Life Lessons

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

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Ring of Fire

 Song - Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash


 This morning on October 14th California witnessed a solar eclipse that lasted about an hour. I didn't go outside until the eclipse was underway so this was the first photo of the morning.  The bluish light is where the solar eclipse is happening.  The sun kept going behind clouds which was both a blessing and a curse.  

I had my little pin hole piece of cardboard which I couldn't use because of the cloud cover. But when I zoomed in on my distant photos.....

The good part about the cloud cover was that I was able to get some shots otherwise they would have been overexposed so close to the sun.


"Three things cannot be long hidden:

the sun, the moon, and the truth."



Monday, September 18, 2023

Perfect Ed

 Song - Perfect by Ed Sheeran


 What a Friday night!!!  One of my girlfriends invited me and another of our friends to see Ed Sheeran with her.  He was playing at the beautifully renovated Fox Theater in Oakland. Mr. B graciously offered to drive us and pick us up so we didn't have to drive ourselves and worry about parking. Thank you so much Mr. B!

The music was amazing and the night.....



...was perfect magic !

"I didn't know whether to become an artist or musician, 

but I realized that I could paint with music. 

All my songs have colours" 

- Ed Sheeran

Friday, September 15, 2023

Can You Just Imagine

 Song - Imagine by John Lennon

I can't imagine what you have been doing for the last 6 months!?

It has been 6 months since my last post and I have been missing putting together songs, text and photos to share with you!  Let's just say that my October 2022 knee replacement didn't rehab very well but I have recently been doing much better.  Oh my I am getting so much done around the house and it feels great!

In April Mr. B and I spent 10 days visiting his bio-family in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.  Above is a photo of the Texas Bluebonnets blooming along the highway.  We were just there for the tail end of the spring bloom. 


A lot of time was strolling around cemeteries looking for Mr. B's family headstones and paying our respects. 

We met wonderful new relatives, got re-acquainted with some relatives we had already met several years ago, went on picnics, out for dinner, to Native American celebrations, on boat rides for dinner....


....and ended the trip in Waco, Texas at Magnolia Market and The Silos. The night we arrived there was a tornado warning.  We got inside our hotel and had a wonderful cozy dinner while watching things whip around outside.

Above is the view from our hotel room.  Trains ran all night long and while you might think it was noisy it really wasn't as I guess they were very insulated.


 One of my favorite treats there were Joanna's biscuits....Mmmmmmmm!

Every year a group of my girlfriends and I take a long weekend together.  This year we went to the little town of Cayucos near San Luis Obispo down the coast of California. This is the sunset from our incredible home we were renting. And below are some otters playing in Morro Bay. Great meals, stories, laughter and love.

Mr. B and I spent several week days in San Francisco doing research on one member of his family tree who was a sea captain and operated a ship building yard in the early 1900's. We did our research at the Maritime museum and treated ourselves to some fun lunches in the city.

This summer Mr. B and I spent a month in my favorite relaxing place - Lake Tahoe at our family cabin which sits at the base of Mount Tallac.

Loads of bear sightings this year as I have heard that because of California's long winter they are coming out of hibernation very hungry!

Our grandson's and their parents came up to join us for a week. Lot's of walks, beach time and loads giggles.

"The highlight of my childhood 

was making my brother laugh so hard 

that food came out his nose."    

Garrison Keillor

Monday, March 13, 2023

Nesting Instinct

 Song - Two of Us by The Beatles

The other day I saw a flash of brilliant blue outside the window.  I figured it was a Blue Jay or most likely a Steller's Jay because they seem to be a deeper blue. But when I got up to look I found this little fellow on our deck gate.  

He flew over to Mr. B's birdhouse and looked inside.  Four out of the last five years Oak Titmice have made a nest in that house but this year maybe I will get some Bluebirds nesting in our yard!

Within minutes a Titmouse began building a nest inside.  I guess he or she decided that they were not ready to move quite yet! I looked down at the deck and there was a smattering of twigs beneath the birdhouse so I guess they have been working on their nest for a while (I just hadn't noticed).

I'm wondering how she is going to get that long twig in through that tiny hole but she found that by turning the twig sideways it would fit.  I was so proud of her!

Nearby there were a couple of feeders that I moved further away today so the Titmouse won't have to worry about other birds waking the kids! 

"Look closely. The beautiful may be small."   

--Emmanuel Kant

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A Crabby Kind of Birthday

 Song - Red, Red Wine by UB40



On February 14th - Valentine's Day - it was Mr. B's birthday!

And he decided he wanted a meal that my mom used to cook for him....

Spaghetti and Crab!

The table was set and the tools were ready for some fast crab work.

I made the spaghetti sauce the day before and all of the additions for the crab & salad like

hard boiled eggs & asparagus, etc.

Andy made a delicious berry cobbler for dessert.

Unfortunately no one took a photo of the spread. 

But trust me it was delicious.


Two days later Mr. B and I headed to Calistoga for a little R & R. Our first stop was R & D Kitchen in Yountville for their spectacular Ding's Chicken sandwich. It was a beautiful day and we sat outside and enjoyed our wine and fries while waiting for our yummy lunch.



 Heading north from Yountville our next stop was in the town of St. Helena for a little shopping.

Can you believe these are all silk flowers?


Onto Calistoga and check into our room at the Bergson Hotel.
 We had a nice room on the ground floor which was perfect as I'm still not walking up stairs too well!

Dinner on Monday night was at Sam's Social Club which is affiliated with 

Indian Springs.  It was a delicious meal and it was packed so we dined at the bar.

We both had an order of the caviar as it was only $225 per person!!! NOT!

We shared the Autumn Salad and Mr. B had the Lamb Shank on risotto 

with an arugula side salad while I had the Pork Chop on polenta with broccoli.

They were both a home run!


 Sweet dreams at the Bergson.



After breakfast in the Bergson social room we headed into town which is just around the corner from our hotel. We walked around shopping but we really enjoyed our time in the book store! The funniest thing of all was while we were just finishing up our lunch I spotted two friends - Jill and her husband John - walking up the street.  What a surprise! They had come up to celebrate Valentines Day.

We also drove back down to Saint Helena's to go to the Robert Louis Stevenson museum that neither of us realized was even in this area until Mr. B happened upon the information. It was a fun, informative place were they displayed his furniture, silver, paintings, photos, and some of his writing. The woman working there was very knowledgeable about his life. (Don't worry Mr. B kindly tested her knowledge!)

Dinner on Mr. B's official birthday was spent at the Calistoga Inn Restaurant.  Our friends happened to have reservations there as well an were sitting just a couple of tables away from us.

Mr. B had the paella which he raved about while I enjoyed delicious beef short ribs.


The following morning we had a delicious breakfast at Cafe Sarafornia 

sitting outside in the warm sunshine.


Time to head home.  Driving along the Silverado Trail we enjoyed viewing the bright yellow mustard blooming in the vineyards and the workers carefully pruning the vines.

We will be back....

The breakfast restaurants name is derived from this quote:


 The town's name comes from 

Brannan's tipsy malapropism 

that he would make this the 

Saratoga of California, 

which came out as the “Calistoga of Sarafornia.”

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