Friday, December 4, 2009


Winter (Tori Amos)
Snow can wait
I forgot my mittens
Wipe my nose
Get my new boots on
I get a little warm in my heart
When I think of winter
I put my hand in my father's glove

I run off
Where the drifts get deeper
Sleeping beauty trips me with a frown
I hear a voice
"Your must learn to stand up for yourself
Cause I can't always be around"

He says
When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that I'll always want you near
You say that things change my dear

Boys get discovered as winter melts
Flowers competing for the sun
Years go by and I'm here still waiting Withering where some snowman was

Mirror mirror where's the crystal palace
But I only can see the myself
Skating around the truth who I am
But I know dad the ice is getting thin

When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that I'll always want you near
You say that things change my dear

Hair is grey
And the fires are burning
So many dreams
On the shelf
You say I wanted you to be proud of me
I always wanted that myself

He says
When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses have gone ahead
I tell you that I'll always want you near
You say that things change
My dear
I love the lyrics to this song. The security of a father, going off on your own, indecision, uncertainty, expectations... And if you listen to it, it sounds very much like winter. Tinkly snowflakes falling, a little cold. And absolutely beautiful.

Beth posted a prompt at The One-Minute Writer today about Snow. Here's what I wrote:
Snow memories are some of my favorite from childhood. Sledding, snowmen, forts, snowball fights...

But one of my favorite snow-activities was to bundle up in all of my wet-resistant warm clothes and go lay in the middle of the neighbor's field. It was large enough that you only caught hints of trees along the edges in your peripheral vision. Staring straight up into the sky, watching snowflakes float towards me. A few would hover on my eyelids before melting away. I loved to listen to the sounds of the snow falling, distant branches creaking, animals in the pine grove nearby.

I'd really like to lay in that field right now and spend some quiet time listening to the world. Maybe it would tell me something if only I could hear.
I miss the snow. And I miss laying in that field during all seasons. I think it would do me a world of good to lay in the middle of a field right now.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"The Lie"

The Lie by Felix Vallotton

It's not often that I'm totally taken by a painting but a few years ago, we saw the Cone Collection from the Baltimore Museum of Art when it toured through our undisclosed location. While the main focus was on the works of some guys named Matisse and Picasso, this work by lesser-known Felix Vallotton is the one that caught my eye. And I've been obsessed with it ever since.

It was painted in 1897 but it could've just as easily been a scene staged today. A man and woman, intimately entwined on a sofa. I love imagining what Vallotton's intent was with the figures in this image, especially given the title of Le Mensonge (The Lie).

It's easy to assume the woman is lying - he appears to be listening while she whispers something in his ear. But perhaps he is the one deceiving her as he glances away; maybe she is whispering words of trust and love and he is thinking of the way he has tricked her.

What is the lie about? Is one of them cheating? Some speculate the woman is pregnant. Is he the father?

I also love the various reds used here - the color used to signify passion and anger. The darker colors of the man and the flowers (that maybe he brought to her as a gift?) are another reason I like to think Vallotton was indicating the man as the dishonest player.

What do you see? How do you interpret this image?

Also, will you track down a print and buy it for me? This would look amazing in my living room but Joe doesn't seem too keen on having a piece about lying hanging above the mantle.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

California at Night

I'm done milking the California trip now. Promise. Anyways, click for larger versions if you're interested.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Taking A Leap

Please go read this post: The Wednesday Chef - Leap And The Net Will Appear.

I want to write that post. I want to realize who I am and take action. I want to find the confidence to be successful. I want to take a leap towards making myself happy.

Why is it such a scary thing, finding a way to believe in ourselves and move towards fulfillment? It's alarming how much easier it is to stay in the daily routine no matter how much that rut is sucking the life out of you.

Anyways, read the post. I found it inspirational and motivating. I've been meaning to share the link here so I can refer back to it when I need a kick in the pants. Which will be roughly once every five minutes if I don't go ahead and take control soon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Around California

One more set of California trip photos left after this one. These are just random photos fromhere and there. Anyways, click for larger versions if you're interested.

(I'm partial to #4 and #5 - the wine bottles and the water fountain outside the winery)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

California Coast

Just a few photos from the California coast that I thought turned out reasonably well. Though I learned yesterday that I have a lot to learn about color correction. I should do something about that. Anyways, click for larger versions if you're interested.

Monday, October 12, 2009

California Flowers

Some more photos from California - flowers, mostly from wineries. As always, click for larger versions if you're interested.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Golden Gate Bridge at Sunset

Today, sharing a few more photos from our trip to San Francisco. Here are three sunset shots of the Golden Gate Bridge (click for larger versions). It was cold and the wind was whipping my hair in every direction but it was worth the frozen fingers to see the sun tuck away for the evening on the horizon. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Orange Bouquet

I've been following soulbrush for quite awhile. She's a kind and lovely woman and her blog is absolutely beautiful. She's an artist working with many different materials and palettes and subjects; you never know exactly what you're going to find when you visit her blog but it's always vibrant and always a treat. Also, she posts photos of her adorable granddaughter, Maggie, in the sidebar. Come for the art, stay for the baby!

This is why I was so excited when she announced she was opening an Etsy shop! I rushed there and immediately placed my order for Orange Bouquet.

It's odd that this is the piece that caught my eye. I'm not a flowery girl and orange is one of my least favorite colors. But something about the flow of the lines and the brightness against the darker background really grabbed my attention.

The picture at left is of the framed piece resting on a shelf in my dining room. I haven't quite decided where it will live permanently but for now I'm trying it out against my deep red walls. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

San Francisco - Street Shots

As promised, I'll start posting a few of my photos from San Francisco. As I go along, I'll be adding them to this album as I feature the newest photos individually in the blog. You can click each thumbnail for an enlarged version of the photo.

