Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I did it!


NaBloPoMo
I can't believe it is over...
What a month to start a blog
What a challenge
~
Regardless of my lack of knowledge of blogging
I posted every day for a month
even though my blog isn't fully constructed!
~
When I wonder around all my favorite blogs
I think
I will never get that clever
nor will I be able to take 'those' kinds of photos
~
But the truth is
it doesn't matter
the truth is
each day I learn something
new
about myself through
others posts and photos
~
It has been a really great adventure
I have learned a lot 
and met some 
really wonderful 
people 
I think I've caught the bug
as I find I am looking at my world
through new eyes
~
Thank you all
for stopping by 
for your kind words
and encouragement
and helpful advise and hints
~
Thank you for your wonderful inspiration
your amazing photographs
and heart felt posts
~
It is an honor 
to witness your creative expression
and dedication to your passion and craft
~
Thank you for welcoming me
I feel parts of me opening to the sun 
and a voice once silent
wanting to sing
~
It's all because of you
you lovely, open, creative,
blogger's who are willing to share how you experience 
the world
for the sheer joy of sharing


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A photographers bucket list must include...AFRICA



Orphan cub

There is no place in the world
like Africa
~
Aside from childbirth
I have never experienced
anything more raw, wild and
and touching upon the infinite
~
 the untamed, untouched, and 
lonely beauty of this dark continent
~
both breathtaking and brutal
I was in awe of both 
man and nature 
~
their ability to
survive and thrive
on nothing more than
 their senses
as guides

Monday, November 28, 2011

Illusions...


Family
has gone back
their own homes
and busy lives
~
the house is quiet
~
leftovers in the fridge
serving dishes put away
and recipes filed
~
everything is back
in its place
organized
ordered
~
as if 
it didn't happen
~
except for
the evidence
of my full and heavy
heart

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lucky...

These got away...

My brother has a flock of wild turkeys living on the 'back fourty' of his property
Each Thanksgiving he hunts down a bird for the family dinner
I don't know if I could eat meat if I were to have to kill the animal
One minute I am admiring it the next it is on my plate
~
At least I know it had a good life
A wild life
Not the life of a butterball turkey
Those I can NOT eat
I will not eat
~
I did learn how hard it was to photograph them though
They are fast!
And my brother says they are mean
I'll have to take his word on that one
~
I would be mean too
Wouldn't you


Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Gratitude Lists...

Me and my girls...
I am grateful
because
~
I'm employed
Since in reality about 14% of the country is unemployed this is a blessing
~
I'm overweight
an implied blessing 
(meaning I am not starving and that I have the luxury of sitting on my butt for my job)
~
Aside from the weight I am pretty healthy
 I have all my teeth
Which is really handy since I like salad and meat
I have both eyes
which provide both sight and insight
~
 No noticeable scars
~
 Ears both working
~
 Still have plenty of hair
and enough money to have it highlighted
~
 My spine is somewhat healthy,
no fusing, bulging disks, compressions
 This is great because people "my age" are really
starting to have "issues"
~
 Bone densiety-excellent
~
 Cancer free eighteen years
~
 Strong arms
to carry those new babies around
~
 Legs that can carry me on all the hikes
providing most of my photos for this blog
~
 Both big toes
(I know this might sound weird...but big toes are really important for balance)
~
I live in a great little apartment overlooking Two Trees
and
only a mile or so from the beach
~
 Aside from the nutcase soccer parents on Saturday mornings
screaming on the soccer fields outside my window
it is heaven
~
 I have a great, fun to drive, dependable car
~
 I own a MAC and an iPhone and a Cannon Rebel
~
 My stomach and fridge are rarely empty
~
 I have a closet full of clothes
~
 More shoes than days in a month
~
 Enough blankets and towels for a small village
~
 College degree
~
 Thoughtful friends
~
 The most wonderful boss
~
 I get to facilitate writing groups
 (How fun is THAT?)
~
 My colonoscopy was 'clean' (no pun intended) 
which means I don't have to go back for five years
~
 I have both hands which allows me to type, write, take pictures, 
have this blog, tie a bow, open a can, zip my pants
This IS a big deal because 
I have a friend who doesn't have hands anymore and I know what life is like for him
~
Bushka, my cat is still kicking after 16 years
~
Aside from food and gas
I have enough 
"stuff" 
to last
long 
long 
time 
And 
if that is not enough
take a look at this


and this

and these

and this

and these

doesn't this just make you want to giggle
My Blog Cloud could not contain the gratitude list I have for 
these little bugs
~
I cannot forget this new family

or this one


or this darling family

and I can't forget this one
these have been my life
~
they are what has made life worth living
~
and last but not least
I am thankful for a new community of
like minded people I may find as I explore this blogging life
~
May all you be blessed with
health, love, gratitude and joy

With Thanksgiving
Julia

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

With Thanksgiving approaching...

