Anticipation

Is anticipation part of the fun when you go on a trip? It is for me. The planning, research, finding helpful blogs, asking travelers for advice — I love every minute. We are heading to Europe soon. This weekend we worked on the details of our itinerary and practice-packed. I crunched numbers in our budget while my husband programmed the GPS.

I gathered everything I want to take and tried to fit it all in the 20-inch carry on.

I have (a bit of) room to spare. Amazing. Murphy decided to help by sitting on a packing cube filled with soft clothes.

Emily sat on the other packing cube. Maybe they are hinting to go along?

One item I’m taking is a last-minute addition. I read about this last week in my favorite travel blog, Travel Fashion Girl. Alex highly recommends compression socks for international flights. And I learned that these now come in colors and designs that make wearing them fun. Here’s what I chose. I love the bows.

Packing is hard work. Murphy took time out for a cat nap.

One item I’m taking with me is Flat Stanleys for each grandkid. The kids colored their own during our last visit. You may notice that Maddie loves horses and Hunter, Nico, and Tyler love orange.

We plan to take photos with the Flat Stanleys at the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum in Rome, and on the canals of Venice. Then we’ll share the photos with the kids so they can learn about some fascinating places.

We’ll soon journey thousands of miles from home. But we’ll take with us in our thoughts those we love. We’ll laugh about our cats helping us get ready. We’ll miss our family. We’ll look forward to seeing our friends when we return. Meanwhile, we will carry the cheery  figures of our grandkids. Our bags are full, and so are our hearts.

How about you? Do you love to plan getaways?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photo edited with Kim Klassen’s texture kk-0411.

 

 

Dancing in the Summer Sun

A summer evening concert in the park on the island of Coronado. The Navy Show Band entertains with big band tunes. A cool breeze blows off the ocean that is just blocks away. People come with their camp chairs, blankets, and coolers of food. And they dance!

You see cartwheels and ballet.

All ages are welcome.

Even the tiniest tyke can lead the conga line.

The band plays the final number. The music winds ups as the sun sets.

We head home with refreshed and happy hearts.

How about you? Where have you seen joy this season?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photo edited with Kim Klassen’s texture Shine.

 

 

The Straggler

Do you have stragglers in your garden? I’ve noticed this one agapanthus bravely blooming out front. Most of these burst open in late May and finished a few weeks later. This one stands alone against a tree trunk, just as lovely as all those making up the bunches of purple a few months ago.

You see the same delicate design, the same rich color.

When I tromp down the walk each day, I feel like cheering on this garden straggler. It’s still opening, still decorating the yard. All alone, just being itself, better late than never.

A song by Colbie Caillat called “Try” talks about standing up on your own, being who you really are:

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to bend until you break
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing.

Why, should you care, what they think of you
When you’re all alone, by yourself, do you like you?
Do you like you?

Just think what a difference one person — and one bloom — can make in the world!

How about you? Do you ever feel like you’re late? Like you don’t measure up to others? Like you don’t fit in? I’ve been there. The last verse of “Try” may give you a little boost:

Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror at yourself
Don’t you like you?
Cause I like you.

Here’s the song. Check it out and be inspired!

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. The first photo is edited with Kim Klassen’s texture Shine. Also linking up with the return of Song-ography, where the theme this week is “Try” by Colbie Caillat.

 

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Summer Days

Here’s a recipe for fun in the summertime: Theater under the stars on a warm evening, with a live orchestra, in a venerable outdoor theater atop a mountain, sharing the joy with family and friends. Just look at the view as we arrived. And the show is my favorite of all–Les Mis. This story of freedom and redemption would soon fill the skies with its poignant music.

An added treat this evening was running into people who had flown in from other states to visit here and come to the show. We held a spontaneous, fun reunion with lots of hugs and chatter.

Then we took our seats and the director welcomed us.

He told us he first saw Les Mis at the age of 9, when his parents took him to New York. He remembered the impact the story had on him. Victor Hugo’s character, Jean Valjean, is a picture of grace and kindness. Les Mis contains all the elements that move us — injustice, illness, child abuse, adoption, sacrifice, unrequited love, battle, rescue, and a wedding.

The lights dimmed, and we were swept along in this tale. And the funny scenes — they are hilarious indeed. It’s good to laugh.

The main characters sing out the theme at the close of the play — my favorite line:

To love another person is to see the face of God.

We will long treasure this summer evening of stars, story, and song.

How about you? What are you up to this summer?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s texture kk-3003. Also linking up with the return of Song-ography, where the theme this week is “Hot Fun in the Summertime.”

 

 

A Happy Place

If you spend an afternoon at the dog beach in Coronado, you’ll see happiness wherever you look. Dogs and people run in every direction, busy and carefree.

Waves, sun, freedom. New friends. Oh, the joy!

I love mingling and meeting people and dogs here. This guy was ready for a photo shoot, and his owner was understandably proud of him.

And this lovely girl wanted to eat my camera. Her owner was puzzled by that (me too).

Mostly, we all were soaking in the delight of summertime at the ocean.

How about you? Where have you spent a happy afternoon this summer?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s texture kk-0411.

 

 

 

 

Sharing Birthday Beauty

My coworkers surprised me with this bouquet for my birthday. The fragrance reached me before I rounded the corner to my desk. I love the beauty and elegance of the varied colors of roses. Want to take a closer look?

Fresh flowers add such cheer to life.

How about you? What’s blooming in your world this season?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s texture kk-0312.

 

Desert Skies

The desert, when the sun comes up…I couldn’t tell where heaven stopped and the Earth began.                                                                                                          Tom Hanks

Where do you go to relax? To let go of your cares and clear your mind? One of my favorite places is the desert. We enjoyed a short trip there over the recent holiday. The sky put on a sunrise show for us.

The heat bakes all my worries right out. It was 108 outside, pleasant inside. Perfect for a leisurely breakfast and cafe au lait as we took in the changing shadows and light playing on the mountains.

The sunset once again lit up the sky with beauty.

How about you? Where do you find you can completely relax?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. The last photo is edited with Kim Klassen’s texture Watermarked.

Finding a Home

Have you ever been to a dog show? We found a delightful one following the Fourth of July parade in the mountains. Like the Westminster dog show, handlers walked the dogs in a circle. Unlike the Westminster dogs, these were all mutts. Adorable, one and all. Some of them were looking for a home.

Here’s beautiful Tashi. She won best in show last year.

Within days she found her new home. Now her owner has her in special training. Tashi gazed up, alert for new commands

We enjoyed our time in the small town, where the mayor is a dog. We greeted Mayor Max and deputy mayors Mitzi and Mikey. The people here take their animals seriously.

While we found a dog show, dogs found new homes. On our way back to our car, we wandered through the shelter dog area. And found happy news.

It was the best day for Snoopy.

Linking up with Little Things Thursday and Friday Finds.

Little by Little

Kim Klassen dot Com

 

Do You Love a Parade?

What goes into making a parade fun? The Fourth of July parade in the mountain town of Idyllwild has a lot going for it. First, it’s set among towering pines, under a sky of blue. Then you add the people, full of anticipation, decked out in flags and cheerful colors.

Throw in some decorated dogs.Kick off the parade with sirens and service vehicles.

Add gratitude. A man behind me called out to each vehicle, “Thanks for getting me to the hospital on time! Thank you!”

Here’s a demo of how lives are saved by these heroes. No children were harmed in the making of this demo.

Then, add more flags, of course.

Classic cars and Jeeps — awesome.

Here’s Mayor Max looking his regal best. You have to love a town whose mayor is a Golden Retriever.

More dogs on parade? Yes, please!

What would a parade be without music?

So, put it all together, and you have people of all ages enjoying a parade, enjoying life in this pine-filled town.

How about you? What do you love about a parade?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s texture Grunged Up – 2.

 

A Little Color

Do you have color blooming where you live this summer? Our winter was dry, and even flowers that should be blooming now have quickly come and gone. The neighborhood nursery that was brimming with flowers in May now has wide rocky paths, bare ground, and so few healthy blooms. One rose here or there stands among all the bedraggled ones.

After the abundance of spring, it’s sad to find so little now. But the scarcity doesn’t diminish the beauty of what remains.

Sometimes it’s so easy to find life’s color. We’re surrounded by it. Every path is lovely and sweet. Other times are dry. It’s much harder to find, but almost always there’s a little color–somewhere.

How about you? How does your neighborhood look these early summer days?

 

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s texture 0411.

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