I am a big fan of Pinterest and actually do use the ideas I pin.  Along those lines I found two things that I really loved and wanted to post them here and I plan to incorporate them into our home and life this coming year (and thereafter).

I love this Gratitude Jar  idea! I know for me, I grumble about the negative stuff and find it easy to lose focus of the great things that I have to be thankful for in my everyday life. I want to focus on being more grateful and less grumbly.  

I'm thinking that this gratitude jar idea will make an ideal gift too.  Maybe pass them out to my kids for Christmas to start this tradition with their own families.  This is such an inexpensive and easy way to share and focus on what is truly important.

Here is another great idea.  This Photo Display idea can be rotated easily to update photos throughout the year or display photos for special events that you are celebrating or have celebrated.  You could even use it in conjunction with your gratitude jar.

I'm looking forward to 2013 as a year full of exciting possibilities and gratitude for every blessing, no matter how small.   



We're down to the wire on our move...just a few more boxes to pack, closets to empty and our bed to take down and we're off to our new address.

I woke up sick yesterday.  I've been fighting a cold all week but Saturday I woke up feeling yucky...with a headache, sneezing, and blowing my nose all morning.  A half dose of Sudafed helped me get through my day of packing boxes and off to a Christmas party at our friends' house for the evening.

It was a nice break for us spending time with friends.

Today, I woke still feeling crummy, but not as bad as I did yesterday. I was awake early after a good night's sleep. We went out for breakfast and I dosed up again with Sudafed and we got a lot done today!  I was so thankful that I had as much energy as I did, even being sick. 

It feels good to be this close to moving and have all the hard work of cleaning out, organizing and packing up our house nearly done.

The best part of moving is just ahead of us.  Unpacking, arranging and settling in to our new home!

I'm looking forward to celebrating Christmas at our new address.



I had a very productive weekend of packing.  We have boxes stacked everywhere and it's evident that we are moving.  We are using paper plates, plastic silverware and cups.  I kept out two ceramic coffee mugs and two wine glasses (who wants to drink wine out of plastic?  well, not me)

That being said, I did not write one darn word all weekend...not one word, until last night when I opened my novel and wrote four words.  It was late, I was tired but I thought maybe my imagination and fingers might come back to life.  They didn't.  I wrote my four words and shut my laptop down and went to bed.

I clearly am not going to finish this novel in the next three days.  I may get to 20,000 words by then (but that is doubtful). 

I am missing the 50,000 mark by a lot. 
I will not win Nanowrimo this year. 
I am okay with that. 

The upside is that I have a strong start to a good novel and I completed a lot of writing despite travel and moving.  I will just have to continue my heroine's journey after we get moved into our new house. 

Until then, I will carry on with more sorting, cleaning and packing.



I'm very far behind on my word count.  But I am much further ahead on my writing in general, than I ever would have been had I not signed up for Nanowrimo.

I have every intention of finishing (still).  My novel has taken shape and is off in a good direction.  I just need to close myself off from the world for a week and do nothing but write.  No eating, no sleeping...just writing.  It will never happen, of course, but that is what it will probably take.

I finally reached 10,000 words on Thursday night and then only wrote 719 more on Friday.  Way behind the 1,667 words a day to finish by November 30.  I plan to get more writing done today, and I have tomorrow, too. (That's what I keep telling myself so I don't quit.)

I have to admit that it is overwhelming with all the catching up I have to do.  I don't even want to say how far behind I am...Let's just say I might as well be trying to scale Mt. Everest. 

That is how daunting my goal feels right now to me.

Okay, I am through whining here...time to write.  See ya!



We've begun packing!  I have one room started and it feels good to have made this first step.  We took down the pool, scrubbed and hosed off the liner and folded it up.  That was a huge chore in and of itself. 

We will be in the new house before Christmas, though I am not certain how prepared I will be for Christmas decorating and entertaining.  I'm sure it will probably be chaotic, but we will be somewhat settled (not unpacked) in the new house. 

So, I thought I'd get more writing done this weekend, and it was not for lack of time, but instead I struggled with a bit of writer's block.   

My writer's brain was somewhere else.  I couldn't get a writing flow going until, of course, Sunday night at the precisely the time I needed to turn in for the night.  So, I left a sentence hanging and went to bed.  I'm hoping that the flow will return when I open my laptop up again, tonight.

My goal is to write a novel in 30 days.  If I don't complete it, I will still have written more and been writing more consistently than I have in a long time.  That is already true and I'm feeling more in tune as a writer than I have in a long time.

It's typical for me to get a brainstorm late at night and then stay up writing into the wee hours, until my eyelids are so heavy that I can barely focus on the screen.  But working a full time day job requires sleep, so that makes meeting my writing goals a bit trickier.

Balancing my writing with everything else is hard, but I'm just gonna run with it.



Well, I have jumped into NANOWRIMO with both feet and jammed with a storyline that began to just fly out of my fingers onto the screen.  Sure surprised the heck out of me.

