Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Three Gifts Loved

You just got to love Ann Voskamp.

Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. (And her love for Jesus and God!)

This is what she wrote today on Facebook:

"!! Happy July 1st!

"Make it the best month yet? Count gifts, find joy -- right. where. you. are! Scavenger hunt for God's glory!

"(All research concludes that writing down just 3 things you are grateful for, you increase your happiness by *25%*! Who doesn't want *that*!? And giving thanks in all things is a God-command for our *joy*. Let's DO this thing!)

"Hang on the fridge for the whole family to take the #JOYDARE too! Print July's Joy Dare here: http://bit.ly/1dNbtNj

Here it is. I printed it. Now taped in my #1000GIFTS Journal:

So. Three gifts loved. I love so much. But let's focus on today.

My Garden. I love my garden. I love gardening. Susan called her "Gardenia," my mistress. This photo is from June 29, 2014.

Here is what Gardenia will look something like in September:

Gardenia is bordered on three sides with Zinnias; I love these! They attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Inside the garden: five tomato plants, three basil plants, two eggplant plants, beets, lettuce (two kinds), arugula, oregano, tarragon, cilantro, parsley, butterfly bush, cucumbers, jalapeno plants. Can you sense I might be excited???!!!

Of course, I just LOVE my dog, Freddy. A Mini Labradoodle. He doesn't know he is getting a bath and haircut tomorrow.

 And I LOVE cooking! You can read about the beginnings here. Last night I made this amazing Grilled Chicken with a Mint Jalapeno Sauce. OH MY GOSH!

Here is the recipe:

Thankful I Am for these three gifts loved.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Gifts About My Parents

I have written these words before.

And these words have appeared elsewhere.

I want them to find a home here, too. Here, because I have so much to thank Ann Voskamp and her book, "One Thousand Gifts," for. Bringing me closer day-by-day to God and Jesus. Being grateful every single day. Counting my gifts--the gifts given to me every single day.

Thankful I Am for many gifts about my parents.

The photo makes me smile. They are quite young. And smoking! And maybe have had a few glasses of wine! They gave smoking up in time. My mother became a director of Christian Education later in life and unfortunately passed away at the early age of 54 from cancer. I will be writing about My Mom over at My Mom's Bible, a place where I plan to market my new website, Christian Totes & T-shirts."

"Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love." (Corinthians 13:13)


I inherited the gift of love from my mother and father. My mother and father also taught me the importance of a smile. In thousands of letters my mother wrote to me she would close with “Keep Smiling.” And I have learned the importance of the gift of a smile; how a smile can change a person’s day, if not life.

When my dad passed away in 2006 my two children said to me, “He loved us so much.”

When I spoke at my dad’s memorial service, I said: “My sister Michelle spoke of The Perfect Child. I think in my father’s heart, in his soul and spirit, Michelle, Darlene, Dennis and I are all The Perfect Child as you, too, his family and friends are The Perfect People. Darlene spoke of The Lucky Ones. Yes, we four are lucky to have been blessed with a father filled with such unconditional love, a man who never spoke an ill word of anyone, his heart always filled with love for his neighbor. And Dennis spoke of our Dad as The Greatest and certainly he was for who could say what I want to say to you now; who could say this of their Dad–how many children could say that when they made a new friend, when I made a new friend, I always said to this friend, I can’t wait for you to meet my Dad, you are going to love him, and invariably, she or he did love him, and my Dad loved them and he would then always inquire about them, their day, their joys, their sorrows, their dreams.”

My father, Alfred, also known as Fred, and who Susan (my wife) and I named our Labradoodle after; in his honor (Freddy), was known as the epitome of a gentleman and his biggest joy in life came from loving his family and grandchildren.

Yes. This is how I want to be remembered. I loved. This is my legacy. And I believe my photography reflects this passion, a love of life, nature, beauty and a calling to share this vision.

This is my ministry.

An admirer of my photography writes: “You have shown me to see the world with a completely different set of eyes. Every single day you bring beauty, joy, depth, and new perspective into my life. I cannot thank you enough for being the beautiful, kind, loving, gentle, and soulful man you are.”

Another writes: “Thanks You for making my life more beautiful with each of your photographs.”

"Your amazing photographs warm my heart and fill my day with moments of beauty. Beauty that continues to stay in my heart and mind even after those moments have passed. I can’t imagine waking up someday and not being able to look at the unique way you view the world and make it burst from the screen or how you’ve capture the very essence of a person or place.”


Surely MY PARENTS taught me about faith, hope, and love. 

Thankful I Am for the Gifts About My Parents.

Monday, May 5, 2014

3 Gifts Tasted

Thankful I am for "3 Gifts Tasted."

Italian Meatloaf. Check out a recipe over at Bruce's Kitchen.

Roasted Green Beans with Vidalia Onion and Walnuts.

Turmeric Rice.

Thankful I am for "3 Gifts Tasted."

Saturday, April 12, 2014

3 Gifts Budding and Blooming

Thankful I Am for the gifts budding and blooming.

The Hydrangea in the corner of our yard.

We have four or five Hydrangea bushes in our yard.

