Spring flowers

We get most of our spring flowers in late Jan -Feb.

Azaleas don’t do as well here as they do in the east or the northwest. So when they bloom, for the very short time they do, one must enjoy!

The bushes are smaller, the flowers are only around for a week or two.

The colors are lovely.

Same is true of the camellias.

Look at this beauty!

We do have Gazanias that do very well here.

And also come in very interesting colors. Here we have a great example of nature going for the complementary colors – yellow and purple.

although the flower is just pink purple, the inner section, which actually might be the real flower is yellow orange. Works every time!

Gorgeous day, 70s’ sunshine, beautiful. Despite the fact, that yes, LA has become a third world city. Much to our dictators’ surprise – doesn’t bother him that this has happened, it bothers him that the whole world knows.


Knitting socks

Things have been slow and quiet. Got the omicron. Now I have natural immunity – and yet, in LA county all that matters is the number of vaccinations. Oh yes, I am vaxed. It was like having strep throat without a fever. My throat was very painful for a few days, and then slowly that went away. Joel had a lesser case. And then Joels’ birthday comes and the kids are scared to be around us – oh well.

At least, along with the rain, January brings out the flowers.

I have two Camellia bushes, both are blooming. This one has the flowers upright. The other has them hiding and pointing down.

They do make a nice floral arrangement with the roses. These roses are fine on the bush, they die quickly when brought inside. So for a day or two I have this pretty arrangement.

I mentioned Joels’ birthday. He asked for another pair of socks, I haven’t knit socks in years. So I went and bought some yarn and am knitting based on one I knit years ago, that is showing its age.

Went to my local LYS, The Altered stitch, yup, it is still the store that poops unicorns poop. A ton of hand dyed yarn, very little basics. I would have preferred a standard commercial sock yarn. They didn’t have any. So from the picture above, you can see, I bought two skeins. The light blue is Lornas Laces – it was on the de-stash table, I think they went out of business years ago. The other is a basic hand-dyed.

Andrea tried to upsell me at every turn. I get it, a small shop has to stay in business, but I wasn’t interested. btw, my friend Diane gave me some of these hand style hand dyed mini skeins, I have to figure out what to make. After the socks that is.

Some of the socks around the shop. At one point Andrea mentioned cables on socks and do I want to buy a pattern. No way to cables! And no, I will be making a basic vanilla sock – and no, I don’t need a pattern.

Andrea teaches a very good beginners sock class. As well as other classes. Not all the yarn is multi-colored – but it’s all hand dyed.

I started! Toe up, 72 stitches!

Birthday, I went to get some cupcakes. Sorry, not a great picture, but Deja Vu cupcakes makes wonderful rich cupcakes.

The decor in the shop is adorable. They only make cupcakes, and they stay in business. God bless them, a small business that is surviving under all the stupid requirements of this city.

In the evening we went to a Peruvian restaurant, only customers inside, everything else was take out. I won’t name names, but no one asked for a vax card, when you are trying to survive – being the policeman for a city and health dept that really doesn’t care about our health – isn’t a job you want to take on. Leave that for the hipsters at the bars in Silverlake.


2022 cross-stitch starts

I had plans for two starts on New Years day.

I decided to give a Mirabilia a try. Turns out I could’t wait till New Years day. So I started in December.

I had recently bought a new program. Markup RXP, this will be the first big project where I am using this program. The pattern is a large old chart. It is from 2010- 12 years ago. I am so spoiled, I can’t work from a large old paper chart. So thank goodness for Staples, I went there, they suggested to scan the pattern and put it on a thumb drive. What a great idea, from there it was very easy to then upload the scan into the program.

These patterns have at least 60 different colors of thread as well as some beads… Just putting the threads on thread holders took about a day.

Then it took a few days to mark each symbol with its’ color. I am learning how to do this correctly, there is a lot of trial and error. Because there is so much to mark up – I must say I am finally getting the hang of it.

Here I am starting. I already shared some of my progress.

This pattern is Lady Hera, and finally, I’ve put in some stitches on her. The centers of the flowers will be beads. Yes, I’ll be doing the beads.

I like how I fill in the worked stitches on the program and I can see my progress. Those numbers up on top are wrong. Each symbol will be represented by the color and the number of stitches – maybe there are a total of 16,000 stitches on this page, but they aren’t all in that color. The smaller number on the right lets me know how many are left. This is actually useful. Because it lets me know how much I did and if I am done with a color completely.

