Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday's letters...

...and randomness

Dear Friday & the 4 day weekend,
I'm so excited you're here! I'm gonna enjoy this time off like nobody's business! Mainly because Frankie is off on a 10 day trip and will be home Sunday. He's in Shanghai as we speak. Oh I wish I could make myself small & fit in his pocket and roam those city streets with him!
10 days is a long time to be away from home...

Dear Weather,
You need to cool your heels. It's too dang hot...102* in the shade...

Dear Nicki
 I had to steal borrow your cool words about "photos in limbo." Thank you for your blog post Wednesday. It was just the spark I needed to go take a look at some of the many, many...M-A-N-Y photo's I have in limbo. Like you, there was obviously something I saw through my viewfinder. I hope you see this as the highest form of flattery!
So, here are my no longer in limbo photos:

Falls Creek, Pa

Stink Eye
This little guy was all over the feeder & defending it fiercely. He had some major defects. His proboscis never curled back up into his bill where there was a weird growth. And boy, is he ever giving me a stink eye.

Ok...I am NOT gonna lie. I really did want to hear or see something from "the other" side while staying aboard the Queen Mary. I secretly wanted to down load my photos & see an anomaly...seriously!
Well, what were the odds-
hee hee

 This isn't actually a photo in limbo but a selfie I took several years ago. Now that I have a few years of editing under my belt and Florabella's Classic Workflow, I wanted to dabble in portrait editing. 

Dear Mother Earth,
Was it you that sent a stray cat through my yard everyday to keep the squirrels away so they couldn't eat the budding poms so I'd have them for ripe and ready for Rosh Hashanah?
Thank you!

Dear Me,
You really need to...

You've got the Etsy Store, you've made some cute things...
But they're NOT gonna get sold sitting on your dining room table!
Stay tuned...I'll be giving something small away!

I love sharing over at Nancy's
1. I didn't make my bed 1st thing this morning like I do every single day...
...i know...i'm bad (snort!)
2. When I was 8, I wanted to set the world record for sitting in a bathtub full of warm water.
 I'm sure some psychologist would have a field day with THAT one!
3. Besides the fact that I have no singing or acting talent, I've always hated my signature and THAT'S the real reason I'm not famous...because my autograph stinks! (snort)
4. I*AM*SUCH*A*NERD! (i'm ok w/that)
5. I am fiercely passionate.

Happy (labor day) snapping!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013



Happy (butterfly) snapping!


with Kim

This little girl stayed with me for quite some time. Not all the monarchs I release want to stay and be photographed. But this one did. 
~It made me wonder~
I know in my head such small creatures are wired for a very specific calling...
emerge, mate, lay eggs, and then quietly fade away
But my heart says something else.
I like to think there are bigger and more amazing explanations out there, 
more than what science tells us-
It's only because it's harder if not impossible to tap into that unknown side.
So there are people like me, that whisper to the ones that stay, unaffected by those who don't feel what I feel 
care or even believe.
There is something bigger than me
and it will sit & listen
& gently take it's departure
 into the world
leaving me to wonder all the more
Happy (what do you believe) snapping

Sunday, August 25, 2013



May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond
~Irish Blessing~

Oh today was totally worth waking up to! My monarchs are emerging while I'm at work & fly off before I get home. Today, however, I welcomed 5 beauties into the world. The final count was 4 females and this one very handsome fella.
I was very excited at what I captured this morning. I am even more excited to process them. It's almost overwhelming so I decided that I would just do one today.
 I see MANY postcards in the near future.
Happy ( butterfly ) snapping!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday's letters

...and randomness

Dear Mother Nature,
Thank you again for letting me experience the magic of Monarch rearing!

Dear Monarch Butterflies,
I know you're doing your thing, but can you wait till like noon, so I can see you, even for a few minutes when get home from work...
 ...and THEN you can fly away? 
It would be ever so kind of you!

