Spring Is In Full Bloom

May 23, 2017 at 8:12 pm (A Writer's Life, Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , )

While taking a scenic drive around one of the many lakes in my area, I see wild flowers growing in pretty clumps along the road. I wonder if they would grow wild the same way in my backyard. I have small spaces that would look pretty with Lu pins planted beside my bird bath, colorful wildflowers  growing around my Lilac tree, Shasta daisies growing along my fence. I think my friends are tired of giving me cuttings that will grow in the worst soil so I am told. I am trying a drought tolerant garden this year. I like Succulents, some have the most beautiful colors. I may be able to have my roses and keep them alive too. 

With Summertime coming quick, I need to get my yard in shape to enjoy the ever-changing weather. It has been said “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes”. We have had an unusually wet Spring so far. We laugh when the weatherman says rain or chance of a thunder shower because the rain seems to pass over my town. Not lately though. We had thunder and heavy rains that flooded some neighborhoods. I noticed the ducks playing in the pond at the stop sign; They usually stay down by the river.

Every June, I attend the Annual Garden Tours;I love to look at all the beautiful neighborhoods and admire the hard work for everyone to enjoy. Many participants are retired and have been opening their homes for many years. You never know where the Garden tour is going to take you. You may stop at an old farm with a walking path to a rose garden beside the tool shed, a little house in town with a secret garden,one Host last year was just finishing up planting flowers along a walkway as the tour was getting started. He spent thousands just to have a nice yard for others to enjoy. This gentleman even included his Alpacas in the tour. Just some nice use of unused spaces to sit and chat or enjoy a glass of wine overlooking the City below you.

I may never be ready to participate in a garden Tour, but I am happy spending time on my patio. I can have a few stay-cations this summer listening to the crickets chirping, the birds singing at the bird bath. I know a lot of work goes into having a nice yard. A few years ago, I was give a couple of trees. I knew they would not grow in the yard, so I planted them in the most unusual locations. My Mountain Ash tree did smashing by the back gate, my two pine trees grew tall by the back fence no one said you had to separate them, who knew they would actually grow. Who knew a seed could blow into your backyard and start a Snowball tree? Now if a couple of varieties of wildflowers would jut blow into my backyard and seed around a few pine trees, around say my bird bath, along my back fence, I would have free flowers that actually stand a chance to grow for years to come because we know they reseed every year. 

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Renovation Nation

April 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm (COMFORT AND JOY, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent, Uncategorized) (, , )

While watching one of my favorite Home and Garden shows last night, I noticed a growing trend in the tiny house market and neighborhood renovations. Some folks are taking the idea of our Grandmas garden shed and turning them into houses. I was surprised to find out how many varieties of small house living that is out there: You can choose from Portable Cedar cabins, Victorian, Modern, Urban Industrial and the list goes on. I was surprised at how much living space went into one of these mini houses. I am amazed at every nook and cranny is used in these tiny spaces. you really can design your mini home to fit your interests. They can be built as elaborate or modest fit to your budget.

I think the young people are deciding to buy a more permanent tiny home rather than rent. They can build their portable house to fit their individual needs. Some young adults are into sports and have the need to travel so this is a perfect option for them. Instead of renovating an existing home, some couples are downsizing to a smaller home or mini home options. While some families are choosing to stay in their forever homes and  renovating, others are deciding it is time to downsize. Our Grandparents had the family home and then the vacation cabin on the lake. When the kids went off to college and the parents retired, they often time sold the family home and lived in vacation home by the lake. I am one who chose to update my home with a fresh coat of paint inside and out and had a metal roof put on last year. My late husband and I bought our together home thirty years ago, I raised my young son here until he moved out at age 19. After my son passed away from a tragic car accident in 2007, I turned his old bedroom into my dressing room. I love setting in his room remembering not so long ago when he painted his bedroom the most hideous green color you ever saw. It puts a smile on my face while I am getting dressed in the morning and putting on my pajamas at night. 

