Thursday, May 23, 2013


 Thursday morning... we're leaving on a jet plane!!

NOPE!!! not JPE & I...

but, the two girls in RED!

I'm traveling with mom (who celebrated her ?? birthday, May 3rd)
& Katie (who turned 9 on Cinco de Mayo)...

Sadly, we are leaving the "gal in the purple & gray plaid" behind...
She needs to take care of Derek & Matthew!

Oh, you're asking where we are GOING?

Ummm... ALL "history-lovers" need to visit 
the Smithsonian Museums & Washington DC...

psst! we get to visit SLE & MB & Sea-Bass too! we're staying in Arlington, VA --- only five Metro stops from Washington DC.

We'll be posting our adventures!
so, check back tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Tuesday evening, JPE & I looked out the upstairs bathroom window
& this is what we saw!

"SOMEONE" was laying in the grass, peeking into the rose garden!!!
trying to figure out how to get inside the wire fence
to nibble on the green, tender, new foliage??

blurry! I know...
no time to focus properly! I wanted to capture a picture before our "SOMEONE" decided to leave!

it was comical - I stood on the kitchen counter to shoot
the first two pictures through the kitchen window!

With a keen sense of hearing,
"SOMEONE" slipped behind the brush in the greenbelt behind our condo. Can you see "SOMEONE" watching us?

We'll be watching to see if our new rose buds get nibbled to little stubs...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

P52 {WEEK 20}

SLO County Writing Celebration 5.20.13
Celebrating & recognizing
first-twelfth grade authors!
Last evening, our office (San Luis Obispo Co Office of Education) hosted an awards ceremony to recognize 126 selected authors for this year's academic writing event. ArtsObispo, our local arts council, assisted with the expenses of the event & designed the programs, plus an anthology of winning entries. 

As much as I LOVED formatting, creating and editing this ANNUAL PUBLICATION, it was a great relief to have someone else produce an anthology! Kristi (support staff for this project) & I would spend at least 4-5 weeks putting the SLOCOE publication together. With budget cuts to education, those days are gone, so having agency support was crucial to keep this academic venue preserved.

ArtsObispo also coordinates the local Poetry Out Loud Competition (for high schoolers), a national poetry recitation competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation

One event completed, another to go! Tomorrow evening, our local ADL (Anti-Defamation League) advisory board will recognize all the schools & after-school programs who participated in three student-identified projects.

Other than painting & putting our condo back together, I haven't had my camera out...

master bedroom & this bathroom were both painted last weekend... 

Ecru... a nice color to tone down the previous "sage green" tones in these rooms.

the "Creole Cottage" color really warmed up the guest bedroom...

still need to bring in books, hang pictures, etc...

but, the bed is made! 

OKAY Mom... book your visit for June!

I'm participating in Tamar's P52 Project... posting pictures from the previous week (similar to Scavenger Hunt Sunday)... You can see the other participants HERE!

Tomorrow, I'll share details about my next camera adventure! See you Wednesday!

Sunday, May 19, 2013


SHS 5.19.13 
Welcome to SHS - A LOT of painting has taken place in the past NINE days! We've completed painting the hallway, living room, dining room, guest bedroom, master bedroom & master (it's tiny!!) bathroom... and been going to work! Whew!

All my photos this week have been pulled from my photo archive of PERU. I don't believe I've posted any of these yet, so I consider them newly "scavenged" since I had to sift through 2000+ photos to find a match for this week's words: THREE, HAND(S), FENCE, CUDDLY & SIGNS

ASHLEY & RAMBLING & PHOTOS is still hosting SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY, so stop by to see the other "hunters"...

THREE blue slides --- seen at a park in Lima, Peru. Set along the ocean, this park in MiraFlores, is located in the "higher economic" area of Lima.

The HANDS of an 18 year old weaver!  near Cusco, Peru. I posted a bit about her HERE --- we purchased a table runner from her.

I couldn't decide which HANDS photo to post! so, I'm posting two!! Lucio, our tour guide in the Amazon River (Peru) showed us a seed pod that can be cracked open & the seeds smashed to produce a brilliant red color that women use on their cheeks & lips.

