I just finished reading a good book: "Garlic and Sapphires" by Ruth Reichl. She used to be the restaurant reviewer for the New York Times. Now she's the editor of Gourmet Magazine. There are some good, laugh-out-loud stories in the book. My particular favorite is about a guy who calls himself a "food warrior." During a silent auction he buys dinner with Ruth and her husband at any restaurant in New York with the Times paying for it. Needless to say, anyone who calls himself a "food warrior" is bound to be obnoxious. In addition to some very funny tales, there are also some great recipes. I tried one of them last night. Put brussel sprouts on a cookie sheet, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO as Rachel Ray calls it), and then salt and pepper each sprout. Put in an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees F. for about 20-25 minutes. The little sprouts are nearly carmelized when they come out of the oven. Delicious!
I'm in a food phase, but not sure why. My brother also gave me a cookbook: "12 Best Foods Cookbook" by Dana Jacobi. Lots of good recipes there too. I spent quite a while watching television in Washington when I got sick. Unlike last year when Kerry and I were both sick for four days, this time it was just the 24 hour flu and he didn't get sick. I watched mostly cooking shows. Go figure; when you have the flu you would think I wouldn't want to look at food. Rachel Ray is one of my favorites. I want to learn to dice food the way she does. The other lady I like is someone who's name I can never remember, it's contessa something. She's southern and rather zoftig. We like zoftig. She taught me how to chop garlic with the food processor. Turn the processor on, drop whole, peeled cloves in and before you know it you have properly chopped garlic. Then you just add the rest of your ingredients. I haven't tried this yet.
We are having Dungeness crab for our New Year's dinner. This time of year it's plentiful and delicious. We spread several layers of newspapers on the table, put the crab in the middle and start eating. No utensils, no plates; just crab, wine and French bread plus lots of paper towels. When you are done you roll up the newspaper and take it immediately out to the garbage. Otherwise your kitchen will smell like a fish market before the old fish are tossed out. I'll make crab cakes out of the leftovers. Not sure where all of this food stuff is coming from but I'm enjoying it.
Most of my e-mail attachments these days seem to be pictures of snow from various parts of the country. I'm just glad it's snowing somewhere else and not here. I worked in my garden today. About a dozen bulbs are already peaking through the soil. My brussel sprouts and romanesco are doing nicely.
While we were in Washington, we watched Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth". It's hard for me to believe that George Bush is still denying that global warming exists. Wait, I forgot, he was a C-student at Yale. I'm glad to see that individual states are adopting the Kyoto Treaty rather than waiting for the U.S. to do it. The breaking off of a huge chunk of ice in Canada should be testimony to what's happening in the world. Polar bears would not have to be endangered if we hadn't screwed up their habitat.
Well, hope you all have a great new year celebration. I finished the entire New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle today so my year ended on a high note. I have my bird calendar ready for the New Year. The bird for January 1 is the Andean cock-of-the-rock. A real beauty. I'll try to find a picture.
Today's the day. We fly to Seattle about 3 today, then we wait for Mark to arrive from Albuquerque and then we all drive to Burlington, WA. It's about an hour north of Seattle. There we will settle in at Aunt Susan and Uncle Gary's place. She makes homemade caramels every Christmas. Yum. Everyone gets a bag to take home. There will be lots and lots and lots of food, good cheer and wonderful family. The big event will be bowling. It's not fair to practice during the year. Everyone has to be just plain awful. One year David and Summer broke the no practice rule by bowling once. They confessed. It didn't improve their game. Each family has its traditions. Ours just happens to be bowling and, of course, eating. The weather is going to be miserable there so we will probably spend most of our time indoors.
Hope all of you have a happy holiday. I'll be back on Dec. 30th.
He's so cute. Max is my sister's grandson (I'm very jealous; I don't have one yet). His mom and dad are Minna and Michael. Max will be two the end of March. His mom posted this on her blog (www.m1nna.com). I wish I could spend more time with Max.
Just got this on my phone from my brother. His wife, Charlotte, is in the middle. Cassie, Charlotte's beautiful daughter, is on the left and Nan, Charlotte's mom is on the right. This could only have been taken if they'd made it to Ohio. Congratulations.
