Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday solitude



It's a beautiful summer Saturday~ temps are climbing into the triple digits and should reach 100 soon, if they haven't already. The house is closed down. The fans are swirling cool air throughout the rooms. The matchstick blinds have been rolled closed~ a cool darkness fills the house. Pinpoints of sunshine are filtering through lace curtains and are throwing disco ball patterns of light onto the hardwood floors.
A blissful morning is moving into the early afternoon. Jeff is working while I've been home savoring the luxuriness of moments not having to be accounted for...
I went online and subscribed to the Paris Review~ love the writing! Ordered the new biographical release of J.D. Salinger. Finished a small movie maker project~ a still life of our house and pets.

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A few weekends ago, while shopping in Martell, I picked up a few books. One of them, CHINA HIGH, I'll start reading this afternoon. An excerpt: ONE NIGHT IN THE WILD, WILD EAST: IN KEEPING WITH TRADITION, THE PARTY WAS HELD AT VIBES, A BAR INSIDE FACTORY 798, WHICH UP UNTIL 2002 HAD BEEN A STATE-OWNED FACTORY THAT MADE SOMETHING USELESS. BY THE TIME I ARRIVED, THE PARTY HAD JUST KICKED INTO HIGH GEAR. INSIDE THE ELEVATED DJ BOOTH, SUNSHINE SUNSHINE'S LATEST BEAU WAS SPINNING DRUM 'N' BASS. AT THE BAR, FIVE LAYERS OF PEOPLE HOLLERED FOR THEIR TSINGTAOS AND MOJITOS. UP ABOVE, CROSS-DRESSERS GOT DOWN ON THE NARROW, BLACK, METAL WALKWAY, SOME OF THEM LOOKING POSITIVELY FLY IN THEIR FEATHERS, STOCKINGS, AND G-STRINGS. ON THE DANCE FLOOR, LEATHER 'N' CHAINS, MASKS 'N' WHIPS, BUNNY OUTFITS, ANGEL WINGS, HEADMASTERS, DOMINATRIXES; IT WAS LIKE HALLOWEEN, JUST SWEATIER.

To go with this seedy, sizzling summer read are few tunes from the Eurythmics, Laura Branigan and Billy Ocean that capture that O so 80's vibe. Doncha just love MTV original classic videos and youtube?

   

                             





Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer Vacation Days

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Synchronistic Moments


photography by Ck
       ... is something I have in spades. If I didn't have these ongoing life conicidences that would be REALLY weird. After uploading our Summer Vacation via movie maker onto my blog and sharing it on facebook, I went into the master bedroom to make the bed and straighten up the room, before having to jet off to work. Upon leaving the bedroom, I casually glanced over to my book case on passing, and found myself looking at Sarah Ban Breathnach's Peace and Plenty. I stopped, pulled the book off the shelf and opened.

An excerpt:

"The cottage was nine hundred years old and only had two rooms. It was barely big enough to hold me, and I'm just five feet. there was nothing the least bit practical in this real estate transaction. It would require extensive long-distance renovation across the Atlantic and could become a money pit. Recalling the exact moment my common sense went south~ only one word come to mind:
home.

From the moment I opened the garden gate, a strange enchantment took hold. "Enchanted places have the power to change us, to germinate and nurture that tiny seed of happiness... that each of us have kept so carefully concealed," the English writer Alexandra Campbell reveals in her novel  Remember This.

All my life, I've never felt as if I belonged anywhere; my harried heart was possessed by a mysterious "holy longing" that never seemed to be satisfield. But, here, in the garden of this tiny ivory stone cottage with its huge, ancient apple tree, heavily laden with reddening and ripening orbs, I felt that there couldn't possibly be anyplace else more exquisite. The warmth of the September afternoon made the earth fragrant, yeasty, and fruity; bees flitted among the drooping pink hollyhocks. Wasps droned over sweetly decaying apples on the ground, drunk in delight. Doves cooed from the top of the red-peaked tile roof. Across the meadow, sheep grazed on a green hill bordered by hedgerows of blackberries.

Inside Newton's Chapel, the stillness was so luxurious, it took my breath away. The silence was lyrical; the atmosphere sensuous; the very air was intoxicating, an aura that was simultaneously serene and exhilarating. It also felt sacred. I knew I was standing on holy ground. Later I would be told by a geomancy master (who divines sacred spot in the earth) that the chapel had been built on the site of a holy well belonging to practitioners of the Goddess faith around the first millennium. This was a common occurrence during the early medieval times as Christiananity replaced the practice of worshiping the Great Mother.
I could feel all of this sacred energy in this physical place. I was thrilled, and a bit dazed, as I tried to take it all in.

That September afternoon, the sunlight was strong, and against it the old dark wooden beams supporting the roof looked as sturdy as the day they were hoisted sometime in the twelfth century; the plaster walls were five feet thick; in one room stood a partially exposed but completely intact Norman arch. I rubbed my hand slightly against the grainy stony and a hush soothed my heart. A palpable awe came over me; I was draped in a mantle of reverence as soft as cashmere. I felt so safe, so loved, so protected. So chosen. I knew I had been led there, step by step, by some mysterious grace. I knew that I had come home.

As I stood in Newton's Chapel, my past and future intersected. I didn't ever want to leave because I knew when I did I would be facing more expectations, deadlines, obligations and responsibilities. I knew the only way I could leave Newton's Chapel was with the surety that I would be coming back."

This is how Sarah Ban Breathnach described her purchase of Sir Issac Newton's home... and yet, it could easily decribe Sutter Creek Cottage.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Vacation

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sutter Creek Cottage

                                                                                                                                                            
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Mid-summer afternoon errands


    from the desk of....

     Late Friday afternoon found me driving in light commuter traffic from Sonora over Melones to Angels then up the highway 4 corridor to Murphys.
 I was on my way to pick up mail that had been too large to fit in our local post office mailbox. Blue skies, sunshine, temps in the mid-80's, windows rolled down, wind in my hair, Santana playing on the CD player. 


     In our society where everything is expected to appear in a microwavable nano second I love shopping and ordering miscellaneous items/products online, then waiting for them to be delivered to my mailbox, without having to drive around a shopping center parking lot waiting for an available parking space to open up.


Long gone are the days I enjoyed walking about endless miles of Silicon Valley malls. Where upon entering you're automatically greeted with a rush of cool artificial air carrying the scents of mingled perfumes, new shoe leather, the aroma of myriad food courts and loud chatter. With all of this sensory overload, why is it there is always a tired child crying somewhere in the background that you notice first?

                               

Having survived that initial experience you're now surrounded by two levels of aligned cookie cutter glass front shops and their artfully designed window cases, each jockeying for the shopper's individual attention. A wide expanse of Italian marble tiled floor squares lead you in and to nearby strategically placed escalators for your shopping pleasure, while elevators are always a bit of an inconvenience to reach, standing off to the sides, separate and alone.
Elegant greenery potted in unimaginably large-sized urns are situated near benches in designated areas available for exhausted shoppers loaded down with their many purchases and mothers with tired children in strollers. Been there done that. Zao zing to big city life....

                             
I love small town life and post offices.Go figure! Aside from collecting packages, mail and other assorted items I love the smell of the post office~ it carries the unmistakeable scent of paper. As a writer and a voracious reader, I always associate the post office with bookstores and libraries~  always my two fav places.  So, I was not disappointed when I opened up my post office box and discovered the 2 latest Pottery Barn catalogues, or receiving packages of books (previously ordered), at the counter. One errand down, now on to the next.

     
Arriving back in Angels Camp I tooled over to CVS. Everyone was out and about getting ready for their weekends. Starbucks and McDonalds scattered patio tables were filled. Inside CVS I stocked up on household cleaning supplies (steam cleaning our dining room carpet is today's project) and picked up issues of Elle Decor and Traditional Home magazines to add to my stockpile of reading material.                           

Arriving  home I excitedly opened my book packages. I received pulitizer prize winning authors, Joseph J. Ellis' First Family (Abigal & John Adams). And, Cleopatra, A Life by Stacy Schiff. Very exciting. I love having books about the house that I can read when I have the time to get to them~ at my fingertips.




Jeff arrived home shortly afterwards carrying grocery bags from Angels Market. Barbecued chicken and country ribs with mac salad. He cheffed up oven broiled buttered French bread slices to go with dinner. Whatta great way to kick-start the weekend!
                           
                         
                           
    That's what I'm talking about!











Friday, July 15, 2011

Good Morning, Inspiration....

Friday's arrived and not a moment too soon. Temps have dropped comfortably into the mid-80's which is far better than the lingering triple digit heatweave that carried us through the end of June into July. Although, those temps were perfect for the fourth of July family holiday weekend get-away that we SO enjoyed in Sutter Creek~ it was the perfect vacation on so many levels for ALL of us. 

WE were able to rent one of our fav 100+ year old cottages that backs up to Sutter Creek. On our fav street~ how cool is that? The street begins just off downtown Main street and ends in a rural fork in the road a few blocks later. 
I love the diversity of this street, the juxtapostion of old meets new. The street houses (literally) an art gallery, a Greek restaurant, a 1940's gas station, a newly remodled Pizza Plus (in what was formerly a local coffeehouse), private residences, a bed and breakfast and directly across the street from the cottage, where we vacationed, is the historical Sutter Creek foundry (1860-80's), a few doors down near the fork in the road was once, a few years back, a sculpting warehouse now vacant~ looking quaintly ramshackle.

Here is the beginning of our adventure a couple of Fridays ago. Throughout the weekend I will be putting together a few more family videos. Enjoy!

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