RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


7 Comments

Feline Friday – #124 – sweet banana peppers and geraniums

Sorry, the scanner is occupied right now… you’ll have to wait.

Frankie is keeping the sweet banana peppers warm so they ripen faster.

Frankie thinks he is camouflaged as a geranium… it almost worked.

Freddie has perfected the art of napping… if he can’t see you, you can’t see him!

Such a sweet little face on such a naughty cat!

Freddie studying something very intently… staring for long periods of time is one of his talents.

 

Freddie taking a little walk in his sleep… at the end he responds to his name.


8 Comments

Feline Friday – #123 – Frankie and Freddie doing their thing

Most Tuesday afternoons you’ll find me at the Culver City Farmers Market buying fresh local produce. Of course, anything new that comes into the house has to be checked out by the Inspector in Chief, Freddie. He gave everything an A+ rating but was disappointed there was no tuna. Update: I decided to make a tuna salad for dinner and he did get his share.

Don’t you wish you could be like Frankie and at any given moment you could curl up on an old box and fall asleep?

Next time I’m going to adopt miniature cats so they fit better on the desk.

Just a lazy afternoon on the deck.

I think this is about the 1,274th time Frankie has shoveled all the pens and pencils out of the pencil cup. I have several around the house for convenience and they all end up like this.

Freddie watching the squirrels out of the living room window.

I bought a case of industrial size toilet paper rolls (twice the size of normal rolls). We can only use single ply in our plumbing and it was hard to find. This had really good reviews on Amazon and actually I like it even better than my usual brand as it’s quilted. Frankie wondered when he could have the empty box… sorry, not for a long time. Now I’m ready for the next TP emergency!

Do you see Frankie’s eye peering out of the opening in the box? He was watching me working on the computer… it was rather eerie to look up and see his squinty eyeball.

This is the box he was occupying. I have hundreds of years’ worth of negatives from my old film cameras. I keep threatening to scan them all into Photoshop “one of these days” so I can work on them. In the meantime they make a comfy bed for Frankie.

I read that the best way to absorb vitamin D from the sun is through the legs and feet. I mentioned this to Frankie and he thought that sounded like a good idea.

I used to call my dear departed feral cat Pharoah, “The Pillow King” as his favorite spot to take a nap was among the pillows on the love seat. He was the color of the desert sand and blended in so well you couldn’t tell where he ended and the pillows began. Freddie has since attempted to take his place but he just doesn’t blend in as well… good try though!

 

 

 

 

 

 


13 Comments

Feline Friday – #122 – every day is Friday

With most of us sheltering in place it seems every day is Saturday, every day is Sunday, every day is Tuesday and every day is Friday. So that lets me off the hook having to upload Feline Friday on the day formerly known as Friday! Right?

How many cats do you know who have their own cat-size chair? One spoiled feline here. Actually, my mother had this chair custom made for her so she could sit and reach the ground… maybe to tie her shoe laces… who knows. Anyway, it works for Frankie!

Can you find the cat in the photo above? Yep, there he is hiding under the throw covers on the rocking chair. If I can’t find Freddie anywhere in the house I know to look here.

Trader Joe’s is no longer allowing customers to bring their own reusable bags during the pandemic. The last time I actually ventured into a store to buy food was a while ago. But when I did I came home with five paper bags. I threw them on the floor as I unloaded and of course it only took Frankie a nanosecond to appropriate them for his own usage!

I covered the chair cushions on the chairs that Frankie likes to sleep on with towels to keep them free from cat hairs. For whatever reason, he wasn’t interested in the chair by the stairs so I didn’t bother to cover it. I temporarily placed my shopping bag on the chair and went upstairs. When I came back down this is what I saw. He has now taken over the bag and the chair. The master must be obeyed.

You may not want to believe me but Frankie is sleeping in this position on the stairs. I tried to get his attention but he wouldn’t budge. I went up to my office to get my camera and came back down… he was still in the same position and stayed this way for quite awhile as I was walking around from the bedroom to the bathroom and up and down the stairs. Can we all say “cat nap”….

