Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Last Day of March

Last Day of March

Today marked the official last day of my (our) Birthday Month, celebrated with Karen at
"Our Place"...code for cute Italian Bistro, full bar, full conversation, more questions than answers...and someone who really understands the challenges of this phase of life...a truly fantastic gift.

This is a picture of cactus taken in Death Valley...I chose it because on several levels today things felt a bit prickly...I have a need for order, something I have been without...and am struggling to restore...and I will end my day as I started it...wondering how many ducks I need in a row to feel comfortable...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Once Upon a Monday...

Once Upon a Monday

Today was a ease back in to the work day...after a glorious week of vacation...and spending more time than I would like to admit trying to figure out how to make the wonder of the time vacation gives you an every day experience...good luck to me with that...

This is a picture of a tractor...with lovely peeling paint and rust...my two favorite subjects...taken while on vacation. The location has slipped my menopausal mind...though the beauty of the subject, color and metal will never fade...


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Orchid


Orchid


Last year I bought an orchid. I have always admired them...on the plant...not so much on people. I purchased it at Trader Joe's which I have come to learn is similar to buying a puppy in a pet store...well...live and learn...

Today I went to a "real" orchid show...and after viewing and talking with their owners...am now the proud parent of 2 additional orchids...and a book that explains their many needs to the novice owner. One is an inside, and one is an outside orchid, which I will be marking on the adorable copper plant markers I could not do without!

The picture above is the outside orchid which I have been assured that even I can assist in its ability to thrive...after all, I have given birth twice...and am an experienced Nurse...in the mean time, I will enjoy the current flowers and hope they return as promised next season...


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Carson Valley

Carson Valley

Today's ride home from Death Valley yielded the gift of driving through Carson Valley...an amazingly beautiful area set at the base of mountains that lead over into the Tahoe Valley. Breakfast was at Heidi's...and it was a return to the deliciousness of Buckwheat Pancakes along with BACON that graced my plate...bringing back great memories of breakfast's past when "normal" pancakes were made for my children, and the buckwheat was added at the end when it was my turn to enjoy.

This picture of the reflection of the mountains was taken on the drive over...I am sad that vacation is ending, and thankful that my head is clearer, and ready to tackle the next set of tasks that lie ahead with confidence, clarity and a methodical plan...

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Dunes

The Dunes

Friday, on our way out of Death Valley we stopped at "The Dunes"...the Dunes to me in title were a reminder of the Dunes in Santa Barbara...where I spent a majority of my youth...enjoying the sun, sea and sand and other activities that should not be mentioned here...

These Dunes made the ones I am familiar with pale in comparison. Huge, white and simply beautiful...time was well spent sitting and starring in awe. Also tricky walking...in some areas your step gave way to a rodent tunnel, and was lost 8 inches in the sand.

This is a picture I took of the Dunes...the sky is truly this brilliant...and as with all of Death Valley, the sharp contrast of the sky, sand, and mountains never failed to take my breath away....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

China Date Camp

China Date Camp

Today brought a drive that continued to show the amazing scenery of Death Valley, and the uniqueness of several small towns that I have trouble understanding how people could find a satisfying quality of life.

China Date Camp was out in the middle, in my opinion, of "no-where"... this is a picture of a car that was on the grounds...and wild flowers that were growing in front. The car was rusty...my favorite...and the flowers a beautiful shade of yellow...

The outbuilding held many different types of cactus, some in bloom, and the dates were delicious...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Devil's Racetrack


Devil's Racetrack


Yesterday we took a huge drive down a gravel road that felt like it was the road to No-where. Thank goodness for hearty 4 wheel drive... One half way to our destination, we briefly stopped at Tea Pot Junction...oddly enough, signage off to the side of the road decorated with Tea Pots...and various signatures and sayings...and the only place in Death Valley that I have found cell phone service...on a gravel road, where time stands still, a long way from any hint of 2009...go figure.

Our destination was Devil's Racetrack...an amazing area, as breath taking as I am becoming accustomed too...you will see in the photograph the path the rock has created...this is the mystery...how the rocks "move"...the mystery for me is how have I missed out on such a beautiful place...and how many more like this are there...that I am unaware of...