For a month now, I have fretted about an outline and coming up with some ideas and that was making me feel very stressed.  When I am stressed, I just want to hide away and usually I get nothing done, so that's what happened with my preparing for my Novel adventure this month. Nothing.  No preparation.

And suddenly, it was November 1st and I had no choice but to begin writing.

Last night, after dinner...I opened my laptop and began typing.  Sentences. I was ecstatic when a character emerged and before I knew it, so had a crazy plot line. 

Just like life, I have no clear idea where this is headed, but I can promise that it's going to be a twisting, quirky ride to get to the end.

I can't wait until tonight when I am able to continue my character's journey!  Day one down.  1,676 words.  On track.



Well, since I posted last, we have a lot more on our plate for November than we anticipated. 

Our out-of-state kiddos and grandkiddos have returned home and we were starting to get back to our normal routine.  I just finished making the last two batches of my Jalapeno Jelly for 2012 and at the same time, things have begun to shift into high gear around here.

I wrote that I had expected I'd be busier in November working on NANOWRIMO and not have a chance to update my blog.  However, there is something else added to our calendar to monopolize more of our time.

We are moving!

Yes, MOVE.  As in go through and pack up all our stuff and move everything into a new house. We've been considering moving for several months now and only recently have things perfectly fallen into place for that to happen.

So in light of that, I am not sure how much writing I am going to accomplish in November after all, but I am going to do my best to meet my writing goals AND move.  Am I crazy?  Probably... 

Here we go....and we are so excited about our beautiful new home and change of address!



Here's what's up at our house.

I'm going to participate in NANOWRIMO this year.  That stands for National Novel Writing Month.  I am challenging myself to write every single day in November and get 50,000 words written by the end of November. 

At the very least, it will get me writing a lot more often than I am right now.

Ashley and three of our grandchildren are here for two weeks and the rest of the crew are all arriving on Friday.  Kent is attending work training in Los Angeles and will be with us on the weekends.  We are having so much fun with them on their visit. 

This Sunday, we are hosting a family dinner including great-grandparents, kids and grand-kids!  Taylor, Sarah and the girls are flying in from VA and we can't wait to see them, too!  A happy house full! We are also celebrating Aaron's 2nd birthday that day!  Good times!

So, if I am incommunicado for a couple more weeks (or even the entire month of November), you will know why.




The calendar says it's Fall. But our weather says otherwise.

One of our local weather forecasters calls this time of year our "sneaky summer".

I agree.

The temperatures this week will be in the 80's and 90's at my house and 10 degrees (or more) higher in the inland valleys.

Fall weather?  Nope.

Tomorrow, we'll probably be floating in the pool.  Making it through one more week of warm weather.  Preparing another meal on the grill and eating outside on our patio.

I'm glad it will be some time before we have to turn on the furnace but I have to admit that I'm looking forward to the chill in the air in the mornings and pulling out blankets to snuggle up on the couch in, pulling on my Ugg boots in the morning, sweatshirts and  sipping mugs of hot cider. 

However, that weather is likely not going to arrive until November.  Maybe even late November.

Today it's still shorts and bare feet weather. 



As the 22nd of September passed, marking a month without Kona, I realized that I hate this new normal that we have been trying to adjust to. It is not normal at all. 

Will we ever get used to coming home without Kona's over-the-top, tail wagging, turning circles, dancing-dog-love greeting that we still expect every day?  

Every morning I expect to find her sleeping on the floor on my side of the bed when I get up in the morning, but she is not there. 

I miss the two large ceramic bowls that held her food and water in our kitchen...they have always been there and now they are not. 

I even miss her sudden, make-me-jump-outta-my-skin barks to let us know that that people are coming to the door, or walking past the house or delivering a package. 

I miss her presence, her breathing in the night, her patrols after we go to bed, her shadowing us into and out of every room, her big brown doe eyes watching me.  

I miss picking up all of her toys at night and most of all I miss her sweet Kona licks (kisses).

Will this empty place in my heart ever feel normal? Maybe someday, but on the other hand, a part of me hopes it never will.  

Maybe that is the way it supposed to be.



I'm a little late for the party, but hey, better late than never, right?  I follow Kelly's blog, but I don't play along every Friday...today I am, so here we go! Here are my top three favorites!

My number 1 favorite beauty product is Nerium.  I started using this 4 months ago and I am sold on what it's done for my skin!  One bottle lasts me nearly two months and it's sure cheaper than any cosmetic procedure! 

I love this for pore refining! I apply it after my foundation (Bare Minerals) and dab it on my face on the areas that need it.

pores no more pore refiner

This little product is great too...I love how it makes my eyes look! I got a sample in my Birchbox shipment and tried it out and I was sold.  A little goes a LONG way...so this small jar will last forever.

Now if I can just find a mascara I really love....



Yep, we went to Disneyland last weekend. 

We stayed with the kids in their timeshare and had such a good time!  We had so much fun with Grace, Aaron and Sarah.  We trucked around Disneyland on Sunday, colored lots of coloring book pages with Gracie, ate some yummy meals together, gave mama and daddy a date night and swam with the kiddos later that night.  Grace and Aaron are fearless swimmers!  They wore their Memaw and Pepaw out! 