Dear week,
Today I find myself a bit worn out. It's starts around Wednesday and I bottom out!
You were a good week though, for that I am grateful. We celebrated 2 of our kiddos birthday's and Frankie & I happily celebrated 20 out of this world years together. 
We done good.

Dear Jennifer at the Medicaid office,
tsk tsk
shame on you...

Dear Universe,
Why do you give kids ADHD and Social Anxiety? 
Just curious.

with Nancy
1. I'm ready to leave So. Cal and be free of the oppressive summer heat-I think that's what wears me out. 
2. I love a good challenge and this year one of the teacher's I work with has a student that is a selective-mute. I'm reading up on it so I don't blow it.
3. I eat dark chocolate every single day-I'd like to live to be 100!
4. I hope I win a seat in Christina Greve's
new on line photography workshop.
Her enthusiasm and photography blow me away
5. I wanted to live on a farm growing up so last night I told Frankie when we leave CA I want to live in a small farm house with an east facing window for my photography office, a potbellied pig, a few egg laying chickens, baby goats and a green house for my monarchs!
Yup...I got dreams...
...and he didn't say no!

Happy (weekend) snapping

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hello to the man...

...good bye to the boy

Austin turned 18 at 11:56 this morning. In fact my mom & Frankie bet lunch when Austin would enter the world-Frankie said before noon, my mom said after.
 Mom bought lunch. 
I had a good cry this morning. I couldn't help it. I even knew I would. It basically came down to celebrating the arrival of a legal adult and mourning the little boy I've lost. I hugged this little boy lost tight, tight, tight this morning & whispered in his ear, "you have my heart" & he whispered back,
"and I have yours."

Last night we celebrated with Austin's squadron. 
Normally I wouldn't post photos that were less than perfect- 
but i-phone shots were all we had time for
and that's that.
Tonight, I cook the legal adult his favorite dinner and got his favorite ice cream for dessert. 
As for me, I could use a paper bag to breathe in!
Happy (I can't believe my baby is 18) Snapping!

apparently someone caught the hug...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I am a Monarch...


{happy sigh}
For those of you new here, I raise Monarch Butterflies. That story is HERE 
This fall will be a year and I never get tired of the metamorphosis. I conservatively have 40 critters this time around, all at different stages. 
Two emerged yesterday, but they didn't stick around long enough for me to snap even one picture.
Today however, 
this little lady emerged while I was at work. I was hoping I wasn't too late to watch her flutter off. I found her trying to get through some rough foliage and as I was helping her through it, she climbed onto my hand & decided to hang out for a bit. (that pic on IG)
 It's important for butterflies to hang upside down until their wings are dry, so as much as I hated to, I found a nice place in our Magnolia tree for her to finish drying. 
It's a beautiful thing. 

Playing over at Kim's Cafe
(I used Kim's 501 at 77% burn)


Monday, August 19, 2013

A quick hello...

...and howdy do

Hello friends.
I woke up super early Sat. morning to enjoy the Queen Mary before the other guests woke up. It was pretty much just me and the birds and the morning fog. It gave me time to quietly roam the decks and imagine what life was like aboard this ship 60+ years ago. I loved running my hands over the original woods and wished they could tell me a story or two. 
It was a whirlwind but fun weekend away with Frankie. I didn't realize until I downloaded my photos that I really don't have a lot to show for our trip. I sat back in my chair and I got to thinking.
I had every intention of taking a boatload (no pun intended) of photos. 
But the more I thought about our weekend, the more it came down to just wanting to be totally absorbed in the moment-just Frankie & I. Enjoying the man I fell in love with 20 years ago, experiencing something new with him, and be totally ok that I didn't take 100's of photos to record this moment in time.  
So tell me blogging peeps,
 Are there places you go & quiet moments you just want to keep private and are ok with not sharing? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
Happy (it's ok not to shoot) snapping!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday's letter's...

...facts, &

Dear Friday,
Today, you are my FAVORITE day. 
I don't know what's worse, springing forward for DST or waking up to the alarm clock after summer vacation for the first day of school! 
But it was a good 1st week & am really happy to be back. 
I think in part because this year won't be as volatile as last year. 
I'm hoping that's the case anyhow.

Dear Frankie,

Thanks again for fixing my typewriter. It was so cool to hear the keys strike the paper! I'm so excited to be celebrating our 20th anniversary on the Queen Mary tonight. It's suppose to be haunted you know! 
Oh, and it's going to be a blast watching people swoon over your helicopter at the air show on Sunday.

What a great way to start another fabulous 20+ years with you!

Dear Austin,
Thank you for holding down the fort so your dad and I can celebrate. You're the best.

Dear Jamie,
CONGRATS on quite possibly passing the CBEST and I KNOW you'll pass the Special Ed test. You are so smart and you'll be a wonderful addition to any school that will hire you. I could not have been blessed with a more extraordinary daughter. 

Dear Justin,
 Korea is so far away.  I don't like to think about how long it's going to be before we get to see you again. But I LOVE those times where we text for hours. We do what we gotta do huh?
  Hang in there ok?

Dear Critters,
I can't believe how many of you there are. I'm running out of milkweed at the rate ya'll are pigging out.
It's a labor of love and quite the full time job with the 40+ plus of you at all different stages. You never cease to amaze me at the complete metamorphosis that takes place and the beauty that emerges from that chrysalis. {happy sigh}

Dear cookie cutter,
You seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time. SO much so that I found another one just like it as I was putting the new one away! 
Hmmmm- I swear I don't remember buying the first one...
...anyway, it didn't dawn on me until AFTER making, baking and in the process of frosting all those cookies that they will look awfully cute sitting on the side of a cup...
...but only after the drink is 1/2 way drunk and maybe if you get a phone call, you have a convenient place to hang your cookie.
...what do you do with it after you take a bite?

Dear Friends that come visit and post here,
Thank you!
 I try very hard to leave a reply for you or come visit your blog. I might not get there right away, but I WILL get there!

Happy (cookie dunking) snapping!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I'm linking up over at Kim's Cafe today.
I wanted to do something for Frankie~ 
 for no other reason than I think he's such an amazing husband, dad, & pilot.
 If only his passengers knew what a dedicated aviator was at the helm... 

 I converted my photo with Florabella's Rain and added a hint of Vintage and Peach. I also converted Kim's PHEOBE texture to B&W and layered it at like 35% capacity to Darken.

School starts today in L.A. county. I'm ready to go back...
I think...!
Happy ( texture tuesday) snapping!

Monday, August 12, 2013


can't trust that day

By the time you read this, I'll be back to work. Staff day today, first day of instruction~
tomorrow. I get so weird the day before school starts. I go into this sort of nesting mode! It's not like I haven't had time to get things done...but for some reason, what I didn't do all of a sudden has this mad urgency to get done. I'm pretty sure this school year won't be as personally volatile as last years. I'm hearing through the rumor mill that our seams are bursting with kids & no place to put them...that's a little off putting. I'll get the ins on that tomorrow.
 I'll be happy to get a paycheck again~ 
I'll live for the weekends...and holidays~ 
Going from normal talking to most likely will lose my voice from talking non-stop 5 hours straight.
Will fall in love with my kiddos all over again
Will get satisfaction knowing I make a difference
Will fall asleep on the couch for the first week from HAVING to wake up to the alarm
Will be sure not to forget my blog...and you all!
Happy (dog days of summer) snapping!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cajun Salmon...

...For the nice gal at Cost Plus
who took an interest in the Marmalade I was buying...
(I'm sorry I didn't get your name) 

I hope you really do come visit, get, & try the salmon we got to talking about!

This salmon is the perfect balance of sweet from the marmalade...

...and the heat from the cajun spice...

Married Perfectly!
I've posted this recipe before...but it bears repeating!
You'll have to double the recipe for the homemade spice if you are making more than a 1 or 2 pieces of fish. 

3 TBSP Cajun spice (recipe to follow)
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 boneless, skinless salmon fillets (4-6 oz ea)
1/4 cup Orange marmalade
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

Combine Cajun spice, brown sugar and salt in a small bowl. Rub over all surfaces of fillets. Saute fillets in olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Turn & saute an additional 
2-3 minutes.
Blend marmalade & lemon juice; swirl in pan until melted. Carefully turn fish to glaze on all sides. Fish is done when it begins to flake when tested with a fork (about 1-2 minutes on each side)

Cajun Spice
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tsp oregano 
1 tsp herbes de provence (salt free)
dash of red pepper flakes (or to your taste)

The marmalade may splatter, so dress accordingly! 
If you make it, I'd love to hear about it!

Happy (fish lovin') snapping!

Friday, August 9, 2013


...letters, finds
 and randomness

Dear Frankie,
I came home to find this... fixed my typewriter and left me love note! (swoon)
I love us
 Sharing over at Kim's

Now that it's over with & you answered my 100 (maybe more) questions...

...I put my fears aside and really had fun sitting in the cockpit with the rotors spinning over 500 miles an hour!
I'm glad I could help you out as your tweaked the parts that needed tweaking!
 It gave me time to think & really get a sense of what you love about building and flying these machines.
Of course my 101st question should have been "Where's the kill switch?"

But I trust you 100% and if say she's not gonna take off...than that's that!

This helmet is beloved!

(just so you know, Frankie started the ship & is finding her "sweet spot" for me)

Dear Universe,
I'm throwing this one up to you because I don't know else to write to.
What is this world coming to? Makes me sad to read the paper anymore...
...that's all I'm gonna say about that.

Dear Austin,
Stop looking at me like I'm crazy when you are home for a blink and I have to tell you I forget what you look like cause you are never home anymore. It's not your fault I miss you.

5 random friday facts:
sharing with Nancy
over at A Rural Journal
1. Me, the person who hates bugs, started squishing them darn aphids with my bare fingers. (shivers)
2. I talk to my critters and hold each of them if I can. I hope they sense how much I adore them when they emerge as butterflies so they trust me enough to hold & release them.
3. I'm nerdy like that!
4. I get nervous going back to work after summer vacation like a kid would be on his 1st day of school.
5. I dream of Paris...and going within the next few years.

Happy (dream filled) snapping!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013



Some days are just easier to wake up to than others.

I'm not talking about the physical part of waking up and getting out of bed. It's what comes after the quiet of the morning disappears with the darkness, finishing the paper & nursing the last of your coffee that I'm talking about. Thank goodness I don't have to ask myself the above question very often, but when I do, I'm already prepared for a day of constant struggles with my emotions, deep contemplation and with a bit of timely and very conscience choices, victory over the day. 
I can not fathom letting an unknown entity dictate what my day will be like, just like that (snaps fingers) Oh, there's wrenches thrown in-that's to be expected. But I want to be the one that will make the difference in the outcome of my day.
Now, hormones may have a little something to do with all of this...
more than I lead on...
...but the fact remains that I'm still the one that will set my course.
I won't lie, this is a day that I'm thankful not to be in the early child-rearing stage because everything will be better after a nap! 
There use to be a time when I would feel guilty about being a tad selfish...I don't feel that way any more.
 Hey, 27 years of child rearing has a few of them is napping~I hear it adds time to your life span. I'm all for that!

Linking up with Kim Klassen
a rural journal
(I'm sorry Nancy, for some reason, I can not get your icon's to work here)

On a completely different subject, I'm not a politco, but my son, Austin, who has deep military aspirations, and never asks for too much, wanted me to make mention of something near and dear to him.
It's the 2nd anniversary of Extortion17

You may remember it, you may not, but we are here, defining our day because of fallen heroes.

Thank you

Monday, August 5, 2013


I'm sharing over at Stasha's    
It's all about Impractical Things:
It was surprisingly easy!

