Sunday, May 30, 2010

we cherish too

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
 Moina Michael 

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day.  It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

 Moina Michael conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. 

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the 'National Moment of Remembrance' resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps'.
The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

Monday, May 24, 2010

lost without you Jack....

First there was goodbye to Lost. I can't really say much about it, because after 6 seasons, I don't think I really understood any of it. But that's ok, cause the music was really good, and the actors were really interesting to look at, and I just excepted flashing forward and backwards and sideways...and in the end I think everyone is full of... black smoke.

But it's saying goodbye to 24 that is really hard to do....Jack Bauer is a name that, in our house, means the ultimate in technology, dependability, and righteousness.

I’m going to miss ya Jack…
You made me a better person… I aspired to the multitude of tasks you got done in one day. That was awesome. And if you got sick…or were shot…or poisoned…you still got up and finished your work. I think this is what our ancestors meant when they said…”A hard days work never hurt anyone.”

I worry about you Jack…because you not only work all day, you work all night too. 24 hours… straight through. I have often wished I could do that as well as you can. Just think how many things I would get checked off my list if I could work a straight 24 hours with the gusto that you do. And I have never seen you drink a cup of coffee…not one. How do you do that?

But I am concerned about you Jack…I really think you need to go to anger management. I can understand you being upset, life has not been fair to you. However…it is only this season I have seen you hold a grudge.
You have loved so deeply one hour, and the next that love is ripped away from you…I can see how that is wearing you down…maybe if you took a couple of days instead of minutes to think things over, you wouldn’t fly off the handle so much.  

Yep, I'm going to miss you Jack Bauer. You are my hero...You are the epitome of being honorable and trustworthy...and even though I may not handle things the same way you do... for an hour or two every week, I have felt safer in this world because you were in it.
Dammit…life is just not going to be same after tonight.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

giving it away...

So check this out....
I'm giving it away....
 the newly released book...
Book of Inspiration - Where Women Create -
In The Studio and Behind the Scenes with Extraordinary Women

written by Jo Packham and Jenny Doh

I’m one of 23 artists who is profiled and whose art studios you get to look into (mine is the unruliest by far...) The book is filled with inspirational stories, tips and ideas galore.  

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is write your favorite quote that never ceases to inspire you in my comments box below...and if you have a blog...tell your readers about the giveaway and link to my blog on your site. (this however is not mandatory to win,
but I thank you if you can...) 
On June 13th I will print your quotes...cut them out...put them in a hat...and pick the lucky winner...Your chance to enter the giveaway will end on June 12thcheck back on June 14th to see if you won…and if you did…we'll be in touch and I’ll be sending your book to you asap.

My favorite quote right now is this...found in the
365 days box of thoughts

Monday, May 17, 2010

1 family + talent + nice guys = stringfever

I love these guys...met them last year...heard their awesome performance...met them for a drink in London. Just missed them this year in Asia. They are one Family...loaded with talent...

Pause my music at the bottom of page to enjoy Stringfever...
Giles. Ralph. Graham and Neal...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Catch me if you can

I'll be talking on Life Lessons Blog Talk Radio Part 3 tomorrow...10:00 am pst.
If you miss can listen to it here anytime...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

teaching the reliquary...

My art pal Connie and I are teaching a really cool class at one of our favorite art spots...Zinnia..

All levels of experience will benefit from the techniques in this class. Hope you will join us!
I'm also teaching Main Street Blocks on June 12th. More info coming.

Monday, May 10, 2010

my strawberry pot...

Here's my strawberry pot...I always wanted one and a friend of mine gave me hers when she moved. I could not wait to plant it. At first I only had a few little berries, but they were unbelievably tasty. Now I am picking luscious fresh strawberries every day...
I love Ina Garten's recipes...I'm hooked on her show too...For Mother's Day I was given her Back to Basics Cookbook. I see more cooking in my future....
Here is Ina's recipe for Strawberry Shortcake, can't wait to try it...yum

Serves 6
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash


2 pints fresh strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur
Sweetened whipped cream
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Sift the flour, two tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Blend in the butter on low speed and mix until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer still on low, add to the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended.
3. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough ½-inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut 16 biscuits with a two-inch plain round cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Brush the tops with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned and the insides are fully baked. Cool.
5. To serve, toss the strawberries with the granulated sugar and Grand Marnier. Place the berries in martini glasses, top with a dollop of whipped cream, and serve with two small shortcakes on the side.

