Camera Ready!

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photo by Christian Mackie on Unsplash

A few years ago, when I first started this blog, I was told that adding pictures to my blog would catch interest and make it easier to read by giving the eyes some relief. Okay but how the heck do I do that? I found that WordPress was pretty good at telling me how to add pictures but my pictures were sure not worthy. I’m not a photographer. I’m one of those people who knows what I like but there was no way I could replicate any type of visual art. So the hunt was on!

As I’ve said in a previous blog, Google is my friend, and I set off on the hunt for sites that had pictures I could use. There are thousands of photographs, called stock photos,  available to anyone, but there are some things to watch for. First, many sites will charge you for the use of a photo, so beware. Many free sites aren’t really free but do put out a few free photos each week. You can use these without charge, but the sites usually ask for your information. Of course it’s your decision whether or not to give it out but is really not necessary. Watch out for copyright infringement.

I’ve found two that are very user friendly. They don’t ask for personal information and there are many photos and graphics, sorted into categories, available to download. It’s fun sorting through for just the right shot and I confess I sometimes get distracted and spend a little too much time on the hunt. My two favourites are Pexel and Unsplash. Both sites have a “donate” button; it’s optional but they ask too that you give credit to the photographer who owns the picture. Often a credit comes up at the bottom of your photo when posted, but if not your blog site help tab can show you how to add a credit. Now I try to make sure that credit is given where it’s due and if you don’t see that caption on a picture on my blog, that means I took it myself!

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Photo by Omar Houchamil on Pexel

Yes, I am going to take pictures myself! I have already done a few; actually on a previous blog, Writing on Writing, the two pictures used there were my idea and taken by my husband. Neither of us are artistically minded but we try hard to follow the rules of photography. So what are those rules that I’m trying hard to follow?

  •      Take your camera everywhere. You can’t take pictures without it! Those pics you don’t like can be easily deleted.
  •      Get closer to your subject. You might think it’s good but a few feet closer can make it even better.
  •      Practice every day.
  •      If you photograph people, ask their permission before using their photos.
  •      Read your camera manual. It really has some good information.
  •      Beware of backgrounds. Or things to one side, like garbage cans. They just don’t look quite right.

And there you have it. I believe that pictures do make a lovely addition to everyone’s blog.

Here I Go Again

 

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

For the last eighteen months, I have been serving my city as a local councillor. Yes I am retired from my career as a registered nurse, but still keeping busy. My hubby and I had just sold our Florida mobile home when I got a phone call asking if I would be interested in serving as a councillor. I had lost the 2014 election, love my city and enjoy the give and take of politics, so of course I said yes. I really enjoyed that stint and decided to run in the election of 2018. Sadly I did not win this one either, so I am grateful for the experience of the last year and a half.

Now I am in the process of cleaning out my office in city hall, it amazes me how much paper and paraphernalia I have accumulated, but I have just three file drawers to do and I’m clear. I will continue to go into the office until the end of the month when the new council is sworn in, there are still questions to answer and residents to help. I do believe I have done a good job during my tenure but now it’s time to look forward.

So I ask myself what will I do now? I believe its important to keep our brains active as well as our bodies, so I am writing again. Starting with this blog and maybe, one day, a novel. I’ll try the crafty thing again, though I’m not very good at it. I’d like to have a little home business that doesn’t involve booking parties or selling to my friends and family. We have just moved to a rather large home with our two sons and for half of every month, two grandchildren are here. This will be interesting.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

One benefit is that we are opening boxes we’ve stored for four years. I’ve already sold a couple of things on the local buy and sell site. Hmm maybe this is a business in the making. It won’t make a ton of money but it could be fun and turn a wee profit. I guess that’s one thing to do and judging from the number of boxes, it’ll keep me busy this winter. I discovered some sterling silver pieces that came from my mother and grandmothers, that are quite tarnished. It will take a few days to clean those up and see what they are and if they are worth keeping. We’ve already asked our boys and their wives if they want any of our stuff and got the predicted “no thanks” so I’ll see if I want anything.

I’m going to volunteer with the local Crime Stoppers group and have started knitting scarves for the needy program here. I already have a day trip planned with a friend for next week. If we enjoy ourselves, I’ll write about it. Heck, I’ll write about it even if we don’t enjoy ourselves. And of course we have the Christmas prepping starting soon. I think my days will be pretty busy.

As the saying goes, “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

 

And Then It Hit Me!

 

 

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I want to blog and write, but I am very slow to publish. The first week was great, I followed the challenge precisely, but somewhere in the second week I really lost momentum. Was I suffering from the procrastinator’s excuse, writer’s block? No, I’m still writing a bit every day but I am not finishing, refining, or publishing. Herein lies the problem, and then it hit me! Because my main theme is about my life as a retired person, I’ve been trying to include many topics at once instead of assigning myself a single theme and writing about that one until it is done at least for the time being. It may be one blog or five, but they all should be following the theme of the week or month. So back to square one and using a proper schedule to write about the topic. This is so important and I only just realized how important it is for me to follow an organizational chart.

 

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I am a former operating room nurse so I tend to be a little obsessive-compulsive about work, most of us are and this carries over somewhat into our personal lives. When I retired, I decided to bury that part of me and allow my brain free rein. This probably wasn’t the best idea as now my brain goes in a hundred different directions a day, never really settling into any one line. Again back to square one, picking a theme and writing about it.

Instead of writing just out of my head, I must also start researching my blog topics more thoroughly. This is very important and since I don’t know everything about everything, I don’t want to give wrong information either, it’s time to put on the research hat and go to Google or Wikipedia to get educated. My experiences, or those of others, will round out the blogs nicely. see? Now I have a plan!

 

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So please bear with me as I begin again with this month’s topic. Day trips in Southern Ontario will be my focus and I hope you’ll follow along and enjoy this exploration of the southern portion of the province where I live. If you read and enjoyed my fifth blog, Weekend Getaway, you’ll appreciate my next one about the marine railway.

 

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