Saturday, August 29, 2015

Eating My Way Around the Valley of the Moon

Near Sonoma about twenty minutes from here, hugging highway 12, is a roadside Mexican eating place of exceeding charm but without affectation. El Mollino Central has been there for years, I understand. One thing that is unique about it is that customers walk right through the kitchen to get to the outdoor seating area. A well printed sign on the screen door reminds one  to step UP or DOWN when passing through. The clientele is diverse, but the presence of many hispanic laborers is a clue to its good taste.

Because of its popularity and authenticity the food never fails to satisfy and exudes freshness. Last time I was there I ordered fish tacos which were fresh and munchie. I usually succomb to the guacamole (even the small is a huge serving) and chips (thick but not greasy) for an appetizer. I recently took the  plunge and tried fish tacos for the first time. Yummy. Its hard to know what not to pick. Its not often one sees cooks casually cutting up piles of fresh octopus. Maybe for cerviche? I haven't extended my imagination quite that far yet.
On the other hand, my book club here has taken to going out to dinner once a month, trying to have the choice of a restaurant coincide with the geography of the book we are reading that month. My turn to choose a book (and restaurant) is coming up in November, and I'm drawing a blank. Any ideas out there? So far we've tried German, Indian, Portugese, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Anchor Baby

After Trump is elected I guess I will be deported to Canada, since my mother and sister were illegal residents at the time I was born in Seattle 85 years ago, my mother having somehow crossed the border with my sister when my sister was two or three. Somehow I don't think she was among Canada's worst criminals or rapists. My sis is deceased now but I'm wondering:
"Does that mean that my sister's four living children and ten grandchildren will be deported with me?" Somehow I don't think I'm up for the weather in Moosejaw, Sask. but Vancouver and Victoria are lovely, and almost no one carries weapons. Gasoline costs more, but there are no commercials on television. I've proposed to my niece Cheari that we buy a big house straddling the British Columbia border (before the fence is built) and she and I can sleep on the BC side while her husband catches his z's on the Washington side. She agrees. And since the West Coast is warming at such a rapid pace, within a few years our land will be producing pineapples and oranges. Come join us

Friday, August 14, 2015

Homeless in America

So far I haven't heard any of the candidates on either side of the aisle address the problem of homelessness, though Bernie Sanders comes closest. Perhaps they just haven't had time with all the  other issues to address? The subject is close to my heart as I have a niece and a great nephew currently homeless in the Seattle area. As well as I can figure, both suffer from mental illness. My niece is said to be in a shelter for older women and my great nephew, her son, an epileptic, is living in the woods but close to a bus stop. This downward spiral to homelessness started when my niece got laid off from a good clerical job at a hospital because they outsourced the whole billing department to India.
A year or so ago I first sighted the man in the picture on a street corner in Sebastopol, a nearby town. Somehow his colorful attire and posture suggests dignity. He is always accompanied by his rather obese white dog. I was told by local residents that he is a fixture, probably moving from park to park. I feel too shy to ask him to pose, though I'd love to. I'm sure he'd love a handout, as that is probably how he survives. Maybe next time I see him I'll get the courage. Is he mentally ill too? Probably. But when I captured this fuzzy shot he was strumming along with his guitar near a band at a free concert.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Nothing Cuter...

Finally a clear blue sky greeted me this morning as I shuffled outside to get my Sunday Press Democrat. Interpreted that means we are back to typical August days in the Valley of the Moon, the Rocky Fire being 86per cent contained. So helpful to have clear air. Thanks to Friday's Current Events session here (my venting venue) I survived the Republican debates, just barely holding on to my sense of humor. The heirloom tomatoes flooding the local markets are worth living for. After months of planning my friend Judy trekked to Seattle to adopt her yearned for apricot laboradoodle puppy.
Sage is just seven weeks. As the saying goes, there is nothing cuter than a new puppy. Judy has promised that I get to puppy sit when she goes to Canasta. I can hardly wait.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lavender Harvest and Smoky Skies

  This lovely young tourist was smelling the lavender at Matansas Winery a few weeks ago when my friend Jan Jobert came to visit. She was really staring down a honeybee but I left it out of the painting on purpose thinking it would look too contrived. The lavender fields are pretty well harvested now and the grape harvest, quite early, is in full swing. The smoky skies for the last two nights have obscured the full blue moon making it yellow and orange. And for this breathing compromised old lady most days are spent reading and inhaling my portable oxygen.  The Berryessa fire is 95 percent contained, but the Clear Lake one seems to have a drive of its own and now encompasses 46,000 acres.  It would not shock me if we have to evacuate. So for distraction yesterday I went to see Mr. Holmes which was quite brilliant and today Im bouncing over to the Berger center here to see Mr. Turner, another excellent movie which I've already seen once. Pregnant thought: why don't we have some female titles? Well, both Holmes and Turner were a bit of narcissists, and perhaps most women are not that self centered. Happy August.