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Hi. You found me. Thanks for clicking over! Sit and stay awhile..... This is the view from my window... As I move around my little valley I call 'home,' I've had many different views & this is the one that I keep coming back to.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Anyone else remember the 'ch-ch-ch-chia!' commercials?

After spending way too much time on the computer last night,
I then decided to start an account on picnik.

Which then ate up a few more hours of time.
: D

But, the end result is a brand, spankin new header!
That I designed myself!






It took me quite a few tries, a tutorial, and encouragement from a few girls (Molly & Rachel).

Now, I feel like things finally look  ..just..  right.

Took long enough : )

And an unrelated photo.
Cause I was on a picnik roll last night......


Monday, May 30, 2011

a picture for monday...

photo by me from 2009 :
the old Kings County Court House, Hanford, CA

You don't have to be.....
a donkey/elephant,
a right wing/left wing,
a conservative/liberal,
or pro/against war...

to be grateful.
to ready, salute, pledge.
to shed a tear when you see a vet.
to respect those who have gone before you.
to honor the living and the dead.
to respect those in gov't who run our democracy.
to realize sacrifice of family, dreams, time, and comfort.
or............... to say : thank you.

For all the men & women who serve our country of the United States of America in any way..............

Thank you.

linked up

It's time to.....

.....from my draft folder.....March 17th.....

I wrote this in my journal earlier this week:

I think God is trying to tell me to slow down.

I have two too many bandaids on one hand right now.

: )

Proof? (Huge gash on my thumb)

: )

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Camera mail

Ruled v-neck


Ceiling Rosette Wall Art

Grocery bag invitation

these shoes!!

this picture....

..........oh, my!
from this lovely girls' etsy shop

fun sign, no?
via: busy bee lauren

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


....Here's what I wrote on March 22nd.....

I had a dream last week that I went to rehab.

This is how it went:

I walked up to a plain-looking stucco building,
and opened the dark double glass doors.

Then, I walked up to a high counter
and checked myself into rehab.

With all of the drug users, alcoholics, & other addicts.

And why was I there?
For shopping.

Yeaaah..... hmmm.
I think I fell asleep with a guilty conscience about my latest impulse buy or something : )

Isn't that all just ridiculous?!
I woke up feeling like I was the strangest person for dreaming about being in rehab.

Come on! That's just cra-zay!


Is it bad to know walking into an eatery that you're only going to sample, and not buy anything?
Because I totally did that last week.
click here for more

But geez, it was darn good gelato!
: )


A good friend invites you to get a pedicure with her.
An awesome friend pays.
: )
 On Tuesday, my friend called and asked if I wanted to hang out since she was in town for a few hours.
She said that her husband suggested we 'get pedicures- and don't worry- it's my treat!'

Of course, I said yes.
Because, why wouldn't I?!

Hanging out with friend. yes.
Pedicure. yes.
Free pedicure. yes.

Oh, it felt amazing to be pampered!
And we even had the paraffin wax stuff- it felt so strange, yet good!


I've been studying Jonah over the past few months at church.
And every time I have to turn to a verse I have to sing the song in my head to remember where it is   : )

And sometimes I have to jump around to different places in the song to get to Jonah.
Because it's not as prominent as say, Genesis, or Psalms, or Matthew : )

Kind of like going through the alphabet song to remember if U comes before or after V.
Or am I the only one who does that?
Please don't laugh.
It's a sad fault, I know.


My sister keeps baking things in the morning.
But then I'll go downstairs and she'll tell me I can


(Said in the voice of Gru from Despicable Me...)
Not cool sister.
Not cool.


Oh and last but not least, I got my diploma in the mail last week!
newest House Beautiful!
ecstatic Grace!

on the right  -->

Try to ignore the messy bedroom & frumpy sweatshirt.
Oops, now that's all you see.
Kind of like when someone says, "Don't look now, but...."

Want to know something interesting?
John Welty signed it.
Oh, you don't know who that is?
He is the president of CSU Fresno.
Well I saw him two times the whole time I attended my school.
And once was on tv :)
Yes, sometimes I smile slanty like that.

