Oh Summer You Went So Fast

Dear summer of 2015, thank you for your bountiful blessings.

We were so excited about our grape-vine this year, that we picked up two more vines and planted them. Unfortunately, around picking time, there were no grapes left for us. Lesson learned, we will cover them with a net to keep the birds away next time.


And our little pumpkin patch flourished with more pumpkins than we could use this autumn. Unfortunately, we just ended up tossing them as we planted a little too early this year. Lessons learned…


Fresh summer California berries deserve a standing ovation. Amen…

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July 10th – An exciting day! Our solar panels were delivered. A big shout out for solar energy, oh happy day! We are so thrilled to have that done.


Enjoyed our Sweet 16 Anniversary. Feeling blessed and so very happy to spend life with My Love. It truly has been a great adventure.


Mid August – Taking pictures lately? That’s the question my photographer friend asked while we were out having some girl time. No was the reply. No was her reply too. We think it has to do with the overload from school that put us both over the edge. However, we both still love our camera and in no way are we putting it on the shelf. Just taking a little breather. Here’s an image of roses I brought in from the garden. Made me so very happy…


August 31 – Spent hours by the waterfall = My favorite place to chill. The activity in and around the pond = priceless.


I love a garden with flowers and fish. I’m thankful each day to have both. Love our Shubunkin pumpkins as I fondly call them. This guy was wondering when I would stop shooting and feed him.

Threw a paint filter on this in Photoshop, because I thought it needed a little something somethin.


A little early September morning blessing from the garden.

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Loving my babies! It has to be one of my favorite spots to visit.

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Yes, we have watermelon! And I must say, it is some of the best melon ever. It continues to produce and we’ve enjoyed it daily for weeks.


One of the great blessings of the week is – I have the hubs home taking a little vacation with me. Loving this time together around Home Sweet Home.

Back to celebrating his time off. Happy Day! And Happy Catching up on the Blog… Well as much catching up as I plan to do. I know there are things I missed like special dates and such, but I’m calling it quits and caught up. And feeling blessed.

Happy Day and Blessings – Debbie

Hubs 35th HS Reunion In Vegas

Early June 2015 – Pulling out of the hood – Going to Vegas with my Baby!


Our first visit to Vegas.


The Luxor Hotel – Our home away from home.


The daylight images were shot from my car window as we made our little trip around the strip via car.




Reflection, it’s what I loved when I saw this building.


The night shots were taken on foot one evening as we strolled the strip. Accompanied with the trusty tripod.


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The fountain programmed to music. What a lovely place to linger for a few songs.


The strip taken from the above cross walk.


Group shot of everyone after dinner one evening. It was a great turnout.


Goofballs – When in Vegas, get tatted…


Can’t believe they trusted me to do the honors.




Last dinner with the group.



Fun times were had by all.

Blessings – Debbie

Springtime in CA 2015

I know, it’s autumn, but I plan to do some spring catching up on the blog. I can’t seem to move forward without catching up. It’s time.

I’m still here. Kicking it and loving life.


In late March, I picked this little vase of goodies from the garden. In hopes to help my sick hubby to feel better. They certainly brightened the space…


Early April – I painted this image with the help of my Wacom and Photoshop.


Happy Easter! We spent the afternoon with friends watching our Red Birds on Opening Day.


A true Cardinal fan and our host.


Bring on the Cardinal color…


The beautiful hostess – Everything was positively delecious!

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Children – Loved taking images of them in and around the pool.





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Bashful – Image taken right after her first bite of dinner…But those eyes and expression…LOVE!


The big boys and girls had it made…


My Red Bird Fan! And my number 1 Hero.


Another early April painting. This is an underpainting (Layer 2) taking on a little shape.


Finished painting.


A little shot of my kitchen window garden with a fresh rose from the garden.


A rose as it begins to drift away. I just love the color!


April 16 – My somebody special on his way to work to present to the customer. I’m happy his meetings went well…


Mid April evening in the garden – Enjoying the last drop of light…


Late April – Amaryllis in bloom.


End of April – We joined Costco! Now that is an event worth noting. It had been 12 years since we enjoyed the benefits of being customers of Costco.


End of April – It’s the time of year when the dragonflies return. They come in all sorts of colors during the season. Here’s a female laying her eggs.


