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.

scenes from the morning

IMG_6686what was your morning like today? I got to take it a little easy because littlest and only girl doesn’t have school today….or tomorrow….or all of next week.  This means I don’t have to rush out in the morning.  I like that.  This morning motorcycle man tried to wake me with jokes “so a man was across the street and waved at me, I waved back and he said, oh sorry, I thought you were someone else, and I said I am someone else”  I was so confused “I was like Rich did this really happen?”  he just laughed, he got a kick out of himself.  Then he comes back to say “you know that one lady who walks her little dog every morning?”  me “ah huh”  “well I asked her if her dog bites and she said no, so then I said but then how does he eat?”  then he laughs and laughs.  I was like, am I in the twilight zone? You have to picture, he is the morning guy.  He makes the coffee, he waters the lawn, he lets the animals out for fresh air, he takes Moon Rebel to zero period, yep, he is the morning guy.  Me, not so much.

I hope you all have a great day today.  I will be looking for cadet blue, I will be meeting with teachers for conferences, I get to have tea with a friend, I hope to find a feather, it’s been a while and for sure a heart will pop up someplace and maybe even some words, my goal is to find some inspiring words today.  See you tomorrow.  Tomorrow is fall project with my friend Christina.

 

magic happens at the strangest hours

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Last night.  I woke up at around 2:45 and I just laid in bed with my eyes WIDE open.  Just as awake as anyone could be.  I got up, walked around a little, used the restroom and laid back to bed with my eyes WIDE open.  Then as I just lay there, eyes totally adjusted to the dark, just staring wide eyed at the night-time happenings, I hear the fairy wand go off.  It was just after 3:00 a.m.  So I lay for a little longer then think, I should check that message.  It may be something I’m supposed to read.  I also had a feeling I knew exactly who it was.  I was right!  It was her.  My tree house club leader, just checking in with me, showing me some sketches.  Some really amazing sketches.  I got up for a while and sent her a few more messages.  Back and forth we went.  And you know what?  She took my mind out of scatter mode, she calmed me down.  I stopped scratching and picking at my legs and I found myself smiling at 3:15 a.m. in the morning just me and my treehouse  buddy and Max of course.  And we even schemed up some plans, like crazy plans in the middle of the night.  Well, it wasn’t middle of the night for my friend, it was more like late morning but anyhow.  This is what happened in the wee early hours on the West Coast in the West house.  I found it to be a gift from God, he was using my friend to calm me down to distract me from all the scratching and wide awake-ness.   I’m so thankful.  You have no idea.

P.S. this is a true story.

wonderland

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This morning I received a wonderful email from Miss Moonspinner and she introduced me to a girl called Mindy Gledhill and in this email she paid me a really big compliment, she said this song reminds her of me, it’s called pocketful of poetry.  Holy wow, that’s a big deal.  It means number one she really, really KNOWS me.  Cause well, I’m in constant wonder? and I’m most happy when I’m writing, poetry, stories, words….just words.  I love words but simple ones not very complicated sophisticated ones.  I’m very simple you know.   I wonder what makes those glow in the dark things, glow in the dark?  How is it bubbles have the most magnificent opalescent rainbows inside?  I wonder how feathers are made perfectly to help those birds to fly?  I wonder how all those men built that big bridge that we faithfully drive  on top of to cross the water?  I’m in constant wonder?  It’s a big joke around here with motorcycle man because since I’m in constant wonder and amazement about things I will often ask him as if he has all the answers.  “Rich how come this?  How come that?  I wonder why they do it that way, do you know why?”  He will laugh and say, he doesn’t know the answers but sometimes he makes things up just to make me giggle.  We are a good team, the pair of us.  So I made up a nick name for the all-knowing motorcycle man, I will from time to time call him BOK and that stands for book of knowledge.  Long story short, I would much rather be writing and making pretty things, and taking pictures and of course hanging out with my family and friends and mostly just playing and having music constantly playing all the time like an enourmous sound track to our life…. but I do know we must work, I suppose we just must.  But I wonder what it would be like to do what I love so it wouldn’t feel like work?  People do it.  I know this to be true but could this be me?  Could I just write words and take pictures of things and make a living?  hum…. I wonder??

 

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PlsS2hdzVSw

 

I write – because I must

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

Right in the middle of her forehead

When she was good

She was very, very good

And when she was bad she was horrid.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

sky This poem is so very me. I’m sort of all or nothing which can be so dangerous. I keep trying to work on that part about me. Trying to calm down and realize its okay not to do things perfect. I should just do the best I can and not beat myself up about the rest.

