Life Lessons

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

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Rain Delay

 Song - Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival

We have been getting some much needed rain here in California!  Today was great as the garden is getting her fill of water.

I was indoors all day finishing a book (The Rosie Project), picking up my upstairs Acrylic painting area in the dining room (because Mr. B is having a baseball draft here tomorrow with oodles of guys) and finally cleaning and rearranging my downstairs studio - which is where I paint with oils.

It is just one of those rainy days that makes me feel cozy to drink tea and be indoors without feeling guilty about it.

I have been using my new Pam Stern porcelain tea cups and they are a delight to hold. They have that organic hand made feel and are so beautiful!

I didn't realize how much I had missed that rainy "season" until today. We all need to hibernate occasionally!  I lite a candle and put on music while I smeared paint around the canvas.


It felt so good!

I also realized that I need to get out of Dodge tomorrow before the baseball craze begins!!!


PS - Did I ever tell you the story of how I used to babysit for Creedence?  Well their drummer's daughter?  I'll save it for another day......

"Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life." --John Updike

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Inspiration from Thich Nhat Hanh

Song - Thich Nhat Hanh: A Warm Embrace - The Great Bell Chant

This Autumn Mr. B and I will be traveling to France and celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary!  Just where does the time go?

For several months, we have been working on our plans and figuring out where we would like to go and what we would like to experience.  We will be traveling to some familiar places but we will also go on many new adventures.  Mr. B is so much fun to plan a trip with because he is a warehouse of knowledge and ideas.

As we were planning our trip through the Dordogne, I realized that Thich Nhat Hanh has a monastery and several hamlets in that area.  While researching it further, I discovered that on Thursdays and Sundays the monks and nuns have a day of "mindfulness" open to the lay person.

We will be in the area on a Sunday!

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk who practices mindfulness and peace.  Martin Luther King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967.  When not traveling the world teaching, he is at Plum Village, France - gardening, meditating, teaching and writing.

Mr. B has decided that he would rather research the area around Bergerac so that I will have a day of sitting meditation, teaching, Dharma talk and walking meditation.

I so wish I could spend some more time there but I am so grateful for the stars colliding so that I would arrive on a day of meditation.

Anyway, the main reason I was telling you about all of this is that via his Plum Village website, you can download several great apps.  One is the "Bell of Mindfulness" and you can set it to go off on your computer at whatever timed intervals you decide. It makes me smile and breathe every time it goes o I know some days I sit at the computer and get lost and before I know it most of my day is gone.  The "gong" reminds you to breath, center yourself and if you need, stand up and go outside to nature.

It is always nice to have a gentle reminder to breathe.....

Mr. B and his dreamy eyes...

 “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.” --Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tranquil Tuesday

 Song - Kiss From a Rose by Seal

I just love Apple blossoms!

This week we have been walking around the yard and enjoying the beauty of Spring!  My favorite time to walk in the garden are early in the morning with breakfast in hand and late in the afternoon (with a glass of wine!) I do a little watering and weed pulling but mostly just enjoy the daily treats that are popping out all over.

I have already had a bouquet of roses in the house and it's only March 25th! But my rose garden is just full of beautiful buds.

The strawberries are blossoming and setting fruit. Mika is licking her lips!

I have a huge bouquet of white lilac's in our kitchen right now.  I finally found out how to keep them from wilting in the vase and it works!  Click here for the info.

Cherry blossoms

Baby figs are covering this little tree

Beautifully scented Freesia's

Of course the roses in the front yard have already be eaten by the deer as are my primroses and Hydrangeas!

The Foxgloves will be blooming later this week

Oh yes.....and the Dandelions are doing beautifully as well!

Spanish Bluebell

Yesterday Mr. B and I retrained our grapevines and Wisteria pouring over our pergola.

(this is the "before" photo of the grapes & Wisteria vines)

 (scratch and sniff right here!!!)

The birds are happy, the flowers are happy and I am happy to have inherited the gardening bug from both of my parents as well as my grandparents!

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.  To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body but the soul."  -- Alfred Austin

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Monday Morning Walk

Song - Busy Bee by Arthur Askey

Have you ever heard a flower hum?

Well, I have!

There must be a thousand big, black, bumble bees in this Wisteria tree.  I can hear it hum from 20 feet away!

 Let's continue our walk from yesterday. 


Sunday I showed you the beginning of my vegetable garden.  Today we are going to wander through the shade garden.


A babbling creek below the shade garden

 Ferns are unfurling

Hosta's filled with water are erupting

And Primroses are happily growing amongst the wild strawberries.

Did I every tell you that my Dad's mom was named Violet after the flower?  

And her twin sister was Daisy?  

And their other sisters were flowers as well - Lily and Rose?

"Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day - like writing a poem or saying a prayer." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh
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