While The Hubs Was Away

Hello World! I hope this finds you doing well. Hey, I’m posting a second post today. What’s up with that?

I suppose I’m in the mood to get caught up on things.

April 16th – 23rd

It’s that time of the year for new growth. And word is out that there are new baby egrets over at the nearby lake.

Which brings me to the reason our pond is still covered. This guy came for a visit last week, only to discover he was not able to reach the fish, thank you pond net for holding up.

It’s also a busy time in and around the pond.

The fish have spawned several times and I’m working double duty to keep the pond nice and clean. In the process, I think I’m getting a little extra vitamin D.

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Monday evening, the hubs called to see if I wanted to watch our show together. While we were worlds apart. Or so it seemed.

Note: If you are anyone that knows me well, you know I’m not a TV person. While I enjoy the shows we watch together, like survivor, Master Chef and Better Call Saul, I don’t bother turning on the TV when the hubs is away.

So on that particular night, he had to walk me thru instructions, just to get the TV on.

Once “we” (the me part of we) got to the right channel, we were all set to watch Better Call Saul.

The fun part was texting between commercials and even during the show. That was my favorite night, as he felt really close.

One day I picked roses from the garden. It makes me happy to bring the outdoors in.

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What makes my heart sing – Sometimes things grab our attention without trying to notice. Like this canister at the front of the store in the after Easter clearance sale. Several thoughts that ran thru my mind in like 1 second. 4 dollars and change? really? I love it! It’s cheerful and happy! For that price it’s ours. And so it was. Next year, I’ll have to make a cozy little spot for us to enjoy.

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One day the hubs sent a text…”How many pieces of fudge would you like?”

You see, he was in Ft Worth again, staying in the Stockyards next to the candy store where they sell my favorite fudge in the world. Of course not counting my mom’s fudge, her fudge is the best, but only made once a year. That’s another story for another time.

Back to the number of pieces I wanted. I responded “One piece baby, just one.” That was my fudge order.

Well fudge, I didn’t think another thing until he got home Friday afternoon with a couple of boxes of goodies. I wonder if he left enough fudge on the shelf for others. Obviously he was not concerned with sharing. That’s 8 huge pieces of fudge for me. Yeah, he’s not a fudge kinda guy, so it’s all mine.

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The best part about this fudge is, the decadence of peanut butter and chocolate in one smooth creamy bite. It is sure to satisfy the craziest of chocoholics.

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After the hubs busy week, we decided a laid back weekend was the ticket to rest up. We did enjoy a few dinners out, a quick stop at the ice cream store and a lot of relaxation.

And with that, my wish for you is a Happy New Week.

Blessings – Debbie

Ten Minutes Of Play

Wow, this week started off bright and early. The hubs had yet another business trip out of town (Monday) and I spent all of about 10 minutes playing.

Originally I wanted to scoot to the beach. Play around shooting with sand between my toes. Then have breakfast at one of my favorite beach spots and chill for the day.

But that plan quickly changed the morning of. As all I wanted to do was scoot home and get some major things on my to do list accomplished.

So I stopped by the harbor.

And spent about 10 minutes shooting some of my favorite things while there.

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It truly was a beautiful Monday morning.

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All was calm and peaceful.

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And fun to take a few minutes appreciating the little things.

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But I saved my favorite image for last. There is something about this reflection that captures my attention.

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Things quickly changed after my 10 minutes of play.

Check back for the update coming – later today.

Blessings – Debbie

Rustic Monday Travels

I spent a bit of time last evening mapping out all the places (along the Pacific coast) I wanted to stop. The hubs made sure all spots were correctly plotted on the GPS.

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The Pacific ocean is near and dear to my heart. Image below taken with the cell phone. All other images in this post were taken with the “real” camera.

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Clouds hover overhead.

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Rugged cliffs – where I spent the morning breathing in and out, as the waves pounded the cliffs.

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On up the road. I did shoot this photo from the driver’s seat. But I was at a traffic light, does that make it ok?

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Another favorite stop.

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I was so jazzed about my breakfast date. I found this cute little place on yelp. It had over the top amazing ratings. Sadly, the restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays. I made a note of it.

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I did the next best thing. I spoke with a gal in passing along the sidewalk. We exchanged helloes followed by me asking where I could get a nice breakfast in the area.

