Tuesday, April 18, 2017


is creeping into the landscape.

  It seems to be replacing 
the spirit of 

...it crawls along the horizon, 
sometimes hiding behind 
the cover of 

...just before 
it reveals itself again,
 like a puff of smoke, 
moving upwards
 to mingle with the 

Just when we are wanting 
to move out to our gardens,
 days like this
 make me think of ways 
to bring the 
garden indoors.

we are a bit removed
 from urban areas, 
it is not always easy 
to run by Costco or Trader Joe's 
for a beautiful bouquet of flowers,
sometimes I have to make do
with your typical grocery store bunch.

 But they, too, can be pretty 
when arranged 
in an
 antique pitcher...

...or beside 
a ceramic rooster 
on the 
breakfast table.

Even the walls 
and a china dish 
can play into the garden game
 when they are covered in
 soft colored roses.

Beautiful vases of roses 
don't always have to sit
 on a 
real table...

...and they can still be beautiful 
to some eyes 
when others might say
 they are 
past their

Floral inspirations 
can be found 
in many places 
in the

...and until you are able
 to get out in the real thing,
 bring the garden
 indoors and 

...the fog
will soon lift
 and spring
 will be on the 


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Tuesday, April 11, 2017


"The first day of spring 
is one thing,
And the first spring day
is another,
The difference between
them is
Sometimes as great
as a month"

Henry Van Dyke

Mr. Van Dyke 
certainly hit the nail
 on the head 
with that one!

the first day of spring,
 we have had
 fog, wind, rain, thunder and lightening,
 frost, snow and sunshine...
and that was all in one day! 

 It has been crazy weather.

I have never planted
 an iris 
but have always admired them.  

The Captain and Kai 
met a nice lady on one of their walks. 
 She was in the process of moving 
and asked him if he wanted 
some container plants 
that she couldn't take with her.

 One was a pretty red geranium 
that was blooming 
and which we enjoyed 
throughout last summer.  
It is too cold for geraniums here 
in the winter 
and it didn't survive,
 but a larger planter of iris did 
and now, hopefully,
 it will produce some blooms
 when it is time.

Kim at 
featured a sweet burlap bunting
 that she adorned with
 the cutest little bunnies 
with button tails.

  I ordered the bunting 
but so far haven't come up 
with anything clever to put on it
 so am just using it for fun
 over the kitchen shutters
 for now.

Barbara at 
 shared the cutest lamp 
in her pretty kitchen 
and I just knew I had to have one.

 He is the perfect compliment
 to my farm themed kitchen 
here at Gold Country Cottage.

 He came from Pier One 
and I just love him. 
 Did you notice
 the little
 pigtail finial?

Thank you, Kim and Barbara. 
 I value your friendships 
and am fortunate that you both have 
such good taste 
and are willing to share it 
with me.

Happy Easter to all,


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Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Jake, 5 years old, and 
his pal, Cooper.
Gone Fishing

"Thorns may hurt you,
Men desert you,
Sunlight turn to fog;
But you're never friendless ever,
If you have a dog."

Douglas Mallock

I was at a loss for words.

 I couldn't think of one thing interesting
 to write about today.

 Then, it hit me...

...every Tuesday, 
as I sit in my office car,
 I am surrounded by stories.

 Stories of 
love and laughter,
 lost and found,
 stories of life.

The Captain, and 
four or five other volunteers, 
walk shelter dogs every Tuesday morning.

 Most of the dogs 
have been picked up on the streets, 
lost or abandoned, 
some are owner surrendered,
 but since it is a "no-kill" shelter,
 they will all eventually have
 another chance at a
 "forever" home.

It has been said 
that dogs live in the moment, 
that they don't dwell on problems
 that they might have had in the past, 
but I always wonder...


...even this little guy,
 who is usually so happy-go-lucky, 
has some funny little 
quirks and issues...

...but I do know one thing for sure.

  What is evident in these pictures is, 
they are always
 happy and hopeful 
with each new face they see.


When our kids were young, 
they gave us Ashley 
for an anniversary present.

 She was the most lovable 
and well mannered 
of all our dogs. 
 She was a part of our family 
for thirteen years 
until we lost her to cancer.

Curly Joe

We got Curly from my brother.

 A stray had found her way onto his ranch 
in Fresno
 and had a litter of puppies.

 We were so lucky to get Curly.

 The worst thing he ever did
 was lay on a crate of fresh strawberries
 on the way back home.  
We lost him to brain cancer after eight years.


Buddy was our gentle giant. 
 He loved us with his whole heart 
as he did all humans. 

 He had a problem 
with other dogs, however, 
until he met a
 small maltese 
named Buffy...

Buffy and Buddy

...and she taught him 
a thing or two about 
living peacefully in this world. 
 He was also lost to us 
because of cancer 
after twelve years.

When are we humans going to wise up? 

I grant you
 there are some reasons 
that cannot be helped 
for these dogs to end up here,
 but the majority of them 
are where they are
 because of
 ill planned ideas, 
and a senseless lack of heart and empathy. 

What did this wonderful old girl, above,
 do to deserve 
the bad treatment 
that is so obvious? 

It must have been very hard 
to accept the love 
that she offered so unselfishly! 
Or very easy 
to not see it at all. 

 All these beautiful animals 
have a story to tell 
about home and family 
and we would be so lucky 
if we could 
hear them.

Kai and his Papa

With just a wag of his tail 
and no unkind words, 
this little guy 
waits so patiently each week
 while his papa, and the other volunteers, 
give their time to the shelter dogs.

 He is glad 
that time is spent with all dog-kind, 
and I know this,
he told me so.

"A dog has the soul of a philosopher"


Happy April,


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