blogging

CELEBRATING CONNECTIONS & BLOGGING

PicMonkey Collage-birthday

 

Last Sunday was my birthday, and I spent it with family.  On the left is a photo of my daughter and me, snapped last Mother’s Day.

Top photos, left to right:  my second oldest grandson, Dominic, and Noah, my youngest.

Heather and her BF are on the bottom right, and dead center:  a slice of birthday cake, wearing all the candles.  And a scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream.  Yum!

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Today I had a birthday lunch with an old friend…I’m talking longevity, here.  We met as colleagues back in the 1970s and became good friends over the years.

Today’s lunch was at Pismo’s, where sea food reigns.

 

 

Pismo's

 

Here is the dessert we had:

 

 

cake from Pismo's

 

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I am still stuffed, and it is hours later.  No dinner needed tonight!

Earlier, I clicked on some posts here via my Archives and realized how so much has changed on the blog.  First of all, I started this site at Blogger, then moved here in May 2010.

My “twin” granddaughters —cousins born in February  1997—were the inspiration and on my header for quite a while.  The name was inspired by a photo in the snow of the two girls in 2004, at age seven, and also derived its name from mine:  Snow.

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I’m reading a book by Wendy Corsi Staub called The Perfect Stranger, and it features bloggers…and how someone is targeting the members of a close-knit blogging group of cancer survivors.

 

 

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Here is a photo of the two girls snapped in February 2004, at Big Bear:

 

fiona and aubrey framed

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Do you ever examine your blog’s history?  Check out earlier posts and remember what it was like back in the beginning?  And when you think of those moments of connection—with family, friends, and other bloggers—do you celebrate?

I celebrated by changing up my theme here….and the look of the blog.  And I’m going back to read more of the book about bloggers.

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Saturday Snapshot

SATURDAY SPARKS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMY!

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

Friday, the 23rd, was my niece Amy’s birthday.  October brings us a bounty of family birthdays.  Here are some shots of the birthday girl.

Girl with Dog:

 

 

Niece Amy - birthday girl with dog

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Here’s Amy’s eldest, Luc, enjoying coziness…and the dog:

 

 

Coziness - Amy's eldest with dog

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Amy’s birthday treat:

 

 

Amy's birthday treat

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Amy’s hubby Rick….with the dog:

 

 

Amy's hubby Ric & the dog

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And that was a Happy Birthday for my niece….what are the rest of you sharing?

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Saturday Snapshot

SATURDAY SPARKS: A SUMMER OF TRAVEL

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

It’s time for some photo sharing.  When my son and DIL were visiting, they spent some time in the surrounding areas here, like Sequoia National Park, before heading to Northern California and Oregon…and then to SF and the coast, before returning here to the Central Valley.

Here Gabi and Craig are showing off the size of the tree in Sequoia Park; can we say “tree huggers”?

 

Gabi & Craig - tree huggers

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Here is a shot in Ashland, Oregon, in Lithia Park:

 

Lithia Park in Ashland, August

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Gabi, getting ready to go up the Moro Rock Trail

 

Gabi - Moro Rock Trail

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More views of Moro Rock….

 

Morro Rock - 2

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More of the Rock….

 

Morro Rock in September

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After their journey, they returned to Fresno, where they sold the car they had purchased and used for the summer.   Below, celebrating the sale at The Elephant Bar.

 

Gabi and Craig - Elephant bar in Sept

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And here, Craig and Heather are enjoying some Mexican food at our neighborhood Mexican restaurant….Gabi chose to opt out of this dinner.

 

 

sept 12 - jolly bro and sis moment

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And then it was time to take the train from here to LA, where they visited my second son, attended a showing of Jimmy Kimmel Live, and flew back to Europe.

 

 

Craig and Gabi - train - sept

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A great time was had by all…and the almost three months they spent here just flew by.  Sigh.

Hopefully they will not wait so long to return again.

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What are you sharing today?  What stories do your photos tell?

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Saturday Snapshot · SATURDAY SPARKS

SATURDAY SPARKS: “GILDING THE LILY”

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

It is the time of year for senior proms…and for spring-like events.  Here are a couple of those special times:  First we have a shot of my granddaughter Fiona and her date to the prom….

 

 

 

prom photo

 

 

Now here is a photo of me, snapped on a special night, with a festive banquet,  ‘way back in the day.   I’ll give you a hint:  It was the mid-sixties, when hairstyles were still poofy….just before they turned “hippie-like” and straight, with the hair parted in the middle.

 

 

lrs in the early sixties

 

How everything changes with the passage of time!

What are you sharing today?  I hope you’ll stop by and share your comments and links.

