Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015

Since I began this blog on February 1, 2015, it's been fun to watch it grow. Sometimes I'm amazed to see which posts were viewed most. I have no idea when I begin a post which topic most people are interested in. I post my daily photo or photos about the people, places, artwork, animals, vineyards, gardens, and even the sky with a few comments or observations and hope they will bring a new perspective on something ordinary or introduce something new to my readers. Here are the most read posts for each month since the blog began in February. Most have more than one photo.

The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015




The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015
March 2: A Windmill on my Mind

The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015
April 11: Studios on the Park - The Art Hub of Paso Robles,
 Photo © B. Radisavljevic

The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015
May 2: B is for Baby's Babble in Paso Robles

The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015
June 16: A Miniature HorsePhoto © B. Radisavljevic

The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015
July 22: Pink Crape Myrtle is in BloomPhoto © B. Radisavljevic
The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015
August 24: Pyracantha in BloomPhoto © B. Radisavljevic
The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015
September 9: The Granary in Paso RoblesPhoto © B. Radisavljevic
The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015
October 4: Ghosts of Halloweens Past

The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015
November 18: Heritage Gallery West Judy Larson's Scratchboard Art
Photo © B. Radisavljevic
The Most Popular Posts for Each Month of 2015
December 21: Just the SkyPhoto © B. Radisavljevic

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ordinary People from Paso Robles I Miss Since They Left Us

This is the time of year when people look back and remember the past before moving on to a new year. I'd like to stop and remember those whom many would consider ordinary people unless they knew them well. They lived in Paso Robles and left us during these last few years.  They touched many lives for good during their time here, and they helped their friends and neighbors.  Did you know any of them?

Ordinary People  from Paso Robles I Miss Since They Left Us
Rich Troyan after Work
The one I have missed the longest is Rich Troyan, a close friend of our family since we met him in 1992. He was first someone we hired, and then he became a friend. Shortly after that he started his auto mechanics business in Atascadero. He was a good listener, a helpful person to his friends, and one who wasn't afraid to speak his mind. This is how he looked sitting in my living room the last time we saw him. The picture was taken months earlier, but he always sat there wearing his work clothes after he'd come to visit.

Ordinary People  from Paso Robles I Miss Since They Left Us
Charles Richard Troyan on Easter
He was brilliant in solving technical problems in unusual ways in both vehicles and computers. He loved to learn and at the time of his death he was trying to teach himself chemistry with an online course. He was a curious person with a childlike spirit of playfulness. He left this world too soon in 2003.

In this photo he appears as few saw him -- in a suit. It was taken the Easter before he died. He also wore it to the wedding of a close friend's daughter. I made him pose for this picture after Easter dinner, knowing I might never see him in a suit again. I was right. I didn't.


Ordinary People  from Paso Robles I Miss Since They Left Us
John Adams in Conversation after Church
Another ordinary person who touched the lives of those around him was John Adams. We met John at church, where he was very active in playing the piano and serving wherever he was needed. Our church building when John was alive was a preschool during the week, and it had to be set up like one again after our morning worship was over. John was one of those men who helped make the transformation each week. I can't walk into my church without realizing John isn't there anymore. In this photo, John is on the left, chatting with another member as he usually did after the service.

Ordinary People  from Paso Robles I Miss Since They Left Us
Calligraphy ©John Adams
During the week John worked in construction and doing handyman jobs for his many friends who were happy to hire him. He worked harder than most for less reward than most. I believe his reward will be great in Heaven. Between the church, his work, and his family, there never seemed to be enough of John to go around. In his spare time he was an artist who specialized in calligraphy. Here is a sample of his work in writing a Scripture that was very meaningful to him. It was on the table with his some of his other work at his memorial service.

Ordinary People  from Paso Robles I Miss Since They Left Us
John was a blessing to his church and to the family who loved him and whom he loved. He left us much sooner than anyone expected in September of 2013. Cancer stole him from  his family and  friends.

I don't have many photos of John because he was usually working when we saw him. I don't feel at liberty to share his family photos. This is the table prepared in his memory when we gathered at church to remember him. You can click to enlarge this or any of this photos.

Ordinary People  from Paso Robles I Miss Since They Left Us
Walter Heer's Last Ride, © B. Radisavljevic


Another person we miss is Walter Heer. I have paid him tribute in "P' is for Pleasant Valley Cemetery. He is a Paso Robles old timer who has filled me in on many details of Paso Robles politics I never wanted to know. He was a veteran and participated in many local organizations.

