Friday, November 11, 2011

How can you beat the beat of the clutter drum?

On my walk today I decided to head to Savers. I passed a trash barrel with a drum in it. The clutterer in me wanted to save it, to give it a new home. Its skin was perfectly in tact. But it gave me the words for today's blog posting. I hadn't realized that the holiday, and especially the unique date of 11/11/11 would spark such a glut of sales everywhere.

Savers promotional advertising worked and brought in crowds of folks.
  Twenty percent off in one antique store—Kalembar Dune—and 50 percent off on many items at Savers, the former site of a super size me Stop and Shop. The economy may be choking us but thrift stores like Savers, do-it-yourself auto repair supply shops like Autozone, and used book stores are all thriving and giving us the shopping buzz without the huge debt. Plus, recycling gives you a good feeling. You donate decent stuff that no longer serves you, and it gets a new home with someone who wants it more than you do.
This 11" high pitcher was only $11 on 11/11/11 from Kalembar Dune.
These rotating globe book ends—totally unnecessary objects—seduced me for $12 at Kalembar Dune.

Savers was swarmed. Nothing I picked out was in the 50% off category but I got some great stuff cheap.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Red is the color of my true love's . . .

Autumn has always been my favorite season. Today I had an appointment outside of Boston at 10 a.m. The folks I was meeting were tied up in traffic so rather than stew about it, I took out my trusty digital and captured a bit of nature's fire.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fall back, spring forward . . .

What a whacky time of year. Snow so bad my friends lost power and stayed with me for three nights; and then a day like today...that bright October weather . . . in—November? Car trouble today found me walking home from the mechanic's. They offered me a ride, but with the sun out and me perspiring because of too many layers, I decided to say no to the walk that would have brought me back to my computer screen way too soon. I needed to ramble, amble, dawdle, look. Plus I had my "granny" walking shoes on, too, so there was no excuse. Everywhere I see aesthetics of decay. The leaves, the weeds, the grasses all cracking and drooping not unlike this writer's fading body parts. I like to find beauty in last chapters so how appropriate it was to be walking by a cemetery today. Here are some of the scenes that struck me hard enough to take off my back pack and pull out the old digital. Enjoy. And remember, if you click on each photo you'll see a lot more detail.

It was that deep rust married to the peeling paint that got the camera moving from my purse to my hands.

The gate to the long sleep. Inviting to some insomniacs.
This looked like the kind of rabbit hole any imaginative person could slip down.
I brought these dried beauties home and put them in a vase. I had just bought some fake greens for a vase at home but seeing the real thing, I knew I preferred nature's paint brush to sprayed plastic.

I was sure all the snow was gone a week later, but there was a huge pile of it sitting in a Walgreen's parking lot.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Aesthetics of decay: right under your feet. Some naturally well designed and some a warning to enjoy your breath.

So long since my last posting. I skipped September completely! Have you all given up on me? Famous juggler that I pride myself to be, I dropped several balls of late and have decided instead to spin plates on a stick. In between those feats of extreme balance I take walks and look around.

This morning while walking through the West Roxbury part of Boston my photographer's eye was drawn to the random cracks in concrete...thinking about all the cracks in our lives—as much as we try to keep it all together—form a web of patterns that viewed from a distance can be pleasing.

While looking down for more images I saw a clump of what I thought was dirt but on closer inspection was a decomposing sparrow. No longer breathing. We're all heading to some similar resting place below or above ground so why not make the most of every breath and flap our wings whenever we can. I bought some fresh flowers, something I rarely do.

Hey, if you're reading this on Facebook or as email you've received, why not go directly to my blog and click on "Join this Blog" so I can build my "platform" as they say in the publishing and social networking lingo. Thanks for stopping by and please add your comments and feedback directly on the blog, too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reminders where you find them . . . take a breath and smile

Today was my third attempt in several days to bring my car back to the mechanic who worked on it unsuccessfully. "Engine needs servicing light" came on after my $300+ investment was supposed to have solved it. That and replacing the bulbs in the break lights and one of the head lights as well as an oil change. I'm trusting the oil change. And someone just today confirmed that the break lights are working. But one of the headlamps, the same one that was out before, is out again. I called the mechanic to schedule a correction for the work, but over the last 10 days kept getting one of those android sounding electronic voiced messages. So today I drove by and saw posted on the fence that the owner had died and the business was closed!

