Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nostalgia .. My trip down Memory Lane

Several things have happened lately that all seem determined to make me face, resolve, and heal from things that happened decades ago ... and I just have to blog about it this morning.   And it's gonna be a long blog post, so grab your beverage of choice and settle in if you're game enough to read this one!

Lately, I've heard a lot of Fleetwood Mac on the radio. And those songs take me back to my 9th and 10th grade years in a hurry. My best friend Candi {photo, left, 2005} and I wore out our FM albums (yes, albums. how old school is that?).  

So what song do you hear, what scent do you encounter, what old photograph ~ takes you back to decades ago, and you're R.I.G.H.T. there, where you were?   PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS.  

And which part of your life do you most often "return" to via those flashback memories?

For me, it's high school and a few years after.  

THE MUSIC:  when I hear the term "oldies" as it pertains to music, I think ... 50s and 60s (even though when I was in high school, we listened to music from the 60s - mostly the Beach Boys - and it didn't seem all so old).   Nowadays, music from my entire young-and-younger listening years is already ... an oldie.  I'm an 80's music freak, and when I do the math, I can't believe those songs are already 30 years old.  THIRTY YEARS OLD.    But when I hear a song that I loved in high school, and realize it's 35 years old - yikes.  How old does that make me, then?  Never mind.

The music that takes me back most often has to be from the 1980's, because it makes me happy.        They were fun years, great years, and even as a single mom, they were incredible years ~ due in large part to meeting my soul-sister / best friend Lori Vallas Falk. {photo, left: Mother's Day 1987, La Valencia Hotel}

But those aren't the old days that keep hitting me in waves lately.  It's the music from my high school years.  And those were awkward years.   I meet people who say "oh, to be in high school again" and I cringe.  Those were shy, challenging, confusing, unsettled, angst-filled years for me.  I did develop some beautiful friendships then, but they too came with a price.

Anyway.  Music I listened to a lot of in high school (that would be the early/mid-70's) ... Fleetwood Mac.  Dave Mason.  ZZ Top.  David Bowie.  Carole King.  Steely Dan. Derek and the Dominos.  Cat Stevens.  Elton John.  Chicago and Bread (yes, even them).  America.  BTO.  ELO.  Allman Brothers.    Foghat.   Edgar Winter Group, and Rick Deringer.  Neil Young (SO much Neil Young).  The Rolling Stones.  Stealer's Wheel.  Steve Miller.  Jethro Tull.  Humble Pie.  Grand Funk Railroad.   Carly Simon. Golden Earring. The Eagles.  Rod Stewart. Paul McCartney & Wings.  Loggins & Messina (the first concert I ever went to - they opened for The Allman Brothers, who were followed by B.B. King - and I had no clue who BB was!).

I could go on longer, but as you can see, I had a wide range of musical favorites.  Back then, I couldn't go an hour without music. 

There were the party songs, the ones we danced to.  Then there were the "party-ing" songs, the ones we, well, partied to (it WAS high school, after all).   And there were the "i am a filled with love angst" songs, the ones we listened to over and over, ad nauseum, because they made us feel ... sentimental and emotional and mellow.  And sad.  I went for sad a lot - hence all that Neil Young.   I only dated 3 guys in high school; one was killed in a car accident.  He's the one that set the bar high for how to treat a girl, and I didn't appreciate him enough.

So to take me back to High School most often, it has to be ... Fleetwood Mac, and Foghat, and Steve Miller.  And driving through El Cajon, passing my high school (El Cajon Valley) and the high school that many of my friends, including my boyfriend, attended (Granite Hills).  Passing old friends' houses.  Missing Baker's (the best burgers and shakes ever). 

After I graduated from high school, I was a mother.  I still loved music.  There were still 4 years left of the 70's.  The music changed, and I had changed.   Although still awkward, and probably more confused and unsure of myself than ever before - I started to experience a confidence that came with being a mother and having to earn a living to support my daughter.

And the music that I favored from 1976 to 1979 was more along the lines of  Earth, Wind and Fire; The Knack; Pat Traverse; more ZZ Top; more David Bowie; Pablo Cruise; Boz Scaggs; Linda Ronstadt; more Rod Stewart; and yes, The Commodores.

