Lesson From a Nope Rope

I believe this is a hybrid rattlesnake – the product of a timber rattler and a diamondback. I could be wrong.

So, this is raw. I never edited any of this. I have so much b-roll stuff from our hikes and stuff and I pick and choose bits here and there when I produce something. This is some of that footage that I came across when getting my stuff together for the project I’m working on.

I’m glad I came across this. I’d forgotten about it. It reminded of something about myself that I think a lot of people tend to misjudge. Don’t be led astray by my mostly nice, friendly, patient and overly kind demeanor. Don’t think I’m as ignorant as I might look. Don’t think I don’t know things just because I don’t say them out loud. I’m kind – not stupid. I am not afraid of much, not even poisonous snakes in the grass. Thing is, the worst snakes in the grass are people – it’s really the wrong phrase to use to describe a sneaky, lying, abusive human fool. Kind of an insult to snakes, if you ask me…

You see how calm this nope rope is? Maybe it just ate (doesn’t much look like it). Maybe it was a little cool (doubt it because I was sweating like crazy – this was a humid, warm July morning). Actual snakes don’t want to bother you. They really don’t. Maybe this dude just didn’t feel threatened by me. Animals rarely do. Only God knows why that is. But I can tell you this:

I wasn’t afraid of getting close to this guy, even if maybe I should’ve been, but I also was not stupid enough to try to handle it. No – I’m only that stupid when it comes to people. I never used to be the “once bitten, twice shy” type. I used to let them strike me and just forgive and pretend things were fine. I would give a person every reason to believe in me and make sure they knew that I still believed in them and cared about them. I would be willfully ignorant to the point that I was breaking my own heart.

But you know what people do? Even “family?” They don’t see that. They don’t see your heart. They don’t see your actions. They don’t see what you do for them because you love them. They just see what they want and take it from you and go on. Many times they don’t even need be provoked. They’ll strike out of the blue, with no warning at all – unlike this guy, who would have at least warned me. Thing with people is, you have to let them do it more than once. So don’t let them, because if they continually behave in ways that hurt you and refuse to respect you? They’re never going to change. Have no doubt – I have finally learned that lesson.

Today? Once bitten? I’m absolutely going to be twice shy. Still kind, with the same heart beating inside of me, but I’ll never trust you again. Once I’m done, I’m done. And if I ever reach that point with you, you have only yourself and your own behavior to blame. Just ask my father in law. His life wasn’t in vain. He taught all of us this lesson.

Devil’s Backbone (Again)

Some shots from Devil’s Backbone…

Also, had this on my mind tonight:

You don’t know what someone is dealing with…what they’re going through. Sometimes a person can be confident and also anxious, look healthy but be sick, look happy and be miserable, look good but feel ugly, act hopeful but feel hopeless, smile and be broken, or never smile at all and be happy… You don’t know. So unless you ask, don’t judge. Don’t assume. Sometimes a person you see every single day or think you know very well can be fighting battles you know nothing about.

Be kind.

A Flower, a Memory, and a Message…

As a child and young teenager I felt like the most unwanted, unloved, motherless human being on the planet. This morning I am reminded that I have had more mothers than I prayed for in those days (and probably more than I deserved), and that blooming takes time but it’s beauty is worth continuing on to experience, to behold within, and perhaps someday express or offer to someone else.

This morning I am reminded that the universe has ALWAYS surrounded me with strong, courageous, positive, mothering and loving women who have given me the lessons and the benefits of their strength and even sometimes their weakness, their hope, their courage, their experience and their love – even when they haven’t realized it, even though they weren’t my birth or adoptive mothers.

This morning I am grateful – grateful for who they were and are, and grateful for who I was, have become, and will be because of the many lights they have shone in my life. I am reminded of my personal belief that we do not become who we are and we don’t bloom into our whole selves because we do it all alone – there are always those lights in our lives to outshine our darkest moments and feed our souls like sunshine. Sometimes the sources of that light are people (and animals) – whether strangers in the market line or at the post office, strangers online who make us smile or even become true friends and inspirations, or people in our daily lives who become our friends, whether they remain in our lives for long or a short time…whether they still live or they pass away.

This morning I am…very simply put…overwhelmingly grateful – for the lights that have shone on me in th past and the ones that continue to do so – the glints and gleams that illuminate and encourage my spirit, that help me to grow and ever evolve into a better me than I was each day that’s come before.

Finally, this morning I am reminded of a very important thing for my soul self: Motherly love is not a label or a static characteristic – it’s a state of being…and it can come from just about anywhere, if you’re open to receive it. I am. ❤️

Vision: iPhone 6, Olloclip

Tools: Mextures (formula SRPVZKE)

VSCO Spring-y Preset

I’ve become obsessed with succulents as of late, as well as pastel-ish, faded VSCO looks, so here’s this succulent photo I played with in VSCO and decided to save earlier in the week:


And, here are the rest of the Unsplash samples edited using this preset:






If you like/use VSCO I hope you’ll enjoy this preset. Have a beautiful weekend, friends.

