Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving.


Image by wishtrumpet.com

Today is our traditional American holiday of giving thanks.  We are to pause and remember those gifts in our ordinary or not so ordinary days.  But this holiday, as with oh so many in our culture has been hijacked by the corporate sell.  I could rant on about the loss of focus to that which is of true importance in our lives but today is so sacred to me.  This is the holiday that embodies my daily practice of rising early to record all the blessings, great and small, that make my journey remarkable.  I reflect on those gifts in my life which are those that glitter with authenticity and shine a light into every moment of my life.  

My husband-Mr B, for 35 years now.  Up and down. Round and round.  Rich or poor.  We have weathered storms and enjoyed safe harbors together.  He has been the one to put up with my madness and gently stear me down the better path.
My children-Elizabeth and  Maureen.  So incredibly different but remarkable women in their own unique way.  Liz; tough, resilient, accomplished and single-minded.  Maureen; light as air, deep, born an old soul with her incredible wisdom.  I love them both and am proud they have become the women I most admire. 
My grandchildren-Gavin and Isabelle.  Funny people figuring it all out.  They are becoming independent thinkers and not afraid of anything.  I am seeing them grow into their gifts.  Treasures to us all.
My fur-babies-Boop and Che.  They are my incredible joys.  Greeting me every day I walk through the door as a miracle returned.  Stinky kisses generously given as they live their lives fully in the moment.  Such teachers these little creatures are.
My roof overhead that shades me from the heat and shelters from the rain and cold.  This new address has taught me the great lesson of finding the good in my circumstances and reconnecting with creativity.  
My new neighbors as they show retired living can be full and happy.  I am fortunate to be flanked by two lovely women with gentle hearts, warm smiles and quick wits.  
My dreams of Paris, resurrecting a garden in my backyard, kitchen reno on a budget, and full retirement in ten years.
My greatest teacher, the Universe.  With its tools of sunrises and sunsets, the Pacific ocean, the miracle of orchids and plumeria blooming in pots on my patio in spite of me, trees flowering out in bright yellow, flashy hummingbirds stopping for a meal, the geckos courting each other beneath the palm tree, the wind whispering through pine needles at the park, hawks overhead and bunnies in the yard, and the quiet moments like this very one. 
I am a lucky woman and so are you.  Write the gifts in your life today. Take a moment every day and watch the shift that occurs.  You will be grateful for it.

As always, thank you for stopping by Moonlight Lane.  

xx-hb

Friday, November 20, 2015

Rainy Sunday

With the weather finally cooling and rain finally falling in our parched Southern California, I was bitten by the baking bug. Warms aromas, toasty kitchen, raindrops outside becon to return to my kitchen and nurture body and soul.

Started with a recipe of Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits.  In a word-disaster. They didn't rise much on the counter so I stupidly thought "Oh, they will rise as they bake. Kinda like a cake!"   Nope.  The taste was there but they were pucks not biscuits. Darn it!  Oh well, the omelets and bacon were good!  

Part deux of the day, enter Ina Garten to save my baking day. Favorite television chef, she brings fresh ideas to tried and true recipes. Love her style too. Who wouldn't love to have "The Barn"?  So a cozy autumn dessert of Easy Apple-Cranberry Cake was on the menu. This rustic cake will fill your entire home with the comfy smells of autumn.  It's not too sweet but just the right balance of tang from the cranberry and the sweet contrast of apple.  The bit of orange zest and juice add a freshness as well.

 
A dollop of vanilla frozen yogurt is perfect on the warm cake.  This is fabulous for days - just a quick heat-up in the micro and it is as good as the day it was made.  
 
So while this lovely lady was cooling, I made our dinner, Carbonnade a la Flamade.  A fabulous recipe from Cook's Illustrated.  Here is a photo from the  website but my version below looks better, if I do say so myself.
 
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I have made this for several years and never tire of it.  You will have to subscribe to Cook's Illustrated to get the recipe.  If you do make it, follow it to a "T" and use Chimay beer as it really does give the best result. 
 
There.  My rainy day was perfect.  Hope your day was too.
 
