Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekend Wonder

Wow, could I ever have some fun with a title like that. Weekend Wonder... as in I wonder what we'll do this weekend. Or, the wonder that I usually seek out... the moments that remind me how wonderful life can be... on a weekend. I stopped myself from grabbing my camera to take another shot of my purse, camera bag and bright pink "grab my hobby and go" bag. They were lined up again at the corner of the driveway waiting for an adventure.

The theme over at the Lens photo challenge this week is "The view from here". As I was editing photos from today's outing, I had to giggle. Because I so often experience this view:

because I stop to take pictures of "things" and the family doesn't wait for me. But, there is my trusted photographer loving man, carrying my camera bag for me!

But, my favorite view today was this one!

Our road trip took us to another part of our bay... where we saw ducks...


an orange colored tree...


a frog, unique to the habitat...

(That's actually Cody, of course)

each other...

and a little bee!

Not to mention the dragonfly:

We laughed, we cried, it moved me, Bob! (Sorry, that just keeps going through my mind and if I don't type it out, it will continue to haunt me for the next several minutes... thanks for understanding)

And why is it that train tracks...

... beckon to be walked down?

Scott asked, "Do you think there are any good photographs to take on the other side of the tunnel?" And, well, there's only one way find out!

And here was our reward:

A lovely little beach!

Perfect for exploring:

And then we made our way home. The End.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Foto Friday time!

This past week's Renaissance photo challenge was sunsets. I did not photograph one of those, though, so I will share my favorite photo from this week... it was SO hard to choose just one, but here are my favorites in order from the most favorite to the others which are almost my most favorite!!

My boy loves his dog.


I long for simplicity in the home. Open spaces. Clutter free zones. If something is "there" it should be because I love it or I need it. Painting the interior of my home is giving me the chance to purge and shoot for attaining these such longings...

The walls of the kitchen are now done. Although cabinets need a lesson or two in cleanliness and the ceiling paint hasn't been purchased yet, I am enjoying the immediate results. I hope to keep the walls as empty as possible and to get the chance to reorganize cupboards so that I have less "sitting out" on vertical spaces...

Without further ado... here is my progress:

Now to decide if the next step should be the dining area:

Or the entry way:

***My dining area looks that atrocious because that's where I cleared my painting supplies... it's not that bad... The entry way, however, usually does look this bad...***

What tasks have you been tackling lately?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Whatcha been up to?

Some days it seems like "What haven't I been up to?"

I've been crocheting here and there and the other day Jayden came for a visit and his mommy doesn't know, but when she was busy, I had me some photo fun with baby boy! Here he is in an outfit which kind of matches the blanket I've been working on for a couple of months:

He'll be six months old soon!!

And I slip into another room to peek at little Christopher, napping. We had the best time with him the other night. He says the funniest things.

And in and around every little bit of time for this or for that... I am working on the interior of our home. This:


(Yes, while repainting the kitchen, I made zucchini bread.)

I've been testing colors for weeks. I didn't want to paint any walls of the house white... or off white. But, Scott shot down darker colors that I picked out, which is probably fine because I truly need a bright home. I really detest my windows being covered. If there are blinds installed, I simply pull that handy cord until they are drawn up to the top and smile victoriously. I don't mind a valance, but no heavy curtains, thank you! Here is a bit of my progress... and, for the record, I am not painting the walls "white", I am painting them "polished pearl". (I did win with my color selection for the entry, living room and hallway colors, though... but, that will be next week or so...)

Oh, the window sills are not going to be white... nice color, huh?

Getting started on this has given me yet another confirmation that I am not as young as I used to be... my back just aches after working on this. But, sights like this motivate me to coninue on. Really, the kitchen never beckons to me to begin with... but, now, it's less and less inviting!!

Well, all that means is the music needs to be turned up and playlists must be enjoyed, because this is going to be a long process....

And that, my friends, is what I've been up to...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Treat!

There's such a breathtaking moment when you are the photographer and you are no longer second guessing camera settings and you start to know what to do and what adjustments to make and it no longer takes such "brain power" and "remembering what the book said". You look through the viewfinder, your fingers slide around and you take the picture and you just *know*. I had that joy today.

I hope that you have enjoyed my summer treats today! I am sharing them over at the LENS photo challenge.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Favorite Photos for Friday!!

