Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I met these men on Tuesday and they had a very nice vibe. The man on the left explained that they were best friends. He said the man on the right was like a father to him in fact.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yesterday: People

Met these tourists on 29th Street in Manhattan

Took a portrait of a friendly Ice Cream Vendor on 43rd Street

Lettuce in a deli joking around

On the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Sunday, July 27, 2008

At The Shore

When Lettuce and I arrived at Coney Island, the sky had already turned stormy.

A thunderstorm hit and the rides were shut down. Crowds of people fled.

We sought refuge at a clam bar where we huddled under an awning with a small group of people for quite some time.

Everyone was in a good mood and I think we had more fun than we would have if it had simply been hot and sunny.

As we were leaving I saw this group trying to decide what to do next.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Random Pictures

Today we stayed close to home, and took a leisurely six mile stroll.
(Click to enlarge)

We walked up and down and all around, went to a gospel concert, (where Lettuce showed me how to use the video function on my new camera) and sat for a while just looking out at the river. Grateful for the cool breeze on an otherwise sultry day.

It was one of those days where nothing much is happening, but a lot a nice things happen.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Chedwick (L.) and Eddy touch noses.

Chedwick on the sofa. Proof that it's impossible to take a bad picture of a cat.

Mysterious fluffs are rolling around outside like little pink tumbleweeds. Neighbors a half mile away are watching them roll by, asking "what are those things?" They are the seedy spent blossoms of the Smoke Tree. On a very windy day it's like pink snow flurries, as we live on the side of a hill where the wind is often eddying. The fluffs fly up and sideways and down, they go everywhere like all the seed pods in spring. Some are fairly large though, and scare people.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lettuce Arrives from London

Lettuce is here and all is well

I picked Lettuce up at the Airport and we are about to go out for a drink.

Happy Happy Door Door!

I know a lot of people would love to have this door, but it's just too fancy for my taste ~ I'd expect some Danny Elfman music to start playing every time I went in or out. Or some nice calliope music anyway, and I'd have to start wearing big Victorian hats if this was my door. Oh, and the apartment would have to live up to the door~you wouldn't expect to see squalor on the other side.

This mailbox was right outside the colorful door. I liked the way the Queen's Ann's Lace looked growing there. Ever since I was a toddler, this weed has been one of my favorite flowers. I finally figured it out today ~ reminds me of snowflakes, which have always seemed magical to me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

See the Video with Bob (and Roger McGuinn) here

In Praise of Coffee

This past week we had a heat wave, so I spent more time in my local coffee shops than I normally do. I read a very interesting book, too.

I met a shy man on the street. He had a cup of coffee and a mask.

Kim had the right idea thinking we should just spend the month of July celebrating birthdays. One month of non-stop celebrating would make us realize how fortunate we all are to have each other. Famous people born on this day include Haile Selassie, Raymond Chandler, and The Coffee Messiah.

I could sing the praises of coffee, but could never do it as well as The Coffee Messiah does. His blog has made me appreciate coffee more, try new blends, brew it with more thought, and drink an extra cup every day.

The Coffee Messiah recommended this book, Pre Raphaelites in Love by Gay Daly. It's so well written, I really enjoyed it, and it took me back to a time long ago when some of these paintings meant a great deal to me. (of course I was just staring at small reproductions of them in an art book.) Now that I know something about the artists and the models, I'd like to see some of these paintings and wonder how many of them are in museum collections today.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Random Things

Dennis chooses the perfume Rumeur as his pic for July's summer scent. Dennis says it's a cut above most of the stuff you find on the department store counter, and it has magnolia. Dennis loves magnolia.

It's going to be a busy few weeks starting on Thursday when I'm picking up a certain blogger at the airport. Guess Who?

Does anyone remember what the original Tweed smelled like?

If you've ever seen Dirty Dancing, you may have noticed Baby's mom, played by former ballerina and Tony Award winner Kelly Bishop.

Kelly played Howard Stern's crazy mom in Private Parts and was Toby Maguire's mom in The Wonder Boys. She wanted to be Sarah J. Parker's step-mom in Miami Rhapsody. Mainly a theater actress, she gets offered a lot of mom roles. (and is still close to many of her film kids, including Howard Stern and Christian Slater.) She's known for being very sweet and easy going--the opposite of her most famous mom role as Emily in the TV series The Gilmore Girls.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


A truly beautiful day in the neighborhood would have been me and Fred just hanging out with F. and Kimy, celebrating their birthdays with some Guinness and storytelling. Happy Birthday to Wat and Kimy and anyone else who has a birthday this week!

(Fred brought the drinks photo(shop) by Chedwick)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Shady Goings On

My yard was once very sunny, and I had a veggie patch and lots of roses. It could have won the tidy yard award.

But the oak and maples and the pines and cypress and spruce all grew bigger and shaded out my medium-small yard.

The patio was once in full sun, now it gets some sun for maybe an hour a day.

