~ Le vin, c'est délicieux!

A Virgo Thanksgiving Plan

Calling all Cooks…Make your plan…get Organized…Virgo Style.

Here we goooooooooo!

I wish you the roastiest turkey, the tastiest dressing, the fanciest pumpkin pie (which mine always tastes amazing, but girlfriend is still working on her presentation) and the happiest day.  I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving.

Step 1:

Breathe through the prep and think of all the smiles from your grateful household.

Step 2:

While watching the Macy’s Day Parade iron your tablecloth.  I mean…you can always be doing something, right?  Also, feel free to cry when Santa rolls up in his sleigh.  Why?  Because it’s Santa.  I repeat Santa!  Zee ol’ Kris Kingle.  Respect.

Step 3:

Then throw down some football, toss back a couple of beers, open a few bottles of wine, be confused as hell if you’re not a football fan and if you are a football fan…well, you’ll probably show your ass…so do what you do best baby!

Step 4:

Inhale all the great Thanksgiving smells, light a candle, say a prayer…feast like the King or Queen you are…truly…get down with your badass foodie self.

Step 5:

Nap?  Walk? Laugh!!!

Step 6: (Important)

Don’t forget to…Kiss the Cook!….SMOOOOCH!





Starting the Day


A User’s Guide to: Thanksgiving Eve

This Thanksgiving Eve many blogs come alive.

The chef in us cannot fight against the meditative spirit that calls from a festive kitchen. Fridges full of goodies, spirits flowing, and chatter around the cook’s kitchen are suppose to fill the celebratory air and I love the idea of the increasing blather that roars and fades in the midst of a roasting turkey.

Thanksgiving in America.

Once a year the biggest food holiday happens in the United States of America.

Yes, this holiday is ridiculous.

Yes, it’s absurd.

Yes, it’s controversial.

However, every culture has their funny tradition no matter where you’re from.  If one can just push out politics and gluttony and rejoice in the knowledge of family, friends, and love…any person from Europe, Asia, Africa, Antarctica, South America, or Australia will discover the love of this American holiday.


We don’t bite, but we do fight, and we love above all. Our USA mix of culture, our fascination for the exotic and appreciation of art, our engineering minds and our big dazzling orthodontic smiles, a combination of the action-based hot mess we all are…well…we’re not so bad.

In fact we are great! We are the mix that signifies America.

Thanksgiving is being grateful for what you have, for what you have discovered, and what could be.

Even the most beautiful things can be found in our cemetery of life and Thanksgiving is one of those beauties:  sunshine, cinnamon, a wealth of opportunity, and the smell of sizzling sausage and onions.

So good luck.

Watch your oven carefully. Kiss the cook and pour wine for others before serving yourself.  If you show your appreciation for those you love and for those who love you…I promise the food will taste better.

Cheers to all the cooks and all the food lovers.  I hold you dear to my heart and finally a helpful tip:  Always start your pumpkin pie the night before the big day.

With Festive Love,










10 Reasons to Not Get a Gym Membership


This morning I find myself sitting in the dark looking at the early morning sky in Northern France. I’m not sure if I’m on the wrong side of jet lag or the right side of jet lag, regardless I’m awake and I’m ready to go on my run.  Problem:  It’s my first day here and I have no clue where to go jogging. So with headphones on, coffee brewing…and while zee Frenchy France sleeps, this American girl will watch the sun rise and write about running. (It’ll have to do for now until I get my mental map)

Morning thoughts:

Have you ever thought about purchasing a gym membership? Maybe you did and loved it or you did and hated it, but for me every time I ask this question I always come to the same conclusion:  Non!

10 Reasons for NOT getting that gym membership:

  1. Gyms are smelly…ewwww.
  2. Treadmills have a mind of their own and they WILL plot your death.
  3. The scenery never changes no matter how hard you run, how fast you run…you see nothing…creativity killer.            (bang!…you dead.)
  4. I have to pay to run?…seriously…my money? To run? I sit here and laugh…
  5. Your less likely to get sick…germs. Another ewwww.
  6. Often I find that those who go to the gym are big show offs and no one likes a show off. Kindergarten 101.
  7. You have no moral obligation to look like da bomb for the birds and squirrels.  They don’t care that you forgot to put on your most blingin’ running pants. They don’t …don’t fool yourself. So dig out that sweatband and slap that puppy on your forehead with your best fashionista foot forward.
  8. You get to enjoy the seasons! Running the streets have a distinct flavor depending on what season you are running in. Spring’s blooming flowers, summer heat, autumn’s dry leaves, winter’s hickory chimneys.
  9. You never know what is going to happen when you are running on the streets and that in itself is pretty exciting. Just think of the possibilities: killer bees, barking dogs, people hanging their Christmas lights, people falling off ladders while hanging their Christmas lights, kids practicing their instruments, sprinklers turning on, rubbernecking fools, and so on and so on…the possibilities are endless!
  10. Dinner! You can smell all the good foods floating out of neighborhood kitchens when you stick to the streets.

So there you go! I have just single-handedly saved you a minimum of $1,000 for the upcoming 2016 year. You can send your payments to: … Nah… spend the extra cash on Christmas gifts for your kids, your honeys, your work colleagues, or take a trip to France…because the food is damn good here!

(Really, it’s not a urban legend. France + Food = Yum!)

With Love From Lille,


Poem: The Hermit Crab

Gritty grit sifted by the winds

fills our time and moves our minds

while he scuttles across new shores.


mixed with the casual melody of space

and the fulfilling registry of harmony awakes.

Winter’s soft chirping song bird

sits on the branches of solace

watching his pursuits across stark beaches from a far.


from Summer’s existence,


from Spring’s sun,

the cycle of Mother Nature rotates away from bumpy claws.

Sugar-coated sands, candied, and encapsulated

by the hourglass worn ’round the necks of Shakespearean witches…

toil, toil, toil…he moves.

The gritty grit slows his stride.

The sandy pace of innocence.

The progress of the slow-moving hermit crab

pulling himself along northern beaches

goes unnoticed.

Pizza Time

What Passes In the Clouds

The Left brainer.

The Right brainer.

The No brainer.

Logical calculations.

Emotional manifestations.

A magical spring welling up.

The ticking tides following the moon.

A rolling thunder washing over the rocks.

We gaze at runes and architecture.

What passes in the clouds

of right and wrong

and wrong and wrong is


and Right.

(Photography by:

A Rush

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 4.10.31 PM


be still

for you are

only a thorn

under the nail.

A version of


filtered through

the driving rain.

Calling out

between antennas


and reading

the predestined


that only belongs

to those who seek.

Our valley of tears

are merely

placid lakes of


The streams,

the melting snow,

no longer ice.



Of thought.

La Grande Cascade

The White Light

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 3.46.54 PM

A new pathway

starts when the sun rises

and ends,


The light

and the dark

needing each other.

Climbing stairs

our footprints


Where the demons cry,

and the saints laugh.

The balance resumes.


the explorers


New pathways


under our golden cage

of white light.

Putting Your Finger on the Pulse of Change

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 9.41.00 AM

A quiet September is falling upon wine country. Cool mornings, hot afternoons, and the smell of change is all around us. I don’t think there is enough coffee in the world that can be paired with the dessert-type silence autumn brings. If I could bottle the essence of fall and wear it around my neck, I would…and then I would pass it to you. There are many apples to be picked and many vineyards to be harvested in Sonoma County. What a welcoming place to visit!

This brings me to think about the exact moment when you know the seasonal change has happened. Not the before effects of the change and not the after effects of the change, but the actual pinpointed turning-tide that encapsulates all of Mother Nature’s energy into one speeding bullet…ready, aim, fire.

POP!  Fall!!!

A new season!!!!  Did you miss it? (Well, there is always winter…brrrrrrr.)

The seasonal phenomenon happens four times a year and if we are too busy with life, heartache, complaints, and stress…we will miss it.  No, no, no…the seasonal changes make us readjust our entire style of living, eating, daily activity, and love. That’s pretty impactful…no?

I propose this fall season check in and try to put your finger on the pulse of change. Whether it be the seasons, work, love, or learning…challenge yourself to experience that one single pop of energy that will change your tomorrow.