Thanks for stopping by Moonlight Lane!
 
xx-hb
 
 




Saturday, November 7, 2015

Household Tip

With Farmhouse Decor all the rage, I am reminded of the simpler times.  No cell phones just those wooden ones on the wall  No televisions just a huge radio to storytell and let your imaginations be the set decorators.  No emails but the great old mailboxes bringing good tidings from faraway friends and family in crisp white envelopes with your name in blue ink and pretty script writing.  No microwave ovens just the old faithful stove and oven to heat up your leftovers or melt butter.  People actually read a book not a tablet.  Women baked cakes, cookies and pies.  Gingham cafe curtains at the kitchen sink window.  Cleaning supplies were simple and non-toxic; white vinegar, baking soda, Fells Naptha, Ivory soap, basic bleach, sunshine, open window fresh air, and good old elbow grease.

So with a feature on Hometalk, a good place to find tips and homecare how-tos.  Some a bit cheesy but there are some good ideas for the every day chore.  Check out the idea to clean your oven racks in the bath tub.  I am going to try it after the Thanksgiving turkey makes its mess.  Also one to use aluminum foil to clean chrome (Might make my teeth feel funny though.  It's similar to  the nails on a chalkboard thing.) 

This is one found this morning, a non-toxic way to brighten up stainless steel sinks.  I am fairly certain mine is original to the house, circa 1978.  Its in pretty good shape but could use a facial, so to speak.  White vinegar, baking soda, canola oil, all ingredients right at hand.  Yes!  I can remain in my pajamas!  

Here's the before...not too bad just not too good.

Here are those basic ingredients, minus the elbow grease.  Hard to snap a photo of that.

First stop the drain then add some vinegar and scrub it all down; bottom sides and edges.  Then add a shake or two of baking soda and watch the fizz.......

Now scrub again all over.  Rinse.  No repeat.  Towel it dry and the add a tablespoon of canola oil wiping everything down and et voila!    A beautiful shiny stainless sink.  No harsh chemicals!  

The wonders of no nuclear warfare in the kitchen.  I am even getting used to the smell of vinegar.  Now if I could only do the daily Apple Cider Vinegar drink my insides may sparkle too!  

Thanks for stopping by Moonlight Lane.

xx-hb








Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Bit of House Charming

Been working insane hours lately...eleven hour days and six days a week.  That leaves so little time for much else.  Downside: one day a week to do chores in and out of the house.  Upside: keeps me out of the stores practicing mindless shopping!  

I have wanted to warm up the corner windows of our tiny guest room.  Cold. Cold. Cold and Bleh!   The front yard has a short life left as we are all getting a more drought-resistant scape.  We are on the list for next year and I will post befores and afters.  But I digress....back to the windows. 




So last Sunday in the Big Lots flyer there is a feature of curtain rods for $6-$9!  Yes, Big Lots!  I went there wearing my skeptical cap as I was certain they would be plastic.  Au contraire!  Not high end but oil-rubbed bronze with slight distressing at the end caps.  $15+ and I am happily on my way home.  

Fast forward to this week...Here are the drapes, in much need if ironing, and the Big Lots rods.  


Taking the plastic "valance" off the blinds and then a quick install of the rods.  The longer and more labor intensive part was ironing the four panels.  They were purchased four - five years ago from World Market.  Admittedly they have seen better days.  My boy Che, the Yorkie, used to have "lifting leg syndrome" and was fond of showering anything that hung from above him.  (i don't have a bedskirt to this day.)  The panels had been marked over and over again because darn me, every time he lifted, I washed.  He has since been fixed and is now syndrome-free.  

Here they are.  Keeping the blinds as the sun can be intense and need the extra heat protection during the hot hot months we have.  



Love the softer look and feel.  A breeze sweetly comes through the open window giving the drapes a pretty motion as they lift and fall.   A touch of house charming.  

Thanks for stopping by Moonlight Lane.

xx-hb






  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

So You had a bad day......

Security Guard Stabbed at Private Oceanside Park.  That is the headline.  


