It’s January - time to start a fresh, and share my favorite images of 2018.

I shot less in 2018. I thought I would not have much to share, but I was wrong. It was a very personal year - a lot of precious family time - special personal images - and some with, I believe, artistic value.

Patty Rosebud, origin Floribunda 2007, Reprocessed Canon EOS IDS Mark iii 105 mm 1/30 sec f9 ISO 100

Richard Reach the Sky PhaseOne IQ 180 80 mm 1/30 sec f11 ISO 35

Richard Reach the Sky was taken three months prior to my brother Richard’s death, August 8th, 2018. The image was captured in Torrey Pines nature preserve, on a side excursion, while working with Richard on completing his trilogy of poems - SMELL THE ROSES, feel the soil / reach the sky. I have no idea where the seemingly supernatural colors came from - to me, a gift of Richard relevance.

A third image I share here is another gift image I received at Walden Pond - The morning light overwhelmed the view. I preserved the moment by highlighting contrast with black and white. I read (listened to) Thoreau’s Walking five times. It was a great treat to saunter the land of Walden Pond and capture the feeling this image insights in me.

Walden Pond PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/20 f14 ISO 35

Thirteen more of my favorites for 2018 can be viewed at the Photography tab of this site

I started my favorite of the year images beginning 2011 and now have over one hundred favorite images - It’s time to stop. Instead of showing all those images in Order Your Print, I decided to pair it down by showing only those images that have been framed and have proven Wall-life. (I have projected a little for the 2018 images). Now there are only sixty images that rise to Wall Worthy, by that definition. Take a look. I love it.

I will only add an image to the Order Your Print images, derived from yearly Best of year images, by eliminating one. I hope to pair the list down more, over time, maybe to my favorite ten. Given the personal attachment to my images, this will be quite the challenge, and hopefully an exercise in deep reflection.

Room with a View

It’s been over two years since we moved from Burlington proper to Williston, now Richmond. You would think I would change my address on my Blog on a more timely matter. It’s not that I have a hard time giving up the past, after all we’ve moved twenty times during the last fifty one years. It’s just that I gave up easy on trying to change the address on the Blog. I rationalized, what the hell, what difference does it make anyway.

Now that I expect to live out my life at 60 Wolf Lane, Richmond, VT 05477, I gave it another try and believe I succeeded - we’ll see when this post is made with Mail Chimp.

Connecting with you is important to me. I have had a few people call for our new address - I suspect - hope - to send us a Christmas wish - update. I love cards, I make some from images I love, often.

This Christmas I am not sending cards. I connect here-with and am working hard to timely publish, SMELL THE ROSES; feel the soil/ reach the sky, a book my deceased brother Richard invited me in on, about a year or so ago. He is not here to see it’s completion - I wish he were - the tributes to him are beautiful. The book of poems, images and reflections are an interesting delivery of self reflection. I’ll let you know when it is available on Amazon and FriesenPress - probably January.

Illustration by Michael Morgenstern. Book cover. Release early 2019

Connecting with you, with my blog, book, images is in my small way saying I love you, like the song translates the touch of a hand sake. Connecting is life blood and I’ll risk the vulnerability for the joy and fulfillment - little ways that are big to me.

Bed room view 60 Wolf Lane, Richmond, VT 05477

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Birch and Aspen

Birch and Aspen - certainly different, but hard to tell the difference, at a glance - believe it or not, they are not even in the same family. We have both on the Photo Farm, and I love it.

As a recent Robert Frost fan, who was also a part-life Vermonter, I will refer to both white bark attracters as ‘Birches’, in honor of Frost’s poem titled the same .

Frost writes in Birches: “Earth’s the right place for love: I don’t know where it is likely to go better. I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree, And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, But dipped it’s top and set me down again. That would be good both going and coming back, One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.”

Birch Bend SonyRX 100 VI 12.25mm 1/125 sec f4.5 ISO 125 stitched

After a recent snow fall, I better visualize Frost’s sentiments on swinging birches. I shake a snow covered, weighed down, birch over the driveway, as I plow my way to Wolf Lane. Me and my green and yellow John Deere are now white all over. What is astonishing to me is, with a little shake, the tree sprang back to nearly upright, like a catapult. I would have been pulled off the Deere, to the sky, if I hadn't let go.

A short while ago I designated a cove, on the Photo Farm, in a patch of birches, to be a proper place for a bench to rest and meditate. I am moved more to do such, with my recent visit to capture the snow impact.

Birch Cove SonyRX 100 VI 9mm 1/200 sec f6.3 ISO 125

I am now, in my mind, “Some boy too far from town to learn baseball, Whose only play was what he found himself, Summer or winter, and could play alone. One by one he subdued his father’s trees , By riding them down over and over again Until he took the stiffness out of them, And not one but hung , not one was left For him to conquer.”

Care or Control?

I am not one to control another. In fact, I fault myself for a lack of boundaries while child rearing. I remain a big believer of personal freedom. Being a caregiver for Patty, with her memory breakdown, is unnatural for me. I am in a cloud. How to care for Patty is unclear to me.

Lake Cloud Canon EOS 1DS Mark iii 420mm 1/125 f4 ISO 100

When is care control? Does care need to become control in the late stage of Alzheimer’s?

The answers may be obvious. I can’t win for losing with Patty. Patty doesn’t accept care well - she is fast to feel controlled, and she resists, even the obvious…. (at least, to me) - She is always telling me I am trying to control her. ‘No’ is her favorite word.

An example - I suggested she wear a coat for an outing to eat, yesterday. She says she doesn’t have one. I bring her the coat to wear and she refuses, saying I am trying to control her. She says she is not hungry anyway, even though she hasn’t eaten. I say ok. (one might say it wasn’t a mere ‘ok’…. maybe more like I huffed off to my corner). We don’t go.

Patty is ok going with me to my hair wash and cut today. I said I have one every two months - she should. I offer to make an appointment. She says NO. Patty’s last wash and cut is nine months ago. I can remember only two times she showered, in the last year, even though she says she showers frequently.

Patty would kill me if she knew I talked so openly about her. It’s necessary for me. It’s at the stage that she can’t disguise the decline, and I don’t know what I am doing!

Thanks for listening.

God help Patty. God help me.

Photo Farm Beginnings

I love the Photo Farm.

Multi-generational living is new to us, just since April. The Photo Farm went 15% or so over budget, which I swore it wouldn’t, but I believe it is a best decision. Time will tell. It is quite the experience. And, I believe many more nice experiences will be our blessing.

Avi, our oldest grandchild, is taking a photography class in this junior year of her High school. She has a great eye, her father’s eye for photography. More wondrous is, she captured a rare moment of Patty and me, by blasting Alleluia and What a Wonderful World, while she was taking advantage of the professional photography studio set-up. I’d give her an A+, and extra credit for capturing a touching moment of two people who are hard to catch as such.

Bilder Studio First Fall Sony RX 100 VI 29.1 mm 1/100 sec f4.5 ISO 125 multi-stitch

I hope to graduate to Studio lighting some day, but now am pleased as punch to be exploring with my camera, outdoors. I still believe that bigger is better and, accordingly, will be exploring with the new 44” printer, I have almost ready to go, in the loft of the studio.

I want to make the Photo Farm a destination experience. Come visit and connect.

Kripalu Mindful

I recently had occasion to visit the kripalu Institute of Yoga and Health, in Stonebridge, MA, while dropping off and picking up daughter Bridget for a certificate program on Mindfulness and Outdoor Leadership. This would be a great quarterly visit for me for R & R - a service which they pride themselves. I can see myself capturing a piece of nature and image reflecting, with the changing seasons - what a beautiful setting, and accommodative to meditation and a recharge.

