"This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affectations glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn."

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I wish all of my lovely friends a wonderful 2011.  May your lives be graced with health, joy and love. Meeting those of you who are my "Blogging Family" - in person or over the internet has brought me so much happiness.  The year has been full of mixed emotions for me...many lows, but many more highs...
I am learning to trust again, to leave pain behind, to stand tall, laugh out loud - to travel - and to be ME! You have all helped me to achieve this....and as the year winds down, I feel so happy and look forward to this new year.

I will raise my glass to all of you - East, West, North and South tonight and toast you!  "Zum Wohl" - to LIFE!


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

For Allegra

My beloved friend (and friend to many of you), Allegra is gravely ill. She has been valiantly fighting an illness for quite some time, but yesterday, she took a turn for the worse. I hope you will send prayers and positive light her way and also to her wonderful husband Barry. They both need them.
Thank you all.


♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Tuesday in Winter

Hello all!  Well, we made it though Christmas.....  wrapping presents, opening presents, then putting all the wrappings away....  but for some, the Christmas Tree still stands proudly, lights glowing, ornaments twinkling and that magical "tree" aroma.......ah.....  lovely.

My Christmas was quiet - but full.  Full of love from the calls and e-mails  I received on Christmas Eve and Day, full of opening gifts, full of the delicious aroma of cloves, coriander and orange which I used to infuse my home....and yes, yummy things to eat and drink.

I have enjoyed this month.....and I hope all of you have too.  Some of our dear friends have experienced some sadness or illness as of late - and I know that you all join me in sending them strength, courage, love and the knowledge that a new year will bring uplifting joy and most importantly....HOPE.  New beginnings arise - not just on January 1st, but each and every day.  We all are here - together strong - as we enter January, 2011.
I am excited by the prospect.......I hope you are too!


♥ Robin ♥

p.s. I took this photo of Schloss Neuschwanstein in Bavaria several Winters ago..... it remains one of my favourite places to visit and hike.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Robins.....Animal Wednesday

 I like this song by Nelly Furtado....the words ring true for me.   Don't you love my little "red-breasted cousins"?  It's interesting to me that the American Robin is (usually) a Springtime Bird - while the English Robin is a Winter Bird.  Legend has it that the Robin tried to stop the bleeding of Christ on the Cross - and that is why his breast is red...  I always found that to be a poignant tale.

Stay warm everyone! Enjoy these last few days before Christmas.



♥ Robin ♥

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Lights and Thoughts in San Francisco

Everyone has been posting holiday scenes where they live - inside and out - so I thought I would add some from my beloved city....  this top one was taken from Treasure Island at sunset - before the RAIN came!

Of course, I live in a city where there is water surrounding us on three sides.....so, we have an annual Christmas Boat Flotilla!  Last night, although it was rainy and windy, the parade began.  I was "crazy" enough to go down to the wharf with a few friends and after a lovely seafood dinner - we bravely stood and watched!  (I must confess that I did not take any of the following boat shots...  far too cold for me to remove my gloves and even attempt a shot!)

It was a magical evening! 

As for my home, well, I have not done much decorating this year.....but I have added my crystal Winter Wreath on my front door, a few sparkly lights and received a wonderful magical purple Stag from Laurel....(thank you beloved "BS") so, yes, there is a sense of Christmas inside. 

Most importantly, I have Christmas in my heart this year!  So many newfound loving friends - throughout the world!  I am thankful for all of the beauty that each of you provides - through your words and your deeds..... We give as a family to as many as we can - both financially and emotionally....this is what the Holidays represent to me.  And I feel very blessed to be a part of it.


♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Animal Wednesday - Chopin "Raindrop" Prelude, A "Birder" and His Subjects

It has been raining on and off for the past few days.....and I couldn't get Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude out of my head .....so I was hoping to find a video out there that combined this gorgeous piece (one of my all-time favourites) with birds and rain.....  alas....no such luck....but I loved this video.....  the mystery of the man, what was he doing at first...what were the "clicks" you heard in the background....and then, the beautiful shots of his feathery subjects....I think the Wintery background is still very apropos
 - and as for the "raindrops", why you can hear them quite clearly in Chopin's every note.

I hope you enjoy this Animal Wednesday peaceful moment......it suits the reflective mood I have been in for a few days.


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Animal Wednesday "Deck the Halls" - as you've never heard it done - And...Claude, the Albino Alligator !

Opera Season is over....and I am now dashing into full "Holiday Mode"........  and so are these little ones!

