The Left Coast Hodgepodge

Jo From This Side of the Pond has some beachy questions for us today.

1. Do you like the beach?

Yes, I like the beach. I like to walk at the beach, especially in the winter. I’m not a fan of heat and being overheated. I like to walk the pier, watch the waves and enjoy the cool breezes. We lived in Huntington Beach from 1975-1984. We lived in Ventura (which is a beach town) from 1984-1988. We lived in Camarillo, 8 miles from the beach from 2006-2010. While we lived in Camarillo we drove to Emma Wood State Beach most every Saturday morning to walk the beach at dawn. The collage at the top of this post include photos from Emma Wood.

How far do you have to drive to get to the nearest beach?

Since my definition of beach is related to an ocean we would have to drive over 450 miles to get to the Pacific Ocean.

If you are talking about a sandy or pebbly shore we could get to one of those in under 10 miles. We live close to the Columbia River, Lake Roosevelt and other lakes and rivers.

Your least favorite thing about the beach?

Getting sandy or sunburned.

Last beach trip you took? 

I flew to Southern California in June and stayed with my sister in Huntington Beach and enjoyed walking at Corona Del Mar and Huntington Beach.

2. Are you known for making waves or are you more of a ‘go along to get along’ kind of person? Explain.

Hmm, if I have to make waves I will but it’s not my first choice. When something goes against my beliefs I won’t compromise. I don’t nod my head or keep silent when someone presumes to speak on my behalf and what is said is not part of my convictions. I will challenge things said that aren’t the truth in proper settings, when it’s within my boundaries to say something and could make a difference.

3. A favorite song that in some way references the beach?

I’ll give the beach nod to our Marine son-in-law and all Marines!

A favorite book and/or movie with a beach-y setting? 

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

4. Tuesday is National Simplicity Day…what’s a simple pleasure you’ve enjoyed this week?

The simple pleasure of enjoying my cup of coffee each morning and the pleasure of the morning unfolding.

What’s something you could eliminate from your life to make things simpler? 

Extra weight on my body. My current clothes would fit better and my movements would be easier. It’s harder to move excess weight around,

5. What’s something you love to do? Do you do it often? Why or why not? 

I love to plan a trip. I don’t do it often, maybe once a year or every two years. It’s fun to anticipate a journey or a destination that will be fun to experience. I find the more I research the destination the more enjoyment it gives me when we get there.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Two months from today, Lord willing, me and Dear will be in Oxford, England for about 12 days. I’m doing what I love and making plans for our days there. We will be staying in an apartment in Oxford (central) for 9 of the nights, 2 nights in a hotel in Woodstock, and our last night back in Oxford in a hotel.  When we had our trip planned in 2020 that got cancelled for obvious reasons, we were reimbursed for everything but a day tour we had booked with Go Cotswolds, a small touring company. We asked them to keep our money just in case we were able to return to England in the future. They were appreciative as they had to cancel so many tours and the more people that kept their reservations on hold allowed them to stay in business during the tough season everyone was in. We contacted them and they were so gracious to honor our two year deposit for a day tour. They are flourishing again in their business. We will hop on the train in Oxford to Moreton in Marsh and get picked up for a day in the small villages of the Cotswolds. Another tour we have on the books is The Kilns, the home of C.S. Lewis just outside Oxford. We will ride a bus to Headington for that tour. We are not renting a vehicle for this trip but depending solely on public transportation and our own two feet . Most of our sight seeing will be right in Oxford. There is so much to see in this compact city that we will be able to enjoy on foot from our apartment.

The Skies on Sunday

The skies on Sunday got more interesting as the day progressed. This first shot was on our way to church.

After church our crew came home to our place for a chaotic meal prep for the seven of us. We pulled together Eggs Benedict, hash browns with a trio of berries besides. Delicious.

The decision was made to go out to dinner on Sunday to the Mexican restaurant in Chewelah. These next photos are of the clouds we saw on our way.


Hope you all had a good long weekend. Ours was good and busy from morning to night. We are going into several days of very cold weather here. Brrr….

Clematis Joy!

Hope you all have a good Father’s Day weekend.

I’ll be away from my computer for the next couple of days. Tomorrow is Tea Day here at our Country Bungalow and there will be eight of us around the table. I’m handing over my kitchen to the gal who offered up the tea at our Mission’s Auction. She has a helper coming along, too.  I’ll share lots of photos as soon as I can.

With our son flying in for the weekend and the Tea and Father’s Day things will be busy around here.

I’ve gotten all my dates for my Cataract surgeries so the next 5 weeks will be hit and miss for my computer time. My first surgery is next Wednesday. I might have some flashback posts popping up while my eyes are resting.

I’ll leave you with this quote from a Commentary on Romans that I’m reading from John MacArthur;

“God is the only source of goodness, and therefore everything good and worthwhile a person has is from the gracious hand of God.”

Take care and go in God’s goodness!

Finding Beauty ~ I will Sing…

I took these photos at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens last week. Lavender and purple seemed to be the winning colors that were blooming at this time.

The plush green of the Japanese Garden was so calming and refreshing. Spring is just so lush around here. There are benefits to getting a lot of rain. All this beauty makes me want to smile a lot and to sing. You might even catch me talking in song lyrics. Don’t be alarmed!

…All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings…

Excerpt from All Things Bright and Beautiful

Words: Cecil F. Alexander

Footnote: I won’t be participating in weekly memes due to several key events happening around the homestead and in South Africa! World cup begins on Friday and I’ll be trying to catch every match and probably singing Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole! This is also a busy family weekend because of visitors, graduation, and kayaking. If the whales attack us while we are kayaking I’ll have my sister write a post so you’ll know where I disappeared to.

So until I post again…Go U.S.A.!!

Finding Beauty…


Short and sweet this week. This shot was one of many I took last Saturday at the Japanese Gardens in Seattle.

Hope you found some beauty in your world this week. Visit Claudia at Dipity Road to see more beauty. She has lots of sweet bunnies to show you…

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

Finding Beauty ~ Pleasanton, California

Click on the badge above to join in the beauty with Claudia at Dipity Road.

We traveled 1200 miles over 3 days last weekend and we found lots of beauty along the way. We traveled from Camarillo, California north along Highway 101 stopping in Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Gilroy, and then for our first overnight in Pleasanton, California.


Main Street in Pleasanton was a nice street with lots of great shops, wine tasting rooms and restaurants. The rain that fell on us for much of our journey subsided when we arrived in Pleasanton so we had a very nice walk before dinner. Our hotel was located on Main Street and I’ll publish a post about it soon.


This Veterans Memorial Building really stood out against the blue sky and clouds.



They changed the original verse from the Bible to read “for his country” instead of  “for his friends”. I’m including more of the context of this passage with the verses that follow. These are from the King James Version of the Bible.

John 15: 13-17

13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

17These things I command you, that ye love one another.

Thank you to Claudia for hosting “Finding Beauty” and I do hope you all have a beautiful Friday!

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

Finding Beauty ~ Fresh Flowers…

Time to visit Claudia at Dipity Road to join in on Finding Beauty on Friday.

Just click on the badge above!

I love fresh flowers. They always stand out and brighten a room. They don’t have to be expensive, either. I’ve been eyeing the daffodils that are showing up at Trader Joe’s and other grocery stores this week. I will put off getting a bunch until I arrive in Seattle for a 10 day visit next week. I dare you not to smile when you see a bunch of daffodils!



by William Wordsworth

I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch’d in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

Webbed Feet?

It’s time for Finding Beauty on Friday hosted by Claudia at Dipity Road


Aren’t the feathers on this duck beautiful?

~There are a lot of people here in Southern California that are checking to see if they are developing webbed feet. The storms that have blown through the Southland over the last few days are causing lots of havoc and closed roads and evacuations due to fast moving water or standing water or mud slides. We are all ready for a dry day…

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

Finding Beauty ~ Look Up!


It’s time to join Claudia at Dippity Road for Finding Beauty.

My husband was out barbecuing on Tuesday night and called me out to our little front patio to check out the great sky! Little puffs of clouds covered the sky around our condominium complex. I love it when all I have to do is step out my front door and see something as delightful as this!

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

Gardens of The World in Thousand Oaks, California ~

On Tuesday morning I stopped by Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, California. The Gardens of the World are privately owned and operated by the Hogan Family Foundation. There’s a Japanese Garden, French Garden, English Perennial & Rose Garden, and Italian Garden.


I walked in and was pleasantly surprised at what I saw. First of all I was treated to Wisteria growing on their entry gates! I had a quick stroll through the free garden. On Wednesday I returned to the Garden with Willow after we had Tea together at a great new Tea Room in Thousand Oaks (post to follow soon) and it is really hard to choose what photos to show from this wonderful place.


After the Wisteria we were treated to these pink beauties.


The walkways through the different themed sections of the garden were inviting.


The water features were dramatic.


This was the majestic bamboo in the Japanese Garden Section.


You walked through a Olive tree lined path to the Mission courtyard with the outer walls filled with Bougainvillea


The Mission Courtyard is an authentic Mission Courtyard. This courtyard features murals of the 21 remaining missions painted by local artists.

This is an example of one of the murals.

The fragrance in this courtyard was amazing from the 4 orange trees whose blossoms were in full bloom. Oh so lovely.


The rose garden was blooming and I got some close-ups


These were just a few of the beauties.





There were other beauties besides roses.

It was well worth the trip here and I think we probably picked the best time of the year to visit.

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.
e. e. cummings

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!