I am impressed at the number of home renovation shows are on now. Long forgotten Cities are getting a new start with the help of designers and sold to young families who otherwise could not afford to own a nice home.   One of my favorite shows was one that showcased curb appeal.The Host  could not make over the whole neighborhood, so they chose three homes to boost curb appeal with the thought the rest of the neighbors would want to add fresh landscaping as well. The host showed an example of just a couple changes can bring big impact. I have a couple favorite neighborhoods I like driving around to get fresh ideas for my small house. New plantings,a couple more trees in the back yard and I am set for another summer outside on the patio drinking my cold coffee. Life is good indeed!

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A Peaceful Escape

March 22, 2017 at 9:37 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I met with a dear friend this afternoon for lunch. We do not get together as much as we used to due to our schedules. My friend works in her daughter’s specialty shop. I can get envious of K’s talent for Interior design if I am not careful. She owns a beautifully decorated manufactured home. She has lived in Ireland hosting a B&B for over 20 years. We were laughing about when I asked her ten years ago to help me put my bedroom together for me. When she first looked in my room,she asked me”how many years has it been since it has been touched?” I told her”since my husband passed away”. We both agreed it was time fr a change. And a change I was blessed with. We also talked about how she sent me to church and then her daughter and son-in-law got to work sprucing up my new B&B inspired room. I also decided to turn my son Levi’s old bedroom into my dressing room. She found a perfect rose quilt to put on the now turned day bed.

I am on my stay-cation this week and intend on enjoying every drop of  slowing down and smelling the flowers as I can. I have taken a walk around a quaint little man made village with a river walk. After walking, I decided to browse the shops that were open on Sunday. I have made some special meals for my mom and I to share because I finally have the time to cook and not throw something together. It is nice to take the time and decide what to wear today. I have nice clothes, but I usually put on my cute scrubs for work instead of getting dressed twice. Working odd hours,caring for my aging mom and trying to blog twice a week can be taxing after a while. I needed to find ways to refresh and still keep up with my daily obligations. I don’t know, there is just something about hearing the birds chirp while writing this story that makes my day. You look outside the window, and see 20-30 birds in the trees all having a private conversation.

I am going on a nice scenic drive tomorrow,my neighbor is going to do some ( not my honey do) chores for me while I am gone, then I am going to rent the new release”Collateral Beauty”. It is too early to plant flowers yet,(lucky flowers) so I will get some fresh yard design ideas. The hard winter buried my poor shrubs,so I am going to put in something that will bring some color to my front yard. Any suggestions? I also want to put in a few trees in the back yard to complete my backyard retreat. I have a few summer plans this year. Many years ago, my brother and I took a scenic sea plane tour. I remember how much fun it was and I would like to take another tour. I plan on going to some Summer Theater performances as well as a few concerts. I used to go with friends from church, and need to make the time to enjoy what my town has I offer. I still have two more days off, so I plan on another lunch date, and organizing my closet(come on,it needs to be done). Yes,it is nice to sometimes stop and indeed smell the flowers along the way of our busy lives. Invite a friend over for coffee and desert, or enjoy someones company as you spruce up a room in the house for Spring.

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Stay-Cation

March 20, 2017 at 8:49 pm (Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I am blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest.  I don’t have to travel miles and miles to visit the national forest, I live within driving distance of three ski resorts, families are gearing up for fishing, hiking, bike trails galore. With so many outdoor activities to choose from, I can enjoy so much right here. I am still caring for my aging mother, so I can’t leave for a week to go gallivanting the country side. I found there are a few rules when planning your days off.

Make sure (if single) clean your house before you start enjoying your time off. No one wants to vacuum, dust, clean fridge so you can stuff more food in,etc.etc. The idea of staying home for me is relax(what exactly is this foreign word anyway?) I am fortunate to live by the river; Many humans and dogs walk the trails everyday.(I know because they pass my house on their way). It is a nice nature walk among the rocks and pine trees, you might see a badger, ducks swimming in the cove, a deer walking the trail eating.The older I get, I appreciate the fact I do not have to far to enjoy the beautiful landscape. We have at least 20 lakes in our area to enjoy. I used to like fishing when my late husband,son and I would get up early, pack a sack lunch and fish until early afternoon. maybe I should get my dads fishing gear back out of the garage. My son caught his big fish using his grandpa’s pole.

