Friday, December 28, 2012


……were the surprise Tomiko brought over for our Christmas celebration…more on that in just a bit.

‘Honey Baked Ham’ was yum, yum and the amazing thing is they suggest not re-heating  but just leaving it out at room temperature for two hours.  I made Orzo that came out pretty good and sweet potatoes with lots of stuff were on the stove top.  Also home made cranberries and a jello mold made using stewed tomatoes (love it ‘cause it’s red!)


Calling all cooks……


Here comes Tomiko with her salad….Vicki’s carving the ham…Charles patiently awaits….


Mom too….


Time to open presents if we can stop laughing…


Kita’s in the process of destroying her present…a level nine supposedly indestructible one from Vicki, Nikka & Emma…oh well….


Tomiko & I share a giggle….


This is soooo precious….a lucky shot!


Who’s that peeking around the corner trying to see what’s going on????


Mom got the cutest cards!!!

This one not only plays music but lights up!

O.K., here it is….the magical, mystical wondrous moment.  You light an area under the lantern and hold on until enough hot air fills the space and you make a wish as it lifts off. 

Next day Mary Beth came by to take Kita to the park…they just returned and what a tale she had to tell…..


Now Kita is behaving…..but…..wait for it….


You won’t believe….wait for it….


Kita’s listening too.  See the blue ‘thingie’ in Mary Beth’s hand?  That’s the lead line that was around her muzzle and attached to a heavy hook on the floor of the van.


Yes, you’re good now but what about when you were hanging half way out of Mary Beth’s van as she drove down the hill.  What about when she stopped to push you back inside.  What about when you decided to jump out of the one third open window and broke loose from your moorings and ran to the two black labs?  Yeah….what about that!


To be continued………

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There is no avoiding the pull of the internet, the blogs, the YouTube imaginings. It's as if we're all 'On the Road' with Jack Kerouac each in our own world of meanderings. When we tell someone to 'get a life' it might be a bit difficult when you're dragged into other people's 24/7.

I've come to realize two foundational principals, there are no accidents and everyone has a purpose. More and more I'm desiring everyone to come into a full realization of their purpose as we all find our way on this little jewel of a planet.

For me, as a professional 'Western style artist', I stumbled into Chinese Brush Painting after a trip in 1980 to Monet's home/garden. Seeing all of his collection of Japanese woodblock prints was an ahh haa moment for me and when I returned to the States I started painting in the Chinese manner and never looked back. The first year was extremely painful for me as I felt that I should be able to master the technique since I was a 'trained' artist. Not a chance ... that just gets in your way.

Now, after teaching close to 3,000 students and having my book 'The Ch'i of the Brush' published by Watson Guptill, I can say that every one of my students does better their first day than I did my first year! Why? Because I insist that they leave their critical parent outside and just enjoy the journey, respecting the work that they do. I never let anyone throw anything away because that just ingrains frustration and defeat.

We really only begin to learn when we stop and figure out how to 'save' a painting. It works every time.I am so proud of my students, their receptivity and eagerness to express themselves is a continuing blessing for me.So, back to finding your purpose. Perhaps it starts with realizing 'it's not about me'. It so easy to want our needs met and to filter everything thru this attitude. When we realize that we're here to be of benefit to every life that we touch the universe really provides the ways and means.

The best part is that it's really exciting to not have yourself on your mind all the time!I'm re-reading a wonderful book about authenticity and in my next meandering I'll tell you about it. In the meantime I'd love to hear about your journey and am here to answer any and all questions about Chinese Brush Painting.