Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

All my life I traveled to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Thanksgiving. Whether I lived in the same town, a neighboring state, or at opposite ends of the state, I made my way to their hearth and home. When I flew the coop as a young adult and moved to Los Angeles, my Mom would pay for my airfare. Those trips home where a wonderful time for me. My family gathered around me like a warm blanket.

Of course we eventually moved and settled further apart and those of us still on this earth now have thousands of miles between us. I believe 2004 was the last pilgrimage I ever made to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving.

So it wasn't until then that I got to cook a turkey. This year I think I finally got it right.  I watched several YouTube videos for tips and settled on one that seemed right for me. A 14lb Butterball, sitting on a bed of chopped fruit, vegetables and herbs.Herbs and apples in it's cavity, and rubbed with butter and herbs all over. Pop it in the oven and leave it alone. I didn't use a thermometer though. I trusted the timing and when It came out of the oven at about 3 hours I pierced the thigh and the juices ran clear and I called it done.

 And so it is with my husband and my mother-in-law beside me, I think of my family and Thanksgivings past and present, and give thanks to all. I love you all.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Rejuvination is Spelled I-d-y-l-l-w-i-l-d

Spending a weekend in Idyllwild will rejuvenate the tired and weary soul. It's just the perfect escape from the grind. A mountain hamlet to while away the time. Breathe deeply, the air is infused with the scent of pine, the summer sun, rain.  Walkable, dog-friendly, and super laid-back. And only a couple of hours from home. Who knew relief was that close.

Photos here
And here

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Husband's Heart in an Anvil - 7th Wedding Anniversary

Yesterday was our 7th wedding anniversary.
There's been a small box sitting on the floor next to my desk for about a week. It was a heavy little box. So when my husband and I began to open our gifts to each other, I've got the box open and whatever is inside is wound up in bubble wrap, and I'm unwinding it, and it's heavy, and he begins to tell me a little about his search for my gift that ended with him being outbid on ebay. But the next find was a 'buy it now' transaction, and I'm still unwinding my gift from the bubble wrap, so he found this anvil, and before I can even see it, I realize what he's said and that the weight in my hands, right there in my hands, is an anvil, and the tears just come and I'm laughing and crying and laughing. I found out after my Uncle died that my Grandpa's anvil didn't make the last move with my Grandma. Which I understand, it weighed a ton. But I loved that anvil, I wanted that anvil. My Grandpa's anvil. And now may husband, who knew how much it meant, has given that to me, and it's my husband's heart bound in an anvil wrapped with my Grandpa's memory. Thank you sweetie. I love it. I love you.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

The Plan. Spend Saturday morning volunteering for the Silver Lake Jubilee.
 *   *   *   *

Take a day trip to San Juan Capistrano on Sunday and explore the historic Mission and the area surrounding it.
  *   *   *   *

Chill and grill on Monday with cold Corona's and Rib Eye steaks.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


That's my Mom Jeanette on the left, my Grandma Laura in the middle, and me on the right. My Grandma's neighbor and good friend Tess took photos of the three of us during our visit to my Grandma's this past March. Though you wouldn't know it from this photo, it's a tough time for the three of us. My Grandma now lives by herself. My Mom and I live so far away and although my Grandma is able to live independently and she has wonderful and caring neighbors and friends, like dear Tess, as she approaches her 92nd birthday this year my Mom and I worry about her.

Being the new steward of our family photos, I've gone through them several times and there are some wonderful photos of my family, some dating back to the 19-teens. There are photos of my Grandma as a young woman with my Grandpa and her children, to my Mom as a toddler and a young girl growing up, to those from my childhood bringing back the memories of my life.

And here we are many many years ago. Me on the left, my Mom in the middle, and Grandma on the right.
This was probably 1968 or so, and I'm probably about 9. I remember that dress. I just love my Mom's hairdo, and I believe my Grandma is younger than I am now in this picture.

Another one found in the family photo shoebox. This is in the 70s. I'm in my teens.
I have a wonderful relationship with my Mom, and my husband and my family mean everything to me, but I do wish I had a daughter. With no daughter to continue the generation of our family the lineage will end with me. I am the last in the descent of our family of women. But, so be it. That time has long passed, and I've got my dog, five cats, a tortoise and a tree frog. I'm their Mom.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Joshua Tree NP Day Trip

I spent a glorious day at Joshua Tree NP.

We had been considering a quick trip to Death Valley this month and then decided to give Joshua Tree a look since neither of us had been there before, and it's closer, more like a two and a half hour drive versus the five hours to DV.

My research began weeks ago and I had narrowed it down to some of the trails I thought would be most interesting and the most accessible for the limited amount of time we had.

Up at about 3:30 am on Saturday morning, after showering, feeding the animals, and packing up photo gear and provisions for the day we hit the road a couple of hours later and rolled in at the Cottonwood Visitor Center at about 7:30 am.

We traveled from the south entrance, which is Colorado Desert side, to the north's Mojave Desert side, exiting at the town of Joshua Tree. Along with many 'Exhibits' along the road (otherwise known as points of interest), these are the sights and trails we hit:

Ocotillo Patch

Cholla Cactus Garden

Arch Rock Trail at White Tank Campground

Skull Rock Trail at Jumbo Rocks Campground
Keys View

Barker Dam Trail at Hidden Valley Campground
Ice cold beer and onion rings at Joshua Tree Saloon

It was a perfectly sunny 76 degree day with a light breeze. We laid down a blanket in the shade of a big boulder mid-day and ate our lunch. The rocks are fun to climb and they have a rough grippy surface. The landscape is also very navigable, with soft gravelly washes that make natural trails through canyons in the rocks, with plenty of pops of vivid wild-flower color everywhere.

We saw plenty of lizards, squirrels and ravens. We also saw a wonderful black-tailed jackrabbit aaaaand a huge desert tortoise crossing the road.

Future trips are definitely in store.

More photos on Flickr

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Where I Can Breathe

It's about time I put something new up. The new year seems to be flying by, already. I'm getting back on track with routine walks in the pre-dawn hours of the morning. The only thing that gets me out of bed on these 'chilly' mornings is waking up to my wonderful husband and our sweetie dog, all waggy tail and giddy-up lets go.

We got out on some local trails for a couple of 4to5-milers in January.

The Verdugo Mountain Trail and Bronson Canyon Trail (with its notorious cave, featured in commercials, tv, and movies). They're both wonderful trails and dog friendly.

The Verdugo's a little less crowded. This was on New Year's day, and I was feeling like I needed to get up out of the city, up where I could see, where I could breathe. It was the perfect remedy.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

If it's New Year's morning, it must be time for a Mimosa.
* * *
* * *
Happy New Year