As mysterious as all this sounds, suffice it to say that when Mabel Fischer, the older sister, sets a plan in motion, she has high hopes that she is saving her sister Bertie. On the other hand, Bertie only sees betrayal and spends the next several decades covering her tracks and severing all ties.

Meanwhile, each sister carries on separate lives for the generations to come.

But as each sister nears the end of her journey, her thoughts will be with the other, remembering and seeking to fill in the void that would have been their familial bond.

I could not stave off the sadness that rippled through me as I read this story. Like tossing a stone into the stream and then watching it as it floats away, these characters could seemingly do nothing to right the wrongs in their lives. Each sister told pieces of her story to her daughters, but without the missing perspective, the other side of it all, there was no resolution. No mending of the torn fabric of their lives. The characters seemed doomed to continually make errors within their individual families, repeating mistakes and failing to correct the old ones. The seeds of this dysfunction were planted long before, when a dangerous secret set the tone for the rest of their lives and the lives to come.

As much as I connected to the characters and their stories, I felt frustrated by the inability of any of the characters to set things right. Yes, they went on with their lives and did the best they could—but without any kind of closure. I would recommend this story for those who do not mind long, detailed stories that seemingly go nowhere, with loose ends that do not come together. Four stars.

HOLIDAY MOMENTS — PART II — NOV. 29

Holiday Moments from Long Ago -- My Four Kids

My favorite thing about the holidays is the opportunity to connect with family and friends. In the hullabaloo of the merchandising, there is that small corner of the world in which family moments can stand out against the backdrop of materialistic fervor.

Yesterday was one of those times. For the past few years, these get-togethers have become a tradition.  My son from LA travels to Sacramento for the Thanksgiving event, and then, with his three kids, meets up with those of us who live in Central California for lunch and sharing.  And photo ops.  Those are not as popular with the kids, who like to goof around and make faces.

But this time, they were eager enough to get into their own activities that they actually cooperated quickly.

It was pretty cold here yesterday, so while they were running around, we adults were shivering nearby.

Here are some of the photos.

 

Waiting for the Food!
Six Grandkids All in a Row
Hide and Seek

These are moments I will treasure always, and having the photos ensures that the memories will be there at a glance.

What special moments have you enjoyed over the holidays?  I hope you’ll stop by and share….

VICARIOUS ADVENTURES….

Artistic Expression

 

Some of my favorite experiences I enjoy vicariously…through books, movies, or through the adventures of my grown children.

A couple of years ago, my second son joined my eldest son in Berlin for a visit and some adventures of their own.  Today I found some photos on Facebook that I’d like to showcase.  Yes, don’t you love the social networks?

Which reminds me…I still have to see that movie.

So here’s a photo of the two of them:

Craig and Brett -- World Travelers

 

And yes, in case you were wondering, Craig is the “Berlin Photographer” whose photos I often feature here—and on various other blogs.

Brett and a Famous Landmark
Brett and Friends

Hey, is this one reminiscent of St. Elmo’s Fire?  LOL

 

So…in just one post, I’ve been all over Europe.  If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and with whom?

 

 

 

TREASURES….

Autumn Leaves

Today has felt completely like autumn—a slight breeze, a dip in the temperature, and that great fall crispness.

In fact, I’m not even grumbling about how the gardeners toss leaves onto my patio every Friday!

Last night, I picked up grandson Noah at day care, and then went to one of his favorite places—Taco Bell.

But here’s a picture of him I couldn’t resist posting—taken by his mom at Starbucks, another favorite place of his.  Can’t you see the enjoyment just by that grin and the way he’s getting ready to bite that croissant…or whatever that is!

Taking a Bite Out of Life!

A MERGER….

Two Granddaughters Frolicking in the Snow

Today is a new beginning here at this site.  First of all, I’ve modified the title and tagline in order to accommodate the merger with my Snow Impressions site.

You may note the blog header, formerly seen on the Snow Impressions site.

Here I will share stories of family connections, creative impressions, and those social outlets that include web connections.

Welcome to my reinvented blog site.  Hope you’ll come by and visit.

MY FAVORITE READS

Here’s another meme that helps us stay connected to other bloggers.  Hosted by Alyce, At Home With Books, we share about old favorites that we’ve enjoyed over the years.

Today I was drawn to the lovely cover on this one, but once I pulled it off the shelf, the memories came flooding back.  A story about family connections gone awry—a seemingly self-absorbed mother from whom the three daughters flee.  Literally and figuratively.  Then one day, the letters begin.

For My Daughters, by Barbara Delinsky, was published in 1994.

On Amazon, we can read this snippet:

Three sisters, longtime rivals, are reunited by the mother from whom all are estranged. Focusing on each woman in turn, Delinsky skillfully brings out the pain, insecurity, and hope each harbors. Although there are men in their lives, the real focus is on the sisters, their relationships with one another and their mother, and a summer retreat that brings self-discovery and resolution to unresolved conflicts. Delinsky develops her characters well and creates a strong sense of place with beautiful, evocative descriptions of the landscapes. This bittersweet story should be a popular addition to modern fiction collections.
Barbara E. Kemp, Library Consultant, Reston, Va.

What old favorite did you find today?  I hope you’ll stop by and share your thoughts.