Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spring Photo Shoot - Part 1

Last Saturday, Nature Girl and I made her annual birthday trek to our own little Eden. This park is her FAVORITE spot on earth (wondering if that comment still holds true after our recent California visit?) We've spent SO many special moments at this park during her 16 yrs. of life. Every time we descend the hill and I spy the stream which winds through the valley, I can so easily call to mind the tiny little blonde girl with the rubber frog boots, grasping a giant net in one hand a large bucket in the other. Eventually she'd be kneeling in the muck, picking frogs, tadpoles, sunfish and salamanders from the banks of the stream. Such a tiny little thing... she always put her precious friends carefully back where she found them, because the thrill was always in the catch and the brief encounter she had with a new friend.

And now she's found a new way of capturing all that nature.

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Spring Photo Shoot - Part 2

More pics from 'Valley Garden Park' (our own little Eden) in the nearby Delaware Valley.

Getting this close to a frog proved to be a challenge. Eventually she just had to catch one and hold it as she photographed it. Don't worry though, he was released shortly after his photo shoot.

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Spring Photo Shoot - Part 3

More pics from 'Valley Garden Park' (our own little eden) in the nearby Delaware Valley.
All these pics are by Nature Girl. I'll have to post some of my best shots at some point.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Post-Vacation Blech, Bluey, Blahs

My current mood can only be chalked up to the reality bitch-slap of not being in California anymore. Sure, the first week home was all about getting back the 3 hours I lost but this second week? Well, it's just kicking my ass with all the mediocrity. Mowing the lawn made me a little happy because I actually expended some energy and I took some pride in beautifying the landscape around the house. Paying the bills made me feel like I'd achieved keeping us out of debtors prison for yet another month. Grocery shopping only made me pleased to have milk on hand again. Today, getting the bathrooms scrubbed down filled me with the glorious joy one feels at not having to stare down shower scum whilst trying to bathe. However, I'm sorry to say that none of these tasks bring me even an ounce of the pleasure I felt in California... Even as I sat waiting for numerous traffic lights to change.Don't be fooled, it's a rare occasion that even ONE traffic light is green, let alone ALL of them.

And what am I going to do if I need Liquor & Clothes at the same time?

"Hello" Liquor - Long Beach, California

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Monday, April 27, 2009

From the Humor Dept.

As it pertains to blogging, I'm always in love with a NEW idea and this one just tickles my funny bone:

And since my son is closing in on 6' 2" and much to my dismay, can comfortably rest his chin on the top of my head, I dedicate the following post to him.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bleery Eyed Conversation @ 4:45am

Moi: *knowing we went to bed without power I awaken to the blinking alarm clock which has ab-so-freakin-lutely NO idea what the current time is*

Husband: *hears me struggling with my tiny flashlight in order to find the current time on the wrist-watch I left on my nightstand* "You don't need to look, it's 4:40am"

Moi: "And how can you know that for sure?"

Husband: "I just do."

Moi: *not trusting husband still attempts to read wrist-watch, even while foggy in the head* "Um, not it's not, it's only 4:10." (Didn't know I was holding watch upside down at the time.)

Husband: "You're wrong."

Moi: *trying and failing to set the correct time on the alarm clock, which intermittently starts playing the radio*

Husband: "What are you doing? I've got 15 min. of sleep left and you're setting the alarm clock?"

Moi: "No you don't, it's only 4:10!"

Husband: "Take a look at your watch again."

Moi: *finds tiny flashlight and wrist-watch and attempts to read the time again, whilst brain continues to fight to engage* "Hey, it's ONLY 2:42!"

Husband: "No honey, believe me, it's 4:42."

Moi: "You're wrong."

Husband: "No, you're wrong!"

Moi: "What, you think because the birds are singing a certain song, you can just GUESS what time it is?"

Husband: "No, I KNOW what time it is!"

Moi: "Well my watch says 2:45, so your wrong!" *with mostly disengaged brain I pick up the phone to assess the time, but for some reason I can't get the phone to show the time*

Husband: "What, are you doing now?"

Moi: "I'm going to PROVE to you it's ONLY 2:45!"

Husband: "Oh, O-kaaaay!"

Moi: *realizing the bedside phone isn't going to show me the time, I heave my addled brain and tired body out of bed*

Husband: "Where are you going now?"

Moi: "To get my cell phone downstairs, THAT will tell me the correct time!"

Husband: "But I already TOLD you the correct time."

