Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad - March 29, 1927

So you are probably thinking this is another one of my Spring has sprung photos and yes it is but, “Let me tell you a story”.

When I first moved into my house 30 odd years ago my Dad bought me this Magnolia Tree, he had always heard me say if I ever have my own place I wanted a Magnolia Tree so I could sit under there in the summer drinking Mint Juleps, (why I don’t know, maybe I was southern in my past life).  Anyway about 2 weeks after I moved in my Dad drove up and in his hands he had this twig which grew up to be this beautiful Magnolia Tree that now sits in my front yard.

People are always asking me don’t you get sick of cleaning up all those leaves, don’t you think it is two big for the front yard…… and I always say “nope”.  Two years ago I thought I almost lost the tree; the people that redid the cement in my driveway had to cut into its roots and as anyone that has a Magnolia knows the root system is something else with these trees.  Anyway it lost lots of its leaves and I kept going out there fertilizing, watering and just praying it would not die and by some miracle it came back just as strong and beautiful as ever.

Why do I care so much about this tree, well 3 months after Dad and I planted it  he passed away.  So every summer on August 28th no matter what the weather is I go out there with my Mint Julep and me and “Dad” sit there and watch the people walk by and we toast to life.

If you have nothing to do on August 28th and you fancy a Mint Julep, take a minute and join us, Cheers

How to Make A Mint Julep
Gather 3 sprigs of fresh mint
Measure 2 teaspoons of cold water.
Measure 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar.
Gather about 1 cup of crushed ice.
Measure 2-1/2 ounces of bourbon.
Tear off the leaves of 2 of the mint sprigs and place them in the bottom of a tall glass.
Add water and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved and mint is bruised.
Fill glass with finely crushed ice and pour bourbon over the ice.
Stir and garnish with remaining mint leaves.
Serve with a straw under a magnolia tree.

Spring is Springing!

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 78 - 2010

Living in California I have access to so many wonderful things one of them being the great wines that are produced here.  I love visiting the Napa/Sonoma area in the spring looking at of all the grape vines in perfect rows preparing to produce their harvest of grapes.  There are miles and miles of vineyards in this area that produce some of the worlds finest wines.  Now I am not a wine expert but I do know what taste good to me, we always like to try  different kinds of wine and are very rarely disappointed.   There is nothing like sitting outside on a nice summer evening with your glass of wine enjoying the sunset, relaxing and toasting to another day done and one yet to come.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Days 73-77 - 2010

Took the fur babies for a hike at Uvas County Park in San Jose.  A friend told me about the park and even though I don't live that far away I had never heard of it.  Funny how such a beautiful and tranquil place can exist so closely to a large city.  You would think you were miles and miles into the wilderness.  It really gave me a moment to relax and de-stress just walking around listening to the many little waterfalls along the 2 mile loop.  We all say we want to do things like this but it seems like we never have the chance with our lives so busy.  As I get older I feel this more that I have to take time I want to try and see as much as I can while I am here on this earth want to be able to know what it felt like to sit in peace and listen to water flow, birds twitter, and my hounds howl at squirrels :)

Hope you have time to visit Ms. Nature this week she always dresses her best for you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 72/365 - 2010

I took this photo as part of a DPS Challenge called commute.  Believe it or not I really do see this on my way to the shelter as a matter of fact it is just behind the shelter we take dogs walking there all the time.  It does not always looks this pretty I did add a couple of textures created by a fellow photographer named ET Takeyama as a matter of fact if it was not for ET I would probably have trashed this photo as it was a dull gray day when I took it. 

It is funny how we can trick the eye into seeing things that aren't really there, it has been done for ever.  I have learned the final photo is probably not what it looked like right out of the camera.  There are incredible programs that help you maniuplate your photos into works of art.  Never in my wildest dreams as a little girl with my Brownie Camera would I have thought that I could do something like this.  You think Monet would be proud, I know I am :)

Day 71/365 - 2010

This is what is left of the tulips from my tulip series.  When I got home the other night I noticed the petals on my kitchen counter and the way the light hit them I thought they still looked so beautiful, even individually like that and not as part of the whole group.  It was sad to say goodbye as they helped me create some nice photos and helped me challenge myself to see things differently.  I started out to learn photography with my 365 project but am really learning a lot about how to look at not only photo subjects but everything in general, all is not all you see if you know what I mean.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 67-70

I love tulips.  Looking at the tulip you see a simple  lovely flower.  To look closely at the tulip you see folds, dimension, color, light, shadow, flaws, perfection.  Like people really you don't see a person by just looking you see them by looking inside.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 65/365 - 2010

Language... has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone.  And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone.  ~Paul Johannes Tillich, The Eternal Now

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 64/365 - 2010

A Happy Furry Friday from my boy Cody. He is waiting for his breakfast cookie and wishes I would put the camera away so he could eat his cookie.

When you think of mischief this little guy is whom you should picture. I always know when a wall has been gnawed, a garbage can over turned, my lunch disappearing from the counter, my eyes will turn to him and as soon as I yell Buffalo Bill Cody what have you done he makes a B-line for his kennel. He is very strong willed and wants to be top dog but he does respect the other dogs' space, what is his is his and don't you dare come near him to take away something that he feels belongs to him, but what is theirs is theirs and he will not touch it if he knows that.

One of the favorite rituals at lunch time is everyone gets a cookie for lunch, well the other 4 gobble theirs down before you even know there was a cookie present. Cody, he waits and stands in front of his cookie daring anyone to come over and eat it and if anyone gets within a foot of him and that cookie we hear very loud and I do mean LOUD howling. This goes on for about an hour he then goes outside to bury it and leaves. What he does not realize is that 4 other dogs are watching this, when he leaves they run and un-dig the cookie and eat it anyway. However we let Cody think that he has a treasure chest full of cookies out there somewhere, it makes him happy:)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Days 59 to 63 - 2010

I have always lived near the sea, born on an Island surrounded by water, living on the west coast of the US there has always been some large body of water near me. I really don't know if I could function unless I had a an ocean or sea close by.
I don't really know what draws me here as I am really terrified of water, I even panic when water hits my face in the shower! Maybe it is the mystery behind the sea; the creatures that live in or around it, it's like going to a whole other planet no one really knows what is down there.
It also puts me at peace, the sound of the waves rolling in and the mist that hits your face as your walk along the shore. I love watching people by the sea building sand castles, playing tag with the waves, dogs bouncing in and out chasing their balls. People go to the sea to play, they also go to think to contemplate their lives, it helps us figure things out we children of the sea.
It deceives you, it can be very beautiful and inviting, tells you it is your friend but then huge swells that grow over 30 feet high crash along the shores reminding you that it is the boss. Not many try to challenge it, the fishermen are not afraid, the surfers love to ride those big waves, but me I am happy with my glass of water and looking from afar.
I haven't figured out how I can love something I am so afraid of it is just one of life's many mysteries I guess...