Howdy’ this is Miss  Mishmash! You are lucky  I found these pics in the media folder of my blog ! Am still  by the sea  (so nice:)) and had to wait till I returned home to really start posting.

Several things I haven’t mastered yet on the Ipad, like how to get photos from my camera, or even Dropbox into my wordpress media folder, and linking to the memes went totally wrong:(

Balboa Isle Winter_0335


The ocean breeze reminds me to take a Good Long Break:)




Oh Dear!

Where we live now – in the middle of nowhere –  as my adult kids say, we see deer every day, sometimes a few , other times a whole group. They jump the fence, eat whatever they can find in your back yard, look at what hubby is building, and then go on

At night in the hotel have been watching a series about living in Alaska. One of the aspects was deer hunting.  Am very confused that the hunter had a moment of sadness  when he saw the deer he killed,  and said, “You did good, girl.” He sighed.  Next scene: they started skinning  the deer  … I even didn’t have to suggest to hubby to watch something else. Guess I’ve lived too long in the city:(







Don’t these look  like Spring?  Probably shot these in the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena.

Am back home, and couldn’t go on the internet. Luckily we could still talk to our son in Holland via the Ipad’ s cellular data (now life has come to the point that things have reversed: our adult kids are worried when they can’t get in touch with us).

Today at the office hubby discovered that in the days we were gone the provider had changed to another system … and had lost all paper work on us!




Fences on Hills_0062

On your way  back home on Wednesday we drove through this beautiful range of hills. Discovered these fences driving by:)






It pays to travel (back home) – you’re bound to see  some awesome views!



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 Featured image:

Had aleady posted a painting of three roses, but  when I saw a Book of Love on the beach in my mind – withered, but with a beautiful cover, tattered , and some pages mssing –  I changed my mind, because it was  a few days before Valentine’s Day. It came to me that some things about love have been forgotten.  I imagined that if you saw a book laying on the beach, withered by time, you might have picked it up. I drew it from scratch, then put watercolor over it, then soft pastel. It’s not finished yet.  Read who the real Valentine was  … he was much closer to love than (the movie) 50 shades of grey. On whatever day, I wish you much love in your life! If I  would have had a  wish for Valentine’s Day, it would have be en somewhere by the ocean and … having a lot of chocolate!     PierCafe_5722 Casual and relaxing chattering birds on the rocks and on the roof       Bougainvilla_5983   where hardy Bougainvilla and cacti grow * GlassFenceCoronadelMarRocks     Glass Fence on the deck (2nd story) of our friends for protection. The image  for “Wordless”  (below) is very near by  – hangout of lots of birds and sea lions       BirdsCrop         SunsetReflections058   But … I stayed “home.” My plan, if that would happen was at least  to eat at the crepery or the Italian and spending my day painting or knitting … and … I ended up packing!

Did your plans pan out, or… did they fall in the water ? (it’s a Dutch saying)

Update: But packing was not as bad as it sounds, for the next day  I went with hubby close to the sea for a week for his work. Will only have the Ipad with me – which is harder to link to the memes – sorry if it does not work out!

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS … of El Dorado Hills

A few days before Valentine’s Day  I saw this image in my mind of A Book of Love – it’s not finished yet (17 3.4 x 12 inch) , but I thought to wish you much love in your life!
(drawn from scratch  otherwise it would be cheating, lol. Then watercolor, over that – soft pastel


Sacramento does not have much of the “umph”
of a State capital. Especially not for a state like California. Los Angeles and San Francisco have gone far beyond in stature and important looks.




What was later built on to Sacramento, such as Folsom, or El Dorado Hills shows it more. The houses and the stores say it. The people’s cars, clothes, and attitudes do too  – the latter is not always my favorite part.






They must like parasols …
Reflections and fences








Found in the book store  (below) and begged me to take home with me








An awesome bookstore. Not only a marvelous  selection, but the way they display  is  pleasing to the eye!






FlowerselDorado Hills_2887










When we visited here it was such nice weather! While I’m working on this post (Friday night) , the power went off three times.  After I gathered all the news,
–  there’s a big storm from San Francisco to Sacramento and even
1  1/2 hrs. East –  to where we live and North.

