Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Be our guest... our guest

Are you on the "One Word" bandwagon?
I'm humbled but so excited to have been asked to guest post over on 
writing about that very thing and would love for you to visit me there.

If you are considering choosing a word for 2015 and going my route wearing jewelry, I found my ring HERE
Sandra is a great ETSY shop owner, quick to respond and ship out your order.

Dear 2014,
Thank you for hearing my pleas for a quiet "breathable" year. You allowed time and space for my heart and soul to mourn, mend and heal. I feel it was time well spent and I am so ready to move forward.
To my blogging buddies who put up with my absences and yet still come 'round to hang out with me here, thank you...truly...You constantly amaze and inspire me to push forward with your words and photos. I wish only happiness and growth in the coming year for each of you. (big puffy heart)

Happy (one word) snapping

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

And just like a Lens baby blur...'s almost a new year

I for one never know where my year goes & I always remember my dad saying, "the older you get the faster time flies." But when your young, who thinks about that? I just gave my dad an obligatory nod and "ok dad" kind of smile and ran off to play...certainly not paying any mind to what I'd just heard. But here I am, recalling what I always heard. 
Today's photos were inspired simply by standing in line waiting to check out at Michaels and thumbing through this book PHOTOCRAFT
I stepped out of line to actually look at the whole book. I've got a Lens Baby composer tucked away, forever going back and forth to sell it or not. It's a completely different style of photography but I think I'm going to hang on to it, bring it out more often, play and experiment.

It's a little late in the day, but I'm playing over at Kim Klassen's today for Texture Tuesday.
I used her "Aurora" texture, linear burn @50%. I added Florabella's "waterlily, Modern Color, and Retro Lollipop all at very low opacities. Are YOU ready for the New Year? Are you on the "one word" band wagon? Hope you'll stop by tomorrow as I'm guest blogging over at FocusingOnLife
talking about that very thing.
Until then, 
Happy (blur) shooting!

Kim Klassen dot com

Friday, December 26, 2014

From the cutting room...

So, hmmmm, I've been on a blog-hiatus. No excuses-but I think part of the reason is, I don't have a permanent space for my laptop. If I want to blog I have go, schlep my computer to the dining room table, plug it in, turn it on, wait...blah blah blah. I miss being here, I always do & am working on fixing this little problem. In the meantime, Here are some items that just never made it to the blog,
until now!
Back in Sept. we had to say good bye to a beautiful pine tree that provided shade and perches for the neighborhood crows, scrubs and owls. Drought ridden and beetle infested like so many others in the area.

We're hoping to get lots of rain this winter.

Back in Oct. I found a lone critter and released a beautiful female into the world.

Also in Oct, Frankie flew with a first officer who's son, Alex, loves trains and works for this guy...
Conductor Bill.

Bill owns a vintage 1940's train and pays Amtrak to pull his car from Union Station up to Santa Barbara. Period music and mimosa's greet you as you step up and back in time. A beautiful breakfast buffet is set up with homestyle food prepared in the train's original kitchen. You are wined and dined for the scenic 2 1/2 hr. ride. Once in Santa Barbara, we went wine tasting, enjoyed lunch and roamed for hours breathing in the fresh air of the ocean town.The ride home was a welcomed relief as it was one of the hottest days in SB-more wine and & homemade sliced trip tip, mashed potatoes and veges were served on china. Home made apple crisp rounded out our dinner.

As soon as we got back to Union Station, we headed off to the Staples Center to see Sir Elton in concert.

Useless fact #27-this was my first concert! Not a bad way to start huh?
The holidays have come and gone and I trust you all had a beautiful time with family and friends.
I'm thrilled to share with you all that I will be guest posting over on FocusingOnLife
in the VERY near future and hope you'll join me there. Details to follow soon.
That pretty much cleans up my vault. Phew...does that feel good!
I'll see you real soon...promise!
Happy (cleaning up) snapping!

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!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday's finds...

...and letters

Good Morning and happy Friday my friends.
 I'm playing over at Kim's cafe  today-care to join me to see other fun finds?
Before school let out I started making a list of day trips I wanted to do sprinkled throughout the summer. I crossed Descanso Gardens off that list yesterday! 
Just a short 20 minute drive out to Pasadena & you are in another world.

There were pops of color and contrast everywhere.

Then I ran across these sunny side up "fried egg" flowers! 

I showed up late in the season for all the pretty blooms...
But there's a lilac garden...A LILAC GARDEN-400 plants & 250 types of lilacs!
 I'll have to be sure and mark my calendar for next March.

 I found amazing places all over the garden to just sit, reflect, breath and take in the views.

My next field trip is Monday...
...a little cruise out to Catalina & then on down to Mexico. I'll be posting pics on IG (@kellykardos) if you want to ride along!

