Thursday, December 31, 2009


365 posts! A year ago tomorrow, I started this blog. My tag line says, "Just me being present by taking a photo every day." Well, I may not have actually taken a photo every day, but I created a post for every. single. day. of 2009. Sometimes, I was able to take a LOT of photos and spread them out over a few days, which came in handy on those late Tuesday nights when I was just too tired to do one more thing. Sometimes, I was out of town where, believe it or not, there was no internet access, so my posts for those days were done when I returned home. Sometimes, especially as the year started coming to a close, there was SO much going on that I had to do my post for one day the next day because I simply ran out of time. Ultimately, the being present came from coming to this space and sharing/documenting that little piece of my life. It was never a chore, I never said, Ugh, I just don't want to do this today.

So, now what? I've been thinking about that for the last month to 6 weeks. What happens on January 1, 2010? Well for one thing, I need to change my tag line. I most certainly will be continuing here but not every day. I've done that, so this space is now going to be for something different. Maybe it will be more about photography projects or maybe I'll have more profound thoughts to share. I'm not sure yet but whatever happens here will continue to reflect the idea of "Shining Lotus." Hmmm ... that sounds like a good idea for tomorrow:)

Some of my favorite posts of 2009, of course, were about my kitties. They make great photo subjects, especially for practicing and experimenting with the camera. Starting tomorrow, I'll have another blog, The Daily Poo. I'm thinking this blog will satisfy my crazy cat lady urges and potentially entertain other crazy cat people out there. Plus it will be a space for me to focus on cute kitty pics and stories.

Reflecting back on 2009, I must say it was a great year. Certainly not without some struggles or harsh circumstances but those struggles and circumstances became teachers for me and I am grateful for them. But there was far more joy than anything else. From this little one to this special day. I had amazing opportunities for photography that led to my work being used, officially:) And I had some humbling experiences that brought me back to earth, helping to keep me grounded. I had some great times with my awesome husband and special girls.

And these are some of my most favorite photos from the year. Whew, that was tough to pick out just 12 favorites!!

So long 2009, it's been great. Hello 2010!

Old Girl*

Looking for that special toy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wrapping It Up*

This year is just days from being over. Where has it gone? How did it go by SO fast? What did I accomplish? What do I want for 2010?

Shawn and I will be spending New Year's Eve or Day, not sure which yet, going through this blog, reflecting on the year. When I first started this, a few days shy of a year ago, my goal was to be present daily by posting a photo and maybe a few words here. Little did I know that it would turn into something that both of us can treasure in that our year, 2009, has been documented here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Too Much Sweetness*

It's that time of year ... candy, cookies, brownies, fudge, treats ... EVERYWHERE!! It's too much. And you need to have serious self-control and discipline to not indulge and over-indulge. And I just don't have that self-control. But, I'm pretty much over it. So embarking on 40 days of no treats, candy, cookies, etc... will be a piece of cake.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wore Out*

Poor Lucy ... wore out from playing so hard! Seriously, after about 20 minutes or so of playing with her with the new toy, I had to make her rest and put the toy away. She was panting! And there's nothing more pathetic than a panting cat. Or worrisome. This happens to her if she plays or runs around too much, too fast. Here she is splayed out under her tree after a tough play session.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After*

It's the day after Christmas, so now what? It's like there's this manic race to do everything and get everything done. Parties, food to make, food to eat, go here, rush there, buy, ship, sugar, booze, late nights, etc .... And we had a blizzard thrown into the mix, so then there was shoveling and unprecedented traffic the week leading up to Christmas. And, I turned down several invitations to events trying to keep in mind I don't have to do everything. But still, this day after Christmas I was worn out. I had just enough energy to sit and watch Lucy play with her new toy. There's got to be a better way to enjoy this season at a slower pace. I thought I was doing pretty good with it but my lack of energy and motivation tells me a lot. Time to get grounded, centered and restored.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Cat Butt for Christmas*

Some of my Christmas presents from hubby. Gotta love some Cat Butt! And the Crazy Cat Lady action figure. In case you can't tell, she's got a cat hanging out of a pocket and another on her shoulder. And the random cats look pretty crazy themselves. Speaking of crazy cats ... here's Lucy with one of her xmas presents from grandma.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our Christmas Tree*

Here's our Christmas Tree! It's a Norfolk pine and we've had it for 9 years now. No going out and buying murdered trees or killing one ourselves. Seriously, everyone should do this. And if you don't/can't keep it past Christmas, plant it somewhere.

I also made a bunch of our ornaments. Some DIY style show I saw over 10 years ago, for some reason I want to say it was Rachel Ray, was showing how to make these little ornaments out of wire.

Thank you Norfolk pine for being our Christmas tree every year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Xmas Decor*

These are some of our xmas decorations. Not your typical stuff. No ribbons or angels or nativity scenes. That's not us. But these things are:)
Like Heat Miser ... he's Mr. 101

The Winter Warlock!
Puttin' one foot in front of the other ...

Cold Miser!

Who doesn't love the BurgerMeister MeisterBurger?

And the cast of Rudolph ... Cornelius and the cowboy on the ostrich.