Things have grown on their own, too, like these butterfly bushes that just appeared (I planted one and now have four.) I just mow a narrow path through my back yard with a push mower. Weeds are everywhere and many, many people have suggested I hire a landscaper. An opossum seems to live in my backyard now, and there are a few deer napping under trees, bunnies of all sizes are in the tall weeds, a woodchuck mom with her babies hangs out. Every time I walk through the yard some wild animal pops up. The trees are noisy with birds. We seem to have a big population of chipmunks and squirrels, too.

This large lilac is leaning sideways trying to get to some sunshine. When I planted it, it was in the sun. Not anymore. On the plus side, I use less water, and I don't have to protect plants from wildlife. If a deer eats a rose bush down to a nub, I just say bon appétit. Someday I'll plan and dig and prune and plant a civilized garden again, but for now I'll just enjoy the shade.

(I did get several cuttings from the leaning lilac, and they are thriving in the sun in other people's well-kept yards.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Staying Home

As a kid and as a young adult I lived in urban areas. Home was often a small apartment I happily occupied. As long as there was a good view from the window, I'd rent the place. I learned early that landlords and co-op boards called the shots however, and I didn't want to stay where I'd have go before a board to get a new kitten approved. I wanted a home where I could plant trees and see the stars on a clear night.

Home for me is an outdoor as well as an indoor place. Home means sharing a space with nature. I'll gladly commute to work, but not to see wildlife or hike up a mountain.Some people would label my life conventional and/or dull, but that's the way it goes. I'm a suburbanite who lives within easy walking distance of a mountain and a river that I could never get tired of. In summer, for at least a few weeks, I become a total hayseed with grand dreams of someday being a beekeeper with an apple orchard.

I've decided to not go on any serious vacations for awhile, choosing instead to stay close to home and re-discover my own backyard--The Hudson River Valley & the mountains we call The `Gunks and The`Skills. I also hope to hike a nearby section of The Appalachian Trail. I guess I should start a journal called Staying Home.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Afternoon of the Turtle

It's after 10pm and I'm still thinking about turtles. It started with a turtle cloud, or a cloud that looked like a turtle to me.

I drove for about an hour and then stopped to buy some fruit. (I like to park far away from all the other cars and walk across parking lots for some reason) and I saw this van and thought-- another turtle... and this turtle is like a celebrity turtle!

I drove for another hour and was walking to the post office when I randomly happened upon a courtyard with... more turtles. What can it mean?

That's a lot of turtle sightings for one afternoon. I wonder what Tut Tut would think of it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lake Weekend

This weekend I relaxed at *Fishy Lake. I learned that people put on shoes to go swimming now. "Swim Shoes" This seems weird to me, but modern people wear shoes when they swim in lakes because maybe they'll stub their toe on a sharp pebble or something. I didn't wear shoes in the lake, and I didn't hurt my feet, either. I was advised to get swim shoes though, in case of a future encounter with a sharp object.

The lake is full of fish, and snakes too--harmless shy snakes. (it was hard to get a picture of a snake, but I finally did it!)

Yesterday there was enough sunshine to swim and watch a fisherman grill up some lunch. This is the exterior of my friend's cabin on the lake. It needs work, but she is like superwoman, so in a year or two you won't recognize the place. She can use power tools. She spent every weekend this spring gutting the once very dark and scary interior, and made it bright, cheery and functional, She recycled many building materials, old cupboards, etc... It's 900 square feet, and is now the summer home for her two young children. Lucky kids!

My friend used to spend a lot of time on a sailboat with her mother when she was a kid. Her mother wore Coriandre in those days, so my friend is experimenting with it now. She says it reminds her of her mom as she was thirty years ago... and has brought on many good feelings and memories. The perfume was introduced in 1973.
Coriandre's head notes are sharp, but fade quickly into a nice woodsy scent. The oak moss and spices made it a good scent for the lake weekend.

*Fishy Lake is not the real name of this lake.

Friday, July 11, 2008

What is Beauty?

Several e mails have come in from readers comparing kitten Eddy to a Golliwog doll. One helpful reader even sent a photo of a Golliwog doll as I had no idea what they were talking about.

First of all, Eddy would never wear a bow tie. Secondly, I think Eddy is very, very, beautiful.

A beautiful blogger gave me a gift set of Estee Lauder perfumes. I took them home and began sniffing. Just days later I had an interesting moment with a woman in a market.
I don't often go to this particular market, but in one crowded aisle I squeezed past this woman who smelled really nice --and the scent was vaguely familiar. I had to go back and tell her she smelled nice. Although she looked as if she had the weight of the world on her shoulders, she perked right up and told me she was wearing Estee Lauder's Beautiful. All I can say is, she wore it very well. The woman had a British accent, and as I looked into her eyes and listened to her talk about the perfume, I realized she and I had had a brief encounter before, maybe a year or so ago, in this very store while choosing items from one of the British & Irish aisles. She was beautiful.

I'm not surprised that perfumer Sophia Grojsman created Beautiful, with head notes of rose and lily, heart notes of orange flower and more lily, in a sparkly vetiver, amber, and sandalwood base. But it's a stronger floral than most of her creations, so only a small percentage of women can really wear it beautifully.