A Place for Weddings

A train station door for the chapel. Adorned with a wreath Shelley made from the greens around the vineyard. I journaled the day of prepping with other vendors for the Open House at Stomping Ground Vineyard. 

Read more via @stellerstories https://steller.co/s/4t9SkZ5byex

And here:

Staying in V-formation

I think this shot illustrates the power of unity. Unity goes a long way. Literally. At least for this group of birds. Unity involves working together and then some. It doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything. We do have to agree on the goal and how we are going to get there.

With us humans, it requires looking big picture. Big picture is usually, if not always, the greater good. It is usually win-win for everyone involved in a marriage, family, business, sports team, community group or church team. And if you want to talk bigger, then yes, our local community and even a nation of millions of people.

I’m not saying sacrifices aren’t required because unity comes at a cost. If selfish ambition is the cost, then isn’t that what has to be put aside to the agreed-upon goal to be achieved? Selfish-ambition has to be the #1 enemy of unity.

If I was one of these birds in this V-formation, I know I would be tempted to land here on the Southern California Coast and convince myself, “This place has mild weather year-round and plenty of food. Besides, that lead bird hogs up all the time in the front. Wasn’t it my turn like 4 birds ago? Hey, I could even convince a few to go with me. A few of them said they were getting bored.”

However, the “Big-picture” voice says that this destination is much more than just a place. I won’t know if I give up now. Sticking with the V-formation will get us there quicker and easier than anyone flying solo. Stay in the V.

Unity costs. Unity requires much effort and perseverance. Yeah, it takes a lot, but think of the alternative.

And if you are like me, you have experienced the alternative a few times. What’s your story? Your feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

Read Work Out Wednesday

Ok. I should actually work out instead of taking pictures of friends working out. I did a series of faceless fitness shots a couple of summers ago. I posted it on Steller https://steller.co/s/4sUxV4wXHWe
Please check it out.

Old ways to beat the heat

It’s so hot today that I’m avoiding the house because we don’t have central air conditioning. How did I survive back in the day? My parents had one air conditioning unit for the window of the den, and they rarely used it. The schools back then didn’t have air conditioning. What did we did do? Here’s my list as I am trying to remember.

  • A spray bottle with ice water.
  • All lights off.
  • Wet paper towels on my head.
  • Lay on the tile floor in the kitchen.
  • Water the grass with an occassional hose redirection straight up into the sky.

I remember my teacher turning off the lights in the classroom and telling us to put our heads down.

One of my first jobs ever was at Dominos Pizza. I would always volunteer to go to the freezer to replenish the food items. I would stay in the walk-in freezer 3 minutes longer than I should have.

My favorite was riding a skateboard while my neighbor dumped a bucket of water as I rolled by. We called it “sidewalk surfing.”

What are your ways to beat the heat? Love to hear your tips and stories.

When that homeless man is your friend

I remember the time being panned for money by a homeless man while I waited in line at a Taco Bell. We were both 20-something by then, and the moment he asked me for some change we locked eyes. I could tell by his eyes that he recognized me.

We were once neighbors and childhood friends. I can still replay the day he let me ride his motorized scooter down the alley behind his house. This day, this man acted like he didn’t remember me, and I was too embarrassed to press the issue. I gave him what I had in my pocket; a dollar and some change. He mumbled a thank you and walked away.

Even though our meeting happened over 20 years ago, whenever I am downtown I look for him. Taking this shot of this scene by the Salvation Army reminded me of him.

Coffee and Sweets


A shop with cookies, pastries, coffee, and ice cream? Take my money!

I wrote a poem based on my visit to N7 Creamery in Rancho Cucamonga, California. I started off with a trail mix cookie and a mocha over ice which was delightful on a hot summer day. I returned for an ice cream because I didn’t remember if I ever had a nitrogen freezed ice cream before. It was worth waiting in line. 

Read the poem on Steller https://steller.co/s/4qd84zrMTUK

And I finally figured out how to embed the Steller version on my blog. How about that?!?! If you like my stories I’d like to know. Make a comment. Your feedback is appreciated.

Remembering Those School Days

school supplies

I dropped off my kids at school today and was reminiscing about my days way back, and I do mean way back, trying to piece the highlights of my public school career as a child. Here they are:

  • We watched “Charlotte’s Web” at the movie theater as a field trip. I think I was in 2nd grade, and I cried.
  • Somehow I became student body vice president. I have no idea how I won, but I remember that I did nothing during the student council meetings other than voting.
  • The highlight of 6th grade camp was hiking and scaling a “mountain.” It took over an hour, and I was the 3rd one to make it at the top of the mountain. The Siap twins were the first two, and they reminded me rest of the school year.
  • Ellen hit me hard in the arm during recess, and my classmates told me that it was a “love tap.” It hurt, and we went steady as boyfriend and girlfriend for about 2 weeks.
  • I cannot recall the plot of the story Sounder. All I remember is that the dog died, and I cried.

I am not sure if any of those are world-changing moments, but what do you think of my list? What are your memorable moments from grade school? Comments are appreciated and welcomed.