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Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Don’t Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle

Carolyn Cares Sparkle

 

Our unique gifts are our sparkles

The way each of us sparkle and shine in the world is different, just as each firework in a show is different.

In the age of social media, it’s tempting to try being like those who are more “liked” or to “go viral”. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it dulls your sparkle.

It’s okay to be different, to have different opinions, to use your gifts in a unique way. That’s what brings joy to life. Those that tell you that you need to act like them, or agree with them are just dulling your sparkle.

Be bold. Be you.

Wordless Wednesday: 40 Chances

40 chances

Are you making the most of your 40 Chances?

 

Wordless Wednesday: Live YOUR Life

Live Your Life

 

Live your life. Dream your dreams. Follow your heart. Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life.

30 Things I Love: Clouds

Clouds

I’ve been accused of walking around with my head in the clouds, but sometimes I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I love watching cloud formations changing as they move across the sky. The bonus is when the sun kisses the clouds as it sets.

The photo above was taken when Anna and I were on our way home from an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. When you’re heading west in prairie country, it is impossible to miss a gorgeous sunset. Sometimes I try to get a photo out the windshield with my cell phone when I’m at a stop sign, but other times, the sky calls for the “good” camera and pulling over onto a gravel road to get out of the van to get the right shot. This was one of those pull over and use the good camera nights.

Our willingness to pull over and enjoy the beauty of the clouds and the sunset got me to thinking…how many times do we rush through life, and never notice the beauty that surrounds us? Anna and I could have all kinds of excuses to keep going the night I took this photo. Her appointments at the clinic were exhausting, and we were both tired from the travel. It had been a long couple of days. Instead, we were both willing to pull over and document the beauty in the skies in a stop and smell the roses kind of way.

Life is hard, and it can really get you down. It’s okay to stop every once in awhile and look around at the clouds in the sky, and be thankful.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. ~Rabindranath Tagore

 

Day 1: Pizza

Day 2: Shoes

Day 3: Shout Stain Remover

Day 4: The Ability to Vote

Day 5: My Heritage

Day 6: NASCAR

Day 7: Black Velvet for Photography

Day 8: Strong Coffee and Strong Hairspray

Day 9: Peacefulness

Day 10: Winter’s First Snow

Day 11: Freedom

Day 12: Dairy

Day 13: Jonathan

Day 14: Coffee

Day 15: Seasons

Day 16: Scones

Day 17: #AgNerds

Day 18: Playing in the Dirt

Day 19: Friends

Day 20: My Church Choir Family

Day 21: OxyClean

Day 22: Small Town Celebrations

Day 23: Clouds

Click here to go to Holly Spangler’s blog, and see the link for other 30 Day Challenge Bloggers

 

 

30 Things I Love: Coffee

coffee

My friends and family know I love coffee. In fact, this is the 5th post about coffee this year!

For many years, I liked the smell of coffee, but didn’t enjoy the taste. I got my caffeine fix through soda (we call it pop here in Minnesota), but that wasn’t as pleasant to drink right away in the morning. Then, my friends eased me into coffee drinking. Now, I am totally addicted.

I know we all have different olfactory sensitivities, and that plays an important role in how we perceive taste. I happen to be one of those with a more sensitive nose. If a food’s taste doesn’t match the aroma, I probably won’t like it as well. I discovered that I liked the taste of coffee, if it tasted how the beans smelled when they were freshly ground. This may be the reason this Mrs Olson doesn’t enjoy Folgers as much as other coffee.

I’ve said before that I like the ritual of drinking coffee in the morning while catching up on social media, and reading the news. I also love having coffee right away in the morning as a wake to fire up the old brain cells so I can function in the morning. This is probably why I liked the quote on my photo so well. Another good thing about coffee in the morning, is that I can fake being a morning person once the caffeine kicks in. Before I became a coffee drinker, I’m not sure how I survived being married to a happy morning person!

