Some friendships we have for a short period in life, others for a life time.
Some friendships are to be likely to happen, others unlikely.
Some friendships we keep because one thing we have in common, in others there are multiple things that bind us together.

Something to think about: Some friendships bring well-being, other friendships may be toxic

This turned out to be an unlikely, life time friendship with multiple things we have in common.
Unlikely  because they are the age of our own adult children. Life time,  since we have known and kept up with each other for more than fourteen years. Our love for books we have in common, discussing things, healthy food, love for people, etc. etc. have enriched my and hubby’s life.



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The view of fountain and patio below ground level is where we met each other after a year ….





THE GOOD: From the railroad museum in Old Sacramento, sauntered on the board walk of the harbor




THE RANDOM: Fences and Reflection

Then walked  back to the streets with the shops ….




THE yummy FUN: while friend was purchasing strawberries I sneaked in a few pics
of organic produce








SunsetColored Pencil_0726

We came home LONG after this gorgeous light



(six Words Saturday)



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Still remember sitting in my parent’s living room, as a twenty something and mother of a newborn, wondering why my parents were all of a sudden so concerned about things happening in the news!
In this aspect I am living their lives now.
A few months ago my son who does”European Studies” (that is an actual major in college!) in the Netherlands, had not kept up with the news, went to his advisor, asking what that all was about terrorists (ISIS), and puzzled commented, “My mother has never talked about terrorists! Now she has mentioned it twice!”

This anecdote is my introduction for why I also  paint news events. Art is known to affect history. One of my pastel paintings was about the bombing in London, a few weeks after the tsunami in South East Asia, with the (big) caption “People are missing.”


To recap: this painting that I started this Valentine, is more subtle, and the reason for this intro.  Valentine’s Day, known for the day of “love” and the book “Fifty Shades of Grey” coming out the same week, in which love turns out to be physical abuse and porn. So you know this painting is not just a story line.
It is about something happening right now in our society.

I was as curious what those ripped out pages represented. It came to me that they might be things everyone knew, but with time was forgotten. These kind of paintings begin as a seedling. It takes the sun to shine and the rain to grow roots, until it becomes a big tree (below).





THE RANDOM: Also, I forgot to mention that I painted two poppies on the cover of the book  on the beach. In the USA each state is represented by a flower. Poppies are the flower of California (where I live). Goes without saying that Hollowood produced mega movies about “love.”


redWhiteCrop poppies_0614


THE GOOD: I was not satisfied with the shore line. It did not point toward the focus of interest: the book. Asked one of my friends from FB permission to post her pic from the coastline of So. Calif.
Some weeks later, I should have jotted down what scary event it was, that jogged my memory.
Something I had not thought about for a long time.

Book of 3 LoveGlass copy

THE FUN: For the post, I put the text on it and used a glass filter. Am half way done:)

The first that came to mind was that PERFECT LOVE DRIVES OUT FEAR. It’s one of those difficult concepts – hard to wrap your brain around them …
Most of us love conditionally. It’s pretty scary to love unconditionally and takes a lot of maturity. Fear controls and intimidates. “Fear wreaks havoc” (quote Gene Simmons)
As fas as I’ve seen this is how it works: the more we can give out of our love, the less we fear.
Can I achieve this?
Like anything else you like to find out if it’s true, just start doing it.


(Six Words Sat.)

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Change of scenery gives me a blank canvas – great to get the creative juices flowing! A breath of fresh air when you live in the city (I did back then)  – big landscapes, wide horizons, fierce, almost uninhabitable
mountains, unforgiving  hot  temperatures. Unforgettable and addictive!

AT  HOME: we are dealing now with building permits for that forest floor hubby leveled (seen in post Major Markers) – so far so good:) I am back to finishing up(hopefully!)  that pastel from some time ago The Love Book.



Water is scarce here – not many big rivers  or lakes … a faint reflection of the sky





THE GOOD: Sure you might need a fence here in  Zion Nat Park …
waiting to go through the tunnel with only one lane,
so it’s the other side’s turn now.
Here they record your ( license plate?) car!





Also plenty heights and tight spaces on our walks and hikes:)
With these temps. over a 100 degrees F
ice cream and cool drinks are on these kinds of days definitely popular!




A mountain goat makes an appearance … Can’t I have a quiet day…
without a whole row of cars looking at me?



Flower Utah_2976







THE FUN: The weather changes every few hours (at least while we were there in June-July! We only planned this as a one time vacation. But when the next year two fires were burning close to Yosemite Nat. park, we went back to Utah’s Bryce Canon and Zion Nat. Park.

Love A Big Thumb Print Sky

(Six words Saturday)


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Really fun to see our grands grow up and watch where they’re heading in life!
Some pics of two of the seven grand kids, and hubby’s accomplishments give me
two Z’s for ABC Wed. -the end of high school and the end of a prepping the soil for a building




From the non-digital era – Already as a little girl – having a way with  animals,
like my son (who is her uncle)
Interestingly only green reflections came up, while the Fall colors of the trees not.




Started with art, the way I did –  drawing a Head portrait
(no photo edits!)
a few weeks ago we went to her (high) school art exhibit.
A few weeks later  she was a very happy graduate.



My oldest first grand daughter

THE GOOD: The same gift, but unlike moi she is reserved
and too shy about her talents, has a sharp wit, no interest in
dressing up, loves babies, is sensitive.






While waiting for the Junior high school choir to begin, checking the bow tie he inherited
Already as a toddler he loved dancing with his mama to the music.
Now he has also a flair for comedy. With 3 sisters he’s holding his own!




BackYardFlower_4878 copy





BEFORE – when we moved here: the top of the fence,  at right end
reveals that it is a slope downward – not good to put any building
or barn on.
Also seven trees (on the left) about 50 feet high were in the way-
yikes, I didn’t want to lose them, but I wanted space to paint:(





But maybe …my deck won’t look like this after the wind blows
and the rain comes





AFTER: Hubby’s marker of a wheelbarrow turned up as a sign that  clearing and leveling a 50 x 60 feet  field is DONE (you see/read about the whole process two posts below this one, in “Trees ‘n Things”)
That was 7 months of hard work. Neighbors came by, shaking their head,
“I don’t know if I could do this…” Super proud of hubby, who now can go back to photography (like the yellow flower above) and other interests.






THE FUN: It looked like glowing gold … don’t need photo edits here! the sunsets seen from the road we live on, are amazing views!


 major markers are rampant this year
(six word Sat.)


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THE GOOD: From the bottom of my heart I hope that the freedom this country used to have
will be regained and it once more will be the land of the free and the brave


WEEKLY BLURB: my personal opinion!
Being a Dutchman I have lived here for about 30 years, (plus 4 years earlier during studies) and for the first time I have fleeting thoughts of wanting to go back. Being a researcher, it is frustrating to discover since this president has been in office, the USA has become divided, and many things have been put in place that are so un-American, I am baffled.
Yet, it is the way things have been put in place is what disturbs me most. A president who consistently lies about his own life and keeps going against the constitution, weakens the army, and divides the people. You do not know what goes on here if you live outside the USA!!







THE RANDOM: The Big Question is where will we be on the 4th of July?
In Solvang (California), like the past few years? Because ….they have a great small town parade….
a great opportunity to take pics!




THE FUN: Probably not in San Diego, because of horrendous parking on this day,
but may be in Encinitas, not far from there.  This bakery is out of this world …
a very interesting spice shop behind, where they even have a rock Himalayan salt block
… a huge yarn store, but that will be closed on the 4th …







Go to Dry Town on an antique store hunt? Right at the main road – so a Fence is good!





geese no lunch_1710

Or go to the park for lunch? But the little ones are kind of wary of the aggressive and loud geese






Or, paint at beautiful Yosemite Nat. Park, like on Fathers Day? A
Michigan couple on vacation passing, took this pic





pink roses061

Roses from one of the 7 rose bushes we had at our previous house.
For me, roses are one of the most festive flowers




Black and whiteFizzle

Never seen a black and white fire work, but allez mes amis (“ok, my friends,” loosely
translated), it’s for the meme:)   )



Red and whiteFizzle



(Six Word Saturday)



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Never thought I would blog about machines and trucks,
but these represent something near to my heart.
They were needed to make the ground level for my art.


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THE RANDOM:  With all the work below, we still took out time, taking breaks
shooting flowers in the backyard (below) and sunsets,
did go out to eat occasionally:) – where I included myself







THE GOOD – the beginning for the mold of the concrete wall behind the fence. The fence and gates are gone.  This account is for posterity – the BEFORE pic.
At the end of this post, the soil has come to the top of this wooden wall





The gas tank got a new concrete platform , more out of the way. Sadly,
these trees were all cut (below)






As a layman,  I had no idea what it took to build a retaining
wall,  so  in exasperation that the (mold)  form  took so long,
“Needs to build a mold, but he’s building a castle!”

Hubby in blue sweater pours concrete for the retaining wall
– which is a wall to hold the soil in place
(only half of the mold here).




Cutting thisTree_0826

Taken by hubby – Catch the Light

Step 2:  left this dangerous job to a professional who had first
his own company – now works for the state of CA.
He climbed the trunks (with braces on his pants with a spike
on inside at height of ankle)
to cut off the 10 feet crown of the trees.
Then went to work and cut seven 40 feet trunks plus about 10 feet
branches and leaves of the California (black?) oak.




Readyto remove_0817

on how he picks up the trunk it’s easy to see how wide these trunks are-
roped them to his truck to get them out of the way !  Hubby already cut them up
to xeric (dry) for fire wood.











