Life Lessons

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

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Coming Back to Center

Song - Celtic New Year by Van Morrison

Twenty-sixteen was a rough year for both me and my family. 
I am looking forward to 2017!

There is a certain ebb and flow to our days and years.
Clarity and confusion.
Joy and suffering.
Finding balance.

Now is the time for me to recenter myself.
Rediscovering that core within me.
The one who knows how to feed my spirit.

Somehow through this last year I have forgotten.
It's not gone but just cast aside.
Learning to remember.
Needing that cue to set time aside daily... work on my inner growth. 

My One Little Word for the year is "centering".
Just so I can 

Happy New Year to you and yours.

"One of the most essential things you need to do for yourself is to choose a goal that is important to you.  
Perfection does not exist--you can always do better 
and you can always grow." 
--Les Brown

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Happy Birthday

Song - Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver

Happy 100th our National Parks!

Hope you can join us on Monday at The Lafayette Library for the reception!

Julia Parker's painting will be there!

 BASA's collaborative piece "John Muir, Starry Range of Light" 
is a beautiful focal piece for our National Park series.

Suzun Almquist, Joanne Taeuffer, Marcy Wheeler, Sharon Tama, Jeanette Baird

Bay Area Studio Artists will be there to greet you!

"Going to the mountains is going home." - John Muir

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Choose Wisely Grasshopper

Song - Fix You by Coldplay covered by Jamie Lim

I have been pondering what my "One Little Word" for the upcoming year might be.  I have a list of about 20 words taken from a long list of suggestions and for now, I have the list where I can see these words often and try to get an idea of how they feel-resonate for me during the next few weeks.  Usually one pops out for me!

In the past my words have been:


If we own the story then we can write the ending. 
--Brene Brown

Monday, November 28, 2016

Through Thick and Thin

Song - The Puppy Song by Harry Nilsson

Mika   2003 - 2016

“And it is exceedingly short, his galloping life. 
Dogs die so soon. 
I have my stories of that grief, no doubt many of you do also. 
It is almost a failure of will, 
a failure of love, to let them grow old
—or so it feels. 
We would do anything to keep them with us, 
and to keep them young. 

The one gift we cannot give.” 

 -- Mary Oliver "Dog Songs"

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gobble Gobble

Song -Thanksgiving Theme by Vince Guaraldi Trio

Mr. B and I are busy in the kitchen preparing a Thanksgiving meal for our family.  Mr. B takes on the tough stuff - the turkey (or turkeys), the stuffing and gravy.  I get the side dishes and set the table.  We have guests bring appetizers or desserts.  Luckily all of our boys like to cook just like their dad!

This is a photo of me in front of our Ponderosa house.  That was when Walnut Creek had Walnut trees and California had water!

We were probably getting ready to go to my grandparents home in Oakland where Grandma Sophie cooked for her four daughters (Grandma was Italian and no one else knew how to cookjust like her!), their spouses and the twelve grandchildren - my cousins!

Just wanted to say that I am so very thankful for FAMILY....little do you realize how important it truly is when you are young!

Enjoy your day, the food on your table, the family and friends around you and the love that is there!

“Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.  It's a way to live.”  ~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Song - The Laughing Song by Dan Hicks

Mr. B keeps me laughing....

He borrowed the tie from the "photo booth" during the wedding.

Now he will keep our new daughter-in-law laughing too!

Did I share with you that the wedding was magical?

Well, it was!

"Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, 
but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, 
ah, now that's a real treat." 

--Joanne Woodward

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Where's Waldo?

Song - When the Leaves Come Falling Down by Van Morrison

The sunrise from our bedroom deck.....was amazing!

Later that night I got a text from Mr. B.....

Who is that silver fox at the football game?

Waldo....errr....I mean Mr. B!

I know he is kind of hard to pick out in a crowd!  

“The problem with winter sports is that -- 
follow me closely here -- 
they generally take place in winter.” 
--Dave Barry

Monday, October 31, 2016


Song - The Addams Family Original Theme Music

Sunday morning we woke up to this.......
yes, it's R A I N !

A good, hard rain that raised our backyard creek within minutes.

Oh but the flowers and soil were happy...

But we needed to head to San Francisco 
to pick up our son who was flying in from attending a wedding in Austin.

And no one remembered how to drive in the rain!
There were lakes and rivers flooding the freeways.

I was able to snap a few shots of Alcatraz and Coit Tower from the bridge.

There was even some sunshine in the city.

When we returned it was time for some serious pumpkin carving!


Mr. B with his "special" tool



We had lunch and put on Halloween songs and carved away!

Everyone of them came out great!

And Grandma Betty came by for a visit with her favorite horsey grandson!

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

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Rat Pack

Song - I Put A Spell On You by Nina Simone

Last years jack-o-lanterns.....

...and this years roses.

Andy circa 1991

Halloween is this guys favorite holiday.....not the guy in the photo above 
but the photo of Mr. B below....

Can't you just see the love and determination on this guys face to carve the best pumpkin to date?

Last year Tyler did a "Mr. B" jack-o-lantern....pretty good imitation!

Here is Tyler a few years ago, balancing a pumpkin on his head for some unknown reason.....

And this year we have a new member of the Baird Halloween Rat Pack - Ashley!!!

Go TEAM Girls!

Boys - 4 Girls - 2

We're gaining...

Of course when the boys are as cute as this, who cares?

I forgot to tell Ashley that her new husband is a Joker....oops!

Happy Halloween!

"How beautifully leaves grow old. 
How full of light and color are their last days."
 -- John Burroughs

Thursday, October 20, 2016

It's Coming!!!

Song - GhostBusters Theme by Ray Parker Jr.

Andy - - as in our son that just got married - and just when did he grow up???? - - 
and a witch at the Nut Tree in Vacaville just a few years ago!

The pumpkins are waiting to be carved and the only decoration I have out is a rat skeleton! Boo!!

This time of year makes me feel nostalgic.  The days are cooler and the nights are refreshing.  
The sun is rising from a more southerly place through my bedroom glass door.
It's dark so much earlier!!
My garden is looking a little tired.

In the Spring I planted the above Limelight Hydrangea's for Andy & Ashley's wedding.
 Yesterday I decided to cut some of them to see if I can dry them.

Today I was looking at soup recipes to eat and good books to read by the fire. 

Time to turn inward....

After I have a good laugh at my brother Tim's mustache from 1987!

"Laughter is an instant vacation" --Milton Berle

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Our Family Has Grown

Song - Family Tradition by Hank Williams Jr.

Some chapeau huh?  

I have been working on my family tree since I was a teenager and would record my Italian grandparents stories and share family photos.  It is something I have always been fascinated by.  It is kind of like putting together a puzzle and making sure everything fits.

Since September 17th, I have an even larger family thanks to Andy & Ashley's wedding!

The woman in the photo above is named Amy Wilson Ross 
and she is Ashley's second Great-Grandmother. 
Isn't she a beauty?

This is her husband, George Clark Matson -
Ashley's second Great-Grandfather.

Above is a "selfie" taken in the 1870's. Such a handsome couple.

Then they had children.....
and her sister moved in....

Mama is looking pretty good still but dad is losing his spark.
They had 3 more children after this was taken.
Just imagine that photo!

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. Marcus Garvey
Read more at:
"A people without the knowledge of their past history, 
origin and culture is like a tree without roots." 
--Marcus Garvey
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