Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winter Colors in the Canyon

Feeling a bit guilty after calling the canyon dun-colored in a blog post the other day, I set out with the dogs this morning to look for color. This is some of what I found:

A a dark-brown branch of a juniper bush, wet from yesterday's rain.

The green needles and blue berries of a juniper bush.
A small rock and a larger red rock, both covered with deep green moss.                                   


  Small red flowers on a grey bush, a tiny piece of blue trash on some crumbled green sandstone, and the beige mud of the creek-bed.
Rust colored rock formations with the opening of a small cave.
The entrance to the cave with green and yellow grass outside. What a a soft bed and nice shelter from the rain and wind this would be for some wild critter.
Then we came upon something very special here in our desert canyon: Water! And the tiniest little waterfall you ever saw. How wonderful to hear the soft trickle of water running down the hillside.
As I stood there for a while, listening to the water, Angel got impatient and tried to figure out how to climb over the rocks.
Further down, we came upon these lavender grasses. I hadn't expected to find something this colorful in the canyon.
As we got home, the predominant color was mud, on boots, jeans, and paws. What a mess, but we had a fun photo excursion.

I hope you enjoyed coming on this little hike with me to find some colors in the canyon.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Antiques, Dolls, Two Love Birds, and Me

Last Saturday, Carol and I drove to Exeter, a small town not far from where Carol lives. It's a lovely town, full of wonderful murals, many antique shops, thrift stores and coffee shops. Here I am, looking happy, outside one of the antique stores. Snapdragons are one of my favorites and these were so beautiful – and look, a pumpkin, too!
I noticed this really cool bike, or I should say's that old, after all....
Inside we found some pretty pillows and quilts,
and an old clock from Hotel deVille de Paris. I've always had a special place in my heart for old clocks and time pieces. There is just something wonderful about them keeping time for so long.
The next store was large and had areas where different vendors displayed their antiques. Carol's friend Betty had a Valentine's Day display in her area. I found out that Betty likes to find old things, appropriate for a holiday or a season, and then create a display around that theme. What fun to plan ahead and go shopping for antiques for Christmas, Easter, summer, fall and so on. And then decide how to display them… be that creative must be so satisfying.
In the large store, Betty's area was the one that captured my heart. I enjoyed all the things she had on display, but fell most in love with the painting of a purple cottage you can see below. Yes, Betty painted it and it is lovely.
A pretty coffee service. And isn't that little pot with the photo interesting?
Carol's house is a treasure trove of old and pretty things too, so I took a few more photos when we got back. This is a very old Swedish doll – her eyes are missing, but her folk costume is intact and she is quite lovely.
These dolls live there too, next
to two love birds, who were not at all pleased with my intrusion -- see the evil eye?
They did their best to
make me go away without getting a single good picture of them.
We did a lot more that day and had a truly great time. I hope you enjoyed coming along for a while.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On the Road

Last week, I left our dun-colored canyon and took a trip to visit my friends Chuck and Carol in the San Joaquin Valley of California. I found myself mesmerized by the big sky,

the deep green fields filled with orange flowers
and dotted with sheep – (hope you can see them in this too dark a photo),
The orchards were in bloom,

and the orange trees in my friends' backyard heavy with fruit.
In the morning, I woke up to rain and some enterprising birds eating apricot blossoms for breakfast.
There are still lots of buds and some blossoms they missed, so not much harm done.
Later in the day it stopped raining and Carol and I visited the small town of Exeter. It's famous for its murals and many antique shops, so we had a lot of fun! More about that to come soon.

Sunday, February 14, 2010



I hope you'll eat a lot of chocolates and have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hiking in Snow

Earlier in the week, we were surprised by a mini-blizzard and made sure to go for a hike the next morning, before the snow melted. It melts so darned fast this time of the year. Oh, to have a sled and a little bit more snow! They would pull me, for sure.
 The pictures came out so dark -- I'm disappointed. I have to learn how to take snow pictures, they always seem to be too dark when it's overcast. But it was a great hike and I'll just share them anyway.

Princess loves to roll in the snow!
And she isn't the only one!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Mom:  Soldier, you are so busted!! What are you doing on my good couch, when you have a couch of your own?
Soldier:  Oh, I'm on the wrong couch? Sorry Mom, but there's never any room on my couch anymore. Too many dogs around here....and, Mom, why don't you look and see what Samson is doing with Daddy's shoe, right now?!
Mom:  Samson, is that Daddy's shoe you are chewing on? You know better than that!
Mom: Yes, I'm talking to you!!
Samson:  Who me? I wasn't doing anything, just smelling it.
Samson:  Your'e going to take it away? Please don't, it smelled so good and I just licked it a little.
Samson:  Well, if that's the way your'e going to be, I guess I'll just forget all about your silly old shoe and take me a little nap.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Girl Who Made the Pages Sparkle

I've been side-tracked from my blogging for the last couple of weeks as I've been busy with office work, accounting, bookkeeping, filing and such for my husband's business. 
And then I spent my evenings reading this book:
It will be available in the US in May, but my friend Jane picked it up in London recently and since she knew how much I was anticipating reading it, she lent it to me as soon as she got back home. Thanks, Jane!

This is the last book in the Millennium Trilogy by Swedish journalist and author Stieg Larsson. He is the author who died at the age of 50, after submitting the trilogy to his publisher.

The English titles of the books are: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.

I won't review the books or recommend them here -- there are readers' reviews available on and the first two books were reviewed in newspapers and magazines when first released in this country, where they both hit the best-seller lists. I just feel compelled to say a few words about the Girl herself.

These well-written and interesting books cover a wide range of subjects from crime against women, Nazis and neo-Nazis in Sweden, financial crimes, the Internet, the Swedish Secret Police, running a crusading magazine, and much, much more. But the books truly come alive once the Girl of the titles, Lisbeth Salander, the most fascinating heroine to ever appear in any crime fiction I've ever read, makes her entry on a page.

Lisbeth is an astonishing heroine for our times, totally outside any middle class box and endowed with gifts that will make your jaw drop. She comes from a terrible and dysfunctional family, she spent time in a mental institution, she has many tattoos, a photographic memory, is a computer genius who can hack into any computer anywhere, dresses Goth, rides a motorbike, and well, you get the picture: there is nothing middle class about Lisbeth Salander.

Little by little you get to know her as you read the three books. The author did a wonderful job of sharing a bit of her story here and another bit there, all the while telling several other stories, but never losing the thread. It all comes together in this final book and the ending is just about the only ending possible for Lisbeth and the Millennium Trilogy.

Lisbeth Salander may not be for everyone, but I will never forget her and doubt I will ever meet another heroine, in another book, that I will so admire in spite of both her and myself.

I read somewhere that the author had planned a total of ten books. How I wish for just a few more…..
Now back to Superbowl Sunday with husband and dogs. Go Saints!!! Oh, yes, my husband and his very large family all come from New Orleans -- and I can just imagine how excited they all must be in New Orleans right now. Even I am looking forward to this game!


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