Your Street or Neighborhood: A Photo a Week Challenge

Photo challenges are life!

Nancy Merrill hosts A Photo a Week Challenge. This week’s theme is:

  • IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF YOUR STREET OR NEIGHBORHOOD.

This picture is of the nearest independent bookstore to self’s house: Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park. Still going strong. Self gave her first local reading here:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 128: And Here Comes the Holiday Season

  • I know many creative plans are being made to make these celebrations work – somehow and anyway. This last LAPC challenge, of the strange year 2020, is all about your Holiday Season. So what will your holidays look like? What are your plans and/or memories? Will you create new traditions or will you just ”survive” this one, looking forward to a ”normalized” celebrating next year? Leya

Self did not expect 2020. Neither did any of us. Right?

Nevertheless, today self was checking out viveka’s blog, my guilty pleasures, and she had the most stunning array of Christmas photos. Inspired, self came up with a few Christmas photos of her own.

Here’s a picture from the night of Dec. 15, when Amazon Prime dropped the first 3 episodes of Season 5 of The Expanse! So exciting! Each succeeding episode is on Wednesday, that means the next ‘drop’ is Wednesday, 23 December. And that is the nicest Christmas present she could have asked for.

She did buy a wreath from Trader Joe’s for $10.99, and fastened a few multi-colored Christmas balls to dress it up a little.

And she put out her lighted angel, that she puts out every year. And brought out a tin angel that was made in the Philippines.

So, very simple decorations this year. Not even half of her usual lay-out. Usually, she gets a big, fresh-cut fir, and hangs about 100 ornaments on it. And she scatters greenery on every available surface. Last year, her neighbor Wendy dropped by, and the first thing she said when she crossed the threshhold was: WOW.

But, Christmas is in her heart, even though this year was a very hard one.

Shout-out to Restless Jo for her great Christmas gallery, to don’t hold your breath’s Four Views of Panchgani, and to Bend Branches’s lovely Christmas ornaments.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens Artists Challenge # 118: Communication

The Lens Artists Challenge this year comes from Horse Addict. She tells a lovely story about a horse, you can read all about it here.

Voting is a form of communication. As of this morning, 3.5 million Californians, a record, have already cast their ballots, according to KPIX5 News.

A smile is a form of communication.

Siblings have a special form of communication.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Take 2, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 116: SYMMETRY

Saw Infidel at the Century 20. If you don’t take it too seriously (Christian blogger goes to Egypt — to try and convert Muslims? — guess what happens to him), it is entertaining. It was her first Jim Caveziel movie in forever, and at first she didn’t recognize him. His hair’s gone light, and he’s heavier. She thinks the last movie she saw him in was the one where he played the son of Dennis Quaid. Frequency, she thinks it was.

Self has loved movies since she was a little girl, she and her Dear Departed Dad shared this passion and would go often. Even here, when he had to have part of a foot amputated (He had very advanced diabetes and a small wound on his foot developed gangrene) at UCSF Medical Center on Parnassus, self would take him to movies. He needed to keep his foot elevated; she’d put his foot on her lap (it had a cast).

Century 20 shut down in March, but finally opened again last week. Her first post-opening movie was Tenet. Whoa! Mind-blowing.

No telling how long Century 20 will remain open, she noticed there aren’t any first-run movies on the schedule for the entire month of October. So, wanting to commemorate maybe her last movie in a theater for a while, she took along her camera and took these pictures.

The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge was SYMMETRY. She thinks her pictures are a good example of Horizontal Symmetry.

There were only four other people in the entire theater with her, more than adequate social distancing!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 116: SYMMETRY

P. A. Moed explains the reasoning behind this week’s Challenge:

  • Architects in ancient lands, like Greece, Rome, China, and Egypt, experimented with form and balance.  They discovered that the human eye likes patterns and architectural features that are symmetrical.  That’s why a row of pillars or arches is pleasing to the eye.