Moi: *stumbles downstairs, fishes through purse, finds cell phone, engages it, only to find the time posted as 4:50am, stumbles back upstairs*

Husband: "So what did your cell phone tell you?"

Moi: *completely confused, picks up tiny flashlight and points it at wrist-watch again* muttering... "What the hell is wrong with my watch? Did the battery die? No, the seconds hand is still moving? I don't understand?"

Husband: "Perhaps you still have it set for California time?"

Moi: "OH Yeah.... SHIT!" *Coming more fully awake now I begin to realize I wasn't even reading the watch correctly, it was in fact 1:52 am (stupid watch with no numbers and just lines)*

Husband: *feeling all superior* "See, I told you... Now there's 15 min. of my sleep I'll never get back."

Moi: "HEY! Where's my pillow?"

Husband: *snickers*

Because my brain came fully awake by 5:00 am (well as fully awake as it gets), I went back downstairs and made my husband breakfast... Ya know, because I felt bad about that 15 min. of lost sleep... I also finished a book I was reading. My brain is now mostly engaged on just 4 and half hours of sleep... It's gonna be a long day.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Top 10 Signs - You're No Longer Liviing In A Hotel Room

  1. Several hours after leaving your room, your bed is STILL unmade.
  2. The bathroom towels are on the floor right where you left them.
  3. The toilet paper ends aren't folded into neat little triangles.
  4. There are only 3 tiny sheets of toilet paper left on the roll and not a replacement roll in sight.
  5. No mini fridge.
  6. No ice bucket in your room.
  7. No balcony off your bedroom.
  8. Day 3 and no one has scrubbed out the shower.
  9. There aren't any tiny little bottles of shampoo, conditioner or lotion on your bathroom counter.
  10. Your television viewing isn't interrupted by the sounds of fornicating on the other side of your bedroom wall. (It only happened once but when you're sitting next to your daughter who says, "Is that what I think it is?" you want to crawl into a hole and die of embarrassment.)

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Monday, April 20, 2009

The Hill.... duh-Duh-DUH!

Before I begin I just wanted to say, we're home and extremely jet-lagged. Yesterday, I was merely tired... Today, I'm exhausted! And may I just say that nothing adds insult to injury more than leaving beautiful sunny California and coming home to windy, rainy, cold, weather misery.

When I was young we lived on a hill, not a hill really, more like a mountain but we always referred to it as 'The Hill'... Which heretofore will be accented by the ominous follow on of duh-Duh-DUH! (I'd add a cymbal crash to the end of that but I that might be a little obsessive... but feel free to add the cymbal crash if you like.) Belive me, the music IS appropriate because 'The Hill... duh-Duh-DUH!' is a winding mile of despair, especially when you have to walk it every weekday throughout the school year because the high school you attend is neatly tucked away at the very bottom of 'The Hill... duh-Duh-DUH!'

While in California my sister and I decided to drive up to the old valley where we grew up, she in her car with her kids, I in my rental car with mine. I've often told my kids about the horrible walk home from high school I had to endure every day and how sometimes (just because she was SO evil) my step-mother would drive past my sister and I as we trudged up the hill with our heavy load of books, and she'd laugh and wave and pass us right by as she headed for home. She really was a bitch but her butt was FAR wider for never having to climb 'The Hill... duh-Duh-DUH!

My sister and I wanted to drive by the old house where we grew up and see if it had changed (IT DID! Big time! and the LONG cul-de-sac we lived on? SO incredibly short!... You know, when you're on roller skates a street can seem SO much bigger.) As we approached 'The Hill... duh-Duh-DUH!' I once again began telling the story to my kids and pointing out the high school. I dutifully stopped at the stop sign at the bottom of 'The Hill... duh-Duh-DUH!' and began the climb (fortunate to be doing so in a rental car.) As we advanced to the first bend my daughter (riding in the front seat) looked over at me and smugly said, "What? This isn't so bad." I said nothing as we rounded the bend to the next part of the ascent. Chagrined, she looked over and said, "Oh, there's more isn't there?" I said nothing and just smirked as the car automatically shifted into the next gear as we rounded the next bend. At this point the grade of 'The Hill... duh-Duh-DUH!' becomes MUCH steeper and as we rounded the next bend my daughter looked up and said in a 'You've got to be kidding me' manner.... "OH COME ON?"

