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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Art About Town: Dublin, California "Rise" By Artist Yoshio Taylor

"Rise" By Artist, Yoshio Taylor
Dublin, California (The Shops At Waterford)
April 22nd 2014

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way... things I had no words for."

~Georgia O'Keeffe

I spotted this sculpture the other day while out doing errands. I really like it, it reminds me of an obelisk I saw on a cliff in Santa Cruz, some years back. The obelisk in Santa Cruz, it seems, serves as a marker for the nude beach below the cliffs. The obelisk above serves as a little bit of beauty to brightens one's day while out doing errands or lunching at one of the many restaurants located nearby. Both certainly have their place. 



Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Note: I featured another of Yoshio Taylor's sculptures in a different "Art About Town" post a couple weeks ago. Click HERE to be directed back to that post.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Finally! My Blair Is Coming Home!

Car Hospital Waiting Room
April 14th 2014

"Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead."

~Mac McCleary

Blair... (Her Baby Photo) ;)

Finally... Blair comes home a little later today! It is ridiculous how long it has taken to fix the dashboard, and I am very unhappy about how the whole situation was handled. But, the situation is almost behind us, so it's time to let go of all the negativity. I probably won't go back to the Chevy service department in Fremont ever again, and I am sure they won't miss me. In the week my car has been there I have spent a little time looking at Yelp and found that not many people have been happy with that particular service department, and pretty much for the same reasons I am not. So, what have I learned from the situation? A lot! 

Next time, consult Yelp and see which dealership has the best service department rating! Trust me when I say, there was a lot more to this story, but I will save those details for Yelp, and another day here on the blog. For now, I am just ready to drive off into the sunset, with it all... hopefully... behind me! Behind us! Now I have to move on to finding out how to get the refund for the work we had to pay for on our 2007 Saturns, for which we shouldn't have had to pay! So far, it's been like getting teeth pulled without benefit of anesthesia! We'll see how the refund goes, I want to hope for the best, but I am not really expecting it!

"I feel like I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe."


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Out There Having Fun In The Warm California Sun...

"I had a dream about you. I was running barefoot on the beach, and you were chasing me because you were a cop and I was naked. I couldn't believe you tried to arrest me. What, is it a crime to run with no shoes?"

~Jarod Kintz, I Had A Dream About You 2


It's that time again. The time when Alan and I sit down with the calendar and try to figure out what weekend's we need for what. You see, Alan gets a weekend off, but his weekend is Tuesday and Wednesday, which means we usually miss a lot of activities like Farmer's Markets, Festivals, Outdoor Movies and Concerts. But with a little planning, plotting, and time requested off far enough ahead of the activity, we find a little time each summer for slacking off!

This year it looks like we have found the perfect week to fit in a movie on the beach and a concert in Santa Cruz. It's been years since we did that, in fact the last concert on the beach we made it to was Greg Kihn. Oh my goodness we loved his music when we were kids... still do! I love following him on Twitter! So perhaps we will be able to catch his concert in Santa Cruz this year, but then again, the week Macy Gray will be there is awesome also. On Wednesday the beach will have Raiders Of The Lost Ark as the free movie, and her concert on Friday! How much fun is that?

Of course, there is nothing like going to opening night for the free movies! The movie that always kicks things off is Lost Boys, which was filmed in Santa Cruz! The train trestle scene was filmed just up the beach, from the boardwalk. I still visit that part of Santa Cruz at least once a year, just because it has an amazing view of the boardwalk from a slightly uphill vantage point. It's gorgeous! I need to do some new night photos of beach, it's been far too long since I did that! 

There is so much to do during the summer in the Bay Area, it is hard to choose what direction to go in! San Francisco has free outdoor movies for families. So does Marin County. There is Shakespeare in the Park and like I mentioned previously all kinds of festivals. It's all just a matter of planning, like everything else. So, this week it's all about the calendar, and visiting many different websites, and then choosing. Oh my, the choosing of what to do! LOL. God help me... I love it!

But what I love most, is spending time with Alan. I love him!

Mood: Happy :)

~Me :)

Click the following link for the complete schedule of Free Movies On The Beach

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter 2014

"Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness, and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness."

~Floyd W. Tomkins

From Our House To To Yours... HAPPY EASTER!

A Week Of Yellow Day Seven: Last Year's Easter Basket...

Mood: Happy!

~Me :) 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Round Robin Challenge: Spring Time! + A Week Of Yellow Day Six: Soft Yellow

Soft Yellow California Poppy
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Spring, 2012

"It's spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart."