My brother and his wife decided to drive from the Denver area to Cincinatti for Christmas. They started their trek in Evergreen, which is at about 8,500 feet. The snow was piling up around their house so they decided to leave early so they wouldn't be snowbound at home for the holidays. They got as far as Denver in a howling blizzard and checked in to a Residence Inn for two nights instead along with lots of other stranded travelers. First night guests played Bingo. Second night there was a talent contest. Finally early Friday morning I-70 eastbound was opened to traffic. Here are some photos my brother sent me via his phone. Makes me cold just looking at them. The woman in the photo is Charlotte. Hopefully the drive back will be less eventful. Notice the icicles hanging from the I-70 sign.
Tonight was the third night in a row that we have had a Christmas party. Luckily this is the last. It's not that we don't have fun seeing good friends but we really are not party animals. So we are done partying in California for the holiday season. On to Burlington, WA for Christmas.
I finished my shopping today. Gift cards are the greatest thing. I also finished getting stocking stuffers for everyone in Washington. I have not had any more cards returned for extra postage, so not all the post offices are run by grinches.
Tonight my Red Hat Society ladies and husbands/significant others did our annual caroling at a local nursing home. You never know if you bring joy to any of them, but we go every year. Sometimes we see people mouthing the words to carols and other times we just look at a lot of blank faces. A gentleman asked us to go to his wife's room to sing one carol for her. She's dying of brain cancer. He seemed very grateful that we did it. I have no idea if she knew what was going on. Doing this every year really makes you realize how important it is to live every day. I'm sure none of these people thought they would end up where they are, but there they are. And I think this may be one of the good nursing homes, but it is heartbreaking to see these people. For some of them their bodies are fine, but their minds are gone. And many of them don't have any family. Life can be cruel at the end of your time on earth.
I intend on sleeping in tomorrow and then vegging most of the day. I may walk the quarter mile to the road for the newspaper but then again I may not. Friday is hair maintenance day. Can hardly wait. I need some color and trimming very badly. Besides, my hairdresser is really great. Always makes me feel good after our visit.
I'm going to garden tomorrow. We need to get our Christmas plants in the ground. It's supposed to rain tomorrow so it's a good day to do that. I also have one more winter vegetable to plant. It's call romanesco. It's a combination of broccoli and cauliflower. I'll try to find a picture and post it.
There's no reason to beat around the bush, the man with whom I live, is a pack rat. I love him dearly and can't imagine my life without him but he and I are exactly the opposite when it comes to tidiness. And he has more clothes and shoes than I have. His closet has been a mess for the 3-1/2 years we have lived here. A while back he started working on a project in the garage that he said would fix his closet. The photo is the result of his project. He bought a large book case and shortened its height to fit in his closet. The result, as you can see, is astonishing. He has rods at either end of the closet for things he hangs. He can now find things. I am in awe of him for doing this. Now if he could just work on his office. But I love him just the same.
I really enjoy writing our holiday letter and then putting it together with a card or, this year, a photo of us at the Great Wall in China. I try to get it done the week before Christmas and then I spend a couple of nights addressing about 60 envelopes and putting stamps on them. I usually have a glass of chardonnay while I do this. Sounds good so far. The glitch came yesterday when I got two of my cards back in the mail saying I had postage due: 2 cents. The ample supply of stamps came from Kerry. It was great to not have to stand in line at the post office to get them. But now I have to stand in line at the post office to get 2 cent stamps to put on all the cards that come back. Kerry gave me 37 cent stamps, but postage is now 39 cents. I pay all but one bill on line so I don't even know how much postage is supposed to be. This is a long way of saying that my cards might be late this year.
This is what Spanish Lavender looks like. Ours won't get to be this size any time soon, but we did buy a larger plant so it would be harder to kill. Despite tender loving care, we are prone to killing plants. We specialize in killing trees.
Kerry and I buy each other plants for Christmas and birthdays. We pick them out together and then plant them. This year we got two beauties: Flowering Maple (shown here) and Spanish Lavender (see next post).
