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

The Queen’s Tea

Picking up where I left off on the girls spring break.

Following our day in La Jolla, we decided to have a fun “girl” day. So we made reservations at Tea Upon Chatsworth for High Tea.

The Queen’s Tea to be exact. The description goes something like this. Our platinum 2 hour, 4-course tea service with 12 items with unlimited pots of premium loose-leaf tea.

What a special memory shared with the girls who have a fond love for tea.

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Our table setting as we arrived.

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Deciding on her flavor of tea.

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Making her decision too.

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Then adding a brown sugar cube with a little stir.

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And the best part, enjoying a spot of tea.

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Each little bite was goodness.

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And time well spent.

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We conclude that every girl should take time to enjoy her tea. I love that this was my first “official tea” with our nieces, who’ve been steeped with tea parties since they were just bitty.

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After tea, we made a stop at the nearby beach. Point Loma to be exact.

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What a picture perfect day with the girls.

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I have just one more post to conclude spring break. I’ll be back!

Blessings – Debbie

Another Day of Spring Break Play

Up first, a visit to Thyme in The Ranch. A great little place for an early lunch with the girls.

I found this place on Yelp, a long time ago. And the day I went, it was closed. So I kept it in mind and thought it would be a fun place to take the girls. We give it 5 stars!

Our selfie on the patio.

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Next up, we were off to La Jolla to see the seals.

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We strolled along the shore and took a few time outs to enjoy each view.

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Another time out.

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Another.

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And another.

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Um…This shot is a bit silly. We had no idea the kissing couple was there on the steps, that is, until I uploaded the images. So their (the girls) silly expressions (not knowing about the couple) and the perfect way niece #1 has her hand, well I find it downright hysterical.

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We spy a baby.

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Having a friendly little visit.

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We have two sweet visitors (the girls) who are up close with exactly what they were here to see.

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How fun to explore this place.

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A lot more seals to see.

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And beautiful cliffs to admire.

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I’ll say our day was picture perfect. And our evening lit up with BBQ from our favorite BBQ joint. Followed with fun and games thru the evening hours.

Still more spring break to follow…

Blessings – Debbie

Spring Break Continued

A day spent around home. In no particular order.

The girls took off on a walkabout around the house.

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And found themselves here.

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 Love that they shared these wonderful images with me.

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It was also a good day to meet up with the hubs for lunch. We had Mongolian. Basically, you put your meat, veggies noodles and sauces in a bowl and they cook it on the grill behind the counter.

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Back to the table, you enjoy your very own creation.

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It was also a perfect day to pick up some new fish for the pond. The girls each picked a fish and I added 5 more to the order. They also named their fish Gator and Toothless. Great meaning behind each.

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A little relaxation was thrown into the mix.

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And barefoot tree climbing too.

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For our evening meal, we had the best chef doing her thing.

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We enjoyed dinner on paper plates, such that we had less time cleaning up and more time for cards.

What a glorious day, all the way around.

More to come…

Blessings – Debbie

Catalina Island

Our nieces spring break, continued as promised.

The next day, we were off to Catalina Island.

Getting ready to board the Catalina Express (boat) directly behind us. Such fun to make a little 1 hour and 15 min. journey across the ocean to the island.

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As we approached Catalina, we passed the Carnival Imagination docked at the island. It made our boat feel so small.

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Once we arrived, we decided to do a little walk about to search for lunch. We decided to stop at the first place that called our name. A seaside lunch seemed the perfect choice.

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Our view was spectacular!

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And lunch was so yummy.

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With full tummies, we were off on our next great adventure. We rented a golf cart, such that we could cover a lot of territory.

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And territory did we ever cover. Love my nieces panorama!

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We made a stop at the Wrigley Memorial.

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What a great place to visit.

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And much to explore. The girls loved the doors, me too!

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It’s hard to take everything in in one day. But we sure gave it our best shot.

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Back to our cart to cover a little more ground.

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And stopped at will to enjoy the views and take images of selfies in progress.

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With the time we had left, we stopped for a cool beverage and made time for a little souvenir shopping for the girls. They each picked up a Catalina shirt and a couple of things for a special friend.

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The end of our glorious day on Catalina, but I have more spring break to cover.

To be continued…

Blessings – Debbie

Happy Easter

I’m blessed and thankful

The show must go on. This bit about getting so far behind on the blog will have to wait for another day to fill in the last month.

What a crazy week this has been.

The hubs has been sick all week. So I handpicked some roses from the garden to brighten his day.

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We’ve had over 12 rose bushes in bloom during the course of the week. Spring has showered us with a lot of pretty color.

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Even our pink water lily decided it was time to come out this spring. Did you know water lilies go dormant in the winter, losing the pads and everything? I did not know this a couple of years ago when we moved into this home. When the winter came, I thought all the lilies were dying. Then I called the pond guy and he explained the whole thing.

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I worked on a

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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

Early March – In Like a Lion

Well good day! Finally, I’m back!

Yes, I’m back to bite off early March, bit by bit. I’m not so thrilled when I get this far behind, but I refuse to carry on as if nothing happened. There is so much to catch up on and there is no better time than now to start. Well, all of those yesterdays would have been a good time too, but they’re gone.

So here goes…

The date, March 2nd. – There was a crazy loud boom as March unfolded. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. We were blasted with hail.

Totally in like a lion.

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I don’t think the fish have ever experienced this much commotion. I know I haven’t.

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And I know the palms were probably in shock. This just doesn’t happen in So Cal. Or does it? It was a first for us in the 5 years we’ve lived here.

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It was a month of fire too. Nice evenings spent around the fire pit. This was another early March weekend evening. (actually, this shot was taken the morning after) I still remember the day, it was one of the many days I had spent 99% of my time outdoors. And looking up into the clear night sky peppered with stars and planets, was glorious.

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During late February – early March, we had the old plantings ripped out of the immediate left side of the waterfall. I had been working on transplanting things from around the yard to the area. It will be fun to watch the ground cover spread and the plants blossom. I also planted 4 roses in various areas on the upper terrace. Meals were also enjoyed on the patio. This is pretty much where I spent a good deal of time…

An early foggy Monday morning. Note the purple wisteria in bloom.

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As mid March drew near, I was beginning to think of all the stuff that needed a little sprucing before company arrived on the 14th.

So I started Wednesday, the 11th at the car wash, then salon.

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The hubs wanted a smile. Much better he said.

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Then we waited for our guests to arrive.

Oh wait, one more lil thing!

On the 13th, we had the electricians over to add LED lights in the kitchen and dining room. “What were we thinking” were my thoughts, when company was due to arrive the next day. So much dust, oh the dust…But in the end, we were so happy to have the job done. And all the dust bunnies were put to rest before company arrived.

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To be continued…

Blessings – Debbie

8/52 – Perspective

Hey peeps, I can’t believe another week has disappeared. I must say, this weekly project has me in tune with just how short the year really is. I mean, really, we’re into the 8th week already? Can’t be…

My project this week is perspective.

From my point of view, as I looked out the back window yesterday morning. It was 67° indoors with an expected high of 70°. But I was chilled as I watched the 5 tier waterfall.

The recent foam gathering at the base, made me feel a little more chilled. I stood watching with a shiver. But it’s all about perspective.

Then I proceeded outdoors to breathe in the cool fresh air, soak in the sunshine and rolled up my sleeves to do a bit of gardening.

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I’m in love with my year round Valentine. That’s the way I see him, my everyday valentine. While we don’t subscribe to buying gifts or cards on valentine’s day (it’s not our “thing”), we do believe in celebrating year round.

Over the weekend, while shopping at the local nursery for our star jasmine, I spied this succulent. I was smitten at first sight. And he picked up three of the most beautiful plants for me, just because.

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It was such a joy finding a new home for the plants. I believe this is the crusula capitella campfire, native to Africa.

I’ve already taken a few samples from the plants to see if I can start some new ones on my own. That right there is how smitten I am over these beauties.

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin – This was my read for book club this week. A story about our American hero, Charles Lindbergh. The kidnapping and brutal murder of their son Charles Lindbergh Jr. And the story of his loving wife Anne, written from her point of view.

