Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cookies & Photography

Goodness - the mind reels. So many fabulous things swirling in my head these days - at least it's all good!

First of all, I'm happy to report I got the project for my old job finished, that went smoothly.

I've also decided to share with you that I've been shooting with a new camera. Did anyone notice by the pictures? Craig (after admitting he never should've bought the 40D - NOT because it's a bad camera, it's a WORTHY update to the 20D & 30D for sure, and worth every penny fantabulous DSLR - I just was ready for a full-frame camera) oh so generously gave me a 5D for a belated Christmas present. He then quickly and efficiently sold the 40D and the lenses that would no longer work with the 5D on fredmiranda.com.

So... now I'm a spoiled brat who is falling even more in love with taking pictures. If that's possible. Though we have had a string of bad luck with one lens (the first one had a crack, as reported in a previous post - version #2 came and the second time I used it the aperture locked up closed! GRRR. So I'm waiting for lens #3!), I'm enjoying my 16-35 and my 85mm and 50mm primes. and of course my 70-200.

Yesterday Mia had a day off from school and we spent the afternoon with Sena (mom of 2 sweetheart who lives a block away and used to live in San Diego with her hubby) and her kids, Aidan and Alani. She's the aforementioned pastry chef (actually culinary genius in general, and one of the sweetest people you'd ever wish to meet). She had made some gingerbread hearts for the girls to decorate in anticipation of the big V-day. Aidan accompanied the artistic efforts with his rousing renditions of "The Star Wars Theme" and "Little Drummer Boy".










In the early evening, Craig and Tony (Sena's hubby) joined us for a meal prepared by Sena. (I hosted last time and made fish tacos - very authentic, honestly only missing Rubio's salsa - alas, they do not ship.) Sena made an amazing spinach salad, followed by a fabulous Thai soup (I cannot remember the name of it, nor would I spell it right - but it had coconut milk, lemongrass, veggies, rice, and just the right amount of spice. Delectable. Lastly she made an amazing beef stir fry (and showed me some wok tricks so that I don't end up boiling meat and veggies in the future - SO helpful), which was served with rice & lettuce wraps. Wow, heavenly meal! And a great time was had by all - kids included.

Today I went on base to a craft fair of sorts. I knew that Annya_Okinawa and Suwanee Lennon would be there showing and selling their photos. It's like our own local photographic celebrities were here to TALK to and everything! Well, I'm thrilled to say Craig & Mia & I headed over there around 11:30 and bought a few prints and chatted it up with them. Not only were they so sweet, modest, inviting, and did I mention sweet & modest... they asked if I wanted to come shoot with them sometime! Are. You. Kidding. Sadly for moi, Suwanee is leaving in a few months to go to Spokane (her hubby's next duty station) - though she should be excited, it's 4 hours from Seattle and in general a great area to live. Lucky for moi, Annya will be here for 2 more years, and though she lives across the island, she and I would both drive to find the photography & have some fun. DARE I DREAM - they also travel to take photos, and Craig said he'd make it happen if I wanted to island hop for the love of the photo hunt! Can you just imagine - "here are pictures from my long weekend in Thailand... or Cambodia... or...." oh my gosh so many wonderful thoughts flooding my head!

So that was my happy fabulous day. DO check out Annya & Suwanee's talents if you're interested, they're amazing. Happy happy joy joy!

Tomorrow we're waking up a bit early to check out the cherry blossoms. PLEASE say a "no rain" prayer!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Rest In Peace, KC

I wasn't really going to share this until I got an email from my dear friend Ayelet with her sympathies because my mom had emailed her. Thank you, sweetheart. I know many of you who read my blog were familiar with/fond of/allergic to KC, and I felt I could share this and it would make a little peace in my heart.

My cat, KC, came to me when I moved into a Germantown, MD apartment all by myself in 1994. As it was my first time living alone, I craved some low-maintenance company. I went to a vet office one Saturday after reading in the paper that they'd be having an adoption event. KC was one of four siblings, about 4 months old. I didn't know she'd be my loyal companion for almost 14 years, but I did know that the moment I held her and she purred like a freight train and stared into my eyes, she'd be an adoring friend.

She licked my face lovingly (ouch) and purred so loud and so constantly that you'd hear her enter a room. She would purr AS she meowed so it'd make the funniest vibrating meow sound you'd ever heard. If you had a rubber band or a pencil, you had a friend. Tuna? Fuhgettaboutit.

When she was 4, she made the move with me to San Diego. I met Craig and when I'd clean up her vomit after she'd eaten ribbon (read "crack") that I left lying on the floor, he'd say, "When are we getting rid of the cat?" to which I'd always quickly retort, "When are we getting rid of you?" KC came first, he knew that. Through her allergy/health problems, he understood that I was her mommy.

And when we got orders to Okinawa, and subsequently found out that we wouldn't have her inoculations and paperwork up to date in time to take her with us, we had to leave her behind. She was almost 14 years old, and honestly a trip to Japan wasn't something I thought she'd do so easily. We certainly had no clue how pet-friendly this place would be.

My friend Anastasia connected me with a woman named Chris who lived only a few blocks away from us in Scripps Ranch. That amazing animal-loving woman took KC in with the promise of love, cuddles, treats and helping me to get her to Okinawa too, if that's what we decided we could do. Bless her heart. She'd also been through cancer with a cat in the past, right around holiday time - so when this happened with KC back in November, it was even more difficult for her.

I started getting emails about her vet visits, and feeling more and more sick in the pit of my stomach because that was MY baby to care for, MY kitty to hold and console - and this amazing woman did this for me, at what was apparently the end of her life. KC had an amazing last few months. She was treated like royalty by Chris, and I love her for that. She was loved and treated at least as well as I would've treated her. She developed a mass in her lungs, and then had some sort of seizure that was the beginning of the end. She wasn't purring, she wasn't eating - and it was really time to let her go.

I completely trust that Chris did the right thing in every way. I was in tears when I read the news, and Craig was there to console me. Mia doesn't know quite yet - when KC got sick I sat with her and shared that she was sick and older and would probably not be around for much longer, so I think she'll know it was coming when we tell her.

So cheers to you, KC - you were a real friend - I can't imagine how many tears your black fur had to absorb between three deployments and a few bad apple boyfriends before I moved out west and found the man of my dreams. I know you're up there rolling in some catnip and eating tuna while someone rubs you down real good. Purrrrrrrrrrrr.....


KC Fried - April 1, 1994- December 11, 2007

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Driving To a New Beach

video

Here's the beach we saw and quickly parked next to:







These guys must've been from mainland where it's snowing now - they were swimming (but they really looked and sounded like they were cold!)



Monday, January 21, 2008

I Know...

....I suck. I've disappeared for too long. I still love my blog. I've been taking pictures, working on the Bop Hope Primary School yearbook pictures (I'm in charge of photographing 200 kindergarten kids AND arranging the pages!), went to a birthday party, tried new restaurants, and also picked up a job with the old credit union; so things are as busy as ever. I have a ton of pictures to share, and of course stories.

Soon, blog readers - hopefully later today!