a NEW chapter


Happy Tuesday!  Yeah, I really don’t know where the last week or so has gone.  No NEW posts usually means I haven’t had time to get out shooting. Boo!  {Very sad}

However, I thought I’d quickly share this photo of some books from my local library as well as share the news that I’m starting a NEW chapter in my life.  I’ve been working at the same place for the last decade.  It has been a very convenient job (5 minute commute….very flexible hours…pretty good  commission $ for my four hours a day)…BUT, I’ve been wanting something NEW for quite some time now.  And the opportunity has arrived! Yeah!  Quite soon after hanging up the phone after accepting my new position, I read this quote somewhere:

Close some doors today.

Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance,

but simply because they lead you nowhere.

-Paulo Coelho

Funny story: My current boss was trying to entice me to stay and threw out the comment that “If you stay, since you know this job so well, you won’t have to learn anything new”.   HAHA!  Wow!…does he not know me very well, or what?!?  (I didn’t mention that I maintain a blog entitled ExploreNewness…my quest to learn or do NEW things as often as I can).  Yes, I almost laughed out loud at that comment, but I didn’t.

Well, have a great day!  Do or learn something NEW and I’ll try to post a bit more often than the last few weeks!

NEW photos of a cherished book and a Sunday message


Happy Sunday!  Today I’m going to blog, brag and blab about a very sweet friend and neighbor of mine.  This person truly knows the meaning of friendship, service, thoughtfulness and a zillion other wonderful attributes!   When my hubby was in the hospital, she went {way} beyond the expected.  She thought of everything we could possible need…even before we knew we needed them!   She gave us a gift bag FULL of items to make that hard time seem so much easier.   One item was a beautiful book with short stories.  We had browsed through the book in the hospital and I personally LOVED the photography!  Then, when hubby was released from the hospital, we packed up all the paraphernalia to come home, and the beautiful book got stashed in a miscellaneous bag and very sadly, kind of forgotten (for a while).  Fast forward to five or six weeks later when this very kind friend asked how I liked the book, when we passed it in the store.   I didn’t recognize the cover…I didn’t realize this was the same book that was stashed away.  I was very embarrassed that it most definitely seemed like I didn’t appreciate her gift!  I came home and pulled out the book (I knew exactly which bag it was still in)…and started browsing again.  I read a few more of the stories…I fell in love (again) with the beautiful photography…but most of all, I remembered the sweet memory of the love and kindness that was shown by our dear friend in those difficult days after hubby’s accident.


Here’s one of the stories told by Elder David B Haight:

A few years ago, when Arturo Toscanini was musical director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in New York City, he had a Saturday afternoon radio broadcast. And one day he received in his mail a crumpled little note on some brownish paper which read:

“Dear Mr. Toscanini, I am a lonely sheepherder in the mountains of Wyoming. I have two prized possessions: an old violin and a battery radio. And the batteries are getting weak and beginning to run down on my radio, and my violin is so out of tune I can’t play it anymore. Would you please sound an A next Saturday on your program?”

The next week on the program, Arturo Toscanini announced: “To a newfound friend in the mountains of Wyoming, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra is now, all together and in unison, going to sound a perfect A.” And they sounded the perfect A. Then that lonely little man was able to tune the A string and then the E string and the D and the G from that perfect A.

Isn’t it interesting to reflect in our own lives and in the lives of the many people who may hear me at this time—those whose violin or lives may be a little out of tune—that we are able to come to a general conference of the Church and hear the marvelous messages that are spoken? Those of us who have the opportunity to speak here pray mightily that we would have the energy and the strength and the vitality even as I do, as I enter the twilight of my life, to stand and bear witness of the truthfulness of this work—because I am a witness of it.

Here are a couple more photos of my cherished book.  Thank you Dear Darci!!!

withangel bedside

Have a great Sabbath!  Do or learn something NEW!

a NEW Texture Tuesday photo


Happy Tuesday!  It’s pretty much true that if you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need!  I automatically picture a flower garden as a necessity, but I’m sure whoever originally said that probably meant vegetable garden. :o)

Have a great day!  Do or learn…or grow…something NEW!

Linking to Kim Klassen’s Tuesday Textures today.





Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff i gotta share



Happy Monday!  OK…so help me out here…what’s the word to describe when you seem to notice certain things all of a sudden?  It seems like a coincidence that I’ve been noticing cool mandalas recently.  It’s like a power that draws them to me…and they keep popping up in whatever I read lately.  Is it the law of attraction?  Is it because I recently decided that they’re very cool and I’m now a magnet for them? It’s kind of like serendipity, but not really.  What is the word to describe this phenomenon?   Anyway!  Check out the VERY cool mandalas I’ve run across lately:

I first found the cool sticker mandala (above) at The Amateur Librarian’s blog.  I, of course, had to check out the  history of mandalas at Wiki, and since they’ve been popping up a lot, I’ve pinned a few to my Pinterest boards.  Here are a couple:


zenman {source}

Another miscellaneous NEW thing in my life lately was reading Endurance.


It was our book club pick for this month, and since I’ve missed book club for the last three months, I really wanted to get back at it.  I’m glad I read this book!  It was a long read of what seems like the only villain of the story was the weather and it concentrated A LOT on the weather…but really, what else could be the gist of the story!?! It is a true story and since I enjoy history, I rather liked the book and I’m happy I got to learn about the amazing men that went through that ordeal!

So!  Best wishes for a terrific week ahead!  Do or learn something NEW!

Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff i gotta share


Happy Monday!

