Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 07/23/17

The oddball challenge is one of my favorites because I have an eye for the unusual and try to snap photos when I see it.

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I saw this bumper stick right before the landmark, yes that is what it is called six months past, election of 2016. Eight elections past my first chance to vote for a presidential candidate I would vote for Reagan again.

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I don’t know if Luke still feels the force, but I see the effects of Star Wars every where I go. All over Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania I saw all facets of merchandise from the Star Wars franchise, From a New Hope through Rogue One. This hitch cover is the symbol for the Rebel Alliance for those not in the know.

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I saw this Mandevilla bloom peeking out of the rails of our deck where it is slowly and methodically wrapping itself around the best climbing materials. Eventually it will fully open, but when I got this it was roughly halfway through the process.

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It is challenging to get a good picture in the bright sun since I cannot always see my DROID MAXX screen. But the shadow was totally unnoticed until I reviewed the photo. But the subject is what I consider oddball. I have never seen it before.

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Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 07/23/17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Through – One Word Sunday

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This is a one lance pass through under a railroad line of the Norfolk Southern less than a stone’s throw from my home. Added to the One Word Sunday theme.

One Word Sunday – 07/23/17

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Questions I Think My Dog Would Ask – Chapter 4 – Who Left Us a Kitten?

QITMDWA

Welcome back for the second installment in this recurring series and if you are new we are glad to have you. For background to the newbies, this is a chance for my year and a half year old miniature Sheltie to speak her canine mind. If you were around Syudney for any amount of time you would realize her personality is so large that there has to be some questions she would like answered. I seek to be the best owner I can and attend to every need, so that is the reason we decided to bring her questions to this forum.

So this week’s QITMDWA is this, in Sydney’s words:

Who decided to leave a kitten at my house? You know I have a good gig! I have had the run of the house, the porch, the yard and the road for almost two whole years. Did I mention I had 100% of the attention? Well all that went up in smoke last week. Now I am sharing everything, well the attention and I am excluded from the porch because this tiny kitten has taken up residence.

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I don’t like her! Yes, that is right it is a girl kitten. Why couldn’t this be a one horse show, or one pet house? I didn’t need another to make my job harder. I had the corner on cute all tied down, but now, oh no!

Maybe there is still a chance. I hear a lot of talk about where kitty will live. Maybe not here forever. Maybe at some place called the pound, whatever that is. I will be glad to help mover her out.

 

 

 

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – 07/21/17

Do we really pay attention to which way everything goes? I think we are so automatic in our routines we have no idea what we see. That is why I enjoy the Which Way challenge.

This challenge sets out a broad set of criteria:

  • Roads:  gravel, asphalt, cobbled, dirt, freeway, expressway, highway, bridges
  • Indoor walkways:  hallways, aisles, people movers
  • Outdoor walks:  sidewalks, paths, trails
  • Stairs, elevators, escalators, or steps:  indoors, outdoors
  • Railway  tracks, monorails, ski lifts
  • Runways and starmacs
  • Ferry’s, canals and lochs
  • Parking lots, private driveways
  • Tunnels
  • Signs of any kind:  directional, informational, store signs, wind vanes
  • Maps that are posted as signs

 

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This is a way of getting around I have not tried yet and am not sure I ever will. But there was three that went up during the Christian concert we attended during a local festival.

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While retrieving some gravel for a new fire pit project I thought about how this is a highway in it’s most basic form. For sure there was a crowd of trucks hauling the rock out this morning, trying to get their work completed for this week.

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I cannot imagine the kind of leg power and stamina required to hustle the business with this kind of outfit, but there was plenty to use if you were so inclined during our visit to Washington, DC.

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On October 31st of this year we will receive the treat we have been waiting far as the Amtrak service will return to Roanoke, Virginia, which is only two hours from our home. With this new possibility we can add train travel to our vacation options.

Cee's WW

Cee’s Which Way – 07/21/17

 

 

 

 

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – 07/14/17

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Three Things Thursday – July 20, 2017

My fourth run in Three Things Thursday where it is your goal to share three happy things you experienced in the seven days past. There is a new host for this weekly collection of happy, Natalie @ There She Goes just picked up the hosting duties from Nerd in the Brain. I met Natalie during the recent 2017 A to Z Challenge and I know she will do a fabulous job with this!

