spring

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We took a small trip to the desert this weekend. Worth the trip don’t you think?  All along the ride there were small desert flowers at the side of the road, and the cactus with the vibrant pink flowers were ready to explode.  While these bushes filled with yellow flowers were scattered about.  The birds were singing and the desert was blooming. I was glad to visit.  A long time ago I didn’t like the desert.  I was naive.  I just thought it was dry, dirt and had little to offer.  Thank goodness as I have added years I realize it’s gorgeous.  Many of the plants remind me of under the sea.  It’s really quote beautiful the brown and the blue. I’m so happy we get wiser as we age.  It’s an upside.

spring and remembering

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I have not had a chance to look into making my blog a dot.org  but in the meantime.  I had a productive spring weekend.  What happened?

I painted a bookcase yellow

A chocolate cake was baked

We found the sweet blue eggs that are waiting to hatch

I planted the wild flowers for Aunt Louise

The yard was mowed

Good food was eaten

A little Laundry was done

Motorcycle man got a ride or two in

The jeep was smogged and tags paid

We listened

We prayed

We lived another day

And this week I hope to share with you, or anyone who cares to see… how the bookcase is coming along.  Totally free, completely useful and motorcycle man said “you made it look pretty” and that made me happy.

Here is my Sunday video.  A little slow and melancholy because it was dedicated to my great Aunt who left us in the fall and today we planted her wild flowers in hopes that they will bloom.  The secret word for my video…..is…..      love

GREEN straws and GOOD people

“By supporting our unique community you have participated in something amazing! You connected with a person & TRUSTED them to bring you something to enrich your life!”   this was the message

When I got home from work today and after picking up Moon Rebel, there were two packages sitting in my kitchen.  One , the oils I ordered for my mom and two, an unknown big brown box, mighty big box for what I found inside.  It came from a place in Newport Beach, “hey, that’s not too far from me!” The company, “Simply Straws”  Inside the box and wrapped carefully in lots of brown paper was a glass mug, a jar mug, with a lid and hole for a straw and a glass straw.  I have never drank out a glass straw before!  I had made juice this morning for breakfast for me and first-born and I thought…why not make a second batch so I can drink out of this amazing mug.  And so I did.

I rinsed my produce first.

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then I poured it into my new really cool mug (it fit perfect). thank you simply straws and thank you mystery friend!  I may have an inkling who they may be…just maybe??  Did I mention I love to drink my juice from straws and now I can stop using the plastic straws I buy and my sweet friend Miss Moonspinner recently gave me a straw cleaner.  This will be just perfect.

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I’m going to be painting my book-case today so I will be busy but I just wanted to share the good news.  That the community in which I belong to is very kind, very big-hearted and I’m very thankful for them.  I think my juice tastes better this way in this cool mug with the glass straw.  Yep, I’m sure of it.

Lastly I have been researching how to move my blog to a .org so I can have more control.  I wanted to give plug-ins a try today and realized because I use a .com with wordpress, I can’t use plug-ins.  And in case you are wondering what plug-ins are, welp, I don’t really know exactly.  It all started because I wanted to add that little pin on my pictures that you click on it and pin photo’s to pinterest.  I need a plug-in for that.  So today I will also be researching what that really means and how to possibly move my blog so I can make it more my own.  I think it’s time.

littlest and only teenaged girl

Abbie arrives

It did happen over night you know.  She went from the tiniest little girl and next thing I knew….she was a teenager.  My youngest, my littlest and only girl is officially 13 as of 8:15 p.m. last night.  This Sunday’s  film will be about her birthday.  We celebrated by going to breakfast as a family, then she had another party to attend, another March 8th baby.

2006 Abbie

I wanted to make her 13th day special so while she was at the other party I filled up balloons for her room and each of us in the family wrote her 5 notes and stuck them inside the balloons.  she got her ballet shoes so she can dance like she loves  and we finished our night with sushi.  It was a good day.  A really good day.  I think what meant a whole lot to Abbie was, that her oldest brother made sure to be a part of breakfast and dinner.

daddy and abbie

abbie dance

The strange part about being thirteen is, she woke up like an instant teenager.  She was grumpy and silent all the way to school.  I suppose the time change might have something to do with it too.  I know I don’t want to go to bed at night and I sure don’t want to get up in the morning.  It gets me for the first week or so.  Looking forward to the longer feeling days though.

