18 December 2005

the alps  Posted by Picasa

Tuscany Posted by Picasa

Faith Posted by Picasa

The Duomo Posted by Picasa

Florence Posted by Picasa


This is one of my last days in Florence. I decided that it is about time that I took some photos.
It is a beautiful city, full of tourists, American students, and the economy is based on those facts.
The locals do not seem very happy, tourism is down and the student enrollment is also down.
Many of the shops shut down and the locals are moving out of the city because it is too expensive.

09 November 2005

trinkets Posted by Picasa

waiting for the rain Posted by Picasa

Florence wedding Posted by Picasa


I’ve been busy with my university, friends came to visit…so we went to the hill outside of Firenze, Piazza Michelangelo is a square with a beautiful overview of the city. Here are a few pics from there. Many foreigners come to Florence to get married, and they come up to the hill for photographs, on this day there were at least 5 couples getting their photographs taken.

26 October 2005

Life Things

life things Posted by Picasa

Budda Posted by Picasa


I have not submitted my photo of the day for a few days. I was side tracked with emotionally created humm by my ex. (handling your divorce) Sad huh? I surely don’t understand why people just don’t let things be, why they feel that they need to be telling you what you should be doing with your life. Are they me? Are they you?

Isn’t one really free when they can live without the societal limits that are instilled upon our brains? In order to be “successful” (your brain has a bent - not a dent)must we really own our own home with the picket white fence and drive a Mercedes?

Freedom (emotional freedom) is creating the ability to live in a peaceful environment of encouragement in a circle of great friends, they are like diamonds.
Freedom is the ability to create in your own life what it is you do based on who you really are, not who they think that you should be.
Freedom is creating the ability to create. Leonardo De Vinci was a creator and in his creations he presented gifts and knowledge to the entire world that we still use today.
Freedom is creating the ability to create, that is: creating your own design (emotional design) of your own life, your breathe and your soul based on who you really are. (Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and community in a fragmented world)

Today is my birthday.

21 October 2005

The Olive Tree Posted by Picasa

The Olive Tree

The olive tree has is a symbol of freedom and peace. Its roots go deep into the ground and its branches reach up towards the sky. You have to prune the tree every year for it to produce its fruit. You can take a branch, and grow a new tree and plant a mountain of olive trees.
The tree is life giving.
It produces oil for cooking, your skin, for fire, and for food.
The olive tree dates back to the Egyptian time period, they used it for everything.
People have been killed over olives.
Families have broken up over olives.
When the killing stops
and the families come back together
then the olive tree will represent the peace that is so desires.

Book link:  The Olive Tree of Civilization, by John Train:
The ancients knew these virtues and olive oil became a key to their religious and political ceremonies, from the temples of Ra in Egypt where lamps burned olive oil, to the temple of Soloman, where kings were anointed with oil based ointments. Christ was offered a sip of oil on the cross; Hanukah is, at its origin...

20 October 2005

The Search for an Identity

In the search for an identity my cousin sent me this:

If suddenly and without warning you had nothing to worry about, do you know what the world would began to look like?

Exactly the same as it does now.

If suddenly you had absolutely nothing to be afraid of do you know what you’d begin to look like right now?

Yeah, “hot” as ever.

If suddenly, you had absolutely no expectations you had to live up to and absolutely no one to disappoint, do you know how free you would suddenly become?

The only thing that would really change are your thoughts-
And you don’t need circumstances and other people to help you with that do you?

fall leaves Posted by Picasa

19 October 2005

tuscan cross Posted by Picasa

17 October 2005

Olive Oil

Olive Oil Posted by Picasa

Pozzolatico winery Posted by Picasa

selling oil

The Salesman Posted by Picasa

The Prince and the Castle

There are a few things that the Italians cannot live without in their homes and one of those things is olive oil and wine. The Pozzolatico Castle store, that is owned by the renowned Count (I call him a Prince), is open on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Rumor says that the prince owns all the land in Pozzolatico and more! He has his own carpenter, farmers, olive trees, grape vines and store. He produces his own wine and olive oil.

