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Now that the month is almost over, I thought a review of the moments of pure joy was in order!
The 4th has always been special here but this year, without mom and Charles, my task was to keep it as joyful as before.  It was quite serendipitous because originally I had thought to do my usual grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches followed by ice-cream on the deck as we watched the fireworks. There went the best laid plans, Maggie had to go to Washington unexpectedly and I accepted an invitation to a neighbors celebration.  Have you ever been completely confused?  Amy and I walked down to Marine’s only to find the house deserted.  Had I misunderstood?  Calling dear Marine she explained that the 4th of July party was to be on the 7th and while she wanted to dash back as we were standing like orphans at the gate, Aram brought sense and sensibility back to the occasion.  Off we went to Amy’s where a grand fireworks display was to be seen from outside her house.  Bravo!

Best of all, Nikka had friends over and they were able to see all the fireworks from the deck as originally planned!

Kita even got into the act although not too willingly.

O.K., maybe we’re feeling it a bit more now.

Finally, at Marine’s 4th of July bash!  Honestly, nobody does it better.  This is just a snippet of the longest counter ever filled with holiday treats.

Time for the best taco’s ever!

Dear Patricia and I went to Carol Soucek King’s July Salon where the topic was ‘Understanding’.  I had come across a quote in ‘The Overstory‘, the magnificent book by Richard Powers.  Definitely a must read!

“We can’t see what we don’t understand and what we think we understand we often fail to perceive.”
Carol manages to surround herself with the most eclectic, interesting group of people and her Salon is always inspiring.

I always love seeing this painting I did for Carol in years past.

I think I’ll throw this photo in here for the cuteness factor! Awwwww………

Oh that clever Nikka!  She got balloon’s to celebrate our 100K followers on Instagram!

A world of thanks to each and every follower!

On to class at the Huntington Botanical Gardens where we painted Lotus!  I’m so very proud of everyone!

I always tell my students not to throw anything away as the work we don’t care for makes spectacular wrapping paper!  Dear Diane took it one step further and created these delightful little books with each page being a section of a ‘potentially discarded’ painting.

You know it’s all about lunch, tea or dinner don’t you?
One of my very favorite lunch dates is meeting up with dear Lizzie Girl at Bloomie’s! This was the first time we didn’t get smoothies….trying to be good!

I’ve resolved to enjoy this summer and not let it fly past me.  One of the ways to do just that is taking time to mellow out on the patio.  Lovely Maggie thought this was a delightful idea and the best way to relax at lunch!

At Bistro Garden with Beautiful Jean, one of my favorite people at one of my favorite spots.  I felt like ‘Queen for a Day’ with my lovely flowers! So sweet!

Tea anyone? The new and improved Rose Tea Room at the Huntington Botanical Gardens was the perfect spot for Maggie and me to treat our guests, Ana Gomez, astrophysicist from the University of Spain, dear Adriana, Lead Program Exec. at NASA and Teresa her precious mother and the always amazing Maggie!

The Tower of Power!

On to dinner with Diane and Maggie at Shiro’s in Pasadena.

Turns out Laurie Pie loves dinosaurs and wanted to see Jurassic World!

Afterwards I needed a relaxing dinner at Trattoria Amici!

Lovely Maggie is absolutely The Hostess With the Mostest!

What a delightful dinner for precious Teresa, Adriana and two of Maggie’s dear friends from JPL.

Thank you dear Adriana for this meaningful remembrance.  I had no idea such a small meteorite would be so heavy!

I missed Dr. Jim’s B-day celebration so it was a special treat to go to Reilly Manor the next evening for a re-cap!

Charles and I first met Benjamin Darling years ago when both our companies were neighboring exhibitors at the California Gift Show. Laughing Elephant has the most amazing line of vintages cards, books and little treasures.  Benjamin and I had great fun catching up at Bottega Louie!

I love all my ‘Good Dog Carl’ books written by Benjamin’s mom Alexandra Day.
You can order them at

Way too many yummies!

It’s best if you just ask me in person about this!!!

Krista and Brett came by to make sure I save their wedding date in December!

And then great fun with Ryan….

Awesome photographer Curtis McElhinney ( loves his Nan Rae painting!

I’ll close with some very sweet and precious moments starting with this special treat of chocolate covered strawberries to celebrate our 100K followers on Instagram from my dear friends Jane and Tanya at Harvard…..

Precious Leea, a student in my Huntington class painted this view of Paris for my birthday!

I was touched beyond description by this exquisite Silk Ribbon Embroidery remembrance of my dear Charles lovingly crafted by precious Mireya, another Huntington student.  All the little roses are embroidered silk.  Amazing!

I send you wishes for a joyful heart and lots of smiles!

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