The Good – Bad – And the Ugly

There are times I struggle with a blog title. Like today. It’s the best I could come up with.

We got robbed Saturday night! That pesky squirrel robbed our fish of their food. GRRRRR. Words from the hubs. “I wonder how squirrel would taste smoked over apple wood on our Big Green Egg.”


Speaking of the Egg, this is the beer can chicken we smoked (with the above mentioned apple wood) over the weekend. It turned out so juicy, flavorful and pull off the bone yummy!


We worked a bit more with the wood pile. It’s the wood we saved from having all those trees chopped down 4 weeks ago. We kept the cedar and willow for the fire pit. Luckily, we are almost finished with the chopping and the stacking of the wood. The hubs chops and I do the hauling and the stacking. And it’s working out just dandy.


Up To No Good Monday

For starters – I went to war with a rather large black and yellow snake. The stinker startled me (about three feet away from my foot) as I was on the upper terrace working. So I used the long metal pole that was in my hand and started beating at him all the while yelling “GET – GET!” He dodged my blows. Apparently I don’t have a good aim. And it seemed that he was zigging while I was zagging and just like that, he slithered away. And I held my ground and kept right on working.

Then late afternoon, I fell over the wood and managed to scratched up my arm, eye and gave myself a knot on the noggin. That’s when I decided to call it a day.

And then, of all things, I cut my bangs. And I got busted by the hubs when he walked in the door, yesterday. He will never figure out why I don’t go to the stylist. And I often wonder when/if I will ever learn. On the bright side, they will grow back in no time.

Image copy 2 copy

And now I’m putting this post to rest. Later!

Blessings – Debbie

Stopped on the Bread Aisle


A grocery run is a weekly thing and sometimes it’s more often than a once a week ordeal. And each run could vary between grocery stores. As there are three stores I use, depending  on certain items we like from each store.

So I was doing my thing the other day and turned to go down the bread aisle. Note: This is not the store where I purchase our bread. As we like the organic dense bread loaded with seeds from the other grocery. *See image above* But I was on this aisle, heading down to pick up the dried fruit. That’s when I was stopped by a customer on the bread aisle.

Immediate thoughts running thru my head – I don’t look like I work here with my long floral outfit and flowers in my hair. I’m pushing a buggy with groceries piled in. And a little perplexed to get stopped. But I stopped and listened to the elderly gentleman.

He was rather short in stature with a few white hairs topping his balding head. And the concerned look on his face, told me he needed help. He had a strong European accent, but he was able to convey that he was looking for whole wheat bread rich in fiber.

What I really wanted to do, was to have him follow me over to the other store where I get our bread. I felt nearly as lost as he was and didn’t know where to begin. So I did the next best thing I knew to do. I took it one whole wheat loaf at a time. And soon we had covered every variety of whole wheat bread on the shelves. As I picked up each bag and found the fiber content, I would tell him the serving size and hold up the number of fibers per serving with my fingers.

I could see that his concern had shifted to gratefulness. And he ended up taking two different loaves with the highest fiber content.

Then I asked, “Do you need a high fiber cereal too?” Yes, he replied. We left our buggies on the bread aisle and we marched over to the cereal isle and I presented him with my favorite high fiber cereal. It’s none other than Fiber One with a whopping 14 grams of fiber per serving. He took that too. Then I told him to pick up some high protein yogurt to go with it.

What really made my day was the smile that spread across his face. And he thanked me. And reached out his hand to shake my hand. I think he would have hugged me had it not been for the fact that we were complete strangers.

It’s amazing what the little stops along the way can do. As I feel I received the double blessing.

Blessings – Debbie

Sometimes You Gotta

Stop look and listen.

Make a plan.

Or pick up the phone and call a loved one. Or two. Or three. Or more…

Make a cup of coffee.

Take pictures in the garden.

And make a trip to The Home Depot. Because the hubs sent a picture of what he needed and asked if I could pick it up for him. Have you any idea how easy that task was?

I experienced all of the above this morning.

My little morning garden stroll started off with taking images of this cool ground cover.


For me, taking images with a shallow depth of field (subject in focus with everything else blurred) is like giving someone a book. They have to read the whole thing to gain knowledge. And like the images, for me, it’s like giving a little bit at a time as not to give it away at once.


