Tuesday, October 20, 2020



Just before I left for my morning walk, I remembered to grab my camera. I planned to hopefully get some photos of a Great Egret I'd seen in one of the small ponds for the last several weeks. Luckily, she was there and so busy foraging for her breakfast she didn't even know I was there clicking away. 
Photographing wildlife first thing in the morning makes for a good day.

Monday, October 19, 2020



It was a beautiful morning for a bike ride, and I needed to drop our ballots in the ballot box at our community center. 

It feels like it's been months since I've ridden. First, my back protested, then my quads, and then my lungs a little. Still, it felt great to cruise around and through the neighborhoods. 

After I did my civic duty, I rode on through our kids Middle and High Schools, noticing how eerily quiet they are right now. It's the middle of October, and those campuses should be bustling. So surreal.

I rode for four miles, and it was just what this body needed. 


Sunday, October 18, 2020



My brother Brad would have turned 64. He's been gone for almost twenty-four years. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if he was in a coma all these years and just woke up. He was a such a techno nerd that he would probably be blown away by how far we've come. We would have to watch the 'new' Star Trek, Star Wars, Mission Impossible, and Godzilla movies together. When I saw them, I couldn't help but think of how much he would enjoy them. We used to watch the Star Trek show together when we were kids. He and I watched an old Godzilla movie when he was bedridden a week or so before he passed. 

He'd be amazed at how much his son looks like him and even has the same mannerisms. I think he and all his nieces and nephews would probably get along great.

I could see him and Tristan geeking out together.

I'm grateful that he visits me in my dream every once in a while.

I miss him.

Saturday, October 17, 2020




We met Jesse, Bri, Logan, and Paisley at a Pumpkin patch. Logan, Bri, and I ran around picking out pumpkins and filling up our wheelbarrows while Jesse and Mike chatted. Paisley slept in her stroller. It was warm, even at 10 am. Then we drove to an RV dealership to look at travel trailers. Logan had a blast and loved all of them except the one Jesse and Bri want. I found our retirement trailer. It was a fun, sweaty Saturday morning with the kids. 

Friday, October 16, 2020


“I must have flowers, always and always.”

~ Claude Monet


I listened to another great Brene Brown podcast on my walk. 
I wore a light jacket, thinking it was cold out, and it was, a little, in some spots. Then there were pockets of warm air like a heater was blowing. It was odd. It reminded me of a coast camping trip that was uncharacteristically hot.
By the time I got back home from my walk, I had decided I want to sort, cull, and make photo albums with my boxes and boxes of photographs. I think that would be a great winter project. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020




I had some fun with the wilting flowers of my fall bouquet. 
And then a branch from our neighbor's tree fell on our house. Thankfully, she took care of it, got a tree company out right away, and the power didn't need to be shut off. All is well.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020



I was watching the sunrise from my dining room table. As the room got brighter, I realized I needed to use the light for some photography while I had the time. What to shoot? Good ole Pinterest gave me some inspiration to pull out the old silverware that I purchased a few years ago. I don't know what I was thinking, but silver polish can't fix these. Still, I do like their character, and I can use them as props for photo projects. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020



The high was 91ยบ, and I made beef stew. Well, it was fall-like a few days ago. There is just something about gathering the ingredients, especially for recipes like this—lots of vegetables and one pot. I get into a zone when I have the time to cook and prep properly, and then I must take pictures. Thank goodness for InstaPots and this delicious recipe from Nom Nom Paleo.

Monday, October 12, 2020



Photographing flowers always brings me joy, even on a Monday, even when I'm wiped out from cocktails and too much bread over the weekend. These little globes gave me enough energy to get through the rest of the day. Night night.

Sunday, October 11, 2020



I made myself a cup of coffee and got to work on this ballot. Then I took a walk, did the laundry, and watched some football. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020



We got up early, loaded up the kayaks, and drove out to a lake—a lake on a river. In a river? True story. When we got there, we encountered gale-force winds. Not really, but it was way too windy. So, we drove to an island. There we found a place to launch the kayaks, and off we went into a slough. We steered our way past a marina to a wetlands area where we discovered all the things we were looking for; no wind, calm water, nature, quiet, wildlife, and glorious partly cloudy sky. We spent quite a bit of time just floating and taking it all in. The return trip was a tad bit more rigorous as the wind picked up, and we had to paddle hard to keep from going backward. That last part was our exercise for the day, and we loved all of it.

