Monday, November 30, 2009

There Has Been Knitting

There has been lots of knitting.

When I heard that someone I know is making regular trips to the chemo clinic, I decided to make a warm, cozy prayer shawl for her. I asked for help in choosing the perfect pattern. In the end, after much deliberation, I knitted a wide wrap that has five distinct lace patterns worked across 400 stitches.

This shawl was not a quick knit, but it was an exercise in precision, careful counting and patience. My work was simply a reflection of the persistence and patience that all chemo patients need to persevere and win the cancer battle.


Sampler Shawl from Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. Interweave Press, 2000.

SPA yarn from 75% acrylic, 25% rayon from bamboo. 5 -6 balls (I lost count) in Misty Taupe.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday's Fave Five, Thanksgiving Weekend

I am confident that all American FFF participants are going to include Thanksgiving Day festivities in their post today. Not wanting to break the trend, I will focus my FFFs on Thanksgiving Day 2009.
1. Our alarms rang early! We were up and on the road to Balboa Park in San Diego. The starting line was here:

Museum of Man

2. We walked with thousands of our best friends!

3. and four of our Best Friends Forever! The Father Joe's Thanksgiving Day 5K Run!

4. Dinner at MamaMia's. We had earned it! There was no turkey on the menu, but we enjoyed barbecued salmon and a pot roast. Mashed potatoes, beans, apple and pumpkin pies, etc, etc...

5. Skyping and talking with our family who couldn't make the trip to the rendevouz point near the California-Mexico border. Building memories of Thanksgiving Day 2009.

What did you do to make memories this week? Share them at Living To Tell The Story!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


From my little cottage on the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains in Southern California,

To all of you, my friends, wherever you are!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Art

Art at the Getty

The works of art displayed in the pavilions at the Genter Center in Los Angeles at any one time represents only a small portion of J. Paul Getty's collection. Rooms are filled with statues, furniture, books, photos, paintings and decorative items. While the Getty Villa focuses on displays of works of antiquity, most of Getty' acquisitions of medieval through modern art are housed at the Getty Center.

The Getty Center website describes the different galleries and collections like this (writing is copied from the website, photos are mine):

"The galleries at the Getty Center are housed in the Museum's five exhibition pavilions, plus the Getty Research Institute Exhibition Gallery.

The East Pavilion features primarily 17th-century Baroque art, including Dutch, French, Flemish, and Spanish paintings as well as sculpture and Italian decorative arts dating from 1600 to 1800.

The South Pavilion houses 18th-century paintings and the majority of the Museum's European decorative arts collection, complete with elaborately furnished paneled rooms, dating up to 1800.

The West Pavilion features sculpture and Italian decorative arts of the 1700s through 1900, as well as 19th-century paintings.

The North Pavilion presents paintings dating up to 1600. The plaza-level galleries that house Renaissance sculpture and decorative arts are closed for renovation. They will reopen with a new thematic installation in late 2009.

The Exhibitions Pavilion features changing exhibitions."

Paintings from each century are rotated on a regular basis. I have a couple of favorite paintings that I enjoy viewing on each visit, and I rush into the room to see if they are on the walls. (I tried to copy the portraits from the website and couldn't do it, but here is a link to sweet little Maria Frederike painted by Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard.)

In the West Pavillion, you can see original paintings by Monet, Manet, and van Gogh and many other Impressionist artists. Irises is on permanent display and I am always amazed that I can stand only one foot away from that beautiful oil painting! (If I get any closer, the guard will come up and ask me to step back a little.) Another gallery contains display cases filled with brilliantly sketched and painted illuminated manuscripts. I wander through those rooms, gazing at the intricate and detailed writing and drawing and wish I knew how to read Latin.

I could stroll day after day through the pavillions and never tire of reading the descriptions of the works and sitting for a while to concentrate on one particular portrait or sculpture. Realistically, I can spend one or two days in a year there. I hope I live to be a very old woman, so I can return again and again and again.

So much beauty, so little time!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FFF Short and Sweet

After a very busy week, I haven't much time to plan a Friday Fave Five post. Even so, I find it refreshing to review Willow's Week and focus on my favorite moments.
1. Time spent with MamaMia included a quick trip to Old Town Ventura and lunch at a little restaurant that is becoming a favorite, Nature Cafe. On the menu, we spied an interesting sandwich: portobello mushroom, tomato, white cheese. We declared it a winner!

2. A hike up Lookout Trail along the ridge above the Pacific Ocean.
3. Running in to special Los Angeles friends who just happened to be camping in Sycamore Canyon and saw us walking through the campground on our way to the trail head.
4. I finished knitting two projects this week. One FO is not bloggable yet :) Photos later. The other project is knitted but not yet felted. It will become a new purse for me.
5. The internet has provided several hours of information finding and reading this week as I have been reading up on a couple of my personal interests. It's amazing that so much information is so easily available!

Join in the blessings of Friday Fave Five by dropping by Susanne's blog!

What were the highlights of YOUR week?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Gardens

I had intended to write a little essay about the gardens at The Getty Center, but I decided that words would detract from the beauty of the photos and the place.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Fave Five, Veterans Day Week


Friday Fave Five, Veterans Day Edition!
1. I love walking! This week Ellen and I took our Tuesday morning walk at The Blueberry Ranch. We varied our route and walked through a couple of other ranches that grow raspberries, avocados and lemons. You can see photos on Ellen's blog.

