Saturday, December 31, 2005

When You Hold Me Near You...

The rain is pouring down outside tonight, and the air is cool. It is going to be raining all weekend here in Northern California, and it is making me feel kind of introspect I guess. Time never stops amazing me. It sometimes moves painfully slow, and yet again it can all seem like a blink. I am just going to let my mind do it's drifting, in and out of memories and the rain beats on the rood and the windchimes sing in the evening breeze. Happy New Year! I'll think of you at midnight.

When You Say Nothing At All
By Ronan Keating (From Notting Hill)

It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing.

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me
A touch of your hand says you'll catch me where ever I fall
Now you say it best...when you say nothing at all.

All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near you, you drown out the crowd
Try as they may could define
What's being said between your heart and mine.

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me
A touch of your hand says you'll catch me where ever I fall
Now you say it best...when you say nothing at all.

"Romance In Red II" By Gockle

Friday, December 30, 2005

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #92: Resolutions

"So, what is it like in the real world? Well, the food is better, but beyond that I don't recommend it."

-Bill Watterson

Weekend Assignment #92: Do you have New Year's resolutions for 2005? If so, share one (or more if you like).

Extra Credit: How did you do on your resolutions for 2005?

-John Scalzi

In that I have had to cut back my photography treks and accept that I will be spending more time at home, I have decided to keep a promise to Alan, and expand my recipe file by creating new original recipes using the vegetables and fruits from our yard. I think it will be fun and will give me a chance to try some different photography as I create each new recipe. Alan has a favorite recipe that I created, it is the "30 Pound Lasagne" also called "Don Lasagne." I tried making an all vegetable lasagne this past summer using the fresh vegetables from the garden. It was a lot of fun, and came out pretty good I think. I also created a summer veggie soup, that was light and tasty. I think this year I will expand the recipes to include more desserts and appetizers. I will be posting my adventures in recipe creating, so don't forget to tune in to see how I do. LOL. I am sure it will be an adventure! How does "Honey Lemon Fondue w/ Fruity Angel Food Cake" sound? :)

Extra Credit: I did just fine. I didn't have any! LOL. :)

"Summer Feast"
Berkeley, California
Summer, 2005
Late Afternoon

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Veritum dies aperit (Time Discovers The Truth)

"Lost time is never found again."

-Ben Franklin

At 7:00 pm EST, the year that was 2005 will gain an extra second. The adjustment to time will take place by adding one second into clocks worldwide at the stroke of midnight Coordinated Universal Time. Personally I am not greatly pleased about this year having any extra time in it. I won't miss 2005 for a number of reasons, the dreadful worldwide catastrophe's, some personal losses and of course the change of residence for my journal Ellipsis. On the other hand this year also saw some personal gains for me, like the building a some new, wonderful friendships and even the gift of repairing some damaged relationships. I guess it was like any other year...with the sweet comes the bitter. I am here to write about it so I am lucky to have that, and if nothing else, I think 2005 gave me a lesson in being much more aware that to lose any time spent with your passions is a sad thing. That extra second will be added to my life this Saturday at 4:00 pm Pacific time, I wonder how I should use it well? A second is a long time, you become aware of that when you stop to measure it.

It took a PSA airplane 7 seconds to crash to the earth, after a midair collision over the skies of San Diego, in 1978.

What could be done in 7 seconds?

You could dial the phone number of someone you love.
You could laugh.
You could say "I'm sorry" "Forgive me" "I forgive you."
You could pet your cat or dog.
You could make a face at a child so they can laugh.
You can look in the mirror and smile at yourself.
You can think a good thought someone's way.
You can choose to remember one good memory, and choose to forget a bad one.
You can really look through the lens of a camera and visualize what the photo you are about to take will look like. Someday the photo will be a part of history, as well as your own personal history.

In the days after Hurricane Katrina devestated New Orleans, it was estimated that the pumps used to return the flood waters back to Lake Ponchatrain, pumped as much as 380 cubic meters (380,000 liters or 23,190, 000 cubic inches) of water every second.

Now...what to do with one second...

