Posts Tagged With: Art Fix


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I’m very comforted by the fact that public places like airports, hospitals and other great buildings share with us some of the great art of the world.  If you can’t get your art fix in a gallery, you can freely walk around public buildings and enjoy. This glass sculpture hangs from the ceiling at the Defenders Lodge at the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital. It hangs down into the stair well from the 3rd story above. It is considered a mobile and reminds me of Dale Chihuly’s work. No one knew if it was one of his installations or not.

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The pieces resemble butterflies, or stingrays.

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Such beauty. In this area, the glass pieces created colored shadows on the wall.

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Most of the “leaves” are a foot long or more. I always say, pictures don’t do it justice, and it is true.

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The lighting makes them luminous. Photographing them from the stairwell is easy.

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The Defenders Lodge has a terrific library, with comfortable chairs and many books. It has closed doors and is a very quiet contemplative place. This bowl of glass balls sits on a desk.

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On a coffee table, some ceramic flat work.

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They encourage you to say, “Gee, I could do that!” Of course, I didn’t, and someone else did. And, they look easy until you start to build one. I like them. I worked with clay a bit at one point in my “wanna be an artist” former life.


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In the radiology clinic, about 20 or more paintings were horse themed. All of them are behind glass and because of the glare, getting a decent picture was tough.

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I tried, after admiring these horses racing through the snow.

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And splashing through water.

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A wood print, also under glass.

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There are stunning pieces in this collection, but like this one, the glare is impossible. But, I thought seeing the people reflected in the background gave it some merit.

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Doll figures were in a different hall. When Jim has his eye done the next time, I’m going to use my waiting time by visiting each floor and each clinic and admire the art work that is sure to be there.

In closing, we met and talked with Bobby Brown and another vet, Ron (last name long Italian) Batt, for short. He was born and raised in San Francisco, went to the same High School as my husband, who was also born and raised in S.F.  They traveled some of the same by-ways and told similar stories about similar watering holes and restaurants.  Ron was great fun,  a good story-teller and it turned out that we had mutual friends in Tom and Mary Kingshill, who moved from S.F. to Murphys about 18 years ago. It was a fun reminisce.

Now I have to consider showers and toilets, wall plugs, lighting fixtures, refrigerator placement…that kind of stuff, but a worthy task.




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From my computer I got this story of a man ahead of his time.

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Freddy Heineken, like Henry J Kaiser,  was  ahead of his time. (Remember the Henry J?) He decided to make a bottle for his beer that could be recycled into a brick. Notice the neck fits into a dimple in the bottom of the bottle, a perfect fit like a brick.

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There were buildings made with Heineken beer bottles, but not the wave that Freddy envisioned.

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Freddy thought a square bottle would be more desirable and easier to build with.


He also designed a cube, to help the building process by smoothing corners and giving some variance to length. But, in the end, people just didn’t like square bottles. A round bottle fits the hand better. And, that is the end of the story. Don’t I wish I had a couple of those bottles for my decorative bottle fence?

Henry J’s failed to attract buyers and were sold off quickly. My father bought a second-hand one and we were teased by neighbor kids about our weird car, most likely imitating their parents talk at the dinner table.

Recycling has reached new heights and if Freddy is still around, I hope he knows he was a man ahead of his time.

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I received an email about creative recycling and I could really put this to work in my yard.

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I wouldn’t mind an herb garden reachable from my kitchen window.

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I’ve used plastic bottles for a number of projects, but these are better ideas than mine.

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This is a great way to use an old shoe,  but I would worry about a predator bird getting to these vulnerable babies where I live.

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I’d prefer to use old shoes for plants. I have several candidates in my garage.

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With a long, squirrel proof wire, this would work very well, if hung far enough from the ground with no access from a table or other device.  I got my first crop of crab grass from the scattered seed on the ground. Now you can buy bird seed without noxious weed seed.

After yesterdays pouring rain and chill, we are expecting 86 degree weather today. We are in Allentown, PA. where Jim once lived many years ago. We’ll go to a huge fine arts  museum so I can get my art fix.

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While I wait on medical appointments and continue therapy at home, I’m never idle or bored. I like to have an art fix now and then but instead I’ve been busy with neglected chores around the house. Karen complained that plants were dying because they aren’t getting enough water. Each morning now for several weeks, we have ferreted out the tiny drip heads that get buried under leaves and caught under branches and get plugged and need cleaning or replacing. Karen has been hand watering in the heat.  A contributing culprit was the failure of an electronic clock I paid $40 for, two years ago. It’s a Toro. Don’t buy one. You can no longer buy a reliable mechanical clock. I still have two that work that are over twenty years old. It is maddening. They never completely fail, they just partly fail so you don’t know they aren’t working properly until you have dead plants.  Hopefully, the Rainbird at $65 will last longer than two years. I’ve got several units to  replace between home and the rental.

