Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by and let us know what you think of the new look!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

SPRING IS BUSTIN' OUT ALL OVER: MAUREEN O. BETITA

Spring is Busting out All Over!

Living on the Central Coast of California has its advantages. While the rest of the country was still buried in snow and dealing with tornadoes and hail storms, I was watching the flowers bloom. Granted, it’s been a wet spring around here, but the temps are high enough that the flowers are in bloom, the ceanothus is in bloom and our fruit trees are starting to pop!

The spring coastal California rains are nice. And spring for us isn’t generally a dirty thing. No melting snow revealing for the world to see all the stuff left out… But we do get mudslides. Sigh. One of the things I adore about this time of the year is the budding oaks. Most of my oaks are green all year round, but in spring, we get that end of branch hint of lighter green as fresh growth ventures forth.

And the spring rains make it all so very clean and bright.

I have certain flowering shrubs that never stop blooming, my climate can be so temperate. (Drawback of that is the rare frost really kicks ass on those brave budders.) I have camellias several times a year. My jasmine can gift me with a sweet scent at most anytime. Calla lilies seem to always push through the ivy and surprise me with a cream cuplike bloom.

There is always something to focus on when I’m sitting in my local Starbucks, writing. Or perched at my desk at home, near the window that looks out over the yard. Birds are always present, out hummingbird feeders constantly need filling, especially in the winter! (We have them so confused, they don’t migrate! So we better feed them!)

I walk along the paths on the bluffs overlooking Monterey Bay and see the mass of purple ceanothus. I admire the lawn daisies, I laugh at the yellow gift of sour grass flowers and shake my head at the branches breaking on the locust trees… (They bloom so early and so heavily, the spring rains often make the branches so heavy, they break.)

It’s wonderful. It’s inspirational and it’s on the bluff that I find my mind set free to write. Looking out at the water and feeling the breeze lift my hair, even if it still carries just a touch of chill with it…I open my eyes to the worlds I create and wander off to discover new adventure, new romance, new passions!

 Maureen lives along the lovely Monterey Bay and finds great inspiration in being so near the Pacific Ocean. She shares her home with Stephen, her high school sweetheart, married for over 30 years; a cat named Isabeau and a dog named Bonnie. She travels miles and miles to attend pirate festivals, renaissance fairs, scifi/fantasy conventions and writing conferences.

Visit Maureen at:
www.maureenobetita.com
~or~
http://believinginsecondchances.typepad.com






46 comments:

Rebekah E. said...

It is funny how people have certain things that they love where ever they live. I love looking out my window and being able to see the Rocky Mountains. It is such a beautiful sight.

Jean P said...

I wait every spring for the hummingbirds to show up at our house, my husband would have a fit if we lived somewhere where I fed them year round. He complains about all the sugar we go through when they are here!

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Sarita said...

Your warmth sounds fantastic!
Here, we're still shivering. AHH!

Maureen said...

Rebekah - I do miss seeing mountains. Even when I lived in the Sacramento Valley, when the air was clear enough to see the Sierra Range, I was in heaven.

Living so near the ocean doesn't give me a lot of cloud scapes either. I remember visiting my sis in Colorado and being amazed at the clouds!

Thanks for stopping by, good luck on winning!

Maureen said...

Jean - Our climate is so moderate, it's likely the hummers would stick around all year anyway! But sometimes the cold winter nights, when we flirt with frost...they are fairly swarming the feeder come mornings.

Good luck on winning!

Maureen said...

Sarita - I was watching the news last night and saw MN getting a fresh bit of snow and just shuddered... Right now, even when it rains it isn't a cold rain. I've been wearing sandals for weeks now.

Sure, my feet get wet sometimes, but not really cold.

I feel for those still sitting in snow!

Good luck on winning and thanks for stopping by!

Ann Mayburn said...

Woman, you look hot in that picture!I love the feeling you gave us for your area, and the calm sense of joy you conveyed. Love ya!

Maureen said...

Ann - Well, thank ya! I do find a lot of peace when I'm out walking the dog...even if I do bitch about it a bit. She's good for getting me off my backside and out into the fresh air...

booklover0226 said...

What a great place to get those creative juices flowing!

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Maureen said...

