Friday, November 30, 2012

a rainy day read

The Secret Keeper ~ a little English mystery about a family, a nice big
farmhouse and a secret. It's Lindakindle® material because one doesn't
have to spend too much time looking for complicated plots or sub plots.
Three sisters, a brother and a dying mother who needs to answer a
few questions before she goes to the lush manor house in the sky. DEAR!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Plottie's belated lunch

elegant, no?

elegant? yes!

a man and his pasta

Manny Torres Giminez, the chef/proprietor of Mr. Pollo, is now doing  a pop-up
down the street at Roxy's Cafe on Mission between 24th and 25th. It's a bit more
comfortable than Mr. Pollo and the 4-course meal for $20 was impressive.
The Great Plotnik's was in October, but he and the Great Ducknik
were traveling in Spain, so we celebrated yesterday. Chef Manny spent some
time with us, discussing the beet soup, salad, pasta bolognaise and pumpkin
pasta that followed. Roxy's just opened, but if they get some coffee and
dessert, we'll be back. A very nice time without rain or rancor.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

he lives!

When Day of the Dead and the World Series collide ~ Tim Lyncecum inside a store
window. I had to stop and get this photo before his startled sugar head melts.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

stockton and o'farrell

can you spare a dime?

mostly they sleep

I named him Mischief

a late lunch

a little impulse shopping
Yesterday was my first two hour shift at Macy's and it was just fine. The SPCA
provides everything we need and there were six of us talking to animal lovers
and accepting donations. I was amazed by the number of people who drop
$20 bills in the plastic box. This was after my dog feeding shift, so it was
all animals yesterday.

I do want to tell you about Mischief (not his real name). A handler took him
for a long walk because puppies don't really do well in windows. The moment
he returned, he peed and pooped inside his window home. He was not
adopted during my shift, but he is adorable when he isn't making a statement.

And thanks to the woman who warned me that "certain cultures" eat dogs
and cats and we should be careful. Oh, my.......

Monday, November 26, 2012

the Range is the rage

sweet tender cod for me

pork shoulder for Husbando
Daughter Nancy sent us a generous gift certificate for Range, so beware this foodie
post. We had not been there before and she found it somehow online and it was
indeed a great choice and close to home. It was a huge hit with our friends Neti
and Frank too, and sometimes the four of us don't always agree on restaurants.
The Range is smack-dab in the heart of Valencia Street, between 19th and 20th,
but we found decent parking and had a terrific evening together. Range was
very, very busy and that seemed somewhat strange to us on a Sunday evening.
It's fun being a foodie in Frisco!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

back in the groove (cove)

When does baseball begin again? Dancing Jen gave us the very cool sign
above the TV and I'm so ready. Anyway, stay in the present, Msmas.

The drive home was l-o-n-g yesterday, mostly because of construction
down around Monterey to Salinas. Tedious. But no marital sniping and
we listened to the radio and relived the very pleasant four days away
from the home that we love. Unpacked and Husbando is planning a full
day of laundry today ~ I've never learned either the machines or how to
separate lights and darks, so I'm exempt. Drat.

But I do have to write because I am the featured reader at Tiapos next
Thursday night. Grab that Thesaurus and the elusive thinking cap...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

every death is different

Pam visits Michael

He would love this spot in SB  
After the Seahorse died I would go out of my way in SF and SB to avoid the
places we used to visit. Just too painful. But time does heal and I have had time
to reflect on everything that he gave me. First, my friends Ginger (and by
extension Hoan, Boise, Joey, Adriana), Pam and Kris in Southern California.
He taught me how to handle illness and death ~ basically you drop everything
and go to the one who needs you. Don't over think, don't yammer or make
excuses. Go. And lastly, slow down, for God's sake. Take a walk, stare at
the ocean, appreciate your friends and your life. Laugh and love. OK, lesson
learned the hard way. Two years later, Seahorse, less pain but still sorely missed.

Lunch and just a few tears at Cafe del Sol and then I dropped Pam off at the
train station and headed to Hoan's to finally meet her daughter who looks
exactly like her. Nice tea time with Ginger and Husbando and Hoan's family.
Her real name is Joan, by the way, but in college we called her Hoan and
why would we change that? 

Of course you remember that when Michael and I went to coffee years ago
in Summerland we ran into Ginger. I hadn't seen her in maybe 40 years ~ hence
the gratitude to him and the universe for that little/giant miracle of time and place.

Husbando and I enjoyed a fine dinner at Siam Elephant (Thai) in Carp
last night and we will be taking off into the sunshine (!) this morning. I'm
ready for my own little home and please hand me that ToDo List!

Friday, November 23, 2012

scenes from Santa Barbara

notthat on my mind

reunited ~ my Italian fellow travelers

Wednesday night Boise's noodle & pot roast dinner


Thursday wharf walk

front row seat at the East Beach Grill

right on the beach reminding us of the Mediterranean

Thanksgiving table


hostess Ginger on the end with Bliss the dog

happy together
This has been quite wonderful with lots of time for walking, reading and enjoying
the sunshine. Excellent Thanksgiving dinner last night with a few extra dollops
of laughter and joy. Ginger and her staff have provided us with GREAT food
and the feeling that we belong here. Italian memories were tossed about with
true abandon and some enhancement. That trip was five (5) years ago!

