Tuesday, September 22, 2015

On a wing...

...and a prayer
By definition-"with only the slightest chance of success."
That about sums up my Monarch season and Monarchs in general. The mama Monarch who laid her eggs this summer had been infected with the OE parasite and transmitted the spores to her offspring. While she is busy fluttering around the milkweed and laying her eggs, she unwittingly scatters the spores that lay in wait between her scales. Thus infecting the caterpillar that eats the leaves and die a terrible death. I stopped counting the dead. 

...four survived~3 males and a female. The odds that Monarchs survive at all is truly a miracle in its own right.

Everyday, sometimes twice, I go "aphid squishing" with my trusty squirt bottle to rid the milkweed of these parasites that suck the life out of the host plant. It's a labor of love for these delicate creatures that I've come to have a one way connection with. On a recent aphid squash, I discovered 5 critters. I don't even have cautious optimism for these little ones...but I always hope that they've arrived at a good time of year when their chances of survivor are slightly higher. 
I'll keep you posted.

Happy (nature loving) snapping!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Finding my...


The old saying "use it or lose it" keeps rattling around in my head these days. I seemed to have lost my motivation, my purpose, and my voice for blogging. Not just blogging but photography and my creative drive. I even know when all of that enthusiasm for these things I love began to take a nose dive. Before my surgery, I was miserable. I had no energy.  I was gaining weight because the fibroid growing inside me was sitting on my sciatica. That made walking painful and so therefore was out of the question. There's a whole list of issues I was experiencing but want to keep things kinda short and sweet. I was losing confidence in everything I did...so I just didn't do anything.
There was one beautiful moment, about 3 weeks after my surgery that spoke to me and would have been a beautiful post at that time. It was about acceptance and so relevant to finding my voice and feel it's a great jumping-off point that will hopefully help ignite my creative mojo. Better late than never!
So, like I said, about 3 weeks after my surgery, I was more than annoyed that our whole summer was a bust due to my recovery. I was still walking something akin to the Hunchback of Notre Dame, parts of my belly were still so numb and swollen---but, I was starting to have better days. I got off the couch to get the blood circulating and Frankie asked to see my scar, as he often did to see the healing progress. I obliged. Upon looking down at the red, lumpy, and swollen scar that seemed to be my new abdominal landscape, said something pitiful and self loathing. To my surprise, Frankie kissed my scar and told me he accepts my new landscape and was perfectly ok with the way it was & how ever it might look in the end.  My heart swelled 10x its normal size.
From that exact moment, I was done feeling sorry feeling sorry for myself. I accepted whatever new landscape I was due to have but vowed to get back into shape & possibly have some say at what I wanted that scar to look and feel like. I'm also being kind to myself and allowing myself time to slowly get back into the things I love. If that wasn't enough, I was reading Barb's blog and she's offering a "Blogging Bits and Bytes." You can read all about it HERE . Wanna know the best part? It's free!  Thank you Barb...It was like you were inside my head!

...and what does tea have to do with any of this? Absolutely nothing...but I think it's prettier than my scar!! (lol)

Happy (kickstarting) shooting!

Saturday, July 11, 2015


"my week in review'

I've got a few fun things to celebrate this week-
I guess I'll start with the obvious and say I wasn't quite prepared with the whole idea of recovery from my hysterectomy. Never having surgery before, what did I know? When Dr's say 6-8 week recovery, you better believe it's going to take at least that. Thursday will be 3 weeks so I'm almost, kinda half way there! I'm pretty proud of this 51 year old body and am healing nicely from what I can see. Did I tell you I had a cantaloupe sized fibroid removed? Well, I'm celebrating that thing gone! (funny story in time about "him") I've been in constant pain and misery for over a year as it was growing into my girlie parts, and subsequently all my organs and back nerves were just being smooshed and bamboozled into each other. 
I'm also celebrating the first month in 38 years of not having a period.
 I don't think that one has sunk in yet! 

Yeah...so this is fun. Twenty20
is a place to enter photo challenges, and sell your photos in a convenient app you download from itunes. I sold two July 4th photos in one day. Believe me, I wont quit my day job~I am just tickled that somebody liked my photos enough to buy them. 

 I am celebrating daily tasks that are tackled and accomplished. They were such no brainers before, and I know they will be again.
I'm happy to be here...with you all.

Linking with Barb today.

Happy (getting back to life) snapping!

Friday, June 12, 2015

June is...

....Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month.

 In honor of my dad who is in the late stage of Alzheimer's, I'm wearing purple all month. 

