Monday, August 31, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook~August 31, 2009

To join in focusing on the simple things and pleasures of your daily life or to read other people's entries, you can click here.

So, For Today...Monday, August 31, 2009

Outside my window...It is barely daylight and our American Flag is gently blowing in the breeze. I love being able to see it from my window. It adds some brilliant color to all the greenery of the trees outside. It is supposed to be a lot cooler again today. On Saturday we had temperatures between 103 and 107 reported in our area. One thing is for matter what the actual number was it was incredibly HOT! The air was so still it felt like you could cut it with a knife. Ugh! Those are the day I hate not having A/C. But like true pioneers...we survived it. Sunday we were so thankful for the fog rolling into the bay and cooling things down over 20 degrees. Along with that cooling came a nice breeze....ahhh, so nice.

I am thinking...this week looks a lot less hectic than last week on paper. We'll it actually plays out!

From the learning room...I am learning that I can do just about anything if I set my mind to it. Being positive and hopeful and having faith in ourselves, as well as in God, are paramount to success.

From the kitchen...I have learned that I spend less on groceries if I shop on Mondays~after the weekend, not right before. It also seems better for eating healthy foods as there seems to be a bigger mindset for treats on the weekend but if they are not in the house...all the better. So grocery shopping is on my agenda for today.

I am wondering....what kind of a mess painting the exterior of the house will stir up as I have just finished cleaning up from the windows and doors project. Ahh, the dust, but it is well worth it. I need to get all the outsides of the new windows washed today or tomorrow. I am weird I guess, but I like to wash windows.

I am wearing..Snoopy PJ's bottoms and a white shirt. I am so boring on this response each week but I did buy a new pair of PJ's last week for a sleepover I am going to later in the month. Yep, occasionally we still do that. A bunch of us ladies are going to a two day conference in September just for women. Woohoo!

I am reading...Yet another diet book.

I am creating...order out of chaos~deep cleaning the cottage. No options with all the just has to be done.

I am praying for...a few older friends that are having serious health issues~getting old is not always a fun thing. I am praying for family members especially the kids as they are getting into their new school year and for Laura who is home schooling Spencer this year. Lots of work for mom but better for Spencer and she does a super job of it so it takes a lot of her time and energy. Today is day one of 5th grade for him. And I am hoping little Zachary loves Kindergarten.

I am hearing....Stormy Weather by a new singer to me..Max Raabe that I discover through Lowell. If you love music from the 20s and 30s check out this guy. Very fun music.

I am get organized for the new month, do the budget, buy birthday cards and gifts, stock the pantry (or larder as Marie, my sweet friend from England calls it, read about hers here), set some short term goals, etc.

I am quoting...Jesus Christ..."As I have loved you, love one another."

My spiritual thoughts include..being thankful for all the people who share our belief in Christ and in living a good life. I am so weary of reading about all the evil and sin in this world and love knowing so many good people that bless our lives daily by following His teachings as we try to survive in this messed-up world.

Around the house...there is always something to do to improve our little corner of the earth.

Today I brother, Steve, he and Emily are in Europe today and they left us their Itinerary. Today they are in Berlin. Hopefully they are enjoying every minute.

I am get some genealogy and family history things done this week.

I have been procrastinating...getting all our photos tagged in iPhoto but I am working on it a little each day. Getting it done will be wonderful!

One of my favorite things...linen spray from HomeGoods. They have great fragrances and they make your bedroom linens smell heavenly!

A few plans for the rest of the week...Just the usual homemaking things and a fun Luau with church friends for our Relief Society opening social. Getting the house painting scheduled, getting with our travel agent for Italy plans. Maybe some tentative plans for a family reunion with Jim's cousin on November 1st. And a definite out my clothes closet!

Here is are 3 pictures and a thought I am sharing with you...These photos are about being brave and overcoming fear. Our granddaughter, Julia, got her ears pieced on her 9th birthday last week. In their family the girls can get their ears pierced at age 8 if they want to do it.

