Merry Christmas from Recovering Shopaholic!

Many bloggers are taking time off this week and next to enjoy time with their families and friends for Christmas and New Year’s.  Since I’m not traveling and don’t have any elaborate holiday plans, I will continue with my regular posting schedule.   I was going to share a “photography interlude” (see previous versions here) today, but I decided to veer off a bit and go with a holiday theme.

A Christmas Retrospective

In today’s post, I share some of my Christmas photos from years past, from my wee years through to my 40’s.  As I mentioned in my last post, I used to be a big fan of holiday theme wear, as you will see in many of the images below.  These days, I no longer have any Christmas sweaters, but I used to wear holiday garb every single day from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, along with lots of Christmas jewelry, Santa hats, and the like. I was definitely what you might call very “spirited.”

Part of my style evolution has involved moving away from the cutesy and whimsical and embodying a more sophisticated, classic, and minimalist style.  My idea of holiday dressing now may include wearing red or green or perhaps a bit of sparkle and shine, but overt shows of Christmas spirit no longer grace my body.   But the photographic evidence remains and in the holiday spirit, I share it with you today.   I include brief descriptions under each photo, but many of them are pretty self-explanatory and may make you laugh or smile.

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Photography Interlude – Ocean Beach Sunset

I planned on having my next post be an update on how I’m doing with my theme of the year, deliberate, but that will have to wait until next week.  Tonight I want to share something really beautiful with you.   This afternoon, I decided to go to the beach at sunset time to take some photos.  I knew I would enjoy seeing the ocean, the sky, and the pier, but I wasn’t prepared for how truly breathtaking the views would be!   Since I was so in awe of what my eyes beheld, I wanted to share it with all of you.

I went to a place that I featured in my last “photography interlude,” the Ocean Beach Pier.  This pier is about a fifteen minute drive from where I live and is the second longest pier on the west coast at 1971 feet. It’s such a long pier that it’s difficult to capture all of it in a photograph unless you’re either fairly far away or viewing it pretty much straight on.   Near the Ocean Beach Pier is a great place to watch the sunset.  I actually stayed for over an hour and continued to enjoy the changing colors of the sky long after the sun had set.

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Photography Interlude – San Diego Area Piers

I continue to love the new photography hobby that I took on earlier this year.  I usually go out to take photos at least two or three times per week, sometimes just taking a quick walk down the street to the bay to snap a few shots and enjoy the outdoors for half an hour or so.   Occasionally, I will do a longer photo jaunt to one of the many scenic areas of San Diego.

While I enjoy taking photos in many different locales, my favorite places to visit are the beach areas.   There are also a few piers in and around San Diego that are fun to photograph.  In today’s photography interlude post, I will show you some shots that I took of the four main piers in San Diego County.  Soon I’m going to venture a bit north and photograph beaches and piers in Orange and Los Angeles counties. I will share the best of those images in a future photography interlude post.

Debbie Roes on the Crystal Pier

Me on the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach this past May. 

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Photography Interlude – Lake Tahoe

I recently returned from a wonderful 10-day trip to the Lake Tahoe area (I extended my original stay by three days), where I used to live and where some of my family members still reside.   I was fortunate to encounter beautiful weather for most of my time there.  In a post later this week, I will recap what I packed for the trip and how well (or not) it served me, and I will also share the outfits I wore while I was away (check out my last packing recap here).   But today I’d like to highlight some of the photos I took during my vacation.

This was my first trip to Tahoe since I began my photography hobby, so I was eager to visit the many gorgeous locales along the lake to capture the sights.   It was difficult for me to select my favorite shots, so there are more photos in this post than I generally share in my “photography interludes.”  My hope is that you will enjoy the images below and that if you haven’t yet visited Lake Tahoe, you might add it to your “bucket list.”   It truly is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure to visit (and I was lucky enough to live there for a year and a half).

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Photography Interlude – Torrey Pines

I hope you enjoyed my first “photography interlude” last week.  As promised, I will be posting a few of these during my “modified break” and then periodically after that.  Today I would like to share one of my favorite beaches with you, Torrey Pines.   This beach area is about a half-hour drive north from where I live and is absolutely gorgeous!  In the six months or so that I’ve been taking photographs (read about how and why I started that hobby here), I have been there five times and intend to go back regularly as I improve my skills.

Debbie Roes, Torrey Pines Beach

Overlooking Torrey Pines Beach, May 2015

The photo of me above was taken by a cyclist who had stopped to take in the view around the same time I was snapping pictures on my phone back in May.   It was an overcast evening, but the view was still beautiful.   The photos below were taken from the same vantage point, in both directions. Trains travel right along the beach, as you can see in the second photo.  I have ridden trains on those tracks several times, including to visit Disneyland and to have dinner with my dad when he still lived in the North County of San Diego.   There are lots of picturesque views to take in on those train rides for sure!

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Photography Interlude – Imperial Beach

Last week, I let you know that I would be taking a bit of a break from blogging during September to focus on other projects and priorities and to consider my plans for “Recovering Shopaholic” moving forward.   Although I won’t be doing the same types of posts I usually do here, I promised I wouldn’t be going away entirely this month.   I still plan to publish some content here, including useful links, “Throwback Thursday” compilations, and my photography.

Debbie Roes in Imperial Beach

My husband and I recently spent an afternoon in Imperial Beach. 

To kick things off, I’d like to share some photographs that I took recently in Imperial Beach.   This coastal community is about a thirty minute drive south of where I live, but I had never been there in my thirteen years of living in San Diego!   Not long after I arrived in Imperial Beach, however, I wondered what had taken me so long…  The beaches are beautiful and decidedly less crowded than the “tourist trap” communities closer to my home.  The tourists don’t seem to drive that far south, so the beach was mostly populated by locals out for the day with their families.

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On Loneliness – Some Thoughts and Images

I mentioned what my upcoming topics would be in my last post, but I decided I wanted to write about something else first.   It’s a subject that has been on my mind for quite some time and about which I have many thoughts… loneliness.  In today’s post, I share some of my thoughts about this topic, as well as a selection of my photos which evoke that theme.   The photos appear throughout the post, starting with this introductory image which is one of my favorites.

PLNU Bench

A lonely and quiet place – Point Loma Nazarene University

In one of my earliest posts, I wrote about the reasons people shop too much.  Some of these reasons have been explored in greater depth down the line in stand-alone essays.   I have touched upon the topic of loneliness from time to time, but I have never devoted an entire post to it.   However, in recent months, it has become abundantly clear to me that loneliness is a major issue in my life and how much it motivated my overshopping behavior.   In addition, as I looked at the images I shot in my recent photo sessions, I started to see lonely-looking scenes showing up over and over again.   Clearly, my innermost feelings were being conveyed through my photographs.

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