Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Back To The "GRIND"

Should one even utter such a sentence in my situation?  Is there such a thing, when you no longer have to go to work everyday?  It is true, the summer zipped by.  A summer cooler than we can remember.  So for us Scandinavians it was a good kind of summer.  Not too hot.  Not too cold.  Just kind o' perfect.

Presently the tomatoes are ripening at record speed allowing us perfect Lettuce Bacon Tomato Sandwiches.  A summer favorite to be sure.  The kids in the neighborhood are back in school. Working people are getting into their regular routines and traffic is back to the normal snails crawl in  the morning and even longer at evening rush hours.  How so many have to live with that is a bad and sad situation.  Yet there are more cars.  No busses and no other forms of transit, in or out of our little part of our world.

Before returning to our normal rhythm, we had the youngest of our grandchildren here for a weeks visit.  He was brave!  No Ipad, no "gaming" on his Mothers iPhone, no album full of Disney movies and no X Box!  Just the two Old Grumps, a Mister Kitty and Garbo!

We all managed to be entertained to one degree or another anyway.  We went to the movies!  To the dog park of course!  Drove shuttle traffic to Baskin Robins for ice cream and Elliot did not order vanilla once!  We did spend time doing some cooking...... but for now, I see no Chef interest brewing there. E informed us that when he grows up he is going to eat pizza every night!:-)  E flew around our lane on his rollerblades at a speed faster than lightening.  Causing me shivers of fear, making me pray and look the other way!

There was a birthday to celebrate!  A visit from the Seattle duo!  Family dinners on Sunday as is our custom.  A girls night out with some of the yoga and Pilates gang!  Dinner with friends!  And more movies with "Captain Fantastic" getting two thumbs up!  "Hell or High Water" also met with our approval.  Now "Sully" remains on the wish list for viewing.

A fun day was spent at The San Benito Historic Park watching another "chapter" of the civil war reenacted!

We had a great time at the dog park with Cathy, a dear friend from our Mariposa life.  She brought her two young Pyrenees boys Teddy and Paddy for a play date to the delight not only for us and Garbo but everyone  else that regularly hangs out there!  Three Pyrs at the same time is far from the norm!  It was a great afternoon.

Then home here for a well deserved lunch.  It was so much fun!  Fall is in the air.  My favorit season for sure.  Time for stew, soup and more hardy fare.  Good books.  Movie rentals.  Lit candles and snuggle time on the couch.

Farewell  to summer. Welcome autumn!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fire, Smoke and Cooking For Yoga

No, the fires and the smoke have nothing to do with my cooking for yoga I promise!  Rather from a big fire raging down the coast a way.  Near Big Sur not too far from Monterey and Carmel.  It is a stubborn fire making its way up and down various mountain canyons and therefore difficult to contain. According to the California Department of Fire containment might not be accomplished until sometime in the end of August!  The brave fire fighters have had a bit of help from Mother Nature the last couple of nights due to cool temps, coastal fog and calm winds.

We can smell the smoke and the sky is grey with the sun and the moon glowing a fire red in the early mornings and evenings.  The Big Sur fire is just one of many fires in the State with its  terrain loaded with dead trees and bone dry hill sides due to  the continuing draught.

Let me go back to where I left off at the time of our last blog post,  now close to two months ago.  Yes, time flies when you have fun!

So, after a walk around Brigantino Park together with the Photographer and Garbo very early this morning, then a Pilates class at the best gym in Hollister namely Oasis Fitness and Yoga, I am settling in to give an update of the happenings around here lately.  It was a busy time, that is for sure!

Photo by Sheryl Cohen

Photo by Sheryl Cohen

The most exciting, the most amazing, and the most fabulous event for me since I reported last was our Yoga Retreat up in the mountain regions of Mariposa.  Our old stomping grounds!

Photo by Sheryl Cohen

Invited to help cook for the event, together with Desi, the owner of the Oasis Fitness and Yoga Gym, I accepted the challenge with some trepidation as I ordinarily do not cook for so many people!  It ended up that with Desi's experience, her calm confidence and with help from Sheryl in the kitchen we did  just fine!  Those two ladies rock!  The same is true for Linda our  fabulous yoga instructor!

Photo by Sheryl Cohen

Photo by Sheryl Cohen

Spending three days and two nights at her glorious place along with about fourteen additional awesome women was for me an experience like no other.  It was fun, it was exhilarating, it was inspiring, it was WILD, and it was emotional!
Photo by Sheryl Cohen

Photo by Sheryl Cohen

Photo by Sheryl Cohen

Together and or separately we meditated, relaxed, swam, hot tubbed, ate, drank, laughed, hiked, danced around a fire, hooted and hollered, drummed and "tambourined" our way late into the nights to then get up early to breakfast and yoga, lot's of yoga, all over again!  Fabulously fun!

Photo by Sheryl Cohen

Garbo was in "heat"!  That situation always puts a kink in our existence and our routine.  We weathered the storm however and now we are back as "regulars" at the dog park! There was the 4th of July Motorcycle Invasion to attend. Noisy and Fun!

Saga came to visit!  We had a wonderful time! Or at least I did. We cooked and baked, made ice cream and sorbet, walked the Garbo girl, and went to the movies.  She came along to the yoga and Pilates classes and  Saga  practiced her chipping on the golf course,  impressing the heck out of some older "golf veterans", one of whom gave her a golf ball from Stanford.  She does look like a Pro out there, taking long strides with those beautiful long legs of hers.  She seems too enjoy herself and is a true joy to watch!

With perfect timing it just happened that we were invited to Kellie's Wedding Shower while the "Little Cousin" was still here! Saga loved being part of the fun event. Watching Kellie open gifts galore, partaking in fabulous food, making her own perfume at the "create your own fragrance" table and  winning the Bridal Shower Game  Prize! A "forever memory" I am certain

This coming week end we will be making a marathon drive down to the Los Angeles area to go and see Saga perform in a professional production of Peter Pan.  Saga is playing the part of a pirate.  We will be bringing the "little brother" with us back home as it is his turn to spend some solo time with the two "Grumps" his Gram and Gramps!  Let's see how that turns out?

Since our last blog post there have of course been dinners and lunches with friends and family, as always!  Minus The Future Chef who incidentally returns this coming week end from a month long vacation in Croatia with a bit of time also spent in Rome, Italy and a few extra days on the East Coast.  It is going to be a great pleasure to hear about all of her adventures at our next Sunday Family Feast!  We can hardly wait!

Our tomatoes are just now ripening as they got a late start and the summer has been rather cool.  So far we have only harvested a few.  Looking forward to  tomato abundance shortly.  Truly a summer pleasure!  I see tomato sauce, roasted tomatoes, tomato pie, sliced, diced, and chopped tomatoes in my near future.... what do you foresee in yours?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Two Road Trips and a Funeral

There was a plan to drive to Los Angeles to meet up with the photographers high school buddies in the end of May.  We were to see a play, gather for a nice dinner on the town and have a fun time.  But sometimes totally incomprehensible life changing things comes crashing down on us to make plans change.

My best friend Maud (upper left) and her son Eric (lower left).

My almost life long "bestest" friend lost her son!  Heart failure at home in his kitchen, as he was preparing for a meeting with the Democrats in Long Beach.  Working hard in an effort to convince people to vote for Hillary, in the upcoming Primary Elections.

The man we lost was a son, a brother, a husband, and a father.  A friend to so many.  A mentor.  Kind and Caring.  An activist!  He possessed a great sense of humor and gave the worlds best bear hugs! He truly enjoyed a good time.  We miss him immensely!

Eric Thomas Sean Bradley

As we have Garbo "in training, " to get used to staying at a Doggie Hotel ( where she will need to be for an upcoming wedding in the fall ) we decided to make a trip south just to hang out with family.  Hoping to catch up with the high school friends another time. It seemed more appropriate somehow.
It was Memorial Day weekend with a parade in Torrance.  A parade that our youngest grandchild was going to be part of as he is a very proud Boy Scout.

A few parade photos.

We also spent some time at the dojo where our Boy Scout trains in karate, watching him during his lesson.  He loves and excels in this sport!  It is such fun to see his rapid progress and he has now earned a purple belt!

Returning home from our week end with our close family we took "the long way" home.  Driving up the beautiful west coast on highway One and 101.  We have not done that for a long time usually choosing Interstate 5 as it gets us home faster.  But it is ooooh so BORING!  We took the time to have lunch at La Super Rica, a favorite little Mexican eating place.  Standing in line.  Waiting to order.  Waiting for our food, prepared one tortilla at a time and so, so worth it!

This trip was repeated again the following weekend with the Mother of The Future Chef and the Future Chefs Dad to attend a memorial mass for our Eric.  The Seattle branch of our group were flying to LAX.

More parade photos.

The memorial service was very special.  The church full to overflowing.  The eulogy perfect!  A speech that touched on Eric's many friendships and accomplishments of course!  His Viking heritage and his affinity for good beer!  We held up imaginary glasses as suggested by the speaker and said Skål to Eric with the speaker telling us that if Eric had a choice he would have liked his last send off in a Viking ship lit up by burning arrows, just like the Vikings of yore, but that the Environmental Agency would not allow such things.  The attendants cheered and clapped their hands!  Not an ordinary send off at a Catholic church in Long Beach California I venture to guess?

We also celebrated Saga's Bithday whilewe were there and Maria's birthday last week end. Today it is Ray's turn to celebrate and we hope he will have a super day!

It continues to be crazy busy here.  Dinner guests, family dinners, grandchild visits and more dinners with visiting friends.  Next week I go off to help cook at a yoga retreat in Mariposa, leaving the Photographer and "the kids" at home alone!  It will be exciting and fun.  With part of Fathers Day spent with the Photographer as I hope to return home early enough to spend part of the this Father's Day with one of the best "stand in's" for a Father there ever was, in my book!

(More parade photos)

Every persons life is a book.  Everyone has a story.