Monday, May 30, 2011


JPE's freshly picked berry ~ 5.30.11

Does this remind you of 
Mickey Mouse's ears?

Sunday, May 29, 2011


OJAI ~ Art in the Park 5.29.11
"We should not forget to enjoy the experience 
of daily creativity, whatever that may entail."
~ Diane Carter, American artist

Purple & Black Giraffe

Needing a breath of fresh air - JPE & I took a day trip to OJAI for the Art in the Park festivities (sponsored by OJAI Art Center)... 

Having lived in OJAI for 15+ years, JPE was excited to find so much of this "artist enclave" untouched by mega-monster stores!

Art in the Park is held in Libby Park - located in the center of town! 
OJAI Post Office
This adorable, moving giraffe (the head bobbed up & down) greeted us at the entrance of the festival.

Although the festival was small (due to the size of the park), 20-30 juried vendors displayed their artistic talents as the notes of live music swirled among the leaves of the trees.

OJAI ~ Libby Park fountain

OJAI averages 85-100 degrees in the summer, but Sunday's weather was gorgeous with billowy, white clouds, an occasional dark cloud, and with the sunshine peeking through to "shoo" the chill away.

The OJAI Post Office is an exquisite example of the architecture of the city... and everywhere you look, the city has maintained that ambience...

MADE in OJAI ~ unique gifts...

The shopping arcade includes numerous shops that have been in business for many decades! 

More info can be found at the OJAI VISITORS BUREAU.

...oh, if you get tired of walking, you can catch a ride with the OJAI City Trolley (for free)!!!


RAINS, an up-scale gift store, with great prices, sells garden, kitchen and home items, as well as men's & women's clothing. I checked out a couple of pairs of Teva and Merrill shoes before deciding to wait until I can actually get my "SLOOOWLY-HEALING JONES FRACTURE" into something other than an athletic shoe. RAINS has been in business for 81 years!  

Another business that visitors & residents frequent is the OJAI Coffee Roasting Company... of course, we had to stop for a cuppa tea & to "people watch."

One "local gent" was wearing brown hounds-tooth pants, with a yellowed, weathered dress shirt, a black bolo tie, covered by a beige flannel sportcoat, and a pair of shocking pink (women's, obviously) sunglasses. He had on a pair of Keen sandals with beige colored polka dotted socks... a black felt hat covered his very tanned, weathered face & his snow-white hair swirled from underneath the back of his hat... what a character! He had a scruffy, dirty dog on a pink leash that he tied under the edge of the cafe table legs outside the coffee shop. I considered "asking" to take a pic of the dog, (an excuse to capture his essence too), but he got his coffee & took off walking for home!

This is NOT the "colorful gent's" dog! 

...but if you ever get to OJAI, you'll notice that "everyone" seems to have their dog with them!!

This dog was sitting near a bench at Art in the Park....

And - this teeny dog (with an attitude) was outside the OJAI Coffee Roasting Company...

JPE & I also drove by the two places he lived while in OJAI, and have decided we'd like to go back in the Fall (eh!! cooler temperatures) to celebrate our anniversary!

adorable from another angle ~ ART in the PARK Giraffe
Spending the day in fresh air, looking at pottery, woodblock prints, watercolor & oil paintings, jewelry, sculpture, photography, as well as "people watch" was just what we needed ~ before we head into our last few weeks of intensive, report-writing work before the school year closes for 2010-11.

How about posting a LINK (in the comment section) sharing your latest "creative experience"... would love to take a peek at your BLOG!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Mom's back patio ~ 5.6.11
"Why do we love certain houses, and 
why do they seem to love us? 
It is the warmth of our individual hearts 
reflected in our surroundings."
~ T.H. RobsJohn-Gibbings, (1905–1976)
British-born architect and furniture designer

LOVE my mom's place - we (JPE & I) think of it as our home-away-from-home. Lovely swimming pool; tennis court; hot-tub; places to run & walk; close to the La Mirada Library & places to eat. 

Mom & I just spent 90 minutes "chit-chatting" on the phone. We never run out of things to talk about!!!

Friday, May 27, 2011


SACRAMENTO ~ 5.24.11
My week was spent reading grants... four days... reading, making notes, discussing, determining a final score!

Sounds dismal?? 

Actually - it's exhausting... BUT, it also includes:

:: loads of laughing ::
(at meals with colleagues from all corners of California)
:: hotel "pampering" ::
(love the simplicity of having just the "necessities" for the week)
:: learning about programs, collaborative partnerships 
and implementation in the schools + communities ::
(rural, suburban & urban) 

:: work that continues to interest ME! ::

AND ~ it RAINED for two hours on Wednesday!! surprise! surprise!! California weather continues to be unpredictable... (like most of the rest of the country)

Arrived HOME Thursday evening ~ a DAY earlier than scheduled... all the grant readers were "speedy" at completing this task!! 

AHHH!!! my own bed!

Monday, May 23, 2011


JPE's wine barrel strawberry patch ~ 5/18/11
JPE made a OVER a GALLON of Strawberry Jam this past weekend!! 

We get our jam berries (smaller & oddly shaped) from Okui's in Arroyo Grande. Their berries are as big as apricots & juicy ~ you need to eat them over the sink. You can read the YELP reviews HERE!

A couple of reasons to eat strawberries:
  • Strawberries are low fat, low calorie; high in vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, potassium (way tastier than swallowing a handful of vitamins)
  • One eight-ounce cup of strawberries is about 55 calories (great news!!)
  • Strawberries are second only to blueberries when it comes to antioxidants in fruits (I'm a "red" lover, sorry "blue")
  • Strawberries are rich in fiber (anyone else appreciate being "regular"?) 
Have you had your strawberries today?

Saturday, May 21, 2011


pic taken 5.19.11 (O'Connor Way)

EMMA  has created a list of WEEKWORD participants over at her blog, THE GIFT SHED.

From a review of the participants in this week's postings, it seems many are experiencing the same "extreme change(s) in emotion" which is the "result of experiencing strong feelings (sorrow, fear, pity, or even laughter)."

I, too am feeling like I need something to "shake up my routine" ~ not sure what that is??
feeling directionless??
For the next few weeks, my schedule is a bit different - I'm watching LOLA this weekend... she's throwing her ball up in the air, trying to capture my attention!! will post pics later!

On Monday morning I'm headed to Sacramento to read grants... definitely different!

And I'm looking forward to some "restorative time" in July... one of the benefits of being employed in education!!!

We'll head to Big Bear Lake for some time to read, nap, scrapbook, blog and hopefully - HIKE!

BUT, in the meantime, when I'm feeling this way, I turn to NATURE... 

tidying the flowerbeds
capturing some photos
sitting on the patio

ALL restorative!! and NO-COST!!

over to EMMA'S @ THE GIFT SHED to see the list of  
WEEKWORD participants.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Friday, May 20, 2011


I'll bet you thought you'd see a picture of these???

pic from:
Ummmm... milk chocolate & white.... 

How about this?

found on Wikipedia
Now - that is black & white.... and smelly!

No - I like this BLACK & WHITE.... seen on my drive to work yesterday (back entrance to Cuesta College)...

pic taken 5.19.11 (O'Connor Way)
Not a cookie NOR a skunk... I've wanted to take this pic for a couple of weeks now! Yesterday, with camera in hand, under beautiful sunny skies, a slight breeze, insects buzzing - I captured this adorable cow! 

(side note: a big black truck buzzed by me, with a Cuesta student beeping & waving his cowboy hat - at first, I thought perhaps I looked kinda-professional with my camera propped on my car trunk OR ??? well, you know he couldn't tell my age from his speeding truck... I later realized, his excitement was not directed at seeing me... but he was most likely celebrating that he has taken his LAST FINAL for the semester!!!)

Anyway - back to my post!!! this is the BLACK & WHITE I was referring to... There's a herd of cows that have a white stripe around the MIDDLE of their bodies! So CUTE!

the cow pile (er, herd)... ha! couldn't resist!
Cheers to a fabulous weekend! 

