Best Shot Monday - Giving Thanks

I love spending Thanksgiving with our good friends in San Diego. We always have a wonderful time [and eat FAR TOO MUCH FOOD]. It's the next best thing to being with our own family. Which makes sense considering they're like family to us.

I do admit, we have no appreciation for the traffic we contend with on the way south though. Fortunately, the day was beautiful so we could at least enjoy the view over the ocean. (and through the rear view mirror.)

We're truly thankful for such gracious friends and their never ending hospitality. (Diane had a dinner layout for 22 people, including 5 Marines.) Twenty-Two blessed guests who spent Thanksgiving together because of the embracing heart of one person. I have always been impressed with Diane's ability to reach out and befriend others.


She deserves an award.

Visit Tracey at Mother May I for more thankful Best Shots.

Summing It All Up

Over the last month I've been ending my daily posts with a final salutation in another language. It was kind of a boost to keep me going. November is traditionally a very busy month and this particular November proved to be no different. I didn't get an opportunity to get around to all the other blogs participating in NoBloPoMo, but I have time to pop in on them now that I won't be posting EVERY day. Will I do this again next year? Hard to say; but right now I'd say, "NO WAY, BABY!"

If you were following along here is the full list of goodbyes throughout the month.

Nov 1 - Oop! Not one for this day!
Nov 2 - Caio (Italian - informal)
Nov 3 - Dasvadanja (Russian)
Nov 4 - Aloha (Hawiian)
Nov 5 - Auf Wiedersehen (German)
Nov 6 - Hasta Lavista (Mexican)
Nov 7 - Shalom (Hebrew)
Nov 8 - Au Revoir (French)
Nov 9 - Cheerio (English - Northern Scotland)
Nov 10 - Sayounara (Japanese)
Nov 11 - Viszlát ( Hungarian)
Nov 12 - Zaijian (Mandarin Chinese)
Nov 13 - Tot Ziens (Dutch)
Nov 14 - Farvel (Danish)
Nov 15 - Adeu' (Catalan - Spain)
Nov 16 - Paalam (Filipino)
Nov 17 - Hamba Kalhle (Zulu)
Nov 18 - Hajda (Swedish)
Nov 19 - Arrivederci (Italian)
Nov 20 - Valete (Latin)
Nov 21 - Le'hitraot (Hebrew)
Nov 22 - Hyvӓsti (Finnish)
Nov 23 - Yasou (Greek)
Nov 24 - Slán go fóill (Gaelic - Irish)
Nov 25 - Do Widzenia (Polish)
Nov 26 - Let Manggu-nanda (Wagiman - Australia)
Nov 26 - See Ya! (bonus salutation: English - American Slang)
Nov 27 - Don adagohvi (Cherokee - American Indian)
Nov 28 - Ake wachia kin 'kte (Lakota - American Indian)

Nov 29 - Uz redzēšanos - (Latvian)

With 250+ languages across the globe, there is a lot to choose from - I made some choices based on where I work, where I've been, who I know, what I love and this month's holiday.

Maybe next year I'll start with "Hello".

And since today is November 30th, well let's just say-
Good bye!

For now.

More From Latvia

While I'm away for Thanksgiving I thought I would leave you with some more of my favorite images from Latvia.

This photo was taken from the front of an old school building we stayed in. We walk down to the end of this path take a left and walk a mile to the beach of the Baltic sea. I gave this an Orton photo effect.

 Here is the original.

This next shot was taken on a solitary walk I took through the cobblestone streets of Tulsi, Latvia. We spent the bulk of our stay in Tulsi and I fell in love with the timeless, peaceful beauty of this country town. The cat in the window just reminded me of images I had only seen in books up until that moment - images of villages untouched by modern times

The architecture of some of the older buildings in Latvia's capital, Riga, is like most any European city - simply magestic and breathtaking.  I took several pictures of buildings; I was fascinated with them. Riga's history dates as far back as the 12th century. I also have pictures of the Powder Tower, the only remaining tower of the original wall that once surrounded the city in the 14th century.
The thing that saddens me about So Cal (and the US in general) is the lack of regard for history and historical landmarks.  You always have to make way for all things Modern. But that is another conversation all together.

While traveling down the coast of Latvia, we stopped in a little village, in the upper room of a small school I saw these children intently working on something - the light streaming in gave the room a warm, red glow and I took my camera out for a quick picture hoping I would capture the moment.
Since I traveled to Latvia back in 1995 and only had a film camera (on loan) I scanned these pics in to the computer. But they are straight out of the camera!

Did you know that the Latvian language is one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn? Well, that was the case some 10+ years ago. It was still fairly rooted in it's ancient past and only a small percentage of Latvians were speaking it as Russian was the official state language during the Soviet occupation. When Latvia regained it's independence in 1991 the task of reestablishing Latvian as the official language began.

