Resolutely Unresolved

Here’s Misu’s new year’s resolution: lounge more.  I can’t say I take issue with that resolve.  We’re right there with her.

E made these flatbreads to go with other tortillas and all the taco fixings.  That’s our big NYE plan. Oh, and my own redneck “champagne”–wine with fizzy water!  No pretensions here.

My hopes for 2020:

  1. Impeachment/conviction.  Is hanging too much to ask for?
  2. Lots of native trees and wildflowers becoming established here.
  3. My veg garden doing something.  Obviously some more work will be involved.  (Not a res., just a fact.)
  4. My son sticking around a while longer.

One hope appears to be happening–the drug dealers next door are finally being cleared out!  The owner confirmed it to us today, and asked if we knew any potential renters/buyers.  They’ll clean, fix, and paint it, then it will be available soon.  See me for details.  We’d love some decent neighbors.

Gimel Streak

On the eighth evening of Chanukah I got a bonus return of the gang (Avdi, D, and V) for candle lighting (drinks, dreidel, snacks, etc.)!  Two nights in a row–I really scored!  As for Avdi, he spun a lucky winning streak of several gimels in a row (with a possibly loaded dreidel).  A record!  Good thing no money was involved, just M&Ms and donut holes!  Misu was surveilling from her throne to keep things kosher.  Anyway, I’m glad they feel comfortable here, after their PA ordeal.  Now the end of Chanukah (this eve.) doesn’t seem as sad.

Hanukkah House (Chanukah Chouse?)

Last night we finally had a full house for the next-to-last evening of Chanukah.  Avdi, D., and V. made it back safe and almost sound (!) from PA.  Not too surprisingly, xmas turned into a stressful melodrama for them up there, so I think they were ready to get back home, as was I to have them.

We had candle-lighting, dreidel, drinks, latkes, cookies, and their gifts.  Later we all played this hilarious AI game. Here are some shots, and this morning’s sunrise.


Earthy Delights

Seriously, it’s going on 66º, and–wait for it–tomorrow’s forecast is…72º!!  At the end of December.  No complaints here.  I keep expecting spring flowers to bloom.  Still, there’s always something earthy to find interest or beauty in this time of year.  I won’t be deterred!

Here is Misu vegged out on my legs in front of the “fire” for hours.

Festive light show:

Misu and squirrel friend:

Ravens eating scraps right outside my office window (still working on the photography):

Reflections in leafy water, and dill flowers:

Festive Us

It’s a warm (almost 60º) quiet day, just us here as usual.  Perhaps only the feast I concocted hints at it being other than an ordinary day.

The feasting started yesterday evening, when we tried out an Asian restaurant nearby.  We were not disappointed!  The owner Phillip Lim, it turns out, is pretty famous, and he honored us with some fascinating history, another inspiring immigrant success story originating in China and Malaysia, ending up in the US, building businesses.  He’s even written a book, which we bought and he signed.

This restaurant, Asia Café, though unassuming at first glance, features authentic family recipes from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Singapore, Indonesia, and others.  We tried several unfamiliar, wonderful dishes.  They even had an Asian beer on tap as well as bottled, and several Asian teas.  The food portions were so huge, we had to bring most of it home.  All the wait staff were adorable and helpful.

Today I roasted a duck with Asian spices and sauces, to go with all the leftovers!  It was pretty festive, all told.  Now we have more leftovers!  All that was missing was a village.  But it’s just us, trying to stay upbeat and get through it.  I suspect we’re among the fortunate few, avoiding all the stress and anxiety that comes with the day.

Here is last night’s menorah, and tonight’s in readiness.

Here’s Misu dreaming of squirrel stew.

And of course, the festive feast.

Erev Chinese Eve

Here is sunrise this morning–those are actual mountains far in the distance, though hard to make out.  It’s going to reach a balmy 65º on this winter day!  Works for me.

Later, as per our ancient Jewish “tradition”, we’ll be patronizing a Chinese dive nearby.  Then we’ll just hunker down in the bunker to wait it out.  Not our favorite time of year, can you tell?

Nevertheless, I wish y’all a happy, safe, non-confrontational holiday with friends and family.

Chanukah Latke-Fest

Here are the first lights from last night.  And the menorah for tonight.

As I cook, I throw aromatic scraps and spices into this simmering potpourri.  Today’s includes mandarins, lemon, lime, apple, juniper berries, cloves, and other sweet spices.  Fragrant!

As I often do, I made my from-scratch latkes Indian-style, with cumin, turmeric, and coriander.  Sour cream on the side.

Instead of applesauce (boring), I made a fresh apple salad, with crystallized ginger, fresh-squeezed orange juice, sultanas, raisins, honey, sugar, fresh-grated nutmeg, and just a touch of grenadine.

I also made this Middle Eastern-style salad of red and green cabbage, carrots, red onions, mint leaves, lemon juice, cider vinegar, honey, sugar, olive oil, caraway seed, cumin seed, fennel seed, and s&p.

Here is our humble but festive spread, including a good dark brown ale.  Not too shabby.  Chanukah may be a minor holiday, but it’s good excuse to fest it up in the kitchen.  And drink beer.