Monday, January 31, 2011


retail therapy = THERAPEUTIC??

a mom with four young children, 
too many snow days, and cabin fever
selected this week's word...

your idea of THERAPEUTIC!

I LIKE Winter by Lois Lenski (author) reading or exercising THERAPEUTIC?

Lola @ 9 months old

...does playing with pets qualify as
know if you are participating in

BTW - Retail Therapy is 
for me!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


this is a HEART I found last year on Valentine's Day!!

One of my favorite bloggers, CHRISSY at CUL*TI*VATE has an obsession with hearts.  she loves them. last year in the month of February, she posted a challenge to find a SURPRISE HEART every 24 hours. 

Chrissy's blog says to lOOk for "hearts that jump out at you when you least expect it and from the most unusual places... a stump of wood, your noodle soup, a hair on the bathroom floor... you get what i mean right?  last february for 14 days i went on a search for hearts."

Her instructions state, "here.s how i did it. every 24 hours i am going to find a heart hidden or maybe just camouflaged or eclipsed or hushed somehow and give it a coming out party.  a debut.  throw it out there for a formal introduction to the world.
heck, it doesn't even have to be concealed.
i am calling all hearts.
and when i stumble upon them...
i am going to share them with you!"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  
I'll be looking for HEARTS too!
If you find one - send it her way!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


"There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle."
~ Deepak Chopra, Indian American, public speaker, and writer on Ayurveda, 
spirituality, & mind-body medicine

puzzles from places we've traveled

Today is National Puzzle Day - which recognizes ALL puzzles, large & small, word games and tactile tangles.

WE LOVE jigsaw puzzles... we set up a puzzle any time there's a break in our work schedule (winter break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, summer... well, you get the idea!). 

JPE likes 500-550 piece puzzles best! 

Some puzzles are purchased on trips... I bought this one in the Library of Congress gift store.

When I was growing up, a rainy day meant the puzzle table would be set up ~ it was actually a card table that was placed near the window!

We also had some rules for working jigsaw puzzles!

someone?? didn't put the puzzle away correctly!! ha! ha!
1. You had to take the puzzle completely apart before putting it away.

close-up of Toonville puzzle ~ a favorite of ACE's
2. You were considered a "super puzzler" if you didn't have to look closely at the box lid to figure out where your piece would fit. Some of my family members say, "it's cheating" if you use the picture to solve the puzzle.
we have quite a collection of Christmas puzzles - this one is 750 pieces & JPE agreed to work on it!
3. If you find a piece missing, you need to mark the location on the cover of the box. You can see my note at the top of this puzzle (near the horse).

"Fruzzle" = puzzle dust
4. If you are the first person opening a new puzzle, you need to set the pieces out carefully, and then wipe up the "fruzzle" - no one likes putting together a puzzle that is gritty with "fruzzle"... Oh, and don't forget to wipe (or dust) out the puzzle box while you are at it!!

  • have made us late to work (gotta find that one last piece while sipping coffee)
  • brought us together as a couple (we completed a 550 piece puzzle in a Saturday - listening to jazz on NPR)
  • provide "inexpensive" entertainment - did you know you can get some pretty good puzzles from the Dollar Store? (see the pink puzzle box, second picture? it's was purchased for a $1 - reminds us of our trip to Cinque Terre, Italian coast village in 2005)
  • are considered a "thoughtful gift" for any occasion
  • keep our fingers nimble (hey! gotta keep them flexible), our minds sharp and focused
Oh! we've been known to spend time working SUDOKU, Word Jumbles, and even Wordsearch puzzles... 

My mom works crossword puzzles-but she's a voracious reader (which I'm not) & knows all kinds of words. On an airplane trip from CA to Washington DC, she completed 9 crossword puzzles on the way there, and 8 on the way home! (she hates flying)

So - tell me - how did you spend National Puzzle Day? or better yet, what puzzles do you do?

Friday, January 28, 2011


pic taken 1.28.11 @ 9:00am
"One thing at a time, all things in succession. 
That which grows slowly endures."
~ J.G. Hubbard, author

The WEEKWORD was T-R-A-N-S-I-T-I-O-N... the host, JOHN, doesn't know me, but I feel as if he picked this week's word JUST.for.ME!

I've TRANSITIONED from a soft cast to an air cast this week. Little did I know that my foot (& mind) would need so much T-L-C (tender loving care) on this journey of healing.  

