Thursday, May 23, 2013
I finished "The Orphan Master's Son" about a week ago. What a spectacular read. No wonder the author garnered both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award for his efforts.
It would appear I had not gotten my fill of totalitarian society with my next choice, "Telex from Cuba." Another fine read although not nearly as wrenching.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
There is also a lovely indoor dining room ~ we sat indoors last time we were there because (a) they were setting up for a wedding reception and (b) it was too bloody hot to sit on the patio. This is the valley, you know.
I had been looking forward to a big dish of mussels but, alas, they were not on the menu. Instead, I had a delicately grilled piece of salmon on a bed of red quinoa and curly kale. Cait had grilled scallops that she characterized as "like creamy pats of rich butter." Mr. C opted for the lamb stew with Spring vegetables. That was all washed down with a bottle of cold, lemony Vouvray. Since it was a birthday celebration we went for a really outrageous dessert to share: Bread Pudding made with brioche and croissants, walnuts, caramel sauce and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Even I, not a big dessert eater, had a couple of bites and it was mmm, mmm good! It was a very fun afternoon filled with good conversation and wonderful food. Thank you, Mr. C!
She's only here for a couple of days, on her way to Atlanta for some Delta work. Stopped by to see the folks for a little relaxation. It's always a treat to have a child (or g-child) in the house. We're going up to Roseville to La Provence for a celebratory lunch; Cait's birthday is on Friday. Taking camera along just in case.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The Mother's Day bouquet sent to me by Mr. C is now in full, gorgeous bloom. At first glance I couldn't tell what colors the blossoms would be. It look like some of every hue I've ever seen these flowers. They'll be good for another week.
While I was out doing errands this morning Mr. C brought out some of the summer deck furniture.
THE place for morning coffee and the NYT, esp. the crossword and OpEd page.
It's not quite warm enough to swim; about 78º this afternoon. Eighty degrees is the best.
Best afternoon seating. That big alder tree has been there for 30 years and gives gorgeous, dappled shade in the summer and horrendous leaf and pod droppings in the winter. But it's worth it.
The garden is at its best right now, before it gets so hot everything wilts and dies. And I'm showing this now because in a month or so we are going to have some cosmetic work done on the pool exterior and the planters. The finish (plaster) has cracked badly and is crumbling in some places. It's looking more like a Roman ruin every day. Yesterday a contractor came to give it all the once-over. He's going to come up with a repair plan that will entail either taking most of the exterior walls apart and redoing them or just refinishing everything. It appears the worthies who built this pool 13 years ago didn't allow for expansion joints along the top cap which is why there are so many cracks. We'll wait for some quotes and then decide.
Meanwhile, we are certainly enjoying the lovely, sunny weather. Hope it's the same where you are!
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
A comment to my last post was, "Surely something blog worthy has been happening . . ." Actually, not much. Just unpacking, moving unpacked boxes from here to there, searching out lost or mislaid belongings, working my way through two huge tubs of mail. Those sorts of things aren't really very noteworthy. In fact, I think about this blog a lot and wonder why I am writing it. But then I get the urge and, well, here I go again.
First, it's good to be a Mother and so Happy Mother's Day to all. I don't really care what you're a mother to ~ your own kids, step-kids, your friends' kids, dogs, cats, parakeets, gerbils. Having someone/thing to mother feels good. I got these two gorgeous gifts delivered to my house. This one is from Mr. C. You can only imagine my utter surprise! And they're my favorite flower, alstroemeria.
Then this morning this "living garden" arrangement arrived from daughter Alex. Everything in the basked can be taken out and planted in my own garden, which I will do in a few days.
There's an African Violet, some ivy, a spotted philodendron and that bright pink plant with the shiny, thick leaves that I can't remember the name of. (Miss Parker: Please note that I am aware that I have ended the previous sentence with a preposition but I was stuck for a different construction.) A nice little perennial garden right on my bedside table.
This wonderful greeting arrived from the folks in Bozeman. That would be Cait, Mike and "the boys." How could it not be a Happy Mother's Day?
The past two weeks I have spent reacquainting myself with my house and how things work back here in the USA. First, laundry. I don't have to use the garden hose to fill the washing machine! I just toss in the clothes, push a button and the water comes gushing in. At the beach, since the house has only gravity to act as pressure, water dribbles in from the rooftop tinaco and it takes about to do laundry. So instead I run the well pump that has a lot of pressure, put the garden hose in the washer and it fills up in a minute or two. Ingenious. I got all my doctors' appointments out of the way and am relieved to know that I am a fabulously healthy person, inside and out. Not counting diabetes, of course! Mr. C has done the same and although he still has a parasite making a home in his gut, he is feeling splendid. Very good news. We are also actually getting mail at our PO box. What a concept. I've also watched a couple of movies ~ Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The Life of Pi. Now all those things are wonderful, but here's what I miss. Going to the market and not spending $150 for two measly bags. Nighttime wave action; it's way to quiet. Afternoon domino games. Beach walking. A quick trip to Baby's to stock up on Takis, my most favorite snack food. I am now hoarding my little stash because once they're gone, they're gone until next trip.
Almost finished "The Orphan Master's Son" by Adam Johnson. I highly recommend it. Five stars.
Monday, April 29, 2013
This delightful little bouquet arrived on our doorstep Saturday afternoon as a "Welcome Home" gift from Alex, Andrew and Em. Welcome home indeed, and it's mighty good to be here. Even though I am surrounded by unopened boxes and bags, I can't find anything (our tenants rearranged my entire household!), and I wake at 5 AM thinking I have to get in the car and press on down the road, I am glad that long trip is over. Now it's like being on a treasure hunt; where in the world will I find the clay bowl that sat on the counter to hold onions and garlic? Where might my good sewing shears be hiding? How about the pots and pans? Those drawers were empty. Oh well, all in good time.
It's always a pleasure to come home at this time of year, too. When we leave in December the trees are bare, the gardens are all dead, no color. Now, spring is springing all over town. Trees have leafed out in the most deliciously delicate green shade, flowers are full of buds just waiting to burst open, there are still a few blossoms left on our wisteria ~ Tim did a masterful job of pruning and shaping the vines. The coreopsis, that pesky, invasive flower, is miraculously under control right now but in another month it will be blooming all over the garden and dropping it's insistent seeds everywhere. We tried growing it in our Mexican garden and that's probably the only place on the planet it doesn't like. My neighbor's rose garden is gorgeous, in full bloom. She brought this beautiful bunch to us on Saturday.
Please note the jar of peanut butter in the lower left of the photo. Mr. C's first supermarket purchase upon his return.
The weather here in the valley is warm and sunny with a bit of a breeze breezy. Funny, the weather's the same as at the beach but I can't hear the surf.