She pointed me to a quaint hotel within walking distance.

This rustic place had me at hello.

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And the ladies room was perfect to freshen up. Love the individual towels for drying hands.

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On into the restaurant.

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I asked to be seated on the patio.

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What shall I have for breakfast?

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First things first – Coffee

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Breakfast is served, so yummy!

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The road less traveled was just the ticket. There was no chance of interstate driving, it wasn’t an option.

I was in the driver seat while shooting this image too. Is it ok that I was completely stopped in the road? I had a clear view behind me (no cars) and my four way flashers were on during the shooting of this image.

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And I stopped along the way to enjoy the moments. I pulled off the side of the road for the image below. Sometimes you just have to stop where there is only a little tiny side of the road to pull over. Just because.

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However, I did make an unexpected – no parking zone stop (earlier) to snap a pic or two. And I may have made a certain someone unhappy, as the police arrived on the scene. I was lucky as the police had no problem. Other than it was obviously time for me to move along.

I’m thankful for rustic days like this. It gives a chance to view the world thru a clear fresh lens.

Blessings – Debbie

Some Days Are a Flop

Like today, what I really wanted was for the babies to be still. But I rolled with the flop.

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And took what I could get.

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And took images of them doing what they do.

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But really, it sort of felt like one of those flop kind of days.

  • I wasn’t super excited with any of the shots today, as I wanted to get some nice close up images. Just didn’t happen.
  • Perhaps it had something to do with having to wait around (finally late afternoon) on a service call from the arborist.
  • And it was one of those days where I don’t feel like I got much accomplished.
  • But I did have a nice visit with the neighbor.
  • Enjoyed the best watermelon and cantaloupe early morning.
  • Loved lunch on the patio.
  • Sat by the pond for probably too long.
  • Talked to the fish. I did tell the neighbors “if you hear me having a one-sided conversation, you’ll know I’m off the deep end, talking to the fish.”
  • And came to the conclusion that everything balanced out.

On a brighter note, this is the message I received when I called in for Jury Duty, last evening. “Your Jury Service is over. You are no longer required to call in for service.” Yay! I’m filled with relief such that I can start planning my days and weeks again.

And looking forward to the plan I have scheduled tomorrow.

Blessings – Debbie

A Desperate Photographer

Those are the words I uttered to the hubs while I was trying to figure out where I would shoot today.

But before I talk about today, I’ll back up to yesterday.

Yesterday my shutterbug buddy (“Sarah” ) and I thought it would be a great idea to get out and shoot together.

Meet “Sarah” , I’ve talked about her a few times on the blog and here she is again.

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I’m in awe of the images she captures. She and her hubs are amazing professional photographers.

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And I feel blessed that I had the privilege of meeting them and becoming friends. We had a ball of fun.

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I thought it would be fun to play with one of the shots I took, you know, take it over the top in Photoshop like so. Made me happy.

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After our nice little outing that consisted of lunch, a stop by Sarah’s house and a nice photoshoot, it was time to call it a day.

But for some reason, I could not for the life of me figure out what to shoot for our foreground/background assignment. While I have all 40 shots ready to turn in, two of them need to stand out above the rest.

I have one in the bag, but I still needed “The One” to make that a total of two for critique.

I fretted all night. Woke this morning fretting and wondering, where should I go.

I was in favor of our nice cloudy skies but the choices that rolled around in my head included:

  • The Beach
  • Pier
  • Boats
  • The Hills

Head for the HILLS! It washed over me when I saw a beautiful picture on the weather channel, it’s right where I wanted to go, the great big hills with deep dark clouds.

This is the path. And I drove deep into the hills. Up into the clouds. And all felt right with the world.

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Soon I had the urge to make a turn off the beatin’ path, so I did. I found myself  winding my way down a road I had never been.

And came upon a really cool antique car junk yard.

The security gate was WIDE open, so I pulled in.

I had no worries because my camera was with me. It’s fun being a photographer because we have a really GOOD excuse when we are where we may or may not belong.

My car was the only “civil” car on this huge chunk of land. Soon I hit the locks on my car and away I went.

Only I got stopped in my tracks just a few steps out. It was an elderly woman coming towards me from the gate on the other side of my parked car.  Long story short, turns out I was standing on a chunk of her 18 acres.

