Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!



Boo!

Did I scare you?

A Certain Very Nice Man and I decided to cut up a little last weekend in preparation for the big day.


The victims before...


The scary results!


With the lights off!


Why, there's the Certain Very Nice Man with his creation!

He used a power tool to create the eyes.

Is that right?

Is that ethical?

Hummmmm.....


Afterwards, it was snack time!

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Morning Flowers!


Hi Everybody!
  
Another week coming up!

Here are your Monday Morning Flowers






Time to Move and Groove!

Let's go out and do good things in the world, always appreciating the little moments in our lives.


There are random moments - tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children's rooms - when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead.

--Elizabeth Berg

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Persimmon Season!


It's Saturday!

It's also persimmon season around here! 


My friend Bev was kind enough to let me come over and stand under her giant persimmon tree and pick as many as I wanted.  




The key to enjoying this fantastic fruit is waiting until they are softened up and then they are soooooo sweet!




The waiting is the hardest part.

Here are some of my little beauties that I check every day!  I often sing them love songs to soften them up.  I'll let you know if this technique works.


I am heading down to southern California this weekend to see a Certain Very Nice Man.  

I am plan to walk along the beach, carve pumpkins, and eat at least a pound of Candy Corn.  

Hope a CVNM is up for that big of a time! If he is not, maybe I can sing the same songs I use on the persimmons to soften him up.  (He's already very sweet.  Awwwww......)

Happy Weekend, Everyone!




Thursday, October 25, 2012

Looking Up Thursday!



Thank you, Kind People for all you good wishes yesterday on the occasion of my Blogoversary!


I am currently obsessed with pictures taken when I place my phone on a flat surface and take a picture of whatever is straight above it.

Here is the ceiling of one of the waiting areas at the Los Angeles Airport.





Here's hoping whatever is above you is at least as interesting.

Have you looked up today?

Happy Looking Up Thursday! 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blogoversary!




Four years ago I embarked on this Great Blog Experience and what an experience it has been!

What can I say?

A lot has happened in my life since I made the decision to start blogging.  To be sure, my life has certainly taken a different route than I had anticipated and I have appreciated each and every one of you who has been on the ride with me.

It's been a rough road at times. There have been ups and downs, lots of bumps, some the hairpin curves and more than once, I have gotten more than a little lost.

When that happened though, I always found there were some bright lights out there to guide me home.

This blog has been my journal. my solace, my thinking place, my pride and joy, my burden, my way of connecting to the world.  There are posts that I am proud of and posts that I cringe at now. It recorded one way of life and then the abrupt end of that life, and now my new life.

I have made many, many friends through this blog.  Unfortunately, I have been told there are people who no longer talk to me because they feel I was too frank about certain details of my recent life here.  I think those people probably would have pulled away from me anyway--the inevitable fallout from any divorce.

To be honest, I was going through a lot about a month ago and I seriously thought about giving up this blog.  Then I wrote a post about what I was grappling with and the outpouring of kindness in the comments to that post reminded me of why I am proud to be a blogger.

You see, for the most part, we look out for each other in Blogland.  We may not visit each other's blogs on a regular basis and we may not always say just the right thing, but I have found other bloggers to be incredibly generous, encouraging and forgiving.

So I thank you all for joining me on this road.  Whether you are a blogger I see on a regular basis, a friend who drops in from time to time, or one of my nearly silent supporters, please know that you have touched my life and I am grateful for all of you.

So now I take a deep breath and head into year five.

I hope you'll join me.

Life is magnificent.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I've Got to Give the Kid Credit. (Maybe Extra Credit.)


Mid-term test in my Intermediate Composition class:




Well, I did ask....








Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Morning Flowers


Good Monday Morning!

I had another great weekend.

How about you?

Look what I have for you, my darlings!



Flowers!



Wait, there's more!



Ohhhhhh!

Who loves you?

Betty does, Baby!


Have a great week!


The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
      
                --Bertrand Russell

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Green!



