goodness and life


My mom loves to travel.  She is fortunate enough to be able to see the world and she is also very generous and always thinks of her girls.  You see out of the three of us, I for certain am the least traveled.  My sister lived in France for 5 years with her family, of course picked up French and could speak it fluently.  In my mind that was like a dream.  She was living a dream.  She missed her family here in the states though and is now back and soon her husband will also be by her side.  The paperwork and all the shenanigans to have a family together when each is a citizen of a different county is a big hassle it seems.  But after nearly 2 years of paperwork and now finally he has an interview…he will be back with his family where he belongs…and look at that.  I got all off track again!  My point being this.  My mom brings back gifts.  Last spring when she visited Italy she brought me back seeds to plant in my garden.  Two weekends ago I planted them.  They are showing signs of growth and silly me…I didn’t label them so I have no idea really what that one above will be.  I know the melon…or it could be zucchini but we will see.  I plan to put them in the real ground this weekend and it will be so fun to watch them grow and be able to eat the fruit/veggies they will produce.  My mom said Italy had the best tasting produce ever.  I shared these seeds too with my friend Ronda, my Aunt and Mama Bear next door.  There were plenty to go around, plenty more still in fact.  I’m sure I will be sharing throughout this spring and summer the progress of our garden.  I did figure out something good recently too.  My butterfly plant had been infested with these tiny bugs…covered!! The same bugs that destroyed my watermelon plant a few seasons back and the same bugs that seem to love my roses. My solution is very natural and non toxic too. I took peppermint soap, diluted with water and sprayed the plant.  The plant survived…the bugs did not!!!  So this is my plan to protect my melon this season. I’ll keep you posted. xo


get your green on

lucky ass

Happy St. Patricks Day but more importantly….Happy birthday to my younger and handsome brother Brandon and my Amazing father-n-law who also both were born on this celebratory day!  Turns out I have had this shirt since 2011 and wear it every St. Patrick’s Day, also turns out I wore the same exact earrings today, not planned but shows what a creature of habit I am though;)

I was so greatly touched yesterday by the encouraging comments left on my blog post.  It seems I reach some of you readers out there but I wonder if you know how deeply you touch me.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate a comment left.  I don’t want to say it’s because I’m insecure and I require cheering but I have found that the way I work best is with positive reinforcement and simply a pat on the back and “job well done” is all I need to keep trucking.  I have always been this way. A few encouraging words go a very long way with me so I have also become somewhat of an encourager myself.  Maybe too much at times….or so my kids think.

Favorite thing I heard today was from Dylan aka Moon Rebel “I want to learn to do a back flip, and I know I can do it because I’m athletic and capable, I just need to commit”  I like it.  He also found a butterfly with a broken wing.  Picked it up then placed it in our garden.

and the very last thing shared today here in this space is the inspiration and free bookcase that was delivered to my driveway by Uncle Don and scouted by Aunt Lynn and if it hadn’t been for my father-n-law knowing I was on the search for a bookcase then it would not have fallen into place so perfectly.  Let’s just say it will include yellow paint…such a very happy color and peacock-blue.  More to come on that later. I hope you will come back to see.

Color makes me happy!

This AND That

I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe I have not blogged since last week. I think it may have something to do with my video making craze. I’m so into making video clips these days it’s all I can think about. I dream of it. Not even joking I literally have dreams of making films. Since I’m talking about it, I will share at the end of this blog my Sunday video. That’s what I have been doing, making a video every single Sunday for 5 weeks straight now. The practice is great but making them slightly different from one another is a little challenge. Of course each Sunday is its own but it will always include my family, eating and just hanging out at our house. I keep them private and you will need a password to watch it. My password for all my Sunday videos is always.     love

Since I have been utterly consumed in video dreamland it has left little time for anything else. However, I must share with you a recent impulse purchase. I got an email from The Paper Source and February is one of my favorite months considering it has so many hearts available for my eyes to see, whelp, the email was about valentine stuff. I saw these most amazing, pretty glasses and I couldn’t resist. Right then and there I clicked PURCHASE. Before I knew it I was typing in my payment information. They arrived today and I have already showed every human being who will look at them. This just means I have to toss our 4 jars to make room in my cupboard. I mean look at them! Great stuff right? Sadly, last time I check they were out of stock, so everyone else and their mom must have thought they were the bees knees too!


I suppose the last thing I have to talk about is the lovely blog I have admired for quite some time now. It’s called Natalie Creates and she shares 20 random acts of kindness that cost 5 dollars and under. It’s worth checking out.

