Saturday, December 27, 2014

Memento Mori

"All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another persons
 ( 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

The year 2014 is facing it's mortality. And I for one am ready to grieve it and leave it. What a dreadful, treacherous, mean spirited, devastating year it has been. So much sadness... so much loss. Most of it pointless. If I hadn't had my cameras, and my new McDillet friends, I don't know what I would have done. They make me smile. They make me laugh, and they remind me that there is something else to focus on besides grief, politics, and the negative forces in the universe! Isn't life odd and random sometimes?

 While I have been a fan of Dylan McDermott's for years and years, I never knew how much he would come to mean to me. If not for him, and the fun I found through him, by way of the McDillet Babes, his devoted fans, and Daily McDermott, I would have rarely smiled at all this year! I will always be a little in love with him just for that, let alone all the million or so other reasons, such as his kind heart, his generosity, and his warmth toward his fans. He is a very nice man.

Okay, so now I want to look back at a few photos that for one reason or another
 didn't make it into an Ellipsis post, because they are lovely, and deserve to be seen!

The Unseen of 2014

The Dark Before The Storm
December 9th, 2014

Autumn Orange
October 1st 2014

 The Ghost
December 27th 2014 Berkeley, Ca

The Witching Time
October 23rd 2014
 Half Moon Bay, Ca

The Little Mushroom
December 7th 2014, Tilden Park, Berkeley, Ca

The Ride Along
December 8th 2014, San Leandro, Ca

The Peace Banner
December 9th 2014
Berkeley, Ca

Fallen Leaves
December 16th 2014
Orinda, Ca

The Crow
December 17th, 2014
Community Center, Castro Valley, Ca

Holiday Lights
December 13th 2014
Tilden Park, Berkeley, Ca

The Dandelion
December 9th, 2014
Berkeley, Ca

The Orinda Theater
December 23rd, 2014
Orinda, Ca

Art heals... so does friendship! I am lucky enough to have both!


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Adventures In Photography

"Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera."

~Yousuf Karsh

I only had my Nikon CoolPix S3600 for a couple months before it went missing, while we were on vacation last October. I still have no idea what happened to it, but wherever it is, I hope it is assisting some other person with a great love of photography, the way it did me! Oh my, I loved that camera, and it was an anniversary gift from Alan. It makes me sad thinking about it. So I try not to, but it's difficult, and frustrating, to not have any idea what happened to it.

Just look at one of the beautiful moments it captured...

Sunset On The 17 Mile Drive, Monterey, California
October 18th, 2014

Oh my, I had big plans for that camera! Lots, and lots of photographic adventures!


Alan, knew how much photography means to me, so shortly after Thanksgiving, he bought me my newest Nikon CoolPix camera, the model #S3600. It's not that cute feminine pink, but rather an elegant and fun purple. I love the pretty color, and so far, I am loving the new camera as much as the old one! It's a dream to use.

Just look what my new camera can do...

Sunset Over Marin County, As Seen From The Berkeley Hills.
December 23rd, 2014
Isn't it lovely?

My new purple camera was amazing gift from Alan.

I am a very lucky girl!

Thank You Alan... I Love You!

Mood: Grateful

~Me :)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas :)

"If my Valentine you won't be
I'll hang myself on my Christmas tree."

~Ernest Hemingway

88 Poems

Okay, I know, that quote really doesn't seem like a great poem for such a family holiday.
Let's try again.

"... freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin
inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night... ."

~John Geddes
A Familiar Rain

That's better, but not quite right either!

"He was a simple honest man. He never strayed,
He never drank  he never smoked, and he never kissed a maid.
And when he passed away his insurance was denied.
Because he never lived, they claimed he never died."

~Ted Gup
A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness & A Trove Of Letters
Reveal The Hidden History Of The Great Depression

Hmmm... That last one leaves us with something to think about,
 but it's not very festive.

"Christmas, when observed with the right spirit, 
still has the power to call miracles from 
Heaven to Earth."
~Richelle E Goodrich
Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings For Every Day Of The Year

There... that's better!

From Our House To Yours...

Merry Christmas!

Mood: Festive

~Me :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ladies And Gentlemen... The Brothers Gordon

"There are no strangers on Christmas Eve"

~Mildred Cram and Adele Comandini

It's Christmas Eve! 
Time for this year's performance from 

The Brothers Gordon...

And From 2013...

And Now, My Favorite Christmas Song... And David Letterman's too...
We hope we have brought you a big holiday smile!
From our house to yours...
Merry Christmas 
Happy Hanukkah Too!
Mood: Happy, Grateful, And Filled With Joy
~Me :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."