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I know this will seem a strange choice to many if not most of you. Especially if you have never grown your own green beans, picked them and canned them for later use. But for the past three to four years we have struggled with a green bean deficit due to an overpopulation of groundhogs and rabbits. This year we constructed a 32 foot raised bed and so far have recouped 41 quarts of green beans. I even declared victory on my Facebook feed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After some difficulty getting everyone’s calendars aligned I finally got to enjoy a day on the river in a kayak with my family. It is one of my favorite outdoor activities these days. This time of the summer is pretty toasty so we were plenty hot by the time we completed the five mile adventure.

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In my role as the Missions Director in my church it is a responsibility to determine and shepherd along projects for the congregation. One of the major projects for this year is collecting chapter books for about 200 kids in Belize that attend a community center of sorts where they get help with homework, play games, and enjoy a library. During this week I was overjoyed at the number of volunteers who turned out to help sort and classify the books by age group and reading level.

What things are you thankful for in your life this week? Why not take a moment to be thankful for the blessings God has sprinkled into your life?

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Unusual – Weekly Photo Challenge – 7/19/17

 

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I don’t post about my love of railroads and model railroading too much on this blog since I have a model railroad specific one, but I happened across this old sign by chance while snapping a photo for another weekly photography challenge. The age of the sign gives you a feel for the amount of time since it was hung on this railroad right of way. Never fear I stayed on the lawful side, but this sign is for the Norfolk & Western line which has long since become Norfolk & Southern.

07/19/17 Weekly Photo Challenge

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Black & White Sunday: After & Before – July 2017

Regular visitors to Lost in Translation can enjoy a chance once a month on a Sunday to try a combined photo challenge theme for Black&White Sunday. It is called AFTER and BEFORE and it invites you to post the same  image both in black and white and in colour. The topic and subject are entirely arbitrary. Please be sure you post an image captured in colour and that you turn it monochrome in post processing.

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This is the mural in the United States Capitol rotunda in Washington, DC.

B&W Sunday

Black & White Sunday – July 2017

 

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Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 07/16/17

The oddball challenge is one of my favorites because I have an eye for the unusual and try to snap photos when I see it.

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We got this photo sitting beside a small café near the Lincoln Memorial on July 4th. Always the storyteller I can just imagine the birds discussing the reason for so many humans milling around the National Mall on this day.

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On the front of this small set of cars is the remains of a locomotive.

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When we first saw this monument about seven years ago it was after dark with a much different ambiance. But I find it no less impressive in the light of day. Dedicated to those who served during the Korean War it is definitely different than most of the other monuments in America’s Capital City.

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On the first half of our trip to PA and DC, we stopped at an attraction called the Choo Choo Barn to satisfy my appetite for model trains. In their large layout they have a small body of water with live goldfish. I definitely have not encountered any live animals in my train adventures before this.

Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 07/16/17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – 07/14/17

Do we really pay attention to which way everything goes? I think we are so automatic in our routines we have no idea what we see. That is why I enjoy the Which Way challenge.

This challenge sets out a broad set of criteria:

  • Roads:  gravel, asphalt, cobbled, dirt, freeway, expressway, highway, bridges
  • Indoor walkways:  hallways, aisles, people movers
  • Outdoor walks:  sidewalks, paths, trails
  • Stairs, elevators, escalators, or steps:  indoors, outdoors
  • Railway  tracks, monorails, ski lifts
  • Runways and starmacs
  • Ferry’s, canals and lochs
  • Parking lots, private driveways
  • Tunnels
  • Signs of any kind:  directional, informational, store signs, wind vanes
  • Maps that are posted as signs

 

 

 

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When you are unfamiliar with all the stops on the D.C. metro you can consult the maps like this in every station. The key is to know which end station is located in the direction you intend to travel so you always get on the train going in the correct direction.

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There was plenty of laughs about this sign.

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We took a ride on a car just like this while in Strasburg, PA.

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Want to relax? Get in a kayak and take a lazy ride down the river!

 

 

 

Cee's WW

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – 07/14/17

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Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 07/09/17

The oddball challenge is one of my favorites because I have an eye for the unusual and try to snap photos when I see it.

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I snapped these during our ride on the Strasburg Railroad in Strasburg, PA. The cabooses were converted to overnight accommodations. We did not get to see how they actually look, but it is an intriguing idea.

