Design through the Portal of Life

What Is Our ‘Sell-By’ Date?

Looking at the conceptual continuity of angles, colors, and spatial consciousness we delve into the realm of articulating real world awareness. This awareness comes in many forms.

One form is the design of our living space to enhance comfort and help eliminate stress . Another form is the relationship with those around us and the strangers we meet on a daily basis. So many variations on this theme, one can visualize focusing on life’s strategy through the magnifying glass of possibility.

The symmetry of design reflects a non-cluttered environment with colors that build a foundation of aesthetic beauty. This approach is pleasing to the senses, especially sight. Each color can omit an emotional response that excites, soothes, or reflects an underlying passion of expression.

Angles are also pleasing to the eye and perform as a magnet to our unconscious desire. This desire is the curiosity that completes the circle of appreciation for architecture and the questioning of the inspiring skill and message it conveys.

A pyramid in Egypt or the pyramid at the entrance to the Louvre. The uniformity of design that frames the cables of a  suspension bridge, or the strands of strings on a harp. Each man made design can be attributed to the beauty that nature inspires.

The wings of a bird are aerodynamically connected with the quality that moves them through the air.  The ability to seemingly float forever on the breath of the wind is captivating.  They glide across a vista which has created the inspiration for man wanting to experience that motion and affect.

Each design motivated by nature is a persuasion of admiration for the uniformity built upon its affect.

The portal of life is a structure built on these life’s experiences. This involvement in analytics includes but are not limited to education, travel, interaction with others, and the wisdom gained from our victories and our failures. The design of our life takes vision, confidence, the ability to listen to those with the knowledge we desire, and the action required to fulfil our destiny.

When I look to the stars I see the pattern of light illuminating the sky with a deep dark background that makes them even more impressive. This portal of mystery has intrigued man from the beginning of time. Anytime there is an enigma we attempt to discover the secrets beyond our vision of understanding.

Gazing through the portal of life we begin to understand a very small portion of the puzzle to explain that which lies before us. Each piece of the puzzle is but a small thread of the DNA that we can comprehend. Every bit of understanding opens another door of questions which stretches our ability to put the puzzle into a framework we can fathom.

Is there a God? Are we the only planet with living organisms that can process thought? Is time travel possible? Have we been visited by extraterrestrials and if so what was there goal to come to earth? What is our family lineage from the beginning of time? And a thousand other questions that we don’t even know what to ask.

If our design through the portal of life is a simple one, then the choices we’ve made add to this point may place us upon the threshold of a dream. Each dream we live in becomes a line of embarkation or an immersion into the plan we love. Our age can diminish our perspective or it can enhance our need to discover. Which ever it is the greatest distance we will travel is the six inches between our ears.

In the world we live in our past becomes a stepping stone for the future. Living in the moment becomes our appreciation for every minute, second, hour we can still take a breath. That consciousness gives us the peace of mind required to envision our future, craft our life, and begin a new chapter. Why? Because life is about beginnings and endings.

Roads Traveled and Yet to be Traveled

What Is Our ‘Sell-By’ Date?

Each step from the moment we can walk, to the time we can choose, provides us with interesting choices. Each decision in regards to which road to take sends us in a direction based upon instinct, knowledge and trust.

Many times there is a fork in the road that looks like either direction would be adventageous to our needs, wants, or desires. Upon closer view the two choices (if we’ve narrowed it down to just two) need a level of scrutiny that requires wisdom we may not possess.

The relationships we have nurtured over the course of our life may pay dividens ten fold when asked to help in a difficult decision regarding the road we must choose. This is when trust becomes the key component. To respect and trust a decision offered by another brings them into a place we all try to avoid, vulnerability.

In some cases the task to listen and act upon another’s suggestion is the most difficult part of life’s test. Perhaps we think another can look from a place we have not thought of, or a view we can not see, because we are too close to the problem to solve.

I have found that the solution lies within ourselves. When we rely on others it often becomes more judgement than advice. In most instances this is because their experiences don’t line up with what got us to this point to begin with. Then we are even more confused. Deep down we know which direction will have a greater possibility for success.

Life is a contact sport. Too whom much is given, much is required. If you have the education and support system then the road will not be fraught with as many obstacles. However, if there are hurdles along the way, we must circumvent their presence. We will gain inner strenght from experience given to us through disappointment and failure.

The greatest teacher in life is learning from our mistakes. The road’s obstacles become simple bumps rather than barriers. Widsom through life is gained with relationships that include family, friends, and our ability to know what is right and wrong. In addition to all that, wisdom is achieved through experience. The more you experience different races, creeds, situations that stretch your capacity, either physical or mental, the roadblocks will disappear to reveal your destiny.

Our destiny changes through-out life. First is knowledge acquired through school, then life. Second are relationships that may be personal or professional. Third is the career choice that affords you economic opportunity. If you’ve worked hard to build your educational resume then your choices grow exponentially.

The road you choose for your career has to be analyzed to determine the economic upside. The reason is quite simple: If you choose a menial job then your money is limited. However, if you select a road that relies on your educational achievments or your God given talents then the upside can be as far as you want to take it.

