Monday, September 18, 2017

A Late Summer Twilight By The Pacific Ocean

"The pacific is my home ocean; I knew it first, grew up on it;s shore, collected marine animals along the coast.
 I know its moods, it's color, its nature."

~John Steinbeck
Travels With Charley: In Search Of America 

Saturday was a lot of fun! I wasn't sure at first I would be going because the my orange monster cat Dylan gave one of his early morning meowing concerts... LOUDLY! He is the most beautiful cat I have ever seen, orange like a coastal sunset, but he is also bossy, quirky and one of the great pet loves of my life. A curse, and a blessing all rolled up into nine pounds of fur!

Anyway, we left Stockton at about 1:00 PM, and made a couple stops in the East Bay, before heading to Half Moon Bay, and then to Pigeon Point Lighthouse and coastal overlook, which is about 30 minutes north of Santa Cruz. I did some shots of the lighthouse, but the lighting wasn't great so I am planning to revisit next month while we are on vacation.

It was a good day. I was in pain, so I didn't do as much with the camera as I would have liked, but Alan and I did a lot of talking, and a lot of laughing, and listened to a LOT of 80's music! We pretty much sang all day! God, we are old ones now, and eyeing retirement in a few years, and I am sure when that day comes, there will be a lot more photography, and music, and dancing around in my granny panties at the ocean. Well, probably not that last one!

The best part of Saturday was the complete lack of political obsessing by me. I didn't check my phone to see if there were missiles on their way from North Korea. No fretting about the last or even the next stupid thing he might be planning or doing, nope, the day was all about the music, the creativity, and the pure fragrant smells of being by the Pacific Ocean!

Where do the days and the years go?
Wasn't the 1980's like 15 minutes ago?

Mood: Happy

~Me :)



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Pre-Autumn Leaf #2

"In every change, in every falling leaf there is some pain, some beauty. And that's the way new leaves grow."

~Amit Ray

Another pre-autumn leaf. I really like this one. I haven't photographed many large leaves, but I think that might change this season, we'll see. I found it at a really cute fruit stand in Manteca, California, which already had some really beautiful, and impressive pumpkins for sale. It was a good outing, and a necessary one. I have become a bit of a recluse in the last couple years, or maybe agoraphobic, I am not really sure which, or if it's both. I think I touched a bit on that in a previous post. Shrug. It's just been a difficult time, but Alan is encouraging, patient and loving, so I am on the mend I think. He supports me in my photography, and he knows my creativity, and love for autumn in general, tends to get me thinking straight again. Yesterday was a good day. I think tomorrow will be too. I am hopeful anyway.

Mood: Hopeful

~Me :)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Also Coming To A Tree Near You!

"If lightening is the anger of the gods,
 then the gods are concerned mostly about the trees."

~Lao Tzu

Well, last night was fun. Thunder. Lightening. And I had an amazing viewing spot for the whole thing... the comfort of my bed! Yep. I didn't have to get dressed, at 2:40 AM, and grab my camera, and head outdoors to get some pretty good shots of the light show, all I had to do was turn off I Love Lucy, pull the curtains aside, and hang my head upside down from the headboard!

Why upside down? Well, Alan was sleeping next to me, and wasn't hearing the thunder, as it was fairly quiet, for thunder, so I didn't want to get up, turn around and stand on the bed, when all I had to do, was position the camera a bit over my slightly upside down head. It was awkward, but more than worth it, and I am a happy camper because I haven't used my cameras much this year.

I am fighting the depression since Hillary lost. I was sad after that day in November, but the real depression and fear took hold in January when Trump took office. That's when the whole thing began to really hit me hard. REALLY HIT ME HARD. Since that time I have been vocal on Twitter, but my creativity has come and gone. My will to leave the house has bordered on agoraphobia. My life changed in ways I didn't think possible, but I am adjusting.

