Life Lessons

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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 2015

Song - Auld Lang Syne by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

 My December.....

Discovered an illegal squatters shelter  10' from our property line and overlooking our backyard.  Ugg...... Worse yet my neighbor told them they could build it there because they told her it was really a Mountain Lion Lookout.  Mmmmm......

Mr. B and my brother Tim trying to move my dad's workshop

A friend went to Tahoe and sent me this photo 
because she knows I just love snow on trees! 
Pure beauty!

Mr. B and I went to The Dickens Fair to see our friend Sandey Grinn transform himself into Fagin! So amazing!

Mr. B played Santa this Christmas Eve and said it was the best E-V-E-R! 

Dawn on Christmas Day

 My dear dad spent a week in the hospital and came home on Christmas Day.  This car was parked next to mine as I was leaving the hospital on that day. Brought a smile to my face!

We all received great gifts again this year but the two that really stand out were Mr. B's reflective gear for his early morning walks and.......

....and Tyler's Bumper Dumper that is a camo toilet seat that fits into his trailer hitch to be used when he is out in the wilderness - not in my driveway!

Dad is happy to be at home with mom 
and Mika is happy to have someone to snuggle with all day long!

The best way to take care of the future 
is to take care of the present moment.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Crazy in California

Song - Crazy by Patsy Cline

Twelve of One Hundred Faces

So in November, I came up with this brilliant plan to get me into my studio and painting every day.  I decided that I would paint 100 faces on 6 x 6" panels. There is no time limit on this, I just pull out a reference photo whenever I don't have a larger canvas to paint. I got photo's from several sources.  One was my personal photos and those of my family.  The other two are online sources - and (Paint-My-Photo).  They are both free services for artists to use as reference and I highly recommend you check them out!

So without thinking that Thanksgiving and Christmas would soon be here, I began my new project. I fell in love with these faces with character.  Then I got 6 Christmas commissions so I have had to put a few things (like blogging) on hold to get them done in time.

If you would like to watch the progress of my "Faces with Character" please go to...

"Life isn't just the front page---it's the comics, too."-  Jim Althoff

Friday, December 11, 2015

Whoa Nelly

Song - Blue Jay Imitating Red Shouldered Hawk

Can you see that reddish-orangy thing on top of our pergola?  Not the reddish-orangy Maple leaves but look up near the sky?  It's a Red Shouldered Hawk and he has been showing up near my bird feeders the last few days.  Sorry it's not a very good view but this was taken from my office window.  By the time I ran out the door, he had flown to a nearby tree.

From there he screeched at me for awhile and then flew to a tree near the creek.

Several times today I saw him fly right towards my feeder, startling the songbirds.  I saw a few feathers float down from the sky so I think he may have snagged one.....Anyone know how to keep them away from the feeders?

The End.

"If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes." --Charles Lindbergh

Monday, November 16, 2015

Embrace It All

Song - Stop In The Name of Love by the Supremes

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Paris and it is difficult for me to cope with the tragedy and violence from last weekend.

I had an art reception on Sunday that I was going to post about today but in seems so irrelevant in view of what's happening in our world right now.  I will save it for another day.

I hope you find time to light a candle, say a prayer or make yourself & a friend a warm cup of tea.

One of my favorite sculptures of Joan of Arc at Chateau Rivau

"We could learn to stop when the sun goes down and when the sun comes up.  We could learn to listen to the wind; we could learn to notice that it's raining or snowing or hailing or calm.  We could reconnect with the weather that is ourselves, and we could realize that it's sad.  The sadder it is, and the vaster it is, the more our heart opens.  We can stop thinking that good practice is when it's smooth and calm, and bad practice is when it's rough and dark.  If we can hold it all in our hearts, then we can make a proper cup of tea."  --Pema Chodron

Friday, November 13, 2015

Who Knew?

