Saturday, November 26, 2005

Not Amuch Turns Into a Walk Full O' Good Stuff

Still eating leftover ham. This morning I scrambled it up with spinach, baby bella mushrooms, onion and cheese. This won'’t last much longer and I think by tomorrow Shadow will be getting some ham tossed in with her grub. She'’ll LOVE that.

On the agenda for the day? Not amuch. Maybe we'’ll get down into the basement and haul out the Christmas lights and then maybe even string them up. It'’s a very blustery day today. Leaves are scampering towards the ground. Cats cautiously poking around outside.So, instead of being home bound (which we love as well) Will and I went on a late afternoon walk in the hood. We headed up Sunset and along the way delved into a gallery featuring original oil on canvas paintings and the owner's own photography. We next wondered into a furnishings shop with hand made, and uniquely extravagant, lamp shades.

Poor little teddy bear seen sitting in the grass behind a fenced in vacant lot, lost and left all alone.

I'’d never stopped in Tsunami'’s before. It'’s a righteously smelling and uber comfy space. And I think the best Espresso this side of Urth Cafe.
We ambled into the newly opened Giant Robot shop filled with soft, supple, touchable stuffed animally things.
Onward with a headwind and the sun easing towards the horizon we made our way to Wacko and it'’s cooler than cool lot of all that is rockin'’, retro, and hip. Great stuff in there man. On the way out we were accosted by a spoken word dude who asked if he could chime us a rhyme for a fiver or so. So Will gave him the go and with a beautiful voice and a gentle rhythm he spun us two.

On the way back towards home we stopped at Alegria on Sunset for dinner. I had the Enchiladas de Queso. It had a superbly smoky chile sauce. "We roast spicy Chile Negro, full bodied Chile Ancho, light Guajillos, add some New Mexico Reds along with onions and garlic."” Man that was some good stuff.

Friday, November 25, 2005


Took a late morning trip downtown to meet up with some bloggers and a staff photographer for the L. A. Times at the entrance to the Grand Central Market on Broadway. I got Will to come with me (though he wasn't interested in participating in the piece, we also wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and get some photos and do a little shopping at the market).

I think I was selected by someone assigned to the task of cruising through blogspot's blogs and got the e-mail from Scott Martelle asking if I was interested. I don't know a lot about the article he's writing other than it's something about "Looking at Los Angeles through the prism of blogs". When I emailed Scott back letting him know I was interested I asked "why me?"
"What stuck out about your blog was the everydayness

(if there is such a word) of it,which is the thrust

of the story, how reading details of myriad lives can affect

outsiders view of the place."
There were three of us there; me, Heather (heathervescent), who I've met through get togethers with my husband (the real blogger), and Nate (Ensie), who when mentioned I checked out and added to my links, plus Ken Hively, staff photographer. Considering a location to shoot us with the downtown skyline in the background we ended up going to the Grand Avenue entrance and up the Angels Flight steps to perch atop a concrete wall while Ken shot us from below.
The late morning sky was very hazy but did begin to brighten up somewhat and let the sun and blue skies emerge. I hope Ken got some good shots. I guess I'll find out on Thursday when, I've been told, the article runs in the Weekend Calendar section.

When all was done at about noon, Will and I
wondered back through the market picking up a dozen farm fresh eggs and a gallon of milk before stopping at a stall to get us a couple of Dolce de Lece ice blendeds. The market was lively and the produce stands piled high.On the Broadway side of the fantastically ornate Metropolitan Water District building I snapped this piece of work.After passing this piece of window display work.I do hope the Times article is good. Not knowing much at all about the writer's intent if I can at least base it on the three of us represented there today I think it will be something I won't mind having my name and photo associated with.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Best of All

Thanksgiving 2005 Menu

Artisan Cheese, Olive & Pepper Plate
w/Herbed Crackers & Flatbread

Sage Roasted Game Hens
Glazed Ham
Baby Bella Mushroom and Walnut Stuffing
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Saute
Classic Dinner Rolls
Jellied Cranberry Sauce


Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheese Cake

Crane Lake Chardonnay

This morning began in the kitchen, mincing fresh sage, and tossing stuffing. With the birds stuffed, tressed, rubbed with olive oil and seasoned, I began the pumpkin cheese cake. (Will got dibs on the beaters and bowl and did a fine job of licking them clean).
Cheese cake is now cooling on a rack and the ham's in the oven, potatoes on the stove boiling.

