Monday, November 19, 2012

It arrived when I wasn't looking...

…I’m talking about the holidays!  Wasn't it just Halloween? I went to Target on the Friday after Halloween and found it had been relegated to a small corner and Christmas had arrived and taken over. I almost feel that Thanksgiving has become an afterthought.

Norman Rockwell's Thanksgiving

 But hold on, no one is cheating me out of turkey with all the trimmings!

Save me a drumstick, Martha!

I’m not sure how you feel about Christmas commercials and specials appearing so early in the season but I guess it helps some people with planning or whatever. Not that I don’t enjoy the holidays but it does seem to get here earlier each year.  Please God, don’t let me be turning into a Grinch!

Thought you might like to see this shot of myself and my brother at my niece’s wedding back in 1999 in Santa Barbara on the beautiful campus of UCSB. There are so many stories behind this picture it’s hard to know where to start. 
Me and my brother Mike at our niece's wedding

I need to take you back two months prior to an accident that left me wondering if I would make it to the wedding! I literally smashed my ankle walking the dog. I had fallen down a little gully and had to wait for a passerby to ask for help. Long story short, I ended up being transported in an ambulance to the hospital where the emergency room doctor told me that if I had to break my ankle I did a damn good job of it!

It was a Sunday and being the bad dream that it was, I found out my surgeon was on the golf course – but of course! Surgery was scheduled for the next day followed by two months spent strictly in bed (if I wanted to make the wedding) and some rehab. I got cut out of my cast just a few days before the trip and on crutches,  I traveled to Ohio for a few days to be with my sister where it was the hottest summer on record (triple digits!) and then onward to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, back to LA and finally back home to Hawaii. It was an adventure traveling on crutches and when there was a time crunch with connections, I was whisked about on a scooter thru the concourse. I’m sure you've seen them. Do you know how hard people stare at you when you’re in one of those!

See that outfit I’m in? Does it look a tad big on me? It fit me perfectly when I got it (esp. for the wedding) but I knew I had to cut back on my food intake if I didn't want to balloon up. Two months lying in bed with no activity was a dangerous proposition! I ended up losing weight and didn't even realize it.

The gorgeous Santa Barbara coastline

Santa Barbara is a beautiful town. I remember thinking I could so easily live there. My brother drove us to State Street (their main street) where there are so many restaurants, shops, and galleries and I remember how he complained about “crazy California drivers” of which I have now become minus the crazy part! We got a parking ticket which I offered to pay and when I got home I included a little yellow sticky note on my check that said how much I enjoyed visiting their fair city!

There is so much more I could tell you but suffice to say, it was quite the trip, and one that will not be easily forgotten!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Yes, I am a day late and a dollar short BUT hope you all had a fun Halloween. This commercial has been playing all month and I'll miss seeing it now that Halloween's over. It just tickles my funny bone!

The Horseless Headsman!
With apologies to Washington Irving

And since Halloween is really for kids, here is a photo of my newest niece and her brothers all decked out for a night of fright!

Do or do not get pissed. There is no try.

My nephews Brian as Boba Fett, Miles as Yoda, and two week old (or is it three weeks?) Victoria as Princess Leia. Here is is Victoria in all her glory...

See you next time!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In which I express my outrage... Panda Express!

Last night I was so beat and the weather so uncomfortably hot that I just didn't feel like cooking so I went to Panda Express for something to go. The reason I go to Panda Express is to chow down on their tofu and eggplant dish. I love it! Yeah, ok, I do like the orange chicken too but I really go there for the tofu and eggplant. Well, imagine my surprise when they told me they don’t make it any more…again!  They took it off the menu once but brought it back and now it is apparently gone forever! I told the kid behind the counter, if anyone cares, could he mention that I am very unhappy about the decision to remove my favorite item...again. Cry me a river, I am so sad  L.

Speaking of the weather, it was so hot and humid last night. I took cat naps all night long and woke up exhausted. I actually got up at 3:30 in the morning to go sit in the patio where it was only slightly cooler than the house. When I got back to bed, I flipped on the TV and caught the Olympics.


I happened to tune in to a marathon through the streets of London a city that fascinates me (a topic for another post). 

When I finally got out of bed, I had to take a couple of aspirins and sleepwalked with the dog through the ‘hood. We got an early start like 6:15 and you won’t believe this but all the neighbors were up walking their dogs, doing their chores with the same thought as me, let’s get things done before the day heats up! San Diego has such a mild climate that when the summer heat hits we are such pansies.

I started this post on Saturday and here it is now Wednesday the 15th and I find it is Julia Child’s birthday – Happy Birthday Julia! She would have been 100 years old.

