Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Little Things...


It was a whirlwind weekend with my daughter, Jamie and my grandson, Erik.

Erik is a little bundle of energy and just a kick in the pants to be around. 
Being a grandma is nothing short of pure joy. I never wanted to be the traveling Grandma, but here I the role I didn't want to be in.  I think grandparents are an intricate part of children's upbringing and growing up in the military, I was never around my grandparents until we were state side and on summer breaks. Needless to say, visits were few and far between. 
I cling to every moment spent with these two.

I took them to the Huntington so Erik could explore the children's garden.

Little man could have played here at the blue door all day!

I wish I had Erik's energy. I'd be unstoppable! 

Erik sorta loved my spaghetti and meatballs...and Papa's smoked salmon! 

We discovered a bonsai garden on the grounds.

On another note, is anyone else having issues with e-blogger? My photos are uploading blurred and dulled and I can see them on my desk top clear as a bell. Just curious. 

Anyway, hope you are having a great week.
Happy Snapping!
Linking up with 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Little Things...


Everyday is Saturday... 
...or so it seems when I'm on summer vacation. I've been taking full advantage of my time off. Reading, swimming, getting together with friends, napping when needed, and taking day-cations... a promise to myself.
Last week, I had the pleasure of discovering the Huntington Library with Vicki, Austin's girlfriend's mom. Knowing how long I could spend in this place, and Vicki not a photographer, I enjoyed the day with her but went back the next day. 
There are 120 acres of Botanical Gardens to explore not to mention a Subtropical and Jungle Garden to roam through. So many luscious paths to discover and benches everywhere to just sit and take in the surroundings. You're literally transformed to foreign and exotic locations with every step.

Every turn, every path led to something...

The arbor area leading to the Shakespeare Garden.

Roaming through the Jungle Garden seemed surreal living in So. Cal. So many interesting trees and plants not native here.

I never realized a cactus garden could be so lush. 

I fell in love with these Old Man of the Andes cacti. 

The Huntington also boasts one of the largest research libraries in the country. There is an extensive collection of rare books and art. I never even made it the Children's Garden-but I'm going to leave that to explore with Erik.
 Have you made any surprised discoveries someplace not far from where you live?
Do tell I'd love to hear.

Sharing over at

Monday, July 11, 2016

Good, Random...


The Good...
My Daughter Jamie, knowing how crazy I am for all things France, bought me this adorable Eiffel Tower cookie cutter some time ago. I had left over dough from making star cookies on the 4th. I've yet to use it and decided it was time I did.

I have to keep them hidden from Austin until Thursday when Jamie and my grandson, Erik, come down for a weekend visit...which is also good!

The Random
 As I was roaming Joanne's a few days ago, I happened upon some puzzles. I enjoy putting  them together  but haven't done one in years. After much deliberation, I brought this one home. Puzzles are very cathartic and I love how it can bring the family together.

The Fun...

On my most recent day-cation to The Huntington Library, I came across this hummer. On my quest for the perfect in-flight hummingbird shot, I quickly switched my camera to sports mode and fired off as many shots as I could. 
It's not the perfect one, but it is always fun trying.

Any good, random, and/or fun things going on with you? 
Please share.
I'm sharing over at

**On a side note...E-blogger is being all dumb and has somehow shifted everything on ALL my pages even though I've refigured it...and to no avail. It irks me as it effects the ascetics. I'll be contacting e-blogger today to find out what the deal is. Please bare with me**

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Little Things...

A few great things about day-cations are no long security lines at the airport, no delays or missed connections. They can be planned or totally spontaneous...such as the little jaunt The Mr. and I took last week. He loves all things science so when he suggested a trip down town to the see the Space Shuttle Endeavour...on the train...I was all over that idea!

I don't mind that trains take you along the graffiti infused backsides of cities...that's real life. It doesn't get anymore real than what you see along paint stained surfaces. And it doesn't matter what city or country you are in, real people, with real issues make their marks in this world. I'm not saying it's right, and some of it is actually really good, it's just sad that it's on someones property and not someplace appropriate to be seen by others.

Seeing this magnifecent flying machine up close and personal took my breath away. The enormity of not only the ship, but the entire space program and the people it took to get this beast into space made me proud to be a spectator to it all.

The docent we chatted with had actual samples of different materials that covered the shuttle and the external tank...which is as tall as a 15-story building and burned a half million gallons of liquid propellant in like 8 1/2 minutes!

The Endeavour flew 25 missions with 12 ISS dockings. 

There's just something about space...probably because it's a place you or I will never get to visit and can only wonder about.