I have a lot of pictures of different home projects and our fur babies, but I am venturing out a little more, and I am hoping to do my leaf gallery this year. I drove for the first time in almost a year the other day, and that felt good. Baby steps. Leaves. Pumpkins. Cats. Lightening, Baby Steps and repeat. Autumn is coming. That's a good thing!

Central Valley Lightening Storm
Wednesday, September 13th 2017
2:40 AM
Stockton, California

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Coming To A Tree Near You

"Beware of missing chances; 
otherwise it might be altogether too late one day."

~Franz Liszt

Here it is... the first pre-autumn leaf of the 2017 season, and it's from my own yard! We don't have a tree in our yard, the lovely one we planted, just after moving in sadly died. I will be replacing it next spring, but we do get plenty of leaves from our neighbors. Not so much as to be a nuisance, but enough to make me smile. I kind of like the brittle ones. They are fully ages and they had fully matured and transformed from dark green, to lemon yellow, and then finally that lovely brown shade. It's a life lived. Each unique. Each never given up despite it's ultimate outcome. I know, leaves do have much choice on what they give up on, but somehow, they still give me hope, because, after all, I an in the autumn of life now and it's kind of beautiful, in spite of the dark days and approaching cold. 

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, September 11, 2017

For David, Lynn And Marisa (A Post About 9/11)

"If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, 
we learn life is short and there is no time for hate."

~Sandy Dahl
Wife of Flight 93 pilot, Jason Dahl

I never thought about it until yesterday. September 11th, is a mere 10 days, before the world turns from late summer to early autumn! For most folks that really doesn't matter, it's just the turn of a season, but for me, autumn has always felt like the season that saved me. It wraps it's arms around me with the scents of baked goods, and holidays, and of course, leaves that I chase through two states, and long to, one day, make it three states! But summer... I have never liked summer, with it's hot, and humid long days, that never seem to end and that sometimes feels like the most mean-spirited of all the seasons put together, if a season can be mean!?

Anyway, today is yet another anniversary of that dreadful day in 2001. The day that completely changed America. I don't want to talk about the state of today's current political climate, I will save that for a different post, but politics right now, makes me feel like there is an endless summer happening, only the deep restlessness, and cloudy thinking won't be turning to cooler thoughts anytime soon. How about I leave it there. 

You get what I mean.

Right now, without delving any further into the cruelty or the pain that makes this a permanent day of remembrance, I just want to sit quietly and think about those taken that day, and be thankful for the time, we on Earth, were given with them, and how each touched my life personally.

I will never forget you...

David & Lynn Angell

And this year, I am adding someone who I, haven't spoken about before, but who want to remember each year, from now on. I never got a chance to meet her on earth, but I have read about her, and if I am very lucky, perhaps one day, we will me in Heaven. And what an amazing gift and honor that would be!

Marisa DiNardo Schorpp

She seemed like an amazingly beautiful and caring soul! She was loved very much, and somehow, as I have read about her life over the years, like with the Angells, I feel like I have come to know her. I think I would have been very lucky to have had her for a friend. We are the same age, she and I seemed to have some things in common. Her life was so full and so happy, and it's easy to imagine her sharing the happiness with others! The tragedy of her death, reminds me of how precious life is, and how moments and the beauty of the turning leaves should never be taken for granted! She has touched my life... from Heaven!

Rest In Peace


Mood: Quiet


Thursday, August 24, 2017

14 Years And 1 Day

Morning: Slept
Afternoon: Slept
Evening: Ate grass. Decided grass is boring.
Scratched. Hard to reach itchy bits.

~Jackie French
Diary Of A Mad Wombat 

As of today, my blog is 14 years, and one day old. I missed posting on my anniversary, yesterday, because, well, I guess for the same reason that I have done very little blogging this year in general... Donald John Trump! It's stupid, I know, but I have let him drain my creativity to a certain degree. I am having to admit the truth to myself, that the depression I have fought so deeply has returned and he is a part of it. There are more things going on, but I don't want to touch on that right now. In fact, I don't want to dwell on him either. I just want to acknowledge that I still love my blog, and I am trying to get back into the swing of things, because autumn will begin soon, and I don't intend to miss that for any reason!