Today, I went to the Castle to buy some of the famed olive oil and red wine. I walked from my humble abode up the road to the castle. The tall tale sign that visitors are welcome to the castle is when the large Iron Gate is open. As I walked through the gate on the road lined with rosemary, olive trees, random flowers and nicely pruned bushes, I felt like the lost girl searching for her prince. I asked myself, “Where is my prince? Could he be here?” What a dream it is for an older single, divorced woman to meet her true prince, who lives truly in a castle surrounded with tall stoned walls and surrounded by miles and miles of land.

As I enter into the garden and down the nicely landscaped road, I see a few cars parked near a large antique wooden garage door. “This must be where the famed wine and olive oil is!” Grungy looking aged men are hanging around the parking lot smoking cigarettes and holding large various designed glass jars to hold the precious wine or olive oil.

Once inside there are a variety of garden fresh vegetables to choose from and a desk with a calculator and papers rummaged on top. There is another red antique wooden door that is the entry way to the winery. The smell inside is that of the night after a drinking binge in a sorority house.

I asked to taste the olive oil, because I heard that many times they will try to sell you “last years supply” before giving you the new. I tasted the old and I thought, “Ummm good!” and then tasted the new, and thought, “It was picked too early and the taste is somewhat bitter.” I’ll take the old, please!

The wine was not a problem, I had already brought with me a few empty bottles and wholah I have now the red wine and olive oil. The salesman was not the prince. I thought to myself, dang. I wanted to see the famed prince! He was a grungy old man, missing two front teeth trying to keep all the customers happy. The prince was no where to be found. “Oh well, maybe next time…??”

14 October 2005


welder and watcher Posted by Picasa

Today I have been working hard on my book and didn't move from the chair for about 5 hours. My butt was getting sore so I decided to grab my camera for my photo of the day shot.
Normally, when I venture out of my front door, I do not see another soul. This is the life in the country. Today I saw a welder and asked him if I could take a photograph. We talked for about 5 minutes. I believe that this will be the highlight of my conversations for the day.

13 October 2005

Tuscan Road Posted by Picasa

My Third Career

This photograph is a road on which I live, nestled in the hills of Tuscany, Italy.

Statistics show that most people change their careers at least two or three time. I am on my third. The last war I photographed was the war in Iraq and the Intifada in the West Bank of Israel. For 5 years I photographed poverty, suicide bombings, tears and pain. I do not know how a person can live under such conditions for such a long time, without the hope of it ever going away. I had to leave and live in a “normal” place to re-energize my spirit. I chose Italy. I have always thought that the language was beautiful and the men “hot”.

I live in Tuscany, just outside of Florence. I live among rolling hills of olive trees and grape vines. I live in the country where it is quiet and one can only hear the birds chirp among each other. There is a small coffee bar about ¼ km away from my home where the locals gather in the early evenings to catch up on the latest of the local gossip. During my daily walk to the coffee bar, in the attempt to see some civilization, I see the farmers (the Italians call them Peasants) tilling the land and picking their fruit of their labor.

Their skin is tight and wrinkled due to the high exposure from the sun. Their hands are like leather and their smiles are bright. The men dress in baggy pants and the women in dresses that come below their knees. Most of the time, the clothes look well warn and are soiled from the Tuscan mud. Most of the women wear an apron over their dress; this is because they spend much of their time in the kitchen or picking vegetables from the garden.

When one goes into town, that is Florence, everyone dresses up for the occasion. The older folks wear clean and crisp clothes and the younger look like they just came from a fashion show. I call Florence the “Small American college town”. I heard that there are 68 universities in Florence. The students come from America to learn of art, history and the language for a semester or a year. If you sit at a coffee bar and watch the people going by you can say that the students dominate the city and the locals keep a low profile.

Those who live in Florence make their living either from Tourism or the students. The economy is not so good, as anywhere else in the world at the moment. I am here, to find my new path and direction. My dream is to write books and photograph culture worldwide. I want to photograph and compile the people and their lives, their faces and their special moments. This is my dream and I spend this time trying to make it happen. In the meantime, I am trying to figure out where I belong in this world, and what am I supposed to do to make a viable living.

My next post will give some background.