Monthly Archives: June 2011

Spirit of Aloha

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Just the right amount of work and vacation time….

Well as we say good-bye “Aloha” to the Islands….. I’ll post a few of my favorite textures.  Most of my eats were iPhone uploads to FaceBook…. once I get back and have my moments to ponder,  I’ll fill in the blanks of the last few weeks and there have been many many amazing foods, people, experiences….

I’ve had very little computer time or access..which you know,  sometimes I think that is a good thing to force us to be in the moment, tasting life right then and there.  As much as I love to share, sometimes, I never hear a peep from anyone so I don’t know if the sharing aspect is as important as the “living” times of life…maybe sometimes,  our moments are just our own but I sure enjoy hearing and seeing others experiences and WOW did I get some of that on this trip!  

What wonderful people I’ve met.  Well I just don’t have the luxury of time to tell you all about it right now,  but my passion and love for textures…. compelled me to just do a quick goodbye note and see you when I get back home for more things you might not normally see.

Hope you enjoy!




Aloha….. Island of Oahu..

All my iPhone images on Face Book as we checked in from place to place….

As always,  enjoy the slide show for multiple images….. Loved hearing from all of you and sharing our time on the Islands together around the world!

Want to step back to 50’s or 60’s for a moment?

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Almost weekly we take a step back to the 50’s and 60’s and go to our coolest little beach town, Ocean Beach or OB as it’s known locally.   There is just something about it that attracts us and it’s so relaxed there.   Tie dyes are still a fad here and you can buy them at the street markets or in the shops,  it’s a trip!   Head shops line the streets, people dress from hippy days to modern days.   Kids and old folks ride their bikes, skate boards and the surfers come to the ocean in all ages.
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There are great antique shops,  often a little on the pricy side but still worth meandering thru to see if you find something you just can’t live without.  I have been collecting props for many years and people tell me I could open my own shop my treasures have been collected with my photography in mind.  I have everything labeled and cataloged so I can locate it fairly quickly.    So I’m a sucker for these sort of places.
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There is always live music and it can range from Reggae, Country, Pop, Hard Rock, USAF band, and so on.
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It’s always entertaining and the locals seem to really enjoy it!   The street scene becomes such a fun part of the entertainment and evening festivities.
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OB is super pet friendly, which also attracts us because we love our critters!
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OB is also artist friendly too,  my eyes are always searching for wall art and graffiti art on the doors, utility boxes, curbs, pretty much everywhere.   I have a whole collection of this type of art which some day I’ll do a whole blog on just that.   It’s beautiful!
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Down by the pier,  which is the longest pier in Southern CA,  you’ll find locals, fishermen, tourist and all sorts of interesting things.   Seems everything about this little beach town has it’s own unique character.
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We stroll up and down the venues and talk to the local farmers and some of them I’ve visited on occasions at their farms.   OB is super friendly and comfortable… well, if you enjoy that really laid back feeling… Some people might look at it and think what a weird dumpy place… I guess I can see how one might come to that observation,  I don’t see it that way at all,  it’s just a collectic group of very different people that seem to ebb and flow well together in the same space… I think that’s kinda cool!
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My husband’s brother, Joe, in West VA now, lived in OB for several years many years ago and we often call him from there or send him iphone images of the stores,  he gets a big kick out of seeing that it practically looks the same as it did 20 years ago.
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I enjoy our weekly trips to the Farmers Market in OB and each week, it’s different in a way,  same vendors and same feel but just the entertainment and flare is enough different that it mixes it up a bit.  Last night was a sort of Reggae style and the whole crowd was filled with dancers and people in the moment, as I like to refer to with my images.   I could not help but get a smile on my face as we walked thru the crowds and see all the pets, people, unique people in their own world, and having a ball in it – mind you!
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Our whole family,  which is my hubby and me and the dogs…….love going to OB and everyone gets a big smile and happy face at the thoughts of being there.  We all know that once we have enjoyed all the interesting things to see and watch,  we’ll find a super good place to eat.  We have many favorites in OB but one of our most favorite pizza places is Pizza Port!  It’s just my favorite pizza.   We first discover Pizza Port in North County, Encinitas and they have opened a few more through-out Southern CA now.   The one in OB I think just opened in 2010 but it’s always full and again,  almost every place is dog friendly so it’s so convenient to take the dogs for a bath or walk and then grab a bite to eat somewhere they are welcome too!
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One more thing that makes this location, sort of cool, is the local wild parrots…  there are hundreds of these beautiful green parrots and they are soooo loud when they come flying over, you can actually hear them above the airplanes taking off over OB.   They fly high enough that you think they are rather small, but they are actually a good size.  They tend to fly in a flock and they all yakety yak,  Where they live in the winter is as much a mystery as how they got here… but in the summer months,  they are beautiful to see and watch.   It’s unlikely you would make a trip to OB and not hear them flying thru.  They seem to have a routine of early morning shortly after sunrise and late afternoon a few hours before sunset,  they swarm thru town, singing their song, talking their talk, quite loudly.  There is a huge population of them and their daily flybys with their loud screeching, they definitely announce themselves.  They are bright neon green with red heads,  they seem to have some blues scattered thru their feathers too.  They love tall trees particularly palm trees, which we have several in our yard.  Interesting,  they travel in pairs.
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My dogs have gotten used to their screeching flyovers, but at first they went nuts from the noise.  The pup would look for them and he’s so curious of everything, try to figure out what all the racket was about, what they were saying and why so loudly…. he would get that puzzled furrowed brow and sometimes close his eyes or shake his head  as they squawked by or landed in a nearby tree to annoy him. We would have to laugh.  Quigley would want to eat them… she thinks anything small with fur or feathers is a meal.  That’s from her survival days… we rescued her when she was 6 months old and she was just a tiny bag of bones living in the desert and that dog can catch anything.
You can definitely find good food, interesting entertainment, beautiful beaches, rare and unique art forms, as well as rare and unique individuals in OB.  Makes for a nice relaxed evening stroll.
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…. We love it!  
As always, more images in slide show…
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Sea Rocket | Chef Chad | Three Year Anniversary…. New Trends!