Julia had waited forever to get it done last year. Somehow she missed that you could not take the earrings out for several weeks and took them out one day at school because they were bothering her. The holes had closed up before she got home. She was so sad and tried to have it done again a few weeks later when we were out visiting. She wanted to do it so badly but the memory of the little gun was too fresh. She cried and cried because she was too afraid to do it. Her Mom told her she could try again when she turned nine. This year she faced her fear and did it. Because I know how scared she was last year, I am so proud of her facing that fear and having faith that it would be OK. She is just so happy now and no little girl I have ever known (except maybe her Aunt Laura) is more in love with all things for her this is a good thing.) Overcoming our fears is something that is always hard...she did it!

Making the decision

Doing it!

Happy about her victory!

And that is my daybook for today! Make it a great week!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wrap Rage

I found this article quite informative and ♥ the accompanying video for the "How To" part.

clamshell packaging
(Photo: Aprille Clarke / Flickr)

"Dealing with "clamshell" or "oyster" packaging (the rigid, sealed plastic that lots of electronics come in) can be a real nightmare. In fact, the term "wrap rage" was coined to describe the anger and frustration that inevitably arises when trying to pry the ubiquitous packaging open.

Thousands of people end up in emergency rooms each year with lacerations and puncture wounds from battling with the nearly impossible-to-open packaging. Many more get minor wounds from using sharp objects to open packages, according to American Medical News."

Read the rest here:

I haven't tried cracking the case like this but I am going to the next time I have one of those monsters. Just thought you'd wanna know! B

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Our Little Foodie!

The Pampered Chef!

~Decisions Decisions~
This could possibly be
The cutest picture I have seen this year.

I'm reserving judgment though
Because just about everyday
We get new ones!

Hazel helping Mamma and Chloe
make cupcakes for Julia's birthday

I am definitely having this one printed
and hanging it in our kitchen some place!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Guess What?

My Beautiful Chocolate Eyes!

If you have an eight or nine year old in your life I bet you hear that phrase a lot. Guess what seems to be the prelude to a lot of fun information shared by that age group. Of course you rarely can actually guess what is actually on their minds, but it is a fun thing nonetheless that seems to exude their enthusiasm. The enthusiasm is not just for what they are about to tell you but is about how they view life in general. Guess what is an indication that they are on the brink of discovery every minute and it truly seems to be that time in life when they grow out of being a little child into someone who is accountable and growing up.

So Guess What? Today Julia is turning nine years old! Leaving her tiny girl self behind she is becoming a young woman in many ways. And Guess What? That is a happy thing and kind of a sad thing for a Gramma and Grampa all at the same time. Thank heavens, Heavenly Father gives us a memory (and here's hoping we get to keep it!) so that we can always remember the sweetness of her babyhood and when she was a tiny girl.

Wasn't this just yesterday?

Happy Birthday, Miss Julia!

Here is her most recent photo with her Grampa!

Here she is on her baptism day
just last September.

Did you know that Julia Mae and I have our own song? We like Jake Simpson best for this one but Stevie will have to do! We both love this song and I cannot hear it without thinking of her. So I am embedding it here for her birthday. And I ask you, isn't she lovely?

She and I also love to dance together in their basement with the music turned up loud so here's another one of our favorites.

Here she is putting all that good dance practice to good
use at the Farmer's Market night time Beatles revival!

Julia we love you with all of our hearts. You are outstanding in every way!
Have a wonderful Birthday! Wish we were there!

Bard International Website

Here are nine cakes...enjoy!

All Our love,
Gramma and Grampa

and one to grow on XO


Lovin' that iPhone~here are some
Presents From This Morning!

This bike looks so retro~love it!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Have You Been Fed Today?

I received this gift from a friend and wanted to share it with each of you.

