I am a teacher and aspiring writer, and keep a blog to keep up with writing and document the daily moments that make up my life. Working with my students & travel writing are my biggest passions. People, art, food, wine/spirits, and culture are other writing interests. Thanks for coming by!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Neat Things that Neat People are Doing

This guy Greg Magee is an artist in Moss Landing who photographs sea life and coastal habitat creatures for a living. He has a real talent for capturing these animals in their element, and also capturing their beauty. My favorite photographs are of the smiling otter, the exotic birds, and the exquisite jellyfish, of course.

This fabulous lady
photographs chic bicyclists in Sacramento. How fun is that!

This blogger's blog Yes & Yes is a treasure trove of interesting stories, cool links, and all-out fun. I found out about her from my friend Bonnie - thanks Bonnie!

It's getting late but stay tuned for more tomorrow.

Nighty night!

Xo, Jeneka

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Sanctuary

Rob sweetly brought me here to Marina (near Monterey) for a couple of days to have a little getaway before he starts his new job. He won't have time off for awhile, so he wanted to get away before he started his new job. Luckily, I can work from anywhere as long as I have my laptop, so it worked out perfectly. We got here to a stunning view, and had a relaxing afternoon watching the waves while Rob played guitar. We caught the sunset and had a nice night by the fire. Tomorrow we are going exploring and heading back to Sac on Friday. The dunes are full of beautiful flora and fauna. I will share more photos later, Rob's taken some great ones.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Days of Wonder

Dear Friends,

I am changing the name of my blog from Yeni's Notebook to Days of Wonder, because I think that the latter title much better describes my theme in blogging. I like capturing ideas, moments, people and places that bring me wonder, and that is the purpose of my blog. So I thought it would be fitting that the name matched that.

I am thinking back to days of wonder that I've had in my life, and here are a few:

Riding a tw0-wheeled bike for the first time when I was five years old.

Catching my first wave on a surfboard, at 27 years old!

Swimming with dolphins in Hawaii and Mexico.

Watching the enchanting jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The day I got Coconut. It was December 20, 2007, and she was just 8 weeks old.

Seeing Cuba for the first time, and swimming in the Caribbean Sea.

Swimming in the waves at sunset in Hanalei, Kauai.

Meeting my niece Abby Grace on the day she was born.

Meeting my god-daughter Sophia.

Watching the mermaid swim at the Dive Bar a few weeks ago.

The day I got married.

What are some of your most wondrous moments/memories?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Love Letter to Coconut

I love it how you sleep with your favorite tennis ball.

I love how you run to the treat cupboard first thing in the morning, and wait for your treat, no matter how long it takes for me to get it for you.

I love how you are so smitten with neighbor Bernie, and how excited you get when his parents come home, because you know you're going to get to go play with him in the backyard.

I love how at the dog park, you always have to rush over to see what the commotion is all about, and then you always get right in the middle of it.

I love how you eat practically everything known to man if it is offered, but on occasion, you will decide that you have quite sophisticated taste, and turn your nose up at something.

I love how friendly and loving you are to all of our guests. Yes, we have to work on the excessive licking, but it is so sweet how happy you are to see our friends when they arrive. You truly love them.

I love how when I am on my laptop you can't stand that all of my attention isn't on you, so you will put your head on my lap, and nudge my hand until I stop typing.

I love how, when I am dancing to a song like "California Stars," you will jump up and dance with me while standing on your hind legs!

I love how obsessed you are with squirrels. I know that it's a bad habit, but the comedy relief that it's provided is priceless.

I love how you greet me when I get home and make me feel like the most important person in the world to you.

I love how you go to bed when I do, take naps when I do, and get up when I do.

I love it that you are such a water dog, and love swimming.

I love it how the first thing in the morning that you do is come and lick my hand. I am blessed beyond words to have you as my dog daughter, and you mean the world to me.