And the Abominable Snowman.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Zombie Snowman*

Looking out the living room window. Zombie snowman on the lawn.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas in Old Town*

Here are a few pics from Old Town Alexandria walking up King Street at night. This was before the blizzard, obviously. I love Old Town. The cool architecture, the oldness, the white lights. I plan to take more time in the new year to just go into Old Town during my lunch hour and shoot photos.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Yule*

The winter solstice is here ... well almost. Technically it's tomorrow but we're close enough. Winter solstice is usually when we pull our holiday decorations out. Our decorations are pretty eclectic. This scene is from the living room, looking out at the snow storm last night.

The cool light set up was inspired by the shelf in the window. I must say, I was not happy about that shelf when it first appeared. In fact I poo-poo'd it HEAVILY.

However, without that shelf we wouldn't have that kick ass light display. So I must say Thank You to my husband for putting it there and to the shelf for inspiring me.

The decorations on the table are red candles, pictures of the cats and a pop-up Night Before Christmas book. There's also one of our trees. It's a wire, tree sculpture that we hung little tiny ornaments on.

You might be wondering how this kind of set up doesn't completely tempt Lucy. Well it did. I woke up to the whole thing toppled over on the floor, in complete disarray. And Lucy kind of sheepish around it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blizzard 09*

So much excitement today ... BLIZZARD! I'm pretty sure we were under a blizzard warning today, here in Woodbridge, Va about 30 to 40 minutes south of DC. When we went outside there was about 16" of snow. There's now probably over 20". Crazy!! But it made for a GREAT, super GREAT day to decorate for the holidays. More on that later. Here are scenes from our Winter Wonderland.

Here's Confucious in the snow. Looks like he's kind of huddling, shivering to keep warm in the blizzard but since he is in deep meditation he's only experiencing bliss.

There were birds flying around having the best time. Robins, blue jays, maybe a cardinal or two ... all hanging out together in a tree, maybe eating berries, then taking off and swooping around in the snow and wind.

And then we decorated the outside trees.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow!! Again!!

The snow that is supposed to eventually dump up to 20" on us has just started. This is from the living room window.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Twinkling Lights*

Corner of Patrick and King Streets in Old Town, Alexandria.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Office Decorations*

This is my entry to the Office Holiday Decoration contest. Christmas Karma Notes! They're little notes with positive, uplifting words for my co-workers. Then, if they want, they can share, thereby spreading the good karma. There are different phrases, so I don't know who is getting what ... that's up to the universe.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Now That's Odd*

Saw this painting sitting in a tree next to the parking lot by the yoga studio. Yes, sitting in a tree.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Morning Cuteness*

Here's Lucy ready for pets. Just before I leave in the morning she gets Goodbye pets at her favorite spot, the tree. I'll say "you want some Goodbye pets??" and she'll jump up to her spot and get her pets. Sometimes if she's preoccupied with a toy, a bug or food, she won't listen and loses out on the pets, but most of the time she's on top of it. Sometimes, if I've got my gloves and coat on already she'll take that as a sign that it's ok to get vicious, as in attack and bite. So then I have to tell her "NO VICIOUS!" She knows that it's wrong. Regardless, it's a good dose of cuteness for the day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Peeks Around 25*

Peeks Around 25 is the bulletin board at my desk. It's covered with some cool, inspirational stuff and a wacky thing or two. There's the Rumi calendar, some way cool Celtic art, some other goddess type cards and little mini Girlfriends scrapbook. The wacky things are related to my mom. One is a pin of a cat with wings. Not sure why it's there but it is. The other is a postcard from Greece. My mother took me to Greece in 1994 for my 30th birthday. While we were there looking at postcards she called me over to see one she was looking at. It's a photo of a scultpure of some kind of half man, half beast. And that sculpture has a raging hard-on! And my mother pointed it out to me. I may never recover from that but I had to get the post card nonetheless.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Magic Box*

This is The Magic Box. I don't think I've posted a photo of or talked about The Magic Box. I've come to a point this year where I kind of don't remember if I've already posted something or not. Luckily there's only 3 weeks left to this year!

The Magic Box is a place to put wishes, desires and intentions. The energy of The Magic Box then helps for these things to happen or manifest. You have to be specific and sometimes what we want is not what we need and the Universe knows this. We made The Magic Box a few years ago and I have yet to use it. Perhaps I'll throw some things in there for 2010.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sweet Scent of Jasmine*

Yes, it's December 11 and yes it's butt ass cold out. But we have the sweet scent of jasmine in our living room. Of course, all of the plants are inside now. And the jasmine is blooming. Not quite as many buds as in the summer but just enough for that beautiful, intoxicating smell.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who Would Have Thought ...

... there was a dark chocolate Kuan Yin. Well, there is. And other chocolate things like Buddha, Krishna, Oms, etc... It was an anniversary present for me. The traditional gift for the 6 year anniversary is candy. That husband of mine is clever:)
Check out

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Almost Bare*

One more breezy day and the trees around the house will be naked. Here's a few last leaves hanging on, not wanting to let go. Maybe it's time ... to let go.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Peeks Around 24*

Peeks Around 24 is the kitchen window. Agate slices with other stones and rocks, mini plants and pots of different colors and a couple of photos of me and Shawn. Plus the orange window sill. All the colors match our kitchen in that we have rugs, towels, shelves, magnets, etc... in all different colors, bright and cheery.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Buddha #5

Buddha #5 is now at home on my desk. He's sitting on a Kuan Yin altar amongst some kitties and other stuff. Hopefully, just like the Buddha at work, this one will help to bring some calm and peace over and around my desk. It's a disaster at the moment.