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Surf’s Up!

You’ve probably heard about enormous waves hitting the Southern California coast this week.

The much-larger-than-normal sized waves were a result of a hurricane in Mexico.

“They” say they were the largest waves to hit Orange County in decades.

Honestly?

I don’t remember ever, in my lifetime, seeing waves (in Orange County) as big as the ones I saw on Wednesday.

I went to the (very famous) Wedge because the waves are always biggest there.

They weren’t just BIG; they were big AND strong.

(How big and strong were they?)

I watched a lot of people being chewed up and spit out by the ocean.

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I watched others become airborne.

Haven’t we all wanted to be able to fly at some point in our lives?

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(I LOVE the shadow in the above photo.)

Very few people dared to enter the water.

Most of the people who did were professional surfers/boarders.

But, of course, you always have a few weekend warriors who are sure they cannot only handle massive waves, but also wicked rip currents.

The lifeguards in Newport Beach are pretty amazing.

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I’ve watched them rescue people before, but the conditions this week were really dangerous.

They would double up (two lifeguards) for one man in trouble.

Once they got to him (no easy feat!) they brought him out into deeper water beyond the waves.

A lifeguard boat then took both lifeguards and the rescued man on board and to safety.

The crowd cheered like crazy, of course.

Speaking of the crowd …

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Thousands upon thousands of spectators showed up on Wednesday to wave watch.

It’s common to find a crowd show up at The Wedge on big wave days.

People like to watch the waves AND the surfers.

A lot of people show up each evening to watch sunsets too.

But …?

I’ve never, ever, ever, seen thousands lined up like they were on Wednesday.

The entire day was really an epic experience.

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Cooking, Cooking, And OC Women

I spent a good deal of yesterday cooking.

Why?

Normal people (and by normal people I mean MOST people) live on a regular schedule.

My life is chaotic.

Great sunset?

I’m shooting.

If there are clouds – I’m shooting.

If there are massive waves – I’m shooting.

If a client needs me at an odd time – I’m shooting.

I have a hard time balancing my very unscheduled life, a lot of travel, and healthy habits.

I haven’t exercised regularly since before my surgery four months ago.

(In fairness, I’m still dealing with a sprained ankle and I’m very limited between that and my bum arm.)

In an effort to counter my temporary lack of exercise,

I spent an entire day cooking healthy dishes I could freeze/store for those days when I don’t have time to cook.

(Because I have a LOT of days like that.)

While I was cooking, I was thinking …

It seems like there are three primary types of women in Orange County:

Type 1:  Anorexic skinny, never eats, rarely exercises.  No muscle tone.  

One of my single male friends told me he refuses to date the super skinny, starving herself, type of woman.

He finds the lack of muscle tone repulsive.

He also thinks women who never eat are boring.

However, a different male friend of mine told me she would be his ideal woman but only if she would get enormous fake boobs to go with her stick thin body.

His exact words, I believe, were “every man’s ideal woman.”

Type 2:  Athletic.  Lives at the gym at least four hours a day and sometimes much longer.  

She only eats organic locally grown food.

She meditates at 4 a.m. every morning and she is completely obsessed with exercising.

I have a male friend who will ONLY date this woman.

Time and time again, he is surprised to discover his relationships end badly.

This woman’s nonstop body-obsessing carries over to a very self-centered personality.

She spends hours upon hours every day focused on herself, her body, her looks … what else does he expect?

Type 3:  “I don’t give a shit” life motto.

And?  She doesn’t.

She’s perfectly happy eating junk food on the couch while watching TV for hours on end.

Who cares if she lives a few blocks from the beach/lake/mountains …?!

She prefers to live her life wrapped up in her favorite shows and the lives of celebrities.

Of course, there are many OC women who don’t fit into these three categories.

But …?

There are an awful lot who do.

Personally, I feel like I’m always trying to reach some type of healthy, but rarely attainable, balance.

I feel like I have constant goals to exercise more and eat more vegetables.

I don’t know if other people have a hard time keeping balance in their lives.

