’21 April

Spring has started off nicely!

And They’re Off

Lona and TeeTee are doing a good job sending a few pictures every day to a large WhatsApp group of their near and dear who have expressed interest. The trip is three weeks of such good fun!

South Coast Botanic Garden

Mahzad, Merlyn, Hilda, Mohammad, Shahrzad and her daughter Rana

It was so hot we lasted about an hour!

Hilda invited everyone to join her in checking out the butterfly pavilion. The guide in the orange hair was the prettiest butterfly there. It was lovely…h.o.t. but lovely. We strolled a little, took a few pictures, and then stood around the snack cart drinking water!

The Getty Villa Reopened

Welcome! Me, Jim, Ingalill, Rick.

Nestled in the hills of Malibu overlooking the blue Pacific, an environment much like that of the original villa.
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Oh my goodness it’s like they opened the museum just for us and maybe 10 other people. It was Glorious! Look above, you can see from the entry plaza all the way, ALL the way through to the tiled fountain.

Through the inner peristyle…to the mosaic fountain below.

Spanish ocher-yellow marble staircase.
A little baby Bacchus…
Roman Glass

from the Getty website:

“A seated man is flanked by Sirens, creatures part bird and part woman, in this nearly life-size terracotta group. In Greek mythology, the singing of the Sirens lured sailors to their deaths, and so these mythical figures are often connected with the deceased. The seated man is also a singer, as shown by his open mouth and the pick (plektron) with which he plays his now-missing lyre, once cradled in his left arm. His precise identity, however, is uncertain. He might be Orpheus, who was famous for his singing and who helped Jason and his crew safely sail past the Sirens. But in art of the fourth century BC, Orpheus is usually shown wearing an elaborately embroidered costume that is not seen here. Therefore, the seated figure may be a mortal in the guise of a poet or singer. The precise meaning of the group has been the subject of extensive speculation, but perhaps the singer should be seen as prevailing over the Sirens and triumphing over death.

“It is likely that the group was made for a tomb. Originally brightly painted, it is an exceptional example of the terracotta sculpture characteristic of the Greek colonies in South Italy. Although terracotta sculpture is also found in mainland Greece, artists in the Greek colonies in South Italy used this medium with greater frequency and on a larger scale because there were few sources of good stone suitable for sculpting.”

Statue of Hercules (Lansdowne Herakles), AD 125. They have the room and it’s wonderful floor blocked off to guests, you can only peek in through the door.

from the Getty website:

“The Greek hero Herakles carries a club over his left shoulder and holds a lionskin in his right hand. These objects help identify the figure, since Herakles was often depicted with a club and the skin of the Nemean Lion, which he killed as his first labor. As is typical for depictions of Greek heroes, the young Herakles is shown nude, since the Greeks considered male nudity to be the highest form of beauty. No other god or hero is as frequently depicted in Greek and Roman art as is Herakles.

“The Lansdowne Herakles very likely was inspired by a lost Greek statue, probably from the school of Polykleitos from the 300s B.C. Found in 1790 near the ruins of the villa of the Roman emperor Hadrian at Tivoli outside Rome, this statue was one of numerous copies of Greek sculpture commissioned by Hadrian, who loved Greek culture. One of J. Paul Getty’s most prized acquisitions, the statue gets its name from Lord Lansdowne, who once owned the Herakles and displayed it in his home in London. Areas of restoration include the statue’s lower left leg and parts of both arms.”

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Protective Spirits, Assyrian, 645–640 BC, Nineveh, North Palace, reign of Ashurbanipal, gypsum. British Museum, London, 1856,0909.27, 1856.” from the Assyria: Palace Art of Ancient Iraq exhibit.

They would put these images at the front door to ward off evil. Looks pretty effective.

Close-up of the figure in the pool below.
The Herb Garden undergoing reconstruction.

Thanks Rick for the picture and here’s to Next Time!

Bon Voyage Lona and TeeTee

Here we are all working away putting together the route and accommodations for their three week trip across country. They leave on Tuesday and it’s all so very exciting for them!

TeeTee, me, Windy, Lona. Trevor took the picture.