Freddie just wanted to have the last word as that doesn’t often happen for him living with Frankie the Bully. I must have a million photos of him lying on the keyboard. Of course this only happens when I’m working on the computer. No self-respecting cat would lie on the keyboard when their human is off doing something else. It’s a losing battle for sure.


8 Comments

Beauty around the neighborhood

As a member of the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, I miss strolling through the acres of plants, trees and flowers during the closure. In the meantime I feel fortunate to live in a beautiful neighborhood where a lot of homeowners take their landscaping seriously. Last Saturday I took my 50mm fixed lens for a stroll along Braddock, looped around Carlson Park and back along Farragut… a little over 2 miles.

Here are the results:

When I first bought the 50mm (1.4) lens I thought I had made a mistake. I didn’t like being trapped in that focal length after being used to my go-to 18-135mm lens. But as usual, with the camera equipment I buy, I left it too long to return the lens. So I had to make the best of it. Now it’s my second favorite lens next to my zoom. It forces me to see everything from one perspective. I have to physically walk up to my subjects or back up to get the view I want. It’s a challenge I enjoy.

Within the next week or so I intend to retrace my footsteps with my 18-135mm lens and see what I can capture at the wide angle and telephoto ends. Of course when I walk the neighborhood I am safe. I am wrapped up from head to toe like a mummy. I am sure I look like the angel of death with a black hat, black face mask, scarf, wearing a high neck sweater and jacket, etc. I notice since I have been wearing my face mask people tend to distance themselves from me more often, which is fine with me!

During this strange time in our lives we need all the beauty we can get. I hope you can all step (safely) outside in your own neighborhoods to appreciate the gifts nature gives us.


4 Comments

Feline Friday – #121 – doing cat things


Frankie and Freddie enjoying a ray of sun.

 

After my trip to Yosemite in February I started to unpack… I didn’t realize I had brought a wild animal back with me!

 

Apparently Frankie and Freddie had a little scuffle. As Frankie likes to wear his collar loose it comes off easily… then he picks it up and carries it around the house.

 

Freddie always likes to help out in the office… as I type this blog post he is taking up way too much room.

 

I looked all over the house for Freddie the other day. Where could he be hiding? He is so civic-minded… of course, he was self-isolating!

 


Up until a week ago we had some chilly days so I turned on the space heater in the living room. Didn’t do a lot of good as Freddie was hogging all the heat for himself.

 

Before the virus hit I started a ceramics class. I organized all my paints and supplies in bags for easy carrying. One of the bags was not so easy to carry!

 


I started on a project to scan all my old loose photos that weren’t in albums. Freddie decided I was taking too long to empty the box… he needed it right now! Luckily I was able to rescue the box before he tipped it on to the floor.


7 Comments

An eight and a half minute walk down the ramp at Culver City Park

With my knowledge of Los Angeles a friend suggested I should make short videos of the neighborhoods. I’m very new to making videos so I can only improve from here. This is a walk I did on March 22 at Culver City Park which is just a couple of blocks from my house at the end of the street. Right now I’m staying in my own neighborhood but when we get the all clear for the coronavirus lockdown I hope to be walking around other parts of LA. I did hardly any narration on this but I intend to talk about the architecture and history of the areas I visit.

 

Anyway, this is my first experiment. If you stand up and march in place you will get an 8.5 minute outdoor workout without leaving home!


10 Comments

Yosemite National Park in February by popular request … part one

These days I post my photos to Facebook because it’s easier. But I have those holdout friends who don’t want to utilize FB for whatever reasons… so I am acquiescing to their requests to see my photos of my latest trip to Yosemite. Y’all had better appreciate this!

yosemite

I feel very fortunate that I was able to visit Yosemite in February. It was between the virus that ate the Ahwahnee Hotel in January and the coronavirus that closed the park in March.

