Saturday, May 03, 2014

Round Robin Challenge: May Flowers

"Be like a flower, and turn your face to the sun."

~Kahlil Gibran

RRC: May Flowers

For the first Round Robin challenge of May, Karen wants to see the flowers! May Flowers to be exact! I wasn't sure my rose garden would be ready in time, but we had a sudden flux in temperatures last week, and it seems it was just the right amount of sun and rain to bring out the deep color of the garden. Pinks, yellows, reds... all bright and alive. It's gorgeous! Even my Japanese Maple is full of deep burgundy colored leaves, which will turn an amazing pink and copper just in time for autumn! 

The rose garden is one of my favorite joys in life. I have worked really hard on it, and it, in turn, has made me happy with all the beautiful colors, and the spicy scent of the roses. It's my happy place. And soon, I will be adding some Heirloom tomatoes to make it all come together. I can't wait until Alan gets the vegetable garden up and running! This year we are taking on pumpkins!

Round Robin Challenge: May Flowers

Okay, that's my May Flowers gallery. Now that you have seen my post, why not see what other participants in the challenge came up with. Just click the link at the top of the post to be redirected to the official Round Robin Photo Challenge blog. That's where you will find the links, and all the information you need to play along! 

"If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom."

~Audra Foveo

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, May 02, 2014

A Week Of Pink Day Five: Accessories Of Pink Scarves And Cameos...

"One is never over-dressed or under dressed with a Little Black Dress."

~Karl Lagerfeld

For this post I thought it would be fun to show off a couple fashion accessory favorites of mine. A pink floral scarf, which I used here as a frame for my pink cameo with Aurora Borealis crystals. I don't wear the color pink very often, but when I do, it's usually as an accessory for my favorite solid color dress or skirt. Like my favorite Little Black Dress. I have had one, not the same one, of course, since I was in my 20's. I love the versatility. I love dressing the black dress up, and going more casual is just as easy. Love it! This year I have added a black silk swing jacket and a black sequined sweater to the wardrobe. I haven't had a chance to wear either piece, but once again my favorite cameo will be just the splash of color called for!

"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak."

~Rachel Zoe

(If an alien landed in my yard and said... "Take me to your leader" I would take him or her to Rachel Zoe).

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, May 01, 2014

A Week Of Pink: Days 3 And 4... Blossoms In Dark And Light

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

~Anais Nin

Blossoms. To me, they are the most beautiful part of spring. We are currently in the middle of my least favorite season, and it is more like summer than anything resembling spring! All the blossoms came and went by the early part of the season. California has been unseasonably warm this year, in fact, I only remember a few truly cold days back at the end of November! Otherwise it's been depressingly bright and sunny! If everything is this green now, and the temperatures continue the way they are going, I think we will have a very early autumn this year! Not that I am complaining, it's my favorite season, but I hate the thought of it being cold and rainy for Halloween! Oh well, if it is, I will be warm, I am thinking of going as a Sock Monkey this year to match my car!


About the photos...

The top photo was taken right as the sun began to set. I waited until the very last moment I could to snap it, and then applied a little photo editing magic to achieve the desired effect of a night blossom. I loved working with that photo! It has always been one of my favorite projects!

Photo #2 was a simple photo to do. It was taken on a clear, crisp, cool spring day. It took almost no effort, which makes it one of those photos I have a hard time taking any compliments for. I didn't do anything but see a moment of nature, and save it for all time. It took no special talent, just maybe the ability to spot the beauty in an otherwise ordinary day.

Photo #3 below, was taken on a very foggy, cloudy late winter day in 2006. It was the end of February I think, and it had been warm the previous week, then turned cold and misty suddenly. I was lucky to find some blossoms that didn't have much, if any, cold damage to them. I loved photographing this white blossom. There was just something about the scene that could have kept me there forever!


Okay, two days, and three different looks at blossoms under different natural conditions, and the opportunities they provided me. I loved these times, and I am still referencing back to what I learned on those days! That's my favorite thing about photography, while you are grabbing a moment to save forever, you are constantly learning from that moment the rest of your creative life!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Look Back At April 2014...

"All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person's (or thing's) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time's relentless melt."

