RMW: the blog

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


11 Comments

Out of the garage: Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

antelope valley poppy reserve

On Sunday my friend B and I ventured out to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. Because this rain season in Southern California has brought us more of the wet stuff than we have seen in years, ending our seven-year drought, we assumed the poppy fields would be spectacular. There was a nice display but nothing like the blankets of orange we had experienced the last time we visited… back in 2003.

I painted the tile above from photos of that trip and it is still one of my favorites. It greets me when I come in my front door. Of course my late cat, Friday, wasn’t really there but I painted him anyway as my signature!

antelope valley poppies

Nevertheless, we enjoyed the trip. I had Cinnamon Girl, my fifteen-year-old Subaru Outback, tuned up in February and she was raring to take on the 180-mile round trip. I felt a slight hesitancy on the uphill on the way there. But coming back she took those hills at 75 MPH (120 km) without blinking. I know she was happy to get out of the garage and feel the wind whipping around her. I hope she lasts at least another fifteen years!

antelope valley poppies

B and I were also happy to be out of the city and in the open spaces with the wind attempting to blow our hats off.

antelope valley poppies

B mentioned the difference a week makes as last Sunday we were in downtown Los Angeles visiting Little Tokyo. I need to upload that blog post!

antelope valley poppies

The poppy fields were crowded with people. The last half mile was stop and go… worse than traffic on a Friday evening on the 405 freeway! But I was expecting it so I didn’t mind.

antelope valley poppies

Just being able to see for miles with no buildings or cars was worth the trip!

antelope valley poppies

Windmills in the distance providing alternative power sources.

Unfortunately, despite warnings to stay on the paths, we saw too many people trampling the wildflowers to obtain those important selfies. Aaargh…. PEOPLE!!! Evidently the rules don’t apply to everybody. Way to go, parents, training your kids to selfishly satisfy your own desires and spoil the experience for everybody else…

antelope valley poppies

We were glad we made the effort. We rewarded ourselves with dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant back in Culver City!

A great day!

Please click on any 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!

 


4 Comments

Eating in the rain

 La Grande Orange Cafe

 

Some friends and I had planned to meet for lunch at La Grande Orange Cafe in Pasadena. Because of the flooding in my building I wasn’t sure if I could make it. Fortunately that was squared away in the morning and I was able to catch the Expo Line train to the Red Line and join some of the others at Union Station. From there we took the Gold Line to the Del Mar station where we met up with another friend.

I just love how we can all come from different areas in Greater Los Angeles and travel by train to our destination!

The cafe is part of the Del Mar station so we only had to walk a few footsteps in the rain once we debarked the train.

I asked G jokingly if we were going to ask for an outside table. The rain was really coming down at that point. The joke was on me. The restaurant was so crowded inside they seated us in the outdoor patio. I told the waitress the table had better be right under a heat lamp. It was. The waitress had to wipe the rain off our chairs before we could be seated!

La Grande Orange Cafe

Our table was sandwiched between the fireplace protected by a glass screen (photo above) and a heat lamp.  You can see one of the heat lamps in the photo at top.

The patio is under canopies but the precipitation managed to sneak through and every once in a while the rain spat on us… but in a very friendly way!

la grande orange cafe

My Bloody Mary and Huevos Rancheros more than made up for any bad weather. They were both excellent.

I am always happy when I decide to go out and do something as opposed to staying curled up on the sofa, which I easily could have done!

Back in Culver City the rain was coming down in Velociraptors and Tyrannosauruses as I left the train station. I thought about waiting for the bus but decided to take a chance on walking. I did a lot of puddle hopping but as the bus never passed me in the entire walk home I obviously made the right decision not to get soaked standing at the bus stop. Better to get soaked walking. And I did. Get soaked.

We have at least another day of rain. But by Wednesday the sun should be back and we’ll have a few dry days. I hope this isn’t the end of the wet stuff but it will be nice to have a chance to dry out.

Oh, and our flood… it was still a flood when I got home but the pump is doing a pretty good job… so we may get lucky and it won’t seep into the garages this time. Fingers crossed.

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!


