Tuesday, January 27, 2015


…..Surely you know that.  Basically it’s the proverbial breaking of bread.  The gathering together….the joy of sharing this life, these times with friends.  Coming together to share a meal is really about sharing one’s life…..catching up……remembering joys, comforting sorrows, talking thru those troubling situations or laughing over delightful ones.  Whatever it is, the food is incidental but why not have it be the best so we can add another joyful experience to our memory bank. That’s what brings me joy…..and lots of it!

See what I mean?IMG 4183

This happened  with the awesome Tina Marie who suggested The Tavern in Brentwood.

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 Here we go…...

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Lovely Tina ordered the soft scrambled…...

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I had to go for the Eggs Benedict which were the very best eggs ever….by far….

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It’s interesting….here and in my last blog, no one has noticed I’m wearing exactly the same thing in every photo.  Makes life sooooo easy!

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Lets talk about  these dates wrapped with bacon, bacon, bacon and stuffed with parmesan.  They were eyes roll back in the head good…..

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Desert?  I thought you’d never ask……’Snickers Bar’….salted peanut caramel with vanilla ice cream

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We stayed so long we closed the place down and even the valet left!  Now that tells you it’s not about the food!!!

Here’s a cute pup we saw along the way….

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When I got home, this exquisite creation by Amy at www.menuahflowers.com greeted me.  Amy is one of the vendors at the Castaway Restaurant/facility in the Burbank Hills. From time to time they have expositions showing various items for prospective brides to choose for their weddings.  This was one of the pieces Amy had on display and lucky me got to receive it after the event!  I know….it’s breathtaking!  Call Amy at 818.625.5243

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If I want to share precious time, feel wrapped up in love who’s the go to lovely one for that????  You know it’s Sweetest of the Sweet, gifted, loving Amy!  We shared lunch and our hearts at Recess Eatery on Brand.  Amy is as bad as Tomiko when it comes to having her picture taken and this one is priceless!

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O.K., we’ll get serious…..

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But why???…..(Chef Sevan is in the background)

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The best ever carrot soup!

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I always love their Ahi Tuna salad…...

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Time to be bad…..This went so well with the ‘all foam’ cappuccino!!

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The food was really sensational but it really took a distant second to the time I was able to spend with Amy!

A good example of the food not being #1 in importance was dinner with Laurie Pie at PF Chang’s.  

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I don’t think we even noticed the food talking about new projects for Laurie’s www.imdev.com and www.laurieburton.com.  Japan got in there too!

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O.K., here’s some food.

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….and there was something else….

We both wanted to see Theory of Everything and it was at the AMC 8 inside the Burbank Mall.  It was a dark & stormy nigh so thanks Pie for driving over.

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Wishing you blue skies and smooth sailing and most of all, special times with special people!

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Thursday, January 22, 2015



Is that what you think????  Well, I have to concede there is a little truth in that but I do try and work in some other things.  This post is dedicated to my foodie friends and you know who you are!

Lunch with Marsh and Stu….winter birds living in Newport Beach until Chicago thaws out.  I have to tell you I went to kindergarten with Marsha which has nothing to do with my loving to share a meal with her.  All I will say is that she has the most impeccable manners and I always feel like I just fell off the turnip truck when we’re together.

Lunch was at Kendall’s Brasserie in the Music Center.

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I’m happy to announce that the tomato/cucumber soup with shrimp is back.  It’s so yummy even if Debbie Gordon Korbel did say the shrimp look like precision swimmers.

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I am really trying to be good so I ordered the salmon which is never very imaginative.  Oh well!

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Incidental to the eating we went to the Ahmanson Theatre to see 'Blithe Spirit' with Angela Lansbury.

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Back to the eating….But first….I saw Blythe Spirit again with Tomiko the very next day as we have season tickets…..My goof….I thought it started at 2:00 as the Saturday matinee does.  We wondered why there were no people going into the parking area…..Too funny….the escalator was already going the wrong way for us and we were on level six so we had to walk all the way down to the Dorothy Chandler for an elevator & walk back.  Enough walking for me for the month!

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Tomiko’s New Year’s resolution is to allow her picture to be taken….Yippee!

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Back to the food….nice shot along the way….

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That very morning, Rosanne Sachson, in from Portland, told me I absolutely had to go to Zinc and so off we went….

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Oh my gosh we loved this place.  It is sooooo yuppie cool! You can even go shopping!

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IMG 3954We sat in the bar area…..it was still early so we got a great booth.  Nice and cozy to begin the feasting.IMG 3963

Split pea soup…..soooooo good!

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Why did I think I needed TWO poached eggs???

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The best grilled gruyere cheese sandwich on sourdough with cornichons,tomato and marinated onion.

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This Burrito made a great midnight snack!

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Yes, we were bad…..but this was oh sooooo good!  It was all vegetarian so does that make up for anything??? Here’s the Caramel sundae with whipped cream, marcona almonds, pistachios and rosemary essence.

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Next morning I was HUNGRY…..soooo, off to the Langham Hotel in Pasadena for an early birthday celebration for Lisa Bowman!

Charles and I were married in the garden courtyard here when it was the Ritz Carlton and sweet Lisa sang at our wedding.

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It was so lovely to relive those beautiful memories….and eat!

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Pea soup again….this time it was chilled….IMG 3987

Beautiful Lisa was happy with the choice….

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I then had fish tacos….

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It’s all about the cake….isn’t it????

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Are you ready for what happened next?  Good thing you’re sitting down….

Lisa had to get home and I was a bit behind her (dawdling).  When I paid for my parking, I noticed some activity off to my left.  At the same time I spied my car sitting in the driveway.   My curiosity got the better of me and I figured the valets would know what to do with the car so off I went……exploring.  Turns out PBC was having a huge event….stuff going on in several rooms but in the main one….here’s a clue...

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Yes, you’re correct, those are Cookie Monster Cookies!!!  Could the Monster be far behind???  No!

Wait for it…...

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Cookie Monster thought I looked like I needed a hug so I even got one! Yes, a full on hug!! Oh joy!!!

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For me……that was so heavenly I think I sailed through the rest of the afternoon…..until I realized I had left something in Tomiko’s car and she volunteered to bring it to me that night.  Oh dear…..another opportunity to EAT!

At Recess Eatery on Brand…..

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Can you believe how she’s letting me take her picture?  We’ll see how long this New Year’s resolution lasts!!!

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Had to do this….

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….and this….

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Well, by the next morning I was sooooo hungry….time to meet Lizzie Girl at Bloomies for lunch at their ‘59th & Lex Cafe'!  I am shocked at myself….no food photos but I will tell you we had the most delicious Strawberry Smoothies ( with whipped cream) along with their wonderful Tuscan Wrap which has all manner of good things in it.  Grilled chicken, dried cranberries and figs, avocado, roasted pecans, fontina cheese, mixed greens & truffle aioli all wrapped up in a warm sun dried tomato flour tortilla.  Yummy! So good even a photo wouldn’t do it justice.  Of course we had to have fries to go with...

Hi Lizzie Girl...

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I can’t wait ‘till Kita calms down and acts like a mature lady so I can take her shopping too!

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I’m going to do my best to control myself for the rest of the week.  Class at the Huntington yesterday was sooooo busy because I had several new students and tried to cover as much territory as possible.  You can see by the mess I created on my table how many things I showed them!  No time to eat!!!

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Adorable Monica Darga is custom making these wonderful wool felt pill box hats.  They can be done in your favorite artist’s inspiration.  Seen here is the ‘Frida’…..also available….the ‘Vincent’ and the ‘Nan’!

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Wishing you lots of cookies!


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.