Oops I uttered under my breath *with a great big friendly smile* I squared my shoulders and said –

Good day! What a beautiful place you have. I’m a budding photographer in school with a really big assignment. I see you have an amazing tractor in the distance, may I take some shots of your tractor? It would make a lovely image. I also noticed the old cars way over there on the other side, what great shots they would make. May I take some shots of the cars too?

The nice woman said – You are free to shoot this tractor by the barn and that tractor in the distance. I also have a windmill, you are free to shoot that too. But that’s about all. That land with the antique cars is rented, so I can’t give you permission to go over there.

I thanked her kindly and wished her a lovely day before I set out to shoot.

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The woman didn’t say anything about this lone car out on the dusty road on the way out to shoot the windmill, so I took the shot, in fact, many.

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In the distance, I could see dust stirring from a truck heading my way. As the truck approached, I stepped over to the side of the narrow dirt road. The truck slowed and came to a stop, right next to me.

Down went the window of a young man looking at me rather puzzled. I broke the silence stating I met the nice woman up the way…

With a grin crossing his face he said “she’s my grandma”.

I explained to him that she had given me permission to shoot some pictures on her property.

He exclaimed “Take your time, it’s ok”.

And I wished him a lovely day and thanked him for his generosity AND for taking such good care of his grandma.

Oh the pictures I snapped. And the thought that such lovely folks let me on their property to shoot brought a smile and added joy to my day.

Now to sift thru a boatload of pictures to figure out which one to use for the assignment.

I feel blessed.

Blessings – Debbie

Under the Weather

You know you’re not having the best of days, when your body is not up to par.

That’s the way life treats us sometimes.

So I took the day off and stayed home.

Managed to get caught up on the laundry.

And took a few shots of my rings.

I took a few shots of them this morning, but I like the way the images look in the late afternoon light.

Shot late afternoon – I like the soft light feel.

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Jewels sparkle in the beautiful sunshine. Image below was shot this morning and it looks a bit too “harsh”?

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I’m feeling a little better and hopefully I’m back to my old self tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, it’s the hubs Friday off work week. We always look forward to these three-day weekends. And if I’m better, we have plans to go hiking again. Fingers crossed.

Happy Weekend to you!

Blessings – Debbie

Happy Valentine’s Day

So this morning, the first thing the hubs said to me – “Happy Valentine’s Day”. I feel blessed to have and to hold My Love who loves me every day, as if it were Valentines. And I’m thankful the I Love You’s are heard morning, noon and night each day throughout the year.

In honor of today being Valentines, I switched up my day and did something I haven’t done in years. I dug out my colored pencils and the rest is history.

What can I say?

The last few days have been busy.

  • I finished up my photography assignment this week.
  • Discovered the very next lens I want to add to my collection. It’s the 105 mm f2.8
  • I picked up my colored pencils today for the first time in years

I was inspired by one of my fruit shots a few weeks ago.

I took some shots of a mixture of fruit on a cake plate for my Mundane to Masterpiece photography assignment.

But today, I had the urge to begin a sketch.

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I felt the need for some me time. And since I’m all caught up on my school assignment and the reading, I thought it would be fun to do a little drawing this week. And since Monday is a  school holiday, why not jump into the pencils for a few days, right?

So there you have what I’ve been up to all afternoon. I really enjoyed my day.

But the thing I’m looking forward to the most is getting the hubs all to myself for the next three days.

Perhaps I’m a little on the giddy side because we are back to just the two of us under one roof as our nephew left this morning.

I haven’t mentioned much of our nephew (the hubs sisters son) staying with us while he looked for a job, but he’s been with us since October.

And as much as we love our nephew, it’s nice to have the nest back to just the two of us.

And with that, I’m off to begin the evening celebration which will more than likely involve the two of us staying home – Throwing another log on the fire – Catching up on a show or two (we missed Survivor last evening as I was out like a light before 9pm) – and enjoying each others company.

Blessings – Debbie

Monday

Oh what a day! I hope you had a good one.

It’s almost a rude awakening when the Monday morning alarm rings. As these days, it means it’s time for me to get up. I don’t wait for a snooze, as I immediately hop out of bed, shower, get ready for class, make the hubs breakfast and lunch, and make my way out the door to class by 7 am.

