pen rainbow

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Whistle Corner—World Champion Whistler

World whistling champ, Christopher Ullman, talking and whistling

a fun you tube 4U

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Photoshop Gallery—NYC Street Pix

Pix from our trip to NYC in 2009_2B Lesson #30_A Street Portrait

Candid Street Photography

The famous Papaya Dog stand

Museum of Natural History_Central Park West

A beautiful afternoon in Central Park

The Chrysler Building from the top of the Empire State Building

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throw-Back Thursday—My School Pix

It's back-to-school time!  My jr high pix weren't with these...

k - 12 
5 yrs old_kindergarten
north 9th street school
las vegas

6 yrs old_1st grade
north 9th street elementary school
las vegas

7 yrs old_2d grade
underwood hills elementary
omaha nebraska

9 yrs old_4th grade
underwood hills elementary school
omaha nebraska

11 yrs old_6th grade
underwood hills elementary school
omaha nebraska

westside high school
omaha nebraska

boulder city high school
boulder city nevada

boulder city high school
boulder city nevada

have a safe & happy school year

Throw-Back Thursday: Healthcare in Boulder City, NV

Let's help the folks in BC save the original Six Companies Boulder City Hospital, circa 1931

Sign the online petition  HERE

Give $5  HERE


BC Hospital baby
Sabra & Steve Nelson


Sabin toasts_A lifetime of immunity from polio
Sabra, Jimmy & Steve Nelson
D.M. MacCornack, M.D.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday's Cupboard—Crab Cali Roll Salad

Use imitation crab in this fab summer salad!  It's gluten-free

Great with fake crab!

Crab California Roll Salad
from Trans Ocean Products

prep time:  10 minutes | serves 2

  • 1 8-oz. package Trans Ocean Crab Classic, flake-style
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, seasoned with rice vinegar
  • 2 avocados, cut up; set aside 1/2 cup for topping
  • 1 cucumber, semi-peeled (in strips) & chopped

  • mixed greens or fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup mixed red & yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 3 T. rice vinegar, plus a few shakes to season the rice
  • 3 T. Kikkoman Ponzu lime citrus-seasoned dressing
  • 1 T. sesame oil
  • 2 T. pickled ginger
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Make it!
  1. Cook the rice as directed; season with a few shakes of rice vinegar; let cool
  2. Break crab into bite-sized pieces; cut up, if necessary
  3. In a large bowl, toss rice, crab, cucumbers & avos
  4. Arrange greens on plates; divide crab mixture evenly
  5. Top with chopped avocados
  6. Whisk together 3 T. of rice vinegar + 3 T. Ponzu sauce + 1 T. sesame oil
  7. Drizzle vinaigrette over salads; add extra avos on top
  8. Top with pickled ginger
  9. Toss a few cherry tomatoes around the edges of each salad before serving
  10. Add cracked black pepper & serve!  


Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday—A Good Day Palindrome

This palindrome poem posted in a London bar has been trending this week (thnx to Karen for posting it on facebook)

Read this poem...

photo by dsmp

Today was the absolute worst day ever
And, don't try to convince me that
There's something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
this world is a pretty evil place.

even if
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don't last.
And, it's not true that
It's all in the mind and heart
True happiness can be obtained

Only if one's surroundings are good
It's not true that good exists
I'm sure you can agree that

the reality
My attitude

It's all beyond my control
And, you'll never in a million years hear me say that

Today was a good day

Now read it again from bottom to top...

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Photoshop Gallery—Here's What Happens When You Ask the Internet to Edit Your Photo

Never ask for online help editing your photo...

my edit...


the original...

Awww!!  A romantic vacation

Click HERE to see more editing masterpieces


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Throw-Back Thursday—Vintage Style

Pix from my grandmother Pearle's collection

Vintage Style

1920s Deco

The age of Victorian beauty and modern industry...

Silk ribbons & layers of organza

Eva Jones, my great aunt_8th Grade Graduation
The latch-key hem reflects the industrial theme of Deco style 

Scarab beetles & gold

This is the cover of the photo above.
The popularity of Egytian style began with the discovery of
King Tut's tomb in 1922

1960s Space Age

Uther & Pearle Jones, my grandparents
Seattle World's Fair 1962
My grandparents embraced all things modern, so it is not surprising that they were at the Seattle World's Fair in 1962.  

They were always stylish.  My grandfather in his creased wool slacks, top-buttoned shirt and cool aviator glasses.  My grandmother in her flattering-length, blue tailored dress with double-button jacket and top-clasp handbag.  

Contemporary style at the Century 21 Exposition. 

Have a stylish weekend!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday—Good for You, Good for The Home: Cooling Down a Hot Window

Reducing the heat on a southwest facing garden window

Shopping for Window Tint

You can see the reflection of my new clothesline. 

I got our tint from AmazonSmile Prime.  It beats dealing with morons at Home Depot, and my favorite local animal rescue group receives 0.5 percent of the purchase price.

More about AmazonSmile  

More about AmazonPrime

Our primary goal was to reduce the heat on garden window that gets blasted by the sun every afternoon.  I did not want a silver mirrored finish, primarily to avoid the intense glare and any possible harm to our backyard wildlife, especially the birds.

We like to use natural light as much as possible in our house, so I was not looking for black-out tint.  I did, however, end up ordering the darkest tint available.  From the inside looking out, it looks like you're wearing a good pair of sunglasses.

The price was reasonable ($30 for a 36-inch x12-foot strip), and we will make up the cost by reducing our power bills by at least that much this summer.  
From the inside looking out  
Complete privacy from the outside

How hard was it to put up?  

It is definitely a 2-person job, and the tricky part is removing the adhesive backing before you put it up.  It just takes confidence, preparation, planning & all the right tools.

The gloves & hammer were for tapping out the garden window shelves.

Our tint came with a great little blue squeegee and a utility knife.  We made our own soapy spray with a few drops of baby shampoo and a good spray bottle.  You can't put this stuff up without a lot of soapy water applied to both sides of the film and the glass.  

We used our shower squeegee as a handy tool for holding the tint against the glass while positioning the film.  

You'll also need a lint-free, hair-free place to measure & cut the film.  Any debris on the window and anything stuck to the adhesive back of the film is there for good.

Handy Tips

  • Throw down a beach towel to soak up the soapy spray
  • Apply to a cool window for best results.  Heat tends to discourage good adhesion.
  • Add an extra inch around the edges when you measure & cut the film.
  • It gets easier after the first application.  

Have fun with your DIY summer projects!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tuesday's Cupboard—Salmon Puttanesca with Quinoa & Kale

A classic Italian sauce + flavorful & healthy salmon filets

Salmon Puttanesca

Adapted from Weight Watcher's Magazine, July/August 2015

Serves 2
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook:  25 minutes



  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped sweet onion
  • 2 tsp. chopped jarred garlic in water (or 2 cloves, chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 T. anchovy paste
  • 2 - 14.5 oz. cans chopped Italian-style tomatoes
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste (Italian-style or with garlic)
  • 1/2 c. pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 3 T. capers, drained
  • 2 - 1/2 lb. salmon filets without the skin (ask the fish counter person to remove the skin for you)

Super-easy & good!  Available at Safeway

Make It!
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic & red pepper flakes.  Cook, stirring occasionally until onion & garlic soften, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add anchovy paste & cook until paste melts, about 1 minute.  
  4. Add canned tomatoes & tomato paste.  Thin with about a half a can of water from the tomato can.
  5. Simmer on medium-low until sauce thickens, 5-7 minutes.
  6. Stir in olives & capers. 
  7. Nestle salmon filets into the sauce.  Spoon sauce over the salmon to cover.  Partially cover the saucepan with a glass lid & simmer for 10-12 minutes until fish is firm & opaque.
  8. Zap the frozen quinoa & kale.  Allow 4 minutes.  
  9. Serve & enjoy!   

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Movie Corner: SPY

★  ★  ★  ★  ★   5 BIG STARS

Swearing, mildly crude humor, suspense & a happy ending!


Starring Melissa McCarthy, Miranda Hart  
Rose Byrne & Jude Law

This is a fun night out at the movies if you're in the mood for a great chick flick.  Melissa McCarthy as the under- appreciated administrative assistant to super-spy Jude Law, and Miranda Hart (Chummy from Call The Midwife) as her BFF are superb in this comedic buddy movie.

Rose Byrne is wonderful & funny as the spoiled rich girl /evil genius weapons dealer.  

This is a grown-up movie with plenty of crude humor (ala Bridesmaids) with a comedic crime spin that reminds me of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality.  

It is really funny, like hold onto your pantyliner funny.  Original slapstick, smart sarcastic humor, a fun script and some pretty good Bond-ish spy action make this an enjoyable movie.  

Definitely worth a large popcorn!

