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

Happy Easter From Seaport Village

Happy Monday everybody! I’m backtracking back to Easter Sunday. It’s taking me a bit to get back to the normal blog pace and posting things as they come. But I figure this is still fairly new news.

What’s a girl to do when the hubs has a business flight on Easter Sunday morning? She goes to Seaport Village. Only to discover there was an event, the Red Bull Air Race.

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I watched boats zip from one cone to the other – to check on stuff, I assume. Knowing this was happening. I hurried on my way to do what I came for. And to get out before the vendors and crowd gathered.

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I came to stroll thru the village.

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I came to enjoy the early morning.

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And I came to breathe in peace.

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I paused a moment to shoot barnacles at low tide.

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What a glorious morning to chill and relax.

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One last shot before I hit the road for home sweet home.

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It truly was a Happy Easter, but things are never quite right when the hubs is on the road.

I can say the hubs made it home Friday and all is right with the world.

Blessings – Debbie

Fort Worth Stock Yards

Hello peeps!  How are you? Yes, I’m here! Has it really been over a year since I had something to say on the blog? I find that hard to believe.

The blog’s been on my mind, it seems daily. And the weight of all the things left unsaid seemed to push me further away. Like a mountain of stuff piling up, and  not knowing where to begin. Things like 3 weddings in 3 different states, memories of my grandma, gardening projects, monthly book club fun dates, painting birdhouses, our trip to Hoover Dam, Meteor Crater and the Grand Canyon and little things like ducks adopting our pond and the hubs and I named them Mack and Daisy and we became Certified Kansas City BBQ judges! And other stuff that I would find blog worthy.

But at some point, it’s good to know that it’s ok to start blogging right where I am. And not fret trying to get things in chronological order.

So for now, I would like to post an update from two weeks ago.

On Monday, April 3rd, our alarm rang at 3:15am. The hubs had a business trip to Fort Worth and we decided that I should go too. Our bags were packed the night before and we were up and at it and out the door in record time.

Fort Worth was our destination. In fact, we stayed at the Hyatt, right smack in the middle of the heartbeat of Fort Wort, the Fort Worth Stock Yards.

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While the hubs worked, I found plenty to do, just steps away from our room.

One of the things I was excited about was the cattle drive.

The Old West comes to life during the Fort Worth Herd’s twice-daily cattle drive. Genuine Texas cowhands drive a herd of Texas Longhorns down Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards National Historic District every day at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

On Tuesday afternoon, I arrived exceptionally early to experience the excitement on the street as people started to arrive.

I found a nice shaded bench on the sidewalk and found myself in my own little world enjoying the passing moments.

A little while later, I heard a sweet voice coming from a gal (Genevieve) who found a  place to sit on the bench next to me.

In no time, we became friends and exchanged stories about our passion for art, photography and travel. Turns out, she is traveling the entire lower 48. How awesome and impressive is that folks!?! We also exchanged blogs and emails.

She also encouraged me to get back to blogging. Many thanks to her, the blog is back sooner than expected.

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Every detail of the cattle drive—from the saddles and chaps to the boots and hats – is authentic and historically true.

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On Wednesday, the next day, I watched the cattle drive again.

“Here comes the parade!” Ha! I got such a chuckle out of the gal behind me when she uttered those words. I guess you could argue that it’s a parade of Longhorns.

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It was sweet to see the baby. His little horns are adorbs.

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And that’s a wrap on the cattle drive. Till next time…

At the Cow Wash – I love how the hubs came up with the name cow wash. This was located just behind our hotel.

They didn’t enjoy getting sprayed in the face.

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But didn’t seem to mind the rest of the wash.

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Who knew Longhorns got the full service?

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While in the Stockyards, it was nice to get out and stroll.

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While on my stroll, It was nice to take the time to enjoy the finer things. Like this furniture store (Rios) located in the heart of the Stock Yards.

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Southwest flare is pretty cool.

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The Texan swagger is on.

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A cool statue I shot one bright sunny day.

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The hubs and I enjoyed a nice BBQ brisket meal at one of our old favorite places.

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It was a must to take a picture where our daughter used to work. Just for old times sake.

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Another evening, we went to Rodeo Goat for burgers.