I wasn’t so sure I would like this schedule, as it throws a bit of a twist rolling out of bed that early. But for some reason, I seem to think I kinda like it. Just don’t ask me next Monday when the alarm goes off.

One of the things I like about getting up and at em, is the joy of getting out of class by 11 and having the rest of the day to work on my assignments or what have you.

Today I was able to catch up on a little reading, do some computer work and pretty much get caught-up on a few things on my to do list.

Finally evening has rolled around and there is something special about this nice peaceful quiet end.

I captured this shot just before the sun went down. Now I’m sipping a nice cold glass of Root Beer. And all feels right with the world.

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And here’s a shot I took last evening, just for fun.

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Now is the time to sit back, do a little more reading and wait for the hubs to walk thru the door.

Good night all!

Blessings – Debbie

Finding Me

Is it me? The cap. These caps (the name of them slips my mind) are so in style and my photography friend Sarah (here in San Diego) has one on at all times. But the question remains, is it me?

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So the nephew flew out this morning and I needed a moment to find me. A time to get away from house and home for just a bit as I felt the need to spread my wings.

And Seaport Village was just the place to fill that order.

Apparently Seaport Village is still in the Holiday Spirit. I’m not so sure what to think about that. But I enjoyed the day and view no less.

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Restaurants were busy with customers and what a lovely day to sit on the patio while taking in the harbor views.

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And that is exactly what my girlfriend and I did over a nice 2 hour lunch and visit. We sat next to the harbor taking everything in.

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I also enjoyed just shooting at this and that, while strolling thru the Village.

The coastal wind chimes were fun to snap.

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And the day would not be complete if I didn’t stop to enjoy the flowers.

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And as I look back over the day, I found me in peaceful paradise and it proved to be a wonderful discovery.

Now it’s time for the hubs to walk thru the door and spend the remains of the week with me. Cheers to tomorrow being his Friday off. I’m really looking forward to it.

Blessings – Debbie

Just For Today

I took a step back

And became the homebody that I love and stayed put all day long.

I stayed home to do laundry (that I didn’t get around to last Friday). And it was really starting to mound.

I stripped the sheets and had the towels going too. The one perk about the apartments where we live is that the laundry room houses more than one machine. The lights and darks were sorted in the appropriate baskets and laundry was well underway. Soon the wet clothes were transferred to the dryers and the alarm was set so that I was out there the moment the laundry was ready.

Just 5 min. before the dryer alarm sounded, I got the bright idea to make banana bread. I thought of the very ripe bananas going to waste and my mind shifted from laundry to bread. I hopped into the kitchen and quickly threw the batter together. Dumped it into the greased bread pan (that I just purchased this week) and popped that baby in the oven.


Thankfully the laundry room door is no more than 3’ just outside my front door. Can I just stop and say how thankful I am to be this close to the laundry room, just sayin’. Some people have to climb up and down many stairs to get there.

Anyway, after popping the bread in the oven I set out for the laundry room, cleaner in hand. I always clean that nice long counter down prior to folding my clothes. And then and there I perused the folding of the clothes, all of them.

Clothes were folded and 40 minutes later I walked into the apartment to the most amazing aroma of banana bread.

Clothes were put away, the bed was tended to and fresh towels were put away.

And the thing I wanted to tend to most was just finishing up in the kitchen.

Out of the oven the fresh bread came


Didn’t even wait for that baby to cool to slice into it. I slapped some butter on the piping hot piece of bread and that’s all I have to say about that.


It was so nice to let the day unfold and I was amazed at how much I got done and even enjoyed a bit of relaxation.

It feels good to be caught up around here and I’m looking forward to another day at the site of our new home. We just learned that the closing has been pushed to next week. No biggie as we’re set to close on Monday and have scheduled the movers for Tuesday. It’s hard to believe that one week from now we’ll be in our house.

But the thing that’s on my mind right now is my fresh cup of coffee in the morning with toasted banana bread. nite nite.

Afternoon Moments

I stopped by this little park on my way home from dropping hubby off from our lunch hour. For the longest time I’ve wanted to sit a spell on this swing by the river and just sit there and swing and take in the day.

And that is just what I did. I propped my feet up after giving myself a nice push and chilled.


That’s the bridge I cross so many times wishing I could be over here on this swing.


