Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A cool December evening

I tried something new with my camera on this cool December evening.  I love growing as a photographer!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hard Work = R&R

Earlier this week I went to visit a friend's cabin.  We spent two days working hard.  The work was very physical in nature.  Those two days were great.  I came home super relaxed and happy.  There is nothing like raking leaves and sticks and burning it.  It was sooooooo satisfying.  I'd love to do more of it.  Maybe I should be living in the mountains.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Up in the clouds

Last weekend I went to Lake Tahoe and Reno.  It was a wonderful weekend.  I went for a conference and learned many things that will serve me well.  I brought my camera just in case.  I just happened to spot these clouds on Sunday.  I've never seen anything like them in my life.  They took my breath away.  I just wanted to share them with you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fun with my camera

Okay, this is a completely random picture but I love it.  I was out taking pictures with another photographer recently and she showed me how to do this.  It is soooooo fun.  I took a bunch trying different lights and movements.  I had a blast taking the pictures and it will be a happy memory for years to come.  I might just do this again in the future.  What is life without a little fun?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

You just never know what you'll find when you are out and about.

I feel bad for this jelly fish who is either dead or about to die.  It looks uncomfortable.  I, also, thought it looked beautiful.  I had to take a picture of it.  I love how it glows from the light of the setting sun.  I spotted this beauty when I was out taking pictures of a bride and groom.  That session is the reason I am up writing a blog post at this hour.  I got the nicest feedback from the bride today.  Her message brought tears to my eyes.  To be honest, the good feedback excites me to no end.  So here I am awake after midnight.  Grateful to be awake because of the good things in life.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Emergency Preparedness Month

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month!  Please don't ask why that excites me.  I can't explain it.  Okay, maybe it is because I grew up in earthquake country. 

Please make sure to have, at the very least, a 72 hour kit.  Honestly, you should have a kit that will last for a week. 

There are so many ways to get prepared.  There are tons of resources on the web that have information on how to prepare yourself.  I love the CERT program!  It is a great program that helps you prepare for your own family but it also teaches you how to help during a disaster.  I highly recommend it to everyone.

This picture was taken at a CERT training in June.  I just happened to run across it this morning and decided to share. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Summer slipped away

It seems like summer has slipped away when I wasn't looking.  I guess I was looking but most of the time I had a camera in front of my face.  Time passes in a different way when you look through a lens.  With all of that time behind the lens I managed to ignore my blog.  Oops.  I really didn't mean to do that.  I will have to get back on the blogging track.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Family Photos

Here is the final project from my class.  It took a long time to figure out how to get it into a format that I could play online.  I have to tell you that it is missing the wonderful quotes that I had between sections. 

I suggest watching it in the small format.  It is super grainy if you enlarge it to watch it.

The music is by Keith Driskill.  The song is called Fireflies (copyright 2009).  I used the song with Mr. Driskill's permission.

I have typed the quotes below for those who are interested in them. 

"Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life."  ~Albert Einstein

"One of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother."  ~Howard W. Hunter

"The best inheritance a parent can give to his child is a few minutes each day."  ~M. Grundler

"A sibling maybe the keeper of one's unfettered, more fundamental self."  ~Mariana Sandmaier

"Every star is different, and so is every child.  Some are bright and happy, and some are meek and mild."  ~John C. Cameron

Friday, July 22, 2011

What an adventure!

Yesterday I had a little adventure.  I went to have lunch  with a girlfriend.  Spending time with her is always an adventure.  I've gone deep sea fishing with her.  I have gone pet koi (my favorite is Lucy).  Well, yesterday I had another adventure with the koi, actually two adventures.  I dangled my feet in their pool.  I don't have ticklish feet but it sure tickled when they sucked on my feet.  Please don't think I would do this with just any fish.  I've known these fish for a decade.  My girlfriend asked for help with a task and I jumped at the opportunity.  I vacuumed the bottom of the pond.  It was soooooooooooooooooooo cool.  Well, it really was cool during the hot afternoon. 

