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Paris Through a Tattered Lens

Paris Through a Tattered Lens

The first time we were in Paris (a few years ago) we were only there for one day and had no time for anything other than a couple of meals and a “Big Bus” overview. As fabulous as it was, we didn’t get an up close and personal experience.

This time was the opposite. We were with a Road Scholar tour group and although we saw the icons from a distance, mostly we were on foot and seeing the neighborhoods. As a result, for the most part, you’ll see little from my tattered lens that is easily recognizable. I hope you enjoy this more intimate view.














This had Bea’s name written all over it. If we’d had a way to get it home, I hate to think how much we would have paid for it!











Mr. Tattered will NOT be sporting this style!





“Love Wall” with love in every language




We found it interesting that you are not supposed to walk on grass in Paris. In the parks, the police chase you off until there are so many people doing it they can’t stay on top of it, then they let it slide.








One of the things on my bucket list is kissing my man on the Eiffel Tower. It’s beginning to look like that isn’t going to happen, so this may be the closest I get!





And so our time in Paris was over, and we were off to other parts of France. Stay tuned!

London through a Tattered Lens

This spring we spent a quick 6 days in London (and a bit in the surrounding area) adapting to the change in time before heading off to Europe for a Road Scholar tour through Paris and Normandy (and other surprises,) some time in Amsterdam, then a cruise from Barcelona back to England.

I chronicled the trip on Facebook as we went, but tried to save some of my more unusual photos (you know, the ones through my “Tattered Lens”) for the blog.

So here we are. I might add a few icons along the way, but will feature the things I see that not everyone does.






You can literally find anything in this city! Pisco Sours!

We’re heading to Portugal in a couple of weeks. We heard we HAVE to try the “natas.” So what do we find right across the street from our hotel in London? So, of course, we have to compare, right? Surely they they CAN’T be any better than these!










We were at Kensington Palace when the Prince was born!


This was a fun optical illusion at the case housing the tiaras Albert had made for Victoria!








Mead at Leed’s Castle




White Cliffs of Dover. We’ll be directly across the Channel next week!


I HAD to stick my foot in! Wasn’t as cold as I expected!









Couldn’t resist!







Old and new – Looking at the Shard, from under the Tower Bridge

Thanks for going along with me! Next up, France…once again, through my tattered lens.


NLWM 2018

Earlier this year I participated in my last National Letter Writing Month with Lindsay Ostrom. I didn’t know at the time it would be my last. Only in hindsight could I see that there is just not enough time in my life for this. But it took an epic fail to make me see it!

I didn’t fail in terms of the product I put out. I LOVED my designs. But, because of our travel, I was unable to keep my commitment to the group to respond to every piece of mail sent to me. It’s not going to get any easier in future years. April is a travel month. That’s the bottom line. And I WAY over-estimated my ability to come home, get caught up with daily life and STILL have time to respond to all the lovely mail that came in while I was gone.

So. For National Letter Writing Month (NLWM) I always pick a theme, and design all my mailings around it.

Last year was a seashore theme. I purchased a boatload of coordinating product to make it happen, and I had a blast putting it all together.

Over the years I’ve saved the cards I received, but I had no idea what to do with them. I hated to throw them away, but I really didn’t have the desire to keep them either.

This year I decided to cut up, tear up and otherwise destroy them all for parts and make “recycled” my theme.

I started by saving cracker boxes all year and cutting them into 4″ x 6″ rectangles to use for the bases for my recycled post cards. I built on the colored side, and used the plain backs for addresses and notes.






I’ve lost track of exactly how many of these puppies I made, but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 70.

And I LOVE every single one. I almost didn’t want to send them to anyone! Heeheehee!



I hope you enjoy this sampling of my creations!





























This was some serious fun! I’m most definitely going to miss it. I may have to adapt the technique for making some cards for every day snail mail!

Maui 2018 – Through a Tattered Lens

Mr. Tattered and I went to Maui for the whole month this year (plus a few extra days) and were joined by the Stockwells for 3 weeks, and the Forrests for about 10 days.

We were kinda bums for most of the time, which was perfectly fine with everyone. We were all tired, and ready for some major chill time.

So there weren’t a lot of photos of activities, but I did get some nice, unusual ones…my favorites!


