Friday, April 30, 2010

Got Crayons?

Coloring with the kids ...

I'd forgotten how much FUN it is to draw, sketch, color ... to start with a blank page and only your imagination ... no final destination ... just the joy of the journey ... the unexpected ... not knowing what you will create.

Kids have the life, no?  Perhaps we should spend more time seeing the world anew through their innocent eyes ... The world, I think, would be a better place if we all did this every once in awhile ...

Here is my creation ... I've titled it "Foreign Lands" ... my current read ("Matter", by Iain M. Banks) may have had some influence on the final outcome perhaps?

Copyright @April 2010 Michelle C. of

Anyway ... roll up your own sleeves ... and find your own inner child ...

Peace & Have a Blessed Weekend!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wings and other unexpected things ...

As you probably know by now, I absolutely ADORE things with WINGS. My head is up in the clouds most of the time anyway, so I'm always on the lookout for things that FLY ... things with glorious WINGS. One sight that I've become very familiar with, here in the Seattle area, is that of the Eagle figure atop the spinning globe, on top of the TBD Communications building ( ... former newspaper no longer in circulation ... 'The Planet'? ), right along the Elliot Bay shoreline, with the Space Needle in the backdrop.

Yesterday we took a 'flat' version of my niece on a cruise of the Elliot Bay harbor. Flat Stanley, meet Flat Ella. By the way Ella, I love the PEACE symbol on her shirt ... tres cool. ; )

While out on the harbor tour, we happened to come across a most unexpected winged sight ... Can you guess what this is?

Copyright @April 2010 Michelle C. of

Here ... let me zoom in for you ... Can you see it now?

Copyright @April 2010 Michelle C. of

Yup, it's a bonafide bald eagle, with a nest, perched atop of a ship's crane. Of all of the places you would expect to see a bald eagle, this is NOT one of them, no? I have seen quite a few bald eagles since moving up here, but aside from the zoo, this is probably the closest I've ever been to a bald eagle .... I'd say 100 ft. give or take ... tres cool.

According to the ship's crew this eagle is a momma eagle with a nest of babies.  She's been there for awhile now.  Guess that this particular crane is now pretty much inoperable until the babies hatch and the family decides to be on its way ... Happy and safe nesting momma eagle. : )

... And Ella, please know that Flat Ella is having quite an adventure up here, in the Pacific Northwest ... She'll be on her way back home shortly, with lots of wild adventures, photos, and artifacts to share. Maybe even her own movie debut? ; )

Peace Out ...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Water falls, You fall ... I fall?

... We all fall down ....

Waterfall, Puget Sound area, Washington State (United States)
(Copyright @April 2010 Michelle C. of

Yes, I ... we, my family ... did finally make our journey to visit the waterfalls yesterday as we had originally planned. I REALLY NEEDED to get out of the house after being cooped up for so long!!!

So you're probably dying to know:  DID I FALL INTO THE RIVER?  Nope. Sorry to disappoint, but I DID NOT fall in.   I may be a bit of a klutz, but I do have pretty good balance, especially when my three daughters (already a bit shaken by my recent illness and resulting surgery) are anxiously watching me from the observation deck.  The fact that I was also carrying my expensive camera and lenses seemed to have had a remarkable steadying effect as well.

Yes, it turned out to be a glorious day yesterday!  Just fabulous:  Not a rain drop, or cloud, in the sky.  Mother Nature must not have wanted to suffer my wrath after all? ; )  The sun was brightly shining. The sky was the most spectacular color of azure blue; it reminded me of the Mediterranean Sea (another glorious site to behold in person)and the sky was filled with airy, fluffy white, cotton-candy clouds.  You honestly, just couldn't have asked for a better day. The temperature started out around 69 deg. F, winding its way up to a balmy 74 deg. by the time we were headed back home.  So with such a perfect day in store, my family simply had to take advantage of the gorgeous weather by heading to out a nearby waterfall. This time the whole family went, despite some initial (futile) protests at the prospect of having to walk/hike an actual mile.

The hike turned out to only be a half mile each way, which was just about right for me given my recent inactivity post-surgery. Of course, once we had gotten down to to the viewing deck at the base of the falls, I just HAD to scale down the boulders and tree roots in order  to reach the actual river.  There were no good photos to be had from the observation deck, to my way of thinking anyway.   My youngest, Erynn, asks me "Mom, can't you read? The sign says, 'Please remain on observation deck.' "  I reply, "Yes, honey. Mommy can read, but I can also think for myself too and I need to get closer if I want to take any decent photographs."  Then I asked everyone, "Aren't you all coming with me?"  The girls just stood there adimantly shaking their heads. They weren't budging from the deck and I could tell that they really didn't want me to either.  Ken just shook his head.  Although, I could see the twinkle in his eyes; he really wanted to come too ... but instead, he graciously offered to stay with the girls, for me, so that I could get the photographs I wanted... Besides, he knew that there was no stopping me anyway.  

The sad thing is, not too long ago my girls would have eagerly climbed right down to the river's edge along with me (of course, I wouldn't have allowed them to do so if I did not feel that it was reasonably safe.).  But my daughters seem to have been profoundly shaken by my recent illness and surgery.  The extent of their fear did not fully hit me until yesterday, standing on that observation deck above the river.  I knew in that instant, standing upon the 'park sanctioned' observation deck above the river that I had to climb down to the river in order to show my daughters that I could make the climb, traverse the rocks below and be alright.  I had to do it --my wild and crazy zest for life aside-- if for no other reason than for my daughters.  And so I did climb down.

"Escaping Waters"
(Copyright @April 2010 Michelle C. of

The river water was flowing a lot faster than the last time that I had been to this river (over a year and a half ago) ... and the water level was much higher too, Still, I was able to make my way along the big river rocks and boulders without too much difficulty.  I found a good perch atop a giant log that had wedged itself solidly in between two mammoth boulders, right at the waters edge.  I could feel the cool misty spray of the energy-charged water as it hit the waterfall's bottom and then quickly sped on down toward the river proper, eager to make its escape.  You could feel the energy ... the Life ... emanating from the roaring water. Sitting right at waters edge (actually hanging out over it), hearing the falls echo in mighty roar ... being kissed by its tiny sprays of rain drops was just magnificent.  Talk about transporting your spirit to another place ... a place free from the ravages of time.  What a glorious place to be on such a perfect day! Food for the soul indeed.

So there I sat, perched like a tiny, fragile bird, atop the mammoth log ... I took in the exquisite beauty all around for awhile, waving to the girls and Ken on the observation deck above. Then I tried my best to take some photographs, but I wasn't going to get my hopes up.  A sunny, gorgeous day is NOT ideal for photgraphing moving water ... way too much reflection, too much light to allow for a longer exposure which produces the dreamy, ethereal water shots ... But I was here, so I would take some shots just to see what I could capture. I mean, you never know:sometimes, things align in the most unexpected ways to produce the most magnificent results. The only thing that is certain is that if you do not try : you are certain never to capture these elusive spectacular alignments ... serendipitous moments that all too quickly pass and disappear forever. And when you do happen to be there and you do happen to witness these spectacular moments ... alignments ... when  you are able capture them ... on film or just in your mind ... well, there is just no feeling quite like it ...

[You see ... I was not the lone crazy soul climbing amongst the rocks.  These two seem to be having a rather in-depth conversation ... hand gestures and all ... what an interesting tale one could spin from this photo, no?]

I took some ground level shots, next to the falls ... Then, I ventured on further down the river to see if I could get some decent river shots,even though it was obvious that there just was way too much sunlight.  Still, it was fun to climb amongst the rocks and boulders.  I felt like I was 12 years again!! It was awesome!!! =) I've always loved to climb ... I did, however, resist the temptation to fling off my shoes and jump right into the surging river water.  The water was moving way too fast this visit and I didn't want to push it so soon after surgery. I also did not want to alarm my daughters.  They would probably would probably have read me the riot-act for doing so, and Ken probably would have secretly upped my pain-meds in an effort to sedate me, thereby curbing my "recklessness" and disrespect for the whole "healing process."  But thank goodness for cell phones.  The observation deck was a good ways above the river's edge, so the girls soon lost sight of me climbing among the rocks and boulders below.  A quick phone call (thanks to AT&T's awesome coverage) and the girl's were reassured that Mom was just fine.  : )

It was a good day!!  Refreshing change of pace ... and we did eventually manage to persuade the girls to climb down onto some rocks a bit farther from the falls, where the water was much slower flowing--near the trail head where the climb down was not as steep.  So Lauren, Bethany, and Erynn did go down to the water's edge.  That makes me happy that they conquered their fear on some small level.  I realize now, though, that I need to have a more grown-up talk with the girls about death.  I've always let them know ... in stories and such ... that death is not the end to my way of thinking, but now that the girls are older and more aware of death's presence in their own lives: it may be time to elaborate and expand upon the discussion a bit further. I guess, loosing a pet is not the same as the fear of potentially loosing a parent ... not that I'm going anywhere anytime soon: I feel great. I am stronger than I have been in ages, thanks to this surgery ... and I am getting stronger everyday. Besides, Ken predicts that "I will outlive him by many, many years and dance merrily upon his grave when he is dead and gone." (his exact words ... not mine!).

"Too Bright!"

As for my waterfall and moving water photos ... well, they were not stellar photos overall, but given the bright sunny day, I had fully anticipated this outcome. Thus, I was not too disappointed.  Still, a few of my shots aligned somewhat. I have posted the best of the photos that did turn out halfway decent here in this post. I am not sure there are any photos that will warrant posting to my Flickr Photos page? ... But I'll make that call after I finish going through all of my photographs. I think that I need to return to these falls someday, in the early, early morning and try again.  Also need to invest in some lens filters (e.g., neutral density) as my camera's lowest ISO setting is 200 ... and everything that I have read says it is best to use an ISO in the range of 50 to 100 for best results when photographing water. Well, it's a learning process, right? And I AM having FUN in the process. In the end, that's what really matters.

Hope that you and yours had an awesome weekend as well!  Peace ...


(Copyright @April 2010 Michelle C. of

(Copyright @April 2010 Michelle C. of

... No song, yet ... can't think of one today ... any suggestions?

4/20/2010 ... Thank you for your song suggestion 'anonymous'.  I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to comment.  I'll have a listen to your song and see if it fits with my mood ... (subject to change on a whim ; ) ... Joyful day to you!  : ) : ) : )

... After much thought ... this song just seemed to flow better with the subject matter ....

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Created by Zombie Cheerleader on Apr 20, 2010
Waterfalls ... cascades of thoughts ... hopes ... and dreams ... coming to fruition in the river of life ...

P.S.   I decided to go ahead and put these photos into a flickr album afterall ... just as a baseline of my photographic journey ... experiment ... into capturing moving water ....  ... there may be one or two that aren't posted here?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Answer the Call?

First thought on my mind today ... perhaps something in my dreams ... as I have actually been sleeping this past week since surgery (today's my 1 week anniversary ... and I'm slowly starting to feel human once again ... : ).

sound effects:  phone ringing.mp3

A public phone is ringing, ringing, ringing on the street as you walk on by ...

Do you stop and answer it? 

                                ...Or do you walk right on by?

Now, after answering (the question ... not the phone! ; ) ... ask yourself why?  What does that say, or not say, about you?

Joyful day to you!



4/10/2010  So far I'm the only one I've spoken with who would answer the phone ... now, what I would say when I would answer ... that's another matter entirely ... use your imagination ; )  I think John Lennon almost had it right ... 'all you need is love' ... all the world needs is love ... AND a little IMAGINATION.

My bandwidth is spent on one of my mp3 sites?  That's never ever happened to me before ... very odd.  Anyway, some of the song links, in my posts, won't play until that is back up again.  Have yet to determine if it was a 24 hr. limit exceeded or the whole month?

4/12/2010  I think I know why I made this post about the phone ringing now ... someone did call me ... in my dreams ... and I 'answered the phone' so to speak.  Revisit 4/5/2010 if you're intrigued.

Song: "Come As You Are", By Nirvana

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Treasures of Italy ...

Finally located some of my Italy photos ... not all, but it is a start.  These were taken on a trip to Italy, with my husband several years ago.  Italy was what sparked my initial interest in photography ... but I never did anything with my interest in photography until recently. 

One of the oldest churches in Rome ... My favorite church in all of Italy ...
I call it 'My Saint Joseph's' and it is featured in my upcoming novel.
I didn't zoom in on the church because I love the contrast between the old, old and the new ...

These were taken with a lousy, basic, inexpensive point and shoot camera ... did not even have a zoom (?) ... We also went during off peak season, so there was lots of scaffolding on many buildings ... thus, I had to be creative with my shots ... very creative ... Fortunately Italy is so absolutely beautiful, you don't really need a fabulous camera to capture its inate beauty.

So without further adieu, here they are ...
Isa's Falling Star: Treasures of Italy ...

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Monday, April 05, 2010

I did survive ...

Just in case anyone was wondering ...

I made it through my surgery.  I'm on the mend ... trying to give up the pain pills today ... not a fun day.  But the worst is hopefully behind me.  Hope to be up to writing once again soon ... lots of resting to do between now and then.  These past few days, I am not surprisingly ABLE to sleep.  Think I'll take advantage of my newfound ability to sleep ... being the insomniac that I typically am.

Have had some really psychedelic dreams ... I am thinking its the pain meds?  Here is the most prevelant dream ...

Song: "Come As You Are", By Nirvana

Me in a black and white world ... some sort of modern garden ... I am wearing a white child's play dress, but I am fully grown.  I am barefoot and I am holding a pinwheel.  I think that I am in color, but the pinwheel is black at rest.  I am smiling and chasing playfully after color ... only it isn't color in the literal sense?  It is more sounds ... motions ... emotions .... ideas?  The pinwheel changes from black ... through shades of gray ... until it glows a blinding white when I unlock a patch of color.   Same dream over and over with slight variations ... any dream interpreters out there?  Not one of my strong suits ... Last night someone else was in the dream for a change ... only their voice was present though ... no body ... no carnate being ... I seem to be big on voices, no?

This song seems to fit with this dream ... I hear music like this in the background of my dream ...

Song: "Come As You Are", By Nirvana

I'm odd, I know ... oh, well ...

Peace ...


4/8/2010  I found out from FOX news channel (of all places?!)  that today is the 16 year anniversary of the day that they found the body of the lead singer for the group, Nirvana, Kurt Cobain.  Authorities believe that he had been dead for 2-3 days prior to his being found.  The cause of death was attributed to a heroin overdose.  And I picked this song, on this day?  Coincidence?  I, personally, don't believe in coincidence ... so maybe my dream has something to with this talented artist?

4/12/2010 I was beginning to think that my black and white, post-surgery ... drug-induced (?), psychedelic dream would never resolve because I had stopped taking my pain medication.  ... But last night, the dream did resolve.  If you want to read further ... you'll have to tend my latest garden ... "Roll me once, with highest mark ... then add one and that's a start." ... and "Something I seldom watch ..."