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Tuesday, April 25th 2017

Life is getting busy and my calendar for the next few months is suddenly getting very full.

May is the month of my official medical “release” to begin my life again – so yay!!

(Of course, I have to ramp up gradually but YAY anyway!!)

As is the case after every surgery, I’m very out of shape from so much sedentary time.

It will be nice to begin reclaiming my life on so many fronts.

I’m currently having the exterior of the house painted and it’s a nightmare with Fred and Frank.

They LOVE to be in the backyard, but can’t be back there with wet paint, etc.

I can’t take 300+ pounds of dog out for a walk with my still healing Tentative Tendon.

(The pups get a long morning and evening walk every day, but I’m currently unable to be the one taking them on those walks.)

Yesterday, Fred gave me quite a “talking to” when I told him he couldn’t go nap outside in his favorite napping space.

And yes, Fred can talk.

It’s not barking, it’s talking … and there’s no misunderstanding his meaning.

Fred is a great communicator.

(Frank?  Not so much!)

Nothing can make a person feel more guilty than the reproachful eyes of a Newfie.

Sigh!

I did some light shooting in Laguna Beach on Saturday, and in Newport Beach on Sunday.

Laguna at sunset:

Pelicans flying into a beautiful sunset.

I was in Laguna catching up with some friends and, of course, I couldn’t resist a few sunset shots.

On Sunday, I went for a looooooong walk up and down the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach.

The weather wasn’t as nice as it had been Saturday, but it was nice enough – considering it’s April still.

Balboa Village is on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach.

The Peninsula is always crowded, and there’s almost always a lot of traffic.

But, it’s great for long walks and the people watching is phenomenal.

The Golden Hour – my favorite time of day!  (Balboa Peninsula)

You can walk for miles on the bike path up and down the peninsula.

Bikers, joggers, skateboarders, roller skaters, and walkers all share the path without a problem.

The boardwalk was pretty empty just before sunset on a Sunday evening.

All in all, it was a nice weekend even though it wasn’t a take-your-breath-away exciting one.

I hope you had a nice weekend too!

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Endless Spring Cleaning

I stayed home today.

I thought I’d give my body one day of time-off to process my meds, and fight my allergy-created sinus issues.

Of course, it’s impossible for me to “do nothing” because I’m  crazy  a little bit Type A.

As I was hopping into the shower my glance fell on my earring stand.

I realized how many costume earrings I have and never wear.

Most of them are very, very, cheap and have been on my earring holder, unworn, for years.

I started sorting.

Hours later I had cleaned out two drawers (the drawers were completely unrelated, don’t ask!), and made various jewelry piles.

Yes, jewelry … my earring-task had expanded to include bracelets, necklaces, etc.

There was a “donate” pile, a “throw away” pile, a “clean this tarnished silver” pile, and a “keep” pile.

What did I learn from this?

One, I still have some jewelry from when I was a teenager.

Does that make me a hoarder?

Two, I’ve bought a lot of crappy, cheap, jewelry and ended up not wearing it more than once.

(I don’t do this anymore, but I did in years past.)

And three, the best way to QUICKLY clean silver jewelry is:

  1.  Line a bowl with aluminum foil,
  2.  Add four cups of boiling water and a tablespoon of baking soda,
  3.  Dunk jewelry for a few seconds to a few minutes depending on how tarnished it is,
  4.  Rinse and pat dry.

I also realized, although I’m not at all girly in terms of clothes, make-up, knowing how to pick fabrics, sew, and/or do other girly things ….

I most definitely like jewelry.

Mind you, not super-fancy, over the top, jewelry ….

But, fun, happy, jewelry.

I really like semi-precious stones like quartz, turquoise, chalcedony, etc.

(I’m sure I’d like PRECIOUS stones too, but if I had them they’d have to be in a simple/clean design because I don’t like formal looking jewelry with lots of complicated intricacies … I like clean lines.)

ANYWAY …

It felt good to get rid of a lot of costume jewelry I never wear.

It also felt good to see some of my tarnished silver bracelets looking sparkly again.

I’ve neglected so many aspects of my life over the last decade.

It feels like my entire life has been surgeries, recoveries, doctors appointments, and physical therapy appointments.

Probably because that HAS been most of my life.

But, although my arm is still very weak, I feel inspired to start tackling my neglected house.

It’s overwhelming in many ways, but I’m determined to spring clean … one drawer/cabinet/closet at a time.

