Thursday, September 29, 2011


I WISH I COULD REMEMBER if I've already told you about Mr. Bob's fiftieth birthday surprise party. Somewhere there are photos that could be scanned but I don't know how to lay my hands on them.

We rarely entertained in our own home. I envied hostesses who knew how to do it, but alas, I was not one of them. But that year, I got it into my head that a grand celebration was called for and I arranged to stage it in Glendale's Civic Auditorium.

I planned for it to be a month after his Christmas Eve birthday, the better to fool him and Christopher designed the invitation and then the flyer that we sent through the mail, announcing that a Square Dancing class was starting. We mailed it only to ourselves and to my mother's address, just down the street. She had died the October before, but her mail was forwarded to our house. Sometimes I think it's shameful to be so good at deception. It took a little doing, but I talked Mr. Bob into attending.

My plan was to invite every person we knew........friends, relatives, bookshop customers who had evolved into friends, everyone with whom Mr. Bob worked at the Times Mirror Press, where he helped to print telephone books and Auto Club maps.  At the time we were very active at church and all of those people received invitations with the request to bring a favorite dish. I supplied an enormous ham, a mountainous green salad and a king-sized chocolate birthday cake. That was the first time I became aware that people want to be told what to bring to a potluck or in school, students want to be given a more specific assignment than being told to write about anything they wish.

If memory serves me correctly, I had to arrange for a bartender or two, a security guard, a square dance caller who specialized in helping people who had never indulged in that particular amusement.. 150 people came. I arranged for them all to be given kazoos.

On the night of the "class", Mr. Bob stopped at the service station across from the auditorium and for the first time ever, decided to figure out his gas mileage before we left the gas pump. I was ready to jump out of my skin. When at last we drove into the parking lot, Mr. Bob made the observation that square dancing certainly didn't draw as many participants as the ballroom dance lessons we'd attended.

As we entered the auditorium, "Happy Birthday" greeted us on all those kazoos. I remember how overwhelming it was to me, the planner, to see all those beloved, familiar faces. I can't imagine what Mr. Bob's reaction was; he's not now and never has been one to talk about his feelings. His hairdresser sister from up north grabbed him, put a beautician's cape on him and sprayed his hair silver for the occasion.

It was a splendid evening with a wonderful cross section of people. I remember wondering how it would seem for Jesus to square dance with a vice president of Lockheed Aircraft, but it worked beautifully as an ice breaker.

All too soon it was over. And now it's just a memory; for me at least, a happy one.

“Middle age is the time when a man is always thinking that in a week or two he will feel as good as ever.”  
                                                                 ~ Don Marquis

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


THE DOCTOR kept asking me why I hadn't noticed the mass in my left breast while showering. Hadn't I felt something unusual? No, not until the day about six weeks ago when something was obviously different and the discovery resulted in a gut wrenching fear of what it might be.

And I've been thinking. Why wasn't my husband asked if he hadn't noticed anything different? It seems an obvious assumption that in a married couple there might be some activity that would reveal an abnormality. Just wondering, that's all.

Today is the MRI and I was planning to listen to music on my Apple device and then realized that no metal can go with me into the tube. So my coping device plan went up in proverbial smoke and I'll be left to my own imagination. Just the idea of lying perfectly still on my stomach, a position I never, ever assume, for a whole hour seems daunting.

I can't look forward to that feeling of "There! That's done and now I can get on with my life", but rather there's a lot of fear about what the test may reveal. I know the wisdom of remaining positive in my thinking, but my modus operandi all these years has been to get ready mentally for the worst and then exalt in the good news that usually results. It's worked for me, up until now. It feels as though everything is changing, all at once. And it's scary.

"Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop."
                                                                           ~Usman B. Asif

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I'M SO NON-INCLINED toward things medical that I never even watched "Dr. Kildare", a TV series back in the 60's. I'm not tempted by any of the current doctor series, although I've been known to sneak a peek at "Doc Watson". I totally understand his fear of the sight of blood.

 Even as a 3 year old, I had no aspirations to be a nurse when I grew up. I came close to convincing my last family doctor that I was a Christian Scientist, and he pretty well gave me my head about what tests I wanted to have (zero. nada, no way)

Now I'm paying for it.