Have fun at the movies!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday—Summer in Tahoe & Davis

It's sunflower season in Davis!

Beautiful Tahoe

Northstar wild yarrow

Northstar wild daisy & bugg

Sierra white yarrow

Keep Tahoe blue

Tahoe National Forest

Sunflowers in Davis
Field of sunflowers off of 680

Big Sunnies
Sunny Flowers
Summer in the Sacramento Valley

Happy Summer!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday Financials — Designated Beneficiaries

Estate Planning 101 — Things I learned as a successor trustee 

Name Your Beneficiaries

Designated beneficiaries trump wills & trusts

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is a person, a trust, or an entity (like an organization) that you select to receive a specified share of your account in the event of your death.  

You can name anyone as the primary beneficiary, and you can name more than one.  You can also name contingency beneficiaries, who are the recipients of a specified account if none of your primary beneficiaries survive you.  Naming both primary and contingency beneficiaries ensures that your assets will pass to the people &/or entities of your selection.

Minors can be named as beneficiaries as long as you designate a guardian who will be able to oversee the account until the minor reaches legal age in your state (usually 18 or 21 years old).  

Source citations:TheFreeDictionary_definition "beneficiary";  Fidelity: FAQs about Beneficiary Updates

What happens if you do not name a beneficiary?

If you do not designate a beneficiary (or, if all of your beneficiaries predecease you), the assets go to the surviving spouse at the time of your death.  If you do not have a surviving spouse, payment of the account goes to your estate.  At that point, it's either going through probate or it gets handled as per instructions in your trust.

Source citation:  Fidelity: FAQs about Beneficiary Updates

Keep your account beneficiaries updated!

I ran into trouble on this issue when my dad died because he had not updated his life insurance policy.  He had attempted to remove his deceased wife as the primary beneficiary, but was unable to complete the process before he died.  

The insurance company refused to recognize his trust as the primary beneficiary, even though my dad had specifically listed the insurance policy as part of his estate assets.  So, our trust attorney had to go to court and ask a judge to order the insurance company to pay the benefits to the trust, which they did.   

You can update your beneficiaries at any time through the institutional custodians of the accounts:

  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement accounts (IRAs)
  • Stock holdings

Source citation:  Nolo: If I Name Beneficiaries for my Bank Accounts

Designated beneficiaries trump everything else.  As long as someone is listed as a named beneficiary on an account, the account assets go directly to them.  The beneficiary designation bypasses a will or a trust, so if they don't match, the payment goes to the named beneficiary.  If there is a dispute, it gets handled in court by a judge.
This is the easiest and most effective way to protect your assets and make sure that your accounts are passed to your designated recipients.

Go online & update your accounts today! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Photoshop Gallery: Sunflowers!

Pix of sunflowers from my project gallery


sunflower 2015
sunflower 2013
sunflower 2013
lilies & sunflowers 2013

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday's Cupboard—Summery Chicken Salad

Simple • Easy • Healthy • Delicious • All Summer Long

Summery Chicken Salad

Adapted from Weight Watcher's Magazine July /August 2015
The Fruits of Summer

  • 1 pkg. chopped (bite-size) cantaloupe (about 1 cup)
  • 1.25 pkg. boneless, skinless chicken breast—chopped into bite-size pieces & baked in the oven, cooled or cold
  • 1 c. chopped English cucumber
  • 1/4 c. chopped red onion
  • 1 small, cleaned, minced jalepeño pepper
  • 2 tsp. fresh thinly-sliced mint


  • Nori Komi Furikake Rice Seasoning (or red finishing salt)
  • greens
Salt + seaweed + sesame seeds + a touch of sugar

Make It!
  1. Toss chopped cantaloupe, cooked chicken, chopped cucumber, chopped red onion, minced jalepeño pepper & fresh mint.
  2. Drizzle with Ponzu or rice vinegar (about 1/4 c.), olive oil & cracked black pepper.  Mix to combine all ingredients.
  3. Serve over a bed of mixed greens.
  4. Sprinkle with Nori Komi Furikake seasoning before serving.  This gives it a nice finish!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday—Honest Wedding Vows

I do...


From Cliff's mouth to my ears.  

The only thing that I remember about my wedding vows was the last word...forever.  And, they weren't even my wedding vows.  I didn't write them.  The judge showed up and read them from a little notebook.  But, I—Miss Don't-Sign-Anything-Until-I've Read it—mindlessly agreed to everything that came before the word, FOREVER.  Love is blind, especially when it comes to wedding vows.

So, let's get to it. 

my wedding cover (a PS lesson)

Wedding Statistics 
  • According to the latest stats from the CDC, there are over 2.1 million marriages in the U.S. every year.  That's 6.8 per 1,000  total population (2000-2012).  

From a 2014 survey of 13,000 brides by the media & technology group, xo group:  

  • Average wedding cost = $29,858 (excludes honeymoon)
  • Most expensive place to get married:  Manhattan ($89,916 average cost)
  • Least expensive place to get married:  Idaho ($16,159 average cost)
  • Average spent on a wedding dress = $1,281
  • Average marrying age = bride (29), groom (31)
  • Average number of guests = 138
  • Most popular month to get married:  June & September (15 percent each)

Good Vows, Bad Vows

Avoid insufferably cute.  Avoid funny.  Attempts at humor usually come off as awkward and tense.  Do not include the parents.  Seriously, give them a break.  They just want to watch their son or daughter get married.  

Avoid long, drawn-out speeches, especially about how your love exceeds the other 2.1 million couples who will also be married this year.  Your guests are basically held hostage until the ceremony ends and everyone heads over to the reception where they can celebrate with the happy couple.  

Keep it simple and honest.  

Quaker wedding vows:

In the presence of God and these our friends, I take thee, ______, to be my husband /wife, promising with Divine assistance to be unto thee, a loving and faithful wife/ husband so long as we both shall live.     
Humanist wedding vows:

I, ______, choose you, ______, to be my wife/ husband.  I will respect you, care for you and grow with you, through good times and hard times, as your friend, companion and partner, giving the best that I can to fulfill our lives together. 

Traditional wedding vows:

I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wedded wife/ husband, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health; to love, cherish and honor as long as we both shall live.

Apache wedding vows:

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.

Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.  

Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.

May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years.

May happiness be our companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.

Hindu wedding vows (Seven Steps):

The bride and the groom make this promise to each other:

1.  Let us take the first step to provide for our household a nourishing and pure diet, avoiding those foods injurious to healthy living.

2.  Let us take the second step to develop physical, mental and spiritual powers.

3.  Let us take the third step to increase our wealth by righteous means and proper use.

4.  Let us take the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love and trust.

5.  Let us take the fifth step so that we are blessed with strong, virtuous and heroic children.

6.  Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity.

7.  Let us take the seventh step and be true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock. 

Avoid these cringeworthy words:  
  • lover
  • worthy of your love
  • I will try to...(#1 BS vow of all time)
  • patience that love demands
  • obey (#1 groanworthy)
  • best day of my life (that one tends to come back & bite you in the ass)
  • mischief
  • comrade
  • ally
  • equal in all things
  • acknowledging and accepting your faults, as you do mine
  • walk with you, hand in hand...(cue the 70s music)
  • my whole heart
  • priority
  • best friend
  • playmate
  • soulmate
  • sidekick
  • buddy
  • any sports team
  • can't believe my luck
  • laugh and cry with you
  • love you all the more for your failures
  • life's adventure
  • you are my light
  • you are my sanctuary of warmth and peace
  • share in silence
  • perfect love, perfect trust (marriage is far from perfect)
  • not possessing you, but working with you
  • shining soul
  • You are my person
  • You are my sweet sweet baby
  • communicate (the hardest of all wedding vows)
  • one lifetime with you could never be enough

Wedding Vow Etiquette & Good Style
  • 1 to 2 minutes max.  Why, you gasp?!  Because it's boring, that's why, and your guests don't want to hear you recite the three volumes of Artamène.  Keep it short.
  • Practice saying your vows out loud.  Stand up straight, look at your fiancé, and take his/ her hands in yours.  I've seen grown men break out in a flop sweat trying to stammer through their vows, so practice saying them before the ceremony.  Taking wedding vows is like the scariest shit ever.  Well, I shouldn't say that...okay, pretend I didn't say that.  No, it is.  I take it all back.  Seriously, practice.
  • Have a legible cheat sheet in your pocket, in case you forget who you are or why you're listening to Rowan Atkinson deliver the Holy Goat marriage ceremony.

  May you rest in peace.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday—Happy 4th of July 2015!

Statue of Liberty at Ellis Island

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. 

From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. 

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

~ Statue of Liberty sonnet by Emma Lazarus

Cross-processing in Lightroom
Photo by dsmp (moi)_August 2009

✯  Happy 4th of July 2015 ✯