Cheryl Mendoza

How He speaks to me…..Or… can't He just call my cell when He wants to talk?



A Study in Pink – Stevie


So what happens when you have to play “lighting assistant” to your hubby?  Well you score another interview for A Study in Pink.  I kind of ambushed Stevie Allen when she was getting some location shots done for promotional use.  Mike has known her, along with the other assortment of Allen ladies for a while now, and I just met Stevie for the second time this last week.  Continue reading “A Study in Pink – Stevie”

A Study in Pink – Ericka

**While she is technically still on the path to her profession, I felt her story was worth telling.  For some of it is more of a journey to find our place than for others.

Ericka“It was my goal in life to be beautiful,” she told me.  Well my friend, I couldn’t help but think, you have reached your goal.  Ericka Vega is a buddy that I’ve known for a couple of years now, and I wondered what she was up to these days. I messaged her on FaceBook and invited myself over for an interrogation… I mean an interview.

We sat in her backyard and relaxed as we talked.  I asked her what work she was doing now and did I get an answer!  She started off by telling me about her Mr. Dave.  Years ago she started to clean his home a couple of times a month, for some extra income.  That all changed when his physical needs changed.  When he needed more of a caregiver, Ericka stepped up to the plate.  “God is pretty amazing,” she told me.  What started off as a cleaning job, had turned into much more for her.  Since she grew up without a dad, she feels blessed to have in Mr. Dave in her life as a bit of a father figure.  Now, she takes him to appointments at Stanford, and gets him out of the house.  She also is getting him involved in another area of her life, weight training. Continue reading “A Study in Pink – Ericka”

Morning in Yosemite…

IMG_5610Well we have been having some fun around our house, taking portraits of some of our favorite people. But what happens when the weekend plans are postponed?  You head to Yosemite!

When Mike (my hubby and in-house photographer) went to bed last night, he wasn’t sure if he was going.  When morning came (if 2:30 can really be considered morning?) he was off to get that sunrise shot at Glacier Point. (which didn’t happen because of the haze) While he typically flies solo on this type of trip, (really 2:30 in the AM?) this morning he woke me up to enjoy the adventure!  I knew I was in trouble when he told me to NOT look at the clock!

Continue reading “Morning in Yosemite…”

My National Monument…..

Funny thing was…I took this as we came in.

I thought it would be a nice drive to Porterville.  My son was there for work, and so we went down to have lunch with him.  It was a nice leisurely drive down CA43 and a relaxing lunch getting all the info on the job he was doing.

After lunch I was not expecting much, you see we had bee bopped around the house all morning.  Typically, we get up and out early, but this morning we had been moving kind of slow.  So I was not expecting to head into the mountains for long drawn out ride.  How naïve of me. Continue reading “My National Monument…..”

Brains day off….

IMG_5156What happens when in one day, you are going from the mid eighties to the mid ninties, after weeks of  the mid seventies?  You head to the coast.  And when your hubby wants to take sunrise pictures, you get up at dark thirty so that you can make it to the coast before the sun comes up.

IMG_5163At 3:30 this morning, I was really not in the mood to worry about my own camera, so I just decided to use my iphone.  I snapped a good amount of pictures, but not too many.  It had been a long week.  My brain had been on overload and I wanted to spend some time just enjoying the beauty that surrounded me. Continue reading “Brains day off….”

Lost on SR155

So it is Saturday, and that means my hubby wants to practice with his new camera.  The thing about that is, he always wants me to go with him.  He was disappointed this morning, since I had an appointment at 9:00 and that means any day trip wouldn’t start till after 10:00.  We are kind of a get up at the crack of dawn and miss the traffic kind of travelers, so waiting till that late in the morning was hard for him.  I think I made it up to him though, as I got us a bit lost which gave us a bit more of an adventure.

We were supposed to be heading to the Tule Elk State Nature Reserve, but I got it mixed up and we ended up at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge.

The place where we wound up was closed, can you imagine?  It was only open for the duck hunters, which is not the kind of shooting we do.  We made a note to come back, especially when a big hawk flew over us moving from a tree to a telephone pole.  It was amazing!

So I attached a few pictures.  Since I had steered us wrong, I knew I had to make it up to him.  So I told him he could drive, and he did.  We wound up going into the foothills on SR155.  We saw blue sky, the small town (?) of Woody, beautiful green valleys and cowboys.  It was a wonderful day.  We now know a great route to drive for some beautiful scenery and two places that we will visit in the future.  More places to explore, and more pictures to take. dsc_0914


Just say cheese….

So I was reading a blog this morning, it is called “ Beauty Beyond Bones”, and it is written by a recovering anorexic.  She made a post about this week being “body positivity week”.  She had a great perspective on this body positivity thing, so I have put a link here if you would like to take a look.

Her post got me thinking though about the pictures that we take.  This is on my mind lately, because my husband is starting to be heavily involved, dare I say obsessed, with photography.  He is always trying to get me to take pictures, so he can learn to use different techniques. I never remember being so weird about taking pictures, but then again, I have never been this old and there have never been so many picture taking opportunities available.  I mean really, Facebook is full of them.  So as I was driving, I began thinking about this woman’s solution in regards to body image, and then I thought about my own.  It is funny, as I write this I am sitting at a desk with a mirror over it.  So I am basically staring at my own face, thus the picture I have posted.  I find this slightly ironic.  I even had to take two pictures, because I caught myself in the first one trying not to smile so big.  Jeez!!


So I thought about the pictures that I take.  Sometimes they are funny, silly, but usually they are for a remembrance of a time, occasion or friends.  Some of the pictures that I have taken recently are ones that I do not like very much.  Why?  It seems that I am more concerned with trying to look cute than enjoying the “why” of the picture.  How do I know?  It is evident in my body language, and I can just tell by how I look.  These pictures show a woman who is not comfortable with how she is perceived.  The funny thing is though, I pretty much am OK with how I look.  I am old, well not that old, but old enough.  On the edge of still being kind of cute, but sags and weight are taking a toll.  I thought about that, and I felt stupid.  I love looking at pictures, and I thought of the pictures that have spoken to me the most.  The ones that made me really feel things, and they were of people who were not necessarily looking their best.  Dorothea Lange immediately sprang to mind.  Her pictures of people who were struggling through the depression in the dust bowl are some of the most important pictures of our time.  These people are NOT looking cute.  What you do see is pain, resilience, struggle, fear, and maybe even some hope.  These photos opened people’s eyes to what the effect of unemployment was on the entire family.  These photos still have the ability to touch people today.  And I am worried about if I am cute?

The pictures that I like best of myself are the ones where I forget about the camera, and I concentrate on enjoying the moment.  Then, my smile is genuine, if not a little large.  There is a twinkle in my eye, even if you can’t totally see it through my glasses.  My body language is relaxed, even if it is a bit, how do I say this?  Chubby?  And if my gray hair is peeking out? Then so be it.  This is who I am, and I like that me.  I like the me who is more concerned with celebrating a birthday than looking cute.  The one who is having fun, being silly with a friend, better than the one who is trying to get her good side.  The one who is willing to show her tears, even when she is not a pretty crier.  So I have decided, that I am not going to worry about how I look.  I am going to focus on enjoying the moments God has given me.  To be fully invested in who I am with, and what is happening around me.  So tonight as I go and celebrate a wedding with friends, I choose to forget about how I look, and remember to let the joyfulness of the day be my beauty.


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