On Monday, we stayed at the condo with Sarah and mama and daddy took the "big kids" back to Disneyland for another day of rides and characters! Sarah is such a good baby and she liked hanging out with her Memaw and Pepaw. It was an awesome getaway for us. 

Grace waited in line so patiently to see Tinkerbell.  It was 93 degrees there that day and we were HOT!

 Aaron wished there was some water to play in while we waited.  Us too!

 Sweet Sarah was in such a good mood and took some good naps too!

 Grace and Aaron rode the Teacups ride with Daddy!

 Grace and Pepaw took a spin on the Carousel! 

Aaron met the Genie and Grace got to dance with Princess Jasmine

We headed back home Monday afternoon and settled back in to our routine (for work the next day) after a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up food for the week and another stop to order a pizza for dinner. 

It is good to be back home and sleep in our own comfy bed, but I already miss our three 'mouseketeers'! 



Before...fresh out of our backyard garden

After...Jalapeno Jelly (with one Habenero Pepper added for heat) cooling in fourteen half-pint-wide-mouth jars.



I finally shook that nasty headache yesterday and made two batches of jalapeno/habenero jelly (13 jalapenos and 1 habenero pepper to a recipe).  That equals 14 half-pint jars of homemade pepper jelly!

This morning we had breakfast at IHOP...I enjoyed some blueberry pancakes this (without the compote and whipped cream).  Then we made a grocery run..and spent the afternoon in the pool on our floats, sipping Mai Tai's (with fresh pineapple and Marachino cherries) and listening to Classic Rock tunes...just a floatin'....

Tonight, we are grillin' Tri Tip on the grill.  I'm cooking up some red potatoes, green peppers and onions for a side dish/veggie in one.

I have been relaxing and enjoying a very "chill" day.

Hope your Labor Day has been just as relaxing as ours.



This is one of those mornings when there is just not enough coffee to help the headache I woke up with.

I started with some Excedrin, but unfortunately, it hasn't helped much and now I am on my second cup of coffee--and still no change.

I am planning on having a productive day and making several batches of jalapeno jelly today, so I'm hoping that I can get out of this fog of pain soon, and get going on them.

Yesterday was a good day.  I got some organizing done in the morning and then I had the best visit with our youngest grandson, Ethan...this Memaw is so blessed!

Later in the afternoon, we celebrated my mom's and my neice's birthdays.  It was good to spend time with family and enjoy delicious food.

I'm ready for another cup of coffee and then I need to write a list of ingredients to pick up at the grocery for my jelly. Ta ta for now....



Ten days have passed since we lost Kona.

I'm better. 

A few days ago, I wondered if I would ever have a day that I didn't cry.  And now I've had a couple of them. 

I still get overcome with emotion when I least expect to, but the good days are outnumbering the bad and laughter and happy memories of her are helping me heal.

One day at a time.



How do I begin to write about losing our dog, Kona, when my heart feels like it has been ripped out of me and I'm so sad that sometimes I feel like I can barely breathe. On the inside, I am wailing. On the outside, I am trying to hold myself together. And as a writer, it's cathartic for me to write about losing her.

I mentioned Kona's tummy issues in a post last month. We began working with our vet to eliminate possible causes, trying medications, diet changes, tests and finally believing we had our answer and still needed a specific diagnosis in order to choose the right medication to manage what we believed was IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease--a manageable illness) we took her to an IMS (internal medical specialist) vet, Dr. Geist for a consultation and endoscopy on Monday morning.

That afternoon, when we returned to pick her up and review the procedure results with him, we learned that our sweet and very sick Kona did not have IBD. Instead, Dr. Geist told us he was certain that she had stomach cancer and the confirming biopsy results would be in by Wednesday or Thursday. The news devastated us and changed our focus.

Kona had cancer.

It made sense now why she would not eat anything and would clamp her jaw shut when I tried to coax her meds down her to help the nausea that consumed her. Why she vomited mucus and foam and was getting thinner by the hour. We knew we could not make her go through another day living like this, so Tuesday night we made the agonizing decision to stop her suffering and let her go.

On Wednesday, we spent time with her, laying on the floor next to her, loving her, talking to her. When we took her in late that afternoon, Dr. Geist confirmed he had the biopsy results and that she indeed did have cancer was the worst possible kind. Carcinoma. It was very bad. As our hearts were breaking, he assured us that we were making the right decision and that we were making it at the right time.

We sat down on the floor together with her and as she took her last breaths and slipped away from us, we gave her rubs behind her ears and told her how much we loved her and what a good dog she was and how deeply loved she was by everyone.

We are so grateful for the kindness, compassion and good care Kona was received from Dr. Geist, Levi and the rest of the VCA staff during the brief time she was their patient.

We are struggling to get through these hard days and weeks ahead of us as we grieve and adjust to life without Kona, but we have peace that our sweet girl will live forever in our memory as the beautiful, loving, smart and funny dog that stole our hearts away as a tiny puppy when she chose us as her Mama and Daddy.