That's our hospital. Yesterday I went to the medical building in front (can't be seen in this photo which was taken from the medical building in back)

I'd decided not to go into the details of yesterday's appointment and then I read the latest comments on yesterday's blog. Joanne's uttered appreciation for the medical reports came close to changing my mind and then I read that even worldly-wise Ted in Minnesota had his fingers crossed and I couldn't just leave him that might interfere with his taking the daily picture of Lake George, so here I be with an update.

When I say my prayers, what I ask for is courage. And I came through the hour yesterday with the equivalent of a stiff upper lip. The growth is large......nearly the size of a tennis ball......the next step is to see if it's metastasized (I couldn't manage that one without the dictionary). I need to go to a hospital in Pasadena to have an MRI of the breast (excuse me, gentlemen, but modesty is at a minimum here). "Will I have to go into a tube?" I asked, for I think claustrophobia may be present in my latter years. "No, you'll lie on your stomach wearing something much like what Madonna wore", was the answer. I can hardly wait.

And a chest x-ray. And blood work. And surgery. And then a recommendation of how to go forward......radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of the two. And then the drum roll as I make my decision.

One thing he stressed was not to ignore it and then three months down the road changing my mind when the condition starts to get ugly.

When I had my clothes back on and buttoned, Tim was called in and it was all explained again. Even the second time around, it was more than the mind could absorb.

Once out of the medical building, we eased ourselves into the van and Tim drove us to a restaurant where we gorged ourselves on BLT pasta and key lime pie.

Should this medical saga be continued?

"My mother didn't really cook.  But she did 
make key lime pie, until the day the top of 
the evaporated milk container accidentally 
ended up in the pie and she decided cooking 
took too much concentration."  William Norwich

Monday, September 26, 2011


BY THE TITLE, I mean there must be other topics besides medical matters, but I sometimes wonder. Last Friday, Bob awakened me to say that someone was here to draw my blood. (Not what one expects as a first activity of the day) So up I sat and I held out my arm and the lady was very good at her job. I barely felt a thing and have only the faintest of bruises to show that she was here. I must say that she and her working partner were unusually photogenic.

This morning I headed off to the podiatrist, so that's out of the way for another seven weeks.

This afternoon's visit to the surgeon is a bit more ominous. Except for removal of cataracts, I just don't have the word, "surgery" in my vocabulary. The one good thing is that this man has a wonderful bedside manner, everyone agrees. Thirty-five years ago he attended to my mother. He repaired Mr. Bob's hernia two years ago and more recently installed the port through which he receives his chemo. Too, he's operated on our friend, Roger, more than once.

Following the hernia procedure, when Dr. A. came out to give a progress report, he directed his remarks to Diane until I meekly said, "I think I'm the one you should be telling this to". The only time I've been his patient was to see if my condition was lymphedema and that's when he recommended a diet of "If it tastes good, spit it out." Last time I passed him in the hospital hall he observed that I'd not been spitting enough.

So I'm off to see him later today and I suppose there'll be one more medical report here before all's said and done.
From there, I'll attempt to give you a more varied range of subjects. I don't want you to cease reading Manorisms just because of what we refer to as unending AARP talk. If you're over 50 you'll know to what I refer. If you're under, you'll find out soon enough.

Cross your fingers. Say your prayers.

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.
                                                                                                                                                      Mark Twain

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I REALIZE YOU'VE SEEN this picture before and there's little doubt but that you'll see it again if I'm here in the autumn of 2012. It's my favorite of our collection of fall photos.

To be honest, Spring is my favorite season of the year, with all the opening buds and resurrection of plant life, but next I would choose autumn even though there's a note of melancholy to it. Best of all is that first night when it's cool enough to reach down and pull up a blanket. I love that.

This morning when we were leaving our apartment to meet friends for breakfast, we found two bags on the doorknob. You see only one here because I staged it. Four times a year we experience this, with each equinox.

This year's card read:

inside was a large, nut-encrusted muffin.

At the same time last year this is what we discovered on our doorknob:

It pleases me  when people commemorate the seasons this way. Celebration should be a daily thing, methinks. There's always something to pay tribute to. Not that I always do it, but when it happens, it's a wondrous thing.

