Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last Day

It was her last day of school yesterday. More importantly, her last day of high school. I thought I would cry, but I didn't.

I was just so excited for her and so excited for me. Changes are ahead whether we want them or not. I'm not too crazy about the ones that mean letting go, but I am looking forward what this means for us.

And I am so very grateful that I was here to see it, to be a part of it and to let her go. Besides, I let her take my car, so I knew she would be back. Plus I have her allowance and she doesn't have a job...yet.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Old Man and the Sea

He walked with a slow shuffle, board in hand, up to the water. Even the thick neoprene wet suit couldn't hide the fact that this surfer was long past his prime. I watched from my blanket on the sand curious about him. From the weathered skin and straightforward trudge forward, it was apparent he wasn't a novice and I wanted to know if the water could give him back the bounce that was now gone.

He didn't stay long in the water. I could be wrong because I got distracted by a bird lady but I never saw him stand up on the board try as he may. So I wondered. Has he just battled an illness or injury? Is time just cruel? Regardless, it was obvious he feels the call of the sea.

If the story I gave him is correct, he has felt it from his days of his youth when he ruled these waters. Back then others would stop and stare at his exuberance and command of the waves. Now those days are long gone. Even if he couldn't stand on the board today, he may be able to do it tomorrow, if even for a second so he'll be back. Because he loves the ride more than he hates being old.

Friday, May 25, 2012


This week's 52 Photos Project theme is "Pink". I had a few things in mind for the photo but the moment I saw this bike chained to a rack I knew this was my shot. It stood out in the crowd of bikes, the perfect shade of pink, highlighted with enough rust to make a girl happy.

Good thing it was chained up or I might have been tempted to take it on a joy ride.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Imagine Light

Almost every day since the beginning of the year, I take a picture of the light. Yesterday as I started my commute was no different. Every time I think, I've had my fill, I go out into the golden hour and I am drawn into it's beauty.

It never fails to make me think of heaven, of Jesus, of what it must be like to be face to face with the Light of the World. I can see why we would fall to our knees in awesome wonder.

Because if the sun brings with it such light and beauty.

Imagine what the Son will be like.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Thankful Hate

I hate that I know the ins and outs of this place.

I hate that I know where the best place to park depending on the time of day I'm here.

I hate that I know where the laboratory, oncology, nuclear medicine and orthopedic departments are located and that I wander the halls without a wide eyed look anymore.

But I am thankful for this experience. I am thankful for the strength that God has given me. I am thankful for the love of my friends and family.

Monday, May 21, 2012

And I Say to Myself, What a Wonderful World

From start to finish, it was a wonderful weekend. Got to spend some time with the newest member of our family.

Oh, so precious!

Got a battery and some film for the K1000 so I'm ready to go back to the 1900's and shoot me some B&W film. I am so excited, but since it cost $20 to develop a roll of film, I'm going to be picky about the photos I take.

Spent some time shopping with my baby girl and as she was heading out for an evening with a friend, she agreed to stop at a nearby reserve for some pictures.

I was even able to get one without her signature smile, which I love, but I also love her serious side. Not the best exposure, but it'll do.

We ended the weekend out in the desert with our favorite little family of three, soon to be four.

He's too little to realize that before the month is over, his world will change, for the better!

I had forgotten that it was the solar eclipse and missed the passing of the sun over the moon, but still got the effect of the most gorgeous sun I had ever seen. It was so bright it was impossible to get a shot with my DSLR.

After dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory, it was time to head home. It was still over a 100 so we did what anyone with a convertible would do, put the top down!

I want to remember the laughter I shared with family, the smell of jasmine as we drove home, the smile of my grandson, and the joy I feel when I'm with my children.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Been having trouble getting all 5 of the items so it's been a few weeks since I've played Scavenger Hunt Sunday. This week I did much better.


A sweet friend of my daughter dropped off some cupcakes for me for Mother's Day. I was even more delighted the next day when I peeled back the wrapper and found a rainbow surprise.


Baby bunnies, is there anything fluffier?


My first couple of attempts at capturing letters were failures. Didn't find anything until today and even then I'm not really happy with it, but here goes... What can I say, it's a Target find.


