Monday, September 8, 2014


……plus food and you have perfection!  We went to Trattoria Neapolis in Pasadena with the amazing Jakey the Reilly’s grandson.  I say amazing because he’s not quite two years old going on five.  No kidding, this lad is awesome… smart, attentive and almost ready for a football team. Such great fun to be with!




Jakey’s parents, Melissa and Nick are not only brilliant but so very clever.  When you have a moment, please go to Melissa’s website and you’ll see what I mean.  Also, you’ll get some wonderful ideas for your home.  Be sure to check out the House Tour and In a Nutshell and scroll down to Jakey’s room….read how Melissa did the mural.  On a personal note, you might see some Nan Rae artwork in the living room & Sandie Reilly’s in the bedroom.

I love this photo….construction by Granddad Jim and Jakey! Aren’t the two hands wonderful!!!


So cute and Master Jakey had perfect table manners and great skill in the utensil department! Now honestly, does this look like a two year old? (The one on the right silly!)


I can’t believe I ate the whole thing….it was sooooo yummy!


While Sandie Girl shared her blueberry pancakes…I did not share!


Back at Reilly Manor and possibly time for a nap! Honestly now, does this look like a two year old?


Well Monday was Labor Day and you know what that means!  My specialty….grilled cheese with at least a pound of butter, heirloom tomatoes, bacon, bacon, bacon, and rough mustard for some snap.  These were the best!


I forgot what all went into this salad but it was a yummy compliment to the sandwiches.


Poor Kita always has to be cordoned off or we’d have no peace while chowing down!


Mom polished off two sandwiches …….


And then we forced down some dessert! Soooo good.  Or should I say soooo bad!


Thursday Mom decided she wanted to go somewhere other than Bar Verde.  Oh my gosh why??? Chi Dynasty at Americana was O.K., the food is good but the service….well…and they still don’t have air conditioning and it’s been a year!

037 036 I loved The November Man.  Well, truth is, I would love anything with Pierce Brosnan but this was a really great action movie.


Kita was very good in the park last week and had lots of socializing! But truth be told….it’s all about the treats!


I’m a real optimist thinking I’ll have time to read this book.


Saturday’s Calligraphy class with Tom.

054 The Wisteria on the walkway fascinated me and I just stared and stared at the vines….


When the green tendrils grow and harden into wood they even fuse together.




Two cuties spotted during last week.


020 I’ve been thinking, do you suppose Lady Ga Ga got her name from Queen’s song Radio Ga Ga? Just sayin’

035 I’ll close with this thought.


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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.