Today is RR's 9th birthday ~ very special wishes today and photos tomorrow.
We know she will have a glorious day and we send our love. Photos soon...

I'm meeting the Amtrak train this morning and Pam and I will visit Michael's
memorial site because tomorrow is the 2nd anniversary of his death.There
will be some shared "I remember when" stories and we both still feel the loss.
Damn you for leaving us, Seahorse.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

this was a GREAT idea

We are having such a fine time here ~ big pot roast and noodle dinner last
night after beach walking in the sun yesterday. So wonderful seeing Ginger,
Boise, Joey, David, Lennie and (of course) Husbando around the pre-holiday
table. Today is more walking and relaxing and tomorrow I'll include some
fun photos of our friends and the beach. And of course the dogs ~ life is
never dull with three dogs. Not quite as much sunshine this morning, but
still more summer than winter. Oh, I'm thankful to my readers!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

we heart the HIX

101 South

Pismo Beach from 101 South
The fabulous Holiday Inn Express here in Carpinteria features cinnamon
rolls and fresh bananas for breakfast. It isn't that expensive and so very
convenient to beaches and to Summerland where our friend Ginger lives.

So today will be a beach walk and some socializing and then Husbando and
I will scamper back to our little room to relax some more. It is gorgeous
here ~ warm and sunny and it's only 9am! The trip down was easy, no
traffic, no CHP, no trucks. Of course Santa Barbara is always clogged,
especially during commute hours, but we made it and then walked to some
average Chinese food, but we were ravenous after being squished inside
Ken the car for 6 or so hours.

The big news is that there is now a Subway in King City, so we could have
a salad before hitting the always-busy Starbux there. Life is good...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

four days from today or yesterday?

I received this via email twice yesterday, so I will post it today
and assure you that there are no guarantees. It is interesting
though, isn't it? 

This year, December has 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays and 5 Mondays.


This only happens once every 824 years. The Chinese call it 
the Money Bag. Send this to all your friends and enemies as 
well. According to the legend, you will receive money in 4 days. 
According to Feng Shui, if you do not send it you will stay poor
I in particular, will not let this opportunity pass by. So I send 
it to you with my best wishes. (Just in case it is true!)

Monday, November 19, 2012

walking solves...

Dandelion store ~ 55 Potrero

note sliver of traditional home next to this beautify

Carbonnara at Cafe Cozolino
...everything. Again, still. I was feeling "off" yesterday and decided to take
a good two hour plus walk up to the Dandelion store at 14th and Potrero.
They were celebrating their 44th anniversary! This gift store (two floors)
is in the most unlikely location and yet it was busy and I must say that
the books, gifts and art objects were some of the best I've ever seen. For
some reason I'd never been there even though I've driven and bused by
many, many times in the past. One of our customers at the Legion of
Honor was telling me about it, so it became the perfect destination. I
didn't buy anything, but I will at some point.

By the time I returned home I was myself (is that the good news?) and I
accomplished a few house chores and then Husbando and walked down to
Cozolino's for our favorite pasta.

Now I want to share this fine quote, courtesy of the Wordsmith:

The sense of wishing to be known only for what one really is is like 
putting on an old, easy, comfortable garment. You are no longer afraid 
of anybody or anything. You say to yourself, 'Here I am --- just so 
ugly, dull, poor, beautiful, rich, interesting, amusing, ridiculous -- 
take me or leave me.' And how absolutely beautiful it is to be doing 
only what lies within your own capabilities and is part of your own 
nature. It is like a great burden rolled off a man's back when he comes 
to want to appear nothing that he is not, to take out of life only what
is truly his own. -David Grayson, journalist and author (1870-1946)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

back to the animals

I flew through the Louvre exhibit yesterday, but I did spend some quality
time in Artful Animals, one small room across from our exhibit store. A
few dogs, cats and other domestic animals. The above is by an anonymous
Indian artist, but there are a few well known modern painters and really,
I recommend this if you are out at the Legion of Honor. Maybe it's the
subject matter, I so love creatures more than golden goblets encrusted
with assorted valuable (I guess) jewels.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

not my cup of snuff

There's a brand new exhibit out at the Legion of Honor and I will zip through
it when I work there today. It's official title is Royal Treasures from the
Louvre: Louis XIV to Marie Antoinette. The local critic calls it "eye candy"
and writes that it's for people who like higher window shopping ~ he was
obviously less than impressed.

There are quite a few people who question the role of museums and although
these decorative objects have never left France before, some wonder if this
exhibit is worth the time, money and valuable museum space. I'll sneak in
my camera on my visit this morning and check it out. In the meantime, it's
raining here and our garden is happy, blah blah.