Mindfulness in Nature Sony RX100 VI 61.19mm 1/3200 sec f4.5 ISO 2500 multiple stitch

Vermont Horizons

The horizons of Vermont are speaking to me. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to hear the appeal - the calling to capture moments of beauty of the ever changing touch of sky, light, on Adirondack, Green Mountains, Lake Champlain, and many Vermont valley vistas.

My brother Richard recognized a frequentcy of attention receiving horizons in my images before I did. He invited me to include 24 horizon images for his third book of poems - Smell the Roses, Feel the Soil, Reach the sky. He offers, in the introduction, his observation: "Mike’s visions are of and in the light—toward the eternal horizon.”

Richard died August 8th, 2018, advance of finishing Smell the Roses, but not before gracing me with focusing my passion to capture horizons and reflect deeper on those that hold my attention. I am grateful.

Sun Spots PhaseOne IQ 180 240mm 1/3 sec f16 ISO 35 stitched

Vermont is horizon paradise - so many unobstructed views of wide expanse horizons including interesting environs - water, mountains, valleys. And, if the view is obstructed, take a pleasant trail hike a short distance to the top of the low mountains and be delighted by spectacular earth contours, enhanced by frequent cool cloud formations and sun-ray penetration.

Fallen PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/800 sec f11 ISO 35 stitched

General Store Speak

My daily stop at the General Store, a Walmart in a thousand square feet, in the sleepy village of Tenants Harbor Maine, during my respite with family friends, September 8th to the 15th, was a delight. I loved the feel of the local hangout - it took me back in time - a simpler time, where we took the time for friendly chat, about whatever, with neighbors.

I slipped out of our Home Away from home, at day break, to capture a little new light on harbor highlights. After a play in the Golden Hour I would visit the General Store for a muffin… and maybe a morning greeting from local folk.

One morning, a few days into my stay in the faltering fishing village, I noticed a man in the General Store that I had seen each of my visits. I said - do you come here every morning? That’s all it took to get him going - louder as he went on. He finally respected, as he was more and more animated - “Am I getting too loud?”

I’ll call him Charlie. Charlie lived his sixty some odd years in the village and kicked off most days at the store, the only store, the General Store, in Tenants Harbor. He said “This is dog’s country”. I said dog’s country? No, dog’s country. I asked again, dog’s country? He said God’s country - dog spelled backwards…G O D! I said Oh, God’s country! He then went on for ten minutes about how the town has been going to the dogs with more and more fishing regulations and higher taxes.

He, no doubt, loves his life in Tenants Harbor, albeit, not all village happenings are in his control. We should all know, all is not in our control. Nature is a wonder, and doesn’t always give us enough time to prepare for every happening….. MICHAEL, for example!

As a mid-western flat-lander, I marvel at the ocean’s routine, in Tenants Harbor, of rising and falling, on it’s shore, nine feet, a couple times each day. And, how the shoreline infrastructure is designed to accommodate the wondrous way of the water. Like nicely fitting cloths allowing for the heave and contraction of unconscious breathing, shorelines and docks allow for the rise and fall of an unbelievable amount of water. I image the locals response to the major move of water is like their unconscious acceptance of breathing.

I love it.

RISING TIDE PhaseOne IQ 180 240mm 1/15 sec f11 ISO 100 2 images stitched

LOW TIDE PhaseOne IQ 180 240mm 1/50 sec f11 ISO 100

Alzheimer's Walk

Last year we walked for Alzheimer's in Minnesota in celebration of fifty years of marriage. We also walked in Vermont where we now live. We raised over $10,000 for a mighty effort to find help with a growing problem, thanks to friends and family - a great cause - fighting a dreadful disease. Thanks to all involved.

We are a year older and still fighting the affects of Alzheimer's. It's 51 years together and we'll take them, one year at a time.

It's just a 'walk in the park' in Vermont, 9/16, this year. Each new day is as precious as our fiftieth anniversary. 

Thanks for any consideration you give to help in our fight.

