My First Camera #TBT #Throwback Thursday #Photography

Circa 1962. My first camera, a Kodak Brownie Holiday Flash. 

oldcamera2

Old school, in black and white,
oldcamera1


This beautiful camera was designed by Arthur H. Crapsey, the designer of other popular Kodak cameras.

Snapped with a Canon Rebel T3i.

PlantPlay Nursery in Carlsbad. A Gardening Oasis.

#things to do in Carlsbad #Carlsbad #gardening

In my not-so-little town of Carlsbad, nestled between all the destruction from too many years of overbuilding, you can still find beauty if you look for it.

plantplaysign

If you live anywhere near San Diego, you really need to drive up the coast and experience this most unique and beautiful garden shop.

PlantPlay Nursery at 4915 El Camino Real in Carlsbad is tucked away in a corner near Kelly Drive, south of Tamarack Avenue.

If you remember the old Country Store with the chicken on top of the building, you know exactly where it is.

Walking into PlantPlay is like entering into a secret garden  –  winding pathways, thousands of unusual plants, garden decor, the sweet melodious harmonies of strategically placed water features — birds chirping, and chickens (yes, chickens!)

It’s also chock full of drought tolerant plants and exotic specimens.

Owners Mike and Sergio know EVERYTHING about plants and planting.

This is Mike.

PlantPlay1Here’s Sergio and his baby girl.plantplaysergioLook at this sweet face!Plantplay2 plantplay4This chicken is so soft and feathery.
plantplay5The prettiest chicken I’ve ever seen!
FYI, the chickens are PETS, ‘cos Mike and Sergio LOVE animals.

plantplay6 Dutchman’s Pipe, strange but beautiful!plantplayweirdplant plantplayweirdplant2A rose, of course.plantplay7rose This camellia is as fragrant as it is pure and velvety white.plantplaycamellia

plantplay8plantplay9plantplay10plantplaysucculentOld wagon on the hill. There’s not much left of the charm of old Carlsbad, so this is an especially poignant reminder.plantplaywagonWhen you visit Sergio and Mike at PlantPlay Nursery, tell them Princess Rosebud says hello!

 

Hike to Glen Canyon Park in San Francisco

A few weeks ago I visited Professor Angel Boy and DIL in SF. While DIL was at work, my son and I walked to Glen Canyon Park (or Glen Park Canyon) from their home.

Who knew this deep pocket of wilderness is steps away from high density living in the middle of the city?

Everything is either UP or DOWN. It was quite a strenuous workout, especially since I had to keep up with my six-foot-plus son.

We were looking for the coyotes that live in the canyon. My son saw one recently on a previous visit and we hoped to see him or her again, but we had no luck.

glencanyon18Lots of raspberries.glencanyon1 glencanyon2 glencanyon3 Twin Peaks.glencanyon4Angel Boy is always lightyears ahead of me.
glencanyon5 glencanyon6 glencanyon7 glencanyon8 glencanyon9 glencanyon19glencanyon10glencanyon17

glencanyon11 glencanyon12 glencanyon13The free flowing Islais Creek.glencanyon20Islais Creekglencanyon14 It was a little hazy in the afternoon. I hadn’t traveled with my good Canon — pics were taken with Canon point and shoot. glencanyon15 Finally, he turned around. You can tell he’s saying, “Hurry up, Mom, and stop taking so many pictures!”glencanyon16According to Wiki: The park and hollow offer an experience of San Francisco’s diverse terrains as they appeared before the intense development of the region in the late 19th and the 20th centuries. The park incorporates free-flowing Islais Creek and the associated riparian habitat, an extensive grassland with adjoining trees that supports breeding pairs of red-tailed hawks and great horned owls, striking rock outcrops, and arid patches covered by “coastal scrub” plant communities. In all, about 63 acres (25 ha) of the park and hollow are designated as undeveloped Natural Area. Elevations in Glen Canyon Park range from approximately 225 feet (69 m) above sea level at the south end of the park to 575 feet (175 m) above sea level at the north end and along the east rim of the canyon; the walls of the canyon are extremely steep, with many slopes approaching a length-to-height ratio of 1:1

A Secret Cathedral at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

We had one last detour before our final destination of the magnificent Zion National Park.

Our goal was to pack in as many sights as we could on our ten-day trip.

We were up early for a short hike to a lookout at Lake Powell.

