Is Chicken Kyiv from Ukraine?

I was first introduced to Chicken Kyiv [Kiev] when I was in my 30’s. I associate it with special occasions. What is Chicken Kyiv and did it originate in the Ukraine?

cooked chicken with brown sauce and green vegetables on white ceramic plate
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What is Chicken Kyiv [Kiev]?

What is Chicken Kyiv? This dish is simply a pounded chicken fillet that is rolled around cold butter and coated with egg and bread crumbs. It can be fried or baked.

eiffel tower of paris
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Its Origin

I always assumed that Chicken Kyiv was created in Kyiv, Ukraine, but I recently learned that there is there is not documentation that proves that is the case.

The authentic recipe for Chicken Kyiv most likely originated from France.

In the late 1840s, the royalty of Russia sent chefs to Paris to learn. They returned from Paris with a dish called “Mikhailovska Cutlet”. In Paris the dish was made with veal, but in Moscow it was made with Chicken. Back then, chicken was more expensive than veal, and therefore, was considered to be more fancy.

Chicken Kyiv was served in elegant restaurants back then. American immigrants deserve credit for making this dish well known. After WWII, some American restaurants started putting this dish the menu. In order to attract Russian and Ukrainian immigrants it was renamed “Chicken Kiev [Kyiv]”.

This dish did not become common in Kyiv until tourists started asking for Chicken Kyiv in the late 1960s.

white ceramic mug with butter
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Authentic Chicken Kyiv

It is my understanding that the “official” Ukrainian version of the dish only has butter inside. Cooking to perfection includes ensuring that a small amount of butter is not melted inside. Cheese, garlic or parsley are not considered to be “authentic”.

The Ukrainian way of serving Chicken Kyiv is with a small bone sticking out (it keeps the butter inside).

So, the recipes below would likely not be considered authentic Chicken Kyiv [Kiev}, but they they still taste great!

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/01/29/170595236/classic-comfort-dish-chicken-kiev-got-its-start-in-france

Recipes

Support for Ukraine

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10566567/Coles-Woolworths-shoppers-urge-change-chicken-Kiev-Kyiv.html

About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

“F” is a 4 letter word for Fxxx! 👀

“F” is the 6th letter of the modern English language and basic Latin alphabets. The word I would like to explore is not the nasty version of the “four letter word” (the one that would get you in trouble with your mother if you said it in front of her as a child). It is also not the words “fact”, “fame”, “fast”, “fall” or “fart”.

The word I am thinking of is one that was extremely popular in the United States around 1924 and remained very popular until 1955. It is a word that was extremely popular in the UK before the 1920’s and through 1934, and it reemerged in popularity again for a short time during 2012.

What word could that be? It is the name “Fred”!

He or She?

“Fred” as a name is of German origin. It means “peaceful ruler”. While most popular as a male/boy name, “Fred” is considered a unisex – gender neutral name. Fred is a form of the female names Alfreda, Freda, Frederica and Winifred. As for the male’s, Fred is a form of Fred, Frederick, Frederico, Freddy, Fredek, Frederich, Freed, and Fryderyk.

Famous Real People “Freds”

There are several famous people named “Fred” in the world. My favorite “Fred” is Fred Rogers of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”. As a child I watched him often on television and it always felt like he was talking just to me. He reminded me that if you can be anything in this word you should “be kind”. Mr. Rogers told me that I was special just the way I am. In addition, he pointed out that when bad things happen look for the helpers. I can truly say that I love him and I have never met him. Crazy huh?

Another famous “Fred” is Fred Astaire, born On May 10, 1899 in Omaha, Nebraska as Frederick Austerlitz. He was an American actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, and television personality. Some people consider him to be one of the greatest dancers in the history of film.

