Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Top of Things

This sign sits proudly atop the Pantorium Cleaners at the corner of Sierra Madre Boulevard and Lima.  The business began in Chicago Wisconsin, in 1919, moving to Sierra Madre in 1955. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Beauty and the Park

If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom. 
~Terri Guillemets

Sunday, April 28, 2013


~~ Yogurt and Wi-Fi, at Yogurt and More.  Sounds good to me!~~
It's gonna be hot soon.
What should we do?
I think we should all have 

a yogurt (or two!).

Saturday, April 27, 2013


~~ Very cool new display wall at The Bottle Shop ~~
(Take that, Big Box stores!)
Stay busy, get plenty of exercise, and don't drink
too  much.  Then again, don't drink too little.

Friday, April 26, 2013


~~ The "Welcome Home" rose, in bloom ~~
I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

~Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Afternoon on a Hill"
(Apparently, I'm not the only one who is often unable 
to pick the flowers - mine or anyone else's...)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tufts House

This home was built in 1884 by Mrs. Emma Tufts, who was widowed when her husband Sylvanus died in Los Angeles in 1875, at the age of 45.  The Tufts had a total of six children while living in Iowa, all born two years apart: Clarence, Mary, Charles, Philena (Lena), and Alice.  Daughter Elizabeth, born between Mary and Charles, died in infancy. 

It appears that daughter Alice, a bookkeeper in adulthood, never married, and lived with family members throughout her life.  When Mrs. Tufts died in 1935, Alice had been living with her and remained in the home.  Toward the end, Alice's sister Lena lived in the home as well, possibly following the death of her husband, Reverend William Bovard, in 1936.  Lena passed away in 1948, followed by Alice in 1949.  

Several members of the Tufts family are buried in the Sierra Madre Pioneer Cemetery.  This includes Mr. and Mrs. Tufts, along with Clarence, Charles (and wife Emma), Alice (and husband William), and baby Elizabeth.  The family's home was converted to apartments in 1962. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One More Look

Here is another view of the Sierra Madre Congregational Church, opened in 1928.  Like the first shot I showed you of this building, this view is from the park, across Hermosa.  You can see a glimpse of the bell tower on the left, through the trees.  The Romanesque Revival building was designed by Marsh, Smith and Powell, who also designed the Hollywood High School building (1933). 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

World Book Day

Awhile back, I took this photo of the Free Books shelf that resides behind the Sierra Madre Public Library.  It's a cool little spot. 

As it turns out, today is World Book Day.  Although I'm very excited, because I love books, and love that they get their very own World Day, I wasn't even aware of it until this morning.  That's when I saw it on the earlier-published-than-mine post on Pasadena Daily Photo.  (Kudos to Petrea, for getting the scoop on this important day!)

As an aside, I had no real reason for taking the photo when I did, but that's the beauty of blogging.  You just never know when you might need a certain photo.  This may be why the recipe for my average walk includes one-part walking to three-parts stopping-to-take-a-photo. 

There you have it.  World Book Day.  Celebrate.  Relax.  Read a book!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Of Light and Shadow

An optimist is a person who sees only the lights in the picture, whereas a pessimist sees only the shadows.  An idealist, however, is one who sees the light and the shadows, but in addition sees something else: the possibility of changing the picture, of making the lights prevail over the shadows.
~~ Felix Adler


Sunday, April 21, 2013


~~ There was a small crowd standing in front of this car, all with their
phones held up, taking pictures.  I had to get in on the action!! ~~

What I like, or one of the things I like, about motoring is the sense it gives one of lighting accidentally, like a voyager who touches another planet with the tip of his toe, upon scenes which would have gone on, have always gone on, will go on, unrecorded, save for this chance glimpse. Then it seems to me I am allowed to see the heart of the world uncovered for a moment.
~~ Virginia Woolf


Saturday, April 20, 2013


~~ My assistant, Spencer, fixin' to be sleeping on the job ~~

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and
comrade, without further introduction."
~~ Mark Twain

According to the Interwebs, Mark Twain was a man who loved cats, and often owned (or was owned by) several at a time.  There are even, if one searches around, photos and at least one painting of Mark Twain with his beloved cats.

