Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sundays in My City - A City Celebrates - May 27, 2012


I remember so well that day when, at eighteen, I first saw those golden spires ( well,
I think the color is actually international orange ) rise through the fog and, just a
short distance later, San Francisco gleamed in sunlight, in whites and pastels, in front
of me.  It was such a thrill and the bridge always gives me a thrill as it has every single
time in the last 35 years.  Sh is beautiful.  One must always have a camera on hand
because, if not, you're sure to miss an extraordinary picture.  Some days, this regal
bridge will be in complete sunlight, others, she is shrouded in fog.  Sometimes, she is
eerily wrapped halfway in fog, half in sunlight.  It's always a surprise as to what you
are going to see.

I have loved doing three cruises either to and from San Francisco and sailing beneath
the bridge.  I feel such a sense of nostalgia and pride as this beautiful sight either bids
me farewell or welcomes me home.


For this grand occasion, I'm including two famous songs about the city that is
home to the Golden Gate Bridge - "On a San Francisco High" which is sung by 
the lovely Sony Holland and written by her husband, Jerry Holland ( who 
accompanies her on the guitar ).

Of course, everyone knows, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" sung by the 
master, Tony Bennett.

I have always loved this picture of my youngest son, Alex and Jeremy,
who are now 29 and 27, with a foggy bridge in the background

San Francisco side, heading toward Baker Beach

Marin County side, viewing area

I am participating in Unknown Mami's Sundays in My City -
check out the site and join in the fun.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Camera Critters Meme #216 - The Granddogs - May 26, 2012


Over Mother's Day weekend, I went to West Sacramento to visit my middle son, Alex,
his lovely wife, Laura, and my two granddogs, Taffy and Bucky.  I had worried they
might have forgotten me while I was away.  I could not believe the unabashed, affectionate
greeting I got from those two.  I will really miss them during my upcoming six month
in India ( the kids, too, of course ).  I'll have to talk to the doggies when I call on Skype!

I have posted a couple of pictures of them since I return but here are two more.
I, especially like this one of Taffy.  Bucky was too busy with his chewie to cooperate
with the photographer, grandma or not.

"Aw, Grandma, you can't be going back to India so soon!"

"Wait a minute, was that the rustle of my dog food bag?"

"Grandma, I CANNOT look up now, can't you see I'm busy?"

I am participating in Camera Critters #216 -
add your critter to join in the fun!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - A Clarksville, CA Winery's Bit of the Past - May 23, 2012

I am taking part in Wordless Wednesday -
check out the site and join in the fun.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mellow Yellow Monday #174 - Yellow and Purple Beauty - May 21, 2012

I have always loved the combination of yellow and purple - my favorite floral bouquets
are yellow roses and purple irises and, though, I have hinted VERY often, they don't
seem to come my way on a frequent basis.  I guess, partly because, folks also know
that I enjoy a bottle of good wine.  Now, the ultimate gift to me would be a nice wine
AND a bouquet of yellow roses and purple irises.

My lovely daughter-in-law had arranged this simple, but beautiful, bouquet in her home
when I visited last weekend for Mother's Day.  I delighted in it the whole three days I
was there.

I am participating in one of my favorite memes, 
add your bit of yellow and join in the fun!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend Reflections #138 - Sacramento River Scenes - May 20, 2012

Driving to the Clarksburg, California wineries, one sees lovely reflections in the
Sacramento River on a warm Spring day.

I am participating in Weekend Reflections #138 -
check out the site for some beautiful scenes.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Camera Critters #215 - Let Sleeping Dogs Lie - May 19, 2012

The first two are my granddogs, Taffy and Bucky.  I visited them
for the first time, in five months, this past weekend.  I was worried
they might have forgotten me during my time in India but they went 
crazy when I walked in the door, showering me with licks and they
stayed beside me constantly the whole three days I visited.  Isn't it 
wonderful how pets remember you?

This is my granddog, Bucky.  He's a big clutz, but such
a love.

My friend, Virginia, and I saw these two dogs, enjoying
the sun on the campus of Punjab University in Patiala, India.
They didn't even move when we passed by.

This is Skip, the sweet dog who belongs to my "nephew," Nick.
I stayed at their home my entire four months in Mumbai.  

I am participating in Camera Critters #215 -
add your critter shot to join in the fun.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ruby Tuesday 2 - Red Roses - May 15, 2012

I just can't seem to focus on anything but roses these days.  They are blooming
everywhere in such splendid glory ( but not in my yard! ).

