Beauty to Behold

Recently some good friends of mine told me they’ll be taking a much needed family vacation to the Caribbean. This will mean leaving me behind, no matter how much I make puppy eyes at them and beg them to take me. I’m pretty sure I could fit in someone’s suitcase if they leave all of their clothes behind.


Since I can’t go with them, I decided to take a vacation on the grounds of my apartment building. Every day I have a front row seat.


Let me show you the sights to be seen.




I’m not responsible for the care of the flowers and trees. If I were, they would be dead by now. I lack a green thumb.

Still, the sunny day made a yard vacation worth the trip. And the sunshine remained, unlike yesterday. That day I left home, so sure of the sunshine as I ran out to run errands that I neglected to check the weather. A mile away from home, however, the clouds abruptly darkened at the north. Within fifteen minutes, you’d never believe the sun existed as hard as the rain fell.

But today, there was beauty to behold and sunshine to set it off. But after awhile, I adjourned inside to watch Fantasia 2000, which featured Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. If you have a spare 12.15 minutes, enjoy this performance by the YouTube Orchestra. (Who knew YouTube had an orchestra?) It’s beautiful. (You can watch the Fantasia segment on Vimeo. Just click here or Google Firebird Suite—1919. When you see it, you’ll know why this piece of music seemed appropriate after my tour of the flowers.)


From the Firebird Suite segment of Fantasia 2000

And speaking of beauty, I have three books to give away by three wonderful authors. You remember them:



9780803739260_NearlyGone_JKT.indd CordeliaJensenAuthorPhoto

If you’re thoroughly confused about what I just mentioned, click on these interview posts:

Huge thanks to the authors for donating signed books and other swag! After consulting the random number generator, I have three winners. The winner of Surviving Santiago is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Nancy Hatch!!!

The winner of Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Marilyn Warner!!!

The winner of Skyscraping is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

One of the authors I’m featuring: Lyn Miller-Lachmann!!! (Yes, authors who comment are eligible for the drawing too.)

Winners, congratulations. Signed copies will be coming your way! Please comment below to confirm, then please email me. Thanks for commenting!


I’m ready for my closeup.

Author photos courtesy of authors. Book covers from the authors and Goodreads. Flowers, tree, and chair photos by L. Marie. Puppy eyes photo from Fantasia 2000 image from

37 thoughts on “Beauty to Behold

  1. Oh, I wish I had 15 minutes for the Firebird Suite! Another time, maybe 🙂 Lovely pup! Congrats to the winners. Enjoy your trip? 🙂

  2. I LOVE Disney’s Firebird animation. The piece of music itself has some moments that set my teeth on edge, but the animation makes it totally worth it. 🙂 And kudos to you for making the most of a beautiful day!!! How about this: If I’m ever a billionaire, I’ll bring you up here on a cruise and show you all the sights. 😉

    • I would love to visit, ReGi! I keep meaning to email to say that I so wanted to contribute to your indiegogo. But I’ve been as broke as a stone. Still hoping to contribute. You deserve it.

  3. Love the beauty in your backyard, Linda . . . and who could resist those puppy eyes? Great piece of music to enjoy as I scrolled through the remainder of your post.

    Woo Hoo! What a fun surprise to win Lyn’s book. I look forward to reading it. And congrats to Marilyn and Lyn on their wins. I’ll shoot you an e-mail.

    Continue to enjoy those vibrant blooms. Nature nurtures.

    • Got it, Nancy! I forwarded your address to Lyn. She’ll get that out to you. 🙂
      I’ve been enjoying my “yard” vacation. I wish I could see more butterflies though.

    • Yes, congrats to them.
      How is your writing coming along, Andy? Will you be ready to come on the blog when your poetry book debuts?

      • Of course 🙂 There is no definite date yet, but we are looking at some time in August.
        At the moment I am writing a story to submit for the second book in the Northlore Series. As you know I have a story in the first one, the anthology being about Folklore. This one is about Myths. We will see how we go 🙂

  4. Love the Firebird Suite – thanks for reminding me! Who knew that youtube had an orchestra indeed? Must investigate further. I would have a yard vacation too but my weeds aren’t nearly as pretty as your flowers…

  5. Congratulations to the winners. And thanks for the pretty stroll around the yard. 🙂 We dog sat for a 7 month old Corgi last weekend and I’m afraid my boyfriend is lonely without him now. They know how to pierce right through the heart with their cuteness!

  6. There is a lot of beauty in front of us…we just have to take the time to notice it! I hear you on the lack of green thumb, too. Plants tell scary stories about me around their campfires.

  7. Thanks for sending me some pictures of not-fried flowers. It’s in the nineties here most days, and not a lot can stand it. Including me. My butt’s inside with the AC. 🙂

    Congratulations to the winners!!

    • We just reached that temperature, so I expect those flowers to wilt soon. 😦 So glad I captured them when I did! I’m also grateful for AC.

  8. Congratulations to all the lucky winners! Life is good. 🙂
    I’ve loved this little jaunt, but, especially the irises. Luscious. And thanks for the concert as well. Like I said, life is good.

  9. Did you take Kitty with you on your lawn vacay? Just wonderin’ 😉

    Congrats to all who won and to you, too, L.Marie for pulling off such a quality series complete with fun prizes!

    • I left Kitty brooding on my printer. I took her the last time I went to sit by the tree. This time, I just took myself. She can come next time! 🙂

      I’m grateful to the authors who shared their books and their time!

  10. Those flowers are beautiful, what a view! In the UK they coined a phrase: staycation. You take a vacation, but staying at home. I love the idea — there’s generally so much stuff we overlook right on our doorstep because we’re focused on distant, exotic places. So I’m glad you got to have a little staycation 🙂
    I haven’t actually seen Fantasia 2000 — I loved the original though. Is it as good as the original in your eyes? I’ll come back and watch the video later once I have a little more time 🙂

    • Staycation. Good one! That’s what I’m doing!
      I thought Fantasia 2000 was a good companion to Fantasia. It acknowledged how much animation had changed, thanks to the computer. I really enjoyed the selected music. One piece from Fantasia was included in Fantasia 2000: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

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