Thursday, October 08, 2015


"It was a beautiful, bright autumn day with air like cider 
and a sky so blue you could drown in it."

~Diana Ganaldon

It's a little difficult to post a "Leaf Of The Day" project to your blog, if you have an ISP that has issues causing it to go out several times a week. That's what's been happening in my world lately, most recently, Monday evening. I don't know what's going on with AT&T Uverse in the Stockton area, but since I had it installed, about a month ago, the service has gone out several times. I have had 8 repair/technicians in my house in just this last month. They always shrug and say... "I dunno." And as they have replaced the gateway, the DVR box and most recently, yesterday, they replaced the entire line out of the house to the main pole. Hopefully that will take care of the issue, but I think I would like to see a full month, without an issue, before I will breath easily. 


I have to admit, it hasn't been making my current blue mood any less blue, which is why Alan suggested that he and I get out of the house for the day yesterday, and head down to Berkeley. We walked out in the sunshine and cool air of Tilden. I did some leaf peeping and photos by my favorite little foot bridge, and we picked up lots and lots of cheese from the Cheese Board Collective down on Shattuck, in the heart of the Gourmet Ghetto. It's always an amazing treat to stop in there. I will be posting some photos later this week of the cheeses we purchased, because cheese is almost as photogenic as autumn leaves!

It was good for me to get out with the camera, and clear my head a bit. It's been one hell of a year, but ruminating on things isn't doing me any good, in fact it is only deepening the sadness I have been feeling. So, I got the cameras ready, and off we went! Berkeley isn't quite filled with autumn splendor just yet, but there are gorgeous pops of color here and there that just made my heart dance! The trip home reminded me that autumn is here, and it's time to plan some day trips for us to go on. Apple Hill. Lake Tahoe. Carson City, Nevada. Plumas National Forest. Monterey and Carmel! It's all waiting for me and the camera! So, that's what I will be doing the next few days, planning some trips to take during the next few weeks. Our vacation officially begins on Tuesday, which is also our 25th Wedding Anniversary, and I don't want to waste a minute on anything as useless as depression!

Stay Tuned For Vacation Updates!

Leaf Of The Day
( October 6th, 2015 )

Leaf Of The Day
( October 7th, 2015 )

Leaf Of The Day
October 8th, 2015

Mood: Hopeful

~Me :)

Monday, October 05, 2015

The Cat In The Window

"I am what I am. I would tell you what you want to know if I could, for you have been kind to me. But I am a cat, and no cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight answer."

~Peter S. Beagle
The Last Unicorn

That kitty in the window is my Joey. He is Alan's Joey too, of course, but it's me he snuggles when it's time for bed. At least he used to. You see, we moved the little guy into a big house. It's the biggest space he has ever lived in. The cottage in Berkeley was a one bedroom, with a tiny office space. The hotel room was almost the same size as the cottage, only laid out slightly differently, but this place is 3 bedrooms, and two bathrooms, and a big family room/laundry area and it's all quite overwhelming for him sometimes. Truth be told, it's overwhelming for me as well! I don't know if I want to live here forever. It's a lot to deal with. Ideally, one day I will be able to comeback to the Bay Area. I am not picky, about where I am, as long as we are all happy. 

At the moment, I am restless. I don't know if the emotional end of this adventure is finally catching up with me, or what it is, but I am blue. Sad meanies. It's been a hell of a year, I am ready to just stop for a while, which it seems we have, it's just since we moved in here, Joey has refused to come into our room at night. He won't go down the long hallway that leads to the bedroom. Dylan and Hendrix do, they are by my side every night, but Joey will have none of it! NOPE. WON'T DISCUSS IT! I just miss my boy. So that is adding to my mood. I trying to be patient. I know he will work through it at some point, but until then, I just wish everything was back to normal. I wish Joey would come sleep with me tonight. I miss his big, warm paws.

I suppose we are just in a period of adjustment.

This too shall pass.

Leaf Of The Day
October 5th, 2015
Mood: Happy But Sad

~Me :)

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Blessings Be On This House

"Blessings be on this house", Granny said, perfunctorily. It was always a good opening remark for a witch. It concentrated people's minds on what other things might be on this house."

