We had the chance Sunday to walk around Old Orange and this of all things caught my mindful eye. Someone lives there behind that brick wall and one little window with adorable succulents sitting on the sill for light. I wonder sometimes what other peoples lives are like. Who lives there and looks out that window and waters those plants? I know I'm not very exciting. This is what my mindful eye spied on Sunday. I wonder what Christina is up to? I hope you stop by and see her too at 22 LIMES.
I just got back from a 9 day road trip. We began in Yorba Linda California, we traveled through Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Idaho again, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and back to California. It was myself, littlest and only girl, a childhood girlfriend and her two boys. We saw some spectacular landscape. We visited with amazing human beings who fed us and gave us a place to sleep at night. It made our road trip very economic and reasonable. The cost for gas in other states is far less than good old California and my friends car got really great gas milage. It was an epic trip and we created some lasting memories. This blog project is about being mindful and my most mindful day on the road trip was when my friend scheduled an hour and a half massage and I took the kids and toured the small town of Sandpoint Idaho.
I love to visit with people but because I'm an introvert I love my alone time. Although I had a small handful of teenagers with me for parts of the time it was a very fulfilling thing I did to feed my soul. My friend needed the massage and I NEEDED the wandering around time plus I have a big heart for teen kids.
I wandered the small town and took pictures of store fronts, adorable houses, walls, coffee spots and signs and I felt completely fulfilled and my spirit was lifted. I could have spent far more time than 90 minutes just wondering the sidewalks by foot but it was my little piece of time to be mindful and quiet and walk the town with intention. In fact I will probably share a post just on the unique homes in Sandpoint Idaho this week if I have some time. I will also be sharing some of our road trip here or there and the sights we took in. This was my favorite though, stumbling on art alley and being near things that I can relate with. I'm looking forward to seeing what Christina has to share for Monday and what her mindful eye saw. You can see her post HERE AT 22 LIMES.
UNTIL NEXT TME:) peace.
We planted a few carrots this season, just a few! I wish sometimes I had a piece of land to have a small farm. I would love to grow rows and rows of carrots, rows and rows of tomatoes, rows and rows of lettuce. All the things we grow are in very small amounts, almost for the fun of watching the seeds turn into veggies and fruits. I picked this sweet little carrot. I washed it off and ate it! I gave the last little carrot nub and green leafy top to Sarah bunny bunny, she lives in our house and that's the beauty of no veggie waste when you co-exist with herbivores. It truly does feel very mindful to be patient and wait for the food to fully develop into something we can actually eat and it feels so gratifying to me to pull it out of the earth. I love earth on my hands and under my feet.
I'm off this week for a mini road trip with an old friend of mine and our kids. We are headed to Idaho. I can only imagine we will find some really epic photo moments, things I have not seen before. I've never been to Idaho. Can't wait! I will miss motorcycle man and the boyz but sometimes it just makes for a nice homecoming and a renewal of relationships. Do you know what I mean? I almost can't wait to come home again and I've not even left, coming home is as exciting as leaving. The big embrace and smiles are irreplaceable!
Check out to see what my creative partner Christina is up to, did you see her epic hike last week? She inspires! I just read her emotional story of how she made it up a 14'er in Colorado last week despite the fact her body literally didn't want to take another step. AMAZING! The views were stunning and I'm so proud of her. You can see what mindful moment she wants to share this week HERE AT 22 LIMES.
This week FLEW. I wasn't sure if I would make our Monday deadline. We just got back from a beautiful reception in which we were able to see many family members we had not seen in years. It was wonderful. I didn't even make it home in time for golden hour and so these images may not be my favorite but they are of my favorite newly acquired clawfoot tub...minus the feet;) Our Aunt and Uncle are moving up north and they decided not to take their clawfoot planter box with them. I offered to take it and they accepted! I have dreamed of having a clawfoot tub since we bought our home 19 years ago. I had a few dream requirements. Hardwood floors (check) fireplace (added) front porch (check) and a clawfoot tub! I can now check off clawfoot tub and while it's not traditionally in our bathroom, it checks off my other dream....bathing under the moon! This weekend we painted her yellow and placed her where I can eventually take a bath under the moon and stars. I have yet to bathe in her but motorcycle man has plans to run a hose from the hot water heater into the tub. I can hardly wait. I know bathing this way will be a lot of work so I don't plan to make a habit of it, however once a month sounds doable and like a lovely treat. It's far from perfect, I scrubbed and scrubbed and it still has some stains but it's clean, good and clean. It has rust spots and the cast iron outside was rusty but the yellow paint gave it new life. I'm really happy with how it came out and I can't wait to soak in it. Below are a few details of this well made, super heavy cast iron addition. I crack myself up because the last really big piece of furniture Aunt Lynn gave us I painted yellow as well! I must love YELLOW. It was the double sided bookcase from her school library. The pretty heart made of twigs also used to belong to Aunt Lynn and Uncle Don. They did a lot of simplifying in their big move and as you can see, we benefited from that. I just want to wrap up by saying, never give up on your dreams no mater how big or small! Next...dutch door! I'm always excited to see what my friend and creative partner Christina is up to:) Go take a peek!
