Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Finding Heart!

In the mountains high above the hustle & bustle of Southern Cali, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the air is cool & inviting & a little boy with walking stick in hand, wants to take a HIKE!
He wants to lead an expedition into the wilderness in search of a HEART...
Ya wanna come along???

He considers himself to be a professional & has all & any emergency equipment that may be required, stowed away in his Star Wars backpack. He has packed an army thermos with water, a rice krispy treat, 1 fruit snack & some pizza sticks. These are the rations we will survive on in the event that we get lost in this wilderness, but fear not, I have complete faith in our guide. He just LOOKS like he KNOWS what he's doing!

In an attempt to prove his prowess on the trail, he climbs to the top of some towering boulders & yells out to the group, "Monga, take a picture of me on this rock!", which I immediately do. Now remember, he's got all the FOOD!

He shimmy's into a hollowed out area of a huge pine tree, thinking this could be the perfect place to hide if a sudden storm blows over us. We all agree it's a great shelter, but I am keenly aware that the only person who will be safe from the freezing winds & rain & lightening strikes, will be him. 

He says "Listen, I here water!".
Looking down from the trail we see the river that will eventually lead us to...
Finding Heart!

Along the way, he took a minute to be photographed with a local LEGEND...
Jeremiah Johnson, who also goes by the alias of Grandpa.

After what felt like a mile or two of hiking forest trails, the sound of rushing water could be heard echoing through the trees. We stopped breathless for a moment, knowing we had to be close to
Finding Heart.

And then, there it was...
a piece of rock, made by time, in the perfect shape of a HEART!.
Magic, made by billions of drops of water over the course of millions of years,
in my own backyard.

Having arrived safely to our destination, our guide went off in search of the perfect skipping stone, leaving us to simply sit back & enjoy the view. Now these pictures are deceiving...the drop is probably about 75 ft & the other side of the river is about 50 ft across. In this picture you can see the wheels in Jeremiah's head spinning, as I had just commented on what a shame it was that the piece of wood was stuck in the pool, ruining the beauty of every one's photographs.

How was I to know after taking this picture & wandering away for a while to play in the river, that Jeremiah was hatching a plan.

Returning to my vista point, camera in hand, I was completely surprised to see this...no WOOD!!

Yes, my man had scaled down the rocky crag, crossed the swiftly moving waters, climbed up onto the rock wall above the heart pool, found a long, strong stick, sat in the hole in the rock above the heart & patiently & slowly worked the wood out of the pool & down into the river below, so he could take this picture of me sitting on the opposite side with a PERFECT Heart Shaped Pool behind me.
Now that's LOVE!

And I could take a picture of my baby with the perfect heart shaped pool behind her & she could take a picture of her baby with the...oh, sorry. Our guide shed huge crocodile tears cuz he was too scared to sit on the rock & was certain he would fall to his death into the river below. I have the up most faith in our guide, but I do have remember...

he's only 5!  ;)

Tears wiped away with promises of no more death defying pictures, happiness returns to our guide as we gather up our equipment {Star Wars backpack} & head back out to where our journey began.

Discovering an ancient cave dwelling, our guide finds a rock just his size that works perfectly as a recliner & yells out, "Monga, take a picture of me on this rock!" I obligingly comply.
Thanks so much Sweet Hearts, for coming along with us on our quest.
And to leave you with the moral of this story, as ALL of my stories have some kind of moral, LOL
it would have to be this...
when in need of FINDING HEART, don't forget to look in your own BACKYARD!
There may be some MAGIC waiting there just for you to find it!
{having just read this story to Kai, he insists on one change...
& he typed it himself! lol}


Sunday, February 13, 2011

10 Things I Heart About You...

{heart rock in Crestline, CA...my home town}
My Sweetest of Hearts...
Do y'all know just how much I HEART you??
I mean REALLY, do you know???
Here's 10 Reasons I Heart You Sooo Much...
1. You've ALWAYS got my back, no matter what...
2. Often your comments just make me smile...  ;)
3. And sometimes your comments allow me to cry...
4. I consider you all to be Creative Geniuses...
5. I am ALWAYS inspired by you!

6. By being my friends, you've helped me be braver then I really am...
7. In your own way each & every one of you have helped me follow my life's journey...
8. Often, you simply make me LOL...
9. You took my hand & lead me to Round Top, Texas & I'll never be the same...
10. You have welcomed me into this amazing blogging community with open arms & I am so grateful & over joyed to be a part of it with you!

