The Flower Season is Coming

The Spring season is a great time to travel to outdoor events to see beautiful displays of flowers. Here are two of my favorite places to go to see the beauty in Southern California. And, because I enjoy these venues so much I am helping to get the word out about them by letting people know that Carlsbad Magazine will be on racks at the Flower Fields and a picture I took at the Lavender Fields is featured on the back cover of a book I created. These are both wonderful places to take pictures, so make sure you have your camera ready for unforgettable memories.

Details: Features 50 acres of multi-colored ranunculus in Carlsbad, California overlooking the Pacific ocean. Visitors enjoy free parking, theme gardens, blueberry picking, tractor wagon rides, unique food stands, entertainment and more. They also have ticketed events like Tea in the Garden, Painting workshop and Dancing Sunflowers Together. Check their website for dates and more events.

Season: March 1 to May 12, 2024

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday

Pricing: $23 for Adults (They have discounts for seniors, military and children as well as season passes) There is an extra charge for wagon tours and sluice mining activity. Tickets can only be purchased online. Go to and select Buy Tickets.

Location:  5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008


For More Information: 760-431-0352

Details: 123 Farms has a Lavender Festival that celebrates the blooming of organic lavender. There are 20 acres of all kinds of lavender. They also have lots of lavender inspired food and drinks and many themed shops to walk through. In addition there are six other festivals that run through January. They are the sourdough festival, the wild orchard tea festival, olive festival, sheep shearing festival, community olive harvest and Christmas nights. At night 100,000 lights illuminate the farm. They have live musical performances. Guided tractor-pulled wagon tours are available at an extra charge.

Lavender Season: May 3 to July 21, 2024

Hours: 5 to 10 p.m.

Pricing: Check their website. It is not currently showing pricing. 

Location: Located at the historic Highland Springs Ranch and Inn, 10600 Highland Spring Avenue, Cherry Valley, CA. 92223


For More Information: Call 951-845-1151 or email [email protected]


Building Healthy Families

Since there are often more discussions about unhealthy patterns in families, one might wonder what a healthy family looks like. Just like eating life-sustaining food and exercising, it’s important to have a positive home environment for the best outcomes in life. 

Common themes for family healthiness are keeping boundaries, making your home a safe environment and allowing for mistakes without shame or retribution.

Keeping Boundaries

In a family unit, each person should have their personal space and privacy without other’s trespassing. If other family members would like to enter their private space, they should ask permission and get acceptance. If the member would like their space to remain private without intrusion, other family members should respect their request. This goes for any type of encroachment of body, mind or spirit. The family member gets to choose who they will allow into their space. Other family members should respect the wishes of the person requesting their privacy. They should be self-controlled and not quick to reject the wishes of the family member. When boundary lines are crossed, the family member should be assertive in letting the person responsible know that they crossed that line and that it is not acceptable behavior. There should be empathy and respect for each family member’s decisions whether they agree with them or not.

Safe Environments

Each person should feel that they are in a safe environment, free from worry of abandonment or being rejected or removed from the unit. Members should hold unconditional love for one another and be able to express themselves freely without fear. Safe environments can be built by creating trust and healthy communication. The group can hold differing opinions without fear of put-downs or prejudices. Closeness can be created by spending time together, encouraging each other and being clear in their communications. Each family member should contribute and be responsible for their part in the unit. They should meet needs appropriately. They should appreciate each other and make family a top priority.

Allowing For Mistakes

Mistakes will happen and should be planned for so that it is a safe learning and growing place for members. Any conflicts should be handled quickly and time should be given to explore what went wrong in order to improve, not to shame or plan retribution. The members should steer clear of put downs, name-calling, back-stabbing and gossip. Prejudices must be addressed so that no one family member is feeling less than the rest. Favoritism and creating pecking orders should be avoided. Each family member should be valued for who they are and how they are designed and not lessened in the family unit by mistakes. Whatever errors occurred should be addressed and handled by the parties involved so that a mutual healing and understanding takes place.

These are just a few tips. Human dynamics can be very complex so that time is often needed to deal with issues. But it’s better to start handling them now, like when you notice you’re eating too much, or exercising too little, before it gets out of hand. So, go be a healthy family. And, let others know how you did it.

Sources:, July/August 2016, 7 Characteristics of Healthy Families, Becky Sweat,, How to Have Healthy Family Relationships With Less Stress, Elizabeth Scott, January 10, 2023,, Five Signs of a Healthy Family, Casey D. Bearss


You silence the roar of the seas, the roar of their waves, and the tumult of the nations.

Psalm 65:7


Which Road Will You Travel This Year?

The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost

1874 –1963

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Merry Christmas


There is a park in Colorado called the Colorado Chautauqua. It is a National Historic Landmark in Boulder, and one of 26 in Colorado. There is a trail up a steep mountain that can been seen from far away and that many travel on.

The original plan for the park was to “remain committed to its historic purpose, offering outstanding cultural and educational programs…” And they say they are still doing that today. The park is located at the foot of the Flatirons mountain. Not only are there many trails to hike, but there are events throughout the year and a historic inn offering cottages and lodging in buildings.

The inn started as a tent-camp, and has evolved into lodges, cottages and lecture halls. The cottages were built from 1899 to 1954. The dining hall and auditorium were constructed in 1898. The Academic building was built in 1900 and in 1911 the Missions House Lodge was constructed to house women going to the Rocky Mountain School of Missions.

