Thursday, May 28, 2015

Shabby Chic

"Just because people throw it out
 and don't have any use for it, doesn't mean it's garbage."

~Andy Warhol

Yesterday, Alan and I took the last of our packed possessions to storage, and the last of the things we decided to get rid of to the dump ground. Going there was quite an event for me, it brought back a lot of memories of going there with my father when I was a child. It is an odd thing to bond with your father over, but we did. It was always such an unwanted chore for him, and more of an artistic pursuit for me, which is why it was the perfect outing for us to do together! I would marvel at all the interesting items I could spot in the garbage, and the colors and smells just brought it all together for me into an odd kind of... well... performance art... at least that is the way it all seemed from my child self's perspective. Going to the garbage dump might as well be a trip to an off Broadway production of some avant-garde performance art. "Shabby Chic: Life Discarded In 4 Acts." It was a fun memory, and rather inspiring as well. I think I got some good photos, and that is my very favorite way to relax! And it was nice to remember the fun dad and I used to have on our chore days. Some memories just can't be beat!

"I'll wear a garbage bag like a poncho as I preach about commercialism and not throwing away good stuff, like love."

~Jarod Kintz
Love Quotes For The Ages. Specifically Ages 18-81
Mood: Happy
~Me :)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Orange Mums And Berkeley

"I grew up in Utopia, I did! California when I was a child was a child's paradise, I was healthy, well fed, well clothed, well housed. I went to school and there were libraries with all the world in them and after school I played in orange groves and in Little League and in the band and down at the beach and every day as adventure... I grew up in Utopia."

~Kim Stanley Robinson
Pacific Edge

I love California... the Bay Area specifically. Moving to the Central Valley is going to be a big change, but while driving to Turlock on Saturday afternoon, I began to get excited about all the photo opportunities that will soon be in front of me. I have told you this before, so I apologize for repeating myself, but at the same time I am just really happy and quite content at the moment. I still have today and half of tomorrow her in Berkeley, then it's goodbye to the Bay Area, and I am feeling really sentimental and yeah, a bit blue, but I am okay. At least I have that. When I look back on this time I will remember how it felt to process the five stages of grief over losing my little cottage, and I made peace with it before beginning my new life. The only thing that still hurts is the fact that my criminal landlord will probably rent my place to someone else, and defraud them the same as they did me, then kick them out of the apartment at will, with no regard for the love or gratitude their tenant felt for the little place that was way more than a roof over their head... the little cottage in the hills that was home.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Life That's Waiting For Us...

"We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."

~Joseph Campbell

See those ivy covered bikes? Alan and I got those several years ago, and we made good use of them by visiting different parks in the East Bay, and San Francisco, and getting the exercise we were both needing! It was fun riding from here to there in Golden Gate Park and Tilden, then one day life simply got busy, and, well, that was that. But while we were biking on schedule, we made good use of them, we had a blast, and we discovered a lot of natural beauty in the parks, and along the shoreline, and we both loved how a good workout on the bike made us feel. I still miss it sometimes. Who knows, maybe we will take it up again when we get settled in the new place. Maybe that will be something from our past, that can carry on into the new future. There is a lot of country roads and farmland where we are going, so the photographer in me says...

Grab the cameras, and go find out whats waiting
 to be discovered by your eyes!

How about you? Is there something that you have always wanted to show others, but through your eyes or from your own unique perspective? Do it! Do it this summer! Post it on your blog, or Twitter and then send me the link. I will not only come and see it, but I will promote it by a retweet, or mention here!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ladybugs, Ladybugs... Lots And Lots Of Ladybugs

"A small speckled visitor, wearing a crimson cape
Brighter than a cherry, smaller than a grape
A polka-dotted someone, walking on my wall
A black-hooded lady, in a scarlet shawl."

~Joan Walsh Anglund

I love ladybugs, and to my delight my rose garden is full of them! It makes me happy to know that when I leave my cottage, my roses will have some little well dressed friends to watch over them. It won't be my lovely rose garden anymore, and I can only hope that my former landlords will take care of the roses, unfortunately I don't think they will do much to take care of them. In fact, I think they will probably do away with Paul the Japanese maple, and the roses as well. I am going to try not to think about it, and just move on with my life. What else can I do?

It was a beautiful garden, and I will always have
 the happiness it brought me.

"Hurt no living thing: Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing."