I totally forgot to post on Wednesday like Christina suggested. She was out on a weekend trip so she knew Monday would be a challenge and asked if we could post on Wednesday. Who forgot? Me. I have been having a really fun week after work hours. Monday we drove to Huntington Beach to pick up a clawfoot tub that Aunt Lynn and Uncle Don gave us and I'm so excited about this tub. I have big plans for it. I'll just leave you with bathing under the moon. That's my big hint;) Tuesday Abbie and I took a trip to old Orange and split a sandwich at Watsons Soda Fountain & Cafe. We strolled around for a little bit, popped in and out of the shops. Wednesday Amelie promoted into high school and we celebrated her accomplishments! This brings me to today! TODAY we met the old moon gang for what will be the last meet up for a very long time. Our Moon Mama is moving out of Southern California and we gathered at one of my favorite restaurants in my home town of Fullerton, Good old Rutabagorz it's as old as I AM, established in 1970 and I've been enjoying their food since I was in high school.
Here we are! The moon gang. It was a good day. Even though the library didn't have the BOOK I've been wanting to read. Abbie and I walked through the farmers market before we headed home for the day. The market I've been going to for at least the past 20 plus years. All our babies played in the water fountain there and grew up on the live music. It's family tradition for sure. I thought pictures of the produce would be a nice mindful thing to share. Mindful because it means a whole lot to me and I love buying the fresh produce, although I didn't buy any today. The curly carrot roots are really darling and I'm drawn to a more saturated photo these days, looks more dramatic and detailed. It was sweet because Abbie filmed me taking pictures of the carrots and I hadn't even realized she did that until after the fact when she told me about it. It was interesting to see me doing something I love. I took only a total of 4 pictures walking down the street. I'm trying really hard to take in the moments these days, keep my phone put away more and just take it all in you know? I took a break from Facebook for the summer so I can focus on our summer list, I'm still on Instagram hash tagging our summer. I have not given up on social media entirely, nor capturing moments. I'm just trying not to capture as many moments as I normally do.
Christina shared her thoughts on the longest day of the year TODAY! The first day of summer and shares a beautiful sunset photograph, take a peek 22 LIMES.
It's our very first ripe zucchini! Isn't it just gorgeous? I can only hope it tastes as good as it looks. I have a spiral mechanism and it makes really yummy zoodles, I like to make zoodle noodles that we can either make with a red sauce or even like a cold salad with a little olive oil and other veggies mixed in. I also love to toss it in a pan with olive oil, salt/pepper and onions. I like to make zucchini bread which is similar to our banana bread only with zucchini and I have made really tasty zucchini brownies. My least favorite way to eat zucchini is stuffed. Just feels like a little too much of a good thing. Not only did we get our very first ripe fruit I also watched this past week a darling little movie called "My Life as a Zucchini" it's a very sweet Swiss/French stop motion film that's only just over an hour long. I'm sure this film isn't for everyone but for me personally I ADORED it. I loved it so much it was my very next doodle for that particular day! I wonder what Christina has been up to lately? What has her creative eye captured? If you want to see, check out 22 LIMES.
What on earth does me holding this gorgeous peony have anything to do with what I'm good at? Well, I will tell you! I'm good at drinking coffee in the morning, I'm good at having a nice glass of red wine at night! I'm really good at relaxing! I'm good at taking big big inhales of the world around me. I'm a slow walker when I want to be because my eyes are always wandering around the big wide world. I'm a true introvert in the biggest sense of the word. If you met me you may think I'm stand offish or not very much fun. Just in the way that I would be really quiet and I am really quiet. I attract extraverts. I'm nearly surrounded by them. Motorcycle man is sort of on the cusp. He will say he is an introvert but he never meets a stranger and he is a professional conversationalist. That's what I call him anyway. For instance with me, there just might be long, quiet pauses in conversation. Awkward silent moments. Not with motorcycle man, he makes a stranger feel at ease the instant he makes eye contact, he has a warm smile, he has kind eyes and he is never at loss for words. It's weird too because I think I'm 100% participating in a small gathering by just being there and taking it all in. Like full on IN, I will be having these weird conversations inside my on head in response to some other peoples conversations. It's the strangest thing. Just look towards the top of that peony below and see that slightest bit of pink along the smallest edge of that ruffly petal. These things! It's these things that light up my spirit. I love people too. I promise I do. I will remember a face, I will remember a conversation, the details. Rich will be the one having the conversation and I will be the one remembering it all. Can anyone relate to this?
