Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday finds...

...and useless facts

I don't know about you, but I thoroughly enjoy the comfy clothes, loung-y, stay indoors, remnants of a food coma feeling I get on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It's a good day to relax and reflect. We had a wonderful dinner and always have a good time with our family. I trust you did as well. I took some mental notes you may or may not be interested in!

0 -amount of eggs that cracked while boiling (out of 18)
1 -times I cut my finger (w/a vege peeler actually)
1 -number of times I thought about going out shopping on black friday (I blame that on a momentary lapse of good judgement!)
2 -dances that broke out in the kitchen (Fred Astaire style)
3 -days worth of cooking & cleaning
5 -deviled eggs I ate
9 -family members around our table of plenty
1627 -times I thought about my mom
(ok-that last one is a guess but if I really had counted-that number sounds about right)
and I survived...

So... that I'm winding down the Monarch rearing...
Thanksgiving Day Monarch

...I'm starting to focus my attention on new arty, thrifty items I want to start making and selling-
-Chalkboard Picture Frames.
Silly me fell in love with the 1st one I made-so I'm keeping that one and will sell the rest.

 I went to the vintage faire Sunday and found this...

I bought this framed art-mainly for the frame itself. 
 Turns out, the print is a 1940's reproduction of a lithograph from the French artist, Benoit Chirat {1795-1870} 
See the date in the lower left hand corner?
 I find it charming especially being 73 years old & it's French! I'm keeping the print, (score=1) & would LOVE to be able to sell the finished chalkboard frame (score=2)
I love going out to hunt. You just never know what little treasure you might find.

Happy (day after) snapping!

Kim Klassen dot Com

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


this and that

I've been up since 4:30 getting an early start on Thanksgiving. We're having a small family gathering, just 8 of us but so much love is going into the preparations this year. I plowed through a pressure cooker beef dish, boiled eggs, made my killer cranberry sauce, made the mashed potatoes, set the table, saw that 2 beauties emerged safely and basically just killed two hrs trying to get a "quick"photo edited to play over at Kim's
I wasn't tired till I sat down...

Hanukkah starts tomorrow-It's a little crazy celebrating The Festival of Lights so early. The last time this happened was 125 years ago. The next time this is suppose to happen is 2070! That's good enough for me...a once in a lifetime occurrence~
~it's one too many really!

It's been gorgeous here but cooler weather is supposed to settle over us come Thursday.

Austin started training at Starbucks today. He had to give his notice at Sports Chalet as they didn't give him any hours in over a month. How can you hire someone and NOT give them hours? Then, when he was scheduled, he was sent home due to lack of business-oh and let's not forget scheduling Austin and not telling him & he'd get these phone calls wondering where he was. Not a great 1st work experience. Hopefully this will be way more fun as it's a busy SB's too so his shifts will fly by.

Did you know skunks around here love cat food! Yup, whatever the stray cat doesn't eat, the skunks come and promptly take care of what ever is left. Skunks are kinda cute. I can sit a few feet from the door and only the screen separates it and me. From what I gather, as long as they don't feel threatened, they're not inclined to spray.

I want to let YOU know how much I appreciate you dropping by to visit and taking the time to comment. November isn't the only month that I am grateful for's all the other 11 months I am too.

I used Kim's REVERSE TTV on this image.

I've got some posts in my mind, things to say, photos & stuff to share, but it will all have to wait till after Turkey Day. As it is, I should be getting back and hammer out a few more goodies. 
Hope you have a wonderful, carefree, belly filling, truly scrumptious holiday.

This is from my i-phone... entry for


Happy (pumpkin pie) snapping!

Friday, November 22, 2013



1. We got some much welcomed rain yesterday. I'm not really moody-it's a series I LOVE to do over on IG but can only really do it in winter cause that's the only time it rains here. 

