All posts by PixLexia's Old Moon Blog

An Old Moon clears the way for a new vibe. This blog is where I write about my many muses, photography, art, crafts, astrology, tarot and astrotheology.

2017 Thanksgiving – Believe in magic!

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The day started out lovely, cloudy but beautiful and we looked forward to a scrumptious feast at Susie and Joe’s with the grandkids, family, and friends. Everyone was instructed by our hostess to bring a dish and I was asked to bring something Jewish and Spanish.

So I brought Latkes and Guava Pastries, yum! Don’t laugh! I drove many miles between Ybor City and Lakeland to purchase these goodies. TooJay’s in downtown Tampa was closed on Wednesday! I had a tight timeline between locations and of course I hit a major traffic jam on the fabulous I-4! I just can’t figure out where all those cars traveling eastbound are headed to.

Just as Tom and I are headed out the door, I receive a text from Des telling me she was not going to make it because she was home, sick. We have all been battling some viral thing that has us all sneezing, coughing, achy, sore throat, clogged ears, and bad sinuses. I promised I would take her a nice batch of chicken soup tomorrow. Tom and I headed out. On the way, we hit another traffic jam due to an unfortunate accident. It looked pretty serious and everyone had to be rerouted. So this was my lesson in gratitude. To be honest, I felt aggravated at drivers I assumed had been speeding and thought this was probably what caused the accident. How dare they delay everyone’s Thanksgiving plans. Then I saw the cars and felt horrible that I thought those thoughts. I immediately went into internal acts of contrition. Father forgive me for I have sinned. No joke! I felt terrible and was left with the impression of how those poor folks and their families day were truly ruined. I, on the other hand, was fine and my loved ones were fine. Lesson learned! Thank-you-G-d! I offered a little prayer for their well being and moved on. We arrived just in time to unpack our contribution to the meal, share a blessing, and break bread with friends and family. Here’s a glimpse of our feast!

After dinner, we mauled around enjoying the afterglow of a great meal, good conversation, and the grandchildren at play.

This was a good time to engage the girls in a photo session.  Olive and Katia, show your sisters what to do!


Here they are! There are seven of them now! Girl Power!!

Piper Douglas, the newest addition!

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Finally, it’s time to try for a family group photo!

What fun shooting these. I couldn’t see, the flash refused to fire, but we didn’t give up. My group coached me along to put the camera on timer setting and run for it. I did and, hey, I got into at least one of these!

Tom and I said our goodbyes and headed home. I was curious to see what I captured. As I was about to download the images from my SD Card, guess what happened. The computer nor the camera would read the card. As I pulled it out to examine it here is what I found. As you can see there are several bent and twisted wires protruding from the card. OH NO! This is why I can’t wait to receive my iPhone X. No more lugging heavy equipment. No more worries that the flash won’t fire. No more dealing with this outdated technology. Goodbye SD cards! Goodbye speed lights!  One of the most important lessons I have ever learned about photography is that the best camera that you can find is the one you have on hand that works to capture the shot.

Obviously, I salvaged the images. I took a safety pin and a needle nose plier and performed surgery on the card. I put the memory card back into my camera and it read it! Download! Whee! Close call. The card must have been damaged already and the quality of the images was very grainy with poor resolution. But, I performed a little post-processing magic in Lightroom and here I am writing a blog about it.  I almost lost not epic pictures, but irreplaceable memories of a really nice Thanksgiving!

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Photo workshop practice with Ella and Janet @ Poor Poker

It was a beautiful day, perfect for beignets, campfire coffee, and a photo practice with the girls. Today’s focus was on understanding the impact of balance, symmetry, asymmetry, and perspective. The girls took turns in using my Nikon DF in manual mode, to work with available ambient light to capture not just a snap shot, but something more. An image that draws the viewer in and holds the attention. That was their challenge.

Perspective, symmetry, balance, with a touch of asymmetry to make you wonder. Good shots by Ella!

Below are the shots in Janet’s photography practice.  Symmetry is important to an image if you understand that it is a key visual property for humans. It is defined as balanced form, a beauty of form arising from balanced proportions and apparent in fine works of art. But, it is only partial symmetry that we see. Perhaps, artists unconsciously use it to represent order, harmony, or serenity while the asymmetrical elements depict that life and art are not perfect and therefore, cannot be perfectly symmetrical.  It was with this in mind that I provided simple suggestions for the girls to consider when framing a shot.

Another element of interest is the connection between your subjects in the way they pose themselves and interact with each other. Note their body language.

Next, we explored how to use items in the environment to enhance your shot. Below I show how to use a random accent mirror found sitting on a table for a photo effect. Ella snapped me, and I snapped her. Reflections can add an unexpected and random element in an image.

We found a large selection of differing backgrounds at the Porker. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to point out how to take advantage of backgrounds and use depth of field to make the subject pop. I snapped these images of the girls.

