A Tale of Two Fish

Hogfish Watercolor 16×20 #1

A Tale of Two Fish.

A friend recently asked me
to paint a fish for her fiance.

A Hogfish it was.
Lachnolaimus Maximus.

A fish caught
on a recent vacation.

She wanted it big…
Big by my painting standards.

The biggest I’ve painted to date is 11×14.
My friend wanted this hogfish painting to be about 16×20.

So I gave it
a whirl.

My first painting is above.
I never dreamed I would share it…

It was
a first attempt…

A lesson in what I wanted to do,
and what I didn’t want to do.

Here’s the actual Hogfish caught

So I tried

I painted it less realistically.
More impressionistically.

A little more subtle.
A little more artistic license….

Impressionistic Hogfish 14×22 #2

I liked my second go

but I still
wasn’t sure

about this large
Hogfish painting.

I showed Hubby my second painting
to get his thoughts.

He liked it.

Then I showed him my first go –
laughing a bit.

I explained
this was how I started.

His mouth dropped open.
He loved it….


The point I was trying to make
was look how much better it got…

He insisted I share both with my friend,
and let her pick.

So I did.

My faithful friend
agreed with me.

She liked the second one better.
A bit more subdued.

But she decided to let
her fiance choose.

So she showed
him both.

And he chose…
the first.

Just like

they are getting them both!

Cheers & Hugs,

How do you say “Thank You?”

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA - June, 2017

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA – June, 2017

How do you say “Thank You”
for sunshine or health…
for clear days or gentle rains…
for happiness, joy or love?

You say it by sharing
what you have.
You say it by making
the world a better place in which to live.

-Thomas D. Willhite

How do YOU say “Thank You?”

I say it by trying to share something small every day
in this tiny little platform that is mine
to give to the world
a little bit of happiness…
a little bit of joy…
a little bit of love.

My “Thank You” might be
a photograph,
or a painting,
or a craft or DIY idea.

It might be a favorite cherished
or newly discovered recipe.
It might be a verse
or a quote or a story.

But it is my “Thank You”
for sunshine and health…
for clear days and gentle rains…
for happiness, joy, and love.

It is my gift.
It is my little life.
It is my creative journey…
at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,


Happy Place in the Fog

foggy fisherman conneaut lake

Foggy Fisherman, Conneaut Lake, PA, 10/2015

Peace and joy can be found
even when things seem foggy.

Trust your heart, your gut, your “happy place,”
and things will become clear.

Cheers & Hugs,

I captured this photo on a recent trip to Conneaut Lake, PA. We were walking to a friend’s house for breakfast before the Fall Festival Parade and our Krautfest Celebration. The fog was thick over the lake, and there was a nip in the air. Within moments, the fog cleared, the sun broke through, and the day became happy and warm and beautiful. The fog, however, was magical and beautiful and couldn’t stop this fisherman from enjoying his “happy place” on the lake.

Discovering Sanibel Island

sanibel lighthouse beach bikes

Another highlight of my trip to Florida last week was a day spent with my dear friend Janet on Sanibel Island.  We started the day with a walk and some lounging at Lighthouse Beach.

sanibel lighthouse

The 120 year old lighthouse sits on a wildlife refuge and is at the southern most point of Sanibel Island.  It was a great opportunity to capture some more pictures of the beautiful birds and wildlife that make their home here.

sanibel bird

sanibel bird 5

sanibel bird 4 sea gull

sanibel bird 3

sanibel bird 2

The beaches of Sanibel Island are known for being great places for sea shell gathering, and I loved the natural flora and fauna of this particular beach.  The driftwood created natural sculptures along the shoreline.

sanibel driftwood

sanibel driftwood 2

and of course – palm trees!

sanibel palm tree

Fishing is also a past time that is enjoyed here whether on the fishing pier or right in the water.

sanibel lighthouse beach pier

sanibel fisherman

People of all ages enjoy the beach.

sanibel little girl

sanibel sand castle

sanibel jogger

sanibel baby beach

including us crazy 52 year-old BF beach bums. 🙂

sanibel jodi and janet

After a warm and sunny morning and afternoon at the beach, we found a cute little restaurant, the Island Cow, where we sipped on White Mango Sangria while dining alfresco where I enjoyed an amazing paella and Janet a crab-stuffed grouper.

sanibel island cow white mango sangria

It was a great place to hang out with colorful adirondaks…

sanibel island cow adirondaks

And even beach-themed corn hole.

sanibel island cow corn hole

Today is Janet’s birthday.  We celebrated for an entire week.  The trip was a birthday gift for me from Marty and a celebration of a lifelong friendship.  Happy Birthday my dear friend Janet!

I love you, and I sure am missing you and that beautiful 70+ F degree weather!

Our high was 0 (yep – that is ZERO) degrees F yesterday in Mars, and most of the day was in the negative category!

Only makes me appreciate it all more.  I am smiling while snuggling in with my hoodie and sweats sitting by a warm fire fondly missing and reminiscing…

at Life in Between.

Cheers & Hugs,


The Day We Almost Caught a Fish

Yesterday was such a great day on the lake.

What an enjoyable extra day off Marty and I had going out for a late breakfast and then heading to Moraine State Park for a boat ride/fishing trip.


Of course we took our trusty First Mate Mikey with us too, who attentively tried to sniff out the fish.


The sky was blue, the water was calm, and there was just enough of a breeze to make it even more pleasant.


While Marty baited his hooks….


and threw in his lines…


I read about 12.5 pages of a book I’ve been meaning to get to.


And then……….


It happened!


A bite!!!!!!

It was a BIG one!

It had to be about  20-24 inches…  at least!

A Striped Bass.

The biggest one Marty ever (almost) caught.

He pulled the line, grabbed the net, and just as he was pulling it up into the boat………..  SNAP!

The line broke, and Mr. Bass got away…..

I tried to get a picture, but to no avail…….

So I guess our story will just have to remain…

a fish tale.


And after a gloriously relaxing day with this hunk of a guy – – – who I remembered especially today how much I adore 🙂 – – –  our pizza was delicious for dinner.

Cheers & Hugs,


Gone Fishin’

side porch evening

Where did summer go?

I can’t believe it is Labor Day Weekend already!

And Marty and I are celebrating early as we both took today off to extend the weekend into four days instead of three.

And we are going fishing today!  Well……..  Marty is going fishing, and I am going for a boat ride 🙂

And our trusty First Mate Mikey will be with us.

I hope you are taking some time to relax and enjoy this holiday weekend.

Savor every moment of these last days of summer as we approach the magnificence of Fall – which I am going to strive to embrace again this year!  (Fall is so beautiful, but for many years I have not savored it knowing that winter was ahead and summer was over, but I realized last year that I was wasting a lot of beauty and joy worrying about what was behind and what was ahead instead of enjoying the moment I was in.)

So here’s to the ending days of Summer…..

the beginning days of Fall……

and every moment at Life in Between.

Cheers & Hugs,