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.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

my favorite

Of all the movies on my list (see Saturday's post), this one was the best.  If you haven't seen it, do so.  Funny, moving, uplifting, with fabulous performances by all involved.  I am a huge fan of Bill Nighy and he does not disappoint.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

on Sunday's walk

Erin and I had a lovely long walk this morning, including a stop for latte (for me) and plain old boring coffee (for her).  The weather was absolutely perfect, as it usually is at this time of year here in the valley.  Not so good for allergy sufferers since everything is in bloom, but for us without such afflictions it's quite glorious.

On the way home we passed by this huge hedge of Matilija poppy; I call it a fried egg plant.  We only see the blooms  for a short time and then it reverts to a grayish foliage.

Cait sent me this picture this morning.  She and MM went to a derby party and obviously dressed for the occasion.  They certainly do clean up nicely!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

a princess and a pharoah (sic)

First thing this morning the long-awaited princess arrived in London.  Then this afternoon American Pharaoh sped through the wire at the Kentucky Derby.  A good day for royalty.

I have before me a tasteful selection of flix to watch:  Wild, Interstellar, Whiplash, and Pride.  Which will it be?  I have already seen My Old Lady (***) and The Rewrite (***).  Both were just OK although I do so enjoy  Marisa Tomei, and Hugh Grant has aged quite well.  Next to come will be The Imitation Game.  I have much to catch up on.

Friday, May 1, 2015

back in the 'hood

We got home a week ago but I am still operating on Mexican time.  Took my first trip to CostCo to stock up and gasped at sticker shock!  What I paid for those few little things would have fed us for a month.  This place is just too darned expensive!  And on the first Monday here, no tianguis.  No domino game on Tuesday,  either.  No soft surf noise at night.  Abd it's so dry by comparison that I had chapped lips before I even unpacked.  Of course there are some awfully nice perks to living here; we get REAL water pressure in the shower, and the supermarket is just a couple of blocks away ~ instead of in a town 20 miles distant.  But really, we do have the best of both worlds.

The weather up here in the valley is beautiful but  these sorts of warm and sunny days are coming way too early and that fact, along with the water issue, does not bode well for our gardens.  Buckets in the showers is the only solution.  If we thought we would be getting the pool fixed this summer we are having to rethink that; we probably couldn't refill it after any work was done.  I have to go to the city offices and inquire.

I'll get back into the blog swing before too long so stay tuned.