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Redhead Reflections is now easier to navigate!

It has taken a while, but I have categorized all articles!  The listing can be found at the top right hand corner, adjacent to the title line of each page.  Simply click the arrow beside the words “select category” and a drop down menu will appear.

Below is a listing of the categories and a brief description of what you can expect to find in each:

Amy’s Freedom:  The continuing saga of Amy and a crazed serial killer.  (Not for the  faint of heart)

Dark Side Thursday:  Dark stories for the writing group, “Dark Side Thursday”(For now it is a collection of “Amy’s Freedom,” however once this story is complete there will be other dark adventures) (Not for the faint of heart)

Faith:  My faith is very important to me and so here you will find a collection of articles revealing my spiritual insight.

Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers:  These articles are my submissions to the writing group “Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers”. Each week members are given a photo in which they are to weave a story around within 175 words or less.  (Not a lot of words to write a complete story so this is quite challenging) (Not genre specific)

Horror and Suspense:  Definitely one of my favorite genres.  Most stories within this category are not for the faint of heart.

Literary Lion:   A collection of my submissions to the writing group “Literary         Lion”.  Each week members are given one word and are expected to weave a tale around the word in 400 words or less.  (Not genre specific.)

Half Marathon
Half Marathon

Personal Stories:  A collection of articles about myself and my life.

Photo:  A collection of photos I have taken.

Recipes:  A collection of recipes.

(Future Category:  Flavor Of The Month)

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Photography 101 Day 20: Triumph and Contrast

What does triumph mean to you?

My tee, my number, my running shoes, my dog...all that AND a warm crackling fire.
My tee, my number, my running shoes, my dog…all that AND a warm crackling fire.

Each time I finish a run I consider it a triumph,  and it doesn’t have to be a particularly good or fast run to qualify. If I can lace up my sneakers, go outside  and put one foot in front of the other in a forward direction then it’s chocked up to be a triumph.

This use to not be the case.  Before, I was obsessed with going just a little bit faster, a little bit farther and a little bit stronger.

What happened to change my running perspective?

Well…it all started with a rash…

…just a wee little rash…

The bulls eye was classic…a big red circle around an irritated tick bite.  The tick had long skedaddled but the critter left his, “I was here” mark on my belly.

The doctor of our one-stop-light town looked offended when I suggested the possibility of Lyme’s disease.

The arrogant “you-know-what” scoffed at the idea and only prescribed a couple days treatment of Doxycycline, instead of the usual 2-3 weeks.  In doing so, he effectively saved his ego but my poor muscles suffered and went through hell only a few months later.

I have since been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which, of course, was brought on by the Lyme’s Disease the good doctor failed to treat properly.

My arthritis is kept at bay with the help of four different meds purchased from CVS Pharmacy.  These drugs are an important staple of my life and will be from now to the end.  In all likely-hood, in time, as I age, I will have to exchange them for something stronger…and stronger…

Since my diagnosis I’ve completed several 5 K’s and one half marathon.

My future goals are to continue…continue with one foot in front of the other.   Continue to run…run…and run…and never stop.

I’m too afraid to stop.

Below:  The color version of what I call TRIUMPH

My tee, my number, my running shoes, my dog AND a crackling fire.
My tee, my number, my running shoes, my dog AND a crackling fire.

Photography 101 Day 19: Double & Rotation

Barbed Wire Seizing a Sunset
Barbed Wire Seizing a Sunset
Barbed Wire Reaching to Heaven
Barbed Wire Reaching to Heaven

This photo was taken during one of the hardest times in my life.  Corinne and I were facing a future of financial loss and utter abandonment.  Our emotions, raw and bleeding, resembled the barbed wire and intense colors portrayed here.

Corinne had come to be with me on my lunch break at work.  I don’t really remember what we ate, perhaps peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, but I do remember just being in her presence.  We walked hand in hand under this sunset with our puppies at our side.

We didn’t know it then but, under that sunset, God was trying to show us the way to have peace in the midst of depression:  Walking hand in hand…step by step… and waiting for his guidance and direction.

That’s exactly what we did (it wasn’t easy) and together we have made it through to the other side.  Thank you, God, for never leaving us nor forsaking us.

Always expect God to work…He will….in due time…

Have faith….