Many power outages and people without electricity.
A large fire in Fresno as well as some homes already been lost..
On Sunday our jaw dropped when we saw flooding everywhere
Water in little streams finding its way down and  overnight      have become rivers





 Enjoy life to the fullest
Embrace the good as well as the bad
We have only one life to live.



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A WEEKEND TREE and more …




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For Sunday Black and White and Sky Watch

Have been toying with the idea to show a tree, maybe weekly?  Since I live in the mountains and forest area, there are gazillions of them.  Also, I happen to like painting trees too:)

Referring to my post Life of a Tree, the week before Christmas 2014 – in my mind they are Watchers in the landscape. They can become a few hundred years old. Can you imagine the stories they could tell if they could talk?  Very intriguing!

A week and weekend update

Friday night we came home from our grocery shopping in  Sacramento and discovered that it was also raining where we lived. Something hubby had hoped for.





He had poured the concrete for the retaining wall  (to keep the soil in place) on Wednesday. Apparently when concrete is poured, it needs to be cured for two weeks at least – so we need some rain…



Am watching this from the deck (after the guy who was initially very loud has become quiet, I sensed: issues with the pouring in the wooden forms that hubby built from scratch.
You see only one third of the wall. Am not alarmed cuz hubby in blue sweater always knows what to do:)



CandleJanuari14 055

Weekend Update

From Friday on we received more rain and wind than we hoped for.
Power outages  in Sacramento with a radius of 1 1/2 hrs.
Out came the candles.
We were fortunate, because the outages were only three times for a few minutes.


CandleModJanuari14 055

This one is modified for Mandarin Orange

Today (Saturday) on the news we heard about a big storm in San Francisco all the way to three and a half hours East –  thousands of people are without power. As well as  a large fire in Fresno, about 3 hrs.  away from us and already some homes have been lost.


Nature has gone wild –
Be Safe out there!

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The rest of the memes are this week at my post “First Impressions of El Dorado Hills



Featured image: cherry blooms in Southern California and are for Wordless

The beginning months of the year are more challenging  for me than December with its flurry of activities and celebrations.  Now all the leaves after the storms have gone from these branches, I can finally see the bird house.






Birdhouse_3672 copy

One of the first things in the new year is:
What my focus will be this year?
while waiting for the art studio to be built …


Down view slope – will be a while before I know what to do with this back yard!

In spying, this is how everyone’s yard looks like  in these woods.
I love to have at least roses, but who knows deer like them (to eat) too!
If not knowing what to do I  start cleaning up things I started, but didn’t finish last year. That inevitably leads me back to …





Back3YardFinish_4634Oil, 12 x 9  inch, St Germain
The “intro” on the right of the dilapidated gazebo with the bird house , the eye travels to  the black oak tree on the left.
One of my favorite spots  are these little yellow-green patches.  I look at them every day. They’re  trees on the bottom of the property – which is  further than it looks like –  painted  with the sun shining on it. The big pines on the right take up most of my living room view.  A hint of a light fog rises between these tall trees (last pic).








Somehow painting for a few afternoons take care of the questions swirling in my mind, second guessing myself, the who’s why’s and where’s what .
By that time I can  see the “je suis Charlie’s” from an anthropological perspective.  Middle Easterns not understanding something fundamental as a Western and democratic concept such as “freedom of speech!”  I have the same dips and upsets (my own word)  as you do, only I have learned to

change my framework

… that gives me a whole new picture




One of the Camellia you see in the background  above in Huntington Library


Am not into politics, but I am concerned what is happening close to  me! Such as at UC Davis – are you kidding?? We want to live here, enjoy the wealth in the USA, go to your good schools, but don’t ask us to follow your rules/laws, because they’re not good enough for us.
Am with Italy – if you don’t like it here, just go back from where you came.
There are  road signs around here that say “You see a crime? Call …”  then phone number follows .  Hmm  I think I just saw one.
Nonetheless, there are a few universal laws to  hold onto, no matter where I come from. One of them is that water reflects what is above!





for Rubbish and modified for Mandarin Orange

It’s easier to be reminded why we need  fences, as there are so many around me,  here in Northern Cal.