I'm thinking about the people in my life. Those I love. I called Mom this morning and she catches me up on the family news. Who's where and doing what. Everyone is good and happy Thanksgiving wishes are given.

In my life is a man I love more than I ever thought I would have the pleasure of loving. It was two years ago at Thanksgiving time that we first met. It seems like such a short time ago, yet it seems a longer time that we have known each other. I savor every day with him. He's like a good cup of coffee, and rosemary and sweet potatoes, and pumpkin cheese cake with whipped cream.
This Thanksgiving I'm thankful for him. Just thankful I have someone so wonderful to share my life with. I know he'll take care of me and that I can count on him and that he loves me.

It's beginning to heat up in the kitchen. The oven has been on since this morning. First the cheese cake crumb crust. Then the cheese cake, then the ham, the stuffing, the hens, then the rolls. And on the burners the potatoes, and the yams, and then the gravy. It smells like it should on this day. (Like it did at Grandma's house all my Thanksgiving's prior). I breath deep and Will comes in occasionally to inhale the heady aromas.

At nearly 3:00 Will's mother, Casey, arrives. We have wine and they nosh a little and talk as I pull together the final preparations. All is scooped and poured and filled and arranged on a platter for dinner, and we feast.
And all is wonderful and delicious.
"Best of all is to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song". (by: Konrad von Gesner)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Reveal

I started a bathroom re-do a couple of weeks ago. It's a pleasant enough bathroom but small, measuring a scant 6' x 6'. And because of it's small size it can handle a little drama. Which it was certainly lacking before.
My vision was make it a French boudoir type space and I searched the internet for toile fabric for a window treatment and to cover the glassed tub enclosure. Trouble is all I could find in a black and white toile was a too heavy type of fabric. I wanted something sheer and light. I ended up finding a graphic black and white print of Paris-scapes and landmarks with a toile feel. The crowning piece to replace the old ceiling light fixture was to be a crystal chandelier. But they're expensive, and I really wanted to do this on a budget since we plan on remodeling that are of the house in the not too distant future anyway.

I searched the blessed internet until I found something I liked that was reasonably priced. It was delivered this past Thursday. So the project for the weekend was to install it, well to have my husband install it. So I located the correct circuit breaker to shut off the electricity to my bathroom.

While Will hauled the ladder out of the basement and wrangled the old fixture down I measured the chain for length and prepped the new fixture by threading the wires through the thingy. The house wires were in decent shape and Will wrapped them in some electrical tape for good measure. Now, anyone can tell you I'm damn handy around the house and have an extended collection of my own tools, but anything electrical has always been a mystery to me. But now I got my baby to take care of the puzzling wires. I held while he wrapped wires and put those orange caps on them, screwed the bracket into the ceiling. All was going good when we discovered that he had trimmed the ground wire too short. Rather than remove a couple of links raising the fixture higher than I wanted it to be, he unscrewed the fixture from the bracket and added a length of ground wire and re-did the whole process, because he wanted me to be happy.

Light fixture up and working, and Will off on his maiden ride with the Phoenix, I trimmed up some black and white photographs of Paris found online and framed them, arranged them collage like on the bathroom wall. Project complete.


Saturday, November 19, 2005


It was nice to be home this weekend and I'm looking forward to cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I've been preparing the menu for a couple of months already. And today I made the trip to Gelson's to get the birds and herbs, pumpkin, yams, and nuts and such. I've decided to make stuffing from scratch. Chestnut stuffing (if I can find chestnuts). Otherwise it'll be walnut stuffing. Seems easy enough. Bread and herbs, nuts, butter, celery, onion, chicken stock. Tonight I tore about 6 slices of Country Potato Bread into pieces and spread them on a baking sheet and toasted them in a 375 degree oven until golden brown, then let them cool. The Sage, Rosemary and Thyme are hanging out to dry for the seasoning. It smells heavenly.
The bread came out nice and toasty. Results are good so far.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Beautiful Turn

