Tuesday, September 16, 2014

J is for JULIAN

If you're looking for a quaint, quiet vacation spot with lots of things to do within striking distance, Julian in San Diego County might be just the place for you.  It is a small, old gold mining town set in the foothills of the Cuyamaca Mountains with lots of things to do besides exploring its history.  Just one hour to the southwest is San Diego with its world famous San Diego Zoo and the Animal Safari Park not too far away.  Directly west is Carlsbad and its immensely popular Lego Land as well as gorgeous beaches.  Anaheim and Disneyland are only about an hour away to the Northwest.
But if you want something less noisy and crazy, as  well as less expensive, try exploring Julian itself.  There are plenty of good B & B's and hotels, a main street area with interesting boutiques, not to mention cafes and bakeries selling Julian's famous apple pies.

Why apple pies?  Well when Julian was first being settled by all those miners with only gold on their minds, a certain gentleman arrived in town, took a sniff of the air, a close look at the soil, investigated the climate and thought, APPLES!  So now, less well known for its gold, Julian is famous for its apple festival and matchless apple pies.

But that's not all.  Julian's climate is ideal for vacations. It's not too hot in the summer and cold enough in the winter for a little fun snow.  Then there's the daffodil festival in the spring which is followed by the fresh apple season in the fall.

If you're still not satisfied, for those not familiar with our desert southwest, there are plenty of fascinating desert locations not far away, including still to be seen signs of the famous Butterfield Stage Coach stops and wheel tracks. In addition the Anza Borrego Desert is just the other side of the mountains.

In case you are wondering, no, I don't have any vested interest in Julian.  It's just an ideal place to visit and it begins with the letter J !

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday, that wonderfully successful project begun by Mrs. Nesbitt and now continued in its 15th round, by Roger Owen Green.  To see more entries in this project please click HERE

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


(The following video clip is not intended to be any infringement upon copyright laws.  The song was playing on the car's radio as we were videoing.)

Have you heard of Izzy?  He is that great iconical Hawaiian 700 lb singer so greatly beloved by the Hawaiian people who sadly passed away a few years ago.  One of the things I remembered when we were in Hawaii recently was that I wanted to get a copy of that wonderful CD sung by ISRAEL KAMAKAWIWO'OLE  "Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World".

The video clip above is one my sister took while we were on our way to the Kilauea Lighthouse.  I shout out "Look for the goose" meaning the NeNe the Hawaiian national bird which are nesting in this area.  At the same time we were playing my new CD of Izzy's singing.

Millions of people have listened to Izzy sing this on You Tube.  Were you one?  Tens of thousands attended his memorial and scattering of ashes in Hawaii.  Why not take a few minutes and listen to this memorable song which includes the memorial event.  

We have been to Hawaii many times and each time I love it more.

This is my contribution to ABC WEDNESDAY that INSPIRED project started by Mrs. Nesbitt and now continued by Roger Owen Green.  We are in our 15th round and the entries are INTELLIGENT and INSPIRATIONAL.  Why don't you hope over and visit the others who are participating by clicking HERE.

Sunday, September 7, 2014



I have had a photo of this barn for a couple of years.  It is located only about a half a mile from where we live.  Barns are rapidly disappearing today.  There was another one more attractive than this one that was located just across the road from our park but it has either fallen apart or been removed over the past few years.  It had a more interesting history than this one because it belonged to the Kelly family who were some of the first settlers in the area.

Now that I have taken the time and effort to draw this one, I will make an effort to find out more about it.  I know several people who have a good knowledge of the history of our town and since there were also some Indian tribes that lived in this area in the early years, I'm wondering if the owner of this barn and the land on which it stands might know something more about the early settlers.

I did this 'painting' with Prisma colors on a page of my art moleskin book.  Though the paper is rather thin it is very smooth and takes the pigment of the colored pencils very well.

Some of you asked to see my picture of the poppies after it was finished, so here it is:

These are my entries for CREATIVE TUESDAY where others who like to draw and paint and are much more creative than I am also post their entries.  Please pop across and visit them by clicking 

Thursday, September 4, 2014



Last year it was the tulip tree.  It was growing and thriving and produced these two weird looking 'blooms'.We hunted all over the web to try and identify the tree.  Then it sprang a surprise on us. The so-called blooms were actually buds and lo and behold each part of the bud snapped open to a beautiful tulip bloom, each flower head putting forth five or six 'tulips'.

