Saturday, February 28, 2009

In the Hot Seat

I'd take a poll, but not sure how many would participate ... so I'll just wax poetic about a topic near & dear to my, er, heart. Sort of.


Best used after a physical therapy appointment, on a chilly morning {I'll be honest - it doesn't get truly COLD here in So Cal; not really}, when your back hurts, when you just need some COZY.

Do you have seats that warm up?
If so, how often do you use them?
Do you love them?
Will you ever again lease or purchase a car without them?!

As for me and my sweetie, he, who is always warm, HATES 'EM. Says it's ridiculous to have them when one lives in San Diego. I hasten to point out, though, that when I had to drive his frozen butt home from Borrego {actually, Ranchita} last January, along with 2 of his frozen cyclist friends -- Mark kinda ENJOYED THE HECK out of the hot seat he sat on all the way home. His friends in the back seat? JEALOUS.

Outside of that random "need" he had for the hot seat, though, Mark says NO. I say YES. Thank God my used Volvo cross-country had them - I'm crazy for them.

-- Davielle

what does HAPPY look like? or WE LOVE OUR ART CLASS

They {those ANONYMOUS they, that is} say that ...

"A mother's children are portraits of herself."
-- Anonymous

If that's true - and I believe that it is - there must be some very pleased & proud mothers out in the world, because the people I've spent the last six weeks in art class with -- are remarkable portraits of humanity. I love these folks ...

I was struck this week with just how HAPPY everyone in our class is -- take a look:

Jane, with Lauren in the background, having a whole lotta fun !!!

and the things we've learned ... for instance, did you know that sitting and standing with your feet in a pigeon-toed position OPENS UP one's sacrum? WHO KNEW?! {or as Jane quipped, "I've heard the word sacrum used in yoga class, but never in art class!"}

and WHO KNEW that bunnies & dangling things could make one so happy? but just look at Liz here ... she's so pleased ... she had FUN !!!

and Kenneth, who loves SHINY THINGS -- had a lot of fun making his own rubber stamps, and digitally altering his work, changing the colors, mixing the patterns up

and then there's Kenneth's charming bride, Rachel, who had fun with TREE BARK:

Calista shared part of the morning with us ... just having FUN watching all the sharing of projects & progress

and then there's the FRONT TABLE LADIES - boy, do they have a lot of fun in class !!!

Here's NOEL smiling it up for us all ...

see what I mean? Linda and Noel doing one of the things they do best {right up there with their artwork ...} -- SMILING !!!

And as if all THAT wasn't enough happiness, here's JANE showing off her snazzy red Converse, with the sketch pages from Danny Gregory's AN ILLUSTRATED LIFE, in which Jane has a whole chapter:
and she even autographed my copy of the book !!!

So THAT's what "HAPPY" looks like !!!!
-- Davielle

Friday, February 27, 2009

Edyth's Passing - 5 years ago tomorrow

My mother, born Edith Yerkes Dickinson {and through the years, known as Edith Meinhardt; Edith Antelline; Edith Russell - among other surnames - but mostly known by the last name Antelline} left us on February 28, 2004. Five years can seem like forever; it can also seem like a flicker of a heartbeat in time.

this page, a tribute to Edith, was photographed out of the MEMORY SCRAPBOOK I created for my father, Frank Antelline, September 2008, on the occasion of his 88th birthday.

and the next page was a continuation of the tribute to Frank & Edith's relationship ...

and this next page showed Mom as she got older, enjoying time spent with her children and grandchildren ...

