Life Lessons

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

Monday, December 23, 2013

Was Jeanette eaten by a Dinasour?

I know, I know.....I have been gone for awhile on both my personal blog and my painting blog.

I've been busy. 

Everyone seems to be busy. 

Life needs to slow down.

Can that happen???

Sing this to the tune of the 12 days of Christmas....

This month I had.....
1 dad recovering from hip surgery
2  friends in need of meals
and 3 new painting shows.

4 commissions waiting
5  deadlines  approaching
and 6 places to be to-day! 

7 new paintings drying,
8  Lemon trees freezing,
and oh yes,
many days of no-oh-oh rain.

10 Christmas lists,
11 Amazon drop offs,
and 12 places to be at once!

After wrapping 46 gifts today, I will be ready to put my feet up.  How about you?

Enjoy this holiday season, for no matter whether you got every ornament on your Christmas tree or the perfect Carrot Pudding made this year, or the dust bunnies from under your bed, it truly is about more important things.  And you are one of them.  Family and friends!!

Enjoy 2014...

xoxx - Jeanette

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Dinner Party

Just a quick note to let you know about this group of incredible young people who are trying to deal with the loss of a loved a different way.

Please spent 30 seconds and watch this -



"Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain." - Anonymous, more recently attributed to Vivian Greene

Friday, November 29, 2013

Gobble Gobble Ugh

I Ate Too Much Turkey

by Jack Prelutsky

I ate too much turkey,
I ate too much corn,
I ate too much pudding and pie,
I'm stuffed up with muffins
and much too much stuffin',
I'm probably going to die.

I piled up my plate
and I ate and I ate,
but I wish I had known when to stop,
for I'm so crammed with yams,
sauces, gravies, and jams
that my buttons are starting to pop.

I'm full of tomatoes
and french fried potatoes,
my stomach is swollen and sore,
but there's still some dessert,
so I guess it won't hurt
if I eat just a little bit more.

Every Thanksgiving, I think of my youngest son, Tyler reciting this poem for us in 1st or 2nd grade. So I hear it in my head with his little boy sing-song voice & lisp.  

This year all of our boys came home for Turkey Day and I have to say that it warmed my heart.  They all contribute towards helping to cook the meal.  I am very grateful for that!!!

Andy and his sweetie pie, Ashley made Sweet Potato's and a very yummy dessert that tasted like S'mores. Unfortunately I did not get photo's of either because I was a little busy being "the hostess".  But trust me, they know how to cook!

Jon made an incredible platter of fresh green beans with bacon............cooked to perfection!

Tyler added to the feast with two delicious bowls of fresh Cranberry Sauce with Orange zest.  I am going to try to get the recipe from him but I think he just made it up.....

But the most amazing man in the kitchen is Mr. B who cooked a "regular" turkey and he BBQ'd a Wild Turkey that Andy had shot several months ago.  The two guys dry brined both Turkey's on Sunday night and then on Wednesday night they washed off the brine and let them dry in the refrigerator uncovered overnight.  I was a little hesitant to try the wild turkey because I thought it would be "gamey" but it was just delicious. 

Did you know that wild turkeys only have dark meat?  

You may use that fact next time you play Jeopardy!  

Both turkeys were moist and delicious.

 Mr. B also made delectable dressing and got a little help with the gravy from Grandma Betty. 

 I made Rustic mashed potatoes, appetizers, Grandma Sophie's Jello Salad (it's a tradition) and all of the little extra sides.

My favorite part of the preparations is setting the table.  I think it's because I get to use my creative side and I love my linens, silverware & dishes.

 I put Post-It notes on all of the bowls, platters and silverware so when Thanksgiving chaos ensues, I can kinda keep it together.


Ashley's mom, Melinda joined in the fun and brought an amazing green salad with a whole platter of goodies to add, like broccoli, cheese, nuts, etc.  She also brought along her beautiful smile and upbeat attitude.  I just love someone ooohhing and aaahhhing over the food and table setting.

At the end of the meal, Ashley shared some stories that her Kindergarten students wrote about their own Thanksgiving meals.  So precious.  Like how Turkeys cook for 5 minutes and then they are done, but cookies get crumbled on top.  Huh?

When we went into the living room to relax. Tyler and Andy treated us with some spontaneous music......if you can call "Chopsticks" music?


Right now while I am sitting at the computer, writing this blog, Mr. B is in the kitchen finishing up the dishes from last night!  

I think he is a keeper!!!

I am thankful for my sweetie pie.....

 "Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare.  They are consumed in twelve minutes.  Half-times take twelve minutes.  This is not a coincidence."  -- Erma Bombeck



Monday, November 4, 2013

Celebrating in Santa Cruz

Song -  Happy Birthday by the Beatles

My best friend, Jill and I headed to Santa Cruz this last weekend to celebrate her birthday (and it was a biggie too!) But that's all I'm lips are sealed!

In our younger years.....

On Saturday morning we headed to my parents cabin in the beautiful Redwood forest about 5 min. North of Santa Cruz.

We unpacked the car and headed out for lunch and to watch the surfers at Steamer Lane.

 There were an awful lot of birds, especially Pelican's flying East in formation.

 They kept flying overhead constantly.  Thousands of them.

Then we were off to Natural Bridges State Park to hopefully see the Monarch Butterflies.

From October through March they rest in the Eucalyptus trees at the park.

At first we just saw a few.

They were happily sunning themselves before they rested for the winter (after all some of them had flown all of the way from Canada!).

There is a wooden walkway that takes you through the forest and towards the Monarch resting area where there is a large deck where you can lay down and watch these beautiful creatures gently float and flutter above.

You try to see where they are landing in the trees.

But when you look around all you see is some dead brown clusters of leaves.

And they move a little and you wonder, is it really bunches of brown leaves......

Actually they are Monarch butterflies hanging together for protection and warmth.

I just wish I could transport you there, it was so amazing, beautiful and relaxing.

And quiet too because we all had on our Butterfly Voices!!!

Jill and I then headed to the mountains for some wine tasting.  In Soquel we went to Bargetto's Winery where she is a club member.  There was a beautiful little creek running by the property and the Pistache tree's were all changing color in the warm fall air.

Thought about getting this one for someone near & dear to my heart.....

We headed into the mountains to do some tasting at Nicholson Winery that is located on the side of a sunny hill filled with grape vines changing color overlooking the ocean.

We sat outside and visited with the owners, the people working there and some of their next door neighbors.   But soon it was time to head home to the cabin & make some dinner.

I had brought down some Tortilla Soup which I had made last week.  We lit a fire, sipped some wine, ate some soup and played Canasta until 2 am!  Yipes!  But it was actually Daylight Savings by then so we REALLY only stayed up until 1.....doesn't that feel better?

On Sunday morning, we headed to Gayle's Bakery in Capitola.  All I can say is YUMM-O.

Try not to drool.....

Jill's sundried tomato Frittata

Jill's semi-heart shaped Latte

My quiche....., I'm getting ready to go back to Gayle's....soon....maybe tomorow....or tonight! good!

After all of that food we needed a long, long walk.  We headed over to Aptos and walked and walked and walked our little boodies off.  Then Jill took a "power nap" while I meditated and took in some wave action.

Still more and more was beginning to feel like the Hitchcock movie "The Birds"!

They were up in the sky.....

They were down low to the ground.....

They were in the water......everywhere!!!!

Later on at the cabin, I read that it's the Monterey Bay Pacific Flyway this time of year!

So much for Alfred Hitchcock & Tippi Hedren.

Back to the cabin for a doggie walk and a visit on the deck and figuring out where we were heading for dinner.  And Laili's in downtown Santa Cruz was just the ticket, with wonderful Mediterranean flavors.

But we ate our meal with so much love that I totally forgot to take some photo's.  Next time, I promise.

It was a Lamb shank & Chicken Kabobs......Cilantro Cesare Salad & the Mediterranean Appetizer Platter.  Mika got the lamb bone and she thought she had gone to doggie heaven.

It was a mighty good weekend.

Coming and going.

Happy Birthday dear friend.

The END.

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."  ~Rabindranath Tagore

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Carving

 Song - A Little Spooky Halloween Mix by Kevin McCloud

Carrot & Turnip Jack-O-Lantern Noses

We had our pumpkin carving party early this year because Mr. B will be out of town on Halloween.  And that just happens to be his favorite holiday!

So I put on a big pot of Tortilla Soup and lit a fire while Mr. B laid out the newspaper, knives, saws and pumpkins. It was a cozy and fun evening!

Who would of thought that Ashley's pumpkin at night.....

Would turn into this fright?

And Tyler's creative pumpkin that came from a dream......

Would cause me to scream?

And Andy's sweet little guy......

Would just make me cry? (I want my boys to be little again.....sometimes!)

Questioning Mr. B's intricate carving is just below......

Look it's Gravediggers who glow!!!

And my jolly guy has a Turnip for a nose.....

So he is happy to pose!

OK....I'm all done rhyming for now. Maybe forever......

Hope you have a safe, fun and Spook-tacular Halloween!!!!

And make yourself a big ol' pot of yummy Tortilla Soup! I've included the recipe below.

Sopa de Tortilla Recipe

3 lbs chicken
6 qts water + 1 can tomato sauce
1 t celery seed
2 T diced garlic
1 lg can diced tomatos
1 onion - diced
1/2 red or green bell pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 t gr. cumin
1/4 t cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
1 c rice
1 bag frozen corn
2 T parsley
Tortilla strips
Jack Cheese
1 bunch green onions diced

Cook the chicken in the water with the first 10 ingredients.  When the chicken is done, remove from the pot to cool & add the rice.  When it's done, add the corn, parsley and shredded chicken. When everything is heated through, ladle the soup into a bowl with tortilla strips & Jack cheese on the bottom. Top with the green onions and any of the ingredients you like below.

Sour Cream
Hot Sauce
More cheese


"A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween."  ~Erma Bombeck

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