Sunday, September 30, 2012

Carlton J. Pegler Home

This was the home of Carlton J. Pegler, his wife Mabel, and their three sons.  Carlton, the son of John Carlton (J.C.) and Mary Pegler, came from England (via Iowa) with his family in 1880, when Carlton was about 7 years old.  He helped his father develop the orange groves on the family ranch, and also managed the Arbolita Ranch, a nearby orange grove owned by a Mr. Blair. 

In 1898 Carlton married Mabel Eva Robinson, originally from Massachusetts, and the daughter of William Robinson.  The Robinsons' house on Baldwin was the community's first post office, and Mabel was the city's first female postmistress.  According to census records, the couple had three children, all boys, named Harold, Ernest, and Donald.

The Peglers must have been a close-knit family.  Carlton and Mabel's home, originally a one-story house, was not far from Carlton's parents' home.  Once Carlton and Mabel had their own ranch, he continued to help his father with the family farm, while developing his own grove.  Additionally, by 1920, William Robinson had passed away, and Mabel's mother Sarah was living with the family.

In 1914, Carlton Pegler became the City Treasurer of Sierra Madre.  It appears that the Peglers may have moved from this house sometime between 1930 and 1935.  In 1950, when the Annals of Early Sierra Madre was published, Mr. Pegler still held the City Treasurer position. 

Carlton Pegler passed away in December of 1958, at 85 years old.  His wife, Mabel, passed away in August of 1964, at the age of 87.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

On Cellos and Life

Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for a person to listen to his own good.
(Spanish Cellist and Conductor)

Speaking of cellos, my friend Michelle Beauchesne is a wonderfully-talented professional cellist, and she happens to live locally. Click the link on her name if you'd like to sample some of her classical solo music.
Here is some of Michelle's most recent work, as part of the duo Sean & Michelle, including a new album and some upcoming performances, including one on October 1st in Santa Barbara (Road Trip, anyone???).


Friday, September 28, 2012

Walking (by) the Dog(s)

Look at these two.  Aren't they the best?  The guy on the right is wagging his tail so hard the camera couldn't keep up.  I know how these things go, though.  I look harmless enough, so I'm okay (and I've walked by dozens of times and have never tried to go in the gate), but if I was bothering their family, they wouldn't be looking quite so happy.  Good job, pups!!

Here's a Dog Fun Fact I read on the interwebs:

A dog can hear sounds 250 yards away that most people cannot hear beyond 25 yards. The human ear can detect sound waves vibrating at frequencies up to 20,000 times a second. But dogs can hear sound waves that vibrate at frequencies of more than 30,000 times a second.

(...and they can hear the refrigerator opening, or a can opener starting up, from two blocks away.  It's a little-known fact.  :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Memories of Morning

The Wilson-Bixby Home, one of the earliest homes in Sierra Madre, built in the 1880's. 

The sunlight shining through the greenery in the bottom right-hand corner of this photo reminds me of a nice morning, walking with a good friend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Bit More on the Churchill Ranch

The corner of Old Ranch Road and Churchill Road, in the Marlborough Terrace area

Yesterday, we talked about the Churchill Ranch, where Frank Capra once lived.  While looking for information about the area, I found some info on Wesley Churchill, the son of the founder of the Churchill Ranch.  The info was on a website put together by his great-grandson, Steven Churchill.

Wesley Churchill was born in Connecticut in 1873. In 1889, he established a company in Cambridge, MA, which manufactured high-end bicycles for men and women, and the business became very successful. In addition to his interest in bicycles, Mr. Churchill had an interest in photography (a fairly new hobby at that time).

At about this time, across the country, Wesley Churchill's parents, William and Jane Churchill were residing on a large ranch in Sierra Madre, called the Churchill Ranch, when the elder Churchill died. Wesley and his wife, Eleanor Alice, to whom he was married in 1897, decided to move to nearby South Pasadena to be closer to Wesley's mother Jane (now a widow). 

