Friday, August 25, 2006

Mountain Home - Thursday 8/24/2006

Another of the things along Sierra Highway that I’ve been meaning to photograph.

Mountain Home now proclaims itself to be an Interdenominational Retreat. I drove into the compound once. It’s a collection of cool old stone buildings. I’d love to get permission to prowl around and photograph for a couple of hours. Maybe if I offered them prints…?

This is apparently the old entrance arch. Now the driveway begins to the left of this structure.

(Oh wow, I just read some of the history, and one of the people involved is my Acton auto mechanic!)

Flower Cake! Wednesday 8/23/2006

Yes, this was part of my lunch. We went to Porto’s Bakery for the second time this week. It has to stop. You can’t have creme brulee one day and a pina colada cake with a flower on it the next day and hold your head up high. Because it will be too fat to hold up at all.

The food there is fabulous. In my defense, I avoided the succulent Pan con Lechon (roast pork and onions sandwich) and had the house salad with mango vinagrette with this little delicacy.

Sorry the photo’s fuzzy.

I think my hands were trembling with antici—

Um...there's a curve right here.... Tuesday 8/22/2006

This is one you wouldn’t want to miss.

Soledad Canyon Road is a beautiful drive, but you don’t really want to get going too fast or get distracted by the pretty view.

Abandoned Shack - Monday 8/21/2006

I’m trying to actually stop and take some photos of the things I keep driving by and thinking, “I should get a shot of that.”

Given that this is off of Sierra Highway, it probably had something to do with a well…either water or oil.

Square Meal - Sunday 8/20/2006

Hey, I don’t plan these things.

I just notice them.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

43 Books/Authors - #1 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


I started this project over on 43Things, to write about 43 books or authors who have influenced me. I'm going to post the list and comments here. I have added to it over time and in no particular order. For some reason I feel compelled to share these musings here.

I think I’ve read this book more times than any other. One of the reasons it was important to me when I first read it in high school was probably that it was written by a fellow Hoosier.

Carrie starts out from Columbia City, WI…which I misread as Columbia City, IN until a college professor pointed out my error (in front of 49 other students). I’d neatly missed that because I grew up outside of Columbia City, IN and because there IS no Columbia City, WI, and because Dreiser is from Indiana, for pete’s sake.

So I could imagine myself taking that train up to Chicago from Columbia City.

I was also attracted to the non-judgmental way that Dreiser writers about Carrie. She just does the things she does and he doesn’t moralize about it and she doesn’t have to really ever pay for her sins. A remarkable thing for any time, let alone for the turn of the last century.

I'm still out here taking photos.

I just keep forgetting to bring my camera cord to work with me, where uploading is so much faster.

Now I’m leaving myself a message on my home phone…

Here's a bonus photo from a farmer's market we strolled through on Saturday. Big scary aliens disguised as flowers.

Never turn your back on an orchid, that's my motto.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sleeping under the stars Saturday 8/19/2006

I'd never done this before. I have been wanting to do it for a long time. I was about to give up on it, but Friday night I was in the back yard and I didn’t feel like going in as it got dark.

So I pulled out the cheap-o chaise lounge and put one sleeping bag down on it, and a pillow, and slept in the other sleeping bag. It was so gorgeous! The perfect night, if a little cool. No wind, which can be a big issue up here.

It was still and the stars were bright. I slept with my glasses on so I could wake up and see the friendly sky up there keeping me company. Also with cotton in my ears to avoid any bug or cold-air issues. I was very snug in my little nest.

Crickets sang me to sleep from various parts of the back yard. I woke several times during the night (not unusual for me even in my regular bed) and noted that the human sounds had quieted down, that even the crickets were quiet after a while. I woke when the train blew its whistle a few miles away, and was glad that the coyotes didn’t set up their sometimes very enthusiastic and hair-raising responsive yipping. That might have sent me scurrying for the back door (which Hydra left open…just the storm door shut.)

I assume that the constellation spread out up there was Leo, given the time of year. The Milky Way became more prominent later in the evening. I LOVE knowing that I am looking out through the spiral arms of the galaxy when I see it. Time traveling right in my own back yard, with the stars whispering their stories of lightyears in my ears.

When I woke for the last time, the stars were almost gone…just a few faint reminders through the pale atmosphere. I felt absolutely goofily elated.

SO worth it. I expect I’ll do this again.

Sandwich board guy - Friday 8/18/2006

What a job! Out on the street corner wearing a sandwhich board. The guy saw me taking his photo and started to grin and I wish I had that shot, but the traffic light changed and I had to go. Dang!

Grapeleaf - Thursday 8/17/2006

The grapevine is huge this year. There was a late frost, so no grapes and I’ve let the vine go. It’s about 15 feet long in some places!