Money is quite simply a tool. Energy either flows to you or away from you… that’s why they call money, currency. To have money come to you as residual income produced beyond your time and effort does one thing. It buys your time back so that you can enjoy life while others trade time for money.

Educating yourself regarding the stock market, real estate, currency options, or any other investment in which you let your money work for you beyond your time and effort should be your goal.

The important things in life are the times we spend with family, friends, and of travel, to learn about things we’ve only read about. At the end of your life I don’t think you’ll say, “I wish I worked more.”


Waterfalls and the Magic of Solitude

magic in nature bidwell park chico pazaz bakeware
Magic in Nature – Bidwell Park

As water falls into pools of quiet deep thought the answers we seek are the illusions of wisdom we hold close to our heart. The walks along paths through forests and glens appear to captivate the senses in a way that frees the best part of whom we are and how we see the world.

Everything seems so simple as sung by those that have felt the deepest expressions of musical sonnets. And yet, we find within our souls the wonder that is life and its nuances that carry us to our next adventure. Our experiences/adventures take us in many cases to uncharted territories that expand our horizones and deepen the layers of interspection.

The simplicity of staring in a vacuous manner at the beauty before us frees us from the complexity of dissecting the picture that unfolds within our spacial consciousness. To see the efortless scene changing within the framework of a picture is both inspiring and bewitching. Our base line ebbs and flows to the samba of movement provided by wind, water, sunlight, insects, birds, deer, and all those wonderful expressions of nature we will never see but only feel somewhere as a sixth sense.

For me it is the sunsets and the projection of different colors… the way light dances across the horizon that is most entrancing. And then there is the prospect of an unparalleled visionary involvment that combines the sensory with the sublime where imagination grips a beautiful memory that erupts over the embers of a thought we will never forget.

To become stress free within the body of nature and therefore experience it to our fullest requires the untethering of those obstacles that hold us to the constraints of the greatest hindrance we will ever know… the six inches between our ears.

This Blog is sponsored by PAZAZ. The Magic of Cooking and the Kitchen tools for the discerning chef that make this an unparalleled cooking experience. Please go to to purhcase these AMAZING Kitchen tools.

Living in Orofino is a Dream

Sometimes we make a plan, and sometimes the plan makes you. In this case there was a short list of criteria that took an idea and sent it to the next level of consciousness.

Simple: Look for a place that has a great water source and can offer the luxury of a view to look out to a river, lake, stream, or creek . Find a place that has like minded people that care more about their family and friends than they care about the things they have.

Finaly, this place has to be semi-remote. Close enough to a fire station and hospital so that any emergency can be taken care of relatively quickly. One last caveat; Far enough away that your neighbors can barely be seen.

I eliminated Oregon and Washington because of expense and politics. I gravitated towards Idaho because of the affordability, the wonderful people, and the political climate which is more aligned with my own beliefs.

Idaho is what Marin County California  (where I grew up) used to be. Nobody cared what you had, only who you were (your word was your contract), and how hard you worked. So, having never been to Idaho before I researched the best path to lead to a successful viewing of the state I targeted to be part of my retirement haven.

First there was the flight, “Where do I fly to?” I’d never been to Spokane Washington before but I realized this would be the most affordable flight. I’d have to rent a truck (needed four wheel drive just in case) and then plot a path to a centralized location in the panhandle. I picked the panhandle because I wasn’t interested in the over-run Boise area and other areas were simply either too cold or too expensive.

I picked a B&B (The Laird House) in a small town just north of Moscow Idaho and south of Coeur d’Alene. This seemed a centralized place that could act as my base for exploration. Loved this little B&B.

Prior to coming to the B&B I set up appointments with three realtors that covered three different parts of the panhandle. There was the Sandpoint/Coeur’d Alene area, the Potlatch area, and finally the Lewiston area. Of course none of these places I’d been to and never (in my wildest dreams) did I expect to view the beauty I eventualy encountered on my sojurn into the unknown.

Potlatch is a very small town on the edge of the Palouse region of Idaho, originally built to house the employees of the worlds largest white pine sawmill. In its almost eighty-year lifespan the mill produced millions of board feet of lumber. Not knowing any of that I left the guidance to a local realtor as we explored such small towns as Princeton, Cora, Hampton, and Chambers.

I remember vividly the pouring rain as we traveled to properties for sale that fell well short of my expectations. We went to places that were difficult to find and even more difficult to get out of. We almost became stuck in the mud on several occassions but soldiered on through the monsoon like conditions. It became clear that this part of Idaho was a little to rustic in its constitution and too far from medical, fire, and commercial conveniences.

This led me to the next part of the journey, Sandpoint Idaho. Once again I knew virtually nothing about Sandpoint Idaho except that I had read that it had been  voted “the most beautiful town in America” in 2012 by USA Today. 52 miles north of Coeur d’Alene  I was amazed at the entry point to Sandpoint (a 2 mile bridge over the largest lake in Idaho, Lake Pend Oreille). The beauty was captivating and led to a well planed community that blended hand-crafted artistic license with old fashion family owned retail businesses. The pubs, and the Cedar Street Bridge Public Market which is a collection of boutique shops a restaurant and a wonderful view of the Sandpoint Harbor added to the town’s flavor and composition.