Not long after I was all comfy cozy, I heard a little rustle in the grass. I looked over to see this little creature.


too cute


And another sibling


But he was my pick


How sweet it was to watch him frolic around the bank of the river with his sibling.


Soon I saw a fisherman approach


And didn’t take him long to get his hook in the water.


What a way to spend afternoon moments.

It’s My Birthday – Message

I’ve always loved life, each and every day of it and the older I get the more I love right where I am. I love the passage that brought me here and I look ahead to many more amazing journeys. As hubby continues to say “I’ll take you places you’ve never been” and he has so many times.

I feel blessed to be with my true love and thankful to have the perfect lid for my pot. I can’t thank God enough for this blessing just for me. I feel so unworthy.

One of our 8th anniversary pictures – almost 2 years ago.


I’m following my dreams of being a potter when I grow up and one day soon I’ll be back at the wheel in my studio.

One of my several booth areas at a show a few years ago


A different event when I captured a pic of a very happy lady to get my piece of pottery. I love seeing the customers after they select one of my pieces. I think I get more joy from it than them.


I’m living healthier and even though we splurge on deserts or dinners out (like yesterday, today and tomorrow) I’ve still been able to maintain my weight loss. I still have a few more pounds to lose and I intend to get right on that, soon…not today or anything, you know how it goes…why put off today what you can put off ’til tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Do I hear an Amen?

I’m thankful to God for the little blessings in my day to day life. I’m still growing and have so much more to learn but He’s always faithful to me and for that I’m blessed. I have a deep sense of peace and the knowledge that God’s got my back. That’s amazing to me and I love that sweet blessed assurance.

So at the turn of each new year, I’m blessed to be here and today I wish…

  • I wish to make a difference and show kindness to those who need to be uplifted.
  • I wish for peace starting with me
  • I wish to be the best wife for my husband
  • And can’t think of anything more than wishing for each person to feel God’s amazing Love.
  • Love is the greatest gift and that’s what I wish for each person on my birthday.
  • And Pop, I wish you a very special Birthday today too; I’m blessed to have amazing roots and blessed with a great family. I love you Pop and I love it that we share our birthdays!

Pop and me back in the 70’s


Mom and pop on their 40th wedding anniversary a few years ago


I’m celebrating my 41st and my pop is celebrating his 65th birthday.

An Afternoon With Hubby

This week is flying by so fast that the days seem to be running into each other and here it is Friday already.

Hubby and I had a late afternoon meeting at the house yesterday. This shot is from the back of the home.


In the family room – The ceiling will be open to the second floor.


Up through the trusses in the family room. The roof is going up quick and the shingles were just delivered.


The balcony underway.


A pic of the paddle boat next door – I like the calm summer feel.


Allow me to fill you in on a little secret…


In all of the years we’ve been together (nearly 12, going on 10 years of marriage) today was a first. Hubby and I split ways at the movies, we’ve never done that before. He’s my Terminator expert and I’m…well not so much a Terminator enthusiast as I don’t like anything remotely scary. So he enjoyed the Terminator on opening day while I shopped.

I went to Home Goods and TJ Maxx just to do a little browsing. I found canisters that caused me to swoon and if they had been the right shade of green or even brown I would have had a hard time leaving them on the shelf.


Aw, this made me think of hubby across the way enjoying his show.


Loved the multi color plates and they inspired me to mix it up whenever I can get back into my pottery studio.


Here’s an inspirational metal piece. I like the idea of adding mustard and yellow hues with the green and brown into the kitchen.


I got so excited when I saw this pear!


That I pulled out my trusty fabric color swatches to see if he was the right color.


It was a no go.

I fancied this box and tried to think of a spot where it could go.


It was love at first site with this pear table.


Especially The top


By the time I finished looking over all the pretties it was time to head over to the movies to pick up my dearest.

I only had to wait a few minutes while happy thoughts swam through my head from all the fun I had.


Soon hubby came from the theater with a smile and excitement from his show.


As he got into the car he said “I told you – I’ll be back”

And that ends our amazing day.

It’s going to be a full weekend with the builder and shopping for more stuff for the house.

Hope you’re enjoying your Friday and I wish you a wonderful weekend!

A Spontaneous Day

Sometimes spontaneous days are just what we need and yesterday was one of those beautiful days with spontaneous carved into the heart of it.

