Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Losing Half of My Heart

My husband, Chuck, passed away very unexpectedly on March 1, 2017.  I wasn't going to write about in here, but it didn't feel right to try to keep on blogging as though my heart were still whole. 

The preceding 12 months had been horrible for both of us; I lost my sister on March 16, 2016, then Chuck was diagnosed with cancer in June.  He battled it with chemo and radiation and he won.  In December, he was pronounced cancer free.  The chemo took a huge toll on him, taking him down to just about skin and bones, but he was getting stronger with each day that passed in January and February.  But on the morning of March 1st, I couldn't get him to wake up.  His heart, his enormous, kind, loving, giving heart had just stopped.  I know it was absolutely painless for him because he looked so peaceful.  That's what I tell myself anyway...

I'm still having a hard time truly believing that he is gone.  Everything looks the same...and yet nothing is the same.  The animals and I are trying as best we can to adjust to a world without our center...if one can ever "adjust" to something like that.  Right now, I'm just trying to take it one day at a time. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

I hope everyone who celebrates Easter is having a good one.  I've been horribly ill for the past four days, so no Easter eggs or chocolate bunnies for me.  (Not necessarily a bad thing).  I'm starting to feel better now, but whatever this thing was that I had really knocked me for a loop.  It's impossible not to feel hopeful at Easter though.
Photos from Pinterest

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Early Lilacs

The lilacs are starting to bloom, such a beautiful sight.  
They're blooming much earlier than they used to do.  Seems like everything is on an earlier schedule nowadays. 
Our lilacs used to bloom in the beginning of June.  I miss the long, cool springs that were normal before Global Warming started.  Ah well...nothing is constant but change.  And taxes, darn it!

Linking with: Our World Tuesday

Monday, April 10, 2017

My Favorite Bug

Several days ago I spotted the first of the ladybugs.  I was really surprised because it's been pretty cold here for April.  Last night our low temperature was 30 degrees F.  Happily, I saw more ladybugs today so I guess they're doing all right.   This is the earliest they've hatched; usually the hatch date is around the middle of May.

Linking with: Through My Lens 

                       Macro Monday

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Sunlight

Sunlight on apple blossoms dancing in the breeze.  Spring is in full bloom...so are my allergies.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Signs of Spring

Cherry blossoms...
Stinging Lupins...
and tiny Baby Blue Eyes among even tinier chickweed.  All signs that life goes on...

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Summer's Day

A beautiful June day at Lake Arrowhead... 
and at Lake Arrowhead Village, which is right next to the lake. 
It was still early in the summer season, so the village wasn't too crowded yet. 
In July and August the parking lot is jammed with cars and the lake is jammed with boats. 
But in early June...bliss. 

Linking with: Through My Lens

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Sunlight

This photo is from June of 2007.  There isn't any sunshine around today; last night it snowed, and today the mountains that I live in are wrapped in fog and rain.  After all the rain we've gratefully received I'm looking forward to being able to plant a few pots with some pretty blooms this spring.  I might even replace one or two rose bushes that expired from drought.

This map shows what areas are still being affected by drought.  The white areas are where the drought is over, the yellow areas indicate "abnormally dry," the beige areas indicate "moderate drought," and the two orange areas indicate "severe drought."  The area where I live is still considered abnormally dry...maybe I better rethink replacing those water-hogging rosebushes and just stick with cheerful pots of annuals.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Sunlight

Light and shadow dappling Seely Creek in the Valley of Enchantment, San Bernardino mountains, California.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Cat's Eye View

These photos of a Spotted Towhee are horrible, but I so rarely see them I couldn't resist the opportunity to get a picture of one.
The black shape in the bottom of the photos is the head of Purrcilla, one of my cat children.
She was making that strange little noise that cats do when they see a bird.  I don't think the towhee could hear her, maybe not even see her through the screen and window glass, but Purrcilla was thrilled.

