Thursday, July 31, 2008

Love Thursday - Chance and Casey

Check out the look of love on Chance's face as he watches his silly brother. :D

Happy Love Thursday to you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Big Boys Like Bubbles, Too

Ruby Tuesday - Owen Playing

I had fun shooting Owen yesterday. He's such a sweet little guy. Here he is in the Little Tikes car that all the kids have loved. Here he is in a different sort of car on the playground. I got some shots of Ashlee and Trinity on this car the day before. Ashlee sat on the steering wheel and sang this little song. It went, "Butt driving, I'm driving with my butt.... butt driving." She's such a funny kid.
And he's off............

Monday, July 28, 2008

Two Days With the Boys

I just was able to spend most of the past two days with my favorite guy and his sweet boy. We had a great visit. With his new job, he's able to get two days off in a row, but he's got a 6 hour drive down, then a 6 hour drive back home, so the time we spend together went pretty quickly.

I came to this wondeful realization though this weekend. I wrote about it in my Dating column. It's basically this - after one year (today is our anniversary) I am finally feeling "just fine" right where we are at. I'm not in a big hurry to have more, these visits, they are all I can handle with things the way they are at my house right now. Someday things will change and that will be fine, but right now, I'm good. I miss my guy, but these kids have me pretty busy right now.

Sarah and Owen had fun today. She's pretty good with little guys. We got out the bubbles and the kids loved them, but not as much as Steve did. I'll share a photo of him bubbling later.
I turned on the sprinkler for him and he wanted the water to go stronger, so he grabbed the hose and shook it. Hard, really hard. That kid is really strong.
S was playing with his new phone. It's got some pretty cool features. I think he was golfing on it here.
I tried to fit us both in the shot.
Those boys should be just about home by now. I hope their drive went well. Owen got about 4 hours-nap worth of play in before they left. That kid, he's adorable.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

100th Post :D

I spent Friday and Saturday with my sister and her family. Here's Mom with my niece, Trinity. I took a lot of photos of Trinity. She likes to "model," but she's quick, changing from pose to pose - all of her own idea - and sometimes her face is a blur or it looks as if she has three eyes.
Sunday my brother's family came over in the evening and we sat outside and enjoyed the rest of the day. The weather has been wonderful this past week - only in the 90s.
S and his son, Owen arrived this morning, but they have to leave tomorrow afternoon. Here's a message from Owen. vvx lhmyc`gy7bcx As he typed that, he whispered, "Dada dada......" His dad is running an errand. Well, that's about it for now. This is my 100th post, but I'm exhausted from my weekend of fun. And I'm wrestling Owen for control of the keyboard. He's so darn cute.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Evening - Ack! I'm Running Out of Time!

I have to make this quick - I'm running out of time and I have to get my exercise in before I am absolutely without energy. I posted for the first time to Dating Dames, my new job. WooHoo! It's just an intro - I'll get into the actual dating talk tomorrow.
My box is not letting me double space for a new paragraph.....grr...... that is aggravating. Let me try again. Nope, still not doing it. I will have to push this all into one paragraph........ My sister is on her way down for a visit with her family. Yay! My boyfriend, who I will now refer to as "S" is possibly arriving for a visit Saturday night. That's only a maybe, he'll let me know for sure tomorrow. If he comes, he might bring Owen. Owen! I can't wait to see that little guy again. I plan to take a lot of photos of him. And the niece and nephews. I think that this is going to be a great weekend. Now I'm off to run and watch Buffy's "What's My Line, Part 2."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I'm running out of Summer vacation. We go back to school right around the 15th - can't remember the exact date and I'm too lazy to go look it up. I have mixed feelings about returning. I miss the kids at school, but I sure love sleeping in. I like having free time, but I get more done when my day has some structure.

I've been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer as I run on my treadmill. I'm now into Season 2. I watched, "What's My Line, Part 1" today. I'm at mile 13.75 - have to finish by Friday, get that 20 miles in. It's funny how it's never easy for me, never easy. Some runs are not as hard, but I've never had one that felt like it was a breeze. I have to talk myself into finishing that first mile, that second mile, and on and on. I feel so good when I'm done. I feel taller, which I know sounds strange, but maybe I'm standing straighter when I'm done.
Today I had a job interview at Banker's Casualty and Life Insurance. They sell insurance to Seniors. My dad has sold insurance and financial planning since I was 10. He loves his job. In the past I've had some experience with sales. I worked in a health club and sold club memberships. I sold shoes. I sold hair products when I was a hairdresser. I worked for a very, very short time selling magazine subscriptions.

