February 28, 2008

Bryan and Jen

Bryan and Jen, and their kids - yes, including their four-legged kids - are a "pretty family." You know the type. You see them in TV commercials and print ads. Everyone in the family is photogenic, and when you see them you just want to know them.

They are as nice as they look, and just as fun!

BubbleShare: Share photos - green toy news

February 27, 2008

Upcoming Exhibition in San Juan Capistrano

Click image for larger view

Everyone's invited to see work by the members of my exhibition group, First Impressions. There will be wine and snacks, and lots of great original art for sale. During our reception on March 16th (Sunday) there will be an additional huge display of the group's artwork, and the artists will be present and would love to meet you.

The Franciscan Plaza is caddy-corner across from the Mission at San Juan Capistrano, and just behind the plaza is the train station and Historic Los Rios Street. There is a lot to do in the area for all ages and interests, so please join us!

February 26, 2008

February 24, 2008

Mike and Lillian

Yesterday I had the pleasure of photographing a really lovely couple in honor of their son's first birthday. Mike is the nicest guy in the world, and talk about intelligent. This is definitely the guy you want with you if you're lost on an island! Lillian is a photographer's dream and needed very little posing guidance. She has a beautiful smile, and was a natural in front of the camera. And their son - wow. What a doll!

The pictures came out great, and it was all fun and no work for me.

Thank you, Mike and Lillian!

February 22, 2008

It's Apple Blossom Time

I was looking at the map for the blossom trail this morning, preparing for a trip there in the very near future, and it dawned on me that I have some beautiful apple blossoms popping up in my own backyard. AND it's raining today, which makes for a beautiful natural "soft box" lighting effect.

I grabbed my camera and this is what I got. I love it, and I hope you do, too :-D

February 21, 2008

New Picture - City View from Patio Garden

Here's a picture of beautiful Downtown L.A. I hope you like it!



Happy Thursday!

B

February 20, 2008

Randy Pausch - The Last Lecture

One of my flaws and one of my strengths is impatience (flaw) and patience (strength).

My impatience manifests pretty consistently with "forwards" that I receive via email. If it's printed and I see it's long, I usually immediately delete it. If it's video and the feed is long - same thing. Click. Gone.

The first part of this video (which, admittedly, is long) caught my attention, and I was locked on it.

Death.

Mortality.

Spirituality.

Sacrifice.

Peace.

Love.

Dr. Randy Pausch reprises his "Last Lecture" on the Oprah show. The segment is hosted by Oprah and Dr. Oz. This video has been shared and viewed over a million times.

Do yourself a huge favor and watch, at the very least, Randy Pausch's lecture. His strength and grace are rare, and are a beautiful gift to his fellow beings.

I've embedded the entire segment here, including the follow-up interview. It's a little long (about 10 minutes), but is a powerful message from one who will soon leave us. While it may be difficult to watch for those who fear death (me), it gives us some things to think about while we're still alive. Lessons and guidelines that may give you peace when your time does near.

"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death."

- Leonardo da Vinci
Italian engineer, painter, & sculptor (1452 - 1519)


February 19, 2008

PicLens - My Latest Treasure!

My friend, Vicki, sent me a link to PicLens. I finally downloaded it and I love it! It makes your pictures into a 3D wall for viewing.

You can check my Flikr site to see how it looks. Just mouse-over any of my pictures and on the bottom left corner you'll get an arrow. Click and bam!

See you on the other side!

B

And the Winner is...ME!


Well, what a nice way to start the day! I made someone's day - AND - I got an award for it!

The omni-talented, and highly entertaining, Corrina of My Random Blog awarded me the "You Make My Day" award today.

THANKS!

This is how it works...

1. Write a post with links to five blogs that make your day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the You Make My Day Award logo.
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs or emailing them the news.

Okay, easy enough.

And here are the blogs that make my day on a regular basis (Corrina's would've been first, but then we'd spin in circles):

Michelle Black's Photography Blog
Bottle Bell Photography
Down Around L.A.
2andFro
Sue's Daily Photos

So, there you have my appreciation and my inspiration, all wrapped up into one blog post.

Ta,

B

New Picture - Rocket Ride

Fifty cents is all it takes to take a flight in this vintage kiddie ride!

February 17, 2008

Please Help The Animals

I heard a horrific story the other day.

