Tuesday, November 30, 2010

San Diego

Couldn't resist a few more San Diego pics. All but the last one are from my friend Erin's place. Her home always feels like a great big hug and their love is so tangible. That is her jewelry (below) which is so wonderfully organic and lovely it feels though it has been drawn from sea!

My little friend McKenna, (Erin's Daughter) with her little friend "Chili" (an African tortoise of some kind)

Where there is great love
there are always miracles.
~Willa Cather

When friends enter a home,
they sense its personality and character,
the family's style of living-
these elements make a house come alive
with a sense of identity
a sense of energy,
and warmth,
"This is who we are;
this is how we live."

~Ralph Lauren

I always love going to San Diego and getting enveloped in
"the love blanket" of my friends' homes!

Oh! If you are interested in checking out more of Erin's jewelry,
check out her Etsy site! I have 5 of her pieces I wear constantly!

Hope you are all having a beautiful week. I am off to write a paper for Italian class on the film "Ciao Professore!" Home stretch, the final is on my birthday next week! The movie is very sweet, by the way. Rent it if you can find it!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Dreams are a strange thing. I realize this is hardly a revelation. My Mom and sister have these fantastical dreams. Dreams with flying machines from the pages of a Da Vinci notebook and amazing adventure stories like something out of Jules Verne novels. I have always been quite envious of these dreams. My dreams? Not so fun. As a child I would dream that I was on my way to Disneyland and as soon as we arrived in the parking lot, my alarm would wake me up. My dreams have generally had a tendency to run along these lines ever since.

This week I had two baby dreams. One I had stomach cramps and rolled over to find a cute little baby there with no umbilical cord or anything. All I needed to do was find a blanket and figure out who the father was. The second dream was about an amazingly (and nonexistent in the real world) easy adoption office where you basically just had to be employed and decide what country you wanted your baby to come from. (a la Angelina)

Last night I found myself on a beach in Italy with loads of other people. I walked away from the beach on a little path to find myself in Assisi which, of course, is nowhere near the beach. It was a glorious day and I was so happy to be there! I sat in a cafe and two of my high school friends, Tim and Todd were there! This was very exciting because these two can be quite fun to hang out with. I immediately offered to show them around. After all, I'd been there before and had read all of these books about St. Francis and so on. At this point they told me another friend from high school was there staying off the main Piazza. "Who else is here?," I asked. "Oh," Tim said, "there are about 700 others of us here on a tour!" My heart sank. Oh my God, I thought. The town will be ruined.

Anyway, at least I got to be in Assisi.

Assisi 2008 & 10 ... without a tour of 700 from my home town!

"A dream is a wish your heart makes
when your fast asleep...
Have faith in your dreams and someday
your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
if you keep on believing
a dream that you wish will
come true."

Hopefully she was only partially right.
(And the other 700 don't show up.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunset Cliffs

Last weekend, I spent a beautiful few days in San Diego with friends.

I lived there from nineteen until I was twenty-three. For such a short time I have so many amazing memories. My friend Kristen (who I have written about and known more than 30 years!) and I saw these amazing clouds in the distance and knew we had to drive over to Sunset Cliffs to take in the sunset.

We did our best to stay bundled up and not slip on the rain soaked mud and sand of the cliffs. There is something about sunsets that make us patient, I think. We become more in the moment ... watching the beauty unfold ... letting life unfold.

This is from the little book Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie that I love and have quoted so often ...

Do more than trust the process
the journey you are on

Become so awestruck by it that you respect it too

Respect your feelings and the timely manner
in which they surface, heal and lead you into new discoveries

Respect your experiences, the places you've been
the scenarios you've been through

Respect the way you've gained gold and jewels
the treasures of the soul, from each one ...

Respect the darker moments,
the more difficult times when you're uncertain
and don't know what to do next

Respect the timing as your life and the journey unfolds

Don't murmur about why such and such has to be the way it is

Don't limit how your growth can happen ...

Learn to respect the path of others.

Learn to respect your own.

Have a beautiful week my friends!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Swimming in Italian Verbs

Obviously, I have been pretty M.I.A. on this blog lately. My mind feels fragmented and all over the place ... except in Italian class and figure drawing. I've only made it to figure drawing 3 times since it started up in September but it is definitely wonderful to let my mind focus in a very relaxed way ... in meditation, letting things happen naturally.

Italian however ... reading, writing, listening, going to study group, making flash cards and studying them in weird places, is taking up the working part of my brain. By the end of class I feel like I can actually feel my brain trying to expand in my skull and it's not pretty. Sometimes by the end of class I think, no don't tell us anything else tonight! Nothing else will fit in there! In these moments I realize how "brain lazy" I have been! It's good to know I am opening up or connecting neural pathways (or something like that) but frankly it's overwhelming to think of how little of the Italian language I actually know. I have such a long long way to go.

