Autumn Walk: San Anselmo & Ross


I love this time of year! I took a walk in San Anselmo and a bit of Ross on Saturday, and it was so beautiful. This is on Crescent Road looking towards Mt. Tamalpais.

At the corner of Sunnyside and Austin Avenues – tiny white flowers on a huge green hedge. It made me think of a friend who lived there.



From Glenwood looking toward Mt. Baldy.


I turned on Fernwood and walked past Branson School, than passed St. Anselm Church on Shady Lane.


Susan’s Store Room on San Anselmo Avenue is ready for Thanksgiving. This little window display includes pilgrim candles just like the one’s on our Thanksgiving Table when we were growing up (and mom still has them).


An old eagle icon high on the wall outside Comforts Cafe, the former site of the post office.


There are several signs downtown that show the high water line from flooding. They are situated so you can see the same buildings shown on the sign. this one is just before Pine Street, across from the Wells Fargo Bank.


Sugarfoot, the cast iron deer on the lawn by the City Hall/Police Department and the Library buildings.


Another flood sign near City Hall.


Barton’s Bagels – although these looked delicious, I picked up Asiago bagels for the egg-bagels sandwiches my mom and I enjoyed for breakfast.


The elegant Siren Salon was once the home of Toy Circus, THE place for birthday gift shopping. You knew if one of the packages had been wrapped in the store because they had their one big roll of wrapping paper.


I saw another flood sign by the fire station. Molly waits patiently when I drop her leash to take photos. The beautiful mosaic obelisk in the background shows scenes from the history of the community.


Beautiful walkway of yellow leaves on San Rafael Avenue.


Cutting through Robson-Harrington Park I noticed this decorative plaque on a wall. Maybe it was a fountain years ago.


I’m getting close to the end of the walk – more beautiful foliage on Crescent Road.


You can just make out part of the San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) through the leaves.


I let Molly off the leash at the bottom of the driveway to my mom’s house.  She trots right up and I trudge behind her. She’s waiting on the front porch when I make it up the hill.


Even though I veered off her familiar route, she was happy to come along (or to let me join her).

“Thanks for the walk, now let’s have breakfast!” (I imagine she might be saying)


Thanks for the visit!

After breakfast, a final picture from the front yard: the seminary and Mt. Tam.




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Exploratorium Selfies


Rem and I went to a kid-free evening at the Exploratorium in San Francisco last night.

The Exploratorium is an eye-opening, playful place to explore how the world works. Our exhibits, experiences, tools, and projects ignite curiosity and lead to profound learning.

…as they say on their site. We had delicious soft tacos at the Seaglass Restaurant in one end of the building. Bars are set up throughout the museum.

The first picture is taken on a giant soap bubble “painting.” Beautiful and very temporary.


I took a similar picture the last time we visited.

This time we decided to brave the Tactile Dome – in total darkness. You climb, crawl and explore your way through the space. There are different surfaces and textures: AstroTurf, rope bridges, padded tunnels and gentle slides.  Sorry, I don’t have a picture from this part of our adventure.

This shadow-picture was taken in the Shadow Box which uses large phosphor screens which temporarily stores light from a strobe flash.


It was a perfect date night.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Balloon Birthday Card


A big, red balloon was the perfect image for a birthday card for my boss: bright, cheerful and uplifting.

As usual, I went to Pinterest for ideas and found Jennifer McGuire Ink and her cute and simple balloon cards, which I pretty much copied for the card front.

Since this was a red-letter birthday (she turned 40), I wanted something extra special on the inside: more balloons!  I found more inspiration on Pinterest with a link to this tutorial video by Valita. Too bad that  I jumped in without thinking and ended up having a few challenges with the card, but I’ll get to those later.

Open the card…




Gold thickers looked great for the number 40.

The mistakes I made include:

  • Heavy watercolor paper for the card – It doesn’t hold the creases as well as a thinner, more standard card stock
  • Double-sided tape that wasn’t strong enough – I ran out of my super-sticky tape and used some Scotch tape and it wasn’t strong enough.
  • No balloon-shaped punch – Not a mistake, really, but each balloon is two pieces, so that meant tracing and cutting out 22 balloons
  • Acetate that was too lightweight – I used a sheet of acetate that is used for copying and it was too flimsy to hold the balloons up, so I had to score and fold two creases in each piece with was fiddly and made them more rigid than I would have liked.

In spite of all of this, I’m pleased with how the card turned out.

Thanks for your visit.



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Dia de los Muertos


Small stones painted as sugar skulls, made at Craft Gym, for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Last year we created papel picado.


Thinking of my dad.

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Happy Halloween, 2015 (with Costume Photos)


Hope your Halloween was a treat.  Here are two pumpkins and one very long squash I carved this year.

Rem carved this cheerful jack-o-lantern with a similar smiling gourd hanging above.


