APRIL 26, 2014

For those of you who live in the snow, this post might not excite you. For my feller and I, encountering snow, in April, in Arizona thrilled the heck out of us. We had two firsts thanks to the snow: 1. I’ve never, ever been in snow on my birthday, and 2. Brian has never driven during a snow storm. Amazing right? What a fitting thing to include in the 100 Happy Days posts!

I had a tough time deciding which excited me more, the snow, or FINALLY having floors and a bed at the Motor Palace!!! Woo hoo! No more sleeping on concrete. After struggling to agree on which way to go, a guy at a flooring shop in Tustin showed us the result of mixing three woods, and Brian and I instantly agreed. They look fantastic. Plus, they match my hair. Considering when we bought the building, this room had dirt floors, no lights, and half done framing, it truly has come a long way. Now to finish the little details, like paint touch up, door trim, baseboards… the easy stuff.

Many thanks to my feller for surprising me with the floors. I had no idea they’d been put in!

And now, I’m going to go enjoy the remaining hours of this super fantastic birthday, maybe even walk over to BoJos and have a birthday sopapilla with honey. Many thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday. Your messages certainly made it so.

Until tomorrow…

Later gators!

APRIL 25, 2014

Few things in life give my feller and I more pleasure than hopping on a motorcycle or into a car, and taking off an explorative adventure, an activity that surely belongs in my 100 Happy Days. Even the 8+ hour treks to Winslow–where we own and are restoring a building adjacent to the famous “corner”–are fun.

And that’s where we’re headed in today’s Happy Picture,

a long weekend to our beloved MOTOR PALACE.

We’d hoped to leave last night and get to the halfway mark, but both of us ended up working late, didn’t get home until nine, and still weren’t packed. We even pondered ditching the truck and hopping on the bikes to some other destination after hearing about some windstorms around Flagstaff. Ultimately though, we missed the Motor Palace, and hit the road for Winslow early morning.

Until tomorrow… my birthday!!!…

Later Gators!

APRIL 24, 2014

The day started out hectic. Before even officially clocking in, the first assignment came my way: Live at noon on an horrific chain reaction accident: Five cars, two fatalities on the I-5 North around four a.m. Considering I don’t roll in the newsvan until 10:30, the challenge of getting on the air for noon is steep. We pretty much had enough time to knock out a CHP interview, set up the live shot, and do our thing. This is what it takes to make TV.Following the morning hustle, we had a lull. Time for lunch, like a real lunch. Instead of cramming something I packed that morning in haste, fitting in bites between multitasking in the newsvan, I went to Knowlwood mostly because I like the decor. And it was close.

But the lull didn’t last long. Shortly after finishing my sandwich, we were off, chasing another story in Santa Ana. Before we even got there, though, we got a call for breaking news. A school bus had crashed in Anaheim Hills.The next two hours were a blur of liveshots.

When our assistant news director asked Vikki and I to stay late, like maybe through the 11pm, I panicked. NO!!!! I’m supposed to be starting my long birthday weekend! Thankfully, the student injuries weren’t severe, and our second crew arrived and passed my video along to the night crew so I could take off (thanks Dennis, Lolita, and SuMo!!).


So you see why pulling the van into the bureau garage and walking away from my oh-so-sexy daily driver for a four day weekend, for sure won my 100 Happy Days picture.

Oh! And I got home (like nine o’clock, too late to leave on our adventure tonight as planned… bummer…) and found a present from Mommy and Daddy! A salt fire bowl. I’ve had some nasty respiratory issues lately, and this is supposed to help. Cool, huh?

Tomorrow, bright and early, we take off on an adventure to somewhere, maybe Winslow as planned, although wind storms might create some road havoc, or maybe some other mystery place. Maybe even a motorcycle adventure. Stay tuned.

Until somewhere on the road tomorrow…

Later Gators!

APRIL 23, 2014

Just to set the record straight from the top, today’s 100 Happy Days picture is in NO WAY a reaction to yesterday’s ” Oh no! I’m anti-social” rant! I didn’t plan, nor stage having actual human beings in my picture. In fact, I ended up in my BFF’s neighborhood purely due to a weird scheduling thing.

