Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Railtown 1897

Welcome to Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown, California

The Big Guy has a new hobby - volunteering at Railtown!  I have gone up there the past two weekends with him.  Two weeks ago I went because I had been in Santa Barbara for three weeks and wanted to spend as much time as I could with him. 

The Big Guy is a Car Host - a storyteller - the ideal job for him!

Also the park was running a wildflower train and that sounded like fun. 

The Big Guy and Grandson in the caboose

We rode the first train at 11:00 a.m., went on the caboose tour, had lunch in the picnic area with The Big Guy and then ran out of stuff to do at the park.  So grandson and I went into Jamestown and walked around.  Neither of us likes to shop and as we passed the (it seemed like) the hundredth antique shop we looked at each other and asked who had thought this was a good idea?  We stopped at a place for drinks (coffee and a smoothie) that had been owned by the same family for four generations and was the biggest antique store in town.  I think the drinks business was keeping it afloat!  The coffee was really good.  They made each cup when it was ordered.
Reinactors at Railtown 1897
 It was a long day. The last hour seemed as though it would never end.

We did finally say good-bye to Railtown.

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's been a year!

This week it has been a year since Super G fell and since the oil well in the Gulf caught fire.  Two life changing events, Super G for me and the oil well for the Southern Coastal states.

Super G was released from the doctor last week and declared healed!  She has lots of exercised she is supposed to do everyday.  I hope she is better than me in keeping up with that but I'm afraid she is who I inherited my ability to sit for long periods of time without exerting any energy!

Mom (Super G) and her friend Bill

 So that was last year.  This year, I am helping SB Daughter (http://apaperaddict.com/) with her ward and cousin, my nephew, Jim.  SB has to go out of the country for work (she is the worlds best Personal Assistant) and Jim needs a ride to school, food cooked, constant nagging (he is 16) and company in ambulances (that truly happened last month!).

Jim leaving for Europe via LAX

In addition to Jim, SB has three dogs - my beloved granddogs - who need to be fed and cleaned up after when they dump the trash.  So next week I am driving down to Santa Barbara again to stay with Jim.  I'm looking forward to hearing about his Europe trip (he returns from London and Paris tonight), and interacting with him again.

Nixon, Red Dog, and Cherri
 Do you think Jim gets his penchant for hats from his Uncle Buck (AKA the Big Guy)?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Inspired by strange things (or the Brothel Blog!)

Went to a wonderful panel discussion on Sunday at the San Francisco Main Library sponsored by Contemporary Quilt and Fiber Artists  (CQFA).  The title was "Primal Green: Environmental Art Quilts" and was held in conjunction with the library's Earth Day programs.  There was also a display of CQFA's quilts and fiber art on the fifth floor in the Wallace Stegner Gallery. 

The four women on the panel were Jaye Lapachet ( http://artquiltmaker.com/blog), Julie Stiller (http://jzs.homestead.com/), Nancy Riffle (http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyriffle) and Soyoung Lee (killerhobbies.blogspot.com/2011/03/primal-green.html) and the panel was moderated by Delores Miller.

So what does all this have to do with the Brothel Blog?  And strange inspiration?  One of the members of CQFA, Bronwen, gave Julie Stiller a lovely piece of fabric, it was sheer and iridescent and changed color, from green to orange, with movement.  After the program we were sitting around chatting and the subject of what to do with such fabric came up.  Someone suggested it would go well in a brothel!  Another mentioned the (former) brothel in Mountain View and how interesting the building is (apparently tours are given?) and another mentioned that prostitution is now legal in New Zealand! (who knew? who cares?)  We talked about how the fabric would be used in a brothel and the discussion segued, with much laughter, into other topics as such chats do.

Anyway, if you have the opportunity, go see CQFA's exhibit at the San Francisco Main Library (http://sfpl.org/), it was thoughtfully hung in a wonderful space.

Sorry, no pictures - copyrights, you know :).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Television and movies

I haven't really watched much TV in the past 20 years.  Staying with my nephew in Santa Barbara has changed that! When he is home the TV is on.

One of the things he enjoys are old movies.  Understand that he is 16 so old is from his perspective, not mine!

His choice of movies is really good.  The other night we watched The Shawshank Redemption.  And throughout, discussed what was going on.

Adults think teens are toughtless and shallow.  I have not found that in my experiences with teens of my acquaintance.  Particularly my nephew and my teen friend in San Anselmo.  Nephew asks good questions, and thinks deeply about things.

Last night we watched Se7en with Morgan Freeman and a young man I don't know.  The theme was the 7 deadly sins.  I was surprised that nephew even was aware of the 7 deadly sins as he has no religious background to speak of.

Again, his comments and questions were excellent and watching this movie with him was a good experience.

Last week we went to see The Adjustment Bureau, another excellent movie.  It had action, romance and a message.  We have discussed it off and on ever since seeing it.  I recommend it.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I love zentangles!

Several weeks ago artquiltmaker told me about a drawing/meditation technique called 'Zentangles'.  When I packed to come down to Santa Barbara and stay with the nephew I forgot my cutting mat so cannot cut out the quilt squares I had planned to do.  artquiltmaker had sent nephew a 'Zentangles' book for Christmas and he happened to show it to me.  I was fascinated and began working on some zentangles of my own.  Am now totally tangled!

This kind of drawing is mesmerising and a truly Zen experience.   artquiltmaker  sent the nephew two more zentangle books, numbers 2 & 3, and we are both off and running!  I bought (I know! I already have several...) two moleskine sketchbooks and a square format recycled sketchbook to do tangles in.  The square one is dedicated to tangles.  Haven't started anything in the other two but think one will be dogs and the other an art journal.

I particularly like this tangle.  Reminds me of a futuristic plane.

Doing them in color is cool, too.