Saturday, April 19, 2008

Round Robin Challenge: Variety Show

"Variety is the spice of life, that which gives it all it's flavor."

-William Cowper

Our latest Round Robin Challenge is all about variety, and comes to us by Nancy, who authors the journal, "Nancy Luvs Pics." I liked doing this challenge a lot. The neat thing about the challenges is that I am always learning something new with them. With this challenge, I began to think in terms of photographing things going together as opposed to trying to keep my pictures simple, as with one main subject. I came up with little "ingredients" in my photos, kind of like trying different flavors to make the perfect recipe. I gave myself the assignment to come up some natural variety, as well as a still life.

I think I like the end result...

Have you ever seen a butterfly feeder?
L-R Julia, Swallowtail and Great Southern White

A Variety of Tulips

Are you inspired to join the challenge? You are certainly invited to do so. All you need is a camera, and a blog or journal to post your entry. The Round Robin Challenges are open to everyone. The more the merrier. :) You can find out all the information you need to know to play this challenge by clicking here. This challenge will be open for one week, but our next challenge will be announced this Sunday, April 20th. Be sure to visit all the Robins and leave them your support. Just click the links below.

Linking List
** Welcome New Member :)

Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pics

Karen... Outpost Mavarin

Carly... Ellipsis

Sandy... Myanderings

Sarah... Charish

Jill... Letting Crazy Take A Spin

Chrissie... Chrisseas-Corner

Kiva... Eclectic Granny

Kat... In My Dreams I Can Fly

T J... TJ's Photo Expressions

Jennifer Robin... Robin's Woods

Whammy... The Ellis Family Cincinnati

Lisa Marie... Lisa's Chaos

Monica... Family Affair Photography

Marie... Photographs and Memories

Annie... Pictures of Craziness

Suzanne R... Living... Suzanne R's Life

Robinella... Robinella's

**Angela... Chocolate Syrup For The Soul

Janet... Fond of Photography

Jan... The Prytz Family

Martha... Perception

Jama Hameed... Sweet Memories

Momma... Sandcastle Momma

Swampy... Anectdotes, Antidotes & Anodes

Sahvvy... The Instantaneous Existence Of Me

Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

Kim... Nekked Lizard Lady

Vicki... Visions By Vicki

Teena... It's all about me!

Vicki... Maraca

"Variety Is The Spice Of JellyBeans"
Berkeley, California
April 18th, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

Looking For Peacefulness In Richardson Bay

"I believe there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright."

-Henry David Thoreau

Last Wednesday was a very good day. We began by visiting the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, and finished by doing a couple of short hikes in Marin County. First up at the Marin Headlands, then along the shore in Richardson Bay. The sun was perfect, the air was perfect and all was right with the world. But there was a moment... when not everything was so perfect.

Yes, Alan and I fuss once in a while. It is usually about the same thing. His driving, and my backseat driving. LOL. Sometimes he scares me, and sometimes I overreact and before you know it... GRRRR meets GRRRR. We usually end up laughing about it later, like we did last Wednesday. "Carly, did we take a wrong turn at the last stop sign?" To which I reply, "Yes, YOU were completely and utterly wrong!" LOL. Followed by a mischievous little grin. "Later, when I accidentally (on purpose) forget to make your dinner... it will be my turn." LOL. "That won't work my dear, I know how to cook!" ROFLMAO... and he's right, he does know how to cook. Tee Hee. It's difficult to be spiteful to a man who knows how to find his own food. LOL. It's much nicer to cuddle up and laugh the Grrr away.

Our little spat had happened early, and we had completely brushed it off by the time we had got to Richardson Bay, but had we still be grumpy, I am sure the minute we passed into the sanctuary it would have melted away due to the absolute beauty of the surroundings. The nature trail, the view of the bay and San Francisco, the wildflowers, and of course, the birds. We saw Canadian Geese, some Mockingbirds, the usual shore birds, and some gorgeous little Quail. Sigh. I want to visit here more often, and I am planning on doing some sunset photos next autumn, when the light dims early. Autumn and winter is my favorite time to do sunset photos, the colors seem a little more intense to me. Just a little more beauty to look forward to.


