Friday, September 23, 2011


...In a Jar.

It's true, sometime this winter when it's been raining for a week I'll open one of these jars and taste summer.

Plum jelly!
I've never made Plum jelly before, or any kind of jelly for that matter.  It's fun!  And tastes really, really good.  Now I'm off to the store to buy more sugar and pectin.  I've got a whole big bowl full of juice still and the tree is still loaded with plums.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Evolve please!

Learn something new.
Go someplace you've never been.
Introduce yourself to a stranger.
Flex with changes, see them as fun challenges.
Try a different point of view.
Think outside your box.
Better yet, get rid of your box.

I watch with amusement as the Facebook community freaks out because the format has changed. This rocks!
One of my good friends who happens to struggle with ADD says these changes don't bother her because she didn't pay that much attention to how it looked in the first place.  I love this idea and to some extent I believe that's true of me also.  However, I view these changes as an interesting puzzle.  Since the first time I used a computer I found it a fascinating treasure trove of information and knew right from the start that the info I wanted was there, I just had to find out how to get it.

Imagine my joy at finding I no longer had to re-type engineering specs because one sentence was wrong and then I discovered how to build spreadsheets (in the days of Lotus 1-2-3) and found you could actually build in formulas that did things for you!  This incredible world opened up at that point and has never stopped delighting and amazing me.  I will freely admit that I'm not a computer programmer but I am a superb user, knowing that it's possible if I can just figure out how.

And that pretty much sums up my life, if I can dream it I know it's possible, then I just have to figure out how to get there.

So when you start complaining to me that you hate this change or life seems so fast and confusing from the one you knew last week or last year or twenty years ago and you see me looking at you with mild confusion you'll know I'm thinking, "Wait.  I don't get it.  What's fun about something we've already done?"


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September Swim

If I wasn't already crazy about this state then today tipped me over completely.  We headed out of town to a nice swimming hole on the Yuba River and spent a couple of hours splashing around in the water.  It just couldn't have been a better day, sunny and warm, and the water felt incredibly good on my skin. The river is so clear you can see every rock. A big frog leaped off the bank and practically landed on me which made me shriek and then laugh with delight when I saw what it was.

If you managed to cross a river otter with a Corgi this is what you'd get.
The funny thing is that Bode loves water but is barely able to stay afloat when he swims.  I think he's too thin and has too much fur.  Dandy tolerates water but is a pretty good swimmer.  Of course.  Both of them tried their best to hop from rock to rock to stay close to us.

I can't wait to go back.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Requirements vs. Choices

I frequently read the online food news site "Inside Scoop SF"  It's got so much information on what is new in the Bay Area food industry.  If I can't live there I can at least read and dream about the fabulous food and wine industry there.

Today there is a great article on the dilemma chefs face between producing food that showcases his or her talents and the dietary requirements and/or dietary choices of his customers.  Inside Scoop SF - Dietary Demands

I know people who suffer from life threatening allergies.  My Dad is so allergic to a certain seed that for many years he carried an Epi-pen, once he almost died after consuming bread made with the oil from that seed.  In his later years he's narrowed his restaurant choices to those he trusts and we've learned to zealously read labels on everything in our kitchen when cooking for him.

I also know those who are required to follow a gluten free diet.  They can live through a session of eating food containing gluten but they suffer the consequences in the short run and risk damaging their body in the long run.

I follow a diet of choice.  I don't eat beef or pork and will generally choose a vegetarian option for a meal unless someone waves a plate of Salmon under my nose.  But my diet is choice, not a requirement.

And then there are my food prejudices, things like beets and sauerkraut, nasty stuff meant to be fed to cattle and hogs.

So, how much should a chef have to flex his vision to satisfy those choices?

I admit it's both stressful and joyful to cook for my Dad.  On one hand I must choose my menu carefully, because many of the dishes I love contain the oil that could kill him.  However, everything else he will happily eat, nothing picky about that man at all, bless him.

It's aggravating and annoying to cook for those with too many food prejudices and for those who have chosen overly restrictive diets.  It takes all the fun out of it and in the end I feel like saying, "F#$k it, let's go get a pizza."

