Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Newport Beach California - A Perfect Escape

Getting Swept Away with a girlfriends day out Sept. 27, 2013

My friend Mitra had called me several days prior to say she wanted to steal me away at the end of this past week for a nice day out.  She said since my upcoming surgery was looming in the near future she wanted to spend a nice day out so that I could be relaxed and stress free. She picked me up early friday morning to start our adventure and this is what we did:

First we drove to the beautiful Fashion Island in Newport Beach

It was so nice and quiet in the early morning hours

First stop Pain du Monde for breakfast

After a long leisure relaxing time we were ready to do some browsing and people watching.

Fashion Island is such a lovely place to shop or simply just to sit and watch the world go by...

So many nice shops...

Time to move on to nearby Rogers Gardens. This is a must see is you are in the area.

There are so many beautiful flowers and home and garden accessories here plus they have seasonal items.  Lucky for us the Halloween fun has begun here.

We were able to sit in a shaded area after visiting the beautiful gift shop and just appreciate some quiet time is such a beautiful environment.  Then it was back to Fashion Island for lunch.

Mitra took me to one of her favorite places , Dr. Weil's True Food restaurant featuring delicious healthy organic foods.  It's a lovely open space

There's a great outdoor patio dining area as well

We both ordered the turkey burger with sweet potato hash and kale.  It was so tasty and delicious.

After this Mitra said we should definitely have a pot of jasmine tea (it's so soothing) and a piece of the special of the day dessert , squash pie.

We absolutely went crazy for this pie.  We said "squash pie" sounded so ordinary but we wanted to try it. The taste was simply divine. The crust and texture of the pie was not ordinary at all. In fact the taste of this pie was "amazing".  I think I will be having dreams about returning in hopes that they will feature this pie again.  It was really, really good.

Here we are with Matt Tobin, the executive chef for True Food Kitchen.  He surprised us with a visit to our table to ask us how we liked the pie.  We were so thrilled to be able to tell him we had just been discussing how wonderful the pie was.   It was so good that just talking about it now makes me want another piece. Do go to True Food Kitchen.  Not only are the menu choices varied and so delicious but everything is good for you and tastes great.  My new favorite place in Fashion Island too.

Time to head home and we decided to take Pacific Coast Highway to Long Beach. The sparkling ocean was  so beautiful in the late afternoon.

Thank you Mitra for such a nice day. It was so thoughtful and kind of you to plan for a perfect escape,   and also so thoughtful of you to say I'm going to take you to a great restaurant where you can eat really good food and be healthy and ready for your surgery.  A truly wonderful day.


Plural of paparazzo, from the name of a photographer in Federico Fellini's 1959 film La Dolce Vita. Fellini got the name via scriptwriter Ennio Flaiano who picked it from the 1901 travel book By the Ionian Sea. The book mentions a hotel owner named Coriolano Paparazzo. Fellini claimed at another time that the name Paparazzo suggested to him "a buzzing insect, hovering, darting, stinging". Earliest documented use: 1961.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

One Express Pass Please

Forward Momentum
The Train as Metaphor

by Madisyn Taylor

People can be like trains, making unscheduled stops along the way, but inevitably always arriving at our proper destination.

The rails that crisscross the countryside and cut through cities have long captured people’s imaginations. Just the idea of taking a ride on a luxury train, an express commuter line, or a cargo train can often evoke a sense of freedom, adventure, or romance. Trains are like people in that they must inevitably arrive at their destinations. They make scheduled and unscheduled stops along the way and move at their different speeds. Some trains can travel for hours and are mindful of only a single destination; other trains meander from busy stop to busy stop. The route and purpose of any train may change as the years go by. 

Our lives stretch out in front and behind us like train tracks, and we are the train, its passengers, and the engineer.  The way you choose to live your life and the goals you are working toward are the route and destinations you have chosen. Like a passenger riding a train, you have the choice to get on and off, find new routes, pick new places to visit, or just stop and enjoy the view for awhile. Perhaps you like to move quickly through life as if you were an express train. Or maybe, like a commuter passenger, you like taking the same routes over and over again. You may even want to stop just riding along and choose a different direction you’d like you’re life to take. 

