Wednesday, January 1, 2014


……Years ago, when I first started this blog I wrote in the introduction that there are no accidents and that everyone has a purpose.  This past year I’ve seen those two foundational ideas proven true so many times that I’d now say ‘let’s carve that in stone’!  I suppose it’s good to reflect on the past year and to auto-correct for the future.  I tend not to make resolutions but I’ve got a good one for the year ahead and promise to tell you next year what is was if I’m able to keep it.  Also, I should be able to see amazing results from my resolution so here’s hoping I hold to it!

Have you ever noticed how sheer serendipity can bring you the most delightful things? That happened on Sunday when the horses that would be in the Rose Parade put on a show at the Equestrian Center…..I drove by and ‘popped’ in and wow oh wow did I ever have fun! Any takers for this toy horse now half price???

001   Oh the Wells Fargo wagon is a’comin’……..


Let’s hear it for the calvary………


All the rodeo girls were there……



Hey (or is that hay) I want to see the stars of the show….

wait for it…..

wait for it…..

The Budweiser Clydesdales!


Oh my gosh they are so magnificent….so huge!



They went that a’way….





Had to get this shot….2 feet away….one of the handlers had just untied his tail….




This was the cutest…..


I don’t know what Fru Fru was doing there!

098aO.K., don’t be mad, I didn’t mean to insult your friend!

096 Yes, that’s my hand just before I got a great lick…

074 This miniature was sooooo precious!

085 Joanne, an official Tournament of Roses guide looked as if she was trying to herd kittens!

104 The timing was perfect as I then went to Americana to meet Sandie and Jim (of course….it was Sunday wasn’t it????) for dinner at Amici. (They had just seen ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ and loved it!)


My dinner….lightly breaded sole.


I wasn’t looking forward to Monday morning and the repair of a broken pipe connecting to a hose bib.  144 I had been told it would be 2-3 days work for 2 men but thankfully Dale and Matthew figured out a solution that only took a day!


Olga came over that night and we had tea and yummy chocolates that she brought and such a relaxed, lovely time! Boy, after a day with the plumbers I sure needed that!!!

009 Vicki said that it’s a tradition in the Philippines to have an assortment of 13 round fruits to assure good fortune in the coming year. Bet you didn’t know that.  Just a factoid I’ve thrown in so you’ll be prepared for next year.

011 On to New Year’s eve….off I went on the 31st to Pasadena to pick up the lasagna and salad at Porta Via. But first a stop at Home Depot where I nearly spent the day….boy they’ve got so much ‘stuff’! Any Home Depot fans out there?


Porta Via….I guess I don’t have to mention I got way more than I should have but gosh, it’s an Italian deli….who can resist!

015 It was so much fun to see all the folks camped out almost a day ahead….waiting for the big parade!


Now listen up…new rules….don’t go out on New Year’s eve.  Bring the party to you…..just be sure you have a lot of food and entertainment to last until midnight! Phase one. Dinner…..


Phase two…..entertainment……These are the best….2nd year having them.  It comes with numbered song sheets, stick on numbers for the players and a baton for the orchestra leader (me).After you pop them open, there’s a different whistle inside each and the leader points to the person with the correct number (note) and they BLOW.  It gets hysteric  and keeps the natives occupied for quite some time. At this point they may loose the musical crown that also comes with the set.


Of course you’ll get a kit that comes with different colored hats, beads for everyone (think mardi-gras) confetti and horns.



You will need entertainment reinforcement at this point.  Teaching mom Candy Crush was a good one. We also goofed around with ‘Ginger’ and ‘Temple Run’.


I know, you’re thinking ‘what about desert?’ Well you can’t do much better than Dr Bob’s and I had three flavors….peppermint, chocolate and vanilla plus a lemon sorbet.  Everyone got to make their choices which were duly written down (you had the option of getting two flavors).


That went well with the assorted chocolates and anisette cookies.  Oh man….nothing left but to stagger over to the living room sofas to eat potato chips (‘cause you’re out of control at this point) and wait for the ball to drop! Kita wanted in on that sofa time!



123 Mom was quite the trooper, and still ready to party at midnight as she said goodnight to Kita.


Yes, it’s been a very good year and WE SEND YOU ALL OUR LOVE AND WISHES FOR AN EVEN BETTER 2014!


No comments:


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.