Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Last days of summer

An old friend visited me last week. We took a walk around the historic east side of Santa Fe after a glass of wine. The light was so beautiful; there was moisture in the air from recent rains, and all the plants seemed to be humming.

I always get seduced by Santa Fe this time of year. The monsoons let me know there is hope in the flow of water. There is abundance in every moment despite living in a high desert climate that can be harsh beyond measure.

I am grateful for every little moment; for all the lessons presented to me, and for continually being compelled to sip from the chalice of understanding.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Driving to work, windows down, roof open...

Driving to work, windows down, roof open, singing at the top of my lungs to "One of These Nights" and "Lying Eyes".

Driving to work, windows down, roof open, singing at the top ... on Twitpic

Friday, July 29, 2011

I truly surprised myself. . .

Summer sky over St. John's College, Music on the Hill

Every summer at the Santa Fe Photo Workshops there is a weekly instructor 'slide show' on Monday nights. The Workshops first brought me here umpteen years ago and I consider it a touchstone of sorts. The summer workshops usually start at the end of June and go until early August. I hadn't been to one in over two years and really wanted to make this sojourn part of my summer this year.

I finally caught the penultimate show last week. Five instructors showing their work, and a panel discussion afterward. It was good. It was interesting to hear them all talk about sacrificing so much to be a full-time photographer, professionals, making their living making/taking pictures.

From time to time over the years I've wondered what would have happened if I'd taken all the time and energy I spent designing other people's photo books, and put those efforts into my own photography to be able to do it full time. I've made some money over time shooting weddings, portraits, events, for sure. But I never really went for it.

It was so surprising for me to sit and listen to these folks this week, as it slowly dawned on me that I was so glad I'd never become a full-time professional photographer. I've been taking pictures since I was about eight-years old and it has always been magic to me. That continues. If I'd done it professionally I don't know if I'd have the same feelings about it.

Then something else came in. I asked myself, if you could only choose one, take pictures or write, which would you choose? And to my utter surprise I chose the latter. To write stories. One of my favorite artists is (was) Beatrice Wood. She published an autobiography called "I Shock Myself". Such a delight, as she lived to be 103 and attributed this in great part to her love of chocolate and young men!

I am not sure how much longer I will call New Mexico home. I came here many years ago to live a creative life. I have, and it has come at a price in many ways. But I would not change a minute of it. And if it took me this long to be able to surprise myself with this realization of writing, which may seem small to the reader, but which is actually huge for me, then so be it. The timing is always perfect, and no moment of the journey is ever wasted. Wonder, wonder, wonder.

Monday, July 11, 2011

And then the rains came...

Driving north on I-25. Photographed through the windshield. Click to enlarger.

We've been so parched here in the sou
thwest. Not much moisture since January. A lot of fires as a result. But today, a crackin' thunderstorm with steady rain for several hours visited us. Bliss. I can hear the creatures, the plants, and the trees celebrating.

The reason I've been so absent from this blog is because
Parlez and I have had to move several times in the last few months. We finally moved out of the house on Old Dog Run (seriously, that IS the name) after five years. And we finally figured out (thanks to sweetie still being there) in the early spring, a couple of months after I had to leave, the cause of my severe health issues escalating into a near-fatal reaction back in December, was because of MOLD.

I am not one to go into a lot of detail about things like this in my life, but several people have told me I should write something about it. After I get settled I will, only because I feel it could help so many people. It's odd when folks who are not from New Mexico say, "Mold? You have mold there? But it's so dry." Honestly, mold will grow anywhere there is cellulose and moisture in an enclosed, dark and unventilated area. So even if you live in the Gobi Desert, you can have mold.

So many blessings have come out of this experience, not the least of which is a deeper understanding of aspects of myself, and a very clean diet. (Not like I was a junk foodie before :). I look forward to sharing some things in the future that may be of help, and even inspiring.

Wishing you many moments of wonder this summer, and beyond.
Love from Elsa and Parlez

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Taking some time...

