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*Spent some of it in California, for my birthday.  In Carmel, in Napa, and in a cherry red, mini-Cooper convertible!  Driving down the coastal highway…overcoming fears – not fond of driving unfamiliar cars on unfamiliar roads, but it all went beautifully!  Gorgeous views, big, big blue skies, sun shine, SUN SHINE, and the Pacific Ocean!  And, then, it was time for some down time, some lovely, easy time with my brother and his partner in the hills of Napa, at a gorgeous vineyard called Tournesol, watching the sun set, sitting by the outdoor fire pit, and drinking our Tournesol wine.  Divine.   And, all of this, the skies and the ocean and the hills of Napa, allowed for some quality time with my camera!

*Photography..signed up for and started the wonderful Kat Sloma’s amazing introduction to photography course.  Two weeks of photo bliss…awareness raising and discovery or re-discovery of what draws you to photography, and what attracts your eye.  Kat’s a highly skilled and hugely supportive guide and partner in helping you to ‘find your eye‘.

*Started a blog…yes.  This blog.  Yes.  This was a major milestone and no small feat.   It’s been on my mind to do this since January but there were lots of hurdles…and it wasn’t clear to me where to start and how to begin…Kat’s course helped me to figure out both – it provided me with a starting point, and helped to clarify my focus..which, for now, is on, yes, words and photographs!

*Gave a speech.  For a dear friend who won a big award.  Honoured to honour my friend, and grateful for some behind the scenes coaching from my sister and a friend who both have a keen editor’s eye, and the ability to talked me through the cold fear of standing up in front of a crowd to speak.  Thank you!

*Nursed my wonder-dog back to health – he’s completely recovered from something that turned his tummy (and, at times, my home) upside down.

*Family and friends and food!  Yankees and Jays and sunshine and hotdogs.  Football game (and more hotdogs!), the last summertime supper on a patio because the evenings are too cool now what with the arrival of autumn, and a too-late-to-get-in-so-we-went-for-a-drink-instead visit to the art gallery…

*Reluctantly embraced autumn.  Actually, that’s not really true.  I didn’t embrace autumn at all in September.  In fact, I rebelled against autumn for the entire month.  I did not want, I was not ready for…summer to end.  I clung to summer – the warmth of it, and the sunshine and the long days and the sandals!   Only now, now that October has arrived, can I can feel myself beginning to make the transition.  I’m feeling more prepared to look autumn in the eye and say – winter doesn’t scare me.  Yes, I know it’s not living in the moment, and I really should just breathe in the season and all its glories (and there are many)..I know this.  I do.  But, autumn to me also means winter is coming, and that’s not so easy for me to embrace.  Don’t get me wrong, winter is also a beautiful season..but here, in my city, winter can be the grey season..and I’m not good at grey.  So, I’m not so good at autumn..but I’m working on it.