Saturday, December 13, 2014

Focus on Life Week 50: Lights

I know holiday lights are out in abundance but coming home from a party this week, hubby and I stopped at one of our favorite dessert spots where the twinkling lights told us about an important new menu addition. I think you can probably guess the spot!



What a great way to top off a fun evening!

Let's go for a hop to see some other lights:


Friday, November 28, 2014

Focus on Life Week 48: Blissful Thanksgiving

Just had to share some pics of a very blissful Thanksgiving holiday. We didn't travel and instead spent  the day relaxing and then having dinner with friends.

I started the day by blissfully baking some pumpkin-oatmeal muffins, recipe courtesy of AllRecipes.



Then, to work off some of the muffin and the upcoming feast, I went for a blissful bike ride in a balmy 72 degrees (sorry cold weather folks!).


Next on tap was some blissful beading as I finished up some bracelets.



Then onto the main event of the afternoon spent with blissful buddies for our Thanksgiving dinner.


The blissfully-delicious menu consisted of (of course) turkey....


Roasted root veggies.....  (very, very blissful and beautifully presented)


Along with many other side dishes which I did not photograph since I was starting to get on everyone's nerves. But did manage to snap this photo of the blissful pies: turtle pie and apple pie. Of course I had to have the one drizzled with caramel (and yes it was blissful!).


The rest of the evening was spent in blissful conversation and food coma.

Let's check out some other blissful moments this week:







Saturday, November 22, 2014

Focus on Life Week 47: Hopeful

For folks looking for the Moon Garden Challenge reveal.

My bloggy buddies are also welcome to check out my challenge project. But for this week's theme of "hopeful", I snapped the below sculpture which is outside the YMCA where I work out. What can be more hopeful than children?



And for those of us celebrating Thanksgiving this week, have a wonderful holiday!



(The cool Thanksgiving graphic courtesy of Rita from The Coffeeshop Blog. If you're not familiar with it, do check it out. She's an amazing lady!)

Let's see what's giving hope to everyone else this week:




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Moon Garden Challenge Reveal


What a wonderful abundance of goodies Andrew curated in his Moon Garden Challenge package. The variety of beads and shapes just shouted bead embroidery to me and I came up with this cuff.


The flat piece provides a better view of how Andrew's goodies came together.


Here are a couple more views.




After finishing the cuff, I still had plenty of wonderful beads and the amazing mystery component pendant. The mystery component was so beautiful, I wanted a piece to really show it off and finally decided to incorporate it into a bead crochet necklace.




Andrew, thanks for coming up with such an inspirational assortment of lovely items. Be sure to visit the other challenge participants at these locations:

Paula Kramer - You are here!
Carolyn Lawson
Carole Carlson
Alice Peterson
Kari Asbury
Tammy Bowman
Shaiha Williams

On Andrew Thornton's Blog:
Andrew Thornton
Crystal Lombardo Farrell
Geri Colgrove
Laurie Carpenter
Alison Herrington
Naama Eisenstein
Laurel Ross




Saturday, November 15, 2014

Focus on Life Week 46: Faithful

What a lovely theme for this week's challenge! Many of the same thoughts probably occurred to all of us: faith in our spouses, our faith in a supreme being, faith in each other.

What came to my mind is one of the things I like most about living in the Southwest: the religious art and artifacts. A small store just up the street carries a variety of Mexican art and one of my favorite artists is Hector Rascos, who carves primitive wooden crucifixes which are delivered just once each year right before the holiday season begins.

Here's the one I bought in 2010. 



Let's take a look at some other faithful images.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Focus on Life Week 45: Grateful

This week, I am grateful for the opportunity to spend two months in Pennsylvania and for a safe return drive back to Arizona, which we just completed yesterday. We had a whirlwind 10 weeks filled with family events, get togethers with friends, and football, football, football! The drive takes us three overnights and four days because our traveling companions are our two kitties, Poochie and Harold, shown below in their travel crate.

We tried flying with them a couple years ago and it was nothing short of a disaster with Poochie howling for almost all of the four-hour flight. I was so mortified, I vowed never to subject myself or other passengers to that. So, it's a road trip for us. We have taken them cross-country twice and they are very well-behaved in the car, maybe because they are together in one crate versus all cooped up in a little airplane carrier.

Here are the camera shots from our GPS each morning.

Day 1: Pittsburgh to Highland, IL. 589 miles. The GPS estimated our trip at 9 hours and 40 minutes but it took well over 10 hours due to some hard rain for at least half of the leg.

Day 2: Highland, IL to Oklahoma City, OK. 529 miles. This was our second-shortest driving day and favorite hotel of the bunch.

We tend to stay at Holiday Inn Express hotels since they are pet-friendly and this particular hotel is really beautiful and so, so clean. Poochie and Harold especially like the window ledge.

Day 3: Oklahoma City, OK to Albuquerque, NM. 546 miles. Another reasonable driving day but the kitties were getting pretty restless by the time we arrived at the hotel.

DAY 4: Albuquerque, NM to Cave Creek, AZ. 454 miles for a short 7 hours and 18 minutes.

The 2,119 miles pass pretty quickly for me since I keep busy with beading projects and crochet. But all four of us were thrilled and grateful to walk into our Cave Creek door.

Let's see what's making everyone else grateful this week.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Focus on Life Week 44: Extraordinary Photo - Ordinary Everyday

What is more everyday than a Halloween photo posted on Halloween? Here is one of my all-time favorites.



These are two of our nieces and a nephew from many Halloweens ago. The extraordinary part is where they are now. The tallest pumpkin is working on her doctorate, the lobster just completed his MBA at night while working full-time, and the smaller pumpkin just graduated with her B.S. and started her first full-time job in her field! Like all of our 20 nieces and nephews, they are quite extraordinary individuals.

Let's take a look at more of the ordinary-extraordinary from our other contributors: