Saturday, August 12, 2017

better late than never

Today I finished Season 1 of The Crown.  Don't you think it's aboout time, since Season 2 is starting soon?  I don't know what I've been waiting for all these months.  I did look at one episode while at the beach but decided I needed to look at it on something bigger than an iPod!  Great cast, especially John Lithgow as Churchill.  What a performance.  So now it's on to Season  2.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

lunch among the vines

I drove over to St. Helena yesterday to meet two delightful women of long acquaintance for a wonderful lunch at The Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch.  I had heard about this dining citadel first via Check Please Bay Area, the restaurant review program on KQED.  It was every bit as good as was promised.  Most all of what they serve in this big, airy space is grown or raised on the property.  Despite the size of the dining room the noise level is very tolerable, making for easy conversation.  A couple of highlights on the menu are macaroni and cheese (we did not try) and the cheddar biscuits (which we did try).

Go for the biscuits if for nothing else!  They are utterly delicious.

We stayed until about 3 PM after which I battled the parking lot that is I-80; took me 2 1/2 hours to get home.  But it was well worth it.

The Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, 738 Main Street, St. Helena, CA

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tuesday matinee

I watched this movie yesterday and like most "based on true events"films, it was another example of how truly amazing human beings are and what they are capable of.  The story goes from a sort of wonderland setting to absolute horror and back to some level of sanity.  Set in Warsaw at the outbreak of WWII.  Many people did not behave well.

Monday, August 7, 2017

summer's bounty

Our neighbor planted 6 or 7 tomato plants in three raised beds in her garden ~ big beefsteaks, some Early Girls, Romas, and a variety of grape and cherry varieties, red, yellow and gold.  And, as always happens after a spate of hot weather, they ALL came in at once.  Dozens and dozens of tomatoes just right for the picking.  She sent out an SOS to her neighbors and Mr. C, our resident farm boy, went right over to answer her call.  Above shows about half of what he brought home.  Yesterday he roasted one batch for his delicious tomato soup.  This morning he took care of the rest in the same way.  And there will be many more of these beauties before the summer is done. As soon as we get some cooler weather, we'll eat!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

sweet distraction

It's hot here in the valley, in case you were wondering.  So after all my "indoor" chores were done -- mainly cleaning up my "office" room, decluttering it of all sorts of accumulated stuff -  I treated myself to this sweet little movie, Gifted.  Reminded me of Little Man Tate, Jodie Foster's movie of many years ago which I loved.  The cast ~ Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Mckenna Grace ~ is wonderful.  If you want a sweet distraction this will do it.

Friday, August 4, 2017

a short update from cyberspace

Just a short note to let you know that the new computer was NOT killed off by some invading virus called Zeus Virus.  Instead, the virus was sent off into the ether and my beautiful new machine was declared safe.  But really, the Mac operating system (?) is so well protected from enemy invasion that we, the fortunate users of this system, really don't have tip worry about such things as enemy invaders.  Isn't that the reason we bought an Apple in the first place?

I took the machine up to Sacramento to Core Care, the ne plus ultra of Apple service.  They checked it all out, pronounced the virus a total fake, and sent me home.   But they did say that this particular "virus warning" has been cropping up lately.  The solution is to simply shut down the computer, restart, and the threatening warning will be gone  DO NOT call the phone number on the message.  It's totally bogus.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Brand new computer just fired uo on Tuesday.  Message this morning:  Zeus Virus now in charge of this computer.  If you want to get this computer back, call this number.  NO WAY!! So this little post is being sent via my Mac Air.  New  iMac goes in to hospital tomorrow to have its insides diagnosed.  I am SO pissed!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

my boys and girls

Mr. C and I went on a 2-week road trip in late July.  First stop was Walla Wall, WA for a visit with daughter Alex and my grandcat, Flower, an amazingly furry and fluffy creature.

We had a splendid time; good weather, a bit of wine tasting, a wonderful dinner at one of our favorite spots, Saffrons, and a good visit.   The downtown was festooned with these beautiful flower baskets, hanging from all the lamp posts along Main Street.  Such a lovely addition.  Here in our town in the valley we have crepe myrtle trees that are also a brilliant blaze of color throughout the downtown.,  No matter which it is, such decoration is a wonderful addition.

