Wednesday, December 31, 2014

CREATIVE TUESDAY - Dec. 31, 2014

My entry for Creative Tuesday - January 6th, 2015.  To see more entries please click here

Monday, December 29, 2014

Y IS FOR ........




Yesterday, I was swiftly sailing far away,
Now I guess I'm home to stay.
Our cruise ship fun was yesterday.

Suddenly, I'm staying home where I should be.
Scruffy purrs and plays with me.
But yesterday was fun you see.

Yes, we had to go, 
It was just a holiday,
Lounging in the sun,
Lazy days spent yesterday.

Yesterday we had many happy hours in play
Now our cruising ship has gone away.
We're safely home I'm glad to say.

Now we're here, the place where we're content to be.
We love our home and Scruffy too, 
So we'll sail again another day.....


We spent a lovely relaxing cruise from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta for one week over Christmas.  I read three books, drew two pieces of artwork and held long conversations with fellow passengers. The seas were calm and the sun was warm.  The food was, of course, fabulous and way more than we needed. Had a lovely time, but always glad to be home.

This is my submission for ABC Wednesday, efficiently and effectively run by Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger Owen Green -- and their band of helpers.  To see more entries in this popular meme please click HERE.

Friday, December 19, 2014


                                                                                                                                                      (Copyright Christine A. Jones)
"Glory to God in the highest..."
"The TRUE LIGHT that enlightens every man has come into the world..."
"...and THE LIGHT shines on in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out."

 May you truly have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

See you after the holidays.
My love to you all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


CREATIVE TUESDAY FRIENDS, please scroll down one page.  Many thanks.
W is for WATER
You may have heard about California's four years of drought.  In the last couple of months there have been several episodes of rain from Los Angeles and north of there.  But we, down in San Diego, have missed most of these episodes, which is probably to be expected because we are officially a desert climate.  L.A. is typically expected to get more rain than us.  

But we too have suffered less than our usual 10" a year -- only 4"  so far this year-- that is until this past weekend.  Our poor creek had almost dried up but look at it now:
 These photos are taken from the end of of our yard.  The bank is steeper than it looks.

 Our new tree, planted by the park HOA on the bank last week looks a little bedraggled but I think it is still alive.  It took quite a pounding with winds and heavy tropical-type rain.

 Our neighbor's new tree, a pepper tree, so I'm told, looks like it really relished the rain.

 The water was really surging down under the bridge.  What excitement to see and hear the waves rushing along down to the ocean about 2 miles away! 

 I took this shot while sitting up in bed !!  I can actually see the creek, when it's full, without getting out of bed!  Not to worry, though. Within 24 hours the creek is almost back to its normal depth.
A beautiful rainbow appeared later that afternoon.  So beautiful!  In all, we received 1 1/2 inches of rain.  Everything looks so clean and green.

God is good all the time.  All the time God is good.

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday.  Please give a big round of applause to Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger Owen Green and their helpers for keeping this going for so many years.  To view more fascinating and educating entries please click HERE

Saturday, December 13, 2014


MY FAVORITE POSTS OF 2014 -- We had to choose one or two of our own favorite pieces of artwork submitted to Creative Tuesday this year.

I chose this picture of the old barn, because I think it is one of my better pieces this year.  It is a real place located only about a half a mile away.

I chose this second piece because I like the mood of it.  The birds are so typical of what I see around me every day.  I feel like there is some movement in the picture though it may not be the best I've done technically.  We don't have snow here and there should be some background behind the snow, but the birds give me much pleasure.  I love to see them waiting for the feeder to be filled.


Please link HERE to see all the other choices that have been made this session.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


All the credit for the first part of this post goes to ALAN BURNETT, a Yorkshireman whose blog is entitled NEWS from NOWHERE.  (Click on this title.)
I am fascinated by this photograph which Alan posted on his blog.  I love the many shades of color and the textures within it.  I like things that are colorful and have shape symmetry and perhaps a purpose to them.  But to me this is beautiful.  I could live with it even if it were a mural. I have been back and visited it a number of times.  He says that he took it with his new camera which he calls his Little Nik.  (for more details on this camera please click on the link to Alan's blog, above. ) Then I read that Alan had UNWITTINGLY produced this wonderful piece of art.  He explains:
"This image was another shot gone wrong. It started as a slightly out of focus shot of some fallen Autumn leaves. I tried to sharpen it up using Photoshop and obviously pressed the wrong button".
Since I have just spent the last hour trying to cut and paste the above quote, I DO KNOW how UNPREDICTABLE technology can be -- (especially if you are using Windows 8!)  But this photo is pure serendipity, (only we are supposed to be using words beginning with U!).

