Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How can a woman, who rarely wears them, own so many pairs of white socks?

My drawer is full of them. Why don’t I have blue, green, black, and brown--colors I actually wear?

I could wear stockings of course.

Yeah right.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Okay, final post.

Here's dinner:

Notice the innocent looking white pitcher next to the candles, on the left? That is the sauce. One makes the duck for the sauce. The sauce is heaven or sex, whichever you look forward to the most.

My husband spilled a few drops in the sink while transferring it to the pitcher. He tried to climb into the sink to roll around in it.


Merry Christmas everyone.
And here's desert:

No, I didn't make this myself. Next year. I ordered if from the local French bakery, where I had a pate sandwich for lunch.


So sue me.
I bet at this point you're asking yourself, "What is she thinking; it can't be French--where are the potatoes?"

Here they are:

Potato pancakes with scallions are traditional for Christmas, with duck. There will also be a salad with Roquefort dressing (already done).

Wait 'til you see what's for desert....

This is at the first basting, after the turnips and shallots have been added. There will be a second basting of course; this is French food.

Yes, that is cranberry sauce you see cooking next to the ducks. A holiday is not a real holiday without cranberry sauce. If I could figure out a way to have it on Easter and the Fourth of July, I would.
My husband has been helping me do this, and he keeps saying things like, "Can't we just put them in the pans, you know, so we don't have to wash so many dishes?"

Silly man. If you don't use every dish you own, you're not doing it right, and it's definitely not French.

So far we have used:

two skillets
one roasting pan
two dishes
one plater
two knives
one peeler
one fork
one set of tongs
one wine glass
one spatula
and counting.

Unfortunately the spatula is a poor imitation of my favorite spatula, which has been stolen by faeries or gremlins, so I am using an inferior tool. I hope the duck turns out okay anyway.

I'm sorry, that's two roasting pans.
Duck continued.

On the left are the gizzards that will probably star in a future omelette (dinner tomorrow night?). My husband suggested giving them to the dogs. Over my dead body. Of course, we have a resident sneak thief (remember the adorable Bruno? He's bigger now), so I will have to guard them carefully.

The veggies on the right are for putting under the ducks (so they have a comfy sleeping spot), and will be sauted, roasted, squeezed, and discarded. Hey, this is French cooking, what do you want?

Now, the shallots and turnips are caramelized and then roasted. You get to eat these veggies. The pan is deglazed with wine, and then the result is poured over the ducks and they are roasted for 45 minutes.

How to cook a duck.

We're making dinner tonight and taking the leftovers tomorrow on a hike out to look at rock art. This is one of the luxuries of not seeing extended family on Christmas.

Here are the ducks cooking in clarified butter. They have bouquet garni (my husband has alternately referred to this item as "potpourri" and "Popol Vul"--neither of which I want inside of my duck) inside of them. I didn't have fresh rosemary, so I used dried. I also added extra parsley, because God knows, I have plenty of that.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Iced mocha anyone?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Yes, I'm grading your papers.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I don't think that I'm having breakfast on the lanai this vacation.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Difference Between Cats and Dogs

I own them both—so I’ve thought about this.

Dogs want to please you and cats don’t give a damn—everyone knows this.

But, I think it goes further than this. When a dog misbehaves, and you say, “Bad dog.” The dog hangs his/her head, and seems appropriately chastised. Mind you, this will not keep them from doing it again, but at least they’ll feel guilty about it.

When you say, “Bad kitty,” the cat thinks, “Good, I like the way that sounds, I’m a baaad kitty.” Then of course, the cat will often perform the offending act again, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, knowing full well that you disapprove.

There’s no regret, no guilt, only that smug “What?” look.

Baaad kitty.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Desperation of the Lactose Intolerant

Today at the store they had “Eggnog Tea.” Okay, I know it sounds revolting, but I’m an intrepid eater, so I thought I’d give it a go. One of the (many) bad things about not being able to drink milk, is that I really miss eggnog this time of year.

I steeped the tea; it smelled like eggnog, but alas, it did not taste much like eggnog.

I commented to my husband, “It would be better with milk.”

He said, “It’d be better with eggnog.”

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I bought some new juice for breakfast--just a change of pace, you know. I got orange, pineapple, and banana juice, for that tropical feel.

I know how they get orange juice; I know how they get pineapple juice; how in the heck do they get "banana juice?"

