some old dirt road


Quote 40


art, science, and wonder

If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.     

Vincent Van Gogh

a science in flowers

art in the rhythm of the ocean

color in the mountains

clear, starry nights


grassy fields


beauty can be found in nature.

mermaid Monday


One wall of my office with whimsical art.

The mermaid always reminds me it’s okay to giggle even when Skye Cree has a serial killer in her sights.


Always be yourself unless you can be a mermaid, then always be a mermaid.

Mermaids don’t lose sleep over the opinions of shrimp.

Be a mermaid. Make waves.

The Lawrence Tree

There was a long weathered carpenter’s bench under the tall tree in front of the little old house that Lawrence had lived in there. I often lay on that bench looking up into the tree, past the trunk and up into the branches. It was particularly fine at night with the stars above the tree.
~Georgia O’Keeffe

Maybe the most famous ponderosa pine


See it for real at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

while Ventura & LA counties burn…

The Santa Monica Mountains average a deadly wildfire every 8 years. Since approximately 1939 there have been 10 deadly wildfires that have popped up in this one area. Fire corridors exist and have for decades, especially during the Santa Ana wind events, which is what’s happening now.  So when the powers that be back in the 1980s decided to extend J. Paul Getty’s personal art collection and house the artworks, antiquities, and sculptures in one central location  where the public could browse and stare at works from Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Monet, they decided on a property above the 405 Freeway, smack dab in the heart of the fire zone.

Getty Images

Not exactly a smart move at the time. But architect Richard Meier said no problem. The guy promised he knew the dangers of putting priceless works of art at risk in a known fire corridor. Experts say he took major precautions. The center is built from non-combustible materials along with travertine limestone and aluminum panels. But that probably isn’t what secures the works of art. There’s a sophisticated air filtration system that kicks in. It reverses normal air circulation and blows outward, forcing the air out of the galleries. The system then locks down and seals each gallery off from smoke and fire. But the fire has to reach the campus first. According to the Museum, landscapers protected the surrounding hillside by allowing only native vegetation designed to contain wildfires because the plants are supposed to burn out before the fire ever reaches the buildings. Sounds great in theory, right? But this week ,the Skirball Fire came dangerously close. It wasn’t the first time. Back in 2015 the Sepulveda Pass Fire prompted an evacuation of visitors from the museum itself. I was last there in 2014. The site is a major tourist attraction which always seems to be crowded.

But I can’t help wondering when Mother Nature decides to test all the safeguards again—and it isn’t a question of IF, but WHEN—only then will we know for certain that the Getty Museum is truly prepared for a natural disaster, the likes of which many people have already experienced firsthand by losing their homes and everything they owned. My



heart goes out to the victims, who didn’t even have time to grab a change of clothes before they had to run for their lives.

flu shots, Halloween, & teal pumpkins

Every fall I try to do the right thing and get a flu shot. Bad move! Twenty -four hours later, I broke out in hives—a reaction I’ve never had before—and for several days I was splotchy red, itching, and feverish. Not only that, the site of the shot still hurts like blazes. And it isn’t just me. My hubby, who never has a reaction to anything, also broke out in hives and experienced terrible arm pain. Which tells me something is really seriously jacked with this year’s vaccine.


Image Credit: Amazon

Anyhoo, after alternating between slathering aloe vera and cortisone cream on my arms and legs for several days, I’m now getting ready for Halloween, dragging out the witches and building my traditional hay bale stack with pumpkins for the front porch.

Which brings me to a question. Anyone out there know about teal pumpkins? I had never heard of them until last week. Yes, I know, I must’ve had my head buried in the sand. However, I prefer to think of it as having my head down, hard at work on my next story. But I digress.


Image Credit: Google 

Displaying teal pumpkins on the porch means you’re offering non-food items in lieu of sugary candy or chocolate. Now even though this breaks this chocoholic’s little heart somewhat, when the doorbell rings Tuesday night, I’ll be offering trick-or-treaters, not one but two bowls. One with the tried and true assorted chocolate candy bars I love, AND another with trinkets I picked up at Target near the Halloween section. Corny stuff like plastic fangs, glow sticks, little plastic bracelets, costume necklaces, spider rings, pencils, pens, crayons, markers, Halloween erasers, mini notepads, and stickers. Cool huh? It’s not a bad plan trading orange for teal. If this chocolate lover can switch out Butterfingers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for a few  nontraditional giveaways that cut down on sugar, I’m all for it. And it  might actually be cheaper. Amazon offers a 100-piece toy assortment for only $18 bucks. Not a bad deal instead of buying bags and bags of sugar-laden candy.

Image Credit:

Whatever you decide, is okay by me. Here’s hoping you have a happy and safe Halloween!!! And if you must get a flu shot, ask them ahead of time if your arm might fall off before they stick that needle in you. I wish I had.


Oh, those crafty mason jars!!


Give me a jar, any kind of jar, and I can rule the world!!


Make scented oil candles for Christmas


Store stuff



Make an herb garden!


A mason jar wind chime


Use them for inexpensive luminaries



Got seashells? Display them in jars!


Photos: Pinterest Pinners