I am participating in Ruby Tuesday 2 - your ruby photo
would be a nice addition to this meme!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mellow Yellow Monday #173 - Nature's Artistry - May 14, 2012

I spent Mother's Day with  my middle son, Alex, and his lovely wife, Laura.  We were
guests at the Calhoun's, Alex's in-laws, for a terrific outdoor barbecue, complete with
grilled salmon, ribs, and chicken, along with all sorts of other goodies.  Laura made a
scrumptious frozen lemon dessert that was so light and fluffy, it couldn't have had any
calories!  I have to really be careful or the 25 pounds lost in India will start creeping

Christine's back yard was ablaze in beautiful roses and the scent of gardenias in bloom.

I am participating in Mellow Yellow Monday, #173 -
add your bit of yellow to join in the fun!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Everything Is Coming Up Roses - May 9, 2012

The San Mateo County area, in which I've lived for the 35+ years I've been a Bay area
resident is often chilly and bathed in fog.  Less than ten miles away, however, it will be
ten degrees warmer and the sun will be brilliantly shining.  In winter, it can also be ten
degrees cooler.  It is quite eerie and one must really check the weather before venturing
out for the day.  You could leave home clad for Siberia and find it's Miami Beach just
down the road.

Last Sunday, when I went to hear one of my favorite singers at the Burlingame Hyatt,
I left my fog shroud and drove a bit through Millbrae, in the hills above the airport.  It
was just beautiful there in this area of lovely homes, most of them filled with blooming
rose bushes and assorted other flowers.  One house, especially, had at least two
dozen rose trees ( my very favorite ) of so many different colors, in riotous bloom.
I pulled over in my van, whipped out my trusty Canon, and shot a few pictures.
I am always a bit nervous, thinking someone is going to call the police, saying
there's a wierdo out there with a camera!  So far, so good, though.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Camera Critters #213 - Taffy, the High Jump Medalist - May 5, 2012

"Ohhhh, I'm so happy.  My mom and dad brought me and my brother, Bucky,
to the dog park!  It's such a great day and there are a dozen dogs out here to
chase and pester.  I get tired of Bucky, sometimes...and he's bigger than me.
Wait a minute.  What is this fluffy tail I's not a cat but it's got fur
and it irritates me almost as much as a cat does.  I'm going closer to investigate.
Wait, you ball of fur, no fair climbing that tree!"

Taffy stood near the fence, eyes pinned on the object peering down at him
from the branches.  Alex shot this picture and, in the next second, couldn't
believe his eyes, when Taffy, from that position, vaulted over the fence, no
running start or anything!  The squirrel, safe above, probably had a good laugh.
Taffy must be working out every day....look at those muscles - no fat on her.

I am participating in Camera Critters #213
Add your critter shot to join in the fun.


Pets Forever
Join Bozo there with a shot of your pet.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Nice Surprises - May 2, 2012

Recently, in Facebook, I was contacted by an adolescent boy I had mentored when
I first arrived in San Francisco over 36 years ago!  He wanted to thank me for being
so kind to him and for my patience and tolerance.  He went on to become a respected
engineer, not that I had a thing to do with that.  It is always nice, though...when
someone says thank you, after a quarter of a century.

This young man ( well, now about 50 ) is in the Bay area for a few weeks, visiting
from his home in Hawaii and we met for lunch at my favorite Thai restaurant in
San Francisco, Manivanh.  We sat there and talked for nearly four hours!  His
memory is so much better than mine, that's for sure.  He was able to recall all of the
folks that worked in the mentoring program and all the other kids that participated.
For a short while, all the years fell away and I was just starting life in this city by
the Bay!!  What a fun day it was.

I had another nice surprise, too.  Years ago, when I was eating at Manivanh, I told
the owners that I wanted to have a special dish with green beans, eggplant, and a few
other ingredients...but there wasn't one specifically like it on the menu.  "No problem,
we'll fix that for you!" Next time, I came in, Sam asked, "Do you want your
Carmen's special?"  I've eaten it so many times over the years as have other people
with me, then it spread to friends of friends, medical folks from San Francisco General
until today, I looked at the menu and, lo and behold:

This was my view as I headed out today from my temporary residence at my
friend, Silvia's house:

With that view, it's hard to remember there is misery and anguish in much of the
world.  I offered a prayer for world peace and an end to hunger and suffering
and thanked God for my fortune in life.  

It is always so soothing and serene at Manivanh.  Since their post-Thanksgiving
fire several years ago after Thanksgiving, they rebuilt and redecorated and I love
the special touches that bring the feel of Thailand to the Mission.

Except that she is Thai, I almost feel I should be saying "Namaste"

Here I am with my friend, Jeff, for the first time in over 35 years,
thanks to Facebook.