Tuesday, February 28, 2012


flower @ Bayside Cafe ~ Morro Bay
this was a SPLENDID DAY
incredibly productive at work!!!


and this morning was C.H.I.L.L.Y....

Sunday, February 26, 2012


pic taken 2.26.12
IT'S THAT TIME OF THE WEEK... SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY!! I was telling JPE that I felt guilty about devoting a lot of my Sunday to "BLOGGING" ~ taking photos, editing photos, reading & commenting on other blogs... and pinning on PINTEREST. BUT, he reminded me to DO WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY

Yesterday, we spent much of our day tidying up the garden area, moving the walking stones, pulling weeds, and spraying fungicide on the roses... so, by the time our evening rolled around, although we had plans to go to the movies, we ended up staying home & watching "CHOCOLAT" on DVD.

Oh... how I love my weekends... but, don't you find they sure speed-by?

But, enough of that ~~~ this week's SCAVENGER HUNT words are:

from Sundance catalog
Confession... I bought this at World Market! {love that place} Of course, it was on sale after Valentine's Day ~ so that sealed the deal...

I really wanted the wire hanger from the Sundance catalog, but they were sold out... the difference is hearts or hooks {World Market version}.

My choice for something that's CROSSED...

Want A GLIMPSE into our summer travel plans? we've booked an OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel) Tour to Peru. We're keeping our pre-travel books handy... I've started to make a mental list of photos I want to capture on our tour. If any of you have traveled to Machu Picchu or the Amazon Rain Forest, I hope you'll consider sending me an email so we can chat about your experience.

Here are my Grandma Jesse's {maternal} diaries from 1947-49... these were the years my parents met & began dating, married & started their family. I turned the page to the day I was born... my Grandma documented everything... what was eaten for dinner, the chores completed for that day, what bills were paid & the cost, which errands were run, the high school & pro football teams scores... what they watched on TV (they watched a lot of wrestling)... even their pinochle scores. It's such a treat to see her HANDWRITING & read her dailies!

BLISS for me!!! sitting in my great-grandmother's rocker, reading magazines & sipping a cuppa tea or coffee!

Gosh, without resorting to taking a picture of the GRAY sky or my GRAY pants... I really struggled with what to post??? so, I went to my photo archives & posted photos from another SHS... personally, I like the original color shot! how about you?

Well, that wraps up this week's SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY... if you aren't participating, hey, I think you're missing out! You have until Tues 2.28 to post your photos... visit Ashley at Ramblings & Photos to see the other 120+ participants postings...

Next week's words are:

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Hwy 227 ~ back road to Arroyo Grande

:: LooK ::

I forgot about these pics!
{IPhones take pretty great pics}

:: Last Night ::
 drove the back road home from work

:: Tonight ::
got this pic in a text message!!!

:: Too Cute ::
*Hat* + Lola
{knitting by ACE}

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Railroad Museum ~ Sacramento ~ 2.8.12
Is this referring to my

:: FOCUS ::

ummm. time will tell.

participating in Wordless Wednesday HERE & also HERE!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Big Bear cabin ~ 12.27.11
When I was looking in my "pre-planned blog posts" folder {you have one of those don't you?} I found this photo w/a quote.

My good friend, Mandy @ IN MANDYLAND & I  were talking about her blogging schedule... she writes multiple articles a week {here's her latest WANDERING THE WEB post} that bounces you at a "rabbit's pace" reading her material... She's a prolific writer, single mom of a preschooler & kindergartner, works 40+ hours a week between her position involving semi-professional clothes & one she's allowed to work in casual clothes {I'm thinking jammies or sweats}. She's also spends time in her garden... canning everything {plus more - she found a surplus of tomatoes in SEPTEMBER & canned enough marinara to feed an army}... oh, & she just started another blog, SIX KITCHENS, to document six families & their supper club recipes.

Oops... a bit of a bird walk... anyway, Mandy told me about putting items in a blog folder that you can use when you don't have time to writehave writer's block OR just need some inspiration. Reflecting on my teaching experience, I'm thinking of this as my SUBSTITUTE PLANS. HA! you thought I'd actually show what's in my "pre-planned blog posts" folder... not a chance!

Anyway, this folder includes photos, quotes, & anything that provides inspiration. Today is one of those days I needed some inspiration.

This FLU BUG {now} BRONCHITIS {my mom thinks I have walking pneumonia - which is actually a term meaning you aren't sick enough to be put in the hospital, but you aren't well either} has put me out of commission --- for my paid position. This is only the second day of work I've missed, BUT, February has a lot of holidays & I took two non-duty days SOOO... I'm feeling out of touch with my work-work {paid position} & don't feel perky enough to figure out what I want to do while I beat this bug. Blog hopping, checking out PINTEREST & watching HGTV aren't appealing right now...