No Ordinary Thursday For Me

Mike and Gabrielle August 27, 2009

Today I am going to a wedding. In our church occasionally people get married or sealed in the Temple on a week day and then have their reception on the weekend. That is exactly what Mike and Gabe have chosen to do. We love this young couple and are so happy to see this delightful day arrive. Gabrielle is one of the most special of all the young single women that we worked with in the Young Single Adult ward for so many years. We don't know Mike as well as he served his mission during our time in the ward but we do know him well enough to be thrilled by this marriage. They will have a wonderful life together and we are so happy for them.

So this is where I am headed later this morning
and that is why this is no ordinary Thursday for me!
Or for them!

~The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints~
Oakland California Temple

The difference between day and night!

I'll take some photos and add them in later today. Saturday night Jim and I are helping at their reception. We are in charge of the chocolate fountain for three hours. can never take that first bite when you have this detail for three hours! Should be fun!

The Bride and Groom as they stepped out of the Temple today!

The wedding was beautiful, very spiritual, and touching. Gabrielle made a gorgeous bride! She is so statuesque and lovely and I have never seen her looking prettier or happier than today! I love the touch of red on her lips, dress and train and she had the cutest, red, patent leather shoes ever. I'll try for a full length view of this magnificent dress on Saturday night. I don't want to do the total reveal if you are going to the reception! If you are, head over to the chocolate fountain~we'll be there waiting for you! I wonder how long it will take us to mess up our white shirts? Loved today...It was such a beautiful experience and not your typical Thursday at, not one bit.


The Love Birds

I wish I knew how to add a little red along the edge of this train!
You'll have to use your imagination!

Gabrielle~she's an angel all right!
Taken the night of their reception!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guardian Angel

Double Click to see his eyes!
It would be spooky if he wasn't such a nice angel!

Do you ever buy something that is just kind of weird but you have to have it for some reason? There is this little shop in Lafayette called The Hen House and the proprietor has the most funky, old and new things in there. One time a long time ago I went in and she had these funny little angels. They all had different faces and glass eyes. The head and wings are kind of a cement/garden element kind of material, maybe plaster? For reasons I cannot explain... I just fell in love with this little guy. I think I should give him a name!

I use to have him outside by the front door but when we redecorated our entry way I put him over the hall tree so you can see him when you first walk into the house. Since then I have thought of him as our little guardian angel. Anyway, just one of my little treasures I am sharing today.

Elements for nesting the home really "talk to me" when I am out and about. I would think this was pretty weird but Jim says food "talks to him" too! Every once in awhile he will just throw open the cupboards and frig and make something delicious and creative out of what I call, empty cupboards~time to go shopping. It always does amaze me. One of the things always talking to him is garlic!

Are we just a couple of weirdos who found each other and rightly so, or do things talk to you too?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


There is a wonderful new site called (In)Courage that I am thoroughly enjoying and it is so inspiring I wanted to share it with you today. This is what their header on the blog looks like and I am sharing it because I think their slogan sums up beautifully what the blog to designed to do.

Take Hope To Heart

This blog is written by a group of Christian women who share many of the same experiences we all have as we struggle through our daily lives trying to do it all and be all things to all people. One of the things I love about this site is that they publish just one article a day giving you time to read it and think about the lessons within. All the posts I have read focus on encouragement and real issues faced by real women.

One of my favorite blog authors as I have shared numerous times is Melissa Michaels from The Inspired Room. This is Melissa's article today on (In)Courage. I found it so timely and inspiring and above all encouraging. Try it, you'll like it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Spencer's Cookies

I am really enjoying the Blogger feature~Linked Within. It makes three suggestions of possible related posts at the end of each post. I came across this one and thought you might like to read it if you haven't before so am re -running it today. It is about faith and obedience and gratitude and blessings. It was originally published on May 6, 2008. Spencer is now 10.