I spent part of my day at San Francisco's Academy of Science....where Claude, the Albino Alligator (complete with pink eyes) resides in roomy splendour with a large Snapping Turtle.  One wouldn't think they would co-exist in peace - but they do!



♥ Robin ♥

Monday, December 6, 2010

Opera Season Ends....with Bravos, Hugs and..... Many, Many, MANY Toasts!

Our 2010 Opera Season ended last night.....  with "Aida" - the very opera we opened the season with - back in September.  We went through two different casts of principal singers - but the enormous orchestra and chorus remained the same.  I couldn't resist shooting this photo of the "Egyptian Captains" - waiting to make their entrance to the famous processional match from "Aida".
I thought about including a video clip of the march, but instead decided to show you how we go about changing the set from one opera  - "The Marriage of Figaro" to "Aida".  (Speeded up, of course....)

It's always a bit sad when the seaon ends.... months of hard work, a little stress, unbelieveably gorgeous music...... and then, poof - it's over until May, when the Summer Season begins.  But....we celebrate after the curtain comes down with the "infamous" Orchestra Vodka Party!  (Da, da..)  There are several Russian-born orchestra members and they bring every kind of delicious Russian food you can think of....plus......many, different flavours of "Vodka"!

It's a feast for sure....with many laughs and shared backstage stories...a wonderful way to say Adieu, Au Revoir, Tschuss, Ciao, Dasvidania!

And, I had to have a photo taken with one of the "Egyptian Priests" with his bare chest, gold lame hooped skirt and blue eyeshadow! (All designed by the amazing Zandra Rhodes. See my post from September.)

So, no more Opera posts from Moi until May....when we begin rehearsals for the complete "The Ring of the Niebelungen".....


♥ Robinskaya ♥

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Animal Wednesday..... Sheep May "Safely" Graze and Other Furry Ones

In honour of KJ's gorgeous photos of sheep in snow....  here are two very different vignettes for you.

And now, something more bucolic....

Last....a few photos of some of my "Furry Ferals"....waiting for their "Waitress" (that's ME) to serve their dinner.  Sorry for the blurry photos....but it sort of adds to the frantic, frenetic scene!  They want their dinner - NOW!



♥ Robin ♥

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rainy Saturday....Two Doves, Winter's Wreath, Joy and Friendship

A cold, grey, rain  Saturday...... last year at this time, I was deep in the realm of despair and sadness....but THIS year, I have regained Strength and Hope and,  yes, myself!  I have felt Life returning to me.....  I am beginning to love life....and more important...My Life..... I feel worthwhile and blessed to have friends like YOU....I no longer feel alone.

So, this quiet Saturday Morning, something drew me to the window....and there were two Mourning Doves, perched atop a wire!  I was thrilled - as we don't see much of these  little ones in Winter....seeing them filled my heart with warmth and joy....

Sending every one of you wishes for a blessed Winter... the "coldest time of the year" approaches)...(except for those of you south of the equator)...

Our friendship is like a Winter's wreath of fir branches....our "arms" meet and merge - from State-to-State - from Country-to-Country....and we form a bond so strong, so true....ah, it is a lovely!

And here, is my Winter Wreath...made of crystals - it sparkles and shimmers with a warmth that reminds me of You.


♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Animal Wednesday - Turkey Takeover!

Wishing every one of you a warm, wonderful Thanksgiving.  I  know I am so thankful for your friendship and support as I continue to reclaim my life.  Friends are the most precious gift. A roof over one's head, shelter for one's family (including Furry Ones), food, clothing....all are gifts we should appreciate and be grateful for - but having wonderful friends is a special blessing for sure!
Some of our group are going through difficulties now.....I hope we will all be there for them to give them love and strength.  This is the true spirit of Thanksgiving....to give....not just food, but shelter, real and emotional.........to be, as KJ and Renee said, "Together Strong". 

I send big hugs and much love to you all.


♥ Robin ♥

P.S. HAW!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Cyrano" Redux

I "know" you have all been thinking that I have not done an opera post in a few weeks.....  well, the season is winding down....  we are in the midst of the last weeks of perfomances....but, before the memory of "Cyrano de Bergerac" fades away, I wanted to leave you with some more photos.  Atop - it's me - "modeling" one of the "Cyrano" hats.....  I really wanted to sneak away with it....(but I didn't..)

Our wonderful Director, Set AND Lighting Designer - Petrika Ionesco!  He's Romanian - can't you tell?  What a moustache....  He is a brilliant director - who brought his dog along to all the rehearsals!  (Sadly, I didn't get a photo of the dog...

