Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sticky Sushi Rice

Thanks everyone for all the support!  It helps tremendously!  I will be posting more regularly now. The last 10 days or so I have been hiding out at my boyfriend's restaurant and so I haven't been home much. Good stuff to come..

Went to Ichiban Kan (my favorite japanese dollar store) and bought these plastic molds for making rice balls and sushi. I made the girls avocado sushi for diner and they had cucumber rice flowers and hearts for lunch the next day. I had so much fun making them. I even have a little bird shape to try also. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Night

I came home from a pleasant day spent teaching a workshop and an evening with MJ. As I pulled up to my hillside Victorian in Vallejo I noticed a bike leaning on the bushes in front of my house. A casual thing, but a bit out of place. I walked up my unlit front stairs (I usually keep the porch light on, but my bay area "greener" self said no, save the energy, the planet etc) to the front door. I noticed my boyfriend's boots were knocked over...strange. I opened the front door and as always turned my head right to see if my computer was still in its spot, and yes, it was there, untouched, so surely everything was as it should be. I walked straight from my door, turning lights on along the way and setting my purse and camera on the couch as I passed through the living room. I headed to the kitchen at the back of the house, flipped on the light and looked at the kitchen floor I swept just that morning. There are strange things on the floor, long, narrow and jagged and the curtain is askew. A double tiered basket of fruit is teetering on the butcher block. These things are not as I left, click, click... and then it registers, the window has been broken, and there is someone in the house...

I backed out of my house pausing at the door and going back to the living room for my purse which has my cell phone and car keys. I called 911 from my cell, only to be put on hold. I stood shaking in the middle of the street looking up at the place I call home wondering if someone else, someone who has no face, is inside. I knocked on a neighbor's door, no one was home. By the time I had explained the situation to the CHP operator, a car of teenage boys had pulled up to the house I was standing in front of and within seconds a cop who is just passing by is flagged down. Minutes later the back up arrives. I am still on the phone, now being transfered to the actual Vallejo police.

10 or so youngish uniformed men stand amid a grouping of haphazzardly parked black cruisers in front of my house, making plans, organizing themselves. I say many times in response to their questions, no, there is no dog, no, no weapons etc. They ascend my steps, several go inside, another around the side yard, another up the alley down the block. Then there is yelling and commotion, repeated orders to "Put your hands up." They catch the man inside my house. He was crouching in the yard, having just run out the back door. He was in my house when I came up the stairs, opened my door and stepped inside. He was in my house as I went through my normal actions, removing coat and purse, flipping on lights. He was in my house. He was in my house. He was is my house and so was I... at the same time.

They arrest him, and empty his pockets onto the hood of their cruiser. For his effort, he has managed to get a ribbon full on silver rings from my high school days, a couple of batteries and a cheap porcelain figurine of a rabbit. Later I found out that he has also taken a shower in my bathtub. He cut his hand upon entry, smeared and dripped blood about my house, which I have spent the night removing with bleach. In picking up my freshly folded laundry (some of which has blood on it), now scattered about my bedroom. I find a bag that had been holding papers that morning, now filled with my underwear. Another sack of my underwear sits next to the the paper "to go" bag. I move to the girls' room which has also been rifled and find a pair of women's underwear and PJ bottoms sitting there. It is not mine, it is not familiar. He was in my house. He was in my house. He was in my house, and so was I.

Thanks everyone for all the supportive thoughts and comments! The day after I am still left with a broken window and a feeling of vulnerability and violation. I've lost a bit of faith in humanity not only by the break in, but by my landlord's response which was a superficial "glad no one was hurt" followed with an accusatory tone of why didn't you have a timer on or the porch light on etc. They refused to pay for the broken window or the installation of an alarm. 
Having said that, I am so very grateful that I wasn't hurt, that I didn't have the girls with me, and that the guy was caught by the police. Maybe there is a stroke of good luck coming my way soon!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Collection

I am a collector. It's in my nature.  I appreciate old and worn things, throw away things, miniature things, things that tell a story, things that I can tell a story with or through, and all these things end up a part of my space. I love to scour the thrift stores, antique shows and flea markets for unusual objects. But I am lucky enough to also have friends who sometimes collect on behalf. This little numbered bottle set was given to me by Ellen, a friend and co-owner of the^workshop in Berkeley. She said now she has a "Courtney" spot in her home of things she might find in her travels that no one would appreciate but me. I am so lucky to have such friends!

I'm not sure what I will do with these once I've put them in order. Undoubtedly fill the tiny vials with something... 

We'll just have to wait and see!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Kiwi with a Hint of Mint

Made kiwifruit jam with a hint of mint. It turned out beautifully! I had reservations about making a tropical fruit preserve, but the tangy sweetness of this chunky preserve is delicious!  I also made a batch of buttermilk biscuits to complement although its wonderful on buttered toast...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Year in Pictures 2008

A random sampling of my life in pictures over the last year.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Picture A Day

My picture for today is of a fox I met this afternoon at Ardenwood Farm. I've been going to this farm since I was a child, picnicking with my grandparents spending lazy summer afternoons under the eucalyptus. I would pick tomatoes in the fields during the summers and carefully select plump orange pumpkins in Autumn. As an adult, I have returned to enjoy the beauty of this park with friends. I was there today with MJ and her family and met this wild red fox. I was so taken with his beauty! He lounged like a farm cat on the picnic benches. It was incredible!
He was so cute, I had to share.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A new year

The New Year is a time when change can be a welcomed thing. With 2009 comes the opportunity to create new traditions and maybe change my routines a bit.  I usually make a New Year's resolution or two, and stick to them fairly well. As always I am looking to this New Year as a chance to bring interesting things into my life.  My New Year's Resolutions are as follows:
  1. Paint or draw one miniature a day (the first of which is above. A persimmon in                       prismacolor shades of orange and red).
  2. Take a photo everyday. ( I'm hoping to make this a polaroid a day if budget allows)
  3. And small but significant... Make my lunch to save money and eat something other than soup.
I have intentions of also posting the results of my efforts here, either in the photo or the miniature which makes me post everyday as well, maybe a hidden fourth resolution.

What are your resolutions?

Happy 2009

Happy New Year!