My week has run the gamut from:
  • anger
  • frustration
  • overwhelming fatigue
  • tears
  • depression

JPE (wisely suggested) that I spend some time using my camera (I've gotten behind on taking photos for the online course I'm taking, "Find Your Eye") & crafting (so, I pulled out the "goodies" I purchased two weeks ago during a visit to So California)...

pic taken 1.28.11 @ 1:30pm
 LIfe was pretty sweet today...

to see what TRANSITIONS other WEEKWORD(ers)
experienced, visit JOHN'S BLOG!!

see you tomorrow with an "upbeat" post!
I'm on a "sweet-roll" NOW!
(NO, not the kind you eat)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Buchon St ~ SLO
 admiring the "simple things" in life....
elaborate ironwork
spidery cobwebs
tinkling bells
coppery flowers

who created this ornate fence? 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Don't think I'll be pulling any weeds here!
Just IN! 

JOHN has been selected as the "host" for the WEEKWORD! leave him a note HERE that you are interested in participating. 

Also, it you'd like to take a week as "host" let him know, as he is new to WEEKWORD & might appreciate someone volunteering.

So this week's word is: 


Found a quote to get me going... 

"The best performance improvement is the transition from the non-working state to the working state."

Great word, huh? lots to work with!
Pass the WEEKWORD along - let's keep this alive!

Monday, January 24, 2011


10.1.10 ~ Henry Miller Library, Big Sur
"Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for life."
~  Emil Nolde

Using crutches is HARD!!

My armpits are sore...
(even though I'm not resting my arms on the crutches)

My hands feel tender...

Scooting up & down the stairs leaves me breathless...

 Can't believe I have to be on crutches for 6 weeks ~
I'm sticking around home for the next few days!

 Met with the DR this afternoon ~
(who the heck is "Jones"? the Doc told me 
a lot of basketball players get "Jones" fractures) 
Got an "air-cast"... 
old "leftie" feels well-protected now!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


pic taken 9:00am ~ 1.22.11

"What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we 
least expect generally happens."
~Benjamin Disraeli,
British Prime Minister, parliamentarian, Conservative statesman & literary figure

Gloriously beautiful, clear, blue skies... soft breezes gently blowing our hair... FRIDAY evening... the busy work week behind us!

JPE & I were walking down Chorro St near the SLO Mission....

Checking the view...

Didn't see "a crack" and...
broke my "mother's back"...

NOPE ~ it turned out I broke a bone
in my left foot!

Our date-night was spent in the emergency room - getting X-rays & a "horribly large" fracture cast. Looks like the weekend will be spent watching HGTV (mindless viewing!) & some computer time (thank goodness for blogging)...

Will see the Dr on Monday to check swelling & get a more permanent cast...

Interesting trivia: JPE fractured a bone on the SAME foot & the SAME metatarsal in 2004!

Friday, January 21, 2011


mischievous... looking for trouble
lively... constantly in motion
shrewd... cunning personality
photo found:
~ PUCK ~ a mischievous sprite in English folklore!

Carmen from TAILS OF A BIOMOUSE selected 
as the WEEKWORD...

Surely ~
you'll agree with me 
that PUCK qualifies as a character 
with a "MERCURIAL nature"...

definition HERE.
bloggers with MERCURIAL interpretations 
are listed at Carmen's BLOG

... Another example of ART in DOWNTOWN SLO
NOTE: all pictures taken by me except for the fourth one down

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Vandenberg Rocket Launch ~ 1/20/11 @ 1:09pm

Q: What's 23 stories & leaves a white tail?

A: It's the "Slick Six" (Delta IV Heavy) ROCKET!

fifty-seven miles away, the "twenty-three story" rocket was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, CA.

a crowd of observers stood in the work parking lot...

we didn't experience the window vibrations reported in the news... 

instead, we were treated to a twisty, rippled, snow-white vapor trail as it etched its way across a crystal clear, blue sky...

here's the story from the Los Angeles Times:,0,2699692.story

fortunately, I had my Canon PowerShot SD880 IS...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Carmen @ TAILS OF A BIOMOUSEis hosting WEEKWORD...  Come on over & PLAY... this is sure to be a "LiVElY" post for many blogging participants...  Need some help with a definition? M-E-R-C-U-R-I-A-L...
~ adjective

  • changeable; volatile; fickle; flighty; erratic: a mercurial nature. 
  • animated; lively; sprightly; quick-witted. 
  • pertaining to, containing, or caused by the metal mercury. 
  • of or pertaining to the god Mercury. 
  • of or pertaining to the planet Mercury. 

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011


    Osos & Monterey St ~ near Pottery Barn
    "Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, 
    and paints his own nature into his pictures."
    ~ Henry Ward Beecher, prominent Congregationalist clergyman, 
    social reformer & abolitionist

    Santa Rosa & Monterey

    ...another view ~ FREMONT THEATER utility box
    ... the real FREMONT THEATER ~ 1/12/11
    "SPIDEY MEN" ~ Santa Rosa & Higuera St
    ohh... more "SPIDEY MEN"
    Downtown today ~ located a few more UTILITY BOXES.... these were in the SLO County Courthouse area!!