I have learned so many lessons in life from our grandchildren. Spencer continues to teach me and I have been thinking a lot about this lately. Spencer was born with food allergies. Not just your everyday type food allergies where you get a scratchy throat or a little runny nose, but he is allergic to peanuts and soy. You cannot begin to realize unless you have been around these two allergies how incredibly difficult they can make your life. For one, peanuts do not cause an allergic reaction in the familiar sense...they are a deadly poison to people that have the problem. I think they should be classified as a poison, period.

Children and adults with severe problems with peanuts can go into anaphylactic shock from just inhaling the dust of a peanut, smelling one or touching something that someone with peanut oil on their hands has previously touched.

Our trip on the train to Utah a few years ago
at Christmas time.
Laura should own stock in Handiwipes.
She cleaned the entire train area
where Spencer would be sitting.

Spencer's seat on the train is covered by a sheet
to protect him from the dirty seats.

It is hard to imagine the trauma this can cause for the parents of children afflicted with this. Every time you leave your own nut free home you are at risk, you can never let your guard down. Think about the ramifications of carts, handrails, other kids houses and toys, playgounds, movie theaters, airplanes...the list is endless. You carry an epi-pen every time you leave your house praying you never need it. You never have a day when you can afford to forget to pray for protection and safety.

When you add soy to the mix things get even more complicated. Soy is in almost every product you can buy~check a few labels sometime. Places where you would never is lurking. Spencer has never been able to go to a birthday party and have cake and ice cream with the other kids, have a pizza from a pizza parlor, go trick or treating, eat at a restaurant unless Laura and Robert are completely familiar with every aspect of the products used, kitchen, chef, etc. That has happened so rarely you can count the visits on one hand. Laura and Robert have to bring food with them everywhere they go to keep him safe. You should have seen the food prep that went on when we got ready to travel around Italy for 11 days. We had 6 people for three days and 5 for 8 days. That is 138 meals and 92 snacks that were planned, purchased and assembled before we left. We had to have hotels with kitchens and we all ate this way most of the time to limit the times Spencer would have to sit in a restaurant with his own food.

Amazing parents!

One of their biggest jobs is educating others who don't understand that this is a very serious problem that can be fatal. Another thing you have to do is speak very frankly to your toddler and teach them early that peanuts can kill them. Imagine how hard this is when you just want your little one to have the innocence of that young and tender age and they don't even know what~it can kill you~ really means.

The Lord knew what He was doing when he sent his precious son, Spencer, to Laura and Robert..they have been beyond amazing in caring for him. This affliction is a lot like interest on your never rests, it never takes a vacation, you can never ignore it. We are so proud of their family! Spencer has been so disciplined in this whole thing~you would not even believe what children are capable of when the need and desire is there. Spencer will be 9 on May 11th. This is what he has taught me.

You must have Faith. Faith in God, faith in yourself and faith in someone other than his case his parents, grandparents, and other adults looking out for his best interest.

He knows that the things that seem like restrictions in his life actually are the avenue to his freedom. Why can't I be more like that? When Heavenly Father says is for my good. How does a little boy learn this so young and it takes most of us a life time of struggle?

You Must Be Obedient. Spencer is obedient when his parents say, no you cannot have that, it is not safe. He simply obeys, even when he wants to do otherwise. Why can't I be more like that?

You Must Trust Others. When everyone else has something you want and you alone cannot have it~ you realize that everyone has trials and tribulations and this one is yours to it or do it. You don't understand why this has happened to you but you believe your parents, you do what they say and you benefit because of it. That is Spencer...why can't I be more like him? When everyone else is having a gelato, you quietly drink a Fanta soda and you find your own joy in that. Whoa, to be like that...!

You Feel God's Love for You Even in Your Afflictions. Spencer loves God and his family and feels their love in return, because of this he is a happy person in spite of his problems. You don't blame God for your issues, you just know that he allows these things in our lives to make us stronger. You realize that only good things come from God and He gives you the strength to cope with the hard things if we will just trust Him and be obedient. Wouldn't we all love to be more like that?