Young Son Tim is helping a friend move today so his usual Sunday visit was moved to Saturday. I needed a few things from the market. Mr. Bob declined our invitation to join us, preferring to take a nap at home. I waited in the car while Tim ran in to Trader Joe's to get the few things on my list which did not include the mini pumpkin he proudly showed me. He was moved to get it for me in celebration of autumn. That's my boy!

"Oh how we love pumpkin season.  You did know this gourd-ish squash has its own season, right?  Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin.... We anxiously anticipate it every year."                                                       

                  Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer, October 2010

Saturday, September 24, 2011


WHEN WE INTERVIEW the residents for the directory, one of our questions is "What are your hobbies?". For the staff directory, I changed the query to "When you have spare time, what do you like to do?" When the subject is holding down two full time jobs, the answer is likely to be, "Relax". Alas, no time for hobbies.

Recently I've taken up my knitting needles again and am working on a project that gets more and more difficult to interpret the instructions. There's always the danger that I'll put the venture aside, never to be picked up again; therefore when Diane invited me to join her Saturday morning class I readily accepted, in the hope that it will spur me onward. The 103 year old, expert knitter here at the Manor recently died and no other resident volunteered to keep the knitting group going, so when I arrive at a stumbling block, I'm stuck. The other class members are working on needlepoint, so I'm the odd duck in the group, left to figure out my own dilemmas. When it gets difficult, it no longer feels like a "hobby", but life is that way, as we're demonstrating these days. We're in a hard part right now.

I think you all can guess at one of Mr. Bob's hobbies, in fact I think it's the only one he has left. Sleep, beautiful sleep. A few minutes ago he appeared in our living room, sat down in his recliner, got up and brought me a glass of water for my pills and headed back to the bedroom, saying he guessed he wasn't ready to get up after all. He's indulging in his hobby, just as I'm going to do as soon as I take my shower and hike to the parking lot to drive up the hill to our old stomping ground. Those ladies may not know how to figure out my knitting pattern, but they're damned good company.

“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either.”                                                                                                                     Elizabeth Zimmermann

Friday, September 23, 2011


    something that causes activity between two or more persons or
    forces without itself being affected.

    a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be
    more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.

The word "catalyst" is the one description that I can comfortably accept for myself. Presumably that's what made me a halfway decent bookseller; my ability to put people together or person and book successfully.

I suppose it's this quality that makes me wish I could gather together into one room all of you good people who leave comments, so that you could come to know each other. For, truth to tell, I think your comments make more interesting reading that what you're commenting on and I suspect that several of you would be compatible.

The best I can do here is to list some of your names, telling how you came into our world. But before I do that, you must realize that there is an equal number of readers who for whatever reason don't leave comments and they are just as precious to me, even in their silence. I am honored that you take the time to join us by reading what I send out most days. Thank you.

ANONYMOUS...........One in particular, judging by her writing, is
                                     Lisa, a long time bookshop customer who,            
                                     after the sale of the store remains a friend.

A NON Y MOUSE.....A lady, my age, who lives in Minnesota. We                                 
                                    met through looking at each other's photos
                                    in flickr. She's an artist, plays the accordian
                                    and has great legs and wears Harry Potter
                                    glasses. She's the wife of

TED............................Also a resident of MN, a retired art        
                                    professor at the college level. Every day
                                    for the past few years he has taken a photo
                                    of the lake, standing in the same place. I
                                    shamelessly tease him about the
                                    ho-humness of the exercise even though I
                                    suspect it's brilliant.

JOANNE ...................A customer in the bookshop's early days, we
                                    have reconnected because she's the best
                                    friend of the daughter of the woman I share
                                    Manor library duties with.

EDIE...........................We met on an Elderhostel weekend in
                                    Austin, TX back in 2003 and have kept in
                                    touch ever since.

DENISE IN C'VILLE..Years ago, maybe 10 or so, a small group
                                      of people got together, online, with the
                                      common interest of writings by Anne
                                      Lamott, especially "Bird by Bird". We
                                      called ourselves The Birds. With a couple
                                      of exceptions, we've never met face-to-face

LADY...........................A staff member here at the Manor.

MJ.................................Now living in Vermont, MJ served on my
                                      staff for some time and was one of my
                                      favorite employees.

KAREN.........................Mr. Bob's niece who lives in Whittier.