Latvia is one country I wouldn't mind returning to again someday.

Uz Redzēšanos

Photo Story - New Neighbors!

When I started this blog in January, I also started a feature called Out My Kitchen Window because I have watched the weather change through my west-facing window so often. Some of those evening sunsets are incredible! It's like a photo Twitter for the kitchen window.

Last Spring we got new neighbor in both upstairs apartments in the same week. Not only are they friendly and they each put up pretty red flowers, but one is a friend of ours! Which gave me a perfect opportunity to turn my camera on myself, so-to-speak. I went up at dusk one evening, visited my friend and took a couple pictures of that kitchen window. It sometimes feels like Rear Window around here with neighbors so close!

Now I know what the neighbor sees...

Hope you are recovering well from your Thanksgiving meals!

Photo Story is Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
PhotoStory Friday

Two more days...

Ake Wachia Kin 'Kte

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Give thanks to the LORD because he is good, because his mercy endures forever. Psalm 106:1

Here is another little craft that Harrison made from his Aunt. he loved using glue to glue it all together although it was "tricky, mama". He's wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.
We'll be with old friends to enjoy Thanksgiving together. What am I thankful for? My husband, my sons, the many things we are blessed with including the careers we have and the country we live in. Yes finances are tight for many of us, the economy is bad, stress is unending at times; but this is a good day to stop and be thankful for what we do have in our lives. Seriously do a lot of us really NEED more - or do we just WANT more? Do I need a new car - not yet really. Do I want one? H - - L Yes!

I mentioned that I want to keep Christmas simple, we really have simplified it in recent years but with a 3-year-old, there is that new temptation...
Bradley at the Egel Nest wrote about the Chirstmas spirit. My sentiment exactly.

So today give thanks for what you have and think about Limiting Christmas or Chanukah to a more meaningful experience [if you haven't already] so that it may be Simple and Sweet -for you and your family.

Don Adagohvi

The Language of {Blog} Love.

Congratulations to Cara at Mia Due Bambini! She noticed today that I have been leaving an ending salutation in another language on my recent posts. Woo-hoo!!

In fact, that is indeed what I have been doing during the month of November for my daily NoBloPoMo posts [not including this one]. I was waiting to see if anyone would pick up on that...

I think I may just have to send her something in appreciation!


See Ya!

Vintage Lovelys

I have some person items being held hostage in South Dakota by time and distance - two things not on my side. It's frustrating, but today I received a package from my Aunt (who takes good care of the hostage-items) with some little trinkets that I wanted to have this Christmas this year.

A little box of vintage Christmas ornaments from my grandparents house. Some of them are English tinsel ornaments - these are the ones that stick out most in my mind when I think of my grandparents Christmas tree and I'm excited that they get to see the light of day (or the lights of the Christmas tree) for the first time in over 30 years.

And they are perfect for Harrison to hang on the tree by himself. They are one of the precious items that I was about to retrieve from my grandparents house after it was cleaned out and before it went into ownership.

I'm not sure who was more excited about the box at the door, me or Harrison.  Little did he know what it was or what it had in store for him, but he got out his scissors and attempted to help open the box.

Harrison also latched on to these three Kings, we had to play three kings for a while. I was the red one, he was the green one, "and well, I'll be the blue one too." he announces.

 Our goal is to keep Christmas as simple as possible. The gifts limited, The focus simple. The day sweet.

As much as vintage style is a "cool" way of decorating; it's a style that I very much love and it makes sense to me in this crazy world of over-consumption and consumerism.  I would rather, reduce, reuse, recycle. Heck, my house is over 100 years old - that says it all.

What will you pull out this season that touches you and sparks warm memories during the holidays? What are you passing on to your children? I do hope it is more than a room full of pretty wrapped boxes.


Until tomorrow~
Let Manggu-nanda!

Pretty Little Blogs

I actually browsed around cyberspace the other day for a few minutes. Harrison had a friend coming over for the afternoon and I was preparing to do a craft with them.

 We made I-spy bottles and as I dug around all the corners of my house for little items to put in the bottle, it got me thinking of other miniatures that I have and then about that holidays and Christmas miniatures that I have tucked away and finally, about a website that I stumbled across so long ago - last year sometime.

After some research and a few other fun blogs later, I found the old website, the NEW website and the blog.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled to find Amanda again, but that's not the best part, she is having a giveaway at her blog Every Little Thing and for my friends out there who like baking - this is right up your alley! There is still time to go enter before this evening. Or just go take a peek at Amanda's wonderful cake toppers and other sweet goodies at Bake it Pretty.

Vintage and miniatures a perfect combination.