Sunset Yard_3548











As sure as  this fog rises between these pines in the beginning and end of the day, the same way the sun will rise and set at the horizon.


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 Thoroughly enjoyed the variety of comments on the post about the coffee and tea experience last week! It gave me much to  consider about the direction of my posts, which have usually been more neutral.


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One of my favorite past times is to drive on the 101 , the W-coast highway, from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara and Solvang. Of course you could continue your sight seeing trip to San Francisco, and even further North.















While often a fog hangs over the Pacific ocean on the left until about 11 am, on the right we pass  luscious greens where the sun and clouds likes to play.

Notice the fence in the beginning of the pier (view above this one)







Passing the Bradbury Dam, surrounded by these odd brown hills. The featured  image on top is the sitting area in the shade.  It has the feeling of an old olive grove where you keep wanting to go back to.






Modified for Mandarin Orange

taking at walk on main street Santa Barbara. Birds of Paradise on the sunny side, and reflections on the shady side of the street. Or, walk into one of the neighborhoods. A great small city feeling.






These benches along the street inviting you to stay –  Hubby can keep reading a book while I shop:)


What is your Favorite Road Trip ?


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COFFEE, TEA, and so on …


Specific and Special Stuff  –

Don’t go with the Crowd – Make up Your Own Mind
You are Special Enough to have Your OWN Opinion


Walked across a busy intersection of the outdoor mall to get a pound of Quatamalan San Sebastian coffee.
“Which one?” A very young woman in a dramatic red dress at the cash register turns to look to the board where the coffees are listed. I repeat and added, “One of the Americas (coffees).”




Beneath the frame you see the reflections of the leaves in the glass wall


She asked a tall slender man with glasses in his late forties to get the coffee beans. Something in her voice told me she wanted to let him know she was boss.
“For which size of coffee press?”  Gave the measurement by holding my hands apart.
“About this size.  Why?”
“That’s a 1.3,” more to himself.
Then he turned his face in my direction. “Because the size determines the amount of beans you need for a cup of coffee.” He bent down to add some more beans.
“You make it a science,” I declared.
“It’s not mine.” He smiled, “I just follow it.”
“Could you please grind it? Mine is broken.”
“Absolutely!”  He continued while putting the beans in the grinder, “Al Peet came from Holland in 1956 when he developed the coffee and tea shop. That was when the coffee here was horrible.”



Artistigue CupCrop

a coffee cup we saw in Upstart Crow,  a coffee and bookshop in San Diego with a similar atmosphere as at Peets.



I nodded (remembering the colored water my American friends made and called it coffee).
“He was Dutch? I am too.” I volunteered, “He probably developed the coffees because in Holland a  morning on one’s  job is unthinkable without a coffee break!

He poured the grind in the paper bag.
“Now I like this kind, I’m kind of wary to try another,” I chat.

He narrowed his eyes while he thought for a moment. “Maybe you would like the anniversary blend. Some of similar components are in this blend – some from New Guinea, Nicaragua and some other.”
“Oh but right now, am first going to use the Quatamalan.”

As an afterthought, “You know what? I am going to give you some of the anniversary blend, enough to make you a cup of coffee (more like 4:) ). “Oh, thanks!” I received the small bag.
On the patio hubby noted, “Customer service, Jesh!”  also referring to the $2 discount or free small drink sample when purchasing coffee beans.
I happily smile, “It certainly is!” Grab my knitting work while plopping on the chair.  Hubby nods and opens up his Ipad.





Patio of Peets


Now I come to think of it, I never saw that man back in the store. Not even on the same day and time of the weeks following.

They have also a variety of teas to drink, because Al Peet, the owner, preferred tea over coffee. Am not an expert, but Oolong tea is the best and priciest tea we drank in China. Peets has two kinds. Of course, they also have Dutch cocoa to take home.





At first, I only knew about Starbucks. I was all too happy because their coffee tasted much better than the ones in the big grocery stores.

