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Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

This made me laugh.

(Maybe because I live in Orange County?)

I hope it brings a smile to your face too!


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As October Ends …

I’m turning 24 (twenty four!!) AGAIN on Sunday.

Can you believe Sunday will be November 2nd?

Where does time go?

I don’t have any big birthday plans.

Fred The Puppy was supposed to be my birthday present … oh well!

(And now, today, I have to have a girly-procedure done.  I don’t expect it to be a big deal, but I’ve been told I should rest through the weekend.  Boo!  Hiss!)

I thought you might like a peek at what October is like in Orange County.

Hint:  It’s pretty much perfect summer weather, but without Orange County’s summer morning beach fog.

This first photo was taken in Laguna Beach … a stairway to the beach.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

The next photo was taken in Corona Del Mar which is a neighborhood in Newport Beach.

There’s a well known spot called Inspiration Point and this is the ramp leading down to it.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Isn’t it beautiful?

I love October.

We desperately need rain, and I hope we get some.

But, I know, November will offer up a lot of beautiful days and evenings.

California sunsets, like the one pictured below, only seem to get better as we approach winter.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

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A Little of This, A Little of …

Wow – where did October go?

•  I decided to do physical therapy all by myself on Monday night.  I thought it would be a good idea because I’m not going to be seeing Paul Newman this week.  I texted him afterward because I was very proud of myself.  I don’t think he was at all impressed.  In fact, he told me not to hurt myself.  (So little faith in my pt abilities!!)   Um …?  His warning might have come a little too late.  I suppose my make-believe masters degree in physical therapy isn’t quite up to par?  I won’t be trying that again anytime soon.  OW!  Only I could take a random flare-up and rapidly escalate it to a teeth clenching level in my attempts to make it better …..

•  I usually love Halloween … absolutely love it.  This year – not so much.  I’m not sure why.  Meh ….  (Maybe because my arm feels like it is rupturing?)

•  I did, in a small attempt to be festive, go with a dark shade (and a little silver glitter) on my nails.  Spooky?


•  I am still loving The Blacklist.  (If you haven’t been watching it all along, I recommend starting at the beginning of Season I.

•  I spent a day making multiple batches of granola this week.  I mailed packages of it to each of my boys.  (I can give my daughter hers in person.)  It isn’t hard to make, but since I was making so much of it – it took a long time.  Why do things always turn out better if they’re homemade vs. store bought?

•  I might have caught myself dancing to a Taylor Swift song yesterday.  I sometimes shock even myself.  (I’m a twelve year old girl?)

•  I’ve been all over Orange County this week, and when I’ve been home I’ve been busy doing a lot of photo editing.

•  I’ve not had time (so far) this week to contact more dog people, although there is one vague dog-possibility floating around out there.  I don’t think I’ll ever (again) believe I’m getting a dog until it has lived in my house for at least a month or two.

•  Upcoming on my schedule:  Some minor girl surgery this Thursday.  Also, I’m scheduled for jury duty in the next couple weeks …. and it conflicts with a scheduled shoot out of state.  Things to look forward to????

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And Then I Bought A Crystal Ball

Yesterday, I bought a Crystal Ball.

The very thought makes me smile.

No, I don’t think my Crystal Ball will help me foresee any great information about my future.

But, wouldn’t it be fun if it did?

I ordered it for an upcoming photography project.

It should arrive this week.

I am absolutely delighted at the very thought of a Crystal Ball appearing on my doorstep.

(Just in time for Halloween too!)

Apparently there are a lot of people who take their Crystal Balls quite seriously.

I had no idea!

Crystal Balls are supposed to work best if you “charge them” under a full moon for a few days before using them.

I also learned a Crystal Ball is “very personal” and you’re not supposed to let anyone else touch your ball(s).


Sorry … I just had a twelve year old moment.

If you get a message from your crystal ball you’re apparently supposed to thank it before you put it away.

At least, that’s what I read in this article.

A different article said my Crystal Ball will probably tell me its name and informed me I should call it by that name.


