Friday, August 31, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 31: Hidden

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 31: Hidden

I don't know how well you'll be able to see this.  I love pictures containing things which are hidden from first view.

In Palo Alto, CA., at the Allied Arts Guild there used to be a shop called Lyon's Fine Prints.  There was a pass-through entrance to it from one of my favorite needlepoint shops; Old World Designs.  One fateful day, I made that short walk.

Lyon's had a treasure just waiting for me.  This is an Arthur Rackham original color plate for the first edition of Midsummer Nights' Dream published by William Heinemann, London in 1908.  There were only 1,000 copies of the book published, each containing 40 tipped-in color plates.

This illustration was for Puck's song.  In pencil, attached to the illustration, was written:  "Up and down, up and down, I will lead them up and down:..."

Needless to say, I had this museum-quality framed by my favorite framers; Creative Framing.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 30: Card

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 30: Card
Birthdays are not my favorite days.  However, having a dear friend hand-make a birthday card for me that is signed by the whole family definitely makes the day a whole lot better.  Do you love the pearls?  I do!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 29: Down

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 29: Down
The East Bay Mystery Readers' Group is now in it's 18th year and in our 4th home.  We loved our last site, but outgrew it.

Walden Pond Books in Oakland--a wonderful old shop with wooden floors that creak--kindly offered us a home.  We meet in the Rare Book room on the mezzanine level of their shop where we are surrounded by oak furniture and bookcases, and collectible hardcover books.  From there, it is possible to look down on the shop below.  What could be better. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 28: Gate

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 28: Gate
Books set in the UK are some of my favorites, particularly when they talk about the architecture and churches.  One thing I had frequently seen referenced was a lych gate as an entrance to churchyards. 

The town in which I stayed, Sonning-on-Thames, had a lovely church, the oldest part dating back to the 1400s.  At both sides of of the churchyard was this wonderful gate.  I was so excited thinking I had finally walked, several times, through an actual lych gate.

Imagine my surprise when, only recently, I discovered it wasn't a lych gate at all, but a kissing gate.  From Google--the source of all knowledge--I have learned the following:

Kissing Gate - The kissing gate is a small gate that swings freely within a small angled of semicircular enclosure--sometimes called a swing wicket or turn-stile gate.  The walker pushes the gate to the far side of the enclosure, stands in the space between the enclosure and the gate, and then moves the gate to one side and walks through.  The idea is that the gate provides easy passage for walkers, but denies access to bicycles, baby carriages, cattle and the like.  As to how the gate got its name, there are two schools of thought.  One says that if two people try to use the gate at the same time, they get pressed together; the other say that there was once a tradition that allowed couples to kiss at such gates.

The gates weren't completely effective at denying access to bicycles as I saw several young people lift and carry their bikes at shoulder-height while through the gates.

So there you are.  I didn't find at lych gate, but found something completely unexpected and about which I had never known.  And isn't that the best part of travel, after all?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 27: Tap

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 27: Tap
The main bathroom was recently renovated.  Probably my favorite thing is the new tap.  It has a nickel finish and is wonderfully architectural and graphic; modern without being chichi or silly.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 26: Dream

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 26: Dream
Do you dream in black and white, or in color?  Are they clear to you, or vague and fuzzy?  Do you remember them when you wake up?   Well enough to write down or tell others?  Over lengths of time?  Do you have recurring dreams or themes?  Or do you not remember them at all? 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 25: Fresh

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 25: Fresh
There is nothing like a warm, fresh apple pie.  When it's made by a friend, who even remembered I don't like raisins, from Gravenstein apples fresh picked off her own tree; it's perfect.  What a wonderfully special gift to receive.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 24: Path

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 24: Path
On a trip to see my parents in Flagstaff, Arizona, we took a day trip to Meteor Canyon.  On the way, we also stopped at Walnut Creek Canyon where Mom and I talked the trail.  Dad's fear of heights prevented him from joining us.  I'll admit there were times I was desperately clinging to the cliff-wall behind us at points where the trail was incredibly narrow.  Not a railing in sight.

The trail is at 7,000 ft. elevation and is a 1 mile round trip.  The trail descends 185 vertical feet into the canyon, and returns the same way. There are 25 cliff-dwelling rooms you can visit.  This photo is shooting across the canyon to other dwellings archeologists have left unexplored and inaccessible.    