I WANT THESE BOOTS!  They unfold to over-the-thigh length!
And..... here is the huge cast - for their curtain call!  (Amanda, you can see Peter G in the front row!) Mon Dieu!  What an Opera.....tres magnificque!


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Animal Wednesday - Foxes Having Ffffffunnnnn!

This is ADORABLE!!!!  I couldn't believe it when I saw it and immediately knew it had to be an "AW" post! HAW!!!!!


♥ Robin ♥

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Autumn in San Francisco

Ah, today was extraordinary...it was 75 degrees....in November!  (Usually our rainy season!)
I guess "Mother Nature" is playing a joke on us all..after the coldest, greyest, wettest "Summer" in 40 years, now, in November, when we should be shivering under cold, wet and windy skies.... it is warm and lovely!  (At least for a few days..)

Yesterday, I went down to the Ferry Building - where there is an amazing "Farmer's Market"....

I succombed to the intoxicating colours, the hypnotic aromas.....I bought red, yellow and green peppers, cucumbers...lavender-infused cheese...... and tonight, I am making a pasta with most of these ingredients....plus a crusty San Francisco Sourdough and a Pinot Noir for Dinner....  I am feeling happy and warm and full of hope....

I send you all a big hug and love...  we are all in different States, in different countries, but we ARE a family.... it is a wonderful feeling....


♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Animal Wednesday - Gulls, Gulls, Gulls

A few months back, some of our "Animal Wednesday" people toyed with the idea of doing a "themed" HAW Post.  I just happened to see Mim's latest - on Seagulls, so I thought I would join in.

So here we have 'screaming' gulls, 'laughing gulls' (aka the "Black Masked Maruaders"), 'pensive' gulls, 'cleansing' gulls.....and also a few Pelicans, drifting like battleships on the water.

And.... I had to add "Agent 007 3/4" - the "Bond Gull"!  A-ha-ha!

HAW to all!


♥ Robin ♥

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I awoke to the sound of rain patter against my roof and windows.  Our first big storm of Autumn...it's grey and windy.  Funny how rain can make one feel....introspective and dreamy. I am enjoying this storm - even though I have a full day planned. It's the San Francisco Opera Volunteer Luncheon, then a final dress rehearsal of "The Makropulous Case"....  an opera with a touch of "Dorian Grey" about it - in that the "heroine" is a 337 year old woman (still beautiful, of course) who must make the decision to carry on with her "life" or to die.  A perfect day, weather-wise, to see it!

My life, though still full of unsettling things, is warmer and stronger....  I feel that Life has returned to me - after so many months of feeling dead inside.  And though Winter approaches, I look forward to it....to the smell of wood burning in a fireplace, to the glow of candles in the dark, to calls and notes from dear friends - both close and oceans away.

I hope your Sunday is a happy one - rain or shine....

I leave you with some charming words from Robert Louis Stevenson's "A Child's Garden of Verses".

' The rain is raining all around.
It falls on field and tree.
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.'


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Animal Wednesday - Geese on Ice

This is a funny video....not so much for the Geese "skating" on the ice....but for the commentary of the couple recording it.  I especially like the man's calling out in a deep, booming voice - the "names" of the Geese!  Hysterical!

HAW to all!


♥ Robin ♥

Monday, November 1, 2010

October Postscript...

October was a truly magical month for me....and so I wanted to leave you with a few photos that need to be shared.  Above is the incredible, beautiful mandala that Marianne painted for my birthday. Now, it is framed and hangs in a place where I can see it daily.  It gives me strength to move ahead with my life! 

For Amanda......(at last) - Monsieur Peter Greathouse - fencer extraordinaire!
(Sorry it's blurry....he was preparing to dash onstage and defend "Cyrano"!)
 And...I had to include this Operatic "Halloween" moment.....  oooh...the things one sees backstage!
Anyway, I digress.... but it was a fantastic month for me - from "YART" to All Hallows Eve....and now, it's November....and Winter is coming....  but, it is going to be an exciting one for all of us...I can just feel it!


♥ Robin ♥

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Special Birthday Gift

Yesterday, was a special day....my birthday.  Last year, was the worst birthday I had - ever.  This year, it was one of the best.  Greetings and lovely gifts from my "Family"......that's all of YOU!

I did have one particular gift I want to share......  enroute to meeting a friend for lunch, the rain stopped, and a rainbow stretched across the Bay!  (You must look carefully - it's just at the bottom of the horizon. I only had my cell phone with me to shoot it.) We don't get many in SF - and I really took it to be a "Gift from God"....bringing me hope for the future.

I send each and every one of you a big hug and much love....thank you for being - YOU....