We are still working on the right location for the pig. He doesn't show up that well in this photo. She also needs a name. The same artist who made Jerome is now making pigs in various sizes. Help with a name would be greatly appreciated.
A week ago today Comet was still alive, albeit, barely. But I could hold her warm body as we took a tour of the property. Having her gone has been such an adjustment. I got on an airplane not long after we carried her body to the vet for cremation. I went from a world of caring and mourning to a world of airport security. I wanted to say to everyone, I just lost my cat, you have to be patient with me. That, however, would have just gotten me in the wrong line and probably a full body search. So I pretended like everything was just fine. I think that's what a lot of people in mourning do. A while back I read a study in which they asked people how long you should mourn. The average of all the responses was three weeks. I was astounded, but then I realized that mourning makes people uncomfortable. Nobody wants to think about death, but it happens regardless of whether it's a cat or your wife. My relationship with Comet, which lasted 15+ years, may be the longest relationship of my life, except for my son and brother and sister. So I'm going to mourn my own way. It will be unhurried. Some days I will be out of sorts as my grandmother used to say. But a companion of 15 years deserves that.
I took her food to a local cat rescue group called Fieldhaven. It was gratefully received. I looked at the cats at Fieldhaven with total disinterest. The volunteer understood my disinterest. She told me to come back when I'm ready. She recognized the grieving process. I guess what I'm saying here is it's okay to grieve in your own time regardless of what others may think. A life of 15 years deserves more than three weeks or three years. It's all in the needs of the person who has just lost a loved one.
The man with whom I live lost his wife to cancer six years ago. We still celebrate Jane's birthday and their wedding anniversary with his tears and my comforting him. The past is important. So I will remember Comet in her bad days and good days. You probably don't know this but she loved mayonaisse and she loved to cuddle. I miss her terribly.
Comet died in my arms at 3:51 a.m. today. We were cuddled together in bed when I woke up because I heard some noises from her. I held her even closer with my hand just over her heart. The rate slowed and then finall stopped. It was very peaceful. I am so glad I had this experience with her. I took care of her for more than 15 years so it was only right that I take care of her in death. Kerry and I are getting ready to take her little body to the vet so she can be cremated. After she died I put her in a position where she looks like she's sleeping. By this morning rigor mortis had set in so I'm glad I did it when I did. Now I just have to pull myself together to get on a 12:45 flight to San Diego and three days of work for a client. I guess life has to go on, but it seems a whole lot emptier this morning.
My hope of pulling her through this is waning. All I can do now is hold her and love her. We went outside today for a walk around the property. I thought it would be nice for her to have some last smells of this world before she starts her new adventure. I do love the old girl. She has been one of the sweetest and most affectionate cats I've ever had the privilege of knowing. That's enough for now. I'm very, very, very, very sad. She is peaceful in her little pyramid.
I think she slept better than I did last night. I kept waking up to check on her and then had trouble falling asleep again. I'm tired today. Got her meds from the vet yesterday. She's taking 1/8th of a tablet of doxycycline and 1/2 a tablet of prednisone. The vet said that the eighth of a tablet of the antibiotic is at the high end of the dose for her because she is so small. Getting these pills in to her is rather farcical. She can spit them out faster than we can get them in. I finally went on the web to see if I could find some advice. Turns out when you put the pill in the cat's mouth you should tip the head down because that will make them swallow. It worked for the prednisone this morning even though she and I both ended up on the floor.We started out on the bed. She may be sick but she's still feisty. I ground up the other small pill and put it in some mayonaisse. She licked it up. The other good thing about her is that she hasn't forgotten where the litter box is. It's a game of wait and see. We only know her symptoms, no red or white cells and no platelets. The cause is a mystery so we are treating it with what might work. Cross your fingers.
