Surfing in Austin, Texas

Our son Surfing in Austin
Surfing in Austin Texas? Our son was raised in Southern California and grew up surfing. He also authored the book, Surf Stories by Ryen Phillips. A fun read, especially if you enjoy surfing tales. For those of you that enjoy outdoor cooking, he has also written Let’s Talk Outdoor Cooking. It has some great recipes and I especially like his stews. It is available for Kindle at Amazon.
He and his wife moved to Austin, Texas several years ago. They wanted to stay near the water, so they bought a sailboat and began  sailing on beautiful Lake Travis. The photo below was taken from their boat. Continue reading

A Very Special Christmas

P1010714Our Christmas morning started with what has become a tradition, breakfast at the home of very close friends. These luscious homemade cinnamon rolls are part of the menu and a delicious annual treat.

P1010715This photo shows a lighted decoration that sits on our friends’ kitchen counter. It’s one of my favorites and I enjoy seeing it every year. I always plan to make one for myself, but so far haven’t. Maybe next year I’ll finally get around to that project!
P1010717Later in the day we went to Mom’s in Seal Beach. She loves to cook and entertain, and Christmas dinner at Mom and Dad’s house has long been a tradition. I mentioned in a previous post that we lost Dad earlier this year. This was our first Christmas without him, although I’m sure he was watching over us and smiling. Mom’s table was beautiful and this gorgeous centerpiece was a Christmas gift to her from our son and daughter-in-law who live in Austin, Texas. The ham dinner and accompanying side dishes were delicious. Everyone had a wonderful time and left for home thankful for this very special day.

New Zealand, A Wonderful Place to Visit

Boat viewNow that we are retired, people sometimes ask if we get to travel. The answer is yes, to visit our three kids.We then get that poor you look from those who don’t really know where our children live. Those who do, know our children live in beautiful places well worth visiting. This photo of Tiare Iti  (Little Flower in Polynesia) belongs to our younger daughter, who lives in New Zealand. It is spring there, and as we await winter, they look forward to their summer. Nicole sent these photos to us this morning and I could not resist sharing them.  She is readying her boat for the summer sailing season.


inside boatAs you can see , it is very colorful and cozy down below. Last spring I spent a month living aboard Tiare Iti and it was great fun.




Boat libraryTui life jacket Here you see part of Nicole’s book shelf, and her cat, Tui, wearing a life jacket. Tui is named for the black and white New Zealand Tui bird.

New Zealand is a  lovely country and we are very fortunate to have a great reason to visit often.

I am looking forward, to sharing with you, in future posts, the beautiful places where our two other children live.






Mom and Daughter Day

surf shot

Good afternoon! I planned to post this last evening, but was so tired from all of the fresh air and walking, it had to wait until today.

Early last week, my mom and I decided to make Monday a mom and daughter day, so I headed out early yesterday morning for Seal Beach, where Mom lives. It is about a forty minute drive from our house, if the freeway co-operates, and it did. The weather was gorgeous and a perfect day for a trip to the ocean. Above is the amazing view from the Seal Beach pier. You can see we were not the only ones enjoying the view.

Two pigeons

fan shop

Main Street, Seal Beach is delightfully lined with colorful little shops and restaurants. There are just so many interesting places to browse and shop. We were enticed by the constant aroma drifting from a cinnamon roll bakery, but didn’t give in to temptation. Today, I am thinking perhaps we should have.

One of my favorite stores, that is a must see, is the California Sea Shell Co. at 125 Main Street. It has every kind of shell you can imagine and many other wonderful items.

shell shop

Our last stop was to a small nursery, also on Main Street. Walking around the many plants and flowers, I was reminded of a recent trip to Carmel,California. I loved exploring while Mom made her choice and purchased a few flowering plants to take home to her garden.

It really was amazing to see all that was available on that wonderful little street that is the heart of Seal Beach.

nursery 2

It was a perfect day, and we promised each other we would do it again, soon.  Who knows, maybe the next time we will dip our toes in the Pacific.