Sea Blue Lens


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The Last {In the Picture} Show

In The Picture

We’ve come to the end of our year-long self-portrait project, {In the Picture}. I have to say that I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking with it for the entire year. I knew this would be a year of change for me, and I really wanted to document it in some way.

As one who is usually taking the photographs, I’m not often seen in them. It’s been a change to put myself in front of the lens, and even more challenging to learn to look at the results objectively. It has definitely been a growing experience, and one that I’ve enjoyed much more than I expected to.

In addition to learning to see and appreciate myself in new ways, I’ve loved being able to see my fellow photographers on this journey. I love having faces to put with the personalities that I’ve come to know through your photography, art, and writing. I’ve been moved and inspired by the honesty, courage, and creativity with which you have revealed yourselves not just physically but emotionally.

Our optional theme for the month of December was “celebrate.” 

Happy Birthday Girl

Celebrating Myself!

I’m one of those lucky people who have a close-to-Christmas birthday. In honor of the occasion, my sister and brother-in-law took me on a day trip over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house . . . oops, wrong story. Actually, we went to Little India in Cerritos for some delicious Indian food, which I love.

We drove over the Angeles Forest and Angeles Crest highways and the views were amazing. The devastation of the wildfires two years ago is heart-breakingly evident, but the regrowth of vegetation is encouraging. The weather looked frightful but wasn’t, and really added to the drama of the scenery. In reality I’m just holding my camera here, but I like to think my arms are outstretched to embrace all the beauty around me and whatever the next year will bring.

Celebrating Memories

Celebrating Memories Past

Next came Christmas. You knew there had to be birds on my tree, right? One of the things I love about all our family’s Christmas trees is that each ornament brings back the memory of a time, place, person, or event. I have ornaments going back to my kids’ first Christmases.

The goldfinch is from a favorite place in Maine where my daughter and I vacationed several times. The little crystal bird is new this year and stands in for all the new birds I’ve discovered here at my new home. And that tiny angel was a gift from a dear friend and her small son a few years ago.

Celebrating Memories To Come

Celebrating Memories Future

I raise my glass to all of you! I hope you have been able to celebrate whichever holidays you observe at this time of year with love, joy, and hope for tomorrow.  My wish for every one of us is a happy, healthy, creative, and prosperous New Year.

Come to our final linky party and celebrate with us! Once again, many thanks for Christy’s inspirational lead in hosting {In the Picture} all year long. It’s been a rewarding journey.


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Nearing the Finish Line

This is the next-to-last month of the {In the Picture} project for 2012. Our theme for November was “I am thankful.” The image below is one of those that is worth the proverbial thousand words.

Picture of Contentment

Picture of Contentment

I know how very fortunate I am, and I truly am thankful for all the riches in my life. They’re not monetary riches. But I have enough for my needs, as well as a beautiful home, friends and family who love me, an abundance of interests to pursue, and the health to be able to enjoy all of these things.

This is my first fire of the season, and, in fact, my first fire in my very own fireplace . . . which is the fulfillment of a dream. I experimented with adding a couple of Kim Klassen’s textures to this image. The effect is pretty subtle, but it does make a difference, and it was fun to play with.

I’m also thankful for Christy at Urban Muser for hosting this self-portrait project all year. I had really wanted to do one for myself, but I know I would have fallen by the wayside long ago if it hadn’t been for this monthly linkup. It’s been a challenging and fun instrument of growth in my life. Thanks, Christy!

Come check out the November Linky Party!


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Thankful

Home Sweet Home

Everything is new this year, but some traditions go on, like watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. Honestly, I don’t know why I do it, because I don’t even like it that much. But it’s been tradition ever since we got our first television when I was a child.

Back in the day, the parade was broadcast live, so if you lived in the Pacific time zone, you had to get up awfully early to see it. Dad, who worked a graveyard shift, would wake us up when he got home from work at six a.m.  Frankly, I’d rather have stayed in my nice warm bed, but the parade was not optional.

By the time I had my own family, the tradition was well-entrenched, but we had added our own little touches, like drinking eggnog while we sat in front of the TV. Later, after I moved eastward to Ohio and then to Maine, the parade came on at 9:00, a much more acceptable hour. My adult daughter and I would still watch it together in our pajamas (another tradition!) while drinking eggnog.

One year we discovered the National Dog Show on TV following the parade, and that became a new part of our Thanksgiving day ritual, one we enjoy more than the parade itself. This year we’re a continent (and three time-zone hours) apart, but we’re both watching the parade and dog show in our pajamas. She had eggnog. I forgot it. Oh, well.

I have so much to be thankful for this year! A new home, a whole new life. New traditions. I’m grateful for old friends and being able to keep in touch, and for my online friends who have moved right along with me and are just as close no matter where I live.

This morning, I lit candles on my hearth and watched the Macy’s Parade while talking to my daughter on the phone. I’m looking forward to sharing a feast with my sister and her husband and their closest friends later today. Life is good and I am blessed.

I hope today is a good one for all of you, my friends. Happy Thanksgiving!