If I tackle just a couple small areas each week, eventually I might start feeling less overwhelmed and more in control of my house.

Have you done any spring cleaning this year?

Do you have any great organizing and/or cleaning tips?

If so, I’d love to hear them.

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Tuesday Evening, April 18, 2017

I hope you had a nice Easter weekend if you’re an Easter-Celebrator.

I enjoyed having my daughter and her boyfriend in town.

We always have all the holidays at my house and I do all the  work  cooking, etc.

I enjoy it, so I felt a little strange going out this year instead.

We had an amazing brunch at Mastro’s Ocean Club in Newport Beach, and followed it up with a few hours of beach walking/tidepool searching.

It was a beautiful day weather-wise here.

The long beach walk was essential after such a big brunch.

On Monday morning, I went to PT as usual.

I was a little out of sorts.

I had, very strangely, slept in WAY longer than normal and couldn’t shake that sleepy-as-a-zombie feeling.

Also?

I felt cranky and the normal “ouches” of PT seemed to bother me more than normal.

On Tuesday morning my Next-Day-PT-Pain was BAD.

By noon, I realized I was running a fever.

(Aha! No wonder my body HURTS!)

I felt kind of stupid for not realizing it sooner.

It’s NOT normal for me to be so sleepy except if I’m a) pregnant or b) sick.

I have bad allergies and I *always* get at least one sinus infection each fall and each spring.

Not the snotty, sneezy, kind …. my face just gets fatter and fatter as my sinuses protest more and more against the pollen.

Then I start getting headaches, next my teeth hurt, my face hurts, and if I wait long enough to go to the doctor … I eventually also get a fever.

They are …. snot-less sinus infections.

(You’re welcome!  I knew you’d want to know!)

I don’t know what I’m going to do when my 72 year old doctor retires.

He’s probably the only doc in the world who understands my snot-less sinus infections and knows how to treat them.

ANYWAY, I’ll be feeling much better in 24 hours when the meds have had time to kick in.

I apologize to everyone I was irritated with on Monday and Tuesday morning before I realized what was going on.

(Pretty much everyone who crossed my path.)

Fevers make me cranky.

Changing subjects ….

I also realized I forgot to share with you one other FUN “favorite item” in my last post.

It’s not so much an ITEM as a DESIGNER.

I think I might be the only person in the world who did not know about Dean Davidson, the Canadian jewelry designer?

His jewelry has been worn by tons of celebrities, featured in many magazines, worn by heads of state, etc.

I was clueless because I never pay attention to that kind of stuff.

But, I fell in love when I saw/bought this ring:

Plaza Ring in Gunmetal (crystal quartz stone) by Dean Davidson

Excuse the super close up, iPhone photo, of my fingers … it makes my hands look even more wrinkly than they are.

Since I purchased my fun Plaza Ring I’ve been researching Dean Davidson’s other jewelry.

And?

I’ve fallen in love with a lot of it.

I think he’s my new obsession.

He makes fun statement jewelry and it’s all very wearable jewelry.

(The above ring is amazingly lightweight for such a big ring.)

And, most of his jewelry is reasonably priced for what you get – nice stones, excellent designs, clean lines, comfortable to wear.

I like that Dean’s jewelry is DIFFERENT …. although, if everybody knows about him already, then maybe everyone but me already is wearing his jewelry?

I’m particularly obsessed with his various statement rings at the moment.

I love to wear big giant stones on my right (non-wedding-ring) hand.

Anyway, this is not a sponsored post.

Dean Davidson has no idea who I am or that I’m obsessed with his jewelry.

But, what good is an obsession if you don’t share it with your friends, right?

You’re welcome!

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Seven Things I Love Lately

I meant to have this up earlier, but better late than never?

It’s always fun to share things I’ve been enjoying.

I love when people share “finds” with me, and I also love sharing with you.

Some of these items might have been mentioned in the past, but they’re worth repeating.

•  Skincare –  I have the most sensitive skin imaginable.  Seriously, I can’t even use most of the “for sensitive skin” products. But, I’ve had great luck with the Skinceuticals line of products. (They’re sold mainly in doctor’s offices, but I purchase mine online. It’s important to order directly from the actual company because there are unauthorized people selling “fake” Skinceutical products online.  Amazon is NOT an authorized seller.)  I don’t own all of their products, but I can tell you I consider one of their products to truly be an-almost-miracle-in-a-bottle.  And? I won’t lie – it’s very expensive. But a bottle lasts a LONG, LONG, time and it’s worth every penny.  The product I’m referring to is Skinceuticals C E Ferulic.  My dermatologist recommended it to me years ago (after I was found to have melanoma – an often deadly form of skin cancer) and it’s amazing. I saw an immediate change in my skin and I’ve never looked back.  If I was being sent to live alone on a desert island this would be the ONE skincare product I’d bring with me. Yes, Skinceuticals makes a lot of other great products too … but it took years before I could afford to add a few more of them into my skincare routine.

