Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude."

~A.A. Milne

I won't lie, it's been one HELL of a year! But that doesn't mean I have been left with an angry or bitter heart, far from it! I have a lot to be grateful for, and a lot of happiness with Alan and the boys! Life is full of uncertainties, but one thing remains fast and true, I am loved, and appreciated, and I might get scared from time to time, but fear does not fill my heart, gratitude does!

#23 Leaf Of The Day
November 23rd, 2017
Quincy, California

 Mood: Happy
~Me :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Thanksgiving Gift!

"Everyone enjoys being acknowledged and appreciated. Sometimes even the simplest act of gratitude can change someone's entire day. Take the time to recognize and value the people around you and appreciate those who make a difference in your lives."

~Roy T. Bennett

When someone asks me what I am most thankful for, my family comes to my mind first. I imagine that would be what most folks would say, but our family is Alan, myself, Hendrix, Dylan and Joe. Two humans, and three fuzzballs. Cats. We adopted Hendrix and Dylan in autumn of 2008, after we lost our cat Elvis, to Cancer. Joey was found on the Saturday, after Thanksgiving, in 2013. He was alone, dirty, injured, and it was pretty clear that if we didn't take him in, he wouldn't survive the weekend. Opening our hearts to this tiny lost cat, turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made!

From day one, he has a sweet kindness to him, and his intelligence is unbelievable! He has a funny way of "meeping" if he thinks he is in trouble, as if he is apologizing.When he is unsure about playing, or if wants to try something new, like sleeping on the end of the bed, he will meow in such a way, that it almost sounds like a question! "May I please?" Or "Is it okay if...?" Honestly, he is the best behaved cat I have personally ever known or owned. He seems to know that he was saved by Alan, taken into our home, and he knows we love him, and we always will!

He says THANK YOU to us, every day,
 in his own way, with snuggles and nom-noms. 

Nom-Noms are kisses, by the way. He loves kisses! 

Finding him on Thanksgiving weekend, in 2013,
 made it all the more special for us!
 So, at thanksgiving time, I always feel thankful, 
and grateful he came into our lives, and made it a much nicer place!

"If having a soul meas being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

~James Herriot
All Creatures Great And Small

#22 Leaf Of The Day
November 22nd, 2017
Knight's Ferry, California

Mood: Grateful
~Me :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


"Thankfulness creates gratitude,
 which generates contentment that causes peace."
~Todd Stocker
The rest of this week belongs to thankfulness. I am happy, I complain a lot about politics, and things that frighten me, but deep down I have a good life, with a good man, and three amazing little furry people that love me! Trust me, if you are loved by a cat, you are truly loved! Cats aren't like dogs, if they don't like you they will not only demonstrate their dislike, they will leave you at the first opportunity! So, I have a lot to be grateful for, but mostly, I am grateful I am loved... deeply! At the end of the day, that's what is important!
 "Celebrate your journey of life."

~Lailah Gifty Akita

#21 Leaf Of The Day
October 28th, 2017
Quincy, California

Mood: Grateful
~Me :)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Life In The Abstract

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


This post is another departure from the beauty of autumn. Rather than focusing on the intense beauty of this season, I want to go back a few seasons, and bring you to right now in my life. I want to post about how I have been feeling inside, since Trump took office. Simply put... it's felt a lot like the quote at the stop of the post. Like this all simply cannot be real! Life has gone from real, and logical and secure to something that feels like it cannot possibly be real! Even my faith, which I rarely speak about online, because it's so personal to me, has gone through a bit of a metamorphosis.

 I think in some ways it my faith has gotten stronger. I don't linger there, because if God does have some specific thoughts about the time we are living in, they are between Trump and God. Or maybe Covfefe, perhaps, because we still don't know if Covfefe is an entity, or the made up object of a demented mind, which brings me to my point.

For the first time in my life, I feel like every day is an exercise in an abstract existence. Is the universe real? Or did I pass through a thin spot where different worlds blur in their lines? And if I just find the right vortex, will I return back to the world that might not be perfect, and might throw me the occasional curve ball, but that mostly makes sense! Every decision in world politics right now, seems so abstract and random! It's all so surreal, that we can't possibly analyze it effectively, so should we even try?