~Susan Sontag

April was a busy month from day one! Joey spent a couple days in the hospital to be neutered, we made the decision to buy a car, and while the actual purchase went smoothly enough, there was some elements of the whole thing that brought about some unnecessary stress! But, as of today, we are at the end of the month and all that is behind us. That's why I enjoy doing these monthly retrospectives so much! It gives me one last chance to look back, and then let go! Each month, like each day, is a new start to do it all again, and get it right! You don't have to wait until January 1st to begin anew!

Let's Take A Look Back Shall We?

April 2014 Gallery...

April was certainly yellow... wasn't it? LOL. That's okay, May is getting off to a decidedly PINK start. LOL. What can I say... it's the middle of spring! 


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Week Of Pink Day Two: Pink Butterfly Car Magnets...

"Pink is a beautiful color, because it is one of the colors that the sun makes at twilight and in the down."

~C. JoyBell C.

Isn't She Lovely... 

My new car is silver. And I love silver, but I thought my car could use a tiny bit of color... just a splash! So, last week I decided to order some butterfly car magnets. They came in a package of 4. One Yellow. One Green. One Blue. And one Pink. They pink one is my favorite. In 2013, when we went car shopping for our first Chevy Spark, we narrowed it down to two colors... Denim Blue, and Techno Pink. There was NO WAY I was going to make Alan drive around in a pink car, but boy was I ever in love with that color! Alan means more to me, so off into the sunset we went in the Denim colored 2013 Chevy Spark! It was okay, I liked blue.

When we went shopping for a Spark this time around, there was NO 2013 Chevy Spark in Techno Pink to be found. Sigh. Bye, Bye girlie colored car... HELLO pretty, shiny, Silver Ice! One of my favorite cars from years gone by was a silver car that I affectionately nicknamed TINFOIL. It was a 1996 KIA. Terrible car as far as the brakes went, honestly, we replaced the brakes, pads and drums 3 times in 2 years, but it was a comfortable ride, and got amazing gas mileage. Her name was Sophie. 

A person makes a lot of memories in a car. The places you drive a car comes to mean a lot to you. Work. The hospital. Your parents funeral. One HELL of a Girl's Day. Dates with your husband. Simple chores. Sometimes when you just need to close the windows and turn the music up as high as you can, so you can sing without scaring the cats... THAT is what your car is there for! So why not give it a little personality above and beyond it's initial first impression?

Now I just hope no one steals them, but I know there is a good chance they will. Sigh. But maybe they won't. Fingers crossed. 


Mood: Happy

~Me :)


Monday, April 28, 2014

A Week Of Pink Day One... Pink Promise Rose At Twilight

Pink Promise Rose At Twilight
October, 2012

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing... kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."

~Audrey Hepburn

I know... I should have chosen a more difficult color to find in spring, but instead, I chose PINK. That was my favorite color as a child, but as a grown-up no so much. I only have a few pieces in my closet that are pink because the color doesn't suit me that much. I just don't have the right complexion for it, much to my dismay. Pink was pretty much the only color I wore as a child. I absolutely loved it. Now as an old lady, I tend to wear more earth tones. Odd how our tastes change as we mature, and we begin to dress attractively, and for success. I still have plenty of pink in my life, my rose garden is one example, and then there are the pink touches throughout my home. I am just a little more aware of how to use pink to make me happy!

I like being my age. I am so much smarter and aware of things.

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Driving Is The Only Way To Fly

"Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft are written by men."

~Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice And Accurate Prophecies Of Agnes Nutter, Witch

There are times when I dearly wish I was a witch! Not a mean, green witch with a wort on my nose, who dines on children, but a witch in the tradition of Samantha Stephens. A good witch! A witch who used her powers for the good of humanity, but who also wasn't above showing a man or two a few things about how a woman should be respected! She knew the perfect balance of things, Samantha understood that human's weren't a lower life form, merely a different life form than she was, funny how some "human" men, even in 2014, can't wrap their consciousness around that concept!

You see...

A couple weeks ago, after years of staunch debate in our house, Alan and I finally came to an understanding that we needed to unload the 2007 Saturn ION Deathtrap that we owned. We had sold our other one a 1 1/2 ago after that car came to a sudden and devastating vehicle death by stroke... or maybe it was automotive Alzheimer's... I am not quite sure what to say, but I am pretty sure it was all due to the fact that it pretty much stopped working properly 3 days after the warranty ended! Hand to God... no joke! 3 days after the warranty expired, the car stopped working and it was repair bill, after repair bill after that!