I love to check out the local Library: Twice a Month, I get together with other moms and retired ladies for a morning of coffee and color therapy. it is a fun morning spent talking about middle age life for many and listening to stories(we can relate to) of young moms struggles in child raising. I have talked to people who can’t believe the Library has something more to offer other than books. The kids and teens have a corner all their own to explore,complete with a reading corner,computer games and the web, story time, arts and crafts. Gardening for beginners,building container gardens, planting basics, computer 101,so many book clubs from romance,to murder mysteries. It is fun to discuss a book with others, you get four different view points. And to think, I used to take my young son to the Library so he could play computer games and check out a book. I guess one of the hazards of being a writer and Author, you are addicted to your local Library.

Being a tourist in my town: I do not get the chance very often to head into town. The main street is quaint tree-lined street full of shops, I could spend a day just browsing each shops, and enjoying our local Art Galleries. The streets re lined with unique metal art creations. One sculpture is of boys kicking a football,one is a huge moose, another is a scaly fish. The other day, I spied a mom picking her son up to let him ride the huge moose. All of the towns electrical boxes were hand painted by the College Art Class. instead of looking at silver or boring green boxes,we now see beautiful colorful scenes like a Moose eating,birds flying,or some pretty flowers. I love to people watch. Find a bench and watch the nice cars drive by or watch the kids eyes with all the Bronze Sculptures. In a few Months the shops will be renting paddle boats, offering Sea Plane rides, see the sail boats gliding along the lake, small boats for fishing, a new activity of paddle boarding. The local resort boasts the longest boardwalk. We also have the only floating green in the country. You can have a taste of feeling wealthy by eating looking out over the floating green and beautiful Lake Coeurd ‘Alene. If you choose, a boat will pick you up at the resort and ferry you out to lunch, a then take you back to your car. Deer is often seen on the green as well as quail, geese, and eagles.

Host a movie marathon day: I love to get together with a couple girlfriends and have a movie day. Each one picks her favorite movie, and enjoy a pot luck of great food and drinks. On an especially rainy day, how fun is it to get together with dear friends and curl up on the couch with blankets and watching one of your favorite shows. Sometimes, it is hard to coordinate schedules,but I like to get together and just have girl time. My friends know me so well. They just call me up and we are on the road again sight-seeing one of our many favorite locations. I have lived here for 36 years, I have found out about so many locations I never knew existed. I guess I need to get out more! Well, I am off again to care for mom. it is grocery shopping day, then her dinner time, and I can once again head to church and call it another great day.

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The Right Cut

March 16, 2017 at 6:17 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

The last time I had my hair cut, I promised myself I would never go to another rude, argumentative hair dresser again. I remember it well, sitting in the chair arguing (not consulting) with the hair with this woman. A hair cutting should not be after paying her,you go home and cut on it some more because you’re mad, and wanted it cut a certain way. Today while out running my errands, I thought I would get my hair cut,it was looking a little shaggy. It helps when someone is friendly to you when you walk in,and the lady listens to you; I got a perfect fun short hair cut. One, I would never have thought about for a nice change. I noticed online you can have a virtual hair makeover done to see what style you look good in. It beats thinking you will like a cut and then the joke is on you until it grows out. Ever happen to you?

Spring is almost here! Well several parts of the Country is experiencing a second blast of Winter. We are finally coming out of our hard winter, the grass and roadways are the perfect shade of ugly brown. I know better than to go to my local Nursery and buy anything yet. We never know if Stella is going to come and visit our  part of the Country next. It is nice to see some plants starting to come up. Most of the snow has melted, the birds are starting to sing in the trees outside your window, the sun feels warm again on your face. You can start transitioning your clothes again from parka to a light jacket. Pretty soon you will see the old cars driving around town. We have several old car clubs in the area. There is hope, the Ski Resorts are still in full swing and snow in the upper elevations for those who like to get outside in the cold.