"If you have the time to marinate the strawberries for a half hour, they'll make a sauce that's delicious."
"This dough is quite wet. Use lots of flour when you roll it out so the biscuits don't stick."

Saturday, May 08, 2010

hugs for moms...

Reflecting on Mother's Day...I am grateful and proud to be able to say
I am a Mom...I count my blessings every day....
and to my wonderful Mom...
wish I could hug you on Mother's Day like this monkey...
Happy Mother's Day...
Mother's everywhere...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

part 8...hong kong...reflections

My reflection created from this magnificent sunset...
Hong Kong was on the horizon...
High energy, colorful, it felt a lot like New York City when you walked through the city streets. Shops are EVERYWHERE...from Armani and Chanel to shops selling electronics, sunglasses, vitamins, souvenirs,  and boutiques. SO many shops...It felt very Westernized... so very different from the China we had just left.

My family had planned to spend a couple of days in Hong Kong before heading home. It had been sad to leave the ship and say our final goodbyes. Everyone had been terrific and we had all experienced a smashing time. A few of our cruise ship friends had the day in port before the ship left that night for it's next destination. So we all went together to see Tian Tan Buddha...toted as the largest Buddha in the world...The trip to the Po Lin Monastery, where the Buddha is located, is breathtaking and a bit scary... but it was a wonderful way to see the city of Hong Kong and Kowloon from an aireal vantage point.

My kids Becca and Jesse (far right) stand for a final picture in Ngong Ping Village with our ship pals left to right: Sarah, Curt, James and Jack
The next day we took off for Stanley Market...a "must see" we were told.
We had survived the double decker bus ride on the winding roads and hairpin turns in the rain. So once we arrived we stopped and had lunch.

We walked the hundreds of booths and window shopped (sans windows), but I think the shopping is no better then back in the States unless you find something truly unique that you can't resist.

Our last night in Hong Kong was so much fun. We had a private room in the Sky Lounge at the Shereton Hotel which overlooks Victoria Harbor.  We enjoyed an outstanding 5 hour dinner that included a variety of wines and cheeses from all over the world, oysters and a huge piece of meat that was just outrageous.
 Vegetarians beware...skip this next picture...
 We had a fantastic view of the "Symphony of Lights", a show like no other that takes place every night at 8:00 pm.  The show creates an all-round vision of colored lights, laser beams and searchlights performing a stunning and unforgettable spectacle synchronized to music that celebrates the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong.  There are five main themes - Awakening, Energy, Heritage, Partnership and the finale, Celebration. It is named the "World's Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show" by the Guinness Book of World Records, and has expanded to include more than 40 buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbor.

(I didn't notice till uploaded this picture...but that looks like a UFO flying across the sky above that green light...what IS that thing?)
Needless to say it was a night and a trip we will never forget as we reminisced about our countless adventures on the other side of the world. The next day, packed and ready to go, we headed home to face jet lag and and our real world once again.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

part 7...sea and libation

Back on the ship for the last days at sea before we arrive in Hong Kong.
Just thought I would show you some art on the the form of sweets...
It was Easter...and the celebration included more than just decorated eggs...

The Sunday brunch was laden with delectable delicacies.

Don't stare at it too long or you'll gain 10 pounds....

It was during these days at sea I appeared on the in-ship TV show The WAKE with JJ Knight, our Cruise Director. You can see me above wearing one of the latest styles from
I also judged the dance show "Dancing With The Stripes" hosted by our deputy Cruise Director Frankie (who had his hair specially styled for the occasion.)

 ...and I had my final lecture on my life and times....and what I was doing now...
Here's a little montage of some photos my son Jesse took of me speaking and signing my book "Mixed Emulsions."
Here's one of my favorite pictures Jesse took...the kids got an eye...

 Then the last day on the ship, the choral group, led by the talented David, sang a medley from the "Sound of Music" that brought me to tears. I signed their sheets of music and it was really a beautiful way to say so long, farewell... We met some great people on the ship...
Our last stop...Hong Kong.