I have been a fan of this woman for years. One day I hope to make it to the Smithsonian to see Julia Child’s kitchen and the famous peg board that holds her pots and pans. Not a fancy kitchen by any means but quite a functional one and one that was host to many well known chefs that cooked and baked with Julia on PBS.

Julia, the Great, in her kitchen

When the book Julie/Julia was published I was first in line to pick it up. The premise of the book sounded like a great idea. Unfortunately for me, the hype did not live up to the actual product. I thought the book was horrible. A far better read is My Life in France which Julia co-wrote with Alex Prud’homme. 

The lady had a sense of humor! Julia and husband Paul.

When Julia was a regular on Good Morning America (I think this was sometime in the 80s) the group visited Italy where she made panzanella, the Tuscan bread salad. I was blown away as I had never heard of anything like this before. Who would want to eat a salad made out of bread?

Charlie Gibson, Joan Lunden, Joel Siegel and Julia Child

Well, I did eventually try it and in fact I would like to share a variation on a theme of that recipe. Here is a panzanella salad made with cornbread. I don’t have any amounts listed I would suggest that you use your best judgment based on the number of people you are serving and as my mother would say…eyeball it! Good luck!

Cornbread Panzanella Salad

Sugar plum tomatoes (whole or cut in half)
Hot house or English cucumber (cubed)
Pre-made (or homemade) cornbread cut into cubes
Fresh basil (chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
One meyer lemon (zest and juice)

Throw all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy - it's quite good!

As Julia would say

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Downward dog or whatever...

...isn't that a yoga pose? Anyway, breakthrough discovery…I have discovered….yoga pants!

Mine are black but pretty much look like this pair

I now do everything in them except – oh, you are so right on – what they were designed for, namely yoga! They are great to wear for shopping, sleeping, going to the movies, getting a bite to eat or just plain relaxing. My yoga pants are awesome, they are sooooo comfortable! AND, they were a bargain at $4 from Goodwill. Just thought you’d like to know!

Just a few photos from the archival vault of Diamonds & Daisies!

Speaking of clothing (I realize yoga pants are hardly what you would call fashion), a recent USA Today article caught my eye, it was about fashion trucks on wheels. To read the story, just go here!

This one is called Wanderlust in Portland, Oregon

We’re all familiar with food trucks but how about fashion trucks for curbside fashionistas? They exist and what a great concept!

This is the Styleliner based in the Hamptons and New York City

There is even a San Diego track called Therapie which I will have to search out but you can visit with them right here.

This is Therapie right here in San Diego!

To totally switch gears, have you ever heard of Mexican Train? Well, it’s a domino game that apparently has been around awhile but is currently gaining some kind of resurgence.

I have no idea why it's called Mexican Train, do you?

I had never heard of it and never played dominoes but they sell it everywhere including Target where my neighbor got his. So, I was invited to game night at Phil and Rod’s place (our hosts) and they invited a few of us neighbors on board J.

The guys provided dinner and drinks and we each brought a little something to round out the meal.

The dinner theme was comfort food and there is no more comfort than Sloppy Joes!

I brought the dessert, an angel food cake with fresh berries and whipped topping. It was yummy.

Yes, it was heavenly!

This was our second game night and I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Christmas in July

Well, almost Christmas in July! If only the weather would cooperate.

In a rather late attempt at spring cleaning,

I remind myself of Mrs. Cleaver minus the pearls!

I found an Origins bath gel and lotion in my closet that I received for Christmas. Guess I must have put it away for future use and forgot about it so now it’s Christmas in July!

I am wafting in the aroma of Field Mint, Spearmint, Orange and Rosemary that keep skin and spirits revived and revitalized while nourishing Olive, Grape Seed and Rice Bran and Apricot Kernel Oils surround skin in velvety softness. This description is right off the tube of Smoothing Soufflé and after applying some lotion on my arms, I suddenly feel that I have been whisked away to a relaxing spa; perhaps in Bora Bora. Heavenly!

Maybe one day!

I cannot believe I haven’t written since January. Please forgive my absence it’s not that I haven’t wanted to blog or visit with you but I have been under a general malaise. Things however are starting to perk up and I am back only to find that things have changed with Blogger. Not only that but my browser didn't support Blogger. What the ????? I swear I hate technology!

While browsing the TV Guide, I found and watched Soul Surfer, the story of 13-year old Bethany Hamilton the young surfer from sleepy Lihue, Kauai who survived a shark attack in which she lost her left arm. This is not the best film ever made however it is an inspirational story that is worth telling.

The lead actress AnnaSohpia Robb did a fine job and I enjoyed the portrayal of Bethany’s parents as played by Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt. Pretty much anything Helen Hunt touches is gold to me; I think she is a superb actress. Even Kevin Sorbo, in nothing remotely resembling a Hercules loin cloth, turned in a fine if limited performance.