And tomorrow is Halloween!  May yours be wonderful and magical!   BOO!!!


♥ Robin ♥

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Robin et "Cyrano"....oops, I mean Placido!

Yes, finally, the right moment came about and I was able to have a friend take a picture of Placi et Moi! He is such a sweet man - as nice and charming as when we first met in 1993!  (Mon Dieu!)

Reviews for "Cyrano" have all been stellar....and there is a rumour floating about that he may reprise it here in 2011.  We will see......

I had to share with you all! 

 (Amanda, still having trouble trying to have the "shy" Monsieur Greathouse pose for me....but I will keep trying!


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Animal Wednesday......and Zombie Bunny's First Halloween! BOO!

I know, I am a few days early....  but here are some of "the Creatures of the Night"...getting ready to celebrate Halloween!  And.....here is a photo of my very own - ZOMBIE BUNNY!  Yes, what a lucky girl I am to have received this wonderful gift from the talented Pam of "Yoborobo"!  Thank you Pam!!!!
HAW to all!


Monday, October 25, 2010

"Cyrano" - Opening Day!

Yesterday was quite a day for SF Opera, it's Star, Placido Domingo and it's audience!  We had our first wild and wet Autumn Storm.....umbrellas blowing inside out, patrons dresses soaking....hair frizzled....  but oh well, it was worth it to see Senor Domingo perform on the SF Stage after an absence of 17 years.
A sold out (of course) house....the cast, the orchestra - all ready to go...   midway through the first act, David Gockley, our General Manager, comes on stage (never a good sign)....  Placi was not feeling well..(gasp from the audience)......but.....he was going to try and continue.  (sigh of relief from audience..)  And continue he did....for the rest of the first act, he sang his part an octive lower than was written.  But, after intermission, he, like the amazing man he is, returned in (almost) full voice and delivered a heroic and poignant performance.
The reviews will not be out until late tonight....  but, the audience loved it - loved him!  Seven curtain calls - and flowers thrown to Placi and two of the other principal singers.

Finally, I felt it only right to include a photo of him 'sans' costume, 'sans' fake nose - this is the real man, how he looks today. (Still waiting for an appropro moment to have a photo taken with me....yesterday was just too chaotic!)

Hope you enjoyed this!  More to come....


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Animal Wednesday - "Wabbits"!

Emily Wabbit has been off gallavanting...but here is an "archival" video of the "Famous One" (or rather, the "Infamous One") and one of her cousins when she was teeny.....and just beginning to think of all the mischief she was going to cause!   Emilweeeee!!!!  HAW!!!!


♥ Wrobin ♥

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Cyrano" - San Francisco Opera's Latest

Hmmmm....where have I been, you may wonder?  Well, at my "second home" - San Francisco Opera! We are fortunate to have the wonderful Placido Domingo starring in "Cyrano de Bergerac"...it opens next Sunday and while I have attended two Piano Rehearsals and one complete rehearsal (with Orchestra), we have yet to hear "the great one" sing one note! He does, however, look marvelous in his black leather costume, complete with white plumed hat and rapier!  He moves gracefully and forcefully for a 69 year old...and fences beautifully.  He has not sung because he is finishing up a dual run at LA Opera....singing the role of Pablo Neruda in "Il Postino" and also conducting "The Barber of Seville"....

Sigh...no photos of Placi yet.... I met him years ago in Bayreuth, Germany, when I was young and quite lovely.  A friendship ensued and I flew to LA as his guest several times...and...he even visited me in SF - at the very place I still live at....but, at the very same time....I met my Ex....  it was a complicated, operatic-like moment in my life...  still, although we have not communicated in 16 years....I am hoping to be able to see him and take a photo for you all. (Going to the Final Dress on Thursday.)

In the meantime, here are a few photos of other cast members......  I hope you enjoy!  To be continued....


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Animal Wednesday - Queen of the Willow Ball

No, not me!  But, this adorable porcelain Hummingbird!  Some of you know that I was a first-time guest at the 2010 Willow Ball!  (Some of you......were also there!)  A great, fun-filled and occasionally "naughty" time was had by all!  Our wonderful Hostess - Willow - had two prizes available for all of the many guests to vie for.....and - unbelievably - I was one of the winners!  I was the recepient of this gorgeous Hummingbird!  Not only is she beautiful - but for me - she is truly meaningful.  My Mum adored these little "speed demons" and now, whenever I see (or hear one), I feel she is sending me a hug and letting me know she still looks after me.

Thank you  Dear Willow!  I will always treasure the little feathery one.....and it will be a sweet and magical rememberance of my very first Willow Ball!