But?

I sure do!

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The Labor Day Lull

I always look forward to Labor Day, but for different reasons than most people.

I want Labor Day weekend to be over with.

I want the tourists to depart, and “my” beaches to be empty again.

I know, I know … what a grouch, right?

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After Labor Day, the crowds abate and life returns to normal.

Not that my life is ever “normal,” but …!

This year,

I also want to time warp forward because in September I will be:

1)   Visiting my son in Texas.  (It will be HOT!)

2)   Going to Canada to meet the puppies.  (!!!!)

3)   Possibly visiting with some other family members I haven’t seen in awhile.  (??)

4)  Photographing the annual Surfing Dog Contest.  (Do you remember George the surfing Newfoundland?  He’ll be back!)

In the meantime, I’ll be trying to get lots and lots of work done!

P.S.  I like parentheses today!

(Have you noticed?

((   ))

 

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Hurricane Sunset ..?

There’s a hurricane off of Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.

It’s creating STUFF here in Orange County.

For instance, we have huge monster waves.

(Hopefully I’ll have time to get a few snaps today!)

Some of those waves wanted to swallow my camera gear last Sunday.

Thankfully, my client grabbed my gear before it was lost.

As I drove home from the shoot, the clouds parted enough to create one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen.

I pulled over and took a few photos.

Then I drove a few blocks over and sat on a bluff watching the afterglow.

(After the sun has officially set/dropped is often the prettiest lightshow.)

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It was absolutely breathtaking.

And no, the saturation of the above photo was NOT altered in photoshop.

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Newfoundland Puppies – One Week Old

I want to share an update on the Newfoundland puppies.

They turned one week old last Friday.

The photos I’m sharing today were taken by Heartsease Newfoundlands over the last couple days.

What could be cuter than this pile of puppies?

PuppyPile

Here is a photo of two of the boys taken the same day:

PurpleGreenBoys

It’s hard to imagine not loving such cute pups.

They make my heart melt.

Yesterday, some of the puppies opened their eyes for the first time!

openEyes purple boy

Hello world!

I wonder what it’s like to open your eyes for the first time ever?

puppyTickle

It sure feels nice to have someone rub your neck, doesn’t it?

I think the puppy is in heaven having his neck rubbed.

(It makes me want a massage!)

All six of the puppies are growing fast and appear, so far, to be healthy.

I’ll try to update you with a dose of puppy cuteness once a week.

So adorable!

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Gray Whale!!

I thought some of you might enjoy seeing this shot of a gray whale breaching.

Whale © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

I took this photo on my road trip up the California coast.

My son and I saw lots and lots of whales on our trip.

We even saw whales while we were in Oregon.

Summer isn’t the best time for whale watching so we were surprised by how many we saw.

I think my son would have been happy to watch them for days.

At one point, we just sat on a bluff overlooking the ocean and watched them for a couple hours.

Such a beautiful sight!

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Photo Sharing

My friend, Jan, suggested I share some of the photos I edited this week.

I think she’s curious to see what happens to my brain (creatively) while I’m on pain meds.

I’m not on drugs NOW, but I was on Wednesday.

And, honestly, I don’t think it changes my photo editing.

I’ve been working on a lot of photo projects for different people/businesses lately.

Here’s a sample of work I did on Wednesday.

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

Music to my ears …!

The street lighting at night was a little challenging for photographing the band, but I think the above photo came out very nice.

Fancy (antique) cars:

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Old cars are fun to photograph.

Here’s another one:

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The fancy car photos were taken quite awhile ago, but edited for a project this week.

I also finished up the last couple photos for WrightWay Fitness:

WWay © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

They’re such a nice group of people to work with.

Especially Adam and Becky Wright who are adorable:

Adam and Becky © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Too cute!

Someone needs to put them on a “Most Adorable Couple” show.

I also managed to fit in one of the long exposure photos I took earlier this week.

We’ve had weird clouds and weather patterns due to monsoon season.

It can make for some cool looking sunsets.