12/16/2005 - 08/22/2012



The good news is that the annoying itching has improved.  Still get it once or twice a day...on my hands and feet...but not taking anything for it and maybe I am just used to it or dealing with it.  I dunno.

I had an awesome day yesterday with our grandson, Ethan.  Mama and Daddy had a date day and he stayed with me.  He took a good nap for me and we strolled around the neighborhood (Memaw got some good exercise and Ethan enjoyed his Memaw talking to him while we walked).

Ethan is a happy boy and such a smiler and I am so blessed!   I had the best day with him and can't wait to spend another day with him. 

I am looking forward to seeing my other three sweeties in September when we meet them at Disneyland. 

This Memaw is a happy camper!  I have four sweet, adorable grandchildren who have me wrapped around their itsy-bitsy fingers.



So I've been absent from blogging. 

We went away for a fun anniversary weekend and I should have already posted pics, but I haven't.  I will, though.

Since we've been home,  I've been dealing with an annoying allergic reaction to an antibiotic I took and finished before we left.  Annoying random itching on my hands and feet...enough to make me want to claw the flesh off of my appendages.  I started taking Benadryl to help with the itching, but then I felt like a zombie, and even though zombies are everywhere right now, it is not something I have ever aspired to be...

so then I was taking caffeine to keep me from feeling so lethargic...(so I could work and carry on normal conversations, you know stuff like that)

It's not been fun.

So not fun.

And here I am, almost two weeks later, still itching.  Not as bad, so I have been able to stop taking Benadryl and then having to alternately dose myself with caffeine.  

Hoping it stops altogether.  Soon.  Like tomorrow...

Or now.

Yeah, now would be awesome.



We love our bikes and we're having a great time getting out and riding them.  However, I have to admit, that when it comes to the open road, me and my bike shall never be brave enough to roll together with CARS and TRUCKS and BUSES. We have been sticking to primarily bike/pedestrian routes and paths.

My opinion is that cyclists (I keep wanting to type bikers and realize that is a completely different form of two wheel rider than me) belong on the sidewalk (away from traffic) and should then defer to pedestrian traffic).  I agree that if no sidewalk exists, the cyclists should have the choice to use the "bike lanes" but this should not be our only choice when a sidewalk exists.   I will probably venture out into my neighborhood for bike rides, but cycling with lanes of traffic does not sound like a good time to me.  Give me a bike path, please.

The system of sharing the route with pedestrians works pretty well on boardwalks.  We had our first experience yesterday "sharing the boardwalk" with walkers, strollers, leashed dogs, little kids on little bikes, tourists and joggers and it was not too bad. 

It's kind of cool (in a nerdy sort of way) to look ahead of me and to calculate whether I should speed up and go around the folks strolling ahead of me, before I get to oncoming walking or bike traffic on the other side, or just slow down and bide my time.  I guess it's another form of 'puzzle solving' and should be helping my aging brain from succumbing to "forgetfulness"...biking the boardwalk and Mahjong. haha!  Whatever keeps me young....biking is sure an awesome way to get exercise!

We got to the beach Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. hoping to avoid most of the touristy crowd and bike Ocean Front Walk from the jetty at South Mission Beach to a few blocks past Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.  It was overcast and damp (typical early morning San Diego weather) and we had hot cups of coffee perched in our Electra cup holders because that's how we roll. We must have coffee in the morning.  Every morning! 

We parked at the Jetty, hopped on our bikes and began peddling our way down the boardwalk.  Most of the residences lining the boardwalk are summer rentals and the visiting peeps were emerging from inside to their patios to read the paper. people-watch and sip cups of coffee. Several greeted acquaintances they recognized and quickly became engrossed in easy conversation (as we swerved around) making our way north. 

We stopped for a couple of photo taking opportunities and after we reached the end turned around and rode back to the jetty.

Going earlier in the morning on a weekend made our first trip down the boardwalk a blast!  We're planning on many repeat rides this summer.

There is also a Baywalk route that connects from the jetty that we plan to add on, too!  Tomorrow we are heading back to the Bay to ride for a couple of hours before we join our friends around a fire ring for dinner, conversation and laughs.



We picked up our bikes today and then we went to Mission Bay and rode over 7 miles.  It was a gorgeous sunny day and there were lots of other bicyclists, joggers, families, skateboarders, kite flyers and walkers.  That doesn't count all of the people enjoying the water, too!

We're back home and we're getting ready to put some burgers on the grill and close out our weekend.

I have to say, it's been an awesome weekend!



Tomorrow is the day we have been waiting for since January. 

We ordered our bikes (Electra Townie 8i Balloon) in late January and after months of (epic) waiting, we are going to go pick up our bikes (AT LAST). 

Stay tuned for photos of our bikes!  Finally, on the eve of the day we drive to the bike store to take delivery of our beloved Townies, I am feeling the excitement of a kid on Christmas Eve. 

We're going to have breakfast tomorrow morning at a cafe near the bike shop, sip coffee, fidget, check the time on our smartphones, and wait for the bike shop to open. 

