Saturday, April 30, 2011

Camera Critters #160 - Barcelona Cutie - April 30, 2011

Barcelona is one of my favoirte of all cities in the world and I have been so
fortunate to visit there several times in my life.  I usually stay near La Rambla/
Las Ramblas, the street that runs from Placa de Catalunya toward the harbor. 
There are many hotels, restaurants, and shops and, of course, many tourists AND
pickpockets so one must be wary while enjoying all that the street has to offer.

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria or La Boqueria is my favorite market in the
world.  It has everything you might imagine and is a photographer's paradise. 
 I always have lunch at one of the little spots within its walls - octopus or padron
peppers sauteed in olive oil - ummmmm!!!

All along the street, one encounters street artists, mimes, birds and animals of
all kinds.  This little dog is but one of many I saw one day.  He reflects the
festive mood of Barcelona!

I am participating in Camera Critters!  Check out the
site and add your entry to join in the fun!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Flash 55 - Sealed With a Kiss - April 29, 2011

AP Photo

I'm old to pull an all night gig,
But I didn't miss a thing!
It was all so full of  happiness,
The wedding of this future king.

Looking every bit a princess,
Kate reminded me of Grace,
From her overwhelming beauty,
To her lovely gown of lace.

Lord, bless and guide this beautiful royal couple.

I am participating in Friday Flash 55 - the brilliant concept of
Mr. Know It All.  Check out the site and join in the fun.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alphabe Thursday - "B" is for Beautiful - April 28, 2011

Tuesday, I almost had to be in two places at once.  At 9AM, I went for my third
appointment at the UCSF Mohs Surgery Center for the second post operative
follow up for the excision of the basal cell carcinoma on the right side of my nose.
Dr. Yu just laughed when I complained about the scar on my nose.  She is very
pleased with the way things are progressing, telling me to be patient.  "It's only
been a month, Carmen."  She says we can talk in six months!

I raced from Mt. Zion over to my urology appointment with Dr. Kahn in the
medical building at the California Pacific Medical Center, arriving about two
minutes before my 10AM appointment.  I'd gone to radiology the day before to
get the kidney/ureter/bladder x-ray ( I have multiple stones in both kidneys, some
far too large to ever pass normally ).  Dr. Kahn just wanted to check on their
progress in case an intervention needed to be done.  No, everything is status
quo so we'll leave things as they are.

From there, I decided to drive around Pacific Heights for a little while before
heading home.  I always enjoy seeing the beautiful Victorians in that area and I
was rewarded with a magnificent Spring display of flowers in bloom.  It just
reinforced my feelings that man can do little to improve on the glory of nature
in terms of real beauty .  Along one street, I photographed all the beautiful
flowers shown here.




I am participating in Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday!
Check out the site and add your own "B" post to the others!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - More Red from the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA - April 26, 2011

I still have so many wonderful red photos from the Asian Art Museum in San
Francisco, I'll be showing them intermittently on Ruby Tuesday. 

This warrior, is from China, and dates back to the early 100s BCE.  It is made from
painted earthenware and is from the Western Han dynasty.  It was given to the museum
by Hok Pui Leung and Sally Yu Leung in memory of their fathers, On Leung and Dr.
Tin Wah Yu.

This is a court robe for a young emperor, from China, in the Quing dynasty
( 1644 - 1911 ),reign of the Guanpxu emperor, 1875 - 1906.  It is made of embroidered
silk.  According to the information card, court robes symbolize the cosmic order
 and, this robe, made for a young emperor, is a good example.  The wavy stripes at the
bottom of the road symbolize the sea.  Groups of prism-shaped rocks rise from the
water at the front, back and sides of the robe.  They represent the earth and the
four directions.  Above these peaks, nine dragons fly above colored clouds. The
dragon is the symbol of the masculine ( yang ) element and, hence, of the emperor.
The number nine was also reserved for him. 

This is Joanne Olivieri, aka Poetic Shutterbug, wearing her own "Ruby Tuesday" shirt.

This is a teapot with a dragon and phoenix.  I was unable to clearly photograph
any further identifying information.

This throne is from China, probably 1800 - 1880.  It is made from lacquered wood.

Thrones were among the most important pieces of furniture in the Imperial house-
hold in Beijing.  They were usually larger in scale and less restrained than regular
household furniture and were usually lacquered and decorated with auspicious
symbols.  Some were decorated with gold and yellow ( the Imperial color ) and,
often had dragons and flowers.

This throne is smaller and may have been used for someone other than the
emperor himself.

I am participating in Ruby Tuesday!  Check out the site for more
wonderful post and add one of your own!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday #118 - Floral Scene - April 25, 2011

I was driving in San Mateo, CA recently and was so glad I had my camera with
me when I passed this beautiful scene on a quiet street.  San Mateo is only about
12 miles from Daly City but the difference in weather is amazing.  We are often
covered in whisps of eerie fog while San Mateo is bright and sunny and at least
ten to fifteen degrees warmer or, in winter, possibly ten degrees cooler.

