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.

IMG_debbie-7954_IMG_

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.

IMG_debbie-7973_IMG_a

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

DSC_2784

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.

DSC_2806

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.

DSC_2912

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

DSC_2857

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

Montage Conclusion and then some…

Blue struck in more ways than one over the last few weeks. This was me fretting over numerous areas of concern with my montage project.

photo 2 copy

My montage assignment went in several directions early on.

While I was excited about the grape leaves, I was torn on which way to go – Blue or Autumn?

WIP1-1

Then a magical moment came and the blue completely won my heart.

This is the part I jumped all in.

LeavesCloudsRender

Many leaves made their way to the canvas/Photoshop. They were scattered and layered with bits of overlay in areas. In the end, the image below made my heart sing.

I’ll be presenting the image below for critique this week. Would you believe 30 (Fun and Enjoyable) + hours went into the image below? Knowing when to stop, is when I look at the image without seeing areas that beg for attention.

LeavesFinalB

Now that I had one concept under my belt, I still had to come up with another, as two images are due. That alone may have caused another dose of anxiety and doubt blended with thoughts that I would not be able to come up with another concept.

Then I came up with the idea of creating flowers with bits and pieces (mainly parts with bokeh) of different photos I’ve taken.

I got this far along when I fell completely out of love with this idea. Yuck is my honest feeling. This is where I let go.

MontageFlowers1

Then I thought – How would it be if I used the images I took at the Wild Animal Park? Surely I would be able to come up with something cool. Excitement returned!

So I put thoughts and ideas into Photoshop. Then, after working on this image a good portion of a day or two, I fell out of love with this too – “it looks TOO cut and paste ish, I don’t like it“. And this is the place I abandoned it.

I was searching, searching for something. I didn’t know what, but something that would make my heart sing in the end. And this is not that, that’s all I know.

WildAnimalPark

And then I put another thought to paper. I went into my next idea with a great deal of joy. But I also had my doubts.

The thought was to take images of our pond and blend them with a sailboat. I started with a simple pond image and boat. But I still needed at least 3 more images to complete this assignment. While working and searchings for ideas, thoughts came to mind. And the waterfall and other images (in time) fell into place.

The five images blended together (below) consist of – The upper portion of the pond with lilies is image #1 – Image #2 is the waterfall and rocks (upper right)- Image #3 the sailboat – Image #4 the lower pond with the long reflections – Image #5 the rock in the foreground.

In the end, I’m happy with the way the image flows and appears to come together seamlessly. I’m happy to say I will be presenting this as my second montage image.

MontageBoatDONEB

I’m thankful that just because we let go, doesn’t mean we give up. Rather, letting go gives the freedom to express ourselves as we find our way to the place our hearts sing. That’s what it’s all about.  While I don’t feel I’m the best, I do believe in giving my best effort.

Then Halloween rolled around – And the hubs invited me to join him for a lunch date last Friday. And then we went to pick up some chocolates for the ghosts and goblins that evening.

I could not help but capture this image of our bag-boy in costume. I have no words. But, the chocolate was GOOD!

photo

Ahhh – November 1st, what a special day. The hubs brought all the Christmas stuff in. I know, we have such an early start. But in my defense…

  • We’ve celebrated autumn the last two months
  • Christmas should be celebrated just as much as autumn – No?
  • My classes have hit a little breather where I just finished up one project and it seemed the perfect timing to get some things done before diving into another huge assignment. Makes sense to me.
  • The time change was Sunday. It made sense to brighten the place a bit more during these early dark evenings.
  • And I have the Christmas spirit. I’m ready!
  • AND the hubs and I wished each other Merry Christmas over the weekend. Double love that the hubs enjoys these days as much as me.

And we enjoyed a lovely Saturday evening dinner with friends Jer Bear and Julie.

This is the tree I worked on, it’s our dining room tree. First I had to take the “pre-lit” lights off, as the old cord and lights were bad. Then I fluffed the branches and applied new lights. This is where I left off over the weekend. It’s coming right along as I have a little more time to dote this week.

DSC_9180

Another thing, today is the day to vote! We normally vote by mail, but we didn’t get them filled out in time. However, we were able to fill out the form and vote from the comforts of home. I dropped mine off at the polls this morning. No lines no waiting.

photo 3 copy copy

Back to work on Christmas decorating, with the sounds of the season filling the air.

