It’s the Little Things…


Because she loves to create snippets of beauty in her spaces, she designs for herself and no one else.  She doesn’t save the best only for her public places; she attends even to corners that no one but her will ever see.  She enjoys creating beauty from things that are meaningful to her, or just plain pretty.

She once argued with her husband about the value – to her – of keeping a lamp lit in her powder room during the day.  He: irritated by her wastefulness.  She: in despair that he did not realize how the lamplight transformed the half bath into the architectural space it was designed to be.  Rooms crave personal accoutrements to give them life, to personalize them.  Besides, it made her happy every time she passed by that room…the warm glow of the lamp drew her in, if only visually, and with it, it seemed her house had gained a whole other room.
Perhaps only someone with similar sensibilities can understand this.
Today she created another pretty little place, where it once was merely utilitarian.  It started as a way to give her lovely orchids a humid environment to steep in after her showers, to caress their fragile blooms.

But now the littlest of her orchids is spent of its blooms.
So she will love it in its new, permanent location, and soon transplant it to a slightly larger terra cotta pot.  It will adorn her most private, corner shelf and she will enjoy showering with it until it blooms again next year.

A View From The Pier


From the pier in Jacksonville Beach this afternoon, I took the following pictures:

adaptable bird
It was a clammy day, misty and kind of warm-cool, that weird sort of weather that can’t quite decide what it is.
But clearly, everyone was enjoying that day for what it meant to them.
this poignant scene makes me hope that everyone is okay


spectacular!


And then I went home.

Going Rogue Myself, Part Deux


After Sarah Palin’s enormous  Going Rogue tour bus pulled into the parking lot, she, her daughter, Piper, 8,  her parents Chuck and Sally Heath, and her Aunt Katie who was tenderly cradling Palin’s one-and-a-half-year-old son Trig, climbed onto the podium and made brief welcoming remarks:

Then they hurried inside and disappeared behind the black curtains that ensconced the private, book signing area situated in the middle of the bookstore.  All the media were ushered to the coffee shop, while the hundreds of fans lined up in the store like one very long airport security queue.  I hung out with the on air anchors Diane Dimond of Entertainment Tonight and Darren Kavinoky of Inside Edition and their camera crews; all of Jacksonville’s local network news stations and print media and their online counterparts; freelance photographers; and two very accomplished high-school journalists, including my colleague, Nick Lulli, from 2News Now. (His assistant Megan Moser was denied inside press access and was made to wait outside the store.)

While we were waiting in the press area, the first of the Palin fans with signed books passed by to a lights-ablaze phalanx of reporters and photographers, eager to hear their first impressions of the gorgeous (in my opinion, this isn’t journalism after all) and charismatic figure that arouses such passion in people. This Palin phenomenon  reminds me of people and their feelings about cats. Think about it:  with cats, people either  love ‘em, or really hate them. Is there anyone out there who’s simply indifferent on the topic of Sarah Palin (or cats)?  I think we can all agree on one thing: you’ve got an opinion one way or the other about Palin, and it’s solid. And the crowd at this event were solidly pro-Palin.
We killed time, chatting amongst ourselves.  We waited to be escorted by security (in small groups of three or four photographers) into the actual Palin book signing area where we were welcome to get what shots we could, without interfering, or asking any questions.  She was seated at a table with a showcase of her books behind her, and the wrist-banded book owners were ushered into the black-curtained area.  Her parents and Aunt Katie were mingling with her fans and the media; all very casual and chatty.

Piper was sitting behind her mom at the book signing table. So poised, and patient, just watching the people pass by, until finally, she was bored, got up and moved around the area,  and was just being eight in a crowd of adults.

I tried, we all did, to get clear shots of Palin unobstructed by her fans; or engaged with a particular one.  It was a challenge, dodging outstretched arms, and darting between the bodies of the people who’d waited so very long for their few moments of face time.   Palin was friendly and seemed very approachable if not for the  handlers that moved the 600 or so people past that signing table in two hours time.

I was there when a nine-year-old girl, who was dressed as a Sarah Palin ‘mini-her’ approached the table. She presented her book, and a nicely homemade card describing her admiration for Palin, featuring a her photo, dressed as Sarah Palin (again) for Halloween and explaining that her mom is the chairman of a Draft Palin 2012 grassroots organization.  I’d spotted her earlier, in the crowd,  outside, before the event.  She did bear an uncanny similarity to her grown-up hero. Take off the glasses and side sweep the bangs, and she might have been Piper, actually.

I just happened to be there at the exact moment when this child presented her card to Palin.
Shortly, our group was asked to leave so we returned to the coffee shop where Chuck Heath,  and Aunt Katie were soon interviewed by Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight.  Naturally, they tried to get a rise out of both Chuck and Aunt Katie by bringing up Levi Johnston, and I listened as they each gave responses that were just plain nice and genuine toward him. No “money quotes” to be had on this day; these adults appeared to regard Levi as basically a nice kid, who they believe has  gotten involved with “handlers” who are really the ones making the money – off him.  Chuck was quite affable when speaking about Levi and it sounded like they’d all spent quite a bit of time together in the past, enjoying sports and being friends.
Piper, too, wandered over to the media line and was interviewed by Diane Dimond of ET.  I listened (and filmed) as she vainly tried to get Piper to talk with her but she seemed to be a bit out of touch with the eight-year-old set.  Piper was composed, and sweet, and while willing to be interviewed, couldn’t come up with answers to the typical, boring grown-up type questions (“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  ”What kinds of games do you play on the bus?  Oh?  What other kinds of games do you play?”)  I very nearly leaned over the Diane Dimond’s shoulder and tossed the kid  a couple of better questions, something Piper would have fun answering, instead of the repeated, “I don’t knows…”  Dimond was getting from her.  I kept thinking how much better I’d have interviewed, had I had the ET mike in my hand. I know, I know… From amateur to know-it-all in two short hours, that’s me.


Palin kept to schedule and after two hours, she stopped signing books, thanking the Books a Million staff as she left the store and got onto the big bus and rolled out of Jacksonville to her next stop of the day,  Orlando.
Her fans waved her off and the store hustled to restore order so those other customers who didn’t come for Palin could get in and shop.  I hung around chatting with Inside Edition’s Darren Kavinoky while his crew packed it in, and prepared to follow along with the book tour.


He was a congenial guy, an attorney from Los Angeles who’s now with Inside Edition, covering the tour in its entirety.  He’s building his media career, just like the rest of us. 

We all have to start somewhere.  




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