According to, there was a Chautauqua movement that stemmed from a Methodist camp meeting for Sunday school teachers. The movement was nation-wide and focused on education. Today the movement still focuses on education and healing.

The Colorado Chautauqua values “lifelong learning, love of nature, voluntary simplicity, and music, oration and the arts.” The Colorado Chautauqua also recognizes that the land is “the current and ancestral homeland of the Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute peoples.” 


The 2023 Holiday Season Begins

So, it’s the Christmas season. This year, I’m trying to find ways to celebrate despite a lot of false starts and disappointments. After many years of fighting problems, it’s time to look toward a more hopeful future. I was in Denver most of last year, trying to find business opportunities. Although my initial project didn’t go as planned, I ended up pivoting it into a book. I also spent time painting and working on creative writing pieces, which in the past I didn’t have much time for. 

Through all of it, I’ve found ways to enjoy myself with little income, including tracking my food expenses, which is where the start of the book idea came from  Anyone who wants to save a few bucks, with a little pre-planning, can use it to monitor what they’re doing. 

I also spent time editing a novel. It is slow going, and sometimes I wonder if it will ever get completed or picked up. I’ve found though, like a lot of things, writing needs to be marinated for a while. So, I often set things aside, and then pick the piece back up when I’m ready to take another stab at it with fresh eyes and a different perspective. I often wish that creative projects wouldn’t take so much time. But, I guess that’s the way the genre goes.

So, in the meantime I started learning to play the guitar. It’s a good way to relax and ponder ideas, like the meaning of life. 

I hope this season brings much joy, love and peace to you and yours.


The Harvest Season Is Approaching

As Halloween and Thanksgiving approach, it’s time to think about the harvest season. As a kid, I couldn’t wait to go trick-or-treating as memories of pillowcases full of candy encouraged me, my siblings and neighbors to stay out late to see how full our bags could get. It wasn’t until tragedy struck one Halloween Eve, and then that Halloween night when an older man in a car chased us down a dark street–three of us ducking into a neighbor’s backyard until the car disappeared–that I realized real frightening experiences weren’t much fun.

Ask anyone who’s gone through terrorizing experiences if they enjoy being a part of petrifying things, they will probably say they stopped watching horror movies because it became too real for them.

That’s when people who have been spooked in real life will tell you they started looking at alternative ways to enjoy the season.

So, if you want to protect you and your loved ones and are looking for other ways to enjoy yourselves here are a few ideas. Check the listings in your local area. Most likely you’ll find you will have a deluge of options that will lift up your spirit.

[You’ll have to skip past the events that already passed or mark your calendars for next year]

Country Living Ideas

US News Suggestions

USA Today Recommendations


Storing Your Food Expenses

To be honest, I’ve never really liked sitting down to make budgets. The word pedantic comes to mind. But, since I’ve spent so much time volunteering with little or no pay, I’ve had to use reserves to live on. So, it became necessary to examine the amount of money I was spending. My housing expense was fixed but I could adjust and save money on my food costs which are variable, and the second or third biggest household expense.

I realized eating at home and grocery shopping was not only more healthy but I liked shopping at different stores. I started examining the grocery mailers and discovered new places. Strangely, dare I say it was fun, or at least it wasn’t that hard to keep track of what I was spending. I was happy to find I was saving money. My budget got so low, I matched the USDA’s Thrifty food budget plan.

So, while making notes of my expenses, I started coming up with business ideas around food. I was enjoying doing outreach efforts to distribute day-old bread from restaurants and making gift boxes for people in need. The culminating effort of thinking about a business product and helping others, turned into a book I created called Food…Organizer. It’s made to keep track of expenses on dining out, grocery shopping and grocery lists. It also has a section to write down new places to explore, because when you’re on a budget you still need to find ways to have fun. It is set-up to be used yearly with monthly and overall goals in mind.

It’s the right size to keep in a purse or carry-on bag so you always have it close by.

Here’s a link to purchase a copy, and/or share it with a friend or business you think might be interested.  Now go have some fun, whatever your budget.


What Is Your Best Memory This Summer?

I posted a version of this question last year. I’m curious what your favorite summer memory is so far this year? Officially, we still have another month of summer. The season ends September 23. So, if you don’t have great memories, why not plan to start making some now?

For me, I decided to buy a movie theater season pass so I’ve seen some good summer movies so far. I still remember the essay I wrote for my college technology class. The professor was pontificating that in the future, and this was in the 90’s, people would not be going to the theater as much as watching videos at home. My point of view was that movie theater watching would still be relevant. There’s nothing quite like seeing a movie at a theater with others, no matter how great your home movie theater experience is. I wish I still had that essay to re-read my reasoning.

So, the movies I’ve seen so far are Sound of Freedom, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Dial of Destiny, Barbie, Are You There God it’s Me Margaret and Theater Camp. Are You There God came out in the Spring but is still trending on the charts. I enjoyed all of them to different degrees. I think Theater Camp wasn’t in enough theaters to give it a high ranking but it’s worth watching.

I traveled and read some good books too. I hope there will be more good memories to report. For now, let me know what you’ve experienced as highlights. Would love to hear your comments.