I am participating in one of my favorite memes, Mellow Yellow Monday!
Check out the site to see other yellow contributions and add one of your own.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Follow Your Dreams - Happy Easter - April 24, 2011

I just got home from a lovely evening out and was about to sit down and write a
poem for Easter.  I decided to check my mail first and had a note from Patty Crane,
a dear forensic nurse practititoner colleague who sent this touching video, which is
actually a commercial made by a Taiwanese bank.  Having been to Taiwan with
my sons, Alex and Jeremy quite a few years ago, I took a look and I've watched it
over about five times.  It is a true story and it has a beautiful message - one of love
and friendship that has endured through the years and that it is never to late to follow
your dreams.

I'll write an Easter poem next year.

For those who celebrate Easter, I wish you a happy day with family and friends.
May our world come closer to peace, day by day, and may those suffering in the
aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan be on the road to recovery and
healing.  God bless us everyone - or may the deities, in whom you believe, bless you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Flash 55 - Down the Rabbit Hole - April 22, 2011

I saw the wierdest rabbit,
He was very strange to me,
I hadn't had a single drink,
So I was sober as could be.

He hippity hopped everywhere,
Leaving baskets that he'd made,
They were really exceptional,
For these were eggs HE'D laid!!

Hens asked to have a little rest,
Easter bunny passed the test!

I am participating in Friday Flash 55, from the mind of the brilliant, handsome
debonair Mr. Know It All.  Check out the site and join in the fun!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Alphabe Thursday - A Is For "Awful" - April 21, 2011

"A" Is For Awful
As life sometimes can be,
When things go all wrong,
And we feel misery.

Awful is when,
We miss the last train,
And as we walk for the bus,
It pours buckets of rain.

It's just awful to find,
We've going to be late,
Where others are waiting,
For a most special date!

Dining out can be awful,
Your meat seems like wood,
With the price that it cost,
It should really be good!

It's awful to be generous,
And loan your car to your son,
You're amazed, in the morning,
At the trashing he's done!

Thank heavens, those awfuls,
Don't usually last,
And are uusually forgotten,
As soon as they're past!!

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) Carmen Henesy
April 21, 2011

I am participating in Alphabe Thursday  - the great meme creation of
Jenny Matlock - check out the site and join in the fun!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Everything But My Hair Hurts - April 13, 2011

Th6is morning, I had an email from a dear friend in the Philippines, in a comment
about her advancing years ( she is at least ten years younger than me ).  I can so
identify with her statement, "Everything but my hair hurts."  More and more, I
feel the same way.  I don't think I have a pain free moment, day or night.  At 66, I
think, "this is very discouraging!"

About 25 years ago, as an operating room nurse, I slipped on hydraulic fluid that
leaked from an orthopedic table and, three months later, I underwent a two level,
bilater laminectomy and fusion with a bone graft from my right hip.  It took a
whole year for that to fuse and, during that time, I wore a fiberglass body jacket
with a leg brace on the left, to keep me from extending my left leg and disrupting
the fusion.  That, of course, caused major changes in my range of motion on the
left side. 

Since that surgery, I have continued to suffer from back pain and tingling and
numbness in my left leg.  I could no longer work in the operating room or inpatient
psychiatry but I was very fortunate to become a forensic nurse and spent 21 years
in that field.

In January of 2008, on my way to work in the midst of one of our city's worst
storms, just two blocks from my office, a tree broke in half and toppled on top
of my van, with me inside.  The van, which I had just paid off, was totaled.
I spent a few hours at the ER and was discharged.  X-rays taken at the time
revealed I had cervical spinal stenosis!  I had also  been diagnosed with lumbar
spinal stenosis the year before when I saw my orthpodedist with ongoing back
pain that seemed different from my usual back complaints.

The tree had covered both lanes of Potrero, a divided street
and was on top of my car!

'For over a year now, I have been having bilateral shoulder pain and left knee pain.  I
had an MRI done which showed a left rotator cuff tear but, recently, when I saw my
orthopedist and had x-rays of both shoulders and knees, my doctor said I had "severe"
arthritis in all four joints and he recommended joint replacements.  I have a gastric
ulcer so treatment with NSAIDS is contraindicated.  I do take other medications -
non narcotic Tramadol - for pain and, occasionally, Vicodin, but nothing really
seems to help.  Sleep is sporadic and, every time I move or turn, I hurt so much.
I wake myself up with my moans ( good thing I have no romance in my life, huh? ).

I even have arthritis in my thumbs so typing on the computer isn't easy!  I'm going
to get that Dragon voice recognition software.  My girlfriend uses it and it has made
her life so much easier.  With it, I can do my blog while lying down in bed and
won't have to spend so much time sitting up at the computer!!

My doctor has given me medication for sleep but I rarely use it.  I know I should
since I rarely sleep more than four hours a night.  Maybe a couple of times a week,
I'll try it to see if it will allow me to sleep longer, pain free. 

Something MUST increase my quality of life if I'm going to be hanging around
longer!  I can live with chronic pain to some extent - I have for years - but this is
no fun.  I think it's time for a referral to a pain clinic.

What if my hair starts hurting????

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - Red Hot Cars - April 19, 2011

Recently, when driving in one block of San  Francisco's Noe Valley, I spotted two
cars for Ruby Tuesday!  How convenient of them to accomodate me.

I am participating in Ruby Tuesday - check out the site and add
your red picture to join in the fun!!

Mellow Yellow Monday, #117 - Sunny Yellow Daisies - April 18, 2011

I have always loved daisies.  My favorites are the yellow and white ones but the
all yellow ones are beautiful, too, bright and cheery.  They always remind me of
San Francisco since, on my first visit here when I was eighteen, forty-eight years
ago, they were blooming profusely everywhere.

I am participating in Mellow YellowMellow Yellow Monday -
check out the site for more lovely photos and add one of your own!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sundays in My City - Old Friend, New Friend - April 17, 2011

Nothing brightens my spirits more than a visit from a beloved friend.  Atul Kapoor,
originally from India, is someone I met about thirteen years ago aboard one of Royal
Caribbean's older ships, the Viking Serenade.  He was a head waiter back then, one
of the elite group I call "the Bollywood boys."  As with so many of the Indian crew,
he became a dear friend and what is nice is that I've been able to spend time with him
off the ship.  He left Royal Caribbean a few years ago and began working at Masraff's,
a fine dining restaurant in Houston, Texas, where he is now the general manager.  Also,
he recently became an American citizen which makes me very proud - but he will
always be one of my Bollywood boys.

He has been to San Francisco to visit me on two past occasions.  Last time, I was able to
accompany him to the Napa Valley where we were guests at Rombauer Vineyards,
producers of one of my favorite chardonnays, staying at their pool house!  What a lovely
experience that was, with the grapes growing all around us!  We were also privy to
a private wine tasting high up Spring Mountain at Cain Vineyard and visited Darioush
and several other lovely wineries.

This time, he brought a lovely lady, Sylvia Haist ( also a nurse ) with him.  I found her a
complete delight and we became immediate friends.  Our time together was spent eating
and drinking and catching up on happenings. 

I wanted them to see a little bit of the Pacific so, after picking them up at the Clift Hotel in
San Francisco, we drove to Half Moon Bay, south of my home.  For much of the trip, we
were completely enveloped in fog and I was rather dismayed.  Much to my relief, by the
time we arrived at Sam's Chowder House, the sun broke through and we were able to
have lunch outdoors.  It was so lovely.

I knew something was different about Atul but couldn't quite figure it out - he finally
clued me in that he had shaved the moustache that he'd worn, ever since I'd known
him a few weeks ago, while he was on vacation at home in India.

Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay opened to rave reviews in 2006 and has
won numerous awards since that time, including "Top Three Dining Spots in the Bay
Area."  The Food Editor of the NBC "Today Show" selected the lobster roll at Sam's
as one of the five best sandwiches in America!

The view is definitely spectacular though it can get a bit chilly in the fog!  Once the sun
started to set, we were glad we had finished eating and were ready to head inside!

Bouvet - a lovely dry rose

Nice crab cakes

My Hawaiian poke - a fabulous ahi tuna

The calamari was really good!

Nice seaweed salad

A happily full trio!

I drove Atul and Sylvia back to San Francisco for a quick nap, then picked them up
two hours later so we could eat again.  We went to the Salt House which was
recommended by the concierge at the Clift House.  It was on Mission Street, south of
Market, in a area that looked a bit precarious.  I even had some qualms about the man
who collected our money for the valet parking and checked with the hostess to be sure
he was legitimate.  I had visions of coming out after dinner to find I no longer had a

The Salt House was part of an old warehouse with high ceilings and exposed bricks,
and definitely was not a spot for intimate dining or cozy conversation.  We arrived a
bit early and had a drink at the bar but were seated at exactly 8:45 PM, our
reservation time.  Thankfully, we were not starving or the wait would have been
interminable.  After about forty minutes wait for our appetizers, we were served a
complimentary bowl of chilled asparagus soup which was only mediocre, I thought.
The rest of the meal, when it finally came, was excellent, however.

Atul and I both ordered the sweetbread appetizer and it was superb, pan seared and
crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, served with sunchokes, smoked bacon and
rosemary honey.  My main course was an excellent pork loin and shank.  We shared
a bottle of red Lebanese wine - which we enjoyed very much. 

We were far too full for dessert but, since it was Sylvia's birthday, the owner brought
their passion fruit cheese cake which I found most heavenly, very light and airy, unlike
any cheese cake I've ever eaten ( I am a total maniac for passion fruit ). 

Cheers from my friends

The wall painting at the Salt House

Scrumptious sweetbreads

Sipping my gold Mt. Gay Barbados rum, a favorite

Delicious pork loin

I felt a bit sad this morning at 6AM when I picked Atul and Sylvia up to drive them
to the airport.  It was a very brief visit but I loved every minute I got to spend with
them.  They keep telling me I must come to Houston to eat at Masraff's, the restaurant
where Atul is general manager.  I understand it is one of the best in Houston!  Ah,
if I were only working, I'd be there my next weekend off!  I will get there, though, come
hell or high water.

I am participating in Unknown Mami's Sundays In My City even though
my lovely day out and about was on Saturday.  Check out the site and
tell us about your city!