Sunday, December 30, 2012

wishes for the new year

Let's try to savor the quiet time in December 
between the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one. 
May the coming year be filled 
with creativity, love, peace, prosperity and possibility!
xoxo,
Petunia

Saturday, December 15, 2012

small moments of joy

The other afternoon I was standing in line at the post office, and in front of me there was a mom and her young son, who was maybe 4 or 5 years old. She had on a fleece jacket and jeans, and wore her hair up in a slightly disheveled ponytail with a pen shoved through it...she carried packages in her arms, and wore no makeup. Her son was in his red flannel christmas pajamas, his hair was tousled, and he wore black rubber galoshes on his little feet.

The lines at my local Postal Station, (not a regular post office, but a postal annex inside another group of shops) take a long time to get through. The older ladies who work there are in no particular hurry; they have served the neighborhood in this spot for years, and the regular clientele seems to understand this.

The boy spent his time waiting patiently, rearranging and stacking the mailing envelopes and assorted packaging materials for sale that line the shelves along the wall. When his mom reached the counter, the clerk handed her a basket of candy canes to offer to the boy, and she turned and handed it to him, saying the lady was offering him a candy. He took the basket and considered each and every candy before choosing one. Then, standing on his toes (because he was quite a bit shorter than counter height) he shoved the basket back toward the clerk, and said quite loudly, "THANK you!"

That made my day.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

not really cheaper by the dozen...

Who am I, the dog whisperer? I came across a very tired, thin and hungry dog on my walk today. He was limping and uncertain, and wandering in the street. A kind driver stopped to check him out, and was planning to tie him to a pole so he wouldn't get hit by a car, when I said I'd take him home with me....except that he didn't want to go with me at first. My son drove up the hill and rescued us.
We brought him in, fed him, and the next thing I knew he'd made himself completely at home. On the sofa.

Sigh. He is awfully sweet, but I sure hope we find his home soon...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

just because you can, doesn't mean you should

Ann Romney wore this outfit
 on the Jay Leno show Wednesday night...
Clearly, she's trying to prove
 she can be one of the cool kids.
(The cool kids who live on the Jersey Shore)
 What's next? Tattoos?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

the fruits of labor day

It's September, and that means it's the beginning of the end of summer. The markets are bursting with fresh fruits and veggies, and it makes a person just want to go all out to enjoy the fresh bounty while we can.
Here's one idea for using up those luscious, juicy nectarines I can't seem to get enough of:

Galettes are kind of like a free-form tart: just plop down a bunch of thinly sliced stuff on a round of pie dough, turn up the edges, and cook it 'till it's golden brown.
 Easy as pie, (or possibly even easier).
Anyhow, here's how to do a Nectarine Galette:

Slice up a couple of juicy nectarines (leave the skin on..galettes are all about being rustic)
and drizzle with some lovely local honey and a few drops of fresh lemon juice.

Place a round of the pie dough of your choice  (This one's made by Pillsbury, who did NOT pay me to say it...I'm just really bad at making my own) on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. 
 Finely grind or chop about a half cup of almonds and sprinkle them over the dough,
then arrange the slices of fruit overlapping each other, leaving about an inch or two of crust around the outside.
It looks really pretty this way, but you could just heap them in a pile in the center of the crust, and it would be absolutely fine, too...it's supposed to be rustic, remember?
Fold the edges of the dough over the fruit, making little pleats.
Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar (equal parts cinnamon and sugar mixed up) 

and bake at 400ยบ until it's golden brown and crusty.


I don't want summer to end just yet...I'm not ready!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

parallels

Existing simultaneously, 
separately,
 alongside,
yet not touching:
parallel.

Yeah, I know: my poetry sucks. It's only a crow and a squirrel doing a high wire act. 

Click here to see this week's other submissions to Thematic Photographic, and feel free to leave a link to your own Parallels in the comments!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

grey

As a photo stylist, I work in a field that is incredibly detail oriented and really quite visually stimulating. Sometimes I just crave simplicity: an absence of color and detail. I occasionally find it after the set is cleared and the shoot is over, and it's just me packing up after everyone is done.
I looked at this shot I took with my phone the other day, and it made me just exhale deeply all over again.

Every week, Carmi over at the blog Written Inc., hosts an exercise called Thematic Photographic and invites everyone to join in. This week's theme ( No. 208) is called "Grey". Click on the links to find Carmi's and other photographers' shots on the theme.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

feminism personified


"I think every woman should have a blowtorch."
~Julia Child

Bon apetit, Julia...and thanks for the inspiration!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

more summer

Even though yesterday's damp skies weren't the brilliant blue that defines a perfect Oregon summer day, the rain that fell was warm, and the hope remains that there will be more sunny days ahead.  (We Oregonians are an optimistic bunch...if we weren't, I'm pretty sure the suicide rate would be sky high)
Anyway, despite the weather, there are certain signs that summer is here. One of my favorite hallmarks of summer is  a juicy caprese salad: sliced, ripe tomatoes, fresh, pillowy mozzarella and fragrant basil leaves snipped right off the plant. All this goodness is layered and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then sprinkled with coarse salt and ground pepper, for a taste of true summer.
{click on the photos to get up close and personal}
Mmmm. I think I can still smell the basil.

