The colors!

As we drove north, the colors started to appear.

The maples are amazing, they are the ones that turn all colors, yellow, orange and bright red.

Its’ hard to not just snap away, although the pictures aren’t like the reality.

There is so much water here, which is something we don’t have in CA. The reflection simply doubles the beauty.

Me taking pictures, also, I’m bundled up, although it was in the 60s’, it was overcast and I wasn’t taking chances at getting cold. Yes, I get sick easily when I get cold.

Joel among the trees.

A closer look at the color changes!

The red is truly unbelievable. We have color changes in the west, but it isn’t maples, we see yellows and orange, but not this red.

Different shades of decay.

more reflections.

Water and color, later in the trip we saw more and more colors

Can’t get enough of the red! I’ll share more color among the other travel pictures.

Driving north, Wolfeboro NH

Our next destination was North Conway up in the White mountains. We had time and this trip is all about seeing what we can see, not arriving early somewhere. So we decided to make a stop along Lake Winnepesaukee, otherwise known as Lake Winni.

As we were driving the country roads – as little major highways as possible. We drove through gorgeous country scenery. Not a lot of color changes yet.

I did not know this, apparently this is the oldest summer resort in America, established in 1770, even back then, people needed to get away.

Just some old pier supports out in the lake. I love the old decay, I got a lot of pictures of decay. Although I wish our society were being forced into decay in the name of ‘health. Thats a different subject.

Look what we found in town, they had all kinds of ginger bread cookies. Would you believe that we didn’t buy anything there! What self control.

Took pictures instead.

The selfie worked. Across the street was one of those tourist traps full of souvenirs. Upstairs was the best yarn store I saw on the whole trip. What an incredible selection! I wasn’t in the mood, so my yarn shopping happened later, but it was like 3 LA yarn stores in one.

Look at the weather vane atop the Yum Yum shop! That made me look at other weather vanes as well.

This wonderful arrow on the Church across the street.

This was on some church in VT, you can clearly see the cross on the weather vane.

On top of the massive barn at Shelburne Farms. Barn is a misnomer, but we’ll let them call it that.

Even in North Conway were weren’t seeing a lot of color. Then we looked out our hotel window and these bushes by the pool are just gorgeous! Our first real splash of red! Lucky for us, the day got better as we went along.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Yes, I was gone for two weeks, I hope someone will still come and take a look. I was on vacation, and although I put up pictures on IG, I was on vacation, didn’t want to deal with writing blog posts on my iPad. so here we go, a little late, but these will be much better posts.

It was time to get out of Dodge, although as you will see late – the idea that LA is hell and everywhere else is heaven – no so much. The government has used this pandemic very affectively to destroy our societal norms.

We wanted to see fall colors in New England.

Our first stop, Portsmouth NH. We could get a direct flight to Boston, and although wearing those masks for 6 hours and being yelled at for lowering it even a bit, is the price I paid. The trip was worth it. Arrived in the early evening and drove straight out of MA to NH. It started raining the moment we entered NH. Dinner that night, we were told to put on mask, luckily I had two in my purse, they came off two seconds later…

This is the church in the center of downtown, there are plenty of church in New England, with their beautiful white steeples, but no, I don’t know the denomination.

Its hard to read the inscription, so I’ll tell you, its’ the Odd Fellows Hall. Now I’m wondering if the Rebeccas met there as well. I think this building was built in the early 20th c.

Look what I found! an Art Deco Building from the early 30s! Rare in a town established in 1623. More on that history later.

The front of the Governor Goodwin Mansion, built in 1811. Once we entered the Strawberry Banke park, we were able to go inside as well. Many of the homes in the Banke were moved there. I love these kind of historical recreations. Better have them together in one location, then being torn down one by one.

The garden of the house, which is both vegetables and beautiful ornamentals.

Me under the arbor, so happy not to be stuck on an airplane. As you can see, no fall colors yet, the change was a little late this year, no problem for us, since we were heading both north and into the mountains.

Don’t know which house this is, but I do love the pink orange color on the door and trims.