This one pictured, a Lacecap, come summer, will bloom into this:

Thankful I Am to see the Blue Thistle rising from the garden:

We have many of these and they get quite tall. Five feet and up! One of my favorite bird photos is of an American Goldfinch on a Blue Thistle:

And Thankful I Am to see the Crocuses bloom! Certainly THE sign Spring has truly arrived!

Thankful I Am.

Friday, April 11, 2014

3 Gifts Opened Up

Thankful I am for 3 Gifts Opened Up.

The garden gate. At long last opened. The snow now melted. And me--back in the garden getting it ready for planting.

Gardening is so much about patience. And I know what I plant will once again bloom as it did last year:

Thankful I am for the warm weather allowing us to open our back door to the back yard so we can play with our dog, Freddy:

Thankful I am for the warm Spring sunshine coming through the opened shutters in our sitting room:

Thankful I Am.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Gift Hiding, Held, Heard

Thankful I am for a gift hiding.

All day the sky above our home was dark and gray. And then I looked up. The clouds parted. A patch of blue sky.

Thankful I am for a gift held.

A cross. A gift from a friend. People say the cross appears often in my photographs. Often I am either looking out of windows or into windows. Here are two photographs illustrating this point of view:

Looking in:

Looking out:

Thankful I am for a gift heard.

It was a windy day, too. And chimes rang out in our backyard.

Thankful I am for a gift hiding, held, heard.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

3 Gifts Rising Up

Thankful I am to see the rhubarb rising up from the soil.

I love rhubarb strawberry pie! And you?

Doesn't this photo look like something from outer space?

Thankful I am to see the coral bells rising up after having been covered with so much snow the past few months!

They were a gift from a friend a few years ago and they started out so small and fragile. And now look at them. I love photographing them as they seem to change every day!

Thankful I am to see the peonies rising up next to the side our our house.

The peony is one of my favorite flowers. I photograph them all the time in all stages of their life. Here is a photo from last summer:

Thankful I Am.

Friday, April 4, 2014

3 Gifts Surprisingly Found

Could this be? A day of warm sunshine after so many weeks of cold and snow?

Yes. This was a gift surprisingly found.

On Thursday, April 3, 2014. 

I even saw rhubarb poking up through the earth.

The first gift on this beautiful day.

Thankful I am for working in my garden.

Thankful I am for finding this marble in the garden while I raked.

Thankful I am that my cat, Nadine, and dog, Freddy, could both be outside, together, without doing harm to each other!

Thankful I am.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

3 Gifts White

Thankful I am for three gifts white.

The Angel in the pine tree in our backyard. She keeps watch over us and our cat, Nadine, and our dog, Freddy.

There were two Angels. But one fell in a storm. We call her our Fallen Angel.

The snow and ice on The Lower Mill Pond in Easthampton, Massachusetts.

Happy. Once. Of course. To see the snow fall for the first time. And the ice form. And then it snowed again. And again. And again. And again. And now we are thankful to see the snow disappear and the ice melt!

Our white dinner plates.

We use them almost every night. Martha Stewart plates. Bought in a discount merchandise store. You can see more photos of them over at my food Blog, Bruce's Kitchen. Here we are about to enjoy our first Spring hamburger (On rye toast with onions and mushrooms), Roasted Asparagus with Sesame Seeds, and Oven-Roasted Potatoes.

Thankful I am.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

3 Gifts Round

Thankful I am for:

The round table. The table at the art gallery where I hung my photos today. The table supports one photo, a vase of flowers, a price list, a biography (short) and guest book.

The old wheel and spokes in our backyard. Now no longer buried under snow. Today the air was warm. Birds singing. My dog playing in the backyard. And the wheel soon might be placed back in my garden and I will plant herbs between the spokes. Spring!

The colorful, but rusty, bucket. The bucket by the fence door. Its purpose to hold the door open when I mow the lawn. Seeing it today (And feeling the warm sun.) reminded me of the days yet to come. The days of warmer weather and growing grass. Grass that will need mowing. A few times each and every week. For me a very prayerful activity.

Thankful I am.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Gift Heard, Held, Hoped For


Felix Mendelssohn Bartoldy - Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without words) Op.53 No.2. Performed by Elena Kuschnerova on 19 October 2009 at the University of Tainan (Taiwan).


I framed 3 - 8 x 10 prints in small white frames. Affordable art for my exhibition. The 20 other frames and prints are larger:

Hoped For:

I am hoping people visit my exhibition:

I am hoping that I help people to see the beauty in the everyday. Ann Voscamp writes about this on her Blog, A Holy Experience, today.

She writes: "The realest extraordinary is always found in the ordinary."

The good news for me today is that I am seeing God's love working in my life and I am confident that people will be move.

People write to me:

You have shown me to see the world with a completely different set of eyes. Every single day you bring beauty, joy, depth, and new perspective into my life. I cannot thank you enough for being the beautiful, kind, loving, gentle, and soulful man you are."

“You do have a way, a gift, of capturing the quintessential essence of the subjects in your photos."

"Your amazing photographs warm my heart and fill my day with moments of beauty. Beauty that continues to stay in my heart and mind even after those moments have passed."

Thankful I am.