Blessings – Debbie

Dear September

You went way too fast! And I did not get my act together to keep up. However, I’m back to recover some of little things in life last month.

Catfish – Our latest edition in May. They (we have two) were about 2″ + when we got them, now they are approximately 9″ – Finally I got a shot this month – These guys love to hide under rocks and come out of hiding for breakfast – The perk = we don’t have “fry” this year – While the fish did spawn, the catfish took care of all the eggs. Nice edition if you were to ask me.

DSC_8203

September school assignment – The lesson called to shoot 6 different categories in the Urban Environment with a total of 42 images. Then select two of our favorite images to print out on 11 x 17 for critique. And hand in the other 40 images compacted on two 8.5 x 11 contact sheets.

The six different categories – 1. Bench where people come and go – 2. Absence of people 3. Twilight 4. Collection of things (anything) 5. Non sequitur, something that looks out of place 6. Nature and manmade blended together

One of my favorite images printed on 11 x 17 and mated it for critique in class. Category = Bench

UrbanBench

The second image I used for my final urban assignment. Category = Twilight

On a good note – the professor was so thrilled with our work that it was all hung in the school gallery.

Stewart_Urban Twilight

What my contact sheets for the assignment (printed on 8.5 x 11) look like…

Contact Sheet Urban copy

Next…. I still don’t have my grade, but I hope it’s a good one.

Contact Sheet Urban 1

Guess who thought it necessary to be there with me, as he did not want me alone out there on my urban assignment…Makes my heart smile…

He’s the BEST!

DSC_8377

Friendship – Lunch with friends at the beach, is always a good idea. It’s times like this that I kick myself for not having my camera. But ever so thankful for the trusty cell phone.

photo 5

Fresh cool air – sipping soda beachside with friends – enjoying the visit – more than a girl could ask on a summer day.

photo 3

Truly a glorious day to remember…

photo 2

Happy Fish and Cloudy Water – We’ve had the pond guy out a couple of times to try to help us figure out why we can’t seem to get the clarity back. Turns out, I’m cleaning it TOO MUCH and backwashing TOO MUCH. Jokingly he said, this is not a pool, it’s a pond. And you need to allow the algae to grow on the sides to develop a good ecosystem.  And he said “don’t touch it ’til I come back the end of the month.” On a good note, the fish are happy and the water ph is just dandy. But the clarity we are used to seeing is just not there. My bad.

The get this thing clean and backwash mentality is hard to let go, but I must.

DSC_8858b

New Frames – The hubs is up for new frames. The supposedly really nice frames he picked up the last time continue to have a screw loose ALL. THE. TIME.

We’ve shopped a few places and took a pic the last place we visited over the weekend. Now to go back to the other place to compare notes with the other frames we liked.

IMG_1684

While I still love my frames, it’s a growing concern that I could use bigger frames do to wearing progressives and the need for a little more room to see. Totally not something I’m thrilled about.

But I think I found something that may fill the order next year. I think…

IMG_1655

October Class Assignment – I spent the last couple of weeks in september working on images that could be used for my upcoming assignment. Images were not to be taken in direct sunlight.

I was quite fond of the bubble I captured as it was moving down the waterfall over the stem of the leaf.

DSC_8522b

But this image captured days later caused my heart to sing. Getting ready to print this guy and mat it next week.

DSC_8839

I must say, this semester has brought a lot of doubt. Doubt on the days we have a solid 3 hour lecture.

And I come home feeling discouraged that I’m unable to carry out the task. And when I tell the hubs all about it, a tear or two may trickle down my cheek. And he listens, while the look on his face tells me that he wished he could make it all better. And that’s what makes everything better.

And it’s weeks like this (in class) when we’ve had a solid 3 hour lab, that things begin to sink in. Somehow when we as students get to sit at the computer and begin to work on our assignments, ask questions and put to use what we’re learning, the process kicks in.  And somehow I’m able to grasp what he was saying all along during those lectures.

And now I could practically do the assignment with my eyes closed. And I smile and say, it wasn’t that bad after all.