~Rainer Maria Rilke

RRC: Spring Time

I think I should probably begin this post with a heartfelt I am Sorry Karen, because I know that flowers are not at the top of her list of favorite subjects, both to look at or to photograph. But here's the thing, I found myself absolutely drawn to them this year, probably because of my illness last Spring which kept me housebound for most of the season! I didn't get out to do much photography from late February thru early June, and by then, most of the first young lovely flowers of spring, were moving over for the more hardy plants and flowers of summer! 

The summer flowers are beautiful, and you know I would give up all the flowers of both seasons, in favor of the leaves of autumn, but when you can't photograph them, you learn to not take them for granted. So, this post is quite flower heavy, with flowers from springs past, and a couple from spring of this year! But hey, it's not a total loss, there is also a furry wild creature or two to break up the flower monotony! :)

My Spring Gallery...

Happy Squirrel
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Spring 2010

Purple Flowers
Tilden Park, Berkeley, California
Spring 2006

Yellow Flower With Bee
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Spring 2005

Spring Bouquet
Berkeley, California
Spring 2014

Spring Balloons 
My Favorite Color Combination
Spring, 2011

Japanese Tea Garden
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Spring, 2005

Purple Ice Plant
Pacific Grove/Monterey Bay, California
Spring, 2010

Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Spring, 2005

Spring Blossoms With Bee
Berkeley, California
Spring, 2006

Pink Blossoms
Pleasanton, California
Spring, 2014

Tree Blossoms
Golden Gate Park
Spring, 2013

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want... oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"

~Mark Twain

Okay, now that you have seen my post for the Round Robin Challenges, how about joining in? I know Karen would be thrilled to have a new player joining us. Just click the link at the top of this post to be redirected to the official Round Robin blog, where you can find all the information you need to play along, plus the links to the other participants for this challenge. Please consider joining us!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Week Of Yellow Day Five: Put On A Happy Face! :)

"If you are reading this... 

Congratulations, you're alive.
If that's not something to smile about, then I don't know what is."

~Chad Sugg, Monsters Under Your Head

Just a quick nod to yellow today... the smilie face! The man who sold me my new car gave me two smilie face stickers. Too bad my smilie face has been upside down to a frowny face. The repair to my dashboard was supposed to take 8 hours, but when the service department took the brand new, from the factory dashboard out of the box from GM it had not one scratch on the dashboard... it had 4! All deeper than the scratch I was having repaired! So, instead of 8 hours... it's going to be at least 5 more days before I get my car back.




Still, I am alive and that puts it all in perspective... right?


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Full Moon, A Sunflower, And An Egg Salad Sandwich...

Full Pink Moon
April 15th 2014
11:30 P.M. PST

"I want to fly like a butterfly around this beautiful world, till the last frame of my life and click the last click of my heart."

~Biju Karakkonam Nature And Wild Life Photographer

Well, I was a bad blogger yesterday, I didn't post to my blog. I was, however, a good photographer, because I didn't let the Full Pink Moon escape me. I got a photo of the April full moon! I am happy about that, but not too happy about having skipped posting 3 days in just this month! It has been... well... a stressful month. Lots of negativity. But I realize that I can control how I choose to look at things. I will explain it all in a different post, in a couple weeks or so, but for now I want to just focus on the assignment at hand. The color yellow, and of course, April's full moon.

The Color Yellow 
Day 2: A Sunflower 

Photographed August 2010

Now A Little Photo Editing Magic (Illusion)

The Color Yellow 
Day 4: A Starbucks Egg Salad Sandwich

What does a slightly stressed out photographer eat for lunch? Well this slightly stressed out photographer loves Starbucks Egg Salad Sandwiches! In fact, she is addicted!

Mood: Good

~Me :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Full Pink Moon With The Added Bonus Of The Apocalypse

"So imagine that the lovely moon is playing just for you... everything makes music if you really want it to."

~Giles Andreae

The Full Pink Moon and the added bonus of the Full Blood Moon wasn't really what one would call spectacular from where I viewed it, in fact it didn't have much color, probably due to the light cloud cover that shrouded the moon. I have helped the color out a bit here... very little... just enough to show it in the proper light. Every once in a while I have needed a little help to shine, I am just passing along the favor.


And look Ma... No Apocalypse!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Week Of Yellow Day Two: Eggs. Plus A Note About Tuesday

"There are at least two sides to every issue, and I like my issues sunny side up. I also like bacon and toast on the side. Are you eating what I'm saying."

