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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Summer 2014 Blogger Challenge #28, #29, #30: Someone/Something I love, I wish..., and How I felt Today

I could go on and on about places I have been to, or my beautiful child... but today I am going to make #28 about what was in my bathroom sink this morning: Patches. 
 I love this cat. I really do. After my cat Sasha died in my arms of a stroke/old age, I said I'd never have a cat again. Then my daughter talked me into Zoey and now... Patches. 
I have to be honest about this, Patches has clung to me so much, she's pretty much MY cat. Karlene seems ok with it since Zoey is still HER cat. 

#29. I wish... I had more time at this beautiful place I finally located today. Little Indian Creek Conservation Area south of St. Clair, Mo. 
I really hope I will feel better tomorrow so I can take my daughter there since I am picking her up around 12:30 and we have the whole afternoon together without a load of homework to do!

#30. How I felt today. 

Hmmm? Drowsy. Tired. Allergic. Dragging. Unmotivated. 

Yet, kinda "needed" - - -  had a long visit with someone who needs to know that she matters so much. She is loved. She has a beautiful life ahead of her. Won't always be easy, but she can do it. 

Which also led me to feeling thankful today. Thankful for my mom, who was always my mom. Not out being selfish and putting her own desires and wants first. She was and is a good parent. Constantly saving for my college education, for my future... I am so thankful for her... This is her clicking pics in Michigan in June 2014. 

Thank you for stopping by... 
... one last post tomorrow to end the "Summer 2014 Challenge"

MK Designs - August 2014 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer 2014 Blogger Challenge #27: A View(s) From Today...

Must admit the "energy" of my 20's is long gone. 40 is a bit of a sucker punch! Now that my "day job" is rolling, I feel so tired... so some stuff (like this blog) have been a bit neglected. 

Today I got up and the first "view" of the day was figuring out what three images I wanted to submit to Soulard Art Market for consideration into their next juried show... "Nourish" which is art inspired by poetry.  

For more information about this great St. Louis gallery here's their site:

These are my three, based on three very different poems. 

"Solitude" - "The Sun Never Says" - "Sonnet 40"
Then it was off to get Slava, my friend, from Re-Discover Washington and Slava Bowman Photography for our "day" together! 

First off, it was lunch at Blue Duck. Slava admitted she hadn't ate there in about a week. I had to ask her if she was having symptoms of withdrawls (like an addict would) because she seems to be a Blue Duck addict. I have to admit, any time I have ate there - it has NOT been a let down! (The Blue Duck is located right off Front Street in Washington, Mo... great views and food!)

Then, it was off to St. Louis to see the International Photography Museum (Slava got us Groupon deals)... and then... we arrived to realize it is closed for Labor Day weekend. Since we already paid for parking, we decided to walk around the St. Louis University campus and check out a coffee shop that Slava loves. 

Afterwards, we found ourselves driving around Forest Park in St. Louis. Since we actually found a parking spot, we decided to watch the clouds on Art Hill.

Here's the deal, the day didn't go "as planned" but that's ok. 

I am very blessed to have met Slava, and formed a friendship with her. 

What are the odds an awesome lady from Bulgaria would end up in the town I teach in and we'd end up striking up a friendship over the fact I really was envious of her skills with a camera? Yes, I was once jealous, but now I find that her photography and positive outlook on life inspires me. 

I am also blessed to be one of those people that she will let her guard down with... because, believe it or not, as outgoing as she seems - she is (like me) not someone who lets just anyone "in" - at least that's my impression of her. :-)

I love our talks, because they never feel like idle chat or, as she says, talks about "shopping, kids, and houses..." We get to talk about our thoughts on many things, and without judgment. Which is awesome in this day and age... it seems more and more people are becoming less and less open in their thoughts. 

This is my beautiful friend, Slava, in her "crazy cat lady" dress. I love it! Newsprint with all "cat headlines" and photos! 

Oh, and, since the Photo Museum was closed for the holiday, we get to try this trip again later this fall; a blessing in disguise! 

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful "end of summer" - which reminds me, I am so close to having my summer blog challenge DONE, I need to wrap it up before it's WINTER! 

MK Designs. August 2014.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer 2014 Blogger Challenge #25 & #26... Explore and Looking Forward To...

Oh dear blog of mine... 

I fell behind on the Blogger Challenge, but haven't quit. 

I have had a "rest" because honestly all the junk happening in the world has had my heart heavy and my brain a little muddy. 

Today, it hit me - I need to continue the Blogger Challenge. 

I accepted it, and need to finish it!

Here we go... 

#25. Explore. 

#26. I am looking forward to... (may tie a bit into EXPLORE, ya think?)

Thank you so much for your time and for supporting my endeavors. 

Michelle - the "M" of MK Designs!

August 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

What is in my heart... "Yellow" (RIP Mr. Williams, and all the others who have been lost lately...)

Taking a break from the "blogger challenge" tonight to write what is in my heart.

I feel tension mounting in the world. 

Sadness in my heart. 

A plane full of innocent people shot down from the sky and still no answers. 

People at war in an area that by all accounts should be considered sacred to so many: Jewish, Christian, Muslim. 

The mindless killing isn't just overseas...

Just this spring, a little girl in Springfield, Mo. was playing in her neighborhood when she was kidnapped, defiled, murdered... despite the fact she fought back and neighbors chased that evil man on foot... he had her long enough to extinguish the light within her (on earth). 

I keep feeling this great tension growing and growing.

Incredible unrest.

I recently read somewhere that nearly 1 out of 7 incidents where police are trying to apprehend someone ends horribly, which leads me to recent events in my home state. 