A few other famous “Freds” include:

  1. Fred Armisen, Cast member on “Saturday Night Live” for 11 years (2002-2013)
  2. Fred Savage, Played Kevin Arnold in the American television series “The Wonder Years”
  3. Fred Durst, Frontman of Limp Bizkit (rap rock band)
  4. Fred Willard, Played role in “This is Spinal Tap” (Rob Reiner mockumentary film)
  5. Fred Dryer, NFL football player, actor and radio host
  6. Fred Gwynne, Roles in 1960s sitcoms “Car 54, Where Are You?” and “The Munsters” (Herman Munster)
  7. Fred McGriff, MLB first baseman
  8. Fred Grandy, Played “Gopher” in the sitcom “The Love Boat” and served in the US House of Representatives
  9. Fred Brown, Professional basketball play with the nickname of “Downtown Freddie Brown”
  10. Fred Couples, American golfer, played on the PGA Tour
Fred Gwynne, Play Herman in the 1960’s Sitcom, “The Munsters”

Famous Fictional “Freds”

  1. Fred Jones from the cartoon series “Scooby Doo”
  2. Fred Weasley from “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
  3. Fred Flinstone from the cartoon series “The Flinstones”
  4. Freddy Krueger from “Freddy’s Nightmares”
  5. Fred (an animated vehicle) in the movie “Cars”
  6. Freddy Rumsen in “Mad Men”
  7. Fred from “Sponge Bob Square Plants”
  8. “Imaginary Fred”, book by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers
  9. Fred from “Big Hero 6”
  10. Coconut Fred from “Fruit Salad Island”
Fred Jones from “Scooby Doo
Fred Flinstone from “The Flinstones
Fred from the movie “Cars”
Fred from “Sponge Bob Square Pants
Fred from “Big Hero 6”
Coconut Fred from “Fruit Salad Island”

Who are your favorite “Freds” – non-fictional or fictional?

https://www.ranker.com/list/famous-people-named-fred/celebrity-lists

https://www.babynamespedia.com/meaning/Fred/f#:~:text=The%20baby%20girl,Freda%2C%20and%20Freddee.

https://nameberry.com/babyname/fred

https://myfirstname.rocks/baby-names/fred#:~:text=Is%20The%20Name%20Fred%20Popular,data%20(ssa.gov).

http://www.babynamescience.com/baby-name/Fred-boy

https://www.names.org/n/fred/about

https://www.ukbabynames.com/boys/fred

About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

“E” is for Exxxxxx!👀

Here is a riddle for you…

What green thing starts with the letter “E” and is 2 inches long?

What is green, starts with the letter “E”, is high in fiber and protein, rich in several vitamins and minerals and delicious?

What green thing starts with the letter “E”, reduces cholesterol and bone loss, as well as certain types of cancers?

Magical?

Any guesses?

question mark on chalk board
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The answer is … “E” is for Edamame!👀

What is Edamame?

Edamame is pronounced ed-ah-MAH-may. It is basically a young, hairy soy bean.

Edamame is picked when it is green and not fully mature. This is why they are so sweet and tender. Some say they taste like a sweet pea (or snow pea), with a bit of hazelnut. 

The edamame pods have been popular in Asia for centuries. Most people in the United States that know edamame were introduced to it in a Japanese restaurant.

green edamame plant
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Where is Edamame Grown?

If one looks solely at soy bean production, the United States was the world’s top soy bean producer for many years. In 2020 Brazil took over that title from the United States.

Close to 95% of edamame is imported from China to the United States. It has been a very strong, established industry in Asia for more than 30 years. While the United States produces a very small amount of the edamame for domestic consumption, Arkansas has emerged as its leading edamame producer.

person pouring seasoning on green beans on bowl
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Health Benefits

As mentioned in the introduction, Edamame is a healthy food.

It is high in fiber and protein (over 18 grams of protein). Edamame is also low in fats, carbs and calories. A cup of edamame is only about 180 calories.

Several studies have linked edamame to bone health, blood health and heart health. In addition, some feel that it reduces the risk of breast and prostrate cancer.

Recipes

How does one prepare edamame? A quick search on the internet will easily get you many recipes to consider.

A common way to prepare edamame is boiled/ steamed and seasoned. But, you will find a variety of recipes out there. It is a very delicious and it is clear why it is a popular appetizer / snack. I have included a recipe created by Caroline Phelps below. You will also find a link to her site called “The Pickled Plum”.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/soybeans#nutrition

https://www.ricardocuisine.com/en/articles/the-ingredient/780-5-facts-about-edamame

https://www.verywellfit.com/edamame-nutrition-facts-4583022

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-secret-of-edamame

https://www.kobejones.com.au/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-humble-edamame-bean/

About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

“Drive My Car” – Legally?

In the United States some parents (including me) have told their children “Driving is not a right, it is a privilege”. I recently learned that this slogan is debatable, and has been brought to the U.S. Supreme Court for review.