~Terry Pratchett
Witches Abroad

Isn't she lovely? That stylish little witch is my very first bit of Halloween decoration for the house this year! She came yesterday, in a box from I kinda dig her pearls, and that cute purple dress. She has a mind of her own. She's shy. She absolutely refuses to face the neighborhood, favoring instead to fly repeatedly into the kitchen window. LOL. A good witch does have a mind of her own methinks. She makes us smile anyway, and so whatever she says goes. No since pissing off a witch this close to Halloween... right?


Leaf Of The Day
October 4th, 2015

Mood Happy

~Me :)

Saturday, October 03, 2015

That's No Ghost Lady, That's A Raccoon

"Can you imagine life without the horror genre? 
There would be no monsters, only assholes."

~Michael A. Arnzen

Alan and I bought a new house. Well, it's new to us, but in reality it is 53 years old. The same age Alan and I are. And as a 53 year old it has some problems with plumbing, and waking up in the morning, and remembering. Yes, I said it, remembering. The automatic timers are a bit eccentric. We moved in on the 1st of September, and all seemed normal, then one night, a couple weeks ago, we heard it. That sound. That strange, disembodied sound of something wet... and terrible...moving around the house.


Me: Alan! Did you hear that?

Alan: Hear what?

Me: That Gloop sound.

Alan: No, honey, I don't hear a gloop... snore. SNORE!


Alan: SNORE. SNORT. I will check it tomorrow.

Well, tomorrow came and as you might guess, no gloop sound. Then three days pass without even a peep, when once again, GLOOOOOOOOP. GLOOOP. Bubble, bubble, bubble. Like a witches cauldron. Only this time it happened on a night when Alan was working the graveyard shift. Perfect! It was absolutely perfect. There was a gloop, gloop ghost, or witch, and I was home alone! So what could I do? I did the only thing I could do. I turned on every single light in the house, and 3 TV's! The ghost/witch was so frightened, it gave up and went wherever wet ghosts/witches go. 

The gloop sound came and went over the next few weeks. Sometimes in the daytime, but mostly at night. Late at night. Now, fast forward to a couple days ago, when the whole spooky situation came to a logical and embarrassing conclusion. You see, that is when we had the first visit with our professional pool person. He explained that the gloop, gloop sound was nothing more than an ill timed pump, that was on a timer, because, you see, Stockton has certain days of the week, and times of day, when you are allowed to water plants and add water to pools. 

Alan: HA HA HA. A ghost? Ha Ha Ha.

Me: I don't know, it could still be a ghost, look at what I caught on camera!
(See Above)

Pool Guy: Um, that's not a ghost lady, that's a raccoon!


Me:*?%#^^%!@&! (Censored)

Thanks A Lot Alan!

Leaf Of The Day
October 3rd, 2015

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, October 02, 2015

The Key To Ridding Yourself Of Vampires

"Theres nothing worse than waiting not knowing
 what'll happen to you. 
Your own imagination can be crueler than any captor."

~Rochelle Meade

Vampires. If we don't know any personally, we probably know someone who does. Maybe they are real, maybe they were just folks who suck our will dry. Vampires are needy. They are also demanding, charismatic, annoying, they keep odd ours, and they, if allowed, will suck you dry of compassion and common sense. I have known a few in my lifetime, but one day I grew up and learned the word NO. NO is a lot like holy water, or a pretty sterling silver cross, but not quite as lethal to the dear vampire as a wooden stake through the heart.  Funny thing about vampires, when they realize they don't frighten you anymore they lose all their power. They actually become mortal. I slayed a vampire this past summer, and it felt mighty good. Oh I had some help... an Angell actually, of the Angell Law Firm. LOL. It helps to have an Angell on your shoulder when evil comes calling!

The memory of that slaying brought another fond memory to mind. Last year, during our vacation, Alan and I visited Ripley's Believe It Or Not, at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. It was filled with all kinds of curious things, but the Vampire Killing Kit was my favorite of all the exhibits. I took as many photos of it as I could that day, specifically to do a post this October. Did some part of me see my vampire encounter coming? Nah... I don't think so. How could I? No, I think I just found it fascinating that someone would go so far as to actually create a full kit for riding the world of that kind of evil. But when you really ponder it, it makes sense. If something is bothering you, you create a way to make it go away! Vampires aren't a new thing, and getting rid of them will always be a challenge, but like I said, sometimes looking them square in the eye, and saying, "NO! YOU DON'T SCARE ME. I HAVE AN ANGELL ON MY SHOULDER. BE GONE EVIL ONE!"... works pretty darn well!

