Wednesday, December 30, 2009

the she owl named Zeus

After living on the farm for one month, a visitor arrived. She is our returning barn owl named Zeus (the one who rules the night). Soon I will snap a picture of her. Rarely seen during the day, her appearances have only been at night. She comes here every winter to lay her eggs and nest for a few months. Later, a clutch of about 3-6 eggs will hatch and I've been told are very noisy when the evening meal is desired. The nestlings will be fed by their parents for 40-54 days and then the fledglings begin to hone their hunting skills. It is rare that all fledglings survive. One or two make it through the entire process. I am really excited about Zeus' arrival and hope to see her Tyto mate also.

I find small patches of wild mushrooms while walking through the orchard. I have a vivid imagination and think they look like miniature villages for our local wee gnomes. They too, come out at night when most humans are safely tucked asleep in their beds...

Please tell me that Owls don't feast on gnomes! Eeeek

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mark...still our Christmas miracle

This is a picture of Mark and his sister Angela at Thanksgiving. Many of you remember the car accident that Mark was in December of 2006. Every year around this time I like to give an update about him.

Mark had another surgery this year to repair some of the weak tissue around his midsection. They added more mesh to his front and side. The surgeon also pulled muscle around from his back and attached that to his side, which in the end made it all look like he had had some plastic surgery done...such a beautiful job.

More good Marky news...he continued his studies and was chosen for the Respiratory Therapy Program class of 2010. So, that will begin in March and by mid 2011 he will be employed at a near by hospital.

If Mark had never experienced such a dramatic extended stay in the hospital like he did, he may still be wondering what his niche was, but Mark found his destiny through this ordeal.

All things work together for good.
Romans 8:28

Friday, December 18, 2009

come away with me

Come and take a walk with me. It's cold and a little foggy today, but that's okay because we have rain boots, scarves and thick over sized jackets. (we borrow these from the hubby...aka Farmer J) Don't forget to wear your pajama's, this is standard around here :)
Hmmm...where to begin? There are so many rows to start from. Sometimes I just zig & zag here and there. The paths are long, so it's quite a workout.
Even though we have only been here for 3 weeks, I have really come to appreciate the trees and am mesmerized by their different shapes.
Their branches give them a sort of personality and their thick trunks such strength. They twist and's beautiful and poetic to me.
This 5 acre parcel is already 25 years old. They will need to be pulled in a couple of years. Baby tree's will be replanted here and the whole idea breaks my heart. Almond trees stop producing as they age and when you're a farmer...well, out with the old, in with the new. Luckily, we also have 10 acres that are only 15 years old and 3 more of 4 year old. In the meantime, let's just admire these while we can.
Almonds that are left on the tree after harvest and begin to dry up are called "Mummies" I am learning so much living here.
Even the weeds that grow in the rows are beautiful.
And don't get me started about the many varieties of moss and fungi...stunning!
We have doggie pals that always walk with us. Baxter stays near by, his ferocious presence is very protective ;)
And then there's Ellie, my little explorer who suddenly has no fear and wanders far and wide. She runs everywhere and I can tell that she is loving our new lifestyle.
Okay...our time is up, I'm pooped and shed my boots in the mud room. I really enjoyed the fresh air and feel invigorated, but most of all I enjoyed the company...thanks to each one of you :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

a long road to a fresh start...

The last time I posted was in July...why you may ask?

Sickness took it's toll
I have moved
literally moved to a new city
let me explain:

I had one of the worst summers (health wise) in years. The Lupus flared something terrible and I was very sick for weeks. I was bed ridden sick, unable to go anywhere and visitors were non-existing. Thank God for family and I have a great one. Little do they know how wonderful they are and how important they are to my perseverance. I get regular calls from my husband, children, mom, daddy...and my sisters are fabulous. Most of you know my baby sister Denise, aka boho girl. I must take time out to love on her.

*tears* She lights up my life with "daily" text messages, pictures and video snippets of her and baby Cedar. This takes time to keep up with and I am positive that it's not always easy, or convenient. But her faithfulness to keep me connected is boundless and loving. I am her big sister and have often received crisis calls from her and offered my advice. She gives me big thanks and always makes me feel like what I say causes epiphanies, but I know the truth, that my words are very ordinary and safe. But what she does for me? literally life saving. I can't count the moments of teeth grinding pain, only to hear the beep of a phone blessing from her. Instead of wanting to say, "I can't take this anymore" I end up smiling or laughing out loud and always realize there is so many more important things out there than what I am experiencing. I can't thank her enough...I couldn't love her anymore, or retun what she does for me. Other family members love on me too...I am so cared for by them all. Love you all xxx

The picture above is my new residence. We had our eye on this 18.5 acre farm for the last 10 months. The price slowly crept low enough for us to make an offer and Bam! We were suddenly selling our house, packing up 48 years of "stuff" and moving to paradise. We are now almond ranchers along with regular full time jobs. ( job is keeping healthy, J has the added responsibilities ;) I am surrounded by fresh air, trees, birds and other flora and fauna that is just breathtaking.