10710845_691483030943722_22587021557161920_n copy

Cheers to learning new things!

And may I remember that it’s alright if I don’t come home from school knowing everything the professor finished lecturing about. Somethings take time to process.

On a Happy Note – Happy October! Puts me in the holiday spirit already. Yup, I’m one of the crazies that love to blend Pumpkin, Thanksgiving and Christmas all into one.

Blessings – Debbie

Back to School and Dropping Book Club

There is no easy way to say this as my heart tugs in both directions. And I’m bummed that I can’t have my cake and eat it too. But that’s the way things work and it’s all good.

So I received the fall college class schedule and the photography class I’ve been waiting to take, just so happens to conflict with the club day and time. And I was sad I couldn’t do both. But I also realize they only offer this class in the fall/once a year. So I did the only thing I knew to do. Drop the club and enroll for the class. I did ask our group leader if I could come back after my class this fall and she said “YES”! Makes me happy.

I’m really excited about my class though. I’ve already had the teacher and he’s Good with a capital G. So I already know it’s going to be packed with a lot of knowledge. I’m so excited and thrilled he didn’t retire as he mentioned he may be doing that soon. So it’s off to school I go, next month!

This summer is filled with fun little projects. Most of all, I’m having fun playing in the dirt, painting projects, photo shoots, eating tomatoes as fast as I pick them, creating little succulent gardens and weekend projects with the hubs…

This was my photo shoot yesterday…

The Tarantula Hawk Wasp – this is the specimen I found (on the ground) while gardening. I thought it was interesting enough to do a photo shoot. And then I had to google it to find out what it was. I mean really, he’s freaking 2″ long! And the first I’ve ever seen anything like it. I also learned it’s the state insect of New Mexico. I learn something new every day…

DSC_7482B

Remember the wood fork and spoon (painting project) from last week? Well, I got around to hanging the set in the breakfast nook.

And this morning I put together 3 more miniature succulent gardens for the window. I’m smitten with all the free pickings in our backyard.

DSC_7517

A closer look.

DSC_7522

And this afternoon, I have household plans…Plans that don’t look so pretty in pictures. But I’m going to feel great having these things accomplished.

Happy Wednesday, Peeps!

Blessings – Debbie

Bits and Pieces

Getting Overhauled

Well I’m up for new lenses.

I could already tell my eyes were failing. Turns out, I am in dire need of a bit more oomph. You have no idea how excited I am that I’ll be seeing crystal clear soon! Totally “LOOKING” forward to it.

As of last Thursday, my frames were shipped to the lab.

And I feel blind wearing my old frames/lenses from 3 years ago.

DSC_5437

The nose piece hurts my nose – Band-Aids are applied to either side (see image above) for relief. Now all I need is a little sympathy. Perhaps the string orchestra, or even a little violin would work.

On the bright and cheerful sunny side of life, at least I have my old computer glasses. While the prescription is weak, I can still see for reading and computer work.

News to me – I found out I have asteroid hyalosis in my left eye. It’s a benign condition, but something my Dr. will monitor.

The hubs and I both had such a positive experience with our new Optometrist. So much so, that we can finally say the search is over (for our Eye Dr.) after 4.5 years out west.

Monday Happenings

A stroll thru the garden first thing this morning was such a blessing – I especially find our roses add cheerful greetings. I started applying rose fertilizer (every two months) this year and the difference is huge. Trust. And apply to your roses if you haven’t already.

DSC_5550

So far we have 14 roses and I’m looking to add more. In fact, I was talking to the hubs over the weekend of how I would like to start some roses from seed in the near future. It sounds much more exciting than purchasing from the local nursery.

Water drops (from the sprinkler) on the rosebud this morning.

DSC_5510

Lunch

I can’t think of a better place to have lunch in the summer. Or in the fall. Or in the winter. Or in the spring.

DSC_5595

The sound of birds chirping and the waterfall are all the music I need to enjoy this yummy salad. The only thing missing, is fresh tomatoes from the garden and the hubs. I really wish we lived close enough for him to come home for lunch.

DSC_5565

While having lunch, I played with the camera. And took this shot of the bubbles on my glass. It’s crazy the little things that cause a girl to put her fork down to play.

