Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top Ten for 2011

Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission

Sunset at the Cayucos Pier

I'm gonna eat you!

Daddy's Truck, 1968 Ford F150

Horses on the Beach, Morro Bay, CA

The Old Truck at Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards

San Diego County Fair at Del Mar

Tattoo Town Exhibit at the Museum of Photographic Art, Balboa Park, San Diego

Sunrise in the Vineyards - Red Soles Winery, Paso Robles, CA

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

The Last Sunset of 2011 - Morro Bay, CA
As the sun sets on 2011 I'd like to take a moment to wish you a happy and prosperous new year. 2011 has been full of ups and downs, but overall it has been good. I have an awesome family, I have fantastic friends, I have a roof over my head, and food on the table. Life is good.

Happy New Year!
Buon Anno!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Buon Natale - Merry Christmas!

I hope your Christmas is filled with joy and love.
Merry Christmas - Buon Natale!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Eve!

Mom's Collection of Glass Christmas Trees
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I am blessed to be surrounded by family.  Although my hubbie's absence is never far from my mind and heart my parents, cousins, grandparents, aunts & uncles are doing a great job of keeping me entertained.  Cheers to you all! I'm off to help my mom in the kitchen.  :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

San Diego at Night

San Diego - from the Coronado Ferry Landing
Last night I joined friends to watch the Parade of Lights on San Diego bay. While we were waiting for the parade to start I took a few shots of the GORGEOUS San Diego skyline.  What a view! I love how the Midway and several of the Skyscrapers are dolled up for the holidays!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Send a little holiday cheer!

A couple of days ago I added two new products to my Etsy Shop - Artist-signed Original Artwork Holiday Cards! Choose from a classic Holly Berry design:

Holly Berry Note Cards

OR a fun, Quirky Santa design!

Quirky Santa Note Cards

Both designs feature an original 4x6 photograph and artist signature on high quality card stock and include a coordinating envelope. Cards are available in sets of four for $15. For more information or to purchase a set visit

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Fair Winds and Following Seas

USS Sterett
These last few weeks have passed in a blur.  With the exception of blogging Thirty Days of Thanksgiving the business of photography has largely been ignored as Les and I prepared for his deployment. The weeks leading up to his departure were fun, busy and extremely emotional.  Yesterday, amidst hugs, kisses and a few tears we said our goodbyes and I watched his ship pull away from the pier. Although I miss him terribly I am so proud of him!

For other military families out there here are a few of my observations about preparing for deployment:

  • An impending separation forces priorities into place - Les and I focused on letting the little things go and enjoying our time together.  We had a fabulous time!
  • Plan ahead - We had list upon list of things to do before he left and we steadily marked everything off.  It was a wonderful feeling to be prepared and to just relax the night before he left.
  • Live in the moment - It was easy for me to think ahead and get emotionally overwhelmed knowing that we would soon be saying goodbye. However, I constantly reminded myself to be present and focus on the "now" and enjoy it! Deployment would happen, but there was no sense fretting about it weeks (or days or hours) before at the expense of enjoying the time we had together.
My Sailor
I pray that my sailor has a safe journey and returns to me soon!

For more photos of the USS Sterett's departure please visit my Facebook page at

If you'd like to know more about the USS Sterett here are a couple of links to recent news stories:
USS Sterett Departs San Diego, Heads to Middle Ease - Video
USS Sterett Deploys to Western Pacific

About the title of this post:
The origin of the quote "Fair Winds and Following Seas" is unknown. It is often said to have been lifted from a poem, phrase, or literary work, but to the best of this researcher's knowledge, it wasn't. Over the last century at least, the two quotes "Fair Winds" and "Following Seas" have evolved, by usage, into a single phrase which is often used as a nautical blessing.
"Fair Winds": The Dictionary of American Regional English defines "Fair Wind" as "safe journey; good fortune." An early example of the phrase's use is in Herman Melville's Moby Dick,published in 1851, where it says near the end "Let me square the yards, while we may, old man, and make a fair wind of it homeward." In other words, let me square the yards (add on all sail) and make a safe journey home.
"Following Seas": Defined by Bowditch's American Practical Navigator as "A sea in which the waves move in the general direction of the heading." It further defines "Tide" as "the periodic rise and fall of the water resulting from gravitational interactions between the sun, moon, and earth. . . . the accompanying horizontal movement of the water is part of the same phenomenon." In simple terms: the movement of the water, the waves, and the surface, correspond with the movement of the tide.
"Fair Winds and Following Seas" is really two quotes originating from different sources. The two quotes are a nautical phrase of good luck--a blessing as it were--as the person, group, or thing it is said to departs on a voyage in life. It is often used at a "beginning" ceremony such as a commissioning ceremony of a ship or people, as well as in retirement, change of command, or farewell ceremonies. (Naval Historical Center)