Daniel and Achillies

Its time to look back
over one's year
or life
and 
reflect on 
what is important
~
and then
with gratitude
consider the burden
of the overwhelming bounty
we take for granted every day
~
Tomorrow 
let the list begin


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just Imagine...

Coming upon this
only to find
it is just
the 


beginning
 of 1,200 feet 
of 
meandering
waterfalls

while walking
almost four miles
amongst this...
~
heaven
for 
sure

Monday, November 21, 2011

November in Vail...

There is nothing more 
peaceful
than 
an
Aspen grove in fall...



This post is dedicated to the 
"Through the Looking Glass Project" via Kanelstrand Organic Living Blog 
(see link in my Inspiration tab below)
~
Photos were taken while on a hike through an Aspen grove behind Vail Village in Colorado USA.
I was hiking with my son and his new baby girl ~ Ayden.
We are a family who values nature and do our best to care for the earth.
Thanks for including us in your project!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What if...


What if we knew without a doubt when...

suffering illness 
 overwhelming loss 
 heart is breaking 
 struggling with a decision
What if when
 consumed with worry 
for our children 
our future
the planet
~
Or when
 treated unfairly 
buried in doubt
awash in sorrow
filled with rage
wrestling with injustice
engulfed with loneliness
 isolation
~
And
on the brink of despair
the edge of tolerance
end of patience
finished 
done
~
What if
in those most
critical and personal moments
we knew we were suspended in the embrace
of the strong arms of a benevolent and peaceful angel
~
Could we then 
in that moment of refuge
find the courage and strength
 to endure






Saturday, November 19, 2011

Be aware of what lays beneath the surface...



Sometimes
the most obvious solutions
to our most heartfelt desires lay
not buried deep within
but float
just beneath 
the surface waiting
for us to notice the 
enormity of our possibilities

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sunset...




Some people say I am lucky 
to live where I do
all things considered
I guess I am
~
but it is lonely business
to stand at the beach at sunset
~
it is like
being called unexpectedly
to stand before god

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Walk in the Woods...

Aspen grove

couldn't you follow this trail forever
forget about politics
wall street
the office
war
~
in stillness
~
remember
what is important
necessary
vital
~
and then somehow
find the courage
to take action
to preserve
this place
of peace
within

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sisters...


I can tell you anything

remember when
she was
your best friend
she didn't mind 
your stinky breath
and she giggled when 
you farted
~
remember how 
she listened 
to everything you said
as if she cared
as if
what you said
 was important
~
she who 
slathered your back with lotion
and then drew pictures 
making you guess what she had drawn
~
Remember how 
the two of you
were inseparable 
as if she were your secret twin
~
remember growing up
growing apart
moving
away
~
but
always
carrying her
in
your heart

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What Will Bee Will Be....

  

unless there is something happening behind the scene
i didn't notice anything change on 11.11.11
maybe its because 11 is not my number
maybe next year when it is 12.12.12
those are my lucky numbers 
so since nothing
"happened"
i decided
to follow the 
zen of the bee 
i decided to focus on
the nectar, the flower, and to gathering 
i decided to stay on task, to focus in the moment 
i decided to stay more in tune my nature and my instincts
to be in purposeful industry

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Heart Goes Walking...


Kaitlyn 8 months


"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. 

It is to decide forever

to have your heart go walking outside your body."
~ Elizabeth Stone



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Simply toes

Kieran


Memoires wash over me
like a gentle surge from the sea
sun, sand, family, fun, footprints, tide pools
joy
 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Put On Your Dancing Shoes

Lauren  Age 3

"Please send me your last pair of shoes, worn out with dancing as you mentioned in your letter, so that I might have something to press against my heart."
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



She 
is almost four 
and I am not her mother.
I am her Nana so I see her differently.
I see her as perfection just standing there. 
I watch as she stands poised waiting for instruction. 
Her eyes are wide, her expression eager.
She is so adorable I want to cry. 
I want to snatch her up and run away with her to
somewhere safe, 
where her feelings will never be hurt, 
somewhere where she can just be herself and 
never, ever change. 
Somewhere where she can't be 
caught up in the expectations of others. 
My heart hurts just thinking about it. 
I know...the fears are all mine. 
They are tangled 
with memories of my childhood,
with my hurts and heartbreaks.
And I have to remind myself
 she is not me.
She is full of 
spit and vinegar.
 Self assured.
Determined. 
Supported.
Loved. 