My sister-of-my-heart, Sherri Garman DeMink {photo, me and Sherri, 12-31-76}, introduced me to so much music, and we listened to it for hours together. 

 Whenever I hear "My Sharona", or "After the Love is Gone", or "Lady Love" by Lou Rawls ... I am smack dab in the middle of 1979.   Those songs, and the smell of a hot day, the car windows rolled down, and the air conditioning full-blast.  And the perfume I wore then, Halston.   One incredible relationship stands out, I'm right there, and then the pain of its demise hits.  Still. 

So what is the point of today's blog post?   It's this:  when we have something tugging at us, quietly or loudly, that feels like we want to 'make it right', or resolve it, or face up to it ~ but we are afraid, or we don't know how ~ it's time to courage-up and just do it.   If the person is gone or un-reachable, write a note and get it off your heart and mind.  Let it go.   And if the person is available to talk to, or meet up with, do it. 

Say whatever you feel needs to be said.  Forgive them for whatever they may have done to hurt or confuse you.  Ask for forgiveness for whatever you may have done to leave them wondering "why did that happen? was it me?".  In other words, clean it up so you can breathe easier when those flashbacks hit (and they will), and then you can sit back and really enjoy the memories of those times.  

From my experience:  In the past 2 years, I have had 2 people tell me they were sorry for things that happened in high school.  Call me crazy, but such an emotional sense of peace came over me, both times.  And I could sit back, remember, and smile.  Finally.  What a gift they gave me.

 And I deeply regret that at my 30th high school reunion, when I had the opportunity to apologize to someone that I had been cold to, and hurt, in the 9th grade, I missed it.  I attended that reunion for two reason.  One, to make an amend.  The moment was interrupted by the call for a photo of the group {that photo, at left}, and when I turned around, he was gone.  It still haunts me.   Because just before the call for photos, he looked at me and said "isn't it funny how something that happened 30 years ago can still affect us today?".     And the other reason I attended was because my closest friend from those years .. asked me to go with her {me, 2nd from left; and Candi, far right in blue}. 

Think on this:  "Nostalgia: A device that removes the ruts and potholes from memory lane." ~ Doug Larson

And this:  "What was hard to bear is sweet to remember."  ~  Portugese proverb

And one final quote on the topic:  "The heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good; and thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burdens of the past." ~  Gabriel Garcia Marquez {author of 'Love in the Time of Cholera'}

I want to pave over those potholes, and I want to sweetly remember those years.  Don't you?

~  Davielle

P.S.   By the way, FaceBook is a remarkable tool for re-connecting with people.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

BLOGGING 101: Blog to the Rescue!

Friends, I know I haven't blogged here since March (yes, March!) and I have to say - I miss my blogging time. 

But when I received an e-mail this week from an old family friend, and my beautiful CAbi consultant, Rebecca Oostra, it hit me:   a BLOG (and a blog post) can come to the rescue when you least expect it!

First, let me share this with you all:

Recently I've done a lot of soul-searching and question-asking, as in ...

"why did I begin my (2) blogs in the first place?" 
"what did I hope to accomplish - personally or globally - with these blogs?"  
"did I enjoy putting blog posts together?" ...  

And I had the following answers:

"why did I begin my (2) blogs in the first place?" 
BECAUSE I wanted to stay in touch with friends & family, and in the case of the first blog (this one, DH2travelers), share snippets & images of trips we have taken or hope to take some day, etc.  And in the case of my second blog, my intent was to share my love of mixed media art - the artists, the techniques, the results - with others of like mind.    IN BOTH CASES, the blog became a vehicle for me to speak my mind - to share what I liked and believed and found meaningful & beautiful ... that was the driving force behind my venture into the world of blogging.

"what did I hope to accomplish - personally or globally - with these blogs?"
TO speak up - and out - about things that matter to me, or that I found helpful or amusing or soulful or meaningful or heartbreaking or amazing.  And in some cases, all of the above.   I also wanted to share beauty and good information with others - my passion for plein air art has been featured on DH2travelers many times, as has fashion and film, recipes and bits about our family. 

