Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Today, I head home after almost a month of being on the road this time. I’ve seen some incredible things, and I can’t complain, but I always know I’ve been on the road too long when I find myself wishing I could just pop into the kitchen to fix comfort foods without eating on the road:
Tuna Melts with cheese oozing out of crusty bread for lunch...
Big, tossed, fresh salads with the ingredients I want, and homemade dressings...
French toast with orange zest, cinnamon, berries, warmed syrup, and whipped cream for breakfast...
Bowls of steaming soups brimming over with veggies…
Simple things that I can grab whenever I want to, without having to orchestrate driving out somewhere or ordering in. Aaaaahhhh… I'm starting to really miss reaching into a cupboard and finding my own selection of teas and honey right there on the shelf with a teacup of my own choice. All those things I otherwise take for granted…
Four trips down; one to go!
And next week is Thanksgiving, so I can relax...
Have a great weekend, everyone! Yay! I’m heading home. I'm also heading to Georgia to be with family, so in the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! See you in a while...
“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.” (-Calvin Trillin)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The stripped and shapely
The ghosts of her
The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.
And yet the world,
In its distress,
Displays a certain
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
“Ocean: a body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man—who has no gills.” (-Ambrose Bierce)
I’ve spent a good bit of time this week meandering through roads that hug the rugged
It’s just awe-inspiring to see the majesty of the rocky cliffs and colors pervasive all along the state.
There’s such drama here, with jagged rocks right up to the water’s edge, and waves crashing into them, sending spray up into the air.
Even the sounds along the water’s edge evoke an energy and power.
Nature’s force is amazingly beautiful; at once calm and frenetic.
There’s something very soothing about the constant ebb and flow of water.
“Sponges grow in the ocean. That just kills me. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn’t happen.” (-Stephen Wright)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Walking through the town is a magical journey.
You can’t help but be in a good mood seeing the little lopsided buildings that just ooze quaint charm.
It’s truly an artist’s colony surrounded by nature’s beauty.
“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.” (-Unknown)
“The poetry of the earth is never dead.” (-John Keats)
Monday, November 17, 2008
Here I was in
Why was I stressing? I’d traveled this route before, and so I knew what would be awaiting me:
...steep, twisting, narrow roads and treacherous precipices, my car meandering around the mountainous terrain of the
I was also worried about running into fires in the southern part of
But I was determined to set out on an adventure and so off I went, early Sunday morning, in pursuit of San Simeon and the
I’d always wanted to see the
The views are just incredible, and the castle and guest houses were more magnificent than I’d imagined them to be.
The waves crashing against the coastline were amazing, too, and I was reminded once more of why I push myself to explore when I am in an area where I can see new things on weekends as I travel. As it turns out, I did see some of the smoke from the Montecito fires, and even closer to Malibu, I still smell the smoke, but thankfully I was safe on my journey.
“You lose sight of things…and when you travel, everything balances out.” (-Daranna Gidel)
Friday, November 14, 2008
“I went to a restaurant that serves ‘breakfast at any time.’ So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.” (-Steven Wright)
Often, when I’m on the road for work, I’ll find interesting little restaurants in out-of-the-way places. I’m used to settling down at a table with some flowers, accompanied by salt and pepper shakers at the table. But as I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I’m just so tired that all I want is room service and a quiet meal alone.
Some hotels actually have services where it's not the hotel itself but local restaurants who will deliver meals to your room: now, those meals can be absolutely atrocious, but last night, I had one that was delicious: a really tasty, fresh, house salad with a homemade dressing, homemade cheese ravioli and a sliver of exceptionally good New York-style cheesecake. (Not exactly diet food, mind you, but pretty decent comfort food!) This service even followed up with a phone call to inquire about how my meal was. I was impressed. Who knew.
Maybe it was just that I was starving at the end of a long day, but last night it was just splendid. Meals on the road aren’t the same as home-cooked meals, and so last night wasn’t half bad.
“Never eat at a place called ‘Mom’s, ‘ but if the only other place in town has a sign that says ‘Eats,’ go back to ‘Mom’s.’” (-W C Fields)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Too early, you say?
Not so if you were my parents, who felt it was their duty to pose us, ad infinitum, on the infamous day of taking a million photos for our annual Christmas card and picture. We did this until well after Eddie was born...(aren't those socks and "fat dresses" sexy)
I still remember many of these moments captured forever. The hairdo's alone crack me up.
We DREADED having these pictures taken, and sometimes, in the “trial” shots, you can see us holding different objects or even cookies that my parents gave us to assuage us while we suffered for our art.
When my parents had their 40th wedding anniversary, my siblings and I tried to think of some fun things we could do to help them celebrate, along with a nice brunch at the local art museum...
My sister Mary Kate and I “stole” my parents’ phone book, and between us, we split up people my parents had known over the years, and wrote to them, asking them if they would help us celebrate from a distance, and saying that we wanted to surprise our parents with notes from people if possible.
We asked if they would be willing to write a nice memory or note of congratulations. Then we put together a big book of memories... One person had actually saved all of those Christmas cards over the years and sent those. I was amazed that someone had actually held onto those, …and yet, I do the same if someone sends me pictures of their family.
It’s funny, even though the photos are goofy, I really do smile every time I look at these.
“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.” (-WT Ellis)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
You love the roses—so do I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet: and it would be
Like sleeping and yet waking, all at once.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” (-Unknown)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: one is roots. The other is wings.” (-Hodding Carter, Jr)
A few weeks ago, when I was home for a few days, Joe and I were busy cleaning up the yard for fall: I planted tulip bulbs and pansies for color through the winter months, and Joe pruned some of the bushes and trees.
We were both delighted to see, for the first time, a tiny bird that landed close to us on our Rose of Sharon tree in the front yard. Neither of us had ever seen a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet before, with its little red crown that looked like a punk rocker, and this tiny bird sang a nervous, high-pitched song as it darted throughout our yard.
The females lack the red crown, but we were fortunate to catch both of them flitting from tree to tree. We were fascinated to see these sweet birds, barely bigger than a hummingbird, and I’ve been determined to sketch them ever since. We immediately went inside to look through our bird books to find it. Sure enough, we recognized the little guy, and agreed that he is aptly named.
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.”
I hope everyone remembers it’s Veteran’s Day, today…my thanks to all those Vets and guys and gals serving out there!
Monday, November 10, 2008
“Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?” (-Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road)
Finally, a computer connection again!
What a glorious day, filled with majestic mountains and vast, pure waters.
I’d always wanted to see Tahoe, and once again I was reminded of how fortunate I am to have a job that allows me to see so much of the
It was encouraging, also, to see people hastening out of cars, as eager as I was to savour the beautiful vistas along the way.
The past week left snow on some of the mountains of the
Some of the houses along the lake have stunning views from their back yards.
Saturday, there were numerous controlled burns along the road, which I suppose was fitting since I was coming back from a Society of American Foresters conference.
I saw a lone bird perched atop a tree, surveying the beautiful views as well.
“Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees and then names the streets after them.” (-Bill Vaughan)