Saturday, March 1, 2014

Like Spring











Every afternoon this week was beautiful. I spent them in the backyard, cleaning out last year's dead leaves in the planter beds, sweeping the patios, looking for new growth in the dirt. The bulbs I planted this fall seem to be taking; I'm hoping for lots of tulips in a few weeks. In the meantime, I bought some at the store; the color seemed unusual to me, the palest lavender-blue. I usually prefer the bright red or pink tulips but these called out to me yesterday.

It's raining today, which I'm enjoying. The weather during the week was lovely, though. I had kitchen linens drying on the clothesline. I've switched to light cotton scarves now that it's warmer. I've got my eye on a mint-green floral scarf I saw at Payless Shoes. I bought a similar white one last spring. It felt a lot like spring, so much so that I even had the back door off the kitchen open in the afternoons. That, to me, is the truest sign. I will eventually get tired of my children running in and out, but for now, I kind of like it.

Do you journal? I'm trying to build the habit. I'm not good at it; I've tried so many times since I was a teenager, but I don't stick with it. I want to, though. I have a little Lotta Jansdotter blank book, purchased a couple of years ago, which I just re-discovered on a bookshelf. As ever, I'm attempting to increase mindfulness and focus. February was difficult, with illness in our home virtually the entire month. I've been feeling worried about some other things too, which is nothing new, but I should try to channel it better. I've found myself losing sleep, and having bad dreams. I've never been very good at handling stress. I want to be cool as a cucumber. My son is that way, and I envy him.

The Bear and I are starting to plan a little trip for ourselves. He has airline miles from his business travel and we could really use a few days away. We're thinking about San Francisco. We went once before, the year before we had the LB, and loved it there. We have talked for years about going back and I think we're going to do it this summer. I'm reading up now. I've got a few things in mind that we really want to do, but I'm very open to suggestions.

I baked brownies this week and I hand-wrote a letter. I bought some fabric (on clearance, $4 per yard) to make a warm-weather dress for the GB. I found two buds among the daffodils and I spotted the first blossoms in our plum trees, which are blooming early this year. I attended a very productive parents' meeting at the LB's school. He passed his cumulative test on long division and is now moving onto fractions. The very petite GB, discussing her friend Clara who is very tall, informed me that "differences abound" among her friends. I have no idea where she learned this turn of phrase, but I've got a good feeling about her future as a wordsmith.

58 comments:

  1. I'm laughing about your little one's phrase. I love it when they come up with things like that. Sorry to hear that you have been worrying. It's been the same here unfortunately, and I am terrible at sleeping when I'm stressed and anxious. I've kind of frozen on the blogging front as well, I want to write things but I just feel a bit paralysed about everything at the moment. Hard to explain, but maybe you understand what I mean. It was a nice spring day here as well, beautiful warm sunshine. I watched football and wasn't cold at all, it was wonderful. Tomorrow will be back to cold rain and wind I fear though. I hope you have a good Sunday, and that you are all fully recovered from your illnesses.

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  2. More wonderful pictures! I love the signs of Spring you shared and can't way for them to make their way to Michigan. I worry too, and most of the time it's for nothing! I hand the worries over to God, but then seem to pick them up again.
    Smiling at "differences abound"...

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  3. It's felt like spring here today too. I hope the stress passes soon for you. If anything stresses me, I always end up with a broken nights sleep. I sympathise. Wishing you a happy weekend. x

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  4. We have had a wonderful spring day today that has lifted the spirits. My house is full of daffodils and tulips and my throws smell of fresh wind blown laundry. Blossom has appeared and the fields are turning yellow with the gorgeous spring flowers. Things are looking brighter.

    Sorry to read you are stressed. Whenever I start to lose sleep I start making lists and then compartmentalize things... putting things in 'boxes'. Somehow it focuses my mind and prioritizes things. I do hope you work things out soon xx

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  6. I want to be cool as a cucumber, too! I find worries are self perpetuating, one little worry leads on to a bigger one and before you know it, they invade your sleep. I am like you, I don't handle stress well. I find it paralyses me. I did yoga for a long time, which helped me to learn to focus on the mind. Have you tried it? San Francisco is exiting, I visited with my mum when I was twenty. I hope your plans take shape soon. The photos are beautiful, as always. You look lovely Jennifer, your hair is just beautiful. I hope your worries will lessen over the next few days. Cx

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  7. Sorry to hear you have been a bit stressed, hope what ever is bothering you can be resolved, I used to worry loads, I try not to worry untill It happens now, because most times an answer presents it self. Hope you are ok and loved reading your latest post hugs x

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  8. Lovely springiness in your post. I don't journal regularly as it just becomes a chore and a burden. When things get too much I will often just write and write and write until I feel spent. Somehow getting the worry onto paper lets me sleep having got it out of my head and often as I write the answer sometimes pops up. My blog is a kind of diary although it is mainly for fun and I don't pour everything out I leave myself clues so that if I go back and read it I can read between the lines and relate the events to what was going on in the background which I've found useful. I reckon the rule is whatever works for you and hope you find whatever comforts or strengthens you.

