Category Archives: weather

i am back and Jacques Brel says HI!

please forgive the long hiatus.  i was travelling. actually, WE were travelling.  the lovely PB and i took or first vacation ever.  and it was the best vacation EVER. no seriously.  i love the family vacation at the caribbean, but one week in a flat european country with my baby trumps all the beach-side margaritas. ferrealz.

we walked and i had the best pepper steak ever  here:



and we walked (not biked) here

Brugge street

Brugge street

and we visited here

Atomium + sun

Atomium + sun

it was august in belgium, so we had sun on one day – which made the giant atom look particularly awesome, as did the people zippering off the tallest ball.  i guess when you live in a country where the sky looks like a dirty washcloth most of the time, you have to get your kicks somehow, and why not zipper down a very high, very shiny aluminum structure? the weather might also explain the belgian talent at making food that makes you forget the weather.   The chocolates that were in this bag, but did not stay there very long, are jsut that type of chocolates…

heaven in a bag

heaven in a bag

i know – the picture is quite crap, but that’s as much as i could muster after about 18 bottles of maes pils, or what felt like that many the next morning…

and now I am back in the land of ashlee simpson and sarah palin and trying not to get too discouraged by the impending 1000 mile trek back to work.  gala in oregon will temporarily relocate physically, but her heart will remain in oregon, so while the next weeks may be full of posts about preparations for traveling long distances with geriatric dogs and the last of the summer’s tomatoes, i will also regale you with walk for the cure 2008.  5K for the cure – not much by an athlete’s standard, but plenty for our team of seven.

but first i need a new pair of trainers – anyone have a favorite? The nike shox with the funny heel bumps is beckoning:

but i await recommendations from you, oh internets.


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Filed under shoes, travel, weather

on being exceedingly hot

and i don’t mean hot like the PB, i mean as in it’s a gazillion degrees here.

so hot you sweat even under a cold shower, so hot the night was almost unbearable, so hot Her Highness has not stopped panting all day. in fact, i have been panting too. other people are complaining miserably , i am staying sweaty, but happy. after the two winters we had this year (winter started in october 07 and ended around may 28th 08 ) i can take this heat and i welcome it.

this heat means : TOMATOES! it means happy vines (and yummy wines), it means meteorologically and medically recommended laziness and hydration by any means (i vote for micheladas – see the kitchen section for instructions) – these are the dog-days of summer we hungered for in april, so bring them on!  however, i did not survive a year in yucatan without learning some lessons on how to make this heat more pleasant, so here are a few:

  • drink lots of liquids – lukewarm sweet mint tea, water with a sqeeze of lime, ice cold diet-cokes, micheladas
  • eat cold fruit and veggies – watermelon, peaches, frozen berries, cold cucumbers (slices of which feel very good over sleep-deprived puffy eyes)
  • down gallons of gazpacho (see kitchen section)
  • sleep in a hammock if possible
  • take a wet bandana or sheet and wrap yourself in it – particularly good at night
  • let it slide: there is literally no reason to get excited about anything, and it is too damn hot expend any energy on anything. no really. not even that.
  • go to the cineplex – it’s air conditionned. the PB and kidlets are going to base-ball game tonight, so i am free to see pineapple express. ice cold air and tub of popcorn here i come.

and last but not least, go commando. when it is too hot to breathe, it is definitely too hot to wear underwear. TRUST me.

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Filed under dogs, food, movies, nature, weather

why i love summer

here is one reason why this season rocks:



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Filed under food, nature, weather

war of the sticks

from the very funny amy at amalah.  this is brilliant.  just absolutely effing brilliant:

i laughed so hard i broke a sweat.

and on the subject of sweating – it is hot here. which gives me the perfect excuse to make ice-cream.  awaiting in the fridge are a tupperware full of the most fattening-full fat-full cream + 6 egg yolks vanilla ice cream and a container of the most amazing strawberry sorbet – it’s like the frozen essence of an oregon summer (quoth my neighbor with whom i shared some).  in my belly you will find my first home-made strawberry ice cream. next i want to make  champagne and peach sorbet – sort of like a frozen bellini.  that would be brilliant.  not as brilliant as amalah’s “war of the stick deodoarants” post, but hopefully as satisfying.

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Filed under blogs, bubbles, food, procrastinating, weather

not bad, not bad at all *

this is my life today:

big bouquet on the desk (present from dinner guests last night), almost-finished chapter on computer screen and bright sunshine in the window. even my allergies seem under control. and HRH is snoring (less loudly) under the desk. this is as close to heaven as i need to get at 10.30 am on a working friday.

* this sort of turn of phrase is called “ litotes“. special thanks for merriam-webster’s word-of-the-day for explaining this, and giving me a new scrabble word. because given this set of letters, i might not always want to spell ‘toilet’ – which is exactly what my brain unscrambled as if by instinct when the delivery popped on my screen this week.

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Filed under book, dogs, nature, weather

the gods are listening

it’s 60 degrees now. the sky is blue. BLUE. feathery white clouds overhead – nothing thick like the pea soup of yore. might my pleas have been answered????

also – notice to bored kitchen hands afar: i have a new section on the blog – recipes, or loose adaptations and transcriptions thereof. food slips into my posts (as my friend M has made very clear), but i try my utmost not to blog about what i had for lunch. [note to ms mason – i have not read your book, but love the title and try to live by it]. but the beast must be fed, as it were, so for those of you who care what had for lunch, breakfast or dinner, or the ones looking for inspiration as another meal looms, gala in the kitchen is here for you.

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Filed under blogs, food, weather

quoth the raven

right now, it is 80 degrees in NYC (at 8.30 pm there), it’s is 70 degrees in LA, and in oregon – you know what the temperature is ? it’s barely 55 degrees. and it is gray and overcast, rainy, depressingly awful weather. even by my belgian standards, this is just atrocious. and my fellow oregonians, who are inured against crap weather like most belgians yet take it in stride and keep cheerful about it, are pissed off too. this week’s CSA box of veggies : more effing chard. i love the leafy greens as much as any omnivore, but come on, it is time for summer veggies. at this rate, we’ll be eating tomatoes in september, if at all.

i am wearing 3 layers of cotton, and am going to reach for the fleece soon, bc no matter how much i tell myself that it is june and i should not wear that patagonia jacket anymore, my body knows different and is tired of being cold.

rant much?*

why yes i do.

onto other subjects, this w-e was spent in lovely warm LA (you’d think that would help with my mood in the current oregon situation, but it doesn’t. it just make oregon feel that much colder and crueler). LA was warm and glossy as usual, with just enough grime to make it feel real. i had many great meals – one involving a modern take on osso buco that still has me quivering in delight; i wore sandals and sleeveless dresses, i bought flip flops – which saved the day as my body did not adjust well to the temperature difference between balmy LA and frigid oregon, and as a consequence, my extremities swelled up like balloons. very elegant. we had a birthday brunch with PBs closest friends from university for his bday at a place that makes the most divine almond-meal laced madeleines. these are the one that made proust/swann shiver, i tell you. i saw the beach in venice, i saw my good friend cat get married, i ate cupcakes from sprinkles (a close second to my favorite cupcake place).

all in all, a very fine w-e. and yesterday i became a real blonde again. thanks to $$$ and patience (I waited weeks to see this very good colorist) i have my color back, and i have it expertly applied. LOOK!!! :

yes – that’s my head. you can’t see the ashy roots of my aging hair. this is something that is well worth paying way more for. and that’s my yellow and white stripe cardigan. it’s a piece of the spring wardrobe. it looks good over a thermal t-shirt, and a long sleeve cotton tunic with a polka dotted wool scarf… you also see the clotted-cream color of the walls of the room i work in. if you think that’s bad, maybe i’ll take a picture of the carpet for you some day. 1970’s rural chic my friends. it’s all the rage i tell you.

on a lighter note, here’s a picture that resonates: the winter field looks a lot like what i walk through with HRH, and those boots! they’re a lot like my shit-kickin’ boots (in the words of my texan friend D) that i got a at the local farm coop in town. i am that raven. and that raven is cold and begging for summer.

* those of you who’ve seen the SATC movie will know who and what inspired this appropriated line.

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Filed under hair, L.A., weather