•  Curling Iron  –  Can you believe I’ve been curling my hair lately? I haven’t curled it in years. No, I’m not suddenly girly-er-ish. I’ve been growing my hair long and it’s just finally gotten to a length where I prefer it with a few loose waves and/or curls.  My decades old curling iron no longer worked so it went in the trash.  My stylist recommended the Hot Tools Curling Iron and it’s great.  Wow, curling irons sure have improved in the last  two  decade s!  It even has a temperature gauge on it so I can adjust it for my particular type of hair.  (Stop laughing at me!)

•  Viral Extreme ColorWash  –  I mentioned my pink hair in a previous blog post.  I now own THREE different colors of this shampoo. One is light pink, my favorite is hot pink, and I also own purple.  I plan to eventually purchase red and blue also so I can make my hair patriotic when I feel the need.  I love this shampoo because it’s so easy. I take it in the shower and shampoo the bottom half of my hair with it.  (You can shampoo/color ALL your hair if you want, but I happen to like the top left blonde and the bottom bright and cheery.)  I will warn you, as I’m rinsing the shampoo out, it looks like I murdered someone in the shower but the color washes away easily.  Because this is just a colored shampoo, the color fades quickly … making it fun for a few days without making a true commitment.  If you want to keep your hair a bright color, you can just keep shampooing with the color of your choice.  Personally, I’ve been only doing it about once a week.  I let it fade away and then, if I feel like it, I pick a new color and do it again.  It’s FUN!

•  I Wrote This For You by Iain S. Thomas.  This book was recommended to me by one of my artist friends. I had zero expectations when I purchased it and, truth be told, I didn’t even know what type of book I was purchasing.  When it arrived, I opened it to a random page and read, “And when I asked you how you’d been I meant I missed you more than I’ve ever missed anything before.”  The words were below a blurred photo.  That was it … those were the only words on the page.  I began flipping. Some pages … well, the words cut like a knife.  Others were comforting.  It is an amazing, profound, touching book of words, emotions and photos.  I find this book to be both haunting and soothing.  It’s hard to imagine anyone would not be touched in some way while perusing this book.

•  Secura Stainless Steel Electric Water Kettle 1.8 Quart  –  I make iced tea daily.  My son bought me a big glass pitcher to keep it in.  I finally caved in and listened to the advice of my non-American friends who all own electric water kettles.  (Why aren’t electric kettles a THING here in America?)  I wanted an electric water kettle that would be big enough to heat enough water to fill my pitcher. I didn’t want any plastic or silicon parts to be in contact with the water. I wanted it to have a cool exterior to the touch so I wouldn’t burn myself, AND I wanted it to heat water REALLY FAST.  This is the only water kettle I could find that fit all those criteria.  I use it every day and I love it.  It’s a small thing but it’s made my tea making easier and faster and much more enjoyable.

•  Yeti Rambler 30 oz. Tumbler  –  People who know me well know I always have a cold drink of tea or water with me.  If it isn’t it my hand, it’s in my car, on the table next to me … or within easy reach.  I’ve tried every type of cup/tumbler I can get my hands on and I haven’t found anything to beat the Yeti.  If I fill it with ice one morning, and use/refill it with my drink of choice all day … and then leave it sitting on my kitchen counter all night … THERE WILL STILL BE UNMELTED ICE IN IT THE NEXT MORNING.  There are a lot of fake Yeti cups out there.  I even watched a YouTube video of some man sawing through a Yeti imitation and an actual Yeti tumbler to see why the Yeti works so much better.  Splurge and get a REAL Yeti cup. You’ll have it forever, and you’ll never regret purchasing it.

Hot Man does not come with the Yeti cup!