I had joined and FB group for markup RXP, I mostly silenced it – too many complainers. It’s too hard to learn, can someone come over and just do the work for them? The worst? I had posted how pleased I was to be able to transfer the paper to digital and I got a lot of complaints – My Staples or Kinkos won’t let me do that! That is not my problem, one person gave me the thumbs up – most people whined – which to be honest is exactly what I expect from most people – whining.

On New Years day, I started my MFESAL2022, made the exact same mistake I had made the year before, I cut the fabric too small! Also, I don’t particularly like the fabric. This is the problem with buying fabric online. so I’ve got this 40 count white linen, I’ll use it for something else.

It took 10 days to get in new fabric. this time, an over dye. I have started over, and I’m loving this even more than the white fabric. I’m thinking that I might tea dye that white. We shall see!


Its’ a little slow

I’ve been stitching away.

A lot of progress on the Lady Hera, nothing on The modern folk embroidery SAL, because I’m waiting for new fabric. I cut the fabric too small! I think I shouldn’t be doing a SAL, cuz I get so excited to finally start, I make bad mistakes. The new fabric should be here Tuesday

Finally, more colors. At first I thought I don’t want to do the beads, well, these empty channels you see are for beads. Sure I could fill them with thread, but I happen to have a large selection of beads. I won’t even be buying new ones.

Took a drive up to the Angeles Crest Highway. Went up the Big Tujunga canyon road. There is a reservoir! It may be low on water, but the last rains must have helped.

It is really hidden from view, you have to pull off into a pullout on the road to see this.

The wonders never cease, which is why exploring our surroundings is so much fun.

Stopped again and looked down at the road we had just driven.

These mountains are gorgeous! As we drove back down Angeles Crest highway, the views were amazing, but we were too lazy to stop. Downtown, the ocean and even Catalina Island, all very very clear.

Sometimes a Sunday drive is all that is needed.


Good things in the new year

I have joined a ‘hiking’ group, well, walking is more like, older people out on a Tuesday morning for a walk. Most are from our Temple and the neighboring one. Some of these people I’ve known for a long time.

We had a week on rain and it shows in all the local creeks as well as the LA river bed, which is still running strong. Pity all that water just ends up in the ocean.

We had to cross the stream, I didn’t have a stick and yes, my left foot slipped in. Luckily, I like wearing wool socks while hiking, so very quickly my sock and shoe became like a wet suit and my foot didn’t get cold. Going back, I borrowed a stick.

We were in Aliso Canyon, between Granada Hills and Porter Ranch, and here we have a ranch, a real working ranch, with houses being built on all sides. I love that this woman is riding in a Roman style chariot, I don’t understand the mask, she is outside, alone, with her horse. People!

‘Believe the science’ crowd don’t want you to follow real science. Yes, Omicron is here, yes it is very contagious, but it is so much milder, they even have to admit the hospitalizations and deaths aren’t that high. I think Joel has it now, he has an cough, he isn’t getting tested and so far, I haven’t caught anything from him. But of course all schools must wait a few more days to open. The precious teachers don’t want to teach. So I had to watch these two so their dads could work. Unlike teachers – they don’t get paid for not working.

Little sister has to do everything big brother does. Not a good idea, she fell off this bridge, caught her foot. She is fine, very resilient, I told her from now on – you use the solid bridge. This was 10 am, I was already exhausted.

These two sure love each other. It is so cute! Worth being tired to be able to hang around with them being so adorable.

Sportsmans Lodge on Ventura Blvd has used some of its’ property to create an outdoor shopping area. This is where they used to have an event hall, my middle son had his Bar Mitzvah party here. The hotel is still active, but the hall is gone.

There is an Erewhorn market, which is apparently even more expensive than Whole Foods, as well as some other stores.

Things are beginning to open, its’ nice to see outdoor seating as well.

I was a little surprised to see that Crown Media, aka the Hallmark Channel hadn’t taken down the Christmas wrapping yet. The big bow is gone.

My designer Samantha has started sharing images from my house on Instagram. Here she is, relaxing during the photo shoot. She did a great job and I’m still loving the new look of the front of the house. As she shares more pictures, I’ll do the same!


Happy New Year

There is something of a let down every New Year, all the build up of the ‘holiday season’. then Christmas comes and goes, there is that dead week, and at the tail end of everything – a new year. Unlike the Jewish calendar, that starts with the new year and then has the day of atonement, the festival of Sukkot and the starting of the Torah cycle again. Here New Years is the sort of let down at the end of all the excitement. Although I am very happy to get back to ‘normal’ – not that we will be seeing normal anytime soon with how much our overlords have enjoyed taking control of every aspect of our lives.

