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Taking it Outside

This summer Joe and I went to New Your State for a week long family vacation. It was nice to leave flat, humid Florida in favor of the majesty of green mountains and the revitalizing power of a lakeside retreat.

Of course, I packed my camera. I could do with less clothes. My camera was definitely going. Plus, I took my new, BIG lens to try to get a picture of bald eagles that nest nearby.

I love being outdoors capturing the natural splendors of nature with my camera. Wildlife and landscapes are among my favorite subjects. While in NY, Joe and I enjoy hiking to mountain peaks with expansive lake views. I especially like the trek when we have a dramatic photo destination to ease the burden of carrying my camera, lenses, and tripod. It’s also a real treat to relive my woodland experiences over again through my pictures when I share them with you.

This year we tried something different. We did several hikes to back country locations with waterfalls. It was hot. The trails were rocky and steep. But we were determined to find picturesque settings. I was looking for areas where the streams flowed down rocks like steps. And places where the stream changed direction causing the water to funnel into narrow channels increasing the visual drama of movement.

On every hike we stopped in several places along the way. Each one had its own features and special charm. But, in each location I was aware that one aura remained the same. I’d scramble down the slope, pick my way over the leaf padded forest floor and step over rocks to reach the stream bank. And there I was in awe again and again of the drumming rhythm of nature. It was a thrill to feel the rumble of the rushing water through the wet boulders beneath my boots. I was energized by the gentle touch of the cool mist each time it kissed my flushed cheeks.

The flowing motion of the water added a new, welcome opportunity to take pictures with an emotive aspect. We played around with my camera settings. I have to give Joe credit for my success. He had the patience to research how to create the soft look of the extended exposure I wanted with my specific camera. Me, I just wanted my camera set up to shoot what I envisioned. Kind of like having a pre-programmed kiln, but with a custom program. Or for you non-fusers, like a microwave with a preset defrost button. I’m sure you understand. I didn’t want to be bothered with the tech stuff. Instead, I wanted to focus on being creative with the composition and lighting. You know, be the artist.

I really appreciate Joe’s help and love that he loves to do research. When we reached the first site, we took several test pictures. We tried different camera settings until we found one that I liked. Once we had it, I wanted to make sure I could recreate the same amazing effects in the future. I wrote notes to myself on my phone so I could repeat the steps and then expand from there later.

For those of you who enjoy the technical aspects, I’ll briefly explain how we set up to capture the silky  cascading water that makes these pictures so captivating. I attached my camera to a tripod for stability and crisper focus. For these photo shoots, I set my camera aperture mode to F22. Then I switched to manual mode and set the shutter speed to 1 / 2.5. This worked well in subdued lighting under the canopy of trees. When I took pictures out in the open, without the shade of trees, my images came out a little over exposed, washed out and too light. If I were to take pictures on a sunny beach the F-stop settings would likely have to be adjusted. The shutter speed I used gave me enough movement and still retained the linear details of the falling water I wanted. With a shorter shutter speed the water didn’t have a silky look. With a longer shutter speed the water became a solid white mass, it lost definition. Basically, the camera settings are movement and light sensitive.

What I learned about taking moving water pictures.

My pictures had a crisper focus when I used a tripod. I sat on the ground and propped my camera on my bent knew to take a few spur-of-the-moment pics. Most of them were blurry. The moving water looked fine, but the surrounding landscape was out-of-focus.

Make sure to focus the lens on something stationary like a rock or foliage. The water is moving so you don’t have to focus on it. You want the surrounding subject matter to be as crisp and clear as possible. My solution is simple. I press my shutter button halfway down and focus on a rock near the waterfall. Then without letting it up, I move my camera lens, so the waterfall is the focal point in the frame. Then I press the button down the rest of the way to take the picture. Then the surrounding landscape is in focus and the water has a velvety shimmer.

Take more pictures than you think you need. It’s hard to tell if a shot is in focus or if the color is bright on the small camera screen. You can delete the duplicates after viewing them on a larger screen like a tablet of computer.