•  Trish McEvoy Essential Pencil in Nude  –  I don’t wear much makeup … and, on many days, I don’t wear any.  I like this pencil because it can be many things.  You can use it as a lip liner if you’re so inclined.  It’s a fat pencil. I use the side of it (like a crayon), for a light all-over lip color. In nude, it adds just a little color.  I can be out the door quickly – looking just a little more put together than if I did nothing at all.  It lasts way longer than most lipsticks and/or lip glosses. (I often put a little lip gloss over it just because I have very dry lips and want extra moisture.)  The pencil itself is not drying.  I have a friend who has used this pencil on her eyes and cheeks also.  Really, it’s just a great thing to have in your bag … easy to use, and great for those of us who prefer a low maintenance lifestyle.

OK, I think that’s probably a lot for one day!

I hope you enjoyed reading this.

If you have a recent favorite thing, I’d love to hear about it!

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Monday, April 10th!

Happy Monday!

I hope you had a nice weekend.

I ordered a new mattress this weekend, isn’t that SUPER exciting?

It will be delivered today, and I imagine I’ll have sweet dreams tonight?

Age of current mattress = 25 years!

Distress caused to my back by my very old mattress = Extreme!

How long do most people keep a mattress?

Maybe 10 years?

It was an odd-weather weekend here.

Saturday morning I woke up to light rain.

My backyard view on Saturday morning.

The canyon and mountains are the greenest I’ve ever seen them.

We got a LOT of rain this year.

(The browner/dirt areas you see are where fire prevention folks have cut in firebreaks to aid in the event of a wildfire.)

Saturday’s morning rain shower didn’t last and I was out hiking on trails along ocean bluffs before noon.

There are a lot of pretty wild flowers on coastal bluffs right now.

There is yellow everywhere you look in Orange County these days.

Our hills are covered in yellow wildflowers … primarily wild mustard, but also yellow daisies as seen in the above photo.

I’m a little tentative hiking these days.

I can’t risk a fall because it would rupture my starting-to-heal tendon … so I take safer/flatter trails for the time being.

Eventually my hike led to a late afternoon walk on the beach.

Purple and yellow wildflowers cling to the side of the bluffs by the ocean – pelicans fly overhead.

It was such a beautiful afternoon.

I brought my camera and took a few photos.

Midday isn’t a good time for photography, but that’s okay … because my arm can’t take very many yet anyway.

I walked a couple miles until I arrived at The Beachcomber where I stopped for a very late, light, lunch.

While I was having lunch, a strong wind kicked up.

The ocean was covered in white caps and a weather advisory had been put out for small boats.

I had a few miles to walk/hike back to my parked car.

It was a struggle to walk directly INTO a strong wind the entire time.

(Post-lunch, I would have preferred to take a nap in one of the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages while waiting for the wind to subside.)

But, it helped to know I had company chaperoning me along my way.

Several dolphin swam and played nearby as I made my return trip.

It was really a nice way to spend a Saturday …

Hiking, followed by a beach walk, lunch with an ocean view, and frolicking dolphins to accompany me on my journey home.

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April 4, 2017

The universe seems to be conspiring against my blogging efforts lately.

I’ve been very busy, but I’ve also been getting absolutely nothing done.

Seriously!

Frank had all sorts of skin problems so he had to get his Newfie fur cut short for the time being.

Newfies are not supposed to get short haircuts, but it was necessary in his case.

Frank The Newf looks ridiculous with his short hair. I laugh just looking at him!

Frank seems quite happy with short hair.

I honestly think he LIKES it.

He probably doesn’t know he looks REALLY silly?

Fred is getting groomed this week, but he’ll keep his long coat because he doesn’t have the skin problem/s Frank has.

I’ve been continuing to look at model homes.

I’d like to move somewhere with an ocean view, but it isn’t likely to happen yet.

In the meantime, I know I need to remodel and update my current house but I don’t even know where to begin.

I continue to look (and look, AND LOOK SOME MORE!) at model homes to get ideas.

One thing I really need?

A giant sized doggy door.

Right now, there’s no place to install one and I spend my entire life (well …?) letting my gentle giants in and out, and in and out, and in and out, and …!!

I have a painter scheduled to paint my outdoor deck and the wood trim on my house.

But, I had to delay the painting because I have two new babies I couldn’t leave homeless.

Baby hummingbirds in their nest.

My painter wanted to come power wash the house and begin prepping for paint.

But, if he power washes the house the nest will be destroyed so the whole project has to wait.

The babies will be out of the nest in about two weeks.

Once they’ve flown away, he can power wash to his delight.

These are the babies of the mama hummingbird who I found flying around upstairs in my house.

I’m glad I was able to rescue her because she was able to return to her nest, and she now has two healthy babies.

I’m still checking on April The Giraffe a few times each day also.

Can you tell I like animals?

As of writing this, April has not delivered her calf.

(Perhaps she will have had it by the time this publishes?)

I’m also still spending a few days each week at PT where I’m doing “gentle strengthening” per my surgeon’s orders.

I have photography jobs pending, so I suggested to one of the aides yesterday she should tell Paul Newman how REALLY strong I am.

She laughed (!!!) at me.

(There is NO fooling Paul Newman – that man sees and knows EVERYTHING.)

I’ve also had a lot of family stuff going on lately ….

Like I said …. busy, busy, busy ….

But, sometimes it feels like I’m just spinning my wheels.

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March 29, 2017

I’ve been busy looking at model homes (and more model homes, and then – even MORE model homes).

No, I’m not moving.

I’m just trying to get ideas for a possible home remodel.

My house is old and needs some major (!!) work.

It’s overwhelming – I really don’t even know where to begin.

I wish I could just wave a magic wand and come back to a completed house.

(Or have someone bulldoze the entire house and rebuild it the way I want … in a week?)

I’ve also begun making time to take a few photos each day.

I’m trying to build my arm strength up so when I get the “get out of jail” card from my surgeon (probably in May?) I’ll be able to hold my camera.

The other day I brought home some beautiful pink hydrangeas and decided I’d take a few macro shots of them.

It’s an easy-ish workout for my arm because I can do it at home without hauling any gear.

Of course, there are some other … complications … which frequently develop when working from home.

Frank The Newf was obsessed with smelling the flowers!

Frank didn’t want to stop smelling the flowers.

Apparently, they’re Newfie-Nose-Delightful!

Here’s one of the completed photos:

Macro photo of pink hydrangeas.

I also shot some craspedia flowers.

They’re ball-like flowers.

Craspedia Flowers –  aka: billy buttons or woolyheads

Craspedia were a LOT of fun to shoot.

There are so many funky abstracts you can make out of them.

I’m going to print the above photo BIG … it will look awesome!

Paul Newman and I are ALSO continuing to work on getting me stronger.

I’m trying to adjust my expectations to be a little more realistic.

But, not many people go eleven years without using their arm …

Which means I have no one to compare myself to.

Am I failing?

Succeeding?

Will I ever get there?

And where is THERE …

And what does THERE mean?

Paul Newman has more patience than I do, but maybe that’s because he understands the process better than I do.

I’m **trying** to learn patience.

It’s a roller coaster process.

I accomplish something NEW and I feel like I can conquer the world.

“Look!  Look! I held a ONE POUND weight!!”

It’s pretty exciting to do something, even a small something, if you haven’t been able to do it for eleven years!

But then …?

The next day I’m in a lot of pain and regress.

I struggle, and fail, and get really mad at myself.

Getting an arm to work after 11 years is not a NORMAL process.

But …?

I’m happy because I *think* I’m headed in the right direction.

I feel like a one year old learning to walk.

I take a step, fall, and try again.

Sometimes I take two steps in one day.

Other days I walk backwards instead of forward.

I’m tentative even on a good day.

There are a lot of uncertainties and fears after all these years.

But …?

Anyone who’s ever met me knows there’s also a lot of determination and stubbornness.

And, my camera …?

It’s calling my name, begging me to return to it full time.

I will.

Soon.

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It’s FRIDAY and I Have Pink Hair!!

I spent most of my week trying to get caught up from everything I neglected while having my kids in town for a few weeks.

I’m *almost* caught up …!

My filthy car is now clean and sparkling.

Franks’ fur-mats have been brushed and/or cut out from his many swims/mud rolls.

The piles of neglected laundry have been tended to.

I even had time to get my bangs slightly trimmed ….

Pink hair for spring?

My hair stylist washed my hair with Viral Light Pink Shampoo (twice) to give my hair the spring-ish pink tint you see in the above photo.

It wasn’t something I planned for, but she offered to make me pink at no charge and I thought, “Why not?”

Some of you, who have been readers for a long time, know I’ve done all sorts of things to my hair/hair color in the past.

This was the simplest thing imaginable.

All you have to do is shampoo once for the lightest of shading … more times if you want to build up color.

It will wash out a little each time I wash my hair.

How long until it’s all gone?

I’m not sure, but I imagine not long.

I have low-lights put into my hair regularly, and they seem to wash away much faster than I’d like … and this color is “made to” wash out.

One “pink shampoo” would probably have been perfect if I was doing it myself at home.

