8 Comments - Leave a comment!

Quick Yoga Update

Yesterday afternoon, I drove 45 minutes for my private, pre-scheduled, yoga lesson.

The point of the lesson was to learn modifications for things I can’t do with my arm.

I arrived to find the studio locked.

I waited for a half hour and the instructor never showed.

I then drove 45 minutes back home.

Two hours of my day … lost.

And, I was very disappointed, of course.

I had been excited for DAYS – looking forward to it.

Sigh.

Late last night I received a message from the instructor.

She apologized for “spacing” on the lesson and said,

“I’m probably not a good fit anyway.”

Apparently, the universe doesn’t want me doing yoga??

I’m busy today packing, and getting organized, for a cross country flight tomorrow.

I’m feeling so discouraged, I’m not sure if I’ll try again on the yoga front.

I guess I’ll have to see how I feel about it when I return next week.

I don’t think (?) I’ll have a chance to write a post again until next week.

I will, however, be posting photos on social media if you’re interested in  stalking me  following along with my trip.

6 Comments - Leave a comment!

May 30th 2017

If you’re based in the United States, I hope you had a safe Memorial Day weekend.

I’m exhausted from the weekend even though it doesn’t seem like I did much of anything.

On Saturday, I had guests the first half of the day and then MORE guests in the late afternoon.

I was in L.A. all day on Sunday enjoying a fun “girl’s day” with my daughter.

We spent the day together as a slightly early birthday celebration – her birthday is tomorrow.

I spent another ENTIRE day cleaning out closets, drawers and cupboards.

I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t, I’d soon be a Certified Hoarder.

(Eleven years of one-arm-ness means a lot of “deep cleaning” has been neglected.)

I feel like I’ll never make a dent in everything that needs my attention around the house.

But, I’m determined to keep chipping away at it one drawer/cupboard/closet at a time.

It’s very satisfying to get rid of stuff (either by donation or throwing it away), isn’t it?

I also spent some time working on my calendar for the next twelve months because I have a lot of various trips that needed scheduling.

(Just looking at my calendar might be what exhausted me?)

I’m trying to get to both Cuba and Australia for shooting purposes in the next 9-10 months …

Self portrait (foot portrait?) take in Oregon.

I also have a zillion other “small” trips scheduled.

In fact, I have at least one trip per month already booked every month between now and May 2018.

Today, I have appointments nonstop all day ….

Ending with my very first private yoga lesson.

Yes, I finally found someone willing to work with me on yoga modifications for my arm.

Thanks to many of YOU, I also have a few other names to look into if this instructor doesn’t work out.

I’m hoping today will be the first step on my path to a new version of normal.

(How many times in the last five years has Paul Newman had to listen to me say, “But, I just want to be normal?”)

Truth be told,

I’ve NEVER been “normal.”

And, I think that’s a good thing ….

2 Comments - Leave a comment!

Happy Monday – Favorite Things!

Summer has arrived in Orange County, and I love it!

(Remind me I said that next time I complain about the heat.)

It was a beautiful weekend weather-wise.

I enjoyed some pool-time, family-time, beach-time, and a night out with friends.

I’m very, very, sore from increases to my PT activities and also from swimming with a “gentle” breaststroke.

(Soreness is, of course, to be expected!  I told my doc I don’t want to take any type of pain medications. I’ll deal with it.)

I thought I’d share a few more things I like today.

•  Paul Green shoes  –  I recently tried on some Paul Green shoes and loved them.

He makes several I like, but here are photos of two of my favorites.

(Warning – they aren’t cheap – but they’re very COMFORTABLE, stylish, shoes!)

Paul Green Mindy Sandal

Paul Green Lois Sandal

I wore the Mindy Sandals (top photo) with boyfriend jeans and a fancy top (to go out with friends) last Saturday night.

Even though they’re an expensive pair of shoes, they can be worn with everything from dresses to jeans … and they’re COMFORTABLE.