As for the boys and their I-spy bottles, here are some of the things that they put in their bottles then we filled them with birdseed - with room to spare for shaking and searching and sealed them.

I was inspired by a bottle at my Aunt's house that Harrison loved when he was 20 months old. She didn't have a list attached, you just had to look and find. This is a good thing to have in the car on a road trip, which we will be taking on Thursday. Although I have some vintage miniature bowling pins, we found these at the Dollar Tree Store along with extra dice. Score! I also have a stash of old Barbie accessories so in went a pair of blue 70's style Barbie shoes!

Have a great day!

Do Widzenia!

Stop the Madness

Just when I was about to drop Freecycle I actually responded to something and got a response back. I went and picked up some baking items that I had thought about but wouldn't buy. This was right before one of my friends expressed her excitement over an item she got for her son through Freecycle. Obviously, I need to join her Freecycle group because mine sucks. [or is it my email server? Could be both]

Why did I join initially? After hearing from friends and acquaintances about the toys and items they got from Freecycle, I was hoping a couple things would pop up for Harrison. I figured it couldn't hurt. I admit, even with constant misses because it seems I'm always last to respond, I'm still hoping to get a little bike for Harrison. We gave away the 10" bike that Big Brother had only about a year before Harrison was conceived. Had we only known...

Since joining I have found that my mailbox is flooded by the same Freecyclers week after week. What do these people do? Collect junk from trash cans and list it on Freecycle? Seriously, I understand the saying "one person's junk is another person's treasure" but the regular offenders [as I call them] take it to a new level. We're talking things like flower vases from delivered floral arrangements, or partial used jars of shampoo. No joke. But like I said - treasure to someone.

All I want is a child's bike... Maybe one day I'll have the luck of the Irish. After all, I am Irish. Throw me a bone, here!

What it all boils down to is that I am not at my computer all day waiting for the perfect item to land in my mailbox and obviously, there are many others who are waiting at their computers with bated breath. Once in a while something will pop up during the time I'm checking emails, I'll think hey I could really use that, but I don't hear back from the person only to find out that it was gone immediately. I know there are 600+ members - but they are all online that often? Luckily, there hasn't been a child's bike listed in the waves of Freecycle offers that will often pour in at once.So is this a delay in my mail system?

I didn't know there was such a need out there for used pill dispensers and toilets seats. True Story.

Speaking of Irish...
Slán go fóill!

The Facebook Frenzy

I finally broke down and joined Facebook a few weeks ago. (gosh - like two months ago already!) I'm not sure what led me to my lapse in judgment, but alas I am on Facebook. I actually only log on when an email hits my mailbox or the GID says something to me across the office about it. He says I addicted now, but it's only because I have more friends than him. Addicted. Yeah, that's why when I logged on the other day I found several friend requests and 30+ misc. invitations.

Speaking of invitations, what is up with all of that? Pokes and patches, drinks, cupcakes, hugs, plants, hanging Christmas ornaments, bumper stickers, kidnappings...come on what is all that crap? (sorry, oh dear, devoted lovers of Facebook!) So I ignore a lot of it. Or I finally click to accept it then immediately get annoyed that it send me on a goose chase and wants me to send others on that same path.

Although I admit, I've enjoyed the movie quizzes and I really should not have missed the question about Castor Oil in the Grease fan quiz. Seriously, I wanted to be the Cool Sandy when I was a kid (with the exception of that one she sings by the kiddy-pool - gag! What was that? "Hopeless Devoted"? I think so).

 Anyway, my lapse was based on the fact that there are people that I haven't had contact with in a while that I am able to connect with via Facebook. People from highschool, college, all the way up to kids from my youthgroup leadership days at my old church. And new friends in my life that I've only recently met.

That is the one reason I like and joined Facebook. I've been fortunate over the years to have so many people in my life, and to reconnect (or stay connected) to some of them is a blessing. I still don't see or hear from them everyday. I don't need to; but we know where to find each other.

I know it has it's downsides and glitches. Doesn't all social networking sites? And I'm still a little perturbed over the fact that I sat down the other evening and decided I would update my profile with favorite movies, music, books, etc. and in one wrong pass of the key it was all gone without warning!!  GAH!!

I'll get over it.


In the meantime, feel free to look my up on Facebook.


SOOC Saturday - Day 22

Thank goodness for a theme! I'm heading to bed after a long day. Harrison may have a urinary tract infection, which left him quite disgruntled this evening. We're going to the doctor tomorrow (woo-hoo! his office is open on the weekends!) I found that bit of information out when I called the peditrician on his cell phone - 2 minutes after office hours ended. Bummer.

You see, these are the things that go on behind the scenes that I don't blog about... And since we're on the subject of what happens when I'm not blogging. The GID came home feeling quite a bit warm and fuzzy after a STRONG win for Florida State and the a Rhodes Scholar win for one of their teammates. Needless to say,they had a good night.