Hello everyone, Just to let you know Mama has been taking some time off to take care of her health. I'm attempting to teach her how to nap. It isn't second nature to her for sure, but she's workin' on it. She sends love to you all and looks forward to reconnecting with you in the spring.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

And a lovely time was had by all...

Thank you everyone for stopping by my seashell at Jeanne's Annual Craft Fair on Saturday. It was a lovely time and great to see people I only get to see at this event. Met some new people, too. Fun!

I will be moving out of my etsy Pearl Girl Pearls site and adding a page to post what I've been doing with regard to pearl jewelry and bookmarks here. As soon as I finish up the pearls I have that will be it for Pearl Girl! I will be focusing my attention on other things. More about that as it evolves...

Happy New Moon in Sagittarius. Truth seekers of the world unite.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A rising tide flips all the boats...

... so said Chase Jarvis.

I just tuned in to a live stream from Photo District News's Photo Plus Expo in NYC this morning. The keynote speaker was Chase Jarvis, photographer director inspiring sharer of all things creative. I cannot remember how I first heard about him, maybe a blogger called Pat Flynn. Or from some other place to which the IS (Internet Sherpa) guided me.

Regardless, it was a very inspiring hour with the key message that NOW is the most exciting time to be here, being creative, on your path, doing/being what makes your soul sing.

A generous, insightful, thoughtful, and inclusive presentation that is well worth tuning in to if he rebroadcasts it on his blog. Which I hope he does.

In the meantime here's a link to a recent adventure of his somewhere in Asia during typhoon season, where he was literally brain-storming about today's address. It made me chuckle. :~)

Or, you can watch it here, too.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just one night...


A really hideously-lit shot of the plant, just to give you the idea of it. :)

I was on the phone absently studying our night blooming cereus plant. It's a great great great great (give or take a great) granddaughter cutting from Georgia O'Keeffe's plant. No lie. It was gifted to me a couple of years ago and I've not seen anything but sprouting leaves and stems, and done my level best not to kill it. "Give it some sun", says my neighbor, "they love sun". And so I did. The poor thing quickly turned into a crispy wonton so I whipped it back in the house before it was too late. That was almost two years ago now...

It was the eve before the full moon in August, the exact same time my neighbor's bloomed in 2008. As I looked around our plant I noticed something really strange touching the window. Upon closer inspection it appeared to be the curled cluster of a bloom—not unlike a squash blossom—and it was going to explode that night. That night only. I turned the plant around and began to watch the process. And a wee bit at a time this incredible blossom began to do just that. I left her for a couple of hours. I checked in. The moon was coming up. She was opening up, and the whole thing was too tempting not to photograph. So I did. Quite a bit.


I wondered what part of the plant exactly was responsible for its most exquisite fragrance, which later wafted down the hall to my room, intoxicating my senses. The whole thing was truly a heavenly experience. For just one night.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mystery solved...

I could not for the life of me understand why

nothing I planted here

ever sprouted.



Friday, August 13, 2010

Life is Uncertain: Eat Dessert First!

Vanilla gluten-free cake made with lemon essential oil. Chocolate fondant icing. Very cherry berry coulis made with port (and doTERRA's Wild Orange essential oil). Oh, and cream... As you might see it was all very tasty!

Wild flowers from the pasture

I went outside in the hot sunny afternoon, looking for flowers for a table arrangement yesterday. The monsoons had brought an amazing array of blooms to life, and I found these in our neck of the woods. The white puffy ones smell so sweet. As I clipped them I noticed a small praying mantis nibbling on the unopened buds...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

doTerra's Spring Sign Up Promo Extended...

.... until May 31st.

This is a wonderful way to experience these essential oils at wholesale. You do not have to have a business if you don't want to, but you'd better not share them, because if you do, you might! It's $50 to join and you will receive a $50 gift certificate to spend on oils. More information here at
this link.

