Happy Easter From Seaport Village

Happy Monday everybody! I’m backtracking back to Easter Sunday. It’s taking me a bit to get back to the normal blog pace and posting things as they come. But I figure this is still fairly new news.

What’s a girl to do when the hubs has a business flight on Easter Sunday morning? She goes to Seaport Village. Only to discover there was an event, the Red Bull Air Race.

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I watched boats zip from one cone to the other – to check on stuff, I assume. Knowing this was happening. I hurried on my way to do what I came for. And to get out before the vendors and crowd gathered.

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I came to stroll thru the village.

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I came to enjoy the early morning.

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And I came to breathe in peace.

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I paused a moment to shoot barnacles at low tide.

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What a glorious morning to chill and relax.

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One last shot before I hit the road for home sweet home.

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It truly was a Happy Easter, but things are never quite right when the hubs is on the road.

I can say the hubs made it home Friday and all is right with the world.

Blessings – Debbie

Fort Worth Stock Yards

Hello peeps!  How are you? Yes, I’m here! Has it really been over a year since I had something to say on the blog? I find that hard to believe.

The blog’s been on my mind, it seems daily. And the weight of all the things left unsaid seemed to push me further away. Like a mountain of stuff piling up, and  not knowing where to begin. Things like 3 weddings in 3 different states, memories of my grandma, gardening projects, monthly book club fun dates, painting birdhouses, our trip to Hoover Dam, Meteor Crater and the Grand Canyon and little things like ducks adopting our pond and the hubs and I named them Mack and Daisy and we became Certified Kansas City BBQ judges! And other stuff that I would find blog worthy.

But at some point, it’s good to know that it’s ok to start blogging right where I am. And not fret trying to get things in chronological order.

So for now, I would like to post an update from two weeks ago.

On Monday, April 3rd, our alarm rang at 3:15am. The hubs had a business trip to Fort Worth and we decided that I should go too. Our bags were packed the night before and we were up and at it and out the door in record time.

Fort Worth was our destination. In fact, we stayed at the Hyatt, right smack in the middle of the heartbeat of Fort Wort, the Fort Worth Stock Yards.

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While the hubs worked, I found plenty to do, just steps away from our room.

One of the things I was excited about was the cattle drive.

The Old West comes to life during the Fort Worth Herd’s twice-daily cattle drive. Genuine Texas cowhands drive a herd of Texas Longhorns down Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards National Historic District every day at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

On Tuesday afternoon, I arrived exceptionally early to experience the excitement on the street as people started to arrive.

I found a nice shaded bench on the sidewalk and found myself in my own little world enjoying the passing moments.

A little while later, I heard a sweet voice coming from a gal (Genevieve) who found a  place to sit on the bench next to me.

In no time, we became friends and exchanged stories about our passion for art, photography and travel. Turns out, she is traveling the entire lower 48. How awesome and impressive is that folks!?! We also exchanged blogs and emails.

She also encouraged me to get back to blogging. Many thanks to her, the blog is back sooner than expected.

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Every detail of the cattle drive—from the saddles and chaps to the boots and hats – is authentic and historically true.

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On Wednesday, the next day, I watched the cattle drive again.

“Here comes the parade!” Ha! I got such a chuckle out of the gal behind me when she uttered those words. I guess you could argue that it’s a parade of Longhorns.

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It was sweet to see the baby. His little horns are adorbs.

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And that’s a wrap on the cattle drive. Till next time…

At the Cow Wash – I love how the hubs came up with the name cow wash. This was located just behind our hotel.

They didn’t enjoy getting sprayed in the face.

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But didn’t seem to mind the rest of the wash.

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Who knew Longhorns got the full service?

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While in the Stockyards, it was nice to get out and stroll.

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While on my stroll, It was nice to take the time to enjoy the finer things. Like this furniture store (Rios) located in the heart of the Stock Yards.

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Southwest flare is pretty cool.

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The Texan swagger is on.

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A cool statue I shot one bright sunny day.

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The hubs and I enjoyed a nice BBQ brisket meal at one of our old favorite places.

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It was a must to take a picture where our daughter used to work. Just for old times sake.

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Another evening, we went to Rodeo Goat for burgers.

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Overall, the two of us got to enjoy some special things. Like our favorite fried chicken establishment, Babe’s Fried Chicken. We took a side tour of our old homestead, visited with our old neighbor in passing and enjoyed the time when we were able to do things together.