~Jarod Kintz, At Even One Penny, This Book Would Be Overpriced. In Fact, Free Is Too Expensive, Because You'd Still Waste Time By Reading It.

Scrambled Eggs. My favorite breakfast meal. Well, scrambled eggs, toast and fruit. I have never been much for bacon or sausage, although once in a while I will have some, but it's not too often. I just don't like that weighed down feeling that breakfast meats tend to leave me with. Breakfast has never been my favorite meal of the day, I am definitely a lunch person, or maybe brunch. I know, I know... breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I just don't do breakfast. Shrug.

Note: I am posting a new yellow picture every day this week with the exception of Tuesday's photo which will be RED. You see, this month there will be a full Blood Moon. You can read all about it here. If you want to join me in photographing it, please do, then come back here with the direct link and I will include in my post. :)

Here is my photos from the Full Sturgeon lunar eclipse from August 2007...

The Full Sturgeon Moon
Blood Moon Eclipse

It was a long night of photography, but it was very rewarding. It was August, so it was plenty warm, and I had by Elvis by my side, so all was right with the world. He was my angel. I still think about him every single day, and miss him so much!

Mood: Happy :)

~Me :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Feng Shui Of The Mind... Well, My Mind Anyway

"Yellow is a very favorable vibration for mental or intellectual activity, as it promotes a clear state of mind. Yellow heightens your awareness and alleviates depression, sadness, or any kind of despondency. Yellow vibration foods are: pineapple, bananas, grapefruit, lemons and corn."

~Tae Yun Kim,  The First Element: Secrets To Maximizing Your Energy

Feng Shui-ing Of My Mind...

I am giving myself a photography assignment for this coming week. I want to find as much YELLOW as possible, and photograph it. Yellow in all things. Food. Clothing. Flowers. The Sun. Maybe even yellow in a sunset if the opportunity presents itself. You see, my Fibromyalgia has been wicked the last few months, which means an almost complete lack of energy. So, I need and want to change that. And I am willing to give yellow a chance. Sure...  why not? Right? The day-lily in this post is from last spring. It's pretty isn't it? I thought it would be fun to show the original photo and the motion swirl edited version.

I like them both. 

See, I am happy and more energetic already!

Good Plan!

Mood: Hopeful

~Me :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Stare, Pry, Listen, Eavesdrop

"Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long."

~Walker Evans

I love today's quote. I try... try mind you... to put all of my senses to work when I am taking photos. I want the full feeling to dictate how I approach a subject. Touch is usually the most difficult to use, because obviously, you can't always be in a position to touch the subject of the photograph! But when I can, I do.But when I can't I try to make some sort of contact with the subject. That usually means a smile or wave. Sometimes eye contact fills the moment just fine.

I took this photo way back in February. It is a bouquet that a lovely young lady was holding, while posing for what I think was her engagement photo. She and her man were at the Queen Wilhelmina garden in Golden Gate Park, and they were posed, on a blanket, sitting next to the emerging tulips and multicolored California poppies.

It was a very cold day, but with his arms around her, she was perfectly warm. He had a smile of a man who had found perfect happiness. All was right with the world on that cold, slightly drizzly day, for him it was bright and sunny outside, and just watching that much happiness, made me happy and warm inside as well. I felt warmer, just by witnessing their happiness. 

After the photo session was over for the couple, the young man helped his lady up, and they moved to another part of the park. I didn't want to disturb them when the photos were being done, so I didn't photograph them, but when the young lady placed her bouquet on the cement while she got up, I took a quick snap of the flowers. When I lowered the camera from my face, I saw the groom-to-be looking at me, patiently waiting for me to take my photograph of the bouquet, with the sweetest smile on his face. His expression seemed to say...

I know... right? :)

It was a good day to STARE, PRY, LISTEN, And EAVESDROP!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Smart Technology Verses Human Dumbness

"We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works."

~Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

What a day yesterday was! When I woke up, and logged online, one of my email accounts began self generating emails and sending them to folks in my address book. Fortunately I realized it soon, and contained it. Changed all my passwords. Ran multiple virus and malware scans. And deleted the original email the started the whole mess to begin with! 

I knew as soon as I saw the mess, exactly where it came from. It can from the insurance carrier who handles my car insurence! Frankly... I am mad at myself, because when I asked them to send me over a quote on how much the new car would add to my overall payment, there was a strange attachment. It indicated a photo, which I assumed was part of the brochure, and when it loaded empty, I just didn't put two and two together. 

