Temecula Weather...

Our week looks promising. Got to love Winter in SoCal.

Today, is porch sitting and tea sipping.

“The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house.
All that cold, cold, wet day.”
-Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat

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Rox Rock!!!

Certain things still surprise me and one of them is discovering a painted rock. The three below were found on the neighborhood walk we do everyday. This discovery was a first, however.

Why do thousands of people spend their free time transforming stones into animals or cartoon characters – then hide them for strangers to find?
Pebble painting, or rocking, is a craze that seems to have begun in the US with Megan Murphy’s The Kindness Rocks Project. She came up with the idea after collecting heart-shaped stones and pieces of sea-smoothed glass from the beach, seeing them as rare treasures or signs and messages from her deceased parents. “Finding them made me happy and I wanted to provide others with a similar experience.”

Here in Temecula there is a group, dedicated to this same principle, called Temecula Rox. Its is to get people all across the valley getting creative with their family and friends and spreading general happiness throughout the community!
Upon perusing its facebook page, I found various rocks that evoked different emotions. This one made me chuckle... things can always be worse, right?
Some reminded me of songs from the past. For those not of a certain age, these are lyrics from Chumbawamba's hit Tubhumping. Oh man, 1997 was a good music year!
This group oozes cleverness.
Who would think a rock could evoke emotion?
I love that some make statements in a very humorous way! Is this a vegetarian, an anti-marijuana advocate or someone who is just creative? Hmmm.
No matter the theme, all of these rocks are artistic. The hope of finding one, somewhere, makes being out and about even more exciting. You just never know what you'll find.

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My NEW $5 Sweater...

In honor of President's Day, Steve and I hit the Goodwill.

While not the score we normally get at the Goodwill Outlet in Santa Rosa (who can beat $1.79 a pound?), we did bring home some treasures.
I found this ico uniform sweater, complete with its tag still adorning it. According to the company website, I'm in for a "better uniform experience. In 2002, we set out to change the way employees feel about wearing uniforms and how management embraces outfitting their organization's most trusted asset: its people."
You'll be seeing Steve with his new shirts soon. I'm not the only one who loves the deals at thrift stores!

"You can spend a dollar on a jacket in a thrift store.
And you can spend a thousand dollars on a jacket in a shop.
And if you saw those two jackets walking down the street,
you probably wouldn't know which was which.”
-Dame Helen Mirren

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Forgotten Bookmark: 1965...

My friend, Karen, is a volunteer at the South Lake Tahoe Library. She has the awesome job of going through donated books and looking for treasures (forgotten bookmarks) left inside. What unique discoveries she has made and shared with me.

This invitation, to the Peninsula Tennis Club's New Year's Eve party, had me smitten. Not only was it sent (early) in 1965 but the person who created the invite was so clever. All the particulars were typed onto a cloth diaper announcing the "Birth of 1966". So dang cool.
I got curious about the man who received this fun invite. The envelope was addressed to Henry Abel Guilmette (1913-2008), who at the time lived in San Mateo with his wife. Upon further research, I found out that Mr. Guilmette attended the Hastings College of Law at UC Berkeley (he was a first year in 1935). I would love to know more about this tennis playing lawyer!
Even the stamp has a story. It is listed as one of the top 11 most controversial postage stamps in U.S. history. For 1965, the post office decided to try something different for its Christmas design: a painting of the angel Gabriel based on an early New England weathervane. It didn’t reckon on critics who’d attack the stamp for portraying a bosomy angel, even though Gabriel was male. Interesting right? I guess people 55 years ago thought this was worth an active debate. Hmmm.

Lastly, I had to know more about the Peninsula Tennis Club, the location of this amazing $5 NYE fĂȘte. Established over 85 years ago, this Burlingame location has been described as "one of the most storied clubs in America". According to the above historical society newsletter, the PTC began on the family property of famed tennis star Helen Wills. Ms. Wills, the Garbo of the courts, was a Cal graduate too, and an intriguing story herself.

Who knew a small envelope, lost within the pages of a discarded book, would provide such an interesting catalyst for research for me? Fun stuff.

