Saturday, June 27, 2015

La Jolla interlude

I am in La Jolla visiting old friends for a few days.    Fled the HOT valley yesterday for the cool, overcast, foggy southland.  I have photos to post later; I'm using a PC and have no idea how to do anything on it except type!  Tomorrow is the big farmers' market in the morning (after beach walks with dogs).  In the evening we'll drive into San Diego to attend Evensong at the Cathedral where I can visit my sister in her cozy little niche.   Monday is a coffee date with Vic's brother-in-law who is the interim rector at the Episcopal church in La Jolla, followed by lunch with yet another boarding school classmate, followed by a Shakespeare Film Festival at the Old Globe theater in Balboa Park (Lawrence Olivier's Henry V).  Tuesday is back home, exhausted but very happy to have been here.  I have always loved La Jolla and will move here when my ship comes in.  If ever.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

our local tianguis

This being Saturday it's Farmers Market day, so I roused myself early and went up to see what's good.  Needless to say, everything looked so beautiful, fresh and inviting.  This was my morning's haul.

This vendor had two big stacks of these beautiful carrots, some with the stems, some without.  What would you make with carrot stems?  Put them in a vegetable broth?

This stall also had gigantic yellow patty pans and green and yellow zucchini.  This is my favorite squash, steamed and slathered with butter and sprinkled with fresh rosemary.  Along with a lamb chop, of course.

L to r:  kale, leeks, onions.  I thought this last item might be a shallot but the grower said, "Not really."  What does that mean?  Yes or no?

Beautiful nectarines with a smell as good as they look!  Didn't buy any this week; they're still quite hard and small so I'll wait a week.

It's high season for cherries in the valley and several vendors had great piles of these glistening gems.

But these Ranier are my favorite and we came home with two boxes.  They'll probably be gone in a day or two.  So sweet and juicy!

Lots and lots of strawberries giving off their intoxicating perfume.  Hard to resist.

Or if you'd rather, you can always grow your own.  Plants available at several stands.

Many flower vendors, too, and I can never resist!

These  little (gluten-free) cakes are for dessert.  Looks like a layout for a Wayne Thiebaud paining.

And finally, something to put it  all into carry home.  Such a colorful collection of market baskets.

So that was my Saturday trip to the market.  Along with musicians,  the hustle and bustle of the vendors as they set up their stalls and the busy shoppers it made for a delightful start to the weekend.  Hope yours is as fun and (potentially) delicious.

Friday, May 29, 2015

another chilling read

If you were hooked  by Gone Girl or Before I go to Sleep, you'll be quickly reeled in by this one.

Great story, artfully revealed through its three main characters.  If you can get your hands on the Penguin audio book, do so.  The three separate readers are superb.  It's really a stay-up-all-night kind of story.

I have been on a mini-sabbatical from the blog mainly because I really have nothing to write about.   But here's a capsule catch-up of the last couple of weeks.  We had short ~ 2 might ~ visit from daughter Cait.  She and I did a shopping blitz and a local outlet mall, the first time I've been SHOPPING in person and not via e-tail in many years.  She found what she was looking for so it was a great success.  I've been doing my daily morning walk through various neighborhoods, checking on the progress of the changing landscapes as the valley tries to cope with our severe water situation.  Lots of imaginative uses of bark and stones!  We are in good shape here in Casa Contenta since we have no grass and most of our landscaping is done in pots.  Not much water needed to keep them alive.

I've seen a few movies over the past couple of weeks; The Imitation Game (*****), Silk (****), Birdman (I gave up after about 15 minutes; not in the mood, I guess but I'll try again), Call the Midwife (I started at the beginning since I had not watched it when it originally ran.  Definitely *****).

Otherwise, who knows where the time has gone.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

it's not just about ice cream

This morning's walk took us to this beautiful bee garden located on the far western edge of campus.  Endowed by Häagen-Dazs, it is a gorgeous spot filled with all manner of plants ~ flowers, shrubs, trees, ground cover, fruits, vegetables ~ that attract and support bee life.  The whole place is alive with the movement and sounds of busy bees.

These colorful sculptures were created by a local artist, Donna Billick, who has done many other sculpture projects on our campus and throughout town.

Right now the garden looks very healthy and fresh.  We will go back often to see how it fares in the valley heat with limited water.  But it all looks well mulched with minimal drip irrigation and strategic planting.  A beautiful place for a Sunday morning stroll.

Good job, Häagen-Dazs.  I'll buy more of your ice cream as a way to say "Thank you!"

Monday, May 11, 2015

out with the old . . .

This is our old, trusty fridge that is 15 years old.  It was beginning to have a few aches and pains, wasn't at all convenient, and just needed to be retired.  Besides, I wanted a freezer-on-the-bottom model so I don't have to squat down on the floor to find everything.  So last Friday we went up to the Sears store in Sacramento to browse the appliances.  I had done a bit of research on the internet, found the one I thought I wanted and was all ready, research in hand.  Once we got there we realized the one that had looked right was actually too small.  Mr. C, measuring tape in hand, walked around looking at every single refrigerator on the floor and we finally decided on just the right one.

Mr. C emptied it out, cleaned it all up, cannibalized the egg box and the butter dish, unplugged it and then we waited for the delivery of the new machine.  We had measured very carefully and the only problem we discovered was that the delivery chaps might not be able to get it through the front door.

BUT, never fear.  These very clever guys got it right in, no problem, and into its little cubby with even a few inches to spare.

. . . in with the new!

This beauty has more storage space than the old one which means Mr. C has more room for all his coveted left-overs.  And it's absolutely silent (the old one was beginning to make strange shuddering noises).  Seems like an awfully big fridge for just two people but I know we'll soon fill it up.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

a sweet treat

I don't know how I got on to this sweet and lovely film.  It arrived earlier in the week and I finally got around to watching it today.  It is absolutely charming and I do recommend it.  Just one tiny tear.