 There was a day when I felt like it normal that life that moved about randomly, and we humans would get thrown the occasional ball of surreal, to keep it all interesting! How many times have you either heard, or even said yourself, "well, I didn't see that coming!" I know I have had some pretty surreal experiences. Stuff that I can't explain. Incidents that boarded on the supernatural, or so strange, that they could only be left up to mine, or Alan's interpretation of it, because it was personal to us.

 Day to day life for he and I, usually moves along pretty scheduled and routine, but every once in a while, we have to look at each other, and say... "What just happened?" I mostly like it when the unusual happens, but the surreal got kicked up about 10 levels when Trump took office! He is doing so many things that make NO sense, and no one in the GOP, seems to have a problem with it! The night he tweeted out "Covfefe" it stayed up on his official Twitter account for at least 6 hours! That's NOT NORMAL.

 At first it was confusing, but then it turned to funny, as folks around the world, tried to make fun of it, or speculate about it's meaning. But when my own glee wore off, I got a sinking feeling that it may have been a nuclear code, or perhaps a intelligence code word, because earlier in the year, he reveled a code word that belonged to an ally, when he hosted the Russian ambassador at the White House. THAT'S NOT NORMAL.

Trump has provoked North Korea to the point that, every day goes by that we aren't fully involved in the end of the world through nuclear war, I am surprised! Sometimes I wonder if I will wake up in the morning, or will I die, and simply move on to a new existence without realizing it! Did I already die? Did we all die, or is this some existence in a nightmare I can't wake up from. Am I in a coma somewhere? Did the earth find a thin spot in the universe and we all had to go through it? Maybe that explains why pictures have turned up, apparently untouched, of folks holding what looks like cell phones... in the 1930's and 40's! THAT'S NOT NORMAL!

No, I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I do listen before I judge. And while the pictures and videos I have seem to be real, there are some explanations when seem to dispel the idea of time travel. Early versions of hearing aids being one of them, which makes sense! But what about what's happening now? Is it that idiots have always existed, we just have more now, then any other time ever? Well, folks have been falling for bullshit for as long as I can remember, we just have better access to it because of the Internet! See, that makes sense, and sometimes weird shit happens, and there just isn't any explanation for it, but personally, when things happen, that are NOT NORMAL, and it affects the whole world, I tend to want to know why?

Welcome to life in the abstract!
Or parallel Universe!
Or purgatory!
If you find out which it is, please let me know!

Personally, I believe it's a parallel universe.
But I'm open to the possibilities!

#20 Leaf Of The Day
November 20th, 2017
Cull Canyon

Mood: Quiet


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Beauty In The World... From The 2017 Archives

"I believe all photographers want to be remembered for their images. They reflect a piece of their soul."

~Christer Paul Flateau

I was tiptoeing through my photo archive, from earlier this year, and since I did very little blogging in 2017, I decided to chose a few photos that I liked, but didn't feel up to blogging about on the day they were taken, and highlight them now. It's less than a week until Thanksgiving, and it's going to be a busy time, so I think it's the right time to take a look backward, with thankfulness, rather than bitterness, about how the year has been with Trump in office.

I let a lot of my creativity slide, instead choosing to be scared, angry and depressed. It's hard to not feel all this things, when even experts in various fields, like the American Psychiatric Association, have felt a duty to warn the American people about the dangers of having Trump in the White House. That was unprecedented, and should be taken seriously, however, the powers that be don't seem interested in removing him from office, so we are all stuck in a situation we, as individuals, have NO WAY to fix. It feels like we are all on a roller-coaster, running completely out of control! That is not a fun feeling, at all!

So, now I find myself quoting the Serenity Prayer to myself. I got that chip when I successfully graduated from Adult Daycare, after my nervous breakdown in 2000. It was a long, hard, painful road, but I worked through some things, and I was managing stress and occasional bouts of depression pretty well, again, until the Electoral Collage put an unstable man in power. After all those years, I found myself feeling things I hadn't felt in years, but when I recognized how bad it had gotten, I sought help, and I am beginning to come out of my almost self-imposed darkness.

