Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Mewy Christmas Eve

"Christmas, children, is not a date,
 it is a state of mind."

~Mary Ellen Chase 

Mood: Merry

~Me :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Dylan's Festivus Celebration

"It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready."

~Sarah Kay

See, I told you, Dylan has horns on his head! LOL. I know, they aren't really horns, they are just his ears positioned back, making it look like he has horns, but you have to believe me, and you would have to know Dylan... trust me... they are horns. It's okay, he is my little spitfire. He sings the Dilly Song, a tune he wrote himself, that tells the entire world just how unfair life, and everything else is, and then he feels better. Kind of like his version of a blog. A simple little outlet for his complaints, or if you celebrate Festivus, a grievance song, and he can get pretty upset while he complains, but a belly rub, and a game of soccer with his favorite plastic bell balls, and his bad mood goes away. He has been downright cuddly since the weather turned. He likes the new house, and all the room he has now, so last night's airing of grievances wasn't long. He has a lot less to complain about now! It's amazing how good this move has turned out to be for all of us, but especially my little Dillybean!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Autumn's Passing...

"THERE is something in the autumn that is native to my blood. Touch of manner, hint of mood; And my heart is like rhyme, with yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time."

~Bliss Carman

Autumn quietly lies down at 11:48 P.M. EST. tonight. It's a stormy sky where I am. Winter is insisting and full of itself this year. It's good for the ground, and the rivers and yes, it's good for the treas, but the raindrops fall like tears, and least that's how it feels to me,
 but a new autumn is a mere three seasons away. 

Bitter winter. Mischievous spring.Treacherous Summer. 
It's the last one I dread the most.

The Final Leaf Of The Day For Autumn 2015
December 21st 2015
Mood: Anxious For Autumn

~Me :)

Sunday, December 20, 2015


"Never miss an opportunity to see anything that is beautiful."

~Janet Hobson

I didn't post yesterday, but it's okay, right? I was busy. Busy wrapping presents, baking 6 dozen cookies, paying the bills that get paid in the middle of the month, doing laundry, photographing more leaves, searching recipes for Baked Ham, bringing in all the late packages ordered from and Groupon, 15 at last count, tracking down a new noise in the house I never heard before and de-worming the cat. Hendrix to be exact. Yes, he has worms... again!

This time, because I can't face putting him through the stress of putting him in a kennel and driving him 90 miles to see Dr. B., we are trying the tablets that kill worms. It takes about a week to work, but from what I have read it does the job. If it doesn't work, I will slip my kitty some Valium, and myself as well, and we will drive down to the Bay Area to the best doctor ever! Or will I? 

That's the debate between Alan and I. He wants to find someone closer, for Hendrix's sake. He doesn't want to put him through the long drive and the stress of the car and all the scary sounds. I want to make sure my kitty gets the best care possible, and that means Dr. B. . The problem is, my argument that Hendrix will be okay once he is home again, isn't a terribly strong one. I know Alan is right, but it doesn't make either of us very happy.


 Losing Dr. B, is probably the worst part of what happened. 


I guess I should find the boys a doctor up here, if for nothing else, emergencies, but it's difficult to trust anyone other than Dr. B., he is amazing, but I have to do whats right for the boys. Right? But what is that exactly? It's less stress for them to have a doctor here in town, but what if I can't find one who will be as good as their current one? Taking them on the 90 mile drive will terrify them, but I will have piece of mind that they are getting the best care possible. Either way, I hope these pills do the trick, I don't want my boys to be uncomfortable. I love them. They are my children. And as I sit here I guess I know what I have to do. I have to find them a doctor up here. 




It's All Just Stupid.

And what is my lesson for the last full day of autumn?

Things Change.

Sometimes everything does, all in a single action.

I think I will concentrate on that plate of cookies,
 it's a thing of beauty. So are the leaves...

Leaf Of The Day
December 19th 2015
Leaf Of The Day
December 20th 2015
Mood: Exasperated/Sad/Frustrated


Friday, December 18, 2015

Clear Thoughts On A Foggy Day

"You'll never move forward,
 until you take a step away from the past."