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Saturday Snapshot

SATURDAY SPARKS: MOMENTS

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

Since last Sunday was Mother’s Day, I would like to share some memories from that day…and a few since.

Here is one of my lovely daughter and me:

 

 

Mommy & Me-touched up again

 

Here are Heather and Noah, enjoying the day….

 

 

Heather and Noah - Mother's day 2

 

Here’s a special Facebook tribute from my eldest son in Berlin.  He is poking a little fun at me and my doll collections:

 

 

Craig's Mother's Day gift

 

It wouldn’t be a celebration without something new from Fiona.  Here she is showing off Eyes in Blue:

 

 

Fiona is blue

 

And continuing with the blue theme, I had another manicure during my spa day, glittery blue:

 

 

glittery nails on may 14

 

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And a quick look at some changes around the home…Figurines Rearranged:

 

 

 

And close-ups of the bottom shelf (the left side):

 

 

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And the right side:

 

 

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Come on by and share your own moments….

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Igniting conversation

SPARKING CONVERSATION: THOUGHTS ON A TUESDAY

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I don’t often post on this site, unless it’s for a meme like Saturday Snapshots, or Book Beginnings.

But since the theme of this site is about sparking or igniting connections, I do think about those issues in terms of this blog…and want to spark a conversation, if you will.

Lately I’ve been bored with my photos, so I’ve “highlighted” a few of them, like the one above, or the one in the sidebar, hoping to spark my own interest in making changes.

It is never to late to change things up, is it?  Even if we don’t decide to add extensions or highlights to our hair, maybe we can make some interior changes.

Sometimes it’s enough for me to read a book that does something for me…makes me think, gives me pause, or even generates conversation.

The Girl in the Train (click for my review) recently did that for some bloggers, and it was fun to see how others reacted to a book with unreliable narrators and a suspenseful storyline.

 

 

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Sheila, at Book Journey, had the opposite reactions from mine.  Sheila’s review takes us to another kind of place, and that’s what I love about book blogs.  We can generate conversation even more when we disagree about something.

Another book that sparked something within me, and also within some other bloggers, was The Wednesday Group, by Sylvia True. (Click for my review).  A great one for book clubs, I think.

 

 

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Patty, at Books, Thoughts, and a Few Adventures, posted her review on Goodreads.  And earlier today, I read Mary’s thoughts at Book Fan.

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Do you get excited, does something ignite within you, when you read a book or a blog post that sparks something within?  Does it make you want to speak up?  Shout, even?

That’s what I call igniting your connections!  What does it for you?

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creative sparks · Saturday Snapshot

CREATIVE SPARKS: SATURDAY SNAPSHOTS — FEATURING ROMANCE

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy.

Today I’d like to share some photos that spotlight my daughter Heather and her new romantic partner Steve.

new romance

The two of them have set up a new home to enjoy, along with Noah, Heather’s son.   Here are some domestic moments.  This is a breakfast Steve cooked for the two of them.  Eggs Benedict and Salmon.  With mimosas, of course.

breakfast for two

Here is some “new” dinnerware that will be going from my home to theirs, my special Coca Cola pieces.

dishes

And the other day, Heather enjoyed a moment of childlike glee outside the grocery store.

Heather at play

And as they begin their journey together, I hope they will continue to enjoy their special moments.

What are you sharing today?  I hope you’ll come on by and chat about them.

first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays · tuesday sparks

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS — ISLAND GIRLS — JULY 16

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teacups for teaser tuesdays

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today’s spotlight shines on an ARC from an author I enjoy:  Island Girls, by Nancy Thayer.

 

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Intro:  Arden’s half-hour television show for Channel Six, a local Boston station, was called Simplify This, which Arden privately knew was a ridiculous title because, really, nothing in life was simple.

She couldn’t remember when she’d last had a vacation, and even when she had a weekend off, she’d worked, tapping away at her laptop or considering DVDs prospective entrants had sent her, or reviewing call sheets or expenses.  Even watching television was work because she recorded and savagely studied competing shows, comparing theirs to hers, searching for what she was missing, what she could improve.  Reading books and magazines:  same thing.  Even exercise was work for Arden because she had to keep her thirty-four-year-old body in shape for the merciless cameras that made everyone’s butt look ten inches wider and ten pounds heavier.  Same with having her nails and her hair done.  She was fairly certain she worked when she slept.

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Teaser:  Arden didn’t want to intrude on Zoey’s territory, but could she help it if some younger people invited her to simplify their homes? (p. 145)

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New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer returns to her beloved Nantucket in a highly emotional, wholly entertaining tale of three sisters forced to confront the past over one event-filled summer on the island.

