Sunday, December 1, 2013


… bound to be a great one!


Dorothy, Sandie’s mother is quite the artist and Sandie brought over one of her paintings and accompanying text for Nikka to scan and convert to greeting cards. They’re going to be wonderful!


Thank you so much for the beautiful Tulips Sandie…they were just the right touch for the Thanksgiving table!


Then it was time for Kita’s training in the park.  I asked Mary Beth to PLEASE show her that the bed is a good thing.  No luck, Kita refuses to use it but at least she’s not chewing it up as she did the previous four!


I give up.  Maybe Olga can use the bed for Jasper, their new rescued black lab.  He’s the sweetest and I suspect he understands he was saved from a high kill ‘shelter’ in San Diego.  I’ll get some pictures of him this week.

Time to meet Tomiko at Bar Verde….I’m addicted to that place.  Great food and a relaxing atmosphere.


Even the burgers are sensational there……


And these taco’s were absolutely delicious!

012 Love watching the food prep…they were making our taco’s.


The tree has been lit at Americana and the street is so sparkling…..


Monday Nikka & I took mom to her favorite Dr. She absolutely loves seeing him!


Then off to Habit for a burger……our usual stop after the doctors.


I know….what about Thanksgiving????  Well, day one I make the cranberries….I used to put canned Kumquats in but they’re hard to find so I just added the Cutie oranges along with some frozen O.J.


Vicki chopped the celery and onions, we sautéed them in a ton of butter and then combined all the stuffing ingredients.  I love adding chestnuts I get at Whole Foods.  (Always get an extra bag to snack on.  (Me bad!)


Enough of that….time to dash off to Americana….need books (are you laughing?) at Barnes & Noble.  Time to check out the new dumpling palace….. DIN TAI FUNG on Brand (they have valet parking).  It’s fantastic….especially the Juicy Pork Dumplings.


You can watch them being made…..


And the Sauteed String Beans with Garlic are sensational!


As are the yummy Cucumbers!


And the take-out bags and boxes are adorable!



Wednesday Kita was off to the vets for a bath. (B-Elegant, her spa, was totally booked). First the weigh-in…..94 pounds and growing!


Then I was off to Whole Foods to pick up our turkey.


I needed a snack in the car before the drive home…

069 Woops….don’t forget to pick up the dog….all clean for the big day!


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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.