Remember my OLW {One Little Word}... I chose the word FOCUS. So, today, I decided to FOCUS on some ideas that make me smile...

:: NATURE ::

So, the first photo is an example of something from my "pre-planned blog posts" folder {with a FOCUS on NATURE & BIG BEAR LAKE} & the following are examples of "out takes" {blurry photos I'm contemplating deleting} that FOCUS on PLAYING WITH MY CAMERA & SETTING UP PHOTO SHOOTS.

BARBIE! when are you coming by to pick these up?? 
I want them moved out of my garage....

These don't belong to BARBIE!... check out the size of these baskets!!
that's an American penny {for comparison purposes}

So - if the owner of these items will let me know if she wants them back... I'd appreciate it...

ACTUALLY, it's FUN to take pictures of the items I have around the house {or in the garage, in this case}.

And, THANKS MANDY for the blogging tip!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


If you have elementary age kids, you'll recognize this guy!
Haven't posted much this week - more about that later!! Today is SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY & although I hadn't thought much about the hunt... I've managed to pull together a post.

So, without further delays... this week's words are: 

What a LOVE-LY surprise! On Thursday, there was a small package in the mail --- MOM gifted us a new set of pillowcases! They really "cozied-up" the guest bedroom - in fact, I've taken several naps in this room over the past four days! battling a FLU-BUG... I N.E.V.E.R nap, but these do make taking a nap LOVE-LY!! check out the bold HEARTS

A bit of RAIN this week... some scattered clouds... captured the moisture on this pair of flowers --- do you think this qualifies as an example of something DUPLICATED?

Ten years ago, I never would have predicted I'd be spending an afternoon break, sipping a coffee with my granddaughter, Lydia {currently an 8 year old}? I'm certainly N-O-T a trend-setter... BUT, JPE & I should have predicted this TREND based on the following picture of Lydia {dated January 2006, when she was 2}!

via Amazon.com

Another TREND... notice Lydia's blue tshirt & the first picture in this post... 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series is a current reading TREND with the elementary school population. 

When kids are asked what they like about the book series... their response is:

"the cartoons"

"the jokes"

"the stories make me laugh"

if you haven't taken a peek at this TREND, check HERE!

Last Sunday, on the way home from visiting mom, I stopped at my favorite scrapbooking store... Scraparazzi {Whittier, CA}.  OOPS! sorry Mom!! didn't tell you I was making this stop!  This store has amazing PAPER --- and I L-O-V-E PAPER!
In fact, quite often I use scrapbooking PAPER as the background for my pictures. You can see another glimpse of scrapbook PAPER as backgrounds in this picture or also here! scrapbook PAPER is also used here!

Was looking for something in the garage --- remembered these were stored there!! wonder if Barbie is planning a trip to the beach for her Spring Break?? Maybe I should let her know she left these PLASTIC glasses & visors in my garage!!

Wanna join in the SCAVENGER HUNT for next week?? The words are: CROSSED, A GLIMPSE, HANDWRITTEN, BLISS & GRAY

It's great fun & I know ASHLEY would enjoy your participation. Check in with her at Ramblings & Photos

Friday, February 17, 2012


it's quiet here! 
JPE's in Cincinnati, OH visiting HIS DAD... 
I've been watching some HGTV,
pinning on PINTEREST,
took a nap today, &
got some laundry done!
{stripped both beds, laundered the mattress pad,
all blankets & a couple of pillows}

I love freshly cleaned bedding!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


participating in Wordless Wednesday 
~ other participants can be found HERE! & HERE!! & also HERE!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


"LOVE begins at HOME, and
it is not how much we DO... 
but how much LOVE
we put into the ACTION."
~ Mother Teresa

Sunday, February 12, 2012


JOIN ME in visiting Ramblings & Photos (Ashley's blog) where over 150 participants in SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY yesterday. 
I was visiting family & didn't get to a WiFi site... so I'm posting late (I consider anything after NOON on the SUNDAY of the scavenger hunt to be late! but Ashley encourages participants to post no later than Tues at midnight).
This is from my photo archives ~ the girls are here & there!
I think my girl's eyes are their best FACIAL FEATURE!
Candle light SHADOW... I've taken other pictures of this chair...
always trying to capture the SHADOW.
Before I left my mom's I took a picture of this plate... we know it's been in the family for years,
but with no visible markings, it could be something from a "5 & Dime" store??
 the lovely GOLD painted edging really sets off the border, don't you think?
Okay ~ this really isn't anything SPICY... but, use your imagination! this is a fan my parents 
bought in Spain... it shows some fancy dancers... tango, flamenco, salsa ~ 
those are all pretty SPICY {sassy} dance moves!
Don't you love these FABRICS? this is a small table runner at my mom's! My mom is a quilter / seamstress / mender etc. Of course, she has a cabinet filled with quilts, so I could have shared her "stash" of love-ly, cozy warm bed coverings... but, I'll save that for another post. 
She has a knack for selecting complementary fabrics {some quilters are much better at fabric selection}... but, it could be I'm used to the way she puts together a quilt pattern?? 

