Thursday, January 31, 2013


Update: And the winner is ... posted here :)

I received this sweet book as a gift ~ and love it. So much so that I managed to get another copy of At the End of the Ferry just so I could give it away. It's the story of a woman's life (my friend, Susan's) in the Pacific Northwest for a year. Great for end of day reading ... will lull you with its imagery of lapping waves and gentle rolling tides.

Is this my kind of book or what?

To enter to win, please head on over to my new Facebook Author Page. Like my page and leave a comment on the post about At the End of the Ferry. Easy peasy!

I'll announce the winner on Saturday morning (on my FB page). See you over there =)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On Traveling the World ... and other Adventures

So I read that story today about the family of 14 (!) that sold everything, bought an RV, and are now livin' the dream, baby! So naturally, I sent the link to the article to my three kids, copied my hubby, and told everyone to "pack your bags." So far only one of the three kiddos answered me, and here's what he said: "No."

Well, at least he responded.

Part of me wants to ask this family if they're - how shall I put this? - nuts.

The other part of me is inspired.

Inspired to purge our home of unnecessary clutter, to spend more time outside together rather than behind our iPods/iPhones/laptops, and to let every day be the "weekend," as the father pronounces. Kind of hard to make a living with that last one, but whatevs.

And there's the little problem of our middle child who's at college across the country at the moment (She could always study online, right?)

Sigh. Truth is, I've never really liked camping. Glamping - yes, but camping? Not so much. And five of us in a long, narrow room on wheels could become rather, um, stinky.

What I'm most intrigued by, though, is the idea of living a life that's unexpected, that isn't so much concerned about prepping for the next day as it is about experiencing each and every moment, a life that's more about the journey and less about checking a box.

I'm well aware that I look hideous in this photo, but I don't care. This is College Girl and me last year when we (and Teen Girl) were traveling the country in search of the perfect college. We flew the red eye and got to NYC at - hear me - 2 am our time!!! We took a cab to Times Square, found a Starbucks and reveled in a city that actually does sleep. Yup, that's Times Square at about 5:30 am, and it's empty.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Shifting tides

I'd like to say that I waded through the tide today, but not so much. Today was all about catchin' up: laundry, errands, the dreaded FAFSA. That's the Federal financial aid for college application. Blech.

Then again, maybe I did wade through the tide after all. Only it was at a higher-than-ideal level and carried with it a stiff current.

On the flipside, Teen Girl and I picked up orange chicken bowls from Panda Express for lunch, so it wasn't all work today =). And later, she and I hit the grocery store for the all-important task of choosing the perfect snack for a hangout with friends she'd be attending. Couldn't decide between chocolate eclairs or cream puffs. Chocolate Eclairs. Cream Puffs.

So, of course, she bought both. Scratch that. I bought both. Although why I did not think to buy a third box for my dessert-loving self, I do not know. (Then again, my hips are incredibly grateful for the oversight.)

Ah, well, there's always tomorrow, right? Here's to glorious Sundays and the grace to start again. Pass the chocolate ...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

For the past few days here along the central coast, the waves have been larger than usual and crashing hard. We can hear them late into the night from our house down the block. Sometimes I sit outside at night with my husband and just listen. We don't even have to talk (I'm thinking he enjoys the reprieve ... ;)

I've got an incredibly arduous week ahead. Lots of work and engagements and I'm sitting here tonight wondering why I didn't do laundry ... Seriously, this is one of those weeks that I'm hoping will fly by. And, naturally, when the weekend shows up, I hope it will shuffle along like a snail.

In the midst of it all, I'm glad for the waves that remind me that there's something much bigger than me and my worries, someOne who rules over the surging sea and stills the mounting waves. All I have to do is listen ...

Here's to a beachy week, my friends ~ wherever you are ...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

So crushed ...