Or, do I not want to know?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Do you think maybe I eat too much takeout sushi?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I love fall, the crisp air, the people wearing coats and scarves, and rushing into stores to avoid the chill.

How cold is it?

60 degrees.

Hey, this is Southern California, just last week everybody was wearing flip flops.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Day Before

I usually do my Thanksgiving Day shopping on Monday, or Tuesday at the latest, but this year that just didn’t work out. Shopping on Wednesday is just too traumatic for me. Not because I’m worried I won’t be ready—I’m always ready, but because all the type A personalities apparently wait until the last minute to do their shopping.

I was in and out of the store before 8:00 am, nonetheless, people had that crazed look in their eyes—even though they had a full 24 hours before anyone expected food of any kind.

I almost got run down by a frantic woman careening her cart around a corner—twice—same woman.

Two women demanded that I move my basket or myself so that they could reach something I was blocking. In both cases, I hadn’t even stopped walking, and so hardly constituted a roadblock, but to the chronically stressed out, I guess it was enough.

The best though was a woman who had loaded all of the brown and serve rolls into her cart (about two dozen) and then was thoroughly squeezing each package—presumably for freshness—and then returning the rejects to the shelves.

My trip to the store today makes tomorrow, with parents and in-laws, look downright relaxing.

Okay, I’m lying, but it sounded good.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It never ceases to amaze me how much time can be wasted online. I just made this "avatar" of myself. It, of course, looks nothing like me.

Friday, September 14, 2007

God gave me a persimmon today.

No really.

It came flying over the fence, from two houses down, where I know that there is a persimmon tree.

There were two persimmons actually, but only one reached my yard.

I think that God meant me to have both of them. In fact I'm sure She did.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


We went out to breakfast yesterday to our favorite French bakery. They only gave me one pat of butter for my croissant—can you believe it? And no, it wasn’t enough. You'd think the French would know better.

We parked behind an SUV with a license plate holder that said “My other car is a hybrid.”

So, does the hybrid have a license plate holder that says “My other car is a gas guzzler?”

Well, does it?

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Today, I’m sitting in front of my computer wearing jeans and a sweater, and sipping a cup of piping hot tea. Brrrr.

No, it’s not actually cold; the fan running in the window is providing the only semblance of coolness. I’m pretending that it’s winter. I long for the cool crisp days, cold nights, and the occasional rain shower that means winter where I live.

It’s kind of sad that I’m doing this, as, if you check your calendar, it’s only mid August. It hasn’t even been a very hot summer; note the absence of whiny “it’s hot” blog entries.

No, my problem is, school starts in just a week and change, and my brain wants it to be cool and fall-like. In truth, it won’t be cool here until November at the earliest and January at the latest. Or even at all, like last year. But, wouldn’t it be nice to have turkey dinner amongst the colorful fall foliage, or Christmas with a nip in the air?


Now, where did I put those woolly socks?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Summer to do list #4

So, I was tooling around the internet today (yes, I know that I could have spent my time more effectively, but hey, I’m having a trying day, so get over it) and came across a hyper-efficient planning system. It can be used either electronically or with that new-fangled invention paper.

This system covers everything from daily appointments, to ranked to do lists, to long term goals and projects. It might even make hotel reservations for you and return emails.

It seems that everyone is getting organized these days. Even my dance teacher has a comprehensive list of activities that she hopes to accomplish each day. I don’t know if she has everything planned down to the minute, but it certainly sounds that way.

Well, I was thinking about all of this organization and planning, and general efficiency, and I came to a conclusion: this all sounds a lot like work; I am currently philosophically opposed to work of all kinds.

So, I have something else to add to my summer to do list:

#4 get disorganized.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Usually television is not worth watching. I agree with Groucho Marx when he said, "I love television, everytime someone turns one on, I go into the other room and read a book."

But sometimes, just sometimes, there is something worth watching on TV. Today is one of those days. I walked into the livingroom to find my husband and son watching the "Yodelin' Kid from Pine Ridge," WITH THE SOUND OFF.

Now I ask you, what's wrong with this picture? Gene Autry is the Singing Cowboy, not the Silent Cowboy.

Turn it up--I want to hear some yodelin'.
Mr. First Lady?

