Monday, December 31, 2012

scone baking 101

The best scones I ever tasted were at a coffee shop in Ashland, Oregon.
Mission Pie Shoppe is second best, and next we have Bette's in Berkeley.
Scones are pretty easy to make and if you bake them on parchment
paper they don't burn. We ordered an assortment by mail, but next I'll take
BART over to Bette's Diner or 4th Street in Berkeley and check everything
out there. Do note the new oven with the handy WINDOW and LIGHT. Ah,
modern conveniences. Oh, the scones come in 3 flavors: raisin, lemon
and orange cranberry ~ all good and they freeze beautifully.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

scenes from our nabe

I love the iPhone for walking and photo snapping. Here's a mixed bag from a
couple of days worth of walks, for your viewing pleasure. Remember Ellen?
I have her living in this little cottage in the top photo, with her orange cat
Salmon, of course. But no need to ask, she is still having a latte and resting...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

ah, those French

Thanks to Roku® and the Flix® we were able to stream The Well-Digger's
Daughter last night. It's a sweet film about a father and his five daughters
and it takes place when World War I erupts. But, never fear, no guns or
violence other than a little class warfare, and we can handle that. Oh, yes,
that's a grandson that the fabulous Daniel Auteiul carries.

Friday, December 28, 2012

happy anniversary!

Note bright blue skies

Seafood pasta for Husbando

Luscious mussels for the blogger

Fisherman's Wharf ~ not just for tourists
We had a 43rd anniversary gift of sunshine yesterday, all day. So we hopped on
the #12 Folsom bus and on to Green Street for lunch at Sotto Mare. Every place
was packed ~ restaurants, coffee shops, gift stores, bakeries and sidewalks.
Teems of happy people with their faces toward the sun. I stopped at Cost Plus
to visit my ex-boss and then walked down by the Bay and even visited the
Maritime Museum which is free and worth seeing. Return via the #49 Van Ness
and all and all, a very wonderful day for this long-married couple.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

ruby thursday

We haven't updated the phenomenal growth and development lately of Ruby,
who will be a year old in January. I heard from her Christmas hostess that
she was quietly "reading" books and exhibiting her always excellent behavior
at the holiday table. I need to go walking with Ruby and her mama soon,
after these rains finally end.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

techno glitch outmaneuvred

Two American Girls ~ RR on the right

xmas table before
For months I was unable to pick-up photos of RR that the Blogmaid would email
me ~ Blogspot simply rejected them. But now, if a photo is texted to me and I
sync it (ahem) into the iPhoto here at MsBook, it works! So you can see that
RR is now a smart and beautiful 9 year old and I can look technologically smug.

We had a delightful holiday dinner and what dish didn't turn out right I could
quickly blame on the new stove. It rained on and off during the day and it is
doing the same right this moment, so we had that new roof put in/on right
when we should have. Errrrrrrr, maybe a tad late...

I forgot to get the after dinner table photo, but it wasn't very messy. We were
sound asleep at 10pm and that's how it should be. Work today, what?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

merry christmas to all

We are having a quiet day so far. Dinner will be at 4pm and there will be 7 of
us this year. Feeling grateful that we have so much when so many suffer. The
table is almost set and you'll get before-and-after pictures tomorrow, as usual.
And now for a walk before the rains pound down...

Monday, December 24, 2012

yes, on this we all agree



Make much of something small.
The pouring-out of tea,
a drying flower's shadow on the wall
from last week's sad bouquet.
A fact: it isn't summer any more.

Say that December sun
is pitiless, but crystalline
and strikes like a bell.
Say it plays colours like a glockenspiel.
It shows the dust as well,

the elemental sediment
your broom has missed,
and lights each grain of sugar spilled
upon the tabletop, beside
pistachio shells, peel of a clementine.

Slippers and morning papers on the floor,
and wafts of iron heat from rumbling radiators,
can this be all? No, look — here comes the cat,
with one ear inside out.
Make much of something small.
With thanks to Ginger who emailed me this glorious poem today. The hands? Rodin.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

city sidewalks

Simple. Poignant. Maybe a strong title for a Chick Lit novel?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

just be

Last Tuesday, as you might remember, I spent some quality time attacking my
office in an effort to start 2013 in a more organized manner. I dug through
three boxes of cards, notes and letters from the past 20 plus years and it
was really draining. So many memories, friends lost through neglect or
death, forgotten times and places ~ well I know you understand. I was heading
into a full-blown holiday depression and then I remembered "walking solves
everything" and took off for a long one. On my way to my latte goal at
Martha Bros. on 24th Street in Noe Valley, I came upon this sign in
Lovejoy's store on Guerrero Street, across from their tea shoppe (the one
that I really do not like) and it was just the message that I needed. After my
restorative walk I came home to a hot bath with even more bubbles than
necessary. Then I turned on the little tree lights, lit a few red candles and let go.