I would imagine that there are various opinions about driving being a “right” versus a “privilege” vary widely throughout the world. Until June 2018, Saudi Arabia was the only country that did not allow women to drive.

The most common legal driving age among countries is age 18. The Bahamas, Canada, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe have the lowest driving age (17 or younger).

pexels-photo-210019.jpeg
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Easy Peezie”

According to Vroom, Vroom, Vroom, Mexico is one of the easiest countries to obtain a driver’s license because you don’t need to take an exam. Honduras is also known for its ease of becoming a driver, also because some say you do not need to take a written or driving test. Reputations for the ease of getting a license also belong to the Philippines, South Korea, Pakistan, Egypt and India.

active man jumping over rocky formations
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Most Challenging

Vroom, Vroom, Vroom also reports that it is most challenging to obtain your driver’s license in the United Kingdom, Finland, Singapore, Japan, South Africa, Germany and Saudi Arabia. The reason it is so challenging to earn your license in these countries is because these countries have extensive requirements and/or they are very strict about doing certain things “per the book”.

For example, in Japan if you exceed a certain speed you fail immediately. In South Africa you need to perform well at parallel parking and alley docking in order to pass your test. In Germany if you do not pass your behind the wheel test after three tries you must enroll again in Fahrschule (driving school). Finally, in Saudi Arabia your license is valid for 10 years and then you need to retake the test.

https://www.stressfreecarrental.com/en/australia/minimum-driving-ages-mapped-across-the-world

https://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/49004/cars/is_the_legal_driving_age_the_same_for_all_countries.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_to_drive_movement#:~:text=Until%20June%202018%2C%20Saudi%20Arabia,forbidden%20from%20driving%20motor%20vehicles.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/24/world/middleeast/saudi-driving-ban-anniversary.html

https://blog.vroomvroomvroom.com/

https://blog.vroomvroomvroom.com/2018/04/hardest-drivers-license-test.html#gsc.tab=0

blue volkswagen beetle
Photo by Fredrik Rubensson on Pexels.com

About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

Frivolous Friday – How “German” is German Chocolate Cake?

With all the seriousness in our world right now I thought it would be refreshing to take a moment for a “Frivolous Friday Fun Fact Journey”. I am very interested in almost everything German, so lets look into the German Chocolate Cake.

Originally German’s chocolate cake, is a layered chocolate cake filled and topped with a coconutpecan frosting. How “German” is German Chocolate Cake?

The German Chocolate Cake has been a “thing” for over 60 years. Because of its name, I always assumed this recipe hailed from Germany. It turns out that with this assumption I have reinforced Albert Einstein’s intelligence and how right he was about many things – including assumptions. He said, “Assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong.” This is so true!

Image of German Chocolate Cake (Source: https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/german-chocolate-cake/)

Origin of German Chocolate Cake

A gentleman by the name of Sam German, an American or English decent, invented a sweet baking chocolate in 1852. His baking chocolate contained more sugar than other baking chocolates. Walter Baker, the owner of Baker’s Chocolate Company bout the recipe from German for $1,000 and sold it as “Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate”.

It took over 100 years from the time Sam German invented his sweet baking chocolate for it to become well-known. Thanks to Mrs. George Clay, who sent her cake recipe to the Dallas Morning Star newspaper in 1957 the German Chocolate Cake became a “thing” . She orginally called the recipe German’s Chocolate Cake, but over time the apostrophe was not used. Her recipe became very popular. The recipe was published in several newspapers across the company, and Baker’s Chocolate Company’s German’s Chocolate sales skyrocketed in just one year.

Seven years later, in 1964, Baker’s Chocolate Company included Mrs. Clay’s recipe for German Chocolate Cake on the wrapper. Today Baker’s Chocolate products.

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/is-german-chocolate-cake-from-germany#:~:text=George%20Clay%20Created%20the%20Recipe,using%20Baker’s%20German’s%20Sweet%20Chocolate.

