Friday, January 27, 2012

"I will not die an unlived life ..."

I love this piece of writing by Dawna Markova ...

I will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.

Watercolor study
fall 2011

I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

~Dawna Markova

I am off to have a little reunion with my high school girlfriends this weekend. Hope you have something fun planned!
It was a busy week last week, but I will be around to your blogs very soon!

blessings and light!
Have a beautiful weekend!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Begin with Kindness ... and Etta


We are all in this together.
So when you realize that you’re talking to yourself,
label it “thinking” and notice your tone of voice.
Let it be compassionate and gentle and humorous.
Then you’ll be changing old stuck patterns that are shared by the whole human race.
Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.

(Start Where You Are)

Pema Chodron

watercolor still life study
fall 2011

Etta James has moved on to a kinder place but we still have her music to enjoy
and her passion and vocals at which to marvel!

I remember the first time I played her album on my brand new stereo back in 1997
and putting this song on repeat.
It is my favorite Etta vocal.
and it is amazing.


Have a beautiful week!
Blessings and light!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Colorful Chinatown and The Framing House

Three things I love about my framers at The Framing House

1. They are cheap.

2. They are very helpful and patient with me and all my questions (and how very long it takes me to make up my mind.)

3. They are in Chinatown.

I suppose the drawback is that I can't possibly go get anything framed without running across the street to the bakery for almond cookies. A little taste of buttery heaven!

I hadn't really thought about going to take pictures last week, I was more focused on the pastels I was framing, so these pictures were taken with crazy settings on my iPhone.

iPhone Chinatown
January 2012

mmmmm ...

Golden Dragon Gifts has fun and inexpensive trinkets ...

And this is where I got my 5.99 replacement slippers (in red of course!)

Love the red lanterns! They always remind me of the incredible cinematography in the film, Raise the Red Lantern, for obvious reasons. Every shot in that film was like a work of art!

This is a great little higher end shop called Realm that is in an old restaurant that opened in 1939. Wish I'd gotten a better shot of the ceiling but it was tough with the lights!

I think I need a neon Buddha. Just saying.

Raise the Red Lantern is an incredibly beautiful movie, visually, but subject-wise it's rough and quite haunting. Gong Li is amazing in it and it was worth seeing, for me, for the visual feast.

Each moment is a place
you've never been.

~Mark Strand

Hope this week, you are enjoying places you've never been.
Blessings and light to you!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter Moment

Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four brand new hours are before me.

I vow to live fully in each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.

~Thich Nhat Hahn

still life detail - unfinished
watercolor on paper 2011

Because you are alive,
is possible.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Hope this weekend is bringing you
blessed moments
and much peace.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Let the Adventure Begin

I ask all blessings,
I ask them with reverence,
of my mother earth,
of the sky, moon, and sun my father.

I am old age: the essence of life,
I am the source of all happiness.

All is peaceful, all in beauty,
all in harmony, all in joy.

~Anonymous Navajo

San Luis Obispo 2011
Pastel on Wallace with watercolor underpainting

Can you believe it? We are already a week into 2012! For the most part, I just finished cleaning up the last days of 2011!

I returned from spending the New Year with friends in San Diego, to emptying the hall closet for plumbing work, in the midst of yet unpacked luggage and Christmas ornaments. I pretty much have it all under control now and am feeling ready to get going with the new adventure of 2012.

My friend Karen, from Italian class, and I have decided to broaden our culinary repertoires this year so we began that little adventure Friday night. I had purchased a cookbook for my niece Rachel (Italian Country Cooking by Loukie Werle) for Christmas, which it turns out she already had, so I kept the book and this was the result ...

Guazzetto di pesce e fagioli

3 tablespoons evoo
2 large cloves of garlic (I used 3 and we halved the recipe!)
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 pd cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup dried cannellini or great northern beans, cooked
good handful flat-leafed parsley coarsely chopped
4 white fish fillets, about 6 oz each (we used cod) cut into 2 inch pieces or left whole
lemon wedges and grilled bread (it was so yummy we didn't used the lemon)

So easy! (And better than it looks) Basically you are heating olive oil, throwing in garlic, a small amount of red pepper flakes, the white wine and halved cherry tomatoes over a medium heat. After that gets warmed up and the tomatoes soft, you throw in cooked cannellini beans and chopped parsley and cook another 5 minutes. Lay the fish on top and season with salt. Put the lid on and cook for about 10 minutes.

We started eye -balling everything because we used canned beans and they were absorbing the liquid so we added more wine (before adding the fish) and of course, as always, I more than doubled the garlic.

mmmm ... The recipe is definitely a keeper! It was delicious!!!

That night we watched a very entertaining documentary about an Italian guy in Rome, who put together a multi-ethnic orchestra of immigrants living in the Piazza Vittorio area. It was great seeing these musicians come together from different backgrounds and religions and create wonderful, fun music together.

At first the main guy has trouble finding musicians. When he asks around the neighborhood, if anyone knows anyone who plays, you'll see in the trailer, everyone shaking their heads no. The documentary is subtitled in English. Unfortunately, the trailer isn't, but you don't really need it. :)

Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio

Let brotherly love continue.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers:
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Hebrews 13.2

Hope your 2012 is off to a great start!
Blessings and light!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! Here's to new beginnings ...


Here's to

New Beginnings

Finding Peace

Being in the Moment

Here's to
and Friendship

Seeing the Beauty

Here's to ...

Being Open to Inspiration

Taking New Paths

Seeing with the eyes of a child
(maybe even playing in the mud!)

Embracing Love

Here's to being
The best version of ourselves ...

Seeing the Humor!

And here's to being grateful
for another year

Blessings and light

for a

I saw this YouTube video on the great blog The Road to the Horizon. You might have already seen it but I thought it was pretty fun ... and gets more fun as it goes along, so keep watching!

The Power of the word
is real whether or not
you are conscious of it.

Your own words are the
bricks and mortar of the
dreams you want to realize.

Behind every word flows energy.

~Sonia Choquette