 Also, I had the Governator (Ahhnold Schwarzeneggar) sign it!
Right before his term was over! Score!

Aand, I didn't even notice I got Summa Cum Laude until my mom pointed it out :)

And yes, I just did a wikipedia check to see what that meant.
Because, in fact, wikipedia is always true and never has anything false on it.
And ohmyword I did not know I was that smart!

Although I guess I did only get A's and like two B's at State.

my sister pointed out I got a Bachelor's of Science.
Yeah, ..........uh-huh? Your point?Well, I think I'm the first one in my family to get one :)
Since I'm the only one who didn't continue the family business of teaching (a la Bachelor's of Arts).



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little Bit

cleaning my draft folder : 
....originally saved as a draft on April 30th....

Here are some little bits of my life over the last while.....

Update for my birthday wishlist:
Umm, yes.

or, these hot babies:

these  --->

imagine the above shoesies with colored tights!
maybe red?!

or these super cute wedgies:

(apparently I only want shoes : )
proof: here, here, here, and here

all shoes from payless.com
and no, I'm not a paid advertiser : )

-I had to buy THE most boring things ever at target.
lady stuff & sunscreen.
ugh. SO lame. but needed.
I didn't feel so bad when I noticed what the sunscreen said:
>  now look closer & maybe squint  <

ee he he.
Okay, okay. If I'm just protecting the pretty, I guess it's okay : )

-and yes, I haven't bought any sunscreen in years uh, awhile
and since I got a suuper horrible sunburn two weeks ago at the beach I decided to bite the bullet and buy some (full legs + kneepits, tops of feet, most of both ankles, front & back v-neck burn, AND face -minus- large sunglasses coverage   =  eew -now peeling = ew!).
One may think this is a weird reaction, since I:
A) have fair -white- skin
B) have a love-hate relationship with lotion-y type things. the texture is just so yucky
C) however, I have very dry skin. year round. hence the need for lotion/sunscreen. year. round. ugh.
D) am frugal hence paying $6 for something I don't even like or want to use is quite frustrating
E) all of the above

-my mom got excited about the royal wedding of Kate & William on Friday.
not enough to get up to watch it when it started though.
apparently my dad was up, watched some of the footage, noted it took for-e-ver for anything to happen.
and then he told my mom it reminded him of their wedding.
after telling me that, she said, "Isn't that so romantic?" with a little smile.
oh, parents : )

-a few weeks ago, I was getting ready for bed while noting police helicopters and sirens in the background.
however, they didn't just circle a few times and then move on.

..........actually became louder, stopped circling and was mostly hovering when a loudspeaker voice rang out "Come out with your hands OUT!"


soo strange / unsettling / intriguing (....would I be on the news later if I went outside?)

I truly do live in the ghe-tto.

For all of my (5) years of living in the 559 area code, this is a first.
Can't say I've ever actually experienced that before.

Now, have you?
: )

Friday, May 20, 2011

I graduated today.

And this is how I felt : )


That just happened!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

queer things

There is a large marquee sign by a gas station near my apt.
It usually has really queer messages {or, que-ah as Mary Lennox would say with her lil British accent}.

My granddaughter
said you can

find a hippo in
a tree if you
look for
red toenails.


Uhhh, what??!


I just don't get the purpose behind some of the quirky messages.

Is it so that drivers will be puzzled for the rest of the day?
: )

Speaking of Mary Lennox, I'm super into The Secret Garden right now.
Although, it was freaking me out a little when I first started listening to it on cd.

When I watched it as a kid, I was always weirded out by the beginning and other eery parts of the movie.
Hello! Creepy Master Craven {aka hunchback weird-o & possibly bad father}

And all the references to springtime and 'bits of green' 'pushing up and struggling' make me smile from ear to ear.

Oh, how joyous and wonderful is spring!
And to think, God made it all!

I love the concept of
___plants, animals, and living things___
struggling as they work to
.........expand, &
..................bring forth
new life.

What an amazing depiction of the reality of life.


My favorite line from listening last night......

"The garden had reached the time when every day and every night
it seemed as if magicians were passing through it
drawing loveliness out of the earth and the boughs with wands."