Along with my brother Jay and my sister Francia, and our children and our grandchildren, we ALL remember {with a mixture of horror & delight} HOLIDAYS spent with mom ... because she was notorious for visiting Neiman Marcus as she got older, EACH CHRISTMAS SEASON, just to get a handful of their glossy red bags -- emblazoned with the NM logo in gold -- into which she poured all manner of goodies & surprises for everyone in the family. We each got our own bag, and this is likely where my passion for BAGS began ... be they gift bags, handbags, or grocery gabs {okay, so I'm kidding about the grocery bags}.
So where, you ask, did the horror come in? Mom was a prolific writer of poetry, and a holiday just wasn't a holiday, to her way of seeing things, unless she had Center Stage for a moment, during which she would regale us with her latest prose. THE FAMILY'S ALL TIME FAVORITE had to be her "Badges of Maturity", for the sheer shock value alone -- several of us, I clearly recall, snorted a beverage out our nose that Christmas afternoon when she ripped into this one:
"Ye Gods,
there are crinkles in my cleavage
a creping here
a sagging there
When did all this happen
It must have been while I was nappin'
or too caught up with doing
I certainly wasn't inspecting my anatomy
as carefully as I should have
while I was pursuing
life's demands and pleasures
else I really would have
these badges of maturity
that come with Social Security
Crinkles creping sagging there may be
but still in my heart is a dance
a romance
a spirit that is free."
-- Edyth Antelline, 1989
Niece Barbara had a friend or two over that day, and needless to say, it was a Christmas they'll never forget !!!
Mom was quite a character, and was ALWAYS a free spirit. She sure was.
We miss you, Mom. RIP.
-- Davielle, your youngest

CCI in the newspaper today

Visit this link for a great story about a cause near & dear to my heart ...

photo, left ... me, with two ready-for-their-volunteer-puppy-raiser PUPS back in 2005

Towards the end of the article, they mention my friend Willie Crawford, whose current pup GARDEN has been featured on this blog in the recent past.

-- D.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Engaged

Remember what it was like, being engaged to the love of your life?

A few weeks ago, we missed our friend Andy White's Engagement Dinner at his parent's home, and were sorely sorry to have done so.

But every time I look at this photo of Andy and his bride-to-be Michelle, I get happy. {Thank you to Ashley White - or was it Angela? for posting the pics on her Facebook page :-) !!!}

Mark and I wish Andy & Michelle every kind of happiness, along with good health, prosperity, and plenty of children ... we can't wait for their wedding day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rock Star Reigns

Whether he's hunting lizards,

or taking a snooze, our Rock Star reigns as Dog Supreme over our household.

yesterday in the Tour of California

It was a rough day in the Tour of California. But things are all okay with friends Horner and Landis, so there you go. We wish them both a most excellent result in the race.

This update from team OUCH presented by Maxxis came in this morning via e-mail:

February 18, 2009
Floyd is fine after hitting the deck during AToC Stage 4.

Clovis, CA – With five rated climbs taking the Amgen Tour of California peloton through snow-lined roads in the Sierra Nevada range for the first time, Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California was expected to shake up the peloton a bit. But not in the way people expected. The stage ended with Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad) winning in a bunch sprint, but several crashes in the peloton took a toll on a number of riders, including Floyd Landis of the OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis.

Landis was able to escape with some bumps and scrapes, however the same crash sent 2008 Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Kim Kirchen (Columbia-Highroad) to the hospital, along with multiple world champion Oscar Friere (Rabobank).

“I feel fine,” Landis said. “I saw the wreck happening, and I was able to react in time and got lucky.”

Landis, as well as the rest of the team, continued the team’s aggressive racing again today (Wednesday). At one point, he and teammate Karl Menzies bridged up to an early break. But, noted team directeur sportif Mike Tamayo, “it was apparent that Astana wasn’t letting him go anywhere, so he sat up and came back to the bunch. But all the guys were trying today. McCarty had a go today. Rory tried to get in a move. It just didn’t work out today. But it was nice to get a break in the weather today. The guys are all doing well, and getting better every day.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

wonderful CRAFT SUPPLY stores

Hey, crafty friends --

I discovered two scrapbook shops in POWAY, CA over the weekend -- and I was super impressed with both.

STAMPING DETAILS on Midland Road, ...

Visit my other blog, for more details on what each has to offer!

-- Davielle

Sports Authority - ROCKS

Last week, "grand" Trevor needed some new sliding shorts (it's a baseball thing) and we visited Sports Authority for that one item.

The guy who checked us out was THE KING OF CUSTOMER SERVICE.

He gave us the prior week's discount on said sliding shorts, which saved us $ 6.00.

How cool was that?

We LOVE Sports Authority ...

-- D.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Irony of Commitment

more words of wisdom from a Starbucks cup this week:


"The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating -- in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life."

