Sunday, July 31, 2011

Glimpse of Sunshine

Monica: My parents attended the wedding and now are visiting us for a few days before they head back home to San Diego. I love sharing the favorite aspects of my life here with them—good food, scenic hiking spots, fun shops to explore, and the beauty of this rugged coast. Their presence is like sunshine to me, a nurturing warmth I can bask in.

Evelyn: Peeking sunshine, brightening up the world for brief moments between thunderous clouds and treacherous roads. It was a pleasant discovery as I climbed steps to a friend's house, watching yet another wet front barrel into Orlando.


Between Evelyn moving to another place in Florida, and Monica attending one of her best friend's wedding, we are currently "paused" with our pictures. Rest assured we will be back with likely a weeks worth of images and thoughts... and we will space them out over several days. Check back Friday!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Behind the Scenes

Evelyn: All this work, and I couldn't help but to eat out. Exhausted, cooking didn't sound like a task I wanted. Instead, pancakes to get me on my way, and enormous gratitude for the friends who love me and took time in their day to help me get moved in, for the friend who stuck out 4 days, trapped in Clearwater as I unpacked and organized, for the breakfasts that nurtured the start of my day.

Monica: The bride with her bridesmaids waiting in a train car minutes before the wedding. She was calm, radiant, and so beautiful, anticipating the smiling face waiting for her at the end of the aisle. We all got to be there to shower her with love and laughter. It was a beautiful day.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Monica: It's the day before the wedding and it's down to the wire. I've always teased Adriana about her "spreadsheets"—the pages of lists she keeps to stay organized and efficient, useful skills for an attorney. Today was no exception. As we sat in our spa pedicure chairs at the salon, she had her lists on hand to review and check off the things she'd done. She's always said that there's nothing quite so satisfying as scratching things off her to-do list. This is her way to relax before the wedding.

Evelyn: Priorities—what needs setting up before anything else in our new home—within the boundaries of the teenage cave? Computer and Rubik's cubes. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Evelyn: I spent the night at Les & Delene's—enjoying the quiet—and eager to get to my place Thursday morning to unload and start putting all the pieces back where they belong in my new space. I couldn't quite get there until after beignets and coffee from the Dairy Inn. Yum!

Monica: I'm in Petaluma a few days early for my friends' wedding. This morning I helped the bride's mother with some decorations, then walked downtown for lunch and errands. I noticed this painted Coca-Cola ad on the side of a brick building, a sign of other times still lingering in the present.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Little Critters

Monica: A game of Wahoo! tonight and Ralphie fell fast asleep in mama's arms in the middle of the game. I couldn't resist snapping a photo of his sleeping little fox face.

Evelyn: Moving day spent filling the truck with boxes and furniture. While gathering up my chimes and patio ware, Nicole spotted my froggy friend—the one who loves to hang out on my office window when I work late at night, eagerly munching on the bugs that are attracted by the light over my desk. He has gotten fat, his round fingers long and cheery. I took a moment to wish him farewell—moving away from the late night lake sounds that have often put me to sleep. I will now have to make new froggy friends in Clearwater.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bits of Glass

Evelyn: Wrapping up my life in Orlando, gathering hugs and farewells and last minute computer support for the road. As I take in my clients lives one last time (or what feel like a last time) I notice all kinds of little things that are picture worthy. While waiting for one of my favorites, I held the space to enjoy her gardens, full of little hints of her energy and world...literally.

Monica: Michael's daughter, Jesse, and her two adorable babies, Ralphie and Pearl, are visiting from Oregon this week. We took her to Glass Beach today, where we spent several hours sifting through beach glass and talking. Jesse has her dad's smile and gentle demeanor. I really enjoyed getting to know her better, and getting to know another side of Michael through her.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Monica: This evening I convinced Michael to join me on my photo walk, intending to take a favorite trail out to the bluffs north of Caspar Creek where we could sit and watch the sunset. He reminded me that there was an abandoned house hidden by overgrowth we had discovered a few weeks before, but hadn't explored yet. We headed there instead and were delighted to discover a treasure trove of eerie beauty. Mother Nature was slowly taking over the old house, tree roots unsettling its foundation, vines and foliage wrapping its frame. A collage of pages torn from fashion magazines papered the walls of an outbuilding which once might have been someone's art studio. The whole place had that wonderful wabi-sabi quality I love so much, the beauty of natural decay and disorder.

