wordquilt

Aug 19, 2017

Ho-hum wonderful

Written last night:

Dear Friends,


It was a ho-hum, wonderful day in ho-hum, wonderful Sacramento:

Rosa was in the car wash, so Zing and I walked the block. We came upon the same wall art that was starting up last Saturday -- part of Sacramento Wide Open Walls, which puts public art all over the city. Then we explored  a midtown neighborhood with charming painted houses. Then Steph and Patrick came to dinner and we ate tuna and noodles on the balcony. I also cleaned the house, but even so, it was a perfect day. 
Love, k










Aug 17, 2017

Yosemite -- Up, up, up

Written last night:

Dear Friends,

Maybe you’ve been to Yosemite. Surely you’ve seen the photos. Now I’ve been there too, with my own photos to prove it. Even though it’s only four hours away, I didn’t want to go. I was scared to drive up the mountains — petrified of the drop at the edge of the road. I'm used to Florida’s straight, flat ways; I thought I might get around to driving on a slant someday, just not yet.

But my visiting Tallahassee friends Lori and Andie insisted. They wouldn’t let me say no: they would go and I would drive ... Eeeek!

I feel Clark’s presence at the oddest moments, and he was there Monday morning, as I was driving my friends into the hills and California Route 120 started to rise. I felt Clark’s arm around my shoulder and I began driving like he would — confidently, with my eyes on the road and absolutely NOT glancing over the edge. And surprise! We made it to the top.

The park is stupendous, awe-inspiring, welcoming. If you’re into rock climbing, this is the place. Actually, come here if you love anything about rocks. (It’s also very crowded.) I can’t wait to return.

Love,
k



Our tram guide is a geologist
Visitors created these rock towers



Aug 13, 2017

Zing meditates and finds public art

Written last night: 

Dear Friends,

Zing and I are relaxing on the balcony, waiting for my friends’ 7:30 p.m. train from San Francisco. Today I got to paint and draw. I drew my shoes and painted a board: Love it. Zing slept under my bed in the studio, but he noticed when I left; the video camera recorded him whimpering the whole 10 minutes it took me to buy some cream at the corner store. Maybe Zing needs yoga. He’s already into meditation.


A block from the farmers market this morning, painters were spraying a mural as part of Sacramento’s Wide Open Walls public art event. When I wondered what the swirls were going to turn into, a woman pushing a baby carriage beside me leaned over and said “Fish.” She’s a friend of the artist. 

Love,
k





Aug 10, 2017

Vino vacation

Written last night:

Dear Friends,

I forgot what it’s like to be on vacation — you do something new every day and go,go,go. Today I took my Tallahassee friends Lori and her daughter Andie to wine country. And now we are all tired! 

First stop was Napa, which Lori visited some years ago. She kept marveling at how it has changed — bigger, mostly. We had lunch at the ABC Bakery in Napa. which Mary Kaye and I discovered not long ago. (Once again delicious.) Then we went in search of wineries, and ended up at a place in St. Helena, recommended by a friend.  It was my second “tasting” experience, although today I didn’t taste anything but water. Lori and Andie did, though, as new visitors to wine country must. That’s the way I felt a couple of weeks ago. Now I’m feeling like an old-timer. This V. Sattui tasting room is different from my first experience -- cavernous, with a deli and picnic area as well. Someone said they serve 1,000 people on Saturdays. Today the place was booming and it’s only Wednesday. Their mix of gracious grounds, wine-making displays and friendly, persistent sales and tastings ($20 and $25 for four or five tastes — can’t remember which) seems to have hit the vino sweet-spot: an adult amusement park.

And for the second act. we lolled through the famous California traffic on the way home. 

What I noticed most today is how proprietary I feel about California — I cringed at any whiff of criticism and glowed at every praise.

Love,
k

This room smells like wine ... or raisins

Across the fence from the tasting room



Aug 7, 2017

Train station people

Written last night:

Dear Friends,

I admire Terry Tempest Williams, and was going to hear her speak at the Presidio (not sure what that is — a park? near the Golden Gate Bridge??) in San Francisco today. But at the last minute I got an email that she’s sick, and the event has been postponed until fall. So I went to the train station a few blocks away from here to cancel my Amtrak ticket.

I love the train station. It’s big and historical. They let dogs in — just not on the trains. So Zing went with me and curled on the floor while I worked with the ticket seller. Then we looked into the big waiting room, with its clock and historical mural. You always see a great mix of people, and today this is what we saw. I leaned against the wall, well behind these young women, to sketch them.

Love,
k






Aug 6, 2017

Forget the quilts -- Let's go to Napa!

Written last night:

Dear Friends,

Today's plan was to go to an art quilt meeting in Walnut Grove with my friend Mary Kaye. She couldn’t pick me up easily because police cars blocked some streets by the Capitol to free them for a walk — I still have to look up what the walk was for. Anyway, she did finally make it. 

Next we got onto I-80, and it was all mucked up because of construction (something involving a bridge — they’re working nights and weekends.) Cars were barely moving. After many stops and starts and turns and trials of alternate routes we decided, “Forget the quilts — Let’s go to Napa!”

We turned our backs on traffic and took the back roads. Rolling hills turned to curves, sharper curves, "don’t look over the edge" curves. It was gorgeous. Acres of grapes, golden grass, and nut orchards (Yes, they call them orchards, not groves, says Mary Kaye, who grew up on a Southern California almond orchard.)

We ended up in Napa (pop. 76,900) — a bigger town than Yountville or St. Helena, the other wine destinations I’ve visited. We chose a place for lunch because it had a parking spot out front. Inside there was live music, long, patient lines, and tempting baked goods. We stopped there by happenstance, but intense study couldn’t have found a better restaurant: Alexis Baking Company.

I insisted we couldn’t come back from Napa without a bottle of wine — so we stopped at a small wine tasting room at a crossroads in the countryside. There was an antique shop across the street, with rusting tractors out front, and next door was a restaurant with many patrons. 

I didn’t know what to expect — a long bar? little tables with samples in paper cups?  something involving a spittoon so you can swish and enjoy many sips? 

Perhaps they’re all different, but this tasting room (VezĂ©r Family Vineyard) had the dim, cozy feel of a club or game room, with leather chairs and sofas and a small bar where a friendly tender offered tastes. You paid for tasting, but it was credited to the price of a bottle, I think. It all happened so quickly that I’m not sure. I had two tastes. Then I bought a bottle of red wine, which I’ve hidden in the cupboard by the stove. I’ve got a lot to learn.

Today turned out better than planned. We laughed all the way back home.

Love,
k


Walnut trees



Aug 5, 2017

Tidy for now, but not for long ...

Written last night:

Dear Friends,

You often read of artists who have studio assistants. I used to wonder what these people do. Now I know — they keep the place organized, they wash the paintbrushes, and they clean up the floor.

That’s what I tried to do today; it took all day and I’m still not finished. It’s like doing dishes— keeping the paints where they belong is a constant job.

I’m making my home my own. It’s phase 2. The first phase, which took a year, was to make it presentable. Now I’m making it mine. (Those paints won’t be tidy for long.)

Love,
k
Shelley's birthday is really August 4 -- my mistake!


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