I was also blessed to visit with a good friend Jan over lunch one day. What a delight it was seeing her again, after 10 years. It’s a wonderful feeling when we are able to catch up with old friends. And able to pick right back up where we left off and not miss a beat. Does my heart good.

Our time in Fort Worth was a treasure, I gained a new friend Miss Genevieve, we were able to experience old favorite places and visit with old long lost friends. What a blessing after 10 years of separation to the place we once called home.

I have so much more to share, and look forward to posting again soon. I think it’s safe to say that I’m back and ever so happy to be here.

Blessings – Debbie

Mama said there’ll be days like this

There’ll be days like this my mama said. Such a smart lady my mama.

Some days beg for a little vent, a shoulder to cry on, someone to listen as we share little challenges, all in a day. That was yesterday and today we’re still without water.

First things first, we woke to no internet. Ok, no biggie, the hubs can get to it later.

Next, I noticed our sprinklers were not turning off and water was pooling.  This is the second ordeal with the sprinklers in the last week. Turns out we have a bad valve and we look to replace them over the weekend. But in the meantime, we have the water turned off for the entire household. Luckily we can turn it on for showers and such and then right back off it goes. I told the hubs this morning as he was getting dressed for the outdoors that it was as though he had to make a run for the well before he could shower this morning. And then it took me back to the days before me, when folks really did have to pump their water. And then I thought of how thankful I am that all we need to do is turn a knob for running water. It’s not so bad after all.

Note: this issue it unrelated to the broken/repaired pipe I shared last week.

So last evening, the hubs insisted we go out for dinner. It was a nice treat with all that was going on at home.

But folks, the shoe dropped once again after dinner. As the hubs went to start the car, it would not start. We both grinned, looked at each other and agreed that we were ready for the nonsense and day to end.

We were also delighted to have AAA to the rescue. They were by our side in less than 30 min., they came equipped with new batteries and provided the best service on the spot. And our car was good as new and back on the road within 45 min of our first call.

While the internet was down, I painted in Photoshop (yesterday). It’s the image that so inspired me to shoot the other day. I can’t express the amount of joy that comes from painting. And I can say it was good for the body and soul. Amen.

The first image on the left is a underpainting. Image in the middle is the next layer, what I refer to as intermediate strokes and the last image is referred to as detail strokes.

While the layers are far from finished, it gives an idea of the steps taken while in the process of putting the layers together as one.

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And with that, I shall continue to move forward. And feel grateful that we have so much to be thankful for. Even if we have a mound of dirty clothes in need of washing.

Blessings – Debbie

Inspired

Do you ever get caught in a rut, doing the same thing over and over? And that process is repeated like the usual day in and day out fixed routine. And you reach that moment where you want to continue what you are doing, but differently. A change if you will.

That’s how I’ve been feeling with photography. I feel like I keep taking images of the same stuff, just a different picture of the same sort of stuff each day.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, because there will always be a different angle and composition of that sort of thing.

But I’m feeling a bit bored at the moment and searching for new inspiration to get fired up about.

And today I was greatly inspired with a simple indoor shoot of a pair of glasses composed on the table in our breakfast nook.

And here’s my little experiment that turned my morning into fun.

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I’ll say, step away from the same ole same ole and try something new. You never know what will happen unless you try.

Blessings – Debbie

October

Time is on the move. And I better do something on the blog, as time is not going to wait a moment.

So October rolled in with my friend wanting to use me as a subject in her photography class.

And 9 x’s out of 10 she asked me to take off my glasses. Something I would never do for a photographer or anyone. But for her and her assignment, I obliged. But I still can’t figure out if it was the way she bribed me or not. She kept telling me that I looked like a 12-year-old school girl. The bribe seemed to work. But looking at the image, it just doesn’t feel like the “real” me. I’m a glasses wearing gal from the time I rise and shine to the time I fall asleep. And if you are one of the few to catch me without glasses,  it’s a rare happening. So here ya go.

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No smiles she would say. Looking for that serious side of you. Here’s what she captured. We had such a fun day in her studio.

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We had a nice little rain early October. I captured an image between raindrops.

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I would say this past October was one of the warmer ones we’ve had since we moved here. Can you believe we’ve already been here 6 years this October?

My little mid October stroll in the garden one “cooler” morning.

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I got so excited this particular morning to see the orange rose-tree in full bloom. It’s a tree I hand-picked to sit next to the pond. There’s just something about the color of the fish and rose that makes me smile.