I know better.

Anyway luckily the offensive email opened in my business account, which has very few direct contacts. So, the virus sent emails, sometimes multiple times, but they ended up bouncing back as undeliverable.A lucky break? Well, yes and no. You see, when I jumped onto the WWW I did a lot of reading about online safety, and took those pointers to heart. One such being that it is never wise to do business out of an account you share social media with.

Keep friends and business separate.

So, all's well that ends well.


My brand new Samsung Galaxy tablet arrived yesterday, amid all the fun, but somehow it just doesn't thrill me! I have been wanting a tablet for a long time, so when I got that included in an offer from AT&T when I signed up for broadband and Uverse, I jumped at the offer. It was going to save us a few dollars every month, and it included a nifty tablet and a $100 gift card. Win... Win. But as it sat in it's box on my desk, I couldn't help but wonder what new wonderful trouble might come by way of it. 


Still... it's a cute little thing, and I have ordered a new leather case for it, so I am sure I will get over the grr. I will. 

But you know... sometimes...

Mood: Not Happy But It Will Pass


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Art About Town: Pleasanton, California, "Leap" By Artist Yoshio Taylor

"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on."

~Henry Ellis

Letting go, and holding on. Yes. That is the true process of living a life isn't it? I have always been someone that was stubbornly reluctant to let go... of anything! Well, there were some small exceptions along the way, such as the letting go of our 2007 Saturn ION last week, but I tell you what, it really does take extreme circumstances for me to walk away. 

One thing I never managed to walk away from was my love of reading! And really, why would I want to? Oh I have gone moderate amounts of time without picking up a new book, but mostly because I couldn't bring myself to remove to the storage room the tall towers of books I had already read! Each of them, in their own ways, had become a dear and comforting friend. And so with the books, as with my friends, I only leave when I am told to do so.

That's just me. 

Thank goodness a good book will never kick you to the curb, tell you that you aren't good enough, or religious enough, or too religious, or that it no longer feels superior to you. No. A good book takes you on vacation, without all the pesky travel costs, or unnecessary airport lines. Books. They are some of the best friends I have ever had.

So, you can see why this sculpture is a favorite of mine... right?

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Daydream Believer

"There are certain half-dreaming moods of mind in which we naturally steal away from noise and glare, and see some quiet haunt where we may indulge our reveries and build our air castles undisturbed."

It may be April on the calender, but it feels more like the dead of August. I am not a fan of hot weather, I can't think straight if it is too warm outside. I like beach weather... if I am near the beach... but when I am just making my way around the suburbs I find hot weather intolerable. So, the last few days I think I have spent about 2 hours of day to day thinking, and 46 hours of daydreaming. And that's fine I guess. If for no other reason than to make it all more bearable.

Everything in it's time.

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)
Conservatory Of Flowers
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
October 2012

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers."

~Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Questions. Doesn't it seem like all of a sudden, well in the last few months anyway, that there seems to be more questions occurring without any real answers to them? About a lot of subjects and situations...

1. An Entire Plane Full Of People Disappears Without A Trace...
Q. What Happened?
Q. Where Did It Go?
Q. Was It Terrorism?
Q. Was It Murder Suicide?
Q. Was It Something Else?

2. General Motors Knew They Were Selling Potentially Deadly Automobiles...
Q. Why?
Q. Will Anyone Ever Do Jail Time Over The Scandal?
Q. If Corporations Are People, By The Standards Of The Supreme Court, Shouldn't They Be Prosecuted As Such?
Q. Should General Motors Be Financially Exempt Due To The Earlier Bankruptcy Protection?

3. David Letterman Is Leaving Late Night Next Year ...
Q. Who Should Replace Him?
Q. Can He Be Replaced?
Q. Will Late Night Be As Fun Without Him?

4. The World Seems To Be On It's Period.
Q. Is Global Warming Real?
Q. Are We Headed For Another World War... Like SOON?
Q. Will Jellyfish Be The Last Species Standing?

Sometimes I think I think too much.
Q. Do I Think Too Much?

A. Yeah... LOL. I Do. I Can Admit It!

Well, We Seem To Be Making Progress! It Looks Like Things Are Looking Up!

"An infinite question is often destroyed by finite answers. To define everything is to annihilate much that gives us laughter and joy."

~Madeleine L' Engle

Mood: Quietly Perplexed

~Me :)