So, let's take a look at what I've photographed lately...

On August 18th, the Stockton Ports, which is the farm league team associated with the Oakland A's, had a fireworks display after one of their games, and as luck would have it, our front porch is almost a front row seat for the fun. Apparently, we are facing the waterfront district at just the right angle.

They aren't perfect shots by any stretch, but I will check the schedule and have the tripod ready for the next round in September! A little more practice is in order.

The Solar Eclipse Of 2017

Again, not perfect shots, but I was happy with the outcome. I didn't have the right lens for my conventional digital camera, the NIKON, but my smart phone, a Samsung 7, did pretty well with bouncing of the eclipse off the pool. This last photo was at the maximum 75% in Northern California.

And finally...
 I engaged in a little retail therapy the other day. I saw this chenille throw at Pier 1 and couldn't resist it. It matches the autumn theme I have in the living room, and it reminded me of the autumn leaves that I love so much! I also found this pretty candle...

It's Spice Cake scented, and it smells amazing! Well, as amazing as a candle can smell! LOL. I am such a sucker for anything autumn, the colors give me a wonderful sense of well being! And the spicy scent inspired me to bake some pumpkin muffins. I am really excited to get back into photography this Fall, and I think this will be a really good year!

And just between you and me, and pretty much everybody else, it seems like Donald Trump's misdeeds will be catching up with him soon. With any luck, by the end of the year he will be gone to the pokey, or at least unseated as our president. My fingers are crossed!

I am working on defeating the depression. In addition to the pain in the ass that is Trump, we have other problems going on that will need some resolve one way or the other. Alan and I are still going strong, but money is tight and we are working on refinancing and maybe pulling some equity from the house. I will share more about that later, but for now I just want to plan for some autumn fun, like baking and photographing the beauty in the world. I just need to concentrate on the things that chases away the darkness. 

So stay tuned!
 There is a lot more to come!
 I will probably post a couple more times before I am officially back with my autumn leaf portraits for 2017!

Mood: Happy/Encouraged
Me :)


Sunday, July 09, 2017

Home And Fireworks

"Just a reminder, fireworks are more 
amazing when you are not checking your iPhone."


Well, this was the view from our front yard on the 4th of July! I missed going to the city, but as you can see, it was a pretty night and there was a quite a light show without leaving town. I kinda like it here sometimes. I am feeling more and more like this is where I was meant to be.

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Stress, Friendship And Knowing Yourself In The Time Of Trump

"Reality is the leading cause of stress
 amongst those in touch with it."

~Jane Wagner 

It's been almost two months since my last post. That's an odd realization for me, because I pretty much blogged every day this blog existed, up until a couple years ago. The big move, and all the subsequent drama kept me busy, and emotional, so a lot of the time I was too tired to post or simply didn't have the will. This past autumn I felt better. I got out with the camera and resumed my Leaf Of The Day project, and I thought I might be getting back to some emotional normalcy, and then the election happened and once again I found myself in the depths of despair, and I am finding it really difficult to climb back out.  

There was a day when I would use my blog to fight through the political and day to day life nonsense. I welcomed opposing opinions, and looked forward to the debate. Patrick, if you're reading this, you know what I mean. LOL. You and I could go on and on and it would get heated but eventually we would shake it off, maybe even take a breather from each other's blog till the dust settled, but in an appropiate amount of time come back and pick up where we left off... good friends. And I am pleased to say to this day that if I ever needed someone to remember me in their prayers, I could ask you, and you would be there without reservation. For that I will always smile and be grateful when I see you on my Twitter timeline.

