Monday, April 30, 2012

2 cats, 3 llamas, 1 horse, 1 donkey

...and 1 dog - but I didn't get any photos of him. Saturday I went with a group of plein air painters and photographers to an incredible estate called Chapelle de l'Artiste in Paradise. This gorgeous property rightly belongs in a place called Paradise. The event was part of Avenue 9 Gallery's annual Paint-Out. By the time we could arrive the sun was already beginning to cast harsh shadows and blowing out the backgrounds. Stubbornly, I kept using a zoom lens I know to be soft and hinky. I had other lenses with me, but with few exceptions kept to the one zoom lens. Between the lens and the sun, most of the highlights are blown out - except on the one perfect cat photo and the precious donkey who couldn't take a bad photo.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Had an oil leak repaired in my car this morning (ick), went swimming this evening with J (fun), now searching for Grayce who's escaped from the backyard (ugh). J's with her father this weekend (sad) and I'm going on a photo shoot Saturday morning at a place I've never been - a chateau and retreat in Paradise (yes, that really is the name of the town). I am so looking forward to it...

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

bird of paraadise

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

what we pay the most attention to defines us

A relatively new field, called interpersonal neurobiology, draws its vigor from one of the great discoveries of our era: that the brain is constantly rewiring itself based on daily life. In the end, what we pay the most attention to defines us. How you choose to spend the irreplaceable hours of your life literally transforms you.

All relationships change the brain — but most important are the intimate bonds that foster or fail us, altering the delicate circuits that shape memories, emotions and that ultimate souvenir, the self.

from The Brain on Love 
by Diane Ackerman
full article here

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


at Mt. Lassen with J

Happy Birthday, Grandma Ruth!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

the greatest gift

J was in a school play tonight. The first graders put on Stone Soup - a story about hungry travelers meeting up with townspeople who didn't want to share their food. In the end, they came together and made soup. All the kids were magnificent. J was a traveler. I - and her teachers and other relatives - was in awe of the musical talent and stage presence this usually shy little girl exhibited. I'm a proud mama tonight...

The greatest gift is to share,
To tell a neighbor you'll be there,
To show a friend you really care,
The greatest gift is to share.

For alone we have nothing,
We could lose our way.
So, reach out to others,
Sisters and brothers,
You'll find a better way.

That's what this world is about,
To meet a neighbor, help them out.
To trust a friend when you're in doubt,
That's what this world is about.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

i met some ponies

Here are a few of the ponies I met yesterday on the way to Table Mountain...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

i met a horse

Today, on my way to Table Mountain for a photo shoot, I met a horse.

The road to Table Mountain winds through lush, green hills covered with rich and poor properties, many with livestock. One property has a huge field, home to at least 50 horses and ponies - and one llama. I suspect the horses are all rescues since there doesn't seem to be any working facilities like arenas or paddocks, but I don't know for sure. Every time I drive to Table Mountain, I pass this ranch, slowing down to admire. Today I stopped and parked along the road. As I approached the fence, most of the nearby ponies came to greet me - accepting pats and head rubs. There was one horse - a bay with a white blaze - who was always near but wouldn't approach. There was fear in his eyes and he held his body ready for flight, but he never retreated. I spoke softly to him and offered him my hand to smell. Gradually, he came closer, but never near enough to touch. He followed me as I walked up and down the fence line, petting ponies and taking photos. Eventually, he was standing with his head within inches of me. I let him see my hand and gently pet his head. He jerked back. This happened quite a few times. By the time I really really had to leave, I could rub his head without him jerking away. I wish I could have stayed longer. I called him my love. I know I'll be going back in the next few days to see him again.

Here are a few head shots of my love - it's always the eyes of the animals with me...the last one is my favorite...

Friday, April 13, 2012


....There is a rich and flowering place within you.
You must journey there....

 From Isha Lerner free Inner Child card reading. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

in bloom

The dogwood in my front yard is in full bloom...ah! Spring!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

those who love you

Those who love you
are not fooled by mistakes you have made
or dark images you hold about yourself.
They remember your beauty when you feel ugly;
your wholeness when you are broken;
your innocence when you feel guilty;
and your purpose when you feel confused.
African saying

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I was working on photos on the computer. Miss J was entertaining herself. It was really quiet - that should have been a clue. I turned around to find she had decorated. Apparently she was tired of the blank, white walls. The walls are blank because my landlord won't let me hang anything. Oh, well. I like what she's done...

This is the wall above our sofa. Sorry about the quality of the photo.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

cat women

I love Audrey. There isn't a movie she made that I haven't seen and loved. My favorite is Breakfast at Tiffanys. Although, I always get angry and cry when Holly Golightly throws the cat out of the taxi in the rain. It turns out well though and is still my fave. She was so much more than just a movie star - a truly remarkable woman.

source of photo ?


I've never been a fan of dying Easter eggs - too messy. These are inspiring though and might even change my mind...