Friday, August 29, 2008

Tomato Monster

Right as I named this post about my abundant tomato collection, I had a childhood memory...

When I was a kid my brother and all of the neighborhood kids used to talk about there being a Tomato Monster that lived in the sewer at the end of the next door neighbors driveway. I don't know how the legend came about but it must have been passed on from kid to kid on our street. We would throw sticks, rocks, gum, comic book pages, firecrackers and all sorts of other crazy things down threw the sewer grate to see if we could upset the Tomato Monster and see this elusive urban legend come to life. Why he was called the Tomato Monster, no one really knows. I imagined that he was dark red like a rotten tomato and had arms made of vines all tangled up and knotted. All you could see were just small pock marks were his eyes should be surrounded by the abundant amount of flesh all puffed up on his face. His mouth was gross and toothless, when he made noises he would spew seeds encased in clear tomato phlegm. I was scared of the Tomato Monster but I loved to taunt him with my brother and the other kids. I secretly thought if one night we weren't on the front lawn by the time the street lights went on, the Tomato Monster would seep out of the grate that covered the sewer and slither over to where we were like The Blob and suck us inside him and take us down into the sewer. As much as I thought him disgusting and horrible I felt bad for him as well. Maybe he was misunderstood ,that Tomato Monster. Was he was once a kid like me who hid out when it was time to weed the garden or put up a fuss when he had to clean his room? Perhaps he too just wanted to ride bikes, chase the ice cream truck and run through the sprinkler like the rest of us. Did he watch us do all of these things with envy? I was a kid the last time I thought about the Tomato Monster. So strange, that I didn't even remember him until now when I went to name this post Tomato Monster for other reasons stated above and below. I wonder if he still lives in the sewer. I am glad that we did not have cable television, video games or modern day things; we were forced to use our imagination and spent our summers outside playing. I think next time I go home to visit, I might drop something down into the sewer to see if I get a reaction from someone other then the Department of Public Works. Just for old times sake.

Well, after that story, my real Tomato Monster post seems pretty lame. Just wanted to show you all how many tomatoes I got in my CSA box last night. Some of them are pretty ready to go so I am going to make a sauce this weekend.
I have one more tomato story, which is short I promise. One summer I remember my Dad announcing that he was not going to grow tomatoes. I guess too many went bad the year before because we didn't eat them all. To prove how much he wanted tomatoes in the garden, my brother made a colorful banner on a roll of butcher paper we used to draw on that read "I LOVE TOMATOES" followed by a child's simple plea to have them planted in the garden that year. I think my parents planted tomatoes that summer and I don't think many ended up in the compost heap. Thanks big brother for encouraging the constant plentiful harvest each year thereafter, I love tomatoes too!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Heart Sunday's

Lazy Sunday's are the best!
The only thing I don't like is when Monday comes creeping into my thoughts a bit too early.

Yesterday we just had a nice lazy day around the house. Cleaned a little, went to Costco in the City (which we may NEVER do again, it was insane I almost had a panic attack there were WAY too many people in there) and prepped fruits and vegs for the week with Tim.
For dinner, I made a pot of pea soup with carrots from Debbie's garden and baked some biscuits to have on the side with honey! One of my favorite dinners for sure. I know it is still summer time, but we are in San Francisco where it is cold in the summer. It is supposed to heat up this week, but not so much in the city. It literally drops 20 degrees from work to home while I approach and cross the Bay Bridge. Amazing! Gotta love the Bay Area micro climates!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Canning Part Deux

Debbie and I took our second canning class in Alameda yesterday. It was at the same Marketplace as the last class but with a different instructor. A little different vibe this time, but we still earned a lot and had fun at the same time.
Here are some photos from our class:
After class we went to Burma Superstar for lunch and had tea leaf salad and super star noodles which was fabulous! They make the best ginger lemonade there which was nice on a warm sunny afternoon.
After lunch, we went to a HUGE antique store (3 floors) and I spotted this gem...a Detroit Jewel!I found the most interesting leather pocket notebook from a man in 1910-1912, I had to have it at $3, I read the entire thing last night. I will post about that later this week. It was a wonderful day in Alameda. When we were done we went back to Debbie's house and I got to pick some wonderful organic veggies from their garden! All together I took home some Swiss chard, carrots, green beans, squash, cucumbers and flat leaf parsley. Thank you Debbie and Steve for sharing your garden with me!
I love a nice Saturday out knowing there is still one more day left in the weekend.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Unintended Hiatus

