Thursday, October 10, 2013

More Fall: Trying black & white again

I've spent a bit of time on Pinterest recently. You know, just that tiny bit of time one spends there when one isn't addicted to it at all. Searching for specific ideas and projects. Never getting carried away by other Pinner's beautifully edited collections of images.


One of the things I have learned, and why, yes of course I learn things on Pinterest - important things, not to say vital, you know, really useful and such. Anyway. One of the things I learned is that I should try to experiment a bit more with black & white in my photography.

That time-sucking imagine-pinning monster has a way of showing you what you like. And what you forgot you liked. Such as black & white photography. Dreamy photos, Fall photos.

So in a pathetic little attempt to bring some of that look-how-great-my-dream-photography-/wardrobe-/cooking-skill-/very-next-DIY-project-is to my actual real life, here is a few of my Fall photos in black & white:

Hey, there has got to be some credit for getting off my pinboard and onto my camera...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Something about Fall

I like Fall. No, actually, that is an understatement. I love Fall.

But lately, I have been looking at the trees slowly turning color and thinking - Stop. Not just yet. Don't you dare turn color now. I mean, wait a minute, when did it get to be October? I'm not ready yet.

It seems that for all of those thing that make Fall wonderful, you need time. Plenty of time. Think about it: walks in the wood, drinking a hot cup of tea and just looking a tree outside your window, reading books (ok, magazines for all busy moms) all cuddled up under a soft knitted blanket, picking the perfect pumpkin, sleeping in on a Sunday morning, breathing the crisp air, making big batches of pumpkin soup and baking apple tarts (more on that later. Unless I'm taking a nap).

Ahhhh... Sounds lovely, no?

I've been nagging my older son to finish his homework on time and go practice the guitar when all he really wants to do is ride his bike with the neighborhood kids. He had a really hard time adjusting after the long summer break, his first ever real summer break after his first year of school. You can tell he misses those lazy days of summer, where all he had to do was get up when he woke up, throw on some shorts and a tee, grab some breakfast and see who'd be there to play with.

All of a sudden he is faced with deadlines and worksheets that need to be finished until the Fall break in two weeks. Guitar practice after not touching the instrument much over the summer. Books to be read, additional assignments to complete. Getting out of bed when it's all of a sudden still dark in the morning. Wearing a jacket.

I told him he'd have to adjust to the school year routine and just finish the things he had to do first and then he'd have time to play.

Today it dawned on me that I am not all that different.

I have to force myself out of bed in the morning when all I'd really like to do is take a nap. For three days straight. All of a sudden I am faced with deadlines and assignments and to dos. At work, where there are events to prepare and newsletters to write, at home where there is a house full of messes, from refrigerator to closets that have been neglected all summer long and need to be taken care of now. And at school and kindergarten, where it seems that no day goes by without some teacher telling me what I have to do or make sure that my kid does. And don't even get me started on the holidays, because I know they are just around the corner just another thing I should be on top of.

I just nod in silence.

Of course I add it to my list and mostly we cross things off and get them done.

But for some reason, it is so much harder this year. It's not so much that I miss the lazy summer days, it's more that I miss the time to enjoy this season. And with every tree I pass that is sporting yellow leaves it reminds me that this goes by so quickly.

Within the blink of an eye October will be gone.

Will I have taken photos, made apple pies and sat in that last bit of sun that still has the warmth to it? Will I have had the time to made myself a cup of tea and sip it, slowly, why it is still hot? Will we have collected pretty leaves and chestnuts and made those felt acorns I have been meaning to try forever?

Or will it all just rush by in a blur, a whirlwind of to dos and tasks to be crossed off? Where finishing my annual family photo book is just another thing on the list I that I need to force myself to focus and work on? Or will I be able to slow down and enjoy that task, because it's about our family memories and I really like doing it.

But that is just the thing. I like the things on my list. Well, mostly (let's just not talk about housekeeping here, ok? Cleaning out closets is fine. Dusting? Yawn.). Most of the things I do enjoy - given the time to do them. And not under pressure to complete the next item and the next and then the one that just came on top of it.

So I am here and now making a pledge to slow down. At least a bit. To squeeze in the little things that I love so much. To sit in the sun. Find the most beautiful leaf of all. Make hot chocolate. Go read some poetry for a change. Find books about the season to read with the boys. Or take half an hour to go into the woods and take some photos (and actually noticing in the process that there are still plenty of green leaves on the trees. No rush.)

But most of all, slow down enough to enjoy the things I am doing anyway. And help my kids do the same.

Wishing you a wonderful Fall,