Evelyn: There is a spirit tree behind the Spiral Circle that has me intrigued. Hung with colors, ribbons, stones, yarn, and small ghostly colored cloth squares that are bundled at the end like fat, moaning faces, I have wondered just what that tree is really about. I want to unwrap those hanging men, check what is hidden in the bundles that look like heads, and listen for the whispers and wishes that put them there. Perhaps I should add my own bundle to that tree, with my own wishes for new connections and growth, before my parting from this little haven for creativity.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Flowers

Evelyn: I feel like I am saying goodbye to lots of things lately...and a trip to the Enzian for a movie and meal felt nostalgic. I will miss this theater, tucked into a little jungle of plants and oaks, where I've had a chance to enjoy foreign movies, something my family was good at exposing me to when I was a preteen, building a deep appreciation for entertainment that doesn't fall under the wings of "Hollywood." While admiring the oaks, the sun settling lower in the sky, I saw the little flowers attached to the spider plants in their gardens and let my mind climb down the small bulbs of blossoms, into the vegetation, and simmer myself in this little niche that houses one of my favorite theaters.

Monica: When I was in Spain last summer, there were fields & fields of sunflowers in bloom across the countryside. I regret not having had an opportunity to wander amongst them with my camera. I love how they are bold in color, fearlessly facing the sun and gentle in spirit, humbly bowed to the earth.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Whirl & Twirl

Monica: Every time I come across a banana slug, I simultaneously cringe with revulsion and lean in closer to get a better look at its intricate, slimy, malleable body. This one was twisted on the stem of a fern leaf, munching away.

Evelyn: I have held steady to my swing dancing and Saturday nights at Whirl & Twirl provide an evening of dancing with people I am now getting to know. Dancing with friends makes for a more lighthearted experience, trying out moves we have learned in previous weeks, fumbling through kicks and connections, and sometimes tripping on my own toes during a spin or two. What I notice is that what once felt like a great lead feels too routine, and what once felt like a weak lead—with all this practice—feels like a more playful and stable dance partner. I feel safe to try things out and make mistakes, and best of all, learn to trust in the hands of different people, each swing out, each turn, and each swivel, rock, triple, and laugh.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Evelyn: Things are coming off the walls, the rooms a mass of tape and towers of cardboard... the process getting more serious and better organized. I am sure there is a light at the end of the tunnel—not sure how much more to go. As I look at the barren walls I am aware of just how much my art has made my space a cozy cocoon, vibrating with self expression and color.

Monica: I was blindsided this morning by a sudden fight with Michael that materialized out of nowhere and escalated into a riot of anger within seconds. He took off in the car and headed to town. I put on my hiking boots and headed into the forest. We so rarely fight, it's unsettling to us both when we do have an argument that sends us hurtling in opposite directions, stewing in our resentments. The stillness of the redwoods and the speckled light filtering down to the forest floor calmed me and cleared my head. Three hours later, I returned home ready to make peace; he was one step ahead of me. There on the dining table was his peace offering, a single giant sunflower in a blue vase. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Monica: We took the day off and headed to Noyo Harbor for lunch on the wharf and a kayaking adventure on the Noyo River. It was a perfect day, sunny and (relatively) warm. We made our way up the remarkably quiet and serene river surrounded by redwoods, spruce, and fir trees. I soaked up the sunshine, the beauty, and the peace of it, trailing my fingers in the cool water, smiling all the way.