For the last two months I have been going on a walk every Tuesday with a group called Chai Neighbors. Two local Synagogues have joined to create a group of seniors. Its’ not really hiking, but it is so lovely to get outside and walk in nature.

Fall colors in southern CA, always happen in December. No, it’s nothing like New England, but colors do change, and we had rain for almost 10 days plus it has been cold!

because of the rain, the small creek in O’Melveney Park had water running. I’m wondering if these bubble ae from chemicals being washed down with the water. We can pretend its snow.

SoCal, there will always be a palm tree. No, they aren’t native, they were brought in in the late 19th century and rapidly became a symbol of the region. Which is fine, there is no place on earth that hasn’t had new comers take root and become natives.

Winter is the clearest season here, especially after rain. Looking towards downtown and actually seeing it! Downtown is 30 miles away, so this is a rare view.

Painting rocks and leaving them for others to find is something people have been doing for a while. I feel like this was a class that came out here and left their loot. So massages are the kind you’d find in a class room. They also planted a little jade plant, give it a few years, it will be huge.

Then, just walking the neighborhood, I love the Christmas decoration, I always hope the lights stay up for a while, until the days really get longer. During the day, its’ lovely to see the colors reflected on the sidewalk.

Also fun to see how someone repurposed the huge Halloween skeleton to become Santa. I think of Santa as fat, and rolly polly, oh well, a skeleton works as well.

Could almost be a Tuscan villa. I do like the golden garland of baubles.

This time of year many of our roses bloom again. Not mine, but I do love this color and the water drops just make it more beautiful.

Happy New Year, certain things are starting out well, may they continue.


Another Biscornu

I finished my 2021 projects, I have two waiting for 2022. So meanwhile, lets make another biscornu. I’m not thrilled with the blue and white, blue and silver that defines Jewish art. So I went with something else I feel is a very Jewish symbol. The pomegranate.

We have the seven fruits of the land of Israel – Wheat, Oats, grapes, figs, pomegranate, olive and dates. There are a lot of pomegranate designs out there, at some point I need to find the others.

This was was pretty dense, I did enjoy it though.

Sewing it together, as you can see it is basically two squares, you sew point to center of a seam. That way instead of 4 corners you get 8.

As you combine the two, the shape begins to form.

Here it is, stuffed with fiberfill.

Often there is a top side and a bottom, in this case, both are very intricate and both relate to the pomegranate. I’m not done yet.

Adding a button on both sides and pulling them tight. now the shape has even more dimension to it.

From this angle – it’s all pomegranates – of different styles.

A few months ago I made my first biscornu, looks like I may end up with quite a collection….

The smaller has a definite backside, the larger one doesn’t.

For the smaller one I used Aida, I really don’t like Aida, it is hard on my hands.

The larger one is on an even weave, easy to work with, although these days I’m using mostly linen. But for this kind of project – it was perfect. I also just used threads I have on hand.

I am now kitting up my Mirabilia and boy, am I going to have a lot of new colors to chose from! This is one of my 2022 starts, although I think I might start it today, because, I can and there are no rules.


Palm Springs Air Museum

I know, the museum has been there forever and I just discover it now. Need to go back some time without kids, because I’d love to read more about the exhibits.

It is right next to the Palm Springs Airport. One thing I did learn that it was built in the late 30s and as soon as it as finished, it was 1942 and the Army commandeered it for the military. So there is a lot of military history here.

This is not a military plane, I think this one brought the movie stars down to the desert. As I mentioned, running after kids means not reading too many labels.

This on the other hand certainly is. A little beefcake and all the hits on Nazi targets painted right on the plane.

Plenty of pretty women went off to bomb the Germans.

Of course this is one of the prettiest girls, next to the plane, not on it. Yes, her cute cousin almost made it into the picture.

Plenty of artifacts relating to the air war .

A whole section dedicated to the Tuskegee Airmen, there was also a whole section dedicated to the women who flew in WWII.

Yup, the grandson is also very cute.

It is really nice that there were planes, trucks and a few other things that the kids could climb into. It looks like they have a classroom where they bring school kids. Much more fun than an art museum…. says the former art museum docent.

everybody getting in on the action!

I’m totally with Eyal here, take off that mask!

I think these adults were hiding from the kids at this point.

This was the Korean War and Vietnam war hanger. up on the wall, the M.A.S.H helicopter as in the real thing, not just for the TV show.