My little park with the ocean view with misty golden sunsets.  The place where so many of us walk our dogs and count the bunnies munching on the soft green grass.  A family of hawks lives in the pines above and soar overhead calling to each other.  


Bright yellow butterflies dancing on the whisp of a breeze between the brilliant hot pink bougainvillea and cool white oleander.  Park benches dedicated to long passed residents who earned memorial for their service to our little community.  


At the stoney eastern end, cairns piled to mark someone's moment of being present in this quiet oasis.  

would often go there with the babies to reset my soul after a particularly rough day at the office.  And just this day, I was throwing quite a gala pity-party; orders not shipped on time, others shipping too soon, lost boxes in the black hole between the warehouse and the FedEx truck, bank balances way too low and how the h@££ do I tell my husband?  Yes all these were the balloons, streamers and confetti of the festival in my head.  When POW, here is reality.  Christina, one of the security patrol officers doing extra duty in my neighborhood is stabbed, middle of a Friday afternoon, in our little bucolic haven in the city.  

I had been told that the increased security was due to problems with non-residents DOG walking.  As it turns out, the problem is non-resident DRUG taking!  (jeesh, no one can hear around here).  Our neighbor Ruth's house overlooks the entrance to the park where picnic tables and benches offer a birds-eye view of the park and beyond.  She reports that at all hours there are people shooting up whatever drug they can afford and leaving their needles amongst those dropped by the pines.  This has been going on for weeks! 

Ruth is the one who heard Christina's screams and found her on the ground with the switchblade knife still in her stomach. Nine one one.  Police and their dogs. Ambulance. EMTs. Helicopters.  People detained.  People interviewed.  By the time I had come along, all these were gone, except Ruth sitting on the bench trying to breathe again.  Debbie, another neighbor while walking her little dog witnessed the whole thing was now at home gathering herself as well.  Christina at the hospital in surgery.  

So as I finished my late afternoon walk with my two precious dogs, I remind myself, Miss Pity-Party Hostess, you thought you had a bad day?  These are the dramas taking place all around you every day.  Gun violence.  Death.  Refugees in despair.  Illness.  Tragedies of all proportions that leave their mark on us, humankind.  Now go reset your perspective of how damn lucky you are.  

xx~hb

Friday, September 18, 2015

It's Friday

Another week comes to an end.  Laughter and struggle were the flavors this week.  I can keep the laughter but the struggle is not worth the toll on my soul.  So with these words, I end my work week with a deep inhale and longer exhale, whispering these words....


xx~hb 




Saturday, September 12, 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday Meditation


Today I share a letter written by Katrina Kenison, written to herself while attending teacher training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health.  It is the last page of her moving book, Magical Journey, An Apprenticeship in Contentment.

"What I want to say to you, my dear, is this: Just for today, live the passionate truth of who you are.  Stop looking at what is undone, what you haven't achieved, where you've fallen short.  Look, instead, into your own full heart. If your journey brings you to a choice between love and fear, choose love.  Vulnerability has its own grace and it's own gift.  Offer it.  Be brave enough to be vulnerable.  Allow yourself to be seen - dancing, and falling, and failing, and trying again.  You are loved, and all that you, have to offer is deeply needed.  Your own presence is a force for healing.  Be present.  There is more going on than you know, more guidance and support surrounding you than you can even begin to imagine.  Trust it.  Your own strong roots are in place  - in your own body, in the earth, in the ongoing story of your life, just as it is.  Put your faith in those roots, and allow yourself to go with the flow.  Let go and breathe into the goodness the you already are.  Move with the current, not against it.  Resist nothing.  Let life carry you.  You have work to do.  Begin it."

I am now in the habit of reading my tattered copy of this letter every morning when I rise.  It serves to remind, comfort and inspire that my life is unique and to be cherished with my every breath. I am more mindful of even the smallest of blessings that surround my every day journey.  

So on this Labor Day, which marks the end of yet another summer but the enchanting beginning of autumn, do yourself a glorious favor and order this book.  Take this season of reflection to open your heart and soul.  Read her journey of love, loss, and discovery.  I am filled with gratitude for her sharing this gift and wish to pass it forward.  

xx~hb

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Egg Salad


I am sure this isn't new to most but just I case, use your pastry cutter to make short work of cutting up hard cooked eggs for egg salad.  Used to use the old dinner knife and man, those little eggs are slippery suckers.  Have had more than one escape to fly on the counter, bounce and slide off to the floor.  

Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Meditation



"No longer indispensable , no longer assured of our old carefully crafted identities, no longer beautiful in the way we were at twenty, or thirty, or forty, we are hungry and searching nonetheless.". 

Yesterday I finished this remarkable book.  It touched me on the deepest levels of my soulful yearning for the meaning of my past and the way to find  purpose in my future.  I am changed because of it.  From the first pages i sat reading with tears streaming down my cheeks.  Her loss of a dear friend cutting so deep into her that I felt the razors edge on my heart.  And then her journey seeking wholeness from a life so quickly changed. 

We all experience loss, disappointment, longing for purpose, with the little voice reminding us to stop for but just a moment.  Listen, see, hear and taste your life fully.  I cannot thank Katrina enough for this remarkable work of wisdom.  I am going to retread but this time with a highlighter.  


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Monday Meditation

Found this image on Picturequ❤tes.com and it helped remind me that I am hanging on too tight right now. Work is a roller coaster which spreads its influence on my entire life.  I am not over the last cliff of layoffs just a few weeks ago and now new rumors are spreading.  Parent company selling part, parts, all....just uncertainty all around.  We wring our hands at the lunch table and wonder what the future holds.  The drama is deep in its second act and I am exhausted by the play.  Let the curtain fall and let me get on with this life for what I am doing now is surviving with the tips of my fingers clinging to the ledge.  
Today i declare this my new mantra.  I am going to open my grip on anxiety and let life flow.  I will dream of my husband stepping up after three years of unemployment.  I will find my way to sleeping through the night.  I will put my true life in front of me.  I will learn how to have a true life.  I will use my imagination.  I will put one foot in front of the other.  I will find a way to make the ends meet.  I will open up to possibilities yet undiscovered.  I will summon that will to make all happen.  With my new book Magical Journey, An Apprenticeship of Contentment, by Katrina Kenison to help me find my way, I can find my way through this and keep it as a new tool to build a life.  Like the sketch of our backyard garden and it's new layout, I will put pen to paper and draw the life plan so as to be whole.  Remember, "We aren't meant to be perfect, we are meant to whole." 
Here's to Monday and another week ahead where I will take a chance.  My girlfriend signed up for dancing lessons while confessing to be scared. I will follow her lead and stop lugging the class brochure around and finally enroll in the watercolor class.
Here goes that one foot......

Monday, August 10, 2015

Thanksgiving in August - Oh Yes I Did!





With grandchildren in the midwest with their father for weeks, their mother and her new husband struggling to hold their new marriage together, my younger daughter just busy busy busy - all gathered yesterday for a full on thanksgiving dinner.  

Have you ever tried to get a turkey in August?  Four stores and then back to Target to buy a far bigger turkey than I planned.  Thank you Target for coming through with the Butterball gobbler.  

All the trimmings - 
Aunt Jef potatoes.  Yes, I said Aunt Jef.  My sister's name is Jennifer but my mother dreamed up the nick-name Jef as she really didn't like Jenny.  These potatoes have been made for years; eight to ten boiled potatoes, a brick of cream cheese, a stick of butter, grated onions, a cup or so of scalded milk and a bit of salt and white pepper.   Mix them all in the Kithenaid mixer and heaven.  Bake.  
Stuffing - Mrs Cubbison's stuffing mix, a pound of Jimmy Dean sausage, chopped onion, celery, a stick of butter, 1 1/2 cup chicken broth.  Bake.  Oh Yeah Yum.  
Green bean casserole - this time made easy with a package of Trader Joe's haricot vert, cream of mushroom soup, French fried onions, a little milk and soy sauce....you know the drill.  Bake.
Mr B's gravy.  All i know is that I mix equal parts softened butter and flour s thickener and he seasons, stirs et voila!  Pour it over everything! 

Do not think of calories.  Do not think of fats.  Do not think of cholesterol.  Do not think.  Just enjoy the food, family and laughter.  A very happy gathering and all leaving with left over turkey. Did I say the turkey was bigger than I planned?  

Now I can't wait for November!  


Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Meditation


This small portion of the poem Wild Geese is so lovely.  Stumbled on it while reading Women's Voices for Change, a great addition to every women's in-box by the way.  

This is a gentle reminder to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  A hard one for me.  Let the past go.  Put it down and walk on.  Remember the closing scene of Shakespeare in Love?  Lady Viola, with straight back walking with such confidence to her future.  She wasn't carrying any despair or self doubt on those shoulders.  The wind blowing her hair, skirt and any dusty hesitation of the soul.  Her every footfall bore confidence as she stride toward her future. 

Another reminder, let yourself be creative.  Do not judge.  Just get lost in the process. Soar. Create for creation's sake.  Color inside or outside the lines.  Just color.  Sign up for that class in watercolor painting.  Learn to use the new SLR camera you just bought.  Be the painter of your garden with colors, textures and fragrance.  Don't worry about approval.  Just do it and it will be Your Perfection.  

Become the soft animal.  And Love it all.  

xx-hb  


Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Meditation


I was planning to blog this weekend about surviving a large lay off at my company.  Survivor's guilt and all that but the month-plus stress and then the final axe falling has left me drained.  I will post on the Survivor's Guilt syndrome this week but for today, I will turn the page and move forward with the new set of tasks that lay ahead.  These words shall pull me forward.  I will manifest each line.  Well, maybe not the sit ups....

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The bee cottage story

Just read charming book by Frances Schultz.  A sweet story of her redeeming a sense of worth in person and house.  She shares her personal two steps forward and one step back which reminds we all are imperfect but beautifully so.  Lovely photos of before and after of her life and this lovely cottage in the Hamptons, where charm wafts from every chimney and the windows wink their happiness.  

A really nice summer read with lovely photos.  And yes, another "perfect" kitchen to add to my Pinterest album.  If you love baskets as I do, watch out for the ones hanging over the window.   Open shelving which holds her sand collect gathered from all corners of our blue planet.  Then the Butler's Pantry and the most beautiful blue ceiling of BM Galapagos Turquoise.  Now where I am I going to get away with that in my cottage?  Hmmmmm, Mr B may really think the Merlot on the rocks has affected my common sense once and for all. 

Please pick this up and take the afternoon to read with some lemonade or tea.   Yes, just one afternoon and you will be inspired.  Then sit back with your Merlot on the rocks and dream of new projects for your cottage. 

Two thumbs up ladies!

xx-hb

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Little Garden Work

Work continues on the cottage.  The backyard, here forward to be known as the garden, needs some real work.  With the drought now in full season, we are letting the grass die off so it is looking pretty ragtag. But one must start somewhere and this is the first labor intensive project.  The west fence.  

An overgrown patch of leggy geraniums that have been left on their own far too long.  So the anal tidy-up side of me says, "Time to go". I pull on my gloves and start pulling.  Some come easily while others still have strong roots.  After a good two hours of pulling, tugging, and raking followed by hole digging (holy cow that dirt is like concrete), I haul the smaller lemon to the middle for centering and plant the French lavender.  

The barren little stalks of an umbrella plant are on the left but I am not ready to dump it in the recycling.
  
There is still some life in it with this new brave branch so I will give it a chance.  It may move to a different location though so I can enjoy the ferns behind as they grow bigger when the cooler months return.  