Some people are pretty opinionated on how dark your coffee needs to be (black coffee, no cream, no sugar is their preference), but I like all types of coffee. My favorite coffee style is a mocha latte made with 1/2 ounce of dark chocolate syrup, 8 ounces of 2% milk, and 4 ounces of espresso. Sometimes I’ll brew another shot, but I try to reserve that for really tough days. Otherwise I’m a little like Hammy in Over the Hedge. If I’m drinking brewed coffee, and not espresso, I like it with just a splash of milk. If the roast is good, and the coffee tastes how it smells, I’ll drink it black. The choices on how to make your coffee are one of the things I love about it. You can make your coffee according to what will make you happy that day.

Are you a coffee drinker? How do you enjoy your coffee?

Day 1: Pizza

Day 2: Shoes

Day 3: Shout Stain Remover

Day 4: The Ability to Vote

Day 5: My Heritage

Day 6: NASCAR

Day 7: Black Velvet for Photography

Day 8: Strong Coffee and Strong Hairspray

Day 9: Peacefulness

Day 10: Winter’s First Snow

Day 11: Freedom

Day 12: Dairy

Day 13: Jonathan

Day 14: Coffee

Click here to go to Holly Spangler’s blog, and see the link for other 30 Day Challenge Bloggers

 

 

Wordless Wednesday: All a Day Should Be

All a Day Should Be

September’s Harvest Moon

On Monday, September 8th, the final Super Moon of the year is supposed to happen. We have a pretty good chance of rain on Monday, but I am hoping that the skies stay clear so I can get a photo of the moon just rising over the corn fields. That is the perfect time to capture the Harvest Moon, especially when it is a Super Moon!

I have been working on my evening and night photography over the last year, and that perfect moon shot still eludes me. Part of the fun of digital photography is how quickly you can make adjustments and figure out what your settings should be just by looking at the feedback on your camera. In my haste to get out the door, I forgot to change the white balance from an indoor setting to the one I wanted. When I checked the first photo, it was blue. Had I taken a roll of film, I probably would have been pretty bummed if all my moon photos were the wrong color!

I was using my 55-250 zoom lens, which has a slower shutter speed than my other lenses. To get around that, I played with my settings a little until I got an exposure that was close to what I wanted. I would recommend using a tripod, unlike I did tonight. It will give you more options for settings to get the exposure you desire.

For this photo, I had the camera set in AV mode (Canon) and had the aperture at f/5.6 with a shutter speed of 1/320 sec. My ISO was at 400, since I was not using a tripod. To compensate for the bright moon, I dialed my exposure compensation down to -4.7. My zoom was all the way at 250mm, and I cropped the photo to get the moon to the size I wanted for the quote.  I cropped and added text in PicMonkey, which is my current favorite quick editing program (it’s all online, super easy to use, and most of it is free!).

I hope some of you will be able to get awesome shots of the September Super Moon!

September Supermoon

 

Wordless Wednesday – The Wisdom of Ferris Bueller

This week, take the time to look around and see the beauty in your surroundings.

CarolynCares Life Moves Fast

Wordless Wednesday – 26 Years!

Happy Anniversary

You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover’s arms can only come later when you’re sure they won’t laugh if you trip. ~Jonathan Carroll, “Outside the Dog Museum”

Thanks for not laughing at me every time I trip!     Happy Anniversary, Jonathan! I love you!

Adding Color to My Sunset Sky

CarolynCares Clouds

I love this quote by Rabindranath Tagore…”Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” How many times do we feel the storms of life, or feel like the clouds are hanging over our heads? Flooding, planting delays, stress, anxiety, depression, chronic illness, life changes…all can be the storm clouds that seem like they’ll never part.

Tonight, I am thankful for the parting of the storm clouds, and the brilliant sunset. I am thankful for the rough patches in life that help me to see the beauty in the good times. I am thankful for the promise of a new day. A new start. A new opportunity to be a blessing. Tonight, I am thankful for the clouds that add the color to my sunset sky.

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