In January, self canvassed South San Francisco and Millbrae for Elizabeth Warren. This was the canvassers’ meeting place, in South San Francisco. She chose this picture because of the enthusiasm for Warren, and the two armchairs.

Stumbled on this sculpture on London’s Canary Wharf, last November. Very “Handmaid’s Tale”!!!

Finally, trees of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. It was October.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Challenge # 115: INSPIRATION

There’s a beautiful gallery of inspiring photos on Travels and Trifles.

What gives self inspiration? Flowers. And books.

These blue flowers are so pretty. Every year, they come back, and this year the blooms have been especially profuse. They wind through the branches of the cherry trees and drape the sidewalk. No one seems to mind.

Front yard, September 2020

Self is a writer. As a writer, she finds inspiration in books. These are a few books she recently checked out from her local library:

Finally, a very special place, one that self would spend every moment of every day in, if she could: the London Review Bookshop in Bloomsbury. When she sees the orange couch, she knows she’s home.

London Review Bookshop, November 2019

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 113: A Labor of Love

Inspired by viveka, whose adventures on my guilty pleasures self has been following for years! Though forced to spend 2020 sheltering at home, viveka’s posts make self incredibly thirsty!

Here’s the reason behind the week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge:

  • People all over the world honor their workers in a variety of ways. In the U.S., we honor those who labor by setting aside the first Monday of September as Labor Day. But world-wide, people pour themselves into their work — paid or unpaid — with commitment, ingenuity, and a sincere desire to make a difference. For them, work has become more than just work. It has become a labor of love.

Here are a few of self’s own Labors of Love.

Self grew tomatoes, and planted more flowers.

The California fires are still blazing.

Take care of yourselves, fire fighters! Hope you have big pitchers of ice-cold beer waiting at the end of your shifts!

Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #112: Self’s Word is ‘Growing’

The prompt from Ann-Christine:

Choose one (1) word or more – choose all of them if you like! The words available are the following:

  • Comfortable
  • Growing
  • Tangled
  • Crowded
  • Exuberant

The word self picked, which was easiest for her since she’s been gardening a lot, is GROWING. Here are a few pictures she took yesterday.

This is one of self’s newest additions to the front garden:

This plant just popped up on one side of her driveway. It seems to be a different kind of ivy from the others. Self finds it so pretty:

Finally, here are some geraniums growing in a huge pot that she bought years ago from Chinatown. Geraniums are very, very easy to grow, and she loves their bright, cheerful colors:

Thank you for the prompt, Ann-Christine!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Challenge # 110: Creativity in the Time of COVID

Self was inspired by this Photo Challenge (Creativity in the Time of COVID) to give a shout-out to the USPS.

She bought a sheet of first-class stamps commemorating the Harlem Renaissance. Aren’t they beautiful?

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She receives all her literary journals through the USPS. Here’s the latest delivery: the Win/Spr 2020 issue of Calyx Journal, one of the oldest women’s presses in the United States, founded by her friend, Dear Departed Margarita Donnelly (She put the whole thing, she told self, on a credit card):

Cover Art: Dale Champlin’s “Mother Nature.”

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Finally, Filoli Garden, in Woodside, is one of the area’s most beautiful gardens. The current art installation is by Kristine Mays. Here’s a picture self took on a visit to Filoli in July.

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Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge # 109: UNDER THE SUN

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is UNDER THE SUN.

Read to the very end of the post about the theme. The quote from E. M. Forster.

It is still summer. Can you believe it? Summer came. And stayed the usual length of time, despite pandemic and politics.

At the end of July, self visited Filoli Gardens, in Woodside. It had been decades since she’d last been.

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Filoli Gardens, Woodside, July 2020

Here’s another picture of the gardens. Visitors wore masks and maintained social distancing. Lines to get in are long, because soooo many people want to get in, and those in line must stand six feet apart.

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In contrast, here’s self’s own garden (sad, dry as the foothills). She took this picture just a few minutes ago:

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The Backyard Today

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

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