DSC_5625

Other Monday chores include laundry and a few other household things. Things that may or may not make a pretty picture. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Back to work! And wishing the very best to you on this first Monday in June. Can you believe it’s June already?

Blessings – Debbie

Family Days in Florida

This post is going to be a bag of family images during the week stay in FL. I still have so many images to process. But for now, I’m ready to get a few out there.

A few of the things we did that week = had the famous roast beef sunday dinner at mom and dad’s, with the family. I got to play with my nieces hair, did their nails, got plenty of rest, played poker, played backgammon, enjoyed a nice river dinner out with my little brother and his wife (my big bro was not in town as early as we were for this), enjoyed Cold Stone, went to Bass Pro with the family, enjoyed pumpkin pie every day from Thanksgiving – December 1st, purchased fudge, went to visit my grandma, aunt and uncle + cousins, enjoyed lunch with my aunt + uncle + their family + my mom = a total of 11 of us family members, had dinner with friends, went shopping with mom, I’m a heavy on the olives kinda gal and had all of the olives on my Thanksgiving plate disappear from a certain brother :), helped mom with Thanksgiving preparations, enjoyed a dinner out with just my parents, enjoyed watching my parents get surprised by one of the twins (she said she was not able to come as she’s in the middle of exams following Thanksgiving = she lives in Washington), having her there made our family complete, I got to take amazing pix of everyone, enjoyed a big family dinner with everyone at my little bro’s (guy on the far right of the first image in this post), met quite a few of my nieces and nephew’s friends, visited my parents church and enjoyed listening to our nephew play the piano and sing during service, talked to my nephew about coming out to Cali, to take his Sr pix this year and much much more.

Meet the family

DSC_8132F

My two siblings + parents. My older bro on left, he’s a year older than me and my baby bro on right, he’s a year and 1/2 younger than me. Feeling blessed to be right smack dab in the middle.

DSC_8162

Pop and me

DSC_8010

I love how he just cracks me up!

DSC_8025

My niece all the way from Washington State.

DSC_8463F

And her twin sis in Florida.

DSC_8506F

And their baby bro – He’s the senior who mentioned coming out to So Cal for me to take his senior pix in the spring.

DSC_8413F

My nephew from North Carolina

DSC_8544F

And his little brother from North Carolina – This guy is also a senior this year. And he’s also the nephew who plays the piano and sings.

DSC_8402F

While enjoying the cool of the evening with friends, aunt Deb (that would be me) told the girls to “work it ~ work it” I just love the result!

DSC_7810

Our three nephews – There is never a dull moment with the fam. As you can see, the proof is in the pudding.

DSC_7823

My nephew and his buddy – Boy’s certainly know how to work it too!

DSC_7886

When friends arrive late one evening – Hot chocolate + a bon fire in the backyard, made for the best way to spend the time with friends.

DSC_8691

Here we have pops enjoying the cool evening hours as I was out shooting the grandkids. It is then when they brought my attention to grandpa. As this shot begged to be taken.

DSC_8626

I don’t know where the funny bone genes came from, but I think you are looking at two possible candidates.

DSC_8250

There are a lot more images to share from our Florida travels. But I’ll leave you with our Thanksgiving dinner picture, gathered ’round. I love my family and so thankful we could all be together. Even if my little bro took all my olives. 😉

DSC_7734

Blessings – Debbie

Happy Thanksgiving

Apparently that is how far behind I am on the blog. And I say it’s time to do a little catching up, before this gets out of hand.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, (November 23rd) the hubs and I were off to spend Thanksgiving with the family in Florida.

1001999_536227503135943_1180826262_n

What we did to pass the time on the long flight from coast to coast.

578123_536311263127567_1776524720_n

And I was thinking how cool it was going to be to see the folks that evening.

1471827_536321333126560_646089712_n

A little layover with a latte in Atlanta = Perfection!

1456492_536349093123784_123906696_n

All set for our sunset flight, down to south Florida.

1452038_536355639789796_611567922_n

It’s taxi to the runway time.

1459228_536362876455739_842995281_n

And we flew into the sunset.

1458691_536391443119549_729619941_n

One of my favorite shots of the day was the sunset + contrail from a jet plane.

