Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 58/365 - 2010

So today's chat is about letting go and letting yourself be a kid again. As adults we don't get to do that a lot as we are busy with day to day things like work, paying bills, taking care of people, etc. and we lose that little twinkle in our eyes that we had when we were a kid, we lose the ability to play. Gosh as a kid I used to love to play, at home, at the park, in the car, it was so easy to make up a game then.

Well this week I had a photo assignment on the Digital Photography School site and it was a beverage, take a pic of a beverage. Now this may not be the best pic submitted but I can assure you I had the most fun doing it.

John and I did it together, we first tried with water just to get our baring. Well we thought ok throw a small pebble in there and it should make the plop we want, so plop and nothing..... Then I told him this technique is called cookie splash so we can use a dog biscuit, now this was not the best idea as we have 5 dogs all of whom saw the box come and and wanted to know what the heck are you doing with my biscuits they should be in my mouth not that cup! So anyway we dropped the biscuit in, nothing..... So I said John stand on a chair and drop it from higher, nothing.... Then I spied an orange in the fruit bowl and bingo we had our bomb, it sprayed water all over the place. So we filled the cup to the top with coffee took a million pictures and finally came up with this! If you try, use lots of towels, wear a rain coat, get a mop, put the dogs out in the yard, or maybe not they like to play along too :)

It was great as it gave us a secret way to play, we had an excuse I had a project had to get it done so we HAD TO PLAY! So today if nothing else go play :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 57/365 - 2010

Meet Quixote and Picasso, they are residents of Bubbling Wells Pet Cemetery in Northern California, one of the largest and oldest Pet Cemetery's in the USA. Unfortunately I have come to know them quite well in the past year as this is my 3rd visit there in a year. Not unfortunate because of them as they are very sweet and serve as great ambassadors but because I have lost my 3rd dog within a year and have had to go there to pick their ashes. Last week we suddenly lost our beautiful Sydney who graced us with her life for 13 years, she died of Leukemia. Until the very end Sydney was full of life, never complained always greeted you with a smile and held your hand for as long a you liked, a truly pure and beautiful soul.

As we walked around the grounds John said it made him sad, but I felt different I told him all the dogs that we see in the area we are allowed to walk had good lives as they had owners who loved them enough to pay tribute to them here. Think of the thousands and thousands of dogs that are brought here from shelters each year with no names who had nobody and are cremated in on big pile that is the part that saddens me.

But not to be a downer this Furry Friday as my friends up there do make you smile. And here is something for Sydney :)

Day 56/365 - 2010

Well this was a fun project to do. This was a bit of both photoshop and photography trickery. Great website on YouTube called Photo Gavin that gives you so much info on both. We did not do exactly what Gavin did we improvised on some of the stuff. It was fun doing it we laughed a lot and argued a lot (what else is new) but we worked as a team to come up with this, always a good thing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 55/365 - 2010

I wanted to do a different take on tulips. Don't get me wrong I love all the soft images out their of this very beautiful flower, but a Tulip has so many folds and crevices and the light catches them in the most amazing way I wanted to really capture this using HDR. Now mind you I have never done an HDR photo before, I just did some light reading and as I always do dove in and hoped for the best. So this is what I got I know I know lots of room for improvement but I have a whole year to improve my skills so that is what I will be doing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 53/365 - 2010

I love white on white so clean and crisp. I was going to paint my walls all white once and get white furniture, then someone pointed out to me that we live in a world of color, so I have a very colorful house :) But I still love white.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 53/365 - 2010

My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view.~H. Fred Dale


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 52/365 - 2010

This is one of the many birdhouses in my garden. Something about birdhouse I love, can't put my finger on it though. Maybe it is the little treasure I find in there every now and then. A bird will decide to create it's nest in one of the house and hatch it little ones, I love the sound of the baby birds tweeting waiting for their mom to bring them food. Then one day you wake up and they have flown the coup so I wait another year until the new mom's start work on their little families. My way of watching the seasons change, I always know spring has arrived when I hear the sound of the birds.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Da 51/365 - 2010

Went to Bodega Bay and had some seafood chowder at the Tides Restaurant. Bodega Bay is a beautiful little seaside town in Northern California, best known for the movie "The Birds", by Alfred Hitchock, to this day his movies send chills up my spine, oh and that voice of his scary!