I had also hoped that I would meet and befriend people all over not just the US, but the world, "meeting" people who stumbled across my blog/s just as I had stumbled upon theirs in searches, link-trekking (I think I just coined a phrase there!), referrals from friends who blog and follow blogs, etc.

"did I enjoy putting blog posts together?" ...
Easy, this one:  a resounding and emphatic YES YES YES.   I loved the time I took to follow my own train of thought(s), to gather images or links to embellish the topic, and the putting it all together.   I would hear something on NPR (national public radio) and it would stir up an idea, and there I'd be, at the computer, linking not only to the NPR coverage of whatever it was, but adding a link to - where the book or music could be found, what I thought about it, etc.  {of course, things I found intriguing on NPR often cost me a bit of money, because I'd find myself pulling into Barnes & Noble to 'just pick that one up'.  ha!}

In the case of  Princess Magpie's blog, the answer was equally crystal clear:  YES!  I find mixed media art to be - intriguing, mysterious, simple and clean, busy and complicated, freeing, child-like and yet mature, and for me, mixed media art is an answer to my creative prayers.  God listened when I told Him that I missed - the creative process.   As a (then) retired interior designer, it was December 2008 when I began searching for "mixed media art classes in San Diego", and happened across an old acquaintance, Jane LaFazio.  Come January 2009, I was enrolled in my first (of eventually, four!) multi-week series with Jane and the rest is history!   (but all that's been covered in another blog post, over at

AND NOW, to the impetus for today's post.  This is the note I received from Rebecca via e-mail this week:

"Hi Davi,

I sent Olivia off to the post office today with about 5 priority mailing envelopes with CAbi samples in them. She asked me if the postage was taken care of (which it is about 99% of the time, since I am sending something back to CAbi with a postage paid label). I said, "Yes" and off she went. I was a little distracted.

A couple of hours later I get a phone call: "Hi Rebecca. This is Sandy from the post office......." Well, Olivia dropped off the packages but never looked at them (okay, that is something I would do). Sandy must have been busy, otherwise she would have informed Olivia.

So, before the packages were picked up by the driver, Sandy noticed that none of my packages had postage. She didn't have my phone number.

She googled my name and found a 2 year old blog (by you); the one where you talked about cleaning out your closet). You added a link to my CAbi web site and Sandy went there and found my phone number.

THAT'S service!! To say the least.

Sandy and I laughed about it. I told her to keep me on speed dial.

Well, what do I say? Isn't that wonderful? Thank you for mentioning me. You are an angel.

REBECCA OOSTRA  CAbi Fashion Consultant "

{you can link directly to Rebecca's CAbi webpage by clicking  right here: }

Even CAbi has a blog, and I love getting their link in my e-mail:

{and you can read the blog post from 2009 that led Sandy to Rebecca right here }

And that, my lovely friends, is another good reason to blog.  And when you blog, be sure to LABEL anyone and everyone that you've mentioned in that post, so that in querying someone's name or business, they have a chance to be discovered, like Rebecca was.  

In closing, I have to thank my dear friend, ANN DEAKERS 
 { }, for encouraging & inspiring me to blog in the first place.  She told me it would be easy-peasy and she was right (but then, Ann's always right!).   Thank you, Ann.   I'm sure Rebecca thanks you, too :-) !!!
And for anyone interested in blogging in a big, beautiful way, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of ARTFUL BLOGGING, published by Stampington ...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"March Morning - Montecito"

A few of our favorite things ...

plein air art ...
the California coast ...
Montecito, where we celebrated our wedding dinner ...
early California artist John Marshall Gamble (1863-1957 Santa Barbara, CA) ...

And as of this morning, this painting:   'March Morning - Montecito'.

This breathtaking work by Gamble will be on auction at John Moran Auctioneers (Altadena, California) and will go for an estimated $70,000/90,000.   And, in my opinion, worth every penny.

If money were no object, and if I didn't need a new car ... well, the first being the most necessary bit :-) ... this would hang where I could see it every single day for the rest of my life.

Visit John Moran Auctioneers on-line at to see more - they also auction estate jewelry and antique furniture.  Incredible, delicious things.

~~  Davielle

Sunday, February 27, 2011

the amazing TRACY PORTER bag giveaway !!!

oooh, you have to SEE the bag, right?   check it out:

wanna see the inside?   here you go:

And here's just one reason why I'm crazy for this purse:

... because it reminds me of the blooming California poppies in our yard, posed in front of our blue-trimmed garage windows.   LOVE LOVE LOVE IT -- don't you ???

Visit Tracy's blog to enter to win this gorgeous purse.

~  Davielle

P.S.   can you even believe I'm posting about this?  doesn't that dilute MY chances for a win?!   :-)

Tracy Porter One-of-a-Kind Bag Giveaway

I had to post this today - can you imagine a more magnificent bag to take when traveling? Talk about eye-popping color and style !!! Enter the giveaway over on the Tracy Porter blog (click the link, my pretties) and post your comment. Tracy will announce the winner on her blog TUESDAY, March 1st. Good luck to you all.

Tracy Porter One-of-a-Kind Bag Giveaway

~~ Davielle

Friday, February 4, 2011

Followers, followers, oh where art thou Followers?

Okay, so I haven't been a faithful blogger for quite a long time now.  I admit it, right up front. 

But I know that I used to have more followers ... and now, I'm down to just three.  THREE. 

Should my feelings be hurt, or should I just take it as the LESSON. IT. IS.  This is what happens when one doesn't love and care for their blog.

I do apologize for not being "here" all this time.  I am back, I am back, I really am.  

Won't YOU come back now?

~~  Davielle

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

even MORE techno difficulties today ...

Aaarrrggghhhh ....

Not only am I having a few little glitches getting my new blog background to look just right over on Princess Magpie ... ( )  but now I'm having issues here.  Right here.

I wanted to freshen up THIS blog's background, too - and I always rely on the amazing "cute 'n cool backgrounds" for the best of all backgrounds.

So for THIS blog, I found a cool, funky background -- and when I copy it's code into my blog, it makes it FLASH on the page for a blip of a moment - and then it reverts back to ... what you'll see here now.  

Go figure.  And if you DO figure, would you let me know?

Yours in getting this figured out,

~~  Davielle

Eye Candy - early California plein air art ...

Fellow Travelers,

Mark and I have been enchanted by (okay, obsessed with) Early California Art for about a decade now.  Maybe a tad longer.  (what is a "tad", anyway?)

We often receive notification from galleries of available art, and we always always pause and heave a big sigh and say "oh my, wouldn't that be perfect in our (fill in the blank) room ??".

   This is one of those pieces. Maurice Braun's "Landscape with Stream", circa 1923-25.    

And I'll fill in that blank for you.  It would look perfect in our ... living room.

Can you hear my big sigh?

~~  Davielle

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Kristina, Venice, Italy ~ July 2009
 Our daughter Kristina, a student at Grossmont Community College, recently wrote an essay titled "Wanting More Than Average", which she submitted to THIS I BELIEVE: A Public Dialogue about Belief, One Essay at a Time.

I'm so proud of her - for putting her beliefs into words and then sending them out into the world.

Congratulations, honey.  This is wonderful !!!

~~   Mom

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Love Books, too !!!

My friend Karen Caterson ("Square-Peg People") has a lovely new post up on her blog:


In these busy days (and who doesn't 'suffer' from those?) it's often easy for me to skip reading my friends' blogs - there are so many that I often get overwhelmed and just don't visit ANY of them for weeks on end.  This morning, in looking down my list of "Blogs to Read Every Day" (I had good intentions, I really did), in my "favorites", there was SQUARE PEG PEOPLE and I just knew I had to stop in.

Am I glad I did.  Karen and I are so often "on the same page" (get it? the same page!) that it's way cool.  She's always spot on, and I can count on Karen to comment on my blog posts, too.  :-)  We're just like that.

I LOVE BOOKS, too.  Ask anyone - my family, my friends, my neighbors, my husband, my enemies even know it, I'm sure.  I LOVE BOOKS.   And yet, I rarely take the time to review them any more.  Or to post about them.  I've even stopped FaceBook'ing about what I'm reading.

Right now, I'm 3/4 of the way through PRAYERS FOR SALE by Sandra Dallas.  A new author to me, I'm loving her style and I'm loving this book.  I don't want it to end.  And then I'm going to find some of her other books. 

