"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."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Animal Wednesday

As you know, I have lost three dear friends in as many months...in fact, I am attending another Life Celebration tonight for one of them.  I hope this is the last one for eons!  But, this month, I have also lost two beloved
Animal-Friends .and so, I am dedicating this post to them - and to their *Parents*.

Beloved Peke of Doris

Gizzy was intelligent, funny and....SPOILED.  He lived a wonderful life in Georgia with his *Mum*, Doris.  He was, indeed, the personification of a "Lion Dog"....fearless and faithful.

The *Ruler* of Teri and her DH's Heart and Home - in two states!

This feathered beauty was so amazing.....she flew (literally) into Teri's Home....and then, she took over...small, but mighty...and yes.....SPOILED!

Both Doris and Teri are grieving....they loved these little ones with all their hearts.  Those of you who have *pets* - know what I mean.

I miss Gizzy and Sunshine too....although I was a long-distance *Auntie*,
I enjoyed seeing their photos and reading about their exploits. When we lose a pet....is it the ONLY sad thing about having one...because they give 1,000,000 % love and joy.

Animals....so wonderful....



♥ Robin ♥

p.s. Doris and Teri, I hope you don't mind my adding these photos.....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Looking Forward to December

November hasn't been the kindest month....a lot of losses, both human and animal.....all beings that meant a lot to me...it was overwhelming....and made me realise (as never before) how precious LIFE is....

As Winter approaches, the nights grow longer, we seek warmth, be it in the glow of a fireplace or the flickering silhouettes of candles...or a familiar voice on the phone - or a commenter on one's blog...

Our dear Marianne and her son, Felix, will be attending their first *Nutcracker* in a few weeks. This is happy, joyous news! So, I wanted to share a few clips of this fantastic, magical Ballet!

SF Opera has another week to go....then, in will come SF Ballet - and their *Nutcracker*...always a favourite of mine - both as a child and as an adult.
I love the beautiful score by Tchaikovsky...the Mouse King, the snowy final scene....and...my favourite of all the dances..."Arabian Coffee". I hope you enjoy this too...


♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Animal Wednesday - on Tuesday

I'm posting today - because tomorrow, I will be at the Opera for an early morning rehearsal....and wanted to share these photos with you.  I actually took these last week, on the outskirts of the Presidio - a favourite place for *Dog Walkers*!

 Making sure EVERYONE gets their equal share of hugs and head scratches!

 This girl has quite an assortment!

 You KNOW a lot of *this* goes on!  A-ha-ha!

 He's a big guy!  (But really sweet!)

 This little one has only three legs...but he's sprightly and keeps pace with the others.  (Sorry for the grainy quality...but he was in the shade... ) 

A good day's exercise for all!  I was on a hike that lasted over two hours...and as I walked the return path - these fellows were just winding down their day...

HAW!  (One day early!)

Sending you all warm Thanksgiving hugs.  May your day (whether you celebrate or not) be filled with love, friendship and the joy of Nature.  Sending special prayers to two of our friends who need them now....

♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Sunny November Afternoon

Yesterday was warm, the sun was shining......my body *told* me get up, get out..enjoy this weather - because soon....the Winter Rains will arrive.  So....I listened and obeyed.  I walked along to Baker Beach ....the last time I was there, it was foggy and cool.  If you look very closely, you will see (between the buoy and the shore) a faint figure on the horizon....  a large ship sailing enroute to the Bay. 


 Almost there...

 Voila!  Welcome to San Francisco!

It seems 3:00 p.m. is the *Golden Gate Waters Rush Hour* - because as I turned away from the Bridge, what did I see in the far distance...
Another tanker!  Busy waters!
I was caught up in the hypnotic spell of the waves, crashing gently on the shore.....lost in daydreams, I found that an hour had elapsed!
Walking back through the Northernmost part of the Presidio, I came across some downed trees.....

And this sprinkling of silvery pine cones...

The arc of pine cones.....totally natural... the hanging branch, yet to completely fall...   can't you imagine Red Riding Hood, dashing home to her Grandmothers? 

It is a 2 hour hike (with no daydreaming) from my house to Baker Beach and back.....but of course, I was gone much longer and the sun was beginning to set.....I caught the last golden glow on this very red-orange Poppy.

And the last glowing rays, bidding this branch *Sweet Dreams*.

It was a good day....  being amid Nature helps..... I think of many wonderful friends, all across the World...and I send each of you my love, courage and strength.

Love, always,

♥ Robin ♥

Friday, November 11, 2011

Don Giovanni!

The *Don* himself, in all his sunglassed, brocaded vest, leather-booted glory!

I haven't done an Opera post in a while.....(to the relief of some)...but I hope some of you miss them!  So....last night was the final performance of our wonderful, sexy 2011 production!  Of course, I was there....in fact, next to *Heart of a Soldier*, this opera has been my favourite of the season....I saw it five times!  But, last night was really memorable.

 *Donna Elvira*....the *Scorned* woman (one of many) who still loves Giovanni....but wants revenge!

*Leporello*, the Don's *faithful* (sometimes) servant...who both envies and despises his *Master*.  Here, he reveals to Donna Elvira the book Giovanni keeps to catalogue all of his conquests.....it opens up and is really L-O-N-G!

