Boarded

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.

IMG_3914

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!”

AdobePhotoshopExpress_2015_04_16_13:19:27

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!

photo

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

wRb9xhbeznxbb7Aqrafifr_A8YhU8qc4ADZ08VxeE2A

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.

DSC_0281

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.

DSC_0275

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.

DSC_0290

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

LZqGIZqQuCsrH15m7UOBgP5yUhLee8952D7ysNGegbQ

xqTTbdiFqJVz7l6y42w-UqaVpavAltW6fxS166djvoU

What a pretty day to visit San Diego.

DSC_0282

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.

TJ

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.

DSC_0232-1

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

DSC_0229-1

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.

DSC_0243

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.

DSC_0273

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.

DSC_0266

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.

11018_783021648456526_6938340689501688341_n

The hubs wanted a smile. Much better he said.

10556238_783025001789524_5321106556873148198_n

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.

10525949_784190235006334_7534625136722866187_n

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.

DSC_0178

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.

DSC_0194

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.

DSC_0174

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

DSC_0114

The many colors have my undivided attention.

DSC_0130

Each one different and beautiful in its own way.

DSC_0151

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.

DSC_0153

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

DSC_0159

This was such a fun assignment!

DSC_0143

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.

DSC_0107

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.

photo

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.

photo 5

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.

photo 2

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

DSC_0064

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.

IMG_1188 copy

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.

IMG_1187

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.

fbl

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.

DSC_0005

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

DSC_9999

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.

DSC_0025

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

3/52 – Light

Light is the topic for my project, this third week of the year. So I thought I’d shed a little light on my identity crisis. It’s what I think of when getting used to a new pair of frames.

So I picked up my new prescription and new frames today. I like that they are a tad larger, providing more room for my progressives. I’m sure I’ll adjust to the new me soon.

But the story on finding a pair that I like is a bit crazy.

I already know the style of frame I like. I like as near to rectangle as you can get. I shopped several places in the area and found something I really liked. Only they were a little snug on my temple and the guy (Optician) helping me said there was nothing he could do about it. So I continued to search.

The hubs got in on the search, as he wanted to drive me on up the road a little further to a place that had a rather large supply. That husband of mine rocks my world!

Turns out, I found a pair I liked. Tried them on. But to someone who needs a prescription to see, it’s hard to know if I really like them. So I took a selfie to decide if they were for me. I thought they fit the bill. So we made the purchase and brought them home.

However, I had to have another look at them on a larger screen. So I transferred the image to my computer. I was not a big fan as I found a couple of things that bothered me. I’m so happy they let me return them. Note: I just purchased the frame without the prescription.

Back to square one. This time, I called the place where I originally fell in love with the tight pair of frames. The place where the guy said he couldn’t help me. Yes, that place. Luckily for me, I spoke with a different optician and she told me that they could adjust the frames to meet my comfort needs.

That’s all it took. I got her name and made an appointment with her to nail the frames I really liked.

And just like that, she made the adjustments necessary for a comfort fit and sent them in to the lab to have my new prescription filled.

That was just over two weeks ago. And today was the day my new frames were ready for pick-up.

In keeping with my “Light” project this week, I decided to test the waters and shed a little light on the new me.

DSC_9920

I’m so happy I called that first place back. The place where the guy said he couldn’t help me.And thank you so much sweet lady for loving your job enough to help customers in need of a little extra help.

DSC_9963

As I see it, I give the comfort level 5 stars, the larger frame 5 stars and my new prescription 5 stars. As for the identity crisis, I should be adjusted to the new me soon.

DSC_9923

And there you have it.

Blessings – Debbie

A Day to Remember

What a lovely day…

It started this morning at Starbucks with my girlfriend + a beautiful morning country drive in the mountains in search for cool places to go shooting (photography) together.

Lunch was at the best Greek restaurant and we dined on the patio. Loved my salad!

DSC_9888

And for the afternoon, she brought me to her studio where she shot me for like 2 hours. I had fun learning about studio lighting and we both enjoyed talking shop (photography) all day.

And to think, my salad was the only shot I took. Sad…

But truly a great day to remember.

Blessings – Debbie

More Babies

Good afternoon. It’s Monday. The third week in January. Martin Luther King Day. And a day I planned to do a bit of gardening. And gardening I did bright and early this morning.

Then the thought crossed my mind to see if I could find a few shubunkins.

So I’ve called the local fish stores (for nearly a year) in search for shubunkins. And finally, today, I nailed a place that had a tank of about 30 or so. I don’t know how to express my feelings other than sheer excitement and joy with an exclamation!

I had a little visit with the hubs via text and he said to go pick out some for the pond. At that point, I think it took me all of about 5 minutes to hit the road.

Here’s the little batch of 7 that I hand-picked. They were transferred to this little tub prior to them going into the bag.

photo 3

Here’s a couple right after we got home. They (in the bag) floated in the pond for about 20 min to acclimate slowly to the temperature of the pond. Then I released them into their new home.

DSC_9877

I spent the majority of the day watching these guys make friends with all the other fish. And they enjoyed the first meal in their new home.

Momma thinks the babies are doing just swimmingly.

Blessings – Debbie

A Three Day Weekend

It’s the hubs Friday off work week. And this long weekend is just a little extra special. It’s the weekend after the long holiday, festivities and company. It’s a time we find ourselves getting back into the groove embracing our New Year. I love it!

The hubs had a few workers out to the house over the last couple of days. He’s getting a few bids on a job we would like to start this year.

We had the best date yesterday afternoon at the local plant nursery, followed with dinner and Cold-stone for our sweet tooth.

Fresh California avocados, cilantro, tomato, onion, lime juice and salt – it’s what the hubs asked if I would whip up on this glorious afternoon.

DSC_9850

His wish is my command and guacamole was served.

DSC_9860

So I got a poinsettia as a hostess gift this year. And the plant does not like me. No matter how much love I give, it’s obvious I’m doing it all wrong. I think I’ll stick with my roses that flourish.

DSC_9848

But the very tippy top of the poinsettia is still so bright and cheerful. After reading (online) the care that goes into keeping these beauties year after year, I think I’ll pass. Or perhaps I’ll just stick it in the ground around May and see what happens.

DSC_9837

As for the rest of our weekend, I think we’re booked to relax and enjoy the time together.

I hope you’re having a glorious day and weekend.

Blessings – Debbie

2/52 – Storytelling

Wow, we are already into the second week of the New Year. The project this week is “Storytelling”.

I snapped this image yesterday in keeping with storytelling. Doesn’t it look like they’re telling stories?

DSC_9636B

This is potentially the last few shots of me with my favorite frames. I should be getting my new frames next week. The story regarding new frames has everything to do with me needing a little larger frame such that I have more room for the progressives.

DebbieJan13

Roses in January and new polish today. The story behind the polish. While doing a bit of food shopping, I noticed a large section of nail polish 50% off. So I came home with three new bottles.

DSC_9749

I’m really excited about my 52 week project this year. It has a way of helping me to focus on photography while I tell my life story on the blog.

How fitting. Who knows, I may be back with a few more stories this week.

Blessings – Debbie

1/52 – Fresh

So I joined a project 52 group this year. Basically, we as a group take an image a week (based on the theme) and present our images.

I’m really excited to be a part of the group as I feel it will offer inspiration and the drive to get out there and shoot.

This past week, our theme was “Fresh”.

I was inspired to keep it simple and shoot something that had everything to do with the week.

“Fresh” flowers from the garden for family arriving from Alaska.

1490678_749044558520902_3305363837525085693_o

The hubs sister and her husband from Alaska. Image shot in the rain this morning just before we said good-bye. We had a wonderful visit with them this week. Some of the highlights = Cheesecake Factory – Lunch date with the hubs (he had to work this week) – Visit to the local library – Strolls in the neighborhood – Evening visits – Farmers market – Japanese Garden – Oceanside dinner – Hike along the scenic lake and mountains – Afternoon tea at the local tea house…

DSC_9556

The hubs woke violently ill yesterday. And a drive to Urgent Care was necessary. After an IV laced with Zofran and 5 hours later, he was feeling much better. Fortunately, he is on the mend and not contagious at this stage.

Now I’m looking forward to a new week and a new photography project challenge. Should be fun.

Blessings – Debbie

Library

While visiting the library, (yesterday) I couldn’t help but capture the image of this rather large photo. Is this not the perfect image in a library or what?

January6

And I was pretty excited to get my very own library card. Goodness knows I haven’t had a library card since I was in high school. I know, I almost hate to record this bit of info on the blog. But I’m so excited to have my very own card!

I’m so in love with the e-book feature! I had no clue you could check out books, magazines and a plethora of things to read on the kindle. I’ve already read the January publication of Prevention, Better Homes and several other magazines. And I’m excited to report that I’m already reading some books on the Kindle! Where have I been and why didn’t I know these things?

Oh the joys of discovering new things available thru the library.

Blessings – Debbie

A Simple Day

I went to bed around 7:30 (with a splitting headache) last evening. And woke (headache free) to the aroma of this amazing goodness. Love My Love! He finished adding more spices and thickened it after this shot.

DSC_9546

Here it is, the first Saturday of the year and the sun has already set. Makes me wish time would stand still for just a moment longer.

As with the time, we just keep moving right along. We managed to get a few more things crossed off the list over the last couple of days. I had my eye Dr/exam this morning, found a new pair of frames (they’re a little bigger, providing a bit more room for the progressives YAY), and the hubs got a fresh haircut.

And we had the best beef stew for lunch and dinner. Boy was that yummy!

I don’t know about you, but I’m enjoying this brand new year.

Blessings – Debbie