Summer color and GRAND Social No. 116 link party

Summer color

Welcome to a new week! I hope your weekend was beautiful. Mine was, due in part to this colorful little visitor who hung out at my place for much of the weekend.

Jim and I marveled at how...

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GRAND Social No. 95 plus a sneak peek of spring


The weather at my place was incredible this past weekend. Despite snow — lots of it! — on Friday, temperatures teased the 70-degree mark on Saturday and Sunday.

It was a sneak peak of spring that made me long for the sights to come, such as this...

hummingbird swing

And this...

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BlogHer, boys and more

Today I'm off to BlogHer 2013 in Chicago. Last time I went, in 2011, I went with a friend. This time I'm going completely alone. When I get there, though, I'll be meeting some dear friends whom I speak to nearly every single day yet have never met in person.

I'm excited.

And I'm nervous.

A praying mantis can only do so much, so today I'm simply posting some recent photos I love of the boys I love. Plus a few other photos I recently took that I love, too. I'm hoping they'll leave me with a peaceful, easy feeling.

I hope they leave you with a peaceful, easy feeling, too.


(Oh geez... I just posted all those, then realized I didn't watermark a single one. Oh well. Gonna stay peaceful and believe folks will do the right thing and not steal my pics.)

Today's question:

Do you typically take more photos of people or more of nature?

What I learned this week: Reason No. 11 why I won't live near my grandsons

As many of you know, I live more than 800 miles away from my grandsons. When my daughter and son-in-law first told my husband and me we'd be grandparents, it broke my heart. I was certain I'd not survive unless they relocated to live near me.

They never did.

Of course, there was the option of my husband and me moving to live near them. A lot of grandparents do that, but it's just not in the cards for me. I wrote about my reasons for not doing so in this article. At the time I wrote it, one big reason I noted for not moving to be near my grandsons is the fact I have a life here in the mountains — a life that includes my (yes, adult and out of the nest) oldest and youngest daughters who live in the mountains, too, despite my middle daughter and her family preferring the desert.

There are other reasons why I won't live near my grandsons, and another I hadn't originally thought of became crystal clear this week.

I like to take photos. I'm not the greatest, though I'm working on getting better. Here are two I took of nature in all its glory while looking out the sliding doors to my deck this week:

 butterfly on flowers
A butterfly enjoying the dianthus.

squirrel relaxing
A squirrel relaxing in the tree.

Compare those two photos to two my daughter took of nature in all its glory around her place this week. Keep in mind that this is my daughter who, along with her husband and my two grandsons, lives in the desert. Here are the photos she texted me:

A scorpion lodged inside the honeycomb window blinds.

lizard in garage
A lizard in the garage — just outside the door to the house.

I'd say nature in the mountains (my place) is far easier on the eyes — and nerves — than nature in the desert (their place), wouldn't you?

The bottom line/the moral of the story being that if getting to see these two adorable kids...

boys in inflatable pool 

... on a regular basis means seeing those two frightening critters on a regular basis, too, I'll take being a long-distance grandma any day. I'm not proud to admit that... but it's true.

And that is what I learned this week.

Well, I also learned that my daughter is far more brave than I ever thought she'd be, that little Meggie of mine who once (as a teen!) captured a spider in our family room late one night by placing a heavy bowl over it, then taping a note to the bowl asking me to take care of what was trapped inside once I awoke. Now look at her — taking photos instead of screaming and running!

(Now I hope I'll be just as brave and not be completely freaked out about icky desert things when I visit my daughter, son-in-law and grandsons in 10 days!)

Best wishes for a critter-free weekend, wherever you may be! I look forward to seeing you all again on Monday!

Today's question:

What did you learn this week?