Monday, November 7, 2011

Sweet November



 I love this time of year
It is a delicious secret 
that is not being passed around 
It is a time to catch one's breath
 between Halloween and Christmas

 November is the highly underrated month
It is a sweet sigh
  A wonderful surprise
The deep tones of golden, russet, and scarlet 
Smells of cinnamon, spices, bonfires, and burning leaves 
A time to harvest pumpkins, apples, and tether cornstalks.

The temperatures rise and fall
Time to reflect, and revel in the dwindling light
before the bitter bite of winters chill




African Sunset

"One should absorb the colour of life."
-Oscar Wilde

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Religion...

Stillness


When I was a child
church was sitting on hard pews, in forced silence,
listening to men
 preach of sin, weakness, and depravity.
It frightened me.
It made me think we are all bad,
lost
hopeless.
Now in my fifties
I prefer to sit on a mossy log
among the most glorious of creation and
listen to the love
spoken in the stillness of the forest.
I am humbled, grateful, and joyous.
I am filled
with hope, love, peace.
I am committed to walk softly, thoughtfully,
and with awareness.
Without guilt.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Empty Bowls

 Empty Bowl 2010



 Santa Barbara hosts 
"The Empty Bowls"
a fundraising event to support 
the community food bank
~
local artisans and school art programs
donate hand crafted bowls
~
for your donation 
you get to select a hand made bowl
and fill it with
 soups and breads
from some of the best restaurants in town
~
there are drawings and silent auctions
and beautiful art for sale
all proceeds go to feeding the hungry
~
emilda, my dear friend
is treating me to the event this year
~
it is the best kind of gift
a thought-FULL gift
 a gift that is so her
it feeds both my body and soul
it quiets the cynic in me
to experience 
the outpouring of generosity from 
individuals and the community
~
 last year
 I filled my bowl 
with objects infused with meaning
rocks from walks on the beach
feathers from ginnie fowl from my trip to Africa
a painted soap stone heart from Namibia
and a "Hope" stone
the bowl reminds me
it was once empty and is now full.
It reminds me no one should go hungry
and to contribute 
to filling someones bowl
in some way
every day.








Friday, November 4, 2011

Holy Trinity


 Love      Reason      Service
I'm not a big fan of organized religion.
To many obstacles and rules to navigate. 
It's not that I am opposed to ritual or worship. 
It is ritual turned to rule that I resist.
It is some man's interpretation of what's right for me I resist. 
We are wired like homing pigeons to return to what is sacred.
The path does not have to be complicated.
But it can be difficult.
There is a difference between the two.
Love is not complicated.
To love when wronged can be difficult.
We are given amazing brains with which to reason.
Should we not exercise this gift rather than let it go fallow 
before it can produce its fruits? 
And what of service? 
Is that not the byproduct of love and reason?
For me, for now...
It is not about heaven or hell.
It is about learning to trust 
not in man
but in the truth of 
my soul.




What are your holy three? I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Honest Self Love


I, myself, am made up entirely of flaws stitched together with good intentions. ~Augustan Burroughs
I  had the best of intentions
 to compose my piece for today
and have it  posted before I traveled home.
I also had the best of intentions to  
send post cards,
buy trinkets,
and  accomplish lots of writing.
But Mother Nature beckoned me
each misty morning
to walk with her along deserted paths,
and the birds twilled in agreement
as if it were a conspiracy.
Even these delicate fairy bushes
twinkled against the sunrise
as if daring me to not notice their delicate beauty.
So I said, "tomorrow I will write.
Tomorrow it is supposed to rain."




Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Change is in the Air…

Small things

have you ever considered
doing
something just a little differently
nothing
huge
or
overwhelming
just…something different
~
like…
sending a list of gratitude…including all the things you're thankful for…
at Thanksgiving
rather than
the dreaded Christmas “let me bore you with details of our lives since I never have the time or interest to contact you any other time of the year,” letter
~
perhaps
rather than walking by the homeless person with your eyes adverted
consider having a couple of bucks in your wallet for just that reason…and give without judgment…it’s just as much about you as it is them
~
how about
rather than going to the mall AGAIN this weekend
arrange to visit a veteran’s hospital, or convalescent home
take a pen and paper. Take a book. They always need help writing letters and are no doubt, in need of some good reading material
~
could you consider…locating just one local hike…or perhaps your favorite one…and commit to just randomly go some Sunday morning
perhaps…just maybe
walking in Gods museum of creation would be of highest praise
  and…while you are there
would it be possible for you to maybe…take a small trash bag
and fill it
~
small things can change your life…and the world 
What small things can you do to make a change