Happy Saturdays to all!

I took my camera to campus the other day and had a good time.



This isn't the stack of papers I am currently grading though it resembles it!




This magnificent plant was near the entry of one of the buildings.  
The light was just right for this gorgeous hue of green to come through. 
No editing at all on this picture! 




I found this in the nurse's office.  
She had a whole tree full of these wonders.
I am sure by now the beautiful butterfly inside has released itself and is flying free.

Hope you all have good weekends!


Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.
 -- Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Looking Up Thursday

Hi Everybody!

Sorry my posts have been a bit scattered. 

I've been a bit scattered as I try to keep up with the mid-semester flow of work at school!


The other day I was sitting at my friend's table and accidentally sat my phone down while it was still in camera mode.  I reached out to turn it off, but then realized what a great picture this would be, so I snapped it.





It made me realize how little we think about what is above us at given times during the day.

This set me off on a whole series of "looking up" shots.

Try it with your phone sometime.  

Things are definitely looking up around here.

How about at your house?

What's above your head right now?


Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Morning Flowers, Hiking Mania, and Birthday Wishes!



Happy Mondays to you all!

Here are some flowers just for you to start your week off right.





I have been a hiking maniac lately and since a Certain Very Nice Man was visiting me this weekend we decided to go on a at Sycamore Canyon hike just before sunset.



On the trail!  Hoping to make it to the top of the hill before the sun goes down too far.


We made it!  This was the view from the top of the ridge.  It was gorgeous!



I want to wish my Mom a Happy 90th Birthday!
(Her birthday was yesterday.)




This is one of my favorite pictures of us together.  I think her lively spirit comes through in this shot.


Happy Monday, My People.  It's time to do what we love and love what we do.

Are you with me on this thing?


Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all. 
--Oiliver Wendell Holmes

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hiking the Lizard Head


Happy Fridays to you all!

If the rains don't come,  I am hoping to get out on a hike with a Certain Very Nice Man this weekend.  

Recently we joined some friends on a hike to Lizard Rock in the nearby Santa Monica mountains.


Here I am with my friend Kitty, about halfway to the rock.



Why look!  There I am with a Certain Very Nice Man atop the rock!

(He loves to hike AND he walks at the same incredibly fast speed I do!  Bonus!)

Do you think the rock looks like a Lizard's Head?

From this angle it looks more like a manatee.




We made it back to the parking lot as the sun was setting.

Time for dinner out!

Another great day with good friends!

Hope your Fridays are good ones!



Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Fab Weekend: Part Two


So what's a a girl gotta do the morning after she's had a fancy meal and sat through an opera?  

Get out and move those bones, that's what.

My friend, Karen, organized a Secret Stair hike and we met up with her and three other friends on Sunday morning.




These are hikes that center around the historic staircases in the hills of Los Angeles.  The stairs were built in the 1920's.  Each hike leads through different neighborhoods.  This time we were in the hills of Hollywood.



It was a gorgeous day and the hike was a challenging one.  2.6 miles and 861 stairs!



Here I am, in a rare burst of running.  



Did I mention we were in the hills?  Oh yes, we were!



Because of the shadows, it was tough to get great pictures of the stairs, but hopefully, you get the idea here. 

Good friends, a beautiful day, a chance to use my leg muscles AND the company of a Certain Very Nice Man made the experience a great one. 

 I am looking forward to more Secret Stair hikes in the future!

Is life great or what?


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Fab Weekend: Part One



A Certain Very Nice Man (Yes!  He is still around!  Can you believe it?) and I got all dressed up this past weekend and had a fabulous night out in Los Angeles.




We went to the Music Center to see Mozart's Don Giovanni.  It was the man's idea to wine me and dine me and take me to this fabulous place.  I had never seen an opera before and didn't expect I would be swept away by it.




Even before we went into the building though, I knew it was going to be a special night.  We ate a fabulous meal at a great restaurant and then watched the fountains outside against the sunset.