What I also wanted to share about introverts and for me specifically INFP-ers. Is that we might just have really big imaginations even as adults, we also feel our feelings strong, like as in we are sensitive. One time someone told me I was too sensitive and I was like "who do you think you are? Being sensitive is a gift! don't you know that?" Yeah, I cry at some commercials and I cry when someone is telling me something really special. Tears just start rolling out of my eyes, I can't even control it. My dad and brother used to make fun of me when I was little because I would be watching a touching movie and I would just be sitting there with tears rolling down my cheeks and they would poke fun at me. I almost thought it wasn't the thing I should be doing and I was ashamed for a while of those little uncontrollable emotions but now I realize it's part of who I was made to be. We might admire others for their strengths but that doesn't mean we have to put ourselves down because we might have different strengths. I struggle with that too. I do too much mean talk to myself. I'm trying to work on that, it's been lots of years of work actually. It's quite a journey. I still have so much more work to do.
Lately I'm trying to focus on what I'm good at. This is so off the subject but you know how every single person on earth is different? Like we all look so very different from one another, our voices are unique to us, blows my mind if you want to know the truth but as I've been doodling more I was thinking that I can't make one doodle girl look exactly like the other and I get so excited with my creative ability that I can color them all so different, different hair styles, hair colors, eye colors, nose shapes, lip shapes...it's endless and I wondered if that's how much fun God has when he creates people? See, I'm good at giving you thoughts to ponder (lol)
I was quite taken by this little sweet plant this weekend. I had never seen a plant quite like this. I thought it would look nice on our dinning room table. The common name of this plant is a rattlesnake plant and It looked like a painting to me, and to my mother-n-law it looked like feathers, first born said it looked like leafs inside a leaf. I can see all of that. I love how the underside of the leaf is a plum color and the outer edge of the leaf has a slight ruffle with darker green edges. There is just so much to admire about this little plant. I can't get over it.
I believe it's related to what is commonly called the prayer plant because last night as the sun began to go down I noticed it folded up all it's leaves in towards each other. The technical name for this plant is Calathea lancifolia.
My mother-n-law took me to a nursery in Orange called M&M Nursery and I fell in love with the place. Very whimsical with lots of small fairy gardens and some not so small fairy gardens, like really grand with lots of water falls and streams, make believe villages with miniature plants. Besides all the sweet fairy garden stuff they also seem to have unique and old fashioned plants that I don't seem to see at local nurseries.
I was so excited about this new addition to our family that I doodled her too! Just like we named the Italian tomato plant Francisca, who is doing quite well by the way, if you might be wondering:) I think we will name this little beauty, Beatrice and I will call her Bea for short. It's really important to talk to your plants. They grow better, truly they do!
I'm not sure what my creative partner Christina has been seeing lately with her mindful eye, I know she is quite busy with her little grand girls and going on massive hikes but if she has had a chance maybe she will share what she has seen lately at 22 LIMES last week I found it quite magic that I was talking about paying more attention and seeing the yellow flowers on our tomato plants bloom into fruit when her image was exactly that!
This past week upon getting back from an awesome weekend away I have to be honest. I picked up my DSLR once and I didn't pick up the film cameras at all. The only reason I picked up the DSLR was because I saw these shadows in my kitchen when the late afternoon light came through the kitchen window. While this image is nothing special, basically my kitchen clutter I was so drawn to the shadows on the white tile. The rosemary especially with it's little prickly scented leaves casting it's resemblance on the wall behind it. The wine glass too.
Sometimes when we are able to get away from "real" life for a little bit it's hard to re-enter. At least for me it is. I will be on the biggest high while I'm away from the usual day to day routine to come back to almost like a lowest low. My eyes are opened to the dog hair in the corners of the bare floors, I see all the things that have to be done. We are faced with the realities of paying the bills and taking care of our family. I think that's part of the reason for less of the noticing the little beautiful things. The funny part is, it's those little ordinary, extraordinary things that help bring me back to balance. This week I plan to have my eyes more wide open for the little miracles in life. The yellow flowers that have developed into small green tomatoes, the bundle of peonies and I'm anxiously awaiting to bloom, the shadows and light, things like that.
I have also been distracted drawing. My mom gave me the most thoughtful gift for my birthday this year. She loves to see my little silly drawings and wanted to encourage me to keep going. She got me so many really nice colored pencils and it has made me want to draw more because they color so smooth and so much better then the ones I had. I thought it was really sweet last night when my second born Man Cub came up behind me while I was coloring a drawing and said, "mom you have been drawing a lot lately and I can tell you are getting better" I told him that's what practice does with anything and the more I draw the better I should become. It's like this evolving thing. Trying to find your stamp, this could be with photography, drawing, writing, music basically anything because the reality is...it's all been done before. The only difference is, our unique stamp or style because nobody will take the same picture even when they are taking the same picture. Nobody will look at an image and draw it alike, we can be given different writing prompts and each of us will write it different there is that but basically it's been done before so all we can do is put our own unique stamp on it and call it our own even when its kind of not. I hope I'm making sense.