I am thinking up a few new menu items to have Spring luncheons at my newly decorated house. I need to make time for some girl time with my dear friends. Life can get crazy or in the way sometimes. It is important to keep in touch with those who enrich your life. I always love to have Victorian luncheons. Set out my best table linens, plates and of course the prettiest tea cups. I buy Victorian tea Magazine, it is a great source of ideas and recipes to try. Just plant a few pretty flowers in pots, and enjoy my day. I just freshen up he paint in my living/ dining room and had new flooring installed in my kitchen. My friends are glad I could update my place because my husband and I bought our house thirty years ago, My husband only was able to live in the house two years. I think if he could visit again from Heaven,he would take his time walking through the house and back yard. I think he would be pleased at how nice the house looks. It always did look good, but sometimes we need to update and refresh. I could hear him say “it is so girly,but it is you honey”. Even though I have lived through some personal setbacks, I am happy where I am today.

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Enjoying One day At A Time.

February 12, 2017 at 8:53 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, memoir writing, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

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I have heard it said when we lose a child or a spouse,we live the ‘new normal’.  True, my life was forever changed when I tragically lost both my husband and son,but through the grief and healing, I realized their deaths did not mean the death of me as well. I had to find ways to see the joy when the sun came up in the morning, appreciate the chirping of the birds instead of being jealous they were happy and I was not. I had to learn not to isolate myself; I had so many friends who would wonder where I was if I did not show up to church for monday night service, I was always being asked if I have eaten today, people at first keep their distance, being afraid to say the wrong thing to you, I have always knew what I had,when it was time, God helped me to let go.

I am enjoying my middle age life; My husband and I bought our forever home thirty years ago. Our neighborhood was a new sub division with only a few homes. We have made some lasting friendships.Jerry and I thought we would grow old together, we bought our forever home,now we looked forward to starting a family,dreamed of being proud grandparents to our son Levis children,imagined retiring someday. I love my neighborhood,when Jerry and I first moved here, across the street was a big empty field. We knew where the kids were (big kids included)- riding their motorcycles and bikes around the dirt track. Eventually homes were built there, so the kids rode the bikes down by the river nearby and built jumps pretending to compete in a dirt bike race. In the winter, the kids took turns sledding down the hill in front of my house. weekends were spent making a snow fort connecting mine and the neighbor’s yard. Levi and Ashley were busy all weekend, we had to practically drag them in for dinner and bed.

Now, the kids all grown and most of them have moved away, married with kids of their own. I still have some of the neighbors who welcomed my husband Jerry and I to our new house over 30 years ago. We often get together in the evening, talking about when we retire ,as we already survived being empty nesters.  I am buying a motor home and travel like Jerry and I talked and planned to do someday. I would like to take my time and see the Oregon Coast. Time has a way of flying by make the most of your child raising years,make lasting memories that carry on for the next generation of stories,take the time to tell your loved ones how much you love them and are glad they are part of your life.

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Early Spring Cleaning

January 25, 2017 at 8:59 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, family, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

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Last weekend, some dear friends came over to paint inside my home. We laughed because it only took my paint contractor friend five years to have the time. He thanked me for my patience. Now my house looks fresh and brighter for the new year. We have been hammered by snow storms this year, so the light beige paint lightens your mood some. My friends and I were talking about being in a rut lately; We had three weeks of sub-zero temperatures followed by six inches of snow,then more frigid temps,and then more snow. Followed by the January thaw and flooding. I am glad we are only in for a couple more storms and then the gardeners can get outside and plant.