Love and health to you and yours,


The Time Has Come... For Change

My brother Richard died August 8th, 2018. I sent him a Love Letter on August 6th. I dated the sentiment August 8th, my 72nd birthday. I thanked him for his 'presents' to me. I wish to share with you my feelings, including a PS, I write now, expressing additional feelings regarding the news that more than 300 priests abused 1000 or more children in Pennsylvania - the straw that breaks the back - it's time to SCREAM - a time for ACCOUNTABILITY - a time for real CHANGE.


My 72nd birthday


AWR. Richard. Dick.                       

In Hospice

A Love Letter

From Mike - your youngest brother 

Just fourteen years your younger


Richard. Dick. You are gift - Always inviting - Always welcoming. A present to me. A present to all. Thank you for your loving embrace.


And, so serious and determined - to make a difference with the seemingly insurmountable task of bringing to light the reality of Catholic authorities gone wrong - very wrong - as large numbers of priests, bishops, and even cardinals sexually abuse children. Maybe worse, is the coverup – the system, knowingly, quick to pass abusers from parish to parish, hiding the family member’s crime – a costly sin…. and by our religious leaders!


You have made a difference – a huge positive difference – a legacy that will last for your eternity. Coming from within the troubled system, you were willing to face the truth about your religious family and do something about it – a herculean task – David versus Goliath. It must have been a very lonely and painful task to take on. You were courageous to tackle the task. 


Now, nearly thirty years after the publication of your book, A SECRET WORLD, Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy, the truth of abuse within the Catholic hierarchy is common knowledge. The system has started a mend, thanks to your assist in spotlighting the problem. I am proud of your presents. By the way, I have seen the movie Spotlight several times and count the mention of you as a source to the Boston Globe about priest pedophiles, as nine. 


I remember you and Marianne welcoming Patty, me and Bridget to your home in Baltimore, - it was 1990, about the time of A SECRET WORLD release.  You talked a lot about the contents of the book. I was stunned, probably in disbelief, thinking how this can be – maybe a few not keeping their vows, and fewer abusers - but so much? How can the problem be so pervasive? I am naïve.  This was too much for me to absorb at the time. Probably too much for the world to absorb, at the time.  How can this be? I thought – Is this the twilight zone? Time is telling. Truth is healing… in time.


I remember mention of Father Andrew Greely, a sociologist and successful fiction author, criticizing your numbers and your credentials. With time your numbers proved to be accurate. Your experience and tenacity to go after the truth, regardless of where it leads, is nothing short of Devine Providence. 


Abuse by clergy was unspeakable – not possible by the God-blessed beings – priests - on the parishioner’s-given pedestal. Given the magnitude of the abuse within the Catholic hierarchy and the degree of disbelievers, your patience with progress has been amazing. There was reason to come out screaming with accusations. You nurtured the situation so well. Now you can scream!


I love your line I heard in conjunction with doing your 80th birthday book, – “The largest task in life is to love. And love is the only thing that lasts, everything else melts away”. Love you have – evidenced by all you touched – family, abused, friends and even Church. In the case of Church, let’s say, tough love!


I too believe love is our highest priority. My best work as a Life – Wealth planner is possibly now, having realized, in my mid-sixties, that the Love Priorities of Self-realizing, Connecting, and Giving are the focal point of a strong process to realize one’s success. 


I define success as the realization of your unique good – doing what you love… your God-given talents, revealed by being open to your unique driving forces. And, being willing to follow those forces to where ever the passion persists. You have. 


I love that you invited me to join you doing your third (trilogy) book of poems – SMELL THE ROSES, FEEL THE SOIL, REACH THE SKY. I didn’t see how this would work. But, it has evolved. You saw the possibility from the beginning and, thanks to your prodding, I am beginning to see the possibility. 


SMELL THE ROSES is a book about love, and hope for more love. This is a theme we both are passionate about – what a great compliment to I CONFESS and COURAGE AT THREE AM.  


