Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011

2011 is on her way out...

But before she goes
I want to remember the best of what she brought...
the healthy and joyful arrivals of 
Ayden and Kaitlyn

Getting to be present for Kaitlyn's birth was THE highlight of my year
Frosting on the cake

All the special moments with family
All the public and private moments that make me full of 

All the special experiences
nature and at my beloved writer's retreat
at The Porches
(Where my blogging journey began) 

new additions
friendships old and new
looking over the year I have 
a great big smile
a full heart
Thank you
all of you
in my ever widening circle of
family, friends, writers, bloggers, artists
have made my year complete!

Friday, December 30, 2011


Simplicity is the removal of the useless and the unnecessary--source unknown

Yesterday a dear blogger goddess
sent me "The Simple Living Pledge" to consider 
for the new year...
Her timing was PERFECT
as once again
I had over committed
The Simple Living Pledge

I pledge to live a simple life through: - decluttering; - using less; - learning to be sustainable in all aspects of life; - slowing down and finding joy in little things; - reconnecting with my inner self; - spending more time with my loved ones; - elevating experiences above possessions.
(And for me I'm adding...)
Letting go of the burden of "obligation"
Go here to read more and to take the pledge
I don't know about you
but obligation is encoded in my DNA
a reflexive response to any request
with a hearty,
 "Sure, that would be great!"
 "No Problem!" 
"I'd love to!"
Then either immediately
or when the 'event' arrives
I'm standing there scratching my head saying
Come on admit it...
I KNOW I am not the only one does this
So this new year
along with
I am adding

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What the heck...

This is what I feel like when I over commit
and that is what I have done
said yes too many times without thinking
have you ever done that? 
Don't you just hate it?
I was just reminded yesterday by my daughter that I was 
coming up for a visit next week
I had totally forgotten!
Now I have to either suck it up
or hurt someone's feelings
and THAT I just can't stand
So between now and New Years
I have two dinner parties 
one photo shoot
go to the movies with friends
a birthday celebration
finish the twelve days of Christmas
prepare for a trip next week
plus my normal forty hour a week job
Riiiiiight I mutter...

What would make me happy would be to
go to the birthday celebration
 do the photo shoot
get the last bits off the the grandkids
Note to self:
ALSO considering all the LIFE that might happen
between now and then. 
I will get through it though
I always do
A little battered and brain dead
Just another thing to add to my 
2012 Manifesto
Have you started yours yet?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The day after the day after....

came and went



low key
for the most part
Except for a
slight malfunction with the plumbing
(so we had no use of water in the front part of the house)
NO WAY were we going to call a plumber on Christmas day!
no problem
 we skipped Christmas dinner (and the associated mess and hassle)
and just did snacky finger foods 
which was GREAT! 
We went for a walk on the beach

which was perfect
warm sunshine
salty air
tumbling surf

calm baby
happy parents

happy dog!

When we got home
we picked some fresh oranges

 added some  champagne

and just chilled.

As the day fades into the past
I will remember it as a day
where we
Chatted, napped, read, nibbled, shared gifts 
that were personal, useful, creative
A day that was 
and full of ease (despite the glitch in plans)
all because of my darling family
Pretty much perfect.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Looking forward to tomorrow...

I will miss this
when the grand kids look outside 
to see 
if the reindeer ate the carrots and oatmeal
left as a tasty snack
I will miss reading the letters 
to and from Santa
the noise
and excitement
Tomorrow will be fun
for a different reason

Tomorrow is Kaitlyn's 
first Christmas and she is a riotous celebration unto herself
Here's wishing everyone
a fun filled Night before Christmas
may all the last little details be finished with ease
and joy

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Star...

will have
no star atop my tree
I hold a star from the sea
I feel
 it nudge my hand
"remember me"
and then
I place it gently back
  a star held me

will not have
tinsel and lights 
strung from the branches 
of the Christmas tree
no bulbs and bobbles
I will witness the twinkle 
the dew and lace nature
strung to catch the early morning light

My gifts
heart felt

It's time
to "re-member" 
the precious presents
the day to day moments we take for granted
family, friends, health, generosity, good will, warm homes, soft beds
Wishing all the most joyous, fulfilling, peaceful, inspiring, genuine and precious celebration
of life

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let it Snow....

