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July 10, 2007



I am trying to get some work done, but my little scamp of a cat wants either constant petting or to get into trouble with power cords under my desk. Her name is Peeka. She loves people, the sun and food - not necessarily in that order. We've had her in our lives (along with her more cat-like companion, Bella) for just over a year. We have adapted quite well. And now excuse me, I have a cat who needs her massage.

August 5, 2007


I have started taking this large basket with me when I pick up my produce at Fairview Gardens, though not with my cat Bella in it. She has always had an affinity for baskets, so it was no surprise to catch her in this one.

October 3, 2007

Happy Birthday

A birthday greeting to a friend of ours celebrating his milestone birthday


November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'll be thinking about and sending best wishes to Ted, Libby, my parents and the whole gang celebrating at Cici and George's.

My apple pie is in the oven and I've lots more to do, so I'll be back tomorrow with more recipes and pictures.

December 18, 2007

A Christmas Meme

I got this little Q&A Internet Meme from Leslie's blog "Kaleidoscope"

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper! I love the really cool handmade-looking wrapping paper that you can get for a song at Ikea. But I've also been known to wrap presents in fabric, old posters or even newspaper. Wrapping presents is one of my favorite things about Christmas. I recycle all kinds of odd papers and things. I also love to stamp someone's name on their present or make unusual gift cards. Here's my messy, but efficient wrapping station:


2. Real tree or artificial?
Real. What can I say, it's a big pain and slightly messy, but it smells and looks so good.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Whenever I have time. This year we bought it in early December, and it sat in the living room for a week before I had time to decorate it. I didn't mind since it still made the room smell good.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Usually New Year's Day. But this year I might try to take it down a little earlier.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Yep, love it... especially with a little brandy.

6. Favourite gift received as a child?
I can't remember anything in particular. It was all good. I loved opening presents on Christmas morning.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
No, but I do like to display my collection of Madonnas, which I've brought back from Italy over the years. Here's a few:


8. Hardest person to buy for?
My dad. And he has a birthday on New Year's Eve. Doubly hard.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
My mom. She'll tell me what she wants, and she's fun to buy things for.

There, that was pretty easy. Leave me a comment if you decide to join in.

January 2, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!


Where this photo came from: More Rudesheim

February 1, 2008

February: A Month of Blogging

At the suggestion of Vagabond Artist, a group of us are going to blog every day for a month. Here is the list so far:

What I Really Think
Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!
There and Back Again...
Shave Ice & Gelato
Postcards from the Trail
Churches in Venice
Palmabella's Passions
Old Shoes - New Trip
Blond Momentos
Home is where my bed is

Red is the theme today because it is National Wear Red Day, an awareness day for women and heart disease. So I am wearing red today and posting the photo above of my favorite red poppy. This photo was taken on my spring 2005 trip to Tuscany, where there were fields of red poppies all starting to come into bloom.

Happy February and please check back often this month as I make my attempt to blog every day.

February 7, 2008

A Rat on a Cat on a Dog


The other day while I was walking on State Street here in downtown Santa Barbara I happened to see some of our local celebrities. I've seen them around before, but this time I happened to have my camera. Yes, the photo above is a rat balanced on a cat who is sitting on a dog. I did not do anything fancy in Photoshop. This trio and their owner, Greg Pike, have been a popular fixture downtown. The cat's name is Kitty, the rat's name is Mousie and the dog's name is Booger. Here's a closer shot of Mousie on Kitty.


And for the complete story, check out this video:

February 14, 2008

Just Five Romantic Things

As Valentine's day draws to a close, I have thought up just five of the things that I find romantic.

1. A Romantic Dinner
Every Valentine's day my husband and I go out to dinner for Thai food. It must be Thai food. And it's always someplace where you can get some nice hot spicy coconut soup. I love the sweet and tangy flavors of Thai food and, even though we eat it at other times throughout the year, I really look forward to it on Valentine's Day.

