My life needed a little bit of greenery so I adopted these mini succulents last weekend from an eclectic nursery in San Jose. The nursery was an endless jungle of plants and nooks with hidden treasures like kaleidoscopic pheasants in cages, a functional (and massive) koi pond, and even a ship. Very neat place.
The succulents are living on my office patio until I can find some functional and aesthetically pleasing containers. Apparently tiny pot makers don’t believe in drainage holes, because I haven’t had much luck so far. I still have to do some research on how to properly care for a succulent — they’ll have to go live in the backyard if they’re not getting enough light on the patio.
I also de-herbed and de-soiled my whiskey barrels on Sunday, which entailed some encounters with some very nasty creepy crawlies. There were no less than three centipedes, plenty of slimy worms, and a nest of woodlouse spiders. I’m planning on replanting my barrels with all tea-type herbs — I don’t do a lot of cooking so all that sage and oregano went to waste.
In other plant news, my cherry tree is sprouting leaves and will definitely be blossoming in another month or so. My raspberry bush is flourishing, I’ve already got strawberries, and even my little blackberry is still struggling along. All in all, it’s looking very springy here.
There’s no shortage of cats to photograph in North Carolina! Meet Tawny and Xannie:
I wasn’t able to go back home during the month of December this year and I was missing all the holiday festivities, so my mom sent Christmas to me. She sent a box filled with a miniature tree, ornaments, lights, and a stocking. My apartment is so festive now!
Also, fox slippers!
Molly has been a total weirdo lately. This morning she was sitting on John’s wet sweater as it dried on the table, and this afternoon, she squirmed her way underneath the blanket on the couch.
The blanket designed to keep cat hair off the couch, of course.
I rarely bake, but on Sunday I had the bright idea of making some pretty holiday-themed sugar cookies. Using Pinterest for inspiration, I settled on snowflakes with an intricately iced design, which looked easy enough because everything always manages to look deceptively easy on Pinterest.
While perusing the Internet, I found some promising recipes (that I tweaked a bit) and made the cookies and the icing from scratch after buying a slew of tools including a mixer, because I didn’t have one. With a bit of experimentation, I ended up with perfectly baked cookies and some suitably tasty icing. So far so good.
As it turns out, icing cookies is incredibly difficult. You have to have icing that’s the right consistency (I made a lot of icing) and you have to have the right tools. My cookies took two nights to make and ended up looking like they were made by a 5-year-old because I didn’t have a small enough pastry tip for detailed work (my flood icing worked out though, so minor victory!)
If I ever take on the arduous task of icing sugar cookies in the future (unlikely), I’ve at least learned that I’ll need a better set of icing tips and some corn syrup in my icing to get it to flow better. On the plus side, I do think my cookies ended up tasting quite nice.
We stopped by DavidsTea in Burlingame this weekend and picked up the annual 24 Days of Tea advent calendar, plus a new tea mug. I got the set for the first time last year and even though it doesn’t have an entire array of teas that I love (I’m not big on black tea) it’s still totally worth having.
Last year I cheated and opened it up early, but this year I’m going to wait until December 1 and drink them on the day I open them.
This year’s list:
Cream of Earl Grey
Glitter & Gold
Read My Lips
Silk Dragon Jasmine
Cinnamon Rooibos Chai
Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait
White Chocolate Frost
Mother’s Little Helper
Alfie is huge now, he must weigh 15 pounds!
So much kitty to cuddle.
Vladimir Nabokov once wrote that literature and butterflies are two of the sweetest passions in life, and I am inclined to agree. There are few things that I enjoy capturing quite as much as the bright colors and patterns of a butterfly.
Taken with the E-P5, as I was regrettably without my Nikon and macro lens. From the Butterflies and Blooms feature at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco.