Happiness is

Happiness is – Changing plans for my outdoor garden party when our beautiful weather turned cool and rainy. My party of 12 ladies enjoyed laughter, visits and friendship.

Unfortunately this is the only image I have to show for the ladies luncheon yesterday. It does make me a little sad that I don’t have pictures to remember our day.

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Happiness is – a tiny begonia in full bloom.

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Happiness is – Taking more than one picture of the plant, just because.

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Happiness is – Receiving this lovely vase of roses from my neighbors garden.

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And finding the right spot to enjoy them this weekend.

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Happiness is – Wisteria in full bloom this time of the year. I sure wish I could bottle the aroma.

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Happiness is – Picking a rose from the garden for my bud vase.

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I spy an Egret! How about you?

Happiness is – Having the new alligator head in the pond to prevent this guy from helping himself to our fish. I decided to watch him today to see what he would do. He definitely seemed bothered as he made quite a commotion. After 3 or so minutes, he flew away.

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Happiness is – Seeing a grasshopper for the second time this week. This guy crossed my path today and I decided to shoot him too. Makes me happy.

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Happiness is – Getting a 3 day weekend with my love. That makes me so very happy.

Happiness is – Feeling blessed…

Blessings – Debbie

Hey ~ Hey

Hey Peeps! It’s been too long. What’s up? I hope all is well in your world.

We just finished enjoying a nice 3 day weekend.

To kick it off, the hubs sent a message Thursday afternoon, asking if I would like to join him for a dinner date.

This is me (ready for my date) waiting for the hubs to get home from work Thursday evening. What a wonderful way to start the weekend!

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We also spent a good deal of time at Home Depot. I think we made 3, if not 4 trips over the weekend.

I picked up a handful of green samples.

And pretty much picked out the (green) color for the walls in the guest bath and powder room.

The painting part of this chore is for next month.

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Another run to Home Depot – This is the run we purchased the rock for the retaining wall in the backyard. It should be delivered sometime this week.

Hopefully we’ll have another backyard update soon.

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Saturday Morning – I went to check out our neighbors yard-sale. I came home with a beautiful rose tree and 3 nice rose bushes. Now to find just the right spot in the garden for these beauties.

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And Sunday, we went to our neighbors St Paddy’s Day party. What a treat!

We took this pot of gold for the host.

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It was a also a weekend infused with a whole lot of dining out.

  • Thursday = Mexican
  • Friday = Pei Wei
  • Saturday = Panera Bread
  • Sunday Lunch = 5 Guys
  • Sunday Dinner = St Patrick’s Day dinner party + dessert

Um, I hate to even tell you what is going on with my healthy eating journey. But I think I just made it pretty obvious.

Let’s just say, I hope to be back on April 1st with a much better report.

Cheers to a wonderful weekend with the hubs and a new week with a fresh start!

And here’s wishing all of you a glorious week.

Blessings – Debbie

Family Days in Florida

This post is going to be a bag of family images during the week stay in FL. I still have so many images to process. But for now, I’m ready to get a few out there.

A few of the things we did that week = had the famous roast beef sunday dinner at mom and dad’s, with the family. I got to play with my nieces hair, did their nails, got plenty of rest, played poker, played backgammon, enjoyed a nice river dinner out with my little brother and his wife (my big bro was not in town as early as we were for this), enjoyed Cold Stone, went to Bass Pro with the family, enjoyed pumpkin pie every day from Thanksgiving – December 1st, purchased fudge, went to visit my grandma, aunt and uncle + cousins, enjoyed lunch with my aunt + uncle + their family + my mom = a total of 11 of us family members, had dinner with friends, went shopping with mom, I’m a heavy on the olives kinda gal and had all of the olives on my Thanksgiving plate disappear from a certain brother :), helped mom with Thanksgiving preparations, enjoyed a dinner out with just my parents, enjoyed watching my parents get surprised by one of the twins (she said she was not able to come as she’s in the middle of exams following Thanksgiving = she lives in Washington), having her there made our family complete, I got to take amazing pix of everyone, enjoyed a big family dinner with everyone at my little bro’s (guy on the far right of the first image in this post), met quite a few of my nieces and nephew’s friends, visited my parents church and enjoyed listening to our nephew play the piano and sing during service, talked to my nephew about coming out to Cali, to take his Sr pix this year and much much more.