Thank you, Karen, for reminding me to share.  I want to share with others. 

You're the best, KC.

(who calls this blog DH2travelers, and coming soon, the list of where we're headed this year)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cupcake or Pie ??

This story from NPR: 
"Cupcakes Are Dead: Long Live The Pie!"

Oh my !!!

So what is the history of the cupcake, anyway?  To answer that question, I turned to Wikipedia:

A cupcake (British English: fairy cake; Australian English: patty cake or cup cake) is a small cake designed to serve one person, frequently baked in a small, thin paper or aluminum cup. As with larger cakes, frosting and other cake decorations, such as sprinkles, are common on cupcakes.

The first mention of the cupcake can be traced as far back as 1796, when a recipe notation of “a cake to be baked in small cups” was written in “American Cookery” by Amelia Simms. The earliest documentation of the term “cupcake” was in “Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats” in 1828 in Eliza Leslie's Receipts cookbook.

In the early 19th century, there were two different uses for the name "cup cake" or "cupcake". In previous centuries, before muffin tins were widely available, the cakes were often baked in individual pottery cups, ramekins, or molds and took their name from the cups they were baked in.

This is the use of the name that has persisted, and the name of "cupcake" is now given to any small cake that is about the size of a teacup. The name "fairy cake" is a fanciful description of its size, which would be appropriate for a party of diminutive fairies to share.

Personally, though, give me PIE over a CUPCAKE any day. 

But there is a "however ..."

I must tell you - I had the most delicious Karma Cupcake on Wednesday, at the end of a committee meeting at CCI ( for an event I volunteer with, Balboa Barks ( ). 

Said Karma Cupcake was a luscious lemon flavor, and it was terrific.  And the best part is that the KARMA CUPCAKE sales benefit CCI, with the flavor changing each month.  

You can get your own Karma Cupcake at my friend Becky's cupcake shop, LITTLE CAKES CUPCAKES at 30 Main Street, Suite 180, in Vista, California.  Call ahead for hours and the specials-of-the-day:  (760) 842-5138.  You can visit them on-line right here at: ...

Whatever YOUR pleasure is, make the most of it.

Happy New Year ~~


P.S. if you click on the link to the NPR story, there's even an option to hear the story ... stream it !!!

P.S.S.  If you were to ask me which I would choose - I'd have to go with PIE. As the article says, "PIE can be sweet or savory", and yes, some creative cupcake folk are baking "savory cupcakes", but to me, those are just muffins in disguise.

That's not to say that I might not give a French Toast cupcake a try, but still - that's sweet, isn't it?  Just don't wrap my French Toast Cupcake with .... bacon.

Now a PIE, a pie ... give me fresh blueberry or spicy pumpkin pie, oooh, and fresh peach in the summer, with crystally sugar sprinkled on the top crust.  

And on the savory side, oooh, I like quiche, and that's like pie, right? And then there's Shepherd's Pie, which isn't really a pie at all, but it sounds like one, and it's got all the food groups in it; well, except for sugar!  If you are a savory pie person, and you need to fill your daily sugar requirement, treat yourself to a CUPCAKE.  And make sure it's from Little Cakes Cupcakes :-) !!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Our 2010 in Pictures - my photography (and a note on Bigger Camera Envy)

I may not have blogged on here for almost 90 days now, but I was busy in 2010 with my camera - I still love my Canon G9, and although I am sometimes struck with BCE (bigger camera envy), I think I'll stick right here with this little gem.   Truth is, I don't really want to learn more advanced photography techniques - I like to think I'd like to learn (and use) them, but honestly - I can only handle so much.   My trusty and talented Canon G9 is my idea of a great camera, it's in my comfort zone, and we're sticking together.

For any of you that care to look it up, I googled the G9 this morning and on the Canon site, discovered that because they've come up with the G12 now, the G9 is "no longer available".  However, over on Amazon, you can now apparently pay TWICE what I paid for my camera new - to get one.   It has been a very very popular camera, and it doesn't surprise me ...

BACK TO THE YEAR IN REVIEW ... here it is, a review, for any of you that are interested, of what 2010 looked like for me and my loved ones:

January 2010:
I began the year in what I call a "State of Tilted Grace" ...