First View





No visit to Maui is complete for me without a trip to Longhi’s and a Belgian Endive Salad




In all the years we’ve been going to Maui, we never knew there was a place near Mama’s Fish House where loads of turtles come ashore to chill. It was awesome!









The best Mai Tais on Maui can be found at Monkey Pod, and the food is pretty good, too!








Notice anything odd under her belly?


Yep! Her babies! And look how skinny she looks when she’s not trying to cover them!





Photo credit goes to Mr. Tattered on this one…I don’t do sunrises if I can help it!



No need to go out for banana macadamia pancakes. Andra makes them better than anywhere on the island!







Heading home…

Yellowstone in Winter – Through a Tattered Lens

Yellowstone in Winter – Through a Tattered Lens

As we’ve done in the past, Mr. Tattered and I try to travel in the shoulder seasons, while the kids are still in school, so it will be a little easier on the parentals.

We’ve long wanted to see Yellowstone in the winter, and when we discovered Road Scholar had a trip listed on their web-site, we jumped on it.

It was a quick trip, but tons of fun. I swear it was as cold (maybe colder) than Antarctica, but we had all the cold weather gear for it, so that helped.

Let’s see if I remember how to do a photo-driven blog, and let the off-beat photos speak for themselves for the most part!


As soon as we got into the park we were in a buffalo jam!




These are reflections of people staring at the drops of water – super cool!





Yes, it was that cold!







Even through a tattered lens, you have to have the icons…Old Faithful





Geyser Basin, just after sunrise





Mineral deposits





Discovered that you can take a photo through the scope, then blow it up!



Who knew?



Yes, it’s a male moose. My first. NOT GOOD, but I’m taking the win.



I’m fascinated with the sun peaking through the snow-covered trees, can you tell?







And, last, but not least, an ice overhang.



So, photos successfully uploaded, decision to proceed made. Time to get back to it.

This is going to to be interesting. It’s been so long, I’ve forgotten how to add photos to the blog – I’m going to have to re-learn!

Rather than just jump back in from here, I thought I’d give you a an overview of the time since back when I last did a post back in January. There’s been a lot of water under that bridge. Obviously I won’t be doing blogs catching up on the hundreds of blog-free days that have passed, just the most monumental.

I HAVE kept up on the day to day photo journal (except for the latest trip) so the memories aren’t completely lost, just not documented on the blog, and therefore not in the blog books. It is an affront to my analness about things like this, but one I’ll have to live with.

Back in January, I was basking in the glow of getting my new flooring and putting the house back together afterwards.


To be 100% honest, in the 8 months since then, I STILL haven’t gotten everything put away, and the guest bedroom has become the overflow storage unit for all the stuff I haven’t found homes for (hanging head in shame.)

And, I was crowing about my newly invigorated interest in returning to scrapbooking. I’ve managed to keep up on my photo journal for the most part. Even with 4 vacations since then, I’m only about a month behind, and making progress nearly every day. I haven’t done any “actual layouts” for the binders, but I’m cutting myself some slack on that. Keeping up with the journal is the most important part.

So, since then, what has life looked like?

As I mentioned, there have been 4 vacations, Yellowstone in Winter back in January, a month in Maui (all the kids joined us for a portion of it!)


6 weeks in Europe in the spring, and we just got back from a little over 2 weeks in China. LOTS of material for “Through My Tattered Lens.”

3 of the four grandkids have had birthdays, and all had a fast, fun summer. Lexi, Bea and Josh have gotten back into Legos, and we’ve spent many, many hours building new cities. Hannah and Bea both went to “sleep over camps” for a week. Hannah went to ID Tech day camp at Sac State for a week and built a small laptop, and is continuing to do coding at Hackington’s.  As a family, we all went to South Lake Tahoe (some for a week, some for just a few days) this summer.


All the kids started a new year in school, including Josh starting private school. Lexi is still at Joy Of Children, Josh is in 4th grade at St.John’s, Bea is in 5th grade and Hannah is in 8th grade at Orangevale SDAS. Bea and Lexi had ballet recitals, Hannah, Josh and Lexi are playing sports. Meegan started a new job and I got a new Tesla 3 (we call her Stella J – or Stella Jr., named after Stella, Bob’s model S, we’ve had for a few years.)

