Happy Thanksgiving

November 23, 2018

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and are enjoying time with family and friends.

We’ve had fires here in California, and our skies have been gray and heavy with smoke.  At times you can smell it, too, and it makes it difficult to breathe.  Miraculously, we had some rain begin on Wednesday.  It cleared the skies, and the smoke.  Yesterday, on Thanksgiving, I woke up to blue skies and glorious puffy white clouds!  I could see so clearly the hills by my house again.  The trees are turning and all around you can see vibrant yellows, oranges, reds, and browns.  In the sunlight, the leaves look fluorescent or like they are on fire.  I love driving down the street surrounded on both sides by fall color.  If it is breezy and the leaves are falling, it is magical.

IMG_5292

We had a great Thanksgiving.  My mom made the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and yams.  Soooo good!  I made the gravy (very important you know), and brought a pumpkin pie from Costco… the best!  The meal was perfect.  No mishaps, or overcooked turkey.  My brother was sick, and his partner had to work, so it was my poor dad with 5 women (my mom, Rebecca, two lady friends, and myself).  Let’s just say, he worked in the shop some, then watched football in his bedroom for most of the time.

 

I made place cards using magnolia leaves and a paint pen.  They turned out very nice and everyone enjoyed them.

I am thankful I have my freedom, a home, a family, food, and a job.  Not everyone has that.  I pray the people in the fire areas, especially those who lost their homes, have strength and the courage to carry on.  Community is so important.  It’s a shame sometimes it takes a disaster to bring us together.  We should reach out every day, say hello, offer service, hold a hand.  Lift people up, don’t bring them down.  The world just might be a better place.

82e1f9e980eb7d1514a2ea03c325d0da

I lost two friends in the past month or so.  I feel their loss and am thankful to have been blessed with their friendship while they were on this earth.  I know they are reveling in family and friends that had passed before them.  Vivian is dancing with Joann, and Patty is cooking for a crowd, and both of them are free of pain.  I look forward to seeing them when my life here has ended.

DSC_0413 (2)

I miss you, ladies…

Enjoy the rest of your long weekend.  Thank you for being here! Let the holidays begin….

IMG_4236

Brave Girl Symposium

Hello from Boise, Idaho!

Good morning from the Greenbelt along theBoise River. Took a beautiful walk after breakfast.  I am here once again for the symposium. Arrived last night,  and have a great room right across from the pool, water fountain and Sandbar with live music. Great band last night.

Registration, art rooms, and the Brave Girl Shoppe open in a half hour. Workshops this afternoon, then opening session tonight.  I’ve been through quite a lot since January… maybe fill you in another time.  Lots of sad times more recently, including the decline and passing of a dear family friend.

I can’t seem to figure out how to add pictures. I borrowed Rebecca’s iPad and don’t see a usb port. If I’m not able to do them while I’m here, I’ll have to add them when I get home… bummer.

Miss you, Patty!  Wish you were here.

Have a sunny day!IMG_4236y!

Oh, what a beautiful morning….

January 21, 2018

When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining through my bedroom windows, clear and bright.  That song from Oklahoma came to mind (which it often does), “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning, Oh, What a Beautiful Day”.  It was 8:13am and I couldn’t get out of bed; it was freezing!!  I stayed in bed for quite awhile and my mind started racing in all directions.  Ideas for a job I have a second interview with tomorrow, what to write on my blog, what pictures to share, what do I want to eat today, etc.  You know how it is sometimes; so much going on, the creative juices start flowing…you just have to get out of bed!!

Now the sun is hiding and it’s overcast.  I guess it’s supposed to rain the next few days.  We need more, so let it rain!

This week was very productive.  I applied for more jobs, had two live interviews and one phone interview.  Tomorrow is the second interview for one of them.  I really, really want this job.  An event coordinator!  Right down my alley!  I’ve been doing a lot of research, too.

Believe it or not, I made it almost 3 days without television.  A record for me.  On the third day, I did watch a movie that night.   I’ve done a lot of walking and being outdoors, journaling, and working on my Soul Shaker program (today is day 11). 

Later on Sunday afternoon last week, Bella and I took a walk around the neighborhood.  It was so cold, but I wore my boots, at hat, and gloves.  Only my nose got cold.

20180114_170828 (1)

There were lots of crunchy leaves.

In front of my house, my little white chrysanthemums are starting to sprout!  I can’t wait for the carpet of the daisy-like blooms all over.