9 Comments

Feline Friday – #56 – what me worry?

frankie

We asked for rain in drought ridden Southern California… and we got it!

Our sump pump quit working… the plumbing company really screwed up… so we’re looking for a more reliable plumbing company licensed to work in Culver City.

In the meantime our garages were flooded… water came in ten feet past the garage door… I managed to move most of my stuff to the back of the garage out of harms way.

One of the neighbors bought a pump and no thanks to the plumbing company who were supposed to fix this problem last Tuesday, the water level is going down.

We are expecting more rain tonight. Then a break on Saturday. More rain on Sunday. If this doesn’t get us out of the drought, nothing ever will.

I have been worried silly about the garage flooding. But Frankie’s attitude is “What flood? I’m warm and dry, thank you. That’s all that matters.”

It’s a cat’s life.

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!

 


11 Comments

Feline Friday – #54 – it’s raining cats and dogs

Frankie in the rain

It’s raining in Los Angeles! Everybody’s freaking out! Not just the humans…

Hey, Frankie, it isn’t raining in the bedroom… but Frankie is taking no chances. After all, it’s raining cats and dogs out there.

____________

So I was wondering what is the origin of the phrase “it’s raining cats and dogs?”

According to Everyday Mysteries, Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/rainingcats.html

The first recorded use of a phrase similar to “raining cats and dogs” was in the 1651 collection of poems Olor Iscanus. British poet Henry Vaughan referred to a roof that was secure against “dogs and cats rained in shower.” One year later, Richard Brome, an English playwright, wrote in his comedy City Witt, “It shall rain dogs and polecats.” (Polecats are related to the weasel and were common in Great Britain through the end of the nineteenth century.)

In 1738, Jonathan Swift published his “Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation,” a satire on the conversations of the upper classes. One of his characters fears that it will “rain cats and dogs.”  Whether Swift coined the phrase or was using a cliché, his satire was likely the beginning of the phrase’s popularity.  Other British writers have employed less popular phrases, such as “it’s raining pitchforks” or “it’s raining stair-rods,” to describe the shaft-like appearance of heavy rains. But Swift’s phrase may have been memorable enough to stick in the mind of the public.

Swift also wrote a poem, “City Shower” (1710), that described floods that occurred after heavy rains.  The floods left dead animals in the streets, and  may have led locals to describe the weather as “raining cats and dogs.”

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!


6 Comments

Diamonds to brighten a gloomy day

natural history museum

We’re finally getting some rain in LA and that makes me happy. Of course the downside to rain is gloomy skies.

I had heard about some special diamonds being exhibited at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. So after a little discussion with myself about all the other important things I should be doing, I donned my rain jacket and headed for the train.

The nice thing about being a member is I can pop in anytime I like. It was 11:30 by the time I arrived and I had purposefully had no breakfast (a tablespoon of yogurt and a handful of walnuts to be truthful) so I could hit the cafe and order my favorite veggie burger in all of LA.

natural history museum

Outside seating was limited as I assume they had taken all the tables inside because of the rain. And the cafe was packed inside. But I was early enough to snag one of the very few outside tables. The photo at top was my view as I sat outside under the grey skies!

Advertising for the diamonds exhibit was displayed on my table. A true feast for the senses. Not only was I enjoying the most fabulous veggie burger with mushrooms and cheese, but I was visually tantalized by the image of the diamonds I would see after lunch. After the last bite of the burger I drank my coffee slowly, savoring the thought of what was to come next.

nhm-122316-033-c-500px

natural history museum

natural history museum

But before we get to that, the entrance of the museum was decorated with elegant trees adorned with sparkling jewels. How appropriate for the purpose of my visit today!

natural history museum

Now to the diamonds. This is the Rainbow Diamond Necklace. 35.93 carats total. Blue-grey (extremely rare), green-yellow, orange-pink, purple-pink, brown-orange.

natural history museum As the UV lighting is gradually turned up you can see the colors changing

natural history museum

With the UV lighting you see the rainbow appear.

natural history museum

natural history museum

Although up close in ordinary light the delicate colors are gorgeous. And in the UV light the colors glow.

natural history museum

Although up close in the light the delicate colors are gorgeous.