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Overall, the two of us got to enjoy some special things. Like our favorite fried chicken establishment, Babe’s Fried Chicken. We took a side tour of our old homestead, visited with our old neighbor in passing and enjoyed the time when we were able to do things together.

I was also blessed to visit with a good friend Jan over lunch one day. What a delight it was seeing her again, after 10 years. It’s a wonderful feeling when we are able to catch up with old friends. And able to pick right back up where we left off and not miss a beat. Does my heart good.

Our time in Fort Worth was a treasure, I gained a new friend Miss Genevieve, we were able to experience old favorite places and visit with old long lost friends. What a blessing after 10 years of separation to the place we once called home.

I have so much more to share, and look forward to posting again soon. I think it’s safe to say that I’m back and ever so happy to be here.

Blessings – Debbie

October

Time is on the move. And I better do something on the blog, as time is not going to wait a moment.

So October rolled in with my friend wanting to use me as a subject in her photography class.

And 9 x’s out of 10 she asked me to take off my glasses. Something I would never do for a photographer or anyone. But for her and her assignment, I obliged. But I still can’t figure out if it was the way she bribed me or not. She kept telling me that I looked like a 12-year-old school girl. The bribe seemed to work. But looking at the image, it just doesn’t feel like the “real” me. I’m a glasses wearing gal from the time I rise and shine to the time I fall asleep. And if you are one of the few to catch me without glasses,  it’s a rare happening. So here ya go.

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No smiles she would say. Looking for that serious side of you. Here’s what she captured. We had such a fun day in her studio.

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We had a nice little rain early October. I captured an image between raindrops.

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I would say this past October was one of the warmer ones we’ve had since we moved here. Can you believe we’ve already been here 6 years this October?

My little mid October stroll in the garden one “cooler” morning.

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I got so excited this particular morning to see the orange rose-tree in full bloom. It’s a tree I hand-picked to sit next to the pond. There’s just something about the color of the fish and rose that makes me smile.

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Enjoying my new mugs from Costco and coffee as the sun comes up.

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In other October news. We had a little minor issue in our bathroom. Floor tiles needed replacing, toilet needed replaced (well not really, but we wanted a new one) and I decided while we were at it to go ahead and paint the baseboards and paint the bathroom. It’s great being on this end with all things fresh in our master bath.

Cheers to a wonderful season with the hubs and getting things back to normal around the homestead.

But wait. I still have a big project to finish this weekend. A reminder that there will always be something to do and there is no such thing as normal. Or is there?

Blessings – Debbie

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.

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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…

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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.

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

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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…

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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…

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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

Playing Hooky

Wow, this has to be a first.

But it feels so good. Not something I would normally feel good about. But I do! And I’m oh so happy.

So the week started with this scene on campus when I arrived. The power on campus went out approx. 8 min before I arrived. Then we heard the campus was closed for afternoon classes. What did our cool photog class do? Carry on with class in the dark. Cause that’s how we roll.

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Painting in Photoshop – So, my next and last assignment for the semester is learning to paint in Photoshop.

We have two images to paint and one has to be a face. Hmmm… AND he does not want it looking like a photo. He wants to see where the brush has been. I have a lot to learn.

Currently, I’m studying brushes and angles, how to hold the Wacom tool for great technique and a whole bunch of other goodies. I’ll just say this “There is no possible way to achieve this with a mouse, impossible.”

I say all that to say, our professor signed our class up and paid for us to take 5 online classes in the next four weeks. Just one of the lessons is 8 hours. In the last two days I have devoted 16 hours learning how to paint and I’m not even two hours into the first of 5 online lessons. *Sigh* But, I’m  having so much fun!

I’ll say it takes me a while to follow the leader…When the instructor (online class) makes a stroke with a certain brush – I hit the pause, hop into Photoshop, reach for the Wacom tool, grab that brush (in Photoshop) and give it a try too… For me, That’s the way I learn, I can’t just sit thru a lecture and recall those steps at the end. If I follow along, I’m likely to remember when I’m off painting on my own.

I learned how to start the underpainting process this week.

The image on the left is the original image I took with my camera. The image on the right is my first spin for this lesson. I’m not so sure this is going to be one of my final images, as for now, it’s all about learning the ropes.

