Sunday, April 6, 2014 - Anitra & Janice 3

Here is a video of clips from the early days of "The Price is Right." These scenes taped in the 70's, are fun and vibrant, and as I taped hundreds of shows over four-and-a-half years, their memory runs deep.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Where are These Crows Headed?


Above is a video of my neighborhood crows. They were clustered at the very top of an oak tree in my front yard and were aligned in a picturesque manner. As usual, they were squawking their heads off. When I saw them, I hurried into the house for my camera, not expecting them to still be there when I returned. But I was in luck, they were still in action. I began to take a photo, and was sorry that the viewer would not get the full effect without sound. That's when it dawned on me to employ my little-used video application. In short order, the crows delivered a perfect surprise. I've decided they're on their way to visit my new blog "Anitra's Book of Days." You're welcome to follow them and stop by for a visit.

It's wonderful to see you here. I will return to post on this blog May 15th, two months down the road. In the meantime, you may visit me on Facebook at "Anitra Ford's Celebrity Page" and also at my Facebook Artist's Page: "Anitra's inspiration." Keep the wonder going.

My warm regards,     ~    Anitra

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is There No End to the Depths of Which One Can See

It started with a band of coral glowing through my drapes early Saturday morning. I stepped into my slippers, grabbed my camera and went out onto the deck. I then crossed the lawn to where a tiny patch of ocean was visible. The warm December air hung around me like a shawl. Below the coral sky, the sea was glassy and silvered. I took photos.

When I turned back to go inside and begin my morning ritual of writing, the sun was cresting the canyon, and I noticed the stone Buddha beside the pepper tree was now outlined with light. I clicked more photos. Before I stepped away, the jay that visits every morning requesting his handful of peanuts, hopped onto a stack of rocks on the banister of my deck. Again, I clicked my camera. That's when the Elvis Presley birdhouse caught my eye. The birdhouse -- a yard sale find -- I keep, not because it's a great likeness, nor is it that attractive or well-made, but simply because it's an ELVIS PRESLEY BIRDHOUSE!

And that was the thing Saturday morning, the ocean, the Buddha, the jay, the birdhouse, the air, the light, the warmth, just grew more and more heady, and I was beginning to feel as though I couldn't stop or rest for one moment. Everywhere I looked -- everywhere -- I saw something remarkable. I looked to my right, and the heart-shaped bird feeder dangling from the eaves framed the pristine mountains in the distance. On and on it went until I felt dizzy from all of the sights unfolding.

Here it was, the same world I saw every day, the same shadows, the same morning light -- but this day, it was more. The molecules in the air seemed to be humming. Things that had looked just so-so, or hadn't even caught my attention in the past, appeared charmed. And the imperfections all around me: the unattractive wire fencing, the awkward mix of pots and saucers, the dust, the faded wood and even the rough corners were all smoothed and invisible to me that morning, and I found myself wondering what had happened.

How did this eclectic hodgepodge become a kind of Eden?

When I finally went back inside, the projects on my table looked like art, and I continued taking photos, stumbling around my house snapping and clicking, unable to stop seeing image after image illuminated.

View another chapter of this story by going to my new blog: Anitra's Book of Days. You can find it on Google, or by clicking the bottom line under my profile in the sidebar that reads "view complete profile." It will be listed at the top of the page under "My Blogs." Click on the title and you will be there. The post is titled "Magic Morning" and was made on Jan. 15. Happy travels


Have a fulfilling and charmed 2014. My warmest regards,

~   Anitra

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ruing, Rowing and Flowing

Right now I want to rue, rue the fact that everything is passing. The pink light from the sunrise casting its pastel color onto my writing page is measured. Each day is like those grains of sand in the hourglass, spilling. Now I have a new perspective of the hourglass, so different from those days in the past -- days when I was outer-driven, always reaching, always striving, always hoping to attain my ever-present goals.

With those days of racing behind me, my pace has changed, and my focus has gone inward, not in the sense of navel gazing, but of savoring moments, of being in  my body instead of casting it about. And as I stop and look around me at patterns of sunlight illuminating the French doors to my deck, I see one shaped like a butterfly. And in the distance, a small crimson heart glows mid air, suspended in the leaves of the pepper tree. And I wonder how could that be -- a heart suspended in space -- what is that? And then, I see it's part of a stained glass strand dangling from the eaves of my deck and glinting in the slant light. And I realize, I am holding this journal to my chest, feeling the smooth tooth of its paper under the pads of my fingers and being with this day as it it were a person; as if it were a dear relative who I love.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Savoring Summer

Today, I perch on the cusp of fall. The days are growing shorter, but my memories of the second half of summer remain bright. Visits with friends took me to Santa Barbara's harbor several times. You'd think that after 33 years of living here I might become inured to the same old, same old, "There it is, the blue Pacific" yawn. But it's just the opposite. Every time I visit the harbor, I relish it more.

