Posts Tagged With: stars


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My time at home this last stretch, gave me little time for reading. When we left Yuma I picked up a meaty book I’d chosen over a year ago at a used book store. I read the cover overview and was intrigued enough to buy it, but every time I picked it up, the front cover and title were so vanilla, I could never quite tempt myself to dig in. This time, nothing in my book box appealed to me just then and I read line one:

In 1954, the summer before I entered third grade, my grandmother mistook Andrew Imhof for a girl.

I discovered an intensely pleasurable story that will stay with me a long time, as some books do.  The author wrote about a family similar to Laura and George W. Bush after reading biographies of them, a book about political figures but not about politics. About American values that clash with reality. Living rich and living poor. I devoured this book.

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My second discovery was my night scene photos from the overlook. I’ve done this multiple times, taken a black sky picture, some even had a dot of a moon in them, but all black and uninteresting in the end. I tossed them each time wondering why this setting on my camera is there if it doesn’t work? I pulled all of my photos into picasa and decided to see what happened if I edited them and tried injecting a bit of light into them?

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I’m not sure what is what in this photo but the lens captured something.

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And this one, too. Maybe shooting stars? It was a different part of the sky when I aimed.

Now, I’m sorry I threw out those photos that had partial images, but gratified I made this discovery.

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We’ve settled into Palm Springs Thousand Trails, which is located in nearby Palm Desert. It is a beautiful park. This group is playing pickle ball, a mix of badminton and ping pong, playable on a short court.

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I did a couple loads of wash while Jim fixed a leaky water pump and then we took our walk. Checked out the pickle court, the pool and hot tub. Read the bulletin of activities going on. We bought tickets to  play in Indio before I left Murphys.

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Then we read the afternoon away. Ahh! I’m going to start another big meaty book I’ve put off. Another over 500 pages, Einstein, His Life And Universe by Walter Isaacson. In the credits, it seems everyone who knew him wrote a book about him. Jim really enjoyed this book and prompted me to read it. I’m ready.

This morning in my email, I received a note from Bob Sims, one of the committee members taking care of Salvation Mountain. Leonard Knight has been in a rest home near San Diego for 2 years. His health has been stable and has taken a turn for the worse. Leonard is such a sweet man. Bob suggested prayers may help.

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Jim drove us to a canyon overlook with miles and miles of desert at a place he holds dear. He spent time here with the WINS, a singles group that would gather the wagons, so to speak, and light a huge bonfire and enjoy the beautiful skies, the peace the quiet and serenity that you find in special places.

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He and others from the group would 4-wheel among the hillocks on the shallow canyon floor and to me it is just a desecration of nature. I don’t appreciate the tracks or dust of such a sport, so while he looked fondly, I walked the canyon rim looking for pretty rocks and taking pictures.

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What is nice about places like this, right off the California highway S 22, is there are multiple spots anyone can pull over to enjoy the views. Each canyon will be different. The Salton Sea is visible in the background, but barely since it was slightly hazy on this day.

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The light doesn’t do its magic as the sun moves across the crags and fissures as it does in the Grand Canyon, but these small, canyons have an appeal of their own. It surprised me that we didn’t see a lizard, a bird or anything alive. I’m sure they exist, but not to any excess.

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Had we had time, I think hiking the canyons would be interesting. The pictures are better in a full screen slide-show. I took 39 of them, if you’d like to see them.

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I like that our lifestyle allows us to seek out places like this and enjoy  dinner with a view. As night clamped down, the haze prevented any stars from showing. I got up twice during the night to see if it cleared, but only a sliver of a moon peeked through a gray haze.

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Before light the next morning, some bright stars were out along with a heavy wind. I set my camera for night scene, but it just isn’t good enough to capture a star.

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In Ivoryton, Connecticut, the Ivoryton Playhouse was the first summer theatre in Connecticut and is a distinguished and significant contribution to the arts in the area, attracting theatre buffs from New York and Massachusetts, and elsewhere.

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They’ve also attracted top name talent, like Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, Mercedes McCambridge, Marlon Brando, Betty Grable, Art Carney, Groucho Marx,  to mention a few of the notables.

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The playhouse itself is charming and intimate with only about 120 seats and then there are elephants. This is a sculpture in the front yard of the playhouse. An elephant with toes resembling piano keys. You have to know a bit about Ivoryton to understand the significance.

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Ivoryton was the home of two piano companies. Those were the days when the keys were made of ivory. Thus, you see elephant motifs at the playhouse and all about town. Once radio, television and mass entertainment took over the standard parlor piano for entertainment, the piano business began to wane and the old buildings that once housed piano making are now closed. It is said 90% of the ivory imported to the United States passed through Ivoryton. Smaller companies also made ivory combs, dice, jewelry, sculptures and other sundries.