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That being said, I told the hubs last evening that I’m playing hooky “in school” for the rest of the week. While I love what I’m learning, I’m one of those people who can juggle so much, before something has to fall off the plate and the hubs comes first (I was on the computer ’til 9:45 last evening). Then I promised the hubs that there will be no more Photoshop going on in the evenings. Not that he complained – But he did ask in a chipper voice “where’s my wife?” – He’s the best!

And this morning as we were getting around for the day. I gleefully announced “I’m going on a field-trip with the girls (our neighbors) this week and playing hooky! The hubs said “why don’t you come meet me for lunch?” Now I have a lunch date this week and a field trip. Priorities people – I feel so guilty, but oh so good. Don’t judge.

And oh so happy I have the Christmas tree project behind me. Cause I have a feeling this is going to be one crazy fun ride in school this month. HOLD ON!

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“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy – Thank You doesn’t seem enough for our heroes and she-roes…Happy “Belated” Veterans Day!

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And a Very Happy Wednesday to you!

Blessings – Debbie

Dear September

You went way too fast! And I did not get my act together to keep up. However, I’m back to recover some of little things in life last month.

Catfish – Our latest edition in May. They (we have two) were about 2″ + when we got them, now they are approximately 9″ – Finally I got a shot this month – These guys love to hide under rocks and come out of hiding for breakfast – The perk = we don’t have “fry” this year – While the fish did spawn, the catfish took care of all the eggs. Nice edition if you were to ask me.

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September school assignment – The lesson called to shoot 6 different categories in the Urban Environment with a total of 42 images. Then select two of our favorite images to print out on 11 x 17 for critique. And hand in the other 40 images compacted on two 8.5 x 11 contact sheets.

The six different categories – 1. Bench where people come and go – 2. Absence of people 3. Twilight 4. Collection of things (anything) 5. Non sequitur, something that looks out of place 6. Nature and manmade blended together

One of my favorite images printed on 11 x 17 and mated it for critique in class. Category = Bench

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The second image I used for my final urban assignment. Category = Twilight

On a good note – the professor was so thrilled with our work that it was all hung in the school gallery.

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What my contact sheets for the assignment (printed on 8.5 x 11) look like…

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Next…. I still don’t have my grade, but I hope it’s a good one.

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Guess who thought it necessary to be there with me, as he did not want me alone out there on my urban assignment…Makes my heart smile…

He’s the BEST!

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Friendship – Lunch with friends at the beach, is always a good idea. It’s times like this that I kick myself for not having my camera. But ever so thankful for the trusty cell phone.

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Fresh cool air – sipping soda beachside with friends – enjoying the visit – more than a girl could ask on a summer day.

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Truly a glorious day to remember…

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Happy Fish and Cloudy Water – We’ve had the pond guy out a couple of times to try to help us figure out why we can’t seem to get the clarity back. Turns out, I’m cleaning it TOO MUCH and backwashing TOO MUCH. Jokingly he said, this is not a pool, it’s a pond. And you need to allow the algae to grow on the sides to develop a good ecosystem.  And he said “don’t touch it ’til I come back the end of the month.” On a good note, the fish are happy and the water ph is just dandy. But the clarity we are used to seeing is just not there. My bad.

The get this thing clean and backwash mentality is hard to let go, but I must.

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New Frames – The hubs is up for new frames. The supposedly really nice frames he picked up the last time continue to have a screw loose ALL. THE. TIME.

We’ve shopped a few places and took a pic the last place we visited over the weekend. Now to go back to the other place to compare notes with the other frames we liked.

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While I still love my frames, it’s a growing concern that I could use bigger frames do to wearing progressives and the need for a little more room to see. Totally not something I’m thrilled about.

But I think I found something that may fill the order next year. I think…

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October Class Assignment – I spent the last couple of weeks in september working on images that could be used for my upcoming assignment. Images were not to be taken in direct sunlight.

I was quite fond of the bubble I captured as it was moving down the waterfall over the stem of the leaf.

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But this image captured days later caused my heart to sing. Getting ready to print this guy and mat it next week.

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I must say, this semester has brought a lot of doubt. Doubt on the days we have a solid 3 hour lecture.