My hope & wish for all you, is to have a Valentine's Day filled with LOVE!
The love of a child...family, home, garden, good friends, a loyal animal, a hot cup of tea, mocha coffe, a good book, a good movie, a peaceful walk, an ocean drive, blue skies, an open field, a touch of a hand, a favorite song, a sunset.
Love comes to us in so many different forms everyday...
sometimes the grandest joys come from the simplest of pleasures.
Happy Valentine's Day Sweet Hearts...
may your special day be filled with LOVE in what ever form it takes!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

20 Days Till Bead Soup Reveal...Yeah!!!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday Bloggy Buddies!!!
I have to admit, most of the year I'm not really a sports buff, I'm more of a movie buff. But on Super Bowl Sunday, I'm all about FOOTBALL! Well, if I'm being completely honest on this Special Sunday, I'm all about yummy food, alcoholic beverages, hanging with friends, halftime & commercials. LOL
{this is going to be a brief post, as I still have to make my 7 layer dip}  ;)

{pics courtesy of Lori Anderson}
I am getting so excited about Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Party!! Only 20 more days until 210 friends reveal the pieces of jewelry they created from the Bead Soup they received from their partners.

These are the components I sent Lori for her Bead Soup. I can't help but smile when I look at them, they are sooooo me. You gotta have an antique key & a religious metal as a focal point,
I mean for me it's a must...
it's going to be fun to see how see incorporates them into her design.
She's genius, so I know it's gonna be awesome!

I added some copper beads, chain & ear wires, along with some marbled stone beads
& the intials PT for her blog, Pretty Things.

I also sent her some cool little, neutral colored rondels to use as spacers. I ADORE her photos of all my goodies, she makes everything look so beautiful. She has such keen sense of composition & a great eye for photography!
So, Sweetest of Hearts...
Make sure you check back here on Saturday, February 26th & I'll have my creation up, along with the link for the Bead Soup Party over at Pretty Things.
I plan on making a HUGE cup of Chai Tea & spending the WHOLE day visiting my 210 friends that signed up for this fun & exciting challenge. Hope to see you there!!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Seeing With New Eyes

My brother lives in a convalescent hospital  right in the heart of Downtown LA. It's a poor neighborhood ,with a lot of graffiti & boarded up windows. The bus stops are packed with mother's & their children, the elderly with their shopping bags & random people just trying to get back & forth.

Everytime I go to visit Johnny, at some point my eyes are drawn to two abandoned houses that have been moved to a lot directly across the street from his hospital. I sit in my car & stare as my mind begins to wander...

where were these houses originally located,
who moved them to this awkward corner of LA,

why were they moved there & what plans do they have for them,
what did they look like when they were first built in all their glory,

were there grand family's living in them, all dressed in white,
on a hot summer day did children run in & out of the front door playing,
while their parents sat in wicker chairs on the front porch, 

does anyone else see the magic & beauty that I do,
or do they simply see old & crumbling houses?

I am reminded of a famous quote by Marcel Proust...
‘The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes.’
Johnny's out of the hospital & back to where he's called home for the past seven years. He is in hospice care now & I will visit tomorrow & the next day & I will think about the two old houses sitting across the street, all boarded up & covered with graffiti & I will believe in my heart...
there is a reason for everything under heaven.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beyond Blessed & a Bead Soup

{Lori's beautiful presentation of red boxes with purple ribbon}
My Sweetest of Hearts,
How does one say Thank You, when they reach out for guidance & light
& are surrounded by Shooting Stars?
The Brilliance of your compassion, prayers & quiet wisdom,
helped me hear God's whispers & leaves me feeling Beyond Blessed.
Johnny & I will be forever grateful.
We asked for Light & were given a Beacon of Faith & Hope,
that helped us find our way through the dark.
My Heart is so Full,
Thank You isn't nearly enough.

{her labels with paper lanterns on them are divine}
And just when I needed it the most, something Wonderful came in the mail for me yesterday...
my very own BEAD SOUP. My lovely friend & amazing jewelry designer,
is hosting her 3rd Bead Soup Party & 210 friends are playing with her!
{simply saying that number out loud makes my hands sweat}

The idea of the party is to pair you up with a partner who has a completely different style then yours. Partners then exchange a focal piece, a clasp, some beads to get them started & any other fun extras you might want to add. Using the main components, we design a piece of jewelry & on February 26th we have our reveal & a Blog Hopping Party to go check out what everyone created...so much fun, right! Now for the biggest surprise...guess who my partner is??? Lori Anderson herself!! OMG...talk about pressure! I was horrified & delighted, all at the same time! Horrified, cuz what in the world could I give my bead guru that she would slightly like & delighted, cuz I knew I would be getting some 'Good Stuff!' My 1st box had my Extras in it...yes, those are my extras. A round, glass focal bead, a ceramic starfish by Spirited Earth & a glass pansy by CC Lampwork. I adore them all, but that Pansy just takes my breath away!!

