Photo-A-Day — Happiness Is…

Hello and Happy July!  I don’t know about you but I am looking forward to this holiday week and weekend!

This month I am going to try to do Fat Mum Slim’s Photo-A-Day Challenge.  Each day a prompt is given by Chantelle and then we are asked to post our photos.  I may not make it every day but look forward to trying.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s prompt is Happiness Is

Happiness to me is my house.  Here is a picture of my kitchen and dining room.

Over the past year, we have been gone from home quite a bit.  So true and real happiness is having the three of us in our own house.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to visit people and travel, and have a lot of fun doing so!  However, as the great quote states from The Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.”

My house is truly a home and we have a great time there.  The three of us have our favorite things to do as I know all families do.   Ian loves to help in the kitchen and that is a lot of fun.  Ian also helps us with yard work when that needs to be done.

What makes you happy?  What would you choose for your photo?

For me, I have many things that I am happy for and am so grateful for the gifts in my life.  So it was a tough decision to choose a photo to represent happiness.   Today, I just wanted to appreciate my house.

For more information on Chantelle’s Photo-A-Day Challenge, please go to

Home, Sweet, Home

home.snowYesterday, a friend of mine had a topic that she blogged about — home.  I was inspired to write about my home — or should I say homes.

“Home is where the heart is” is an expression that I have heard a lot about over the years.  What is it that makes a house a home?  Is it just living there or is it who you live with and spend your time with?

I have had the privilege to enjoy several wonderful homes — where I spent most of my childhood and then moved home to for a while after college.  Thanks to my parents for letting me do that.  I also had my dorm rooms in college, two apartments on my own, and then a condo and two homes with my husband.  Now, I think we’re settled in our home for a long time.

The house pictured above in the snow is the home that I grew up in.  Unfortunately it is no longer there but instead was torn down.

In fact the entire street was turned into a greenbelt because of sinkholes.  Thankfully we had no damage to our house, but a large sinkhole formed in our backyard.  Most of the rest of the homes had major damage.

This was a great house to live in and it saddens me to think it’s gone.  I only have my memories and photos to enjoy.  And, I have a brick from our wall on the driveway.  That is a treasure!

Rainbow_at_717srpAnd, let’s not forget my beloved beach house and my grandparents’ inland house — both in California.  Even though I didn’t live in either of these places, they were both magic to me and extremely special.  I have vivid memories of many fun times with family and friends.

The turquoise house in the picture with the rainbow is the beach house that I am talking about.  I have written a lot about this place.  Mainly because it’s so magical there.

This home is tiny, on a very busy street, and not what you’d think of as being a magical place.  But throughout my childhood and now with my child, it has been.

Again, I think it’s because of who I have been there with and where it is. Looking to the left from the front porch, you can see the ocean, and to the right is the bay.

My grandparents made an amazing purchase when they found this amazing place.  It hasn’t changed that much since they have passed away –other than some renovations.  I think they’d be pleased to see how much we still enjoy it and the fantastic neighborhood and neighbors.

Another expression I have heard about home is “home is where you hang your hat.”  I have a few hats which are in my current home, which I also love.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThe outside is green with white trim in a great neighborhood.  It has a white picket fence around a small side yard — something I never expected to have.  We know our neighbors and they know us which is rare in today’s times.

The inside walls are a bright and cheery yet subdued yellow, again with white trim.  The positioning of the house takes advantage of natural light which flows in all of the windows.  It is truly home sweet home. Pictured are the three of us in the front of the house after a snow storm.  This was taken three years ago.

I have several favorite spots in my house — the couch in my family room where I read with Ian, rest, and watch TV and movies; the kitchen where we all cook and have a fun time together; and the den which includes a Lazyboy recliner and our exercise equipment.  This room is even better for reading — if I can stay awake.

My home feels like a sanctuary and is a great place to be.  I hope that you too have a home that is somewhere you want to be!

Here are few quotes about home:

  • “You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.”  ~ Maya Angelou
  • “Home is not where you live but where they understand you.”  ~ Christian Morgenstern
  • “Peace – that was the other name for home.”  ~ Kathleen Norris
  • “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.”  ~ John Ed Pearce
  • “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”  ~ Jane Austen
  • “It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.”  ~ Author Unknown