Love to Sundays and to You,


Ready, Set…Wait!

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 10.37.21 PM

I once read: If it is important enough to want…it is important enough to wait for.

How do we train for the next wants in life? The next child, the next degree, the next lover, the next competition, or the next occupation?

All these new phases of life bring us to the continual question of …How can I possibly wait for THAT?

So let’s think here…together. (Yes, this might require a pot of coffee and a warm blanket)

What is it you are waiting for? Is it life changing or a drop in the bucket?

Sometimes the most trivial things in life feel bigger than the grandest issues at stake and so it’s important to refer back on our most beloved interrogatives:

Who?, What?, When?, Why?, Where?.

These continual question marks in life will guide us in our decisions to wait for that something special…or not.

It’s not impossible…even when it feels like it is.

Either it will rescue you – or – make you realize you never really wanted it in the first place.

Good luck.


A Grand Day

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 2.25.57 AM

The Cycles of Life: A Darwin Approach

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 7.11.11 AM

Today is 18 August 2015.

I smile as I sit in the cool California morning air and watch the geese flying in their V formations.  The ritual of migration is happening. I wonder why, when we are having the hottest days here, the geese are already migrating for the winter.

Is it because they know how long the journey toward their destination will take, so they’re starting early? Maybe there is a switch programmed somewhere within their DNA that gets flipped and they just instinctually move. I’m sure the scientists have all the answers, but no one questions the idea that the geese move, it’s just accepted as biology and it’s beautifully organized.

This got me thinking about how people move into new phases of life.

We plan and calculate, gathering our energies for the next big step in life, but for us, we may not know why we do what we do.

We just move.

It’s like being on an invisible conveyor belt that pulls us here and there. Our decisions are not accepted as biology. We get questioned to death on the how, what, when, where, why, who, and the hypothetical – what if.  These are the messy interrogatives that we try to justify and if we can’t explain it in some type of communication: writing, speaking, hieroglyphics, smoke signals, or morse code we are called lofty, crazy, flighty, a dreamer, or worse…unhappy or ungrateful for what we already have.

Nevertheless, we follow our intuition and doors either open or close as we peruse through the serious, yet whimsical areas of gray.

Why we do what we do without knowing all the answers…why the geese migrate south when it’s still warm… may simply be an earthly progression of cycles: the cycles of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

An evolution of the spirit and the one life we have been given.  An evolution that even Darwin could support.


Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 7.09.34 AM

(The Original…Fear the Beard…San Francisco you know what I’m talking about!)

Misconstrued Words and Assumptions

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 8.18.32 AM

How often do we say things that are taken out of context? Maybe you’ve sent a multiple meaning text or said a phrase that means 2 or 3 different things.  Depending on where the other person’s mind is you have no control over your message sent.  It gets completely misconstrued. Yuck! A world blown apart by miscommunication.

Let’s think about all the ways we communicate in today’s world:

Face to face: verbal – coffee with a friend.

Handwritten letters – a very Jane Austen approach.

Emails – articulation at your fingertips with the right to revise and edit.

Phone calls – in the moment but without social cues.

Skype – Yes, there is the person and a voice, but there is a lack of sensory detail.

Texts – anywhere…anytime and generally simple…you would never propose marriage over a text. (no no no!)

Pictures – say a thousand words.

Selfies – a moment in time and the range of emotion is fearless.

Face to face: non-verbal – yes…speaking without verbalizing…the intuitive conversation.

The list goes on and on as social media kingdoms rise in their quest to help humans express.

How does one repair the misconstrued intentions of their words?

It isn’t easy to repair and maybe it is unfortunately impossible, especially if you’ve made assumptions about the other person, however if we free ourselves… from ourselves…then maybe we have a fighting chance to resume friendships, make peace, smile and laugh.

The assumptions part is where communication breaks down…so stop it!

Never assume the highest threat level of another’s words and realize everyone wants to live a happy life, free of drama, and full of fun!

Happy Friday,


Are Men Really from Mars and Women from Venus?

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 7.58.15 AM

This week the idea of men and women has been on my mind.

