desperately seeking sunshine

Posted on Posted in designing, lace/shawls, projects

while the weather here in southern california was a bit rocky during the first days of my visit, by tuesday, we were mostly back in business and i started the day with a nice long run.

kim took this photos of me climbing the hill we call the butt burner, which she can see when she looks out her back windows, off in the distance beyond her pool and orchard. i am that tiny dot on the pavement below the first tree. just to clarify, i wasn’t running when i went up that hill; i’m not THAT good yet.

the view from up there is worth the climb—i just love the views everywhere in this area. i wish i could live here! maybe some day . . .

plus, looking out over acres of orange trees loaded with fruits and smelling their perfume? priceless.

and on the way back down, i can visit with the goats, who wear tinkling bells (i love that, haha). my runs during this past week were amazing—between the warm weather and the scenery, it was easy to put in some extra miles on longer outings.

later that morning, we took a ride to la jolla to walk around and do a little shopping. i found a few great gifts at our favorite jewelry shop and stationery store; we also discovered that a favorite little clothing boutique was going out of business (for a good reason; the owner is moving) and took advantage of their sale.

on the way back, we stopped off for cupcakes; kim has discovered sprinkles. i had to chuckle at the cinnamon ones which were topped with candies that look like olives.

i got a vanilla and an orange one to eat for dessert that night—both were yummy, but i think i enjoyed the vanilla most.

i went with no sprinkles and was surprised to receive one with a candy perfect for me. child of the 60s, what can i say?

we wanted to get back in time to go to sam’s academic league match, an event that is a lot of fun. teams meet up from different schools to match wits in a game show format on all subjects. i really enjoyed this, haha.

that night kade and i cooked pasta with vodka sauce for dinner and for some reason, i didn’t get pictures. too busy chopping and sautéing i guess! and of course, there were cupcakes for dessert . . .

that evening we settled in for some TV and knitting, while the boys did homework. my gray shawl is knitting up so fast—so exciting. i’m working with the earl grey color of our breakfast blend DK, soon to be available.

omg, this is soft and luscious; i stop too often to hug it, haha. in just a couple of evenings, i’ve gotten all the way through the body section and am about to begin the hem. and i’m still on my first skein of yarn, too! i would be further along, but when i started the hem, i realized that my chart was off and had to rework it. all set now to move forward . . .

we had received only a small lot of gray before i left home, enough to get some samples going, but not enough to list in the store. the rest should be in very soon and we’ll get that up in the shop when it arrives. some of our colors are arriving much more slowly than we’d hoped; i know it’s a little frustrating, but fun too, when the new boxes arrive.

the next morning we headed out early for torrey pines, one of my favorite beaches. the day was spectacular—perfect for clambering up and down the hill paths

i love the beach; i very much miss living close to the ocean as we used to in NYC. for me, the biggest treat in coming to california is spending time at the beach. some day, i am going to have to live near one—that’s all there is to it.

in case you are wondering . . . there really is a torrey pine; it is the rarest of pine species growing in the USA, with about 3000 specimens located only on a small coastal strip of land in san diego and santa rosa island. the botanist for whom they are named, dr. john torrey, never traveled to the area or saw the trees named for him.

we hiked down to the beach on the path to flat rock, which is lined first with sage and chaparral and later with more rock formations.

omg, it was such a beautiful day.

the tide was all the way in but we descended the stairs to the beach anyway, hoping for at least a narrow strip of sand to walk on when we got down there.

narrow, yes—wide enough to walk on . . . no.

haha, i was so busy taking this photo that i didn’t noticed the wave advancing on my rock and i got a shoe full of water.

isn’t it just awesome?? how lucky am i to be able to stand at the edge of the land, look at the beautiful cliffs above, and listen to the waves crashing on such a gorgeous day?

very, very lucky.

we hiked back up in another direction, away from where we started. it looks like a postcard in every direction.

as we climbed away from the water’s edge, we found ourselves walking through a pretty arbor of twisting trees, shrubs, and grasses. the park is a constantly evolving ecoscape—some paths we have walked before are currently closed so the vegetation can grow back in, while others are now open.

in other posts about torrey pines, i’ve talked about the beach below and photographed the cliffs from down there. we didn’t go below on this trip because the tide was up so high, but intend, explored a treasure i had previously not visited.

the lodge is a small, homey building that house a tiny collection of animal and plant specimens, tools, books, and historical ephemera, arranged for the benefit of anyone wanting to learn more about the site.

while i realize that taxidermy may not be up everyone’s alley and normally, not something i would even comment on, i couldn’t help but notice that the examples in the torrey pines lodge are exquisitely done and totally worth a look.

i thought this one might be of particular interest to the blog, haha.

we stepped out the back door and found a nice spot to photograph my new squeeze me cap and a few other sample items knit in our breakfast blend yarns. this pattern is all set to go now, yay! i’m going to try to release it for monday, though i’m traveling overnight sunday, so it could be tuesday before you see it.

all in all, this was totally a red star day. and it wasn’t even over yet.

afterward, we headed home to pick up the boys and get ready for our evening event—kim’s young women’s group was coming over for their weekly activity and she wanted me to talk to them about indian foods. since we had plenty of leftovers from our big dinner on sunday, we thought it might be fun to use some of those as fillings for dosai. the plan was for the girls to make the crepes and some mango lassi to go with.

full disclosure—we did not make authentic dosai crepes, due to a lack of the correct ingredients and time for fermentation. but we did explain how they differ from the type we made (more of a french crepe).

we put half of them right to work cutting up mangoes for the drinks. they are naturals.

we soon had a huge pitcher of mango lassi to pass around—enough for everyone


meanwhile, kim put the other half of the crowd to work on preparing the crepes. like i said, not actually authentic, with eggs and wheat flour, but they will do in a pinch. BTW, the eggs are from kade’s chickens.

they learned how to swirl the batter quickly enough to coat the whole griddle and then cook until it begins to lift at the edges. kim showed each of them the trick of turning it over.

as each one came off the griddle, we filled it with leftover potato masala or vegetable curry.

the kids really enjoyed them—sam is already a big fan of indian food, but for some of the girls, this was a first-time experience. i was pleasantly surprised to see how adventurous they are willing to be with food.

i just wish my indian cooking was better. i enjoy it and am able to make dishes that are very tasty, but it’s not as authentic as i’d like (i call it “ghetto indian”). but i’m totally going to try making authentic dosai at home; i’m intrigued by the process and i think i can find all the right ingredients.

anyway, lots of fun; i love hanging out with the kids.

thursday was a nice relaxed day around the house, catching up on a little pattern work, going for a long, long run and another hike up the butt  burner. in the afternoon, the boys and i drove up to the olive grove to walk around and explore for a while; kim stayed home to bake a cake and make pizza—she was putting together a little birthday celebration for me!

(pal thinks we can’t see him lurking there behind the chairs, haha)

yes, i’m going to be away from home for my birthday tomorrow, so she made my last night very special with a yummy dinner and an AWESOME cake

just look at that, holy cow! i don’t have the link to the recipe, but kim may remember it.

we decided not to create a fire hazard by putting all the candles on, so we had just one big one.

the cake is as yummy as it looks. this was an especially nice gift as i know kim prefers chocolate cake herself.

oh, what a wonderful week; it couldn’t have been nicer. now i’m in long beach getting ready to go to TNNA; it’s rather overcast this morning, actually, but i’m heading our for a run beofre i hit the show floor anyway. gotta get energized.

i’ll be here until tomorrow night, when i finally fly home. but before i do, i’ll get to meet up with some buddies, including cookie A who is coming down tomorrow for the day and to have dinner before my flight. can’t WAIT!

next thing i know, i’ll be seeing more of this

now that i can wait on . . . .

25 thoughts on “desperately seeking sunshine

  1. I’m glad you had such a lovely stay in San Diego – and a lovely birthday celebration to boot. Many happy returns!

    Like you, I’ll have to live near the beach again someday. (I grew up just a five-minute drive from the California coast – my current hour’s drive location doesn’t cut it!)