~Christina Georgina Rossetti

Mood: Quiet But Okay

~Me :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Yeah... Menopause Is My Bitch

"I call Change of Life "Orchids" because menopause is such an ugly word.
 It's got men in it for god sakes."
~Lisa Jey Davis
Getting Over Your Ovaries: How to Make "The Change Of Life" Your Bitch

Yes. I know Orchids well. In fact, Orchids and I have come to an agreement. Orchids will not be giving me mind numbing cramps or hot flashes for the remainder of my time in my cottage!
 It feels good to take my Orchids and throw them at a wall!

Orchids now know they can't fuck with me!


 No pun intended!

Mood: I Am Strong I am Invincible I Am Woman!
 Is That A Mood?

~Me :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lost Without You

"A cat determined not to be found,
 can roll itself up like a pocket handkerchief if it wants to."

~Louis J Camutti

I have a lot of anxiety about the next phase of our adventure, which is to spend 5 weeks in a motel, while our escrow is doing it's thing, and the construction on our new condo is being completed. The hotel that we found is in Turlock, which means Alan will be commuting 1 1/2 hours both ways, to work, and that's a lot of alone time in a strange place, with not much to do, but nothing gives me more anxiety than having the cats in a hotel room, where in one quick blink, one of my babies could make a mad dash to an adventure all their own! I love those little furry people so much. They are the ones who tuck me in at night, and make me laugh, and who purr when I walk past them. They are my family, and I love them, so we took them to Dr B. and had them injected with a microchip that can help us find them, should they somehow get out of the hotel room.

I have been doing a lot of reading about putting a microchips in pets, and I thank GOD that this type of technology exists! I honestly don't know what I would do if my little fellas went missing, especially in a place as rural as Turlock. Hell, I used to go crazy when Dylan would jump the fence into the yard of our neighbor Ed! Dylan was crazy about Ed. They used to play through the fence together, Ed would pat Dylan on the nose, and Dylan would flop down beside the fence and purr. We tried every way to keep Dylan on our side of the fence, but if you own cats, you know, they will find a way to exercise their day pass privileges. LOL. And he DID! The last straw came when Dylan finally learned to stay in the yard, but was bitten by a rather LARGE spider... a spider so large that Dr B. wouldn't tell me which one it was, while he said he had his suspicions. You see, he knows I am scared to death of spiders, and, well, telling me wouldn't have done me any good. Nope. Not one bit! I have my suspicions too, and that's fine, I don't need it confirmed.

Okay, no more fretting about spider bites, but the cats accidentally getting out is a whole other matter. But now with the chip installed I feel all kinds of better about it. I still don't want to leave them alone in the motel room, but I also got them a playpen to keep them secure, some new mice, some new treats, a new cozy blanket, and a brand new automatic water fountain that I got free with my Fresh Step points. Hell, I might be packing better for them than I am for us! LOL. But again, they are my family. Alan is my only human family, and the fur babies are my fur family, no they are my real family too because they have loved me deeper, and more honestly, than any one of my human relatives ever did! It's that simple!

I would be lost without you, my babies!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015


"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind,
 of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?"

~Albert Einstein

My desk, circa 2008 or so. Yes, I keep a cluttered desk. Stuffed animals, Boyd's Bears to be exact. Assorted books. A cat candle Alan gave me 30 years ago. A gorgeous picture frame an online friend gave me in 2004. Some pictures my friend Steven gave me. A boom box... lol... can you believe it? Some autumn canisters I have had since the 80's, which I will probably be buried in. LOL. I love those things. Originally they came with maple candy, it was so good, and the canisters where gorgeous! I bought them through my niece who was selling candy for her school. I haven't seen that branch of the family in over 15 years... the assholes... but I still have those canisters! I love those little metal darlings! Somewhere, I have a fake book that I made into a doll! I made it from a box of fake boobs Alan found on the side of the freeway one day when he stopped to fix a flat tire on his car. I have loved my desk a lot, and I have spent a lot of time at it doing various projects with my photos and engaging in social media, but this week my desk and I part ways.

 It's old, and worn now. It needs a new keyboard shelf, and it has some deep scratches here and there from different kitties. So, how do you say goodbye to a desk? Gently, and with gratitude. A lot has happened to me while I have been sitting there. I have made friends, said goodbye to friends. Researched Elvis's cancer. Missed my friend Steven. Wrote about Mr. November. Followed Dylan McDermott. Got favorited by Dylan McDermott. Laughed. Cried. Ate lunch. Made a chesticle doll. Googled lawyers so I could sue my landlord. Ordered Christmas gifts. And through it all, wrote my blog Ellipsis.  A decade with this desk, and my life, and a computer keyboard, moving forward through time.