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11331541#:~:text=Transcript-,This%20year%20marks%20the%2050th%20anniversary%20of%20the%20German%20chocolate,depending%20on%20what%20you%20read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker%27s_Chocolate#:~:text=Baker’s%20Chocolate%20is%20a%20brand,chocolate%20in%20the%20United%20States.

https://www.10best.com/interests/food-culture/german-chocolate-cakes-dirty-little-secret-its-actually-from-texas/

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/163175374/posts/1128

https://wordpress.com/post/lifeisprecious.blog/2111

An American Dessert – Not German

So, again, I learn at least 1 thing new everyday…today I learn that German Chocolate Cake is an American dessert, not a German dessert. I read that I am not the only one to make this mistake, and history notes that even President Lyndon B. Johnson, and his wife, Ladybird Johnson, made my mistake. Back in 1963 they served German Chocolate Cake to German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard at a state dinner because they thought it was a German dessert.

Don’t forget….June 11th is National German Chocolate Cake Day in America.

The Recipe

It is safe to say, after searching the internet for German Chocolate Cake recipies, there are hundreds (and maybe thousands or more) of recipies for this cake. They each vary slightly from one another. I wanted to find the “original” recipe. I don’t think I actually found the “original” recipe, but found many that claim that status.

https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/german-chocolate-cake/

About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

Kxxx or Kxxx? K is for Kxxx?👀

To be or not to be? That is the question! To spell it Kxxx or Kxxx?

closeup photo of assorted color alphabets
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

How should one spell the capital ciry of Ukraine? Is it Kiev or Kyiv? Why?

The Answer Is……………………………….

Kyiv

The link the the Time Magazine (Time.com) article below can explain much more, but at a high level, the spelling “Kiev” is the way the Russian’s translate it from their Cyrillic (Russian) alphabet to the Latin alphabet. Ukrainians changed their official city spelling in the Latin alphabet to Kyiv.

This is because they feel that using the Ruaaian spelling reinforces what Ukrainians believe is the Russian government’s condescending view of Ukraine. They do not want others to fall into the “Russian frame of mind” as quoted by Taylor in the Time.com atricle.

black typewriter
Photo by Valerio Errani on Pexels.com

Ukraine (with out the “the”): https://wp.me/paEFjB-Aq

Difference Betweeen Ukraine & Russia’s Alphabets

According the Babbel.com (link below) both of the alphabets consist of 33 letters and are Cyrillic.Ukraine does not use the Russian letters Ёё, ъ, ы and Ээ. Ukraine has Ґґ, Єє, Іі and Її. How certain words and letters are pronounced also varies, for example И in Russian is pronounced like [ee] in the words “seed” or “meet”. In Ukrainian “И” has a short [i] sound (“kill” or “live).

Also interesting is the fact that words written the same between the 2 languages could mean totally different things. The Babbel article uses the example of ” приклад which means “rifle butt” in Russian, while Ukrainian it means “example.”

https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/differences-russian-ukrainian

motherland monument among green trees on embankment in kiev
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Ukraine without “The” ?

I have to thank my cousin, Cher, for pointing out my recent “faux pas”. I learn something new everyday, and she taught me how to refer to Ukraine in a more respectful way. Thanks Cuz!

neon signage
Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

Respectful – “Please Call Me…”

Most of us want to be respectful to individual preferences, especially when it is associated with their name. Many of us have “preferred first names” – “instead of Jim, please call me James”, “instead of Susan, please call me Suzie”, etc. Our society is becoming more knowledgeable about the importance of gender pronouns and how hurtful using the wrong one may be to someone. I am learning the word “the”, an article which is frequently used in the English language to define a noun, is not to be used iin reference to Ukraine: “instead of the Ukraine, please call me Ukraine”.

the national flag of ukraine by the arc de triomphe in paris
Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding on Pexels.com

Love For Ukraine: https://wp.me/paEFjB-zZ

Why Nix The Word “The”?

Why? Why should the little 3 letter word “the” not be used in reference to Ukraine? I have provided a Time Magazine (Time.com https://time.com/) link that explains why Ukraine should be referred to without “the”. https://time.com/12597/the-ukraine-or-ukraine/

In summary, Ukrainians prefer that we refer to their country as Ukraine (without “the”) because it is a deliberate exclusion to emphasize their independence. Before their indpendence the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was their official name. Dropping “the” is a way to send a message that they are an independent country. Tamara Gallo Olexy, of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, said: “We correct anybody that we’re speaking to,”… “It’s this feeling that you’re part of another country, that you are a territory of somebody else.”

https://www.britannica.com/place/Ukraine

a person wrapped in the national flag of ukraine
Photo by Ahmed on Pexels.com

Remember…

So, especially during this time that Ukraine is fighting to maintain its status as an independent country lets remember it is Ukraine (NOT the Ukraine).