So, what's the key to ridding yourself of vampires?
Tell The NO.
If All Else Fails...
 Find the right lawyer to tell them to go away!

Leaf Of The Day
October 2nd, 2015

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, October 01, 2015

A Look Back At The Summer And September 2015

"They say to never look back.
But sometimes I do.
It's gratifying to see how far I have come."

~Richelle Goodrich
Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts And A Little Poetry For Every Day Of The Year

Despite all the drama, I had this little pockets of fun this past summer. I didn't do a lot of photography, but I was happy with the end result of my time with the camera. I missed blogging regularly. I missed being online, but the connection through the hotel was less than stellar. Anyway, September got me back into the swing of things, and as a result, I have a nice retrospective of some of my favorite summer photos, and a collection of what I photographed in September.

So, onward...

Summer 2015

September 2015

The Leaf Of The Day
October 1st, 2015

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Late September Sunset

"Dusk is just an illusion because the sun is either above the horizon or below it.
 And that means that day and night are linked in a way that few things are. 
There cannot be one without the other, yet they cannot exist at the same time. How would it feel, I remember wondering, to be always together, yet forever apart?"

~Nicholas Sparks
The Notebook

The sunset Tuesday night was nothing short of amazing! It was the softest shade of purple on the outside, but the center of it was the most vibrant orange I have ever seen! 

I really do need to photograph more sunsets!


Leaf Of The Day
September 30th 2015

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Paul The Second

"A tree with red leaves is like an old man with gray hair.
 Likewise, my love for you was blue, now it's orange,
 and that's a compliment."

Jarold Kintz
This Book Is Not For Sale

Meet our new tree Paul 2! Yes, his name is Paul 2! Why? Well, you see, I had a beautiful Japanese Maple tree when I lived in Berkeley. We picked it out. We planted it. Nurtured it. Loved it. Fed it the best plant/tree food available, and watched it grow for about 6 years. Then, one day, earlier this year, I found out suddenly that I had to move. I had planned to take a cutting from the tree so I could take a new generation of Paul with us, but then we decided to purchase a type of dwelling that made it impossible to take a tree starter with us. Little did we know at the time that our plans would change so profoundly. We ended up buying a house instead, where we could have brought the new tree to, but alas it wasn't to be. Cruel fate had played a dirty trick. 

But it's in the past. I will just have to hope that Paul The First is still thriving among the rose garden I planted, and that he will grow to be a lovely tree, enjoyed by someone, for many, many years to come! But that brings us to Paul The Second. He was a kind of housewarming gift! You see, the wonderful man who owned our new house previously, offered to purchase us a new tree as part of the closing deal! How lovely is that? He even looked till he found me a Japanese Maple! It's not the same variety as Paul The First, but it's lovely in it's own right, and as of yesterday, it's a permanent fixture on the property and member of the family!

Oh, and about the name Paul. Well, our landlord, the one who originally rented to us 14 years ago, was named Paul. He was a terrific man, and always to pleasant to do business with. Unfortunately he was stricken with cancer several years ago, and it just tore his poor body apart. It was very, very sad when he passed away, I still miss him very much. Anyway, when we found out about his passing, we planted the Japanese Maple in the yard in his honor. And in a strange way, we wouldn't be in our new home, had he not rented to us originally. So, Paul The Second is a tribute to a lovely man... and the fate of finding our old place!

What a fascinating thing you are!

Leaf Of The Day
September 29th, 2015

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Well... It DOESN'T!

"Shoving feathers up your butt doesn't make you a chicken!"

~Brad Pitt

Right... so sometimes I simply don't have anything to say. It's in those times that I search out some mildly interesting photo from the archive, that didn't make it to the post, for whatever reason, and I make good use of it by posting it to bring you a grin. The chicken I you see above sits by the side of the road, just on the outskirts of Turlock, Ca. It made me smile, so I posted it to Twitter. And now it makes it's debut here. Turlock might be HELL on earth, but you see some interesting things there!

Leaf Of The Day
September 28th, 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Past Interpretations

"A path is a prior interpretation
 of the best way to traverse a landscape."

~Rebecca Solnit
Wanderlust: A History Of Walking

This past summer I was on a path. A path that came along suddenly, and seemed to only have one direction. When my rental cottage was ripped out from under me, it meant one thing, Alan and I would be moving on, and moving on meant one thing, it was time to buy our own place. Buying our own place meant one thing... we would be leaving the Bay Area and heading east. And that's what we did! We moved east! Well, not at first. At first we planned to move slightly southeast, but when that all changed we took out a map, and a Zillow app, and ended up in Stockton, California. Oddly enough, Stockton was where I thought we might move to, prior to the ill fated decision to move southeast. Anyway, to get to either place from the Bay Area, one must travel through the Altamont Pass.