~Colleen Ferrary

All of my Christmas shopping is done. I have some presents to wrap, and I am waiting on a few gifts to arrive... cross your fingers for me they do... and the house looks downright festive! We didn't  really decorate outside, although we may do a little bit early next week. Alan's schedule simply hasn't allowed for it, but it's okay, we will get it done next year. And to say that we didn't decorate outside, really isn't accurate either, we have a small decoration in the yard, so folks in the neighborhood know we aren't completely boring! LOL. I will post a photo of it next week, but my point is, I am ready for next week and Christmas. And oddly enough, I am ready for the 2016!

It's kind of a surprise really. Since we moved into the house, my mood has been all over the map. From tired and pissed off, to scared shit-less, to annoyed, to depressed. Really depressed. Back to scared. Thankful. Confused. Happy. Content. REALLY PISSED OFF. Quiet. Back to happy. Right now as I am typing this I feel content, and excited for the new year, and getting back to the ordinary days. You know... days without a fake tree filled with tiny lights twinkling. A normal schedule of Monday through Sunday, and days filled with "normal."

I have been craving those normal... nothing new... this is just my every day... days... since March 26th, when we got that note on the door that told us we have to leave our apartment! My life... Our Life... was turned upside down, there was really nothing resembling "normal" going on, and for a time I didn't know if we would ever see "normal' again. But we did, and this is where we ultimately landed. Stockton. There is nothing "normal" about a Bay Area girl suddenly moving to Stockton.  And a year ago, buying a home wasn't a realistic idea, then suddenly we are signing loan papers. Do you have any idea how terrifying it is to know that you will be making a $1,400.00 payment every month for 30 years? Do you have any idea how old I will be in 30 years? This house will outlive me, of that fact I am sure! LOL.

We are lucky to have found the perfect house for us. It was meant to be, but fear about whether or not we could really afford it terrified me. I am lucky though, I have friends who remind me to breathe, Kat, I mean you! You made me feel so much less alone, thank you for sharing how you felt when you moved, and how you could understand my crazy mood swings. You have always meant a lot to me, you were one of my favorite friends from the old AOL days. You were a supportive friend then, and you still are now! Thank you love bug!

Good friends to keep me sane, and an amazing husband who let me feel what I did, when I did! How amazing is that? I am blessed! And I know this post sounds more like something I should have been writing around Thanksgiving, but... well... call it a delayed reaction, because I know now that even on my craziest days in the last year, even on the days when it all looked really cloudy and foggy, when I worried myself into a deep Fibromyalgia fog, I knew I wasn't alone. Life gets tough, sometimes I can feel really lost, yet there is always a way back home. And deep down I knew it. I suppose that is why I felt comfortable writing about my true feelings, rather than just saying that everything was fine.

It's not easy to buy a new house, even under the best of circumstances, and making that payment every month is kind of terrifying, but it's so worth the effort. 

We are HOME.

Leaf Of The Day
December 18th 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Falling Leaves

"And every year there is a brief, startling moment
 when we pause in the middle
 of a long walk home and suddenly feel
 something invisible and weightless, 
touching our shoulders, sweeping down from the air; 
It is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies;
It is the changing light of fall falling on us."

~Edward Hirsch
Wild Gratitude

I went to my favorite park yesterday, and to my deep sadness, found that most of the leaves had already fallen. The trees that were in bloom just a couple weeks ago, with all colors and shapes you can imagine autumn leaves could be, now stood bare and cold. It was the result of the last storm that touched California, earlier this week. The rain was a good thing, it means the trees will be brighter and more beautiful then ever next year, and if things go as it looks like it will, next autumn will be amazing, so I am thinking and planning about that!

 I will continue to post the "Leaf Of The Day" through Monday, but here is the last autumn gallery on Ellipsis until next year.

 Autumn kisses winter hello on...

