Good morning on a May Thursday morning!  This week, I spent some time changing up my rooms.  I get that restless feeling now and then.  Above, I’ve returned the wicker loveseat to its former place in front of the living room bookshelves.

And in the bedroom, I placed the bench that previously lived in front of the bookshelf to the foot of my bed..and I switched some chairs around, too.

So…the energy I acquired from these changes took me back to the distant past…to a folder in my Dropbox.  One that has images from the 1970s forward.  Here’s one that hasn’t seen the light of day in a while.  Left, moi, with Hub # 2, in 1977.  Getting ready to drive the VW bus back to Central California…from Auburn, CA.


A few years later, I was doing my solo act again, and meeting up with members of my family of origin in a local park:  Circa 1982.  Little Heather in the forefront, her back to the camera, is not showing off her very short hairdo (she hated it!); niece Amy, to the left;  I am on the far right; and my “kid brother” with his infant son Brian, in the center.  Behind me, on the far right, one of my nieces:  Beth, I think.

Moving along.  My four offspring at the Family Sculpture, CSUF – 1991. (No, it doesn’t belong to us; we have simply claimed it as our own).

Traditions live on in this family.  In 2007, Fiona and Dominic take up their positions on the Family Sculpture.

Back-tracking a bit:  Here’s Noah in 2004, when we were still living in the foothills.

A few years later, in LA:  the A-Tots, asleep in the minivan.

On the pier in Santa Monica (2007):  A-Tots and their dad, my son Brett…

In 2007:  Fiona is celebrating Halloween:


So…the past lives on in our memories and in our photos.  What do your photos tell you about your life so far?




After reading Keep Her Safe, which I finished last night (click title for my review), I removed Did You See Melody?, as it was a duplicate.

Now, as I contemplate the remaining print books, I am also focusing on the numerous e-books languishing on Pippa.

But today is not about those books, but about sharing photos from the week.  My granddaughter Aubrey is enjoying her time in Prague (and Berlin, and other neighboring countries).  Here’s one I like.



Let’s skip on over to a small town in North Dakota, where my step-grandson Spencer is enjoying time with his kids.  Here he is with Bella and Lilly:



Lilly, Maddix, & Bella….


Getting ready for Halloween:  Lilly & Bella…


Now…let’s travel back to California, to LA and celebrities.  Here is a photo of my first grandson Alec, now 22 and a senior at Berkeley.  Yes, that’s Janet Jackson holding him.  At the time, she was secretly married to Rene Elizondo, the brother of Alec’s cousin-in-law, Hugo, a definite “six degrees of separation” thing.  I actually met Hugo and his wife Cherie, who is Alec’s mother’s cousin.  They enjoyed hosting parties for family and friends.

If you live in LA, anything can happen.



So that’s my story today.  What are you sharing?



Good morning!  Today’s tidbits include my quirky take of the photo (above); PicMonkey has a daguerreotype frame that turns an ordinary photo into this smoky rendition.

I also did this to the same photo:  an off-center heart-shaped version.



So…yesterday I had lunch with an old friend.  We were colleagues for three years when we both worked in a private foster family agency (after my retirement from the county career).  She lives in Northern California and works for State Rehab. now.

All of us were very close working together in an agency with a very authoritarian/mercurial CEO…it was us against her.  That kind of setting brings people together. We all had regular get-togethers while we were working there, and then after we each left…but now we are all scattered throughout the state.

So it was good to catch up.

Afterwards I saw The Glass Castle, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The film flashed back and forth in time, bringing us moments in childhood interspersed with the adult scenes.  It was a riveting “true story” brought to film.  I also loved the book version, which I read before I started blogging.



Last night, I watched more of Season III of The Ranch, on Netflix, which I didn’t enjoy very much at first…but now I’m riveted.  I’m not sure why.  Probably because I finally allowed the scenes with Debra Winger and Sam Elliott (both of whom I enjoy) to overshadow the silliness of Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson.

I’ve been watching the TV season of the new show Doubt, with Katherine Heigl…and I see that nothing is scheduled for next week, so I am guessing it is going on hiatus.  I hate when that happens, especially with a cliff-hanger ending.


How is your weekend shaping up?  Plans?  Adventures?




Another change-up of the blog header.  I love this woman setting aside time from chores to read a stack of books.


Today I’m also sharing a visit to the Prague area, where my DIL Gabi has captured these images, making me want to go there. 

Let’s start with one of the photos snapped in Praha-Prosek:



I love this close-up, spotlighting those gorgeous leaves:



A path that makes me think of railroad ties…there is a history here, I’m sure.



Intriguing sign:



Gabi enjoying a drink after a day of photographing her surroundings:



Check out Craig’s idea of savoring a meal/drink afterwards:



And…back in the states, here is my celebratory lunch on Thursday, after being dismissed from Jury Duty; I had waited around all morning.



Enjoy your weekend.  What are you sharing?



Last night, after a day of errands, including a bit of pampering at the nail salon, I was ready for watching TV in my bedroom.

But TV watching at night usually means turning it on and muting it, so I can read, while keeping my eye on the images.



This week, in addition to my usual reading, blogging, and TV watching, I’ve been collecting a few photos from the past.

I found these on Fiona’s FB page:

Back in middle school, Fiona in the middle, and on the right, in the background, her dad:



She found this one of her dad when he was in his late teens…



Fast forward a few years, Fiona is enjoying remembering her moments with her nephew Lane when he was a baby.  He is now three.



Moving along, a more contemporary photo of Fiona (left), at dinner with a friend.



I’m still reading these books:



I should be finishing them both later today.

Do you enjoy searching through your photos for those that remind you of moments in the past? 




Since last week, I have been thinking about the question:  To move or not to move.

One of the reasons NOT to move, of course, is the hassle of packing up and transporting everything, and then unpacking.  I am always amazed that anything I own makes it from Place A to Place B without mishap.  Oh, yes, there have been a few breakages along the way, especially when “friends” helped.  But not very many losses have occurred.

Sentimental objects, often not that valuable, are a big worry of mine, especially when some of them have made it through so many moves over a lot of years. 

Like the beaded necklace in the photo above (hanging on the left side of the cupboard).  Not valuable, in terms of money.  But it reminds me of being on one path, and then taking another journey completely, with that necklace a symbol of that summer.  One might call it my Summer of Love, which is not the same as the one you’ve read about (that was 1967).

In June 1970, I went to a party.  I was wearing that necklace, and at that event, I met someone that I would soon become completely involved with, and would marry by year’s end.  I wore that necklace throughout our first summer together…and beyond.

For a long time I kept it with other costume jewelry, but at some point, I started showing it off a bit by draping it over pieces of furniture, like this little jelly cupboard.

Yes, I am sentimental that way.  With objects that represent pivotal moments in my life.  Defining moments, if you will.

Photos are also remembrances, and now that many reside on my computer, I can access them easily.  Here we are, a few years later, on family vacation, in Summer 1977, with our daughter.





And another, snapped in Winter 1978:




We knew our journey was coming to an end during that winter in 1978 (above), but we never forget the special times.  My journey since has taken me to other people and places, but the children of those previous unions are still with me, along with the sentimental objects and photos.






I will find a way to move forward, to a new place, when the time is right.  But in the meantime, I am enjoying my routines and memories that I have gathered around me here.

Do you have special mementos that bring back stories from your life?  What special photos remind you of your story?



a monday morning in jan


Some of you may know that I broke down and got an iPhone on Saturday, and after a few lessons from my granddaughter Fiona, I felt as though I could somehow learn how to use it.

Well, there have been frustrating moments…but then I started practicing with the texting…and sending photos via text.  I then moved to sending photos to my e-mail (like the photo above).

Here is a visual of my phone, as shown on Amazon.  I have named her Phoebe.  Or should that be iPhoebe?  I do love naming my devices.





While I was clicking away on Amazon, I ordered a stylus set, to help with my clumsy texting.





And while I was practicing my camera usage (and sending), here is a stack of goodies on my coffee table:  a book I’ll be reading next, and a box of chocolates I got for Christmas.  Talk about obsessions.



Monday morning reading-jan



What new goodies are you obsessing about today?  Or are you perfectly normal, without any compulsions or obsessions?  LOL




I do enjoy Sundays.  Which is interesting to me, since I used to hate Sundays.  Probably because it was the final day of the weekend, with Monday looming, casting its Blue Aura over my mood.   (Remember the Carpenter’s song:  “Rainy Days and Mondays” always get me down?).

