THE Winning Photograph

It’s been a while. Nearly a year. 2020 has been a long, deep, expansive year. There’s approximately 2.5 months left. I’m not concerned or dreading it. I’m taking it day by day for so many grateful reasons.

Let me share one of my reasons. Back in late August or early September, I happened upon a photography contest on a Facebook page called Louisiana Pictures. They were asking for submissions of an original photo of Louisiana to update their cover photo. From these submissions, finalists would be chosen from voting results. From the finalists, a winner would then be chosen by highest number of votes.

So I thought back to a random shot I’d taken from the parking lot of Outback in Baton Rouge. The sun was setting just over the interstate. My line of sight was through the Spanish moss. It was beautiful. Just me and my Samsung Note 8. SNAP! Crop out the parking lot. Viola! A pretty, or so I thought, sunset photo. One of thousands I’ve taken. This was the one I decided to enter into the contest.

A few days later, randomly scrolling through Facebook, I see where the finalists had been chosen. I decided to check in and see who made it. And to my complete surprise, I was a finalist and the race was on. I was currently in 2nd place, right behind a professional photographer!!!

I began to share and asking people to vote. From there, friends and family shared and I watched as my numbers went up and eventually surpassed the leader. A couple of friends referred to it as dreamy and atmospheric. I liked those adjectives. If you know anything about a Louisiana summer, you can sometimes “see” the heat dancing in the sunset.

On September 16, I was announced as the winner. It made me proud and really gave me a boost of confidence. I’ve been trying to find my way around the creative arena. I’ve taken pictures for as long as I can remember. I absolutely love being an amateur photographer, along with writing.

And if you happen to read this and are interested in some amazing and beautiful photos of my home state, please visit Louisiana Pictures on Facebook.

Until next time,


Text message, Lunch?

Yesterday I received a text from a good friend. “Lunch?” It had been a while. Did I feel like it? No. Did I want to? Yes. So I met her at our usual spot and we enjoyed a couple of hours of catching up, encouraging each other, all while enjoying the afternoon out on the patio. She needed sun. I just needed to be out of the office.


We both have busy, demanding lives. Our lives run very parallel. We often joke that she’s following in my footsteps. We have way too much in common for two people who could be mother and daughter due to our age difference.

Our conversation was all over the place, but ultimately lead to us discussing each other’s desire for more especially when it comes to our careers. We just both feel like there’s something more out there for us. Just not quite sure how to get there or what it might even be. We both are creative in different ways. Then the conversation got a little deeper.

I love to write, as I’ve said before. At her suggestion and encouraging, I’ve decided I’m going to set up a writing desk just for writing. Nothing else. Not for bills. Not for a catch all for all my information I love to collect. Not even to stack my endless books that Amazon Prime keeps delivering (lol)! As my sweet friend told me, my writing spot needs to be just for me. A place to be creative. A place to allow the flow without excuses.


You see, I often felt or thought I needed to find a quiet restaurant or a quaint café to write. You know, the romanticized side of it all. No, I just need a spot in my house just for me to write and nothing more.

So I’ve decided on a spare room in the front of the house. A simple writing desk in front of the window. I can watch the sun rise. I can watch the traffic go by. I can daydream. And I can write.

Today, Pinterest was my go to looking for that perfect writing desk and setup. Then it hit me. Just get that damn room cleaned up and get to writing. Then a wonderful memory filled my mind and heart. It was of my grandmother. She loved to sew. And although she had a spare bedroom, her sewing machine was set up in her hallway. Yes, her hallway. She lived alone, so she could have set it up anywhere that would have been more ideal, better lighting. You know, the perfect place. But she set it up in the hallway. And she sewed. A lot. Many of my outfits growing up were created in that hallway.

So I won’t be setting up in either of my hallways, but I do have the spot picked out. Now to get that room straight so I can set up in front of the window. I don’t even have a desk yet, but that’s ok. It won’t be ideal or perfect. But like my grandmother’s hallway where she did all of her creating, sitting in front of this window is where I’ll be doing mine.



Moving…Château DeSoto


It’s been a while. Too long, and I do miss writing. Lots of changes have taken place since I last wrote a little over two years ago.

Let’s start with the most obvious… the name change of my blog. I believe it most reflects where I am in my life on a daily basis. It finally feels right. It feels like home.