Ukraine

Slava Ukraini! https://wp.me/paEFjB-z2

paper flag with peace sign
Photo by Santiago Sauceda González on Pexels.com

Ukraine’s National Anthem

A national anthem is a musical composition of a patriotic nature that symbolizes the history and traditions of a nation. The words and music combine as a shared pride, strength and sense of unity.

We are all holding the Ukraine at the top of our minds and close in our hearts. This war that Russia is forcing onto the people of the Ukraine is horrible. On Facebook this morning I saw a post that said “If Russia stops fighting the war ends. If the Ukraine stops fighting then the Ukraine ends.” So true. It all makes me feel so sad.

a kid protesting against the war in ukraine
Stop War in the Ukraine. Sign held by a Ukranian child. The wisdom of children is great. Photo by Matti on Pexels.com

The History and Origin of Ukraine’s National Anthem

The national anthem of the Ukraine was formally adopted less than 30 years ago. It was adopted after the Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. It is known as the “State Anthem of Ukraine”, but also as Shche ne vmerla Ukraina’, which translates into English as ‘Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished’. The melody of today was officially accepted by Ukraine’s parliament in 1992. The lyrics are from Pavlo Chubynsky’s patriotic poem, which originated in the 19th century and was titled “Ukrain Is Not Dead Yet”. The music set to the poem for the anthem was composed by Mykhailo Verbytsky.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlo_Chubynsky

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mykhailo_Verbytsky

hands holding a no war sign
No More War: Photo by Santiago Sauceda González on Pexels.com

The Lyrics, The Tune, The Heart

The lyrics of the anthem remain relevant today, especially as the Ukrainian people do their best to fight back Russia’s attack on their nation.

The Ukrainian National Anthem’s lyrics, translated into English:

Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished

Ukraine is not yet dead, nor its glory and freedom,
Luck will still smile on us brother-Ukrainians.
Our enemies will die, as the dew does in the sunshine,
and we, too, brothers, we’ll live happily in our land

We’ll not spare either our souls or bodies to get freedom
and we’ll prove that we brothers are of Kozak kin.

Beautiful violin music – the melody of the Ukranian National Anthem. https://www.youtube.com/

https://www.youtube.com/

https://www.youtube.com/

https://www.youtube.com/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/ushome/index.html

The Ukrainian National Anthem in Ukraine is:

Shche ne vmerla Ukrainas

Ще не вмерла України і слава, і воля,
Ще нам, браття молодії, усміхнеться доля.
Згинуть наші воріженьки, як роса на сонці.
Запануєм і ми, браття, у своїй сторонці.

Душу й тіло ми положим за нашу свободу,
І покажем, що ми, браття, козацького роду.

Protests in New York City

Praying for Peace & Freedom for the Ukraine

peace word carved in wood
“Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me….”
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

D is for Gxxxxxx!👀

It is magical! It is a mystery! It is true! If you don’t know this already you are about to learn something new. How can D be for Gxxxxxx?

D is for Deutschland, or Germany in English.

According to Babbel Magazine, https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/why-is-germany-called-deutschland, the word Deutschland has been used by Germans to refer to their country since the eight century. The word “deutsch” means “of the people” and the word “land” means land. So Deutschland literally means “the people’s land”. Pretty cool, huh?

Schwarzwald (Black Forest), Germany

For some reason, I have always been fascinated by Deutschland (Germany). Perhaps it is because some of my ancestors hail from Deutschland, or that it was the one foreign language my small town school offered and I first learned or maybe it is because I love to dance and I love to dance to Polka music.

Schwarzwald (Black Forest), Germany

I have only visited Deutschland once. It was a wonderful trip that went way too fast. During that trip spent time in der Schwarzwald (the Black Forest), on the Rhein (Rhine River), Heidelberg and a day in Köln (Cologne). I would go back again in a heartbeat, and hope to see more of the beautiful country of Deutschland very soon.

Heidelberg, Germany

https://www.tripsavvy.com/guide-to-the-black-forest-4775203

http://www.loreley-info.com/eng/rhein-river.php

https://www.germany.travel/en/cities-culture/heidelberg.html

https://www.cologne-tourism.com/https://theplanetd.com/facts-about-germany/

https://theplanetd.com/facts-about-germany/

https://takelessons.com/blog/fun-facts-about-germany-z12

Merchandise sold in a little inner city market.

