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It has been raining for two weeks. It could have been worse, mind you. No wildfire or tornadoes. But still, it has been wet, muddy, and chilly every day and we began to wonder if we’d get even a few days of good spring weather.


The sun came out this afternoon. It came out between the time we went into the grocery store, when we had to run through the downpour, having not brought our rain gear … and came out to see the clouds scudding away and blue sky showing.


Spring had come while it rained. The flowers are blooming in the garden. The leaves are opening on the trees. My son’s birthday and Mother’s Day had come and gone. The water is still gleaming on the leaves of the Solomon’s Seal.


The Earth turned and spring happened … while it rained.




I recently stayed with my daughter, Sarah, in Los Angeles. I was struck by the interesting design and decor elements I saw in homes I visited.

Sarah is 31. She lives in North Hollywood with a roommate. They have some wonderfully funky things on their walls that gives their house a happy, creative, fun feeling. For example, as an inexpensive way to treat a large wall behind the TV, they strung LP records together and created a decorative statement piece.

Sarahs house

To give drama, color and interest to the opposite large wall in their living room, they came up with something unique, to say the least. Budget friendly, too. Sarah’s roommate found a large model of an airplane in the trash. It had been made for a studio to use for exterior shots of airplanes in movies. They hung it, nose down, and dotted it with colored paper ‘flames’. To complete the vignette, they have a Barbie doll parachuting to safety from the wreck. Not for everyone, but I love it!

Sarahs plane

I also visited an old friend who recently moved from Westchester, New York to LA. His name is Gary Kiffel and he just retired after 22 years as the sound effects man for David Letterman. He decorates his home with some of his cool collectibles, like vintage radios, microphones and phonographs. Unfortunately his giant , fully working antique pinball machine didn’t make the move out west.

The microphone that says “WRR” is an RCA that dates from 1946-1954. When Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, he used the exact same mike.

garys mikes

The smaller phonograph is an Edison Standard Model A from 1899-1901 and played Edison cylinder recordings. The larger one with the beautiful blue horn is a Columbia Phonograph from 1905 or 1906. It played 78 and 80 RPM records. Both phonographs still work and Gary has a collection of discs and records to play on each of them!

garys phonograhs

Maybe I just have creative friends and family. But these two styles, although transplanted from the New York area, seem to epitomize the relaxed, unconventional, do your own thing vibe of LA.