Anyway, I have been unable to focus on my blog. My brain is fried, but in a good way. ;) I feel really lucky that I am able to take the time to do this in my life. My teacher, or should I say "professore" is fantastically hilarious and we have a ball in class. It's fun to occasionally look around the class and see gales of laughter from 18 to 60 year olds ... all wracking our brains together, learning Italian and laughing out loud. It's pretty amazing.

Oh, and have I mentioned when Professore Flavio asks "Quanti anni hai?" (how old are you?) No one is aloud to say anything over "ho ventinove anni." That's "I'm 29" by the way.
Funny how it just rolls off the tongue!

conte and white pencil on Fabriano paper October 2010

I want to be doing this (above) but with my p.j.s and my tivo'd Dancing with the Stars, but for now I am off to my little 2 x 3 inch flash cards and the Italian short film evening at the Egyptian Theatre.

The brain is wider than the sky.
~Emily Dickinson

Hope you are having and amazing week
and using your brain in new and wonderful ways! ;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

... off the docks, a different perspective

3 years ago my parents bought a sailboat, intending to take sailing lessons. Between moving to another town, taking care of me when I was sick, remodeling two bathrooms and landscaping their yard, the sailing lessons didn't begin until just recently. They have been practicing taking the boat in and out of the slip and taking it around the harbor but they hadn't actually sailed it out of the Ventura Harbor.

Sunday there was finally enough wind to really take it out ... into the ocean! Benjamin (my five year old nephew) and I happened to be on the boat that day. The weather wasn't exactly sunny in Southern California but it made for some interesting blue/grey paletted (is that a word?) photos and it was so fun watching the sea lions and pelicans with Ben. I might need to do some watercolors and pastels from these ...

There is something so amazing about being out there ... being cradled by the ocean and leaving the world behind. Well, sort of. We were also eating potato chips and listening to Frank Sinatra as well as the weather reports from land to make sure were weren't going to end up in a George Clooney "wave movie" , but still. We were out there.

It's a different view of the world out there, of the planet, and it's always good to get a different perspective.

Below Anacapa Island in the distance ... part of the Channel Islands

pelicans on the jetty

Back in the Ventura Harbor

The world is round
and the place which may seem like the end
may also be only the beginning.

~Ivy Baker Priest

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Positano Walk

"I was the world in which I walked."

~Wallace Stevens
Tea at the Palaz of Hoon

Walk with me ...


Appreciate what is behind you ...

All of the beauty ...

But don't forget ...

to see the beauty

that is in your midst

right where you stand ...

On the path you are on.

These photos were from my trip to Italy last May. Sometimes I wish I could teleport myself back there (for obvious reasons! How crazy gorgeous is it!?) but I try to remind myself to see all the beauty that is around me right here, right now. Of course, I am not at all perfect at this but fortunately there are things and people to remind me of it. Life reminds me of it.

I hope you are finding beauty in your world,
on your path,





If not, I pray you find it soon!
Blessings and light my friends.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Friends in the Desert

Yesterday I got back from a crazy, fun, moving and meaningful weekend with my girlfriends in Palm Desert, California. We met there from around Southern California to celebrate our longtime friendships but most of all, to celebrate our dear friend Shannon's 40th birthday.

This photo was taken in the California desert back in the 1970s. That is me on the right standing next to Shannon who I have ( clearly ) known most of my life! We share so many memories that our lives are woven together in the same tapestry and I can't imagine my life without her in it.

"Let there be no purpose in friendship
save the deepening of the spirit."
Kahlil Gibran

We are family. Most us have known each other since grade school ... before boys ... careers, husbands or kids. We have been there to celebrate when we're the best version of ourselves and be there when things get really tough. We love each other. We're lucky.

Shannon's Saturday night "Birthday Sushi Dinner!"

"In the sweetness of friendship
let their be laughter
and sharing of pleasures."
~Kahlil Gibran

Flashback to 21 years ago in San Diego, California

Birthday Girl looking gorgeous at 40! Had fun drinking champagne and curling her hair, which doesn't happen often because she is pretty busy with her 7 year old twins!

Happy Birthday Shannon!

"Let the best be for your friend ... "
~ Kahlil Gibran

I am grateful for so many blessings in my life and along with my family, my friends have been my greatest gift. We aren't perfect but we love each other and share our lives and our humor and our talents and gifts with each other. Each one of us contributes something special ... something amazing.

Take a moment ...to call your friends, send a card ... an email ... something ... and let them know you love them.

Blessings and light to you,
my blogging friends,
for a beautiful November beginning!