Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Russian River Cruise - Day 11 - May 22

The Danaid sculpture and fountain

A vertical of the Samson Fountain

Samson and the Lion Fountain

Grand Cascade

More photos from the Peterhof. The trees were out in fresh new green leaves. There were tulips in bloom, but not many other flowers. Along the streets of the cities and in the public parks there was slowly beginning to appear more color and flowers, after the soviet years, where it must have been drab and depressing.
A good website for photos of the fountains at the Peterhof

At home today the man from the Kitchen Design place was to see what I wanted done. He was referred to us by 2 people. I think he is going to be very very good! I will have oak cabinets, a new wardrobe, wine rack and shelves with pull out drawers along behind the cabinets that are there now. There will be a new china cabinet and storage shelves with pull out drawers along the wall between the living room and my computer room. New lighting, flooring and paint. I am thinking of having them do a 'garden window' over the sink, also. It might get a bit spendy, but hey, you can't take it with you! Dean had me copy my drawings for what I wanted. He did measurements and helped me a lot with design ideas and materials. I should call him in a few days to see what the damage might be and what the time window for getting it done might be. I am really quite excited about this new kitchen stuff!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Russian River Cruise - Day 11 - May 22

Statue of Peter the Great. You will see this statue on many post cards. This is my post card -- not too bad for shooting from inside a moving bus. :-D

Looking out to the Baltic Sea

Grand Palace

After our morning tour of the Hermitage we had lunch at the Greenwich Restaurant -- chicken kiev. Very slow service and the food was not memorable. We had to rush to get on the hydrofoil to take us to the Peterhof. The Peterhof is park-like gardens and ornate little palaces with many fountains, imitating Versailles. ... more photos as soon as time permits.

Home - We have had Pacific Blinds, Leigh and Denise in on Thursday to take measurements and suggest materials. Ballpark figure for cost was between $8 and $10 k, and end of August for the verticals and longer for the draperies.

On Friday Sheila and Jim drove us to Genoa Bay for our reserved lunch. The food is delicious. We had a gorgeous day... good company, good food.

Saturday, Sunday, and today we have spent sorting things to keep. We both have bags full of papers to discard to the recycle and still have magazines saved. When I cleaned up the library books, I managed to liberate approximately 2 shelves of space, although some of the classics are up top of the shelving, in a row. I put 'grape' colored rust paint on the panel that goes over the lights in our ensuite bath -- it had been corroded. Looks ok, but I marred a spot while trying to move the wet paint closer to the eaves over hang as it was looking like rain, any minute. We are suppose to get rain tomorrow. I sure hope we do. I have not had time to get out and water in the garden. Yesterday, I did manage to get the light garden plants and trays cleaned up and moved to where I think I might have it when the new cabinets, flooring and paint is done.

It will be a while yet, before we are finished this reno. It is coming along, though. I have some lovely colored bruises all over my body.

I have watched The Matrix, Matrix Revolutions and some of the Animatrix. Perhaps I will get time tomorrow. I am reading the old book On the Beach by Nevil Shute. It is about the world after a nuclear strike, circa 1963. It is kinda boring as it does not exactly move along quickly or have much action. It is interesting as an observation of what may have happened in such a scenario 50 years ago.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

VFXY - weekly theme - Circle

This is the last photo on my way out of the Hermitage. There is something about this that reminds me of The Matrix, Revolutions.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Russian River Cruise - Day 11 - May 22

A panorama crop of some of St. Petersburg

The last photos of the morning at the Hermitage. We caught the bus back to the boat for lunch, our heads swimming with information on this marvelous collection of art of every kind.

Russian River Cruise - Day 11 - May 22

More photos from the Hermitage, in St.Petersburg, Russia.

This was our tour of the Hermitage in the morning. In the afternoon, after lunch on the boat, we go on our optional tour of the Peterhof - gardens.

Russian River Cruise - Day 11 - May 22

more bad photos from the Hermitage, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Today Jim and Sheila picked us up and we went to Genoa Bay for lunch. Was delicious. I am having just a lazy day today.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Russian River Cruise - Day 11 - May 22

Battle of the Lapiths and the Centaurs by Luca Giordana

Battle of the Lapiths and the Centaurs by Luca Giordana

More photos from the Hermitage. Not great shots, but they are what I have from this glittering, collection of art set in some gorgeous architecture. More to come...

On the home front. We have paint on all the rooms, except the kitchen, my room, the stairwell, and the big bathroom. We have the drain in the tub fixed (Pat fixed it with a little help from his friend) without having to drag out the bathtub... thank heavens. Pat needs to put back his stuff in his room. It all needs dusting and sorting, of course. We hauled stuff to the good will drop off and another load to the recycle place. We have bags of paper, cardboard, books and old magazines waiting to go out to the pick up recycle people.

My garden is drying up -- even the weeds, except the morning glories that are taking over the hedge. Oh well, maybe I will have time next month.

I have collected the Matrix, but have not had time to watch it, yet. I have 3 of the series to watch, should, ever I get time. Cyrus' site should be ready to be pre-launch tested soon. I don't seem to have time for Flickr right now, either.

I have not heard back from Dyler's Draperies place. I have another draperies person coming this morning to do measurements and etc. Hope they are a little more hungry for work than that last woman. So, I best get off this computer.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Russian River Cruise - Day 11 - May 22

A few more photos from the city tour and then a few from the Hermitage. When you are on a tour of this kind, it is difficult to get good photos. One must keep up with the group and try to hear as much as possible of the information while trying to get good photos without tripod or time. The Hermitage is spectacular, awesome. Our night at the Ballet here, was the most treasured time of the Russian trip, for me. Our tour group left at 8:00 am so as to have an early start in the museum. This worked, to a certain extent, although there were other tour groups on the same schedule.
From the daily log of the Uniworld tour: Gaugin, Picasso, Monet, Degas. All great masters are represented in this fine museum. The tour lasts 2 hours. Photo and video fee applied. Big bags and water bottles are not allowed. Wear comfortable shoes.
Morre from the daily log: One of the world's great art galleries, set in a magnificent palace from which tsars ruled Russia for one and a half centuries. The State Hermitage fully lives up to its reputation as one of the country's chief glories.
The State Hermitage consists of five linked buildings along riverside the Palace embankment. From west to east they are the Winter Palace, the Little Hermitage, the old and new Hermitage (sometimes grouped together and called the Large Hermitage) and the Hermitage Theatre.
The present Baroque/Rococo Winter Palace was commissioned from Rastrelli in 1754 by Empress Elizabeth. Catherine the Great and her successors had most of the interior remodeled in classical style by 1837. That year a fire destroyed most of the interior, but it was restored virtually identically. It remained an imperial home until 1917, though the last two tsars spent more time in other St.Petersburg palaces.
The classical Little Hermitage was built for Catherine the Great as a retreat that would also house the art collection started by Peter the Great, which she expanded. At the river end of the Large Hermitage is the Old Hermitage, which also dates from her time. At the south end is the New Hermitage, which was built for Nicholas II to hold the still growing art collection and was opened to the public for the first time in 1852. The Hermitage Theatre was built in the 1780's.

Now.... John the Painter was in and has accomplished much his first day. The ensuite is patched and ready for its new paint. There is one wall in the master bedroom finished and the others are ready for another coat. Closets are done as is the woodwork. I absolutely love the new color... very light mauve.. gives the room a lovely warm glow. The guy from Hourigans has put down some filler on the floor at the entry way... it needs 2 coats and this has had to dry. He put the lino down in the storage closet and it looks great! This man is a perfectionist. I must get him back to do the rest of the flooring! John is doing a super job of the painting also. I spent part of the day sorting stuff to keep, send to goodwill, send to dump or the shredder; carrying things back downstairs. We really don't have that much space used up by our old archives. It is just time for some stuff to go.. the old Christmas decorations and tree are going to goodwill... they seem to have taken up most of the space. I called a person to come to give me a quote on new draperies all over the house. Joanne will be here on Thursday. I had a look at their website, and it really is pretty awful. They could use some good photos of their products, and a new design with better colors. Hope their actual draperies are better than the website. I should probably get another couple of quotes for comparison. I will see after Thursday, if we can work together, and she understands what I want. We are sleeping in the guest room, so I did not get much sleep in the strange bed, as well as worrying about the workmen arriving at 8:00. I am a night person, so this change of schedule, necessitated my having a nap this afternoon. Hope I am not up half the night again, as there is another early start tomorrow.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Russian River Cruise - Day 10 - May 21

More bad photos from our bus tour of the city. The people in costume were standing around the square inviting tourists to have their pictures taken with them. An informative link to many of the attractions.

We have been doing up post cards in our spare time.

Now... John the painter was in yesterday and I chose colors and he gave us some idea of how he would be starting work on Monday. Hourigans are to come at 8:30 Monday morning to put down a layer of stuff before the floor covering goes in the entry way and the laundry room. Today Pat got some rollers for under the washer and dryer and we installed them. He also got a number of items for the van and added them, also. I have spent most of today sorting photos for this blog of our Russian Trip.

On Friday, Arthur and Rosemary were over for lunch and we spent an enjoyable afternoon. They helped me with some of my decisions on the renovation of my kitchen and hobby room. Now, I need to find a carpenter to do the work.

Last week I spent quite a few evening hours after dinner till dark cleaning up the little garden in front of the hedge. I took a few branches off the plum tree. The magnolia tree has several large trunks that are dead. I have to get them taken out yet, too. I also did some serious pruning of the plants by Parmar's sidewalk. I have yet to weed all of the front... there are violets again! This area always looks so good when its cleaned up, so I must get back to it soon. The roses need dead heading as well as a lot of the perennnials. Thursday evening I found that the pump in the water garden had quit. I spent a bit of time getting a slug out of one of the hoses. Good thing it was not up the hose to the waterfall, or I would never got it out. Now the pump is running a bit faster and I will probably need to top up the pond more often. The water irises look terrific, if you can find them.

I have been busy!