I love you to the ends of the earth my sweet adorable girl!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Then & Now

Have you ever wanted to go back to your childhood and relive a moment? The extraordinary photographer Irene Werning had an inspiration to capture her subjects doing just that. Check it out, the results are fascinating. We seem to change so much, yet, we seem to change so little.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day friends! I hope it is day filled with happiness, wherever you are. I had a delightful time making Valentines yesterday. I always plan to make Valentines, then often run out of time before it's too late. What was special about making Valentines this year was in thinking of the people I was making them for. I tried to pick colors that reminded me of them, and I recalled good memories with these various friends I've had throughout my life.
A lot of my friends live far away, and we don't get to see each other that often. If we do have contact, it is often through Facebook or something, and over time, the bonds I had with many friends have sort of faded. Making these Valentines was a way for me of saying "I remember you. And I am thinking of you on this day, no matter how much time has passed."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mail Magic

A few weeks back, I received a surprise package in the mail. I'd won a giveaway from Christine Mason Miller, the author of one of my favorite blogs in the universe. Although I'd been notified that I'd won the giveaway (I was ecstatic!), being the absent-minded person that I am, I completely forgot about it until this sweet little package arrived in the mail for me.
It was a set of postcards, designed by Christine herself (she also happens to be an incredible mixed-media artist.) Anyway, it completely made my day! I was definitely feeling the love. And to top it all off the messages were all the kinds of messages that we all need to hear, but rarely do.
Thank you Christine, you made one girl very happy! Thank you for sharing your gifts with the world, and for making my world a better place.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Citrus Galore

Citrus flavors are some of my favorite flavors in the world, and I am lucky because citrus season is in full swing in California right now. In December, I made a batch of limoncello with the help of my friend Julie, who taught me the ropes. It was delicious!
Now, thanks to my friend Meghan who dropped off a huge bag of Meyer lemons the other day, I am halfway through my second batch of limoncello. The lemon zest is marinating in the Everclear for another week, and then I'll finish it up.
Believe it or not, the same day that my friend Meghan dropped off the lemons, I was at my friend Stephanie's house, and she sent me home with a bag full of oranges. These are so sweet and refreshing, they're some of the best oranges I've ever had. We've been slicing them and keeping the orange slices in the fridge for healthy snacks.
With the surplus of oranges (and sadly, a few did go to waste,) I've been looking for some fun recipes with oranges. It's candied orange peels, and I think I'm going to try it!

It's from this lovely lady's blog, and has a plethora of other wonderful recipes too.


Check it out, and I'll keep you posted on how those candied orange peels turn out too.

If you have any citrus infused recipe ideas to share, I'd love to hear about it!

Xo, Jeneka

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bodega Bay Weekend

The weather was perfect, we relaxed, swam in the pool, read, walked on the beach, drank wine, and made friends. Thank you so much to my parents for sending us there, we had the best time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

For the Love of Mermaids

Often in Sacramento, I am a little bit at a loss for inspiration. I'm sure it is my own lack of imagination, because, "wherever you go, there you are." Whereas at the coast, I am always inspired by ephemera I find at the beach, the crashing of the waves, the salty sea air, sunsets, and the sheer beauty of the sea, in Sac I have to look a little harder to find things that inspire me. Spring and Fall are beautiful in Sacramento because there's so many trees, and the new blossoms in Spring and changing colors in Fall are really lovely. However, in the day to day life here, it's often a challenge finding true bursts of overwhelming inspiration.
Last night, we experienced something out of the ordinary. We went to the Dive Bar on 10th & K and saw the mermaid. She was swimming in a tank above the bar. Before we went I was initially so excited at the prospect of seeing a mermaid! And then of course I thought, well, it's a girl in a mermaid suit, how cool could it be? But being there was something else. Watching the mermaid swim back and forth was truly enchanting. I would categorize it in the realm of performance art, like moving art/ life. It was truly incredible! Even Rob, the hard sell, ending up loving it. When the mermaid waved and blew kisses, he was sure it was just for HIM!
It brought me back to being 7 years old again, and being truly enchanted with everything. I love having those WOW moments in life. Last night was one of those nights. Long live the mermaids!