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Enjoying my new mugs from Costco and coffee as the sun comes up.

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In other October news. We had a little minor issue in our bathroom. Floor tiles needed replacing, toilet needed replaced (well not really, but we wanted a new one) and I decided while we were at it to go ahead and paint the baseboards and paint the bathroom. It’s great being on this end with all things fresh in our master bath.

Cheers to a wonderful season with the hubs and getting things back to normal around the homestead.

But wait. I still have a big project to finish this weekend. A reminder that there will always be something to do and there is no such thing as normal. Or is there?

Blessings – Debbie

Oh Summer You Went So Fast

Dear summer of 2015, thank you for your bountiful blessings.

We were so excited about our grape-vine this year, that we picked up two more vines and planted them. Unfortunately, around picking time, there were no grapes left for us. Lesson learned, we will cover them with a net to keep the birds away next time.

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And our little pumpkin patch flourished with more pumpkins than we could use this autumn. Unfortunately, we just ended up tossing them as we planted a little too early this year. Lessons learned…

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Fresh summer California berries deserve a standing ovation. Amen…

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July 10th – An exciting day! Our solar panels were delivered. A big shout out for solar energy, oh happy day! We are so thrilled to have that done.

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Enjoyed our Sweet 16 Anniversary. Feeling blessed and so very happy to spend life with My Love. It truly has been a great adventure.

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Mid August – Taking pictures lately? That’s the question my photographer friend asked while we were out having some girl time. No was the reply. No was her reply too. We think it has to do with the overload from school that put us both over the edge. However, we both still love our camera and in no way are we putting it on the shelf. Just taking a little breather. Here’s an image of roses I brought in from the garden. Made me so very happy…

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August 31 – Spent hours by the waterfall = My favorite place to chill. The activity in and around the pond = priceless.

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I love a garden with flowers and fish. I’m thankful each day to have both. Love our Shubunkin pumpkins as I fondly call them. This guy was wondering when I would stop shooting and feed him.

Threw a paint filter on this in Photoshop, because I thought it needed a little something somethin.

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A little early September morning blessing from the garden.

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Loving my babies! It has to be one of my favorite spots to visit.

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Yes, we have watermelon! And I must say, it is some of the best melon ever. It continues to produce and we’ve enjoyed it daily for weeks.

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One of the great blessings of the week is – I have the hubs home taking a little vacation with me. Loving this time together around Home Sweet Home.

Back to celebrating his time off. Happy Day! And Happy Catching up on the Blog… Well as much catching up as I plan to do. I know there are things I missed like special dates and such, but I’m calling it quits and caught up. And feeling blessed.

Happy Day and Blessings – Debbie

Hubs 35th HS Reunion In Vegas

Early June 2015 – Pulling out of the hood – Going to Vegas with my Baby!

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Our first visit to Vegas.

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The Luxor Hotel – Our home away from home.

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The daylight images were shot from my car window as we made our little trip around the strip via car.

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Reflection, it’s what I loved when I saw this building.

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The night shots were taken on foot one evening as we strolled the strip. Accompanied with the trusty tripod.

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The fountain programmed to music. What a lovely place to linger for a few songs.

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The strip taken from the above cross walk.

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Group shot of everyone after dinner one evening. It was a great turnout.

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Goofballs – When in Vegas, get tatted…

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Can’t believe they trusted me to do the honors.

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Last dinner with the group.

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Fun times were had by all.

Blessings – Debbie

8/52 – Perspective

Hey peeps, I can’t believe another week has disappeared. I must say, this weekly project has me in tune with just how short the year really is. I mean, really, we’re into the 8th week already? Can’t be…

My project this week is perspective.

From my point of view, as I looked out the back window yesterday morning. It was 67° indoors with an expected high of 70°. But I was chilled as I watched the 5 tier waterfall.

The recent foam gathering at the base, made me feel a little more chilled. I stood watching with a shiver. But it’s all about perspective.

Then I proceeded outdoors to breathe in the cool fresh air, soak in the sunshine and rolled up my sleeves to do a bit of gardening.

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I’m in love with my year round Valentine. That’s the way I see him, my everyday valentine. While we don’t subscribe to buying gifts or cards on valentine’s day (it’s not our “thing”), we do believe in celebrating year round.

Over the weekend, while shopping at the local nursery for our star jasmine, I spied this succulent. I was smitten at first sight. And he picked up three of the most beautiful plants for me, just because.

