Happy Mother's Day!

vegetable and herb gardenMy mom has a green thumb--she loves nurturing things and encouraging them to grow. Last weekend she opened her backyard to the public as part of the fundraiser Mary Lou Heard Memorial Garden Tour and drew an enormous crowd of well over 500 visitors within eight hours.  FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE (or more).  Five hundred people wanted to see her "floating vegetable garden" and array of drought-friendly California native greenery. She organized demonstrations of her mulching bin, gave away poppyseed pods, collected donation money on behalf of participating charities, and patiently answered endless questions about her warm and welcoming backyard.bird nest sculpture

Upon meeting my mom and seeing her garden, many of my friends say "Well, know we know where you get your creativity."  And it's true. I don't think my mom is what you'd call a traditional artist, but she is an enormous advocate of shaping your own world.  Don't like the state your garden is in?  Make it your own!  Don't like the looks of your career/attitude/lifestyle?  Take action, educate yourself, try to envision where certain seeds will grow best in the garden of your life, and then plant them there.  Tend to them and then try another place or different seeds if nothing happens.  Stay restless---because gardens need to be maintained and eventually replanted, as many things and people will require your attention in life, and someday much of what you are familiar with will come to an end, as well.

brilliant sunshine

Right  now my mom's backyard is classified by the National Wildlife Federation as an Certified Wildlife Habitat due to the environmental sustainability of the foliage she rears and the insects, birds, and small animals it attracts.  If you know me, you know I love animals and pets. I wonder where I get it from?

orange cat

I think some people feel a little useless when they get older and their children have found new interests and don't rely on them as much for anything.  But really, I still learn things from my parents and use skills and values that they taught me (both on purpose and accidentally!) every single day.  It's like now as an adult I see more of my mother in me than I ever have before, and I don't just mean when I look in the mirror!  I'm so thankful that she is who she is and was able to help me become who I am.

My mama!

Happy Mother's Day!

OC Humane Society (January)

trudySweet Trudy. I love this dog...she has a wee underbite.

polarLike many white cats, Polar is hard of hearing.

AxlePoor Axle, giving me the sad-eye

crunchy"Crunchy" tries to nab a toy

puppyThis pup didn't even have a name yet!

Double Stuff and Luie"Double Stuff" (like the oreo?) and Luie. Poor Luie was adopted and then returned to the shelter. How could they resist those huge eyes?

bearBear is a big, handsome tomcat

OC Humane Society: October


The Orange County Humane Society is up to their ears in bunnies!  I can personally testify that once you realize they are NOT like cats or dogs, rabbits make for excellent pets; they are quiet, low-maintenance (compared to a dog), and excellent for folks living in apartments or other small living quarters.  Do your research, however---rabbits need space to run and rooms with open cables and wires need to be bunnyproofed!

img_6812The lonely Natasha

img_6688Harley, striking a pose

img_7168Mocha II

img_6920Candie's eyes really are that pretty!

img_6895Mamacita is a shy lover of all humans.


img_6825Dewey the doxie; boy, did he ever work it for the camera!


OC Humane Society: September

YES!  Time for more furry faces from the OC Humane Society!

ochs-1016Mia has an adorable snaggletooth!

ochs-1177Tooti and her luminous eyes

ochs-1167The Humane Society has an unusual number of rabbits right now, likely due to bunnies bought as babies during the Easter season and promptly dumped during the summer as they grew bigger and their owners lost interest.  Look at those curious ears!

ochs-1122Poor Chloe II hates living in a noisy, scary shelter!

ochs-1172The OC Humane Society staff tells me that sadly, cats and rabbits with black coats are generally not as popular as their lighter-colored cousins :\

ochs-1075-copyDylin's picture makes me laugh. Sitting so pretty and so eager for a photo!

ochs-1209Costello the kitten

ochs-1140Pola and his heart-melting eyes

ochs-1148Sweet "Cherry"

ochs-1217-copy"OJ" has the same markings as my cat. So pretty!

ochs-1036-copyHannah. Doesn't she have a rockin' hairdo?

OC Humane Society - August

"Pound Song" from Lady & the Tramp

Summer's here and so are more friendly faces from the Orange County Humane Society shelter, just a block up Newland from the beach!  The Humane Society is now also showcasing some of their dogs, cats, and rabbits at the Strand on 5th and PCH during the Huntington Beach Tuesday night street fair every week.  Check them out!


Bobby begs, "Please, pick me!"

VitaVita the curious cat!


img_3986-copyThe sleek Elvira

simonPoor Simon was living the good life until his owner died and no one would take him in :(

tweedleThis is either Tweedledee or Tweedledum...hard to say--they're twins, after all!

FridaFrida prefers the two-legged view!

dashThe handsome Dash

myraMyra couldn't resist the kitty toy!

indigoIf you're going to end a post with a smile, there's no smilier face than Indigo's! She just loves life!

[11] Humane Society images

More furry-faced goodness from the OC Humane Society! The OCHS will also be at the America's Family Pet Expo this weekend at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Stop by and see some of these sweetie pies yourself!


ochs-92-copyChance giving me the Bambi eyesochs-24Oscar models his wee doggie shirtochs-66-copyPoker only has one expression...SMILES!ochs-112-copyGoldie is an affectionate mama-dog with a litter of little ones who are all sure to find great homes...and you can see on her face that she hopes to do the same.ochs-78BABY PUPPEHS AHHHHHHH!!!ochs-73-copyOne of Goldie's pups, who probably has no need for adoption photos given that it's so flipping cute that it'll be snatched up immediately!ochs-125-copyPUPPEH LUURRRVVEEochs-138But wait! What about the kittehs! Sad kittyfaces :(ochs-156-copySweet Emma likes being petted, but she doesn't get a lot of that in the shelter.ochs-168-copySmithurs decided he wanted a kingly portrait.

Also, if you love pets and would like to get to know the ones at your own local shelter, why not contact them and volunteer? All of these photographs were taken by me for free to help these little guys get adopted sooner, so obviously you can donate more than money to the cause (though money is definitely helpful, too!).  See you at the Expo this weekend!

[15] Adoptable pet images

Once again, the Bambi-eyed fur-babies from the OC Humane Society. Lots of really adorable faces in this batch and über affectionate personalities--these little guys should be snatched up fast, I'd hurry over if you're looking for a new dog or cat!

SpringsteenDarling little Springsteen

CodyCody knows how to shake!RamseySaw lots of winning grins, but Ramsey had the best smile of the lot! And his stumpy little tail wouldn't stop wagging :DTootsieThe shelter named this pooch "Tootsie," but I called her "Quasimodo" because she just had this squinty, pinched look. SO CUTE.GiaGia was SO curious about my camera!ZenaZena with her pretty Zena faaaaaceCleoCleo, why so serious?TommyI SO WANTED TO TAKE TOMMY HOME!! He wanted hugs, hugs, and more hugs!SinatraThis photo of Sinatra makes me laugh every time I look at it. What a sillyface!Nameless"Nameless" the boxer puts on his best "adopt me" face.VeganVegan sporting the latest spring lineBUT WHAT ABOUT THE CATS?? Well...ZinniaInterested Zinnia is interested.HannahHannah is also interested. Cats. They are always so interested in everything.SammySammy is interested in looking gooooooood.

Like I said, there is a really great selection of pets at the shelter right now...no time to waste if you're thinking about a new member of the family!