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Linda JeffersIn a world of so many great photographers and writers, I am venturing into some unknown territories, leaving comfort zones, finally very willing to practice the art of seeing. By maintaining the practice of posting daily photos, I hope to continue learning about the possibilities that I trust are out there for the taking.

Come join me on my journey!

“Be ahead of the Curve”.

On our morning hike Connie and I came up with our new saying for 2010 – “Be ahead of the game.” What’s that mean? Well, we are ahead of the game by doing back to back hikes BEFORE January 1, 2010, when we both decided that “enough was enough with our inconsistent exercise.” Be ahead of the game to me means that I no longer procrastinate…….that I am aware and prepared before the last minute. Be ahead of the game means I will no longer have any excuses for why I feel stressed, guilty, late, or like a flake.

I have a very different day when I exercise first, immediately shower, dress, and get ready for the day BEFORE I hang out in the morning. Hanging out is me powerlessly getting sucked into the spell of the internet……..reading others’ blogs, checking out who is doing what on FB or playing Word Twist on FB (my newest addiction). Hanging out in the morning sets the tone for the day and makes me feel “behind the game” Time passes, I feel guilty and behind. When I feel behind, like I’ve lost part of the day, I lose motivation. I find myself saying, “Ah, I think I’ll put this off until tomorrow. It’s too late now anyhow.” Less of what I need and want to do gets done. Then to take away the guilt I stay on the computer in a zoned out state, strong enough that I forget I feel guilty. But eventually I get hungry and when I’m hungry I get responsible. I make food. For me and for Ray. If Ray weren’t around, I’d probably just nibble and never make any meals.

Ray and I are in LA at the Marriott Hotel. I just read Ray what I wrote above. Then I asked him if he related. He said, “Somewhat.” I said, “What do you mean somewhat?” Ray said laughing and smiling from ear to ear without any guilt at all, “I enjoy my mornings. I’m happier than a pig in shit hanging out with my coffee, news and newspaper.”

Ray also just told me this saying Connie and I came up with for 2010 is not, “Be Ahead of the Game”, but “Be Ahead of the Curve.” So be it.

I’m gonna be ahead of the curve in 2010!

I wonder if this attitude will help me find a way to, for once in my life, not have a to-do list by day’s end occassionally?

To-do lists are crazy making.

Thank you Connie and Carol (who met up with us on the hike) for helping me get out the door. I always feel better the rest of the day after some good exercise. Or another way of saying it is that I always feel good whenever I do whatever I say I’m going to do.

Second day into some more serious exercise than a walk around the block. 7am Bump & Grind.

Second day into some more serious exercise than a walk around the block. 7am Bump & Grind.

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Cold Wednesday morning hike.

I wasn’t in the mood to hike this morning. It was 44 degrees at 6:20am this morning. That’s cold for Palm Springs. It was a long pants and two fleece layer hike to start and on the 2 mile downhill return. Having a commitment to meet Connie sure makes a difference. I would have passed this morning based on the lies my head was telling me. Ray looked real cozy still sleeping all snuggled deep down under the covers.

Once I’m in the car driving to hike, I enjoy being one of very few up and about. The color in the sky always excites me. The color also always looks better at the time, than in a photo. The 10 minute drive to Connie’s took about 20 minutes because I slowed or stopped to shoot off about 10 shots with the little Canon Powershot A650.

Driving to the Bump & Grind for a hike Wednesday morning.

Driving to the Bump & Grind for a hike this morning.

Connie tolerating me taking her photo on the hike.

Connie tolerating me taking her photo on the hike.

Hiker and the most adorable dog both taking a breather.

Hiker and the most adorable dog both taking in the view.

Connie and I wanted to take this precious dog home with us.

Connie and I wanted to take this precious dog home with us.

I’m getting my 2010 Ideals down on paper. Exercise is a biggy. My clothes are beginning to feel tight again. And I’ve been eating great so I know that lessened exercise is the culprit. Since I don’t have any backpacking plans for next spring/summer I’m not religiously training like I used to. Walking around MHCC with Ray while he is recuperating may be exercise but not calorie burning exercise!
Two of the 2010 Ideals are definitely: 1. Exercise at least 5 days a week, 2. Twenty minutes of brain drain morning pages. (Artist Way by Julia Cameron)

Going through Jackson, WY workshop photos.

I don’t know if other photographers feel like I do when I go back and look at older photos, but I have very few photos I like (not love) from this workshop I attended last Sept/Oct.

I didn’t get out to shoot today so I’m posting a few of the workshop photos.

I'd never seen a shaft of light like this before.

I'd never seen a shaft of light like this before.

The Snake River.

The Snake River.

A famous photo shoot barn area in Jackson I forgot the name of. I do know we got out to this photo location in the dark, early enough to beat the other photographers.

A famous photo shoot barn area in Jackson I forgot the name of. I do know we got out to this photo location in the dark, early enough to beat the other photographers.

Because I was willing, I got to……

I got to visit with Susan and her daughter, Tiffany, over lunch today when they stopped for a couple of hours on their drive back home to Wyoming.