2. I'm making a Monarch calendar-actually it's my first calendar ever-forget the 10 minutes "THEY" say it'll take! I'm anal people-so I'm thinking it's not going to be done for Christmas-

3. I do Thanksgiving every year. I really have SO much to be thankful for & I'm REALLY looking forward to having Frankie's family over this year. We have all of next week off so I'll be busy prepping, cooking and making things extra special. Everyone gets their favorite dish from me. I'll be trying a few new things too. I don't have a favorite dish- I love it ALL!
What's YOUR favorite Thanksgiving dish?

4. Brat cat-she comes every morning for breakfast-She scares the wits out of me when I roll up the pleated blinds at the kitchen sink & there she is, staring in the window face to face with me. She's dying to come in the house but I'm asthmatic and horribly allergic to dander-so that THAT'S not gonna happen. She let's us love on her but when she's had enough she hisses and swats at you. I hiss back.

5. I'm making gift tags!
 Now, I may be bias, but I think they're really cute. I'll be having a contest real soon to give a set of 4 away-so stay tuned! I LOVE giving goodies away. It makes my heart happy.
I actually have an Etsy store but nothing in it-I'm working on a few things & am excited to start selling-

Linking up over at Nancy's 

Happy (holiday crazy) snapping

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


with Kim

Kim asks the question this week, "where are you on this path called life?"
PHEW...That is such a loaded question! 
But it's a good one and it's important to stop, evaluate, re-evaluate, tweak and adjust otherwise you may find yourself in a place where light is hard to get to. 
I came up with this quote today as I was creating this image using Kim's "canvasmagic."
There are so many ups and downs at accepting the loss of a loved one. I have this amazing amount of love and support from friends and loved ones but getting through THIS part of the path ultimately comes down to me. Finding my strength to guide me and can I tell you?
I'm re-discovering that I am one tough broad!  In life...crappy things happen...'s what you do with that crap that counts. 
Learning to live with loss is just crappy
-no doubt-
...I have an open mind and heart & I'm making way for new experiences.
I choose a lighted path that's paved with all things good.

Happy (wandering) snapping

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Let your heart guide you... whispers, so listen carefully
Littlefoot's mother~Land Before Time

It's not often that my head and my heart are on the same wave length.  A battle between the two usually ensues when a tough decision has to be made & there's never a clear winner. I've made the decision to discontinue raising Monarchs & an amazing thing happened-there was no battle, no tug-of-war, no loss of sleep...just solidarity between my heart and my head.  

It's not something that just came to me. It's been a slow realization. I mean-look at this handsome guy-I could sit (I often have) and spend hours observing the critters to chrysalis to the emerging.
 Raising Monarchs has been a life changing event for me~It got me through some of the darkest, bleakest and most desperate times and now that those dark days have passed, I'm looking ahead. There will be a time in the near future that Frankie & will be moving from California to find our bliss elsewhere. I know with my whole heart and soul...and yes my head...that any new homeowners couldn't possibly love and devote the amount of time to nurture these beauties that I have...and still do. 
Can I tell you...I'm sweating the last 6 critters-
It is like the Depression Era around here.

There is nothing left to eat-It's been unseasonably warm so the bigger plants have tiny buds-
I am literally rotating the critters to the plants that get the buds and hope the other stalks grow fast-

It's crazy-Who else would ever do that~Besides Kim 
She raises Monarchs in Texas. We celebrate & commiserate often!
The weather is eventually going to turn cold, rainy and windy & not good releasing weather. It's stressful to me wondering if my critters are going to be ok & hoping for a warm day to release the butterflies. 
I've had enough stress this past year to last a life time...It's time to let go. 
So, it is with both sadness and a contented heart that I resign myself from this experience and hope that it doesn't create to much confusion among the mama butterflies if/when they come back to lay eggs. 

I know without a shadow of a doubt that I have done everything humanly possible to help populate the world with these beauties. dear husband, has been right there by my side. He's helped me troubleshoot, build, move, shield and any other hair-brained thing that needed to be done...all I had to do was ask and sometimes I didn't even have to. 
I will be forever grateful for the knowledge and deep meaning the Monarchs have taught me. 
In the meantime, I'm taking boatloads of photos so I'll have plenty to share off and on.

