Saturday, December 05, 2015

Done And Done... Almost

"You are Mr. Owl. I am Ms. Hummingbird.
 We may be from different species
 but as long as you're a bird, I'm a bird too."

~Glad Munaiseche

Let the holiday decorating begin! As of last night, I am finished with my Christmas shopping, well, almost anyway, I still have to do some stocking stuffer shopping. But I am done with the main present shopping, and done with the few new items I wanted to pick up to decorate the house with. It was some minor purchases. Candles, a swag for the fireplace, and some small stuffed animals for under the tree. As for the outside, I bought two new boxes of Christmas lights. Alan wanted to try to solar ones, so we bought them from Groupon, and I purchased some small items for the yard to make things look festive. 

We are going to put the inflatables up, and this year we will put the giant Santa plane in the yard... hopefully. We just need to figure out a few details, like where we plug it in, but it should be fine. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be the three big decorating days, and you know, I will post the progress here. The owl you see above is the only sign of Christmas in my office right now, but I am sure as we move along there will be a few more things added. I am a sucker for holiday decorating! 


Have you started decorating yet?
Leaf Of The Day
December 5th 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, December 04, 2015

The Art Of Autumn...

"Every season has its art, 
and the art of autumn is to bewitch people."

~Mehmet Murat ildan

While I was down in the Bay Area running errands last week, I stopped into a couple of my favorite East Bay parks and did some photos of leaves, but I couldn't do as much photography as I wanted, so I brought home a bag of leaves to do as portraits, as opposed to the usual photographs of the leaves on the ground where they fall. I rather like what I was able to accomplish. I set the leaves, some individually, and some in clusters, photographed them at different angles, and with a soft filter of sun through the trees, and a shadowed corner of the overhang in the corner of the yard. 

As the weather has turned cold, and rainy, the leaves are finally displaying more color, and they are less dehydrated, so working with them is easier. It's also easier on my body, especially when my Fibromyalgia is raging. My friend Steven once counseled me on ideas for photography, when my pain was too great to go on big photo jaunts. I will never forget his advice... I miss my friend... very much... but I smile when I see a really beautiful leaf, or an especially lovely flower, Steven was so talented, and I will always be grateful for his advice and friendship, especially when it came to autumn photography! He was a talented, kind, helpful, gentle man.

 Steven helped me to become a much better photographer.

 Leaf Of The Day
December 4th 2015
Mood: Grateful

~Me :)

Thursday, December 03, 2015

A Cold Day's Sunset

"December's wintry breath is already clouding the pond,
 frosting the pane, obscuring summer's memory... ."

~John Geddes

I want to just sit and dwell on this amazing sunset. I used to go down the hill, on Grizzly Peak boulevard, to photograph sunsets because the view from there is nothing short of amazing. On a clear twilight you can see San Francisco, and most of the San Mateo peninsula. Northern Marin and Mount Tamalpias and all of the bay islands, but now that I am in Stockton I only have the perspective from my front porch, at least for right now. Not that I mind it, that palm tree is kinda growing on me. I have never really been a fan of palm trees, but there is something about this one... I don't know... maybe I am just thinking of it as a neighbor who doesn't bother me, which lets face it, isn't that the best kind of neighbor? LOL. 

My over all mood was better this week. We are beginning to know exactly how much our finances have changed since purchasing the house, and that has lifted a lot of stress from my shoulders. The whole thing happened so quickly, we hadn't realised that we could afford to own a home, we hadn't realised our credit was as good as it is, and we weren't looking to buy, but our situation changed without our permission and thankfully something amazing came from it! LOL. I swear, Alan and I never do things like other people... we have the most amazing time... the last 25 years have seen some incredible highs and then some devastating lows, and it always feels like the scariest, fastest, most invigorating, fun roller-coaster EVER!

Life is short. And there are so many tragic events. I hate to sound like my father, but truly, people being killed in mass shootings didn't happen when I was a youngster, or even a young adult. It's hard to know that there really isn't any safe place anymore. It all feels like a crap shoot. So what do you do? Stop living your life? No, that will come soon enough on it's own. Do you stay home and never go out because something might happen? No, that's no way to live! But at the same time one has to be aware that we don't know where, or when, or even why, the next mass shooting might happen. But what does that mean? For me, it means learning all I can about how to survive if I should happen to find myself in an unthinkable situation.

