Category Archives: Friends Around the Globe

One Community: May!

 

One Community is a monthly photoblogging project where participants take pictures of their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The goal is to showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide.

I got to pick the words for this month’s One Community challenge and then had a challenge finding pictures for them! Five, Mother, Recipe and Remember

Five, or as we say here in California, cinco … de Mayo! Mayo also being the fifth month of the year. See what I did there?

Tau came home with this fabulous Cinco de Mayo chicken painting. Understand that art is not Tau’s thing, so I consider any art from him fabulous. For bonus points, he wrote the title of the picture and his name at the bottom of the painting in cursive, his other least favorite thing to do. Mother’s Day came a little early for me!

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Mother: One Community peeps, many of you are new here, so allow me to introduce my mom Di. She passed away two years ago and this picture makes me smile. It’s just so her! So her, in fact, that we used it on the pew leaflet at her funeral service.

Four years ago, Mom and I took a three-day Mexican cruise out of San Diego. And at the port of Ensenada, we took a Mexican cooking class, with fancy margaritas and a charming, engaging local chef, and ingredients that my African mother had never seen or used, which she absolutely loved. The dish we started with was guacamole, which in my opinion should be considered a main food group.

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I can’t believe she’s gone, I miss her every day, and I love that we made guacamole together!

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Recipe and Remember: I think I’ve spoken before about feeling closer to my mom and gran when I bake and cook. The recipe that reminds me most of the two of them is the scone recipe that they both used.

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It’s pretty foolproof but the lighter your hand and the less you mess with the dough, the fluffier they turn out. The scone recipe is pretty versatile too — I’ve added raisins as shown below to get the kids to eat them, or grated cheddar when I wanted something savory.

Ready for the oven:

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The picture below is of the recipe, hand written by me into my recipe book as a teenager. The blue additions are my mom’s writing, and as you can see, this page has seen a lot of use.

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The ingredient list and method are very Mom and Gran—how much milk do you need? Meh, just enough to klits with the egg and add until the dough is right. Paint tops with left over egg? My Gran would dip three fingers in what was left in the jug and just pat-swirl the top of each scone. Perfect every time.

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‘Til next month peeps!

Click the link below to read more One Community posts and join us!

The Rules: Post one or more photos interpreting the words for the month, and add your blog post to the link-up. Please include a link back to the link-up post on your One Community post, and take a look at some of the other links and comment on them. This link-up is all about building community!

One Community: April!

 

One Community is a monthly photoblogging project where participants take pictures of their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The goal is to showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide.

Our cues this month come from Rebekah at Honeysuckle Life, and they are:  Flowers, Spring, Purple and Rise

Spring! What better way to celebrate than to go for a walk this past Saturday to our local Farmers Market with this guy. Maceo’s job was to sit back, chill and eat strawberries. He’s very good at it.

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Flowers. There is a stall at our market that sells proteas, which just happen to be the national flower of South Africa. Obviously. Would you expect anything less of South Africa? I mean, come on!

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Spring. The market positively hums with new growth — succulents, fresh flowers, organic eggs, every variety of cheese … you name it!

I bought two skeins of handmade pasta, one of which came with a recipe for creamy lemon-garlic fettuccine with asparagus. So I had to buy asparagus, right? 

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Purple. The beets and their shocking purple! Beetroot always reminds me of my mom, would would steam and pickle large batches of it, and savor eating every slice. I’m not the biggest fan of beets, but they make me smile whenever I see them.

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Rise. There is a woman at the market who specializes in French breads and pastries. There is always a swarm of customers around her stall, waiting to buy.

And oy! The BUTTER! And the CUSTARD! And the SUGAR! All of it, light and poufy fresh, fresh, fresh!

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Maceo and I came home, stroller laden with goodies. All good!

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Click the link below to read more One Community posts and join us!

The Rules: Post one or more photos interpreting the words for the month, and add your blog post to the link-up. Please include a link back to the link-up post on your One Community post, and take a look at some of the other links and comment on them. This link-up is all about building community!

One Community: March!

 

One Community is a monthly photoblogging project where participants take pictures of their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The theme varies by month. The goal is to showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide.

Our cues this month come from Sarah at Beauty School Dropout, and they are:  Shower, Calm, Green and Friendship

Here goes!

Shower. We haven’t had rain in San Diego in — pfft! — 300 days or something crazy?! Then this past week, it rained on and off for four days. It may as well have stormed for a month, punctuated by tornadoes, an avalanche and perhaps an earthquake or two.

San Diegans have a hard time with weather and with rain in particular for some reason. Local TV stations refer to coming showers as thunderstorms, even when there is no thunder, and a friend told me last week that we were due to have the worst weather in recent history for the region.

I got nervous for a moment until I remembered the night of torrential downpour, thunder and lightning that Dave, three-month-old Tau and I survived in Africa — a storm so fierce and unrelenting that rangers at the game lodge we were visiting had to drive us back to our rondawel through the mud in a big-wheel jeep, and even then it was touch and go.  I decided that the killer storm of San Diego 2014 probably wouldn’t be that bad.

