Taking a Load Off

Of all the things we cross off the list this time of year, taking a load off is when our Christmas newsletter is finally checked off the list of things to do.

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Cheers to another year of getting the newsletter in the mail before Christmas.

And cheers for being all set and ready for Christmas!

You may or may not see me for a while as I’m getting ready to spend some much-needed time with the hubs and family. In fact, I think I’m giving myself an official blog break until next year. Luckily next year is right around the corner so it won’t be long.

Blessings to all and here’s sending out a very special Merry Christmas Wish to you and your loved ones.

Blessings – Debbie

A Moment Of Prayer

Heartbreaking news today – Taking time out to pray for families and many who have experienced great loss…

This heart ornament is extra special (given to me from the man I’m deeply in love with) as I want to keep the ones I love tucked ever close to my heart.

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Blessings – Debbie

I’m A Nikon Girl

Why yes. Santa came early in this house. He thought it was necessary for me to get familiar with this guy before Christmas.


I’m so excited I can hardly contain my joy! These shots were taken with my Sony a55 with the 50mm 1.4 lens. Shot this morning on our kitchen table.


Night and day, that’s how I compare this camera upside my Sony. And I can’t wait to jump right in as I have so much to learn before I feel comfortable taking shots.

Sure, I’ve already taken shots, but just not the artsy fartsy manual setting type shots that I prefer.

So this guy arrived in the mail yesterday (late morning) and the hubs was adamant that I open it. However, I promised him that I would wait until he got home.

So to take my mind away from the gift (I knew what I was getting), I ran a few errands.

I was just 10 min. out when my cell phone rang.

It was the hubs inquiring what I was up to.

Turns out he rushed home from work to surprise me. He really wanted me to have it right away.

I was downhearted that I had just missed him.

But he assured me that he opened the ups box and that the camera was waiting for me to unwrap as soon as I got home.

Once I got back to the house, I didn’t have it in me to open. I just couldn’t do it without him. I wanted him to be here so that I could experience that joy with him. So I waited for him to come home before madly opening the box.

I still haven’t figured it all out, but I have until Christmas to get lots of practice.

And with that, I’m out of here such that I can learn how to adjust the settings.

Soon, it will be set up in manual mode and I’ll be snapping my heart out, no doubt.

More pix to come.

Blessings – Debbie

A Note From My Professor

When the last day of photography class (this past Monday) rolled around. I was filled with a stream of emotion. It wasn’t easy going into the last day of class. And I had to say goodbye to the students and it just did not seem right. Thank goodness I made a very good friend (Sarah) who I adore and look up to. Her photography is amazing!

When I think about it, these last two weeks have been nothing short of an emotional ride leading up to my final exam project.

This shot I took the other night (30 second exposure) – I’m using this shot as as a sign of my burning flame of passion.


As you recall from earlier posts, Jack assigned me to take shots of strangers. I did not want to do that. In fact, Jack cornered me and told me that he wanted to SEE what I could do.

That’s all it took to light the fire of passion in me to get out there and DO IT! It’s hard to put in words just how much this whole process moved me.

I never recall in my life something burning in me like this last exam. Come to think of it, I don’t recall (in my life) a teacher challenging me and believing in me like Jack.

More tears came during my final exam when I stood up there in front of the class. Tears erupted from the deepest part of my soul and trickled down my cheeks.

As I told the story behind each shot, I was thankful I did not give up. It wasn’t so much the shots as it was the feeling of victory. I did exactly what he asked me to do and I was proud of that. Not in a look at me sort of way, rather that inner sweet peace you get when you know you gave it all you have to give.

Here is a note via e-mail from my professor yesterday morning. – It moved me to tears yet again.


Good morning Deborah…

I thought I would let you know that not only did you receive the highest overall grade for our class. You received the HIGHEST grade ever recorded in the history of my Photo 150 class!!!

You are a GEM and it has been a pleasure to have instructed you in Digital Photography.

I hope you continue in your newly found passion.

It is students like you that make my job as professor an enjoyable one.

Thank you for being you.


A few things I told Jack –

  • Thank you for stretching me this semester.
  • I walk away with confidence I never knew existed.
  • I feel so blessed to have you guide me on the path of my dreams.
  • Thank you for believing in me and to push me to do something I would never consider doing.
  • I truly can’t thank you enough.
  • I had it in my notes to thank you for that. I’m sorry I didn’t follow my notes..


Never give up, even when you are being pushed to the limit. It takes believing in yourself to do the things you never thought possible.

In that case, I too can be one of the “Rockettes”. Every time I hear Mannheim Steamroller play Joy To The World, I imagine myself as a Rockette dancing my heart out. And when I told my hubby all about that dream he said, You can be anything you want to be. Man I love my hubby and I’m so blessed that he believes in me.

Blessings – Debbie

Finding Me

I find myself back in the world where I’m trying to find me.

