Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Monday I point the van back towards Arizona after a wonderful visit. But this morning I spent a few minutes in the car wash and thought I’d take a few photos as well as stop in to say hello and hope all of you are doing well. There will be much to tell when I return.

A miracle occurred this weekend! My husband had the entire weekend off! We decided to take advantage of that and head north to Petrified Forest National Park. As we headed up, both in direction and elevation, we finally reached this view and a temperature of 50F. We were wearing jackets. Color me excited!!

The closest town to Petrified Forest is Holbrook, Arizona, railroad and Route 66 town, which is now a sake destination. Sound unreal? It does but it’s also true. Atsuo Sakurai worked his way up from cleaning floors and other chores to first-grade master sake brewer in Japan. But sake brewing licenses are scarce there and he and his Navajo wife Heather moved to the US, eventually ending in Holbrook to be near her family. I’d read an article about him and his brewery in Arizona Highways but had forgotten about it until I was searching for things to see/do near Holbrook. We decided the chance to taste internationally recognized sake was too good to pass up.

From a start in their garage, Atsuo eventually opened a small business where his junmai gingo won a gold medal as the best sake produced outside of Japan. That’s a serious honor. He also won best sake in the Los Angeles International Wine Competition.

Do read the Smithsonian article. It’s really interesting and worth the time.

Here is rice fermenting.

I called on Friday to ask if we could meet him for a tour and tasting and he agreed. The tour doesn’t take long and we tasted all five sakes. The large bottle in the middle is the original award-winning one, the others riffs on that. From left to right: Desert Snow (unfiltered), Herbs and Bitters, the original Junmai Ginjo, Prickly Pear, and Navajo Native tea (a suggestion from his father-in-law.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried sake but based on my experience I expect at least a bit of bite. Was I wrong! Every one was smooth and delicious. We ended up buying one of each and plan on a family sake tasting or two at Christmas when everyone’s here. So not only was it was wonderful story, the end result was delicious. Win-win.

It was a great start to our day. Now it was time to head for Petrified Forest.

It’s Monday and it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. Sit down with me for a few minutes, have a cup of tea (there’s enough left in the pot) or some coffee, and let’s talk about random acts of kindness.

Random acts of kindness have been around for some time, but during Covid they became a bit harder to perform because we were staying away from others. I decided that was a perfect time to start sending lots of postcards and notes, thus also propping up the post office. 🙂 Although I’ve only gotten a few cards in return, I’ve received lots of feedback about how much the recipients enjoyed getting real mail. I mean, how many of us get real mail for a live person in the mail once a week or even once a month? But isn’t it exciting when you do? A postcard or card means you don’t have to write too much but it let’s the person know you’re thinking of him/her.

I have two other rather random things I do on a regular basis. I try to return at least one shopping cart other than my own to the cart corral during each visit and I push them all together properly. I’ve actually had several workers thank me, which was surprising but nice.

In Arizona most lawns are rock as are communal areas such as those on either side of walking paths. For a variety of reasons, small rocks are always getting onto the sidewalk and I’ve made it my mission to kick a number of these back into place whenever I walk. Yeah, it’s a bit like Sisyphus, (with my original misspelling of his name, the suggestion from auto-correct was syphilis, not exactly an interchangeable word), but every little bit helps.

Now it’s your turn. What random act/s of kindness do you practice and why? Answer in the comments or if you write a post about it, please link it in the comments.

OK, now go out and meet Monday with a smile and some joy in your heart!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who recalls the day in 1986 when the Challenger space shuttle exploded barely over a minute after taking off. A few mornings ago while walking along the Strand in Hermosa Beach, I came across this memorial to all the crew as well as to astronaut Greg Jarvis of Hermosa Beach.

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., time to remember those who have dies for our freedoms. Don’t forget them or take these freedoms for granted. Not everyone has them.

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
― G.K. Chesterton

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

Looks like Windows is doing another update on my laptop making it impossible to read blogs or schedule a post. Thank goodness for my iPad!!

Isn’t this a great advertisement for a hair salon? It works well in California where things grow year-round. It wouldn’t look quite the same if the hair were cacti. 😂😂😂

Welcome to Wednesday.

And happy birthday to my husband! ❤️

…I still think of Christmas as white. 🙂

Thanks for being part of my online flock. 🙂 Some of you might already be into Christmas Day when you read this, some are still enjoying Christmas Eve Day. But wherever you are in the world or your celebration, I pray that you have a merry, happy blessed Christmas (or holiday) and the same sort of 2022.


I’ve wondered about the difference between black and white and monochrome, terms that seem to be used interchangeably. However, as I researched, I found out that’s only partially true. The differences and similarities are the same as those between Scotch and whisky/whiskey. Grab your glass and read along.

Grammerly points out the differences in the spelling of this type of alcohol:

Whisky (no e) refers to Scottish, Canadian, or Japanese grain spirits. Whiskey (with an e) refers to grain spirits distilled in Ireland and the United States.

Now if you picture the drink, no matter the spelling, as the large circle of a Venn diagram (Dan, I know you would draw this but I don’t know how to do it online). Scotch whisky (not wiskey) is made only in Scotland while adhering to certain laws. So Scotch is a small circle inside that large whisk(e)y one. Bourbon whiskey (not whisky) is made in the US and mostly from corn, so that’s a separate small circle in the large circle making up whisky/whiskey. So large whisk(e)y circle with small Scotch and bourbon circles inside it but not overlapping each other.

SO…all Scotch is whisky but not all whisk(e)y is Scotch and all bourbon is whisky but not all whisk(e)y is bourbon AND Scotch and bourbon aren’t the same.

Now I’ll cut to the chase, hoping you’re still enjoying this. All black and white (the Scotch or bourbon of photography) is monochrome, an image composed of one color (the whisky/whiskey of photography and the big Venn diagram circle.) But any image composed of one color that isn’t black and white (or the more accurate term “grayscale”) is monochrome. All black and white/greyscale (small circle) is monochrome (big circle) but all monochrome is not black and white.

So if anyone asks you the difference between black and white and monochrome, you can tell them black and white is Scotch, while monochrome is whisk(e)y. That should start a lively conversation. And that means my photos over the next few days are whisk(e)y, Scotch, and greyscale. Cheers or Slàinte mhath in Scottish. pronounced slan-ge-var. Go figure.

P.S. Today I’m taking my parents to get theirs (and my) second Covid vaccination shots (Moderna.) Tomorrow I’m taking my husband to get his first shot. These are blessings!! Hopefully we’ll have no side effects, but both mornings will be full so if I don’t get to your post right away, my apologies. You know I’ll always be back. 🙂