This is the first view we always see when coming into Yosemite on the motor coach. Half Dome and a peek at the valley.

We arrived at the Yosemite Lodge just as the Golden Hour descended on the mountains. I rushed outside with my camera.

The next day we hiked up the Bridalveil Fall trail. Because of the lack of rain the Merced River was just a trickle but it gave us a chance to see the beautiful rocks.

Good thing I brought along my crampons and ice pick! Ha ha ha… no chance…

My friend and I ate lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel Saturday and Sunday. I ordered the same sandwich both days… I think it was called the Californian or something like that… a salad between two pieces of bread plus a side salad and purple/orange chips. Worked for me!

Half Dome through the trees.

Besides the natural beauty of Yosemite I always love all the plane trails overhead.

Because of the drought there was very little water in the Merced River but still enough for good reflections.

Mountain climbing lessons are offered at Yosemite. See the teeny weeny people halfway up? I’ll enjoy the view from ground level, thank you.

Beautiful stained glass windows in the lobby of the Ahwahnee with a view of the mountains outside.

All we had to do was step outside the back door of our room at Yosemite Lodge to walk along the trail by the Merced River. Paradise.

Ahwahnee Hotel through the trees.

Below are images of the plane trails as the evening crept up on us. You can call them plane trails if you like, but I think it’s the spirits of the mountains sending messages to commune with the universe.

My friend did a couple of quick sketches in our room. I liked them and asked her if I could share them. See below.

Yosemite Falls: walking back from the Ahwahnee.

View from our patio.

Me just before we boarded the bus to head home. I’m ready to go back already!

Of course, I have a ton more photos that I can post at a later date but these will have to do for now.

We were very fortunate to be able to visit in February just after the virus attack at the Ahwahnee in January and the Coronavirus that shut the park down in March. I had three other trips planned this year that have all been canceled. But I’m grateful to be stuck in Culver City! It could be so much worse…

Stay well, keep safe, my friends, and carry on!

 


8 Comments

Feline Friday – #120 – New Year’s, laundry and stairs

I was about to relocate the cat condo by the front window because of lack of use when Freddie decided it was time to reclaim it. Everything goes around and comes around. Here he is early in the day of New Year’s Eve.

Freddie is such a party animal. He enjoyed those disco lights on New Year’s Eve as the night progressed. When I first bought the cat condo several years ago I felt bad because I didn’t think Freddie would be able to fit into it… but that hasn’t deterred him. Frankie does fit in it but it’s not his favorite place.

Frankie has his own places that he doesn’t fit into. Today a package arrived. I put the empty box on the floor intending to break it down and put it in the recycling bin. But that didn’t happen. Within two minutes Frankie had appropriated it. What did I expect?

As we now know, Frankie likes to sleep in weird places wherever there is some sun. This is his version of being comfortable.

I managed to get most of the clothes out of the dryer before Freddie hopped in. Yes, it’s nice and warm and cozy in there and this is why when I take my clothes out of the dryer they are already covered in cat hair. I never leave home without it!

My system, if you can call it that, is to take everything out of the dryer and throw it on the rocking chair in the bedroom before folding and hanging. Sometimes, within seconds, a cat curls up in the middle of the clean items. But lately Freddie has his own system. Can you spot the cat? He is the big bulge under the rocking chair cover at lower left.

After residing on the kitchen counters for a couple of months, Frankie moved his living quarters to the top stair before the roof deck. And now his latest hangout is on the stairs from my office to the bedroom/bathroom level.

He has lived here before which almost turned into a disaster. At night it’s very dark going down the stairs but as I run up and down all the time, I didn’t always turn on the light in the stairway. One night I was walking down the stairs and felt something squishy under my foot just before I took a dive head first down to the cat drinking fountain.

I ended up on my stomach wrapped around the fountain with water all around as I listened to the pump groaning with no water in the bowl. I laid there for a while… I don’t know how long… I couldn’t move. Eventually I was able to pull myself up holding on to the railing… then I shuffled downstairs on my butt to the living room. I had to walk with a cane for a couple of weeks but I recovered. Needless to say I always turn the light on now. Good thing as I would never have known he was sleeping on the stairs again!

