Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving at Home

Will and I stayed home for Thanksgiving this year. The only other time we haven't been traveling together for Thanksgiving was 2005, the year we were married. Since then we've been going to my Mom's in South Carolina. And last year we extended the trip and went to Charleston for a few days. I like getting over to the east coast and there will be future trips there along with diversions to N. Y., or Atlanta, or New Orleans. There's lots in the east, south and north, that I'd like to see.

Dinner this year was cooked by Casey and me. All of my recipes came from Sunset magazine: cranberry and meyer lemon relish, herb rolls, chard and sausage French bread stuffing, plus spicy pumpkin soup which is an old recipe from Oprah's magazine. The first time I made that soup, Will and I were still dating. Casey made the leg of lamb and roasted vegetables, sweet potatoes with caramel sauce, and berries creme brule for desert.

Casey's friend and neighbor, Nancy, came to dinner too and once the dogs, well Ranger, stopped acting like there was a demon inside her, the finishing touches were put on the dishes, wine bottles were uncorked and we all sat down at the table to eat. Casey is a really good cook, and she made enough to feed 12. My dishes all turned out really good too, and I only made enough to feed about 8.

I didn't take any photos after Casey and Nancy arrived and only snapped a few of the table, but the food not only tasted good it looked good too. We snipped fresh rosemary sprigs from the backyard shrub and the house smelled heavenly. The dogs calmed down and were laying at our feet under the table as we ate and drank wine and talked.

I'm so thankful for all I have and all I have accomplished. In a time when so many people are facing such difficult and uncertain times, I'm thankful for the love and stability I feel in my life and my home and my family.

While I cleared the dinner dishes, Casey sprinkled sugar on her creme brules and berries and put the torch to them. While they cooled in the fridge I put the coffee on. After coffee and desert we soon said goodnight to our guests and Will and I were left to collapse on the sofa. And before we went to bed Will had all the dishes done and everything was put away.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Where a River Runs

I sure like traveling, but I like coming home.
Denver was great. I never did need that winter coat though. It was 78 on Tuesday and the evenings were also comfortable. It wasn't until the day I left that a cold front had moved in overnight and temps dipped way down to freezing. I think I saw some things I wouldn't have if I didn't have that Sunset article too.

With the conference and time constraints I could only stick to the downtown areas. Couldn't get over to the Rockies or any country trails. I've always loved a downtown that has a river running through it. Reno (yes Reno), Redding, Chicago. Accessible rivers with trails, parks and activities; more of a feature of the city than something that is considered to be a problem area by its officials.

Maybe someday the Los Angeles River will be like that. Maybe I'll have to get more involved in the developments here. I know there are local advocates for the Los Angeles River and plans underway to develop the riverfront areas. Progress being made as the people of the city become more involved in its direction.

Denver Photos here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Winter Coats

Denver circa 1898

I'll be traveling to Denver on Monday for work. I've never been there so I'm looking forward to it.

I don't own a winter coat so I went out this weekend and bought one. Now it looks like it's going to be in the 60's, and even in the 70's on Wednesday. I was hoping for snow, or at lease chilly weather. That's hardly even long sleeve weather. I'm packing that winter coat anyway.

I came across an article in the October issues of Sunset with a 3 mile self guided walking tour so I tore out the pages and I'm bringing them with me. I'll be staying right across from the convention center in downtown Denver so I should be able to see quite a bit while I'm there. All my batteries are charged and my gear is packed.

Photos to share when I get back.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Thinking and Sketching

Not much to report on this weekend. Leaving Will at home to watch the Alabama game on Saturday, I thought I might make a trip to Chinatown to stock up on some Plum tea. Also in need of a tea bob and thinking about holiday "stuff" I headed downtown. Nice day for it too. With last weekend's rain and the strong breezes we've got some blue blue skies.

Last week we signed our loan docs and picked up the big check. Now I'm looking at some of the details of the renovation project. We're starting with the upstairs where most of the work will take place transforming the cramped space in the dormer to a generously sized bathroom, and I've been thinking and sketching some floor tile detail. I found a black and white tumbled marble pinwheel tile for the shower floor and I will also use it as a border on the bathroom floor, which is a white and black pinwheel tile. Then we'll have subway tile along the sink wall and inside the shower walls, and this mammoth 75" pedestal tub.The work is scheduled to begin in January. And I think about how fortunate I am to be in a position to take this on right now, when so many people are over their heads in debt and losing their homes. I worked hard to get here and I don't take it lightly. I know this is an old house and that we may encounter problems along the way. We're ready for that and I've built allowances for it, as much as possible, into the budget. I've got a sensible plan and a reasonable budget and a good contractor to make it all happen.