Friday, December 15, 2017

I put a spell on you

Frank is cleaning his apartment and once in a while he finds something of mine stashed away in the cupboards. This time it was a basket of pictures. During a bout of boredom, I photographed a few.

These seemed to share a certain look. I feel sure I was hexing someone or something.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Book Picks

Around the holidays at the book store, we are asked to make some recommendations. In the past, it's been in verbal form at a staff meeting. This year, our beloved manager tried something different. Just write it down. I embraced it, even though I don't usually like writing these things! 

Having put a bit of effort into this, I thought I'd share them here. 

Non-FictionThe Moth Presents All These Wonders, edited by Catherine Burns. This is my book of the year.  As I wrote on my shelf talker, I laughed, I cried, and for the brief time I was reading it I felt that the world was really wonderful once more. I’ve bought several copies for gifts. 

ChristmasRed and Lulu by Matt Tavares. Red and Lulu’s Norway spruce home is cut down and Lulu is trapped in the tree as it is transported to Rockefeller Center. Red follows and there is a happy reunion. Some of the most beautiful illustrations I’ve seen all year.

PictureThe Bad Seed  by Jory John (illustrated by Pete Oswald) and Escargot by Dashka Slater (illustrated by Sydney Hanson.) These are delightfully illustrated stories of spunky characters.I’m a sucker for talking seeds and snails and these characters are fun to read aloud.

Literary FictionThe North Water by Ian McGuire and My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent. The subject matter of these two couldn’t be more different: an ill-fated whaling voyage and a young girl’s abuse. Both are brutal and disturbing stories, but so beautifully and compellingly written that I had to finish and rated them both 5 stars

Feel-Good Fiction: Especially lately, people are looking for books that make them feel good rather than disturbed. High on the list, of course, are books by Fredrik Backman, Fannie Flagg, Jan Karon, Jojo Moyes, etc. A few lesser-known gems I have enjoyed are:  Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, The Cottingley Secret by Hazel GaynorThe Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper and Rise And Shine, Benedict Stone, both by Phaedra Patrick.

Historical FictionCaroline: Little House Revisited  by Sarah Miller. In Laura Ingalls Wilder’s famous little house series, Ma was a saint.  Here is Ma’s story. You don’t have to be a Laura fan to like this book.

Cooking: Opa! Healthy Greek Cookbook by Theo Stephan and Christina Xenos. I’ve bought a lot of cookbooks for fun this year, but this is one I’ll actually use. These Mediterranean recipes look both simple and delicious.  Theo Stephan is the owner of Global Gardens in Los Olivos.

Biography Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly. What a singular life story he has!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Signs of Christmas 2017, A Beginning at Least

I don't know if I'm going to get a tree up or not, but I am up to my usual tricks with the wreath.

Here's a trick for quick and cheaty lamination:  clear packing tape. I thought of it myself, although I'm sure everyone else has too.

Tell me, has anyone ever done a hot glue gun project in which one has not burnt oneself at least once? Hmmm.  I thought not. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Belated Happy Thanksgiving

I practice a no-stress Thanksgiving. 

Serve dinner at 4, so I have all day to cook. 
Invite a small group of people. 
Simplify the menu. 
Have awesome family who help prep and clean. 
Wash up as I go. 
Watch Charlie Brown and Arrested Development. 
Laugh at my cats: one of them got on the coffee table and started tapping her paw on the treat bag. Message received loud and clear.

The Macy's balloons used to be a lot smaller!

This is my new friend, Agatha. She has her own facebook page, Agatha's Adventures.

Picture of turkey place, picture of turkey, but no picture of the two together.

Someone was in a food coma even before the turkey. He's not even a table scrap eather.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Signs of Fall

We have a wonderful customer who loves to bake! 

It's scarecrow season. There are so many. We went to the movies (a rare event) so I'll feature theirs. 

Why YES!  I saw Hamilton. Eat your young scrappy and hungry hearts out!

In my collection of bee collectibles, I have only one honey drizzler. I got out the bee collection for the first time since Tiny the cat arrived, and redecorated the upstairs bath.

New this week. Nice orange fall color.

Ok the library scarecrow is a winner for me.

It is close to impossible to make a blogger post now on a phone. My desktop computer is ill and is going to the computer doctor tomorrow.

Throwing caution to the wind and hitting publish!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Crab Boil

Frank made a crab boil for us recently.

Biggest pot in the house.


Oh man. The crab and shrimp are underneath the rest of this great stuff.

Here we go!

"We all live in a yellow submarine."

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

On to Tomatoes

Peach week kind of fizzled as I was too tired to deal with them.

On to tomato time.

Pickled Tomatoes!

I found a few other options.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Signs of summer 2017

My first tomato harvest.

Frozen grapes...

..for use as wine ice cubes.

$5 bouquet from the farmer's market.

The door's closed because the AC is on.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Peaches Day 2

Day 2 I had to work, so this is all that I managed.

Oh the irony, this was on the counter when I got to work.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Peach Week Begins

I've been working 3, 4, or 5 days a week (depending on the vacation schedule) so I don't have as much time to putter around the house as I used to.  But peach week is beginning and I'm determined not to waste these babies like I did last year.

First up, Salmon with Peach Salsa.

Ernest once had an experience with jalapeƱos which he never wants to repeat. I usually just put a plastic sandwich bag over my hand but since we happened to have a box of rubber gloves I decided to suit up properly. I told Ernest I practiced proper JalapeƱo Hygiene, but I also confessed to getting onion juice in my eye. 

No recipe as usual. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Birds and Bees

I forgot to post this earlier. I made some birds and bees for the book store's spring window.

Thanks to Charley Harper for the inspiration.

I have the birds back now as the window changed for summer. I think the quail will live on top of a bookcase.

The bees will go into the bathroom, which I am redecorating with my bee collection.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Gredunza Time

I wanted to do some redecorating, so we bought a mid-century credenza to use as a record cabinet.

It is awesome!

I put just a few knicknacks out.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My precious

One of my favorite books to read to young Ernest was More More More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams.

I would read this page and then kiss the belly.