Laundry hanging on a FENCE...  People in the community of Indiana, (Amazon River) Peru do not think of FENCES as boundaries or divisions between two pieces of property... this FENCE was built in the middle of a public road, across from the public elementary school.

Two little girls (sisters?) CUDDLING with each other. They lived in an "emerging town" on the edge of Lima. The town was a series of dwellings with compacted dirt floors, some with running water, doors & windows. Our tour group purchased soup from a public kitchen that provides food for the community.

SIGNS in Peru... we bought the "tastiest" empanadas (meat & potato pies) at the Horno Tipico on the road to Pisca, Peru. The middle SIGN lists the various drinks available for purchase in the local bar (Indiana, Amazon River, Peru)... we tasted Inka Kola (a syrupy, fruity yellow drink). In Cusco, Peru, we saw this costumed man holding a SIGN reminding people to "use the crosswalks"... our tour guide reminded us that Peruvian drivers do NOT stop for pedestrians!!

Well, that's SHS for now! As always at the end of the school year, it's a time of awards, celebrations & recognition ceremonies. I'm co-hosting two this week (Monday & Wednesday evening)... AND, I've put my paintbrush away until the end of the month. Check back Tuesday & I'll tell you why!!

Friday, May 17, 2013


quote by Lorraine Hansberry
Loving the fresh new paint... getting our condo put back together... 

painting the master bedroom today!

My friends keep asking if "I'm sore" from all the body contortions required to tape the room, paint & the constant up & down the ladder(s).

YES - I'm sore! but I'm GRATEFUL my mid-60 year old body is holding it together!

Well, off to "don" my painting colors
(old exercise clothes)...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Tues 5.14.13
I'm a bit over-organized when it comes to painting! I place all the supplies in the middle of the floor, then move the drop-cloth as I progress around the room.

Mix a couple drops of vanilla to mask the paint smell! You DO know that trick, don't you?

Isn't this color PRETTY? Creole Cottage by Sherwin Williams... Oh, my favorite paint brush is a PURDY! (and NO, I didn't receive any free samples or payment for these comments).

Taping & cutting in - it's more difficult with crown molding. Urrghhh!

By dinner, the job was almost complete. Only the alcove needed to be painted! Just a note - that piece of furniture can only be moved forwards & backwards (it requires several strong men to tip it up and move it back into that space). Unfortunately, I painted the alcove at the end of the day... which required me to s.q.u.e.e.z.e behind the chest... a confession - I got a bit sloppy with the paint brush. 

BUT, guest room painting is now completed!

Planning to paint the master bedroom on Friday.

Not the "best" pictures... but was focused on documenting the day & getting the painting done!

Monday, May 13, 2013

P52 {WEEK 19}

A few snapshots from my past week!
posting with
Tamar @ Random-osity

JPE & I painted the dining room!
talked to Allie, Stephanie, Natasha & Lydia!
a fabulous day!

sunshine + a light breeze = GORGEOUS weekend!

welcoming a new member to mother-hood!

this is what happens when you don't drain the garden fountain!

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Baby Shower for a new Mom!

"Motherhood has a very humanizing effect.
Everything gets reduced to essentials."
~ Meryl Streep


Quick post (JPE's out running!)
& we'll be starting another day of painting! 

This week's SHS (find the other participants at ASHLEY'S) words are: PERSPECTIVE, GOLDEN, DARK, LOCAL & BLOOM.
(sorry for the weird spacing between photos - no time to fix)
Well, this is turning out to be a very productive weekend, from my PERSPECTIVE. We painted the upstairs hallway (not an easy task!! due to the height & placement of the steps) & the living room. Today, we'll paint our small dining area.
Difficult to see the GOLDEN look of the paint from this viewpoint. I'll have more pictures when we are done (still have the baseboards taped off). See the pretty ceiling? no more cottage cheese... ah!
This is a stretch! we've been working on our "update" (I've changed our project from "renovation" status to "update" because we are at the painting stage now) from the time we get home from work until DARK & we're ready to fall into bed. 
OH... bear with me! this is my interpretation of LOCAL. At work (that's pretty LOCAL, huh?) we held a baby shower for a first-time mom-to-be! our staff loves parties, especially potlucks! what a joy to welcome a new baby to our work family! yippee!!
Saved the prettiest picture for last! JPE's roses are BLOOMING. As soon as the downstairs is settled, we'll bring in vases of these gorgeous, fragrant BLOOMS.