This picture was taken through our dining room window Sunday. A steady but light rain, three days of it and, ahem, we survived!

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Calm. Meet my new friend Shimi, that’s short for Sashimi. He sits on my desk at work and is charged with keeping me chilled and focused on the bigger things in life.

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Green. Here is my little one, Maceo, watching the rain make puddles Sunday morning outside our bedroom window. He took every opportunity to slip outside and ride his push bike through the wet on our patio. He also took great pleasure in putting on his swim goggles and dunking his face in the deepest puddles.

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Friendship. This past weekend was my birthday! And throughout the week I got small parcels from friends. Lovely books and fabric from Kelli, and this fun naked mail from my friend Joslin. She knows I love me some Dark Chocolate Raisinets!

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Click the link below to read more One Community posts and join us!

The Rules: Post one or more photos interpreting the words for the month, and add your blog post to the link-up. Please include a link back to the link-up post on your One Community post, and take a look at some of the other links and comment on them. This link-up is all about building community!

One Community: August!


We’re away for a week with friends in Ojai, CA, just northwest of Los Angeles. And while I remembered to bring my good camera, I forgot my USB cable.

So we’re going to Instagram it this month for One Community, our monthly photo project in which bloggers take pictures of their homes and communities with four theme words in mind.

Today we visited close-by Santa Barbara, a city I love and that we’ve visited many times. Our friends were new to the city, so we visited the mission, ate fish tacos and walked State Street.

Anyhow, I managed to juggle my Canon (sans USB, so you’ll have to wait for those), my iPhone, the stroller and a gaggle of kids, and still got a few pics.

Our four words for August:

Ice cream. Well, really, frozen yogurt, and my favorite kind — Pinkberry. I chose chocolate thinking there would be nuts to add as a topping. But no nuts, and so I had to add strawberries and cheesecake balls. A bit much but I needed a luscious ice cream photo, right?

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Bright. A gorgeous tile mosaic in the entrance to Lululemon on State Street today. This Instagram photo? No filter. No filter, I tell you.

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Numbers. If you’ve visited Santa Barbara, you know the architecture has a heavy Spanish influence. And what’s Santa Barbara — hey, what’s Southern California — without Spanish ceramic house numbers?

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Finally, we wrapped up a long day of tourism with carne and pollo asado tortillas, and a soak under the stars and palm trees at the gorgeous house we’re renting. Dave snapped this one of Maceo and I in the hot tub — SPLASH!  Hope you’re all enjoying August friends!

 

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One Community participants include:

Sarah is a life-long Missourian who shares her home with her husband, one (soon to be 2) son(s), and an old grumpy dachshund. Like every good Midwesterner, she can (and will) talk to you at length about the weather. Sarah blogs at http://www.beautyschooldropout.net.

Colleen lives with her handsome hubster and two feisty felines in Portland, Oregon. She loves rain and sun (in that order), words and pictures, and chatting up the neighbors. She blogs at: http://www.underaredroof.com

Rebekah lives in Kilkenny, Ireland with her husband. An American by birth, she’s discovering what it means to be an expat on the Emerald Isle. She blogs at: http://www.honeysucklelife.com

Kara is a cheerful nerd living in downtown Phoenix, AZ with her law-studying husband and an anxious pound puppy. She works full time in the mental health field but in her off time enjoys sunshine, great food and the occasional craft beer. She blogs at: http://www.sunshine-cupcakes.com

Teresa lives in Massachusetts with her husband, college aged daughter and two crazy cats. She is a creative spirit who tries to find the lesson, blessing and humor in everything and she blogs at http://laughteramongtears.blogspot.com/

Kelli lives in Arizona with her dog, Willie Nelson Mandela. A native Arizonan, she is enamored by the lush landscape, and looking to build community. She is a novelist, public health advocate and United Methodist. She blogs at: http://www.africankelli.com

Stephanie is a lifelong Wyomingite with ranch girl roots. She has her own marketing and graphic design business and in her free time, she enjoys knitting, fishing with her boyfriend, and team roping. She blogs at: http://www.nowicanseethemoon.co

Eduarda is a curious, visual creature who believes all pictures tell a story. She hails from Mozambique, via Portugal and NJ, and now is desert rate living with her husband and two teenage daughters in Chandler, AZ. She blogs at: http://of-blue.blogspot.com/

One Community: July!

 

This month, I’m joining One Community, a monthly photo project in which bloggers take pictures of their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The theme varies by month, and the goal is to both showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide! Here goes!

Yesterday Tau and I visited the annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July in our community park. The park is popular for the volunteer-run railway that runs the perimeter of the park, a favorite of boys, young and old. On holidays like the Fourth, they gussy up the steam engine and its open carriages with red, white and blue bunting, and stage a real-life ambush with period-costumed outlaws, who hold up the train, smoking guns and all. It’s great fun.