The Stockwells are putting in a pool, and it’s going very slowly. They’d hoped to be swimming by now, but it’ll still be awhile. Mr. Tattered took over the majority of the backyard and built planters for the vegetables. I’ve slowly been thinning the garden decor I used to love so much.

We’ve stayed busy, and the year has been flying by.

It appears that setting up a blog post is like riding a bike – it comes back to you when you get back to it! I’ll start putting together some “tattered” photos for some trips, and see if I can’t get going on this again!

Thanks for sticking with me. I hope to make the time we spend together worthwhile for you!


A Blog On Life Supports

I have to laugh at myself (it’s that or cry, and I’m afraid if I start I won’t be able to stop!) I started this blog post about not blogging way back in August. And here I sit in October, no further along. It’s gone way beyond being ridiculous. It’s time to fish or cut bait, so to speak.

So, here I am. I’m going to lead off with the post that is in my drafts, and see where it takes me. If you’re reading this, it means I made the decision to keep blogging. Here goes.

A Blog On Life Supports

Yep. Life supports. It’s in a vegetative state, and the only thing keeping it alive (at all!) is that the space is still here. It has been well over half a year since my last post. I’m so unhappy with myself all I can do is shake my head.

There are a number of reasons for it.

For starters, I was using it as a means for chronicling life in a way that might also be interesting to others. As each year ended, I had the blog printed and bound into books that gave me a touchable history of the year, since it was obvious I was not going to do a good job of keeping up with my scrapbooks. But then I started doing a “photo journal” that hit my need to document with scrapbooking, and it was taking up quite a bit of time, as well as making the blog “less necessary.”

And to be painfully honest, I’ve been wasting an incredible amount of time playing stupid games – spider solitaire, toy blast and word connect are my current addictions. I tell myself it’s good to keep my brain engaged, and all of these involve either strategy or thinking. And although that is true, I’m afraid it’s really just an excuse.

As is my addiction to politics. If I could read about, watch the pundits on tv and write about it 24/7, I might just do that. And Facebook. Talk about addiction. It’s not a good thing.

But the biggest reason is my “out of control” photo storage which is clogging up my computer (Mr. Tattered calls it the world’s most expensive thumb drive.) In order to blog, I need to get the photos off my phone and onto the computer, and with 20,000 photos on it already (yeah, I know – shocking, isn’t it?) I’m afraid to put more, for fear it’ll crash the computer.

So, rather than deal with the storage issue, I stick my head in the sand. (If you’ll recall, I was raised by ostriches, so this is an easy feat for me. Ignore it and it’ll go away.)

Behind the scenes I’m having a big battle with myself – do I get back to blogging? Or do I close it down? Thus the life support system. I can’t make up my mind. I keep going back and forth, each side having it’s pros and cons, neither an overwhelmingly obvious choice.

That’s where I left off, so now fast forward to October 6th.

I’ve actually made a tiny bit of progress. I researched how many photos I can store on this computer, and it seems to be more than I thought, so I bit the bullet and downloaded 8K photos from my iPhone (who has 8 THOUSAND photos sitting on their iPhone not backed up, including trips to Europe and China? Seriously, who does that?) And the computer didn’t crash. Probably not my brightest idea, but it seems okay for the moment.

And, I’ve had a political lightbulb moment. All the “paying attention” to what is happening in the country I have been doing for the last ten years+ has not accomplished a single thing. Not one. The country is more messed up than ever after all my years of oversight, and I don’t even want to think about all the hours I’ve lost to it. I feel like Charlie Brown kicking at the football Lucy pulls away at the last moment. I keep believing THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT.

The games are still an issue, but I’m stuck on a level I can’t seem to get passed on Toy Blast, and my frustration with that has slowed me down. The Universe’s way of saying knock it off? We’ll see.

Anyway, as best as I’m able, I’m done with the worst of the time wasters. If I’m not checking my newsfeed to see who has written a new opinion piece, maybe I won’t feel the need to be on Facebook all day, and if I’m not on Facebook, the games won’t be sitting there mocking me, enticing me to go just a little further up the levels. For now, some time is freed up. So yep, I’m going back to the blog and see if it gives me the same pleasure and sense of purpose it used to give me.

Buckle up. I have a lot of catching up to do.



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