Saturday, January 07, 2017

Art About Town... Carson City, Nevada "Kit Carson" By Buckeye Blake

"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see."

~Winston Churchill

Back in October, in my search for as much autumn as I could document, I did a lot of photography around northern Nevada. Carson City is absolutely stunning in autumn, where there is every possible shade of autumn, everywhere you look, but no place is as impressive as the grounds around the State Legislature building, and the capitol. The government buildings take up about 3 blocks or so, and in-between is a gorgeous park with several statues dedicated to police, firefighters, and, of course, Kit Carson!

The statue is impressively tall, and fascinating in it's detail.
  And the plaque beneath reads...

"It was in the winter of 1843 - 1844 when Kit Carson, along with the John C. Fremont expedition worked his way south from Pyramid Lake looking for an easy route across the Sierra Nevada. Carson, depicted here, tracking his way through the mountains east of this location, was considered one of the best mountain men of the day. His name is still synonymous with the wide open spaces and lore of the American west, an image we still cherish as part of our freedom and heritage. It is the spirit and love of the West that we honor with this statue."

Carson City takes it name from the Carson River,
 that John C. Fremont named to honor Kit Carson.

If you find yourself in Carson City, Nevada, especially in autumn, be sure to stop by and see the statues on the grounds of the capitol. You'll never forget the beauty of the trees or the fascinating bits of history of the statues! It's a really nice way to spend an afternoon in autumn!

Mood: Quiet


Friday, January 06, 2017

Only Two Months Ago

Yosemite Valley
November 11th, 2016

"Beautiful winter means beautiful spring!
 When you look at a great winter scenery, see the flowers, see the bees, see the butterflies, they are all there."

~Mehmet Murat ildan

Last autumn was a challenge. I knew it would be. I had gotten really rusty with my picture taking, as my world shifted off it's axis over the great move of 2015. You would think after we moved into the house, I would have picked up the camera, if for no other reason then to climb out of my own thoughts and stress, but instead when I wasn't working on unpacking the house, I was withdrawing from as much life as I could. I was tired. I was stressed. I thought on some level that a deep withdraw was the way to go, instead it was the worst thing I could have done. Hiding doesn't work. Shrug. I didn't know that, but when last October came around, and our vacation began, I took some baby steps, and I felt more and more energized with each new photo, and by the middle of our vacation, in late October, I was back to my old self. Mostly.

Snow came earlier than usual. In fact the first snowfall happened the day after Halloween! That's rare in California, and while I knew it was going to shorten my time with the autumn leaves, it also makes me really hopeful for next autumn color to be as colorful or even more so than autumn 2016 had been! I am hoping so, because next autumn I want to spend more time in Plumas, the western Sierra and definitely Yosemite! I fell in love with Yosemite Valley, but I was only there for one day, a little past the mid-point of autumn, and while I got some good photos, and I was happy overall with the results, I realized I should have been there weeks earlier. Another thing working against me the day I went, was the fact that we got there so late in the day, and because of the angles and sides of the valley, I think early morning photos, when the sun casts a softer glow, would have been amazing!

I need to do some photos during the winter snowfall, and again when things begin to thaw in the spring. The research begins now. I struggled after the early snowfall. The leaves in the Sierra fell early, and the bright white of the hills in the background of some of my photos just appears bright and washed out. So, it's my goal for this year, to practice with that kind of lighting. If I was in the Bay Area, I would probably be working on sunset photos, but I think I have done enough with that, so a new challenge will be welcome. I can't spend all my time stressing over things I have NO control over. It's a waste of time. So, this goal fits nicely, and it's a much more realistic way of spending my time. LOL. Good for me! Right? Gosh, looking at these photos, it's hard to believe it was only a couple months ago!

 Cisco Grove Park, California
November 1st, 2016

"Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing."

~Sylvia Plath

And now another new winter leaf...

