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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Snowy Egret's Reflections

"Our power lies in our small daily choices, one after another,
 to create eternal ripples of a life well lived."
~Mollie Marti

I revisited my favorite Snowy Egret family. I love these birds so much. When they fly they look like angels just floating along, and when they finally settle down to do a little fishing, they seem to walk along almost like they walk on water!
They are amazingly graceful.
 Such beautiful, beautiful birds!

The Leaf Of The Day
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014


Mood: Happy

Me :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Look Back At September 2014...

"Do you remember, the 21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away
Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing
As we danced in the night
Remember how the stars stole the night away."

Earth, Wind & Fire, September

It's the last day of September, which means it's time to take a look back...

September 2014

There's a lot to look forward to in October!

1. The Rocketboat
2. Our yearly ride on the Ducks amphibious vehicle
3. A Beautiful new beach in Marin County
4. The Mill Valley Film Festival
5. Apple Hill
6. Pacific Grove Monarch Sanctuary
7. The Punchline Comedy Club
8. Pier 39 Fireworks
9. Halloween
10. Assorted new Public Art
11. Wine Country... Napa, Sonoma, Glen Ellen
12. Madam Tussauds Wax Museum
13. A movie or two.
14. Pumpkin Picking in Half Moon Bay, and throughout the Bay Area
15 Assorted Farmer's Markets
16. The testing of new recipes
17. Leaf Peeping
18. The Chabot Space & Science Center Laser Show

And you never know what else, or who else might make an appearance!



Mood: HAPPY :)

~Me :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Leafy Goodness...

"Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul... but I must confess that I love you only because you are a prelude to my beloved October."

 ~Peggy Toney Horton

This is the last regular post of September, and it is also the first post during my vacation! I will be doing my usual monthly retrospective tomorrow, but beginning with Wednesday's post I will be bring you a look at what Alan and I will be up to!
Stay Tuned!

And now, here is Monday's leaf...


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Of Boots And Birkins

"One must always have one's boots on and be ready to go."

~Michel de Montaigne

Okay, so, as of 6:00 am, Monday morning, Alan and I will officially be on vacation. We will be celebrating October, and our anniversary, and autumn goodness until November 8th. It's nice of have a month together, give or take, to just decompress from things. This past year has been stressful. While some things got a lot easier, like Donny and Nina moving off the property, other life events happened to make even good times seem like a struggle. First a good friend took his own life, and just as I was getting back to seeing the light again, one of my favorite humans ever, Robin Williams also committed suicide. I have been walking around, feeling like someone is continually kicking me in the stomach. 

And add in the world events... war in the Middle East, a airplane full of people disappearing, another one crashes due to being shot down over a war zone, shootings of unarmed children, blah, blah, blah... after a while if I wasn't feeling completely numb, I was paralysed with pain. I am okay now, I am doing what I know works the best for bringing me out of my own self imposed solitude. I am taking new photos, even if it is of the cats, or a bowl of candy. Every single day requires a new step forward, and no one can take that step for me, a fact that all depressed people come to realize and hopefully accept in their path the self healing. 

So, moving forward I have been in full vacation planning for about a month now. Alan is a wonderful man, who for some strange reason thinks I am "the best thing that ever happened to him." His words. Silly man. Just for him, I want this to be an amazing vacation, and I know if he is having a good time, his joy will rub off onto me, as it has so many times in the past. Like P!nk says in that song, "You gotta try try try." She's right. Spending time together is my best medicine. 

In that I know there will be a lot of coming and going, I have picked out a few new wardrobe items for Fall. A couple new sweaters and blouses. Two new skirts. My awesome new Rampage slouchy boots... in several different colors... a bargain steal from Groupon, and I found two terrific new purses, also from Groupon. All together, 3 new outfits 4 new pairs of shoes/boots and 2 new purses for under $100.00! I am proud of that! 