Originally, I thought I would use the next photo for my FABRIC post... I was visiting ACE & decided to document the pillowcases she's received from her NANA {my mom}... Remember my previous pillowcase post?

So, for my mom's benefit... here's Allie's collection of handmade pillowcases!
  • one = ACE is a knitter... and she decorates with blue & orange in her bedroom {this is her newest pillowcase}
  • two = she has a February birthday - three days away from Valentine's Day!
  • three = one Christmas, my mom made pillowcases for everyone in the family! {I think the year was 2002 & she made more than a dozen!!}
  • four = to commemorate the beginning of her knitting hobby
  • five = another birthday pillowcase with Valentine designs from the 40's
  • six = in college {CSU-Chico}, ACE was in the ballroom dance club - so this pillowcase has dancers on it {sorry for not showing more of the dancer fabric - it's adorable}
  • seven = this pillowcase was sent to ACE the first summer {2001} she was a camp counselor at Snow Mountain {residential camp outside of Nevada City}
So - check in with Ashley & plan to participate in SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY... the words for this week's hunt are: 
TREND or TRENDING {a photo that symbolizes a trend},

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


taken this morning!

As I was packing my car to leave for Sacramento this morning, (visited w/ACE & Lola in Sunnyvale last night), I looked up & noticed this HEART....

I'm sharing this with Chrissy over at cul*ti*vate... If you find a HEART, don't forget to post your blog link at Chrissy's.

It rained the 2 1/2 hour drive to Sacramento this morning... but, what a treat when I pulled up to the hotel! we're staying on the Delta King ~ docked on the Sacramento River...

 both pics are located at this website http://www.deltaking.com/
check out this adorable, historic hotel! Government rate... walking distance to Old Town Sacramento... READING GRANTS this week... it doesn't get any better than that!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


A bit late to the party ~ SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY snuck up... this week's words are: STRIKE A POSE, FOOTWEAR, HOBBY, SHINY, & COLOR ME GREEN

Loads of adorable STRIKE A POSE interpretations can be found at ASHLEY'S blog, RAMBLINGS & PHOTOS, the host blog for SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY. Click on over & see what's been posted.

{archived photos from Christmas 2011}
When I saw STRIKE A POSE, I just had to put the three dogs pictures together from last Christmas. From left to right: LOLA {visiting Big Bear Lake}, SEBASTIAN {chewing on his holiday present & YES, his fur is that shiny!}PEANUT {relaxing on the hearth at home}. JPE & I don't have pets, but we see them on our family visits...

Okay! Okay! I'm SURE everyone has some of these?... eh, FOOTWEAR "casualties." These are off to the rag bag because they've lost their mate

I have many HOBBIES... but my favorite is combining a love of stickers, scrapbook paper, and photographs into books. I created this book, LYDIA'S ADVENTURE, to commemorate her first TENT CAMPING trip with us.
This is not the actual book I made, but a color copy that was covered with clear contact paper. LYDIA'S ADVENTURE was laminated & adorned with beads at the top of the three ring binding. She was learning to read, so the story line was simple & included pictures from all the activities we had during that three day period.
I know there are digital book options {Blurb, Apple, Snapfish, etc}, but I still love the cutting, pasting, and gluing items down on chipboard. I think it keeps the treasured books a bit more primitive & personal. A bit FOLK-ARTY!

The red orb & silvery candle holder, set against the turquoise Native American table runner really "sparkle." I added a "mirrored frame" using PICNIK to accentuate & make these items very SHINY.
Have to say... I am going to miss using PICNIK's simple-to-use editing features. There's got to be a replacement that is user-friendly without costing a bundle of $$ and time to learn a new program. Surely there is a computer programer that could put something together for us "picknikers" to use? {Oh - if so, keep the sticker assortment ~ I love the variety}.

Don't you L-O-V-E this reptile?? such a vibrant turquoise-green body with lime green & chartreuse spots! I think this guy represents COLOR ME GREEN, just fine.

Don't forget ~ anyone can participate in SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY. The words  for this week's hunt are: FACIAL FEATURE, SHADOW, SPICY, GOLD, & FABRIC.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


visitor to our dining room ~ 2.2.12
Some days I have no idea what I plan to blog about! Generally, I browse my recent photos to see what looks promising. Then I find a quote that I believe matches the photo, in some manner {humor as in THIS POST; or thought provoking as in today's post; or even something QUIRKY}.