What’s to be? Like your Last Supper needlepoint, what is has great value, like Durer’s Salvator Mundi. What do you wish for the unfinished? 


My image, RICHARD, Reach the Sky, I captured during my visit with you, in La Jolla, in recent May, has much meaning, to me. It symbolizes the love priority of Self-realizing – reaching the sky – success – colorfully, and not without bearing harsh elements over a long period – dealing with pain and suffering. 

Richard Reach the Sky

You are “a life well lived”. Your legacy is a love example that will positively impact many, more than you can imagine. What a Wonderful life. I will miss you. I love you and feel your love.


PS You won't believe it, or maybe you will, but a week after your death the news of horrendous abuse  by priests in Pennsylvania hit the world news. The Church appeals for forgiveness - I imagine much more - forgiveness is holy, it is worth attention - accountability and change are just - IT IS TIME FOR JUSTICE - TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES. 

Here is what I imagine - All involved, including those who covered up, in any way, immediately resign and begin self-flagellation. This, unbelievably, includes 50% of the Catholic Church hierarchy. Celibacy is optional. The positions of priests and nuns are eliminated and replaced with Ministers. Gender makes no difference. Ministers are well educated, including versed on your writings. Ministers contribute to the level of their God-given talents, driven by their unique passions. Truth and love run rampant. It is good and right. 

Hope to see you... not too soon.



AWR Laughs


Richard and I were working on a book together at the time of his death, on my birthday, August 8th. It was tentatively titled SMELL THE ROSES, FEEL THE SOIL, REACH THE SKY. It was meant to be his third book of poems. I think of it as his Trilogy. The first book was titled I CONFESS and second titled COURAGE AT THREE AM. Both are personal, soul searching, deep, and sometimes funny. I am sure, both were gut wrenching and, at the same time, rewarding to write. I read each five or more times, gleaning more insight about my famous brother with each read. Poems, with so much to read between the lines, have always been hard for me to glean intent, from just one read. Like a good photograph, I want to revisit for more and more feel. 

SMELL THE ROSES was meant to be a book about love, and hope for more love. This theme would be a nice completion to Dick's Trilogy. My input would be photos of the horizon - then Dick invited me to write captions to the photos - then reflections - then memoir like comments and feelings - then he invited me to let it all out - deeper and deeper, - he encouraged and encouraged, and I learned from his mentoring.

I learned that reflections, attached to my photos, is most rewarding. I am now doing reflections for my photos for my water quality coffee table book I am doing with Trevien Stanger, environmentalist writer - OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS. Thank you Richard for your mentoring.

Richard said "The largest task of life is to love. And love is the only thing that lasts, everything else melts away". I love the thought. He said he was inspired by my thoughts on the Love Priorities of self-realizing, connecting and giving. He certainly was an inspiring example of SCG. 

RICHARD REACH THE SKY, PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/30 sec f11 ISO 35

TDY, it is ... for nowI

I tried to bring in help for Patty - she's not ready - it didn't work. It went ok for a couple hours, and then the aide, a fine person, was asked to go home. She did. This is the third time I tried - I stroke out. The VNA is probably going to ignore me, at least for awhile.

Patty and Mike in Seattle in 2016

I know. I know. I shouldn't take this on full time, but I am going to. I am going to look at it as TDY - Temporary duty. Actually, I feel  good about it, for now. Patty is my top priority and sometimes our top priorities take us out of balance for awhile. 

With being out of balance in mind, I will take advantage of Patty wanting me to do what I want - she not expressing any desires - and arrange for things to do together that I desire. For instance, I want to see my Fidelity adviser in Portland Maine - I called today to arrange a visit. We will meet with him for an hour or two and spend a night at a B&B on the ocean, which will include both of us getting up at dawn to walk the beach and seek an image to capture. I will do the same type of thing in southern Vermont, while going to the Robert Frost museum.

