Seven Questions - From That's What She Said

Wine Bottles Adorn the Window Before the Show

A couple weekends back, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a unique performance - That's What She Said - a venue of speakers and musicians - women sharing their stories and finding connection through those stories. Most of the speakers were local and the topics ranged from the familiar, funny elements of motherhood, to the heartbreaking account of watching a loved one die.

The organizers also posed seven questions to numerous local people (including my good friend, Lisa) and published their responses in the program. I thought it would be fun to answer those same questions here.

1. What are you grateful for today?
I am grateful for the incredible abundance in my life. I have so many wonderful people in my life who love and support me. I have a healthy mind and body that can do incredible things. I am surrounded by beauty and bounty.

2. Tell us about one of your friends and what you love about her.
Lisa, who I mention above, is one of my neighbors and a dear friend. I still remember the first time we met - it was Halloween in 2002, my family had just moved to Illinois and were trick-or-treating in our would be subdivision. Lisa was visibly pregnant and exuded hospitality and kindness. After meeting her and feeling immediately like family, we knew we had chosen the right neighborhood. Lisa is always there to help a friend out, lend a compassionate ear, and if needed, a swift kick in the butt.

3. Describe one of the best days of your life.
I have to choose just one? The day my daughter was born - after 13 hours of labor, there emerged this perfect baby. And then there was the birth of my son, who popped out 20 minutes after I walked into the emergency room at the hospital. If it hadn't been for my husband insisting we leave for the hospital, he would have been born on the highway. In both cases, the growth and emergence of new life was such an incredible experience - that my body knew exactly what to do, regardless of the number of books I had read educating myself on the topic.

4. What’s the best lesson you learned from your mother/grandmother?
Be disciplined and work hard. Be independent and strong. Sounds like a typical Chinese mother, right?

5. We’re all unique. What is your special gift?
I think I am able to capture the beauty right in front of us, through my camera lens.

6. What could women be doing to make their community a better place?
Support, encourage and uplift each other! Let each person know how important they are in their situation.

7. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
I would leave the comfort of my home and embark on some sort of adventure involving my camera, running shoes and yoga mat.

How would you answer these questions?


Lace and Snow

What I captured while waiting several hours during yesterday's horse show: a lovely patch of Queen Anne's Lace.

Biding Time #fence #horsefarm

Field of Lace

I thought this single bloom looked like a snowflake on a stem:
Above the Crowd

Lace and Snow in summer!

Delicate flower
White lace, waving in the wind
Beauty Stumbled upon


Happy Friday


Blowing in the Wind

Plans for the weekend include a trip to the farmer's market, hanging out with hubby Scott and a horse show!
Wishing you a great weekend!


Wings of a Different Kind

Last week, I mentioned I had been listening to a new recording artist, Jasmine van den Bogaerde, who goes by the stage name 'Birdy'. I meant to include a snippet of her song Wings in my dragonfly post, but decided it deserved its own post.

Wings is my favorite song from her Fire Within album. The song has a sweeping, lush, almost cosmic quality about it - I imagine being enveloped in its chords while driving along the prairie on a cool summer night, top down on the convertible, the wind in my hair, laughing with friends.

You can listen to the song here:

Lyrics below:
Sunlight comes creeping in
Illuminates our skin
We watch the day go by
Stories of all we did
It made me think of you
It made me think of you

Under a trillion stars
We danced on top of cars
Took pictures of the stage
So far from where we are
They made me think of you
They made me think of you

Oh lights go down
In the moment we're lost and found
I just wanna be by your side
If these wings could fly
Oh damn these walls
In the moment we're ten feet tall
And how you told me after it all
We'd remember tonight
For the rest of our lives

I'm in a foreign state
My thoughts they slip away
My words are leaving me
They caught an aeroplane
Because I thought of you
Just from the thought of you

Oh lights go down
In the moment we're lost and found
I just wanna be by your side
If these wings could fly
Oh damn these walls
In the moment we're ten feet tall
And how you told me after it all
We'd remember tonight
For the rest of our lives

If these wings could fly

Oh lights go down
In the moment we're lost and found
I just wanna be by your side
If these wings could fly
Oh damn these walls
In the moment we're ten feet tall
And how you told me after it all
We'd remember tonight
For the rest of our lives


Wings To Fly

I spent part of Sunday morning weeding the garden [Yes, I was really doing the hated chore that is called Yard Work], noting the heavy prevalence of thistle, crabgrass, prickly lettuce and other undesirables in the lawn, when something buzzed near my head.