Leaf Of The Day
December 17th 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Heirloom Ornaments

"Christmas, is a box of tree ornaments that have
 become part of the family"

~Charles Schulz

Decorating For Christmas And Beyond

"Life in the 21st Century means taking the best of history and making it work for you." 

~Miles Redd

One of the things I love most about Christmas is getting all the decorations Alan and I have added, over the course of our 25 years together, and mingling them with the ones we both had prior to getting married! It's a lot of holiday memories and traditions to reflect on, plus it's been our tradition to buy each other a new ornament from the Tilden Merry-Go-Round each year. We purchased this year's on the day after Thanksgiving, because of the move to Stockton, we weren't sure we would get back up to Tilden before the end of the season. And, as it turns out, it looks like we made a good decision. Time has flown by. We might try for early next week, but we have also been talking about taking a trip to the snow to help put us in the holiday spirit. Shrug... we will just see where the time takes us!

 In the mean time, we have the tree up, and the mantle is decorated and both have some special ornaments that date back as far as the 1950's, so it's pretty cozy in the house! The stocking on the far right was Alan's when he was a child, and it is so precious to me! He also has a very old... umm... much loved... Elf on the Shelf elf just waiting for tree placement! When we got married, his mother gave me one from a large set she bought when her kids were just little ones! It made me an official part of the family. I love those heirloom ornaments, and I love the beautiful ones we have chosen together through the years, especially the Tilden Park ornaments, I am still really homesick, but it's getting better, and those ornaments and the memories of buying them with Alan are soul healing.

It's The Holidays!

Don't You Just Love This Time Of Year?
 Leaf Of The Day
December 16th 2015

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Here And Now

Leaf Of The Day
December 15th 2015

"Anyone who thinks leaves are dead, 
has never watched them dancing on a windy day!"
~Shira Tamir

No real post today, it's a super busy time. We have a sick cat, nothing serious, but just enough to keep us busy, plus the holiday is coming really fast! And if all that wasn't enough, we had a really big storm come through the Bay Area, and it pretty much shook most of the leaves off of some of mt favorite trees, so I am scrambling to get the last of my favorites! So, today's post is all about the Leaf Of The Day for today. 

I guess you could say I am in the here and now!

Mood: Busy

~Me :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Butterfly Leaves

"A withered maple leaf has left its branch
 and is falling to the ground; 
ts movements resemble those of a butterfly in flight,
 Isn't it strange? 
The saddest and deadest of things
 is yet so like the gayest and most vital of creatures."

~Ivan Turgenev
Fathers And Sons

Humor me. It's the last few days of Autumn, and yeah I know the seasons aren't capitalized, as a rule, but I just love Autumn so much, that I can't bring myself to write it properly. So, I snub my nose at doing it the right way, and do it the way I want to. So there! The grammar Nazis be damned!

Leaf Of The Day
December 14th 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Cats And Christmas Part One: Feline Feng Shui

"Being the spirit of the house is somehow built into the soul of the cat the way joy itself is sewn into the word "Christmas."


If a cat isn't feeling Christmas, there is NO amount of petting, catnip, tuna from a can, cat toys, or pleading that will get a cat to pose for a holiday photo! That's why I keep at least one camera in each room in the house that holds at least some kind of holiday decoration. Last night, Alan and I finally got the Christmas tree decorated, and for some reason, Dylan was more than willing to pose next to it for me. I am pretty sure I will be made to pay for his cooperation, lol, perhaps with some extra cuddle time, or a little extra understanding when he decides to put his personal touch on the tree in a made fit of feline Feng shui. We'll see. Maybe not, maybe it's his Christmas present to me, you never know about these things!

Dylan is a lovely child, and I reminded of that every morning when Alan leaves for work, and Dylan snuggles up to me, on Alan's pillow, and sleeps right beside me until I am ready to get up. He doesn't leave my side. Although there have been those mornings when Dylan wanted me to get up and change his box, or give him some water or snacks. Dylan is a cat, therefore his does not suffer in silence. LOL. And that's a good thing. I love him. He is my child, and he really does put the joy in every day, not just Christmas! Even when he is singing the Dilly song at 4 in the morning!
Leaf Of The Day
December 13th 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Technological Bermuda Triangle

"I know there is a proverb which says, 'To err is human,' 
but a human error is nothing
 compared to what a computer can do if it tries."

