xoxo, me

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Colorado, United States

Friday, July 26, 2013

Oh Deer...

When I take a second to plan for my walk (i.e., choosing the correct camera and lens) the results sometimes pay off.  I still can't find my spare battery for my Canon or my iPod, but that's another story.

Stormy skies (or the aftermath of stormy skies) - 10-20mm wide angle.

Feeling funky and fun ~ Lensbaby Scout and Fisheye op

But on most - since I try and hit the trail quite early - the 70-300mm w/a double image stabilizer - a lens I never would have bought for myself (the Mister can be quite generous) is usually a good choice. Because that's when the wildlife is about and in full wake up and grab some breakfast mode.  The timing (and the lens choice) did not fail me this morning.

I found this little girl

And then she found me and said, "I'm outta' here!"

But the best find was this trio ~ Mama and her twin Bambis.

She was a good Mama.  It didn't take her long to spot me.

The she was like, "We're outta' here, kids!"

"Come on!"

Exit Stage Left!

I said Left!

Sigh... Rebels - they were kicking up their little Bambi heels like gazelles!

I assure you ~ it was worth getting sand in my Keens. :)

And on a closing note... I've been inspired to start carrying "The Duck o' the Day" with me on my hikes again. (Rather than every shot being at dinner with a glass of wine. They enjoy nature, too.) It's a little challenge I like to give myself to find the most interesting backdrops/bokey. I've had a few printed on canvas wraps and oh my... I've created a monster (myself).  I see a whole new market opening up ~ baby nurseries, toddler's rooms/baths, people who won't grow up and have big houses... *wink*

So Water Baby and I did a little trial run on the trail this morning.

Oh hang on to your qwackers.. there will be more to come over the days and weeks!  

It feels good to back where I belong.  In nature.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


It's one of those mornings that make me yearn for Fall. When temperatures started spiking near 100 degrees in May I knew that by July I would be so over summer. And, sure enough, I am. But we have a good six weeks of hot temperatures to go before things finally start calming down a little around mid-September.

But with temperatures in the 60's this morning I knew it was time to don the Keens and hit the trail again.  Checking the sky before I jumped in the Jeep I deemed it a wide angle morning; an overnight rain had made for dramatic skies.

And who knows ~ maybe it's the Fall-like weather... maybe it's my health issues... maybe it's life and all the ups and downs... maybe it's feeling my mortality ~ but like the tiny teardrops of rain that fell around me I let emotion wash over me.

"And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through,
how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact,
whether the storm is really over.
but one thing is certain.
When you come out of the storm
you won't be the same person who walked in."

I guess there's nothing quite like hearing "The reason for the procedure is to rule out cancer."  And then a week later to hear, "Well, there wasn't cancer there but..." 

The saga continues; the book isn't finished. I'm missing loved ones; but am so grateful for those near me who show me so often that they care.  Not just about this roller coaster of health; but about life in general.  How fleeting it is ~ how it's not a dress rehearsal ~ life is short ~ all those cliches that suddenly ring true. 

"The trouble is -
you think you have time."

Staying positive is essential; but as friends have reminded me, it's ok to shed a tear now and then.  It's even healthy.


"On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure,
I like to remind myself that my track record for getting thru
bad days so far is 100%.
And that's pretty good."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

And on a Lighter Note...

A few chuckles for you to go with your Wednesday wine...

You're welcome. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Counting Chickens

So yeah. If you're my Facebook friend (and I can't really imagine anyone who reads this that isn't) you know that I had good news yesterday (finally) re: the biopsy I had eight days ago.  Emotions were running high in my house - first because I had to wait seven days to get the results due to some major miscommunication between my doctor's office and me - and then pure joy because the biopsy results were good.  I finally got the good word (no malignancies, no Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in that nodule) from the clinic where the biopsy took place so it was a mixture of happiness and frustration.