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Death Valley

Death Valley

Well I am here...and more amazed as each minute passes how much there is to see, and how the scenery vastly differs as you drive down the road. Internet access is available in the lobby of the hotel...and I have not had cell phone service since Sunday. I am thinking my Blackberry will have meltdown when it gets back into range on Sunday...from a full week's worth of build up...

This is a picture driving in on the way to the Inn...I was asked how I liked the water...and of course I did...then I learned it was not water...now I understand the whole "mirage" in the desert...note to self...stay on the main roads!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mono Lake

Mono Lake

I have seen some lovely photos of Mono Lake, and today I saw it in person...in all of its colorous (I am enjoying making up words!) glory...it was breathtaking...

I enjoyed a Basque Lunch, another first for me...it was delicious...and plentiful! Day one...and already so many elements that I have not seen, done or heard...leaving me to wonder...where have I been the past 25 years...and smiling at my answer...submerged in my children...and recognizing that it is now time for me....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday...well not exactly...

Friday...well not exactly...

Friday was spent with last minute details that needed attention including setting work and the house for my leaving for vacation...can you say "conference call" and shopping at Trader Joe's at the same time...luckily I had a list...or who knows what I would have walked out with!

This picture was technically shot on Saturday on the drive to Bishop...the driving landscape changed every mile or so...and the incoming clouds and storm made for an amazing sky. I have been on vacation for 24 hours now...and feel very relaxed...something that in the past has taken several days...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My View

My View

I have spent a majority of my time lately trying to define and imagine my new space in life. So much so that I have turned off my appreciation of the time I have left in my current space.

I spent some time today wandering down memory lane, and thought about the elements that drew me to this space so many years ago...I have two favorite views, one out the french doors when I wake up in the morning...it has always felt like the room was a part of the tree tops, and the other out of my office window...as illustrated in the picture above. I had forgotten that Spring is my favorite season here...as the trees begin to burst with leaves.

Change...I see it in the Season's...and am trying to see it in myself...with the same beauty and awe I enjoy seeing out my current windows...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Somewhere...over the Rainbow


Somewhere...over the Rainbow

Days that start before 7:3o am remain blurry...today started at 6 am ...including calls, driving, analysis, evaluation, recommendations, more driving and the recognition that coming home alone is begining to need some re-work. I am noticing that my clarity diminishes with an early start...something that I will need to disguise with the travel coming my way in the coming months...along with a now short list of other topics...

This is a picture of one of the bridge houses that defer to the boat traffic on the Sacramento Delta. I love the green, and that the "man" can "open" the bridge to permit larger boats to pass, as traffic waits...perhaps that is an occupation I should consider...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day

I found out during a conference call today. that was accelerating at a speed I had not yet experienced, that today was Saint Patrick's Day. I was re-reminded of that when I picked up Virginia tonight for our "evening out" and she had a green shirt on...me, not so much...

Tonight I wish I was sitting in front of the fireplace (as shot above)...though it is not cold outside...there is something about a fire that is very comforting, relaxing and magical...which is something that always feels good...after too long of a day...


Monday, March 16, 2009

Mondays can be Challenging

Mondays can be Challenging

Luckily I have learned this, and usually begin bracing sometime Sunday...depending on what my Blackberry records as the number of essential appointments.

I drove today, and as always...driving aligns my thoughts...or rearranges them into a jig-jag. I thought about what my time will look like once my next round of decisions are made. I have spent so much time this past year debating, making and reviewing decisions... there are still several large ones to go...and then...I am thinking the focus can shift...and the many things that interest me will become what flows though my mind...

What will my new "home" be like...and will it be the first time in my life I feel bonded to a space? What would it take for me to be stationary...living in a certain space most moments, not flying off to the next airport, the next presentation, the next meeting, the next Facility...and working at a job within a commutable space...and painting. As seems to be the rule...today yielded many more questions than answers...

After all of this thought...and the door I think I forgot to lock, the final task today was to purchase a bathing suit. I am not one to frustrate myself...and at one time (16-27) I enjoyed purchasing and wearing a bikini. While I know I am my own worst critic...there is nothing fun about taking an honest look at what 53 years, 2 children, an unmarriage, gravity, and life in general have done...though I must say...the experience did not look as bad in the dressing room mirror as it did in my head...and then I remembered...I cannot see clearly without my glasses, and those were in the car...

