Sunday, January 31, 2010


mini horse, miniature, pinto, erica lea, nature visions
Today's post is just to share these adorable little mini horses we see on the one road we take for our foothill drives. Usually, they're too far away, but once in a while they're close enough for photos through the fence (there's also a watchdog we don't want to set off). The little chocolate guy with the flaxen mane is just a doll! He comes right over to the fence to see you:) The mares are shyer. The ultra-cute mini burro couldn't be bothered to look at me, with all that greenery. The photos of the little buckskin were taken last year. Haven't seen the foal or another one they had for a while, so thinking they might have been sold. Even though I'm 5' 10 1/2", I've always loved minis! My mom, about 5' 4 1/2", has always loved draft horses - go figure;-) Anyways, I hope you enjoy these little cuties, too!

mini burro

mini horse, buckskin

buckskin mini horse, mini foal

miniature horse

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Anniversary Tribute

Earlene Vogel (January 10, 1920 - January 30, 2009)

Today marks the one year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing. If you would like to read more about her, and our journey, I have it on this (long) post: Finally, the rest of the story.

For today, though, I just want to share some photos of her – these are some of her favorites, and some of ours. Her favorite colors were pink and brown (especially pink!:-). She used to sew all of her clothes, including the square dance outfits seen here. She was a beautiful lady and a good person, and she is missed.

Charles and Earlene, we love you and miss you both!

Friday, January 29, 2010


wolf moon, full moon

Why do I allow myself
To enter the black hole
Why do I let my mind wander
Where it need not go?
Answers to such questions
I do not know.

I worry and I ponder,
I agonize and I fret,
I sit myself down
And put my soul in debt
For things I haven’t done,
And problems I haven’t met.

I don’t really like
These feelings of pain
My useless worry causes me
Again and again.
I must learn to conquer,
To end this vicious reign.

To look in the mirror,
To see myself true,
This is what is needed
What I must do –
Look at myself and say,
“I love you”.

To believe I am good
Inside and out,
To believe I am worthy
Without a doubt.
To know I have a purpose
Is what it’s about.

It’s a rough road,
But I believe I can make it.
Life’s meant to be happy,
It’s just how I take it.
Whatever I do,
I cannot forsake it!

Original poem written January 1, 2000, copyright Erica Lea

I recently came across some poetry that I had stashed away, yet carried with me all these years. Now that I have a blog, I actually have a place to share it:-) The moon photo above was taken tonight. It's the first full moon of the year, aka the "Wolf Moon".

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Michael Jackson’s This Is It" - A Review and My Own Little Tribute

I debated about writing this post, but in the end, decided to go with what I felt. If you are not a Michael Jackson fan, and have ambivalent feelings about him, you can just pass this one by. If you are a fan, I hope you’ll read on:-)

When I was in high school, I hated Michael Jackson! I actually hated him, Madonna, and Prince. Funny how things change… I really like some Madonna music now, and Prince has actually become my favorite music artist. With Michael Jackson, I’ve gone from hate, to love, to disbelief, and back to love and appreciation.

I hated all three artists mostly because they were popular, and I was just being a contrary teenager. Well, I still hate “Like a Virgin”, lol! The first time I heard Michael Jackson on the radio, I thought it was a woman singing – my mom actually had to convince me it was a man. Fast forward into the early 90’s, and we came across MJ on TV. It was a performance of “Will You Be There”, and both my mom and I were spellbound. After that, my opinion of MJ changed completely, and I became a bit obsessed.

The obsession lasted quite a while, though I’m not really the “crazy fan” type. I just really loved his music, his dance, and how he seemed to really be doing good things with his fame.

The letdown came with the first lawsuit. I’m not going to go there, though. I will say that in my heart, I never could believe that he had done the things he was accused of, but my support still wavered.

Over all these years, I’ve still admired his music/talent. I didn’t really follow him anymore, but, as with so much of the world, was completely shocked and saddened when he died. Funny thing is that I never could envision him as an old man. So, in a way I’m not surprised, but at the same time, I still can’t believe he’s gone.

Both my mom and I watched the memorial, and yes, we cried. When I learned about the “This Is It” movie, I knew I wanted to see it. I had to wait for it to come out on DVD, and it was at the top of our Netflix list for this week. It arrived on Tuesday, and we broke it up into two nights of viewing.

It is awesome!!! It brought back all of the old Michael Jackson magic:-) It gives the opportunity to see how driven, talented, and kind (yes, kind!) MJ was. It’s also amazing to see all of the work that was going into the tour – it would have been an incredible show! We couldn’t believe the drive and dedication that went into each song performance. We also couldn’t believe that MJ was dancing as well as men half his age.

MJ seemed energetic, in sync, and joyful. When I say he was kind, I mean that even though others in the film treated him like a superstar, he didn’t act like one. He gave just as much as he asked from all of the performers (who are amazing in their own right!). He was nice. I’m sure that the film is edited to show the best of all of it, but the kindness and positive energy really just seem to flow out of MJ. It didn’t seem artificial – we felt it.

If you haven’t already seen “Michael Jackson’s This Is It”, I highly recommend it. Even though it was almost two hours, it wasn’t long enough. There are some performances I wish had been included, like “Will You Be There”. What is included, though, is often jaw-dropping in its magnitude. It would have been the show to beat all shows, I think.

As for Michael himself, I was left with these thoughts – I wished that when MJ looked at the man in the mirror, that he had liked and accepted what he saw. I wish he hadn’t felt the need to constantly mess with how he looked, but instead, recognized the beautiful person within and honored him. We all saw it, but I think our adulation was too much for any one person to handle. In the end, I’m glad he gave us the gifts that he did, but wish, for him, that his life had been more normal. Maybe next time…

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No Time Like the Present!

rainbow, orange grove
Okay, it’s a little late for New Year’s Resolutions, so I’m calling this a personal goal! I need something to motivate me to write on my blog, and the only thing that I can think will do it is a bit of a challenge. My goal will be to post something every day.

In order to accomplish this, I plan to have a variety of posts. It may be simply a photo, it may be one of my ultra-long posts, it may be poetry (my own), or it may even be a video I’ve found that I think is worth sharing. It may or may not be meaningful;-) I just want to get my blog going, and hope others will enjoy the ride, too!

So, here we go – today’s photo was taken just last week in between storms. It was actually a double rainbow. It was a challenge, because my 18-55mm made it a little too far off, but the 55mm-250mm made it a little too close to get the whole rainbow. I’m not complaining, though – just to see it was a joy! I’d been running in and out all that day, because I thought we might finally see one. I guess the oranges are the gold this time, lol!

Until tomorrow…