And when FSU has a good night, the hubby has a good night.

And that makes it a good night for everyone.

What else today?
Before Harrison's health and well-being went rogue on him, we set up his newly decorated bird house outside on the front porch. We'll probably have every critter in a one-mile radius vying for the birdseed by sunrise, but it made one little boy happy. And there's always the BB pistol...

Kidding! Don't go PETA on me!

As if...

Anyway, back to the pictures.

Move over pumpkin...It's bird house time. If you didn't see this birdhouse before, those paint colors were chosen by my son at the craft store - two bottles of red, one bottle of hot-pink, one bottle of orange and a mini bottle of glue. He was set on the largest bottle of glue, but since I'm set with glue at home, he went for the compromise. Phew!

Harrison decided that the birds needed seeds inside the birdhouse, too.

Ready for action! (I should go peek at it on my way to bed - make sure it wasn't carrried off by a raccoon.
Yes, there are raccoons in the bid city. Crazy. [I know I've said this, but I never saw a raccoon up close and personal until I moved to the city; not once growing up in South Dakota. Not once.]

See how much fun we have! Oh and BTW, thanks for the comments yesterday. They reminded me that my Reader was feeling neglected and has piled up a 1000+ posts for me to catch up on.

I think I'll go to bed now.

Hyvӓsti! - until tomorrow.

Slurping Life
SOOC Saturday is hosted Melody at Slurping Live.

This Week

I'm no good at blogging every day. Nope. Can't do it. Right now I should be creating tomorrow's post. I'm creating today's with no intention of starting one for tomorrow because I'm too tired to compose concrete thoughts. Infact, now that I think about it, I have had ZERO time to visit other blogs and I've had 3 visitors here in the last three days! That's embarrassing!

But I'm not going to lose sleep over it because I have this in my sidebar to remind me:

Although, as with most bloggers, I like comments...
[I'll let you know when my braincells have returned from their extended vacation.]

The good news is that I've finished my work assignments (for a couple weeks) plus a few other tasks so that I can concentrate on Christmas cards. Yeah, that's next. No pressure from beloved friends or anything!

So as I thankfully say Le'hitraot to this week, I leave you with a test shot of my willing husband for those impending holiday cards.

Makes you curious, huh?


Throwing in the Towel...

 On the camera that is. It seems that my camera has not been giving me sharp images and I just woke up and smelled the coffee this week with a couple photo sessions.  It has been soft-focusing and front-focusing far too often. What is it with me and camera focus issues? 
Yeah, I did put the blame on me for a while, but after resetting the camera, trying both lenses and shooting in auto formats as well as creative/manual formats, I've come to the conclusion that it is not all about me.
So Canon wants me to send (or drive) it in for repair. The only problem? It's Thanksgiving next week! What about Thanksgiving!? In the meantime, I'm back to my deadlines.
It gives me a headache, I think I'll take some Advil.

Wordless Wednesday - Make My Day

Now, this is a police car!!

More Wordless Wednesday here and here.

The Skin of My Teeth

Eek-Gad, work and life have finally gotten the upper hand in my quest to blog daily during the month of November.

I would have loved to tell you how I started getting the craft supplies ready for some homemade gifts this Christmas or how I took some test shots for our Christmas cards, or maybe how I got a couple loads of laundry done at least. (Okay, that one is pathetic - but speaks to the nature of my life right now.) Frankly, the lower backache all weekend really threw a loop into my schedule.

Tonight I have no pictures for Crafty Tuesday, or of anything else for that matter. I have nothing substantial to say. My braincells are firing at half-blast right now and I need to take some headache medicine because I feel a big one coming on.

So this is my pathetic Tuesday edition of daily posting in the month of November during the midst of holiday prep season and work deadlines.

I know.

Say no more.

Until tomorrow - Hajda!

The City Bus

When I first moved to the Big City - many years ago - I was young, foolish, naive and broke. I spent the first two years riding the bus from high up in the Valley down to places like the Miracle Mile and Hollywood Blvd. where I worked as an office manager for a limousine company located in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

The bus is an experience that I would not take back. My VERY FIRST memory of Hollywood boulevard was getting off one bus on an early morning and waiting at the corner of Hollywood and Highland in front of a tall office building; as I looked down at my feet in a groggy haze I saw the BIGGEST FREAKIN' COCKROACH you could ever imagine! It was like - two inches long and all I could do is watch the thing as it made a mad dash through all the feet walking every direction as they made their way to work. I kept scrunching my face with every near miss until finally it dropped out of sight over the curb. A sigh of relief came over me. Why you ask? Or maybe you can guess.

A bug that big makes a pretty loud CRUNCH. EEAAWWW!