    If you are interested in more UTILITY BOX ART ~ Look HEREALSO HERE.

    San Luis Obispo (SLO, pronounced S-L-O-W) has a lot of "Art in Unexpected Places"...

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    REDUCE.... REUSE.... RECYCLE....

    recycling bag purchased @1989 school fundraiser


    Recycle - Reuse - Reduce... So do YOU ??

    The WEEKWORD host is  
    Swing by her blog & leave a note in the "kommentarer" box if you are participating this week. 

    Her blog is written in Swedish, (I love the adorable letters with "circles" on top) but she writes WEEKWORD in English. 

    If you are interested in reading the other posts in her blog, Google has a free translation download HERE!

    FYI ~ working on my de-cluttering! Elisabeth picked a fabulous WEEKWORD to keep me focused on "simplifying my life." 
    BRRRR ~ 1.10.11 ~ back window of Honda
    For those of you living in the snow, this picture will be "no big deal"... but on the Central Coast of California, this is "chilly weather" for us... I grabbed my scarf & gloves!!!

    Sunday, January 9, 2011


    12.20.10 ~ Patio
    "Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."
    ~ Elizabeth Lawrence, author & gardener
    created Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary
    Charlotte, NC 

    When I purchased my condo in 1999, this little creature was left among the weeds in my patio area.

    Several years ago, one of my daughters asked, "Why do you still have that little duck? it doesn't seem like it really fits with the ambience of your patio."

    "Well, I can't get rid of it," I replied.

    "Why not? just toss it in a recycle bag," she answered.

    "It's the GARDEN GUARD-ESS! if I get rid of it, it would be bad "karma" for the patio & flowers," I whispered.

    The GARDEN GUARD-ESS sits proudly among the winter greenery...

    Friday, January 7, 2011


    KEW GARDEN ~ London, Summer 2010

    "Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating 
    the needless wants of life, 
    and the labors of life reduce themselves."
    ~ Edwin Way Teale, American naturalist, photographer, Pultizer Prize winning author

    The rush of the holidays left me breathless... out of energy... BUT also ready to welcome the NEW YEAR with a focus of "simplifying my life." I know, I've said this before, but this time I really mean it!!

    My garage is CHAOS & has been for two years now - living in a condo with a single car garage doesn't allow for the accumulation of possessions. AND, we have too much STUFF! so - I'm going to start the year by announcing that I want to de-clutter my life.

    I've been teased for reading these:

    actually, great quote resources
    So - no excuses!            
    First, we'll make a pot of...
     Chicken Tortilla Soup
    some soup ingredients from TJ's ~ pretty pathetic looking lime!!

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Simmer together for 8-10 minutes:
    • 1 can chicken broth
    • 1 16oz jar of salsa (medium heat)
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1/4 tsp cumin  
    • 2 chicken breasts, cooked & cubed
    Add & simmer for another 10 minutes:
    • 1/2 bag of frozen Mexican Corn (I use Trader Joe's)
    • 1 can pinto beans (drained, rinsed)
    • 1 can black beans (drained, rinsed)
    • 2 TBSP lime juice
    Top with the following: 
    • tortilla chips
    • sour cream
    • black olives
    • green onions
    • avocado

    It's "simply delicious" & easy to throw together!
    recipe can be doubled & frozen!!

    Our blogger friend from Sweden, 
    has volunteered to host. 
    Please check her website for the next WEEKWORD. The host generally posts the work on Sunday or Monday. If you lose track of the host, email or leave me a note in the comment box. I've been keeping a list of the words + host....

    THANKS for answering the call to revive WEEKWORD for 2011... I don't know about you, but this is the stimulation I need to stretch my blogging talents!

    Thursday, January 6, 2011


    Morro Bay Seagull cuts through a November Sunset!
     "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"
    ~ Leonardo da Vinci
    artist, painter, sculptor, architect, writer


    This week's participants:
    I can't wait to sit down with a cup of tea & visit everyone's blog... 
    There are several new WEEKWORD participants (WELCOME Blue Rose, Diana & Karen)... and many of you have returned after a short break from this weekly activity!  Thanks for the incredible response to participate!!!

    For those who are new... this is your opportunity to visit some new blogs, leave a comment, bookmark those blogs you want to revisit, and share your "creative spirit." ENJOY!

    We have a record number of participants - I think I'll be making  a "POT of tea" to have time to jump from blog to blog. 

    If anyone is interested in selecting the WEEKWORD for next week, please let me know via email (or in the comment section).

    Back to brainstorming my own post for "SIMPLICITY"...


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