Friday, April 29, 2016

Random 5...


I'm very excited that Nancy from A Rural Journal is back and hosting the meme R5F again.

Here are my random 5 in no particular order.

 :I managed to capture the city center of old Pompeii with no people!

: Did you know there is such a thing as Post Vacation Blues? I thought it was all in my head but after about a week and half of not wanting to do anything creative I started googling and found my problem-I feel like the fog is lifting.

: My 2 year old grandson just got over a staph infection from a spider bite-that was scary.

: Only 6 more Fridays til summer vacation!

: The gas leak in our little city of Porter Ranch has been capped and I haven't had to use my inhaler...Hmmm-kind of scary to think what we've been breathing for months on end.

Happy (random) snapping!

Did you miss yesterday's post?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Petites Choses...


(Little Things Thursday)

If you know anything about me, you'll know I'm a sucker for anything French. I can't get enough. A few years ago my husband whisked me away to Paris on a surprise 50th birthday.
It was heaven &  everything I ever dreamed about and more.

Personally if I had 1000 photos of the Eiffel Tower, I wouldn't have enough. We stayed in Paris for 4 days and crammed as much as we could in the time we were there. The problem is, I want to go the worse way, not only to be in the Spring (we were there in a Jan.) but I want to drive the country side end to end, visit wineries and flea markets, rent a house so I can shop and cook like the get the idea. 
Several weeks ago, our little Starbucks group was having coffee and one friend has a daughter and future SIL living in Austria. One day they'll have children that will speak German. So, this friend  was showing us an amazing free app on her phone, Duolingo, that was teaching her German. 
When I got home, I download  the app and right away was learning French. I've always wanted to learn a 2nd language & I jokingly asked my husband when I get to be be 100% fluent (the app keeps track of your progress) would he take me back to France. He said yes. AND there's my motivation to learn! So, I'm 3 weeks into practicing 10-20 minutes a day, I'm 6% fluent and here's how a conversation with my DH went:
She: Woo hoo~I'm 6% fluent...only 94% to go.
He: Til what?
She: Til I'm fluent and go back to France.
He: Are you running away with someone?
She: Uhm, said if and when I'm fluent you'd take me back to France.
He: I did?
She: did. Are you still gonna take me?
He: Yeah...I'll take you back.
She: C'est bon!

I'm giving myself at least a year to get comfortable with pronouncing the words with the right accent. I can't comment on the other languages, but learning French on this app is the most fun I've had trying to learn another language. Did I mention it was free? If you download it, let me know how you like it and if you're going to learn French, add me to your friends list and we can motivate each other. 

À plus tard
(until later)

Happy Snapping!

Linking with Kim @ Littlebylittle

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Little Things...


Good morning friends. March pretty much ended with a bang as
the Mr and I spent my spring break in Rome-
I'm in love...

This is the door to our hotel built in the 17th century! It was a family home converted into a very quaint 10 room hotel pretty much within walking distance of famous landmarks.
Oh my, The Colosseum-is just spectacular and had just finished being cleaned by a very generous donor who paid $25 million euros for the restoration.

If you ever plan to go to Rome, "Walks of Italy" have amazing walking tours. The guides are SO knowledgable and fun to listen to.  The groups are small-max.15 people & you'll get a headset to listen to your guide~which is great if you're like me, you can wander around, snap pics and still hear some great history.

For 7 euro, you can get on an elevator at The Alter of our Father and get views like these...

Palatine Hill was my favorite. I could have spent an entire day there exploring.
 Every step was a photo op.

Pompeii is another site that is not to be missed.

The history that is still being unearthed there is unlike anything you'll ever experience. There are homes you are allowed to wander into where you'll see frescos still on the wall, untouched.
Think about it, Mt Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. Pompeii was rediscovered in 1748 and was mostly intact...people, bread in ovens, life like any other day frozen in time. 

Spring was in the air...

It took a week to recover from the jet lag and I think I'm back on track now so I'll slowly be making my way to visit your blogs.
I'm joining Kim over at
for Little Things Thursday.
See you there.
Happy (spring) snapping!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Little Things...


Pulling up roots e-dition

I suspect the Monarchs will be here soon. 

We've been having unseasonably warm weather instead of the El Nino that looked so promising. 
It's going to be hard watching the Mama's looking for milkweed to lay her eggs. Up until last winter, I had been raising Monarchs since 2012. You can read all about it HERE

I finally had to pull up all the milkweed.