We are getting the new desk
 as soon as we move into the new place.

It's a new chapter.

Stay Tuned.

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Living Breathing Entity

Photographed At The DeYoung Museum
May 4th, 2010

"The essential thing is to spring forth, to express the bolt of lightning one sense upon contact with a thing. The function of the artist is not to translate an observation but to express the shock of the object on his nature; the shock, with the original reaction."

~Henri Matisse

I love this piece, maybe because it reminds me so much of Matisse's art. It's like one of his paintings come to life, but at the same time, I can see it's artist's individuality. Art gives me so much pleasure, and at times I obsess on it to the point that I can sometimes get completely lost in it. Reading about it. Discovering new museums and sculptures I hadn't seen before. And my goodness, I get so excited at the prospect of seeing some brand new public art piece! I love to study them thoroughly and when I am done, I always come away calmer and more peaceful inside after those treks. 

The next time I pick up the camera to make a little photography magic, I feel like everything in the world is brand new, because that is what picking up the camera does for me, it renews my soul. Sometimes I don't know where I would be right now, had it not been for me cameras, and my drive to see something new, and share it with those who visit my blog! All I know is, I feel art deep in my soul, and my camera shows me the meaning of every single day I take a picture, no matter how trivial the subject might seem. I love photography like it is a living, breathing entity. I would rather take pictures than breathe or eat or live.

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

In This Universe There Might Grow Roses Which Sing

"Maybe there's a whole other universe where a square moon rises in the sky, and the stars laugh in cold voices, and some of the triangles have four sides, and some have five, and some have five raised to the fifth power of sides. In this universe there might grow roses which sing. Everything leads to everything."

~Stephen King

Everything does lead to everything.



Everything Falls Into Place

So don't worry about tomorrow

Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Mood: Tired But Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

All This And Fibromyalgia Too

"And, finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hope I don't sound like a whiner here, but I am in pain. Fibromyalgia pain. And I resent the HELL out of it, and I am more than a little pissed off about it, because I only have a little over a week to get the rest of the packing and cleaning done, before we turn our keys into my LYING landlord and their LYING property management firm. Yes, as you might guess, I haven't fully let go of my anger, and the deep physical pain I am in right now is only making the emotions worse. I want to be in bed. When my Fibromyalgia pain is at it's worst, my entire body feels like someone is pulling me apart, limb from limb. Fortunately, I do have a devoted husband who does all he can for me, and the doctor has put me on an appropriate pain medication... two of them... but I wish... I just wish... I could just stop and rest, rather than packing up my life. But let's face it, is there a really good time to pack up your life? All I know is that there is something better waiting for me. Something amazing will come out of all this, I just know it! But until then, all I can do is carry on, and try to remember it's only my body exaggerating the pain, and like always, it will pass.

Mood: Quiet/Sad/Angry/Tired

~Me :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

June 30th, 2005

"Early summer days are a Jubilee time for birds. In the fields, around the house, in the barns, in the woods, in the swamp, everywhere love and songs and nests and eggs."

~E. B. White

This is an archived photo, I took it in late June of 2005. It was the day after my birthday, and there was a gorgeous sunset going on. There was the most stunning shade of red in the sky, which I think it was mostly due to some Northern California wildfires going on that year. It was one of those summers that just seemed to make the whole world seem like it was burning down. Ash in the air, and that faint smoky smell. I remember feeling apprehensive about it, because I have had a lifelong fear of fire, but at the same time, there was that gorgeous little bird, perched in that charming old dead walnut tree, staring at the same red sunset I was looking at, only he seemed to not have a care in the world. He was looking at it, like he knew somehow that if he missed it, he would never see it again. He made me wonder why I was fussing so much?

 If he wasn't worried about the world burning down, why should I?

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


"I never did very well in math...
 I could never seem to convince the teacher that
 I hadn't meant my answers literally.

~Calvin Trillin

Yeah, I am not crazy about numbers either. Even the most basic math alludes me. I do, however understand BIG numbers on lawsuit settlements, and the one I just settled with my former landlord made me very, very happy. The downside is that even with all those numbers, those numbers alone do not fix all of life's troubles... do they? Oh, I am not complaining mind you, but it is strange how math can be a different proposition depending on the kind of day you have going on. For instance, I don't enjoy math problems that begin with...

Jonny and Eddie are traveling together from
 Chicago to San Francisco on a train...

