Something on your mind? ? ? :-)

If you would like to leave a comment to tell me what you like or if you would like to share an experience you have had, have suggestions for new adventures, or would just like to share what's on your mind, please feel free to do so! I would really, really love to hear any feedback you would care to offer!

When you click on the comments link at the bottom of the post, you will be presented with choices for logins, if you do not already have one of the accounts listed, or you do not choose to login with that account, you can always choose the anonymous option, in which case your name would come up as Anonymous! If you choose to use one of the other log in options, your name would appear as the public name you list for that account. For example, mine would appear as Willow's Quiet Corner, and, of course, your email would not show!

Thanks! And, again, thanks for stopping by! I really hope to hear from you and to see you again soon! Let me know how you think I am doing! :-)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

. . . or Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or . . . if you don't celebrate anything at all . . . just have a happy, safe and warm season!


This is just a quick post to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season!


I am not going to be able to spend time with family this year . . . (I'll get to finish painting the inside of my house, though . . . long, long overdue . . . yayyy!)  . . .  but I will be talking to them on the phone and sharing a bit of the day with them that way, so it won't be all bad!


Every year I toy with the idea of braving the masses and masses of people at the Rose Parade to view the floats after the parade . . . not sure if I'll make it this year or not.  I do want to go.  But, it will depend on how I feel the day before!  :)  If I do make it, I'll be sure to share the pics!  


The last time I went was probably 15 (oh, my gosh, could it have been 20? ? ? ) years ago!  I still remember the air filled to bursting with the heady scent of all the flowers.  The colors were just spectacular!  It was just lovely and I want more!    


. . . but I also remember the traffic to get there . . . the nightmare of trying to find a place to park that wasn't a mile or two or ten away and then the immense throngs of wall to wall people all trying to get close to the ropes to see the floats unimpeded by the backs of the heads of other people all while trying to keep from getting trampled on by all the others behind them.  hmmmmm . . . 


We'll see.


My friend Mavis said it had always been one of her dreams to work on the floats, so before she moved away, that is just what she did. She signed on to be a petal pusher (one of the volunteers).  Perhaps that is the way to go to get my fix!  ;)


Anyway, whatever you are doing this holiday season . . . I hope it fills you with joy!  And, may this next year be a much better one for all of us!  Merry Christmas!  :)



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Congratulations!


Yayyyyy!  My friend, Dennis, sent me an invitation to the opening reception of the "2011 All Media" juried exhibition for this past Friday evening at the Irvine Fine Arts Center.  It was a larger exhibit than I expected and they had a pretty nice turn out.  One of his photos was used for the announcement!  I thought that was pretty cool!  :)


Ceramics, paintings, photography, metal work, mixed media . . . a little bit for everyone.  There was a lot of really nice work there.  At 6:30 we gathered for the awards ceremony and as they announced the winners, we kept hoping his name would be called.  Nope, not the first one, nope, not the second one . . . but . . . when we finally got to the first place award, there was the briefest pause to build the suspense a bit, and then "Dennis Doran" was announced as the first place winner!  Yayyy, Dennis!  Way to go!  Wooo hooo!  * throws confetti and blows horn *


I am really enjoying his latest work!  I'm loving the light!  I can't wait to see more!  Hopefully he'll get some of it posted on his website soon!  ;)  But, in the meantime, you can see some of his previous series here!  I have a permanent link to his site in the blog list on the right hand side of my page also!  Please visit and feel free to leave him a congratulatory comment!


The exhibit runs through January 7, 2012, so if you are in the area and get a chance, I sure hope you'll stop by and check it out!


Now, for a little news of my own . . . and, I am a bit embarrassed to say, *ahem*  I'm a little late in posting about this.  I have been so busy with painting my dining room and a few other little projects, that I'm afraid I have been MIA from my posting for a while!  But, I got home one day after an especially long day at work and sat down to catch up with my blog friends.  I was reading about SpecialK's very first blog award and feeling very happy for her, and as I read, a very familiar name came up!   MINE!  I was so surprised I had to reread it to be sure she really meant me!


She was such a sweetie, she passed the award along and gave me my very first blog award, too.  *blush*  THANK YOU!  :) If you haven't already checked out her sweet little blog, A Day with SpecialK, I hope you will stop by and say hi!  She has such sweet little inspirational posts and videos to bring smiles to your face!  I hope you will take a little time to poke around and check out her whole blog!  (Oh, and a little secret about us bloggers . . . we thrive on comments!  So, leave her a note to say you dropped by!)


Now, I have to take a few minutes real soon to figure out to whom I should spread the love!   Hopefully, I won't take another week and a half to get that done!  :)


Ok, until later, lovelies!  Hope to get back here soon!



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Garden Bounty


Yummy, yummy, yummy I got my garden in my tummy, and it's really making me smile!


This was the first year that I had a garden that consisted of more than tomatoes, basil and asparagus.  I tried last year and the year before that, but didn't have a lot of luck with some of the things I tried.  But, this time, I got lucky.  


