Is it spring yet?

The rain finally stopped and I got a chance to take the little dog for a long awaited (on his part) walk around the neighborhood. Had to go back to get the camera and did a second loop. It does look like spring, doesn't it?

This is the only blossom on a camellia I've had for several years. Never bloomed until this year.

Any guesses what this is?
Okay, it's rosemary with beautiful blue flowers. I usually rub my fingers over the plant to pick up the scent.

And these are some of the last lemons growing now. Several of the other trees got hit very hard by the heavy frosts we had this past winter. I may actually have to go out and - gasp - buy lemons!


Death and snail mail

Strange title for a blog post, I know. But no apologies from me.

Henry died almost 2 years ago and I still get snail mail for him, 2 envelopes today, which is a lot. Usually, it's one in a blue moon. I'm ready for this sort of thing - I have address labels all printed with a little message saying, "My son died in May 2007. Please remove him from your mailing list!" It's convenient, I just stick it on the questionnaire that's being sent and put it in the "no postage necessary" envelope. And it works, I haven't heard from the army, the marines or the credit card companies ever again.

Today, though, I got yet another postcard from the local JC. Those come on a much too regular basis. So, I finally sat down and wrote them a letter with the same message. Hope it helps. I really do not need these constant reminders of what I have lost.

Last week, I read, or rather skimmed, a book about after death communication. Quite interesting really. I found out (again) that I've had twilight experiences. And, no, I'm not going to explain :-) There was a quote in the book by Jack Lemmon: Death is the end of a life, not a relationship.


Rain, rain ......

I can't say "go away" because we need it so desperately.
Before this latest round of storms, we were at 19% of normal. Not good at all.
But a little break would be very welcome. I'd like to take the little dog on a walk without having to hose him down afterwards and I'd like to be able to go outside an take pictures of some bags. Indoors just doesn't work as well.
And just to show that it doesn't only rain badly here, the last picture is one DH gave me permission to post - he and a group of colleagues climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge at the end of a set of meetings, sort of as a team building exercise. They were kitted out with raingear, flashlights and tied to a wire so they couldn't fall (or jump) and had their picture taken in the driving rain. Sydney Opera House in the background. I think I'll either pass on that adventure or wait for a sunny, but cool, day.


And the winner is ..................

.......................... Capemaynuts!

Congratulations, Ida. Send me your snail mail address, please.
Have fun and let us all know what you make with the heart.


Help for the victims of the Australian bush fires

I am sure that all of you have heard and read about the horrific bush fires in Australia - whole towns wiped out, people incinerated in their cars, a death toll approaching 200 and expected to grow. It defies imagination.
I read Australian blogs on a very regular basis and on every one of them is talk of these fires. But these women have all come up with ways to help - auctions, links for the Red Cross etc.
So, here is my little contribution.

First a link to news:

Bushfire Emergency - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Here is the link to the Australian Red Cross:

Australian Red Cross

And the American Red Cross:

American Red Cross

And here is a link to Handmade Help:

Handmade Help


I have also started a Facebook group which includes all these links:

Facebook Help for victims of the Australian bush fires

Please join, send the links on to your friends, donate, contribute, help in whichever way you can. Thank you!


Things Japanese

We spent most of yesterday morning in Japantown in San Francisco. Most of that time was spent in Kinokuniya, the bookstore. I love Japanese craft books and magazines and while I order some on Ebay occasionally, I much prefer to look at them first and that's where the odd trip to Japantown comes in. I lucked out yesterday, found quite a few of them.
I am always amazed at the quality of the Japanese magazines, all glossy, full of excellent pictures. But I am even more amazed at the huge variety and even more so at the amazing quantity of magazines exclusively dedicated to shopping. Wonder how that's going right now.

The next stop was a supermarket where I really didn't recognize much of anything other than the soup and rice bowls and these incredibly cute little chop sticks for beginners. No, I don't need them, I'm past the beginner stage but they were just too cute to pass up.

Then it was on to Ichibankan. To me, it's a Japanese version of either a Five & Dime or a 99 c store. Full of cute things, just about all of them plastic and all inexpensive. I couldn't pass on the Pooh Bear bowls, they'll be good for snacks, and the lunch boxes. I know I took too many pictures but I had to show how cleverly they open up to hold sandwiches etc.

And lastly, more "cuteness" - eyeglass cases, a cellphone charm (for my daughter) and ladybug magnets.

A Valentine's Treat

I am still destashing. Since Valentine's Day is coming up (and even though I'm not a fan of Hallmark holidays), I'm using it as an opportunity to find a new home for this pretty heart lampwork bead.
I am pretty sure it is an early examply of Mavis Smith's work.
The pins are there only to show the direction of the hole
So, leave me a comment under this post and my husband will draw a name next Saturday. Good luck to all.


Not good at all

Last night, I had an email from a former classmate of Henry's telling me about her bridge visit this past weekend. This was the first time she and her family had walked across the bridge since Henry's death and she was hoping it would be therapeutic. It wasn't.

While she was there, a man climbed over the railing and even though several people grabbed him and tried to pull him back, he jumped. Police, Coast Guard and helicopter arrived very fast after somebody called 911 but knowing that less then 2% of jumpers survive I'm not very hopeful.


The January Bridge Rail newsletter

This is now available on their website - thankfully. Copying and pasting didn't work very well.

The Bridge Rail Foundation

And here's a link to pictures from the "Whose Shoes" exhibit, including a couple of nice shots of friends of Casey Brooks' holding one of the 3 posters my facebook friend and her family made for our team.