This is from the oldest house, the Sherburne, built somewhere between 1695/1703. I only got the image of the windows, not the whole house, it is going through some repairs right now. LOVE these windows, the leaded diamonds. Clearly a very wealthy merchant or seaman. Also, that lattice of diamond is much stronger than a checkerboard, since this is pretty clear glass, not the coke bottle bottoms one sees in even older windows.

Inside the Shapiro Home, Jewish Merchants who arrived in the early 20th c. They put some Judaica in there, but it was more modern. Me, I fell in love with their sewing machine!

Not every house has a name.

I love looking down an alleyway and seeing the back of two homes, with additions on top. The building on the left mirrors the original. The one on the right doesn’t at all, and I do like the yellow color they chose.

The harbor, where so many ships came and went and the navy used during war.

Local re-enactors, we didn’t see their show. Fun to catch them on the street.

Onwards, I’ll be interspersing this trip among other posts. It was amazing, I love America, the chance to travel and see more of her is a real privilege.

Elysian Park

Another cool September day and another walk. This time it was in Elysian Park, not really through the neighborhood.

Along the edge, literally under the huge water tank is this very interesting old house. or hut, it’s almost a hut.

They raise horses here, well right now there is one horse, who knows, maybe they were out riding another. The small sign asks people not to feed the horses. Good advice.

Right nearby is this lovely garden, I think the locals tend to it, and they are doing a very nice job of it.

It is small, it is made up of small grouping of plants edged with local stones. there are some bowls for dogs and a bench or two.

Some trees as well and in this case, a humming bird feeder.

We are very close to downtown, it was overcast and hazy. Which is lovely for a walk, but not great for this kind of shot.

Suddenly, this came into view!! Of course it’s a Church, but which denomination?

Turns out it is Saint Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It was really hard to find information! There is the Yelp page, but the church doesn’t even have a website.

Sunday morning, it looks like people are going to church!! Yay!


Surprisingly, September has been having some cool days. Usually Aug-Sept are the hottest months here. So we didn’t need to take a walk by the beach, we went to walk in the beautiful old neighborhoods of Pasadena.

We ended up in the Arroyo Terrace neighborhood, above the Rose bowl.

There are beautiful old homes here, many are in the craftsman style.

Craftsman is an overall style, the house aren’t cookie cutter – thank Goodness. The decorative eave doesn’t look Craftsman at all, but the stonework, the three part windows do. The fact that the entrance isn’t smack dab in the middle of the house. One beautiful thing about this neighborhood is the large expansive front yards. Oh, and no fake grass here either.

It was late afternoon, the sun was always in the wrong direction. Look at this gorgeous wall! The workmanship! the combination of local stone and brick. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

Because of the sun, it was a little hard to get pictures of the Gamble house. I think I’ve written about this before. Greene and Greene are the topmost architects of the Craftsman style here in Southern California. I have been in a ‘moderate’ home they designed. The Gamble and The Blacker are both stunning, simply because the clients had a lot of money to spend, and boy did the Greene brothers use that money well.

At the moment there are no tours inside. (covid! grr). But luckily one can always walk around on the grounds.

The back is delightful, years ago I was at an event on the terrace, I think we even got to tour the house as well. I’ve toured it numerous times – it is gorgeous.

Another view from the side/back. Nice of the couple to walk by for size comparison.

Back in the neighborhood, the sun was really in the way, this is a mid-century house, there is one window on this side and a large brick wall. I’m guessing the windows all face the arroyo. I did see another mid century house as well. I’m sure the neighbors were horrified when these were built. Now, although they don’t blend, they aren’t an eyesore.

I had to take this picture through a fence. The Millard house. One of the original textile block houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and like all these houses, very poorly constructed, it leaked from the beginning, it has a lot of structural damage. But, it’s an historic landmark, I don’t know who owns it. It just sits there and has for many many years.

You can google images if you’d like, I don’t like linking them here. All I can say is he had a way with women, aside from the women in his life (go read – Loving Frank), he convinced weather single women to hire him to build houses. This is one example, the other is the Hollyhock house in Hollywood, built for Aline Barnsdale – also has very serious structural issues.

Anyway, there are plenty of neighborhoods to still explore in the LA area.