Now if I can just get the first of those purses actually delivered, that would also be amazing! You see, I ordered the first purse in early September. A gorgeous Luna Moon, vegan, Birkin knockoff, in a lovely shade of green. It should have been delivered within 2 weeks. When it wasn't, I contacted Groupon, who said it should be processed and mailed out soon. Within two days, I got an email from them saying it was on it's way! Excellent! I tracked it through 4 states and 6 processioning centers, only to get the dreaded messages that all UPS customers hate to see in their in-boxes... the dreaded EXCEPTION email that basically means there is a problem delivering your package, or in my case, purse.

Now, how a package, or a purse, can make it through all those processing centers, only to be held up, and then rejected by the final point of destination, is completely beyond me. According to UPS tracking service, my purse was loaded on a truck and drove all around Berkeley, but never quite made it to my front door. And it's the weekend, so Groupon isn't around to tell me what to do. Sheesh. I know a $30.00 purse isn't something to be all that concerned over, but I am, I think, because I really tried to budget things in such a way that I wouldn't break my own personal bank, in order to dress nicely on vacation, and now the stress of this situation has spilled over into Monday, which is day one of that very same vacation!
 I guess I should be happy that the purse I ordered isn't an actual Birkin. If it was, I would be worrying about a purse that costs $17,500! LOL. Honestly, I would never pay that amount for a purse, even if I had an endless amount of funds at my disposal. It's a purse! And besides, the Kardashian's seem to have cornered the market on Birkins. So really, I ask you, would I wanna plant down that much money to dress like a Kardashian? Ummm... nope! So why did I want this Birkin knockoff so bad? Well, because it was a lot like the Birkin that Jasmine French, played by Cate Blanchette, carried around San Francisco in the movie, Blue Jasmine. 

Yep. I found a way to bring Woody Allen into the situation. And yes, after over 2 years, I am still completely obsessed with all things Blue Jasmine, but especially Jasmine's wardrobe in the movie. It was beautiful, right down to that awesome Birkin. It's okay if my Groupon Birkin knockoff only cost $30.00, it may not be the real Hermes bag, but I love it all the same. It's just as stylish, and look at the gorgeous earthy green color, it's just perfect for my autumn wardrobe. Now, I just hope it gets here one day. Hopefully before spring. 

 I will share about the second purse I ordered in a different post.
Assuming it comes one day.

One day my purse will come...

Hey, at least I have my boots!
In purple, and black, and brown, and gray, and taupe...

Leaf Of The Day...

By the way, the entire wardrobe budget for the film, Blue Jasmine, was $35,000. It fascinates me that Woody Allen, and Suzy Benzinger, were able to pull off the movie for that amount. The clothes were perfect! And in a way, the wardrobe was an important co-star in telling that story. When the local casting calls went out for extras for the Marin County party scene, potential day actors were asked to come to the casting call, in upscale clothing for an elegant Marin County party. So when you watch the movie, take a good look around at the other people at the party! That was a brilliant idea Woody Allen had!

New York Times
Feather Factor

Mood: Happy/Frustrated/Not Surprised/But Happy

~Me :)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Odd Girl Out

"Anyone who uses the phrase 'Like taking candy from a baby' 
has never tried taking candy from a baby."


I am one of those weird people. You know the ones. The one's who love the underdogs of cuisine. I put cheese on fish. I love fruitcake during the holidays. I am crazy for Lima Beans, and to me it wouldn't be autumn if I didn't have a bowl of candy corn on my desk! I love the sweet buttery taste. I love that an hour later I can still taste the sweetness, and look at the color coordination! I even wear candy striped tights in October! Oh not with every outfit mind you, just when I wear my witch dress!

(Carly's sinister laugh)

And now... The Leaf Of The Day...

Golden Willow 

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Autumn Naps

"There are no ordinary cats."