So, here's my question:  How was he able to be such a prolific writer?  I try to get things done - I really do.  See the Sierra Madre History book, and the computer opened to Ancestry.com?  Apparently, Samuel Clemens was able to set up boundaries with his little darlings, a skill which I will continue to work on...  Seriously.  Wish me luck.

~~ Later, that same evening... ~~

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tiles and Tiny Books

Thought you might enjoy seeing a bit more from Belle's Nest.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the name of the person that made these amazing tiles.  I believe it is someone from Sierra Madre, but will update this post once I find out.    

I do know that the pretty books are from the creative mind of Julie Pop.  I know this because, after snapping this photo on an earlier visit, I was fortunate to meet Julie, who (coincidentally) is a friend of my friend Petrea (of Pasadena Daily Photo).  Did you follow all that?  Anyway, after Petrea introduced me to Julie one thing was very clear.  Julie and her books are both delightful.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bell Tower

This is the bell tower at Sierra Madre Congregational Church.  The building is on the southwest corner of Sierra Madre Boulevard and Hermosa, with Memorial Park on the right side of the photo.  The tower is not crooked, just the hands of the photographer!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Belle's Nest

Gloria and Elena are, according to their website, "two sisters who share a love and passion for art, fine crafts, the creative process and all things handmade."  Once you walk in to Belle's Nest, on Baldwin, you will know exactly what they mean.  The two support and promote the art and craft items produced by artisans who make candles, books, tiles, birdhouses, jewelry and (insert cool handmade item here).  There are so many interesting and beautiful things your head will spin (but in a really positive way).  But, while chock-full of charm and prettiness, the store is not cluttered.  These sisters have a background in retail, and it shows in the panache they bring to their store.  But, don't take my word for it.  Stop by and visit Belle's Nest for yourself.  It will be well worth your time.   

Oh, and did I mention how nice they are?  They made me so comfortable, and I was having so much fun hanging around their shop, that I'm sure they were beginning to wonder when I was going to go home.  Maybe it was that cot I set up in the back...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Keep Looking for the Helpers

I have used this quote before, but I feel like it bears repeating:

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."
~~Fred Rogers 

We have many helpers in our society.  Sierra Madre is lucky to have, in addition to our paid Community Workers (police, fire, etc.), many volunteer firemen. Those who help, just for the sake of helping.  

Last night I read that yesterday, as bombs exploded in Boston, many people fought their "flight" instinct, and ran back to help others.  Those helpers are always there.  Sometimes we have to look around a bit, but they are definitely there.  I find it very comforting to know that we are very seldom truly alone.

Monday, April 15, 2013


“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”

~~ Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, April 14, 2013


The Sierra Madre Congregational Church's original building was built in 1890. This is the west side of the "new" church building, dedicated in 1928.  The window at the top reminds me of a nice quote I heard once:

"People are like stained-glass windows.
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty
is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
~~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Since you've already seen close-up shots of the turtle, the duck, and the swings, I thought you might enjoy a glimpse of the whole playground at Mt. Wilson Trail Park.  

I can't believe it was so quiet for the several minutes we were there.  It was a very nice evening, but most of the usual playground-users must have been home eating dinner.  Or, now that I think of it, we got kind of a late start.  Maybe they had all gone to bed.  Gotta love daylight-savings time - We were out playing way past our bedtimes!

Friday, April 12, 2013

What the Turtle Doesn't Know...

The other night, my friend and I were walking past Turtle Park (aka Mt. Wilson Trail Park) and, since the park was having a rare quiet moment, I thought I'd stop and take a picture of the playground. 

As we walked around the pretty little park, we noticed something kind of interesting.  The eponymous "turtle" is situated in such a way that he faces away from the sign that says "Mt. Wilson Trail Park."  No wonder we all call it Turtle Park.  No one has told the turtle otherwise...