Lyford House

The Shoreline


Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary
Richardson Bay
Tiberon, California
April 16, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Martha's A-Z Photo Challenge: "C" Is For Cecropia Moth

"Between our birth and death, we may touch understanding, as a moth brushes a window with it's wing."

-Christopher Fry

Martha's A-Z Photo Challenge continues! We are now on the the letter "C." Yesterday, I visited the Conservatory of Flowers Butterfly Zone, and to my delight I was treated to yet another new challenge, the Cecropia Moth. Isn't she beautiful?! To my delight, not only did I get to photograph this beautiful creature, but the little round balls you see next to her along the walls are her eggs! :) That was the first time I have been able to photograph butterfly or moth eggs.

The Cecropia moth is one of the largest moths in North America, with a wingspan of 6 inches. I was hoping she would open her wings just once, but no luck, she is a moth after all, and therefore most active at night. Maybe next month when the conservatory begins offering the night time safaris I will be able to capture one with it's wings open. It's a sure bet I will try. :)

I am lovin' this challenge. You should play along too! Thanks Martha! :)

Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)
Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
April 17th, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex Baby

"Maybe the best we can do is not quit, play the hand we've been given, and accessorize the outfit we've got."

-Carrie Bradshaw, (Sarah Jessica Parker) Sex And The City

I am a Miranda... how about you? Well, at least that is the character from Sex and the City that I am most like, according to the cute little quiz I found at iVillage. Somehow I am surprised that I am a Miranda, most days I feel more like Charlotte, although don't think that there aren't plenty of days when I would swear my name is Carrie. That's what I found neat about the show... there was a little of all of these women in most women. Of course, that was the point I think. We were somehow supposed to identify with these ladies, and just because we were married didn't mean we were left out.

Ok, yeah I know, it was supposed to be all about the angst of post 30 dating, but as I watched the series, I could see my past a little clearer somehow. Just because you marry the right man, doesn't mean you don't still love your past loves just a little... or even a lot. That's just one of the little secrets about marriage no one tells you, until one day you find out for yourself. Well, at least in my case that's true. I am an overly sentimental person. I hold on to things until the brutal, bitter end. I guess it is a weird kind of collection that I still have in my heart. Mr. November, was my Mr. Big. Sigh. I got over most of them. Life does go on. Perfectly. Happily. And yet... sigh. That man completely broke my heart.

LOL. Anyway, Sex and the City turned out to be a better show then I thought it would be. We have all dated stupid men, and fell for the wrong guy, and fell for the right guy and found happiness, and lost happiness, and dealt with the absurdities of life in general. One of my favorite moments was when Carrie was modeling in a fashion show for a fabulous designer, of course, and right as she began her sexy walk down the catwalk, she falls right off her shoes... landing right on the floor. Yikes! She was fashion roadkill. But she got back up, and finished her walk down that catwalk... head held high! She ended her strut with a high five to super model Heidi Klum. It was perfect. If you have ever fallen on your face, either literally or metaphorically, you understood her triumph. :) By the way, that was Episode #50 "The Real Me."

That's why I liked the show. It usually left you feeling a little less alone. You know what I mean don't you ladies? If you are a female, you probably have those days, once in a while, when you are just out of step, no matter how confident you usually feel. No matter how fabulous you think you are, or even how fabulous your friends think you are, there are days when you just feel like giving up. If you aren't fashion roadkill, then you are emotional roadkill or relationship roadkill. Right? Well, like Carrie, all we can do on those days is pick ourselves up, and get on with that day's strut down the catwalk and hold our heads high. Thanks Carrie, you did good! High Five!