Off to get my foot X-Rayed again. Wish me LUCK!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Long Beach Quilt Show ~ July 2008 ~ photo by ACE

"The shoe that fits one person pinches another; 
there is no recipe for living that suits all cases."
~ Carl Jung, Swiss Psychiatrist
My LIFE is swirling...

...although I have swelling on the top of my left foot, I have been able to slip on my "sturdy" (the Doctors word) Clark flats!! Good News!!

...the DOCTOR (recommendation) would like me to wear lace-up running type shoes ~ but I just don't think I can pull that off ~ considering they look odd with office attire. Urgghh!!

...AND ~ as much as I would like to be farther in the healing process ~ my "foot" seems to be taking it's "sweet-ole-time."

I feel like I'm "going in circles" ~ wearing a shoe (good day)! elevating the foot (end of day)! tender, swollen toes (Monday evening)! wearing the boot (tomorrow)!! GOOD NEWS - I haven't used the crutches in 2 weeks.

X-RAY on Friday! it's healing - but not fast enough!!! can't wait to be able to take 10,000 steps (where's my pedometer)?

Monday, May 16, 2011


Jan's cute glass jars with an altered TAG!

 "To be a person is to have a story to tell."
~ Isak Dinesen, author of the book, Out of Africa

This evening is our annual Writing Competition Celebration... SLOCOE (San Luis Obispo Co Office of Education) hosts this event which celebrates outstanding, exemplary writing in four genres - Personal Experience Narrative, Imaginative Narrative, Expository, and Poetry. First - Twelfth grade students from San Luis Obispo County will be recognized with a medal and certificate of excellence.

Coordinating this "CELEBRATION" is my responsibility (with support from my secretary & others in my work division)... we expect a "full house" tonight (around 375-400 students, parents, grandparents, teachers, superintendents, etc)...

Final tasks today:
  • pick up balloons, flowers, cookies!!!
  • decorate stage area w/balloons, flowers, crepe paper
  • review script with Superintendent (1/3 of the student names are VERY different - not the usual "Christy, Jack, Stephanie, Larry, Jodi, John, Allison, David, etc")
  • mic check, welcome guests
  • and CELEBRATE 137 winning authors!!!

Whoo-hoo! Off to work I gooooo!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Mom's SUNFLOWERS ~ Mother's Day 2011

Were you worried about the retrieval of YOUR posts? I hadn't really thought about it... UNTIL... I noticed several backdated (doesn't everyone do that sometimes?) posts were missing!!

I had posted from Panera's (free internet), Monday & Tuesday, and only one appeared ~ with Wednesday's date! (but on Friday) and the other never appeared? 

Well - I think I'm more attached to my blog than I had thought. Actually, it IS a sort of DIARY (hence, the backdating of some posts) to remind me of the RAMBLINGS of my life, as well as pics I used. Often my posts have nothing to do with daily life happenings... but a chance to preserve a PHOTO by posting it with a QUOTE!

So - I'm pondering getting a "domain" - I hope that's what you call it? I guess, I better read up before I go messing with my blog. AND - I do know that would require a skilled webmaster to assist me. Ummm... maybe I'll just "tuff it out" with BLOGGER?? 

What would / are you doing if you use BLOGGER? Just asking???


"Keep your face to the sunshine and 
you cannot see the shadow. 
It's what sunflowers do."
~ Helen Keller, first American woman
to earn a BA in spite of being deaf-blind

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


A mother is a person who seeing there are only
four pieces of pie for five people, 
promptly announces she never did care for pie.
  ~ Tenneva Jordan

SLE & ACE call me OMO!!

When SLE was in college, I was responding to an email & I accidentally signed "OMO" instead of MOM.

I've been called OMO since that day... 

Hope you all had a fabulous MOTHER'S DAY!!

Friday, May 6, 2011


pics taken 5.6.11


Check in with CARMEN @ TAILS OF A BIOMOUSE!!! 
to see who's posting this week... if this week's participants are like me, they may have "racked their brain" all week figuring out their interpretation of GYPSY

When I see the word, GYPSY, the following words come to mind...