Tiffany and Susan

Tiffany and Susan

I got to see the following sky color around 4:50pm because I stepped outside and waited about 10 minutes while the color came and left.

The sky takes top billing over the San Jacinto Mountains.

The sky takes top billing over the San Jacinto Mountains.


Accomodating formation.

Accomodating formation.

And again, thank you birds.

And again, thank you birds.

Behind me.

Behind me.

30 seconds of maxium brillance

30 seconds of maxium brillance

Thanksgiving photos – up before the end of the year.

Finally, Thanksgiving 2009 photos have been uploaded to the Family category in the Portfolio section linked at the top of this website. I’m taking so many photos these days I haven’t had time to properly process and upload them. Before the end of the year I hope to upload more photos I took back in September at a 6 day Jackson, WY workshop I attended.

In preparing my 2010 ideals for the upcoming year, I hope to create one folder containing a few of my favorite shots. It’s hard for me to even say out loud that I have “favorite shots”. I think some are favorites for a while. Then I find fault. Then I start comparing my stuff with others. Then I no longer like my photos. There is one though. One of the photos I took, while at the Jackson workshop, I still like.
Here it is:

Zooming up to the door.

Zooming up to the door.

This will be a short “work” week (on the computer, tee hee) as Ray and I go into LA Thursday and return home Sunday. Cindy’s getting married in Santa Barbara and we will be attending not only the wedding but the Friday night family dinner. I’ll come home with more photos, hopefully a few good ones of Cindy and Michael.

Another unstructured day turned fun.

While waking up this morning, I was gifted with some magnificent color.

Moments before I noticed this color outside, I saw it reflected inside.

Moments before I noticed this color outside, I saw it reflected inside.

I started the day meeting one of the MHCC hikers that wanted to hike. At 7:30am we were treated to some pretty clouds over the San Jacinto mountains on the Bump & Grind before the clouds turned dark and filled the sky.

It was popcorn and movie time at 11am. (Brothers was good. The acting, especially the youngest daughter, made the movie for me.)

I hikded the Bump & Grind with one of the MHCC hikers this morning.

I hikded the Bump & Grind with one of the MHCC hikers this morning.

Midday I was all settled in at my computer (of course) when Ray called from the putting green. He’d left for a walk so I was confused. It turns out he took his putter on his supposed exercise walk for the day. “Get in the golf cart and drive over here right now, there are tons of birds in and by the lake next to the green and the sun is out.”
He was right about all the birds but the sun was behind clouds until it set.

Below are a few of the 90+ shots I took in the remaining half hour of light.
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This bird is my "mom".

This bird is my "mom".

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Happy Day to my husband.

I was reading a few blogs this morning. I found this Ben Folds song on Tee’s blog. Tee, who used to be named Tonya, is the first blogger I ever read. I followed her every day for many years. She was my mentor without knowing it.

This morning I found this video in one of her older posts.
Happy Day Ray. This is for you!
Song #75 on our wedding playlist

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My Birthday was perfect.

I don’t make a big deal of my birthday. Why, I don’t know. But Ray always gets excited that it’s my birthday and that gets me feeling like I would assume most people feel on their birthdays….special.

I got my coffee and picked up Ray’s card, positioned standing upright next to the coffee maker, and joined Ray in the family room. Ray is not a writer. No, that’s not correct. Ray dislikes writing. He can sit with pen in hand, staring down at a blank card for quite a while before the pen actually starts moving on the card. This morning I was excited about reading what Ray had written on my card. You see I’d walked in on him while he was attempting to write the card last night. He was not shy about letting me know I had interrupted him. I left the room and shortly thereafter Ray came out of the room. I feared I’d interrupted his thoughts and asked why he wasn’t writing anymore. With a big sheepish smile said that he’d finished writing……that the words just spilled out on the page of my birthday card.

He wrote me the perfect card saying everything I could have wished he say and MORE. I think my husband really loves me. And! There was a nice surprise check inside with a notation that the check was to go towards the purchase of the new desktop computer I want to buy but was afraid I’d be spending too much money on it to buy. I was giddy with excitement. What a great way to start my day. (Hi LR, aren’t you happy for my excitement?)

I made my way over to my (little laptop, not really equipped to handle all the programs I use LR!) computer and found something else that made my day. Kalebra Kelby, Scott Kelby’s wife, had been touched by a comment I left on Scott’s blog dated December 24th. Scott wrote a blog titled – An Unexpected Christmas Song From My Wife, Kalebra. In my inbox I found the email letting me know Kalebra had written a comment, to the comment I left on Scott’s blog, on my blog entry dated December 23rd. Do you know how exciting this was for me. I mean really….Scott Kelby’s wife! If you don’t read Scott’s Dec 24th blog and listen to Kalebra singing to her 3 and 1/2 year old daughter, in her bathroom, into an I-phone voice recorder, singing acappella you will miss one of the most heartwarming singing experiences I’ve ever heard. Hearing Kalebra sing to her daughter brought tears to my eyes. It’s funny because Scott doesn’t talk about his wife much on his blog but the few times he has I knew just from how he talked about her that she was one special lady. Listening to her sing communicates how very warm and wonderful she is. That’s one lucky little girl to have a mother like Kalebra. Ok, so go listen to her sing now.