Here in Southern California, I’ll be able to wear them year round so I don’t doubt I’ll get my money’s worth out of them.

The Lois Sandal (second photo) can also be worn with almost anything.

The heel is lower so they’re a nice pick if you’re going to be doing a lot of standing on your feet and/or walking.

(I’ve linked both pairs of sandals in the captions under the photos.)

•  Do you need a dress for a wedding/graduation/event?

Here’s a cute suggestion:

Chelsea Butterfly Sleeve Dress

I don’t wear many dresses, but it seems like every spring/summer I need one or two for some type of event and/or function.

The Chelsea dress is a fresh take and cool enough for warm weather.

•  OPI Nail Polish in Lucky Lucky Lavender

 

OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender

Lucky Lucky Lavender is one of my all-time  favorite colors of nail polish.

It wears like a neutral with a sprinkle of happiness on top.

Need I say more?

•  Alpha Skin Care Renewal Body Lotion With 12% Glycolic AHA

Alpha Renewal Body Lotion

OK, this is a weird one.

It’s a body lotion.  I apply it once, each day, after I shower.

It makes my skin SO SOFT.

It has glycolic acid in it which exfoliates your skin ….

In turn, that helps your skin look better, feel softer, and (supposedly) stay younger.

If you have dry skin (my legs!) it’s a must.

One of my girlfriends puts it on her elbows, knees and ankles regularly.

It’s great for those extra dry/scaly/crepey areas.

Every friend I’ve told about this product has ended up loving it and using it on a regular basis.

You don’t HAVE TO keep your lizard skin …!


I’m sure that’s PLENTY for one day.

I’ll be back again as soon as possible –

I’ve got another house guest arriving this week.

Life is crazy right now!

12 Comments - Leave a comment!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hello, it’s me – your failed blogging friend.

I’ve been very busy, and also experiencing an emotional roller coaster regarding my arm these last several days.

First of all, I had a very nice Mother’s Day weekend and I hope you did too.

Two of my three kids were at the house visiting.

I enjoyed spending the weekend with them.

We went out to a beautiful brunch.

My oldest son has an internship in Southern California this summer.

He’ll be staying here with me for a couple weeks, and then moving into a temporary residence closer to his employer (but still in SoCal) for the remainder of the summer.

I’m happy that two of my three will be relatively nearby for the summer.

Second, I’ve been doing more shopping than normal because I have several weddings and/or events I’ll be attending relatively soon.

I hate to shop so most of it has been online.

But nonetheless, I’m going to try to get another “favorite things” post up VERY soon.

Third, there has been a lot of “Arm Stuff” going on recently.

I’ve been excited to see my strengthening progress at physical therapy.

I’m up to two and a half pounds!!

I know that probably sounds like nothing to most of you, but it’s cause for celebration to me.

Last Monday, I was at PT in the morning, and up in Los Angeles with my surgeon in the afternoon.

(It was such a LONG day!)

I have a lot of uncertainty and insecurity surrounding my arm.

My medical case … nearly 11 years and 12 surgeries on one arm … is so far from normal, no one knows for certain what the future holds for me/my arm.

At PT, I feel excited and hopeful by being able to use a two and a half pound weight.

But, driving to see my surgeon I was filled with anxiety.

I was certain he’d tell me I’m failing to progress as I should, and give up on me.

(A “normal” person would be able to do much more four and a half months post surgery.  In fact, a “normal” person would probably be done with physical therapy.  I SEE normal people at PT, and I watch them pass me up time and time again.)

If my surgeon stops writing me prescriptions for physical therapy, I’ll no longer receive insurance coverage.

How long will I be able to afford it on my own?

Will I regress the minute I stop?

I got myself all stressed out worrying about it as I fought traffic on my way to L.A.

Can I just say I will be forever grateful to Dr. Itamura for being the ONLY orthopedic surgeon (out of many) to understand the complexities of my damaged arm?

He’s a living hero.

But still, I faced my four month post surgery visit with trepidation.

