Life Lessons

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

Thursday, December 31, 2020


Song - Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springfield


 Happy New Year!

Here's to a year when we can hopefully start hugging again.

And dining with family & friends sharing our stories and love.

Hold on tight to the small, important things that make us happy...

...a sunrise...

...puppy love...

....a meal cooked with love...

...a frosty morning spent by the fire...

...a long walk by the ocean... music..

...traveling to far off places and getting to know the people who live there...

...a little cabin in the woods (and I know just the one for me!)...

...a child's laughter...

...a great book...

...a road trip...

...the joy of seeing people smile again!


Whatever makes you happy, I hope you find it in this New Year!!!


"You are never to old 

to set another goal 

or to dream a new dream."

--C. S. Lewis




Thursday, December 17, 2020

An Ear-full

 Song - Three Little Birds by Bob Marley & The Wailers

Last week I looked out of a window and I saw a flock of birds that were bigger than the song birds we normally get.  I thought they might be Cedar Waxwings as they were in an Oak tree and flying across our little lane to a Privet tree.  They were too far away to see their markings but they sure were acting like Waxwings. And besides I don't usually see Waxwings until January or February!

And sure enough yesterday they reappeared in my shade garden.  There are six of them in this photo. Can you spot them all?

As soon as I saw their yellow tail edge and that distinctive black eye makeup I knew it was them! And guess what a flock of Cedar Waxwings is called?

An "ear-full" or a "museum" of waxwings!



See the bird on the far left with the red tipped wings?  That is a small appendage on it's secondary feathers and is made out of red wax....therefore "wax wings".


I'm out to clean out that birdbath now as fruit eating birds get very thirsty.



Enjoy your weekend!

"Birds of a feather flock together"

--an old Welsh proverb

Monday, November 23, 2020

Let's Give Them Something to GOBBLE About

 Song - Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie 1967


 Welcome to my home for Thanksgiving through the years.....

This is me, my brothers and cousins.  We are at my Grandparents home in Oakland 

celebrating Thanksgiving 1957.

Here we are at our new home on Ponderosa Lane standing in front of the

 old walnut tree, one of many that lined the street.

Thanksgiving 1958.

This will be my first Thanksgiving with out my mom.

She taught several generations how to make her gravy.

It still amazes me how she did the whole meal by herself.  

Never asked anyone to bring anything!


Every year we would pose in front of this October Glory Maple tree to take our family portraits.

We will miss all of those who could not join us.

Last year we had 26 and this year we will be 7.

Glad people are taking care of themselves and us!



Same place same time next year!

Stay safe and know we are Thankful to have you in our lives!



Thursday, November 19, 2020

Bursting with Color

 Song -  Bring it on Home to Me -  Sam Cooke cover by Marc Broussard & Jamie McLean

Autumn begins slowly and before you know what hit you it is a riotous state of color!


"How beautiful the leaves 

grow old.  How full of 

light and color are

their last days."

--John Burroughs

Thursday, November 5, 2020


 Song - Hawks and Doves by Neil Young

Several days ago I was sitting at my desk working when I heard a rather loud bonk on my window directly in front of me. From the bushes below the window a rather large bird emerged and wobbly flew up onto the pergola and sat for about five minutes.

A Cooper's Hawk that had missed his mark (the bird feeder full of birds hanging in front of my window) and bashed into the window instead of grabbing a song bird. 

He seemed OK other than a little shaken and flew off into the oak trees above.

I doubt he will be back here very soon!


"Listen to the wind

it talks

Listen to the silence

it speaks

Listen to your heart

it knows."


--Native American Proverb

Saturday, October 31, 2020

A Day in the Country

 Video - Through the Lens: Snow Goose Migration

What began as a quiet trip north to the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge turned into a full day of birds, fun and adventure with Mr. B, which included one of his world famous "Short Cuts"!  Above is the first bird we spotted on the auto tour - a White Tailed Kite.

And a lovely Snowy Egret sitting atop a dead tree.

I had Mr. B open up his car's sunroof so I could see more.


A few Greater White Fronted Geese flew by (they are much darker than the Snow Geese)....

....and to our left we could see some Snow Geese and ducks had landed but if you look really hard near the horizon you will see thousands of birds flying in to the refuge.

    The geese migrate from the upper northern reaches of Canada, Alaska & Greenland to overwinter in a calmer climate.



As we drove further along the auto route we began to see and hear more and more geese.



 They were so excited and so noisy. 



You could make out the Greater White Fronted Geese from the Snow Geese as they flew low overhead.

  Good thing Mr. B remembered to close the sunroof!!!


 As they settled on the water more and more flew in.

Suddenly we were in the middle of it with birds next to us, in front & back of us and overhead.


And then we rounded a corner.....


....and in the relative calm I noticed a Northern Flicker on a tree branch watching the excitement below as well.... three hawks soaring overhead.....

...and calm ducks enjoying the beautiful day.


As we drove away Mr. B suggest taking an "alternate" route home.  That only meant one thing - his epic "short cut"!  (cue in everyone in the car doing a big groan!)  While I love Mr. B, his short cuts are almost always long cuts.  The joy is in his face as he shows whoever is in his car the delights of getting off the main road and experiencing the country.