I can't wait to share photos of our bikes.  We have waited so darn long for them to arrive!  We will be taking a maiden voyage on them around Mission Bay after we take delivery of them! 

A big day at our house.



Summer is here. 

Warm weather has arrived, my garden is growing and our pool temperature is up to 88 degrees.  We're grilling out more and beginning to spend time on the patio. 

We've also been dealing with trouble shooting our dog's tummy issues which started with vomiting two or three days a week and did not improve with a diet of boiled rice and chicken.  After visits to the vet, exam,bloodwork and labs and an abdominal ultrasound...the diagnosis is IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) which is manageable with diet.  It's been physically and emotionally exhausting  and we are hoping and praying a diet change will be the solution. She is also on an antibiotic regime for two weeks.

On top of that, on Sunday afternoon, I pulled a muscle in my back and have been on my own regime of Motrin, ice, heat, and rest.  I expect that in two weeks I will be feeling normal again.   I am thankful for our pool's warm water temperatures because it has been such a treat to get in and relax in a Papasan float (made by Swimways) for an hour or so. 

In other news, we have our fingers crossed that our bikes will actually be in our LBS (local bike shop) this weekend for us to pick up!  The delay has been because of the fact that the parts for the internal gears come from Japan and have been back ordered due to the earthquake and Tsunami that devastated Japan.  Our first delivery date was mid April, then mid June and now....July 6th. 

If Kona is showing improvement, her "auntie Linda" is going to be hanging here and staying with her while we spend our anniversary (♥ #10 ♥) weekend in Dana Point and we are taking our bikes!!

Today, we are hanging at home with our pup.  Some floating in the pool, some reading, and grilling blackened fish tacos, with homemade pico de gallo, guacamole and margaritas for our July 4th dinner.  We had other plans for our celebration, but we're making the best of it with our pupster.

Enjoy your Fourth of July!  Have a blessed day and celebrate our precious freedom and don't forget those who serve our country to protect it!




We had a getaway this weekend. 

To the desert heat.

To do nuttin'. 

Except lay by the hotel pool, sip iced cold beverages, eat a yummy hotel buffet breakfast and hot coffee each morning; nibble on a Saturday lunch of cheeses, pita chips, hummus, grapes, salami and those crazy Ritz pretzel chips; and Saturday, savoring some frozen yogurt while we watched 'Crazy, Stupid Love' in the comfort of our comfy hotel room. 

The best part was that we had no schedule to follow, except what we decided to do in the moment.

Yeah, it was absolutely, completely wonderful and the perfect kind of weekend for us! 



I realize that I am going to have to blog a recap of another week.

Wow, I really need to be better about blogging.  But honestly, there hasn't been a lot of day to day stuff to blog about lately, thus, no blogging. 

Or maybe I just haven't had the "umph" to actually blog. It's one of those reasons....but I don't have the "umph" to decide which one it is...

I know you are shaking your head right now. 

I see you. 

So, without any further adieu, here is the recap for your reading and viewing pleasure.... *drumroll*

Last weekend, I attended a friend's 50th birthday party, which was so much fun.  I especially loved listening to the band, ShowDown who played lots of great Southern Rock!  Awesome band and a great party!  Here is one shot of the band playing.

And one of the birthday girl and her dad dancing.  We have been family friends since we were in elementary school when our parents were in the same Sunday School class! 

Some girlfriends and I all went out for wine and catching up and laughing ourselves silly. We had such a good time together!  We're talking about joining a bowling league together this fall...Now that is gonna be a hoot and a half!  haha!

Soaking in all the cute pics of our grandbabies and a short visit with Ethan...little cuddle bug on Memorial Day.  I can't get enough of them!  What's a Memaw to do? 

And lastly...I had some down time at home (in between birthday partying and girls' night outting) while Bruce was playing in a softball tournament in Reno last weekend. Nice break from all of my socializing.


That's a wrap folks!



I know I haven't posted in a week but I've been keeping busy.  Aside from the obvious (you know...work, errands, ), I have been consumed with the following:

Reading a lot more. In fact, I have spent more time reading than I have in the past three...no make that 5 years;

Walking on my lunch hour (3 days out of 5) which doesn't take into consideration the 3/4 mile walk to Mixon Deli that Linda and I take every Friday; and

Bruce and I worked in our back yard last weekend and got our pool completely set up, filled and covered. The water temp was already 84 degrees this afternoon!

We got great news that our bikes will be delivered by the middle of June and we'll be cruising the shores of San Diego as soon as we get them!

Bring on the summer weather!  We are ready!



After an 8 day haitus, I returned to walking during my lunch hour.  Almost 3 miles in 45 minutes...uphill and back.  It's a great walk and workout.  The day was perfect for a long walk. 

May cloud cover with sunshine peeking through and a breeze from the coast kept me cooled.

Tomorrow will be another perfect day for a walk. 

It will be the best way start to a long holiday weekend and I can't wait!



I have had a productive, good weekend.