A Few Facts About German

👀Germans are the second largest beer consumers in the world, after the Irish (of course).

👀Gummy bears candies were invented by a German. https://www.haribo.com/en-us/products/goldbears

👀There are 1,000 kinds of sausages in Germany.

👀Germany has the world’s largest cathedral (in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)

👀Germany has thousands Of unexploded bombs (from WWII)

👀Germany’s beer drinking age is 16 (but you must be 18 years old to drink spirits)

👀Germany has more than 400 zoos

👀1/3rd of Germany is forests

👀1/3rd of Germany is powered by renewable energy (solar & windmills)

Köln (Cologne) Cathedral, Köln (Cologne), Germany
Rhein River, Germany

About Me

A very happy “me” in the Schwarzwald, Germany

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

C is for … Cxxxxxx!👀

In the great words of Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster: “C is for Cookie that is good enough for me!”

Many Meanings

C is for Cookies! Even a simple word like cookie can have so many different meanings. Life cannot be too simple, right?

For example, the word “Cookie” can be a term of endearment or affection (a synonym for dear or sweetheart). It might be used as a slang word for descibing the character of a person, i.e. “tough cookie” or “smart cookie”. Or, sometimes it is cused to refer to a very attractive woman, i.e.”French cookie”. And then there is the meaning technology gave the word cookie…the cookies that are files or part of files on your computer that read information and contain personal information about the user. A cookie helps a site remember information about your visit and makes it easier for a user to visit that site again. Finally, there is the fun game called Clicker Cookie https://cookie-clicker.co/.

Now, the older I get the more I realize, even the most useful and innocent of terms can also be repurposed by creative humans into “adult only” type meanings, i.e. a name for female genitalia or a euphemism for a woman giving sex to a man.

https://youtu.be/Ye8mB6VsUHw

Call me old fashioned, but my all time favorite definition of “cookie” remains its original meaning: a small sweet cake, typically round and flat and having a crisp or chewy texture. Namely, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, shortbread, butter cookies, sugar cookies, molasses cookies, …… Russian tea cakes, spritz cookies, lebkuchen, etc. Or, even boutique cookies from Crumble Cookies https://crumblcookies.com// or Insomnia Cookies https://insomniacookies.com/menu or Cheryl’s Cookies https://www.cheryls.com/?r=ccogoobr&camid=472_13888062125_kwd-320264619058&g_acctid=3079168627&g_campaignid=13888062125&g_adgroupid=125666000838&g_adid=546325377086&gclid=Cj0KCQiApL2QBhC8ARIsAGMm-KGlJ3-ic6ChE4OHg3bC_ZEW-kAWFPZswWkS281wWf4l2l3O2ad7VvcaAqstEALw_wcB or a Minnesota State Fair favorite, Sweet Martha’s Cookies https://www.sweetmarthas.com/.

All these are the kind “cookie” the Cookie Monster and I love!

Different Languages Sharing the Same Word, Same Spelling and Same Meaning

Something very interesting about the word “Cookie” is that this word, including its spelling, is shared by over 15 different languages including: English, Czech, Danish, Luxembourgis, Maltese, Norweigen, Tatar, Georgian, Burmese (Myanmar), Uzbek, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Shona, Somali, Cebuano, Filipino, Javanese, Maly and Sudanese. https://www.indifferentlanguages.com/words/cookie#region-6


About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

B is for … “Xxxx B”…. 👀

man sitting on chair beside dining table

B is for “Plan B”! What is “Plan B”? Well, like most things in life it can be multiple things. “Plan B” is another term for “The Morning After Pill”, an emergency form of post sex contraception https://planb.ca/en/what-is-plan-b . But, I am not talking about that “Plan B”.

The “Plan B” I am talking about is the one defined in Merriam Webster’s on-line dictionary

Plan B (noun): an alternative plan of action for use if the original plan should fail

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plan%20B#:~:text=Definition%20of%20plan%20B,the%20original%20plan%20should%20fail

We have all had to go to our “Plan B” at some point in life – some are little “Plan B’s” and some are HUGE “Plan B’s”. Sometimes our “Plan B” takes us to wonderful places we never imagined we would go! And sometimes “Plan B” gets us back to our “Plan A”, just a slightly different way than originally planned. It is important to remember that “Plan B’s” are not stop signs or road blocks, they are, as stated in the dictionary, alternative plans fo action.