May 2nd – Boxing party was held at our house! The hubs and his buddy putting the brisket on the smoker early that morning. And the sad thing, this is the only shot I have from that glorious afternoon and evening with friends. But the memories are priceless…


Our dear friend gifted us with the beautiful flag (made and painted by her) that proudly waves over our front door.


The heron has landed – I figured a shot was appropriate before yelling at him. Sometimes they are persistent around the fish pond. But my yelling and screaming at them seems to do the trick.


In early May, I had the gardener transplant this tree. I really hoped to keep it alive. Unfortunately, it did not like the new home.


Springtime dilemma is when a girl can’t figure out what color she wants.

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One of my May dates to Red Lobster with my love = Time well spent.


Another May Date with the hubs at the Cheesecake Factory. Just love this composition at the hostess desk…


An early morning capture of the dragonfly on a net.


And a bee pollenating…


A little capture of the hubs boots at the back door – a nice reminder he was busy in the garden.


My Christmas wish for 2015 came early. As in May early for my birthday! I had told the hubs (months ago – Jan/Feb this year) when I spied this arbor that I would like it for Christmas. Not only did he remember. But he surprised me with this a week before my birthday.


Up on the hill at the top of the winding stair path is where I wanted it. And so it was…


On the morning of my birthday, the hubs knew right where to place the special card for me.


When a statue is larger than life – Sometimes it’s the little things that need to be captured. Just bummed my cell is the only camera I had with me on that May evening night. But a great evening and dinner along the San Diego Harbor with the hubs and a friend.

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May 31st is the day we picked this big guy from the garden – Indeed we kept it on the vine too long, but we grilled it for dinner anyway. The skin was obviously tough but the inside was tender and good.

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One last image – rosebuds in the garden.


And that my friends takes us thru the month of May, 2015.

Blessings – Debbie

To Blaze a Trail

On our last day, we decided it would be a good idea to take an early morning hike.


It was worth taking a time out from time to time.


Hey ~ Hey!


Sisters are special and having them for nieces is extra special.


Another spot to note…


What happens when we reach a locked gate? Find a way around…




And when you reach an old car, naturally, you stop to capture the moment.






Some run ahead…


While I capture the moment.



After our cool spring morning walk, we girls hit up Starbucks for a nice treat.

And to wrap up our day, we could not think of a better way to end our day, than to enjoy dinner by the beach.


A great time was had by all…


And there is something to be said about our evening visit around the campfire.


What a great way to spend one on one time with the girls.

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And that concludes spring break, 2015.

Blessings – Debbie

The Queen’s Tea

Picking up where I left off on the girls spring break.

Following our day in La Jolla, we decided to have a fun “girl” day. So we made reservations at Tea Upon Chatsworth for High Tea.

The Queen’s Tea to be exact. The description goes something like this. Our platinum 2 hour, 4-course tea service with 12 items with unlimited pots of premium loose-leaf tea.

What a special memory shared with the girls who have a fond love for tea.


Our table setting as we arrived.


Deciding on her flavor of tea.


Making her decision too.


Then adding a brown sugar cube with a little stir.


And the best part, enjoying a spot of tea.


Each little bite was goodness.


And time well spent.


We conclude that every girl should take time to enjoy her tea. I love that this was my first “official tea” with our nieces, who’ve been steeped with tea parties since they were just bitty.


After tea, we made a stop at the nearby beach. Point Loma to be exact.


What a picture perfect day with the girls.


I have just one more post to conclude spring break. I’ll be back!

Blessings – Debbie

Another Day of Spring Break Play

Up first, a visit to Thyme in The Ranch. A great little place for an early lunch with the girls.

I found this place on Yelp, a long time ago. And the day I went, it was closed. So I kept it in mind and thought it would be a fun place to take the girls. We give it 5 stars!

Our selfie on the patio.


Next up, we were off to La Jolla to see the seals.


We strolled along the shore and took a few time outs to enjoy each view.


Another time out.




And another.


Um…This shot is a bit silly. We had no idea the kissing couple was there on the steps, that is, until I uploaded the images. So their (the girls) silly expressions (not knowing about the couple) and the perfect way niece #1 has her hand, well I find it downright hysterical.


We spy a baby.


Having a friendly little visit.


We have two sweet visitors (the girls) who are up close with exactly what they were here to see.