This picture was taken shortly after getting out of the pond and just before going home. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's so easy to

"It's so easy to fall in love.  It's so easy..."  Wait a minute.  I meant to say, "It's so easy to ignore my blog."  Now that I am not required, by my class (as part of my grade), it is so easy to ignore this blog.  I really did plan on posting regularly but it seems I need to have an incentive.  I'll have to figure out how to motivate myself.  This picture was taken at the first Hayward street party of the summer.  This street party is pretty interesting.  There were at least 3 bands and one DJ.  I liked the DJ the best - he played oldies near the classic cars.  There were two blocks of classic cars.  Some were restored to an original look and some where pimped out with some very interesting artistic details, hydraulics and lowered suspensions.  I prefer the ones that were restored to their classic look.  I guess I am just an old fashioned girl.  The other detail that I have neglected to mention was the abundant examples of what not to wear.  I didn't take any pictures of that.  It would be too tempting to do a post all about what not to wear and I don't want to offend anyone.  I think the best part was the BBQ.  There is a stand there that is at the farmer's market every week.  It is the second time I have eaten their food and I have to say that I love it!  My sweet husband bought some of their BBQ sauce for me.  Chocolate BBQ sauce.  I am adventurous eater.  I can't wait to try it!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Simple Things

Yesterday was anything but a simple day.  The weather wasn't simple.  It was a little bit of everything.  I shot my first wedding - not a simple task (but oh so satisfying).  On the way home my husband and I stopped at a farmers market to get some cherries.  I love going to the farmers market.  The tomatoes looked beautiful to me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hayward CERT

On June 2, 2011, the Hayward CERT program finished another round of classes.  Many people were certified as CERT volunteers.  I got to go to the final/practical class to take photographs.  I had a great time.  It looked like everyone there was focused on learning but fun was had too.  The favorite station was the fire extinguisher station.  I have to admit that was fun for me as a participant and later a photographer.  My favorite station in triage.  Anyone that knows me knows that I enjoy blood and guts.  The human body amazes me.  I know that in an emergency I am well prepared at home and that I will be able to help my community by doing triage or organizing efforts (I prefer triage but I will help where the need is greatest). 

This is my favorite shot from the day.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's next.

Well, my class is over and I am no longer required to post on my blog.  I don't want to get out of the habit so I am trying to think of things that I can do to encourage me to post.  I'll let you know what I come up with.  It won't be long.

For all of you that are waiting to see my final project I am sorry to report you will have to wait even longer.  I picked a program that could do some neat stuff but it doesn't load anywhere.  Oops.  It caused a bit of a headache for my final but that will happen sometimes.  I am happy with what I came up with.  I have room for improvement but I can also see how far I have come.

Yes, that is another thistle.  I just love them.  I really like the bee in this one.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Photo walking

About a month ago my sweet husband brought home an article that talked about photowalks.  I was dying to try it after reading the article.  I couldn't go to the last one because I already had an appointment to work on the final assignment for my photography class.  This past weekend I had a number of commitments so I wasn't going to be able to make it again.  I couldn't sleep Friday night and didn't fall asleep until 4 in the morning.  I didn't get to anything that I was planning on.  When trying to figure out what I would do for the remainder of the day (after waking up) I remembered the photowalk.  It was so much fun to go for a walk with other people that are interested in photography.  I loved the experience.  I took a bunch of pictures of thistles.  I like thistles.  I don't know why.  I just do.  Here is one of those pictures.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Scoiattolo is one of my favorite words to say.  I appreciate any excuse I have to use it.  I just love how it feels in my mouth and how it sounds in my ears.  I wish I could explain why but I don't know the reason.  I saw this little scoiattolo on my way to the library and he was kind enough to pose for me.  He is such a little darling.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Honestly, I would rather post pictures from the photos I captured today.  I can't post pictures that are for my upcoming assignment so I am settling by posting this picture.  Don't get me wrong.  I like this photo.  I am just so excited about all of the images I captured today.  I have spent too much time with them this evening.  I am just so happy with how they came out.  I'll have to share those when the class has ended.  For now, I will have to satisfied the requirement of the post a week with this one. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

More than I want to admit

I have neglected my blog.  It has been 8 days since my last post.  I am supposed to post once a week.  Oops!  Well, I have an excuse.  Last Saturday I took some pictures.  I took a ton of pictures actually.  I took more pictures than I care to admit.  My husband was shocked by the number and I am not ready to let that number out to anyone else.  There was a good reason for the volume.  I found a neat new place to take family photos.  I hope I get to try it out soon and that park had a bunch of roses.  I LOVE roses!  That might be obvious.  I loved the color of the rose above. 