So, I'm feeling settled enough to get back to journaling along with other adventures. I may have new surrounding, but I'm the same gypsy girl that has a little spring back in her step and some mud on her new farmer boots.

It feels good to want to be back :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

pillow (case) talk

I remember being very young when I learned to use an iron. Later on in life, I made an extra income ironing my neighbors work clothes. I charged 25 cents per item...that was a long time ago. House chores in general are not my favorite thing to do. My mom likes to wash dishes by hand. She finds the warm soapy water relaxing. My daughter enjoys folding clothes hot from the dryer. Me? I forgot that certain chores can bring pleasure to the senses. I think being chronically ill turned everything into such a well planned out task, that I couldn't remember how to enjoy work.

While changing out the beds one day, I caught a whiff of the clean sheets, still warm from drying. I buried my face in them and took a deep long breath. Old memories flooded my mind. The hot steaming iron pressing out the wrinkles of pillow cases. Cotton has a smell all its own when being ironed. Many generations of women know that smell very well. It is ancient and fresh, simple and pure. How could I have forgotten?

That was a couple of months ago and I am now ironing out my pillow cases again. I actually look forward to it, like a treat, I turn the iron on to the highest temperature and press each case. I change my own pillow cases often and now when I snap them open they are covered in perfectly square pressed sections, somehow still holding onto that steam iron smell. When those creases begin to fade, it's time to put them in the dirty hamper.

I still don't like house chores...let mom wash all the dishes and sissy can do all the laundry she wants, but the pillow cases are mine.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


A view from down below

Happy Angela

The fruits of our labor

Every year about this time we get to pick cherries from our good friend Pete's farm. At first, more end up in our mouths than in our bags. As you stand near the trunk, you look up into a canopy of jewels, every cluster ripe and sun kissed. It is easy to get carried away because each one looks more delicious than the next and there are three different varieties. We move along from one tree to the next, the heat and dust being all part of the experience. Later, back at home, they get washed and placed into a basket. This always looks like a beautiful piece of art sitting on my counter top. The tummy aches we get that day aren't always welcome, but are well worth the price of this tradition.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

rain dance

the lightening cracked, the thunder roared and rain suddenly poured from the sun streaked sky. i bolted off the couch and ran into my backyard, i wanted to feel it on my skin and hair, my face turned skyward and my mouth automatically opened. i stood there with arms open wide blinking away soft eyelash drops. inside i felt thirsty, this surprise storm being just what i needed in that seized moment. i calmly walked around observing how sacred rain effects each thing in the yard, my thin cotton nightgown being the perfect attire for this dance. again lightening lit up the sky along with the immediate crack and boom of thunder. the storm was passing directly over me and the rain quickened with this demand. in the middle of my lawn i turned in circles, smiling upward in thanksgiving and laughed at the sight of me. in this childlike moment i realized how safe my existence has become and that i need spontaneous rain dances to occur in all the area's of my life.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


When God closes a door, He opens a window.

how about this many...?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

staircase to somewhere

the sign says "no"
but it's ever so small
one could easily step over it
would you?

I wouldn't because all signs must be obeyed. That is how I was brought up and I would be afraid to ignore the signs message, but... I would wonder where it lead to? I can see myself with children, pointing out the staircase and making them read the sign out loud. Later, while tucking them in bed, I would weave a fine tale and paint their imaginations with adventure and priceless treasure. I would leave the story open ended so that they could add their own magic to it. Then, much later on, I would have to frame the picture and give it to them as a gift...a reminder of our time together.

the sign says "no"
but it's ever so small
one could easily step over it
would you?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

happens every day

This past week I had the blessing of spending it with my daughter Angela. Some real quality momma/daughter time...this does not happen every day. I wish it was able to happen more than it does, but I'll take a few days here and there when we can.
We did do some site seeing in San Francisco and the flora that grows there is mind blowing. Especially the succulents, they thrive off of that crisp sea does my daughter :)
This flower grew from one of them and it was huge. These pictures don't do them justice. Their sizes are amazing.

With summer peeking around the corner, I always begin thinking of the books I want to read. "Happens Every Day" by Isabel Gillies is a fabulous read. She is laugh out loud funny and had me crying in the same chapter. I enjoyed her contagious positive attitudes during the most heart breaking of moments and the very powerful humility that defines her. Notice how I didn't give you the plot? This ones worth picking up. What books do you recommend?