COLOR..........................Another flickr friend, one who travels for
                                        Duke University. We had the good luck to
                                        meet her when Pasadena was on her
                                        itinerary. She's a wonderful watercolorist.
                                        Click on her name to visit her blog.

#409................................A Manor resident who lives next door.

VAL................................I've not actually met Val. She lives in PA
                                         and is the reader who sent flowers when
                                         Mr. Bob was hospitalized.

LYNNE...........................A longtime customer and friend who is an
                                         accomplished violinist.

SHELLEY.......................Mr. Bob's niece who lives in Chino Hills

SUZAN............................No idea how she found us from her home
                                          in Great Britain.

DAVE...............................A previous neighbor, the one who has a
                                           front yard full of mining paraphernalia
                                           gathered from the High Sierra when he
                                           was a camp director there.

THE WRINKLIES............Harvey&Sheila from England who visit        
                                           the USA each year for an extended time.
                                            That's their name when we correspond.
                                            We respond as The Wobblies.

KATHY G. .......................When new residents move to the Manor,
                                             great help is supplied by Gentle
                                             Transitions. Kathy G. made our move
                                             as painless as possible.

SUSAN H. ..........................Our dear and precious daughter in
                                              Alaska. The women in our family are
                                              the verbal ones. The men are more

LIDOLIL..............................Another unmet flickr friend who        
                                               resides in England. She's of my age
                                               group and is a belly dancer!

COWTOWNER....................Lonna is the daughter of our once-
                                               upon-a-time best friends, both long                                                            
                                               gone from this plane of existence.

MICHEO..............................A flickr friend from Spain. She's the
                                               teacher who asked permission to
                                               use my blog as her high school
                                               students' lessons because it's more
                                               interesting than the text book.

How I wish I could reserve the large room on the Lower Level here and invite you to come see us, all at the same time. I'm pretty sure you'd enjoy each other.

I can pull up statistics about my blog. The following shows the activity for one week. I can only imagine that some them were called up by mistake for I don't know a soul in Russia or Argentina and the countries that are green show activity.

Again, thank you for being part of the Manorisms community.


Thursday, September 22, 2011


IT'S BEEN an emotionally needy day, one full of weeping (mine) and understanding and counseling (theirs) and I must say I'm ending the day feeling better than I did this morning. Unending teardrops lie so near to the surface that it takes just a thought and they spring forth to my eyes and once started, it's nearly impossible to stop them. Other people don't go around wailing and I feel ashamed at the copious deluge that pours forth at the slightest provocation. I have so little control over it that it's hard to go out in public.

Thursday mornings are when the doctor pays a visit to the Manor. After he saw the waiting patients, he and the nurse came up and paid us what used to be referred to as a house call. He's very religious which is not to be sneered at in a medical man and English is not his original language although he's quite fluent in it. In an effort to be comforting, he quoted from Ecclesiastes 3:1 "A time to be born and a time to die" which wasn't exactly a consolation given the circumstances, but I rose to the occasion enough to giggle as I told him I thought he needed to master the pronunciation of that Biblical book before he could be taken seriously. He laughed, too. It was the first time in my life that I've requested some sort of medicine that would keep me from sniveling my way through every day. As he wrote on his prescription pad, he cautioned me to take the medication only as needed because it tends to "crowd" the brain. True enough, there's an awful lot in my head these days, so it made some sort of sense and then Mr. Bob figured out that what the good doctor had meant was that it would "cloud" the brain. We laughed again because either interpretation was good reason to use it wisely.

Noontime arrived and I made it through dinnertime with dry eyes, joining in the mealtime conversation, but soon clouded up when talking with a very wise, sensitive resident who is a good listener. We moved from the dining room to the lounge where my sorrow gathered momentum. Soon we were joined by the executive director and then led to his office where the door could be closed for some privacy. On and on I sobbed and was assured that with the amount of challenges we're weathering, it wasn't unusual to be grieving........anger, sadness, fear....all very much to be expected.

By the time we returned to our room, some measure of serenity had been restored, at least temporarily. There'll be more to come as we travel this bumpy road without knowing where it's leading. I just wish I could become more self-contained in my emotions and not subject people in my life to everything I'm feeling.

