Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Magnificent Undertaking

The Saint John's Bible is the first handcrafted Bible commissioned by a Benedictine abbey in more than five hundred years.

I stumbled upon an article about this in my Santa Clara magazine.

The Saint John's Bible is separated into seven volumes. This was done for practical reasons—each completed, bound volume will weigh as much as 35 pounds, with a combined weight of more than 165 pounds. It also produced interesting artistic results. While images and motifs repeat across volumes, each collection of Biblical books takes on its own character. We can approach each collection and discover its particular character and place in the grand story of salvation.

It's a monumental undertaking, incorporating unparalleled artistic renderings.
The 7th and final volume is nearing completion.
I'm hoping there will be an opportunity to view some of the finished product.
Apparently several renderings are available through Amazon

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Angel Friends

My angel friends
have a new friend, Joy

and so do I.
Thank you, Diane!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

cute, huh?

if you go to Susan Branch's website:


you can click on each one and get the recipe.
I'm pretty excited, Katie wants a cookie making day when I get to Austin

A great new recipe!

Rod and I both love this, I'm sure partly because we can use his homemade, onionless, zesty salsa to give it zip.
I don't bother making the cilantro chile cream, just put cilantro in the soup, and sour cream on the top.

Mexican Chicken Soup with Cilantro-Chile Cream

A finalist in the 2002 ORTEGA "Create a Fiesta, Win a Siesta!" Contest, this dish was submitted by Julie DeMatteo of Clementon, New Jersey. This soup combines chopped chicken, corn, black beans, fire-roasted chiles, rice and chicken broth in a flavorful soup, topped with a garnish of sour cream blended with cilantro, lime juice and chiles. This hearty dish can be served as an appetizer or main meal.

• yields: 8 • preparation time: 20 min cookie: 25 min


1 container (32 oz.) chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jarORTEGA Salsa - Homestyle Recipe (Mild), (or any flavor)
1/2 cup long-grain rice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken, cooked, chopped
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed, drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 can (4 oz.)ORTEGA Diced Green Chiles
1 dollop cilantro, chile cream (recipe follows)


COMBINE chicken broth, water and garlic in large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add salsa, rice, oregano and salt; cover. Reduce heat to low; cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken, beans, corn and chiles; continue cooking for 5 minutes or until heated through. Serve in soup bowls; top each serving with dollop of cilantro-chile cream.

COMBINE 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 can (4 oz.) ORTEGA Diced Green Chiles, 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro and 1 teaspoon lime juice in small bowl.

This page is from Ortega's web site. For more great recipes, visit
© 2003 B&G Foods

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I love listening to a Way with Words, Grant Barrett and Martha Barnett's NPR show.

Yesterday's episode was especially fun, discussing people who intentionally mispronounce words.
Here's a link that gives several examples,

I love that I can hold my head high when I say poiple for purple
and bot-toms, accent on the toms, for bottoms.

Any examples of your own???


Always a joy to light the first candle on the first Sunday of Advent.

Journey of Hope

I just received Volume III of Journey of Hope, the annual chronicle of the achievements of Greg Mortenson's, Central Asia Institute.
Remember him from:

My admiration for him is beyond comparison.

How thrilling to see he has a new book out,

plus his children's book,

and that he will be speaking locally at the Unity Center/Downstairs Sanctuary 8999 Rd. Activity Road in San Diego on Thursday, December 10 at 7 p.m. It is a ticketed event and this site will give you the necessary info

I had the privilege of hearing him speak two years ago, an unforgettable experience.

Here's a copy of his letter that accompanied Journey of Hope,

He continues his miraculous endeavor.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pomegranates and Paper

I haven't visited Loretta Marvel's blog


in far too long.
I'd forgotten what an entertaining writer she is, what a creative artist she is, what a caring, albeit witty, wife/mother/dog lover
she is. Oh and then, how much I enjoy her book recommendations, far better than Oprah.

I spent way too long this morning catching up with her life, jealous, but happy for she and her husband, that they were able to find a cottage on Cape Cod after months of searching.

In her 'other' life she's a busy attorney, but she still manages to savor her morning coffee, create, work in her garden and write something that will always give me a chuckle and pause for thought.

Thank you, Loretta!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Gargoyle

I can't even wrap my tongue around what to say about this incredible book. It's an extraordinary first novel for Andrew Davidson.
In places it was horribly painful to read, his descriptions of the main character's horrific accident and misery in the aftermath in the burn unit are way too graphic. In other places the fantasy of budding romance between he and Marianne, the compassion they each share for one another in their mutual times of agony, leads you to believe in magic. The stories Marianne tells about their former life together are heartrending, heart wrenching. Davidson weaves in other love stories, past and present, as well.
Davi is a far better story teller than I so I'm anxiously awaiting her words to add to this.
It was recommended by our new friend, Kari, who "couldn't put it down." Davi had the very same reaction.
I, on the other hand, could, but I'm glad Davi urged me on. It's truly a masterpiece novel.

From friend to friend!

This was recommended and actually sent to me by Sherry. She's the most well-read person I know on the latest techniques and literature for well-being, both physical and mental. I've long been a fan of Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now, where he teaches you to turn off that negative tape that keeps running in your head and live in this very moment. Momfullness, plays that same theme, only with relation to how we mother our children, our selves, our oh so important friends, and our community.