2. Flowers are Romantic
wisteria.jpgBut not really on Valentine's day. I love flowers, but it seems to me that the time to give flowers is on any day but Valentine's day. It's a little too commercial, all those stands that spring up out of nowhere just for Valentine's Day. Well, that's my opinion. In any case, roses are very romantic and they smell heavenly, but I think the most romantic flower is Wisteria. I love the way the long clustered flowers can drape over arbors.

3. A Romantic Song
My husband and I have a number of songs that are "our" songs, but I think my favorite is Sting's "Fields of Gold." We chose to play it at our wedding and perhaps because of that, it brings back wonderful memories every time I hear it.

4. A Romantic Movie
LoveMeTonight.jpgThere are all sorts of romantic movies, but the one that deserves a mention is Robert Mamoulian's Love Me Tonight from way back in 1932. It is the classic story of the poor, but plucky, tailor who is posing as a rich nobleman. When the princess, who falls in love with him, finds out who he is, there is a moment of despair. But at the end they are reunited and all is well. The movie features the song "Isn't It Romantic?", by Rodgers and Hart. So, yes it is.

5. The Most Romantic Place on Earth
Could anyplace be more romantic than Italy? I'm thinking especially of Venice and Verona and some of the beautiful seaside towns like Positano or Camogli or the Cinque Terre. Ah, but then there's Paris. I love Paris. And I'm quite happy to keep traveling and visiting the majority of the known world that I haven't been to yet to see if there are some other equally romantic places.

February 22, 2008

Six Word Memoir Meme

Here's an interesting meme from Blonde Momentos. It was started by bookbabie and is based on the book Not Quite What I Was Expecting: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure.

The idea is to sum up your life in six words. No more. No less.

It's an interesting concept, but as I started to give it some thought, I realized that the name of my blog was my six word memoir! The name of my blog actually came from a poem/memoir that I wrote about my grandfather. You can read more about that in this entry. For some reason that title made sense to me for what I wanted to write about. I did worry originally that it was too long for the name of a blog. But I seem to have grown used to it. And now I'm quite happy to find out that it's the perfect six word memoir.


If you'd like to play along...

1. Write your own six word memoir

2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like

3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post (bookbabie)

February 24, 2008

Big Waves in Santa Barbara


Here in Santa Barbara today we had the most amazing waves. This photo was taken at Butterfly Beach where the waves were 8-10 feet. According to the offshore buoy data, the swell was 27.2 feet at 20 second intervals. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I do know that the waves were breaking where I've never seen them before and it was quite a sight. Awesome.

February 27, 2008

The James Lipton/Bernard Pivot Meme

Fellow February blogger Blonde Momentos is the queen of finding memes. Just recently she did this James Lipton meme. I watch Inside the Actors Studio whenever I get a chance and love the questionnaire portion of the program. For my Dad's 65th birthday, I put him on the spot at his party and asked him the questions. He had never heard of James Lipton, so he thought I was fairly crazy, but I think we got some interesting answers out of him.

Now, James Lipton's questions are inspired by Bernard Pivot's talk show questions. They are similar but slightly different. So, just for fun, I thought I would do Bernard Pivot's questions:

1. What is your favorite word?
Kinabalu. It's a mountain in Borneo and I love the way it rolls off the tongue.

2. What is your least favorite word?
Slaughter. Sounds awful and it is.

3. What is your favorite drug?
Caffeine. Especially really good espresso. In fact, I am quite addicted.

4. What sound or noise do you love?
A cat purring. I think it's such a therapeutic sound for both cats and humans. I also love the sound of rain, a nice steady patter on the roof. It would be hard to pick my favorite between those two.

5. What sound or noise do you hate?
Fingernails on a chalkboard. I know it sounds cliche, but it really makes my skin crawl.

6. What is your favorite curse word?
Damn. It's such an easy one to say. Doesn't offend people too much, either.

7. Who would you like to see on a new banknote?
How about Carey Grant? Really, I don't see why it couldn't be someone other than a US president. And he always looked so good in black and white.

