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Bringing your garden indoors… miniature

mini garden header 2 againEvery time I see a miniature garden I am impressed.  I think they are so cute!  For some reason they remind me of the Beatrix Potter books that I loved as a child, and I think that’s what draws me to them.

Because of my affection for them, I decided to try my luck at making my own.  There are so many things you can do with your garden; sizes, shapes, accessories, etc.  They can be designed for Read more….


Is Skydiving on your Bucket List?

skydiving resizedI guess it runs in the family… a genetic mutation that causes an entire family to be thrill seekers! My husband Steve is the carrier because it is definitely not part of my genetic makeup!

Back in October I wrote a memorial to my mother-in-law who in her 80’s decided she needed to skydive at least once in her lifetime. That desire has now spread to the rest of my family. A few months ago our son Eric made his first jump and soon my husband Steve was wanting to do the same. When Steve found a Groupon deal for Skydive Hollister he “jumped” at the chance to buy a ticket for both he and Eric. I warned him he had better do it on one of my days off because I had to be there to witness it!

At the recommendation of the skydive crew and others, what started out as being an 8,000 foot jump soon turned into 15,000. To quote, “If you jump at 8,000 feet you’ll hit the ground saying I should have done at least 11,000. You just don’t get enough free-fall time at 8,000 ft.” I understood the thinking but the idea made me cringe! At the same time, I didn’t want Steve and Eric to be disappointed so I gently persuaded Steve to spend the extra $50 each to go just 3,000 feet higher. I’m feeling comfortable with the decision when my non-fearing husband says, “If I’m gonna pay more, then I’m going to 18,000!” Now I was beginning to question my persuasion. Finally, after settling for 15,000 ft, signing the 5 page waiver, and watching the tandem waiver video the men were ready to suit-up. The crew, office workers, and parachute rigger (whom I kept a close eye on) were Read more….


Why I’m Choosing to be a Stay at Home Grandma

Stay at home lead pictureI am making a choice to be a stay at home grandma. Financially speaking, this is not an easy decision. Paul and I are 61 and 60 and not in the best of places financially considering we are staring retirement in the face. But at 60 I also realize all too well how fast children grow up. You blink and that sweet little toddler is a teenager. I spent my children’s young years working. Sometimes because I had to, and other times simply because “I thought” I had to. I have read more….


A day in the life of a “Club Sandwich”

Club Sandwich GenerationYou’ve probably heard of the “Sandwich Generation”. I’ve recently learned that there is another type of  “sandwich” generation referred to as the “Club Sandwich”. When I first read the definition, my thought was “That’s us!”

When you have three, no four, generations in one house, your personal bubble shrinks to an amazingly small size! Most of the time we can float about without invading, or God forbid bursting someone else’s bubble. I’d say we’re doing pretty good. I suppose it’s because when you love one another enough you can generally get over most issues.

It’s becoming more and more common for extended families to read more….


No green thumb? Try air plants…

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If you don’t have a green thumb and struggle to keep your houseplants alive you might want to try air plants.   They are plants that require no soil to grow….just sunshine and a soaking now and then.   There is no transplanting!  That makes them easy to grow and care for.

I’ve always loved using plants to decorate my home.  I can remember a time when I actually had over a hundred plants in my house!   Of course that was before I had children of my own and my priorities greatly changed.   I still enjoy having plants around me, just not in such an overwhelming quantity!

Air plants are a tropical plant in the bromeliad family.   They like a spot with good circulation around them where they can breathe.  They look lovely inside glass domes, but only for a short time as they prefer fresh air.  Glass globes with a hole in them or open containers are ideal.   I purchased glass globes in different shapes that are made specifically for air plants.  They have “breathing” holes in them.  You can find a variety of plants and globes at Amazon.

These little plants love a good soak. The best way to water is to read more….


Have you ever heard of the “Big Hurt”?

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Have you ever heard of an event called the “Big Hurt”?  I hadn’t till recently and now I know why it has earned that name!  It is a grueling 4 leg race beginning with 16.5 miles of mountain biking, followed by 3 miles of ocean kayaking, 30 miles of road biking and ends with a 10k run.  Participants can race solo in Iron Division or as a relay team of 2-4 persons in the team division.   The Big Hurt originated in Port Angeles, Washington in 1997 and was an annual event until 2004.  It was resurrected this year to the delight read more….


SM Foodtrucks with headerTwo of our favorite hobbies are FOOD and taking drives along the PCH. Put the two together and you have the perfect date night!

Main Street in Santa Monica is a great place to experience an eclectic selection of cuisine. Every Tuesday 8 food trucks congregate in a parking lot on Main Street between the California Heritage Museum and The Victorian Restaurant. Savory scents of garlic, curry and grilled meats attract locals and visitors to the event. The small park next to the museum is full of families and beach goers, as well as people stopping in for read more….


Attracting HummingbirdsWe love hummingbirds! Currently there are 4 that reside in our back yard. All day long they chatter and chase one another around the yard competing for nectar. Of all our flowering plants the Cigar Plant seems to rank #1 in popularity with our hummingbirds and the Hibiscus is probably the 2nd most desired.

Hummingbirds do not rely on scent but rather color to lead them to flowers that produce large amounts of nectar. They are particularly drawn to tubular shaped brightly colored flowers of red, orange and hot pink. Hummingbirds will also read more….


Couples shower for Mom, Dad and baby Ella

shower couples baby shower picSo, what do you do when you have an endless list of ideas but not enough time to make them happen? Keep it sweet and simple when planning a backyard baby shower! That’s what we did for baby Ella’s shower. With little time to prepare we came up with decorations and food that were foolproof and simple to create. Rachel isn’t much for drawing attention to herself so she preferred a couples shower which helped to ease the nervous feelings associated with being the center of attention. read more….


Two fun, simple games you may have forgotten


PicMonkey Collagegame 3

We have found two great games that include everyone when our family gets together.  These games have proven to be fun for all, from Connor our youngest grandson of 6, to the most mature folks, Mike and I!   This weekend was no exception.  I’m certain our neighbors must have heard the commotion!

Pit was the first game on our agenda.  This game has been around for a very long time, it was published in 1904!  Just to put that into perspective, the Wright brothers flew the world’s very first airplane the prior December. read more….