May 15

Just Finished 30 Days of Awesomization


The last month has been super busy for me. Lots of travel for personal and business reasons. Getting my pipeliners up to speed on the form we just released at work and a multitude of other things I had going on. The good news is I didn’t lose momentum on my personal goals. I worked on my photography business and getting some writing done. I’ve also been working on marketing materials as well.

Despite all the things I had going on, I moved forward in my personal goals instead of having things come to a screeching halt because my busy-ness. That’s new for me. Usually my perfectionism will get in my way and if I don’t do something perfectly I stop dead in my tracks. Therapy had definitely helped in this regard and so did the Awesomization Nation workshop that I participated in April.

Hosted by Nicole Dean, The Awesomization Nation Program focuses on the positive things you accomplish over a period in time. You focus each day on doing at least one thing in three areas: Business, Personal, and World. An example would look something like this.

Awesome Paula did these things today: In my business I got one leave behind card ready to go to the printers. In my personal life, I taught my brother how to use his camera so it’s not on Automatic or Program Mode while we were shooting images together today. In the World today, I tried to recycle as much as I could while we were stopping for snacks and beverages.

Once the day is over, you share what you’ve done and read what others have done. It’s nice to have a positive space in the world where things are focused on the the awesome we are all doing.

Nicole is doing a Awesomization of Summer Program that runs from May 1 through Aug. 31, 2015 and you can join as well.

Aug 14

Creating a Place that Nourishes My Soul

A month or so ago, I was listening to Art Wolfe speak on CreativeLive. In one part of the lecture, he talked about finding the perfect house and creating the inside and outside spaces he wanted that were modeled after the things he loved making images of. He encouraged us all to “Create a place that nourishes you.”

When he said that, I paused. And I thought about what that means. I moved to Houston because I was drawn here. There is something unique about Houston and it has become a place where I’ve thrived and I’ve done well. It is home – but that doesn’t mean that I currently have a place that nourishes me.

When I moved into my apartment five years ago, it was a chance to start over. I brought a minimal amount into this space. A lot of things have happened in those five years. R has moved in with me. My mom died and I’ve been helping take care of my grandmother from afar while she deals with Alzheimer’s. There’s been a few personal health issues as well. Suddenly I find myself dealing with piles of stuff that are left over from my mother’s estate, things that have been given to me, things that R has brought into our home, and just the general accumulation of stuff that happens when you’ve been in one place five years. The clearing of clutter has begun.

I first started creating a space that nourishes me when I was taking part in Patti Digh’s Verb tribe. I carved out a little space where I could stash all my writing stuff in one place. A place where I could pull it out when I wanted to write, and quickly put it back when I was done. Next I started getting computer drives organized so that I would not be overwhelmed when it comes time to work on my photography projects.

I’ve been working this weekend on creating a standing desk – a desk that would be functional in terms of storage, but would meet my overall desire not to be sitting so much. In the course of doing the work, I’ve created not only a work space that makes me happy, but more space overall. And for that, I am grateful.

The standing desk I created

The standing desk I created


My workspace at night. Complete with LED Stars

The space isn’t perfect. It’s going to take while to get to “perfect”. But it’s a step in the right direction. And the journey is what matter most.

Apr 14

Changing For Better Health

It’s been a busy few months since I’ve published anything here. Work has been keeping me crazy busy. I’ve been working on a couple of photography projects on Houston Graffiti and Street Art and Houston’s Food Trucks as well as working on getting my portfolio together. I’ve also go a new kitty girl named Kodachrome.


All of that took back seat last month when I had a health scare. I caught a cold shortly before I came home from Phoenix at the beginning of March. It would not go away and it morphed into bronchitis. The good news is that because I have a history of pneumonia, my doctor had me up-to-date on my flu and pneumonia shots which prevented me from getting sicker. The bad news is that one one of the x-rays they took showed something on one of my ribs and I had to have further testing to rule out cancer. The first CT scan was inclusive and I got the added bonus of finding out a 4 mm nodule on one of my lungs as well. Second CT and a bone scan later, I’m in the clear. It looks like the 4mm nodule is a leftover from one of my previous bouts on pneumonia and the issue with my rib is either a spot that healed after a car accident, a congenital defect, or there’s something growth in the cartilage between my ribs – in other words nothing to worry about.

So after a month of feeling like warmed over poop — life is not fun when you get sweaty just from walking to the bedroom to the kitchen — and trying not to totally freak out about what might be happening with my bones, I’ve decided a few changes are in order. First I am taking one or more small walks every day. I try to stay in the tunnel system in Downtown Houston so I am not adding more stress to my lungs with the high pollen counts. Second I’m upping my fruit and veggie intake to get more micronutrients in my system. There’s a lot of smoothie action going on. And finally I’m getting rid of stuff that doesn’t serve me or I haven’t used in a long time. The less stuff I have in the house, the less dust I have to deal with and that can only help my lungs.

The changes are not easy, but they are good for me. I’m going to be around more and talking about more changes that are going on.

in the meantime, I’m hoping the few changes that I have made already will help me when it comes to my visit to the pulmonologist in a couple weeks. I want my lungs to be as healthy and strong as they can be in that time frame.

Apr 14

Saving Valentina – A Short Video

I’ve seen this video before but I thought I would share it here. This humpback whale named Valentina got her fins and flukes caught in a nylon netting. The group who rescued her were on vacation and decided to cut the netting away after they were told it would be an hour before someone could help her.

Dec 13

Blue Heron Farm & Friends Cajeta

For the next few days, Sustainable in Houston is going to give you some great ideas for gifts that can be purchased locally here in Houston. There will be gift ideas for foodies, pampering your friends and family, and treasures from artists who upcycle and recycle materials.

Kicking this gift giving idea list off is Blue Heron Farm & Friends Cajeta (cah-hay-tah).  If you’ve never had cajeta before, it’s a caramel sauce made out of goat’s milk, sugar and a touch of baking soda.

12 Days of Christmas Day 1 - Blue Heron Cajeta-7774

Blue Heron Farm & Friends Cajetas in Original and Bourbon Flavors

Its spoonable and pourable, and oh so delicious. The original flavor is my favorite and pairs nicely with apples. I like the Bourbon flavor too. It’s great over vanilla ice cream with a few pecans on top. I’ve been known to eat both by the spoonful straight out of the jar.

Bourbon Cajeta Sundae with salted pecans.

Bourbon Cajeta Sundae with salted pecans.

Blue Heron produces cajeta year around and regularly attends both the Urban Harvest Market and the Rice University Farmers’ Market. This is their low season, but they will be at the Rice Market on Tuesday, Dec. 17th and Urban Harvest’s Eastside Market on Saturday, Dec 21. You can also pick up Blue Heron Farm & Friends Cajetas at Revival Market or at Houston Dairymaids.

Jul 13

How I Knew Her – Nataly Dawn

I found this song after we got my grandmother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Visits consist of lots of questions, lots of answers and trying to figure things out.

If you have a family member with Alzheimer’s, get their stories. It matters to have the stories. Because I’ve found out more about the family history since I started asking questions.

Jul 13

Trying my Hand a Photography Journal Flip

Photography is one of my passions so naturally I have a journal for it. I started working on the journal earlier this year and decided to do my first journal flip for it.