1. Cell phone laws~I mean seriously. If you want people to really not talk on their phones while driving,$76. for the first offense is chicken needs to be like $500.
2. High heels while at theme parks. Really?
3. Aphids..the bad kind
4. Squirrels...all of them!(they ruin everything I own)
5. Appointments...NOW HEAR THIS you late people... I pride myself on getting to any appt. that YOU gave me...the least you can do is see me on time.
6.'s bad for you...don't eat it!
7. AS SEEN ON T.V. items...tsk tsk! (I still like ya if you're guilty of this! hee hee)
8. Figurines...that's just me...I hate to dust
9.Styrofoam...Hate it, hate it hate it
10. Mr Potato Head...What are you suppose to do with him? Dress him...then what...somebody...please...enlighten me. I'm off to Stasha's for some a-ha moments!

Happy (listicles) snapping!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Scavenger Hunt...

...& song-ography

Over at Kathy's 
she's serving up song titles once a week, for anyone who wants to join & interpret them.
This week, it's Bill Wither's, "Lean on Me."
 I knew I was gonna have to use oldie but a goodie...both the song AND the photo.
It was Austin's 13th birthday, I was feeling mushy & gushy inside as he sprouted past me that year, was becoming more independent, needing me less and less. I wanted to freeze this moment in time. Remember Austin, your mama is ALWAYS here for matter what.

I also decided to play over at Ashley's
for the Scavenger Hunt.
Here's what I came up with this week:

"Guess what it is?"
Awwww, You'll have to scroll down to the end and see!

I grabbed my artist doll and decided it would fun to play with him. 
Reminds me of a musical play bill.

Take a photo on Wednesday...
...that was easy
Is it possible to have a love affair with a newly acquired antique typewriter?
Just askin'

Body Part
I could go all cheater pants on ya for this one because I originally was going to use this as another prompt...

...Mirror Image
But I'll save my cheater pants card for when I might actually need it! 
I'd make a terrible weather forecaster having to look at t.v. monitors and stand in front of a green screen but do the opposite thing. This shot was hard enough and I STILL have a roving eye!
I'm SO not designed for technical stuff!

So what was that shot above you ask?

Meshell, the gal that sold me the typewriter threw in a tin ribbon case...

Phew...that was fun. Now I'm gonna head over to the hunt myself & check out all the other great interpretations.
Happy (weekend) Snapping!

Friday, August 2, 2013


...letters, finds
and randomness!

Dear August,
HELLO! You kinda came out of left field, but you hold lots of good starts in 10 days (yikes), Austin turns 18, Jamie turns 27 (double yikes on them two!) and Frankie and I celebrate 20 years of bliss!
I made reservations for a nights stay aboard the QE2
20 years deserves a little pampering....that's like 140 dog years...but I mean that in a good way!
I'm so happy to be spending an eternity with w/my honey...and then some!

Dear Topanga Vintage Fair,
You rocked my world this week!
My other goodies are HERE

I've been searching for you...Every 4th Sunday for almost a year...

Ohhhhh but you were so worth the wait.

Do you hear that? It's me swooning (hee hee) You're not actually working...yet
But my beloved will see to that!

Dear Evil Ovary,
you suck

Dear Mom, 
I love that you are so happy in your new home. I mean bocci ball? Wii Bowling? Jewelry making? Playing in a kitchen band? 
Yeah you!

Dear Dad,
I'm REALLY sorry you and mom aren't spending your golden years together. That REALLY sucks

Dear heart,
I bet YOU were surprised when I walked this morning...and up that big ole hill too? Well how can I face 50 and fabulous if I'm not healthy from the inside out? Get use to it cause I'm hitting 50 with a *BOO YAH!
*according the Urban Dictionary..."Bam", "in your face" and "hell yeah" 50!

5 random facts:
I hate the yellow aphids on my milkweed-how can my critters eat with ya'll moving in?
I need a night vision camera to see what wild animal is leaving me "presents" on my front lawn
I've been stalling all morning to do something unpleasant...but I HAVE to do it...again
I'm on my 2nd cup of coffee...before noon 
I love posting on IG

Happy (enjoy the last of summer) snapping!

Linking up with Kim



and for the first time...