One Good Life in Los Angeles

Roslyn's observations about places and events around Southern California


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Feline Friday – #69 – manicure, pedicure, pawicure… or a nap?

Frankie

I bought a corrugated cardboard scratcher pad for the felines last week. As soon as I put it down on the floor there was a flurry of fur scrambling for initiation rights. Frankie, being the Bully, claimed it as his before I could blink.

FreddieFreddie the Gentle Giant politely waited for the all-clear from Frankie before hopping aboard for his turn.

Frankie

But Frankie would have none of it and immediately scooted over to once again take possession of it for himself.

Frankie and Freddie

Now they seem to have settled into an amicable sharing arrangement. While they do use it to give their claws a manicure, or is it a pedicure… or maybe a pawicure, one or the other is often found napping on it. No worries, next week I’ll buy a second scratcher so no sharing necessary!

At top left you can see a flattened out packing box that Frankie appropriated to make his own scratcher.

Why didn’t I buy the corrugated cardboard before, you might well ask. I did have several around the house but about a year ago when Pharoah got sick and started to lose it, he preferred the scratch boxes instead of the litter boxes. I’ll say no more! Now that Pharoah has passed it is safe to introduce the scratchers again…. okay, you had to ask!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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Lotus Festival at Echo Park

echo park lotus festival

“Park Proud”

Another day, another adventure in Los Angeles!

Yesterday I joined several friends to celebrate the blooming Lotus plants at Echo Park, located approximately two miles from downtown LA. As usual, we all arrived by public transportation from all over the city. For me it was the Expo Line train to the #200 Metro bus up Alvarado to Sunset Blvd.

echo park lotus festival

This was the 37th annual festival. Echo Park Lake was closed for several years for rehabilitation. The festival started again just a few years ago. Every year the festival is hosted by a different country and this year it was the turn of Bangladesh.

You can read my blog post about the history of the park here.

echo park lotus festival

It was a pretty hot day yesterday… and humid… but it was a lovely day by the water. The lotus plants were lush and tall due to all the rain we had in the winter months and now the heat.

echo park lotus festival

echo park lotus festival

The dragonflies were enjoying themselves too.

echo park lotus festival

echo park lotus festival

echo park lotus festival

One of the highlights of the festival is the dragon boat races.  I’ve been to Echo Park many times to walk and take photos but this was my first time at the festival so I was delighted to finally see a dragon boat race! Click on a photo below for slideshow:

echo park lotus festival

The opening ceremonies were colorful and fun with a traditional Bangladesh puppet lion dance. Click on image below for slideshow:

This certainly worked up an appetite. I was hoping for some Bangladesh food but that didn’t pan out.

echo park lotus festival

But I certainly enjoyed my Korean BBQ squid. I also ordered a watermelon drink, not realizing it came with it’s own pool float! Now if I only had a pool…. but I’ll use it as a coaster.

echo park lotus festival

After lunch we had an enjoyable walk around the lake.

echo park lotus festival

The dragon boat races continued on throughout the day with various teams. It seemed that some teams were taking the race seriously, really out to win. Others were just having fun, which would be my option.

echo park lotus festival

I always enjoy festivals of any kind as they all have their own special flavor, like last month’s Summer Solstice parade in Santa Barbara. And coming up the end of this month is the Gilroy Garlic Festival, my all time favorite… stay tuned for my post about that!

If you’ve never visited Echo Park I certainly recommend the effort to get there… even if you can’t make it to the Lotus Festival…

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Feline Friday – #68 – farewell to Pharoah

pharoah cat

It never gets easier to say goodbye to beloved companions. Pharoah came to live with us in 2005 at six months old. He was a feral cat born at a truck stop in Fresno. The truck driver brought him to Los Angeles in the hope he would find a good home. I was told that at that young age he had already been fostered, adopted and rejected several times.

He was born with an autoimmune disease quite common with feral cats. It affected his entire body but manifested itself in his right eye. I won’t go into all the gory details but he had health problems all his life. I knew he wouldn’t live to a ripe old age.

