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…..I always say, start the week off right with Sandie Girl and what better way to do it than a Christmas party!  I couldn’t wait to see the tree that Jim got…..Oh my….any taller & they’d have to cut an opening in the vaulted ceiling!  Way to go Jim!!!


Sandie and Jim have the nicest friends and I’m so blessed to be included in the feasting, fun and frivolity! The table was soooo beautiful…


But I know you, you want to hear about the food.  We all had our assignment.  Mine was the salad and I brought my standby fruit and spring lettuce.  Oranges, grapefruit, cranberries, pecans and avocado go into it and the dressing is a honey/lemon with mint & EVOO. Has anyone else noticed the garden mint has dwindled down to just bits here & there?  I never noticed it was seasonal until I went out to cut some.  (The dressing absolutely MUST have fresh mint!)


I’m getting ahead of myself.  Linda was in charge of the appetizers which we had in the living room (dwarfed by that tree!)



Hi Sandie!


O.K., back to dinner…..Sandie was in charge of the entree a lovely fish (halibut?) with shrimp and oh that yummy sauce.


Isn’t there a nursery rhyme for peas?


Jim was in charge of the entertainment during dinner and gave us a Christmas test… sort of gulp when it’s your turn to answer but I didn’t do too badly.  Good job Jim….tough ones!

Anna brought desert…..fresh fruit with delicious lemon bars ( no photo of those).


Show time……extraordinary photo’s from Sandie & Jim’s African safari….lions and tigers and bears…oh my.  (Woops, that’s something else….)



Anna & Don with Linda & Vick…………020

Afterwards we opened presents and played charades in the living room and I will tell you, you don’t know the meaning of fun until you’ve participated in charades at Sandie & Jim’s! Now here’s a stumper for you…..Among other gifts, Sandie & I gave each other a kitchen towel.  Now tell me what are the odds of that????  I’ll let you ponder while I continue on to Vanya’s annual bash on Monday.

Good thing George, Valerie’s driver was in charge (picking me up at mom’s) as we had to travel the 405…ho, ho, ho….Special thanks Valerie for the ride….always wonderful catching up!


Here’s Valerie’s sister Vanya, our beautiful hostess….gosh, their parents must have been stunners….what a gene pool!


Yours truly with Wm. Pennell Rock( who came with Suzanne Taylor of ‘What on Earth? Inside the Crop Circle Mystery’ fame) and Virginia Kazanjian who always wears the coolest hats!


There was champagne and so much delicious food along with a huge pot of chili with all the trimmings so I’ll just show you one beautiful plate.  I didn’t get around to sampling this….any guesses my foodie friends?


In Christmas red, Francophile Michele…


But you know me….it’s food and PUPS and they don’t get much cuter than this one! (I would be terrified of crushing this little bundle of fluff as they’re always underfoot.)


Moving on….is it Christmas yet? Well, it was for Kita as Santa left her this.


Honey Baked to the rescue….


We needed sugar….


Vicki loved her bag……


Charles, get off the phone and open your presents!


Mom loves the tree upstairs.  One more year of puppyhood for Kita & we’ll be able to get the ‘grown up’ tree downstairs.


Are you ready for this one???  I don’t think so….here goes.

Just as mom and Nikka left I hear Vicki shouting….of course I grabbed my phone/camera!  There in the entry was an escapee from a block down the hill (right next to the house under construction).  He immediately had to run in and examine my closet….(must be metro-sexual)….at which time I swooped him up.


Here’s grateful neighbor Dan who was actually dog sitting for his sister!  He had been driving up and down the hill looking for this little rascal.


Kita went absolutely nuts, sniffing like mad where ever the little pup had been!


Po Chu  requested LOTUS for Saturday’s class and Nikka put it on YouTube….just enter Nan Rae to find it. If you find it helpful, we’ll try to do more.




005 Then I demonstrated how to do a shadowy background.

136 Next time you need coffee…..


I’m so delighted that Dane Pascoe’s book ‘The Zen of Teaching’ has been re-published.  It’s a great gift idea at $9.95 & you can order it through my website (There’s also a Facebook click thru on the Nan Rae Fine Art page.)


Thank you Mireya for these scrumptious treats!!


Wishing you sweetness throughout the coming year!

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