Friday, October 9, 2020



I met Bri, Logan, Paisley, and Bailee at the park. It's been seven months since any of us have been to a playground.  
I got to hold Miss Paisley and Logan got to run and play to his heart's content. 
There was a moment where Bri and I watched, in awe, as Logan and his new "friend" took turns pushing each other on the swings. 
There is hope for our future in these children.

Thursday, October 8, 2020




I spotted splashes of fuchsia in the neglected yard of a neighbor. I almost continued on my walk, but it was such a juxtaposition I had to stop. There, in the middle of dirt and disarray, stood a Hibiscus blooming as if no one told it the tenants are gone now. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020


A nice cool morning with a partly cloudy sky.
Listening to a Brene Brown podcast on my walk.
Seeing 11 turkeys, including two toms, crossing the road.
Hearing a Flicker back in the neighborhood.
Talking with Michelle across the street for about an hour. 
Discussing politics and differences of opinion, calmly, as mature adults do.
Getting to hear my CynCyn's voice.
Listening to Taylor Swift while cleaning bathrooms.
Listening to 70's music while editing photos.
Sitting outside, on the patio reading.
Takeout for dinner.
Watching the VP debate with Mike. 


Tuesday, October 6, 2020


This is supposed to be my gratitude blog/journal/place/whatever, but this year...
Some days I have to dig deep to find what I'm grateful for. If feels like every day it's something else and we're just getting hit from all sides.
It's a lot. It's too much.  
I wonder why I even bother.
I do know why and I guess I picked a good year for doing this project.
Just keep swimming.
I woke up this morning in my warm comfy bed.
I had my coffee.
I took a walk.
I have a home, plenty of food, my health, my family, their health.
I don't need to work right now.
I get to spend my time creating.
I have a lot to be grateful for.


Monday, October 5, 2020


Eight solid hours of sleep.
Feeding and watching a pair of Stellar's Jays in the backyard.
A walk around the neighborhood before it got too warm.
My daily phone chat with my Sister.
Salisbury Steak, mashed sweet potatoes, and green beans for dinner.
Watching the Packers beat the Falcons with Mike.


Sunday, October 4, 2020


Hearing Logan talking to Papa in the backyard when I woke up.
They were out feeding the birds.
Breakfast with Mike and Logan.
Then a wonderful, smoke-free walk around the neighborhood.
Greeting the neighbors we haven't seen in a while.
Playing, watching a movie, coloring, and eating candy corn with Logan.
Getting to hold Paisley for a bit when I dropped off Logan.
Leftovers for dinner.

Saturday, October 3, 2020


AQI better this morning than last night.
Getting my chores done before...
Jesse, Bri, Logan, and Paisley came over.
Amazon delivery of some photo props.
Researching how to set up a small studio in my small house 
and how much RAM I need to add to my iMac.
My CynCyn called. 
Takeout from El Tapatio for dinner with Jesse and family.
Getting to see and hold Miss Paisley.
A sleepover with my Logan.

Friday, October 2, 2020


Photo prop shopping. Plus a few other things.
Sushi for lunch.
Talking to my Sister.
Video chatting with my Melissa and Sofia.
Getting to watch Sofia open her birthday present from us.
That face!
Watching them start to put it together.
Enjoying photographing abstracts, glass, and color.
Getting our Ballots in the mail.
Homemade Asian Chicken Salad for dinner.

Thursday, October 1, 2020


Helping Mike's company with a project by filming some skits this morning.
They brought in pizza for lunch.
A little shopping trip to Ross and Homegoods.
Got some goodies for me, Logan, and Paisley.
A photo session with my flowers I bought at Trader Joe's.
Editing photos and listening to music.
Jesse stopping by for a few minutes.
Mike and I talking about politics without getting mad at each other.
Chicken Marsala, mashed potatoes, and asparagus for dinner.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020


A morning visit from Jesse and Logan.
Logan wants to set up a sleepover.
Finally getting a mani/pedi! 
Getting voice text from Logan.
Chatting with my sister.
Playing with my Lens ball and refraction photography.
Having fun making a mess in the office/studio.
Planning our Christmas trip.
Takeout for dinner.
Watching the NBA playoffs with Mike.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020


A morning walk along the Martinez Shoreline.
The cool breeze.
Listening to the little water lap at the shore.
Seeing Egrets, White-tailed Kites, and Song Sparrows.
Just being outside, in nature.
Buying myself flowers, a salad, and a bunch of other stuff at Trader Joe's.
A nap.
Catching up with my Sister.
Editing photos.
Listening to music.
Watching the unbelievable Presidential debate with Mike and not losing our shit. 
Tacos for dinner.


Monday, September 28, 2020


A morning walk with Miss Bailee.
Tea and journaling.
Talking to my Sister.
My Melissa called.
Seeing a Cooper's Hawk sitting on the fence outside my kitchen window.
Getting a project done and delivered.
Finding photography inspiration.
Playing with some old marbles.
Photographing shiny objects.
Editing photos.
Listening to music on SiriusXM.
Oven honey BBQ'd chicken thighs, roasted sweet potato quarters, and roasted broccoli for dinner.


Sunday, September 27, 2020


Reading in the morning.
Getting all the laundry done.
Editing photos for a project.
Talking to my Melissa and my CynCyn.
Playing with liquid watercolors and making messy art.
Watching Andre Iguodala and the Miami Heat win their Conference finals.
New recipe - Sizzling pork Greek salad


Saturday, September 26, 2020


Road trip to the Delta.
Kayaking a new place.
Perfect weather.
All the bridges we saw and/or crossed.
ALL the birds we saw from the water!
Finding the quiet calm water.
Being outside, appreciating nature.
Spending the day adventuring with Mike.
Taking the long way home. 
Breakfast for dinner.

Friday, September 25, 2020


My morning walk.
Listening to a Brene Brown podcast.
Jacket weather.
Watching a Great Egret and a Snowy Egret forage together. 
A quick trip to the grocery store.
Seeing my Jesse for a few minutes this afternoon. 
Miss Bailee will be our guest for a few days.
Playing with my watercolor paints. Making messes.
Watching Andre Iguodala playing for the Miami Heat.
Spaghetti and wine for dinner.


Thursday, September 24, 2020


Found some much-needed color in my backyard this morning.
Jesse, Bri, Logan, and Paisley were over today!
I got to hold that baby.
Logan and I had an art date while Dad and Mom took Paisley for her two-week checkup.
We played with clings, stickers, lots of stickers, made a Pumpkin, colored pumpkins, painted with dot markers, and watercolor. So fun!
Jesse and Bri came back with lunch so they hung out for a while.
Jesse reinstalled our office A/C.
Chatted with my Sister.
Roasted sausage and vegetables for dinner. And wine.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


A morning walk with my camera.
Sunshine and no smoke
Listening to a Jenna Rainey podcast.
A short trip to Michaels. Got some goodies for me and Logan.
Photo inspiration from a Walmart ad in the mail and Whole Foods produce display.
Listening to Whitney Houston while editing photos.
Watching the new Magnificent 7.
Takeout and wine for dinner.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020


100 days left of 2020.
On the road at 6 am for a photoshoot in Sacramento.
Watched the sunrise.
Got to tour a huge, fancy office park. The kitchen was my favorite.
Oh and I photographed some of the interiors.
Mike and I had brunch after at Huckleberry's.
The drive home was beautiful 
We saw so many hawks.
Home by noon.
Checking in with my Sister.
Jesse stopped by to drop off and pick up stuff. Always good to see my boy.
Edited photos while listening to Taylor Swift and Meghan Trainor.
Meatloaf, broccoli, and cauliflower for dinner.
Watching a movie with Mike. 


Monday, September 21, 2020


Last day of summer.
Autumn is coming!
A crisp, early morning walk, with a light jacket.
The trees are starting to turn and the leaves are falling.
I saw a Night Heron at the big pond. Got a few horrible images with my phone.
Back to Whole30/Paleo eating. 
Texting with my girls.
A nice chat with Jesse.
An afternoon catnap.
Working in Photoshop for a change. 
Catching up with my Mom.
Chorizo and vegetable breakfast skillet for dinner.
Prepping my photography gear for a shoot tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2020


Up with the sun.
Kayaking with Mike.
Having breakfast in the middle of the reservoir.
Peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches!
Floating with the Pelicans and Cormorants.
A good three-plus hour workout.
Beautiful day on the water.
Spending quality time together and having fun.
Taking the long way home through the hills.
A catnap.
Daily check-in with my Sister.
Editing my photos.
Pizza (delivered) and wine for dinner. 


Saturday, September 19, 2020


Sunshine and clear skies.
Had to take my CynCyn to the airport this morning. I miss her already.
I took a detour on my way home. 
Did some photo scouting on Treasure Island. 
Today is Bri's 30th birthday.
Spent several hours just kicking back. 
Listened to my editing playlist while working on photos.
Chicken Fajitas for dinner.

Friday, September 18, 2020


I woke up. 
The sky was clear of smoke.
I have money to buy food. 
My CynCyn is here.
My family is healthy.
I have a new granddaughter.
We got to have dinner with Jesse, Bri, Logan, and Paisley tonight.
We celebrated Bri's 30th birthday.
Tri-tip, pasta salad, ambrosia, and wine for dinner.
Strawberry cheesecake for dessert. With candles of course.
It really was a beautiful evening.
And this boy!

Rest in power RBG


Thursday, September 17, 2020


Another clear, sunny, beautiful day.
A morning walk with CynCyn.
Clearing out clutter, moving furniture, and changing the energy in my kitchen.
Listening to Elton John.
Hanging out with my CynCyn.
Starting the Game of Thrones series. Maybe?
CynCyn and I meeting Jesse, Bri (and Paisley) at a brewery downtown for dinner.
Nice people giving us their table AND buying us beer.
Dining outside at sunset.
Beer and tacos for dinner.
Hanging out with the kids.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020


After the clouds cleared, we had blue sky and sunshine all day!
I was surprised by how crisp and clear it looked outside. 
Melissa called and we talked for two hours.
CynCyn and I went for a walk around the neighborhood.
We ran into Jim and chatted for a few minutes. 
Edited photos and made a gallery for Paisley on my website.
Sat out back and checked in with my Sister.
Started straightening my art supplies and ended up painting.
Listening to Elton John.
Takeout for dinner.
Mike is putting together my new kitchen cart.
Talked to my Jesse for a bit tonight.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020


AQI at 75 today!
We got to sit out on the patio and drink our coffee.
CynCyn and I took a trip to the bay.
We walked all around Lake Merritt.
Drove to Jack London Square for lunch.
I had Thai food for the first time and it was delicious and way too much food.
Then we went to Berkeley: Blick Art Supply and Phiz Coffee.
We had Thai leftovers and wine for dinner. 
It was a good day even though we received news about the passing of Ellie Iannetta Drake broke our hearts. We rose a glass to her. She is missed already. RIP you beautiful soul. 

Monday, September 14, 2020


Still smokey and the AQI was 175 to 200 today but...
I woke up.
I have a home.
My family is all okay.
My CynCyn is here.
We got to visit with Jesse, Bri, Logan, and Paisley today.
CynCyn and I got Super Duper burgers for lunch and ate them in the truck.
Then we did a little shopping.
Mike fixed the thermostat issue in the car. 
I made Mike breakfast for dinner.
CynCyn and I had ice cream for dinner. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020


Sleeping-in past 7 am.
A little less smoke and more sunshine but still bad AQI.
CynCyn visiting with Jesse, Bri, Logan, and Paisley.
A nice morning with Mike.
StrammerMax for brunch.
Starting 'Yellowstone' over.
Taking inventory of my art supplies.
Playing with my paints.
Listening to music without words.
Planning a trip to Berkeley tomorrow.
Cracklin Chicken, sweet potatoes, and broccoli for dinner.


Saturday, September 12, 2020


CynCyn made us egg, bacon, and cheddar cheese sandwiches for breakfast.
We got to meet Miss Paisley Jo today!
So tiny, sweet, and adorable. 
Logan wants to hold her as much as everyone else.
If he's not playing PJ Masks with CynCyn.
Jesse and Bri are in love and much calmer this time around. 
Took CynCyn to see Mike's office.
Deneen came to visit. We all wore our masks.
We had 'whatever' for dinner. 
Wine and chocolate cake for dessert. 


Friday, September 11, 2020


So thankful to have my CynCyn here right now.
Getting the grocery shopping done.
Watching 'Bohemian Rhapsody' with CynCyn. 
Jesse FaceTiming us when they got home from the hospital.
We got to see Paisley wiggling and crying.
Bri asking when we are going to come over.
CynCyn made dinner...
Super thick brined and baked pork chops, cauliflower steaks, and arugula salad.
Long and hopefully helpful after-dinner conversation with CynCyn. 



Thursday, September 10, 2020


Our Miss Paisley Jo arrived at 7:04 am. Bringing hope to us all.
Mr. Logan spent the night and I got to snuggle with him this morning.
Making Sausage, Oven pancakes with bananas, strawberries, and syrup for breakfast to celebrate.
Making it through this smokey, ashy day with My CynCyn.
Finding things to do inside. 
Ahi Wasabi Poke, kale salad, and a cocktail for lunch.
My Sister checking in.
Texted pictures of our Paisley Jo from Jesse throughout the day.
Watching a movie with CynCyn.
Crispy spicy Turkey and riced cauliflower for dinner
Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse Cake for dessert. With wine, of course.
Season 3 of Yellowstone.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020


Much cooler weather today, at a cost.
Having CynCyn here.
Strammer Max for breakfast.
My Sister checking in.
Getting to talk to my Melissa, Tristan, and Sofia.
A trip to Costco.
Watching part of Mad Max with CynCyn.
Getting to hug Jess and Bri when the dopped Logan off on their way to the hospital. 
Waiting for the call when #4 arrives.
Takeout for dinner with Mike, CynCyn and Logan.
Chocolate cake for dessert.
Reading books to Logan before he went to bed.
CynCyn and Logan having a sleep-over.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020


Finally starting to cool off.
A morning walk with CynCyn.
Catching up with the neighbors.
Making breakfast for me and CynCyn.
Editing photos.
CynCyn making lunch for us.
Watching 'Rocketman.'
Jesse calling to let us know Bri is going to be induced tomorrow!
Tacos and cocktails for dinner.
An after-dinner walk.

Monday, September 7, 2020


Going to Jesse and Bri's for breakfast at 7:30 am.
Jesse made us bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns on his outdoor grill.
We ate outside on the deck.
Hanging out, showing CynCyn the house, playing hide and seek with Logan, sitting on the front porch, talking to the neighbors, and swinging in the neighbor's yard.
A Target run with CynCyn.
In-N-Out for lunch.
Watching "Logan Lucky."
Chicken, potato salad, fresh tomatoes from my garden, and watermelon for dinner. 

Sunday, September 6, 2020


Kayaking San Pablo Reservoir with Mike.
And with my Dr. CynCyn too!
Bringing my big camera.
Having the perfect cubby to put it in on my kayak.
Getting some great wild bird photos.
I caught, actually released a fish that was caught on a hook!  
Surviving the heat and smoke.
Air conditioning.
The power staying on.
Getting a nap.
Having a cocktail and watching a movie with CynCyn.
Chicken Caesar salad for dinner. 
Conversations with my girl.


Saturday, September 5, 2020


Leftovers for breakfast.
Finishing up a list of tasks I made a month ago.
Listening to Tim McGraw and Kenney Chesney.
Picking up my Dr. Cyn Cyn from the airport!
Cocktail hour.
Los Panchos for dinner. 
An after-dinner walk with CynCyn.
Getting to watch season 3 of Yellowstone. 

Friday, September 4, 2020


One last cool morning before the heatwave.
A trip to REI and the grocery store.
Dahlias at Whole Foods!
My Sister checking in. 
Listening to Kenney Chesney.
My Logan came over for a few hours.
Snuggles and kisses.
Playing camping and construction site.
Getting to see Jesse and Bri and that baby bump too. Six more days, or less?
Paleo Potsticker Stir-fry aka Eggroll in a bowl for dinner.

Thursday, September 3, 2020


Cool fall-like morning.
My Sister checking in.
Paleo waffles with banana and sausage for breakfast.
Listening to all the music while cleaning.
Oven and stove done.
More windows done.
Floor mopped, even if it doesn't look like it.
Painting, drawing, coloring, and editing photos.
A trip to Dick's Sporting Goods with Mike.
Hot dogs for dinner.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020


Logan day!
Playing with all the toy cars.
Having lunch together.
Playing with Jesse's old Lord of the Rings toys.
Vanilla ice cream with mini chocolate chips.
Breaking out the guitar.
Hanging out in the backyard.
Getting to visit with my Jesse for a bit.
Takeout for dinner. 


Tuesday, September 1, 2020


A brisk morning walk. 
Listening to a Creative Peptalk podcast.
Greeted by three Tom Turkeys who came running towards me like knew me.  
Getting a Target run and the grocery store done.
A clean oven.
A Turkey hen visiting the backyard today.
Watercolor painting.
Finishing a project. 
Scanning artwork.
Buddha bowls for dinner.