Now days that corner is part of the "Hollywood & Highland" shopping complex and home of the Kodak Theater where the Academy Awards take place. And unfortunately, shortly after I moved to the Big City my camera was stolen out of a friend's van. So no pictures of those early days. Rather, I wrote about them in my strange poetic style.

At the city yard this past Spring, I thought about those early days as well as my strange poetic style. Some of my bus experiences are still so vivid in my head, as if only yesterday. I really wouldn't exchange those events for the world. If only I had a camera in those days...oh, the people I encountered.

I would have posted a picture form the City yard - but I couldn't access the files from our home network. Oh, how I love Vista.


Hamba Kalhle!

It's Fire Season

Ugh, if having lower back pain (for which I took my generic ibuprofen) wasn't enough to turn this weekend into a total bust; the Santa Ana winds and fires popping up all across Los Angeles and Orange Counties leaving the air quality below poor was enough to ruin the weekend. We staying in most of the day today, our cars covered with ash an the air thick with the smell of smoke.

The closest fire? Roughly 40 miles East and North of us. But where does the smoke go? Toward the beach. It could be worse, there are many that don't have homes tonight. A large portion of them are elderly who lived in an upscale mobil home park that was completely consumed by flames. keep them in your prayers.

Yesterday morning the air was slightly cool and the sky a clear, light blue. By noon it looked like this:

A grayness that reminds of the sky right before a thunder storm. No thunderstorm, that is smoke looming high in the sky and raining down fine ash.

This is the picture that took me outside to see. An orange haze in the middle of the day. (the stick would be a souvenir from Harrison's trip to the Wilderness Park with Daddy.)

Heck, it really wasn't even noon yet. Eerie, isn't it?

On the Mortin front, it seems there website has been temporarily taken down to remove the offending ad. And Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess has posted the response she received from the creators of the ad. Check it out.

I'm still daily blogging by the skin of my teeth I suppose. With that, I apologize that I have not gotten around to visit blogs this week, please bear with me for another week! (I can't believe it's the middle of November already!)


Anti-Babywearing? I think so.

Motrin has released a new ad campaign that I find absolutely infuriating. Maybe they didn't set out to be so negative, but it's pretty clear that if you are "stupid enough” to wear your baby simply “to be in fashion” or look cool then you should turn to Motrin for the backaches that you are most surely going to get.

Using a voice over artist that sounds like she just fell out of the lastest trendy urban center, she makes statements seeped in sarcasm like “Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion” and “Supposedly it’s a real bonding experience…

If that isn’t bad enough, she continues with the ever so current rising trend of narcissism “What about me?” Wah, freakin’ wah! …”Do moms that carry their babies cry more than those who don’t? I sure do.” Me. Me. Me!

But she claimes she'll do it because it’s for the good of her “kid” “PLUS, it totally makes me look like an official mom.” Seriously, if you are shallow enough to think that being a mom is only about the way YOU look doing it, then you missed the whole point of being a mom in the first place. Apparently, ya’ missed the memo that motherhood is about giving yourself to the needs of another and self-sacrifice. BUT it doesn’t mean you have to break your back doing it.

I actually have friends that have back problems and tried different types of carriers, a couple found the one that worked for them and a couple friends just couldn’t get the right fit. And that is okay, it doesn’t make them ANY LESS OF A MOM. They have the common sense to know that trendiness doesn’t equate to good parenting.

While it’s true that baby-wearing isn’t for everyone, that doesn’t mean that it should be demonized by a large, corporate drug manufacturer. And as much as it seems like a cool, new trend, it’s been around for hundreds of years in many cultures around the world. There are benefits to baby-wearing for mother and child that go beyond the information found here. But it is not the end-all to mothering, I wasn’t “worn” as a baby, I also wasn’t breastfed and I came out okay. (except for that drop in the head…kidding) But I do wonder about the marketing team that came up with the brilliant idea to exploit the raw emotions of new moms . Were some of them dropped on their heads?

Motrin is telling consumers that this is trend and they will get backaches. Not necessarily true. Most backaches stemming from baby-wearing can be traced to preexisting conditions or improper wearing of a carrier. Not all carriers are made equally and if you are not shown how to use one, it can be uncomfortable. Like most any product, it needs to be fitted correctly for the comfort of both mother and child. That’s not hard to do.

I wore Harrison in a carrier; in fact, 3.7 years and 36 lbs later, I still carry him in a Mei Tai. I’ve even hiked with him on my back, and I don’t have a super strong back.If you want to find out more about babywearing, check out these sites: - The La Leche League

You know what else? I cried a lot less when I started carrying Harrison.

As for Motrin...

I'll take Advil any day, thank you. Or better yet, generic.