Friday, November 16, 2012

a DEAR day

I don't like a lot of hoopla on my, but I do love to spoil myself and
of course I had a bunch of wonderful cards and messages and a great
lunch (Ginger's treat) at American Chow on Church Street. I received
some very special presents and indeed I am grateful. It was a truly
fine birthday, thank you all!

RR is almost 9 (eeeeeeek) and her current teacher uses the DEAR command:
So that's what I did yesterday in between doing nothing and appreciating
my life. Turn of Mind is a novel about a doctor who has severe dementia
and is accused of murdering her best friend. I know, good reading, no?
In truth it is fascinating because the doctor, her caregiver, best friend and two
children write in her daily journal so we watch the story develop this way.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

yet another museum?

The Jewish Contemporary Museum

Last Sunday Husbando and I spent an hour or so at this exhibit of black and white photos from the NYC group of artists, many of whom ended up on McCarthy's black list for being Communists. Their goal was to show a side of life that had not been highlighted before and there are some truly outstanding photographs. If you are a photography buff, you will appreciate this show.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

liver lovers unite

Especially topped with grilled onions and the thickest bacon known to
womankind. Yesterday Husbando and I had a Muni adventure. You might
remember that it has been an entire year already since I started working
part-time. No, it was not an easy adjustment for me, but then I could
never go back to full-time ever again, in fact two (not three) days of
work a week is becoming more and more enticing. 

But I digress. One of my goals was to drive less and take more Muni.
North Beach is especially difficult for parking and always has been.
Behold the #12 Folsom ~ it's a few blocks from our house and we
hopped off about a block from Columbus Avenue, the heart of North Beach.
A glorious lunch at Original Joe's,  I can't seem to order anything but
this liver while Husbando had short ribs and mashed potatoes. An
espresso and a walk around one of our favorite parts of the city and
back on the bus Gus for a smooth ride home.

May I recommend the free application Routesy for those of you taking SF
transportation? I have it on my iPhone and so far it's about 99% accurate.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

you know it's Monday when...

Midnight and Montclaire

Roommates often match in size and/or breed
After my shift yesterday, I reached my personal goal of 100 volunteer
hours at the SPCA. Three to four hours a week (since April) works for me.
Lots of people give so much more, but I like starting my week with an
assigned shift and definite duties. And there's enough variety (Isadora is
back on Venison ~ wet and dry?) to keep me from getting bored. Once in
a great while a dog dish will be returned with half the food still in it
and I do feel a bit hurt, truth be told. I even wash and dry the dog bowls
without a complaint. Later this month I will do a stint at Macy's windows
because that's a big money maker for the animals ~ I know that I used
to drop a lot of $$$$ in the jar, even when I didn't have much to share.

Monday, November 12, 2012

catch-up post

Last week Husbando and I had a reasonable and d-licious lunch on the
patio of T-licious (Taco-licious) on Valencia Street across from Paxton
Gate. I can't believe it was that warm only a week ago. Note the
glorious Paul Madonna wall mural of Mission High School and beyond.
It was election day and people were wearing their "I have voted" stickers
and we were both very nervous about the outcome. Honestly, after
post-season baseball and such an important election we all just need to
exhale for a week or so before the holidays. And yes, we are thankful
indeed. As one Facebook website says, "I like waking up every morning
knowing that Obama is President." True.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

hearth and...

It's always good to be back because if we lived in Philadelphia Ginger and
I would have to buy those ugly puffy quilted coats and jackets. They must
work, because every woman there wears one. But hey, let's not be shallow
here, it's a very beautiful city and we had a terrific time. G. has created a
list of people and things that are an exception to the City of Brotherly Love,
but honestly, the rude folk were few and the WTF? incidents will fade as
time goes by. And sheeeeeeeesh, so much art and all in one convenient
location over by the river that no one can pronounce. Ben Franklin
Parkway should be your GPS goal, but we also enjoyed the shopping area,
Old City and Starbucks. Our next trip is either NYC or Washington, DC,
depending on our friends at Virgin Airlines with the great, cheap fares
and very comfortable airplanes. Smooth trip home to recover from mini
jet lag and head into MY city today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Friday in Philly

kitty in store window

on the morning walk

Rittenhouse Square

Rodin's Gates of Hell

gargoyles at the State Penn

down by the river

blogger and friends at Comcast Center

Comcast Center ~ amazing changing mural walls


dinner at Farmicia on 3rd Street

Anna after dinner
It was SUCH a full day with lots of walking and more museums. This time
we did the Rodin, Perelman (for Winslow Homer) and back to the Barnes.
Walked past the famous prison and on to Boathouse Row on the river where
we had a less than edible lunch, but nice view and friendly people.

Dinner was a delight because Michael's cousin Anna from Dutchhill Farm
(to the right) joined us. She is a young woman of many talents and much
beauty, as you can see. The food at Farmicia was excellent, exquisite.
A wonderful evening after a delightful touristy day.