Some parts of these short trips Patty will enjoy, I know. She may not express pleasure but I get glimpses of joy in the eyes. Regardless, I am going to seek beauty and enjoyment, with Patty. It will work for awhile. I can't think beyond.

And, when at home, I will spend some time in the field, watering the saplings, or in the Studio, making big prints - both activities are like being in the back yard. I will put a camera's eye on Patty to always be in some contact. She doesn't like to be alone, but is reluctantly ok with it, until she calls - gone an hour or two - and wonders where I am. I know I will be in and out of the house, a lot, but I need more exercise anyway.

Am I crazy? You'll let me know when I am too far out of balance, won't you?


Patty... today

Patty is lucid... sometimes, but not today. 

Patty, A Pecious Moment

Patty is pictured here on June 20th, after granddaughter, Avi,  encouraged and assisted her in showering, shampooing and dressing with fresh summer-like cloths - something I have not been able to get Patty to do.

Now... today - Patty should not be left alone. She does not want to be alone. The problem is - Patty doesn't recognize the need for outside help and is offended by the mention of it. In my attempt to bring in aide she made a stink and told them to leave.

Really, it is not Patty that needs help, it is me. I have been leaving her alone for an hour or two while I tend to the farm - close by, but now, too far away.  She wonders to the other half of the multi-generational home where Jessica already has her hands full with a toddler and a new born. Yes, Patty now needs full time watching and assisting. She doesn't recognize it, but I now do.

Patty says "I'm (speaking about herself) not in a good place today. I'm totally out of wack. I don't know what is going on". She doesn't relate to Alzheimer's - at least her having Alzheimer's. She says "where are we?" She said once she thought we may be on temporary duty with the army or some non-profit, and that we would be going home soon. She twice wondered who I was, and is now frequently asking questions about who are family. The longer term memory has been good, up until now. She moved one more step down stream and it is now serious - I can't just run out for an hour or two. What do I do? I have to force the issue about outside help or go on TDY for real, 24/7

Patty said "I don't know rather to cry or scream", when she was feeling most out of sorts. I now feel the same - I don't know rather to cry or scream.


Connecting at Walden Pond

It could be any pond - Minnesota has thousands. It's not any pond, though - it's Walden Pond. I felt the reverence for nature, Thoreau, Emerson, during my brief encounter. I will go back - a draw to the wild, respect for nature blaring. I love it.

Concord is not rural. The Walden Pond State park is a quiet wilderness, aside suburban Boston population, accessible for the price of limited, controlled, parking.

I was dismayed to see the parking areas were only open from 7:30am to 7:30pm - missing both sunrise and sunset.  We left the parking area at 7:15pm - plenty early to counter my fear of being locked in for the night. I drove around desperately looking for a spot to park in the morning. How could I be so close to Walden Pond and not be in place to capture magic at sunrise?

Serendipitously (maybe not), we encountered a park ranger who graciously heard and responded to my plea for access at the sun's coming and going. He said "I'll watch for you at the gate... it's ok until 8:pm, and even if it is five after eight, I won't lock you in." This was thoughtful but still a bit early for sunset. How about sunrise at 5Am? The smily, thoughtful ranger directed us to the fishing access parking that opens at 5am.

I am there at 5am, thinking I would be alone - I usually am, along Lake Champlain or one of it's tributaries at sunrise. I think I got the last parking spot of the 15 or so spots. Fishers, swimmers and even a saunterer were there, quietly communing with nature. Wonderful.

Walden Pond, PhaseOne IQ 180 50mm 1/20 f14 ISO 35

Walden Connecting 1, PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/13 sec f11 ISO 35

The well outfitted fisher in this image said Walden Pond is his second home this time of the year. With a proud smile, he spoke of fishing the pond 65 years ago with his father. I have another image of him lifting high, for me to photograph, a 3 1/2 pound trout he expertly hooked, wading to his thighs to net.