Talked to the vet this morning. Comet's body is not producing red cells, white cells or platelets. So it looks like her bone marrow is not doing its job. Dr. Giles also talked to the clinical pathologist at the lab after he had looked at Comet's blood test results. He recommended we try an antibiotic and prednisone. So I will go pick them up in a few hours when the vet has them ready. Getting the pills into her maybe quite a challenge. I have never had to give her pills; that's how healthy she has been. She always tries to sneak a taste of mayonaisse when we have it out. We usually give her a lick which she gobbles down. We may try that with the pills.
She is 15, which is old for any animal. We took her to the vet today. I dreaded the trip. Our vet said she is dehydrated, anemic and has some other blood stuff going on. Right now she's sleeping in the little teepee/pyramid in which she was photographed. She did drink a lot of water when she got home and she's still eating, but her weight is 5.8 pounds. She's never been any heavier than about 12 pounds. Most of my cats have had bellies dragging on the ground, but not Comet. We get the blood work results tomorrow. She was a Petco pet when I adopted her. My last cat had died of natural causes at 19. Comet is the most affectionate cat I've ever had. She looks very peaceful. I am always an optimist about these things. I would like her to pull through but only time will tell. This is one of those times when you are powerless to make things happen. I'm not good with powerlessness. Send Comet energy. And maybe a bit for me too.
I've wanted a fake tree for a couple of years just because it's so much easier, especially now that they come with the lights. This way I can concentrate on being creative with the tree and not spending hours stringing lights and then vacuuming up needles when I forget to water it. We got a 9-1/2 foot Carolina Pine. Instead of the really wide tree, this one is called a "slim tree." It's great for little spaces when you don't want the tree to take over your room. Bought it at Home Depot for $149. It very easy to put together. Also got a food dehydrator today. I'm really tired of making tomato puree. I have enough to last me a long time and my friends are getting tired of receiving it. Now I'm going to dry them. I don't think they will ever stop ripening. I even have little yellow flowers.
I planted 120 bulbs yesterday; mostly rannunculus, daffodil, and Iris. Today it's raining so my timing was perfect. I also did one last feed for the trees and a few other plants. I don't have to feed again until March.
The photo is my son Mark. It was taken by my brother in Evergreen, Colorado where Mark visited them for Thanksgiving. He looks so grown up (he's 31 so I guess he is). He is a wonderful son. I'm so proud of him.
We've been busy around here getting read for today. The bird is stuffed, oiled and seasoned. I remembered to get the giblets out and they are cooking in broth with carrots and onions. One year I cooked the turkey with the little paper bag still in the turkey. I didn't know where to find the heart, etc. The neck is hard to miss. Our dressing has mild Italian sausage, cornbread, whole wheat bread, toasted pine nuts, onions, celery, parsley lots of butter and fresh sage. The turkey goes in the oven in a couple of minutes. I made extra dressing because that's the dish that always seems in short supply right after gravy. The sweet potatoes are mashed with lots of butter and brown sugar and the white potatoes are cut into quarters and in water on the stove. Even the table is set. This year we've decided to put all the main dishes on an adjacent table so people can help themselves and then sit down. Things like gravy and cranberry sauce will be on the table along with salt and pepper. This way we can talk and eat. When someone wants more they can get up and help themselves. My friend Jan is bringing lots of pies from our favorite pie place, Machados.
But the important thing for me today is to think about what I am thankful for.
Family, friends and good health. That about sums it up.
More specifically I'm thankful for:
1. My son who has always brought immense joy to my life; 2. My brother's cochlear implant which has given him the ability to hear things we all take for granted; 3. My brother-in-law Neil who recently had blog clots in his lungs and leg, but thankfully is doing well and is back at work; 4. For the joy that grandbaby Max brings to his parents, grandparents and just about everyone else around him; 5. For his parents being able to buy a house this year; 6. For Kerry's continuing love (I'm not always easy to live with); 7. For my sister and her husband getting their house back (sorta); 8. For all my nephews who are doing well whether it's at work or in school; 9. And for our beautiful place in the country.
