Things to do in downtown Santa Cruz on a Saturday evening:
Admire the gorgeous lamps at Om Gallery.
Have a tikka kebab and samosas and pomegranate juice for dinner at Khyber Pass, then some Princess Torte for dessert at Hoffman’s Bakery.
Visit with some very hep mannequins at one of the various vintage shops.**
Say hello to my friend Gordon the Cheesemonger author on display at Logo’s bookstore.
* If you are wondering why we skipped from part one to part three, it’s because I have not done the part two photos yet. Life just works out that way sometimes.
** that photo of me is from several weeks ago but I needed something to fill the space. and I wanted to show you that I finally made something out of one of those spectacular vintage glass rings I got at the Alameda Antiques Fair months and months and months ago.
The lovely Ms. P. posted some celery and potato soup yesterday and it looked so delicious I made my own. First time! So good!
Celery and potato soup
2 slices bacon
*** or ***
2 T butter or olive oil
1 c. onions, diced
1 heart of celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
4 c. broth
4 c. water
2 large potatoes, cubed
Herbs you enjoy in soup [I used thyme, parsley, and sage from my garden, a big handful of cilantro from the farmer's market]
In large pan, brown bacon or butter/oil.
Add onions, then celery, then bell pepper. Sauté to brown a little then turn down and cook about 20 minutes til tender. if it starts getting dry, add a little liquid. Puree in blender.
While you’re waiting on that, get out your big stock pot and bring broth, water and potatoes to a boil. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste. I threw in a handful of coriander seeds, too. Turn down to a simmer and cover.
Add the puree in, too, once that’s ready. Once the potatoes are all tendaroni, use your masher or hand mixer to break them down.
We had ours with sourdough toast.
The other day, I met Chad for lunch and when I got home I realized my keys were missing! I lose my keys about once a decade, and it seemed about time, so I wasn’t too too upset. I called Chad and asked if he’d be able to leave work early to come let me in the house, sat on the porch for a bit, then realized it was probably going to be awhile before Chad showed up, because 1. he was in the middle of work and 2. he is slow like that sometimes.
So I decided to garden. I got my flowers put in out back and weeded the herb garden. It felt pretty good and it’s nice that when I glance out the kitchen window I see marigolds instead of waist-high weeds.
At about exactly the time I was finished, Chad showed up and let me in the house, where I found my keys sitting on my desk.
So my tips for when you are locked out are:
1. Keep calm! There are worse things than being forced to stay outside on a nice spring day.
2. Be patient and find something to keep yourself occupied. You will get in eventually and you can get some stuff done in the meantime.
Photo taken at the Mid-City Lanes Rock’n Bowl in New Orleans. Original photo by Paula Burch.
I’m in this CD swap club and April was my month. My mix is awesome. Play it here.
Spanish and Provencal lavender, check.
[This is their third year. Last year they fruited for the first time and were so, so close to being ready for me to eat, then we went to Portland and the raccoons completely stripped them while we were gone. Very rude!]
[I planted this sorry little thing two years ago and it is still only about a foot high and just now starting to finally bloom. Go bottlebrush!]
There’s a house on the corner with a little white picket fence and the sweetest garden that I’ve been admiring since we moved here. I recently properly met the owner at a meet-up a mutual friend puts together — very random!
I sometimes peek through the knots in her fence — forgive me, her garden is so lovely and I am so curious! — and admired her magical little back yard — I’m envious of her green adirondacks that blend in like camouflage.
Her next-door neighbor has a spectacular tea tree, which is something I tried to grow a few years back but managed to kill within a few weeks. Maybe it’s time to try again.
It is freakin’ WINDY today. I continued census training today on the base, which is this big swath of concrete on the end of the island, which allows the wind to sweep right across at maximum velocity and I rode my bike there and home for lunch and back and home again for a total of 8 miles, pretty much all against some serious gusts [there were points when I could've strolled faster than I was pedaling, no joke]. It’s kind of a long walk, especially when I have to be there so early, and I like the option of riding home for lunch, but it is supposed to be windy again tomorrow, so I’m debating…
Chad and I went over to the beach at sunset — the other day I noticed that the sun is setting directly behind the San Francisco skyline if you are along Shoreline near Dead Man’s Curve [this is my own little joke -- there is this almost-90° curve which is relatively harmless because 1. the speed limit here is 25 mph and 2. even if you flipped, it would be onto the nice flat stretch of sand, and actually that happened a couple years ago, someone took the curve too fast -- they were probably going 30! -- and rolled over onto the sand. No injuries, minimal damage.] and I wanted a shot of that, and Chad had been asking for headshots. The kite surfers were flying across the waves and the sand was pelting us in the face and my right ear is still ringing but it was worth it.
That little sliver through the setting sun is the Transamerica Pyramid, and if you look hard, you can see parts of both the Oakland-Bay and Golden Gate Bridges.
The headshots came out great [this is my choice for the final -- straight outta the camera! How awesome is that? I am never this pleased with any of my photos] and I love-love-love this outtake. It makes me think of Steinbeck, through I’m not sure why.
[and that is what's going on in my creative space -- photos.]
Three more bits of sea glass. Are you sick of it yet? How was your weekend?
I am thinking about this weekend, it is GLORIOUS out. I have some work to finish up, meeting a couple folks at the small dog park this afternoon and testing out the vintage floral sundress that had the split boob seam that I sewed up — hopefully it will hold, the fabric defines threadbare. I figure the park isn’t too far from the house to expose myself for too long riding back if need be, and I’ll bring along a cardigan just in case.
I am hoping tomorrow involves some more road tripping, Chad has been frazzled all week so I don’t know if that will happen. There are plenty of lovely outdoor spots around here so it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if we didn’t make it all the way over to the ocean. Though I’d really like to. I cannot get enough of the Pacific.
What are you doing this weekend?
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Two more for the end of unofficial flower week. Post yours, leave a link in the comments, and pass it on.
Does the juxtaposition of red and purple always make anyone else think of Flowers in the Attic? Or is that just me?
Bonus photo of my daughter’s cat, Casey. He is a giant beast and if you come over, you have to pet him the whole time you are here because any break you can give me from his constant, pathetic meowing for attention is desperately needed. Thankfully the sun finally came out, because warm pavement is about the only thing besides direct contact that that shuts him up.
It’s unofficial flower week. Post yours, leave a link in the comments, and pass it on.
I realize my neighbor’s Japanese maple is not a flower, but it is quite spring-like so I say it counts.
Abby declared it unofficial flower week. Post yours, leave a link in the comments, and pass it on.