Meet the family

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My two siblings + parents. My older bro on left, he’s a year older than me and my baby bro on right, he’s a year and 1/2 younger than me. Feeling blessed to be right smack dab in the middle.

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Pop and me

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I love how he just cracks me up!

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My niece all the way from Washington State.

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And her twin sis in Florida.

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And their baby bro – He’s the senior who mentioned coming out to So Cal for me to take his senior pix in the spring.

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My nephew from North Carolina

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And his little brother from North Carolina – This guy is also a senior this year. And he’s also the nephew who plays the piano and sings.

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While enjoying the cool of the evening with friends, aunt Deb (that would be me) told the girls to “work it ~ work it” I just love the result!

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Our three nephews – There is never a dull moment with the fam. As you can see, the proof is in the pudding.

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My nephew and his buddy – Boy’s certainly know how to work it too!

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When friends arrive late one evening – Hot chocolate + a bon fire in the backyard, made for the best way to spend the time with friends.

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Here we have pops enjoying the cool evening hours as I was out shooting the grandkids. It is then when they brought my attention to grandpa. As this shot begged to be taken.

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I don’t know where the funny bone genes came from, but I think you are looking at two possible candidates.

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There are a lot more images to share from our Florida travels. But I’ll leave you with our Thanksgiving dinner picture, gathered ’round. I love my family and so thankful we could all be together. Even if my little bro took all my olives. 😉

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Blessings – Debbie

Happy Thanksgiving

Apparently that is how far behind I am on the blog. And I say it’s time to do a little catching up, before this gets out of hand.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, (November 23rd) the hubs and I were off to spend Thanksgiving with the family in Florida.

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What we did to pass the time on the long flight from coast to coast.

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And I was thinking how cool it was going to be to see the folks that evening.

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A little layover with a latte in Atlanta = Perfection!

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All set for our sunset flight, down to south Florida.

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It’s taxi to the runway time.

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And we flew into the sunset.

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One of my favorite shots of the day was the sunset + contrail from a jet plane.

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All images and collages (documenting our little trip) were created with my cell and collage apps on the cell phone. I can’t express the amount of fun it was creating images = the time went by so fast.

The end of the first day.

Blessings – Debbie

There is Always Next Week

That’s what I said last week about digging out the Christmas Tree with sore aching muscles.

Remember? I had been painting this room while the hubs was out-of-town.

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And when he came back into town, he helped get the rest of the furniture moved back into the living room. In fact, he moved the furniture one evening after I had gone to bed (early) exhausted. And when I woke the next day, it was as tho somebody took a magic wand in there.

Then over the weekend, “the Tree” made an appearance as the hubs got it all set up for me. And we enjoyed the lights and flickering flame in the fireplace while relaxing during the evening hours.

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But this new 9′ tree took many days to fluff the branches and decorate. Well wort the effort, if you were to ask me.

Wednesday afternoon, we had the opportunity to see rare drama here in So Cal. Image shot from my neighbors driveway. We’ve had rain on and off ever since.

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Wednesday = morning book club meeting with the girls. Words are few, but my heart is full of the love we have for each other in this neighborhood and group. Then we went out for the end of the year luncheon at Olive Garden. Good times, laughter and visits = My heart beats joy. Then I had a little Wednesday afternoon scoot over to Costco with my neighbor and friend. Amazing day all the way around.

And then is where “There is Always Next Week” comes into play.

On Thursday (yesterday), I finally finished the Christmas Tree!

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I must say, I’m so delighted I took the painting of the house chore on before the holidays. It’s not only nice to have it done, I finally have the paint color of choice on our walls after many many years of wanting to paint the place we get to call home.

It truly is a blessings making this place home sweet home. Hopefully for a very long time.