I don't think, at the time I took these photos, I fully appreciated the beauty in them. I was taking photos, at Alan's request, because he was worried about me, and thought it would be good for me to do something other than dwell on all the bad things happening in America. It wasn't healthy to watch CNN 24/7, because, as he pointed out, there was nothing I could do to stop anything Trump does while in office. I needed to "accept the things I couldn't change." And I have, or at least I am trying my best to do just that!

This next week, I know that he will be pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey, per White House tradition, but he will probably use his power to pardon a few other turkeys as well, if you get my drift. I see it coming, but there is nothing I can do, so at least I am aware, that there is a strong possibility regarding pardons, and can deal with it by picking up my camera, and searching for the beauty in life. Oh don't get me wrong, I will feel all those emotions that are perfectly reasonable to feel, but hopefully, I will be able to balance the feelings with some creativity. That's my hope anyway.

 So, lets look back at some beauty I didn't appreciate earlier this year, and we will go from there. I used some editing software on some of them, just to give you an idea what my imagination sees, rather then what the camera sees. Sometimes I see through an Impressionist filter in my creativity, and I try to bring that to my photographs, to let you get a better idea of how I see the world.

Golden Lamp
Carson City, Nevada
November 6th, 2017
(Soft Filter)

Purple Flower
Moss Beach, California
April 13th, 2017
(Impressionist Filter)

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, California
April 13th, 2017
(Soft Filter)

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, California
April 13th 2017
(Soft Filter)

#19 Leaf Of The Day
November 19th, 2017
Carson City, Nevada

Mood: Creative
~Me :)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

My "Stuff You See Along The Way" Album

"Because it's like taking a vacation from real life,
 and real life is mostly terrible."

~Kara Lee Corthron
The Truth Of Right Now

 This past year has been exhausting. One dreadful day, after another, so I was really ready for our vacation, but I have to tell you, our vacation was a mixed bag of experiences, so I was ready to get back to real life. It wasn't the most relaxing or fun vacation we have ever had, but we did have an amazing time here and there. We took lots of day trips, and we enjoyed the autumn sun very much! Watched a lot of movies, mostly Halloween/spooky themed movies, but we also watched a lot of different Rob Lowe movies, my favorite being, St. Elmo's Fire! And no, I haven't forgot to clue you in about our Rob Lowe experience/memories, I am just saving them for next week! So stay tuned for the details! It's kinda fun! Well, it was fun for us!

Anyway, because we took so many day trips, mostly around the Central Valley, Carson City, and the Sierra, we naturally saw all kinds of interesting things! Stuff I had NO IDEA even existed! We found some new restaurants, and parks! We found a lot of amazing little towns, bright with autumn color, and we did what we could to just take a step back from the muck of day to day politics! But one odd thing that kept coming up, that we hadn't noticed on past vacations, was that people seemed grumpy, and not quite as welcoming. I can't blame them, they are living in the same world we are, and they weren't on vacation! It's important to try to remember right now, we are all under stress, and it's also best to remember, if someone offends you, and you know you did nothing wrong, it's not you, it's the world weariness we are all under!

Think Compassion First,
 But Stand Up For Yourself With Forgiveness! 

Pretty Rock
Plumas National Forest

Flag Rock
Eastern Sierra Range, Nevada

Altamont Pass
San Joaquin County, California

Highway 124
Near Ione, California

Lake Tahoe

Nuclear Plant
Sacramento County, California

Pastorino's Pumpkin Patch
Half Moon Bay, California

Kit Carson Trail Medallion
Carson City,Nevada

Multi-colored Pumpkin
Manteca, California

Toiyabe National Forest Ranger Station
Carson City, Nevada

Scarecrow Kitty
Orinda, California

Lodi, California

Olives And Honey
Manteca, California

American Flag
Rainbow Orchards
Apple Hill, Camino, California

Central Valley "Stonehenge"
Ione, California

Leaves And Lavender
Castro Valley, California

Confetti Falling Leaves
Placerville, California

Carson City, Nevada

 Eastern Sierra Sunset
Carson City, Nevada

#18 Leaf Of The Day
November 18th, 2017
Cull Canyon, California

 Mood: Happy
~Me :)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Laughing And Crying In Autumn

Carson City, Nevada
October 22nd, 2016

"Autumn has come
and reason has gone.
Yesterday, I sold the sun for you
and tonight the stars are running
 When you first spoke
you slowly annihilated my world. 

