Monday, December 31, 2007

The Menu

Happy New Year, kids.

We're staying in and spoiling ourselves tonight. Here's what we're eating:

Fennel, Persimmon, and Blue Cheese Salad

Steamed Lemon Broccoli

Roasted Potatoes with Gruyere

Chicken Tarragon

Ginger Pear Tatin

and a little bubbly, of course.

Cheers to you. If you're reading this, you're loved.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Making Christmas

After last year's gingerbread disaster, I didn't even try to be creative for the holidays. Then, I ended up with an army of undecorated spice soldiers, only about 6 of which were finished and gifted. And poor Kristin, they weren't even her kind of cookie. They made for great snacks in Cancun, anyway. But a funny thing happened this year. One minute I'm just wrapping presents, the next I'm surrounded by a cloud of snipped recyclables. This is what happened.

You can't accuse Trader Joe's of not being festive. Then, on Christmas, I found myself on the couch at 1 a.m. with an upholstery needle and some green yarn, embroidering a stocking for Mark without a hoop. Nutso. Christmas morning, mom was pouting for one of her own, so the madness continues.

Making thigs seems to just be happening, but since I just turned 30, there are a few goals I'd like to get out there. I may be talking about them here from time to time.

Run. I've got this nasty hill next to my home. I'm thinking I could make it up there without the serious pain it gives me now.

Shoot. Somehow I've ended up with my little dream camera, a Nikon D40x. Now I just have to learn how to use it.

Re-use. Yeah, we put all our junk mail in the blue bin. Pretty much everything that can goes in there. But it's still a lot of waste. Just look at all the stuff that comes home with me every Month with my maintenance prescriptions. The shoe for reference is very average sized.

So I'm thinking about trying to use some of the things we normally recycle immediately. I've gotten a start with the Christmas wrapping and some decorations, but there are a few tricks still up my sleeve.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Shore

We're really feeling the season in San Diego, and it's not because of a profusion of lights. It's certainly not the weather. Nope, it's the quiet. Pacific Beach is a madhouse during pretty much every other season of the year. No parking, squealing and half-naked coeds, their detritus everywhere. It can get to be a bit much. But at Christmastime, ahh, you can breathe here. Mark and I went down to the beach yesterday for a little last minute shopping and a walk along the boardwalk. Both activities were so relaxing. Last minute shopping?? Yes, it was a breeze. The only tension involved Mark trying to get me to contain my over the top gift giving addiction.

And just as we were finishing our walk (it was so quiet we didn't even see Slo-Mo), we saw the one other true sign that it's a holiday in San Diego. Pauly Shore, walking his big fluffy dog, near Crystal Pier.

* I didn't take this photo - Thanks Austin Chron - but I like the orange shirt.

Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Well, it's pretty much done. The vortex (now just a lower-case item) has been tamed. Over about a day and a half I plodded along in my methodical, tortoisey fashion. Don't knock it - I found at least two hundred dollars worth of gift certificates.

Mark worked a week of nights and then went straight to a week of regular (long) days, so I was solo but fine. And then on Tuesday, at four o'clock, Mark swept in. Several hours before I'd hoped. And within an hour, we were done. It was beautiful. It may seem anticlimactic, but wait until I get to go back to the Container Store to organize my art and craft supplies. THAT will be something. But not yet. So, next?

We were talking and planning the other day and are possibly going to be going out of town at least once in four out of five months. A lot of which includes seeking out more winter, and not for recreational purposes. Just planning that makes me think we're already a little bit batty. And I can see us, right around the corner, in an unrecognizable airport, acting out this scene from Overheard In New York:

Woman #1: These moving sidewalks are for the birds!
Woman #2: What?
Woman #1: The moving sidewalks are for the birds!
Woman #2: What birds?

And then after that? I think Kristin has actually made me want to sew the velvet curtains I want for our living room.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Vortex: Part I

Here it is.

I'm off to give this mess a two hour spurt while Mark sleeps. He's still on nights, which should be a perfectly productive schedule for me, except that I can't so much sleep when he's not here. At any rate. I hope to make some progress, if only of the mental sort, this afternoon before I break for roasting turkey, and browning up some butternut squash & peas. Then on to Hanukkah (we're halfway through) and another fidgety night, unless I can figure out how to relax before 2 or 3 am. Let's hope.

On a more positive note, I did finish one thing. Ha.

It's context will remain secret for now so that I don't spoil any possible admiring that might happen during out little holiday gathering next week. Hopes Up. In the meantime, I am happy with it. Mostly because I was able to use up some junk mail in a very pretty way. One thing I've been trying to do more of, since there's no stopping the junk mail monster.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Vortex

Back to the subject of our slow little home.

Mark and I have a big back closet in the guest room/library/office. This room is not a great loft, so how many issues can you find in that last sentence? Yes, it's a disaster. And beyond the frustration of climbing over things and constantly shuffling boxes and bins, I've started to lose things. Right now I walk back there and my teeth start to itch. So, I'd love to Cure it, but I think it's going to be a quick team clean & organize.