Ummm, yes!
Such a lovely and enchanting line!
What a classic piece of literature!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

martes, martes

Yesterday, I got an e-mail that said I could get one extra ticket for my graduation.
And that ticket is most definitely going to my oldest almost sister, Becca.

Who, in fact, graduated herself just last weekend with her Master's of Arts & her teaching credential!!

So proud of this shorty : )

Saw this video on this blog.
Seriously, you are going to NEED some tissues, esp. if you're on your period like me : )

So precious : )

Can't say I didn't warn you......right?

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 16, 2011

on a day like today......

on a day like today.....

I'm eating a really smooshed/melty York peppermint patty.
and thinking about how much my mom likes them  : )

...I need the Lord to help me.
I'm really glad it's not the beginning of finals week.
finally, my first semester without finals! : )
I wish I could have this for dinner. I mean, um.... dessert.
I'm reminiscing about my time at my last college.
And I think it's silly that my major, is a part of the college of agricultural science.
I mean, really?
I wish I woke up thinking this.....
and that it was actually true  : )
this is making me laugh.
like crazy.

umm. three of my favorite songs.
yes. oh, yes.

Fun new-to-me band: Clarensau. check them out on Pandora.


this morning & a song

Here's an ironically relevant song for this Monday.....

My morning routine ended up in my bedroom, laying on my bed with pounding ears, and wiping away tears.

I eventually got up and went into the bathroom but wasn't feeling good (i.e. everything was sort of spinning & hazy when I went into there).

When I started to wash my hands, things were getting much worse.
I told myself, 'just wash your hands and go get in bed.'
All the while, things were increasingly becoming very dark and hazy.
As I washed my hands, I think I squirted out some soap and I possibly dried my hands a little when I heard a lot of noise and felt myself falling.

Then I kind of -came to- on the bathroom floor, hearing the shower door banging and seeing the sister's makeup on the floor. I was disoriented and couldn't figure out why her blush was on the floor.
Apparently, she had gone into her bedroom and heard me moving her makeup around (that I moved on the counter while trying to hold myself up) and then she heard a lot of noise, thuds (from me falling), and the shower door crashing (as I hit my head on it). That's when she looked in and found me laying on the ground.
She was freaked out (not in a helpless way- but in a shocked way) and asked me what happened and what to do. She helped me to my bed and then rushed to get the washcloth I requested.
After she brought it in, I had her turn on the fan, and asked her to pray.

{I was scared}

I had to ask her to pray louder because of my loudly pounding ears and the noisy fan.
As she prayed, the pounding in my ears lessened and I stopped blinking tears back.

Gradually, things started to slow down and I calmed down. Thankfully, I pretty much feel fine now.

It was so cool how God worked things out.
He gave me the clarity to make it to my room. He allowed the sister to get ready later than usual so she was in the next room when it all went down. If it had happened a little earlier or later, she wouldn't have been there. He gave me peace and protection as she prayed. He allowed my body to calm down, not remain in shock, and he stopped the cramps and dizziness I had been feeling since earlier that morning. He provided a friend to fill in for the sister so she could arrive late to help me for awhile. He gave us a time for conversation, allowing me to calm down and feel better. He gave her long legs to quickly run up and down the stairs getting me the stuff I needed. It may seem silly, but I'm confident that He gave me the foresight to buy an extra box of mac & cheese on Saturday so that I had an easy lunch to prepare. He gave me a caring, thoughtful sister who didn't freak out and was able to help me when I needed it.
He blessed me with:
perspective (no, good health is not guaranteed),
peace (remembering other times I had fainted and always recovered), and
love (from my caring sister and from his loving character as my Elohim).

