Thursday, May 31, 2007

Idyllic Spring

Spring is almost over . . . here in SoCal, spring is almost a non-event. Winter sort of drifts into spring, and then spring slides gently into summer. There ARE different seasons here (and no, they are not, as the old joke goes, "earthquake season, fire season, flood season, drought season"), but the demarcations between them are subtle. Often I can tell when a season has shifted simply by how the quality of light changes.

I grew up in Kentucky, lovely verdant Kentucky, where spring is an event. There is always just that one day when you know: spring is here, and it's not leaving. Spring there means so many things: soft breezes, tulip trees in bloom, and green, green, green everywhere (emerald, chartreuse, kelly, shamrock, jade). And it also means rolling fields full of frolicking foals.

This close encounter is so charming to me: the foal is curious but wary, as is the human; he's wooed by the creature's cuteness, but he knows that horses can be easily spooked. Yet they've come to a agreement, just for a moment . . .

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Life Is Just a . . .

. . . bowl full of these.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Gardening Field Trip

The backyard is in disarray. Half of it was, until recently, nothing but bare earth and some volunteer lemon balm (a veritable army of lemon balminess). And the bay laurel, which is now a tree--how did that happen? Future posts will feature before-and-after shots ...
Anyway, several weekends ago B. and I made a quick trip up to Buena Creek Gardens, a really spectacular nursery north of us. Despite copious lists and consultations with the Sunset Western Garden Book, some rather willy-nilly shopping ensued: "Ooh, ooh, look at that! Such pretty flowers; let's get several." Mistakes were made, by the way; plants were purchased that grow to 10 feet tall, too Jack-and-the Beanstalk-esque for our petite plot. The goal, as always, is drought-tolerant plants that attract bees and butterflies. At left above is our cheery blue cart loaded with plants.
Buena Creek has an amazing assortment of plants, and they display such cleverness in using odds and ends as planters and garden ornaments. Got to LOVE a red rooster.

Lovely succulent goodness.

Rusty file drawers sitting around?
Plant 'em!

Then we capped off the day with cheesy, glorpy nachos and a frosty beer at a restaurant called--wait for it--La Pinata. A good time was had by all!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Some Things I've Made Recently

I like to make things. I like to knit, embroider, sew, bake (that's a strawberry pie over there); I wouldn't say I'm an expert at any of these, but that's OK. I also like to try other arts/crafts occasionally, as evidenced below.

This is a ceramic tile made at my friend Ellen's studio. Someone noted that it looks as if an eight-year-old made it--fair enough, perhaps, but I prefer the term "naif."

This is a piece I made in a collage class. The subject is bees, a topic with which I am absolutely obsessed. The interior is beeswax, and the outside of the box is also coated with melted beeswax, which smells heavenly. As I was working on this project, one day I found a dead bee on the floor of my bathroom. I think she was telling me she wanted to be a part of my bee box, so she is pinned to the center (there is a magnifier, which is hidden, so that you can look at the bee more closely).

The lid of the box.

 should be fed and nourished (and it's nice when the result feeds and nourishes us!).

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tallulah-Palooza Friday

This photo is captioned "Tallulah-Zilla." Tallulah-Zilla will stare you down for the chance to lick out your takeout latte cup; with her extra-long tongue, it's no problem! The resultant milk beard is too cute for words. Doggy goodness!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just Wondering

Why doesn't product packaging
still look like this?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It Must Be Said...

. . . that Al Gore ROCKS! (You can stop reading now, relatives-who-shall-remain-nameless-but-you-know-who-you-are.) I had the chance to see him give his "Inconvenient Truth" presentation in person on Monday, and I was riveted for the entire two hours. I'm probably one of the few people who haven't seen the film (me and the relatives who shall remain nameless), but I'm so glad I had the chance to see Mr. Gore live. Smart, charismatic, and passionate about this cause. No partisan politics here, just a plea for everyone to become educated about an issue of vital importance to future generations. Here are some related websites that I like:

The photo above? A gratuitous garden shot: this is lovely larkspur in my cutting garden. The larkspur is no more, however, having been pulled underground by marauding gophers. No, really--all of the plants have disappeared.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Egg Tart Epiphany