I've made a lot of causal friends over social media. Whether or not we keep in touch, doesn't matter so much because we all have real lives outside of the Internet. If I haven't seen someone for a while, and they pop in to say hello, it's always nice to pick back up. I like this distance to a certain degree. I have tried to not let my worlds collide. I am a private person. I rarely share my address, or phone number, and I don't speak much about what my day to day life is like because it feels so personal. I am happy in my real life. Happy marriage. Three amazing cats that keep me laughing, and my hubby and I now own our own home for the first time in our marriage. Life is should be good. But it's not. Not at all.

I am not prepared to blame the depression I have been fighting all on Donald Trump, but I have to say... he doesn't help, in fact, he scares the living SHIT out of me on a daily basis, and on the days I get up not scared, he either pisses me off or embarrasses me to the point I find myself apologizing to the world on Twitter, and begging the forgiveness of clearer thinking countries, which is strange because I didn't vote for him, so why do I feel I have to apologize? But in any case... I do. And I do.

A couple days ago, I did something I've never done before, I blocked a Twitter pal. Yes a republican, but he is a lot more than that. He's quite talented. Funny. Intelligent. Kind. Compassionate, and a lot more nice things I suspect. Don't get me wrong, we weren't best friends, or "go to" pals, but I genuinely liked him and admired his photography skills. I hoped to learn some things about photography from him, they way I learned from Steven. I was kinda lost after Steven died, so to make a new friend who I could share similar fondness for photography with was really nice, even if we only talked ocassionally. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, when the 2016 election rolled around my friend and I would exchange the occasional barbs about left verses right and we would sometimes have some heated exchanges about our various perspectives, but it usually ended cordially, but after Trump won things felt different. In me. I don't really blame my friend for his opinion, but it all feels so irrational from the other side. It feels like when I am trying to make a point, there is no point in trying because they simply won't see or understand whats trying to be conveyed. I don't expect folks in my orbit to feel exactly like I do, but for GOD'S SAKE it feels like rational thought is dead, and has been replaced with willful ignorance. 

Understand... I am not saying that is how my friend behaved. No. But I said to him recently... "... listen, we are never going to agree on Donald Trump, his policies, his behavior or anything attached to this administration so we might as well just know that now. We just aren't." My friend agreed. We laughed a little and kicked the idea around of perhaps one day battling it out over drinks. LOL. And I left him with the request that he drop by my Twitter feed once in a while, when he isn't there to tell me how completely wrong I was. LOL. Maybe he could just come by and say "Hi... hows the weather." Again. It was a joke, meant lightheartedly, and he accepted it as such.

Well, the other day he did just that. He came by and left me a link to a Facebook post about an otter. I was adoreable. I liked it very much, and it touched me that my friend was trying to reach out. So, everything should be perfect... right? Well, timing is everything. I saw it just as Donald Trump was holding his idiotic press conference about the U.S. exiting the Paris Accord. So, I am watching a nice video about a fuzzy sea creature that my republican pal sent me, and wanting to kick my television in and scream MUTHERFUCKER at the same time. It was NOT good timing.

Something in me died. I felt it. I looked at my friend's face and knew in that moment I had to block him. Not so much because of him, but because of me. I knew that humans being humans I would one day, once again, engage with my pal in a political debate and I would go too far. I would say something dreadful that I couldn't take back. Words have meanings, and when you say something awful, out of rage, but mean it anyway, people get hurt. I don't want my friend to become the face of all the trolls who hunt me down after I leave a comment about the SHITTGIBBON we have in the White House. I don't want to take my anger, pain, frustration, fear, OH MY GOD FEAR, out on him with words I might actually mean one day.

I don't like hurting people.
I have been hurt so badly, so many times, you have NO idea.
I would rather just close the door.
And NOT say something I can't take back.