It's quite a job having upwards to 100 plants & hoping you have enough leaves for all the critters, worrying about in-climate weather, birds, disease, and Ms Kitty "playing" with emerging butterflies. All of which has been a beautiful and amazing journey with these creatures. My head and heart had a tug of war and my head won. Nobody understands more than me how the Monarchs are on the decline due to the lack of milkweed, the host plant that a Mama Monarch lays her eggs and the critters eat till it's time to do their magic. The part where my head won is when our youngest son graduates college in 2 years, Frankie and I will be selling the house and moving away. Before that, we'll be doing quite a bit of work inside and out that will include workers coming and going, tarps, sandblasting, stucco work, and painting. Just add all that the list of worries if I had a butterfly garden. 
Furthermore, I know with all my heart that the new homeowners would never care or tend to the milkweed or the critters like me. If I kept everything, I'd have to walk away from this house worried about the well being of those tiny little miracles. I'm a worry wart, it's what I do. 
I just thought maybe this was an easier solution, watching them flit by on their journey to find other milkweed.
My heart is saying not much easier.

I did however document it all and have flash drives full of some of Mother Nature's most delicate creatures that I had a direct hand in releasing into the world.

Sharing over at Kim's 

Happy (butterfly) snapping!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Little Things...


The Converse e-dition

I've loved Converse since I was nine. When it came time to go shoe shopping I use to beg my mom to buy me a pair. Her response was always, "No Kelly, they're boy shoes." My brother was lucky, he was a boy and had those classic black ones. What did I know anyway, it was the 70's, we were stationed in the Philippines, maybe girls weren't supposed to wear Converse, 
or maybe my mother just didn't know better. 

I couldn't stand it anymore. I HAD to have those shoes, so I devised I plan and enlisted my brother's help. He'd sneak his brown Sunday shoes downstairs and hide them on the side of the house early in the morning. After lunch, we'd say bye to our mom to go play. We'd quickly exchanged shoes, me in those black Converse and my brother (G-d love him) in his brown Sunday shoes. Did I mention we lived in the Philippines where it's 100 * and 100% humidity? We agreed on a time to meet back at the house, exchange our shoes again and no one would be the wiser. 
I remember prancing off feeling so incredibly cool. 
I also remember looking back at  my younger brother in his shorts, and brown Sunday shoes!
Eventually my mom found out and that was that.
Fast forward to adulthood. 
Back issues prevented me from wearing ANY type of flat shoe. 
That was until this last summer when I had my "girlie" surgery and now there is nothing is left to cause those issues.
Last week, my husband and I were out shoe shopping for his work when I spied them...

...Red Converse.

My husband knows the whole Converse story so he totally gets it. He said go for it. I tried a pair on for size and it was like the heavens opened up and sang a song for me. 
I felt like that nine year old little girl.
 Only now I'm 52 and feeling cool!

Now, if my mother was alive today, I'm pretty sure she'd have a good laugh and know how silly it was to have denied me these shoes. I wasn't an adult in the 70's, maybe people talked behind those mom's backs who let their little girls wear Converse.

I'm pretty sure if she was a mother of the new millennium, I'd for sure have had a pair or two.
So I bought a brown pair for good measure!

Happy (Converse) snapping!

Sharing over at Kim's

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Little Things...


Thanks to Group-on, I discovered The Wildlife Learning Center. A sweet little place that rescues wildlife and provides outreach and onsite education.

 I've lived here for umpteen years and never knew about it. The facility sits in a zoned neighborhood for animals and has a jungle like atmosphere. On my first visit, I was told of small private animal experiences, one of which allows a small group of people to get up close and personal with the animals to photograph them as well as learn a little animal biology.

Every animal has a story. Some were illegal pets, confiscated and deemed non-releasable so the WLC becomes their home.

Dr. Peepers was just an infant when his mother rejected him in all the chaos of Hurricane Katrina.
 He came to the WLC and was taken care of by one handler that took care of him like any new mother would.
The great thing about the WLC is they never take in an animal unless they can stay forever.

Sweet Cheeks, a Red Tagu was my favorite. I had a hard time choosing a photo of him as I was sifting through all the shots I took of him. 
I think this is an amazing little find that does such a fantastic job of animal rescue.

Happy (animal) snapping!

I'm over at Kim's today.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Little things...


I know it's only February 4th, 
but Mother Nature is teasing us with some beautiful spring-like weather this week.

The mornings are chilly and certainly sweater worthy~
While the afternoon sun kisses your skin for a bit before
Night falls; bringing forth its bite. 

It won't be long before Mother Nature starts revealing what she has in store for us.

I for one, wait impatiently for her splendor.

Happy (spring) snapping

Sharing with Kim over at

If you missed yesterday's post, you can find it