Aloha

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Last week we got away to the island of Oahu and spent three days at Turtle Bay Resort before embarking back to Honolulu and the Hilton Hawaiian Village. They should really call it the Hilton Hawaiian Zoo. It was so much more relaxing at Turtle Bay. There aren’t turtles in Turtle Bay, it’s got good snorkeling, and the atmosphere is something that makes you want to return, time and time again.

The food on site was wonderful. We were even able to share a rather nice showing of a green flash with the other people who were staying there. It was a bit like the reaction people have to fireworks. You could tell that everyone had seen it. 

I just wanted to share a little of the aloha spirit today as you all started your week. I know you weren’t there to share it with me but these photos depict the feeling well. Open them to a larger size and remember your fondest memories of any one of the islands. Do you think that it’s time that you return to Hawaii?

Renewing Old Spaces

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We had been toying with the idea of taking down the wall between our kitchen and family room for quite some time now. 2017 came, and down came the wall. It has created a wonderful space that we now wish we had done ten years earlier. Since we have decided to stay here, it seemed   

that it was time to start making changes. It’s not good to wait until you’re too old to find excitement in making a major change. We like the changes so much that we are now going to expand out the back. Best news is that the dust will be outside instead of inside. Anyone who has ever gone through a remodel will understand what I am saying about the dust.

My least favorite part of the remodel was the dust and trying to adjust to everything being in the wrong spot for cooking. My favorite part of the remodel was how the ideas all came together and looked great….basically, the final product was and is my favorite part. Long story short, don’t be afraid of making positive changes in your life; they can often be quite rewarding.

Corner Stone

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A couple of weeks ago we seized the opportunity to go over to Sonoma with some family members and share a day in the sunshine, which was very hard to come by at that time. We went to Corner Stone right outside of Sonoma for lunch and a little wandering through the gardens on that lovely day. The place is rather new and is a really great place to go to relax. I’d say that they have a little bit of everything there with their shops, gardens, restaurants, distillery, etc. There really is something for everyone there.

As Spring approaches, we should step out and find those places that are unique and worthy of our wandering. You never know what you might find in your own backyard, so to speak. 

The next blog will show you the big reveal of the kitchen remodel. It is nearly finished and I am loving the new space. It reminds me of Santa Cruz. That’s a great way to begin and end every day.

 

 

Yellow

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It’s been very wet around here, but the ground is slowly soaking up the excess water, the skies are clearing, and the puffy white clouds gently stroll by in the breeze. It’s been a wild ride this winter in California. It’s made way for budding plants and gorgeous scenery. 

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Suisun Valley Mustard Fields

I was on my way down the hill from my house, the other day, and noticed this beautiful view. It wasn’t even close to sunset but the colors that the clouds were yielding were amazing. I flipped the car around and got out my phone. I don’t usually take pictures on my phone but I couldn’t resist this one. I have been thrilled with the views this year and we’re only at the end of February.

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Cloudy Afternoon Near My Backyard

I can only hope that this weather continues for a while. I am so enjoying the scenery and the thought that we don’t have to worry about water usage every day. So here’s hoping that March and April will continue to be rather moist months to -A few days of rain, on; a few days of rain, off.- It’s a balancing act.

For those of you who could not open my video a couple of weeks ago. I had left out a number. Here is the link if you would like to go take a look at an excerpt from my new book.

 

Road Closed/Flooded

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With this year’s wet weather, I need to tell you that should you come upon the following signs, “Road Closed/Flooded,” believe it and do not enter.

Last Saturday we were returning from Chico and found ourselves on this road. We should have turned the car around, and if I had been driving, that surely would have happened. I wasn’t driving and we proceeded into the waters. We proceeded into the waters four times before we saw a large truck pulling a trailer coming towards us. It was at this time that I said, “stop the car, I’m serious, STOP THE CAR!” We had the truck driver roll down his window and asked him where he had come from. He had turned around, in fear that his trailer would be undermined by the rushing waters. I told him that, “we would be right behind him.”

It looked like an ocean around us and when we turned around, we looked up and could see the problem with the Oroville Dam. We were quite a long ways away but it was clear that there was a problem. We continued towards home and passed through many of the towns that were evacuated the very next day. I really have no good reason, that I can think of, for getting into that situation. I won’t be there again. It was stupid and I am partly to blame for my lack of stopping the car earlier. The water problems in California are very real and something that should not be taken lightly.

I’m glad we didn’t end up on the news, with helicopters saving us from the roof of our car. I’m always wondering how people get themselves into those situations. It’s easy to avoid, just stay home, evacuate if requested, and heed the signs. 

Video Link

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Last weekend we rounded a curve on Hwy 70 and found the sun shining down on the hillside. It was beautiful.

I attempted to put a video, that I just finished, into my blog this week but I no longer have that capability. Here is the link to view it if you are not linked to me via Facebook https://vimeo.com/202985562

 You can copy and paste and this should open up for you. It has photos, and music that I wrote, playing in the background. It’s only two minutes long. I hope you like it. I’ve been waiting for a while to share it with you. I hope you have a wonderful day. It’s a stormy one here in California. I hope this photo reminds you that the sun will surely shine for us soon.

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Colors of Hwy 70

Peacful Blue Sea

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I haven’t written in my blog for a couple of weeks.  I’ve been very busy with a kitchen remodel.  There is dust everywhere and it doesn’t even bother me, as I know that the end result should be amazing. I also know that it is my last kitchen remodel ever. That is a joyous thought. With that being said, we did find the time to drive down to Newport Beach, the weekend before last. We just happened to be there between storms.  We’d had it booked for quite a while so we did feel very lucky to catch such good weather.

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Four Caspian Terns & Four Marbled Godwits

Once we were there, we were so taken with the restaurants, the company, and the beautiful beaches.  This was taken from the beach where the movie Beaches was filmed.  It’s Crystal Cove and I can’t say enough good things about the vibe in this place.  They’re raising funds to restore all the little cottages.  Many are still in use but just as many are abandoned and in need of great amounts of repair. I understand that this was quite a happening place in the 1930’s to the 1960’s. I was wondering; what would be said if those old walls could talk?  I’m sure there were many good memories made here.   

We went to The Beachcomber, that sits adjacent to Crystal Cove Beach, one of the mornings because we were told that the beignets would remind us of Cafe De Monde in New Orleans. They were very good so we returned for a sunset and a delightful dinner that very same evening.

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Lone Seagull at Sunset

Here’s what I really want to convey, it only takes a little effort to find a place that fills your soul with joy. I’m finding that true for the remodel as well as taking small trips to beautiful places.

Go out and find the joy.