Before my friends came, I started to get rid of old magazines I have held onto since 2000. I cleaned out my entertainment center with old papers, videos, movies to donate and any old receipts. Since I knew my couch would be moved to paint behind, I cleaned underneath. I wondered how many magazines does one own anyway? Then, I moved on to my office, cleaning out and organizing my author file,I then looked through my  book format, the book’s first chapter I have written, and my extra stories I saved in case I want to write another book. I then moved to my son Levi’s old bedroom turned dressing room. I cleaning out under his bed. I found a couple of his school annuals, a pair of pants he will never again wear, a sock, a bowel and spoon(what again was the rule of no eating in your room?)I found his computer games,and his drawings. As I found each item, I thanked God I have a small piece of his world. Levi passed away in 2007 in a tragic car accident. He was only 20. I had already cleaned out his closet when I turned his old room into my dressing room. I put my uniforms in his dresser to make room for clothes and coats.

I needed the motivation to jump-start my new year by decluttering and  donating to a charity. I realized I do not need as much as I have accumulated and it is nice to finally be more organized. I have a problem with paper trails. I need to shred more often and I will now. Sometimes between work, caring for my aging mom and writing, I don’t have much time left for anything else. It is so nice to come home to a bright, and cheerful home. I own a ranch style house full of Victorian charm. I wish my late husband could see all the changes I have made over the years. I think Jerry would have been proud of how well I have kept up the house.(With a lot of help from my friends.) We didn’t have the fixer upper,our home was move in ready. ( I know, took all the fun out of my story. Sorry).

My next door neighbor has been helping me declutter my mom’s home. We cleaned her bedroom last week. When she was 17, her mom talked her into buying a new bedroom set. She bought a beautiful maple four poster bedroom suit. My dad painted her a desert picture which hangs over her bed. A couple of years ago, a good friend of mine and I cleaned out under the crawl space. We took several loads to the dump. I am glad we are getting around to decluttering her home now instead of down the road if she has an onset of dementia. At least her home will be a comfortable environment for her. I worked private nursing care for a couple elderly clients. I understand how dementia affects the family. I am thankful mom is thinking ahead now. She already gave up her driver’s license a few years ago. I would not want her driving anymore anyway. My town scares me to drive some days; People change three lanes of traffic just to stop at the light instead of waiting. I don’t mind taking her to her appointments. We have a late lunch afterwards and it gets he out of the house. It is hard to watch your mom go from having a full calendar to staying in her gown and robe everyday. But she has made the choice and I have to respect it.

This middle age life is hard for some folks. You are still young enough to work, some have  young children at home or may have your grandchildren living with them and are part of the sandwich generation. Life is but an adventure. I am guilty of not inviting friends over more often to share a meal or watch a good movie or even just a night of catching up. I guess I need to host an open house and show off the new updated paint. (some of my friends reading this are saying yeah.) I like it when a good friend gives me 15 minutes before she come over. I have my Victorian table all set when she arrives. We have a yummy desert and pretty cups for tea. My one dear friend owned a B&B in Ireland. I love to hear stories about her experience she had. Sometimes before I go to work,I spend some time with her at her home eating a snack and watching Agatha Christie. It set the mood for me going to work. I always have a good shift at work. I don’t know 2017 is getting off to a good start for me How about you?

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I light a Candle For You

December 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, memoirs, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

images (8)I light a candle celebrating my son Levi. I look back on how far I have come in my healing,finding inner peace among my struggles, and I am thankful for my many wonderful friends I can count on in times of trouble.

When talking about the incomparable Levi De Gon, many thoughts comes to many minds. He was generous, I love the sparkle in his eyes,his infectious laugh, his compassion for others. When Levi was 19 years old, he and I decided it was time for him to move out. He moved in with his Grandmother to help her after his beloved Grandpa passed away. My mom sure kept Levi honest; The front door locked at 10:00 p.m. Levi’s friends would call my mom at 9:59 asking her to wait another 5 minutes, he was on his way home. My mom was the perfect bank,once you handed her money to put away,well you guessed it-you would not be seeing it for a while. (called a savings account son).

When Levi bought his first truck,he proudly drove his Grandma around in style. He helped her get her weekly groceries,well he was able to suggest items for the next weeks dinner menu if he came along. My mom was helping him save up for his first apartment; not many young adults had the whole place furnished, Levi would have. I raised a good kid. He had made a  few poor choices he had to deal, with but we all got through it.

