Thursday, May 3, 2012


"Like a star in the sky,
we all are different in many ways.
We all glisten in the world,
however small we may be.
We all take on different paths,
and someday we may cross.
These paths makes us different,
for we are all unique.
Different challenges we face,
some internal, some external.
Some really hard to overcome,
some already done
Different personalities we have,
some shy and some loud.
Some more courageous than others,
some more intelligent than others.
Born to be unique,
do what you want to do.
Be happy with youself,
and no apologies."

I love my neighborhood and the beauty I am privileged to see everyday as I travel in and out of the roads here. Recently I've thought about all the things that make this area so unique...just as I am unique. With me it's the crazy hair, forever big earrings, must-have high-heels, camera always within reach, the Westies that are always attached to me, silver bracelets, the never-ending Southern drawl, my hedge clippers, my bikes, trail mix, maple nut goodies...the list goes on forever...but these are the things that make "me, me" and will forever! 

Local boutique, "Ellie Bling," certainly brings a sense of originality to the area...there is always a sophisticated, yet very simple something on a headless manequin outside the shop - always catches my eye...just stunning!  This look is unique to this one shop.

 The doors on the shops of Avondale are so unique, but my favorite is hands-down "Cowford Traders!"  The retro screen door along with the cherry red paint and glass hardware just does not get any better!

"Florida Creamery" is the cutest....there is no way to miss this little ice-cream and sandwich shop as you make your way down the sidewalk of Avondale...what grabs me is the painted ice-cream/cone on the sign!
Gorgeous floral abounds in this neighborhood -there is no way to tire of seeing so much "pretty" everytime I go by. I love the way the shop doors are left open---just as though you are being welcomed into someone's home.  This is not something you are going to find in many other places in the city. 

"Willies" children's shop  has been here for soooo many where else could I walk down a sidewalk on a Monday morning and find beautiful crisp white cotton slip dresses displayed out front of a store - this just says "summer is here!" 

Certainly one unique aspect of this little village is fur-children are welcomed practically everywhere....most of the merchants even have a lovely bowl of fresh water for the thirsty travelers!

Outdoor dining is the norm in our part of town-great place to meet friends after work!

Living in this area is a cyclists' dream - they are so well supported by bike shops and residents alike - just a gorgeous ride along the river!

Avondale-Ortega community...such a great place!

Never too many flowers for me!

Some of the residents will remember a couple of years ago at Christmas some mischievous person stole this little pirate from the children's specialty toy even made the papers! He really is a quite tall and big guy when you see him in person....not sure how someone pulled that off, but he eventually was recovered and all the residents so happy!

Each and every door in the village so unique - colors stunning - just let your eyes follow the colors down the sidewalk here...bubblegum pink, purple, red, turquoise, green, grey, white--wow!

Cherry red draperies outside "Willies!"

No problems finding the news ~

Stately oaks abound all over the area - and that means lots of moss and yes, allergies!

The homes along the river just gorgeous and no two alike .... each one unbelievably unique!

Cottages are all over the place - interjected among stately mansions....again each noticeably unique.

Parks are everywhere along the river!

A "monument" in OrtegaVillage is the clock...I never tire seeing it when I go by.

Lovely shops in the Village,  "Gardner's Florist" being my favorite.
The residents are truly patriotic...regardless of the time of year-you will see flags flying.

 The palms are a given ~
as is the river ~

as is the drawbridge with the lovely lamps posts~

as is the sunset every day~

 Our uniqueness is what separates us from everyone else...that truly is something to be celebrated and not apologized for.   Have you ever stopped to think about what makes you unique?

Friday, April 27, 2012


All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I.

Mountains, many times my dilemma....regardless of which location I'm in, each provides its own treasures and serenity. For now, it's the mountains.

Pure serenity -  waking at 3 a.m. to the sound of rain gently tinkling onto the leaves of the trees; a brisk breeze whipping through the outswung windows left open to my room....the glorious mountains looking in on me as I look out on them.

Driving slowly and deliberately up and down narrow winding mountain roads - thinking, contemplating...just the flow of the road brings a calmness in my body.

Stopping, lingering at a beautiful little mountain church....who comes inside throughout the week to sing, pray, commune with others; who are the people spilling their tears, sharing their heartaches and joys here - who are the people joining their lives here, who are the ones being laid to their final rest here?

A waterfall cascading down the side of a mountain...water tumbling in disarray, disorder, but still majestic and the sound....well, pure tranquility.

Trudging up at least two mountain roads twice a day - the grade so steep my chest parallel to the pavement; the push on already tired muscles, the snap of a quick breath on the
way up and the relief of easy breathing on the way down...the beauty of nature regardless of the direction I'm headed...back at the cabin, collapse into the hammock to drink in the cool air, too tired to remove the shoes...sleep was sweet in that hammock.  Thanks Lauren for the photo~
          A community store or a quaint diner ... reminds me there are great people everywhere!

The joy of time spent with family-just playing!

The excitement of reconnecting with dear friends from years past!

Blessings of wonderful, delicious, healthy food along the way

So much beauty in such simplicity

Friends I met along with way-so kind to let me photograph

I never meet a stranger-before I can even get out of my car...he knows I love him already! 

I am so thankful for my eyes-to be able to see the beauty of creation 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My favorite posting that I will revisit----DOORS.  I love them and feel they have a special significance because:  each is uniquely individual;  each says something about the person(s) behind; if the right design, color, embellishment - a door can cause gazes from everyone; like our smiles/our hearts, a door can invite someone in or turn someone away.  What does your door do/say?

                                                                by Tricia McGill

Life is a series of pathways and doorways.
The doorway to life is always open; with welcoming arms she calls you in.
Some doors are large and some are small, but no matter the size they have one thing in common.
To let you in to a room or a garden, a new slant on life that's sure to be different.
A door to a church where we go to pray, a door to a heart where we long to stay.
Red doors or brown doors, tin ones or wooden, some with bars and padlocks to form a prison.
I remember a door in a small town in Cornwall with a porch made of wood, surrounded by creepers,
so quaint, so welcoming, so olde world charming.
A door to a cottage built long long ago.
Doorways to pubs and doorways to schools;
No matter our age, our gender or colour, we all go through doors on our way to our goals.
We have to enter new doors each fresh day to take us forever onwards;
To open new chapters in life's endless search for avenues of learning.