So, it looks as though I took a little unintended hiatus. Truth be told, I have been very stressed out, angry, depressed, etc. so when times like that strike, it is hard to write my blog. I have to be specific because I do write in my journal during those times because I need an outlet.
Anyway, I am back!
Where in the world did I leave off? Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the events of the past week.
  1. Had dessert for lunch last Friday (did I mention the stress at work?)
  2. Had a garage sale! Didn't make much, but every little bit helps
  3. Met quite a few neighbors on the morning of the sale which was nice
  4. Made a HUGE donation to the Goodwill with leftovers from our sale
  5. Got the stomach flu or something of the sort - terrible
  6. Went through the layoff process at work, I have a job, but sad
  7. Made the short list for a photo city guide of Salt Lake City - they make final picks soon! It is not a paid thing, but I get photo credit.
  8. Got picked to be an actor in a training video at work!
  9. Had a night to myself with mojitos and fashion magazines
  10. Watched a lot of movies on my new portable DVD player

That is it that I can think of right now. There was SO much more, but a girl needs to keep some things to herself, right?

More tomorrow, I am taking another canning class with Debbie! I am super excited!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Evening Out

Double dates are fun, especially in San Francisco where the world is your oyster!

Sara, Cam, Tim and I went to Citrus Club for dinner in the Haight. Citrus Club (if you have not been there) is a wonderful place with great prices where you can get HUGE servings of noodles of all types. We all ordered something different so it was nice to taste the other dishes. I had a very non traditional plate of Pad Thai, it was not like any Pad Thai I have had before and some of you know, I am on a quest for the best. Unfortunately, this was not it. It was great though, but had it not been listed as Pad Thai on the menu, I would have never guessed that is what it was. More like a curry, noodle, veggie thing but I guess that description wouldn't really sell the dish on the menu! ha ha! We got to the restaurant just in time, that place can fill up like none other. We were jammed back in the corner all snug at our table. Service was quick, food was wonderful but nothing could top the company. When we left, there was a line of people waiting to get in!

After dinner, Tim took us on a scenic drive back to our neighborhood and we went to Maggie Mudd's for some locally made ice cream! I had a flavor called The Dubliner that was insane, chocolate ice cream with whisky, chocolate cookie pieces and a little carmel running through it. Cam had your traditional strawberry, which is always a hit and Sara had coconut lychee which tasted like a super sweet Japanese candy! Tim's was the best and almost had a radio active like color to it...he got one scoop of birthday cake and one scoop of cotton candy, it was elecrtic blue and pink (hilarious!). After ice cream we dropped Sara and Cam off at their next evening event - they are packing them in since they are here just a short while. Tim and I feel super lucky to have been able to steal a couple hours from them for a great dinner and a fun evening!

Stuff on the Street

OK, before I recap my evening last night I have decided to start photographing weird and obscure things I find on my street.
Here is the first of many strange but true findings on my street in Bernal Heights.

found on 8/14/08

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Night on the Town

I am so excited! First of all, one of my favorite people is in town for a visit with her man and we are having dinner together tonight! Second of all, Tim and I don't go out as much as we used to, so it will be nice to have a yummy dinner out with great company - yeah, a double date, I love it! I try not to have expectations, but, it is sure to be a fantastic night.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Just Browsing

As a woman with thick dark eye brows that are constantly being maintained, I take notice of a good or bad set of brows. So, I got to thinking...if the eyebrows are the frame of the face and the eyes are the window to the soul, what message are we conveying to our public?