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It was such a joy finding a new home for the plants. I believe this is the crusula capitella campfire, native to Africa.

I’ve already taken a few samples from the plants to see if I can start some new ones on my own. That right there is how smitten I am over these beauties.

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin – This was my read for book club this week. A story about our American hero, Charles Lindbergh. The kidnapping and brutal murder of their son Charles Lindbergh Jr. And the story of his loving wife Anne, written from her point of view.

While we finished our book club gathering today, I came home feeling exhausted, as if I had had a really good cry. Yes, it was that good, as our discussion was filled with passion or compelling emotion from each of our perspectives. Now I’m hungry for a good biography of Charles Lindberg.

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From my perspective, our roses are such cheerful, bright, happy flowers.

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The many colors have my undivided attention.

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Each one different and beautiful in its own way.

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From my perspective, this is a really good week.

P.S. I got a ride in my neighbors convertible “Benz” today. What a perfect day for a sweet ride.

Blessings – Debbie

7/52 – Pastel

Hey friends, I’m on a roll today! How about you? I hope things are well.

It’s time I get my weekly project finished early. I’m pretty excited about that.

So when pastel was given as our inspiration this week, all I could think about were the lovely roses in the garden.

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So today I took several images to show some of the pretty pastel colors in the backyard.

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This was such a fun assignment!

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This week is filled with all sorts of fun stuff:

  • I’ve been playing in the dirt.
  • Digging and planting new plants in one of our little cleared out areas in the backyard. Pictures to come when I finish that little project.
  • The roses were fertilized over the weekend. They are leafing out so nice this year and the buds are getting ready to pop!
  • I find it difficult to be indoors when all I want to do is enjoy the pretty outdoors.
  • The hubs and I enjoyed a fire in the fire-pit over the weekend.
  • Visited with our next door neighbors on the patio and then went over to their place and enjoyed a bit more afternoon patio sitting and visiting.
  • I’m excited about my lunch date with the hubs today.
  • And looking forward to my friend coming over tomorrow for coffee and a visit on the patio.

Can you take a guess at what I’m looking forward to? Well, the time change! That = a lot more outdoor activity during the evening hours. And that makes me so very happy!

Blessings – Debbie

6/52 – Happy

Again, I’m late posting my project for last week. I really need to get my act together. Don’t you know?

So a week ago Sunday, February 8th, the hubs and I planted our vegetable seeds. And I’m so “Happy” to report that by Friday we started to see  growth.

And by Sunday we had pumpkins at around 4″ tall. Image below was shot Sunday, February 15th.

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Happiness is, watching our little vegetable garden grow.

Blessings – Debbie

5/52 – Small

Small “was” my assignment for last week. Sorry, I did not get the post up. However, I want to continue with my little project of posting, so I figured a few days late would be just fine.

I’m into my second full week of hiking. And I just love it! But it did not start out well.

I’ll explain. On my first day back to hiking 5 miles, I gained a small blister. On the tiniest little toe of mine. How nice is that? Isn’t it crazy how one tiny thing can throw a wrench into our best plans? And yes, I hobbled nearly 2 miles home that day.

But look out, I was well prepared with a band-aid the next day. Don’t you know, I developed another little tiny blister on my other little toe. Now I had matching blisters. And feeling pretty discouraged, as I thought I had good hiking shoes.

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The next day I took a time out. Gathered my shoes and a clean pair of socks to pay a visit to the local shoe store.

So I’m in my car, half way down my street, when I see my sweet neighbors daughter jogging.

So I stopped the car. Waited for her to reach me. Put down my window and the sweet lady stopped. I said hello to the nice lady and explained to her my situation and showed her my hiking shoes and asked if she had any recommendations on the type of shoe I should have for the hills.

She said all I needed to hear. She simply said “you need a good pair of running shoes and I don’t think you will ever have trouble with blisters again”. She went on to explain that she wears running shoes for everything.

And so I was off to hunt down a good pair of shoes.

After trying on 9 or so pair, I found just the ones that made happy feet. Mind you, I had two fresh blisters and no band-aids on at the time of trying on shoes. And I walked around and around the store with no trouble at all. It was a really good sign that they were meant for me.

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And I’ve walked and hiking the hills and valleys happily ever after. Cheers for happy feet and to hiking band-aid free! I’m telling you, I will never forget the kindness of that gal as she was my angel that day. Running shoes is where it’s at peeps, trust me.

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But for my small shot, I thought this little family of empty snail shells on my little trowel would be much prettier than blisters.

