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Fragrant o’er all the western groves
The tall magnolia towers unshaded.
– Maria Brooks, written on seeing Pharamond

Yet another picture of the gorgeous Stellata Magnolia, also known at the Stellar Magnolia, or Star Magnolia.  We have three huge “bushes” in the yard.  Every year I look forward to Spring so that I can experience these beauties to their fullest.  The flower petals are already starting to drop, leaving a snow-like carpet on the ground.  Soon, all that will remain is a very large green bush with only the memory of the beautiful flowers that heralded “spring is here”!    

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“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!”  Sitting Bull

We’ve got a theme challenge this week – signs of spring.  I know that when our Stellata Magnolia blooms, spring is definitely on the way.  This tree is more and more magnificent every year.  This year it did not disappoint!  Now, if Mother Nature will give us just a few days here and there with enough sunshine to dry thing up a bit, and allow us to get our hands in the dirt . . . 

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“People say there’s delays on flights. Delays, really? New York to California in five hours, that used to take 30 years, a bunch of people used to die on the way there, have a baby, you would end up with a whole different group of people by the time you got there.

“Now you watch a movie and [go to the toilet] and you’re home.” — Louis C.K., comedian 

Yup – I had a flight delay today.  Not bad.  The incoming flight was late by 15 minutes, and then they had issues with the ramp so moved us all to a new gate.  We were about an hour and a half late getting in the air.  I love the quote I found . . . sure puts things in perspective eh?  At any rate, I used the extra time to take a few pictures with my iPad, and then play around with a couple of the Apps.  Photoshop Touch and another one I just discovered called PhotoPad.  They do similar but different things.  I just played around till I got something I kind of liked.  Anyhow . . . I enjoyed taking advantage of the extra down time . . . something I’ve not had much of lately.  So really, I was  not inconvenienced by the delay at all.  My husband was – on the other end waiting to pick me up . . . but that worked out ok too!  Technology sure helps us keep others in the loop! We didn’t have that 30 years ago . . . 

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“Human efforts to harness wind for energy date back to the ancient times, when he used sails to propel ships and boats. Later, wind energy served mankind by energizing his grain grinding mills and water pumps. During its transformation from these crude and heavy devices to today’s efficient and sophisticated machines, the technology went through various phases of development….The earliest documented design of wind mill dates back to 200 B.C. The Persians used wind mills from grinding grains during this period.”

Sathyajith Mathew, Wind Energy: Fundamentals, Resource Analysis and Economics

My daughter lives just off the last exit before the Altamont Pass in the San Francisco Bay Area.  We can see the soldier-like rows of churning windmills from her house.  Today is gorgeous here in the Bay Area, and my first day in three months without any responsibility in taking care of others.  So off I went to do a bit of shopping and exploring on my own.  I quite enjoyed the day to myself.  I feel a bit guilty because I’m here visiting for one day this trip and here I’ve taken off by myself.  On the other hand, I’m kind of reveling in being able to go and do what I want without having to worry about nap times and diaper changes and feeding schedules.  Not that I regret one second of the past month with the baby – but it sure is nice to have a bit of down time.  So – today’s photo brings you a bit of history with it . . .

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“Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.”   G. K. Chesteron, ‘Orthodoxy,’ 1908
 

Today was a travel day for my little angel baby and I.  We traveled back to California, back to Mommy and Daddy who have missed the baby girl so very much.  It’s been two days short of three weeks since we traveled to my home in Canada.  And I’ve cherished every minute of every day that we had together, bonding and living every day with a freshness of perspective, knowing that it would be over all too soon.  She slept for most of the flight, and enjoyed the “in-flight entertainment”, kickin’ back like she was a VIP in First Class!  (I booked her as a lap baby, and lucked out with an empty seat next to us).

So – this adventure ends.  I return home on Wednesday to continue on with the next leg of my journey in this life!  Who know’s where you might find me next?  I will be back Baby Girl . . . you can count on it.  Ya Ya is going to miss you so very much!

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“The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?”  Pablo Casals

Amazing how two and a half weeks can just fly by in the blink of an eye.  Craziness!  I am flying to California with the baby tomorrow morning, taking her back to Mommy and Daddy.  Daddy is doing well recovering from his surgery, and they are more than ready to get the little one back in the fold.  I will miss her like crazy, but I visit often and know that the bond we have is very strong.  I also love my country very, very much and so I will not be moving closer to the Grand-kids any time soon.  I will travel to them as much as possible . . . because it’s the price I pay for living where I live.  Of course, they will all get to come visit me at some point and get to experience another country in the process.  I’ve already brought three of the Maryland Grand-kids (one each year) out west for the last six years.  Valuable, precious time.  So I had to get a picture of us with the baby today at the Peace Arch Border Crossing.  Tomorrow she goes back to her roots.  

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Big ol’ truck
10 feet tall and 10 feet wide
It’s a big ol’ truck
Here she come again man (Keith Toby song Lyrics)

It’s so wonderful to be able to get out in the yard finally.  We have two acres to maintain here, with a rental suite and a rental house.  My husband picked up a truckload of mushroom manure for the garden.  The baby and I had to go check out what he was doing . . . you know . . . supervise!  Baby Girl loves trucks, so she was quite excited to be up close and personal with Papa’s Big Truck!  

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“The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation.” Ray L Wilbur

It’s rained the last few days, after such a gorgeous weekend for Easter.  That’s ok . . . we just appreciate the nice weather so much more when it arrives.  Today is gorgeous so baby and I went out for a bit of exploring.  She loves climbing the front steps to the house – which are actually quite steep and high.  She is so proud of herself for accomplishing the feat of getting to the top!  She is knocking on the window and calling for Papa so he can see what she did!

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“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”
Jim Henson

Today was a quiet, hanging out kind of day.  I’m busy trying to get our business financials ready for the accountant, so the baby has been quietly and busily playing at my feet as I work.  I decided to take a break and play with her for awhile.  Of course, my camera is always present and ready!  This shot is the result of us just having some fun in the dining room, which has some great window light.  I did process a bit in Lightroom and Photoshop.  My reflection is in her catchlights.

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“I’ve got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.”  Thomas Carlyle

I shot this with my husbands iPad as baby and I sat watching Bubble Guppies on my iPad before bedtime.  I realized I had not taken my 365 Self Portrait for the day yet.  The baby had not slept well the last couple of nights, which means of course that I got little sleep as well.  I am absolutely exhausted sitting here with her.  However, as tired as I am I cherish any and all moments I have with her, as I will be taking her home on the 16th.  Five days away!  Yikes!  I emailed the image to myself and processed it with Photoshop Touch on my iPad after she went to bed.  The fuzziness is about how I was feeling at the time!

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