- Anne Morriss
{Starbucks customer from New York City. She describes herself as an "organization builder, restless American citizen, optimist."}

I was so taken with this one, that I saved the cup here on my desk for three whole days!

So the question begs to be asked:
WHAT is it in your life that YOU are waiting to COMMIT to ???

And I have to ask ... what are you waiting for?!

-- D.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NATURE as inspiration

This being the month of Valentine's, I found this quite appropriate, and lovely:

"LOVE is a canvas furnished by Nature
and embroidered by imagination
-- Voltaire


Mark knows how I love France, and so he's planted plenty of LAVENDER on our property ... which has now spread wildly. I love that man!

The nifty little book "GET A LIFE: How to Be Happy ... no matter what's happening" (by Pat Farrell) had THIS to offer as a treatise on the subject:

"Connecting with nature, no matter how you do it, is a wonderful way to regain some balance in your life. When you feel stress or overwhelm, find a place in nature that allows you to let go of the pressure to be anything other than exactly who you are. This could be in a forest in the great outdoors or leaning against a tree in the middle of the busiest city.

The more of your senses that you can involve, the more centered you will become and the more anxiety you will be able to release. Go to a park nearby and see the forest green leaves silhouetted against the cornflower blue sky. Hear the murmuring of a babbling brook inching its way over the rocks worn smooth from the insistence of the water's flow. Listen to the birds chirping and squawking in their own conversations. Take off your shoes and feel the grass or the cool moss-covered earth beneath your feet. Smell the bouquet of freshly blossomed honeysuckle climbing over a fragrant myriad of blooming bushes. Hug a tree and feel the lifetime of growth between your arms. Allow your senses to be overwhelmed with the delight that you are experiencing in the moment.

The more completely you are able to experience nature, the more quiet your mind becomes. Leave the chatter of trying to figure things out and just "BE". Quiet the mind and feel the oneness that you experience in the solitude of nature. When you can feel God's presence, just be quiet and enjoy unity with the Source of all joy."

WOW. There's no way I could have said all THAT any better than Pat -- WOW, Wow, wow ...

Mark's ZEN stacks are scattered throughout the yard ... and yes, that is a skull nestled in there ... our way of honoring the sheer naturalness of living with this much space ...

On Monday, after my art class, I drove up our drive and snapped off a handful of photos of OUR slice of heaven-on-earth, OUR sanctuary ... and so a huge, heartfelt THANK YOU to my husband Mark for all his hard work & loving care of our property.

I hope you enjoy the piece by Pat Farrell, and the photos by ... me.

-- Davielle

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Standing up for Oneself

A lesson I didn't much learn as a child, but rather, as an adult, was the one along the lines of "be your own advocate", which goes hand-in-glove sometimes with "stand up for yourself", and which also follows along the lines of "set boundaries in your relationships".

Most who know me, know that I take and take and take a LOT of what I may not necessarily be comfortable with putting up with - and then - SNAP !!!

It happens. Still. Despite having learned Lesson One {refer back to first paragraph, this post}.

Sometimes, like today, I need to look up a pertinent REMINDER {like the quote that follows} to tell myself that before I go crazy, I have to DO something. I have to speak up. Because I don't like to offend or hurt anyone, and I have a difficult time saying "no", this happens more often than I'd like it to ...

"The purpose of having boundaries is to protect and take care of ourselves. We need to be able to tell other people when they are acting in ways that are not acceptable to us.

A first step is starting to know that we have a right to protect and defend ourselves. That we have not only the right, but the duty, to take responsibility for how we allow others to treat us.

We need to start becoming aware of what healthy behavior and acceptable interaction dynamics look like before we can start practicing them ourselves - and demanding the proper treatment from others.

We need to start learning how to be emotionally honest with ourselves, how to start owing our feelings, and how to communicate in a direct and honest manner.

Setting personal boundaries is vital part of healthy relationships - which are not possible without communication".

{from the website of Robert Burney}

But the good news is that now, unlike in my younger days, I don't SNAP without putting some thought into it. Now, I SNAP with purpose; I SNAP with a bit of forethought; I SNAP with no expectations of an outcome; and I SNAP maybe even sooner than I would have in the past, making the "snap" itself less ... SNAP-pish.

So if ever I have cause to relay to you an "issue" that might lie between us, and our relationship, please take it in the spirit in which it is intended: that of restoring / maintaining said relationship, and know that whatever YOU choose to do with the boundary I have set, I am not tied to the outcome -- I can accept your response to my SNAP-ish, boundary-setting moment.

And so, life goes on.

-- D.

Cool Crocheted Hat Giveaway !!!

Okay, so today I discovered a way cool blog, Simple Sparrow.

And on Simple Sparrow's blog, I discovered a note about a VERY COOL GIVEAWAY, for a darling crocheted hat ... the contest runs 2/8 - 2/15, so VISIT THIS LINK (below) and put your name in the hat (pun intended, I am sure) for the drawing!

If you just want to visit the Blue Corduroy blog's home page, here's that link:

Happy Tuesday, and good luck to you !!!

-- DH

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Just a Dog

There's no such thing as "just a dog". Those of you who, like me, adore dogs {for me, it's mostly all animals} ... know what I'm talking about.

I can't do the concept justice, but I think this little piece says it perfectly:

You'll have to click on the image in order to read the text, but it's well worth that "click". NOTE: THE "CLICK" ISN'T WORKING ON THIS IMAGE ... IF you want this via e-mail, JUST LET ME KNOW. It's priceless.

Just do it!

-- Davielle

posted the day after friend Ann had her CCI pup, Wyanne, matriculate into Advanced Training at Canine Companion for Independence's SW Center Graduation ... in her honor, and in honor of ALL the pups that turned in on February 7, 2009. {for more information, visit }

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Letters and Comments posted to Blogs ...

... have a lot in common. For me, anyway.

I have always, always, always loved to get mail. Especially letters and postcards. But magazines {that I have consciously subscribed to - NOT the ones they send w/o my permission} are a real treat, too.

A full mailbox = a happy mailbox, in my world. That's probably why Mark picked up the most huge mailbox he could find, one summer in Montana. He snuck it home with a sibling, asked one of my sisters-in-law to paint things on it, then when she hit an artistic snag, he had my daughter Cara complete the process.

Our mailbox {behemoth that it is} is now adorned with vines & leaves { a la Kimberly } and California Poppies and California Quail {our state flower & bird, respectively}. And the door of it says QUAIL OAKS, 'cause that is the name we have given our property. I love our mailbox!

In this world of e-mail and MySpace and Facebook and all-things-electronic-for-communicating, though, the number of real letters one receives ... has dwindled. It's a mere trickle.

Not like I ever had loads of pen-pals, but still ... you know ... there's just nothing like an old-fashioned LETTER in the mailbox.

While cleaning out cupboards, closets, drawers, boxes, and binders recently, I have come across letters received from friends all over the world, across the decades ...

One in particular that I just have to make a copy of to send back to the original author is a letter from my dear friend Patricia, who now lives in Virginia ... she had just met and started dating the man she is now married to, Gene. The glowing terms she used to describe him made him just come "alive" for me, right on the page. I hope she's every bit as happy with Gene today as she was way back then, in the beginning days of their relationship. {I am sure she is ... she works hard at everything she does, AND she's an amazing woman ... how could she NOT be happy, I say !!!}

Now that real letters have taken a downturn {like the economy!}, I rely on COMMENTS posted to my blogs for that reach-out-and-touch-someone feeling one gets when one knows somebody cared enough to take the time to ... say something in response to what I've written.

That's probably why I comment so frequently on the blogs of others ... I figure they like it just as much as I do.

You know the fun ones to get? Those from strangers! Yup. True story. It's wild, trying to figure out just how someone came to be taking a look at one of my blogspots.

But a comment from a loved one is ALWAYS, in all ways, welcome. Just as much. I promise.

"It gives me great pleasure to realize I have one more invisible friend at the other end of the post office. Nearly every week a new one turns up, and I feel like I am having a party, and the postman is a sort of Santa Claus every day, with letters from my new friends."
-- Vachel Lindsay to Alice Henderson, 1913

So be it a letter in the post, or a comment on my blog, I want you to know how very much I appreciate your comments ... in whatever form they take.

