The Harmonistas Take 2nd Place in the TBFC Singing Competition!


Just in case anyone out there missed our big news! I am The Harmonista in the black hat, with the washboard. :D

Originally posted on The Harmonistas:

Harms Topanga
Well, boy howdy, are we thrilled!
       The Harmonistas were awarded 2nd Place in the Singing competition at the 55th Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival !  This is our 4th year of entering, and we are so happy to have placed in the top three!
      We were in the middle of hosting sing-alongs on the Songmakers Stage when Harmonista-hubby Andy Gelenscer arrived with the news that not only were we bumped up to the 2nd round of competition on the main stage, but we that we’d better get moving!  There were only two songs left before our performance slot.
     We handed the stage off to Harmonista-hubby Dana Charette (who also took this photo) and high-tailed it over in time to hear one of the band competitors finish up. Very exciting!
    We had a great time and are forever grateful…

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My Spice Sage


My friend Barb told me about My Spice Sage a long time ago, and I finally placed an order with them. Prices are good, shipping is free and the choices are off the charts.

It was hard to choose from the vast array of spices and seasonings, but I narrowed it down. Celery seeds and porcini mushrooms, I’ve had before.  I’ll probably use most of the porcinis to make mushroom powder.

I know, right? Never heard of it till I bought a pressure cooker and  Jill Nussinow’s The New Fast FoodHer recipe for vegan mushroom rissoto is wonderful. I’m thinking I’ll make a verision with artichoke hearts and use the artichoke powder in place of the mushroom powder.

The kaffir lime leaves will be made into hot and cold infusions for drinking pleasure!  (They’re not really teas unless they have Camellia sinensis leaves in them. Oh, yeah. I’m that person some days!)

The Kala Namak salt is recommended in several of the vegan cookbooks I have. They usually say it has an eggy taste, but it’s really a mild sulfur flavor. This was my first experience with it. I love it sprinkled on steamed potatoes. The sulfury-ness of it makes me feel like I’m in touch with the basic elements of the earth.

Yeah, food is romantic!

Apricot Report: Hope is High

DSC_8771Surprisingly, there is a lot of fruit on the tree this year.

I MUST go out today and put bird netting over these low hanging boughs before the squirrels start their theivery. They can have the ones up high.


They’re getting big!

The tree has become a wonderful source of shade over the years since we arrived here. In 2000, it was spindly and damaged. Now it must be 30 feet across!

Apricot tree 2009

The tree in 2009. I have an earlier shot somewhere, but who knows where!?

When in Doubt, Draw Something


The idea was to draw something from my kitchen. I fill this flea-market-find caraf most days to make sure I’m getting enough water. It’s very pale green in real life. It seemed simple till I started working on the non-pattern pattern on the base.

No, there was not really a full moon or a halo behind it. Yes, I meant the circle to be off-center. Probably should have put the circle further off center so it would be obviously intentional, but hey. Live and learn!

Created with fine art markers .005, .01 and .03, soft pencil and a tortillon for blending.