Shore birds foraging, frolicking and wading in the shallows put on a constant and ever-changing show. A steady stream of sailboats -- their silky banners coasting past Stearn's Warf -- is another captivating sight. The colorful parade of boats leaving and returning to the harbor, 
keeps me scanning the water, my head in perpetual motion, turning from left to right
 as if tracking a tennis match at Wimbledon. 

An empty barge invites droves of pelicans, cormorants and a night heron or two. A few spirited egrets get into the mix. One balances on a tightrope. 

Black-hooded night herons breed and sleep in the trees, and pelicans amass on the sand spits. In summer, nestlings hatch in the tall ficus trees adjacent to our public swimming pool. On warm August evenings, after watching fleshy, featherless humans splash and cavort all day, juvenile herons and young egrets descend from their nests, and take their turn in the swimming pool.

This summer, after having fallen more in love with the harbor than ever, I began to view Lazy Acres Health Food Store on the Mesa, differently. Lazy Acres has always seemed too far away from my neighborhood to frequent. But this summer, I changed my tune. I began to see shopping there as an opportunity for an adventure. I realized that I could use going there as an excuse to take the coast route, where I could then tool languidly along the shore. On my way to Lazy Acres, I could scout out activities at the harbor, I could spot sunbathers savoring summer's August days. I could see sailboats swirling across the channel, and catch new sights at every turn.

One afternoon on my way to the market, I saw a fleet of rainbow-colored sailboats racing on Leadbetter Beach. On my way home, just 45 minutes later, parachutes had appeared. 
Wind driven para-sailors embracing gusty breezes, were flying their chutes above the water 
like red, yellow and turquoise balloons.

On Labor Day I drove to L.A. to visit my daughter and few old friends. After a tasty brunch at Le Cirq, on Melrose Avenue, I found myself hankering to be back home. But my commitment promised two more days. Closed in by city streets, I craved the refuge of nature--longed for it as if for air. After sitting in a park across the street from the iconic, pink stucco Beverly Hills Hotel, and jotting a few pages in my journal, I decided to hunt for more greenery. And so, I set sail on an exploratory outing. I drove my gray Toyota up into the hills of Brentwood in search of an undeveloped canyon I had heard about--a nature preserve. Once there, I found the area weathered and dusty. But even though the city encompassed it on all sides, I found surprising life there. In fact, for the second time ever, I came face to face with the glorious presence of a wood duck. After all the magnificent scenes I witnessed this summer at Santa Barbara's harbor, I have to say, I found summer's crowning glory deep in the hidden heart of L.A.

***  Hello, hello beautiful people. It's so good to return. WELCOME!
I plan to make my next post (once again) two months down the road. This will bring us to November 15. Until then wishing you rich and happy days,    ~   Aneet

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer A

Let Me Play

Let me live in joy and wonder.
Allow me to let go of constraints
and mental constructs of how things ought to be.
Let me release my automatic knee-jerk reactions
and open to a world of infinite possibility.
Let me find that thread of agelessness
and timelessness that resides in all of us.
Let me savor, let me celebrate
this gift of days.

***Hello beautiful people. Once again, I have made two posts. Please check out Summer B

Summer B

The first week of summer brought with it sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-seventies -- weather worthy of Santa Barbara's reputation. But the weeks and months before and since have been dominated by fog. Our Summer Solstice Parade (see June 2011), along with high school and college graduations, and just the influx of seasonal tourists doubled our population, flooding our streets and turning serene SB into a teeming bumper to bumper hub. This week, finally, we've received full sunny days, and yesterday, the beach was packed with sunworshipers.

Late May and early June brought our Jacaranda trees into bloom. This year's bounty appeared fuller and more prolific than I can remember.  Throughout the city our tree-lined streets were clad in fluffy clouds of lavender. They lingered for weeks, with blossoms sprinkling sidewalks, lawns and windshields like purple confetti announcing summer's approach.

Last week, I bought a gift for a friend at one of my favorite shops: Lewis and Clark in La Arcada Plaza. La Arcada is a courtyard with Old World Spanish architecture. It flanks our art museum, and is home to restaurants, galleries, fountains and boutiques (the window washer in the foreground wearing all white, is a fixture of La Arcada. A statue sculpted entirely of bronze.)

On my way back to the parking lot, I glanced toward our courthouse -- the heart of our downtown -- the way I always do whenever I'm in its presence. I took in its tile roof, its graceful arch, its tall clock tower that looks out to a 360 degree view of the city, and felt a certain awe, even after all these years. The interior and the exterior of Santa Barbara's courthouse are equal to some of the loveliest buildings in Italy or Spain. And as I stopped to snap a couple of photos, the clock began to chime. It resounded through all twelve numbers of the hour like a validation, a booming voice bellowing, "You're here, Anitra, you're here, at this median hour, in perfect timing. I salute you with both hands straight up. Have a beautiful day."

Welcome, welcome lovely readers; it's good to be back. I look forward to returning two months from now,  on the 15th of September. Until then, cool breezes and happy days to you.