Which segways into the title of my article, moving.  Almost three years ago, we boldly decided to build a new home. As with everything else, I adore finding a name for my personal belongings.  Hence, le Château is how I loosely refer to our new home, Château DeSoto. We have officially resided here since Labor Day weekend, 2018. On a couple of acres on a very busy corner in central Louisiana.  Small town living with a wanderlust heart.

So after longing to be here but not writing for various reasons, I am back and could not be happier.  I’m looking forward to watching the future unfold at le Château.



PS Please bear with me as I re-familiarize myself with my own blog.  Thanks for understanding…

springtime reflections tree from back


Happiest of birthdays to moi!

Bonjour, my friends!  Today is my 50th birthday!  It’s a big deal, at least it is to me.  50 trips around the sun.  I’ve come to an end, which is now another beginning.  “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” – Closing Time – Semisonic
I’m not one to fret aging.  It’s a privilege.  I love life.  I want to live it out loud, to the fullest.  I want to do more than just scratch the surface!  So, what’s next?  I’m not sure, but I know healing must be involved, on many levels.  I need to allow myself proper rest.  I’ve been trying; now I need more doing.  I must take inspired action.  My 40s were not kind to me regarding my health.  And deep down, to my very core, I know if I don’t make changes, necessary changes, my health will not get better.  This concerns me, and is not acceptable. 
My journey to 50 has been one that I would have never imagined for myself.  So much of it seemed out of my control, especially my younger years.  Now my life is becoming more created than reactionary.  These next 50 years will be quite different.  I plan to see to it, to allow it.  My life, my choices, my decisions.  And even when I can’t control a circumstance, I can and must control how I react.  That, for me, is a challenge to my redheaded, Leo self.  One I must learn to master.  Sigh…Rome wasn’t built in a day…
 I want to share a quote shared by a friend whom I admire greatly …
A day so happy. Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden. Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers. There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess. I knew no one worth my envying him. Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot. To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me. In my body I felt no pain. When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails. _Czeslaw Milosz contributed by Anna Lovind
Beautiful words to ponder, yes?  
And, incase you hadn’t noticed,  I’ve changed the name of my blog.  Selfie Notes no longer honors or serves the woman I am, the woman I’m becoming, the woman I want to be.  Season of Ease honors more the life I am cultivating and creating.  Ease certainly does not mean easy.  Ease simply means taking inspired action without all the drama (thanks Tonya Leigh and SCS), while incorporating elegance and style.  It’s a mindset, a lifestyle.  And this is the season of my life when I can take all the wisdom, all the knowledge, all the love I’ve gathered or been given and offer it to myself each day.  Offer it to myself in a loving way like I would my lover.  I must commit and stay committed to myself.
So today I celebrate!  I celebrate moi!  I celebrate my life lived and my life I’m creating with ease…and I’m excited to see what the future holds!!! 

Springtime Reflections


It’s a lovely spring day.  I’d had my usual errands to run.  As I was returning home, I pulled into the driveway of the future site of Château DeSoto, our forever home we hope to begin building in 2018.  The prospect of this has me somewhat leaning toward the domesticated side.  In my 49 years, I’ve never really felt creative, domestic, feminine.  And I’d decided to change all that.  I’d decided to dig deep and discover why I didn’t.  And I decided to start acting as if I already did, faking it til I make it! It’s a journey I’ve been on for a short while now, with my 50th birthday right around the corner.  I want to live a more mindful life these next 50 years.

I stopped by the land for a couple of reasons, one being I wanted to sit under the tree that bordered the property.  I wanted to sit under this tree and connect with the earth’s energy.  I need a reset and this was the perfect opportunity.  The weather was gorgeous, so why not?  I hopped out of my truck, notebook in tow and headed straight for the shade of the lovely oak.  Then I realized I didn’t have anything to sit on and there’s quite a few stickers on the ground.  I had a zip up hoody on that I could use, but the old, cranky me debated to use it as I would have to wash it later.  The new, so-much-life-to-live me decided so what and used it anyway!  I’d have missed a glorious session with God’s beautiful nature because I would have to wash a piece of clothes???