(Read the AP story HERE)

While it is a nightmare for some people who have lost their homes to foreclosure of late, it is life and death for their pets.

People are leaving their houses and having to move into rentals, and their pets are not wanted. You know and I know what this means. The animals are being abandoned by the droves.

The shelters are now more horribly burdened than ever before, and they are being forced to put down (kill) the animals because of a lack of space. Even when they warn people that there is a high likelihood their animals will be put to sleep, the people are still leaving them there because they don't have much other choice.

Worse than that, there are widespread occurrences of less human types just moving out and simply abandoning their pets. The ASPCA and Humane Society has found many, many animals chained or tied up, and literally starving to death.

I can't even wrap my head around this.

So, I'm trying to do what I can by donating monthly to the Humane Society. While it doesn't stop the ache in my heart, I feel I'm at least trying to do something.

I also found these widgets from the ASPCA to make it easy for anyone to help by donating money, so they can help more animals. There are two widgets on my right side bar which link you directly to the ASPCA site.

I don't like asking anyone for money, but if it helps these poor suffereing animals in any way, I will set aside my pride and beg you, any of you, to please donate what you can. Anything is better than nothing.

And if you have room for a pet, please adopt one, especially from a shelter that has limited space and will ultimately euthanize the animals.

"As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled." -Victor Hugo

Compassion,

B

Pearl Street Beach - Laguna Beach

I had to drop off a couple pictures at a gallery yesterday, so I decided to cruise up PCH and explore some new areas by turning into any random street I haven't been down before. After turning down one street, I continued on until I found a parking place, and ended up on Pearl Street in Laguna Beach.

Awesome beach!

There was a huge rock formation with a pass-thru in the center. The other side of the formation was gorgeous, and the ocean was rough, which made for beautiful sea spray.

I was shooting with two different kinds of film cameras yesterday, so I don't have the majority of my pictures yet, but I did take some with my trusty pocket digital camera.

As I was standing there, once again a familiar thought came to mind: I live in the most exquisitely beautiful place in the world. Here are some shots.

If you continue down to the bottom of this post there is a seven second video of the rocks and water. It's only seven seconds long because my battery was low and I wanted to make sure I could get some pictures of the beach.

Anyway, here they are:



LAGUNA BEACH WAVES:

February 15, 2008

Random Thoughts & A Couple New Pics

Today's FRIDAY!

I adore this day. I have some plans for this afternoon, but I need to get some stuff done first, so here are some random thoughts for today - oh, and a couple of new pictures.

* I have a clear-cut winner new TV show for this year: Cashmere Mafia. This show is great! I can't even bring myself to watch Lipstick Jungle, which is the same basic show premise. CM is so good that there's no need.

* Why do a lot of people (yours truly, included) start off a moderate-to-long story with "So," (So, I was sitting... -- So, I went to...) I catch myself all the time.

* A lot of people are what I call "lazy readers." They read the beginning, a bit of the center, and some of the end. This, sometimes, causes problems because you can miss an important and message-changing detail. I try not to do this, but am guilty at times.

* I'm feeling really good on my new eating plan. I am a nap aficionado, but since I've been eating whole foods I've only taken one nap, because I haven't felt tired!

* I got my new camera yesterday! I won't tell you what it is until I have some postable shots to show in conjunction. But, suffice to say, I'm anxious to go test drive it!

* I've been uploading more pictures to my Flikr account.

* My little dog was sick last week. We suspect it was a minor ear infection, but she wouldn't eat and was listless. If you knew my dog, you would've heard bells go off when I said she wouldn't eat. She's normally a piranha. The vet couldn't figure it out, but gave her steroids and antibiotics. She finally bounced back to normal and I'm THRILLED!

* Sticks and stones can break your bones, AND words can hurt you. I was reading a blog the other day, one that I read regularly, (I'm not saying which one, because I'm sure she's a very nice girl) but she was apologizing for something she'd done, and said something to the effect of, "To my friends who know me, and to those who just lurk here," - Lurk? It was like a little stab of embarrassment. Aren't we meant to read public blogs? I mean, isn't that why they're public? Anyway, I instantly felt intrusive and stalker-esque. I commented on her blog, and noted the "lurk" word choice. She said it's just blog-o-speak and didn't mean anything negative. I looked it up, and she's mostly right. It means those who read blogs anonymously (lurking in cyberspace) - however, I make comments, so technically I am NOT a lurker. At any rate, it ruined it for me and I unsubscribed to her blog. Not because I think she's rude, which I don't, but because it made me feel weird.