Well, I sold the one and only health club membership that I attempted. I did okay at the shoes. I sold a whole lot of hair products - it was easy, people always wanted to recreate what I'd done at home. I seriously sucked at the magazines. I imagine I would do okay with the insurance. I think it's important to be prepared - I look at my Grandma and my mom and I wish that they were both better prepared.

Another thing to think about, I have to be flexible with my time. I'm not sure that would be possible with this job. Oh well, I'll see if they offer me something and go from there. It was interesting to listen to the presentation anyway. It made me start thinking about my own retirement. And I got to wear a new dress.

Tomorrow I am going to start writing for If you are single and have anything in particular you'd like me to cover over there, please let me know. I think it's going to be fun and I hope to be informative, too.

I'm watching "So You Think You Can Dance," right now. I love this show.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ruby Tuesday - Red Jeep

This evening, I picked up my camera and headed outside to look for something red to shoot. Right across the way, I could see my neighbor's freshly washed Jeep reflecting the trees around it. Ooh, pretty..... so Sarah and I went over to take a look.
This Jeep reminds me of how much I need to wash my own vehicle. Oops. Better get to that tomorrow.
The window worked almost as a mirror here - the colors of the sky look fairly true.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday - Empty Headed Afternoon

Sarah and I are hanging out on the couch watching a Pokemon movie. Have you ever watched Pokemon? It is a very complex world with a long list of characters inhabiting it. And they change, they "evolve." Uh oh, Sarah just saw the picture I used of her and she's not pleased. I love it.

I got a new job offer last night and I've been checking and rechecking my email watching for the contract. I will be writing a dating column. Bay doesn't think that this is a good idea. She started teasing me about how a few years back, I took Sarah on a date with me (we went for a hike) and another time I called a guy and said I couldn't make it because my son was ill when he wasn't, but later he ended up being VERY ill and barfing. I used to date, though, and I read a lot about relationships and I am IN a relationship, so I feel qualified to write on the subject.

When I told Mom, she said, "Oh, I was hoping that meant I could drag you out to meet people with me." Nope, she's going to have to do that on her own or with her single friend.

When I told Steve about the job, he didn't really have anything to say. I don't know why that is. Maybe he's not interested or maybe he was distracted when I told him. He has been working very, very long days, and then he goes home and takes care of his big kids, so I know he's got to be tired. I haven't told him that I started a food blog. He is a little bit of a food snob, so I'm hesitant to share it with him.

I feel like I need a nap.... and a break from these cartoons. Maybe a swim would wake me up.
Did you notice that I lost my steam and I'm just writing a sentence here and there to fill in the area around these photos that I already downloaded?

What I would really, really like to do is to grab my camera, get in the car, and drive around until I find something that I'd like to shoot. Something different. An old building or ....... something that I've never thought of shooting before.

Okay, that's it, I'm officially out of ideas for this entry.

I hope that you are enjoying your weekend.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Evening With the Jonas Brothers

Last night, the girls and I went to see the Jonas Brothers in concert, at the Sleep Train Ampitheatre, in Wheatland, CA. My mom got the tickets for us - how lucky is that? We took Bay's friend, Marissa, with us. She and Bay took off and did their own thing. We were up on the lawn area - really a large comfortable area - and it was pretty hot at first. Demi Lovato was the opening act. She was in the movie, Camp Rock, with the brothers. She is just barely visible above the lady in the black tank to.
It took about 40 minutes for the brothers to get onstage after Demi. I was wishing that I had brought something for us to do at that point. The sun went down and it go so much cooler. Whenever anyone would walk onstage, the girls in the crowd would scream - they were so ready for those brothers when they finally arrived. They came up through the floor on this catwalk thing, that sort of went up, then forward across to the front of the stage, then down. And there was was some smoke and fire and lights.

I'm sorry that I don't have better pictures. I had my point and shoot with me and it doesn't have a big zoom.

Sarah had a blast, singing all the songs.
Later, we went out to the food court area and I noticed that we could see the boys much closer if we stood outside the path that led to the expensive seats. Once, one of the ushers said we had to move because it was a fire lane, but we just stepped back a little and we were fine.

It was a fun night. I love seeing live music. The girls were all wound up - nothing quite compares to a cute boy with a guitar.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Little Bit Wordy With the Wordless Wednesday

Not very wordless, but I still wanted to take part. I'm trying to think of new things to shoot, but it's hard because I'm sort of tethered to home, so I'm shooting things that are just outside the door. I like to try to get the insects - got a bee here - but I saw some incredible insect photos today. I have got to get another lens. I want to be able to see his wings.

