My Favorite Things – A Solitary Stroll Through the Conservatory Gardens on a Spring Evening

Earlier this evening I walked across the park to the Conservatory Gardens.

Conservatory garden

 

The light was clean and clear and the air was cool.  The gardens are just beginning to bloom, and the annual plantings are little more than promising rows of green shoots.  Even so, there were enough miniature wild flowers, blooming bushes and blossoming trees to keep me and my camera occupied.

This is what I saw:

 

green Lenten rose

 

yellow and white daffodils

 

Yellow Finch

 

furry twigs

 

yellow clusters of flowers against a blue sky

 

snow drops

 

pink magnolia blossom

 

robin

 

pink blossom

 

pink tulip

 

pink Lenten rose

 

white magnolia blossom

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Friday’s Thought – On Life

 

shadows in the choir

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” 
(Søren Kierkegaard)

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My Favorite Things – Spring Flowers in Washington, D.C.

I’m spending a few days now in Washington, DC….not working, just getting some much needed rest and being “the wife” as my husband slaves away conducting performances at Kennedy Center.  (In case you’re in town, here is the schedule for the New York City Ballet performances.)

Even though the sky was gray today, the temperatures were warm and the rain held off.  Which gave me the perfect opportunity to take these shots…

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(for Meh-meh)

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In Celebration of Life, Death and Love

Those of you who follow my blog know that I’ve written about my parents – both musicians and artists in their own right – here, here and here.  Living in such a creative family has inspired me to find my own creative niche and to strive to reach the highest artistic level possible.

It is therefore with great sadness that I write to say that my father, Gil Miranda, passed away in the early hours of the morning on March 29th, 2014.  This post in memory of my father also honors my mother who was his faithful and loving companion for 45 1/2 years.

Ma's hands

 

These hands steered the car safely to and from your doctor’s appointments,

And gripped the steering wheel to rush you to the emergency room.

These hands helped hold you up as you tried to regain your strength and walk,

And combed your hair and shaved your beard when your own hands shook too much.

These hands made you chicken soup so that you wouldn’t have to eat hospital food,

And fed it to you when you became too weak to feed yourself.

These hands worked the knitting needles in the long hours spent by your side,

And squeezed your hand hard when you remarked calmly that your legs were beginning to go numb.

˜

These hands now wear your wedding band,

And are folded just so to shield the world from seeing the worry and care.

˜

These hands will be put to work again soon

To create beauty in clay and coax flowers from the soil.

Because these hands are connected to a body and soul

Rich with memories and love for you.

 

If you would like to read a little more about my father’s life, you can do so here.

And to see his jewelry website, please click here.

 

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Friday’s Thought – All in the Details

Stone carving on Art Deco building

“The details are not the details. They make the design.”

(Charles Eames)

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Jo’s Journey (A Somewhat Irreverent Guide to Doing Anything Better): A Meaningful Ride

Every once in a while as I’m travelling around the city, I look at people around me and then imagine them gone.  (And, no, I’m not doing this on crowded subway trains when I’m wishing for an empty seat!)  Macabre as it sounds, this little shift in perspective usually leaves me with a sense of compassion and purpose.

Black and white photograph of Art Deco building with globe lanterns

To…

Say a few more “I love you’s.”

Take the time to just listen.

Share a laugh.

Celebrate baby steps.

(And sympathize with the falls.)

Hold on to something dearly.

And know when to let go.

And, that I believe, is what makes the ride truly meaningful.

 

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The One Tip You Need to Look More Photogenic (or, How to Master the Squinch)

To be honest, when I started working on this post I had all intentions of making it about pixie haircuts.  In particular, I thought I’d show off my new ‘do and how it suits my face.  However, the only photo that looked somewhat decent was this one…

Joana side view

And, I think that we can all agree that this picture has little FACE in it.

The problem is, I’m not very photogenic.  Point a camera at me and I either start clowning around, or I try to look nice…which invariably causes the person behind the camera (these days, it’s my husband) to look up in exasperation and say, “Don’t make faces!”  (You can imagine what that does for my confidence level.)

So after taking 54 self-timed portraits and coming up with nothing (except for the “glamour” shot above), I Googled “How to Look More Photogenic” and came up with this interesting video on the Huffington Post by New York based Photographer Peter Hurley.

I actually watched all 15 minutes while practicing my “squinch.”  Now of course the light outside is too dark for me to see if this new technique improves my photographs.  But I’m hopeful.  Watch out, Elite Model… here I come!

(Wink, squinch!)

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