Here is the original photo, beautiful in itself, but I still love the one  it produced.

Since neither of these photos are mine, I do ask you to respect that these photos are the property of Alan Burnett of "News from Nowhere" .  See link above.

Another U word is UNWILLING. I took the photo of this tree  on Monday.  It is called Liquid Amber and has been gradually developing this color over the past two months going through various shades until it has become this beautiful wine color.  

This tree seems UNWILLING to drop its leaves, even though all the others like it up and down the street have lost at least half of theirs, if not all. 

This is my entry to ABC Wednesday, started by Mrs. Nesbitt, continued by Roger Owen Green and his team of helpers.  We are now about to start our 16th round.  Please click HERE to see other entries and how about considering joining us in the new round?

Saturday, November 29, 2014


The theme this session is "DECEMBER".  We don't get much December weather down here.  Mostly we get a couple of days of rain followed by temps in the 60's throughout December, January and February.  Sometimes a 'cold', windy rainstorm sets us all to complaining.  We are so spoiled.  But right now we are anticipating some rain next week and we are cheering.  It feels like we have had summer since last March.   Even so, when the day is sunny and dry, the nights are cold and our birds, especially the migrating ones, are glad for some extra seed.

Hungry birds, a bare-branched sight
On snow-bright days. Collecting sun
And snatching seed ‘gainst frost-cold night.
December has begun.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Not a very imaginative topic, but then I do love trees.  There is quite an assortment of trees along our creek which definitely adds to the rural feeling of the setting. A couple of days ago one of the park workers came by to look at the trees just off our property and on the bank of the creek.  He told me they will be removing one of the big old pine trees that dominates our view.

It certainly is a very large tree.

The Red Hawk likes to sit on one of the branches and eye our bird feeders, looking to snatch a tasty morsel.  It has three large trunks and must stand a good 50 feet tall.

In addition it leans towards the creek  and if it ever did come down it would take half the bank with it.

One of the really good things about our park is the upkeep of the grounds.  So in anticipation of removing this tree they have planted a couple of others  -- liquid amber and a pepper tree. Here they are waiting to be planted and I'm happy to say they were planted before the day was out. Another happy factor is that the leaves will blow towards the creek and not add to our responsibility.  The gardeners regularly clean out the creek. Later I noticed that they have planted quite a few other trees up and down the creek and recently we had about half an inch of rain.  Greatly welcomed!!

I hope I'm at home the day they decide to bring down the big old pine tree -- should bring quite a bit of excitement.


This is my submission to Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger Owen Green's popular meme, ABC Wednesday. To see other contributions from all over the world please click HERE.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


CHRISTMAS TIDINGS was the theme for this session.

For ABC TUESDAY please scroll down one page.

Here is my submission based on a page from a monthly devotional.  I liked the birds and the theme of the message of peace, so I copied it and then realized it would fit in with the Creative Tuesday theme for this Tuesday.

For more entries to Creative Tuesday on the Christmas theme please click on this link:

S IS FOR.....


QUESTION:  Where does Santa go in the summer time?

ANSWER:      A luau on Kauai.

Can't pass S without a photo of Scruffy:

Such a love  ! ! !

Linking to Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger Owen Green's ABC Wednesday.  Link HERE for more participant entries.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Yesterday we celebrated the ninetieth anniversary of our church.  It was started by two ladies as a Sunday School in downtown Carlsbad, in 1924.  Wouldn't they be surprised if they saw it today! There have been three church buildings over the years -- one, a small Mexican style stucco one, the next a stylish A-frame building with a patio, lava stones and stained glass windows, and finally a large two story building with a parking garage in the basement, an elevator, three floors and a balcony, all of which we now call a Worship Center.

First, appropriately because the church started with a Sunday School, we started with the children's choir:

This was followed by someone describing highlights from each decade.  The platform was beautifully decorated with many sunflowers and chrysanthemums.

Since we were there for thirty of the ninety years, my husband spoke about one of the decades:

He doesn't look as old as he does in this photo!  We still attend the church.  I teach a Ladies' Bible Study and my husband fills in for one of the Adult Sunday School classes as well as occasionally preaching on Sundays.

There were more than 500 people there and we had to put up some more tables.  Our Spanish church which uses one of our buildings also joined in the celebration.  It was wonderful to see so many friends, some of whom traveled a long way to be with us on this special occasion.


