Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgivings

Thanksgiving, 1956, Beverly Hills

We'll be convening with 25 members of my family again this year at the Del Rey Yacht Club for our Thanksgiving feast.  Our family has grown quite a bit over the years.  Naturally, we've lost a few key members too.
Thanksgiving, 2013, Marina del Rey

Since this is "throw back Thursday,"  I will post a few photos of family gatherings from the past on this sentimental day.
L-R, top row:Carolyn, Grandpa, Janet, Grandma. L-R, bottom row: Ellen, Marilyn, Ken. 1959, Granada Hills

L-R: Grandpa, Marvin, Ken, George, Bob.  1959, Granada Hills
Roz, Mae.  1975, Bel Air

Carolyn, Mira, Grandma.  1975, Bel Air

Grandpa, Roz.  1975, Bel Air

Janet, Celia.  1975, Bel Air

I look forward to seeing everyone later today.  Larry and I wish a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday to all of our family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Vien Cafe


We usually eat out on Tuesday nights.  We like to find places that are close to our house.  We're lucky to live in a neighborhood with many restaurant choices.  Since Thanksgiving is coming up tomorrow, we wanted to eat a light meal last night.  We'd never been to the Vien Cafe on Pico, just east of La Cienega.
We ordered the fresh spring rolls for our appetizer.  They were rolled up with steamed shrimp, vermicelli rice noodles, shredded lettuce, mint, cilantro, green onion and bean sprouts wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper. served with Vietnamese peanut sauce. Yummy.

Larry and I each ordered a bowl of pho for dinner.  The pho was accompanied by the customary mint, cilantro, green onion, lime slices and bean sprouts.  Larry's pho had beef meatballs and mine had shrimp.  The broth was flavorful and delicious, but not too rich.


The  interior of this place is very spare, modern and clean.  



I like it here.  We will return.  Next time I'd like to save room for desert and Thai iced tea.
Walking back to our car, we noticed this very ornate and over-painted time switch.  I'm sure it dates back to the late 1920s or early 1930s when this area was developed.  I wonder if it's a time switch for the street lights, signals?  I like the artistic leaf design.  I must go back during the day and take better photos.
Vien Cafe
6118 W. Pico Blvd.
between So. Alfred St. & So. La Jolla Ave.
(323) 651-2888

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Red Scarf Tradition

Your hand-knit or crocheted scarf will be delivered in a Valentine's Day care package to a college student who aged out of foster care and is going it alone.  Models: Students and staff of the Orphan Foundation of America.  Photography:  Gale Zucker

As I look forward to spending Thanksgiving with my family, I'll be spending this upcoming weekend thinking about all the people, places and things in my life that I'm thankful for.  It is wonderful to have four days of rest to contemplate gratitude.  For the past five years I have crocheted one, two or three scarves for the Red Scarf Project during Thanksgiving vacation.  The Orphans Foundation of America is collecting red scarves for their project!  From the website: OFA launched a unique initiative to warm the hearts (and necks) of college-bound foster youth. We began taking donations of handmade red scarves to put into our Valentine's Day Care Packages for young adults who have left the foster care system.


 
Here are the particulars about your scarf donation:
Scarf Size: Approximately 60" long and 5" to 8" wide. Scarves should be long enough to be wrapped around the neck, with tails long enough to be tied in the front.
Style: Think unisex collegiate. Ask yourself if your son, brother, and/or husband would enjoy receiving the scarf. Fringes are optional. Your scarf should drape and tie ea
sily.
Yarn: Preferably DK, double fingering-weight, worsted weight, or lig
ht bully yarns. No laceweight, super-chunky, or mohair yarns as there are many people who find mohair too itchy. The yarn should be soft.


Color: Red! However, this could mean burgundy, cherry, russet, red stripes with other colors, or multicolor hues including red. 
Finished and tagged: Yarn ends should be securely sewn in. For a personal touch, attach a tag saying "Handmade for You" with your first name, city, and group affiliation, if any. Donors have also included washing instructions, messages of encouragement, gift cards, etc.
Above are all of the red scarves I've donated over the years.  Get your yarn, needles and hooks out and make a red scarf this weekend!  Once your scarf is finished, mail it by December 15th to:  Foster Care to Success, Red Scarf Project, 21351 Gentry Drive Suite 130, Sterling, VA 20166

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Ukes and Drinks

Christ Church, Atwater Village
Saturday I headed over to Atwater Village to meet up with Mary Jo and the Pluckin' Strummers.  I hadn't been to this group in over a year.  Life gets in the way.  The Pluckin' