Monday, July 31, 2023

Magical Deer And Comforts Of Home

The other day, I was driving around trying to find some beauty in this mountain town, so I could be close to nature.  I didn't see anything out of the ordinary, so I started to drive home.  Then, I saw it.....I made a swift turn to the left off the highway onto a street where a little house was and stopped.  There she was, just standing in the front yard of someone's house.

She didn't run away, and didn't seem to be afraid at all.  Most of the deer that I come across get startled when they see my camera, but not her.  She just kept munching on the greenery in the front yard.

She danced this way and that way.

She scratched herself.

She stuck out her tongue.

And it even looked like she was laughing.

Then, she looked over, and just stared at me.

It was like she was a magical deer, and she was so close I could almost reach out and touch her.  To think that I was trying to search for beauty in nature, when really, nature always comes to us.

When me and Nel and Jess went shopping at Home Goods one day, Nel found lots of items, and one of them was a pie plate with cherries on it.  The other day, Nel made a cherry pie and used the pie plate she bought.

I found some Starbuck's cinnamon coffee at the store and had to get some.  The cashier, S, said that a man liked it so much that he came back and bought four more bags.

I made some delicious steaks one night.  They were so tender that the meat seemed to fall apart when cleaning it.

I went to see A. at the Home Shop and bought a couple things - a tin of green tea and a chocolate huckleberry bar.  My oldest brother used to tell me about the benefits of green tea, and I've been drinking it ever since.

I also bought two bowls, which are pretty good size, to use when I make popcorn.  Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks, and I make it the old fashioned way on the stove with melted butter and salt.

Jess and Brian and Francesca took a trip to Hawaii before the school year starts.  I'll try to share more of that later.

She sent some goodies home to her brother, which I've enjoyed as well.  ; )

It's nice when we can do a little shopping and treat ourselves once in awhile....all for the comforts of home.

Francesca sent Uncle b a picture she drew - it's of him and her surfing the waves together.  And Mia sang a tune and played the guitar on a little video for uncle b.  It was the cutest thing.  A gift from a child is the most special of all.

Lastly, a couple months ago, Nel lost their cat, Cleo.  They were devastated.  But the mama had more kittens, and Nel decided to get another one for Mia.  All the other kittens were kind of crazy, but this one was so snuggly and loving.  They named him Luca.  Disney's Luca is one of their favorite movies, and they just went to Italy this year.  Luca means "bringer of light" in Italian, and Nel said he definitely brought light to their family after losing Cleo.  I'd like to you meet Luca.


Monday, July 24, 2023

Bellagio, Italy

Nel just took a wonderful trip to Italy, and I wanted to share some of her adventure with you, as she said it was the most beautiful place she's ever been to.....Bellagio.

They tried to count the lily pads in the reflecting pool at the Villa.

They sipped on Aperol Spritz in a shady courtyard, while the turtles sunned themselves in the hot golden rays at the day's end.

The Basillica of St. Giocomo, an 11th Century Catholic Church.  How I'd love to attend Mass there.

The cool of the lake after a half day climbing up and down cobblestone stairs.

Mia on the rocks.  Looks like she's standing on a huge dinosaur.

Lake Como

A little restaurant nestled in an alleyway in one of the hilly staircases leading up from the city center.

An assortment of pizzas and pastas arrived at the table.  Mia is enjoying her pasta.

Mia overlooking their balcony where they stayed.  Nel got her a little Bellagio outfit.  ; )

Nel said it was an amazing trip!  And so blessed to have experienced it.


Monday, July 17, 2023

Some Summer

It was pretty warm here this last weekend, but it's supposed to be in the 90's this week and through the month.  There is a cactus flower at the creek that comes only in the Summer months, and it's dry and not particularly attractive, but when it blooms, it's unusually pretty with a vibrant red tip.  Every season, I drive through the coffee shop and get a specialty drink.  Summer is here, so it was time for a treat.  After looking at all the different blends, I was drawn to the pumpkin spice latte, and I guess I've been thinking of Fall, so that's what I got.  There is a huge pine tree that sits next to the coffee shop, and it looks like one very tall Christmas tree, when actually there are three snuggled together.  Afterwards, I parked and enjoyed my coffee, and I'm still amazed with the view right in front of me, Mount Shasta.  It still glistens with snow even in the Summer, and I rarely see the mountain without it.  My neighbor brought over what she called 'South of the Border Shrimp Cocktail.'  I didn't get a picture, but it was tasty.  She's always bringing over goodies, and she's there if I ever have any mountain questions haha.  I do believe they are the best neighbors I've had in all the houses I've lived in.  All the men in my family are good cooks, my son, sons-in-law, brothers, brothers-in-law.  My son cooked some shrimp one night with his own special buttery sauce, and I made some pineapple bacon sausages, and it was all delicious.  Jess had a huge beehive in their attic!  And with it came fresh honeycomb.  Her family went to the Santa Barbara Zoo, and Francesca had fun looking around at all the exotic animals.  If you ever visit California, the San Diego Zoo is a really neat one also.  Nel and her family took a trip to Italy and just returned home.  They had a great time, and Mia got to travel to Europe at the young age of 4.  Her favorite thing was the gelato, and she learned a new word, grazie, (thank you).  Well, that's a splash of our Summer, and this will be a photo filled post today.

Summertime.  Not my favorite season, too hot and dry, and with that is the concern of wildfires, but none have been reported in the area so far.  The pines and the lakes are so pretty here, and are filled from all the rain we got this year.  I recently got a chance to go to a nearby lake when my brother-in-law from my hometown visited for the day.  We got burgers and cokes and drove to the lake, and it was a nice outing.  For the kids, Summer is a time to rejoice and be free.  To have time off from the rules of school, and to play like the carefree, barefoot children they are meant to be.

  Brian making homemade ice cream with the kids.