Thursday, October 31, 2013

No Trick but a Lovely Treat!

Well, this morning I decided to experiment with exposure, light subject, and shadows.  I was reading one of Ansel Adams books on photography and came across his advice to "expose for shadows, develop for light". And there was our Christmas Cactus blooming for Halloween!

For a scary subject: v has now been experiencing some spinal pain. It began just a few days ago.  Another CT scan is being advised.  We asked, well, I asked, how many CT scans can/should a person have in a year, or shall we just say in a six to twelve month period?  We got what I am feeling is the standard physician reply: "When the exam is related to treatment then the benefits outweigh the risks".  I just can't help wondering if another, unspoken, response is that under the circumstances (v's stage IV), if we're just being told it doesn't matter in the end?

OH! but there is an UPDATE on this condition:
He just got up (I generally post when he's still sleeping) and while we were discussing this particular pain he realized it has gone!  Yesterday it was painful to touch.  The doctor poked and pinched at it to v's visible discomfort.  Today it's gone!  I just kneaded every vertebrae in his spine and the pain is gone.  Hmmmmm. We just got our Halloween treat! I'll close now on such glad tidings...Sometimes it just works out that way, eh?

In bocca al lupo. m & v

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


 A little Photoshop fun for Halloween.  Now I'll have to come up with something for the actual day.  I'm a bit under the weather so am not out with the!

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Coast Route

Driving home from San Francisco this evening after a fun day at the galleries at 49 Geary Street and the Meridian Gallery on Powell.  Photographic exhibitions and they were wonderfully inspiring.  

Above the Sutro Baths ruins.

The fog along the coast on our drive home

And the road ahead.  We love the coast route.  Life's too short to take the path more travelled. 

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Just Happy to be Here

Today is just what it is.  I don't have any rambling thoughts. I'm just happy to be within the confines of the Earth and Sky with the sun warming our bones.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Afternoon and Visiting Friends

v and I spent the afternoon visiting our friends at their wonderfully welcoming home.  They're just finishing up painting it.  We love the purple and turquoise combination with the creamy background color.  The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens patrolled by chickens, cats, and a small dog.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Smoke Bush

The smoke bush was part of a garden tapestry that I imagined when I first started putting the garden together.  I dreamt of having a view to the back garden from inside the house. It didn't start out that way.  In fact, getting to the back garden was a dismal trek down a dark hallway through a dingy utility area that had once been the service porch.  Now there is the view I envisioned. The tapestry is a combination (by the way, it is a Fall tapestry) of the smoke bush behind the ginko tree, behind the copper beech.  When weather conditions are right, the ginko becomes the brightest acid yellow before it drops its leaves.  The smoke bush is doing its part, now for the weather to kick in for the ginko.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Eight Years Already!

Our eighth anniversary. Who knew?

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fallen Apples

So many apples, so little time.  Or so it seems.  I planted apple trees out in the front garden when I first moved into this little Victorian.  I'm allergic to raw apples, but I find the trees so beautiful I had to have them.  On our little city lot, a very small city lot in fact, we have what is defined as an orchard here now.  Five or more fruit trees constitutes an orchard.  We have four apples, that I've planted, two sour cherries that we planted, and a lovely old apricot tree that we've been told was probably planted when the house was built in the 1870's.  It's been tentatively identified as a Blenheim Apricot.  It produces such sweet apricots that I'd almost think they were some strain of peach.  A few summers ago one of the large branches broke off. The following summer we discovered many little seedlings had sprouted around where that branch had fallen.  v chose what he deemed the best of the lot and has been nurturing it ever since.  We are hoping to see blossoms next spring, it's grown to be taller than either of us. Fingers crossed.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ladybug, Ladybug...

Well, it wasn't a good September for v.  Chemo restarted after a short break, four weeks, and he can't seem to regain his energy.  He has new discomforts.  There is so much anxiety and unrest in me.  I clutch at any straw.  What a sanctuary is our garden and our friends.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Fall is in the air and today was the perfect day to be out on the bay. Mystical October. There is something about the light and the quality of the air.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Monday, October 7, 2013

Three Beach at Sunset

Have I mentioned that we live in Paradise? I have been working on a photo assignment over the weekend and was not taking the digi along with me, too much of a distraction and temptation.  My 365 project is falling woefully behind already.  To make up for it I am including 3 shots from Big Sur where v and I went to relax and shoot.  I'm so loving black and white that I had to start with this one.  The colors are pretty nice as well.

Sunset, not morning!

When Edward Weston was photographing Big Sur and Pt. Lobos, he was most assuredly photographing late in the day and sunset.  Morning shots are blocked by the mountains.
Right now our weather is perfect! If we didn't have a commitment this afternoon we'd be back down there shooting away and just loving the sun!

In bocca al lupo. m & v

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Fort Ord on the Monterey Peninsula covers the same square mileage as the city/county of San Francisco.  There are hundreds of these barracks and many other buildings being allowed to stand useless.  A few years ago a few buildings were sold for $1 to churches and other foundations.  Those buildings have been restored, painted, and landscaped and are beautiful as well as functional.  Why, why, why do we continue to pave over open land, reduce fertile land for farms in order to build more and more housing units?  The Fort Ord Reuse Agency could sell the units for that same $1 with a stipulated time limit for improvement and habitability and lease the land the units are on.  These building would make terrific townhomes, studios, and businesses.  Across the road is a shopping center.  Access to Highway 1 is only a few hundred feet down the road, and the view is the Monterey Bay! There is a high school right in the center of all of these derelict buildings and believe me, the kids have no trouble getting inside these places. Doors stand wide open, windows are shattered and signs of less than legal activity is everywhere.

There they stand on their hill overlooking the bay and the new shopping center.  The barracks and other abandoned buildings go on for miles along paved roads winding maze-like over the vast expanse of the former military base. They need to be restored and re-used and we need to reduce the waste of land that once gone cannot be brought back.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mornings at Home

The view from the parlor window.  We are close to downtown, but remain a quiet neighborhood.  We're waiting for the new trees to grow up to replace the leafy canopy the city cut down by mistake.  Mistakenly cutting down two blocks of shady trees is a tragedy. That's how it felt to those of us who enjoyed the tree lined blocks.  The mayor apologized, but it still took two years to get the little replacements. What is on view here is not one of them, it's our own, a sour cherry.

I may have to revise my project to be a daily photograph.  Otherwise I should title it: Mornings at Home.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

That Quiet Hour of the Morning

This is the quiet hour. v is still asleep, the kitchen has been put in order and I have my coffee.  I also, generally, have a text conversation with my childhood friend who lives in Southern California where we grew up.  She's even a teacher in the school district we attended. First grade and, gosh, she's been there long enough to retire!  Unbelievable!  I won't even post how long we've been friends since we met on the first day of kindergarten.  Since my family all passed so many years ago, she is the person I've known longest in my life. She is my family. She even took off from work and drove the eight hour drive, overnight, to be there when v and I married. We didn't have a wedding, just a minister we found through telephone inquiries.  We didn't even meet her until the ceremony.  When I suddenly realized I wouldn't know her I phoned her the night before to ask how  I would recognize her.  She said she'd  "be the woman in the green truck!" and I said I'd be the one in the blue truck. So it was great. v'd chosen the site, a favorite spot overlooking Carmel Beach.  My dear friend was there, also a couple of my co-workers "crashed" the ceremony.  It was amazing to me.  v cried, he's just so sentimental.  Do you know, we still look at each other and say "how did we get so lucky?" Well, with it's ups and downs, I still feel I live a charmed life, v hasn't been so lucky, but it's had a glow since we've been together.  So much is due to the wonderful friends we have, old and new.

The latest CT results will be today and the next round of chemo.  We'll see...

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy Day

Passing the Wave Street Studios on our way to the aquarium this morning. I was really hoping their "greeter cat" would be out to invite us into the beautiful garden...maybe next week.

Another beautiful day on the peninsula with whales making a splashy border for all of us.  It's just been enchanting watching the whales and pointing them out to our visitors from Israel, Germany, China, Australia, England and Belgium today.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v