It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Different Kind of Day


Yesterday I made some strawberry jam....

...and I thought about all the good things in my life.

...and in the evening I went for a walk and had a good cry. Sometimes things are not right and you know why, but you don't know how to make it better. Sometimes life is sweet and bitter at the same time...., and you end up making Jam instead of facing the sadness.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

M.W.K. Would be Happy

When my sister and I went to the Art and Soul Festival in Asilomar I noticed that some of the ladies in our class were using old suitcases for their supplies. "Great idea", I thought and made a mental note to keep an eye out for a small case that I could use for the project I was working on at the moment. Instead of a bag or box that I had to lug around I could find a small makeup case that was sturdy and easy to carry.
This weekend when I we went to the Room With a Past vintage, antiques and collectibles sale, I found the small case I was looking for. It's sturdy, in good shape, lined with washable fabric..., has a good solid lock that won't open accidentally and a handle. I can put everything I need for one project in here and there is a mirror, just in case I have to check for spinach in my teeth or watch someone without them knowing it.
I don't know who M.W.K. was, but she (I'm guessing this was a "she") took good care of this little case. There are no nail polish spills or tears inside. We use to call these totes "overnight" cases or "makeup" cases. I had one when I was young. Too bad I didn't hold on to it. Right?
So many things that are now sitting in antique malls across America were useful items that still had a lot of shelf life in them; things that were given away or sold because they were not "new" enough or "good" enough . I think there's a trend (and a good one) ,now, to re-use rather than buy something new. Maybe the economy, tanking the way it did, has made folks rethink how they live. There are a lot more people in the thrift stores these days.
M.W.K. might have sold this case, or lost it or maybe she died and it was sold in an estate or garage sale. Who knows where this little case has travelled, but I'm glad I found it . I guess I could cover the initials with my own. I could decorate the outside with some Mod Podge and pictures that I like. We'll see..., but for now, I will put my Mystorian book parts inside and everything will be in one place and I will use this "new", little old makeup case for a different purpose. It's a good thing.

Please check out Colorado Lady's blog for more vintage, retro and antique items and a list of blogs who share the love of "old" wonderful and useful things.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Snakes we like to see in our Garden


Beautiful specimen: Corn Snake or very large Garter Snake. Seemed to like being held.

A Common Kingsnake.(below) They kill and eat Rattlers. This is a GOOD SNAKE.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Son's Big "Little" Project


A few years ago my oldest son bought a very little house in the upper Laurel district of Oakland, California. We were surprised that he bought a house, as opposed to a condo, loft or co-op, but "M" found this little house, bought it and moved in. We can't find any history on the place but we know that it was built in 1910; 4 years after the Big Earthquake of 1906 that left the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area in ruins. He thinks that this house might have been a caretakers cottage on a large ranch or a summer cabin for someone who could afford to have a second home in the lovely hills above the town of Oakland. He may never know for sure why someone built such a small house but it's perfect for him.
Because it's so old, it now needs complete reconstruction. So, "M" has begun with a new foundation, as the old one is crumbling and dangerous. It needs to be completely replaced. He will add a new bedroom and a full bath on to the back of the house . I can't wait for him to get all the outside work done , so I can help him PAINT and DECORATE the inside.
I can hear "M" now..."Just remember Mom, it's a "man cave" not a summer cottage for company." Oh my!..., so when I went to see him on Sunday afternoon, I walked through the house with my mouth closed, but I was taking mental notes on what we can do to make this little place just wonderful. No lace, no pink pillows and no white wicker? Nope..., but classic colors and mission style furniture? Yes, yes, and maybe there will be tongue and groove wood floors under all that old linoleum flooring that will be repairable...., and..., and..., so many ideas. "Patience Mom, Patience." So, I went out into the backyard and pruned some roses, and after I took some pictures for his Dad we went out to dinner.....

This is Spettro's on Lakeshore Ave. "M" took me there for dinner. The restaurant is charming and my Salmon with Mango Salsa was to die for. If you live anywhere close by, check this place out. It's worth it!
Thanks for dinner, sweetheart. I enjoyed the evening. See you again soon. Love, Mom
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Short Trip Filled with Good Things


This was a nice trip down to the Bay Area. The weather was beautiful and I got to see Mom again. She is doing much better. I think that her trip to the hospital made such a bad impression on her that she has willed herself to feel better. She is on oxygen all the time now. You can see the huge canister next to the bookcase. She calls it the "atom bomb" and doesn't like it in her room. What a funny lady she can be. She has filled her room with many of her belongings from the house. Each time she goes over with someone she brings back more things. The CNA's joke with her that they are going to have to add on an "addition" to her room, soon, so she will have more space to put her things. Mom says if she can't be at home then this is how she makes it feel like "home". They are the nicest folks and take such good care of Mom. They don't seems to mind all the things that she has accumulated. They are so understanding. It makes such a difference to Mom.
A dove is sitting on two eggs on the front porch of the rest home. This bird chose a hanging basket and there she sits (left bottom photo) looking at me and hoping I don't get any closer. I saw Mom everyday and that dove was always there. Mom can see this nest from her window and she is hoping that she will see the babies when they are born.
It was a busy weekend. Saturday we went to our favorite "once a month" store, Room With A Past, on 3rd. St. in Walnut Creek and on Sunday we drove to Berkeley, to an Art Festival at the Live Oak Recreation Center. Lots of beautiful handmade things: Wonderful jewelry, hand crafted one of a kind items that were very beautiful and expensive. The weather was really warm, for Berkeley, and the venue was a lovely park in a residental area at the north end of Shattuck Ave. We had a nice time .
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