Natural Woman

Large and in Charge of one

Just Clowning Around

Oh Deer (in the headlights)

Less is More
Born to be Wild

So what do you do when someone you know has a bad set of brows?
Do you just keep giving them the brow lift as a hello until they get the point? I have seen so many ladies lately with pencil thin, either drawn on or shaped brows and I have to say...let em grow or like Groucho, draw them on! Thin didn't look good on Harlow, and they don't look good on Bozo. I am going to start a movement...
keep em natural!
keep em clean!
never let em get too lean!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend Recap

Hey folks!
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
We worked hard around the house this weekend with a couple of well deserved breaks sprinkled in. Friday night we got our grocery shopping done so we didn't have to deal with too many people on Saturday. We went to Costco and it was a ghost town, maybe it was that people were at home watching the Olympics? In case you are wondering, Tim and I are boycotting the games this year, but wish all of the athletes well and hope that they take the appropriate precautions to keep themselves healthy in a country with no regard for their people or the environment. I will leave it at that.

Saturday, our landlord was coming over to finish a job he started on our bathroom tile - he said he "re-tiled" this bad spot a couple months ago, however, it was not holding up. Tim and I decided instead of waiting around for him, we would run to Target to get some stuff we needed and get some lunch and low and behold, when we came back the tile was done! We did some work around the house, cleaned out stuff and got things set aside for our garage sale next weekend.

Sunday we went to our storage unit and I minimized my book collection from 6 bankers boxes down to 3. The other three I will sell. It felt good to open some space in the storage and sad to see all the baby things in there waiting for Olive to get here. I packed up some other things to sell and we got home and unloaded the car into the hallway until next weekend. I am super excited to purge my place and get rid of stuff. I realized over the last couple days with the landlord working in the bathroom, the less stuff in there, the better I feel. I have too much clutter in my life, I will admit it, I need to scale it down and get rid of stuff. After dinner, I made some great, honey sweetened zucchini carrot bread and put my fabulous find to use!
Not the most fun weekend, but we got a lot done and that makes me feel good!

PS - My DVD player died again, I think it just runs for a short while now and conks out. I was watching What Ever Happened to Baby Jane - what a movie for my machine to crap out on me!

Friday, August 08, 2008

*Fabulous Find*

I recently received this fabulous over the sink cutting board/strainer for my birthday. I used it last night while cleaning my CSA box produce and I love it! For those of you who are pressed for counter space, you must purchase one of these for yourself. You can find one here.
PS - Added bonus, the basket strainer is collapsible so it stores flat! Thank you gift giver, you know me too well! Practical and saves space...SCORE!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Long Weekend is Over

Back to work today, but had a great time off!
Here is the run down...
Picked up Angela from the airport on Thursday after work. Tim met us up on the hill and we went out for drinks at Wild Side West then we went to Zantes for Indian Pizza and a pitcher of beer. Nothing more hilarious than walking into a Lesbian bar and ordering two Pink Ladies and a Guinness, the bar tender and her guests at the bar got a good laugh. We super love this place, they have the BEST garden in the back, you would never know it was there plus they are local, super nice and make great drinks!Friday we had breakfast at Whole Foods Market and then got our groceries taken care of, packed the car and headed for the coast. We stopped to pet some roadside horses along the way that had a new baby. They were super friendly and when I went to get my camera out of my purse one of them stuck their nose right in like I was getting a snack for them. Smarty pants!

We got to the house at about 3:45 PM, unpacked and let the blender start working for us! The view was awesome! Not as close to the beach as usual, but nice and not as much wind and cold as in the past.
The rest of the weekend was awesome! We had a great time, wonderful weather, yummy food and roaring laughter. I don't want to give it all away, you know, a lady has to have a few secrets!
Needless to say, I can't wait until next summer!

Monday morning, we took our time packing things up and at about Noon we headed back to our homes, airport (Angela), etc. I was so tired I spaced out once I got to the Golden Gate Bridge and put my Jeep on autopilot for the rest of the way home. I unloaded everything into the house and went to bed and guess what? When I tried one last time to get my portable DVD player to work, IT WORKED!!!!!! I love it when things like this happen. I also think it is funny that I did not throw it away, I kept trying it each night before I left for the weekend.
Maybe it needed time to recharge just like I did.


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