Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Birthday Week

Song -Three Coins in the Fountain by The Four Aces

Last Sunday was my birthday and my family took me out to Peasant & the Pear in Danville for brunch.  It was delightful.....

And on Tuesday my friend Jill took me to Treasure Island for lunch at Mersea overlooking the San Francisco skyline. 

Mersea consists of several shipping container units with huge windows added.  They have Corn Hole  and other outdoor games as well as a full on bar and kitchen. Fun!

It was the perfect temperature for sitting outside because you never know with San Francisco!

On Saturday morning a truck backed into our driveway.......

After more than a month my garden fountain had arrived!!!

We knew it was coming as Mr. B had to build a foundation and get electricity to the area. You can see what this area previously looked like here - Constantly Evolving

I was very nervous when Mr. B's foundation looked so large.  At first I thought maybe we had made a big mistake and chose too large of a fountain because it was as tall as the pad is wide - yikes!

They carefully brought it in piece by piece.  Well that base doesn't look as big as the pad that the company suggested building, maybe it won't be too bad?

In went the pump, the tower and the top.  Then the rustic spouts went on and it was filled with water.

  I held my breath and......the sound was deep and worked.....I loved it!

Within minutes of set up, a little hummingbird flew around the fountain inspecting it from every angle ( I think he loved it too!)  Tomorrow I will replant the white Iceberg roses around the base to soften it some and it will feel more like it's been in our yard for awhile. 

I can't wait for the rest of the birds to discover their new fountain!

"Rocks and water, etc., 
are words of God, and so are men.  
We all flow from one fountain Soul.  
All are expressions of one Love."

  -- John Muir

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Paris in California

Song - Under Paris Skies by Lee Terry Meisinger

Mr. B and I didn't have much planned for Memorial Day Weekend.....but he did take me out on Friday night to a local French restaurant in Lafayette - Reve Bistro.  As we have gotten older we are tending to stay home most nights, especially me.  So Friday night was a fun and delicious adventure!

And on Sunday we decided to head up to Sonoma to go to the Paris Flea Market at Cornerstone and sponsored by Chateau Sonoma. It was a little cloudy and drizzly outside but we were ready for an adventure.

The vineyards were full of fresh new growth and we found lot's of people who had nothing to do on this three day weekend deciding to go up to the wine country!

There were lots of venders there as well as several places to eat.

Mr. B spotted this beautiful window? adornment? well whatever it was, it was beautiful!

I learned how to get the French Bistro look.....

The French Sonoma Peloton......

And under one of the "big tops" were some beautiful antiques....

There was a Frenchman singing and playing an antique card fed music box filled with French tunes!  It certainly added to the atmosphere and was fun too!

The rain held out while we enjoyed a glass of Rose, the gardens, the music and the antiques.

The Clematis was especially stunning growing over the walls...

The flea market was on the outskirts of town and we decided to head into Sonoma for some lunch at The Girl and the Fig.  By the time we arrived, so did the rain.  There was no outdoor seating and the inside of the restaurant was was every other restaurant there!  Mr. B found out that besides it being a three day weekend, Bottlerock was happening in the Napa Valley. We left Sonoma in a downpour and headed towards home.....

Mr. B missed our turn off of the freeway and we decided to take a different route.  We ended up in Crockett at The Dead Fish which was perfect.  We sat in the bar area at a table next to the big windows looking out over the Carquinez Straights. Great timing, perfect atmosphere and yummy food.

On a warm day, it's nice to sit outside and enjoy the train blowing it's whistle just a few feet below you as Amtrak rolls by.

Nice weekend all around....hope yours was as well.....

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Pacific Flyway

Song - Fragile by Sierra & Chase Eagleson

On Friday a friend and I drove up north to the Sacramento National Wildlife Reserve to celebrate her birthday!  Since we both love birds, we decided several months ago that this would be a perfect treat for both of us.

There was an amazing wildflower bloom going on with snow capped mountains in the background!

Juicy color for my painters eyes.....

The reserve is located between Williams and Willows and took us about two hours to get up there. We stopped at Granzella's in Williams for a picnic lunch to bring to the reserve. A day ticket at the reserve costs $6 which includes a 6-mile Auto Tour.

You drive on a gravel road around the reserve and must stay in your car.  They have several Stop-And-Stretch areas along the loop where you may park and get out.  We were here off-season (Winter is peak) so there wasn't anyone else around - we only spotted one other car there all day.

The Sutter Butte's are in the background in the photo above.

 The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge supports nearly 300 species of birds and has 70,000 acres of wetland, grassland and riparian habitats for these birds, reptiles and mammals.

A Sandpiper looking out over the meadow. Since you have to stay in your car and the road-waterways are surrounded with reeds, sometimes photos were challenging.

My camera kept trying to focus on the reeds instead of the birds!

 I spotted this nest along the gravel road.

 There were a lot of Red Winged Blackbirds happily singing from the various reeds and bushes.

 We spotted this Tundra Swan all alone.  Not sure if she forgot to migrate when all her buddies did but she looked rather lonely.

Then again we hit the Coney Island of the birds refuge!

All types of waterfowl were present - Greater White-fronted geese, Snow Geese, ducks, shovelers, cormorants and various shore birds. 

 But one that I have never seen before was this American Avocet. I love her long curved bill and striking colors. She had a partner in the reeds to play with.

 There was lots of mustard and Queen Anne's Lace to enjoy....... well as thistles which were attracting bees and butterfly's.  

At several points along the loop, I was afraid to continue our journey as there were so many butterfly's surrounding our car - mostly Painted Ladies - I didn't want to hurt them.

 Above is a Cinnamon Teal which is a small duck with his partner.

 Lot's of Canadian Geese and their babies.

 Near the end of our drive I spotted this Snowy Egret with a Great Blue Heron. At first I thought he was just a log but then I saw him move.

 We spotted several Hawks and they usually had smaller birds attacking them in flight. The songbirds are trying to keep the Hawk away from their nests.

One more Great Blue Heron...... 

....and a Snowy Egret peeking at me through the reeds.

We spent about two and a half hours driving the 6-mile loop though later the ranger said that most people do it in about an hour.  But we were happy for the slow drive to enable us to enjoy the birds and flowers.  We leisurely soaked it all in enjoying our day together.

"God comes to each of us in the form we can best perceive Him.  To you, just now, He was a Heron. 

To someone else, He may come as 
a flower or even a breeze."

--Richard Zimler

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