I, clearly, don’t know anything about Crystal Balls.

In fact, I didn’t know they really even existed (outside of storybooks) until I was searching for one for my photography project.

Do you have any experience with Crystal Balls?

Or do you know anyone who does?

I’m so excited for mine to arrive!

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October Is The Very Best Month

October is such a great month.

It’s my favorite month to travel because it’s beautiful anywhere you choose to go.

This year I canceled everything on my calendar for Fred’s arrival so I’m not traveling.

As it turns out, Fred is not arriving.

Boo Hiss to Puppy  Snatchers  Heartbreakers!

But, I admit it’s very nice to be here in Southern California in October.

In spite of a bad arm flare-up, I had a fun and productive weekend.

And no, I don’t know what caused my arm to get so bad ….

I’m sure I must have tried to use it without realizing it … or something?

(Egads … I can feel Paul Newman’s glare through the airwaves right now!)

Saturday afternoon was positively glorious in Laguna Beach.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

The sun is setting earlier these days.

It doesn’t allow as much time for sunset shooting.

I wonder how many times Nike and I have enjoyed our beach/sunset/evenings/starry nights in the last twenty years?

Probably forty bazillion times?

It never gets old.

(We  are  might be getting old, but IT doesn’t get old.)

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

In the above photo, you can see Catalina Island in the distance.

The sky was orange on Saturday evening.

It was beautiful.

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Mooning Over You

I watched the sun drop into the ocean last night …

And the moon rise in the sky.

It was a beautiful evening in Laguna Beach.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

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Fall – Vancouver Island

I took this abstract photo when I visited Canada.

Golden leaves on the trees … clouds reflected in the water.

It was beautiful.

The scene called to my creative spirit to be photographed as an abstract.

I titled this image Falling Through The Air.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

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Why I Deleted Yesterday’s Post

Some of you read yesterday’s post.

Around midday, yesterday, I deleted it.

Well, actually, I turned the post settings to “private” so they aren’t visible.

At some point in the future, I will turn them back to public.

I sometimes forget how public my life has become.

At the moment, in addition to The Internet In General and Photographer Friends,

I also have a lot of Dog People following me.

I love dogs, and I love people who love dogs.

(Well, MOST of them!)

There are people all over the country, and for that matter the world, following along with my Service Dog Journey.

There are some very positive things that come from having a public life.

There are also some very negative things.

As I was talking to a breeder yesterday, she was googling me.

Before our conversation ended – she had gathered all sorts of information about me.

In that particular instance, it was a positive.

She LIKED what she discovered.

But, she could have just as easily ruled me out as a future Newfie mom if she had read something she didn’t like.

Those of you who have followed me for a long time know I am who I am.

I don’t put on pretenses.

I can be outspoken when I feel strongly about something.

I’m very REAL … or perhaps, honest to a fault.

In any case, yesterday’s post will be “public” again at some point in the future.

I just decided right now, with breeders googling me right and left, it might not be the best time for that particular post.

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I have almost this entire week free.

A “free” week NEVER happens … but I had cleared my calendar thinking I would have a brand new puppy this week.

I wanted an open schedule so I could bond with him, etc.

Life is full of funny (and not so funny) twists.

Laguna Beach:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

•  On a positive note, I’ve met some REALLY nice people since having my Bad Breeder experience.  It’s a good thing too, because I  had given up  was about to give up on the human race.

•  Every day I’m contacting a few breeders from the list the NCA gave me of accredited breeders.  I started with those I’ve gotten personal references on … and so far they’ve been great people.

•  I got a flu shot yesterday.  I usually do that around October 1st so I’m a little late.  (We always get flu shots because we have sickness-induced asthma issues in our family.)

•  Do you get a flu shot?  I know a lot of people don’t believe in them for various reasons, but they seem to always keep us flu free.  Fingers crossed!