It was a perfect balance between getting things done and relaxing.  Crossing things off my to-do list and we had a really good visit with Cameron, Heather and Ethan. We took up some steaks to put on the grill and enjoyed some yummy baked potatoes,a spring greens salad, and sipped homemade Mead with dinner (Cameron's hobby).  It was delicious!

I was in heaven holding sweet Ethan and kissing his sweet cheeks.  He is such a sweet baby.  He is a month old today!

I trimmed the ends of my hair--still growing it out; organized my closet and drawers (digging out some more clothes that I am not going to ever wear again); did my nails and painted them a bright spring red to match my toesies.

I read some more of my Goldie Hawn book--still not finished; mailed a box off to my darling daughter; made myself a hashbrown/scrambled egg burrito for breakfast and sipped 3 mugs of coffee.

Laundry is going...one load in the dryer and one in the washer and enjoying the close of the day.

Yeah, I had a good weekend.



I started to blog about what a rough work week I've had, but then I decided that would be a downer and not very nice...so instead, I decided to highlight some positive happenings in my week.

  • we just got word that our bikes will be ready and we'll be riding them in 30 days
  • we are seeing our newest grandson again this weekend
  • I finished one book and started another one
  • I am getting 8 hours of sleep every night this week
  • our weather has been awesome...warm sunny days!
  • Bruce made the most delicious homemade pizza for dinner last night
  • It's almost Friday!
I have a nice hot cup of coffee in hand and I am ready to kick this work week on its behind and tackle the weekend!

Carry on...



I thought I better edit this blogpost with this preface:

I did not write this...I found it on Facebook and it touched me enough to want to share it here.  Though it is a message from a mother to a daughter, I want to keep in mind for ME with my own Mother--she has given ME so much.

Letter from a Mother to a Daughter:

“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day…

The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant.

Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.

And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.

When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared.

With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter. “


I am a Mother because of my children. I owe them a debt of gratitude.

I could not be the person I am today if it were not for all of them.  I learned so much about being flexible, patient and how to listen to my gut...just from raising them.  They taught me so much about life.  They taught me important lessons. As much as they learned from me, I learned from them. I learned so many things.  Too many to list. But here are a few.

I learned what it feels like to hold my babe brand new, placed in my arms, eyes struggling to open to look at me.  How raw and real that feels.  I learned how precious those moments in the middle of the night were--when I was nursing my newborns..just me and my child.  I learned the way my child's smile can light up my world. Every single time they smile. Even now.

I learned that my pediatrician really did know what he was talking about and to relax and not worry so much. That was a tough one.  I must have driven him crazy with all my calls about fevers and symptoms of what I thought must have been some horrid disease.

I learned that all kids really do stay dry through the night well before they get to college and not to compare myself against other parents. I learned that my children's disappointments are mine, their pain is mine and how it feels to go all "mama bear" for my children.  I embraced my role as their protector from the time they left my womb!  I realized early on that I would give my life for my children without hesitation.

I learned that pacifiers are okay and 'Pyjamas Don't Matter' (Thank you, Trish Gibben).  Kisses and hugs, snuggles in bed and prayers in the middle of the night DO matter. Kissed boo-boos are big deals.  Chaos is normal...and okay. 

Sleepless nights are worth it.  No matter the reason.  A child that needs to be held and rocked, waiting for a teen child to come home from work or a date, a visit from law enforcement at 3 a.m. delivering a child safely back home.  Time well spent and lessons worth learning.

My children taught me patience.  They taught me to pray without ceasing.  They taught me to be silly and to keep laughing.  They gave me the gift of daily joy. They made me strong and tough.  They were my light in dark times.  They lifted me with their love.  They saved me.

There is so much more...I am forever indebted to my children.  I am honored to be their Mother. I thank God every single day for giving me these amazing children to love and raise!

This Mother's Day, I want to take the time to say Thank You to my children for everything you have given me! I love you so much! 



I finally got brave enough to try some of our jalapeno/habenero blend jelly that I made last summer after harvesting the jalapenos and habeneros we grew in our garden.

I was a little nervous about how 'hot' this jelly was going to be.  I hadn't tried it yet.  It was a new addition to my jelly recipe and I had been loving the straight jalapeno jelly I'd made the previous two summers. It has good flavor and just a touch of heat.  I love spicy food, but I don't like food so spicy that it overpowers the flavor of the food you have added the spice to.  Was this one gonna be a bust?

Anyway, I decided to put a dab of the jalapeno/habenero jelly on a fresh "everything" bagel I toasted for breakfast on Sunday. First, I spread some whipped cream cheese on top and then spread a small amount of the jelly on top of that. 

Oh. My. Goodness....It was out-of-the-park delicioso! It was the perfect amount of heat.  How perfect?  I could have eaten the whole jar. 

But I didn't.  I showed a considerable amount of restraint, closed the lid and put the jar into the fridge.

We did break out a half a block of cream cheese and dropped a few spoonfuls of the jelly over the top and scooped it up with baked pita chips as an appetizer before dinner that night.  Another home run!

My wheels began churning about creating this summer's batches of jalapeno jelly.