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American Farmer: Portraits from the Heartland

There is something iconic about a farmer. When I learned of this exhibit at the Temecula Valley Museum, I knew we needed to learn more about this hearty soul...the American Farmer. Wow.

And I needed to share it with my friend, Julie.
When photographer Paul Mobley set out to capture the soul of our country’s farm communities, he encountered an enduring rural culture that remains rooted in the principles of tradition, family, integrity, and hard work. Crisscrossing the country, from Alaska to Florida, Mobley and his camera were welcomed time and time again into the homes of hundreds of farm families.

Visit after visit, Mobley came to know the independent farmer’s spirit from both behind the lens and across the dinner table. He sought the elusive spirit of agriculture, looking for subjects that mirrored the project’s sense of risk and independence. The resulting images show farmers with a strong sense of where they belong in the universe, a close connection to the land and their day- to-day work as it affects the rest of the world.

Out of a collection of more than 300 of these portraits, ExhibitsUSA has distilled a selection of forty-five iconic portraits showing the geographic and cultural diversity of the American Farmer. This vivid portfolio is accompanied by anecdotes and memories in the farmers’ own words that are both a testament to their enduring hospitality and a moving glimpse into the hardships and joys of a quickly disappearing way of life—one that once defined our national identity and now struggles to remain vital.
I was enamored with this image of Walther Jackson, a citrus farmer from Florida. The quote by Mr. Jackson read, "It's been a rough life, but it's been a sweet life."
Mobley’s amazing photographs reveal the true face of American farming and remind us what it means to live with simplicity, contentment, and decency in a world that so often forgets. This is a must-see exhibit. Wow indeed.

After learning about life as a farmer, we played about in the children's section, learning about life in early Temecula. It is always good to play!
“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit,
because it will in the end contribute most
to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.”
-Thomas Jefferson

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Groovy Us...

A few months back I warned you that I'd be sharing some past photos since our treasure trove of captured memories are now at our fingertips. How far out were we in this Flashback Friday photograph?

Some time before 1997, we attended a 60's themed Boys & Girls Fundraiser dressed like this. Steve has always gone along with (enabled?) my child-like love of playing dress up. You have to dig his hair (his a wig, whereas mine was real).
While I missed being an actual flower child in the decade of my birth, I'm still drawn to many components of that era. Things I admired included this VW van which I actively bid upon until Steve took away our bidding paddle. Hysterical. These photos bring me right back to this night of fun. And people wonder why I take so many pictures!

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San Diego Zoo Safari Park...

One of our favorite afternoon getaways is to the park formally known as the Wild Animal Park (we still call it WAP).

With summer-like temperatures, a stroll amongst the natural setting at the Safari Park is a fabulous way to spend a Thursday.

We arrived in time to see the Meercats being fed. Hatuka-matata.
We decided we wanted to get up close and personal with lemurs. Lemur Walk is an immersive experience. We walked on a pathway through the animals' habitat and watched these endearing primates socializing, grooming, jumping, climbing, eating, and even sunbathing, one of the lemur's favorite pastimes.


At times, these little cuties are huddled together sleeping. It was fun to see them out and about.

Our timing allowed us to watch the Frequent Flyers Bird Show. We were not only entertained but educated as birds of various species showed off their flying talents.


We explored different areas of the park that were firsts for us.
The African Woods introduced us to the Opaki and the Gerenuk.


We met Vultures and Warthogs... the less attractive of the residents.


We are always drawn to the gorillas. They are the largest of all primates, animals that include monkeys, lemurs, orangutans, chimpanzees, and humans. Gorillas are peaceful, family oriented, plant-eating animals and mesmerizing to watch.



I think Flamingos are my favorite pink item which occurs in nature.

There is something regal about this Cheetah.
We ended our day with some of our favorite felines. Lions have captured our imagination for centuries. Stars of movies and characters in books, lions are at the top of the food chain. The Swahili word for lion, simba, also means "king," "strong," and "aggressive."
What's not to love about this face? It truly is the best way to end our visit here.
"Until one has loved an animal,
a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

- Anatole France

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