Stress in my real life, bleeds over into my virtual life, and vice versa, since Donald Trump decided to fuck our democracy. There was a time when I could handle both, but I am not doing that well right now. I am working on it, but when you can't sleep at night that doesn't help you make good decisions. I know it will all work it's way out in time. Impeachment seems likely or at least possible. Perhaps making the mortgage payments will get easier. I will learn some method of dealing with my fear of nuclear holocaust. Folks will begin waking up and realizing Trump only cares about Trump. My back will always hurt, but maybe a better medication or exercise will come along to help me deal with it. I don't know, but if my life has taught me anything it's the that ... "this too shall pass" an absolute. It will pass.

But in the meantime the journey gets
 lonely and a little sad at times.

Mood: Sad



Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Yard Rose In Black And White

"Black and white is is a mix of
 toughest simplicity
 and easiest complexity."

~Vikrmn Corpkshetra

I did a walk around the yard yesterday afternoon, but my new friend the pheasant had moved along. Not to be found. But what I did find was this gorgeous red rose by the gate, so I photographed it instead. I have to thank my friend the pheasant, if it hadn't been for him, I might not have pushed myself to pick up the camera. Sometimes life just comes together, and encouragement comes from the strangest, yet perfect sources.

Mood: Quiet


Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Seeing Tomorrow Again

"A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you."

~Brigitte Bardot

My friend the pheasant was back in the yard today. Earlier than yesterday, and I was able to capture a beautiful shot or two. It was very therapeutic. I sure hope he sticks around for a while. He is kind, and quiet... eats bugs and spiders, and so far has been kind about where he poops. In short, he is the perfect guest! I am glad I dreamed about him! He is good for me right now.

Just look at that face...

Hello Gorgeous!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)


Monday, April 03, 2017

Seeing Tomorrow

"The excitement of dreams coming true
 is beyond the description of words."

~Lailah Gifty Akita 

Friday night, into Saturday morning, I dreamed about pheasants. They were just walking all around me. Mostly female, but there was one or two males as well. It was so odd, because it was so specific! I hadn't seen pheasants since moving to Stockton, and I was a bit perplexed about why I would dream something like that. I looked up the meaning of the dream, in an online dream dictionary, and as it turns out it's a pleasant enough omen. It means that I am moving into a more centered existence in both my creative and personal life. I like that! It's been a hell of a couple years, I need this time. I need some contentment.

With the renovations going so well, and the financial situation coming to a clearer place, I think I can finely stop and breathe. And maybe get back out with the camera! I miss that passion. I wish the photo I took last night had come out better, but the pain from my fibromyalgia was hindering my ability to get a really stunning shot of that beautiful bird. Hopefully he will be in the yard again tomorrow, and I will be able to have a really nice session with the camera! Sometimes I dream. And sometimes they come true. Shrug. I guess it happens to everyone once in a while.

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The First Full Day Of Spring

"She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head
And whispered to her neighbor...
Winter is dead." 
~A. A, Milne
When We Were Very Young

I guess I should have posted my Welcome To Spring post yesterday, but I completely forgot about it! I used to think about photography, and the turning of the seasons. I used to enjoy documenting things like that, but that was before Trunp. As much as I hate to admit it, I find myself either consumed with Trump and his shenanegans, or with working on the house, or with paying bills. It's a tough time right now. I flux between being scared to death and too tired to feel anything. It seems like life was a lot easier before Trump decided to take over the world.

Was it really? Or did it just seem that way? I am not sure. I guess there have always been things to worry about in the news, but with every other president that I can remember, I don't think I went to bed scared every single night. I do now. Will I wake up to the sounds of sirens going off, warning us that a missile is on the way? Did he collude with the Russians? And if he did... is it too late to undo whatever damage that has been done? And what about all the people that are going to lose not just their health care, but the very food out of their mouths?

I flux between feeling deeply sad for them, and resentful that they refused to listen when we told them Trump was a charlatan. It's all so sad... so frustrating. Yesterday, James Comey admitted that the Trump and associates have been under criminal investigation since last July, yet nothing was said prior to the election. Comey sure found a way to plant serious doubts about Clinton, but didn't tell anyone about the Trump investigation. Unbelievable. And yet I believe it! Our own FBI swayed the election toward a man under criminal investigation for colluding with a foreign government attempting to undermine our democracy.

