Thursday, June 30, 2011

33 Years Ago...

A young Cherokee-Sioux-Italian woman married a young Canadian-British-Irish man.  Sometimes it feels like the wedding was just yesterday, other times it feels like we've been married for a thousand years...something that's true of most married couples, I'd wager.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I wonder why this little Flicker looks so sad? She (or he) has fresh peanuts right in front of her, a birdbath full of fresh water just below her, and the creek is just a few yards away.

Maybe she's tired of being photographed so much.

Or maybe, as Ringo Starr once said, "I'm not sad; it's just me face."

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's Everywhere

Especially in this house! No matter how much I vacuum the furniture, wash the slipcovers and use a 'sticky roller' on my clothing, cat and dog hair are impossible to get rid of. I met a friend for lunch today and, before I left the house, I industriously used the sticky roller. When I got to the restaurant, I used it again before I got out of the car.

This is what the hostess asked me as she was leading me to the table.

"You have cats, don't you?"


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Sunlight - Laguna Beach, California

(Photo found on the Internet, no credit given)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Faeries Friday - Giardina

A guardian angel, instead of a faerie, on this Friday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Gift From the Sea

The beautiful Pacific Ocean is about 95 miles to the west of us and sometimes she gives us the gift of a marine layer (sea fog) so thick, tall and powerful that it reaches all the way to the mountains where I live. It does this less often than it used to; over 6,000 feet is a VERY deep marine layer nowadays.

It usually laps around the lower elevations, looking very like waves breaking against a steep rocky shoreline. It's hard to believe that the San Bernardino valley with its cities and hundreds of thousands inhabitants lies beneath that beautiful, undulating sea of fog. It's like being on an island. In fact, that is what mountain ranges like this one are called: Sky Islands, meaning a high altitude alpine environment surrounded by desert on all sides. They occur in California, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico and, tragically, are disappearing at an ever-faster rate due to climate change.

The marine layer pushes into the canyons and up over the low ridges, then flows down into the alpine valleys, sometimes filling them up completely. The marine layer is a gift of life to the pines and cedars, for they wrap the mist around them until there is enough to drip off their needles and fronds, giving their roots a good drink of water...from the Pacific Ocean.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Strawberries, Roses, and Green Corn

This is last night's full moon. While we in North America didn't get to see the unusually long lunar eclipse, I thought the moon setting over Lake Gregory (I took this around 4 a.m.) was really pretty. Oh, wait. I guess that would make it this morning's full moon. Well, whatever. I just wish that trail from a jet hadn't been there. Ah, well.

The European name for June's full moon is 'Rose Moon,' while the Cherokee name is 'Moon of the Green Corn' or 'Strawberry Moon.' My Cherokee relatives on my father's side always called it the 'Strawberry Moon' while my grandfather on my mother's side, who was an Oglala Sioux, called it 'The Moon of the Most Annoying Big Mosquitoes.' I 'm pretty sure he made that up just to annoy his Italian wife, my maternal grandmother, who always insisted on calling it the 'Rose Moon' and said that he was more annoying than any mosquito. But she said it with affection...I think.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Sunlight

Taken July 27, 2008. The little wedge of light just to the left of center in the bottom of the photo is Lake Gregory in Crestline, California. The highest peak that you see in the background is Mount Baldy. It's formal name is Mount San Antonio, but no one calls it by that name. It is 10,068 feet high or 3,069 meters.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Faeries Friday - Luce Stellare

This is Luce Stellare ('starlight' in Italian). She's a Kirk's Folly pin ( ) and their name for her was 'The Astral Fairy.' Sooooo boring! I think she likes Luce Stellare much better. I've been collecting Kirk's Folly pins for over 20 years now.

My mother started my pin collection when I was five. She gave me a little enameled blue bird. I don't really like wearing pins, or much of any jewelry, but I do like looking at them. They're little works of art, even though most of them are only costume jewelry.

Soon after we were married, my husband made a lovely glass fronted shadow box with foam backed black velvet framed by a regular picture frame so that I could have them hanging on the wall just like a framed picture. As my collection grew (we've been married for over thirty years) he kept making new boxes. And it just now occurred to me that I should have taken a picture of one of the boxes, too.

