Monday, October 5, 2015



…..was Laurie Pie’s pick to celebrate her birthday from a field of four spots.   Of course we had a photo op as soon as we arrived.

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The Polo Lounge is such a wonderful, memory laden spot and it’s always so delightful to be inside looking out at the patio!

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Carnivores that we are, Steak Tartare was the choice for starters and it was so much fun watching it being prepared table side. We each had our own and note to self:  This is enough for your entire meal!

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We were even each given a taste to make sure it was seasoned to our tastes….

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 WOW….and there’s a salad to come….eee gads!

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 I think this is called ‘The McCarthy’…’s quite good and the most finely chopped ‘Cobb like’ salad ever!

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 The best Red Velvet ever compressed into a cupcake with yummy Cream Cheese frosting!!!

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 After all that food our only hope was to go poolside and rest in one of the cabanas! (Yes, I did just ‘a little’ shopping in the Gift Store!)  Don’t you love their shopping bags?

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 I think I got a bit tooooo relaxed!

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 It was wonderful!

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 You could figure I’d have to get a pink Rubber Ducky to add to my collection!

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 Next morning Nikka brought birthday balloons for Sir Charles!  Soooo cute!!!😄

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 I don’t know how but she finds the cutest cards….usually musical with light up thingies!

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 At noon I met delightfully kind and sweet Cris Lutz  at The Huntington’s Munger Research Center for a tour.  We were greater by a darling group of young students and it was gratifying to know the Center is such a wonderful resource for young people!

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 Then off we went in our golf cart to the Rose Garden Tea Room (Is it my birthday???)

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 So serene…...

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But first a big hello to the amazing Tom Carruth, Curator of the Huntington’s Rose Collections and authority on all things ROSE!IMG 4756

 I’m showing you the ‘sweets section’ in the Rose Garden Tea Room because I made an effort to be real good and not put any of these yummies on my plate! (Except for the fruit of course!)

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 Tea time it’s all about the scones!

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 See how good I was…..

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Thank you dear Cris for a memorable afternoon and the gift of your friendship!IMG 4775

 Needed to stop by Linda Willner’s, my partner in crime from the MWD excursion.  I had saved a wonderful article from the newspaper about her awesome daughters animal rescue shop on Magnolia in Burbank….another great gal making a difference.  Hi Richard!  I could do a ‘drop in’ (phoned first) because we’re both from the Midwest and used to such things!

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Another memory laden place perfect for celebrating Sir Charles birthday!IMG 4797

 Oh Charles you are so precious and a hug from you makes the sun shine!

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 Mom we’re so happy you could share the evening with us!

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Vicki was worried I didn’t order a cake.  Are you kidding me????  How about the Bistro Garden’s famous Chocolate Souffle??? (They brought it out with a candle of course!)

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 Would you like whipped cream with that?  No, only two bowls please!

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I had ordered a Birthday Souffle to be brought to mom a little bit after Sir Charles’ as we had just celebrated her B-day and didn’t want her to feel neglected!  Or maybe I just wanted more whipped cream!

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Lunch with lovely Jean is such a joy……❤️IMG 4820Happy me! 😄

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 And here’s my cutie Sandie Girl waiting for the fun at Pirch to begin!  You’ll have to check out our amazing time in my next blog….

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In the meantime, may every lovely thing blossom in your life!IMG 4787

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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.