Well, what’s NEW with you?  I have a few great NEW items to share with you:

1) The ‘Nana’s Rules’ plaque above is a gift I made for a friend recently.  She has a VERY CUTE grandkids play room, and when I saw a similar ‘Grandma & Grandpa’s Rules’ sign, I KNEW I had to tweak the words a bit and make one for her.  What do you think?


2) a NEW book review.  I read “Wonder” this last week.  I really enjoyed it.  It was a very easy-to-read, didactic novel about a little boy with birth defects.  My good friend mentioned that she thought it should be required reading in all middle schools.  :o)  Highly recommended!  Leave a comment if you’ve read it and let me know what you thought of it!

3) a NEW (to me) article: 5 Creative Ways to Find NEW locations to photograph.  I liked this article and hope to use some of its suggestions while traveling in the next little while.

Have a GREAT MONDAY!  Do or Learn something NEW!



a NEW book review


Hi all!  I recently finished reading ‘The Happiness Project’, and I have to say I enjoyed it very much.  I haven’t read a non-fiction book in a while  – because I’m usually just struggling to finish the novels picked out for our book club before our meeting time!  And I don’t even remember who recommended this book.  I’ve had it on my Shelfari “shelf” for quite a while now.  (That’s the online site where I keep track of all the books I’ve read and all the book I want to read)  So I FINALLY got to it!  It has motivated me to make and keep some resolutions and give myself a few ‘gold stars’.  :o)  I’ll also have to start reading the author’s blog.  I’m sure that will help keep me motivated.

I love, loVE, LOVE book recommendations…so let me know if you have any for me!  Have a great day!  Do or Learn something NEW!


a NEW Thursday Thought


This NEW photo reminded me of the book “The Black Tulip” by Alexandre Dumas, so I thought today’s thought should come from that book:

“God orders a man to do all he can to save his life.”

Last year I posted my book review of the The Black Tulip.  I enjoy Dumas’ writing. I think it’s time to find another of his books to read….soon.

Have a great Thursday!

Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff I gotta share


Oh! I’m so excited that Spring is finally coming…(although we had a few snow flurries today)…I’m certain more and more color will arrive and be waiting for me to photograph it soon!  Yeah!!!

Well today, along with these NEW daffodils and grape hyacinths, I want to share a couple of other NEW miscellaneous/random items that have caught my attention lately:


Here’s a NEW photography tip I learned this week, called the Sunny 16 Rule.  Interesting!  Since photography is very subjective to a variety of factors of conditions and camera settings,  I was a bit surprised that this ‘Rule’ even existed.  Too bad I didn’t learn this rule in the dead of winter, when I could’ve practiced it on the white landscape of December, January and February!  Oh well, maybe next year!

Another random thing…I just have to say how much I LOVE being in a book club.  First, it pretty much forces me to read books I’m sure I wouldn’t come across and read on my own.  (And they have ALL been REALLY GOOD books)!!!  But I think my favorite thing about my book club is listening to different perspectives.  It’s kind of an added education, all its own.  This month’s book was Unraveled by Julie Daines….


…and it was so interesting to hear the other women in the group  comment how they’d really like their daughters to read this book.  Since I have only sons, these thoughts obviously didn’t enter my mind, but I can absolutely understand their perspective…when I think about it.  The book has a strong message about the importance of appreciating our inner-beauty – something I too would like my daughter to read (if I had a daughter)!  I just really love reading and sharing thoughts about the books we’ve read in our group.  If you don’t belong to a book club….FIND ONE TO JOIN!  Seriously! 🙂

Have a great Monday!  Do or Learn Something NEW!!!

Linking to:

Mosaic Monday

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out’s Song-ography


a NEW book review


Hi all!  I LOVE book recommendations!…so when my good friend suggested I read Twelve Years a Slave, I got right to it.  (By the way, it’s available on Google Books.)

I liked this book simply for the historical aspect.  In the back of my mind (the very back)….I knew there were some free black men and women who were kidnapped and sold into slavery, but reading this book brought me a NEW awareness of this despicable-ness.  What an awful, awful injustice!  It was bad enough, in that day and age to have slavery – but to purposefully inflict it on legally free men and women was so, so wrong!

It is just sooooo hard to imagine people’s thought processes of the 1800’s!  It makes me wonder what laws are on our books and what we are doing today that, in a hundred years from now, will be looked on with disbelief!

There is also a movie coming out, based on the book.  I think it’s rated R, so I’ll probably pass on seeing it, but read the book!  (If you already have, let me know what you think!)  I thought the beginning and the end were excellent…the middle was a little slow though. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Have a great day!  Read or DO or learn something NEW!

two NEW book ratings


Oh my goodness!  When I have a book to read…NOTHING else gets done around here! 🙂  I think my family must cringe when they see me walking in from a trip to the library….thinking,  “Great!….Now how am I supposed to get Mom’s attention if I need her!?!”  HaHa!  Here are my latest reads.  I’m giving them both 4 out of 5 stars.  (Just so you know, I RARELY give out 5’s).

The Rent Collector is fiction based on real people.  I was hesitant to read it, thinking I wasn’t interested in a depressing story about extreme poverty, but that was not the focus at all.  It focused on learning and how the mother became literate even though she lived in a municipal city dump.  Very good book!  I recommend it!

The Island at the Center of the World is a longer read, but very interesting.  It’s a history book about the Island of Manhattan in the early 1600’s.   I don’t know about your history teachers, but mine didn’t even mention the Dutch colony….all I was taught was the English colonies….the pilgrims, the puritans etc.  I might be a bit more interested in this book than the average reader because I’ve been doing a fair amount of New York family history.  But if you like history books, this one is very good!

Again, I give them 4 out of 5 stars.  Learn or DO something NEW today!