You can smile at a someone you love.
You can fart.
You can allow that fleeting idea you have about reaching out, come alive by dropping someone an email to say "I thought about you today."
You can sneeze.
You can kiss.
You can take a cleansing breath and give yourself a break.
You can take the opportunity to go with whatever idea you have.

I believe that everything, good or bad, begins with one second. While I am not particularly happy about any additional time being added to the year, I am also aware that the extra second doesn't have to go unnoticed or feared...after all maybe it is in actuality a "second chance."

"Time Enough"
San Francisco Ferry Building
San Francisco, California
Summer, 2005
Early Morning

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings

"I used to say, "I sure hope things will change." Then I learned that the only way things are going to change for me is when I change."

-Jim Rohn

For most of the past year, I have been watching my pal Wil over at his journal, The Daily Snooze, playing a fun, weekly free association game called unconscious Mutterings. The list of words is from, and anyone can play along. A new list of words is posted each Sunday, and you have the whole week to post your responses to the listed words. I decided since this is the last full week of 2005, it would be a very good time to play along for the first time.

"The rules are, there are no rules." There are no right or wrong answers. Don't limit yourself to one word responses; just say everything that pops into your head. And you don't have to have your words up on Sunday. Take all week if you want! Read the FAQ for more information."

1. Virus: Illness
2. Poop: Crap
3. Smart: Maxwell
4. Agent: Agent 86 (Played by Don Adams in Get Smart.)
5. Wrap: Cover
6. Brass: Knuckles
7. Waste Of Time: Bore
8. Suspicious: Food
9. 360: Crop Circles
10: Dummy: Quiet

"Free association is described as a "psychoanalytic procedure in which a person is encouraged to give free rein to his or her thoughts and feelings, verbalizing whatever comes into the mind without monitoring its content." Over time, this technique is supposed to help bring forth repressed thoughts and feelings that the person can then work through to fain a better sense of self.

That's an admirable goal, but for the purposes of this exercise, we're just hoping to have a little fun with the technique. Each week I'll post ten words to which you can respond to with the first thing that comes to mind."

Berkeley, California
December 18th, 2005
Late afternoon

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Looking Out My Window

"Photography is a way of feeling of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured remembers little things long after you have forgotten everything."

-Aaron Suskind

Today was one of those days. I didn't get much done, but I did decide to take the advice given to me by a good friend, a while back, for handling days like today. "If you can't go out to take photos, set the tripod up in your bedroom and take photos out the that's what I did! And look what I saw. I got to see this deer and a couple others walk through the back of the property in the late afternoon. I love living up in the hills. Good advice friend! :)

Over at my photoblog, Ellipsis...Legeres D' Ambiant, I am counting down my top 10 favorite photos of the year. Be sure to drop by when you get the chance to see my very best in photographs!

"Deer Crossing"
Berkeley, California
December 26th, 2005
Late Afternoon

Monday, December 26, 2005

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Holiday Celebrations!

Before the ice is in the pools,
before the skater's go,
Or any cheek at nightfall is tarnished by the snow,
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me.

-Emily Dickinson

Monday Photo Shoot: Lets see how the holidays happened for you and yours.

-John Scalzi

The holidays in our home are usually played out in small vignettes. Christmas Eve has a spontaneity that I adore. This year we played in the new fallen leaves, then we went for a long car ride to see what was going on around town. We came home and exchanged Christmas ornaments and wrapped Elvis's new sweater. The next day we had breakfast and Alan went off to work. Later in the afternoon we exchanged presents, and then we played the Dreidle game and talked and laughed and enjoyed each other's company. Like I said...little vignettes. :)

"Home At The Holidays"
Berkeley, California
December 24th/25th, 2005

Tagged By Shelly 5x5

"And remember, no matter where you go...there you are."


I have been tagged by my friend Shelly for a new meme. This one is a bit longer then the last one I did, but it was a lot of fun to do. I really like this part of blogging, fun little projects like this were we can get to know each other. I thought it was a lot of fun at parties to play games where you got to know your friends a little better, I mean everyone knows how well I can draw, but can you guess what kind of pickle relish I prefer on my hot dogs? Or what my favorite pizza topping is? Or, what perfume I wear in the daytime or at night? :) Guesses anyone?

