Saturday, April 25, 2009

Between a rock and a hard place...

Actually I was between a rock and a wet place, down the southern cliff to get closer to two otters diving and dining in the cove. I took some pictures of them that made me want more zoom power.

As I turned back to ascend here were, between a rock and hard place, these colorful succulents who seem to need no more than a little pulverized rock or a dust pocket to thrive.

I might have mysteriously pushed buttons, or perhaps my camera had sensed my disappointment in its prowess...

but somehow I took these pictures.

I have not changed them in any way...I am so glad that sky is blue and not pink...aren't you?
So what kind of new camera would you suggest I look at?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cat on a Finished Quilt Sampler

I found a delightful blog today that is having
a virtual quilt show and being I have actually
finished a quilt I want to play too...
I pieced the blocks quite a few years back...
A Cathedral Window...
There had to be a Log Cabin of course...and it sits right in the middle. That is where the kitten likes to sit too. She belongs to the quilt recipient, but Miss Kitty Bumpkins was living with us while I was finishing the quilt. She was often very helpful. The photo of kitty & me above sewing together is courtesy of Mark.

The room in which I photographed the quilt has covered skylights and the very edges of the lights let the sun in and I foolishly let the kitty in...I was giving the quilt to posterity so I wasn't thinking of quality photographing this quilt for posterity.
Here's Jacob's Ladder...
Eventually I pieced them all together. Last year I finished the blue edging, hand quilted it and gave it to a dear daughter for her birthday present... Our girls liked to climb trees and make forts and although they liked tutus, they both tended to eschew pink.

Some of the fabrics were vintage and others I purchased in a little independent fabric shop in Sonoma County, California that is long gone. I would say I drafted all the pattern blocks to size myself, but as I recall my husband was an able and willing helper when it came to geometry and calculations. I like windowing special designs and usually use clear plastic for my cuttings guides. This quilt is for a twin bed. Here it is just covering the top of a queen sized bed. It isn't the only quilt I have finished, but I don't have any photos of some of them. I was thinking today of a quilt I made for my baby niece who is herself now pregnant. I guess I better get busy.

Well I am off to share this quilt blog with the quilt show...You can visit the blogs of other quilters and see their handiwork at But I also hope you will come back and enjoy other pages of both my blogs.

Thanks for coming by...and I do appreciate your comments. It makes it so much more fun to know that someone was actually "here."


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Seen with my eyes...

I walked the hills and saw, through three taut lines like stave for music missing the full range of notes, the green bowl of a quiet cove. The sun bounced on the cliffs and beyond the cove wind was everything. Limbs fell at our house this morning without damage to other than themselves, but just south of us, power was down and out all day. Noisy is the wind. I imagined, had I my camera, where I would perch, how high could I reach to capture the beauty and shop those lines out of my view. How much would I have to crop? My neighbors are missing their power after only a few hours, and I'm trying to understand how anyone could string those lines across that view.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Soup, Bread & More~ San Diego to Burma

Last week I wrote about how it felt odd to be going to a nice restaurant in San Diego with so many homeless folks on the streets. I was a little slow in following up on my intentions to find a San Diego Soup Kitchen to give to, but decided it was a good project for Good Friday.

Internet research being such a breeze, I read about several groups intent on helping others.
I was very impressed with the services of a group called TACO,
Third Avenue Charitable Organization. They go far beyond soup and bread. In the 1970's a group of church members began serving bread every Friday to the homeless and urban poor but today they provide much more than meals. Since 1997, the program has expanded to include free medical, dental and acupuncture clinics at the church building, as well as free mental health counseling services and a community law project.
TACO's partners include the University of California, San Diego pre-dental program and School of Medicine, the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and California Western School of Law."

The way I navigated, thank you Google, to TACO was through the UCSD Graduate Christian Fellowship because the Fellowship came right up in the search result when I typed in "San Diego Soup Kitchens." That's because they are big on getting out in the community and helping.
In addition to serving at local soup kitchens, the Graduate Fellowship started something they call "Karen Connect San Diego."
Because our family has friendship connections to the Karen people of Burma, I knew right away it wasn't about a woman named Karen. "Karen Connect " is a few friends who teach English to a group of Karen immigrants. The Karen people, pronounced (Ka-ran), are an indigenous people to the southeast Asian countries of Thailand and Burma. Some Karen immigrants have sought a new home in the US under political asylum protection. Language tutoring and friendship must be a huge help to them. "Karen Connect" says they need help in this can read about it at

Our new San Diegoan ( is that what they call themselves down there?) is grateful that she already has a job. We are grateful too.
And I am grateful, having seen just a few of those who need help in that city, for all those doing the hands-on help. If you have some connection to San Diego and would like to help... you can make an on-line contribution through TACO or mail them a check. It's a priviledge to remember others...who are the jobless, the homeless, those without table to take a meal....I am reminded of the old 1960's ballad by Phil Ochs: "....there but for fortune go you and I, you and I. "

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Post Card to My Family ~ A Day at Searock~

On the Deck A few weeks ago I transferred basil sprouts from the greenhouse to the garden bed. Basil is touchy at the ocean, so I decided to put the next batch in a pot on the deck and compare how they do. This is Italian basil. The leaves look a little stronger than the seed marked "Sweet Basil."

