About Me

August 2017:

I had not read my “about me” page in a while…actually, a long while. When I wrote the piece below, I had two grandchildren; now I have six (five girls and one boy). I have been retired from teaching for quite a few years, I have taken a gazillion pictures, returned to China to teach high school students, bought a house, dreamed, planned, and rambled.

Today, I continue to evolve. Sophie is still my constant companion, my family is still my center, and I am blessed.


Many years ago:

Who am I? When I started this blog in January 2012, I hid my identity and took my childhood name of Mona. Since that time, I’ve become more comfortable and have talked about my life in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve shown pictures of my family, especially of my granddaughter Elle (also known as my favorite model). Recently, Elle became Big Sister and I am now snapping pictures of both of my granddaughters.

Family is my center. I share my home with Sophie, my black and white Cocker Spaniel, and I share my heart with my sons, my daughters-in-law, and my granddaughters. I am blessed beyond measure to have them near me.

I picked up a Nikon DSLR three summers ago and immediately felt complete. I am more comfortable with the camera in my hands than without. When I’m at a party or event and my camera is not with me, I feel naked. At other times, if I feel that the “tyranny of the urgent” is pressing in on me, I pick up the camera and practice lighting or DOF or focus, and I eventually clear my mind and can return to the necessary task.

Last summer I sold the Nikon and picked up my Canon, partially because my son, the pro-photog, shoots Canon. When I assist him on jobs, I can now navigate my way around his camera, and (this is the bonus) I can borrow his super-cool lenses and cameras. I was sad to sell the Nikon 85 mm, however. That sweet lens took some nice images.

I have taught for nearly 25 years and am now looking forward to my next adventure: retirement. I will never quit working and I will never be bored; this I know. I will take my Canon, explore the ordinary and extraordinary in the streets and mountains and waters near me and far away.

By the way: Who am I? I’ve gone by three names in my 62 years of living. I was named Ramona (I thank my parents for that name as I’ve always liked it). As a child, I was called Mona. When I went to high school, I was given the moniker Ramie; that name stayed with me for two decades until I turned 30 and decided that Ramona was a more “professional” sounding name.

I welcome you into my ordinary, and at times extraordinary, world.IMG_1454


74 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Nice to meet you too, Mona. Thanks for a recent visit to A Traveller’s Tale. Will look forward to more of your work as well. Regards.

  2. Thanks for the ‘follow’ I too used to do agility…exhausting isn’t it? Dogs love it though!! Good luck.

    • Jasper loves agility … and so do I. I view it as my workout of the day. It’s best when there are just a few of us, which means dog & I spend more time running than sitting. When the class if full we spend more time on the sidelines. I saw a video last night of a championship competition … ah, if only! Those dogs (and their trainers) were fantastic!

  3. You are an amazingly talented woman, cuz!

  4. Hi Mona, Thank you so much for following my blog 🙂

  5. Hello! I’ve nominated you for two awards; The Versatile Blogger and The Kreative Blogger awards. If you’d like to accept it and pass it on to your own favourite blogs, please go to http://googsy.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/the-versatile-blogger-and-kreative-blogger-awards
    Congratulations 🙂

  6. I’ve nominated you for the 7×7 Link Award…you can have a look at the details on my blog here….http://wp.me/p244yO-Ac

  7. Hi Mona, Thank you for following http://www.liferevelation.wordpress.com. I am always grateful when folks spend the time to read it.

    I read your last post (which is why I am now following) and don’t ever worry about length. Your voice is pure…keep it that way…we need you.

    Be encouraged!

  8. Hi Mona
    Thanks for visitng my blog and liking my post about the Bonnet macaques.

    I find your blog inspiring, paticularly your recent post about your neighbour. We should all stop and think about how we interact with others as we never know how long they will be with us or before it is too late to say a simple ‘Hi’. Sometimes we plan to ‘get in touch maybe next month or year’ – that happened to me once, we lost the person and I’ve regretted it for ever.

  9. Hi Mona… thanks for stopping by my blog! I just read your latest entry, I am sorry about your neighbor… this is, sadly, the typical situation for most of us. I’m in China… but I think I’ll get my assistant to help me say hello to the 2 neighbors I have on my floor here.
    Looking forward to reading more of your blogs!

    • Sandi, I worked in China last summer and will return this summer; therefore, I’m extremely interested in your blog. Last year was my first experience out of the US and I was in a state of confusion much of the time. During the past 6 months, I’ve tried to learn as much as possible about the province (Shandong) and the country. Sadly, I’ve failed miserably at learning Mandarin via CD, DVD, or online. Keep blogging. Your writing is GOOD; I love your voice in your writing and I believe that you could make money by selling your pieces.

      • My Mandarin is limited to about 10 words/phrases. I have a personal assistant and that spoils me!

        It’s a fascinating place, full of lots of places to see… the winter was AWFUL and almost did me in, but the sun came out a few days ago and the flowers are blooming and life is semi back to normal 🙂

  10. Mona, thank you so much for being so amazing! I finally figured out what I was doing with the Sunshine award and felt really silly for not knowing what to do! HAHA! i posted it today and I just want to send you a personal thank you as well ! You have made me feel like I might actually be good at something and just you being sweet enough to nominate me, with being so new to all this, just really made me happy! Thanks again and you’re amazing!! 🙂

    • I am happy that you feel this way. I think you have a good eye and I just know that your pictures will get better and better.

