Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's Tuesday! Dads and Tabs!

So, is it obvious that we don't have human children? We throw the "Dad" term around like it's water. And of course, I'm the Mom. Yet more pictures of our furchild, Kate:

She flies through the air with the greatest of ease!

Saylor Sez Happy Birthday Dad!

Saylor honkers down under the covers for a birthday nap!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Birthday Festivities Are Underway

The birthday is in progress. On Friday night we went for sushi, just the two of us, to Sushi Ota. They have the best sushi in San Diego, I think. We did a little shopping Friday to work up an appetite.

Then, Saturday night Fred and Fi joined us for dinner at the Palm. Perhaps it could be renamed Carnivore's Heaven. They had a steak on the menu that cost $87. I was kind of amazed. I'm not sure I've ever seen that high of an amount for a food item. Did the cow go to Harvard? Yikes. As is probably quite clear, we're eating our way through our staycation / birthday week.

After dinner, we walked to La Gran Tapa, which was recently re-opened by the same person who owns The Turquoise (Cafe Europa) where Fred, J's brother, plays with his jazz band on Friday nights. This pic is at the corner by Buca di Beppo. We kept considering one of the petit cabs (sp?) but ended up walking. And walk we did - until I grew a pre-blister on each foot. Ouch! You know, the ones that are red and raised, but not fully a blister...

So tomorrow is the official birthday day. Tomorrow night we're having dinner at J's parents. We requested no meat. Ha! And Weds. night we are having dinner with Jeff and Steve. On Thursday I'll be checking into a fat farm.

Oh, and I mustn't omit mentioning our brush with culture - on Sunday we spent a couple hours at the San Diego museum of art. It was really fun and relaxing. I joined a couple months ago, but we had not gone. It felt good to be able to just show our ID card and get in seemingly free.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Prelude to a Birthday

While James' b-day is not until Tuesday the 22nd, the festivities will get an early start - and why not? We went to Old Town Mexican Cafe last night to get the Mexican food-fest going. I had rotisserie chicken and an ice cold Tecate draft. James had what I call 'a plate of cheesy goo' - he always gets this combination that has a taco, cheese enchilada, and rice and beans. But it's all melted together with cheese! He loves it. This weekend we're taking a stay-cation (the vacation that occurs in your own town) with lots of moseying around San Diego in birthday style.

Early evening sky over our roof.

The view across from Shelter Island. The sun was ablaze on one of the buildings.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Around the Yard

I moved a couple rose bushes closer to the front door where I can spend more time trying to revive them. They were languishing in a couple of terracotta pots (outdoor tandoori ovens that can sometimes cook your plants), poor dears. We'll see how they do with some regular conversation, water, and general doting. The leaves are not in good shape, and this bloom is past its prime. But, such a pretty color.

I love the way Lantana forms these little bouquets. I've seen them grow as tall as small trees. I'm hoping these continue doing well. I just love them.

And here we have a row of empty pots (ovens? ha!) ready for something hearty and heat-resistant!

This little dude was sitting on one of the three rose bushes that are in the ground along the fence. He's pretty cute in his orangey-golden splendor.

And, last but certainly not least, the vintage camp cot I picked up at an estate sale for 25 cents (!). It's made of hickory or some hard wood, I was told. The fabric definitely needs to be replaced, but can't you see it with a new cover? Maybe a heavy duck fabric in red? Perhaps a big monogram sewn into the center? Even if it isn't used for sitting, I could see it holding linens or books or something along a wall in a house. Who knows what purpose it will find. I couldn't resist though. Sitting there in the backyard of this house, I was transported to explorations along the Nile, wearing vintage Banana Republic safari wear, and sipping a smoky sherry. Ah, imagination.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mid-Week Tabularness: Sun Lover

Hanging out by the back sliding glass door in the sun is super fun for Miss Kate. Lots of lolly-gaggin' and yawin' and rollin' around. I'm coming back as a cat - well, one that lives with someone like me. She's such a busy little girl - keeps herself occupied all day. When she's not napping, she's finding a new hiding place, having a snack, batting around her many mice (I think she has about 15 of those little furry mice thingies), or just laying in the sun. She's very independent and well-adjusted. I think she knows she lucked out that day on Grape Street when she went for the sardines on the plate way at the back of the make-shift trap/laundry basket with painting canvas and duct tape (where Sherri and I stood waiting!). Boom! Caught they were and in the car on the way home (we caught the remaining two that day - Kate and her Siamese brother). I remember thinking, now what? :-) Well, here we are.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dogs & Dads Go Swimming

Now that it's nice and warm, James takes Saylor to Fiesta Island where they go swimming. Yes, girlie swims alongside her Dad for about a mile! And she keeps up, no problem. It's a really good, no-impact workout for our 8-year old girl. When she gets home she's so thirsty from getting salt water in her mouth, so it's straight to the outside bowl for mighty gulps.

I love her totally wet face. So cute. And sandy, too!