However ….

Dr. Itamura said I’m doing “excellent!”

EXCELLENT!!

Can you believe it?

He’s not cutting me off from physical therapy, and he fully understands/expects me to progress at a very different rate than a person who had one or two surgeries.

He even hugged me as I was leaving – he’s truly happy for me and for how far I’ve come.

I left his office on Cloud 9!

I had talked to both Paul Newman and Dr. Itamura about beginning some yoga classes.

Both of them feel it’s okay, but they know I would need to adapt certain things for my one-arm-ness.

I had been referred to the owner of a yoga studio who, I was told, had worked with a man with one arm.

Perfect, for me – right?

I was excited because at last I was going to start doing something normal people do … just with a few modifications.

So, imagine how I felt today when the Ms.Yoga contacted me and turned me away.

She, apparently, doesn’t feel like I would be able to do yoga –  and/or that it could be modified for me and/or – maybe she just felt like I’m not worth her time.

(I had offered to pay for private lessons initially so it WOULD be worth her time to help me learn some adaptations/modifications, but she said …. no.)

Maybe the one armed man came to her already knowing how to do yoga one armed?

I wish I knew him/or how to find him so I could ask who taught him.

You would think I could just brush this off, right?

But no, it made me want to cry.

Time and time again I reach out for normality, and time and time again I get thwarted.

I was really excited to start yoga.

Now?

I feel incredibly discouraged.

I keep pushing for a sense of normalcy and I keep running into brick walls.

It will be 11 years since the accident on July 30th.

Eleven years!!

I’m better than I’ve been that entire time …

And yet, I’m still not good enough.

I’m still the person being told, “Sorry, the things you want to do in your life are not going to happen.”

It makes me mad.

It makes me sad.

Momentarily, it makes me want to give up.

But, only momentarily, because if I’ve learned anything about myself these last eleven years,

It’s that I never, ever, give up.

1 Comment - Leave a comment!

I’m Baaaaaaaaaack!

Hello, hello!

I’m back in Orange County.

I wanted to put out another quick reminder of the 25% Discount Code (DDSuzanne25) Dean Davidson Jewelry is offering through May 15th.

I need to remind myself, too, because I want to place an order before the code expires.

Here’s a pair of Dean’s earrings I’ve been wearing a lot lately:

Infinite Earrings Gold/White Topaz

They’re so lightweight and pretty – I love them.

In other news, it’s so nice to be back home.

I’ve got a ton of catching up to do, and also ….

My calendar is exploding.

After months of post-surgery boredom, I’m re-entering real life at warp speed.

I’ll have family visiting beginning this weekend, and I have another trip out of town in just a couple weeks.

I also came home to yet ANOTHER hummingbird nest with a mama hummingbird sitting on her eggs.

I think my backyard is Orange County’s hummingbird nursery this year.

I missed Fred and Frank SO MUCH while I was gone.

There’s been a lot of Newfie cuddling going on since I got back.

Fred is, perhaps, the biggest cuddler on earth … all 180 pounds of him!

Frank loves being pet, but he doesn’t (yet?) like full body snuggles like Fred does.

I was in the Pacific Northwest last week.

Part of the time I was there, a heat wave was taking place.

It was fabulous!

When I think of the Pacific Northwest, I think of trees ….

A warm day in the shade of beautiful trees.

I can never get enough of nature when I’m there.

It’s too bad it rains so much of the time.

(Although, I know the rain is what makes the trees and rivers so beautiful.)

I’ll try to be a bit more consistent with the blogging next week.

Although, I’ll have family here visiting so we’ll see how I do.

No Comments - Leave a comment!

Up, Up and Away!

I’m away on a trip today.

I *think* I’ll have time to post a few times while I’m away.

I’ve had the craziest week.

Sometimes you just have to shake your head at the weirdness of life and keep marching along.

Before I hop on my plane, I want to share with you a few photos of my Crown Ring from Dean Davidson.