 It is always a good idea to look into a rose before you smell it.  I am glad I did when I got to this rose.  There was a bee in it.

 What what do we have here?  A speeder.  They are sooooooooooooo cute!  What a wild ride it was.  I am going to have to do it again some day. 

 This is what they look like when they are turning them around. 

 This is the view from the speeder I rode in.
 This is the speeder I rode in.  It is called the "Cadillac."  It holds 7 passengers.  What a sweet ride!  It is for sale for anyone that is interested.  The kind owner let me take the "For Sale" sign down to take a picture.

I really like this picture.  I am not sure why.  I saved this picture for last because that is what I do with the best.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Okay, I have to admit that I enjoy crafts.  I enjoy making new things.  These used to be  my wedding shoes.  They used to be white.  They are boring shoes that I'll never wear again.  I needed something flat and comfortable and these fit the criteria.  I don't wear white shoes.  I felt a little guilty about getting rid of a pair of shoes I had only worn one.  I decided that it couldn't hurt to give them a little makeover and this is what happened to the shoes.  I can't tell you how often I'll wear glitter shoes but I'll probably wear them more often now. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fun with Lightroom

 I took this picture in February when I took a really long walk.  I have to learn how to use this
Lightroom program.  Today I played with the program and altered some images.  I got a little out of control.  I wanted to see what everything will do when I play with it so I did this on accident.  I think it looks pretty cool.
 I played some more and I got this.  I like this one better.
This is the original picture.  I just thought you might want to see the difference.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Learning, learning, learning

Well, I sure have a ton to learn about my camera and how to use it in manual mode.  I have so much to remember when I am using it too.  I am far from being able to change the setting without thinking really hard.  That is okay.  It takes time to learn these things.  Today I added to my to learn list.  I am now learning Lightroom.  I determined to master it.  I've watched a few tutorials today.  I think it is time to get off of the computer and let some of it sink in.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I am fascinated by so many things that seem queer to others.  I just love watching bugs, insects and spiders move and I know that seems strange since I come across as a girly-girl.  I have been fascinated by fungus since my childhood.  I watched a program on PBS about fungus and I have been amazed by it ever since (there were a few years after when I wouldn't eat one because they disgusted me but I was still fascinated).  I had to capture this happy bunch when I came across them.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Going up!

Today was the first time I just carried around my camera.  I didn't have anything I needed to shoot for homework (but I should start working on the new assignments soon).  I just brought my camera along for the fun of it.  I couldn't resist these stairs.  They are sooooooooooooooo neat.  I can't imagine what it would be like to walk up these stairs every day.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Short and Sweet

What should one say when there is nothing left to say?  Sigh.  I am at a loss for words tonight or maybe it is just time to rest my head for the day.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beautiful Day!

I am so grateful for the beauty of this day.  I love this sunshine.  It was a perfectly lovely day!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


This guy is sooooooooooooooo cool!  I've heard all about him from family but I just got to meet him for the first time.  The family puts him in the front yard in the morning with his food.  At about 5 every day he walks back to the front door to be let in.  When inside he walks down the hall, around the corner and into the bathroom where he tucks himself behind the toilet.  He stays there all night until they put him out the next morning.  I want one now.  I guess I am just a big kid at heart.

She scores!

She shoots, she scores.  I really try to be a good wife.  For our first anniversary I gave my husband tickets to opening day at Dodgers Stadium.  I probably won't be able to out do this anniversary gift.  I feel good knowing that it was a perfect gift.  I really appreciate the Dodgers for winning and making the gift that much better. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beautiful day

I hope everyone gets out and enjoys the beauty of this day. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring is here!