While we finished our book club gathering today, I came home feeling exhausted, as if I had had a really good cry. Yes, it was that good, as our discussion was filled with passion or compelling emotion from each of our perspectives. Now I’m hungry for a good biography of Charles Lindberg.

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From my perspective, our roses are such cheerful, bright, happy flowers.

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The many colors have my undivided attention.

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Each one different and beautiful in its own way.

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From my perspective, this is a really good week.

P.S. I got a ride in my neighbors convertible “Benz” today. What a perfect day for a sweet ride.

Blessings – Debbie

7/52 – Pastel

Hey friends, I’m on a roll today! How about you? I hope things are well.

It’s time I get my weekly project finished early. I’m pretty excited about that.

So when pastel was given as our inspiration this week, all I could think about were the lovely roses in the garden.

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So today I took several images to show some of the pretty pastel colors in the backyard.

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This was such a fun assignment!

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This week is filled with all sorts of fun stuff:

  • I’ve been playing in the dirt.
  • Digging and planting new plants in one of our little cleared out areas in the backyard. Pictures to come when I finish that little project.
  • The roses were fertilized over the weekend. They are leafing out so nice this year and the buds are getting ready to pop!
  • I find it difficult to be indoors when all I want to do is enjoy the pretty outdoors.
  • The hubs and I enjoyed a fire in the fire-pit over the weekend.
  • Visited with our next door neighbors on the patio and then went over to their place and enjoyed a bit more afternoon patio sitting and visiting.
  • I’m excited about my lunch date with the hubs today.
  • And looking forward to my friend coming over tomorrow for coffee and a visit on the patio.

Can you take a guess at what I’m looking forward to? Well, the time change! That = a lot more outdoor activity during the evening hours. And that makes me so very happy!

Blessings – Debbie

6/52 – Happy

Again, I’m late posting my project for last week. I really need to get my act together. Don’t you know?

So a week ago Sunday, February 8th, the hubs and I planted our vegetable seeds. And I’m so “Happy” to report that by Friday we started to see  growth.

And by Sunday we had pumpkins at around 4″ tall. Image below was shot Sunday, February 15th.

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Happiness is, watching our little vegetable garden grow.

Blessings – Debbie

5/52 – Small

Small “was” my assignment for last week. Sorry, I did not get the post up. However, I want to continue with my little project of posting, so I figured a few days late would be just fine.

I’m into my second full week of hiking. And I just love it! But it did not start out well.

I’ll explain. On my first day back to hiking 5 miles, I gained a small blister. On the tiniest little toe of mine. How nice is that? Isn’t it crazy how one tiny thing can throw a wrench into our best plans? And yes, I hobbled nearly 2 miles home that day.

But look out, I was well prepared with a band-aid the next day. Don’t you know, I developed another little tiny blister on my other little toe. Now I had matching blisters. And feeling pretty discouraged, as I thought I had good hiking shoes.

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The next day I took a time out. Gathered my shoes and a clean pair of socks to pay a visit to the local shoe store.

So I’m in my car, half way down my street, when I see my sweet neighbors daughter jogging.

So I stopped the car. Waited for her to reach me. Put down my window and the sweet lady stopped. I said hello to the nice lady and explained to her my situation and showed her my hiking shoes and asked if she had any recommendations on the type of shoe I should have for the hills.

She said all I needed to hear. She simply said “you need a good pair of running shoes and I don’t think you will ever have trouble with blisters again”. She went on to explain that she wears running shoes for everything.

And so I was off to hunt down a good pair of shoes.

After trying on 9 or so pair, I found just the ones that made happy feet. Mind you, I had two fresh blisters and no band-aids on at the time of trying on shoes. And I walked around and around the store with no trouble at all. It was a really good sign that they were meant for me.

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And I’ve walked and hiking the hills and valleys happily ever after. Cheers for happy feet and to hiking band-aid free! I’m telling you, I will never forget the kindness of that gal as she was my angel that day. Running shoes is where it’s at peeps, trust me.

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But for my small shot, I thought this little family of empty snail shells on my little trowel would be much prettier than blisters.

