Sunday, November 16, 2014

Grateful for my place... this life

I've spent the last week receiving  Michelle's thought provoking e-mails on gratitude and shared my purposeful gratefulness on IG. You just had to "show up with an open heart" & either in solitude or in community share what you are grateful for.
 This week I was most grateful for my surgeon's hands and modern medicine, for hero veterans, my dad & Frankie who served our country with honor, for TIME-the healer of all wounds, the color yellow, and for my 2014 word BREATH. 
Today, I'm grateful for my place in this life.
I am but one person wrapped tightly in many parts.
For all my roles:: as wife-my favorite,  as mother-that adjusts, shifts and morphs as we speak, as daughter-that has been re-defined, as sister-that was lost and re-ignited, as teacher, artist,
 monarch farmer, surrogate cat owner, photographer, woman, niece, friend, and blogger. 
For flaws, imperfections, the ability to laugh at myself, for optimism and hope... each of these I am truly blessed and grateful for...with all of my heart.

I'd love to hear what you are giving thanks and grateful for.

Happy (grateful heart) snapping!

Monday, November 3, 2014


(even though we're 3 days in!)

As I was perusing through many of your blogs admiring the gorgeous colors adorning the screen as you welcome November, I found myself grumbling under my breath wishing for something we just don't have here in California...FALL. I can post photos to welcome any of the "4" seasons and they would all look the same. You can't tell winter from spring around here. I's crazy. Most people would love to not have to deal with leaves falling and soon snow shoveling. 
I don't necessarily miss the snow...but the leaves....
...oh how I miss the annual wardrobe change Mother Nature displays for many of you. 
I'm whining...I know. I'm trying not to, really I am. 
I realize how absurd my thinking is so I'm making it my mission this month to be kinder and gentler to the season we've been gifted instead of wasting time wishing on something that isn't there. I'm going to "show up" in the here and now and be grateful. I think it's what our heart is feeling & and not so much what the weather is saying. 
So here's to ever green and palm trees and wearing sandals instead of boots, tank tops instead of scarves and drinking Frappuccino's a little longer instead of hot lattes. 

Happy (showing up) snapping!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Seasons of...


I'm not sure what keeps me away from this space for long periods at a time. Maybe it's symbiotic with the transition of life I seem to be going through. I don't know, lately, I'm finding myself "in between" everything...
My brain feels foggy most of the time. I'm pretty sure a lot of it has to do with my mom's one year anniversary coming up. Coupled with the big "M" looming over head and not exactly going as swimmingly as I'd hope. I'm feeling very much like a trail blazer going through my change of life- mostly for my daughter, Jamie so she doesn't have to feel like I do. I'm gathering what little family history has been shared & passed down. Which is very little since my mom and grandmother are both gone and were from a different era that just kept quiet about such things. I've thought about renaming this space to "The Menopause Files" but then I think that's probably too much information! So for now,    with a lot of xo from Frankie, family and friends, my foggy brain will muddle through the big "M" with as much dignity, class, and beauty as I can muster.
Meanwhile, I'm sharing over at Kim's today and my Friday finds. 
I have a love affair with anything old and it seems to be scissors lately.

Found these on Etsy-and they actually work. I'm looking for an old pair of Chinese scissors that look very similar to these. Both photos are from my iphone which I rely on almost on a daily basis.
 I think it's my sanity. I've been using darker tones lately too. Seems to fit the darker mornings and the sun setting earlier...which I don't really mind. Summer is rolling up her carpet to make way for Fall's beauty...You know...
Seasons of change.

Happy (trailblazing) snapping!

Kim Klassen dot com

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Finding joy... the everyday

Yesterday was hard. The calendar rolled over from September to October. I'm keenly aware of the days ahead. Dread? Relief? Gratitude? Yes to all 3.  It's coming up on the 1st anniversary of my mom's passing. It's not going to be an ordinary day~it's on a Wednesday. I've relived that day and the days leading up to my mom's death hundreds of times throughout the year. Will it be any different on THAT day? I'm not sure. I am however relieved the year of "firsts" is over...You know~the 1st time you want to text or call her, her birthday, or wishing her Merry Christmas. I'm hoping those 1sts will be slightly easier to endure in the coming year. I'm so grateful for the love and support I've received over the year to help guide me through the tearful days.
So? How does one go about finding joy in the everyday when some days can be all consuming with other thoughts not so joyous? 
For me it's simple...
...I just do... 
 I wake up everyday & make a very conscious choice to make the day as worth while and as good as I humanly can-no matter what is rattling up in my head. I open my heart for awareness of even the tiniest gifts the day has to offer that can uplift my spirits.
I just do
And so, I thought about doing a daily post in Oct. to share my everyday gift-but that's just asking for an epic fail. ( I know myself TOO well!) 
I decided instead to keep a list and pop them in at the end of a post. 
That's much more doable.

My everyday gifts: 
10/1: helping a struggling student actually enjoy a concept in math he didn't understand.
10/2: being here today and writing through my grief process

Happy (finding YOUR everyday gift) snapping!

