Monday, 15 December 2014

Scattered Shots from Santa Monica

Cross between a whirligig and a weather vane - cool art in the park.

Water feature in front of City Hall.

Hmmm, I bet this car gets a lot of attention.

Love this sculpture.

Lounging near the back exit facing the beach….for a split second I thought this gal was real.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Christmas Tree Stand 2014

Last year and the year before that and well just about every year it has been a major ordeal setting up the Christmas tree.

The picking out is fun and easy - we go to Evergreen Nursery - walk up and down the rows, bypassing the Spruce and heading straight for the Nobles.

We narrow down our selection, spin one or two to determine symmetry and then choose.

Tree is bagged, I mean netted, and paid for and then the hard work begins.

We have an old, red and green, slightly rusty, a bit wonky, tree stand. My husband and I have used it for as long as I can remember putting up a tree.

Until this year.

Very dear friends from back east took pity on us once I posted these photos and sent us this for Christmas 2013.

Which we put to use this past weekend.

So easy-to-use that we kept waiting for the tree to fall.

Or at least lean.

Or spring water leaks.


Didn't happen.

4 days and counting…

I think we have a winner!

Thanks Dan and Linda, you're the best.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Camping at Idyllwild State Park

Instead of basting a turkey and then sitting around a table eating ourselves silly, we opted for a low-key Thanksgiving this year.

A healthier alternative that included hiking and shivering.

Packed the tent, sleeping bags, chairs, cooler and cold-weather clothes and headed to the campground in Idyllwild.

Fall colors were incredible.

We were one of about six families in the entire place when we arrived and set up.

Used the family canvas tent my parents passed down to us. Years of memories and overwhelming musty smell (took care of that with a vinegar bath in the driveway before we left town).

Spotted a home-made bow hanging at our site.

All ready for four days of fun in the wilderness.

Summit Loop --- steep uphill and meandering downhill.

Unusual rock indentations.

Stopping to catch our breath.

Reached 80 degrees by midday.

Trees and trees and then some more trees.

With mountain tops peeking through.

View from our campsite.

Thanksgiving Meal: baked potatoes wrapped in foil and turkey balls (mixture of ground turkey, panko, egg, peppers and onions).

Giving thanks late into the night as we burned log after log in the campfire...

Because the minute we stepped away from the fire it was FREEZING COLD.

Layers of clothes, wool mittens and wool hat and wool socks, stuffed into my mummy sleeping bag and still managed to shiver through the night.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Idyllwild, California

It is a mountain resort located in the San Jacinto Mountains in Riverside County.

The mayor is a dog. You heard me, A DOG. And so are the deputy mayors.

There are dogs everywhere in Idyllwild.

And everyone knows everyone (I am referring to the locals). This is a typical conversation:

     Woman and Boy ahead of us in movie line: Hi!

     Movie Theatre Lady: Well hello, how is your Dad doing? Back on his feet yet?                        

And this goes on for a several minutes.

In addition to the overall friendliness/helpfulness, the scenery is spectacular and the village is charming.

Fire is a serious danger and Smokey the Bear offers a warning.

Street sign in a residential area.

Store front.

Politicos of Idyllwild.

Mayor Max of Idyllwild. Very friendly.

Monument in center of town.

Colorful deer.

Another deer sighting.

Clerk has a whole box of seasonal hats at home that customers gave her!

Library has good deals on paperbacks. And they can break a $20.

Local signage.

Is that a panda on the roof?

Christmas tree.

Try the bacon cheese strata at the corner bakery.

Movie theatre where they pass out cushions and blankets as you walk in.

Monday, 3 November 2014

German Pancakes

A childhood treat, special occasion breakfast.

Recipe calls for:

1 cup of flour
6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups of whole milk

Blend well, no lumps, batter will be thin. Preheat skillet or crepe pan. Brush a thin coat of vegetable oil across hot pan. Then pour batter - keep swirling until the bottom of pan is covered - not too much, just enough to cover. Cook until slightly golden and then flip.

And there is, dare I say, a skill to serving and eating them.

Pour a little melted butter down the middle of the cooked pancake and spread it around with your fork. Then sift powdered sugar ('make it snow') on top. Squeeze some lemon all around.

Use your fork to roll. 

Perhaps a spoonful of lingonberries to top it off.


How many can you eat?