8. What profession other than your own would you not like to attempt?
Well, really any profession that requires hard physical labor. Let's just say I would not like to be a coal miner.

9. If you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?
A dolphin.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Welcome to Italy.

August 11, 2008

Book Meme

I came across this Book Meme on Kim's blog: What I Really Think. She found it on Andasamo's Blog, Let Us Go Then You and I who found it on Trisha's Blog, The Life of an Obsessed Reader.

The premise of this exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below.

Here's how it works:
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE (I just used a star)
4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen*
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien*
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte*
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (I've read the first and intend to read the rest)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte*
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell*
9 His Dark Materials - Phillip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott*
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy*
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller.
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare* (I've read quite a few and seen many performed)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier*
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien*
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Travellers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger*
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot (I started it)
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald*
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War & Peace - Leo Tolstoy (I got about a 1/3 of the way through)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams* (I've read and loved everything he wrote)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime & Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll*
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy*
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis*
34 Emma - Jane Austen*
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen*
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis* (as Kim noted, this is on here twice)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (I started it, but haven't gotten very far)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden*
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving* (One of my top 10 favorite books)
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery* (I read the whole series)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen*
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon (this in on my must read list)
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas*
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (I've tried, but never finished it)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson (haven't read this one, but I love Bill Bryson)
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray*
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Colour Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flauber *
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas*
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I thought I was a pretty prolific reader, but I've read less than half of what is on this list. Though I have to say that some of the choices seem a bit odd (certainly not all classic literature) and the list is a bit sloppy, as Kim has already pointed out. It almost seems as though the person who started this just jotted down a hundred books that they had read. But an interesting exercise nonetheless.

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year


February 9, 2009

An Emu at OstrichLand


Do you remember seeing the ostriches in the movie Sideways? Did you know that there was a place called OstrichLand in Santa Ynez Valley? I was there today and it was absolutely fascinating. I particularly liked this emu, pictured above. The emus are kept separate from the ostriches because the ostriches will bully the emus, The emus are smaller and have a much sweeter personality than the ostriches, who have a tendency to bite. This emu poked his head out from the fence and stared right into my husband's camera.

I couldn't leave without buying an emu egg. It's a beautiful large, green egg and is equivalent to 6-10 chicken eggs. I will have to make a big frittata. I don't really know what to expect from it, but I will be sure to share the results on this blog.

February 10, 2009

Fairview Goats


I have written about Fairview Gardens before, but I don't think I have ever mentioned that they have goats — adorable goats. We were there today for a photo shoot and caught this group lounging.

If you've never been to Fairview Gardens, it's definitely worth putting on your list. It's more than just a farm — it's a bit of farm history and a model for organic, urban agriculture. They offer tours, host school groups, and they have an apprenticeship program. Stop by to pick up some of their wonderful produce at the farm stand and take the self-guided tour. You can find all the details at their website: The Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens.

February 17, 2009

National Geographic Magazines


I took this photo of a display of old National Geographic Magazines in a store window in Amsterdam in the fall of 2007. It caught my eye because when I was growing up we had a huge collection of old National Geographics stashed away in the spare room. The ones in this photo were from 1927-1930. I'm sure we had some from those years and older, collected by my father and his father before him. But, as a child, I used to look through the more recent ones from the sixties and later. The photos of all the exotic locations always appealed to me. And to this day I can vividly remember an article about white tigers.

June 20, 2009

Playing For Change

This is such an inspiration. We just ordered the CD/DVD, which has 5 of the videos from this project as well as the soundtrack to the 10 tracks that have been released so far. Go to Episodes on Playing for Change website to watch more. The project started in 2005 and is by no means over. And in fact the Playing for Change Band will be giving a free concert at the Santa Monica Pier on July 2nd, from 7-10pm.

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to In and Out of the Garden: A Blog in the Other category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Garden is the previous category.

Travel is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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