Tuesday, January 14, 2020

about a character - digging out

She always wondered if she dug herself  out of the spiral.
Or did she pop out for no reason. "happy for no reason?" Perhaps
that happy part inside was speaking out against the spiral makers?

But then, did she dig into the spiral, pop into the spiral,  or get sucked in?
"fucked up for no reason." Perhaps the fucked up parts were speaking against
the happy makers?

The deep spiral of calamity.   Where things seemed fearful.
Where she felt alone, attacked and not brave. Where she drew conclusions that
didn’t make sense.

Like she could not matter much in this world if she felt this way, with all these
blessings...Right?  Like this would not be happening if she had done it right?
Did more, better, kinder, smarter, prettier.....

The spiral where she lost time, precious moments, and begged for things to be different.
The thief of free time where her thoughts ran amuck because she couldn't sit still with
herself.  Hostage and prisoner to part of her that didn't comply with her true self....she was in the spiral.

Lay there, stare and cry? Maybe a pill? But no. because a pill would only confirm the truth, that something was wrong. Write to the therapist, scroll through the screens of society to find out what was wrong. Read all the articles.

The only way she could pull herself together was a voice that said, “it’s almost five, what have you done with your day? dinner is soon!!! clean up this mess and put on a face.  Many times that meant  just changing a shirt, and putting on a new attitude, and a fake smile, lipstick? And then she returned to the life that at least was familiar.

"There you go, your secret is safe, but we will be back"  said the voices inside the spiral. "we will bring you back." 

So she just starts chopping veggies, setting a table, taking a quick shower, making sure that everything looked just right. Gather up every last bit of strength and pretend.  Lie if needed, to make it seem like the day was not spent in hell.  After all she did it right every day. She was good and there was no need to feel bad, guilty or hear her mother's voice letting her know she almost did it right.

Reality reigned supreme in the fog of the spiral.  But  beyond it was dinner time, then work, then a new week.
And that reality produced results, a paycheck, a clean house, work outs, social media posts, and most of all ....good deeds. Giving time, emotions and feelings on a bankroll of emotional credit that was maxed out.

That's ok...there is all that breathing, yoga, zen, gratitude... yes that works!!  Right?  That’s what the rest are doing. Look at their sleek happiness, look at all the happy people. And she forgot that earlier she has lay silently screaming inside to have her soul released and to enjoy the comforts of a beautiful patient and kind mind. 

oh well...Ignore it, it will be back when it is welcomed the least.

That was the cycle, until the next lonely, sad and unproductive spiral that would take her out of moment when  she wanted to be still...the moment she tried to rest.

Thank you for reading my writing and looking at my photography
copyright Toni C. Gomez 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020

Journey into my dream job - not afraid to fail

You go about life.  Maybe a bit quieter than most.. full time jobs for 27 plus years.   Raising kids... going to school here and there for all the things, pre-school teacher,  general degree, music...

Then the passion hits harder than ever before. 

I’ve have been a  hobbyist photographer for 35 years.  I never thought that being a professional photographer was in my grasp.  I don't know why, I guess I assumed other people got to live there dreams but not me. 

But thats a load of baloney right?  So it is back to school I go.  So it has been a whirl  for the last 1.5 years.   A buzz through a bit of learning on the  digital, then  a semester and a half in dark room... a whoosh through photo shop and light room .. a dash at digital photography...  this semester I land in studio lighting and business photography.. (night school).

I am excited!!! I got my first dsrl camera only less than  two years ago. I can take shots and frame a picture, but I had no idea how to work this  camera.  I was a point a shoot photographer for my whole life.  Luck of the draw.    I learned a little about it in Photo 60A, but not nearly enough.

But now after five classes in photography related topics, I  know a little about depth of field and using manual mode. I can blur a background without a special lens.  I can make the picture sharp and  I can make good choices with composition and lighting.  I wish I knew more and there is more to come.

It has not been easy going to school and working full time and trying to have a life with my family and other health and fitness goals.  I have been flat out beat down and tired.  I am not going to say that it was easy it was and it is damn hard.  And to get that degree I have two damn full hard semester of class left.   I will make it. I will get it.

However ready I am, I am at it this year as a first time professional portrait photographer.  I will jump in the ring and I will put away that voice that says I am not as good as the rest. I will be behind my camera taking pictures everyday and I will practice and refine and keep growing my skill.

