Lanterns & sarongs enhance oasis

I spent much of the day cleaning our backyard oasis to get it ready to host our upcoming party. Power-washing cushions and furniture wasn’t much fun, but it was made better with music blasting and imagining how nice it’ll be to share the space with loved ones. I also hung colorful sarongs and glowing paper…

Party shopping made easy

Mama and I are getting ready to host our 4th annual Summer Garden Party. We gather with loved ones to mark the time Mama has outlived her brain cancer prognosis. This summer, we are celebrating eight years of survival! One of the ingredients in our specialty cocktail is from Trader Joe’s, and this year we’ll…

Mama’s great new doctor

A wonderful doctor was added to Mama’s team today. We went in for an eye exam and to see a new ophthalmologist. Dr. Sarah Wehrli was caring, patient, and helpful. Today’s #OneGoodThing with Mama was finding a great new doc! What was your #OneGoodThing today? Please share in the comments! Kindness is Everything. Day 190 of…

Bright spot in the neighborhood

Our neighbor Howard with his stunning Dahlias and Gladioli A house in our neighborhood has the most glorious patch of vibrant, colorful Dahlias and Gladioli in their front yard. Mama and I specifically drive home past it so we can pull over briefly and enjoy the blooms. Today the homeowner and gardener behind this bright…

Triple joy

Mama went on an artist expedition into our garden this morning, nestling herself between the tomatoes and the plum tree. What a joy it was to see her happily painting the colorful scene I created for her. Meanwhile, I took the pounds of plums I had prepared and began making jam and syrup. I ran…

Beautiful bruschetta

After enjoying delicious bruschetta at the July 4th party we attended, I had a lingering craving. I thumbed through our Marcella Hazan Italian cookbook to make sure I wasn’t forgetting any important components. These tiny heirloom tomatoes paired magnificently with fresh basil from our garden and crushed garlic. I overtoasted the baguette, but it was…

Prepping pounds of plums

Our Santa Rosa Plum tree has been showering us in fruit this week. I’ve found several recipes to play with this weekend, including a crisp with cardamon and pistachio, a semifreddo, and syrup for cold-brew tea. The most time-consuming bit for each recipe is all of the plum preparation. I spent hours chopping, pitting, and…