And I come home feeling discouraged that I’m unable to carry out the task. And when I tell the hubs all about it, a tear or two may trickle down my cheek. And he listens, while the look on his face tells me that he wished he could make it all better. And that’s what makes everything better.

And it’s weeks like this (in class) when we’ve had a solid 3 hour lab, that things begin to sink in. Somehow when we as students get to sit at the computer and begin to work on our assignments, ask questions and put to use what we’re learning, the process kicks in.  And somehow I’m able to grasp what he was saying all along during those lectures.

And now I could practically do the assignment with my eyes closed. And I smile and say, it wasn’t that bad after all.

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Cheers to learning new things!

And may I remember that it’s alright if I don’t come home from school knowing everything the professor finished lecturing about. Somethings take time to process.

On a Happy Note – Happy October! Puts me in the holiday spirit already. Yup, I’m one of the crazies that love to blend Pumpkin, Thanksgiving and Christmas all into one.

Blessings – Debbie

August

August 2014 was filled with so much. And I could not seem to get my act together on the blog. So I didn’t. And things snowballed. So here I am, ready to post at  bit about the month of August before it’s too late.

Painting – Guest Bedroom and Hallway

Actually, the painting project started the end of July and into early August. I was so excited to get another two rooms painted. Many thanks to the hubs for helping with the clearing and then the setting things back up in the rooms.

Paint color is BEHR – Summer Bliss – P280-1″

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Baby Brother and Sis-in-law visit –

Mid August, we had company!

This image has already been used on the blog. But for the sake of this post, I’m using it again.

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Another visit –

Our friend from Phoenix came to San Diego to cool off a bit. We enjoyed breakfast by the beach last weekend.

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Banana Banana Bread – 

This bread gets a slot for the month of August, because I made it three different times for family and friends.

2 1/3 cups or 5 bananas is the equivalent that went into my loaf. That’s a lot of bananas. Thus the title of the recipe – Banana Banana Bread. I love how moist and yummy it is right out of the oven. Or toasted the next morning. Either way, it holds that yummy moist soft texture, no matter how you slice it.

This loaf was made for my friend visiting from Canada. We still have another lunch get-together this week.

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Class – 

My photography class is in full swing. I’m happy to report it’s my absolute favorite class, ever.

I was a little nervous the dean would cancel our class due to a lack of students. As it turns out, we are good to go! I’m (selfishly) excited about having a small group, as we are able to get a lot more one-on-one time during the lab with the instructor.

Love the new Tervis set my bro gave us (from his company), I take this guy to class all the time.

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I got a bit overwhelmed when the instructor wanted us to get used to using the Wacom in class. I’ve heard about this cool tool, but it was my first hands on experience. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a graphics tablet you hook to the computer. You draw on the tablet and it creates the drawing in your computer program.

Basically, I had some major arguments going on with the tool. It was hard to get used to performing different functions when there seemed to be a lot to remember. So I put it right back on the shelf and went back to using my mouse in class. At least I was able to keep up in class.

When I told the hubs all about it and not being able to keep up in class, he dropped what he was doing and ordered one for me right there on the spot that evening. And I had it in my hands in less than 48 hours!

Believe me, by the time class rolls around this week, I won’t need anyone to twist my arm for a Wacom in class.

The features of my Wacom Intuos Pro Medium are mind blowing. I’ve listed some of the cool features below.

  • Quickly and professionally edit photos and create digital artwork using natural pen control
  • Wireless accessory kit included
  • 2048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity in both pen tip and eraser
  • 8 customizable application specific Express Keys
  • Multi-function touch ring with 4 customizable functions

And I’ve already taken some of the most amazing webinars this weekend and set up my tablet with the express key functions that gel with what I like to use the most. I’m sure in time, I’ll take the liberty to change those functions as I grow-up in Photoshop.

While I’m not a Wacom genius, I’m learning that I can take the art of photography to a level beyond my wildest dreams. I’m so pumped!

And I look forward to sharing my assignments with you this semester. Stay tuned!

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Labor Day Weekend – 

We’re taking this 4-day time off together and getting a few things accomplished around the house.

The key ingredient at the top of our list is rest. Lots of rest.