From  In densely-wooded plateau country southeast of Flagstaff, the small seasonal stream Walnut Creek has carved a 600 foot deep canyon as it flows east, eventually joining the Little Colorado River en route to the Grand Canyon. The exposed Kaibab limestone that forms the upper third of the canyon walls occurs in various layers of slightly differing hardness, some of which have eroded more rapidly forming shallow alcoves; during the 12th to 13th centuries many were used by the local Sinagua Indians who constructed cave-dwellings along the steep well-protected ledges, high above the canyon floor.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 22: Home

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 22: Home
Crochet for charity has become an significant part of my life.  That means having the right tools for the job.  A good, sharp pair of stitching scissors with an attached needle threader and a pair of support gloves are as important as my yarn and crochet hooks.

The hat is one of 20 I'm currently making for Stitches from the Heart which sends bereavement-to-full-term baby items to over 1,400 hospitals across the US.

In the memory of friends lost to AIDS, I also crochet for Knit-a-Square, dedicated to keeping warm the over 2.4 million AIDS orphans in southern Africa. 

There are other charities for whom I crochet as well.  If you'd like any information on them, please feel free to ask me about them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 22: Home

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 22: Home
Come in.  Welcome!  Make yourself to home. 

I was so fortunate to find a place with wall space enough for my books, of which you see only a small portion, my photos and prints and my large furniture.  My office, where I spend most of my day, is straight ahead; my living room, where I spend my evenings, is to the left. 

Please, make yourself comfortable.  And, if you'd like, there's plenty to read.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 21: Cool

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 21: Cool
Coming from Costa Costa County, where it may be 90- to over 100-degrees hot in the summer, back to Oakland and see the fog streaming in, is both literally and figuratively cool.  The temperature difference can be 10-15 degrees and you can't believe how fast the fog moves in.  It's a very welcome sight to those of us who love the cooler weather.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 20: Today

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 20: Today
 After a quick look out the door to see the wonderful, cooling fog over the hills, I check my calendar for the days events and turn on Good Morning America.  Although it doesn't impact me, I look at the traffic report.  Back to my computer for today's horoscope--so wrong--and to see what our weather is in detail.  Then to the television and "Today in the Bay" where I find local news stories too depressing.  That's enough of that.  Television off; back to Facebook to chat with my friends and polish up book reviews.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 19: Hole

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 19: Hole
Meteor Crater in Arizona definitely qualifies as a big hole.  Meteor Crater is east of Flagstaff, near Winslow.  Considering it's size, you can understand why I wasn't able to photograph the entire crater.  For those who may remember the movie "Starman" with Jeff Bridges, this is the crater used in the opening and closing scenes.

From Wikipedia:  It lies at an elevation of about 5,709 ft. above sea level, is about 4,000 ft. in diameter, some 570 ft. deep, and is surrounded by a rim that rises 150 ft above the surrounding plains. One of the interesting features of the crater is its squared-off outline, believed to be caused by pre-existing regional jointing (cracks) in the strata at the impact site.

To give a better idea of the crater's size, shape and the desolation of the surrounding area, I downloaded this second photo from on-line:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 18: Historic

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 18: Historic
Ever since Mrs. Adams, my 6th grade teacher, taught us about the Peloponnesian War by drawing the battle positions on the blackboard in pink and green chalk and letting us chose which side we were on, without knowing the outcome, I have loved history.  She made it real for us right down to thinking of the participants as living people.

When I had the opportunity to visit London, going to The Tower was top of my list as it, to me, encapsulated English history from the Roman occupation through to the present.  I can't express my excitement at seeing, and touching but don't tell, a wall built during that occupation in the 2nd or 3rd century.  The water dish is for the rooks of the Tower. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 17: Faces

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 17: Faces
My Safeway is a wonderful place.  Not only is the staff great and I can find everything I need, but my fellow shoppers were wonderfully accommodating.  All I had to do was say "I'm part of this daily photo challenge...." and 11 out of 14 people agreed for me to take their picture.  So here we are, some of the interesting faces I found on a Thursday afternoon at my Safeway.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 16: Cemetery

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 16: Cemetery
St. Andrews, Sonning-on-Thames  -  Lafayette Cemetery #1, New Orleans

A misty day, perhaps with light fog, really is the proper atmosphere for photographing cemeteries, in my opinion.  Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating in either location.