Over Several Days

Sharon and I went to the outdoor Century City Mall recently. It was surrealistic being in a shopping mall with stores and things to buy in them. People are very soon going to be longing for the good old days of the shopping mall.

Still on my mind, having a visit to The Stans of the Silk Road through Central Asia – Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. One thing though, it’s hours and HOURS almost every day for a month in a rattling old bus over bumpy dusty roads which might be asking too much of my butt. We’ll see when the time comes, when heading out to distant lands is back on the horizon.

Nancy sent this, a picture with her friend in Yosemite. We love Yosemite. Lookin’ good ladies!

I had a housekeeping service come and what fun! I took this picture so I could get everything back where it was. They did an excellent job and I would use them again. What a welcome find.

Finally my persimmon stick is showing signs of life.

I didn’t take this picture! One of Jo Ann’s friends did a series of portraits and I’m crazy for this one. She made us dinner. Going to someone’s house for dinner feels so grown up. I rarely leave the house after dark.

Happy Anniversary

These aren’t my pictures but I love them. Merlyn and Hilda had a quiet twosome up in Ojai but later I got to go down to Long Beach and enjoy a delicious meal Merlyn prepared. They are in the midst of a major remodel in their condo and are living in another unit in a sister building. They’re hoping to be back home by June 1. It could happen….

Hilda found a wonderful biography of Hilma af Klint, a groundbreaking Swedish artist and great influence on one of our Persian Poetry companions. There is a charge, around $5 and I don’t know who gets the money. It might come out for free at some point.

Hilmaa af Klint, from Wikipedia “October 26, 1862 – October 21, 1944) was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were the first Western abstract art known to the current art community.  A considerable body of her abstract work predates the first purely abstract compositions by Kandinsky.  She belonged to a group called “The Five”, a circle of women inspired by Theosophy who shared a belief in the importance of trying to contact the so-called “High Masters“—often by way of séances.  Her paintings, which sometimes resemble diagrams, were a visual representation of complex spiritual ideas.”

What a Blessing

I used to have to leave minimum 2 hours early to make it to dinner in time – sometimes I was early and sometimes I was late. Look at THIS. Assuming no road closures, 45 minutes max! And home before dark. WOW.

For Phillip

What’s good and what needs help.

Top of my Alex-To-Do list, wash down the front of the house! Maybe it needs painting up at the top, discolored from the old Wisteria that covered the whole area.

The Wisteria on the right has made it to an April bloom like the old ones used to do.

Geraniums in the pot on the right, The Wisteria on the left is less full than the one on the right, and those are the Butterfly Roses against the building.

Santa Barbara Daisies and the Arizona Rose Sensation on the fence. Carpet White Rose in the pot surrounded by Lantana, daisies, Rosemary, and some Pink Chintz Creeping Thyme in the distance. The four lantana at the edges of the fence didn’t make it and the three lavender in the beds didn’t make it either.

I like how the daisies creep onto the porch. That’s the Butterfly Rose behind the daisies.
Above, the feathery daisies against the fence look great.

Below, the kumquat tree is entirely yellow, the dwarf lemon is nothing but yellow sticks while the persimmon is nothing but brown sticks. They all look pretty dead to me, and they did suffer this past year from who-knows-what (sun-water-nutrients: too much or not enough or the wrong thing), but buds there are, so “we’re” going to give them another season, which is Phillip’s advice.

So much of the Pink Chintz Creeping Thyme is gone because the spots were taken over by weeds and much of the rest is stringy and brown. The Santa Barbara Daisies seem happy enough to take over the whole yard. I do want variety though, so I’ll want to replant some ground cover, and the thyme, when it’s working, looks really good.

Yesterday and Today in MA

Yesterday I was talking with Elizabeth (of Les and Elizabeth in Lexington) about our gardens and she went outside to send me this Spring Time picture of one of her Forsythia. Then this morning, snow. It’s not like that here.

Oh No SETBACK

For a few days I’m going back to my 8 1/2 months ago regime, no sitting down. Ok Ok, I can do that, but it will be harder. At first I did not sit down from pain. Now I have to not sit down from force of will, will power never being a particular strong suit…

…too much fun probably caused a small ‘fissure’ to open again.  I promised my sister I’d stay put for 3-4 days and not sit down because on Monday I have two long commitments requiring a few hours of driving. Here’s hoping for the best. Standing around in my kitchen to eat or type, to do paperwork or work on my pictures, ETC. I’ve been standing for a few hours this morning already. It’ll be ok..ok ok.

