day 293 – fruit cake

The last of our flock has flown – but before she flew – she made a healthy fruit cake for her dad’s birthday.This is a cylinder of watermelon with thinly sliced peaches swirled in an overlapping wheel as a topper.  Grapes are sliced and pushed through straws.  Kiwi slices stick to watermelon sides.  Mint is used as a garnish and a refreshing touch.  How creative, fun, colorful, easy and healthful is that?

Imagine what you could do with different fruits.   Yogurt could be poured around the bottom, on the side or over the entire “cake” and then decorated.  Cherries, orange segments, melon, star fruit, berries!

The cake shape can be carved out of cantaloupe, honeydew or a cored pineapple.  Fill the pineapple with tiny blueberries and sprinkle with coconut.

Perhaps bananas and apples would not be a wise choice because they brown once cut but combinations and designs are probably endless and only limited by availability and artful editing.

day 292 – Chocolate

Safe and sound and on the ground.  Back from Las Vegas but a ton of pictures and comments and reporting back to do.

Jean Phillipe Patisierres are everywhere upscale or new on the strip.

 Is this art or is this chocolate in the making?

Atop is a glass ceiling with artful blown glass dishes holding and pouring four different types of chocolate then proceeding down walled glass shelves that drip to bottom and then recirculate like a fountain.

day 290 – Vegas

I am quite the cougar.  My husband will turn my age finally tomorrow.  LOL.We are settling Into our superb accommodations at Hotel 32 at the Monte Carlo and feasting on F & B’s.  Apparently this week is rather slow for Sin City.  Most kids are back at school and it’s right before the big Labor Day last summer hurrah weekend!  Great deals on rooms and it is Restaurant Week!

day 287 – Homemade Cinnamon Buns

REALLY?  How am I supposed to deny myself these wonder buns hot out of the oven?  My daughter V made them for all of us this morning on the occasion of her sister’s departure, our last chickadee to Berkeley.  She is a self-taught baker extraordinaire.  Everyone gains weight when she is home.  I don’t have the patience or inclination to work with yeast and dough and rising and waiting.  She whips up croissants, bagels, bread, cookies, cakes and pies like it’s child’s play.  Plus… and so appreciated, she cleaned up the whole kitchen and packed her sister up for college.  Thank you V!  

day 286 – Goodbye

Last night E and V, my daughters on their way to freshmen and junior years respectively, said their goodbyes to some family, today some more friends and family. Tomorrow, very early, E goes off to Berkeley to start her life in the Bay area.  Friday, very late, V goes off to Columbia in NY to continue her life in the Big Apple.

Serious empty nesters.  Congratulations and good luck.  “Be good and be safe.”  I must have said that one million times in all their years sending them off to school, daily.  Be good, be safe.  Proud momma.  Emotional, life changing, transitional moment.


Lions and Bears

Last week we couldn’t believe we saw these two banners together, amongst a zillion others, at a local pizza hangout  on their wall.  Serendipity.

day 285 – Ideal Bookshelves

In My Ideal Bookshelf edited by Thessaly La Force and art by Jane Mount, various people in various professions are asked to build their “ideal bookshelf”.  Guests responded to the following– What are your favorite books?  Name a book or books that changed your life.  What book do you read over and over?  What book(s) made you who you are today and why?  What is the best book you ever read and how did it influence you?  What book makes you cry every time?  You get the picture.

The artists, writers, designers, etc. are friends/acquaintances of the editor and illustrator.  I believe they also sought out some celebrities like Thomas Keller, Mary Karr and David Sedaris.  The questions are a starting point for discussion.

On one side of the page is a colored drawing depicting the spines of each bookshelf for each person.  Some bookshelves have few books, others have many, some are arranged vertically and horizontally and some include bookends, artifacts or sentimental décor.

The illustrated bookshelf represents the person and reveals them as they describe the reason for their selection on the opposite page. A few titles kept popping up repeatedly out of the one hundred and five readers.  Some of those, I decided were a must read due to their popularity.  Lolita by Nabokov was on practically everyone’s bookshelf.

Start thinking about your ideal bookshelf and why.  What books could you not live without; helped you surmount some disappointment or gotten you through a major life event?  What books stimulate your imagination? Which books inspire you?  Whose writing are you drawn to and resonate with?  What time period or type of book do you relish?

This is an interesting retrospect.  Enjoy.

say 284 – Nature Walk

In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks – John MuirOn my walk this morning, in the mountain town I belong to,  I observed two homes up my hill with such personality I just had to share them with you.  Every time I see them, I nod and shake my head in agreement, I breathe easier, I smile and pause to enjoy their creative energy on display. 

Charm, eccentricity and artful abandon abound in this mountain community.