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Photographer, self proclaimed foodie, blogger and regular contributor to The Disneyland Gazette podcast.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Girl that Played with Frogs

Who could that be? ME! Yes, it's true, as a child I loved frogs and played with them constantly. I have such fond memories of my frog playmates so I decided to share them with others and start a series of short stories about Frog Connie. If you go to Amazon, you'll find my eBook there! Oh, and you don't need a Kindle to read it, either!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Monorail in Slow Motion

The last time I was in the Park I was experimenting with different camera apps. One in particular caught my attention and I tried to shoot several slow-motion videos but it just would not work. Frustrated, I decided to put the phone away and ride the Monorail and just relax.

I began my journey in Tomorrowland and enjoyed the view all the way to the hotel. I decided to stay on board and once again pulled out my phone and turned on the camera app so that I could attempt to take another slow motion video. Once the ride was over I noticed that I had received a text message from a friend telling me to meet her on Main Street so I put the phone away and forgot all about the video. That is, until today.

I watched the video and was disappointed that the slo-mo feature did not work. I was about to delete it when all of a sudden the speed changed and the video was in slow motion! I watched the entire video and really enjoyed being able to clearly see the sights that normally whizz by at top speed while you are riding the Monorail. remembered that while I was filming, I was worried about the crying baby next to me being too loud. Oh well, I probably wasn't going to use this video anyway.

So as I am watching the video about halfway through I hear a cow. A what? A cow. Actually, it's the crying baby, LOL!!!

I apologize for this poorly shot video but I had to share it because I know there are at least three of you out there that want to see the view in slow motion! Oh and guess what? Just as the Monorail rounds the bend and starts heading back to the Tomorrowland station, the slo-mo goes away and the camera shifts back to regular speed! I couldn't have planned it any better.

Well guess what? Now that the video is uploaded, it won't play in slow motion. Darn!!! I'm really sorry about that, folks. :-(

Monday, September 1, 2014

Honoring the Old Man

This is one of the most difficult posts I've ever had to write. At first, I was overcome with sadness and yes, tears. Try as I might, I could not put my thoughts into words. As the days passed, my sadness turned to anger and I found that I could not formulate my thoughts into words without including numerous expletives in the process. And yes, tears. I thought it best to wait until I could hold my emotions in check before telling you about "Old Man" because I wanted to honor him. He may have not known love during his life but he did on his last day here on Earth.

For those of you that don't know, I posted all over Facebook asking for help to rescue a very sick and injured cat. Approximately 3 weeks ago, I found out about this cat through a co-worker. He was a stray and was being fed by a kind man. A friend of my co-worker had seen the cat and because he looked to be in bad shape, began texting pictures to people she knew in hopes of getting some help for the animal. When my co-worker showed me the photos, my heart broke. I could not concentrate on my work. Over and over again my mind kept drifting back to that cat. I knew I had to help him so I immediately asked my co-worker to text the pictures to me and I started my Facebook awareness campaign. Personally I could scrape up a few bucks for medical expenses but I knew I couldn't do it alone.

As the days progressed, I received a few donations, a few suggestions and plenty of sympathy. I met with the man that was feeding the cat and found that he affectionately called the cat Old Man. I also found out that he was feeding two other abandoned strays. One of them, barely coming out of kittenhood, had just given birth a few days prior. I was grateful that they were being fed yet saddened that they had lived their lives without a home. We exchanged names and phone numbers and I was confident that together, Rick and I would be able to help these cats.

We tried to catch Old Man on two different occasions but he was determined not to be caught. I started asking around for a humane trap but by the time I found out that I could cheaply rent one by the week from the local animal shelter, I received a text message from Rick telling me that Old Man looked like he was dying.

My friend, Linda, and I were at Denny's waiting for our dinner when Rick's text came through. I was distraught, wanting to leave immediately and thankfully, Linda suggested we tell the waitress to wrap up our food to go. Within five minutes (but it seemed like an eternity to me) we were out the door and on our way to Rick's place of business. When we arrived, Rick told us that Old Man had not eaten much that day and since he normally had a voracious appetite this was a sign that he was not doing well.

Within a few minutes, Linda managed to catch him but only because he was so weak. As she gently lifted him to place him into the cat carrier, we were horrified at his wounds. I knew they were bad but I had no idea just how bad they were. He had a huge gaping wound and you could see all the way down to his intestines. To make matters worse, the wound was infested with maggots. We rushed him to the vet's office and the doctor gently informed me that it was impossible to save Old Man. The decision was made to euthanize him and put him out of his pain and suffering. While I waited for the doctor to get what she needed, I gently spoke to Old Man, telling him how sorry I was that it had come to this; how sorry I was that he lived his life alone on the streets, probably never knowing love. I told him that it hurt me to be the one to decide to end his life but that I would stay with him until the very end so that he would not die alone. I watched him take his last breath and said a prayer and knew at that moment that I must find a way to honor him. I decided that I would write about him on my blog and beg each and every one of you to share his story.

PLEASE talk to everyone not only about the importance of spaying and neutering animals but also about abandonment. It is so UNNECESSARY! Especially in this day and age, with the assistance of social media, if someone needs to re-home an animal, there is a VERY good chance that a new home will be found. This animal lived a horrible life because he was abandoned. He may be gone but I am keeping his photos. To delete them seems callus because he mattered. He mattered to me.