Song - Ali Baba by Los Garcia

Our son Jon came up from LA for a friends wedding this weekend.  On Friday I took him to Benicia to see my current show "Black - White"

 But when we arrived......

They were closed and didn't open for another hour!

So I decided to take Jon on a little tour of historic Benicia 
which used to be our State Capitol for about a nano-second. 

 The "tour" included the Old Arsenal buildings that are being used as Art Studio's, 
Historic Downtown and of course - The Camel Barns!

 Camels in Benicia?????  Who knew?

The camels were a U.S. government experiment in the mid 1800's prior to the Civil War. They wanted to use them for military travel through the arid Southwest and for future railroad survey crews.  

The camel barns were built in 1855 and are built from some amazing chiseled stone. And even though the camels preformed beautifully in the experiment it turned out that they were too smelly, hard to handle and upset the horses.....
so you now can actually have your very own wedding in a camel barn!

Around the back we noticed a bunch of old wood that was protected by an open structure.

Jon spotted a hole where the anchor came though.......It was a ship, the Galilee from 1891. 

Next we headed out on the pier where a few birds, several fishermen and one shy sea lion greeted us.

Every time the sea lion came up for air, I would try to snap a photo of him 
but he was too quick and after 706 photos, I still didn't get a good shot of him. 

I think he was just messin' with my mind!

So I just decided to take a picture of someone who was a little more stationary.

Then it was time to head over to the show!

Samples of Light - Medium - Dark

The gallery is set up to move from lighter paintings to the darker ones........

 My painting "The Sound of Silence" is in the "medium" section.

These self-portraits were done by the group of women that I paint with - Bay Area Studio Artists.
Top: Suzun Almquist 
next down left "yours truly" on the right - Sue Bonebakker  
Third row down left is Joanne Taeuffer and right is Marcy Wheeler   
 Bottom row is left - Ellen Reintjes and right Sharon Tama

On Sunday - Nov. 15th we will be having an 
Art Talk & Tour of our work from 1-3pm.

Hope to see you there!

"A camel makes an elephant feel like a jet plane." 
-- Jackie Kennedy

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ahh....that Smell....

Song - Life is Just A Bowl of Cherries by Rudy Vallee

Woke up to a warm Fall morning in Napa and this was the view outside of our hotel bedroom. And while Mr. B attended a business conference, I drove up to Yountville for a little breakfast and to people-watch.

The line to get into Bouchon Bakery was down the street which is normal for them.  I waited in line anticipating what was inside while enjoying the bakery scent wafting from the door. Mmmm....

Once inside the door I could get a glimpse of what I might want to order.....definitely a loaf of bread to take back to Mr. B and a couple of plain croissants.....and......

...I might need one of those chocolate & almond croissants......and.....

.....they had a few things ready for Fall celebrations.....
(Sorry I can't let you scratch & was so wonderful that you will just have to believe me!)

The baker was just pulling out some fresh bread from the oven to test and turn.

Nuff Said......

Quote for the day:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Trick or Treat

Song - Season of the Witch by Donovan

My brother Tim (in all white with the ears? Horns?) anyway - I think he is supposed to be a bunny with a carrot in his pocket - happily trying to hold on to his uncooperative baby bunny (a neighbor)

Heading to a Halloween party in the 60's. My parents (mom is wearing the old fashioned bathing outfit and dad is the clown) and their friends.

Early evening moon several nights ago.

"It's said that All Hallows' Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin - and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own.  Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright."  --Erin Morgenstern


Song - Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett

My grandparents are on the far right in this Halloween photo, my great-grandmother is center left and Great Uncle Harold on the far left. Circa 1910.

L to R - Jon, Sean (my nephew) and Andy.  Circa 1990

A costume that my dad painted for my older brother David.  Pretty creative!

Andy's sweet pumpkin from several years ago......

Have a "SPOOK-TACULAR" Halloween!!!

It never fails 
To make me pout
When I must blow
The pumpkin out

--Rusty Fischer

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