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

The above photo was a 34 second long exposure which is why the water looks like cotton candy.

I edited a ton of photos, but I think I’ve given you a representative sample.

And now …?

It’s time for the weekend!

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Bah Humbug!

It’s amazing how productive I can be when I’m left alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids more than anything.

But ..?

All my kids are currently somewhere other than at my house.

Yesterday (after an early morning doc appointment), I worked for ten hours straight.

I got SO MUCH done.

See what happens when I’m not interrupted?

The early morning doctor’s appointment was with my orthopedic surgeon.

It was not a good appointment.

HE HURT ME!!

Being the mature adult I am …

As soon as it was over,

I promptly texted Paul Newman and whined about the pain I was (and AM) in.

(He  hates it  loves it when I whine to him?)

Very bad pain is what happens when a doctor decides to vice grip (!!!) a wayward tendon while doing unseemly things to an angry arm.

Guess what else happens?

Bad grammar!!

Sorry for the run on sentences.

I seem to be incapable of writing.

Also?

I took pain meds.

Maybe that’s why I can’t write?

There is a lot of talk going on about doing surgery #10 and drilling a hole in my arm.

Then, I guess, they put a screw (??) through the roaming tendon and screw it into the hole in the arm bone?

And then ….

Supposedly, the tendon can’t flip flop all over the place and make my arm fall off.

I don’t want to think about it.

Or talk about it.

Or do it.

Blah, blah, blah!!

It was not a good start to my day.

I came home and poured myself a huge cup of coffee.

I downed some pain meds with my coffee to complete my breakfast of champions.

Then, since I didn’t trust myself to drive drugged,

I sat in front of my computer for ten hours and accomplished great (??) things.

Bah humbug!

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August Clouds

I apologize for not having an opportunity to write a “real” post for today.

Instead, all I can offer you is clouds.

Yesterday evening, I went for a short walk to test out my sprained ankle.

(And yes, I iced it when I got home.)

Of course, I took my gear on my walk … because that is what I do.

I took some (very!) long exposure shots.

As I walked back to my car I stopped to take one more quick snap.

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Monsoon weather brings monsoon clouds.

They’re irresistible …

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Summer Is Over

My son returned to Texas, and college, yesterday afternoon.

For me, his departure means summer is now officially over.

I’ve been on the road so much lately,

I’ve got piles of work projects waiting for me.

The remainder of 2014 is going to be exceptionally busy.

Beginning in mid-September, it’s also going to involve a lot of travel.

For that reason, I’m going to really enjoy the next couple weeks of not traveling.

I wanted to take today to answer a few questions I’ve received lately.

First of all, regarding my service puppy ….

If he passes all health clearances, he will come live with me at around 9-10 weeks old.

He will be with me pretty much 24/7 for training, but that training will eventually also involve formal service dog training.

Formal service dog training will involve an instructor (working with me) who knows a lot more than I do about service training.

Until my pup is fully parvo vaccinated (which, if I recall, is around 20 weeks old) he will not be out in public.

Parvo is killing a lot of dogs lately, and I certainly don’t want mine to be one of them.

I already know of one work trip I have to take prior to the pups 20 week point.

I hope to have a family member puppy sit for me while I fulfill that commitment.

On other topics …

•  I’m still not back to the gym due to what has turned out to be a sprained ankle.  (I injured it in Santa Barbara.)  It’s getting better though, so hopefully it won’t be much longer.  (Thank you to Paul Newman for giving me a couple good tips for treating a sprain … after informing me I was currently do everything wrong.  I love that man!)

•  I continue to be amazed at people and/or cities/counties who think they’re doing me a favor by “inviting” me to give them my work for free.  Do they “invite” their dentist to give them dental cleanings for free?  I am running a successful business.  I do not need “exposure”  …. or an attitude of entitlement.

•  On the other hand, I will go above and beyond for my actual clients.

•  In my spare time, I’m cleaning out closets.  That means I’ve taken everything out of them and left it on a pile on the floor.  (Because after I did that, I ran out of spare time??)

Sigh!