•  Some of you have asked ….  My sister has improved a lot.  She’s doing much better, but I think she has a long road ahead of her.  Yes, she was wearing a helmet when she had her bicycle accident.  The helmet cracked in half on impact.  In addition to a fractured skull and brain injury, she had numerous injuries/broken bones/etc.  My parents are with her for an extended stay right now.

•  My iPhone (I think it’s an iPhone 4??) is broken.  The touchscreen only works when it feels like it.  For instance, the other day my daughter called me and I kept touching the screen to answer the call.  The phone would not respond.  This went on for quite some time.  I eventually found a land line to call her back on.  (Remember land lines?)  Other times the touch screen works fine.  Also?  It will only connect to wifi once in awhile depending on its mood.

•  Yes, I *am* eligible for a phone upgrade so I ordered the bigger-than-my-head iPhone 6 plus.  I had trouble deciding which of the new iPhones to get.  I went into an Apple store.  The iPhone 6 plus does fit in my small handbag.  It also has a better camera and longer lasting battery … so I chose it.  I mainly use my phone to look at photos anyway – and bigger is always better in the photography world.  I ordered it with 128GB so I can consolidate everything onto my phone.  Yes, even all the music from my very old, and also broken and unusable (but filled to capacity) 64GB iPod.  Unfortunately, Apple tells me my new phone won’t arrive until the end of November.  That means I have to try to coax another five weeks or so out of my broken phone.  Fun times??

•  Yesterday, the Internet went crazy insulting Renee Zellweger for having a face/eye lift done.  Yes, the very same Internet that constantly condemns cyberbulling.  Of course, people would also insult her if she  looked old and/or aging.  I can’t imagine the pressure in the celebrity world ….!   (It’s bad enough just living in Orange County!)

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The Pet Adoption Process

Did you know how difficult it has become to adopt/purchase/rescue a dog?

I had a friend go through the process awhile back.

He joked about it taking nine months, the “interrogation process” he endured, endless paperwork, etc.

He said it was harder than adopting a child.

Of course, he was joking – and I laughed right along with him.

But, really …

It’s become quite a drawn-out ordeal.

I realize there are Bad People who were scooping up available dogs to use as dog fighting “bait.”

(The very idea makes me ill!)

And there are always lots of people who think they want dogs/puppies until they realize what an expense and inconvenience they are.

Then, sadly, many of those same people abandon their pets and/or don’t give them the care they need.

What I’m saying is I GET IT.

And yes, it’s better to have a lot of safeguards in place than to have an absence of them.

Still, it’s mind blowing to me how much things have changed in the last thirteen years since we acquired Mocha.

I spent yesterday (the entire day!) talking to people all over the country about Newfoundland dogs.

I even talked to a very nice woman at the Newfoundland Club of America.

(She was awesome!)

I filled out paperwork for rescue dogs.

•  Yes, I’d be willing to take a non-puppy dog.

•  Yes, I’d be willing to take care of a dog with some medical issues.

The rescue paperwork informed me I couldn’t be considered for a rescue dog unless I belonged to a local dog club for at least a year.

So I filled out paper to join the dog club … even though I currently don’t HAVE a dog.

Of course, the paperwork to join the dog club asked how long I’ve owned my dog.



I think the pendulum has maybe swung a little too far?

I’ve also learned almost all Newfies are “co-owned.”

I actually learned this with “my” (not-to-be) puppy.

Breeders keep their names on the paperwork as a co-owner so you don’t make a bad breeding choice with “their” dog.

(They don’t want you to randomly let your dog breed with a dog with bad hips/heart and pass bad genes on.)

They also do it in case the dog becomes world famous … they want to take some of the credit.

I understand this is usually done with good intentions.

But, I’ve also heard some really nasty stories about co-ownerships gone bad.

Co-ownership used to mainly be a contract for top show dogs, but (at least in the Newfie world) it pretty much applies to every dog now.

I actually wish future people-parents were screened as carefully as future dog owners are.

You can have as many babies as you want, but you have to go through a LOT of steps before you can have a dog.

It’s crazy out there in dog-adoption land!!