One more image to share of the same bit of kitchen counter clutter. The difference is, it's in black and white and it's from a different angle. We made it to week 9! can you believe it? Now I can't wait to see what Christina saw last week, I hope you will go visit her too at 22 LIMES.
We had such grand plans for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had talked about some epic trip we would actually fly to, maybe stay a week. Oh the dreams the talks we had about it even years before it arrived. But then. It arrived. Much sooner than we thought. Somehow those 25 years just flew by. Things happened last year that were out of our control and the savings we had went to a big huge gigantic block wall that had fallen January of 2017. Sigh. Life you know. Then taxes. sigh. Life you know.
But you know what? Life is pretty awesome and we are really fortunate to live in this gorgeous golden state of California and since our 20th we have gone away some place in California each year at least for a weekend. Before 20, it was out to dinner because we were in the midst of raising children and we just didn't get away very much without them. That was a choice. We dig those kids.
We almost didn't do anything this year but Rich was like, come on, it's our 25th, lets find something local and reasonable and just have a weekend away. I heard about airbnb so I jumped on that site and thought "mountains" I want to smell the pines. That cabin up there popped up and the price was right and so I booked it on the spot. Rich was like, wait...we need a place for Abbie to say, I was like, that will figure itself out, I'm booking this!
That's motorcycle man up there relaxing in the cabin we rented from our hosts Dave and Ben. The pictures on airbnb didn't lie. This place was quaint and special, very special. It felt like home, it had a very welcoming feel and I'm so glad we decided to be a little adventurous and try out this new way of vacationing. The coolest part, it was Dave and Ben's very first time renting their home and our first time using airbnb and let's just say, it was an amazing experience. Both ways. They thought of everything. I love details and I can tell there was a labor of love put into this cabin, very thoughtfully decorated, furnished and well equipped.
I brought a few things from home, my light board, Pippi, lots of cameras even colored pencils, I practically filled that little desk full of my comforts from home. Rich loved the upstair carpet. It was like a cozy treat for his feet. The bed was so comfortable and at first plop down on the living room chair my words were "I want to live here" Rich thought that was pretty funny but he also felt very at home here.
See what I mean about the details. I really loved the unique and fun bits of decor in this darling A frame style cabin. The artwork was special, I even found a drawing Dave did nicely framed in the living room, the bee!
The outside of the cabin was just as thoughtful as the inside, nicely raked and kept so tidy. I'm not a kid but I still have my childlike spirit so I could appreciate the fort on the property and had to climb up in there a couple times. I did yoga on the deck by the pines it was amazing. We enjoyed dinner outdoors one night by the fire and under the ambient lights.
I'm such a sucker for light. Their lights were really awesome too, dimmers, gorgeous light bulbs, pretty lamps and hanging unique shall I say chandeliers, the big wagon wheel and stunning antler lantern above the master bed! I got lucky and we got back from the village wine and music festival at blue hour so I got a couple nice shots of that time of day. It sure made me happy.
The morning light just awed me as well. I took this picture below because the morning light on the wood floor called to me.
And you know. I'm not sure if there is proper etiquette for this type of thing. I just know that when I go to someones home for dinner or a stay, I like to bring a gift for them. So we left them a gift before we were on our way. We noticed they were low on vodka:)
This is the short story of our weekend stay in Twin Peaks. I have a feeling if Sunset Magazine catches wind of this hidden gem this cabin may be booked solid in no time. I had a special angel sitting next to me when this cabin popped up at just the exact right time and each of us experienced our firsts together. This is a place I would for sure return to. I have a small video below under 4 minutes long of our time this past weekend. I often don't seem to link it right but if you can see it, the password for this video is LOVE. all caps.
We are on a roll and to keep on track with our mindful eye Monday postings, I wanted to make sure and post my picture(s) which is a little bit of a challenge since we were away for most the weekend celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. While we were up in our local mountains I was so fired up to see all the dogwood trees bursting with blooms. I'm excited too because my creative partner Christina is a big lover of trees, flowers and plants and she always seems to know the names of so many of them. It was one of those things that stuck with me when I first met her. We were driving to the beach house for our weekend stay and she was pointing out plants and trees along the way and telling me their names. I was way impressed and it just never left me. I think she will be happy about my dogwood tree post and she may even tell me a little something about these pretty trees that I may not already know? We’ll see:)
I couldn't choose just one image. It was hard. The photographs are pretty but they are nothing compared to how my eyes actually saw these trees. They are really very delicate looking and absolutely stunning to see with your own eyes, especially since they are scattered here or there amongst the pines and oaks and they outshine the other trees with their pretty white blooms.