Disclaimer done, let’s move on.

Even though I was supposed to work in OC with Vikki, somehow wires got crossed, and I got sent north to Manhattan Beach. It was a happy mistake for two reasons:

FIRST of all, I got to work with the fabulous Miss Hetty Chang, who exudes joy, even under stress!Granted, it was an unpleasant story–one that included sending me into the park’s men’s room–but the extraordinarily beautiful day made up for that, plus, we spoke with lovely people, including this kid, wearing THE BEST t-shirt:

Will be quiet for $100, will be awesome for free!

I’m much too happy to discuss the details of our story, but if you’d like to watch, I’ve posted it here for you to see.

The SECOND part of the happy mistake, was landing for a live shot just a few short blocks from my BFF’s house!! Yay!! Dinner with her and her girls was so much fun!

My pal Jenny and I met during a USC summer film program back in… 1990(?)… I can’t remember exactly. I’m getting old. Things like dates don’t stick in my head. We hit it off instantly because of our mutual love of all things silly. Twenty-four-years later, we are still friends, and still love all things silly. To make things even sillier, her twins, Sydney and Skylar, ALSO love all things silly (they’re eleven… of course they do). So yes. We had an evening filled with silliness. And Unicorns (I don’t know, they just kept coming up).

My BFF is the reason I’m officially doing the 100 Happy Days challenge. I’d shared a link to Sheri Bomb’s blog post on the topic, and while the concept intrigued me, I hadn’t planned on doing it for real–until Jenny signed up. Of course, I had to join her! I love that we’re doing this together. With the hour drive between us, I don’t get to spend nearly as much time with her as I’d like. Hopefully, we’ll find a way to make it happen more often, because boy! Did I have fun with these girls!

So here it is, a collage of my Day 22 happy stuff, my official post.

Oh! And I have one more tidbit from the day to share, one of those weird coincidence things. This weekend is my birthday. The 26th. When we went to pay for dinner at the counter, Jenny said she wanted to treat me for my birthday… and then the guy handed us our number. 26. Just like my birth date. WHOA. Crazy, right? Now maybe you’ll understand the picture with me holding the 26. Until tomorrow…

Later gators!

APRIL 22, 2014

A fascinating thought hit me while pondering the 100 Happy Days concept this afternoon, at least fascinating to me, although thinking back, my breakthrough isn’t so earth-shattering.

The notion is this: a person’s happy day posts say a lot about who they are. Duh, right? Sure we’re getting a glimpse into someone’s life through what they chose to post, but the analysis goes deeper, to what portrait this collection of images paint. This observation came about from watching the happy day posts of people I know.

Mom’s posts usually show her pickleball tournaments, lunches with friends, and of course my dad and the grand kids. What does this show? One social bird, that’s what! (My adorable mommy is smack dab in the middle, in black. Isn’t she so cute?)


Jenny’s posts, mostly show life with her fabulous pre-teen twins, a picture perfect, healthy active mom.


A co-worker posts images with the people in her life who have helped her through a tough year, a true portrait of love.


The lovely girly who inspired me to do the Happy Day challenge, Sheri Bomb, posts awesome rockabilly lifestyle shots.

Notice something all pictures share? PEOPLE!!

And then you look at my collection of images. They paint a portrait of a… nature loving loner? Really? Other than my first day pic including my feller, I show no people! Cars–like this adorable Falcon Wagon I followed today–yes, but no people!

Whoa. Am I really that anti-social? Dang. At least I have this adorable squirrel no one but me and Sheri Bomb love.

Okay. While we ponder the deep topic of who we are though our pictures, let’s move on to the news day.

After shooting two interviews for an update on a high school cheating scandal, our managers moved us to another story. Frustrating, yes, but happens a lot.

Our next story followed up on an incident from the weekend, when a man leaving a Duck’s Hockey game crossed a major street illegally, jumped a concrete k-rail divider between the two lanes, not realizing it was an open bridge between, and fell 40 feet.