1459316_536407809784579_1116439303_n

All images and collages (documenting our little trip) were created with my cell and collage apps on the cell phone. I can’t express the amount of fun it was creating images = the time went by so fast.

The end of the first day.

Blessings – Debbie

Happy Halloween

What does one do when the ghosts and goblins fail to come trick ‘r treating?

DSC_6697B

One visits their neighbor to check out their spooky decor. Nice work, neighbor!

DSC_6696

Finally we had a few trick ‘r treaters AKA our beautiful neighbors grandchildren.

DSC_6705

And this cute little guy did not disappoint when I asked him to strike his character pose.

DSC_6708a

Happy Halloween!

Blessings – Debbie

Raindrops

There’s something magical after the rain.

DSC_6578B

When every living thing is coated with magical beads.

DSC_6543B

I woke to rain a couple of times the last two nights.

DSC_6658B

And sometime in the middle of the night (last night) I opened the window to see what I could see. While I could not see much, the sound was magical. Perhaps it’s because it’s such a rare treat for us.

DSC_6676

And it provided an abundance of things to shoot, the last two mornings.

DSC_6652B

Off the subject – True story, I’m on my 4th phone case in the last 4 days.

It’s been a crazy buy a case, return a case frenzy these days. But I “think” I found the “one” today. I hope I found the “one” today. And I pray I don’t have to do any more case hunting.

I think cheers are in order.

Wishing a blessed day to you, rain or shine.

Blessings – Debbie

Thoughts and Dreams

Good afternoon!

It’s a great day, sprinkled with thoughts and dreams all over the place.

I woke this morning thinking.

I don’t know where my thoughts came from, they were just there in the wee hours of the morning.

Below is the thought/question I presented to FB this morning.

What I woke thinking/feeling puzzled about – Oct – if an octopus has eight legs, an octagon has eight sides and there are eight notes in an octave – then why isn’t October the eighth month of the year? This inquiring mind needs to know.

Turns out, I have some really smart friends. But my genius friend responded.

October was the eight month in the Roman calendar but became the 10th month when January and February were inserted with the new Julian calendar.

My mind is finally at peace on that matter. Thanks to Angelete.

I’ve been thinking about our Cardinals. And we’re ready to cheer “BIG” for them again tonight.

While they didn’t have a good night at the park, last night. We know what they are made of.

DSC_6451

I spent a bit of time in the garden this morning. It’s a great place to think and dream. And today I thought a nice long shutter speed would be fun to do. So I rolled with it.

Long Shutter Speed – Sometimes it takes time to achieve the desired outcome. Image from my morning visit in the garden.

DSC_6474B

And there were thoughts from the past. Thoughts of moving to San Diego.

In fact, it was four years ago today when I moved from Upstate NY (the hubs moved a week or so before me) to San Diego.

The image below was taken October 17, 2009 – from the street in front of the home we had just built.

I like how the hubs commented on this image. He said…

What a symbolic picture that is. That long and winding road has led us here.

DSC05969

It’s hard to believe we’ve been here this long. But we certainly enjoy the great adventures out west.

The hubs states that he can no longer live where a palm tree can’t grow.

I’m thankful he’s taken me to the ends of the earth, to places I’ve never been and back to where palm trees grow. I could get used to this – for a lifetime.

Blessings – Debbie

What Time Is It

So this sun dial resides in the backyard. It was left by the previous owners.

DSC_5601

For fun, I thought it would be fun taking images of it at different angles.

DSC_5595

While we have abundant sunshine, I don’t believe this will be the method of choice to tell time.

DSC_5584

But it sure was fun to shoot.

DSC_5592

It’s time to scavenge – while scavenging the backyard for things to shoot, I found this very old sunflower. Again, left behind. And I thought it was interesting enough to shoot.

DSC_5574

It’s time for autumn to make an appearance – I spotted this leaf caught in the fountain. This image reminds me of autumn, even tho we don’t really see too much changing of the seasons in So Cal.

DSC_5610B

It’s time to get busy – A reminder we had errands This weekend. The hubs picked up this guy for the gardener. We hope it works like a charm and looking forward to making more improvements in the garden. Yep, were taking a few more trees out.

DSC_5561

But the really exciting thing that happened over the weekend is this. I got my pumpkin muffin fix at Panera Bread.

