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.

Walk This Way

When you see a bridge, do you want to cross it right away? Me too! This is the bridge in the nature park. It’s at Lake Huron. It’s just waiting for us to walk on over to the other side.

Sometimes, though, you want to stop on the bridge and look around.

Uncle Chris is telling us all about the ponds and what’s growing around the bridge. You can ask him questions about anything here.

Let’s get over the bridge and find the lake! You can walk on logs. It’s fun to try to balance.

Dad says someone may be going swimming. I don’t think so. The water’s too cold. I’m going to stick close to dad while I balance.

I walked all the way across the log. I didn’t fall in the cold water. Dad would have helped me out if I’d had any trouble.

How about you? Who walks over bridges with you? Who’s there when you try to balance? Have you crossed any bridges lately?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s texture 1412.

A Wise Dad

Finally, it was time to try out the trampoline again. After a long winter that covered it with several feet of snow, spring arrived. With the snow gone at last, my son Matt and his four kids joined in an impromptu session of jumping for joy.

Matt told me later that he purposely gets near one of the kids and bounces to give them a boost as they jump. With all of them running around at once, he tries to be careful not to do this for the youngest, Hunter. He’s still so lightweight that he may fly too high. Hunter did soar a few times, but seemed to say, “I can do anything the other kids do; I’m a big boy now, too!”

Celebrating Father’s Day this weekend, I thought about this picture of parenting. Matt knew how to make a great time even more fun. He knew when to be careful. He watched each child, helping and protecting.

A dad enriches life for his young ones. He plays with them. They laugh together. He gets to know each one and figures out what each one needs. He encourages them to fly high.

Even the youngest . . .

How about you? How do encourage the children in your life?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s texture 1412.




Feeling Proud, Standing Tall

What have you done today to make you feel proud?
                                                                    — Heather Small

Have you noticed that kids grow taller when they feel proud of something they’ve done?  This happened recently on a trip to Lake Michigan when we let the three grand-boys choose a toy. They each chose a sword (surprise, surprise) (with the blessing of their mom and dad, of course). So off we went in search of a lighthouse and trails, with each boy proudly brandishing a new sword.

With a sword, you can feel strong enough to fight off all manner of wildlife and any stray Indians that show up. Even the shortest boy can protect his grandpa. He can walk confidently through the woods.

Swords are good to have on the shores of the lake, too.

You can show off your muscles with a trusty sword at your side. You can tackle anything.

Thinking back on our time at the lake, I see that it isn’t the new swords that make the boys invincible. What gives these boys their strength is actually the love they have for each other. They help and protect without even being aware of it.

These young ones may feel proud to wave their new weapons today. That’s fun and all good. What will carry them through the years ahead, though, is the invisible band of love that connects and nurtures.

Linking up with a song-inspired party, Song-ography, where the theme this week is “Proud” by Heather Small.



Birthday Party Love

Mayor Max of the mountain town of Idyllwild and his deputy mayors Mikey and Mitzi recently had birthdays. And they invited the town to celebrate with them. It wasn’t any ordinary birthday party because the mayors are golden retrievers.

We first met Mayor Mitzi. She is simply beautiful. She greeted guests as they arrived, showing off her regal pose.

Her fun-loving bent soon took over. She promptly nabbed my sunglasses off my face, then got frisky. My husband snapped this photo of us.

Mayor Mikey is one handsome dude.

Mayor Max is calm and distinguished. You can always tell which golden is Mayor Max because he wears a tie, as befits his office.

He does what all good politicians do. He greets babies . . .

He looks mayoral.

The mayors also live with Pookie, who of course dressed for the occasion.

The townspeople came to celebrate–

–and they brought their dogs. All sizes, colors, ages, varieties.

The perky . . .

The relaxed . . .

The elegant . . .

The small but confident . . .

The adorably scraggly . . .

The dainty.

Here’s what I learned. Even though I didn’t know anyone at the party before we went, it was easy to talk to people when I admired their dogs. Bennie’s owner told me the sweet story of his adoption when I commented on Bennie’s rich gray coat.

The owner of this Belgian Malinois told how well these dogs can be trained for military service because of their intelligence.

Chica’s owner told me that right after he adopted her, she jumped and broke two legs. She’s healed now and is fine. The memories of that trauma visibly moved him.

When people show up with their dogs for an afternoon of celebration, joy ensues. It’s easy to make new friends. Duke and Shadow showed how to do it.

The mayor’s birthday party brought together a splendid bunch of folks and dogs. Love could be seen all around.

How about you? Where have you seen love displayed lately?

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


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