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Category — Linda

weekend doings

april yard

How was your weekend?

patio blankets

I spent mine deep-cleaning my house and preparing my backyard for the harsh summer conditions. The first order of business was to bag up all the patio throws and blankets we use on chilly fall and winter nights and store them in the rolling crate-ottoman.

summer patio

While I was at it, I vacuumed the rug and dusted off all the furniture – a never-ending battle!


One of the prettiest things blooming in the backyard is the Lavender Snail Vine (Vigna caracalla) that is completely covering…

vine covered arch

… the rusty arch at the far edge of the patio.

canna lilly

I discovered the first Canna Lily (Auguste ferrier) of the summer. It is a promise of things to come.

not soon enough

Another nearly weekly activity is the cleaning and refilling of the hummingbird feeder.

bean cleaners

I have tried all sorts of ways to clean the bottle, from bottle brushes to pipe-cleaners, but the most effect method I’ve found is this: Fill the bottle about half way with hot tap water, add a tablespoon of bleach and then a handful of dried beans. Shake and roll the bottle and the beans will clean the sides better than any bottle brush known to man.

rinse well

Next, triple-wash the bottle and then wash it again to make certain that you’ve gotten all traces of the bleach out of there before filling it with sugar syrup. I use a mix of 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water.

hungry hummer

I’m barely able to turn around from hanging it up before the hummers get back at it.

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April 14, 2014   1 Comment

Barcelona – we have arrived!

By the time you read this, we will have already been in Spain for more than 36 hours. Just know that as I type this it is still Tuesday night in Arizona and it is Wednesday morning in Barcelona, but I’m setting this to post on Wednesday morning in Arizona and when it does, it will be Wednesday night where I am. I always have a hard time figuring out and communicating time differences, so from here on out, I won’t worry about my time vs. Arizona time!

lorraine and peggy

Our flight on Monday morning from Phoenix to Philadelphia was packed, sold out. Sky Harbor was overflowing with travelers at 5:30 AM when we arrived. We then had a 4+ hour layover in the busy Philly airport, which we spent in the US Airways Admirals Club lounge. We drank too much free wine and ate their complementary snacks as our late breakfast.

empty plane

The best news of the day came when we boarded our flight to Spain… it was empty! Just about everyone the plane could have had his or her own center row to lay down in… and we did!  Bad news, even with the luxury of having a place to lay down and sleep the flight away, I barely slept a wink. No matter, it was a joy to have room to stretch out. Trust me, I tried to sleep, but after much tossing and turning, I ended up watching two movies instead; 2014 Best Movie Academy Award Winner, 12 Years a Slave and Enough Said with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late, great James Gandolfini, in his last film. Recommend them both!

empty airport

When we landed in Barcelona, we were shocked at the emptiness of the airport. I think our flight may have actually been the first of the morning, arriving at 7AM. It was a virtual ghost town. There were no departing flights scheduled for hours! Spaniards know how to live right!

Lorraine, Natalie, and Peggy

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March 12, 2014   2 Comments

on my way

on my way

By the time you read this, I will be on a plane heading to Barcelona, Spain!

The photo was taken in February 2013 at Peggy’s 50th birthday party.

the crew

Anne, Lorraine, Connor, Peggy, Stevo, Natalie and Samantha (standing)


Peggy, Lorraine (Peggy’s sister-in-law) and I are going for a nearly two-week long trip to visit Natalie, Peggy’s daughter, who is studying abroad in Barcelona.

How lucky are we?!?

There is supposedly internet in the house we’ve rented.  If so, I shall blog from there… if not, I hope to be able to blog at least intermittently.

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March 10, 2014   2 Comments

packing < fun

Here is what I’m up to today…

glamour packing

Who am I kidding?  It looks more like this…

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March 9, 2014   2 Comments

this is what I’m working on

The rebel within C&W

Please come back tomorrow to see if I’ve finally “cracked the code” of how to make these mind-boggling and out-of-this-world-delicious breakfast muffins.

rebel anatomy

Here’s a hint … I’m busy formatting the 30+ photos I took of the process and doing my best to edit one of the longest recipe posts I’ve put up in a long time.

