Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Thanks for stopping by! Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy new year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Old Advertising Posters

A circa 1940s advertising poster for the Union Pacific Railroad, featuring Las Vegas.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gifts From The Heart

It was a wonderful Christmas - no rushing about or pressure. My daughter embroidered new kitchen towels for me, above, and made an oil painting of my favorite neighbor, Kevin, below, to be framed as soon as it dries.

We walked on the beach in the afternoon. The sun was out brightly, with temperatures in the high 60s and a stiff wind blowing out of the north. Shorebirds hunted and pecked for sand crabs and each flock would scurry if we passed too closely.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's Blooming In Winter

We've had a bumper crop of narcissus bulbs blooming early this year. The cold nights and warm days must have them convinced it's spring already, as they normally don't bloom until February. They're a great bulb to cultivate - gophers avoid them, they multiply every year and their sweet scent will fill a room when you bring a bouquet indoors.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Day After

The last of the Christmas trees at the fruit stand are looking a tad forlorn.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Wishing you the magic of this blessed season.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

First Day Of Winter

We strolled through the shopping district last night, admiring the lights, festive evergreen swags, trees and wreaths. Although amusing, the "bird nest tied to the head" decor was lost on me. Once my daughter stepped into the picture, it was a lot easier on the eyes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Christmas Film For The Whole Family

We stumbled across this film from Finland a couple years ago. It's dubbed in English, and although the dubbing isn't the greatest, the story is so charming and all other production values so high, it's become a favorite in our house. It's available for streaming on Netflix or in DVD form. Highly recommended for young and old.

This is what the blurb on Netflix says; "This heartwarming drama from Finland follows a young orphan named Nikolas (Hannu-Pekka Björkman), who shows his appreciation to a series of foster families by starting a new tradition: He gives their children gifts at Christmastime. But when Nikolas is forced to move in with a cantankerous old man (Kari Väänänen), the new holiday custom may fade into oblivion in director Juha Wuolijoki's enchanting fantasy about jolly old St. Nick as a boy."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

100 Years Ago

Random Christmas scenes from 100 years ago.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Old Christmas Advent Calendar

This old calendar is especially appealing to me, particularly how the artist was able to depict the nativity scene with a whimsical charm.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Old Advertising Posters

The French Line's "Normandie", circa 1900s, by artist Herkomer.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

One Of The Trees

Part of the little tree in the entryway.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A 400 Year Old French Christmas Carol

So beautiful. The title is 'Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella", written in France, circa 1553. The lyrics, in English:

Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella
Bring a torch, come swiftly and run
Christ is born,
Tell the folk of the village
Jesus is sleeping in His cradle
Ah, ah, beautiful is the Mother
Ah, ah, beautiful is her Son

Hasten now, good folk of the village
Hasten now, the Christ Child to see
You will find Him asleep in the manger
Quietly come and whisper softly
Hush, hush, peacefully now He slumbers
Hush, hush, peacefully now He sleeps

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

101 Years Ago

A Salvation Army Santa attracted a crowd on a New York City street in 1910.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saving The Best For Last

These are always the last of the ornaments to come out, still nestled in their cotton lined boxes. They've started to lose their silvering and are showing wear, but besides treasured ornaments made with love by earnest little hands, these are my favorites.

Tiny glass figures of Santa, pine cones, hearts, acorns and bells, handed down over the years.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our Colorful Fruit Stand

Our favorite fruit stand was colorful in the late autumn sunshine, from deep green Christmas trees to bright red pepper wreaths.

Local satsuma tangerines are plentiful, picked fresh daily and oh, so sweet!

And golden honey from hives about 2 miles from here.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Swept Ashore

A few more pictures from Sunday's beach walk. Above, a mussel, pried open and feasted upon by a bird.

What was left of a lone, tide-worn shell.

A magenta sea fan tangled with bright green eel grass.

Looking south from half way up the stairs, and below, a daughter waiting patiently for a mother who takes longer to climb the stairs.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's Blooming In Autumn

Waiting in the parking lot at the grocery store, it was surprising how many shrubs and trees were still in bloom. Above, a tropical hibiscus soaked up sunshine.

The magnolia trees were still setting buds and blooming, with flowers up to 12 inches across.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Day

Seventy years on, the day still lives in infamy.

Below, a car strafed by attacking planes.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Sewing

We love making handmade Christmas gifts. This year it's Italian linen (yardage found here) kitchen towels, bound with homemade cotton bias tape and hand embroidered with birds, flowers or something equally cheerful. Even the gentlemen on my list appreciate a colorful hand towel. Several years we made natural soap and beeswax and almond oil hand cream, and it was the men who were asking for more, mid-year.

Evenings pass quickly in front of the fire, with Netflix and embroidery!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Yesterday On The Beach

My daughter took me along to walk on the beach while she surfed yesterday.

There was a fresh slide on the cliff since my last walk there.

Looking south, you could see all the way to La Jolla.

Birds of a feather, wading together. Below, my perch on the reef, a perfect spot to watch my girl catch waves.