Monday, April 29, 2013

Windy Day!

Quite the wind here in Vancouver last night and this morning…gusts up to 90K. First time I've seen the water coming over the seawall. Into Victoria today but no ferry canellations so far.  Victoria doesn't seems to be getting only up to 30k gusts.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

West Coast clouds....another reason to get that new camera

Pretty amazing clouds yesterday and you really see them from our apartment.  Woke up to bright sunshine today.  I will just have to get a good camera.  Took these from our balcony.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The sounds of seagulls and a steel gray day with light rain...

A typical Vancouver day at this time of year but great to see the rowers, kayakers, sailors, joggers, walkers cyclists all out doing their thing regardless of the drizzle.  Haven't seen an umbrella for a while!

Although it's a dreary day in Vancouver today but I got a tremendous lift from making the bed with the wonderful quilt Kerry made for me with all the bright colours I love and all the  Eiffel towers….it is really wonderful and means so much to me.  If I had seen this quilt in a store I would have had to buy it and it means so much more to me that it was a handmade gift from a wonderful friend.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Great to be back to our local...The Sylvia

Split a fish and chips and had a Red Truck Ale..and a great sunset to boot.  Just have to get a better camera to capture these things.  The iPhone doesn't quite cut it.  Love that The Sylvia has kept the illumination on the tree.  Usually it's just at Christmas.

Sunset from The Sylvia while dining tonight.

And now we're back in the apartment enjoying the city lights over the water.  As much as I love London and Paris and New York and San Francisco and the south of France...Vancouver and Palms Springs are absolutely the very best combination of places in the world.

Back to our West Coast paradise...

Great to be home in Vancouver and see my wonderful ocean and mountains and my beloved freighters...even a glimpse of sunshine.

Photos taken from our balcony.

Headline in the Desert Sun today

"Home prices rise 17.9% in March"

That's a good note to leave Palm Springs on!

Just picked up an email from a friend who had this suggestion for a book club down here:

"I was thinking about the comparison of Palm Springs to Paris of the 20's. I think it would be a fun idea for a theme for a book club. A couple of books come to mind:Being Geniuses Together 1920-1930 by Robert McAlmon and Memoirs of Montparnasse by John Glassco. You may have already read them; however, the McAlmon book particularly has some really interesting insights on all the writers, painters, musicians, actors, etc., who came together in Paris at that time."

Jim just commented that he'll miss the songbirds down here.  Yes,  they sing these wonderful songs most of the day and evening and when they take a rest you hear the doves cooing.

It's rather sad to think of not being in our new home again until November but I'm really looking forward to enjoying our new digs in Vancouver.  We've only spent about a week there and it will be a month before we can enjoy it again.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Leaving paradise tomorrow...

It's been a quick trip but we got everything done (whew!) we needed to.  A few unexpected glitches but all well in the end.  It will be fun coming back to a cosy place and everything provisioned and working,  a great bed and even some French brandy will be waiting for us after our car trip.  Did I think of everything or what?

Erna and Marvin will be looking after our place until they leave next month then their fellow, Benjamin, will look after both places.  He's a great guy visited Vancouver for Expo 86 and in the year 2000 and loves it....well,  who couldn't not love Vancouver.

Didn't manage to get a painting done but my first painting when the dust settles at home will be some combination of our new desert home,  the pool,  the palms, the olive trees,  the cactus...

I'll use some of these photos and my memories.

 Our pool

 Our front door.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A wonderful balmy night....

 After a nice meal in a Thai restaurant in downtown PS...being misted the whole time....necessary!  We came back to our patio and had a glass of wine,  listened to the crickets and our fountain,  then off for a swim looking at the full moon and  the big dipper amongst the palm trees.  We love the lighting around the pool at night.  They have these soft amber lights that remind us of the lights in the port of Carqueiranne.    I absolutely love the desert but also love being always reminded of the south of France with the citrus trees,  olive trees, adobe roofs....on and on.

