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Wishing everyone a fun and safe Halloween …


Hi All …

I know it’s been a long time since I have posted anything on this site (since July 2017 YIKES!).  And as always I have a million and one reasons why I haven’t posted, but it basically boils down to “shear laziness” on my part. So, here is something I recently did this month with my husband …

I have lived 30+ years here in Oroville and recently my husband and I made a short trip to Vina, California. I have never been to Vina, which is about 45 minutes from where we live. There really is not much to see in Vina … a general grocery store … a post office … a few houses … and one other place that has made it world famous …it is the home of a Roman Catholic Trappist Abbey …  The Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux

Our Lady pic

The following is taken from the Church Tour brochure … “The monks of the Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux belong to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, a Roman Catholic monastic order founded in the year A.D. 1098. Cistercian abbeys have been oases of prayer silence, beauty and light. The abbey church of New Clairvaux incorporates a completely restored 12th century ‘Chapter House’ that was originally part of the Santa Maria de Ovila Cistercian abbey in Spain. The Chapter House is the largest example of original Cistercian-Gothic architecture in the Wester Hemisphere, and the oldest building in the United States west of the Mississippi.  It encompasses a magnificent ripple-arched Gothic entry, and was painstakingly dismantled and shipped, stone by stone, to San Francisco after publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst acquired the edifice in 1930.  These sacred stones were then abandoned in Golden Gate Park during The Great Depression until their return to Cistercian soil, where they were awarded to New Clairvaux in 1994.”

On a personal note, my husband and I used to have dinner once a week with a man, Jim Rossas to be exact. One night over dinner Jim told us of how he use to play on a pile of rumble, back in the middle 1930’s, while his mom was at work at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.  Little did he know that this rubble was in fact the sacred stones. We are sad that Jim did not live long enough to see these stones reassembled into the Abbey’s new church.

Below are a few of the pictures that were taken during our visit of the church, the wine tasting room, the vineyard and the koi pond …



So, if you are looking for a peaceful place, to get away from the everyday stress, plan on making a little day trip to the Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux in Vina, California.

Well, that’s about all for now. Thank you for stopping by and until next time … have a fantastic week!


The Wall Fire — South East/West Foothills of Oroville CA

Friday, July 7, 7:30pm
Saturday, July 8, 10:30 pm 

One week later (July 14):

95% contained … 6,033 acres destroyed …41 homes, 2 commercial buildings and 48 misc structures destroyed … 5 people injured (1 a firefighter). 

2016 — Where Did You Go?

It seemed when I was young, time just crawled by and I never thought the year would end. Now, that I am older (yes, Medicare age) the minutes, hours, days and months go flying by. I always catch myself wishing that a moment in time could last just a little longer.

There have been so many memories of the past year to treasure. Some good. Some not so good. There were many birthdays to celebrate and unfortunately the passing of some friends; hospital stays and surgeries; places, family and friends that were visited; reconnecting with high school friends (it was our 50th high school reunion this year); new adventures on the annual grandmother/granddaughter summer vacation; taking new art/craft classes and of course, spending time with my beloved husband (married 47 years and going strong).

However, my most treasured memory of this year is a gift that my husband and I received from our son and our future daughter-in-law (hint, hint).

The kids know how much we enjoy hockey and that the NHL San Jose Sharks are the team we root for. They were not only able to obtain tickets for us to see some of the regular season games and a Playoff Game, but they obtained tickets for us to see Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals at The Tank in San Jose.



As I said, so many memories to treasure! I know that this coming year, 2017, will also create many memories and I am looking forward to all of them.

So, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year.


Thanks for stopping by and until next time … hugs and kisses … LindaB


Hi Everyone … today I would like to introduce you to a new mixed media artist … my nine year old granddaughter, Kyra. She had been admiring a mixed media canvas I did (I took a class from Sharon Young to learn the Finnabair technique) and wanted to learn how to do it.

So, I found out that my local scrapbook store, Chico Scrapbook, was having a crop and that Kyra could attend it and try her hand at mixed media. Needless to say she took to it like a duck takes to water.

She had a lot of goodies to choose for her canvas. Kyra did a lot of the prep work at home. Priming her canvas with white gesso, then applying torn crinkled strips of paper for texture and then adding more texture with a Dyan  Reaverey stencil and 3D gloss gel. All this dried overnight. Then the next day at the crop the fun began


Kyra applied all the goodies she chose with soft gloss gel.


Next came the hardest part for her … painting the whole canvas and everything on it with heavy black gesso.


The next part was easier. She applied pink, blue and purple color bloom spray mist.


Sharon Young was also at the crop and helped answer any questions she had.


Sure looks pretty wild at this point.


Now, you would think that she had finished, but no there’s more to do. Kyra next applied white gesso for highlights and her favorite part, applying glitter and beads. Now it was time to go home and let her canvas dry overnight. She worked on her project for about 5-1/2 hours.


Here is Kyra the next day showing off her beautiful mixed media canvas project. She can’t wait to do another project. I think it may be a crown made out of chicken wire!


Well, that’s all for now … thanks for stopping by and until next time … Hugs & Kisses … LindaB




Have you ever had one of those times when your mind becomes a total blank because you can’t think of what you want to prepare for dinner?  Well, Tuesday was one of those times.

You see, I wanted to watch the live broadcast of Jim Hankins, The Gentleman Crafter (http://www.thegentlemancrafter.com), that night, but I still needed to cook dinner for hubby and myself. So, what to have for dinner? Then I remembered, the night before I had dinner with  a good friend in Sacramento at The Cheesecake Factory. One of their menu items that I love (but didn’t order this time) is Shepherd’s Pie.

Now, I know there are all kinds of versions of this dish out there, but this is the version that my family likes. Oh, and I need to give a shout out to my son, Jerry, who added pork sausage to his meat mixture and I now include that in my recipe.

So, here is the recipe that I use to make Shepherd’s Pie:


YaYa’s Shepard Pie

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1 pound ground beef; 1/2 pound pork sausage; 1/2 cup onion, chopped; 1 teaspoon garlic, minced; 1 teaspoon basil; 1 teaspoon oregano; 1/2 teaspoon salt; dash of pepper; 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce; 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped; 1/2 cup carrots, chopped; 1/2 cup frozen peas; 1/2 cup frozen corn; 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced; 1 jar (12 oz.) beef gravy; about 2 cups mashed potatoes and 1 cup grated cheddar cheese.

Brown ground beef, sausage, onion and garlic. After meat mixture has browned add basil, oregano, salt and pepper; mix well. Now add Worcestershire sauce, zucchini, carrots, peas, corn & mushrooms; mix well. Stir in beef gravy. Bring to a boil. Then transfer this mixture to an ovenproof baking dish (1-9×13 or 2-7×9).

Next spread mashed potatoes over meat mixture and sprinkle grated cheese over mashed potatoes. Bake for 15 or 20 minutes.

Serve with Cesar salad.

This was the perfect meal to eat while enjoying Jim’s telecast. BTW, be sure to check The Gentleman Crafter’s blog for some very creative mixed media/craft ideas.


Thanks for stopping by and until next time . . . HUGS & KISSES ~ LindaB