Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
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
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
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
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.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
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
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
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
Sunday, December 11, 2011
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 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
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
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
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
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
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.