Saturday, December 13, 2014

Gingerbread Men

"One of the most glorious messes in the world is
 the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

~Andy Rooney

Alan and I put up our Christmas tree this past week, and it's going to be posted here soon, but until then there are a lot of things still to do to make everything in the house all merry and ready for the big day. One thing being the ordering of a nice flower arrangement! I love fresh flowers in the house for Christmas, especially organic roses. Why do they have to be organic? Well, see, Hendrix loves the taste of rose petals! He eats them like you or I would eat potato chips. LOL. Or for the holiday... Gingerbread men! He actually whines for them whenever I bring roses in the house. He found a taste for them when I began my organic rose garden some years back. I checked and it seems that roses are not a toxic plant for cats, unlike most traditionally Christmas decorative plants. Poinsettias... toxic. Pine... toxic. Lilly... toxic. Mistletoe... toxic.
That's okay, I will just have to muddle through with gorgeous red roses! 

The things we do for love!


The Leaf Of The Day

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Last Days Of Autumn...

"Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold,
Her  early leaf's a flower;
But only for an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay."

~Robert Frost
Nothing Gold Can Stay


Leaf Of The Day

Mood: Quiet

~Me :) 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Here Comes The Rain... And The Wind... And The Flooding... And...

"We live in a world that is beyond our control, and life is in a constant flux of change. So we have a decision to make... keep trying to control a storm that is not going to go away
 or start learning how to live within the rain."

~Glenn Pemberton
Hurting With God

Well, it seems the Bay Area is a mere hours away from the Storm Of The Century. LOL. No, not the Stephen King one, the good old fashioned one, with hard rain, lots and lots of wind and hopefully a good lightning bolt or two! I love lightning! The more thunder the better! It's wonderful, life affirming stuff, well, all except for the damage. Damage isn't fun. And big storms aren't much fun when they spoil your previously planned fun. Take for example the plans Alan and I had for today. We were going to the Orinda Theatre's free showing of the classic holiday movie of "A Christmas Story." It was going to be an amazing amount of fun, especially since there are two special guests coming, Zack Ward and Scott Schwartz. You know... Scut Farcus and Flick. 

And the best part? I could win a major award, by playing the live trivia game that the hosts play with the crowd prior to the film. Like when I won back in October, two gourmet cupcakes, which were decorated as the wheels, on Rosemary Woodhouse's baby buggy. You know Rosemary as in Rosemary's Baby! LOL. Who knows, this months might be in the shape of a seductive leg with a lampshade on it. LOL. Which do you eat first? The lampshade or the foot? OMG... I want to go so bad. Please storm... be windy, be rainy, be thundery, fill the sky with lightning, but please don't keep me from seeing one of my favorite movies of all time on the big screen, like it was meant to be seen.

Fa La La La La... La La La La

Leaf Of The Day

"Be Sure To Drink Your Ovaltine."

Mood: Excited

~Me :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Dry Rain...

"The autumn leaves blew over the moonlit pavement in such a way as to make the girl who was moving there seem fixed to a sliding walk, letting the motion of the wind and the leaves carry her forward. The trees overhead made a great sound of letting down their dry rain."

~Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451

Not a lot of words for this post, just leaves. I can see that we are coming to the end of autumn, as the few leaves left here and there are taking on the earthier tones of brown and deep purple. But my eye still searches for the life amongst the dying. At the same time, I am happy with the changing hues, as it is the only way to get to next Autumn, and I am already planning my leaf project for next year!

Is this all it takes to make me happy?

Um.. Yeah... it is!

And now... 

The Leaf Of The Day

Mood: Tranquil

~Me :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Hands Up Don't Shoot

"Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the world."

~William Faulkner

If you enjoy ice cream as much as I do, and want to also support a small business, I highly recommend Cream on Telegraph in Berkeley. And especially now, more than ever, I think I am feeling like picking up some of the delicious ice cream and fabulous warm cookies they sell. You see, they had their windows broke out on Sunday night, by some trouble making opportunists using the tragic decisions made by two different grand juries in New York and Missouri in the deaths of two unarmed men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner to not march for justice, but rather to serve their own selfish interests, and cause the act of peaceful civil disobedience to become an almost hopeless action.

How exactly breaking the windows of businesses and looting helps the cause, is beyond me, but that is the point of this post. I love Berkeley, I love the shops, I love the people. I love the energy the college students bring to the town. I love the Cal Bears. I love the trees. I love Tilden Park like  like it was a member of my family... because in a way... it is! I love the view of San Francisco from Grizzly Peak Boulevard and I love Berkeley for it's ability to take a stand against injustice. I not only love Berkeley for that last one, I admire it for that! We, as Americans, MUST stand up against the oppression of others! As Americans we MUST not look away when any group of people is at risk or have lost their civil rights, let alone any one man. WE MUST LET OUR VOICES BE HEARD... but not with our fists, not with clubs, and not by destroying the very home we live in!