I remember as a kid I used to watch his movies at the theater and spend most of the time with my hands covering my face or a sweater over my head, good story teller that Alfred and he did it without all the special effects they use in movies these days now that is a good director.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 50/365 - 2010

It's Furry Friday over on Flickr so I thought I would take a snap of my little Sparkles. I often wonder how he started out his life and why he wound up on the streets scrounging for his meals. He certainly has good reason not to trust people after all we were the ones that put him out there. Was he not pretty enough, was he to small, was he personality not to your liking, why..... Well I am glad he found us and we became a happy little family. I did not want another dog but the universe said different and the universe is usually right.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Days 46, 47, 48 and 49 - 2010

Well I have not posted for a couple of days now. Actually I was going to stop, figured nobody is reading this anyway so why post. But then I realized I am not doing this for the outside world I am doing it for me so I can remember what I was doing on that particular day in my life of 2010.
It is funny I look on some blogs and they have a bazillion followers. Some are interesting and some just so so but what is it about them that makes people want to read them. It's this complex I have always had, when I was in art school I would always judge myself against how good others were compared to me, but one day my teacher said some have been in this class for years you are just starting you can't compare yourself to them. Well I guess the same holds true for my blog, I am just going to keep focused and keep my eyes on the prize New Years Day 2011.
Well what has happened since I last blogged, Day 46 up there with the foggy tree is how I felt that day, I had just had to put my mom's dog Sydney down and I was pretty blue, went to the dog park and cried for a while. Sydney was one special dog, (as they all are but Sydney was truly special) I got her for my mom as a Birthday Gift, my mom had just lost my Grandpa and was all alone, my brother and dad had died and now my grandpa all within the course of 2 years. I had moved out and she was alone which she did not know how to be. So my friend Mary Ann and I went to the pound to actually get this other dog who just wound up not fitting in with our family, so Mary Ann went a wandering and found Sydney. At first I said well this dog is too big, so I read her bio and it said she liked to hold hands, so I said I have to see this. They brought her in and the first thing she did was give me her paw and we sat like that for a bit and I wound up bringing her home. My mom screamed and yelled at the time I DO NOT WANT A DOG, but Sydney gave her her paw and they were friends for life. My mom took it really hard to, they were together 24/7 every day for the past 11 years, (Sydney was 13) and you would not see one without the other. So now I am waiting for her ashes to be done so we could go and spread them over all the places she loved, she always loved to run and she gave us tons of good chases. I think I even blogged about it in her description.
Day 47, well that was the last of the persimmons on our tree. I love the way the tree looks when it is all decked out with the persimmons like a Xmas Tree from mother nature. I have to say I don't miss the fruit though it is John that loves the fruit persimmons are entirely to mushy for me, but thought I would send it off in style and get some Lensbaby practice in.
Day 48, this is my sweetie John Sweet. I got him to pose like a mean old cowboy for me but he is quite the opposite. His family is very wild west though. They are from Vernal, Utah real cowboy country. His great granddad was quite the character, he and his brother were run out of Texas for one thing or another and wound up in Utah. Gloria, John's mom says they are related to President Lyndon Johnson, (Johnson is her maiden name) and I have to say if you look at some of the family photos there is a resemblance there. Great granddad was known as Dally Man to the Indians in the area, he got that nickname as he was so good with a rope, I guess a Dally is cowboy lingo for the ropes they use to rope the cattle. He also lost a big chunk of property in a poker game. I just love to listen to Gloria tell stories of the family, very different from my upbringing coming from a very European family.
Day 49, today, well that is just me practcing with my Lensbaby again. I think it looks o.k., will be interesting to see what I think a year from now. Hope my photography gets better that is the whole point of this. When I opened the front door today I saw that my 50mm lens had arrived so I am excited to go home and give it a try. I see all these gorgeous photos with the great Dept of Field and think well how come I can't achieve that (me comparing myself to others again) but I just want to go home and have some 50 mm fun.
So that is it folks (or Paula), see you tomorrow same place but who knows what time.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 45/365 - 2010

Walking along the creak I found this black walnut shell and it looked like there was a heart in it. I did not know how much of a heart until I took the photo. It is Mother Natures of way of saying Happy Valentine's Day, I'm just nuts about ya!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 44/365 - 2010

The French were bred to die for love
They delight in fighting duels
But I prefer a man who lives
And gives expensive jewels
A kiss on the hand may be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl's best friend
A kiss may be grand but it won't pay the rental
On your humble flat, or help you at the automat
Men grow cold as girls grow old
And we all lose our charms in the end
But square cut or pear shaped
These rocks don't lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl's best friend

Tiffany's, Cartier
Talk to me, Harry, Winston, tell me all about it
There may come a time when a lass needs a lawyer
But diamonds are a girl's best friend