 


17 Comments

Memories of 2019

JANUARY

I picked two photos from each month of 2019 to represent my year in photography. Just like last year, some months I had too many choices and some months it was hard pickings.  So these aren’t necessarily my very best photos but I tried to show a variety of different places.

The photo above is reflections in a puddle at Culver City Park at the end of my street. We had a lot of rain last winter after a seven-year drought.


Red hot poker plants at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. Some friends bestowed upon me a gift membership for which I am very grateful… and I am able to take a friend with me which makes it a doubly wonderful gift!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

FEBRUARY

I was clearing junk out of the garage in February as I was planning to move. That didn’t happen but it allowed me to get rid of a lot of stuff. I took a photo of this painting with my point & shoot before I drove it over to Goodwill. I must have painted this in the 1970s! I hope somebody bought it and is enjoying it. I may print it out and hang it on a wall to give it a new life.

A random photo of the boys. Frankie The Monster, who of course bagged the most comfy spot. And Freddie The Giant Cat who is so laid back and always lets Frankie get what he wants.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

MARCH

The Broad is a contemporary art museum in downtown LA. This was a booth by Yayoi Kusama constructed of mirrors. My selfie is on the right. My friend BG was standing at the other side of the booth so you can see her face in some of the other circles.

I’m not usually good at doing things on the spur of the moment but my friend LA decided she wanted to see the wildflowers. So as long as she was driving I said okay. Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore is about 85 miles from Culver City. We went on a Wednesday and made pretty good time. It was a fabulous day. On the way home we came as close as I have ever come to being killed in an accident. In my mind I was already dead. Make the most of every day because you never know when it will be your last. It just wasn’t our time.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

APRIL

Next door to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) is La Brea Tar Pits with ongoing excavations. The site goes back to the Pleistocene Age. The extinct animals discovered at La Brea Tar Pits were trapped in the asphalt between 11,000 to 50,000 years ago. Outsiders always accuse Los Angeles of having no history… excuse me, we go back a lot further than most places in the US!

I don’t think this is quite what they had in mind when they named the Palms neighborhood of Los Angeles, adjacent to Culver City. But I always enjoy looking at this utility box on my walk to Sprouts Market on the LA side of Venice Blvd.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

MAY

I made several trips to Echo Park Lake this year. Paddling around on these swan Paddle Wheelers is now one of my favorite things to do in LA. It’s relaxing and good exercise at the same time with splendid views of the downtown skyline. I hope can cajole more friends into going with me in 2020. Wanna come along?

I’ve been wanting to visit the South Coast Botanical Gardens for many years. Finally made it in May. It was really delightful. We only saw a small area as my companion wasn’t able to walk far. But I’ll definitely be back to see the rest of it.

___________________________________________________________________________________

JUNE

My friend SB and I were waiting at the harbor to take the boat back from Santa Catalina to San Pedro. This couple walked by. I loved the way they looked so I asked if it was okay to take their photo. She had made their matching outfits with fabric she had bought at Downtown Disney in Anaheim. She said she often made them matching outfits. How adorable is that?

I am a member of the Natural History Museum and it’s a short train ride from Culver City so I often pop in there, often on my own if nobody else is available or interested. This lovely guy was on display in the special exhibit on Antarctic Dinosaurs, the 25-foot-long, “cold-crested killer,” Cryolophosaurus. The exhibit featured an ongoing scientific expedition from the NHM and Chicago’s Field Museum as they dig for fossils today. La Brea Tar Pits is also part of the NHM.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

JULY

Rode the Amtrak train to Ventura with a group of friends. We hiked up the trails in the Ventura Botanical Gardens which is still recovering from the December 2017 Thomas Fire. Lovely views from the top. Ate lunch on the pier at Beach House Fish then walked along the pier watching people fishing.