Here we are exploring the different effect in an image when a subject stands closer to the background, versus standing at a distance from the background. Standing away from the background and closer to the camera lens creates the effect of carving the subject away from the slightly blurred background. This separation gives an image depth and dimension. In these images, the eclectic decor adds interest to the image.

Oh, those beignets!

Having fun with the process helps everyone relax and reflects the subjects true personalities. Photos by Mo 🙂

Moments, photos of Ella and Janet by Mo Feazel.  Images of Mo and Ella, by Janet, Image of Mo and Janet by Ella. Image of Mo by Ella. Good practice girls.

Hanging out at Nana’s

No Words Needed!

Sunday Morning!

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After breakfast, she went for a walk to Janet’s with Ella. When they returned I reminded Ella she had to spend some time visiting Nana and playing with Olive too. She couldn’t just run off to Janet’s. So Ella begrudgingly submitted to being bossed by Olive as they played table games while nana cleaned up. Afterward, Ella was released to run off to Janet’s and Olive came up with a great idea: Let’s go outside and have a picnic walk nana! She packed up her bags and out we went. I convinced her to help me water the plants which led to filling the wading pool and there she played until mom and dad picked her up!

Lettuce Lake Park – Saturday Morning

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Saturday was just too beautiful a day to stay indoors! So the girls and I went on a two-hour hike along the boardwalk and trails at Lettuce Lake Park. We climbed on one of the towers and stopped by the canoe launch to cool off and explore the river shore. The drought has really impacted the park. Large sections of the swamp once under water are now parched and dry.  After our walk, we drove over to the hospital to visit abuela, and then grabbed a nutritious lunch at MacDonald’s, before heading to the grocery store, and target, then heading home to the lake.

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For an added sense of adventure, we enhanced our hike with a scavenger hunt. Our task was to find 5 things we had either never seen before or never noticed. # 5, these group of cypress tree roots resembled gnome structures.

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#4, Olive found an artified rock hidden in a tree
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#3, Ella found this tree with a large abstract heart shaped hallow in it.

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#2, Olive found shells in shapes she had never noticed before.

# 1, Ella and I were both surprised to see how dry and parched the park was due to the drought. She had just been there earlier this year and everything was under water, now there is nothing underwater along the boardwalk.

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Dry, cracked swamp

KETO

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I have received requests for more information on the KETO eating method and rather than searching for links at the spur of the moment, I thought the interests in KETO merited a blog post to share what I have learned, as well as links to resources, etc. All of these sites are going to try to sell you something. If you choose to purchase anything from them that is up to you.

This is a good place to start: Dr Breg  Be sure to take the body quiz to find your body style, then explore the site. It provides a plethora of information.

Then hop over to this site and discover Dr. d’Agostino of The University of South Florida. Dietdoctor.

Here is another link to help you understand what you can eat and not eat and what the new KETO BUZZ is all about. It explains that KETO is also called by other names, such as Low Carbs High Fats, or LCHF, Low Carb,  Ketogenic Diet, etc. Keto Diet Guide

It also has a KETO Calculator. Here are my results:

How much should Mo be eating per day?

  • 1342 calories
  • 99 g fats
  • 20 g carbs
  • 94 g protein
Based on Mo’s inputs, we suggest she eat: 1342 calories. From those, 99g fats, 20g net carbs, and 94g protein
More About KETO Supplements: I have purchased the Keto OS orange dream supplement drink from this site: Pruvit . It was expensive but provided me a quick return to ketosis and helped with hunger and sugar cravings.  Here is a supplement review site that might be helpful: Cheating to get body into ketosis
This works on your body and will help your brain chemicals stabilize. My philosophy is that this is a process of retraining your body as well as your mind. So, to help keep your mind on a positive track and off of dieting all the time, I recommend these new books I discovered on my recent trip to St. Augustine, FL.
Author Pam Grout’s book E-Squared. E Squared . Believe it or not, I found this in a second-hand bookstore, along with her follow-up book E-Cubed. I like them so much I bought them both as well as an audio version of her book Thank and Grow Rich.  Check it out here Thank and Grow Rich.  Here is Pam on a youtube interview: Pam Grout Thank and Grow Rich . It’s from Pam’s book that I got the idea to start the Positive Posse gratitude text.
Another really cool motivator is this author: Jen Sincero, check out her book – Badassiery She is a great motivator. Or better yet check Jen’s book out on youtube here: You are a badass
I believe that when the student is ready teachers appear. I also believe that sharing is a great way to be grateful.
Enjoy and Soar!

iPhone photography


So I have been really exploring my iPhone photography trying to get it up to that next level as close as possible to my DSLR photos.  I always have my iPhone with me it’s lightweight, it’s convenient,  it gives me ease of access, and I have learned in my photographic journey that the most important camera to use for great photography is the Camera you have on hand to capture the moment. 


Lately as I have been focusing on using my iPhone to snap my pictures I’ve been blown away by the images I’ve captured. It’s amazing but photography really is in the eye of the photographer and not necessarily in the equipment! 