That's my list. It doesn't change much from year to year, but it's always good to write it down so the rest of life takes its rightful place. One more thing:
There was an oppossum down by Kerry's studio this morning. He was playing "possum" after Kerry scared it. I read that they can stay in their "possum" position for 45 minutes to four hours. They actually fall into a coma when they get scared. We watched him for a while and he seemed to be coming around, but then he was having trouble walking so we called animal control. He's nocturnal so shouldn't be there anyway. Kerry had left his studio door open so the oppossum might have gone in and found the rat poison. Animal control took him away about an hour after we found him. They said he'd be euthanized if he was sick. Otherwise he would be nursed back to health and released in the wild.
Well, I'm starting to feel like my old self again. My spirits were bolstered just by the fact that I didn't get on an airplane this morning. My suitcase is put away for the first time in a month. I did lots of mundane things today like refill a prescription, make an eye exam appointment, make a platelet donation appointment and put together a grocery list for Thanksgiving. I enjoyed every mundane minute. There will only be six of us, which will be nice. I did manage to find homemade cranberry sauce at our local produce market.
We've decided that our before dinner drink will be Hawaiian Martinis. I had one in Palm Desert when we went to Roy's Fusion Restaurant for drinks. You soak pieces of pineaple for two days in Skyy vodka, Stoli vanilla vodka, malibu coconut rum and a 1/8th cup of sugar. It's served straight up with a piece of pineapple that has been soaking. The one I had at Roy's was delicious.
Tomorrow is hair maintenance day. With less time in the sun my color is lasting longer, but I am a bit shaggy.
Yesterday I went to my favorite nursery in Auburn and bought brussel sprout plants and more bulbs plus assorted fertilizers. Got the brussel sprouts in the ground yesterday and will start working on the bulbs tomorrow. I have to fertilize the existing bulbs and then plant the new ones.
The last six weeks are a blur. I've been traveling on business every week; sometimes twice a week. I'm just plain worn out. I do have a time out for the next two weeks. Then the travel starts back up Dec. 5th. Traveling this much is not fun. I feel like I live in isolation from the rest of my life. I also watch a lot of TV when I'm on the road. Discovered Rachel Ray this last trip. I like her meal in 30 minutes. Rarely missesd Oprah and tried to see Dr. Phil as much as possible.
But now I'm home for two weeks and I need to do things like refill prescriptions, make an eye doctor appointment, cook Thanksgiving dinner and start my Christmas shopping. I also want to plant some more bulbs. My tomatoes are still producing. Last year they continued until January. I just made another batch of tomato puree. I freeze it in ziploc bags and use it in all kinds of things. It's really yummy.
The flowers pictured here are for all of you who are already dealing with snow. They brighten my day when I go out in the yard. I hope they will brighten yours as well.
Yesterday some good friends took four of us wine tasting in El Dorado and Amador Counties. This is a part of California that grows wonderful grapes to make red wines: zinfandels, cabernet sauvignons, and merlots. The vineyards are all at about 2,000+ feet. We took our first sip at 10 a.m. and our last at 5 p.m., which is where I took this picture. I went outside to sit and enjoy the view and found the full moon was rising. The winery where I took the photo is Bella Piazza in Amador County. In between tastings we had a wonderful picnic at Perry Creek Vineyard. I love cream cheese with jalapeno jelly on top of rice crackers. Yummy. After a day of tasting our host and hostess treated all of us to dinner at the Bee Bennett House in Placerville, CA. Yummy food. No one ordered wine, however. We had had enough by that time. I had a beer which hit the spot.
I discovered this creature sitting on top of the fence that surrounds the pool at the Holiday Inn Express in Calexico. He's a burrowing owl; yes he burrows in the ground and doesn't live in trees. He's only about 9-11 inches tall, which is pretty short for an owl. They live in lots of places in Calexico including the grounds of the Chamber of Commerce. But the night clerk at the hotel said that he seems to like the bugs that come to the big light over the hotel entrance. She sees him all the time but didn't know his name.
Right now I'm traveling a lot. I flew roundtrip from Sacramento to San Diego twice last week. Tomorrow morning I fly to Phoenix and then drive to Yuma. On Thursday I will fly back from LAX after a morning meeting. Because I'm so prone to respiratory ailments I am taking really good care of myself. Generally I got to bed for a day after one of these trips and drink lots of fluids. I just cannot get sick. This schedule will keep up until mid-December.