Blessings – Debbie

Work Work Work

And so it was, there were three full days of work + overtime during the evening hours this week.

Turns out, my body is physically exhausted and I told the hubs over lunch (today) that the heaviest thing I lifted all day, is the nail polish. But he questioned that saying, didn’t you lift the lid to the candy jar? Read on to “get it”.

Back to the work part of the post.

The hubs graciously moved all the furniture out of the living room last weekend.

And I started in on the painting of the living room. I was able to complete two coats of the cutting in – Monday.

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Then I came up with the bright idea of biting off more than I could chew for the week. On Tuesday I started cutting in both hallways. What was I thinking? I know, right? I worked late as I tried to finish up the last hall.

Wednesday was the day to roll the paint. And by 10 am, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. The living room alone would have been just dandy. But adding two hallways? That was nuts and my wings felt like they were breaking. Nonetheless, I kept chipping away.

And before I knew it, the living room was DONE!

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And hallway #1 = Done. I tell ya, I was on a roll and loving the fresh new paint.

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By the time Thursday morning rolled around, I had my part in putting what I could back in place.

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And the hubs was back home Thursday morning. And guess what he brought, just for me?

Makes me feel a little guilty as he didn’t take any snacks for himself the entire trip (on the plane). Each time they made their way around with the snack basket (chocolate candy included) he took one of these guys for me and didn’t take any for himself. That’s just not right.

Remember the fingernail polish being the heaviest thing I lifted all day? Turns out the lid of the candy jar is heavier. 🙂

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Break Time – I had such an amazing break from work (yesterday). And it’s another nice break today. I had another Biscoff and coffee break this morning. Had the best lunch break date with the hubs.

And truly enjoying this Friday. I did have another plan for this week. But it’s just not coming to pass. I had plans to put up the Christmas tree today. I’m so excited about decorating, I can hardly stand it. But for now, the break is necessary. Next week people, there is always next week. Right?

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It’s so nice having the hubs back in town. We look forward to a nice relaxing weekend around the homestead.

Who knows, that tree may find its way out of the box this weekend.

Blessings – Debbie

Work and Play

The last week has been one of work and play.

First up = Painting and more painting. The walls quickly went from the light blue tint to the light yellow tint.

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Play – A play date occurred with my friend after a day of painting.

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I still can’t get over how dark it is at 6:30 pm.

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But a good meal was certain. I had the Buffalo Wings = Perfection!

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Our boys were out of town on business – not a great shot, but it documents our lovely evening.

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I’m happy the hubs wasn’t gone too long. And it makes me smile that he thinks of the littlest things he knows I like.

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We’ve had 3 dates since his return Thursday. This is his Friday off week. And I consider this to be such a great weekend, it feels like vacation.

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Now it’s time to wrap up this post, such that I can get back to our delightful weekend in progress.

Blessings – Debbie

Keep Calm and Blog On

That’s what one tells them-self, when said person is a bit more than two weeks behind on the blog.

When one needs to keep calm, it never hurts to have an extra cup of coffee. So I did.

And with this post, I thought it would be nice to say a few blurbs of what’s been going on around here. Sprinkled with a smattering of photos, to keep things real.

Things like – Taking an image of our hard work, what a beautiful wood pile. The hubs did the chopping and I did the stacking. A great big cheers to having that job finished and we will celebrate with many a fire in the fire-pit in the coming days/years.

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We started hiking the hood again.

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I especially love hiking, just before sunset with the hubs.

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I’m back to painting the walls in the house.

Do you know that Christmas music has filled the space in our home, going on 3 weeks? I admit, this is a first. I really don’t know what’s into me, but Christmas is in the air and I feel it. And I’m shopping for a new Christmas tree. I think I found just the one. This is not a non-sequitur people. It has everything to do with painting, as it truly filled the air with every brushstroke and roll of paint with the roller.

Below – A finished image of the family room. The paint color is Behr – Summer Bliss

Don’t mind the stuff on the window ledges, I didn’t have everything back in place when I took this image.

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After painting a couple of days in the family room, I took a two-day rest. And I read for two days. The great news = I finished the book for my book club meeting this month.

