Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chanel, take me away

Karl, in all his regalia. Flanked by Stella Tennant. Love her.
The clothes, the fabrics, the table decorations, the pearls on the pockets! Pure gorgeousness: Chanel style.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Getting neat

Two angels descended on my bedroom and made it all neat and organized! Poof! Very inspiring/motivating to do more in the rest of the house. I am hunting a Dymo Labelmaker as we speak. They were great a categorizing the chaos into like batches.

They dropped down from this cloud: 

Blogger is not cooperating with me on formatting. However, the blurry picture is all me. :)


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I feel like I've gotten so picky in my older age. What about you? Picky about stuff? I was just thinking about some of my picky pet peeves today...

1. I have to use a certain keyboard, now that I've worked on a laptop for the last year. Just got the Dell KM714 and I love it! It's very Apple-like.
2. I have to have a clean cut at the top of a bag of chips. A ragged, torn open bag makes me crazy.
3. The bed has to be sort of made before I get in it at night. It can stay unmade all day, but it has to be organized and fluffed before I jump in to sleep at night.
4. Updated after my walk today: If you're going to put pumpkins on your porch, remove the stickers!

Now that I'm actually writing the list, I can't think of many. I guess I was just feeling picky enough to list this out, but hey, maybe I'm not so picky after all. I'm sure there are so many more. I'm sure James could come add about 10 items to the list...he's always hearing my kvetching about one thing or another.

And on that note, happy Fall!

Picture source:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pink sky, great witch, and magical realism

Lately, we've had the most beautiful pink skies, with the coolest cloud formations. The second pic is the greatest witch ever, isn't she? And the book, by Neil Gaiman, was so great: a perfect, pre-Halloween read.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Chef Yotam talks Plenty More

Sounds like a great cookbook. I could have a library of cookbooks. Need to get in front of that stove a LOT more! Yotam has a chain of restaurants, called Ottolenghi in the UK. And, oh wow, look at this recipe for Cinammon rice pudding with cherry compote and pistachios. Sounds heavenly.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The big cover-up, part two

Isn't it amazing to see how this stuff works? These guys are so talented. Soon, the big swoosh will be but a memory. We are slowly making the house our own. This work did, however, delay the front triangle area of grass from being done (we're having the old grass dug out, cactus mix added, border added, plantings added), but there is equipment right on that very spot, so the projects are shuffling.

Top photo: the empty space.
Second one: Al and David, prepping the outside of the wall. Makeshift scaffolding! Wow...
Last one: from the inside, front courtyard - ready for stucco.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Swoosh no more: house front face-lift

We are making strides on the front of the house again. The stained glass swoosh, which I have been calling the Taliban logo, is now out. It did not go willingly, and took much sawzalling (sp?). While this wall is also in the "needs to go" category, I'm not sure we will ever go that far. Perhaps the next owners! Today we are also replacing all the wood around the garage and stuccoing the areas that look funky. That strange square of stucco at the right of the planting bed is also gone. Oh happy day. That bugged me to no end. 

In the last pic, James' van shows through. Gee, maybe he's parked across the street because Sherri is in his spot. Ha!! Not's just to give the workers more room.

Friday, September 12, 2014

I (heart) Prince Ea

A powerful message. I also listened to his take on Ferguson, which was equally on target. The question is whether we take these steps, and try to affect change.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Visiting Maui

Went to Maui recently for 7 days and I re-familiarized myself with what it means to relax. It is so slow and balmy and breezy and lush. The second to last pic was taken up at Haleakala National Park, and the last one was the beginnings of the three hurricanes that threatened our departure. Our friends, who stayed on after we left, said it was no biggie.

The first two pics are my vistas, left and right, from the beach in front of the house we stayed in; taken at just after sunrise. We stayed on the north shore in a residential area. Quiet, very few people, perfect.

Curled up cats

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Things going on

A few happenings of late...
1. Made slipcovers with hubby, for outdoor furniture. Made them out of $10 drop cloths! Not that hard.
2. Friend Mitch introduced me to a cookie place called the Cravory. Wow. All soft type cookies, but amazing flavors!
3. A beautiful Indian vintage fabric at the Faded Awning in La Jolla. I didn't get it, but it's haunting me.
4. Thistle, on the table last night at dinner at the Masonic Lodge with my in-laws. When I commented on how cool they were, the woman who made the dinner said I could take a bunch home! :) So I did!
5. In general: Apologies for the awful photography! I'm usually not this consistently bad.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Save the date: Mercantile Mix

A fun pop-up market is planned for August 16th, and we hope you can make some time to stop by! Check out the details below. Hope to see you there!

Click on the image to enlarge the flyer...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, remembering all the sacrifices of so many, and hoping one day we evolve past War to a more peaceful existence for everyone.

And a few pics from a walk along the water at Liberty Station the other evening. Nature, in all her glory...and James heading out for a paddle.




Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Rose Society's show

We went to the Rose Show last weekend. I don't have the best luck with roses, so I'm hoping that by walking through the exhibit some of the skills of these growers somehow jumped into my cells. We shall see. I currently have an "Oh My" sitting in the yard (still in it's pot; lucky for it that it hasn't been subjected yet to my yardly ways), soon to go into the ground. It's white, though this link takes you to a red variety. Here's hoping...

Some shots from the show:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Berkeley and San Francisco, recently

A recent trip to Berkeley started with a visit with my friend, Dahye. We had lunch at the Blue Barn Gourmet; quite yummy. I then met Moni (a.k.a. Dink, a name we call each other, from way back when, though I am not sure how it originated) in Berkeley, where she was attending a seminar, and where we caught up after seven years. We talked, ate, shopped, and moseyed the town. It was like I'd just seen her yesterday; it is a timeless friendship. Many beautiful sites were taken in, second only to seeing her beautiful face after so long!

In other news, I took public transit (BART) from the city to the airport. A big deal for me, the jittery traveler. Meanwhile, Moni tells me of her thoughts of taking the Trans-Siberian Railway. Alone. It cracks me up to think how different we are, yet how the same I feel we are. Do you ever wonder why a particular set of people become your friends? How and why our paths cross, we'll likely never know, but they are the ones that feed your soul and make life worth living.

And without gettin' all Adrienne Rich on you, (the following was pulled from this article) a landmark UCLA study suggests that when women hang out together during stressful times, the hormone oxytocin is released as part of our stress response. If I understand it correctly, it also encourages the two friends to perhaps add in a few more women to widen the group, which releases more of this hormone and further counters stress and produces a calming effect. I can only imagine things getting really rough and a bunch of women hoarding up, growing into a huge crowd. Ha! Sadly, for our menfolk, this calming response does not happen, says Dr. Klein, because testosterone—which men produce in high levels when they’re under stress—seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen, she adds, seems to enhance it.

So much for keeping my posts brief. And, here are the pics: