Friday, April 30, 2010

Bells Around The House

The bell in my bookcase was a gift from a stranger. A little old lady walked by our store every day and looked in to see the progress we were making to get open for business. On the first day we opened, she stopped in and gave us the bell. It stayed on the front counter for the next 15 years.

This brass bell hangs at the front door. It's gotten a great verdigris patina from being exposed to the elements all these years.

This bell belonged to my grandpa. He and my grandma traveled to every continent except Antarctica. He brought this back from Greece and it always sat on his desk. Now it sits on mine.

This bell hangs at the patio door. It's from an old sailboat.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Last Of This Year's Irises

Mother Nature definitely knows best and the wisest course is to not mess with her timetable. Planting an extra 150 Dutch iris bulbs in December didn't work out as hoped. The bulbs planted in October grew almost 3 feet tall and with wide and full blossoms. The bulbs planted in December were stunted and weak and some barely opened beyond buds. My plan was to extend the blooming time but they all bloomed within weeks of each other. Even after almost 40 years of avid gardening, there's still so much left to learn! The photo above is the last of this year's irises, with ever-dependable alstromeria as filler.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Purple Days

As there wasn't much sun yesterday, it was a perfect time for baking and whirlwind housecleaning. Once things were tidied up and a fresh vase of sweet peas arranged, the blackberry cornbread cake was coming out of the oven.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

100 Years Ago In West Viriginia

In October, 1908, this trapper boy at the Turkey Knob Mine in Macdonald, West Virginia had to stoop forward under the low ceiling to pose for this picture one mile deep inside the mine. The photographer was Lewis Wickes Hine, who crossed the United States documenting child labor conditions.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Waste Not Want Not

On her way for a surf yesterday morning, my daughter stopped by with a slight problem. Her wetsuit had definitely seen a better day and had sprung some leaks. You can't stitch it unless it's on, so out came a spool of carpet thread for a hasty repair.

There was nothing we could do about where it shredded behind her knees. She's hoping to make this one last until the water gets warm and not have to replace it until next autumn.

Holes in the wetsuit didn't deter her from hanging five on a gray Sunday morning at Cardiff Reef.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Random Pictures Of An Ordinary Day

There doesn't have to be anything extraordinary going on to bring out the camera. Thomas stopped by in the morning for a bowl of cream and we took a drive through the car wash on the way to the fruit stand.

When the pictures came out the the camera, it amused me to see how much Thomas' cream resembles the soap on the windshield at the car wash.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

American Country Stores ~ #5 In A Series

Russell Lee shot this picture of a country store in San Antonio, Texas in March, 1939.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What The Beach Looked Like

There's no such thing as too many walks on the beach. My daughter took me along again this week for a walk on the sand while she surfed. She's been riding a new board that's only 5'4" - it's shorter than she is!

The tide was too high to walk north around the point, so while she paddled out, my path led south.

Taking pictures of strangers can be intrusive, so these next were taken surreptitiously.

This father and son were heading out for a surf together.

These old folks had stopped to watch the surfers catch a few.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Storm From Alaska

Opening the shades at dawn, it was good to see a rain storm had arrived from Alaska during the night. There was snow falling in the local mountains and 60 mile an hour winds, but here at sea level, nothing quite as extreme.

A rain storm is a great excuse to get a fire going first thing in the morning and keep it going all day and into the night.

And a chance to get a group of antiques ready to sell and sit beside the fire and eat a bowl of oatmeal.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

100 Years Ago In Cuba

An early color photomechanical print by prolific photographer William Henry Jackson of downtown Havana, Cuba, circa 1900. Made for the Detroit Publishing Company, this photograph shows one of Havana's main thoroughfares in the business district, Calle De Habana. At that time, Cuba was considered the jewel of the Caribbean.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Door Store

There's a store down on the Coast Highway that sells all kinds of doors. It's next to the post office, so we see it often. Earlier this week, it surprised me how much different it looked in the rain.

Monday, April 19, 2010

American Country Stores ~ #4 In A Series

Acclaimed photographer Dorothea Lange captured this image of customers relaxing on the porch of a country store on a Sunday afternoon. It was July, 1939, during the Great Depression in Gordonton, North Carolina. The brother of the owner stands in the doorway.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

100 Years Ago In San Francisco

The year was 1906, the day April 14th, 4 days before the Great Earthquake, which occurred 104 years ago today and altered San Francisco forever. This view of Market Street traffic was taken with a movie camera mounted to the front of a cable car. A hodge podge of horse drawn cargo wagons, automobiles, street cars, cable cars and pedestrians weave their way across and up and down the thoroughfare. This was before the mass produced Model-Ts came to market.

My favorite scene is around 5:20 when 2 young pranksters try hitching a ride on the back of a convertible and a horse drawn wagon barely clears the tracks ahead of the cable car.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Identifying Bird Eggs

Northern Californian Cathe Holden blogs at "Just Something I Made". She shares some really great ideas, sources and projects. If you like to make things, you may want to check out her blog for inspiration. She's one of the most creative ladies out there.

Last summer she posted this Victorian lithograph of birds' eggs, above, with the accompanying chart that identifies them, below.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Beach

It's been windy for days now, but that didn't keep my daughter out of the ocean earlier this week. She stopped by and took me for a walk along the shore while she surfed.

This delicate piece of burgundy seaweed reminded me of a fossil.

The cool breeze didn't seem to faze this fellow on the bike...

Full wetsuits will be mandatory for another couple months. The cool breeze makes the water seem even colder. As we set out for home, a lone pelican, below, flew overhead.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Way Down Along Ussuri River

In 1895, peasant children posed along the Ussuri River in Russia with a sternwheeler in the background. The photograph was made by William Henry Jackson.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Down The Road

My daughter had an errand to run last evening and she took me along for the ride down the coast. That's a view of our town, above, looking north from the southern border. The wind blew at a good clip all day and raised ruffles across the ocean's surface, as far as the eye could see.

During a brief stop for burritos, an aquarium bound fish exchanged looks with me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pie Town

Of the tens of thousands of photographs of the Great Depression in the collection of the Library of Congress, only 1,616 are in color.

These were taken in Pie Town, New Mexico by Russell Lee in October, 1940, as the Great Depression had been grinding along for a decade. Pie Town was a community of 200 migrant farm families who relocated there from Texas and Oklahoma and staked claims as homesteaders.

At the top, friends gathered for the New Mexico Fair, and above, bowed their heads and said grace before a free barbeque meal.

Mr. and Mrs. Jim Norris, homesteaders, posed for Russell Lee, who was dispatched by the Farm Services Administration to make a photographic record of life in the United States during the Depression years.

The filling station in Pie Town, above. Below, Mrs. Bill Stagg and the states quilt she made. The caption to the picture reads in part "...she helps her husband in the fields plowing, planting, weeding corn and harvesting beans. She quilts during the noon hour."

Monday, April 12, 2010

100 Years Ago In The West

This picture, circa 1902, is from a collection of historical photographs in Colorado. The photographer, William Henry Jackson, titled it "True Lovers Of The Muse".

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thomas Decides

Not much outdoors gets past Thomas, the cat who visits. If a dog is being walked by, he stops to give it a stare. A bird swooping down to the bird bath generates a tail twitch. Each fresh gopher mound merits close inspection. He stays busy this time of year, monitoring his turf. Above, he paused in the late afternoon sun, deciding where to turn his attention next.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

American Country Stores ~ #3 In A Series

This country store in Centerville, Arkansas had a makeshift lunch counter, shown above. The back of the store was a doctor's office, shown below, where medicines and cures were dispensed.

Marion Post Wolcott shot the pictures in May, 1940 for the Office of War Information.

Friday, April 9, 2010

On The Beach

Earlier this week, low tides, unseasonably warm weather and offshore winds made for a perfect day for a walk along the shore. The winds were strong enough to blow this lady bug and a few of its brethren off course - out of peoples' gardens and onto the sand. The beach is pretty slim pickings for creatures such as these, so hopefully, as the winds abated in the evening, it was able to find the way back to greener pastures.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring At The Fruit Stand

A trip to our local fruit stand is always a treat for the senses. The proprietor stocks the freshest fruits and vegetables around, with lots picked fresh every morning and grown just over the hill from here. They're so enthusiastic about their asparagus, they threw in an extra "s".

Half the fruit stand is given over to flowers, also grown locally. Below is a group of proteas, looking like exploding fireworks.

We have several local commercial growers of orchids. They're popular in leis at prom time and for weddings.