I guess I should say that it’s not so much as finding me as it is trying to figure out my new routine until next semester.

So yesterday I started hiking again. My nephew (we adopted him while he looks for a job) joined me in a nice 4 mile hike up and down the hills in the hood. It proved to be a great workout with a few battle scars. I got a fresh blister on my bitty toe. And my muscles ache like mad, especially this morning when my feet hit the floor. Boy was it rough getting out of bed.

And boy was it a harsh reminder that I’m out of shape.

And here I was months ago plowing thru this like nothing.

I told the hubs upon waking that I thought I’d take the day off. I’m dying after all.

So when my nephew approached me (while I was making/packing the hubs breakfast and lunch) to see when we were going to hike. I gave him my “I ache and have a blister and need to rest for a day” line.

He didn’t buy it. He said “don’t you need to keep doing it until it stops hurting?” Nice Buddy, nice way to understand my soreness and bitty blister first thing in the morning. Not to mention I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

I said “give me 30 min”. I’m so glad I did. Thanks Buddy, and I mean it!

The band-aid didn’t help my little toe at all but I managed to kick some butt and knock out those hills. But I’m switching to a blister band-aid tomorrow. Yes, I’m signed up for a 6 mile hike with him in the morning. Yay for having a walking buddy to push me!

In other news, I’m sure you all are dying to know that I found our backgammon set.


Yes, I did! After moving, how long has it been now? Right, 11 months ago. It was in a drawer of a little chest that we never use. I can’t for the life of me remember putting it there, but I did. I found it because we were on a mission to find something, I don’t even remember what we were looking for. But when I found it, you have no idea the joy that came over me! Now the hubs and I are back to our nightly tournaments.

While I search to find things to fill my time, I’m ever so thankful for the little things that have already popped up. I’m sure there will be plenty to fill my time in the days ahead. Things like Christmas shopping and shopping for a Christmas dress and overall looking for a few new clothes. It should be fun!

Blessings – Debbie

Balboa Park – Part II

A day at the park over the weekend was nothing short of amazing.

I was with “Sarah and Jeremy” my new photography friends. They taught me so much. Things like – knowing when and when not to take pictures of a bride and groom. Especially when their photographer is taking shots. I couldn’t resist this.

This guy was with the “Hare Krishna” group. I forced him out of his tent told him I was in a photography class and asked if he would kindly let me take some shots of him. He gladly left his tent and stood where I asked him to stand. What a nice guy.

This gent is playing a didgeridoo. It’s quite the instrument.

While I was in my own world, shooting the man playing the didgeridoo, this little girl was standing in front of me wanting her picture taken.

I had no clue. But when my friends “Sarah and her hubby” filled me in, you have no idea the utter joy I had taking shots of her.

So this (face painting) lady (wearing a Hello Kitty hat and a Hello Kitty ring) was giving Sarah’s hubby an attitude for taking her pic. Yup, I caught her attitude on camera. Funny thing is, he was getting grief for taking her pic and here I was snapping for the same reason she was scolding him.

Then she asked him for some money in exchange for shooting her. He was really nice and gave her (I’m sure) more than she expected.

Then she offered to paint his face.

Here’s the final product. Great job! May I add he had to be the most patient guy allowing the Hello Kitty lady with an attitude to paint his face.

You should have been with us at the Starbucks (after our afternoon in the park) Downtown San Diego. Jeremy got heads to turn. P.S. He counts as a stranger as I just met him that day.

Here we have “elf on a shelf” er “Santa’s Helper”. He’s the caricature dude. He was all set up right next to the Hello Kitty face painting lady.

And somehow he conned Jeremy into a caricature drawing with his new and improved face paint.

Here’s the elf on a shelf is directing Jeremy to give the primal face expression to go with his new face paint job. This shot just cracks me up. Guess you had to be there.

And this wraps up my final exam shots. The last six shots in black and white are the ones I’m using for the exam.

I hope it goes well.

Blessings – Debbie

Balboa Park

It’s final exam week and I have been in stitches.

I worried a LOT!

I was afraid of the unknown = of taking shots of people I don’t know.

But I’m here to report, it went so much better than I could have dreamed.

My friend “Sarah” – (she and her husband are professional photographers in the area) from class offered to go with me on my assignment.

I want a lens just like hers – It’s on my wish list…

It made a HUGE difference having my shutterbug buddy along with me.

Balboa Park – This is the place Jack assigned to me.

The atmosphere was just what I needed to help calm my fear.

I walked thru the door and didn’t turn back.

I’m so glad I did.

Here’s a little station taking shape. I thought it was too pretty not to capture.

I have more to report. So much so that I’ve decided to post a little series of our day in Balboa Park.

I’m so happy Jack pushed me into the great unknown. It’s something I wouldn’t have done on my own. Here’s a great big “SHOUT OUT” to Jack. Thank you! I have confidence I didn’t know existed.

Blessings – Debbie