San Marino, California

Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different.
– C.S.Lewis

My beautiful niece, Jamie

Hello, sweet friend…

I’m happy to be back home.

Enjoying our backyard

It has been a difficult week with the loss of our fur baby Cami. Joe and I miss her very much.

My high school friend Susan

That being said my time in California was wonderful, and the days shared with my niece… sister… & friends were special.

The retreat house

Another highlight was the retreat I attended. This was my 15th year in attendance.

Once a private residence…now a beautiful retreat house

The retreat facility borders the neighborhood of San Marino.

Streets lined with palm trees

I recently heard San Marino is an area…

that feels like it doesn’t change…
and…

that people who don’t do well with change

really love living here.

Of course…

we know that is a bit silly…

and that most likely…

the real reason is…

San Marino is a charming town…

and because living life fully…

is living a life filled with changes.

I smile every time I walk by this pink home…
Marcia
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A Farewell To Our Little Star…Cami

God is spelled Dog backwards

Hello, sweet friends…
Our beloved Cami passed away on Friday. I was in California when I received a call from Joe painfully telling me about her recent seizures and how they suddenly spiraled out of control. A FaceTime call inside the vet’s office would allow me to see her and express my love and gratitude for her. Joe said her tail wagged just a bit when she heard my voice. I believe she felt love across the miles…holding her this last moment in time. Cami was a dog but she was much more than a dog. She was a minister who expressed unconditional love…always offering comfort & joy to us with her tail wagging friendship. Our lives have been enriched these past years because of her. Cami’s life was a gift…one we won’t ever forget…rather we will hold her close to our hearts being forever grateful for the days we shared together.

RIP…our bundle of Joy Cami❤️

I would like to share a re-post I wrote after Cami was cast for the part of Toto by a small local theatre here on the Oregon coast.

A Tribute To Cami

August 9, 2017

Opening Night For Cami

Hi, I hope you had a good week. I’ve had a fun, exciting and most definitely all consuming week. A wonderful community theater here on the Oregon coast has been preparing for the production of the Wizard of Oz please read http://There’s no place like home and opening night has arrived! My first time as a stage mom.


“Ok mom…I’m ready!”

This post will be a little rushed since more than likely as you read I am behind those curtains and backstage with Cami (cheering her on for 12 performances!)

I’m sitting in that chair where Cami is starring…she is auditioning for the part of Toto

That being said… I can’t help and reflect back to a time when this cute-furry child first arrived at our home in Riverside, California in 2011. The best retirement gift I received arrived serendipitously.

Cami waiting for her queue to go on stage…

A few of the neighborhood children had brought her over one Sunday afternoon all dirty and scruffy… inquiring if she were one of our dogs.

Cami with her teddy bear on her way to practice…

I remember that day as if it were only yesterday…

Cami backstage with her teddy…

I looked at that little doggie and replied “no she isn’t one of ours” and then without a pause added… “however if you don’t find the owners we would be happy to keep her”

Now I’m sitting with the director discussing Cami’s amazing talent❤️

Perhaps it was in that moment…I knew what a sweet spirit she had star quality

And before the day was over she was ours.

“on my way to the oscars”

We named her Cami.

A Maltese mix…
she cleaned up well…

Singing away…

Tiny and mighty sweet and smart…

“Okay mom let’s do this thing!”

loving and devoted…

The sweetest…

Who would have imagined six years later that a once scruffy homeless little and abandoned dog found in a neighborhood in Riverside, California on a Sunday afternoon would one day be making her big debut on the beautiful Oregon coast portraying Toto a scruffy beloved farm dog.

September 2019
At home…



Marcia
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While Visiting California…

“When I’m alone I’m actually hanging out with my soul”

The Minds Journal

Hello, sweet friend…

I have been vacationing in California…

Sooooooo…

Enjoying an afternoon at Barbara Cheatley’s in Claremont, California…February 5, 2020

I thought this would be a perfect time to re-edit a previous post from 2014 and share a Valentine’s Tea Party I hosted in my California home.❤️

Making a quick stop to Anthropologie (my fave shop) February 5, 2020…

A re-post from February 2014

Everybody Needs Love

By Marcia Ren

Oh!Oh!Oh! Sometimes I wish I had a HUGE Cottage, so I could invite a zillion friends to my teeny tiny tea parties. Because I think everybody likes to feel loved, and special. ESPECIALLY on Valentine’s Day. I know I do… That’s why I LOVE to host them! (Big smile)

 

 I invited a couple of friends & then asked each of them to invite a friend that they didn’t see too often.