Friday, December 21, 2012

window staring and shopping

Tim and Tracy


3 kittens (fuzzy, sorry) in a corner
It was pleasant yesterday at Macy's, I've lucked out with the weather because
there isn't an awning, and I wonder how the volunteers handle the rain.
The two hour shift sped by and I talked to some really nice animal lovers
who donated generously and often.

Before that I went to MOMA and I didn't much care for the Jasper Johns
(except for a couple of pieces) or the Jay DeFeo exhibits, but maybe
that was just me. I will return for the South Africa photography show
after these holidays release their hold on our collective throats.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

city lights

scenes from Union Square
Thses photos are from Tuesday night ~ I love the ice skaters using their
iPhones, such confidence. Every year SF looks pretty much the same as
the year before, and that's just fine with us. This is also fabulous weather,
clear and cold. There are always so many people and I fondly remember
our Big Box days when I couldn't WAIT for the season to be over. Now
I savor all the sights and sounds of the holidays. I showed Husbando the
dogs and cats in Macy's window and some nice volunteer hit us up for
money. "I've given," I said. Back downtown today to SFMOMA and to
wear the red jacket for a couple of hours.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

holiday sparkle and fluff

We went downtown last night (via BART, parking is impossible) to walk around
and enjoy our colorful city before the play. Bell, Book, etc. is a silly 1950's
play, but it was good to chuckle and appreciate the terrific set as well as the
actors ~ Lauren English and our friend Louis Parnell (recently recovered
from cancer) as well as others in the cast. Great costumes, too!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

more green, more red

at the tree lot last Sunday

small is beautiful
OK, check Tree off the list. Every year the small ones at Floorcraft get smaller,
but I refuse to pay for the next size up. I was there when they opened and snagged
the biggest of the small for Chez Scrooge. There was a family with 3 little
kids and they also bought a tiny tree and honestly, those children were sooooooo
excited, you would have thought it was an 8 foot wonder. I wanted to take their
photo because the scene warmed my heart, but I didn't want to intrude.

Spent yesterday morning feeding dogs and petting cats. Came home to Husbando
chop-chopping away, making a splendid lamb stew for dinner. Oh, yum!

Monday, December 17, 2012

sunday with friends

The very Great Plotniks treated us to lunch yesterday at Pomelo's, a
restaurant we've passed a million times (on Church Street). It looks
bleak from the outside, but inside it was warm and bustling with
friendly chatter and it reminded us all of those warm little European
cafes that we all stumble in by accident, you know where the food is
outstanding and the ambiance beyond belief. We had Korean pancakes,
sausage, hash and Swedish pancakes. Lovely, lovely time ~ fortunate us.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

a DEAR day

I should be walking or fretting, but instead I will Drop Everything And Read.
Lone Wolf is on my trusty Lindakindle® and even though I've not read Jodi
Picoult before, I know she is a much loved fiction writer. This is a story of
a man who lives with wolves and I can see that Ms. Picoult did a whole
bunch of research and I like the story so far. Luke is the wolf man, and we
get to meet his ex-wife, daughter and son too. I need to escape with the wolves
and the people who love them...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

some clouds, some joy

Ginger and I walked early at Crissy

Jack and Jane at Doug's

Doug's new song to his new grand child

Husbando and Susie

Fuzzy Eric and Will
It was such a mixed bag yesterday, of course the killings in Connecticut were
always on our minds, but we were able to avoid talking about them during our
annual Tiapos holiday party. Only Valerie, Chef P and Sam were absent and
we missed them a bunch. Food? BBQ ribs, KFC chicken, green beans, salad,
rice, too much of everything. A choice of Mitchell's ice creams for dessert.
A wonderful evening, as always.

Friday, December 14, 2012

back to window watching

I took the 9am shift yesterday and it wasn't as lucrative as before. Less people,
for one thing and a broken Macy's window for another. I did enjoy watching these
glass experts quickly remove and replace the window. What you don't see here
are the Macy's employees who gathered to watch the process ~ took me back
to my old retail days as they stood around chatting about work and people. And
it got me downtown, which I needed to do. Nice day, cold and clear.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

words and more words

one of my books

practicing, getting frustrated
THIS IS MY VISION (today's Round Robin prompt)

I'm starting to pick-up my downstairs office, the one where the water leaked
twice before the great re-roofing adventure. Nothing was damaged, but
it became even more depressing because it's ugly and such a mess.
I really, really need to excavate this room and I will.  Soon.

Anyway, I dug out one shelf and found a box full of old calligraphy pens and
some dried up ink. Now, really, isn't it time to toss these? It's been more
than 25 years and even though I still love words and pretty letters, I just
know that I won't be doing calligraphy ever again. A little known fact, folks,
it's very, very difficult to learn when one is left-handed. I mean there are
some notable exceptions, of course, but this is mostly a right-handed art.