Anyway, because Alan thought it would be nice to not have 2 car payments to make for a while, he decided he didn't want to replace both cars at the same time. A decision I have been vehemently against, because of all the reading I had done about problems with the 2007 Saturn ION's. But it was his decision to make. We traded the one car in, and he gave me the new car to drive. He continued to drive his car, which made me completely insane with worry, but we don't railroad each other. I learned to live with his decision.

Fast Forward to... ahem... April's Fool's Day of this year, and the quick decision was made to get rid of the Saturn, pretty much with the third or fourth word out of the mouth of the new C.E.O. of General Motors, Mary Berra. Finally, Alan got it... the cars are dangerous! They had been lemons since we bought them. So, with the new enlightenment, came the decision to purchase another Chevrolet Spark. We have been quite happy... so far... with our Spark, it's in our price range, it gets great gas mileage, and has plenty of room for us and our daily needs. So, it was off to the dealership.


When we walked onto the dealership lot, and were greeted by a car salesman named "Karl." Not his real name. We conveyed our needs in a new car and asked to see a 2013 model. They had one. It had what I wanted, and it was a 2LT. Check. It was "Priced to move" because it was a 2013 model. Tip: You get a good price for buying a model from the previous year. Yes, it's last year's model, but it is still a new car, plus you have a whole year to see what the car is like once it has been broken in! Always check cars out through Edmond's, or Car and Driver... HELL any car rating site, but don't stop there, read the forums and see what problems are being reported by current drivers of the model you want! Another plus... when you go to sell it, it will have a year less in mileage than might be expected!

Anyway, I did the deal, and got what I wanted. I was offered $3,000.00 I said NO! I wanted $3,700.00 or $3,500 at the very least. DEAL. The dealership said I could only count on a $500.00 Chevy incentive, I said, "Oh really?" One hour later, it was a $1,000 incentive! The Saturn ION was listed in Kelly Blue Book with a value of $4,000 top value... the car was not in top value... so I was expecting $1,500.00 especially given the fact that the congressional hearings were airing, which pretty much told the world the cars were a dangerous pain in the ass, if driven with the key on a FOB.


Anyway, I did the deal. Alan and I were happy with how things went. I looked the dealer in the eye and told him I was going to be the driver. I am the one the car's name is in as the primary driver and it is registered as such. I am the one who found the scratch on the dashboard, and endured the skeezy salesman asking me if ..."a free tank of gas would make things right?" A free tank of GAS? "How fucking much do you charge for gas?" I asked the skeezy salesman! I was then offered free "Butler Service" for one year? Or maybe I would like some nice, clean oil changes? NO... skeezy salesman... "you are going to replace the dashboard. It's a brand new car. I deserve to have a brand new car without a scratch on the dashboard... make it right."

And they did... eventually. It took 10 days for the new dashboard to come in. And come in it did... with 4 scratches on it, deeper and longer than the scratch that was on mine! I was told it would be another 3-5 days, and that they would request the order be expedited. 5 days turned into 9 days... and finally my car was finished, and ready for pick-up. It looked great. Good! Now I never had to see that dealership again. Fine. Good. Whatever. But yesterday, I got, or rather Alan got, a card in the mail, addressed to him, THANKING HIM FOR DOING BUSINESS WITH THE GOOD FOLKS AT CHEVY!

It was like I was never there.

I didn't do the deal.

I didn't demand that the dashboard be made right.

I didn't sign the loan or registration papers.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. The salesman did, after all, make his very first question to me "Which color are you interested in?"

I had to nearly bite my lip in two not to respond... the red... I hear they get better gas mileage! Or maybe the blue... I hear they are especially chill!

Sexism is a theme at that particular dealership, if you read YELP you will see it's true. What a shame in 2014 some men still woefully underestimate women on a daily basis, and how embarrassing for the male sex as a whole! The whole sexist attitude is just embarrassing and sad. Yes, that's it. I wasn't sad for me yesterday, I was sad for the salesman who sent the Thank You card, because clearly he is lacking in SELF RESPECT.

The Mad Men Effect: What's The Deal With Other-Era Sexism?
 (Forbes) 3/24/2012

Mood: Disappointed

~Me :(

Samantha's Driving Lesson 
Season 1. Episode 26.