Wednesday, October 31, 2012


After two weeks of glorious sunshine, warm weather, meeting many new friends, spending time with old friends, seeing new sights and eating and drinking abundantly, I am finally home.  Altho as I write these words, I can't help but think of those out East who no longer have homes.  Home is a small four lettered word, but is filled with big thoughts of safety, comfort, family, warmth whether you live in a small studio apartment, or a large mansion "there is no place like home."

After flying back to Chicago last night from Phoenix and being delivered to my front door by a limo driver, I unlocked the front door and walked back into the comfort of my home.  The aromas, the lights, the warmth welcomed me, engulfed me with gratitude that my home was still here, waiting for my return, unlike so many now faced with life without their homes.  My prayers are with all who have lost their homes, lost their belongings, lost a life because of Hurricane Sandy.

I came from a land filled with sun and tropical breezes....

A place of four fun-filled days of Tracey Clark's Oasis

A place of colorful & interesting doorways....

And brightly colored walls....

Beautiful blooms....

Brilliant sunsets...

Hummingbirds galore....

And  glittering outdoor shopping malls....

But the road to home is still the sweetest site there is....

Welcome home....welcome home.

"Your home is the one dream you can actually walk into."  ~  John Tuck

Until next time.....

Friday, October 19, 2012

Phoenix, AZ - Oh So Sweet

I am in sunny, wonderful & warm Phoenix, AZ just enjoying life around me, waiting to travel with 2 of my "Focusing On Life" life sisters to Palm Springs, CA on Sunday for 4 wonderful days with Tracey Clark and the Shutter Sisters.

Prior to Sunday's departure yesterday I met with Terri (one of my Focusing On Life collaborative blog sisters) and Barbara Carroll, a wonderful friend & photographer that I met thru Tracey Clark's "Picture" classes. We spent the day doing what we love to do....taking pictures.  Barbara took us down to the Barrio in Tucson to shoot old & colorful doors & buildings.  Oh what fun we had.

Who wouldn't want a blue house with an orange door??

I would love to take this fence home with me....what a backdrop for "anything"!!

The skies are so blue, the clouds swirl about creating visions of white poufs.

The hummingbirds are plentiful and stay around long enough for me to snap their portrait.

And the bougenvillas are still in bloom with their lush pink flowers.

I am also sharing more photos, ideas for adding text to images and free fonts over at my collaborative blog "Focusing on Life."  Please come visit me there too!!

And I apologize upfront for not commenting on your blogs, I will catch up with all of you when I return from my vacation.  Thanks so much!!

Until next time....

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Couldn't Help It

I couldn't help it.  Really I couldn't.  After taking my Toby dog to my daughter's for 2 weeks, he really didn't want to stay because Mac (the Husky) has grown considerably and he wants to play rough, a little too rough for Toby.  Hopefully they will come to terms on who is boss.  Anywho, since today is my last day here before I am off to Phoenix first, Palm Springs 2nd, whoo hoo I had to drive the long way home and just take one or two more pics of barns and the gorgeous colors that I know will be gone or darn close to it, by the time I return. 

Actually I took this pic last Friday on my way home from visiting my sweetie.... lightened & processed with a Kim Klassen texture.

But this was today...the skies were bluer than blue and the sun was low in the sky giving everything that wonderful glow.

I found these beauties right next to the bank....stopped for a couple of things at the grocery and these just screamed at me from across the parking lot...."please take my picture before you leave!!"  The sky had those wisps of white clouds making it look like I added a texture, but this was nature's paintbrush in action.

Now I really do have to end this and finish packing.  I am catching a rather early flight in the morn so the alarm will go off mighty early.  But I just have a feeling I won't be sleeping too much tonight.  Too much excitement coming my way.

Linking to Tricia's Barn Charm & Mandarian Orange Monday.


"Some of life's greatest lessons cannot be pried from books - they must be experienced in your bones."  ~  Kobie Yamada

Until next time.....

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Grabbing Some Gorgeousness

Oh Lordy, it has rained for the last 2 days bringing out the fantastic colors of Fall.  With me leaving early Tuesday I am down to the wire for grabbing the gorgeousness of this time of year.  Palm Springs & Phoenix will definitely not have this kind of color, altho there will be other ogle-worthy sights there as well.

It was raining, and then the sun decided to peek thru and that's when I decided I am going for a drive to grab those colors.  However, the sky did look a little ominous as I looked out the back door.....

But I decided to keep my fingers crossed and go.  After all I was driving, so if there was a down-pour I would be safely tucked inside my car.