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Yesterday I discovered that, when walking on streets where I stroll fairly frequently, I almost exclusively stick to the same side.  Time after time - AND I look in the same direction.  Talk about a rut!  So, within one block of arriving at this earth-shattering realization, as I was practicing swiveling my head in an unfamiliar direction, my efforts were rewarded.  The whole experience was, quite simply, bike-tastic!!! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Flower Box

~~ Lovely blooms in the flower box in front of The Four Seasons Tea Room ~~
'Tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes!
~~William Wordsworth

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

LOVE this Tennis Court

Although this photo does it no justice whatsoever, there is a really cool tennis court in Sierra Vista Park.  If you are playing on the south-facing side, you get a nice view of the park's trees, the pool, etc.  If you are on the north-facing side, you get to look at the mountains.  I'm not sure that I'd be able to play here.  I think I'd get distracted, and my game (if it could even be called that) has enough problems as it is.

"Good shot, bad luck, and hell are the five basic words to be used in a game of tennis, though these, of course, can be slightly amplified." 
~~Virginia Graham, Say Please, 1949

Monday, April 8, 2013

Maybelle Caley Barker

William and Mary Caley's youngest daughter, Maybelle Margaret, was born in Ohio in 1889, but lived most of her life in Sierra Madre.  In 1918, she was a steno clerk for the California Savings and Commercial Bank.  Not long after, at the age of 29, she married Clarence N. Barker, a World War I Army Captain, and the couple ultimately lived in this charming house, built in 1923.  It seems that the Barkers had no children.  Maybelle Caley Barker was widowed at the age of 47, when Mr. Barker passed away in 1936.

Mrs. Barker seemed to stay very involved in city activities over the years.  In 1950, she was the Historian of the Sierra Madre Historical Society (as it was known in those days).  In 1958, she and her sister Hilda Caley Noble gave an open house birthday celebration for their mother, Mrs. Mary Davidson Caley, on her 97th birthday.  In 1960, as club historian and birthday chairman, Mrs. Barker presided over the Sierra Madre Woman's Club's 53rd birthday anniversary luncheon, which honored charter members and past presidents. Maybelle Caley Barker died in 1967, and was buried, as her husband had also been, in Sierra Madre's Pioneer Cemetery.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Happy Hydrant

I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. 
You couldn't park anywhere near the place.
~~ Steven Wright

Well, in a classic case of "post imitates quote," I found this quote, and liked it so much that I went out in search of a nice fire hydrant to take a photo of.  But to my chagrin, your average fire hydrant is not necessarily in a scenic location.  Finally, I stopped at Memorial Park and found this hydrant, who may be one of our town's happiest, with its lovely view of the playground, the picnic tables, the Jan Maddox Memorial grove of trees, and the community garden.  Plus, a very fine representative of this year's Pink Season.  I happen to have been there at about noon on a weekday, and the place was packed with people eating lunch and enjoying the day.  If I ever, through some twist of fate, turn into a fire hydrant, I'm going to ask to be assigned to this park.  Hopefully, not a lot of dogs will stop by during my tenure.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

One for the Books

~~ Action Shot, as Camelot & Vine is placed into the LFL ~~

Yesterday I met my friend Petrea, of Pasadena Daily Photo, at Bean Town.  We had a cup of coffee and a visit, and then we set off for a walk-about.  Our aim was to visit Sierra Madre's own Little Free Library (which I like to think of as the LFL).  Now, did I mention that Petrea is a published author?  Well, she is (cool, huh?), and we went to the LFL to place a copy of her book, Camelot & Vine, into the Library.  Having read the book, I can tell you without question that the lucky someone who takes that book is in for a treat!  However, if you are not that lucky person who borrows it from the LFL, do not despair!!  Her book is available on Amazon, in both paperback and e-book format.  I have both.  Really.