Glen Canyon Dam.lakepowell

Lake Powell, with hardly any water in the middle of this drought.lakepowell3 Beautiful cliffs.lakepowell1

Back on the road, we turned off the main highway and set out on a dusty, bumpy, red-dirt path barely wide enough for one vehicle — more like a wagon train trail — several miles off the main road to a trailhead that would lead to an amazing slot canyon hike.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, at 1.7 million acres, dominates southern Utah.

It’s unique in that it is the first monument to be administered by the Bureau of Land Management, rather than the National Park Service.

The Grand Staircase is a geological formation spanning eons of time and is a territory of multicolored cliffs, plateaus, mesas, buttes, pinnacles, slot canyons, and world-class paleontological sites..

After hiking for about and hour or so, clambering up and out of narrow and shady slot canyons that seemed to go on forever, passing a random cow or two, the “cathedral” emerged in a open space bathed in sunlight.

It was really, really, really, REALLY special. Words can’t describe it and my pics don’t do justice to its beauty.vermillioncliffscathedral

I don’t know why it’s “secret” except that a couple of experienced hikers we chatted with at the trailhead shared a few of the highlights of the area and cautioned us not to be TOO specific when we talked about where we were to avoid it becoming overcrowded. vermillioncliffs vermillioncliffs1 vermillioncliffs2 Spectacular. WOW.vermillioncliffs4 This is supposed to be one of the longest slot canyon hikes in the country, if not THE longest. We hiked for about three hours in, a six-mile round trip.vermillioncliffs5 vermillioncliffs6 ME! vermillioncliffsme Vermillioncliffs10 Vermillioncliffs11 vermillioncliffs12

Next stop, ZION!

P.S. And don’t ask, there’s no way I’m telling the exact coordinates. Only tugboat man knows exactly where we were :)

 

Peeking Into My Past. Throwback Thursday

wolfiesabsdsuA peek into my past.

Poetically:

Revealing the year is something I’m not gonna do…
The shoes MIGHT be a clue,
But II’ll only divulge it’s SDSU.

That’s me — yes, it is — with Beowulf and Sabrina. Sabrina (best Border Collie EVER)  is sitting under my chair and my part-wolf, part Malamute rescue puppy — I rescued him when he was three weeks old and bottle fed him, bringing him everywhere in a front pack baby carrier.

He’s a year old here — circa “I’m not gonna tell ya” — and needed my attention.

Yes, they both sat there like well behaved children when I walked up to the podium for my diploma.

 

#SDSU #Throwback Thursday #rescue #allaboutme #TBT

Drops and Drips: Water

Water is essewaterbottlesntial for life.

We all know this; we all carry disposable or reusable bottles of water —  water is a billion dollar industry.

Here in California, the drought is so extensive that restaurants don’t automatically serve water; you have to request it.

There are voluntary water restrictions for lawns and gardens.

Yet there’s water all around us if we only LOOK.

Wasted water.

Dishwashing water, washing machine water; water swirling around our feet in the shower  –  all lost down the drain.

It really frustrates me that there isn’t a easy way to reclaim this “gray water”.

My tugboat man and I are committed to leaving as small a footprint as possible and to be good stewards of this world, yet even for my guy who has a degree in nautical engineering, figuring out how to make a gray water system in our home is not as easy as I assumed.

Our challenge is a tri-level home with the laundry room on the third floor — apparently you can’t just stick a hose out the window — according to hub, it’s more complicated than that.

We, but I really mean HE is designing a functional system, but every single time I see a drop of water down the drain instead of being diverted to the garden, I get very sad!

To honor precious water and its importance to our bodies, check out this series of photos I took at my photography class.

I haven’t liked doing anything this much since I discovered the magic of that little plastic card that meant all the pretty treasures could come home with me!

My son reminded me of our kitty, Bandit, who loved to sit in the sink and drink dripping water. Still miss her so much…

waterdrip6 waterdrip5 waterdrip4waterdrip3waterdrip2Part One, October theme, Healthy Living

 

I’ve Strayed

I’ve strayed from my essence.

Have you ever done that?

It all became clear; it all got brought right back – smack in my face – with this particular comment from a PR person who liked a review I’d written…

“I love your particular writing style (your voice is very casual and personable)”

…and that lovely and very unexpected compliment stopped me in my tracks.

