Monday, April 28, 2008


Sorry I haven't been around for a few days, but there are some things happening which are entirely out of my control. 1) My FIL is in the hospital with what was first thought to be a stroke, but now they say "no". He is doing better today ( been there since early Friday AM), but it is a bit freaky to not know what is causing the confusion, stumbling etc. 2) My brother in Tucson has been laid off and has put his house on the market and is selling almost everything he owns in anticipation of turning tail and running back to Vermont. He hates Realtors ( I don't envy his for sure) and is bombarding me with pleas for advice which he scoffs at. 3) Weather has gone from lovely to 45 degrees and rainy. I know we need the rain, but couldn't it be a warm rain?

On another note I am not sure how many of you are acquainted with young Aussie Jeni Ballantyne of TheComfySpot She is a courageous young woman who is fighting Stage Four colon cancer and blogging about it. Some friends have put together an e-bay auction of donated goods to help defray some of her costs and to establish a trust fund for her six year old son Jack. If you get a chance please visit the auction at http// Her plight is truly heart wrenching.

Good news...I won a Cottage decorating book from Julia over at Hooked on Houses. She has a very focused blog which is all about houses from tours of stars homes to MLS tours to design info. Stop by and say hello!

Bob is in SoCal for a two day class so I am going to indulge in a frozen ( I know, not great!) CPK garlic chicken pizza and a chick flick. Sounds like a theme night...chick pizza and chick movie!!

I have disabled the word verification; it has become positively evil with different widths and fonts. I 'm willing to give it a try so no goofy/rude spam please!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I have been home for a week now and I miss my friend. It is so nice to be able to have an extended period of time to connect. You don't feel rushed to try and remember everything you want to say in a short time. It was so relaxing and now I am coming to terms with "real life". It has finally been beautiful here and I have spent a lot of time working in the yard, clearing branches and way too many sticks from the yard. I am trying to dig up the one sunny garden I have. Most of my yard is too shady to grow what I want and the one sunny spot is almost too sunny. The soil is stony and pitiful as well. So, I dig and dig and eventually when everything is out I will amend the soil and try and grow some herbs and maybe a couple of roses. Mostly I am digging up Daylilies and Black-eyed Susans and some flowers that are somewhat related to Jerusalem Artichokes. They flower in late summer with multi-stemmed yellow flowers. They are great for bouquets, but grow about 5 feet tall and always flop all over the place. They are also way too invasive and send runners deep in the soil to pop up everywhere. I don't think I will ever get rid of them.

So, here are the rest of my pictures. I will try to just comment briefly on them and let you enjoy the splendor that is Southern California.

This is "C'est La Vie" where I intended to order the Chicken Crepes, But decided it would be much more "SoCal", not to mention so cool to have the Chicken Lime Salad. It was delicious and I am certainly not known for being a salad girl!
The beach, Enough said!

Laguna Beach was Saturday. Friday we went to Orange which has a gazillion antique shop/malls. We only went in a couple and the prices were way ridiculous compared to the East Coast. Just Crazy. Here are a couple of houses in Orange. Different style from LA. More Craftsman style bungalows and workers cottages with a few small scale Victorian homes thrown in.

Goodbye my friend and thank you for a wonderful time. Your turn to come here next, OK?

Sunday, April 20, 2008


First I will finish showing you the pictures I took of the L.A. Neighborhood near the famed "Miracle Mile". Personally I had never heard of the Miracle Mile, but in doing some research on Campanile ( the restaurant) I found out that this is what the whole neighborhood is referred to and that a lot of the major museums are in this area. I probably should have done the research before I went, but oftentimes serendipity is more fun, especially when you are with a good friend. So, carry on:

End of neighborhood, actually end of our walk thru neighborhood. We hopped in the car and drove thru Hancock Park where I swear I have seen college campuses smaller than some of these grand old homes. Just a tad ostentatious for me, but what do I know? I am just a simple girl from Vermont. Then we drove by UCLA, which didn't really look like imagined, but we only saw a small part of it. Across "town" on Santa Monica Boulevard thru Hollywood and Beverly Hills and part of Brentwood to Santa Monica. By the time we got there with all guessed it...traffic, we never got out just turned around and drove back and saw more incredible homes and of course tattoo and piercing parlors. I was not even tempted!! What??? Nope, not tempted even once, I won't even watch "Inked", just too gross for me. I was very impressed with my friend who has never driven thru L.A. very much. I navigated and she drove with great confidence and aplomb ( don't you just love that word?) and although traffic was hairy in some places she did a super job and I really appreciate her going outside her comfort level to give me the tour.

Dinner was at "Off Vine" conveniently located to Vine, no really, it was and only 3 blocks from the Theatre.

Really cool place, we ate outside because it was so nice. The food was Ok, not great, but OK. The big disappointment was the banana cream pie. I had seen it on the menu when I made the reservation and I was primed for it, but it was in a thick Oreo crust. Not at all what I had been craving. There is a dessert bakery in Providence called Pastiche which has the most incredible banana cream pie ( if you are ever in the area call me and I will treat, OK?) and I was expecting something similar. So, I set myself up for disappointment, happens all the time.

To get to the theatre we walked up Vine on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I saw many stars and believe me, Susie Q, I was watching for a Brian D. star...he does have one doesn't he? This was the best I could do...silly me.