"You see a cow a day" - a saying in our family that was beautifully proven on Martin Luther King Jr Day 2010 as I drove home from Borrego, while Mark rode his bike home.

Sunset at Torrey Pines Start Park, January 24, 2010

February, the month of love ...

Valentine's Day 2010: My Beautiful Family .. Trevor, Cara, Kaia, Kiara, Kristina, and Mark {Cottonwood Creek Park, Encinitas}

February 2010:  I LOVED taking another series of "Mixed Media with Paper & Cloth" art classes from the talented Jane LaFazio, through La Jolla Athanaeum  {this is Jane}

MARCH 2010 ...

"Dark Star" ceanothus (native California lilac) - in full bloom in our yard

Mark, racing in San Dimas - late March 2010 (FYI, this is NOT a shot of him racing ... this was warmups out of the parking lot!)

APRIL 2010:  we reach the end of tax season and our year officially begins!

home, home on the range ... or on the "inland bluff overlay zone", as it were

Stormy Skies - Solvang:  April 2010
Manhattan Beach Pier - late April 2010

MAY 2010 - Mark's Birthday Month !!!
{my Canon g9 captures florals - beautifully ~ you can almost smell them !}

Graham Thomas Roses - from our garden

Mother's Day Bouquet ...

my husband MARK - on his birthday
 {in Santa Barbara's ALICE KECK PARK GARDEN, where we were married in 1999}
JUNE 2010 ... Summer's here !!!

Rocky at Home ... so dashing !!

our grandson TREVOR with Mia ... June 2010

JULY 2010 ...

" Summertime ... and the livin' is easy ..." -  Mark & Rocky, hammock'ing
 AUGUST 2010 ... Montana Time!

We go to visit Mark's parents at their half-year home,
the cabin at Flathead Lake, near Bigfork, Montana
{here, Marion, Gene, and Sierra}

Marion's Echinacea in Bloom

and then there's the crown jewel of the orchard: 
 the CHERRIES, August 2010

SEPTEMBER 2010  {fall fruits & back to school time ...}
our friends the FULLERs took a cruise - and I got Russian Nesting Dolls !!
CREATIVE IS A VERB by Patti Digh .
my copy arrived in September from the publisher

artwork {"Airstream in a Cornfield") by me

OCTOBER 2010: Spooky Time
my G9 photographing Cara
photographing tiny lizard with her phone ...

detail of lizard (aka, "why I love my G9")

"House Blessing" art that I created in a class by CHRIS COZEN, at Stamping Details (Halloween, 2010)

NOVEMBER 2010:  giving thanks for our many blessings ...

solo cerces leaf

Family Is Everything: Thanksgiving 2010

a sunset as viewed from outside my home office window ...

can you see the rainbow? as seen from our kitchen window

DECEMBER 2010:  celebrating Christmas, celebrating life

and for the best display of our Christmas Day, see my next post - which includes a Smilebox slideshow!

Happy New Year, my friends

All my best,


2011: Color of the Year

Thanks to my friend BETH NICHOLLS of England, who I was fortunate to meet at AN ARTFUL JOURNEY in February 2010 - I've discovered Pantone's Color of the Year, 2011:  Honeysuckle.

At first read, you might envision a yellow color - after all, most honeysuckle blooms are yellow. 

But this, THIS color - this engaging and vibrant PINK - is spot on.  (or spotT on, with two t's - if your name is Lorrie, with two r's !)

And here in Southern California, I first met a to-die-for honeysuckle variety known as "Pink Lemonade" - isn't this luscious?   I still "need" one in my own yard, because the colors & the scents are ... heavenly.

So I pose the question to you, as Beth did to readers of her blog, DO WHAT YOU LOVE ...

What is YOUR color for this new year, 2011?

I am adopting Pantone's HONEYSUCKLE, paired (pun intended) with a PEAR GREEN of sorts. 

Coincidentally, I came across my box of these notecards ON MY DESK as I was reading Beth's blog post about color:  "Nantucket" thank you notes (by Peter Pauper Press, Inc.) available at Barnes & Noble -

I encourage you to visit Beth at her DO WHAT YOU LOVE site/blog - I think you'll be happy you did! 

Happy New Year to you all,