I’ve been distancing myself from this blog since 2018. I think it is time to share some of the places that I have been. The photos are unique to my experiences, and at a time that can be confining, I hope to take you outdoors to the scenic beauty that is all around us.
In November of 2018 we went on a short road trip around Phoenix, Sedona, and Tucson, Arizona. The desert has never been a place that I long to be. I have a lot of friends who love the desert but I prefer the ocean. With that being said, there is a sense of quiet beauty that exists there. It is a peaceful place that lacks color yet is filled with it too. The calm that I found there is why I am sharing these photos with you. This is a time when we may not feel very peaceful but we know that peacefulness is all around us, we just need to remind ourselves to look for it. I urge you to take a look at your own photos to help refresh your memories of those experiences you’ve had that filled you with joy and calm. This period of isolation will pass and perhaps be one of those memories you choose not to hold on to. Spend this time going in-search of your peace, your calm, and your beauty.
Is it just me, or does time seem to fly by quicker than it ever has before?
Discovery Bay at Sunset
We went to an amazing party in Discovery Bay this past weekend. I’d never been there before and was so impressed with the quiet that I found there. It’s serene and sits out in a place where you would never expect to find waterways.
West Cliff Drive During Open Streets
Then we moved on to my hometown, Santa Cruz, CA. We went to one of my favorite lighting stores, Illuminee on Ingalls St. The owners have beautiful lights and all kinds of interesting additions for the home. We ate lunch at West End Tap. We’ve never had a bad meal there and it is filled with memories from former visits. We moved on to San Mateo and shared some time with our newlyweds. I’m (a little) sad that the weekend seemed to go by so quickly. I certainly could have used more time in all of the places that we visited. We need to move a little slower, through our quick timing.
We traveled all the way to Provence last year with the hope that we would see lavender in bloom. We saw fields of poppies and lavender with ever so tiny purple tips. I could only imagine how beautiful the fields would be in about two or three more weeks.
A private backyard outside of Seattle.
A Sequim, Washington garden created by two California transplants.
I had no idea that lavender blooms in Washington and Oregon every spring. It’s a long drive or a short plane ride from California to see these wonderful sights. The people are friendly and most everyone you bump into is there to see the lavender too. Being a transplant from Santa Cruz, I’ve got begonias growing in my backyard. I was surprised that they would grow in such a warm climate but they seem to thrive here. I think there will be lavender in that same backyard next spring. It will be like a little piece of Provence, Oregon, and Washington for me to enjoy almost all of next years summer season. Some times one of the best places you can be is in your own backyard. You can make it into, anything you like.
Last month I went to the 25th Annual Spring Garden Tour held by the Soroptimist International of the Sierra Foothills. I was going to rank the gardens as I had appreciated them. After thinking about that for a while, I came to realize that it’s not really fair to rank these six gardens, as each garden has its own personality, just like the people do, that tend them. I have, however, decided to share some photos of the garden that I liked most of all.
Butterflies Abound in this Happy Wooded Garden
Fabulous Rose Garden
Dainty Yellow Peony
Pretty Little Colombine
This garden sat up on a hill in Grass Valley, California. It was host to an aviary with happily singing finches and canaries. The butterflies appeared blissfully happy, and with every step that I took, I would find a lovely surprise in the form of some sort of flower that I had never seen in its particular color. You could tell that the people who grew this garden had spent many hours laboring in it. I would have liked to have had the time to sit out in it with a glass of wine in my hand to just drink in all the sights and colors of this magical place. I can’t imagine daily living in that environment. Well, I can imagine it, but I think the best way to see the garden would be to fly through it. No tending, no trouble, just sheer availability to loads of wonderful flowers. Oh to be a butterfly, just for one glorious day. Imagine…
Last week we went to The Grand Hyatt, Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii. It was for business and pleasure. We landed on a clear and beautiful day. We discovered that rain had been falling for the last two months and we were fortunate to be there on a day that was sunny.