I wandered around the rose garden at the Science Center while The Mr. looked at train schedules. 

We had a little time to kill so we grabbed a quick bite to eat and decided to walk back to Union Station to catch our train. We always knew we lived in a bubble world out in the valley and coming into the "real" city just made us realize all the more of safe bubble.

Real life...right here. 

We passed through the oldest part of downtown, Olivera St. It was once the heart of Mexican farming and community life. It's a must if you visit LA. Great authentic food is served here along with vendors and shops that sell all things Latino.

Aztec dancer in the plaza

Have you been on a recent day-cation? I'd love to hear.

Linking up with Kim over at

Happy (day-cation) snapping!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Making Peace...

...and closure

There really is no place like home and after a dozen or so gut wrenching trips to Florida over the past two years, this latest trip wasn't horrible & in fact, I was able to squeeze in some fun.
 With only 5 days, I took an all-nigher and hit the ground running with my sister-in-law to tackle a list of things that needed to get done. My parent's home now belongs to my brother and I and we are getting it ready to put on the market. One of the items on that to-do list was going through some of mom and dad's belongings that had been put aside. It was a really neat walk down memory lane and
I brought home some real treasures, some I knew about and some I didn't.

My dad loved being in the Navy and was proud to serve his 20 years. I was always proud of him and loved seeing him in his uniform, so when I found his hat...well, lets just say a flood of emotion came over me. 

My dad started playing the piano when he was 5 and was really good and tickling the ivories. I was always transported to another time when he sat down to play. 
I brought home his piano music-

My mom left a ziplock bag with my name on it and among the treasures she picked out for me to have was this sweet little strand of pearls. I don't remember her ever wearing them and I don't know anything about them but I adore them. I personally love pearls so they will worn often and with love.

One of them liked to collect stamps-a complete surprise. They came home with me too.

My parents certainly left this world with more questions than I have answers for-but I've come to terms with that because I was finally able to sit with them graveside and say my good byes. Talking to them was quite cleansing and as I walked away my heart didn't feel heavy anymore. 
Sadness seemed to be lifted. 
It was the closure I needed.

Happy (memory making) snapping

Monday, June 20, 2016

Good, Random...


Happy first day of summer. Our seasons don't quietly tip toe in. Nope. We went from beautiful June gloom to triple digits-literally over night. Today? It's the shade. So I got all my laundry and vacumming done before 10 a.m. I should be packing for my trip to Fla. but because this trip comes with mixed emotions, I'm putting it off. 
Everyday seems like Saturday when I'm on summer vacation and then I realized it's Monday and time 
to link up with Tamar.

The Good...
This is Nanuk an Arctic Fox that was rescued from a fur farm. Back in November I got to participate in a photography class at the Wildlife Learning Center here in town. I was able to get up close and personal with Nanuk and about 10 other rescued animals.

Betty is a rescued American Porcupine. 

The Random...
I bought a book on French Idioms at a local vintage faire for $2. (score) Since I'm teaching myself French...I figured...why not!

The Fun...
I was looking through my archives earlier today and found this...

Back in 2009, we took a cruise to Alaska. We were on a bike excursion. It was spring and the salmon were running. Bears were just waking up from hibernation and as you can see...skinnnn-neeey! The tour instructor assured us that most likely the bears weren't interested in us because they were hungry...for fish! I was pretty new to photography and even though this isn't the best photo,  the thrill of being out in nature and actually seeing bears makes me smile.

Do you have any good, random, fun to share?

Happy (wild animal) Snapping!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Little Things...


I finally got my hands on some Trader Joe Peonies and now I know why I never get any! Women scoop them up as fast as they come into the store! It just so happened that it was a fluke the time of day I was even there...but I got my hands on my own little batch!

I won't be here for next weeks LTT. I'll be in Florida closing a chapter in my life that has been the most painful, challenging, remarkable and life changing event a child could endure. My brother and I now own my parents home. He and I, along with my sister-in-law, will be doing some necessary repairs to get the house ready to go on the market. Neither of us wants to hang onto the house. It holds incredibly painful memories and we're both happy and more then ready to unload it.  

There's going to be plenty of tears and knowing my brother, plenty of laughs. Sadly, my parents left this world with more questions than we have answers for and so we are left to come to terms and make peace with things on our own.
My brother is a biker and he asked if I'd be interested in riding to my parents final resting place. That whole concept has been painful too but I think I'm ready, he's ready and so together we'll ride. 

It's not always easy having to wear your big girl pants but I'll just plow through one day at a time.

Until next time...
Happy Snapping

Sharing over at Kim's