Family Trek through the Sequoias!

Hi all– Just back from 5 days with family at Sequoia National Park.  Growing up, every summer, my Mom and Dad would stash 4 kids and piles of camping gear in the station wagon, and head up the interstate to Sequoia. So it was big fun to do it again with my Sis and some of our kids!!

We set out one morning to hike our way around bright and brilliant Crescent Meadow (an old favorite for me and my Sis, Lulu!)



Midway around the meadow, we found a quiet spot to stop for lunch and a chance to rest our hiking feet!  And then on we trekked…


We finally arrived at Tharpe’s Log– a fallen redwood tree that became the home to the first settler in that area, who raised sheep in the adjacent meadow.


It was a fine full day–and being immersed in such beauty filled my soul.  I was thanking God for the glorious views all around me.


Thanks bunches to Charlotte, Micah, Jodi, Maryann, Larry, Jobay, Laurel & John (and Ted & Lu!)  for being the best adventurous, intrepid hiking buddies.  Let’s do it again!!


Loving Hong Kong

Hi friends– more of our traveling adventures– spent a few days in Hong Kong with Ani & Brian, trying out the noodles, markets and tourist destinations.  Loved it all!

Hong Kong is bigger and crazier and more full of people than I had imagined–walking through the streets and passageways was fascinating– here’s a look:


The one thing I had seen and really wanted to do was to ride the historic Star Ferry!  We crossed from Kowloon to the Hong Kong Island– Lois sitting with Gr. Larry.


We spent a fascinating morning in the well curated Hong Kong History Museum– from prehistoric jungle, through the rise of Chinese culture, the British occupation to the present.



And we trekked up the mountain in a trolley to Victoria Peak.  Once there, we took a stroll on the path overlooking the city– and met up with some adorable students who were interviewing tourists with questions about their stay in Hong Kong.


View of the City as we hurdled down the mountain on a crazy bus ride.

We passed through several markets as we made our way through the city– meat & vegetable stands, a tailor, one street full of plant shops and plenty of places to sit and eat.



We subwayed and then took a bus up to a hillside area of beautiful shrines and temples.  We visited the place where Brian’s grandfather is interned and enjoyed a morning in the quiet of that place.


And last but not least, we pretty much ate our way across Hong Kong.  Brian & Ani have a talent for finding delicious out of the way places.




(photos: famous noodle and shrimp dumpling place, the cook at work,  a friendly waiter sits down to eat with us!, meatball soup, Thai dinner in a fancy mall, street food lunch, sweet milky Hong Kong tea with breakfast, Larry picks up a purple yam ice cream from McDonalds, pineapple bun and lemon tea.)

So many pictures!!  Thanks for sticking with me. Brian and Ani guided us to these and more interesting corners of Hong Kong– thanks A & B for letting us tag along on this glorious adventure!

photo: stop at the Hong Kong Zoo

A Big Day!

Hi friends!  Yesterday was a big day around here– Larry went off to his last day of work!!  He’s retiring so we’ll be two old folks rattling around the house together. Kind of.  Actually, we’re leaving in a few days for our daughter’s wedding in in the woods in Wisconsin.  And will come home to trek up to San Francisco to meet a brand new grand-baby!!

After that, we’re making plans.  Larry’s immediate priority is to “drink coffee and read books.”  But with both of us retired, there are so many doors open.   It’s wonderful to be looking to what God has ahead  for us…   Who knows?!

“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you guide them.      — Exodus 15:13

Quiet Big Bear Weekend

DSC04290Hi you all– Home from a super relaxing weekend up in Big Bear, just Larry and me.   Two days of mostly sitting on the porch with something cold to drink at hand and a book in our lap.  Plus a few brisk walks and plenty of good food.

DSC04278 DSC04281We walked over the village for a reading breakfast and spotted this vibrant vine on the way back to the cabin.  I’ve never seen it before.  Anyone know what it is??

View down the boardwalk, from our post-lunch, windy trek along the estuary– which was a little sad because it is completely dry now due to the drought!

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Saturday morning, I slipped over to Foxfarm Antiques–spent an hour browsing and picked up a couple pretty things (no mounted deer heads!) to bring home to my kitchen.

