Monday, August 30

100 things in the world I love.

Inspired by the magical lists of Andrea.

1. cartwheels
2. roller-skating
3. strawberries
4. oceans
5. aspen trees
6. starfish
7. rainbows
8. vanilla ice cream
9. polaroids
10. bicycles
11. butterflies
12. record players
13. zinnias
14. sparrows
15. sunshine
16. cactus
17. running
18. kitty cats
19. flip flops
20. black olives
21. vintage typewriters
22. wool yarn
23. tulips
24. meadows
25. endless blue sky
26. flowering trees
27. bridges
28. lilacs
29. mountains
30. seashells
31. rocks
32. braids
33. plastic barrettes
34. pro football
35. green chile
36. old photographs
37. graph paper
38. sand dollars
39. pine cones
40. fountain pens
41. summer rain
42. pale yellow irises
43. black ink
44. construction paper
45. owls
46. mix tapes
47. bamboo knitting needles
48. road trips
49. knee socks
50. vintage cameras
51. thrift stores
52. echinacea flowers
53. hula hoops
54. puffy clouds
55. cheeseburgers
56. summer dresses
57. everything turquoise
58. snapdragons
59. sunsets
60. gum ball machines
61. silver necklaces
62. sandwiches
63. starry skies
64. old crime noir pocket books
65. PX70 film
66. Mexican tile
67. mittens
68. pickles
69. converse sneakers
70. church bells
71. sharpie pens
72. arts and crafts supply stores
73. porch swings
74. cherry icees
75. metal slinkies
76. palm trees
77. margaritas
78. super balls
79. glitter
80. jack rabbits
81. popsicles
82. peppermint tea
83. ranunculous
84. magic castles
85. moonlit nights
86. chocolate truffles
87. peonies
88. towering trees
89. the color red
90. wooden rollercoasters
91.sunflowers
92. fresh ricotta
93. flying kites
94. postcards
95. red wine
96. bobby pins
97. king-sized beds
98. seagulls
99. fairy tales
100. photo booths

Sunday, August 29

What I am taking.

Vacation.

A nice selection of instant films to use on our vacation. Just added a pack of SX-70 to the stash as well. Lucky me!

I am hoping to use a lot of the peel-apart film on this trip. It's good road film.

As for reading material, I got a few good suggestions, but then I couldn't find much at the library. My mom loaned me The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so I am taking that and couple of Ross MacDonald books since I have been reading a lot of them this summer and crime noir is always good pool side reading. I'm really excited to actually have some time to read while we're away!

And let's just say that I am taking way too many clothes. I could probably change three times a day if needed. Good grief.

Yay! Road trip! Soon!

****



Really love this film.

Saturday, August 28

Over the years.

September 1970
Here I am as a newborn with my family in September 1970.

c. 1975
circa 1975 - when vacuuming was still fun?


Taken in 1980, probably early in the year before I turned 10. I'm sitting in my bedroom closet. That's our cat Tigger in the toy box.

5th grade class.
5th grade class, 1980-1981. Which one am I?


Sometime in 1981, probably the summer before I started 6th grade. I am guessing that I am holding my glasses behind my back.


Summer of 1990 just before I turned 20. I'm holding my eldest niece, Alexandra.


With Alexandra again, this time in the summer of 1991 after returning for Dead tour.


Early 1997 in Cape May, NJ.

Since I started blogging in 2000 and posted pictures from my fourth decade last year, I'll stop with the reminiscing now!

Friday, August 27

Thursday, August 26

Wednesday, August 25

Birthday Indulgence, Part One

I think it has been established that I like birthdays. I like my birthday, I like your birthday, I like the cats' birthdays. It's fun, although I have to admit I might enjoy your birthday more than my birthday. Sending birthday wishes is much more gratifying than waiting around to be a birthday queen.

My birthdays always make me reflect on the past, the present and what the future might hold. This year I am turning forty so I'd say I've been a bit more reflective than usual.

For the last few weeks, I've been thinking of it in decades because, well, I'm starting a whole new decade of my life in a week.

I don't feel old and I don't think turning forty makes me old. But I distinctly remember when my father turned forty and I think back then, forty did seem really old. Or at least really grown up.