My daughter is currently sitting outside, on the grass, looking at the moon, with a boy. And older boy. A senior boy. This is a first around here. I'm worried about the boy riding his bike home in the dark. I went out and asked about a light - truly mortifying my daughter. Sorry honey, I just want the boy to get home safely. I asked him to please think about getting one before he rides at night again. They are snuggle-ish. She is turning 16 in a couple of weeks.

Twenty something years ago, Steve was 16 and I was 17, and we were snuggle-ish. I'm hoping that this pair is not quite as snuggle-ish as we were. I'm pretty sure that they are safe out there on the lawn - there's a whole lot of neighbors moving around out there in the evening.

Steve is hoping to come down next week. He will be bringing his older kids, but not Owen. Dang, I really like that Owen. The older kids are pretty cool, too. I'm thinking up some fun stuff to do - we will have a really limited amount of time together. I'm pretty excited.

I'm also sore. I started running in earnest again this week. I'm taking a slow pace, but putting in time and mileage. I want to get my good habits back in order before my birthday next month. I'm giving some thought to a local 10K next month - on the 2nd. Not sure though, I'm really not ready.

Oh heck, sure I am. I don't have to run a good time, just finish.

I am so glad it's not smokey anymore. I'm sitting here with the windows open and a nice breeze flowing through. Very, very nice.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ruby Tuesday - Red Cannas

I took these out on my patio. The Cannas have been with me a long time, through two moves - my mom's move, when I first dug them out of her yard, and then my own move, from one end of my apartment complex to the other when we needed a larger unit. They love the afternoon sun I get in my newer (5 years) place.

Happy Ruby Tuesday to you!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Peaceful, Easy, Weekend

My weekend has really been good. No big events, just a general calm, which I greatly appreciate.

This morning was not very smokey, so I got out on the patio before the heat hit. I cleaned my litle fountain a bit, added some new rocks, and ran it for the hour plus it took me to cut back and feed my plants. Most of my petunias are a bit spent, so I cut them back. This pot is the exception. I've never grown this particular color before, but I definitely will again.
I found a praying mantis when I was cutting back dried pieces on my little patio tree. Here he is upside down. I climbed the stairs to the little landing that is barely visible in this photo and took some from overhead, as well. It was interesting to see a different view of my patio. It reminded me to take the time to try to present things in a fresh way.
I found this little bee, next to the same tree, on a red canna. Bees are tough, they are always moving and I have a hard time getting them in focus.
Duncan brought this dragonfly by to show me last night. This is the second one he's brought by. Apparently I am now the Dragonfly Lady. I can live with that. Steve explained the lifecycle of the dragonfly to me last Summer. I was so surprised - they begin life as something that lives underwater. Did you know that?
Just in case you are interested, I shared a quick stir-in type pasta recipe over at my cooking blog today. It's simple and you can adapt it in a variety of ways. I like pasta on hot days, because it's quick and doesn't heat up my kitchen too much. If you'd like to see it, it's at

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Stretchy Max, Photos, and French Toast

This morning, I woke with a plan. Okay, well not a plan, but a few ideas. One, I needed to find Max a new pad for his Cloud Nine Pillow. Two, I was hungry for French Toast. I washed my face, combed my hair, put on some shorts, and hit the road.

At JoAnn's I found a 3 inch pad, that was approximately 2.5 ft long, to fill in a smooshed spot in Max's foam pillow perch. I found what I needed for less than $15, took it home, and loaded it into the bag. I got Max out of bed, that kid, he would sleep 24/7 if I allowed it, and he actually stretched out on it. It was, as these small happy surprises are with Max, thrilling. Lately, he has taken to pulling himself into a protective semi-fetal position. To see him stretched out and looking up, it's progress. And for only $15. :D Okay, I didn't load these photos in the correct order, but I'm in a hurry, so I've got to roll with it. I want to learn how to catch the kids mid-run. Here's an attempt I made about a week ago. It's Alana running. The feet look cool, but no amount of messing with the photo could make the body look the way I wanted it to. As soon as the smoke...........
this is a photo with the smoke - can you see it in the background - clears..................
I am going to see if I can get the kids to try again. Right now, I don't want to encourage them to run when the air sucks. Sarah and I have been swimming and we poop out after 30 minutes. It's hard to breathe and really gives us a headache, but we've got to get outside a little bit. I'm trying to re-fit myself. Sometimes, in the evenings, it's clearer and Sarah will go hang out with the neighbor kids.

Speaking of neighborhood kids, 4 of them are moving today. Two families are combining, which is pretty cool. The rest, I know one family is moving in, not sure about the other family. I think it's been hard for people to get through today with the trucks and the trailers.

