Friday, December 31, 2010

Ringing In The New Year



Wishing you all a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Mixed Bag



The Cardiff Kook, our long suffering local public art installation, was dressed for Christmas by holiday mischief makers. It's a good bet the outfit will be updated for New Years's Eve.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Random Christmas Pictures



It's good to get back to our normal routine, but we're not ready to let Christmas go quite yet. We're taking our time putting everything away to stretch the season out a bit longer. It was nice having a normal breakfast that didn't involve chocolate of any sort! And it's a joy to use my new kitchen towels, hand embroidered by my daughter.



Wax, wood, felt and plaster creatures.



A white tree brightened up a dark corner, with a pre World War II angel band circling below.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cat Nap



Thomas found a spot of sun on the front porch - the perfect place for a cat nap. Christmas wore him out, too!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Waiting To Dry



My daughter paints a picture for me every Christmas. This year's gift, above, is still stapled into a cardboard tray until the oils dry and it can be put into the frame. It's always the gift cherished above all others.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yesterday Morning



Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Joy To The World



Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Friday, December 24, 2010

By The Light Of The Silvery Moon



As Santa sets sail by the light of the silvery moon, wishing you readers and friends the blessings of Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A 500 Year Old Christmas Carol



This Christmas carol was first published in France in 1553 and translated into English in the 18th century.

Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella!
Bring a torch, to the stable run
Christ is born. Tell the folk of the village
Jesus is born and Mary's calling.
Ah!* Ah! beautiful is the Mother!
Ah! Ah! beautiful is her child

It is wrong when the child is sleeping,
It is wrong to talk so loud.
Silence, now as you gather around,
Lest your noise should waken Jesus.
Hush! Hush! see how he slumbers;
Hush! Hush! see how fast he sleeps!

Softly now unto the stable,
Softly for a moment come!
Look and see how charming is Jesus,
Look at him there, His cheeks are rosy!
Hush! Hush! see how the Child is sleeping;
Hush! Hush! see how he smiles in dreams!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hamburger Helpers



We headed up the coast highway in the rain yesterday, got hamburgers and parked on the bluffs to watch the storm move through. The overcast and rain had turned the ocean a deep grayish green. Neither sea nor sky held even a trace of blue and despite the low tide and acres of sand, nary a person was in sight.



To the north, it looked like there could be some clearing.



The seagulls enjoyed hovering in the wind and rain, seeming to make a game of it, flying almost near enough to touch.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas



No matter how early we start decorating for Christmas, it rarely gets done in as timely a fashion as we'd imagined. Must be sort of like the plumbers and electricians who never get around to finishing the projects around their own houses. We change it all up every year, so it's an ongoing work in progress. One of my favorite decorations is the Swedish dala horse, in the top picture. It had belonged to my mom's best friend, who treated me and my sister like daughters.



We put a little tree in the entryway and tucked lots of little vintage millinery oranges into the branches to spruce it up.



The biggest tree is in the living room, next to the fireplace. With 5 days of rain in the forecast, we're determined to get everything wrapped this weekend!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Happy Wanderers



Being easily pleased can be a real blessing. It means that walking through a specialty grocery store and admiring the fancy food can be a treat unto itself.



From golden tomatos, to golden, shimmering trees, to kind hearted, golden haired surfers, it was a wonderful evening all around.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Night On The Town



Last night my favorite neighbors took me along for a holiday meal and a drive around town to see the Christmas lights. We started off with Mexican food and mariachis.



And stopped to admire some colorful cards.



The local temple was bathed in the light, and below, a tree along the bluff sparkled.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Flowers



If you're looking for some winter color, you may want to consider cyclamens. They're prolific bloomers, easily cared for and come back year after year. They've got varigated or solid lily pad like leaves and as the blossoms are spent, the petals fall away cleanly. We've got them in pots on the patio now and with any luck, they'll keep blooming right through spring.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Old Saint Nick



We ran into Santa yesterday while we were out and about on errands. He was in his shirtsleeves, due to the weather being in the high 70s.



That's my older sister with Santa in the 1950s, on a big trip to downtown San Diego. And below, the two of us, dressed in matching red flannel outfits my mom made, posing with candy canes, waiting for Christmas Day.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thomas On The Nod



Thomas, the cat who visits, stopped by yesterday morning, had a wee taste of salmon, curled up on the hassock and promptly nodded off. No telling what sorts of mischief he'd been up to on Saturday night.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hallelujah!



Thanks to Maggie's Farm for bringing this to my attention.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

American Old West Saloons - #18 In a Series



The Occidental Hotel Saloon, photographed n 1908 in Buffalo, Wyoming still sported 23 original bullet holes in the pressed tin ceiling from a poker game between ranchers and cowboys.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Walk On The Beach



We get extreme tides this time of year, which always makes for good walking on the beach.



These big rocks had tumbled off the cliff. The sandstone can be pretty unstable.



We have more sunny days in December than any other month. This fellow was enjoying a leisurely ride along the shore.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Then And Now



The golden lotus tower on a temple at our local Self Realization Fellowship, as it appeared in 1946, before it subsequently slid into the sea when the bluff collapsed.



Above, the driveway to the hermitage as it appeared then, and below, as it looks today.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On The Bluff



Our recent rains have started greening things up along the bluff above the ocean. And a windy day brings out the darkest blue in the water.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day



It's been 69 years since the sneak attack on our troops in Pearl Harbor. This uncommon color photograph shows a small vessel attempting to rescue a crewman from the USS West Virginia.

The photograph is from AP.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oh, Christmas Trees!



There's nothing like the smell of Christmas trees and our fruit stand has some of the best fresh cut trees in town. When we stopped by for victuals, we walked through the rows of trees, where just short weeks ago, pumpkins and bales of hay had been.

That's our friend Danny, below, fruit stand stalwart and keeper of the trees.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

American Old West Saloons - #17 In a Series



The Stagecoach Saloon in Beatty, Nevada, at the gateway to Death Valley, was a popular local watering hole, as evidenced by this undated photo.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Then And Now



After my great-grandparents moved from their local homestead into town in the 1890s, they built a boarding house. They put up and fed weary travelers on the dusty journey along the main road between Los Angeles and San Diego. Great-grandpa farmed the field just south of their house, next to the barns, where you can barely see their water tower.

100+ years later, that dirt road is now the Coast Highway, their old boarding house is an Italian restaurant and the field my great grandpa farmed is now a self-serve car wash.