My mom threw a birthday party for my dad when he turned forty. I think the only reason I remember it so clearly is because it was during that party that my mom got the news that her mother (who had been sick for quite awhile) had died. I remember my mom and dad and some of her siblings going into my parents' study and shutting the door. I remember going outside where my brother and cousin were playing basketball and telling them that something was wrong. I remember not really knowing what to think.

Okay, that was a bit of a tangent. At age forty, my parents had three kids, my dad had been a lawyer for ten plus years already. We lived in a big house and took summer vacations. And my parents were grown ups. Now here I am on the verge of forty and I don't feel particularly grown up, at least not in terms that I thought about it when I was young.

Now forty is the new twenty. Or thirty. Something.

Yet my nineteen-year-old niece thinks that her older sister is ancient at twenty-one. She doesn't even want to turn twenty. I tried to explain that twenty is nothing. Twenty is awesome. Twenty is a whole lot of trouble still ahead of you. Personally I couldn't wait to not be a teenager anymore. I had no problems with twenty.

And now I have no problems with forty. It bothered me for awhile. FORTY. Whoa. How did that even happen? How can I be forty and not be a grown up yet? Not have a career. Kids. A plan. Something. And then one day I realized that I was over it. I am going to turn forty and it's going to be kick ass. I may not have "those things", but who's to say I ever wanted those things? I have a good life. A completely awesome and stellar and over the top wonderful husband. Two cats with very large personalities and bellies. A cozy adobe house to live in. Lots of good food to eat. My own business (no matter that it isn't exactly successful at this point). Awesome family. And lots of good memories.

One benefit to having a horrible memory is that I tend to remember the good stuff more than the bad. And being a photographer, I have a lot of pictures of parties and rock shows which only reinforces the whole idea that it's all been about happy times. (Okay, so I remember the not so happy times too, I'm just saying. No need to dwell.)

And maybe I have grown up just a little bit. I've grown in my marriage and in my relationship with family members and even in my relationship to myself. I like myself more often than not which is not something I could have said in some of my earlier decades. I think as we grow older, we figure out what works and what doesn't and we just don't care as much either. I mean, not in a shitty way, but in a solid sort of I know what I like way. Life is too short to spend too much time doing things that we don't enjoy. And I don't mean that I can avoid going to the doctor because I don't enjoy it, but rather that I am not going to die if I miss that rock show or party or whatever. Or if that person doesn't like me. I have always been something of a loner and while it does get lonely at times, I've also just grown to accept that I function better when I get in a good dose of alone time.

Okay, that may not have come out quite right but here's hoping it made a little bit of sense.

All in all I am mostly happy with my life and who I am and where I am. I have bad days of course. Really bad days sometimes. But mostly it is good. And for that I am very grateful.

As for what the future might hold, I have no idea. I'm hoping the Etsy shop picks up in the fall. But even if it does, I'm probably looking at getting a part-time job in the near future which I am not excited about because I love my life the way it is, but I'm trying to keep an open mind to the possibility that a part-time job could lead me in a new and exciting direction. Hoping to get my ass back on a plane again so I can go to Spain again and visit friends on the east coast and maybe even take weekend trips. I'm pretty much open to whatever is ahead. (So she says now.)

Also hoping that I get a lot of sleep in my fifth decade. A LOT. I've aged tremendously in the last few years because I sleep so poorly. Or at least I feel like I have.

Tomorrow...the first decade.

Zinnia love.



This week is moving along quickly. I have so much to do, but so far it's going pretty well. Things are getting done.

This morning I have to take a quick trip back to the vet with Rocky. He needs to be weighed again so we know whether or not his new diet is working.

After that, I have to do some JW Handmade work, paperwork and whatever else I manage to get done.

I'm also hoping to have a little more time for some blog posts that I wanted to do before we left.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 24

Saturday, August 21

Rocky and the nasturtium.



They look good together.

Friday, August 20

Thursday, August 19

The Birthday Trip.

Awhile back, I posted a list of 20 Ways I Would Like to Celebrate My 40th Birthday. The gist of the list really was that I would like to have a lovely dinner with Will. Possibly somewhere out-of-town.