Isn’t writing, after all, the raison d’être?

The WHY of why I’m doing this?

I mean, blogging, ya know?

I’ve been sidetracked.

I’ve been petty.

It isn’t to attract FRIENDS or FOLLOWERS or LIKES or pennies that dribble in from time to time – it’s the WRITING.

Duh.

Screaming in the darkness of the void of humanity.

Or something like that.

I thanked the giver of the the compliment – it arrived at the perfect moment.

Now what?

Probably nothing, ‘cos I hold title to being the world’s biggest procrastinator. Those three books with titles and about 500 words each — I look at them from time to time and…and then I go shopping.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, here’s a few words with a pic that perfectly describe ME.procrastinate

However. Even without my tugboat man home to fill my days – and nights – it was an awesome weekend.

I had my first photography lesson on Saturday. A whole new world has been revealed to me: Fstops, aperture, shutter speeds, ISO, rules of three — it was like being back in kindergarten and only knowing a few words but wanting to read all the books in the whole world.

After the class, I met a friend and we made calls on behalf of a local politician running for office who promises to eradicate stores that sells puppies from mills and factories.

Sunday was full of old school, pre-internet technology activities.

I washed all the bedding, turned the mattress (does anybody even DO that anymore?).

Laundered, ironed, and rehung curtains.

Re-organized the laundry room. Our laundry room is on the top level (third floor) of our tri-level home, and it’s packed to the rafters with shelving in addition to a washer and dryer.

Now it’s all clean and orderly.

I used my mini/handheld steam cleaner and made the showers happy and hard water deposit-free.

I washed windows. And screens.

Sunday 9:00 p.m.

The only sounds are the tick tock of a seashell clock and the gurgling of our pond’s waterfall in the backyard.

It’s warm outside and the patio doors are wide open. There’s not much breeze but there’s a lot of quiet.

I ate junk food.

I drank wine.

I’m exhausted.

But full of happy.

Wishing you some happy, too!

http://youtu.be/CEN9I8jJ0Nk

Decorating? Try These Jazzed Up Tiles

artistictileI was sent an array of awesome tiles to sample and review —  I LOVE businesses that have women at the helm — these tiles are GORGEOUS, but I received no other compensation other than the product samples.

I love them!

Dapper Daisy is a new floral glass mosaic from the  popular Jazz Glass Collection by Artistic Tile.

“Dapper Daisy is the result of years of experimentation and play by founder and CEO, Nancy Epstein, as she sought to create a feminine, sophisticated design that adds versatile elegance to home and commercial projects.”

I wish I had a wall to redecorate!

Dapper Daisy would be perfect for a young girl’s bedroom, or for any room that needs to be spruced up with elegant and dazzling tile.

I think it would be stunning in a shower, too.

Check out the gallery of pretty Dapper Daisy tiles.

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Not a Sunflower

And not an artichoke, either.

These are SUNCHOKES.sunchoke1 I wonder what they taste like. Anyone tried them?sunchoke2According to Wikipedia, The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunrootsunchokeearth apple or topinambour, is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America.It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable.[2]

I haven’t harvested my tubers yet ‘cos I’m still enjoying the flowers — that’s about all that’s flourishing in my garden during this horrible drought in California — but when I do, I’ll probably roast them with garlic, since we got a HUGE string of garlic from Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world, the last time we drove through central Cali.

Sunchoke Liqueur

Sunchoke Liqueur

Have you ever tried sunchoke liqueur? Maybe best of all, in Baden-WürttembergGermany, over 90% of the Jerusalem artichoke crop is used to produce a spirit called “Topinambur (de)”, “Topi” or “Rossler”.[13] By the end of the 19th-century, Jerusalem artichokes were being used in Baden to make a spirit called “Jerusalem Artichoke Brandy”, “Jerusalem Artichoke”, “Topi”, “Erdäpfler”, “Rossler”, or “Borbel”.

Jerusalem artichoke brandy smells fruity and has a slight nutty-sweet flavour. It is characterised by an intense, pleasing, earthy note. The tubers are washed and dried in an oven before being fermented and distilled. It can be further refined to make “Red Rossler” by adding common tormentil, and other ingredients such as currants, to produce a somewhat bitter and astringent decoction. It is used as digestif, as well as a remedy for diarrhea or abdominal pain.

If you’ve cooked with them, please send me your recipes. Thank you!