Just 45 minutes to the east of me for the past few nights, people have taken to the streets to riot and loot because they are angry. 

Angry is an understatement. 

The FBI is being called in to investigate the source of the anger and outrage. 

Tension building to the point of breaking. 

Then, I find out a man I have never personally met, but a man who has touched me none the less with his humor and charm and wit ever since he was "Mork"... has apparently killed himself. 

Thank you Elizabeth with for sharing this on facebook. 

I have heard the snickers from callused individuals who have no empathy for mental health issues. I have heard claims it's not a real disease, but it is real. 

I have lost former students to it. 

I have lost friends and classmates. 

I have lost relationships because riding that rollercoaster and trying to care for people in that boat can become too much to endure... because deep down I am not nearly as strong as I like to let on... and I've jumped off that rollercoaster for self-preservation.

Tension... to the point of breaking. 

So, tonight - I left. 

I didn't hop in my car and drive for hours on some "quest" for peace. 

I just cruised to the nearest state park (cheesy, but true). 

After I parked "Betty" I decided to walk the campground loop... the first lap all I could hear in my mind was "Yellow" by ColdPlay. So, I photographed "Yellow." 

Look at the stars
Look how they shine for you
And all the things you do
Yeah, they were all Yellow
I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called "Yellow"

I took a break... pray, to feel the breeze and a few wayward raindrops, to watch the light, to notice the squirrels above me chomping away on acorns... 

Prayer Break. The light and the breeze. I had a moment I felt He was listening... 

Lap two. I walked and noticed in a fairly empty campground 4 families set up to camp. Each their own little universe. 

Then, I heard them and saw them. A young couple checking in as the sun was going down... talking to the campground host on duty. 

Two campground hosts at this small park... these guys had a night off! 
Like me, the tension was too much and they needed a break. They were from the Ferguson, Mo area. They had packed their camp gear and called in to work tomorrow... came down to camp for the night and get some peace. 

I thank God for places for me (and that couple) to retreat to when the tension is mounting, when the world (sin/evil, etc.) becomes too much. 

I thank God for blessing me in so many ways. 

I thank God that even though the World is often working in a direction that is so far from the teachings of his Son, He is trying to help us keep Good in the World. 

On the way home tonight I stopped and picked up some extra boxes of Crayons at Walgreens. Only 39 cents! Not for me, but for our church's Sunday School needs or for Operation Christmas Child (check it out: or maybe I'll divide them between the two. 

Because, in the end, no matter how bad the world may seem, it's up to Me (if not me, then who?) to try to spread a little Goodness.

Until next time,

Michelle (that's me... the M of MK Designs)

August 2014 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer 2014 Blogger Challenge #23 and #24 - Abstract & Old Photo of a Family Member. MacMac

#23. Abstract...

Abstract around my home... iPhone/pic-collage
Sky. Michigan 2014. Petoskey, MI - in fact! Canon Rebel  
Oil and Water - Canon Rebel 
Macro - Glass from Astral Glass - Canon Rebel (help from extension tubes) 
Oil and Water - Canon Rebel

#24. Old Photo of a Family Member. I keep this in my front room. My mom's father. My grandfather. Harvey Johnson. I have a lot of fond memories of him. 

My Grandpa. 
Thank you for visiting and keeping up with my summer blogger challenge! My goal is to finish by mid to late August. I think I am on track! 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Summer 2014 Blogger Challenge #21, #22... Stories & Laughter... and technology rant!

First up, the technology rant. 

Pardon the break in blogging, I was out of the state and no computer handy... which is FINE by me! 

As much as I love the chances to blog, edit photos, share, create video clips, etc... there are days I am ready to throw my phone out the window and sell all computer equipment. 

Me. Feeling a little OVERWHELMED! I like this image!

Lately, I have even been considering disabling my personal facebook and only doing my biz pages... but odds are I won't. 

I am thinking of keeping the personal facebook page, but not using it for several days... maybe even weeks...  

Sometimes a break from it is good. Why? Two big reasons. 

#1. So addictive. TIME SUCKER! 

#2. Facebook people (including myself!) are kinda crazy. 

I prefer some nachos and a limerita over the popcorn to be honest!

OK, maybe that's harsh, but I swear - the rollercoaster facebook drama gets a bit odd... and it shows how people have such wacked priorities. 

I follow the NEWS / subscribe to lots of outlets on twitter. Bombs, illnesses, death, poverty, etc. - yes, all SAD, but it puts life in perspective. Makes not getting a date or the right job seem trivial. 

Now back to the BLOGGER CHALLENGE! 

...and now back to our scheduled programming...

#21. My favorite story. I am going to shorten it and put it in my own words. 

Back in the day people were often stoned to death for doing bad things. This lady did a big NO NO in that she partcipated in ADULTERY (ya know, messing around when married) and she got caught. So, people are going to stone her to death... they look to their religious leader for his approval to kill her. Know what the guy says? He says, "OK, the first person in this group who has never done wrong, who has never sinned, you throw the first stone..." Guess what? No one does. They all walk away. She's shocked. He tells her he isn't going to punish her, but forgive her... and encourages her to live a better life and try not to sin anymore. 

I love that story. :-)

#22. Laughter. SO MANY THINGS MAKE ME LAUGH. I love a good joke, a good pun, a good comedian. The list is too long to compose here, but here's a few images that can sum it up a bit. 

Until next time, thank you for reading and checking out my blog! 
~ MK Designs - August 2014 

PS and, none of these are my images... but my words... ;-)
I'll get back to MY images in the next blogger challenge entry!