We made an impromptu stop yesterday at the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge. It was a soulful deviation from the hustle and bustle. I can handle hustle, but then you throw in the bustle and I'm overloaded. Must be in fresh open air now. Pull over.
This refuge is the first urban National Wildlife Refuge established in the United States. It's located on the Pacific Flyway and encompasses 30,000 acres of mudflats, marshland, salt ponds, open bay, and vernal pool habitats.
The Refuge continues to acquire sensitive habitats for migratory birds and hosts over 280 species each year. Millions of shorebirds and waterfowl stop here on their spring and fall migrations. I'm more than a little confused though by the allowance of open hunting of waterfowl here. What's up with that? In fact a motor boat sped by us at one point, crashing into the silence and calm. It's a wild, wild life. You have to grab your silences inbetween. Have mercy.
Despite those criticisms, it's definitely worth a visit to this unique open space, with some otherworldly landscapes, and some very dedicated and sweet volunteers.
Happiest, warmest solstice wishes to everyone. We went on a family hike after Thanksgiving and brought back this friendly tree branch. We had to drive home with it sticking out of the car window, being mindful of pedestrians and bicyclists along the way.
We decorated it with moon lights I've had since my Jesse was a baby (he's 24 now), birds, acorns, and skiers.
For Thanksgiving we had organic Cornish game hens, root vegies, and beaucoup pies. For Christmas dinner we decided to deviate and make Kung Pao Chicken!
Hope you all had a beautiful day. Loads of love to you!
Customs agents in Milan seized 88 pounds of beluga caviar from smugglers; estimated value $550,000. What did the Italian authorities decide to do with the confiscated delicacy? It is "to be given to canteens, hospices and shelters for the poor". Bravo! "Would you care for some confiscated wine with that?" Who needs Santa? I'm sending my wish list to the Director of Customs in Milan, ha.
You too can have a chandelier like this. It's made out of recycled banana boxes (instructions here) as seen on Anke Jakobs' site on this page here. Also check out her site for some interesting background and links.
While we're on the subject, I discovered a fun banana museum in Auburn, Washington. An interesting fact from the museum's web site, "Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in the early years (1892-1920s) were given bananas to eat. Many had never seen them and didn't know how to eat them - some ate the whole thing, peel and all." They have a great collection of banana memorabilia, including some vintage banana boxes:
If you're in the Auburn, Washington area over the holiday this would make for a fun family outing. Say hi to Anna Banana, the curator, and tell her you heard about the museum on So Sylvie.
Also, I'd love to know if anyone creates a cardboard chandelier, or any other sculptural lighting. Have fun!
Here's a sneak peek at a fun job I'm doing at a San Francisco family home. What follows are "before" and "during" photos.
The client (head bowed in photo, I will reveal her name in the "after" post) desired what we came to call "The Queen's Green" for the living room walls. We chose Ben Moore's Georgian Green. We used Ben Moore's Cloud White for the woodwork throughout the home.
What was once a pink dining room is now Mellow Ivory, also Benjamin Moore. Which by the way looks absolutely nothing like it did on the swatch and it's the one color that we didn't sample on the wall first, but we were quite pleased with the outcome.
Your wild grandma's bathroom! We loved all of the paint samples combined. Trouble is, we didn't like any of them individually. I considered broad stripes using the blue one with one of the lighter green ones. You'll have to wait for the "after" post to see what was finally decided.
Previously pink hallway. I had the Benjamin Moore shop copy Farrow & Ball's Elephant's Breath (a savings of $50 per gallon!). It's my new favorite grey.