So tell me, are you planning to see the new movie "Sex And The City?" Will you go see it when it hits the theaters on May 30th, or will you wait until it makes it to cable or DVD? Which character do you identify with most? Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte or Samantha? Who was your favorite male character? Do you have a great love you have never quite gotten over? Is there a Mr. Big in your past? If you could see them again... would you want to? Come on... share. You know you want to! WINK.

"Can you get to your future, if your past is present?"

-Carrie Bradshaw

"I am good at crossword puzzles, I am not so good at people puzzles."

-Carrie Bradshaw

Trivia Question... What was Mr. Big's first name?


Monday, April 14, 2008

Twenty-Twenty-Twenty Four Hours To Go

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

-Friedrich Nietzsche

You should have seen me. There I was, stereo up about as high as I could get it to go, and me in my bright pink sports bra and jeans, dancing around my kitchen to the soothing sounds of the Ramone's song, "I Wanna Be Sedated." I bet I was the only 45 year old woman on my block doing that, at that particular moment, which is probably why my neighbor over the back fence was watching me so intently, big grin on his face and all. Sheesh. He was fresh! LOL. Don't you just love hot days in April?

Sing it with me...

Twenty, twenty, twenty four hours to go, I wanna be sedated
Nothin to do and nowhere to go-oh-oh, I wanna be sedated
Just get me to an airport, put me on a plane
Hurry, hurry, hurry before I go insane
I can't control my fingers, I can't control my brain
Oh no, no, no, no, no...


Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Ellipsis Lifestyle... My Favorite Products #1 Eating Right Multigrain Spaghetti

"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art."

-La Rochefoucauld

As I said in a previous entry, eating as a diabetic takes a bit of creativity. That's a good thing. Putting a little extra thought into what I eat has made me feel better about living with diabetes. The days that I struggle most, have nothing to do with my Type 2 diabetes and more to do with my Fibromyalgia. There isn't much that can be done with that, but try to eat right and get as much exercise as I can when I am feeling up to it. Fortunately, I have more good days then bad ones. When I do have a bad day, it is a comfort to be able to make a decision about my nutrition that I know will be good for me, and not complicate my diabetes. I am a happy girl, and I am somewhat of an adventurer. So, meal planning for me is kind of fun, like a big experiment. What will taste really good, make me feel satisfied, and still leave me with some healthy post meal blood glucose numbers? To my amazement, I have found a ton of products that do just that.

One of my favorite new finds is Safeway's Eating Right Multigrain Spaghetti. I have tried other products in the Eating Right line, but this is the first time I have tried one of their pastas. It was a big success in our house. At first I shied away, thinking it would have that wood taste that a lot of multigrain products do, but then I thought about how much I liked their other foods and I went for it. It was really good. Not just tasty, but it also cooks up really nice. Firm yet tender. I added the dry pasta to a pot of rapidly boiling water, no oil, and it didn't stick together the way other pastas do. I only needed to do a little bit of stirring with a folk a couple times. Now of course it does have a slight multigrain taste, but it is flavorful, not dry and woody.

I served 3 oz. of the cooked spaghetti, with sauce made with 1/4 lb. hamburger (97% fat free) and 1 cup of Ragu Original flavored with meat pasta sauce, and 1 tbs. Kraft Parmesan cheese. On the side was 1 1/2 cups mixed salad with 2 tbs Kraft Fat Free Catalina dressing. My blood glucose reading before my meal was 111 mg/dl and 2 hours later my reading was 126 mg/dl. I was thrilled! Now that's more like it. I ate all I wanted, I knew exactly what I was eating, and my blood glucose numbers were great. Now I have to try some of the other pasta in this line, I think I am hooked! This stuff is good for everybody. Give it a try and let me know how you like it. :) Diets don't work, but eating creatively does. Make eating an art.

Eating Right Multigrain Spaghetti
Berkeley, California
April 13, 2008