The left of that border is our bedroom window so at night the calming scent of lavender will spill into our room bringing its calming aromatherapy and sweet dreams.  Mine will be of what comes next in the garden........

xx-hb 



Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Meditation


We can be our own worst enemies.  Worry.  Worry.  Worry.
What will happen to me if I am laid off?
How will I make ends meet?  
Where will I ever find a job at my age?   
What about health insurance?   
Will my upcoming wellness check go well? 
Will I still be able to get a wellness check?   
Will I ever see Paris?  
Will the drought ever end?  
How will they relandscape our front yard and what if I hate it?  
Will the lavender planted this weekend thrive and scent my bedroom just right?  
Will the guy ever return to install the new window panel in the front door?  
Will mr b ever find an electrician to install bath lights and ceiling fan in the bedroom?  
How much will that cost?  
Will I ever file that stack of paperwork in the closet.  
Oh and that closet.......?  
Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! 
One worry begets another.  
The mind can fly to every branch on the worry tree.  And what has that pesky bird ever given me?  Nothing but a sleepless night with tossing and turning.  Even my Xanax cannot shut it off! 

Mon ami, remember that the past has brought challenges but You survived.  
The future will bring whatever it will bring.  
Stay here - now - breathe - no matter what - All Will Be Well.  

Thanks Doris!  

Xoxo -hollybee

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Meditation.


#LOVEWINS


What a week that just was.  Obamacare woohoo!  Health insurance for all.  There is still work to be done towards single payer but we are securely on the road to every person being able to receive wellness care to illness management.  Stick a thermometer in that, Scalia.

The Confederate flag finally falling.  That symbol has been completely inappropriate for all these years.  The flag of treason, hatred, subjugation and the middle finger to all blacks is now tabu in nearly all corners of the nation.  Even Walmart has banned the sale of its likeness.  Long, long overdue.  

Then the Friday victory affirming that all love is just that, love.  No more same sex marriage, just marriage.   In all it's colors and incarnations, we are greater by that validation of each and every person being equal.   The earth did not quake.  The seas did not engulf the land.  Fire did not consume the skies above.  We all woke Saturday morning to soccer games, farmers markets and piles of laundry, just like every other week.  

The  American spirit has affirmed its greatness.

Let freedom ring.  


Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Place to Hang One's Hat

The settling in on Moonlight Lane continues.  I have been remiss in posting as we have gotten ourselves settled these past three months but my intention is to catch up and to keep you up on all the improvements.

This small addition is perfect.  A hat rack just inside the front door to serve as easy grab and go for my garden hat, Mr. B's denim jacket and a straw tote.  After shopping on line, wandering Marshall's and World Market, I found this perfectly sized rack at Target!

Threshold™ 27" Hook Rail with Flared Tri-Hooks - White/Satin Nickel

More than reasonably priced at $24.99, incredibly easy to install and a really clean look just inside my front entry door. 

Here it is with all the necessities just waiting for that grab and go.  Et Voila!


Next project- find someone to demo the dated glass front door glass, original to the 1970's construction.  Have the replacement piece, just need someone to install..... the search continues.  

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Meditation

Feeling a bit overwhelmed right now: awkward Fathers Day brunch with eldest daughter-why am I never enough?,  busy season at work so long hours and stress levels at the max, a nap is never quite enough, need to lose weight,  finish reading my current book, get the dogs to the vet, me to the doctor/dentist, garden watered, kitchen cupboards painted, guest bedroom uncluttered, front door window installed, a summertime cold that I just can't shake, patch holes in the wall from botched shelf install, save more for retirement, put that dream of Paris back on the shelf, what's for dinner,  file personal paperwork, new hinges installed on my bathroom cupboards, eat less/move more.......ahhhhhhhhh!  To Do -Too Much!  I feel I have a full-on mud facial going here and need God to be that girlfriend that holds my hair.  

Sunday, June 7, 2015

55+ Hood and All You Need is a Dog....or two

Being leery of moving to a 55+ community, I am only 60 after all, I have found this is just right for me/us.  We have reduced our carbon footprint to half, we have reduced our mortgage to half, and we have met some of the neighbors.  Some are incredibly friendly while others are hunched grumpies. 

Being a dog owner I have the extra advantage to meet fellow owners and chat.  We are a very friendly group as we take after our four-footed companions, with a happy hello and wag of our tails.   Our leashed companions are a good starting point for our introductions.  "Oh how cute."  "Be nice."  "What are their names?"  "Oh, I am ____." (Our identities an incidental just like when we had our children at the park.  "I am so-and-so's mom"). 