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  9. Those brownies look really good, and I love the pattern and colors in your bedspread. It's fun getting glimpses of other people's "stuff and homes. It's been very warm here the last few days...upper 70s, but it's supposed to turn rainy and cold again tomorrow. We are getting more and more glimpses of spring and less and less of those wintry-type days around here too.

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  10. I love all your photos here, so rich with colour and light! Just like you, I find it pretty hard to stick with writing a journal - and have quite a few lovely notebooks that end up being filled with lists for planting or notes or doodles... Hope your spring continues to be beautiful xx

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  11. Love your photos, especially the linens on the clothesline. It just looks so homey and spring like. I'm craving spring right now. 8-12 more inches of snow in the next two days here. Did I say I"m s ready for spring. I've never been to SF before except a layover at the airport. I don't think that counts. :-) I'm sure you'll have a lovely time.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  12. Oh, lucky you to go to SF. I've spent quite a bit of time there when I would attend the MacWorld Expo (yes, I'm am an Apple computer aficionado). I would recommend if you go to China Town to eat and oh goodness, you really need to.. that your find a restaurant that has "Prawns with Honey Walnut". Best thing I've ever had. A boat tour around the bay. A restaurant that serves good authentic sourdough bread. Sears Fine Food by the St. Francis Hotel on Union Square is a fun diner experience. The "Stinking Rose" a garlic place is fun. Fun fun fun!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  13. Very pretty tulips! I love the lavender color. I am quite ready for spring. It has been so cold here. Your brownies look really good. And I love the quilt on your bed. Did you make it? I am excited for you and your upcoming trip to San Francisco. You and your husband are going to have a wonderful time together. I've never been, but have always wanted to go there. Yes, I envy your son, too. I would love to be cool as a cucumber, and not stress over every little thing. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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  14. Once again your pics are beautiful Jennifer, and I love those tulips! I am highly amused at the comment from GB - that one deserves a prize! I do hope that your concerns are soon rectified and you can become settled and rested, especially at night! It must be so nice for you planning a trip away - all the very best with it, hugs, Joy xo

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  15. Gorgeous photos Jennifer...I especially love that first shot! It about knocked me off the couch with its stunning color!!! And we have been very sick here this month...ER with my son last weekend and then a terrible stomach flu later this week that hit the baby in a an awful way. It does so make for worry and exhaustion and I welcome the new season whenever it decides to come just for some fresh air. Which leads me to the photo of your air dried linens....how wonderful is that! And the bulbs coming up! Just awesome...hope the trip planning goes great! Happy weekend to you! Nicole xoxo

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  16. I've been keeping a journal since I was 12. It helps me to remember things, which are otherwise swept away from my memory. And it also helps me to track my progress in different things.
    I love the photos in this post! Especially the one with the journal and pen. ;-) I just love writing! ;-)
    Have a nice weekend!

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  17. Hey Jennifer,
    Oh to be cool as a cucumber. I'm quite highly strung and find it difficult to unwind. A more mindful way of living helps enormously, but it can still get under the radar. I have kept a journal on and off for most of my life. I find it very helpful to get things out of my head and onto the page. My blog is a journal of sorts. Your first photograph is a beauty. I love those definite signs of Springs. I'm ready for some of that now. I haven't been able to hang laundry outside for months. I cannot wait for that either. Ditto too the conservatory and back doors. Heavenly!
    As for your trip to San Francisco - when I was at Uni, me and my friend Nina would watch 'What's Up Doc?' over and over again. Huge Babs fans both of us, and we always promised ourselves we would visit and stay in the Hotel Bristol. I never got there. I think that she did. It looks like a wonderful place to visit.
    Have a lovely week, Jennifer
    Leanne xx

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  18. ooo its horrible when a month gets wiped out with illness, hoping the good dreams return and health in sunshine! I love your pictures so much you have a great eye. what journalling are you doing? is it diary journalling or art journalling? good luck with it all, spring is nearly here! xxxxx

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  19. Yes there's definitely spring in the air, isn't it nice to get the washing out on the line again! Have a good week :) x

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  20. Thanks for sharing some of the lovely signs of Spring around you, Jennifer. I am sorry that illness and stress troubled you this past month, and hope that March is more positive for you.