But he made it to thirteen years old.

pharoah cat

He was named Pharoah because at the time I was studying Egyptian history and his favorite pose was an Egyptian sphinx. He was also the color of the Sahara Desert sand. So it all fit.

pharoah cat

As a frightened feral feline he more or less lived under the rocking chair in the bedroom for the first three weeks.

pharoah

But as he became more secure and ventured out into the vast realm of the house, he soon found some favorite places to rest and nap. He seemed to have an affinity for flowers and plants and would often pose next to them.

pharoah

pharoah

pharoah

Can you find the cat in the photo above? Look carefully! That’s Pharoah peeking over the planter. That was a favorite spot for watching the neighborhood to make sure all was well.

pharoah

Pharoah was a master of disguise. In the above photo he is blending into the planters on the deck. Do you see him?

pharoah

pharoah

Pharoah was able to nap in the strangest places. I would often find him sleeping with his head hanging down or a leg straddling the furniture… but I guess he was comfortable!

pharoah

pharoah

pharoah

But his favorite place of all was on the pillows on the loveseat by the living room window. I could always count on him to be there in the afternoon.

pharoah

Although Pharoah loved breakfast and dinner, his favorite snack in between meals was wheat and barley grass. I grow it for my own green drink. But don’t worry, I don’t share… the cats get the second growth.

pharoah

Like all my cats it was in his contract that he had to help out in the office. Turned out his talent was filing despite not being able to read.

pharaoh

And now, sweet Pharoah has ridden off into his final sunset. He passed away peacefully at home under the rocking chair, his safe place, on Sunday morning.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Summer Solstice in Santa Barbara

summer solstice festival

Seems like every couple of years I take a tumble. Some are more serious than others. This one happened last Friday. I had packing boxes lined up on the living room floor. I had just finished a good half hour workout with Richard Simmons when I turned around and hit one of the boxes with my right foot. My left foot had nowhere to go so couldn’t save me. Somehow I twisted around trying to get my balance and I landed kersplat on both knees on the hardwood floor! My left leg took the brunt of it. So I am walking on my trusty cane for a while!

summer solstice festival

However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying a planned adventure on Amtrak to visit Santa Barbara for the Summer Solstice Celebration the very next day. I rarely pop pills but I was thankful to have Tylenol left over from my last “trip” in Oregon two years ago when I managed to give myself a mild concussion.

summer solstice festival

On Saturday I was out of bed at 4:00 am. My friend picked me up at 6:00 am to drive to the Metro train station (as I couldn’t walk as I usually do). We met another friend there to take the Expo Line to the Red Line to Union Station where we met yet another friend.

summer solstice festival

The Amtrak train gave us quite a tour of Los Angeles, stopping at various stations along the way including (not in order) Van Nuys, Glendale, Burbank, Simi Valley, etc on the way to Chatsworth where we picked up seven more friends for a total of eleven. By the time we got to Chatsworth (Northwest Los Angeles County) we were advised the train was so full it was going to be standing room only so nobody could hog two seats! Everybody was headed to the festival.

summer solstice festival

Santa Barbara is approximately 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and about 2.5 hours by train.

summer solstice festival

Upon arrival we headed straight for Moby Dick’s restaurant on the wharf which was a mere fifteen minute walk from the train station… or twenty five minutes for me on my cane! I had already decided I was ordering the seafood omelette with lobster, shrimp, crab and hollandaise sauce. It did not disappoint and although it was enough food for three people, I valiantly cleaned the plate all by myself.

summer solstice festival

I wish I could have taken more seascape photos but my normal modus operandi when walking with a group is to lag behind taking photos then run to catch up with the others. It’s hard to run with a cane. For one thing, even if I could, I would have ended up tripping over it!

summer solstice festival

From the website: 

Summer Solstice Parade began in 1974, as a birthday celebration for a popular artist and mime named Michael Gonzales. In subsequent years, their parade joined forces with a Summer Solstice Music Festival coordinated by Michael Felcher, sponsored by The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, staged at the Sunken Gardens to celebrate the longest day of year.

The Parade and Festival is the largest arts event in Santa Barbara County, drawing crowds of over 100,000 spectators from around the world. From these humble beginnings arose a celebration of life which, is like no other.

 

Not knowing how my legs would hold up, I couldn’t wander too far off the beaten path. So I just walked along State Street taking in the parade which was very enjoyable. I took several videos but didn’t know how to upload them to WordPress. So you’ll have to imagine the music and movement!

Click on an image below to start the slideshow.

On the trip back to LA the train was so crowded our group got to sit in Business Class. That is the way to travel. Plenty of room and leg rests like a Barcalounger. Perfect for my aching limbs.

I love traveling by train and I look forward to returning to Santa Barbara by Amtrak maybe next year on a non-festival day to see the rest of the city. It’s been about thirty years since I was there last.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 

 


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Feline Friday – #67 – three big cats

LA Zoo big cats

I was at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens last week with a group of photographers. Guess which animals are my favorites. You got it, the big cats!

Freddie

Freddie says: If I was a big cat in a zoo I would demand my own cardboard box to take a nap in!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Feline Friday – #66 – inside outside

frankie

Frankie says it’s good to sit outside on the front balcony watching the birds and squirrels and people walking by.

But it’s most advisable once in a while to turn around and keep an eye on what’s going on indoors too. You never want to be taken by surprise.