I always get completely frustrated with that. WHO THE HELL CARES? Now, if you apply it to something I care about, suddenly math becomes much more interesting and useful. Like when I need to measure something off for a recipe or when I am counting calories and losing inches on a diet. Now THAT is the type of problem solving I can get behind. LOL. Or the big numbers on a healthy settlement check, and knowing my impending mortgage will be that much less, over 30 years. But then there we go again... mathematics to measure time isn't a big joy either. 30 years! Will I even be alive in 30 years, or will someone have already used math to measure me for my shroud?

This post sucks because the real intent of it was to tell you that I kinda dig the way this 3 looks.

3 Is my lucky number.

Do you have a lucky number?

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

May Flowers

"Man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful
 which God has implanted in the human soul."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I think May might be my favorite month of the year to enjoy the beauty of flowers. Oh, don't get me wrong, when I had my rose garden filled with all those varieties of roses, every day was exciting, no matter what month it was, because every day seemed to bring another beautiful flower into the world. I could get away from all kinds of stress, just by grabbing my garden kit, and heading out to the garden. Rose gardening is an amazingly joyous experience. But it was always the roses in May that made my heart jump! Maybe because they came before the weather got really harsh, and the rain, if we had any that year was well over, other than that I don't know why really, but May just seemed the perfect month for flowers. When I saw this daylily the other day, it kind of clicked in my head that, for me it wasn't just about the roses, I must love all flowers in May, because that lily looked just about perfect, and I couldn't take my eyes off it!


You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting...
over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

~Mary Oliver
Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Hey Look... It's A Parade!

"All the planning for the first ever Sleepwalking Parade
 has made me tired. I think I'll go for a walk."

~Jarod Kintz
Sleepwalking Is Restercise

Yesterday, was the annual Rowel Ranch Rodeo Parade, a Castro Valley tradition since the beginning of time, well, actually, since 1982, but it feels like it was the beginning of time! LOL. The parade is a fun community event, which unofficially kicks off the summer season. I know, I know, there is still over a month to go before summer begins, but you have to understand how this particular weekend works.

 On Friday night is the annual Rowell Rance Chili Cook-off, then on Saturday morning there is a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Fire Department, followed by the parade, and the festivities continue with the rodeo held at Rowel Ranch later in the month. It's fun, and lighthearted, and it's a good way for the various clubs, businesses, and local politicians to come out and say "Howdy."

 Alan and I never miss it. There is always something to see, and the enthusiasm from the kids that participate, never fail to bring a smile to our faces. In that we are moving out of the East Bay in a couple weeks, we probably won't be coming back for the chili cook-off, but I am pretty sure Alan and I will still be back for the parade next year! We arent' moving so far away, that we can't comeback for some pancakes and parades! So here's to next year!

Scenes From A Parade

This little cowboy passed his sobriety test!

I am not so sure about Mr. Pickle.

Congressman Eric Swalwell 
(Right) In the blue shirt

Charlie Chaplin

Miss Rodeo Queen

Miss Rowell Ranch Rodeo

It was a very good day!

Saturday, May 09, 2015

The Things We Swear We Will Never Do Again...

"If God had meant for us to carry baggage around, he would have made our skin have little pouches like kangaroos. Or maybe he would have made it just so that each and every one of us were born with huge ass shoulders to carry the load. Clearly we weren't made to carry the weight of the world, kinda makes you wonder why we do it anyway, huh?"

~Rachel Van Dyken


It's so funny. You say to yourself NEVER AGAIN... about anything... and then some time later you find yourself saying to yourself... I should have known better than to have said that! For me, that shock came when I realized I would have to put most of what we owned into a storage unit, because the new place won't be ready before we have to vacate the cottage. I hate putting my things in storage. A little over a decade ago I lost everything I owned, when someone broke into my unit, and the units to my left and right, at a Public Storage, and completely cleaned us out. 

Christmas ornaments. Love letters. Small knickknacks. Assorted stuffed animals. Some various craft projects. Some camera equipment, and clothing. You know, the kind of stuff you want to keep, but for whatever reason you don't have enough room for. All of it was taken in one whirlwind of thievery.  Anyway, here I am again, hoping, while doing what I swore I would NEVER do again, paying to store everything I own. At least this time it is temporary. But even now I am wondering about how much of my things I should just let go of, rather than take with me.

I am a person with too much baggage! I am overly sentimental, and a bit of a pack rat, but doesn't everyone have a sentimental attachment to the napkins you used at lunch, the day your husband proposed to you? I had to save those napkins, they are from a restaurant that fell into the Monterey Bay, less than ten days later during the Loma Prieta earthquake. True story, by the way, but I will tell you about that later.

Mood: Happy

~Me :)