Looking down from the balcony I see branches and leaves being cut up
with this wood chipper. Talking about noise! Glad hubby (left) has his earphones on.
One trunk was so massive a root grinding machine had to remove the roots.






the concrete retaining wall on the right

Step 3: twenty-two loads of dirt dumped and compacted. The owner of the truck  -also previously owned a company – did this as a side job – took about 2 1/2 weeks because the tractor to scoop the soil into the truck broke down twice

This was an eye-opener jolting me into the reality of this area. Unemployment has remained. To make ends meet, adults are doing jobs like sweeping up dirt, etc. -something 15 year olds used to do after school.

When hubby told me that the house of the person who pointed out where the truck owner lived   was the size of our garage, I was shocked, “Life is not fair.” (our house is an average middle class – 3 bedroom size).





These guys are amazing and workaholics (worse than hubby), working 7 days a week.
That’s why these weeks was one time we couldn’t use the rain!




Fiery Sunset_4799

For Sky Watch & Sat. Silhouettes

THE FUN:  Why they worked so hard and all these machines were necessary,
it was for making the ground level, for a concrete floor
to put on … a barn or whatever you call it…where I can paint ….clean my brushes… make a mess:)


 Phew, now we need a Rest!
(Six Word Saturday)

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CITY – Noon till Midnight

Cities with a harbor like San Diego I am especially drawn to. I love the water side!
Balboa Island is unique (pic of the fence and bushes) that it is connected to the main land,
so it does not have the appearance of an island. It is always super busy, so
we like to visit both places  during the week



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Shipview 110

Only part of this ship without people in front.
Do you like the romantic masthead? (Six Word Sat.)













Hubby caught this butterfly right in front of the Botanical building





High rise reflect in Little Italy,
one of the streets where I buy painting materials at Blick Art Store.











SignRosenorco 101 copy

Taken by hubby on hubby, this is why I say I’m not
a photographer, I just take pics:)







Pretty gate to Enter and fence …oops I caught someone else taking a shot here:):)




One the things I love is
a big city alive till midnight

(Six Word Saturday)

Outside it’s in the 90ties, so I’m organizing my painting stuff  so I can paint
in Yosemite Nat. Park for Fathers Day and hubby can hike (his choice for his day)
He’s building me some shelves by the front door for my plein airs –
I’ll show you when it’s done:)




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Am taking it easy this week! At least, that’s the plan:)
this week started with a killer 90 degree F heat,
were totally wilted! But now – Thurs.- it’s in the 80ties
The mountains have yellowed by now – next year I’ll keep
clicking my camera even more in the green time!
Kind of fun to blur some of these pics on purpose



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An idyllic life
a simple life
work till the cows come home




BackYardPeeps_1487 copy

I set my eyes on
sketching waves of
Terre Verte (green)
my Arches paper will tell
when I’m done




Looking for Something_2484

endless play- searching for shells, stones, and more treasures







The Good:
surrounded by an array of colors








RailroadGoldRush_0543The Random: A relic from the Gold Rush 1849

from one treasured place to another
(Six Word Saturday)




The Fun:
Traveling between the big clouds




Until  I enter the door
welcoming me to stay
and stay



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The BLUE and GREEN Connection



A new Blue Green meme –am joking!  If you knew how long it took me to put this post together… am not deleting this post though, so I won’t forget!


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zipping from Southern to Northern California

There’s blue and green …okay I can have another some vanilla and very light sienna too




Trump-Vegas_7848 (2)

Am not a Trump fan let’s be nice and say I don’t understand the man,
but the tower illustrates what I like about the green-blue connection.

the tower partly reflects the sky, making the side of the tower
look green (blue sky +yellow tower=green reflect).
The reflection of the white clouds are light yellow.

Green which is a mix of blue and yellow – just saturated
the colors of the Trump tower in Las Vegas, where everything
seems over the top – even to the Starbuck coffee prices
($2 more, only at one place though)








In that time we visited the Huntington Library Gardens often –
a little river between the Chinese and Japanese Garden
– a blue green serene




GateCentral House_1817














A fourth blue and green! A view that makes me smile whenever we drive by. On the gate it says Central House. My mind goes …. central … central to what? This house is in the middle of nowhere:):)
But I do like the gate, and the fence leading the eye up the hill. In Spring the huge crowns  of these trees makes for  a nice shady area. The clouds – I like them big and billowing!

Did you ever have a top of the line idea, such is having a blue-green challenge, but then when you tried it out, it did not turn out to be so smart after all!

this meme would not last long since it’s too limiting, like maybe a month out of  a year…

really LOVE this color combination though!
(six words Sat.)

 My BLACK AND WHITE WEDNESDAY image is below the memes here…………………………..

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We found a few jasmine flowers the previous owners left us by the gazebo:)

Happy Wednesday you’ll! Linking with Black and White Wednesday