As a tribute to that song, I created my Rainy Days and Mondays blog.  By the time I did, though, Mondays were good days for me.  I had retired and was enjoying my freelance lifestyle.

Which brings me back to why I now love Sundays.  A day to read and watch movies.  How is that different than other days?  Well, there is no schedule, for one thing.  I do my Sunday/Monday post, of course, and visit some blogs.  But no worries…everything is cool.

Last night, Noah and I hung out as his mom and her fiance went to a party.  We went to Barnes & Noble, and then we each read for a while.

I had picked up Keep Your Friends Close, by Paula Daly, planning to just start reading it.  At 2:00 a.m., I was still reading it!  Can’t put it down.  So good….




I have several Vine books to read in the next couple of weeks, so I have no business going to the site and ordering more…but I did.  Thanks, Patty!  LOL

Until You’re Mine, by Samantha Hayes, is a multi-layered masterwork of twisted, psychological suspense. Readers of Before I Go to Sleep and Turn of Mind will be enthralled by this multi-layered novel, featuring a twisted plot that ends in a breathtaking and shocking finale.








I should be getting it by Tuesday or Wednesday.  Meanwhile, I have several lovely books to read!

Today I’ve also been scanning old photos again…I thought I had already done most of the shots from the townhouse years (1988-1994), but I found some more.  Here’s one I enjoy:  Heather, at 13, in her teen room.  She collected signs, which she then posted on the wall.  She is talking on her Garfield phone.  And she has some kind of knee injury from sports.  Remember real phones?  Landlines?


Heather's teen room - townhouse

And here’s a shot of my three sons:  love saying that.  My Three Sons.  Remember the show?


My Three Sons - 1990


Nowadays, the three of them are seldom together.  Maybe two of them at a time, but with the eldest (right) living in Europe since 1997, it is a rare thing indeed.


What do you love about Sundays?  Is there a tradition you have that sets it apart from Saturdays?





Today is my granddaughter Fiona’s sixteenth birthday.  I have a potpourri of images that I love; they remind me of special moments over the years.  In this shot, Fiona is sitting amidst some of my dolls in my old house in the foothills.  Back then, she lived next door in my guesthouse.  I loved having her  close by.

She was about four years old in this photo.

And here are a few special ones that I cherish:

Newborn Fiona:

Fiona and a Favorite Snuggly Toy

Fiona and a Favorite Snuggly Toy



As a toddler, she loved the cat Sebastian.  Here they are (above) curled up in the laundry basket.

Fiona & Aubrey - Age 7

Fiona & Aubrey – Age 7

A favorite of both birthday girls, Fiona and Aubrey.  Yes, they are cousins, but birthday twins.  Aubrey was sixteen on the 13th.  In the photo above, we enjoyed a special time at the cabin in Big Bear.


Fiona at Eleven -- Loving my Hat Collection

Fiona at Eleven — Loving my Hat Collection

And now we see a few of the versions of Fiona as a teenager:

Prom Night 2012

Prom Night 2012

Fiona in 2012

Fiona in 2012

Fiona & Aubrey - Summer of 2012

Fiona & Aubrey – Summer of 2012

And here’s one of my favorites.  I captured her while she was engrossed in her guitar playing.  A special weekend at my house.


Fiona & Her Music

Fiona & Her Music


I wish I could spend time with her today, but she and her mom moved to Texas earlier this month, which is a plane ride away.  But not possible right now. However, there is texting.  And we texted this morning and will talk on the phone tonight.

As much as I resisted the whole “texting thing,” I’m grateful for it now!


A Virtual Birthday Cake

A Virtual Birthday Cake










Earlier today my LCD TV died.  Frustrated and then stressed out, especially after checking and discovering that the warranty had expired a year ago, I decided to distract myself by playing with photos…and ultimately, with blog headers.

See the one featured today.

PicMonkey is a great go-to site for photo editing, creating collages (and blog headers), and probably more things than I even know how to do.

Today I discovered the “Warhol effect” I could create, which is on display here today.  There are also other effects that soften or heighten the image.

Here are a couple of my creations (and, of course, the collage).



What do you do when you are frustrated and feeling powerless?