As much as the traveling is wearing on my body, I have to say that every time I go to the project area I learn something new about the people with whom I'm working or I find something very interesting like the owl. Strangely, I will miss the people and the area when I'm done with the project.
My client, Henry, and I are busy asking for letters of support for the natural gas pipeline he wants to permit and build. We want letters from city councils, chambers of commerce, the farm bureau, the realtors association, the vegetable growers, the building industry association and anyone else who likes us.
One good part of this is all the books I'm listening to on tape or CD. When you have to drive two hours from an airport to the city where you are working, you need something. The drive from San Diego to El Centro and the drive from Phoenix to Yuma have terrible radio reception so I listen to some of my favorite mystery writers.
I dreamt about Reginald Roomba, my robotic vacuum clearn, last night. First time I've ever dreamt about a machine.
As I write this I am also vacuuming. Reginald Roomba, my robotic vacuum cleaner, is roaming around the living room and dining room. He is so good at his job; much better than I am. When he gets tired (translation: his batteries are running low) he heads for his docking station to charge up again. You gotta love him. Vacuuming burns a lot of calories. It's second only to ironing, which I rarely do.
Life is hectic right now. I'm traveling for business a lot; sometimes twice a week. I flew to San Diego yesterday and then drove to El Centro; came home today. I do the same on Thursday. Next week I'm in Yuma, then El Centro and then Los Angeles. It's not supposed to be like this in the fall. The consulting business usually starts to taper off in early November and doesn't pick up until mid-January. With all this travel, I have to cast an absentee ballot, which I don't like to do. They get counted last and I'm always worried that my Democratic registration may send my ballot to the dustbin or the shredder. This is a very Republican county. Who knows what shenanigans happen.
But the good news is that I got my Prius. I love it. So far I'm averaging about 49 mpg. Every car needs its first ding. Mine got it within less than 175 miles. I was pulling into the Sacramento Airport parking garage when it happened. I didn't realize that the curb was as high as it was. I made a sharp turn, heard a thump, said "oh fuck" and realized I had my first ding. Sorta takes the pressure off. Nothing big happened. The hubcap looks sort of funny and there is a scrape on the tire. Other than that, all is fine.
We are going to spend Thanksgiving at home. Normally we head for Naples, Florida and my cousin's house where we enjoy a wonderful leisurely holiday complete with pool time, golf and dinner at Tommy Bahamas. This year I have to work that week (fly to San Diego and drive to El Centro; it's like a broken record) so we have asked two couples to join us. Kerry and I have never done Thanksgiving in our own home. I'm looking forward to it. Sometimes things happen for a reason. I was bummed at first that I had to travel that week, but I think it's actually for the best. Mark will be with my brother in Evergreen, CO; that makes me happy.
Well, it's late so I'd better get to bed. Reginald Roomba will tuck himself in when he's ready.
Well, that describes my life right now. One of my clients is in the final stages of getting regulatory approval for his natural gas pipeline project, so we are working hard to generate letters of support from dozens of people in several counties in southern California. I will be traveling on business at least once a week from now until mid-December.
The big challenge for me is to stay healthy. Planes, crowds at airports, and hotel rooms are all places to find germs. I also have to get a flu shot.
In between all those flights we have lots of fun things to do. That's another reason to stay healthy. Tonight we are going to a party to celebrate the opening of the new Target in Lincoln. I'm bringing sliced homegrown tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, basil and balsamic on them. We have so many tomatoes, I'm going to be doing this dish a lot. For the folks in Lincoln Hills (retirement community) it's just another reason to have a party.
Tomorrow we go wine tasting in El Dorado County with some other friends. El Dorado is not as hip a place to taste wine as Napa. That means the wines flow liberally, the wine staff is a lot more fun, there is also free food and there is no charge to taste. Wine tasting there is always lots of fun. We are going to picnic at one of the wineries. Guess what I'm bringing...right sliced tomatoes, etc.
