Sizzling Sunrise

Sizzling Sunrise
As the Valley awakens to a bright new morning...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Long Time no see!

   WOW, seems like I have really neglected this blog, a whole year has passed since I last updated.  I will try to find time to be a bit more diligent about updating in the future.  LOL  As for what I've been up to...

    I'm now attending Flathead Valley Community College, chasing a degree in Graphic Design with the intent of working as an independent, freelance designer.  I am also proud to say that my positive attitude and hard work have paid-off BIG TIME!  I'm being inducted into the International Honors Society:  Phi Theta Kappa.  This is a major big deal for me because most of my "school years" I was known for being a real screw-up and never got good grades except in the arts.  Go figure huh?  So you can imagine how thrilled I am to get this honor.

    Going to college at an older age is quite the challenge.  I wasn't sure if I could handle it but was determined to at least give it my best shot - I'm now in my third semester and am loving it!  I do carry a very heavy load and am buried in homework most of the time but the experience and hopes of a much brighter future are worth the efforts.  I've made some new friends, learned some great new skills and am well on my way to success!!!

    The photography end of things has also grown.  I still take a little time to shoot new images and I do share them on Facebook so look for BJJones Photography there and have a look, click a "LIKE" and enjoy.  I haven't had any recent adventures but plan to take time this summer to seek out new territory and do some soothing of my inner self.  One must take time to stop, breathe deep and quiet the mind.  I tend to be rather spontaneous regarding adventure destinations.  I'll let you know when the time comes (he, he, ha, ha).

    I am also working on ideas for book cover designs.  It's one of the freelance ventures that I wish to pursue.  Do YOU have any thoughts on this?  Since my roomie is a writer, I will be starting with some covers for her books, a couple of joint ventures as well and then perhaps on to other friends who are also writers.  From there - Travel brochures!  Gee, I might have to go places to do my own photography for them, what a deal that could be!

    Well friends, that's about it for now.  I hope you are all well and will continue to follow along with my blog and my adventures.  Remember to always be kind to others, be more tolerant of differences and treasure all that you have in your life.  The world is an amazing place with many different perspectives.  If you don't care for one, find another, look for the good points in all things and beings.  That is your challenge for this week.  Hugs and prayers to you and yours...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Acts of Kindness

Hello friends, I would like to take a moment to discuss "Acts of Kindness". It seems to me that there are just too many "sour-pusses" in our world today. Is being nice to people a thing of the past? Is a simple smile too difficult to muster? I understand that people are busy trying to make a life, jobs are scarce, money is tight, things are tough all over but you know what? ~ Being nice to people is FREE, takes very little effort, is totally painless and so desperately needed these days.

Would it really hurt you to smile at a stranger? That might be the only time anybody has smiled at them in ages! Maybe holding a door open for someone, telling someone hello, offering to help a person and asking nothing in return?!?!?! Manners have become a rare condition, ethics, morals, most have gone right out the window!!! I would like to challenge each of you to do just ONE random act of kindness every day for one month ~ Careful, you may actually enjoy it! It can make such a huge difference to somebody, it may even save a life. Wouldn't the world be better with more kindness and less anger? Please accept this challenge and then post a comment and tell us about how it made you feel. Hugs to you...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Leaping thoughts on Leap Year

As I sit and look at the calendar, it occurs to me that this is a Leap Year! Sounds like a good enough reason to Leap for Joy and count an extra day of blessings. Depending on what part of the world you live in, this seems to be the "Winter that wasn't" ~ I mean, where the heck is our normal snowfall in the northern states of the USA? I think it all went over to Europe and maybe I should mention that Alaska got more than they needed too.

I love the snow so long as I don't have to shovel it or work in it. It can be so inspiring as I watch it fall from the sky. The last couple of snow falls we had were from a BLUE sky, it was so amazing and fluffy looking. It seems to prompt memories, poetry, thoughts of froliking, and a desire to make a nice pot of fresh soup! Such wonderful and happy thoughts.

Spring is just around the corner ~ Flowers, greenery, baby animals and lots more warm & sunny days. My camera will beg for more outings, search for natures finest color, and lead me to more amazing opportunities to share the beauty of nature. I want to explore new places, capture more memories to share, and laugh more often. I want to make more friends, meet someone special, share more incredible things that I discover as I walk along life's path.

How many new things will YOU learn this year? Will you take classes, read books, study nature, apprentice, or just sit there and waste time? Challenge yourself to learn something new, chase a dream, learn a new skill, take-up a hobby. Life is too short to just coast along, make everyday matter, make it count, do something silly, be brave - try something bold, brave, exciting!! Live, Laugh & Love like you mean it!!!!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Playing "Catch Up"...