After throwing around some ideas for awhile, we finally decided what to do. (Or rather, I decided on a plan and Will thought it sounded like a fine thing to do.) And I don't think I actually ever mentioned it here? I think I just wrote about it on my Facebook.

We are going on a road trip! Out west! And I am very excited about it because one of our all time favorite trips was our road trip to Joshua Tree and San Diego a couple of years ago. We thought about going back to Joshua Tree but decided that it was a little too soon to go back to the same places. And then I saw something about the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and decided that it sounded like a delightful place to spend my birthday.

And yes, my decision might possibly be based entirely on the fact that there is a photo booth in the lobby.

I ended up finding a really good deal on rooms at Travelocity so we get to stay in one of the rooms with a garden patio. And a king-sized bed which is always a treat for us because it usually means that we sleep better. And because the Ace Hotel is somewhat of a hipster motel, our room will also have a record player in it. Nice. (For the record, we are not even close to being hipsters, but that doesn't mean that we can't stay at hip hotels.)

We plan on doing a whole lot of nothing while we are there. Reading books by the pool while we sip cool and refreshing drinks. Eating good food. Taking lots of pictures. And since our room fees include bike rentals, we'll probably tool around on bicycles a bit. And while we are there I shall turn 40 and life shall go on.

Before we hit Palm Springs, we'll spend the night in Needles, CA again. Needles is about the only place to stay between here and there that is the right amount of distance/hours for a day's drive. At least this time I have a list of restaurants that aren't Denny's or the crappy pizza place we ate at last time we stayed there.

From Needles we will head down to the Salton Sea and check out what we can.

After Palm Springs, we're going to spend the weekend in San Diego with my aunt and uncle. We had such a blast with them last time we visited. And again, we probably won't do too much. We are such bad tourists because every time we get to vacation, all we really want to do is relax. Running around and seeing every sight there is to see doesn't always appeal to us. Boring, perhaps, but hey, it's our vacation so we can do what we want. We will of course be making a quick trip to the H&M there in hopes that I can actually find some decent clothing. (Not holding my breath about that though.)

One other thing we are really excited about is the opportunity to eat at In-And-Out Burger again. We stopped at the one in Yuma, AZ on way home last time and I'm sure we'll do it again. Although hopefully this time we won't be hung over. Forty year olds are far too grown up to get hang overs, right? Haha.

So there you go. That's the plan. And we can't wait.

And just so you know, Luis will be staying here at our house again to take care of the cats. They love it when he stays with them because he only speaks Spanish to them. He's also working on a remodel of one of the apartments on our compound so he'll pretty much be here 24/7 which is great for the cats and for us. We won't have to worry about anything.

One of my favorite things...



about this time of year is the zinnias in my garden. Love the myriad of colors and sizes they grow in. And I love cutting them so I can enjoy them inside as well.

Wednesday, August 18

So many things.

Nasturtium.

Hi.

I'm in love with my nasturtium right now. The leaves are such a lovely green and the flowers are the perfect reds, yellows and oranges. They make me smile.

I'm also exhausted. It hasn't been a good week of sleep.

And I have so many posts in my head that I can't even find the time to write.

Posts about birthdays and decades and road trips and things that I love.

This week has totally gotten away from me (again) and we leave on our vacation soon so I don't know what I'll get done between now and then.

I was shocked over the weekend when I realized that our trip was coming up so soon. It's been something in the distant future for so long that somehow I seemed to forget that it would actually happen eventually.

I need to decide which cameras to take. How much film. Clothes to pack. Books to read. I am a planner and it does actually take me a week to pack. Will can pack the night before but not me.

On the book front, I'd like to take something kind of fluffy but not too fluffy to read by the pool. I'm talking fiction here. Any recommendations? My original plan was to take the new Bret Easton Ellis book with me. I mean, it would kind of be the perfect thing to read by the pool in Palm Springs, right? But when I went to buy it and saw that it's not very long, I decided that maybe I don't need to spend the money on the hardcover. A book that thin won't even last me through the first day. So I don't know what to take.

As for cameras, I am definitely taking the SX-70, the Holga, the Pentax K1000, the Polaroid Automatic 250 and the digital point and shoot. I am still debating about the DSLR. Sometimes I hate that I am always lugging so much stuff around on all our trips.