Both of my kids have a new found respect for me and I think, just might, take me a bit more seriously when I tell them they don't know how good they have it.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

California Vacation - An Afternoon in the Park

It's cold in California... Sunny yes, but COLD! Okay, maybe we're getting spoiled because my husband tells me the temp at home is dropping to 34 degrees tonight and it's done nothing but rain since we left. So maybe I shouldn't complain that it got down to 62 degrees here with a chilly, brisk spring wind.

Anyway, after a WONDERFUL lunch out today at 'The Lazy Dog Cafe' we drove over to the park near my sisters house. What a lucky gal she is to have such a beautiful park within walking distance of her home. Here are some pics 'Nature Girl' took today.



Creepy Crawly Caterpillar

Entrance to the Hummingbird Garden

Hummingbird at rest.

Okay, I know I'm her mom and as a mom it's my prerogative to brag and all but I don't think it's possible to gush enough about these next shots... Is she amazing, or what?

All Photos by: Nature Girl

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Kanan Canyon - Taking the Scenic Route

Today has been the first 'quiet' day of our visit. Computer Boy went into Fox Studios with my brother-in-law who makes his living as a sound engineer. If your interested, you can find his filmography here (my brother-in-law, not Computer Boy), so the next time you go to the movies and you're sitting around watching the credits roll, when you see his name scroll up, you can give out a little cheer... We always do (usually confuses the hell out of the people left in the theatre.)

As for my daughter and I, we laid low and visited with my sister and enjoyed catching up with my dad, who came into town today. My niece and nephew have also warmed up to me so I had a lot of fun playing games and enjoying hugs.... Ahhhhh, family time, makes me SO happy!

Here are some pics Nature Girl took yesterday, which was one of the BEST DAYS EVER!
As I mentioned before, we traveled out to Thousand Oaks but I decided to cut through Kanan Canyon which empties out at Malibu Beach directly onto PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy), to make our way back to Huntington Beach. I have never seen so many flowers blooming in the canyons before and the trip down the coast was breathtaking. Here are some shots from our adventure:

Kanan Canyon

An overcast afternoon in Malibu.

We weren't the only ones enjoying the spectacular view.

Palos Verdes Cliff Dwellers.

Watching our step... Carefully!

Edith & Kathy, new friends we met along our adventure. These lucky ladies live in this area.

Long Beach, Nature Girl said this looked just like 'Need for Speed'

Getting the 'Green' light! No wonder it takes SO long to get anywhere around here, there are nearly as many traffic lights as their are cars.

Another Sunset... These never get boring.

All Photos by: Nature Girl

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cuteness Overload

Aside from the frantic 20 minutes I spent this morning, thinking I'd lost the keys to the rental car... Today, would have to rank right up there with one of my all time Greatest Days.

Nature Girl and I drove to Thousand Oaks where I spent time catching up with my dear friend Michele, who gave birth to twins just 2 weeks ago. I've known Michele since I was 7 yrs. old and she was 5. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to photograph her 3 yr. old AND two of the tiniest, most adorable little cutie pies. I mean seriously, couldn't you just eat them up?

I'll try to post more pics by Nature Girl tomorrow but tonight I'm having a bitch of a time trying to keep a connection and my frustration level, equaled with my exhaustion, is pushing me to the point that I can't even describe... because it's getting far too difficult to form a single coherent sentence... So tomorrow... I promise.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Another Sunset

Blossoms in the sand.

Mother & Daughter shadows at sunset.

Hide n' seek behind a palm

Photos by: Nature Girl

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Scenes on Main St.

Lamborghini? Of course... Too bad she missed getting a shot of the Lotus that quickly passed us.

This little guy had himself a bath while we relaxed by a fountain.

When people look like their dogs... Or is it when dogs look like their people?

Photos by: Nature Girl

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The Posing Pelican

Today we drove over to Main St. and the Huntington Pier.
As we made our way down the pier we ran into this guy who was quite busy posing for a crowd brandishing cell-phones. He seemed thrilled with all the attention and pulled out all his best moves for Nature Girl. She took several pics but I'm having a bitch of a time trying to load onto blogger (thanks blogger, thanks a LOT!)

Work it Pelican, Work it!

Pulling in for a close up.

When your subject flies away, it's a pretty good indication the photo shoot is over.

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Portrait of a Young Photographer

Thanks so much to all of you for your positive comments. Nature Girl finds the feedback VERY encouraging. Here's a pic I snapped of her last night on the beach. Sorry, it's a bit blurry... At this point we were really losing light... I know, excuses... excuses.

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Sunset Silhouettes

Great joy can be found on a sand dune at sunset.

Photos by: Nature Girl
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