(Dean Davidson 25% off discount code = DDSuzanne25)

As my daughter says, “It’s a massive statement ring.”

Crown Ring in Gold/Labradorite

I love labradorite.

My mom used to wear the most beautiful labradorite pendant.

I thought it was a magical stone … the way the colors would change and light up depending on how the light struck it.

If you aren’t familiar with labradorite, it can appear almost as a dullish grey/green until the light hits it just right.

I loved my mom’s pendant so much, she bought me a similar one many years later.

When I realized Dean sells all sorts of labradorite jewelry my heart lit up.

In this photo the labradorite is “on fire” from the sunlight hitting it through my car window.  (iPhone)

 A Crown Ring is BIG, and it isn’t something I’ll wear every day.

It is, however, something I’ll get a ton of compliments on when I do wear it.

(Like all of Dean’s jewelry, the Crown Ring is available set in different types of metal and with various choices of stones.)

The Crown Ring is beautiful in Ocean Blue Chalcedony also.

If you do decide to purchase a Crown Ring, I would suggest buying up one size.

I had planned to wear mine on the middle finger of my right hand and ordered my sizing based on that.

But, the ring goes so far up my finger, it was a little too tight near my knuckle.

I ended up having a jeweler friend size it down for my ring finger instead.

I couldn’t resist purchasing the matching Chalice Cuff in labradorite also.

(Maybe someday I’ll purchase labradorite earrings too??)

The Chalice Cuff (bracelet) is both sexy and streamlined.  (labradorite)

I think the hardest thing for me is picking which stones to choose for Dean’s jewelry.

I like to mix metals so I don’t have a problem picking the metals.

But, I can agonize over the stone forever.

The only way NOT to agonize over the stones is to buy one of each??

I mean, pink is so pretty but so is mint green … and then there are the blues … and turquoise!

And black onyx … well, I’ve always wanted a black onyx ring so what am I going to do about THAT?

Also, I would LOVE to have a beautiful rainbow moonstone!

And on and on I go with my agonizing.

I hope, if you make a purchase from Dean, you’ll let me know what you end up choosing.

It’s too bad we don’t all live close to each other so we could swap and share.

(Dean Davidson 25% off discount code = DDSuzanne25)

No Comments - Leave a comment!

May 2, 2017

Have I mentioned how incredibly happy I am May is here?

May is magical for me this year because I’m finally allowed to return to work …. gradually, of course.

I’m not going to lie, it has been really tough having three surgeries in a year.

It seemed like life would never get back to any version of normal, but I can finally say I’m stepping back into real life.

YAY!!

My first flight is …

Tomorrow.

Does that make you laugh?

I have things to do!

It’s been killing me to wait out all this healing stuff …..

“Let’s go shooting!”  –  Fred is eager to get back to work too!

It will take awhile to get back in a routine.

I know I still have a lot of physical therapy ahead of me.

I also know there will be setbacks along the way because there always are.

But, I’M SO EXCITED ANYWAY!

I’m also very excited about the post I shared yesterday regarding Dean Davidson’s Jewelry.

Today, I thought I’d share a photo of Dean’s Castle Rings.

The Castle Ring is one of Dean’s best selling items.

 

I ordered a Castle Ring set in gold with ocean blue chalcedony a little over a week ago.

It should arrive any day now.

(In the above photo, the blue chalcedony is the stone set in silver.  Isn’t it pretty?)

I love to wear statement rings on the middle finger of my right hand.

I think I’m going to have to start collecting Dean’s rings in every style/color imaginable.

(Maybe I already have?  It would be embarrassing if I told you how many DD statement rings I already have …!)

I just love them – they’ve become a total addiction.

I get so many compliments on my rings when I’m shooting …

They make an impact in a really GOOD way.

Dean Davidson Castle Ring in Gold/Green Onyx

Don’t forget Dean is offering a 25% discount on his jewelry to all my friends through May 15th.

(Discount code:  DDSuzanne25)

And once again, no, I’m not making money off Dean’s jewelry ….

