Category Archives: Sue Stuff

One Community: June!

 

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 gotta tell you One Community peeps, this month, I’ve got nothing! Road, Float, Sprinkler and Oasis? Things have been busy here and I’ve barely touched my camera.

Except that I got a new phone and am pretty impressed with its camera. Sitting out on the patio yesterday, I casually aimed my new iPhone 5S and snapped these in about two seconds flat. With a little Picmonkey action, they are not half bad.

OK. So I’ve got a little bit of Oasis. That’s all I got.

The herb patch in our small courtyard garden has been hard dirt for years. In the years BM (Before Maceo), we had luscious basil, rosemary and thyme. But as soon as Maceo could toddle, he colonized that patch and made it his own personal dirt pit. And we gave up.

This year, I have to say, we have hope. We’ve planted the patch, explained to him what the herbs need to grow and how he can help, and so far, so good. Crossing fingers.

Tau grew this basil on his bedroom window sill in a teensy plastic greenhouse that I found in the Target dollar bins. This was the only seedling that survived the transplant into this pot. Maceo calls it “baby basil,” and I’m thinking it’s going to make it.

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Below is what he calls “big basil”—one of two four-inch plants we bought from the nursery. Because we love our summer pesto and caprese in this house! These are only about the size of a soccer ball now but they are growing fast.

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I have a thing for marigolds. Dave doesn’t get it, but he still humors me and lets me plant them along the border of the herb garden.

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And finally, below you can see our first baby step into the world of veggies: tomatoes! Actually, not true. I tried to plant some South-African gem squash a few years back, and they worked their way up the trellis beautifully and flowered but never fertilized. Boo!

I think I picked up this tomato rocket at Target also. The kids have been excited to watch it sprout and grow. They will be beside themselves if it actually bears tomatoes. But will they eat them?! Stay tuned for the next exciting installment! Da-da-da-dum!

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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: 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!

Finally Making the Family Passport Wallet

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Two Christmases ago I gave Dave a paper gift bag. Inside it was a handful of fat quarters, half a yard of interfacing and a velcro strip. Also, the pattern for the Family Passport  Wallet.

For the past 23 years, we’ve been traveling with our passports and boarding passes in this:

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Awful, right? I’d intended to make the new travel wallet and give it to Dave that Christmas, but that didn’t happen what with December being December … and also Christmas. So he got all the materials in a baggie, along with the promise that I would sew it as soon as I could.

Fast forward a year and a half and I’m visiting Kelli for the weekend. I know I can take one small sewing project with me, and the travel wallet it was!

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With its clean lines and many pockets, this project is all about neat pinning, carefully ironing and precise stitching. It sewed up in an afternoon over a glass of wine and a bowl of guacamole and tortilla chips.

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I am very happy with the result!

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!

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!