So yeah... I am in a bit of a fog. The seasons are just going by. Hopefully the fog of this past winter will lift soon, and things will be clearer this spring and summer. I hope so.

Welcome To Spring

 Mood: Quiet


Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patricks Day

"St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time...
 a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic."

~Adrienne Cook

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go!

~Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

"Casting a curious gaze down on planet Earth, extra-terrestrial beings could well be forgiven for assuming that we humans are programmed in every move we make, by a palm-sized, oblong, slab of glass. More perplexing that that, who on earth could convince them otherwise?"

~Alex Morritt
Impromptu Scribe 

Meet my knew cell phone. There was a time when the most sophisticated cell phone out there, had a little animated creature, in black and white, that bounced up and down and crisscross and was called a screensaver. And that was top of the line. I remember the phone like it was yesterday. It was 2002 and it was a cute little Nokia. It was about 4 inches thick, and came with all kinds of goodies. I could change it color just by slipping it into a new cover! It was a great phone... for 2002.

The difference between the phones then and now is how long they last. Like the TV's we all our parents owned,  and see sat glued to growing up in the 1960's and 70's, technology was made to last! You could own a TV for 15 or 20 years, my parents did. But today... forget about it. Two years tops! My last phone was a Samsung 5. It was a great phone, but I filled up those 16 gigs early, and it pretty much began to lose it's mind a year ago, so I have been limping along, waiting until my contract with AT&T was finally over. That day came last weekend, and it was off to the T-Mobile store for a new phone, and a new experience!

So far, so good. Two lines, unlimited TTD. Welcome to 2017. Two free phones came with the deal, and we liked our old Samsung Galaxy phones, so all we really did was upgrade to a newer model. I am having a good time with getting acquainted with my new pal, but I have to admit there are things about my old friend that I miss. Mostly basic superficial things. 

Mind you, I am not interested in going back to my old senile phone, but it's never easy saying goodbye to something, or someone, you love, and let's face it, I love having a cell phone, so I have built many different, meaningful relationships over the years, and because I tend to think of certain inanimate objects as people, I can't bear to part with them when it's time to move on. I have never broken up well. I miss them, or it, and I go through the stages of grief and then one day, eventually, I move on. My last cell phone and I survived a lot together. The most profound being a close encounter with a tarantula. But, at the end of the day... we both knew it was time to say goodbye.

 Most of the time it goes just fine with the new relationship.

 Let's face it, an upgrade is usually a good thing!


We both knew it. So on to better days!

I'm happy, and I will still use my phone for photography!

It's all good!

There is one thing I find myself resenting about my nifty new cell phone, and all the cell phones in my past for that matter, is the fact that they have made wrist watches obsolete, or unnecessary. I really miss wearing a watch. I had a small collection of them and I liked wearing them as a fashion accessory very much. Wearing a watch now doesn't seem so much fashionable as... useless.
 I really miss my watches. But I because of my cell phone, I always know exactly what time it is!


Mood: Happy

~Me :)


Thursday, March 02, 2017

Marching On

"It was one of those March days
 when the sun shines bright and the wind blows cold:
 when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."

~Charles Dickens
Great Expectations

It's the last few weeks of winter, but you wouldn't know it. The hard rain of this past few months has finally let up, although we are due for a small storm this coming Sunday! The rain has been healing both for my moods, and for the drought damaged Central Valley! Everything is a beautiful green, or if in full bloom, pick, purple, white and a dark pink! It's pretty, and it inspires me to grab the camera and search for beauty. I didn't photograph much of winter, I just wasn't in the mood, but as my mood thaws, so does the earth, and it's just too much beauty to not embrace.

Mood: Happy

~Me :)