Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm Here

I've been hanging out and writing at Grit. If you're fond of gardening and home-grown food, please stop by for a visit.  

I recently read Esperanza Rising (I'll always adore middle grade books), my husband read Discovering Rebecca Carmella Madrid to our daughter, and together we all read Wonderstruck

I just finished reading Outlive Your Life. I was reminded to live out justice for the forgotten and for those who others turn against. 

Yesterday, I cracked open Share or Die, a book I received after I participated in a writing contest sponsored by Shareable

I also read Writer's Digest. The creative writing contests are too fun to pass up! 

What are you reading? 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sweet Bites

Happy birthday to my dear mom. My sister surprised her here ! I just had to share!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Klimt

Meet Katze


In honor of Gustav Klimt's 150th birthday, I'd like to introduce you to a fabulous children's book titled Klimt and His Cat, written by Berenice Capatti and illustrated by Octavia Monaco. A glimpse into history and a bit of whimsy, along with exquisite illustrations, make this book unforgettable. Capatti wrote, "Gustav Klimt was born in Austria in 1862. To find out who he was, come meet his cat." Gustav painted his world beautiful with Katze by his side!

The Kiss - Image courtesy of Google

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Find your sweet spot!

My sweet sister's story about our friendship was certainly a walk down a cherished lane. Isn't it true that our most wonderful memories center around simple pleasures? Even if you're fortunate enough to view something as magnificent as the Grand Canyon, it's likely that the setting sun or the fresh mountain air will fill your soul and make your experience unforgettable. We can experience joy in our everyday lives. Perhaps as a child you loved to curl up with a fantastic book, or peddled around the neighborhood on your bicycle, or played with friends. Remember those times? The joy that we experienced so long ago, most certainly can be experienced today. I still love swimming today, just as much as I did when I was a child.

A family portrait. Drawn by my favorite artist.

 What makes your heart sing? Feel free to share!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Road Trip

My yard, your sky! This beauty popped up on its own.
I ventured from my home at Desert Villa and headed out on a fabulous road trip

Here's where I've been and here are my comments-

First stop: Truth and Cake Selective Truth & Social Media: TMI or Not Enough 

.....It’s always easier for me to share my thoughts via written words. Writing allows me to communicate with others more comfortably and, hopefully, always authentically. The more we all learn to share, the easier communication becomes. I do reserve the nitty-gritty for my BFFs. However, I do share my heartfelt experiences 
that often include tears, to help others...

Second stop: Alphabet Story G is for Gratitude

G is for your generous words and for grace (the fitting last name of the author who wrote the poem at the end of your post)

Third stop: Writer's First Aid Quantity vs. Quality: Big Issue for Today's Writer

In our rushed culture, slowing down is hard. In so many professions expectations for productivity are increasing. As a (new) freelance writer, I sometimes churn out an article quickly. However, I generally return to a project again, and again, and again. I often find a better way to express an idea. I always discover a grammatical error or two or three. In the end, I slow down. Way down.

Side trip: Simply Sheila 400 Things I Love

My list of loves - Family, hot baked scones (with coffee), books, freshly picked blueberries, riding my purple bicycle, my new curtains in my bedroom that block out the rising sun, allowing me to sleep past 5:00 a.m., the way my husband smiles at me across a room, flowers, hiking, my daughter’s endless list of questions, and of course, swimming (gotta love, love love summer!), and many, many more!

Last stop: Home

Loved my trip!

Where have you traveled lately?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Oh, So Lovely

Yellow, hearty, and oh, so lovely! A simple dandelion. The “flowers” grace my neighborhood. Children adore dandelions. More than once, a tiny glass vase filled with a miniature arrangement of dandelions has graced my kitchen table. A gift, of course, from my sweet girl. 

Even though our each member of my family spends countless hours each month lost in novels, we often select children’s books to read together. After all, a well-written children’s book always reveals valuable messages, along with fantastic illustrations. Just the other day we pulled a classic from our bookshelf.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) wrote Der er Forskjel and showed how children see beauty in dandelions.  A modest “weed” can be beautiful. 

The fairy-tale was originally written in Danish and was translated from the original Danish text by Marlee Alex in and published as There is a Difference in 1988.

Take a moment to examine a dandelion. Go ahead and pick it. No one will care! Even after dandelion flowers have dried up…there is still beauty to be found. Just look at the feathery and almost transparent arrangement of white seeds perfectly arranged in a sphere.

Hold the dandelion close to your mouth…gently blow…and make a wish.

Happy spring!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nearly one month old

March 2, 2012 marks the birth of Desert Villa. Along the evolution of the blog, I discovered a few tips that I’ll share with fellow and prospective bloggers –

Promote what you absolutely love!

Create an About page – Think of the about page as a book jacket. The purpose of the blog is solidified in a few tidy sentences. Note that the about page is different than an about me page.

Establish a consistent writing schedule.

Type a post as a word document first. Not everyone has access to a personal editor to catch pesky grammatical errors.

Seek permission from people before you write about them. Or...let people know when you mention them on your blog.

Give credit where credit is due. If necessary, ask for permission to use an image.

Hyper-link referenced sites (Thank you, S.S.).

Post an interesting video clip and credit the source from which it came. Write a brief commentary about the clip.

Moderate comments. 

Comment on blogs that you applaud.

Distribute your blog to social media sites via

Ask for feedback. Ask questions. A blog should be interactive!

A multitude of other blogging tips exist. Feel free to share!