Fortunately, not a wasp (I really don't like wasps, especially after several nested in the back of the mailbox and went after me when I reached in to pull out the day's mail - I think I ran screaming around the cul de sac - and yeah, I got stung twice).

It was a harmless dragonfly, flitting around our fish pond - I watched the buzz of his wings as he circled around - at the high frequency of flight, his wings appear to be a blur of blue. The he grabbed one of the Iris leaves and settled into stillness. To my surprise, its wings weren't blue, but clear with black and white spots.

And so the yard work was abandoned for a few minutes because I had just found my newest photo shoot subject...

Keep Me Hanging On

He was a bit skittish - if I got too close, he would take off, circle around, but then find purchase again on the same branch or leaf. I was able to get several decently detailed photos before relinquishing my camera for the garden gloves.


After some web research, I learned my subject was a male twelve-spotted skimmer. Although this dragonfly is fairly common, I was glad to have captured its amazing transparent wings. And with these photos, I've hit 10,000 uploads to my flickr stream.

Yup, I take a lot of photos.... because I really need an excuse to get out of yard work every now and then....


For Today | Doesn't Feel Like Summer

Outside my window…my goodness, it is absolutely gorgeous outside! After a crisp, cool morning, the abundant sun is shining down from blue skies punctuated with puffy white clouds. The temperatures will climb to 70 degF today, unseasonably cool for mid-July. With low humidity, I am not complaining.

I am thankful… for my great friends – they have served as a pillar of support these past months.

From the kitchen… I’ve been in a cooking rut recently, so simple fish tacos is what we’ll have for dinner tonight.

I am wearing… black pants from Athleta, a striped racer back tank from Lululemon and a periwinkle sweater from LOFT. Summery and totally comfortable.

I am creating… I’ve started writing some poetry, but not ready to share.

I am going… with my daughter on her first college visit, in Ohio. Should be exciting!

I am reading… I'm still trying to get through the epic novel, Shantaram. I had to put it down for a couple months, but found myself reading it again last weekend.

I am hoping… my left ankle and knee pain goes away – soon! The ankle appears to be much better today. Foam roll, stretch, repeat.

I am listening to… an artist who goes by 'Birdy' and her Fire Within album. Her music is considered to be “alternative”, not my typical genre, although I tend not to be influenced by labels. It’s definitely not mainstream pop. Birdy’s voice is beautiful, the music simple and sparse sometimes, other times rich and ethereal. Her music has been used in recent yoga (Body Flow) classes and is featured on the Fault In Our Stars soundtrack.

Around the house… Louie has been sneezing and coughing for two weeks now - the cortisone shot the vet gave him last week helped a little bit, but his symptoms don’t appear to be waning. Another trip to the vet might be in the cards.

One of my favorite things… a silver running charm necklace. The rectangle charm is stamped 'run', the other, circular disk is embossed with ’26.2’ – nicer than a 26.2 decal for my car and less showy. I may add a green crystal / emerald to the mix.

A few plans for the rest of the week… simply work, a whirlwind college visit, a concert in the park, running, yoga and enjoying this wonderful weather while it lasts!

A picture to share - A typical barn / prairie scene I captured today on the way to work. I took a slight detour down a country road to find the barn.
Took a Detour From my Normal Route This Beautiful Morning #prairie #clouds #farm


Flower Friday

A quick post of some flowers around the house - these make it feel like summer!



Friend Lisa is such a sweetie - she bought me flowers yesterday! Lovely ivory roses....


I hope your world laughs with flowers today - consider being a sweetie to someone and buy them flowers - for no reason at all. It will make their day and bring a smile to their face.



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All images on this blog (unless stated) are the intellectual property and copyright of Shirley LeMay Photography and Shirley Behind the Lens (© 2005-2014). Do not steal, borrow or pirate the images here.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code. and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prohibits the use of digital property to be used without the consent of its owner.

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