Tuesday, August 31, 2010


The Root Goddess
Best thing about sushi!
Ginger ale = good, Ginger beer = great!

Ginger snaps, ginger-roo!
The first family of gingers
A ginger named Ginger
Ginger baby, kiss face.

Dickens Dream

My flat in London was just a few blocks away from the former home of Charles Dickens. I visited it one afternoon, as it is now a museum that celebrates the life and works of the late, great author. It was a pretty special place and I learned a lot about the man behind some of my favorite literary characters. There was one thing in particular that caught my eye over and above all of the personal letters, written drafts, family photographs and whatnot… it was an unfinished painting called “Dickens Dream”. The painting is huge in person, and even unfinished, the details are astounding-- this little picture doesn't do it justice.

Looking at this painting makes me feel happy and inspired, in spite of the fact that the story behind the painting itself is not a particularly happy one (I copied and pasted what the dickens house says about it below the picture).

Dickens house, now museum

Dicken's Dream

"Robert William Buss was hired by Dickens' publishers, Chapman and Hall, to provide two illustrations for Pickwick after the original illustrator, Robert Seymour, committed suicide. The publishers were disappointed with the illustrations provided by Buss and the job went to Hablot Browne. Buss, however, remained a lifelong admirer of Dickens and produced several painting celebrating the author's work. The watercolor, Dickens' Dream, showing the author surrounded by the characters he created, was done after Dickens death in 1870. Buss himself did not live to complete the painting." http://www.dickensmuseum.com/

Monday, August 30, 2010

Boston Public Library

Stone, mahogany, iron, murals, arches, chandeliers, stairs, Lions, courtyards, and rows and rows of books. The Boston Public Library is a very special place!

Boy flop

All my favorite guys

Marsh Marigold (part 2)

Still haven't seen my new favorite flower in person... 

A Terrarium of my Very Own!

Matthew and I made a terrarium! We started off with a 2 gallon candy jar, layered the bottom with moss, rock, charcoal, more moss, and soil-less soil, and then had fun adding plants, rocks and little critters.  We even got a gargoyle and little magical door that we pushed up against a hill (so Hobbitty...) It was harder than I thought it would be to arrange everything the way I wanted- I cant's imagine how people do it in containers with very narrow openings. This one was a lot of fun to make and we're both pretty happy with it...now the challenge it keeping it healthy and thriving!
Our Jar
Arial view- good shot of badger!
Magic door- fox and badger stand-off
Melvin the gargoyle! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Potbelly Pigs!

Oh, a potbelly pig
puts a smile on my face-
A potbellied pen
is the happiest place!

The cutest of snouts
is the potbellied kind,
and there's nothing more darling
than a potbellied behind!

Everything 'bout them is little
Apart from their bellies, so big!
Everyone who meets them
is lucky to know such a pig.

Flowers and sunshine
put them in glorious moods-
But there's little a potbelly
loves more than, yup, FOOD!

Whether a wee piglet 
or a big hefty boy
these potbellied pigs
add to the world so much joy!

Bellagio Atrium

I love a good trip to Vegas- it can be all kinds of fun. For the most part, the drinking, gambling, and overall vibe of Sin City doesn't give me the warm fuzzy feeling that I am striving for in this blog.  The Bellagio atrium, however, is an oasis of serenity and whimsy in an otherwise wild town.  Even when I am not staying at the Bellagio, I make a point of visiting to check out the newest atrium scene.  It changes with the seasons and the holidays, but always delivers something amazing for all of the senses! Here are just a few of the pretties I got to see over my last few visits:

It's raining umbrellas!
Me and Aimee (and Becca-photographer) enjoying the atrium
autumn foliage
Mossy toads, giant ants and a mushroom forrest- what more could you ask for?!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Charmed Knits

Just bought this book- in fact, it came in the mail a couple of days ago.  I have flipped through it and it is well beyond my skill level! But it gives me something to aspire to. I have to learn some pre-basics before I even attempt the first-year projects.  One day, though, I will complete a couple of the OWL and NEWT projects! I've got my heart set on a Weasley-style "R" jumper. I would reccomend  it to any Harry Potter fan that knows (or in my case, wants to learn) how to knit!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Going Bananas for Banana Bread

I just made a loaf of banana bread with lots of mashed fresh bananas and walnuts and it is yummers! I think banana bread is one of those rare baked goods that can ben enjoyed even in warm weather. I think I'll make zucchini bread next. That totally brings back summer memories. Most years, we'd have zucchini growing so abundantly in the garden that we'd have zucchini in just about everything!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Fine Evening

One evening while I was staying in London, I had dinner with myself at a fine, albeit touristy, pub on Charing Cross Road. I sat upstairs at the Porcupine Pub, ordered my drink and my dinner, and divided my wait between people watching, gleefully soaking in the British atmosphere, and reading my book (which at the time happened to be Pride & Prejudice and Zombies…good fun and a perfect fit for my evening... don't you just love it when you are reading the right book at the right time and place?!).

For some reason unknown to me, my dinner order took a very long time. I didn’t mind, if fact I hadn't really noticed until it was brought to my attention. To compensate, the waiter/bartender brought me a bottle of wine! I thanked him, but told him I could not possibly drink it myself! (even though I probably could have). He must have predicted just that response, because he pulled another glass out from behind his back and poured me, and then himself a glass. So charming and funny!

We toasted and chatted for a moment. We enjoyed the wine (it was divine!) He was from Italy, as was the wine… so we talked about that. And maybe because the waiter kind of looked like him, or maybe because its my habit whenever I am in the company of dark and handsome men,  I began to think of Matthew. He would love the Porcupine. He would have loved the wine! He would have even tolerated my swarthy waiter. Oh well! I'll just have to tell him all about it when I'm stateside :)  My waiter and I finished our glasses. He poured me another and then went back to work and I went back to my book.

(I took this photo discretely, in the low lit bar with my iPhone, just to remind myself of the great book, the great wine, and the great time I had dining 'alone' that night.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Doggie Kisses (part 1 of a 365 part series)

I love animals- I am one of those rare cat and dog people. But there are some things that you can only get from man's best friend. Seriously, there are few moments in life more sweet then being on the receiving end of a big old doggie smooch! Here, I am getting some lovin' from my boy Sammy!

Squirrels are nutters!

Last year, on a walk through Golden Gate Park, I ran across these two crazy squirrels.  I don't know if they were in a fight or in love (they can look the same sometimes:) but they were chasing one another, biting and making all kinds of squirrely racket.  After a couple of minutes, one squirrel noticed me watching and he stared me down.  Doesn't matter that we are totally different species, his eyes told me clearly that I was intruding- height of rudeness! And so I continued on my walk and left them to carry-on  their business in private. I managed to snap a few photos of the incident, and they make me smile-

Friday, August 20, 2010

Marsh Marigold (part 1)

My new favorite flower is the Marsh Marigold.  I don't know if I have ever actually seen one in nature, but they are lovely in photographs.  They look like large buttercups! I ran across this old drawing from LIFE magazine and I thought it embodied the loveliness and humble nature of the marsh marigold perfectly! I will post pictures of actual marsh marigolds one day soon, hopefully pictures that I take personally!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Silly Lovey Sketchy Pic

Owen and Mzee

These guys got a lot of attention a few years ago- but I still had to include them in my happy place. I dare anyone to look at these pictures and read their story and not smile!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Magic Castle

I started thinking about my next visit to one of my favorite spots in LA- the Magic Castle.  It is so quirky, and dark, and velvety, and full of... magic! I have had the opportunity to go three times now, each visit was fabulous (but the first time was really really amazing!)