pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: December 2013

31 December 2013

With hope in your hands: An end has a start - 2013

North Atlantic
16 July 2012

2013. The year I wrote more and said less.

What was good: travel (not enough), seeing friends (not enough), concerts (not enough). A new bathroom!

What was bad: my loved ones enduring surgery (too much), dealing with the insurance and a doctor who tried to balance bill us (my new solution for everything health related: threaten to take them to small claims court), and general malaise. Also, I'm still cleaning up from the construction as we get ready to start more.

All in all, we survived (in at least one case, that was a big one). Sometimes we thrived.

Honestly? I'm exhausted. That has to change.

Where do we go from here? I have no idea. But I always hope the journey is a good one and makes me better than I am. That I learn from it, and use that knowledge wisely. And that is what I wish for you: an excellent journey.

Be safe, be good, and remember to eat your black-eyed peas.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. And yes, I've opened my new camera, but I haven't charged the battery yet. That was one disappointment: my batteries aren't interchangeable!!

24 December 2013

Hot mess - Gingerbread house edition

Gingerbread house
24 December 2013

The daughter, eyeing her creation: "I think this is what they call a 'hot mess.'"

Me, picking up the icing bag and adding more: "Hmm."

The spouse: "What do you do with it now?"

Me: "Put it outside and see if the squirrel takes it."

Wherever you are and whatever you believe, I wish you peace and kindness in this season and in all that follow.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4. And because of a *really* thoughtful UPS driver, I did receive my new camera today.

23 December 2013

Sun, sand, surf and Nativity

Newport Beach, California
31 December 2012

It was so perfectly...California.


I finally took the plunge.

When I got myself the D40 for Christmas six years ago, it was the first time I ever bought myself a *real* camera. Too exciting. I started on the bottom rung, and promised myself that if I mastered the low end, I could aspire to the high end.

Well, I can't claim that I've mastered the low end, but I decided that I'd earned a better camera. Tomorrow, I get my D7000. I already know what will happen when I unwrap it in two days. I will look at it. I will circle it. I will read the box. I will put it down. I will look at it. I will circle it. I will think about it.

I will eventually open it. It might take me a couple of hours. Maybe a couple of days. Worse case scenario, a couple of months.

But I will open it. And I will learn it. And I will love it.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.

18 December 2013

Golden glow

Santa Ana, California
18 December 2013
No new tale to tell.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.

10 December 2013

The cloud

Santa Ana, California
10 December 2013
I keep forgetting it's nearing the holidays; shopping has been by rote. Celebration will be quiet this year, though no less filled with gratitude. Our loved one survived seven-and-one-half hours of cancer surgery yesterday. His road to recovery will be long, and probably difficult. He is not young. But he is still with us. Hopefully for a long time yet.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.

09 December 2013

Straight to the moon

Airplane contrail at sunset
9 December 2013
Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.

06 December 2013

My odd life

Chicken tamale & "Korean moon pie"*
6 December 2013
Every year, the daughter and I go to the Visual Arts conservatory's winter boutique. It's just a little mother/daughter excursion and we look at everything on offer and buy small gifts of jewelry and ceramics for our friends.
I met her this afternoon for our traditional promenade through the tables, and we looked and talked to the vendors, and finally retired to the breezeway to share a tamale and *what the girl who was selling them described to us as a "Korean moon pie."
Then the daughter took me off to an art gallery so I could admire a print that she saw and loved. She pointed out a small sculptural set of bones made of glass. Looking at them, I was overwhelmed with sadness.
"That's me," I said to her.
"Oh, Mommy," she said, hugging my arm.
Also? This.
Yesterday, as I driving through the wilds of Santa Ana, I was rear ended. My immediate impulse was highly uncharitable but I suppressed it, and the other driver immediately apologized and took full responsibility (which would be difficult to deny, since I was sitting at a stop light when she hit me). The damage to my car appeared minimal--mostly scratched paint--so I took her number, but waved it off.
There didn't seem much point in saying anything about the damage the impact had done to me.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.