Saturday, July 05, 2008

Upside Down Tomato - Saturday 7/5/2008

This morning we hiked the peaks around our neighborhood and then looped down around Sundry's Mountain, where we'd never hiked before. It took an hour and a half, and we had a great time!

I didn't take my camera with me on the hike, but this tomato posed for us when we got back.

Yeah, and to think we were worried because it said you should allow 4 feet below this upside down planter for the growth of the plant. It's actually hard to keep the reservoir filled with water.

The Sweet 100 cherry tomato in a pot on the back patio is doing's getting watered by the sprinklers every day. I've already eaten two little bitty gems from this plant.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Celebrating Our Own Little Patch of the USA - Friday 7/4/2008

We started our weekend with a dawn hike around our neighborhood.

Overseen by ravens, quail, jackrabbits, cottontails and a coyote. We decided not to brave the expected midday 100 degree heat and didn't go to the big Acton parade. We've gone a couple of times and really enjoyed it...small town parades tend to choke me up.

This band was playing in the parking lot at Vallarta Market when we went there to pick up ceviche from their deli section. Refreshing on a hot day!

I made a cake. Just really wanted some cake, and making a whole one was cheaper than buying a slice of something not as tasty.

Half vanilla buttercream and half orange buttercream frosting. Yum again!

#75 The Freshman (1990)

Yeah, Matthew Broderick is the star, but Maximillian Schell delivers one of my favorite and most quoted movie lines, “Carmine said one boy—Here are two boys!” with such great relish!!

Fun silly comedy.

Edit: Oops! This was supposed to go to my book and movie review website, Curioscopy, not this one!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

"Aren't You Staying for the Next Class?" - Thursday 6/3/2008

Hahahahahahaha! That's the funniest thing anyone's said to me in weeks!

You must understand that this question was asked just seconds after the Pilates Plus instructor stopped hurting me... or, I should say, stopped encouraging me to hurt myself.

Yikes. My legs were wobbly and I was still regaining my breath after the last set of show-stopping moves that had me trying to maintain my body in a vee (with my bum the only part of me connected to the earth) while flailing my arms and legs up and tucking them in.

I'm pretty sure that "flailing" is not intended to be a part of the Pilates vocabulary, but it's honestly the best I can do right now. I could tell that the yoga and strength exercises I've done since the last time I ventured out to the Pilates class had helped. And yet.

When the nice lady from the mat next to mine inquired whether I'd be staying for the 24 S.E.T. class, which is 60 minutes of synchronized weight lifting, a chuckle was about all I could muster.

She was older than me, and heavier than me, and she'd had some trouble with some of the Pilates moves, as I had. But I admired the way she modified and she told me I'd done really well. She said the weight class is really good, I should try it.

I will. Just not right after the Pilates class. Not quite yet, no. Thank you so much for asking.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Is it Time Yet? - Wednesday 7/2/2008

Good grief! I took the back way again last night and went through downtown Acton.

People have already set up chairs along the 4th of July Parade route!

Granted, the parade is a big deal. Small town royal courts come from all over the Antelope Valley and beyond, from as far away as the towns of Boron and Mojave, to ride along in open convertibles and wave at the crowd.

There are lots of horses and other animals in the parade, and local businesses and organizations do floats.

There are even RVs along the road. I'm not sure if we'll venture down there. Even though the parade lasts from 9-11, it's going to be 100 degrees by the time it's over.

Oh, and yes, this is one of the two major intersections in downtown Acton...Crown Valley and Gillespie. Watch out for all the traffic!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fire on the Mountain - Tuesday 6/1/2008

This is the view along Davenport Road. I don't always take this route, but Hydra called me right after my workout at the Santa Clarita gym and told me that the 14 was shut down due to a truck fire. This is a nice option.

A barn I love, in Agua Dulce. These people grow timothy and alfalfa. Makes me a little homesick.

The back side of Vasquez Rocks. The promos for the TNT series Saving Grace were filmed here and are airing right now.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Later That Same Day - Monday 6/30/2008

I had the great pleasure of meeting RuthG, who I knew virtually through the goal-setting community website 43Things at the old Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax. She was terrific to talk with, and helped to confirm my suspicions that you can really tell a lot about people by the way they conduct themselves online, especially on a site like 43Things.