Winter Leaf
January 2nd 2017
San Ramon, California

Mood: Encouraged



Thursday, January 05, 2017

Cough Drop Affirmations

"Life likes to be taken by the lapels and told,
 'I'm with you kid, let's go!' "

~Maya Angelou

What you see above is a picture of a cough drop... with an affirmation on the outside of the wrapper. It's a Hall's strawberry cough drop to be exact! I hadn't had cough drops for a while, even while being sick because all brands of cough drops contain sucrose. Because of my Fibromyalgia, I can't have anything containing sucrose. It gives Fibro sufferers, such as myself, unworldly gas! I don't like experiencing unworldly gas, so I usually just cough until the coughing runs it's course.

But with this current cold, the coughing was really persistent and it was making my back and sides hurt to try to soldier through, so I broke down and used the cough drops. They were tastier than I remembered, and while they did indeed give me gas, it wasn't as uncomfortable as the constant coughing. And wonderful hubby that I have didn't even complain about my air concerts, he just wanted to help me feel better! Gosh I love that man! 

And look at that, an affirmation for when I am better!

"March Forward."

That's always good advice, 
marching backwards just makes you look stupid! 

Mood: Tired


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

No Riding Lawnmovers For Me!

"If the problem can be solved why worry?
 If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good."


Worry is a strange word. I have heard the word my whole life. My mother was a big worrier, and passed the activity on to me. I think it was literally a part of her DNA. I definitely have it in my blood, but I have a strange relationship with it. Sometimes I tend to worry most about things I have the most control of, while successfully ignoring things things I should pay more attention to. I back burner my health sometimes, as one such example. We are in our first house, the first house that belongs to us and the bank, after a lifetime of renting. Buying one's first home, is NOT for the faint of heart, and it is definitely a game for much younger people than Alan and I. And so, I worry daily.

Ideally we would have saved prior to our marriage, when we were 28 years old, and would have done the research and found what we could afford. If it wasn't on the immediate horizon, committing some money each month to a goal account, that would never be touched, would have been a good idea. We decided early that we probably wouldn't have children, so it should have made things easier. We didn't do that. We instead reconciled ourselves to be renters, and the trade off would be a car for each of us, and the ability to live in the Bay Area, close to all the things, and people we loved. We were fine.

And we were, then one day, while we were in the 14th year of living in a tiny cottege house, our 3rd home since 1990, we recieved a notice that the owner was taking the property back, and we needed to move. And I have mentioned before what came next. It was a HELL all it's own and has nothing to do, or at least very little, to do with where we are. We ended up in a modest, 3 bedroom house, with a pool, and some small challenges. Little things that need updating. But who, or what, born in 1962 doesn't need updating. That's the nice thing about being the same age as your house, you understand each other's creaky noises and sagging. 

After a year here, it is time to refinance and put some of our debt back into our home through the equity we have earned this year. We sat down with the loan officier in December, and he loved the looks of our credit rating and all seems good, but the process is moving really slowly and there have been a few PUNKS along the way, like a premature letter denying the refinancing because of an awkward key stroke. But it's now moving along nicely... accept now the documents that the loan officer recently sent, are nowhere to be found on my computer. I am hoping it is another awkward key stroke. Sigh. I don't know. 2016 was a shitty year, so maybe there is an evil elf with one last fuck you for us. Maybe there is nothing at all to worry about! People refinance all the time, espcially to pull equity to pay off bills. So, I am probably worrying for nothing.


What does all this have to do with my set of I Love Lucy dolls? Simple. I like to fall asleep to episodes of I Love Lucy, on the Hallmark channel. The show had been off the channel since the day before Halloween, for Hallmark to do their annual Christmas Non-Stop-A-Polooza. All Christmas movies, 24/7 since before Halloween, and after the last New Year's hangover aspirin has been taken. And I am so ready to have her back! You can't have nightmares, when you have Lucy and Ethel to escort you off to sleep. And you can't worry if you concentrate during your waking hours on how Lucy would manage to get herself in such ridiculous jams, and find her way back out, without giving a moment to the mind and body murderer... worry.