But, I was afraid the pink would be completely gone as soon as I washed my hair at home the first time, so we decided she would give me two quick back-to-back shampoos to build up a little more color.

I’ll let you know how long the color lasts.

Will I do it again?

Probably – as long as it washes out relatively quickly so I don’t feel “stuck” with one color for too long.

Sometimes, it’s just nice to change things up a little.

Happy weekend!

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The Latest & Greatest

I’m anxiously waiting for April The Giraffe to have her baby.

She might have HAD her baby by the time you read this.

I’ve seen a giraffe give birth before and I have to say it’s not a pretty sight.

(Also, the baby drops about six feet when born – ouch!)

And yet?

I keep waiting for April’s calf anyway.

My son left on Saturday afternoon and I’m now trying to catch-up on everything I’ve ignored over the last few weeks.

Sunset in Newport Beach

Yesterday, I spent my morning with Paul Newman and my afternoon in Los Angeles with my surgeon.

I’m eleven (11!!!) weeks post-op.

The good news is very good …

The worst of my pain-causing injuries are gone/repaired/removed …

Which means I’m in a LOT less pain.

YAY!!!!!!

If nothing else ever happens, I’ll be forever grateful just for that.

The bad news …?

After nearly eleven YEARS of not being able to use my arm and/or use it normally ….

I still can’t.

I get SO frustrated!

(I have a logical understanding about my Arm Situation, and an emotional tantrum about it happening simultaneously.)

Since the teeth-clenching pain is gone I feel like I should be progressing very quickly.

But, even the simplest, very-beginning, post surgery PT exercises are still defeating me.

Paul Newman is encouraging …

He tells me he sees progress even though I don’t.

My surgeon explained to me it will be harder for me to see day-to-day progress than it is for Paul Newman.

“It’s like you’re watching paint dry,” he said.

“You don’t see it changing, but other people do.”

I’m allowed to do some light shooting if I’m careful and if I don’t carry my equipment (extra cameras/lenses/lighting).

That means I have to leave my gear at home or hire someone else to carry it.

And, my surgeon also told me he expects it will take a year of strengthening work until I’m done.

I wasn’t expecting that, and it made me SAD.

And “done” is also an unknown …

No one really knows exactly what my arm will be like a year from now.

I was thinking I’d be finished with arm rehab by the beginning of summer, so BUMMER!

But, hell – what’s another year after nearly eleven years, right?

I’m focusing on the positive …

I can start taking my camera out and about now, even if I can’t haul a ton of gear with me.

Just the thought makes me very happy.

So, that’s what I’ll try to stay focused on.

Even if I have to start with just a few photos a day …

It’s a start.

And that …?

Is a very good thing!

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California Poppies!

The hills are alive with … wildflowers!

There’s a “super bloom” this year in Southern California due to all the rain we got this winter.

Yesterday, my son and I drove across Ortega Highway ….

Leaving Orange County and heading out towards Lake Elsinore.

My original plan had been to visit Anza Borrego State Park in the desert, but my week just didn’t have enough free time.

I decided a shorter trip was in order, and I’m so glad I ended up at Walker Canyon in Riverside County.

I’ve lived in Southern California since the dinosaurs roamed and I’ve NEVER seen so many California poppies.

California poppies cover the hills this spring due to a Super Bloom.

In fact, when I was still miles away I didn’t realize what I was looking at.

“Why are the mountains such a weird color?” I asked my son.

And then, mile by mile as we approached … the answer became clear.

Wildflowers turn the California hills gold.

We ended up hiking way up the mountains, and far back into the canyon.

The views were more and more stunning the further we went.

It was 93F as we hiked and by the time we returned to my car we were tired and very dehydrated.

(Neither of us had planned to hike so far, but we kept wanting to go “just a little further” once we started.)

With the heat we’ve had this last week, I’m not sure how long the flowers will be blooming.

I’m so glad I had an opportunity to view such a spectacular display of natural beauty.

Please don’t pick the flowers!  (California Poppies)

If you live in Southern California, I suggest a visit but you’d better do it soon.

Also, I imagine the weekends are probably packed with visitors.

The prettiest sights are further along the trails though, and many people don’t want to exert the effort to hike back.

My advice is:  go soon before the blooms are gone, take water and sunscreen, and hike a decent distant back on the trails for the most spectacular views and blooms.

Most of all?

Enjoy!

It isn’t often Southern California gets enough rain to make a super bloom possible.