 The pass can be one of the most tranquil drives in the area, or a bumper to bumper nightmare, depending on time of day, and the day of the week. I took this picture almost a month ago, on one of those bumper to bumper drives, which as it turns out, would be my last trip over the pass. A bit of information I didn't know at the time. But that day, as I looked at that moon shining in the sky, I felt tranquil and ready for the future, whatever that meant. I don't know why, but the sight of the moon made me feel safe somehow. I had my camera out, the moon was posing for me, and the landscape was serene. I am smiling now just thinking about it, and I know that it makes me want to try really hard later tonight when the moon goes into it's eclipse.

 After all, I will be photographing it from the comfort of my own back yard! How awesome is that? My first lunar eclipse, in my own back yard! I have all the cameras charged and loaded with batteries! I have some snacks and beverages ready. My tripods are all set up, and everything is a go! Well, except for the ridiculous end of the world theories and the possibility of some low fog out here in the San Joaquin valley. It's always something! If the end of the world doesn't get ya, there is a "possibility of fog!"


Am I worried? Nah! I am not worried in the slightest! If the end of the world comes, then so be it! All I ask is that I am not in the shower when the trumpets blare.And as for the fog, well, who knows, maybe some fog will give the photos just the edge I am looking for! Phooey on fog and end of the drama junkies. I am happy. 

And I am home!

Leaf Of The Day
September 26th, 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Too Pretty To Eat? Nah...

"That's it cupcake, you're going down."

~Rick Riordan
The Lost Hero

Dangerous? Yes! Necessary? Yes! Worth it? You bet!

Need I say more?

Go... skidaddle...Get Thee To A Bakery And Buy Yourself Something Delicious!

That's my advice for this weekend!

You're Welcome!

Leaf Of The Day
September 26th, 2015

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Hoot... Hoot Hoot

"You are Mr. Owl. I am Ms. Hummingbird.
 We may be from different species but as long as you're a bird,
 I'm a bird too."

~Glad Munaiseche

Isn't this owl basket adorable? I found it at Michael's for 50% off, so I purchased two of them. Right now they are sitting in the living room, on the cubby stands we bought recently at IKEA. They bring a whimsical touch to the room, but let's face it, the add that autumn flavor as well. LOL. I have been becoming a fan of owls in the last couple years or so. The new key chain I treated myself to, after purchasing my Chevy Spark, has an antique-like owl on it, and over the summer I purchased a set of owl figurines, which I thought were just too dam cute to pass up! Also on the list of new owl objects is a set of four mugs which have different colored owls sitting in a rather bare tree. Okay. Yes. I guess it's official, I am now an owl person, which kinda makes me sound like I perch in barns late at night, and hunt small rodents. LOL. How about instead we say I am an owl enthusiast!

Leaf Of The Day
 September 25th 2015

 Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Knowing When To Stop... Decorating

"Behind every attractive room should be a reason."

~Sister Parish

Okay, this is going to be one of those posts where you might go away thinking to yourself... sometimes Carly is not a nice person. Okay, so be it. I get it. It's not nice to make fun of people. Not even ones self. But there does come a time when a little harmless venting, which might be at someone elses expense, just feels good! Now you know me, for the most part I am a positive person, well, accept for the occasional Sarah Palin jab, but come on, when I shoot an arrow her way, she usually deserves it! And also, lets be honest, she is on the public stage, at not just on a whim, but rather her chosen ambition! She knows the arrows will be coming, so how sorry can one really feel about it? Especially if the jab isn't so much of a jab, but rather a calling of, well, bullshit! Right?

Well, okay, Sarah Palin, and her mean-spirited minions occasionally have it coming. Lord knows I take a knock, now and then, from folks on the right who think my opinion, usually expressed over Twitter, is nothing but hooey. Fine! Hooey it is! Hooey, if decided in honesty, what can you do? People feel the way they feel, and when it's that black and white it's best not to try to argue, but rather let them go on their merry misguided way. Again... right?

Well, once in a while, I tend to meet in real life, someone who rivals Sarah Palin on the stupid scale. There, I said it. An actual, card carrying, stupid person. This past summer I did just that. AND SHE KNOWS WHO SHE IS! This person hurt Alan and I. Financially, and in morale. She made a decision to lie, knowing what the consequences would be for us. She had only her own needs at heart. She had an agenda and she did all she could... whatever it took... to meet those ends. In the end, when I looked back over what happened, I have to remind myself that it really did happen, otherwise I tend to think of this past summer as a cheesy Lifetime movie.

The one thing I have, late at night, that keeps me from crying myself to sleep is the knowledge that she was a genuinely stupid person. A moron. A simp. How and why do I form this opinion? Well, one day she invited me to "her place" for a lovely afternoon of wasted time. She went on and on about mostly useless subjects, then invited me to take a look around "her place" to see how busy she had been the previous weekend. A weekend she spent decorating. 

Olive drab isn't really my thing, but it's not absolutely tragic either. I like earth-tones, so you can find it among my decorating touches. She had it everywhere! Okay, fine, if that is your deal, who cares? There were lots and lots of... well... pictures of wine, and wine glasses. Which again... who cares? Apparently her favorite flower was the Bird of Paradise, because she had them in every single room! Curtains. Drapes. Carpeting in the second bedroom. Towels. Dish cloths. Dishes. Glasses. Refrigerator decals. Oven decals. Wall tiles in the bathroom. Wall tiles in the kitchen. Bird of Paradise flocked and roosted everywhere!


But it was the sign she had hanging over the toilet in the guest bathroom that made me double over in pain and laughter. There it was... a sign.. made of wood and glitter, which read...

"And They Lived Happily Every After."

Hanging over the toilet.

So.. what? They pooped "And They Lived Happily Every After?"

He pooped?
She pooped?
They pooped?

Or was it they flushed poop "And They Lived Happily Ever After?"

I know there have been times when I needed to poop so badly, that I couldn't imagine not pooping, and when I did, I actually did live happily ever after, at least until my next urge to poop anyway! So in that light I get what she was saying! But the other side of my brain just found it amazingly funny that in all the places that sign could have been displayed, she chose to hang it over the toilet in the guest bathroom!

Oh well. I am going have to admit it. I had already came to the conclusion this lady was stupid. Not because of her decorating skills mind you, but because she was probably one of the most mean-spirited, narrow minded, racist assholes I had ever had the misfortune to be in the presence of. That day she shared her personal feelings about who she wanted to live around, and how relieved she was that I was her kind of people. When she finally revealed her true feelings about anyone who didn't look like her, I just felt covered in the crap she slung. It was disgusting and unnecessary. I never thought I would meet a true racist in 2015, or at any other point in life, but I did. And it's not something I will not forget soon. The scars that were inflicted this past summer may not ever heal. But I am going to try my best to try to heal because the pain is useless. It's complicated, but one thing I know, I will NEVER ASSOCIATE MYSELF WITH RACISTS!

It wasn't the birds of paradise everywhere. It wasn't the over use of glitter. It was her. She can decorate her life all she wants, in the end, she is a racist. End of the story.

She was, and as far as I know, stupid by choice.

But you know what they say...

Ignorance Is Bliss.

And I am sure she and those she surrounds herself with will be fine in their awful little worlds.

And Will Live Happily Every After.

Leaf Of The Day
September 24th, 2015

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumn Begins

"I cannot endure to waste anything,
 so precious as autumnal sunshine, by staying in the house."

~Nathaniel Hawthorne
The American Notebooks

Can you smell the pumpkin pies and cookies baking yet? How about the cinnamon scones and cranberry/pear tart-lets? I know... it's the cinnamon/maple pecans slowly roasting in the oven that has your mouth watering! Yeah, I know, it's still hot as blue blazes outside as summer continues to inflict it's opinion on the world, but a girl can turn up the air-conditioner and dream can't she! 

Today, Alan and I are going on a little trip down to the Bay Area. It will be a blend of chores and leaf peeping in some of my favorite leaf peeping places, because who could spend a glorious autumn day in the house when the first day of autumn comes but once a year! And besides, it's time to pop down to Berkeley and grab some cheese, from the Cheese Board Collective. Yum!

Go out today and say hello to autumn.
Grab yourself a pumpkin latte.
Watch the early leaves dance along the street.
Photograph something beautiful.
Take nothing for granted.

It's Autumn!

Leaf Of The Day
September 23rd 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)