You Teach Others By Your Example. Spencer does this everyday. These are just a few of the reasons we love him so much and his parents who have taught him so well. And his little brother, Ross who has made many sacrifices also to help Spencer.

You Must Be Grateful
. When Laura was able to find soy free chocolate chips at about $8.00 a pound from a mail order place..Spencer got his first ever chocolate chip cookies. Now you know why Spencer looks so happy in this photo and why we are so proud and humbled to be his grandparents! You also know why this picture is so important to us. How often we take for granted something so ordinary that can be such a big special deal to someone else. Gratitude is so important in the little things!

God bless you with safety always, Spencer James!

The Little Sisters

Look how cute this is.
The girls are watching something
on Mom and Dad's TV
and Chloe just rolled Hazie
on up on top of her so she could
have a hug and better view!
So Sweet!

A Simple Woman's Daybook~August 24, 2009

To join in focusing on the simple things and pleasures of your daily life or to read other people's entries, you can click here.

So, For Today...Monday, August 24, 2009

Outside my window...still very much night time...the days are getting shorter and autumn is in the air. The weekend was very mild with gentle, cooler breezes. I haven't checked the temperature forecast but am betting it will be another mild, sunny day. Right now I can still see stars through the trees...maybe I'll make a wish. Haven't done that since I was a girl.

I am thinking...we need rain this year so badly. Things are looking a little down trodden and not as green without it.

From the learning room...I read a quote this morning I really liked. Speaking of morning as being the time of day when we are 25 times more susceptible to our thoughts, Janice Taylor the founder of The Kick in the Tush Weight Loss Program said we should think happy thoughts first thing each day. She suggested, "Today is an amazing day filled with opportunities and joy." I like that. Our thoughts always precede our actions.

From the kitchen...I definitely need to make a menu plan for the week. Dinner guests are coming tomorrow night. They are the missionaries from our church and I am trying to remember what I fed them last month. Should be keeping a record of that is the thought that comes to my mind.

I am wondering...if anyone is actually still following me on Twitter? I opened an account and haven't done much with it. If you are a follower..sorry about that. I just can't get interested in that social network. I have all to do to keep up with my blog.

I am wearing..nightgown, I know boring, huh?

I am reading...your blog posts and enjoying them very much! They include a wealth of knowledge and information, thoughtful contributions, and fun. They are very enriching to my life.

I am creating...some tentative trip plans with input from James and Laura and Robert. We want to go up to Milan this time and see The Last Super. Did you know the bigger than life size painting is kept in a temperature controlled vault and only 25 people can view it at one time? Hope the lines aren't forever long! Hoping we can reserve a time to visit like they have in many of the other Italian museums.

I am praying for...More success in my struggles.

I am hearing....Norah Jones singing Nightingale.

I am be buying our new Canon Powershot SD780 IS ELPH this week. We have been researching it all and decided on this camera,. It is compact and rated very high by Consumer Reports, so Jim is satisfied with the selection.

I am quoting...Winston Churchill, "Success is going from failure to failure with enthusiasm." In other words...Never Give Up!

My spiritual thoughts include...wondering how people that are not grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ find answers to their questions or find peace, inspiration or solace in any of their difficulties? Call me crazy, but how does that work really and truly?

Around the house...All windows are in except for 2 and one door. So that is being finished in the next 2 days and I can get things back together. It is like moving without going anywhere. Such fun! Not really, but I do love the results. I am setting Wednesday aside for cleaning all day! I have been cleaning as we go but it is still feeling like there is some fine sawdust lurking around. The next thing on the agenda is painting the exterior. Maybe next week or so?? I just have schedule it with the painter.

Today I miss...the summer tomatoes and am hoping to find one more big bag of good ones from the Farmer' Market tomorrow.

I am hoping...I get my rather hefty "to do " list done today.