Before I knew it…

The teeny tiny tea party slowly started to GROW… much like our friendships just like a garden.

Yikes!!!! Where am I going to sit. ..❤️

 

no worries This looks like a comfy spot…

O.k. all done on the inside… Now It’s time for my assistant and I to tidy up on the outside..

Cami has a new pink outfit…She loves to feel VERY special too.💕

I’ve been planting little flowers all around the Cottage to help celebrate it’s 94th birthday! ❤️

Of course pink is my signature color out in the garden too!

This is a Special little sign that I painted. I am just not quite sure where to put it.♡
 

Yes. … that looks welcoming. Let’s head on back inside.❤️

Awwww… These are from my sweet Joe.

 


I’m wondering what special things make you feel loved…

I feel loved by my supportive husband who always encourages me to take time for my spiritual & mental growth…

I love window shopping…February 6, 2020
And indulging in a bit of decadence at Nordstrom’s cafe…February 2020

Carving out time alone as a way to rediscover myself…

Chairs at Victoria Gardens in Ontario, California…February 5, 2020

Floating hearts at Barbara Cheatley’s shop (another fave shop) in Claremont, CaliforniaFebruary 5, 2020

Marcia
Posted in Garden/Tea Time | 2 Comments

Heading Into February…


“Live life in full bloom & let your dreams blossom”

-Marcia

Hello, sweet friend…

Sitting down to write this week’s blog post…

I hope you are having a wonderful week…

Prepping and Cultivating a fresh month…
Our sweet home getting a bit of sunshine…

Surrendering to the brrrrrr of this season…

I have taken time to put my nose to inhaling the scents of wood smoke and the frost of the cold air…

I’ve walked by those bare trees…

listening to the sounds of silence after a winter storm…

a storm that came in the wee hours…awakening my small town with it’s blustery wind, thunder and lightning.

I appreciate the treasures of this season and it’s tidbits of beauty…

realizing that even though everything looks brownish…

it’s a growing season…

and has a role of importance in the garden…

That being said…

I’m ready to embrace a new season…

begin nibbling on those fresh berries from the garden

and to open my heart & arms to grow…

Happy February💕

Marcia
Posted in 2020, Garden/Tea Time | 6 Comments

Come Cook With Me…

and so, she decided to start living the life she imagined…


Hello, sweet friend…

Getting my ingredients together

Many years ago while I was still teaching… A parent in my class invited me over to her house for lunch. Her name was Molly… that afternoon she taught me how to make Pad Thai. Years later I still think of her whenever I prepare this wonderful dish. Here is a super easy and approachable way to make it (that is if you don’t take a million photos like I did😉) Just in case you don’t know what Pad Thai is… it’s a stirfry dish made with rice noodles shrimp, chicken or tofu, peanuts a scrambled egg and bean sprouts. The ingredients are sautéed together in a wok or pan & tossed in a delicious Thai sauce.

Ingredients

8 ounces flat rice noodles

3 tablespoons oil

three cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces uncooked shrimp, chicken, or extra firm tofu, cut into small pieces

2 eggs

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

one red bell pepper,

Finley sliced three green onions,

chopped 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts

two limes 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Pad Thai sauce

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce

5 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

5 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce (or more, to taste)

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (optional)



Instructions

Cook noodles according to package instructions, just until tender. Rinse under cold water. Mix the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.

Heat one and a half tablespoons of oil in a large sauce pan or wok over medium to high heat. Add the shrimp, chicken or tofu,

garlic and bell pepper. The shrimp will cook quickly, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until pink. If using chicken, cook until just cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes, flipping only once.

Push everything to the side of the pan. Add a little more oil and add the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs, breaking them into small pieces with the spatula as they cook.

Add noodles,

sauce, beans sprouts and peanuts to the pad (reserving some peanuts for topping at the end). Toss everything to combine. Top with green onions, extra peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges.

serve immediately!


Enjoy your weekend…

Marcia
Posted in 2020, Cooking | 2 Comments