Life Lessons

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

Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Song - In the Air Tonight - by Phil Collins Cover by Sierra Eagleson

Today I spent some time reflecting on this past year....2019.  The very best part was becoming a Grandma and watching my son, Andy and daughter-in-law, Ashley grow into amazing parents.  Mr. B and Uncle Tyler bring tears to my eyes as Henry delights them with his happiness and love. I have also felt the dearness of my middle son Jon who phones me and his Grandmother several times a week and has been a rock for his girlfriend though some very tough family times. My mom (almost 91) is so fun to watch caring for her ever growing family.  She has been a true inspiration!

Happy New Year to You

May it bring you Peace, Love and Joy....

"If you're already walking on thin ice, why not dance?"   

-- Gil Atkinson

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Art in the City

Song - Are You in the Mood by Django Reinhardt covered by Zak Martel

Yesterday, Mr. B and I drove into the City to see the James Tissot exhibit "Fashion & Faith" at the Legion of Honor.  It was a beautiful clear day and we could see the ocean, the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown from the knoll in front of the museum. 

Above is an early self portrait of the artist and is painted rather loosely and impressionistic. Tissot was a French painter and lived in France and London from 1836 - 1902.


This is a painting of his muse - Kathleen Newton who lived with him from 1875 until her untimely death from TB in 1892. And while his "style" is not to my taste, I found the show delightful. It was interesting to see how he rendered people in work and play. 

The young girl playing croquet was one of my favorites but unfortunately I had left my "real" camera at home so all of these shots were from my cell phone so they are not very good quality.

Tissot rendered fabric with great care as he was well acquainted with drapes and folds coming from a father who was a successful drapery merchant and a mother who designed hats.
As a painter, I would go crazy rendering all of the pinstripes on this woman's gown!!!  But it was beautiful to look at.

 Afterwards we headed upstairs to the Legion's regular exhibit and I found some of my old favorites like "The Bath" above by Jean-Leon Gerome

And "The Absinthe Drinkers" by  Jean-Francois Raffaelli

 "Shelter on Montmartre" by Vincent van Gogh

 "Sewing Party at Loctudy" by Edouard Vuillard

 And after all of that eye candy we went around the corner for some dim sum that was excellent!

After the busyness of the holidays, it was nice to spend some quiet time together on a beautiful day!

"Part of the secret of a success in life is eating what you like 
and let the food fight it out inside."

--Mark Twain

Monday, December 23, 2019


It all began with the "Cookie Elves" arriving early one morning in December....

 The cookies have been baked and decorated...

 Mr. B may have gotten a little overly zealous in his plane & bomb decorations...

...and a few may have been eaten already.....

The tree was delivered and set up for me which was a true treat as I have been sick for the last few months and it just hung on this tree was a true Christmas miracle (thank you Henry and Andy).  It was hung with lights and then I noticed on Instagram that it's the new holiday look - a green fir with little white lights and NO decorations - and I was in total agreement (except for the silver star that will go on top) - not sure my family has bought into this new concept but I am in love!

The table is set......

...and the stockings are hung.....

Henry (9 months now) dropped in to help Grandma put the lights on the tree.....

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Heart Wreaths

Song - Can't Find My Way Home by Steve Winwood


  Green 18 gauge 18" long covered wire (for heart form)
  Paddle of 28 gauge floral wire
  Bay Laurel branches
  Various Ribbon
  Small bells

If it's a gift:
  Kraft paper box
  Excelsior or crinkle cut paper

Clean the leaves with a dry cloth so that the leaves may be used for cooking. (California Bay leaves are more aromatic than Turkish Bay so use less in your cooking).

Form your heart shape base with the 18 gauge covered wire and once you have a good design, copy it for the remaining wreath forms. Put several (2-3) leaves together. I alternated between bunches of 2 and bunches of 3 leaves.

Starting at the bottom of the heart, wrap the bunches of leaves with your floral wire and work your way up to the middle center of your wreath.

Don't worry if you seem to have a bit of a bare spot as you can always wire more leaves in later to fill it out.

To wire them on good and snug you may have to go thru the bottom of the leaves.  The wire will still catch the stem.

When you have done both sides, look for any areas that might need a few more leaves and add them to get a full little wreath.

Select your ribbon and make a bow attaching it with floral wire.  Add bells and a hanger.

As the leaves dry, they will curl and turn a sage green looking even more beautiful. And you or your gift recipient can use the leaves for cooking!

"There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort."
 ~ Jane Austen

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Fall Has Arrived

Song - Les Feuilles Mort (Autumn Leaves) by Andrea Bocelli

After several days of 100 degree weather last week,
it looks like Fall might just have arrived here in Northern California!

We have bushels of apples to pick next week.

I have a few flowers left but with the heat in September
there are only a few to enjoy.

Most are ready for the new season like this Hydrangea above changing her petals.

The Dogwood trees have their bright red berries ready.

And the Snowball Viburnum is always the first garden shrub to change color.

We have more Hawks.....


And Woodpeckers now.

 The Acorns are dropping all around me and crunching under the car tires.

But the best thing in our garden right now is.....

......little Henry who turned 6 months just two weeks ago and I got him this swing for the yard.

Andy hung it on a sturdy branch on a large Oak tree 
right where he and Ashley were married three years ago.

Funny how life happens.....

"Delicious autumn! 
My very soul is wedded to it, 
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."

--George Eliot

Friday, September 13, 2019

Blissful Moments

Song - Sierra by Boz Scaggs

I have been "unplugged" for the last three weeks up in Lake Tahoe......

I was busy watching wildflowers grow......

....and big puffy clouds move across the sky......

We had warm weather, lightening storms, hail and brilliant sunshine.

There were ice creams to enjoy at Camp Richardson....

....and a 40th Anniversary to celebrate at Sunnyside.

 My mom came for a few days and enjoyed dipping her toes in the lake.

 After beach time I would return to the cabin to paint, read or enjoy a wild game of Canasta!

Mr. B enjoying a glass of wine with lunch at the Beacon.

An Osprey was spotted on the way home from Angora Lake.....

.....and a Red-Breasted Nuthatch near the cabin..... well as Flickers in the late afternoon.

And chubby cheeked chipmunks ran to and fro getting ready for Fall.


And Mr. B got in lots of walks and swims in the lake.

BUT my very favorite part of all.....

...was a visit from this little cutie - my grandson Henry!

He got to dip his toes into Lake Tahoe and.....

...took a warm bath in the cabin's deep kitchen sink!

You know the saying "Go Jump in the Lake"!

Henry's dad and uncle did!!!

 I spotted a mama bear across the street from our cabin.  She had three little cubs stumbling along beside her.  I couldn't get a clear photo of the cubs as she was being protective......

....but later in the day Mr. B found them down another street in the forest.

And that's what I did on my summer vacation.  How about you?

"Laughter is an instant vacation."
--Milton Berle

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