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Thursday, April 30, 2015

April Love - 2015

April 30 -- Thankful for...

And so we have come to the end of our April Love fest in its current form.  Today's prompt is so easy.  I am thankful for a lot, but especially:

My parents for having me and teaching me what love is all about.  My sisters, for teaching me how to share.

Finding my perfect partner, my best friend, my lover, my knight in shining armor:

Our three wonderful, healthy, incredibly special children:

All my jobs, but especially the one I have now, where I am able to work from home (transcription) and do the things I love (crafting).

I am thankful for my own relatively good health.

I am thankful for my friends, some of whom I've had since before kindergarten.  We may not talk a lot or see each other often but the bond is still strong.  

I'm of course thankful to Suzannah Conway for starting this April Love theme and leading this tribe of eclectic people.  Reading the stories that the group was sharing, seeing the pictures from far away places, learning new things, what an awesome April it has been!  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April Love - 2015

 April 29 -- My eyes:

I think the artist who did the caricature captured the twinkle in my eye.

Took away a few wrinkles too!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April Love - 2015

April 28 -- Clouds

I don't have very many pictures of clouds.  When I was little I would lay on my back in our front yard and watch the clouds go by and see the different shapes they would make.  I think as I got older, that is another one of the things I never take time for.  

Recently they moved the train above ground near our house.  It makes a very strange site, like the train is running on the rooftops.  This one looks like it is going into the clouds.  

I think I'm going to start paying more attention to what's going on up in the sky.

Monday, April 27, 2015

April Love - 2015

April 27 --  Love is...

Pure and simple, our family is love.  We are not perfect, sometimes even dysfunctional perhaps but filled with love for each other that is a super strong bond.

That's love for me.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

April Love - 2015

April 26 -- Something beginning with "A."

This one is easy.  It has to be our Amanda:

This is one of my most favorite pictures.  Amanda gave the best kisses...

I had a miscarriage before I was pregnant with Amanda so I was very careful in the beginning of my pregnancy with her.  Morning sickness?  You bet! I used to have to eat some cereal while still lying in bed before I could get up for the day and even then I didn't always keep it down.

We went through a list of names before picking Amanda.  She could have been a Tiffany or a Michelle.  She was named for the actress Amanda Blake who played on Gunsmoke because my hubby is a redhead so we thought she might have red hair and because the character Amanda Blake played on the show (Miss Kitty) was a strong woman.  Also, the song "Amanda" by Boston was a favorite.

Her middle name is "Jo" for both my mom (Josephine) and Jo, the character from Little Women.  Again, those are very strong women.

Amanda is most definitely a daddy's girl.  She can get him to do practically anything.

She has grown into a terrific young woman and is one of my best friends now, although we did have some rough times when she was a teenager.

She has turned out to be one of those really strong women, fiercely loyal to her family and friends, very compassionate and loving.  We are very proud of her.

That's my something that starts with A.  How about you?  What's your favorite "A"?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

April Love - 2015

April 25 -- Simple pleasures...

Simples pleasures for me are watching my San Francisco Giants on TV while scrapping in my craft room (which is really my daughter's bedroom but she's away at college so she shares).

Simple post for a simple pleasure!  How about you, what's your simple pleasure?

Friday, April 24, 2015

April Love - 2015

April 24 -- Trees

Funny, I never really stop to think about trees.  When we go to Boulder Creek each September, there are lots of trees but I don't take any pictures, except for this one because of the way the sap was dripping down.

This is a tree in our city park.  It holds our daughter and son at the moment and I was really more concerned about taking their picture rather than the tree itself.

And then there is our Christmas tree which every year is decorated over a period of a few days.  Can't hurry the creative process I say.

Stage I

Stage II

But when I think of trees, I instantly remember a time when our eldest daughter was about two or three and we watched the Wizard of Oz for the first time together.  I was afraid it would scare her but she loved it.  When I asked her to tell me what she thought of it, her eyes got very big and she said, "The trees were WINDY."  She was talking about the enchanted forrest scene.  Now, whenever it is windy out, our family says, "The trees were WINDY!"  

What about you?  What's your take on trees?  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April Love - 2015

April 23 - When I was small

When I was small we lived in the middle of the block in a great neighborhood.  Down the street lived one aunt and uncle and at the other end of the block lived another aunt and uncle.  Lots of times I would hop in my car...

...and take a drive up or down to visit.  I don't know if my mom ever called the aunts or if the aunts called her to tell her that I arrived safely.  In those days and in that area, you never thought about things like kidnapping or anything bad happening.  (I think, looking closely at my left hand, I am honking the horn and yelling at people to move out of the way!)

When I was really little, before I could drive...

My sisters used to ask me to "make funny face."  That's what this is.  What a weirdo!  

That's my "When I was small."  What about when you were small?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April Love - 2015

April 22 -- Spring/Autumn

Spring, summer, autumn, in California they are all pretty much the same to me.  For spring, I am using a mini album I made using paper bags...

For Autumn:

This tree is at one of the villas we stay at every September when we go to Boulder Creek for an annual golf tournament.  To me, that says Autumn.

Hope you are enjoying all these April Love prompts.  I sure am!

2015 - Reading Challenge

Book 11 -- Zorba the Greek

Finished the "L is for Lawless" mystery by Sue Grafton.  It was not bad.

Next up is Zorba the Greek.  I vaguely remember the movie with Anthony Quinn.  I am using it as my "book set in a different country."

After the easy reading mystery, I can tell this one is going to take a little longer and I'm going to need to concentrate a bit more.  Anybody else read this one?  How are you doing with your reading challenge for the year?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April Love 2015

April 21 - A happy memory

I am blessed to say that most of my memories are happy ones.  I won't go into childhood memories (since I know there is another prompt coming up about "when I was small"), other than to say that I had a very happy childhood with two parents who loved each other, and my sisters and I, and always showed it.