"It's so curious:  one can resist tears and 'behave' very well in the hardest hours of grief.  But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer... and everything collapses."            

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


IF I HAD A STOVE, look at what I could attempt!

But the question is, would I?

"Gluttony is not a secret vice."
                                                                        Orson Welles

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


CHRIS and his family had the opportunity to visit friends somewhere in the vicinity of Santa Rosa, CA last weekend. The location was off the beaten path and involved getting there on a dirt road.

When I opened my mail this morning, I found this message and the enclosed photos.

Here are a few photos from the trip we took. All of their power is solar and their water comes from a spring. Owen had a fun time even though he started out wearing an eye patch. He had bumped his eye with a coat hanger while getting clothes ready for the trip. He kept rubbing it so we got an eye patch which really helped. From their front porch you can see a nearby Buddhist monastery on a mountain ridge.        
Owen took the last picture of Larry.


Can you imagine living in such surroundings? I'm not very much of an outdoors person, but I'm a good appreciator.

The pictures convey a lovely weekend. Meanwhile, here at home, I'm trying to concentrate on my newly framed poster, keeping calm and carrying on. The telephoned report from the doctor who did yesterday's biopsy did not impart information I wanted to hear, but here's one way of looking at it; Mr. Bob and I have one more thing in common. I'll see a surgeon next Monday at which point I'll have some decisions to make.

"Maybe it's easier to like someone else's life, and live vicariously through it, than take some responsiblity to change our lives into lives we might like."
                                                                                                               Tish Grier

Sunday, September 18, 2011


WE USUALLY WATCH the 11 o'clock news, not usually the wisest of bedtime stories, but Mr. Bob is a news maven and I think I watch it just out of curiosity and to see what weather is predicted for tomorrow. After he toddles off to bed, I sometimes linger, usually tempted to explore the Internet. I know it's not referred to as the web because of the complexity of following thread after thread, one thing leading to another without knowing where one will end up and sated, finally turning off the computer.

 A couple of years ago I somehow ended up at the site of Barter Books in Northumberland, England  and was beguiled by the poster which seemed a perfect thing to remind Mr. Bob to chill out when he slipped into a state of agitation. The story of the motto's history was interesting and it seemed an obscure discovery. With the ease that the internet provides, I quickly ordered a copy of it before turning in for the night. 

When it arrived we oohed and aahed over it, before putting the poster aside as is our habit, planning to do something with it when we got around to it. Now, two years later, the motto is appearing for sale in catalogue after catalog. Hardly an unusual thing anymore, it's become a cliché. Did I still want to carry through with my original intent of framing it? Or had procrastination been my enemy? I decided that it was still pertinent to our situation.

Tim came today to do our bidding and I sent him to Aaron Brothers after calling first to see if he could use my credit card. Yes, they said, so we dispatched him, armed with measurements for the British poster and an enlarged photo taken by Mr. Bob years ago at the Reno Air Show which was featured in the news this week. Tim thought it might be poor taste to use it just now, but it had been on my to-do list long enough.

Who knew that I could show you the accomplishments with our reflections showing? The one on the left is highly appropriate for I have an appointment at the hospital at 10 a.m. tomorrow for an
ultrasound and biopsy. I'm doing my best to keep calm and there's nothing for it except to carry on. Damn!

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.
                                  Michael Caine 


THAT BROTHER of mine sent me to this site and while there's nothing uplifting about it, I'm moved to share it if for no other reason than that it's astounding. Or so I found it.

I'll try to find something happier to send you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I WILL NEVER, ever be accused of being too tidy. Wherever I am, the area immediately around me becomes littered with "stuff". I can tell, in fifteen minutes, when I've arrived in a motel room. It just happens, even when I'm attempting to be neat, a quality that doesn't seem to be in my genes, although my sibling with the same mother and father lives a nearly monastic existence in his spare surroundings.

I realize that one of the things that leads to such untidiness is having too many things in my life. In all honesty I have to plead guilty to being a gatherer par excellence. With all the recent television exposure about people who hoard, I fear that I may be a borderline hoarder, but I hope it's not that bad. Over the years I think I've read every book written on the subject of de-cluttering and organizing. The time spent reading them was for naught.

This morning I ran across this which gave rise to the subject for this post.