VSCO Preset: Mountain Blues

This edit is inspired by Jesse Martineau’s love of mountains. I love mountains, too… Mountains again, Gandalf! It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen snow covered mountains so I’ve taken a cue from one of my favorite editing artists @boco_blondie and chosen this fabulous image from the Unsplash free-use gallery. At the time of this posting, the Unsplash gallery search was unavailable. I will update this post with the OP info as soon as possible.

The only edits I did with this image were in VSCO, and it is a very simple preset. I just loved the result so I thought I’d share. Lately I am really into faded images and images with a sort of rustic feel to them. I hope you enjoy this one. Due to how dark this image was to begin with, this preset will likely be a lot lighter of an effect on a lighter image, so you may need to fade more, skip bumping shadows or decrease them to get a darker fade on a lighter image. And, of course, there plenty of other tools in VSCO to help you achieve a darker look with a lighter image – my suggestions are just where I would begin.

All the love,

C.

The Rhyming


It doesn’t have to rhyme to be poetry. That’s true of words, and it’s true of life. It doesn’t have to rhyme to be beautiful. Hashtag lifegoeson.

Vision: iPhone 6 

Tools: Mextures + VSCO

First VSCO Preset: Winter

Two things. Firstly, this post is a long time coming. Secondly, winter is almost over. Better late than never? Long time followers know that I hardly believe that, but have gotten very good at it. Life. What can I say? Hashtag no excuses.

SO! Hi. How ya doin’? Very good, I hope. It’s been a super long time since I’ve posted anything art or app related but I’m excited to say that I have a new Mextures formula post coming this week, and I’m also very excited to have finally jumped on board the VSCO train. Hence, this post in particular.

VSCO is one of the original filter apps (at least for iPhone, I know nothing about Android devices and can not lie). It’s been around a while – almost as long as Instagram, I believe. It’s also been insanely popular for a while. I’ve had the app since it was released but at the time I had an infant and I had ZERO time. To be honest, I never really utilized the app when I DID have time. I only started halfway using it when the Journal feature became available and even that was so clumsy to use at the time that it was originally added in that I tired of it quickly. Now, here it is a few years later, and here I finally am, actually using the app to a more full extent.

In the spirit of my “honeymoon stage” with this app I’ve decided to share some of the filters I’ve created and saved for myself with it, because FILTERS. Admittedly, even with Mextures I don’t “over edit” my images. I tend to have a light hand, if you will, when it comes to that stuff. I generally get mildly uncomfortable, especially with the grungy effects, when editing my photos. It’s not that I pride myself on my images too much – I think the majority of them could be far better than they are based on what my mind wanted them to look like compared to what they actually look like. Nonetheless I am extremely fond of a nice fade and/or a muted or even darkened tone to my images, and that’s why I’ve come to enjoy VSCO as of late. Mextures will likely always be my preferred and go to editing app – my favorite. But VSCO has a lot to offer, too, including a fresh new perspective for me of images old and new. And, it works nicely in conjunction with Mextures I think.

So, here is my first preset share from VSCO, with a sample of images that have been edited with the preset. I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I hope you’re having a lovely winter.

Love to all,

C.


One Way

I am like a boat in the sea, and my seemingly never ending grief is a storm. My storm is raging, and yet again I find myself amidst a hurricane. I’m tired – I’ve barely gotten past one life altering storm before another has begun, over and over, for the last few years. Yet somehow I keep going, and somehow I am still here.

I think…hope is the anchor that keeps me from foundering and going under. I do have hope – some valid and some false and I try to differentiate the two within myself. Regardless, an anchor is dependent on two things: the chain that tethers it to the boat, and the solid ground that it grabs hold of when it is thrown out. But to have hope – to have and to hold on to faith – in the midst of my life’s storms…that’s what carries me. To believe in SOMETHING – sometimes myself, sometimes fate and the Universe and “something bigger,” sometimes the existence of some unseen and indescribable sixth sense – what my hope and faith is changes for me from day to day but to believe in something and to never allow myself to stop believing in SOMETHING… That’s how I go on.

My chain is invisible and I’m not sure what it’s made of…and it’s as though the ground my anchor digs into is my faith itself. Yes, it has wavered and the anchor has lifted and I begin to float and rock about every now and again. Ultimately, though? There is only one way for me, and it’s how I’ve been my entire life – forward.

Sometimes it’s slower than others, but it’s always…onward. Life goes on and so do I. But I’ll tell you, it hurts like a son of a bitch most all the time lately, even when I’m focusing on what’s real and good and right in my life; even as grateful and aware as I am and try to be.

💙