There are some disturbing realizations that I just don’t seem to understand. Maybe it’s cultural, maybe it’s competition, maybe it’s…unevolved.  Help me Obi-Wan…I don’t get it!

Why do women huddle together like hens in the corner and men on the other side forming their bro-communities? Where did the balance go? Are we really all that different?  OK yes we are…but that being said…is that a bad thing…no, it isn’t.

There is an idea floating out in the universe that men and women who operate in separate pools of life become stronger as humans beings. We ask for the other sex to be more like us, but doesn’t this seem a bit whacky? (again…Obi-Wan…911!)

Are we that insecure in our feminism and masculinity that we ask men to be more like women and women to be more like men…and if they don’t…then screw ’em!  Our solution is:  we will band together in our same-sex groups and complain!

Asking someone to change is a slippery slope to resentment.  When people are forced to change it’s an attack on who there are…and besides…isn’t it refreshing to see the differences rather than cloning a new hybrid of man or woman?

Leave the clones to Boba Fett and…ummmm…May the force be with you!

I recently went to a restaurant to have a quiet lunch by myself and I sat down beside two women. Ohhh my! What a shock to hear how the men in their lives were impacting them in such negative ways. I was tempted to pop my head into their conversation and ask, “Are men really all that terrible?” but alas I didn’t and I think I immediately suffered from indigestion by stifling my comments. This is just one scenario though.  Men…I hear it from you too…the nagging, the honey-do list, the making me watch a chic-flick dread! Are women really all that bad?

Maybe it’s just our perspectives that need a tune-up.  No one is an object, no one should be cloned, and male/female differences set balance and order into the universe like they do with art.

Let the dance start between the sexes so that balance can be restored!  Ohhh and how much more fun that would be!

Don’t you think? ~mb

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 7.55.47 AM

Walking on Water

Early mornings in Sonoma County are lovely; a cool, peaceful time as the sun slowly warms up the sky. You can easily make friends with Mother Nature…and then there are the vineyards. Somewhere beyond your own backyard there is the knowledge that at this exact moment trillions of little green and purple grapes are growing;  taking shape to produce something many of us enjoy over dinner.

Each morning, I fill my little copper birdbath to give respite to my many backyard birds. This ritualistic journey requires me to wade into the glistening green grass, still wet with the morning’s dew.

I walk it barefoot.

IMG_7381To feel the water brushing just above my ankles is a great feeling that connects body to earth.

It’s the stuff poetry is made of.  Exhilarating!  Good morning.


Baby Elephant Walk by Henry Mancini

Lujon by Henry Mancini

Saturday’s Pledge of Allegiance

Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 9.22.17 AMTime is precious.

After a weeks worth of commitments and obligations, isn’t it nice to know that on Saturday you can be the king or queen of your own castle?

If you want to continue your workweek…well then you will, but there comes a time where you must say to yourself…not today!

It’s Saturday.

I will listen to my albums. I will spend hours on the phone with my family. I will sit and watch the marine layer in the sky lift into deep blues and search for images in the clouds. I will bake that Coconut Crème pie. I will lie on the floor and play with my baby without make-up on and in my pajamas, regardless of the stack of dishes on the counter.

I won’t do laundry. I won’t mow the lawn. I won’t sacrifice the one day of my week to obligations. Today I will do as I please.

So there!

It’s your Saturday Constitutional Right…and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under Saturday, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Enjoy your day!


Bob Marley & Saturday Morning

A Poem: Tracing Life

Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 8.55.21 AM

The rush off the palms of your hands,

moving and falling over

the lines.

A story to be told.

Tracing the veins

over your translucent skin.

Connecting pulse

and life

in a tale buried deep

within the epidermis of


An inevitable

way to change.

Cashing in Your Ticket

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 3.56.03 PM

Welcome one-and-all to the greatest ticket known to mankind…the ticket to becoming you.

As your ears perk up and your neurons fire at the belief we are all lifelong learners, what will you decide to do with your ticket?

Will you devote your time to:

Cooking? – If so I’m putting on my jacket now and heading over for dinner!

Maybe you’ll learn a new language? – Konichiwa!