I can't wait to be on the road heading west, music turned up, windows down and nothing but desert ahead of us.

It's a break that we need. Will probably even more than me.

It's going to be good.

More soon.

P.S. I added a new bag to the Etsy shop today. It's the loveliest shades of green.

Saturday, August 14

PX 70.



Here's my first shot with PX 70 Color Shade (First Flush), the new instant film from The Impossible Project. I took it outside in the middle of the afternoon so it was quite bright. The film ejected directly into a box so it wasn't exposed to any sunlight. Then I let it develop for about 4 minutes before flipping it over. Initially it was a bit lighter than it is here and had spotty parts on it. The spots disappeared the next day and this scan is from a few days after initial development. I am quite pleased with the results and think this film is pretty damn awesome!

Thursday, August 12

Instant film love.

Red roses, blue sky.

This week is pretty much kicking my ass. In a good way, but boy am I tired! And after two weeks of being pretty intensely focused, I am completely unfocused this week. But that's okay, I am sure I will snap out of it soon enough. Or maybe I just needed to slow down on some things this week.

I'm really excited about the PX70 Color Shade from The Impossible Project. I will post my shots as soon as I get them scanned which hopefully will happen this evening. In the meantime, there are many shots to peruse in the Flickr pool.

Some of my favorites are this one, this one, this one, this one and this one. Oh and this one and this one too!

And a couple of ATZ shots, here and here.

There are always so many fantastic photos on Flickr. I love it.

And now I must go pull weeds. Again.

Tuesday, August 10

From the garden.

From the garden.

Still life photos of vegetables are not my strong point, but I take them every year because I get so excited about the bounty from our garden.

The eggplant is growing like crazy this year. Last week we used the first two eggplants for eggplant parmesan. Perhaps not the best way to showcase homegrown eggplant, but it's a dish I love and it turned out to be quite delicious. Tonight we are having grilled pizza with grilled eggplant and zucchini (from my dad's garden). I'm very excited about it. There will be some fresh mozzarella too, of course, and perhaps a touch of basil from the garden as well.

The grape tomato plant is HUGE. I may have to cut it a bit so it doesn't suffocate my little jalapeno plant. This is the first year I have planted grape tomatoes in the side bed instead of in the back or in a pot and the difference in size is unbelievable. It was definitely a good decision. The yellow pear tomato plant is big too, though not as big, and it is producing lovely and bright fruit. We prefer the grape tomatoes but I love having the color of the yellow pears. Our "big" tomato plant isn't so big compared to the ones I've grown in the past. I think it may mature a bit later than the types we've had in the past. We did get two early tomatoes from it and WOW, they blew us away. Sweetest tomatoes I've ever had. I think they are Super Fantastico or something like that. And they are definitely super fantastic.

I only planted one jalapeno this year because we had waaaaaaaaaay too many last year. We've had two so far which I used in guacamole and they were superb. I make a pretty awesome guacamole with fresh jalapenos. My other pepper plants didn't do so hot. Oh and my cucumber plants that are in pots have itty bitty cucumbers starting! I still have my doubts that we'll actually get one that is big enough to eat, but it's exciting nonetheless. All the herbs are thriving as well. The parsley that I planted in a big pot in the back is enormous and going to seed now. It looks like a small tree it's so big.

The echinacea is looking good and my zinnias are finally starting to get nice and tall. I was worried there for awhile because they didn't seem to be growing, but now all is well. (Although the ones in the front bed that are usually as tall as the fence are awfully short this year. Not sure why that happened.) I shall be cutting them and enjoying them inside soon.

So it's a fairly decent garden this year. I am still sad that my lettuce went to seed immediately because it was so nice having fresh lettuce last year. Perhaps I will have better luck next year. (I am not going to plant anymore this season.)

Last night we had dinner with some friends who recently moved into a new place. We had such a good time. The house is amazing. It's very, very Santa Fe in all the best ways. Old adobe, nichos everywhere, vigas in many of the rooms, and the best old kitchen cabinets. And they are right on the acequia so when the water runs through, it's the sweetest of sounds. The house just has a wonderful feel to it and it was great to hang out and relax all evening. And the mojitos? Like icing on the cake.

