Saturday soup

Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.

~ Ludwig van Beethoven


Vegetable Chowder

If it’s a rainy Saturday like today, soup is on the menu at our house. A vegetable chowder is the best way to use up all the veggies I didn’t use this week. Celery and tomato get tossed into this recipe. I’ll serve it with hot cornbread. Yum!


summer + nature = redwoods


No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe.

~ John Steinbeck

Summer along the California coast is inspirational, nothing more so than the Redwood National Forest, enjoying it so much I’m making it a feature in the next series.

Lemon tree… very pretty

do you know the land where the lemon trees blossom; where the golden oranges glow in the dark foliage.

~ Maeve Binchy




I use lemons so often in cooking that I’ve decided to try my hand at growing my own lemon tree. Will my venture be successful? We’ll see. I may have to wait two years for it to fruit. Ugh! But I’m willing to give it a shot.


Mother Earth, oh, happy day!

“He plants trees to benefit another generation.”

Caecilius Statius

Earth Day. 2015.

Give back.

Plant a tree.

Big Sur


For most of my life I’ve taken trees for granted. They’ve always been there when I needed one. If you’ve ever been outside on a really, really hot summer day and looked for shade to get some relief, you’re probably a BIG fan of trees. Here in Southern California the average temps have increased by 6°F over the last 50 years.  We’re losing trees at a rapid rate. Every day somewhere, developers move into an area, cut down a swath of trees without blinking an eye. But trees are valuable. They give something back. They cool urban areas by up to 10°F. Trees provide shade for picnics, or for those times you take a break while riding your bike. Through their leaves, trees release valuable water vapor into the air. For the complete list of good things trees do, go to

Celebrate the earth. Plant a tree. Your children’s children might one day thank you.

I survived January!

Hello February

 Hello, February

The February sunshine steeps your boughs

And tints the buds and swells the leaves within.”

~ William C. Bryant

Yeah, baby! Ever since I was a kid I’ve hated one month more than all the others—that gray, drab, tax-sucking month they call January. I mean, it comes right on the heels of Christmas, barely a week afterward, forcing its way onto the calendar and into your business. Before you have time to recover from the headache of New Year’s Eve, you’re pressured into making resolutions you never wanted to make and having to remember to write a new year on your checks and contracts. To me, January arrives on your doorstep like a rude, unkempt, in-your-face, annoying family member who refuses to go away and pushes her way into your house whether you want her there or not.

January has always been a real drag for me. For some reason, it challenges my creativity in a way I am unable to explain. It’s always a tough month for me to get through. Why? I have no idea. Maybe when I was in first grade I was traumatized by having to come up with a show and tell that I was ill-prepared for and therefore did not go well. Who knows?

Whatever the reason, I’ve hated Januarys for so long that it’s a way of life for me.  When this particular month comes to a close I invariably celebrate the end of it. (No, really, I do.) I have my own party. The fact that this year it falls on Super Bowl Sunday is a mere coincidence. No matter the day of the week, I take out my cell phone and start dialing. I get  the dip ready, drag out the chips, and set up the bar. I invite a small group of friends over who help me greet the new, shorter month, known as beautiful, lovely, FEBRUARY!!!!!

Now February is a month I can really wrap my arms around.  It’s a month that many associate with love, bright bold colors, and hearts. What’s not to like about a month that pulls all those things together as well as February? It’s so much better than January and all those tax prepping, shove-it-down-your-throat commercials. Yes, I know it’s a bias I must live with and I do. Yes, I know February is still winter. Yes, it’s still cold, icy, snowy or raining in some parts of the country. But  the upside is, it’s NOT January!!!

So live it up in February. Do crazy things. Do all those things you’ve been talking about doing. No, don’t wait for spring. Forget those resolutions you felt pressured to make and embrace your February persona. One way is to grab your Kindle and spend all 28, cozy, February nights curled up by the fire reading and escaping to another time or place. It’s the best way I know to celebrate a new month. In fact, it’s the best way to celebrate a winter’s night anywhere in the world!

And for me, did I mention it’s NOT January!!!!