During this time, Wesley's interest in photography began to grow, resulting in many wonderful photos taken between the years 1900 and 1911, that are now on his great-grandson's website.  The photos depict local areas, including Los Angeles and Catalina Island, and several photos of the Churchill Ranch, including the family home.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mr. Capra Comes to Sierra Madre

Pictured above is part of the orchard on the E. Waldo Ward Ranch.  This is the last of the many large ranches that once filled the slopes of the town of Sierra Madre.  One of these ranches was once inhabited by the famous film-maker, Frank Capra, of "It's a Wonderful Life," and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" fame.

Not too long ago, I received a comment on one of my posts, from one of my BlogVille friends, Pasadena Adjacent.  Here is what P.A. said, as a part of that comment:

"Maybe you can get some information on the director
Frank Capra whose parents had a citrus farm somewhere." 

Whoa Baby - That grabbed my attention!!  I had never heard anything about this.  So, I set out to see what I could see, and as it turns out, there was a lot to see on this topic. 

First, I found a book called Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success by Joseph McBride, which mentioned that Frank Capra's father had rented out the Churchill Ranch in Sierra Madre, and had died there. 

Upon further Internet searching, I found a very extensive article, written for the Sierra Madre Patch by one of my favorite local authors, Matt Hormann.  Thanks to Mr. Hormann, I learned that the Churchill Ranch was located in the area we now call Marlborough Terrace, or the Upper Canyon, at the top of Mountain Trail Avenue, not far from Mount Wilson Trail Park.  Churchill Road is still there, and the ranch was along the street that is now Canyon Crest Drive. 

The story of the Capra family in Sierra Madre is very interesting, very sad, and like no movie plot you could ever make up.  The twenty-acre Churchill ranch was rented to the Capras in the year 1915 by the property's owner, Henry Churchill, and the large family lived there together, growing lemons and other fruit to support themselves. 

Frank Capra spent his first year of college living at the ranch, and commuting to Throop Institute, which later became CalTech.  Capra first acquired his thirst for knowledge at the age of five when, while living in Sicily, he learned that his parents were illiterate.  Always a hard worker, he had many jobs throughout his school years, including checking boilers and polishing machinery at the Pasadena Light and Power Plant, and stuffing newspapers at the Los Angeles Times. 

In the fall of 1916, after living with his parents in Sierra Madre for a year, Capra had earned enough money to allow him to move into the dorms at Throop.  Sadly, this same year, his father met with a tragic death on the Churchill Ranch while he was in the pumphouse checking on the machinery.  His long overcoat got caught in the gears and pulled him in, and he was cut in half at the waist.  Following the tragedy, the family moved away from Sierra Madre.  Frank was, of course, distraught over the incident and his grades suffered; however he was ultimately able to graduate from Throop Institute in 1918.

After spending two months in the army, then being discharged due to contracting the Spanish flu, Capra moved to Lincoln Heights to live with his mother and sister.  He worked for awhile, but got the flu again, and ended up depressed and jobless.  At that time, he moved in with his brother and answered an ad for a tutor for Anita Baldwin's son.  Anita Baldwin, whom Capra had met prior to this time, was the daughter of E.J. "Lucky" Baldwin.  His prior acquaintance with Mrs. Baldwin helped him to secure the job, and things seemed to begin to look up after this time.  Capra went on to become one of the most famous film-makers of all time. 

Mr. Capra filmed scenes from some of his movies in the area, including at the Santa Anita Depot, and in the city of La Canada.  Some locals have said that Sierra Madre may have been the inspiration for Bedford Falls, the fictional, all-American town in Capra's most famous film, "It's a Wonderful Life."  Perhaps this is true.  I guess he's the only one who will ever know for sure.


Speaking of movies, my friend Petrea, at Pasadena Daily Photo has written a book called Camelot & Vine, that I know will be a movie some day.  She's having a photo contest called "Camelot Where You Are," and my entry is on her blog today.  Take a look, and when it comes out next month, buy her book!  I've read the first bit, and I can't wait!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Spencer's Book Review

Spencer and a couple of books he likes to read while we're at work.
Looking for a nice book full of interesting information, and with pictures that you can peruse for relaxation?  As an avid relaxer, there are some books that I'm pretty sure Spencer has been enjoying during breaks from squirrel watching (they've been very active lately).  So, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about his current favorites.

The first book is "Southern California Story: Seeking the Better Life in Sierra Madre," written by historian Michele Zack, and published by the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society, not long after the city's 100th anniversary.  (The link leads to an order form from the Historical Preservation Society.)  Locally, it's also available at Lizzie's Trail Inn, Sierra Fitness, Savor the Flavor, Sierra Madre Public Library, Vromans (Hastings Ranch & Pasadena), Mary’s Market and Arnold’s Hardware.  Lots of interesting stuff to learn about!

The other book is called "Southern California in the 50's: Sun, Fun and Fantasy," by Charles Phoenix.  If you don't know about him, and you enjoy Mid-Century Modern or Googie-Style, or even if you just grew up in the 50's, 60's, or 70's, he's well worth checking out.  His website bills him as "Showman, Author, Humorist, Ambassador of Americana."  He is all of these things and more, and his shows are Not To Be Missed events.  Charles' slideshows are culled from thousands of "other people's vacation slides" that he first began picking up in thrift stores several years ago, and are fun, funny, and even educational.  Another cool thing is that his shows are often in interesting locations that are sometimes, in themselves, an event.  We've been to see him at Descanso Gardens, the Palm Springs Art Museum, and the REDCAT at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. 

And by "we" I of course mean just the people in our family.  Spencer has no interest whatsoever in leaving the house.  There are coyotes, veteranians and other nefarious creatures out there, just dying to get their hands/paws on an adorable orange cat.  Or so he tells me.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunset at the Park

Last night it cooled down, just a bit. 
People were out walking their dogs, 
playing with their kids, watering their yards, 
and just hanging around enjoying
 the finally-bearable weather. 

Meanwhile, the sun painted a lovely picture
behind the Hart House at Memorial Park. 

Know what you want to do,
hold the thought firmly,
and do every day what should be done,
and every sunset will see you
 that much nearer to your goal.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bring It On, Fall!

Happy First Day of Fall! 

Perhaps I have mentioned in passing (maybe a dozen or so times, but who's counting?) that I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of fall.  We used to call it autumn, too.  Why doesn't anyone around here call it that anymore?

Anyway, to get things rolling, I'm going to have a Pumpkin Spice Latte today.  I know that they have been available for ages, but I like to enjoy my First PSL on the First Day of Fall. Like a little ceremony, to usher in my favorite season (technically, fall is in a tie with Jacaranda Season, but the Jacarandas have gone green-only for now, so fall has pulled ahead in the rankings). 

Here's a partial list of things I treasure about fall:  Pumpkins, cooler weather for walking (like that's ever going to happen!), crackly leaves, candles, giving out Halloween candy, my birthday, things that are orange, Thanksgiving, fires in the fireplace, sweaters (especially those that are chocolate-brown), and oh, did I mention All Things Pumpkin? 

One of the few things I don't love?  The way my hair gets all full of static and stands on end, just before falling flat as a pancake.  But that's a problem I can live with.  Bring on the lattes!

So, who's with me on my quest for Ultimate Autumnal Happiness?  What are your favorite things about Pumpkin Season fall?

Oh, and next time you are in one of our local coffee shops, keep an eye out for me.  I'll be the happy one with the really big Pumpkin Spice Latte (no whip), and the sticky-up hair.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Mysteries of History: Not Quite Greene


With so many Greene and Greene homes in nearby Pasadena, I started wondering whether any of these lovely homes had been built in Sierra Madre.  It turns out that three were built.  Here's the story of the largest of the three.

According to the Greene and Greene Virtual Archives, The William J. Lawless house was designed in 1908, probably by Henry Greene, while Charles was busy at the large Gamble and Blacker house building sites in Pasadena.