I'm super excited to post this week about the cabin we stayed in this weekend and all the little details to go along with that. We had our very first Airbnb stay and I have so much to share about it. I can't wait. I'm working on a short video of our anniversary weekend and I will share some of my favorite images of the sweet cabin in the woods too. In the meantime cheers to Monday! Remember to have some fun this week and do at least one thing that fills up your soul.
I can't wait to see what 22 LIMES was up to this past week. I hope you go and see too.
This week I'm happy to report I picked up the DSLR a few times along with both film cameras. One is loaded with color while the other is loaded in black and white. I feel like I lost my touch on the film cameras. Nothing looks clear and I'm really nervous how the images will turn out. Like really, really nervous. I'm reminded that with film I take such extra time and I only get one shot so to speak. I don't want to waste the film you know? I remember those types of feelings. I remember taking action shots, and panning shots and clicking at the exact right moment it was like I knew my camera so well. It's not like that anymore. I'm hoping it's like a bike and it will just come back but we will see when the prints are developed.
I don't think I shared this yet but one of the film cameras was a gift from my long time blogger friend Kate, a while back when I was on Wordpress we became friends because of our blogs. She was always so encouraging and actually still is to this day. She knows I love photography and she offered to ship me her grandmothers camera to take pictures with. It's an awesome Olympus camera. I've never shot an Olympus before! I told her I would shoot a role and mail her back her camera. She then told me she would just send it to Goodwill because she would never shoot it herself. Then I agreed to keep it. It's an honor to shoot her grandmothers camera. A true honor. It had the manuals, the case, film, flashes, the whole shebang! Her grandmother took tremendous good care of her camera. I'm grateful Kate, thank you for trusting me with this special gift. I've always shot mainly Canon, my DSLR is Canon and my film camera is Canon. I've just stuck with it, it's a familiar feeling. I secretly always wanted to shoot Nikon because of Simon and Garfunkel and their Kodachrome song but needless to say, I'm a Canon girl.
The image I share this week was taken in my backyard. I remember taking photography in high school and being told to avoid shooting into the light, now granted that was many moons ago and things change but back then it was kind of frowned upon. That's weird because when I shoot into the light I get some of my favorite images. The image above is no exception. I personally love it. I love the detail in the leafs on the tree that the birds planted in our yard. I love the flare from the sunlight, I love the opalescent rainbow colors in the spiderweb thread. It's just so very pretty to me. Today I share my image from Sunday evening as the sun was radiating it's golden light. I also took my own portrait below! If you want to consider my shadow a portrait. I sure do! Please don't forget to visit my creative partner Christina and see what she will share this week at 22 LIMES.
I was so excited to come home my birthday night to a bag of produce on my porch. A good friend of mine left me produce for my birthday. How creative and thoughtful is that! I'm going to log that in for future birthday gifts because I for one thought it was amazing. One of the gifts was a coconut. Keep in mind her card read that I make food pretty and that she wanted me to make the things she put in my bag pretty. I do like a challenge.
It's been pretty hot around these parts lately so naturally the first thing that popped into my head was popsicles. Coconuts are a lot of work. I had to knock a hole in it first to get out the water. Then crack that sucker open to get to the meat. Super hard work. Not to be ungrateful or anything but for future I really, really appreciate the coconut chunks I've been buying in the frozen food section at Trader Joes. I will pay a little extra for the work to be done for me...just saying. However for the sake of the challenge and since I had a real coconut to work with, I put in the work and I think it was worth it.
I ran to Daiso the Japanese dollar fifty store down the street from my house and when I say ran, I really mean drove. I needed popsicle molds and of course they had them for a dollar fifty. I wanted the popsicles to look a little better than average and bought wooden popsicle sticks to use rather than the colorful plastic handles that came with the mold. I now have 50 minus 8 popsicle sticks for future popsicle making. Those can be found in the arts and crafts section of the store.
My first batch of 4 looked like this (below) Obviously I didn't mix it enough or something?? Because I put the rest of the mixture in the fridge and maybe being cold and going into the mixer a second time made it combine better. I'm just showing you the ugly ones (below) so you know I'm not Martha Stewart or someone like that....Rich likes to call me Pioneer Woman sometimes, that's a huge compliment. I think it's mainly the red hair though;) Oh and check out the grout! It drives me nuts. It's my reality another not so pretty real life photo. Someday, I'll have those concrete countertops I've always dreamed of.
One coconut (the juice/water from that)
Coconut shavings, I used a cheese grater
One can of organic coconut cream
One cup of berries I used half strawberries half raspberries
dash of vanilla
a table spoon of honey
They taste more tart than sweet and not very coconut-eeee surprisingly. I suppose if you want them more sweet, more honey might be good, or another healthy sweetener.
