Not Cancelled…

August 16, 2020

Hi again!  In the mood for writing, so here’s some more.

My friend, Shelby, has been posting some wonderful things on Facebook.  She decided to share what in her life has NOT been cancelled due to the pandemic.  Lovely things like sunrises and sunsets, flowers in her garden, great meals her daughter has been making, BBQs and roasting marshmallows, camping, at the lake, etc.

So, I thought I’d look at things more positively and with gratitude.  Here are a few things that were not cancelled for me…

Not cancelled – Garden tomatoes!

 

Not cancelled – baby birdies!

Little blue jay just out of the nest!

        Barn swallows built a nest inside my front entry.  Mom, or dad, keeps a keen eye out!

 

Not cancelled – Wildflowers in the mountains!

Wild iris, a daisy, mountain lupine, columbine, wild sweetpeas, and penstemon. Gorgeous!

 

Not cancelled – Full moons!

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The supermoon on May 6, 2020

 

Not cancelled – journaling and creating!

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Starting a new journal.  I love making them!

 

I am so grateful for the support of my family.

I am grateful to be healthy during this pandemic.

I am grateful to have a home and funds to live on while not working.

I am grateful for the good days.

I am grateful for nature and for Willy and Jon’s cabin that allows me to be in the mountains.

What is not cancelled for you?  What are you grateful for?

Have a good night!

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Hello Sunshine!

August 16, 2020

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Sunshine?  Yes, and lots and lots of it.  Here in Manteca, we’ve had weeks of 95-100+ degree weather.  Today it’s 114.  Yikes.  And the next ten days don’t look any better.  But some good news, I was talking with a neighbor last week and she said this is very unusual.  She’s lived here for years and has never seen it so hot and for so long.  So maybe next summer will be a bit better?  Anyway, I am blessed to have a home with air conditioning.  I’ve never had that, but it’s pretty standard here.  So I can be comfortable and get some chores done without passing out! Haha!

Sunshine is good for your soul.  I’ve always liked to sit a bit in the sun for at least 10-15 minutes.  Especially on a cool fall or cold winter day.  If the sun is out, soak it up.  It kind of restores you and lifts you up.  I’ve really needed that lately, but no way am I sitting outside in this kind of weather.

Depression? Yes, I have that.  Anxiety?  Yes, I have that, too.  Am I okay?  It depends on the day and/or the time.  I have to be honest with everyone.  You all pretty much know this, but I want to share what it’s been like moving to a new community with all these plans to meet new people, join classes, hang out at the clubhouse, etc.  I was on such a high, selling my house, excited about my new home.  Well, the day I moved into my new home was the day everything shut down.  The pandemic really messed me up.  I know so many others have had the illness, lives lost, lost jobs, etc., and it seems so shameful and so self-centered, but in my own little world it’s thrown me for a loop .  I’ve been here just about five months (wow), and have only met a handful of people and with the clubhouse closed, all activities and events have been cancelled.  So, long story short, Laura has not been doing too well.  Oh, I have good days.  Luckily, more good than bad, but there have been too many days I just can’t seem to function.  I’ve always loved my alone time, and generally prefer it, but too much time “alone” is not the best thing for me.  Sometimes I feel like a child that can’t take care of herself.  I said I was going to be honest, right?  This “condition” I have has been so hard to live with, and it’s been years.  It’s crazy because one day I’ll have energy and want to do things, finish organizing, create something, and then wake up the next day so down that I really don’t want to get out of bed.  Today’s a good day, except for the heat, of course.  I really want to get my kitchen finished up and get all of the miscellaneous decor and stuff I’m not going to use or keep out of the way.  I’m getting there, but I have a few piles in the garage again to box up and get rid of.  Trouble is, my garage gets almost as hot as it is outside.  So no working there until it cools down some.

Thanks for listening.

I love my new home!  I felt good here the day I moved in.  Okay, better when I finally had all my furniture and things, especially a bed!  Now that some rooms have been painted, new curtains, my decor how I like it, and…. my office is done, it really feels like a home.

Please don’t worry.  I am okay.  Just wanted to share; it helps me.  Maybe it will help someone else know they’re not alone. Sometime maybe I’ll tell you about my horrible memory (I’m constantly forgetting about things).  I’m 57.  I guess getting old(er) comes with some “senior moments”, aches and pains…arthritis, hip pain, knee pain and so on.  I was doing so well walking here in the morning and/or in the evening, but it’s been quite a while now.  Just too darn hot!

By the way, I found the gorgeous photo of kissing sunflowers above on Pinterest.  Did you know that when it is cloudy and rainy, sunflowers, that generally follow the light, turn to each other to share their energy? Amazing! Nature astounds me.

More to come very soon!

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Happy 4th of July

July 5, 2020

Hello again!  I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July, whether by yourself or with family.  I tried to make it fun for myself, but it was still a bit lonely.  Oh the plans I had for the holiday.  They will need to wait until next year.  “Next year”.  “When this is over”.  I find myself saying these lines a lot.  So, there are a lot of things that will definitely have to wait, but there are so many things I can do right now.  Yes, I keep telling myself this, too.  I just need to listen!  Haha!

Although I had wanted to go all out, I kept my decor simple.  A few plants and some flags gave my front porch a patriotic flair.  I made myself some red, white and blue jello, some baked beans (which I forgot to turn the temperature down on the oven and they got a bit dried out, but they were still tasty), some fruit and a pulled pork sandwich.

I think next time I’ll serve on a blue or red plate so it shows off better.

After it cooled down outside, a little anyway, around 11:30pm, I went out and lit a few sparklers.  Okay, these sparklers must have been the really safe kind.  They were pretty much duds, lots of smoke, not so much sparkle, but I made some figure eights and enjoyed the memories it brought back.  Next time I’ll have to find some real ones.

 

I pray that next year we will have more love and grace and less hatred and violence in our country!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I miss you, ladies…

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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Hope’s taking a little rest.

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Hope and Charity.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Have a great week!

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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.

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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!

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August 11, 2017

Good morning!

Wishing you beautiful moments like this today.

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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!