Fry – Who knew goldfish/fish young were called fry? And that they hatch a brownish color? And they can take up to a year to develop color? And they can change color up until they have fully matured? I’m pretty jazzed with the little yellow and black guy who is changing color before our eyes. And it’s hard to believe that some of the little ones look pretty close to 3″ in size already. I knew none of the above going into this, but it’s a joy learning as we go…

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And one day while sitting at the edge of the pond, the reflection begged to be captured.

Speaking of the pond – The fountain sprung a leak and water was seeping out (a little drop at a time). Thankful for a good pond guy who was able to repair the leak for us last week.

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Speaking of repairs – The washing machine broke last Thursday.

The best load for the washer to break = the last load. The load you debate even throwing in the wash. You know, a few sweaters that would be nice to have fresh for our cool San Diego nights. I was feeling a bit smug (Thursday evening) to have all the clothes put away and the ironing all up to snuff.

And it’s still in need of some tender loving care. But I have hopes that the appliance man will have things under control tomorrow. Fingers crossed…

I have to put in a big plug-in for the St Louis Cardinals, the hubs hometown and team since childhood. The hubs predicted (before the playoff series) that they would nail it in 6, in honor of #6. What do you know, he was right on the money! We’re looking forward to our Cards in the World Series!

We helped our friends do a little moving down here from LA over the last two weekends. And we enjoyed a nice dinner with them last weekend.

Snapped this guy on one of my little outdoor garden jaunts.

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The garden is one of my favorite places to relax.

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Let there be birthday cake! Red velvet birthday cake. I whipped this guy up over the weekend.

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Our daughter came for a visit (down from LA) and it was her birthday. I couldn’t think of any other cake to bake, than her favorite red velvet.

And I decorated her card with fingernail polish. It’s my new favorite way to decorate the envelope.

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 Twas a big celebration weekend of whining and dining.

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I spent a bit of time in the garden this morning. Remember? One of my favorite ways to relax.

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And shot several images.

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 And sipped on coffee.

And spent some time on the phone with my pop.

And I’ve been really good about staying out of the leftover ice cream. I call that a big accomplishment.

And I’m ever thankful we sent “ALL” the leftover cake with Kristy. Lord knows I would have a hard time staying out of that.

And I feel blessed getting this new week started off on the right foot.

Blessings – Debbie

Week in Review

A quick week in review, before I get too far behind.

Back to the weekend of September 7th.

The hubs and I did a little shopping for things around the house. And we worked a bit around the house as well.

One of the things on our shopping list, was a smoker (BBQ). We visited the grill store near us and checked out a number of smokers and gathered plenty of literature to help us pick the one to meet our needs/wants.

The hubs and I also worked a bit in the garden. The hubs chopped some wood and I got the easy job of stacking it.

This little guy grabbed my attention and I “had” to take a break and shoot him. What a Nice Weekend!

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September 8th, we did a little star gazing at the Moon and Venus. Image shot from our home.

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Twas a busy week, last week. Early in the week, I made a pot of bean soup. It turned out really good.

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And the hubs came flying home on Tuesday the 10th. He said, “I just found our smoker!” He went on to say something like “I found a store (on Craigslist) in San Diego that is going out of business. They only have one Big Green Egg left. And it’s a bargain. And It’s just the size we want. And if I don’t go now, it’s not going to last.” And so he went and picked up the last brand spankin’ new egg in the store.

And the rest is history.

I can say that I was quite intimidated by this big guy. But excited to learn what it can do.

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Brisket – The hubs called the butcher (Wednesday the 11th) and placed our brisket order, I picked it up Thursday, we put a Texas rub on it Friday morning (the hubs had Friday off) and here’s the hubs firing it up around 9 PM Friday night. He set the thermometer to ding if the temp got too high or low during the night.

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This is a choice cut 12.5 pound full brisket (flat + point).

The brisket went into the Egg at exactly 9:55 PM Friday night. And oh what a busy (in and out of bed to check on the meat) night it turned out to be. Let’s not talk about that part, m’kay?