When I finally did speak to my regular nurse this morning I learned that perhaps my joyous celebration may have been just a tad premature. Yes the biopsy results were good. However there are still things going on in my neck (other than holding my head up) that need monitoring. There will be more tests and Specialists. So maybe I was a little naïve to think the saga was over. 

So there ya' go. Don't count chickens and put carts ahead of horses and all that.

That being said, I can't live my life waiting for the other shoe to drop (I'm just full of cliches tonight, aren't I?). Because the shoe will either stay on my foot or drop.

So back to work, back to life.  I've friends to meet, shows to see, laughter to laugh, Whee Ones to create and Christmas is in three days.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Delicious Distractions

I'm fairly organized so looking ahead and knowing that this weekend I would either feel like celebrating or feel like being distracted (sadly it's fallen into the black hole of WTF??) ~ I'm glad we had plans for Friday night.

We love to laugh so we're always up for Comedy Works and there's a nice one not far from us.  Bonus points for making dinner reservations at Lucy Restaurant for a delish dinner before the show.  (If you're lucky Lucy the dog - who owns the restaurant... will saunter thru.)  Dine before the show and you're treated like royalty - both during dinner and at the show. Sherri was really cute; I like comedians who can make you laugh just talking about every day things in life (Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen come to mind, too).

really sinful waffle fries

And The Mister's Sesame Seed Ahi Tuna

Saturday found us at Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria for an early dinner.

Home made burrato (mozzarella wrapped ricotta cheese)

Followed by 

I missed The Mister's pizza but it looked quite yum.

From there it was off to the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield State Park to spend a crazy fun evening under the stars with Steve Martin, Edie Brickell and the Steep Canyon Rangers. They did not disappoint. Even though bluegrass isn't at the top of my list music genre-wise ~ you can't listen to this music and not tap a toe or quell a smile. And it just made me happy.  Happy is a good place to live.

And how nice of them to sign our CD.  They say "Hey" btw.  

And on a side note - that Edie Brickell (aka Mrs. Paul Simon) - absolutely charming.  I love her!  The Mister recalled a quote of hers I had posted in a previous post. When asked if her husband influenced her music:

"Asking someone to help you create is like asking someone to salt your food ~~ it has to be to your taste."  *Edie Brickell*

And if you are 100 years old like me you smile when you think of the other famous Steve and Eydie.   

Although we are veterans of summer concerts at the city-based main location of the Denver Botanic Gardens this was our first visit to the State Park venue. It is beautiful - we sat on a large groomed lawn with about a thousand or two of our friends ~ a big stage looming to the west and the foothills in the distance as your back drop.

I used to be one of those crazy people clammering to get as close as I could to the stage ~ gotta' get the money shot!  But you just never know when you're going to get busted for being a "professional photographer" (anyone with a DSLR and anything other than a kit lens is sometimes deemed thus) ~ and after a few years and many concerts, I decided there is something to be said for being in the moment.  
And not stuck behind a lens missing the moment. 
So this is my crappy cell phone shot. 

My crappy cell phone shot of an [almost] full moon rising
and the thunderheads building on the eastern plains

Which reminds me of a couple of funny lines Steve shared:
"We are so happy to be performing here tonight for you and your cell phones."

And when the winds picked up at sunset (as they will in the foothills particularly) and the 500 lb speakers on either side of the stage started swaying dangerously from their hangers, Steve looked rather nervously (we had binoculars) at one of the stage hands and said, "Should we be worried, Mr. Speaker Man?"  A pause.  "Wait. I see one thumb up. Can I get two?"
(It was incredibly windy for about 15 minutes.  We discovered when we returned home - waaaaaay east of the concert venue - that our neighborhood had been under a tornado warning - sirens and everything. Simba and A-choo slept right thru it.)

So, since we've become - like - (I'm channeling my innner 12 year old) event addicts ~ coming up next Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna in August and a return to Lucy Restaurant and Comedy Works in September for one of our favorite guys Weeds' -  Kevin Nealon.

So take that biopsy results - whatever they may be!!  Bring it.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tick Tock. Tick Tock. Tick Tock...