A great well exposed, well-balanced,  artistically creative photograph is about the perspective,  it’s about the angle,  it’s about the symmetry, it’s about the light and shadows and the mood . You do not need a high-end camera or expensive lighting or a studio. You just need your imagination and the camera you have on hand. 

Middle School 8th Grade Dance

Mallory and Jocelynn photographed by either Cully or Desiree, using the Nikon D7K. ISO was cranked so images are little noisy if you pixel peep. But parents did a great job on this capture. My watermark is on them because I post processed and applied minor edits like crops and an occasional exposure adjustment. Otherwise, images appear here as captured.
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My Son-In-Law, Cully, and my daughter, Desiree, are raising three girls and they empower their three girls to be confident, independent thinkers, and to be proud of their bodies. They do not feel that they should make their girls hide their bodies under layers of clothing so that ill-bred boys will not be distracted from their schoolwork.

Now, at 13, Mallory is all dressed up to attend her 8th-grade dance and I see the confident, girl she has grown into. She does not censor herself, she speaks her mind and has a definite style of her own.  Mallory’s biggest influence is her mother whom she looks up to and whose advice she takes on things like hair styles, make-up, and clothing.  Here are some pictures her parents took of her and her cousin Jocelynn kicking it as they prepare for the dance.

Mallory, you are beautiful inside and out and when you ever doubt yourself, remember this: you come from a long line of strong, independent women, (mom, nana, momo, memaw, all your aunts, grandmothers and great-grandmothers you don’t get to see often), whose perfection lies precisely in their imperfections. We may not always dot our “I’s” or cross our “T’s” at the right time or in the right places, and our commas might be all over the place, but we never let that stop us.

Mallory

Jocelynn

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Always do whatever you do with great style, trust me, no one will remember your mistakes when you can pull off the look baby! That goes for many things in life. Mistakes are our best teachers if we learn from them and do not let them stop us!

Bloopers, photo bombed by siblings, aunts, and cousins!

Lucky to have each other!

Mallory always remember you are enough!

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A poem I wrote to myself once when I thought I might doubt myself:-)

Written by Marylia Feazel, 4 a.m. April 16, 2002, Nassau Bahamas 

ENOUGH 

I am enough, I have enough, I do enough!

What does enough mean to me? IT means I have arrived at a place of fullness. I am no longer empty. I am no longer needy. More would simply be more. Enough means I am complete … I can move on.  I have, I do, I am enough! 

Enough means not to worry the source of my fullness cannot be depleted – there will always be enough for me. 

Enough means I cannot be bullied because I am not needy. I can say – ENOUGH!!

Enough means I will not accept more – I am finished with this – I am moving on! 

Enough means I am happy in this moment and content with where I’ve been, and where I’m going, who I am and who I am becoming.

 Enough means It’s okay. I can stop! I can relax! I can play. I can be who I actually am. I can love all the pieces of me because just as I am, I am enough!

 I am enough

I have enough

I do enough!

Now it’s off to the Dance!

Middle School!
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It was only yesterday . . .
Mallory and Ella 2011

Mallory and Ella, Summer of 2011, Night time at Clearwater Beach Pier

It seems just the other day the girls were visiting me during their summer break from school. They spent two weeks with me before going off with their MoMo and Popo to North Carolina and then on to New Jersey to see their father. It is always a priority with me to embed myself into my granddaughters’ memories. I often wish I had more memories of time spent with my grandparents. I only had one grandparent I was close to growing up, that was my grandfather Esteban. His, are the only good memories of my early childhood life that I still carry with me. When my granddaughters think of me, I want them to remember me as more than just a distant relative who visited them once and awhile, or as someone in some vintage photograph. I want them to remember lots of love, fun and good times. That is why on their visits with me, I always fill their days with as much memory making activities as I can come up with. When they were younger, I planned lots of excursions to theme parks, or park crawls, beachside nighttime picnics, shopping trips, and other wonders.

Louisa Capetillo was a Bad Ass woman of history. She was a writer, a labor leader, and an activist for women’s rights. She was Puerto Rican but had ties to Ybor City where she wrote one of her many books. She was notorious for the times she lived in (born 10/28/1879 died 10/10/1922) for her eccentric lifestyle, personal choice to not marry the father of her two children both born out of wedlock, and she was once arrested for wearing pants in public. At the time (the early 1900’s) this behavior was unheard of for women and considered extremely unladylike. She is credited as being the first women to wear pants in public. There is the mural at Macfarlane park that included her image. On one of our park crawls, I was explaining all this to my granddaughters, then 7 and 4 year-olds assuming they were not interested and wouldn’t retain it. I was surprised when several days later, on our late night picnic to Clearwater beach, Mallory used Luisa to present her case as to why I should let her wear a tiny bikini to the beach. I made a blog post on my old blogspot blog about this.