Walden Connecting 2 PhaseOne 35mm 1/50sec f11 ISO 35

Carol is sauntering with sandals this dawn, making her way around the 1 1/2 mile pond sand shore, napping a stray can and one cigarette butt, doing her part maintaining pristine. Carol spoke of living close by, the last 35 years, and enjoying yoga often, near the Thoreau site, over looking the pond. Today she reflects from a perfect perch, the sun reflected at her calf. 


I visited Richard and Marianne, my oldest brother, and sister-in-law in LaJolla, in May. It was a special visit for me.

Richard has been in and out of the hospital recently. He is flirting with death and now restricted to a wheelchair, at home, with very supportive home health care. 

He is tired and needing much sleep, during the week of our visit, but energized by the many visitors - close relationships - that he jokes are the benefit of the flirt.

No fear of death - prepared, I guess.

He feels good enough now to recommence his poems - every word deserving fixating on, for me - gleaning more understanding of he, who is such a great example of SCG - a mentor to me.

Richard speaks of integration of life and death - death - not dark but light...  a new light. He speaks of the light, colors, different dimensions that are unknown, inviting, colors like we might get a glimpse of in nature.

RICHARD PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/30 sec f11 ISO 35

The morning after talk of life and death, serendipitously (maybe not), I find myself in the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, at dawn, looking to capture an interesting image of the rare, native only to California, protected Torrey Pine.

If I am not mistaken, the image above is not a Torrey Pine. However, I was drawn to the unique view. I call it RICHARD - an unexpected gift, presented to me at the instant light touches the sky reaching branches.

Interpret what you see. Art, photography - like poetry, offers a personal take - that's a beauty of the gift to me.

RICHARD - I see a colorful beauty contributing growth, reaching to the light, truth - color enhanced by the light - standing out from other natives - the result of elements experienced - rain, storms and now a golden glow of morning sun. I love it. I love you Dick. 

Future Feel

One of the most powerful steps in the Love Priorities process is the Future Feel. I describe it as a short exercise, maybe a meditation - What do you feel while meditating on the nine activities of SCG (Self-realizing, connecting and giving) - Learning, Serving, Mentoring, Exploring, Relating, Playing, Protecting, Contributing, and Transferring? The power with this brief endeavor is thinking about it in context of the rest of your life. Probably, but not necessarily, the older you are the more impactful. Also, I expect it will be more beneficial with major life transitions.

I am now older, and I am going through transitions - Early retirement from AIS Planning, Patty's Alzheimer's, my stroke, move to multi-generational home in Richmond, Vermont., constructing photo studio, deeper involvement with nature - all are affecting my current Future Feel....  and/or, are a result of priorities I previously set with earlier Future Feels. I strongly believe that we do what is our highest priority, and we never get to lower ones. We deserve, and it is intended, that we do our highest priorities - the activities we love, involving the people we love. Life is too short to be putting off to tomorrow.

Future Feel Abstract PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/5 sec f14 ISO 35

The past is gone; it's color and glory buried. The residuals are memories, many a blur.  Hopefully, there are effects of good deeds - all actions leaving some imprint. Now is the time to do - no better time to step to our light, using our past as a footing - doing what we love - with those we love.

Bigger is Better. Exploration

Burlington Community Arts has eight of my approximate 22" by 40" horizon images exhibiting at the UVM hospital.  I framed the images without glass, using a protective spray as a preservation replacement. I did this for a couple reasons - the larger glass framed images are too heavy, and I am anticipating moving to, as big as, 40" by 80", where traditional framing is clearly prohibited. I am having a good response with the no-glass approach - within a week I had two orders and a number of positive comments from the hospital exhibit.

I am reluctant to move to canvas, but I think my exploration to Bigger is Better and capturing "my image of a lifetime", prescribe the risk of exploring new approaches.

I am also drawn to 'photo painting'. I like to photo paint to the point of not knowing if the image is a photo or a painting. I however am finding myself liking an application of painting beyond that subtle 'not knowing' point. Which do you like best?

