Wednesday, December 6, 2017

REFLECTIONS, The Collection

           
So many of you asked when I presented the 'REFLECTIONS' calendars last Spring and Autumn, can I buy a card, can I buy just one photo?? Well, now, the answer to one of those questions, is a resounding YES! I have compiled all 16 photos into the 'REFLECTIONS' Collection, selling each one individually, in my Etsy shop, Lilleypics!

Each photo is double matted, the cover matte is a Solar White, or bright white, and the secondary matte is Polar White, which is a shade darker, giving each of the photos depth. The greatest challenge I faced listing all of these pictures was taking a photo of a photo AND getting that bright white matte to read as bright. Each photo is backed with foam core and ready to be framed or to be enjoyed 'as is'. The dimension of each matted photo is 14 3/8" square, so, not small!

July, August, August II, September II

June II, April, March, May

June, February II, January, October

September, November, February, December
I discovered that I can ship PRIORITY, as the difference between 'regualar' shipping and PRIORITY, for one print is pennies!! All photos are linked to the Etsy shop, Lilleypics, just click on the highlighted type and enjoy!
Colorado, the gift that keeps on giving!!!

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” Thomas A. Edison

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Scout...

Scout. She is our new 4-legged Family member. We adopted her on August 6th from Dumb Friends League in Denver. She was 11 weeks old, tiny tiny tiny. She was the only kitten we looked at that day. The Girl had been gone since late May, and I was just not happy being without a cat/kitten. I was ready even though the house was clean as a whistle, I was sorely missing a having feline around. The Boys were on board.
I don't understand it, I have seen it often on social media: 'Help me to name my baby, help me to name my dog or cat or my mascot.' On occasion, I would throw out the name of Scout, although it was never chosen. So, even before we brought her home, (certainly, Scout would have worked for a male as well) she had a name. And, YES, I named her after the character of the 6 year old, 'Scout' from Harper Lee's remarkable book published in 1960, and in 1962, the equally remarkable movie, To Kill a Mockingbird. I even watched the movie again on Netflix, to remind myself why Scout was so stuck in my heart, and fell in-love once more with the innocence of a little girl who did not see the color of people's skin, but was able to see straight to a persons soul. So, her name, Scout, was officially sealed!!
This little kitty grew SO FAST, I call her, Miss Scout, the giant kitten. I am so so so glad to have these pics of her because now, she is 6 months old, still very much a kitten, but just really big! I forgot. I forgot what it was like to have a kitten, a baby animal in the house. At one point during that first week, I was so exhausted, I handed her over to Edward and said, here, YOU play with her. She was coming out of the gate at a thousand miles an hour and then falling into that deep 'kitten sleep!'
She is fearless, sweet, funny, very outgoing, a hunter/stalker, physically very strong. She has developed a different relationship with each of us, which is makes sense. She also filled a space in my heart, our hearts, which was missing. In many many ways we are still getting to know her, and she, us, but like any long term relationship, it's just going to unfold naturally as we go! So, Scout, the giant kitten, in the house!!!!!
Who knows, she may need a little feline friend to play with...to be continued..

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Garden, the Beginning and the Middle...

August 4 early evening light...
I pulled the terra cotta planters out the day after we said good-bye to The Girl, which as you can see/read, continues to be a reference point for me. It was the last week of May, which is 'on schedule' for 'planting on or before Memorial Day'. I knew it would be therapeutic and I am not a newbie to planting, so the timing could not have been better. It was a group effort. The Boys, once again did all the heavy lifting with the many cubits of soil we bought, to the large burlap bag full of mulch we picked up at Whole Foods for free, along with  the emptying out of last years soil from the 3 tiered raised garden bed. It was allot of soil! The many many many decisions later of what to plant, which  I found out yet again, carries the high possibility of things changing once everything is in the soil. For example, squirrels eating the strawberry flowers, or moving some plants around before rooting, etc., during those first critical couple of weeks. We have a wonderful garden center near us called Tagawa Gardens. This year, I actually counted, and they had 13 varieties of basil alone!! I bought 5 varieties, all with the goal of filling up the freezer with pesto (last year I had 61 4oz. containers, some of which we are still using!!), while enjoying the fresh plucked herbs, basil well included, with the flat leaf parsley and cilantro for summer salads. I found 3 varieties of thyme as well, thinking ahead to lentil soup for the winter months. I planted 3 or 4 varieties of tomatoes, eggplant, acorn squash, cabbage, curly kale, sweet red, although the one which popped was green, peppers, and strawberries. I am not sure if the strawberries will ever happen because the cabbage leafs/leaves are so ginormous now, they get absolutely no sun. I am watching the tomatoes pop and it is amazing because it has turned into a veritable jungle. The tomatoes are strategically planted in the 3rd tier, where the soil is at its thickest/highest, so the roots can go deep to grow sturdy stems. The bamboo stakes I use are taller than me, and you can barely see them now, as the tomato vines grow taller and taller while I sleep. I am agog!! My concern lies with the eggplants, as they are flowering, but then the flowers are dying and not producing any eggplants. Last year I planted white eggplants and they were clearly eggplants by this time of 'the middle'. This year I planted the 'normal' purple variety, so, hmmmmm, jury is still out on what might happen. I am keeping a close eye on them. Anywho, it is my joy and delight to take care of the garden, pray that everything actually produces vegetables, hopefully have some food at the end, which I am more than happy to share the come harvest time. (Wish some of you lived closer!!!) Each year is different, as it should be, and I remain grateful to get my hands dirty, all the while, sacrificing manicures for the cause...
May 28
June 2
June 24

July 6
July 20

Eggplant flower...having issues, hmmmm..
Cabbage leafs/leaves... 
This first one I spotted, there are many many many popping!!

Early on, cabbage leaf after the rains..

Acorn squash blossom...
July 26
This morning, daisies, monsoon season in Colorado..
'And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.'     Isaiah 58:11

And for a post script, we have made a visit to a really beautiful animal shelter in Castle Rock, which is about 25 minutes south, to sort of kind of start looking for another kitten/cat....sort of kind of ready...

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Summer Skies and Stuffs..

May 31
Late Spring. Summer into Autumn are the best times of the year for me. I have planted my garden, which is flourishing, I have built 4 Adirondack chairs, which now sit in the front of the house. I also built a new desk! I bought 4 chairs which had to be built from a kit we found at Home Depot. It took some figuring out with the first one as the instructions were hard to follow, but, I got it, and the next 3 chairs took about 1/3 of the time. Two coats of polyurethane on the natural wood, along with some felt pads on the bottoms of each leg finished them off really well. Thrilled, and, they're comfortable. They are not perfect, but, that works for me. I have been using our old dining room table as a desk since 2005 and I had been searching for a real desk for many months, it seems. We saw this one at The World Market, very utilitarian, I thought, it has drawers and some shelves. That might work. So, finally after much looking around, I decided to buy it, but, it too, had to be built. It weighed a ton and most thankfully, the Boys did the heavy lifting. After making the chairs, the desk was easy. Thrilled with the desk too, and yes, it is totally utilitarian!! The garden was planted the week after we said our goodbye's to The Girl, and it has really been so therapeutic, just to be able to take care of 'something', (still toying with fostering...) along with the great hope of watching it grow and having food with no question from whence it came. It has already exceeded my expectations! Cabbage, strawberries, curly kale, butternut squash, sweet peppers, eggplant and 4 or 5 varieties of tomatoes, along with (not shown) 5 varieties of basil, flat leaf parsley, cilantro, 3 varieties of thyme and lavender are growing beautifully as well! There will be a freezer full of pesto come harvest time, and I will share along the way! Swimming and kayaking are all on the table as well. These are all things I love doing, along with taking pics of the gorgeous Spring/Summer (for now) skies. So, again, for those of you not on social media, here is a snippet of my summer in Colorado, (not chronological...but, close enough!), and it's only July 13th!! The sun sets behind the 2 trees in Cherry Creek State Park, so, they are the subject of many of the summer pics!
June 22
June 26
June 11
The Marina, early evening drive around the lake, June 24
July 1
July 6
2 days ago!!!!!
Lined them up for the pic, 2 on either side...
Happy with the new desk, drawers and shelves..
June 3...to many sunbeams to possibly count..

June 5th... 


'Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.
 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high..' Psalm 113:2-5

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Lake


I am very fortunate to be able to go out on the lake during the week, when it is quiet vs. the weekends when most people take out their boats of all shapes and sizes, jet-ski's, inner tubes, etc. I am one of the few humans sharing space with the Pelicans, the Great Blue Herons, the ducks and her 'lings', the geese, with a very rare eagle siting, some giant fish, all of whom I have named 'Walter' (On Golden Pond) jumping out of the water...I would LOVE to capture Walter in a photo!  I have to immediately start paddling which I immediately love and then wonder, what will the day bring. I look over my shoulder and I can see the Rockies, still a wee bit snow capped, I look forward, and on the far side, I see a small line of white, which are the Pelicans. I paddle towards them. It is my goal to get to the far side of the lake each time. It takes me around 50 minutes. Sometimes I stop along the way, now that the Herons have returned, there might be an opportunity to take some pics. The Herons only let me get so close before they pull their long necks way down, and by some miracle take off. They are at least 4 feet tall, and very pre-historic looking, so, seeing them in flight is pretty amazing. This first pic of the Heron was truly a gift, as he, very out of character, gave me some time to not only get closer, but stay, and take this first pic along with about 20 more. I love love love paddling not far from the shore, as that is where most of the wildlife can be seen, except for Walter(s) who are in the deeper waters. The Pelicans let me get closer, (even tho, with both big birds, I am using my zoom), and they are great fun to photograph. On occasion I will meet other kayakers, and wave or stop for a chat in the middle of the lake, but for the most, it's just me. I treasure that time alone, having a purpose or, really, many, and remain ridiculously grateful to be healthy with camera in tow, ready for a new adventure!

Mr. Great Blue Heron!!
Fortunate to catch the flight, with a deer, geese, pelicans in the background..
The shallows...lots of action here!!
The ever photogenic Pelicans.. 
Mr. Pelican, fluffing it up a bit..
The serenity, around 4pm..
'For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land; The time has arrived for pruning the vines, And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land. The fig tree has ripened its figs, And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance...'
                                                                                                        Song of Solomon 2:11-13





Saturday, May 27, 2017

Fare Thee Well: The Girl...

We had to kiss The Girl goodbye yesterday. She never recovered from some extensive oral surgery she had a month ago, as it seems there was a 'cannot be seen by the eye' mass under her tongue which chose to grow rather aggressively after the surgery. I felt relief for her, because she was not herself, sweet, purring kitty, but not herself. This is the first time in almost 2 decades that we have not had a kitty in the house, so, even this morning I had to stop myself from reaching for the cat bowl to make her daily concoction of food
She was my little Muse. The camera loved her, and over the years with the advent of the digital camera, thankfully I have some beautiful shots of that face. When we brought her home she was a little ball of gray fur who immediately threw The Old Man into a deep depression for a good year, thinking he was no longer king of the hill, but he eventually came around and kept his rightful place. She wasn't the sharpest tack in the box, and her synapses didn't quite fire off 'correctly', but, we loved her. She was a jumper. In the Rhode Island house, she would jump from the floor to a piece of furniture we have which is at least 4 feet tall, from there, she would jump to the top of the bathroom cabinets and look down at us. She barely made a sound, never broke anything, she just did it. And then one day, just like that, she stopped jumping. I think she missed her mark maybe once or twice, and knew not to attempt the impossible any more. She had the attitude of a truck driver, yet remained quite regal throughout. She made the transition to Colorado without issue (she did allot better than me!!!) and actually thrived. 
The Girl aka Little Kitty, and The Old Man, aka, Big Kitty, aka Richie Havens, blessed us with their presence over these many years. We talk about Big Kitty often, and now, we will do the same, I am certain, with The Girl. Right now, I feeling a bit lost, like a piece of me is missing. I'll be fine. Most important, she is no longer 'not herself' and can harass The Old Man once again to her hearts delight.
The Techs, the Vets at Aurora Animal Hospital have to be the sweetest, kindest group of people I have ever met, and made yesterday totally okay. I cannot thank them enough for their compassion. On the upside, I have been toying with the idea of fostering. So we'll see...in the meantime, here's to The Girl, our sweet, beautiful precious little Girl cat. 
Last pic taken yesterday morning...

When we said goodbye to The Old Man, my friend Sally sent me the story, in full, of  'The Rainbow Bridge'. It was a great comfort to me then, as it is today. You can read the whole story, here. And, per my previous post, it was no surprise, when my Cousin Rita called this morning...