musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Life

A Smile Can Go a Long Way

Smiling is good for our emotional and physical body. And thankfully, smiling sometimes comes easily from the little things in our life– that first cup of coffee, the view out our window, the photograph of a favorite little child, a puppy sleeping in the sunlight. […]

A New Way to Travel

Sometimes it’s nice to have a foreign trip in the hopper.  Sometimes it’s nice to stay home. Right now, we are home and California-oriented.  What this home orientation is allowing is a series of unexpected gifts. Deepened friendships–with people and nearby places; home projects finally […]

The Book of Joy

The Book of Joy

On my joy exploration journey, one of my favorite books has been The Book of Joy. It is a series of conversations between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, co-authored by Douglas Abrams. Throughout the book, the reader is treated to the wisdom and warmth […]

The Gift of Home

The Gift of Home

The traveler in me marvels at the wooden sign I just bought. It says, “It is good to be home.” My passport quakes, but so be it for now. Being here, now–where have I heard that before?–feels right. And in keeping with the theme of […]

“San Francisco, Here I Come…”

“San Francisco, Here I Come…”

This past week, we were again in San Francisco and this time ’round, I wanted to focus on some of the places from my, and my parents’, past. The first night we walked from our inn on Union Street to North Beach…             …up Russian […]

Ode to a Duck

Ode to a Duck

  Just because I loved it my husband gave me a little ceramic duck I saw one day in San Francisco   Balanced on one foot, the other one kicking, this little duck is stylin’   Dressed in a yellow rain slicker and shiney black […]

Did I Hear “Treat”?

Did I Hear “Treat”?

I am part of an unusual blended family. For the past 11 years, my husband and I, together with a dear friend, have shared being “parents” of Cosi, a spunky dog named after the Mozart opera “Cosi Fan Tutte.” Like her two moms and dad, […]

Food for the Soul

Food for the Soul

It must have been the visit to my hometown of San Francisco that has made me so nostalgic for “all things Italian.”  I thought a lot about my parents who were my first “bring joy to the table” mentors.    Both of them had a zest […]

What a City!

What a City!

Every time I return to my hometown of San Francisco, I feel good.  As we drive by my childhood home, I am transported back in time.  I reminisce about feeding squirrels in Golden Gate Park with my dad, walking along Ocean Beach watching the sea […]

A Retreat

A Retreat

I just discovered that I’ve already completed one of my 2019 goals! Little did I know that I could complete the goal of “research and go to a retreat center” in such an unexpected and rather low-cost way. Soon after returning from our trip East, I developed […]

Home

Home

With the rains coming and going, it feels good to nestle in to our little house on the hill, to sit in front of a fire with a nice blanket on my lap, and to hold a cup of caffe latte in my hands. I […]

Familiar Pieces of Home

Here we are in Madison, Wisconsin, where the temperature may reach 30 today, if we are lucky. I love coming to Wisconsin when the temperatures start dipping. “Really?” some Wisconsinites ask, as they board their planes for warmer climes? Yes. Really. First of all, it […]

Thoughts Around the Table

What an unusual Thanksgiving season this has been. There we sat around a beautiful and bountiful dining table with wonderful friends feeling blessed, while others in our region were experiencing tremendous losses. We thanked the recent rain that brought relief to the fire areas and […]

Finding Fall in California

    In our little valley of California, leaves turning orange, or yellow or red are not as plentiful as in other parts of the country. But there is still enough color change to wake up the senses to “this is a new season.” Add […]

Lighting the Way

  I love candles. They give me pleasure and they are a part of my spiritual life. It probably all started when I was growing up as a Catholic. Lighting candles in cobalt blue glass holders in front of a statue of Mary always gave […]