The Pantages Theatre is a beautiful old theatre, but I didn't get any pictures. It was crowded with giggling teenagers and once they opened the doors from the lobby for us to be seated it was too late. We had really decent seats and I really enjoyed not just the story, but watching the mechanics of the flying monkeys, wondering how Elphaba could belt out tunes while flying on a broom. I forget how much I love going to the Theatre , because I don't get to do it too often. We left at 11:00, found our way back to the Freeway and guess what?? Yes. tons of traffic. again.

Have I bored you to tears yet? Let me know which house you liked best, just so I know you are still awake.


Saturday, April 19, 2008


I just need to take a minute and get this off my chest. I know the price of gas has been on everyone's mind as the costs just escalate. Here is my story. I know that gas here in Massachusetts is below the national average; I don't know why that is and I don't really care. Basically I am pretty frugal and I try not to drive just for the sake of driving, I plan my errands etc. ( Yeah, I know I was in the car a lot in LA and maybe that was selfish or maybe it was a well deserved and much enjoyed vacation, thank you Chic Hollywood Starlet. ) Back to my story...when I left here on April 9th, exactly 10 days ago, gas had been fluctuating between $3.09 and 3.11, but the morning I left it was 3.11. When I came back in the 15th it was 3.24. That seemed like a pretty big hike in 6 days. Thursday it was 3.29, Friday it was 3.34 and today it is 3.40. That is almost a 10% increase in ten days or 1% a day. What is going on and when will it stop??? I try to do my best to God and my country, to help other people at all times and to obey the Girl Scout laws ...does anyone remember this but me with my bizarre memory??, but it is getting ridiculous and I have to go by the gas station each time I go anywhere, so burying my head in the sand is not an option. Okay, enough said and my chest is feeling so much better. And oh yeah, I know a lot of you are paying a whole lot more and I truly do feel for you too :)

Maybe I will continue my California trip tomorrow because I worked outside all day and I am really tired tonight. It was a beautiful day and the yard is looking better, not good, but better.

Nighty night,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Day #2 in LA LA LAND!!

Thursday was our day to go to the big city for dinner and Wicked. We got dressed and left about 10:30 AM for our dinner reservations at 6:00. You never know how long it will take in traffic, don't you know? As soon as we got on the freeway...instant gridlock. We sat and crawled and crawled and sat our way to LA. This was all so new to me. As many times as I have been to California I have never actually been to " the city" as they used to refer to it on Dragnet and here we were cautiously...down Wilshire Blvd. We parked near here:

Walked by here:

I figured that this was either 1) some kinky sex parlor or 2) a very "in" restaurant. Internet research has proven that #2 is the correct answer.

We went to the LaBrea Bakery ( of cookbook fame), but alas there was no place to eat so we went next door to Campanile, once home to Charlie Chaplin. Very posh and quite pricey, but girls have to treat themselves once in a blue moon and we had tap water and Salad Nicoise.

How cool are these stairs and they may have been trod upon by some Hollywood Glitterati past and present.

Next we found this beautiful neighborhood of "modest" homes from the 20s thru 40s and walked and clicked. Here is what we saw:

Seems like some cropping might be in order!!

Love that garage door!

This is my favorite because I adore this color...note the shabby wheelbarrow planter!
Cool shutters, possibly cost more than my house.
Chic Hollywood starlet??

Sleep well and tomorrow we will go to dinner and the theatre and see a few more houses. Hope you are enjoying your peeping ;-)


Thursday, April 17, 2008


I am back and I had so much fun and such a relaxing, laid back time. I wanted to do some kind of travelogue for you, but find that the ADD is kicking in and making the organization tough. Clearly it is also making font sizes change as well. So without further ado here is the story of my Wednesday ( arrival day).

I flew into Ontario California, which for some reason was half as mush as flying into John Wayne and equidistant for my friend to pick me up. It was about 4:00 when I got into the car after flying from Providence to Las Vegas, (by way of Nashville) with just enough time for an iced caffe mocha and then on to California. Here we are arriving at the house.

Details of the front courtyard:

Can you smell how sweet this allysum smells?
Hear the trickle of the fountain?

Gaze in wonder at the Bouganvilla!! These plants are so rare to me that I can't spell them ;)

Doesn't my room look cozy with the late afternoon sun casting beautiful shadows on my comfy bed?
Thru the kitchen to this patio ( perfect for early morning coffee) and did you notice the hummingbird feeder?? I saw 4 while having coffee the next AM. Now up to:

The upper patio with just a few of the many roses in bloom. They are so gorgeous and so heavenly scented it just takes your breath away! After dinner we went for a lovely walk ( the temperature was about perfect...maybe 70 degrees). The rest of these pictures are from my friend's neighborhood. It is lovely, very different from anything we have here. All the houses are close together and each home has very little land, but there are greenbelts behind the streets that lead to parks, pools, spas and tennis courts. You can walk the whole neighborhood on the greenbelts if you aren't afraid of getting lost ( like me) and just take in the landscape or you can walk the streets ( no, I have never done this for a living!!) and peep at houses :) Here are some pictures of the neighborhood in no particular order.

Back to my friend's for a chat before bedtime. Tomorrow we will go to LA. It will be a long day with lots of pictures, so get your rest.