But back to backstage....  the previous night, I was working another (yawn) *Carmen*... and when I came into the Canteen after interviewing two potential new team members,  who was playing ping-pong - but the star of *Don Giovanni*, Lucas Meachem (he has the most luscious, velvet-smooth voice). He was there to see *Carmen*! I have been an admirer of his for five or so years, since he sang in *Die Tote Stadt*....my most beloved non-Wagnerian opera.  (I have a few video clips at the very end of my blog.  Lucas is in the scene, dressed as *Pierrot*, singing a most beautiful waltz.) Although dressed in jeans, t-shirt and tennies, he is still a sexy guy....and a flirtatious one.  While I was prepping the food for *Carmen*, we had a little chat....and I was able to (finally) tell him how much I adored his performance in *Die Tote Stadt*...he told me he had performed it in Europe a few times as well and also loved it....then, he told me he was returning to SF in the Autumn of 2012... but....he wouldn't tell me in which opera!  (The *Cad!) 

He did give me *clues*....
1. He has the lead role (he is Baritone - and most operas have Tenors as the lead)
2. The Opera has a one-word title

I immediately guessed "Rigoletto".....but he wouldn't say....those blue eyes twinkled though....but I'll have to wait and see.

But, hey, that's not the end of the story...  last night - at the final *Don*,
I came in and there was Lucas - playing ping-pong 90 minutes before the curtain went up! I said: "So, this is how you get into character"!  He laughed and said, "Absolutely"!  I wished him a "Toi, toi, toi for the final night".  After the second intermission, when the *Don* is not on stage....imagine my surprise when he came backstage (in costume and makeup) to play another round with some of the backstage crew...  he then came over and gave me a big hug (he is 6'4"...) and thanked me for all the delicious food!  I said, "Now you are ready to descend into *Hell*....(which is what happens at the end of the opera)...and he gave me a *wicked* laugh as he walked out and onto the stage!  It was a wonderful *Opera Moment* for me....particularly as earlier in the day, I was at a Memorial Service for a dear friend...and was emotionally spent....being hugged by *Giovanni* was just what I needed!
Here is a brief clip of some of our *Don Giovanni* for you to sample.  (Lo, sorry, all of the 3 woman lead ARE Sopranos! A-ha-ha!)

 *The Don* and our wonderful Supers!

 Our WONDERFUL Maestro and the Supers!

The Supers *react* to the Statue of the Commendatore!  *He drags the unrepetent Don down to Hell!* Bwaaa...haaaa...ha...

I hope you enjoy it!  It's glorious Mozart Music and really well sung by a vibrant, young cast!


♥ Robin ♥

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Marianne's Visit to San Francisco - Robin's Photos

 Day 1

Marianne arrives.....just in time to savour our last day of HOT (80 degrees) weather!  After meeting at her hotel, we set off for a cocktail and some fresh crab cakes at an outdoor restaurant right next to the Bay Bridge!

 You know who this is!  Frida!  The most well-travelled girl in all the world! 
 Some of my many many, MANY gifts from Marianne!

 We stopped to pose with Autumn Pumpkins and Gourds in the famous Sheraton Palace Hotel!

A late night dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Macy*s!  (We were almost the last ones to leave.....)

Day 2
 The view from Marianne's Hotel.....you can see the Bay Bridge and the SF Bay.
 The weather cooled off a lot - about 30 degrees....and in the afternoon, the skies clouded over and it rained!  However, that did not stop us from SHOPPING!  After that, we stopped for a cocktail before dinner and the Opera!

Here we are, sampling *Lilac Martinis*! 

I know, they look more Pink than Lilac.....but, we didn't send them back! 
A-ha-ha! Skoal!

Then, off to a delicious Thai Dinner.....and a speedy taxi ride to the Opera - where we saw the Final Dress Rehearsal of *Carmen*!  I was happy to introduce Marianne to *my backstage world*....meeting some of the Chorus and Orchestra members....

No photos (from me)....too busy chatting to everyone and introducing Marianne!

Day 3

A little more shopping....(Marianne is a CHAMPION Shopper)!  Then, off to my home for a quick visit to meet my Feral Furballs!  (Marianne took the photos.)
Then, another madcap rush to JUST catch the Sausalito Ferry in time for lunch!

OMG!  We JUST made it!

The Bay Bridge 

Coit Tower

Leaving San Francisco 

At Scomas Restaurant.  We opted to sit outside on the deck.....and Voila - the Sun came out - BRIGHT!  (Don't you love Marianne's Leopard Jacket!)

We met a Feathered Friend - whom we shared some  bread and cracker crumbs with!

A perfect afternoon! 

Marianne on the phone with Lo....  chatting with our Rhode Island Sister!! 

Enroute on the Ferry back to SF!  The sun is setting beyond the Golden Gate!  (Not a clear photo, as it was very cold by then...so we opted to sit INSIDE the Ferry!

The Days just sped by..... Marianne is a treasure...but then, you all know this!
She is beautiful, intuitive, funny and warm!  I am so happy we had these few days together!  We have met twice this year!!!  And next year.....be it in Rhode Island or Zierkizee.....we WILL meet again!

I miss you Marianne!!!

Love to all,

♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Emilwee is Non-Plussed About Stealing Avocados! HAW!

It's Emilwee!  Do you think she is even one teensy, itty-bitty bit concerned about the recent thefts of Avocados in Southern California?  Naaaaa.......



♥ Wrobin ♥