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Sea Rocket Bistro 3 Year Anniversary

My friend Chef Chad launched the 3 year anniversary of Sea Rocket as their new Executive Chef.   I went over for the evening,  arriving around 5 and hanging out until about 9:30pm.   It was a fun evening for me,  I love documenting and capturing the “essence” of an event, evening, or as I fondly refer to those classic slices of life…. As a photographer,  sometimes, I don’t get to relax and enjoy the moments with everyone else, cause I’m working.  Events like this one,  allowed me to be able to share the action, grab a plate or drink – photograph it and then devour it!  What a delight.  I also knew many of the guests and that made it fun to visit.   In addition,  I met new friends and created new opportunities.

This little girl was so adorable in her little hat and with her scooter.

Her Dad was teaching her manners,  telling her to wait to be served as the style of the evening was servers coming around with trays of delights to sample.   The funny part was, she was so patient and because she was small,  she often got over looked… so she went to the manager, Derry, and politely told him she had missed some of the items and really wanted to have a chance to sample everything.  He assured her he would take care of that.

Also there was a Collaboration Kitchen event on Sunday, that I was going to miss and they are one of my favorite things to do!  I did however, meet Chef Julie who was the honored Chef for the event and we hit it off.  You know when you meet someone and things just “click” and how all your sentences start to run together because you segue  from one thing to another so quickly?  Well that’s Julie and me and we set up a time in the near future to get together.  I’ll share more of that which in itself is very cool and amazing.

Crowds turned out to see the new signs, taste the new menu and mingle with locals in the North Park area.  Also I observed,  bicyclist would come in with their boxes to return for a pick up of fresh local farm produce.   Sea Rocket is a drop point for local farmers to bring goodie boxes of their organically grown crops right into town for people to enjoy.   I asked to see in the box of one of the ladies as she strapped it to her custom bike mini-trailer.  She said, it’s always a surprise we never know what we are getting, but we are always happy!  It’s packed full of fresh vegetables and fruit.   It was!

Sea Rocket brings the best wild and sustainably caught local seafood, organic fresh produce and get ready….. they are going to have Monday Night Burger Night!  I have often gone with Chef Chad to shop for his daily menu and that’s usually a trip to Catalina Offshore Products for the fresh fish from Tommy and produce comes from both local farmers markets and Speciality Produce.  Sometimes,  much like my work, there is way more going on behind the scenes than just in the kitchen.  By the time people are arriving for their tasty meal,  the staff has been polishing glasses and silverware,  shopping for all of that day’s menu, done on a daily basis so you get to enjoy the most fresh food of the season and it’s all local.  I can only imagine running a restaurant is much like entertaining guest every day!  Ye Gads!  Think about it…. that’s amazing!

I was super tired by the end of 4-5 hours of mingling and shooting and I headed home,  pleasantly full and tired is a good combination for a photographer.  I look forward to the next day which was going to be totally different but what a wonderful way to take this journey pixel by pixel for me. Although I don’t think much about actual pixels,  I think more about what something looks like at that moment in time and then… and then,  sometimes, it takes on a whole different look a few minutes later, as the light changes, the plates are clean, the  whole mood changes and evolves…. I enjoy watching all that metamorphosis… crazy me, but I really do!


I remember one guy asking me if I thought what I was shooting was “a worthy subject” and I was so  taken back by the question.  In my mind,  most things are worthy subjects it just depends on the time of day, the lighting, the moments, the occasion, the experience…. I am still pondering that one…. I guess we creative types are strange creatures to some people… but hey to me it’s just all about the moments in time and finding something beautiful about each moment may be a bigger challenge for some than others…… sometimes I feel that challenge, but not on this night.  

Please enjoy and remember the slide show has more images so don’t miss it …share this link on Twitter and Facebook….

Mini- Vacation

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I had an amazing weekend of sort of fun filled vacation type photography.  It was relaxing and most enjoyable, shared with two other photographer friends, Lee and Shelly.   I’ll go into more detail on another blog about each segment of what I thought was the highlights,  but this post is more of a summary of just how happy it felt to just feel and see things I love.

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The eye that sees....

I can’t tell you how frequently I’m told by people; “gosh you have the most fun job” and they are right it is, but there is so much hard work and 90% of it is behind the scenes, not behind the camera.  There is a lot of desk time, computer time, marketing time, post production time,  all those things are not sometimes as much fun as the actual shooting time.   My camera is heavy and since I never know just what I’ll need I try to take enough to get me thru most any situation,  I try to make myself notes so if I ever go back I can regroup or better manage my amount of gear.  For example,  I went to Japan in October 2010 and I didn’t really take much more than I needed but there was a couple of things I did not use ever and I doubt I would if I went again.   I make an extensive packing check list before any trip or job so I have a record for myself what I left with, used or didn’t and it also helps me keep track of inventory.
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This trip was all about having an enjoyable time and clearing my head of work work work…now when you do what you are most passionate about,  it doesn’t always “feel” like work, but it also never stops, never ends, always in the brain and always a camera in my hand… I’ve been this way since 8 years old pretty much.  It drives a lot of people nuts cause I’m so passionate and enthusiastic about it all and I just want to “document” life as I see it.
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My whole experience of life in general is thru the lens of my camera… I truly want to be documenting the moment and when someone tells me I can’t have a camera,  I just lose a little bit of my spunk, cause that’s stealing my moments from me and I cherish my camera connection,  I really do.   I’ve often been called “The Little Chronicler” and then other times, some people can get pretty annoyed with all that enthusiasm and energy and they can do a pretty good job with a creative person at cutting me right down to size so I have to find ways to rejuvenate myself.  This weekend was more about that, clearing my head, hearing my thoughts, feeling connected to my own being, without having to “fit” into someone’s ideas of what I should feel or be… I could just be… how cool is that? Way Cool! I say!   I actually wished …on a few moments, I could stop time and just hold on to that moment forever!  It was just that good for me!   Well, we all know we can’t do that and so we balance life out with those other moments where you hope you make it thru!  ha!  There were not many of those this weekend thankfully!

Old glass vase with wheat grass back lit in window of old store

The thing about the photographer breed,  we get up before sunrise and we go to bed well after sunset and the biggest moments in any day is that 20 minutes either side of sunrise and sunset where the light might be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen and you just know there is a God somewhere doing all this beautiful stuff and then you wonder why he can’t let everyone see it and then the world would be a more peaceful place I’m so sure of that, cause it’s these moments in time that I feel so spiritual and serene and balanced in my soul.
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The other thing about going on a photo mini-trip with fellow photographers is we know when to just be quiet and be in the moment…. I think we each have that same sort of spiritual place we go to in those few seconds and just that 20 minutes in time where the light is just right,  where you can see details normally not seen and we don’t want to destroy it for ourselves or others… we respect the universe and each other greatly in those times…. where, what I like to refer to as “normal” people would be yammering the whole time about something until the 20 minutes passed and you never got to go to that really special place in your soul.
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Now mind you once those frames are taken and the light has moved on we share the experiences if we want to with each other and we always love sharing the images we captured!    So here are a few that just touch the tip of the jam packed weekend for me and sometime later,  I’ll fill in some more details…. with images.   So if you believe a picture is worth a thousand words,  then I can save myself some time and be quickly in touch with you today with a few of my memories…..    Where we are is not as important as just being in the moment and I think what is special for one person is not always as special for another… sometimes I can ponder something for hours and then other times, I start to get bored and “Next”,  as Lee would say.

My friend, Shelly, sent this photo she got of me with the Wild Mustangs...

Scroll over the image for brief description or click for large size view.    Please enjoy!