This is my dad, Jay (BIG puffy heart) 

This was taken last year and has been sitting on my desk top that long-waiting for the perfect moment to be posted. Today seems perfect.
 This moment is rooted into my brain for eternity.
 After a MUCH needed hair cut at the center where my dad lives, I was wheeling him back to his room~Oh my the fuss the nurses and other residents were making as we walked by. It was more than a little overwhelming for dad. He couldn't understand what all the hullabaloo was about. Well-meaning nurses were popping their heads into his room and telling him how nice he cleaned up. Dad only got a quick look at himself back at the barber shop so he asked me for a mirror. He wanted to get a better look. Wanting to indulge him, I locked his chair in place, joked..."don't move, i'll be right back"...he chuckled, and I ran back to the barbers to grab this mirror.
I can only imagine the thought process that was going through his disease riddled brain.
I always have my phone handy and I quickly snapped this photo which pretty much speaks volumes. I see fear in face, something I never witnessed back when his life was normal.
 He never spoke a word...he didn't have to.
Admittingly, some weeks I'm really good at calling my dad, others...not so much. It's just that I'm elated when I call and he recognizes me and says "this is my daughter, Kelly." I know there will be a day when he won't know who I am-but at least the phone call before he did. So, some days drag into longer days that go by.
It's a lousy excuse, I know, but guilt always wins out-I call...and for the time being, I am remembered.
I don't know how purple became the chosen color for The Alz.org 
Maybe because purple symbolizes mystery...which the disease certainly is-even to the experts. Maybe because it's a combination of red and blue...color spectrum extremes-like the extreme turmoil alzheimer's brings to a family? In any case, I'm wearing purple all month, in some way, shape or form in on honor of my dad, Jay.

Happy (purple) snapping!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015



Yikes...I actually had to scroll through my Instagram feed to see when I visited the local Japanese garden. I'm embarrassed to say it was 7 weeks ago...7 weeks friends. But if you missed THIS POST it sort of explains what was going on at the time. I noticed as I was going through the desktop file these were in, the top photo has Kim's "make some noise 1" texture  applied so I know that I had originally planned to post this on a Tuesday....Oh...look at that, it's Tuesday...only 7 weeks later! 
I make the little drive once a year in the spring to catch the brilliance of all the blooms.
It WAS a beautiful day at the garden. 

The lilies were in bloom...

...the cherry blossoms were in bloom...

...the maple tree was a brilliant shade of red.

Sadly though, evidence of the drought has started rearing it's ugly head in this well manicured sanctuary in the middle of the valley. 

It's like there's a bubble of the garden and the entire world gets shut out for a bit...and all that's left are the thoughts in your head, the sound of birds and the pit pat of a water feature.

Nature is my medicine. ~Sara Moss-Wolfe

Happy (late to the party) snapping!

Monday, June 1, 2015



It is with childlike giddy-ness I welcome June. With only 5 days left in the school year, my mornings will soon be free to do as I wish...free to snooze longer than 6 a.m., free to linger over the morning crossword puzzle, free to take my daily walk before the heat kicks in, free to write, shoot, play, travel and free to move about the day according to me.
 June also brings with her much trepidation. I've only recently come out of a self loathing funk & ready to talk about why I'll be getting a partial hysterectomy June 25th. A rather large (19 cm & growing) fibroid has taken up residence in my abdomen and playing havoc on the neighboring organs. I've been rather miserable & have especially hated looking 3 months pregnant. (If you're pregnant, no offense...I've had my 3 kiddos and I'm 51!)
  Sometimes things happen beyond our control & the only thing you can do is cope the best way possible. Arming myself with information to make the best informed decisions is how I feel best able to take back some control. The surgery has put a crimp in our summer plans with pre-op appts and recovery time. To make matters more challenging, I've developed an umbilical hernia. I asked to have both surgeries done at the same time but because of where both surgery sites are, there's a threat of infection and possibly compromising one or both sites. Because of where the fibroid sits, a hysterectomy or menopause is the only way to get rid of it...the latter is no where in sight~so the big H it is....yeah... 
If you have any words of wisdom I am ALL ears! 

Happy (summer) snapping!

Thursday, May 28, 2015



Every 4th Sunday, there's a vintage faire held in the parking lot of a local college. Due to the various graduations, it was held this past Sat. I never miss an opportunity to go~for one thing, I'm afraid I'm going to miss out on buying something I really need! This month did not disappoint. This adorable vintage linen was just one of the few little treasures I found. It just instantly makes me smile.

It screams of summers past and simpler times and yellow is such a happy color. 
It's nice to be back...in this space I love so much.

I'm playing over at Kim's...lots of inspiration over there...