Evelyn: Tonight I went barreling into Crave for the Jaguar Club meeting, in place of my dad who is still traveling with Justin this summer. The breeze was picking up and it was obvious a storm was working its way closer, the light getting close to that warm evening yellow, and I was shocked that I could capture these tree blossoms despite the breeze.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Portraits of Sunshine

Evelyn: This is Adam. He is part of my Soulcare crew—someone with whom I can "share water" (comes from my Robert Heinlein days) and I love the way he articulates his world—his face a canvas of feelings and expressions that make him just fascinating, fun, playful, real, and connected. I am going to miss having easy access to my soul-group and I am excited for the ways they will continue doing the Artist's Way in Orlando. Meanwhile, I will take in the hugs till I have squeezed every last drop into my heart to carry to Palm Harbor.

Monica: I happened upon the Farmer's Market in Fort Bragg today, which I haven't visited since we first moved here. It was crowded and overpriced then, so I never made it a point to return. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the market had moved to a more open location and the produce and products were more reasonably priced. I enjoyed strolling through the market, checking out what's in season, the colors and shapes in baskets and bundles. I didn't think to take photos until I came across the sunflowers, my favorite. They are big, yet modest, and they radiate pure sunshine and joy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cherry Red, Sky Blue

Monica: Summer is at its peak, bursting with color, scent, flavor. My favorite fruits  are abundant at the market, and I've hardly washed them and set them in a bowl before they've nearly disappeared.

Evelyn: Something about the clouds and the warm sun through my open car window brought a trickle of tears to my eyes. The days have been pleasant, with blossoming clouds in the afternoon, and intermittent bursts of sun as the sky shifts and moves. I had a lot of help today to pack my kitchen and bathroom, but I still feel frazzled. The sun feels familiar, something that will follow me no matter where I go, dependable and consistent.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mist & Wind

Evelyn: It is such a challenge to capture the movement of the breeze in photography but I was taken by the grassy creature along the walkway of the Dandelion Cafe, who whispered and shushed as currents of cool air moved through us both. It suited my camera well, called to me, and I felt as if I was like those grassy reeds, pushed around yet insistent on staying upright. Even the tresses on my head vacillated about and then stood poised with the air, as if massive hands were styling me at a salon. I stood my ground despite the unpredictable movement in my being, the unexpected changes blowing me about these last few weeks... Seems about right for both me and that grassy creature on the edge of the walkway.

Monica:  The fog blew in again today, this time bringing a drizzly mist along. When the sun is shining, I forget what a damp place this is we live in. A giant mushroom bloomed outside the garbage shed seemingly over night and it's only July. Fall is on its way too soon already.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

For Mama

Monica: My mother jumped out of an airplane at 10,000 feet to celebrate her 65th birthday today. I wish I'd been there to witness it. It doesn't surprise me in the least, being that this is the woman who taught me to take giant leaps of faith into the unknown, who taught me to have faith that I will eventually soar and land safely on the ground. My mother is a woman I cannot adequately describe, you just have to meet her once and you will never forget her. She is one of the most fearless, most brave people I know. And one of the most tender. Happy birthday, mama. I love you. 

Evelyn: It is my mother's birthday today. I like to call her Mama, as I have found a new connection with her and see her brilliance and bravery through different eyes. For her 65th, she jumped out of a plane and floated in the air, with the same courage she has worn throughout her life. I have known her to jump through trees, fearless, to fight for what she believes with tenaciousness, and to love so profoundly that the world can do nothing less than love her back. This little cactus caught my eye today, its curves fascinating, and the ridge a lot like a spine, and I saw in it the beauty of my mother, and her life line... the ridges and turns and hurdles... and the little blossoms beyond each obstacle. I love you Mama, plane-jumping, compassionate, beautiful, chili pepper of a woman that you are!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Circles & Rounds

Evelyn: I arrived early this morning to Rollins College to volunteer as a "client in crisis" and was greeted by a room filled with goodies for us helpers. I finally have a Rollins Mug and an Alumni sticker for my car, and all kinds of other little Rollins branded knick-knacks. Bagels, delicious, and fresh cherries, delightful. Later I got to watch, via video, what I look like when I communicate anxiety and distress before a good 30+ students, a bit embarrassing and yet, somewhat believable. I wasn't the hardest client, by far, but I did enjoy watching how the students attempted to deescalate my distress. Being there leaves me longing for my Rollins friends and the camaraderie I knew so well during my 3 years. At least there were a few familiar faces to hug on before I was sent on my way into the real world, content, stable, and connected.