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No theatre allows pictures of a play in progress, but we were free to photograph the inside of the building. On the side walls are many pictures of the stars that played here, and they were many.

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The pictures behind glass are hard to photograph with any success. The glare is impossible. DSC08105

I enjoyed viewing them, even if they don’t photograph well. So many old familiar faces.

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The Dream Girls, the play we saw was a preview where the playhouse invites criticism. Technically, we could detect no glitch. It was done perfectly. The voices of the men and women who eventually made it big at Motown were big, wonderful voices. The whole play was done musically and music was the theme. But, for us, the playwright chose to tell the entire story in song instead of having the plot spoken in interludes, the struggles, the girls and guys taken advantage of by unscrupulous agents, etc. they sang their lines and it was difficult to follow the plot.  Sometimes the music was so loud you couldn’t hear the lines well enough. But, the theme is certainly worthy and Motown music would have made it sooo much better.

Others loved it, so who are we to criticize?

After the theatre, we poked around a little antique store across from the theatre and I always find stuff I like, but luckily I can’t buy much when we live in a motor home.

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Sunday night, I was invited to a moon watching party. My neighbor Jan loves things zany and fun. I showed up in my midnight sweater and yellow moon shirt, I intended to gossip and dish the dirt.

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I told them they wouldn’t be seeing the moon because I lassoed it and cooked it like a young spring loon.

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Through the overcast, we didn’t see a star, the moon was cooked or someplace far. But, Jan had a star tied to her fence;  I think we’re both evil and must commence- a magic spell.

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But, the night was early, we munched and ate dinner and played games for hours, when the hint was for a swim suit the answer was flowers. Becky was jubilant when she guessed one right.  She wanted my hat, but I said, “not without a fight.”

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I did take pictures of it; not meant for a queen, it is more on the style of a time machine.

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A moon at midnight, takes timing and watches, (that’s literally watches the hat holds seven.)

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It’s power was weak, it didn’t influence heaven.

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As the evening wore on, Cheryl opened her pouch.DSC07429 (Copy)

An all-seeing crystal and rose, clear and smoky quartz. A geode of sky blue, magic was about.

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Cheryl placed them strategically, a gateway to the moon.

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Jan and I atoned for our evil sin. May the whole world let the light in..

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…and find peace and love, everywhere. And, it works one person at a time, I know, I was there.

Happy Moonday!

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Murphys Independence Hall Quilting group has one of the better quilt faires I’ve seen over the years. They do a great job and attract entries from other states. I attended yesterday afternoon, but this morning, I bundled up  to see the much touted meteor showers, shivering over my cuppa coffee. The sky was in full bloom and a lovely half hour spent star-gazing was enjoyable, though I was apparently too late for the meteorite shower.

I managed to do some star-gazing at the quilt faire yesterday, anyway.

This white on white quilt pattern looks more like  snowflakes than  stars, but star patterns abound in quilt making. I chose this quilt to show because of its beautiful stitching. Quilts that last are stitched like this one, every quarter inch.

The starry affect in this quilt is part of the material print, rather than the quilter’s cut.

A star framed portrait, an unusual piece, and lovely.

An abstract of dresden plates floating star-like in a sky of blue. I actually didn’t intend to find all the star patterns in the faire. This was totally accidental. There are so many interesting things to choose from.

A pattern I had never seen before. Well, not exactly, a take on a log cabin but designed as a hanging garden, working very well.

Flower motifs are much loved by quilters, and this arrangement was unusual and pretty.

This quilt is amazing because of the work represented.  Each square is the size of a postage stamp. From cutting, to making the seams, to precision arrangement, this quilt commands respect.

Tulips in a Hawaiian quilt pattern. Hawaiian quilts are generally quilted tighter than a quarter inch so you often see them like this, one piece in a wall hanging. They are difficult applique, fine lines and points,  and quilted to resemble the ocean waves.

Original quilts are challenging. Lynne Ingalls from Seattle copied a snapshot she took of CatherineThe Great’s summer palace and produced this enchanting piece.

Another challenging walll hanging made from 52 shades of gray. I didn’t count, but again, the stitching is close, wonderfully executed and an unusual one of a kind pieces.

There is always much to see and do at a quilt faire. This woman is teaching how to mitre corners with and without stripes. The workshops are free for anyone who wants to watch and ask questions.


A food court provides delicious food and drink; a place to take a break and rest your feet.

Vendors supply materials, patterns and anything a quilter might need, and many things a quilter didn’t know she or he needed. Tables are filled with ready-made gifts to take home  like these cupcake shaped hot pads. Every year sees a new fad. This year it was kernal corn filled flannel pads that you heat in the microwave and put on your lap or the back of your neck to keep warm on a cold winter morning. I wish I had had one with me whiile I star gazed on the deck.

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