Once you have the shot you want, try changing your perspective. Get lower or higher for more dramatic images. Try different compositions. Place the waterfall off to one side. Turn the camera for a vertical layout. 

Have fun! Get carried away. Plan extra time so you can stop and enjoy the treasures that appear unexpectedly around every corner.

Some of these suggestions are my artistic preferences. They’re not hard rules. In fact I’m the one most likely to change them as I get better at this type of photography or if the setting is very different. Like suppose I’m taking pictures of flowing water in a snow covered setting. I imagine that would present its own challenges. But I do love a challenge and thankfully I have Joe to help me.

I hope you enjoyed my pictures and that they brought you a relaxing moment of peace and tranquility. I have several exciting wildlife pictures too. I’ll share those in another post soon.

Cheers!

Lisa

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Fused Glass Sculptures Webinar October 12, 2021

Fused Glass Sculptures Webinar October 12, 2021

Creating striking sculptural fused glass forms is easy when you know the professional tips and tricks!

Join me in this comprehensive webinar and learn how easily you can put tried and true methods to use in unlikely ways, to create extraordinary sculptural art.

Enjoy the thrill of limitless possibilities.

In this in-depth webinar, you’ll learn pro tips and tricks for better glass cutting. See how to mix different fusible materials to make more elaborate designs.

You’ll be amazed how using standard slumping molds in unique ways can drastically improve the shape of your art.

You’ll be inspired by the innovative combination of ordinary techniques I share.

You’ll be confident to fuse glass after seeing how easy it is to load, program and fire a kiln.

Best of all, you’ll have an exclusive technical advantage with the advanced understanding of my dependable firing programs. And you’ll love the stunning three-dimensional results you can achieve by fusing all of these concepts together.

Beginner and advanced students alike will find inspiration, motivation and renewed artistic freedom from seeing the step-by-step construction of more than 5 sculptural projects in this webinar.

After this exciting webinar you’ll have the professional knowledge and increased confidence to incorporate these innovative methods in your new work.

In addition, you’ll have a working knowledge of kiln operation, custom firing guides, and a deeper understanding of sculptural glass fusing fabrication. You’ll have the burning desire, and the cool self-confidence, to take your passion to greater heights.

Fused Glass Sculptures Webinar October 12, 2021

Fused Glass Sculptures Webinar October 12, 2021

Are you a lifelong learner?

As a life-long learner myself, I know it sometimes takes a change of scenery, a challenging new educational experience, and the encouragement of an experienced instructor to advance my skills and help me grow. 

Are you ready to grow?

Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop October 19-22, 2021

Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop October 19-22, 2021

Only 2 seats left

This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.

This is the turning-point workshop you’ve been waiting for.

It’s hard to describe what it’s like when I’m feeling the creative flow. Time flies. Hours pass in what I thought were minutes. My naturally distracted mind is focused on what my hands are doing, and nothing else. I get lost in my own world. When I return to reality, I feel rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted. That’s why I like sharing my studio space with others. I try to give them that experience and hope they feel the same inspiration and fulfillment I do. -Lisa

This class is for you! Any skill level can attend. Beginner, intermediate and advanced students alike will learn how to advance their glass fusing skills and expand their artistic style.

Join me and I’ll show you all the pro tips and tricks I use to make stunning 3-dimnesional art. You’ll learn how to combine advanced techniques in new ways to create extraordinary sculptural pieces of art.

You’ll leave class with several completed glass sculptures, my custom firing guides and a deeper understanding of sculptural fused glass fabrication. You’ll have the knowledge, confidence, and inspiration you’ve been craving to take your artwork to the next level.

Materials are included, that’s a $150.00 value!