He came into our lives because my husband met him at Kennedy Club in Atascadero. They got talking in the sauna one day and just kept talking over the years. Although Walt lived a normal lifespan, cancer made it shorter than it might have been. Walt died in Greece seeing as much of the world as he could since he knew his time was short. The photo shows the end of Walt's last trip -- to Pleasant Valley Cemetery.

I'm sure each of us has special people  we have missed during the holidays this year -- people who used to be a big part of our lives. I have only mentioned the ones I knew best here, although our church as lost many more. As I remember these people I'm reminded that although famous people may have wide influence and name recognition, it is those who touch our lives every day that we miss most when they are gone. Celebrities may have wealth and fame, but it is the ordinary people who work hard every day and care for their friends and neighbors who probably impact the lives of others and the world the most by their example and by their willingness to serve those in their lives. What do you think?

Whom do you miss this year?


Condolence Card: Sunset, inspirational Greeting Card
Text: Those who love the Lord never meet for the last time.
Condolence Card: Sunset, inspirational Greeting Card
View more Sympathy Cards at zazzle.com

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Alice in Wonderland at Studios on the Park

Alice in Wonderland at Studios on the Park, Costumes
Alice in Wonderland at Studios on the Park, © B. Radisavljevic

Now that Christmas is over, I will take you back to Studios on the Park to see the Alice in Wonderland exhibit. What you see in this photo are the costumes that were used in the play put on by the Paso Robles high School Drama Department in December, 2015. For a limited time, you can learn more about the play at the Paso Robles High School Drama Department website. Unfortunately, if you haven't seen it yet, it's too late now.

This photo  shows some of the handcrafted headpieces made for the production.

Alice in Wonderland at Studios on the Park, headpieces made of flowers
Photo  © B. Radisavljevic 
You can learn more about student exhibits at Studios on the Park on their  website. You can still see this exhibit until January 23, 2016.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Did You Look Up at the Sky Tonight?

Did You Look Up at the Sky Tonight?
Photo © B. Radisavljevic
I went out to take the trash to the can tonight, and I could not help noticing that the sky was amazing. Did you see it right as the sun had gone down? I live on a corner. As I looked up across my street to the left of the oak tree, this was my view of the sky. The colored clouds seemed to go on forever as they moved toward me.

Did You Look Up at the Sky Tonight?
Photo © B. Radisavljevic
Then I turned and looked up at the sky view across the street to my right. Here the sky was layered in colors. I called Hubby out to see it, but he had a call from nature in a different direction. When he came out three minutes later, all the colors were gone from the clouds.

Some of the most beautiful things are transitory and gone minutes after they appear. Rainbows and sunsets are two of them. Can you think of others?

This is another beautiful sunset I saw, and I put it on a pillow and some other Zazzle products so  it couldn't completely disappear. I took the picture on Bethel Road in front of the Castoro Cellars Vineyard on a late afternoon.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Day After Christmas

The Day After Christmas

It's the day after Christmas and Santa is exhausted. So are many of those who had a full house on Christmas Day. I hope they are getting some much needed rest.

I had planned to spend the day writing, but instead I found myself at Lowe's looking for kitchen sink fixtures entirely too early in the day. A leak in one's plumbing can certainly change one's plans. It's still hard for me to believe the day after Christmas wasn't a Monday. It sure felt like one.

I hope your weekend is going as planned. What was the best thing about your day after Christmas?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

How Many Days of Christmas Will There Be?

How Many Days of Christmas Will There Be?
Christmas in my Neighborhood, © B. Radisavljevic
We've all heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas -- in Christian tradition the period between the time Jesus was born and the time the Wise Men arrived to see him.   I'm wondering how many days Christmas will last in my own neighborhood.

I'm writing this on Christmas night and all the neighborhood Christmas decorations are still shining brightly, most having no relationship to either the birth of Jesus or the Wise Men. One of these scenes is pictured here. I'm wondering how long they will remain in front yards this year. I'll be watching and reporting. Meanwhile,  I enjoy  seeing the colorful lights as long as they last. How long do you think people should leave their Christmas decorations on display in their yards?

I hope you had a delightful Christmas Day, whether you celebrate Christmas or just a day off.

Friday, December 25, 2015

The True Light that Enlightens Every Man Has Come Into the World

The True Light that Enlightens Every Man Has Come Into the World
Though there is much evil and darkness in today's world, there was plenty of evil in the world when Jesus was born, too.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....In  him was life,  and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness,  and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1: 4-5) The darkness tried to snuff out the life of Jesus when he was but a toddler, but it wasn't God's time yet. He needed to remain on earth until the purpose of his life here was fulfilled on Good Friday.