We’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen with our dueling knives. Homemade guacamole is in the house! Served fresh daily…I don’t kid about stuff like this.

Friday evening, we checked out some old cars. I think these sort of things could be an interesting subject for an assignment due mid September. Who knows, we may go back next week for more fun and pictures.

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And for now –

  • I’m happy getting a few things from August on the blog.
  • Looking forward to un-labor-day tomorrow. Wait, I think we may spend a bit of time working. But if we’re doing what we love, it may cancel work altogether.
  • Loving on the plumeria our neighbors brought over for us today. What a special gift.
  • And I still can’t believe tomorrow is September 1st already! Somebody pinch me.

September 1st is my sign to start ringing in the season! It’s truly my favorite time of the year.

Then again, we had a glorious summer. Perhaps it’s that pumpkin spice latte time of the year that I begin to crave.

At any rate, I’m ready to embrace September, autumn and the season that I love so much. In fact, I had a little Christmas tree visit with the hubs today.

But first things first…Enjoy Autumn and that pumpkin spice latte. And the Holidays will unfold in due time.

Blessings – Debbie

Hair-Raising

Hey Peeps! How’s it going?

Well it’s been “another” hair-raising – slippery slope sort of drama going down over here the last few months.

But before I go off on that tangent, I have some special news to share on the blog about the hubs.

I would love to give a really big shout out to the hubs for his achievement at work. He was recognized as Employee of the Month and received a very nice award for his outstanding dedication and support to the team. Congratulations, My Love! You make me proud every day.

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Back to the hair-raising ordeal. For those who really know me, like the hubs, my mom, family, close friends and many of you who have read the blog over the years. You are already aware of my hair and the drama it creates from time to time.

For those of you who don’t know me well – it all started about 25 + years ago. And it has not simmered in the least. It still remains a battle over long vs. short hair. And on any given day would choose both. But it’s not that easy.

As of last year, I decided I wanted to go long again. As we all know, long hair requires patience – PATIENCE peeps!

So this time I asked the hubs if he would join the support team for the growing out of the hair. And I asked him to say no when I told him I wanted to cut it off.

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And just like that, my support “A Team” was formed. And boy did I ever need it. Just the time when it got to the yucky stage, I told the hubs I was thinking about going short again. He said “I forbid you to cut it” (I don’t think he used the term “forbid”, but it was something like that).

The rough patches came in waves. And the support “A Team” was all about providing the best support, when needed. And I managed to get thru the tough times.

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But one weekend, my hair got the best of me. And I recall hounding the best support system about getting it cut. You guys, I hounded the system for days on end. Totally not cool to do to the hubs as he knew what I really wanted.

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And then he replied something like this “I’m just doing what you asked and I’m trying to hold up my end of the support. But if you really want to cut it off, that’s fine. But I really want you to be sure that’s what you want before you do it.”

And for a moment I felt relieved. Off the hook and ready to call the gal to have it ALL. CUT. OFF!

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That feeling only lasted a moment.

Then, I felt awful for bugging Support “A Team”. And it made my heart happy that no matter what, he was truly trying to help.

And then I decided I wanted long hair again.

And so it goes, I let the hair grow.

Are you still with me? It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

However, I did just get a trim for the first time since before Thanksgiving = Makes me happy!

You know, the moment you’ve had a fresh cut and how nice it feels to comb thru it the first time. Yea, I totally love that moment. I feel like I have a fresh head of hair again.

But guess what I did? I cut my bangs again. Did you guess? Got them WAY too short again! But if you know me and bangs, I will always cut them. I just can’t help myself. Even if the girl cut them less than a week ago and I feel they need a trim, I cut. And sometimes I go too far. Luckily they grow back in a timely fashion.

And that concludes the hair drama…for now anyway.

One other thing. I can see CLEARLY again! I got my frames and new lenses back this week. Oh what a difference it makes. I feel like a brand new me marching forward.

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Sometimes, it’s the little things that make our days a little brighter. I gotta tell ya, seeing 20/20 contributes a lot to that.

Blessings – Debbie

In The Last 24 Hours

We had a visitor last evening.

The guy down below is our fake decoy egret for the fish pond. The guy up above, just flew in. I actually ran out there and yelled at him right after I took this blurry shot.

