It was amazing to look at the snow scenes of New York City yesterday on CNN.  All transportation stopped, and people out walking, taking pictures.  Here in So Cal today, it looked like this.


This was at the start of my ten mile walk today.  We went along some trails in these hills and down to the ocean.  Out in the distance you can see the Catalina Islands.


Our January has been quite a mix of weather.  The El Nino started, but didn’t stay too long.  I think it will return though.  It left some snow on the local mountains.  Here is a view with the Port of LA in the forefront.


In between days of rain and sun all colors and kinds of clouds filled the sky.




And some plants continued to blossom.




Being January, middle of winter, I thought the other day of one of my favorite quotes.  It’s by Albert Camus.

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”  I found this quote a long time ago when I needed it.  I hope that everyone who needs to, will find their invincible summer.







Fireplaces and Shade Trees

Still stitching my large mixed media, but I brought home my pastel landscape from my drawing class.  I remember first using pastels in the fourth grade.  I made a drawing of a cypress tree silhouetted against a pink and purple sky.  It was fun.  Working with pastels recently was still fun.  There are some mediums that seem to be more fun, compared to others that seem to take more hard work in creating the image or scene you’re aiming for.  I’m sure everyone has their favorite.  This one was done on pink paper.  The photo doesn’t allow you to see the pink coming through as it does in person.  If you click on it, you can see the pink a little more.


I had mentioned a graphic novel I was reading for my book club in another post.  The title is “Persepolis,” by Marjane Satrapi.  It was excellent, and the stark black and white drawings, also by the author, lent to the feel of the story.  A true story, it begins when the author is ten years old in 1979, as Ayatollah Khomeini comes to power in Iran.

At the end of the book, she is fourteen, and her parents send her to live with friends in Europe.  I want to read her second book which continues where “Persepolis” leaves off and takes the reader into her adulthood.

I purchased some other good books at the library’s book sale.  (Very inexpensive).  I had read Ernest Hemingway’s “A Movable Feast”  twice before.  Once in college and once recently.  Your perspective of a book is really influenced by the age you are when you read it.  I loved the story both times I read it, but responded to it a little differently the second time.  A true account of Hemingway’s life in Paris in the 1920’s.  At the library book sale, I found a novel based on his life at that time while married to his first wife, Hadley.  The title is “The Paris Wife,” by Paula Mclain.  I like non fiction, but “The Paris Wife” has the actual events mixed with the author’s take, so it’s interesting.


Another book from the book sale that I got a while back is “The First Man.”  It is an autobiographical novel by Albert Camus.  I loved it.  A lot of events from his childhood in Algeria.  I also love non fiction that takes place in foreign countries.  I was lucky last week at the library sale, because I found “The Stranger” and “The Plague”  by Albert Camus.  Both works of fiction, but supposed to be excellent.  On the list to read as soon as I finish “The Paris Wife.”


I came across some more “finds” at local thrift stores.  It can be very hot in the summer here, so I purchased some blouses that had long sleeves, cut them to be short, and hemmed them on my sewing machine.  The last three days have already been short sleeved weather (very hot) so I took these last couple pictures outside for a little summer ambiance.  A friend emailed me about the snow they are having in Connecticut.  It must be so beautiful to see it outside your window,  although maybe a little overwhelming if it’s blizzard weather.  I’ve seen a few blizzard photos on some blogs I read.  Wow.

What drastic differences across the country.  Some people reading in front of a warm fireplace, and some of us reading in the cool shade of a tree.