Sunday, April 29, 2012

P is for Pinwheel

I've always loved pinwheels! 

Their simple beauty and the thrill of seeing them spin upon a breath of air still delights me today!

I remember a time, when Sammi was about 6 months old, I accompanied her and mama to the beach, along with  several other friends with babies of the same age. On impulse, I brought several colorful pinwheels and planted them in the sand; spaced out between the group. When the wind blew, the pinwheels put on their show! 
For me, it was magical! I believe Sammi was impressed too!

Have you ever made a pinwheel? Here are easy instructions. Give it a try!

Pinwheels are fairly simple to make, and you can use most any type of paper

Thursday, April 19, 2012

O is for Ocular Sinister

In the medical world, the abbreviation for left eye is OS or ocular sinister. I cringed when I first heard that, as it inferred that the left side is evil. I happen to be left handed. That is not evil!

Hey, everyone knows that the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and therefore, we are in our right minds! 

I have a history of problems with both the left and right eyes. I've had  retinal tears in the left and bleeds in the right. I've experienced injections in the left eyeball and laser therapy in the right eye. I wear contact lenses that are mono vision. The left eye is for close up and the right eye is for distance. I always fail the left side vision tests until I tell the clinician of the special lenses. That's still not evil! I have a form of macular degeneration due to severe myopia but cannot remember which eye it is in. I still have my vision and for that, very thankful! My grandma went blind with untreated glaucoma and my mom has it now. I get tested at every visit. So far, so good!

Currently, I'm overdue for follow-up with the optometrist for new contacts and glasses and also with the opthamologist for checking up on the retinal tear and bleeders floating in my line of vision. My eyes are dilated at each visit and they stay that way up to 10 hours. That makes it difficult to work some times, so I've put off making  the appointments due to being so busy at work but expect to make one in the next few weeks. I do not want to lose my  vision! That would be evil.

Monday, April 9, 2012

N is for NATURE

Ever since I was a child, I had an appreciation for nature. I collected rocks and arranged them in egg cartons. I gathered leaves and preserved them by fusing them between two sheets of waxed paper. I checked out library books about birds and studied them for hours. I even had a phase where I wanted to garden.When I was  8, my mom had obtained a book of nature for me and I loved that book and kept it till just a few years ago when I passed it on to my first grand niece.

I continue to have an appreciation for nature and it comes out in the photographs I take.  I see beauty in the sky, clouds, trees, flowers, rocks, animals, waterways, ocean - what ever is there that is the creation of God!

The photo above was snapped while waiting at a traffic signal on my way into work one morning.  The eastern sky was ablaze and  it was hard to keep my  attention on driving!

                                       The ocean- my favorite place to be!

                             A trail of sea stones, shells and other ocean debris

                              Turtles basking in the sun at a pond of a local park.

Lovely flowers at the Mission San Juan Capistrano. I appreciate how nature uses opposing colors!

After I watered my plants, a spider climbed up a web ladder and into the safety of one of the pipes of my  large wind-chime

Taken at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California

This Peregrine Falcon was flying around the parking lot of a local Target store

Nature is one of God's gifts to us. May you learn to appreciate it and worship the creator!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

M is for Mission San Juan Capistrano

Last Saturday, I went on a photo safari with a friend I met through the photography website "How to Photograph your Baby." We discovered,  that we lived two hours apart, so decided to meet at the halfway point; each driving about an hour north or south. Jolyne suggested meeting at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, as it is seemed to be located at midpoint.

 This church played a major role in early California history and  is the seventh of twenty-one Spanish missions along the coast- beginning in San Diego and ending in San Francisco. When I was a child, learning about the missions was part of the 4th grade curriculum- and I believe it still is! This particular weekend just happened to be the city-wide celebration of the legendary return of the cliff swallows to the mission, and man, was it ever bustling with activity!

Just getting to the site proved an impossible mission due to the snarl of traffic coming into the city for the Swallows Day parade. We were fortunate to find parking within a short walk to the mission. 
We situated ourselves on the curb in front of the entrance and watched the beginning of the parade.
  Jolyne wisely recommended we go into the mission before the parade ended or else the crowd would be too thick to photograph the site. Smart move! That parade continued on outside the mission gates and seemed to have lasted  2 hours. 

It was a beautiful campus- well cared for and the old stone ruins stood  strong, yet mute with their stories of old- when in 1776, Father Junipero Serra began the church and a long line of Catholic priests ran the place.        


The "Great Stone Church" was built between 1797 and 1806. It measured 180 feet in length and 40 feet in width, It had high a vaulted ceiling that held seven domes and a 120 foot tall bell tower.
According to the website,California Missions  Resource Center, a massive earthquake in  1812 destroyed the great stone church. The 4 bells survived the quake. v=szxU8nNUMTM&lr=1&user=missionsjc

I was drawn in by the bells and thus took several photos, It was not till researching the history for this blog that I came across the video of their ringing. Oh what a thrill it would have been to hear this in person! They continue to be rung for special occasions.

 The new chapel was built  and named Serra's Chapel. The alter is made of cherry wood and covered with gold leaf. You can't see the beauty from the photo, but the piece  is adorned with fifty-two angels faces- one for each Sunday in the year. It originated in Barcelona Spain and is over three hundred years old.

I did not see any swallows, but did see the nests. Here is a link to a video story as to why the swallows are such an important part of the mission's history.

We left the mission to have lunch at a nearby restaurant. There was also a street fair going on, but by late afternoon, we were tired and ready to part ways.
I had a great time, and it was fun meeting Jolyne face to face for the first time. I felt very comfortable with her and she took some awesome photos! I learned much from her as she's been into photography for many years, whereas, I'm just starting out. I look forward to the next time we get together for a photo safari!