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This morning – things moved along as usual. I made breakfast and lunch for the hubs while he was getting ready for work.

Made a cup of coffee as soon as I bid farewell to the hubs.

Sat down for about 30 min for a little reading with my coffee.

Then went out to the garden.

And spied this little crimson sweet watermelon for the very first time. And as I looked, I noticed a few more babies. Did you know these guys can reach up to 25 pounds? No matter the size, we’re just hoping for some sweet homegrown melon this year.

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And then I went over to check out the tomatoes. It seems they are changing by the day too. Here’s a few of our little cherry tomatoes.

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Our red bell peppers are growing too.

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And just about the time I was getting ready to pay a little attention to the roses, I hear from down below “Honey, I’m home and I don’t feel so good.”

So I dropped what I was doing and ran down to see what was wrong.

Turns out he was violently sick and asked if I would take him to Urgent Care right away.

I would have done anything to make his illness go away, so off we went to get him some help.

Soon, the nurse gave him dose of Zofran. After a while, he was still terribly sick so the Dr. ordered another dose + a nice IV to keep him from dehydrating.

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After about 20 or so minutes he was feeling a lot better.

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While he was enjoying his IV, they were working on his blood samples in the lab.

As it turns out, his blood work checked out just peachy. And he was sent home to rest, drink lots of clear fluids, rest and hopefully shoo this flu bug away.

The hubs seems to be a bit exhausted but feeling so much better this evening. And that makes me one very happy wifey.

Later this afternoon, we had an exciting find in the pond. We both spied the two (very small) catfish our nephew added to the pond just four weeks ago (yesterday). It was a happy moment let me tell you. I still can’t believe they were in hiding all month.

While I don’t have an image of our catfish, here’s a fun picture I took at dinnertime this evening. They have me wrapped right around their little fins and I think they know it too.

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I close the day with a grateful heart and much to be thankful for.

Blessings – Debbie

From The Garden With Love

Our new patio is really taking shape. I know, I’ve been saying this for weeks make that months, but it really is.

It’s been slow going as the guys (two of them) can only work on Saturdays. And some Saturdays they are unable to come.

So for us, this is such an exciting stage as we can begin to see light at the end of the tunnel.

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The transition to the pathway, leading to the upper terrace. We really like how it’s coming together.

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Pops of purple – be still my heart.

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Our corn is ever changing by the day. Check it out!

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And the hubs has jalapeño peppers rocking this space! I say “the hubs” because (well unfortunately) my system can’t handle these guys anymore. It’s a sad day for me, but I’m thrilled for the hubs!

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We had our very first “little” harvest of three tomatoes last Monday. We were like children in a candy store picking them from the plant.

Gardening is truly a labor of love.

Blessings – Debbie

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Note: this post was written yesterday (Tuesday), I just forgot to post it.

The last two weeks have been off.

Two weeks ago today our nephew had just finished up his visit with us. I still can’t wait to blog about his trip! And I dropped him off at the airport to go back home, two weeks ago today.

It was one of those down days after saying good-bye to my buddy. And when the hubs came home that evening, I got an extra long hug. and a few tears trickled down my cheeks.

One week ago today, the hubs was on a business trip and I was home learning of the news that there were fires in our area. Believe it or not, the hubs “in Indy” is how I learned of the fires. If it were up to me, my head would be in the sand, without a clue. It turned out to be a pretty crazy week.

But It’s a new week. This time around I’m trying to get back into the swing of things.

It’s a good week. And the hubs kicked off our Monday, inviting me for a lunch date. I truly love lunch dates.

And I find relaxation by the edge of the pond.

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The babies are almost a year old and they are changing color by the min it seems. I can’t believe we have a “blue” goldfish. How did that happen?

They are fighting over a piece of food, but somebody gave up, turned around and begged for more. Are they spoiled or what?

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#1 Reason I scratched tomatoes off my grocery list this week. We hope to have good luck in the garden this year.

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Check out the tassels on the sweet corn! How exciting is that?

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I’m thankful for the these little things. The things we enjoy around house and home. It’s the things that bring delight.

Cheers to getting back into the swing of things.