Peace in the garden.


A pod from the jacaranda tree.


It’s where palm trees grow.


And the persimmon fruit is coming right along.


Then it was one of those mornings where I made a plan. And I spoke with my mom, dad and two brothers about that plan. It’s a rare day when I speak with my parents and siblings, all in a day. And from what I can tell, we should have a solid family plan. We’re all pretty excited about the plan, should be fun!

Sometimes you just gotta do whatever it is that needs doing. You’ll feel better when you follow thru, trust me.

Blessings – Debbie

Mixed Emotions

To keep the goldfish or not to keep the goldfish. That’s the subject for today.

Of course we want fish.

But are goldfish what we really want in the pond?


I’m growing attached to these guys. However, we originally got them to see how we would fair with being fish owners.

  • Apparently we are doing something right. The fish seem happy. We haven’t had any trouble with sick/dying fish. And they spawned all spring long. We have about 100 (2 – 3 inch babies) to prove it.

And would we be able to keep the predators away?

  • So far so good!

The conclusion – While I have mixed emotions, we would like to go a full season with the goldfish, to see how things go.

And this spring, (I think) we’ll be ready to replace the goldfish with a few Koi.

I’m dreaming of a butterfly Koi and other varieties. Until then, we’ll continue to take good care of the fish and find a good home for them when and if the time comes.

The sound of the fountain, providing oxygen to the fish, could be the most constant relaxing source of music to my ears. Ever.


Happy Wednesday!

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!


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


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


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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?


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.


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

Labor Day Weekend

Turns out, Labor Day weekend was all about labor around the house. And from what I can see, a lot of love and hard work went into making things happen.

We had 7 trees taken down. Three cedar trees – It was sad to see those beautiful trees go, but the root systems were too close to the pond. Two Brazilian pepper trees – It was also sad to see these amazing shade trees go, but the roots were a problem around the pond and house. One willow tree – The willow is my favorite tree of all time, again, the roots were a problem. And one other tree, I can’t remember the name of it, but it was in a place where we would like a path, so it had to go.

Yay for us, we kept the wood from the willow and cedar trees. Looking forward to  that fire-pit one day!

And have you any idea how beautiful it smells of cedar outdoors? And the fresh mulch is plentiful.


And 3 old (very old) large stumps removed + another 4 stumps ground down on top of that. We’re not sure why the previous owners left these mammoth palm stumps or the other stumps, but they did. So the guys cut them down and the stump grinder got busy grinding out the rest of the stumps. Note: the clothesline in the right of the image was taken out over the weekend too. Can you see my happy grin?

We have plans for this area and we’re having a lot of fun tossing ideas around.


These guys were scattered about the lawn. Some were knocked down by all the commotion.


I found it interesting to take images of the chopped willow.


I read a book in a day over the weekend! That is a first for me, worthy to be noted. This is the book we voted on (last week) in the book club for the month of September. The first sentence captured my attention and could not put the book down until I had read from cover to cover.

Loved reading this on the Kindle.


Our neighbor brought over a mess of beans from their garden. What a fresh tasty treat!


We hired our old gardener from the first place we rented. It was a joy to see him again. He did amazing things around the house yesterday. And I felt pooped at the end of the day, just by observing the hard work he put in.

To break up all the work around the house over the weekend, we had a wonderful dinner out with friends Q, Julie and Phil. Outback was the place for dinner as Phil treated the first big chunk with gift cards. I had the yummy grilled chicken and veggies. And to top off our dinner, the hubs and I had our own private date at Cold Stone. The hubs had the founders favorite and I had the peanut butter cup perfection. So GOOD!

I know this is trailing my back to good health post. But allow me to say, we’re all in favor of sweet treats in moderation. And we were right back to eating healthy following that treat. And let me tell you, there is no regret.

Then today rolled around. I wasn’t ready for the hubs to go back to work. But Tuesday morning arrived. So off to work for the hubs. And it was off to work in the house for me. It was in need of a cleaning and I was just the gal for the job.

It’s good to see home sweet home taking shape. I think I’m ready for Labor Day Weekend, round #2!

Blessings – Debbie