Yes, I Love Lucy is indeed just a show. A set of circumstances resolved in 23 minutes or so, but she packed a lot of unique circumstances into those 23 moments. Will I ever find myself in a spacewoman costume climbing along the edge of the Empire State Building? No. Will I ever have to be lowered down onto the deck of a luxury ocean-liner because I missed the ship? No. Will I ever get stuck on an out of control lawnmower on the Boston Post road? No! Because of Lucy, and that cautionary tale, I will never own one of those God forsaken riding mowers! See, I am smarter already! So, as I get through the next few weeks, until they put the check in our hands, and I pay off those strangling bills, I just need to stop worrying, and concentrate on Lucy, and what she would do! Would Lucy worry? Nah... she would go an buy a hat! Maybe I just need a hat!

"The best way to relieve stress is to trust yourself."

~Debasish Mridha

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Colors Of What Is To Come...

"Orange is one of God's favorite colors... he stuck it right there between red and yellow as the second color in the rainbow. He decorates entire forests with shades of orange every autumn. It shows up in sunrises at the start of the day, sunsets at the end of the day, and in the glow of the moon at the right time night."

~Reggie Joiner
The Think Orange: 
Imagine The Impact When Church And Family Collide

I have been sick since December 23rd. I am better... much better... but I haven't had a chance to do any real photography since the clock struck midnight on January 1st. With the weather as cold as it is, it's snowing in the foothills and you can feel it here in Stockton, and getting back on the mend, means that I will be doing my photography in the house or at least nearby. I did get to San Ramon yesterday, and managed to photograph the last of a really lovely Dogwood tree I came across, but I only got a few photos done before the rain started, and I didn't want to risk making my departing cold change it's mind. 

Still, it made me happy to get out, and to move with the camera a bit. Next weekend I plan to go and do some photography, no matter what the weather brings, even if it is just around Stockton! Hey, you never know what you will see even in your own neighborhood! And besides, it's good to clear the mind of all the mess and noise. 
You know what mess! And you know what noise! Do I say his name? Do I call him president? Right now I can't bring myself to give him that distinction. I know he is the worst thing that has happened to America in my lifetime. And I know that its going to be a rough road ahead. 

I have Alan. I have the fur babies. I have my friends. My democratic friends anyway, I may lose more than on republican friend before this nightmare is over. SO. BE. IT. I also have my creativity. My camera. My heart. So perhaps I can expand on my creativity a bit this year. Visit new places. And maybe go back to some type of therapy, not just to fight this damn depression but to save my own life, and take some pressure off Alan. He holds me together very well, but it's not his responsibility... is it? It's up to me to get myself together, and do what I have had to do in the past. Work through it, and get to a place of health and healing. I don't know what road I will go down. Avoidance? Maybe.

So... off I go. More to come. But for now...

Winter Leaf
January 2nd, 2017

Mood: Quiet



Sunday, January 01, 2017

Is It Gone? Yep... HAPPY 2017!

Last photo of 2016
December 31st 2016 

"Hope smiles from the threshold of the new year to come whispering... 'it will be happier'..."

~Alfred Tenneyson 

If you have been reading along, you already know I haven't posted in over a week! You see, Alan and I have been sick with one of the worst colds either one of us has had in a long time. We both had colds last Christmas as well, but nothing compared to this year's fresh hell, but then FRESH HELL is pretty much how their entirety of 2016 could be summed up!

 I am not going to dwell, it's gone, and 2017 has just begun, so I am going to give it a fair chance. It has no fault in the shitshow that was 2016. It's not responsible for all the deaths and destruction. It's just a new year, and while I see a lot of room for catastrophe, lets hold onto the one bit of hope that continues to see me through the pain of 2016...

Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 2.9 million votes.

That means there are still more people
 who think straight than don't.

There is a great deal of hope in that. 


Don't Let Me Down!

Mood: Encouraged

~Me :)