The real Bethany in action

A red carpet moment for this surfer girl

And if you count the island of Kauai as a character, then you will see that there is nothing better than island living.

And finally, there is a new dog in my life. His name is Maxwell aka Mr. Sheffield. Frankly I really wasn’t ready for a new dog but my neighbor who runs a business rescuing dogs thought I might be.

Max straight from the shelter hair all matted before his haircut

Max relieved of all his his tangles and knots

A rather handsome fellow indeed

Max has had a difficult life and we are trying to find our groove but I do my best to make sure he realizes he is in a safe and loving environment as he was much abused by people and other dogs. BTW, Max is back to being a shaggy dog minus all the knots!

Hope you have enjoyed your visit and have a great week.

See you soon!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Jonseing for January

Can you believe January is just about over! Really, where does time fly?

Around the third week into 2012 I found I was already breaking my promise to myself for the New Year. Notice I didn’t call it a “resolution” because those just don’t work for me. So my promise was…NOT to watch any more new reality TV. You know, you just get so emotionally invested and before you know it you get hooked. I’ve had it with the Kardashians, and I will never watch anything to do with Housewives, swamp people, catfish people, wild boar (!) people or any people this side of Deliverance!

My broken promise centers on Brad Goreski who now has his own show called It’s a Brad Brad World. Original title, yes? In my defense The Brad show is a spinoff of The Rachel Zoe Project. It seems that our Brad and our Rachel had a falling out resulting in a he said, she said.

Brad and Rachel during happier times!

In any event, there was a little mini-marathon and I watched three episodes of Brad’s show and enjoyed it. It’s Brad, post Rachel, trying to grow his business. Working out of your garage can get a little stale not to mention embarrassing if you are trying to impress celebrities. So we watch Brad as he hires his first assistant, locates the right business space in LA, and we are a fly on the wall as Brad tries to sell Details magazine on a (fashion) editorial which I found fascinating. I really wanted to get into fashion when I was younger and I enjoyed working in PR for a while so this is right up my alley. By the way, Brad just signed a two year deal with preppy New York brand Kate Spade to be its exclusive brand stylist for two years

While we are still on the subject of television, I enjoyed watching episode 4 of the new season of Downton Abbey on PBS. I love this show. I love it for its lush period costuming, the gorgeous scenery, the flawless portrayals, and a great storyline. Have you heard that Shirley MacLaine is joining the cast in 2013? She will play Lady Grantham’s American born mother. Wouldn’t it be fun if Shirley and Lady Violet (Maggie Smith) got into a little cat fight???

I am also looking forward to the return of The Walking Dead. I know, right? If you had told me that I would be watching a TV show about zombies, I would have said you were crazy. But, it’s an intriguing show with lots of surprises and so far it hasn’t gotten convoluted like Lost. The storyline is simple but there are enough twists and turns to keep you coming back for more. If only zombies weren’t so icky!

I hope you have all gotten a great start to the New Year! Kung Hee Fat Choi, it is the Year of the Dragon!

I have always thought of dragons as being noble creatures. A few years ago, my mother who for some reason has always wanted a tattoo, got one at age 72. She got inked with a dragon on her ankle. Myself, I am not a fan of needles so no tattoo’s for me!

Love you all!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

..and a Happy New Year!.

Happy New Year!

You all look marvelous!

There is much to look forward to this 2012, like... the return of Celebrity Apprentice! Beginning Feb. 12, there is a whole cast of people I barely know or have even heard of. But there are a few people I find intriguing like the deliciously villainous Patricia Velasquez. Here she is as she appeared in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.

Sinfully evil

How much do you miss the 80s/90s and Arsenio Hall? Remember he had a certain Arkansas governor on his show playing the saxaphone?

And how much do I love Star Trek? George Takei will be a contender this season.

Back in the day as Lt. Hikaru Sulu

I'm sure you have probably heard about my boyfriend Gerard Butler being in a near fatal surfing accident up in Northern California. He was pummeled by a 15’ wave last month at the infamous Mavericks beach while filming his latest movie.

An ambulance was dispatched to Stanford Medical Center where believe me Gerry got the once over. I am happy to report he is alive and quite well even making an appearance on the Graham Norton Show where forget surfing, he is recounting a treacherous experience with a kilt!

It's a Scottish thing

By the way, we snuggled quite cozily all the way through the New Year, thanks for asking!

And finally, my sister has just adopted a year and a half year old boxer named Brooke. She is just adorable.

Brookie Wookie

I hope you all enjoyed all your holiday festivities and I wish you the very best in the coming year!

Happy 2012!