The next moment to make my heart sing this morning was when my son called to wish me a Happy Birthday. We had a special talk, very special for me. We made a commitment to talk every Tuesday at 5:30am. I adore Lane. I want to show the love I have for Lane through my actions…..the action of staying in touch on a regular, consistent basis. It’s hard for me to make calls and talk on the phone. I don’t know why but it is. Each year I put on an Ideals list for the upcoming year to call Lane regularly, email Josh regularly, call my sisters and brother regularly. Each year I carry this ideal over to the next year, hoping this new year will be the year I take the action I promise myself I’ll take. This year, 2010, is the year I will take this off my Ideal’s list. This year, 2010, is the year I will show the love and respect I have for my family by staying in contact on a regular basis.

I stayed on the phone a bit too long with Lane and had to shower hurriedly so Ray and I wouldn’t be late for our date at the movies with Sandi and Jerry. Sandi and Jerry had bought our tickets when we arrived as a birthday gift. Thanks. If I wasn’t already filled up with joy from the special morning, the movie Invictus did the job. I left the theater walking 2 feet off the ground. Don’t miss this movie. It’s the best “feel good” movie I’ve seen.

Ray and I went for a walk out our front door after the movie – to help walk off our popcorn lunch.
I’ve been taking the new Sigma AF 18-250/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM F/Canon lens on all my hikes and walks around the neighborhood. The focal length range is great. I’ve been having fun with it. Now I just have to figure out how I can hand hold the Canon 40D with this lens and produce an in focus shot.

An after -the-movie walk around our neighborhood.

An after -the-movie walk around our neighborhood.

A diversion from my walk.

A diversion from my walk.

1/250 sec at f/10, ISO 125, focal length 95mm. hmmmmm, I see the metadata in Lightroom noted the subject distance as 44.90mm. (How does it know that I’d like to know?)

A second chance to try and get a bird photo in focus. Not.

A second chance to try and get a bird photo in focus. Not.

exposure 1/160 sec at f/8, ISO 125, focal length 95mm, subject distance 18.20m.

This is not a vacation resort, it's our backyard.

This is not a vacation resort, it's our backyard.

That’s Mt San Gorgonio in the background. It’s much further away than it looks. This lens certainly does bring everything close in AND compresses it. I was walking down the 15th fairway of the Palmer Course, about two hundred yards away from our condo.

My B-day is almost done.

My B-day is almost done.

My brother called to wish me a Happy Birthday after my walk. He shared that I have know him the longest of anyone….over 62 years!

I’ve received so many calls and Facebook Happy Birthday messages today from people that love me and I love. Thank you. I feel very blessed, very, very blessed.

A couple of shots from the Oregon beach.

I should never have waited so long to tackle readying all the photos I shot over Thanksgiving. I begin and stop as the day calls for me.

Tomorrow is my birthday. Tomorrow is the day before Christmas which I don’t celebrate. Tomorrow we were going to drive into the JTBP meeting until we found out a few days ago that the Church decided they needed the room.
Tomorrow is my birthday. Tomorrow is Thursday.
Tomorrow is unplanned. Just like I like it.
Tomorrow is another day. Thank goodness I have another day.

Happiness is.

Happiness is.

One of over a thousand photos taken Thanksgiving.

One of over a thousand photos taken Thanksgiving.

Catching up with yesterday and today’s blogging.

Before I lead a hike I like to have hiked the hike. This photo was taken this morning while Steve and I were checking out the Carrizo Canyon Hike that is only open from September 30 through December 31st. I was going to take our Hiking Club on the hike Saturday until I realized it’s more a scramble/rock climb hike than a hike. The rain we had this morning forced us to abandon going any further up the canyon as the rocks we had to climb over were way too wet and slippery.

When it was raining and blowing, Steve and I were treated to rainbows on our 6:30am Carrizo Cyn Hike this morning. Burr.

When it was raining and blowing, Steve and I were treated to rainbows on our 6:30am Carrizo Cyn Hike this morning. Burr.

Yesterday Mary Kay, Connie and I got to hike up the Bump and Grind together. Boy do we talk a lot. This photo was taken about 20 minutes after our 6:30am start.

Yesterday's 6:30am sunrise on the Bump & Grind hike with Mary Kay and Connie.

Yesterday's 6:30am sunrise on the Bump & Grind hike with Mary Kay and Connie.

I had to stop the ladies for this shot featuring, not only Mary Kay and Connie, but the San Bernadino mountains spotlighted with some great light.

They are both getting used to me nagging for a pose.

They are both getting used to me nagging for a pose.

Following our hike, Connie and I met at a very chilly (air conditioned) Starbucks to go over “stuff”. Connie is like I am. She has kept a “new beginnings” type journal of all she is working on since she and I met over six months ago.

Connie's life work since last June all organized in a pretty journal book.

Connie's life work since last June all organized in a pretty journal book.

And look at this Alima! Connie used your example and did a very thorough 6th and 7th!

Connie's 6th and 7th work using Alima's formating!

Connie's 6th and 7th work using Alima's formating!