Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC): Fun with Other Challenges

This week’s CFFC spotlight is MONDAY WINDOWS.

Self loves Monday Windows.

Here’s the front window of Mendocino Chocolate Company on Main Street in Mendocino Village. If anyone’s within driving distance, highly recommend!


Bonus window: The Gallery Bookshop is one of self’s favorite bookstores. Also on Main Street in Mendocino Village, it is open every day until 6 p.m. Self took this picture in the late afternoon, on a cloudy day in December.

Gallery Bookshop, Main Street, Mendocino, California

First Monday Windows of 2022


So much to celebrate.

First Monday Window of 2022!

Here’s a shop window in Mendocino, on Albion Street. Self stumbled across it while having a morning walk around the Village. She peeked inside: looks fascinating! She went back a few more times, but never managed to come when it was open. BONUS: There’s a reflection of one of Mendocino’s ubiquitous water towers in the glass.

Loot & Lore, 611 Albion St., Mendocino, California

#bloganuary Day 2: Write About the Last Time You Left Your Comfort Zone

Ha! Self found where the prompts were going. She has now rescued her #bloganuary (She missed yesterday; wonder where THAT prompt went)

She will henceforth make a sincere attempt to post daily through January.

Self spent Christmas in Mendocino. This is actually not that much of a stretch (though driving around up there, during a storm, is a flat-out EXPERIENCE). She turned down invitations to be with people, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (scared of omicron), then the day after Christmas, drove back to the Bay Area, found a walk-up testing site close to her, and the very next day lined up, in bitter cold, for three hours. Now, THAT WAS A STRETCH. She can’t remember ever lining up for that long a time, in winter cold (not even for TKTS, that year she lived in New York.)

The tests ran out, but not until mid-afternoon. By then, there were only about five people ahead of her in line. Then she had two days of anxiety, waiting for the test results. And they came back NEGATIVE.


So, the storm, the lining up for three hours in the cold for the test, all took her out of her comfort zone. But she was happy with the results.

Berlin, Friday, April 20, 1945

11 p.m., by the light of an oil lamp in the basement, my notebook on my knees. Around 10 p.m. there was a series of three or four bombs. The air raid siren started screaming. Apparently it has to be worked manually now. No light. Running downstairs in the dark, the way we’ve been doing ever since Tuesday. We slip and stumble. Somewhere a small, hand-operated dynamo is whirring away; it casts giant shadows on the walls of the stairwell. Wind is blowing through the broken panes, rattling the blackout blinds. No one pulls them down anymore — what’s the point?

A Woman in Berlin, p. 6

Self wonders who the translator is? Because this reads very smoothly, I almost forget it was originally written in German.

The translator’s name is Philip Boehm.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Berlin, the Conquered City

How the narrator reacts to food:

The gas is running on a tiny, dying flicker. The potatoes have been cooking for hours. The most miserable potatoes in the country, good only for distilling into liquor, they turn to mush and taste like cardboard. I swallowed one half-raw. I’ve been stuffing myself since early this morning. Went to Bolle’s to use up the pale-blue milk coupons Gerd sent me for Christmas. Not a moment too soon — I got the last drops. The saleswoman had to tilt the can; she said there’d be no more milk coming into Berlin. That means children are going to die.

I drank a little of the milk right there on the street. Then, back at home, I wolfed down some porridge and chased it with a crust of bread.

A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City, pp. 3 – 4

from the Introduction to A Woman in Berlin

The lack of electricity and gas has reduced modern conveniences like lights and stores and hot water boilers to useless objects. “We’re marching backwards in time,” she writes, “cave dwellers.”

Introduction by Antony Beevor to A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City

A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City

She vividly evokes the civilians trapped in Berlin and deprived of meaningful news. They know only that information from the western front, where the Americans have just reached the Elbe, is by then irrelevant. “Our fate is rolling in from the East,” she writes.

— from the Introduction, by Antony Beevor

Flower of the Day (FOTD): Kangaroo Paw

It’s been at least a week since self was able to post a Flower of the Day (FOTD), so she was happy to find this Kangaroo Paw growing in front of the Mendocino Chocolate Company, on Main Street. It is common in gardens here in Mendocino:

Part Two, SOG: “A Bloodstained Sea”

In this section, Hornfischer wisely switches to present tense:

Within minutes, Lt. Bruce D. Skidmore, stationed high in the Houston‘s foremast, reports enemy cruisers bearing thirty degrees relative to starboard, steaming southwest on a nearly perpendicular course to the northwesterly oriented Allied line. The enemy fleet reveals itself slowly . . . out of the equatorial sea. The steel branches proliferate. There is no telling how large it is . . . “We realized help would come, but not today,” said Marine Pfc. Marvin Robinson.

Ship of Ghosts, p. 74

Hornfischer is superb at describing the tactical moves made by the two opposing commanders, Admirals Doorman and Nagumo.:

Doorman . . . worries that the Japanese ships might beat him to the intersection of their converging courses. If that happens, the enemy will cross his formation’s T, thereby exposing his lead ships to full broadsides from the entire opposing line. Doorman changes course twenty degrees to the left, paralleling the course of the enemy cruisers. The maneuver momentarily hangs the three leading British destroyers out on the cruisers’ starboard bow, closest to the Japanese. The HMS Electra, the right-hand ship in the scouting line, attracts vicious fire . . . A spectrum of dye-colored foam rises around her. The Electra’s commanding officer, Cdr. C. W. May, has the ship “twisting like a hare” chasing shell splashes.

Ship of Ghosts, p. 75

“Oh it was hard.”

The writing. The writing. So good.

Still on Part One of Ship of Ghosts, “On Asia Station.” Admiral Tommy Hart has just been replaced as commander of the Asiatic Fleet because, at 64, he is thought to be too old (80 years later, we had Trump, followed by Biden — LOL)

He has a farewell dinner with his colleagues at the Savoy in Bandung, Java and writes in his (3,000-page) diary that night, “Oh it was hard.”


  • The next day he was driven to Batavia in a battered sedan for transit west. He was last seen in Java standing alone on the pier in Tanjung Priok, Batavia, wearing civilian clothes, awaiting the arrival of a bomb-damaged British light cruiser to ferry him home.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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