morning light

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Our next assignment is morning light.  Although I claim to be a night owl I can really appreciate mornings and especially the beautiful East rising sun.  My kitchen and dining room face the East and they receive the most gorgeous light in the morning.  And it’s a quick-moving light and the shadows on the wall change and shift within moments.  Let me just say, when I read prompt number three I was so excited.  I thought, this will be so easy.  Words used like “quiet reassurance”  “inner peace” and “calm”  Sometimes my mornings can be anything but those lovely descriptions however when I stop and drink in that perfect light it can feel that way just for an instant.

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On rare occasions when I get up extra early before the sun truly begins to leak in, is when I have had the quiet before the kids get out of bed.  This is rare but it is cherished.  Sometimes I will even walk outside and watch the sun come up and listen to the birds as they begin their day too.  There is nothing like a morning.  It has a feel completely all its own.

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On a typical day motorcycle man is up first, he makes our coffee and unlike me, he seems to be more of a morning person.  He sings, he jokes around, he waters the grass, he will even do weird things like trim around the sprinklers with a pair of scissors all before going to work for the day.  Me….I’m quiet, I’m a little tiny bit cranky and I only laugh at his jokes once he says “okay, that’s it, if you don’t start laughing I’m going to quit”  Then I actually realize he has been doing a silly jig right in front of my face as I’m nearly spaced sort of looking through him rather than really grasping what’s happening.  Then I laugh.  I do actually laugh.  He can get me almost every time, I’m just a little slow.

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Again my friend Christina is doing the same thing on her side of the country and I’m curious, so curious what she will show us.  You can visit her at 22 limes, you will be glad you did.  She see’s things outside of the box.

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Breakfast at Amy’s and Day at the Races

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Saturday morning we were treated to a really great breakfast at a local ma and pa type breakfast spot.  Our town is small, we can drive from one end to another in about five minutes. Lot’s of people have never even heard of our little town even though it’s wedged in-between the O.C. and the City of Angels.  But we love our little town and Mimi and Papa found a great place for all you local readers called Amy’s Cafe and they serve a really great breakfast and also are open for lunch.   I ate something called the valley view special with biscuits and gravy off to the side. It was really delicious.  We all thought it was pretty darling when the waitress drug over the special’s sign straight to our table so we could read it.  Since it’s fall they had a real yummy pumpkin butter and cinnamon type spread for anyone who ordered toast.  I would highly, highly recommend it.  Yelp reviews has it at five stars.  Check it out you locals!

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Our day wasn’t over though, we still had a drive out to Fontana where Dad treated us to the Indy 500.  Not just the race, my dad has a reputation for going all out, we had pit pass’ and tickets for an all you could eat buffet and drinks.  We got there really, really, really early.  We didn’t realize the race actually started at 6:00 so we arrived at 12:30 and were wondering why the seats were so empty!  We got to show the kids the garages where they were working on the cars and we got to go see the pits and there were a few cars doing practice runs and Abbie fell in love with the blue and white HP car, who we later found out was driven by a French driver called Simon.  So our French/American niece, Amelie and our very own Abbie were cheering big time for Simon and he held in there until near the end when his car must have given out.  Dylan picked the National Guard car but that one fell out of the race about halfway through when there was a six car pile up.  He then started to track the Verizon car which ended up winning the race that night.  It was just so exciting, I never thought it would be such fun.  I’m so thankful I have parents who treat us to really neat things like this.  There are lots of things we have been able to experience because of them.  I have included lots of pictures of our day, maybe even too many but it was hard to dwindle down.

IMG_9420Notice all the empty seats? We were early.  Dad’s explaning stuff to the kids.

IMG_9432We took a tour through the garages

IMG_9525Dylan spotted some pretty girls and asked Dad to take his picture with them;)

IMG_6237Just some tires

IMG_6240This guy did really great but right near the very end his car broke down:(

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We got close to the pits and I spotted a happy face for my niece Livi

IMG_6224I think his shirt is sort of cute so this is all about the shirt

IMG_6255And here is Dad

IMG_6253This is Sebby and I can’t get enough of his sweet face

IMG_9485The race is about to begin and I have to take a picture of our flag

IMG_6293My pretty sister and her darling Sebby

IMG_9491The girls cheering on Simon from France

IMG_9496Hey that’s motorcycle man and me

IMG_6295I was trying to take a picture of the boys and their walkie talkie’s when a photo bomber jumped in

IMG_6299I couldn’t leave without getting a picture of grandpa with his grandkids.  Thank you Dad.

the red pants

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Do you know what it’s like to take a jump picture with your timer.  Fun.  I will just say fun.  I have no remote.  My camera only takes one with a cord.  So I have to practice lots.