Sunday, November 2, 2014


For several days last week we were invaded by a black cloud of crows! (I know it should be 'a murder of crows', but that sounds so pretentious!) There is no way I could get a proper photo of them all as they settled in the trees around us, but I tried to get a video with all the noise they made:

I haven't tried uploading any of my videos before so the quality is not good, but I think you can hear all the racket they made.  Some of them flew down to the creek, but again it was difficult to show the number there were.

I so enjoy our rural style environment and I thought the invasion of the crows was hilarious.  They are such funny creatures. Whenever I hear them coming, I drop whatever I am doing and run out onto the deck to watch. Unfortunately, I have been quite disappointed to discover that their roosting area has now moved further down the creek and almost out of earshot.  Perhaps they will return another time.  

We are rejoicing today after receiving almost a half inch of rain last night and yesterday.  This is the first we have had since the beginning of March.  Some of our young shrubs and plants were really suffering and I was afraid we would lose some of them.  Poor Moth has had to go out and water all our potted plants every couple of days (we have quite a lot of them because of the poor quality of the soil since we live so close to the creek -- very sandy).  It was quite a lot of work.  Hopefully we will get back to our normal weather now, but the temperatures are expected to go up to the mid 80's next week and there is no more rain in sight. 

My beautiful plumeria is still in full bloom even though it is November:


Today is especially set aside as "Prayer for the Persecuted Christians " day.  Our church is having a special service this evening.  Pastor Abou Saeed Abedini, an Iranian pastor, has been imprisoned and tortured in Iran for two years now.  He has a wife and family.  There are many others like him who are suffering horribly for the 'crime' of being a Christian. If you believe in prayer and in our Lord Jesus Christ, please join those of us around the nation who are praying for relief for these persecuted Christians.   

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


The news on Haley is all good.  She is home, sleeping well and eating (limited foods) but has a good appetite.  They are even thinking she may be able to go back to school in a week or two.  She is getting bored.  Fortunately she was well ahead in her school work so she will have no problems catching up.  

Thank you to every one who prayed and showed concern for her.  We are so thankful to you and to our Lord who brought us through this crisis.


Meanwhile, we are getting quite concerned about the need for rain down here.  We have a number of shrubs that are just hanging on.  We are watching the calendar closely. We usually get some rain in November.  As it is we've had no rain since March 1st.  Water restrictions are in place, so we get to do the minimum of watering.  Even so, by the looks of these two shrubs below, you'd never think we are short on water.  

This is the Lantana that grows outside our front living room window.  It has not stopped blooming for a year and a half (when we first moved  here).  But today it is simply bursting with blooms and now stands more than eight feet high.  It gets full sun almost all day, so I guess it doesn't have great water needs.  The butterflies and humming birds love it.

We've been watching this Golden Rain tree for several months.  It flowers late summer and with missing spring rains and any fall rains we might have had we weren't sure if it would flower well.  But here it is spreading its beautiful sunshine on the northern side of our house.

You may have guessed that we are not accomplished gardeners.  We had very little experience in our previous house -- it was quite low maintenance.  But we are learning!  Both of the shrubs  above need to pruned quite badly.  We decided to do the lantana after it stopped flowering  -- but it has never stopped.  The Golden Rain is definitely in need of some pruning and being tied back.  It has quite a number of thin branches or spreading trunks.  This bush will surely stop blooming in another month.  Then it will get its haircut!

We have a busy month ahead for a variety of reasons.  I'm going to see if I can get back into ABC Wednesday and Creative Tuesday again but am not certain I will.  Just hoping not too much on my mind as the weeks go by.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I haven't been blogging for over a week.  My mind just gets too overloaded when so many things are going on.  So I missed ABC Wednesday (sorry, Denise and Roger) and Creative Tuesday (sorry Michael).  However, the good news is that Haley (my step-granddaughter) is home from the hospital after two weeks of very up and down experiences and some not at all pleasant.

After a second flare-up of the Crohn's while in the hospital they were finally able to give her the necessary meds even while she was also dealing with the C-diff bug.  Not sure if the latter is over but they wanted her out of the hospital environment because it is a hospital born bug.

After her mom and step-dad had been giving her 24 hour care at the hospital all this time, she slept 14 hours straight, the first night home -- WHAT A BLESSING!  and Mom and Dad slept 10 hours!!

Haven't had an update today but we are not bothering them, they have too many adjustments to make at home for her.

So we are truly giving thanks on this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.  We thank all of you who have prayed -- so many praying, all over the world, (close friends from our years of ministry) from Australia, Micronesia, Europe, Canada and of course England.

