Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cannery Row

Yesterday afternoon we went down to Cannery Row for a coffee. We found a corner in the shop where we could sit by an open window overlooking the main drag, sip our coffee, and watch the world go by.  It was just one of those perfect late afternoons.

We've been having a small "heat wave" which for us is anything over 80℉.  
I'm venturing into black and white photography, along with the previously announced "project" that v and I are embarking on. I hope to have more on that in the near future.

This seagull was sharing his pole with the little Brewers Blackbirds that hang out on the row when someone with a loud rumbling engine gunned it, sending the little blackbirds off in a flurry.  

Nearby is the Cannery Row Brewing Co.  I always find their sign of hanging barrels intriguing.  

The day before we had driven up the coast to Swanton Farm to pick the ollalieberries that are now in season.  Jams, jellies, syrups, and cobblers will be on the menu.  We freeze them so we can have ollalieberry cobbler on a cold, damp winter's day.

We try to go berry picking every summer to mark the season.  This year the farmers have cleared the original fields and berry picking required a bit of a hike to the new ground.  I used to take my father up there to pick berries.  Even with his dementia he thoroughly enjoyed the outing and adventure.  He wasn't as discerning in his choice of berry, but the under-ripe ones help with the thickening of the jam and jelly.  

Quick update on v:  he is putting on weight and his energy is high.  He has five more infusions left before the next CT scan and we remain as hopeful as ever that he will continue to show improvement.  He feels he is winning this battle.  To watch him and to listen to him, it is hard to believe he is ill at all.  Only the loss of his eyebrows and lashes gives evidence.  It has been nine months of chemo.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v 

Friday, June 28, 2013


We're starting a new venture utilizing the Photoshop Elements I received as a gift from one of our very dear friends.  The sunflower sea star is one of my first models. My second model, the male sheephead, just isn't making the cut.  I loved that he came up to the glass as if to greet my friend and I as we toured around the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

He's a beautiful fish, and a crowd favorite.  There will be more on this venture in the next week or so.  It depends on the outcome at the printer's.  We are starting with five designs.  Is anyone curious?

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Portland, Oregon

This past week v and I took Amtrak to Portland, Oregon to visit his daughter. She's going to school up there, but it has also become her home.  We fell in love with the city ourselves.  It was so easy to get around to wherever we wanted to go on the light rail.  We visited a few of the "must see" sites.

The Saturday Market

Powell's Books is a four-story building that fills an entire city block.  It is a warren of rooms and departments that require a map to negotiate.  Each floor has several information desks set up just to guide the customers.  Here in the Monterey area we have lost our bookstores.  There are a couple of small bookshops trying to make a success, but we miss our larger stores with the in-house coffee shops.  Powell's has a really nice coffee shop within.

I like that the used books
are shelved alongside the new.  That saves so much in the browsing mileage.

Voodoo Doughnuts is another place everyone seems to go to. There is a line all day long.  They have cordons to guide the crowds. It's  unbelievable, but a lot of fun. They're open 24 hours a day! Well, as a good doughnut shop ought to be...
Another thing we really enjoyed were the excellent street musicians, they are such a joy.

We don't get away very often, but Portland is such an easy trip we are considering a return within the next six months.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It is Humbling

v and I volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  The mission of the aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans.  Volunteers speak to thousands of people every week.  Over one million school children have visited the aquarium through school field trips at no cost to the schools or families.  We meet people from every continent and we see the impact that the aquarium has on these people.  

This afternoon at the Kelp Forest exhibit I met a man and his wife who are visiting from India.  At the end of our conversation about the variety of animals living within the kelp beds he looked up through the thirty foot high stands of kelp on display with the rock fish floating motionless amongst the leaves, the sharks swimming in and out, and the schools of anchovies and sardines flashing silver in the sunlight.  He looked back at me and said that there is so much life on this earth that we do not see.  "It is humbling", he said.  

I am embedding a link to a video from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute about 
Trash in the deep sea.  Small changes can make a big difference in the future of the oceans. One change that can start immediately is to reduce our use of single-use plastics.  Carry water in refillable bottles.  The aquarium has installed a bottle refilling station for people to replenish their water supply.  Ask your employers, schools, and shopping malls to install refill stations. Reduce the need to buy all those small, plastic bottles of water that take up so much room in your home. 

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our Bouquet

We have been going through the chemo process for eight months now.  The tumors have decreased significantly, but they haven't gone away.  v has been beat up, he's lost weight, he's lost hair, though quite a bit remains, and he's even lost teeth.  He is such a handsome man that what could have been devastating to many has only added character and strength to him.  He and I remain positive.  In the past few weeks he has actually regained much of his energy and his appetite is back to normal.  Except for our weekly travel to the Cancer Center it doesn't feel as though he is ill.  But it wears on us, on me.  It takes a lot of energy to be positive in the face of this.  Our lives have changed.  "Of course" you probably say.

Our life is a bouquet in which the arrangement has been altered.  We have added beautiful strong stems and we have removed the withered blossoms. We are held in a vase of strong, clear crystal and draw strength from the pure, nutrient rich waters.

We also draw our strength from each other and from the dearest, and truest friends.  I cannot imagine what we would have done, or what we could do without their love and support and guidance when we falter.  Thank you, every one of you.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I love to use these colorful baskets to store fabric and yarn.  I use small ones for knitting projects and large ones at the farmers' markets.  I love to see the collection of them side by side adding color.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wrapped in Plastic

Just feeling a little silly with Photoshop.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v