Lastly, I did make the French Toast. I started a new blog today - a cooking blog at I started it last Spring - only a couple of posts - but I'm moving it over here. I love food and cooking. Please take a look, if you have a chance. Only the one recipe so far, but I will be adding more regularly.

That's it. Happy Saturday to you!

Friday, July 11, 2008


I haven't taken many pictures lately. I would love to get a lense that would allow me to take really close-up pictures of things like spiders or bees or dragonflies. Until that time, this is about the best that I could do. The little bits of white, they are ash stuck on his web. I'm finding it hard to think of interesting things to write about. This Summer kind of sucks. We are stuck inside so much of the time because of the smoke. I feel for the families who are REALLY affected by the fires - those who've been evacuated, those who've lost their homes. I feel guilty that I complain about the annoyance of the smoke, when they are dealing with the actual struggle of the fire. Sarah and I are going to go through our clothes today and find some to donate. She's grown so much, she has quite a bit - I'm already working on a box. Okay, now my publish post box is messing with me - won't allow me to make new paragraphs, which is what I wanted to do with the sentence that starts, "Sarah and I .........." I'm going now. I hope I think of something of some sort of interest to share later.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Creek-y Morning

Sarah and I had a creek morning - just the two of us. Yes, that's Casey in the picture, but unfortunately, he was home in Bakersfield - not at our creek. I just prefer to use a picture with him in it. :D Sarah noticed that it looked very different. I explained to her that it will change daily, depending on the water level and the weather. We didn't see very many polliwogs - last week there were hundreds. We did see a couple of large trout. One kept jumping up and when he broke the surface, we'd turn quickly to try to see him. I never caught him, but Sarah did. The dragonflies landed on me - I like to see them up close.
It was eerie outside today. The light was very orange and there was ash floating down. I like floating on a raft in the creek and when I was on my back, I could see it landing on my legs, my chest, my belly. It was creepy. And sad. Our beautiful California is burning all over the place.

People who have never been here think that California is all like LA, but it's not. There's desert and mountains and incredible coastline. I live up at the top of the Sacramento Valley and let me tell you, there are parts of this valley that are not beautiful, but my town is surrounded by orchards and foothills. There's a park that runs up through town, into the hills - that's the park that I always talk about. Anyway, my point is that it looks nothing like the California where the stars live - the sky is usually blue and clear. This latest fire, I hear that it's in Paradise/Magalia area. A lot of people who live up there are retired. Steve's dad lives there.

Bay's out here now. She is sick and somehow thinks that using the computer will help. I need to go outside and see if I can photograph something for tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday. Good evening to you.

Ruby Tuesday - The Tao of Pooh

Follow your true nature, be like Pooh.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

July 5th

Today feels a bit like the day after Christmas. Sarah and I, we did all this 4th prep and now it's over. We still have our flag-themed nails on, here's my feet and her hands. I'm pretty tired. Last night Sarah was wound up after the fireworks and couldn't go to sleep until after midnight. Bay called at 12:30-ish and wanted to come home, said her friend would drop her, but she needed me to unlock the door. I fell back asleep - she knocked at a bit after 1. I checked Max on my way back to bed and found him hot - as in almost 102 temp. I don't know what happened, he was only at school 2 days because of the smoke and there were hardly any other kids there. I changed him, gave him some Ibuprofen, then tried to go back to sleep. It was hard, he kept having seizures and I had to check on him or he'd call "Mom, mooom," and back I'd go again.

He is a bit more restful today, a little less warm. These are the times I wish he could speak, that he could tell me what hurts. He's laying very still.

I didn't use my camera at all yesterday, so I grabbed it and went out to look at my patio garden. I have new strawberries. Yum. I'm going to point them out to Sarah. Okay, I did, she's on her way out to grab one now. She told me that she'd been eyeing it and that Karlee told her that when it was time she had called it.

I am surprised that I don't have any green tomatoes yet. In the past I've grown Early Girls. Apparently, Heirlooms take longer. Happily, I found a lot of little buds.
Lots of mint. Hhmm.....what should I do with it? I like it's blue-green color.
I have a mini lemon tree. The first year, I had no lemons. The second year, I had two. This year, I have a ......okay, not a bunch, but a few. Yay!
Bay just got up, it's after 3pm. She is sick, too. The teenagers always seem to come down with something at the same time. They are so darn delicate.

When I woke up this morning, I was surprised that my boyfriend was not beside me. I must have dreamed that he was here for a visit. His absence, I'm really feeling it right now. I've felt so emotional lately, sort of raw, and he gives these huge hugs. When he's here, I feel like the heavy weight of my life, my responsibilities, that's it's a little lighter. He's my peace.