May 2021 Student Testimonials 

“My favorite thing about the class was the creative freedom – we were not required to make the same thing the same way. I was surprised by the variety and number items we made and the flexibility we had to go our own way with our projects. The glass studio was very comfortable and very clean with plenty of room.” -Ron

“My favorite thing about the class was the projects were tailored to our interests with user specific glass choices and design options. This makes the best type of learning environment. I loved the continued technical information that was used in daily discussions. Loved the amount of space we had for working and the use of top-quality tools and the hands-on assistance Lisa gave each one of us. You will hear and see me again. Thank you for your time and talent.” – Donna 

“My favorite thing about the class was the creativity – putting things together in new ways – using different materials – and how welcome I felt. I was surprised how much we were able to get done and by Lisa’s ability to coach those of us on different levels. My least favorite part was that the class ended. The classroom setup was excellent – well organized. I really feel like Lisa gave me the tools to advance to a new level. It was worth the cost of the workshop, airfare, B&B, animal care and house sitting! Can’t wait to put what I leaned into practice and return for another workshop.” -Sue

Read more student testimonials on my website.

Artwear T’s by Lisa Vogt

Artwear Designed for Artists by Artists Tell them how you really feel with bold T-shirts, Eco-conscience tote bags and sassy mugs.

Artwear Eco-totes by Lisa Vogt
Artwear Mugs by Lisa Vogt

Get it now! Start fusing today!

Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.

Instructional eBooks for every skill level.

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Live a Little

Lage George, NY

Here in Florida, it’s hard to shake summer when our daytime temperatures are still in the mid 80’s. A road trip to New York state earlier this month has me blissfully lingering in a sweet candy colored autumn state of mind.

I was a little concerned about traveling, but we managed to stay safe and have a great time. Getting out of the heat and out of town was rejuvenating for us all. Now that I’m back home, I’m feeling pleasantly refreshed and eager to start new projects.

For those of you who can’t get away for a vacation, let me take you on a pictorial trip to beautiful New England. I took almost 2000 pictures! I sorted through them and still have almost a thousand favorites. It was hard to narrow them down to just a few. I hope you enjoy the scenic tour up north.

When was the last time you went apple picking? It’s been years for me. We visited an orchard where we could pick ripe apples. In advance of going, we looked dessert recipes up online. It turns out there are a lot of apple varieties and several of them are good for cooking. You want a certain texture and sweetness or tartness for specific recipes. Each type of apple has its own special characteristic that make them suitable for certain uses.

At the orchard, we were given a map that showed us where we’d find the trees with the apples we wanted. It was like walking through a delicious maze with tempting fruit hanging within easy reach on either side. I was surprised by the incredible number of apple clusters that hung from the bent and twisted tree limbs. We limited ourselves to one bag for good reason. Once you start picking it’s so fun, it’s hard to stop. And you can only eat so many juicy apples.

The orchard also had a pumpkin patch with round orange globes of all sizes nestled in a network of leafy green vines. The vivid colors and bold shapes were a striking in contrast to the brown dirt and fading blades of grass. The high contrast landscape was a magical location for taking pictures that echo the dramatic heart of the changing season.

 

With a loaded bag of apples, we then continued our journey to Lake George. My family gathers there almost every summer. I haven’t been there in the fall for a long time. It’s a spectacular time of year to travel to the mountains. We were lucky, the leaves were turning, and the daytime temperatures were brisk and in the mid 60’s. That’s luxurious sweater and fuzzy boot weather for us cold sensitive Floridians. It was the perfect temperature for long walks in the woods and bundled up boat rides on the lake.

Call me silly, but I love to take nature pictures of wild animals. You learn quickly that it’s easy to take a picture of an animal’s back side as it flees your intrusive presence. Taking pictures of animals while they behave without interruption, now that takes patience and a zoom lens, both of which I have. The chipmunk was the most elusive of the northern woodland creatures. I framed dozens of shots but only have one or two pictures I really like. The squirrel was another hard to capture resident. They were busy, busy running around gathering acorns for the long winter. I managed to get a few action shots, but nothing National Geographic worthy.

The real star of my photographs was the colorful, fall foliage. On the trail, the ground under my feet was blanketed with a soft layer of velvety red, golden orange, and sunny yellow leaves. There were tranquil moments, in the woods when I was transported to a wonderland where the wind sang soothing lullabies, and the forest floor appeared to be sprinkled with candy. As I walked, I looked for dramatic compositions with unique shapes and vivid colors that were brought to life by the warmth of filtered light.