So I got those red pants.  I can’t believe how happy I am about it.  16.00 and they fit well and they are RED!  I’m living on the edge.

Today is the BIG day.  Abbie has her try outs for cheer.  I have sent up so many prayers today, I tucked a note inside her P.E. clothes and have both speeches ready for if she makes it and if she doesn’t.  We will not know until Friday.  The waiting will be killing me.

Last night Mr. motorcycle man did make his pasta dish and cheesy bread and I’m so happy I have a partner who helps out like that.  I sat with Abbie and went over vocabulary words as he made our carb filled dinner!  My kind of thing you know.

pastaAustin ordered the right fender for his bug and once that arrives they can fix it back up and actually start driving it again.   And guess what!!  It arrived!!

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It arrived today.  That’s what the big box is!! Austin will be happy. 

I picked up my prints at Costco yesterday and mailed them to my friend and as I reviewed what I had picked I actually wondered why I picked what I had?  I enlarged an artichoke for pete’s sake.  I started to sort of panic, like why didn’t I have the pin wheel printed or something more interesting.  Then I started to talk to myself about how it shouldn’t matter and how I’m just glad to get my face out there in public and talk to some people.  I mean I never claimed to be awesome or anything.  I just shoot what I love and things that make me happy and well sometimes it’s an artichoke.  I should really stop worrying about this art walk and go with the flow.

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I have to finish today’s post on the topic of Farm Fresh to You.  I’m in love with this service.  I took  a picture of the delivery in the morning light Tuesday with my “real” camera and I have to share it here with you.  I also never like to waste a single stitch of what they deliver and since it’s farm fresh, with no chemicals and stuff, it goes bad sort of quick.  Not all of it but say the things like lettuce and spinach.  So today when I got home I made the spinach with some tomatoes and garlic over last nights left over pasta with a sprinkle of cheese.  Pictures below because you know I’m a lover of food photo’s.  Plus I need ideas for the radishes.  Please let me know if you have any ideas about that.  I have a bundle to go through.

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Happy Birthday Mom!

dcI love this image of my mom and our friend Carmel, a candid portrait of who she is to me.  She if full of spunk, and laughter.  Her laughter is big and I love it.

It’s my mom’s birthday today!  Happy birthday beautiful mom!! As I spent the last several days writing out memories and thoughts that I have regarding my mom, I was taken back to special times, I was reminded of how amazing this woman is. As I wrote out these words for her on simple note-cards I smiled a lot and even laughed.  I shared stories with the kids as I remember special moments in my life.  How in so many ways, I am who I am because of her and her example.  I’m very blessed to have been given such a terrific mom.  It was easy for me to focus on the negative things growing up and really, honestly there were not very many but I had a way of keeping those negative things stored in my heart and as I spent the time to write about all the positive things, all the good memories, all my mom’s really good character traits, I realized the good far out weighed the bad, and I mean abundantly so.  Holding on to bad memories is not good for growth.  They must be released so we can move forward.  How is it we can be told 10 amazing things about us but we like to focus on that one bad thing that’s been said?  It’s time to focus on the good and release the bad.

projectsShe is super handy and I believe she can do anything.  She helped me hang pictures of my sister and her family when they moved to France.

One of the most thoughtful gifts I have received was a basket of good thoughts and wishes from a far-away friend I had the pleasure of forming a friendship and bond over a period of one year, just 365 days of sharing moments and thoughts and in that time she was able to get to know me on a level where she could fill a basket of thoughts and wishes that were specific to me.  It  gave me such an amazing feeling, that I plan to give this gift as much as I can to special people in my life.  Just write out things about them that I find special, shared memories and things they have taught me.  This is what I did for my mom, she will get a box of memories, wishes, scripture and things that I admire in her as a person.   This way she could reach into the box each day and pull out a memory or thought specifically about her, about us or simply reach and get a special scripture, one she just may specifically need on that specific day, it sort of works out that way…you know?

kitchenThis moment isn’t clear but I love it.  It’s my mom playing cards with her grand-kids on the my kitchen floor.

walksA while back we would walk nearly every day, even though she lives a good 45 minutes away.  She supports me always.

climb fenceThis is shortly after her gallbladder surgery when she was supposed to be taking it easy.  I was supposed to be helping her hop the fence, instead I took a picture and giggled first. She is the kind of mom who also thought it was funny.  I helped her of course…after I took this picture.

sillyEach year for Mothers Day my mom treats us to a house tour.  The kind where we go to beautifully decorated homes, this is the sort of fun we have.  See grandma there pushing us out-of-the-way to take center stage.  You see where my light heart comes from?

rosieThree generations.  My mom holding her Rosie cat whom she completely adores.

