Lens-Artists Challenge #136 : The Letter S

Patti says, “For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #136, we’re circling back to the alphabet.  This time, we’re going to focus on the letter S.  What images can you find that feature a subject that begins with the letter S?  Here are some ideas to get you started.”  

My friends and I visit sunflower fields in Yolo County.

Shadows on my Sunflower!

In Sacramento, there is the Museum of Medical History. An interesting place to visit when it reopens after CoVid. So my first letter S is for Skeleton with its funny sign.

Is this the result of too much touching?

So many things that shout out to me, “Pick me! I start with the letter S!”

Variety is the Spice of Life!
Sunset looking toward the Sutter Buttes

I hope I made you smile with my Letter S!

Lens-Artists Challenge #135 A Glimpse into Your World

Over the past year, I followed many photographers as they shared amazing images. I decided that for me to grow I would need to open myself up to this experience. So this week I accepted Sheetal’s challenge to, “Show us the things you love that make your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.”

Charlie has captured my heart. My Australian Labradoodle just celebrated his first birthday. My life has revolved around this boy, and the bond is strong. The day starts when he says it does. He quietly calls out to me that he is awake. With his collar on, we head to his round bed where we snuggle for a time. Then out for our short walk in our court. Six houses and I take in the changes from day to day. Occasionally, we greet a neighbor or see a jogger. Then home to have breakfast. With no plans for the day, we settle on the couch, catch up on emails and take a morning nap together. I am the person who trains and cares for Charlie’s needs. We take a walk and play fetch. We have one training session a day, one game of “Find It!”, and one grooming session after dinner. Some indoor fetch and he settles while my husband and I watch television. Charlie has found a place in my husband’s heart. When I am away, Charlie keeps him company. Charlie is a people magnet. I just hope that he soon becomes more relaxed being out and about with me and my camera.

Charlie has us wrapped around his paws. Discovering each other, training together, and becoming part of the family.

This litter of 10 adorable Australian Labradoodles is 1 year old (put together by Jo)

Camera in hand, looking out at the world makes me happy. What I capture in the frame just depends on what catches my eye at the time. Small objects, funny signs, colors or shapes, patterns, contradictory images, animal and people expressions, and the people busy doing things. I don’t see myself stuck on one subject. My only limits are what kind of lens I can carry, and I usually only carry two. My camera has an added value in my life by connecting me to wonderful photo friends.

Amusing signs

The pandemic has slowed down life, and I try and appreciate this new pace of life. One day, one goal. Thinking back over the decades I now wonder how I kept up that frenetic pace. I am home with my husband that I have known now for 54 years. We take turns arguing with the television over the news coverage. We share opinions on how to fix the world, if only they would listen. We read the newspaper and find books to read on our iPads. We play Scrabble, and figure out what we want to eat for dinner. It is a serene existence. We talk about what we want to do after “the pandemic”, and when will life return to normal. Actually, we also discuss what that normal will look like. Hopefully, eating out, traveling both near and far, and feeling less restricted to be around people. I look forward to new adventures with my husband and my Charlie.

I am taking the first step in sharing with the Lens-Artists. This is my new challenge, and I hope that I will be able to meet it!

Adding an addition

I am now on baby alert. My daughter is blessing me with a grandson. This will bless me with a 6th grandson, I have only 1 granddaughter. Birth plan calls for baby Colton Levi to be born on February 3rd or before. Here’s hoping that Mother Nature kicks into gear. Reading about the induction procedure is not comforting. With the 49ers in the Super Bowl next Sunday, and the excitement here in California I’m placing my bet on Super Bowl Sunday as a due date. I won’t be busy. With this pregnancy my daughter’s gestational diabetes makes the condition of a date due advisable. This is her second time with gestational diabetes. It skipped her last pregnancy.

So with four boys 8 years and under (8, 4 and 2 years old) she is ready with most of the baby stuff. But there always are things that are needed. Yesterday my daughter and I again headed to our Buy, Buy Baby Store. About 4 years ago I wrote a post about this experience. You may find it here. And like deja vu we were out buying a new mattress. I should be experienced at this. The mattress purchased the last time is being used by Wyatt, the two year old. But as you know progress must continue. Now there are layers (4-5) over the springs, foam mattress, hybrid coil/foam or dual foam mattresses and this strange looking web-like plastic stuff. The Newton Baby Wovenaire Crib Mattress tag line is “Born in water, designed to breathe”. If the crib sheet, and crib mattress cover gets wet you can not only wash this, but you can take the whole mattress out and hose it down. Then wait for everything to line dry. This mattress also offers peace of mind. If your baby turns over it will still be able to breathe with his/her face down. Wow. Not to be pulled into new age stuff we decided on a more traditional mattress. Baby needs a hard mattress for his growning bones. I told my daughter if the baby doesn’t sleep, don’t blame me for buying the mattress. LOL.