Dear Dad,
This Alzheimer's stinks. Getting sucked into your world is scary for me I can't imagine what it's like for you. Now, I'll admit, our conversation last night started out amusing...but when you told me you were worried I was going to be kidnapped when I come to visit you & that you'll be in the trees working to protect me with your M-14, well...things sort of went down hill from there. I learned a new phrase last night-Sundowners syndrome. I don't think I'm going to call you in the evenings anymore.

Dear summer vacation,
I love you.

Dear Mom,

I decided it was time to pick up the book we started to read together. It's been over a year-actually it's been that long since I've picked up any book to read. I had to start it again so I traded the bookmark for one that you made me. I sat in the same cozy couch corner so you'll know where to find me if you care to look over my shoulder while I read. The late afternoon sun blazes through the window and bathes me in warmth and it feels good. 

Dear Fibroid,
You suck. 

Dear Teresa,
I could not have asked for a better sister-in-law. 
You are a hoot and are down right hilarious.

Dear peeps,
Thanks for visiting today!

Happy (summer) snapping

Kim Klassen dot Com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

App Happy...


Oh My! 
This day got so busy and is quickly running away. I had the best intentions to be here early to play over at Barb's. 
The thing about summer vacation is that at first, I have to force myself to slow down and take things as they come and be totally ok with how my day goes. (that would be today!) I got it in my head last night that since Wednesday is app day I wanted to share 2 with you, one photo related and one not. 
So let's talk game apps!
 My husband and I LOVE to play Scrabble and  WORDS BY POST has an awesome, free, and easy game that we play sometimes sitting across from each other and other times we play when Frankie's away on trips. We always have a game going. Did I mention it's free? The ads are at the bottom and quite honestly, I never even notice them. 
Sometimes Frankie will play a word that I have NO idea what it is. See the word DOGE? Yeah, I had no idea what it was. You can click on a word, a ? will appear, click again and the word is defined for you. The game will not let you submit a word if it isn't recognized-not sure under who's authority tho! You can recall your tiles at any point within your turn.
BTW-doge is the chief magistrate in the republics of Venice and Genoa. 

You can swap tiles. (hmmmmm, like what was I going to do with 3 A's?)

Your points and your opponent's points appear where the word was placed.
 ( 22 points! I got lucky on this word.)
The banner up top lets you know whos turn it is.

You can chat too!

You can "Shuffle Tiles" while they're on your letter rack. This feature helps me "see" words! You can see I'm losing! (What's new!?) You can resign on your turn...but that would mean you're a sore loser!


It let's you know when your opponent has 3 tiles left!
 And if you've won or lost!

That's always fun! (I see this a lot!)
Right away one of us hits REMATCH. It's a great way to keep your brain synapsis firing. But really, it's just fun and even though it's another sign of the times and keeps us engaged in electronics, the key word is "engaged" and it's mutual and that's what is important.

Are you still with me?!

If you follow me on IG (@kellykardos) you'll know this was my #dailyclick. 
I used PicFrame. 
Five pages of different frames styles, use of an adjustment tool within your chosen frame, FX Effects, rotate/mirror, frame shape and frame pattern options. To add text, tap on the photo for TONS of font options. There's a rotate text option, and finally, save to camera roll or other apps, and/or share to IG, Flickr, Twitter, FB and Tumblr are other options. It's VERY intuitive, fun and easy to use.

Ok, I think I'm going to head over to Barb's now. Care to see what "app-ening" with me?

"appy" snapping!!

Keeping With The Times

Friday, June 6, 2014



Dear Me,
 Let the decompression, early morning house cleaning, room by room purging, plan dinner before 
2 p.m., afternoon playtime, pool dipping, play tourist in your own state, begin! 

Dear Ms Kitty,

Us humans have a saying, it goes like this,
"Don't bite the hand that feeds you." You pissed The Mr. off last night & there is absolutely no reason that you need to hiss and swat at us anymore. Especially when you're the one that lays down to be loved on...What's up with that? You DO NOT want to go toe to toe paw to paw toe to paw with The Mr. He WILL break you of that habit. Consider yourself warned.

Dear Baby Raven,
Could you be any cuter?

Dear D,
I can't imagine what you are going through. I feel so helpless wondering how you are surviving your day, getting through simple tasks and hoping that you are not forgetting to take care of yourself. The one thing that I had a hard time getting past sitting with my mom was that my world seemed to have stopped, like I stepped off a bus and everything around me kept spinning. I was upset and more than a little jealous that everyone else got to go on with their lives. Everything in their world was normal while everything in mine was everything but normal. I'm pretty sure this is normal. I will continue to check in on you everyday. I won't forget about you and the burden you are carrying on your shoulders. 
I'm sending hugs through the universe sis.

Dear Kim Klassen,
Thanks to you I dry all my flowers now :-)
Thank you for your imagination and constant inspiration!

Dear California Chrome,
I'm not into horse racing-But I am hoping you win the Triple Crown tomorrow! There is such excitement in the air for you and your humble beginnings. 
Good Luck

Happy (summer lovin') snapping!