Tag Archives: muffin

The View from Here.

There was a time that each morning I awoke to loving warmth of my two Golden Retriever’s, Riley and Muffin. We would get petted and nudged, roll over, dance in excitedness to see me and to begin their day. Pushing their way out the door, Muffin always first because Riley was a gentleman, but always the protector. Off we would go down the street, to our little woods, what was left since the building of the Great Wall of FedX and accompanying business. The path led along the wall of fake stone front and cement, the fortress wall only went so far, and there was plenty of nature to our left to entertain.


The trapeze act of squirrels scurrying from tree branch to tree branch, High wire jump from tree to tree, chattering all the way. The sounds of birds everywhere, The Cardinal elongated call and sharp whistle informing others of intruder in woods their red flash through the green always gave them away. The chick a dee’s in winter, their little gray tones sitting on branches and following along our path. The call for the Red Tail Hawk informing us from far above that he was there, but disturbed by our presence, circling in deeper and deep turns to scout for it breakfast.  On rare and lucky occasion we would get stared down by young white tail deer until one of the dogs would get wind of it, with a bark, start chasing after what now would be a small family of deer, running off along the little paths created by them to get away, disappearing in the brush.

shifting These adventures are multi purpose, the dogs got to run about freely, in a somewhat “wild” area. They would run off this way and that, sniffing, digging, rolling in something smelly. I was always in sight if not they would wait until I was or comeback to look for me. What was I doing observing, observing the light, the shadow. That green was no longer just green it was every hue of green, emerald, forest, yellow-green. The leaves shaped like stars, or maples others of oak brown green, contrast with humus of the ground rich decay of many past season of leaves, wood in branches and whole trunks that had fallen over or uprooted by the weather. In those logs chipmunks flashed by making its chirping sound causing Muffin to go into a frenzy. All this time I am waiting for the view, the right setting, the shadow here, the light just hitting there, on a mushroom or a leaf, a twisted sticker vine, spying little blue flowers, violets, and Queen Anne’s Lace, Mountain laurel, all to be photographed.


Each season provided an never ending evolution of tree, plants, downed wood, fungi and mushroom popping up here and there, the rains made streams and puddles, created stick dams to hold things back, to wade over and to sit in. Seasons changed, the years have unfolded, progress took more of forest, years took Riley just this spring. Muffin who is now older stops and starts, would rather have attention than an actual walk, even though we manage at least once a day to get a full walk. There is always photography happening, I am never without my camera, Nature is my muse, she shines and dance, she sit gracefully, she changes clothes in full view of the world. Life is an impressive, expressive place. Look around, be present. View it from Here.

Riley and Muffin
Continue reading The View from Here.

Continue creativity by being creative…

We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves. Basic Principle 4, The Artist’s Way.

For some reason each time I read the Basic Principles which is each morning, unless I am distracted by other pleasures that the ego wishes to wallow around in, this principle capture for me the essence of the creative recovery/discovery process. The creative process can be anything if it is conscious and coming from a place of love. Yes I know the world has created many things out of the place of fear, but it was fear due to a sense of protection of wanting to preserve that which a community or nation may love in some form or another?

Yet here in this blog/morning pages creativity is a spiritual connection, arriving from that place to the heart, from the of desire to share with the world beauty. “to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.” brings the process full circle.

Last evening I attended the Delaware Valley Mixed Media Artist first meet up. Created by my new friend Kathleen Dallara Pennell a creative artist in mix-media. We met up stairs at Wegmans supermarket in Cherry Hill. I mention this because this shopping center is a work of suburban art, creative in store placement, architecture that is sort of old fashion chic, yet the parking lot is not just a huge parking lot, it is landscaped with patches of grass, trees, large boulders surrounded by flowers, and sidewalks and walk ways for people to get from store to store which is spread out for effect. I was very impressed, if one can be impressed with a shopping center?

mixed media group

The meeting was a gathering of six women and three men which includes myself, there was a bit of structure but mostly get to know you kind of event, sharing about our work, what our needs and wants where, what type of studio, or gallery space that we use or know of. The visuals where many books and magazines brought by Kathleen, to stimulate, and inspire, bringing mix-media work  into a delicious colorful banquet for the soul and the eyes. There was a few books I was very interested in the Artist Journal book, which had idea and wondrous photographs of artist journals packed with drawings, photographs, printed words as well as written. Some had small paintings, some had found object stuck between the pages. It was brilliant. I recall a collection of books a few years back that told a story with much of the same form of art. I have no idea what the title was at this time.