(5/1/21 I’m better than before the setback so YAY for that!) 

Buzzzz

We like the bees. But sometimes…

This guy vacuumed up the bees into that Home Depot bucket for relocation, and scrapped out the wax with a putty knife. The bees built the whole thing in less than a week.

A Piece of LACMA Is Open

Oh Goodie! Jo Ann and I had a totally delightful afternoon. The cover photo is from our seats at Ray and Starks where, after absorbing so much tasty art we enjoyed a tasty beverage and shared a cheese board.

Jo Ann was taking pictures for her niece who loves Yoshitomo Nara.

I asked the mom if I could have this picture too, the girl was so into getting her expression just right.

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I’m going to ask a friend to translate the above since I’m beyond curious. The exhibits were limited to the two open buildings, the Resnick Pavilion and BCAM-the Broad Contemporary Art Museum. The curators must have had a blast building all these juxtapositions that Jo Ann and I both thought were especially cool.

There’s a lot of fuss going on about the exhibits not unexpectedly because most of the collection is packed up waiting for the new buildings. I say go, even if you find only one thing you like it will have been worth it.

Below is not a picture of a picture but an actual corridor with blue light and blank white canvases.

You can look on the website for the various exhibits, but the one below, NOT I: Throwing Voices (1500 BCE–2020 CE)

I’ll tell ya, it’s a quirky thing.

Burt and Charlene

I drove out to Simi today for a visit with Burt and Charlene. We went to a nearby garden and nursery, called Hartley Botanica, then we had lunch in B&C’s garden. Ahh, so nice.

Ken Came West

We haven’t seen each other in more than a year. Oh yes, I’m singin’ that song!

We enjoyed walking down the Promenade then over to the pier and out to Marisol for my first meal at one of my favorite spots for an afternoon break. This is the parking lot for the pier now used for the lineup to get into the amusement park area of Pacific Park. It’s true, at this point in the re-opening you have to be a Californian to ride the rides.

On the way back we stopped off at Misfits.

This is an internet photo of Misfits where we enjoyed a happy hour beverage and enjoyed telling a year’s worth of stories. Interestingly the restaurant was serving outside along the entire block since so many of its neighbor businesses were closed.

With Beth at the Ballona Wetlands

Trevor and Beth will have been here in LA for a couple weeks when they leave in a few days. They are staying in a hotel instead of with Lona this trip for various reasons, the whole thing is A Story for later. For now, let’s look at the view from their balcony. It’s hard to see but there in the upper middle of the picture is a viewing station and I was super-excited to do some viewing.

We walked (tromped?) out along a slight but still obvious toe path and sat on the viewing station bench..

And caught a couple of birds here in the Wetlands Bird Sanctuary. We could hear more of them than we could see.

We Are the (Vaccinated) Ladies Who Lunch

We’ve been The Monday Night Ladies for decades but we all enthusiastically agreed, LUNCH! Why not?! It’s a New World. No one would have to drive in the dark, we wouldn’t have to go to bed stuffed like little piggies, we could eat outside, and Hurray for ME, I wouldn’t have to drive across town in rush hour.

Alicia hosted first and a Grand Time was had by all. It’s the first time we’ve been together in over a year and oh yes we were happy.

Maxine, Ann, Alicia, Ljubica, Becky, me, Marija. Lourdes has moved to Arizona..we miss you and Marsha is out of town.

How cute are we? I think my hair got that way from running into the picture. That’s my story… Becky is the youngest at 64, then Marsha, while the rest of us are wellll into our 70s. Lourdes used to be the youngest. She’s still the youngest, she’s just not here.

Enjoying Alicia’s handsome back garden.

My Rose Bush Meets Spring

Whooo. In my old website system I used to use one picture all the time, one a day was an idea, but this system seems to call for a full story. The consequence is that days go by with a little of this and a little of that but not enough pictures in a day to make a story. Let’s see how this evolves.

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