And as a present,  I got a huge surprise camera from hubby this week.  My camera for business.  He believes in me.   Nikon D750.    My sister got me a beautiful tripod for Christmas she believes in me.  Many have said to me that they believe in me as well and these are the words and action I take with me and I am learning to say to myself, "I believe in you too."

                                                the brothers "D" formerly known as Nik.

I feel inspired.  I feel supported. I feel loved.  I am not afraid to fail. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

No Hands Bridge, Auburn CA

More often than not I find myself walking, jogging, or even running across this bridge.   It is on the last three miles of the Western States trail.  Runners run from Squaw Valley California to Auburn, CA to complete one of the old 100 mile endurance runs.  Western State Endurance Run!   Quite often after the event within a day or so I find myself running in their footsteps and I think of the footsteps of the great runners, and humans that walk across this bridge over the years.  I try to soak up all the vibes.  Because this bridge has all the vibes.

This day I found myself wandering with my camera and talking a jaunt to the water to get some pictures.   It seems so much larger from the water.  I rarely go down to the river as I often am running up the canyon or over to Cool.
It is stoney and mossy and down by the water the traffic noise is drowned out and you can just hear the water traffic and echos of the canyon.

The above picture has three three bridges, the green bridge that leads to Cool CA, and the Forest Hill bridge.  I love all views where I get a glimpse of the three of them. And below is just some more of what to expect of the bridge from river level in December.  Sunny, cool and mossy.

I don't think I will ever miss a chance to take a picture of the Forest Hill Bridge.  It means a lot to me and so many people in the community. 

Thanks for looking at my Photography.

copyright - Toni C. Gomez 2020

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Photography - The American River at the Confluence in Auburn

The Water Collection by Toni 
You never know when you will take the risk or put your camera on a different setting.  I was staring in the water and I could see something and I wanted to see what my camera could see.    School was out and there was no class or professor to say the pictures would be wrong.  I could just take pictures for me.  It wasn't for a grade or approval.
The water was mesmerizing and clear
The current sucked the water in as the reflection of the mountain put color into the scene
The rocks sat still and stoic while the water played with the action of the under current
That sky joined in and put more colors into the scene  to create depth and interest
I just kept shooting and listening to the water and I knew that my camera was seeing what I saw
Cool water in the Sunset of December 2019  put confidence back into my heart
The water taught me to take a risk, what do I see? how can I make my camera see it also? And then. there was "Lightroom" and tools to make the water shiny and  I got the best picture I had attempted all year long
Thanks for looking at my photography.  Taken on a Nikon D3300 with 50 MM / 1.4
copyright Toni C Gomez 2020

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Healthier eats

Then there are days where you food prep for health, budget and time savers.  So I took an hour on Sunday to cook up some ground turkey and beef with onion, green pepper, fresh cut off the cobb corn, chili seasoning (packets...boo!) and parsely and got it all cooked together...

Then I added  the seasoned meat mixture to a pan with canned kidneys and chili beans and a can of crushed tomatoes.  (I know I would have loved to use dry beans and fresh tomatoes, but it was a time saver).

I cooked it for an hour or so and it is in fridge now in  Tupperware for meals this week.   I will simmer and add garlic and serve with bread one night and with rice another night.

Ribs and chicken

Right before the holiday or when the weather got cold (sooooo last year).  I got my craving going for 1. ribs and 2 chicken.   Within the same week I found myself in need of saucy ribs and fried chicken and pretty much there wasn't any other option for me.   I usually do and eat what I want.  :)

 pan seasoned and braised... (a little quick it was my lunch hour)
placed in crockpot with onions...3.5 hours... would have been better lower temp and longer...
(working gal and a late lunch)
topped with sauce...doesn't have to be fancy but I do it for y'all
place in skillet on stove to reduce and add more sauce
delicious ribs the first night


and the next night it was yummy pulled
pork sandwiches from the oven
Seriously good eating.....

Then..... the whole world was talking about that cheap fast food chicken sandwich....so I had to fry chicken.... a few days later.... because that is just how my cravings roll.
                                                         Bad for the body ????good for the soul....Indeed!

Be healthy and move your body...remember to build that muscle to burn off calories the times when you can't resist your favorite soul food.   And to be honest, eat one portion not 3.  That has been the key to my success.   Learning 1. fried chicken isn't an every day food or even every month, and that when I have it, eat a reasonable amount.  That other 3/4 of the plate needs veggies, like salad.  You know what I am saying.    Or not Viva La Dinner!!!

As for me now, I am on green smoothies, walking miles on my lunch hour, drinking my water and logging my food in my WW app. But the chicken will happen again...and I will be prepared.