A Three-Spider Kind of Week

Garden Spider

It’s been a three-spider kinda week here. It could be the heat that’s bringing them indoors, but I’m not sympathetic to their plight. As someone who’s pretty sure she has a bonafide spider phobia, it’s left me nervously glancing at ceilings and walls periodically, wondering if every little movement I see (or imagine I see) is of the hairy, eight-legged sort. What’s worse is we lost one in the family room last night, so I know it’s in here with me, probably goggling me with its eight beady little eyes right now as I write.

This experience reminds me of a day I spent hiking at the Big Trees Forest Preserve in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Armed with my camera, I climbed over a fence into some tall grasses, looking to get a better angle at some flowers I wanted to photograph. There, near my ankles, was what looked like a thick line of dental floss strung horizontally across several feet. I peered at it in puzzlement. It reminded me of trip lines I’d seen in old Vietnam war movies. Then I had a creeping feeling that it could be something I really didn’t want to see.  Continue reading

Arched Pergola with Leafy Green Canopy

It was 114 degrees in Orange County, CA yesterday. Everybody who could stayed indoors. If I had been outdoors, I would have found someplace shady to hide, like this Arched Pergola with Leafy Green Canopy.

Credit goes to my boyfriend, Craig Florer, who told me this wonderful green “hallway” at the arboretum is called a pergola. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a structure usually consisting of parallel colonnades supporting an open roof of girders and cross rafters.” Whatever it is, I found it beautiful, from the color of the wood and its lines, to the contrast and softness of the green leaves. It’s a very zen feeling to sit under the pergola and meditate.

This is available for sale (without watermark, of course) both on Fine Art America and on Zazzle customizable items (let me know if you need free help customizing them). Stay cool today!

What Independence Day Means to Me

Image courtesy of Steven Depolo

You can relax; I’m not going to preach at you a lofty or lengthy sermon about what you should be thinking and how you should be celebrating this Independence Day. I’m not going to tell you that July 4th isn’t about a day off work and an opportunity to enjoy fireworks, pool parties and shopping sales; it is. It can mean much more than that to each of us, though. It took me many years to realize that freedom is one of my highest values. As we’ve reached another July 4th, I’ve been pondering what that freedom means to me, both as an American and in my personal life.  Continue reading

How to Clean Your Sterling Silver Jewelry Fast

I’ve never had one of those fancy ultrasonic cleaners to clean my sterling silver jewelry. Instead, the method I use is quick, simple and uses staples you likely already have in your pantry. I wouldn’t recommend it for pearls or metals that aren’t 100% sterling silver (as in they’re merely plated with silver), however, as it may damage them. For sterling silver alone it works perfectly–no elbow great required. Better yet, it costs almost nothing.

Please click the video below, and if you find the tips helpful, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe (and click the bell icon) so you won’t miss any future videos on cleaning and homemaking. Thanks for watching!

What is Your Purpose?

What is Your Purpose?

Yesterday I had two appointments in Newport Beach spread apart by several hours. I used the time to have a wonderful lunch at the Panini Kabob Grill followed by a self-guided tour of the Sherman Library & Gardens. There I saw beautiful sand sculptures by Chris Crosson. One of the sculptures asks the question “What is your purpose?” (or porpoise, in this case) and it got me thinking about purpose or lack thereof and its contribution to both personal and societal wellbeing. Continue reading

Pantry Makeover and Organization

Our pantry has been bugging me for a LONG time, and Craig (boyfriend/partner) and I have spent the last few weeks gradually renovating our tiny pantry on a very small budget.

As some background, we normally have one or two renters, which means storage space for four of us is at a premium. Our pantry doubles as a utility closet (what builder didn’t think anybody would need a broom closet or coat closet??).  More about that later.  Continue reading

Pet Hair Cleanup

Having a pet hair nightmare? I’ve just made a new video of three things that help us keep the pet fur under control. Do you have any pet hair cleaning tools or tricks? Please share in the comments!