This was a lovely piece of metal artwork in the desert. I wanted to ride her off into the sunset, but it was too dang hot. I practically melted into the sidewalk taking this picture.


There's an area near where I live that is lined with trees that have the loveliest purple blossoms every spring. I was a little late to capture them in full bloom, but still it gives you an idea of how lovely it feels to drive down the street.

Now it's time to learn how to play along and/or check out the interpretations of the others who participated this week.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

It was one of the nicest Mother's Day I've had. An unexpected bouquet of flowers, a call from my sunny boy,

a picnic at the park with family,

a ride on the carousel, quality time with my baby girl,

and some cupcakes with a sweet note dropped off at my door. Yes, I would say it stands out.

I am truly blessed.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Meet Me at Lifeguard Station #5

This week's 52 photos project theme is "Where We Meet". This is the place that calls to me. This is where I go back to think, to enjoy, to be. Sometimes I take a kindred spirit with me, sometimes I just go on my own. It doesn't matter if it sunny, rainy, cloudy, hot or cold, though I do prefer it during the off season without the crowds that come with the summer. Still, I'm willing to share if need be.

To see where other's meet or to learn more on how to participate in the 52 week challenge, click on the link below!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Random Wednesday

I'm making up Random Wednesday because I feel as if I should write, but I don't have a sense of what to really say. Here goes....

I call her our Lovey Dovey because she has such a sweet nature and she likes to lick to show her love. Brie named her Belle. She came into our life 2 years and 2 months ago. The animal shelter estimated her age to be a year when we got her. By the way she chewed stuff up, they were probably close. She no longer acts like a pup, which is a good thing, but it also makes me sad. 

Took this shot at the preserve across from our church. I love how the road leads to nothing but light. It's like it's headed to heaven. I call it Up the Road Slowly, but if it did lead to heaven, I would be running towards the light.

For my Picture Black and White class, I was supposed to take a picture of repeating patterns. I felt stumped until I saw the curtains as I was getting ready to walk out the door. I know it may seem silly, but I like it.

Dreaming of the beach so I have to satisfy myself with this hazy photo that I took last week. I have to go back soon!

When we went to see my mom's cousin at the car show last week, I loved how Veronica let me take pictures of her freely. Afterwards she told me that it made her feel special.

That's what it's all about!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Without Strings

She wanted a camera for her graduation present. How was I going to say no to that: Ever since she told me that she was sorry that she turned down my offer last year to give her the compact Canon I wasn't using, I've been hoping that she might show some interest in going shooting with me. 

I was excited to buy her a camera, but not for reasons that she probably thinks. True, it would be so sweet to share the love of photography especially with one of my children. To go in search of the lights and shadows. To talk about the aperture and what we think is the perfect exposure. But I get that the last thing we generally want is to be exactly like our mothr. Which is a shame really, because when I think about it, my mom is a giving, loving person and why wouldn't I want to be like her?

But what I want for her is to find something she loves that can fill that place in her that others can't fill. I'm not talking about a replacement for God because without him, I don't think my love of photography would be so meaningful. I have found that with photography. My grandmother found it with her piano. Others may find it in writing, painting, building, running, singing, whatever the case may be. I just want her to have that thing which she can do with others and can also do alone that give her a sense of satisfaction and a sense of commune with God.

I was thinking about this today as I was walking about our neighborhood in search of repeating patterns for a photography class I'm taking. I love how I see the world differently when I have a camera in my hand, looking for things that I may have otherwise missed. 

Like a petal on the ground, right in our own backyard.

I love how things that I once would have frowned upon are suddenly beautiful, like graffiti on a wall.

I love how broken, old ratty objects become interesting artifacts, like an old fence. 

I love how the presence of light makes an ordinary view, extra-ordinary. 

I love how instead of feeling alone in my walk, I am conversing with God, asking him if that's the way he feels when he sees us. Instead of a middle aged woman, walking with an old limp, does he see something else? 

I think he does. I hope he does. 

It makes me wonder, what type of conversations did my grandma have with God as her fingers ran across her piano keys? Did she imagine him listening to the chords as she played songs of worship? I only know that during those times of her life when she felt alone, she could turn to her piano and feel better.

I want that for Brie and for Matt. I think Matt has that with his gaming and his writing. But since she was little, she had a way of turning simple into beauty which makes me think she will have a much much better eye than mine.

