365 Challenge: #_Optimistic

Told you all I wouldn’t make 365 consistent posts.

I was out after day 2. Thank you sickness. At least I know my limits 😉

But I am trying to play catch up and now I’m just kind of lost.


This is my older sister Holly. I knew I wanted to use her for “Optimistic” but I couldn’t remember what day # optimistic  was. I still don’t know?

( Lost a few memory chips in my sickness haze…. )

My sister Holly and I are only 16 months apart and were raised almost more like twins than sisters as I was always a bit taller and she was always a tad smaller. She barely reaches 5 foot now. (unless you count her hair.) Mom liked to dress us alike, give us identical outfits ( just different colors). We always shared a room. Shared friends. Sometimes could share clothes, but not shoes Holly is very tiny. And contrary to many men’s wishes, never boyfriends- we have very different tastes.

Anyway, Holly has always been that certain light in my life that everyone needs. Everyone looks for. Fittingly, Holly loves all things sparkly and glittery, just like her- things of light. We could not be more different in that way. Or in the way that we dress. However, many times I wish I could be more like her, more expressive, more free, more ‘perky’. I tend to be a bit too conservative.

Holly spends her days making other people feel good about themselves, making them beautiful, too! And if that isn’t “Optimistic” , I don’t know what is.

Too Much W(h)ine

Hope the lush

“Too much w(h)ine”.

or feel free to make up your own clever title. I’m at a loss.

Got my first photo back  from my recent shoot with Kevin Brett at Soul Imagery


I’m so lucky that I am a grown up who still gets to play dress up.

The Dewy Sort of Hope

“I must go seek some dew-drops here

And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear”

~ William Shakespeare

{Cowslip= primrose. Primrose = pretty little flowers <-for some of you guys. Thank you google 😉 }

just one drop

Couldn’t decide if 2 was better than 1.

My pictures~

For numbers of dew drops~

Or just in general ?

Sunrise behind the dew

(Some photographers can make drops of water sparkle like diamonds… I’m not one of those photographers…… yet. )

The Enough is Enough Sort of Hope PT2

“And the rain rain rain came down down down” ~ Winnie the Pooh

(That ‘s now two Winnie the Pooh references for me in 2 days. )

Day 2 Hurricane Sandy. I’m tired of hearing her name already.

Things that I can’t get out of my head when I hear the name Sandy-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZfmXzIbHI8 – the song from Grease that John Travola croons out in the Drive Inn.

( I know I should like “Good Sandy” better, but c’mon.. those pants!!)

and naturally,

Sandy hasn’t even really reached us yet. All schools remain closed. Many local roads either closed or unpassable. I am unable to access true storm data. Which you’d think would be available in this day and age. Can’t get rainfall totals or wind gust speeds. But I can tell you that it’s windy as heck and it really hasn’t stopped raining since this morning. It’s 7:00pm or 19:00 hours for you military folks or other daughters of Marines.

My facebook status this afternoon said ~that sad, sad moment when you open the door to leave your doggie out into the raging rain and swirling winds and she looks back at you with those big brown eyes and tilts her floppy eared head like ” are you freakin kidding me? ” My poor Sophie dog. She’s battling ear troubles too and in this wind I really wish I could find a doggie hat or something to send her out in. I suppose dogs don’t really like hats though, do they ?

My Sandy shots so far. Or, photos I should call ” pictures I could take without leaving the comfort of my home” .  I came back in as soon as the wind started to blow me away.

I’m so brave.

The Colorful Sort of Hope

“Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.” ~ The Rainbow Connection ~ Muppet Movie.

Who doesn’t love a Muppet?

I’ve had a mad-crazy inter-species crush on Kermit for as long as I can remember. A frog with a great sense of humor, who can sing, strum a banjo and be confident enough to not wear pants. That’s the guy for me.

I owe today to my beautiful daughter, Natalia who never lets *me* hide no matter how bad the going gets and who never fails to bring color into my life.

I will always treasure the laughter that we shared today.

{And to my friend who exists only in my computer, I hope you find the end of your rainbow someday too, it sounds ever so incredibly decadent. -Thank you for reminding me to look.}

“Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror or the painter?” ~ Pablo Picasso


The working sort of Hope

When I decided I was feeling “well enough” to attempt to return to work, a dear friend who is salon owner afforded me the opportunity to test the waters by working very very part time as a receptionist for her Salon. She has been a true gem about working with my limitations. I love my job. I get to get dressed and hang out with grown ups. It’s not too stressful and I get to try to make people smile. I get to see people made beautiful by the talented people who work in our salon and I get to see how excited and happy it makes them feel when the staff is finished working their magic. It’s such a great feeling even though I had little to nothing to do with it. I admit working there is sometimes difficult.. it’s loud in our salon. Dryers are noisy. Phones ring constantly. But working in a salon sure does have it’s perks.  I get to “look good” even when I don’t “feel good”. My nails are almost always painted ( red. always a shade of red.) and that includes my toes. My hair is coiffed 99.9 % of the time.  I’m one of “those women” who pretty much never leaves the house without ‘being polished’.

