Inside 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self had no idea that this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge — INSIDE — would turn out to be so much fun to interpret.  Here it’s only Sunday, two days after the theme was posted, and this is already self’s fourth post on the subject.

A long time ago, self bought this wooden painted angel from Roger Reynolds Nursery in Menlo Park (which has now gone out of business). Why she decided to frame it with something she pulled from the garage is a mystery.

In the Backyard, an Angel

In the Backyard, an Angel

Here’s something from Dear Departed Dad’s home island, Negros, in the central Philippines:  the old Gaston House in the town of Manapla has a stone fountain set in the middle of a circular driveway leading up to the main house:

The Gaston House, Manapla, Negros Occidental, Philippines

The Gaston House, Manapla, Negros Occidental, Philippines

And, can you believe it dear blog readers? — after an hour of most painstaking sifting, self found a picture that is quite literally of something INSIDE something else:  in this case, it’s a live lizard inside a glass case in the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Inside 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The San Mateo County Historical Museum is located in Courthouse Square, downtown Redwood City.

San Mateo County Historical Museum, Courthouse Square, Redwood City

San Mateo County Historical Museum, Courthouse Square, Redwood City

This gallery was just off the main lobby of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.

This gallery was just off the main lobby of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.

The Inside of Self's Helleborus "Courage."

The Inside of Self’s Helleborus “Courage.” For some reason, the plant didn’t bloom at all this year.  The picture above was taken last year.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Perspective: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Is it just self, or are the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges becoming increasingly — challenging?

This week’s theme is PERSPECTIVE:

Post a photo which is not what it seems to be.

(Oh. Self doesn’t think her photos are anything other than what they seem to be: shots of a flower market)

But she’s not going to change her post now! Not after she spent so much time choosing the pictures!

Self thinks it’s the use of wide angle on her teensy Nikon Coolpix that makes all the difference:  she can move up close, but still get so much peripheral detail into a shot.  And in places like the ones she’s been to in the Philippines, the frame is just jammed with detail.

She likes to show people, too.  Not posing for the cameras, just getting on with it — work, their daily lives, whatever.

Flower Vendor's Stall, In front of San Sebastian Cathedral, Bacolod City

Flower Vendor’s Stall, In front of San Sebastian Cathedral, Bacolod City

Self went looking for a wreath of flesh flowers she could lay in front of her Dear Departed Dad’s grave.

The flowers were absolutely gorgeous!

The flowers were absolutely gorgeous!

Self doesn't really know what made her pick this vendor over another -- all the stalls were gorgeous, everyone had more or less the same prices.

Self doesn’t really know what made her pick this vendor over another — all the stalls were gorgeous, everyone had more or less the same prices.

Here are three other WordPress blogs whose interpretation of this week’s theme, Perspective, self found particularly thought-provoking:

The absolute fun of toy photography –  and why I got into it in the first place — is that creativity with perspective is a must.  Somehow, you have to make 1″ to 6″ plastic plastic men look like giants.

  • from Nola Roots, Texas Heart:  Look at the second photo. It is so poignant, especially after reading the accompanying quote, from Harper Lee.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Reading List Goes a Wee Bit Bonkers

Self has been reading The Hunger Games trilogy at night — an hour before bedtime, she selects a section of about 50 pages or so. She’s read each book about 10 times since the Catching Fire movie.

She made a wee bit of headway in Divergent.

She also trotted around with her, to coffee bars, the issue of One Story with B. J. Novak’s story (Yes, it’s that B. J. Novak, the one who co-wrote The Office with Mindy Kaling)

This morning, she began reading a new One Story story, Laura Spence-Ash’s “The Remains.”

She had minimal contact with the neighbors.  She waved once to John.  One of his boys — they’ve gotten so tall! — was pushing a lawn mower around their front yard.

She saw that all her clematis were still alive.  The one that used to be against John’s fence, until he replaced the fence and hacked it down, is still alive.  But struggling.  It probably won’t survive the year.  Now, it’s nothing but a clump of dead brown twigs, with small green shoots at the bottom.  It used to cover almost half the fence, and every spring for a dozen years it put forth the most magnificent, white flowers.  If it dies, self doesn’t think she’ll have either the time or the patience to grow another clematis to that size.

Let’s see, what else did she do this weekend?  She returned Black Lamb and Grey Falcon to the library (took nearly a month of her life) and began a new book, The Hemingses of Monticello:  An American Family, by Annette Gordon-Reed.

She scanned one of her bookshelves and pulled out a wee pocketbook called Envy.  It’s a dictionary.  Inside are definitions for:

  • acidity (Noun): The measure of bite or acidity in one’s tone
  • acidulous (Adjective):  A way of speaking that sounds bitter or sharp
  • adulation (Noun):  Extreme praise, admiration, or flattery, especially of a servile nature
  • allege (Verb):  To accuse someone of something — usually wrongdoing — without proof.

There’s a quote from Bertrand Russell:

Envy consists in seeing things never in themselves, but only in their relations.  If you desire glory, you may envy Napoleon, but Napoleon envied Caesar, Caesar envied Alexander, and Alexander, I daresay, envied Hercules, who never existed.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Treasure: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.  What is essential is invisible to the eye.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge asks us to identify:  What do we treasure?  What is most important to us?  Self’s answer, judging from the pictures she decided to post today, are:  memories, her garden, and her native country.