Sun Daisy and Moon Rose, their story condensed

39 of my 43 years have been blessed with a one of a kind forever sort of friendship.  I moved into this little condominium complex when I was just 4.  We were unloading our furniture when a little girl with the biggest most expressive brown eyes ran up to me and said “I haven’t seen you in such a long day!”  She apparently had been waiting for me to show up.  And this is why mama Georgia believes we were friends in another life. The little girl’s name was Ronda Lee…no H in this Ronda!

little usI had to hold the kitty cause according to me…she didn’t know how to properly do it

Ronda and Tracie basically grew up together and basically know about everything there is to know about each other, its border line scary.  They can just look at each other and know what the other one is thinking. Really it’s true!

streetOh and the stories there are so many stories about these two.  So many I can’t possibly list them all here or it would be a mini novel.  I wish I could tell you all the details of how Tracie saved Ronda’s life one day as they sat up on the trunk portion of the big convertible drinking their Icee’s and enjoying the wind on their faces when Ronda nearly fell off the back of the car, so Tracie naturally pulled her to safety…only their cherry red Icee’s ended up all over the back seat of the pretty white car and it wasn’t so much about the heroic act as it was about the mess they made in the back seat.  They were always in trouble for something, like the time they broke the glass music box and snuck it to Mama Georgia’s house so they could have her glue it back together so Mama Linda wouldn’t “know any better”  or the time they were eating those suckers they weren’t supposed to have when Tracie’s cap broke off and Ronda thought Elmer’s glue would do the trick, or the time they decided they had had enough and packed the red wagon to run away but only made it to the swimming pool at the complex before deciding to return home, or the time Ronda cleaned up the oil spot on the garage floor with mama Linda’s new designer white jeans.  Yep. Those are just a few of the things that went on in those days. rtIn those days it was okay to send your little people off to school, to walk through the vacant field and climb under the fence to get to class, or take the alternate longer route that passed a 7-11 where the little redhead and girl with the brown eyes would peel old already chewed gum off the sidewalk and chew gravel filled gum on their way to school. Or the arguments the girls would get into with boys like Tony Baloney and Brad who insisted babies come out of their mom’s vaginas while Ronda and Tracie were insistent that girls pooped babies out.  Like what do boys know anyways!

red blackRonda and Tracie didn’t really like their given names so Tracie insisted that Ronda call her Rose and so Ronda decided on Daisy for herself.  These same girls had a heated argument from across the street from each other (Daisy lived on one side of the street while Rose lived on the other) Oh Rose was so mad, she had to call Miss Daisy anything but Ronda or Daisy, so she shouted something like “I hate you Pee Pee Head!”  Miss Rose started that fight but Miss Daisy won the fight when her comeback was “I hate you Poo Poo head!”  This stopped Rose in her tracks, she couldn’t think of one more word worse than that!

outside hangingLater on when these two little girls grew up they still stayed friends, even when Daisy’s parents moved her all the way to San Diego where Rose had to take the train to visits during the summer months or Daisy’s Dad would pick her up on his way home from his job so the two girls could spend some time together. Ronda’s dad always referred to them as the beatnik and hippie.   And even later when Daisy moved in with her grandparents on Rose’s side of town where they were thrilled to be so close again.

renneAnd even later than that when they decided they should be roommates and live in the same complex Daisy’s Italian grandparents managed.  Where Grandma Della would sneak in and leave them homemade pizza on their kitchen counter to make sure they were being fed.  And just like when they were little and would watch Lavern and Shirley and Ronda would say, “I’m Shirley and you’re Lavern” and Tracie would say “okay, I’m alright with that” and when they lived together…Ronda was Shirley and Tracie was Lavern and Tracie was more than okay with it but Ronda had a lot of picking up to do for the both of them.

mobileThese two knew each other so well yet they were kind of different.  Ronda decided that she was the sun and Tracie was the moon because that’s how different they were from each other.  Ronda was full of sunshine while Tracie was a little more gloomy.  Ronda wrote poems about happy things while Tracie wrote poems about sad things. Ronda loved her Moody Blues, Grateful Dead and John Denver while Tracie loved Led Zeppelin,  the Cure and  John Lennon but they both agreed fully on the Doors of course. Sometimes they would sit for hours on end at the tops of parking structures reading philosophy and talking about life’s purpose making short films (lost films) Ronda loved to sing and dance, while Tracie liked to take it all in.

pizza makingThere is so much more to say about these two but it’s already far too long for most people to want to keep reading.  They are grown-ups now, they both are still very different and at the same time very much alike.  Somewhere along the way Ronda taught Tracie to not be so gloomy and even though she is the moon, she is a big bright full moon now!  One thing that hasn’t change that will never change is the love they have for on another.  There is nothing quite like it.