I was really looking foward to seeing the area. We visited land for sale in Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, and Priest River which eventually made one thing perfectly clear. It wasn’t going to be easy to find land that looked out to a water feature. The closest I came (with several visits to the area) spanning the course of 4-6 months was in Priest River. First I found the most spectacular property (9 acres) that had panoramic views up and down of the Priest River. I loved it until I noticed a cellphone tower on the property that could potentially lead to health issues.

Another property in the same area was not quite so spectacular (5 acres) but had a mini version of the view we had just witnessed. I made an offer on that property (in a gated community) but was perplexed to hear the agent hadn’t informed me that the property was already in escrow. I realized after taking a jaunt around Sagle (the last town I would visit in this area) that this area was not going to afford me the type of experience I was looking for (within my budget).

I felt that somewhere in this state there was a place for Nancy and I that would provide us with the criteria I set forth on this mission. Finally, my last expedition would lead me to the place we now call home.

After returning to Potlatch to rest I ventured out the next day to meet the last realtor on the list, Russ Martin. Russ is a character exactly like you’d expect as a guide to both entertain and inform you about the history of the area. Russ grew up in the area of Lewiston/Orofino and provided some very colorful accounts of the locals, the hunting and fishing, and the wonderful history that is indigenous to this part of Idaho.

We traveled to places for sale that were weird, beautiful but remote, and then came upon what would become our property in Orofino. There were many trips to this area and many unusual experiences with sellers but the property we would eventually settle upon checked all the boxes: Fire station – 5 miles away, Hospital – 8 miles away, and the town of Orofino offered the conveniences we were looking for with Lewiston (and many more conveniences) only 45 minutes from Orofino with a population of 31,000.

The process to acquire the property at Tie Creek was relatively painless. However, it took three different mortgage brokers, a pandemic, supply chain issues, and a heart attack before our dream home would be a reality. Now we have a beautiful home in an area that’s like a park (bald eagles, elk, bear, deer, wild turkey’s, and even a cougar).

Whoever said the journey is the reward is an idiot… the reward is the reward.

This blog is sponsored by PAZAZ (Kitchen tools for the discerning chef). Please go to to purchase these AMAZING kitchen tools.


PAZAZ TM is more than a brand… it’s a lifestyle.

The “Magic of Cooking” implies the creation of something special in the kitchen, a transcendent experience by which all other experiences are judged. 
Music and Cooking are very similar. Both require passion, attention to detail, and a love that transcends the musical score or the recipe.  As you are the conductor of your life, we take very seriously our responsibility to give you the greatest kitchen equipment to help create your culinary experience. 

Summertime Recipes, Vacations, and the Quiet Explosion of Amazing Flavors

Today I prepare for a vacation that will rest the soul, stimulate the senses, and expand the horizons. Its interesting how we look forward to the journey, destination, and finally that solitude and satisfaction from rest and discovery.

Before we go I must say that preparing “Mama’s Muffins” from the PAZAZ cook book gives me a warm feeling that goes straight to the heart of this blog. As we journey to other places we are tethered to our home base but relish the discovery of new places, dishes in restaurants that bring joy and wonder, and finally the reflection of times and places that bring a similar sensation.

Summer around the globe is a time when people gather for outside activities which in many cases revolve around connecting to each other and nature. In this case we are going to a wonderful town located on the California coast that epitomizes the collection of my favorite two vacation topics… food and wine.

The restaurants we will be going to we have never been to before. This in a way is very much like when you are deciding which baking tools to use and you check out the reviews to determine the satisfaction level of the guests. The importance of the comments and passion in which they are illustrated demonstrates our belief that in some way shape or form they subliminally help craft our experience which could mirror their experience and thus becomes a trusting form of communication.

In the case of leaving a review that highlights the advantages of my PAZAZ kitchen tools its important to provide the necessary information to make an intelligent decision based upon real time users enjoying the satisfying ease of cooking with superior products.

This level of quality to produce a product, be it kitchen tools, restaurants, places to stay, or even the difficult to find wineries revolves around the commitment these businesses have made to provide an unparalleled moment that becomes the essence of satisfaction.

When we taste food or wine varietals that we’ve had hundreds of times it is rare and yet truly amazing when we stop and savor that moment which will be embedded in our memory if that experience is truly unique. The summer favors this type of enlightenment because of the vast offerings of harvest.

If just for a week a produce item is available we can align our thoughts to the calendar so that we can duplicate that experience each year. With infused oils and vinegars the recipes highlight simple yet satisfying delectable summer time dishes.

In this vein we are offered a montage of flavors that doesn’t overpower the product but enhances it. The beautiful berries from the west coast magnify the flavor profile of sweet and delicious to new sublime levels. Just a moment to savor the blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and tomatoes offer the taster with the satisfaction of living in the moment before the quiet explosion of our most amazing summertime flavors.