Life Lessons

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

Monday, October 30, 2017

Spooky Transformations

Song - Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.

It all began with a simple wreath on the front door.....

And ended with my youngest son's head in a jar......yikes!

Let me tell you what transpired.

There were barfing pumpkins and then......

.....big 'ol pumpkins began to arrive......strangely in pairs!

The table was set with tools, pumpkins, gut containers and carrot-parsnip noses.

So.......we all got to work decapitating, pulling out innards and furrowing our brows trying to think of the very best design........all while sipping some mighty fine wine!

 Suddenly it got very quiet........and that's when it happened.......

Everyone entered into..............."the twilight zone"!

We were creating, working and thinking so hard that smoke almost came out of our ears!

As pumpkins became Jack-o-Lanterns......we all began to relax.

Candles were lit and soup was poured.....

we dined until our bellies were filled....perhaps we relaxed a little too much....

Because a sweet Grandma was abducted by a man with a mustache.....

 And a cuddly dog was taken by a wild couple in plaid.....

 It made all of our hair stand right up on end!!!

As Witches took to riding in the night sky.....

And Goblins came out and frightened us all......

The skull of a dead man arrived just in time.... see the Grinch stealing Halloween and.....

Bats flying by.

We had oogly eyes just watching it all....

and laughed at the lovely little white holes and fly fishing ties....

But the worst of the worstest and badder than bad came a.....

....surprise knife to the skull!!!


Happy Halloween one and all!

"When witches go riding
And black cats are seen,
The moon laughs and whispers
'Tis near Halloween."

--Author Unknown

For the Head in a Jar Prank - Click HERE

Sopa de Tortilla recipe - Click HERE

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Closing Down

Song - October Road by James Taylor

The intense heat that we endured in California this summer has faded and we are now officially into Autumn. The days are comfortable and the nights are crisp.

Everything seems to have received the earth's message that it's time to close down for another year. I listen to the acorns "thud" on the roof of our house or on our little lane.  Cars drive by and you can hear the tires crunch the acorns into dust.

 The leaves on our maple trees are beginning to change color.  

The last of the Dahlia's and roses are blooming.
Unfortunately they were not happy campers this year as they were trying to survive the blazing heat spells, lower water consumption and not having Moi take care of them. 
It was just too dang hot to go out there!  

My friend, the Flicker sings to me every morning and in the late afternoon.

The days are decidedly shorter and our shadows are much longer.

I am harvesting apples in hopes of future cobblers, applesauce or my mama's famous apple pie!

The birds are filling up on nuts and seed for the approaching cold weather.

 As I plant my spring bulbs......the squirrels are planting and hiding their acorns.

 All day long I am replanting my flowers that the squirrels have dug up to make room for acorns.

YES.....I am talking about you Mister!

Meanwhile, there are so many wildfires in Northern California right now.

It's difficult to complain about the smoky air around here when so many have lost everything.

I am reminded of my Great-Aunt Theresa who at the age of 82 lost her home 
and belongs in the 1991 Oakland firestorm - she told me that everyone was so generous 
buying her new mixing bowls and beautiful fluffy towels.  

But it was her old chipped dishes and comfortably worn bedspread that made her feel at home.

"Mostly it is loss which teaches
 us about the worth of things." 

--Arthur Schopenhauer

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Song - Learning to Fly by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

My prayers go out to those affected by the recent tragedy in Las Vegas and the early passing of Tom Petty on Monday, as well as all of those who are trying to move forward after the devastating hurricanes - Harvey, Irma & Maria.

In view of the tension and tragedies, 
I would like to offer some suggestions to bring some harmony back into your life.

A quiet morning.
A walk outdoors.
Reading one of those books sitting on your shelves.
A cup of tea, drunk slowly.
A good long hug.
Lighting a candle.
Berries, savored.
Working in your gardening
A song that gets you feeling
This current moment.
A connection with nature
The light of the dying day.
Fallen leaves.
A bouquet of flowers
Learning something new.
Cleaning out a drawer
Kindness towards a stranger
Time spent with a friend.
Reflecting on life, in a journal.
Imagining future possibilities.
Listening to water, river currents, waves
Writing a love note to someone you miss.
Knowing what you love
Morning sunrise
Time to practice sketching.
Sunshine on my face
A dozen sharpened pencils
Puppy breath
Creating something. 

"Each one of us has lived through some devastation, 
some loneliness, some weather superstorm 
or spiritual superstorm, 
when we look at each other we must say, I understand.  
I understand how you feel because I have been there myself.  
We must support each other 
and empathize with each other 
because each of us is more alike than we are unalike."  
--Maya Angelou

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mad as a Hatter

Song - French Cafe Accordion Music

Last Friday Mr. B and I headed to the city to visit the Legion of Honor and to see the Degas, Impressionism and the Millinery Trade exhibit.

Degas - The Millinery Shop 1879-86

Unfortunately I brought the wrong lens for my camera so I couldn't get shots of the entire painting and I couldn't back up because it was very crowded as it was the final weekend of the exhibit.

I loved that they matched a number of old hats from the time period with the paintings.  However they were protected in large plastic showcases so the photos do not do them justice.

Berthe Morisot - Eugene Manet on the Isle of Wight 1875

They had an area dedicated to men's hats and above you can see the straw boating hat.

They discussed the use of arsenic and mercury in preserving the feathers and felting the hat. That is where the term "mad hatter" comes from as it is linked these toxic substances that gave the workers shakes, speech problems, hallucinations and emotional instability.

Georges Jeanniot - At the Milliner's 1900

James Tissot - The Shop Girl 1883-85

The Mad Hatter: "Have I gone mad?" 

Alice: "I'm afraid so.  You're entirely bonkers. 
But I'll tell you a secret.  All the best people are." 
--Lewis Carroll
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