Your mouth was like the sea...
in your kisses I sank.
Your hands were the Ocean...
in your caresses I sank.
I ask for no salvation on this moonless night
I only ask for more autumn."

~Kamand Kojouri

The photo at the top of this post, was taken on October 22nd, 2016, in Carson City, Nevada. The color around the Sierra was at it's peak, and down in Carson City it was no different! Autumn last year, was so alive with color, that in my imagination it seemed like if I stood very still, I could almost hear the season laughing out loud! I know, I am a bit unreasonable when it comes to autumn, but autumn is as much a part of me, as my arms, legs, and especially my eyes! And no one loves a good deep laugh as much as I do!God knows I stumble enough through life, making goofy mistakes, that I can safely say, I laugh at my own mistakes several times a week!

Fate gave me a sense of humor, and a love of photography, reading, and I am a bit of a joker. I like making others, and myself, laugh. It's good for them, and it's good for me! But mostly, I enjoy sharing my photography, and sharing the things that I see that touch my soul! I think if fate ever really got mad at me, it would take my eyesight, so I wouldn't be able to see another autumn or flower, or bird. So, I try to be good to others, and live a quiet life, although I get a little pissed off on social media from time to time, but I am not alone in that. These are trying times, and it feels like America is at it's lowest point, of my lifetime. So many things have changed, especially since the 2016 election. But I guess my assessment is true or false, depending on who you ask. 

The photo below was taken on November 6th, 2017. A little over a year after the first one. When it comes to autumn, a few weeks can make a big difference. We had a storm come through around the first of November, and the first bit of cold wind, rain and snow came down in Northern California, the Western Sierra, and all the way down to Carson City. It was a fast moving storm, but a potent one, that dropped a lot of leaves! Some trees fared better than others. There were a few around Carson City still full, and lush with leaves, but others looked like like skeletons, sad and ready for their winter shrouds to cover them.

As much as I love the leaves that covered the trees in the 2016 photograph, the 2017 photograph touched my mood with much greater accuracy, as to reflect how I feel inside right now. I am ready for winter in my soul. This year has been such a dark, cold place with Trump in office, that sometimes I feel inside, like those cold dark branches, waiting for the winter to come tell me it's okay to sleep for a while, to give me the energy, to move forward.

There are three seasons just waiting to have their time, and I have to endure them, somehow, to end up back in autumn, where I am at my happiest, and most content. With a little luck perhaps all this madness will be behind us a year from now, at least I hope so, and if so, maybe the autumn leaves will be laughing once again. One year I was finding autumn leaves in March, sharing tree branches with blossoms! Wouldn't that be nice to see again?

Carson City, Nevada
November 6th, 2017

"You make autumn mist taste like champagne
and turn winter rain into the elixir of life itself."

~Sanober Khan

Leaves And Blossoms
March 25th, 2013
Cull Canyon, California

#17 Leaf Of The Day
November 17th, 2017
 Cull Canyon, California

Mood: Inspired
~Me :)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Late Summer Album 2017

"Autumn is the time of year when Mother Nature says, "Look how easy, how healthy, and how beautiful letting go can be."

~Toni Sorenson

This set of photos were taken a few days before the end of the summer of, 2017. It wasn't officially autumn, but autumn was definitely making itself known. The light was autumn. The air was autumn. The sky was autumn, and all of it came together in one of the loveliest sunsets I have ever seen along the California coast! I'm thinking about the transition of seasons, because we only have a little over a month to go, before winter comes roaring in.

 There is a fair amount of snow coming into the Sierra this week, as it usually does about this time every year, so I will probably make my way up to the Sierra to photograph it, but I will still be holding onto autumn in my heart until the very last moment. Winter will bring it's own special beauty, and I will be happy to photograph it, because letting go is a good thing, after all, I need to begin planning for next autumn. There will be places to go, and leaves to photograph, and that takes planning! But for now, here is a look back at late summer 2017, by the Pacific Ocean.

Late Summer Album
September 2017

(Some photos where previously posted in September)

#16 Leaf Of The Day
November 16th 2017
Cull Canyon

Mood: Happy
~Me :)