Monday, July 30, 2012

Oysters with breadcrumb

Doodle and I decided a lite dinner was in order last night after filling up on salad for lunch at a local Italian restaurant.  Earlier we had purchased a dozen oysters and they had been in the freezer needing attention.  Doodle found a recipe we just had to try as we actually had all the ingredients!

4 tbsp Butter
1 cup Breadcrumbs
2 tbsp chopped Parsley
3 tbsp Scallions
1 tsp Garlic
Parmesan Cheese (we added this)

The recipe indicated to cover the oyster with the bread crumb mixture completely.  In the future, we would use less topping but overall, super easy once you get the oysters open and our dinner was an excellent change of pace.

Here is the link to the actual recipe that we used.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Opening Ceremony

Photo Credit
I thought London did a great job with the opening ceremony.  While I admit at times, I was totally confused with the goings on... (what did Lord Voldemort have to do with the Olympics). I suppose it was the British celebrating all things British.  The reviews I am reading this morning seem to agree, while no one will ever top the production in Beijing, there is no denying last night was a success.  In my mind the mere fact thousands of people volunteered to be a part of the ceremony, not conscripted to be a part of the ceremony says something to the world.

I think Alex Wolff with Sports Illustrated said it best "To speak one's mind or assert one's rights is as irrepressible a human instinct as running or jumping. Of that, let us be not afeared".

Sarah Lyall with The New York Times said this "With its hilariously quirky Olympic opening ceremony, a wild jumble of the celebratory and the fanciful; the conventional and the eccentric; and the frankly off-the-wall, Britain presented itself to the world Friday night as something it has often struggled to express even to itself: a nation secure in its own post-empire identity, whatever that actually is". 

Let the games BEGIN!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Heart London

The Olympics begin in one day and I am super excited.  I think it has do to with the games being in London, a city near and dear to my heart.  DB and I plan on watching our delayed version of the opening ceremonies and wonder if they will surpass China's.

I have been lucky enough to live in two cities who have hosted the games and while the traffic, extra people, strange smells, and congestion are definite downsides the honor of being selected outweighs the negatives. 

So, are you watching the games?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rain Barrel

After getting almost two inches of rain this weekend, Doodle and I decided it was finally time for a rain barrel.  Of course, now that we have the rain barrel, we are not going to get rain for the next four months!  The installation was quite easy and we followed the directions fine until the last step, when the instructions said to get on roof and run water into your gutter to test the barrel.  We both looked up at the roof and decided we would wait for the rain! If the barrel works as intended, I would like to get a couple more. SO, COME ON RAIN!
We also started on the landscaping of the backyard.  We plan on completing the backyard in stages. At least that is Doodle's plan, mine would be to just finish it! First stage was to plant along the fence line.  A couple of these plants should grow to eight feet tall, thus blocking our neighbors.
We planted Nandina, Gardenia, and several varieties of Viberium. According to the nursery, they are easy and hardy, just what we need!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pageant of the Masters

The highlight of our trip to California was opening night at the Pageant of the Masters.  I just realized that I am really dragging out this trip... I think it is because I am so missing home and the beach. 

The Pageant is a yearly event that takes place in Laguna Beach each July and August during the Festival of the Arts.  When LB and I were kids, we actually were in the pageant.  This was DB's first time attending and even though we all froze to death during the show, it was well worth the frost bite! 

This year's theme is The Genius, celebrating the 80th anniversary of the festival.  The Pageant is described as living pictures.  Famous works of art are recreated using people is part of the art.  DB had great fun trying to determine which were people and which were just painted.  Witness examples below... can you tell who is real?

They had updated the show from when I was a child, in one particular painting, they showed you how it goes together, they let you see which parts are painted, who is real, how they frame it, and finally how lighting makes all the difference.  Even after watching the volunteers put it together, you are still amazed when the lights go dark and then the painting comes up.

This video gives you a true sense of what it is like being there.

It was a wonderful way to end our visit out to California and we plan on making this a yearly adventure.

