Thursday, May 19, 2016

Little Things...


I've kinda been on cloud 9 since Sunday. Sixty states and countries participated over the weekend for the annual global photowalk. I spent a lot of time scrolling through the #clickinwalk2016 IG feed off and on the last few days~taking in all the amazing shots that were posted. Spending the day with other moms and photographers was just what my creative spirit needed. We walked, talked, squatted, laughed, and clicked for several hours and finished the day at the most amazing restaurant.
It was the perfect day for shooting.
I'm going to let some photos do the talking...

You know my love for old buildings! Managed to sneak a quick snap on our way to dinner.
I EVEN entered a few photos in a contest (gulp) that is being held over on the ClickinMoms site...

Can't wait to do more exploring...

Linking up with Kim today.
Happy Snapping!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Little Things...


I'm happy to report that I'm typing on a new Mac-
Holy cow- what a difference a decade makes in laptop screens! Not only am I using a new laptop, I went from PSE 6 to PSE14...a lot has changed since #6! I love all the new features the program has to offer-even though it's a tad overwhelming learning a newer way of editing. I'm a creature of habit so really the best way for me to learn anything new is to just get in there and play. 
Reading tutorials is just not my thing!

I went into my archives for this week's photos because I just didn't shoot anything new. The new PSE has a dozen or so photo effects to choose from. I played around with a few of them and applied a vintage and a light leak effect to the Queen Mary's smoke stack. 
Speaking of the Queen Mary, the annual Clickin' Moms ClickinWalk2016  is happening this weekend. I'm signed up and headed to Long Beach on Sunday where the Queen Mary sits. It's always exciting to meet other women photographers & Long Beach is a great port city. I'm hoping to share that little excursion next Thursday.

This is not a photo taken from Long Beach but one of an old abandoned building on Alcatraz.
I wish there were more abandon places to visit around here.
There's just something about run-down, forsaken buildings.

 This is the first spring season in 4 years that I won't be rearing Monarch caterpillars. I'm kinda, sorta missing them. I'm hoping in a few years when we retire that I'll get the green house I need to raise these beauties again but in a more controlled environment.

Only four more Fridays til summer vacation-I think the kids even sense that the school year is winding down. This is going to be a "do-over" summer for me as this time last year I had my "girlie" surgery and was laid up my entire vacation recovering.
I've started a list of places I want to go and things I want and need to do. Although, I'm trying to keep the "need to do" list considerably short.
Our youngest is turning 21 this summer & that means a trip to Vegas is in the works.
My daughter and I also started talking about our quartely get together.

I'm hopping over to Kim's and sharing here...

Happy (almost summer) snapping!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Little Things...


I remember the first time I had a creative block. It was a terribly scary feeling to be on a creative high and suddenly wake up one morning feeling like I had used everything up. It wasn't until I put it out into the universe that this was happening did I learn that everyone goes through dry spells. 

Those moments force me to focus on other things that need my attention and not worry (too much) about when the creative mojo will return. Eventually the fog lifts.
The difference now is that I don't panic~I've learned to confidently and patiently move through it.
 So it was no surprise to me when a few days ago I actually wanted to pick up my camera and shoot a still life scene but needed fresh flowers. Then wanting to drive to Trader Joes specifically to buy those flowers to shoot that still life.

It was comforting and natural, wandering through the house, finding the props, setting the scene, picking up my camera and hearing that familiar click... old friends that haven't seen each other in awhile, picking up where they left off as if no time had passed between them. 

How do you move through those times when you have no desire to create even when beauty surrounds you?
 I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I'm sharing over at Kim's today.

Happy (I'm back) Snapping

Friday, April 29, 2016

Random 5...


I'm very excited that Nancy from A Rural Journal is back and hosting the meme R5F again.

Here are my random 5 in no particular order.

 :I managed to capture the city center of old Pompeii with no people!

: Did you know there is such a thing as Post Vacation Blues? I thought it was all in my head but after about a week and half of not wanting to do anything creative I started googling and found my problem-I feel like the fog is lifting.

: My 2 year old grandson just got over a staph infection from a spider bite-that was scary.

: Only 6 more Fridays til summer vacation!

: The gas leak in our little city of Porter Ranch has been capped and I haven't had to use my inhaler...Hmmm-kind of scary to think what we've been breathing for months on end.

Happy (random) snapping!

Did you miss yesterday's post?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Petites Choses...


(Little Things Thursday)

If you know anything about me, you'll know I'm a sucker for anything French. I can't get enough. A few years ago my husband whisked me away to Paris on a surprise 50th birthday.
It was heaven &  everything I ever dreamed about and more.