The Lawless house design was reminiscent some of the Greenes’ more simple work of 1904 and 1905, but it had more spacious porches and balconies than their earlier houses.  "A long terrace of stone and wood ran across the front elevation and some of the firm’s newest construction methods were used for the depth of the overhanging eaves and distinctive beam end profiles." 

Mr. Lawless was so pleased with his home that in 1908 he convinced his friend and neighbor, George H. Letteau, to allow the Greenes to build a pergola and brick walk to connect their two houses. 

Mr. Lawless was the Mayor of Sierra Madre in 1928-1929.  According to an article written by Phyllis Chapman, of the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society, following Mr. Lawless' death his wife, Carrie Ida Lawless (a businesswoman who founded the Weaver Jackson Beauty Company), purchased the home that housed the Wistaria Vine, and kept it until her death in 1942.  She was active in the community, having served as president of the Garden Club and the Woman's Club.  During this time, Mrs. Lawless sponsored Vine activities throughout the year, including musicales, art exhibits, and poetry readings.

Unfortunately, the original Lawless house didn't fare as well as the vine did.  At some point ( says 1960) the home was "incorporated" into an apartment house.  Today, the apartment seems to show no outward signs of ever having been a Greene and Greene home.  The center section of the apartment building has four units that contain portions of the original house, and it appears that the rest of the complex was built around it.  I have seen an original fireplace in one of the apartments, as well as some original ceiling beams in another.  It was thrilling to see these vestiges of history.  It would be an understatement to say it's sad that the house is gone.

A few years ago, the current owners of the apartment did some outside renovations, giving it more of a "craftsmany" feel.  The picture above shows a portion of the entrance to the building.  I'm not sure whether these steps and the area in front of the building might be original. 

Apparently there were several large mansions lining this section of Sierra Madre Boulevard at one time, where now there are quite a few apartment buildings.  I'm very curious as to why the decision was made to keep a portion of the Lawless House, rather than just having it torn down completely to make way for the large apartment building that sits in its place.  Any thoughts?  Does anyone know more about this house?

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Well, look at that.  A Speed Limit sign sits right at the City Limits.  Two limits in one block.  Limits just seem to keep popping up, don't they?

Do you ever feel bothered by the fact that there's a limit to how much one person can achieve in a lifetime?  I, for example, will never be an Olympic swimmer. (Okay, sure, I've never even liked swimming, but that's beside the point!)

But just listen to what Albert Einstein said:
"Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them."

Oh, that Einstein.  He was one smart cookie...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Wisdom of the Ages

"If you have a garden and a library,
you have everything you need."
~~Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BCE - 43 BCE)
(Ancient Roman Lawyer, Writer,
Scholar, Orator, and Statesman)
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure Cicero nailed this one!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Making Things Perfectly Clear

Have you ever gone hustling up to a stand-alone mailbox with a last-minute, all important, something-or-other, only to find that the box was emptied by your friendly neighborhood Letter Carrier only five minutes earlier?  I have always had difficulty remembering what time these boxes get emptied. Four O'Clock?? Two O'Clock on Saturdays??? 

Apparently, the Post Office now has a system for alleviating this type of suffering, and I'm all for it.  From here on in, I'll be hard-pressed to forget the pick-up time.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Sierra Madre Search and Rescue

This building is the home of the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue (SMSR) Team, founded in 1951, and covering search and rescue needs in the mountains above Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Monrovia and Duarte.  The SMSR Team was the first of its kind in California, and there are now seven such teams in Los Angeles County.

Since its beginnings with a group of sixteen outdoorsmen, the all-volunteer group has grown to several dozen dedicated men and women, with a stringent selection process and initial training which takes about fifteen months.  Because of this, no member of the SMSR Team has ever been seriously injured during a search and rescue operation.  This is no small feat, considering the high number of rescues they deal with each year including, according to, eighteen this past JulyHere, from the Team's website, is an interesting personal account of a successful rescue.

In addition to its search and rescue work, the Team, which is completely funded by donations from the community, provides wilderness safety programs to the public.

"Regardless of whether it's a twisted ankle, a fallen climber, or an overdue hiker, the Team will be there."


