Things have been a bit crazy here at the Ranchette lately, hence the neglect of this blog. But in the meantime I've been planning a big project for a little room.
I don't claim to be any kind of mixologist, but I did make up this cocktail especially for my sweet husband Richard, who loves orangey things, and for the novelty factor: it glows in the dark.
So, this happened. Thanks to my very dear friend Michael Tole, who also happens to be a serious Artist with a capital A, this is my new view upon waking and falling asleep. I love it. This beast is 5 feet by 4 feet of vertiginous, riotous wonder.
Hello, old blog! I have not forgotten about you; I just had major, major surgery. The kind of surgery with titanium. I am almost released to pick up things that weigh more than 10 pounds, but in the meantime the bathroom renovation has been put on hold.
Meanwhile, my husband has (obviously) been picking up everything that weighs more than 10 pounds, not to mention doing all the laundry and cleaning. All while looking ridiculously handsome. You’re familiar with the Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” meme? I did my own version of “Hey Girl” with photos of Richard, and I think it works at least as well.Read More
Things have been a bit crazy here at the Ranchette lately, hence the neglect of this blog. But in the meantime I’ve been planning a big project for a little room. This house was built in 1963, so there’s not much hope of adding a Japanese ofuro or an enormous steam shower. My top priorities for this bath are that it be functional, that every component represents something I’ve always wanted, and that it be highly, highly cleanable. Since we moved in we’ve contended with a fiberglass shower stall and a glass/aluminum sliding shower door. The fiberglass is a sort of putty color with flecks of gold glitter in it, which is why I call it the Vegas shower. And like Las Vegas, it is perpetually dirty, both from 49 years of abrasive cleaners and the many unreachable crevices in the aluminum track. For seven years I have hated it, and I am finally doing something about it.
So first, here is my dream bath…Read More
I just returned from a trip to Big Bend with my family, where we hovered on the edges of canyons, picked prickly pear spines out of our hands, and took a guided tour of the constellations. If you’ve seen the photos coming from the Curiosity, you may understand the Big Bend experience. Just think Mars with slightly more vegetation.
My sister is somewhat obsessed with scorpions and other venomous* creatures. She brought a special scorpion-detecting lamp with her. And she bought this fantastic little guide called Spiders and Their Kin at the Big Bend outpost. So when we stopped at our old favorite, the Starlight Theater in Terlingua, Texas, who was she to resist their Stinger Margarita? (Terlingua is the site of a great ghost town, and the Starlight is an old theater that’s been converted into a restaurant and music venue.)
Unfortunately, having lived in Texas so long, most of our taste buds have been burned off by our overconsumption of chipotle peppers. She reported that the Stinger didn’t have much of a sting. The waiter told us that they used to serve them with a copper scorpion at the bottom of the glass, but they weren’t able to get them anymore, since “the border had closed.” (?!?) He also said that you could find a video about how to make them on YouTube. HELLO.Read More
I was throwing a weeknight dinner party for an old friend (as I am wont to do). And for the end of the meal, I had planned a special cocktail to cap off the evening.
When she showed up at my door, I was nonplussed. I quickly gave my menu a mental review: no soft cheeses, no raw eggs, no lunchmeat. Check, check, check… just in case. But it wasn’t till I saw her rub her belly that I felt safe in asking my question: “Uh, is there something you wanted to tell me?”
Here’s a rule for life: no non-pregnant woman ever rubs her stomach, except maybe if she’s eaten a really large meal, and even then probably not.
And yes, my friend was seven months pregnant, and had not mentioned it. And so my cocktail was out. That’s okay, we just had them later.
I don’t claim to be any kind of mixologist, but I did make up this cocktail especially for my sweet husband Richard, who loves orangey things, and for the novelty factor: it glows in the dark.Read More
Bermuda grass. It’s the bane of my existence. Once, while looking for yet another solution to my bermuda problem, I read a comment on Apartment Therapy where some poor woman had laid thick black plastic on it to solarize it. She dug it out by hand. She poured horticultural strength vinegar on it and left it to shrivel in the sun. She even tried Round-up, though it went against her every belief. All of this was to no avail. Then I realized that the person who had written that comment was me, three years ago.
For my birthday last year, I received a new weapon to wage war against bermuda grass. It’s not for everyone, because it really is a weapon.Read More
Have you ever done this? It’s hot-hot-HOT here, and crêpes seem like the perfect light meal. (Or maybe I am lying to myself. Whatever.) I stayed up late on Friday night making enough crêpes to get through the weekend. We had crêpes for breakfast, crêpes for lunch, crêpes for dinner, and crêpes for dessert.
What am I saying? There are never enough crêpes to make it through the weekend. But we did get by.Read More
There was a time when I thought panzanella a bit revolting. Stale bread, made soggy with oil and vinegar and tomatoes… yum? Last spring a friend from France was visiting and treated us to the 10-course vegetarian tasting menu at the (now defunct) Nana. At least three of the courses were life-changing, but this one was my absolute favorite. It was a deconstructed (I know, pretentious) panzanella with about a half dozen char-grilled bread cubes, lightly dressed, served with roasted tomatoes, pickled onions, and microgreens. (There’s a camera photo of it and a few of the other items on that menu here. Requiescat in pace, Nana!)Read More