20180114_170937 (1)

On Tuesday, Bella and I took a walk to the park.  A little warmer that day and the sun was shining.

20180116_124726

I collected some of these clover/shamrock leaves.  They look like hearts!

Why You Should Leave Clover in the Lawn

There are many good reasons why you should leave clover in the lawn. Clover in the lawn isn’t a weed. It’s a natural, gorgeous, nitrogen-producing factory that feeds your soil and the local bees. For more, check this out: https://homegardenjoy.com/site/2016/03/leave-clover-lawn.html

You may call them weeds, but I call them lovely!  Tiny daisy-like flowers dotted around in the grass.

20180116_124444 (2)

Check out this gorgeous dandelion flower…pre-parachute!

 

I love mushrooms (not to eat, I don’t care for them), and think they are so interesting.  Some are downright beautiful.  These were growing under the pine trees amongst the needles on the ground.

That night, I made pizza for dinner!  I made the dough in the afternoon, and left it to rise for three hours.  Made the sauce from fresh grape tomatoes (no canned), and used fresh mozzarella and basil.  It was sooooo good! 

On Wednesday, Angela hosted our vision board session.  It was very cool and very thought provoking.  Taking moments to think about what is important, and what I’d like my life to look like this year.

20180117_15451720180117_16541820180117_171115IMG_4323

My vision board for 2018!

I took some time to journal about my board and delve into each photo and word.  It was a good exercise to really reflect on what I’d chosen, why, and how to move forward and make it happen.

Thursday morning, the sun was shining in the kitchen window and bringing the vase of my little shamrocks to life.  I took them outside to play a bit.  I tried to create something, but it was too windy and they kept blowing away.

 I took them back inside to the kitchen, and created a “journey” of sorts.  As I kept adding the “hearts”, a thought came to mind; “coming home”.  I stopped for a while then added some more until I was satisfied.  I loved it.  It stayed on the counter near the sink until just this morning when I scooped them all up.  I held the leaves in my hand and rolled them around with both hands.  The smell was earthy and fresh; they felt so soft; and I just couldn’t get rid of them yet.  So they sit in a pile on the counter now.

Friday, after I had done a couple of errands, I stopped along Penitencia Creek near home.  I always love it when I walk along and listen to the water, I don’t know why I don’t do it more often.  We’ve had some rain, so the creek was moving swiftly, but not too high (not like last year when it overflowed).  It sounded amazing.  I need the sound of water in my life!!  Need to get to the beach, but that’s another story. Back to the creek; the banks were coming alive with fresh green grasses and budding bushes.  It smelled so fresh and clean, and the birds were singing their songs.  I could also hear the hawks, or some kind of birds of prey, screeching to each other and flying overhead.  There were a lot of cars going by on the road, but in-between them, the sounds of nature filled my heart and soul.  The smell of the eucalyptus trees was intoxicating.  I collected a few eucalyptus caps as a memento of the day. It was freezing by the way, and very breezy.  I wasn’t really dressed for the cold, and awhile later, I realized my face and hands were frozen!  Time to go.  When I got home, I had to turn the heat on and sit in front of the little heater to try and warm up.

I felt so grounded that afternoon.

Yesterday, I decided to go on an adventure (like I have on my vision board).  I went to History Park San Jose and took a walk around the grounds.  This place is a job opportunity and I hadn’t been there in quite a while, so I killed two birds with one stone.  It was sunny, but cool, and the lawns were that fresh spring green color.  A few early spring bulbs were blooming, but I can just see the rest coming alive soon.  And the roses, there are lots of roses freshly pruned for the spring.  I bet they will be beautiful.

I walked around and looked at the historical houses, the museums and current exhibit on migrant workers, very moving.  I wanted to get an ice cream at the ice cream parlor, but wanted to save my treat money for something else this week.  Not sure what that is yet.  The trolley was working, and I saw it go by several times.  When I was ready to go, the trolley was just getting ready for another journey, so I hopped on.  Not a long ride, but it is amazing that this is how many people in San Jose got around between 1880 and 1938.  My dad’s family came here in the early ‘20s.  I wonder if they rode on one.

IMG_4359

Above: This is where Michael and Rebecca both went in fifth grade for pioneer day.

20180120_134419

20180120_13594820180120_140242

20180120_144208

Taking a walk on the wild side (trolley tracks)!

I love genealogy and history, so this place is great. I have a lot of ideas!!