Next mattress I purchase will be mine. Still waiting for that perfect sleep. It would be nice if my husband woke up refreshed each day. I would like not to wake up in a puddle of sweat. TMI. Oh well.

Could not leave the store without buying a couple of newborn body suits with gloves. So many cute things. More fun to shop for baby than for myself.

While walking around the store I again was amazed at all those items out there for new parents to consume. Got out my iphone and here are a few. I call these consumer items, “maybe useful, but unnecessary. Agree? Disagree?

Where oh where to put that baby quieter?
In the dog world we call these poop bags. Maybe this is where I will go to get my holder.
They didn’t have one available to drop. Hummm. That would make for interesting entertainment.
Such an adorable name. I’m sure baby will be smiling when he or she sees this coming.
Just when checking out I spotted this lovely new gadget. And I love to look at gadgets.

So when expecting your new bundle of joy there are so many choices and decisions to be made, be sure to think. “Do I really need this? And where will I put it so I will use it when needed?

Now for some other news. I am hoping to bring a puppy into my home at the end of March. Ginger, an Australian Labradoodle is starting to show. Jo sent me some photos this weekend. I am either 5th or 6th on the list for this litter. Ginger has delivered big litters in the past two. (9 and 11). On February 3rd the ultrasound may give us more information.

My daughter is jealous. Gestation for a dog is 63 days. Ginger is more than half way there. I do hope that I will be lucky enough to welcome a pup into my house.

Expanding belly.
Such an adorable face.

Soon I will be out shopping and getting ready for my new arrival. I’m sure there are a bunch of things that I will need. Or will I? What are the must haves? What can I just skip? It has been 10 years since I brought my Liberty Love home. Still miss her so very much.

Early March my husband and I will head to New York City for a 10 day vacation before (I hope) my puppy arrives at 8 weeks old. Plan to play tourist, and see some family. Staying on the upper West Side, but plan to venture out to Brooklyn and Nassau County. Any places I should stop and see? Last visited in 2014.

Exciting stuff ahead. Now to my sewing machine. Time to quilt.

Pacific Grove here we come!

A couple of weeks ago we took the opportunity to head to Pacific Grove. Just a quick getaway for our 49th anniversary.

These two were engrossed in conversation. The light was right, and I took the shot.

Breakfast stop at Starbucks

Usually we stop near Gilroy to get some Bing Cherries. With the long rainy season the crop of Bings were delayed. All the end of season rain did not help with this crop.

Got some cherries, just not Bings.
Split cherries

Arrived in Monterey, and decided to explore Fisherman’s Wharf.

Boats awaiting destinations.
Tourists passing street musician.
Interesting way to repurpose a parking meter.
Getting hungry. Tempted with clam chowder.
Cute face!
Life altering copping! We needed to see what this was all about.
Great lunch/dinner. Not sure how my life has been altered? But my tummy was satisfied!
Got so busy eating that I didn’t catch a photo of the cioppino.
Had to grab this sign at another eating establishment. A whole lot of NO!
More street photography from Fisherman’s Wharf.

Our lodging this time was near Asilomar Beach.

The next day we decided to spend in Pacific Grove. Our grab and go breakfast did not make the cut. We went looking for something to eat.

Kind of a running joke. Often we enter somewhere new and follow signs that promise “Information”. But we usually find this not a very helpful way to go.
Interesting sign tells everyone not to play with wind chimes. But where are they? A little late, or did they remove them for safe keeping.
Peeking through the lattice.
Haircut Time!

Many buildings have found new purpose in Pacific Grove. The landmark store now is home to many businesses. This gas station has found a different kind of customer.

After walking along main street in Pacific Grove we head out to Lover’s Point. Sea Gulls and squirrels are unafraid of people.

I’ll pose for you!

Walking along I found some objects to capture my attention.

Got so close to these squirrels with my Fuji xt2 18-55mm lens.

No extra cropping necessary. We just watched each other.
Pretty soon another squirrel joined the party.
Lover’s Point overlooks Monterey Bay.

Watching season 2 of Big Little Lies. Looking for location shots.

Oh, to live near the water!

Ready for an afternoon snack. Belgium Waffle ordered and eaten.

Two forks. We shared this tiny waffle.

Caught a couple more images, and we head back to cottage to relax before dinner at The Fishwife.

Goodbye Pacific Grove. Time to drive home.

Driving next to us while we wait in traffic. Don’t want to end up like these cars.

Fun getaway. Guess I need to plan some more. Where do you like to go when you have a couple of days?