Please continue praying for her recovery and no relapses.

GOD IS GOOD ALL  THE TIME no matter what happens, we trust Him, because we know Him.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I've been storing up some pictures for the letter L but now the time is here I find I have a much more important need to impart to my ABC friends.

So here are my pictures for L with very little commentary, followed by a request for heartfelt prayer.

For as many times as we have been to Kauai you would think that by now I would have been to a Luau (Hawaiian term for party or celebration).

Always dear to my heart because of where I lived as a child.

Leaving the lighthouse at Kilauaea Point, Kauai.

This was taken by my youngest son in Boise, Idaho, a month or two ago.  Quite spectacular.

Please pray for our only granddaughter, Haley who just turned 13 in June.  She had surgery last week to mitigate her Crohne's Disease.  Sadly, she has picked up a serious bacterial disease while in the hospital -- one of those that don't respond to usual medications and are often the result of over use of antibiotics.  They put her in isolation last night.  the options are not too great -- either the removal of her colon or some other procedure which I'm not too clear on but has been described by the doctor as not pleasant.  It seems they are now doing all they can.  Worst case scenario is kidney failure.  We know that the Lord can do miracles and that is what we are asking for here.  On the other hand, we know too that the Lord has His reasons for whatever happens. In the mean time we wait it out.  The Lord knows and He is good all the time!

This is my entry for ABC WEDNESDAY, that wonderful meme started by Mrs. Nesbitt and continued by Roger Owen Green.  Please click HERE to read more wonderful and interesting entries.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

K IS FOR ...


Meet April.  

She is our Kauai kat.  This photo was taken in 2007.  She was old then and loved to lie on this step at the restaurant called Gaylords.  We usually go to Kauai every year and it is our tradition to eat at Gaylords, a restaurant set in beautiful plantation grounds, before we go home.

We first met April in 2007 and discovered each year we visited that she was nearly always lying on this step in the warm sunshine.  We weren't sure how long she would last but we always looked for her each year.  Here she is in 2009.
Same place, same time. Somewhere in my files I have a photo of her each year except 2013 because we skipped visiting Kauai that year.  So this year we really wondered if she would still be around.  She wasn't on her old stone step, but as we were eating she emerged from out of the flower bushes near the fountain.  We were so pleased to see her.  I persuaded my niece to pose with her and we got the best photo of April and my niece that we have ever had.

Now we shall have to wait to see if she is there again next year.


Here's another K :

One of the ladies in my Bible Study class just returned from Ireland and brought this book for me.

This is a book about the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is an ancient manuscript of the Four Gospels copied onto fine vellum and colored with ancient dyes. I was really interested to read about it because although I have seen other ancient illustrated manuscripts of the Bible I have never seen this one.  The ones I have seen are on display in the British Library and are absolutely magnificent.  They have been copied painstakingly by the monks  around 800 A. D.  If you're interested in Zentangles, these illustrations should give you much inspiration!

At first you might think these manuscripts are pretty boring because they are written in Latin, but when you closely examine them you have to admire the enormous patience, skill and diligence of these men who spent so much of their lives preserving the Scriptures at a time when Bibles for the ordinary person were non-existent.  Their care and love for the Scriptures is evident in the remarkable tiny decorations and illustrations with which they decorated the large letters and margins.

The Book of Kells was originally copied at the monastery on the island of Iona, off the coast of Scotland, but because of the dangers from marauding Vikings it was removed to Ireland to the monastery at Kells where it was carefully watched over until the twelve hundreds.  It was then cared for by the Parish Church and later was donated to the library of Trinity College, Dublin where it is preserved with special lighting and temperatures and can still be seen today.

This is my contribution to ABC Wednesday, that captivating and enduring meme begun by Mrs. Nesbitt and continued by Roger Owen Green.  We are now in our 15th round, so why don't you pop over to see all the other contributions. I can guarantee you will learn something new.  Just click HERE.

Thursday, September 18, 2014



I thought of the theme 'An Apple for the Teacher' but decided it would have to have too much emphasis on the teacher but an apple with a worm in it needed something more in the scene. I debated which bird I would put in the picture and decided that rather than have a cutesy type of bird a black crow would be more in keeping with the idea of a bad apple.  I also thought the apple picker in the background would give the picture more reality rather than a cartoonish style.

Drawn with black pen and and Prisma Colors on a pale green card, 4 x 6 inches.

This is my entry for Creative Tuesday, September 23rd. Please click HERE to see more interpretations of our theme.

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.