I’m just sharing something I love.

I hope you love it too!

2 Comments - Leave a comment!

Dean Davidson Jewelry!!!!

**  Discount Code for 25% Off:  DDSuzanne25 **

I am SO excited.

Last week, I shared with you how I’ve recently discovered Dean Davidson and his amazing jewelry designs.

Dean’s jewelry has been seen time and time again on celebrities and in fashion/style magazines.

But, until a few weeks ago I knew nothing about Dean Davidson.

Now …?

I’m obsessed!

I love the way Dean uses lines and space (often inspired from architecture) to create his collections.

Octagon Earring – Dean Davidson

I also LOVE that you can choose what stone/s you like and what metal when you order.

(Except if you’re like me you’ll want one of EVERYTHING!  Aack!!)

As an example, I have the earrings pictured above with clear quartz as the stone and a gunmetal finish.

Me – and Fred, of course.  I’m wearing Dean Davidson Octagon Earrings in gunmetal with clear quartz.

I LOVE them and I can wear them with my Plaza Ring which is also gunmetal with clear quartz.

Anyway, after I wrote my post, I got a very nice email from Dean thanking me for writing it.

I was so excited to hear from him, I did something I almost never do …

I asked him if he’d be interested in working together.

Dean Davidson:  Gemstone Tidal Ring in Gold and Pink Chalcedony

Now, as background, a day doesn’t go by without me getting companies asking ME to work with THEM.

I almost always pass, because I have to be super excited about a product, AND think it’s something that would appeal to a lot of YOU.

I think I’ve only reach out to a company once or twice EVER.

So, what is it about Dean and his jewelry?

Dean’s Reign Lariat from his new Tidal Collection – Gold/Ocean Blue Chalcedony

I first found Dean via an interview on TV.

I could instantly tell he’s a really NICE person.

I checked out his website and was delighted by his designs and his attention to detail.

I used to look like this model.  

Just kidding … I absolutely never did!!

She’s wearing:

Plaza Ring in Gunmetal/Quartz, Octagon Bracelet in Gunmetal/Quartz, Curb Choker in Gunmetal, Hexad Earrings in Gunmetal/Quartz


Dean’s designs really appeal to me as a photographer/artist/creative.

I know many people “get to know me” through my photos.

And, I feel like I’ve gotten to know Dean through his designs.

Some of his designs are sexy, some are edgy, some are elegant …. and I’m absolutely obsessed with them all.

I’ve purchased a few pieces of jewelry from Dean and I know I’ll be purchasing many more in the future.

His jewelry is very lightweight, very wearable … and super chic.

(It’s very comfortable for me to wear even when shooting.)

By the way, Dean is NOT paying me for writing about him and I’m not getting any type of commision/payment off of any sales resulting from my posts.

I just WANT to share him with you.

Dean has been kind enough to offer a 25% discount code to my readers/followers/friends if you order from him between now and May 15th.

Yes, just in time for Mother’s Day.

This week, I’ll be writing about various subjects with you, as always.

But I’ll also be sharing photos of various pieces Dean has designed so you can see why I love his designs so much.

I’ll even show you photos of pieces I’ve already purchased.

Would it be wrong to buy myself another one for Mother’s Day?

Do you have a mother?  Are you a mother?  Do you know a mother?

Or do you just want to splurge on yourself or someone you care about?

You have until May 15th to get a discount!!

**  Dean Davidson Discount Code for 25% Off:  DDSuzanne25 **

And yes, Dean does ship worldwide!

3 Comments - Leave a comment!

Chaos!

I overslept yesterday.

When I woke up, it was to find a mustached painter peering in through my bedroom window.

He was painting the outdoor deck off of my bedroom.

I gasped, grabbed some clothes, and dashed for my closet … where I hastily dressed.

I have no window coverings in my house because I live in a canyon with no homes in front of, or behind, my house.

I emerged from my closet pretending to be ultra-nonchalant.