And....of course - she qualifies as my "Animal Wednesday" subject!  A warm and loving HAW to everyone!


♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I felt the desire to add a little Vivaldi in honour of the return of Autumn to my blog. May your day be filled with golden sun, crisp breezes and of course, multi-coloured leaves drifting down....


♥ Robin ♥

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Animal "Thursday", Thankful Thursday

Still battling my flu-like symptoms - and I cannot talk yet.....  perhaps because I am house-bound, I feel reflective and a little sad today.  I miss Bofie.  Seeing him was full of joy - for both of us!
He was really happy to see his "Mum" and bounced (as only a 100 pound Lab can do) with great, unbridled glee.  I bought a toy for him....  it is exactly the same as the one I bought for Stella - only it is Lilac-coloured.

Anyway, I felt I could post a photo of him....for although we no longer see each other regularly, perhaps we will see each other from time-to-time. This photo was taken my last Summer in Santa Fe  - in 2008.  Bofie is happily chomping down on another Lilac-hued toy.  (I think it was an Octopus....)

I am grateful I had the opportunity to see "C" and Bofie.....it felt good to run through the leaves with him.  I loved the sound his paws make when he gallops through dried leaves.....  I had almost forgotten what a wonderful sound that is.

I didn't take any photos of my "Ex-guys"....  I felt it was important for me to change my patterns.  (I was a prolific photographer of our lives for all those years.)  I carry the new images in my mind - but felt a need to share Bofie with you all. 


♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Yart" Memories, Autumn Colours, Warm Friends....and...a little extra something...

I knew I would be the last to post about the amazing "YART" Fair because I spent most of Monday flying across country....but I am home now.....and if it were not for all of YOUR fantastic retellings and photographs, I might just think I had dreamt the past four days.....

I was so busy with "Madame" KJ, prepping for "YART", then trying to keep everything going smoothly, that I wasn't able to take many photos....  but I did take a few.  The one above is the lush carpet of golden leaves from the large tree in front of#9.  For a San Francisco Girl, it was luxury to hear them crunch when I walked and to see them fall in a magical golden shower during the night.  (My wonderful room overlooked the tree....)

Many of you captured the now "infamous" "PARING" sign.....but, I was there to watch KJ place it in the ground!  Ha-ha!  It brought smiles to many.....and yesterday, before KJ took me to the airport, we collected the signs - this one still made us laugh!  (We are saving it for next year!)

The "Morning After"....grey skies, cold temperatures....the Magic Cottage sighing, looking a little lonely after all the happiness and giddiness of the weekend.  The Magic Cottage really is MAGIC!  When JB asked if I would like to visit it.....I really felt like Alice through the Looking Glass....and as you know, it is as wonderful inside as out.

A yard one day full of tables and artists - now hosting one white wicker chair...  but the memories and the laughter will linger on forever!

I was happy to take Stella for a walk in the park between rain showers on the Friday before "YART". She is so gentle and loving,  a real sweetie... and we had fun skipping over puddles...although she thought "Auntie Robin" was a wee bit mad....as I often stopped to collect some red Maple leaves and "Elven acorns"....  I needed to bring back a bit of Autumn with me. 

The little "extra" I spoke of in the title of this post..... my Ex and Bofie (our Chocolate Lab) drove up from NY the day after "YART".  We went to lunch, explored the charming town of Northfield - then ended back in the park - where we sat on a bench overlooking a lake and we talked - for the first time in 18 months. No matter what happens now....seeing "C" and Bofie was healing for me.....  so - you see - Madames KJ and JB really wield  magic wands....

I know all of you who were there, know what I mean.  Their home, their yard - everything about them exudes warmth, joy, love (wicked humour) - and they envelop you with it too.

I can only echo what has already been said.....meeting Laurel, Brian, Mim, Suki, Chewey and all the others (too numerous to name) filled me with such happiness...  attending "YART" was the best thing I have done for ME in a long time.  Every member of our "Blogging Family" was exactly like I thought they would be....there was no initial awkwardness - we already knew and loved one another.  Renee's spirit was close by - I felt her every day....and early one morning, I looked out my window, dawn was just breaking and a silver crescent moon was peeking through the large tree - and I thanked Renee for coming into my life when I needed her most....and helping me find the courage to reach out to all of you....  without her, I would have never met you and my life would be so much sadder and emptier.

I hope those of you who could not attend this year will be able to do so next year.  You will experience the magic too!

I could write more....but I a battling a monster sore throat and now, general achiness....  so I am off to bed.

I love you all.  And.....sigh.....I miss you all....

♥ Robin ♥