To the Point

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It’s been a hectic crazy week, filled with good things!  But I am so behind in my post production work and I’m heading off to another photoshoot!  Oh my Gosh,  when it rains it pours, but who’s complaining?  Not me!
Marty is on a plane somewhere between East and West Coast,  he had a 2 hour wait at the airport between connections and so I sent him some iphone shots as we chatted. Just as he gets in,  I’ll be leaving for my for my four hour drive.  So I’ll be up earlier than my usual 4:30am.
I ran my errands to get ready for this little trip,  I stopped at Peoples Organic Food Market in Ocean Beach where it’s just the friendliest place in town to people and dogs!   Also they have tomatoes with flavor so if I don’t have time to run to farmers market or specialty foods,  I can just bike on down to Peoples.   Also along the way is one of my newest favorite spots to stop, To The Point,…which is also dog friendly and the happiest people working there of anywhere I’ve ever been!   Amy is just soooooo nice, well they all are!  I’m just getting to know Amy because she’s been there most of the time I go which is usually with my husband and dogs after dog bath days.    I always have my trusty camera and they make my plates just beautiful for me to do my thing!
For late lunch today,  I had a BLT and Tomato bisque….  it was so good!   But I had to wrap a portion of my sandwich up and you know, it will brownbag well for my photo trip.  We are going to be hiking a lot in and out of canyons… so I’m sure it might even taste better when I pull it out of my lunch bag!
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Oh almost forgot,  today’s water was lavender infused and so pleasant.   R and I Love Lavender, we grow it,  we use it all over the house and to have with refreshing water was quite nice.
They were telling me of a new thing they just started, for every other Thursday is “Film Night”….  They will bring together three art forms – cinema, culinary art and wine appreciation.  It is such a great find for us,  I just wanted to let you know about it too!
This post is short and sweet, cause I’ve got to go…just wanted to keep in touch!   Love to hear from you too!  Please don’t be shy,  just drop me a note,  it will lift my spirits to hear from you!
Enjoy &  repost on FaceBook or Twitter.   Don’t forget to follow me on my Face Book Page,  I’m offering free high res images there while I’m trying to spread the word.

Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle

The first time I ever ate at Roys was on my birthday in March 2006.   Marty took me there for dinner and it was absolutely wonderful.  Being from the south, and had never been to Roys,  I remember thinking… Roys… is it western decor?  You know Roy Rogers?  Marty laughed and say no, it’s Hawaiian.
I am not typically much of a desert person, but since it was my birthday,  the waiter suggested their  Signature Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé……… My husband loves desserts and he said it was really good.  If I didn’t like it, not to worry, he would eat it.
So they brought me this Soufflé…. it was still warm from the oven and when I cut into it all the chocolate started slowly trickling and oozing out…. OMG I  thought I had to have the whole thing myself and this is from a person who maybe takes a tiny taste and I was just loving this cake!  It was so moist and wonderful, not too sweet and not so rich that it made you feel sick after eating it…. I said this is my favorite new restaurant!
HA!   Like I’m going to eat  Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé every day!
Well it has become the choice place to go if it’s something special that I want dessert…cause I’ve not found anything like it anywhere else and actually,  we’ve tested a few other places and not even close!
Now the other thing that made that 2006 first impression so special, was Dad Greene had just passed away at 87 years old in Jan 2006 and Mom Greene had moved back to PA to live with her oldest daughter.   The serving plates all had Roy on them and I wanted one to send to Mom Greene because Dad Greene’s name was Roy and she missed him terribly and I thought this would cheer her up a little.  We actually called her while we were eating to tell her where we were eating at a place called Roys.  She giggles a lot and she thought that it was great for my birthday dinner we were dining at Roys.
Well the chef came out with the plate and a tshirt for me!   I was so tempted to keep it because it was so special but I wrapped the plate all nice and sent it off to PA and Mom Greene said she would eat all her dinners on that Roy plate and then she would be eating with her Roy!
Well here it  is 2011 and for our wedding anniversary we went to Roys at the Waterfront and of course among all the other delicious samples I had,  I ended my meal with my  Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé.  It was as good as ever!   Our service was wonderful with Kyle and he made me up this great cucumber & cilantro’s margarita…. it went down soooooooo easy!
On Marty’s last trip to the East Coast he went up to visit Mom Greene in PA who is sadly fraught with Alzheimer’s now for a few years.   But M.E.,  Marty’s sister,  sent the Roy plate and all the pretty things I had packed with it back home to me.  I was so thrilled!  I never thought about ever getting it back and so now I have the special first dinner plate I ever ate on at Roys and it’s even more special cause I got to share it with Mom Greene for 5-6 years.  How cool is that?
We are heading to Hawaii shortly and Marty said he would take me to the Original Roys there.   I can’t wait!  I’ll let you know how that adventure goes!  And yep, I WILL have the Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé without a doubt!

Be sure to glance at the slide show at opening of this particular blog to see  the Hibachi Grilled Salmon, Roy’s Blackened Island Ahi & Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish, burger and yummy things we had.