If Hillary wins, and I’m not saying she’s gonna, and I don’t know if I’ll vote for her myself (I’m still a bit bent over the whole Iraq thing), but if she wins, will that make Bill First Lady?

If Bill is First Lady, will he stay home and bake cookies?

If Barbara Bush had said that to me, I might have punched her. This is why I could never be in politics. I tend to say what I think, and react like a normal person instead of diplomatically, or with thoughts as to how these words/actions will play on the 5:00 news.

Of course, I also have a checkered past—so no politics for me. But hey, I can whine about it here with no repercussions, and whining is what I do best.

Maybe Bill could be Vice President? But then would we still call him Mr. President, or would we have to call him Mr. Vice President?

Aren’t you glad that I’m around to sort out the difficult problems?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tonight the wind came in
Caressed my shoulder
And invited me to come outside

This is a picture of Buddy watching me workout this morning--proving once again that dogs are smarter than humans.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter Day

I went to see the new Harry Potter film today, and I have a brief review:

The casting and performances were superb as always.

The production was impressive.

The adaptation of the novel was good, but it's never good enough. You just cannot capture the spirit of Rowling’s work in a two hour movie.

Luna Lovegood’s portrayal was different than I thought it would be, but quite nice.

Dolores Umbridge was suitably saccharine and evil—just what I like in a villain (or as one of my companions said, “A school administrator”—this is a timely comment that will be understood by anyone who teaches at my school).

I wanted to see more of Sirius’ house, and missed Mrs. Black.

I also missed the portable swamp created by the Wesley twins in the book.

I could have done with more of Bellatrix La Strange’s character and less of her cleavage—a bit too Elvira for my taste.

When Dumbledore (sniff, I still expect to see Richard Harris) and Voldemort fought it out, I thought to myself, “This is a real wizard’s duel.”

And finally, I am beginning to wonder if Voldemort and Michael Jackson go to the same plastic surgeon.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Vintage Clothes

I have recently branched out into vintage clothing. I especially like looking at vintage clothing online. I do it because it’s fun, and I like to think to myself while looking at the various clothes:

“I would so wear that.”

“Who would wear that?”

“Nobody would ever wear that.”


“Oh, God, I wore that.”

Hey, it keeps me off the streets.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

You know what the best thing about July 5th is?

Is it the memory of the many (and there were many) inspirational and patriotic speeches?

Is it the glow of fireworks that you can still see if you close your eyes (my town puts on a very good fireworks display)?

Is it the heat building towards 101 degrees (I sure hope the weather forecast is wrong)?

Is the the John Phillip Sousa tune I'm still humming this morning (and probably will be for the next week or so)?


It's leftover apple pie for breakfast!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Fate Worse Than Death

The worst thing that can happen to a girl happened to me last week--my signature scent was discontinued. I stood in front of Janet, at the perfume counter, and tears welled up in my eyes up as she sprayed a variety of new scents on little white sheets of paper.

I need to find a new scent. One that says who I am, in that special way only a signature scent can. I could just go to the lead scent in the house that created my signature scent; it’s a good scent, I’m just not sure it’s what I’m looking for. It’s not quite complex enough, and women always want to feel complex.

I could go back to an older scent that I used to wear. I lean toward the “Oriental” scents—there’s a big surprise—but most of them are a bit sexy for daytime wear. Also, not really acceptable for work.

I did have an intelligent conversation about perfume and perfumeries with Janet, and my husband was quite impressed. As I explained to him, I have been a girl for a long time.

He said that he thought it was working for me.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


My son wanted a kitten. He wanted a kitten more than anything. He now has a kitten, and the kitten is driving him crazy.

He is covered with kitten scratches (as am I, but I didn't want a kitten).

My son is currently in charge of keeping the kitten out of trouble. My twelve year old son swears that the kitten can teleport, because he cannot keep up with him.

Karma is so sweet.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Two momentous things happened this week.

The first cucumber was havested from my garden:

And the first figs arrived at the store (I've eaten a few out of the package--can you tell?):

The local figs will be ripe soon--it's just a matter of time.

Ah, life is good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gratuitous kitten picture--because I can.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Summer To Do List #3

Lay in my hammock and sunbathe.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer To Do List, continued:

2. Find the perfect pencil.

So far the best are, in order:

1. General's Test Scoring 580, hardness B
2. Stabilo's Aquarellable 8008, hardness B
3. California Republic's (oddly made in Japan) Palomino, hardness B

Honorable mentions to two triangular pencils, nice grip, but the lead is too hard. Both of these pencils also get high marks for looks, or as my son puts it "style points":

1. Faber-Castell's Grip 2001, hardness HB
2. Rhodia, hardness HB

And yes, that is my San Diego Chinese Center cup. Thanks for asking.

Monday, June 18, 2007

My son just informed me that the cat urped. I did of course suggest that since he had found it, he should clean it up. He disagreed. Instead he brought me a paper towel. A single paper towel. Uhh, one flimsy sheet of paper is so not enough for me to touch something that has recently been on the inside of my cat (okay, anything that has ever been on the inside of my cat). I need four or five paper towels, at the very least.

Oooh ish.
I have an extensive "Summer To Do" list and I thought I'd share it here with you.

1. Paint my toenails


Sunday, June 17, 2007


Since it's summer vacation, I thought I'd be blogging more--at least to complain about the weather. But we've had beautiful weather--so no whining necessary.

I do have an excuse; I have been busy the last couple of days. Meet Bruno, the latest addition to the family. He's a stray, or at least he used to be.

Now, if I can just think of an excuse for not blogging all of those other days I've missed.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I decided to do Monday’s crossword puzzle today (it’s Tuesday), because doing Monday’s puzzle makes me feel smarter.

One of the clues asked for the rank above capt. I knew it was maj. and so did my husband, why?

Not because we live in a military town—we do
Not because my husband works on base a lot—he does
Not because I am an historian—I am

No, my husband knows because Stratego was his favorite game as a child

And, I know because of M*A*S*H.

Thank God for cultural literacy.

Oh, by the way, I still have four squares blank on the crossword. So much for self-esteem.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Today is Tuesday, but I can’t shake the thought that it is almost the weekend. Apparently I am not alone. Our local weatherman announced that it was almost the weekend, before giving the weekend weather forecast. I wished one of my students a “nice weekend” and she responded (without blinking an eye) “you too.”

Did I mention that today is Tuesday? It is nowhere near the weekend.

I think I’m ready for summer vacation.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Yesterday I went to the beach and did some labyrinth construction and walking. It was a good day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I would really like to goof off this evening, but I have a stack of online papers to grade. Now, that just doesn’t sound right, because of course online assignments don’t really come in stacks. My son suggests that I have a boatload of papers, but to me both “boatload” and “stack” imply that the papers are taking up physical space. They are not. They are taking up electronic space. I need to start measuring “stacks” of papers not in inches, but in bytes.

Or as my husband suggests: “byteloads” of papers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Most Important News of the Decade, Perhaps a Generation

Local news reports a new state-of-the-art high school will open.

National news reports that President Bush will be building new nuclear warheads.

Environmental news reports that a California Condor egg has hatched in Mexico.

Entertainment news reports that Donny Osmond is releasing new music.

A good news day? I guess that all depends on how you look at it.

The thing I find most disturbing about this, is that “Donny Osmond” did not get picked up as an unknown/misspelled word by the spell check. That means that someone thought he was important enough to enter into the spelling dictionary.

We live in scary times.
Last night I dreamt about another handbag.

With matching shoes.

Monday, April 23, 2007


There are many wonderful things about living with other people, but tonight, halfway through a package of cookies, I realized one of the best reasons to live with other people. I opened this package of cookies yesterday, and they are now half gone. Now, it’s possible that I ate half a package of cookies. If I lived alone, it would be certain that I had eaten all of them—short of housebreaking cookie eaters. But, since I live with other people, maybe, just maybe, the people I live with ate some of them too.

I prefer to think that I did not eat half a package of cookies.

See, if you live with other people—they automatically must have eaten at least some of them.


Friday, April 20, 2007


My favorite handbag was handmade in San Francisco of a brown and turquoise vintage velvet Moroccan print. It has little feet on the bottom—I am a pushover for handbags with little feet. The company from which I purchased the bag uses women’s names in place of stock numbers, and this handbag’s “name” is Zelda. Of course, any bag that costs as much as this one did deserves its own name.

