"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 ♥