    Although I want to be, I have not been consistent in journaling in my 63 years, but over the past 10 years I have regularly read Scripture and written/typed about my relationship with God. Blogging is a satisfying form of journaling for me over the last two years.

    Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, eating in a basement restaurant in China Town, viewing fortune cookies being made by hand, low tech 43 years ago :) Ghirardelli Square, The Exploratorium, Cable Car ride, driving down the crookedest street, dinner at Aliotos Restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf are my favorite places in San Francisco. I hope you have a fabulous time, Jennifer! xx

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  21. Lovely homely pictures Jennifer. Sorry to hear your February was full of illness too, lets hoe the coming Spring will blow all the bugs away and we can all blossom too. I have tried to write a journal several times but I never keep it up. When I read back on some of the things I have written in the past it sounds so silly and mundane. I do wish I had kept journals of when my kids were growing up though. Your blog is like a picture journal Jennifer, you can look back and enjoy for years to come. Enjoy your trip planning. xx

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  22. We are welcoming Autumn here in Australia, as you are welcoming Spring. The cooler mornings a relief after a particularly hot Summer - especially while pregnant! I kept a journal compulsively as a teenager and before having children. Now I have a notebook filled with ideas, diary type entries, sketches etc, as well as a line a day diary with a prompt each day.

    Hope some time away helps lessen the stress and that the warmer weather brings with it good health. xx

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  23. What a lovely collection of Spring photos, Jennifer. I like the little line of washing, colours which match the vintage Tupperware you recently showed. Clever! So sorry to hear about all the illness, which I have heard from others who have been in the northern winter this season. Here's to the happy times of Spring for you and Autumn for me. I have never kept a journal but doing a blog is something similar and I enjoy that. My Dad, aged 93, has done it all his life and even now, with some dementia, writes something down most days.

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  24. Well now I think everybody has already said what I was going to! The photos are lovely Jennifer - and as Linda says above provide you with a wonderful pictorial journal of your everyday life. But as Chel says writing things down might help you to sort things more clearly - plus you could put things that you wouldn't necessarily want to share. I spent yesterday in the garden and the signs of new life and birdsong was such a tonic - today heavy rain is forecast though (sigh) Let's hope that March brings you and your family brighter times x Jane

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  25. Can I move in? Your home always looks so gorgeous and homely! I am a useless journal keeper. I usually get to the end of Jan, then catch up in March and by June there is absolutely nothing lol!

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  26. It feels like spring is on the way here too, yippee! I'm no good at journalling, I just never keep up to it, that's why I started my blog really, as a way to document things so I have something to look back on. The things children say, they do make me chuckle sometimes.

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  27. Would San Fran be just the two of you? I always recommend going away without children as a good idea for a couple. Even just a night to be together is so useful and a great stress buster!

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  28. It's good to make plans. Your brownies look deliiiiicious. I wish you a happy week. Hugs from Spain.

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  29. Jennifer!!!!! I have missed your blog so much! Whenever I read it, I just feel peaceful, seriously... Your photos and the way that you write just bring peace.
    I have been so busy, and by busy, I wonder how much of that is in my head, but I've had craziness with my teenager and well, life as a single mom. But you must know that I adore your blog and if I don't stop by as often as I would like, please know that I'm thinking about you.
    Your photos are lovely, and I love the colors. I have to say though that your mention of journaling caught my attention. I think it's important that we all write, as it has lost it's charm in today's world, I think it's important for our kids to see us write... and read... in books and journals. However, when we are honest, we do know that technology makes it so much more appealing to not journal. So I have lightened up on myself, I have journals, but I write in them when the mood strikes me. I actually have a journal for each of my children and I have written in them on and off for the last 22 years, I will one day give them to my children as gifts, they don't know about them. I also have an art journal, and I toss things in there from time to time that I feel are artsy, or I draw... or paint, or whatever in it, it's probably the most I spent on a journal, because the pages are super thick and it's a hard cover and large... but I waited for a 50 percent off coupon, so it's all good... and I also keep all lists and pieces of paper that I write on and add them to my journal.... after all, they are the most evidence of my days. I'm sorry if I've waffled on a bit here!! When I see another person with the same interest sometimes I don't know when to stop :)
    Very jealous of the San Francisco trip!! I never really thought about going until I had a friend visit and a coworker talk about it, it just seems like an amazing part of the USA! I can't wait to see your photos.
    Much love to you and I hope you have a great week!
    Tammy x

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  30. Hi there visiting via Pam from Virgina Retro! :) Such a lovely blog here, and such beautiful pictures!!! :) Wishing you a lovely week! ~Feel free to stop by and say hello sometime! xo Holly

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  31. As always, lovely photos Jennifer. I can't wait for it to look more like Spring over here in Co. I do journal, it's a way for me to express and jot down my thoughts. I think it's wonderful that you are starting to journal. I have a journal I keep for myself, and one I've been writing for my daughter since we brought her home from the hospital. -I hope she enjoys it when she's older. I hope you and the Bear have a wonderful time in San Francisco. -Your brownies, look delicious!

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  32. That first blossom photo is stunnng. Seriously, print it and frame it, the colours and light are so dreamy. I'm sorry you're feeling anxious and I hope you find some peace and resolution soon. Anxiety is a horrible feeling. I'm very excited for your trip to San Francisco. John and I spent part of our honeymoon there and we both love that city very much. I'd recommend a boat trip to Alcatraz, it's fascinating.

    "Differences abound"?? Brilliant, I love it. x

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  33. What lovely photos! Spring has sprung your way, and I love how you are celebrating it with open doors and pretty fabrics all round! Congrats to the young ones on their brainpower (my little one says ridiculously acute phrases now and again and it just makes me giggle!), and I say go for it! to the San Fran trip, I went there years ago and will never forget the 'feel' of the place, it's like no other! Chrissie x

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  34. Such beautiful, colourful photos of this most anticipated season, Jennifer! Your home looks so fresh and bright and I get the feeling that there is always something going on creatively and practically at the same time. Those brownies would be a perfect late night bite right now, but I'll have to wait till morning to whip up a batch.

    Happy March!

    Poppy
    PS: Love the prettiness and colour of that first pic!!

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  35. What a beautiful post, such a lovely round up of your week. Xxx

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  36. I love this post Jennifer, so honest and open. I am sorry you are worried, I am a worrier too and have been losing a ton of sleep the last few nights. I think as our kids get older the worries intensify. San Fransisco is the most gorgeous place, so many wonderful sights to see. A perfect getaway. If you go checkout Muir Woods just over the Golden Gate bridge, it is my favorite place on earth.
    Sending you a hug, it sounds like you could use a nice big one.
    Meredith

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  37. I'm anxiously awaiting Spring here. The week started out nice but a cold front blew in yesterday and it was 4 degrees this morning. I spotted some green coming up through the ground. Hope they survive the freeze. Can't wait to spend some time outdoors and work in the yard. Glad you're enjoying it!

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  38. So many lovely moments from your week.

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  39. Jennifer, as ever a wonderful post. I feel you, Its the same here at the moment. Well done for expressing it .I love journaling but wish I could be braver and share my woes .I love your honesty. Love the fact you captured yourself.

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  40. Hello Jennifer.

    I absolutely Loved seeing your most gorgeous blooms. They bring such Joy to My Heart. I have kept a Journal when I lived in a couple of places I lived. Once in Alaska and once when I lived in Australia. The Journal from Alaska I go back to about once a year and read about all what I did there. It brings smiles to my face. So keeping a Journal is a good thing and you will enjoying going back to read them and your family will enjoy them to oneday.

    I am glad you all have gotten some rain. Have you ever been to the Taos Fiber Festival.. I am thinking of attending it this coming Oct.. I would love to hear what you think of it. Hugs Judy

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  41. Such lovely pictures of home life. Weather looks lovely, too. I try with every new year to journal. It last a few weeks then dwindles off as I get busy and then I try and try again and continue to fail. What is up with that? Why can't I stay focused? I really want to do it but then just let other things get in the way and stop me. I even took a composition book with me to Sri Lanka to journal in. I started it in 2011 and didn't get very far at all. Barely opened it this time. See what I mean? Just hopeless. :) I will keep trying thought! Kids are like sponges -- they pick up so many things we aren't aware of. Wishing you a wonderful new week. Tammy

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  42. What a lovely post, Jennifer. We've had some similar weather, but probably a bit warmer than you have had. We also got a much-needed rain storm over the weekend. Love how the desert air smells so clean and fresh after a rain.