So all it all it was a good start for the gathering of local artist. I look forward to the continued involvement. It has inspired me to look at different forms of art from a new perspective. I was not trained in the art world so I have much to learn, much to please the eye and allow the senses to take in.

When I got home last evening at 9:30/10:00 pm, I took the dogs for their late night walk, and I like to be in nature, feel the trees, grass and dirt under me after I have been elsewhere. So we where enjoying the nights fresh air, fragrance of the woods, when I see Riley run after something, at first I thought it was a cat, but it didn’t run off , so as I am looking and calling Riley, Muffin as to go investigate too! By then it was too late, I realized it was a skunk, and Muffin got a good dose right in her face, Riley being a little more worldly wise, and escape mostly, just a hint on his back end.  Poor Muffin was snorting and running to roll in the grass. The skunk just went on with its business…

Muffin at play

Getting home I had to leave  the dogs in the yard, I had to go through the house to find stuff to wash them with, I was most likely smelly myself since Muffin wanted to rub up against me! The evening was spend with bathing them with Tecnu the orignal outdoor skin cleanser, doggy shampoo, Muffin three of four times, until I figured she had enough and did not smell completely awful, Riley twice, because he was not so bad. I figure another good washing today, hoping it warms up a bit more.


Well we spend the night in the yard, under in the tent cabana, me with lounge chair cushion on the ground, sleeping bag and indian blanket, three pillows, and my lap top, so I could read before bed time. We three cozied up together, the ground lumpy and slopping to the down to the right. The night cooling down to the high 50’s, sleep was a bit difficult but I had a few hours, the dogs are watch full, yet I they slept as well.

We have been up since 6 am, walked twice, still out side enjoying the arriving day and gearing up for a few more baths and hopefully a nap in my bed before too long. My intention is to go to an exhibit opening this evening at the William Way Center, an exhibit of black and white photographs of New Orleans after Katrina, by C. Molieri who in 2007 while working with Common Ground capture the rebuilding of parts of the 9th Ward. Yet day has not completely unfolded and much to do before than. All in a days adventure.

Hidden Color

Growth Question:  Be Creative!

I am Love, Jeff

Star Spangled Day

Color Guard

Here it is July 3rd and I am home writing my blog… I am writing my blog because I made a commitment to myself and I declared it here on my blog as well a few weeks back. So  I am not home because I have to write my blog, I could have done that this morning maybe, but I did not have much happen between my last writing and this morning. Not that much has happen in the intervening hours since 7:30 am and 8 pm when I begun writing.

I am around the house because Muffin get very disturbed by the fireworks people shoot off in their back yards, and she needs to have reassurance all is well! I read a piece this morning about animals and fireworks on Care 2 care site. They suggested playing music, not to drown out the sound but to calm the animal, they also suggest giving them Reiki, hey I can do that. But mostly just be reassuring.

I was thrilled to see a comment from an unknown person Coralie Plozza a fellow photographer from down under. Thank you for stopping by. Please check out Coralie’s wonderful photography at Rainbow Farm.

I am always thrilled to have new people stop by my blog/pages to read and comment!  I hope to attract others as time goes by. And I was surprised to not have Laurie be the first to respond. And I am always grateful for the two Barbara’s that are regular commenters/visitors to my blog. Always keeping me on my toes, intellectually and spiritually.

The days are heating up again, it was in the high 90’s but with a nice breeze and suppose to continue to get hotter and more humid as the week progresses. Summer is here for sure, the raspberry’s are ripe, blueberry’s at the farmers stands, Corn on the cob, reading for crunchy eating and running down your arm. Fresh basil in the garden, well not in the ground yet but will be soon, along with the parsley, and dill, rosemary has been growing in our little weed patch for a while, along with sage which is struggle to keep a foot hold among the chives and mint that wish to over run the whole garden. My sister and brother-in-law cleaned up the garden patch, planted tomato, egg plants, some lettuce and kale, along with chocolate peppers, and green peppers. So we do have a little something going on for healthy eating and being green.

I lost my concentrations, Muffin wanted to go for a walk, which was refreshing and a different experience than what we usually have in the morning and later afternoon walks through our little wooded area paths. The light was just dimming on the edges, splashes of gold and orange from the sitting Sun, and golden seed pods of the wild grass that grow alone the places we walk. There was a sweeter fragrance, green but fresh that greeted us as we passed through trees as they brushed our heads and bodies. The birds still singing in the trees, the owls were no where in sight, have not seen them for a few days, they may be gone for the season? Yet I continue to keep and eye for them.

