Flowers and Friendship

Happy Day! Today feels like flowers and friendship, because it is.

It’s flowers, because I noticed the ice plant on the upper terrace beginning to bloom. It’s also known as delosperma cooperi or mesembryanthemum cooperi.

However you call it, I find what little we have to be so very pretty.

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And friendship, because a few of us got together for a little brunch and had the best time visiting over coffee before and after we finished eating. In fact, our special time together, prompted another brunch date in a couple of weeks.

And now to finish a little more work around home sweet home.

I’m sure the hubs and I will have another fun date (this evening) catching up on our new favorite show, Downton Abbey. I think we watched 3, if not more episodes last evening. It’s bound to be GOOD! No spoilers, we are still catching up.

Blessings – Debbie

Happy New Year

Much has happened between now and the time I last posted.

I feel like I’ve been sick for way too long. From dealing with muscle issues in my back for a couple of months to catching a cold on Christmas night. It finally feels good to have the old me back.

A big Happy New Year shout out from our home to yours!

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Little reminders from the last couple of months.

This friendly reminder was shot at the salon. A nice reminder that shows how they love to treat their customers.

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A nice reminder of my love for putting all things Christmas up on the day after Halloween. Better known as November 1st. It makes perfect sense to enjoy those evenings when the time change hits and makes the world dark before it should.

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The best reminder of family. We traveled to see family for thanksgiving. What a special treat to have my two siblings, all nieces and nephews. Our nephew and his new bride. Our nephew and his fiancé, mom and dad and my grandma. Talk about great memories with family, it doesn’t get any better.

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A reminder as I was getting ready to have my bookclub friends over to discuss our 2016 schedule.

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A reminder of the morning beverages for the girls.

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And a little reminder of the fruit bowl and other morning snacks (brownies and biscotti) on the dining room table. Following our morning meeting, we girls headed to Olive Garden for a wonderful lunch and more fellowship.

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A reminder of the hubs amazing smoked brisket over his 2 week Christmas holiday. Loved spending those two weeks together around home sweet home.

While I don’t have a photo of the amazing chili he made with the brisket leftovers, I will never forget how wonderful it was. I rank it as the best chili ever made.

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I don’t have a reminder picture of the fish we purchased for our pond, but I’ll never forget that wonderful experience with the hubs over Christmas. If you are reading this, My Love, Thank You!

A reminder of carolers on Christmas day.

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A pretty reminder of where we sat enjoying our Christmas dinner. The view of ice-skating beneath the palm trees with an ocean view, what a delight.

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A beautiful reminder of how we stayed until nearly sunset. We savored desert and slowly ever so slowly sipping my coffee while visiting with the hubs and taking in the view.

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Approximately 2 hours after our Christmas dinner, I told the hubs “I feel a sore throat coming on”. And on the morning of December 26th, I woke  to a sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy head sort of cold. The sort of cold where the hubs dropped everything and took care of me. After the 1st week, I told the hubs, “This feels like a 3 week cold”. Turns out, it was a 3 week cold.

A reminder of how pretty it was one morning as the sun came up. Especially since it rained the day before. A reminder of how the hubs made me promise to stay inside while I was sick. A reminder of my view from the sofa where I sat feeling miserable from my cold that morning. A reminder that I obeyed and took this image from inside the house. Thank you for taking care of me, My Love. And bringing medicine to me when I did not feel like moving. You’re the BEST!

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Our New Years Reminder – I was still sick, but we watched the ball drop at Times Square, per usual. We kissed, yes, the hubs kisses me, even when I’m sick. And wished each other a Happy New Year. And chose to get an early start on sleep that night. No staying up for us until the New Year on the west coast, when we can watch it ring in on the east coast.

While I only have a few reminders in picture form, I’m thankful for the blessings of family, love and feeling back to my old self again.

Happy New Year!

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

Springtime in CA 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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A true Cardinal fan and our host.

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Bring on the Cardinal color…

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The beautiful hostess – Everything was positively delecious!

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

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

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The big boys and girls had it made…

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My Red Bird Fan! And my number 1 Hero.

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

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Finished painting.

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

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

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

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

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Late April – Amaryllis in bloom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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An early morning capture of the dragonfly on a net.

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And a bee pollenating…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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One last image – rosebuds in the garden.

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

Blessings – Debbie

To Blaze a Trail

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

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

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Hey ~ Hey!

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

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Another spot to note…

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

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

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Some run ahead…

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While I capture the moment.

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

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

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A great time was had by all…

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

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

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And that concludes spring break, 2015.

Blessings – Debbie

Boarded

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What a pretty day to visit San Diego.

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

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To be continued…

Blessings – Debbie

A Day to Remember

What a lovely day…

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

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

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

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

But truly a great day to remember.

Blessings – Debbie

Gardening + Beach + Root-Rot

Just so you know (up front), the root-rot has nothing to do with gardening. And everything to do with “my” roots, literally.

This past weekend was one of those really nice three day weekends with the hubs. It’s the kind of weekend I love where we spend time gardening, living outdoors, cooking on the grill and eating outdoors.

The hubs picked his first round of jalapeño peppers.

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And our first round of corn. Actually, we had fresh corn a couple of times over the weekend.

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He seeded his peppers + added a concoction of cream cheese + spices + sharp cheddar cheese + bacon. He said they were yummy. I do know this, they had to be good. And I wish my tummy were able to handle these things like it used to. Oh well…

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The corn was yummy too! In fact, the hubs did a fine job serving up yummy meals over the weekend. Trust.

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Then Monday rolled around. First up, I had plans to visit the fair with my girlfriend. However, we learned (over the weekend) the fair was closed on Monday.

Then I made a plan to have my blood-work done. The reminder (see image below) was attached (Sunday evening) to the right source as a reminder to stay away until after my blood-work was finished. Somehow I forgot about my reminder early Monday morning as I was making breakfast and lunch for the hubs. And then is when I accidentally tossed some fresh watermelon my way while making his lunch.

Oops!

May as well bring on the coffee too after a stunt like that. So I did.

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And just like that, I made a new plan, while enjoying my coffee. It’s my philosophy, when one plan fails, make a new one.

Worked for me, as I went to the beach.

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Enjoyed a little sand between my toes.

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Truly enjoyed shopping along the boardwalk.

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Does shopping get any better? Well for me, I’m not much of a shopper to begin with. Should you see me at the mall, you know it’s one of those once every six month sort of visits, when I really need something. And once I nail what I need, I’m out of there.

However, should you see me in and out of old shops filled with antiques, or shops with pottery and art, or any sort of funky cool stuff. Look out, I could stay in places like that for days…

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Then Tuesday rolled around. I was so excited for Tuesday! Never-mind the image, I did some crazy stuff to it in Photoshop just for fun cause that’s the way I roll.

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But the reason I was so excited is…it was time to take care of root-rot! I love the fact that my hair is growing, but those pesky grays have a way of making themselves known. If you know what I mean. Now that that’s taken care of, I’m sure I’ll be sharing some more stuff soon. Stay tuned!

Blessings – Debbie

To Do

As in to-do list.

I started the day with a number of things on my list of things to do.

First up – Clean the pond. I don’t believe I’ve talked too much about how I like to keep the pond free of debris. But it’s one of those things I strive to do daily. Not because it’s a necessity, I just enjoy it better when it’s clean.

The daily cleaning = netting out any leaves or debris that may have blown in overnight.

Today was the day to actually get in with the fish. During the summer months, I like to dip in about once a week to clean out the lilly pads and flowers that are no longer bloom. Something like deadheading the lilies and pads.

It also tickles me that the fish actually come swimming right up to me the moment I get in. They let me pet them and we’re like best buddies. And if I stand in one place for a while, they begin to nibble on my skin. The whole experience truly makes my heart happy.

Here’s an image I shot of one of the babies. I can hardly believe they are a year old this month. Yup, he was born in the pond last year.

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I also wanted to give the roses some attention. I gave some a little extra TLC with a dose of coffee grounds. And while I was at it, I thought I’d shoot an image of the roses, but in a different perspective. I love the array color throughout the garden.

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And I took an image of this plant. It bloomed this week for the first time this season. Soon it will be loaded with pretty flowers.

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And then I had other things on my list.

Things like returning an item back to the store. It wasn’t a painful task, but it sure felt like it. It’s one of those things I’ve been procrastinating. So it’s a relief to have that little pesky thing crossed off.

And picking up some items at Bed Bath and Beyond. I was particularly excited with this stop as I had three 20% off coupons + one $5.00 off coupon + one $25.00 gift card. I’ll say I made out really well today.

One last stop at the grocery store for some much needed grub and then home sweet home.

My list also included some household chores, laundry and ironing. Done, done and DONE!

And then I got to do something that wasn’t on my list. I took a nap. Because my peepers were heavy, so I gave them a rest. And that sure did a body good.

And now we’re heading into a nice 3-day weekend. I’m really looking forward to it, as we have a few fun gardening things on our weekend list of things to-do.

Cheers to To-Do lists and getting things crossed off.

Happy Weekend Friends!

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

Feeling Blessed This Week

There is much to be thankful for. We’re especially thankful for each other and time spent with friends.

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner out with friends Thursday evening, to kick off our 4 day weekend. We celebrated three birthdays. The hubs, mine and our friend Jules. I call my one friend Julie “Jules”. But it was quite comical as we couples had two Julie’s in the group. The couples kept calling the other Julie “The Other Julie”.

The hubs insists we celebrate my birthday all weekend. So he’s treating me to another birthday dinner and dessert tonight.

Thankful for the book club girls – Mid week, we gathered, we visited over coffee, lemon cake and fruit, we discussed around 20 questions our amazing moderator (Sue) put together (our book – The Last Aloha by Gaellen Quinn), we had lunch and spent the early afternoon visiting…What a great day and visit. Love these ladies! Wish I had all of us in the shot.

I needed a nap (that afternoon) to refresh, before spending the evening hours with the hubs.

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Vegetable garden – Our garden is producing some really exciting things these days. Exciting things! Like tomatoes…

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Our little cherry tomatoes flourish…

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Backyard Progress – Remember where I left off the last time? Here’s an image to remind you.

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And this image is hot off the press, early this morning.

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We hope this is all a memory very soon.

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It truly is worth the mess in order to make progress. We’re hopeful to have this part of the project wrapped up by next weekend.

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A view from the other side – We’ve given several vegetable plants away this week. We were hoping to get rid of a lot more. Now we’re trying to figure out what to do with all the leftovers…

In other news, we’re enjoying our jacaranda tree in “almost” full purple bloom. As is the oleander tree in pretty white bloom. We certainly enjoy the punch of color.

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Now to enjoy the next couple of days with the hubs…Feeling blessed this Memorial Day weekend…And remembering those who gave all…

Blessings – Debbie

Six Days of Confession – Day 3

As the days go by, I’m surprised how easy it is to stay focused. I think it has something to do with being accountable to the blog.

My bro-in-law made his famous Swedish pancakes + bacon for the family this morning. I know they were as good as the last time I tasted his creation. This time, I had to pass. Instead, I had chobani yogurt, with the added crunch of Fiber One.

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The hubs smoked this big guy (12.5 lb turkey) in the “Big Green Egg” this afternoon. We also served baked potatoes + roasted zucchini and squash + roasted Brussels sprouts + rolls. I had all the above minus the rolls = So Yummy!

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Then, the rest of the family had a little apple pie a la mode. I served it up and while the guests satisfied their sweet tooth, I started in on the cleaning of the kitchen.

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And then made a cup of coffee for myself to top off the lovely day.

Wow, I’m half way thru the “Six Days of Confession” and doing much better than I expected.

Cheers!

Blessings – Debbie

Six Days of Confession – Day 2

I confess – blogging every day seems a bit monumental while spending precious time with our out of town guests (the hubs sister and bro-in-law).

And I confess, I did not use my nice camera yesterday. I don’t know how I forgot it. And it kinda bums me out.

But the blog and confession must go on! So I got up this morning at 6:30, to post about confession Day 2 (yesterday).

Our morning was filled with long visits, garden strolls, coffee, tea and breakfast.

I confess, we went out to lunch. And our table ordered this appetizer. And I was the only person at the table keeping my paws “out” of the yummy spinach artichoke dip and chips.

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The hubs sis trying one of his sweet potato fries.

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And the bro-in-law sampling one of the hubs shrimp.

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And the hubs confirming his shrimp po’ boy was amazing per usual.

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And I enjoyed this nice bowl of black bean soup. And we all enjoyed the patio dining.

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Then we were off to Point Loma.

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It’s such a pretty place to take in the views of San Diego and beyond.

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Too cute!

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And then we were off to the other side of Point Loma – where the ocean meets the cliffs. Actually, the tide was out…

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And nice enough to hike down to see the tide pools.

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Down – down – down…

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While we had a bit of a chilly day, we certainly enjoyed the sights and each other.

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Then we were off – Passing thru Harbor Drive.

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And snapping pix of whatever grabbed my attention.

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And over the Coronado island bridge, I snapped a pic.

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And we moved along to Hotel Del – one of the places we love to visit.

Anytime I see sandcastles on the beach, I have to take my shoes off to see what the fuss is about.

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I like the detail…

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And watching the artist carve love into his masterpiece.

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What a pretty ending to our day.

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What’s more? Well you know that car, the one everyone in your car is talking about? The one that stands out more than the rest? Well this is the car we chimed in stating it had the best paint job on the road. I secretly think its owned by an artist.

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Then we headed back home. Visited some more, enjoyed a nice healthy salad for dinner and more guests (our daughter and her boyfriend) arrived after 9pm.

And more visiting, laughter and family love carried on thru the late evening hours.

This ends Confession – Day 2.

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

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