Now on with the meme...

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot. Remember to add the links.

1. Eddy
2. Sara
3. Kirk
4. Shelly
5. Carly

Then you tag five more people to pass the meme to so they can play also.

I think I will let people play along if they want to, this is a busy time. :) Be sure to come back here and drop me a link if you decide to play, so I can come and read your answers.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was caring for my mother and working on some country type craft projects and scrapbooking.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
A year ago I got my first digital camera...and the whole world opened up for me!

Five snacks you enjoy.
1. Peanut butter filled pretzel pockets.
2. Fresh fruit with white chocolate yogurt.
3. Assorted cheeses.
4. Cinnamon pecans (toasted)
5. Pizza Bites

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics.
1. Take The Long Way Home...Supertramp.
2. Somewhere Someone Waits For You...Carly Simon.
3. Yesterday...The Beatles.
4. I Saw The Light...Todd Rundgren.
5. Wouldn't It Be Nice...The Beach Boys.

Five things you would do is you were a millionaire.
1. Buy all the stock in my good friend Jon's toy store and give the toys to Toys for Tots and Children's Hospital in Oakland.
2. Set up a scholarship fund for young writers/artists.
3. Buy a penthouse apartment in San Francisco and New York.
4. Learn to play the piano.
5. Attend a professional cooking school.

Five bad habits.
1. General procrastination.
2. Forgetting to put the CD's and DVD's back in the proper cases.
3. Forgetting to eat. It makes me weird.
4. Finishing Alan's sentences.
5. Forgetting to put out frozen meat to thaw for dinner.

Five things you like doing.
1. Taking digital photographs of the Bay Area.
2. Shopping in small out of the way specialty shops.
3. Reading.
4. Collecting dragonflies.
5. Playing board games.

Five things you would never wear again.
1. High Heels. Those days have come and gone!
2. Headbands.
3. The color yellow.
4. A fanny pack.
5. Black nail polish.

Five Favorite toys.
1. Elvis
2. My digital camera.
3. My cell phone.
4. My Sims2 game.
5. My laptop.

And there you have it, now you know me a teensy bit better! :) Don't forget to comeback here and leave me a link if you want to play. Come know you want to. ;)

"Staying Within The Lines"
Berkeley, California
December 24th, 2005
Late Afternoon.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Night Before Hanukkah

The Night before Hanukkah
By Melinda Bell

Twas the first night of Hanukkah and all through the house
Pleasure was spreading, as quick as a mouse.

The children played dreidle and ate with such glee
Oh latkes and donuts a pleasure to see!

The menorah was placed by the window with care
So all who came by could see it was there.

We sang lots of songs, and told lots of stories
About the Maccabees and all of their glories.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutter and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eye should appear
But a vision of Judah the Maccabee there!

As he walked from the hill he was so proud to say
That the war had been won, we were all free to stay!

The Greeks were defeated and so it was sure
The Israelites could stay in their homeland so pure.

He wanted to go to the temple and pray
But needed to warn of a hitch on the way.

The temple was ruined by some in the war
It was dark, and I worried we'd be lost for sure.

As we traveled to Jerusalem on some mighty trail
Judah assured me that we would not fail.

The night was dark, as I feared it would be
Hey we were traveling through the 2nd century.

But far, far above us, we saw a bright light
Coming from the window of the temple that night.

Those that had gathered there were quick to say
There was just enough oil to last only one day.

They worried as news of the victory spread
Others would be lost, or left asleep in their bed.

Those that came after would not get to see
The lamp which told of our victory.

The faithful were sure that all would right
And that one cruse of oil would last us eight nights.

As the eight nights befell us, it soon became clear
The lamp would stay lit...darkness was nothing to fear.

So now to this day, each year we celebrate
The Festival of Lights for eight nights on this date.

And so as you enjoy the great gift of light,
Happy Hanukkah to all, and to all a good night.

"Dreidle And Coins"
Berkeley, California
December 25th