And along with the Mediterranean theme we go to a newish restaurant called Catalan in Rancho Mirage tomorrow with Erna and Marvin.  Jim and I will definitely be getting the paella...check out this review in Yelp:

Will someone please explain what happened here...we went to a restaurant in Rancho Mirage and were transported to Barcelona?  I guess it's a mirage thing!  All kidding aside.  This was a dinning knock-out!

The place is beautiful and the Spanish guitarist rounded out the Mediterranean  ambiance.  We had no reservation, but the cheerful staff found us a cozy table for three, in no time.

We decided to start with a pitcher of Sangria and a Spanish Cured Meat Plate.  The Sangria was perfect, not too sweet and with the right amount of fruit bobbing around in the juice.  The meat plate was a winner! The Serrano Ham, Queso Cabrelas, Orange-Cilantro Honey and Mostarda, just sang together.  The olives that they brought to the table made those first bites, even that much we order several more rounds of them as well.

We decided to share our main course between the three of us, which made for a nice light meal.  We loved the crispy Romaine Salad with it's garlicy croutons, Grana Padano shavings and tasty dressing.  We also ordered the roasted brussel sprouts, with cippolini onions & pancetta.  I hate to say it but we sort of fought over every crispy morsel on this plate.

But the real star of the show was Catalan Paella for two (in our case three).  I have been to Spain and have had wonderful Paella, and this was the real deal.  The Valencian rice was creamy and perfectly done.  Each piece of chicken, chorizo,fish & shellfish was expertly cooked, nothing was overdone.  The seasoning was spot-on!

My table mates finished the meal with a passion fruit sorbet and I opted for a glass of Sherry.  Ahhh, perfecto!

I can't wait to go back to Catalan again and try some of their other, no doubt delicious offerings!

I'm really beginning to love this wall colour...

 It goes nicely with this chair.

And the cushion.

Donna suggested a Berber carpet and I think that's good idea.  I liked this one.  I think white leather furniture,  the cushions,  the walls will all work together well.  And the carpet will be against white tile which is in the hall dining room and kitchen.

And of course the white fireplace....the pale blue walls and blue carpet will really set it off.

So,  in the wonderful desert and mountains and cacti that we never tire of seeing and my feet in the ocean on my beloved Mediterranean and my beloved Pacific.

Perhaps our new wall colour...

I like the way it goes with this print I bought at the yard sale for $10.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Silver Cloud

Susan mentioned she was painting Olivia's room a very pale blue so I went out to get a sample tin of this Benjamin Moore paint and have painted it on a canvas.  I think it will be perfect for the walls here in PS.  The other colours on the strips are what are recommended colours to go with it.  the dark purple matches perfectly with my cushion and is called "super nova" the names.  Now to choose a carpet colour...any suggestions from anyone?

 Silver cloud is the furthest colour on the top strip.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My new art studio space

It was a little crowded in that space I picked up and also blocked the front door and I would probably spatter the walls so have set up in the second bedroom.  I can put it away when we have guests but can stay up otherwise.  I'm very pleased with the set,  what to paint?  I think I'd like to do something before we leave Friday.

Colour scheme

I bought two cushions like this in Crate and Barrel before we left and brought them down with the idea of buying white leather sofa and chair and working with these colours for carpet and walls. guys who are good at this stuff....any ideas?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fresh Tangelo juice

There were around a dozen oranges on our tree in the patio.  These oranges have an amazing amount of pits so they don't make pleasant eating oranges.  As luck would have it,  Erna gave us an extra juicer she had and Jim put it into operation after picking the last of the oranges.  Now,  this is the way to have the oranges.  There are lots of citrus fruit tress in the complex so I can see lots of fresh juice coming up! Another way we'll be spoiling our guest who arrive in the citrus season  Feb-April.

My new art studio...just about ready to paint!

This one's for Richard...

