29 July 2011

Ah, Normalcy

It's so lovely to be back in a routine as of this morning. Love it. Unfortunately part of that routine involves putting everything away and cleaning the entire house, maintenance men working in my bedroom, all the windows closed for exterior building high-power washing and a living room full of patio garden plants that had to be brought inside to accommodate the washing. But oh, doesn't it feel good to have slept in my own bed, have a closet with clothing options I haven't seen in a while and a kitchen full of food that isn't from a restaurant or fast food chain. So happy to be at home.

It's amazing how nice it is to see your own dishes, fix the pillows on your own couch and catch up on TiVo shows you're actually interested in and check the mail. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

I have three important projects today, besides the "duties." I need to get to the library and pick up the next volume of Laura Ingalls Wilder books, I need to trim the rosemary, thyme and basil then make my first attempt at pesto before the basil dies and lastly make homemade spaghetti sauce with the many, many tomatoes we have that desperately need to be picked from the vine. I will freeze some of it and definitely enjoy some of it this weekend with a beautiful big salad.

Hope all is going well for you. I've missed being with you. Looking forward to being here more in the coming days. Have some fun things to share. Happy weekend!

22 July 2011

Winding Roads And Far-off Views

Dear blog friends, I am so sorry I have been absent these past two weeks. I have thought of so many things I want to share with you and if I could go to lunch with you we would talk about so many things I cannot discuss here. I have missed you, your wisdoms, friendship, etc. I wanted to pop in and say hello.

One thing I kind of hate about blogging is the need to be so private and guarded about personal matters. It's necessary, it's right and wise, but some days you just want to shout out to the world about the real life experiences you are having. I have been on a journey of unexpected challenges and driven by a view of things afar off that I know are good and right. A journey where paths meander, are more slow-moving and difficult to traverse than it seems they should be or at times seems humanly possible.

But the great lesson I have learned in the journey is that there is joy and happiness to be found in every day. I have not been too sad, depressed or fearful, but rather confidant, joyful and happy. I am learning and learning and learning again to find the beauty in my life, no matter what comes; to devour every bit of love extended to me and share every bit I have in my heart to give.

There is nothing held back in any way in my life right now. It's all on the line. I am fighting the good fight in every way afforded me. And what blessings have come my way? A most delicious few stolen hours at the beach in the most beautiful weather, fireworks - lots of them and often just when I have prayed for strength and understanding (I'll share an experience I had many years ago about fireworks with you sometime), tearful, joyful hugs, deeply personal promises between the hearts of my nearest and dearest and even the most miraculous interactions with acquaintances and strangers who had something to share that buoyed me up.

I actually had a complete stranger say to me last week, "I don't know you, but I feel I need to share something with you." After speaking for a few minutes, this person we came to realize had been through the exact experiences we are going through right now and it was just beyond amazing that we met and she reached out to us purely from personal inspiration.

I just realized it sounds like I am ill or dying or something and that is not the case, please don't worry. But we are currently facing a challenge with very long term consequences for our soon-to-be official little family. It's heartbreaking and yet, in my heart, my dear, dear heart I see afar off the promised blessings and joy down the path we must walk. I know they are real and I know I have it in me to have the faith to get there.

I know many of all of you will understand what I speak of. You have your far off views and challenging paths too. While I hate to think you are faced with challenges, I know there's a beautiful city in view for you too, as I am sure you feel as well. I wish you every joy and every blessing in facing those things. There's some comfort that we are all in the same boat so to speak. Know that with all my heart I send you my best wishes and any strength I can share on your journey. I'll see you on the path somewhere soon. With love, K

18 July 2011

It's Summer People, S-U-M-M-E-R!

What's all this talk about back to school and Christmas in July? Stop it now, I demand it. It's summer for Pete's sake. Let's enjoy it while it lasts. We're just getting going with this Summer 2011 and the best is yet to come. Right?!

So rather than thinking about new boots and coats for the Fall season or start decorating projects for the holidays, let's sit back and enjoy some beachy summer design projects thanks to MarthaStewart.com. I'm a big fan of beach style decor. Living near the ocean and with my Polynesian heritage, I really love these inspired ideas for pillows, candles, curtains and more. They make me want to switch things up a bit with these easy-to-do products and host a pretty summer dinner party.

There's lots of summer left, let's not forget it. Live it up. Enjoy the days of light because we know the winter and shorter days will come. Get back to summer with some great ideas from Martha's team.

photo via marthastewart

15 July 2011

Cameras Love The End Of The Day

The end of the day really is a phenomenal time to take photos. On a wander through Old Town San Diego this week the lighting was quite magical. It was lovely to take some time out for a couple of hours of walking with The Man and The Bug.