My heart is happy

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Let the music...

My mom is celebrating her first birthday in heaven today but I didn't shed a tear. 
Nope...instead I decided to crank up my best dance music (Bogata by Bus is playing) and make spaghetti & meatballs in true party style. I believe food tastes better when you sing & dance around your kitchen! 
 Oh...can I tell you? It has been at least year since music has played in this house.
Talk about food for the soul.

And, 4 handsome males emerged early this morning for the occasion!
Happy (crank up the music) snapping!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A mother's love... infinite
 (& may show up in unexpected places)

Yesterday was a good day.
Sleep has a way of clearing cobwebs and re-energizing you-for that I am grateful.
Austin has been asking me to make pumpkin bread for weeks now-I'm glad he's a patient boy!

His girlfriend, Amanda, is allergic to nuts so he asked if I would make muffins as well. Some he wanted topped with mini chips, others with white chocolate on the inside.
Sure, why not, I can't eat these anyway. They turned out scrumptious (according to Austin)
This is the only pumpkin bread I make-It makes enough for a small army...or at least 4 mini loaves & 30 muffins. This year, it's even more special because the recipe is from my mom & is in her writing.
I wasn't sad-in fact, just the opposite. I felt her presence-I baked with a smile and a happy heart.

It wasn't until I was editing my pictures that I found love.

Ok...Maybe it's just me-(and I'm really ok with that) but I swear I see a heart in that walnut.'s love for sure-

I even decorated for the season. Not my usual full blown fall frenzy, but it's enough...

...and in between all of the baking and decorating, five beauties emerged! was a good day

Today is Veteran's Day
Thank you to those who have served:
this proudly includes 
My love, Frankie (Ret. Capt. CA ANG) 
my dad, (Ret. Navy) &
 my brother, David (Navy)

Happy (grateful) snapping!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Spaghetti... heaven

There is something to be said about humor when there's nothing funny about losing a loved one. I believe it is essential in the grieving process & helps one from going completely off the deep end. My dad, who's lapsing ever deeper into dementia, is the brain storm behind today's blog title. I went to visit him after my mom passed. He missed her but meanwhile dad's lunch came and he commented that mom was working hard in the kitchen & cooking up such delicious food. I just agreed and asked my dad did he remember how much mom LOVED spaghetti. He said he did...
I told him when the hospice nurses would walk into mom's room at shift changes, amazed that they were fortunate to care for their "baby girl" another day, I joked that she wasn't leaving until she made a deal with the Big Man upstairs that heaven would be serving up spaghetti. 
I guess that deal was made & mom got what she wanted.
My dad sat back in his big easy chair, smiled and said, "spaghetti in heaven...that sounds like the title of a good book." Oh about a light bulb moment!  I jump off the bed, kissed my dad on his head and told him he was pure genius. I grabbed what ever piece of paper I could find, wrote down his words and smiled. He had such a gleam in his eye and asked if I was going to write a book. I said, "No, but it's a great title to my blog." He had no idea what a blog was, but he was happy none-the-less.
So, I dedicate this space today to my still brilliant dad and my spaghetti lovin' mom.
Happy (memory making) snapping

Monday, November 4, 2013

My year of firsts...


Hello friends.
First, can I just say you all have touched my life through this past year and most especially this past week with the passing of my mom. Know that I have a grateful heart because of your unselfish kindness.
I've always been aware of friends when they've lost loved ones & how difficult the first year must be without them-but it was more the significant times-like holidays, a birthday, anniversary, etc. I never stopped to realize about the little things, the everyday things, the things that only you and that person would even get. My year started Saturday, as Frankie & I touched down at LAX & I immediately turned the airplane mode off my phone to text my mom that we just arrived-Something so mundane, so incredibly ordinary but something I always did-I quietly put the phone away & told myself "and so now my year begins." 
I have 363 more days to go-