I digress only slightly when I go back to the days before we made the big move to the Manor. I interviewed four recommended candidates to carry out an estate sale for our accumulated belongings. They all had seemingly good qualities and explained how they would proceed with the undertaking. I was assured that everything would disappear, right up to the last potted plant and the final trash can. Or at least I thought that was what I heard. Out of the four, I selected the one who had run a retail store in the area for 25 years. In fact, several of our pieces of furniture had come from her antique shop. No matter that the percentage of sales that she'd acquire was 10% higher than the other candidates quoted. I went to bat for choosing her to be the one we'd work with.

Wrong! Without going into the details, when all was said and done, we were left with a worse mess than when it all began. Once we'd emptied the full attic, a stuffed garage, and a house full of 46 years worth of "treasures"; once the sales were over, once the seller and her motley crew walked off the job, this is what we were left with. The shot is from the attic window.

Be still, my cluttered heart.................

And that was just a portion of the patio you're seeing. The rest was equally shocking. The clean-up was left to two tired seniors trying to simplify their lives.

Tim to the rescue..........

is a
 of the effort it took to finish the job we thought we had hired someone for. Tim did a magnificent job.

The sad part is that I was just sure that I'd be a new person when I moved into the Manor. I'm smart enough to know that "No matter where you go, there you are!" but I thought I could overcome that and change my ways. Alas, not so. There seems to be no end to these battle of the bulges. Closets, storage spaces, surfaces, the body, all too much of a muchness. Soldier on......................

"Everything we possess that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes a burden, and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it."  
                                              ~Robert Brault

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


We used a window frame on the fence in our back yard. Only once did I get climbing yellow nasturtiums to crawl up the side.

THERE WAS a British author, now deceased, whose writings I appreciated hugely. In one of his books, "The Thatched Roof" Beverley Nichols wrote this of windows:

"To me, all windows are magic casements. Whether they are bright or dim, whether they give onto green lawns or blink at barren bricks, or are shaded or sparkling, the life I see through them has a sweeter pattern. There is something terrifying about the wide spaces which the eye enfolds in the open air; and there are times in a man's life when he must always be darting his head from this side to that, watching from the corner of his eye to assure himself that the Enemy is not creeping towards him from the dim distance. But when he looks at life through a window he is safe.

Safe! And master of his own world. For with a tilt of the head, a cloud is banished, a green branch dances into view, the church steeple lifts its grey finger in the foreground and the picture is perfect. A step to the side of the room, and the view through the window is utterly different, though no less delicious. For now the steeple is gone, and three poplars take its place; the hill gives way to a valley, the sky is a deeper blue and across the foreground a swallow flutters, like a swift line in India ink from the pen of a Japanese artist.

Windows! Perhaps it is a weakness to wish, so often, to remain behind them, to draw the curtains, just a little, to frame the raggedness of life. And yet.......I am not sure. At least I know this......that it is better to gaze through a small frame, clearly, than to walk the open road with a downcast head."

When we had a house we awakened to this view each morning.
Before we moved to the Manor, this was the view from our front window at home.

Often I put cut flowers from our garden on the windowsill above the kitchen sink. 

Now our fourth floor window overlooks a small neighborhood park that is well used during the day and I suspect is the scene for occasional drug deals after dark.

When we used to visit our eldest and his family in Oakland, when we crossed the bridge into the town of Alameda, I would see Albert Einstein looking out the window. He was gone last time we were there.

Sometimes it's fun to be outside, looking in. And I'll admit to enjoying the sight of lit windows at night, but I'm a little ashamed to admit that.

The only thing I relish about going to the doctor is the view of the valley from his waiting room window.

Window shopping is fun. Years ago I started setting up our display window at Thanksgiving time with a table setting featuring books of the season amongst the bowls and platters. The current owner has carried on the practice.

Mr. Bob created six stained glass panels for the shutters that covered our kitchen windows. We brought them with us to the Manor, but are stumped about how to use them.

What a task to clean such a large window before opening time.

I'm ever grateful that I've never lived where bars on the windows were necessary.

I've never had much luck growing indoor plants. This was one of my attempts, but it didn't last long. The lighting is better where we live now.

  This photo of a window overlooking San Francisco, 
courtesy of Chris Humphrey.