Charming ladies’ man Rory Randall dies with one last trick up his sleeve: His will includes a calculating clause mandating a summer-long reunion for his daughters, all from different marriages—that is, if they hope to inherit his posh Nantucket house. Relations among the three sisters are sour thanks to long-festering jealousies, resentments, and misunderstandings. Arden, a successful television host in Boston, hasn’t been back to the island since her teenage years, when accusations of serious misbehavior led to her banishment. College professor Meg hopes to use her summer to finish a literary biography and avoid an amorous colleague. And secretive Jenny, an IT specialist, faces troubling questions about her identity while longing for her sisters’ acceptance.

To their surprise, the three young women find their newfound sisterhood easier to trust than the men who show up to complicate their lives. And if that weren’t problematic enough, their mothers descend on the island. When yet another visitor drops by the house with shocking news, the past comes screaming back with a vengeance. Having all the women from his life under his seaside roof—and overseeing the subsequent drama of that perfect storm—Rory Randall might just be enjoying a hearty laugh from above.

Nancy Thayer’s novel insightfully illustrates how the push and pull of family altercations make us whole. It’s how the Randall sisters come to forgive, and learn to open their hearts to love.

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So…what do you think?  Does it sweep you away like an island getaway?  Would you keep reading?  Now I’m off to see what everyone else is sharing today.

 

book review

OLD & NEW CONNECTIONS IN A FEEL-GOOD TALE — A REVIEW

5981415Another chapter in the Blossom Street series, with Summer On Blossom Street, brings another knitting class and a new group of characters to A Good Yarn, the shop owned by Lydia Goetz. Some new and old characters join the story, as Lydia introduces a new class called Knit to Quit.

Each of the women (and one man) join the class to help them with a kind of addiction, varying from smoking to getting over an old love.
New romance slips unexpectedly into the worlds of these characters, even as disappointments remind us that real life issues spring up even in a fictionalized tale.

But these real-life moments are what sets this series apart…and make us fully connect to the characters.

What new events change everything about Lydia’s life, as she prepares to adopt a child? How will Alix manage to get through the days and nights as she struggles to quit smoking? And what unexpected person arrives on the scene and shakes up Anne Marie’s life with her newly adopted daughter?

As each chapter reveals a character’s story, we are soon caught up in their moments and hoping that all will work out for that character.

As we came to a satisfying conclusion, I was reminded again that these old and new friends could return in another story…thus making it easier to say goodbye for now. Four stars.

creative sparks · Saturday Snapshot

CREATIVE SPARKS: SATURDAY SNAPSHOT — TREASURES FROM THE OLD PHOTO ALBUMS — APRIL 27

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Welcome to another Saturday Snapshot event, hosted by At Home With Books.

Every week, we come together with a snapshot or two or more….sharing a glimpse of our world and peeking into yours.

I pulled some more photo albums down from the shelf this week, and here are some of the snapshots I found!

Right after 9/11/01, I took a trip up to Northern California, to Nevada City; I’d been planning the visit before the disastrous events in NY…and decided to go ahead anyway.  Sometimes the only way to get through the pain is to share time with friends and family.

Judi, pictured below, is a friend I met more than 49 years ago when we were both in college.  Here she is on her lovely deck with her two dogs, Hannah and Murphy.

Judy, Hannah, & Murphy
Judi, Hannah, & Murphy

And here’s a view at the front of her home.

Walking Trail
Walking Trail

After I returned home, I started a new job, where I would work for the next three years.  And during my off time, I enjoyed the foothill house and loved rearranging and shifting the rooms around.  Here is a shot of the den that I called my Ireland Room (2003) with photos snapped by my eldest son when he was living in Ireland.  By 2006, I had turned this room into a master bedroom and painted it sage green.  The Ireland shots moved upstairs.

Ireland Room
Ireland Room
2003 - Upstairs retreat
2003 – Upstairs retreat

Above:  The retreat upstairs was one I created after the downstairs rooms were taken over by my youngest son and his wife, with their newborn baby (a preemie).  As you can see, I have a coffee pot, a microwave, and a mini-fridge.  I could hole up there for days…lol.

Then…a few months later, I took a trip to LA to visit son Brett, who was the owner of a resort that included a golf course at one of the locations.  Here he is with his three kids (the same ones you all have seen recently in their teenage incarnations!).

This was taken ten years ago!

Brett, Alec, Aubrey, & Aaron - 4/2003
Brett, Alec, Aubrey, & Aaron – 4/2003

I had fun traipsing down memory lane again.  Now I’m off to see what the rest of you are sharing!