Friday Fragments - Saturday Style

I meant to post this last night but we finally had a pop-up storm over our area, resulting in an inch of rain, lots of wind, and we lost power.  It was WONDERFUL!  So this morning, I am finishing what I started.

Mommy's Idea

A big thank you again to Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin' Time for hosting Friday Fragments and to all the wonderful bloggers that participate.

This week seemed longer than the normal 5 days of work and the scary thing, I only worked 4 days!  I am really considering working 10 hour days so I can have each Wednesday off.  How much harder can it be when I am already at work 9.5 hours anyway!

It was quite interesting to notice that when I titled my blog post about California after Herb Ritts and Gustav Klimt that I had more page views than I have followers. I can see why people just throw out a famous trending name every now and again.

I have had a couple of riding lessons at a new barn and boy is it different.  This place is old school, all about "learning to ride", I am certainly not use to be yelled at again.  I am back to feeling like I am totally incapable of riding. 

I pulled out half of our garden and I think part of the problem may have been me planting the vegetables too close together because it looks like they might be growing.  Guess the spacing guidelines are not just a suggestion.

The pumpkin plant is still growing but so far no plants but lots of blooms, maybe, just maybe I will have a pumpkin.

Doodle and I are trying to decide if we are going on a vacation this fall or not.  I want to go somewhere exotic but the prices, how does anyone afford a vacation?  When did everything begin costing so much? 

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Disney: the Good, the Bad & the Grumpy

The first evening we were in California, we ventured over to Downtown Disney, as mom had never been.

THE GOOD: The highlight of downtown Disney was the Lego store... the Lego sculptures were amazing. 

THE BAD: Dinner at Tortilla Jo's... I expect a lot from Disney and have never been disappointed; but, dinner was truly horrible. The margaritas were nothing special, if anything lack luster and weak.  My chicken tortilla soup had no chicken, just a bunch of vegetables.  Mom had the pozole soup and it was so bad, she did not eat.  Disney charged premium prices for less an appetizing food.  While I understand you will pay more while at Disney, the least they can do is ensure that the food is excellent.  It was a true disappointment.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

By associating with wise people you will become wise yourself.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Griffith Observatory

After spending the morning and most of the afternoon at the Getty Complex, we headed to the Griffith Observatory.  We last visited the observatory when we were kids.  According to mom, we use to horseback ride up here.  It was so crowded, there was no parking in the lot; we had to park down the mountain side and walk up.  After being at the museum all day, that was a tall order for us!

The observatory is free to the public, you do have to pay if you want to see one of the shows in the planetarium.  We went ahead and bought tickets to Time's Up, which talks about the nature of time through the prism of false claims regarding the end of the world in late 2012, all based on the Mayan calendar.  In truth, I think we just wanted to sit in the cool, dark, air conditioning.

After the show, we got in line for the telescope, even though it was still daylight, we were able to see the bright star Arcturus.  It was actually really neat, the stars would have been more interesting to see, but we were tired and did not want to wait around for darkness.  
Mom & LB waiting to look through telescope (can you see the ocean!)

On the walk back to the car, I stopped to get a picture of the setting sun.  I just love the helicopter in the background, headed to the Hollywood sign.
It was really a great experience to visit the places as an adult that I remembered visiting as a child.  There is so much to do and see in the Los Angeles area, it continues to amaze me.

More adventures coming up!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Getty

Part Two: The Getty Con't

The Getty Complex is so large, with so much to see, that if you really wanted to read about everything they have, you would need at least three days.  We did not have time to see all the buildings, it was just too much!  One of the nice things about The Getty, is you can take photos without flash of their permanent collections.  This would have been wonderful, had I brought the correct camera and not the small P.O.S.

Oh well, here you go, an extremely small sampling, like three photos, of the hundreds of items on display:
"The Vexed Man" Franz Xaver Messerschmidt
"The Ransom" John Everett Millais
"The Tomb of Madame Langhans" Johann August Nahl
After we took a break from walking around, we headed to the central garden. 

This is looking down into the garden from one of the buildings.  I did not realize the center maze was created with boxwoods and water until we walked to it.
The structures below are made from re-bar and in the center have bougainvillaea growing up and draping over.  I wish that we could grow the amazing plants and flowers here in the south that you can in California.