Well, a good week all in all.  I hope you had a good one.

Highlight of the week:

Lemons!  I’ve been trying to drink more water, and a large glass is so much better with a slice of lemon.  And my lemons are so pretty!

Wishing you sunshine, joy, and success in the week ahead!!

IMG_4236

 

Happy Sunday!

January 14, 2018

Hello again, this lovely, cool, Sunday.  It’s been a good week.  Hope you’ve had a good one, too.

IMG_4265

2018 Finding my true north!

Earlier in the week, I putzed around, trying to straighten a bit, gathering Christmas décor to put away in the attic.  I spent quite a bit of time going through all of my magazine collection, and finished with the last one last night.  On my coffee table are only those that are current.  Yay me!  Now I have lots of words and images for my vision board, and for collaging and journaling throughout the year.

Bella, Hope, and Charity are all doing well.  Here’s a little visit from them.

IMG_4242

Hope’s taking a little rest.

IMG_4243

Hope and Charity.

IMG_4257

Charity showing off her beautiful feathers.

Bella taking time to smell the flowers!

 

Check out these amazing pictures of a dandelion I sighted around the corner.

20180105_15175320180105_15183220180105_151847

Did you know that a dandelion is an herb?  I didn’t, and I didn’t know there were so many kinds.  Also, it can be used as an anti-inflammatory, and one cup of raw dandelion greens contains 112% of your daily required intake of vitamin A and 535% of vitamin K. Not that I’m endorsing this at all.  Just telling you what I read.  I love this, “After flowering is finished, the dandelion flower head dries out for a day or two. The dried petals and stamens drop off, the bracts reflex (curve backwards), and the parachute ball opens into a full sphere”.  I love the way it describes the “parachute ball’.  I’ve always thought that when you blow on dandelion seeds, they do look like little parachutes floating in the breeze.  Of course, you make a wish when you do this, but remember, when they land, a new dandelion will appear!  This ball is made up of myriads of plumed seeds or pappus, ready to be blown off when completely ripe, by the slightest breeze.  Although considered a botanical pest, the common dandelion is an amazingly complex and beautiful object”.  I’m not sure I’ve ever thought of a dandelion as beautiful, but the l do think the little parachutes are stunning.  Instead of making a wish with them, I shook the seeds into a little jar to save until I need to make a wish or two.  Maybe on my upcoming birthday!

IMG_4288

On Thursday, I began the Soul Shaker 90 day experience (a class through the Brave Girls Club).  Below is a quick description:

90 day spending freeze, except for $5 a week fun money!  Did $8 this week.  I bought myself some flowers.  For me, this will be the hardest.

90 day pared down wardrobe (I haven’t started this part yet).

90 day pared down menu.  Less food, healthier food.  I’ve also decided no food of any kind in a can.  Glass jars, okay, if needed.

90 days of gentle daily decluttering activities.  This week it has been the magazines!

90 days of daily connection activities.  I did join the Facebook group, and have added photos and comments, but I’m not into the social media thing, so this will probably not be a daily thing for me.

90 days of adventure challenges.  Going outside!  Doing pretty good with this.

I’m on day four.  So far so good.  Getting outside even though it’s cold.  Journaling and blogging when I had planned.  Wahoo!

I’ve covered my journal and am using it every day, generally because of the daily to-do’s of the Soul Shaker program.  Me, I have to be creative in all things, so my pages include doodles, pictures, and a saying or two. 

On Friday, Rebecca came over to help me put Christmas away, and my dad came to help with the boxes.  While he was here they both cleaned up the leaves and Daddy mowed the lawn.  Rebecca grabbed some lemons for grandpa, for her roommate, and a couple for me.  Oh, they smell so good!

IMG_4275

I love the smell of fresh cut lawn, especially when the sun shines on your face.

I took a few more pictures of my little “conservatory” vignettes.  The sun was shining through the windows.  I just love walking into this room!

IMG_4283IMG_4284IMG_4285

Yesterday, Saturday, was a wonderful day.  I decided to have a no technology day of peace and quiet.  Yes, no phone (luckily no one called), no texting, no television, no music, nothing.  I spent the day writing, finishing up about 5 magazines I found hiding, reading, spending some time in the backyard looking and listening, and I made myself some cupcakes.  Dangerous, I know.  But I’ve been craving one for a long time.  I had a box of cake mix (white, of course), so I made myself a treat.  They are soooo good.  I didn’t even frost them…yet.  Maybe I’ll frost some and deliver them to some family/friends tomorrow?  Anyway, it was so restful.  You can take a quiet day and watch a movie, or listen to your music, and it’s relaxing, but not in the same way it was with nothing else but the birds chirping.  Try it.  I’m planning on doing it again soon.