And if I were to answer the question to the blog title, I would have to say “It’s time for pumpkin muffins!”

True Statement – I called 3 Panera Bread Companies in the surrounding area last weekend. I was desperate for their pumpkin muffin. Sad news, not one store had a P muffin left on the shelf. True, it was after 7pm Sunday evening. But that’s beside the point.

Yay to the hubs insisting we hit Panera Bread this weekend. And kudos that he insisted we get there in the morning, before the muffins sold out.

Whatever time it is for you, I wish for it to be a good time.

Blessings – Debbie

Week in Review

A quick week in review, before I get too far behind.

Back to the weekend of September 7th.

The hubs and I did a little shopping for things around the house. And we worked a bit around the house as well.

One of the things on our shopping list, was a smoker (BBQ). We visited the grill store near us and checked out a number of smokers and gathered plenty of literature to help us pick the one to meet our needs/wants.

The hubs and I also worked a bit in the garden. The hubs chopped some wood and I got the easy job of stacking it.

This little guy grabbed my attention and I “had” to take a break and shoot him. What a Nice Weekend!

DSC_4388B

September 8th, we did a little star gazing at the Moon and Venus. Image shot from our home.

DSC_4464B

Twas a busy week, last week. Early in the week, I made a pot of bean soup. It turned out really good.

DSC_4524B

And the hubs came flying home on Tuesday the 10th. He said, “I just found our smoker!” He went on to say something like “I found a store (on Craigslist) in San Diego that is going out of business. They only have one Big Green Egg left. And it’s a bargain. And It’s just the size we want. And if I don’t go now, it’s not going to last.” And so he went and picked up the last brand spankin’ new egg in the store.

And the rest is history.

I can say that I was quite intimidated by this big guy. But excited to learn what it can do.

DSC_4541

Brisket – The hubs called the butcher (Wednesday the 11th) and placed our brisket order, I picked it up Thursday, we put a Texas rub on it Friday morning (the hubs had Friday off) and here’s the hubs firing it up around 9 PM Friday night. He set the thermometer to ding if the temp got too high or low during the night.

DSC_4599

This is a choice cut 12.5 pound full brisket (flat + point).

The brisket went into the Egg at exactly 9:55 PM Friday night. And oh what a busy (in and out of bed to check on the meat) night it turned out to be. Let’s not talk about that part, m’kay?

DSC_4600

We had a little company arrive around noon (Saturday). It’s always fun sharing the excitement with others.

As the hubs reported “Parts of the brisket were tender. Other areas were tough. Clearly, I have a lot to learn. I get a C for this effort. Next time, I’ll do better.” And I report he was a little too hard on himself.

Then we put the tough parts into the crock pot and covered them with BBQ sauce. And they came out the most amazing, pull apart tender, sink your teeth into, goodness. What a yummy Sunday dinner!

I picked up my annual (small) bag of candy corn over the weekend. I love the Autumn Mix variety. There’s something about these little candies that take me back in time. And I love the autumn time travel each year.

DSC_4620B

I played with the camera, taking different angle shots of the pumpkin candy jar. Here we have the lid/stem of the pumpkin in focus.

DSC_4623B

Today I’m working on a little catch-up in the house. I’ll spare the detail, but know things are taking shape over here today.

Blessings – Debbie

Weekend Update

Good Monday Afternoon! I don’t know about you, but the weekend seemed to go at record speeds.

I worked in the garden. The hubs worked in the garage. And when we came together at the end of the day, the hubs had both of our cars parked in the garage and he had all of his tools, workbench and such put in the 3rd car stall. And I had the fish pond all sparkly clean once again. The lily pads were cleared of all dead pads and any fallen leaves were cleaned out too. It was such a nice feeling of accomplishment.

But the most exciting part of our weekend was attending the annual neighbor block-party. All the neighbors (nearly 50 of us) gathered for hors d’ oeuvres, dinner, dessert and coffee. Our neighbor put on such a beautiful spread. All tables were covered with table cloths and dotted with pretty flower arrangements. It was another beautiful cool summer night to be outdoors, visit with neighbors and greet neighbors we had yet to meet. Torches were lit at dusk and we watched the sun set down over the mountains.