On a Saturday... because life happens. Yesterday I spent hours pouring over a chapter in a digital photography book, trying to learn how to take edited photos and obtain a lovely wall portrait (not as easy as just "find a printer")(something about pixels and compression with jpeg)(usually when a hobby of mine gets difficult, I find something else to do)(I am not turning away from this hobby's challenge, though, because I love photography more than I dislike having to conquer something difficult)(maybe I am making personal progress here?). Okay, I suppose I shouldn't write out a paragraph full of almost sentences in parenthesis, so I'll start a new paragraph.

Here's my entry for this week's "high angle" theme over at Renaissance. Once again, I had no idea that high angle was going to be the theme, but as I walked along a bridge over cliffs at the ocean, I stopped to snap a picture looking down. I have three photos, unedited, showing the scene and a tiny wave breaking on the rocks. Down in the lower right corner sits an unknown fellow who seems to be enjoying some fishing.

Have a lovely weekend, friends! Blessings!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When you head out of town....

All this past Friday I looked forward to hoppin' on the freeway and heading to Santa Cruz. Soon as I turned onto Hwy 4 and pushed the button for "love songs" on XM radio, I new it was going to be a great drive. After all, it was Barry Manilow singing "This one's for you". I enjoyed the 3 minutes of terrific memories and began the switch-up. When I didn't care for the song, I clicked over to Laugh USA (Clean comedy fun!). That is a great plan... particularly when Marvin Gaye's back up singers threaten to blow out the windows and your ears start to sting.

So, I'm cruisin' along enjoying my drive immensely and approach the turn off in Walnut Creek that I used to take to visit my granddaughter, Chloe, when she was in the NICU (the sweet blessing born at 1 lb, 14 oz.). Thoughts turn to those emotion packed days, praying for Chloe to be strong and healthy and I remembered (all in the matter of seconds) that I had blogged about it and put up a picture and a song, asking readers to join in prayer.

Here's Chloe's Song. IF you click on it, it will open up a youtube video and if you watch it, just hit the back arrow at the top left and it will bring you right back here...

Anyway, as I drove past the exit, thought of all those things, guess what song starts up? Yep, You'll Be in my Heart. Right then and there. God is SO cool! I sang my heart out.

The drive continued on with switches from love songs to comedy and soon I was winding along the hills near Scott's Valley, belting out another Barry Manilow Song, Somewhere In The Night. Good grief, could it get any better?? Okay, please just put up with me. It's not my fault, you know. During ages 7 and 8 I must have heard Barry Manilow's record played 10 times a week. I happen to have nearly every song memorized to this day. I didn't set out for that to happen... Really.

(And, hey, Barry Manilow songs are great to share with teens who get all emotional... you just print the words and don't tell them who wrote it... SH! Those and Barbara Streisand songs played in the background can go a loooong way some days. Don't mention her, either.)

I had a great weekend. I stayed with my children's grandmother, who did a terrific job hosting me. Time was spent connecting with several of my dear kids. I took Stephen to a studio to get his senior pictures taken... Lucky for me, Stephen didn't prefer to change out of his clothes, so after a few ice cream cones and a walk on the beach, I made him stand in some trees and let me have my own shot at senior pics.... Here are my favorite photos from the weekend up to that point:

I am particularly fond of the senior picture that I took, found a printer/supplier and in weeks to come, will have a lovely oil painting of that photo!!

Visits continued with a photography-crazed mom and kids who sweetly cooperated... Well, except Julie and Nathan. Neither of them wanted to be photographed (Nathan did end up in a couple of shots, though). Julie gave me the gift of taking my camera and put ME in view of the lens and she shot away and did a wonderful job. Definite genetic link. She's got a good eye for photos.

Here are more shots:

(Nathan was doing Algebra II homework...)

I loved every moment connecting with the kids.

Saying good-bye... was... not... easy. And that is good news for me. For many years I have blocked off my feelings to protect myself from pain. It's only been in recent months that I have allowed myself memories... and feelings. In one way I wish that weren't so, because I would often times refuse to cry. Since my heart has softened, though, it was not easy to force away tears and for that I feel badly because children (well, they are pretty much all teens now) feel badly when they see a parent cry. I tried, believe me. But, to adore them so much and say good-bye, get in a car and drive away... well, there are no words. My heart goes out to all split apart families... no matter what the cause, whether it is justified or not, no matter whose fault it was... even if it was young people making stupid decisions... I feel much more compassion for all of us. Child or parent. Separation stinks.

After a not-so-good (truth be told) sleep, I did, however, move forward into another week. I am loving my photographs and have become passionate about learning more and more each day. Although I think of my children each day, I also know the best thing to do to take care of myself is to have a dream and a goal... to live each day fully... to embrace moments during the mundane week and find the beauty in life. So, that's what I am up to...

Blessings, everyone!