Sunday, September 16, 2012


This is Tiny.  He was in residence in our home, just briefly, earlier this summer.  The picture makes him look huge, but his little temporary aquarium is actually a water glass. After Spencer the Nosey (who has been waiting for this moment for a very long time) noticed Tiny in the living room and alerted me to his presence, I tucked Spencer in the bathroom and bravely set out to confine Tiny. 

Tiny was trying to lay low, probably hoping Spencer would leave him the hell alone, so I took advantage of this quiet moment to place the glass over him, and slip the paper underneath the glass (see, I said I would use that scrapbooking paper one of these days).  I then snapped a vey quick photo of Tiny (always thinking of The Blog!), and delivered him outside to his rightful home. 

Oh, then I let Spencer out of the bathroom, and he spent the remainder of the afternoon sniffing around the Scene of the Crime.  It was a very exciting day.

Disclaimer:  No animals were harmed in the events described in this blog.  With the possible exception of the author, who may have had an ever-so-minor heart event.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Weeping Wall Memorial

The Weeping Wall Memorial, created by beloved Sierra Madre resident Lew Watanabe, is located in Memorial Park. (Clicking on the link will take you to a photo of the cannon in the park.  In the background, there is a man sitting on one of the memorial's benches.)  The accompanying plaque reads as follows:

Weeping Wall Memorial
Artist: Lew Watanabe
Dedicated to all the armed
forces veterans of Sierra Madre...
Who served our country in peace
and war... who helped to preserve
peace and freedom for our city,
country and the world.
The wall weeps... not with sorrow,
but with pride.
God bless them all.
April 1999

Here are some photos of the Weeping Wall's dedication ceremony, from the website.

The Wall's gifted designer, long-time Sierra Madre resident Lew Watanabe, is a Landscape Artist and sculptor.  Lew was named Citizen of the Year in 1996, and was the Grand Marshall of the Fourth of July Parade in 2010. 

Lew certainly hasn't confined his talents to just one location in town.  Here is a link to a nice article from the Sierra Madre Weekly, that was written about Lew and his many and varied contributions to the city, when he was named Grand Marshall.  I had no idea that Lew had done all these things - what an amazing man.

For a little more detailed info on one of Lew's generous community projects, here is a Sierra Madre Weekly article about his role in the restoring and repairing of the abandoned Japanese Garden (now "Goodwill Garden"), originally created in 1931 at Sierra Madre Elementary School. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Original Hunting Lodge

This lovely home, referred to in the 1976 Sierra Madre Vistas as the "original hunting lodge," was also the home of the Dixon Family.

According to the Annals of Early Sierra Madre (1950), Mr. and Mrs. Willis Dixon, along with their daughter Lucille, came to Sierra Madre in 1887, and the home was built in the same year. Also that year, Mrs. Dixon became head of the public school, and she was said to be "a remarkable teacher."

So, I'm not sure when the hunting lodge part came in.  Will have to figure that one out.  Anyone have an idea?

Thursday, September 13, 2012


- Sierra Vista Park -

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.  May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.  May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue.  And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.
~~Irish Blessing


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Casa Del Rey

When Life Gives You Limes, Make Margaritas
~~Jimmy Buffett

When I was growing up, we went to the Casa Del Rey in Temple City all the time.  Imagine my sadness-followed-by-euphoria a few years ago when I found out that, while the Pepper Tree Grille on Baldwin had closed (sniff-sniff...), it would be replaced by a Casa Del Rey (hooray!).  Quite the consolation prize, I can tell you! 

As far as I recall, the restaurant that was in this space when I first moved here was the Sandwich Stop.  Does anyone local remember that place??? Ahhh - the sandwiches... the pitchers of beer...  I think they were even the originators of the Chicken Bowl, which Pepper Tree continued to sell until they closed.  But!  I must finish this ramble, and get to the point.  What is the point??

Raspberry Mango Margarita, pictured above. 
I believe that is all for today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


It's one of those things, isn't it? The "I remember what I was doing when that happened" things.  And this one, I know we all remember.  I am one of the very fortunate, because my memories are not that noteworthy.  Being so far away from all the tragedy that occurred that day, I didn't lose anyone, or even have anyone in my life that I really had to worry about. 