Southern California is nice an all
Christmas just isn't the same without snow
tree lights
hot cocoa
wrapping gifts
a fire
bulky sweaters
even Christmas music
are not the same 
that good ole mood maker
There is an intimacy 
a coziness
and warmth
to looking out the window 
and watching snow fall
There is something to be said for
The Four Seasons
(and I don't mean the resort)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


This photograph would be considered unremarkable by many standards
the lighting, subject, porportion -- off
nothing really "pops" 
No WOW factor
But in reality
it is sunset at the beach
and that alone makes it remarkable
Today is
the winter's solstice
the shortest day of the year for us 
here in the Northern Hemisphere
It is a day of celebration when
the light and warmth of the sun seems
most distant
It is a time to slow way down 
as in
slowly piece back together
the essence of who we are
what truely matters
things like
these things aren't dependent on
disposible income
spiritual orientation
they are dependent on
each and every one of us to
reconize and exercise our will power 
appreciate and expand our privilidge as human beings
(the evolved species)
 conciously decovering 
and then
deciding to contribute what makes us unique
Like the sunset
we have the WOW factor
simply by being
 being  human we get 
to choose 
how we experience the world

Monday, December 19, 2011


I LOVE this young artist...
since a friend and I are taking an art class in the new year
I thought it fitting
to share the questions
that led to the decision
to say YES

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Flying high...

 This his how I felt once I decided to skip 
the holiday madness

 a lightness of being
as if lifted from the fray
of insanity that accompanies obligation

free of guilt
for not 
following the norm

My spirit took flight

today I could go to the bird sanctuary
rather than 
to the mall

 hushed whispers of wings and air
 cool morning twilight
 aware of 
the delicate balance required
to see from another perspective

what is important

in an instant
I was transported 
to a place of 
tranquil calm
I am not alone 
but rather surrounded by a
powerful and profound reality of the infinite

birds don't care about the holidays
they care about fresh water
healthy food sources
a place of refuge 
to sleep, mate
raise their young
Their wants and needs
are simple

How is it our feathered friends 
have a more balanced perspective 
on how to celebrate the glory
of the All Mighty?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

It'll be our little secret...

I made an executive decision
I won't be "doin" Christmas this year
No tree
No baking
No Christmas cards
No standing in lines
No extra VISA bills
No presents for the sake of getting presents
It's like Christmas and I are 'breaking up' 
Something else has caught my eye
Not ONE person I know needs any more
So I will give the 
Twelve Days of Christmas 
to the grand kids
(since I already had that) 
and I will donate what 
I could have spent on "the holiday" to 
the USE-LESS water project

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Little Ayden...

This is my last night with little Ayden 
so today while mom and dad were out
we did a little photo shoot 

And I am wondering while I am taking the pictures 
if there is a way to embed a Nana's love in a photograph

I am wondering if
when these little eyes look at me
she knows 
just how much I love her

I never thought there would be anything more powerful than a mother's love
I am here to tell you that nothing compares to the love that 
experience, distance, time, and wisdom harvests

It is like these little babies arrive like a drink of water to a wilting flower
giving me the elusive hope and fortitude to carry on

There is a twinkle in her eyes
her smile is infectious
her laugh contagious
her trust fully and completely intact

Do you remember when your trust was full and undiluted? 
Would you not just give everything to feel so completely
and in awe of the world

Are they not the reason for the season,
to celebrate
the joy and wonder in the most simple of things the world has to offer?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


This is what I open my eyes to if I don't make sure my door is closed when I go to bed

Achillies LOVES to play fetch
He has no shame
he will play with ANY one

and I am a sucker
because I can't say NO
He will sit and look at me 
for hours
patiently waiting

I mean seriously
Could you say no to that face?

Monday, December 12, 2011

While the Who's lay a snooze in their town...

Doesn't it look like it is out of the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Every year they find a different way to string the lights

The whole village is covered with pin pricks of light
hundreds of trees
it is like walking through a fairy land

I'm not well versed in night photography
No tripod
Hands shaking
No clue on shutter speed

just a girl wondering around the village at 6:00 a.m.
lucky I wasn't arrested
no woman in her right mind would be out  at the hour
with the temperature way below freezing

but I just couldn't resist the urge to
take a intimate walk in the village
without the crowds and cars
Just me and my camera
and the stillness and magic
of darkness and lights
in a village that slumbers