How fun to explore this place.


A lot more seals to see.


And beautiful cliffs to admire.

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I’ll say our day was picture perfect. And our evening lit up with BBQ from our favorite BBQ joint. Followed with fun and games thru the evening hours.

Still more spring break to follow…

Blessings – Debbie

Spring Break Continued

A day spent around home. In no particular order.

The girls took off on a walkabout around the house.


And found themselves here.


 Love that they shared these wonderful images with me.


It was also a good day to meet up with the hubs for lunch. We had Mongolian. Basically, you put your meat, veggies noodles and sauces in a bowl and they cook it on the grill behind the counter.


Back to the table, you enjoy your very own creation.


It was also a perfect day to pick up some new fish for the pond. The girls each picked a fish and I added 5 more to the order. They also named their fish Gator and Toothless. Great meaning behind each.


A little relaxation was thrown into the mix.


And barefoot tree climbing too.


For our evening meal, we had the best chef doing her thing.


We enjoyed dinner on paper plates, such that we had less time cleaning up and more time for cards.

What a glorious day, all the way around.

More to come…

Blessings – Debbie

Catalina Island

Our nieces spring break, continued as promised.

The next day, we were off to Catalina Island.

Getting ready to board the Catalina Express (boat) directly behind us. Such fun to make a little 1 hour and 15 min. journey across the ocean to the island.


As we approached Catalina, we passed the Carnival Imagination docked at the island. It made our boat feel so small.


Once we arrived, we decided to do a little walk about to search for lunch. We decided to stop at the first place that called our name. A seaside lunch seemed the perfect choice.


Our view was spectacular!


And lunch was so yummy.


With full tummies, we were off on our next great adventure. We rented a golf cart, such that we could cover a lot of territory.


And territory did we ever cover. Love my nieces panorama!


We made a stop at the Wrigley Memorial.


What a great place to visit.


And much to explore. The girls loved the doors, me too!


It’s hard to take everything in in one day. But we sure gave it our best shot.


Back to our cart to cover a little more ground.


And stopped at will to enjoy the views and take images of selfies in progress.


With the time we had left, we stopped for a cool beverage and made time for a little souvenir shopping for the girls. They each picked up a Catalina shirt and a couple of things for a special friend.


The end of our glorious day on Catalina, but I have more spring break to cover.

To be continued…

Blessings – Debbie


Alert – All photos contributed by cell phones in this post.

Followed by (6) !!!!!!  exclamations. This is the exact text we received from our twin nieces on the morning of March 14th.


So we quickly took a shot and sent it back to them. Me in my jammies and all.

We said “Sweet, can’t wait to see you!”


And so the girls official spring break and our quality time with the girls began.

The hubs and me on our way to pick them up!


The next morning, we girls were up and at ’em before the hubs. So we started in on coffee first thing on the patio.


But the hubs didn’t sleep in too late, as we all had a date! And off to visit Coronado Island and the Hotel Del was our first stop.


We were going to have an early lunch right here on the patio. But the wait for them to open was like an hour and a half.


So we piled in the car and headed to Mission Beach for a little lunch on the pacific. We took note of the Tsunami sign in route.


While there, we had a little stroll along the pacific and down this cool pier.



What a pretty day to visit San Diego.


Another fun stop was Trader Joe’s. I felt pretty special, as I’m the first one to introduce them to this fine establishment. We came home with two great bags of chips, a couple different flavors of humus and a few other fun goodies to snack on during the week.


To be continued…

Blessings – Debbie

Early March – In Like a Lion

Well good day! Finally, I’m back!

Yes, I’m back to bite off early March, bit by bit. I’m not so thrilled when I get this far behind, but I refuse to carry on as if nothing happened. There is so much to catch up on and there is no better time than now to start. Well, all of those yesterdays would have been a good time too, but they’re gone.

So here goes…

The date, March 2nd. – There was a crazy loud boom as March unfolded. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. We were blasted with hail.

Totally in like a lion.


I don’t think the fish have ever experienced this much commotion. I know I haven’t.


And I know the palms were probably in shock. This just doesn’t happen in So Cal. Or does it? It was a first for us in the 5 years we’ve lived here.


It was a month of fire too. Nice evenings spent around the fire pit. This was another early March weekend evening. (actually, this shot was taken the morning after) I still remember the day, it was one of the many days I had spent 99% of my time outdoors. And looking up into the clear night sky peppered with stars and planets, was glorious.