One of the things I remember: How proud and willing my fellow townspeople and I were to put some cash into the yellow boots that local fireman held out to us, as they were collecting money to support their brothers in New York. 

For our own reasons, we each had the need to do something.  Personally, having lost nothing, I remember wanting to help those that had lost so much, if only in a small way.

That's what I remember the most. Feeling so sad and wishing I could help, while knowing that what they, and our country, had lost was so very much bigger than money.

Monday, September 10, 2012

(Belated) Happy Admission Day, California!

State Flag in Front of City Hall
In 1848, a treaty was signed between Mexico and the United States, ending the Mexican war.  At that time, much of the Southwest, including present-day California, became part of the United States. 

A few days before, Gold had been discovered on the American River, and the resulting Gold Rush accelerated California's statehood.  A heated debate in Congress ensued, arising from the Slavery issue.  Ultimately, California was admitted to the Union, as a free, non-slavery state, on September 9, 1850.

I prepared this post quite some time ago, and was saving it for September 9. Naturally, I forgot all about my mostly-efficient idea, and am having my celebration a day late...
So, Happy Day-After-Admission-Day to the State that raised me!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thinking About Thinking

A beautiful street on a quiet summer evening...

Friedrich Nietzsche said: "All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking."
(I do a lot of walking!)
Albert Einstein, in reference to the Theory of Relativity said:
"I thought of that while riding my bicycle."
(I ride my bicycle, now and again...)
Huh!  You'd think I would have accomplished something Big by now...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wishin' and Hopin'

Spotted in front of Yogurt & More

I'm sure that this photo speaks for itself.  And what I am sure it is saying goes something like this:
Please buy me some yogurt! 
Please love me!!
Yep, I'm pretty sure that's what's being said here...
Based on the sweet way their "parents" treated them before going into the store, I'm confident that these two smilers get at least one of the things they were wishing for, on a very regular basis!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Window Shopping at the Hotel Shirley

On the left side of this photo, located in the Hotel Shirley building, is "Angels Everywear," a popular boutique which, I understand, is under new ownership.  The building itself has had several owners, and was first occupied by the Hawks and Copps Real Estate office.

Mr. Ammi Doubleday Hawks came to Sierra Madre in 1881.  He purchased 20 acres of land which adjoined that of his sister Frances, whose land was north of his, and who had come to Sierra Madre earlier, along with their mother.

Mr. Hawks was an investor and a ranch land developer, and he and the rest of his family came to Sierra Madre in 1887.  Also in 1887, he built this building, and went into real estate with partner Marcus Copps.  Mr. Hawks eventually began to develop his ranch and fruit packing projects, and his sister Frances ("Fannie") took over the building and ran it as the Tourist Hotel.

According to an article in the Sierra Madre Patch, written by Matt Hormann, the building went through several owners and business models after this time, including operating as a hotel, a bordello (!!) and a speakeasy.   It was even the site of a murder, where a woman killed her mother with an ax.  The article mentions a "notable absence of ghosts," according to current owner Judy Webb-Martin, who refurbished the building in 1998.

I find it noteworthy that, with all that is known about the building, no one seems to be certain when it was first called the Hotel Shirley.  Just another of life's little mysteries.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Bottle Shop

This is the back entrance to The Bottle Shop, which is situated right in the center of the business district.  They have been in business for many years and, as if they weren't famous enough for their affiliation with the Sierra Madre City College Band, they added a Wine Tasting Room this last March.  The wine tasting room is really quite lovely, with a tremendous selection, and an elegant-yet-unpretentious ambiance.  I'm hoping to post a photo of it one day soon. 