During his life on earth, Jesus had more enemies than  friends. Most of those he came to save from the darkness rejected him.  Those who were afraid he might try to establish a throne on earth and threaten the established religious and political powers made sure he was crucified. Death, though, could not hold him. He conquered it. The darkness could not overcome him then and it can't now. 

Still today, many do not receive him, and they still try to put out his light. "But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born not of blood nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1: 12-13.) God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world,  but that the world might be saved  through him. (John 3:17)

If you haven't gotten to know Jesus yet, and you want to, just open a Bible to the book of John and take some time this Christmas to read it. It will show you the heart of God and how you can know him. That just might be the best present you will get in your life. If you already have received new life through Jesus, celebrate how it all began. Peace to you this Christmas season, no matter what else goes on in the world.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The True Christmas Spirit Can Still Be Seen In My Neighborhood

The Real Christmas Spirit


Among all the inflatable Santas reindeer and snowmen, some in my neighborhood still remember why we have Christmas and their yard decorations show that Christmas spirit. Jesus came into the world to make peace with God possible. That peace was expensive and he gave his life that we might have it and be able to know God. It is only when we know and trust God we can have that peace.

The True Christmas Spirit Can Still Be Seen In My Neighborhood
A Neighborhood Nativity Scene
Jesus "is the image of the invisible God....For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to  himself all things, whether on   earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross." Colossians 1: 15, 19-20.

The babe in the manger lay in the shadow of the cross.

Real Christmas Carols Tell the True Story


When I  think of Christmas, I can't imagine it without the Christmas carols that tell the Christmas story in music but I can't decide which is the best version of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" to share with you here. I want the words to be understood. So I put them both here. I like the first one, by the Norman Luboff Choir best, but it's a medley of related carols and doesn't include all the verses. The second video is sung by Susan Boyle with a choir in the background. She makes all the verses of the old carol understandable. So take your choice or listen to both to prepare your spirit for Christmas.



Some of this music is available for download at Amazon. I have included another favorite album that contains this song for which there were no videos on You Tube. The links will take you to the album listings so you can see and sample what's on the albums. I like the Robert Shaw Chorale's A Festival of Carols, which includes most of the traditional carols which capture the true meaning of Christmas. You heard a sample from the Songs of Christmas album by the Norman Luboff Choir in the video. Susan Boyle mixes a few secular Christmas songs into her album Home for Christmas, which was featured in the video above. 

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

See What the Paso Robles Library Has for the Holidays


Whether you need to do some last minute shopping or just need something special for Christmas reading, you can find it at the Paso Robles Library. As you see suggested in this poster on the wall in the library, reading is a great family activity. One can  pick out a Christmas story as suggested in the poster and make a tradition of reading it on Christmas Eve. The library has several seasonal displays scattered throughout its reading areas. Please click to enlarge any photo you want to see more clearly.

See What the Paso Robles Library Has for the Holidays
Holiday Poster at Paso Robles Library, Photo © B. Radisavljevic


If you haven't finished your shopping yet, you may find a small gift at the Friends of the Library Gift Shop. Besides all the new items inside the store, there is a wider selection than usual of used books outside the store in the hallway. If you can't find exactly the gift you had in mind, just walk around the corner to Studios on the Park on Pine, across from the park and find something unique. Here are some photos of a selection of their special gift items.


See What the Paso Robles Library Has for the Holidays
Photo © B. Radisavljevic


A little past the main door of the library, on the right wall, are the new books. If you won't be visiting family or hosting them and you have some spare time to read, you are sure to find something entertaining on these shelves. I always look here first to see if there is anything new from my favorite authors. Here is a link to my  reviews of   some of the books for adults I have found there and in other places around the library. The library may not still have all of them.

See What the Paso Robles Library Has for the Holidays
Photo © B. Radisavljevic


As I walked toward the stacks, I saw this display of holiday music, mostly associated with Christmas. This is a good way to supplement your own supply of music for a couple of weeks without having to buy more. It's always nice to have something new to listen to while you sit around the tree or work in the kitchen.




See What the Paso Robles Library Has for the Holidays
Photo © B. Radisavljevic


If you have children, you won't want to miss getting a special holiday story to read to them while they wait for Santa to arrive. Here is what was on display less than a week ago. I'm sure more books have come and gone from it since then. Be sure to click if you want to see the titles more clearly.

See What the Paso Robles Library Has for the Holidays
Photo © B. Radisavljevic
Remember to bring a few books you haven't read yet into your home for the holidays, or revisit some old favorites.