New cross stitch Ceesie Smitt

Yes, I love old samplers more than cutsie cross- stitch, although a friend just had a baby and I think she deserves something cute. More on that later, much later.

After that wild and crazy Tom Foolery, I wanted something with more order and symmetry. But, I’m not a big fan of quotes, so while watching Floss-tube someone was working on this, I found the pattern and ordered it. I then learned from Jacob at Modern Folk Embroidery that this is probably from Freisland, the area in Holland he is from.

I want to try 40 count linen, so here we go.

I also want to try silk thread, this is not a huge project, so a good one to use silk on. There is a local needlepoint shop Needle Hearts, I went there. Unlike another shop that will remain unnamed – they are very happy to support people who cross-stitch. Unfortunately they don’t sell the fabric, which is very different from needlepoint canvas – but they do sell a lot of thread. One of the women pulled out all the DMC colors and directed me to the appropriate silks so I could choose my threads. Silk isn’t cheap! I won’t be using the full skiens, so will have some leftover for other projects.

Thread and fabric – ready!

The pattern I bought is a paper pattern, yes, I can use these, but I do prefer using a pdf chart. I love the program PatternKeeper, but you have to start with a PDF that they find compatible. Needless to say while searching online I was introduced to a new program Markup R-XP. Like pattern keeper, you can try it for a month and buy it for less than $10. After a few days I purchased it.

Someone is going to complain that I put up part of the chart. If someone can recreate the whole pattern from this, more power to them. Btw, designers get upset that when they put out the image of the finished design – someone will go and chart it. So they lose money, but so many take old sampler and rechart them. I understand that designers want to make money, and they should, but I feel that copywriter issues have gone way to far. Today if you go into a shop and film (for Floss-tube or knitting),you either have to be on silent mode or blank out the sound, because maybe in the background musak is playing, and you will be taken down from You Tube for not paying the license to play the music. GRRRR.

Couldn’t wait to get started! I love the 40 count linen, I only need to use one strand of thread, and I absolutely LOVE silk, it’s like buttah!

Making quick progress.

I have learned that before the 1840s, European alphabets didn’t have the letter J, in this case, no Q or X either. Although this one has both the U and V. I wonder if those letters were omitted simply because Ceesie ran out of room. Also, she neglected the 8, but put in 11, 12 to fill space. You have to love a young girl who is working up a beautiful sampler and makes some very personal choices.

Yes, my one thread project is growing. Turns out I follow the designer on IG so I linked her to my progress – she is so happy to see this, since she charted it in 2012. It’s always fun to see someone years latter pick up the project. I am completing the border because I may be off on some counts and I want to built up the bottom of this chart, if I need to make adjustments somewhere in the middle, that will be easier and less noticeable than cutting off the bottom of the pattern.

New roof

Our roof wasn’t in horrible shape, but there were some weak spots, and even a leak by the chimney. So it was time to get a new roof

A large crew came and removed the old roof.

The next day a large truck with a conveyor belt came to load the materials up on the roof.

Getting the conveyor belt in place wasn’t easy, they had to avoid the power lines as well as the tree. Very impressive that they succeeded without a hitch.

conveyor belt is in place! I took most of these pictures to share with the grandsons, they love big trucks and equipment.

Waiting for the first box.

Here it comes!

This is so much easier than carrying each and every box and roll up by hand on a ladder – which is what they had to do for the garage roof.

Protective underlayer.

Laying the composite. Btw, the roof has so many angles and shapes, it took over two day for them to complete.

They did! the new roof is beautiful and hopefully much more water tight. Yes I know, we need to do something with the yard, at some point we will, and it won’t be a large lawn.

The roof of the garage was in bad shape, now it looks beautiful.

I am so impressed with these men, yes they all are men who climb up on roofs and do such a beautiful job. It rained last night, not here, else where in SoCal, I sort of wished it had rained here – new roof!

Tiramisu – a little pick me up

It was my sons birthday, he loves Tiramisu the dessert. Tiramisu in Italian means pick me up – very very true. So my son in law was going to buy one – no way! I’ll make it. So I start looking at recipes online and I find one from an old Italian guy with video. First of all he calls for Amaretto and white rum! I’ve never made it with alcohol before! Then he also recommends beating egg whites and folding them into the marscapone mix.

