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

redwoods

grassy fields

landscapes

beauty can be found in nature.

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there’s a place for quirky, odd things

Lots of brides get odd gifts before their big day. A weirdly carved decorative bowl. Funky art that looks like a fertility statue. Ugly kitchen towels with weird patterns. Then there are the usual mixers and toasters. One of the oddest things I ever got as a gift was a letterpress drawer. Some people call it a printer’s tray. Letterpress DrawerIt was so NOT what I expected that I wasn’t sure what to do with it. For years.

Turns out, they’re used to hold knickknacks or jewelry. Lots of trinkets. Lots of tiny, miniature stuff. All these years mine sat empty. It wasn’t until recently that I found a  website called The Spruce Company with all kinds of cool ideas for upcycling and decorating with letterpress drawers that I borrowed inspiration from them.

My printer’s tray is now the perfect catchall for holding all the sea glass and small shells I’ve collected over the years. There used to be a spot in Torrey Pines where the tide rushed in at an angle near the bridge. For years that was my best spot. It’s where I found a treasure trove of pale pink, a few dark blue pieces, nicely frosted glass, and a ton of green. Now that I have my drawer filled up, I might just make a tabletop out of it. Idea #7 from the link. Glass tabletop. With all my treasures. Check.

Coyote Wells Mystery series delivers for fans of the genre

Murder with a side of chocolate.

The 2nd book, Shadow Canyon, keeps readers coming back to Coyote Wells.

Look for it February 27th

Murder with a side of chocolate

Exhausted after the Sun Bringer Festival, Gemma Channing and her ex, Lando Bonner, are hanging out at the beach, trying to recover from the three-day event when her longtime nemesis is found dead on the dunes. As rumors grow about Mallory’s demise, many in Coyote Wells feel like Gemma is responsible.

Determined to find out who did it, Gemma goes into overdrive to find the real killer. With the help of Lando and her friends, they dig deeper into Mallory’s past, hoping to uncover all of her secrets. But they get more than they bargained for when the tables turn. The new theory brings a longtime mystery to the forefront, one that’s been hanging around for three decades…unsolved. What does it mean for the people in Coyote Wells when the secret’s uncovered? And will Gemma be able to figure things out before anyone else dies?

Oh, those crafty mason jars!!

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

 

Make scented oil candles for Christmas

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Store stuff

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Make an herb garden!

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A mason jar wind chime

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Use them for inexpensive luminaries

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Got seashells? Display them in jars!

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Photos: Pinterest Pinners

Gardening during the drought

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sometimes I think I need my head examined for trying to have a garden during a drought. Everything’s so brown and some days I feel like the stingy amount of drink I give the lettuce is a luxury. Lettuce is about all I have left. The lavender is struggling and so are my daisies. I follow the stringent guidelines of water restriction both inside and outside. We haven’t washed our cars in months. I’ve moved most of my regular plants indoors to keep them from frying in the blasts of August heat. But let’s face it, if California doesn’t get some relief soon, I’m not sure a garden is worth the effort.

To give you an idea of how bad things are, the trees located behind my house are dying…slowly. Pine, cypress, and the cottonwood that are located in what we used to refer to as the “greenbelt” are turning brown. The roots are searching for water that doesn’t come. The grass, once lush and green, has turned to what resembles straw.

I’ve always loved a garden setting. But here locally people are replacing their yards with rock, stone, or letting them go burnt brown naturally. I don’t judge. Whatever others feel they need to do for a yard during this drought is certainly understandable. Even though a few of the more elite are snubbing their noses at restrictions, we all wonder how long it will take to get rain. The media talks about some monster El Nino supposed to hit this winter. Cities are gearing up for torrential rain, floods, and they make evacuation plans and practice scenarios if mudslides occur. But for now, everything bakes. And we here in Southern California can only dream about a good downpour.

My idea of the perfect garden. This one’s in West Philly thanks to Farmer Liz.

 

So wherever you are, if rain is in your forecast, enjoy it. Not everyone is that lucky. 🙂

 

Beat the heat. Read.

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What better way to deal with the triple digits of summer than to stay put and settle back in your easy chair to read. Nothing like getting your hands on an adventure to another realm, a touch of romance, a splash of suspense, or a hard-edge mystery to  get your mind off the August doldrums. Get your beach read on before school starts!

 

 

And the Liebster Award goes to…

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Getting to know new blogs is a fantastic way to connect with more people. Katherine at The Fashion and Mind…Travel! blog has nominated Romance, Suspense, & Chocolate for the Liebster Award, which we gratefully accept.

In order to keep the nominating process going and allow you, the readers, to find more and more interesting blogs, I’ve been tasked to answer ten questions and then nominate other blogs to hold that honor. First, I’ll answer the questions thrown at me.

What’s your favourite color?

Bluegreen. Tomboy that I was, in first grade I used to fight to keep that particular crayon all to myself. I know, selfish, huh? But I’d gladly share all the others, so there is that. 🙂

Coke or Pepsi?

Personal preference, definitely Coke. But I have a few characters who favor Pepsi. I have no idea why that is. 😉

What is your most prized possession?

My imagination. It’s gotten me through tough spots from teen years to an office environment.

What does the perfect date for you look like? With whom? Place?

A walk on the beach or a hike in Big Sur with my hubby.

What is your passion in life?

Hands down, writing is my passion.

Best compliment you have received?

I get letters, emails, and Facebook messages  from readers who tell me they connect with my characters.  That IS the ultimate compliment.

What does a perfect day look like to you?

Any day I can get in a thousand words minimum writing is a perfect day.

Your dream vacation? Worst vacation? Best vacation?

I have yet to experience Hawaii. It’s on my bucket list though. The worst vacation would be when we took off for Florida in the middle of a thunderstorm. Turns out lightning hit our house while we were gone. Then on the flight back, we hit horrible turbulence which convinced half the passengers we were going down. To this day it’s the scariest flight I’ve ever been on.

Who do you most admire in life?

People who have the courage to follow their hearts. People who stand against the criticism of the world when all that world wants to do is hurl insults at them for wanting out of a toxic relationship, who want nothing more than to be happy.  As Jay Leno once said, you want a soulmate, not a cellmate.

If you were president, what is the first thing you would do?

Declare all Fridays free chocolate and coffee day!


That’s it for my part. Now to nominate the other blogs I enjoy. These blogs don’t have to do a thing, participate or not, it’s up to you.  But I highly recommend giving them a look-see.

I Didn’t Have My Glasses on

Helle Gade Photography

Backyard Edible Gardening

Crafts and Coffee

Be Like Water

Bitch Can Write a Book

Bookmobiles A History

Everything Else Thrown In

Jump For Joy

Keep blogging and connecting,

Vickie