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She is a darling young woman, she has the sweet gene.  She has a tender heart, she is meek, she is mild, she is fun, she is silly, she is quiet, she is humble, she has joy in her heart and she loves Jesus with her entire being.  In so many ways she is a reflection of myself.  I watch her and it’s like I’m watching myself grow up again.  She and I have so many similarities it’s crazy.  She has a blend of me and Rich.  She looks an awful lot like her daddy but sometimes she looks like me too.  Mostly…her handsome daddy though.  She is a gift to us, a blessing and I’m ready.  I’m ready for this next phase.  The little phase was tremendous but we must solider on…move forward and face the future.

just cause I like to write words

This morning when I woke up.  Rich left a pretty big, big red rose from our garden next to my morning coffee.  It made me smile right off the bat.  I feel so blessed to have this guy as my partner.  I wonder what I did to deserve it? I never want to take him for granted. When I tried to capture a shadow this morning,  I put his rose in front of an outlet, see there.  That’s the morning rose.  It’s like a double cool thing.  It’s grandpa’s rose and Rich knows how special they are to me.

FullSizeRender (1)I wore another of my skirts today!  I thought my friend KATE would really like this one.  motorcycle man says it looks like a C.D. and wants to know what song it plays but us hippie girls know it as tie dye! And when I went to the post office today, I passed a gal who smiled big and said “I love your skirt!”  That was nice and naturally I smiled back BIG and said “THANK YOU!”

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A few other blessings!  Papa gave motorcycle man his shoe shine kit and old tool box.  My sister Sarah fixed a bracelet I had that I really loved and I’m wearing it above in that picture.  My friend SunDaizy dedicated beautiful words to me today and made a picture mosaic of us.   If I were tech-ie enough I would copy the mosaic and show you here.  But I couldn’t figure it out.  I saw a few shadows today and reflections too.  I vacuumed the max hair and kitty kat hair all up, lit some candles, did the dishes, washed our towels and now I sit here to write.  I promised myself and sister Sarah bunny yoga would happen.  So I will end my day with that.  How was your day?

just a few of my favorite things

Remember when Oprah used to have her Christmas show and she would share some of her most favorite things then ALL the audience members would get what she loved? That was so awesome. I recently read a blog from a writer whom I admire very much, Emily P. Freeman and she shared some of her favorite things which are also simple gift suggestions. The funny thing is…I really truly love some of her favorite things and have similar things on my list. I even own the same book and coffee mug she has on her blog, only my mug has a letter (t) on it.

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Earrings – just yesterday I picked these up for myself and I don’t normally buy earrings very often. I have to really, really, really love them and then I will wear them day in and day out for years to come. My most favorite pair broke this year and so these are officially my new favorite pair. I got them at my friend Lilly’s shop Share and Do Good. It’s a wonderful store in down town Fullerton, a giving boutique for great causes.

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John O Donohue book – This book was recommended to me a few years ago by a friend of mine I met in my photo world. She and I were talking on the phone one night and she asked me if I had ever read any books by John O Donohue, the late John O Donohue was an Irish priest and philosopher. I was reading his take on our hearts last night, it’s a wonderful book and not sure why it took me so long to order it. Thank you Andrea for your wonderful suggestion.

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Bible – I look to this book for peace, for uplifting, for living advice, it’s the best manual I have found for my life. It has all the answers and it comes with a living God who I can actually talk to. I have about 4 Bibles. One was given to me by my parents when I graduated the 8th grade, it’s a New American Standard version, then I received one as a gift from my sister-n-law one Christmas and it’s the New King James Version and I have a really big pretty one that my parents got Rich and I our first Christmas together and it has our name engraved on it, it’s a King James version and lastly my New International study Bible that I got for myself. I love how most my Bibles are gifts from people I love.

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Candle – Lilly also sells these amazing smelling candles. Aren’t they just beautiful too? They are going like hot cakes so if you like the look of them I will guarantee you will love the smell of them and with each candle you buy it will feed a child.

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Pandora – I love music and I used to have a collection of records when I was a girl, then it went to tapes and from there I graduated to cd’s and then it was iTunes and what I had on my iPod and now it’s all about Pandora. I LOVE Pandora. Music is a crucial part of my life, I listen to it when I cook, clean, walk, drive and work.

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Typewriters – my new treasures!

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Camera – my tool. I have been into photography since I was a girl, yes girl. Probably Jr. High. I have always been the girl who has a camera in her hand, or even a video camera. I used to make videos when I was in Jr. High and High school. My mom and dad were trusting enough to let me tote around their old-fashioned VHS video recording camera. I would direct fashion shows, interviews and little skits. I also would just document my teenaged life. Let’s face it…it pretty much was my camera even though my parents owned it. They were generous with it. I would love to have those tapes transferred one day. I think my parents still have them. So I rather adore how my Canon 70D takes gorgeous photos and video too!

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Clementine’s – oh the smell! The taste! The vibrant color. What’s not to like?

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Essential oils – A sort of new passion. They are good for all kinds of stuff. So I have a small collection I use for things like, my allergies, children tummy problems, headaches and also for preventative measures.  I deal oil….just sayin.

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Vanille pefume. Oh how I love this perfume!!  It’s the best smelling vanilla I have ever smelt.  Okay, not bragging or anything but I think the one thing people most tell me is…”you are so sweet”  Yes sweet.  Of all things.  It used to tick me off, because I wanted to be edgy and I always considered myself a little bit of a rebel ,why can’t anyone else see what my inner self sees?  I’m learning to accept my sweetness so I decided if people think I’m sweet, mays well smell sweet too. I buy mine at Roadkill Ranch, my favorite clothes store in Fullerton.

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Handwritten letters – The art of writing letters in cursive. The lost art. I want to re-visit my calligraphy days. When I was a teenager my mom had me take calligraphy one summer. The story with that is….I snuck out one night and got caught. So my parents decided I would write 500 times in calligraphy “I will not be deceitful to my mother and father anymore” My mom recently gave me the stack of my hard work. Good practice right?

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Feathers – the feathers that I find, the feathers that are mailed to me from different states or even countries. It’s a gift it really is and I feel so blessed each time I find one.

And these are a  few of my favorite things!

 

balance

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Let me let you in on a secret. Yesterday when it was around 6:30 P.M. and we were at Target picking up the basics, milk, butter, cat food, dog food and lights for our tree, I realized as my stomach felt hungry that I had forgotten to eat lunch. Not only did I forget lunch…..check out what I did eat. Breakfast, black coffee and one glazed doughnut. Lunch a Slim Jim and a few Charleston Chews. And that’s it. That is exactly what I ate all day long. Does that sound nutritious and all kinds of good for my body and my brain? Duh. NO! And I will do this sort of thing on a regular basis when I have “fallen off the wagon so to speak” When I’m on the wagon, I’m insane. I will walk every single day and drink tons of water and eat every few hours but that my friends takes a lot of effort, a lot of thought and I will burn out every single time and especially when I do it 8 weeks in a row. They say 21 days forms a habit but obviously a solid eight weeks doesn’t even seem to work for me.

Trying to find balance is a true challenge for me. And as I type this I realize my word this year should be BALANCE. That’s it. Just made up my mind in mid sentence. My word will be balance.  Because as I type this I realize like most of us gals we take it all on, not just the favors asked and the every day kinds of things but then we pile on top of that “perfection”  Let’s see if I can juice every single day, buy the best whole foods for my home, cook really healthy dinners each  night, keep a clean and tidy house, the laundry, the kids, the animals and hum, lets see if I can work out an hour a day, and pray/meditate and maybe I can even read a book that will help me be a better person, and perhaps I can take a few on-line courses, and write letters to my friends and family, and pay my bills on time and remodel my dinning room, and make really cool things that I see on Pinterest and plant that new garden from seed alone. I would love to learn to stand on my head and be the most romantic and loving wife on the planet.  Balance is a great word.  It wins hands down and I wasn’t even looking for a word on this particular post.  crazy!  crazy cool!   I found my word for 2015!  BALANCE it is.  Will you be picking a word for this year? A word to keep you on track, a word to reign you in, a word to grow you a little, a word to make you more aware…just a word.  I would love to hear what you might choose.

perfectly imperfect

feb 2011February 2011

It was the beginning of 2011 and it was in this year I had begun to form relationships with like-minded photographers on a site called Flickr. I joined Flickr in 2009. I actually “stalked” Flickr for an entire year before I decided to join. I would log on and just browse the main stream. It was so inspiring to see what this world was about. I was totally captivated by Shutter Sisters and the women contributors to this group.

When I finally got the courage to join Flickr I started slow. I would just post things like what I was eating and I was as usual and probably forever will be striving for a healthier life style and so I posted lots of pictures of post work out and my kids of course. I posted lots of pictures of my kids. I would see what other people were posting and I began to see people were not just posting pictures but actually forming relationships? I would see that someone would post an image and receive tons of comments and likes. I have to be honest. It had me feeling as though I was not worthy to even be posting on Flickr. I was lucky to receive one comment or three views. It felt like work. I wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be noticed. And I had such low self-esteem and self-worth (still a work in progress) that I felt not even worthy to ever place an image in the Shutter Sisters group, the one group I most admired. Looking back I realize this was the one safe group of total acceptance but I was too afraid to even participate.

I ended up posting a picture or two in the group but it was always far and few between. As I wrote before, things really changed when I decided to participate in a group called BAM, created by Tiff. This is when I began to really participate in the art of self-portraits. Yes art, not like “oh look at me” it was more like, “I do exist.” I formed friendships. They were real friendships, not make-believe. Emails would be exchanged, blogs would be shared. I began to get to know these women and realized, they were just like me. They had insecurities and fears too.

Holly for instance picked up on my “I have to do everything, I have to do everything just right and if I don’t I’m a loser attitude” So she recommended a book called “The Gifts of Imperfection” Holly, she seemed like she had been on her journey longer and she seemed secure and she was for sure a good listener and had insight. So I took her advice and ordered the book. I read the book. I loved the book. And now a few years later, I have forgotten this book, the words in the book. Someone will say “I’m taking Brene Browns class” and I will say “Oh, I read her book, the Gifts of Imperfection” like this is some amazing bit to add to their comment. When I have forgotten the words, I have forgotten the practice.  I have decided to re-visit the book because I’m not exactly sure why it’s taking me so long to calm down, to realize I don’t need to do everything, I don’t need to be perfect and to be just exactly “right” to begin my journey. I just need to begin ready or not and mostly NOT because I can’t grow if I don’t try. So that’s all. Just reading this book again and felt like revisiting how it all came about. I also want to say, I’m happy to be a part of this community and if there is anyone out there who just looks and doesn’t feel worthy, please know you are.  You are completely worthy, you are worthy to contribute, you are worthy to show your art, you are worthy to speak your mind.  You just have to begin.

Loving God, Loving People

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Seek out the message you need to hear most today. Something that reminds you that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and that it is enough.   Note: Sometimes what we need to hear the most, we can stumble on (I love Divine intervention) other times we need to gently remind ourselves with handwritten affirmation. When you’re open to listening, you’ll get the message loud and clear.  Tracey Clark

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We are half way through the fall project and as it is half way through we are to pause, find a message we most need to hear. I thought this would be easy.  I see words everywhere.  I’m a word girl however in the busyness of my week I had a hard time pausing.  I actually had to contact my partner in crime, Christina and ask for an extra day.  When the extra day came and went, I asked for another couple of days and just hoped with all my heart that I would find a “message” in the desert.  We had planned to visit our family in the desert and I thought I may find it there.  I did.  It was in my sister-n-laws bathroom window.  The word FAITH.  it was there.  I snapped a real quick picture and wondered if I might find even more “messages”.  The next day Sarah took us around a nearby desert town to see some sites. We parked and walked around, I saw someone had made a heart of rocks they collected.  I stood inside the heart and thought about how I’m surrounded by LOVE in my life and how if I didn’t live by faith, the faith I have in Christ, I’m not sure where I would be?  It all began to make sense.  Faith and Love are the two words and actions I needed to hear this weekend.  I needed to be reminded of my faith and to recognize that I’m loved.  Deeply loved.  We had a busy week but we had such a wonderful week.  As Friday approached we had a big family dinner at our house, we ate, we laughed and we loved.  We got up the next morning and met up with more family. We had breakfast out, we ate, we laughed and we loved.  We drove out to the desert we hung out with even more family, we ate, we laughed and we loved.  What is important in this life?  For me it is my Faith and it is LOVE, love of family, friends and people.  Loving God, Loving People.  For me this is life, this is living. These are the messages that found me, I wonder what messages found Christina.