Palm Springs for a day

Lori and I headed out to Palm Springs last Saturday morning.  Our friends bought a house out there last fall and we had yet to go visit.

It was a 90+ degree day in the shade.  We took a tour of their mid-century modern house.  Perused the back yard they have been working on.  Had a nice lunch and then they drove us around showing us houses they liked, houses they almost bought, houses they wanted their friends to buy and move into.  Lots of houses.

They were clearly enthralled with their surroundings and had historical facts and trivia to add to every twist and turn or our tour.  It was kind of funny, they so wanted to show us these houses, and clearly they have been by and seen them all before.  So they went kind of fast, leaving little time to actually look at them before we were off to the next cool mid-century home.

Lori knowing so much more about architecture and architects held up the conversation.  I sat there laughing at it all and wondering what kind of houses do I like.  (not mid-century modern by the way)

Either way, the only pictures I took were of their work in progress back yard as we sat around the pool visiting after our tour.  They moved most of their tiki’s from the old house to this new one.  Luckily their daughter is living in the old house so they can go by and get more whenever they are in orange county.  They really do fit this house, its like they have been collecting furnishings for this house all their lives and finally found it.  The perfect home for all of their Polynesian stylings.

We did swing in to see the family and have a little baby time on our way home, visiting for maybe an hour, getting home just before midnight.

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It was a good (albeit exhausting) day!

Clams

Tonight I made clams for dinner (I should say last night, I am blogging this while working.)  While out shopping there were fresh clams from a farm in Shelton Washington.  I know this farmer from the Des Moines Farmers market, so I picked them up.

I actually pulled out my sketch book from Italy last Summer where I took notes during one of the cooking classes.  There were notes but certainly not a recipe so I was winging it.  I soaked them all in salt water so they would release any sand.  I sautéed garlic and shallots in olive oil and added the clams and white wine and panko because I didn’t have bread crumbs.

Toasted up some baguette and rubbed it with garlic.  Yum!

There was however way to much for the two of us!  When we were done, I took the rest of the clams out of their shells and froze them with the rest of the broth.  Clam Chowder in our future!

More Hours

I was telling Lori I needed more hours…..  There seem to be enough hours for work, for commuting, for sleeping and surprisingly enough a lot of my errands.

This week included a tax appointment at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday along with swinging in to vote that same day.  Running to Costco after the gym on Thursday and even stopping at Nordstrom to return a pair of jeans.  Today included breakfast out with Lori at our favorite place (weekdays are much more reasonable crowd wise) and then stopping at the dry cleaner and the pet food store.

The weather is beautiful.  I would like more hours to work in the yard, more hours to spend time in the yard.  More hours to go to yoga, go to the gym, go to the beach, go visit the girls, clean my house, draw, read, study, blog.

I am on call again this weekend.  It wasn’t expected but the co-worker who is here helping out for a few months from Atlanta had to fly out for a funeral so we switched.

So with the weather nice this weekend and my needing to be around the house I’m hoping to find some extra hours to put into the yard and house at least.

 

Opaque

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Saturday night we had reservations for a restaurant in the West side named Opaque.  Lori was asked to sell raffle tickets last fall for the design department that she had picked up an extra class to teach.  Well without the desire or time to actually try to sell them she just wrote a check for all of them and stuck her name on them.

She won a dinner for two at this restaurant.  It is $100 per person and it has more to do with the experience than the actual food.

We sat in the V-lounge to wait for our instructions and to be taken to our table.  We both had a cocktail while we waited.  Then we were asked if we had any food allergies and we told them about Lori’s chocolate allergy.

We then were introduced to our server.  His name is Anthony and is blind.  Lori held onto his right shoulder and I held onto Lori’s right shoulder and we went through a door, a curtain, turned a corner and another.  We were guided to our seats and Anthony took Lori’s hand and guided it to the back of her chair.  Then mine and did the same.

There is no light in the room, our phones were even complete off so they wouldn’t flash if we received a call or text..  Zero light.  The door and curtain and turns are designed to limit any light at all from peaking in when the door is opened.  Every single server is completely blind or legally blind.

img_1340Anthony brought us a basket of hot bread and water.  There was also a little pot of butter, I know this because my finger stuck right into the butter.  The first course was amuse bouche, they were on little spoons and I could taste a sweet chili sauce and whatever it was (veggie spring roll) we decided was wrapped in lettuce.

Then the appetizers arrived. Lori’s was easy to identify, a ceviche on wonton chips.  Mine I think was deep-fried squash blossoms, maybe.  Anthony did tell me that I would need a fork.  I tried a couple of ways but ended up just picking them up with my hands.

We were having a good time, laughing at ourselves, listening to other people going through the same things.  The experience is to focus on all of your other senses because sight is no longer an option.  Neither was ordering, except for what we couldn’t have the idea that everything is a surprise was part of the experience.

Another small bite arrived.  Anthony said it would be spicy be I didn’t find it spicy at all.  It was cold and like a sorbet.  Just  small pallet cleanser before the entrée’s arrived.

img_1340Mine was fish, pretty sure salmon, but couldn’t be 100% sure.  There was also some cauliflower, asparagus and maybe a quinoa salad.  Lori had beans, chicken or so she thought but Anthony said they didn’t have any chicken yesterday and asparagus also.