This is someone's front yard....whoever landscaped this sure had the forethought to think about Fall color.

By the time I drove into the Arboretum, the clouds had really began to gather and I could hear the constant rumble of thunder....yikes!!

I didn't drive too far before I saw & heard the Security Car from the Arboretum warning everyone to head back to safety.....

This couple was headed into the woods, down a trail, sure hope they didn't get too soaked, because right after this, it started pouring and poured all the way home.

I still have one more day...altho I think tomorrow is going to be quite busy with packing & taking my Toby to my wonderful daughter, Lisa (just in case she is reading this!! hee hee!)

"Life never becomes a habit to me.  It's always a marvel."  ~  Katherine Mansfield

Until next time....

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - My Sunday Best The Oct 14, 2012 Edition

I have missed 2 weeks of Ashley's Scavenger Hunt Sunday....last couple of weeks the prompts left me crying for help, and none came...but I am back on game this week.  On Friday I took a drive to the country and captured all the prompts without even having the list of prompts with me....just kismet I guess.  This week's prompts are:
  • Water drops or water flowing
  • Faithfulness
  • Then & Now
  • Fingertips
  • One Item From my Fall Bucket List
Okey dokey here we go.....

Water was flowing down the stream underneath this beautiful canopy of trees

Faithfulness...these two donkeys seem so faithful to each other.  I found them on a drive a couple of years ago and they were together then and still together today....(they even walk in step together)

Then & Now...honestly I didn't want to go digging thru my archives to come up with a "then" so I just used a photo from yesterday and developed the before & after making it my 'Then & Now".  Sorry about the laziness, but heh, it works.

Fingertips....just happened to take 2 different images of hands (fingertips) yesterday.  The 1st is my daughter holding her lovely basket of mums, and the 2nd is my cutie-patootie hairdresser, Laurie holding a leaf I dragged in off of the parking lot. (See here for a pic of her face) 

And last is an item from my Fall Bucket List...take pictures of the Fall colors!! And if you refer back to this post I give you a link to the "Bucket List" font.

Also linking the above to Nancy's "My Sunday Best."

Until next time....

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Few More Things I Like About Fall ~ Five Fact Friday

Busy day for me...went early this morning to get my haircut, in preparation for my trip next week.  Went to my financial man to talk finances, something I really am not fond of doing, but a necessary task.  And right after I told him I wasn't planning on any big expenses for the rest of the year, my daughter tells me that she really would like to buy my youngest granddaughter a car (the sophomore that attends Iowa State) so she can get back & forth to school since it is such a hassle when she wants to come home.  My daughter has a really good friend that is in the 'restoring auto" business and he has come upon a really good car for Brie for $2,500, sounds pretty cheap to me, since I spent a LITTLE more than that on my new car.  He is doing the minor repairs on it and is willing to sell it to Lisa for cost. much for any new expenses, but really $2,500 is not that much and this means Brie can come home more often, right now she pretty much stuck at school, there is not too many other students that live close to share a ride with.  Told my daughter I would buy the car for Brie since I gave Bailey (other granddaughter) my old Honda CRV when I bought a new one.  Only fair, right?  I am just happy that I can do it for them.

Then I went to see my sweetie...he is OK.  He has been having some anger issues and they have tried some new meds that have not worked, in fact the change made him even worse.  Back to square one to try something else. It is hard to believe that my sweetie gets so angry since he was such a kind-hearted soul prior to Alzheimer's.  Not only does it rob you of all your memories, but it changes your personality too.  Please God, help someone to discover a cure or treatment so others will not suffer.

After all this I went for a drive to ease my soul...the colors around here are breathtaking right now and since I am leaving for 2 weeks next Tuesday, I am afraid that when I return all the beauty will have faded.  So I took off to the countryside and found what I was looking for....

I guess you can call this 5 Fact Friday...
  1. Got my haircut. (a must)
  2. Went to see my financial guy (a must)
  3. Made a decision to buy the car for Brie (a want to)
  4. Visited my sweetie (a want to)
  5. Went for a drive in the country. (a need to)

My cutie patootie hairdresser...she has been my gal for over 25 years....I was trying to photograph the pretty leaf, but ended up taking her picture instead.

Came upon this small flock of sheep.  They were not the least bit sheepish...came right up to the fence and baaa'd at me, like they were talking.

I also found some cows and donkeys...but that's for another day.  I am tired after my busy day and I am headed to bed...night night!!

"God's arithmetic:  Happiness adds and multiplies as you divide it with others."  ~  Unknown

Until next time....