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Be still and listen, you may be surprised in what you hear

I only took two images I can even share, neither that spectacular and both with my iphone.  As I sit and wait for my youngest to get out of school. I may crack open a book (more rare) I mostly just scroll pictures on IG.  That’s the real honest truth.  I’m a photo junkie and I need to get my inspiration, my fix of goodness from around the world.  I can be having the crappiest day, filled with cramps and lady issues and be the crankiest person on the planet and then I see my “friend” who lives in Dublin and is in the hospital because her bloods too low and she has a fever and she is undergoing chemo.   And already I have seen other friends even closer that have had that same battle and then I see someone post a little heart and dedicate it to that friend who lives in Dublin and is battling cancer and is having a crappy day in the hospital.  I decide, why not?  Why not send this stranger friend some love from way over here, as I sit waiting to pick up my youngest girl.  I bet Vanessa just longs to pick up her boys from school today, but she is too busy battling with cancer and she has to depend on her husband and family to join in and help a mother out.  Then it gets placed right back into proper perspective.

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I have also been paying attention from afar as a young couple sleep day and night at the children’s hospital while their little boy also battles cancer and their lives are turned upside down, yet in all of that they still have such joy, they instead find it as an opportunity to share God’s great gift.  It’s amazing to me what people can teach me.  They have no idea.  Sometimes we don’t realize people are paying attention or even watching the things we do, the things we can do to make a difference.  It’s important to share even when we don’t think anyone is listening, even more important to “do” it matters.

Have you ever got a little thought, or tug at your heart.  Like a little voice telling you, you ought to do this or that?  Easy to ignore and much harder to act upon.  I call that the Holy Spirit while others may call it intuition or the universe speaking to them.  Whatever it may be…I have always found that when I actually act upon it, the most unexpected results may occur and blessing begin to happen.

“There is no happiness if the things we believe in are different than the things we do”   Albert Camus (the guy who wrote one of my favorite books ever….The Stranger)

BAGI leave you with the soccer player who finds a brown paper bag most interesting

Woman Aware and Choosing

Our assignment was to write our facilitator a letter to introduce ourselves as an adult-daughter, a mother and a wife but at the same time I thought those were titles of what I do (sort of) so this is what I wrote;

As you, Sandi read through some of your notes and shared some of your own story, I thought….this is going to be very, very difficult.  I may even cry sometimes and this will stretch me and this will help me to grow.  After all, I can only be the best version of me.  Someone actually said that too this first night.  Yep, best version of me.  Shy, reserved yet having a big heart and finding the gift of encouragement very easy.  I’m a great friend who encourages my friends to follow their dreams, to love and accept themselves, to not be afraid.  Yet I myself do not follow my dreams because I’m too afraid and I don’t really accept myself fully. The strongest things I heard on the first night are the K in our THINK acrostic  as in “Know this, God LOVES YOU, just as you are” It also made a whole lot of sense the part about how “we teach people how to treat us.” I get that.

honor love respectI don’t have the gift of talk but I do have the gift of words.  I’m a good adult daughter and I do all the right things, even when I don’t want to.  I’m a good wife and I do all the right things even when I don’t want to and in both these relationships I withhold information or as you like to use the stronger word lie.

I’m a great mom, I’m fun, I’m adventurous, I’m honest, I’m loving, I encourage them to follow their dreams, I dance with them, I sing with them, I draw with them and I feel like I can be myself 100% completely with these children who love me no matter what.  I often think if I could be like this in ALL my relationships I would be so much better off. 6940422035_18d70b66f8_bI wouldn’t harbor anger and resentment I wouldn’t feel hurt, I wouldn’t pick my skin because it’s the only relief I find now a days.  I keep it all bottled up inside and I just do what’s right and I’m always pleasing and always accommodating and I like to play the entire court. I’m always a good listener too and if I trust you, I tell you my story.  I need to be here.  I just do.

Love your new friend and student

Tracie West

the real truth

I posted this image here at one point but also in a private workshop class and one woman said, notice in the reflection, your legs are smooth. I like the idea of that because I do know this is temporary and there will be an end to it.

And this is just a guess but I’m guessing some of us women feel a whole like I do.  Always doing the right thing even when our hearts are not in it. Never really complaining, never expressing our true feelings on a matter for either A) not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings or B) feeling rejected.  So we just say what we think they want to hear and do what they want us to do and go about our days.  I’m not saying all women, I’m saying some.