Route 66 or How to Lose Your Bra on the Side of the Road

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I have lived in California more than 20 years at present count, yet I had no idea there were volcanic craters in Southern California just lying around on the side of the road in the middle of 27 square miles … Continue reading

Americana – A Brief Retrospective

Memorial Day is a very special time in our household as my husband is active duty USN, his father is retired USN and my Father served in WWII in the Army. He was declared 4F early in the war due to a childhood injury but kept at it and was finally accepted toward the end when the need was greater.  I thought I would wish you all a Happy Holiday weekend by sharing some images from a recent road trip through the rural valleys and back country of Southern California from San Diego to Santa Barbara and on to Joshua Tree.  Some feel retro but are real-time, some are funny and some emotional.

Enjoy and a HUGE thank you to all who serve in our Armed Forces.

The following image available for purchase here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/94846999/mid-century-chair-by-pool-warm-art-water

A HOO-HOO-HOOT of a Tale….

The Owls of Kit Carson

Based on true events!

 Chapter ~ 1

Once upon a time there was a family of owls that moved into a recently vacated high-rise condo in a very lovely park setting…The Mama owl, being a bit young, naïve and shall we say avante garde chose the very swank and modern condo at 30f Palm Ave. It was a non traditional choice in the Owl community with its open floor plan, giant skylight encompassing the whole roof, and unobstructed panoramic views.  Mama was completely captivated by its sleek good looks without a thought to the family she would have in the near future. Perhaps we can blame her lack of judgment on the very recent and shocking news that she would soon have three owlets! Three! Why she was not quite ready to give up her own late nights out on the town to stay home and care for one owlet not to mention three.

As mother nature would have it, soon the babies were born.. One look and Mama owl was so smitten with her three cream-colored fluffy owlets that she didn’t immediately realize it was going to be a problem to house all of them in a one bedroom studio… As the days passed she grew into an excellent Mother and fierce protector  ever vigilant in her watch. And so the family settled in together for a few short peaceful weeks.  I say few because, well….as we all know babies eventually become teenagers and that’s when Mama Owl’s troubles began…   To be continued…..

 

MY Blog is moving!!!! Please read:

 

To see the PHOTOS and follow the rest of the story please re subscribe here: It is now with wordpress.org                http://www.mscott-photography.com/2012/05/a-hoo-hoo-hoot-of-a-tale/

Weekly Photo Prompt Focus 52 – “My Town”

Attention! My blog is moving! Still with Word Press but Stand alone Word Press Here: http://www.mscott-photography.com/2012/04/focus-52-weekly-prompt-my-town/

I am a military spouse; married to a Naval Officer for many years now so “My Town” has a different meaning to me than most…..

Please click the link for the full blog post and click subscribe via RSS or e mail to keep up with my blog. I hope all of you will continue to follow and stop in! : )

 

Joy and Peace inside Sadness and Chaos

Finding time to post not to mention photograph these last few weeks have been exceptionally difficult.

There have been two quick trips back to back, the relapse of my elderly dog who thankfully looks to be back on track and the sudden wonderful busyness in my professional life… BUT as a solo act this means I am the only one doing all the work. The actual photography I love, of course!  The business side… not so much.   Accompanying the wonderful uptick in business has been a month of hard learned lessons. Lessons I didn’t want to learn…reminders of how, no matter how much we want to trust humankind, everyone does not want the best for you… This kind of realization is particularly hard hitting for someone scoring off the charts as an empath.  To further complicate things I am simultaneously in the midst of re-doing my web site. I think it will be wonderful when complete and hope to stay sane until it is!

So – I have missed a few weeks of sharing with you here… but did manage to capture a moment that truly made me smile and one that brought a feeling of peace.  I share those with you today in the hopes that they will do the same for you.

Sunset last night N San Diego County….

Hummingbird – Glendale, AZ  10 days ago

Weekly Photo Challenge – Indulge

One of my favorite places to indulge is a small, beautiful, family owned winery very near my home. Cordiano Winery.  (www.cordianowinery.com)

They have delicious wine and make amazing wood fired pizza to order. The tasting “room” is a lovely patio out doors with a magnificent view of rolling hills in the distance and a perfect seat to watch the sunset should you stay that long…and frequently we have! Our first visit was shortly after returning from Europe and it reminded me so much of lazy afternoons drinking wine in Spain that it was uncanny. We have been regulars since and welcomed like family every time we arrive. Should you find yourself in my neck of the woods- do yourself a favor; visit and indulge in the many ways to satisfy your senses.

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As I mentioned we made a sudden trip to Washington, DC for the funeral of a dear friend. It wasn’t all doom and gloom and today I thought  I would share those things that brought a smile to our faces – with one exception- in the midst of a most unpleasant occasion. Bear with me there IS a photo at the end of all this…no cheating.

We needed to get from San Diego to Washington, DC within two days. My husband is a Naval Officer and as they have done time and again his command rallied to pick up the slack for him to leave on short notice. Next up the airlines. As you know they charge a premium for short notice travel. As this was not a family member there were no compassionate fares although the rep I spoke with at United tried very hard to find me a price under $2000.00. *gulp*  Perhaps only my husband would travel to represent us as that was way out of our range. I scanned www.kayak.com for a day and a half trying to find a seat that wasn’t yet sold out and had fewer than 3 connections/plane/country changes when I remembered that Southwest Airlines occasionally offers discounted military fares. Now mind you these are more than most of their published sale fares but for travel on short notice it was a big savings allowing both of us the opportunity to travel.  As it was mid-week travel we were able to get 2 seats on the same flight! A word about Southwest Airlines. I personally don’t like the no reserved seat policy but everything else is stellar. The airport check-in and in flight personnel could not be more courteous. The seats have a titch more leg room allowing this almost six-foot tall woman to sit without her knees pressed up against the seat in front, BIG thank you from me and the unnamed  person who usually has their lower back unwillingly “massaged”. The icing on the cake? The flight was early both directions!

Hotels. We originally had a reservation at the Key Bridge Marriott. Normally big Marriott fans (www.marriott.com) Yep -you guessed it – here comes the exception. The only recommendation I make about this hotel is to NOT stay there. “This is the oldest Marriott” the front desk personnel proudly informed me…*crickets* followed by first inkling of trouble … and despite the extensive facelift it had, still looks….. old. We were tired and had driven an hour from Baltimore so onward we pressed. “It was a dark and stormy night” came to mind when we got a glimpse of our room:  Very small, dark, dingy and ok not stormy but gloomy, not what we needed for the already somber occasion and this was a concierge level room!!! I shudder to think what the basic rooms are like. The worst of it was the heat. FYI on the East coast in many older buildings heat is controlled by management. What?? Yes it’s true. We learned this the hard way many years ago our first time living in a Bethesda,MD brownstone apartment.  Not something you want to hear as transplanted Californians enduring their first east coast winter! Anyway –  around 2 in the morning it became unbearable. I was sick from the heat and unable to remove any more clothing……. After repeated calls to the desk and assurances that they had turned it off and the cooling was on, it was still hot, well over 80 degrees hot. It was like we were in Bangkok not Washington, DC in February.  I will save you all the details about the rest of that awful exhausting night and cut to our hurried check out the next morning and off to the fabulous Palomar Hotel,Washington,DC for the next 2 nights. We were lucky to score an affordable rate online  (http://www.hotelpalomar-dc.com/) We are very familiar with Kimpton as they are a pet friendly upscale chain. One which we normally save for special occasions…$$  When they learned of the reason for our travel they upgraded us to a fabulous suite on the top floor, most importantly with temperature control!  It made a big difference to our mood coming back there after a long, sad, tiring day. They were very kind and accommodating and the service, decor, restaurant are wonderful!  I highly, highly recommend the hotel chain as a whole and particularly this hotel. If you have an occassion to travel to DC look them up you will not be sorry!. But don’t take my word for it…  http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g28970-d84093-Reviews-Palomar_Washington_DC_a_Kimpton_Hotel-Washington_DC_District_of_Columbia.html

Restaurants. We ate at several but two stand out. The Blue Duck Tavern (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g28970-d622172-Reviews-Blue_Duck_Tavern-Washington_DC_District_of_Columbia.html) which has the most amazing open kitchen I have ever seen, a bit like dinner theater! The other was Clydes in Georgetown. Just what we needed when we arrived. Delicious comfort food, great cocktails ie: Diablo Mojito! and thoroughly enjoyable live music. A shout out to Shayna B who pointed us in the direction of both places! (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/shayna-brouker/11/730/301)

So ends my travelogue. Never underestimate the power of the little things and great customer service to make all the difference to any travel, but especially unexpected and undesirable travel. Please share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions for the DC area.  I am genuinely interested to hear.

A parting shot of the National mall from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Processed in NIK HD single image.

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One of my goals this year was to actively and regularly participate in Focus 52  (http://twoscoopz.com/category/focus52/ ) and Project 52 (http://project52.org/ )   Both weekly photo assignment, critique and discussion groups online, designed to nudge photographers out of their comfort zone, challenge and inspire them. I rolled out a couple of the weeks bam , bam … then my regularly scheduled life got in the way. First the beginning of school then the death of our friend. So here we are at week six(!) already. It truly IS frightening just how fast time goes by. I am back in the loop. Can’t guarantee I will hit every week but I will try. I WILL! Week six “Still Life” for Focus 52. Sorry for the low res I don’t know how that happened when re-sizing but there is no going back as you know. …

Still Life

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I have been on fire the last few days! Hyper productive and I hope spot on creatively…it feels that way. This directly on the heels of a huge slump. Feeling like “what is the point?” Of course the “WHO cares?” and the “What am I doing?”  existential “etc” here… Then the very next day I got up and worked for 8 hours straight (???)  I mean NOT moving at ALL from 6AM- 2PM in my BED(!)  RE-designing my web site in the midst of panicked pacing and looks of distress from my dog. IF she could, she would have dialed 911 for SURE! Since then I have been a whirlwind. I have a Shop up and running here: http://www.cafepress.com/asqewcreative, I am about 10% into my SmugMug Pro account for my Pet Portrait business clients and “serious” art (HaHa!) for sale here:  http://www.asqew-creative.com/ and loving the creativity of it all. Sometimes lately I think, how I was a nurse all those years?  I only say that because two different sides of the brain right? I strongly doubt my whole brain is firing so what gives? Therefore in light of the work I have been doing, I took a break and spent time investigating tools of other trades such as a couple of the gorgeous local wineries I frequent. A lot.  Cordiano Winery, Escondido, CA. http://www.cordianowinery.com/    and Rancho Bernardo Winery, San Diego, CA   Divertiti!

Put the phone down

I was reading a post about the importance of networking for business and it got me thinking… isn’t networking what life, not just work, is ALL about?

The principle of “getting out there” applies to every aspect of life. Being present and involved, aware of those around you and connected in your day-to-day life will pay off in many different ways not only in your work. Take a break from your phone (!) Lift your head, meet someone’s eyes and take a breath. You don’t need to be a social butterfly ~ simply say “hi” to someone walking past. We are all on this journey together and making connections is at the core of it.  You can’t know where you may meet your next friend, who may be a future colleague, whose day you just changed completely by showing them your smile, opening a door for them, acknowledging their presence, or who you may need help from in the future.  I for one am a tech junkie, I admit it. I love what technology can do for our lives. I adore my phone!  BUT, I like to think I know when to put it down.  I take regular conscious breaks and take my own advice.  I have met a few new clients this way, although it’s the emotional/spiritual payoff that is key for me. Simply put I feel better when I am out and about and connected to the world right in front of me.  So, put your phone down and look up. You truly never know who may cross your path!

Friends from around the world who I would never have met with my head down. 🙂