Sunday, July 26, 2015

Visiting our wharf on the bay

A painting of a sea otter on our wharf and if you look closely you will see my reflection in it.
Our home is beyond those trees.
The flags are flying in a nice breeze on the restaurant patio near the end of the wharf.
When I see sailboats I think I should get a zoom lens.
Have a happy day and look for beauty all around you, friends.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dr. Thorne, book and new tv series

I am so happy that Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, loves Anthony Trollope as I do. He has a new tv project in the works based on the book Dr. Thorne. This is the third book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series. Fellowes says these books are very influential on his tv work.
I think each book, of the 4 of the 6 I have read, is perfection. Lots of humor, the author makes funny asides and pokes fun at himself. He wrote about "if I were a better writer, I could ... ", which is just so charming. At another point Trollope interrupts the story to write "Fear not dear reader. I will not make you wait in horror for the next book" when a heroine's fate is in jeopardy.
Some of you already know the charms of Barsetshire. Some of you may not care for the books. Could this be? But I love these books, written in the 1850s and carrying the reader to those times of country homes, middle and upper class people, poor people, and many lovely ladies and young men ready or not ready for romance. In the second book Barchester Towers is the best and most romantic description of a proposal of marriage I have read or can imagine.
Trollope uses very funny names for some of his characters. A few are: Dr. Fillgrave. Would you choose him for your doctor? Not me. Mr. Quiverful for a man who has 14 children. Mssrs. Slow and Bideawhile for a law firm. Just little welcome touches of humor.
Perhaps there will even be romance in store for "old" Dr. Thorne! Dr. Thorne is 50, not really so old at all, but he is a confirmed bachelor. I'll never tell.
I sometimes cry when I read or hear about something truly beautiful, and Trollope's books have done that for me. Usually it is when a difficult conceited or selfish person sees what is right and does it, just for the sake of doing what is good. A person in need is greatly helped, perhaps lovers are united or someone is saved from financial catastrophe. And not by a saintly character but by a flawed one who rises to the occasion. What beautiful writing by Mr. Trollope.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sun rose and lantana

Our pink Sun Rose and our cream Lantana are happy in the half wine barrel, which they completely cover, but it is under there some where.
I planted these two pretty plants about ten years ago and they get compliments from people walking past our home.
The Sun Rose is also known as Cistus, and the petals of the flowers are papery thin and look almost like they are made of silk. Sun Rose and Lantana do not need much water, which is good news in the drought we are having here in California.
I think the plants look like a gigantic bouquet that a giant bride could carry in a wedding ceremony.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mystery door home is painted

You might have seen my earlier post about this home with the door opening to a cliff drop.
Above is the freshly painted exterior, even the door is freshened up with paint.
Here below  are photos of the mystery door before the house was painted, and during the painting. It looks nicer now but I still wonder about the function of the door. Someone commented it might be the way to get rid of dinner guests who stayed too late. Ha ha. My guess is Rapunzel lives there and her beloved calls to her to let down her long braided hair.
Note the extensive scaffolding they put up to do the house painting. It seems odd that on the lower floor where the door is, there are no windows. Ah, sweet house of mystery.

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Life for Old Plastic Patio Table

Here are some photos of our sad old used to be white patio table which is now splotched with grey, and the special spray paint that will make it all pretty, like the chair behind it. The chair was old and white streaked with grey that couldn't be removed. So I bought this paint in Blue Hyacinth color which to me is rather purple/blue. I painted an old white chair two years ago and it still looks brand new and colorful. A blogger told me about this Krylon Fusion For Plastic spray paint. No sanding or priming. Works on metal and wood too, and it says wicker too.
Now here is the table all pretty and blue/lavender, which matched the chair.
The china bunny is adopted from Goodwill and sits in the flowers on our patio.
I hate to throw away an ugly old item of plastic furniture; imagine it in the city dump, lasting forever and a day. So now it has a new life and isn't wasted.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Nature walk near our house

This sign is at the beginning of the nature walk I took this week. Are these signs everywhere, or just here, I wonder.
This is the new bridge that is for walkers and bicyclists and it is a great short cut to two areas of town separated by a steep gulch.
I love oak trees, especially old ones with their dramatic curved limbs.
And here is an interpretive sign about the nature you can see on the walk.

That is a nice place to spend time and I plan to return often.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Fun books from library book sale

Oh happy day. Saturday, May 16, I happened to go to the downtown library and they were having a huge sale of books in a large parking lot. It was the end of the sale and they said I could fill a bag with books for five dollars. I put ten books in the bag, so that is fifty cents each friends.
The top of the pile book is Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark by Jane Fletcher Geniesse. Stark was a daring adventurer especially in wild areas of the Middle East.
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson.
Straight Man by Richard Russo.
Village School by Miss Read. I read two in this wonderful series about life long ago.
Mollie Peer by Van Reid. The first in the series is humorous. This is the second.
Sight Hound by Pam Houston.
Half Broke Horses: A True Life Novel by Jeannette Walls. Author of The Glass Castle which I read.
The Racketeer by John Grisham.
The Lady in the Palazzo: An Umbrian Love Story by Marlena de Blassi. A memoir of a husband and wife buying a home in Italy. My husband and I read many ex-pat memoirs by people who move from one country to another. We like humorous ones especially, like Victoria Twead's.
Telex From Cuba by Rachel Kushner. "The first novel to tell the story of the Americans who were forced out of Cuba in 1958." When I grabbed this at the sale I assumed it was a memoir; it does sound good even as a novel.
To enhance my mood even more, the beloved Greek Festival was across the street and I bought my husband and I each a baklava dessert. The festival is held on the grounds of the Greek church, and those Greek ladies and the men too sure know how to cook delicious food.
In the past two weeks my husband and I gave about 20 books we already read to our favorite neighborhood Little Free Libraries. We aim to give away as many as we buy to keep our book collection within limits.
I am a retired librarian and I have written two books, and we both love reading. It is almost an addiction; I think we are biblioholics.