Monica: I remember finding this big blue ceramic bead in the garden at my friend Andrew's house the first time I brought Michael to northern California on a road trip. Michael and I were excited to find a handmade object in our favorite color just lying on the ground and asked Andrew if we could keep it. Andrew shrugged, a little surprised by our excitement. "That old thing? I think it fell off of some ratty mobile. Keep it, babe." And so we did. We carried it back to Tucson and hung it on the patio wall outside our kitchen. Then we brought it here and hung it outside across from the herb garden. It's a little thing, but it reminds me of Andrew—his irreverence and humor—every time I see it.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Monica: The fog rolled in this afternoon, bringing with it a soft, diffused light that brings out the color in everything. Fluorescent orange has nothing on this Mendocino Paintbrush.

Evelyn: I watched the clouds build today, high into the sky, with every combination of formation I could imagine. No surprise that later the downpour cleansed the humid atmosphere and left a world of droplets hanging from every kind of object. The colors cool and dim, the droplets sparkling.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shadows & Curves

Evelyn: Late night pizza, from NY Pizza Baby, and that is just what I felt like I was going to have. I sat with my belly content with veggies and cheese, pushed out and round—and I looked like I was having a pizza baby. Quite a nice way to end a day of packing.

Monica: The magic hour's light did not disappoint this evening. I love the golden glow and saturated colors of late afternoon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Monica: Our coworker invited us to dinner at the Ledford House in Albion, a French restaurant that sits alone on the bluffs overlooking the ocean, surrounded by pristine golden hills. The ambiance was lovely, with simple but colorful decor, live jazz, incredible views (and a perfect sunset), and delicious food. I couldn't keep my camera in my bag, everything was so beautiful to look at and the light was perfect.

Evelyn: Uneventful packing and organizing day... and frankly I am sick of looking at boxes. When Nicole brought out her gecko, Ms. Bigglesworth, I was pleasantly distracted by her grumpiness. Nicole had the laborious task of getting the last of her "gloves" peeled off, as the little girl had shed but failed to peel off the extras and eat them. She is a funny looking one, whose tail looks much like her head—a great tactic for camouflage. I wonder what I need to wear to disappear amidst the boxes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two Directions

Evelyn: Some of my life right now feels a lot like a leap of faith. Sorting, sorting, sorting my mind out, my stuff out, my time out, my clients out, and just trusting. Trusting there is a job there even though I don't yet see it, or feel it, waiting with open arms. Trusting there are friends, and new relationships, with open arms there, waiting to meet for coffee or discover the secrets of a new place. New romances, dancing, play, learning, and a well of creativity, waiting there for me to discover it...and it all calls to me, "Just LEAP, and eventually you will land, and it will all be alright." (I've been reminded lately, synchronously, that there are angels in my life, and all I have to do is trust. Hidden in the skeletal remains of an old turtle, dried and sun-bleached, I saw yet another winged reminder, whispering... grow, grow, grow!)

Monica: Today was overcast, which made for stunning colors in the early evening. Borage flowers glowed a moony blue. Everything was luminous.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Small Wonders

Monica: While Michael was watering the garden, I took the opportunity to practice "freezing" motion with my camera. I was aiming for the spray, but instead I captured a drip of water from the nozzle. I love the way water morphs into different shapes within an instant.