I am doubting that it was the the protesters with the actual messages of "Hands Up Don't Shoot"  and "Justice For Mike Brown and Eric Garner" that took it upon themselves to break the windows of a small ice cream shop or a Trader Joe's, no, that insanity wanted to distract from the message of change, and the message of honor of those two fallen men. That, my friends, is selfishness at it's most devastating. It's devastating for the one inflicting the damage as much as it is for the community at large! Selfishness usually turns to regret with time. A harshness and pain that is difficult to repair. I feel bad for the business hit the other night, but I feel worse for the ones inflicting the damage because I believe at some point in their lives they must have felt helpless, or bullied, and had now way of healing from it. 

But that's just my two cents on the subject.

Monday night saw more of the same marching against injustice, but with a lot less vandalism. So far two Amtrak commuter trains have been held up on the tracks since early evening, and there are reports of HWY 80 in Emeryville being shut down by peaceful protestors. As much as I feel for the commuters, I appreciate the protest being handled correctly. Voices are being heard. That makes me want to go an join them in their stand. If only I could, but alas I am not able. But I do hold them in my heart and I applaud their courage! Enough is ENOUGH! There should not be one more death at the hands of a racist, incompetent or derelict police officer! 


But there should also not be not ONE MORE ACT OF VIOLENCE!


When will the healing come? It comes when you get involved for POSITIVE change!

It's the Christmas season. A season of hope. Let's hope that positive change happens.

Now more than ever!

Leaf Of The Day

Mood: Quiet/Reflective

~Me :)

Monday, December 08, 2014

An Old Tradition With A New Life

"As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is."

~Eric Sevareid 

Tilden Park Christmas Carousel 2012

I found that pretty ornament at the top of the post the other day, at the Tilden Park Christmas Carousel. It's under new management this year, and it's smaller than in previous years, but it is making a great effort to bring some Christmas cheer to those of us who attend every year. While it may be a little sparse this year, I think it will find it's footing and grow into something new, but something really happy and jolly. I like some of the new features, like the extended hours of operations, and the menu at their little restaurant is revamped, another plus being benches to watch the carousel.  But I do miss the many different Christmas trees that lined the windows. 

I really enjoyed the trees with the traditional ornaments for sale, as well as the off beat ones for those who like the lights and fun of the holiday, but who don't have a particular religious belief. I always thought it was a nice way of including the entire community. Several years ago I bought a sparkly brown butterfly ornament that I keep on my desk. It was one of those years when I just didn't want to acknowledge the cold harsh winter that was coming. It was my autumn butterfly! I also bought more traditional ornaments that year, in fact Alan and I always buy each other a new ornament from there every year. It's our little tradition. 

Here are some examples of my favorite ornaments...

Aren't they fun?

Another feature gone is my favorite little band...

He is such a jolly fellow, and his two friends are as cute as can be! But I imagine he has bigger gigs to play, and he is right now entertaining his owners!

I will miss him!

But lets face it... things change. Sometimes great things come along when you open your heart. I am just thankful that the Tilden Park Christmas Carousel is still operating. And I know it will take a while to build it back to it's full potential. I will keep looking forward to it, and I will come back to support it. It has become as big a part of Christmas for Alan and I as decorating the tree, or caroling. It's a new spin on an old tradition. How exciting is that?                                          

( From 2013 )

If you live in the Bay Area, drop by Tilden Park and enjoy that natural beauty, but stay for the Carousel rides. Just $2 each!

And Now...

The Leaf Of The Day

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Art About Town: San Francisco... "La Chiffonniere" By Jean DuBuffet

"Every night I cuddle with a blob of unbaked clay
 I fashioned in the shape of a woman.
 But that's what being in love is all about."

~Jarod Kintz
This Is The Best Book I've Ever Written, And It Still Sucks

I can't seem to get the perfect photo of this particular sculpture. I have tried different times of day, and different cameras, but for some reason I am never happy with the outcome. It is such an interesting piece. Sometimes I look at it, and I think it's imposing, other times I see a gentle giant. Sometimes I smile, sometimes I don't like to go near it. Is it an alien? Is it a warrior? All I do know is, it inspires me, and it always captures my imagination. It makes me think about what interesting adventures that could happen in it's universe... and I wonder... when the Embarcadero Center is dark and quiet in the middle of the night, does La Chiffonniere leave her place and move about San Francisco saving sleeping citizens from all kinds of terror or turmoil? The artist saw her simply as a woman dressed in rags, but I see something different. I see a woman who might be dressed in rags, but who carries great empowerment! Look, her head is held high, and she stands straight!
She is WOMAN!
Maybe I am never happy with my photos of her, because photographs simply don't do her justice!

So tell me, what do you think of when you look at La Chiffonniere?

Public Art Fund NYC: La Chiffonniere (Temporary Installation)

Leaf Of The Day

Mood: Happy

~Me :)