~Agatha Christie
Hallowe'en  Party

Okay, so, out with the AT&T Uverse, and onto the Comcast Xfinity. It was installed on Wednesday, and thefore the headache is finally over... right? Umm... NOPE. Since the Xfinity was installed it has frozen, refused to record, and for some reason I can't get the same channels in the bedroom, that I get in the living room! The Internet connection is fantastic however, I haven't had a moments problem with that! So, even if I am waiting for a service call, scheduled for later today between 2 - 4 pm, I am still ahead of the game because at least the Internet connection is working! Why do I get the idea I have moved into some kind of technological Bermuda Triangle?
Alan and I never do things like other people.
We always seem to end up in sitcom situations.
Why is that? 
And yes, I did try turning it off and turning it back on!
Leaf Of The Day
December 12th 2015
Mood: Curious

~Me :)

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Face In The Crowd: Peace... And Smiles... On Earth

"Peace Begins With A Smile"

~Mother Teresa

If my memory serves me, this is the only post of "A Face In The Crowd" which contained an autumn face. The last post in this series was done over the summer, while we were in the hotel. Thankfully, this post has a happy, if maybe a little flirtatious, smile, rather than the one from last summer. The summer post was a bit sad, and so was I when I spotted it in a discarded pizza box. Sometimes I wonder if I see faces with the same emotion I am feeling at the time. When I was feeling artistic, I spotted one that reminded me of "The Scream" by Edvard Munch, so I suppose it could be my sub-conscience directing me to things in the universe that fit my mood. It's funny, when you think about it, a lot of things play off our general mood. Pets certainly do. Joey always seems to know when I need just a little extra cuddle time with him. He keeps my moods from being too dark. Spending just a little extra time with him, I always tend to see things in a more positive mood!


A Face In The Crowd: Sad

A Face In The Crowd: Artistic

A Face In The Crowd: Silly

Seeing faces in inanimate objects is called pareidolia, and according to New York Magazine, people who tend to see faces are neurotic, and those who don't see faces... aren't! To me, that's a little too easy. I mean it's pretty common to see patterns, right? But then again, I can admit, I am somewhat neurotic. I always have been. You couldn't grow up in the family I did and not turn out at least a little neurotic. I would say that I am about 45% neurotic. 47% at the most. Give or take. How about you? Do you see faces in inanimate things? Of course answering that question would be like telling the whole world that you are neurotic. 

 Not there is anything wrong with that.
Leaf Of The Day
December 11th 2015
Mood: Curious

~Me :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bye Bye Uverse... Hello Xfinity

"The only real battle in life is between hanging on and letting go."

~Shannon Adler

I think I may have mentioned maybe once or twice that since we moved into the new place there had been more then one thing that has gone wrong. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect the new place to be the absolute answer to every problem we have, in fact I think it might be the cause of a few new ones, it's just that as the little problems here and there have added up to stuff I can't fix, at least right now. One big one is the fact that the lovely man who owned our house before us, and he really is a great guy, had strange ideas about what "decorating" meant. I will do a pictorial of that after the new year, but in the mean time I will share that one of the decorating obstacles to overcome is the mirrored tiles he put everywhere in the house. Mirrored tiles that were hung wrong. Believe me there is nothing uglier that mirrored tiles that look ugly on top of being hung wrong! LOL. He tried... he really did... and I gotta love the misguided effort he put forth, but every time I look at the job that is in front of us I cringe and swear just a little under my breath! 