This small town country girl from Kansas discovered she actually liked the opera!  Hey Mikey!

Here's to new experiences and the people who bring them to us!

Happy Wednesday to you all!






Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Goodbye Summer (Almost)


Summer says goodbye slowly here in Southern California.  In other places, the seasons tend to move in like a heavy metal band to the apartment above, but here they drift in like a single guitar player, faintly playing, walking the halls, meandering abut until finally it decides to stay put for a bit.

I have been putting off admitting that it is fall.  Since I spent the majority of the summer mired in the sticky dough of home renovation, I did not have much time to look up and look around at the beautiful blue lights of summer.

The other day it occurred to me that it was time to take down the patio umbrella (an end-of-summer ritual here) and realized that I had not spent any time at all sitting beneath it, under the lights that I have strung over and around the supports.  I thought about Gatsby in The Great Gatsby and how, after a crazy summer, he realizes he hasn't used his pool and decides to use it one more time.  (OK, OK, so he gets, you know, shot in that very same pool that day by a crazed gunman.  Still, you get the idea.  Work with me here.)

So I left the umbrella up and soon enough friends were over, night fell, and we sat there, under the umbrella with lights, sharing a bottle of wine and a bowl of blackberries.  The chill of fall was just slightly in the air, but we stayed beneath the umbrella, warmed by the conversation that curled out into the night.  I smiled as I looked around that table, grateful that I had salvaged at least one summer ritual before autumn claimed the time as her own.

I don't feel like I totally got my summer ya-ya's out.  (There were no trips to the beach, no making of ice cream, no swimming.)  However, I am transitioning to the new season just fine.  I've already put the area rugs down, pulled out the feather comforter, and unearthed the few sweaters I have.

Yes, I'll be just fine going into fall with a few summer things left undone.  My dear blogging buddy, Mom from Madi and Mom: Down Home in North Carolina keeps reminding me, however, that I have neglected one very important ritual--that of painting my toenails in a wild and wacky way. I do it every year at the beginning of summer. It was something I was going to let pass, but then today I thought, why not?   I dug through the bathroom boxes of stuff and found my polish and salvaged yet another summer ritual.

Even though they won't be on display in my sandals or flip flops, my painted toenails will provide me with hours and hours of entertainment as I look at them nestled upon my feather comforter, or floating in front of me in the bathtub.

Sometimes it pays to have pesky blogging buddies who just don't give up all that easily.

I hereby present to you my Summer-In-October Toes 2012.  

I stuck them in a tub of geraniums just for the heck of it.




Now, I gotta go dance.  

My feet demand it.  

Thanks Mom and Madi for urging me to go a little off-season crazy and reminding me that it's never too late to add a little color to my life.

Happy End-of-Summer to you all!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Morning Flowers!



Happy Monday, My People!

How was your weekend?

I gotta say, mine was just about perfect.

(More about that later in the week!)




It's time for your Flower Love.  

Do you tire of roses, my darlings?

I know, I know.


I shall seek out other kinds of flowers for you this week.

My week ahead looks busy but it's all good!

Here's a gratuitous picture of me and my cat.



Zelda is about the coolest cat on earth.  

She loves to cuddle up and hang out with me.

(That's her paw, not mine.)

Let us go out and endeavor to make the world a better place this week!



ALSO!!!!

Welcome to my newest great-niece, Felicity Mae!  

Born October 6th!

Can't wait to hold her!



Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. 
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

--Howard Thurman




Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Morning Flowers



Oooooooo!  

It's Monday and so that means a fresh batch of flowers comes your way.  

Aren't you special?

You are!



How was your weekend?

Mine was busy but good!


Here's a picture of me, planning the week ahead.  

Maybe I like you all because you are a great assortment of nuts.



(I meant that last comment as a compliment!)

More flowers for you, Darlings.

Breathe in.  Breathe out.

A new week is upon us.

Let's make it a great one!




Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; 
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

-Marcel Proust