I took this picture of the clouds today...which I am beginning to enjoy as much as rust and doors...


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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sundaze

Sundaze

Sundaze do not get much better than today...sleeping in, acoustic Sunday, a trip to the Patagonia Store, lunch (oysters, fresh french bread with butter, salad with the 2nd best dressing on Earth, fresh Oxbow clam chowder, and champagne), and a trip to the dog park, with Jack surprising me by jumping up and into his crate "by himself"...now sipping Tequila and surfing...ahhh...perfection...

This is a picture I took from the patio of the Oxbow today...the clouds were making their statement, and the Valley is a lovely green...leading me to wonder...how am I this lucky...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Mustard Festival

Mustard Festival

Today was Mustard Festival Day! This is the third year a group of us from PugVillage have calendared and met for the event. Sara and Scott come from Bakersfield, Peg comes from Reno, Roxane and I come from SacTown, Michael comes from San Francisco, Jeannette and Frank come from Sonoma, and Vince is lucky enough to live in Napa. It is amazing how much all of our lives have changed over the past years...how much we all have to be grateful for, and how we all have stayed connected thru PugVillage.

June is the first International PugVillage Meet-Up, and "friends" I have not yet met will be coming to Chicago, along with some of their pugs. Jack and Hannah will be vacationing at home...the thought of flying them is too much for me to grasp!

I am excited to say that I will also be making time to photograph some of the lovely Architechture that I have seen several times over the past few years, though time in Chicago up to now has only permitted flying in, attending the scheduled meeting and flying out...

It is pretty nice that you can meet people online...and develop friendships...BTW...not something my Father approves of!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Once Again it is Friday...

Friday

Once again I am mixing photos and postings...and it still feels true to me...perhaps tomorrow will revert to less complication, perhaps not.

This is a picture of the water fountain in downtown Napa. Water comes down the rock, and into a blue tiled "pond". The sound of the water was really nice...I like the the elements in this photo of the rock, splashing water, and blue tile beneath...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nearly Friday

Nearly Friday

So I am mixing up my days and images...and that matches how I am currently feeling. I was looking forward to seeing friends in Napa this weekend, and am typing this post visit...I have found a way to begin (date) posts, and not publish them until I am "ready"...not quite how I had planned this, but then some days are like that...

This is a picture of rust on a light pole that I took while waiting 2 hours to catch the shuttle bus from downtown to the Mondavi Winery...yes... you read correctly, 2 hours...retrospectively, this was a good thing as seeing someone's character in frustrating situations is important information to have...and it was very nice to view a very reasonable human...certainly not an everyday occurance....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Slight Deviation

A Slight Deviation

I am feeling as though it is time to start another picture. Of what I am not sure...size, not sure, medium, color palette and layout...not sure...but I do feel it coming.

This is a picture I took of myself with the camera portion of my Mac...and pretty amazing that I can be both the subject, and the shooter...

I wonder how that concept may translate to my every day life...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tonight's Moon

Tonight's Moon

Life is full of irony, and todays for me was shooting a nearly full night moon that shows as black and white (fawn!), when my life is being lived in color. In between work, I went on a long, hilly (well that is my description) bike ride today. I have figured out how to listen to music in one ear, sing quietly, and hear the road sounds with the other...add in the sound of my thighs and it is almost symphonic....

Each day seems to get better and better...and I am happy with however long that may last...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Matthew

Matthew

I am going through some great changes, so today my thoughts are focused on Mattie, and the decisions he will be making this week that will guide his life.

This is a picture I took the last time I was in Philly. I am wondering...will I be visiting him there...or in LA...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Crows

Crows

While shooting the spectacular scenery in Yosemite, one crow and then another walked over within 2 feet of my 2 feet. They were beautiful and full of personality...it was almost as if they were honeymooning in from of us. These crows had a human quality, they were "grooming" themselves and each other...and very much into their tasks.

I am enjoying a state of relaxation I do not believe I have achieved before...I held this post for a day thinking that I would have something interesting to say...not so...maybe tomorrow...or the next day...


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday

Saturday

My life is finally hinting at a vague routine...and it feels really good. Today I had my Birthday lunch with my Dad...lucky me, he has been celebrating my Birthday with me for my entire life.
The pugs had their first 'wait in the crate" while I lunched, and I am proud to say they did well.