Well friends (if there's any left), it looks like I really dropped the ball on this one. Please accept my apologies for not writing/updating in such a very long time!!! So much has happened in my life since I last posted, both good and bad. I have been on quite the rollercoaster physically and emotionally, health issues, art issues, financial issues ~ LIFE happens!

I have been trying to expand my photography skills and knowledge. Learn how to best market my work, displays, techniques, frames, posters, etc... I'm working toward a nice exhibition of my work on a particular website for a fancy Home Decor store in Colorado. With any amount of luck, some of the canvas' will sell and create some income to create more and build things up for a greater showing.

I also created a 2012 calendar of my photography that has been successful! That came out in November 2011. Then Christmas happened... My health took a bad turn downward and I was basically on "Death Row". I had to do something quickly if I wanted to continue to live!!! I did some deep research, took serious/drastic action and am on my way to recovery now.

My inspiration for living is my 3 son's and all of my many, many grandchildren. They inspire me every day in one way or another. I have found many new Photography friends on Facebook as well and they also inspire me with their work and kind words to me. My friends that I've had for many years are also the glue that holds me together most days. I am so very blessed with amazing friends and I treasure each one of them!!!

Fall has passed, Winter is present and Spring is on the way... I will share some new photo's here with you but you can also see my work by visiting: Be sure to click on the "LIKE" button. When I post new stuff you will be told about it and can share in the beauty of the world as I find and share it. I derive such pleasure from sharing my passion for photography. Nature and all it's splendor is what drives my THOUGHTS AND INSPIRATIONS. What drives yours?

Until next time friends ~ Take care, think positive, and share a kindness...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Middle of August 2011

Here we are in the middle of August and the summer here in Kalispell is starting to diminish, hints of fall are beginning to appear. It seems very odd that the leaves are beginning to show hints of red & yellow and yet the crabapples have not matured yet. We had a very late and wet spring this year so it looks like many things won't ripen before the cold of winter sneaks in. The color of the sky is also changing daily, closer to the bright blue of September.

I really don't mind because I know for certain that God has a plan for everything and that HE is in full control of how and when those things occur. HE has shown great mercy on us this summer and we were NOT part of that intense "Heat Dome" that so many others have suffered through this summer. Our weather here in Kalispell has been fantastic.

As Fall does approach, the kids are returning to school... Teach your children to be kind to each other, smile and say hello to ALL the other kids no matter what they may look like on the outside, they may be scared or very lonely on the inside. Maybe they aren't the prettiest, most fashionable or from the "better side of the tracks" ~ They still have feelings and can still be a great friend if given a chance. Help STOP the bullying by teaching our kids that it's okay to be different ~ Remember that "Jesus loves ALL the children in the world" (Sunday school song). If I offended any non-christian's I apologize for the offense to you, but I AM CHRISTIAN and will never apologize for that fact, get over it.

My summer has been one heck of an emotional rollercoaster but like the amusement park ride, it will eventually come to an end and everything will resume to "normalcy" again. Life is good, full of many blessings every single day - look for them, embrace them and be thankful for each moment of life. We must all learn to quit whining about what we don't have and be grateful for all that we do have: Family, Friends & Love from many different directions...

I have been doing a lot of photography which can be found on my FaceBook page where I also have a "Fan Page" for many of my photo albums - drop by and have a peek! All my photo's are available for sale as prints: to grace your home or give as a gift. I'm also making a 2012 Calendar and am taking reservations now for however many copies you want. The theme will be "Water & Stone" and are only $25 each. They will be available in early November. All Calanders will be on a "pre-paid" basis because of the very high cost of printing each one.

Until next week friends... Keep looking up, that's where all the answers come from.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Spring and Summer of 2011

It seems that I have neglected this Blog far too long so I will make more effort to keep it updated. We have been home from our tour since early May and my goodness what an experience we've had. We are very happy to be back in Kalispell, MT and especially with the horrendous heat-wave that has plagued most of North America this summer. We are so fortunate to have escaped those 100° plus temperatures. Our weather has been much more comfortable here in the northwest portion of the country. We've had very warm days too with exceptionally high UV index's but our area cools way down at night into the 40's & 50's. Such a fantastic blessing...