    I'm excited about your upcoming SF trip. We have been a few times, but our last two trips were the best. We like the Cow Hollow/Marina district. We have stayed in The Cow Hollow Inn and the Chelsea Motor Inn. They are older, but well-maintained and very reasonably priced. They have free, underground parking -- no valet service, swimming pool, spa or gym that always increases the price. What we really enjoyed was the location, right in a neighborhood setting. You can walk to any number of local restaurants, little boutiques -- places where the locals hang out and do their shopping & eating. It's also within walking distance of the marina and an easy drive to lots of other SF highlights. I know you will enjoy your get-away no matter where you stay!

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  43. Jennifer,
    Such beautiful photos and I so enjoy seeing snippets of your sweet and gentle life!
    Happy March-
    Jemma

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  44. GB is obviously a successful blogger in the making, Jennifer. :-)

    Who needs a written journal when you do such lovely photo journals? I've never managed to keep one for long either. I'm glad spring has arrived for you. Over here we have some hints of spring too, but it's certainly not warm enough for open windows or doors. In fact we could get snow showers again overnight!

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  45. My feeling is that you're a very busy person, multi- tasking mom who tries to put a positive spin on everything especially for your family. I don't know how you do it but I enjoy coming back to your blog again and again for that refreshing spirit. I do hope you can get away to re-charge and relax a bit. Take care. I look forward to your spring blooms!

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  46. Another lovely post. I had a little chuckle at the GB...I love the little things that children say so earnestly.
    Marianne x

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  47. I love your spring photos - it makes me yearn even more for that kind of weather here! We are still buried under 2 ft of snow with below zero temps at night. I used to journal endlessly. I suppose now that I am writing on the computer all the time now (blog, email), that's what squelched the notebook journaling. Although I did start a gratitude and prayer journal the other day. I am so envious of your upcoming trip to SF! One of my favorite cities. We rarely take a vacation due to finances, but back in early Sept. 2009, we took a trip to SF (we saved 18 months for this trip!) to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We loved everything about SF - the climate, the hills, the architecture of the row houses, the beautiful flowers, the ocean, the restaurants, the shops, the bridges. I would go back in a heartbeat. Oh - we even walked through Golden Gate park (I don't recommend that!) and through the Haight Ashbury area, which was verrry interesting, lol.

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  48. PS - Like you, I'm an easily-stressed person and have high anxiety levels. Just passing this along as a suggestion, I've found that these 3 things really help...yoga, meditation, and walking. When the kids are in school, try to either take a walk (even better if you have a park nearby instead of just your neighborhood), do some meditation (there's some great music on youtube), or even take a yoga class.

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  49. ah spring.. the first picture made me smile.
    the print looks great,
    I kind of journal.. I have on of those one line a day journals and write down a line of two to sum up the day every day.. It's fun to look back on what I did that day on previous years.

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  50. Everything looks beautiful and calm, and spring-like. Your blog is a lovely journal and not less so for being online. Hope you have a lovely trip. It's nice to get away and come home with renewed inspiration. J x

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  51. I'm so ready for Spring to arrive here. Thanks for sharing your Spring-y photos!

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  52. Spring really is happening everywhere in blogland! I hope you're over the February illnesses (we had them too) now and the notebook helps you with your worries. It makes things harder to handle when you've not had a good night's sleep. I love your scarf...I'm a scarf girl and wear one almost everyday - even in hot weather! (not that it actually gets that hot here in Yorkshire!)

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  53. Those first signs of Spring are so special arent they? The pale lilac tulips are beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing all these lovely photos, I hope your plans to visit San Francisco come off!Have a great week Jennifer!
    Gill xx

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  54. Aw lovely springy photos! I love that you managed to hang some washing outside x

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  55. Such a lovely post Jennifer and hopefully all your illnesses are distant memories now. I'm in the throes of starting a journal myself - have been for the last six months I have to say but somehow just never get around to it. My idea is to create one for John's retirement last week - journaling all our trips out etc and because of the month might call it Marching forward. Good luck with yours. Hope you manage to get away on your trip soon.
    Patricia x

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  56. Springs arrives sooner in NM than in UT. Lovely!

    Brownies and San Fran...now that's the good life. ;-)

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  57. Lovely to see these wonderful signs of spring. It's good too dream and plan for future holidays. Sarah x

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  58. How lovely to see signs of spring whilst planning a little adventure. Planning holidays is always something we love to do, and SF how exciting. Lovely photo of you and yes I have tried so many times to journal but never really succeed, I seen to be on a good phase at the moment, it's great to spend a little time reflecting. Xxx

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