Saturday, February 18, 2012

Water Began It All

This weekend is your last chance to see a small and fascinating exhibit at the Huntington Library and Gardens.

Water Began it All features meticulous paintings by Michael J. Hart. Mr. Hart's long history as Vice President and General Manager of the Sunny Slope Water Company got him interested in the San Gabriel Valley's long history with water. If you want to see what the land looked like before it was settled, Hart's detailed paintings give you a good idea.

There used to be a lot more water here.

One of Hart's inspirations is still visible on the property of the Sunny Slope Water Company. Turn north onto La Presa Drive from Huntington Drive. Within a block or so you'll see a stone marker by a fence on the west side of the street. Just beyond the fence--the eastern boundary of the water company's land--you'll see a stone dam built by Tongva Indians under the supervision of Joseph Chapman (a story in himself). I included a photo of the dam in an article I wrote for Patch a little over a year ago.

At first J and I thought the spurs pictured above were not everyday spurs, and were worn only for show. But the more I think about it the more I realize that's a 20th-Century concept. The Spanish who settled here in the 18th and 19th centuries didn't ride for show. They rode for a living. They conquered the Tongva and they conquered the water and to them, all of it was business.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Geisel Geyser

All it takes is a neighborhood walk to know that Dr. Seuss used to hang out around here.

I have it on good authority that he spent time at the Huntington Library and Gardens. Go there and visit the desert garden and you'll know what I mean.

Perhaps he never walked down this particular sidewalk on this particular street in Pasadena. But just the other day, someone stood on this very spot and thought about him.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Inspecting the Grounds

A great deal happens on the ground. Because of this, the ground requires constant inspection and monitoring. It must be smelled, poked, viewed and dug into at all times. Bugs must be harassed. Rocks must be located and relocated. Dirt must be packed under fingernails and applied to adorable little skirts.

About fifteen minutes before I took this picture the boy on the left said to me, "TV's boring." Well, yeah. Who needs television when you've got friends, a dog and dirt?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Home Shopping: Folklore

Because I don't have a Guest Author for you today, I thought I'd tell you about a local author. Well, I'm reaching. He was born in San Marino, but he didn't exactly stick around.

His name was Tristram P. Coffin. He was a professor who studied and wrote about folklore. He died a couple of weeks ago in Rhode Island at the age of 89. (John says this makes him a Ghost Author.) The New York Times' obituary is detailed and interesting.

You can still easily find most of his books. Vroman's will even order one for you. He wrote about folklore in baseball, in holidays and even in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

Speaking of reaching, since Mr. Coffin was born in 1922 I plugged "1922 San Marino" into my search engine and found this house at 1922 California Blvd. in San Marino. It was listed for sale only a couple of days ago at $1,850,000. Do look at the slide show, there's a lot to be seen beyond the hedge.

Let me know if you buy it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Your Valentine

I picked white azaleas and camellias in our yard and made a bouquet for our table last night. Lots of stuff is blooming right now. The rain helped. I think the plants like the cooler weather, too.

This one's growing in our back yard. It climbed over the fence. I don't know what it is. Any clues?

I hope you have a happy Valentine's Day. J and I couldn't work out our schedules so we'll celebrate later this week. We feel fortunate to have each other and we celebrate that every day.

To those who have a date tonight: have a lovely, romantic time. Indulge in your love. It's good stuff.

To those who dread this day like final exams, nausea and the coming of Al Qaeda all in one: I recommend self-indulgence of the non-alcoholic kind. (Drinking makes it more maudlin than it already is.) Ice cream, chocolate, chips, cookies, a good book, a funny movie, bubble bath--whatever you want, you should have it. Indulge yourself, dammit. Somebody's got to do it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Zen Monday: #183

Zen Monday 
Zen Tuesday 
Zen Wednesday 
Zen Thursday 
Zen Friday

Or, in your words....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tears of Clouds

I told John I didn't know what to say about this photo. He said, "You could write about the lacrimae rerum."

Don't you hate that? Men. OMG, so freaking typical.