No one knows how to take a nap, better than my cat Dylan. He has made the midday nap into an art form, and he performs daily. I love his brand of performance art. Just watching him sleep has been known to instantly change my mood from slightly grumpy to contently mellow, with on flick of his tail. Needless to say, he has me completely wrapped around his paw.
It's hopeless, I love him so much!
But he loves me back!
And there is nothing like a cozy, warm nap on a rainy day, with my orange tabby cat.

God, I could become one of those little old ladies with 19 cats so easily.

And I ask you, what could possibly be wrong with that?


Liquid Amber

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

You Get The Dwog, I will Get The Kwoffee, And We We'll Watch The Ducks

"I am a duck. I'm cool and calm on the surface, but underneath it all is a nonstop struggle to succeed. My feet are like orange spatulas."

~Jarod Kintz, How To Construct A Coffin With Six Karate Chops.

Ducks. I like ducks. I had several as pets when I was a little girl. Last year, I was a rubber duck for Halloween. I am not sure what costume I will be wearing this year, but I am leaning toward a sexy wolf costume. I am also considering going as Teresa Giudice. I get a big black 80's style wig, a tight fitting leopard dress, which I already own by the way, and a ball and chain, and I am good to go! LOL. But that would be tacky of me I think. She is in a lot of trouble, and kicking someone when they are down isn't very nice! It would be an interesting, timely costume, but more than anything
 it would be unkind. 
 Besides it would probably piss off Victoria Gotti,
 and who wants to do that?




Mood: Undecided

~Me :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Snowy Egrets In Black And White

Snowy Egrets

"For man, as for a flower and beast and bird,
 the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive."

~D.H. Lawrence

See, I can to photograph something other than leaves in autumn... well... in addition to anyway.


 Liquid Amber

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Presence...

"But then fall comes, kicking summer out on it's treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed.
 It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since the last time he saw you."

~Stephen King, Salem's Lot

I was amazed that while it was a very warm sunny day, when I stood in the shadow of the tree the whole world seemed eerily dark. My camera saw it too. It wasn't just the shadow, it was a deep feeling inside me, that in the shadow exists some parallel world we mortals move in and out of without consequence, or knowledge that we had left out own universe. In the moment I was standing in the shadow, it seemed that the only real light came from the crimson red and deep purple leaves, giving the impression that they weren't leaves at all, but rather something so beautiful, so singularly unique, that they bordered not on the natural color one would expect on the first day of the autumnal equinox, but rather on the supernatural. The slight chill I felt that day, made me feel like on any given late September day, but especially this one, I was merely one glance, or one shadow, away from finding myself in a Stephen King novel. And with that thought I smiled, because surely I could conquer the shadowy presence, and besides, that's what happens when one stares at autumn leaves too long. The imagination wanders... and wonders.

Shadows have a different presence in autumn.
That's all.
"He thrusts his fists against the posts, 
and still insists he sees the ghosts."

~Stephen King, It

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumnal Equinox

"Autumn begins with a subtle change in the light, with skies a deeper blue, and nights that become suddenly clear and chilled. The season comes full with the first frost, the disappearance of migrant birds, and the harvesting of the season's last crops."

~Glenn Wolff and Jerry Dennis

It's here, it's here, it's here! Well, almost! Less than 24 hours! Tonight (Monday night) at 7:28 PM the summer takes it's last breath, and at 7:29 PM we cross over from the season of sadness into the season of healing. At least that's how I feel about autumn... it's the healing season. I live for this season, but more so this year that in any other I can remember! It's not that I expect autumn to do all the heavy lifting to bring me out of the deep sadness I have been in, I know that's my hard work to do, but autumn will make it easier.

 As of September 29th, Alan and I will be on vacation until November 6th! Spending time with him always makes me happy, and we have a lot of new outings for this year that will keep us running, so there will e a lot of new opportunities for my cameras to get a workout! So yeah, I know finding my Zen again will take some work, but if you can't find your Zen in autumn, then you just aren't trying! Right? God I love the light in autumn, it's like the sweetest smile I've ever seen. It's life.

