Life Lessons

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

Saturday, December 31, 2022

A Cup o' Kindness

 Song - Auld Lang Syne by Mairi Campbell

May you and your loved ones share a cup of kindness 

this evening or tomorrow. 


Happy New Year!




Here is to a kinder upcoming year 





Sunday, November 27, 2022

Field of Dreams

Song - In The Air Tonight - Phil Collins cover by Sierra Eagleson 


 The day after Thanksgiving Mr. B and I decided to take a little day trip to our Field of Dreams.  See all of those cut corn stalks in this field near Lodi?  Guess what they attract?


Birds....thousands and thousands of glorious birds.....

Great Blue Herons

Tundra Swans


 Great Egrets

And Sandhill Cranes.....

October through March these birds migrate to the Delta wetlands coming as far away as Siberia and Canada. They will spend the winter here before returning to their home.

Sandhill Cranes in flight with their long fingertips in the breeze.....

We spent several hours observing so many birds and as we were leaving I spotted something that didn't look like a bird.


 A coyote running under the Walnut trees near a levee. He worked his way around the levee and began to approach the birds in the water. I thought they might all fly off or at least move away from the shores.  

But nope they stayed put but kept an eye on him as he took a long drink of water then moved on.


We headed back to "civilization" just as the sun was setting.  It was a wonderful warm day with windows open while listening to the multitude of birdsong.


We spotted Mt. Diablo in the distance near Rio Vista heading home. 


"Life is a journey

I don't have a map for."

--Delta Goodrem


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

If at first you don't succeed......

 Song - This Land is Your Land by Bruce Springfield

Who knew?  I mean I studied horticulture and botany.  But if you don't replenish your soil, it dries up. Insert (a little late) light bulb over my head!

Some of you that have known me for a while know that I raised chickens (for their eggs) for a number of years.  And while I miss their sweet, sometimes hilarious presence in our garden, I don't miss letting them in and out of their coop every single day.


My vegetable garden that was next to their run was just not giving me much of anything over the last 4-5 years.  Every spring I would faithfully plan and plant a garden which mostly consisted of tomato plants, zucchini and a variety of herbs.  And for the last few years it yielded nothing.....not one tomato, possibly 1-2 zucchini and my herbs all dried up.  I blamed the heat waves and the reduced water here in California. 

 This year it was going to be different!  I had the chicken yard area that had become a dumping ground for unused "stuff" cleaned up and I purchased three large tubs for my veggies.  I had the ground leveled and ordered many bags of soil and compost.  The tubs (with holes drilled into the bottom) were layered with logs, dry leaves and tons of fresh soil mixed in with some native soil. Mr. B worked on the watering system so we could travel and not worry about watering.

We had to add a new fence due to deer entering the yard and added some gravel to walk on. I planted my 4" tomatoes in gallon size pots while waiting for all of the work to be finished. 


When it was ready I placed them and some pepper and herbs in the tubs.  And while they were getting started I began to replenish my old veggie garden with new soil. That area is for pumpkins for my grandsons and flowers for me!

Mr. B kept bringing home some peppers that he wanted to grow for Chili Rellenos which he loves! Looks like there will be plenty of room....right?

Well I am happy to report that the garden grew and grew and grew....

We now have tomatoes growing taller than me and they are so plentiful.  Yesterday I picked my first real crop.......

And this morning I picked even more that above....I am planning on making Tomato Peach Panzanella Salad for dinner tonight!

So I will continue to add goodies to our soil and enjoy my garden! 

Knowledge = Tomato is a fruit

Wisdom = Not to put it in a fruit salad

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Happy Place

We arrived in Lake Tahoe last Sunday and it’s been beautiful. Our son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons joined us on Wednesday. So now our time here is perfect!

The first day here I spotted several birds fly back & forth to a tree near our deck. 

Then I noticed that they were tending to a very small cup shaped nest. With my telephoto lense I could see three little heads pop up. 

Two days later one of the baby birds was out on the branch next to the nest. He was flapping his wings to practice flying.  Mom & dad were still flying back and forth with food and encouragement. He moved further and further from the nest as the day turned to dusk.  His siblings inside the nest were standing up and flapping their wings too. 

Within minutes all three left their nest and were jumping from branch to branch and before we knew it they were gone. 

Oh yeah and Maggie is loving being a mountain dog!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Home Sweet Home

Song - Home by Jack Johnson


A friend recently wrote to me saying that I left you all hanging back in Paris!  And that would be almost two months ago!  Yikes - sorry about that. But I have truly had my arms full......


 Our new grandson Charlie arrived on May 20th to the delight of all! And...


Just a few days later Mr. B flew to Colorado to pick up our new Westie puppy - Maggie!





So I am now painting in a "puppy safe" zone!!!

The deer recently discovered how to get into our backyard and destroyed my newly planted veggie garden as well as most of my rose bushes. We put in some extra fencing around our property and I moved some of my veggie garden into our old chicken coop area. That area has been a garden dumping place for years now and it's so nice to have it all cleaned out......



...well, I still have a few pots to clean before putting them back in place.


Hope to see you again soon!  I've missed you all.....J


 Life takes you unexpected places, love brings you home.”





Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Back to Paris


Sunday we returned to Paris after deciding to skip our two day stay in Rouen. Mr. B had been sick and was still recovering so drove on a few country roads because we love seeing the little villages but by Orleans it was the freeway all of the way. 

Monday we went back to the Musee Jacquemart Andre to see the paintings from Finland. Then we headed over to the Palis Garnier but decided to take a break and eat lunch at the Cafe de la Paxi across the street. Had a great waiter from County Cork. 

Dinner was at a little restaurant on Ille de Saint Louis and we walked back past Notre Dame and viewed the construction going on there. 

Tuesday we enjoyed Market Day on rue Raspil in the 6th and guess what?  

Strawberries are in season and they are delicious !

The Rodin Museum was interesting but too many new pieces that made it hard to enjoy. I did love viewing the few Van Gough paintings!

Lunch was at Cafe Deux Magot so I could take some reference photos of waiters for future paintings. It was lovely sitting in the warm sun, drinking a glass of wine and watching all of the interesting people walk by. 

Mr. B’s French language skills have been so great. He converses with everyone and gets complements from most. Occasionally someone will correct a word and he happily thanks them and puts it into his vocabulary. 

We strolled to Cafe Varenne for dinner that night. It’s a small confortable place with a friendly staff and delicious food. 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Castles & Princes


We are staying a few days at Château de la Bourdaisière in the Loire Valley. Mr. B has been sick so I have been playing princess at the castle and on my terrace overlooking the gardens. Yesterday I took a long walk through the gardens and into the forest. 

Today I drove to Villandry and enjoyed strolling around the amazing gardens at my own pace. It got a bit crowded after 2 pm as the tour buses rolled in but it is Easter week here so it’s to be expected. 

So you have seen the castle now for the Prince…

There is a real Prince here and our first night here Mr. B tried to make dinner reservations in town through reception. There was a very nice man there who offered to call the restaurant and set it up for us. It was the Prince!  He actually is a hands on kind of guy and is a big part of the gardens around the castle. Tonight I had to change our dinner reservation at the castle to just moi and once again it was the Prince!  He also is known as the Tomato Prince because he has worked very hard at saving heirloom tomatoes in France. I just wish I could bring home some of his seed packets to try at home. 

It looks like we are getting some snow in Tahoe and rain at home!  Way to go California!

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