Thursday, June 24, 2010

Come and Take a Walk With Us

Today Ash and I took our daily walk at Lover's Point in Pacific Grove. This is a beautiful walk. It takes about 40 minutes to walk from Lover's Point to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and back.

Come... Join us on our walk!

The Monterey Bay area is full of microclimates, so you may leave your house on a sunny day and need a jacket 15 minutes later. Hope you popped your sweater in the trunk! You'll be glad you have it with you as the skies become overcast.

The majestic Seven Gables Inn overlooks the bay. Isn't this Victorian lady a beauty?

As the path breaks off from the road, there is a two-way bicycle lane and a dirt walking path.

Artists have painted murals depicting life on the Monterey Bay through the years.

Isn't this tree trunk fascinating? Nature's bonsai.
Did you need this reminder that we live in earthquake country?
Look what we discovered on our return trip - a friendly gaggle of geese...

...who decided to walk with us for awhile!
Wildflowers soften the rugged coast.

A view of the Seven Gables Inn on our walk back to Lover's Point.There are benches and resting spots along the way. This couple decided to soak in the sea air.
Coming upon Lover's Point Beach. Although temperatures are a little cooler, there were swimmers taking a dip.

Did you enjoy your walk as much as we did?

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I simply couldn't decide. Two scratched up, mismatched book cases sat in my studio, doing their job of holding books and videos, but sorry sights as contributors to the decor. I'm finally reaching the end of the re-organizing project in this room and one of the last things to do was paint those shelves.

These shelves have a history. We made them 23 years ago in our garage when we lived in Southern California. They were for our very own Montessori School that we started down there! What an adventure! My sister and her husband were owners of a very successful Montessori School and were helping us get one of our own going. Carpenter that he is, my dad also joined in to help us build a couple dozen of these sturdy little shelves for the classroom. There were perfect specifications for them. Low enough that children could reach even the top shelf -- about four feet wide and three shelves high. Just right for books and activity centers. Then all were color coded. We spray painted them. As I recall there were blue ones for the language center, peach for sensorial, yellow for math, pink for practical life. When we eventually sold the school the buyer had some of her own furnishings, so we ended up with about seven or eight of these shelves to take home. These shelves have been wonderful! With growing kids of my own they were used in their bedrooms, in our closets, as toy and book holders in the family room. I've used some at work for my speech therapy supplies. I love these shelves!

So here they sat, moved one too many times, faded and showing signs of wear. One was a faint shade of peach, but I wasn't even sure what color the other one was anymore. I couldn't decide what color to paint the shelves. With mainly blue and green decor in the room, I was concerned I'd pick out a blue or green that would clash. Finally I decided to go neutral and paint them plain white.

It was dark in the garage when I fumbled around for the paint a couple mornings ago. I found the can with the light colored dot on top, grabbed my brush and a screwdriver, and in the early morning hours sanded the shelves in prep of their new face lifts. I opened the can of paint with the screwdriver, dipped in my brush and slapped the first bit of color on the shelf. Not white! Instead, the lovely gray-blue that is in my bedroom. I love this color. It is soft, subtle, looks gray going on and drys to a quiet sky. Why hadn't I thought of that color?

Serendipity -- I found the perfect color for the book cases quite by accident. The freshly painted pair awaits, like old friends with arms outstretched, to welcome the re-organized content.

My studio is almost complete at last.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

All You Need Is Love

Roll up, roll up for the mystery tour! A night full of Beatles music awaited us last night as we went to hear the White Album Ensemble accompanied by the Santa Cruz County Symphony. I am a serious Beatles fan and have many of their CD's so this was definitely going to be fun!

But first...we went out for an al fresco dinner at a yummy crepe place in Santa Cruz.

Delicious honey wheat bread, crunchy salads, sliced fruit and crepes - you couldn't ask for more (well, maybe a little more, as you'll soon see).

We also celebrated Lys graduating with her AA degree.
How appropriate that this English bobby sign would be outside the restaurant door. We were definitely in the mood for Beatles music now!
We had one more stop before the concert -- Starz Cupcake Shop! (Yep, we could ask for a bit more!) These cupcakes are absolutely decadent! We were there toward the end of the day so some were sold out, but we managed to find something, of course. The owner explained to us that the recipes have been handed down for generations and there on the wall were lovely photographs of her mother and grandmothers.

At last we drove downtown, parked the car and walked to the Civic Auditorium. The weather was absolutely gorgeous yesterday!

This accordion player entertained the crowd until the doors opened.Waiting for the concert to begin....
Some people were so into the spirit of the Beatles that they wore their 60's garb -- tie dyed t-shirts, love beads, flowers in their hair, and in this guy's case -- a Sgt. Pepper's Band jacket.

Here's a list of the musical numbers in store for us. It was hard to pick out a favorite. All were excellent, but the symphony trumpet player did a splendid job on Penny Lane and the orchestra and vocalist did a fantastic rendition of I am the Walrus.

You realized how many of the Beatle's songs were accompanied by an orchestra. The vocalist for John Lennon's songs was especially spot on for sounding like John.

A few people danced in front of the stage.
Intermission revealed a beautiful evening sky.All you need is love -- and ain't that the truth!

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Change In Store

Yesterday was a red letter day. I packed up my speech therapy materials, took my


files to the district office, and handed in my resignation letter. Yes, for a variety of reasons I'm changing school districts next year.

One thing I will sincerely miss are the people I worked with at the preschool. I've made some great friends who I'll continue to see. There were also coworkers who were quite simply kind, gentle, conscientious educators. The people you work with can make all the difference in your enjoyment of work. I was fortunate.

Hugs and tears good-byes and then out to my car which is loaded down like the Beverly Hillbillies' jalopy. Wait -- what's that? One of those pesky district file notes my coworkers thought it would be funny to stick on my windshield? hmmm, it's the one labeled:


And so I have. Onward and upward.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day

We had a beautiful Memorial Day, starting with a symphony concert on the lawn of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. Above is one of the main buildings, with flags from many nations. The symphony set up to entertain...People assembled on steps, lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the music, have a picnic, buy a hot dog or ice cream bar, and pay their respects to our Vets. It is always moving when they play the Armed Forces medley and the Vets stand up when they hear their branch's song. The audience applauds in admiration and appreciation for what they have done for our country.

At one time the NPGS was the Hotel Del Monte, complete with swimming pavilion, a lake, a golf course, tennis courts, even a race track!
The sign below states that "in it's prime, Hotel Del Monte was a 20,000 acre resort that offered athletic and scenic diversions for American presidents, world leaders, famous artists and writers, film stars and other notables." Entering the lobby...
The Lone Cypress, beloved symbol of Pebble Beach...

I love the columns, balconies and Spanish architecture.This interesting painting depicts some of the history of the Monterey Bay:

Walking up to the Ball Room...The Rose Garden is lovely...

Coming upon a peacock was a surprise.
After a few squawks, he showed off his feathers...

Although not as colorful, nature's design is as intricate in the back as the front. He was really showing off at this point -- walking in circles for all to admire from every angle!
After the concert we went to the cemetery where my late husband is buried. Peace washes over me here. There is something about the big trees, the ocean views, the historical grave sites, the uniqueness of the cemetery itself that makes me feel a bond to the earth and those who have passed on here.
The lane through the Veteran's side of the cemetery was lined with majestic flags.

This is our drive home along the Pacific Ocean.
As evening fell, the clouds quickly moved in. The picture above and the one below were taken within ten minutes of each other.