Thursday, July 31, 2014

lonesome voice?

Am I the only one who didn't like this film?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

the news from BA

This just in from Emily, who arrived in Buenos Aires on Monday to begin her great adventure.

Just wanted to send a more complete update on Buenos Aires. Really exciting to be in such an unbelievably MASSIVE city and know that there are so many opportunities at my fingertips, woohoo. Looks like the next 2 weeks will be a lot of painstaking orientation business which, of course, is important but hopefully with some fun interspersed. My host mom is very nice, smart woman who has a lot of interesting things to say about the political situation in Argentina. My neighborhood (Belgrano) is very, very cute from what I've seen so far but a bit far from the center of the city. All's well down here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Bozeman Chronicles

We've had a little bit of every kind of weather in the last couple of days, except snow.  It was very hot, then got cool, then rained, turned sultry, but it's back to lovely clear mountain summer as of this morning.

On Sunday Cait and I went downtown to stroll Main Street, check out the action, go to Vargas, a used book store that carries the BEST selection of cards ever.  I usually get a year's supply of cards for birthdays and other occasions, laughing all the way.  I bought a couple of things to add to the birthday haul for Mr. C.  Then to the market for a piece of salmon for our dinner, then home.  We sat out on the deck for our pre-dinner drinks, enjoying the lovely mountain air.  Us humans weren't the only ones . . .

Then a beautiful sunset to end a fine day.

This is what greeted us on Monday morning.

Cold, grey, wet.  And windy.  But by late afternoon it had cleared up as we got ready to go out to dinner for yet another birthday celebration at the The Emerson Grill.  The restaurant is located in the old Emerson School building in downtown Bozeman.  The city fathers, in a move of great wisdom and foresight, turned the old school into a series of art galleries, a movie theatre, a live performance space, and this lovely eatery.  We had a delicious dinner that was the perfect finish to what has been a great trip.

Today we pack up and get ready to go early tomorrow.  It's a clear, warm morning.  Even the horses are out enjoying the lush green pasture at the end of the meadow.

We will head off to Burley, ID tomorrow, then on to Winnemucca so we can go to The Martin Hotel for a big Basque feast.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday in Bozeman

It's cool and hazy here, thanks to a big fire just across the border in Canada.  The smoke has blown across the entire state all the way down here.  The sky is a sickly beige color; no Big Sky blue yet today. 

The drive from Walla Walla to Missoula is full of treats for the eye.  The first part is more high plains, with wheat fields, huge cattle ranges, and a flat terrain.  But soon that gives way to beautiful green conifer forests that go on as far as the eye can see.

These forests are very healthy and dense.  No sickly, skinny brown trunks, no dry underbrush.  The grass along the freeway is green and lush with wildflowers galore and some flowering trees as well.  The conifers are dotted with shimmering aspens; it must be quite a sight in the fall.  Soon on our right we could see Lake Coeur d'Alene.

It's located in the  Idaho Panhandle, with its northern end located in the city of the same name. It spans 25 miles long, ranges from 1 to 3 miles wide and has over 109 miles of shoreline.  (I'm not making this up; Wiki told me!)

Just after this we stopped at a Rest Stop and when I opened the car door the smell of pine and balsam was so delightful and fresh.  I have to find some candles of that scent to take home.

On to Missouia, home of the University of Montana, about 2,000 pizza restaurants, nice old houses and a small downtown.  We had a yummy meal at a Chinese restaurant and went to bed tired but well fed.

Up and on to Bozeman by way of Dillon and the Patagonia outlet.  I decided not to hand over any of my cash for a new vest as I had pretty much shot my WAM on the insulin.  But we did stop at the Taco Bus for lunch.  Two tacos de lengua for me, an enchilada and a tamale for Mr. C.  Then it was on to Bozeman.

We arrived to a most enthusiastic welcome by the Granddogs who were hysterical with delight that someone had joined their daily housebound solitude.  But it didn't last long.  Pretty soon they returned to their separate favorite napping spots and we got on with the business of moving in.

G'dog Zeke

G-dog Huck
One last note from our trip to Walla Walla.  While we were there, Alex took us to see the new Dale Chihuly chandelier that was being installed in Reid Hall.  The piece was a gift from an alum.

 All these boxes are numbered and lettered to match a master list for installation

Not a good photo but you can see the outline of the design

Here it is, almost finished and lit so you can see the glorious colors.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

play ball!