On the way down the mountain, Larry picked the best turnout spot to stop at sunset to watch the lunar eclipse as the moon came up over a distant mountain.  It was glorious and more vivid than I can show with my little camera.

I loved the these days, seeing God’s hand in the mountains and trees as the wind rustled the branches overhead.  Time slowed down to thank him in the quietness.  I am grateful.

Anniversary Day Out

HI all– It was a fun packed, food-filled vacation– of the modest one day variety– Larry and I trekked up to Santa Monica for our big anniversary day out– memorable meals, a museum stroll and a couple scenic walks.  I’m so glad I married that guy!

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IMG_8036 IMG_8061 IMG_8028First stop–the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market– all the tiny strawberries and purple potatoes you could hope for.  It was inspirational– for all our eating ahead that day!!
(veggies: giant artichokes, orange tomatoes, green onions, golden beets, lilacs and bunches of radishes)

IMG_8071     IMG_8077We snagged a table at the bustling Le Pain Quotidian–and breakfasted on an bountiful basket of their best breads, along with a cunning little tub of brown rice pudding with fruity nut compote and our own pots of tea and coffee.  After trying them all, we agreed that the raisin bread with sesame was the best.  (along with the darkest chocolate speculoos–oh man!)

IMG_8082     IMG_8083Larry took the scenic route along the beach and up through the hills toward Brentwood– where we took a neighborhood walk past some beautiful, historic old homes on tree lined streets.  I was totally charmed.

IMG_8091     IMG_8093And our walk ended at the best destination of the day– Farmshop.  It’s a market and restaurant all rolled into one.  I investigated the market while we waited for our lunch table– all that glorious food!

IMG_8098     IMG_8105
IMG_8106     FarmShop-SignThen we sat down to pour over the inventive menu.  Larry settled on the poached chicken salad and I indulged in pastrami with Brussel sprouts & pea tendrils and eggs–and just because I could live on bread and butter, I tucked into the best rye bread with salty butter.
I’m already planning my next meal there…

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IMG_8116     IMG_8114After a little bookshop browsing, we headed over to the Ghetty, hiking up the hill to walk off that lunch!!  We started off at the temporary exhibit of personal and official photos of Queen Victoria and family– on loan from Queen Elizabeth herself!  All so grand.  Then we ducked in to some of our favorite rooms– European paintings (including this Ascension of Christ/Batoni)  and sat in the sun for a drink in the courtyard.

WalkinginPalisadesParkSantaMonica11_23_07009      IMG_8124As the day wound down, we headed down to the coast for a wander along the promenade above the beach. And ended up at Shophouse– Chipotle’s Asian version.  I’d read about it quite a while back and wanted to give it a try– but to be honest, Chipotle’s a lot yummier.  Larry pointed the car south toward home and we listened to our Spanish favorite, Paco de Lucia with his flamenco guitar all the way home.  A fine full day  to celebrate 39 years married to each other– so thankful for having Larry to navigate the ups and downs of a life together…

38 Years! Really?

IMG_0133Hi all– Larry and I can scarcely believe we’ve been married so long.  Last night we headed down toward the coast for a 38th anniversary dinner. First, we stopped off at Balboa Island and took a pre-dinner walk along he perimeter in the cool damp evening, watching the lights on the water.  Then sat down at Mozza– created by Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton (my bread making hero)– antipasto, their perfect pizza, tartufo dessert with olive oil gelato and time to talk over glasses of prosecco.

IMG_0132So thankful to be married these years to my Larry.  Here’s 5 of the many reasons why:
#1.  He pushes me out of the kitchen to wash the dishes up every night (It could be         because he’s so much better at it than I am)
#2.  He fixes things I break–the car, the stapler, my computer…  (The list longer than you’d think)
#3.  He gives great “I’m home from work hugs” in the kitchen as he walks in the door in the evenings.
#4.  He’s continued to love me all these years, through pleasant chapters of our lives and difficult ones– and we’ve had enough of those.  I can count on him.
#5.  His faithfulness to God and love for Him, strengthen my faith year after year.

I am thankful.