If you have examined the tracks of your life and are feeling unsatisfied, you may want to explore changes you could make to find a more fulfilling path to follow. Perhaps you’d like to slow down a little bit more and take a windier path rather than just traveling down the straight and narrow. Or maybe, you’d like to experience your life more as an adventure rather than just a ride that gets you where you need to go. Changing your route can sometimes give you a chance to “get on the right track.” You may even discover that the something new you’ve been waiting for is just around the bend. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Different Kind of Love

 "The leaves are all falling, 
and they're falling like they're
 falling in love with the ground.” 

― Andrea Gibson

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jigsaw Puzzling

Look what I've just set up today. All visitors beware you will not be allowed to leave until you place at least 5 puzzle pieces together. (I may ply you with wine to confuse or help you with this task). 96 yr. old Helen gave me this one in anticipation of my surgery with the title: "Joie de Vivre" and of course my love of Paris. So thoughtful.

 No photo description available.

 No photo description available.

Letting Go of Understanding

Deeper Meanings*

by Madisyn Taylor

We don't always need to know the deeper meaning of everything that happens in our lives.

All of us who seek to be conscious and aware regard our experiences as teachers, and we try to discern what lessons we are learning from the things that happen in our lives. Sometimes the lesson is very clear from the get-go, and other times we have to really search to understand the deeper meaning behind some event. While this search often yields results, there also comes a point in the search where what we really need to do is move forward. It is possible that we are not meant to know the deeper meaning of certain occurrences. Answers may come later in our lives, or they may come as a result of letting go, or they may never come. 

We are all part of a complex system of being, and things work themselves out in the system as a whole. Sometimes we are just playing a necessary part in that process with a result larger than we can understand. It may have very little to do with us personally, and while that can be hard to understand, it can also free us from overthinking the matter. Sometimes it is best to see it in terms of karma, a past debt we have been able to repay in this way, or as the clearing of energy. We can simply thank the event for being part of our experience and let it go. This completes the process that the occurrence has made possible. 

To make this letting go official, we can perform a ritual, make a final journal entry on the subject, or sit in meditation with the intention of releasing the event from our consciousness. As we do so, we summon it one last time, honoring it with our attention, thanking it, and saying good-bye. We then let it go out the door, out the window, out the top of our heads, or into the earth through the bottoms of our feet, liberating ourselves from any burden we have carried in association with it.

* From

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Daily Practice

"I wake up every morning with a great desire to live joyfully." — Anna Howard Shaw


Monday, September 23, 2013

Today Is Mike's Birthday

Happy Birthday
 to the most valuable player 
on our family's team!

Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion, a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit anywhere you like except in the umpire's eye or on the ball.  ~Jim Murray

Mike's childhood baseball team in Lakewood Ohio, c. 1950's 

  MVP of the year my husband Mike!

  May each day of the coming year
 feel like a home run 

Happy Birthday Mike!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Duck is A Duck is A Duck


"A penguin is only a duck in a monkey suit." -Groucho Marx

Saturday, September 21, 2013


"You don't just luck into integrity, 
you work at it." -Betty White

Friday, September 20, 2013

Being Gentle to Myself Often Means a Trip to "Vida Organic Wellness Center", Seal Beach California

“Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle
 with others.” -Lama Yeshe

One way to be gentle with yourself is to get a massage.
  I have a favorite 
place near my home called "Vida Organic Wellness". * 
  Sometimes you just 
need to relax, and indulge yourself in quiet bliss. 
 Get a massage or a facial
 and relax.    At Vida Wellness the quiet serenity of 
peace and relaxation 
help you escape the stress of daily life.  I love this
 intimate sanctuary
 located in the quaint little Main Street community of 
Seal Beach just off
 Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California.  The 
co-owners are a beautiful 
mother, daughter team.  Here they are:

 Rosana Oliveira, a lovely German-Italian woman born in Brazil

Daughter Julia Sackis as warm and kind as the ambiance around her

Vida Organic Wellness*
320 Main Street
Seal Beach, California 90740      

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