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February 5, 2014   3 Comments

Friday Funnies are back…

… it’s been six weeks since our last Friday Funnies. That’s five weeks too long!

for fun

This is how the three men in my life; my husband, son and dad see me.

Whereas, this is how I’ve been feeling lately ….

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January 31, 2014   No Comments

Sun. & Mon. in San Fran

As fun as Saturday was, I think Sunday might have come close to topping it. At the very least, it was a draw.

breakfast HD


Marissa and Jeff came up to the Hotel Drisco for breakfast. There is French brie, smoked salmon and all the fixings added to the breakfast buffet on weekends! After breakfast, Marissa and I went to her neighborhood nail salon, just 2 blocks down the hill from her house, to get a mani/pedi. Once our fingers and toes were as gorgeous as could be, we did what any glamour girls would do…

go car ready to go

… we climbed onto a motorcycle! It’s called a GoCar, but it is technically a motorcycle. And it is the most fun, ever! We only nearly crashed it into a ditch once and then nearly killed ourselves one other time. Other then those two tiny moments … so much fun!

speed racer

Oh, and I might as well tell you this part now, before Marissa adds it in the comments – I was at the throttle both of those “life flashing before your eyes” moments! (I would say “at the wheel” but there is no wheel, just handlebars with a throttle.)

approaching the GGB

No foot peddles for stop and go either, just the handlebars with the brakes. Oh, and the GoCar does not go in reverse. You need to back up? One of you gets out and pushes it backwards. We each had to do that once. I pushed it backwards to get out of a parking space and Marissa pushed it backwards away from the previously mentioned ditch. I also managed to run over my own foot with the front tire while pushing it backwards – luckily GoCars frames are made of fiberglass and therefore are quite light and not toe crushing.


We picked up our GoCar in Fisherman’s Wharf and drove toward the Golden Gate Bridge, along Crissy Field and then along the Pacific Ocean and through the Presidio.


Under the bridge, we stopped at Fort Point. Neither of us had been there before. It is so cool!

Fort Point was constructed just before the outbreak of the Civil War.


Military officials declared its position at the Golden Gate as the “key to the whole Pacific Coast.”


Fort Point never saw action, its massive brick walls look to be impenetrable.


Original plans for the Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930′s called for the fort’s removal. Chief Engineer Joseph Strauss redesigned the bridge, adding an arch over the fort, saving it from demolition.

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January 23, 2014   5 Comments

Saturday with my girl

craftsman and wolves

On Saturday morning, Marissa and I went to Craftsman & Wolves to finally try, The Rebel Within, for ourselves. The muffin with the soft, runny egg in the center that I previously wrote about and tried to make at home, without success.

rebel anatomy

You’d think that with this “Anatomy of a Rebel” from the C&W website, that I would be able to figure it out. But how to get the egg to have that runny center – that is the mystery.


The guy at the counter, who took our order, thought Marissa was super cute. As well he should!


Anyhow, we sat down with our muffins (plus an amazing Chocolate Sourdough, Citrus, Almond & Coconut pastry!) and just admired the beauty of it all.


I held my breath and then sliced mine open. Pure Per-fec-tion! It was exactly as I hoped it would be. No let down. Not an ounce of disappointment. Just perfection.

it's there iin that case

The one surprising thing that may just be the key to unlocking the mystery of how they keep that egg center soft instead of hard-cooked … it is served cold. Not ice-cold, but it was obviously refrigerated after being baked. When the staff arrives in the morning, my guess is that they must remove the muffins from the refrigerator, to allow them to come to room temperature, before they open the door to customers.

I attempt to make it again, soon, and I shall prevail!


After breakfast, we spent the day shopping. I wanted to check out a cookbook store called Omnivore.

meat locker

It is housed in an old butcher shop. The former meat locker is the storeroom and office. There’s a huge meat scale hanging from the ceiling.


It is full of lovely new, used, and vintage cookbooks and in the front window there is a funny chicken with a toque upon his little head.


