Tuesday, February 28, 2023




 "I must have flowers,.

always and always." -Claude Monet

Monday, February 27, 2023

A Tale About The Cleaning Lady


My house cleaner is named Barb (aka ME). Today I gave the housekeeper a work out because I like the house nice and tidy before I leave on a trip. Sometimes when I clean I look rather disheveled. I mean I wear old jeans, my hair is held back with a make shift headband. Once long ago some religious door to door people knocked and I answered. They were use to seeing Mike who always listens to them kindly. When I opened the door holding a mop in one hand and looking worn and I'm sure a fright, they asked " Is that nice gentleman that owns this residence available?" I'm sure they thought I was the housekeeper, and they would be right!

Sunday, February 26, 2023



 "I have had a thousand lives and 

I have loved a thousand loves.

I've walked on distant

worlds and seen the end

of time. Because I read." 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Do This






Friday, February 24, 2023



 "The Best time for new beginnings

is NOW."

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Here's a Secret



 One of the secrets of a happy life

is continuous small treats..." Iris Murdoch

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Good Friends

 "Good Friends are like Stars

You don't always see them,

but you know they are there." 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Like Sand paper

 "When people hurt you over and over

think of them like a sand paper.

They may scratch you and hurt you a bit but 

in the end, you end up

polished and they end up useless."

Monday, February 20, 2023



"you have a place in my heart

no one else could have."  F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Rocco in the Rain


Rainy day with his blue elephant backpack. He's 2 years 4 months old.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Stuffed Animals Big and Small


Athena's old Beanie Babies

Knott's Berry Farm

Friday, February 17, 2023

New Beginnings

 "Who gets to determine when the old

ends and the new begins? It's not

on the calendar, it's not a birthday,

it's not a new year.  It's an event, big

or small, something that changes

us.  Ideally, that gives us hope,

a new way of living and looking

at the worlds, a way of letting go

of old habits, old memories. What's 

important is that we never stop

believing we can have a new

beginning., but it's also important to

remember that, amid all the bad, there are things

worth holding on to." -Meredith Grey

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Mississippi Pot roast Recipe


This style of recipe is one of my favorites because it’s so easy. It’s a great dump and go kind of recipe. All you do is:

 Sear the meat in 2 Tablespoons of oil in a hot pan 3 minutes on each side.  I cut the chuck roast in three big pieces  and did this.  Then remove meat to a platter.  Cut up 1 onion big chunky slices and saute in pan.  Add the sauteed onions to the bottom of instant pot.  Add the meat on top of that. Sprinkle on top of the meat 1 package of Au Jus  and 1 package of Ranch dressing. Add 1/2 cup pepperocini juice and 1 cup of sliced pepperocinis. top with 4 tablespoons of butter (1/2 cube).  Cook on high pressure for 65 minutes.  When it reaches 65 minutes the machine will cool/vent for 15 then when button is up move lever to vent and release.  I then remove the meat and place setting on saute and mix in 3 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tablespoons water. Add to broth and stir til thickened. I added 8 oz. of sliced mushrooms at the very end.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

A Party of Two for Super Bowl

I try my best to celebrate life at every opportunity. On superbowl sunday we had a party of two: we ate chili hot dogs with all the trimmings. Mike made guacamole and he made french fries in the air fryer. He had a beer and I had a gin and tonic. It wasn't fancy but we had a great time. While he watched football I was on the sidelines for half time entertainment and the commercials and I read my book. It was such a simple easy day but it was fun. I thought of this quote today and have to agree with its' sentiments.
"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."


A Valentine Celebration 2023



Sofia called me last night to excitedly tell me all about her Valentine's day and show me her cards. SMU had a special menu at the cafeteria which you had to reserve for Valentine's day dinner. They did. Things have really stepped up in that department from my days at a school cafeteria. Mike and I had a nice dinner at home. I made "Mississippi Pot Roast" a first for me. I made it in the instantpot. It was easy and really good. Google the recipe if you're interested. I recommend. He always makes me cards for every occasion and this one asked me a question. "Will you Be My Valentine?? Of course I said yes and then I opened the card and it asked "For the next 20 years" I replied "Well I'll try my best."


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Happy Valentine's Day


"The Best and most beautiful things

in the world cannot be seen

or even touched,

but must be felt with the heart." -Helen Keller

Monday, February 13, 2023

Burt Bacharach May 23, 1928-February 8, 2023



Burt Freeman Bacharach   was an American composer, songwriter, record producer, and pianist who composed hundreds of pop songs from the late 1950s through the 1980s many in collaboration with lyricist Hal Davd.  As of 2014, he had written 73 US and 52 UK 40 top hits.  -Wikipedia 



 Some of my favorite Burt Bacharach songs: 

Baby It's You-The Shirelles

Any song by Burt that Dion Warwick Sang ie:

Walk on By

Anyone Who Had A Heart

Do You Know The Way to San Jose 

Don't Make Me Over

This Guy's in LoveWith You-Herb Alpert

The look of Love -Dusty Springfield

and so many more. The music of the 1960's. 