This week sort of got away from me. I had a birthday and somehow the week just felt as if it went by so quickly. Sort similar to a blur or a quick blink. I can't believe sometimes how quickly a week can go by. I literally forgot to focus on the little amazing things with my lens this week. I did however pick up two different film cameras and shot those. I used my DSLR for my birthday portrait and also to take a picture of some popsicles I made with the coconut I got as a birthday gift. Here it is Sunday evening the night before we post and I had nothing to share so to speak. This will be week 6, I don't want to mess up the flow already. I happened to find my clear marble while looking for something in my craft cupboard and thought, why not, lets see what my backyard view looks like through this little sphere. I have taken in our backyard sunsets now for over 19 years and each and every day they are different but today I looked at it through an orb and got to see it upside down. I also watched my garden grow this week but took the images of its growth with my film camera's. I guess I can't multi-task very well. I bet Christiana at 22 LIMES has something thoughtful to share this week. I can't wait to see.
I also did a lot of card doodles this week. I just so happen to know a lot of creative women who share my same birthday month and I like to send them a little card because they all have taught me so much so it's like my thank you to them for sharing their creative minds with me. Check out this stack of cards. Maybe that's why I also didn't shoot very much this week, I was too busy doodling and coloring my drawings.
I have not done this every single year but I think it's important that a picture be taken of your person, your person being YOU! Yes, each year on your birthday take a self portrait or ask someone to take a picture of you. I'm finding this very interesting with the older I become. My birthday's didn't phase me too much in my 20's but I must say I did begin to notice some changes in the 30's and oh my word the 40's and especially after that mid way mark. DANG, I certainly don't get carded any more and even with my sweet freckles and red Pippi-esk hair, I look lake a MAM. A straight up "yes mam" That's o.k. though because I'm pretty excited about getting older with each birthday. It has it's perks that's for sure. I become more wise with each added year and I do like that perk. I mean yes, I notice the creases in my face are also multiplying. I have some wicked awesome laugh lines around my eyes, that just means I had plenty of laughs in my life and lots of smiles that have created these creases in my cheeks. The straw sucking drinking wrinkles around my upper lip is not my most favorite crease but I have to take some bad with the good. Oh heavens and the gray hairs start to spring up, where do they come from, it's like over night...spring, pop, hello here I am! I'm super excited to fully embrace a more distinguished look of an older gal. I have a Pinterest board completely dedicated to "When I'm an Old Woman" I've got it all planned out. It's going to be the best.
I took a few snapshots with my camera, in the bathroom of course where the best lighting happens mid day in-between getting off work and picking up my high schooler. I had about 10 minutes to get my self portrait in. I couldn't find my remote and I used my 50mm and my arms are just not long enough and I shot on manual for goodness sake. Big deep breath. This also means none of them really turned out. I got super crazy too because not only did I take a picture with my DSLR, I took one polaroid, one iPhone photo and one shot with my film camera. Remember, it's my month to shoot film! That image will be very interesting. The film camera only has manual focus. Did I mention my eyesight is changing? I think I might need glasses and I'm nervous about the manual focus on my film camera. I'm going to share the pictures I took with the DSLR here for my 48 year old portrait.
That opening portrait of me, that's not what that image really looked like. It really looked like this one below! Super dark in color and way under exposed. Yet, this is the best image I got. I had to lighten it up and switch it to black and white and that seemed to make it more acceptable. Plus I didn't even mean to take it, I touched the camera screen which engaged the timer and so I stayed where I was right up close to the camera lens. This is me at 48!
Below are the ones I tried to "pose" for and get my feather crown in the frame but without a remote and super freakishly long arms...they are completely out of focus and by this time I changed the exposure and yeah, they are now overexposed and blurry. I'm laughing about it, really I am. I think it's hilarious and so typical of myself. Then I had to leave and pick up Abbie and now my birthday is over so this is my DSLR best attempt. Perhaps next year I'll better be prepared. Besides I'm a big fan of IMPERFECTION. I must say, I NAILED THE IMPERFECTION PART.
You know how I know it's May 1st? There were flowers on our front porch this morning, that's how! This beautiful tradition has been enjoyed by us since 2006! That's 12 years! This means for twelve years now our Aunt Lynn aka Moon Mama and our cousin Stacy aka Miss Moonspinner have been sneaking up to our doorstep in the middle of the night to surprise us every May first with the most gorgeous little bundles of spring flowers. That HELLO! grow in their own gardens! I'll be darned if almost every year I forget that it's the 1st of May until we open our front door to the beautiful bouquets they have thoughtfully put together. Each and every year they have been different too, in sweet little handmade or repurposed containers. I blogged about the span of 2006 to 2013 HERE I sadly couldn't find on my old old computer picture files the first 4 years of this awesomeness but it's so amazing to see the flowers each year next to our growing girl! The flower pictures are from May 1st the Abbie pictures are a portrait from sometime in that same year to get an idea of how times grows flowers and children.
