What Was the Hold-Up and Chocolate!

Somehow after I started my blog three months ago I kept thinking every day that I needed to make a post and then would think ‘I don’t have any amazing photos, with all of the steps I undertook’ and would vow to do so next time I did something. And would skip the post. Then along came ‘next time’, and once again I forgot the amazing photographs. And once again I skipped making a post.

So just this week I’ve decided that photos aren’t all that important to making a post. Sure they are nice (in fact they are pretty terrific); but I think that once I get into the habit of posting it will make it a lot easier to remember the photographs.

So here it is.

A post with no amazing photographs.

Well almost – I still have to do the CHOCOLATE portion of this post.

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and my sweet Kirsten got me a really nice gift which I totally appreciated. Chocolate!

The best part of which is produced by Salazon Chocolate Company and is called 72% Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Orange Zest, quite a mouthful isn’t it?

Yummy Chocolate!

They yummiest chocolate bar, ever! Made my tastebuds dance.

Wow! It was a perfect blend of amazingness. My tastebuds danced and sang. Once again: Wow! Fabulous! You’ve gotta try this. Enough said.

Here’s a photograph of its label, unfortunately not pristine because I had already opened the bar. But, to be entirely fair, I didn’t know how absolutely incredible it was going to be until I actually tasted it.

I went to their website and got a 10% off coupon for my next (first) order. Woohoo!

In case you didn’t notice – I really loved this candy bar. I savoured every nibble and managed to extend the amazingness for three whole days. It was so satisfying that I didn’t feel like I had to eat the whole bar all at once. Thus I was able to really enjoy it.

Thank you, Kirsten! This was a hit!

Tulips – Spring has (Hopefully) Sprung


Aren’t these the most amazing color ever? They look like fire and dancing the tango and happiness.

Recently I went with my mother and oldest daughter to the Oregon Tulip Festival in Woodburn Oregon. It was a blustery day, but while we were there the weather was almost perfect for an early Oregon spring. We only got sprinkled on! and the overcast sky allowed for some gorgeous photography.

Katrina, Joey and their dog Thermite had come for a visit and they were leaving the next day to go home. Somehow we hadn’t managed to spend any time with my mom during the three weeks they were visiting. That is really sad. But at least the one day we had together was a wonderful one.

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Mom with fields of colorful poppies in the background.

My mother has always loved the tulip festival and it had been many years since she had been able to attend. In fact the last time she was able to attend was when Trevor and Emi had only been married a couple of years and they were in Portland so Trevor could take the MCATs. He graduated from medical school two years ago, so that meant it had been at least 8 years ago. I was grateful to be able to attend with her. I hadn’t been to the tulip festival since I was pregnant with Trevor (I believe) it might have been Katrina; either way it was way too long ago. Having not lived in Oregon for 26 years did make it almost impossible to attend. I’m really glad I went.

Tulips of many colors and shapes.

An abundance of beauty. Tulips of every size, color and shape. It was amazing!

Katrina had never been and it was one of the few things she really wanted to do on her visit to Oregon. I almost tried to talk her out of it, but I bit my tongue and went. I am not a fan of dark weather; in fact it hates me! I have lived with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) since I was first introduced to Oregon winters when I was 11 years old. I  am thankful I did. It ended up being a real learning experience. It made me think of all the times I have talked people out of enjoying themselves because of my selfish unhappiness. I am grateful for that reminder and have tried to take the lesson to heart.

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Katrina is too much like me. Always taking pictures when I want a photograph of her.

Tiny hot pink tulips mixed in with the big.

I love how these little hot pink tulips are growing from the same plants as their bigger and showier friends.

Every year is a little harder. Luckily I missed out on several years here and there as we moved around with the Navy. I was so frustrated upon returning to Oregon to find that SAD had been waiting to catch me. And it did so with a vengeance. I was caught so thoroughly by surprise that I was hardly able to function  that first winter.

My dear husband was such a help though. He bought me a bank of lights from sunbox.com. I hardly want to leave my studio during the winter, it makes life so bright and shiny. This third winter was the best yet, especially since he installed a 4 tube LED light in the room as well. It feels like sunshine and I do so much better.

Glowering skies, beautiful tulips.

See what I mean by the weather? Dark and glowering, but great for photography.

I’m so grateful that God has blessed us with spring flowers, they help me to realize that winter has an end. And there are wonderful things in store for each of us. Just as spring flowers erupt out of plain old dirt, we can emerge from the hard times, beautiful and shining. I love that hope every day I recognize it. It gives me faith that I can improve and grow stronger.

And now one last photograph from our beautiful day.

A discarded tulip under a no picking sign. How sad.

A discarded tulip, picked by somebody. How ironic. I would never imagine picking flowers from a private farm like this, I am just happy they share it’s beauty with any who come.




This is my life…

My name is Teresa Brooks Quiner and I currently live in Corvallis Oregon. I made a goal last February to start a blog before a year had passed. I’m just squeaking in before my deadline. I was so afraid to start a blog because I didn’t know how. Then I joined my girls in starting a business called 7% Whimsy and I had to become proficient at blogging on our website 7percentwhimsy.com We started the blog in January and I have made roughly a post a week. I discovered blogging wasn’t so scary after all.

My wonderful family!

This is my beautiful family. I’m the one in the pink sweater. We had this photograph taken at Christmas 2014. We need a new family photo!

Then came the problem of finding a name for my blog. I had so many good ideas; unfortunately somebody else already had the same good idea. It took about a week of googling ideas before I found a name that I really liked, not just sorta’ liked.

Here I am  Zestfully Hanging On. It actually describes my life in a nutshell.

I’m working like crazy trying to enjoy my life and sometimes it gets so hard I’m holding on for all it’s worth.

I really couldn’t come up with a particular focus for my blog. I’m more than a little ADD and I can never settle on doing anything for very long. So expect a mishmash of ideas, photographs, recipes, artwork and so much more in this blog. To learn more about me check out my ‘About’ page.