Our Halloween fundraiser at work was held on Thursday. I originally had hoped to do a group costume with some colleagues but not everyone was as enthusiastic about the idea as I was. Instead, I copied a Pinterest idea…but I didn’t pull it off the way I’d envisioned it: using grey scale makeup and black and white clothing and accessories to looks as if I were in a black and white film or photograph


I didn’t manage to get very good pictures – either the makeup was coming off, I had real problems with the makeup all day, or I was missing the proper shoes (above) or purse.  My niece, Leah, loaned me many of the pieces for this outfit. Aren’t these sunglasses perfect? Her black pumps finished the outfit but I was rushing to have Rem take these photos before he had to leave, and I had on my comfier sandals

My biggest problem with the makeup is that I didn’t get grey for the base. I put off ordering it, than couldn’t find it locally and didn’t want to drive into San Francisco (the toll, the parking) just for makeup. What a mistake! I bought white stage makeup and mixed it with black powdered eye shadow to create grey.


The color was uneven and dried too dark. It smudged off easily when I changed my glasses or fixed my wig. I get overheated and was sweating to the point that on certain areas of my face, I couldn’t even get makeup to stay on. I was dabbing and powdering all day. It was a bit of a fiasco.

Then when I got it on, it dried and cracked and itched.  The black eye shadow mixed into the white base was really causing problems. What a mess! I said to Rem it looked like elephant hide.

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For the party at work a theme for costumes was announced: a character from a TV show from the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. I decided instead of trying to enact one certain person from a show, I would represent black and white TV, which is how I remember it being when I was a kid.


I named my creation Blanca Noir and of course she was an actress in black and white films and television. But tragically, once they started making movies and TV shows in color, Blanca was out of work. So sad.

In the end, Blanca Noir ended up being creepier than intended, but since it was for Halloween, I guess it was ok. It was weird when some of the black and white makeup came off (like when I ate lunch) and my own color showed through.

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Wearing pantyhose, heels, an elastic belt, a wig and so much makeup was too much for a full day at work.  It would have been better for just a few hours at a party.


I did have fun in spite of it and enjoyed the various reactions I got throughout the day. But I was really glad to get out of the get-up after work. Before I showered, I got a lot of the makeup off with cotton pads and Q-tips. I even had makeup in my ears!

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The next day I was feeling much more myself.


Hang on…


That’s more like it! Back in the pink.

Next year: something more comfortable!

Thanks for the visit.



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And Then This Happened (Grand Canyon, Part 2)


One of the things we wanted to do at the Grand Canyon was watch the changing colors at sunset. Because we were driving an RV we found an over-look that was fairly quiet.


We couldn’t resist dinner with a view, but after taking some pictures from inside the RV, we moved outside to just soak it all in.


Click on any of the photos to get a closer look.


We’d had a full day and it was so peaceful watching the rocks change from orange to purple as shadows crept across the canyon.


The next morning we were up early so we could drive back to the canyons South Rim to watch the sunrise.


The moon hadn’t set yet.







After breakfast in the RV, we drove to the Visitor’s Center, parked, and caught a shuttle to enjoy more beautiful canyon vistas.  On Tuesday we’d driven one direction to the Desert View Watchtower near the East Entrance to the park.  Now we went the other direction, riding the shuttle to the last stop, Hermit’s Rest.

We browsed the gift shop and made a few purchases, enjoyed the view then back on the shuttle to Pima Point.


And then this happened.

Rem had a seizure.

It’s important to know that he had a bicycle accident in 2002 and knocked his head badly, cracking his bike helmet. He suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as well as other injuries.  That is a whole long story, but since that accident he’s been on disability. He’s done a lot of rehabilitation and healing. Then about six years ago he had three seizures in one day. It’s possible that a bad reaction to an antibiotic he was taking, combined with the brain injury, were what triggered those seizures. Or it could have just been the TBI.

It is very distressing to see someone having a seizure, especially someone you love. Rem fell while he was seizing, cutting his lip, scraping and banging his arm and his hand. Almost as quickly as I got to him, and I was crouched over him, holding this head, two people were right there behind me, and the woman asked “how can we help?”

At the moment, of course, I was flustered and anxious, adrenaline pumping as I grabbed Rem’s dropped backpack to put under his head. But even under these extremely stressful conditions, I was amazed at her next words: “We’re both neurologists.


I could not have imagined having this happen while we were on vacation but if it was going to happen, especially at an out-of-the-way location, who better to have standing ready to help but two doctors who specialize in the brain and nervous system?

This couple, tourists vacationing from Germany (and I only caught his name, Tobias), kept me calm at a time I was afraid. They reassured me and one of them, when she couldn’t reach 911, spoke to a shuttle bus driver who radioed in the call. They asked questions about Rem and his condition and when they learned he had a TBI and had previously had seizures, they said it was quite normal to have another seizure.

Although it felt like like a very long wait for the ambulance with Rem unconscious on the sidewalk and me on the ground with him, leaning over his face so my sunhat provides him some shade, the two doctor continued to reassure me about the typical symptoms he was exhibiting.  They were standing to provide shade as well. We could hear the siren echoing on the canyon walls and it seemed to be close than would fade as the road turned.