One neighbor mentioned that we need to get together on their patio one evening. And another neighbor said we should do dinner one evening. It’s a feel good feeling to be here.

I debated taking my camera to the party, I did. And since the party was held right across the street from our house, I thought I had ample time to get it should I decide to take pictures. As it turned out, as much as I wanted to take pictures, I was having a bit more fun. And decided not to bother this time. Next time…

In other news, autumn is running heavily thru my veins. And I’ve had the craving for the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte for the last three days.

This picture has nothing to do with this post. It’s just one of the images I shot in the garden after it was hit by the morning sprinklers.

DSC_3832

Another early morning image from the garden.

DSC_3829B

Sigh, In the news about Jury Duty. This is my last week to report…I hope. I had to call in again last evening. Was told not to report at this time, but to call again on Monday August 26th. That’s today. It’s been one of those months where I wonder each day if I’m going to have to report the next day. Only time will tell.

I’m not sure how many followers I have. And not sure if any of you recall my search for good health. Well I’m still rockin’ it! And I plan to post in the near future, to talk about this journey I started back in June 2011. And where I am today. And what direction I’m going. And where I see health in the future.

Until next time…

Blessings – Debbie

My Happy Place

It’s the place where I find peace.

One of my happy places is when I’m alone with my camera. There is something about being behind the lens, viewing the world in the direction I want to see it.

There is no other way to describe it other than my Happy Place.

It’s autumn for our sweetgum tree.

DSC_2198 copy

While pine needles fall year-round, I was in the mood to snap an unusual shot. Pine needles atop the fire pit.

DSC_2205

These leaves, while vibrant and beautiful, don’t have much time to hold on.

DSC_2197

After our huge windstorm the other night, it created such a mess. But I like this unexpected shot of beautiful fallen leaves as the colorful backdrop for this rose.

DSC_2200 copy

And just for today. I’m thankful I got to spend it with the hubs. And for the nice extra special date we had. And I’m thankful that the special moments I get to spend with him each day are the moments I’m in my Peaceful Happy Place.

Until next time, keep smiling and be Happy!

Blessings – Debbie

Light and Texture

What a day it was (in class) yesterday. Some students were well prepared with their (I’m a Scavenger at Heart – ABC’s) assignment, while others seem to be taking this class, just to put the check in the box.

At any rate, we are at the point in this class where we are beginning to learn how to put our work on mat board and then go through some serious critique from the instructor and our classmates.

It inspires me to look at others work, especially my friend “Sarah”. It’s a joy taking this class with her.

It’s that time of the week for a new assignment. A new challenge. And new personal goals.

And yes, my panties were already in a twist yesterday. I read the assignment “due date” wrong and thought we had several assignments due next week. Twas a big sigh to learn we have over the next two weeks to meet these goals. Allow me to insert another sigh.

Light and Texture

That’s what our assignment is all about. But it is our choice of subject this week. The subject must have strong textures and a real sense of depth and space. We’re to do this by using natural light only (no setups, man made lighting…) and remember – the best time of day is right after sunrise and an hour or so before sunset. We’re to remember to use the tools we’ve learned thus far. And to remember good composition is a BIG DEAL…

After class, I wanted to get my feet wet in the assignment. I checked the backyard.

Shot a pic of the lime tree.

Took a shot of the bougainvillea. I’m missing the light in this shot, but the practice was good.

I was hoping to get out there this evening, but we folks here in So Cal just experienced our “first rain” of the season. We get excited like the northerners do when they get their first snow of the season. Let the rains come! Although we only average 6″ per year in these parts. I think that’s why it’s a grand celebration.

I was so excited to not only hear the pounding rain on the rooftop but to watch this spectacular rain dance from the sliding glass doors.

The view with the rumble of thunder was something to behold.

And I think this was just what I needed to feel the autumn spirit that I’ve been waiting for.

One last shot of the day. Taken right after the rain and during a burst of sunlight before the clouds moved back in.

Yup, I cropped the above photo to my liking. Since we’re not allowed to crop in class, it will not work for the assignment, but now and then, it’s nice doing something “just because” and not because it’s an assignment.

However, one of the many shots I took of that guy should work.

I’m off and running on yet another fun assignment. Laters!

Blessings – Debbie