There is always art to soothe the soul. I pulled this abstract from the garden as I know I’m missing the great art in Taos, deliciously full of art galleries in a town famous for its artists.

If you were unable to tell, the abstract was part of this mottled pear, which tasted just fine for all of its skin problems.

Jim counsels me to “Give it up, let your kids have it and then they can worry about that stuff.”  I understand the philosophy and freedom of owning nothing but the necessities under your feet, but I’m too deeply rooted. And, while he didn’t care much for Taos, I thoroughly enjoyed the art fix I got from his pictures. And, he took care to photograph things he knew I’d like, as in the bench with the  abstract cover, and paintings and old buildings and flowers taken with his watercolor feature on his camera.  I enjoyed the bold quotes of Kit Carson and his house. So, today, back to the garden and a manuscript I’m finally finishing up from August 15th for the archive.

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From Mary’s desk:
I can’t believe I used the slang word majorly, but, like, I’m from California, I can get away with it once, right? I needed an art fix and my partner isn’t an art kinda guy. I insisted we had to go to the Blue Dog Cafe to see George Rodrigue’s paintings. Everyone recognizes the Blue Dog. She’s omniscient.

But lets start at the beginning.We stopped at the visitor’s center first and voila! A wonderful sculpture called Miss Rose’s Bar created by Al Lavergne stood on the grounds. This image is meant to commemorate the corner bar, where black folks (not allowed in Country Clubs or Recreation Centers,) found their social life in barbershops, churches and corner bars. He has a very interesting past you can read about, and see more of his art work at:

At the visitors center we learned about Pelicans On Parade and a location of several murals around town. So, off we went. Found some murals and a couple pelicans. Glittering glass caught my eye on Jefferson St. at Whoojoo Gallerie. Artists were working on a couple of huge glass pieces, but Richard Whiting’s carved steel trees beckoned to me.

You can learn more about Richard Whiting at the web address below.

The Acadian Cultural Heritage Center (Number 5, for us,)  was our next destination. It told the story in pictures of the Acadians hunting and trapping alligators, turtles, muskrats, and certain birds nearly to extinction. One Cajun man replied, “We didn’t know. We thought it was an endless bounty.” He said his mother could skin 59 muskrats in an hour.

Interesting and well done, early pictures of Acadians were compelling. Their close knit families, subsistence living from the land, and their independent way of life that made them happy with what they had.

Two couples we chanced to meet in the museum were full time RVers, as is my partner Jim. They recognized him, had heard him speak in Yuma, and had purchased his book.
Minutes before, two French cousins of mine, that I’d never met before, were also checking out their French Heritage at the museum.  Lawrence D’hon, a Lafayette local, and his cousin from Nova Scotia told me where to get more information about the D’hon family history, Prejean, Nova Scotia.   Serendipity!

We flitted over to the Sans Souci Arts and Crafts Center then bee lined for the Blue Dog Cafe. Too late for lunch but open for Happy Hour, an affable bus boy routed us through the restaurant, allowed me to take pictures of the Blue Dogs, and sat us down at the bar for appetizers and beer. The Portabella Mushroom Pizza was, as they say, to die for.  I asked him for the recipe which Derek, the bartender supplied, sort of. He’s not the chef.
If that wasn’t enough, Katie Bird-Brupbacher happened in. She is Louisiana Regional Sales manager for Domaine Napa Wine Company. I heard Napa and Two Buck Chuck and instantly went over to say hello.
As I remember it, one of those years when the reds came in strong, wine prices were dropping.  Wine maker Charles Shaw sold a  million bottles of his Cab and Merlot to Trader Joe who put it on his shelves for $2 a bottle. Everyone began calling it Two Buck Chuck and I drank my share of it .
What more can you ask of a day than good art, serendipitous connections, and majorly good food and beer? (Shiner Bock and Albita Pale Ale.)
You can see more pictures on the link below:

Derek’s recipe for Portobella Pizza:
“I don’t know the amount of each ingredient, but, it contains, artichoke hearts, jack cheese, shrimp & crab broilled on a portobella and served with a butter, lemon, white wine sauce.”
It was crusty on the top and may have had some bread crumbs, I’m guessing. I love cajun food but this reminded me of California Cuisine. Yum!

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