There may come a time when a hard boiled employer
Thinks your awful nice
But get that ice or else no dice
He's your guy when stocks are high
But beware when the start to descend
It's then that those louses go back to their spouses
Diamonds are a girl's best friend
I've heard of affairs that are strictly platonic
But diamonds are a girl's best friend
And I think affairs that you must keep liaisonic
Are better bets if little pets get big baggettes
Time rolls on and youth is gone
And you can't straighten up when you bend
But stiff back or stiff knees
You stand straight at Tiffany's

I don't mean rhinestones
But Diamonds
Are A Girl's Best Friend

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 42 and 43/365 - 2010

When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out - because that's what's inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.
Wayne Dyer

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 41/365 - 2010

"It is, in my view, the duty of an apple to be crisp and crunchable, but a pear should have such a texture as leads to silent consumption."
Edward Bunyard, 'The Anatomy of Dessert'

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 40/365 - 2010

Was on a hike and could not believe my eyes when I saw this!
"Ladybug, Ladybug fly away home, your hose is on fire and your children are home alone"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 39/365 - 2010

"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” George Bernard Shaw quotes

Recipe by Paula Dean - Foodnetwork
Apple Strudel:
1/4 cup bourbon or apple juice 1/2 cup golden raisins 2 to 3 Granny Smith apples (about 1 pound), peeled, cored, halved, and thinly sliced 1/2 lemon, juiced 1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely chopped 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup crushed shortbread cookies 1/4 cup chopped pecans 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces 5 sheets phyllo dough from 1 pound package of frozen dough 2 tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing phyllo sheets, plus more if needed 1 tablespoon granulated sugar Confectioners' sugar Caramel sauce, purchased Glaze: 2 cups confectioners' sugar 3 1/2 tablespoons milk For the Strudel: Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, pour the bourbon or apple juice over the raisins and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Let sit for 15 minutes. Combine the raisins, apples, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, brown sugar, cookie crumbs, pecans, and butter in a large bowl. Remove the phyllo dough from the box, unfold, and cover with a damp towel. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on the work surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat with the remaining sheets, brushing each with melted butter, stacking when done, being sure to keep the unbuttered phyllo covered. Place the apple mixture on the nearest third of the phyllo stack, being sure to leave a 2-inch border. Gently lift the bottom edge of the phyllo stack to cover the filling and fold the side edges over. Continue to roll the stack away from you until the filling is completely sealed in and the seam is on the bottom. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Pour over the glaze and sprinkle with cinnamon and confectioners' sugar. Pass warm caramel sauce, to drizzle over the strudel. For the Glaze: Mix ingredients thoroughly. *Cook's Note: If too thick add a little bit of milk. If too thin add a little bit of confectioners' sugar.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 38/365

Save Now
Well folks sorry about this but I am just being silly today! John and I were playing with the Wii when John said, hey your little Mii person looks a bit like you, and I said yes I think you are right but the disturbing thing is I think I have a similar outfit.

So here we are Me and Mini Mii, lol, ha ha ha.....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 37/365 - 2010

Day 37/365 - Thought I would try my hand at a portrait. Could not decide if I liked the black and white or the color version. Not the best have lots of work to do on my portrait skills any suggestions anyone??

This is our friend Tim who is moving to Utah this week. The shelter will miss him so much and so will we. Tim is one of those good good souls, he has saved over 30 dogs that would probably have been euthanized had he not pulled them out and fostered them. Lucky dogs are those at the next shelter he will volunteer for. Bye Tim :(

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 36/365 - 2010

When I have had a hectic day and am feeling pretty down and out, I pull out my beautiful china tea cup grab myself a biscotti and sit and relax with a nice cup of tea. Must be some of that English tradition left in me.

Afternoon Tea:

Afternoon tea (because it was usually taken in the late afternoon) is also called "low tea" because it was usually taken in a sitting room or withdrawing room where low tables (like a coffee table) were placed near sofas or chairs generally in a large withdrawing room. There are three basic types of Afternoon, or Low Tea:

Cream Tea - Tea, scones, jam and cream

Light Tea - Tea, scones and sweets

Full Tea - Tea, savories, scones, sweets and dessert

In England, the traditional time for tea was four or five o'clock and no one stayed after seven o'clock. Most tea rooms today serve tea from three to five o'clock.



  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in cocoa and baking powder. Beat for 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in flour by hand. Mix in white chocolate and chocolate chips. Cover dough, and chill for about 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide dough into two parts, and roll each part into a 9 inch long log. Place logs on lightly greased cookie sheet, about 4 inches apart. Flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool for one hour.
  4. Cut each loaf into 1/2 inch wide diagonal slices. Place slices on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake at 325 degrees F ( 165 degrees C) for 9 minutes. Turn cookies over, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 35/365 - 2010

Meet Sparky aka “Sparkles” Sparky is 2 years old and a Miniature Schnauzer Mix (Mutt).