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This is the second time the sign at a local veterinary office on my way to work caught my eye. The other time they were welcoming a new doctor named Doctor Feathers. (I’ll wait for your laugh).

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Anyone familiar with the Austin Powers movies remembers the ‘Mini Me’ I had a maxi me moment today with the late evening sundown.

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I know there is this grand and age old lover affair with bacon, but I draw the line at crossing bacon and chocolate.

Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 07/09/17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – 07/07/17

Do we really pay attention to which way everything goes? I think we are so automatic in our routines we have no idea what we see. That is why I enjoy the Which Way challenge.

This challenge sets out a broad set of criteria:

  • Roads:  gravel, asphalt, cobbled, dirt, freeway, expressway, highway, bridges
  • Indoor walkways:  hallways, aisles, people movers
  • Outdoor walks:  sidewalks, paths, trails
  • Stairs, elevators, escalators, or steps:  indoors, outdoors
  • Railway  tracks, monorails, ski lifts
  • Runways and starmacs
  • Ferry’s, canals and lochs
  • Parking lots, private driveways
  • Tunnels
  • Signs of any kind:  directional, informational, store signs, wind vanes
  • Maps that are posted as signs

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I live in a small town in a mid-size county in Virginia. But I am sure the amount of asphalt within and surrounding Washington, D.C. could easily exceed all of the same in and around my home.

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Getting around the interior spaces of the United States capital is much easier when you ride the Metrorail system. Even on Tuesday night after watching the fireworks on the National Mall when the car was more like a sardine can it was still better than walking.

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I saw the option that follows during our trip to Chicago two years ago. This particular iteration is called the Capital Bike Exchange. You can join for a small fee and rent bikes each day to make your journey less taxing.

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My last which way hearkens back quite a while to the kind of transportation before the first motorized vehicle of the late nineteenth century. What began as a nice breezy ride ultimately turned into a monsoon filled laughter fest.

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Cee's WW

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – 07/07/17

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My Writing Goals for 2017 – Half Year Results

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Yes, my friends half of 2017 is behind us. As we suck in a deep breath before we plunge into the back half I wanted to find my way here to update a post I made at the first of this annum. A pastor of ours once said “If you have no target at which to aim you will miss every time!” I took that sage advice to heart, trying to always have a goal in mind for everything I do.

But a goal is only as good as the drive and willingness to follow through. Think of the almost coronation of the first female president or the chance anyone but New England has to win the Super Bowl last football season. A goal is vital, but only a piece of the equation. I have experienced peaks and valleys in my pursuit, but I feel pretty good about my standing right now.

  1. Submit a manuscript for publication. This is still in progress with the possibility of something coming through by year’s end.
  2. Find an agent. This is a function of the first goal, but no less important. To capture the interest and attention of an agent is something I do not have a lot of experience with obviously. I am working hard to leverage all the helpful tips and posts by authors on WordPress and Twitter as far as this task is concerned.
  3. Find a publisher. Again this is just an extension of the main goal. Here is my first obvious statement, but I would love to find a publisher that wants to publish all my work. I have reworked one of my ideas to create franchise characters because I see the value in a book series. I would love to be able to roll out a continuing set with these characters.
  4. Write more. This was from the first post in January “In 2017 I would like to write at least 250 total posts.” That was a considerably modest goal considering the fact that the total at the halfway point is 100+ more. Finding new challenges for my fiction and photography helps along with the 30 day A to Z Challenge I completed in March.
  5. Write every day. This is something I truly try to do. Of Course over the last five days that has been problematic in that I was pounding the sidewalks of Washington, D.C. visiting monuments, museums and the United States Capitol. But on the way home while in the car I went after it, sending three posts into the blogosphere.
  6. Develop my stable of writing friends. I gained a considerable number of new followers in the first quarter of the year. I also connected with some folks that have good practices and outlooks that will help me be a better writer, blogger and online friend.
  7. Attend Writing Classes and Conferences. I see so many offers for classes and conferences to help you learn more about all phases of the process, from plotting and character development to Querying, developing your pitch and dealing with agents and publishers. I could use help with all the above and I know it. The difficulty is knowing which is worth taking the plunge.
  8. Enter writing contests. I have done some of this, but it is a matter of finding out about contests with enough lead time to get a work written, edited and polished in time to get it submitted. Time management is always a struggle for anyone trying to accomplish broad goals, so nothing spectacularly surprising in the pursuit of this goal.
  9. Read more. I like to read. Not as much as I like to write, but I love a good story. I realized that when I was made aware of how much I like television. Seeing a story in visual format locks you in to a specific interpretation however. When you are reading the author gives you a framework, but you can color in the lines however you want. I also love to interact with authors. This happened with a book I read a couple of years ago and wrote a review on Amazon.
  10. Read and watch more critically. What I mean by this is to learn how the best and most successful tell their stories. Understand what it is about the books and programs I watch that draws me in. That will pay benefits as I work to get my writing noticed and published by the industry.
  11. Find a good place to try out my new story ideas. As I said in another paragraph I love to tell a story. One of the pitfalls is that I can get deep into a work in progress when another germ of a story idea bubbles up into the development space. One such came up during a March weekend trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
  12. Develop a long term schedule. I read a post from anew blogging friend describing how she set out a long term schedule to make sure she had some accountability. After the success of NaNoWriMo2016 and the 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge, I have “penned” those in going forward. I also am going to try the Camp Nono this month to get one of those just mentioned “gems” out of the mine.