Oh, how I’d love to have a quirky kitchen store/school in such a unique and fun space.

big daddy

Next, Marissa surprised me as we pulled up to Big Daddy’s Antiques. My friend, Sheila, and I visited and fell in love with the Big Daddy’s Los Angeles store a couple of years ago. This location did not disappoint.

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January 22, 2014   6 Comments

my girl


I’m sitting at gate 30 in SFO waiting for my morning flight home.

I am sad.

I hate leaving my girl. I always wish that a weekend trip could be longer.


Even so, it was a glorious long weekend together. As is our tradition, when I arrived on Thursday night, we drove directly to San Tung Chinese Restaurant for their dry chicken wings.


Marissa used to live in Outer Sunset, which is near San Tung. Since she moved to Pac Heights, which is quite a bit farther, we call ahead for take-out instead of waiting in the long line - there is always a long line at San Tung! We take our food home and devour it like a pack of starving dogs.

That was pretty much it for Thursday. I checked into the hotel and went to bed happy with my tummy full of those amazing wings! Someday, I’m going to do a boatload of research and figure out the recipe.


Marissa worked from home on Friday. Before she clocked in, she came over to the Hotel Drisco for breakfast, then we went back to her apartment. While she worked, I did my usual “Mom is here to visit and do stuff” things.

I repaired a broken part of the reclining couch. I cleaned a problem area in the tub/shower. No need to go into detail here. It was a nasty and difficult job that Marissa couldn’t figure out and that honestly took me several trial and errors before getting right.

I then made a Target run to get a replacement microwave (an Emerson brand she bought in May had already died!) and a new toaster oven. The oven she’d had since college was too nasty for me to approve of any longer!

corner market

I walked down two blocks to the corner market for some stuff. Then walked back down three blocks the same direction to the hardware store for more stuff. I did all my little fix-it jobs until she clocked out at 5:00.

wine time

Then, we went up the hill to the Hotel Drisco for the wine reception. After relaxing there, we called for a Lift car and went to North Beach for dinner.


 Photo from SFGate.com

Have you heard of Lift or Sidecar? They are these great “urban taxis” that San Francisco has. Regular people use there own cars to give you rides to where you need to go.  The drivers are checked out and hired by Lift and Sidecar and you use an app on your smartphone to find drivers in your area. No cash is exchanged. You are sent a bill at the end of the night and you pay online. It’s fabulous! Marissa said that Lift is now in Phoenix. I can see how it might work in Old Scottsdale or Tempe, but with our urban sprawl, I don’t know how it can survive in our area. It’s perfect for a city like San Francisco though!


Anyhow, we planned to eat at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, but the wait was 2 hours. Maybe next time.

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January 21, 2014   8 Comments

long holiday weekend

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


Good morning from beautiful San Francisco. I arrived here on Thursday night to visit my sweet girl for the long holiday weekend.  We have been eating sumptuous food, seeing beautiful sights, going shopping and to the theater. We are having a ball!


The weather has been perfect!

hotel drisco

Ever since May, when Marissa moved to Pacific Heights, when I’ve come to visit, I’ve stayed at the Hotel Drisco.  It is on the corner of Pacific and Broderick, a quick three block walk to Marissa’s apartment.


Well, it’s a quick walk to her apartment, since it’s all downhill… not so quick or easy of a walk back! It’s not called Pacific Heights for nothing! The photo above is a “selfie” I took on the walk to her place. Yes, that’s the top of my head in the lower corner, so I’m considering it a selfie. It is a home that is for sale at the corner of Pacific and Divisadero. My future home! In my dreams, anyhow.

hotel drisco breakfast

Each morning, the Hotel Drisco puts out a complimentary breakfast spread.

Tom's Best Ever Granola

I especially look forward to Tom’s “Best Ever” Granola – which is very close to my Glinda’s Wickedly Delicious Granola.

wine tasting

Then, every evening, there is a complementary Wine Reception. They always feature various wines from Napa and Sonoma counties and sometimes have the wine makers here to share information about their specific wines. Like going to the wine country, without the drive. Marissa and Jeff usually join me for breakfast and/or happy hour. They love the Hotel Drisco as much as I do!

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January 20, 2014   4 Comments