The lake is always a captivating subject for my pictures. I can’t take enough pictures of the lake.  The landscape of the area, with the far reaching lake, cupped by towering mountains is so different from the tropical scenery we have here in Florida. While I’m there I try to capture the beauty and tranquility of the rolling water. I think, absorb the spirit of the waves and somehow, you’ll carry that restorative energy with you until next year.

We’re all trying to navigate life and slowly rebuild pieces into it from our former existence. I’m starting with the most basic pieces, the small elements that make me happy and feel alive. That includes a mix of quality family time and special me-time. When I’m taken care of, I have the strength to take care of others. This trip was a string of small, simple activities. The accumulative result of a change of scenery lifted my spirit and has left me pleasantly refreshed.

 

Don’t wait. Go on an exciting trip, big or small, near or far, it doesn’t matter. Change your scenery and shake up your routine for a few days. It’s time to live a little.

 

Enjoy the little things,

Lisa

 

 

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My Muse

My muse lives in the loft, but she’s rarely ever home.

She’s out stirring up trouble, but I’m never really alone.

 

She’s the lifelong playmate I can’t wait to see.

Though most of the time she stays cleverly hidden from me.

 

She lives in the warmth of a hug, the tenderness of a kiss.

She’s the sunshine on still waters, she’s a friend I miss.

 

She’s the swaying curtain that frames my window. She’s the world outside my mind.

Without her gentle coaxing and faithful companionship, I’d be blind.

 

She strikes in a flash like a hummer’s ruby red throat.

But takes her time to enjoy flowers or the rippling sails of an anchored boat.

 

She’s the nagging itch that won’t let me sleep at night, a steady reminder there’s more to do.

She stirs up the past, challenges the future. Her spontaneous whims make each day new.

 

Curiosity and adventure drive her, she’s got something to prove.

She lives without boundaries, she’s always on the move.

 

A free spirit, her life is one of discovery.

With so many riches yet to find, I’m happy she includes me.

 

My muse lives in the loft, but she’s rarely ever home.

She’s out stirring up trouble, but I’m never really alone.

By Lisa Vogt

 

I hope you enjoy my poem. It’s my first! I’m thrilled to share that it was published in the Florida Writer’s Association 2018 Volume 10 anthology titled, Where Does Your Muse Live?  

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Kitten Quarantine Countdown – Part 4    

The barn kittens have names! Meet James, Grape, Kay Brianna, Kool-Aid, and Miley. The barn owner’s clever kids came up with the fancy names.

I love this first picture. The kittens posed themselves. It’s nostalgic and reminds me of a JC Penny style family portrait. It’s like the ones I forced my girls to endure in itchy, but adorable sister clothes. In this case, the kittens were all for a photo shoot. I set my chair up in the barn ally as usual. I sit and read a book or articles while Niki grooms her horse, Glorie. It’s peaceful. There’s a gentle breeze and picturesque views of grazing horses in the fields. The scents range from fresh cut alfalfa to oddly stinky, yet somehow sweet horse manure. The barn is a total senses experience horse lovers can’t get enough of.

The kittens are 6 months old this week!

In previous weeks, the kittens were usually piled in a corner or outside wrestling each other. On this day, they slinked out of the feed room and took over my chair. They didn’t seem to mind they left me standing or sitting on a bag of shavings. Natural light streamed in and lit their sleepy faces beautifully which made my makeshift seat though lumpy, tolerable. I took hundreds of pictures while they wove and rewove themselves together into an intricate furry nest of heads and tails. It was a rare treat to have all five enamored by a single prop long enough for an afternoon nap.

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In the beginning I didn’t pay much attention to the kitten’s names as they moved as a unit. But now, individual kittens wanted attention. They’d come over and circle my feet asking to be pet. They also liked being scratched under their chins. Holding them was still a short, on their terms only, treat.

Miley’s a great model. She did her own stunts.

Miley, the gray stripped female is the most outgoing and first to venture out in search of new thrills. She was often the star of my photo shoots even suggesting her own compositions. She’s a great model and did her own stunts. She’s a sweet cuddle kitty when she’s in the mood.

