Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

I have friends who despise Halloween, loathe the mere idea of dressing up in a costume and venturing out of the house.  I can't relate.  Masquerading as someone else for a night has always appealed to me.  It's a holiday where creativity and inspiration shine.  Unfortunately, this year I didn't go to any parties, nor did I carve my pumpkin, but thankfully the holiday warrants lots of facebook postings.  These pics aren't from people I know but seem to be making the viral rounds, and they made me chuckle.  Long live Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I've always loved to bake.  I vividly remember making brownies for the first time with my aunt Jeanette in the kitchen she shared with my grandmother on Long Island.  I remember the pounds of dough my mother kneaded, rolled, pressed, and dusted with sugar every Christmas.  Halloweens when my grandmother from Brooklyn visited, fresh apple pies were the solution to not biting into the apples we received as treats for fear they were "laced" with razor blades.  Gotta wonder which candy company started that myth.

Living alone, and consuming a sugar and lactose free diet, I only pull out the cookie sheets and baking pans when there's a holiday or occasion.  Last night's dinner with the astronaut whose life we're adapting into a series was the perfect excuse to peruse my cookbooks and experiment with a new recipe.  Juicy red plums from the farmers market gave me a direction, and I finally settled on Nancy Silverton's hazelnut and plum tart.  Several labor intensive steps:  roasting and peeling the nuts, toasting and grinding anise seeds, infusing melted butter with vanilla bean, took longer than anticipated.  Having to rechill the dough after difficulty rolling it, threw a wrench into my timing.   I brought it to DS's half-baked, certain the recipe didn't call for a twenty minute car ride of twists and turns midway through the process, but I had no choice.  I only have the other guests to gauge how it turned out, but the empty plates and smiles suggested it turned out well.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I'm dreaming of a white Halloween doesn't quite have the same ring to it.  This time of year I envision a flurry of tots in costumes swirling around neighborhoods in search of confections, not snowflakes.  But since the east coast was hit with a wintery storm earlier than usual, perhaps the blooms on my Christmas cactus are right on schedule.

Friday, October 21, 2011


 HAPPY 50TH PKH!!!!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Birthday Chill

Some birthdays we honor with big bashes, and others sneak up on us as we try to ignore the passage of time.  To commemorate  Noch's birthday I hosted a last minute, low key, Sunday BBQ.  The afternoon unfolded with ease, as we collectively participated in putting food on the table.  We toasted the birthday girl and the sunset.  We drank wine and ate chocolate cake.  Although Noch was initially reluctant we were all glad she acquiesced to the celebration, a wonderful excuse for us to carve out time in our schedules to be together. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

This Moment

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oh Deer

The night was hotter than usual due to an unusual mid October heatwave.   I slept with my four bedroom windows wide open hoping the stillness would be broken by a breeze.  In the morning, I woke early to the noise of trespassers below.  I expected to find coyotes trampling through my yard, but instead spotted a doe and her two fawn winding up the  hillside.  They grazed on my garden, and made eye contact.  When I returned in the afternoon they were still feasting.  I hope they come back soon.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


When Fall arrives in Southern California it's time for me to spend more time in the desert.  Warm sunny days, cool nights, brisk mornings, and a glorious blue sky.  Chelsea girl was in town from NY for a destination wedding at The Parker.  It was the perfect weekend for VM to visit before returning to Paris at the end of the month.  Many long talks, and laughs poolside, and in the kitchen while cooking dinner.  I took two, desperately needed, yoga classes.  The desert restores and inspires me.  I'm already looking forward to my return.

Friday, October 7, 2011

This Moment

Thursday, October 6, 2011


"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. ... Stay hungry. Stay foolish."  Steve Jobs

Why is life so much easier to activate in the face of death?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Age of Apple

Technology defines my lifetime in the same way machines, atoms and space travel defined others.  My generation is one of the last to grow up without instant information, communication and entertainment.  My life has been significantly altered, and enhanced by one man, Steve Jobs.  His vision, and user friendly applications brought technology out of the office and into every area of my life.  I was touched by his creations.  My iphone is with me at all times, and I rarely travel without my MacBook or ipad.  The ipod still blows me away.  All of my music in one tiny, transportable machine.  And the sound . . . amazing.  Steve Jobs' battle with cancer ended today.  In the face of death, his focus sharpened and his output the last few years,  prolific.  I'm grateful to have benefited from his brilliance, and saddened by his departure.  I wonder who will carry his torch.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


A 24 hour getaway to visit JOB in Ojai felt like a mini-vacation.  The ninety minute ride flew since I  spent the entire time on the phone laughing and reminiscing with my college roommate.  JOB and I always have lots of catching up to do, so the hours passed effortlessly.  We ended the day with a sunset hike in the mountains overlooking the valley doted with groves of orange trees.  For dinner, Cedars grilled salmon and vegetables to perfection.  In the morning I joined them for their ritual Sunday morning yoga class.  I haven't been on the mat in over two months, and this was the motivation I needed.   I was awarded with a calming bliss during Shavasana, and the desire to add yoga back in to my weekly schedule.