Monday, August 9

A silvery glow.



That's what I ended up with here...well, kind of. The last TZ Edge Cut shots I took came out so dark, I decided to turn the dial to lighter and, well, in this case, I probably should have left it in the middle. I lost the deep blue violet color of the irises and ended up with this lovely sort of silvery glow. That's the beautiful of all these films, they force you to accept the unexpected.

Yesterday afternoon I shot my first photo with the new color film from The Impossible Project. I have to admit that I was rather giddy when I busted open the pack and loaded it in my camera. I went outside and wandered around the garden a bit, trying to find an interesting shot. I ended up taking a picture of the black eyed susans. Interesting? I don't know, but I did manage to completely shield the film from the light and get it inside to develop face down. I let it develop for 4 or 5 minutes and then with great excitement, I flipped it over. And whoa, maybe not the most brilliant shot, but it felt magical to even have instant color film to use in the SX-70 camera. The new films may have a lot of quirks that need to be worked out, but the mere fact that they even exist is a miracle. And a very exciting one at that. I can't wait to shoot more of the color film.

So far August has been super busy and it doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon. My nephews stayed with us for two days last week which was a lot of fun. We took them out to dinner, watched a lot of movies, played some Wii games and walked over to the Railyard Park. The weekend brought lunch with some of the family, trying to get caught up on work and a visit to some friends who recently had a baby. It's so rare that I am around newborn babies, it's kind of intense, watching such a little being squirm around and make cute baby noises. Their little girl is beautiful and has the cutest little fingers and toes. Next time we visit I am going to take a Polaroid camera with me so I can get some pictures of her.

Today I have to go back to the eye doctor to pick up my new contact lenses. This is a good thing as lately the ones I have bother my eyes quite a bit. They are five years old and tend to slip off my eyeballs at will. Not fun. Then there is a trip to the post office and a trip to the vet. I have to pick up food for the cats and I may take Rocky in as well because I am worried that he has gained weight since the vet switched his food. It took us years to get him to slim down so I really don't want him getting fat again. Plus he needs to get some baseline blood work done just because he is an older cat.

So lots to do and of course I haven't been sleeping well so I don't have a ton of energy. I may have to take a wee nap this afternoon before we head over to dinner with some friends.

Ahhhh...August.

Tuesday, August 3

Yellow.



Check out this week's Words To Shoot By!

**********

Listening to the new Arcade Fire this morning and loving it.

Yesterday my eye doctor appointment went well. I hadn't been in five years so I was hoping for a good report and I got one. My eyes are healthy. My contacts are in sad shape because they are five years old, but I knew that already. I'm very excited to get new ones. My eye sight hasn't changed much (yay), but I bet the world will still be brighter through new lenses.

I had planned on coming home and finishing some work, but oh my, I couldn't see right for hours because they dilated my eyes. I found my package from Arcade Fire on the porch when I got home and a letter from my mother-in-law, but I couldn't even read anything! And looking at the computer, forget about it. Way too bright. I had to wear my sunglasses in the house for awhile because the light was bothering me so much! By the time I went to bed, I could read, but my eyes still felt weird. I'm very glad that everything is back to normal this morning.

Okay, I best go run and then get to watering the gardening.

Monday, August 2

And the winner is...



And if you can't actually see it, the winner is Catherine!

Thank you all so much for participating. I am going to have another giveaway in the fall, a bigger giveaway, so I hope you'll all join in again and maybe get some other people to sign up as well.

----------

And now here we are in August, I can't believe how the time flies. Our California vacation is getting closer and we are so excited. We both really need to get away and relax.

We had a lovely weekend with some friends visiting from North Carolina. Dinner at Maria's on Saturday, of course, and yesterday we cooked out in the backyard. The weather was just perfect. (And that's when we picked a winner. I had Lauren draw the name out of a felted bowl, natch.)

This week is pretty packed for me starting with an eye doctor appointment this afternoon. I haven't been to the eye doctor since we lived in New York so it's been about five years. Bad. I desperately need new contacts and some new glasses probably wouldn't hurt either. Tomorrow I have to do some work at the gallery and then our two nephews arrive on Thursday to stay with us for a couple of days.

Hope you all had a great weekend and have a lovely week!