Tonight I watched Australia...just sitting and watching...the first time I have done this, and actually, though it may sound silly, a nice way to watch a movie...I am told that perhaps next time there will be popcorn...with condiments!

This is a picture I took in Yosemite...still enjoying these peaceful images in my mind...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Yosemite 53


Yosemite 53

Today is my 53rd actual Birthday...so Happy Birthday to me! I woke up in Yosemite today...completely spontaneous...and am still a bit blown away. The Valley was beautiful...the snow was so white, the crows were in love, the company spectacular, the call from my Father, the call from Karen (as I promised, yes for the next 10 days... I am the older friend) and eggs bennedict in the Alcove of the Ahwahnee were amazingly delicious and beautiful.

Tonight Jen and I had dinner...after a tour of duty at a Downtown Boutique where the owner was interested in my dating advice...go figure...and then there was the ring...

These are pictures of Yosemite...The amazingness of this trip...never to be forgotton...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Yosemite

Yosemite
Well I am blown away...and have been for most of the day...speechless...and nothing too clever to write. I am in Yosemite...and if you had asked me where I would be waking up on my 53 rd birthday, dead would come to mind before Yosemite.
It is really beautiful here, the drive up green...and snow coming into the Valley. I was last here when I was about 7 or so...I do not remember much of that trip, and am sure that I missed the beauty of the rocks, trees, falls, and the wonderful smell of the air...though I know that these were the some of the reasons my Dad had brought me here...I was too young to appreciate any of it...and am not making that mistake again today...
This is a picture I took today ... the snow is perfect, and coming down again as I type this. 53 is looking much better today, than it looked yesterday...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cloudy Sky

Cloudy Sky

Today was rainy...again. I know we need the water, and am looking forward to having permission to water a yard and possibly a garden this summer. I had a nice run in the rain, something that I have not done before due to the timing of "hair". It was actually quite nice...and peaceful. The pace is a bit slower than usual, and focus is required to avoid puddles, and not slip. I rediscovered an old favorite song of mine last night, Jackson Browne's "Late for the Sky"...at the slower pace, it is possible to sing and run at the same time...bless my neighbors!

This is a picture I took today while sneaking out for a Chai...taken while...you guessed it...driving. I am thinking that a "Bill" will be introduced shortly to ban photographing while driving...guess I should design a protest sign...just in case...
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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday

Tuesday

Another day...more work...and more decisions. I was lucky enough to have dinner with Karen, and laugh to the point of tears...subjects that cannot be shared here, or frankly anywhere. She has ordered her life and is at a guarded peace with her decisions...something I am looking forward to, though I am seeing that there will always be fallout, and for her it is her daughter.

We are in the delicate part of March where on paper we are still the same age...Friday she will call as always, to innocently remark that I am not "older"...and this year I have the perfect retort...older yes...wiser...not so much...perhaps next year!

This is a picture I took over the weekend...from a moving car. I am loving this moving and shooting thing...and thinking that perhaps this is my new thing...

Monday, March 2, 2009

March

March
March arrived yesterday...with clouds, rain, and joy. Today began what I historically refer to as my "Birthday Month"...let the traditions begin! Today I received my first "in the mail" card...and the phone call I potentially have received for 52 years from my lifetime best friend...in the past years, I have come to set my March by her call...reminding me how many days it is until I am older than she on paper...and always trying to set our "celebration date" after my Day, and prior to her Day. Our Father's were friends for years, as were our Mother's...her parents are both gone now, something I dread thinking about.

Part of participating in conversation, results in being the recipient of "advice"...during my second Birthday call today I got some really great advice...tell everyone you are 35...and when they question that...blame it on the dyslexia! I plan to try this ASAP!

This is a picture I took through the car window winding down the road home from Tomales Beach. There have been days when I have felt like this barn...a little worn...and alone...happily, most days those feelings are behind me...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Another Point of View

Another Point of View

Several weeks ago I posted a picture of the "blue" side of a boat, hung from the ceiling of the Ox Bow. Lunch this weekend was seated in a different space, and voila! ... the underside of the boat was the amazing colors of red, brown, all shades of beige...and Philadelphia State Penn. perfect green/blue.

I have decided today that my looking glass needs a round of Windex...so I am off to find the blue...spray...clean...and see what is visible...