At first I said "no" but then looking at his long face I changed to "OK" and his grin was so big it made it all worthwhile! 

Here we go......he swung West from Williams on Hwy. 20.  Then South on to 16 through some tiny towns I have never heard of in my lifetime of living in California.

The first exciting thing we saw was a Cowboy Camp where I guess they teach you how to become a cowboy?  And then several "Watch out for Elks" signs.



 We followed Cache Creek through Rumsey, Guinda and on to Tancred and Brooks.

Onto Cadenasso, Capay, Esparto and Madison.

We didn't see any Elk but we did see.... elk sculpture.....



 ...a bear climbing a pole and a.........

....a bull on top of a BBQ joint.

And some pretty country that I never knew existed!


Thanks Mr. B for the "short cut" least this time!!!

Now back to civilization......



"Civilization is a limitless multiplication of 

unnecessary necessities."

--Mark Twain









"Mr. B close the sunroof quick!!!"

-- Jeanette

PS - when a million birds are flying overhead, protect yourself at all cost!

Monday, October 26, 2020

What's Up?

 Song - Working for a Living by Huey Lewis And The News

My grandson Henry has been reading to his YaYa......




He has been helping me water my garden, especially the potted plants.....



and he has been painting all of our outdoor furniture too!




Before you think I am working him too hard.......

don't worry as he also gets to relax in the warm spa with his daddy Andy.


I decorated for Halloween.....

....and spent some much needed time in my studio to finish this painting of a white Dahlia....

Unfurling  30 x 30

Friday, October 16, 2020

The History of a House - Part 2

 Song -Take Me Home by Phil Collins

Recap - My son Jon and his girlfriend Jacque purchased a home in Salinas were they found a hand written message on a plaster board inside the wall of their bathroom.  In Part 1 I shared with you about the Endo family who went from Labor Camps to UC Berkeley to owning their own pharmacy businesses to an Internment Camp then moving back east.  

Now please meet another person who lived in their house for 30 years....Alice Michael Moser

Alice Michael Moser

May 12, 1913 - March 1, 2015
Born in Calgary, Canada
Resided in Salinas, CA


Alice Michael Moser passed away at her home on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at the age of 101. She was born on May 12, 1913 in Calgary, Canada but was raised in San Francisco. She received degrees from S.F. State University and did graduate work at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, Guatemala and the University of Barcelona, Spain. (Jon spent a summer studying Spanish at the University in Barcelona)

Mrs. Moser was a lifetime educator at elementary, secondary and college levels. She was associated for many years with the Monterey County Office of Education as head of programs in speech, foreign languages, English as a second language, Environmental Education and International Studies. She established the Environmental Science Center at Toro Park and the 1980 integrated International Studies Program for schools and colleges. She was a founding member of the California Speech and Hearing Association. (Jacque works with school children with hearing problems & teaches sign language)

She was a member of the Salinas Unitarian Fellowship, the American Association of University Women, Monterey Symphony, the Democratic Women's Club, and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. She was a charter member of the National Steinbeck Center and a scholar of William Edward Petty Hartnell, the early California historical figure after whom Hartnell College is named. (We parked in front of this college to go see their house for the first time)

After retiring in 1981, she became an advocate of the legacy of Mr. Hartnell. In 1998 she convened a conference at Hartnell College in celebration of the 200th anniversary of his birth. Attendees included 35 of his descendants. Most recently, Alice developed and designed the William and Maria Teresa Hartnell mural, painted by local artist John Cerny, now on the wall of the Merrill Science Building at Hartnell College. (Jacque walks by this mural all the time)

Alice lived her life with intent, purpose and great determination. She competed, persevered and succeeded in the workplace at a time when women had to try harder for their roles. She clearly was at the forefront of the women's movement, a woman way ahead of her time. She pursued her own path, spoke her mind, and was strongly passionate about social justice. Alice was well read, well-traveled, curious, current and a great conversationalist. Friendships were especially important to her and she enjoyed and nourished those in her life. (Jon & Jacque are both back in college getting their masters)

She married Walter Moser at the age of 74 and they enjoyed a special, loving marriage for 18 years until Walter's death in 2005. They enjoyed traveling, including cruises, their home in Cabo and relishing each other's company. Alice often said that the best gift Walter gave her was his family, who embraced and cared for Alice, especially after Walter's passing. Family members include Michael and Kathryn Moser of Salinas, Peter and Joanne Moser of Shasta Lake, California, David and Sandy Moser of Merlin, Oregon, Loretta Moser of Salinas, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also leaves special friends Monica May of San Mateo, California, Tim and Verena Boylan of Charlotte, North Carolina and many others, from around the globe, too many to mention.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Walter and her sisters Margo Baird (guess what our last name is?) and Mary Libra, each of San Francisco. 


What an incredible lady!  I loved that Jon & Jacque have so much in common with Alice.   And that their home has some amazing history.  Mr. B and I are heading down there shortly to help with some projects.  Enjoy your weekend!

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