THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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Monday motivation

Just another Monday in Maryland. It’s beginning to seem a lot like Florida. Heat and rain each day. Such is life, it was at least some temporary relief till the sun came back out and made it like a sauna. And I guess tomorrow looks to be more of the same. Well enough of the weather, that is going to be what it be.

So much for sun and heat.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So what starts as a day for colors to bloom, ended with my yard looking like a mess from all the wind. I did hear a few trees and large branches snapping in the woods behind the house. A neighbor across the street had his driveway blocked and was out with the chainsaw.

Early Day Sun
Photo by Mike Hartley

Well, didn’t get the shooting I had hoped to get in but did get the camera in my hands and out the front door. That first day of the workweek is usually a killer and this week was no different. Lets hope the busy schedule makes the week fly by so I can get back to the weekend and family and friends I love.

Rain.
Photo by Mike Hartley


Random Thoughts of the Day

A smile crossed my face when I saw my Daughter posted a picture of her and I dancing at her wedding for Fathers day. And then I just sat there and had a boatload of wonderful memories. I hope we can have many more to come.

Also today is my Son and Daughter in-laws wedding anniversary. What a day this has become. So much to celebrate and be thankful for.

I love summer, therefore I must plan some more vacation time.

Rain is like reflection. It helps us grow.


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Swinging into Sunday

I can’t say enough have how wonderful my children made me feel today. Not that I don’t feel their love all the time throughout the year. But for some reason today felt special. I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it was just the hugs and hand squeezes. Maybe it was the smiles and laughter I heard. Maybe it was everyone being together. Maybe the appreciation that I’m still here to enjoy their love. Whatever it is I’m a very blessed father indeed.

I hope my children know in their hearts how wonderful it is to be their father. How happy they have made me. How I’m so proud of who and what they have become and all they do. I hope all fathers have this feeling, because it’s about as good as it gets when you add up all the thing you can feel good about.

I set my hammock up last night to see if I could spend a few minutes in it today soaking up some sun and breeze. I figured it was Fathers Day and I could be a little slack and take advantage of the celebration to be lazy for a few minutes. Of course that was planned after the morning chores. The weekends being so wet over the last month or two have really put mother nature ahead by a wide margin. But hammock time is something I didn’t get to today so its on the agenda for tomorrow.

Looks like a few generations fishing together.
Photo by Mike Hartley


Random Thoughts of the Day

You ever think, how you’re going to make it through the work week in the first few hours of it?

I’m into warm weather but Monday is looking a bit extreme.

I think my future with work is telecommuting if possible.

I wish I learned to appreciate and love my wife much more along the way than I have.

It’s always a funny feeling when a neighbor’s house is for sale.


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Monday ruffled feelings

I have a big problem when I feel I’ve been disrespected. When its done repeatedly it’s not just disrespect, it’s a message. Today was one of those days. I have a good number of those days sometime. So either I’m slow on the uptake, like the abuse or just an idiot for not doing something about it.

Well I do speak up. So much so that it has cost me. So I’m learning to keep my mouth shut. That is a very difficult task for yours truly. But as I spent a few moments thinking about it again today, I thought to myself that I don’t respect these people anyway so why would I care what they think or do?

A few times in my life I’ve forgotten this important equation. They only have the power if I give it to them. So today I regained my power. And that has resulted in a better frame of mind and less stress.

Pit crew – surgery in progress.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I wish people could work more successfully as teams but I’m not sure that is the objective of companies or governments or even personal relationships. In this world of my way or the highway it’s becoming a lost art. Only winners and losers.

Sometimes I’m so discouraged in the world I’m leaving my children. And I’m disappointed in myself for not working harder to change it.


Random Thoughts of the Day

Feeling for an old friend who lost his wife.

I’m trying to eat right. More like right around every corner.

I’m trying remember how much a gift each day is. Kind of keeps my attitude in check.

I don’t know why the sound of a radical cam sounds so good.


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A Pause

Very sorry about being MIA for so long. It wasn’t intended, it just happened like life. A mixture of good and bad has kept me away from creating this last week. Going to turn it around this week. Going to get my camera out each day and open my eyes again. Also appreciate being out and about while I’m at it because each day each of us are healthy, it’s a wonderful day. Even the thought of going back to work and starting a new week at the job that pays the bills is exciting.

On the other side of the bridge in EC in 2014
Photo by Mike Hartley

The last few weekends have reminded me how lucky our family is. Two of my better half friends have children who are going through very rough medical issues. And also we are reminded by a couple of high-profile deaths that mental health is also a very important thing. I’ve struggled in the past with this myself. Luckily I finally found the right way to think about life, but it can still be difficult and challenging each day.

From 2014 before the first flood in EC.
Photo by Mike Hartley


Random Thoughts of the Day

I should let my better half know that if I took her for granted just one day that it was one day too many.

I’m finding things that good people are doing to keep me inspired to do my part.