During late February – early March, we had the old plantings ripped out of the immediate left side of the waterfall. I had been working on transplanting things from around the yard to the area. It will be fun to watch the ground cover spread and the plants blossom. I also planted 4 roses in various areas on the upper terrace. Meals were also enjoyed on the patio. This is pretty much where I spent a good deal of time…

An early foggy Monday morning. Note the purple wisteria in bloom.


As mid March drew near, I was beginning to think of all the stuff that needed a little sprucing before company arrived on the 14th.

So I started Wednesday, the 11th at the car wash, then salon.


The hubs wanted a smile. Much better he said.


Then we waited for our guests to arrive.

Oh wait, one more lil thing!

On the 13th, we had the electricians over to add LED lights in the kitchen and dining room. “What were we thinking” were my thoughts, when company was due to arrive the next day. So much dust, oh the dust…But in the end, we were so happy to have the job done. And all the dust bunnies were put to rest before company arrived.


To be continued…

Blessings – Debbie

8/52 – Perspective

Hey peeps, I can’t believe another week has disappeared. I must say, this weekly project has me in tune with just how short the year really is. I mean, really, we’re into the 8th week already? Can’t be…

My project this week is perspective.

From my point of view, as I looked out the back window yesterday morning. It was 67° indoors with an expected high of 70°. But I was chilled as I watched the 5 tier waterfall.

The recent foam gathering at the base, made me feel a little more chilled. I stood watching with a shiver. But it’s all about perspective.

Then I proceeded outdoors to breathe in the cool fresh air, soak in the sunshine and rolled up my sleeves to do a bit of gardening.


I’m in love with my year round Valentine. That’s the way I see him, my everyday valentine. While we don’t subscribe to buying gifts or cards on valentine’s day (it’s not our “thing”), we do believe in celebrating year round.

Over the weekend, while shopping at the local nursery for our star jasmine, I spied this succulent. I was smitten at first sight. And he picked up three of the most beautiful plants for me, just because.


It was such a joy finding a new home for the plants. I believe this is the crusula capitella campfire, native to Africa.

I’ve already taken a few samples from the plants to see if I can start some new ones on my own. That right there is how smitten I am over these beauties.

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin – This was my read for book club this week. A story about our American hero, Charles Lindbergh. The kidnapping and brutal murder of their son Charles Lindbergh Jr. And the story of his loving wife Anne, written from her point of view.

While we finished our book club gathering today, I came home feeling exhausted, as if I had had a really good cry. Yes, it was that good, as our discussion was filled with passion or compelling emotion from each of our perspectives. Now I’m hungry for a good biography of Charles Lindberg.


From my perspective, our roses are such cheerful, bright, happy flowers.


The many colors have my undivided attention.


Each one different and beautiful in its own way.


From my perspective, this is a really good week.

P.S. I got a ride in my neighbors convertible “Benz” today. What a perfect day for a sweet ride.

Blessings – Debbie

7/52 – Pastel

Hey friends, I’m on a roll today! How about you? I hope things are well.

It’s time I get my weekly project finished early. I’m pretty excited about that.

So when pastel was given as our inspiration this week, all I could think about were the lovely roses in the garden.


So today I took several images to show some of the pretty pastel colors in the backyard.


This was such a fun assignment!


This week is filled with all sorts of fun stuff:

  • I’ve been playing in the dirt.
  • Digging and planting new plants in one of our little cleared out areas in the backyard. Pictures to come when I finish that little project.
  • The roses were fertilized over the weekend. They are leafing out so nice this year and the buds are getting ready to pop!
  • I find it difficult to be indoors when all I want to do is enjoy the pretty outdoors.
  • The hubs and I enjoyed a fire in the fire-pit over the weekend.
  • Visited with our next door neighbors on the patio and then went over to their place and enjoyed a bit more afternoon patio sitting and visiting.
  • I’m excited about my lunch date with the hubs today.
  • And looking forward to my friend coming over tomorrow for coffee and a visit on the patio.

Can you take a guess at what I’m looking forward to? Well, the time change! That = a lot more outdoor activity during the evening hours. And that makes me so very happy!

