Saturday, August 18, 2007

What city are you?

You Are Los Angeles

Young and fun, you always know where the best parties are.

And while you tend to keep things carefree and casual...

You certainly can glam it up when you need to.

Famous people from Los Angeles: Tyra Banks, Jake Gyllenhall, Freddie Prinze Jr.

Click on the link above to take the quiz.

more desert scenes

I was going through some more photos from last weekend's drive to the desert.

Here are a few more that I like.

The first two are of a big, burned Joshua tree.
As we drove from the Twentynine Palms side of the national park to the Joshua Tree side, we came across a big swath of land in the park that had burned.
It was closer to the JT side of the park.
I like this tree because it was big and offered a lot of nice contrast.

The third shot is of the center of a yucca bush.

I like the patterns yucca bushes make with their spines and the curly white pulp that spirals out from the spines.
The desert has a nice variety of unusual plant life.

This last shot is just some metal rings in the dirt.
I don't know exactly what the rings are, but I liked the contrast of the organic and non-organic elements.
And again, the pattern caught my eye.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Seriously, that fridge has an attitude problem

Work on my kitchen is set to start Monday. Yay!

Here are some pictures of what it looks like now and a picture that was the inspiration for my new kitchen style.

The inspiration picture is just that: inspiration. It is driving color choices and basic design, but the final product will be a little different.
I do think that the overall style will fit nicely with the rest of the house, which has sort of a modern, cottage feel to it.
The remodel will give me more cabinet space and more countertop. I will get rid of all that tile. I just hate cleaning so much grout.
My initial choice to go with white cabinets (only one new bank of cabinets opposite the window will have glass doors) is a charcoal gray granite countertop, stainless sink and stainless appliances.

I still have to choose flooring and backsplash tile. I am leaning toward a slate floor in a bluish-gray tone and glass tiles in blues and grays and greens.

I am thinking I may be brave enough to try and tile it myself. I know it is work, but I can save money and learn a new skill in the process.

And if I screw it up too badly, I can always call in a professional.

So anyway, the cabinet company called today to schedule delivery for Monday afternoon.

The remodel people are scheduled to be here Monday morning.

Now I need to clean out the stuff I want to keep, which basically includes dishes, pans, food, fridge and that case of beer I just got yesterday at Costco.

I think I will leave that until Sunday as late as possible. I don't want to be inconvenienced any sooner than is necessary.

The new appliances are here. They have been here for a few weeks now, sitting there making me all antsy every time I walk past. Like they are mocking me with all their stainless steel beauty and newness. Just sitting there wrapped in plastic and cardboard wanting to be used, but not yet having a home.

I think the fridge is the ringleader.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sometimes you can't go home again

Part of going out to the desert Sunday involved going by the house where I lived for most of my childhood.

The first picture is the street (road) where we lived.

Now, the place never was anything fancy and it has been deteriorating for years since my parents left the place to take care of my grandmother after my grandfather died more than 10 years ago.

But it was still a bit shocking to see it reduced to studs.

At the time we lived in the house, there was a little more to it. There is still a slab where the back bedroom used to be.

That was the room that I shared with my sister for pretty much my entire childhood. That room is gone now, with just the old bath tub and some new metal awning thing sitting on the slab.

There are stacks of slate sitting under covers behind the house, so it looks like someone has something planned for it. But it doesn't look like any work has been done recently.

Another change is a new post-and-rail fence with some heavy iron gates at each end of the circular driveway.

The giant Joshua tree that was at the side of the house is still there, but the pavers that my dad

put in to make a patio are pulled up and stacked near the tree.

The funniest thing was seeing some old orange folding chairs were still there.

They reminded me of the day my sister thought it would be fun to jump from chair to chair. It was all great until one of the folding chairs folded up with her on it and she fell and broke her collar bone.

It's weird to think about growing up here.

We definitely were not rich or even well-off. But I never really felt poor as a little kid. Of course, as I got older I realized we didn't have as much money as some of my friends' families.

But we never went hungry or anything like that.

Looking back, there were sacrifices my parents made so my sister and I could have things like new basketball shoes or a new dress for a dance. But those things usually were bought on sale.

My mom also was a great seamstress and made a lot of clothes for us. She also was and is a great cook and knew how to turn mundane ground beef into some tasty concoctions.

I can see now that we did struggle, but I have to give my parents a lot of credit for giving my sister and me a good, happy childhood.

They did a great job raising us in circumstances that had to be difficult at times.

My dad died about six years ago at age 52, and my mom moved down to the L.A. area to be closer to my sister and me after my paternal grandmother died last year.

It is good to have her nearby and, now that she is here and my sister is here with her family and various aunts and uncles and cousins and my maternal grandmother are here, the South Bay really feels like home.

But there will always be something about the desert that makes me want to go back for a visit.

Just maybe not in August next time.

Update on Starry, Starry Night...

Man Friend told me that what I thought was a picture of a meteorite was actually anothe plane.

So we saw a few meteorites, but didn't get any on camera.

Those are tough to capture!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Starry, starry night...

Well, the meteor shower was kind of a bust. But just seeing the sky without all the distractions of city lights was beautiful.

I took a lot of photos, but most didn't come out.
I am posting just a few here now. The first three are just night images. I used a little photoshop trick to bring the trees out more in the first one. The fourth looks to be a meteor that I was lucky enough to capture. I think the last one shows a plane.
Click on a photo if you want to see it larger.

We also made it by the house where I grew up. There really isn't anything left of it. Not enough to call a house anyway.

I will post on that later.
For now, just enjoy the night sky.