“I’ll just brush my teeth over here, Mr. Painter. No big deal.  See?  I just spit my toothpaste out.”

A quick brush of my unruly hair, a swipe of mascara …

Nothing to see here, Mr. Painter.

And THAT was just the beginning of my day yesterday.

I had a meeting in Newport Beach.

After it was over, I glanced in a mirror and realized I had a glob of lipgloss on a front tooth.

It had, of course, been on prominent display during the entire meeting.

I guess I was a little TOO nonchalant getting ready for my day?

In addition, my sinus infection has now traveled to my right ear which I can’t hear out of at all.

(Maybe that’s why I was so sleepy and overslept??)

The ear thing is also making me dizzy.

That means, I keep twirling around in circles in an effort to both:

a)  Hear what people are saying to me, and

b)  Not fall over from vertigo/dizzy spells due to all the fluid floating around in my ear.

I think I might have to make another visit to my doctor because, clearly, I’m far from 100% still.

(And I’m going on a flight in about a week … flights are terrible for sinus and ear problems.  I MUST be well by then!)

If you don’t have allergies every spring and fall be GRATEFUL!

Have you ever noticed when things don’t go smoothly, they REALLY don’t go smoothly?

Fred’s giant tail knocked 48 watercolor paint pans crashing to the floor.

Many of the paints separated from the actual pans and my floor became a rainbow of little squares.

Fred looked startled at the commotion behind him.

He, of course, had no idea how those pans came crashing down behind him.

As I quickly attempted to gather the paints, Frank grinned at me and swallowed one of my favorite colors.

“Frank!” I exclaimed.

Frank’s tail wagged excitedly.

Frank is still a puppy.

Eating watercolor squares sounds like a fun game to him.

In fact, all the more fun if he eats a favorite color and gets to hear me squeal.

Most of my week has been a series of these type of events.

Is it Friday yet?

No Comments - Leave a comment!

Tuesday, April 25th 2017

Life is getting busy and my calendar for the next few months is suddenly getting very full.

May is the month of my official medical “release” to begin my life again – so yay!!

(Of course, I have to ramp up gradually but YAY anyway!!)

As is the case after every surgery, I’m very out of shape from so much sedentary time.

It will be nice to begin reclaiming my life on so many fronts.

I’m currently having the exterior of the house painted and it’s a nightmare with Fred and Frank.

They LOVE to be in the backyard, but can’t be back there with wet paint, etc.

I can’t take 300+ pounds of dog out for a walk with my still healing Tentative Tendon.

(The pups get a long morning and evening walk every day, but I’m currently unable to be the one taking them on those walks.)

Yesterday, Fred gave me quite a “talking to” when I told him he couldn’t go nap outside in his favorite napping space.

And yes, Fred can talk.

It’s not barking, it’s talking … and there’s no misunderstanding his meaning.

Fred is a great communicator.

(Frank?  Not so much!)

Nothing can make a person feel more guilty than the reproachful eyes of a Newfie.

Sigh!

I did some light shooting in Laguna Beach on Saturday, and in Newport Beach on Sunday.

Laguna at sunset:

Pelicans flying into a beautiful sunset.

I was in Laguna catching up with some friends and, of course, I couldn’t resist a few sunset shots.

On Sunday, I went for a looooooong walk up and down the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach.

The weather wasn’t as nice as it had been Saturday, but it was nice enough – considering it’s April still.

Balboa Village is on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach.

The Peninsula is always crowded, and there’s almost always a lot of traffic.

But, it’s great for long walks and the people watching is phenomenal.

The Golden Hour – my favorite time of day!  (Balboa Peninsula)

You can walk for miles on the bike path up and down the peninsula.

Bikers, joggers, skateboarders, roller skaters, and walkers all share the path without a problem.

The boardwalk was pretty empty just before sunset on a Sunday evening.

All in all, it was a nice weekend even though it wasn’t a take-your-breath-away exciting one.

I hope you had a nice weekend too!