So I threw my hoody on the ground and lowered myself, attempting easy seat, which is generally not so easy for me due to my hip issues.  As I sat and tried to position myself as comfortably as possible, I realized how exhaustingly tense my body is.  So I purposely concentrated on certain areas, coaxing them to relax one by one, slowly but surely.  Suddenly, my tailbone popped.  That made me smile.  Progress was being made.

I sat and looked around and wiggled and fidgeted.  Then I realized I need only close my eyes as the next step of a deeper relaxing moment.  So I closed my eyes and suddenly the world came alive.  The birds, what seemed like dozens, were chirping.  Softly, loudly, in unison, as if answering one another.  It was glorious.  I could still hear the traffic whiz by from time to time, but the songs of the birds were magnificent.  Nature’s chorus in action.

There was a soft, cool breeze blowing.  The love bugs were hovering around, it’s that time of year.  The grass was cool to the touch under the shade of the tall oak.  And the sky was a crisp pale blue, with a single jet leaving behind a white trail.  A utility worker, I believe cable, was working on a box near the pole at the road.  How lucky he was to have such a beautiful day at the office.  All to soon it will be hot, so he’d better enjoy.  AT 1 pm, it’s 58 degrees.  THAT will not last long, as May and June will usher in our typical hot, humid Louisiana weather.

Easy seat wasn’t so easy any longer, so I decided to lay back.  I flung the hood part of the jacket off its back so I could have a place to lay my head and mindfully lowered myself.  I was amazed at how good that felt.  A flood of memories from my summers spent at my grandmother’s house came rushing in.  Why had I ever stopped connecting in this way? Why do I not get out more, be out in nature more? Why do I feel like I can’t enjoy things the way I did as a kid?  Lots of questions, hope to find many answers.

My mind, body and soul feel weary.  They are begging me to stop and smell the roses, sit on the ground, listen to the birds…simply to live a mindful life.  A life of being, not just doing.  I’ve been hearing, just not listening. Today I listened.


Meltdown, when necessary

Well, it finally reared it’s head.  I won’t say ugly, because I don’t feel it was.  My meltdown…Stressed out lately, lots of things coming at me from all directions.  But I stand firm, heels dug in.  I back down from no challenge.  And I certainly don’t break easily.  But today I finally did.  I’m tired, I’m stressed but I’m hanging in there.  I finally put pencil to paper how I was feeling…it was needed, it was time.meltdown

Photo credit


it came like a thief in the night

the meltdown

suppressed for too long

it was needed, it was time

the release, like a wave hitting the shore

finally reaching its destination

it felt like a tsunami

I hurt, I grieve, I ache

and I hide it all

I’m strong, I can handle it

my shoulders have grown heavy

first born, Leo – this is my calling

but what about me?

my struggles, my fears, my needs?

I hold back, I’m strong

I can handle this

I seek comfort in odd ways and places

no one understands I have no need for the ordinary

in the autumn days of my life

I need to allow myself to be —

me, authentic

I need – I need time alone

but I hate being lonely

I need time to indulge in my likes/loves/treasures

of my heart

tired of dishes, clothes, paperwork

tired of adulting

I need more fantasy, fairy dust, creativity

I need Ireland

I need to write

I need grounding

I have the love of my life

and he is good to me

and I am thankful for that

I am thankful he understands I am

different and unique

he understands my love of green, rain and of Ireland

he tolerates, but lovingly allows, my two speeds –

stalled or wide open

he held me during my meltdown

he let me cry

he reassured me of his love

it was needed, it was time

it came, like a thief in the night

the meltdown

It’s been a while…


So I’ve not been around in a while.  Well, just not on Selfie Notes.  I’ve been pretty active on Instagram since discovering it during an online workshop with Carrie-Anne Moss.  It’s quite pleasurable, and a lot less “noisy” than facebook.

Anyway, lots has happened in my little world since I last posted.  I had a major hip surgery the week of Thanksgiving, which I’m still sort of recovering from.  And I’m currently having some medical issues that will require a specialist.  Blood work is wayyyy outta whack!   I’m scheduled for an appointment at the end of the month.  I’m tired.  I’m sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.  No matter how much I sleep, I’m not rested.  Did you notice my picture?  I KNOW I need rest.  Apparently, my body doesn’t. It won’t or it can’t.  Guess that will be determined at a later day.

To be continued…


by the fire, day 3

by the fire, day 2