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I’m having a much better week and happy to report those small blister trials are last weeks troubles.

Blessings – Debbie

4/52 – A Part of Me

So this week, our photography project was assigned. We are to shoot “A Part of Me”. I  wasn’t prepared to shoot another part of me, since I just shot my new frames for the “light” assignment last week. So I thought about doing an expressions collage to post as my shot.

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But the more I thought about it. The more I realized the part of me that has been my obsession since childhood, is my hair. From being able to sit on it, to cut up and over my ears. I still remember those High School years and mom saying to me “I think you got a little scissor happy”. Currently I’m growing it out, but on any given day I have the urge to cut it off again.

Shot yesterday with my iPad and played with (edited) in Photoshop by adding a filter.

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I wasn’t so sure about the process on the above shot, so I applied another filter and submitted the image below as my shot of the week.

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In other news:

I was back to my first book club meeting since last July. What a joy to see the girls again and discuss our good book Delicious by Ruth Reichl. There truly is a special wonderful warm feeling in our great group of ladies.

This my friends, is the hubs jalapeño plant from last spring. This guy received no love from us this winter, but look at it! I just noticed blossoms on his plants this week. Our tomato seeds from Burpee are on the way. Oh how we love to make this place home.

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My little succulent garden is thriving and I have plans to plant a few more this spring/summer.

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A Pretty Day For a Project – So the hubs and I hand-picked a few slate pieces (extra pieces left on the property) for a little path. Tuesday, the gardener buried the slate at ground level. Then he planted ground cover (around the slate) the hubs and I picked out over the weekend. The two old lights were removed but the electric left for a future lighting project. The after picture should be coming soon.

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And here it is Thursday. I find that I’m trying to keep the washing machine and dryer busy, a little cleaning around the house is in order. And truly looking forward to the hubs getting home this evening. As I get him for the next three days, it’s his Friday off work week. It should be a fun weekend packed with work, play, relaxation and rest.

If you don’t hear from me in the next few days, just know I will be back…Soon…Promise…

Blessings – Debbie

A Day to Remember

What a lovely day…

It started this morning at Starbucks with my girlfriend + a beautiful morning country drive in the mountains in search for cool places to go shooting (photography) together.

Lunch was at the best Greek restaurant and we dined on the patio. Loved my salad!

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And for the afternoon, she brought me to her studio where she shot me for like 2 hours. I had fun learning about studio lighting and we both enjoyed talking shop (photography) all day.

And to think, my salad was the only shot I took. Sad…

But truly a great day to remember.

Blessings – Debbie

2/52 – Storytelling

Wow, we are already into the second week of the New Year. The project this week is “Storytelling”.

I snapped this image yesterday in keeping with storytelling. Doesn’t it look like they’re telling stories?

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This is potentially the last few shots of me with my favorite frames. I should be getting my new frames next week. The story regarding new frames has everything to do with me needing a little larger frame such that I have more room for the progressives.

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Roses in January and new polish today. The story behind the polish. While doing a bit of food shopping, I noticed a large section of nail polish 50% off. So I came home with three new bottles.

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I’m really excited about my 52 week project this year. It has a way of helping me to focus on photography while I tell my life story on the blog.

How fitting. Who knows, I may be back with a few more stories this week.

Blessings – Debbie

1/52 – Fresh

So I joined a project 52 group this year. Basically, we as a group take an image a week (based on the theme) and present our images.

I’m really excited to be a part of the group as I feel it will offer inspiration and the drive to get out there and shoot.

This past week, our theme was “Fresh”.

I was inspired to keep it simple and shoot something that had everything to do with the week.

“Fresh” flowers from the garden for family arriving from Alaska.

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The hubs sister and her husband from Alaska. Image shot in the rain this morning just before we said good-bye. We had a wonderful visit with them this week. Some of the highlights = Cheesecake Factory – Lunch date with the hubs (he had to work this week) – Visit to the local library – Strolls in the neighborhood – Evening visits – Farmers market – Japanese Garden – Oceanside dinner – Hike along the scenic lake and mountains – Afternoon tea at the local tea house…

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The hubs woke violently ill yesterday. And a drive to Urgent Care was necessary. After an IV laced with Zofran and 5 hours later, he was feeling much better. Fortunately, he is on the mend and not contagious at this stage.

Now I’m looking forward to a new week and a new photography project challenge. Should be fun.

Blessings – Debbie