Taking pictures of the kittens has been a wonderful distraction. Journaling their growth helped me live for today and reminded me to appreciate precious moments. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote about them. I’ve missed the time I spent photographing their adorable antics, but they did their job. They broke down the walls on my writers block. I was inspired enough to write a personal essay which is taking most of my creative writing time right now.

Photographing the kittens growth ended my writers block.

Since I took a break from writing about the kittens, I notice they have fewer milestones to record. Lately, they’re more interested in human attention than seeking out adventure. It’s actually hard to take a picture of Miley or Kool-Aid because the second I squat down to frame a picture they slink over to be pet. Even if I could resist the urge to rub their cotton soft sides, they won’t allow it. They make figure 8’s around my ankles and jump in my lap if I’m not attentive enough.

The kittens are 6 months old this week! They’ve grown so much it doesn’t make sense to break down their progress by weeks anymore. Instead, I’m going to share my favorite pictures, the ones that show their feisty personalities and fun compositions.

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Miley thought this huge old oak tree was a fabulous jungle gym. She was 14 weeks old when this picture was taken. She climbed with ease even though she and her entire family, mama included were fixed the day before. I was amazed by her agility and her comfort level at such heights. It was clear that her graceful moves would make her a keen hunter.

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Niki titled this picture, “When your sister steals your makeup.”

At 15 weeks old the kittens were pro wrestlers. Niki titled this picture, “When your sister steals your makeup.” Kay-Brianna was temporarily winning the fight, but don’t worry, Miley threw her share of paw punches.

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After their rough and tumble match Miley and Kay-Brianna cozied up together in the barn alley for an afternoon nap.

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Miley was always such a creative poser. Here she’s posing for her Cat Quarterly center fold. It’s all fun and games until your picture is photo bombed by a stray chicken.

Kittens are the perfect balance of innocence and badass.

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The kittens took the wrestling into the barn. Their expressions were hilarious. Thank goodness my camera has sport-mode, or I never would have captured these great action shots.

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This pic was so cute I just had to include it. As you can see, the kittens are not shy. They know how to make themselves comfortable.

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The kittens started to venture outside the barn and past the immediate area to the horse arena where Niki has her riding lessons. Grape showed an interest in our activities. Luckily, he stayed safely protected from pounding hooves tucked inside the bottom of the mounting block.

The barn is peaceful with picturesque views of grazing horses.

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Miley liked chill-axing in the barn while Niki tacked up her horse. It’s been fun watching the kittens grow from cuddly infants into playful adolescents.

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On this day, I had intended to read a book, but the kittens had other plans for my chair. The kitten cuddle fest that ensued was worth the minor inconvenience.

Taking kitten pictures turned into a physical calendar of sorts. It was a way to track the passing weeks with hope.

Now that the kittens are half a year old, they’ve settled into a routine of sleeping, eating, and wrestling with each other. Like the kittens we’ve also settled into a routine. We take life day-by-day hoping and praying something will change to bring an end to this pandemic. All the while, there’s a dull sense of sameness. It’s like treading water with no shoreline in sight. We’re living life, but on a muted tone. I’m coping by immersing myself in work, cooking, and spending time with my family.

I’m optimistic about the future.

I think about the future and look forward to the time when we can once again move around freely. It will come. I’m optimistic that we’ll make it through this dark tunnel in time and emerge into the light stronger than ever before. Just like the kittens, I’ll get by with a little help from my family and friends.

Taking pictures of the kittens was a wonderful distraction.

I hope you enjoyed taking this Kitten Quarantine Countdown adventure with me. I’m still going to take pictures of these adorable kittens, maybe not so many though, maybe…

 Joy is possible if you grant yourself time to find it and feel it.

Thanks for joining me. I appreciate you, your encouragement, and your support.

Take care,

Lisa

Thank you to Kiper Farms for all the amazing photo opportunities and for the friendly environment you inspire.

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In case you missed it, here are the links to part 1,2 &3.