  2. Happy Birthday! Mine is Monday, and I gave myself a birthday present of 4 Barbara G. Walker’s books of knitting patterns, and two skeins of your new yarn in cocoa. Have a wonderful birthday tomorrow.

  3. Your travel blog posts are the best, they make this reader feel like I’ve just been on a mini vacation. The beach photos are fantastic – makes want to live there too! I love that you include a bit of history about the different areas that you visit – very informative. Looking forward to the pattern release as I want to make the cap to go with my squeeze me cowl. Happy Birthday Anne!

  4. Awesome post, Anne!!! I thoroughly enjoyed all of the pictures. Loved the ones of the beach and of cooking with the girls. It was almost like being there with you and Kim. And that Earl Grey – you’re going to have a run on that color. I might have to sharp elbow my way to get some.

    Got to have that new hat pattern that Kim is modeling! It should come out right around the time my new BNK yarn arrives. Woo – win-win!

    Enjoy TNNA and have a safe trip home.

    Happy, happy birthday!!!!

  5. Ha! I call mine “ghetto Indian” too. I love it and it’s delicious, but I would be so embarrassed to let someone from India see it!

  6. Happy birthday!!! Looks like you’re having a great west coast trip.
    Thanks for all the photos and great posts.

  7. Ha! I love that picture of Pal’s head. . . . . Thanks for visiting Anne. It’s always fun when you come. . . .

    Happy Birthday!!!

  8. Love the one photo of the rocks overlooking the ocean – looks like an elephant with her trunk touching maybe a baby elephant, or another type of animal!

  9. Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing the mango lassi link. I’m up for trying just about anything that has cardamom in it 🙂

  10. Happy Birthday, Anne! What a nice way to celebrate. Love the San Diego posts with Kim and family. Hi, Kim!! It’s been very cold here again with some snow and that looks so inviting. You’ll have some nice memories to keep you warm the rest of the winter. Heard the groundhog didn’t see his shadow. Early spring? We shall see……

  11. What a wonderful post. Happy Birthday Anne. I pray that you feel loved and cherished by all. I’m happily waiting on my breakfast club yarn, got my notice from David. It will be like a BD present to me.

  12. Happy Birthday Anne! Your patterns and website bring so much happiness to so many knitters, and I wondered to self, Hmmmm, what could I do to note my appreciation ….and I remembered the wish for sunshine,… here is the imaginary Mason jar filled with Florida sunshine with lots of grateful thoughts and Happy Wishes from me to you…. this can be mixed with any cold day and can be brought out by thought when used in combination with a good comfy chair and knitters projects, I am sure you have a few of those….You can use this over and over…… you can mix any some California sunshine for added strength…….. Surely this will work well since we know all knitters have a great imagination and a knack for having fun with all this yarn.
    Happy Happy Birthday !

  13. Beautiful pictures! I had no idea of the history of Torrey PInes – I hiked there on my only trip so far to San Diego – it’s a beautiful place – it’s always interesting to hike out west – there are some different birds and butterflies than on the east coast – very fun! I saw a different type of Jay bird can’t remember it’s full name.

    Looks like a fun birthday celebration!

  14. It sounds like a perfect week – I’m so glad you got some of that sunshine you were craving. I was thinking of you today on your birthday – I hope your travels are smooth and easy!

  15. happy happy birthday! and i love the photos from the cooking class – what an amazing kitchen! what a great idea to introduce new foods in that way, by having everyone participate, so cool.

  16. Beautiful photos. I miss Cali a lot as I didn’t get to go out to visit this year. And is it just me or does that photo of the cupcakes look like something else? No one else has mentioned it, so it must be just me.

  17. Your pics made me so homesick. I grew up right there in San Diego county and spent many weekends at Torrey Pines. So what am I doing in NW PA where the snow is knee deep? Looking at your pics and sighing. And knitting stuff I never needed in San Diego.

  18. Wow, what a trip you had. So glad you had a good time with Kim. Those photos of the sea are breathtaking. So many lovely photos in this post. You must have some great memories of your stay!

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