Monday morning I fly to Phoenix to spend the day with my friend Cathy. Tuesday morning I make the two hour drive from Phoenix to Blythe, CA for business. It's west of Phoenix on the Arizona/California border. I drive back that same day. Wednesday morning I fly out of Phoenix back to Sacramento just in time for our friends Steve and Janet along with their golden lab Abby to arrive for a couple of days. They leave on Friday and my brother arrives for another visit. Hardly time to change the sheets and turn on Reginald to clean the floors.
So think about sending me energy and good thoughts about staying healthy. I'm taking my "airborne" regularly.
Found this in Google's Images and couldn't resist it. The first sign that any politician is going to resign is when they say they won't resign. Those higher than thou, christian right wing, value-driven elected officials may not be any of those things. To ignore what Foley did is tantamount to saying it's okay to be a child predator. I just hope Hastert is the next resignation. All of Bush's Bible thumping about ethics, values and morals seem pretty disingenuous right now. We'll see. Delay said he wouldn't resign and look where he is now.
Kerry took this picture Saturday night while we were dining on the three-way Ahi Tuna. This is his imperious look. I bought him a crown so he could wear it when he's feeling imperious. The other reason he feels imperious is his height. At 6'5" he towers over most everyone including me. I love him dearly. He's a gentle soul. Don't know what I would do without him and his wonderful wife, Charlotte. Sigh.
My brother Richard visited us this weekend. He was out here on business so came by and spent three days with us. It is always great to have him visit. He has his cochlear implant, which seems to be functioning very well. His comprehension of words spoken by his audiologist where he could not read her lips is 57% in the ear with the implant. It was 0% before the surgery. Besides being a lawyer, poet, blogger, husband, brother and father, he is a great cook. I found a place in Roseville that sells sushi-grade Ahi Tuna. He fixed it three ways: sashimi with diced radishes on top, coated with coarsely ground pepper and barbecued, and simmered in olive oil. Three pieces, three very different tastes. He also barbecued asparagus and sliced zucchini. Last but not least, he roasted two red pepper on the grill until the skin was blackened. Then he ran them under water to remove the skin. What was left was incredibly sweet. Great dinner, not many calories and very healthy.
Reginald is the latest member of our little country family. He loves to vacuum and will work for three hours at a time before he scurries back to his docking station to recharge for the next job. Our cat isn't too sure what to make of him. I turned Reginald lose in our bedroom where Comet spends lots of time. Next time I checked she was trying to escape but Reginald just kept finding her. He can go under beds, sofas, chairs and dressers without a problem. He doesn't, however like fringe on rugs, but then my other vacuum doesn't like it either. He comes with virtual walls which send a beam across a specific area to keep Reginald out. The company that made Reginald also makes robots for police work and war. The direction book is rather sparse in design. My favorite part is the page that says "Roomba will stop for three reasons: mission accomplished, mission aborted, needs recharging. Also, when you hit the power button he plays a charge sound like the cavalry going out to meet the enemy. Reginald's enemy is dust, dirt and cat hair. Want to see more go to www.irobot.com. I got mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
My Red Hat Society friends and their spouses/SO are coming for a barbecue this afternoon. It's sort of the unofficial start of our group's social season. The croquet and badminton sets are out and the sun tea is steeping. I have a feeling it will get too warm for sports but not for iced tea (it's peach/apricot tea). The temperature is supposed to reach 90 F. today. We are having barbecued chicken, pasta salad with feta cheese, red and yellow peppers, tiny tomatoes and a garlic and parmesan cheese dressing to which I added a bit of homemade pesto, chips and guacamole, hummus and much more that the ladies will be bringing in about an hour. We've tidied up a bit including making our bed. That doesn't happen unless someone is coming over. Well, gotta go get dressed.
I'm an Aquarius who was raised a Roman Catholic in Minnesota. I've managed to overcome the religion and the state. I've lived in California for 40 years. I retired in 2007 and became a quilter and appliquer. Never thought I would find the medium that would let me express my artistic feelings. I love vivid color. In addition, I'm a locavore, foraging for food to keep my husband and me healthy and to help local farmers. I live in Northern California on five acres.