In my life sometimes I draft my “Plan B’s” as an insurance policy before I need to put them into action, and sometimes I have had to just stop and develop my next plan as I needed it. The important this is you get yourself one [a “Plan B”] when needed.

As I said, sometimes your “Plan B” will bring you down roads you never imagined you would go down and bring you to places more beautiful than you ever imagined. I thank by “Plan B’s” for introducing me to my wonderful husband, bringing me my beautiful daughter and son, presenting me with the opportunity to live in South Africa for a year, discovering a new restaurant, meeting new friends, etc….. I could go on and on and on with the gifts I received thanks to my “Plan Bs”.

How about you? What wonderful things came to you as a result of you following “Plan B”?

Life is All About How You Handle Plan B. - Life.Simple.Perspective

I found an interesting perspective from a blogger and author by the name of Allison Fallon. She shares 13 Lessons from a Life that Did Not Go as Planned https://allisonfallon.com/did-not-go-as-planned/.

Hardcover Life Is All about How You Handle Plan B Book

Suzy Toronto writes about how to handle the “Plan B”s in our lives. She does it in a fun and comforting way.

https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/life-is-all-about-how-you-handle-plan-b_suzy-toronto/9646247/item/12581475/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA3rKQBhCNARIsACUEW_bXc_JOmxgZMteZXe3O7v-a5vBFd-D-XeePAxWE2ARHadfXYQ44kIgaAup-EALw_wcB#idiq=12581475&edition=9047761


About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

“A” is For … Axxxxx!👀

In some ways, life is very simple…as simple as the “A, B, C’s”.

A is for … Apples!

Besides being delicious, there is lots of meaning and symbolism represented by apples. Apples can be given to a a teacher as a jesture of appreciation or respect. Offering an apple can also be a declaration of love.  In ancient mythology, the apple is one of the most sacred trees and symbolises good health and happiness. Apples are a symbol in a dream, indicating harmony, fertility, pleasure and sexual desire. An apple can also represent youth or immortality. In the biblical tradition the apple is considered to be an image of paradise, a symbol of joy, or in the biblical story of Adam and Eve – sin.

Today my image and thoughts are inspired by the wisdom of children and Robert Fulghum, the author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. In addition to learning our “A, B, C’s” and “A is for Apple”, Fulghum reminds us…

“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):

1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don’t hit people.
4. Put things back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
9. Flush.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten


About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

Sharing The Good Work of Others – Control Your Thoughts … White Bear and Blue Dolphin?

How can we control our negative thoughts? A piece written by Inc.com’s Justin Bariso (see link below) has ideas as to how to gain control of how long thoughts, especially negative ones, stay at top of mind. I love the tags they have given these thoughts: White Bear Problem and The Blue Dolphin Rule.

The White Bear Problem refers to when we tell ourselves, or others tell us, not to think about something. It turns out that this increases the frequency of such thoughts. For example, if someone says “Don‘t think about the white bear.“, you most likely will have a difficult time getting the white bear to leave your thoughts. Or, if someone says “Don‘t be nervous.“, your anxiety will remain, and often increase.

Conversely, the Blue Dolphin Rule refers to trying to replace an uwanted thought with a new thought, a distraction thought. This is very effective in making unwanted thoughts go away. This reminds me of the movie, The Sound of Music. and the song “My Favorite Things”. “If I simply remember my favorite things then I don’t feel so bad….”

https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/emotional-intelligence-ironic-process-theory-white-bear-how-to-control-thoughts.html

Well, I am going to give it a try! I think it may work.


About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

Sparks of Joy! New Phone Wallpaper!


Life is precious! There are so many things in our life that bring us a spark of joy. This talented artist is one of them.

I just bought an awesome February phone/iPad wallpaper graphic from this shop. Only $1! There are lots of other super cute things too. I recommend you check it out!

https://ummmheather.com/

About Me

Another spark of joy…my hubby


Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

Throw Back-Thursday

Go back, go back, go wayyyyyyyyyyy back!

Remembering my grandparents playing piano together before leaving their wedding anniversary celebration with family. True love lasts forever!

About Me

Me and my Dad
Black and White Photo Booth Days

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

Ummmheather – My Niece!