I rarely take the time to type out segments of books, but the final pages of Momfulness are too good not to share.
As my children have grown and have begun to leave home, I've come to believe that the Angels' Promise (if you fall asleep before finishing our prayers, the angels will finish them for you) holds true for mothers as well. Our part is to begin the work with our children. In the end, that's all we can do. Then we must let go, say a prayer, and trust the universe - and all the angels- to hold them.
Mothering is a vocation that stretches us and that helps us find that which is most wise and loving and generous within us. Day by day, we deepen our practice of Momfulness by being more preset, attentive , compassionate, embodied, in touch with the sacred, and committed to community. As we open to the immense and maternal love at the heart of the universe, we discover that all of life becomes a meditation that transforms us, our families, and our world.
Let us keep reminding each other to breathe, to smile, to treat ourselves and one another with kindness. Let us hold each other when we need support, and let us challenge and remind each other of what is truly important. Let us take care of ourselves so that we don't hand down our unfinished business to the next generation Let us laugh together, and never lose our joy.
And let us take care of the children - our children, all the children. Let us mobilize our fierce and passionate mother energy on behalf of all beings on this little blue-green planet we call Mother Earth.
In closing, I offer this blessing:
May we be fully present, here and now, aware of the gift of each moment.
May we pay attention with kindness to what is happening within us and within our children.
May our hearts open wide with compassion for ourselves, our children and our world.
May we live fully in our bodies as we bless our families each day.
May we open to the great love and grace that holds us all.  
May we care for each other and for the earth as we draw wide the circle of our family.
May we all find peace.
May we all be well.

remember my zentangles post?

well here's a company that does very cool zentangley rubber stamps:

here a few images that i love:

found them through an ad in cloth paper scissors, a magazine to stir up anyone's creative juices!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's been a while since I've visited the oh so creative bakerella

Look what's she's done to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street

You can find the directions here:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kyle Orent

I've followed Kyle's successful fund raising events for CCI for many years and loved being able to see him on TV this morning.
What a charming, giving, industrious young man!

Monday, November 16, 2009

From today's Magnificat

The Lord Himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still (Ex 14:14)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No. County's Best Kept Secret

I'm am completely blown away by the fact that there's been a phenomenal quilt store in Encinitas for two whole years and I didn't know about it!
Here are some photos of Sleepy Night Hollow, located at the corner of Leucadia Blvd. and Saxony. It's a house, set back from the street, but once you pass through the screen door hold onto your hat - room after room of gorgeous quilts, fabrics, decor...

The best part of it is, I didn't spend my usual fortune, just because I don't have to stock up
on goodies; I can go back anytime.   Yea!!!!
Bless Rita Cooper for finding this local treasure.

America spreads her joy

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Miss America and friends at the mall

It's such an impressive sight seeing so many beautifully behaved pups walking the mall.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Five ***** for South of Broad

I absolutely loved this book. It's one I could read over and over.
His imagery with words takes my breath away.
Laugh and cry - doesn't get any better than that!

Some favorite lines:
entering a room at a country club where he knows he's not wanted, "I feel like a booger on a kleenex."
During a tough football workout, Leo's teammate, Ike, the Coach's black son is punished for calling Leo a forbidden name,
Leo takes his part, "When my cocaptain runs, I run."
Describing a time when the mass was said in Latin and the only part spoken in English was the priest's homilies,
When it came to their homilies, there was nothing living that a Catholic priest could not put to sleep."

Monday, November 2, 2009

America had a busy Halloween

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: America's Halloween
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Davielle, the artist

I'm so proud of Davi.
She's become a true artist.
This was "just a little something I put together" with 'stuff' from Lisa Bebi,
a local, oft-published artist.

Davi's creativity is inspiring!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How to start a Zentangle

takes me back to first grade - a very nice place to be!

It's here!

Pioneer Woman's cookbook has arrived! I've aleady tried and 'died for' many of the recipes from her blog/website
but what I love about the cookbook are her stunning, yet heartwarming, photos that tell her family's story of living on a cattle ranch in northern Oklahoma. If you love cowboys, cowboy kids, horses, dogs, sunsets I know you'll love this book!

A Gracious Man

Dean Koontz spent hours at CCI signing these two wonderful books, which chronicle the life of his beloved Trixie, a CCI released graduate pup.

He was very sweet to pose with America, who is half sister to his current pup, Anna

Family Gatherings

Here we are celebrating my brother's 70th birthday.

You might remember the collage I made way back in June
It was great fun to be able to present it to him in person.

The next day we headed to Santa Cruz to celebrate the wedding of Rosie (Rod's youngest sister of the 10) and Darren.  What a special occasion!
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Rosie/Darren wedding
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Friday, October 23, 2009

Two Book Recommendations

This was recommended by my sister-in-law, a school librarian.

I'm in the middle of reading this eye opening book. It's particularly appropriate for parents of middle school girls, but has much to say about how we raise our daughters and how we can give them tools to become intelligent, confident, independent thinking women.

A backyard visitor

Nice to have a jay back.
I was afraid if I moved any closer to get a better photo he'd leave.