Thursday, September 11, 2014

Beautiful Maui

Went to Maui recently for 7 days and re-familiarized myself with relaxation. It is so slow and balmy. 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. 

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

Curled up cats

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dropcloth slipcovers

Drop cloths are having a heyday, at least in my backyard. This weekend James and I worked together to make slip covers. Amazing what you can do with a few packages of $13 drop cloths! They are not expertly sewn, but they are so much fresher than they were.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Rose Society's show

Roses are my nemesis, so I hope my walking through this exhibit will cause the rose-tending skills of these growers to jump into my cells. I currently have an "Oh My" sitting outside (still in its pot; lucky it's not yet been subjected to my yardly ways).

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Berkeley & San Francisco

A recent trip to Berkeley started with a visit with a friend and lunch at the Blue Barn Gourmet. Then I met another friend and heard her thoughts of taking the Trans-Siberian Railway. Alone.

We also talked about (the following was pulled from this article) a landmark UCLA study that suggests when women hang out together during stressful times, the hormone Oxytocin is released as part of our stress response. This response 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.
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. Pics from the trip:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dororthy Lamour takes the heat

If only I looked this good while roasting in 92-degree weather. San Diego has turned into an inferno.
Dorothy Lamour Jungle

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Floral delights, and pics from the hood

Lunch at my belle mere's house is always a luxury. She placed this little bouquet by my plate. And set the table with bunny plates. Next, pictures are from a recent walk, topped off by chin scratches for local tabby, Bella. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bella the Chicken, Seder dinner, Sweet peas

Three fun things in my life: 1. Holding the most darling chicken named Bella at the local nursery. Chickens are surprisingly warm; all the more reason not to eat them. They are literally like dogs with feathers, 2. Attended my first Seder dinner, and 3. Received sweet peas from a friend.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tonight: 'Time and the Conways'

Excited to see this play tonight with my sweetie. He surprised me with tickets. Can't wait!

'Time and the Conways' at the Old Globe
Leanne Agmon, left, as Carol Conway, Morgan Hallett as Madge Conway and Amanda Quaid as Kay Conway in "Time and the Conways" by J.B. Priestley at the Old Globe. (photo: Jim Cox )  
Review at:,0,505052.story#ixzz2zv6TkERi

Thursday, April 24, 2014


To go to one of their weekend retreats...definitely on my list. You can see a little of Esalen here in the final scene of Mad Men, topped off with the coke commercial that raised a stir by many. Here is a book about Esalen which I'd like to check out.

2014 Lodging and Accommodations Pricing at Esalen Institute

Monday, February 17, 2014

Kitchen at last

Just when you think you’ll never have a kitchen, it all comes together. Counters, a fixture, a range and range hood, dishwasher, you name it – we now have it. 
One of the first meals: a pot of vegetable soup. 
A recent visit to our local café.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Noise, and more noise

If only it were just one guy with one jackhammer. But it seems our neighbors are jack-hammering the neighborhood into the ground. The house next to mine is under an onslaught of construction (since we moved in). The cross street, a stone's throw from me, is Jackhammer City. Huge city machines, chunking up concrete: all. day. long. And two doors down I hear they're tearing down a rental to build a new house. Awesome.

Time to break out the Bose noise-cancelling earphones. Grabbing them now and going "under." James got these for me for Christmas; pricey yes, but they'll turn any seat on a plane into a first-class seat. I never forget them when flying -- they transform the experience and make it bearable.

Monday, February 03, 2014

The cure for a wall: English ivy

So, we have this wall that sort of covers the front of our house. I am not thrilled with it, because I feel like it walls us off, or in. While I am a bit of an introvert, I do love saying "hi there" to passing neighbors. But I digress. For this wall, I think I've found an answer. English ivy! Which I love! I cracked up at this picture, though, because while it is quite gorgeous, it does look like the ivy is SWALLOWING the house. I can totally see us getting too busy, accidentally letting it go a bit long, and *POOF* we're buried in the stuff.

Did you know this about English ivy? English ivy uses a chemical adhesive secreted by its adventitious rootlet ends in order to stick to a vertical surface – it can even cling to something as smooth as glass. The secretion is yellowish and forms circular dots on the vertical surface. It is very sticky, and becomes stickier as it dehydrates. More info to be found here.

Flash update: I went out at 5:00, after working, and planted the ivy! It was already almost dark, and definitely dark as I was finishing up. I'm sure the neighbors, coming home/driving by, thought I was nuts. But, the entire flat is in the ground, all along the bottom of the wall. And I let it know we have high hopes for it. :o) Of course, as I read more on it, everyone says it's pretty awful, pulls down your wall, and brings rats! How positively romantic! And from what I read, I planted way to much of it. Fun! Stay tuned for me battling rats and trying to prop up my house with sticks. On the upside, we eventually want that wall to come down, so let's let the ivy do it! Ack!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Salute to Vienna

On New Year’s Day, we attended the Salute to Vienna event at Copley Symphony Hall. We got our fill of Viennese music, and dancing by the Kiev Aniko Ballet of Ukraine, and I think my grandmother and mom were “there” somewhere, seeing it with me.