Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year and all the best for 2016 to my blog readers!

Dick and Susan came for dinner last night and we had a super time.  They brought lots of left over goodies. ...yum.   They leave today,   We heard from Nicki and Stan last night.  They were in Medford, Oregon and hope to be in La Quinta tomorrow.   Friends leaving,  friends coming.  We wish them all a safe journey!

I'm very excited about beginning the year with my new painting style and applying it to things I love in my desert home.  I have sketched out the second painting which will be called "Desert".  I like to have two things to work on at once since I get impatient waiting for paint to dry.  I had almost forgotten I liked to work this way since I haven't been doing much painting lately.  It's great to be back!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My first sketch ever....

So,  I have the idea of the mountains and actually sketched it out.  I don't do sketching...this is a first.  But,  I think you can see that I have lots of freedom and leeway.

Adoption #8

Richard was just mentioning he was surprise José hadn't been adopted.

Farewell sweet Jose - I'll miss your sweet purrs.  Adoption #8!

Best ever feedback on my it!

From Susan today on Calder Study #3:

"Holy shit, Batman!  Fabulous!!"

And now to tackle those San Jacinto Mountains.  I just have to look outside to get inspiration.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Calder Study #3
16 x 20 acrylic on canvas

My inspiration:  "Green Ball"

So tacky it's cool....

I bought this bag to put Grace's Christmas gifts in....I figured she would get the joke and she did.  She loves it and has been using it as her handbag in Palm Springs.

Great time at Bill's Pizza last night...

Grace planned her visit this year to be able to get to Bill's....she missed it last year.  Wow,  good thing we went fairly early as it became completely packed and people waiting outside in the cold.  Well,  at least Bill's has an outdoor fireplace that helped keep some people warm.  Megan,  a friend of Richard and Grace who is in PS at the moment,  also joined us.  Nice to meet her.

The pizza was amazing as usual!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Grace arrives and enjoys my homemade soup....

As we know,  they don't feed you on these airlines so the soup went down well.

 She's wearing the apron I made for her with  Henri Le Chat Noir with the caption "I'm surrounded by morons."

As always,  she comes bearing many gifts....wonderful baked goods and wine!

Winter Apples, by Robert Bateman

The TC posted this today and since I haven't finished my Calder Study #3 since I'm on this learning curve with all this new stuff Richard has got me into I'll post this instead.   Grace arrives today to sunshine if not warmth.   I've got warm home made soup to welcome her.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Richard doing more and more tech stuff for us....thank you, thank you, thank you...

Richard got all Jim's stuff in order and got our Apple TV working with a keyboard Jim no longer needs,  then archiving and organizing my start up disk that was full and crashing my photo app,  installing the latest operating system so now Jim and I can "family share"  Apple music and all sorts of things.  Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the new stuff and glad Richard will be here to walk us through it and problem solve.  Guess we'd just be reading books if we didn't have our wonderful son....

Pink clouds from last night just as we were leaving for dinner.  We were picked up by our designated driver,  Dick.  Thanks so much for driving,  not drinking and letting Richard,  Jim,  Susan, and I enjoy ourselves with abandon.

Using up stuff from the fridge for soup....lots of great veggies.

Richard and Jim playing their first chess game.  Richard let Jim take a "Mulligan"  but Richard still won.

Now,  they are playing each other with computers...testing it out as they can do this at a distance.  Jim is losing at the moment and ready to resign.  Ah...the old days of "Richard win" games.  Perhaps we'll have to institute "Dad win" games...

First Christmas ever in a restaurant....

The food was very good and the turkey at the carving table was the most flavourful,  moist white meat I have ever had.  There was a huge variety of appy type things including excellent crab cakes with a wonderful remoulade sauce.  I also got the crackling from the ham....yum, yum, yum.  Loads of pies and desserts including an extensive sundae making station.  I stuck to strawberries and profiteroles drenched with hot chocolate sauce and a petit four.

On the down side,  the gravy was awful and service was almost non-existent.  There were a lot of busboys but really no waiter although we were told a waiter would be coming to take our wine order. A busboy finally took it and it arrived.  A little strange considering it was the Hilton but I guess they had a staffing problem.

If we do this again,  we'll go somewhere else I think.  Perhaps Lulu' can never go wrong there.  They really have their act together.

More stocking gifts from Richard....Catfé stuff....great!

What Richard got in his stocking.

My usual stack of books from Jim.

Elaine's gift package to,  lots of wonderful cat and sunflower things.  Just love the glass sunflower to put in the window and the Eiffel Tower Christmas decoration.  I wore the cat socks last night!  Merci beaucoup,  dear friend.

And I gave this to Richard and Jim so they could play chess.  This used to be a Christmas tradition but not chess set down here.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A very Merry Christmas to all my blog readers!