BG and I made an overnight trip to Santa Barbara. Stayed at an historic estate, drove around the area, ate dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant, Due Lune Cucina, across from the beach as the sun was setting. Next day ate lunch on the pier before heading home. Wonderful experience.

________________________________________________________________________________________

AUGUST

Mount Rushmore has been on my bucket list ever since I saw the movie North by Northwest with Cary Grant and the marvelous James Mason. So now I can say been there, done that! It was a trip to look up and see those monumental faces… it’s impossible to imagine how that can be achieved. As you are chiseling away you would only be able to see a miniscule part of what you are working on. Amazing.

We arrived at Old Faithful in Yellowstone in the evening. The glow of the setting sun was a magnificent backdrop to the geyser. This was my second visit to the park. This time we had the privilege of staying inside the park at the Old Faithful Inn. You just walk out the front door and there is Old Faithful right in front of you. Magnificent.

______________________________________________________________________________________

SEPTEMBER

Second Home Pavilion was a temporary exhibit which I visited on one of the hottest days of the year at Hancock Park between LACMA and La Brea Tar Pits. I asked the young lady sitting at the entrance how she was doing and she indicated not too well. I enjoyed walking through the colorful maze of tunnels.

BG and I hung out at LACMA visiting several galleries. At Mary Corse: A Survey in Light we had a little fun as we became the artwork.

___________________________________________________________________________________

OCTOBER

The celebration of El Dia de los Muertos is one of my favorite times to visit Grand Park. This year there were about 40 altars all personally and culturally relevant to Los Angeles honoring those who have passed over. It coincides with halloween and is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness but as a day of celebration because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them.

 

Several friends met at the Sunset/Vermont Red Line station and rode the shuttle up to the Griffith Observatory. Half the group attempted the hike to Inspiration Point but it was too hot for me so I sat and chatted with the other half at the cafe and enjoyed the views. The hikers only made it half way before being forced to turn back. So I was glad I didn’t attempt it. I’ve suffered from heat stroke before and have to be careful.

__________________________________________________________________________________

NOVEMBER

GM, EA and I made reservations for an early lunch at Perch on the 15th floor of the Pershing Square Building. I had eaten there previously and talked so much about it they wanted to experience it too and weren’t disappointed. Perch LA is a French-inspired rooftop bistro with unobstructed views of Downtown Los Angeles for guests to experience the feeling of floating along the skyline. The elevated spaces offer outdoor fireplaces, rooftop fire pits, indoor and outdoor dining experiences, and lounge seating to experience the city skyline views. The food isn’t bad either! This is just one of the many views when you walk around the outside area.

Several members of the Culver City Art Group met at the Getty Center to visit the exhibit Manet and Modern Beauty. You gotta love the staircase with the Manet image leading up to the exhibit. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the artist but I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of his paintings… many I was not previously familiar with.

_________________________________________________________________________

DECEMBER

A friend is a member at Descanso Gardens. She very graciously picked me up at Union Station and drove the rest of the way… I took the E (formerly known as the Expo) Line to the Red Line… one of these days, probably not in my lifetime, the E Line is supposed to go all the way to Union Station. The gardens were beautifully decorated for the holidays. Of course I imagine it is really spectacular all lit up at night but it was pretty good during the day too.

Last but certainly not least, I led my 3rd Annual Downtown Holiday Decorations Walk ending with lunch at the Biltmore Hotel (at left). There were 13 participants… all women this year… but not too surprising. This lovely Christmas tree was located at the southeast corner of Pershing Square. Lined up correctly the star appears between the US Bank Building (Library Tower) and the Deloitte Building (the Gas Company Building). I had to pay those pigeons to take flight just at the right moment!

Thanks for bearing with me. Some months there were a few more photos I really wanted to include… but I had to keep to two from each month and not cheat… you wouldn’t have known if they didn’t appear in the correct months but I would have known!

I wish you all a very healthy, happy and adventurous 2020!