Sharing over at
Kim's Little by Little

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fake fall...

...and texture Tuesday with Kim

While many of you are enjoying the subtle changes of the season, delighting in the turning leaves all golden and crimson, donning warmer clothes and cute boots, the crunch of leaves that have fallen under foot... 
...Southern Californians are being told not to pack away our shorts and bathing suits just yet.
It's going to be in the triple digits by the *104 triple digits.
(I'm NOT happy)
So think of me you're making soup and sipping hot cider & i'll be thinking of you making soup and sipping hot cider while trying to keep cool in the pool...drinking ice tea...probably bar-b-qing. (sigh)

 I am however, slowly...
 s-l-o-w-l-y pulling out my fake fall goodies and it's a good thing I get distracted by shiny, glass balls!
It's hard to think about decorating when your A/C's blowing.

In the above photo I used Kim's "greydayslate"-soft light @100% & added some Florabella's warmth.

Kim's "nested"-soft light at 100% added the perfect finish in the photo above.

Happy (keep cool/stay warm) snapping!

Kim Klassen {dot com}

Saturday, September 20, 2014

When the sound of click, click, clicking...

...isn't music to your ears.

 It may or may not have been happening already, but back in March is when I really started noticing the clicking noise my shoulder made at any given moment or any movement I made. It clicked during our fabulous cruise down to Mexico with a stopover in Catalina...

... through the incredible 10 days Jamie and Erik was visiting... fact, I spent my whole summer clicking away and NOT in a fun camera kind of way. In constant pain and sleepless nights , I fell into a funk.
 My spirits had fallen too-I mean what could I possibly say or write that would have any relevance considering the state the world was in? 
So I stayed away from this place...
...and then some. 
 I couldn't lift a coffee cup let alone my camera.
I did however, discover Newspaper Blackout Poetry by Austin Kleon

It allowed me to work through my funk...
... and at least I had found a creative outlet.
Rainy Day

Your story your way. Make it beautiful
School started, I went back to work-the clicking got worse, the pain got worse till one day, tired from waking up at 4 a.m., I had my breaking point from the pain and stiffness, I went to see my Doctor. 
She told me I had a frozen shoulder. Adhesive capsulitis to more exact.
Basically the tissue around the joints stiffen & scar tissue forms to the point where the range of motion is down to nothing. There are 3 stages to frozen shoulder... 
Thawing (the stage I'm in now)
I recently had an X-ray to make sure I didn't have arthritis-thankfully that came back negative. I had a round of Prednisone, a cortisone shot followed and I started physical therapy.
 All of which has gotten me 50% of my shoulder mobility back. 
Enough to be able to finally be pick up my camera and shoot this-

Because Frankie and I never got around to replanting the milkweed away from here over the summer,
A Mama Monarch laid eggs to which I just released about 25 butterflies...give or take a few. 
So the good news now is, instead of living with pain at a 7-10 range, it's more like a manageable 1/2 to 1-totally doable.
PT does bring me to tears as my shoulder is worked to tear away the scar tissue but I know there is an end in sight. It might be 3-6 months away-but none-the-less closer. I still jar my shoulder every now and again if I'm not watching what I'm doing-I can finally-even if briefly, sleep on my right side-that's a little like heaven and I sigh a deep sigh and fall into a beautiful slumber. If you follow me on IG, you know I still make newspaper blackouts. I think it will be fun to do a blog post on that so keep an eye out for that one.
My spirits have for the most part returned. I'm still unhappy over the world's state of affairs, and I hope what I have to say is important enough to want to keep blogging. I'm taking it as it comes feeling & going through what I need to.
Thank you all for the wonderful "welcome back" sentiments.
 I just love my on-line family both here and over on IG.

Happy (thawing out) Snapping!

Monday, September 15, 2014



Oh my, this space has been neglected~maybe that could be a listicle all on it's own...10 reasons why I haven't been here. I've written & deleted at least 50 times (and still writing & deleting) a way to even begin...again.
 Stasha over at Northwestmommy had the perfect solution for me to ease back into the blogging world...
10 hashtags to describe myself.
Lots to share, over the next few weeks.
 But for now, my list in no particular order:
1. #ilovereadinghastags
2. #ivediscovereddarkchocolateseasaltcaramelsandineedhelp
3. #i'vefalleninlovewithblackoutpoetry
4. #iphoneeditingisaddicting
5. #letmegooglethat
6.# ilovemyjob
7. #i'vemissedyouallbutgladiseeyouonIG
8. #ican'twaitforGATHERCALIFORNIAwithKimKlassen
9. #it'shotterthanhellhere
10. #ilovecollectingbitsandpieces@vintagefairs

Well now, that was easy & I won't be gone for THAT long anytime soon. I'll be doing some catching up over the next few weeks here and over in your little corner of the blogging world. Thanks for popping in today. I always appreciate you and your time.

Happy (child's play) snapping!