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…….I just don’t know if I can do it.  The Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills is always charming and delightful but this time I was introduced to an area I didn’t know they had….’The Library’. It was the setting for the loveliest birthday party……


….and we’re ready to party….you remember Elaine Adams seen to the far right…….


But first, here’s our amazing hosts, Gretchen on the left and Lyn on the right with the birthday girl herself….beautiful Valerie. These ladies planned every detail perfectly from the charming setting, delicious food and delightful favors.  What topped it all was their touching toasts to Valerie…..lifelong friendships that mean so much to both of them.


And in the middle…Awesome, prolific artist Gayle Garner Rosi. Worth hearing is Gayle’s talk, ‘What Matters to me and Why’ at the USC Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Arts (it’s on YouTube.)


And here it is….’The Library’.  A small, warm & intimate room that accommodates two tables beautifully.


Of course there’s a fireplace in ‘The Library’. With cozy seating.


The floral centerpieces were so beautiful with party gifts that matched and so did the name place cards.  I’m keeping mine for a lovely way to remember who I am!


Up close of my gift……


…..a heavenly scented candle…..THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!


This tomato soup tastes just like the fantastic one at Kendall’s Brasserie and I could have had a gynormous bowl of it instead of this little cup.  Cute touch adding the little cheese sandwich. Note the ribbon wrapped scroll……


And here’s the birthday girl herself….beautiful Valerie! Make a wish!!!!


I didn’t photograph the entre but couldn’t forget the desert.  So delicious!


Vanya, Valerie’s sister in rapt attention as gifts were opened.


And here we have the most adorable gift……perfect for grandbaby Rigby, ……Gretchen did a fantastic job of keeping track of everything!


O.K., the party’s over and time to head to Thomas Keller’s Bouchon right across the way for a box of incredible Macaron’s and a loaf of yummy walnut bread!


I’ll be back…..


Remember the ribbon? (It even has Valerie’s name on it.) Inside, a special poem by Satinder Dhiman in honor of Valerie’s birthday.——–


Conversations with a Tree!

Today during morning walk,

I paused near a wise old tree;

It greeted me, as always, gently; Unassumingly with an inviting look!

I have heard it whisper,

as I pass by it, everyday:

“I produce oxygen;

What do you?”

Today, there was urgency in its voice,

As if it had lots of questions for me;

That needed to be addressed;

As a matter of life and death!

Still kind in its manner,

Gentle in its demeanor;

Solemn in its voice,

The tree continued….

Rain or sunshine,

Extreme cold or hot;

I bear my lot, patiently;

Without complaining or comparing!

Do you?

By way of my own care and concern,

I need very little on a daily basis.

Always making sure to contribute,

More than I consume.

Do you?

I offer my gifts of shade and shelter, Anonymously and generously; And my fruits and flowers, To all and sundry, selflessly! Do you?

I am content in being the way I am,

Without needing to compare or compete;

To outshine or be better than the next tree;

In the mindless race called success!

How about you?

I abide placidly in the Present;

Without brooding over the past,

Or pining for the future;

Living fully in the Now, authentically!

Do you?

On yearly basis at least,

I renew myself:

Letting go of the old leaves;

To make room for the new ones!

Do you?

I do not hate my fellow trees,

Nor do I destroy my own kind.

Merely because they are different,

Or hold a different viewpoint!

Do you?

My virtues are: Patience, Generosity,

Acceptance, Forbearance, Caring,

Compassion, Contribution, Usefulness,

Selflessness, Sustainability, Self-renewal!

What are yours?

With my drab, rough exterior,

I stay nimble and pliant inside.

Always ready to adapt and to cater:

Whatever circumstances transpire!

Do you?

I genuinely hold my head high,

Upright in my humility and gratitude;

Always glorifying my Creator,

By serving selflessly Its Creation!

Do you?

In life and in death,

I stay valuable, making sure that

Every part of me is somehow useful,

For the sake of others!

Do you?

My leaves, my stem,

My roots, my bark;

AH parts of the Divine Exchange,

You humans call Eco-System.

How about yours?

Even when I die,

I am of service to you;

As firewood to keep your house warm,

And to cook your supreme meal!

Do you?

Above all, I have the

Virtue of Eternal Silence,

And never get bored

with my own existence!

How about you?

As I listened to this wise old tree,

I kept wondering: What have I done to the

Garden Entrusted to my care?!

January 11, 2013.

Satinder Dhiman

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