"Christmas Tree" by Alexander Calder

Christmas Day sunrise in Palm Springs-Eric Norland photo

I was up around 7am today and saw some wonderful pink clouds against the blue sky and almost went out and took a photo…..well,  it was chilly.  Eric can take his photos from his computer desk.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A wonderful Christmas Eve dinner chez Erna and Marvin

Wow…fabulous appies and wonderful pasta and shrimp and apple torte for dessert.  Lots of laughs and fun.  Thanks so much….it was a great time!

Christmas Eve day shopping….

I make a point of not shopping on this day because of the crowds but since Richard was here and we figured JIm is best to buy the new iPad Pro instead of a new computer we went out to the Apple Store in Palm Desert and did that.  We have live-in tech support for the next while so it was a no brainer.   Lots of staff onhand and only spent minutes buying it.  Richard is setting it up as we speak.

And then to Total Wine to pick up the Jim Murray's top pick for whiskey…a Canadian rye…Crown Royal Northern Harvest.  Richard managed to snag the last bottle!  They can't keep it on the shelves in Canada.  Picked up some other neat stuff as well.

NORWALK, Conn.Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Renowned whisky writer Jim Murray today announced Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye as the 2016 World Whisky of the Year, marking the first time a Canadian Whisky has received the honor. The recognition comes at a time when both the Canadian and Rye whisky categories continue to gain popularity amongst whisky aficionados and consumers alike. 
"Crown Royal Northern Harvest pops up out of nowhere and changes the game," said Murray of the whisky, which he awarded a record-tying 97.5 out of 100 points. "It certainly puts the rye into Canadian Rye. To say this is a masterpiece is barely doing it justice."

We all agree it is excellent!

Early Christmas present opening….

Richard was really pleased to find these Ricard pitcher,  glasses,  and bottle stoppers and we were thrilled to get them!   They will make an excellent addition to our collection and great to have them down here since we have most of our collection at home.  And of course,  this is the perfect place for Ricard and to think of the south of France.  The fellow he bought them from has loads of Ricard stuff and is a collector.  Richard says we'll really enjoy meeting him.

We seem to have a visitor with ruby red slippers….

Our new Ricard treasures!

Badger helped Catfé close up last night….

Reminds me of Oscar loving to go on my computer keys,  lying on my computer, etc.  I thought it was because he was jealous that I was "petting" the computer instead of him but perhaps it was just the warmth!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Richard arrives in Palm Springs to warmth and sunshine

It was great to see Richard today,  wonderful weather,  plane on time.  Catching up and relaxing and Jim cooked some great steaks to perfection….and my Caesar salad was excellent too.  Grace sent a tin of wonderful cookies with Richard which we polished off in pretty short order.  Grace, we await your arrival with more supplies!

We toasted Ian and Don and had a lot of laughs thinking about times we had all shared.

More kitties arrive at Catfé...

Two new kitties have arrived!! Leah is helping them settle in in the Rainbow Room. 

So long Skip - adoption #5!!

Another adoption!

Jinxie has gone to her fur-ever home!! Goodbye sweet Jinxie 👋 Adoption #6!!!

Wow!  I wonder if they anticipated this many adoptions so quickly?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

First phase…Calder Study #3

For the other two I just glanced at the paintings for inspiration and let the paint go where it willed.  Since this is a bigger canvas,  16 x 20,  I felt I had to do a bit of planning for the first phase and now I will perhaps sketch out,  sort of,  the next phase.

And yes,  Susan,  there is a "green ball"…just doesn't show up in the photo.

And a lovely dog today...

Debbie's very handsome bearded collie,  Baggins.

More adoptions at Catfé!

Linda and Cec didn't adopt Pansy after all after talking about their situation with the SPCA.  There is busy traffic all around where they live. She was an outdoor cat and there were concerns about her adapting indoors and also bolting outdoors. Their granddaughter,  Lexi,  was heartbroken and had a wonderful name for her,  "Purrcilla Grace".  Lexi does have two cats of her own to console her.

Everyone was thrilled to see Pansy got adopted along with her friend, Violet.

Adoptions number two and three! Violet and Pansy came as a bonded pair to us all the way from Fort St. John on Thursday, and just three days later left us for their forever home! Pansy was so smitten with this cat bed, we sent it along with her.

Farewell to Mittens! This lovely, graceful little man went home with his brand new family today. You will be missed, Mittens!! Adoption #4!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Two of my favourite things….

Fern and John sent me a couple of photos of my favourite things in their wonderful Christmas display.  It was particularly nice to receive since I left my nativity scene and village at home.  I did buy some village things from the dollar store last year but it's not quite the same!

Vancouver got a dusting of snow Dec. 17

Photo from Brain Ness:

"For all my friends around the world, this is beauty of Vancouver in winter... it's not always this pretty but when it happens it's spectacular!!!"

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Did we really talk until midnight?

Dick and Susan came for dinner last night and we were going to play whist but somehow that didn't happen.    Lots of fun and Jim made fabulous spaghetti and my caesar salad was a hit.  And Jim even cleaned up before coming to bed….thanks,  sweetheart!

I forgot to take photos and certainly should have taken photos of our guests in their spiffy new clothes from Macy's.

Saturday, December 19, 2015