Friday, April 10, 2009


This is not about the desk, or the tea and the computer on the desk. This is not about the room, or the lighting. This is about the peaceful background sounds of someone else cleaning your house. Yes, I have a wonderful cleaning lady, scrubbing bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting and doing all the things that I would rather not be doing. I am a happy girl.

So, I get to sit here in my peaceful studio, bathed in the low lights around me and catch up on some correspondence. Family is gathering for Easter and my daughter will be arriving with her boyfriend to spend the weekend with us. Good food will be made and love will be shared.

I have already heard my Easter blessing... while in class, during an experiment, Mark found out that he has some rather high levels of white blood cells. He visited the campus nurse and she immediately ordered all kinds of tests, but assured him that most of it will be just routine. He may have a slight infection somewhere that needs attention. We were chatting about all of this information and I said to him,

"You know honey, your Momma prays for you every day of your life, so I think your Guardian Angels are on the ball doing their job." He then said to me,

"I heard a saying that has stuck with me all week long, 'Coincidences are just God's way of answering your prayers undercover'"

Little does Mark know that I got off the phone and wept. He may be 27 years old, but to me he is still that big brown eyed vulnerable trusting soul that is always searching for his Heavenly Father to prove himself. So, I am still basking in that peaceful conversation and thanking God for good housekeepers. I am a happy momma too.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

jokes on me

So, I woke up this morning to sunshine and clear skies.
Left for the dentist in a light skirt and top.
While sitting in the chair it began to pour.
Not just your average poured and poured!
My dental hygienist said, "Talk about April showers!"
and I smiled to myself.
The joke was on me
as I entered my car soaking wet.
Nature heard me complain
and decided to prove me wrong :)

Here are some of the flowers in my yard
that benefited from such a gripe.

Have you recently been caught in the rain?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

april showers...

With March nearly gone and April right around the corner, we begin our spring planting. Veggies for the garden and planters that still have the remnants of last years experiments...evaluating what was happy and what wasn't. But, in my head I'm always reciting, "April showers bring May flowers."

Do you have April showers?...and where do you hail from? Here, in California, we are desperate for water and April is generally a pretty dry month. The wind is howling outside blowing plenty of pollen around, but no rain. There aren't any dark clouds in the sky, just a cotton ball here and there. Our temperature is nearly 80 and that is about normal for spring where I live.

I love the rain and found myself sitting outside under the protection of our awning this winter. It seems to silence everything around you, commanding attention. So, I will continue to recite April's verse, hoping for rain and in the meantime, use plenty of SPF while I do my planting.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

the sickies

All last week I felt horrible with Tree Allergies that seem to have triggered my lupus. It laid me flat and I think I watched the movie "Twilight" at least 2 full times. I showed up at my women's bible study in my pajama's, no makeup, with my hair twisted into a messy knot at the top of my know the one girls. When I am having a flare, I kind of get this slight death pallor to my skin and it can be a little disconcerting, but they handled it wonderfully. So, this is by no means my attempt at a self portrait, this is the fantastic work of Boho Photography...her style is unmistakable. Part of our fun little photo session while I was visiting.

I am crossing my fingers that I will be feeling better soon...or I may be forced to show up here looking like, "Afternoon of the Living Dead." NOooooooo...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

double take

Being a succulent lover, I was shocked when I found this fake plant in a Pier 1 import store. Yes, I said fake. Who is it that spends their time getting paid to invent perfect looking fake foliage? Well, I just had to buy it and now it graces my house. I think pretend plants are going to make a come back in home decor, dispelling their gauche reputation. Kudos to this had me fooled. How about you?

Monday, March 16, 2009


Looking into Cedar's eyes is almost a spiritual experience. He is so aware and sensitive to his surroundings, I knew he was trying to tell me something.

We had connected and exchanged many smiles and stories.

Then one evening Boho Boy handed Cedar over to me and said, "Go to your Auntie dd" and my heart jumped. That was the name I would be given and now called for many years to come.

I am auntie dd

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I just got back from a five day visit with my lil sister denise, boho bro and baby cedar. I am filled to the brim with their yumminess. I am tired from all the playing, even though we were in her house 90% of the is a good tired. I have pictures and stories, all that need to be sorted out, of this weary brain. The picture above is of den dancing with cedar, something we did a lot of. The 2nd picture is just one corner of their adorable homey nest. The environment was tender, loving, gentle...and I began missing it the moment I stepped onto the plane.

Friday, March 6, 2009

This creation was inspired by the newly sprouting green and the brown of tree bark. The first one I made as a gift for a birthday. The second you see here has been adorning my own neck. Be inspired by your own surroundings :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm ready for my close-up...

a buzzzing filled the air

the curtain opens

a star appears

another grand performance

for years nothing has ever changed

just a thousand new cast members

slight rearrangements of the set

and all heaven stands to their feet
and once again are filled with wonder