The Lovely Ladies at Daku Balay.  Last time self saw them, their uniforms were brown.  Self thinks blue is much more flattering.

The Lovely Ladies at Daku Balay. Some of them have been working for the family corporation for 30 years.  Last time self saw them, their uniforms were brown. Self thinks blue is much more flattering.

Hydrangea macrophylla "Pink Elf," the first hydrangea self ever purchased -- from Redwood Nursery, 15 years ago

Hydrangea macrophylla “Pink Elf,” the first hydrangea self ever purchased — from Redwood Nursery, 15 years ago

Memento from a Philippine Beach -- Maybe Bohol, Maybe Dumaguete

Memento from a Philippine Beach — Maybe Bohol, Maybe Dumaguete

Selecting these photographs put self in *quite* the nostalgic mood, dear blog readers.  Oh, the feelz!

Stay tuned.

Dreaming of Gardens

Last Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle Datebook had several pieces on Golden Gate Park and the people who garden in it. Self was absolutely fascinated. The Park has been part of her best memories about living in the Bay Area.

These are what Golden Gate Park has meant to her, over the years: serenity, beauty, stillness, rest, happiness.

Today, self spent a lot of time in her garden.  She planted a Spanish lavender (even though it is getting harder and harder for her to dig holes:  every single bush in the garden, she has planted by herself.  There will come a time when she won’t be able to do it anymore.  This makes her feel sad.)

"Regal Josephine" Clematis

“Regal Josephine” Clematis:  Self bought it only six months ago.

A Private Garden (Self discovered this when she followed some people walking into an office building, and saw the garden through a back door.  The door had a key situated in the lock:  As dear blog readers well know, when self encounters a key in a lock, she ALWAYS opens it)

A Private Garden in Venice (Self discovered this when she followed some people walking into an office building, and saw the garden through a back door. The door had a key situated in the lock: As dear blog readers well know, when self encounters a key in a lock, she ALWAYS opens it)

The Grounds of Hawthornden, southern Scotland

The Grounds of Hawthornden, southern Scotland

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Habit 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Things self does every day:

1. Read (This is a cover detail of one of the best books she read this year:  The Leopard, by Giuseppe di Lampedusa. It’s about the decline of the Italian nobility, with a focus on the island of Sicily.)

More of That Cover for THE LEOPARD, self's favorite read (so far) of 2013

More of That Cover for THE LEOPARD, self’s favorite read (so far) of 2013

2.  Watch birds.

She regularly spends time in her backyard, where she has two bird feeders.

She regularly spends time in her backyard, where she has two bird feeders.

3.  Water geraniums.  Self loves them because they are so easy to grow.  She almost never has one die on her.

On the Backyard Deck

On the Backyard Deck

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Habit: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Whenever I go to Bacolod, I try as much as possible to hang out at the Negros Museum Café and spend time with Gemma and her sister Weng:

Weng again, something very disarmingly child-like about her.

Weng again, something very disarmingly child-like about her.

When I’m home in Redwood City, I like to visit museums:

the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park:  Stairs Leading to 2nd Floor

the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park: Stairs Leading to 2nd Floor

One of the great joys of my summer is going to Farmers Markets.

A Trip to the Redwood City Farmers Market yielded this.

A Trip to the Redwood City Farmers Market yielded this.

These are just three of my regular “habits.”  I could post many, many more.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Hue of You 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is about color:  “The Hue of You.”  The idea is to “share a photograph with a prominent color (or assortment of colors) that reveals more about you.  It could be a symbolic, meaningful shade; a color that expresses how you currently feel; or a combination of colors that excites you and tells a visual story.”

Color is about emotions, too.  Since all the ones in this set of photographs are bright, self knows she is feeling pretty good right now.

In the first picture, self was attracted to the pop of magenta among the welter of fliers on this kiosk on the Stanford campus.

Stanford Kiosk, this evening: Walked around after attending a Valerie Miner reading

Stanford Kiosk, this evening: Walked around after attending a Valerie Miner reading

When self returned from Bacolod, the garden was dry.  It was a sad place.  Bella’s water and food dish were still on the deck, as were all her pillows.  Then, suddenly, two days ago, the alstroemeria began to bloom.

Backyard:  Alstroemeria "Third Harmonic"

Backyard: Alstroemeria “Third Harmonic”

Self had never seen grass so green as the grass she saw on the campus of Pampanga Agricultural College, which she visited at the end of September.

The Main Quadrangle of Pampanga Agricultural College

The Main Quadrangle of Pampanga Agricultural College

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Saturation: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The prompt:

“This week, show us a photo of whatever you like, but make sure it’s saturated.  It can be black and white, a single color, a few hues, or a complete rainbow riot; just make sure it’s rich and powerful.”

Here are self’s three shots of saturated color!

Wall Shrine in Calle Something-or-other (Near the Frari Church)

Wall Shrine in Calle Something-or-other in Venice (Near the Frari Church)

In our first home, in Sausalito Terrace, Fremont, there were bushes of this plant lining the driveway.

In our first home, in Sausalito Terrace, Fremont, there were bushes of this plant lining the driveway.

Armchair in self's room in Hawthornden, June 2012

Armchair in self’s room in Hawthornden, June 2012

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