I have had some serious personal health issues since I last posted. I will not go into great detail but suffice it to say that much of my "longer-trip" traveling is done. I will still be able to do short little adventures but that even has limits. Getting older can be a real challenge for some of us but I refuse to let my physical challenges get in the way of my way of thinking. I just get resourceful and think of new ways to accomplish things. I try to maintain a positive attitude (that's a challenge some days too).

One of the many things I learned from this "Tour" is that despite all the intense frustrations and percieved failures, there were also MANY hidden blessings. I learned things about my inner-self, I learned what it's like to have technically "no home" other than what you carry with you, I learned the true meaning of real friendships ~ amazing and powerful lessons. I met some fantastic new people I now call friends as well.

I can't truthfully say that this tour was a positive experience but many positive things occurred as a result of it. I now know just how little a person really needs to live day to day. I also came to the conclusion that material possessions have much less important meaning in my personal life and are not near as valued as before. God teaches us that we really only need a few important things: Food, Shelter, Water, and Love. Everything else is merely "comforts" in life.

I packed my little car with everything we thought we would need to "Tent Camp" our way across America and we were really stuffed (see photo's). We planned to be on the road for an entire year ~ We researched every tiny little detail except for the most obvious: Economic changes! We set our budget, planned our route, thought sure we'd thought of everything... We did not plan on the wrath of Mother Nature nor the sky-rocketing costs of fuel. We also were shocked at the HUGE increase of campground fee's and closures that we encountered. Things turned to major frustrations and anger very quickly (for me).

I will go into a bit more detail in my next posting (next week) about all the things we were met with and how we dealt with each one. Stay tuned friends....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Adventure Tour

I finally re-established my link to my own Blog (LOL) so I think perhaps I should post an update. My side-kick Claudette and I began a "Tent Camping" tour of our great country on Dec. 11th 2010 from Kalispell, MT.

We left there with the hopes of spending the winter months touring, photographing and writing about the nice warm southern regions. When we left Montana it was 17 degrees F and about 30" of snow still on the ground. We made our way south to I-90, turned west to I-5, headed south for sunny California and what did we find? Foul weather followed us everywhere we went! We got to eastern Washington and hit a blizzard near the Columbia river all the way to Snoqualime pass then heavy rain all the way through Oregon and into Paso Robles, CA. We stopped to visit friends there and got one day of non-rainy weather out of 3 days spent there. Shortly after we left, they got hit with torrential rains causing bad mudslides and havoc. We never saw any sunshine until we hit I-8 east and got to El Centro, CA. Needless to say, tent camping was not even remotely possible yet. When we finally got to southern Arizona, we made camp and caught some beautiful photo images of sunset & sunrises. We stayed for 3 days there before the weather turned very frigid and also wet again. Onward we continued... New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, back to Texas, on to Louisana, Mississippi, Alabama, and finally Florida.

Well now, one would think that Florida (even in January) would be warm, sunny, wonderful... but NO, not this year! We got to an area just north of Tampa called Holiday, and the weather was freezing at night and not much warmer during the day. Yes, there was torrential rains too. We began to think we were "weather cursed" for sure. By this time, our travel funds were tapped-out since we could not tent camp and cook our own meals - things got way too expensive, gas was going up by the day and the crummy weather just kept on comming! We decided it was time to go spend some quality visitation time with Claudette's family in Kentucky & Indiana. Many of her relatives are elderly and in poor health ~ now would be an opportune time to visit and allow ourselves some recoup time as well.

Now along this journey, the weather pretty much dictated when and where we went; timing was everything! We left Florida just as it started to finally warm-up a bit, headed for Kentucky. It was an interesting and pretty drive but we didn't have the time or funds to see as much along the way as we would have liked to see. We went north on I-75 from Florida, through Georgia, Tennessee and into Kentucky to Harrodsburg. Naturally, the very next morning after we arrived - snow! Yes, we had now come full circle back to winter weather.

From that point on we have had to outrun snow storms, one after the other! With our funds running extremely low, I chose to return to Oklahoma where I know the area and lots of people. I needed to find some work/a paycheck in order to continue our journey. We got to Pryor, OK just in time for the worst blizzard in state history. We were actually accused of bringing it with us (LOL). Since being here in Oklahoma we have been buried by not one but two major blizzards. I give up... Come spring, we are headed back to Montana via I-40 across to California and back up the west coast. I am determined to see the beautiful coastlines that we had to miss because of rain and fog the first time around! With any luck, things will improve soon.

There ya have it folks - that's what I've been up to for the past two months. I've seen some amazing things, learned a great deal of our history and also learned to be more patient and enjoy life as it is handed to me. Has winter taught you anything new?