I began to compare when my daughter once noted that she liked Peets coffee, because their coffee doesn’t have such a burnt taste. Then I read in two articles a half year apart,  they were one in eight companies in the whole nation lobbying  for something that is a  misnomer. One in eight, not eighty, or two hundred –  that sends a message!
Half a year later I ascertained they were against a  company who was forced to abide against something they believed.

I was done.
Am not against them. Their coffee is good, but I want to buy from a company that is not politically involved, but just sells coffee, or whatever food or drink.
Am  happy  to drive to a Peets Coffee an hour away to enjoy the coffee as well as the knowledge about the products the people who work there, display.

That’s why I came here.  For a cup of coffee and a Coconut Almond Bar. 


Do you drink coffee or tea?






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P.S. This post is also Specific and Special Stuff (click on right top to read what that’s about). If there is someone who would benefit from reading this, you have my permission to copy and print this post.


The first time we walked by this Toyon Boathouse on Balboa Island  intrigued me. What was on the porch spoke …


of a summer that had long become a faded memory now life  is on hold

we anticipate for winter to lose its grip




the boats on the waterside  – the winter air breathes “Wait” using winter to mend the sails, the nets, and more of such things





flowers do not wait in California there are always some blooming.


It took a long time to finish this tiny watercolor, am better with wielding a big brush, and cover a big canvas with oil paint. engrossed in the details taking much precious  time. As with the boat paddles, the chairs were waiting.

Cannot wait till the white door will burst open people getting ready to get their gear .


ToyonJacBoathouse_4601 copy

Watercolor,  6 3/4 x 9 inch, Boathouse Behind White Fence

the muted colors (except for the roof) and the drippy messy porch was the atmosphere that pervaded this little island



Do you have an UP or DOWN  view? Thursday link to Debbie’s Travelwithintent!

Maybe tomorrow the wait is over… and life regains its pace


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Yosemite Nat Park in Winter

 Can’t let the death of several cartoonists and policemen in Paris as well as all the hostages
just go by.

Je suis (I am) Charlie

with so many evil loose canons around, I sincerely hope they change the gun control laws for the police in France!

Now my post

Hope the New Year is treating you well!

A short get away to Yosemite Nat. Park. Going in the summer didn’t turn out, since there were two fires near the Nat. Park. Since our son  traveled from Holland to the USA for the holidays,  we thought  winter may have its own atmosphere…
Surprise! the parking lots were full. There have been winters that we only saw one-two people in a day.


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burnt TreeTrunks_3367


We were there in mid winter many years ago ( an avalanche took place an hour where we left. We heard a 13-year girl was killed at the route we had been taking. Second thoughts about being safe when there’s a pack of snow laying on the mountains).  A stark  contrast of the blackened tree trunks that survived the fire with the snow.






The mountain view everyone comes for (Half Dome) “War” stories by father and son were exchanged of climbing this mountain










Everywhere are fences at dangerous points. Still people fall to their death because an impulsive maneuver when they jump the fence to take a better pic






To prove to his friends from school in the Netherlands he was actually in this Nat. Park with his parents
living in the USA.




summerflowerW-entrance 175


a not so frosty, summery flower in the area of the W-entrance


Concerning me, the queen lays on her bed with Alka Selzer, cough drops and tissues  right beside her. No extra Zest in her!

The only comfort is knowing that I have this out of the way for the rest of the year!


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With a short get away a big thank you to all my bloggie friends and hosts of the memes – I enjoyed your interest and comments thoroughly – a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Christmas Tree lights with fence
on the way




A December wedding in Los Angeles of our friend John.  a graphic designer, who worked for some very well known big corporations
left: water Right: wine and below: flowers

he had a yearly Open House to make a Christmas card



with little gutters, I’m cutting out everything that does not belong to the design – so much fun!



covered with silver paint for my Christmas card

we would  carve our own woodprint for our own Christmas card, and he would print it on  a hand printer from the early 1900.




wedding Tableflowers_9629





A merry Christmas time to all

and a Happy 2015!

Significant Moments


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