If you're curious to know what Slim and Sassy is you can click here. In brief, it's doTerra's new metabolic essential oil blend that you add to your water to detoxify, energize, and regulate your weight, and even control your blood sugar. One diabetic who is working with her doctor has not used insulin since she's been using Slim and Sassy. (Amazing!) Thanks in large part to the cinnamon bark, which is a natural blood sugar regulator.

Power to the flower! And the stems, bark, leaves...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Soar Your Senses and Enrich Your Health

Do you love flower/plant power? Well if so you may be in for a treat. doTerra, maker of the wondrous Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils I've been using for about a year now, is having a Spring Promotion. You can sign up to buy these oils at the wholesale price by clicking here. You pay $50 and get a gift certificate for the same amount. Through May 15th.

I've been taking the Lifelong Wellness Trio (p. 28) of supplements since last August and have managed to balance out my hormones, improve my level of immunity and energy (in great part), and 'cure' a bum knee that has been giving me trouble for years. I applied the frankincense to a mole that started to grow and change color and within 10 days it was gone. No trace of it. I use geranium oil on my face daily with coconut oil or avocado oil and my skin does not look like it lives in the high desert.

Ylang Ylang, geranium and clary sage are all part of a group of plants containing phytohormones. These three oils I blend with almond oil and use for the entire front of my body. I never have fluid retention or tenderness during any time of the month. And my skin really benefits from it as well.

How long does it take for the skin to absorb these oils? About 30 seconds.

I put one drop of oregano oil, or thyme oil or wild orange, or all three, on the bottom of my feet most days; especially in the winter. This protects my whole system from viruses.

My new-found love is the grapefruit oil. Daily I take 7-12 drops of it in a gel cap to raise the glutathione levels in my body. This is not the same as drinking grapefruit juice, so it doesn't interfere with any medication. Glutathione is a potent antioxidant and is crucial for building the immune system. It is extremely supportive of the liver, our #1 detoxifying organ.

Grapefruit essential oil is anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, detoxifying, anti-depressant, immune boosting, skin-toning and mentally rejuvenating. It is used to treat acne, oily skin, cellulite, muscle stiffness, water retention, obesity, colds, flu, depression, headaches, jet-lag, stress and nervous exhaustion, just to name a few things. doTerra's is Certified Pure Therapeutic-Grade so it means it is safe to take internally. Only a miniscule portion of the essential oils in the world have this rating.

Seasonal allergies are served by taking 1-3 drops each of lavender, lemon, and peppermint oil in a gel cap. Lavender is a natural anti-histamine, among other things. The lemon is purifying and cleansing for the liver, and the peppermint is cooling and anti-inflammatory. I have had 'instant' results with runny nose and aches when taking this; relief within half an hour.

doTerra (Gift of the Earth) was formed when five people pooled their life savings together in the spring of 2008. They have not looked back since, and neither have I. The quality is parallel to none, and what these oils and wellness goodies are doing for me and others I know is outstanding. So if you're inspired, check it out. This is my Cinqo de Mayo celebration. :) To your health!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me: 3!

Parlez Beaucoups is three years young today. And look at that set of fine teeth. He's probably about 9 lbs, lean and muscle, with the softest fur ever. I cannot wait for the juniper pollen to be gone so I can get back to picking him up and kissing his scrumptious little self.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Listen to Your Body: It Knows

I presently have a really challenging skin condition that is being aggravated by the invasive juniper pollen we have proliferating here in northern New Mexico. This itchy, scaly, extremely uncomfortable circumstance has forced me to really scrutinize my diet. As we all know: everything is connected. Not like I'm a junk foodie, far from it. But there are certainly some foods that are better than others for you, and especially during allergy season. What's more, if your skin is upset, you can pretty much figure that something inside is trying to get your attention.

Extensive studies have shown that 70% of our immune system is connected to the gut. Or, our digestive system. And with allergy sufferers in particular, having a wobbly set of intestines is paramount in contributing to the problem.

I've known this for a while and have been very careful with my intake of gluten, corn, sugar, alcohol, and dairy. Ideally, these should be eliminated entirely. Wah! I know, boring. But if you want things to run tickety-boo then one needs to eradicate the stress of these foods. Your liver, in particular, will thank you for it.

Even through the winter I was guided to eat a lot of salads, and cucumber, celery, cilantro, and cabbage; all raw, which is usually just the opposite of what I want: warm and cuddly foods. I actually craved cabbage. And I am still craving cabbage. I wanted to know more about cabbage. So I set out on a cabbage expedition.

I came across this recipe from my new favorite food blog, thestonesoup.com, and was immediately salivating. Then I had to pay a visit to google and look up the health benefits of cabbage. I was amazed at what I found. I knew it was alkalizing and beneficial for the digestion, but I had no idea that so much goodness could be in one, simple, humble cabbage.

Here are some things I found out. Everything you wanted to know about cabbage but were afraid to ask. Please check The Mighty Cabbage page on my new blog (!) here.

Be sure to check out Jules Clancy at her blog, from whence the cabbage salad recipe came. If you love good, fresh food, and beautiful photography, you will love her blog from Down Under.

A great juicing site: This page will lead you to the bennies of juicing cabbage.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tulips and Anais Nin

I walk ahead of myself in perpetual expectancy of miracles.

—Anais Nin

Recently I came across some quotes from Anais Nin. I've wanted to edit my tulip images for a long time, and indeed found a note on my computer "Edit Tulips!" from last year. Sometimes it takes a while for things to blossom. I feel her timeless words go well with these images.

I hope you get lost in these "immagini" of the tulips as much as I got lost in photographing them. Literally, I climbed inside of them with my camera. Postscript: They are as I saw them, not manipulated in any way. :)

I looked with chameleon eyes upon the changing face of the world,

looked with anonymous vision upon my uncompleted self.

—Anais Nin

And... these tulip images, and others, will be available as limited edition prints made by me on recycled sugar cane photo paper that is just glorious. If you'd like to be contacted when they are up for sale, please email me at blog@elsakendall.com with "Tulip Prints" in the subject line.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Seeds of Wonder

It's that time of year again...
Time to free the morning glory seeds from their dried and wintered pods.
I think this one is a purple one, second favorite only to the Heavenly Blue variety.
I'm going to plant them e v e r y w h e r e!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Passing Over into Spring

I was walking around the yard, 'our' woods, and happened to look down, and over to under, an ancient juniper tree, at something turquoise and quite luminescent, and here it is just as I found it, a perfect robin's egg.

Quite magnificent it was. It seems now, still at the tail end of a long winter, to be a beautiful symbol for spring, renewal, for Passover, and Easter. And bunnies. I have seen one patiently waiting for the grass to come alive again. And for robins. There are so many robins around here this year. I love the color of their breasts. The way they warble-chirp. Their plumpness, their friendliness. Their peppyness. And I love the way the female creates the most luscious and gorgeous-colored eggs.

I still have this one after almost two years. It may have been stolen by a crow, I don't know. But it is tucked away inside a dried coconut shell. Occasionally I take a peek at it, a treasure, a miracle of nature.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Invaders of the Heart

I stopped in last night at the dress rehearsal for Invader's of the Heart, Pomegranate Studio's 2010 showcase featuring the work of some talented belly dancers. Under the direction of Myra Krien (top), who also performs, these dancers are just beautifully clad (mostly) and amazing! The show is at the James A. Little Theatre in Santa Fe. Friday and Saturday, March 19th and 20th at 7:30 pm.

If you would like to see more of my photographs you can click here to be transported to my flickr page. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

80 Years Ago Today

La Primavera 2010

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.
~Pablo Neruda

On this day in 1930 the news of the discovery of the planet Pluto was telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory. He has since been demoted—in 2006—but it does not alter his power one little bit.