Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

"You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you are sure they won't laugh if you trip."

-Jonathan Carroll, "Outside The Dog Museum."

I am making a very special dinner tonight, well actually, Alan and I are going to make the dinner together. He enjoys cooking as much as I do, and we have a ton of fun trying new recipes. He is much better in math then I am, and often times I rely on him to help me with cutting down measurements and the preparation, especially if my hands have been giving me difficulties. Today, however, it will just be about the fun! Here is what we are making for dinner...

Appetizer: Chilled Pear Soup

Dinner: Chicken Cordon Bleu / Green Salad w/ Raspberry Vinegrette/ Baked Sweet Potatoes w/ Cinnamon Pecan sauce

Dessert: Chocolate/Strawberry Cupcakes :) Pillsbury Reduced Sugar Cake Mix

And it's all guilt free! :)

Note: Busy, Busy, Busy... I am taking a few days off, see ya one week from today! Thursday, February 21st. :)

"Happy Valentine's Day"
Thursday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Winter Blossoms And The Art Of Penjing

"The flowers of late winter and early spring, occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size."

-Gertrude S. Wister

Mmmmmm... flowers! Alan and I went to the Conservatory of Flowers yesterday, and visited the two new exhibits, "Lunar New Year Floral Display," which included lots and lots of citrus fruits and blossoms, and "The Art Of Penjing." Penjing, features miniature plant displays created in containers and on trays, which depict miniature villages and landscapes. I loved it! I admire art like this so much, the little villages created for the display had some really beautiful, intricate detailing. Lovely. The park itself was nothing short of beautiful yesterday, it was one of our first really warm days of this year, and because of the warm weather there were sunbathers and bikinis all about the park. Happiness.

We had a pretty good day, and as we were exiting, I asked about whether the butterfly display would comeback this year, and got resounding, "YES!" Tuesday, March 18th! I cannot wait. I had an amazing time in 2006, photographing the amazingly beautiful butterflies they had on display, and I know I learned a ton about photography that year. Different butterflies have different and distinct behaviors, and some are much more challenging then others to photograph. They are a beautiful challenge for this amateur shutterbug, and a perfect way to chase away stress and the blues, while getting a little exercise. :)

Daffodils In The Mist"
Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
February 12th, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Karen's Monday Photo Shoot #7: Valentine Views

"Love... a wildly misunderstood, although highly desirable, malfunction of the brain, which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and lips to pucker."

-Author Unknown

New Monday Photo Shoot #7: Valentine's Day is nearly upon us. Show us something related to that day.

-Karen Funk Blocher, of the blog, Outpost Mavarin

I decided to make a homemade valentine for Alan this year. :) I will share more about what I have planned for Valentine's Day on Wednesday, but for now, here is the whatnot about the photo. I used one of the photos I took in the Golden Gate Park Rose Garden last year. We had a good day together that day, so it should bring back some nice memories! ;)

"Happy Valentine's Day"
February 11th, 2008
Berkeley, California
Early Evening

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Year Of The Butterfly

"From small beginnings, come great things."


I can't believe how fast this year is moving, compared to a year ago, when I was sure I was going to be stuck in 2007 forever. It wasn't even the end of January, when I asked the question, "Cant' it just be New Year's Eve already?" LOL. It was a new beginning, like most new years represent, and yet all I could see was how much for it was representing a certain kind of end. It's now a year later, I am older, I am certainly wiser, and I feel pretty good inside. Peaceful. In some ways I have diabetes to thank for that. As much as my Fibromyalgia hurts, and believe me, it does, I know it won't kill me. That's the stupid part of it. It leaves me feeling old and worn out, and yet isn't life threatening. Diabetes on the other hand, could have some long range physical effects on my body. I couldn't have that, so I used a good part of my lingering sadness and anger to take care of myself.

I was looking at a Chinese New Year Calender the other day, when suddenly I began to think about what my own personal "Carly Lunar Calender" might look like. Would it be all animals? Would each year be represented by nature in general? Hmmm... what symbols best represent me and my journey on earth? Well, after I gave it some thought, I think the new year really began for me sometime late last July, after my diagnosis. This is my year of the Butterfly. How about you? If you could have your own calendar, what would you choose as your personal symbol for the year? Does your year begin on January 31st? Or do you have a defining moment, that felt like a new kind of beginning for you? If you feel like sharing, tell me your story, or write your own entry and comeback and leave me a link. I will post the link to your entry if you do.

"The distance is nothing, it is only the first step that is difficult."

-Meister Eckhart

"The Year Of The Butterfly"
Pacific Grove, California