As far as adult happy memories, top of the list is when I married this guy almost 32 years ago.  It was a very low key, but very special day out overlooking Lake Tahoe.

Then there were the births of our three children, each one a special happy memory, and a story just as different as they are.

But, since we are talking about self-love this month, one of my best memories has to be when I moved out of my parents house and into my first apartment on my own.  I felt so grown up.  I had made a promise to myself that I wanted to be in my own apartment by the time I turned 22 and I made it with just a few days to spare.  

I lived on the ground floor when I first moved in.  It was a one bedroom with a sunny corner dining area and a pretty good sized living room.  My sister helped me find it and then she helped me paint the kitchen and put wallpaper up in the bathroom.  Just to the left of the stairway in the picture is the driveway and I had a separate garage.  I didn't always have very much money but I was creative with decorations and the feeling of independence was just what I needed at that time.  These pictures are in a scrapbook album I made of the adventure of finding the perfect place for me to grow.  

Living room.  Tiny TV!

View from living room to dining area

 There have been a few times in my busy live now where I have longed for the peace and quiet I had in this special spot, but I think that by living here, at that time, I was preparing myself for the life I love today.

Kitchen we wallpapered

What about you? Would love to hear about your happy memory!

Monday, April 20, 2015

April Love - 2015

April 20 -- My scent

I don't have a regular scent that I use on a consistent basis.  Generally I like the fresh clean scents like citrus.  

If I'm going out on a date with the hubs, sometimes I'll put on something a little more interesting like this marshmallow powder and fresh musk.

But my favorite scent is more like this:

My husband used to work at a coffee packaging company and he came home smelling like coffee.  Most recently, he was working at a chocolate manufacturing plant and man did he smell like chocolate when he came home.  I would give him such a long hug when he walked in the door!  Those are my scents.  What are yours?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April Love - 2015

April 19 -- I live here:

This is where I live:

Our house.
Where I'd like to live.

Our house is in need of some repairs.  We are starting to work on that this year.  We've lived here for almost 19 years now, moving in just before our youngest daughter was born.  Even though it is shabby, I still get a great feeling of pleasure every time I put the key in the lock because I know it is ours (well, and the banks for quite a few more years but you know what I mean).  The "Castle" is in Boulder Creek, California and that is where I'd like to have a house someday.

This is where it seems like I live:

Me, hard at work.

My dream office.

So, I work at home doing medical transcription.  It is a great job.  I can work in my jammies if I want to (some days I do - Note the slippers!).  But, it is also smack in the middle of our kitchen.  The other desk is my craft room/daughter's bedroom.  She is away at college most of the time so she let me set up my space there.

If I could just take that dream office and put it in the castle, I'd be in heaven.  This is what I do:

My self-made planner for this year.

Maybe if I dream hard enough it will come true!  What about you?  Where do you live?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

April Love -- 2015

April 18 - Sweet

In my opinion, there are two kinds of sweet.  The tasty sweet like this:

Fancy decorated chocolates

Thin Mint Shake

Halloween candy

Moon pies

And then there is the awwwww sweet:

I think of this as my hubby and I

Statue I saw on a walk around the block.

Another one that makes me think of hubby and I.

This is a statue outside our library. 

So, that's my take on sweet...what's yours?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April Love - 2015

April 17 - A Life Changing Book

"The Traveler's Gift" by Andy Andrews is one of the best books I have read.  It is a quick read, only 206 pages, but it is packed with inspiration.

We were first introduced to Andy Andrews at a convention we attended.  He was the motivational speaker and he was such a delightful character.  He has quirky mannerisms and it would be worth your while to listen to him tell the story of when his father (a preacher) asked him to sing "Amazing Grace."  He also recites the 50 most popular things we tell our children in a very unusual way.

Another thing he talks about is the "Butterfly Effect," which I think is perfect for some of the people that I have seen posting in our little group.    

After seeing him speak, I was excited to read one of his books and the first one I chose was "The Traveler's Gift."  It tells the story of a man who falls from the top of the chain in a Fortune 500 company to working part time in a low paying job.  With a wife and child depending on him, he feels like a failure and when he gets into an auto accident, he is not sure he wants to recover.  He has an interesting experience and, without giving too much away, he does a little time traveling and has encounters with some very famous people.

The book leaves you with the Seven Decisions that determine personal success.  Definitely lots of food for thought and can definitely be a life changing book.  I have tried to incorporate the seven decisions in my life and have felt a difference.  Mr. Andrews has written other books as well, a few of which I have read and each one makes you stop and think about how you look at life.  

Check him out if you have a chance.  Let me know what you think!   

April Love - 2015

April 16 -- 10 years ago.

I had a hard time finding a picture for this one.  2005 was a year before I started using a digital camera and downloading pictures to my computer.  I do have some pictures from that year and, being the organized person that I am, I was able to find them, but I took no pictures until July 2005 and then only took a few.  The next batch of pictures I have is from Halloween and then Christmas 2005.  I do have my calendar from then, I save all my calendars.

I can see by looking through the year that I did a lot of driving as my son was playing golf in high school and since I worked from home I was the "golf mom" who took the high school golf team to their practices around the Bay Area.  My daughter had softball on the weekends and I worked a lot (that's a good thing since I was just in my fourth year of working from home)!   

As I go through the rest of the year I see that two of our friends got married and I reconnected with some high school friends that I had not seen in a long time.  We had a girls night out and went to see Menopause, The Musical in San Francisco.  It was a really fun night and fortunately I've been able to keep in touch with them.  


Other than that, and the fact that I turned 50 in March of 2005, not too much interesting happened in our little corner of the world.  How about you?  Where were you 10 years ago?