He survived, but we found out a man six years ago–in the exact scenario–wasn’t so lucky. Our report explored the idea of if, and what should be done. By the way, if you look real close in Vikki’s picture above, you’ll see me down there under the road.

The news story:

By four o’clock, I still didn’t have my happy picture–and I needed one, considering the nature of the story. And then it hit me. Each time I went back and forth between the newsvan and the bridge, I’d look at this weed, and the bright pop of yellow against the dry dirt made me smile. Considering it’s Earth Day, I decided nothing could be more appropriate for my Happy Day pic, than this lovely gift from Mother Nature.


I promise, no wacky deep thoughts tomorrow.

Until then…

Later gators!

APRIL 21, 2014

Yep. Back to work Monday kinda fell flat, I’m afraid. Not a bad day by any means. I felt delightfully happy all day. It was just… uneventful. Didn’t get hit with a bazillion 100 Happy Days kind of moments. An uninspiring news story (visually I mean) didn’t help. Picture-poor stories aren’t a lot of fun to shoot. What do I mean exactly?

Okay. So we had to cover Nurse Safety thanks to two stabbings over the weekend involving nurses. Hospitals rarely let us in to shoot (and today was no exception), so what do I do for pictures? We did one interview with a nurse, who met us outside a hospital where she doesn’t even work. Usually, after shooting the interview, we get what’s called B-Roll, video of the subject doing… something. Not much B-Roll opportunity while standing on a sidewalk.

Next, we went to Cal State Long Beach’s nursing school, and interviewed the director in her office. We hoped to shoot some classroom stuff, but nope. Not allowed. Still no B-Roll. I’d have to rely on file.

BUT.. my walk through campus to the director’s office, brought me this:

I have no clue what kind of a flower it is, but man! Is it ever gorgeous!! The thing was the size of a spaghetti squash. Seriously. It totally made me happy. Although I did have a hard time deciding between the one above, and this one. Both are stunning, but ultimately, the pink won. (By the way, after much Facebook pontificating, my friend Jenny figured out it’s an Amarylis.)

Oh, and I also saw this fantastic raccoon statue, the perfect thing to tease my husband. He’s terrified of raccoons, something about a drunken night in a VW Bus with raccoon’s trying to tip them over.

Anyway… hopefully tomorrow will bring a fascinating adventure to make up for the duldrums of today.

Until then…


Later gators!


I admit it. We didn’t get out of our pjs today. We spent the bulk of the day, in bed, drinking home-roasted coffee, and working on our respective projects. What a perfect 100 Happy Days, happy day, right? Sometimes you just need to kick back and recalibrate. AND… we were even productive! I’m in the throes of editing my manuscript, California Cotton, and got a ton accomplished, while Brian worked on some upcoming photo books. Did I mention a box of Sees Candy joined as well, complete with cute bunny box?


We also enjoyed some of the delicious organic berries Bondorella hauled home for us yesterday, and had a gorgeous pan of colorful roasted vegetables for dinner. See? We weren’t all THAT lazy. Or at least I wasn’t.


Unlike Brian, I didn’t stay in bed ALL day (throwing you under the bus, baby). I actually spent part of the morning sitting at my favorite table (the one above with the berries) and working on a novel critique while looking out our lovely plants, like this lavender.


May not seem like much of a day, but I’m ending it filled with happiness and contentment. I’d call that a successful, happy day.

Bummer the weekend is over, man.

Until back-to-work Monday,

Later gators!

APRIL 19, 2014

Running errands is always more fun in Bondorella. People smile and wave. They gather around when you park. They even roll down their windows at stop lights to ask questions. Yes. Each one of these scenarios happened today on my little run to the Berry Stand and to the market, so of course, my mini-adventure with Bondorella made it into my 100 Happy Days.

Looking back, the entire day was filled with happy. In addition to getting some much needed chores done (my front plants were SCREAMING to be watered), I squeezed in some writing, took Bondorella out on our little berry fetching adventure, hung out with my feller, hopped on the Bonnie Lass, and joined some super fun friends for dinner and a hang out at the Motor Palace.

Yep. I’m going to bed (at 12:45 am) a very happy girl.

Until tomorrow…

Later gators!