More photos for anyone with decorating advise for the living/dinining/hall area

There are 21 ft vaulted ceilings so lots of painting required.  I do like the white wash on the beams and ceiling so don't think I'll change that.  There is white tile in the hall dining area and kitchen which will stay.  I like the white fireplace too so won't do anything there.  So,  carpet,  wall paint and trim,  and sofa, chair (probably a recliner because Jim loves them so much) and coffee table.  Probably some other lamps down the road too.


We've put the sofa like this because they made a ragged job of tearing up the tile to put the carpet in.  That will be fixed when we replace the carpet so the sofa will not be on an angle.

In case you were thinking of making fudge...

My old neighbourhood friend, Linda,  sent this fudge recipe along that her mother used to make.  She had lost track of it herself but someone found it recently.  Linda's mom always made extra for my Dad who loved it (it was what the Winterfords gave out on treat in the neighbourhood!) and kept making it for my Dad long after we stopped trick or treating.

Thanks,  Linda!


This recipe came out in the late 50’s.  Up till then, when you made fudge
you had to boil the ingredients for quite a while, test in cold water for
the temperature (soft ball, hard ball stage etc.) then cool it down and beat
like crazy till it turned into fudge.  And sometimes it didn’t and you had
this non-appetising result even after all your efforts.  So Auntie Elsie got
this recipe, made tons, and shared it with all of us!!  We were in heaven!  

½ cup butter or margarine
4 rounded tablespoons cocoa

1 cup brown sugar
2 cups icing sugar        

4 tbsp. canned milk (or regular)
2 tsp. vanilla

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Melt margarine, brown sugar, and milk in pan.  Stir until it boils and boil
for exactly one minute.  Remove from stove.  Mix in well 2 cups of icing
sugar and the vanilla. Add nuts if desired.  Put in a greased pan; cut into
squares when cool.

To Make “Maple” Fudge:  leave out the cocoa.  You can add 1 tsp. maple
flavouring, but you don’t really need it.  The brown sugar seems to do the
trick. Tastes great with the walnuts.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ah...some relaxation at last...before the Victoria onslaught

We went to one of our favourite restaurants in downtown Palm Springs today,  Pommes Frites, for lunch and had their $14.95 three course lunch and got misted in the process...just love it!

We started with their fresh pea soup with tarragon.  I'm generally not  pea soup fan but fresh peas I love and their soups are excellent.  Then their wonderful "fish and chips"....real French fries and wonderful grilled tilapia.  Then floating island and flan (shared) and of course a bottle of red wine.

 There's this place called "The Pub" next door.  We've never tried it but I think we must one day...quite a deal for 8 bucks.

It's not only great to be misted while dining it's such a pleasure to have a table by the sidewalk like we did and see people with joyful expressions walking through the mist.
 My new hat from World Market

I did so want to buy one of these flamingos for the patio but Jim said he'd wrap it around my neck...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our last delivery....whew....out to the pool soon.

 We do love this counter  area in the kitchen and a big pantry beside it.  I've never had so much storage anywhere in a kitchen.  I like these tiles too.  The cupboards are old but Jim cleaned them up and they look pretty good.

 Looking into the den or third bedroom which is taking shape now with the desk and my rolling art studio delivered.  Too much reflection on the painting but something very cool I picked up at the Canyon Sands Garage sale on the weekend.

 The desk just fits perfectly in the alcove.  Notice that other mid-century modern little table that was left.  Love it!

And my rolling studio.

And yet a few more photos...

We were really pleased that all the major appliances are actually quite good and work very well.  I thought I was going to have to ditch the ceramic top stove since it was such a mess but Jim got it gleaming and it heats up really quickly and the elements don't shut off like mine in Victoria does.  Great
microwave and fan and the fridge is huge and also very quiet.  Stopped the ice maker working.  Hate those things.  Jim found a raft in the oudoor shed and cuts quite a figure in pink, don't you think?

 Jim lounging in the pool this morning.

 Just out our back patio door and steps to the small pool then across the street outside our front door from the big pool.  Pretty much had our small pool to ourselves.

 Our little back patio.
Our front patio....both patios get a nice combo of sun and shade.

My kitchen mat....who would have guessed?