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!

5 Things to Make You Happy!

1.  I want to snuggle them and hide them all over the house!

{find more here}

2.  This is why kids are the coolest!

3.  Bears in LA!

{find the story here and more photos here}

4.  A little science for your Friday (courtesy of Woody!)

Mass Extinction Linked to Climate Change

5.  Another one of the bear…(I can’t resist)!

What would you think…?  You live in LA, there is a giant freeway in between you and any mountains, and one morning there is a 500 lb. black bear walking the streets of your neighborhood.  You must see this short clip of someone almost walking right into the bear.

Happy Friday!

Busy Weekend…aka how to not be lonely…

Woody is off gallivanting around Europe doing science-y things (I know I sound real smart), while I single parent our canine child, work a ton and run the household.  I’m used to lengthy periods of alone time…I use to be the one who was off parading around the wilderness…now I’m the one holding down the fort.  You might worry I’m a tad lonely…don’t fret…I have plenty of things to fill my time.

Shark Week! – Only the best week of the summer.  I know that most of the shows are recycled from year to year…but I still love me some shark shows.  I was a bit surprised by just how many shark attack shows there were or even worse…When Fish Attack…2.  But this didn’t keep me from gawking.

Spinning – I took my first ever spinning class at this place since I bought a Groupon for it.  Upside…I did not die…which I sort of expected.  I did think at the end that my legs might just crumple as I stepped off the bike…luckily they held.  And it was over before I thought it would be…big bonus there!

Yard and garden work – I planted some tomato plants and herbs in pots on our deck.

I just couldn’t go another summer buying tomatoes…even from the farmer’s market.  It just didn’t seem like summer without tomatoes fresh from the garden.  They were so little back then…

Now they are big honkers…

with real little ‘maters growing…

Socializing – since I no longer work with this lady…now I have to pencil her into my ever-so-busy-social-calendar…I kid.  But seriously, when you work everyday with someone for over 2 years…and then they are just not there anymore…you go through a little withdrawal…so to get my Jennie fix…we grabbed dinner here and laughed and caught up.

They had such delicious things as chicken and waffles with maple glazed squash and sage brown butter, beets with goat cheese ice cream and gnocchi with asparagus, crème fraîche and basil, and it was a hidden and unexpected outdoor patio in the middle of Hollywood!

All summer long, we enjoy the Ath al Fresco or the garden version of the Caltech Faculty Club.  It’s grown hugely in popularity, good for them…not so good for just grabbing a bite to eat on a weeknight without any crowds…but we still go and it’s great.

This past Saturday, I was quite the girl around town.  Early morning errands, mid-afternoon found me at The Huntley attending a Colorado College event to meet soon-to-be-freshmen headed to Colorado while enjoying an amazing view and some nibbles.

Then it was back to Pasadena…at the painfully slow pace of LA traffic on a Saturday afternoon to meet up with Jen, feed Cleo and pack up delicious picnic supplies for an evening with the California Philharmonic at the L.A. Arboretum.

photo courtesy of Jen Griffes

I can’t believe I wasn’t aware of these events until last week!  Who wouldn’t want to go set-up a picnic on a beautiful lawn on a summer evening and enjoy some wine and great classical music?  This particular evening was music of Rogers & Hammerstein in Europe.

photo courtesy of Jen Griffes

Peacocks abound at the arboretum and even sing-along to the music and applause.

photo courtesy of Jen Griffes

Cleo – She’s been keeping me company, snuggling in the morning under the covers, and sunning herself on the patio…she’s been ultra-serious about keeping an eye out for critters this summer…and each night she wants to inspect the hedges for any little bit of noise or movement.  We walk every morning and sometimes in the evening.  Then there was some early morning puking on Sunday and of course some sneaky attempts at lap-lounging while I’m on the couch.  We’re a good team.

More updates to come…trying to make sure not to waste these precious last few weeks of summer!

Holy Heat Wave Batman! (with a side of HOT!)

It is 113° F in LA today – Pasadena is always hotter than LA.  I don’t even want to know.

All I can think of this…

“Hey, can you tell me what’s your name? “My name is Roosevelt E. Roosevelt.” Roosevelt, what town are you stationed in? “I’m stationed in Poontang.” Well, thank you, Roosevelt. What’s the weather like out there? “It’s hot! Damn hot! Real hot! Hottest things is my shorts. I could cook things in it. A little crotch pot cooking.” Well, tell me what it feels like. “Fool, it’s hot! I told you again! Were you born on the sun? It’s damn hot! It’s so damn hot, I saw little guys, their orange robes burst into flames. It’s that hot! Do you know what I’m talking about?” What do you think it’s going to be like tonight? “It’s gonna be hot and wet! That’s nice if you’re with a lady, but ain’t no good if you’re in the jungle!” Thank you, Roosevelt.”

C’mon…guess the movie!

Also, this…

Who is it that everybody listens to but nobody believes?
The weatherman.

And, this…

You can read about this crazy late summer heat wave here, and here, and here.  I’m not even exaggerating.  It is really hot…like an oven.  Here’s to popsicles and ice cream, and air conditioning, and fabric seats in the car, and fans, and swimming pools and dark rooms, cool washcloths.  For all of you out there who might be just a touch sad that summer’s over…yeah, I don’t feel bad for you at all.  It’s 113°!  That is too hot.  I don’t even have words for how hot it is.