St. Andrews in Sonning-on-Thames is a wonderful old Normal style church, parts of which date back to the 15th century.  The day I explored the churchyard was over 100 degrees and no one was around of whom I could ask questions, unfortunately.  From what I found, the oldest headstones are either gone or illegible now, but there was a wonderful assortment of traditional headstones, Celtic crosses and monuments.  The most interesting was that predominant citizens were buried within the church.  One walked on their tombstones, and remains, as one walked down the aisle.

Lafayette Cemetery #1 in New Orleans is one of the oldest cemeteries in the city, dating back to 1833.  It is in the Garden District and within walking distance from the house where Ann Rice lived while there.  It is also near a small neighborhood restaurant that served the most amazing crayfish bisque one could imagine. 

Because New Orleans is located below water level, bodies must be buried above ground.  I found the cemeteries in New Orleans very difficult to photograph as they are very crowded; it's hard to gain perspective.  It was interesting to see some of the causes of death listed as yellow fever, apoplexy, and being struck by lightning.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 15: Ready

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 15:  Ready
I had errands to run, it was coming on to lunch time and Giant Burger was calling my name.  While waiting for my order and looking at the list of prompts, I couldn't image what I would use for "Ready". 

Suddenly, there was the waitress at the window.  She was holding my bag of food and called "Ready!".  I grabbed my camera, shouted, "Don't move." and took her picture.  It couldn't have been more perfect had it been planned. 

Serendipity is a wonderful thing.   

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 14: Arrow

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 14:  Arrow
Until I started looking for them, I hadn't realized there were arrows everywhere telling me which way to go.  As with life, however, they can be contradictory and confusing.  The important thing is to find your own way, create your own path and do what is right for you. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 13: Simple

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 13:  Simple
As opposed to the more ornate, or bourgeois as they were referred to by some, spoons of yesterday's post, these are very simple spoons.  They were hand-made by the craftsmen at Historic Williamsburg and are sold in the Prentis Store there. 

The smaller spoon is used as a sugar scoop; the larger for refilling bird feeders.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 12: Spoon

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 12:  Spoon
Sterling silver has always seemed a cold metal to me and although I love the convenience and durability of stainless, pewter speaks to my heart.  There is a warmth to it and, contrary to silver, the darkening patina it acquires over time only enhances its beauty. 

A dear friend who knows of my love for pewter, history and mythology gifted me with this spoon rest and salad serving spoon--the matching fork is waiting for another day.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 11: Purple

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 11:  Purple
I wanted to find something unusual for this prompt.  I think I did it.

My friend Jody spent 22 years in the Navy; 3 in active service and the remainder in active Reserves.  She traveled the world and went to Iraq as Captain of a supply battalion during Desert Storm.  It goes without saying that I am very proud of her.

In her travels, she acquired unusual and fascinating items.  Part of her active service was spent in at a coastal Naval base in Germany and that bring us to the item above. 

So what it is?  They are barnacles--HUGE barnacles.  And they include many shades of purple.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 10: Ring

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 10:  Ring
Okay, so they're not quite the Olympic rings, but they were a lot more tasty.  I love onion rings.  I'll take onion rings over french fries any day of the week.  These would have scored about an 8 in the onion ring Olympics; not the best, but not bad and certainly way better than no onion rings at all.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 09: Messy

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 09:  Messy
My mother would be so appalled!  My sofa and coffee table are crochet central with the cans of bug spray being in case the giant spider shows up again.  The right wall of my den is recycling central; crushed coda cans, paper and plastic, and boxes which are reused to ship crochet projects to the various charities for which I crochet.  My desk and the shelves behind need to explanation; it is where I spend the majority of my day.  The sideboard has books I've not shelved and yarn waiting to become charity hats and scarves.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 08: Glasses

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 08: Glasses...
for every occasion.  it does seem to be an indication of time passing when you realize how many different pairs of glasses you have.  There are the all-purpose, transition glasses I wear most of the time.  However, if I'm spending a considerable about of time at the computer, I find my computer/reading bifocals more comfortable.  Unfortunately, I have astigmatism in both eyes, so no cute over-the-counter readers for me. 