I don’t own an electric mixer, not even the hand-held kind. But a few years ago I bought this at an estate sale, nostalgia. Well, my old Italian beat his egg whites with a whisk, no me, I pulled out this wonderful old tool and got to work.

I think I’m at the 4-5 minute mark right here. I’m beating a lot of air in here and it’s beginning to fluff.

The egg whites form a peak.

Even more so in the bowl. So I blended them in, dipped the lady fingers in the coffee – liquor mix and voila!

Sifted on cocoa powder, and put in the fridge for about 6 hours. Yes, it was yummy, we all loved it. My son too the leftovers home, yes there were some leftovers, apparently he wasn’t willing to share with anyone – it was his birthday cake! I guess I’ll have to make it more often for him.

This image is blurry because she doesn’t stand still. I tried to French braid her hair, not easy, then tried to get a picture, even harder.

I started a stitching group, we meet once a month, it is delightful. I suggested we exchange holiday ornaments. Yes, I’m Jewish so I hope to receive something less Christmas-y but boy is it fun to make these. I like the black backstitch, I’m not crazy about the brown and white ones. I do admit it came out adorable.

My finishing is ok, its amazing how much stuff some people have -rickrack, ribbons, buttons. Yes, I have some of that, but not a lot. Anyway, I’m pleased with the result.

The other grandkids

No they didn’t come to the zoo with us. Instead, we went and got frozen yogurt!

Shira is usually much more photogenic, she still is adorable.

I mentioned chickens. Our Temple has two chicken coups, one near the nursery school and one near the school. So Aytan was intrigued by the chickens both on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur I brought some snacks along for him. He immediately took the potato chips and fed the chickens. So that gave me an idea. I called up my friends Burt and Marsha, the ones who hosted that amazing dinner. They have a ‘back 40’, a fabulous garden, in it are chickens.

Aytan and I went to feed them! What is nice is that they not only have a coup, they fenced an area around it for the chickens to roam. Here is the one brown chicken.

Aytan is trying to approach her, she got scared!

The other four are a beautiful black blue color. Burt keeps all the kitchen leftovers for the chickens. these are not only free range, they eat extremely well. Every two week he rakes out the yard and it goes on the compost pile. the leftover, the chicken poop, it all helps the compost that then goes to the vegetable patch.

sitting watching the chickens eat. This is so good for Aytan. This past year was so hard, sure he enjoyed just being at home, but he really needs the socialization of his special needs school. Having the chance to be with animals is a very soothing thing.

Thank you so much Burt! I know that they enjoy the company as well. Their grandchildren are older now, and they do enjoy sharing their bounty with other kids. Burt sent home 12 eggs, 4 of them Aytan helped collect. Aytan’s mom is quite the baker and I think Aytan may have had an egg for dinner that night.

So blessed to have my family near by and good friends as well.

Gone all week

I know, I didn’t post at all last week. It was a hard week, between holidays and the awful recall election. I wasn’t in the mood. So anyone who wants to see what happens when the far left takes over a state – come to CA. 100 million dollars spent on negative ads about the recall. No one could actually name anything good the Newsom did. That is because, like any dictator – its’ about taking advantage for his and his cronies good while destroying the state. Oh and fraud, I know, we aren’t supposed to talk about fraud – but it’s been going on in CA for years and now it’s out in Federal elections. So I just go on, trying to ignore the huge encampments of vagrants that pop up all over my neighborhood, see how more and more businesses are closing or moving and praying that sanity will return one of these days.

On to better things.

Went to the zoo with two sets of grandkids, yup, she took my hat!

Cousins walking together, Westley loves helping out his younger cousins.

Group photo, We had Westley and Cam with us for the weekend. We even went to see the Paw Patrol movie, which was pretty good. Cam got a little scared, big screen, loud noises, but he rallied.

these uncles are real troopers! those guys are very heavy!

When their parents got back, it was fun in the pool!

The tomatoes and lemons are from my garden, the pomegranate, I picked at the temple, they have a little garden with a few fruit trees and chickens! More about the chickens next post. As for the lemons, I made some really good lemonade with mint.