These succulents got a little too wet this winter, but they'll be warm & dry soon and thrive again.

Suzy sent me this little ceramic Mary Mary Quite Contrary, I call her Gardener on duty.

I love this sink on the deck. Mark put it in for me. Today it did big duty as I was cleaning many of the orchid pots and soaking them in vinegar to get the mineral deposits off. It's great to be warm in the sun while you're splashing water.

In the Garden Camera in hand, I remembered some new blooms I'd seen earlier in the day. Flowers remind us that time, like their brief prime beauty, is fleeting. The iris are fragile. Most of the iris are shades of blue or lavender. These golden iris are etched with burgundy and umber shades and today is theirs.

Margaritas are blooming at the foot of a cypress tree. And here is a pink (no kidding about that color) Camelia in it's prime.

In the Greenhouse I re potted some tired orchids to see if I can get them to re bloom and then found at least a temporary home for the new plants we got on the way home from San Diego. I need to learn more about them and in addition to reading up on them, that will mean experimenting with where they will be happiest in the greenhouse.

Aechmea Del Mar, will I remember your name tomorrow? Perhaps I will think of a nickname to help me. A pronunciation guide might help me too. And you know typing in these plant names is driving "spell check" crazy.

An epidendren Orchid...I love it's height..yikes it's pink too.

And then there is Tillandsia Cyanea Anita who indeed may have to become Tilly for short.

Here they are hanging out in a very old bathtub together...with a little lemon button fern that I will soon re pot.

On the Cliffs Meanwhile, back outside, the light ever changing as it is, was gilding the rocks and the Pride of the Madeira that the hummingbirds and butterflies visit daily. I took a few early sunset pictures, thinking especially of those who I miss and who would visit if they could. Remember how many postcards were emblazoned with words that are a nice thought but ruined the picture? I'll just say what I'm thinking and leave you three lovely shots unobscured...but I do ....*Wish you Were Here!*


Saturday, April 4, 2009

San Diego and back...

It was a moving experience...
traveling in the van down to San Diego to take SB what she couldn't carry herself. You'd think I would have taken a picture of the strapped in motorcycle, the boxes and bags and plants, the bicycle, but I didn' was all a blur.

I did take a picture of a van that has a few more miles on it than ours...
I like how this plumber had his business and residence number on the truck...sign of the times.

The first night we slept at the Montecito Inn, just south of Santa Barbara. A sweet place with marble floors and a Charlie Chaplain theme. I'd say that the employees there are happy to have their jobs based on the friendly kind service they offered.

In the morning we got to San Juan Capistrano before we stopped and I actually popped my camera out there for a picture or two.

You can see the old Mission and all the busy town that surrounds it in this shot.

We went inside the new mission where a children's choir was practicing. Their sweet voices welled within the painted walls.

Down the block , older can see two generations of adobe in this arch.

Cactus and shadows of time and trees...

But we were just stretching, not touring, it was back in the van for us and south to San Diego.

San Diego....reached. Its' a long way down the road. Parking in front of her shared town house we feel out the neighborhood. Re-establishing oneself in a new place is a great adventure but also lots of work. What did we do Wednesday? Unpack the van...ponder why the landlord has a refrigerator that traps you behind the door up against a wall, wonder if Abbers Little Girl the Cat will do well here after her coastal paradise time, wander the aisles of the closest grocery store, realize anew how much we will miss SB.

One way streets, cranes towering above the city ...relativity always abounds...we had dinner downtown in a nice restaurant and then drove past homeless folks lined up at a soup kitchen. One man's tent was set up right on the sidewalk, while others have no more than cardboard. San Diego has a large population on the streets. Salvation Army...a donation is in order.

But she's not homeless...she's got a spot and is looking for a new job. I won't describe leaving, but miss her already.

Leaving after dinner, we drove past L.A. in the dark and made it to Thousand Oaks where we found safe haven at a Best Western. How did pioneers do step at a time and camping in the wilderness? The little bells along the road mark where Padre Junipero Serra and his band walked ...El Camino Real.

In the morning we explored highway 192 by Carpenteria ...a photo advertisement for a nursery enticed us and we saw more greenhouses along this route than I could imagine. The nursery was indeed lovely and we soothed ourselves off the road amongst the flowers. This is one that came home with us, it's a Dwarf Blue Tango Bromeliad Aechmea 'Del Mar' .

Here is one of the displays we saw...inspiring.

Well, I must away, the day has warmed up and I better go take care of the new plants.