Photography · Uncategorized

Confucius Wishing Lanterns on the Water

Confucius Wishing Lanterns on the Water Event at the San Antonio Riverwalk.
Lanterns in honor of loved ones, hopes, dreams, and wishes.
February 17, 2018

My first attempt at night photography. These are my five favorite shots.



Photo Essay · Photography

My Story Book


I realize many people use photographs shot in the distant past for the challenges. I prefer to be present (or current) doing these endeavors in order to constantly improve my skill set.

This was not an easy challenge for me to work on.  I almost did not participate as I am so busy gardening among other things.  However, an idea came to me yesterday afternoon.  I went about taking pictures and creating the pictorial collage today.  Creating the above image was a challenge in itself!  I taught myself quickly with the help of the software and Google.  I am not going to lie, the software is a pain-in-you-know-what.

Every picture within the image (collage) tells you a little about me.  One of the pictures even gives you an extra clue.  Since you cannot see the image well, click on the image itself to get a larger version.  Hopefully, this will help you find what I am referring to.


Story Photography Challenge

Photography · Writing

Five Minute Friday: Tired

(Shot Samsung Galaxy 7)

Tired has so many meanings along both the emotional and physical spectrum.
divider-clipart-divider_line_medI am tired of expectations placed upon me.   The biggest struggles with certain people growing up and my young adult life were my makeup (lack thereof), my hair (leaving it natural – to grow gray), the clothes I wore, my values and my beliefs.   I was told by a family member I should wear high heel shoes and makeup to get ahead in the real world.  This went deeply against my inner core of who I am.  Doing those very things made me feel very uncomfortable inside. It was so not me.  So, I defied them. I wore the usual low heels or flats and barely any makeup.

These struggles left a scar upon my mental soul.  I used to have a voice come to me frequently saying “Why do you hate me?” It’s me asking me. This voice doesn’t come to me much anymore because I no longer make the effort to please anyone.  They will never accept the true me. So, why bother?

I have discovered recently I am bone-tired of focusing on someone’s lips to understand what they’re saying.  After 50 years of concentrating on people’s lips, I am just exhausted.  I am constantly putting forth 150% of my effort in understanding.  I have asked my husband to repeat himself several times in the last six months or so.  I think much of it is a result of making the effort most of my life and the other side not making the effort to meet me halfway. I have no mental energy left for this endeavor.

I am considering refreshing our American Sign Language (ASL) knowledge and furthering what we know.   ASL helps me enormously and opens up my world when sign language is used.  It will be useless to family and other friends.  But, I believe it will be extremely beneficial to my husband and me.divider-clipart-divider_line_medI could write a ten-page list on this word prompt!  Here is a short, short list:

1. the constant vitriol being spewed on social media.
3. my current addiction to mini peanut butter cups; but, they are so good!
5. feeling like a failure.


I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts. Well-preserved indeed! Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings






Candid Shots: Gardening



Both shot by my husband with his phone without my knowledge.


Photography · Writing

Out of this World


I had other plans for this photography challenge. But, I had to come up with something different since we were extremely busy with gardening.  It was a gloomy day when we finally decided to lay Sadie to rest.  The angel is her headstone.

There is a hidden personal meaning behind this angel for me which has nothing to do with Sadie other than to mark her spot.  The statue is in memory of both my grandmother (the angel) and my Dad (the cardinal).  They are both out of this world; they have moved on to the next.

I have long-term plans for this spot. I have always wanted a place to rest, read, watch the cat(s), etc., and etc. Originally, I wanted a memorial garden; but, this land with insidious grass changed my plans a tad as maintaining a garden is a huge amount of work. Thus, this area is not complete.


Out of This World photography challenge

Photography · Writing

Five Minute Friday: Regret

An old favorite moody selfie for a photography challenge back in 2011


Regret is a hard word for anyone one to think on let alone write about. I find myself at loss for words.

Do I have regrets? Yes.  Many.  However, It is not a thing I choose to dwell on.  Regrets cause stagnation.   I would rather just deal with the decisions and choices I’ve made, make necessary changes, and move on from the consequences.     This is not easy for a girl like me to do because I have a tendency to dwell on things and become melancholic.

I’m an extremely private girl and it takes a lot of courage for me to post what I do post on a public forum.  But, the one thing I do want to do is be brave and put myself out there.  If I can help or encourage someone through my written thoughts and even with my photography efforts, then I think I may have done some good in this life.  I do not desire to live in fear anymore but to put one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on.


Never look back and regret, look back and smile at what you have learned.
Michelle C. Ustaszeski


Nature · Photography

A Face in the Crowd

Golden Corydalis {Corydalis aurea}

I was planning on and hoping to snap some pictures at the San Antonio Home and Garden Show last Saturday (2/24); but, I was still too sick to go anywhere.  So, I had to improvise.

I spied a bunch of these wildflowers being battered by the rain and wind.  I thought to myself, “Why not treat flowers as faces?”.  So, when the rain stopped and the day became slightly brighter, I grabbed my camera, told Dan to come with me just in case I needed his help should I faint or something, went outside, and snapped this picture along with another for a Five Minute Friday post.

I think this picture turned out well and it works.  It’s a “Face in the Crowd”.  The only negative is the fact I neglected to make sure another yellow flower was NOT behind the one I was shooting.  But heh, I never claimed to be perfect.


A Face in the Crowd weekly Photo Challenge