1 a - Copy

Kitten Quarantine Countdown – Part 1

https://lisajvogt.com/2020/07/11/kitten-quarantine-countdown-part-1/

6b

Kitten Quarantine Countdown – Part 2

https://lisajvogt.com/2020/07/17/kitten-quarantine-countdown-part-2/

11b

Kitten Quarantine Countdown – Part 3

https://lisajvogt.com/2020/07/23/kitten-quarantine-countdown-part-3/

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Kitten Quarantine Countdown – Part 3    

May 5, 2020, 9 Weeks Old

Hide and seek! The kittens were now big enough to have free-roam of the barn. They were five blurs running in different directions at the same time. They hid in dark shadows and jumped out to pounce on unsuspecting siblings as they passed. They’d attack, throw a few paw punches, bite an ear and then retreat to hide in a corner. Everything was a fascinating new toy.

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While exploring, the kittens were equal parts daring and skittish. They’d run full speed at something that caught their attention, like a frayed rope, and then just as quickly, spook and scurry to safety under a muck rack. With all the new and exciting props to play with the grey striped kitten still thought my shoelace was worth a nibble. The chewy plastic tip was great for teething. The only time I was able to get a picture with more than one kitten was when they stopped for a quick snack and a cuddle with mama. She was still happy to nurse them even though they were almost as big as she was.

9c

At home we were trying to occupy our hands and distract our minds from the truth. The virus was spreading like an insidious weed across the country and booming in major cities. May was going to be more of the same quiet chaos. We continued to shelter-in-place and avoided going out for anything other than food, household necessities and tending to Niki’s horse, Glorie at the barn.

 

9f

The kittens were equal parts daring and skittish.

I suggested another new home improvement project I’d been wanting to tackle for a few years. Since we had plenty of time and nowhere to go it seemed like good timing. We replaced Niki’s old bathroom countertop with new, more contemporary style tile. Joe and I used our art glass skills to hand cut every tile and then puzzle-piece them together to make an attractive, clean looking design. I’m really pleased with the finished countertop and the way it gives Niki’s bathroom a more adult look.

DSC_0959

Like the kittens, we were equal parts daring and skittish about living life in the, new normal, an overused term I love to hate. Several times I wanted to surrender to my inner weakness and fear. I ached to throw a few paw punches, bite someone’s ear and then retreat under the covers. I considered chewing on my shoelaces, but feared they’d taste like you know, horse poop. In the end, I held it together with bailer twine, the endearing love of my family, the compassionate understanding of friends and vodka.

9i

Texting friends pictures of the kittens became a weekly treat I looked forward to.

On the bright side, when the kittens were one week old, I texted a kitten picture to three girlfriends who live in three different states. Texting them the kitten’s growth and hilarious antics became a weekly treat I looked forward to. My friends and I went from texting annually to reaching out to each other several times a week. We lead different lives, but we have a long history that goes back to high school. Over these past months, through texting, our friendship has grown stronger. We share our stories, our struggles, and our hopes for a bright future. We’re closer than ever before. These amazing ladies are tropical flowers on a volcanic slope. Their friendship is a real blessing and for that I’m thankful.

10b

May 12, 2020, 10 Weeks Old

Stars were born! As I sorted the hundreds of pictures I’d taken of the kittens, I noticed a trend. The grey striped kitten and black striped kittens were the stars of my photo shoots. Looking back that had been the case from the first photograph. While the other kittens were content to play among themselves these two wanted more excitement and human attention.

10c

This week the kittens took their shenanigans outside. They romped and played with each other in the yard outside the barn. The kittens were more agile than before, doing skilled acrobatic moves with slinky grace. They hid like mini mountain lions crouched in the bushes where they tracked every jerky move of passing chickens. I saw the maturing essentials of competent hunters in their twitching tails tips and their keen eyes.

It was fascinating to watch them explore new surroundings. I saw ordinary things in new ways. Trees became jungle gyms. Blades of grass were camouflage. There were still some clumsy moments when everything turned upside down, but the kittens were resilient as Jell-O and rebounded quickly.

10d

This week the kittens took their shenanigans outside.

