Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Is Coming!

We've stated decorating for Christmas in earnest, with boxes coming down from the top shelf of the closet and tangles of lights appearing across the floor.

Favorite decoration from years gone by are appearing all too briefly.

German paper decorations are a favorite with us.

It all looks like a jumble now, but give us another week or so and it may be palm trees and plumerias on the outside, but inside we'll have a temporary winter wonderland.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Walking At The Lagoon

This holiday weekend, we walked for five miles along the edge of the lagoon at the north end of town. The lagoon opens to the ocean and is constantly cleaned by the incoming tides. It's an important link in the chain of rest stops for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway.

The very edge is a mud flat, which joins the salt marshes and then the waterway. Native coastal plants had finished their bloom and were waiting for strong winds to carry their seeds onward.

Small stands of eucalyptus dappled the path with shade as it meandered through the trees.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

American Old West Saloons - #16 In a Series

In La Junta, Colorado, in 1882, the barkeep and patrons gathered together outside "The Old Red Front" saloon to have their pictures taken. A sign on the building reads "Inebriate"s Home".

Thanks to the Denver Public Library for the picture.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Here Comes The Sun

Pulling back the shades, looking southeast out my bedroom window at dawn.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Great Depression In Color

A Depression era street scene in Dillon, Montana, above, captured by Russell Lee in August 1942.

The main street of Cascade, Idaho, photographed in July, 1941 by Russell Lee. And below, Wisdom, Montana in April, 1942, photograph by John Vachon.

All photographs from the Library of Congress.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Sky Last Night

After a day of wind and much needed rain, the clouds parted slightly for the sunset.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

American Old West Saloons - #15 In a Series

In 1910, in the same neighborhood where Disneyland is now, the Commercial Hotel in Anaheim, California, featured a beautiful saloon. When you see Orange County now, it's hard to believe this was only 100 years ago.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What Have We Here?

It's taken a week for the hummingbirds to finally find their new feeder. They're loyal visitors to the impatiens on the front porch, so how they'd accept the feeder was anyone's guess. It hangs out the dining room window on the patio where we can enjoy them from the kitchen and the computer both. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see one of the visitors perched on the feeder.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Red Hot Chili Peppers

That's the lagoon on our town's northern boundary, above, looking a little blurry when photographed in passing at 65 miles her hour. Business errands had taken us north and we'd saved our favorite stop for last - the fruit stand!

Since our last visit just days ago, the proprietors had taken their yearly trip to New Mexico to load up on handmade chili pepper wreaths and garlands for the holidays. A wonderful tradition and so pretty against a blue November sky.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Great Depression In Color

Two photographs of children during the Great Depression. Above, Robstown, Texas kids build a toy airplane, and below, a Cincinnati, Ohio boy. Both photos from 1942, above by Arthur Rothstein and below by John Vachon, both for the Farm Services Administration and in the collection of the Library of Congress.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Land Of Sky Blue Waters

The beach was irresistible yesterday. With the temperatures back in the low 70s and the sky as blue as it gets, it was a delight to give my daughter a ride down to the shore. Her longboard doesn't fit in her car and the waves were too small for shortboarding, so it was my pleasure to chauffeur.

Even the seagulls were taking in the blue sky and water.

The water's still in the low 60s. That's cold!

The moss along the base of the cliff is almost glowing green and the seaweed comes in various shades of pink and purple.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Autumn Daze

Yesterday was in the low 70s and clear as a bell. As if any excuse was needed for a drive up the coast for a cheeseburger and fries! Even a streaky windshield couldn't detract from what a glorious, sparkling southern California November day it was.

It was good to push away from the computer for a spell and take in the sights of our wide open spaces.

A quick meal on the bluffs overlooking the ocean, followed by one photo looking south and another looking north, and home again to wrap up the last of this year's Christmas projects.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

American Old West Saloons - #14 In a Series

This Meeker County, Colorado saloon, photographed in 1899, was more stylish than many.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Bright Sunshiny Day

The beach is brisk in the mornings now, but still warm enough to walk barefoot.

Earlier this week, there were more birds than people.

These were busy searching out sand crabs for breakfast.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Great Depression In Color

John Vachon made this photograph in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1942, documenting life across the United States during the Great Depression for the Farm Services Administration.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Walking In The Neighborhood

Happily, there's always something new to see in our neighborhood. Above, a friendly new cat friend crossed the road to get a few pets and then went on his way.

A big pink hibiscus, as big as your hand, bloomed merrily in the November sunshine.

Local oranges, just starting to turn color, will be ripe enough to eat this January.

And up the hill, a play house on stilts, nestled into the trees.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Fruits Of Our Labor

We've been working on our Christmas ornaments all year, so even though Christmas is still weeks away, it seems right around the corner to us. It can be summer, spring or fall on the outside, but inside, there's always a project in the works getting prepared for sale on the website.

It's a joy to work with the materials we use. The Dresden trims and paper scraps from Germany have been made by the same families for over 100 years.

We spend hours and hours sourcing the fabric trims with metallic threads and blown glass ornaments from Europe, still made in the same way as during the 19th century.

That's spun glass, below, layered with paper lace from Germany and some vintage embossed metallic papers. We can hardly wait to decorate our trees!