-- Davielle

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Migraine by George Cruikshank

This charming work of "art" is by artist George Cruikshank, who apparently suffered from Migraine disorder, too.

Otherwise, how could he have depicted what a migraine headache feels like in such near-perfection?!

I've learned a lot more this week, between the 1 1/2 hour doctor appointment with the neurologist I'm now seeing to address my Migraine issues, and the on-line 64-page presentation that his associate prepared for their patients, and from reading even more of The Migraine Brain (the book) ... there's SO much more information out there now ... what a relief (well, figuratively - not yet literally).

I'll blog more about the experience later ... I just don't have it in me tonight.

-- Davielle

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Negative Value Shading -- it's an ART thing

So at my Mixed Media art class this week, Jane arranged to have a lovely substitute teacher for us ... Helen Shafer Garcia.

Check out my other blogspot, for details of our class and more photos !!!

above: Helen demonstrating one of her shading techniques as we worked on a "negative value shading" process ... on a Tree of Life project ... SUCH FUN !!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An Early Valentine ...

"Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need.
What if the mightiest word is love?"

excerpt from "Praise Song for the Day"
written & recited by Elizabeth Alexander on Inauguration Day 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Family Orchard

When we finished building this house, Mark had already begun the process of landscaping the front portion of the yard (required to get "final" on the construction permit), and had made 5 years' progress on the canyon (re-planting with California natives, nurturing the Riparian creek zone, cleaning up the trails and the dry creek bed, etc ...).

What lay ahead of us was: establishing lawn areas front and back, and re-planting flower beds and borders, planting along the (north) side yard, and creating an "entry garden" as you approach the front of the house.

We moved in in April 2004. We had the lawn "installed" around Thanksgiving time, I think. Mark began the task of planting the entry garden, some roses out back for me, etc.

What I had always wanted was a kitchen garden AND what is known as "a family orchard". One that will provide just enough fruit for the household, and in bumper crop years, enough to share with a few lucky folks.

While we have yet to organize a Kitchen Garden (some veggies, some herbs, and that's about it), we DO have the beginnings of our Family Orchard.

To date, we have one nectarine, one peach, and one apple tree out by the Barn. One dwarf Meyer Lemon and a Bearss (yes, it has two S's) Lime on the dining deck that proudce regularly; and a CaraCara Orange that just can't quite make it. We also have a 2nd apple tree in Espalier form against the kitchen window, although this year it is suffering from terrible whitefly.

Because it's been unseasonably HOT here in San Diego County, our peach tree is in full bloom in late January/early February. The apple tree next to it - is approaching full bloom. It is CRAZY, but it's crazy BEAUTIFUL. These photos were taken on January 31, 2009:

the apple tree ... it's 3 varieties grafted on 1 root stock, so only ANNA is blooming right now :-)

the ANNA "branch", w/ an apple as proof - it's an Apple Tree !!!

Next, two photos of the PEACH tree in bloom (wouldn't you expect peach blossoms to be orangey-peach color? NOT !!! they're two-tone pink and delicious to smell):

and a close up of the peach blossoms ...

Mark's been very blessed -- most of his life, his parents have owned a Cherry Orchard on the Flathead Lake in Montana, just south of Bigfork. My in-laws spend about 4 1/2 months there each year, and Mark (and his siblings) all visit, usually in some kind of rotation so they're not all they're at once!, each summer, schedules permitting. There is NOTHING like a cherry orchard in full fruit ... I don't go there often, but it is like heaven when I walk those trees.

back at home, the Flathead cherries from the in-laws' orchard - 2008 crop

So I leave you with this, from Emily Dickinson (who my mother, maiden name Edith Yerkes Dickinson, always HOPED we were somehow related to - proof has not been found, though!):

“When I sound the fairy call,
gather here in silent meeting,
Chin to knee on the orchard wall,
cooled with dew and cherries eating.
Merry, merry, take a cherry,
mine are sounder, mine are rounder,
Mine are sweeter for the eater, when the dews fall,
and you'll be fairies all.”

Happy February, my loved ones. And remember to eat your daily fruit allowance !!!