May he make the heavens sing with his presence.

RIP dear Burt.


 “Music softens the heart, makes you feel something if it’s good, brings in emotion that you might not have felt before,”  - Burt Bacharach

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Tamale Pie Recipe

 This recipe is a combination of three different recipes tweaked to our family's tastes so if you use this feel free to reduce spices or add ingredients and make it your own. I like it spicy so I always adjust to more according to taste. Be careful with Chile powder start with minimum and taste and add more if you like. Again we are heavy handed on the spice.


1 # ground beef

1 onion chopped

1 garlic clove minced (you can delete this if you use garlic powder)

1 bell pepper chopped small (I used trader joe frozen mixed peppers)

1 Tblsp. olive oil 

1 8 oz. can tomatoe sauce (some prefer chopped canned tomatoes drained

1 8 oz. can kidney beans (or pinto as you like)

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. cumin (I used 2 tsp)

1 Tablespoon each onion and garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons Chile powder (I used 2 Tablespoons so there's the difference. Also depends on the kind of chile powder you buy. 

1 cup grated cheddar (or any cheese you like or combo of cheeses)

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 8 oz. can pitted black olives (optional)

1/2 c. raisins (optional I did not add)

Cornbread topping:

1 box jiffy cornbread mix

1 egg

1 8 oz. can creamed corn

1 jalapeno pepper seeded chopped fine

1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese


oil lightly 8X12 pan

Heat oven to 375

Filling :  Brown the ground beef, onion and garlic, bell pepper in large skillet until meat is lightly browned. Drain excess oil. Stir in tomatoe sauce, beans, spices (salt, cumin,onion and garlic powders, chile powder and black pepper. ) Simmer 10 minutes until well combined. Pour into baking dish and top with  1 cup cheddar cheese.

Topping: Mix cornbread mix with egg, creamed corn, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and chopped jalapeno. Pour over meat mixture. 

Note: if you want to have a plain cornbread topping follow the directions on the box and then pour on top of meat mixture.

Bake 30-45 minutes until top is not runny and slightly browned.  Some recipes say 25 minutes so be careful to peek at your casserole at 25. Depends on your oven. 

Here's one that's super easy from my sister in law Barb:

All That Matters

 "You know all that 

really matters is that 

the people you love are

Happy and Healthy

Everything else is just 

sprinkles on the sundae. "


Saturday, February 11, 2023

Finding Happiness


 "If you want to be happy,

practice compassion." -Dalai Lama

February 2019 A Conversation with a 3 1/2 Year Old Sofia


Bedtime adventures night 1:
After much late night talk, books read and chatting in the dark, silence and I think this little 3 1/2 year old is asleep. Then there is this:
Sofia: "I went to the zoo and I saw a snake.
Me:"Sofia, I don't like snakes and I don't want to have a nightmare about them."
Sofia:"What's a nightmare?"
Me:"A bad dream.
Sofia:"then can I talk about an albino alligator?"
Me:"Maybe tomorrow. We need to go to sleep now."
Sofia:"Gramma you're special!"
Me:"You are too. Goodnight"
With this I feel her snuggle close as she wraps her little arms around me and says: "Gramma, I love you."

Some People


“Some people make you feel better about living. Some people you meet and you feel this little lift in your heart, this 'Ah', because there's something in them that's brighter or lighter, something beautiful or better than you, and here's the magic: instead of feeling worse, instead of feeling 'why am I so ordinary?', you feel just the opposite, you feel glad. In a weird way you feel better, because before this you hadn't realized or you'd forgotten human beings could shine so.”
― Niall Williams "History of Rain"

Friday, February 10, 2023

An Awake Heart



 "An awake heart is like 

a sky that pours light." -Hafiz

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Happy Birthday to My Aria


 Wishing my dear Aria the happiest of birthdays! May the year

ahead bless your heart with joy, contentment and overflowing love.


“Some people make you feel better about living. Some people you meet and you feel this little lift in your heart, this 'Ah', because there's something in them that's brighter or lighter, something beautiful or better than you, and here's the magic: instead of feeling worse, instead of feeling 'why am I so ordinary?', you feel just the opposite, you feel glad. In a weird way you feel better, because before this you hadn't realized or you'd forgotten human beings could shine so.”
― Niall Williams "History of Rain" 


Monday, February 6, 2023

A Night With Fran Lebowitz



Tonight my friends Tracy and Maria along with my sister Jocelyn and myself went to hear Fran Lebowitz speak at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. 

First stop dinner at Seasons 52. We didn't have reservations and there was a two hour wait.  Fortunately we found 4 seats at the bar just waiting for us.  So lucky!





It was a fun night. Fran Lebowitz was so entertaining witty and smart.


 “Think before you speak. Read before you think.”
Fran Lebowitz 

“A book is not supposed to be a mirror. It's supposed to be a door.”
Fran Lebowitz
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