My Happy Place


When life serves up a dose of troubles and stress it is really important to have a respite. A place to go that can bring us back to earth like a gentle anchor.

A place where we can take a deep breath and let the stress out, breathe in fresh, clean air while our eyes rest themselves on a panorama so blissful that we smile both with our lips and with our heart.

For me that place isn’t too far from where I live in Huntington Beach, California. It is the Huntington Gardens and Library and is adjacent to Pasadena in the area of San Marino.

I will always cherish today because accompanying me to enjoy the wonders of the Huntington were two of the most important  people in my life.

My son, Michael, joined Burt and I and together we walked those beautiful pathways and explored both the Gardens and the amazing home of the Huntington’s which houses many exquisite paintings, including Thomas Lawrence’s Pinky and Thomas Gainsborough’s Blueboy.

The day was magical. Soft breezes and the fragrance of the flowers filled the air while we took delight in savoring each special moment.

You know, life is strange. It sometimes puts obstacles in our path causing us to become so bogged down by them that we forget to savor special moments.  We wear a pair of blinders that only allow us to focus on the situation at hand and forget to take a breath and look beyond the immediate predicament.

Today, Burt, Michael, and I opened our eyes to the wonders around us.

A beautiful hummingbird sipping nectar from the flower of a cactus, a turtle basking in the sun at the side of a glistening pond, and the joy of seeing these things together.

Here are some of the magical sights we enjoyed—


The Cactus Garden is spectacular.

People often think of cactus and succulents as dull or boring when, in fact, they are colorful and have amazing shapes.


Burt took this picture of a cactus flower. It is almost luminescent!


My son, Mike.  He took time out from his very busy day to be with us. Thank you, Mike!


This turtle was enjoying the day, too.


So many statues  transport you to a magical  time and place. This bronze of a child’s wonderment was perfectly placed at the edge of a pond.


…and here is a duck family enjoying the day.


Wisteria is in bloom and there are several lovely vines around the garden. This one was over our heads in an arbor at the edge of the Japanese Garden.


…More wisteria at the Tea Pavilion in the Japanese Garden.


I think of all the gardens at the Huntington, my favorite is the Japanese Garden. It was  built by Henry Huntington to be the special place he would ask Arabella to be his wife. She accepted.


Many Canada Geese were also in attendance.


No visit to the Huntington is complete without saying hello to Pinky and Blueboy.

Please think about visiting this amazing place. It will transport and enrich you, I promise.


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Having lived these good many years, (71 to be exact), has given me the opportunity to reflect on what I value most. Family, good friends, and the precious pets that have shared my life  have enriched me as a person. I’ve evaluated what is most important to me and what lessons I’ve learned, and what I’ve determined is that I want to leave this world a better place for having lived here. It is one of my deepest desires to be able to help those who have no voice — because animals have always played an important role in my life. They were constant friends when the world around me was changing.  One, (a small parakeet named Petie), accompanied me when as a child my family moved across country twice, (New York to California and back again)-I can still see Petie in his small travel cage sitting on my lap as I explained to him where we were stopping for the night and feeling that his company as well as my dear parents were all I needed to feel safe and secure. My pets were with me in good times and bad, often being the consistent non-judgmental voice my heart needed. Although I spent my working years as a commercial artist, both teaching the craft at a local college and in my own studio, it seems that in my later years it is by painting with words that I am now able to reach out to people, and it is my joy to do just that. I hope my stories help to connect people to kindred souls that wear fur on their faces but are just as capable as we are to feel great love in their hearts.  Rescue animals particularly deserve another chance at a happy life and it is my honor to bring their stories to light and hopefully be the catalyst that joins two different species on their journey. The connection we share with our pets is like no other, There is no need to be anything other than who and what you are. No amount of money or privilege will impress them as much as your kindness and attention. I do know that in the final analysis, life is good and most people honestly want to do the right thing. If that includes opening their home and heart to another living being, then my purpose is accomplished. I hope in some small way I can contribute to that greater good. Bio- Born in Middle Village, New York- 1945 Mother to a wonderful son, Michael who truly would be a cherished friend even if we weren't related--and fortunate in meeting my kind and thoughtful soulmate, Burt, in later life- I am blessed indeed. Retired teacher/ Orange Coast College/ former owner and operator of a commercial art business in Huntington Beach, California.
 Lucky to have had the opportunity to work in the art field where I was often quoted as saying, "You mean I am being paid for something I love to do?!"

 Interests: travel, enjoying local points of interest, movies, volunteering at the Newland Animal Shelter and writing about the wonderful personalities I have been honored to meet there, both human and furry-faced, and generally enjoying the retired life.


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