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We had a little company arrive around noon (Saturday). It’s always fun sharing the excitement with others.

As the hubs reported “Parts of the brisket were tender. Other areas were tough. Clearly, I have a lot to learn. I get a C for this effort. Next time, I’ll do better.” And I report he was a little too hard on himself.

Then we put the tough parts into the crock pot and covered them with BBQ sauce. And they came out the most amazing, pull apart tender, sink your teeth into, goodness. What a yummy Sunday dinner!

I picked up my annual (small) bag of candy corn over the weekend. I love the Autumn Mix variety. There’s something about these little candies that take me back in time. And I love the autumn time travel each year.

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I played with the camera, taking different angle shots of the pumpkin candy jar. Here we have the lid/stem of the pumpkin in focus.

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Today I’m working on a little catch-up in the house. I’ll spare the detail, but know things are taking shape over here today.

Blessings – Debbie

That Nagging Frustration

When you just had your hand on something and next thing you know, it’s gone.

If I were a pencil, where would I be? That is still the question two days later.

We just had the hubs 0.9mm Pentel P209 pencil the night before last. By morning we could not put our fingers on it.

So I started in on the 4 day holiday weekend laundry + checked all pockets per usual. Searched high and low. Found a stray sock under the bed while conducting the search.

And what do you know, I found the other missing pencil (image below), but there is still another missing as he has two. This guy was found in the stuff we were working on over the weekend. Goodness knows where the other is lurking.

And why is this driving me nuts and consuming me for two days? The hubs and I chalk it up to bizarre. Who knows, maybe the aliens took it?

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Crystal Clear – So I was in the mood for a little abstract today. I took this image of a small crystal votive, held up to the beveled glass window with the garden providing the background light and color.

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And a few blurbs running thru my head:

  • This week feels rather short.
  • The fish are happy as ever. And the little fry are getting SO big! I dare say we have 100 if not more little babies from all that spawning. Anyone out there want some free goldfish? I’m serious! As far as the big birds go, we have been able to successfully keep the birds away from the fish. Knock on wood.
  • It’s hot in So Cal – The “summer” came unannounced a week or so ago. But we don’t look for it to last too long.
  • I’m already thinking about Thanksgiving dinner.
  • I get such a hankering for candy corn this time of the year. I usually splurge at some point with one small bag. And then you know what else I could go for? A small bag of peanuts mixed in with the corn. Love those two together.
  • We’ve talked about where the Christmas tree is going – Speaking of which, we’re getting a new pre-lit tree this year = Excited!
  • The hubs played a little Christmas music over Pandora the other evening. Makes me happy.
  • And I’m particularly looking forward to the weekend.

Blessings – Debbie

Arms of Love at the Root

The images in this post were inspired by the hubs doing something over the top special this morning.

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And it made him late for work.

This image says it all for me with the arms of love wrapped around the base of the tree.

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And as he was getting ready to leave for work, he sighed and said “that was worth being late for”.

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I’m thankful for love at the root of it all.

Blessings – Debbie

Happy Birthday My Love

I celebrate Hubby on this his 47th birthday. What a wonderful life with him it has been. It’s filled with laughter so much that my sides feel they could burst wide open and I smile so much my cheeks hurt. My days are happiest when we’re together no matter what it is we’re doing as long as we’re together those times are the best times.

Happy Birthday My Love

Us about 10 years ago


I’m sick that most of our photos are in storage and I only have from the last 4 years on my computer. One day I hope to get the chance to get our older pics scanned in.

His laughter is so contagious


And his touch is welcome always


He’s so handsome on a horse


Or in a three piece suite while enjoying his favorite breakfast


He loves Texas Holdem’ Poker


Or singing karaoke


And wouldn’t go anywhere without programming his GPS


He considers me his best friend taking me with him whenever possible


And for his birthday this year he built himself his own gift – a new computer with lots of bells and whistles.


Sorry Santa, but you don’t hold a candle next to my guy, he’s “THE BEST” by far! Happy Birthday Darlin’, I Love You More!