What shall I do was the big question as hubby was out of town on business for a couple days. Hmmm, A Monday drive and trip to the lake sounded like a grand idea. Better yet how about I check out some restaurants online in that area before I go? So that’s what I did. I found a couple with great reviews and that was all I needed to make my little trip worth while.

I started out with so much excitement and couldn’t wait to see what the day would bring.


When something caught my eye, I took a picture like this.


Along the way I passed this old schoolhouse that was recently turned into upscale apartments. There are 3 apartments on the third floor and all three have around 3,000 + sq ft each.


This is a beautiful sorority home


This stunning arch compelled me to stop along the way and take a moment.


I love the character of this old home


Bet this was a little gem in the day.


I find beauty in the old barns but I’m also a bit sentimental. I wish I could fix up all the old ones to make them whole, complete with candy apple red paint and black trim.

A pretty piece of property in the middle of nowhere, there’s a neat little restaurant there too.


Beautiful old architecture


Here’s a little sample of grand windows/doorways


One last collage of some of the structures I admired along the way.


Moving right along to my first choice restaurant – While looking at the pictures online, I fell in love with the beautiful natural stone walls inside. It looked like the perfect place to have a nice cozy relaxing lunch.


But it was not open for lunch.

I was downhearted for just a bit as it rained on my little parade.


But let not your heart be troubled because I had a plan B. And this is what my plan B looked like as I pulled in.


I parked over to the far left and took this shot before going in. I already had it planned out that I was going to dine near a window or on the patio to enjoy the breeze and water.


But as you know when it rains it pours as it too was closed for lunch and not open ‘til 5. My heart dropped a little more than the first place as my hopes were so high after I arrived. After all there were cars in the parking lot and this was totally what I was in the mood for at this point.


I dusted myself off and put a smile on my face


And walked on the little path that led to the back. There is where I found a nice little comfy bench to sit and enjoy the breeze and view with this little duck as my company.


I sat there for quite some time contemplating what I wanted to do next. I wasn’t quite ready to drive home, I wanted to enjoy the water and day a bit more.


So I got in the car and drove following the water along to the mouth of the lake. Then is when I spotted this.


And this


And drove all the way to the back of the park and sat here for what seemed like an hour or more.


At the time, this was more filling than any of the two restaurants combined. It was so peaceful and calm and the beauty all around was worth more than my choice restaurants had they been open.

After I had my fill of this glorious spring day, my tummy was starting to let me know that I had better think of something. At this point it was around 3:30 in the afternoon and oatmeal was the only thing I had up until this point. Soooo, I thought “Self, I really want to get back home but I would still like to go out to dinner.” It would be dinner at this point as it was about an hour drive back.

So I made the drive back and decided on Red Lobster. I knew I couldn’t go wrong there.


I was seated in a beautiful spot.


And my diet soda and lime were delivered in amazing turn around time. It was so refreshing after a long day.

Then I ordered my meal and made such a nice healthy choice. It was moments after I made my choice that I really wanted to change my order. What I really wanted was the popcorn shrimp and French fries. I know, not a healthy choice but I was so in the mood to indulge and I did. The waitress graciously changed my order.

It wasn’t long before my salad with ranch dressing with lots of ground pepper with their yummy biscuits were served.


This amazing fried popcorn shrimp and fries were so piping hot and fresh that my mouth did jumping jacks.


This was the lunch size portion and it’s still huge. I did eat all the shrimp and most of my fries. Can you hear me oink?


What a perfect way to end the most amazing spontaneous day.

A Bright Yet Gloomy Day

I feel much brighter today, hey that’s just exactly what I did with myself in photoshop and I’m brighter because of it.


As much as I’m feeling bright, the day is very dark and gloomy. I took this photo at 2:30 this afternoon and it was already dark enough for this little light to be on.


I headed over to my favorite grocery store to pick up a few things. As I shopped, I found a few things that brightened my day.

I thought these little cupcake boxes were too cute.


Here’s how they function


The bright flowers were so cheery as if they were passing out free hugs to anyone who admired them. I received lots of hugs.


This row of dishes seems to echo “spring is just around the corner”. I just need to remind myself of that even though the snow is falling.


And last but not least, these bright M&M’s truly made me smile – I’m in love with all those colors.


These are just a few things that made me smile. I trust your day is bright on the inside even if it’s gloomy on the outside.