So, [there it is!] choose your words more carefully - it only takes a second to hurt feelings, and forever, if ever, to repair them.

* I had a wonderful Valentine's Day. The day before V-Day I got a beautiful, but simple love letter, which was worth more than any gems (or camera lenses!) Feeling loved is priceless.

Okay, that's it for today. I hope you like the two new pics - comments welcome!


THE LAKE ON A SUMMER'S DAY



I DREAMT I WAS AT THE BEACH...

February 13, 2008

Bye Bye Polaroid

Sadly, another aspect of photography is forever changed by progressive technology.

Polaroid is no longer going to make its instant film.

Read about it here.

I know that time, and progress, marches on, but it's kind of sad to say goodbye to another piece of history.

:-(

Some Views of Old Town Tustin

I was recently in Tustin and decided to take a little mini-cruise through the Old Town section - appropriatly named "Old Town Tustin." Here are some views of this very quaint area.









February 10, 2008

A Beautiful Way To Start My Day :-D

Today I woke up and followed my usual routine (feed and water the dog, make coffee, go to my computer). Nice. I like routine. It's comfortable.

When I got to my computer I found an email from Corrina (My Random Blog), who had forwarded this video to me. She's always a good judge of content, so I opened it before anything else.

It was so meaningful that it brought happy tears to my eyes. It also reminded me of one of my favorite bible verses:

:Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Hebrews 13:2

Please watch it, and let it bring you some happiness, too.

Hugs,

Barbara

February 09, 2008

My New Sprouting Jar's Here!



Years ago I had my own sprouting jar and I used it constantly. Fresh sprouts are delicious, and when you sprout your own you know under exactly what conditions they were grown. And it's cheap!

Somehow or another I faded on sprouting and misplaced my sprouting jar. I've been looking everywhere locally for another one, and haven't found anyone in the area who carries them. I found them easily enough on the Internet, but refused to pay the almost $10.00 shipping companies were charging.

Being persistent as a badger, I finally located a really great company called Fruitful Yield who not only sold the sprouting jar (large) for about one-half to one-third the price others were charging, BUT they also shipped my whole order for $5.00!

Customer service is also great there, because (as usual) I had a last minute change (I wanted to add onto my order). They caught my order and made the add, all with a very pleasant attitude, and NO additional shipping charge.

I've got my new jar loaded up with mung beans, and my new strainer lid on a second jar that is loaded with broccoli sprouts. I can't wait to see them start sprouting. I love seeing plants sprout. It's such a miracle!

February 08, 2008

I'm No Longer a Wheatgrass Virgin

A couple of weeks ago I changed the way I eat. Mostly because I'm paranoid. You hear so many bad things about additives, as well as what high fats and chemicals can do to your organs.

There's one eating plan out there that has a few different names, but the version I use is called the Loma Linda Diet. I don't know if it was really developed by Loma Linda, but under the various names the description remains pretty consistent. It was supposedly developed to help heart patients lose weight rapidly so they can have surgery, or something like that. Again, I'm not sure of the validity of the claims. What I do know for a fact is that the diet works. It works fast, and I never feel hungry, tired or unhealthy. Why? Because it consists of all natural whole foods, and you can eat as much as you want on most days.

Anyway, back to my topic.

Since I've been on this diet I have become more interested in raw recipes so I can eat more raw foods than cooked. I came across a Natural Health magazine (I'm now a subscriber!), and read it cover-to-cover the other night. One of the articles was about the benefits of wheatgrass.

The whole article was good, but the one sentence that has stuck in my mind is this: "Drinking two ounces of wheatgrass is like consuming three and a half pounds of vegetables."

Wow.

The article went on to describe the taste (very sweet), and that it contains vitamins A, B12, C and E, folic acid, phosphorus, iron and calcium. It also contains a highly absorbable form of protein and a significant dose of phytochemicals (prevents disease and attacks cancer cells).

Again, wow.

It also detoxifies the liver, cleanses the colon, and purifies the bloodstream, which all enhance the immune system.

Okay, I'm in.