Flaming Sycamore PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/15sec f/10 stitched

Flaming Sycamore heavy painting applied

This is a rare site of a tree, in this area. I found it in Shelburne at 5am as the new day sun was touching the tips of this majestic beast. I was met at the fence by an inviting master walking her dog. She was aware of the attraction and invited me to park in her driveway. I must bring her a proof, and see if she approves. Which one should I bring?

Time To Settle

It's time to settle down - it's about time, being 72! - our new home on Wolf lane, in Richmond, VT is the twentieth place we've lived in - almost as many as George and Barbara Bush.

A successful contractor client said to me in the 70's : "stretch to the home of your dreams as soon as possible and stay there forever - it will be your best investment." I thought I was doing that  with the house of our dreams we custom built in 78 - that was ten or so homes ago. What's the deal? Patty says I am restless. I say dreams change!

Enough is enough though. This is our last almost has to is a "multi-generational" home, and work place, with Michael and Jessica's family - we're locked in, so to speak.  Patty's reaction to my last home comment is : "I've heard that before"!

I got to say - this new arrangement is ideal for us. We'll see if my idealism plays out. 

courtyard view

The photo studio is now under construction on the 17 acre parcel. I am excited to get a larger printer, in the studio, and take my landscape photography to the next level. I am also excited to create a mile of nature trails on the property and have the property a magnet for family and friend visits. Please consider a stop by.

Studio Start

We should be settled in to home and studio by summer's end, just in time for a relaxed Fall view of one of the world's best destination areas!

Narcissism or Self-Love?

I'm no psychologist, and I'm going to act like one. 

There is a big difference between being narcissistic and having a strong, healthy, self-love! One is bad, and the other is good. The line was blurred for many in my generation. It is clear to me now -black and white. It is interesting that, still, a listed synonym of narcissism is self-love. Maybe many are still confused.

Growing up, I heard, and Patty heard, words to the affect of "don't give him/her a compliment....they'll get a big head." This was especially true with my dad and her mom, and the nuns and priests that surrounded us. What were thy thinking? All was focused on others... the poor pagan babies. Didn't they know that we are better able to love others while loving ourself!

I guess the way to be then was grace with sacrifice and even self-flagellation for the sin of personal pleasure. Patty talks about the last time she went to confession when the priest said "think of all those boys in Vietnam". Thank God for reason, independence, and Inner Wisdom.

Winter Bloom PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/5th sec f11 ISO 35

Balance is the key word here - Loving others as we love ourself - there is no other with narcissism!

Nature reflects the beauty of balance. I learn by looking, listening and reflecting....or maybe it is day-dreaming.

Is Wine Fine?

I'm getting mixed messages about the wisdom of drinking a couple glasses of wine with diner, while suffering with Alzheimer's - some websites say it is good - mostly though, from the medical people, I hear it should be avoided. At this stage, I am beginning to think - screw it - if you enjoy it (for whatever reason) go for it!

We have made eating out, once a day, a routine for Patty and me. Frequently, wine is available at the places we like. Invariably, I am ready to go while Patty is sipping on a second glass of wine. I get irritated, watching, while I feel this is not good for her. I avoid ordering a wine for myself, thinking Patty would follow..... I mean,  I have to help her with getting through the menu, knowing she is going to end up with a grilled cheese or chicken caesar salad. I would think she would forget about the wine, but no way. Patty orders the Chardonnay anyway. 

Last visit to the memory clinic resulted in a score so low for Patty (10 out of 30) that the provider said "I think we are done testing ... and we no longer think it is helpful to take any Alzheimer's medication." I possibly heard a sigh of relief in the room, from the provider and me, knowing that the fight for cooperation, at least on these two fronts, is over.

This is a hard disease to have and be near and dear - it's so hopeless - some Woolsey sarcastic humor is probably good - I remember, back in the 80's, when dad Woolsey had Alzheimer's and his kids moved him to New Hope, MN and he said "I guess it's No Hope for me now"!