In addition to my original jalapeno jelly recipe (made with some seeded and unseeded jalapenos) and the jalapeno/habenero jelly batch (made with the aforementioned jalapeno blend and one seeded habenero, I am going to make a batch with an unseeded habenero...and maybe a fourth batch of two seeded habeneros...yeah! 

I'll see what that brings and go from there...unlimited concoctions of jalapeno jelly goodness shall be cooked and canned in my kitchen!


Sometimes I am left shaken or moved emotionally when I've read or heard something that speaks so deeply to me that I am ready to act on it. It happens when I least expect it to and I think that is when I know it is something profound. Something important.  It is God's voice whispering in my ear and the message goes straight to my gut.  Ever have that happen?

At that precise moment, I am ready to leap into action. There is an urgency pulsing through me.  Quick! Before my life gets so busy again that I lose track of that moment of passion that washed over me as I read the words.  Before it becomes unimportant.  Before I put it aside, compartmentalizing into another part of my brain and promising to act on it another day.  Tomorrow.

Last week, I packed a book I had bought several years ago, thinking I would read it sooner rather than later, but then here I was, so many years later, tossing it in my suitcase this past weekend and opening it for the first time on our return flight.

I took it out of my purse to read and take my mind off of the fact that our plane felt like some kind of poorly constructed carnival ride as we were tossed side to side and falling suddenly off of pockets of unstable air, making me wonder if this was the day I would die.  (I always think that thought when I fly because it I am still in awe that something SO huge and heavy can actually take off the ground and stay up in the air).

The book I am reading is Goldie: A Lotus Grows in the Mud by Goldie Hawn. It is very good and I would recommend it.

I still have 1/3 more of the book to read before I am finished, and I will add more of my thoughts and comments after I have completed it later this week.

This book, so far, has definitely made me pause for periods of reflection and instilled a sense of urgency to do certain things in my own life.  I have been inspired and brought to tears over some of her experiences that I can connect with in my own life. 

Though I still have more to read, I am reminded that life is short and we must do the things our heart tells us to do, when we hear it speak to us and not wait until it is then too late.



I've finally gotten a few consecutive nights of deep sleep and I feel like I have recovered from my sleep deprived state.  

Whoa, what a crazy, amazing roller coaster of a ride!  At least I know I can still hold my own under those conditions.  As Grace used to say, "I did it!" 

Last week reminded me my life many moons ago, when I worked all night as a waitress, slept a few hours by the pool during the day and then went out in the evening before going back to work at 11 pm.  

Except back then, I went without sleep on purpose And I was younger.  I could still go for naps by the pool.  Sleep and sun...multi-tasking at its finest.

Now, we are jetting off into the friendly skies to spend some time with Grace, Aaron and Sarah.  I'm looking forward to late night chats with my daughter and lots of QT with the grand-babes. 

I can sleep on the flights.  Right?



We went to the hospital yesterday to visit Ethan and took this photo of our precious grandson.

He and Mama & Daddy will be heading home tomorrow.

And our grandaughter, sweet Sarah and Mama & Daddy went home Friday night.

We are going to go see Ethan at the hospital again today and starting to pack for our trip out to visit Sarah, Grace and Aaron!



We have more grandbaby news! 

                                      Daddy Cameron holding his son right after he was born!

On Friday, April 20, 2012 we welcomed our grandson, Ethan Matthew (Cameron and Heather's first born)! 

He arrived two weeks early at 6 pounds, 12 ounces and 20 inches long--healthy and beautiful!  We are going back to visit (and hold him) today! 

We are so thankful and blessed!




Our sweet grand-daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Sovereen was born last night and weighed 8 pounds 8 ounces and 20 inches long!  She joins big sister, Grace (3) and big brother, Aaron (18 months)!

We are so elated and in love with our little beauty already.  We are going to visit next week and can't wait to meet Sarah and get our Memaw and Pepaw fix with our first two sweetie pies!

I am on cloud nine! 



Another week has begun. 

Our alarm clock woke me from a deep sleep with a punch of noise that, on this morning, instantly made my head hurt.  My dreams were still jumbled in my head and I took some Excedrin and gulped down some water and lay there for less than 5 minutes, taking deep breaths, determined to get out of bed and get on the treadmill before work.

And after I pushed myself out of bed, into my workout clothes and churned through a good workout, my head pain lessened.  Locked on auto-pilot, I showered and got ready for work and was out the door.  Sunglasses on, music turned up loud and feeling thankful that the traffic was light, I cruised down the freeway.
As I neared downtown, I braked to a stop behind a line of slow moving traffic and crept for a few minutes--what was everyone slowing down for?  An accident?  A disabled car?  And then I saw it.  In the distance, standing on one of the bridges crossing over the freeway, I could make out the silhouette of a man...was he sitting on the rail?  No, please, don't jump.  Was he standing?  Leaning?  As my car rolled closer, I could see him better.  He was standing, facing the oncoming traffic. An empty grocery cart was next to him. Homeless, perhaps?

Suddenly, he raised his hands above his heads and formed a V with his outstretched arms and made "peace signs" with both hands.  He stood there motionless as my car passed under the bridge and the traffic ahead of me sped up.