  11. Nice to meet you Mona,seems you are quite busy and enjoying life. liked your ramblings.

  12. please check out my today’s post, about awards and more… I’ve mentioned you there ’cause you’ve nominated me once ~or twice~ and to show my respect for your work 😀

  13. Your blog sounds inspiring.. 🙂
    Do you have Arabic origins? ‘Cause Mona is an Arabic name.. 😀

    • Sara, I did not realize the Arabic connection, but I would be honored. Actually, my mother is German (but born in U.S) and my father is English. My name is Ramona, but my family called me Mona when I was a child, and some still do. When I created this blog, I initially called it Ramblings by Ramona, but something took me back to the simpler times as Mona, and I like it. Thank you for your comment that my blog sounds inspiring. I use it as a place to practice writing and photographing, and had not intended that it inspire anyone, but that is the highest compliment that you might think so. Thank you for visiting.

  14. Hi Mona!
    I see you’ve already received the Sunshine award…but I nominatged you again!
    In addition, I nominated you for the Genuine Blogger award. Here’s the link: http://cpgutierrez.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/awards-and-more-awards-really/

  15. Hi Mona, I’m happy I found your blog. Interesting and lovely photos. I once wanted to move to Arizona because I fell in love with Tucson the first time I visited. I haven’t been back to Arizona in over 10 years but it’s still a part of my heart. Look forward to more of your posts.

  16. Hey! I nominated you for the Versatile Award! Check it out! http://wannabephotographer87.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/the-versatile-award/

  17. Congratulations. I have awarded you the One Lovely Blog Award. You have a wonderful blog. You can read more about and find the award on my page here: http://workthedream.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-illuminating-blogger-award-and-the-one-lovely-blog-award/

    • Well thank you! I will read about it and follow-up. I am honored!

      • Mona, thank you so much. I was just awarded that last week so I want to ask you to please award it to someone else so that the award is shared. I so appreciate you thinking of me for this award. Thank you again..I feel truly honored that you think my blog is that good. But, like to make sure others get to share in these awards too when I have already received it. Thank you.

  18. Nice to meet you, Mona. Thanks for ‘follow’ my blog.
    Greeting from Jogjakarta, Indonesia. 🙂

  19. It is so wonderful to be connected here. Coming over here to read your “About Me” helps me to understand you better. I read some of your posts and I must admit that you are a wonderful blogger who knows what to share and how much to share/reveal. As for me, I tend to go a bit overboard, and I think I shared to much details, that too intimately and emotionally. I wish I could draw a boundary…
    Hope to read more of your posts and reach out to you more often… Happy blogging and much blessings!

  20. hi,
    I have nominated you for ‘one lovely blog’ award. click here to see your nomination:
    have a wonderful day !

  21. Thanks for following our blog! Enjoying your ramblings…

  22. Finally took those moon shots lol, and I posted a link to your blog 🙂 Check it out when you can! http://wannabephotographer87.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/the-full-moon/

  23. Hey! I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!! Go check it out 🙂 http://wannabephotographer87.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award/

  24. Hi there,

    I have nominated you for a One Lovely Blog Award. I would be honored if you accepted.

    Thank you for an awesome blog.


    Have a lovely day.


  25. Hey Mona! I tried to open up your Reds blog and the one before that one and they say, “page not found” 😦 Just thought I’d let you know!

  26. Thanks for stopping by. Loved your landscape shots. Reminded me of my trip down your way in Spring… http://quieterelephant.wordpress.com/?s=phoenix

  27. Hello, Mona. I have nominated you for the Food for Thought Award! I hope you’ll participate – I’d love to hear what you have to say! Here’s the link: http://wp.me/p1OXNv-yT

  28. Hi Mona, thank you so much for dropping in at my blog. Otherwise, I may not have found this beautiful blog of yours 🙂

  29. I invited you to have coffee with me! Check out my blog 😀 http://wannabephotographer87.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/2254/

  30. I like your blog. Nice to meet another AZ blogger! I’ll put you on my AZ blogger blogroll.

  31. I have nominated you for the “Wonderful Team Member Award” check it out on my site! http://wannabephotographer87.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/more-awards/

  32. Love yours!! Do visit mine:

  33. That is a very nice name!

  34. Hi, Mona. I like this nickname better. Thank you for dropping by my blog and the follow. You are inspiring me with your posts and words. Cheers! 🙂

  35. I like Ramie – so playful – like your smile.

  36. James Lande said:

    H’lo Mona,
    Thanks for taking notice of the post on Historical Novels about China over at the OCB weblog. Browsing through your Ramblings here, I find we have had some similar experience (China, teaching, Arizona, photography) so I’ve signed up to Follow along, and am looking forward to reading more from you.

    • AH! That is yours, James! I found your article through a comment Lisa See made on her Facebook page. I bought Pearl of China based on your review, and I bookmarked this page for future reference. Now I will read more of your blog. THANK YOU for finding me. ~Mona

      • James Lande, Old China Books said:

        Hi Mona,

        Have you finished Pearl of China? How did you like it?


  37. Hi Mona!

    Been enjoying your blog immensely – particularly the links to China and wonderful photos. And while I’m sure you already have a gazillion ‘blog awards’ just wanted to say ‘keep sharing! We’re out there reading and appreciating.’

    “SHINE ON!” http://everydayadventuresasia.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/shine-on-award/

  38. HI Mona. Stumbled across your blog via a comment on another blog. That’s usually how I find interesting blogs. I’m always looking to follow blogs with extraordinary photography and it looks like yours certainly falls within that realm. Specifically since you are in Arizona. I love that part of the country and have visited a few times. I once went to Sedona strictly to take pictures for a few days. I had them on a display wall for years, but since we have moved here 1 1/2 years ago, I haven’t found the right place for them. I also subscribed to Arizona Highways magazine for many years.

    Anyway, speaking of ramblings, I’ll shut up now. Look forward to following and more inspiring pictures and posts.

  39. James Lande, Old China Books said:

    Welcome back Mona. It’s been a long time no see your pictures in my inbox.

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