Take a look! I'll start with today:) Take a look below.
How do I begin to express my gratitude for the thoughtfulness of these two women in my life? It's kind of hard to put into words exactly. I make sure to call them each May 1st to express my gratitude and tell them the stories of how motorcycle man tries so very hard to catch them in the act. They seem to elude him every single year, it's kind of a crack up. We are not the only ones these May flower fairies deliver to. They make some serious rounds to different cities. This year our bouquets came with a note. The note made me chuckle because these fairies are a bit feisty to boot. The note explained how this is their last delivery and if we should have any questions or comments that would be unfortunate, that part made me giggle. I'm a little saddened by the news however I have fully appreciated and enjoyed the last 12 years and it was a lovely tradition. Thank you Lynn and Stace! Perhaps we can pick up the tradition, we have talked about it an awful lot. We will see what happens next May. In fact maybe you can consider being a May fairy in your town! I set an alert on my phone for next year to remind me to prepare for such a feat.
I'm not sure how my creative partner Christina does it but she can hone into one topic, one image each week. I on the other hand can never just choose one image. This week I want to tell you a little story about homemade pretzels. Seems kind of crazy a little story about pretzels and it does happen to include mindfulness. This is how the story goes....
I was visiting my sister out in the desert, her name is Sarah. We got to talking about how awesome it is to make our own treats as we were baking homemade banana bread together. This way we know exactly what we put into our food. She mentioned she wanted to try and make homemade soft pretzels and I thought to myself, "hum, that seems kind of hard and crazy, I've never thought about making my own soft pretzels before. On our drive home I looked up EASY soft pretzels on the web. The word EASY is key. I found this recipe and this is the ONE I USED . We tried it within a few days of my conversation with Sarah and we kind of rushed through the recipe but we had what I would like to call beginners luck. They were OK and did seem easy. Easy enough to try again a few weeks later. The second time was a complete disaster. I was rushing through it just like the first time, doing a few things at once, cooking dinner, doing dishes you know what they call multi tasking. The second time felt stressful because I just wanted to get it done and done quick. I forgot to knead the dough completely, I burnt two fingers in the boiling water, the texture/consistency was terrible, they didn't stay together in the boiling water. The family members brave enough to taste them thought they were yucky. They ended up in the trash.
Which comes to the 3rd attempt. My mom always told me "if at first you don't succeed, try again" I don't give up easy anyway on lots of things. Remember my crane folding story? This time I read the recipe all the way through once. Then I calmly and with great intent went through each step. The past two times I got the water boiling too quick and felt a pressure to get those babies in the water. This time after Abbie kneaded the dough and it was resting for 10 minutes I started the large pot of water and pre-heated the oven. We just took our time, enjoyed each step, even danced a little in the kitchen and WAA-LA! The most perfect batch yet and yes they are EASY, if you just take your time and don't get all panicky about it. Another lesson in being mindful. I'm constantly learning these little lessons on how I need to slow it down and enjoy the process. I'm so curious what 22 LIMES was up to this past week, what did she see?
Let's see, I think we planted our tomatoes and zucchini two weekends ago and this week I notice they have all taken some leaps in their growing process. I was a little nervous because this is the first year I planted our small garden in the front of our house and not the back. I'm very intimidated and completely overwhelmed with our backyard. We have our privacy back because after an entire year of not having a fence our block wall was completed this past January.
I thought I would plant a garden back there but as I took in the blank canvas of really hard clay like ground I just couldn't think of conquering it just yet. It's still dirt minus a tiny little square of baby grass motorcycle man planted. That part is actually pretty sweet.
I wasn't sure how the plants would do up front because the sun exposure time isn't as much but so far they seem to be doing just fine. The Italian tomatoes I started from seed even look to have some hope this year. Those seeds I have tried twice without success. I'm hoping this year is the year for the Italian tomatoes to grow into fruit. Below is their progress:)
This is how the zucchini is coming along (below)
Below are the carrots which get a lot of shade so we will see how that goes, I'll keep a watch and start to separate them and space them out once they grow a little taller in their tops.
Last are the indoor plants. One of Abbie's school mates gave her a sweet little mini rose growing kit. They were teeny tiny seeds, a cute little pink tin to plant them in. We did that and I had no idea one could grow roses from seeds. But looks like they are growing alright. The forget me nots are plugging along too. The little bokeh army man was found in the front garden while planting our spring garden. I just want to remind you that the plants need a few key ingredients, water and sun light of course but a little kind talk does them good. I did an experiment once with a good apple and bad apple, it was mind blowing. Since that experiment I realize talking to your plants is a good idea. They will grow better, promise.