So this morning I got up early. I’m not an early bird just so you know. I prefer night owl behavior. I walked early because it’s supposed to be really hot today. I saw one sweet tiny snail making its way.

At 7:00 a.m. a man arrived with a handful of cash.  We sold the motor home!!  We tried to sell it all summer long and then last night we got our buyer. He gave us the money this morning and took the home away. I will miss it. We have lots of wonderful memories with it.

At 7:15 my oldest to be born wrapped his arms around me and said “I need help mom, I’m sick” He has an 8 hour shift and had to be at work by 8:00 a.m. It felt good to be his mom. I made him hot tea with honey and rubbed peppermint and on-gaurd on his chest.  Now he is home in bed.  He worked 4 of the 8 hours.

By 8:05 I was sitting in the parking lot of Right Aid. I have created a little routine where I stop before work and do my daily devotion and pray for all sorts of things. Twice now I have seen a little old guy with a feather in his hat. It makes me happy.

thingsI’m reading a really wonderful book right now called “A Million Little Ways”  It has me thinking lots.  In this book it talks a lot about how our creator made us, He already knows what we are supposed to be but sometimes we forget.  It asks a few questions I’m pondering right now.  This is one of the questions, “when is a time in your life you felt fully alive?”  In this book it talks about how it’s always been in us, whatever it is about us that makes us who we are.  Is that confusing?  Well, she uses for example how when she played Barbies she had intricate story lines, they all had names and she really PLAYED Barbies.  Her sister on the other hand didn’t name her Barbies, she didn’t have intricate story lines, she just decorated their houses and set out their clothes and dressed them up.  So now in life the sister helps people decorate their homes on a budget and the author of this book (Emily Freeman) she writes!  They have always been who they are today.  Always.  So who am I?  Who are you?  Good questions right? And also a great book.  I recommend it.

And sometimes I just write about my day because I can’t think of any thing else to write about. But I must write I just must.

 

 

 

 

Do you really need that?

Motorcycle man may say something like “We should really get rid of this shopping cart, I mean you haven’t even used it in over year” Do you know what my response would be? “well, I think I will use it today, yeah, I’ll walk to the store and I’ll use my shopping cart today” The very moment he wants to cleanse I will hold on so tight, and I will make every single excuse as to why we just can’t get rid of that, whatever that may be.   He really cracked me up one day years ago when I noticed my yoga mat was missing. “I was like where is that yoga mat?” I walked up to my sons room where I saw they had cut up my yoga mat to muffle his drum set! So I say “why did you use my yoga mat?” And naturally their response “come on mom, you never use it” me, “yeah, but I was going to use it just now!” This is the story of my life. I hold on to things. I have a really hard time letting go. Some people are natural at letting go and some people are not. I want to be in my mind but I’m not really made that way.

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You know what else? I like to find things. And I have to literally talk myself out of bringing things home. This week my neighbor had a wooden ladder out by the trash. I wanted it. So I tell littlest and only girl “I really want that ladder” She says, “Mom, do you really need that ladder? What will you do with it” “Well, I will put it in my garden and put planks of wood on it and make it like a flower pot shelf stand thing” She talked me out of it. I didn’t go get it. These things happen a lot and I would say it’s 4 against 1. The kids seem to take the side of motorcycle man. They always ask me the important questions. “Do you really NEED it?” “What will you do with it?” and “Do you have a spot for it?” They are all so smart and they keep me level headed, they really do. I still sort of wish I had that ladder though.

How are you made? Tell me in the comments section. Are you a release kind of person or a hold on tight? Are you a tosser or a collector?

 

all kids are different

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You know they say all kids are different and I have found that to be true.  They can be raised by the same parents yet all be so very different.  My oldest is a deep well.  He feels things to his core.  When I look into his eyes there is a depth, like his wheels are always turning yet not many words come out.  So today I felt like honoring him. I show his picture here and I know his eyes are the prettiest blue, his skin is fair and his lips are pink, just like when he was a baby.  I remember when he began looking for a job and cut his hair because he knew his chances would be better if he did.  And he actually hooked a job pretty quick, it was the first place he applied.  He thought he had this other job lined up, even was interviewed twice but turned out he landed the first place he filled in his first application.  (I even took a picture of him filling out his first job application…I know lame sauce, still trying to capture all his firsts) He has been in the real world now a full year and although he has not decided to take the higher education route (yet) he has kept his first job now for almost a full year, he is dedicated in his job, has only had maybe one sick day the entire year.  He covers shifts for friends and gets to work on time, with a few late days, just a few and when I say late….I mean just minutes.  One day he locked his keys in the car in our own driveway. It’s funny though because when he first got his job, I was so worried, “will he remember his ever changing schedule?” “will he wake up in time?” “will he be a hard worker?” “will he make sure and wash his work t-shirt?” You see this is the same kid who misplace’s his cell phone, his wallet and you know,  important things like that.  Yet he seems to operate just fine when it comes to work and being responsible where it counts.  Which makes us very proud.

I hope he knows we will always support his dreams, we believe in him and his future is bright even when he thinks he has no future, that the world feels hard and unfair.  We have all been there.  I just pray he keeps his faith strong and keeps walking towards his goals, even if it’s a slow and leisurely walk, we all get there in our own time.  I love this kid and lately he has been on my heart even more than normal and so today, I honor him.

sometimes its all I need

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sometimes its all I need

just this

watching a potted plant grow

each day

its different

its new

its reaching towards the light

its opening up

its skin is soft

this is what I love about nature

plants

birds

insects

animals

all constant reminders

of the cycle

the hope

the life

the death

sometimes its all I need

(taken with 20D so different from the 70, nice and grainy and soft, not nearly as vibrant)

literature visions, big dreams and ideas plus photo’s of complete nonsense

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Yesterday I didn’t have too many words, so I talked about sounds.  It was a POEM of sorts.  And strange maybe not so strange, I noticed I had more activity than normal.  Not in comments but in others following my blog and just clicking the like button. I mean it wasn’t overly liked not even a dozen but it just struck me strange that I collected a few more readers in a single day more than usual. It also lead me to some other very interesting blogs filled with words and poetry and it was a nice change.  It had me feeling kind of neat.  I remember when I had under 50 subscribers and I just wanted so badly to get to 100 readers with a promise of a makeover which I have yet to do.  I always have big plans and good intentions but sometimes it may take more than I would like to achieve my dreams and visions.  I have reached 230 people who have decided to click the follow button.  It’s nice. Very nice.  So thank you all who have decided my words and images are worth a peek.  I appreciate it very much, more than you know.

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What am I up to?

Finished a book that I read long ago called,  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  It was different from what I remembered.  I got a photo idea from it.  It will accompany a quote from the book.  Not sure how long it will take to come into reality but it happened, the idea, the vision.

Currently reading a book called ” Eat Drink and be Mindful” it’s interesting.  It’s full of things I already have read some place else.  Ideas that are good in my head but following directions has never been something I do well so being mindful is not in my natural thread.  Oh, yes, I want it to be but it will take lots and lots of practice.

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for my love of books

I read a blog yesterday from Priscilla Queen of the Desert and she was writing about “The Real Me” and in one paragraph she would write a super frilly and maybe frilly is the wrong word, flowery comes to mind too, description of an event and beneath that she would write how she might really say it.  I of course liked the way she would really say it far better than the paint a picture kind of way. It had me comparing it to Jane Austen and Albert Camus.  Some of my most favorite people in the world adore Jane Austen and read her books.  I have tried at least three separate times, one time even joining an online book club for Jane and I just couldn’t do it.  I would read a page or two, then write notes, underline things I didn’t understand, try to get the characters straight in my head. It took me a lot of effort.  I didn’t like it.  Not one bit.  I tried but it’s not for me.  So I still stand firm on saying one of my all time favorite books is “The Stranger” by Albert Camus.  It’s written in just the way I like to read things.  It’s frustrating, yes, very but I have read it four times at least and re-visit it each time hoping for a different ending and of course that will never happen. It’s the only Camus book I have ever read.  I’m not a big reader like some people but I do love books.  I love the smell of them, I love libraries and my first real job was in a book store.  I have dreams of owning my own book shop.  Now-a-days it’s a silly dream considering so many people read books electronically, which I’m very against by the way.  There is nothing quite like the smell of a book.  It just got me thinking and so I’m going to read another Albert Camus book called “The Rebel” you know to see if I do indeed like him as a writer. So that may be next and be put ahead of another book I had planned to read.

The garden isn’t very big this season.

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However the kitchen face lift is on my mind lately, especially ever since yesterday when the littles decided to duct tape a blanket around the kitchen windows and I now have 6 square patches of bare wall where they pulled the tape back off the old painted wall.  I say OLD because really, really it was time for it to be re-painted. The color was never what I had imagined it to be  anyway.  I want to add wood and concrete into the mix.  All ideas motorcycle man would need to assist me in.  We’ll see how that goes.