This forced day of rest was sure unexpected,
but I think I'll dwell in it and continue the praying I started earlier this morning
: )

*After I was feeling better, I told the sister, "Well, I didn't know that would happen!"*

New song! the *asterisk* part was my morning : )

You Lift Me Up
-The Afters

You lift me up with Your love
You lift me up with Your love
You lift me up with Your love
You lift me up

Waiting for the sunrise
Waiting for the day
Waiting for a sign that I'm
Where You want me to be

You know my heart is heavy
And the hurt is deep
But when I feel like giving up
*You're reminding me

That we all fall down sometimes
When I hit the ground

You lift me up when I am weak
Your arms wrap around me
Your love catches me so I'm letting go*

You lift me up when I can't see
You heart's all that I need
Your love carries me so I'm letting go

You lift me up with Your love
You lift me up with Your love
You lift me up with Your love
You lift me up

I know I'm not perfect
I know I make mistakes
I know that I have let You down
But You love me the same

And when I'm surrounded
And when I lose my way
And when I'm crying out and fallen down
You are here to....

Lift me up when I am weak
Your arms wrap around me
Your love catches me so I'm letting go

You lift me up when I can't see
You heart's all that I need
Your love carries me so I'm letting go

I can see the dawn is breaking
I am feeling overtaken
With Your love, with Your love
I don't know what I can offer
In this moment, I surrender
To Your love, to Your love

You lift me up when I am weak
Your arms wrap around me
Your love catches me so I'm letting go

You lift me up when I can't see
You heart's all that I need
Your love carries me so I'm letting go

I can see the dawn is breaking
I am feeling overtaken
With Your love, with Your love

You lift me up with Your love
You lift me up with Your love
You lift me up with Your love
You lift me up

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Recipe Exchange

Linked up with Casey here:

When I was in college and my friends and I were all still living in dorms and had to eat in the caf, we tried to have family dinners (cooking real food) together every month. When it was my turn, I decided to make my favorite family recipe: Tater tot casserole.
And geez! it sure was a hit!
Now I am not tooting my own horn- we were forced to have meal plans for the caf and let me just say that the food got a little old after awhile. Four-types-of-potato-entree night, anyone? No? Yeah, I thought so. Thus, we looved having homemade things.
A few of my friends didn't really know how to cook, and a few were also somewhat picky.
And for the one who was very picky, well, ......she loved it.
And she would request I make it if we ever cooked together after that :)

Whenever my mom made a few classics, she never failed to deliver.
And whenever she made Tater Tot Casserole, we fought over the leftovers. Yes, that's right.

By the time we were in junior high, my sisters and I knew how to make our family favorites. Thus, I knew how to cook a lot more than most of my friends in highschool and college.
Thus, the friend in college who didn't know how to cook hardly at all, was uh-mazed that we knew how to make our favorite things. And very awesome comfort food, at that!

{Tater Tot Casserole}
found in here

via my grandma Opal Wilkinson

Cooking Time
: approx. 1.5 hours
Serves: makes one large pyrex casserole dish
   feeds: a family of 5 (+ some leftovers) / 5 starving college students (+ hardly any leftovers : )
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium-sized chopped onion
1 (16 oz.) can green beans (sometimes 1.5 cans)
1 can cream of chicken soup (by all means, get the reduced sodium!)
1 can evap. milk
1 pkg. frozen tater tots (Foodmax calls them tater puffs. whatev.)


Brown ground beef  + chopped onion + salt & pepper.  --Drain fat--


. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread meat + onion in 9x13 in. casserole dish.

Spread layer of green beans on top of meat.

Layer tater tots on top. (You can squeeze more in with rows.)

Whisk together soup + evap. milk and pour on top of tater tots.
You might not need all of the soup mixture
otherwise it may cook unevenly like in the bottom center of this pic.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour + 15 minutes or until tater tots are brown and crispy.  

Let sit
for at least 10 minutes. (It will be HOT! and bubbly : )     
*Note: the tater tots are really hot, so it might be a good idea to smash them a bit for little ones.


*Note: this is basically a more kid-friendly (tater tots) shepherd's pie recipe. Plus it doesn't have the strange texture of creamy mashed potatoes + chunky vegetable/meat.

Also note: this is by no means a healthy recipe. Although, it is redeemed if served with some hearty/whole vegetables. When I made this last time, I served it with steamed crook-neck squash & a spinach/tomato salad with dressing I made from scratch. Just like I would have had it as a little kid, and it was YUMMY and much more balanced : )