Photo Story Friday - "Mizaru, Kikazaru, Iwazaru"

Maybe these little monkeys didn't heed their own advice to see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, they have obviously "seen" better days.

I found what's left of these monkeys in a window down at the local pier right before Halloween. They're a funny reminder to take my camera on my walks more often. I really don't have my camera attached to my body and I'm always seeing thing now that I think -oh if I had my camera! Oh goodness, it has become a disease!

I can live with that.

Did you know that one of Gandhi's only possessions was a statue of the 3 monkeys? Who knew.


Photo Story is Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
PhotoStory Friday

Sneak Peak

Sorry I've been a stranger, a lot happening around here, including a referral of a friend to do a photography session! I was so excited.

I had the honor of taking pictures of a newborn! Actually she is three weeks old already, but she still has all that newborn,sweet goodness. She also has a beautiful big sister who is 15 months this week. (is that right mama?) Big Sister J. is quick to comfort and love her little sister. They are both just darling!!

We had a good time, it's my first experience with an infant photo shoot so I took a ton of pictures and prayed for good ones! How nerve-wracking - my first photo shot that doesn't include family and close friends! But Mama-Lynn was SO wonderful! Here's a sneak peak of what we did - no more until Mama sees all the pictures!

I look forward to going back and getting some additional pictures of big-sister J.

And hopefully a redo on one shot that I loved - but didn't come out quite right. I'll post a couple more favorites after Mama-Lynn sees them!

In the mean time -
Tot ziens!

An Award! For Me? Thank you!!

Really! Thank you!

Jack from Slightly Off-Center sent me an award last week. how cool is that? (Apparently I'm easy to please. I get excited over a bloggy-bling. Don't tell my husband - he'll send me a blog award for our anniversary!)

Here are the rules… Ugh, more rules... I know! But in this case, I think I will follow ALL the rules because it's all about what makes us happy. I want to see the happiness of 5 other bloggers.

Anyway, the rules:
  • List six things that make you happy
  • Pass the award on to 5 other bloggers
  • Link back to the person who gave you the award
  • Link to the people you are passing it on to and leave them a comment to let them know

On with the goodness of "happy".

1. Eating Sushi and drinking Sake with my husband - Oh, that makes me giddy!

2. The smell of my son's head against my cheek as I hold him close in my arms - nothing compares.

3. The feel of a hot shower raining over my skin in the morning. I can soak and soak forever in there!

4. Being in the care by myself and cranking up the car stereo when one of my old favorite songs come on the radio. Like Black Betty by Ram Jam Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
or Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing by Chris Isaak [- that man's music moves me!]

5. Listening to the sound of thunder & lightening storms and the soothing rhythm of rain.

6. Snuggling on the sofa with a cup of hot cocoa in the wintertime to watch a good movie - that leaves me felling happy.

Now I'm passing this on to these five fun people because it never hurts to stop and remember some of the things that make us happy each day.


Zàijiàn! (再见)

Oh NoBloPoMo!!

It's 15 minutes past midnight on the East Coast. Lucky for me I'm on the West Coast! Phew!

I had great intentions for posting today, but as life would have it, I'm in a crunch period again with work deadlines and other things that take me away from my computer. November is a tough month to commit to blogging daily. I'm crazy for trying...

Today, amidst the soccer class, running errands, cleaning house and work, I also came up with an idea for this year's Christmas card. Seriously, I was going to just get some plain old card and send them out. The pressure to come up with something is just too great and then I'm crunched for time because I always get some "bright" idea in the eleventh hour!

So I had resolved myself to the boxed generic Christmas cards when I got an email from an old friends that saw a book about Christmas Cards at Borders Bookstore and thought it would be a good book for me and that I should submit my cards. Nah. But she also sent me the link to the Merry Christmas blog.

And to just fuel to the fire she said, "The author mentions how there are certain cards you can’t wait to get each year because you know they will be awesome and receive a place of honor on your mantle. Not that I’m trying to pressure you, but that’s totally what I think about your card every year. It’s my favorite one!" Gah! Then I realized I had to come up with something.

Something bigger

Something better!

Something - Unique.

Eek- gad! (Did I mention that this is a tough month? ...just making sure.)

Say, Carrie, does the thought of being creative count towards Creative Tuesday? :)


The Best Window Light in the World!

We had a play date at Alton's house last week. He is such a cute little guy, and his energy... he is Harrison's little Mini-Me - times two!! His mommy has a wonderful picture window in the front room with white shears to diffuse the light. A perfect place to pull out the camera. since it was unplanned I just took some shots and hoped for the best. At the same time Harrison ran for the hills - so to speak.

Here's a couple of the best shots from the day. Love that window light on that precious face!

Yes, that is the face I often get lately. sigh.

Go see Tracey for More Best Shot Monday.

Sayounara! (さようなら)

Lazy Sunday

Well, I got through the first week of NoBloPoMo. Now the hard part starts - like today. I'm off to church, back home to clean house with the G.I.D. and off to a dinner event for work to take pictures.

So where does that leave me in blogging? Five minutes. This does it.

Take it or leave it... I'll take it because I typed, I uploaded, I posted. And it counts.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have something of more substance.

I doubt it.

Oh, and in honor of Camera Critters hosted by Misty Dawn, here is a little shot of Duke-the-Dog that I took in June, it's one of the first pictures I took with my new camera.

He was going for a dark, dramatic pose.

Camera Critters


Life - No, Not the Game

So one of the few show I've stopped to enjoy in the evenings this fall is Life. It's about a quirky cop returning to the force after spending 12 years in prison for the murders he didn't commit. I like the writing and the actors. It's not totally a sitcom, nor is it full blown drama. That's why I love the show. My only complaint - as usual NBC has a bad habit of moving it around their schedule. ANNOYING!

Now to the real reason I'm sharing my television love with you. [outside of the fact that it's NoBloPoMo] Three weeks before Halloween, Harrison and I went to Joanne's fabric & craft store. It opens into the mall and there we saw it. Christmas decorations! I was appalled that the mall had already put up their Christmas decorations and Santa house three weeks BEFORE Halloween! This was too much. Harrison was intrigued and we had to go out there to look at the Santa house.

Then it occurred to me, Santa's house was in a different location this year and this was a little excessive, there were holiday sale signs in the store windows already. That's when I saw the "Filming in progress" sign. Ah-ha! I was in the mall on a Saturday when the film crews are off for the day!

I live in Southern California, filming happens quite often. In fact, you know you've been in L.A. a long time when you find filming an annoyance because it's in your way. As was the case two weeks ago when I was picking up my older son from school and a film crew was filming scenes across the street from the school. Traffic was all backed up. [if you someday see a Disney movie about a couple skateboarding kids - that's it.]


I watched Life Wednesday night and stayed tuned for previews of the next episode. Next week is the pre-Christmas episode filmed at my local mall! A pet grooming store featured is actually a robot building and racing store for kids. It'll be fun seeing the finished product. So watch Life next Wednesday and check out my local mall! (Oh yeah, like you're really going to Tivo it for that reason... Ha-Ha!)

In the meantime, we went back to Joanne's last Saturday, the day after Halloween...You guessed it, the REAL Christmas decorations are already up! It's not even Thanksgiving yet!

At least Santa's house is in the right spot.

Au Revoir!

Photo Story Friday - Just One of Those Days

On Sunday the G.I.D. left for work, (yes, for those of you who are new here, The Guy I Dig works on the weekends) while Harrison and I got in the car to go to church.

Only we didn't get far.

It wouldn't start. The battery is fine, the alternator is fine, the starter is - not so fine.


Harrison cried. He wanted to go to church. Now I'm home all day with a Preschooler that won't nap and is whiny. Just my Luck. (Did I mention it was cold and wet outside from a light rain - not park weather. Not for me at least.)

What do you do with a Preschooler on a long cold day when you both wanted to be somewhere else? Feed him.

Better yet - have him help make not one, but two batches of Pumpkin Muffins.

From scratch.

That worked. He was in foodie-heaven.

But He still didn't nap.

Photo Story is Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
PhotoStory Friday

Oh and if you want the recipes, there are
here (for the bumpy muffin - as Harrison calls it) and here. Next time I think I'll try the recipe from Angry Chicken.


Six Randon Things You Never Wanted to Know About Me

Cara at Mia Due Bambini tagged me for 6 Random Things about Me.

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person or persons who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

So here goes six things 'cause I know you care really care...

1. I love to listen to Abba and The Carpenters to get into a creative mindset.

2. My favorite movie when I was a tween was Car Wash (and I still love the song)

3. To this day I have a fear of closing elevator doors and will jump back if it begins to close

4. I used to only drink white wine until I met my husband, now I only drink red wine

5. Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress, James Stewart is my favorite actor, Frank Capra is my favorite director. (does that count for 3 facts??)

6. I live by a beach (which I love) but I hate sand.

Seriously, I'm not that interesting at all. If you want more random facts about me, you can check them out here.

Now I don't mind getting tagged really; but I hate tagging other people so I'm going to be a rebel and not tag anyone specifically.

Although, if you read this, consider yourself tagged. And if you want to participate in this tagging - please do! Then let me know - I want to read your random facts!

Hasta la Vista!

Back the the Old Comment Format

Well, Blogger thought they have a good thing with embedded comments (I thought so), but apparently it's not working for some of us. Thanks Kat for letting me know.

No wonder there were only crickets yesterday.