For me it's fairly easy to find food I prefer to eat and I've learned that sometimes it's worth throwing my food choices and prejudices to the wind.  It's called the  "Suck it up and enjoy it!" diet. If someone wants to cook for me I'll eat it and probably enjoy it.  If a great Chef decides that his tasting menu includes beef, pork, beets and sauerkraut I will damn well eat it and probably love it.  And if I don't I certainly won't say anything, just pour some more wine and think of England.

So if you've got a restriction let me know.  If you've got a diet of choice tell me and I'll see what I can accommodate.  If you've got food prejudices either leave them at home or bring your own, because I don't really give a damn, thank you very much.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday night

Not a bad week, ending with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc and some killer lemon bars, the kind that ooze with a thick lemon custard.

No house for me yet, damn and blast!  I'm still trying to get a look at a very interesting log house higher up in the snow zone.  I found a darling miner's cottage that already had three offers pending.  And the final terrific house, completely renovated but on a noisy, busy road with limited dog running space and no garage.  Mostly frustrating, making me wonder just what is the plan for me?  Maybe I'm supposed to learn some patience?  Maybe I'm destined to move someplace else?  The beach would be nice, but sort of gloomy for me.  Where?  What?  Why?

Oh well, patience grasshopper.

Fabulous weather, 80 degrees, soft breezes, bright sunshine, nights getting a little chilly, just enough for a blanket and socks.

I'm getting sort of buzzed thinking about spending the weekend at Infineon the end of this month.  My friends will be racing their Corvette's in the CSRG (Classic Sport Racing Group).  I'll also get to hit my favorite wine shop in Berkeley and stock up with something fun.

Professionally things are very good, this week I've sent beautiful jewelry off to South Carolina and Minnesota!

I send you love and good thoughts.
I send you courage and joy.
I hope we are together soon.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Morning

This is going to be a great week!

There are house possibilities to look at and decide upon.
I need some of my own dirt to dig around in.
And my own walls to paint.
And a place to wash my FJ, poor dirty thing.
A garage to shelter from the weather.
And a wall of bookshelves.
A chest freezer.

Always fun to dream.

Sometimes what I write may seem very sad but these words are just things that drift through my head, they don't stay long, I don't let them.  Then I zip along, torch some metal, laugh with friends, plan adventures, play soccer with the boys, splash in the water, drink some wine, find a new recipe (Panzanella today), enjoy my excellent life and look forward to tomorrow.

Happiness doesn't come from outside but from inside, from knowing who you are and loving that person.

I love this photo.  It so well reminds me that the darkest night comes with the possibility of glorious sunrise.

Friday, September 09, 2011


at sea
that's me.

Hot night
crickets sing
deep clouds
icy wine.

and not
dogs sleep

five more

No peace

Sunday, September 04, 2011

I will...

I take you to be my partner, forsaking all others (except my 78 Trans Am).
In sickness and in health, through blown trannies and bald tires.
I will lust for no chassis but yours.
And when the race is done and the pit is dark I will hold your hand and together we will drive off into the night.
Forever and ever, so help me Ford, uh, Lord.

Believe me, it really happened. You just never know what's going to happen at the track.  The racing was pretty damn fun too!


Friday, September 02, 2011

Busy Work

Keeping myself busy is the goal these days, not terribly hard as I have plenty to do.   However, a large margarita and some good music combined with a mindless project is exactly what I need.  I'm still in a rough frame of mind.  I know it will go away eventually, just not quickly enough. Can you tell I'm the impatient sort?

So, wiring strands of pearls seems to be the ticket.  I have four done and working on number five.

Things are picking up for me professionally anyway, custom orders are starting.  Once you experience getting a jewelry piece that's exactly the way you want it why would you go back to mass production pieces?  Plus, it's really fun to meet new people.

So this weekend will be some work, some play, a meeting and whatever else comes up.  Luckily the dogs won't let me curl up and shut out the world, however much I want to.

Peace to you.