So back to topic, or in this case, prompt.  I find a neatly typed slip of paper
in the box with this quote that has been my guide throughout the years,
or maybe it's been more of a warning ~ to and for me:

If you leave it to them, they'll crochet the whole world the color of goose shit.

- Jacques Brel

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

re-roofing ~ done!

These aren't our roofers, nor is this our roof. Ours is flat and easy and still
expensive. But it's done ~ no more towels and buckets around the house and
that kind of denial talk like, "hmmmm, maybe I spilled some water here?"
Six guys arrived with trucks and tools at 7am yesterday and by 5 o'clock
they were finished. It was noisy as they stomped and scraped, so we both
spent most of the day outside la casa. Today it's raining, so for once our
timing was pretty damn good.

An interesting side note ~ when we called for estimates, the roof guys could
check ours on Google. Weird, no?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

finding forever homes...

Augie with the floppy ear
The SPCA is great with the informative and thank you emails. We tend to forget
how much good we do because everyone is so busy with tasks. Here is a recent
email listing the dog adoptions. Not bad, not bad at all.

Between October 18th and December 4th, 222 dogs (and 518 cats) found their 
home for the holidays.
õ  Addie, Adidas, Ahou, Alice, Angel, Apple, Aria, Arthur, Aster,
õ  Athena, Bandit, Barney, Baxter, Beau, Becca, Bell, Bianca, Bibi, Billie,
õ  Biscuit, Biscuit, Bismark, Bits, Bonnie, Boone, Bork, Bourbon, Brewster,
õ  Briget, Bryce, Buddy, Buffy, Bull, Butterscotch, Caddy, Capo,
õ  Cassanova, Chanel, Checkers, Chester, Chica, Chief, Chocolate, Chuck,
õ  Cider, Cinnamon, Clarissa, Clark, Clyde, Coco, Conner, Connie, Converse,
õ  Crawford, Crystal, Cupid, Curie, Cutter, Daisy, Dana, Dandy,
õ  Darling, Demi, Denzel, Devon, Diego, Dill, Dixon, Eden, Edie, Emma, Ernie,
õ  Esther, Etta, Eva, Ewok, Felix, Fernando, Fiddles, Floyd, Franco, Frank,
õ  Freddie, Gertrude, Gilbert, Goose, Gunther, Happy, Harper, Hattie,
õ  Hayden, Hazel, Heidi, Henrietta, Hildie, Hula, Indigo, Inge, Jack, Jake,
õ  Jane, Jerry, Jessie, Jill, Jody, Joe, Juanita, Junior, Kara, Kelvin, Kip,
õ  Kooky, Laddy, Laramie, Lauren, Leah, Leslie, Levee, Limo, Little Mister,
õ  Lois, Lucia, Lucky, Lucy, Lulu, Maddie, Madison, Madonna, Marco, Marky, Marmalade,
õ  Maurice, Missy, MJ, Nancy, Nectar, Nellie, Newton, Nike, Nunu, Ozzy, Paco, Pascal,
õ  Peaches, Penny, Pepper, Phyliss, Pico, Pimms, Pip, Piper, Porter, Precious,
õ  Princess, Puma, Quill, Raffy, Reebok, Reno, Rico, Ringo, Rocksie, Roger,
õ  Ronnie, Rory, Ruby, Rudy, Rupert, Sal, Sally, Sandy, Sassy, Saucony, Sayge,
õ  Scotch, Scruffy, Shaggy, Shelly, Sid, Skye, Snoo, Sofie, Sophia, Sophie, Squeak,
õ  Stein, Studley, Sundance, Sunny, Suzette, Sylvie, Tad, Tam, Tesla, Tess, Theo,
õ  Thomas, Thumbellina, Tigress, Tilly, Toby, Tommy, Toots, Torrey, Trina,
õ  Tula, Tyrone, Velma, Vera, Violet, Volta, Wade, Wally, Wayne, Weston, Whiskey,
õ  Whitney, Willa, Wilson, Winnie, Wrangler, Zip

Monday, December 10, 2012

ready to be inspired?

We finally saw this yesterday and it's worth the almost 3 hours. Of course you
know the acting is terrific, but what surprised me (and Husbando) was that
we both felt that we were right there during those horrible times when the
war was winding down (the very, very bloody war ~ beware) and Lincoln
was pushing/pushing to get the 13th Amendment passed. Dirty politics,
even then, but in this case, the end justified the means. Yes, see it!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

some red, some green...

We are starting the holiday (errrrrrrrrr) activities here in Chez Cranky with
the wreath that does smell v. wonderful. I just took a page from Linda's
book and walked as the sun was setting and I will treat you all soon to
some photos from the nabe now that people are hanging their lights and
decorating those trees. I almost felt a touch of ye olde xmas spirit, but
not enough to write about, that's for sure. But soon, I'm sure...