I am very proud to say Heather is my niece…She is super talented,creative, smart, kind, and beautiful. I recommend you check our her YouTube channel, her other social accounts and store.

Wordle…Wordle…Wordle…It is so Fun!

I have come to the newest internet word game craze late. I tried Wordle for the first time a couple days ago. It is fun! Now that the New York Times acquired this viral puzzle game, I am not certain it will still be available me in the future, BUT I plan to enjoy it daily until then.

I and many share the same words sentiments about this game “It is so fun!”. I am wondering what makes it fun from so many of us. Pehaps is it because:

  1. Scarcity/Rare – Only 1 chance a day; Only a limited number of tries
  2. Limited time commitment
  3. Ability to share successes with others easily
  4. Similar to a jigsaw puzzle, only with letters
  5. Helps us remember that we are smart – we know stuff
  6. Required focus, and in a world that demands multi-tasking all day long that can feel refreshing and good

The famous puzzle company Ravensburger sites studies about puzzles making us happy.

https://www.ravensburger.org/uk/discover/family-friends/why-doing-puzzles-makes-you-happy/index.html#:~:text=But%20psychology%20is%20aware%20of,we%20achieve%20the%20perfect%20balance.

Ravensburger sites Dr. Stephen Lermer, a Communications Psychologist, “We humans feel stressed if we have a task that we don’t succeed at and are bored if we are competent at something but have no task,” … “By doing puzzles, we achieve the perfect balance. It is where competence meets challenge. It means we have a task that we are capable of doing, but are not sure how long we need to complete it and whether we will be successful at it, on the first try. That is the charm of doing a puzzle.” 

https://www.cnet.com/tech/gaming/thank-you-wordle-its-been-fun/

So, I guess I need to be reminded that all types of puzzles and challenges bring us joy and Wordle won’t be the last little quick fun puzzle game that will cross my path.

Looking for ideas for my next “Wordle Type” adventure. Please share!


About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

Put On A Happy Face!

Studies show that smiling is great for your health!

https://www.sclhealth.org/blog/2019/06/the-real-health-benefits-of-smiling-and-laughing/#:~:text=When%20you%20smile%2C%20your%20brain,endorphins%20come%20into%20play%20too.&text=There’s%20been%20some%20evidence%20that,your%20mood%20and%20happiness%20level.

About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

Sharing the Good Work of Others: World Snow Sculpting Championship

Snow sculptors are amazing. This is in Stillwater, Minnesota.

Photos courtesy of @discoverstillwater, Stillwater Chamber of Commerce.

Sharing the Good Work of Others: Art Shanty Projects

One of my favorite Twin Cities, Minnesota events is Art Shanty Projects. It is a celebration of art and creativity on a frozen Minnesota lake. For the past few years it has taken place on Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. In this post I have included a link to their website and some picture from my past visits. It is so much fun!

Visit

About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?

Hearts – My Favorite Shape

The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart. – Helen Keller

Widely recognized as a symbol for love, affection and caring, the heart shape has always been a shape I have found endearing. How this shape got to be associated with all these good things is somewhat of a mystery and its origins and history has many potential stories. Varied theories associated with the origin of the heart shape abound. Today it is one of the most used emojies.

https://www.history.com/news/what-is-the-origin-of-the-heart-symbol

https://www.artandobject.com/news/history-heart-shape

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_symbol

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. – Confucius

“The heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
It is quite rightly quoted “You are not rich until you have a rich heart.” – Roy T Bennett.
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with those who are reckless with yours.”Mary Schmich
“A good heart ‘is worth gold.” – William Shakespeare
“If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.” –  Maya Angelou
Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
“A great smile is a wonderful asset, but a good heart is pure gold.” – Dolly Parton

About Me

Life is precious, capture its beauty. I am lucky to have a loving family, and wonderful friends. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, patient days and crabby days, beautiful days and ugly days, etc. I try to “hold the bright side up” as much as I can because it makes me feel better, and I think it helps others feel better too. I am so far from perfect, but I try to be kind and respectful. I truly believe that life is precious and that there are so many extraordinary ordinary people and moments in life. I want to share and celebrate the “extraordinary ordinary” through my writing and photography. Please check out my photos at Fine Art America Photography https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/35-laura-smith; at Adobe Stock at https://stock.adobe.com/contributor/207669601/Laura%20Jean%20Smith or at Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/LauraJSmith. Perhaps you will find something you would like to have as your own?