You are blessed if your children are smarter than you. Luckily mine are much smarter and have avoided a lot of mistakes I made.

Just hearing your children’s voices is a special perk to a day.

I’m on a mission to try to stay happy.


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Taco Monday

A good way to start the week. Taco’s for dinner this evening. One of my favorite things. Simple and tasty. A somewhat productive day was had. The mower is working again and I’ll exercise it tomorrow. Still recovering from the wet weekend but the home is dry so I can’t complain. It was a wonderful weekend with family. And I’m still smiling about it so life is great to start the week.

Our City.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m proud of my effort today. My mind was stronger that the discomfort of the body. Didn’t think that was going to happen after the first few hours of the day. The frame was slow to unwind. Been trying to work on using my mind more to combat many things.


Random Thoughts of the Day

The front end of the lawn tractor gets heavier each time I pick it up.

I wish mother nature checked with me before adding a big trench to my back yard.

Maybe the President can disinvite the GSW team now and save the suspense. Of course they stand for the anthem, so I wonder what excuse that one will be?

I guess when Trump heard Philly fans booed Santa Claus he got worried.

But more importantly, I’m concentrating on the good things in life again.


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Power stepping

Its time to stop thinking about doing something and doing something.  Ah you may ask where this new-found motivation came from. Well today my better half convinced me I needed new swim trunks. She was right of course because when I put two pair on last year the elastic was shot. Good thing they had stout strings.

Stairmaster
Photo by MIke Hartley

Anyway, I found a suit, my better half insisted I try on 3. So off I go. Well of course I like the first one I picked. But none would hide the fact I’m a bit overweight. Not bad but I’ve looked better. I’d say for 2/3 of my 60 years I’ve been in good shape. The last 20, I’ve had no disapline and it shows.

And its to the point where just cutting back on sodas wouldn’t do enough. Yep I’m going to have to get my behind up and exercising. Also on a regular basis. So off I go to the treadmill.


Random Thoughts of the Day

Finding your significant other is one of the most important things in the world. You both having your health to enjoy it is second.

Missing and thinking of an old friend whose birthday was yesterday. I used to touch base with him that day always to remind him the Yankees were going to beat the O’s, regardless of what year it was and who was doing better. We could both take it as well as give it.  Well Big Pete, it looks like its going to be my year. Wishing you were here to punish and joke with. RIP Bob.

OK, I promise to pick up the camara today. And the Dremel tool. And I promise to write more.

I’ve scheduled a day of vacation for this coming week. Life is GOOD when you have vacation time.


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Quality of Life

I grew up in the southern part of Howard county for my first two decades of life. The last 3+ decades, I’ve lived in the northern part of the country. Part of what I am as an adult is based on a fair amount of time in and around Ellicott City. My in-laws live their. My dentist is on Main Street. I’ve worked in three buildings on Main Street.

There is no better place to cruise on a nice day than down Frederick road through Main Street and then down River road up through some back streets in Catonsville and then back again through town to and up New Cut road out to Montgomery road.

Shot this on Saturday morning around 7:30am. I’m going to try to remember the beauty I felt from the town that morning.
Photo by Mike Hartley

We go down to eat once in a while. I go there for early morning walks on occasion. My better half just go for a walk on a late summer afternoon and we check out many shops and of course snack at a few places. We walk the Trolley trail but always take a walk back into town. The festivals or Christmas time are wonderful.

I think about all the time I’ve spent standing around different streets looking at the streams winding in and out under the buildings and behind them. I think about playing ball at nights on those outdoor courts next to the old rec center/pool that is long gone. I can still hear the fire engines pulling out from the old firehouse where the Wine Bin is and those sirens just piercing my ears till they got out-of-town. I’ve even watched them fight fires in town.

I think about how my Mom loved that town. The shops were right up here alley. I think about the people who believed and saw something in the town they loved and staked their lives and in a lot of cases their life savings into a business or home.

And now these people are faced with the ultimate choice. Were these two flood events that are 1 in a 1000 year events (according to some unknown expert I’m told) were just a freak of nature and won’t happen again for another 2000 years and rebuild again and invest again or is it due to the building and land use around the town now that makes this event not just a possibility but a certainty again in the very short future. A horrible choice either way.

For selfish reasons I’d love to see this town make another comeback. It gives me a better quality of life. It gives me peace and pleasant memories. But then for the rest of my days here I’d worry that I’m going to see a heartbreaking replay of this again and maybe with more loss of life and financial tragedy and ruin for many.

I don’t know the answer yet. I’m going to give it thought. Unfortunately I think there are some hard truths and answers people won’t like when studies and recommendations for the future come forward. Because on the surface it looks like it would take a gazillion dollars to fix it or maybe some of it just won’t be rebuilt and the town will eventually become the spillway of the valley it seems to have become.

Either way, the next few years my quality of life is less with the loss of this town again.