Now, I am not in the habit of naming my accessories, but the name Zelda has stuck. Maybe this also explains how Zelda has gained a personality somewhere between a pet and an invisible friend. We all refer to “her” by name; “she” gets “her” own seat in restaurants, and comes with me everywhere. “She’s” a smart dresser too, and has accessories of “her” own; a lovely ribbon rose is tied to “her” strap. “She” also gets way more compliments than I do.

Hey, can you be jealous of a handbag?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mobile Phones

I haven’t been able to find my cell phone for two days. It hasn’t mattered because my son’s been home sick from school, but he went today, so I had to find it.

I finally resorted to using my mobile home phone to call my cell phone. It was in the pocket of some pants I wore two days ago.

Then I lost my home phone.

I think things were simpler in the days when the phone was connected to the wall. If you had told me ten years ago that I would lose the phone—I’d have thought you were crazy.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Well, I watched the network news a few days ago, which is ususual, since they only thing on the network news I generally watch is the weather, which I watch obsessively, and the lead story was about some luggage handlers who stole Paris Hilton's $100,000 wristwatch.

I have three questions regarding this:

First, since these were not luggage handlers at my local airport, why was it on my local news?

Second, why on earth would Paris Hilton pack something so valuable in her suitcase, and not wear it, or carry it on?

Third, and most important, why would any watch cost $100,000, and if it did, why would anyone be foolish enough to to buy it?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Well today is St. Patrick's Day. I pinched my son already, and he is off pinching the animals, who aren't wearing green of course.

My son asked what green beer tasted like, and I wouldn't know because I will never consume anything that color.

We are having eggs for breakfast, but they won't be green. Why you ask?

Why, because we have no ham.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Today is a sad day, because today R2D2 died. I know this because the postal service has issued a stamp for him, and the postal service only issues a stamp for people who are dead.

To commemorate the release, the postal service painted three local mailboxes like R2D2 and had them guarded by Storm Troopers.

Nice to know we still have a sense of humor.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Daylight Savings Time

I am so glad that the government is watching out for us, and providing us with an extra hour of daylight. This of course begs the question: just how much will people believe? And yes, I am always amazed by this myself.

Daylight Savings Time is a torture device that is getting more onerous with each passing year, especially since this year it will now be in force for a full eight months. So now we can save so much energy.

Exactly what energy are we saving?

Well, we buy more, we drive more, and we need to turn the lights and heat on in the morning. What energy are we saving?

Well, none of course, we spend more money, and that is the real reason for Daylight “Savings” Time. It should be called Daylight Spending Time, because that’s what the studies indicate; Americans at least, drive more and spend more. So this is a conspiracy to get us to spend more money. Like we don’t spend enough money as it is? We already have the lowest savings rate of any industrialized country, and less than some developing ones. Do we need to spend so much money? Well, that’s apparently all that keeps our economy running: retail therapy.

And one final note: the next time I hear someone crow about how great Daylight Savings Time is by giving us “one extra hour” I think I may slap them. If you want an extra hour, get your lazy bum out of bed earlier.

Because, no matter what delusions of grandeur the government has, it can no more give us an “extra hour” than balance the budget or restore our international credibility.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Well, we had a small spritz of rain last night (which I slept through), and it looks like the rest may miss us. I think that the rain goes to places it is appreciated like the Central Coast, the Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii. San Diegans in general hate the rain, and complain bitterly when it's even forecast.

So, I think, like anyone, the rain only goes where it's welcome.

Friday, February 09, 2007


There is rain predicted this weekend, which is an unusual event for us. I really should put some more leather protectorant on my boots, because, since it rarely rains here, I haven’t done it for a while.

But I am afraid to do it.

Because if I am ready for the rain, it won’t come.

I could single-handedly deprive us of rain by water proofing my boots.

Maybe if I run the sprinklers,

wash the car,

and forget my umbrella,

it will cancel out the boots?

Life is so complicated.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Well, it's time for me to 'fess up. This is the reason that I missed blogging for two weeks. It's not that there was no internet available, it's that I was on "island time," and I never quite got around to it.

But tell me true, with sunsets like this one, would you spend your time online?

This is my son and myself in the surf on Maui. I'm the one with the long(est) hair.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Here are some bulbs that I planted to symbolize that winter will become spring. I like to do this around each Winter Solstice--I did it a bit late this year.

As you can see the bulbs are growing nicely, but it looks like this one in front here might be trying to get away.

It's a long walk from my kitchen window to the garden.