Tracey - Yes, I really do think that it works, living where I live and getting out into it. And right now? It's just so lovely!

I saw a bunch of bright orange California poppies yesterday and it was really uplifting.

Good luck on winning! ;-)

MsHellion said...

Why am I not surprised, Mo, that you're bragging about your weather yet again? No wonder you're able to crank out so many wonderful books, when you have great weather and scenery to inspire you!

Maureen said...

Hellion - Well, I don't long for flip flogs, as I need more arch support than they can manage... But I do enjoy breaking out the Tevas for the dog walks!

Hope ya win!

Falcondraco said...

Nice post, Maureen! I also like to find a nearby Starbucks and write there. :)

Rie McGaha said...

As a native Calif. (on the other end of the state), it's always beautiful in Humboldt County, but it's never really hot unless you go over the mountain to Willow Creek, or to the lakes in Redding.

I have lived in OK since 99 and wouldn't trade it for the world. Down here in the SE corner, we have short, mild winters, early wet springs, and long hot summers that don't give way to fall until early November. The flowers bloomed in March, the trees are all mostly budded out, the redbuds here are gorgeous in a variety of color, and the last tornado near enough to do damage was in 1948. We live in the mountains, with two rivers nearby, and lakes all around us. We take the boat out and spend long, endless days on the lake. Yeah, it's a tough job but I've learned to live with it!!

Rie McGaha

Maureen said...

Falcon/Leslie - My only complaint is sometimes the music they play is totally nuts. One day it went from Bootsy Collins and funkadelic to Frank Sinatra to folk... It's histerical!

Thanks for stopping by!

Maureen said...

Rie - My Mom was born in OK. Norman to be precise and she loved it when the redbud trees began to be available in CA. She lives in Auburn, CA now.

Humbolt is a beautiful area! I've lived in the north, in the south, central...had family and friends all over the state and there isn't a corner I haven't visited at some point.

I am a total California fanatic...but I was born here! And the lightning bugs in Norman, seen on a trip there some 30 some years ago, were a real treat!

I'm not sure I could live anywhere else, but I imagine I'd make the best of it if I needed to.

Good to chat with you today on blogspot radio!

Good luck!

Angelwolfstorm said...

I love living in GA and having a change of seasons, now granted they are pretty subtle but it does get cold here in the winter. Spring brings lots of blooms, summer is just plain hot, lol! Fall is beautiful here, the leaves change colors and there is a crispness in the air.

Maureen said...

Angelwolfstorm - I have to admit, I don't see a whole lot of season's changes here along the Central Coast. Though if I pay attention to the beach, I can see a real difference. In the waves, the color of the water, the amount of sand and beach refuse...

And I do love to be places where the vivid colors of fall are hard to miss. I flew into Nashville one fall and was amazed at the tree colors I saw from my window!

But every state has something to see! Thanks for stopping by!

Cathy M said...

I am a California girl too, and you truly live in a totally gorgeous part of the state.



caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Maureen said...

Cathy M - I've felt for a number of years that most anywhere in this state has something to appreciate about it. If you're there at the right time...which is the key. LA smog is no fun, but be there when it clears and you can see the mountains. Awesome.

Thanks for stopping by!

Maria said...

Sounds wonderful Maureen! I would love to live somewhere that has more moderate temperatures than where I currently live. I don't mind the seasons, I just hate the humidity during the summer and the dampness when it's freezing cold...lol

Thanks for the post!

junegirl63(at)gmail(dot)com

adobedragon said...

I'm sort of torn. On one hand, I envy you and the perpetually mild climate. Winter depresses the heck out of me.

OTOH, there is something wonderful about the first bits of green popping up after a cold winter.

Heh, my word verification is "imelful."

I'm elful? Snerk.

pkirby at patriciakirby dot com

Maureen said...

Maria - I do have the humidity. But that is what living half a mile from the Pacific Ocean gets you! I don't have the heat and seldom have any real cold...

But I have mold and mildew to contend with and anything leather that I treasure stays in the main room...near the heater to keep it from getting all spotty...

Anyone know how to remove the smell of mildew off of clothes left in a cold, damp room?

I didn't cotton on to what was happening until it was too late...

Thanks for stopping by!

Maureen said...