I decided after 9/11 that if I find myself at the mercy of a terrorist, I am not going into the next plain of existence without a chunk of terrorist under my fingernails! And that also applies to mass shooters! Is it a bummer researching how to save one's life in that kind of situation? Yes, yes it is! But should it be done anyway? Yes... definitely! But for right now, there are no mass shooters in the world. No terrorists. The only thing I am concentrating on is this amazing sunset. It's beautiful! And it's fleeting. And the sky will never look exactly like this, ever again.

 Isn't that an awesome thought? 

Leaf Of The Day
December 3rd 2015
Mood: Concerned

~Me :)

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

The First Sunrise Of December

"Nature awakens in brilliant colors of autumn,
 making me wish winter would bid adieu."

~Richelle Goodrich
Smile Anyway; Quotes, Verses, and Grumblings
 For Every Day Of The Year

The first sunrise of December... no more words are needed!

Leaf Of The Day
December 2nd, 2015
Mood: Inspired

~Me :)

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Have A Large Glass Of Holiday Whine...

"Once upon a time, the Reindeer took a running leap and jumped over the Northern Lights. But he jumped too low, and the long fur of his beautiful flowing tail got singed by the rainbow of the aurora. To this day the reindeer has no tail to speak of. But he is too busy pulling the important sleigh to notice what is lost. And he certainly doesn't complain."

What's your excuse?"

~Vera Nazarian
The Perpetual Calendar Of Inspiration

I have never needed a reason to complain during the holidays. Lets get some out of the way, shall we?

1. It's too damn cold!
2. I want it all and I want it now! What? I can't have it NOW? BAH HUMBUG!
3. Why is everybody so gripey? 
4. Did I mention it's cold?
5. Did I mention it's TOO DAMN COLD?
 6. Not another pair of slippers! Why do I keep buying myself slippers?

Wait... I can't take it no more! I can't stand to hear my own whining anymore!

It's December 1st!

If you have anything you would like to whine about, feel free to share it in the comment thread! Anything! Consider it my gift to you for this holiday season!
 Happy Holidays!
Leaf Of The Day
December 1st 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Look Back At November 2015...

Leaf Of The Day
November 30th, 2015

"November's sky is chill and drearier
November's leaf is red and sear."

~William Cullen Bryant

We are nearing the last days of autumn for this year. November saw the trees finally lit with real color, and just yesterday my heart sank as I realized the branches on my favorite trees are beginning to look bare. I will keep photographing the leaves wherever I find them, hopefully they will still shine into early 2016. 2012 did. In fact the leaves pretty much turned well into March of that year! Winter was barely noticeable, but with the impending El Nino I am not so sure about history repeating itself. Still, as I said, I will be photographing the leaves, as long as I can!

Okay, on with our look back at November 2015 in photographs,
 but first a poem...


November comes
And November goes
With the last red berries
And the first white snows

With night coming early
and dawn coming late
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate

The fires burn
And the kettles sing
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

~Edward Thomas

On To December...

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

One Day

"He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo.
 Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic.
 Nothing is more sublime."

~Victor Hugo

San Francisco is the great geographical love of my life. The Golden Gate Bridge takes my breath away, as does each neighborhood, and of course, sourdough bread. There is nothing quite like the taste of sourdough bread, fresh from the oven, with just a little bit of butter. You only need a small amount of butter, and really that is a matter to taste, because the warm bread is amazingly decadent. Well, I think so anyway. Yes, I love San Francisco, but there are other places I have dreamed about seeing one day. You have to feel the bittersweet of leaving home, to know the sweet joy of returning... right?

On my list are New York City. Bangor, Maine. Lake Champlain, Vermont. Whistler in Canada. London. Helsinki, Finland, and of course, Paris, France. Alan and I have been learning French, through Rosetta Stone, and one day, if the lottery is in our favor, we will see Paris. I thought earlier this year we may have had a chance, when we settled our case against our landlord out of court, but about half of the money ended up being wasted through that stupid, false condo deal. We lost money, and our chance to see at least one of those places, but life has a way of surprising you, so who knows... maybe one day.

For now, I will honor Paris in my heart. I will learn more recipes. Hang a tribute ornament on the tree. Finish my French homework, and most of all, pray for her. There are some bitter hearts in this world. People who can't see the beauty for the bomb. Why anyone would choose to bring terrorism to such a beautiful place is beyond me, I feel sorry for those folks who die in the name of an empty cause. Paris will go on. Paris will thrive. And the name of the suicide bomber... already forgotten. So, if luck does shine on us one day, HELL YES we will go, Paris, New York, Helsinki, Whistler.... we love you, and we will see you one day!

I just know it! 
Leaf Of The Day
November 29th 2015
 Mood: Happy

~Me :)