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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fall Can Start... Anytime!

You may say Global Warming isn't real, but I don't think the first day of Fall temps should be in the 90's. 

I am ready for crisp air, colorful leaves, beautiful drives, and bonfires! 

The forecast calls for cooler temps soon, to which I say:
Last Sunday, it was in the 80's (muggy), but I had to get out. 

I loaded up Karlene, my camera, and hit the road for Robertsville State Park. I cannot stress how important it is to get out and explore the natural world. I am blessed to live in a state that values parks and public lands. 

Oh, and the light was beautiful. 

Enjoy these images:

Do you have a favorite? Feel free to comment on this blog post or on my facebook page. I love feedback!

Anxiously Awaiting Fall, 
~ MT of MK Designs 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

What is Wealth?

First year of college. To this day, I am thankful my mom made this financially possible.
In 42 1/2 years I have ran the full range of financial situations. 
I have...
  • gone from having close to three figures in a bank account to being wiped out with the snap of my fingers. 
  • lived paycheck to paycheck.
  • had savings for rainy days that never seemed to end. 
  • managed to live credit card debt free until I went a little "spend happy" on home improvements and quickly learned how challenging that can be to actually pay off. 
  • known to never EVER touch my retirement fund. Yes, I have a retirement fund.
  • paid with cash to save money. 
  • bartered services to save money.
  • been jealous of those who have more.
  • felt ashamed for taking for granted how well I live.
  • been told, "we can't afford that" and hated it.
  • have said, "we can't afford that" and understood why self-control matters.
However, I have never been poor.
Felt very "rich" on this trip to Illinois!
I've been accused of being poor by a man who claimed to love me. Perhaps for a time I even believed it. Yet, I recognize now how much of a lie that really is. 

I'd rather keep my childhood spent in a two bedroom mobile home in the woods without fancy dinners and the latest gadgets, than trade it for one in a stick-built house in a subdivision. 
Visiting Paddy Creek in 2012. One of the places my parents took me as a child. Free and fun!

Connection to nature. 
Connection to self. 
Appreciation for the little things. 
My daughter and I love our free and fun creeks, too!
What makes a person "rich" in America? I think so many of us have the wrong answer. It's not the square footage of your house, it's the joy you find in living. It's not having the latest iPhone, it's having someone on the other end you actually want to speak to...or better yet, WANTS TO SPEAK TO YOU!
Hiking with my mom at a state park. 
If you have clean water, a warm bed, food on your plate, and people who love you... are rich beyond measure. 

You are far from poor. You are rich in my eyes. 

Until next time, 
M of MK Designs

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Inspiration and a Clean Camera: an Afternoon Spent on MDC lands and Country Roads is NEVER a Waste of Time!

I have lacked inspiration to do much with photography lately. 

Yes, I have still been shooting and writing articles and entering shows, but I've had to drag myself through the process. 

This afternoon felt different. 

The air felt lighter, the sky was blue... around 2:30pm I was (dare I say) PERKY.
My daughter is the one who suggested the drive to MDC lands. I grabbed my recently-cleaned camera (thanks to Creve Coeur Camera) and decided it was time to give it a test run. 

The weather was perfect and my heart felt pretty light once we were on the road. 

We made our way 14 miles south of our home in Union, MO to Chouteau Claim Access. It is where the Bourbeuse River and the Meramec River meet. Karlene and I saw many people out enjoying the day, but it was the scenery that stole the show. 

After we finished exploring, we decided to drive 5 more miles to River 'Round Conservation Area. This is a unique area on the Meramec when viewed on a map. Its name makes perfect sense. 

We explored some areas near the river. I was still inspired to shoot. These are a few of my favorites from that spot:

As we were driving out of the area, we saw an old road that is now a foot trail that we want to go explore at a later date (preferably not during deer season). 

Overall, the afternoon was an enjoyable one. We had dinner in Union and even stopped by the Union Access on our way home. It was a quick stop and our third MDC land of the afternoon. I left my camera behind for that moment and instantly saw some sights that made me regret not having it. 

Creative slumps, feeling down in the dumps, and overall just unmotivated is NOT a fun way to be. I am thankful for this afternoon's burst of inspiration and energy. It has me thinking of one of my favorite verses:
Until next time,
M of MK Designs

PS My website has had an overhaul! You should go check it out: