Goodbye, Old Room!

These are awful iPhone shots: I don’t know why they are all blurry — iPhone usually does well with silly shots like these. But here is our family room. Tomorrow it will be torn apart. We are ridding the room of the bulky bricks and wood burning stove. Yes, a stove is a handy thing … if you live in the woods and don’t have to worry about pollution and all that. But here? We haven’t used it since the month my father died (2007). It’s time. The grass cloth walls? Some people think they look cool. So did we. In 1980. We are done with them. The horrendous carpet that I said we’d dump after the kids weren’t babies and were no longer spitting up on the floor? Well, our youngest baby is soon to turn 25. The corner window that has never had a decent screen and seemed as if it was in a very odd location? DONE. Instead we will have two longer windows, each three feet or so from the side walls, looking out on our backyard (which means maybe we’ll have to keep it up a bit more!). The kitchen windows that we’ve never liked, with those ugly shutters that never worked? Adios! Two windows to match all the rest of the house, thank you very much.


So goodbye, old room. We have wonderful memories. Babies crawling all over it and spitting up on a carpet I hated. No problem! Grandparents over for birthdays and holidays. Wonderful! I especially loved the times when kids had sleep overs and they all camped out in you and we, at the other end of the house, didn’t really hear a thing! I have memories of Star Trek marathons and Christmas tree decorating and some mighty fun parties. But now? I look forward to the next phase!







Crossover Artists Post

Yep. This is a crossover post. It can fit on either oboeinsight or here. So I’ll post it both places. Just because.

I leave for the Mendocino Festival on Sunday morning. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m looking forward to it. I’m busy packing in my head. I’m planning. Oh, and there’s that practicing thing too!

We stay at people’s homes. I’ve “met” my host via email. She sounds like she will be quite comfortable to stay with. I’m a bit apprehensive, just because I’m an introvert, but I’m actually dealing quite well with that. Guess age can help with some things!

When I go on trips I “pack in my head” for weeks on end. I don’t actually stuff things in a suitcase (or, in my case, my Osprey Porter Travel Duffle, 46-Liter. (That thing carries enough that I used it for our three week trip to Europe! I refuse to check luggage unless I’m traveling with reed making equipment … and WHY would I ever travel with that stuff?!)

Now I have to figure out what to do for food. She allows me access to her kitchen, but as anyone who knows me knows, I’m not much of a cook. I can cook. I just don’t like to. But I also don’t want to go out and spend money. My natural, somewhat silly and not terribly healthy way of dealing is to just not eat if I have no leftovers available. I know I can’t really do that for a full week! So I’m pondering what to do. I think I’ll hit up Trader Joe’s and find pre-made dinners that would be tremendously easy to prepare. Like “Open box. Eat.” prepare. If that’s possible.

I’m also quite excited about getting back to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Dan and I visited two years ago and I was entranced. This time I know more about photography, so I’m looking forward to what I’ll find. Stay tuned for flower photos!

From 2012:

Shortly after I get home the IDRS convention begins. I can’t go to these every year, but I did want to go this year. After all, it’s in New York. I have family in New York! Makes perfect sense to mix business with pleasure, right? Or something. Of course August isn’t the best of months to be in NYC, but I’ll deal. I do plan on blogging live from classes there if I have internet access. I would assume they will provide that on the NYU campus.

I suppose I’ll be “packing in my head” for New York while I’m in Mendocino. What a contrast the two places will be. Quaint, calm but very cool Mendocino and then buzzing, crazy, hot and humid New York! I am guessing I’ll bring very different wardrobes for these two places!

Meanwhile … today is a “clean out the entire family room and move the living room furniture against the east wall” sort of day. Tomorrow the noise of new windows and wallboard begins. My oboe students who have opted to come during construction, rather than moving to today, will get to do the “can an oboe really be THAT loud?” thing.

Last Year

A year ago we were in Germany, and at this point we had landed in Schönau am Königssee. From there we took day trips to so many wonderful places, ate fantastic food, and saw amazing scenery as well as beautiful buildings. What fantastic memories, and how I’d love to return.

For one thing, I LOVE Mozartkugel and did I buy even one while in Salzburg? No.

Stupid, stupid me!

I think this means I should go back as soon as possible.





Living in Chaos!

We have now nearly emptied the family room, and the living room only has the large furniture in it. It’s still hard for me to believe we really are redoing the family room and getting new windows in both that room and the living room, but they are scheduled to arrive this Wednesday so I guess I’ll believe it soon! The story is it will take maybe five days. Since they don’t work on Saturday and Sunday, and I leave for Mendocino on Sunday, I won’t see the results until I return from the music festival. Poor Dan will have to stay home and hold down the fort.

This week will be spent not only preparing for Mendocino, but also preparing for the IDRS convention which is in August. What a crazy summer this is turning out to be!

I think Photography will take a back seat this week, and walks will have to do the same. I hope I can at least manage a few, but I’m sure they won’t be lengthy walks. I’m sure I”ll survive, but I know I’ll miss them.

Here are a few shots I’ve recently posted over on Google+.









Photography & Reeds

Last night we went to another photography meet up. The others who attend these sell work, have had things shown at places and some lead workshops. Needless to say, it all makes me nervous.

I also find it difficult to decide what to show. D I show things that aren’t working for me in hopes they can help me? Do I show what I view as my best work? Do I show what I think they will like, which I think is different than what I like most? Help!

As I told one of them, it reminds me of reeds: Much of the time, whatever one I decided to use, I regret not choosing a different one. I finally opted to go with a combo of shots. I brought two that weren’t working, and were of larger subjects. I showed those first, and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that they aren’t worth working on: I just don’t have what it takes for those shots! I don’t think anyone liked them. I received helpful comments but, really, they don’t work as prints.



Then I showed a few insect shots. Those didn’t really get a whole lot of positive remarks either. I didn’t get a lot of negatives, but they just didn’t go over well.




Finally I showed some flower and succulent macros that are somewhat abstract. The three flower photos received some comments on how I could improve them.




… and the two succulent photos won the day. I was happy for that, since I do love making them, and I had two photos that actually were okay. Whew!



I’m pondering all of this. I think I’m best at things that aren’t really “all of it” photos. I think I’m better at line and color. Those are certainly the shots I like doing the most. So do I stick to what I love doing the most, or do I try to grow and get better with the other things? (I do love my insects, though: I can’t imagine not doing those.)

The photographers then showed work that was so much better than mine. I do start to think, “I don’t belong,” as they show their work. (I like to go first to get it over with.) I wonder if I should be in a group of hobbyists instead. I think I’ll have to ponder that as well!

Walking and My Brain

I like to walk alone. In fact I love to walk alone. You know that song “You’ll Never Walk Alone”? Well, when I saw Carousel for the first time I cried when she sang that toward the end. Yep, I’m sappy that way. But if someone told me I could never walk alone again I’d be very, very sad. I’ve thought about that a lot recently, since I’d hurt my foot and I’d had some near spills (I really need to learn to pick my silly feet up when I walk!). What if I couldn’t go out on my own any longer? Ack. That will be a very sad day for me.

Walking alone gives me time to think and pray and look at the beauty around me (“And there’s so much beauty around us for just two eyes to see, but everywhere I go I’m looking”) and I enjoy seeing other walkers and runners and even don’t mind the “stroller moms” even while I have to move out of their way for the most part (stroller moms and SUV moms have the right of way and there’s no use arguing about it!). The critters out and about are fun too, aside from the few dogs that scare this non-dog girl a wee bit.

But walking does a thing to my brain, I fear. Sometimes I’m not sure I’m hearing correctly. One time I walked past some guys who were working on the street and I couldn’t tell if one of them said, “Don’t kill yourself,” or “GO kill yourself.” I just smiled and walked on. Another time I saw a boy struggling with his broken down bike and only after talking to Dan about him did I realize I should have stopped, asked him if I could call his parents, and offered a ride to him if they would allow it (he was very close to my house). WHY couldn’t I think of that on my own? Well … duh … walking brain. Today I walked past a man and, as is typical of me, I said, “Hello.” I could swear he said, “Hi Patty.” I should have stopped and chatted, but I’m so distrustful of my walking brain and my ears that I wasn’t sure if I really heard that or if I just though I heard it. I did look at him, but again, my brain may not have recognized someone I actually know. It was very odd.

Today was an over seven mile walk. It was lovely! I walked a 15.3 minute mile, and still Fitbit says I only had 9 “active minutes”. I realize I shouldn’t let that bother me: it’s only a silly little app and I know I’m getting good exercise, but I want Fitbit to “like” me. I guess I need to read up on how it calculates “active minutes” … maybe at the end of the day it recalculates and will realize that my slightly under two hour walk does qualify as being active.

This was my first shot from today’s walk. Red is an extremely difficult color for me to shoot. This is the best I can do with this one, I think.


Below are more shots I posted to Google+ recently. If you want to know anything more about them you’ll have to go over to G+ since I’ve just run out of typing energy. ;-)







Back To The Desert

How long will it take, I wonder, to manage to get through all of my desert photos? I hadn’t looked at them for a while and, in going back, I’m finding some that I think have potential. I’m glad I don’t delete things right away! Trouble is, I have FAR too many photos. I need to learn more discipline about pressing that shutter button!

I love capturing water drops. I suppose it’s cliché for many, but Oh well.


The colors in the desert are sometimes hard to believe!


And then there’s the light …


I’m trying to let it go …

I didn’t walk much today. Yesterday I noticed that my left foot felt a bit off. It’s not like it hurts horribly, but it sure doesn’t feel normal. I am guessing I hurt it when I tripped at some point. Yeah, I trip a lot! Last night, when Dan and I were attending San Francisco Symphony, I had some close to major issues with stairs. So today I figured I’d really better take it easy.

I’m also getting to a point where I feel guilty if I don’t get a happy face from Fitbit. (Yes, Fitbit has happy faces when we’ve reached our goals.) This is just silly. I need to let it go and just do what I am able, when I have the time. I tend to go overboard and if 10,000 steps is what they want I try to do twice that if possible. I’m healthy. I exercise when I can. I need to relax.

Fat. Chance.

In any case, no photography today, and very little working on what I already have. These are shots from this past week, though, and I’m pretty happy with them!













I think I’m learning, finally, to deal with change. At least a little bit. In the past even GOOD change was rough for me. But I was, only recently, hired to do a bit of the Mendocino Music Festival (due to a late cancelation of another musician) and I was only happy to do it and not at all stressed. How unusual for me! Maybe it’s because I have friends who play it and I LOVE Mendocino. Maybe it’s because I will get to visit the botanical gardens … probably even more than once. Or maybe … just MAYBE … I’m changing a bit when it comes to change.

It could happen.

Maybe. :-)

I will be staying with someone up there: they get residents in the area to house musicians, which is tremendously cool. Being the introvert I’m a little bit nervous about that, but I’m going to be a brave girl and attempt to be a bit more outgoing than my norm. We’ll see how it all goes! I’m sure the hostess is wonderful … anyone who opens up a house like that to a stranger has to be! I look forward to seeing things like these shots below (if you read both of my blogs you’ve already seen them … sorry ’bout that!):