So on our excursion north the other day, Teen Girl and I met up with two of our besties at Crush Cakes, whose claim to fame started with an appearance on Cupcake Wars. But even if the shop hadn't appeared on TV, we'd have stopped in. My key lime and coconut cupcake was DELISH, not to mention the chocolate / peanut butter concoction in the photo that TG had no choice but to share with me (since I gave her life and all ...;)

Christmas may be over, but Valentine's Day is on its way, and hey, a girl's got to plan (i.e, taste test). This is why I can't hang up my running shoes anytime soon. Know what I mean?

Ah, well. Have a beachy week, my friends ~ wherever you are ...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Shell shocked

While taking pictures of sea life the other day, Teen Girl and I spied this shell at the same time. We both gasped. It was just lying there by its brightly orange-colored self, calling out to us simultaneously ... =)

So, of course, we brought her home.

My days are full--often too full. Yours too? So I'm vowing to stop and smell the salt air more often. That's why we took off on Saturday for a short while to see what treasures we could find on the sand.

And, oh yeah, afterward we also stopped for a snack of super rich and crazy colorful cupcakes. Hey, I know I talk about the beach a lot, but I'm not one-dimensional, people! Haha...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pink sky at night ...

I'm a little embarrassed by the hysteria in California over the cold weather. Yes, it's been colder than usual. It's in the 40s when I run early in the morning, and 50s-low 60s during the warmest part of the day.

But for goodness sake ... there are people in other parts of the country who have to shovel snow just to get to their car before work. Something tells me their seat heaters (if they have them) only help so much in weather like that.

Despite the cooler "sky is falling" weather in CA, the sky was blue and the ocean even bluer today. And after a week of working indoors, I knew--I had to get outside. So Teen Girl and I played hooky from homework (her) and housework (me) and headed a few miles up the coast to the Carpinteria Bluffs. We climbed down a rocky path to the beach and spent more than an hour photographing wild life: sea anemones, snowy plovers, sand pipers, sea lions, and even a shell or two. Had to wear a down jacket and thick scarf in the low 50s climate--okay, all you folks from the east, stop laughing--but it was worth it just to see God's glory up close.

I'll be posting some of those pics in the next couple of weeks--not to gloat, mind you, but to INSPIRE you! Hope you enjoy. Check back soon ... and have a beachy weekend, WHEREVER you are =)

Monday, January 07, 2013

Here Kitty, Kitty ...

An hour ago, a high-octave squeal went up through the backyard after Teen Girl encountered two possums staring her down in the spa from atop the fence. Charlie the Dog nearly went mad, while hubby coaxed Teen Girl from the spa and into the house where she wiggled and itched, crying out that one of them, "...was staring into my soul!"

Kind of a lot of excitement for a school night.

I grew up in LA where these homely creatures congregate, and when I lived farther from the beach here in Ventura, I caused more than one to "play possum" during my early morning runs. Since moving to the beach, though, I can only remember seeing one a few blocks away. And that was a few years ago. Somehow this has done nothing to soothe my kiddo, who swears she'll never climb back into that spa again.

I doubt that. After the indignation flung their way, my bet's on those creatures never showing their fuzzy faces on our property again ...

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Going Downton ...

I've been hearing about the British series Downton Abbey for two years, so finally, during the holidays, I caught up on what I'd been missing. (Especially appropriate considering my youngest daughter's obsession with England and the trip we hope to take.) My mother owns both seasons 1 & 2 and not only did I watch them through, but hubby joined me. Kind of like our own Masterpiece Classic marathon. That's love, people =).

While sitting here writing this (and watching Downton Abbey Revisited, natch) I asked Dan which character he most identifies with, and after much tumbling over in his thoughts, he said, "Matthew. Because he's so galant." Sigh. Yes, I can see that ...

How about you? Any character you most identify with? Sometimes all the work around here makes me feel a kinship with the lowly Daisy! But in my mind, I'm also wearing fabulous clothing and making all kinds of stupid decisions, like Mary. Ha.

Ah, well. It's time for more of those delicious British accents and clever dialog, the romantic confusion and rich scenery. Signing off now, as Season 3 is about to begin ...