This first shot was a man making jewelry to sell on the side of the street. He was near Ghiardelli Square at the cable car turnaround.

The next photo is an extended exposure of the carousel on Pier 39.

And finally, a view of Chinatown. Everything felt very "in your face" there, from the bright lanterns to the interesting people. Even their streetlights (towards the right of the photo) were unique.

Plenty more to come!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


My husband is obsessed with all things map-related. And I have a really lousy memory for where/when photos were taken. Sure, the date and time properties on the file help but what if it's just a photo of random trees or a butterfly?

That's where my anniversary present, the GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr, comes in.

It's a small GPS device, roughly the size of a garage door opener. Once you power it on, it locates the satellites to obtain a position. I have to say I'm rather impressed with this as it's done remarkably well even from inside my house. I installed the software to my laptop and then set about syncing up the time between the PhotoTrackr and my camera. This is an important step to remember for later.

Shooting is easy - turn on the PhotoTrackr and then carry it with you (I threw mine in the camera bag). Take photos like you normally would. When you're finished, turn off the PhotoTrackr until you're ready to load the log onto your computer via USB. Again, very simple.

Finally, upload your photos to the computer and load them into the GiSTEQ software. The software will match the timestamps on the files with the corresponding locations in the log and load it all nicely into Google Maps allowing you to retrace your steps and see exactly where you took each photo.

Unless you are a moron, like me, and somehow sync the time but not the date. So no matter how many times I loaded the photos, nothing showed up on my route. It only took me thirty minutes to discover the error and another twenty to find a way to change the data in the photo files so it would finally match up.

Now, it works like a champ. I can't wait to use it on our trip to San Francisco!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Some "Hot" Photos

It's been a bit since I've posted here. We made a specific stop at a cemetery as part of our anniversary getaway this past weekend just so I could snap some photos there. Unfortunately the weather was so miserable that I wasn't particularly inspired.

Lesson Learned: Taking photos from the back seat of the car is lazy and results in unimaginative images. Put forth a little more effort next time instead of wasting the opportunity.

I wasn't going to post any of these but since @dpringle asked so nicely I'm posting what I would consider to be the top three because at least I a) climbed out of the car for them and b) spent 2 seconds thinking about the shot.

The weather is killing me. I really want to go wander with the camera but it's just still too miserable. Go away, summer!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Listening to a house

(inspired by C. Beth)

The hum of the refrigerator,
Whoosh of air conditioning,
Passing cars on the way somewhere important,
The tick-tock of a clock marking the passing of the day.

My house is quiet.

No gossiping of neighbors,
No conspiring of sisters,
No laughter of friends planning dinner,
The tick-tock of the clock marking the passing of time.

My house is lonely.

No baby giggles signaling delight,
No toddler screams expressing frustration,
No persistent “why?” from a curious child,
The tick-tock of a clock marking the passing of life.

My house is empty.

I rarely write anything in poem form but Beth's poem today set off a bit of reflection and a nagging need to respond. By no means do I think this is any good and I debated about posting it but that's what this blog is about - somewhere to let out whatever creative urges I feel, missteps and all.

Monday, July 27, 2009

First Photos

Just a couple of photos from my first trip out with the new g10. The first three are the same image, manipulated a bit in Photoshop. And the last one is a random tree I liked. Everything was taken in auto-mode because I haven't had a chance to even begin figuring out the intricacies of the camera yet but it still performed pretty well.

Friday, July 24, 2009

On FedEx vehicle for delivery

Those are words that make me quite happy. My camera will be here today (Joe even stayed home to sign for it) and we're going away this weekend to visit a winery and do some hiking. Perfect timing!

Canon g10

Monday, July 20, 2009

Learning Curve

We've just booked an awesome trip to San Francisco, featuring Napa and Lake Tahoe.

I love to travel, when I can keep my anxiety in check. And one of my favorite things to do is capture the places we've been so we can "visit" them over and over.

To aid in this, I've been feverishly working to learn the manual controls on my camera, a Canon g5. It's several years old but takes decent photos. However, I've been considering buying an entry level digital SLR so I can really take advantage of manual focus and lenses.

In the end, I chose the Canon g10 (much newer version of my g5) over the T1i d-slr. The cost of lenses really overwhelmed me. And the g10 offers great flexibility for macro, automatic controls, manual controls, etc.

In the meantime, as I await the arrival of my new toy (as well as a new sd card and backup battery), I've been shooting a lot of shots with the g5. I figure they're similar so it can't hurt.

The first two sets are all basically the same subjects (shoes and turtles) but using different manual settings. I share these so you can see how much I'm failing. The third set is from a garden we drove out to yesterday - some of these are actually not too bad.

I'm hoping one day I can look back at these starter sets and laugh about how far I've come. Or at how much I still have no idea what I'm doing.

A Study in Shoes Turtles in a Half Shell Sunday in the Garden

Friday, July 17, 2009


This is a recent submission to The One Minute Writer If you're unfamiliar, the site provides a daily prompt to spend just sixty seconds writing about. I don't participate every day but probably a few times a week.

This piece was a response to a Friday Fiction prompt:
Write a brief bit of fiction involving running.

It's nothing astounding but I kinda liked it and didn't want to lose track of it.
I could hear him behind me. I didn't dare look back but I could sense him gaining ground. Not sure how much longer I could keep up this pace, my eyes constantly scanned ahead of me. I was searching for a hiding place, assistance, some sort of escape from my relentless assailant.

As I rounded the corner, I spotted my salvation. Daddy! I jumped into his arms, giggling as our new puppy bounced at Daddy's legs, unable to reach me. My pudgy little toddler legs may not be that fast but as long as Daddy was there to save me, no way would that puppy steal my ball!