Tag Archives: January

Head in the Clouds

As mentioned in my prior blog entry, I do tend to lose track of days, as I have no regular schedule in my life. Having written all day today in front of a computer, I decide it really is time to get some fresh air, and to take a walk. I discover that my cat has hidden in my bed all day, as I head for outside — I see a lump in the cover on the bed — and am amused that he thinks, that I can’t see him. Despite the fact that I always leave the front door open, Mr. lazy has remained indoors. In his defense, he did stop by earlier this morning, to bring me his toy mouse, trying to distract me from my writing. So — time for Mr. C to go play outside a bit too. I almost missed the beauty of the day. The sun is low enough on the horizon, that I have to close my eyes. What a treat in late January, this warm weather. I saw the first open magnolia blossoms at Church yesterday too. Bumbling along the sidewalk, I decide on a visit to the library, as it is on my path. I’m surprised to see a group of five or six girls hanging around the front door. As I go to enter, one of the girls giggles at me: “library is closed.” Really? I thought it is Monday. “It’s Martin Luther Kind Day,” she exclaims! Sheepishly, I say “Oh I see,” and continue my late afternoon walk. A quiet day — celebrating a great man in American history.

Have a blessed rest of the short week — if you are keeping track.

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Fish bones

Bowl

I took a small excursion the other day to stock up on kindling and fire starters to make my fireplace happy and productive, and to try to keep my loft warm. The temperatures have been in the mid to upper 30s at night, and that’s way too cold for the Bay Area the local residents, myself included tend to think. Having completed my purchase, I decided to take a stroll in a nearby small town, grab a cup of coffee, and to have a look around. I walked past a pet store and a cat bowl with fish bones caught my eye. Now if I were a cat and had a say in the matter, then this would be my choice of dining apparatus, so acting on my cat’s behalf, I went inside to inquire the price, which seemed reasonable. I chatted a bit with the salesperson who seemed glad for some conversation, as I was the only one in the store on this quiet winter weekday. So, as you can see from this photo, my cat Calvin is now the proud owner of a brand new red fish bone bowl (try saying that quickly three times). I must humbly confess though, I did not observe any joyful jumping up and down, or other excessive expressive celebrations on Calvin’s part, at having received his new bowl. The consumption of the dispensed canned cat food contents seemed to be the only concern as usual.

Have a blessed week, and perhaps some fish stew (without bones).

Matthias Leue

Leeks, bacon, and more

Leeks

Leeks

Well, my Tegut bag (Miss Tegut I named her, you recall?) finally saw the light of day last Sunday at the local Farmer’s Market. She was filled with some fresh leeks (pictured above) and some petite French beans. The local supermarket then supplied additional ingredients, consisting of a pint of heavy cream and a bag of russet potatoes. In the meantime, some bacon that was still residing in my refrigerator, musing its destiny, was delighted at the arrival of the other items. Combining all the ingredients (minus the petite French beans which are for use in another dish), we have one of my favorite winter soups — potato-leak soup — a winter recipe from my mother. A fine way to warm your insides, in our freezing, bitter cold, California winters.

Have a blessed week,

Matthias Leue

Early January observations

LemonsOn my way to the market the other day, I passed a drugstore that had a pair of small Christmas trees sitting forlornly in front of it, but at a substantial 50% off, hoping to entice a buyer that had overslept. Mid-January might be a tad late for such a purchase, but I think the unwanted trees would perhaps still make some good kindling for the fireplace, which would be better than throwing them out. At least these two specimens were still green and standing upright. Further down the street, I saw a dried out tree flat on its back, just thoughtlessly discarded at the curb. This is the reason why I prefer live Christmas trees you can re-use every year. My acting Christmas tree prior to my current redwood tree, was a sequoia soquel (talk about a lot of vowels in that first word!) that unfortunately dried out in the process of transferring it from a broken pot into the ground, while I was laid up after back surgery several years ago. My son Patrick who was far away in Senegal at the time, later transplanted it for me when he came home, but the roots of the tree had dried out as had the rest of the tree. I had hopes that it would come back during the next spring, but it was not to be. I was sad when the sequoia died, it was a beautiful tree I had tended to since it was a six inch sapling.

Headed over to San Francisco where I had to tend to some errands I passed a store with a sign that read: “Santas looking for good homes: 2 for the price of 1.” The subjects in question where made of chocolate and stood a good two feet tall. A bargain for the chocolate lover no doubt. After my errand, and the Santa encounter, I stopped in a restaurant for a café creme. I sat inside by the window looking out at their outdoor garden seating, the sun filtering lazily between the buildings. A lemon tree on the side of the outdoor patio caught my eye. Having grown up in a cold winter climate, it is still amazing to me to see  lemons growing outside in January. Still green, the lemons hope to become lemonade one day, I would suspect.

Last note: ice on my bird bath/community drinking fountain this morning! Alaska, you may keep that cold air to yourself, if you please.

Have a blessed week,

Matthias Leue