Evelyn: I had been wandering around the jungle behind the Spiral Circle, looking for photography fodder when I spotted a small statue of St. Francis of Assisi (the patron saint of the environment and animals) holding a bird. As I got in close something moved from his cheek to his neck, and on further inspection I realized my camera was playing hide-and-seek with a freshly hatched lizard, so small that if it hadn't been for the swish of his tail catching my eye I would never have seen him. He jumped from one side of the statue's head, neck and shoulder to the other as I tried to catch him with my lens.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Evelyn:  I haven't done much exploring around the neighborhood for quite some time, and this summer I am seeing more green than anything else as I drive. We have been having some pretty regular sprinklings of rain, and our "jungles" are looking lush—with a few splashes of unexpected color. My days have felt so mentally preoccupied that I have struggled to really "see" the world as I have... and in some ways I feel eager for a new place to live for a new collection of sites. Regardless, this delicate ladder of blooms lit up under my lens and brought me into the world I love, even if just for a moment.

Monica: The the light was so clean today that the colors of everything were intensely saturated. The robins egg blue of the sky, the shocking pink of roses blooming on the welcome sign, the sunny yellow of dandelions, the emerald green of grass. I love color so much it makes me want to burst.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Purple Bouquets

Monica: This purple-flowering plant is a California native called Self Heal. The name is a mantra I've been repeating to myself for the past two weeks, encouraging my body to heal itself as it fends off an ear/sinus infection. I've been suffering from allergies since March, so my sinuses have already been doing battle with the environment for months now. Adding river water to the mix a couple of weeks ago only made things worse. In the past, I've gone to the doctor and gotten a prescription for antibiotics that got rid of the infection but wreaked havoc on the rest of my body. I'm hoping to avoid that route and since I don't have a fever or pain or green snot, I choose to be patient and suffer through the process of letting my body take care of it on its own.

Evelyn: Swing Dance has been a new adventure of mine, and recently, I have been attending any dance I can find and have time for. The Big Band Swing had a USO (Uniform Service Officer) dance and most of the population who attended wore period clothing (40's-50's). Lighting is never easy there, but the dancing is spectacular, moving me to exhaustion. This is the third dance I have attended this week (one at the Gulf Port Casino Ballroom, another at the Bayou Dance Club in Pinellas Park) and my hips have made it clear that there are still muscles I haven't touched at the gym that dancing obviously moves.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pie & Burger

Evelyn: This morning I adventured out less than a mile from Les and Delene's to the Dairy Inn, a small greasy spoon-type eatery that hid a plethora of yummies behind a very misleading name. Aside from fresh ice cream, they happen to house some of the best fresh beignets in town—an unexpected item. I was referred by a friend who was certain I would just drool. I didn't stop there, I ended up scarfing a fresh, hand-formed, beefy burger (note the massive handful of napkins they grace your burger with) after my beignet and coffee—quite a combination in the storming lightning-wrought neighborhood, weathering wind and rain to enjoy a filling meal. Apparently the only way to manage the lunch crowds is to come in a storm. When it is sunny there is a line around the building and limited parking. The place has been there for 60+ years, and lives in the original Dairy Queen for the Tampa area. The foodie-owner, who loves his little greasy spoon, got curious about my picture-taking and we chatted for a good 30 minutes while I finished off that beast of a burger. Droolicious. 

Monica: A few days ago, our garden coordinator brought me a bunch of rhubarb from the kitchen garden and I had no idea what I'd do with it all. Then today our local market was having a sale on strawberries, so somehow I got it into my head that I should bake a strawberry-rhubarb pie. From scratch.  I don't know how it is I've never baked a pie from scratch before, being that when it comes to food, I'm generally a made-from-scratch kind of girl. Then I started doing some research and realized with dread that making pie crust is a meticulous art that's likely far more trouble than it's worth. But I already had my ingredients, a simple enough recipe, and time on my hands, so what the heck....Five hours later, out came a beautifully golden, bubbling pie. It needs to cool, so we won't be tucking into it until tomorrow, I expect. But now I can say I've baked a pie from scratch.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Monica:  Hello, tomatoes! You are sweet juicy summer.