I couldn't wait to hit the road for Death Valley. I was looking forward to the clean fresh air, the decompression of getting away from the city, not showering for 2 days and wrapping my hair up in a bandana, and basically ruffing it. And that we did. We had running water and flushing toilets at the camp though. But I'm very familiar with pit toilets too. And I've peed my share behind shrubs and in gullies. So when we passed the rockosaurs, we pulled off to the shoulder of the road, hung a u-ey and got out and took some pictures. And so began our adventure. Camp went up easily. The sky was clear and the wind as calm as could be so we settled in for the evening. Of course we brought a boat load of provisions. The necessities...water, wine, beer, steaks, and corned beef hash and eggs, bread, peanut butter and jelly, beef jerky, craisins, baked beans, hot dogs, pork chops, peas... Enough to keep us fortified. Oh yeah, and cream filled oatmeal cookies and milk which we had by the campfire after dinner. Will prepped the coffee for the morning and we stowed the food in the vehicle. But, we left the basket containing the cutlery and condiments (in which I had a baggie of brown sugar for our coffee) and some other paper products on the table.
When we got up and set Will set the pot on the burner to percolate, I noticed the brown sugar baggie was gone. Upon further investigation we discovered coyote prints in the desert dirt tracked up onto the table bench. The coyotes stole our brown sugar! Saturday morning we rose leisurely and had coffee (without sugar) and scrambled eggs and corned beef hash and then hit the road for Titus Canyon. We passed an old mine and stopped at a ghost town. These beautiful shrubs in varying coppery hues were all over.And the sunlight shone golden through the valley.

An old rusted home sitting just below a mine shaft of the ghost town.
Beautiful and dramatic folds and juts of red rock through the magnificent Titus Canyon,
And bluer than the bluest skies ever.

A longhorn sheep pteropglyph carved into the stone.
Back at camp in the late afternoon sun we went for a walk that produced loooong shadows across the wash.
The road through the northern end of Death Valley after breaking camp Sunday morning and heading out by way of...
Crank Shaft Junction, around Last Chance Mountain ...
on our way to Eureka Valley and the Eureka Dunes.
No, we didn't conquer the dunes this time but we did reach the warmth of the sun and had some play time in the sand...
before once again heading out towards home. But not before encountering a surprising little canyon that opened up onto the Eastern Sierra ridge-line. Beauty surrounds us everywhere we turn on this trip. Beauty surrounds everywhere we turn. And when we can turn to each other and rely on each other that is the most beautiful turn of all.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Silver Assembly

My Mother-in-law has some splendid silver pieces. She let me use some of the serving pieces for our garden wedding reception in the backyard. Along with my own collection of silver pieces picked up at thrift stores, it was just the back yard event I envisioned it to be. And while Mother-in-law house/pet sat for us while we were honeymooning in Africa, she even polished a few of my old tarnished pieces.
At first I wasn't sure I liked them all silvery sparkly, but they are truly shining now.I'll have to complete the process with the couple that are left to do. She then bestowed upon me a butter dish, a creamer and sugar holder, an elaborate gravy boat and a tea urn. The other day I rearranged my built-in cabinet in the dining room to make them more of an arranged assemblage on the lower shelf that is backed in mirror.
They are so beautiful. I don't know the story behind her silver, where they came from, how she came to own them. I'll have to ask her one day. Maybe at Thanksgiving. We will of coarse be using the silver pieces this Thanksgiving. That ornate gravy boat is going to be full of gravy and the cake tray will be holding a Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecake.This will be the first Thanksgiving that I haven't traveled home since I moved to Southern California in 1986. I cant' ever remember not making that trip. When I first moved to L. A. at 26 my Mom would pay for my flight to Reno and we'd drive up through Susanville. I've made the trip from Redding to Reno and back through Susanville since I was a little girl visiting my Dad and someone would always comment about the town being mine. We'd head over the mountain through the beautiful and snowy Mt. Lassen State Park and down into Redding with it's fall foliage, around the oldtown center and out to the town of Ono, next to Igo, to Grandma and Grandpa's house on the hill overlooking a green valley. Wild turkeys would fly onto the property every year. Grandpa and I would walk out to the Garage and he'd tell me about his tools. Every year. And I can't remember exactly who it was that gave him the anvil. Must have been his Dad's, and his Dad's Dad before him. He had an anvil. He liked red wine and lots of pepper on his turkey.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Corn Fields & processions

A visit to the Not a Corn Field corn field to partake of whatever was supposed to be going on there, but they must have been running a bit behind. It looked like something was going to happen, just don't know when and no one was in a real hurry to let us know.So off to our next destination, Olvera Street, for the 2nd day of the Day of the Dead procession. Followed by dinner and drinks (mine a Cosmopolitan made with Hornitos Tequila).