“The Winter of our Discontent”

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“People who are most afraid of their dreams convince themselves they don’t dream at all.”
John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

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It’s been almost two years since my last post.  Here’s my excuse.  Life got in the way.  Life was busy with photography.  Life was busy with a teenager.  Life became surreal due to the political ugliness and the division in our country.   My dreams, as I’m sure many of yours, became hard to identify, and sadly became less significant.

The intent of this blog was to follow my daughter on her journey to becoming a young adult, while also sharing my journey in photography.  Here’s the update CliffsNotes style: I successfully added “art commissions and installations” to my resume while my daughter moved on to high school and continues to passionately pursue her equestrian goals and dreams.

During the first six months of 2017, I spent a few months in San Francisco rising before dawn to capture the iconic landmarks and the eclectic vibes of our amazing city by the Bay.   After a major installation at a VC firm in SOMA in June, it was time for me to take a breather.  The timing couldn’t have been better.  How could she have possibly turned 15.5?!!!   It was learner’s permit time!

As the mother of a teenager with places to go, people to see, and horses to ride (with no access to public transportation … remember, we live on a mountain), I became her private Lyft service and Driver’s Ed teacher.  My availability for commissions pretty much became non-existent, however I did sneak in a few mini sessions last Fall.  With still a few months to go before her Chapter 16 begins, I continue as driver, but rest assured there is no complaining on my end.  I already feel the lump developing in my throat.

2018 has brought an unexplainable, quiet sense of hope and optimism.  I’m not exactly sure why or where it’s coming from; perhaps from spending time with my daughter and her pals who exude intelligence, kindness, empathy and the kind of optimism and hope that comes with youth.   Whatever the reason, I embrace it.  With 2020 only two years away,  I have a renewed energy to take this blog on the final leg of the journey.

As for the tree, I have begun a new photo series.  I have driven by this tree every day for the past 15 years.  I wanted to make a picture on a perfect winter day.  I convinced myself for last 15 years that day has never been quite right.   Today was different, so I stopped.  This image encapsulates the feelings and emotions that filled my 2017, while reminding me that beauty exists and my dreams are still very much intact.

Cheers! xx J>

 

 

 

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Let’s Party

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Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’ ~ Robin Williams

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While it seemed like spring arrived in NoCal months ago, the rest of the country is finally starting to see the signs of warmer temps with blossoms blooming.  Spring has officially sprung!  So let’s party!

Last spring I had the privilege of shooting two of the most prestigous public gardens in California for Horticulture Magazine;  Hakone Gardens and Filoli.  Both gardens are located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains, to which I call home.  Filoli is a country house with 16 acres of formal gardens surrounded by a 654-acre estate, located in Woodside, CA.  Filoli has served as the set for many Hollywood films.  Many of you will recognize it as the mansion seen in the opening credits of the television series Dynasty.  Hakone Gardens is a traditional Japanese garden in Saratoga, California.  It is recognized as one of the oldest Japanese-style residential garden in the Western Hemisphere.  I believe Hakone served as set for the films Snow Falling on Cedars and Memoirs of a Geisha.

When my journey as a professional photographer began, my lens focused primarily on landscapes and flowers.  Over a decade later, I am a lucky girl to have been able to maintain this focus while adding a few other ingredients to my repertoire.  For those of you who need a dose of spring, take a few minutes and take a virtual walk through these breathtaking gardens. 🌸

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A Few of My Favorite Things

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“Red colored ponies with blue satin sashes; snowflakes that stay in Tahoe on their nose and eye lashes;  sunny warm winters that melt into spring; these are a few of my favorite things!”   Original lyrics by Julie Andrews.  Edits by me.

This is my new favorite plant.  It’s called an air plant; no soil required!  It derives it’s nutrients from the air and rain water (or in my case, a little drink from the faucet a few times a week).  This is my kind of gardening!  The blessing of the green thumb bestowed upon my family turned brown after the goddess of horticulture was born.  So, in order to maintain good standing with the family tradition; I’ve learned to photograph the lovely gardens and blooms.

As much as I love posting photos of lovely flowers, my post wouldn’t be complete without a photo of my true favorite thing hugging her favorite red pony.

As we head to Brookside this week for another horse show, I sense some changes on the horizon for our little girl and her beloved pony.  The lessons in love, pain, accomplishment, defeat, poise and grace that this pony has taught our child have been priceless.  Watching these two beautiful creatures move together on this journey to the unknown has and will continue to be one of the greatest joys in my life.  ✌