Here are the folks in our little community:  Doreen with her tiny Yorkie girl, Tiffany.  Lives next door and I am charmed by her British accent and her incredible twinkle-in-the-eye whit.  Carol, on the other side, more practical and definitely plays by the rules.  Ruth and Gordon, also new additions to the neighborhood, Pug owners with Pugsley and Peppa (father and son bullies).  Fidel and his wife a few houses up and happy walkers/owners of Mickie Jean, a cute little black and white mix with her skip in her step.  Pam and her Schnauzer, Sadie.  Vivian, from South Africa and her Schnauzer, Bungie that has the cutest hoppity-prance you have ever seen.   Susan, another Brit and her gray-faced pug.  All met while on our walk-sniff, pee-sniff, bark-sniff rounds in the early evening.  I have even met some without a canine companion, Sally with her sprig of rosemary in hand, just out to get a stretch of the legs and some fresh air.

So, here is the lesson: Want to get to know more of your neighbors.....get a dog. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the women that take on the challenge. 

This is my start to a perfect day...husband snoring in the other room, soft music playing and this heavenly breakfast of freshly baked croissant, cherry preserves and a cup of coffee with my favorite creamer.  Quietly eaten as the sun streams in my window.  


I wish you a day filled with the simple pleasures you treasure most. 

xx-hb. 


Friday, March 20, 2015

Hello Springtime!



Hello to Spring.  A favorite season.  Truth be told, they all are but Springtime holds that hopefulness.  Here is a list of my favorite things All Spring.
~ longer days of sunshine
~ pastel colors.  Flowers. Skies. Shoes. 
~ asparagus.  Those thin spires appearing at the markets.  Mmmmm, roasted with a little olive oil drizzle and salt a pepper.  Yes please.  
~ warmer days. We in Southern California are so very fortunate to have the most sublime weather.  Talked to my NY girlfriend and her report of all day snow had her voice sounding crest fallen.  I couldn't bear to tell her our sunny temps.  
~ dieting. Yes, the ultimate four letter word - D I E T. New Years resolutions have all fallen to the wayside and reality hits.  Short sleeves, short shorts and the ultimate reality - swimsuits.  You know the regimine is good for you.  Improve your life.  
~ long walks
~ fuzzy wuzzy caterpillars and the brilliant butterflies they become. 
~ ranunculus. The Carlsbad Flower Fields are waking up and are spectacular. You can see the bands of color from the freeway. It takes your breath away. 
~ open windows. Fresh air flowing through the house chasing the musty dusties away. 
~ minneola tangelos on the fruit shelves. Oh yummy!  

Those are a few of mine....what are yours?  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

New days. (written over a month ago but I never hit publish -oops).

38 days ago we downsized from a 2400 square foot home.  Two stories, four beds, three baths.  Great view from the bluffs. It is a beautiful home.  I loved it until our financial downsizing came two years ago and ate up all our retirement savings, our emotional savings and aged my face and soul. Our marriage of 30+ years was painful. Guilt, blame, resentment wrapped in silent tolerance.  So I stopped waiting for a fix to fall out of the sky and started soul searching, bank account searching and a realization dawned that two people occupying that large carbon and financial footprint was completely too too much.  Changes had to come.
Enter Moonlight Lane...


We now live in a 1200 square foot twinhome in a 55+ community.  One story, two bed, two bath and perfect.  A little backyard for "the babies" and my garden which is a mess today but the dreams are there on "The List". (Just to warn, I love lists.)  There have been updates that I will share in the future and there are updates that are still forming.  I will be playing catch-up on the move and changes surrounding it but that will be part of the background as my life expands within my smaller shelter.

I am more content here than the biggie-home.  I am accepting the turn of a new decade in my life.  I am livIng within my new means. I can manage my expectations.  I can move. I can stretch. I can breathe. Ah, breathe...what a relief. 

Here is my new journey that I step into with peace and anticipation.