Sand Castle Virtues

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Quote of the Day:  “And the sand castle virtues are all swept away in the tidal destruction ~ the moral melee.” ~ Ian Anderson

I wasn’t so sure where I was going to take the Journey this week.  I was busy with shooting, editing, child and traveling.  In the normal course of a week, I generally have my ideas formed by Tuesday and crank something out by Wednesday morning.  As it happened, Wednesday came and I had nothing.  So, I walked on the beach for inspiration and took this shot.   I was mesmerized by the sand castle.  I had posted a shorter version of this quote earlier in the week on my personal page ~ “and the sand castle virtues were all swept away”.   Coincidence?  I think not.  Perhaps just a simple reminder that everything is as it should be.  What’s great about song lyrics is they are wildly open for interpretation.  So…my blog, my interpretation :).  I am fortunate to say that my sand castle virtues have not be swept away.  Time has only made them stronger.

As I photographed the sand castle, I had an “aha!” moment.  I angled my camera to capture the castle with the ocean as its background. However,  I was inundated with tourist standing on the other side to snap a shot.  I was fortunate enough to catch this lovely moment with the young boy running towards me.  However, the tourist kept coming; paying me no regard.  I was irritated and becoming very disenchanted  with the moment.  Defeated, I surrendered and walked to the other side of the castle to try to get a clean shot.  This is what I captured.  I still favor my ocean shot, but, am glad for my irritation with the tourists.  I’m sure they were having similar feelings about me as I blocked the view of The Del.

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.  ✌

Weeds

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Quote of the Day:  I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong?
Willie Nelson

Don’t get too excited.  Just because I live in the Santa Cruz mountains in Northern California, love the show by the same name and find Willie’s quote quite entertaining, todays blog is not about the wacky weed.  I would have to do much more research to intelligently write about that herb.  Today, I simply write about weeds, in general, and the impact they have had over the course of this journey with my photography.

Years ago I decided I wanted to expand my photo library to include the intricate details of flowers and plants.  I pulled out my soon to be favorite lens, my Nikkor 18-55mm and went  for a walk in the forest.  All my flower shots were blurry and uninteresting, however, my weed shots were crisp and lovely.  I began to notice a trend.  Lucky me, I had found my niche in the photography world.  My focus has changed over the years, but, I will always have a fondness for weeds.

Barbie

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Quote of the Day:  “The woman wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her.” ~Naomi Wolf

I’m tired.  I’ve been editing all day.  I can’t even figure out how to turn off the italics on this blog.  With that said, I’ve decided to keep it light.

Hold on to your hats all you politically correct mommy and daddys; I gave my daughter her first Barbie when she was 2.  Yes, according to many of you, I have set her on the path of complete destruction of self esteem and body image.   And, I wasted no time in doing so.

Call me selfish.  I loved Barbie when I was a kid.  I played with my Barbies until I was, embarrassingly, too old to be playing with Barbies.  I don’t think Barbie messed with my self image.  I had and continue to have great self esteem and body image; and, I looked more like Skipper on a good day.  The only thing Barbie did to my psyche was plant the seed of my dream of moving to California.

Barbie has many roles in our home.  Initially, she served as a chew toy for my teething 2 year old.  As the child grew, I couldn’t wait for the dialogs and role playing we would do with the Barbie stash we collected from my childhood home.  She, recently, received the gift of a Ken doll which thrilled me because the communicating and relating could now include boys; the species which she finds utterly disgusting.  However, my daughter wanted nothing to do with communicating and relating with her dolls.  The Barbies are, of course, all horse riders.  There is no dialog exchanged, no dating and picking outfits for the day at the beach.  There is only walk, trot and cantering.  The Barbie townhouse serves as the hotel in which they stay for the horse show.  There is no pink Barbie convertible, only the Breyer Trailer and Pickup which will take the Rider Barbies to the horse shows.  As for Ken, he is the designated Groom.  In his ascot and bellbottoms he mucks the stalls.  Always with a silly grin on his face.