APRIL 18, 2014

Yep. Starting today off with a vain, self-indulgent selfie because I really liked my hair this morning. Nothing wrong with that, right? Of course, within an hour of working, it reverted to its usual mess–exactly why I snapped this shot. To prove my hair isn’t always a disaster. That alone should be enough for a 100 Happy Days post, right? But no. The day got even better. I know. Shocking, right?20140418-185434.jpg
Once I stopped admiring my hair, my reporter and I hopped in that fancy news van behind me, and dashed off to our assignment, and oh, what a perfect Friday assignment it was! We got to cover WonderCon!! Woo hoo!


WonderCon, in case you don’t know, is a giant Comic/Fantasy Convention, with CosPlayers, and Authors, and Artists, and anything and everything about the world of fantasy, comic, SciFi. It’s pretty cool stuff. And I tell ya. There’s nothing like seeing grown men in dinosaur suits.


See how happy I was? Okay. So this selfie wasn’t intentional. The story behind Selfie #2, is this: Vikki handed me her camera to take a picture of her with some WonderCon girls, and I took an accidental selfie, which she forwarded to me. Pretty funny stuff, man.


But the BEST part of covering WonderCon, was this little lady below. I noticed her walking around and thought, “Well, she stands out in this crowd!” A moment later, I felt a tug on my sleeve. It was her, asking what I was shooting. I told her. And she told me who she was: TINKERBELL.  Uh huh. Right.


At first, I thought she was simply role-playing, but then she explained she was Disney’s original reference model for Tinkerbell. They filmed her doing the things Tinkerbell would do so the animators would better understand how to draw those movements. How cool, right? She was a total sweetheart, and certainly made my day a happier one.


Here’s the link to our story:



To be totally honest, even though meeting Tinkerbell rocked, it wasn’t my happiest moment of the day, even though I posted it as such. My happiest moment came when I got notification of the Round Two reviews for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award entries. My novel CALIFORNIA COTTON is entered, and has made it now to the Quarter Finals. Check out these stellar reviews so far. They put me over the moon.



ABNA Expert Reviewers:

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

“I think the strongest aspect of this excerpt is the multitude of mysteries. Who is this man? What happened the night before to make ” Amelia” want to leave? What happened 3 years ago between her and her father? All the questions make it interesting and make me want to read more. It’s good. I like everything about it. Good characters, interesting plot, well-written, and who doesn’t like an adventure?”

“Who hasn’t had a day when they wanted to run away from the familiar to go on an adventure? I think the majority have felt feelings like Emily.This excerpt is beautifully written with feeling. The reader has empathy for Emily and her lonesome life. A father that doesn’t speak to her, a submissive mother, troubled relationship and so much isolation. I was vicariously thrilled that she ran away with a stranger. This excerpt was a pleasure to read. I felt immediate empathy for Emily’s situation and her joy of running off with a stranger. I definitely want to read more.This was well written with realistic dialogue, excellent descriptions and the hook needed to make me want more. Great work!”



See why they made me so happy? I’m still smiling.

Until tomorrow’s happy moment… (woo hoo! Saturday!!)


Later gators!

APRIL 17, 2014

I had a pleasant day all the way around, with plenty of 100 Happy Days opportunities. I’m mighty tired, though, so will keep this short so I can hit the hay.

A slow morning meant lunchtime at the Motor Palace! There’s something very calming about our little shop. Peaceful. With lots of cools stuff to gaze upon.

Of course, there are always cool cars in the Rodder’s Row parking lot (home of the Motor Palace).

And then I passed this phenomenal beauty on my way to our assignment. WOW! So bummed my iPhone wouldn’t focus. Figured it was worth posting anyway because you don’t see glorious beasts like this cruising the streets too often.

Our news story? The return of Su and her cadaver dog, Riggs, from the Oso mudslide, where Riggs successfully found bodies, giving at least some families closure. Such a precious girl!

Here’s a link to the news story:

My apologies for the poorly written post. I’m beat. Nighty night! The idea of bedtime makes me HAPPY…

My conglomeration:

Until Tomorrow…

Later gators!

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