Summer is in full bloom, the sky was blue, the clouds fluffy and the lighting just perfect. Two fantastic musicians were playing in the courtyard and The Man was kind enough to encourage me to buy the CDs they were selling. The artist was Mario Olivares and the music was instrumental and so perfect for a summer night. I'm listening to the CD Festival now while I write this setting the perfect tone for my work.

There were languages from all over the world being spoken around us. Couples walking hand in hand, small children running and yelling, parents with their teenage children all looking a little tired and shell shocked from long-term exposure to each other in an unfamiliar geographic setting. It was the dinner hour and people had relaxing and eating on the agenda. It was all very entertaining and peaceful.

Brought back lovely memories from our visit last summer. You can read about it here. The gardens here are so very of the moment style wise with gorgeous succulents everywhere. I wrote a post about the gardens here. I have to say this year they are even more beautiful.

I also wrote a post last year about The Urban Seed, a favorite store there. Click the link to see and read about it. I noticed this visit that there were "no photos" signs posted all over the store. I'm quite certain I didn't see those there last year, but apparently there has sadly been an incident of some sort.

If you visit Old Town San Diego, don't miss the Mormon Battalion museum. The short tour is very family friendly and interactive. You'll be caught by surprise from the first moments. Learn the story of some of San Diego's earliest settlers. After the tour, they have fantastic kid-friendly activities, some which cost money in other areas of Old Town.

Don't miss a chance to take an old fashion family photo, pan for gold, pump an old well and climb the tower for a beautiful view overlooking Old Town. I was impressed to realize the tower has an elevator and is accessible to all. Another important note for anyone who travels regularly, you will appreciate their very clean bathrooms and drinking fountains.

Hope you enjoy this colorful little tour of Old Town San Diego. One of the things I love about San Diego is that there are so many fantastic things to do and places to see and they are all within just minutes of each other. It's one of my favorite places. Hope you have a terrific weekend and some time to enjoy the colors of the world wherever you are.

images by kalanicut

13 July 2011

Give Girls A Chance To Be Sports Fans

Last Friday afternoon I mentioned to The Man the idea of going to a Dodgers game. Friday nights are the best nights to go because every Friday they have a big fireworks show after the game. We checked out ticket options and saw that we could get some great discounts and a few hours later we were on our way.

I will confess that over the summer I've been slowing introducing The Bug to the Dodgers on the radio and on TV, hoping she'd take interest. Having her own pink ball and bat and heading to the park for a little batting practice with Dad helped too. She and The Man have also taken a little batting practice in the house, which is always a little sketchy. I try to look the other way.

When I was three years old I started going to college basketball games with my dad. It was fun. I still remember we'd buy a giant, crisp, red apple, some licorice and sometimes popcorn and climb high up into the rafters to watch the games. I watched the game a bit, but there was so much more to look at too. I might have squirmed around a bit, but I never got bored. I still remember a bit from those early days and happily have some of my favorite growing up memories following college football and basketball with my dad. In fact I still frequently call him up after a Saturday game to see how the game was or compare notes.

So I had high hopes that Friday night she would take at least some interest and last at least three innings before getting squirmy, exclaiming boredom or falling asleep. She did not disappoint. She cheered through the entire game, made every effort dance her way onto the big screen in the ball park, joined every chant, screamed for every good play and in the end was jumping up and down in my arms when the Dodgers won on the final out in the top of the 9th inning. When it was time to go she said, "I want to stay here forever!"

Yesterday we were on a walk and she started doing Dodgers cheers. Last night she watched a little of the All-Star Game with me, cheering "Let's go, Dodgers. (Clap-clap) Let's go!

I grew up in an all girl family, but our dad still took us to sporting events. We all ended up playing a lot of sports and living an active lifestyle. Going to ball games isn't just for Dads and boys, it's great for dads and daughters and moms too. There are so many great discounts out there and every ballpark has tickets in a wide range of prices. It's a great way to expose kids to sports and community spirit - and to spend a few hours together with family. And if the kiddos catch the sporting spirit, it's a big score. We'll definitely be heading back to Dodger Stadium again this season and as always looking for fun things to do together around our own city.

08 July 2011

Anthropologie Inspired DIY

I saw this very fresh display at Anthropologie last year and as I was looking through some of my old photos I saw it again and my brain went crazy thinking of all the cool applications you could do like this.

The easiest way to make something like this, in any pattern or color, is probably to buy a clear Lucite box, make an adhesive pattern and then spray paint the inside of the box with several coats of paint, then remove the adhesive stencil. Of course I immediately thought of doing something with bright orange paint, although so many colors would be so spectacular. I can see lots of options for the kitchen, bathroom, nursery or kids room.