With the addition of our newest baby, the pup, Barbie has come full circle.  She is once again a chew toy.  To the chagrin of the child, anything left on the floor is fair game.  CEO (of a Software Technology Company) Barbie is now missing her nose, arm, leg and some patches of hair.  Oh well, Babs, age gets the best of us all!

I took these shots as I am gearing up for a shoot I will be doing in a few weeks and needed to play with some settings on a new lens.  Chew toy Barbie was handy.

When I uploaded the photos, my mind immediately jumped back to when I was 8 years old.  Oh, the joy and endless hours of imaginative play I got out of these dolls.  It takes more than a plastic toy to destroy self esteem… don’t you think?!

Poise and Grace

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Quote of the Day:  “By “guts” I mean, grace under pressure.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

She arrived at Thermal with no expectations other than to do her very best.  She had dreamed of this moment for over a year.  She practiced and she prepared.  Moments before she headed out for her first jumping round, she looked at me and smiled.  It was a smile that spoke a thousand words.

I watched nervously.  I was not nervous about the ride, because I knew she would put everything she had into it, and my trust of the pony never waivers.  Nervous isn’t even the correct word to describe my emotions. The emotions were full of pride, respect and a knowing that it was time to let go.  She did not need to hold my hand for this one.

When it was over, her face said it all.  I think she felt a little like Rocky after he ran the steps in Philadelphia.  The definition of poise is balance; stability; ease and dignity of manner; self-assurance; composure; the condition of being calm or serene.  Today was share day at school and she wanted to share about her experience at Thermal.  I asked her if she wanted to take her ribbons to show her classmates and she said, “no, Momma, I just want to tell my friends about how it felt to ride my pony in the desert”.  It wasn’t about the awards, it was about the experience.  The poise of this small child never ceases to amaze me.

The definition of poise, the transitive verb, is to be balanced or held in suspension; hover.  This is what we get to look forward to in the years to come.  The poise and grace which this lovely 16 year old exemplifies goes beyond measure.

Haley, thank you for being such a beautiful example of poise and grace!  Good luck this week at Thermal!!  I promise many photos next weekend.

The Mentor

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Quote of the Day:  “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”

He helped me buy my first digital camera and showed me how to use it.  He encourages me and inspires me daily.  Without my mentor, I don’t know if my photography would be what it is today.  While I still have quite a way to go, I am, undoubtedly, blessed to have this wonderful person in my life to help me on this fabulous journey.
I adore this photo of Joe at his ranch hanging with friends, however, this is not the photo I intended to post today.   The intended photo was of Joe taking a photo of my daughter with a pinhole camera he made while hanging out, sipping wine one afternoon on the mountain.  My photo, taken on automatic with my brand new Nikon D70, (and, sadly, stuck on a disk in my MacBook CD…which just at this moment conveniently decided to fail….Joe, HELP!!!), was not a masterpiece.   The photo Joe took with his handmade, pinhole camera was.  With his permission, I will add a link to his professional site that posts the shot.
I learned that day, that the best equipment in the world does not a great photographer make.  It comes from something within.  It is the vision of the artist.  My vision is becoming clearer each day.  Thank you, Joey, for all that you do for me. Happy Birthday, my friend! xo!

The Dreamer

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Quote of the Day:  “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman

There was a period of time when my daughter lived in costumes ranging from princess to Dorothy and Alice.  There were no boundaries where she might show up in character.  Preschool, grocery shopping, flights across the country , traveling through Italy and hiking on our mountain in the fog.  It was a magical time for both of us.

The greatest gift my mother gave me, was allowing me to dream.  She was a dreamer who dreamed of doing great things despite the hardships she faced after fleeing her country of Romania during WWII.  I believe she accomplished that.  Now, I pass this gift on to my little one.   She, too, dreams of doing great things in this world. Good for you, my little princess!  The world needs more dreamers, like you!

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