Pat - You are always el'ful! ;-)

I do get the sense of spring, just not popping out of snowmelt. I get fresh green buds on oak branches, and daffodils and tulips and iris...all those spring-y flowers.

Without the nipped nose and frozen toes... Not fond of 'real' winter, to be perfectly frank.

Thanks for dropping by!

allaboutthewriting.com said...

Maureen, such a lovely description. I love the scent of jasmine. How wonderful to have that available all the time. :) Now that we've made it through winter, I'm really enjoying all the daffodils that are blooming, along with the forsythia. I wouldn't mind if it were a little warmer though!

Donna

TerriOsburn said...

You do make the Bay sound beautiful, especially the bluffs, but I have a Bay too and the ocean. Just on the other side of the country. :)

I recently changed my route to work to skip the interstate and instead take a roundabout way over the Chesapeake Bay. It's so much more relaxing.

But I still want to visit your bluffs!

chey said...

I'd like to have your weather! The snow's almost gone here...

Maureen said...

Donna - My forsythia is just looking like it's going to bloom. And the husband brought me two lovely lilac bunches the other day, from out in the garden... Wondrous!

Spring will get there!

Thanks for stopping by!

Maureen said...

Terri - I look forward to visiting someday and see things on your side of the continent! And maybe we'll see you here next year, before RWA...

*hint *hint

;-)

Maureen said...

Chey - So much of the country is almost done with snow and then *bam!* more comes down.

What a long winter it's proving for so many. And not long enough for the states on fire...

Thanks for stopping by.

Judy said...

Really enjoyed your post!! I live here in the deep South and we have missed the terrible tornadoes so far. We will get the hurricanes because of being so close to the water. I love when my pecan trees start budding and they have!!!! Our weather is a little above normal right now.


Judy
magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

Maureen said...

Judy, had a aunt in Mississippi who used to grow so many things. And can them, jar them. Made the best hot pickles...

You do have a nice growing season. Pecan trees, eh? My aunt used to send my mom pecans and Mom would buy her walnuts and send them.

I can't even grow tomatoes where I am...too damp and not enough sun. I'm in a bit of a valley... I miss home grown tomatoes!

Thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the blog!

Robin said...

How beautifully you describe your surroundings! :-)

robindpdx@yahoo.com

Maureen said...

Thank you, Robin. It was a stellar day along Montery Bay today. The blooming of ceanothus was so strong, it was wonderful.

JM said...

Yeah, okay, rub it in, why don't you?
Nah, it sounds wonderful and I really did like Cali when I was out there. I needed more time to explore though.
Great post Maureen.

Maureen said...

I know, JM... I wish it had been warmer when you were here!

Thanks for stopping by!

cheryl c said...

You live in such a beautiful area!
castings at mindspring dot com

Maureen said...

Cheryl - Yeah, it's beautiful here!

EdgesAngel23 said...

I can't wait for the hummingbirds to come back to Wi! We haven't seen them yet, but it has been pretty cold. The bluebirds and robins are back though! Some trees are starting to bud...I just hope we get some warm weather here again soon!!
Ashley A
ash_app@hotmail.com

Maureen said...

Edges - Yeah, watching hummers come back is a wonderful thing about spring. Granted, mine seldom leave, but it is different when spring hits and they are more numerous. And feisty!

Thanks for stopping by!

Ruth C. said...

I love renaissance fairs - have gone to one in Lebanon, Pa. several times - if I lived near there I would probably be there EVERY day.!!

Hubby and I will celebrate our 45th anniversary July 29th - if I let him live til then - just kidding - LOL

Maureen said...

Ruth - There is something truly magical about leaving most of the modern world behind and taking a stroll down a Renaissance Lane...

Thanks for stopping by!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

yeah the dirty part of spring stinks. But i guess i'll take that over mudslides. No thanks.

Maureen said...

Falen - Mudslides are scarry things! We are surrounded by big trees on slopes, so when it's been rainy and then the wind whips up, it's a scary thing!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stacie said...

Oh I wish I could trade places with you. I would have loved to be someplace with flowers blooming instead of here in dreary Chicago. The midwest can't decide if it is Winter or Spring yet.

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

Maureen said...

Well, next year I'll be in Chicago about now for the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention...hope the weather will be kind to me!

Thanks for stopping by!