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That’s What Friends Are For …

I got together with one of my girlfriends yesterday.

I was shocked to realize we hadn’t seen each other in a year.

A year!

We live fairly close to each other.

There is no reason why we should have gone so long without seeing each other.

(Yes, we’ve talked on the phone and/or texted.)

We had a great time getting caught up.

She’s had a very busy year … with a move to a different house, etc.

Seeing her made me realize, this past year (for me) was a full-speed, whirlwind, BLUR.

I can’t believe all the places I’ve been, and all the things I’ve done, over the last twelve months.

My photography career has been crazy in a wonderful, delightful, way these past couple years.

My friend and I have stayed aware of each other’s daily lives via Facebook, etc.

For instance, she knew about Fred The Puppy and The Puppy Snatcher (as I’ve taken to calling her).

Yes, I have nicknames for almost everyone I’ve ever met ….  Why do you ask??

A Puppy Snatcher will dangle a puppy in front of you, let you hold it, let you cuddle it, send you photos of it, tell you it’s yours, help you name it, make sure you’ve fallen in love with it, and then SNAP!  Snatch it away!

My friend was the first person on the scene of my car accident eight years ago.

She was in a car right behind me … witnessing helplessly, as my life was shattered.

She helped take care of me, and my family, as I went through the worst years post-accident …

Surgery after surgery and horrific pain.

She was called to testify as a witness to the accident.

She knows, probably better than most, how much a service dog would help me.

We talked about all the transitions in both her life and mine over the past few years.

You would think life would slow down a little as your kids leave the nest.

For both of us, however, life is really busy.

She’s made a career change,

And my life has taken on a momentum all of its own.

Sometimes it’s a good thing to stop and take account of where you were a few years back,

And where you are now.

One thing was clear to both of us yesterday.

Friendships are way too important to be put on a back burner.

We will both be pushing The Chaos of Life aside to make more time to get together.

Our next friend date?

It’s later this week.

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And Now It’s November

I had a moment of holiday panic yesterday.

It came out of the blue when I suddenly realized it’s November.

NOVEMBER!

I should be making lists, and ordering turkeys, and thinking about holiday *stuff* I’m absolutely not thinking about.

Adding to my sense of panic, I have to report for jury duty this month.

It’s possible jury duty will only take one day.

But, what if I get assigned to a long trial that eats up days and days or weeks and weeks?

Complicating things further, the call for jury duty is just a couple days prior to an out of state shoot I’ve had scheduled for  years  months.

Aack!

I’m juggling a lot of balls, folks.

(Some of which I can’t talk about publicly yet.)

Let’s hope they don’t all collide.

It’s a good thing my daughter gave me a “list book” for my birthday.

Do you know what a list book is?

It’s basically a hard bound, lined, blank, beautiful journal.

Every list you have gets entered into the book … work, personal, family stuff, house projects.

And no, you never tear out any pages!

(My daughter – The Most Organized Human Being on the Planet Earth – has an organizational system she shared with me.)

Hopefully, my list book will keep me sane.

I admit, I’m having a little trouble transitioning from the 3,000 post-it notes I have all over the house.

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Birthday Weekend

I really liked my birthday weekend.

I didn’t do anything earth-shattering, or even exciting.

(I was told to take it easy for a few days following a minor medical procedure late on Thursday.)

On Friday night (Halloween) it started raining.

I was SO excited!

Not only do we need rain because of California’s terrible drought,

It’s also been HOT for what feels like years.

Having cool weather and rain was awesome.

Of course, the rain put an end to trick-or-treaters so I have a ton of leftover candy.

(I think I’ll ship it back to my son.  He can stick it in the frat house lobby. It will disappear in seconds.)

My daughter came over Friday evening and stayed through Saturday night.

It was nice to have her around even though we mainly hung out at home.

On Sunday, my actual birthday, I talked to lots and lots of family members who called to send birthday wishes.

It was a breathtakingly beautiful day so, of course, I had to get outside and enjoy it.

I went to Laguna Beach.

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

The ocean was sparkling, the air was crisp and clear post-rain.

The palm trees were swaying in the breeze.

It couldn’t have been prettier.

I wanted to do MORE …. hiking, shooting, etc., etc.

I knew I needed to keep my activity level low so I can get back to my usual chaotic self this week.

Was it an exciting birthday weekend?

No.

But, it was a NICE weekend.

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A Moment Changes Everything

A moment changes everything …

And today, I’m (once again) twenty four!

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

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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!

JackOlantern

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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.

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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?

Nails

•  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).

HA HA!!

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.