The Juliet Pink diamond is 30.3 carats. Pink diamonds occur in less than 0.1% of all diamonds.

natural history museum

On the left is the Victorian Orchid Diamond 1.64 carats). Purple diamonds are among the rarest. On the right is the Argyle Violet Diamond (2.83 carats) another amongst the rarest diamonds ever found. Decisions, decisions, which one do I want to take home?

natural history museum

On the way out (conveniently through the gift shop) I snapped a picture of the Christmas tree. I haven’t had my own Christmas tree for at least twenty years so I enjoy them wherever I find them.

natural history museum

Can’t visit the NHM without a visit to the Nature Garden. What a nice Christmassy display of berries. It was time to hop back on the Expo Line train that stops right outside the entrance to the museum. How convenient is that?

As I write this it is the evening of the same day. The weather forecast claims it was supposed to be raining 15 minutes ago. I stuck my head out on the deck and it is a light drizzle at best. Don’t disappoint me now!!!

Oh oh oh! I hear rain! Yes indeed, ran upstairs to the deck again and it is coming down in giraffes and elephants… I love it!

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!

 

 

 


17 Comments

Soaked to the skin for my geraniums

geraniums

Been a while… well over a month since I posted on my blog. Needed to take a break. I have to give credit to people who post every day or even every week on a regular basis for years. But that’s not me. I will get back to visiting your blogs and posting comments.

geraniums

Maybe ten days ago we had a rainstorm. Probably the last of the season even though we desperately need more. I decided to walk up to Trader Joes. It started to rain but I thought how bad could it be? I love walking in the rain…

geraniums

Ha ha ha. Halfway there it was raining nails. I took refuge in a doorway but realized it wasn’t going to get any better. So I walked on.

geraniums

The streets turned into rivers. I was already swamped to my underwear.

geraniums

So I bought my items at TJs. The cashier told me he couldn’t use my bags as they were drenched. I told him, no big deal as they would get even more soaked on my walk home. “You WALKED here?” Yep!

geraniums

And on the walk home my bags did indeed get full of water.

geraniums

I had to strip off all my clothes in my entryway when I got home. Half an hour later the rain stopped and the sun came out. Oh well.

geraniums

But my geraniums appreciated the rain and for the past few days they have given me a magnificent show on my roof deck.

geraniums

I took these photos with my point & shoot camera. My next post will be of the individual geraniums.

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 in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


11 Comments

Feline Friday – #18 – tweety birds and RAIN!!!

pharoah-freddie-frankie

Feline Friday has been missing for a few weeks. Sometimes life takes over. It’s now past 3:00pm but it’s still Friday!

The past couple of weeks has been busy around here. All the baby birds nesting in the eaves of our building have been trying out their wings.

frankie

Frankie took up residence in the window of my office over the daybed. Every day he was glued to the window for hours.

frankie-050615-2-C-800px

I decided to take a photo of him each day for as long as this event lasted.

I thought after a couple of days he would get tired of sitting in the same place hour after hour after hour watching the birds flitting around. But he didn’t…

So after six days of this I was the one who got tired and gave up!

One evening Frankie and I were curled up on the sofa watching a movie. There was a huge commotion upstairs and next thing I knew Freddie and Pharoah came tumbling down the stairs. Frankie shot up off the sofa and ran over.

Freddie had a small bird in his mouth and Pharoah was doing his best to get it away from him. Then Frankie joined in the fray.

To make a long story short, I managed to get the bird away from the cats, wrapped it in a towel and kept it warm in the bathroom overnight. The bird was not able to fly at that point.

In the morning I expected to find a corpse, but the bird (it could have been a wren) was perched on the shower curtain rod. That was good news. I managed to corner him and take him out on the roof deck where he flew away like a speeding bullet over the building next door and into the trees. I was so happy.

The photo at the top is of Freddie, Frankie and Pharoah on the day bed. Last night we had heavy unseasonable RAIN with thunder and lightning. This morning it rained steadily but not as heavily. Although it was nice to see, it won’t even put a small dent in our drought. It was only enough to keep the cats indoors for a few hours.

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 link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!