Monday, April 13, 2015


Perhaps I should begin at the beginning which was a week ago this past Saturday.  Mom and Vicki noticed a pool of water creeping into the kitchen…..but wait….there’s water everywhere and Vicki cannot mop it up fast enough!  Where are we?  Where is Noah’s Ark…..where are the lifeboats?

What could possibly be happening?

Mom’s condo is in a high rise and she is on the 3rd floor. The unit on the 9th floor had a hose burst and were it not for the maintenance man who bent over the hose until the posse arrived I suspect the whole building would have floated away.  Thousands of gallons of water had escaped and traveled down thru each unit including those below mom and I’m amazed it didn’t make the news at 6:00 as it was a complete and total catastrophe. All of the occupants from the 9th floor down are now living elsewhere as every home is uninhabitable!

Some of you know I’ve been writing a little book about what one encounters when one has a major medical emergency but I see now the topic has to be extended to cover fire and FLOOD!!!

I’m so proud of mom as she gathered her strength and came over the next day for Easter dinner.  I was mentally prepared to fix it and take it over to her and Vicki but somehow we managed to have a peaceful day here. Amy’s beautiful gift to mom certainly helped to brighten the day.  Thank you dear Amy!

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What I didn’t tell you when I did the Easter blog was that the papers we’re looking at were from photos of the areas that were damaged.

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Want to see some more?

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The green thingie you see is just one (and a smaller one at that) of the some 15 hot air blowers that have been running for a week now in the hope of drying everything out…..Boy are they noisy.IMG 7612

I have no idea what’s in these boxes as crews came in, took everything off the walls and all counter tops…...IMG 7605

Artwork is stacked throughout the living room…..
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Along with the washer & dryer…..I’m taking in laundry here.  We fluff and fold!IMG 7603

I unzipped this protective (ha) covering to have a look see into mom’s bedroom….IMG 7590

All of the furniture is pilled….correction…jammed into the center of the room….IMG 7586

A portion of this bedrooms walls...IMG 7384

Meanwhile, I was able to get mom space at the Embassy Suites in Glendale (owned by the Hilton which was completely booked)...IMG 7349

We’re managing to eat our way thru everything on the menu including all desserts.  Oh, did I mention the Happy Hour????IMG 7371

I saw these two cuddles in the Gift Shop.  You can probably guess the Hello Kitty is for Nikka.IMG 7367

I don’t know how much this helps…..IMG 7382

The Koi pond helps me…….IMG 7353

These fellows always swim over to say hello…..IMG 7363

I know I don’t have to tell you the great fun I’m having with the insurance company….I’ll just leave that to your imagination!

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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.