So it was with great happiness that I bought her a camera, but without strings, because it is her hopes and dreams that are now to be fulfilled, not mine.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

On the Beach

My love of the beach started when I was a little girl. Often after church, my parents would pack us up and head for the beach. It was likely a form of cheap entertainment. I remember we had a wicker picnic basket that mom would fill with sandwiches or fried chicken and snacks for us. I don' t know how they had the energy to herd four children, picnic baskets, towels, two beach chairs and an ice chest from the car to the beach and back again, but somehow they did.

There was nothing like playing in the water with the waves washing over me, never knowing when one would take me by surprise and knock me off my feet. Every once and a while, one would grab a hold of me and I would come up sputtering, nostrils and mouth filled with salty water, enough so that I would run back to where my mom and dad sat until the sound of the waves would call me back again.

I remember how it never failed that we would hear certain songs, such as Sunny, as we would drive to the beach. I remember the smell of Coppertone that mom would slather on us as we impatiently clamored to get into the water. I remember that we actually had to wait 20 minutes after we ate to get back into the water. I remember the sound of the small planes that would buzz overhead with advertisements trailing behind the tail or writing words into the sky. I remember the sensation of the pull of the sand each time the water would return to sea and how that feeling would still be with me when I would take a shower later that evening.

I still love the beach, but in a different way now. It's been years since a wave has knocked me over and my favorite time to go is on cool, even cloudy days. Days when I know that there will be very few on the beach with me so that I can walk about as I please.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

I was telling a friend of mine that although I come from a Mexican heritage, my family has never celebrated Cinco de Mayo. When I once asked my mom why we never did anything special for May 5th, she responded that September 9th, which is the Mexican independence day, is really more important than Cinco de Mayo so that date is more important to Mexican's.

However, our family has never celebrated Nuevo de Septembre either. I guess that's because we're American's. We always celebrate the 4th of July.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, anyway!!

Let the Sunshine In

Just as soon as April ended and May began, so it seemed that the sun stopped doing its duty. Yes, there were cloudy days and rain in April, but when the rain was gone it would give way to bright, clear blue skies. I was so looking forward to more of the same, but instead for the first few days of May, there was nothing but gray laden skies.

By Wednesday, I had had enough. As soon as I finished work, I headed west to the beach, hoping for a break from the dull, lifeless sky. I wasn't disappointed. As I got closer to the shore, to the east, the skies were still blanketed in a gray haze, but as it was getting ready to drop off the edge of the sea, the sun was breaking through the film of clouds.

There, I found my haven. It was just enough sun to brighten my spirit and yet because it had been cool and cloudy, there were very few people on the beach so it was mine for the taking. In the water were a few surfers enjoying the waves, taking in the last of what the sun had to offer. And sunshine was back in my heart.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Photo Heart Connection| April 2012

April was a very good month for me and my camera. Towards the end of March, I decided that it was time to cool things off with my iPhone camera and start sharpening up my skills again with my DSLR. I was getting lazy, using the excuse that the iPhone allowed me to concentrate on composition. The thought of setting exposure, framing up the shot, downloading pictures exhausted me, but by the end of March I was beginning to feel that if I didn’t make a conscious effort to put down my iPhone and pickup my DSLR, I never would.

I dusted off my camera body, cleaned my lenses and went on several photo walks, falling in love with my camera all over again.

It wasn’t hard to pick my photo for my photo heart connection this month. I took this on a photo walk that I went on with my nephew and daughter in downtown LA a few weeks ago. One minute we were on a trendy street with art galleries and restaurants, the next minute we crossed the street and were standing on the edge of hope and despair.

I was fascinated by the vast difference in scenery from one moment to the next. I stood in the middle of the street to capture the desolate street, strewn with garbage and in some cases, broken dreams and could feel the cold, hardness of life.

My cousin who used to work in that area, told me that while the children and families who live there are often homeless and often victimized, there is still laughter, lots of love and glimpses of hope and possibility. Looking at the picture, I see the stark truth, naked, harsh and, yet, I feel the hope that my cousin wrote of. Hope and a future. I hope you see it too.

Come learn how to participate in the Photo Heart Connection or enjoy the photos from other participants by clicking on the link below.