I went to a candle memorial service in honor of my son. We were all given a dove Christmas decoration. I placed three on my pencil tree. What a great way to remember the love, laughter, life Levi had brought me. I find peace in the midst of my struggles knowing he touched so many lives in his young life. I do not live my life with regrets-yes I am sad he had to leave so young, but I have so many others I help in his honor.Hug your kids extra tight tonight,don’t let a day go by you don’t tell your loved ones how much you love them,how much they mean to you and how proud you are of them. Life can truly change forever in a moment.

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The Good Old Days

November 2, 2016 at 8:32 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

 

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The other day I went to the store for one item, the item I went there for I had forgotten. I was heading out to the parking lot to drive home and forgot where I parked; I had parked my car in another section of the lot than I usually do. Good thing it was not raining hard that day. I am always putting down my glasses and have to hunt for them. My car keys are usually in the side pocket of my purse,but have been known to fall out and I am left looking for them ten minutes before I leave for work.(some say plan ahead,who plans on loosing car keys?).  The perils of living the middle age life. We stand up and wonder why our knee just cracked, we walk into a room and forget what we went in there for, forget to put gas in the car, we even accuse the dryer of eating our other sock.

I was talking to my friend the other day. We were laughing because she  told me about the time she was locked out of her van because one of her dogs accidentally stepped on the door lock. Of course she was on lunch break and her phone as well as her purse was in the front seat. She had to call her husband to unlock her door. The short walk for the dogs were now out of the question.

This thing we call living with middle age. It is much harder than I imagined. Just the other day I was going to visit a friend I haven’t seen in a while.I thought I was going in the right direction. Somehow, I got turned around in a neighborhood(they all looked alike) and could not find her house. I was surprised to see how much her housing tract has grown in a year. I came across one of the new roundabouts in the road and was really confused which direction to go then. “When did they put this in I thought”. I finally found her house her responce”what took you so long,the coffee is getting cold”.

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Extending Ones Birthday

September 28, 2016 at 6:11 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, memoirs, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

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Yesterday was my twin brother and my birthday. tell my brother that We have reached the milestone ” big “one. I can now get my senior discounts. Some will say nooooooo….. I embrace this time in my life. What is wrong with an extra 10% off on your meal or a pair of pants? ( I see your smirks). And it depends on how much merchandise you have just bought. You may be able to get a coffee.

I was talking to a dear friend yesterday had a senior moment. My friend and I laughed- She right behind me so we will have a lot to talk about soon. I have come to the time in my life I don’t reflect on my future, I have everything I need now. I live in a comfortable home my late husband and I bought together,even though now I have since lost both my beloved husband and my only son, I am content where God has put me. I have been able to overcome my difficult circumstances with the love and support of family and friends. My blog has been a good outlet and I have been blessed with so may kind and comforting words  thank you for reading and supporting my blog.

I still have two more friends I am celebrating my birthday with. Dinner at a nice restaurant tonight and lunch and dinner tomorrow. talk about feeling like a princess. I was thinking yesterday about a memorable birthday. Ten years ago,my son picked me up at my house(he was living with his grandmother and helping her after his grandpa passed away.) He took my mom and I to Olive Garden for dinner. Mom birthday is October, so we all had dinner there to celebrate her day. I was telling God I missed having dinner with my son. God heard my prayer because Levi’s best friend is having me over to his house tomorrow for dinner. Levi and Mike were instant friends since the second grade. I live my life with Gods touch and guidance.

I never thought I would spend my golden years without the two most important men in my life. nobody does. But I choose to live my life to the fullest and be satisfied with the life I have given. Life is made of adjustments isn’t it? We raise our kids and they go off to college or get married,we move to a bigger house to accommodate our now growing family, we may retire and plan to travel, begin a new job, even move to another state to be closer to the kids. We adjust to our ever changing needs don’t we? Stay happy in your life right now, hug your kids extra tight and let them know how much you love them and how proud you are of them They will fly away soon my friends. ( if you are lucky,they will come have dinner with you).

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