Smiles Of Autumn Pasts

I wonder what will breeze my way this autumn?


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

For The Last Full Day Of Summer...

"Once something has outlived its usefulness in one area of life, its purpose for being in existence is no longer the same. The leaf that captures a stream of sunlight, and then transfers its energy to the tree, serves one purpose in the spring and summer, and another completely different on through the
 fall and winter."

~Guy Finley

For the last day of summer, I am sitting at the computer, with my Google calendar opened to the month of October, so I can schedule all we have planned for our vacation month! We have a lot of activities to deal with. Days on the San Francisco Bay. Days we will spend apple picking in Apple Hill. Some pumpkin selecting in Half Moon Bay. We have some recipes to make for each other. A visit to a comedy club or two in the city. Farmer's Markets from Berkeley to Marin. Halloween parties. A Chilli cookoff in Santa Cruz. The Marin County Film Festival. A few new restaurants to try! Whew! You get the idea! I will be posting my activities soon, for now just know that with all I have to do to get ready for vacation... I always have time to stop and watch the leaves turn.

Fair warning... This blog is about to get autumn heavy!


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Let The Dancing Begin...

"Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead, has never watched them dancing on a windy day."

~Shira Tamir

September is drifting along, quietly. No noise. Well, except for the irritating barking of my neighbor's dog. Poor little fella is used as a weapon in the neighborhood. Any time the immature little brat adults I have mentioned in previous posts as, Donny and Nina, are up to their old tricks, they allow the dog to bark. It seems marriage really did nothing for their maturity. Sigh. The cute little pup-pup began barking at 5:30 am, both of the last couple days... as soon as Donny left for work. It's vintage Nina to let the pup-pup bark, because she knows it pisses off the neighbors in all directions. And when it does, Donny usually gets a visit from someone yelling at him. Yelling is a given at this point, as we have all complained in reasonable tones, and it did no good! Don't get me wrong, Donny isn't innocent. He is the one that came up with the idea of letting pup-pup bark, as punishment towards me for complaining about him to the property owner... in 2011! They enjoyed the affect it had on my health to the point they found they could use the same tactic to keep others in line as well.

As you may remember, Donny and Nina got married last summer, and moved from this property to an adjoining property. Things got better for a little while. He and his psycho bully attitude were gone, but he is still close enough that his behavior still affects all of us to different degrees. In my case, waking me up at 5:30 am. God, I had only been in bed an hour. Sigh. It's so unnecessary. Why can't they just live their lives? Work on their releationship? Plan for the future? I can think of a million things that Alan and I were busy with during our first year of marriage, but actively working on getting each other in trouble with the neighbors wasn't on the radar. Call us boring, but we have found filling our spare time with loving each other, and our little furry children, pretty life affirming!

Oh well. Let's not dwell on things. Summer is taking it's last breaths, and that's a good thing because it makes the pain in life, like not getting the sleep I need, a little easier to take. I can actually see the light of autumn outside my window! It's right there. It's in the golden sunrise, and the light orange sunsets. It's in that hint of coolness in the air. It's in the way a barrel of apples smells at the grocery stores and farmers markets. It's in the taste of a really delicious heirloom tomato. It's in the colors of the new outfits I just bought for autumn, and it's in the sound of the deceased leaves blowing down the street. I know autumn is associated with the withering of the year, but it makes me feel alive inside. It makes me feel like I can deal with the barking. I will try to dismiss the pain from my Fibromyalgia and concentrate on the leaves.
Leaves dancing on the wind is life affirming too!

"Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time, like dew on the tip of a leaf."

~Rabindranath Tagore

Mood: Quiet/Tired/Happy

~Me :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Shiver Me Timbers... It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

The Hawaiian Cheiftan, Richardson Bay, Sausalito, Ca 
October 22nd 2006
"Life's pretty good, and why wouldn't it be? I'm a pirate after all."

~Captain Jack Sparrow

I almost missed the observance, if it had not been for Comedy Central's very funny @Midnight and their evening game of #hashtag wars on Twitter, I would have. Last night's #hashtag was #PirateTVShows. If you are unfamiliar with the premise, basically you would choose a TV show, and change the title to reflect the topic of pirates. Here are some I came up with...

1. Don't Trust The P In Apartment 23

2. Make Room For Booty

3. Plunder Woman

Alan and I wouldn't miss playing #hashtag wars. It keeps us laughing and laughing... and that's a good thing for the weary soul. Honestly, that man of mine has the silliest sense of humor! One has to have a sense of humor to put up with me! Life is slowly getting back to normal. It's been a hellish year, and probably the most depressing summer I can remember, but there is only a few more days of this horrible season, and then autumn will make everything all better.

It always does. Autumn never lets me down!

I took the photos of this ship, on one lazy beautiful autumn Sunday afternoon, in 2006, while visiting San Francisco, and southern Marin County. The ship sails from Sausalito's Richardson Bay, into the San Francisco Bay, and show those on-board a good time by participating in mock battles with other Tall Ships. It's a beautiful sight, and listening to the cannon shots is kinda fun too. I love living here in the Bay Area. It's wonderful here. I couldn't live without the beautiful bay! I am so lucky to be able to see whenever I want to.
Alan and I are going on the bay several times for vacation in October. I can hardly wait.
Life Is Good!
Now, in honor of "Talk Like A Pirate Day"

Be gone you skallywags... Arrr ye mateys...


"To live is to walk beside Death but never join hands."
~Captain Buck "Slackeye" Roberts
~Kai McCarthy

(Marin Scope)

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Art About Town: San Leandro... "Lariat" By Artist, Roger Berry

 "An ice sculpture in the Sahara makes about as much sense as donkey left open gaping wagon, Sergeant (add cream cheese sparingly)."

~Jarod Kintz
This Is The Best Book I've Ever Written, And It Still Sucks.

Okay, so, while out doing some errands Monday, that included having my blood drawn, I spotted this gorgeous sculpture standing outside the new Kaiser Permanente hospital, in San Leandro. It was moved to the new hospital a couple months ago, upon the closing of the old Hayward hospital. 

I hadn't been to the old hospital in years, I tended to avoid it if I could. As you might imagine, I don't have such fond memories of the place. Well, maybe one or two, after all, a hospital isn't always about the ones you lose, is it? Births. Good news about medical tests you dreaded taking, and maybe one or two downright amusing stories can come out of a hospital. One of my favorites being the time I was very sick, with terrible pain in my stomach from a small cyst on my ovary that decided to burst. Well, I was in the waiting room, standing in line,waiting to be checked in my the receptionist, when I began to vomit from the pain. GOD how embarrassing!

But the man in front of me, whose shoe I narrowly missed, and to who I apologized profusely, moved behind me in line and told the receptionist... "Take her first, she's sicker than I am." I can still remember the long line of folks laughing their sick little butts off. It was the most endearingly embarrassing moment of my life. LOL. I still smile when I think of that kindness showed me that day. That man could have reacted in so many negative ways, but instead, he showed me compassion, kindness and yes, a little humor!

Laughter Is The Best Medicine.
"Lariat" By Roger Berry
Kaiser Permanente San Leandro 

And wonderful public art helps too.
I love that hospitals, HMO's and clinics have begun displaying different types of art throughout their campuses.

Artist, Roger Berry, has several gorgeous sculptures around the Bay Area, so I think I might be posting more of his sculptures in this series as we move toward the end of the year!

Mood: Nostalgic

~Me :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Shoes. Mine.

"I did not have 3,000 pairs of shoes, I had 1050."

~Imelda Marcos

I like shoes. I have lots of shoes. I should start a new series about shoes.

Just shoes, and where they take me.

I wonder if my coat collection would get jealous?


Mood: Introspective

~Me :)