19 July 2012

An evening with Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson came to town last night and, unlike last time, we were fast enough to get tickets. It was fun, even though it went on wayyyyy past my bedtime (and I'm not quite awake just yet). I think today will be a rest day - just like in Le Tour de France (which I have been watching religiously).
Anyway, Pegi Young and the Survivors opened for him. She's Neil Young's wife and pretty darn good, especially when you realize she's just a year younger than I am (figure that one out yourself). Spooner Oldham (Hall of Famer) played keyboard for her and  the rest of her band was on the older side, too (maybe that's where the name comes from?).
Willie came on after intermission, very low-key, looking just like himself, if a bit older, but nowhere near 79. Good, clean living, I suppose (snort). He played all my favorites, including Henry's song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5G6lNUG1NI). He's an ace guitar player (something that doesn't really come through on the albums I've heard), the voice is still strong, the tune's not always there, but who cares. The energy was amazing.
It was billed as "Willie Nelson and Family" and his son Lucas played guitar right along with him in addition to performing an excellent solo, blues, with a lot of passion and excellent guitar play.
I tried to get some pix during the show but they are all pretty much rubbish. I'll post one anyway, it shows Lucas Nelson much better than Willie - quelle dommage.
All in all, enjoyable and we might just do it again.

L's new Tshirt

18 July 2012

On today's walk ............


Saw this on our morning walk and had to go back for the phone to snap away.

17 July 2012

A class with Stephanie Lee

The alternate title for this post could easily have been "another month, another class" - but, since I haven't posted about my last class (live, with Mary Hettmansperger) yet, I'm going with the original title.
It's another online class, started yesterday and I almost missed it. I have Stephanie's book, I read her blog, but, since I've been in crochet mode lately, I haven't kept up reading the jewelry blogs I usually follow. Thankfully, I caught it just in time.
Class started yesterday (http://stephanielee.typepad.com/stephanie_lee_studios/they-say-to-keep-your-dreams-close-to-your-heart-well-take-it-literally-in-this-e-workshop-as-i-guide-you-through-the-pro.html - in case anybody else would like to join) and, for once, I'm up to date.
Here's what I've done so far:

Close up of my favorite. I have no idea how I got the patina/color but I like it enough not to polish it off.

This is attempt number 2, the first one got messed up when somebody scrubbed a little too vigorously.

11 July 2012

To the sea

We used to go to the beach very regularly, but lately those trips have become less and less frequent. North Salmon just outside Bodega Bay was our favorite beach, in recent years that was replaced by Rodeo Beach on the Marin Headlands.
Last week, though, during out "staycation," we decided to go back to North Salmon and, wouldn't you know, it was foggy. Okay, not really "foggy" but there was a heavy marine layer and that didn't lift until after we left. Didn't bother us a whole lot, we came to walk and we got out nice, leisurely walk in, marine layer or not. 
There weren't a lot of people on the beach, I guess they all waited until the sun was out, so we pretty much had the beach to ourselves.
The first thing we saw, was this cool old car in the parking lot. We managed to talk to the owner after our walk and found out it's a 1941 Ford. He bought it restored and it's obviously his "surf mobile." All the stickers - and there are many, many, are surfing related and he was there to surf. He and L compared surf spots for a little while.

I always thought beaches were flat with lots of sand - not here. You have to get down this cliff - there are stairs for a bit and then a path, but it's fairly steep and the beach itself goes down quite a bit towards the water. Down isn't a problem, up is another story.

 Obviously, we weren't the only ones there, but as soon as you took a few steps, the marine layer swallowed anybody else.
 We had hoped for low tide - makes for better beach glass hunting - but didn't luck out there, either. During low tide, we can walk along the beach to the left of the rocks above, this time, we had to climb over and around them.

 The lone surfer at the time we were there. Waves were decent, not too big, but not choppy, either.
The seagulls didn't mind the fog - or much else, for that matter.
No idea what kind of bug this is, pretty big and not too happy at having his picture taken.

03 July 2012

Pizza - it's what's for dinner

I watch cooking shows, not so much the ones where chefs stir tons of cream and butter into their dishes, more the ones with dishes I can actually afford to eat. The ones that don't take a lot of time and effort, but still deliver delicious results.
For years, I've been trying to make edible pizza, and it's been edible, just not quite what I had in mind. Recently, I saw Kelsey Nixon make pizza ( http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/kelsey-nixon/simple-pizza-dough-recipe/index.html) and I tried her pizza dough recipe - it worked.
Oh, I should mention, too, that I'm after thin crust pizza, Neapolitan style or, I guess, New York style. That part took a while to get right. The secret here seems to be to handle the dough a little as possible. My first few attempts were pretty good, I used ready-made tomato sauce and mozzarella, added salami for L because he's more into meat than I am.
But it got really good when I tried to copy a pizza we recently had at at bakery in San Francisco: the toppings were different, obviously non-traditional. Pesto (I used Trader Joe's), fresh corn, red bell pepper, red onion and feta cheese. Delicious! The original used cilantro pesto, I used basil pesto, and it's good. I'm very happy with the outcome.
Next, I need to work on getting my pizzas round. And that's a bit harder than it would seem. Really!

02 July 2012

The eyes have it ............

............ or rather, they don't any longer.
I had better than 20/20 vision about 15 years ago. Then things started to change slowly, reading glasses that got progressively stronger.
In December, I noticed that I had problems when I had to focus on small things for a longish time (and longish is relative here). No more spending the afternoon doing chain maille or other things like that. There now appeared a fuzzy spot in the center of my vision that took quite a while to go away. So, a trip to the eye doctor was in order. She did all kinds of tests but couldn't find anything wrong.
Then I had my annual exam last week and another doctor listened carefully, checked even more carefully and decided that the problem was that I now need two different kinds of lenses, there's a difference of at least 3 levels between right and left eye.
So, new glasses were in order. I haven't received them yet, another week or so to go (and the upcoming holiday isn't helping). Then we'll see if that will take care of the problem
I think getting older is highly overrated, but, I suppose, the alternative is worse.

Postal mishap

About two weeks ago, I sent a package to my daughter in Colorado. I used a priority mail box, plenty of tape and those air-filled plastic bags Amazon uses in their packages these days. The package never arrived.
Last Saturday, I received a letter from the post office in Denver. Stuck to the form inside were the address label, return address label and the little square that showed how much I paid for postage where. All had a layer of cardboard attached to the back.
I was asked to fill out the form (but hang on to the labels) and send it off to the place where lost mail ends up in Atlanta. I included detailed descriptions of what was inside the box along with pictures. Now we wait. I don't have high hopes that my stuff will be found, but you never know. Oh, the reason I was asked to hand on to the labels is that if the contents isn't found I can submit a claim for postage.
Not knowing exactly if I had filled everything out properly etc., we drove to the local post office this afternoon and had two very nice people help us. In addition to explaining the process, we also got advice on how to pack properly: stuff the empty spaces between whatever is in your box, use popped popcorn if you don't have packing peanuts, newspaper, plastic bags, anything, just make sure there are no empty spaces and the box cannot be compressed when it comes in contact with other packages and/or machinery. Use two boxes, one inside the other. And, most importantly of all, include a list of what is inside the package along with address and return address inside. All good information and something I wish I had known beforehand. But, in thirtysome years of mailing packages, I had never lost anything yet.