I can’t tell you how much of it I used my hands for.  I could get the fork to mouth pretty well but the for didn’t always have food on it.  Things like quinoa just fell through the tines.  I found myself pushing food onto the fork with the finger on my left hand to get it.

We are pretty sure we ate it all. At least most of it.  At only point Lori thought she was done and went to put her fork down and found a mound of food.

When dessert came, we were told not to share.  That is because I had a hot molten chocolate brownie/cake thingy, covered in caramel sauce and a chocolate moose maybe.  Lori had a panna cotta with fresh fruit.

When we were all done Anthony walked us back out the way we came in.  He walked out into the dim bar that seems bright!  There we sat in the same seats from before to settle the tabs and get our bearings.  I actually staggered when we came into the light because my equilibrium was off.

It was quite an experience.  The food was good, not 5-star or anything.  It was certainly interesting to eat dinner the way I know people in my live like Vivian or Ron spend every day.

I did have to wash my sweater today.  I was in my lap with my napkin because I figured I would lose it if I tried to put in on my chair or something and it ended up with food and caramel sauce on it.  I also had no idea on how to log that meal!

 

Dispatching the first veggie box

Well in the week we managed to eat all of the veggies.  Including some I already had in the fridge.  All except the extra cauliflower I added to the box last week.

Saturday night I roasted the Romanesco along with part of the boc choy.  Also a lovey herb crusted pork roast that I managed to over cook.

The next morning I added the swiss chard to our morning eggs along with onion we had and mushrooms.  We also had the first of the yummy avocado’s that I added to the box.

I took a couple of the carrots to work for lunch, also the apples.  Lori has taken care of most of the mandarin oranges.  I had leftover a couple boc choy, the mustard greens and all kinds of cooked left overs from the weekend.

Today when I got home from the gym I had 25 minutes to “spare” before needing to get ready for work.  I pulled out my wok and made a stir fry.  First thing in was an onion and the rest of the carrots since they take longer to cook.  I then added mushrooms, the boc choy, the mustard greens and the left over romanesco.  I added a few pantry items like bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, then in went the rest of the pork roast and left over rice from Sunday.  I scrambled a couple of eggs in at the end and we have a HUGE bowl of pork and veggie fried rice.  It felt like a timed episode of Chopped in where I had to use all the veggies in the fridge and left overs.

Since I am only getting this box every other week, looks like that cauliflower tomorrow and I may need to buy veggies.

 

 

 

 

 

CeeCee

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I took this photo Friday from bed.  CeeCee (a name she does not acknowledge) was lounging outside in the sun and I was reading before getting ready for work.  Soon after the sun moved and she came and crawled into bed with her warm soft fur against my feet.  It was very sweet.

Yesterday wasn’t as peaceful of a day for her.  It was annual shot day.  The appointment was for 9:00 a.m.  Lori woke me to see if I was going with, so up I got and got dressed….then it was cat wrangling time.  Picking her up is easy, especially if you’re comparing to her arrival a year ago.  But with the first failed attempt to get her in the carrier it was hide and seek.

Under the bed, back and forth I finally got her and then my failed attempt.  I almost got her in when all four legs spread out and she wiggled her way out of my hands and was off.  Then we couldn’t find her.  We were sure she went in the bedroom and it is not a large house.  Checked the bathroom and shut that room off.  Checking the office and our closets and then I detected her little body back in the bed where she warmed my feet the day before.  I got her out, wrapped her in a towel and got her in the carrier.  We got to the vet, shots done and actually on our way back home and it wasn’t even 9:00 yet.

She slept all day and kind of gave us the cold shoulder.  She didn’t sleep on the bed, but instead on her cat tree in the living room.  She did come have me pet her a little when I had to get up at 1am because some work came in.  I think she just wasn’t feeling week from the shots and the trauma.

Today she was playing with her toys again and the yearly affair seems to be over.

Productive/Not Productive

What a week.  I had 40 hours of just work when I went home last night make that this morning around 2am.

Tuesday I got in around 1 am, slept and then got up and went to the gym.  I went and washed my car and came home to make banana bread with my remaining hour before getting ready for work.  Except I used up all my eggs over the weekend so my ripe bananas had to wait.  Instead I did a few things around the house and headed back to work.

Wednesday I got in around 1am again, brought in my CSA box and went to bed.  Got up and put away my veggies, went to the gym, went to the dry cleaners and then to the grocery store and got the eggs.  I got everything put away and then back to work.

Thursday I actually got home early…Wednesday night, before midnight even.  Got some sleep, then went to the gym.  Came home and made the banana and blueberry muffins with some seriously ripe bananas.  Work was cra-a-a-zy though and I didn’t get home until about 2:00 a.m. Friday.

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Friday, I slept.  Got up to see Lori off, should have gone to the gym.  Instead I went back to bed and slept until 10:00. However I didn’t get up until 11:45.  With just enough time to make dinner to take to work, shower and get going.

I am on call this weekend so I am glad I took the non-productive morning.  There is always part of me that thinks I should have at least started the laundry while I lounged around in bed reading.  Guess I’ll just have to do laundry while I work overnight on Saturday!