I think lighting the box could be really fun too. There are a few ways you could do that using different bulb and wiring options. Wouldn't it be fun to have these casting a warm glow across your kitchen after the day's work was done. So charming. Another option would be to do house numbers and hang it near the front door of a home.

If you made one of these what would you create, where would you put it? It's another fun idea to tuck into my file of future DIY projects. I'm on a bit of a DIY diet at the moment because I just don't need anything. I have plenty of good decor already, just need to maximize it and enjoy it. Someday I'll have just the right place for one of these and I'll go for it.

image by kalanicut

06 July 2011

Parks & Recreation - An Amazing Backyard View

A few years ago, the city my parents live in, bought the pastures behind their house and created the most beautiful city park. In the late 1800s this land was a local amusement-recreation park. If only this modern day version had been around when we were kids. What a beautiful wonderland.

In the photo below can you see the outline of an Indian maiden lying on her back across the top of this mountain? Her feather headdress starts just below the tree branch on the right side of the shot. Her feet are at the left edge of the mountain. Here is the legend of this Indian maiden in the mountain - scroll down to the Legend section.

If you want to read the full story see it here. It's a stunningly beautiful mountain, isn't it? Whenever I see this mountain it melts my heart a bit. This is the view I looked at every day when I was a little child. Dreamy. Here's another beautiful view.

Usually by this time of year there are just a few small patches of snow on the mountains. You can tell there was a long winter and cool spring with so much snow still there. Below is another gorgeous view from the park. More favorite mountains. Doesn't a big field like that just make you want to run and do cartwheels?

Gorgeous views like this tempt a city girl. But when it's 100 degrees and there are mosquitoes, that puts a question mark on that. Especially once she gets back to her ocean breezes and temperate climate. But it sure is lovely and a fantastic spot for a game of catch, a wander with family or friends, a swing or slide or a lovely nap, I love that there is a renewed consciousness for green, outdoor spaces and for saving historic sites. I have to think that the pioneers who created this park would be tickled pink to see it today. Do you have any favorite parks near where you live or where you grew up?

Happy Wednesday, friends. Sending you my fondest wishes. 

05 July 2011

This Is My Country, Land That I Love

What an awesome Fourth of July weekend we had. I am tired but finally starting to catch up. There was not a lot of sleep involved, starting with the night before I left getting only 3 1/2 hours sleep. Didn't get much better than that until last night when I got about 6 hours. Ahh.

I wanted to share some photos with you of my drive. It was so beautiful. So here are a few favorite shots of the trip north through Utah. I have such a love for America's farmland and Utah has such an amazingly diverse landscape that I was snapping shot after shot.

I headed home for Los Angeles from Las Vegas this morning but the traffic was so bad that I turned around and went back to Vegas. A 70 mile waste of time, but I figured why make a four hour drive into an six, eight or ten hour drive for no reason. Mission aborted. So I will attempt again tonight.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and that you week is going well. I have some more photos I will share tomorrow. Gorgeous mountains views from my parents home. Looking forward to this week and some fun new posts.

01 July 2011

Land Of The Free & Home Of The Brave

If you live in the U.S. it's one of the best weekends of the year and the highlight of the summer season. I am headed home, part of the way road-tripping with a divine sister. It's very possible there will be an Annie Get Your Gun sing-a-long to the Broadway soundtrack starring Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat.  I'm just sayin' it's possible although I may be a bit rusty.

Once with the family we'll celebrate a family event on Saturday, go to a stadium patriotic event & fireworks event on Saturday night. Monday morning we'll hit the big Fourth of July parade. Here's a look at my mantle this week. Sadly I didn't get text written on the blackboard. So it's computer aided.

It's very simple, but more holiday festive than usual, unless it's Christmas time. I enjoyed my attempts at 4th of July decor. I think it's a noble holiday to celebrate in any way possible. The little Uncle Sam is a $1 wood kit that is meant for kids to use markers & color. The Bug made one too, hers is in her room. I upscaled mine by painting it instead. The Liberty sign was a gift from my aunt five or six years ago. I love it and have it on display somewhere all the time. A good reminder to be grateful for blessed freedoms. So the cost for this holiday display, not including anything I already had in the house, was $1 plus tax for Uncle Sam. Fun to see what you can pull together from the craft drawers.

For those of you in the states or celebrating elsewhere hope it's a wonderful holiday weekend. And a wonderful regular old summer weekend wish to the rest of you. Thanks for coming by. Have a safe weekend!
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