Photographically, the new settings and vivid colors added a lot of interest to my compositions. The kittens were fast and moved unpredictably. I shot strings of pictures in sport mode hoping to get a few good pictures that were in focus. It was entertaining to watch their bouncy moves and see their expressive little faces while taking their playing so seriously. I managed to captured some exciting actions shots that were rich with fierce kitty character.

At home, we put on brave faces. We tried to build a new routine to help us feel better or at least be a little productive. Meanwhile, the bad news was relentless. More confirmed virus cases. More deaths. Our world had turned upside down.

10e

I walked every day to get out of the house and enjoy open spaces. I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful wooded area with lots of room to roam safely. I forced myself to entertain only pleasant thoughts on my walks. I focused on my body moving and the lush scenery around me. I listened to the birds and I felt the breeze brush  my face. I reminded myself daily how lucky I was that my family was healthy, and we were together.

11a

May 19, 2020, 11 Weeks Old

The curious kittens found new places to play in the yard and in the barn. They were flashes of fuzz darting around. A discarded roll of wire was a fun tunnel to roll around in. The tack room, with its clutter of gear made a great wrestling arena. One clueless kitten was brave enough to tug on a lead rope while a huge horse was attached. They were getting increasingly confident and boldly aware of the many entertaining nooks and props they could make their own.

11b

It was about this time that I questioned my motives and grip on reality. I wondered, why was I so enchanted with these kittens? I spent hours chasing them around the barn taking hundreds of blurry pictures of fur. I asked myself, what makes kittens unique and different from other cute baby animals? It took some time, but I figured it out. Kittens take on the world at full speed. They’re all in all the time. For kittens, there are no obstacles only actions. Despite their small size and inexperience they’re fearless. Their zest for life glows in their mischievous eyes. It’s that blind confidence coupled with reckless curiosity that make them fascinating. I’m now convinced, it’s that fiery vulnerability that inspired Mother Nature to bless cats with nine lives to give adults like me, the gift of childish amusement.

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Despite kittens small size and inexperience they’re fearless.

Like the naïve kitten leading the horse, we were overwhelmed be the enormity of the situation we found ourselves trapped in. We did our best to stay positive by exploring new nooks and props at home. Most importantly, we faced the unknown together and that’s what got us through. I also credit these comical kittens who live each day with enduring optimism mingled with good old brawling.

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May 26, 2020, 12 Weeks Old

Agility training had a whole new meaning this week. The kittens were attracted to a fence behind the barn. They practiced climbing, and falling. Finding balance was a tricky endeavor. Eventually, they mastered the narrow rail and enjoyed the elevated perspective.

Finding balance was difficult for me as well. It was apparent that we’d be living this dysfunctional way of life for a long time. There would be no casual visiting family or friends. Trips to the mall to shop for clothes were not possible. The joy I used to have eating in restaurants was gone. It was time to accept that things I’d previously took for granted were now nostalgic memories of life before. The future looked different. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a clear picture of where I saw myself in six months or a year. What I did have was love, faith, hope, and occasionally good old brawling.

12i

Writing about the kittens has been uplifting for me.

Writing about the kittens has been uplifting for me. I procrastinated opening my mind and my heart to my feelings by being silent, by not writing. I was wrong to stay away from writing so long. The logical side of my brain knows the emotional side needed time to come around to where I am now. The inner workings of the soul are complex and fragile; it will not be rushed into action.

What I want you to know is this: I’ve felt less anxious and more at ease since I posted Kitten Quarantine Countdown Part 1. Writing about my fears has made them less debilitating. They no longer have a death-grip on my heart. This has improved my attitude and has had a positive influence on my life as well as my other creative interests like art, gardening, and cooking.

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You know what you need to clear the fog and get out of that dark prison you’re trapped in. Don’t wait any longer. I’m here to give you permission to do something that makes you happy. We need our strength of heart and mind for the long haul.

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Thank you for reading my blog. Sometimes, I feel like I’m throwing shavings in the wind and not making  a bit of difference. I means a lot to me that you are still here. You’re making a difference for me.

Take care,

Lisa

Don’t miss Kitten Quarantine Countdown Part 4 – Follow my Blog!

Week 13- The kittens have names! Meet KOOL-AID.

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