My last few days of annoyance with the car not being right evaporated. I felt terrible for this guy I had just shared a lively conversation with about classic rock music and how to find names for your little entrepreneurial businesses of which I always seem to have too many. I had paid with a juiceboxartists check and that's what had prompted our exchange. I was driving down to Mansfield's Comcast Center to hear my son play keyboards for Foreigner the next night and was pleased that all this work had been done on the car. The check got cashed, but the light's not working, the engine light goes on and off, and the gasping sensation that the car seems to make when I turn it on in the morning has gotten worse—the replacement of the "sensor" was supposed to fix that.

The unexpected finality of my mechanic's departure from this plane certainly trumped any annoyance. So there I was driving along feeling sad for his friends and family and smack in front of me was a van with the words and images above, complete with angels. It was a red light, just enough time for me to pull out the old Lumix and capture the phrase that reminded me to take a deep breath, to think about how grateful I am to be alive and well, and to find a new mechanic.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Egg-ceptional symmetry in the city

The Muddy River winds  through the Emerald Necklace inside the Fens and beyond. I always enjoy contemplating the perfection of the oval created by this bridge and its perfect reflection.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Subway? No way! When there's Hubway . . .

This morning as I was returning from my walk, I thought to myself that I hadn't discovered anything today that inspired me enough to create a blogpost about it and then, Wham! I was in front of the Pru surrounded by a fleet of folks in gray and green T-shirts who were wheeling around bikes to introduce us all to Hubway a new service that's coming to Boston this month.

Me (right) in my new Helmet standing with
General Manager of Hubway, Mary McLaughlin 
I signed up for a one year membership right on the spot. Now I can use their bikes for errands or exercise anytime I like. On their official launch day—July 26—Hubway will offer 600 bikes to the Boson area with more arriving soon as plans to expand to Somerville, Cambridge, and Brookline solidify. That's me in the picture above with the general manager of Hubway Mary McLaughlin. For signing up today in front of the Pru, I received a free helmet. When I was in Montreal two summers ago, I noticed bikes for rent were all over that city and was sad that Boston wasn't offering the same. But now we are.

Here's the Montreal version of the same service

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Urban cowgirl finds nature in the city quite enough, thank you.

I once told a friend that my preferred Nature was not Mother Nature but Human Nature. That if I had to choose communing with the trees or the sidewalks full of people, there is no contest for me—the city wins out every time. The best of both worlds, however, is a stroll through the Fenway Victory Gardens which brings both Natures together just a few steps from my doorway. Here are some shots I took just a few minutes ago. Wanted to get them out before my day tumbled into all its tightly scheduled slots. Enjoy and be sure to click on top of the photos so you can enjoy greater detail.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Soul food "weather" it's good for you or not . . .

Deep in the cells of my little girl self—the days of the Good Humor Man ice cream trucks, the Creamsicles, and high school years with trips to Brighams in Malden Square, followed these days by pilgrimages to JP Licks wherever I can find them—my craving for that comfort food calls to me especially when the temperature rises.

And in the case of yesterday's indulgence, the sweet ice cream followed the crisp sweet and salty tastes from a new Taiwanese Restaurant (free wi-fi!) —Sweet Potato Bistro—which has just opened in the site of the once popular Chinese restaurant on the corner of Beacon and Walnut Streets in Newton. Give them a try. New owner Freddy is eager to please.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer night lights in the city

Every time I exit my front door and head in any direction I'm reminded that Boston is such a walkable town. My condo has been rated 98 out of a possible 100 points by to be a Walker's Paradise.  Here are a couple of shots from tonight's stroll around the reflecting pond and fountain at Christian Science Church World Headquarters.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

From the roof . . .

Away from the crowds, I was still able to take in the variety of last night's sky writing. I missed grabbing some of my favorites—the gyroscopic formations, the letter B, and even a cube! Still, I captured some of the light then boosted and distorted it with the help of my iPhoto to show some of the visual drama. Enjoy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Marking territory along the Charles . . .

My annual 4th of July walk along the Charles River was earlier than previous years—a full 12 hours before the fireworks. Some folks had marked their territory as early as 6 a.m. and lines snaked along the path for those waiting for admission to the lawn in front of the Hatch Shell. I enjoyed finding so many different uses and expressions of our stars and stripes. A very patriotic feel today.

Necessity is the mother of . . . no, maybe it's adapt or gasp . . .

Two images that seemed disconnected suddenly suggest a theme: one creature surrounded by its source dies in the middle of it while another creature caught without the usual raincoat and umbrella makes a fashion statement in Whole Foods today as the skies threatened to extinguish our hopes for fireworks a few hours away. The fish was a big one, at least 18" long floating and gasping on the Charles while the fashionista from Estonia shined a great big smile into my camera. So am I grasping for some words to pull it all together? You bet. Help me here, my imaginative readers, and give me your ideas about whether or not the two images can be linked.