So who did go get free ice cream or coffee? I want to know. (Believe it or not , I wasn't in the mood for either! - So unlike me.)

Now if I can only resolve the new problems I've encountered recently with uploading pictures. I used to be able to quickly resize in Edit Html - but not so much anymore. And they used to automatically resize when uploaded from Flickr - again, not anymore. any ideas?


Halloween, Circa 19 - -

I had planned on posting this before Halloween but I was having some issues with the computer I use to scan pictures with. I wanted to share some Halloween of years past that I encountered with the help of my mother.

I think the reason I panic over Halloween and costumes is that I don't have the gifting the my mother had in the way of sewing. (Not that I have the electrical cord to my sewing machine anyway...)

My mom made several of my Halloween costumes over the years, talk about a blessing. I often wish I had her around, if anything to give me an extra boost of encouragement on the path of parenting. Luckily Harrison is only three. So there is plenty of time to step up to the plate. (or is it bat? Yah. Puns and me... we don't get along well.)

Take a picture trip down memory lane with me. (Because you've seen lots of cute little pumpkins in their contemporary costumes. Wouldn't it be fun to have more of us moms embarrass ourselves with the past?)

Let's start here, now is this a princess, or what?? Long before the Disney Princess rampage. (not sure why that tag on the picture reads Dec.) Can you believe that hoop skirt? Um, made by mom. Check out the lacy headdress - my mom was AMAZING with a coat hanger! All I can do with one is unlock a car door. Not so impressive. I think I won a costume contest with this Halloween entry.

Skip ahead a few years and you have a couple of bums with Ho-Bo makeup - last minute costumes with the help of my mom. There was a reason for the "last minute" I can no longer recall though.

Then there was the Empire State Building. That was a fun one. By this time I was in Jr. High and treat-or-treating was about going out with friends to run around and seeing IF anyone would still give us candy if we knocked on their door. My mom and I glued all those little black squares on the building. We attached "King Kong" to the top and off I went. The costume was a hit but at one point I didn't quite make it over a chain link fence that my friends decided to hop as a shortcut. King Kong took his final dramatic topple of the tower just like in the movies and I had to carry him the rest of the way home.
Back to the easy route after that. This is 10th grade, I remember the costume well, and my first official High School party I went to. The giant hat was made out of black poster board, my face was painted green but didn't show up that way in any of the pictures. Hmm, was I a good witch of a bad witch??

11th Grade, this costume was a BIG hit! I wore it to my high school Halloween dance - they actually let me stay! Got me my first date with a really cute guy (and my second kiss -ever - on THAT date!) Good times. Good Times.
My mom made this puppy from scratch, based on my specs of what I wanted and then she just went to town! No pattern, nothing [except a strapless bra that fit me] Click for a larger version for the detail. My mom rocked! (Now I get to say- this one's for Kat. Is this considered my ho-bag stage? LOL!!)

My Senior year I thought I would play it cool after my junior year. We had yellow polka dot fabric that reminded me of Minnie Mouse so mom helped me out with a cute little costume that we designed together. I even had pantaloons under the little mini skirt! (good thing as I whipped up that skirt while standing in line at a liquor store waiting for a friend to buy beer.) You can ask the friend in this picture why I did that - she probably remembers! Not me. Just so people were clear, Micky went with me. I resurrected this outfit in college - I like quick and easy.

My first year of college was typical, first time away from home, busy with studies, making friends, finding my niche - no time for costumes. So on a weekend at home, my mom helped me get my girlfriend and me together with a couple of her old polyester mini-dresses from the 70's and fun accessories and makeup. Bing, bang, boom - we're done! You gotta love the 80's for the simple fact that you can wear these clothes and say you're a punk-rocker! Or you can wear these clothes and say that you're a punk-rocker. I'm in the middle, my friend to the right. Unfortunately, I can't find the full view picture anymore with the wild tights, etc. As Trannyhead would say, we were HAWT!
So out of college and on to real life. (As if college isn't real...) Eek gad! The first year that I was totally on my own. No pictures (well I have one but it doesn't do justice) I put on a mini-skirt that I had which reminded me of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, braided my hair and called it a day - or a costume. Again - love those 80's fashions! They were so versatile!

The last couple of times I dressed up for Halloween was the year after my mom passed away. I was a gypsy which consisted of two layered skirts that my mom had made for me years previous, more of that rockin' 80's fashion with my cool vest (I had a lot of vests) and jewelry left to me.

And finally, I was a biker chic. Check out that giant turquoise necklace that belonged to my mom. Man, she really wore that thing seriously at one time? let me tell you - it's freakin' HEAVY.

So there you go, a little trip down Halloween costume memory lane. Better late then never! Well maybe that's not true - but you got all the way down here. All I have left to say is -

Auf Wiedersehen!

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