Weekend Review

So I was home for a week…leaving on Wednesday to teach courses in Portland, OR.  But I managed to get quite a bit done during the week I was home.

A girl should be so lucky to have a husband who came home from work early on Friday to whip up some enchiladas made with real New Mexico chile’s that he mail ordered while you were out-of-town.

I’ve got to work on my heat tolerance…but flavor was spot on and the perfectly ripe avocado was nice and cooling!

Before I left, I had picked out some paint to match the paint color in our master bathroom.  This looks like a hallway…but it is actually our closet.  Through that door is the main hallway of our house and the red continues the entire length.  This led me to feel like our closet is in the hall…and over time, it started to really annoy me.  Don’t get me wrong…as reds go…it is a lovely hue, and we’ve got the same red on another wall in the family room…but it just didn’t belong in our master hallway closet.

I used two coats of primer (that is some seriously dark paint), and was amazed at how much I liked it, even before any real paint made it onto the walls.

…and here is the final result…

I *LOVE* it!  The color is Benjamin Moore Wish…and closely matches the bathroom which is through the door on the right.

It brightens up the space and makes the whole space feel like a master suite, instead of a bathroom off of a hallway with a closet that leads to the bedroom.  I’ve been thinking of painting the bedroom as well…but it is not as pressing now that the transition is not so jarring.

Woody had a geobiology conference at Caltech all day Saturday, and I attended a friends tenure celebration after getting coffee and catching up with a friend.

Mark clued us in to a pop-up store happening this weekend…so we headed to 3rd and Fairfax to get some chilaquiles for breakfast from Lotería at the Original Farmer’s Market.  Stuffed we headed to an unexplored area of the city…the Arts District, just east of downtown LA.

The pop-up itself was interesting…all american made, all menswear, and very  hipster…as such, we were warned of beards and selvedge denim.  We didn’t purchase anything…but ogled some hammered metal cuff bracelets, canvas aprons, pretty surf boards, pomades, vintage styled rucksacks and saw a lot of stripes, wool, denim, and leather.

Had we known of all the interesting places to grab a bite to eat, we would’ve skipped 3rd and Fairfax and headed directly here.  Despite having just eaten, we couldn’t pass up a handpie from Pie Hole.

We opted for the beef hand pie…which was warmed up for us.  It’s delightfully flaky crust and savory beef inside was perfect…not juicy, but not dry either.  I would definitely stop by this place again, if I was in the neighborhood!

Across the street was another place that is now on our list…Wurstküche…a place full of sausages, Belgian fries and beer…what’s not to like?

And then, because we had not had enough pastry…I made a quiche…which was one the better ones in recent memory.  Full of kale, mushrooms, pancetta and Gruyère with some zucchini on top – made more delicious as we had a friend over for dinner whose wife and baby are out-of-town.

All in all, a delightful and productive weekend!

Now it’s time to finish the laundry, get organized and pack up for Portland!


So it’s 2013…

Turns out (shocking, I know) I took a lot of photos during 2012…perhaps too many.  Some made it up here, but at least 80% did not.  I found a neat little app (memovy) that will time-lapse photos from your phone and add a little music to it as well.

(also, I mistakenly titled it 2013…when it should really say 2012…but I can’t change it now…so deal)

Here’s a quick recap of 2012…

We traveled to…

  • Monterey, CA
  • Colorado
  • Utah
  • Portland
  • South Africa
  • San Francisco
  • Mammoth
  • Jackson, WY
  • Yellowstone
  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Sonoma
  • DC
  • Santa Barbara
  • Princeton, NJ
  • Georgia
  • Lander, WY
  • and probably a few other places I’ve forgotten.


  • Attended two college graduations
  • Threw a joint 60th birthday party
  • Celebrated from afar another 60th birthday
  • Went wine tasting (three times)
  • Went on at least 2 fishing trips
  • Quit a job
  • Then got a job with NOLS (bucket list)
  • Cooked a lot of good food
  • Completed a Triathlon
  • Lost 10 pounds
  • Had papers published
  • Breathed new life into our 12-year-old Subaru (According to our checkbook, it should last another 12 years now)
  • Reconnected with a friend from high school
  • Reconnected with at least 5 friends from college
  • Watched our nieces and nephew grow up (way too fast)
  • Visited family
  • Had family visit us
  • Drove MANY miles
  • Worked hard
  • Threw a Christmas party
  • Had friends visit us
  • and I’m sure there is more…

Here’s to an even better 2013 filled with more adventures, road trips, friends and family!

Sunday in Salt Lake

After two days in San Fran, I flew to Salt Lake and Woody headed home to Pasadena to take care of Cleo.

The two days in SLC have been filled with swimming, cooking, a Christmas party, catching up, delicious food, wonderful snowstorms, fun times with nieces, plenty of wine, some more cooking, playing games and making Christmas cookies.