Blessings – Debbie

A Flurry Of Events

I chalk this week up to a flurry of events.

The beginning of May, is another story (a good story that I can’t wait to tell). But a story that will have to wait for now.

The Flurry starts Monday, May 12, 2014.

Monday – the hubs left on a business trip bright and early in the morning.

Monday – I took the day off to relax and to read my book (The Last Aloha) for book club this month. I’m so glad I did, as I’m not so sure I would have finished the book for the meeting (next week) otherwise.

Tuesday – I took our cars for the annual emissions test, they both passed.

Tuesday – Fires broke out in San Diego County. Pretty nerve-racking. Especially with the hubs out-of-town.

Tuesday evening I went to my girlfriends for dinner. Since our boys were out-of-town, she had me over to their new home (they just moved in last Saturday, May 10th) for a nice dinner. Grilled chicken, and shrimp on the BBQ and all the ingredients to make fajitas, rice and beans. It was such and enjoyable evening of patio dining + conversation + Hawaiian music = perfection into the night.

I made her card compliments of nail polish.

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Wednesday – It was hard to focus on much. At that time, we had six wildfires burning in San Diego County.

I could see smoke from the house – I’d watched fire tornadoes broadcast in the area – Heard of 15,000 evacuations in Carlsbad alone – Watched thousands of acres burn – registered for reverse 911 – By then we (San Diego County) were calling in state and federal reserves…

And I was so ready for the hubs to get home.

Image taken from the neighborhood, Wednesday evening.

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I stood watching flames climb the side of the mountain. If you look close, you too can see the flames highlighting the mountain in the image.

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Oh what a night…

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It seemed our little world was going up in smoke while daylight vanished.

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Wednesday evening – From a fire captain on the ground – about the fire near us. – “…The reinforcement of crew is still coming in. More planes and they are allowing them to fly which is unheard of at night. They will be busting their butt all night.”

All I could do that evening was pack my little emergency bag in the event of evacuation and pray for the best.

Thursday morning – These “Bad Boys” were flying over our home – Made me tear up as I watched plane after plane and helicopter fly into the wildfires.

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Below is a view from our neighborhood Thursday morning.

I wasn’t so sure what was going on in the news. I was busy preparing for the hubs to come home.

I picked up the hubs around 10:45 and from there, we went for an early lunch date. Have you any idea how overjoyed I was to have him home?

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By the time we got home, these guys were in the hood. The officers told me that if the fire reached the ridge, we would all have to go.

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I stood and watched a bit longer, watching what seemed to be an ever-growing fire. While plane after plane flew in and out, trying to gain control.

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What I recall in the next few hours…

Packing the car – watering the garden – ash beginning to fall in the yard – the hubs paying some bills – getting stung by a bee – feeding the fish – telling the fish that I loved them, I did – and making one more round in the house to ensure we had everything that mattered most.

Soon, the mandatory evacuation was in force. And the reverse 911 call came,  it was time to evacuate. We didn’t argue.

Image taken from our driveway Thursday evening. These guys were trolling the hood with their sirens and speakers – telling all of us we need to get out! I recall the hubs and I giving a nod of respect and a friendly wave to these men on duty.

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We had suitcases packed, boxes of pictures, important documents…

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A fragile keepsake from China – computers – and other precious things we didn’t want to leave behind.

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And I recall that special hug and kiss in the hub of the home, before making our way out.

Finally we were able to relax in our new home – the Residence Inn.

Although we hit a rough patch finding a room. The first hotel was booked (due to  evacuations) and there were only two rooms available at the next Residence Inn.

Once we kicked off our shoes, we were truly at peace with whatever happened after that.

Thank you friends for your thoughts, concern, prayers and many in the area offering your homes for us to stay.

Friday morning – We woke feeling rested. The mandatory evacuation was lifted for us = we were free to go home! But not before breakfast. Que the “Happy” song somebody!

Friday Fire Report In Our Area – While it was good to be home, the fire doubled in size overnight consuming 3,018 acres. Fortunately for us, the wind had shifted. But there are still so many facing the loss of homes and businesses.

Today – Saturday Morning Update: Nothing But Blue Skies and 68° – Feeling so blessed this morning.