Friday, April 5, 2013


~~ My wistaria-scented blogiversary candle ~~

Well, today is a pretty big day, here on little ole' Seeing Sierra Madre...  Today is the blog's one-year anniversary.  That's right, folks.  Three Hundred and Sixty Five Days.  (I spread it out, to impress upon you how impressed I am with myself!)  For many people, doing something consistently for a year is not that big of a deal.  But for me, the Queen of Inconsistency, the Dame of Didn't Get 'er Done, this is slightly beyond Absolutely Huge!  I was thinking about how many things I have ever done daily for an entire year.  Every. Single. Day.  So far, I've come up with this list:

1.  Drink Coffee
2.  Blog

Yes, that's about it.  On occasion, I've gone without flossing (oh, the unhygienic horror!).  Now and again, I've gone without eating (in dire, flu-like circumstances).  You get the picture.  I guess coffee and blogging are just too addicting to give up!

So, in order to celebrate, I bought myself a little gift.  I went to one of my all-time favorite stores, Belle's Nest, on Baldwin, and bought a beautiful, handmade candle.  Not only was the candle handmade, it was made by Gloria, one half of the Sister-Sister Team that owns the store.  Gloria and Elena, have created such a lovely space, that you just want to hang around Belle's Nest for awhile and browse.  There are so many beautiful things tucked into every nook and cranny.  They even let me take a ton of pictures, some of which I will share with you soon.  But you should just go there, if at all possible, and see it for yourself.  It's ah-mazing.    

Also, today, I had a wonderful visit with my friend Petrea, from Pasadena Daily Photo.  But that's a story for tomorrow.  One thing I've learned this year, is not to tell too much in one day.  You'll be left scrambling for something to blog about tomorrow!

Thank you so much to all of you for taking time out of your busy lives to read about Sierra Madre and its many seasons, which include Jacaranda Season, Pumpkin Season and currently, Pink Season.  Your support of my blogging addiction means the world to me!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April is Blooming

April in Goldberg Park.  Different colors of green are everywhere, and the flowers are starting to bloom.  So are the pink trees.  Ah...  Pink Season.  Another favorite.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Caley House

This home, considered a "transitional Craftsman," was built in 1898 for the Caley family, who occupied the house for 65 years.  Mr. William P. Caley was born in Ohio, in 1859, and married Mary Davidson in 1887.  The couple had two daughters, Hilda and Maybelle.  (Two other children died very young.)  The family was told to move from Ohio to California by Mrs. Caley's doctor, who said that she would not last until the spring if they did not do so.  They lived first in South Pasadena, eventually moving to Sierra Madre for the altitude, settling here in 1895. 

Mr. Caley, who was interested in ranching and real estate investments, was the first Marshall, first Street Superintendent, and first Tax Collector for Sierra Madre.  Additionally, he did his part in World War I, as a letter carrier, when many of the younger men were called to war.  A very busy man!  The Caleys were also early members of the Congregational Church, and Mrs. Caley was a charter member of the Sierra Madre Woman's Club.  The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1937.  In 1943, Mary Caley was widowed when William Caley died at the age of 84. 

Mrs. Caley was honored with an article in the Pasadena Star News in 1958, on the occasion of her 97th birthday, at which time her two daughters, Maybelle Caley Barker and Hilda Caley Noble, held a birthday open house for her.  In the interview, Mrs. Caley mentioned that she had been the youngest of 10 children, and had experienced poor health as a child.  She also stated that the Caleys had lived in two Sierra Madre homes prior to this home.  The first was where the original City Hall sits, and the second house was where "the Safeway is" (as of the 1958 article).  Mary Caley, who described herself as having led a quiet life, died in 1962, at the age of 100.   

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mr. Andrews Goes to Church

 The Old North Church was the original building built for the Sierra Madre Congregational Church.  Before they had their own building (or had even chosen which demonination they would become), original churchgoers held services in the first public school building, located about two blocks south at the corner of Live Oak (now Orange Grove) and Hermosa.  During that time, Mr. W.S. Andrews, originally a Baptist, came to church bringing not only his wife and children, but also the family's organ and wood for the fire.  That's what I would call a dedicated church member!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Theme Day

The April, 2013 City Daily Photo Theme Day is "Pedestrians Crossing."  While snapping a photo of the City Hall, and a tree in front of it, I happened to also catch two pedestrians crossing in front of my camera, as all of us were out enjoying the weather, while day crossed into night. 

Click here for more Pedestrians Crossing, around the world.