IMG_4281

Today, I went to Kaiser, and to the grocery store (bought my flowers), then home for a snack, writing in my journal, talking with Angela, and writing my Blog!  She’s doing dinner tonight, spaghetti squash with fresh tomatoes and basil.  Then a quick walk around the block.  It’s freezing out.

Highlight of the week:

When I walk around my neighborhood, I love to walk by the crepe myrtle trees and feel them.  Their bark is so beautiful and smooth.  I grabbed some shots one day.  If you ever have the chance to walk by them, stop, look, and touch their gorgeousness !

Lastly, I bought myself some blue hydrangeas for my treat this week.  I love hydrangeas so much.  Depending on the color, they can be airy, fragile, or bold, and they can produce huge blooms.  I have a couple in my yard right now, in pots.  I really want to get more and plant them in the yard.  I’d love them to grow big and bushy like the one that was in my grandma’s backyard.  It grew against the garage wall, and got as high as the roof!

IMG_4294

Have a great week!

IMG_4236

Happy New Year!

January 7, 2018

So, it’s the end of the first week of January, 2018.  Crazy!

The holidays were a little hard for various reasons, including me getting sick, and fracturing a rib the night before Christmas Eve.  I seem to get so caught up in hoping for a perfect Christmas that it flies by and it’s gone.  I think back on Christmases past, and I miss them.  Things change, children grow, people are “busy”.  Okay, so I am not too good at putting myself out there.  My head, my heart, and soul are pulling me in all sorts of directions.  I’ve been out of a real job since last February…almost a year!  I’m quickly running out of money.

Okay, enough of that!  Really!!  I’m going to say it now; who knows where this year will take me.  Will I keep up my resolutions?  I admit, I’m not good with follow-through.  You’ve seen that in my blog.  I get lazy.  I forget.  I get distracted by shiny objects, and flowers.  I stare off and lose track of time. 

I’ve tried this many times and it works for awhile.  Well, you know what?  That’s okay.  As long as I keep trying.  You know the saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”.  It’s true, it’s never too late to start again.

It’s time to write, to photograph, to create, to keep moving forward.  So, today, I begin.  Maybe I will inspire you to do the same, or try something new.  You could follow along with me.  I’d love to hear about your resolutions, and where they take you.  Let me know what and how you are doing.  Sharing experiences, what works and what doesn’t work, is very supportive, for everyone.

A friend of mine, Angela, has invited me to join a collaborative learning group.  We are starting on January 17th, the first new moon of the year, and creating a vision board, setting our intentions, hopes, dreams, and goals for 2018.  I’ve already started looking for great images and words in magazines.  You could do the same.  Join us if you’d like.  I’ll be sharing it soon.

A mess, but so much fun!

I am also going to try my very best to keep my blog up.  I really enjoy it, and love hearing from those it has touched.  This is a huge goal for me.  Any and all kinds of encouragement are welcome!

Lastly (for now), I am going to start a special journal.  I have many ideas running around in my head.  Some just pop in, some I’ve found on Pinterest, and some from other websites and creative, inspiring women.  If you don’t know what to write about, there are tons of ideas and prompts out there.  I am excited about this, and again, this is a huge goal…encouragement welcome!

I’ve decided on this mixed media book I had at home for my journal (not spending any money).  It has plenty of pages that are nice and thick so I can glue, draw, or paint them if I want to.  I’ve been looking through some images and quotes I’ve been saving (…for years – I’m always saving stuff like that), and these are a few I’ve chosen to begin with.  I’m excited to share with you what I’ve done next time.

From my garden.  Today is cold, cloudy, and foggy.  A great day to be indoors, writing, enjoying soft music, and taking in the view outdoors.  The music this morning is a playlist I created of my “Romantic Movie Favorites”.  Pelagia’s Song from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is playing right now.  Such a beautiful piece, and a wonderful film.

Looks like my succulents are wintering well!  Oh, and the lemons!!

Highlight for the week!

I made a few changes in my (former) studio, now a library/dining room.  I’ve brought all of my books down so I can see and enjoy them.  I love books, and I love reading.  I decided to organize the books by color.  It looks great, but it might be a bit hard to find the different books in a series.  I’ll see how it goes.  I’ve created little vignettes around the room, too…like pieces from a greenhouse or conservatory.  Wish they could all be real plants and flowers, but I’m working towards that.

Lastly, my new (recycled), big reading chair!  Okay, so I bought this at Goodwill a few weeks ago, but it was only $22, and the covers (three heavy, fringed curtain panels I found at The Thrift Shop in Willow Glen), only $6.  I covered it as best as I could, added a pillow and throw, and voila!  The perfect place to cuddle up with a good book.

IMG_4230

That’s my day.  I’ll be bundling up and taking Bella for a walk later…another resolution!  More exercise, and getting Bella out and about to stretch her legs.  She’s 11 ½ now, and getting a little slower, but she loves to check out the neighborhood.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year, filled with determination, gumption, and hope!

IMG_4236

 

August 11, 2017

Good morning!

Wishing you beautiful moments like this today.

Dahlia 8-9-17

My giant dahlias are blooming and the bush is loaded with these gorgeous variegated flowers.  I’m waiting for the deep purple ones, too, that should be opening soon.

Taking a peek at my garden in the morning before I go to work is a quiet, little pleasure that can help my day begin with peace.  Try it.  Before you get on the road, on the freeway with everyone just trying to get where they need to be, a little bit of beauty can go a long way with your spirit.

Have a good day, and a great weekend!

Home, Sweet Home

August 8, 2017

Hello again!  More of a whirlwind.  Just want to say hi and will catch up with the rest soon.

Rebecca and I just got home from another trip last night.  Our plane home was delayed almost 2 hours.  Sitting in a very busy airport is not much fun, but it did go by quick enough.  While I was sitting there, I realized I really am a “need time alone” kind of gal.

We went to Utah for my grandma’s family reunion.  We stayed with my cousin, Janet, and it was good to see her and her growing family.  The reunion went well and we had a bigger number than in the past several years.  Hooray for our Star Wars theme!

More on all of this later.  I just want to share a few photos

 The day we got there, Janet took us all to Ruby Snap Cookies in Salt Lake.  I signed their guest book.  Check out my nails!  The day before we left, I got them done.  I’ve never had “fake” anything, let alone nails.  I decided to go for it.  I like them.  Let’s see how they do when I work in the yard this weekend :).

Congratulations to Tressa and Zack!  Getting married in just a few weeks, and yes, we are going back to Utah again to celebrate with them.  Rebecca is in the wedding, too.

IMG_2920

On a beautiful, warm, Utah evening!

We took a drive up to Snowbird (Wasatch-Cache National Forest-Little Cottonwood Canyon-elevation 7760’) to check out the place their ceremony will take place.  Oh my gosh!!  It was gorgeous.  First of all, it was cool and breezy!  Lovely.  It was about 100 degrees back down in the valley.  Perfect timing for the mountain’s wildflower explosion.  I was in heaven, and felt so close God and nature.  I took a “few” pictures.  Here’s a couple of my favorites.

IMG_2927

Split Leaf Indian Paintbrush

IMG_2924

Big or Little Cottonwood Creek (not sure)

IMG_2938

Anyone know what this is? It was all over the Dean’s Delight trail.

IMG_2956

Surrounded by them!

We drove a little higher up the mountain and stopped at Albion Basin (elevation 9500’).  More and more spectacular views and displays of color.  Thanks, girls for waiting while I snapped my pictures!

IMG_3028

Lupine, Fireweed, and Richard’s Geranium. Such a lovely spot.

 

IMG_3019

Stunning purple lupine.

Like I mentioned, the family reunion went well.  Here we all are, Elaine’s family.  

 Yesterday, we helped with preparations for Janet’s youngest daughter’s bridal shower.  It was beautiful, and so was Tressa’s smile!

IMG_3248

Beautiful Bride to Be

IMG_3257

Janet and Me

IMG_3234

Mom and Rebecca

Home now, and so happy to be.  Sitting here at the computer looking out at the flowers blooming in my own backyard! 

20170808_194225

It’s cooling down and a nice breeze is coming through the window on my bare arms.  It’s just about time to stop for tonight.  I told myself I had to write before I could have my open-faced toasted tomato topped with basil and fresh mozzarella sandwich! Yummmm! 

Have a wonderful evening!