For today, though, I'm sharing the back entrance to the store, for which I have a certain fondness.  It's where you go on your way from here to there, when you want to park, run in, grab something (beer/wine/cat food), and run right back out.  Only thing is, you generally don't run right back out, because you usually see someone you know while you're in there.  On the off chance that you do get back to your car quickly, you'll probably see someone you know in the parking lot, who is also trying to run in to pick something up.  This happened to us on Monday, when we saw our next-door neighbor and got to say a quick Hello.  Because that's just how it is at The Bottle Shop...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Coming This Saturday: Shop Til You Drop

Sculpture in front of Creative Arts Group

This Saturday, the 8th, is a great day to find some fabulous bargains right here in town.   Creative Arts Group is having their Annual Flea Market, and the Wistaria Thrift Shop at the Woman's Club is having a grand re-opening.

Creative Arts will have "furniture, housewares, collectibles, toys, games, books and everything else under the sun."  The flea market opens at 9:00 a.m., and they suggest you get there early, for the best selection.

The Wistaria Thrift Shop was closed all summer for cleaning, repairs and refurbishing.  It will open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, with  "fresh, clean clothing, jewelry, shoes, handbags, scarfs, ties, a huge variety of household needs, craft supplies, books, electronics, toys, collectibles and much more."

Saturday will be a great day for picking up some gently-used treasure, and helping some good causes at the same time.  The smartest of shoppers will put on her/his most comfortable shoes - or buy some that day - and hit the sales. 

For more details, check out this Patch listing for both events.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shooting for the Moon

(My first attempt at shooting the moon - the night before the Blue Moon)

Seems like we've been talking about the moon a lot this last week or so.  Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was laid to rest on the day of last week's Blue Moon and, for me, this has resulted in more looking at the moon, more thinking about the 1960's, and even some winking (per Mr. Armstrong's request).  I even made a serious attempt at taking a photo of the moon.  The moon, it seems, is a very interesting subject.

Mystery creates wonder and wonder is
the basis of man's desire to understand.
~~Neil Armstrong

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day: Not Just About Barbecuing?

Today is Labor Day and, according to information found on the U.S. Department of Labor website, Labor Day is "dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

Labor Day is also a day in which we celebrate the end of the summer season, since school starts about this time.  (Our summer is "bookended" by Memorial Day at the front end...)

Naturally, as good Americans, many of us celebrate this holiday by doing what? Well, we have barbecues, of course! 

Over the years our family, from youngest to oldest, has grown to love this picnic area in Bailey Canyon Park, as we have a family gathering here each summer.  There are two picnic tables, a barbecue, and a decent amount of shade.  There's even a nice fire ring at the other end of the park (which requires a permit...).

At the entrance to the picnic area is a large rock, with a plaque that says the following:


Kinda makes you want to spend the day with your family, whenever you can, doesn't it?  Maybe our barbecues aren't so frivolous, after all. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

People-Watching Toolkit

Yesterday, the City Daily Photo Theme for September was "People Watching," and today I thought I'd take the theme one step further. 

Rather than showing you more photos of people watching people (who are, incidentally, some of the luckiest people in the world), I thought I'd show you one of the top People Watching Vantage Points in Sierra Madre: The front window at Starbucks. 

There are two front windows, actually, and on Friday morning, I was lucky to get one of them.  (The other one is also stellar, but has more of a "see and be seen" quality, whereas this one is a bit more tucked in, making it perfect for watching the world go by, with a minimal amount of participation!)

So, set up with my "Toolkit" of a breakfast sandwich, coffee, a copy of the "Sierra Madre Weekly," and my trusty Kindle, I settled down to enjoy a morning off. 

I'm happy to report that Friday is an excellent day for people watching.  Not a frowny face in the bunch!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September Theme Day: People Watching

This month's theme for the City Daily Photo community is "People Watching."  This photo was taken in July, at our Concert in the Park series, as people were eating dinner and generally milling about, waiting for the concert to start.  The band was "The Silver Beatles."  For another photo from this concert, click here.

City Daily Photo (CDP) is a blogging community, with somewhere around 1400 participants.  Unfortunately, the CDP portal has been hacked, but the kind people at CDP are working very hard to find a solution.  Meanwhile, please visit Julie's page, to see "people watching" from around the globe.  You'll be glad you did.