365Project Day 53 ~ Finding Beauty on this Sad Dreary Day

This weekend was filled with shock and pain for many people.

The world lost an amazing man this weekend, who was loved by so many people.  A very respected, loved, sweet, and caring guy who’s smile was infectious.

He started a cycling team awhile back who gave to many charities.  Chris raced on that team, and that is how we came to know him.  Chris became his personal trainer for awhile.  That made their friendship grow outside the cycling world.  I, personally was not great friends with him.  Not because I didn’t want to be.  That couldn’t be further from the truth, but nothing went beyond the occasional party, local bike race or the occasional meeting at the gym.  Whenever we did see each other, he always gave great hugs.

We actually hadn’t seen him in a couple of years.  He backed off the cycling circuit and headed to Austin.  However, this does not make the pain any less painful.  When people met him I believe he left a great impression on the other person that could remain for years, if not a life time.  At least, he did for me.  For me, he was one of those people you wanted to be around all the time.  He just gave off that great energy.

I remember he gave me a ride in his Porsche awhile back.  I think it was a G5 at the time, I could be wrong.  Nothing fancy inside, it was built for racing.  Under the hood was all that mattered.  I’ll never forget we laughed pretty hard when my head hit the back of the seat as he accelerated and I blurted out “Oh Sh*t” I think my eyeballs went to the back of my head as well.  I knew it had power, but I didn’t know it had that much.

I think the hardest thing for me is to see the pain left on his friends faces.  His best friend, for example.  Her pictures on facebook share sweet memories that she will cherish for a lifetime.  The pain she is carrying around cannot be comforted.  Not in a complete way.  We can try.  The words and hugs are great, but as anyone that has dealt with grief knows that doesn’t even take the edge off.

This is your best friend.  The one person who knows all your secrets, who you confide in, who you go to to share your greats with your heartbreaks.  The one person who loves you for you, no judgement!  Tells you when to get your head out of your ass and ready to kick ass when needed.

That’s a bond that I hope everyone gets to have in their life.

One photo she took really hurt the heart.  I instantly put myself in her shoes.  What if I had lost my best friend?  How would I cope?  I cannot fathom her pain.  It is just too great to even try and go there.

I also think about his family.  How on earth do you go on when your child (he was 47, but once someones baby, always someones baby no matter how old) is suddenly (or even if you have some warning) is no longer there?  Your brother?  Uncle?  I haven’t lost anyone that close to me, and I pray I never do.

I am a sensitive soul by nature.  I tend to put myself in the others shoes and feel a tiny fraction of what they are feeling.  It took me back to when my stepsons mother passed away.  I didn’t know her well.  We talked occasionally when it came to Justin, but nothing like soul sharing.  At her funeral, I was pregnant with Dane.  I remember losing it bad.  I remember Justin’s granddad asking if I was ok, and not to go into labor.  I lost it because I put myself in Justin’s shoes, and couldn’t comprehend how that loss could feel to a child.

Loss hurts, no matter what.  Death is just part of life.  However, this wasn’t suppose to be it.  He had so many people who loved him, and loved him from the depths of their souls.  When you mix that kind of love with this kind of loss, it’s catastrophic.

I decided to take a photo of a flower today.  I needed to find some beauty on this dark dreary day.


This was taken in Manual, f11 1/25, ISO 200, 50mm

To all who loved him, may God fill your hearts with peace and hold you close at this very difficult time.

Rest in Peace, Brad.  You are and will continue to be greatly missed.


365Project Day 31~ Poor Poor Gecko, Billy

A song I made up for the kids about “Billy”  It goes a little something like this:

Poor Poor Gecko

Poor Poor Gecko

His name is Billy

and this song is so silly

He died by a kitty

It’s such a pity

He’s missing an arm

Poor Poor Billy , it’s gone at the forearm

but the kids found him floating in a water dish

So, now he sleeps with the fish.

Poor Poor Billy

Poor Poor Billy

Chris is giving me the WTH look.  I never said I should quit my day job and write music.

I made my kids laugh, so that’s all that matters to me.

As I sing it now, he’s telling me I gotta stop singing.


Watch out!  Cause I’m in a silly kinda mood.


Ok back to “bin ness”

Av, f3.2  1/400  ISO 250  50mm

Poor Poor Billy!



365Project Day 23 ~ Mouth Watering

IMG_1128edAV, f3.2 1/20 ISO 250 50mm

This is what I have for breakfast everyday.  I mix it up a bit, but this is pretty much it.  I love it!

My recipe is:

coconut milk


handful of cranberries

handful of blueberries

and 3 scoops of my pea protein

Hit on the Vitamix and wala!  A good breakfast!

365Project Day22 ~ Teeny Tiny Tippy Toes

A weakness of mine….baby feet.


Manual f4 1/60 ISO 1600 50mm

Today I was playing with high an ISO for the exposure I wanted to get.  I was happy with the results.  There isn’t a lot of noise, so I am still liking the effect.

In post processing, I cleaned up her feet a bit.  A little bit of fur with some dirt wouldn’t make for a pretty picture.

365Project Day 21 ~ Buddy Bucks


Manual f3.5 1/20 ISO 250 50mm

Lydia loves her buddy bucks!

This is post is kind of a big deal, for me.  After writing the this I got to thinking…What if I tried going to the store by myself?

I had my phone so I could call Chris or my neighbor if I really needed them.  So, I left.

The HEB that is near us, is a massive one.  I actually despised it before big places gave me troubles.  I like the smaller stores, and I like having that option to go to the bigger ones if I need to.  All HEB’s around me are huge, now.  The one I am most familiar with is further down the road.  Not a big deal, but I had factors to look at.

The stores get busy pretty early, so I decided I had to go after I dropped Dane off at school.  Since, that’s during rush hour, going to the one I like the most would take me 20-30 mins for an 8 mile stretch.

No thanks.

I went ahead and decided to go to the one that is closest to us and easier to get to.  However, it is really big.  I got there before it got really busy, so I didn’t have that anxiety feeling.

I walked in, and I noticed something.  I did not feel like I was going to fall over!  The over stimulation was not present!

It didn’t exist!

I was smiling ear to ear as I pranced in the produce.  Saying good morning to everyone there.  Looking like I had just won the mega millions.

I said good morning to 2 workers who did not speak English.  One looked at me like I had boogers coming out of my nose.  When I realized they only spoke Spanish, I was rushing through my head what I had learned in my high school Spanish class.  All I could come up with is “Bueno”.   Sad, I know.  I got the look like I was flying my freak flag right in front of them.  Heck, I kinda was.

I was laughing inside.

When I was in lala land, I ran my cart into someone elses.  Still gitty and extremely happy, I apologized.  The lady giggled at me and was very nice about the whole thing.

I spent a total of 45 mins in that store, and felt great the whole time!  Seven months of not being able to go to the store with the kids, and finally I did it!

I loaded the car with kids and grocery’s.  Got my phone and the first person I call was Chris.  “Guess what?!  I did it!!!”

I’m still on my little grocery store high, and I think it has set my mood for the day.


365Project Day 17 ~ Hi Bob. Hi Bill


Manual Mode, f8 1/25 ISO 100 28mm-135mm @ 135mm

On camera flash on a low setting.

This shot was pretty hard to get.  The wind was blowing pretty bad, so the leaves were shaking Bob and Bill all over the place.  The light was bad, so I tried the no flash first with adjusting my settings a bit, but this one has more of a dramatic feel.

I also realized that snails, do indeed move faster than I had thought.  Especially when you are trying to get the perfect shot.  Bill, on the right, was incredibly feisty.  I think he had wheels on his belly.  He was on a mission…to get away from the big lady pointing something big at him.

Bob, was a bit more shy, and maybe it was because he was trying to eat some birdseed that had fallen off of the feeder.  I wanted some color to pop, so I made sure I got the pretty flower in my shot.

I had changed my lenses 3 times.  I really wanted my 50mm for this shot, but all of them came out blurry.  I did shoot one in manual focus which didn’t turn out bad, but I liked this one best.  They ‘shook hands’ in a sense, but with their eyeballs touching each other.  So, neighborly.

I know absolutely nothing about snails, so I was waiting for an attack, leading to death or some severe maiming.  Of course, I would have broke that up instantly…well after I got a good shot, and then I would have broke them up.

Doing this 365 challenge I have realized I want a Macro lens.  This one to be exact.  My birthday is just 4 months away. *ahem*  Ouch, 4 months till I hit 37.  I sure do not feel like 37 is approaching.  That’s another rant for another day.

As I was leaving I saw Bill had run out of leaf.  I also love this shot.  Dramatic.


“Hey man,  a little help would be nice.”

365Project Day 9 ~ One for Me and One for You

This is a very common scene in my house.


f3.5 1/60 ISO 400 50mm.

A little photoshop magic and this is the end result.

Sophia loves to feed Momma Dog  her breakfast.  Luckily Momma takes it with stride and doesn’t even mind sharing, with her human friends.  Unfortunately, Sophia loves to eat it too.  It is a daily battle to get her to stop.  Sometimes she stuffs so many in her mouth it looks like she is storing for winter!

I’ve almost given up, I mean, I ate Meow Mix when I was little and I turned out just fine *twitching*.   At least this diet is grain free, corn free, no animal bi products…etc.  It has to be better than what was in Meow Mix.