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I’m having a much better week and happy to report those small blister trials are last weeks troubles.

Blessings – Debbie

4/52 – A Part of Me

So this week, our photography project was assigned. We are to shoot “A Part of Me”. I  wasn’t prepared to shoot another part of me, since I just shot my new frames for the “light” assignment last week. So I thought about doing an expressions collage to post as my shot.

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But the more I thought about it. The more I realized the part of me that has been my obsession since childhood, is my hair. From being able to sit on it, to cut up and over my ears. I still remember those High School years and mom saying to me “I think you got a little scissor happy”. Currently I’m growing it out, but on any given day I have the urge to cut it off again.

Shot yesterday with my iPad and played with (edited) in Photoshop by adding a filter.

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I wasn’t so sure about the process on the above shot, so I applied another filter and submitted the image below as my shot of the week.

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In other news:

I was back to my first book club meeting since last July. What a joy to see the girls again and discuss our good book Delicious by Ruth Reichl. There truly is a special wonderful warm feeling in our great group of ladies.

This my friends, is the hubs jalapeño plant from last spring. This guy received no love from us this winter, but look at it! I just noticed blossoms on his plants this week. Our tomato seeds from Burpee are on the way. Oh how we love to make this place home.

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My little succulent garden is thriving and I have plans to plant a few more this spring/summer.

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A Pretty Day For a Project – So the hubs and I hand-picked a few slate pieces (extra pieces left on the property) for a little path. Tuesday, the gardener buried the slate at ground level. Then he planted ground cover (around the slate) the hubs and I picked out over the weekend. The two old lights were removed but the electric left for a future lighting project. The after picture should be coming soon.

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And here it is Thursday. I find that I’m trying to keep the washing machine and dryer busy, a little cleaning around the house is in order. And truly looking forward to the hubs getting home this evening. As I get him for the next three days, it’s his Friday off work week. It should be a fun weekend packed with work, play, relaxation and rest.

If you don’t hear from me in the next few days, just know I will be back…Soon…Promise…

Blessings – Debbie

3/52 – Light

Light is the topic for my project, this third week of the year. So I thought I’d shed a little light on my identity crisis. It’s what I think of when getting used to a new pair of frames.

So I picked up my new prescription and new frames today. I like that they are a tad larger, providing more room for my progressives. I’m sure I’ll adjust to the new me soon.

But the story on finding a pair that I like is a bit crazy.

I already know the style of frame I like. I like as near to rectangle as you can get. I shopped several places in the area and found something I really liked. Only they were a little snug on my temple and the guy (Optician) helping me said there was nothing he could do about it. So I continued to search.

The hubs got in on the search, as he wanted to drive me on up the road a little further to a place that had a rather large supply. That husband of mine rocks my world!

Turns out, I found a pair I liked. Tried them on. But to someone who needs a prescription to see, it’s hard to know if I really like them. So I took a selfie to decide if they were for me. I thought they fit the bill. So we made the purchase and brought them home.

However, I had to have another look at them on a larger screen. So I transferred the image to my computer. I was not a big fan as I found a couple of things that bothered me. I’m so happy they let me return them. Note: I just purchased the frame without the prescription.

Back to square one. This time, I called the place where I originally fell in love with the tight pair of frames. The place where the guy said he couldn’t help me. Yes, that place. Luckily for me, I spoke with a different optician and she told me that they could adjust the frames to meet my comfort needs.

That’s all it took. I got her name and made an appointment with her to nail the frames I really liked.

And just like that, she made the adjustments necessary for a comfort fit and sent them in to the lab to have my new prescription filled.

That was just over two weeks ago. And today was the day my new frames were ready for pick-up.

In keeping with my “Light” project this week, I decided to test the waters and shed a little light on the new me.

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I’m so happy I called that first place back. The place where the guy said he couldn’t help me.And thank you so much sweet lady for loving your job enough to help customers in need of a little extra help.

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As I see it, I give the comfort level 5 stars, the larger frame 5 stars and my new prescription 5 stars. As for the identity crisis, I should be adjusted to the new me soon.

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And there you have it.

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