Frankie

After an interlude on the balcony, it’s time to come indoors and keep fit with some resistance exercises. Push back legs against the wall with arms raised and teeth bared. The paper bag is an essential component as it allows some easy motion sliding around on the floor while keeping fur clean.

Yes, as a feline, it’s important to keep to a schedule every day. Indoor and outdoor activities must be carefully balanced with meals and naps.

Until next time, cheers, Frankie!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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Feline Friday – #65 – what big ears you have

freddie

When I first met Freddie in August of 2013 I was amused by his huge ears. He was six months old when I adopted him. This photo was taken two months later at eight months.

Gosh, this should have been a clue he was going to grow up to be a gigantic cat. He is now four years old and has definitely grown into those ears. Now his ears look suitable for his 16 lb (7.25 kg) body!

freddie

Despite his size he is still as kittenish and rambunctious as ever. You just don’t want to get in the way of this speeding bullet train as he will knock you over.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 


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Thundery Sunday at the Huntington Library and Gardens

Huntington Library Gardens

Four of us brave souls called the weather gods’ bluff and despite a forecast for rain, thunder and lightning made the trip out to the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, depending on the route you take, less than 25 miles from Culver City. When I go by myself I take the train and my feet but this day we drove.

Huntington Library Gardens

Since my last visit a couple of years ago they have installed a whole new garden near the entrance. And they have upgraded the dining options, always a good thing!

Huntington Library Gardens

No matter how many times I visit the Huntington, I always leave wanting more, looking forward to the next trip out there.

Huntington Library Gardens

We pretty much managed to avoid the rain until the very end. As we were sitting in the restaurant for lunch, the heavens opened up and provided us with some great thunder and lightning entertainment. When lunch was over, so was the rain. It’s all in the timing.Huntington Library Gardens

One of the cool temporary exhibits is the Orbit Pavilion… a sound experience that allows you to listen to the movement of NASA’s earth science satellites as they pass across the sky above you.

Huntington Library Gardens

This structure captures the sounds as you stand inside.

I wonder, as we are listening to them, are they listening to us?

Huntington Library Gardens

When I came up on this scene I wondered what all the baby bunnies were doing hanging out on the lawn with the geese. New glasses, Roslyn! These are goslings under the care of two napping grownups… yes, I imagine looking after all these cute little guys would be quite exhausting.

As you know from posts about my previous visits, I’ve taken gazillions of photos at the Gardens. I just enjoy wandering around shooting whatever takes my fancy. So here are a gazillion more random photos:

One last stop at the Conservatory and as we emerged, the rain started up. We took cover hoping the storm would pass but it was relentless.

Huntington Library Gardens

We gave up and made a run for the parking lot. We got soaked but at least we didn’t have to take the bus… we could be soggy all the way home in the comfort of our car!

Visit my other posts about the Huntington Library and Gardens:

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/in-hot-water-at-the-huntington-library/

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/thirsty-afternoon-in-the-desert-garden-at-the-huntington-library/

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/reflections-in-a-pond-and-art-gallery/

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Feline Friday – #64 – using up the roll

Friday

Looking through boxes of old photos I found these two images of Friday and Pharoah.

By this time (June 2005) I had a very early Olympus point & shoot 1.5 pixel digital camera. But I took my trusty Olympus point & shoot film camera on my trip to Italy.

When I got home I still had two frames left on my last roll of film. So I took photos of my two cats at the time, my naughty Tuxedo Friday (pictured above, since deceased) and my sweet Champagne Tabby Pharoah (below, still with us), who I had just adopted a couple of months previously to my trip. Friday was NOT happy that I had left him for two weeks with Pharoah. But that’s a whole other story!

pharoah

In the days of film I didn’t want to waste a frame! I then sent the roll of film off to make prints and to be digitized on a CD.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Roses get their close-ups

roses

I was visiting the Natural History Museum nature gardens last week to take a few photos with my macro lens. I’ve had the lens for a while but I don’t use it very often. So I decided to force myself to take photos with only that lens. Although I was enjoying doing that my attention was drawn to the rainbow of colors next door at the Exposition Park Rose Garden.

rose garden

Probably because of the heavy rains we have experienced after years of drought, the roses are apparently blooming early. The garden was a gorgeous sight to behold.

rose garden

The best estimate I can find is there are 200,000 bushes and over 200 varieties of roses in the 7-acre garden.

rose garden

The Rose Garden is next door to the Natural History Museum, in front of the California Science Center and across the Expo Line railway tracks from the University of Southern California.

rose garden

And it’s a short Expo Line trip from Culver City. Walk across the tracks from the station and you are there!

rose garden

It was such a beautiful April day in LA and I was grateful to be alive!

rose garden

Please click on an image below for slide show.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!