This year it has been another small shrub or tree, about 6 foot high that has surprised us.  We kept watering it and feeding it for over a year, but it looked dry and dead and we almost pulled it out.  No buds, no leaves,  Then I suggested that we try putting the hose on it on low for a few hours.  (This was before the actual declaration of the drought.)  Eventually a few months later, leaves began to push forth, so we knew it wasn't dead.  But then those leaves shriveled up and died, but more leaves began to grow.  That was all we got last year.

Then about a month ago, with leaves now growing thicker we noticed spikes of black berry-like growths on the spikes.  We continued to faithfully feed it and water it while I tried to track down what this tree was.  Couldn't find anything like it on the web.  It was those darn berries that defied identification.

Suddenly one day Barry came in from the yard to tell me that the berries, now prolific all over the tree, were actually opening up into small red flower. 

Look how many there were about two weeks ago.

So now I took them apart to examine them more closely and continued to scour the web.  Couldn't find anything quite like it. Then a few days later Barry came back from the Garden Center to say that he had seen our tree there.  It was a

They are quite common really and come in all different colors.  Ours as you can see, is a beautiful rose red.
It is now almost fully in bloom and a great asset to our yard.  I'm SO glad we didn't pull it out last year.  I think this tree is going to be quite large and showy eventually.  Look how beautiful it is in its first year of blooming and many more blooms to open yet:

We still have one more tree that is a mystery to us.  It has done nothing in the 16 months we have lived here.  It has had leaves all that time, but no flowers or fruit.  Then last week it suddenly dropped all its leaves.  We thought that was the end and we would pull it out in a week or so...BUT we just discovered this week that there are new shoots, small branches and  a sprout on the end of each branch. So what is going to happen next, we wonder??

Our yard is full of surprises.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

H IS FOR.....


"Yes Sir, that's me.  I'm certainly handsome enough to sit in front of this mirror on the hutch. I'm a definite asset to the decor!"


That's what my husband says when he is sitting in his tiny office closely surrounded by books with not enough room to swing a cat, (and certainly not our cat).  Just enough room for bookshelves and a desk.


That's what Scruffy gets every morning as he is taken to look out of every window that has been closed with blinds overnight.  Windows are Scruffy's favorite part of this house, that is, windows and doors.  Windows to look out of and doors to escape through.

This is my entry for ABC WEDNESDAY that highly popular and successful meme started by Mrs. Nesbitt and continued by Roger Owen Green and team.  We are now in our 15th round and at the letter H.
Why not pop over and visit all those who have joined in by clicking HERE.

Monday, August 25, 2014

G IS FOR....

G is for....GUESS Where We Are...

Me, My niece, Wendy and my sister,  Kay

Not the best pictures, but the best location !!  We are in KAUAI.

This is my entry for ABC WEDNESDAY, that fabulous project founded by Mrs. Nesbitt and continued by Roger Owen Green and friends.  Now in our fifteenth round.  For more great entries please click HERE

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

F is for...

F is for...


We get more butterflies here in our new location than we used to get at the old house.  The problem is that they don't settle very often and it's hard to get a photo.   This beauty, the tiger swallowtail likes the large lantana bush at the front of the house and this time I was ready for him.  I took it from inside the house.  Just pulled up the blinds and took a half dozen shots through the window.  Even then I only got one good shot.  She moved from bloom to bloom so fast, but I managed one last shot before she flew away.  She is really gorgeous with a wingspan of about 4 or 5 inches.

We have quite a number of very pretty yellow butterflies that FLY, FLUTTER and FLOAT throughout the back yard.  They are a very pretty bright yellow though less than half the size of the swallow tail, but I don't think I've ever seen one settle on any thing. 

My mother used to call butterflies 'FLUTTERBIES' so I thought this would be an appropriate word for ABC Wednesday, since they also , FLY, FLIT and FLITTER  as well as FLUTTER. 

This is my contribution to ABC WEDNESDAY LETTER   F .  We are now in our 15th round of that FABULOUS and FANTASTIC project initiated by Mrs. Nesbitt, and now continued by our  own FAMOUS Roger Owen Green, the "Jeopardy" champion, along with his band of helpers.  Please visit other entries to this FASCINATING  educational and FUN project by clicking HERE.