I get dressed for me. I get dressed to make myself feel better. I’ve found that the worse I look each day, the worse I tend to feel. Conversely, the better I look, sometimes the better it makes me feel. Plus, I will admit, I am very vain. ( ask my best friend, she loves to tease me about this.)

Just got myself some new for fall red hair. My sister Holly is quite talented. Feel so lucky to have her. Even luckier that I get to work with her even though it’s on that very very part time basis. She works in the salon with me. Working in a salon and having a sister who performs miracles on me is a huge money saver for me.

I’m really spoiled, though.  I barely know how to get ready for special functions without the assistance of my sister! I will, however, tell you that I’ve had 2 professional manicures in my life (for my wedding and for my dear friend Sherry’s) and never ever have I had a pedicure.  My daughter seems to be holding the market on “pampering thyself ” in this family, which is fine with me, I suppose. Someone else can try to support her habits some day.

Being at the desk enables me to see everything when it comes in. I get to check out all the new polishes too! I am currently addicted to Big Apple Red from OPI even though it’s an older shade. I’ve got a cabinet full of OPI reds- plus one Chanel red. (it was a gift- Red Passion #5.) One of my dream jobs is to be the person who names the polishes for OPI.

Right now I am enamored of the Americana Collection- they’ve got a brilliant shade of red called “Hussy”. I just want to tell people I’m wearing “Hussy”.

It’s my hope to be able to return to a more part time position some day. For now , I’ll just keep enjoying my little salon job with my big sister.

Falling into fall (original,ya, I know.)

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn, a mosaic of them all .” ~ Stanley Horowitz

Don’t just read that, *see* that, visualize that in your mind. I think it’s so lovely. Autumn is my very favorite.  The colors, the smells, the textures. Reds, oranges, yellows, even browns. Pumpkin, cinnamon, caramel .. oh the caramel! and funnel cakes from all the local fairs… crunchy leaves under our feet, snapping twigs, the songs of the different birds as they head south. And of course, sweater weather!! Give me a fabulous sweater/turtleneck, a great pair of pants and my favorite boots any day.  You can keep your shorts. And your flip flops. I’ve no use for those.

I woke up so excited this morning to get busy around the house and make it look like fall. I like it to look like fall around here, on the inside too, for as long as possible. I’m already behind. Treatment last week set me back. But I’ll catch up. My home is decorated in all the fall colors that I love, too. They are warm and they make me feel warm and comfortable and I  find it such a compliment when even my childrens’  friends remark on how “warm” and cozy our little house feels. I read somewhere that women tend to decorate our homes in the colors that we look best in ( without even realizing that’s what we are doing).  So I looked around and realized that was exactly what I’d done. Except I don’t have any terrific hunter green or royal blue rooms. YET….

But I digress…

Attaching some of my past favorite photos of fall. I’d like to think I’ve come a long way in my photo skills so hopefully this year’s shots will show some marked improvement. I joined a photography group and met some incredibly talented people along the way who were kind enough to share some tricks of the trade with me. I was like a sponge.. I couldn’t (can’t) get enough of these amazing folks.

So here’s to fall.. every glorious aspect of it’s too short season.  I “roll” down my car window, turn up my radio, sing a little bit louder and raise my caramel cappuccino to you!

What’s your favorite part of fall?

The Sort of Hope Who Takes Her Own Picture- {self portraiting}


Self portrait-ing was something I began when I started an interest in photography. I usually lacked willing specimens and found I was often the only living thing available. Cell phones, Web Cams, still working on getting it right with my real camera.It never mattered , just wanted a photographic history of who I was for mostly my own sake but also so my family would have a record of me “just in case”.  It then became a little project for me as my disease progressed.

It is my hope that you can also view these as I intended. Just photos. Potential art. Face value. I welcome your feedback. Good or bad.

These are some of my favorites. Favorite quotes. Favorite moods. Favorite edits.


“I can no longer think of anything but you. In spite of myself, my imagination carries me to you. I grasp you, I kiss you, I caress you. A thousand of the most amorous caresses take possession of me. ” ~ Honore de Balzac letter to Evelina Hanska June 1836

“Those sweet lips. My, oh my, I could kiss those lips all night long.” ~ Jess C Scott- The Intern

“Thou art to me a delicious torment ”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

[T]hen I did the simplest thing in the world. I leaned down… and kissed him. And the world cracked open. ~Agnes de Mille

“Licence my roving hands, and let them go

Before, behind, between, above, below”  ~ John Donne

“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.” ― Jim Rohn 

“The eyes are one of the most powerful tools a woman can have. With one look, she can relay the most intimate message. After the connection is made, words cease to exist. ”
― Jennifer Saliz