Please share his story. Thank you.
Update 9-3-14
A wonderful organization, Hope for Paws, will help
me with medical expenses for getting the other stray cats fixed. Please visit their site and donate to them in honor of Old Man. Thank you.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Oh those little details!

In Fantasyland there is a shop called Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. I rarely go into this shop because let's face it, it's for little girls and I don't have one. However my friend does go shopping there quite often and the other day she noticed something quite interesting on the outside of the store.

First, let's take a look at the sign out front. Notice anything interesting? No? Well, let's zoom in, shall we?

Tucked under the eaves you will find some adorable little critters. I was so surprised to see these little guys!

They have the cutest little faces and I find myself wondering just how long they've been there!

This one makes me think of Captain Hook!

So you see, folks, there is always something new to see at Disneyland; all you have to do is look! A big thank you to my friend, Mallory, for taking these pictures.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Columbia

Today we are going to take a good look at the Columbia. It is a beautiful ship and I never get tired of watching her sail past me.

I sat upstairs, towards the back at the Hungry Bear to drink something cold and cool down a bit since it was a miserably hot and humid day. I actually sat there for quite a while and watched the Columbia come and go, taking turns with the majestic Mark Twain before deciding to take a few photos.

A quick look back to where she came from...

One last shot before she disappears down the river.

Looking at these pictures makes you want to visit Disneyland, doesn't it?
Guess what? I know someone that can help you with that! My good friend, Myrna Litt, is a certified Disney travel expert and she can help you plan a dream Disney vacation. Check out this link and be sure to tell her I sent you.
Oh, and don't forget to ask about AP specials, too!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Route 66 and The West

The Autry Museum had some very cool exhibits the day I visited. I'll give you a grief glimpse of what I saw but I have to say that I was very disappointed that photography was not allowed in most of the exhibit halls. Phooey.

Upon arrival, I saw this ginormous sign.

As you can seem there were three exhibits and I was excited to see them all. However, before entering the museum there are two gorgeous sculptures for everyone to enjoy whether you go into the museum or not.

The first sculpture depicts the pony express. The second depicts Gene Autry.

Before walking into the building, you can quickly check out the schedule and decide if you want to buy a ticket or not.

The first exhibit I saw was all about Route 66. I have to tell you it is GREAT! There was even a section about Walt Disney and Disneyland. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed and I couldn't even do my super secret ninja photo shoot from the hip thing because they had docents standing and watching people EVERYWHERE!

The second exhibit dealt with Native American bead work and once again, no photos were allowed. I have always, always, always been in love with Native American bead work so once again, this exhibit was very interesting and exciting for me.

The third exhibit dealt with how the West was portrayed by Hollywood. Photography was allowed here so I took shots of a few things that I thought might interest y'all.

This Eskimo totem was almost 12 feet tall!

I'm not sure how this motorcycle portrays the West but it is an Indian cycle so maybe that's the tie in? Beautiful bike, though!

I love eagles so this sculpture caught my eye. At first I thought it was carved of wood but no, it's a metal sculpture.

"You lookin' at me?"

This jacket is from the late 1880s and it was worn by Buffalo Bill!

This is from the section on singing cowboys....I only took it because when I was little, I mean LITTLE, we had one.

The details on this saddle AMAZED me. Talk about intricate! I feel sorry for the horse that had to wear it as I'm sure it is extremely heavy.

Next, I got to see the costume for the original Tonto.

And what exhibit about the West would be complete without Michael Jackson "Western" boots???

Oh ya, and the glove...

One of the last set of costumes are from the remake of the Lone Ranger.

I guess they saved the best cowboy for last....one of Clint Eastwood's costumes.

I explored the gift shop and they had quite an assortment of very unique and beautiful items but this cracked me up.

That's it for now, folks.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Historic Lake Elsinore

The historic section of Lake Elsinore isn't very big, maybe a mile in length, but it is very quaint and worth stopping by for a bite to eat and a little exploration. As I started down Main Street, I noticed a sign that said I was on historc Route 395. I made a mental note to look it up when I got home and this is what I found. I had no idea!

The first thing that caught my eye was the grand old building you see below.

I pulled up in front of the building to get a better look. Pretty cool, huh?
This was built in 1923.

I continued down the street, snapping a few pics as I went along. See what I mean about quaint? And cute!

At the end Main Street, you make a quick right turn and you are right at the lake.

I decided to turn back towards Main Street so I could take a few more pictures going in the other direction. As I was driving, I saw two lots on two different streets with walls and arches like the one below. I have no idea what they were for or what they represented but they caught my eye so I took the picture.

Now I'm back on Main Street headed towards the freeway. I love the look of these old buildings.

I think you could easily spend a few hours exploring the shops and then getting something to eat at one of several restaurants on this street.

Here's that cool building again. But wait...I found something else!

About a block up the street, I saw this. I had to pull up in front to get a good look and there was a placque that said this building was made in 1887!

After passing the building I got back on the freeway but I spotted something else - a cool older home, probably built in the late 1920s. I know these photos aren't the best but my excuse is that I took them on the fly while I was getting on the freeway!

Ya, I know, I'm nuts.