My patty pans and zucchini did well (aside from the powdery mildew I fought all season).  I took them out today.  I have had my fill of them for the year!  My asparagus is getting a good start.  I'm not sure what's going to happen with the rhubarb.  It started out gangbusters and looked great, but then it just suddenly up and died.  I hope it comes back next spring, but . . we'll see!  I'm afraid I've seen the last of it. :(


But, this was the first time I've ever tried to grow watermelon and cantaloupe.  And, oh . . . did I ever get lucky! ! !  I planted Moon and Stars watermelon.  I think I should have planted a couple of them to hopefully increase fertilization, so I get more fruit next time.  It's having another flush of blooms, so . . . maybe I'll get another one, but I think they need warmer weather to get sweet . . .


I only got one watermelon from the vine, but it was a nice-sized 10 pounder!  It was ready to harvest last weekend and man, oh, man was it good!  Super, super sweet and oh, so juicy!   Mmmmm-mmmmmm-good! 


And I believe the Charentais (French heirloom cantaloupe) melons do live up to their hype!  The first one, the bugs got.  The second one, my neighbor got because it ripened up while I was on vacation.  The third one, the bugs got again . . . dog-gone roly-polys!  But, the fourth one was mine, ALLLLL mine!  Mwaha ha ha haa  . . .  oh, sorry . . .  ;)  I can attest that they are the sweetest, most flavorful melons I have ever tasted.  They are on the small side, about 6"-7" diameter, but very big on taste! I may have to camp out in my garden with my knife and fork waiting for the next one to ripen up . . .  I.  CANT.   WAIT! ! !  *drool* :)  I wish you could reach into the screen and just help yourself to a piece . . you should grow it . . . really, it's that good!  I am in raptures!  I've got about 10 more in various stages of development . . . but, it is going to be a few more weeks before any of them ripen up.  I normally like to share, but I might be a little selfish with these!  :)


Looking at these photos, it looks like summer is still here!  


But, autumn is creeping in!  So, this will be my little transitional post between summer and fall.  As you can see here, I also had some luck with the pumpkins I planted.  I just got two of the white lumina pumpkins and about a dozen of these cute little Sugar Pie pumpkins.  I plan on using the luminas to decorate for Halloween.  They have been sitting around here for more than a month!  I planted a couple of months too early, though, so next time I need to make sure I wait a bit before I plant them!


The little Sugar Pies are just so cute you want to pinch their little cheeks!  These are my last two, and the smaller one has actually seen better days now!  I am hoping the other is still going to be good enough to eat!  :-)   Speaking of eating, my sister sent me home with some of her squash and sweet potatoes and they were soooooo good, I have been craving more!  They are going to be planted here next year also! I still have one of the Sweet Dumpling squash she gave me and when I get ready to fix it, I will be sure to save some of the seed for next year.  VERY good stuff!  And, she said she would send me another sweet potato for me to use to get a start for next year.  I don't remember what variety they were, but they were absolutely THE best sweet potatoes I have ever had!  Thanks, Jules!  


Oh, my, I just ate and this is making me hungry again!  :)  Can't wait for next spring!  So, there you have it!  I sure hope you enjoyed my little recent harvest!  I know I sure did!  :)  Stop back by again sometime soon!  See ya!  


Friday, October 21, 2011

Beautiful Critters


This will be my final trip post.  I saved all the pretty little critters I came across for last.  


No lions, or tigers or bears (oh, my!), but there were plenty of ground squirrels,


and squirrels.  This little guy was a real ham - when I first tried to get his pic, the batteries in my camera had to be changed.  When I set my stuff down to get the batteries out, he must have thought I was getting ready to feed him, so he came running over and started trying to chew on my stuff.  But, once I got my new batteries in, he obligingly ran back to his post for his close up, but since he didn't get a treat, kept his back to me at first.  It took a while for him to kind of forgive me and sort of turn back again.  You can see he still looks a little bit grumpy with me.


There were mountain goats out for their daily stroll along the highway.  There were 3 or 4 of them in the road, but it was causing a bit of a traffic jam, so I was trying to get a picture as I was trying to keep moving . . . I didn't want someone to start getting impatient and honking their horns and scare the goats! She looks like she is smiling for her close up!  Don't you think?  A little Mona Lisa smile?


I went where the deer,


and the antelope play . . .


And I saw even more antelope,


and elk . . .


and more and more elk.  As I mentioned in one of my previous posts here, at one of the stops in the mountains, you could hear the elk calls echoing through the peaks.  It was really quite nice.  Wish I had them on tape!  Sure beats the constant calls from the freeway I hear around here!  ;)


There were some friendly ravens . . .







and wild cats . . . . oh, wait!  How in the world did Moosie get in there? ? ?    ;)

Well, that's it from my trip!  I've got a little garden update planned for next time!  I hope you'll stop back by and have a little taste with me!  ;)  See ya later!




Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Beautiful Places Part 6


I ended up needing to extend my vacation by a day.  I spent a little too much time at Arches and although I had already planned that I would get back very late, with the extra time there, miles and miles of unexpected road work narrowing down the interstate to just one lane, the rain, etc, it was all adding up to making for a very, very late (or a very, very early the next morning) arrival home.


As I was getting tired, I decided I'd better get a room for the night instead of trying to push through.  So, I stopped for the night before I left Utah.  It was raining when I stopped.


The next morning I looked out the window to see what the weather was like to help me decide what to wear and was delighted to see it was snowing!  Big, fat fluffy flakes drifting silently down.  The ground was covered in about an inch or so of snow!  I was so excited!  I'm not sure I'm ready to move back to somewhere that gets snow.  I'm so used to being able to just visit it now and then if I need a snow fix, but I do miss being in the snow while it is snowing.  It is so beautiful and quiet when it snows.  It is such a treat now as it is a bit difficult to time visits to coincide with a good snowfall.  :)


But, by the time I got around and got out there, it had almost stopped.  This was my car with it's new white sweater!  It didn't last long and I drove out of it pretty quickly, but before I did, there was a brief time when it was starting to come down again and I was able to get a little video of it.  (Sorry about the noise from the interstate!)

video





Monday, October 17, 2011

Beautiful Places Part 5


Moving on from the highway following the Colorado River, here are a few shots from Arches National Park.  I didn't get to spend much time there, pretty much just a quick drive through and grabbing shots of things close to the road.  Still not much sun, but it was still gorgeous!  


It seems a lot of the formations were in groups of threes.  I think this one looks like a group of bystanders, huddled together waiting for the parade to begin, with the lizard king there on the right keeping watch for the first entry in the procession.  :)


I would love to go back when the sun is shining and take a few of the short hikes back to some of the other arches you can't see from your car.


There is still a lot you can see even on a rushed tour through like I did.


I think this looks like an elephant!  :)


This reminds me of the Three Wise Men, except these three look like they would be more at home in Chalmun's Cantina on Tatooine (from Star Wars fame).   And, instead of frankincense and myrrh,  the one on the left is bringing a stuffed elephant.  And, instead of lambs and cows milling about around the manger there's a lion sleeping on a stack of pancakes.  (See his cute little tail hanging down the side?)  Hmmmm . . hope there aren't any psychoanalysts reading this post . . .  ;)


This is their "signature" arch, the one they use on all their promotional materials.


And, through the miracle of Photoshop, a bit more of a close up of said arch!


I did have to hike a teeny way to get this one!  You have to shimmy through a narrow passageway through the rocks, and then trek a little way through dunes of really fine red sand.  I finally ended up taking my shoes off to walk through it and it felt simply delightful!  Cool, silky sand between the toes . .  oh, boy!  (But, I did find quite a pile of it in my shoes when I got home!  I didn't mean to steal anything from the park, but . . . I was glad to find it!  I was wishing I had taken some, it was so pretty!  I think I may have to start a little collection of sand from places I visit!  I'll have to stay on the lookout for some pretty way to display it!)


There is a campground allllll the way at the end of the park.  I think it would be absolutely fantastic to be able to stay there sometime and explore more of the park at a more leisurely pace.  It is within walking distance of several of the arches, some I didn't have time to hike back to!  Maybe one of these days!


Next up . . . will be just a quick post . . . I sure hope you'll stop back by to check it out!  More of the trip!  And after that, the final installation of this series will be of the critters I ran into along the way! 


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beautiful Places Part 4


Hello, again!  I'm back with a few more pics from my trip.  I last left you in Colorado and I am picking up from there to continue on my journey.  There were some sprinkles up there that made their way onto the windshield as I was driving through.  


I kept hoping the sun would win the game of hide-and-seek with the clouds, but no such luck.  I got a little sun, but not a lot.


The clouds followed me to Utah.  The closer I got to Arches National Park, the more overcast it got.  But, I did have a little sun off and on while wending my way through the backroads along the Colorado River.


Can you just imagine the color that would appear here if the sun were to suddenly burst forth and bathe these cliffs in it's warm golden glow?  Since there had been rain recently, there was a lot of green against all that red rock.


The Le Sal mountains far off in the background were covered with snow, which I suspect was a recent happening!


The rock formations were just gorgeous and so varied and intricate.  It almost looks more like a painted backdrop than reality.  It would be such a treat to spend a year watching how the light and shadow play on them throughout the year!  From dawn to dusk!  Just grab a nice glass of wine and commune with the lizards and cottontails while watching the clouds drift by.


Is it just me?  But, this formation reminds me of a ship.  The bow lifting just slightly up out of the water.  Perhaps I just have traveling and cruises on my mind . . .  Can you see the ship?


This seems to me the iconic representation of all the deadwood that you see everywhere out in the canyonlands.  A sculptural masterpiece in its own right.  I still have more vacation pics to share, which I hope to be able to do in a couple of days!  I also have several pics of some of the wildlife I came across, for which I will create a separate post later, so stay tuned!  Hope to see you back here soon!  TTFN my little BFF!  ;)