Evelyn: My new place greeted me with sunshine, an artifact from the former tenant, but a symbol of the brighter times ahead. I am eager and excited to have found a "place" for me to exist here, so that NOW I can cozy up to pack and shift and plan without the constant wonder of where all of me will fit next.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Evelyn: Filling myself with new experiences and places—trying out new digs. A meal in Safety Harbor before swing dance at an old boardwalk casino in Gulf Port. Sometimes food looks more interesting than it tastes.

Monica: We were having dinner at our favorite place when something caught Michael's eye through the glass door behind me. I peered through the glass and was surprised to see two chicks on the loose in the other room, having escaped their box in the corner. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Monica: The days have been uncharacteristically fog-free and sunny. I took a walk down to the beach in the early evening to enjoy the last warm, lingering rays of sunlight before dusk. I had fun secretly stalking the other beachgoers with my camera—a lone meditator sitting on the sand facing the sea, a woman playing fetch with her dog, some boys skipping stones in the creek.

Evelyn: I have been so busy today I had 5 minutes left on the clock for my picture of the day. My life is filled with figuring out how to create a sense of "place" for myself over the next 3 weeks, and unraveling my life here. The package of paperwork for the new job, and pile of "needs" for the trip were all I could muster up attention towards, eager to make sure nothing keeps me from starting that new job.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Red, White, & Blue

Evelyn: The weekend was filled with festivities. I especially love watching the kids play with their sparklers, jumping and writing in the air with mesmerized faces and limber spirited bodies. My friend Jason's girls are spending most the summer with him and his fiance Sheila—perfect models of the funtazimal sparklicious jumptastic show of half a dozen adults and kids during the sparkler show.

Monica: In keeping with the spirit of Independence Day, I decided I wanted to find something red, white and blue to photograph. It was a fun assignment, trying to find the combination naturally, without staging it. I found a few things, but my favorite was this candid of Michael as he was walking into the office. I didn't realize it fit my assignment till after I uploaded it to the Mac.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Monica: We drove into Mendocino to get ice cream and I noticed there were tall red, white, and blue banners all over town, marking what I assumed to be the route for tomorrow's 4th of July parade. I was entranced by the sensuous movement of glistening satin waving and curling and dancing in the wind. Such simple beauty.

Evelyn: Infinity is a house guest, taking a vacation from her job as a classroom leopard gecko enduring childish gawks and little hands 9 months out of the year. She took a stroll on the kitchen table in the wee early morning hours as I wrapped up a regroup of my living space; there was still lots to do after tearing down two closets and emptying out endless drawers filled with old school supplies, electronics, software and post-its. She watched curiously my meandering dance between living room, closets, and boxes. She looks pleased at my progress.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer Pleasures

Evelyn: Sipping Cuban café con leche, delighting in a cool Mt. Dora breeze at dinner with Jamie. Jamie took me out to celebrate the new job, and to put a close on a day of sorting, purging, piling, and packing with Beth. Coffee was a highlight with regards to consumption, better than the chocolate gelato later that evening. Better yet, spending the day with friends willing to lovingly help me move my life away, nurturing me through conversation and patience.

Monica: We've been extraordinarily busy with holiday weekend guests. For the first time in months, our campground is full of campers, groups of friends & families that are celebrating the holiday weekend at the coast, away from the inland heat. I meandered through the campground and chatted with various campers, snapping photos of all the activity.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Night Shots

Monica: It's a new moon tonight and the first day of July, marking the beginning of the second half of 2011. Summer has just begun, but already it feels like we're creeping toward fall here on the coast. Time is rushing relentlessly forward the older I get, and still I have no agenda for my future. I'm okay with not knowing where I'm headed. I'm okay with trusting that the path will make itself. All I need to do is keep walking.

Evelyn: Late night stroll, the railings at Crane's roost dripping with the last signs of purging clouds and humid air. The flitter of my thoughts, sounds of contented frogs, and late night fitness fans huffing to the beat of their eager feet. I will miss this, moving to a world where pockets of this kind of activity are unknown, adjusting my sails.