Christmas on Oakdale

Busy hardly begins to describe our December…and with that, we decided to not travel this holiday season.  We both come from large families and would love to see everyone…but sometimes it is good to have some quality time in your own home.  It is nice to feel like we are our own little family and begin some traditions and create our own celebrations.  This is not to say that we wouldn’t love to see our families a lot more often, and especially during the holidays…but a lot comes with the visiting – like flights, and airports, luggage, dog-boarding for Cleo, holiday travel hassles, , and sometimes all that can leave you feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation.  So this year, we planned a family stay-cation!  It’s been great and FaceTime and Skype allow for some good family visiting as well!  Here’s a look at the goings-on around here.

I squeezed in a bit of time to craft a few things in an attempt to not only think about work during the early December weekends…

We made Krumkake’s to give to friends and coworkers…

We wrapped gifts and tied up packages with string…

We went last-minute grocery shopping for only the necessities… 🙂

When planning to lounge around the house for a few days, play some video games, catch up on some reading and generally laze about…it’s important to have the makings for queso and lil’ smokies in the house!

We made homemade bread…

We cleaned and tidied to make sure the house felt festive and we could enjoy it…

Somehow, presents continued to appear underneath the tree…

We cooked and opened some special bottles of wine…

We enjoyed the living room and the fireplace…

We opened presents…

And Christmas day was topped off with some homemade Turkey Tetrazzini…

Since then, not much has been photo-worthy…Woody’s been enjoying his ‘Maschine Mikro’, learning how to sample and mix…click here for a taste of his original mixing.

I’ve been ferociously reading through a few cookbooks we received, logging in some time on the Wii playing some Lego Harry Potter (years 5-7)…and generally enjoying the first consecutive days that neither one of us has been to work in…I-can’t-remember-how-long!

I hope your holidays have been equally relaxing, enjoyable and filled with the people you love!

Cheers to the end of 2011!




2 Things!

First.  Let me introduce my new personal assistant.  When I sit down to work on the computer, paying bills, etc., all of a sudden there is a warm furry creature sneaking in behind me.  Note the small square stool is not very big – hence the use of the phrase ‘small stool’.  No matter to Ms. Cleo as I end up with about 1.5 inches of space for my behind on the corner of the stool.  Sometimes, if I’m lucky, she rests her head on my shoulder.

Second.  This was dinner last night.  Yum!  We’re making a distinct effort to cook more on the weeknights.  There was some effort involved…but not so much that it wasn’t worth it.  Mashed sweet potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts and pan seared pork chops with a Whiskey Thyme pan sauce.

Long Overdue Christmas Montage…

Christmas 2009 for Woody and I involved a trip to Salt Lake with my family – and I do mean ALL of my family.  2 parents, 4 siblings, 2 spouses, 1 grandchild/niece and 2 in-laws plus 3 dogs and 2 cats, and me – full house.

Cleo thinks she is a tiny little lap dog and was pleased to learn that she was secretly allowed on the furniture…when certain people weren’t watching!

Cleo and my parents dogs all got along…however, the kitties were not thrilled to have Cleo in the house – she could hardly believe that little squirrel-like animals were allowed in the house and frequently went into stalking mode whenever she caught a glimpse on one.

Lots of cooking, lots of eating!

Cooking up the pheasant and partidge – see full post here.

Avery – the entertainer of the week!

Not yet walking…but mobile in her walker…she loved to follow the dogs around

And play in the dog water bowls.  Bath time – which happens twice a day is her favorite part of the day!

Weather was nice…a few small snow storms…but a lot of soupy haze and fog.  The typical January inversion set in a little early.

How big is Avery?   SOOOO BIG!

We got in a game or two of tennis!

This is the monkey crawl…one leg forward and one leg dragging behind.

She also loves being upside down and prefers for Dad to carry her around like this!

All spruced up for Christmas

Christmas Eve afternoon included a tasting of Rory and Liam’s homebrew

I think there were at least 8 or 9 different beers to taste

Christmas dinner – which happens on Christmas Eve – in the final stages

Babies love grandparents and christmas trees and getting their picture taken

Christmas Morning begins with a story

His future title…wearing it with pride!

Kittie were sequestered in my parents bedroom while Cleo was on the loose – which didn’t stop her from staring for long un-interrupted periods of time through the doors trying to figure out her plan pf attack.

Avery is very serious about reading and books…lots of focus.

There was lots of napping and reading by the fire

It’s a face-off – avery vs. pets!

Not surprisingly…she also loves the johnny jump-up!

The trip was rounded out with a very competitive game of Local Utah-Monopoly.  Anyone want to buy the Salt Lake Temple…?  No…how about the beehive house?