Quaker City String Band ( Mummers)

Around ten o’clock this morning Arden, my sister says she is about to go up the street to the Magnolia Annual 4th of July parade which marches the length of the town, One Square Mile of Friendliness, up Evesham avenue to Albertson Park, named after our founder. I missed most of the parade because I was about to walk the dogs and they had a mind of their own, taking longer the usual, and then I had to get cleaned up, and freshly dressed to be seen in public. When I got to down stairs to leave, Muffin wanted to go out in the yard, and we usually don’t leave them alone out there. But it was nice enough and I would not be all that long.

In the crowd

I got to the end of our street that connects with Evesham just in time to miss the fire trucks, and time to catch the String Band which was at the end of the parade… took some photos and walked along with them up to Albertson Park, as all the people began to enter in to find places among the trees, to view the booths and table of kids things, food items, bakes sale held by the Magnolia Historic Society, the kids were all bunched around the face painting table, getting made up as cats and dogs, butterflies and heaven knows what else.

Star Spangled singer

I found my sister sitting on the curb with a family friend of my mothers, who I have not seen in years and once I was done photographing the town leaders who were all sat up on a flat-bed truck with a podium and loud-speaker to address the town ship and offer them blessing of the 4th. A young girl in a red taffeta dress, she must not been more than 6, song the Star Spangled Banner , very well in fact. After that it was introduction time of Mayor and counsel… I finally got over to greet my sister and our family friend Pat. Who my parents spend much time with back in the day, when we where in High school and later.

As Arden and I walked about we met up with another couple who, I went to school with their daughters, and they were wondering where I had been hiding. Ah, right under their noses, at the house. The wife said to me, “I don’t know if  you are more better looking now, then you where as a kid but you look good!” To my surprise, I have not complemented in that way in ages. Blush, Blush. We walked around a bit more to see the wares, say hi to more people, than back to the front of brough hall where the “sting band where performing and getting the people involved in the Mummers March to the music. I finally had had enough and came back home to have some lunch and check on the dogs, they did not even know I was gone.

Well that is my day July 3th 2010, of course I read, napped, made dinner, had at least three walks in and or around the wood. and now have written this blog/pages.

Grow Question: What did you do for your 4th of July ?

Learn By Doing!

“We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way.” John Holt (Educator)

Very Berry

Each morning to set out to write the blog/pages is learning to do something, learning by doing something. Facing my fears, examining my blocks, rewarding my gifts, shinning light on the path before me. The pages inform me of where I have been and where I may wish to show up in the future of Now. And that means sometimes these pages are boring, or difficult. Sometimes they may flow like a spring stream, quick, and clear, fresh and refreshing all the surrounds that flow.

Yesterday I wrought of drought, I wrote of a reaction to a situation, which I have no control over and is non of my darn business. My business is to understand why I was feeling dry, to examine where my reaction was emanating from? Those questions still have no real answers as of yet, for the answer will be revealed in time, through the continued seeking in gentle ways to shine light on these growth questions. For in these challenges is where I meet myself, the me now, to become Higher Self, the more aware conscious self.

Just in sight!

Later in the day yesterday I had the opportunity to take a walk in the woods, a low and behold what did I see along the path, a path I had walked earlier in the day. A day lily, shinning brightly, like it had just sprung there to make me wonder, and smile, guess what I did not have the camera. I made a note to bring it in the morning, which I did. Also Muffin and Riley and I took a path we had not been on for a while because it had become too overgrown with sticker bushes, and to difficult to walk through with short on. To my amazement someone had cut it back. I mentally thank that being, and traveled it, still no camera, but the walk was to be in a cooler place, to be surrounded by huge trees, making the path green shadowed, somewhat refreshing to walk. Along that path there where broken branches, and sycamore balls that make walking a bit difficult, yet slow one down enough to watch their step, view what is in front and along the paths, listening to the birds, and the slight moment of the leaves and branches, the shimmer and moan to make one know they are not alone. Mushrooms where in sight, just in few places, only a two mushroom in total in different areas yet there non the less. Since it has been so dry and in the 90’s I did not expect to see such sights!

Sunny and Bright!