Over at the blog Written, Inc. Carmi  hosts Thematic Photographic and invites everyone to join in. This week's theme ( No. 201) is called "Welcome Summer."

Friday, June 29, 2012

welcome summer

Every week, Carmi over at the blog Written Inc., hosts an exercise called Thematic Photographic and invites everyone to join in. This week's theme ( No. 201) is called "Welcome Summer."

A couple of days ago Dave and I and a visiting friend loaded the pups in the car and took a drive out to the coast. The weather was warm, the sky was deep blue and cloudless, and the ocean sparkled like there were diamonds in the surf.

Later, we had lunch on the patio of a brewpub, and our outgoing friend shared an oyster shooter birthday toast with another patron.
It was a great way to welcome summer!
Now I suggest you hop on over to Written, Inc. to view Carmi's photos, and don't forget to check the comments for links to other photographic submissions.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

strange food

This morning I sliced into an ordinary tomato, 
and this is what I found:

I think the universe may be trying to tell us something.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

time flies whether you're having fun or not


Five years ago today I wrote my first blog post ever. It was a toast to my dad, on what would have been his 92nd birthday. My father was an amazingly strong influence in my life, much more than I realized five years ago, and I'm discovering more and more each year how that influence has shaped my life. He was a gifted writer, raconteur, self-taught artist and builder of things, and a piano player extraordinaire, who taught me to follow my dreams and to believe that those dreams would eventually take me somewhere worthwhile. 
Three hundred and thirty-seven blog posts later, I'm still following my bliss, and that meandering trail has taken me places I'd never have imagined.  Happy birthday, Dad.

"For me there is only the traveling 
on paths that have heart, 
on any path that may have heart.
There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge
is to traverse its full length.
And there I travel: looking, looking, breathlessly."
~ CARLOS CASTANEDA ~


wordless wednesday no. 29


Thursday, May 3, 2012

thematic photographic no. 194

Here are a couple more on the theme Strong Lines. And like yesterday's, these photos were both shot on a trip to San Francisco. I guess I was working on a theme without even knowing it.
Fort Funston graffiti
Gnarly tree, Golden Gate Park

Now go on and check out some of the other fine work at Carmi's blog, Written Inc.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

strong lines

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco   {click to enlarge}    
Shadows and light, curves and straight lines. I love the graphic nature of contrast, and the challenge of capturing the essence of a thing with as little information as possible...
Every week,  Carmi over at the blog Written Inc. posts a photographic theme, and invites everyone to join in. This week's theme is "Strong Lines". Click on over to Thematic Photographic  and see what's happening.
Check in here tomorrow for more Strong Lines, none of which are straight ones!

Monday, April 23, 2012

getting old is not for the faint of heart

The other day I bent over to pull on my sandals, 
and now I'm walking around like this:
If this keeps up, pretty soon I'm going to have Boy Scouts trying to help me across the street.
Next week my friends and I 
are starting a new exercise regimen.
Last one in the pool's a rotten egg!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

how not to sell your stuff on craigslist

Let's say for instance, you have a treadmill in your bedroom that's turned into a very expensive thing on which to hang your clothes. You've  given up hope you or your significant other will ever use it again, because...let's face it: your home is not a 24 Hour Fitness, and the only place in the house it fits is in your bedroom, where you are forced to exercise facing a blank wall. So you haul it out to the garage, where it now sits, covered in camping gear and dust, preventing you from actually using your garage for a place to park your car.
Two or three years go by, and you attempt to argue with your wife in defense of your most sincere desire to start a new fitness routine (an argument you lose, because she'd rather have a place to park her car) and you decide to sell it on craigslist.
 So, you take a picture, put in the pertinent info, and post it on the website.

Hmmm. Perhaps you should try again. The first ad didn't seem to get any response at all...




Then your wife says, "Maybe a new exercise routine isn't such a bad idea after all, honey."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

what's for dinner?

I came across this new food item in 
the grocery store this afternoon:
Radiant Farms Unicorn meat.
 Magic in every bite, and an excellent source of sparkles.
I am so glad I'm a vegetarian!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

green days

Spring rains in Oregon bring
the greenest greens I've ever seen.
 The mosses glow with unearthly colors,
covering every surface with a velvety emerald carpet.
Even the flowers are green!
It's as if Mother Nature has had enough of winter,
and suddenly decides to flood the world with clorophyll.
Even the trees wear crazy fern-wigs and soft mossy beards, 
and Labradors turn into Leprechauns...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!