As I reach the 1000 word mark of this post I seem to be running out of ideas for the goals I want to achieve. Maybe I will revisit this post as other goals come to me, but if I can take a solid swipe at what precedes this paragraph I will feel 2017 is a success. Perhaps I can even add selling X number of copies of my published book during the next 364 days. I invite you to return to see an update to this post in the coming months. Series posts such as this will help to fulfill the more writing and posting goals.

 

 

Posted in 2017, Blogging, Blogging Challenge, Fitbit, Novel, Personal Goals, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Signs – 07/06/17

This week the topic is Signs.  

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This is the sign for the Metro Rail system in Washington, DC that gives you a heads up to which train is next to arrive in the station.

sign2 While in Lancaster, PA I saw an advertisement for this model railroad layout in nearby Strasburg, PA. Don’t let the name fool you the Choo Choo Barn is certainly not aimed for children only but one of the largest and most professional layouts of model trains I have enjoyed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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While in Strasburg we also enjoyed the Strasburg Railroad, a tourist rail attraction that is billed as the longest continuous running rail road in North America.

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On our fourth day of vacation we made a visit to Arlington Cemetery. We were told by another visitor that Benjamin Netanyahu was supposed to be laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but I am not sure if or when that occurred.

CBWPC

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – 07/06/17

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#ThreeThingsThursday – What made me smile this week…

TTTWelcome to this week’s Three Things Thursday post, created by Emily at Nerd in the Brain and hosted by Natalie at There She Goes.

Share your joy by posting three things big or small, that have made you happy this week and join in the fun! Want to know what it’s all about? Then click here!

Thing One

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I love model trains and was overjoyed to see something called the Choo Choo Barn, which promised a massive model railroad layout so near to our first vacation stop in Lancaster, PA. It is actually in Strasburg, but was a brief drive. The amount of animation in use is unusual, but impressive.

Thing Two

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Fireworks can be exciting and this is the time of year for some of the best. This time around we have been fortunate to catch some of the largest shows we have witnessed in quite some time. Our first chance was Sunday night up in Lancaster, but my favorite was watching them light up the Washington Monument on the National Mall.

Thing Three

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A laughing teen can sometimes be a rarity. While my daughter is more often than not happy, she is not always giggling or laughing aloud every minute. Maybe during the long walks as we criss-crossed our nation’s capital she may not have been, but the majority of the time she was thanks to her nine month younger cousin that helped create the fun.

What was the things that made you happy this week?

 

 

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Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 07/02/17

What do you consider oddball? I am returning home from a five day trip to Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. and normal to us certainly is not such to them.

There is a multitude of tour possibilities in our nation’s capital.

In Strasburg, PA we took a ride on the Strasburg Railroad and I took this photo of a plow car.

The Fourth of July resurrects the phrase Baseball, Hot Dogs and Apple Pie. I caught this photo of a baseball field in a huge train layout in Strasburg, PA.

I will let you interpret the next one how you will. I am not sure if the driver was searching for cheap gas or what was going on.  

Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge – 07/02/17

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