Don’t Know Much About History

(He never reads me so this won’t ruin the surprise.)

My son recently moved from Temecula to Laguna Beach in California. One of his big beefs – and one of the things that I really liked – about Temecula is that it was a planned city that rose up out of the dessert all at once. It had a history before the 80s, but it was one of dessert, small ranches and isolated avocado farming. Once the 15 interstate went through, suburbia blossomed.

The good is that since everything – homes, business offices, malls – went up at once, it all has an identical design style and homogeneous look. And of course that overdone corporate park-style  public landscaping that I enjoy so much. (Seriously). The bad is that there was no variety and no room for long-established mom-and-pop businesses. Everything was a franchise of some national chain. As my son put it, there was no soul, no character.

But now, thanks to an upturn in his professional fortune, he had to move closer to where he works now and he chose Laguna Beach. Native son of the Jersey Shore, he "missed the ocean", and I suppose the bikini-clad chicks don’t hurt either. Laguna Beach has a history*, and history pleases him so for a housewarming present, I’m making a collage of vintage postcards pressed between glass.

eBay abounds with postcards and quite a lot of them are the kind I’m seeking: "postally used", meaning they have personal messages on them. The first one I bought was sent in 1943. The LB address still exists but neither  GoogleMaps nor MSN maps shows an existing address for the recipient. This is the message:

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It doesn’t specifically say so, but I imagine that it must have been from a young war bride, maybe her groom was at Camp Pendleton and was due to ship out – that would account for the "fastest ceremony I ever saw".

This is a card from 1950 that has an appealing image of the Hotel Laguna, but I can’t make myself buy it. Look at it.


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In 1950, my mother was newly married to a coal miner, just pregnant and standing in the snow at 5:30 am to take a bus to the dress factory she ultimately worked in for 40 years. I used to think that the whole world had the same history that I did. It’s too crushing to realize that other young women sunned themselves in settings like this while my mother was hoping the bus came before the snow soaked through to her thin cotton socks.

*including several modern-era visits from plesiosaurs (maybe).

Sunny Saturday

From Our Department of Ready and Waiting -


New pad on an old chair.
Do not mock my impractical but beloved vintage wooden patio furniture.  Mr. Sami had to reinforce the arm on thiis one with metal brackets. That usually portends the end. Spring clean-up is just around the corner and I hope to harvest a few more pieces of this for replacement parts. It gets harder every year.


Blue sky / red buds.
This is the only stage of the game when the enemy Silver Maples are not offending me with their pollen, their spinners or their airspace-blocking foliage. This is the actual chunk of sky where I look for planes heading for Newark Liberty. I wonder where I put my binoculars?

The pit of conversation.
Suitable for discussing Ike and Mamie and debating the merits of building a fallout shelter. Those were the days! When the branches leaf out, the wall of foliage is so dense as to obscure the neighbors completely. We can conduct ourselves in complete privacy. We don’t have enough friends to fill these seats. Pathetic!

I Am The Glamorous Type

As you know, I am all about appearances. I’m fine with the big hunks of glass as long as they sparkle – I really don’t need real diamonds. I wonder if these sparkle? They have the size going on and a bit of functionality as well, but that is almost incidental to me.


USB Flash Drive Swarovski Crystal Engagement Ring

I’m not sure if these are really available or not, but they are at least as believable as the Hamburger Flash drive, Beer Bottle Opener flash drive or the Lego Brick flash drive.

Who Among Us Does Not Love The Internet?

1. Previous unexpected surprises in my email:

2. Current unexpected surprises in my email:

"Wasn’t sure if you ever found your answer to this
question: "Now if anyone can tell me what kind of perfume Audrey Hepburn kept in
her mailbox in "Breakfast At Tiffany’s",
I would be most grateful." Here it is: Le De Givenchy."

Le De by Givenchy has the clarity and
purity of a fountain of youth cascading with crystalline floral water,
only emitting the loveliest of murmur in the middle of a glade in a
delicate green forest. Alternatively it makes one feel as if one were
walking on a ground strewn with petals of blossoms before arriving at
the gates of Paradise.



(More reason to love the internet: Here’s a whole series of stills from that scene found on a site devoted to opera gloves.)

My musing about the perfume was in a post about Jello shaped into little beans over at The Soup. The poor old Soup. I mostly ignore it, but when I do start thinking about it again, all my thoughts are to kill it off. Back when I had a passion for it, the internet was a different place. Now every Jane, Ann and Harriette has a good camera and a determination to document every single thing they produce in their kitchen. The Soup now seems a sweet anachronism, like a dotty old aunt who just happened to find herself marching for sufferage. Swept up in the times, as it were.

So expire it must … but as soon as I steel my resolve to do it, something like this happens. Or this:

"I’m interested in trying the Onion Soup with Spicy Meatballs
as an entry in our annual office soup cook-off (though I’ve not tried
this recipe). I’d like to try something a little more exotic for
this contest.  In past years, whoever wins the “unusual ingredients”
category usually also ends up with 1st prize as well (if it’s good and tasty).
Do you think this would be a good recipe for the contest?"

An office soup cook-off! (I recommended the Spicy Lentil & Pumpkin Soup for the contest.) So the Soup serves its purpose on the internet once again and gets a stay of execution.



Worthy Is The Butter Lamb

Could it be a  Easter without ham and kielbasi? Yes.
Could it be Easter without a butter lamb? No.

Things about the butter lamb:

  • Whoever this is on Flickr got it right – flag and all. Back on the day, supermarket butter lambs came with red cellophane flags which transforms a regular butter lamb into one of those Agnus Dei butter lambs.
  • Google up Angus Dei and see how many references there are. Let’s just turn all the churches into condos right now. Unless there are butter cattle that I don’t know about?
  • Nobody ever wants to be the first one to cut into the butter lamb. the opposite is true of the lamb cake.

Here’s an absolutely riveting 3-part video series on You tube about how to hand-make a butter lamb. I put Part 2 here so you can enjoy the best part of the process: the making of the woolly butter fleece. Note that at  3:15, somebody starts snoring. I suspect the Squeeze Girl.