Dear Friends: It’s time to meet another regular reader/commenter on this blog. Today you’ll meet Karma. Or Karen. We’ve even talked on the phone a few minutes ago–trying to figure out the logistics of posting some of her beautiful photos. Visit her blog Karma’s When I Feel Like It Blog often! Please welcome her kindly… Thank you, Kathy
When Kathy first asked me to write a guest blog for her, I was quite flattered. I’m terribly new to the blogging world, having just begun my blog this past April.
I asked Kathy a bunch of questions: Where will I write it? What would I write about? Why did you choose lil’ ol’ me? She patiently and kindly answered my questions and then I contemplated. This seemed like the correct thing to do when composing a blog post for Kathy.
After contemplating for a few days, I opened my email program and decided to trust my most tried-and-true blog writing method (and one that, if I am not mistaken, Kathy also uses from time to time) of letting the post write itself. I’ve experienced this phenomenon more than a few times since April, when the post just starts to write itself in my brain and out it flows. I hoping it will work satisfactorily as I write today.
My name is Karen. You may have seen me commenting here and on some of my other favorite blogs as “Karma.” That handle developed a couple years ago before I began my own blog, but commented on other favorite websites as “karmardav” – each set of three letters being the first three letters of my first, middle and last names. In response to one of my comments, someone once shortened my user name to “Karma” and I liked it!
I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, photographer, gardener, dancer, quilter, reader and blogger. Each of these roles, I believe has had huge influence on the person that I am today, fulfilling different parts of me at different times in my life.
I do not consider myself part of any organized religion, but I still believe I am a spiritual person, with a soul that will probably continue to seek and question my reality for the rest of my life. I love to laugh, to make others laugh, to create, to please others, to be praised. I delight in each and every comment left on my blog.
A brief bio: I am living in the same small town in Western Massachusetts that I grew up in. My young parents moved us to the small suburb to escape the concept of “bussing” that was happening in the city they grew up in – meaning when I started school, they didn’t want me sent on a bus ride half-way across the city to another school so that each school would be racially balanced.
With the exception of the first three years of my life before my parents moved, and a tumultuous five years after I graduated high school until I married and moved back here, I have lived here all my life – 33 of my 41 years. I call myself a “townie.”
In high school, the very same high school that my older daughter now attends, I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I had the most inspiring, wonderful, woman for a history teacher who led me to this decision. I completed my student-teaching experience in a high school setting teaching social studies, and left not so sure I wanted to be a high school teacher!
Today, when I look back, I think this may have been because I was slightly intimidated teaching 16- and 17-year-olds at the age of 21. The seeds of doubt, however, had been planted. I worked as a substitute teacher by day and waitress by night in the years before my daughters were born.
I was lucky enough to be able to stay home with them for four years – then I began to feel the need to work outside the home. Although it was a bit of a commute for not much money, I found a spot I loved: Old Sturbridge Village. I worked with the kids who came on field trips, giving tours and teaching special activities and was surrounded by wonderful people who loved what they did. And it made me realize that yes, I did still want to teach.
I enjoyed this style of teaching for six wonderful years, but as I mentioned, the commute was long and the salary was low. In 2005, gasoline sky-rocketed to $4 a gallon and it was time for me to find work closer to home. I started the position where I work today – a paraprofessional or teacher’s aide in a middle school one town over from where I live. I enjoy my job very much, but I am still waiting to fulfill my dream of being a teacher in my own classroom, the one in charge of the class. Unfortunately, openings that I would be interested in having are few and far between: middle school social studies teacher in a nice suburb not too far from home.
Some say I need to “pay my dues” to get what I want, meaning go teach in the city of which we are a suburb. I decided long ago that was not the place for me. Does that make me a bad person or less true to my desired position? I hope not. My husband is a police officer in that city; I know too much.
Speaking of my family, they are my heart and soul, my reason for being, my joie de vivre, my glue that holds me together when I feel like I am coming undone. For what I lack in my professional life, I make up for a hundredfold with these wonderful people:
Hubby and I have been married for 18 years. Sarah (left) is 13 and Meghan (right) is 15. There are also furry members of our family:
Teddy is a one-and-a-half-year-old collie and Daphne is a five-year-old golden retriever. Cedric, our nine-year-old sweetie of a kitty, wouldn’t be happy if he was slighted in the photo-sharing:
The year 2010 brought two events that find me where I am today in the blogosphere. As I mentioned earlier, I started a blog. I wondered if anyone would read it. One of the main reasons I started a blog was because of the wonderful and kind Scott Thomas of Views Infinitum. Scott’s bi-monthly photo assignments inspired me to want to share my photos in a more regular way.
In 2008, I completed Project 365 but only shared them on Flickr. I enjoyed the sense of community there but decided I wanted more space to share my way. After writing a guest blog or two for my sister’s blog, I realized how user-friendly WordPress is and took the plunge and started my blog.
The other momentous event of 2010 was my purchase of a Canon Rebel XS dslr camera. I’d been thinking about making a purchase of this sort for quite a while. I’ve loved taking pictures for a long time – since getting an old-fashioned Polaroid camera for my 14th birthday. I have stacks of photo albums in my house, neatly organized chronologically. When digital photography became prevalent, I jumped in with both feet.
The Rebel is my fifth digital camera over the course of the last dozen or so years. I hemmed and hawed and dragged my feet over making the purchase. I consulted with Scott and several other photo-bloggers whose work I admire. I had the Canon vs. Nikon debate. Ultimately, I chose the Canon Rebel, the entry-level DSLR, because for the price I was just barely comfortable spending, it had the most features I felt that I would use. These days, I am deliriously happy with my purchase and any sense of buyer’s remorse has headed for the hills. I’ve discovered, however, that the DSLR carries with it a small caveat (Kathy can probably back me on this) – lens desire! These cameras are made to work with a multitude of lenses designed for different picture taking situtations. Once one becomes comfortable using the lenses one has, one desires to branch out and try even more lenses in even more picture-taking situations! A bit of a viscious circle!
I feel my photography skills have improved greatly through not only this new camera, but from taking the time to learn about it, read, read, reading about photography on blogs and in books, and from the feedback I get from the folks who comment on my blog.
Kathy asked me to share some of my favorite photos in this guest blog. That is a difficult task for me. I’ve decided to share a few photos of some of my favorite topics for photography (besides my family and pets):
Thank you, Kathy, for the opportunity to introduce myself to you all and for your very thoughtful blog posts and sharing of yourself the way that you do.