Blessings – Debbie

6/52 – Happy

Again, I’m late posting my project for last week. I really need to get my act together. Don’t you know?

So a week ago Sunday, February 8th, the hubs and I planted our vegetable seeds. And I’m so “Happy” to report that by Friday we started to see  growth.

And by Sunday we had pumpkins at around 4″ tall. Image below was shot Sunday, February 15th.


Happiness is, watching our little vegetable garden grow.

Blessings – Debbie

5/52 – Small

Small “was” my assignment for last week. Sorry, I did not get the post up. However, I want to continue with my little project of posting, so I figured a few days late would be just fine.

I’m into my second full week of hiking. And I just love it! But it did not start out well.

I’ll explain. On my first day back to hiking 5 miles, I gained a small blister. On the tiniest little toe of mine. How nice is that? Isn’t it crazy how one tiny thing can throw a wrench into our best plans? And yes, I hobbled nearly 2 miles home that day.

But look out, I was well prepared with a band-aid the next day. Don’t you know, I developed another little tiny blister on my other little toe. Now I had matching blisters. And feeling pretty discouraged, as I thought I had good hiking shoes.


The next day I took a time out. Gathered my shoes and a clean pair of socks to pay a visit to the local shoe store.

So I’m in my car, half way down my street, when I see my sweet neighbors daughter jogging.

So I stopped the car. Waited for her to reach me. Put down my window and the sweet lady stopped. I said hello to the nice lady and explained to her my situation and showed her my hiking shoes and asked if she had any recommendations on the type of shoe I should have for the hills.

She said all I needed to hear. She simply said “you need a good pair of running shoes and I don’t think you will ever have trouble with blisters again”. She went on to explain that she wears running shoes for everything.

And so I was off to hunt down a good pair of shoes.

After trying on 9 or so pair, I found just the ones that made happy feet. Mind you, I had two fresh blisters and no band-aids on at the time of trying on shoes. And I walked around and around the store with no trouble at all. It was a really good sign that they were meant for me.

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And I’ve walked and hiking the hills and valleys happily ever after. Cheers for happy feet and to hiking band-aid free! I’m telling you, I will never forget the kindness of that gal as she was my angel that day. Running shoes is where it’s at peeps, trust me.

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But for my small shot, I thought this little family of empty snail shells on my little trowel would be much prettier than blisters.


I’m having a much better week and happy to report those small blister trials are last weeks troubles.

Blessings – Debbie

4/52 – A Part of Me

So this week, our photography project was assigned. We are to shoot “A Part of Me”. I  wasn’t prepared to shoot another part of me, since I just shot my new frames for the “light” assignment last week. So I thought about doing an expressions collage to post as my shot.

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But the more I thought about it. The more I realized the part of me that has been my obsession since childhood, is my hair. From being able to sit on it, to cut up and over my ears. I still remember those High School years and mom saying to me “I think you got a little scissor happy”. Currently I’m growing it out, but on any given day I have the urge to cut it off again.

Shot yesterday with my iPad and played with (edited) in Photoshop by adding a filter.


I wasn’t so sure about the process on the above shot, so I applied another filter and submitted the image below as my shot of the week.


In other news:

I was back to my first book club meeting since last July. What a joy to see the girls again and discuss our good book Delicious by Ruth Reichl. There truly is a special wonderful warm feeling in our great group of ladies.

This my friends, is the hubs jalapeño plant from last spring. This guy received no love from us this winter, but look at it! I just noticed blossoms on his plants this week. Our tomato seeds from Burpee are on the way. Oh how we love to make this place home.


My little succulent garden is thriving and I have plans to plant a few more this spring/summer.


A Pretty Day For a Project – So the hubs and I hand-picked a few slate pieces (extra pieces left on the property) for a little path. Tuesday, the gardener buried the slate at ground level. Then he planted ground cover (around the slate) the hubs and I picked out over the weekend. The two old lights were removed but the electric left for a future lighting project. The after picture should be coming soon.


And here it is Thursday. I find that I’m trying to keep the washing machine and dryer busy, a little cleaning around the house is in order. And truly looking forward to the hubs getting home this evening. As I get him for the next three days, it’s his Friday off work week. It should be a fun weekend packed with work, play, relaxation and rest.

If you don’t hear from me in the next few days, just know I will be back…Soon…Promise…

Blessings – Debbie