But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.  Isaiah 40:31

Photography 101 Day 18: Edge & Alignment

Today, show us an edge — a straight line, a narrow ridge, a precipice.

Hope you enjoy my interpretations of edge, straight line, and precipice.

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Straight pole with the American Flag at sunset

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Straight pole with American flag amidst wavy jet exhaust

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Morris divided by edges of porch post

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Luna hiding behind the mesh of her carrier

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Chiseled edges of New England homes in Autumn

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Railing edge separating the ocean from road

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Josh at the precipice of Grandfather Mt

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Bottom railing frames the view from our front porch at Lake Gaston

Photography 101 Day 17: Glass

Incorporate glass in today’s image: a window, a mirror, a wine glass, sunglasses, or something else. It doesn’t matter what form the glass takes.

Today’s Tip: We’ve practiced shooting at different angles and from unique POVs. How can you interact with glass to create an interesting photo?

New Glass Vase
New Glass Vase

I love looking through blue glass!

Just the other day I found myself walking the isles of TJ MAXX,   looking for frames for the family photos I wanted to hang on our “hall of fame.”  I found two, threw them in the buggy, and proceeded  to the register when my eye caught the shimmer of blue glass.

There on the shelf sat a large and almost awkward  blue glass vase.  Being the queen of awkward, a chord of kinship stirred in my heart and just like that, I was in love.

The deep blue hues, I realized, would compliment the blue table cloth I had previously purchased for our dining room table.  And with a price tag of only $12.99, it was a no brainer…the ole blue girl would go home with me!

I used the blue glass to complete my photography 101 assignment.  Below are the photos I captured.  Hope you enjoy them!

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The blue glass transformed boring into  mystical in the caption above.  I feel I’m under water surveying the scene, much like a fish in an aquarium.

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Above I played with cropping and using the flash.  I love the wintry frost appearance.  

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My Guardian Angel

 “For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face!”  (I Cor 13:12) (AMP)

Photography 101 Day 16: Treasure & Close-up

What’s your treasure? Perhaps you found a coat at the thrift store like the one your grandfather wore, or took a once-in-a-lifetime trip through the Himalaya. Maybe you treasure your children, or your cat, or a quiet space in the woods. Show us an image that represents a treasure to you.

Beth and her beautiful smile
Beth and her beautiful smile

This assignment reminds me of the following words spoken by Jesus, thousands of years ago:

“Don’t save treasures for yourselves here on earth. Moths and rust will destroy them. And thieves can break into your house and steal them.  Instead, save your treasures in heaven, where they cannot be destroyed by moths or rust and where thieves cannot break in and steal them.   Your heart will be where your treasure is.”  

I try to take these words of Jesus to heart by reminding myself that anything of material value will one day fade and pass away…even our very bodies will die and return to dust.

According to the Apostle Paul (…and I believe it true) there are only three things that will last forever.  In his letter to the Corinthians he writes,  “All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.  Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”

Ivy and Josh with those smiles I love!
Ivy and Josh with those smiles I love!

I do not know the answers to life’s problems, but I am promised that one day the very knowledge of God will be mine.  Until that day I try not fret over things I can’t understand.   Instead I try to cleave to what I am promised will last forever…. faith, hope and love.  These three keep me sane, peaceful and happy, and one day they will issue me into my life eternal.

Without love all is lost for there would be no faith or hope.   Love is the thing I treasure most and one of the best ways to witness love is through the simplicity of a smile.

Just a few Smiles I hold dear

Josh and his smile when he was a just a little guy!
Josh and his smile when he was a just a little guy!
Beth and her smile climbs a tree...years ago!
Beth and her smile climbs a tree…years ago!
Corinne, my lady, getting kisses from Maggie
Corinne, my lady, getting kisses from Maggie
Josh and Maggie enjoying the waters of Lake Gaston
Josh and Maggie enjoying the waters of Lake Gaston
Josh and Ivy at West Point Graduation
Josh and Ivy at West Point Graduation
Josh and Ivy going on a Boston Harbor Cruise for Josh's 21st birthday
Josh and Ivy going on a Boston Harbor Cruise for Josh’s 21st birthday
Beth in New York City
Beth in New York City
Josh, Vicki and Beth
Josh, Vicki and Beth
Corinne, my lady, enjoying a tropical drink
Corinne, my lady, enjoying a tropical drink
Josh and Beth at Wrightsville Beach
Josh and Beth at Wrightsville Beach
Josh and Beth going to Grandma's house
Josh and Beth going to Grandma’s house
Josh climbs to the top of Mt Washington
Josh climbs to the top of Mt Washington

Photography 101 Day 15: Landscape & Cropping

Today, snap a picture of a landscape. Focus on the gestalt — the entire setting as a whole, like the shot above of the English countryside in Kent — rather than a specific subject or focal point within the scene. The setting itself is the star.

