Postcard #31 “Favorite Photographs from Many Sundays”

Posted on March 22, 2012. Filed under: Dogs, Postcards | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Buttery smooth and so so sweet!

Here are some of my favorite photos from the past few Sundays- enjoy!

A worm from the Hulett-Reynolds Free Range Worm Farm and Boston Terrier Project

Just looking at this picture makes me hungry for some sugary goodness!

Emmie, John and Lillian

Next time you're in SF go to Q (on Clement Street) and have an omelette of your own!

Lucille at the beach

Postcards for #31

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Postcard #27 “What Makes Me Happy”

Posted on October 30, 2011. Filed under: Postcards | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hello again! My brain is full of second graders, Halloween candy and banjo rolls so I am turning to the Chat Pack to help!

This week’s question is: If you made a list of the five things (not people!) that make you the happiest in your life, what five things would you write down?


1. Ice cubes. I finally have a fridge that gets cold enough to make ice cubes and I make sure to keep the tray filled with water so I can always have cubes when I need them. I think ice cubes make me happy because they are a little party in a glass waiting to happen.

2. Chubby kitty fleece. A couple of years ago I was wearing an especially fuzzy fleece jacket while visiting a friend. His youngest son was about 5 years old at the time and really into cats. He sat by me and proceeded to pet my arm while saying, “oh, chubby kitty.” So since then anything that is soft, cozy, cuddly or warm is referred to as a “chubby kitty”. They make me happy because they are soft and warm, sort of like wearing a sleeping bag, which brings me to the next thing that makes me happy…

3. Camping. There are pictures of me as a baby hanging in a tree wearing pink footie pajamas and a smile. One of my favorite places to be is in a tent snuggled down in a sleeping bag. Camping makes me happy: being outside, the feeling of being miles away from everyone else and of course, the smell of pine trees. I could go camping every weekend in the summer and it still wouldn’t be enough.

4. Waking up in the morning and finding out that my cat Clementine asleep at the end of the bed. There are many comfortable places in the house to sleep (especially those chubby kitty jackets I leave around) and I am always happy when Clem chooses to sleep with me. Clementine is one cool kitty and she makes me happy.

5. Dogs. I didn’t think I was a dog person, but I was. After becoming a dog owner, I’ve learned there’s something really special about them. Maybe it’s the way they are genuinely excited when I come home or perhaps it’s the way they make me be a better and happier person. Sure they need to be walked and you can’t leave them alone for a long time, but they’re worth it.  If you own a dog you know what I’m talking about.

 There you go, there’s my 5. What’s yours?

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Postcard #22- What Makes a Good Neighborhood?

Posted on July 11, 2011. Filed under: Postcards | Tags: , , , , |

Last month I was invited to a graduation party at an “exclusive neighborhood” and I learned that exclusive really means that there’s a gate you have to go through to get into the neighborhood. Actually there were two gates- one for the residents and another for visitors. The residents flashed a special sign to the man in the guard cottage and were waved through. Visitors were required to go through another gate where they were checked to see if they were on some sort of list and not just there to steal the residents’ gold-plated bathroom fixtures. Did I mention there was a man with a clipboard?

 When it was my turn I pulled up and told the man that I was there for a graduation party and no, I didn’t remember the people’s last name of the house I was going to. I should have paid more attention to the invitation. Did I have the invitation? I knew it had to be somewhere because I used it to Map Quest the directions, but where? Geez. He told me I could pull over and look for it, so I did. The gate swung up and I was able drive in- you think trumpets would sound or something. Before I was forced to tear through my suspicious looking Subaru for the invitation, the people who invited me to the party pulled up behind me and vouched for my character and no, I wasn’t going to steal lawn ornaments or big screen televisions. The party was nice and everyone was gracious and all that good stuff, but it made me really wonder what was great about this neighborhood that they had to put a gate around it- who were they keeping out or trying to keep in?

 Sure the view was nice; I could see Reno, Sparks and if I squinted hard enough I could even see Lockwood. The houses had the same square footage as the local Home Depot, but they were all the same. My friend Brennan says that when you have that much money, you can afford to live in a place where you have things your way (sort of like Burger King for houses, I think). Maybe the residents didn’t get the memo or maybe Brennan is wrong: clearly they paid for a house that is the same as everyone else’s. Maybe there’s comfort in conformity but it seems to me that it’s a waste of money.  I also realized this gated community wasn’t near anything important or even fun. No quick midnight Slurpee runs for these folks.

 On the plus side, all of the lawns were neatly manicured (no jungles of overgrown grass here) with lawn ornaments placed tastefully and sparingly as not to overwhelm the eye.  Some of the turrets were impressive; I almost expected to see Rapunzel throwing down her hair, but that might be against the rules.

 Since that June evening, I have realized this: Adding a gate or throwing a fence around a bunch of expensive houses doesn’t make it a superior or even remarkable neighborhood. I believe a good neighborhood is organic and it takes time for all the parts to combine and simmer into something interesting and appealing. Call me a snob, but I believe my neighborhood is exactly that: a big delicious casserole of stone columns, funky houses, and confusing one-way streets.

The Old Southwest has it all: from the mansions on California Avenue to the 400 hundred square foot house I lived in for ten years, there’s something for everyone. Because it’s such an old neighborhood (over 100 years old), the trees are huge and they form a canopy over the streets where the sunlight filters through them (so damn charming). Ivy grows thick on the trees and my dogs love to snort their way through the foliage leaving their calling card on each leaf. The Historic Reno Preservation Society  gives tours through the neighborhood highlighting the different styles of homes and the history. This neighborhood is funky and different- just like the people who live here and that’s why I love it so much. Sure there’s a guillotine in someone’s front yard and its there all year around and I still haven’t figured that out, but that’s okay. I almost forgot: in my neighborhood, there’s also a 7-11 nearby so a midnight Slurpee run is always possible and no going through a gate to get there.

More about the Old Southwest:

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