Now, take that one example, and add five or six additional problems on top of it, and you have a scenario where the very next little bit of nonsense becomes the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back! And in our case that straw was AT&T Uverse. We had it installed on September 9th. We had DirecTV at first, and it was installed on September 3rd, but we decided to drop it, almost immediately when we found out that we were lied to when we were told Uverse wasn't in our area! Yep, the sales rep said that, so I called DirecTV... . Hey, at least it was a part of the AT&T family! I wanted that because it would make paying the bill easier each month, as I could bundle it all together. When we ordered the DirecTV package, we were sold a satellite package for our Internet. No one told me that it maxes out at 10GB per month, and its a fortune for any overage fees. I found out when I got the notice that I was about to go over my allotted 10GBs. Who uses only 10GB of data per month? I use that paying bills!

So, I made another call to Uverse, to just double check that they indeed were not in my area, and was told that in fact... they were! I had been lied to, or mislead, whatever. I turned off the DirecTV and the lousy Internet provider, and was charged $800 in fees, and it didn't even matter that I was staying in the AT&T family! Fine... SHIT SHIT SHIT! But okay... whatever. I had to have a better Internet plan, something more realistic, so I paid the penalty, and went with Uverse. We had it installed on September 9th, and from that date until yesterday, December 9th, we had 19 different repairmen out to our house, trying to fix the service. It shut down about every other day, with a few exceptions. Now the 19 repairmen doesn't count the additional number of supervisors and lead workers that also came to our home to try and diagnose the problems.

But now that is all in the past. Yesterday the AT&T was shut off, and Comcast Xfinity was turned on. We are crossing our fingers! I sure hope this finally works. I need a stable Internet connection, and I live for my political channels. I really love silly stuff like Say Yes To The Dress, and who doesn't love falling asleep to I Love Lucy? We are General Hospital fans, and Oh MY GOD... how great is The Mysteries Of Laura this year?

 I am a hopeless TV addict, I have been my whole life, and let me tell you, when things feel spooky, during those long hours I am alone, I like having a familiar voice around like that of Anderson Cooper. I suppose if I ever needed a reason to go to rehab, it would be to cure me of my television viewing habits. I need a support group just to cure me of my insane addiction to the Real Housewives Of Orange County... and New York... and New Jersey... and Beverly Hills. Do you think Vicki Gunvalson knew Brooks was faking cancer?

Yes, I do too! 


Hopefully the Xfinity will come through and the glitching will be a thing of the past. Otherwise, I may need to call in an exorcist. Or maybe Ghost Hunters... or Ghost Asylum... or Amy from The Dead Files. LOL. I watch a lot of ghost shows too! 

Dont-cha Just Love TV?

Wish Us Luck Please!
Leaf Of The Day
December 10th 2015
Mood: Hopeful

~Me :)

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

A Foggy Autumn Morning In Stockton...

"In nature, everything has a job. 
The job of the fog is to beautify further the existing beauty."

~Mehmet Murat ildan

The Central Valley is very foggy during certain times of the year, and yesterday morning was one of the densest since we moved to Stockton! As we drove home from Hayward, at a little after 6:00 AM the fog really began to thicken, as usual, just as we came down from the Altamont Pass, into Tracy. But when we merged onto HWY 5 north, the visibility went down to under a quarter of a mile. I was absolutely thrilled! I love doing photos in the fog, it makes everything take on a much softer tone, and gives everything within it a mysterious, yet gentle vibe. I am going to be doing a lot of photos in the fog this year, hopefully, because I enjoy the challenge, and I like how it makes my photos look. 

We had fog in Berkeley, of course, but it's not the same as in the valley. For one thing, in Berkeley, the fog tends to flow off the bay in ribbons, rather than one big blanket, although it would simply blanket as well, just not as often. Also, the fog in the East Bay seemed to burn off by 10:00 AM, where here in Stockton you might have it around for most if not all day! Again, a happy situation for me, because I want to experiment with autumn light under foggy conditions. I am looking forward to perhaps doing some snow photos in foggy conditions later in the winter, but it's still a consideration, nothing has been decided. All I know is I am happy... the chance to do some photos in the early morning fog made me very happy!

A Foggy Day In Stockton

Leaf Of The Day
December 9th 2015
Mood: Inspired
~Me :)