After the bath, it's play-with-the-towel-while-being-dried time. Lots of fun for all.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Veggies Out My Ears

Okay, so, as earlier posted, we joined the Be Wise Ranch CSA (which I've been wanting to do, and was even on a waiting list to get added to the drop-off spot I wanted) and we picked up the first box (!) on July 4th. We got a veritable truckload of veggies and fruits: a melon, grapes, blueberries, a head of cabbage, two heads of lettuce, bok choy, kale, two cucumbers, two zucchini, and a bag of flat leaf parsley. OMG!

Tonight I will cook the kale into a soup, the good lord willing. I don't think I have ever cooked kale - maybe once. So, I'm really pushing the outer limits of my creative cooking abilities. I usually make recipes up, throwing in this and that, and it usually turns out great (my Mom was the queen of this - she was a great cook). We shall see tonight! And then? Well, there's that bok choy. Stir fry anyone? I hope I can keep up with the onslaught of vegetables! Ha! I may have to check with B., the man of the Foziewisp house, and see what the heck he does with it all (B. and Sherri are members)!? I must also remind myself that this is a good move toward better eating! My mantra. :-)

On another random note, I just read Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich and wow, what a read. Some of us may see the folks who do the hard work in our society, but the book points out hardships that most of us don't know about because it goes on behind the scenes. It's a real eye-opener, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone to read. You'll be a little more conscious as that woman cleans up around your table at a restaurant (and you notice she has s tip jar sitting there) or you see someone coming out of hotel room that they just cleaned. Many of these folks have two jobs, sometimes three, and live in motels because they simply cannot get together first and last for the cheapest dwelling. And the motel rooms are usually shared with other workers.

I am such a lucky person. This book was a good reminder that my picayune complaints ain't nothin' compared to these folks.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

TTT (Totally Tabular Tuesday)

Kate, oh, Kate...whatcha' thinkin' starin' out that window? Every morning she climbs to the top of this shelf in the office and meditates on the outdoors. I think she likes the breeze and smells that blow in. The two times she accidentally got outside, she was very quick to get back in. I think she may have a memory of her days in that terrible sewer pipe. Something keeps her close to home where she knows she's safe and protected. Good kitty. Smart kitty.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The 4th

It was a crisp, sunny day on the fourth and the festivities were in full swing at Mom and Dad's. We arrived at 2:30 to find the front door adorned with this very cute, very patriotic basket.

There was so much food. Two kinds of chili - green and red - mac and cheese (yum!), bratwursts, BBQ ribs (meat, anyone?), salad, potato salad, and cherry pie and cupcakes. I had to be wheelbarrowed out to the car afterwards.

I love this picture of Izzie giving the peace sign. She looked so cute that day - all comfy and stylish in her jeans.

The croquet game hadn't yet started - but everything was set up and ready to go.

How about this centerpiece? Complete with Miss Liberty Bell on the left.

And, of course, no day would be complete without darling Saylor. She was there with us, donning her vintage bandanna (it was my Dad's!). She was making sure not to get too far from the grill for fear she'd miss a morsel. Later someone did accidentally give her a rib. Yikes! But thankfully it didn't do what pork bones usually do to a dog. We were relieved, and she is fine. The girl is a world-class beggar (typical Labrador) so I'm sure she tirelessly wore her target down until they had no choice but to give up the rib. Oh Saylor! We love you so.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Farmer's Market Salad

As earlier reported by Miss Sherri of Foziewisp fame, we indeed went to the Hillcrest Farmer's Market on Sunday. James was in Mexico windsurfing for the day, and we had vowed the night before to eat leftovers from Saturday night's dinner at Lorna's Italian Kitchen. (We have this running joke that he's all about leftovers, only we never seem to eat them and you know what happens to them in the fridge after a few days!) To make this meal happen, a salad was needed to go with the lasagna and 'sketti. I used organic herbs and greens and added shallots, figs, raspberries, and avocado. Topped it all with this interesting cashew-apple dressing from Whole Foods. So tasty! I also picked up some seed-covered bread sticks from Charlie's Best Bread, a regular at the farmer's market.

So, tonight I'm going to another farmer's market - the one in Ocean Beach. There's another bakery that I love - Sadie Rose Baking Co. - and they sell their bread there. I know of their bread from eating at Roots Kind Food - a super-good vegetarian place that serves beautiful food, all flower-covered and fresh.

Then, on the 4th, our Be Wise Ranch CSA membership kicks in and we will be knee-deep in kale and swiss chard and other green goodnesses that I will be challenged to cook! We shall see!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Totally Tabular Tuesday

By george, I'm posting TTT on the day! Here we have Miss Priss on the new Martha Stewart coverlet during its short stay at my house. It went back to the store -- I decided instead on a Thomas O'Brien quilt from Target that was comfier and in the same serene blue as the walls of our bedroom. I loved the vintage feel/design of the Martha one, but the TB one is so much softer and cozier (picture to follow soon). Ahhhhhhh. The pillow cover is from IKEA!

I'm too sexy for this coverlet.

Bet you can't tuck your arms into invisibleness like I can!?