Later in the day about 5:00 another walk after the dog’s dinner and before cooking the stir fry I had already prepared the dogs immediately cornered and ground-hog, playing tug a war with it, until I chased them, Muffin let go, but Riley was asserting his primal nature and maleness, continued to grapple with the creator, and fairly big guy, causing all kinds of cries, but there was no saving the poor thing once Riley has his mind-set on what he is doing. Once it was over and he took it away to leave his prize under the bushes to check on later, I looked at him and his face was bath in blood and goodness knows what else, his nose was raw where the ground-hog in its struggle gave him a swipe or something. We head to the stream to get Riley washed off as best I could to see what damage there was. He did not like my attention much but other than the raw nose, nothing else seemed to be amiss, thank goodness!

I used to be disturbed by this behavior of the dogs but I realized I had no control over their natural instinct to hunt and kill these creators. Usually I don’t get to witness the whole mess because they run off along the path sniffing them out, and later come back carrying their prize, all proud and happy. I wish they would not behave in such a way yet it helps keep the ground-hog population under control to a degree.

On Happier artistic note, Barbara R. one of my faith followers here on this blog/pages purchase 8 cards of “Capturing the Sun” which was a leading photograph on the day of Solstice! Thank you so much! Plus I had a notice from one of the groups on redbubble that “Immature Peaches” had been chosen as a feature Photograph in Berries, Seeds, and Fruit group! And that I had been a featured Artist in Eastern State Penitentiary group ! A day full of wonderful gifts! A day full of gratitude to Source to informing me that the small gift enliven the spirit with its rewards.

Deep Red

I have also have just had the wonderful acknowledgement of a budding friendship with a photographer I had met during a photo meet up in Philly a few months back. I knew there was juice there yet I was not sure how it was going to flow. I contacted him via Facebook when I got home that day because  we had discussed doing candid street photography, something I am interested in pursuing. Yet know to come to discover that there seems to be a spiritual journey connection which enriches the whole friendship! Wow!

Another thing maybe synchronicity ? When I found my quote this morning to lead me into this blog/pages I later looked over and saw that the quote is on the last page of chapter 9 Recovering a sense of compassion, and the next page is the beginning to Chapter 10 which I was guided to yesterday for a quote and guidance within that chapter dealing with Recovering the sense of Self-Protection. Is spirit guiding me here, is there something more to look at when I am not even too that part of the path on the Artist’s Way. Asking my self was I feeling some danger along me path, have I felt out of control, with my creativity, my photography? Was I self blocking or about too? Could my reaction to situations that I have no control over caused me to shut down and block myself if I had not written about it here? That the closer the new exhibit becomes my fear may be gaining ground, since I have not thought about it in a concrete way. Meaning to organize, examine pieces I wish to have printed, or consider where the money is going to come from to mount this exhibit of ten pieces. Or it is just that I am seeming lackadaisical about the whole event because I have a handle on it, that I know in my heart it will all work out. I have belief that it will. When I think about it.

Our baby shoes

Wow I can’t believe I wrote this much! That this experience has been so freeing, and supportive. When I had wrote the  pages I always ended with; Thank you! I Love You!  and I have heard those words once again desiring to be brought forth here.

Thank you! I Love You!

Growth Question: Are  you aware of your blocks, can you name some of them? What do you do to get through them?

I am Love, Jeff


There are so many paths

So which one do you take? The one that mothers and fathers suggested for you, or how about teacher and or mentors, did you like their suggestions or have you always walked your own path. A path that maybe not seemed very popular with others, especially your family, and friends? Following our own path is sometimes wondrous and blissful yet sometimes lonely causing thoughts of whether we have taken the right path, or has this all been a waste of time?

Five years ago while living in community at Easton Mountain Retreat center I found a path I did not know I was looking for. I found my self immersed in nature, many of the comforts of the outside world where missing, the distraction of TV, and social life. We worked hard, we communed together in ritual and hospitality… Yet I found the human relationships difficult and painful causing many contemplative moment alone in my walks with Muffin and Riley, the two golden retrievers that I befriended, who were and still are my constant companions. In the mist of the mountain I pick up a camera and began to photograph my daily walks, I became very personally acquainted with the evolution of the planet, and my bliss was peaked, my wonder never varied.

So it is only that path that I still wander, self taught photographer and Nature lover. You will find me in the wood, much smaller then Easton but just as live and thrilling of each and every walk…

I am Love, Jeff

One of the many paths at Easton Mt Retreat!
A local path in my wood