I'm linking with Saturday's Critters

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Making Cards

I've been spending a lot of time in my studio lately making cards for friends.
I backed the die cut on the front of this card with iridescent glitter paper, and used that same paper for the snowflakes.  The camera didn't do a very good job of picking up the sparkle.
The die cut on this one has the same paper backing, but I inlaid the snowflakes with silver mirror board.
I used the iridescent glitter paper for the die cut frame on this card,
and made my own embossing powder by mixing Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder and Diamond Dust fine glitter from Stampin' Up.  To get the camera to pick up even a bit of the shimmer, I had to shoot slightly out of focus.
I used the same embossing powder mix for the trees and sentiment on this card and die cut the frame from silver mirror board.
The interior uses the same embossing powder mix plus Ranger Super Fine Detail Silver embossing powder.
For the frame on this one, I used the iridescent glitter paper and my embossing powder mix for the tree and sentiment, but the sparkle didn't show up at all, even when I adjusted the focus. 
I just stamped the snowflakes with white pigment ink and used the silver embossing powder for the sentiment on the inside of the card.

I'm going to have to dig out some of my photography lights and see if I get better photo results with more controlled lighting...I'm loving making cards, though.  I'm still very new to it, so I make lots of mistakes.  But, even with all the mistakes, it's so much fun and so relaxing!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sunset Colors

A pretty sunset down in San Bernardino. 

Linking with: Through My Lens

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

That Was Fast

Bye bye January...you went by quickly!  That's the little path in the photo above that the skunks, feral cats and raccoons have made in the back yard.  The snow is melting quickly now that the temperatures have finally gotten above 32 F.
A close-up of some little cat prints.
This photo, and the three following photos, were taken yesterday morning.  Good thing I got them then, because they weren't there this morning!
I'm linking with Our World Tuesday

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


My eye was caught by the colors of this little faceted crystal
hanging in my studio window.
I think it liked the sunlight we had today...the first in over three weeks!  But, happily, the weather people are saying that it's going to start raining and snowing again on Thursday and continue through the weekend, with rainfall totals of up to 10 inches.

Linking with: Our World Tuesday

Friday, January 13, 2017

Skywatch Friday

The sky is the same today as it was when I took this photo several days ago...that light, pearl grey that hurts the eyes nearly as much as bright sun.  But the snow is gone, melted away by the rain.  Still lots of snow higher up the mountain though, so the skiing is good!

Linking with:  Skywatch Friday

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Quote for Thurday

"I've been thinking of heaven recently.  Not the heaven of avarice - a heaven full of mansions and streets of gold - but heaven as a real, physical place.  There is something about clear nights in the winter, the perfection of snow and ice in the light from the stars and the moon that always reminds me of the existence of God.  When it's cold enough, the sky seems to empty and there is an infinite darkness, a sense that there is something unreachable and never-ending, something past the idea of heaven."  from "Touch" by Alex Zentner, photo by Joni Niemelda

It's snowing here again today.  What a wonderful winter this has been so far!  I hope there's lots more snow and rain in Southern California's winter.

Monday, January 9, 2017


A few days after one of our little snowstorms, some really nice icicles formed.  I grabbed my camera and took a few photos while the sun was out.  It's been clouded over here pretty consistently for almost three weeks, and almost every day we've had a little rain!  By my reckoning, we've received nearly 11 inches so far...yippee!  Not enough to fill up the lakes and not enough to make the streams flow again, but still so very welcome.  

Linking with:  Through My Lens

Monday, December 26, 2016

Blue Light

I was in my studio for a while during Christmas Eve afternoon, the day it snowed.
I decided to turn out all the lights and take some photos just using the tree lights and the snow light coming in through the windows.. 
A strange thing was happening...
There are no blue ornaments on this tree, but somehow the camera was making some of the ornaments blue!
And, not always the entire ornament, but just in spots.  Pretty, but very strange...

Linking with: Through My Lens
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