Rem would stir and blink his eyes a bit than sink back down. When he more fully regained consciousness he was very disoriented, again, quite normal under the circumstances, and what I’d experienced when he’d had the other seizures. But it was so reassuring to have these two angels with us for the whole time letting me know it was to be expected.

The EMT’s are park employees and the two doctors helped answer questions about what happened.  I couldn’t even remember how old Rem was and finally said “I’m 55 and he’s 7 years younger!” One guy was asking Rem if he wanted to go the the clinic in the park and Rem was saying “no” but I was saying “yes!”  Of course part of the questioning was to help them ascertain Rem’s condition. When asked if he knew where we were he said “Yosemite.”  I thought that was actually pretty good – it’s a National Park that we’ve visited.  He knew the President but not the day of the week. We were on vacation after all, so I’m not sure if I even knew the day of the week.

Rem was completely confused to be lying on the sidewalk with people leaning over him asking him questions. I kept telling him “You had a seizure and fell.” He finally said indignantly, “Well why didn’t anyone tell ME?!”

Soon enough he was on a gurney and I stood up and looked into the faces of Tobias and his wife/partner. I thanked them profusely and they explained that they see seizures and seizure patients every day in their work, and hadn’t expected to be involved with any on their vacation. As we walked out to the ambulance they explained that they’re not allowed to practice in the US. I assured them that making a 911 call and staying with Rem and I was not against those rules and that the care they had provided with their knowledge, calm presence, simple questions and explanations, and even standing close to provide shade had all been so helpful. I was so grateful and am still amazed that these would be the two people who were right there when it happened.

I was able to ride along to the clinic. Rem kept asking about “the car” and wondering how we would get back for it. I reminded him we had the RV and it was safely parked and we could get to it after he’d seen a doctor.

The doctor at the Grand Canyon clinic was wonderful.  She was calm, reassuring, and thorough. After an exam, lots of questions, tests and their results, she sent us on our way with a prescription for an emergency “break through” seizure medication.  She urged us to contact Rem’s GP and neurologist that day, which we did. The possibility that both the heat and the elevation (around 7,000 feet) could have been contributing factors was discussed.

Our day had changed course from our original plan, and it wasn’t exactly fun, but it could have been so much worse. I thought of a number of people I’d seen on the rocks at the edge of the canyon in the past few days.  They ignored signs and climbed over fences to pose for photos.  In many places alongside the canyon there are no fences.  That morning watching the sunrise, Rem and I had been sitting on rocks four or five feet from the edge. I’m so grateful that his seizure didn’t happen there.  Or he could have been driving our 25-foot rental RV when he had the seizure, another frightening thought.  In fact, he couldn’t drive for the remainder of the trip or for at least three months. I’m glad that I’d already been driving the RV.

We left the clinic and got a taxi-van to the market place to eat lunch. Then a shuttle ride to the visitor’s center where we watched a movie about the canyon, relaxing in the air-conditioned theater.  Even after this little rest we were both pretty worn out.  We took a short walk to the parking lot and our home-on-wheels. We climbed in, turned on the generator and the AC, closed the blinds and took a nap.

After the nap we caught a shuttle for one last trip to the rim at Yaki Point, and a final look at the canyon.


On the drive out of the park we stopped at the entrance to get one more picture.


Then back to the RV park in Tusayan for a good night’s rest.

Thanks for stopping by.



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Grand Canyon: It’s So BIG!


Our first view of the Grand Canyon, at least the first view in the last about 40 years, was breathtaking. We went to the South Rim and had planned to go to Desert View first then make our way back to the more central Visitor’s Center. But when we drove from Tusayan into the park itself, and started to get glimpses of the actual canyon, we couldn’t resist pulling over for a good, long look.

It’s really, really big.

I was moved seeing it spread out before us. Tears sprang to my eyes as we stood and looked out over this amazing, vibrant sight. The size of it is so impressive.


When we’d checked into our RV campsite the evening before, I was a little disheartened by the dreariness. We had road on three sides of us, the back of a strip mall in one direction and no picnic table. A path from the shops to the camp ground went right by our vehicle/home. The staff person in the office was grumpy and unwelcoming.

Rem wisely pointed out we would be spending our time at the Grand Canyon and only needed to be back at the RV campsite to sleep. So it was really wonderful to get our first view of the canyon.

We climbed back into the RV and continued on Desert View to the Desert View Watchtower.


Each overlook provided new views of this magnificent chasm.



Here you can see the Desert View Watchtower in the distance.



Signs provided information about the canyon.



We made sure all the critters had a chance to see from the window of the RV.



Throughout the day, the sunlight and shadows on the canyon walls and rock formations changed.




Looking over to people at another observation point gives some sense of the scale.


I asked Rem to stay where we were and I walked to this point so he could take my picture.


He also took these next two photos:


This is our shadow-selfie (we’re waving).


There’s just too much Grand Canyon to fit in one post.

Thanks for your visit – please stop by again when I have my next post with more Grand Canyon pictures.






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