Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nightmares and Sunsets

Night before last I dreamed there were huge alligators floating in my house.

My son—who was still a little boy—kept trying to cross the room, even though he was well aware of the dangers. I kept reaching out, pulling him by the back of the shirt, saying sternly, "NO! Don't do that!" I would lift him up by his collar, feet dangling just out of the reptiles' reach, and deposit him on the bed beside me. I watched as the deadly creatures circled around us, their large eyes peeping just above the murky surface, looking for something to devour. Despite my warnings, I struggled to keep my boy beside me.

My son continued to ignore me, seemingly oblivious. Repeatedly I yanked him out of the water just in the nick of time. This exercise was replayed ad nauseam. I was getting very tired, and wondered how long I could continue to save him. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why he insisted on taking that risk!

Funny how our dreams, even abstract ones, can mimic what is going on in our lives.

My grandmother used to say if one dreamed of snakes it meant the devil was trying to get a foothold. I wonder what alligator dreams mean? They're in the reptile family, after all. Hmmmm. I also have recurring dreams that I forgot to bathe or feed my kids. I hate that dream when it decides to visit me.

Last night my husband went to a business dinner. I had a somewhat stressful day at the office and felt restless home alone. I ventured outside to see if there was a sunset. Lo and behold there was a pretty nice one. Not the best I've seen, but good enough. I grabbed the one thing that is bringing me joy these days: my camera.  

Ah, photography, how I love thee. Unlike our fluid lives, a camera has the capability to freeze a moment in time. Photographic mistakes can be deleted from memory with one click of a button...forever...never to haunt see the light of day again. I do wish my life could perform some of those functions. But if it could, I guess I wouldn't grow and learn.

What brings you joy and why? Do you have any recurring dreams that are bothersome or that you like?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Waves of Dana Point

For the grand finale I present to you cool waves and some of the brave souls who battled them. Photos were taken over a 2 day period in sometimes hazy, sometimes sunny, Dana Point, California.

I learned that most surfers tether themselves to their boards.

A decapitation waiting to happen. Yikes!

My super sweet husband toting my camera bag for me.
He was so sunburned that his eye was swollen for 3 days afterwards.
I don't know these folks, but I thought this was sweet.
Hope you enjoyed the tour! I'll now return to my once a week posting schedule. Sending special prayers up for the communities in Hurricane Irene's path. Y'all be safe now, ya hear?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vistas of Dana Point

Are you sick of seeing Dana Point in the title of my posts? I saw that eye roll! And I don't blame you. :) Please be patient. Only one more set after this, which will be the surfing shots. I want to end on an upbeat note with lots of action!

Our stay at the Ritz was incredible. The room was situated on a private floor with its own concierge and help staff. There were four "food presentations" each day with the most delectable and artfully decorated goodies that made my eyes pop out of their sockets. I must admit it's quite intoxicating to experience such lavishness. I could quickly adapt to this lifestyle without a hitch. Money can't buy you class as they say, but it can certainly buy you comfort.

Before I present the views, feast your eyes on some of the slop we were served. I kid!
Excuse the poor quality, but this was taken with my iPhone.
The little silver beads are edible.
The shot glass contained what appeared to be tres leches cake,
but creamier than we're used to in Texas.

This was one of the lunch presentations. I thought the cesar salad idea was cool.
On to the views! Each morning we awoke to hazy skies, but by 2PM it usually burned off. I certainly didn't mind; it made for some moody photos. 

Hello!! Can you tell how hard I'm trying to suck in my gut?
This was taken after one of the food presentations.
This was our concierge's desk.  The view from this window made it feel as though
the water was right there, like we were peering out of a ship's window.
I loved that the hotel colors were the same as my living room at home: chocolate and ice blue.
These guys played for our big company dinner, playing non-stop for over 4 hours without a break.
I hope I have that much energy when I'm their age.
(taken with iPhone)
Look what the beer tasting menu had stamped on it in wax!
I pretended they did it just for me.
(taken with iPhone)
Rear view of the Ritz Carlton
The haze burned away revealing the most vivid blue hues.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Flowers and Insects of Dana Point

California has always been on my list of places to visit. Thrilled to finally have the opportunity, it did not disappoint. I quickly became intoxicated with its beauty. God really anointed this part of the country with amazing flora and fauna, and spectacular views that are mesmerizing. It's hard to put into words the joy I felt being surrounded by so much radiance. As Lewis Hine said, "If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera." So, here is Part Deux of my journey:
Beautiful vases of flowers greeted us as we entered the Ritz Carlton.
This is a swanky place, y'all. Somehow I felt right at home there;
normally places like this make me nervous.
I must have 20 different angles, exposures, and focal lengths of this Bird of Paradise.
I could not stop photographing it!
Bee buried in bloom
You be my sunny day
I'll be your shade tree
You be my honeysuckle
I'll be your honey bee
(Honey Bee by Blake Shelton)
The only country song I know because he performed it on The Voice
Skipper on Calla
The bougainvillea was stunning.
I edited this with a lighter exposure because I felt the areas surrounding the bougainvillea was too distracting.
Someone please help me identify this flower! Is this some kind of verbena?
A blue-eyed bumble bee. Who knew?
I bet he's the Leo Dicaprio of the bee world.
Amaryllis, also known as the belladonna lily, the naked lady, or an amarillo.
Amaryllis means "sparkling" in Greek. In Greek mythology, Amaryllis was a shepherdess who loved a conceited shepherd. The shepherd said he would only love her back if she created a flower. In return, she stabbed herself in the heart in order to create a beautiful blossom.
The first honey bee to attempt planking.
This plant reminded me of gumdrops. I have no idea what this is called. It's some sort of succulent, I believe. Anyone? Bueller? 
More bougainvillea. This is the location where I spotted the first hummingbird. 
Stay tuned for surfers and scenic views! Hope you all have an awesome day.

A HUGE "thank you" to Hilary at The Smitten Image for including my Double Trouble post in her Post of the Week! I am truly honored. If you do not read Hilary's blog, drop what you're doing right now and go have a look-see. That's Texan for "go check it out!" She's witty, warm, friendly, and has some amazing photography for your viewing pleasure. Thanks again!!!