Then it was on to Bozeman via Missoula, MT, home of the University of Montana.  It's a fairly quiet town right now with the college on break for the summer.  We arrived at Cait's on Sunday and, has usual, it was absolutely gorgeous ~ cool and lovely during the day, downright chilly at night.  Everyone was in grand spirits, including the two granddogs.  It is always a pleasure to see them!

Huck, the more shy of the two

Zeke, who thinks he's still a puppy
They are a mix of Blue Heeler and Golden Retriever; Zeke is the more "Golden', with lots of hair and feathery legs and tail.  Huck is more sleek and has the silkiest ears ever.

Again, we did the usual; shop downtown at the BEST card shop I've ever been to, got a copy of this year's Sweet Pea Festival poster, went to Ted's for bison meatloaf sandwich (Mr. C), and out to dinner at the Emerson Grill.  We went to the Museum of the Rockies to see a great exhibit on crocodiles, alligators, other prehistoric survivors.  Big Mike was still watching over the museum!

We've done this for so long we could do it blindfolded.

One more flower baskets, this one outside the vet's office where Huck had to see his doc after having some dental surgery.  But he's all better and back on crunchy food after eating pap for a couple of weeks!

The big announcement is that I now have a great granddog!  I figure since Emily is my and she now has a dog, Toni is my great granddog!  They live in NYC and, if all goes well, Cait and I will be going for a visit mid-October.  Toni is 2 yrs. old, has one brown eye, one blue (maybe some Aussie sheep dog?) and is, by all accounts, a lovely creature.  So welcome to the family!

Then it was time to go.  Next stop was Burley, Idaho, just short of Twin Falls for the night.  Next, Winemucca so we could have dinner at our favorite Basque restaurant, the Hotel Martin.  Lamb shanks!  Enough so that we have plenty for dinner when we get home.

We had a quick visit (way too quick!) from Andrew and Arielle who were on their way back to SF from a weekend on a houseboat on Lake Shasta.  I think they'll be back again in September on their way to or from somewhere!

I am writing this on my new iMac!  Very fancy but I can't make out how to use the photo program.  Gotta do some research because it has taken me much too long to get this together!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August, Yolo County

It has been far too long since I posted here.  To be fair, I willfully ignored you, my faithful readers, for weeks (if not months).  I have been carrying on a mad love affair with Instagram instead.  But a couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to get back to blogging.  BUT when I tried to do this, the blog had disappeared.  I could not access it any place.  I put out a plea for help to other bloggers who made several suggestions, none of which achieved the desired results.  So I waited until this past weekend's visit of g'son Andrew, who was weaned on computer stuff.  I explained to him what wa going wrong.  NO LIE!  It took him 3 minutes to figure it out.  A dozen or so clicks, some classy utterances and I was back in business.

So please check this space for more deathless prose, tasteful suggestions, great photos.  I'll get back into the rhythm of the blog life.

As a start, just finished reading Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (while on vacation to Walla Wall and Bozeman).  HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Now reading Olivia Manning's The Balkan Trilogy, another superb read.  Some of you may remember this as a BBC Masterpiece Theatre presentation many  years ago, with Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh as Harriet and Guy Pringle in Fortunes of War. The book enlightens the TV series but doesn't overwhelm it.  See/read if you can.

So that's it for tonight.

Monday, February 20, 2017

need crocs?

I saw these cute crocs at the morning tinges.  I have renamed them "crocettes" for itty, bitty feet.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday visitor

Although the rain did not materialize last night the sky is still grey and overcast.  We may get a bit of precip this afternoon.  Meanwhile, we have been watching the kiskadees as they work the aloe blossoms on the plants on the front balcony.  This beautiful yellow-breasted creature took lunch with us.

I know it's hard to see his brilliant yellow breast but it's there! They are so shy and wary that the slightest click of the camera sends them off!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

good night from here

We are expecting a rain storm to start tonight and go through tomorrow and perhaps even to Monday. To announce itself, we got this fantastic sky.

It's worth a little wet.