Today I will remember that spring is here.  I will remember how I wanted the rain to come when we had a beautiful February and was concerned about the already browning hills.  I will remember that April showers bring May flowers.  I will remember that spring is a season of transition with sunny days and rainy days and combination days.  I will remember that spring is perfect the way it is.

Friday, March 25, 2011


I almost missed getting a picture up today. 

I'll spare you the details on why this is the perfect picture for me today.  All I will say is that the sign says it all.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'd rather be outside with my camera

I am just not good at sitting inside for long periods of time.  I am not good at sitting any where for long periods of time.  All of this rest is getting to me.  I know my body needs it, but I would rather be running around with my camera.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Let me know what you think

On my quest to improve as a photographer I am going to continue to ask for feedback on my photos.  This one was taken during the last photography workshop I went to.  I felt very free that day.  John Ater said something that gave me the freedom to point my camera in directions I don't usually point it.  This was the first one of those "free" pictures.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wondering. . .

I am laying here, in a medicated state, trying to recover from surgery and stay ahead of the pain.  I started to wonder what makes a good picture.  There have been a number of discussions in my home about my photos.  I asked for feed back.  I got a lot of questions.  The only one I currently recall is, "Why did you place the subject to the left instead of in the center?"  As I lay here I wonder what makes a good picture.  How much of it is subjective?  What can I do to improve?  I think that I need more feedback.  Please take a moment and give me feed back on my photos when you have a comment.  I am not looking for praise.  I am looking for feedback to help me improve the skills I am trying to develop.

I love this photo.  I captured exactly what I wanted to capture.  I don't know if anyone else thinks it is good or not but I love it. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lesson Learned

Last Friday I went to another photography workshop.  I got a bunch of good feedback on the pictures that I took.  I was just thrilled and left feeling good about what I learned.  Then I went to class and didn't want to show my photos for assignment 2 because I knew they were not at the same level as the pictures I took that day.  I got some good feedback on one picture but I mostly got constructive criticism and that was a bummer.  I am grateful for the constructive criticism.  I just wasn't up for it on Friday because of my emotional state that day.  After a few days past I was able to think about the difference in the two days and what was different for me.  When I took the pictures for class I took them all in manual mode.  When I took the pictures during the workshop I had the camera in automatic mode.  I have learned that I can not yet focus on both the camera settings and the art.  I guess I'll just have to work on each and at some point I will be able to do both.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sorrow and Grief

For my second photography assignment I had to go to a place I've never been before.  A new friend and classmate took me to this old cemetery in Hayward last week.  It is a sad little cemetery.  Many of the headstones have been knocked over or broken.  It was sad to think that someone might have done the damage.  I prefer to think happier thoughts and have decided that they must have been shaken out of place by earthquakes.  My friend and I both liked the headstones with the pictures on ceramic disk.  They seemed to be popular in the early 1930's.  I was extra sad when I saw this headstone.  This little girl was just 2 years and 3 days old.  I thought about the parents and how sad it must have been to loose their precious little girl.  I don't know why my emotions were flying so high when looking at the picture of this little girl.  Maybe it had something to do with the recent funeral and burial.  Maybe it had something to do with being in the first trimester of pregnancy.  I never planned to share this picture and I don't really feel like posting anything but I am posting because I must post once a week as part of my homework. 

This is the only picture I could post today.  I am having the worst day of my life.  I should be 9 weeks pregnant but the fetus has died.  I now know a little of what the parents of this little girl must have felt.  A mother's love is like no other.  It is the most amazing thing I have ever experienced.  I am grateful for that experience.  That love is the root of this pain.  My heart aches for the little one I will never hold.  My heart aches for the delay of my dream to be a mom.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Magical Mornings

During my early college years I discovered early mornings by necessity and how wonderful they are.  My love for mornings began during the summer between my second and third years of college.  I was working full time and taking two summer classes.  I struggled to get my homework done after a day of classes and work.  One night I was just too tired to do any homework and decided to go to bed and get up early.  It worked so well I continued to do it for the rest of the summer.  I loved the quiet of the morning.  I started getting up early on weekends too.  I had a few hikes that summer and would watch the sunrise over Lake Tahoe. 

Last Saturday I woke up at 5:30.  I just couldn't sleep.  I got up and paced in my dark hotel room trying to be quiet.  I decided to peek through the curtains after a few minutes to see if I might want to head outside for a few minutes.  I was pleasantly surprised with 6 inches of fresh fallen snow on the deck.  It was still snowing and I couldn't resist going out to it.  I took my camera and captured a few pictures (the picture above isn't one of those pictures - it was still too dark).  After a several wonderful minutes of taking in the scene, feeling the cool air, hearing the snow crunch under my shoes and the feel the snow melt in my hair I went back inside my room and climbed under the covers.  I didn't fall asleep and so I got up again a little after six to see how the sky had changes.  This picture was taken then. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beautiful Day!

The funeral was lovely.  Merm looked amazing.  The bag piper, Ron Wallace, was fabulous.  The music started my tears flowing.  The funeral was followed by a lovely lunch that the Relief Society provided.  A Welsh/Scottish dance lesson followed the lunch.  The day was perfect.  I think Merm would have enjoyed it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I am blessed

I love this woman.  Yes, I love my mother-in-law.  I married well that way.  I love my in-laws.  All of them.  Last night my sweet mother-in-law passed away.  She struggled with dementia the past few years and this last year was a tough one.  I am glad to know that she is no longer suffering.  I am glad she is at peace.  I can't wait to see her again. 
She was awesome.  We laughed together frequently.  My husband and I enjoyed dinner with her most Sundays during our courtship (he was there every week).  I would wink at her and she would wink back and that would start a giggle fit between the two of us.  After that we needed only look at each other to fall back into the laughter, much like young girls.  Sometimes she would make faces behind my husband's back, usually sticking her tongue out but sometimes crossing her eyes.  I always laughed.  I couldn't help it. 
We had some very special moments after Mark and I married and her health was declining.  One night, as I tucked her in bed and gave her a kiss on the forehead she told me that she was glad that Mark found me.  I left the room crying because I was glad for the same thing. 
I can't wait to see her again.  I hope she knows how much I love her.  I am blessed to be part of her family and married to her wonderful son.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On the way to the workshop

It is a simple idea to pull out your camera and grab a few shots on the way to a photography workshop.  It felt natural.  The sky was a gorgeous tone of blue.  The light on the gold leaf of City Hall made it glow.  It was delicious looking.  I stopped for a few minutes and captured a few pictures.  This was one of them.  I just told you about the "delicious" colors and this is photo is black and white.  I did love the colors of the picture but I decided that I prefer this photograph in black and white.  There is something about the drama of black and white that just seems to work with the geometry of the building and this particular angle.  I hope you enjoy this one.  I do.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Photography Workshop

I went to a photography workshop today.  It was my second time going to this workshop.  The first time I was overwhelmed.  I think that is an incredible understatement.  I only had my camera for a month when I went and didn't know anything .  I had dabbled with the automatic settings.  I signed up for this workshop immediately after the last one.  I practiced the exercises in the book and to my surprise I became comfortable with the priority settings and manual mode.  Please take note of the word comfortable in the previous sentence.  It is a relative term.  I no long feel like crying when I move the dial to M and try to figure out what to do.  I went to lunch with a few of my classmates and they asked me all sorts of questions about aperture, shutter speed, ISO and metering.  I could answer them.  I have no delusion about what that meant.  It simply meant I understood what was being presented (I felt like an expert and to my classmates I was seen that way but know that I am not).  It did feel good.  I quickly ate humble pie when I got home and all of my photos downloaded into JPEG format and I know the camera is set for RAW.  Now I need to figure out that new challenge.  Sigh!  I do love leaning.  This is quite the adventure for me. 

The picture above is from the Safari portion of the workshop.  This is a "fun" photo (not something I deem beautiful).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sunday was awesome

Sunday was a beautiful day.  My husband I went for a drive to the coast on Sunday and found this pretty little beach.  It was lovely.  During the drive we experienced all sorts of weather.  Sun, rain, fog and wind.  We even saw a rainbow on the way home.  It was the perfect way to spend a few hours between church and visiting family.