Unfortunately, my camera battery died shortly after we arrived, so I have few pictures and none really of the steam train in action. But you’ll get the idea — hot summer temps mean seeking out shade, grabbing a snow cone, meeting a president or two, and admiring old cars and beautiful patriotic quilts. I’ve added a set to Flickr with rest of the pictures I took.

Nostalgia – an old Ford, restored to prime condition, gleaming in the sun.

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Season – finding a cool spot in the grassy shade, snow cone in hand!

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Celebrate – the train station, festooned!

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Red, White and Blue – “Mom, we shoulda gotten two cotton candies for each of us!”

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And because I can’t resist sharing, a bonus picture! My son meeting his favorite president.

Tau with Abe Lincoln

Looking forward to seeing everyone else’s July pics!

One Community participants include:

Sarah is a life-long Missourian who shares her home with her husband, one (soon to be 2) son(s), and an old grumpy dachshund. Like every good Midwesterner, she can (and will) talk to you at length about the weather. Sarah blogs at http://www.beautyschooldropout.net.

Colleen lives with her handsome hubster and two feisty felines in Portland, Oregon. She loves rain and sun (in that order), words and pictures, and chatting up the neighbors. She blogs at: http://www.underaredroof.com

Rebekah lives in Kilkenny, Ireland with her husband. An American by birth, she’s discovering what it means to be an expat on the Emerald Isle. She blogs at: http://www.honeysucklelife.com

Kara is a cheerful nerd living in downtown Phoenix, AZ with her law-studying husband and an anxious pound puppy. She works full time in the mental health field but in her off time enjoys sunshine, great food and the occasional craft beer. She blogs at: http://www.sunshine-cupcakes.com

Teresa lives in Massachusetts with her husband, college aged daughter and two crazy cats. She is a creative spirit who tries to find the lesson, blessing and humor in everything and she blogs at http://laughteramongtears.blogspot.com/

Kelli lives in New Jersey with her dog, Willie Nelson Mandela, and her boyfriend, Dutch. A native Arizonan, she is enamored by the lush landscape, and looking to build community. She is a novelist, public health advocate and United Methodist. She blogs at: http://www.africankelli.com

Stephanie is a lifelong Wyomingite with ranch girl roots. She has her own marketing and graphic design business and in her free time, she enjoys knitting, fishing with her boyfriend, and team roping. She blogs at: http://www.nowicanseethemoon.co

Eduarda is a curious, visual creature who believes all pictures tell a story. She hails from Mozambique, via Portugal and NJ, and now is desert rate living with her husband and two teenage daughters in Chandler, AZ. She blogs at: http://of-blue.blogspot.com/

The Internet, She Does Not Lie!


Weekend before last, I flew to Colorado to spend a weekend with my friend Kelli.

For years we’ve read each other’s blogs, shared joys and sadnesses, recipes and sewing patterns. And I feel in our correspondence a clean connection and a kindredness of spirit. We click. Really well.

I flew into Denver and we immediately picked up Kelli’s friend Sheila and drove up to the mountains. “Ladies, you two really are so similar. I know you are going to get on REALLY WELL … no pressure!”

What a way to see the beauty and scale of Colorado first hand. Dodgy photo taken through the car window:

We were headed to Glenwood Hot Springs for some serious R ‘n R. And did we ever R ‘n R! Soaking in the springs is just so relaxing! Until Kelli suggests that the only way to improve on this experience would be for them to fill the pools with those tiny little fish that nibble the dead skin off your feet. Sheila and I were equally grossed out, and fits of giggles ensued.

Back at Kelli’s home in Golden, CO, we spent the rest of the weekend hanging out at her very comfy home, catching up, and realizing once again just why we get on so dang well. Stories about kids and dogs, friends and family, likes and dislikes, loves and losses.

The moment that I realized that the Internet doesn’t lie about what’s in a person’s soul? When we realized, while idly chatting, that the one possession we’d both wanted from our grandmother’s homes, were the biscuit colored mixing bowls they used all their lives for baking.

Kell, almost identical to your stand-in. See?

Sunday night, a bunch of friends came over for pizza and board games to celebrate Kelli’s birthday. The kind of group I’ve seen time and time again on her blog, eating a  meal together or celebrating a holiday.

Kelli and her roomie BJ:

It was a fun get together, one where we laughed so hard playing games my belly still ached when I went to bed.

Speaking of beds, the biggest treat of the weekend was the peace and quiet of a room of my own. No little feet or voices waking me, comfy cotton linens, and one of Kelli’s Mom’s intricate quilts at the foot of my bed.

Kelli, you know how to open your home and heart to guests so well. Thank you for a wonderful time!

Again With the Swaddling!



Unlike Kelli, I loved sewing the swaddle blanket so much that I decided to make another one. This time for old friends Jana and Chris, who have just had a sweet baby girl called Joss!

I could not wait to get my hands on this pretty fabric! Dicy photos taken with my phone — sorry!

And yes, my obsession with perfectly applied 1/4″ binding! Or as Kelli calls it “death by bias tape.”

And thank goodness, Baby obliged and modeled the finished product!