24 April 2012

The value of our homes

From Carolyn McCulley:

"In doing the research for this book, I was startled to discover I basically knew nothing about the history of the home. I had no idea that my understanding was derived solely from a 20th-century American experience, where the home was seen as a place to store your stuff and showcase your taste. I had no idea how profoundly the 19th century had influenced the role, place, and activities of the home. For most of history, the home had been a place of productivity and the small business unit of the local economy. By the 20th century, it became a center of consumption. The public sphere—the marketplace—was the valued sphere. The private sphere—the place of intangible investment—was the devalued sphere. Yet all the activities of the private sphere were the ones that awaited eternal reward: the cultivation of loving marriages, the rearing and discipling of the next generation, the care for elderly or disabled relatives, and the mission of outreach to neighbors and hospitality for the church."

14 April 2012

California state capitol building

I was in California over Easter weekend to visit family and friends, and I got the chance to see the capitol building in Sacramento. It was beautiful! So many intricate details in the architecture and coloring. I could have stared at the center part of the ceiling (is this called the cupola?) for an hour. It reminded me of the Duomo cathedral in Florence, Italy.  So many beautiful colors. And how they keep it all clean and bright is a mystery to me. Bleach? (ha)

13 April 2012

I'm not the only one!

My niece Katie helped me put together this pug puzzle I got from Meredith for Easter... what else, but a pug with bunny ears?

Whatchu lookin at?

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I got to see this little cutie on my recent trip to California. Aren't her little toofers just adorable? And comical. I did everything I could to get her to smile all weekend, which wasn't that hard. My niece is a happy baby!

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Ah... The sight of these palm trees always makes my heart flutter and my taste buds dance. I should just buy some stock to express my personal allegiance. Did you know about their secret menu (which is probably not so secret anymore!)? I like to get my burgers animal-style, with the onions and sauce grilled onto the bun. Or if I'm feeling like a leaner version, I do protein-style with lettuce substituted for the bun. Don't forget the strawberry shake!

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06 April 2012

Headed for this!

Well, I probably won't get to actually see any almond blossoms because it's too late in the season, but I'll be taking at least one walk around the orchards this weekend to see if my memories hold up to reality.

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05 April 2012

Just not my day

I spent Monday night cleaning, organizing, and hiding things in my apartment, because I am a semi-messy person at home (picture stacks of papers, stuff I meant to hang on the wall sitting there for 6 months, etc.). I was having a few people over on Tuesday night, and I didn't want to look like a slob.


Tuesday morning, I was getting ready for work, and I reached into the basket that sits on the back of my toilet for a bobby pin. Sometimes when I do this, the basket wobbles a little on the curved porcelain surface, and then stablizes itself. Today it was already stable. No worries. Two whole minutes after I was done with the basket's contents, I watched out of the corner of my with horror as the whole thing tipped off the edge and spilled bottles, hair tools, and a hundred bobby pins across my bathroom floor. Five minutes before I had to leave for work.


Ok. So I ignore the mess (very difficult for an OCD'er like myself!) and head off to work, where I had a busy day and slept on the bus ride home. I walk into my apartment, past the bathroom, stop in mid-step and realize I still have junk all over the bathroom floor.  Have to get that cleaned up before my guests show up at 7pm! It's 6pm now! One hour!  Thankfully I didn't need to be concerned with making dinner at the same time, just some Pecan Blondies... which I overbaked slightly, so they became Pecan Brunettes.  Anyhoo...


No sooner than I got the bars in the oven, cleaned the kitchen, and cleaned up the bathroom, than I went into my bedroom to pull a paper (one! single! paper!) off the bookshelf, and everything came crashing down. Sometimes you just gotta wonder... ;-)  This is why I keep the majority of my belongings in my bedroom... it has a door.

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04 April 2012


Can I just take you home and keep you forever?

I think this calendar is not helping my situation - I want a pug even more!

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Since when did French baking get all modern on us? When I think of someone baking at home in France (which they rarely do, thanks to the gazillion patisseries everywhere), I imagine them using parchment paper or just a metal cookie sheet, with lots of butter. Everything in France has lots of butter.

But the French have come up with a fabulous nonstick rubber sheet called a Silpat mat. It is flexible, reusable, and expensive! I've been wanting one for several years, and thanks to a Williams-Sonoma gift card from my birthday, I finally got one! Thanks J! But not after first buying the wrong size Silpat in the store and then returning it, being given another gift card, and finally purchasing it on their website. No worries. It's finally here. Silpats are especially good for candy-making, so I'll be sure to share my future Silpat experiments with you!

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02 April 2012

March 2012

Looove watching it snow... from inside.  This is the view from the back of my apartment, by the way.

Saw this book at Costco: "Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything".  It's like the book was written just for me! I have the memory of a gnat.

Church-potluck-goers loved this one... Plum Cake with Penuche Frosting.  If you don't know what penuche is, go look through your grandma's cookbook for butter and brown sugar stains.

If you're looking for a book that outlines basic Biblical truths in every day language (and short chapters - 2 pages each!), this is it. "Essential Truths of the Christian Faith", by R.C. Sproul.

Even the postmaster didn't want to mess up Mom's pretty stamps.

The Irish insanity begins. If only I had an after picture!  You'll just have to click the link.

I love these people.  Did I paint my walls green just for the holiday?  Hmm... you'll never know.

J, we all know you loved the gluten-free cupcake.  But come on, double-fisting it?

Crews are renovating my apartment building. I really shouldn't have thought too hard about this puddle, or I may not have ever returned.

"Germs and Jesus are everywhere, so wash your hands and say your prayers."

Purple and white crocuses!! (Crocii?) They make the bus stop prettier.