Monday, December 29, 2014


ADVENT memories of a glorious season have left our hearts full of His glory. 
Each day we spent some time reading The Greatest Gift to affirm our faith.
I love this time of year when the house is still celebrating Christmas because no one has told her it's over. The memories are close at hand and for the next few days I will relish the peace that has fallen.
I do wish that I had taken more pictures when our house was bustling with toys and visitors!
New firsts!
For no particular reason this was our FIRST Christmas without a tree. 
We wondered if our decision would impact our spirit but alas we delighted in the simplicity of re-purposing some holiday trimmings.
Perhaps this will be a trend.

These simple tags expressed our sentiments. 
Thank you Pinterest! 

You might remember this fun photo of my sister, mom and me that I fondly refer to as the Trio of Coats.
To honor moms' memory of all things beautiful 
here we are 
with our beautiful matching red purses!
The dudes...well they were almost as cool! 
The short sleeved shirts on Christmas Day were very impressive.
 Our feast of Cornish Game Hens stuffed with a chestnut wild rice, pomegranate yogurt dip and a farmers salad of mixed greens was yummy!
It even seems that Maggie felt the anticipation.
In a few short days we mark a special opportunity for a new beginning. 
A time to set goals and spend time with those we love. 
SALUT 2015!  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

All Things Dressed for Fall


We really should have pondered this longer!
Maybe next is so fun to see the costumes. 
Matt & Kim are the best real estate brokers in Tucson and being part of their team is an honor.
Tierra Antigua Realty coordinates an amazing bash every October for its' agents and this year was no exception. 

Here were a couple of my favorite. BEST TEAM! There were Oompa Loompahs everywhere!

Best "ANYONE CAN DO IT"! AKA My favorite.

 Best Original  - Try to Guess....answer at bottom of post*

My fascination with reuse/recycle continues. If you play around on Pinterest you may have seen this great reuse of coffee filters.

 Fold them in half
Quarter, Eigths and Sixteenths until they look like this and then string them on a VERY strong thread.
 They will look like this then just tie both ends tight. This is where the strong string comes in.
 And ta da... fan it out for a holiday pom pom!
Also kept my hands busy using up some old buttons and extra yarn. Not sure what I will use them for yet but they are super cute!
 Here is the prompt from Ali Edwards this month for our One Little Word Project. We had to write a letter to ourselves. I just used Gesso on a piece of turquoise card stock and drew some lines. I have been know to argue with a level so the lines could not be avoided!

 Out with fall and in with winter. 
We love the season of Advent and the anticipation of His coming. We are filled with hope and will spend some time each day in relection with the help of these cards designed by Ann Voskamp.
 We await winter too as we celebrate 81 degrees in Tucson on this Thanksgiving 2014.
 Let the feast begin!

We are so grateful for our family and friends, our clients, our health and this blessed life that we celebrate!
Take a moment today no matter the circumstances to give thanks.
 It is good for the soul but more likely your show of gratitude will bring someone joy.
Let the feast begin!

*French Kiss

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall Blessings

Arizona Autumn is fleeting and if one pauses for too long it passes in the night. We delight in all things orange at this time of year and dress up in warm clothes if only for fun.
It's October and we can finally play outside!
We got our orange on all month!
What better place to visit than our Botanical Garden where butterflies are celebrated. A light dusting to remove any clinging species is a pre-requisite to leaving the garden.
Caught this little tulip in the garden.

And it's off to the farm get our fill of orange
The cutest pumpkins!
The Farmers in the Dell
Farming is hard work!
Colorful ranch hands
Dreaming of a farmers life
A boy and his mamma
Hey how did that get in our wheelbarrow?
All good things must come to an end. 
Thanks for joining me on my October photo journal.

We are so grateful for all Gods' blessings! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

T.R.U.S.T. Third Quarter

The challenge by Ali Edwards to tell our story for a year through  One Little Word continues. June was a reflection of sorts with  simple graphics so that we could focus on writing about our thoughts.

The July prompt was threefold:

1. Do something good for yourself.
That was easy. I was training for my triathlon so I gotta coach!

2. Do something good for someone else.
Gifted my Bose radio to Rick. He loves music, talk radio, political banter and all things on air.

Turn about is fair play because all the photos that I take for this blog are taken with the camera that I quite literally lifted from him!

3. Celebrate Something
Our home is no longer a construction office. We are now in a cool mid-century office building within walking distance of our home!

One of my goals this year was to conquer Photoshop. The program is so complex so I am taking an on line class. The growth is slow and steady but I was pleased to be able to layer this text on my photos to expand my scrapbook options.

 It is ironic that as soon as I gave away my music source, Ali prompted us to make a play list.

Decided to highlight the lyrics.

Starting to think about what word will speak to me next year. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life as a Late Bloomer

For some time now, I have realized that I am a late bloomer so it is no surprise that my first Triathlon came to a close this weekend at age 59. I invite you to live vicariously through my eyes as I share some of my insights.

an intense aerobic endurance competition, typically, in its longest form, consisting of a 2.4-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon run, the winner being the one to finish all three events in the least time.

Our competition was a shortened version called a Triathlon SPRINT
300 meter swim, 13.1 mile bike ride, 5K run

Advice from every competitor for miles around

Chelsea and I met on pre-race day to get marked and pick up our timing chips. Yep, they plaster your age on your leg!

It did occur to me that this badge of honor might be what the medics use to identify me.

Inspired by my desire to sleep as late as possible

Race site was 12 miles from home. It was dark out and trust me when I say that I have no experience with life at this sobering hour of the day.  Arrived 45 minutes prior to start.

Advice from Chelsea Shepherd to avoid flat tire

Chelsea heading out for Bike 

Bikes are hung in race # order and each person is given a teeny tiny space under their bike to arrange equipment for each tri sport. 
Geesh, give a girl a break!

At 6:20am a volunteer directs us toward pool. This represents walking in bare feet several hundred yards over a thin black tarp while being very careful to protect feet. Oh yeah and I am carrying my swim cap and goggles.

Wait with 200 new friends...and wait...and wait. We were queued in groups of 16 so it took about 70 minutes and then BAM! We're up! 

I digress.

My last training run was 48 hours earlier on 9/11 in recognition of veterans. Usual pace and path only this time I got blisters! Gahhhhhh! The last mile was spent walking on the back of my shoes praying that I had stopped running in time to avoid serious injury.

Advice from Fleet Feet staff

There is nothing more distracting than something flapping around while swimming so I put the bandaids on before my swim. Touted to last 5 days, but I only needed 2 hours*

Circle swim; counter clockwise; 4 to a lane; Chelsea, Diana, Debbie, Lisa.  
Timing captain directs us to enter lane 1. I do believe this jolt might have been the hardest part of the race.  

Race start 74 degrees feels like 68.

Ready, set, push! Oh no! Goggles came flying off! Not sure how I fumbled to find them and get it all together but I recovered and I’m off!  Passed someone? FOCUS. breathe. breathe. breathe. Goggles were in charge so my usual strong wall push was more gentle than planned. Drats 'cause that was my strategy to store some energy.  

In hindsight I should have wet my goggles first. Note to self: Observe tip #1.
Should have trained getting out of deep water. I can ace it in the shallow end but we started and ended in the deepest part of the pool. It all went so fast and before I knew it I was going back over the tarp to the transition area with the first leg of the race done.

Advice from husband of 22 years

Decided to sit to dry my feet so that I could remove grass from between toes. Nutrition in back pocket; check,  bike socks on; check, bike shoes on; check, sunglasses on; check, helmet on; check (buckle helmet before leaving transition area so as not to get disqualified)!

Why did I not know that we had to walk over the black mat for the benefit of the timing chip? Full speed ahead and hankering to hop on my bike, I had to spin back around making sure to cross the mat this time.

Mounting area was monitored although I cannot remember clipping in to my pedals. I took off strong in a low gear determined to stick to my hydration plan of 32 oz during the ride. Pedal, pedal, pedal. Sheriff holds up traffic and I feel confident about safety. Did I mention that this is dangerous?  Dropped the first hydration bottle putting it back in its’ cage. Had already decided if that happened I would just keep going. Enter new hydration plan: 16 oz electrolytes.

East into a SE 17 MPH W.I.N.D. Enter the new normal so saddle up!
The Sunday before race day I rode 23 miles into a similar wind so I was prepared.  Competitors were really spaced out since we went off in heats of 16 every 5-10 minutes. Road conditions were sandy from a healthy monsoon season. Did I mention that this is dangerous?

On my way out I was distressed to see two people flatted but decided to thank God for keeping my equipment in working order. The ride back to the barn was amazing. Wind to my back and downhill, speed of 18-22 to compensate for the miserable speed going out.

Geesh! Why did everything on the way back look so different? Was I on the same course? Did we pass by all these horses? Did it smell this bad going out? Overshot the turn since it was not marked. Advice to race director…invest in a couple of cones!  Ahhhhhh…I see the barn and GUESS WHO ELSE! My sweetie was waiting for me so I gave him a huge wave and hopped off. It was very comforting to know that he was there. Rack bike, remove helmet, remove bike shoes/socks and dry feet. Put on run socks and shoes, sunscreen, visor and go! Go! Go! I said Go! Legs had a different idea lol! NOT EVEN FUNNY!

Finally got my legs and am now grateful that I do not have to depend on any equipment for the final leg of the race. First half mile is usually tough for me and this was no different.

Triathlon EQ A Guide for Emotional Endurance
Dr. Izzy Justice & Heather Gollnick, 5-Time Ironman Champion

Reach around to back pocket for a Cliff Bar. In my spare time I plan to make an energy bar that does not taste like sugar alcohol. Finally got my grove on just in time to pass my son in law who was parked tailgate style on the side of the road. My grand littles were cheering me on! That was a major emotional moment!

This is hard! I can hear the finish line crowd cheering and it propels me with a final burst of energy. I cross, they hand me a medal and I am a triathlete!   

*Bandaids stayed put

GOAL: 2 hours
Actual Time: 1:55:51

Praise God!