Well, JPE made some pancakes to fuel our activity...
off to slip on my painting clothes!

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Sorry for the different shades of light!
these photos were taken at different times of the day.

Our condo is 30+ years old. The contractor told us there was not much we could do to make the staircase look better (prettier... is what I asked for!!) when the condo's were built, there wasn't any thought that the stairs would have anything on them BUT carpet. Hence, the "block, rough, utilitarian look"...

This is our solution. Utilitarian carpet (but, it's pretty) and wood toe-boards!

Monday, May 6, 2013

P52 {WEEK 18}

dust from the renovation - covering my camellia
On Saturday, bright & early (7:00am) our renovation crew arrived... ready to complete the master bedroom floors, work on the crown molding in the bedrooms, "mud" the new wall in the bathroom & pick-up the trash from Friday afternoon.

Wanting to stay out of the way, we gulped down a second cup of coffee & headed to the "big-box store" in SLO to pick up a shower rod, a couple replacement closet poles & check out the area rugs.

possible rug for living room?
See Canyon, Avila Beach

JPE stopped off the highway, so I could capture a few photographs...

the thick, soupy, coastal FOG muffled the sounds of the valley... 


... to the squeaky metal of the rotating windmill, as the sound drifted off the rolling hills...
... the rustling of the grass & the snorted greeting from this inquisitive beauty...

... such peaceful sounds in contrast to the hammering we left at home.

We spent the rest of the morning at our computers (yes, at work!!) enjoying the silence of the empty office.

linking w/TAMAR for P52 {Week 18}...

Sunday, May 5, 2013


SHS 5.5.13
What a whirl-wind week! Our condo RENOVATION started last MONDAY (here's Day 2) & we just completed the walk-through! I'll share photos & fill in some of the details in another post. It will take a few days for the "dust" to settle so during that time, we'll be bringing some of the furniture back in. After the dust settles, I'll start painting.

I'm taking a break from sweeping, mopping, dusting to post some SHS findings. Hope to have some time to blog-hop & see what everyone else has posted!


Indiana, (along the Amazon River) Peru
Every so often, I look through my photo archives for SHS photos (it's a shame not to share them). The photo on the left shows an example of two houses that float on the river. If you look through the doorway of the blue house, you'll see a man sitting in a chair in the BACKGROUND. Due to the humidity (& the cost), most doors & windows have no coverings.

El Camino Hospital, Mountain View
Usually you visit museums to see fabulous art, but this hospital has incredible artwork. The smooth ceramic background was adorned with lines of colorful, raised DOTS --- appearing almost like necklaces of stringed pearls, hanging from a woman's neck! Simply, lovely!

See Canyon, Avila Beach (along Hwy 101)
Living along the ocean, you get used to the "coastal fog" --- as you turn inward, the WEATHER generally changes to sunshine! NOT this week - even in San Luis Obispo, we had drippy, damp fog!

JPE mopping up the dust!
Wanting to get some furniture moved back into our house, JPE & I started cleaning up the dust just after the crew started this morning (7:15am). Our place was "buzzing" with MOTION (between four guys & JPE & I)... we signed the final check at 3:15pm.

Cuppa JOE?
Recognize the hand-drawn logo on the coffee cup? That's right! there were several Starbuck's in Lima, Peru. SWEET (adorably creative) sign --- nasty coffee! it was actually Nescafe. Although Peru grows coffee beans, it is A.L.L exported. The only coffee you can buy is instant --- yep! surprising, huh!!!

Well, this closes another week of SHS. Next week's words are: PERSPECTIVE, GOLDEN, BLOOM, DARK & LOCAL.

See you tomorrow!


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