I have been procrastinating...
paper work...ugh!

One of my favorite things...feeling like I am on top of the goals I set for each day and working on the long term ones as well. Those moments seem fleeting but they are as reinforcing as hitting a jackpot in Las Vegas!

A few plans for the rest of the week..working in our warehouse to get the inventory we picked up on Saturday organized and put away so we can de-stage another house next weekend. A wedding and reception coming up this week, cooking and cleaning, and writing a special blog post for our little Julia's 9th birthday on Friday. Mailing her card and birthday bucks today and getting a package of things off to Italy for Laura's family. And oh yeah, getting the new camera. It is going to be a busy week of running around and working hard.

Here is are 2 pictures and a thought I am sharing with you...

It is coming! I am ready!

Our Granddaughter, Aynslee
One Cute Kid!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Civility~A Forgotten Virtue

We are not on the planet alone!

I have been thinking a lot about civility for some time and have been wanting to share some thoughts here about it. As defined by Gordon B. Hinckley in his book, Standing For Something,"Civility carries with it the essence of courtesy, politeness, and consideration of others. All of the education and accomplishments in the world will not count for much unless they are accompanied by marks of gentility, of respect for others, of going the extra mile."

Sometimes I feel like I live in two different worlds. There is our circle of wonderful friends and family like you and our amazing church community, co-workers and neighbors for whom we have the highest regard. They are loving and caring and wonderful people~courteous, respectful and always willing to serve their fellowman. Then there is the world outside of that that is a whole different ball game.

How is the world treating you these days?
It seems that we are living among a society of people that is losing its civility; the common courtesy that would truly make life better. When out and about we constantly hear "Have Nice Day" but do we contribute to that "Nice Day" in a real way for each other? Or has it just become a phrase with no meaning whatsoever? I think I can answer my own question on that~to quote the Righteous seems we've lost that lovin' feeling. It is a nice gesture but so often they are just empty words.

I like to do a little social experimenting when I go out in public these days. As I do some people watching, I repeatedly see that we live in an angry, impatient, selfish era. I purposely smile, use my best manners, etc. and people are absolutely rude most of the time. I have noticed that if I say "excuse me," or "thank you," make eye contact or whatever...people look at me like I am an alien or they totally ignore the interaction.

To be fair this is of course, not everyone but I see it so often it is disturbing. People are constan
tly posturing and putting up their defenses. I hope it is not that way where you live. What is really disturbing when I do these little experiments is that after a child gets past the baby stage they are the same way. Next time you go shopping just try to get a four year old to smile back at you. One will smile while four will just scowl.

Letting someone in will not get you there that much later!

I also see it in families. I hate it when people yell at their kids and speak so demeaningly to them, anywhere, but especially when it is in public and adds to their humiliation as well as hurting their feelings. You see disrespect for people and their property just about everywhere. Has anyone keyed your car lately, cut you off in traffic, stolen something of yours, or been sarcastic? Do they text and talk loudly on their phones and play their car stereos for you constantly with absolutely no regard for what you might be doing?? Do they litter up your yard, "borrow" your newspaper, or use filthy language in your presence or blow smoke in your face? I see that here a lot. Annoying, isn't it? The flagrant disregard for others is so sad. It is a 'me first' type of world and the heck with anyone else. And when people feel anonymous they are even more rude.

Call me old-fashioned, but I like nice people. I also like to be nice. And I know that any changes need to start with each individual. So I am going to continue to be practicing civility in public and in private because if it helps one person have a better day...that is worth it...even if it is only me. I am a bit of a Pollyanna in this way, but I just want the whole world to be a nicer place. What is so hard about being by the Golden Rule?? That is just the way I want the world to be. I know I do not always get what I want, but I still keep trying to do my part. I am getting a little jaded about it though. But I will just continue being nice because I know it is the right thing to do.