I took this photo a couple of days ago... we had an invasion of ants in our kitchen! There could have been several reasons for the "ant army" attacking us... JPE believed they were retaliating because we had taken away their access to the hummingbird feeders! I thought they came inside to get out of the cold, damp, evening weather.

BUT, I'm getting sidetracked! 

After hosing the ants off the trash can & washing down the patio, I came inside & promptly left for an afternoon work meeting. Upon my return, I was all prepared to wipe down the trash can dry when I noticed a touch of brown. Leaning close to the bath towel {used to sop up the water in front of the sliding door}, I found this was NOT MUD, but a teeny, tiny snail. As soon as the dining room light flipped on, that poor little snail wanted out... out... out... of the house.

Quick on the draw, I grabbed my camera, snapping a couple of pictures before he pulled his shell over him for protection. If you've read this blog for a while, you may remember I am NOT GOOD at taking pictures INDOORS, of CHILDREN or ANIMALS & now I can add, SNAILS. This little guy is blurry... but adorable none-the-less! Instead of flicking him outside with a "snap of the towel" {which I would do IF this was a potato bug}, I carefully removed him from the towel, set him on the smiling stone, and off he went.

Now, back to my blog post! 

I thought Harriet Beecher Stowe's quote, provided a "thought-provoking" statement... this idea is something JPE & I are working on!

Living simply... adopting a more European philosophy of life... buying fewer things & hanging onto them.

It's working ~ sort of ~ especially if you look in my closet... I have three pants I can wear for work, two pairs of work shoes, two casual shoes, some tops {90% are solid colors}, a dark brown purse & red purse {which I no longer like}... and a smattering of long-sleeve tshirts & camis for layering under sweaters, blouses, & jackets. I'm working on "purging the rest of the items" that haven't touched my skin in the last 6 months. AND, I'll see what I really miss, before I decide to go shopping! 

As for our household.... we've noticed we have more recycling than trash... although we ripped out our raised beds {in the garden area}, we still compost our vegie scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells etc & use this richness to feed our roses! Hopefully, we'll see more blooms than ever this year.

BUT, I have ONE little confession... we bought a new TV! yep, a flat screen... which is very unusual {we don't watch TV ~ in fact, the last time I turned on the TV, was January 11th & JPE was out of town}... BUT, JPE wanted to be able to stream programs ~ which is something our older TV cannot do! so, we are looking for a new home for our slightly used TV {which we've found that NO ONE wants because it is the old kind... big, hunky, but 12 years "young"}... any takers???

You see - some days, I have NO idea which direction my blog posts will end! AMAZING what energy a picture of a snail + a quote has!!! My mind works in mysterious ways! a bit quirky but that's okay!

As for JPE & I ~ we'll continue to work on living SIMPLY... how about you? how have you SIMPLIFIED your life? 

Friday, February 3, 2012


Kat Sloma ALWAYS finds a way to peak my interest ~ whether through her online courses which fine-tune my photography skills or helping defining my creative eye through photo composition ~ In her newest monthly offering, PHOTO-HEART CONNECTION, Kat is appealing to the photographer's inner thoughts ~ memories & their connections to photographs. Photos that tug at the heart! for whatever reason.

She asked us to review our JANUARY photo files for the one photo that "spoke to our heart" ~ after much deliberation, I decided on this photo.

Initially, I selected this photo for the rich red color of the London phone booth, which happens to be a Christmas ornament. Actually, we left this ornament out after the holiday season as a reminder of the three weeks we rented a flat in London to experience life in this bustling city!

The London phone booth brings back a FLOOD of memories...
  • watching families walk to work & school {from our 9th floor window}
  • buying groceries in the corner market
  • using the TUBE (daily} or relying on our feet to transport us on our next adventure
  • visiting {& revisiting} the London museums & famous landmarks
  • seeing four live performances on London stages {including the stage performance of WAR HORSE}
  • getting caught in a London downpour
  • stopping for tea time each afternoon

JPE & I documented our London adventure in this blog, starting HERE! with a post & pictures of our day's events.

What this picture also represents is the awe & wonder of really looking at the amazing architecture found in this city. Wandering the streets armed with day packs, we soaked up the energy from this sprawling city & marveled at brick, stone, intricate carvings, amazing ironwork gates & fences, and the canopies of well established trees shading the cobblestone walkways... ah! it's hard not become intrigued by the history, the people & the evolution of this cosmopolitan city... it's a true heart connection!

To learn more about Kat's PHOTO-HEART CONNECTION, please click HERE! the link to post your January photo is live until February 7th


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