 Last evening we went over to the campus to take in a baseball game between the Walla Walla Sweets and the Winachee Apple Sox.  Even though it was hot at 7 PM, there was a good turn out.  These teams are made up of college baseball players from all over the country who join summer leagues for the pure fun of playing ball for three months.  

This was our view from behind home plate.  When we left at the 7th inning stretch, the Sweets were behind, 4 - 2.  In the bottom of the 8th, they finally caught fire and pulled a win.  We believe it was our departure that allowed them the win!

No ball game is complete without a beer - Rolling Rock a special on $2 Tuesday ~ and fries.

Not the good garlic kind, but pretty good, with a nice aioli dip.

This afternoon we're going to check out a couple of local wineries, and tonight it's dinner at Saffron.
They have Moroccan Lamb Tagine on the menu; I'm ready to order, thank you.

Tomorrow morning we're off to Missoula, MT for the night.  Travel report to come.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

wilting in Walla Walla

It's HOT in Walla Walla.  Ninety-seven yesterday, supposed to get up over 100º today and higher tomorrow.  But this lovely little house is cool and airy, protected by big trees and a fully functioning AC.  Alex has done a splendid job in her remo efforts; she took out a wall between a tiny living room and a small dining room to make one big, light-filled room.  The bedrooms are comfortable, big closets.  Hardwood floors throughout.  Small backyard with interesting flowering shrubs - azalias, rhododendrons, a couple of peony bushes, some raspberry vines, ferns, hostas.  There's a small deck in the back that she wants to expand for more outdoor living room.  A work in progress, as they say.    The street is very quiet, shaded by old growth trees.  The houses are big and old and well cared for; I think her house is the smallest one on the street.  She's about three blocks from the campus where she works (Whitman College).  I am so happy she found this little gem.

The drive from Bend to WW is a good five hours, but quite lovely.  It's high plains with zillions of acres of golden wheat fields.  In the far distance we could see the snow-capped Three Sisters mountains, then Mt. Hood as we headed east along the Columbia River.  That is really a gorgeous drive.  Imagine what Lewis and Clark must have thought as they paddled down this beautiful waterway!  We got here around 3 PM, got thoroughly lost trying to follow Google Maps directions, finally got in the vicinity, called Alex and she walked down the street to flag us down.  Yahoo Maps is a better source, I think.

The only glitch so far has been the loss of my insulin.  Mr. C, when packing up the goods we had stored in the 'fridge at Red Lion, overlooked it and left it behind.  Yikes!  First I went to a local pharmacy to see if I could buy some.  After checking with my Kaiser pharmacy I was informed that I would need my doc's approval for a new prescription.  Bag that idea.  So we went to the Walla Walla Walk-in Clinic where I told my tale of woe to a very nice doc who wrote me a prescription.  I finally picked up a new vial of insulin for, gasp! $206.00 (as opposed to paying $15 at Kaiser).  But if ya gotta have it, ya gotta pay.  I may be able to recoup some of this if I do the paperwork when I get home.  Meanwhile, I now have plenty of insulin to get me through the trip.  And as a bonus the clinic gave me a new insulated carrying case!

On the program for today, a trip to the campus library, some sightseeing, and a celebratory dinner tonight.  And a lot of lounging around, I expect.

Monday, July 14, 2014

briefly in Bend

Yesterday's drive was long - a solid 8 hours - and pretty boring until we reached Red Bluff.  The northern valley is flat and yellow, with an occasional silo to obstruct the wide-open vistas.  Then things change.  The flat gives way to gentle hills, then stands of pines - it looks like I-50 on the way to Tahoe - and suddenly, the majestic Mt. Shasta.  There's just a dusting of snow way at the top.

A right turn at Weed and we're headed for Bend.  The sky was heavy with big piles of white clouds.

We got to the Red Lion Inn about 3 PM, settled in and relaxed.  An hour or so later I caught the scent of rain on hot cement, looked outside and rain was pouring down.  If you look carefully you can see the ripples on the pool surface.  Hail! 

 It didn't last long but did cool things down.  We went to the Deschute's Brewery for dinner, got back to the room and called it a night.  

This morning we're up and reading to head on to Walla Walla.  A message from Alex to let us know it's HOT and will continue to get HOTTER during our short (3-night) stay, but fortunately she installed AC in her remo so it should be fine if we stay inside!

