Life Lessons

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

Friday, March 10, 2017


Song - The Painter by Neil Young

Friday a friend and I went to an exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.  The exhibit was "Monet - The Early Years" and encompassed his paintings from 1858 - 1872.

He put in the work to find his style.  

Would you ever think that these two paintings were painted by Claude Monet?


 The card for the above painting read "the still life was the rainy day activity for plein air painters"

This painting is a detail from the two huge canvases that depicts an outdoor luncheon.  The dappled light just brings you eye around and around the paintings.

His snow scene's were brilliant.  My very favorite painting of his (the one directly about) brought tears to my eyes - The Magpie.  Even though it looks like a pretty basic snow scene, there is so much soft color in this painting.

And his depiction of water during these early years shows where he was style was heading.





Can you match the water details in the paintings above with the paintings below?





And check out a close up of the "people" in the above painting.

Two are headless and one mans pants are not attached to his upper half!

And does this even matter when you look at the entire painting?  Not to me as I enjoyed the energy of the painting, the movement in the water, the colors, the brushstrokes and the feeling that it evokes.

 "The Beach at Trouville"

His people in these scenes are just "suggestions"!

Another favorite of mine was borrowed from the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC for this show and is titled "Argenteuil". 

I loved the show and I loved seeing so many paintings of Claude Monet that I have never seen before!

Now you are probably wondering .....
"Why did she name this post - Oscar?"

I never we both do!

And I still say that Brandon Crawford looks a lot like Oscar!!!

"Everyday I discover more and more beautiful things.  
It's enough to drive one mad.
I have such a desire to do everything,
my head is bursting with it."
--Claude Monet

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

TBT with Great Grandma Mary

Song - Choppin Wood by Van Morrison

Maria Bernadina Clauser Gembrini

There she is in Great Grandmother at 76 years of age and she is showing my brother David (standing) and my cousin Billy how to split firewood.  I love how she has a wedge and a maul as well as an apron on because she was probably cooking up some trout for dinner and saw the boys out of the window.  She was a tough ol' gal and lived to be 98.

Note from Grandma Sophie (Mary's daughter & my grandmother) on the back of the photo.

 My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles were all still building the cabin in Tahoe at the time.  We used a big pot belly stove for heat as well as cooking so we needed plenty of firewood. We also had a washer with a ringer on top and the clothes would dry on a line between the trees.

Oh the fun we had up there in Tahoe!

"Behind every great man is a woman 
rolling her eyes." - Jim Carrey

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Love Is In The Air

Song - Steppin' Out With My Baby by Tony Bennett

Several days ago Mr. B told me that he saw two Mourning Doves on our fence checking out our ladder for a nest - once again.  Since I put up this nesting box last fall under our eves, I was hoping that they would use it instead. 

So Mr. B moved the ladder so it wouldn't be so tempting. Now the squirrels are using it to climb up and down and chase each other around.  Oh boy....a toy!

Mr. B wanted me to start a nest for the birds so that they would get the idea of what to do with the nesting box - ha!  I think Mother Nature provides them with their own nesting ideas!!!

And the very next day - sure enough they had begun their work - at least I thought it was just the beginning.  Apparently they think it's finished!

This morning when I checked on them, mama was on the nest and daddy was watching from the fence. But I didn't have my camera with me.

Then later in the afternoon, I checked on them and daddy was still on the fence but mama was up on the roof of our house just above the nest.  I hope they enjoy their new home. I'll keep you posted.

Some interesting facts about Mourning Doves:

--the oldest known Mourning Dove was 30 years 4 months old

--they tend to mate for life and both parents incubate and take care of the young

--they have 3-5 clutches each season

--they have 2 white eggs that are born 1 day apart

--the eggs hatch in 14-16 days

--the fledglings leave the nest in 11-12 days and on day 12 they are cut off from food to encourage them to leave - talk about tough love!!!!!

"Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling."
 ~ Margaret Lee Runbeck

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