My 2nd box had an amazing Thai, silver focal...
{I've never used anything like this, my mind is swimming with the possibilities}

and an abundance of beyond beautiful beads!!

I got labradorite, violet opals, amethyst, handmade lampwork glass beads by Davinia Design & cultured pearls. What a gorgeous & subtle color palette, it's stunning!

Thank you soooo much Sweet Lori, for sending me such awesome ingredients for my Bead Soup!
How can it not turn out yummy with all of these beauties added to the mix.

If you get a chance, please stop by Lori's blog to find out more & make sure you come back for the reveal on February 26th...I can't wait to see what everyone creates & that includes me! ;)

And as for Johnny...I will keep you posted. I'm at peace with my decisions.
Tammy said, "God led you to your brother not to just take him as you said, he led you to your brother so you could find him again. So, he would not be alone when it was his time to go. To know he had his loving sister with him. God let you find him so you could let him know it is okay to go now. He waited those years for you."
Again Sweet Friends, no words can express my Heart.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bonnie Raitt's 'Magic Waters'

There's a quote from 'Field of Dreams' that I've always loved.
Terrance Mann {James Earl Jones} is sitting in the bleachers & Ray {Kevin Costner} is wondering if anyone will come to his 'Field of Dreams'. Mann Says,
"They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray."

The people did come to see Miss Bonnie Raitt & it was as 'if we had dipped ourselves in Magic Waters'. Her music was a pool of memories that flowed over us like a gentle wave. She was AMAZING!

Courtney & I walked down the Event Center hallway early in the afternoon when we first got to Pala Casino, to use the 'facilities'. I was telling her how cool I thought it was that they had Bonnie playing over the speakers for all of her fans, really a nice touch.

Then, we heard Bonnie stop singing & start talking. We walked over to some nearby double doors & looking through the crack we saw this...

You can barely make out the picture, but yep...that is Bonnie rehearsing with her band. I can't believe Court got this picture through that little, tiny crack in the doors, she rocks! ;)

We played some slots & came out ahead overall, baby girl did the best, winning $57 on video poker.


Texas was well represented, with my Magnolia Pearl Tee & Texas Charm Necklace!

Finally, we took our seats as the show was about to begin. How thoughtful of them to have a little bar right inside the Event Center, so convenient. I did par take in a variety of libations, but this was my birthday present, so Courtney was our DD...TG! {don't I look a little too happy here? lol}

The show was off the charts...really! Bonnie is 61 & rocks it like she's 20. She sang everything I could have asked for. 2 hours of heart breakin, hard rockin, soulful blues as only Bonnie can do.
Once again I find...I 'Wish You Were Here' Sweet Hearts!!!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Bonnie Raitt Tonight...Oh Yeahhhh!

{the original Magnolia Pearl}
If you were to cut me & the symphony of my soul was to flow from my veins, you'd hear two musicians...
Jackson Browne & Bonnie Raitt.
They have been with me longer then most of the people in my life.
Longer then my daughter, longer then my husband...
longer then 2 of my siblings & longer then most of my oldest & dearest friends.
If I were a movie, Jackson & Bonnie would be the score to my life.

For my birthday in November, my amazing daughter surprised me with tickets to see Bonnie in concert & guess what??? Tonight's the night!!! Oh Yeahhhh, tonight's the night & I'm ready to get my party on!

I first saw Bonnie at the tiniest of venues, The Golden Bear in Huntington Beach back when I graduated from Marina High School. It sat on PCH right across from the pier, filled with long family style dinner tables & watching a performance there was like having a concert at home, it was as intimate & up close & personal as it gets. Oh so sadly, The Golden Bear has long since been torn down & replaced by a new two story stucco & tile roofed shopping complex, the not so wonderful modernization of HB.

The past is past, right! So tonight, my daughter & I will head down towards San Diego to the gorgeous Pala Casino Spa Resort for a night of dinner, drinks, gambling & music. Bonnie Raitt is there, I get to watch her perform again & listen to the songs that raised me & share it all with the child I raised...it's going to be MAGIC & that 'Circle of Life' just keeps on rollin. I'm too excited, I have to go get ready right now. I wonder if she'll recognize me?  ;)
More to come!

XOXO Sweat Hearts