Monday, March 25, 2013


………..and time to party!


This is THE all time fantabulous experience, especially when the party is at Farnaz’s!

Here I am at the entrance anticipating wonders to behold……..


I arrived right on time (8:00) because at nine I turn into a pumpkin (more on that later). A lot of the food platters were still encased in cellophane awaiting their unwrapping…..


Our beautiful and gracious hostess to the left with her charming sister who’s here from San Diego.


Meet Kia, Farnaz’s son.  Gosh I remember him when he was just so high and now….What a charming young man, so kind and thoughtful and he’s now an orthodontist….so proud.


In the picture with Kia you can see the stairway to the lower level which also has a ‘main’ entrance.


Fully stacked and ready to go…………


The stuffed grape leaves to the upper right were the most delicious ever (had two) but could have polished off a plateful!


The kitchen (one of 8) before the droves were milling about…..


Sweets anyone?  Baklava (another favorite) to the lower right.


O.K., time to meet lovely Poolack and her main squeeze Zach.  This photograph does not begin to do her justice as she is truly the most beautiful girl….inside and out.  And so smart….another orthodontist!  It’s been a joy to watch Polack and Kia truly come into their own.


Time for the ‘Nowruz’ display.  At the end of this blog you’ll see a description of all the ‘Haft Sin’ items that are on this table (all the must haves). Soooooo interesting!


All the dried fruits, dates, nougats still covered (remember I said I was on time….which is ‘early).


Forgot to ask what these are…….


Another view of the Haft Sin table with Farnaz’s sister.


Happy me because I found the sweets!  Oh you’ll love this….One of the guests was wearing the matching skirt to my jacket!  The two together are way tooooooo much!!!


Oh my gosh….when does it stop??????


….and flowers everywhere.


I’m downstairs taking a picture of the artwork Poolak & Kia got Farnaz for Nowruz.


Here’s that stairway.


Got to dance soooooo…….got to have a DJ!


There used to be bougainvillea along this area but Farnaz made it into a rock wall of cascading water.  Wanted you to hear it but I think the party noise is drowning it out.  At the end you can see the water.

So, remember I said I turn into a pumpkin at 9:00?  Now that Nikka’s driving, she & Vicki go home at 9:00 soooooo.  Anyway as I was silently sneaking out Yousef stopped me with a ‘where do you think you’re going?’  After explaining he insisted I stay for dinner.  Dinner?????????????????  What was all that???

So, I stayed until 9:30 but knowing ‘dinner’ would not be served until AFTER 10:00 I knew I should leave. Farnaz, amazing hostess that she is, left her 200 guests and went into one of the 8 kitchens where hot trays of Persian delicacies were awaiting their set up and made ‘doggie boxes’ for me.  Can you imagine???




Persian rice is delicious!  I made sure Nikka and Vicki took some home with them.


Delicious salmon (my lunch yesterday!)


One of the patios……………………….


Able to see the view…………………


Oh, don’t you think we should all have received a ticket to win??????????????? I mean really…………………


Everyone received this lovely booklet when they left (probably at 3:00 A.M.)Image174 

Soooooo interesting!Image175 





Happy Persian New Year, Happy Passover and Happy Easter!


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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.