I go to Jamba Juice last night and order up my favorite all fruit drink, Pomegranate Paradise, with an antioxidant add, and I ask for an ounce of wheatgrass.

Being a wheatgrass virgin, I thought the wheatgrass would be blended in, but it wasn't. It's in a tiny little cup, served on a pretty green plate.

I sit down with my two drinks and prepare for my super-nutritional blast off.

SIDE NOTE: I am not an adventurous eater. I don't eat anything that, to me, is weird. This would include calamari, frog legs, snails, and anything along those lines. I also do not eat rare or raw meat of any kind, including fish. I do, however, stray outside the box if it is something of a vegetable or fruit nature. (Have I mentioned I LOVE vegetables? And fruit, but mostly vegetables).

I approach the dark green miracle liquid first with a sniff. A small alarm goes off in my head ("This smells like the front lawn.")

But they say it's sweet, so I keep going...

I taste a molecule or two. Yep, definitely the front lawn. But sweet.

I'm a little concerned at this point, but because it's so healthful (and, after all, it's of the vegetable/fruit nature, so I'm not panicking) I decide to drink it the most painlessly way I know: Chug it.

"Over the teeth and past the gums, look out stomach, here it comes!"

GULP.

I follow up with a very palate-cleansing, but un-feminine, sucking down of my smoothie. Not bad. I have a little residual grassy taste, but very minute and manageable. And I have my first dose of wheatgrass energizing my cells and fighting off disease!

Yay!

(I think I'll wait a few days before I go for round two. This is definitely an acquired taste...)

February 07, 2008

Irvine Park Railroad - Preferred Transportation of the Easter Bunny!

The Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train was a really fun time for all, but Santa is a mere memory at this point.

Never fear!

I have just received word that the first annual Easter Train Eggstravaganza is ready to roll out this March 15th and 16th. Should be great fun for families looking for things to do this Easter, with an Easter egg hunt and carnival games. I love this kind of stuff, and Irvine Park Railroad tries really hard to make a great event. My camera and I are definitely catching this one.

Here's the info and picture from the official site:



The Easter bunny is coming to Irvine Park Railroad on Saturday, March 15th and Sunday, March 16th. Children ages 12 and younger can participate in an Easter egg hunt (children younger than 12 months can enter for free)… each egg will be filled with candy or a prize. Easter egg hunts will begin promptly at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM on both days.

Please bring an Easter basket for each child that will be participating in the Easter egg hunt. Tickets must be purchased on the day of the event in order to receive a wristband for the Easter egg hunt.

During the Easter Eggstravaganza, children can meet the Easter bunny and have their picture taken with him at a cost of $6.00 per photo. Pictures will be taken by Irvine Park Railroad staff and available for pickup shortly after the picture is taken.

There will be other activities to enjoy during the Easter Eggstravaganza including carnival games, a moon bounce, picture stands and a lot more. Please visit www.irvineparkrr.com for full details including pricing.

While at Irvine Regional Park, be sure and visit the parks other activities including bike rentals, pony rides, paddle boat rentals and The Orange County Zoo.

Irvine Park Railroad opens daily at 10:00 AM (including Easter Sunday). The cost for train tickets is $4.00 per person; children younger than 12 months ride free. Irvine Park Railroad is located at 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869.

February 05, 2008

IT'S SUPER TUESDAY!

Did you vote?

Yes? Good for you! Stand up and be counted!

No? Okay, then don't complain...

February 01, 2008

"LOST" IS BACK!



I was so happy last night to see a new episode of Lost. The direction the show is in now is really refreshing (post rescue flashbacks).

A lot of people don't really care for flashbacks, but I adore them and follow them with ease. I like them because I am a "back-story" kind of girl. Anyone who knows me is rolling their eyes at this point. I have to have the story set up - no matter how minute. Sorry. I like to visualize the scene as I'm hearing the story.

Anyway, back to Lost

Did you happen to catch that they are called the Oceanic SIX? So, who left the island and who did not? And why?

Sad that Jack, who is Mr. Big Pants on the island, is such a wretch after he's saved. IF he's saved. And by that I mean, what is Lost anyway? Theories run the gamut from aliens, to hallucinations, to dreams, to...

I have my theories, but I don't spend too much time on that. I just want to enjoy the next three years and then I'll deal with the pain of losing them when it's over.