I have no clue what this pretty flower was, it just deserved a photo!
Another view of the garden while sitting on a bench resting.  
Finally, a couple of pictures of LB, Doodle, and I.  Next, the Griffith Observatory.
 Isn't LB handsome? :o) 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gustav Klimt & Herb Ritts

Last weekend Doodle and I made an extremely quick visit to California.  We were celebrating moms birthday.  It was a wonderful, if not short visit.  The first full day we visited The Getty. When we were kids, I remember mom taking us to visit the J. Paul Getty museum in Malibu.  A few years ago the Getty Foundation opened a huge complex in Los Angeles, which is where we spent the day.  The Center is a great value, it was fifteen dollars to park but the rest of the exhibitions, gardens, and collections are free.

As none of us had been there, we had no idea what to expect...after taking a tram to the center, we see this...    
The center is made up of six buildings with walkways between them, views of Los Angeles, cafes, gardens, and water features.  This place is amazing and tiring!  We spent 6 hours there and did not see it all.  The Center is currently featuring two exhibitions.  The first:

The exhibit featured his drawings, not his finished work.  This was actual quite interesting, especially when they showed how the piece developed.  Klimt was quite the rebel, starting his own periodical and building an exhibition hall.  Out of everything displayed both LB (Little Bro) and I seemed to like:
Oil Sketch for Medicine, 1897–98, Gustav Klimt. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of Christie's Vienna
The second exhibition is the one that I was excited to see:
Herb Ritts: LA Style

I have been a fan of Herb Ritts since I first laid eyes on his photos. Ritts revolutionized photography, working with some of the most famous people in Hollywood. I would love to own one of his photos but since his untimely death, they are out of my price range (at least until I win the lottery)!  I was in heaven! No photos were allowed but thanks to the Getty website, here is my favorite photo from the exhibit:
Pierre and Yuri, Los Angeles, 1999, Herb Ritts, gelatin silver print. Gift of the Herb Ritts Foundation. © Herb Ritts Foundation
The gardens and permanent collection coming up...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th Fragments

Hi everyone!  A huge thank you going out to Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin' Time for bringing us a place to dump the fragments of our week and for all the participants.  Mommy's Idea

* I cannot believe it is the middle of July, this year is flying by. By contrast, the week has been long.  

* I absolutely hate working full-time.  I definitely got spoiled with my 30 hour a week schedule for 6 months.  Even though I am six weeks into the 40 hour schedule, when 1:00 pm roles around, I am ready to head out.  The last three hours of the day seem like thirty to me.

* Doodle and I were in California over the weekend visiting family.  This is the first time I have been back where I wanted to stay.  I am sure it had something to do with the perfect weather, the culture, the food, the beach... I so miss home!

* I will be doing a full post of the places we visited but here is a preview:  The Getty Center, The Griffith Observatory, San Juan Capistrano Mission, The Pageant of the Masters. 

* We have finally been getting rain in Atlanta this week.  We managed almost 2 inches yesterday...

* I am saddened and angry by the news coming out of Syria.  I try hard not to speak about my personal views on most topics but this is too much.  Why is the international community not doing something?  Why are we not doing something?  Where is our leadership? 

* In the same breath, the world is just sitting back and watching as hundred year old shrines are destroyed in Timbuktu, Mali all because someone thinks the shrines do not adhere to strict Islamic views.  I believe we are well on our way to destroying ourselves.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.  Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.

~ Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Remember Me

I am back... Doodle and I spent the weekend in California visiting family, laughing, eating, drinking, and having a marvelous time.  I will be posting pictures as soon as the jet lag wears off...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

Amidst all the barbecues, hot dogs, beer, fireworks, and frivolity, take a moment to reflect on the what we are celebrating... the independence of this nation.  This nation, while not perfect, allows a person freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and several others as outlined in the Bill of Rights.  The Declaration of Independence signed 236 years ago by a group of brave men believed that all "men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
So enjoy your day with friends and family but never forget what we are celebrating.  Happy Independence Day!