Kale Potato Summer Soup


This is a Forks Over Knives/Engine 2 ready recipe. (No Salt, Oil, Sugar Vegan)

This bag of perfectly lovely organic Yukon Gold potatoes was loitering around in my pantry, and something had to be done. I wanted to get more greens into this week’s mix, so I rustled up some kale and got cooking. I really love how this turned out.

4 cups veggie broth (I used a chicken flavored version, which may not appeal to some)

3 cups chopped kale

3 cups cubed potatoes (Yukon Gold or red potatoes are nice, but then aren’t all potatoes, when you think about it?)

1 medium onion diced (about 1 cup to  1 1/2 cups?)

4 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup?)

1 – 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds (reserve half for the end)  This is to taste, also. I like a lot of celery seed!

Cayenne or black pepper to taste. I added a bit of both, but some folks don’t like either!


Broth-saute the onion and celery in just enough of the water to keep them from sticking. Add the rest of the broth when the onion is translucent. Bring the  Add half of the celery seed and all of the kale.

Simmer until the kale is tender, about 5-10 minutes, then use a stick hand blender to blend it into bits. Be careful! It’s hot!  I poured mine out into a deep Pyrex bowl for this step because my pan wasn’t deep enough. You could also use a food processor or blender here. The fibers in the kale needed to be cleared from the blade intakes on my stick blender, but it worked fine.

Add the cubed potatoes and simmer for another 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Use a fork or potato masher to smash up about 1/2 of the potatoes in the soup before serving for a heartier feel.

This was great hot, but I also had it cold for lunch the next day,with a bowl of watermelon for a salad. Summery!

Hydra and John York’s Guitar


Hydra playing John York’s 12-string guitar after Saturday night’s house concert.  How cool is that? House concerts are so much fun… always more intimate and relaxed. This one was particularly special for us.  Three other couples met us for dinner before, always good to have time to catch up.


We stayed after the concert and chatted. John and his wife, Sumi, are so cool and friendly. John played with The Byrds and many others over the years.

He and Barry McGuire (The Eve of Destruction) traveled all over the world with their wives as they performed a show called “Trippin’ the Sixties”  for the past eight years. It looks like Barry has retired from touring now, but John credited Janice with bringing hm and Barry together years ago for a house concert, and the rest, as they say, is history.

P1010224His instrumental breaks, like this one on Tambourine Man are always breathtaking. These days he also performs as part of the trio, The Jangle Brothers.  He does a wide variety of sixties material, his own originals, and amazing jazz pieces.

P1010215Gelencser House Concerts in Claremont is a great venue for concerts. We’ve been to several there and have always come away feeling so satisfied.

It was the Gelencsers’ wedding anniversary, so they performed The Rose before the concert got started. They played that song at their wedding!

Ride, Sundry, Ride!

Morgan Selfie

Trying for a selfie in the side mirror of our friend Simon’s Morgan three-wheeler. He came by this afternoon to watch a World War I movie with Hydra and took each of us for a spin. It’s a wonderful two seated vehicle that classifies as a motorcycle.  I was having so much fun I forgot to get a shot of him in the driver’s seat, or of the whole vehicle.

Morgan view


The view from the cockpit.

I should mention that you get a lot of really happy smiles directed your way when you ride in one of these. It’s an endorphin-mobile.  Headed toward beautiful downtown Acton.


Morgan 3 wheeler


To give you an idea, here’s a photo from The Telegraph of basically the same model.  So much fun!

Fruit Fetish


So we delved into color last night in the still life class. It was really challenging, but fun. So helpful to be in a workshop setting where there’s some guidance about color.

I’m not really happy about the colors here.  I mean, these are not the crayons I would have chosen. But I mixed ‘em so I have to stand by them. It’s okay, I’m learning. 

I need to figure out something about how I’m using my brush strokes. I could see at the end of class that the others had done something different that I liked. My light transitions feel clunky to me. 

Do you like the way the apple in the bottom corner is sneaking up like a shark? Cue the Jaws soundtrack!

Rumor has it that next week we may shift to vegetables!


Photos from a Life : Anna Gaberil (1857-1916)




Anna Gaberil  at 16 (1857-1916)

I found some interesting photos at Antiques at the Barn yesterday. Only bought four of them, all of which included images of this woman. There were a couple of her husband, and one of her two grandchildren, Lucille and Lillian. 

I sat in a very warm little room picking through these photos and some interesting ephemera, like a very small notebook with an accounting of Barn Expenses for 1950. Each time they filled the truck up with gas it cost $1.45. I don’t think the notebook had anything to do with this family, but that sort of thing is interesting to me. 

The information written on the photos is a little confusing. I’m going to just transcribe it here since I know some of my readers are also interested in these things.

On the back of this photo in pencil: “Mother age 16. Born June 8, 1857-died June 17 1916. Anna Gaberil. Took 1873.”  In pen : “My grandmother Lucille and Lil.”



This one is fairly faded and in reality it’s sepia toned, but more details show up in black and white. I’ll bet it’s shortly after they were married, but it’s undated.

Written in pencil: “Mrs. Anna Wilcox, (street address) Modesto, CA. Mother & Father DD. Grandpa 1842-1918 – J.B. Gaberil. Grandma 1857-1916 Anna Gaberil.” And in pen: “Grandfather and grandmother Lucille & LIllian.”

At first I thought that Anna WIlcox was maybe Anna Gaberil’s maiden name, but after transcribing all of these notes, I realize that this image was sent as a postcard to Anna Gaberil’s daughter, Anna Wilcox, at some point.”


Another undated shot, but I think it fits here in the sequence. Wow, she’s been working hard.

On the back in pencil: “Anna Gaberil 1857-1916. Grandmother.”

So maybe Lucille or Lillian wrote the pencil notes.


My favorite of the shots. Anna seems to be thinking about the passage of time in this one. Or maybe that’s just me adding a layer. She’s in her fifties here, since she died just after turning 59.

Love the smiles on Christine and Lucille. 

On the back in blue pen: “Christine is wearing the Waltham watch I have with chain. In a sle of watch, the case isn’t the deal – it’s the works- could be worth up to $300.”

On the back in a different pen: “Christine – Anna Mother” (Anna is written above the word mother, but I think it’s the woman on the right, who would be Anna’s daughter and Christine’s sister, I’m guessing.”

“Grandmother Gaberil – Lillian 5″

“Grandmother Gaberil, Anna Wilcox …. Lillian”

I went to the census record and can’t find Anna Gaberil or her husband James B. Gaberil. The photos are all marked with the imprint of the photography firm Carver in Vandalia, MO, but I’m guessing that someone had these photos mounted there long after they were taken, because I found a reference to the studio opening in 1914. There are some listings for people by the surname Gaberil in Merced County, which is next to Stanislaus County, CA (where Modesto is located.)

There are references to several people by the name Anna Wilcox in California, none listed in Modesto. 

I don’t subscribe to the paid genealogy sites, so if anyone who does is curious, do your best and I’d love to know. The photos were purchased in northeastern Los Angeles County, outside of Lancaster.  I’ll bet that copies exist elsewhere, since it looks like these were made to give to family members. A pioneering genealogist!