~John Steinbeck
Travels With Charley: In Search Of America

Winter begins. And I am determined to find the beauty in it. 
 Even the ugly beauty.
Actually, I love winter. It's cold, and wet, and frosty.
Well, everywhere but California.
Here... we call winter Naked Spring.


Nah... I kid the bleak season!


Mood: Wintry

~Me :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Latkes And Pine Trees

"Santa Claus has nothing to do with it," the latke said.
 "Christmas and Hanukkah are completely different things."

"But different things can often blend together," said the pine tree. 
"Let me tell you a funny story about pagan rituals."

~Lemony Snicket
The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story

This holiday season is fine, but everything surrounding it has been a little bit strange. Do you feel it too? I mean there is the usual stupidity... mass shootings, flaky family fights making the news, weather incidents, because for some odd reason people tend to forget what rain and snow are, and then there is the special kind of stupidity of politics... 
stupidity which usually comes with raisins on top whether you order raisins or not.

I expect stupid. Stupid has been a part of the American fabric for some time now, but I think 2014 has been a special kind of... WHAT THE FRESH HELL IS THIS?... with one scenario after another. I plan to address that later, after Christmas, for now I am concentrating on the most disturbing part of this holiday season... the lack of the heart of things. The decorations, the smiles on peoples faces, I even find myself missing the Christmas music playing in the background, like a soundtrack, as I shop. Something is missing, and it isn't because any silly made up WAR ON CHRISTMAS, it's missing because we are all mourning common sense. Remember that thing? Common sense?

Oh well, with each word I type here, I am reminded that by complaining right now it means I am passing some of the bad feelings along, and doing that right before the holiday could get me nothing but a lump of coal on Christmas morning. So, in that same spirit that I find lacking all around me, I will move on for now, and embrace feelings less negative by sharing photos I took earlier this month. They're pretty, and they remind me of all the good of the season... well... any season for that matter... nature and the gifts of color and beauty. They were taken on days when I just felt like giving up. I wanted to just throw my hands up in the air and say... OKAY YOU WIN... NO holiday spirit will happen in this house!

Fortunately, as always, my camera helped me come to my senses.
 My common senses!

Like I said at the top of this post... This holiday season is fine. There's is plenty of time for ranting and raving, and make no mistake, I plan to, but for right now I think my attention is turned toward something more important. My attitude.

The Reason For The Season

Peace On Earth, Goodwill Towards Men.

And Women.

And Cats.



Mood: Quiet

~Me :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Equinox Meets Solstice

(Autumn silently slips away at 3:02 P.M. EST.)

"The leaves fall patiently
Nothing remembers or grieves
The river takes to the sea
The yellow drift of leaves."

~Sara Teasdale

Why does it always seem like autumn goes by faster than any other season? I know the answer to that question, it's because I am so in love with every single moment of it. I live all year, just to cross over from the hostile summer heat, into the gentle coolness of the cinnamon colored season of autumn. I love Fall because I can think again, as summer always leaves me tired, and cranky, and uninspired. I love autumn for the first taste of candy corn, hot spiced cider, and the warmth of my favorite brown sweater. I love autumn for all the scary movies, and the short dark days... and for the leaves... of yes, the colors of the earth, and of lemon drops, sometimes all in one big bunch of color! And I mourn it's passing, like mourning an old friend. I always wonder how I will face all those months until it comes back around, but somehow I do. If only I could chase autumn around the earth. I would.

Goodnight Autumn 
I shall miss you.

(Winter Begins At 3:03 P.M. PST)

"Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o' clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without."

~Thomas de Quincey
Confessions Of An English Opium Eater

I love baking and creating new recipes. And while I am not quite as active with the cameras during winter, I do enjoy photographing San Francisco in the rain. Everything takes on a glow, and the tiny raindrops sparkle all over the city. It's really quite amazing. I think this year I might try to do more with all the things that make winter beautiful. Umbrellas, coats, wet pavement, frost, snow, and the winter light that makes everything look brand new. Oh my, the winter light... how it makes me smile!

Since Autumn and Winter share the day equally, I will post the last photo of Autumn 2014 today, but I am compiling an online album of all the leaves I photographed, including ones not previously photographed which I will post between Christmas and New Years! In fact, I hope to be able to do an album of all of my autumn photos. If I do, I will also include a link to that album as well.

The Last Autumn Leaf Of The Year

Mood: Quiet But Happy

~Me :)