I don't mean this to sound like a totally negative post and I know someday I will write one about the magnanimous and benevolent characteristics of total strangers. But for today, I would just like to see more kindness in the small things in life. A checker that says 'thank you' when you leave their check stand with the bags that keep them employed, someone that lets you in a long line of traffic, smiles for no good reason except to be kind, etc.

I often think about how kindness is a valued virtue in the south. I loved visiting there when Laura and Robert were in Mississippi. Kindness and gentility still exist somewhere. I observed people are more genuine and civil. I just like that. What does it hurt to just be nice?

Instead of just having a good day...we can make it a good day. It doesn't take that much effort to scatter a little sunshine all along your way! And if these people can't muster that up, I do wish they would at least be civil and decent! Life is tough enough as it is, we need to lift each other along the way. I am thankful for all of you that already do!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Benicia the Beautiful!

Today I had a wonderful play date with my sister, Marilyn. Marilyn is my brother, Gary's, wife and we decided to meet for lunch in Benicia. It is located conveniently about midway between our two towns. Benicia was the original State Capitol of CA and has a lot of fun and historic sites; for a small, sleepy town, that is. It is nestled on a little cove with the prettiest waterfront property you can imagine. I love Benicia because through thick and thin times, it has managed to keep its small town ambiance and charm.

I could not resist going a little early and meandering around the streets a little before lunch. Probably the most well known site in Benicia is it's beautiful gazebo in the little town square park. It was just gorgeous today...this is what my camera lens saw.

Here is their welcome sign

And a close-up of those amazingly beautiful red flowers.

The little streets are so cute and quaint!

This is where we had lunch.

This is traditionally strictly a ladies' establishment. It is so beautifully appointed and all things feminine. We were shocked to see three men in their today (not together but with various women) invading our women's club! (Just kidding but it was weird to see them there eating their little crumpets with their tea. I tried not to notice if they were holding their tea cups with their little pinkies in the air!)

I didn't take any photos inside just in case someone was supposed to be doing laundry and cooking dinner but had slipped out for a touch of elegance and a little afternoon tea with her friends! They have a wonderful menu but I always love to order their traditional tea with the three tiers servers which is just delightful. Little bits of scones with jam and clotted cream, cucumber and other little finger sandwiches, little tarts. Everything is just so sweet~we loved it. They serve all kinds of tea I always get the herbal peppermint, it is very soothing. And the food was very well prepared and is always all homemade right there on the premises.

As we chatted of course the conversation always comes around to blogging (oddly enough) and I was telling her about the series I did on keeping connected with family. She agreed. We are just going to slide each other's families up several notches on the priority scale and decided right then and there to meet each month for a similar type relaxing girl time together.

Sometimes it is just a matter of being aware of something and then calendaring it to make it happen. This seems to be a big problem in our day and time, but we are going to remedy it in our extended family starting now. And we are going to invite Emily (Steve's wife) to join us too.
They are leaving for Europe tomorrow so I know she could not have come today but next month she's in! I love that! No wonder I blogging, it makes me think past the moment sometimes and improve my life.

You know you are a blogger when...
You take a photo in the restroom.
This cute needlework picture of the Tea Room
was hanging in their darling bathroom.

I enjoyed my few hours in Benicia with Marilyn so much. I saw beauty all around me and it was impressive. Since I was in the 'searching for beautiful photo ops mode', while driving home I saw things in our own town that I normally would have passed by, thinking of something else. Why is it that we need to go somewhere else to see the beauty that is ours to enjoy at every turn?

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder but it also requires a brain that is not multi-tasking all the time. Maybe that is why the 'get away" is best for spying the beauty of the earth sometimes. Whatever it is I love to go on them!

Our town! Both taken at a stop light!

I took this one over my left shoulder
as the traffic was just starting to move.
Yikes good thing I didn't get a ticket!
For a blogger it is the camera not
the cell phone~ a new source of revenue
for the Police...shhh, don't tell.
I promise I will be good from now on!