We came home early yesterday morning to a few signs of ash in the backyard and the smell of smoke.

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Still praying for our firefighters and officers hard at work today. We’ve had – Eight Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, seven CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters and four UH-1Y Huey helicopters, 1,000 firefighters and 161 fire engines providing support to the fire in what we call our backyard. Note: This does not include all the firefighters/fire engines/planes/helicopters fighting the many fires in our San Diego County area. There are so many more…

May we not forget those where the fire has reduced homes and businesses to rubble.

The fire is now 70% contained per our latest update.

San Diego Fires May 2014 – For those not in the area, a few more details – “The 2014 San Diego County wildfires are a swarm of wildfires that erupted in mid-May, in San Diego County, California during severe Santa Ana Wind conditions and a heat wave. The severe weather conditions contributed to the spread of at least 14 fires, with 10 of them receiving names. At least nine of the wildfires are believed to have originated from the Bernardo Fire, which ignited on May 13, 2014. Igniting some 25,000 acres…”

Please remember those who are less fortunate. Those who came home to rubble. Those who suffered and who will continue to suffer loss in the days ahead…

Happy Note – I’ve been waiting for the daylily to bloom. Today is the first of many more blooms to come…

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Blessings – Debbie

Baking ~ Gardening ~ Friends ~ Painting

There’s much to be said since I last posted.

And I have a moment to jump on in and post my heart out. Here goes.

I left the blog hanging with my bread making class last Thursday.

Last Friday evening, I was all set to put the lid on this baby and pop it in the oven for dinner. Like so.

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And the next thing I recall is this.

  • I had our butter “room temperature” and ready.
  • The camera was ready to take the image right out of the oven
  • The “bread cutting” knife and cutting board were ready
  • We did not bother with the cooling of the bread on a rack phase. No siree! We took a knife to this bad boy right there on the spot.
  • Butter was slathered and we were overcome with the yummy goodness of homemade bread.

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I may or may not have had anything else but bread and butter for dinner. Ok, I had the bread for my meal and the hubs had his bread as an appetizer + he had it with turkey, taters and green beans. Yup, I just had the fresh hot bread.

And Saturday morning we made toast. Oh my word, I can’t decide how I like it best. All I can say is this “By now, it’s a very good memory.”

Last Saturday we worked in the garden. We transplanted tomatoes, corn and peppers.

And I caught the hubs on camera taking a much needed break.

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I pulled a bucket of weeds.

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And the roses were fertilized – What a delight to see the assorted roses in bloom. This particular rose is called “Sun Flare”.

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And Saturday afternoon, our friends came over to spend the evening. Actually, we went out for a nice dinner. Then stopped by the Cheesecake Factory for our dessert. And came back to our place for a visit into the evening.

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Painting – My “To-Do” list calls for a little more painting in the house. Next up = the powder room.

While it’s the smallest room in the house, it has been one painful experience after another, starting with the valance.

To make a long story short, I still don’t have the valance, as I learned they don’t carry a large assortment in stores these days. In fact, Macy’s had nothing, zero, zilch in the store. But that’s ok, as I’ve decided that I’m going with a white valance.

This is the powder room before image.

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This “was” my inspirational color (on Pinterest) for that room.

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After 5 trips to the Home Depot and 8 different samples splashed in the powder room (this week), I have the color that makes my heart sing. Now to wait for the hubs to come home, as it’s just as important for him to like it too…

Note: I had a color close to what you see in the inspiration image, it’s just not visible in the image below. Hard as I try, the inspirational color did not work with the counter and flooring color in the room. But finding something that makes my heart sing, is so much better.

P.S. After posting the image (below) on Facebook, the hubs asked if Goldilocks had painted this room. It’s too cute to not make a note on the blog.

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I purchased two really cheap brushes such that I could have what I needed to try 4 samples yesterday. Note to self: Do not use those cheap sample brushes. The bristles they leave to dig out of wet paint are not worth it.

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One last blurb – The hubs spied our very first tomato Monday evening. We are so excited!

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As I think over the last few days and how far along I wanted to be on the painting this week, I’m reminded again – some things are worth the wait and all the extra miles it takes to get the happy end result.

Until next time…

Blessings – Debbie