These beautiful flower baskets hang all over town (Bozeman has them, too).  This one is from outside our hotel door.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

poolside cocktails

Last evening we enjoyed a couple of bottles of Dolce Vita®  prosecco with our former and current neighbors.  Robin (l) was visiting from Washington, DC where she currently lives.  She lived next to us for many years before moving to Maryland.  She returned for two years and stayed in our house during our Mexican trips.  Erin (r) lives in the house behind ours.  We were celebrating Robin's visit and Erin's recent retirement from the Big U after who-knows-how-many-years of "faithful service."  Does she look happy or what?  Great to get caught up with Robin who spent a year as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco and from her wonderful stories, loved every minute of it.

Today is packing, laundry, banking, etc., all those things one does before leaving on a trip.  The car has had its oil changed, its tires rotated, its (bottomless) gas tank filled.  We're ready to take off for Bend, OR early tomorrow morning.  Next post from there.

Friday, July 11, 2014


That is, Be Your Own Barista!

Mr. C is about to celebrate a BIG birthday.  I know he likes his cafe au lait when we're in France, so I decided to bring it home!  I started looking for a milk foamer and found this little gem while in La Jolla.

I gave it to him early so we can (a) try it out and, if we like it, (b) take it on our up-coming road trip.  We used it this morning and it is complete success!

You just put the cold milk in the top compartment, mash the big black button.  It glows red; when it turns off, the milk is hot and foamy!

Pour/scoop it into your coffee and enjoy!

The next step is learning how to do those pretty designs on top.  But one thing at a time . . .

iMac report:  a failing hard drive, replaceable for $100.  Better than having to buy a new one.  All other systems in the machine are fine.   I'll pick it up after we return from Bozeman.  In the meantime, the light-as-Air® will travel with us.

Rx report:  trip to see the doc yesterday to check on the thyroid issue.  Much improved.  Not so hungry, hair loss seems to have slowed.  Better living through chemistry, I guess.  She did say that thyroid issues are more common in diabetics and she was surprised that I've lasted this long without intervention.  I've been a diabetic for 47 years!  Hard to believe that I've done anything for that long!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

iMac failure

It appears the trusty iMac has had some sort of stroke or other serious electronic breakdown.  It has simply ceased to work.  The screen gets light after I turn it on but that's it. I'm taking the machine up to CoreCare (the Apple repair shop) on Tuesday and am hoping for a quick fix.  It's 5 years old and I really don't want to do a replacement.  Until now it has been a very good machine; big screen, right size for the desk, easy-to-use keyboard, etc.  I have a feeling that what has set it off is the installation of OS X 10.9.3.   A couple of weeks ago there was an article in 9 to 5 Mac about the havoc this OS update has been causing.  If the remedy suggested is to reinstall, I can't do that because I can't open up the machine in the first place.  And the change has completely fouled up the font that shows up on this blog draft so it all has to be reformatted by hand.  Alas.

But back to the SoCal visit.  It was such a pleasure to see old schoolmates.  One lunch at the Beach Club in La Jolla, one lunch at Il Fornaio in Coronado, daily morning walks with Maggie (the dog) in the typical La Jolla June Gloom.  Surfers were out, of course, but not many beach strollers.  Chilly and damp.

We went to Evensong at the Cathedral on Sunday.  The music was heavenly, the choir divine.  Vicky is very happy there, and why not.  Such glorious sounds several days a week.  My hostess was getting ready to pick up a new Golden puppy yesterday (Saturday) to join Maggie in the household. 

The big treat, however, was going to the Sunday morning farmers market held on the playground of La Jolla Elementary School.  The entire space is taken up with sellers of fruits and veggies, flowers, prepared food ~ with a nice picnic spot all set up with tables and benches ~ and other goodies such as Oriental rugs, clothing, jewelry, hats, bags.  All really good stuff.

Baby one-sie
Gorgeous greens

An arresting display of cukes

We bought some of these for dessert.  Sweet and juicy!
For your three bean salad!  As  long as you cook the purple ones separately . . .

I had a completely uneventful return home, leaving San Diego at a cool 72º and emerging from the plane in Sacramento to 104º.  Quite a change.  It's been hot all week but cools down at night thanks to the Delta breezes.  We're expecting heat all week, good for the tomatoes but hard on the gardens, especially with restricted water usage.  Lawns are brown and dry, annuals are dead in their tracks, even the beautiful Crepe Myrtles are looking a bit wilted.

We're heading off to Walla Walla and Bozeman in a week to see daughters, inspect Alex's new house, celebrate Mr. C's birthday en famille.  Our annual summer road trip.  I'll put up pictures on Instagram so if you have it on one of your iProducts, give a look.  I leave you with a shot of a beautiful latte I had with friends on Wednesday morning.  It was as yummy as it looks.