I was shaken up and barely remember the short drive left.  As I rolled into the parking garage at my office, I wondered: 
What did this mean?  What was he trying to say? Was he feeling invisible?   Was this the cry for help of a man that no one understood?  Had he stopped making sense and people stopped listening? 

As unsettling as it felt to me, I wondered if maybe he was just a man who paused on his walk to offer a message to his audience.




The following may be of interest to writers and non-writers alike, or of interest to only me, since they are my musings. I have decided to write it down here for me.
Some are very complex and others are very simple.

I suppose I could say that I have a simple relationship with the homeless man who often stands at the end of the freeway exit by my office. I don't know his name or what brings him to this corner. We greet one another with mutual smiles, a wave and everytime, he gives me a thumbs up.

He stands there in the very early morning, his breath visible in the cold air. His full thick mustache draws attention away from his thin face.  Tugging at the dark beanie pulled down over his ears, he holds a piece of cardboard box that has printed with black marker, 'God Bless You'.

I can't tell you what days he is there or not there, only that I can rely on his presence more often than not.  But now, several day have passed and I have not seen him.  Each day as I exit the freeway, I expect to see him and he is not there. 

I feel a little sad.  I miss our greetings through the car window.  Thumbs up, my friend, wherever you are.


In a memory, I am captive by desert sunsets fading into a mirage of ocean.

In a dream, I slow danced beside a campfire with the ghost of a love that never lived.

In a nightmare, I suffocating in fear and a flood of tears; lost in efforts of foolish giving while the echo of midnight prayers remained constant.

In reality, my strength has been honed by memories, dreams and nightmares. Like the iron forged by flame, and the diamond shaped out of coal, I could not be who I am today without the process of my past.




What have I been doing?  Ummmm...working, working out...watching DVR'd shows....taking care of business...ya know, the usual...

Last night, I met a bunch of fun friends at a local favorite hangout with GREAT food and wine to celebrate our friend, Linda's birthday.  We had a great time!  Drank glasses of chilled wine, ate yummy thin crust pizza (one just a yummy garlic cheese type and the other, a red pepper, arugula, and asparagus pizza) and then, our wonderful banker (who should ditch banking) baker friend, Leeann brought us a grand variety of crazy good cupcakes to dive into.

I am not kidding when I say crazy good either.  I indulged in a Snicker's cupcake...devils food with a chocolate butter cream frosting and snickers on top.  She baked 9 different varieties of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes...I wanted to eat one of each, but the amount of time I would have to spend on the treadmill to burn those ingested calories...well let's just say, I might as well walk to Phoenix, AZ.

You girls know exactly what I mean. Don't pretend you don't.

I held myself to one cupcake and brought two home to my hubby.

I was so inspired by all that yumminess that I have decided to try my hand at some innovative cupcake making for family celebrations. 


Tomorrow we are going to work in our garden.

Yes, it is that time of year!  Time to add soil, plant our tomatoes, jalapenos, basil and squash. We're going to implement a drip irrigation system this year.  We bought it last year but didn't get it installed in time.

And yes, you are right, we have narrowed the amount of types of veggies we are growing. What do we really want to grow?  We came up with the list above based on what works for us. I love making pesto, jalapeno jelly, and eating steamed squash and fresh tomatoes...and I am thinking a fresh margarita pizza will be so good this summer...fresh tomatoes and basil and cheese on a whole wheat pizza crust...maybe on the grill? 

I am sure that got my hubby's attention....(yes, he reads my blog).

I'll post our annual photos after we get everything planted.



Yesterday we hosted a baby shower for my sweet daughter-in-law, Heather and our soon-to-be born grandson. Their son is their first baby!  We are so excited!

The theme of this shower was Construction Vehicles and the colors were yellow and blue.  I found some cute art prints and frames of construction vehicles that they can hang in little man's room afterwards!

We had a great time and I had lots of help from Heather's sister, Melissa and her best friend, Dina.  They took care of ordering and sending out the invitations and handling the RSVP's and keeping me updated so I could concentrate on other details.

They helped me hostess and everything went off smoothly. Everyone had a great time!

Here are the happy expectant parents:  First born son, Cameron and his wifey, Heather!

Sweet sisters

Best Friends!

Memaw, Heather, Nana (great-grandmother), and Auntie Meghann


Grandma (Heather's mama), Heather and Auntie Melissa

Food Table (before we set the food out) 

We served Greek Chicken Pasta Salad, Green Salad, Fresh Fruit, Croissants with butter, and Mini Quiches

Dessert Table! 
Vanilla Cake with custard filling and whipped cream frosting, Lemon Bites, and Chocolates

We painted Onesies and everyone came up with such adorable ideas!

 I love our two precious grandchildren, Grace and Aaron and I absolutely cannot wait until the next two are born!  Our grand-daughter (due April 21st), who will be a baby sister to Grace and Aaron and our grandson (due May 6th) will be here soon to love and spoil! 

Four grandbabies! We are so blessed!