Holiday Cookie Party!

I baked six different cookies and invited friends over to celebrate the season with some mulled cider and Bing Crosby tunes. Darryl, Matt, and James also baked cookies (peanutbutter-chocolate rice krispy squares, bacon-fat gingersnaps, and Mexican wedding cookies, respectively) which I sadly didn’t get photos of. Too busy gabbing with friends, old and new! It was a dry, clear evening despite being bookended by weeks of rain this year. Thank you, weather gods. Continue reading “Holiday Cookie Party!”

Weekend with my niece Anne

My most wonderful niece Anne came down for a quick weekend stay with me in SF. She was down here checking out USF student life to help her decide which college to attend next fall. We had a sweet time — making guacamole and citrus-kale salad, catching up about our lives, going out for Middle Eastern dinner, hiking up to the top of Corona Heights, fancy coffee at Illy, brunch at Chow on Church St, gabbing about our far-flung family, and just hanging out. Come stay with me again anytime, Anne!

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More Winter 2014 Visitors!

I hosted a bunch of SF-bound travelers this winter under the auspices of couchsurfing.org and Darryl’s family visit. I saw so many lovely parts of the Bay Area under some gorgeous weather, despite the season (or perhaps because of it?). Plus, there was bread baking training from my baker buddy Ben to add to the mix. Luckily, all my visitors were happy to give my various loaves a fair try. Breadmaking, like hosting, is more art than science, I’ve discovered. With practice comes a kind of grace and ease that makes it all the better. Continue reading “More Winter 2014 Visitors!”

Nevada City Easter

Duck pond at The Otter House

Stayed at “The Otter House” with Dana, Mat, his brother Glen, and Glen’s boyfriend Landry. This 1930’s farm house sits on 19 acres of woods at the end of road. The house faces a gurgling Rock Creek and is just a few feet from roaring waterfalls (all on the property). The willow was leafing and the dogwood blooming by the spring-fed pond. The dogs were in heaven, except for the ticks (which were legion). Heavenly time. Continue reading “Nevada City Easter”

Truckee R&R

Jax on a patch of Truckee snow

A four day escape to higher elevations with John and Darryl (and Jax). Went up to Mike Schement’s Truckee cabin to just unplug, unwind, and hot tub. And grill stuff. Truckee is so sleepy and quiet in the off season between the ski hordes and the true summer session. Sadly, the old French bistro/patisserie is gone from downtown. Continue reading “Truckee R&R”

Thanksgiving

Did a double whammy T-day this year. First drove out to Copperopolis to spend a couple days with Grandma and Mel, my uncle Steve, and brother Luke down from Seattle. Did some cooking, card games, dog walking, and showing stuff to Gran using AppleTV and AirPlay. Pretty fun time and even a turkey. Then an (exhausting) night drive back to SF in my City Carshare on Weds night. Got up early and started some kitchen prep for my own little dinner party with Troy and Matt. The sun broke out just as I started grilling the chicken, so we had wine on my deck while we cooked up the bird. Pretty all around sweet week. Continue reading “Thanksgiving”

Solo trip to Copper

Went up with the fixins’ for potato soup, a recipe that I got from Grandma Evelyn about 5 years ago. Thought I’d borrow her fabulous slow cooker (a true 1970s Crock Pot) and try my hand at it. Turned out deliciously — but with a can of evaporated milk in it, how could it not. We were all in good spirits to match the weather. Gave Jax his first garden hose shower in the sun. He almost liked it. Continue reading “Solo trip to Copper”

Tea time

Darryl and Momma

Momma and DaddyKens swing by for some iced tea and lunch after the wedding of Joe Ursini, Jr. in Alameda. After some salads and family gossip, we were joined by Darryl, Matthew, and Lee for cucumber sandwiches, mint tea, and some amazing Cornflake-crusted Lemon Cream Cheese cookies made by Lee. Continue reading “Tea time”

4th of July

Matthew Sachs, shining star

Just a small gathering of good buddies for some burgers and sparklers. Jon also brought a fancy salad: watermelon, stilton cheese, tomatoes, and parsley. The sun was blazing and we ate on the deck, trying to actually steer clear of the heat for a change. The city exploded at night with the booms and cracks of a thousand pyromaniacs. We lit some sparklers, which for me had the effect of taking my mind away from the point of the Fourth. The freedom and independence which the holiday celebrates seems masked by all the fireworks. Or maybe it conjures up the warfare involved to secure that liberty?

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