Well last but not least is Sparky. I met Sparky in December of 2008. He was brought in as a stray, he was pretty much a feral dog, a throw away nobody wanted. He was great with other animals but since he had never had any interaction with humans he just did not like us at all. It took me 6 weeks of just going and sitting in the kennel with him, doing nothing other then reading a book, playing with his kennel mates until he finally started to come around to sniff me. Well once that happened I was able to lasso him and start taking him out to walk with me. The more we went out together the more he trusted me, 3 weeks after that I was actually able to pick him up without a fuss. Once he trusts you he trusts you. Well in February I was told he was not getting any better, he was still snapping at people and did not want to communicate so he would probably be put down soon. Well I knew different and I was not going to give up on this guy.

At the time my beagle Skippy was pretty sick and I wanted to bring Sparky home to foster him but Skippy came first at the time. I did not want his last days to be traumatized by a new addition, we had had Cody for just a few months and that was enough for poor Skip. So John kindly offered to foster him; so now we needed to get him used to John and very quickly. So John worked with him for 2 weeks but still no interest, but he needed to get out so we figured if he only had John to care for him he would have no choice but to bond to him and I was right they soon became fast friends. I actually took Cory and Sophie with me as I did not want Sparky bonding with them before he bonded with John. Well two weeks later I lost Skippy, that was two dogs in 4 months I had lost and again my heart was broken. Skippy was one in a million he made me laugh everyday of his life, you could never be mad or sad when Skip was around. Anyway in his honor I decided I would foster dogs instead of adopting, so I took Sparky back to try and work with him so he could find a good home. Well he did with me as I could not give him up, I became a foster failure.

He still does not trust easily it takes him a while before he lets you into his heart. But once he does you have a friend for life. He comes running from where ever he is in the house when I say who is going to give me a kiss, he loves to get big hugs and loves to go for big long walks with the pack. He too is a hunter so poor squirrels do not have a chance at my house. He is a little character, a rascal is what I call him as he always gets Presley or Cody to do something bad so they can take the blame and he can smell like a rose :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 34/365 - 2010

Meet Buffalo Bill “Cody”, Cody will be 2 years old this April and is a Beagle!

Well when I lost my Beagle Lily, at the age of 18 ½ years I told John I could never have another Beagle as no other dog would ever live up to her. Well I have to tell you my heart was so broken when I lost her, I could not imagine my life without this beautiful creature in it especially since she graced me with it for so long. And Skippy her partner was also heart broken I started losing him as well on the day she died.

Just for the heck of it one day at work I opened up the Beagle Rescue page and was going through it and saw this happy face puppy named Ollie. Well my fingers just automatically started typing a letter to the rescue asking if he was available and I got a letter back the next day saying yes and off to Sacramento we went to meet this little guy.

Cody was surrendered to a local shelter at the age of 9 weeks, the owners had only had him for a week. I was told it was because the owners were in the military and they were deployed to Iraq, but why would you even think of adopting a dog if you knew you were going to be deployed….. I figured it was because he was a Beagle and they can be a bit of a handful. Well when I met Cody that proved to be true! He lived in a Foster Home with 4 other dogs and two lively young boys, all of which had a lot of energy. When I picked him up he tried to bite me. His Foster Mom said they had inquiries as he was as cute as can be but when they came to meet Cody they just did not click his energy was just to high. Well it had been a long time since I had a puppy in the house, Presley was the closest thing she was 1 when I got her the year before. But we took Cody out to meet with everyone and he seemed to like the whole gang so I said yes I would take him and off we went.

He is a handful I have to tell you, a typical Beagle and a typical young boy. He loves to speed around the house when the urge hits him and then just spins and spins. He has calmed down quite a bit since I first met him and loves people now, the only reason he did not let me pick him up when we first met is he had a bad flea infection and it hurt him so once I cleared that up he was just fine I have never had a problem with him with people or dogs. He loves to howl especially when he see a squirrel, which sets Presley off and then I get stereo howling! He is a sweet boy and loves to play with just about anything so I have to mind where I put anything down, his most recent acquisition were my house keys, I looked and looked for them for days and blamed John for misplacing them when one day out comes Cody from his kennel with the keys!