Personally if I had 1000 photos of the Eiffel Tower, I wouldn't have enough. We stayed in Paris for 4 days and crammed as much as we could in the time we were there. The problem is, I want to go the worse way, not only to be in the Spring (we were there in a Jan.) but I want to drive the country side end to end, visit wineries and flea markets, rent a house so I can shop and cook like the get the idea. 
Several weeks ago, our little Starbucks group was having coffee and one friend has a daughter and future SIL living in Austria. One day they'll have children that will speak German. So, this friend  was showing us an amazing free app on her phone, Duolingo, that was teaching her German. 
When I got home, I download  the app and right away was learning French. I've always wanted to learn a 2nd language & I jokingly asked my husband when I get to be be 100% fluent (the app keeps track of your progress) would he take me back to France. He said yes. AND there's my motivation to learn! So, I'm 3 weeks into practicing 10-20 minutes a day, I'm 6% fluent and here's how a conversation with my DH went:
She: Woo hoo~I'm 6% fluent...only 94% to go.
He: Til what?
She: Til I'm fluent and go back to France.
He: Are you running away with someone?
She: Uhm, said if and when I'm fluent you'd take me back to France.
He: I did?
She: did. Are you still gonna take me?
He: Yeah...I'll take you back.
She: C'est bon!

I'm giving myself at least a year to get comfortable with pronouncing the words with the right accent. I can't comment on the other languages, but learning French on this app is the most fun I've had trying to learn another language. Did I mention it was free? If you download it, let me know how you like it and if you're going to learn French, add me to your friends list and we can motivate each other. 

À plus tard
(until later)

Happy Snapping!

Linking with Kim @ Littlebylittle

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Little Things...


Good morning friends. March pretty much ended with a bang as
the Mr and I spent my spring break in Rome-
I'm in love...

This is the door to our hotel built in the 17th century! It was a family home converted into a very quaint 10 room hotel pretty much within walking distance of famous landmarks.
Oh my, The Colosseum-is just spectacular and had just finished being cleaned by a very generous donor who paid $25 million euros for the restoration.

If you ever plan to go to Rome, "Walks of Italy" have amazing walking tours. The guides are SO knowledgable and fun to listen to.  The groups are small-max.15 people & you'll get a headset to listen to your guide~which is great if you're like me, you can wander around, snap pics and still hear some great history.

For 7 euro, you can get on an elevator at The Alter of our Father and get views like these...

Palatine Hill was my favorite. I could have spent an entire day there exploring.
 Every step was a photo op.

Pompeii is another site that is not to be missed.

The history that is still being unearthed there is unlike anything you'll ever experience. There are homes you are allowed to wander into where you'll see frescos still on the wall, untouched.
Think about it, Mt Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. Pompeii was rediscovered in 1748 and was mostly intact...people, bread in ovens, life like any other day frozen in time. 

Spring was in the air...

It took a week to recover from the jet lag and I think I'm back on track now so I'll slowly be making my way to visit your blogs.
I'm joining Kim over at
for Little Things Thursday.
See you there.
Happy (spring) snapping!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Little Things...


Pulling up roots e-dition

I suspect the Monarchs will be here soon. 

We've been having unseasonably warm weather instead of the El Nino that looked so promising. 
It's going to be hard watching the Mama's looking for milkweed to lay her eggs. Up until last winter, I had been raising Monarchs since 2012. You can read all about it HERE

I finally had to pull up all the milkweed.

It's quite a job having upwards to 100 plants & hoping you have enough leaves for all the critters, worrying about in-climate weather, birds, disease, and Ms Kitty "playing" with emerging butterflies. All of which has been a beautiful and amazing journey with these creatures. My head and heart had a tug of war and my head won. Nobody understands more than me how the Monarchs are on the decline due to the lack of milkweed, the host plant that a Mama Monarch lays her eggs and the critters eat till it's time to do their magic. The part where my head won is when our youngest son graduates college in 2 years, Frankie and I will be selling the house and moving away. Before that, we'll be doing quite a bit of work inside and out that will include workers coming and going, tarps, sandblasting, stucco work, and painting. Just add all that the list of worries if I had a butterfly garden. 
Furthermore, I know with all my heart that the new homeowners would never care or tend to the milkweed or the critters like me. If I kept everything, I'd have to walk away from this house worried about the well being of those tiny little miracles. I'm a worry wart, it's what I do. 
I just thought maybe this was an easier solution, watching them flit by on their journey to find other milkweed.
My heart is saying not much easier.

I did however document it all and have flash drives full of some of Mother Nature's most delicate creatures that I had a direct hand in releasing into the world.

Sharing over at Kim's 

Happy (butterfly) snapping!