People have asked me what some of the most memorable things were about our trip to Hong Kong. On its most basic level, for me, simply traveling that far away was pretty remarkable (I do like my comfort zone!). Some other things that struck me:

1. The fact that spirituality is so prosaic,
so much a part of everyday life.

2. The sheer number of people
who manage to live,
travel, maneuver in very tight spaces.

3. It's cliched, but: the juxaposition of old/new,
rich/poor, modern/ancient.

4. The egg tart. We had one every single day we were there. They are so succulent, so mouth-wateringly delicious that one can't help but just cram them into one's mouth. One day I just stood on a busy sidewalk and stuffed one in, trying not to lose even a single crumb; people flowed around me as I were an island in a river. Ah, egg tart, I dream of you . . .

Monday, May 21, 2007

Things that Make Me Happy

Warm milky latte with my sweet B. (and Miss Tallulah Mae)

A Cooper’s hawk in all its lovely cinnamon-colored glory

The spicy-sweet vanilla/nutmeg smell of jasmine,
which is blooming all over the neighborhood

This beauty (not mine, unfortunately)

These lovelies, which are mine, courtesy of Trader Joe’s;
it doesn’t get cold enough here to grow peonies,
alas, so one must snap them up at the store
when one can

Licking the frosting bowl after making
these cupcakes

Getting emails from friends who’ve come to visit this blog.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tallulah-Palooza Friday

It's Friday, which means it's time for Tallulah-Palooza. There she is as a baby, looking quite clownish--little did we know how comical she really is. She has led a very well-documented life, even before the digital camera, so there are many weeks of dog pictures to come. Hey, if I can't show off my dog on my blog (blog dog? dog blog?), what good is it--am I right?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Vintage-y Goodness

First of all, a big shout-out to my personal Blogging Goddess, Miss Robin (check out her blog Various and Sunday over in the links sidebar), who is responsible for helping me make this blog look as if it belongs to a competent human rather than a super-caffeinated monkey...thanks, Robin!

Several weeks ago B. and I went to an estate sale that truly rocked. (I have to say that sometimes I just get a certain vibe off a newspaper ad for a sale; nothing specific, just a vibe.) This sale had something for everyone--and it certainly had something for ME! Some treasures scored:

Not just one fab plastic Halloween decoration (see above) . . .

. . . but a whole gaggle of them.

Vintage fabric . . .

And two (!) full boxes of vintage patterns. For free.

Included were at least a dozen different patterns for aprons--check out the his and hers barbecue aprons at bottom left complete with a transfer design of a puppy running away with sausages . . .

Miscellaneous: we got two of those faux basket tins at top, and the Japanese millinery fruit at right was also free for the taking. Ooh-la-la! Now--where to store all these lovelies?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chapter the First

Wherein I begin to blog.

My hope is that this blog will be a source of amusement and inspiration to those who read it--hello, out there! I'm also hoping that having a blog will spark my creativity and force me to take photos with my handy-dandy new digital camera AND that it will be a nagging muse telling me to write. No pressure, little newborn blog . . .

Why not start off with photos of our recent trip to Hong Kong. Readers may think, gosh, she travels to exciting far-off places . . . um, not so much, but I survived the 14-hour plane trip to arrive at the other side and find Hong Kong to be utterly fascinating (if I may be allowed to gush). I found it a bit overwhelming, actually--in a good way, but words fail me: hence, lots of pictures! If I can figure out how to use Flickr, there will be more photos there as well (baby steps, baby steps, people!).

View from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Streetscape, Hong Kong

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
Sha Tin, New Territories

One of the ten thousand Buddhas

Another Buddha

Flower Market, Mong Kok, Kowloon

Streetscape, Hong Kong

Workers disassembling bamboo scaffolding,
Stanley, Hong Kong

Bins of beads, Kowloon

Lantern shop, Hong Kong

Thus endeth the mini-travelogue...and my first post! This doesn't EVEN look the way I want it to--what am I not getting? Argh!!!!--but it's a start.