Starting Tomorrow - Monday 6/30/2008

Andrew's / Sitton's is really making an effort.

The servers aren't really wild about having to figure out the 10% discount, but I think they're kind of proud that the restaurant is doing this. I hope it works for everyone.

Earlier this month, they lowered the price of their breakfast specials from $4.95 to $3.95! This is an incredible deal in the L.A. area.

These are the $3.95 specials, which include coffee. Coffee by itself is $1.95 including tax, so you see what a deal these are...

2 Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, and coffee or tea. I had this the first time I was here, and unfortunately can't recommend it.

The 2x2x2 : two pancakes, two sausages or bacon strips, two eggs, and coffee or tea. Really just way too yummy.

The Continental: two eggs, croissant, fresh fruit and coffee or tea. My personal favorite, especially since they let me substitute dry rye toast for the croissant.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Apple Progress - Sunday 6/29/2008

These are the apples we're throwing away. Sadly, the worms found our little organic corner of the earth. Need to find out what to do about them without poisoning us or the fruit.

These are the small apples Hydra is going to attempt to eat without getting a stomach ache. Pacing is probably very important here.

Yeah, I counted them. We pulled more than 80 off the tree so that they wouldn't break the branches as the continue their march toward ripeness.

They should arrive around October, I think.

Basil growing tip: I finally figured out last year that in spite of the little directions that come with the basil, it's really happiest out of the kind of direct sunlight we get here in the high desert. It likes the relative safety of the shaded front porch, but it wants more moisture in the soil that is easy to maintain due to the high temperatures and almost constant breezes.

My mom told me about her trick of putting a strip of rag from a pan of water into a potted plant when she goes away for a few days. I thought I'd try this with my basil plant. Seems to be working!

Romi's in Palmdale - Saturday 6/28/2008

We tried Romi's in Palmdale for lunch. They've set their sights high. It's a nice change in the high desert.

Nice presentation of butter for the bread and warm toasted pistachios.

Hydra pulls out the haughty, skeptical look he perfected during our visit to France last year, but which he's had more cause to use here at home.

We had a table near the window overlooking the patio dining area. It's a comfortable place.

Hydra ordered the Traditional Burger, which comes with portabello mushrooms, smoked gouda and bacon on it. He ordered all the goodies on the side and no bread. It was a good burger and cooked just as he ordered.

He opted for the fresh fruit skewer. The other options were Yukon gold fries or a small salad.

I ordered the Lunch Box. Soup du jour (potato leek today), mushroom/spinach quiche and a little salad with raspberry vinaigrette.

It's a bit pricey... $12 for Hydra's lunch, $13.00 for mine. But I think we'll go back because the food was really good. Service was a little slow, but...

The chef seems to have really good instincts. Nice presentation. Food that makes you slow down and think about it. Mmm.

Remember These? - Friday 6/27/2008

I miss the check-out cards that used to be in all the library books. I liked to look at them and see what sort of life the book had had, based on the dates handwritten in early books and stamped in red, blue and black later on.

Sometimes they had a very active early life, checked out at each possible opportunity in two- or three-week stints for a year or more. Sometimes they languished for months between readings, sometimes they experienced a flurry of attention later in life. Maybe a teacher who discovered the book or remembered it and assigned it was responsible.

There's no trail left in this book, a 1958 edition of Exploring with Fremont: The Private Diaries of Charles Preuss. There is only this pocket.

See how the fine has been changed from 2 cents, to 3 cents to 5 cents? Now I think it's 25 cents a day. Inflation-wise, that's pretty reasonable.

This book is probably experiencing a little renaissance across the country. Like me, others heard it mentioned on a recent episode of This American Life. I saw at least one other person on Good Reads who referenced it.

I worked at the Rosenfeld Management Library at UCLA in the last half of the 1990s, when we converted from a card catalog to an online version. There was a great gnashing of teeth amongst the old-timers and the new traditionalists. As much as I loved the old cards, the new system is really much more accessible and easy to use.

I was one of the people who pulled cards from the books as we checked them out, and added barcode after barcode. I was one of the people who oversaw the dismantling of the old way of doing things. It was kind of sad.

A small beautiful wooden card catalog from the management library's Special Collections room lives in my pantry now. Rather than cards it holds baby food bottles filled with spare nails, screws and house parts.