Category Archives: California

The Flat

“In life, a person will come and go from many homes. We may leave a house, a town, a room, but that does not mean those places leave us. Once entered, we never entirely depart the homes we make for ourselves in the world. They follow us, like shadows, until we come upon them again, waiting for us in the mist.”
Ari Berk

The last flat¹ we lived in in San Francisco had a little room off the kitchen where there was a sink with a window over it, and there were counters and shelves on each side of the sink. I thought of it as a pantry but it was probably more like a scullery, “since the scullery was the room with running water, it had a sink…”². Scullery³ sounds like a place to store sculls, catacombs. There were no skulls in our pantry.

800px-DJJ_1_Catacombes_de_Paris by djtox on Wikipedia.

Catacombs of Paris by Djtox

The kitchen had a built in breakfast nook with a vinyl covered U-shaped banquette, like a booth in a diner. My mother loved the nook. Flats are like large apartments. Ours had a kitchen, den, two bedrooms, living room, 1¼ bath. I say ¼ bath because there was a small room in the hall with a second toilet. The rooms of the flat were bigger than a typical modern apartment in the US. Our flat was on the top floor. You had to walk up a flight of stairs to get to the front door and another flight once you got inside. My mother did not lock the front door. You were not afraid living in The City in those days. Flats seem more like homes than apartments.

10754345204_a0846b68e7_zThe Mission District by Ken Lund on Flickr

Mission District by Ken Lund

This (above) looks something like the flat we lived in, only nicer. Below image is not too far from my old neighborhood.

800px-CastroAnd20thStreetInSanFranciscosCastroDistrict via wikimedia

2oth and Castro Street


footnotes:

1.flat: A set of rooms forming an individual residence, typically on one floor and within a larger building containing a number of such residences.-Oxford Living Dictionaries

2.Pantry-Wikipedia.

3. Etymololgy of scullery: Middle English squilerie, sculerie department of household in charge of dishes, from Anglo-French esquilerie, from escuele, eskel bowl, from Latin scutella drinking bowl-Merriam-Webster Dictionary online.

One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image The Scullery Maid  painting by Giuseppe Maria Crespi via Wikimedia

 

Panther P55

Panther, Puma, Cougar, Mountain Lion, P55 is what they named you, beautiful cat. You were fitted with a tracking device and crossed the freeway at night. They want to build you a bridge not too far from where I live so you and other Mountain Lions can cross the freeway safely and so your species can survive here in Southern California.

“Los Angeles is one of only two megacities in the world (the other is Mumbai) that have big cats living within the city limits. In a place more often associated with freeways and traffic, the fact that the city can support such large-ranging animals is a testament to the quality of open space and the habitat connectivity that still remains.”-National Park Service

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Prompt for today is “pant.” Photo of P55 ( captured to outfit him with a tracking device) by the National Park Service Santa Monica Mountains.  California Mountain Lions info. Slideshow photos from National Park Service.

No Wasted Words

“No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.”-Erin Bow

“No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.”
Erin Bow

I was born and grew up part the way in San Francisco. You could buy fresh San Francisco sourdough bread all over The City.  I really love dark crust sourdough bread with some dry Italian salami and a good cheese, a semi-soft cheese like teleme or Red Hawk from Cowgirl Creamery, Point Reyes Station, Ca. Seems like the only place you can get the original sourdough dark crust bread by Boudin Bakery is at Tadish Grill Restaurant. Both Boudin and Tadish Grill have been around since SF Gold Rush days (1849).

 

 


One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image of San Francisco sourdough bread and beer by Jon Sullivan on wikimedia, Image of Red Hawk cheese by Frank Schulenburg on wikimedia, Image of Columbus salami by Kent Wang on Flickr. Had to throw in the Image of Humboldt Fog cheese via Sharona Gott on Flickr.

weds

 

Guess What

A couple of random things for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post. Today’s prompt word is “guess.”

You’ll never guess what I did today. You might think it is something exciting or extraordinary. It is something I would have not thought I would be doing. I am not into scrubbing, dusting, and polishing a lot around my house. But today I cleaned almost all the grout of our tile flooring throughout the house. Pretty exciting huh. I used this steamer cleaner and it works pretty well but I can feel that I was using muscles. I am tired and almost skipped writing.

You’ll never guess what else, I started drinking beer instead of wine. I have developed a taste for beer lately. We have some really good breweries in California. One that I am into now is Lagunitas IPA India Pale Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California. Oh yeah, I just said ale not beer didn’t I? This one makes me happy because it’s hoppy. I really like the stronger taste, hoppy-ness.  My son told me that in the old sailing ships they would add extra hops to the ale to preserve it on the long voyages to India. It turned out it gave the ale a great flavor. So this afternoon, after I finished my grout cleaning, and before I started making dinner, I decided to have a nice cold Lagunitas IPA India Pale Ale.

Now I am ready to go watch a good English mystery on Amazon. Lately, it’s been Inspector Gently.


This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt today is “guess.” Image of Lagunitas India Pale Ale by Matteo Doni on Flickr.

 

Sun Signs

This year I have been happy with our June Gloom here in Southern California. It is a sign of cooler weather when we have gray cloudy skies, when the climate conditions cause the moist cool air from the ocean to come inland and keep temperatures down. It results in cloudy days but it is better than the very hot days we will be getting in July and August. But just when I was celebrating the coolness along comes a heat wave expected to last at least until early next week. TGFAC! (Thank God For Air Conditioning). I am hunkered down inside like a refrigerated hermit.

I have ventured out a few times and wanted to share some photos of clear blue sunny Southern California skies.

“Blue skies smilin’ at me

Nothing but blue skies do I see…”


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word for today is “sign.”  Featured image of Sun with cloud by kropekk_pl on Pixabay.com

 

The Swallows Return

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night……will keep the swallows from returning to the Mission San Juan Capistrano on St. Joseph’s Day every year. Turns out while I wasn’t looking the swallows stopped their historic annual return in 2003. It can’t be blamed on the California weather or global warming. The swallows stopped coming when construction was going on at the Mission. The swallows did not return for over a decade. Now with the concerted efforts of the Mission staff, an ornithologist, recorded bird calls, and the building of a temporary nesting wall, the swallows are returning to Capistrano this year. So whether or not you think my post about the annual migration of our swallows is hot, I think it’s pretty cool.

 


Post inspired from today’s LA Times Article ‘Familiar Sights Returning to O.C.‘ about the swallows of San Juan Capistrano. Featured image of San Juan Capistrano Mission by Ken Lund via Flickr. Image of Cliff Swallow by Don Debold.

Unofficial motto of the US Postal Service, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” inscription on James Farley Post Office in New York City.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt words for today are “weather/whether.”