Did he replace Lily, no, but there was a new open spot in my heart which he soon filled :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 33/365 - 2010

Meet Sophie aka “Snow Pea” Sophie is 3 years old and a Chihuahua Terrier Mix

We were celebrating Cory’s 1st year with us and we took the gang for a walk around the neighborhood. All of a sudden this little dog ran past us and toward an open field. There were some people outside that asked us did we know who that dog belongs to she has been hanging around for a few days now. So the poor little thing was running around in the street and I was afraid she would get run over by a car, so the chase began. John took the rest of the crew back to the house and I started to track her, and she was a fast one that is for sure. We tracked her for 5 blocks and finally we cornered her in someone’s yard. The owner of the house where Sophie was hiding came out to see what the heck these crazy people were doing in his yard so we explained and he let us in so we could try and nab Sophie. We found her huddled behind a big garbage can and I think she just gave up and let me go over and pick her up. She was tiny, flea ridden and very very hungry. We walked around the neighborhood with her for a while asking people if they knew who she belonged to, and no one knew. We took her to the local emergency Vet to see if she had a micro ID chip in her and nothing. They however were kind enough to give us flea medicine for her as the fleas were just jumping off of her. So we took her home and gave her a flea bath, several times, gave her to plates of food which she happily ate and put her to bed for the night in one of our kennels.

Now outside there was great curiosity, all the dogs came sniffing around the door trying to see who is this new creature mom and dad have brought home. That night I tried to talk John into keeping her and he said no, no, no. We have enough dogs we do not need another tomorrow we take her to the shelter. So morning came and I went and got her, I had named her Sophie by then, this time she happily came out of the kennel and cuddled on my lap. So the time came and off we went to the shelter to turn her in. John assured me the shelter was a no kill shelter and she would be fine someone would come and adopt her. So we filled out the paperwork and they pretty much had to pry her out of my arms, as we were completing the paperwork one of the shelter volunteers happened to mention that Sophie would be transferred to animal control in the morning as the shelter only accepted dogs from a specific area, well animal control is a kill shelter and they would only keep her 10 and if she was not adopted or claimed in that time she would be put down. So the tears started flowing and John looked at me and said we want her back please. So since we had just signed the paperwork they tore it up and told us that we could keep her but if someone came looking for her we had to give her back, which was fine. However, if within 10 days no one came then we could either keep her or return her to the shelter. Well no one came and we did not return her to the shelter.

John said this is not the dog he would have chosen for him self (remember he wanted a German Short Hair Pointer) but this is the dog that was chosen for him, and now he cannot imagine life with out little Sophie. She has a sweet happy personality, and when she sees someone she loves her two little front feet start tapping like crazy until you pick her up.

Sophie loves to lay in the sun, play tug of war with old socks and wrestle with the boys, (she always wins).

We are all so glad Sophie found us :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 32/365 - 2010

Meet Cory. Cory is 3 years old and is a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie).

John had been looking for a dog of his own and he had his heart set on a German Shorthair Pointer, he had grown up with these dogs as a young lad and loved them. Well we were starting our shift at the Humane Society and we went around to all the kennels so I could see who needed a website picture. I went by to say hello to this little terrier “Angus” that I had been working with and that day he had a companion, Cory. John and I both looked at each other and could not believe that this dog was up for adoption, she was a stray and no one ever came to claim her. We took her out for a web photo and John kept mentioning what a good dog she was, so I told him you know you want a doga nd you seem to really like this one, if you feel like you connected with her then you better grab her now as I know she won’t last the day. So by the end of the photoshoot, John was in love and we welcomed Cory into the family.

At first it was a bit tricky with her, she did not get on with other dogs that well. At the time I had Skippy, Lily and Presley. Now Skip and Lily were 17 years old and even when they were young they would never hurt a fly but she attacked both of them and almost put Lily’s eye out. Then she decided to see how she would fare with Presley, well Presley is a very sweet dog and she took Cory’s snapping for a long while, but then one day she just said “Sister you have gone to far” and the next thing I knew she had Cory on her back and I had to pull Presley off. Well needless to say Cory knew her place in the pack was not number 1 and from then on she started to assimilate into the family. Sometimes it just takes time and patience, something a lot of people that adopt don’t have and that is why so many dogs are returned to the shelters. It is a slow process and takes a great deal of commitment.

Cory is another “A” student, as a matter of fact she aced her training class and came out #1. She is now a docile sweet dog. It is lucky we live on the west coast, as Cory hates snow, skis, snowboards, etc. We don’t know why but she starts barking like crazy when anyone walks by with skis or snowboards. Snow I can understand, the poor little girl has these teeny tiny legs and a big body so when she walks in the snow she sinks right in and all we see is this little ball of fluff sunken in the snow.

Well that is it about Cory other then we call her our Supermodel as it is really hard to get a bad photo of this pretty girl.