That’s all for now. As if anyone is really reading this besides my mom. Thank you mom, you have always always been my biggest support.  I can’t forget Kate too, she always leaves a little love on my page after she reads my swirling mind nonsense.

sunday dinner

IMG_1594My word.  Balance.  Already I’m taking on so many projects I can’t seem to say NO to.  They are all creative and wonderful projects and I know creatively they will help me to grow, to get better, to learn more.  This is another project.  A personal one along with a group project.  In NOW YOU alumni group some gals have gathered to cook.  We each pick a cookbook, try new recipes and share our results.  Some of us have blogs to share them on some will share on IG and others on Flickr.  I have decided I will try my recipes on Sundays, a good way to end the week….or begin it.  However you look at it.  This is our first Sunday meal of 2015 and I combined it with yet another project.  The year-long time capsule film making class I’m taking with Xanthe.  We used our cookbook that my mom actually bought for my oldest because he too loves to cook.  The cook book is “Barefoot Contessa – Back to the Basics” We kept it very simple and not very complicated at all, similar to how we cook anyways.  Tuscan Lemon Chicken and Pan-Roasted Root Vegetables.  We ended our meal with a family game, chocolate fondu with strawberries.  YUMMY!

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Sunday dinner from Tracie West on Vimeo.

List of creative projects for 2015

Cooking with 52 Weeks of Now You/Sunday Dinners

A Year long Film Making/Time Capsule class

Shooting with Soul with a group of gals and a shared blog

Coloring with Miss Moonspinner

All these projects include film and photography

plus my blog:)

Mary Lou Heard Garden Tour 2014


I’m a little late in this post but I had so many pictures to go through I tried to narrow it down a little.  I really, really enjoy gardening.  It’s therapeutic for me to get my hands in the soil and plant seeds that I get super excited to watch grow.  I truly, truly let things bloom where they are planted it’s just so exciting to me to watch a little green plants pop out of the soil and turn into a beautiful flowers or something to eat.  I have three sunflowers that replanted themselves in the strangest of spots in the garden, one is right in front of my back window so I will be able to see its big yellow head when it blooms.  I got a random holly hock in my front garden from seeds I had collected from a nursery that was going out of business,  it surprised me when it popped up this spring and is now in bloom.  I even love weeding.  I just love being close to the earth that’s all and so I really respect and admire the people who open their homes and gardens up for the Mary Lou Heard Memorial Garden Tour   You can read a little about Mary’s story HERE .  She was an amazing, strong and brave woman who leaves behind a rich legacy.  A single mom who struggled with depression and found her passion and healing in gardening.  All the money donated goes to the Sheepfold  and non-profit organization who helps single mommies.  It’s all so good, all of it.

And now for a few of my favorite pictures from the garden tour which I had a wonderful time at with some really amazing ladies I know.  I hope you enjoy the pictures and can imagine the time spent developing these gorgeous gardens.
































IMG_4667And below are my very own hollyhocks that I have been so excited to watch grow and bloom.


rain! rain!

IMG_1058 2

We got a tiny smidgen of rain last night.  We love the smell of rain on the asphalt and because of our friend Heather we have a rain song and we would like to share it with you here in the video attached.  California desperately needs rain.  Please send rain wishes our way.


It’s a small world

I have this book called 99 things to do when you have time.  Number  5 was to look up lyrics to a song you half remembered.  I know it’s sort of crazy out of all the really, really great music out there that I would pick “It’s a small world”  I just remember a few years back when the kids were small and we could afford season passes to Disneyland back then the prices were kind of reasonable.  Any way, I have such great memories of Disneyland with the kids.  Abbie claims to barely remember the times we spent at Disneyland, she is the youngest  so technically she didn’t get as much time in as the boys. The point of my story is, I never got tired of the ride “It’s a small world”  I love how happy it is, the feeling of the boat crashing up against the sides and the splashy water sound and the COLOR, all the awesome color, and the big melting pot of all different ethnic groups from around the globe, smiling, holding hands and being united.  I looked up the simple lyrics today and as simple as they are.  I believe them with my whole heart.  It’s just wholesome stuff.

small worldThis was my last trip in “It’s a Small World” Feb. 2010

This simple song brought back a flood of memories from the time Tim our cousin treated all of us to a day at Disneyland, but not just Disneyland but the exclusive Club 33.  I had never been to Club 33 before or since in all my days living in California.  I decided to share a few images from that day.  I think this is one of our last trips to Disneyland that I can remember.  Our kids nearly grew up there, or at least the boys.  When we had passes we would go on Friday’s after work or even some days during the week.  Abbie again being the littlest and only girl didn’t get as many years there before the prices went way up.  I remember on this day it was raining, which didn’t bother me for one second, I had a rain jacket, rain boots and rain hat and I LOVE the RAIN. This also meant the crowds were less the lines were shorter and that made for a very awesome day.  I still have such gratitude for Tim and Patrick treating our families to such a wonderful and memorable experience.  It seems like just yesterday.

tim and kidsTim is so good with the kids.   Here he is with the two littles.

tim and abbieAbbie got rides from not only Tim but….

matt abbieother cousin Matt too

rainy daySee what I mean about rain.  I promise this is few people compared to summer time rush

all of usOur family with the generous givers

club 33A peek at club 33, Abbie even had me take pictures in the bathroom, I’ll spare you that

fairylandthe girls in fairyland oh, and one boy too!

tim and the laws

It’s a world of laughter and a world of tears

It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears

There’s so much that we share

It’s a small world after all

There is just one moon

And one golden sun

And a smile means friendship to everyone

Though the mountains divide

And the oceans are wide

It’s a small world after all

A small, small world