Thunder storm working up over the Shenandoah Valley
Thunder storm working up over the Shenandoah Valley

Above is a photo I captured one Sunday after church.  Corinne and I decided to take a day trip on Skyline Drive.  While up on the mountain we were able to witness the makings of a thunder boomer.  It was pretty awesome to be able to see this from a distance.

Rye Beach New Hampshire
Rye Beach New Hampshire

The landscape above was taken at Rye Beach New Hampshire.  As I recall it was rather cold that day and the moisture was heavy in the air.

Trophy Point, West Point New York
Trophy Point, West Point New York

This photo was taken on the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Corinne and I went to see Josh, my son,  a cadet there at the time.  The couple seen in the far distance is Josh and Ivy, his girlfriend.

Photography 101 Day 14: Scale & Observation

Today, play with scale: you can use anything and everything to help convey size in your image, from your Chihuahua to your Mini Cooper, to an aerial view or perspective from a penthouse floor.

Today’s Tip: Don’t just point and shoot. Observe your scene before pressing the shutter, considering how all the elements in the frame interact with one another. Make an object appear larger through a ground-level POV. Place two things side by side in an unexpected way.

Loved this exercise!  Below are a few photos I had fun with by manipulating scale.

Me and my BIG foot at Hampton Beach
Me and my BIG foot at Hampton Beach
Me and Mr Sam Adams enjoying the beach!
Me and Mr Sam Adams enjoying the beach!
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My “little” blue bird surveying the property
Me and Sam Adams getting a little
Me and Sam Adams getting a little “tipsy”
Luna wondering how her mom is going to drink such a
Luna wondering how her mom is going to drink such a “BIG” beer
Beth, my daughter, taking it easy on Thanksgiving Day
Beth, my daughter, taking it easy on Thanksgiving Day

Photography 101 Day 12: Architecture & Monochrome

From geometric patterns on skyscrapers to the ironwork on historical buildings, there are many opportunities to capture the beauty and complexity of architecture.

Train your eye to look for architectural elements that translate in black and white: sharp lines and patterns, defined shapes, large surface areas, and a mix of very light and very dark colors.

My son, Josh, was in his second year at West Point when I took these photos.  I had driven from New Hampshire to spend the weekend with him.  We decided to take a trip into New York City.  The following are photos that I captured in the big  city, save for the first one which is a caption of a stained glass window at West Point.

Be sure to click on each photo for a better view 

Stained Glass taken on the campus of West Point.
Stained Glass taken on the campus of West Point.

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View of NYC from Ellis Island
View of NYC from Ellis Island
My son Josh with NYC in the background
My son Josh with NYC in the background
Inside building on Ellis Island. This is where the immigrants congregated after leaving their ships.
Inside building on Ellis Island. This is where the immigrants congregated after leaving their ships.
Josh gazing at the sights of Time Square
Josh gazing at the sights of Time Square
View from Empire State Building
View from Empire State Building
Another birds eye view
Another birds eye view
Our dear lady of liberty
Our dear lady of liberty

Photography 101 Day 11: A Pop Of Color

The colors in our photographs are evocative and rouse emotions within us. Color can elevate a mundane image into something intriguing and meaningful, and can tell a particular story within the frame.

Today, pay attention to how color affects your images. Experiment with one color, and think about how to feature it prominently.

For my color I chose red.

Below are two photos I took in New Hampshire.

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I saw the scene above, while out on an autumn run.  It struck me how the red seemed isolated as if a captured prisoner among the greens and grays.   I used the rule of thirds to position my prisoner and then muddied the background with the intention of making it pop.

This photo below was taken on a snowy night during the Christmas season.  Again I used the rule of thirds to position the red bow, even if it is a little off.  The bow makes the house look as if it is a Christmas present and the glow from the window seems to promise a Yuletide warmth within.

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