Better yet, maybe you will learn how to do your own taxes? Now that is brave and so I pat you on the back and hand you a box of tissue, a glass of wine, and encourage you to book a spa treatment afterward.

When you find out what it is that makes your brain go…Ahhhhhh, you simply can’t sit there and do nothing.


Action has to be taken. You’ve journeyed the long road of, What the hell am I going to do with my life?, and when you discovered it you became obligated to yourself and your efforts to step over the line drawn in the sand.  Time to move forward.

If it is too scary, well then it might be the wrong path, but if it is easy, doors opening, people smiling, and health restored…my friend you are on the right road.  It’s musical.

It does sound a bit like magical b.s., but I assure you there are wise men and women (maybe not as obvious as those carrying frankincense, gold, or myrrh) with stories of change to share.

They were once complacent in their lives, but with hard work and support they were able to write their own song, edit the score, and gather energy to cash in their ticket and board the train.

The Clouds


She sang to the clouds,

filling water and light

in her dark eyes.

A second to glance,

A moment to blush,

An hour to sigh,

A day to bed.

Reserved and cool.

The forest through the trees,

asking for a map

to guide the way.

The grand tunnel

of shimmering jewels.

A cavern unlocked.

Waxing and waning moon.

The clouds building.

A Poem: The Journey

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 9.44.12 AM

The light swirling decisions

of choice

brought into view.

Breaking clouds

Building chic story.

A vision of


and breath

uncharted on a map.

A verb,

A noun,

An elegant adjective.

A journey.

Poem: The Dustbowl

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 9.25.36 AM

Reading your letters

from a depression area.

The lack of,

the memories of,

the reality of.

The articles read,

the End has come.

The sea of success

washed away in moments

as the hand once held high

now swings quietly

with blackened fingernails.





A kiss that came

in the gritty dustbowl

of destruction

placed upon your lips.

Still survives.

A Poem: The Metronome

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 9.13.07 AM

A lengthy puzzle,

tied up in ribbon.

A gift,

broken into pieces.

Time distorted,

through measured ticks.

A day in a year,

a year in a day.


on a sunny day.

Shouting whispers,

over soft thunder.

Rough hands,

on a soft body.

Worlds within boundaries,

nourishing and protecting,

setting the metronome

of dissonance in time.

The Sky Over Sonoma County


Bird Brains


Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 5.23.26 PM

Today rain fell in Sonoma County. The welcomed weather must have invigorated nature’s sense of humor because I ended up in playful game of peek-a-boo with the little backyard hummingbird.

As I am no photographer extraordinaire and as I have vowed to capture a hummingbird picture for a friend, the quest has so far been unsuccessful. The zippiness of these little guys is a marvel to the human eye and a frustration to my iPhone camera who is sadly shaking his head saying, “No, no, no, we didn’t even come close.” (My iPhone may even be suffering from low self-esteem at this point in the journey).

Funny enough, one particular little hummingbird this morning seemed just as curious about me as I have been with him and his zig-zagging, motley crew. Numerous times he flew up to me to watch me as I slowly reached for my camera, but each time I got ready to video…bzzzzz… he went!

Drat!!!  Even now as I type, he is keeping a quick eye on me from a hidden perch. His incessant snapping gives away his location.

I realized I was playing a game with him when he started flying low to the ground and hiding himself behind a bamboo shade located on my deck. Yes, he was as sly as a cat but sadly, as loud as a Vespa with his wings fluttering one million miles per hour. I watched his silhouette from behind the shade as he slowly zzzzz’d forward to peek around the corner at me. Quick! He put his wings in reverse and backed-up his little flying golf-ball body. Beeep, beeep, beeep!

How funny he looked and how persistent he was in spying on me! I think today I made a new friend…even if he is being such a little shit!


PS…Success!  Got him!  Got Him (click for video)


Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 3.54.48 PM

Cat and mouse


Hide and seek


Black and white


Jekyll and Hyde


Ex-boyfriend and Ex-girlfriend


Saturday and Sunday


Sins and blasphemy


Lipstick and kiss


Thighs and Ankles


Leftovers and an old flames


Thunder and lightning



Reincarnate and Return

Post Navigation


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 356 other followers