2. My camera arrived back from the Canon repair facility, safe, sound and working well!

3. What does a woman do on November 11th, Veterans Day, if her husband, son and son-in-law are veterans or active military? She goes to Knott's Berry Farm! That's what she does! Because Knott's allows all military personnel, active or retired (with proof) to enter the park free of charge and bring a guest, we decided to meet our San Diego contingent there to celebrate the day and also celebrate Chaplain Dan and The Princess's anniversary.

We stood in line, ate yummy food, rode rollercoasters, explored the Western theme, and enjoyed each others' company. The Professor remembers going to Knott's Berry Farm when he was a little boy, so it was particularly fun for him.

4. An added bonus of meeting our San Diego family was the opportunity to bring MamaMia back with us for a visit. Since her Marine is off serving our country somewhere (THANK YOU!), she decided to spend a few days with us.

5. For my Fifth Fave, I share with you a conversation with a student about poetry.

Her: I hate poetry! I don't understand it.

Me: Listen today to my lesson. I'm going to explain why poets do what they do and then you'll understand and like poetry!

So Mrs. Willow teaches the class about tone, audience, rhyme and alliteration, poetic devices, iambic pentameter, trocaic trimeter.

Her, after class: Thank you, Mrs. Willow! I understand it now. But I still don't like it.

Ah,well. Maybe when she grows up...

This concludes Willow's Week edition of Friday's Fave Five. Please go to Susanne's blog if you would like to read more FFFs.

Have a Happy Weekend!

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Architecture

The first time I visited The Getty Center, I spent the majority of my hours there gazing at the buildings, their structure and material composition.

I was enthralled with the travertine marble which was quarried in Italy and transported to Los Angeles. In the shadows, the marble looks pearly white, but when the sun shines on the rough exterior, the marble takes on a creamy yellow color.

As the stone was cut, fossilized leaves were revealed. You can see many of the leaf images on the buildings' walls.

The architecture so fascinated me that I walked around staring up at the arches, corners and overhangs designed by Richard Meier. I was distracted from the exhibits by the extraordinary beauty of the museum buildings.
Even after several trips to the Getty, I still love strolling along the hallways and balconies, gazing at the pavilions, admiring their size, structure and setting!

This link gives more information about Meier and the Getty Center's architecture.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Friday Fave Five, Fifth of November

Welcome to Friday Fave Five! Susanne hosts this weekly event at her blog Living To Tell The Story. Do check it out and leave a message to share in celebrating the blessings in our lives.

1. Friends! Like Ellen who loaned me one of her cameras when we visited The Getty Center last week.

2. The Professor's technology magic was applied to my computer to fix the problem I was having uploading the Getty Center photos. I love being married to a computer magician.

3. The Getty Center is one of the most beautiful museums I've ever seen. The white travertine marble buildings are gorgeous inside and out, and they also contain incredible treasures. I cannot possibly post at one time all the photos I took. I plan to do that over the next few days.
4. Sour Cream Cinnamon Rolls. I was going to write Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Walnut Cookies again because I baked more of them for our weekday lunches, but I decided to mention the cinnamon rolls because I made those for our weekday breakfasts.
5. Echinacea tea. Daily doses this week for a cold that has been plaguing me since Tuesday.
This was Willow's Week. How was yours?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

In The Dark

Having been in communication with the camera repair magicians, I am hopeful that sometime in the near future I will have my third eye back. I look around and observe scenes that I know would make fabulous photos. I am impatient, but the repair people are working as fast as they can. I hope.

Ellen and I met Sara, another Southern California blogger, at The Getty Center in Los Angeles on Friday. While at The Getty, I took photos with one of Ellen's camera, which she very graciously loaned to me, but for some reason blogger will not recognize that those photographs are on my hard drive. Both The Professor and I have tried everything we know to fix the problem, which for me was a little bit and for the Professor was a lot. But we are both baffled. I can promise you that The Getty Center is a photographer's paradise. Until we can diagnose and fix the problem and I can post my photos, you can visit their blogs and see what I saw.

On Sunday afternoon, we drove down Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu and Santa Monica to Los Angeles, where we popped in to the Southern California Weavers Guild Fiber Festival in Torrance. Again, because I was camera-less, I can only tell you in words that the array of fibers for sale was fabulous. The trend seems to be moving to brighter and more variegated fibers for spinning, knitting, and weaving. The Professor found the perfect black, deep blue and turquoise handpainted wool and insisted that I buy it and spin it, just for me. I happily and graciously complied. It is important to please our husbands and support our local fiber artists, isn't it?

After a much too quick visit with my former walking buddy and friend from The Beach Cities (mama of the kitty we cat sit for), I met up with The Professor and The Grad Student, who was in LA for two days. The hours spent with TGS flew by, and we were back in the car and on the way home. You'll have to believe me when I tell you that the white travertine marble walls of The Getty Center were shining brightly in the late afternoon sun as we drove along the 405 Freeway through Sepulveda Pass. I wish I could show you because 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. I want my eye back.