:: nomadic people ::
:: traveling caravans ::
:: colorful clothing ::
:: bangles, beads, glittery jewelry ::
:: entertainers, musicians, fortune tellers ::
:: laborers, farmworkers, tradesmen ::

Notice I listed the following: colorful clothing, bangles, fortune tellers?

GREEN, GAUZY SCARF (colorful clothing); BRASS, PURPLE & TURQUOISE (bangles, beads & glitter); TAROT CARDS (fortune teller)
AH-HA!!! this creates a GYPSY feeling... I think I dressed as a GYPSY for Halloween when I was 6-7 years old! I wonder if my Mom still has the picture?

JPE has studied Tarot for 30+ years, so it's natural that I would be "curious" about this experiential, interpretive practice for uncovering answers to your questions.

Due to my creative nature, I'm particularly drawn to the colors & pictures on the cards - actually, I have two decks, Waite & Morgan Greer... 

WAITE (left) & MORGAN GREER (right)
...both cards are the ACE of CUPS... similar, yet different. CUPS = emotions/feelings; ACES = start of something new! for me, this card is a "happy" card...

During our travels through Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary & Slovakia, we saw GYPSIES in the marketplaces & in the town squares. I thought of them as being family-oriented! but because they are nomadic, the children often don't attend school, so the schools tend to have a negative attitude toward GYPSY children (much like children of migrant farmers in California). But, I still admire them for their perseverance in keeping their culture & families alive, in what may feel like a disapproving environment.

Thanks CARMEN @ TAILS OF A BIOMOUSE for suggesting I take a journey through my travelogues to conjure up an image of GYPSY for this WEEKWORD!

Are you as curious about other interpretations? don't hesitate to check in with my vagabond, night traveling blogger, CARMEN for more about GYPSIES...
AND, I'm calling my mom to see if the Halloween pic of me, dressed as a GYPSY, is still in the photo box.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Sea-Bass @ Mom's 4.30.11
"How we spend our days is,
of course,
how we spend our lives."
~ Annie Dillard, author, 
Pulitzer Prize - Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

How did you spend your day?

mine was spent in front of a computer...
but... I enjoyed my drive to work!

didn't stop to smell the flowers!!

perched on some fence posts,
I saw three birds,
with their wings spread wide,
sunning themselves in the dewy morning...

I can't believe I left my camera at home!!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Prague, Czech Republic

Stop by CARMEN'S BLOG & let her know you'll be posting a WEEKWORD entry to your blog. 

This sweet organ grinder stood, played & entertained sightseers on the Charles Bridge in Prague.
I wonder...

:: Did he ever have a "real monkey" ::
:: How many years has he been entertaining ::
:: Is he following in the footsteps of his family profession ::
:: Is he a gypsy or performer ::

What do you think?

Don't forget ~ Stop by CARMEN'S BLOG...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

CELEBRATED... 80 + 7 + 4 YEARS!!

Heart-shaped Cookies + Lemon Bars + Chocolate-dipped Strawberries
Fruit & Cheese Platter
Tuna Puffs + Asparagus Flatbreads + Cheese Quiches

Scones & Clotted Cream + Jam + Ice Tea

My sister-in-law treated 
the "GIRLS" 
to a
(Saturday, April 30th)
to celebrate
:: Mom's 80th Bday ::
:: Kaitlyn Rose's 7th Bday ::
:: Ada Camille's 4th Bday ::

flowers, dressed-up girls & party favors
(bracelets, scented candles & salt water taffy)

party favor "bracelets"
SLE (from Washington DC) & ACE (from Sunnyvale) flew in 
with their GUYS for the celebration...

the Tea Party GIRLS met up with
(following the Little League games)
for games, more giggles, & Italian food....

after a full-day of celebrating
we managed to gather the 
two dozen family members
for a group photo!!!

of course, it's censored!!!
due to the
sticky hands, tearful children, raunchy jokes & shiny faces!!!

it was a
MEMORABLE Celebration!!
ITCHING = Mom's recent skin condition
ACE captured our sentiments!!


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