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“Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the Mall of his choice.”  Dave Barry

We’re hanging out at the Shasta Mall in Redding, California waiting for Papa G to finish up a morning of business back at the hotel before we head on to San Francisco where Baby Girl’s Mommy and Daddy are anxiously awaiting her return.  We ended up at the Mall because I typed “playground” in to Map Quest, and this is where it instructed me to go.  We ended up just running up and down the open areas as the Playground was full of kids and quite hectic.  She was happy with that though . . . but finally it was break time and snack time.  That’s when I captured this with my iPad.   She’s just chillin’!  

Funny thing is I never go to the Mall anymore, and will avoid it like the plague during the holiday season.  I prefer to either do my gift shopping on-line, or make something that is personal and meaningful.   I just can’t do the crazy crowds anymore.  I didn’t buy one thing here at this Mall – even tho I did do a bit of window shopping.  Everything is either too expensive or just not what I’m looking for.  I would have bought a rain jacket for the Baby if I had found one . . . but could not find a single clothing store that sells them for toddlers.  Weird.  So – maybe I need to design something and get it on the market asap??  Hmmm . . . 

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“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Road Trip!!

We’re on our first leg of a 4 day road trip to California with the baby.  This picture is taken at the Pacific Border Crossing between Surrey, BC and Blaine, WA.  We’ve got a six to seven hour drive ahead of us to just south of Portland, OR.  Baby Girl is snuggled in and happy.  What an awesome little traveler she is too.  It took an hour to get through the border, and another 20 minutes to Bellingham where we gassed up.  She’d been in the car two hours by then, with no fussing what so ever.  I let her out to run around at the Fred Meyer in North Bellingham while hubby gassed up the car.  The rest of the trip was uneventful with just a couple of rest stops for food and stretching our legs.  I did load up my iPad with a few of her favorite shows, which kept her entertained during part of the trip.  For much of the time she either slept, or chatted with us or herself, and sang songs . . . one of the most fun drives south I’ve had in a long time.  We’ll be two days at my son’s south of Portland before we head out again.  

The Road Trip continues . . . 

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“Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”  Dr Seuss

Baby Girl wakes up every morning giggling and happy and playful.  It’s the most amazing experience for her Papa and I.  I love to listen to her talking with her stuffies in her crib – which she will do for almost half an hour.  Then I’ll hear a tentative “Ya Ya?”  When I get up and go in to get her, she giggles with joy and hides under her blanket.  How can one not just have a great day after waking up to that??  This morning, her last day here in Canada with us, she decided to climb on the window ledge in our bedroom and look outside for the birdies.  I love the whispy softness of this shot – taken with my iPad and processed in Photoshop CS6 with Nik Color Effex Pro.  

I’m going to miss her so much!  But I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to spend this quality time with her.  

Priceless!

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“When we are children we seldom think of the future.  This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can.  The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.”  Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

I’m enjoying so much taking pictures of this little one.  Those curls, that sweet innocence.  This morning we went out to feed the birdies some puffed rice cereal we’d used to make some Halloween Treat with – but it didn’t work out so well.  We thought the birds might enjoy them.  I caught her with the morning light coming from behind her, through the Willow Tree at the edge of the creek.  I think this may be one of my favorite pictures of her so far.  

After she put the cereal on the little spool, she walked around snapping her fingers saying “here birdie, here birdie, treats!”

I just love seeing life through her eyes!

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“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.  Grandparents sort of sprinkle startdust over the lives of little children.”  Alex Haley 

My beautiful little almost-2-year-old Grand Daughter has come to visit with her Mommie for a week.  If you’ve read previous posts, we had her here for three weeks last winter while her Daddy had open heart surgery.  I am so excited that Mommie has decided to spend her vacation time here in Canada with Papa G and Ya Ya.  She absolutely loves her baths . . . in fact she is a water baby – loves anything that involves water – even the rain!  She is an absolute delight.  I love the sound of her laughter ringing through the house.  It’s going to be a fun week ahead!

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“Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.” Joan Lunden

Why do we hang on to anger so easily, and find it so difficult to let go and forgive?? I know so many people who are just driven by their anger over so many different issues . . . many times just perceived wrongs that have been given flight by anger and resentment. In fact, the anger and resentment is usually driven by past hurts and experiences that are buried and hidden, and we can’t name them because they’re invisible. It’s so tough to live life in a state of awareness . . . trying to understand where this anger comes from and working towards putting out the hot burning fire. Once awareness is achieved, its so much easier to forgive and move on. I know that in my life, I’ve had to work and work at this . . . and it continues to be a daily challenge. I can tell you though – the benefits are so worth it.

Today’s photo is just a composite I put together because I woke up with a gnarly headache this morning. It doesn’t happen very often . . . but when it does I have a tough time shaking it off. I processed this in Photoshop with a few different presets, added my own textured background, and added a cracked texture to my hands.

Oh . . . and I’m feeling better now!

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“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”  George Bernard Shaw 

I’m spending so much time in the water these days . . . I thought another “wet” shot would be appropriate!  

I’m doing Aqua Aerobics up to five days a week (45 minutes of Deep Water & 1 hour of Shallow Water on M, W, F / 45 minutes of Aqua Bootcamp & 45 minutes of Water Walking on T,Th).   I miss a day here and there.  On those days I hop on the treadmill and do 3+ miles.  I reserve one or two days a week for recovery depending on how I’m feeling.  

In the meantime . . . I think I’m growing webs between my fingers and toes!  

I processed this using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, and then a bit of tweaking in PS CS6.

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“Little moments can have a feeling and a texture that is very real.”  Ralph Fiennes

I was shooting pics of my 4 year old Great Nephew when he looked at me and said “Why don’t you take a picture of yourself?”.  Ha!  So I did!  And this is the result . . . an upside down shot of myself.  I took it in to Lightroom 4 to do a bit of processing, then in to Photoshop CS6 and Topaz Labs to further render the photo.  I also added some texture from Kim Klassen Cafe .

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“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery.  There is always more mystery.”  Anais Nin

I’m falling a bit behind in my 365 . . . so am playing catchup.  I am playing around with focusing on my D800 and the 105mm lens.  It’s not as easy as it might seem!  I managed to get the leaf on the plant in great focus . . . so decided that I’d add a bit of texture (Kim Klassen “tapededge.jpg) to create a bit of mystery . . .   

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“May the Smoothie be with you…Always”  Unknown

I’m on a Smoothie kick.  

I love coming home from a workout and whipping up a yummy, energy boosting smoothie.  

This one is made with delicious Yukon blueberries, delivered by my sister who picked them herself.  I threw the fresh blueberries in the blender with non-fat plain greek yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, frozen mango chunks, vanilla  whey protein powder, ground flax and hemp hearts.  Yummy!  

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