When my little great-great-great nieces come to visit, or granddaughters of my friends, we always have a dessert tea in the Secret Garden as twilight is beginning and I tell them a story. This is the story I tell them about Luce Stellare (each faerie has her own story).

Every evening just as the sky starts to turn pink and lavender, the pin box where the faeries sleep during the day, pretending to be just ordinary pins, opens and all the faeries fly out. (At this point, the children always want to go into the house and check the pin box to see if it's really empty. Of course it is because my husband has taken the faeries out while I've been gathering everyone in the Secret Garden. It's wonderful to see the looks on their faces. See the bottom of the post for an idea about making a faerie 'appear').

Now, each faerie has different things she likes to do at night. Luce Stellare, though, is one of the Star Faeries and has the special job of turning the lights on inside of the stars so they will shine for us at night. Oh, not all the stars, just the stars that we can see from where we live. There are other Star Faeries all over the world who do the same thing.

Luce Stellare always flies out of the same window, the one right at the top of the house. As Luce Stellare flies quickly up the staircases to reach the right window, the star that she carries begins to glow. Sometimes, if you're looking at the window at just the right moment, you can see the light from her star glowing pink as she flies out. Quickly, look! There she is!

Now we must watch the sky. Luce Stellare is flying up to the dark stars, touching the star that she carries to each and every star, one by one. Look! She has touched the first star with her magic star and now it's glowing! Keep watching, she's very fast and soon all the stars will be glowing and twinkling.

After Luce has made all of our stars glow with light, she and the other Star Faeries meet at their favorite star to drink starflower tea and eat starshine cookies and moonglow cakes. They're tired after flying so far and so fast. They need a little rest and refreshment before they fly off to different woods, meadows and villages in their own part of the world. They all have  important things to do. What do they do? Why, they watch to see that children are not being bothered by the Nargles, those mean things that bring bad dreams. Whenever they see a Nargle, they chase it away with the light from their stars. They also guide lost baby animals back to their mothers.

When the sky in the East shows the first tiny hint of the sun's rising, they all fly back to their homes to sleep during the daylight hours. 

So, if you see a little twinkle of light outside your bedroom window tonight, you'll know one of the Star Faeries, Luce Stellara if you live hereabouts, is watching over you!

The faerie light is my clever husband's doing. He ran a one inch wide length of stagecraft mesh, (he took stagecraft for fun in college), colored dark green because it's backed by cedar trees, from the house through the trees. He has the window open a tiny bit so he can hear me and, at the proper moment, he shines a laser along the mesh. It's a small white laser that I made pink by painting the lens with pink transparent glass paint. He ran the mesh at an ascending angle so it looks like she's flying up through the trees. When the laser's light shines on the wire it makes little twinkles.  Thrills them every time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


"Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business." Tom Robbins

Monday, June 6, 2011


Last night the weather seemed more like March than June. Howling winds, a little cold rain and even a few flurries of snow!

I thought for sure the emerging wildflowers, like the Grape Soda Lupines above, would be flattened. Happily, they're just fine. The dogwood flowers didn't fare as well, but they're at the end of their bloom anyway.

We had gusts of freezing cold wind up to 80 mph which knocked down a lot of branches from various trees but, luckily, the trees themselves are okay.

I don't know if the birds fared as well, though. I've seen the larger birds; the Steller Jays, the Black Headed Grosbeaks, the Flickers and the Ravens, but I didn't see any House Finches, Chickadees or Nuthatches today. I hope they're all right.

Such strange, cold weather for June. But when I think of the terrible wildfire raging out of control over in Arizona I'm grateful beyond words for the out-of-season weather we've been getting. I hope it continues. In fact, I wouldn't care if hot weather just passed us by completely this year...and every year!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Sunlight

"...there was coming and going among the trees, there was sunlight in the shadows." Emily Carr, Canadian painter and writer 1871 - 1945

(the photo above is not mine, I found it on the web but the photographer was not named).
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