An old plane, the mountains and even snow. The amazing Cochella valley.

going through these pictures again just makes me want to go and actually spend time here. There were docents, older men, who had probably served in Vietnam, yup, those guys are already in their late 70s.

I’m glad someone put this museum together and that it was busy with visitors. Till next time.



Another year, another Christmas, nope, not my holiday, Hanukkah came early this year, so there wasn’t even overlap. But I love this season, as the light fades from the world this is a holiday that brings it all back. I ADORE Christmas lights, if only because in the long dark nights – it is a true sign of cheer.

So off we went to see the lights.

Everyone is sharing pictures of this house, they must store these plastic decorations in a large warehouse. Oh, and the choir actually sings.

Santa, warm inside.

We drove around and saw plenty of other lovely lights. You can’t really take good pictures of them and I just wanted to enjoy the moment.

Guess where we found the best display? right in our own neighborhood, the same house that had the best Halloween decorations.

Yup! Star Wars themed decorations! No, I’m not a Star Wars Fan, even though my son was born on May the 4th. I just love how someone takes a theme like this and runs with it.

Unlike the house with the plastic figures, these are inflatable, so they will be easier to store.

A neighbor who used to decorate for every single holiday, moved away, that house is now just dark. But here is a lovely bright wreath!

Looks like another neighbor had a snow party! The cold makes the snow stay, but all the rains must have washed a lot of this away.

Wonderful Christmas dinner with great friends, look at this amazing white Christmas Tree!

And see we are with our reindeer antlers, and an amazing dinner awaiting to be eaten. Sorry about the blob, there are some items on the back wall the host didn’t want to be seen.


Palm Springs

We found an Airbnb with 7 bedrooms in Palm Springs. It looks like it might have been an old motel in the 20s’-30s. It had its’ quirks, two kitchens, the better one was not next to the dinning area. But each room had its’ own bathroom, a huge pool, jacuzzi, lovely fire pit, walking distance to a park – it was a great choice.

Our son and daughter in law are partying their earnings from the other two Airbnbs and have bought a third one near the second. They are very busy fixing it up. I am so proud of their efforts and industriousness. I heard them trying to deal with a house keeper who didn’t show up, running this kind of business isn’t easy. They have taken on the challenge. Hard work pays off! The only way to achieve is to work hard. This is one of the outcomes of the pandemic, they shifted their outlook.

Another outcome, for the longest time Dictator Newsom decided that beaches and playgrounds were unhealthy – what he knows from health I don’t know, he certainly nows how to be a dictator. Anyway, the boys learned how to climb trees, and even when there is a nice playground right there.

He says these trees aren’t as good as the ones at home.

My son managed to capture a picture of most of us sitting down for dinner. we cooked all meals at homes. Unfortunately, I got a stomach bug, which traveled. I got it during the vacation, Shira got it the last night, and then Joel,Becky, Aytan, West and Cam once we got home. No it wasn’t Covid, people get sick. It ruined part of the vacation for me, and it made it hard for others at home, but we all agree – it was great being away together.

This is what the days looked like. The pool was very warm, the kids hardly ever got out. I got into the jacuzzi, no pool for me.

We walked Palm Drive which was full of people, I love that no matter what people are getting out and about. Oh, if you look closely on the left, you can see my grandson who looks tiny next to Marilyn. I know, it also has to do with camera angle and foreshortening.

Kids loving on this crazy Foo Lion, it’s supposed to be a Food dog, not a lion, when cultural appropriation goes wrong… I just noticed how Einav is totally loving the little lion cub! She loves dolls and babies, don’t tell me that being female is a choice, not part of our Dan.

This is what I missed because of the stomach bug – zoo lights at the Palm Desert Zoo. Also, Aytan saw giraffes- which are his favorite animal – it made him so happy. Cam and Shira were thrilled to see foxes – their favorite.

We went consignment hunting one day, love how someone put up this wonderful old door. I’m sure it’s not original. I only bought some framed art,

Of course it’s not about the pictures, its’ the frames! I hope that at some point my needlework will fit in these. Btw, I watched a You Tube of someone who resizes frames. LOL, not for me, I’d rather be stitching.

Mandy found a great mirror for the new Airbnb as well as old tennis rackets for the wall of the game room. Yoch found a WWII dark green pea coat. It is ‘new’ as in never used. It was made in the US, sent to the Navy towards the end of the war, and made its way back to a consignment store in Palm Springs.

More on Palm Springs and WWII in the next post.