Christina and I decided to post on Monday's from here on out. That works really great for me especially this week because Sunday was April 22nd which is earth day. We spent both our Saturday and Sunday at the ocean. The ocean has always been a place of healing for me. Nature in general is a good place of healing but the ocean specifically speaks to me. It's salty air, the feel of the soft sand beneath my feet, the healing salt water on my skin. I can get lost for hours just combing the beach for shells. One year I especially needed the ocean and for a bit each day after Abbie would get out of school I would drive us to the beach and we would swim together in the ocean. It felt so good. She will always remember it too, she was in elementary school but even to this day will remind me of our after school beach trips. It felt like a life saver at the time. I think it was only a matter of two weeks that we did this but it felt like a long enough time to make it a solid memory. Even after our little beach craze during the week, we would also jump in the jeep and head out to Seal beach to watch the sunset as a family. This ocean wave I share today is from Huntington Beach though.
While we sat on the beach for Earth day I did a lot of people watching and since Abbie and her friends were a few life towers down from us, I didn't really have anyone to take pictures of....except for strangers. I could have sat for days watching the people come and go. This girl in particular caught my eye and I think she goes perfectly with the opening quote. She was sitting all by herself writing in a journal. She had beautiful red hair that blew in the wind. She reminded me of a much younger version of myself. I loved being by myself as a young woman and I would go on little adventures by myself with my camera in hand. I would write too. I was a writer even back then. Writing my thoughts has also been a life saver, much like the healing properties of the sea.
I hope you don't find me creepy, taking a picture of unsuspecting strangers, it's not something I normally do these days but this one was irresistible. I had so many questions in my head, she was so mysterious. Do you ever make up stories about people you see? I do. I know they are totally not accurate but it's fun to imagine.
Lastly, please stop by and visit my friend Christina and see what her mindful eye might share this week, you can find her at 22 LIMES. I included a picture of the pair of us below. She took this with her Polaroid camera. We don't live near each other. We live a few states away from one another and we met each other for our first time ever a few years back in Oregon. This snap shot is from that trip. Have you ever met up with a stranger and shared a bed with them the very first night? That's us! Perhaps we have a little adventure in our blood! Sometimes I can't even believe I did that! We have been great friends since that epic trip and we happen to love to do projects with each other. Check us out on Instagram under ourmindfuleye, we will post there each week too.
I didn't actually begin the month realizing it was National Letter Writing month, I started the end of March and it flowed into April. I was posting my envelope drawings on Instagram and one of my friends told me it was National Letter Writing Month. You know me! That's all it took, an entire month of the year dedicated to snail mail! I'm in!
I've liked to give and receive letters since I was young. I remember my pen pal from Austria before internet and social media was even a thing. I was at our local Hallmark card store and they had a pen pal exchange. I joined and got to know a girl almost just like me from Austria. We wrote up until I got married and then we somehow lost touch. I've tried to find her, even wrote about her, here on this blog. I've never been able to find her but it was the first serious start to my pen pal love.
This month I had an unusual amount of thank you notes to write. Randomly I would receive mail that would include a small gift and then that would prompt me to write a thank you note. Remember my post card pen pal whom I met through my blog when she found me in Bella Grace? She sent me a packet of Forget Me Nots and that gave me the idea for her drawing and note. I have also planted those seeds and they are beginning to grow! Mancub has a friend who had the most beautiful necklace on and when I asked her about it she said her aunt made it. She offered to have her aunt make me one too! I paid her because I believe artists should be paid for their talents and she made me the most adorable heart shaped pendant. A thank you note was in order. Even when I say thank you in person sometimes I still want to write a thank you note. It's a dying art you know. I don't want it to die so I keep on writing them.
You don't have to get a gift to write a thank you note. You can write a note so someone special and tell them how much they mean. In the midst of my handwriting month and because I was posting pictures of my drawings a really good friend of mine did just that, she sent me a handwritten card just telling me how much our friendship meant to her. I've just noticed when you put it out there you seem to get it back. Try it.
Then there have been a few instances where someone will admire one of my silly doodles and ask if I might draw them a letter. I love when people are bold enough to ask. I think some people are afraid to ask because they think it might be rude, but it's never rude, it's more like a compliment and I learn in turn to ask for things because they are not afraid to ask me. I say yes of course and then I think of something specific to them and draw them a note.
Lastly there are times when the notes are not as fun to write because someone needs encouragement or something really sad happened in their life. Those letters are more rough to write but I also think they are important because when sad things happen it's nice to be thought of too.
Happy National Letter Writing Month. Guess what? Next month I will be calling it FILM month. My sweet cousin gave me a baggie full of film to shoot. It's currently hanging out in our refrigerator and freaking out Motorcycle man. He thinks it's weird.