We saw a few reasonable sunrises and I saw my very first “green flash” during the first sunrise. I thought I was going to have to go to Maine to see that. Such a nice surprise. We traveled a little ways to sightsee and then the rains picked back up. It was very soggy there. It didn’t dampen our spirits though. Hawaii is a lovely place and I like being there, come rain or shine or frizzy hair. So I leave you with, “Aloha” and a few photos that capture my memories of Kauai.
A couple of weeks ago we went for a glorious walk through the Sacramento, State Capitol grounds. The camellias were in full bloom and delighting us with a varied array of colorful blossoms.
I’m glad we took that stroll because just two weeks later the azaleas are starting to bloom and the various magnolias are in bloom. The camellias are all but done and their petals have fallen to the ground.
I haven’t been writing in my blog in the last month because I’ve been working on the addition that is being built onto our house. The painter was painting the walls today and the bathroom will be coming together very soon.
As a child I moved quite often, and even though I’ve lived in this home for twenty-seven years, the idea of having permanent roots is a very comforting feeling. We’re making this a place were we will spend a lot of time and create a lot of new memories. I can’t wait to get started. So like the camellias of the Capitol Garden, I too now have deep roots in a little piece of California.
I’ve been pulled away from my blog for a few weeks. We are in the process of having an addition put on our home. It takes a lot of time to find and purchase those things we need to make this project complete. So I apologize for failing to send Happy Holiday Wishes your way. I want you to know that you were in my thoughts and intentions to send greetings to. I hope you had a wonderful season filled with family and friends.
A Sierra Winter’s Lake
We have found the smallest of time to go to the Sierra Mountains and look at a Winter Wonderland. The snow has been relatively scarce and it has made the lakes available that would normally be snowed in. The sights are abundant and amazing. Winter there, feels like it is still approaching.
Fragile Ice Near The Shore
For me, looking into the shallow depths of the lake and realizing the stillness that permeates there in the winter months, calms me in a time that seems so turbulent to me. The addition will be done soon and all this will pass also. I wish you all a warm and calming winter.
A couple of weeks ago we walked the trail to Frasier Falls that was covered with snow. I didn’t realize at the time that this photo would take me to a very quiet and peaceful place during the holiday rush.
While we were there, we didn’t know that our car battery was dangerously low and about to give out completely. It would have been a very long, icy walk back to a spot where the cell phone could have found a signal to call for help. I guess someone was watching over us.
I try to reflect on the blessings from this year as I hurry to this year’s end. In the month before Christmas, it’s often hard to find a moment to be still and silent. I think it is important to carve out a little down time to help us all keep our sanity.
Shattered Ice Pond
So, I think of you as I mail my cards, wrap the boxes, and stand in the long post office lines. I think of you and hope that you have a safe and sane holiday season. I hope that you will find time to spend with family and friends ringing in the year that is soon to pass and the year that is about to be. Happy Holidays
We’ve been out on some beautiful walks over the last couple of weekends. We were fortunate enough to head up to Sardine Lake in the Lakes Basin area, up the mountain from Graeagle, California. This is the best reflection of the Sierra Buttes that I have ever captured. It was still and silent at the lake, except for the sound of the distant waterfall that echoed from across the deep blue water.
Reflection on Sardine Lake
We continued on to Sand Pond which is adjacent to Sardine Lake. We’ve never been there when you could walk through the first, fresh inches of snow. The road is usually closed all winter. The ice crystals were everywhere and I found that I couldn’t quite capture the diamond like effect that they were giving off.
Snowy Crystals at Sand Pond
As we were walking, I was thinking about my friend, Robbi, who is recovering from a fall and some broken bones. I felt like I was walking for her. She would have loved the sights and sounds during the off-season there. We’ve continued walking to other places too but you’ll have to come back to see where we’ve been. I hope you had a very Blessed Thanksgiving.