For extra close or fine work, I have Mag-Eyes with interchangeable lenses in three different strengths which augment my all-purpose glasses.  I wear the band as one would a headband and the lens portion rests on the tip of my nose.  They may not look stunning, but they certainly do help.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 07: Sport

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 07: Sport
Rowing -- Ginger Rogers Swans; the boat lightly skims over the water while the rowers sit backwards and work like crazy to propel it.

Sports are not really my thing as I am one of the least competitive people you'll ever meet.  However, sitting on the banks on the Thames I saw these gentlemen and thought of my friend Jody.  She was the coxswain for the men's crew team while at Stanford University.  How could I resist taking this for her?

I also remember is living in Watertown, outside Boston, and seeing one man commute from there into Boston and back every day, except during the dead of winter, in his single-man scull.  It always seemed the most wonderful way to commute; on the water with no traffic. 

A friend and I traveled on business to Boston, many years ago.  She was kind enough to indulge my pleasure of watching all the crew teams practicing on the Charles by our staying in a hotel room with one king bed but a river view.  Now that's a friend.

Recently I learned that one of our newer members to the East Bay Mystery Readers' Group, now in her 60s, has been part of a women's crew team for years. 

So for all the rowers who do while I have the pleasure and memory of being one who watches, this is in recognition of you.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 06: Writing

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 06: Writing
From the first time I stepped aboard a sailboat in Duxbury Harbor, albeit a 15-foot daysailer, I felt I was somewhere I belonged.  Never did I experience seasickness or discomfort.  Now in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have had other opportunities to join friends on their sailboats, even sailing out under the Golden Gate Bridge to Bodega Bay.  Each time, I experience that same sense of peace and belonging.

Many years ago, I saw Eugene O'Neill's play "Long Day's Journey Into Night"  It's an exceptional piece of work but what struck me most was Edmund's monologue about being at sea.   While I've never had the chance to sail on a square rigger, I clearly understood the feelings he expressed.

A dear friend of mine created the speech in calligraphy for me.  She even, on a trip back to Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, bought the scrimshaw (faux) for me.  With the talent of my friend and framer, the two elements were merged together and it now holds a place of honor on the wall of my den and in my heart.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 05: Logo

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 05: Logo
My local Safeway is the best.  Having a wonderful, cheerful, helpful staff makes it much more enjoyable to do a task I really don't enjoy.  Their "Just for U" program is great as I love saving money when I shop.  Last time I saved 33% off my bill.  Now that's a good day.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 04: Dust

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 04: Dust
There is a sign on the door of a friend's house which reads:

If you're coming to see my house,
Make an appointment.
If you're coming to see me,
Come on in.

No one has ever used my name and the words "Sally Homemaker" in the same sentence.  But I'll make you welcome and comfortable when you stop by.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 03: Coin

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 03: Coin
From the days, and job in 2008, where I traveled to Toronto every month, I still have a few Canadian coins.  I loved the $2 coin, or the Toonie, as it does feel as though it is two coins in one.  So much more fun than our coins.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 02: One

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 02: One
This is my ONE remaining mug, from ONE of my favorite jobs, where I worked with ONE of my all-time favorite managers. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 01: Broken

Photo-a-Day - Aug 2012 - Day 01: Broken
My wonderful brass clock had run for years then stopped a couple years ago.  Finally, this past May, I took it down, figured out what was jammed, re-leveled it on it's bookcase and it was running beautifully again.  Until.... 

I may have mentioned I have some problems with my hands due to damage from being rear-ended twice within one month, tendonitis, arthritis and some carpel tunnel from crocheting.  It causes me often to drop things and for my hands to go numb.  It also means I don't have as much strength in my hands as I once did.

Two weeks ago, I was doing my Sunday round of clock winding--I have nine.  This one sits on a higher shelf and mid-winding, my hand slipped on the key causing it to slip out of the slot.  I heard that sickening "clunk" inside.  Sure enough, I had broken the mechanism that controls the pendulum.  Now I have to decide whether I can afford taking it to the clock shop for repair.  Poor clock.