My Guy

My hubby changes caps depending on what’s hurled at him. Ever since he was a child there was no such thing as a broken toy. From the time he was little he loved taking his toys apart to “fix” them if they broke or to tinker with them because it was in his genes. He seems to be known wherever we live as the fix it guy as we have neighbors come to him with broken electronics or whatever. This weekend was the weekend to fix his daughters laptop.

His daughter (she’s off to college) just hurled her computer at him as her laptop lid broke (we won’t talk about how that happened). The reason he had her hurl it his way is simple. When she took it in to the Apple store they gave her a quote of $800 to fix it! (GASP) And we were thinking we might just have to get her a new computer since that one is going on 4 years and he didn’t want to put that kind of change into an older computer. But he wanted her to send it to him first so that he could have a look.

So in he started on that little project last week and the new part (just an $8 dollar part + shipping) arrived before the weekend. Over the weekend he was able to replace the broken part and put it all back together seamlessly.

I think the genius part is how he took pictures of each section as he took it apart. and I would print them out full page. He would then proceed to tape each little screw to the picture from where it came from. There were quite a few pictures taken and by the time he had it taken apart, he had quite the little stack of pictures and screws.

An example of a couple pictures to give an idea of what the guts of her lap top look like.

He really had to take that baby apart to get to the injury.

Here’s a picture of her computer with more than half of it put back together.

“He’s the MAN” for being able to fix her computer and I love it that he can do anything. Of course he tells me I’m biased but I believe it to be true. After he finished putting the last screw back in, that baby fired up on command! I don’t have a picture of it but her lap top is already in the mail being shipped back to her today! He never ceases to amaze me but it’s his patience and calm way with things that make me head over heals with my guy…


Picture Fun With Hubby

I got this idea from my friend Liz. She did something similar to this with her wonderful dearest hubby sometime back while he was “trying” to watch tv (I think football if my memory serves me right) and it truly made me want to do the same with my darlin’. Thanks for the idea Liz!

The idea was to snap pictures of my hubby while he was busy doing something. Also, I tried to remain quiet as not to disturb him. He’s busy and the only thing to disturb him was to be the flash of the camera. Shhhhhh It’s quiet time from this point forward. So this afternoon was the perfect day to get his many expressions which I love so much.

The setting – He was in his favorite spot (football game in the background) working on our Christmas newsletter. So without further ado here’s my fun with him. Remember quiet Debbie! I want to get his accurate expressions without too much interruption.

Here he is in the ZONE – This is exactly how he looks when he gets down to business.


Then he pauses to think – I can just see his wheels turning.


SNAP SNAP SNAP… He begins to catch on that I’m continuing to take his picture – I love that break on his face with a smile as I begin to get his attention.


Keep on snapping to see what happens… It didn’t take long for him to do this – I finally got his full attention – SNAP! – He cracks me up! (oops, I laughed)


Snap – snap – snap – (I was the paparazzi and he’s my STAR) and then he lets out a big growl – I love his growl – it really is bigger than his bite and he couldn’t scare me if he tried! SNAP!


Don’t stop taking pictures though cause there’s more fun to be had! So Yes this has to be my absolute favorite one. I had the camera ready and when he looked over with a hint of a smile with those pleading eyes begging me to stop. BAM! I GOT IT! And I love him and this pic so much!


And that is where I stop and give him a little kiss and tell him that I can’t get enough of him! He’s the best!

What are you waiting for – try this on your man/woman – it is a TON OF FUN – I’m so glad I did!

Happy 46th Birthday To My Dearest Bobby

Today dawned and we started out Bobby’s birthday at Cracker Barrel. Then we had a few errands before we were off to the Dallas Fort Worth Airport for our trip back to NY.

We were going to go out to Japanese this evening upon our arrival but we were ready to get back to the apartment and call it a day. We’ve had a nice evening here getting settled back in and we will celebrate his birthday either tomorrow or next weekend.

I’m so thankful to have him in my life and feel blessed each day to have and to hold my Dearest Bobby who has completed me in every way.