It's going to be interesting, with me as the tortoise and Mark as the hare in these situations. Okay, most situations. Hopefully we'll both be victorious.

Monday, November 26, 2007


We just got back from a fantastic week in Northern California. The weather was so great my toes only went numb once. And to be fair I'd gotten a little wild and pulled the flip flops out. Oops.

The light down here is so beautiful today that I'm remembering the day we spent in Petaluma (est. 1858). Petaluma seems to be the town that everyone's a little bit in love with, and I am no exception. I took a few photographs there that I like more than many I've taken in years. Like this, outside the knitting store:

And then we spotted this, just two doors down from the bar advertizing Liquor to Go.

And though I did not learn to knit or chisel marble, I'm hoping today will be a little more creative than my average Monday.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Yesterday was a funny sort of Saturday.

I stepped out into the sun, heading down to the park around noon. It was beautifully quiet, with that sort of idyllic weekend weather I'd been missing since the fires. I stopped on the stairs to soak it in, listening to the wind and the little peepers. Then suddenly I heard a loud nasal squawk, which seemed so much like a grumpy negation of what I'd been feeling. What a sourpuss neighbor, I thought, and continued down the stairs. But just as I got to the bottom, I half-glanced in the direction of the noise - and did a double-take.

Whoa! Is that a . . .

Giant Blue McCaw! She was beautiful, as you can see, and quiet as I went over to visit with her a bit. She seemed so comfortable, I thought she must be the chatterbox I hear happily every morning around ten. And indeed stayed put, just looking around, as several people drove past and parked right in front of her. Now, she's clearly a treasure and anyone who knows me would have been very surprised to see me walk away from a pet out on the loose. But I know nil about birds and, um, take a look at that beak again. Yeah.

I headed upstairs to make a few FOUND postings online, and kept an eye on her from the library. But then another surprise. Another neighbor showed up. One whom I could not have previously described as sweet or friendly. Bird wasn't hers, but Bird loved her. Loved Her.
Up her arm she hopped and happily snuggled as she was taken inside. A few minutes later, Mark had arrived in time to be caught up and watch as her parents were led into the complex. Turns our one of their neighbors had seen her heading our way. Mark went down to meet Miss Lily (as it turned out) and we both heard her joyfully squawk it up as she saw her people.

Goodbye Lily, thanks for visiting us!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's Pumpkin Time

The last few Halloweens have not been very exciting for us, which is just fine, because they still include pumpkins.
This year's selection was a first - a daytime pumpkin hunt. Just as fun, and turns out there are even fewer people around to watch me being pulled back to the patch in a little red wagon. This is Thunk:

and his friend Ooof!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Plant Friends

I've been bogged down with a little sinus thing lately; not so happy. Most of the last 4 days have been spent either steaming myself in the bathroom or watching bad tv with a bottle of saline spray within reach. Mark always at the ready with the Tylenol and pints of water. Blech. The brightest spot has been the amount of plant maintenance that the dry weather has required lately.

Somehow my plant friends always cheer me up.

Dee Dee is a brasso-laelia-cattleya hybrid orchid, who blooms every fall after a good fog. I like her reliability and she smells incredible - but only at night.

Little Box, the gorgeous purple & white phalaenopsis (orchid) has been blooming since last December. Yeah, nuts. When she was given to me she was the saddest little orchid I'd ever seen. One tiny leaf and about three roots. She can't be stopped.

There's the nameless daisy I got in seed as a leftover shower present, about to bloom, even after a nasty giant caterpillar attack. (He scared me)

They all make me happy; get me moving. So I just thought I'd give a little love today - they've already been watered.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Paperwork as a Blessing

We arrived at our shul on Tuesday night, one Witness present, to meet with Cantor B and officially marry ourselves up. After hours, there was no one in the office - including Cantor. Hmm. After deciding how many handfuls of minutes we could stand to sit steady (two) and how many minutes lay comfortably in a hand (Witness believes in elegant sufficiency and will hold just 5, M believes in Efficiency and can handle a whopping 15) we catch up. Before the handfuls dwindle too much, Cantor arrives with apologies. She's got a teenager in the sanctuary just working on a speech. Do we have a few more minutes? Quick hand check says we do! But then M, the siezer (Caesar?) of opportunity, asks if she'd like an audience. Indeed! And how would we like to sign our marriage license in the sanctuary? Very much!

A few minutes later we were sharing a really wonderful moment with wise K, just about to be bat mitzvahed, and her so rightfully proud parents. I'd never seen a 13 year-old so poised and sweet. When she was done, Cantor suggested she also witness our license completion; a perfect adult duty. Suddenly we were just as beaming as on our wedding day, and feeling just as blessed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

1. Wedding - DONE

2. Sort the Home . . . not so much.
3 Weeks married and 5 months home and we're still figuring out the living space. More than stacked boxes and stuffed closets, we're thinking about what we want in the space of our lives. An amazing work-life balance for M. Exploring the things all around us that we've not "had time for." And in a big way, slowing down, connecting, and learning as much and as often as we can.

Tonight we'll be completing our marriage license - a little more slowness than we'd hoped. So we'll be officially off and running.