The Universe must think I am an incredibly slow learner.  Waiting a week for biopsy results is crazy. And a test of my patience. And a test of my ability to handle stress. And a test of my wild imagination. And a test of my sense of humor. 

If you should ever find yourself in a similar situation, here are 21 things to do while waiting to see if you have cancer:

  1. Rearrange your house.
  2. See a comedy show.
  3. See Steve Martin in concert.
  4. Take your dog to the Vet for a mani-pedi.
  5. Eat some wickedly fattening Mexican food.
  6. Take a very long walk in nature very early in the morning.
  7. Create something. Anything.
  8. Back to that eating thing... ice cream. Lots of it. Within reason.
  9. Purge your closet. And just about every other part of your house.
  10. Alphabetize the DVD movies you never watch anymore.
  11. Trim your rose bushes.
  12. Do a little retail therapy. Within reason. Or not.
  13. Ok, maybe I'm a little obsessed with the food thing - but make a homemade pizza. With lots of cheese.
  14. Laugh. Because what choice do you have?
  15. Spend time with an old friend. And laugh. A lot.
  16. Stay positive. (Ok, that one's wearing a little thin.)
  17. Remember and appreciate how lucky you are to have loving support from friends and family - and especially from that one special guy who is just as nervous as you are. 
  18. Make plans for the future - vacations, more comedy shows, more concerts, plays... anything.
  19. Stop worrying about your weight. It may turn out to be totally irrelevant. And the least of your problems.
  20. Drink the good champagne. Within reason. Or not.
  21. Calm the hell down. You're not in control of this one...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

You've Gotta' Laugh a Little...

The waiting game is still on but after a conversation with my nurse made me laugh this afternoon, I'm handling it with humour. At least for today.

(When telling my nurse that waiting sucked, he said, "I know. But try to relax. Just go have a beer or something.")

I can't take credit for any of these quotes - but the images are mine - and the quotes have made me laugh more than once. 

There.  I feel better. Hope you had a chuckle, too. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Random Thoughts..

Random thoughts in the last 24 hours...

And so it goes...

(I told you they were random.)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Birds on the Brain

Life has been really busy lately and that's a good thing. Keeping my mind and ol' body busy is crucial right now.

I've moved into my new studio space (aka the loft in our house). It will take weeks to finally get things properly set up but it will be worth it. As I'm doing mindless things like sorting fabric by color (OCD, remember? But how does anyone find anything if you don't sort by color?) ~ I get fun ideas for new projects.  Stay tuned. :)

My new space is twice the size of my old studio and I have a new view. I am lucky that not only do we look out on a beautiful green space, but our neighbors have a deck that could double as a lovely little seaside cafe. Well, it could if we had a sea in my backyard.

My good luck buddies - made of marble or something equally as heavy.
Remember - I design and make things for kids.
This is a whimsical place. 

I have to start keeping my telephoto lens next to me at all times, too. A beautiful hawk glides by my window at least once a day.  I just hope he's not cruising for burgers (or finches as it were) at my birdfeeder...

In lieu of capturing a hawk just yet, I found this lovely little painted canvas of other birds of a feather. I just love it. It now hangs above my desk and makes me crazy happy. 

One of these days I'll paint that wall a brilliant color.

And speaking of birds... I returned to the park this morning - I don't go there on a holiday weekends.  So this morning things were back to normal ~ just me and the wind.

And my shiny Canon 40D freshly cleaned and spruced up by the camera professionals at Mike's Camera.  

Holy moly what a difference.  
Not only is my sensor crystal clear and clean
but my longer lenses that used to fish for focus
despite both having IS (one of them has double IS!)
are spot on focusing now!

These little birds go so crazy at dawn I just shoot into the masses and see what comes up.

Sometimes they even sit still

And these two 

finally got it together

So in case I forget, remind me not to wait 6 years before having my camera properly serviced again. I'm in love with my little ol' Canon again!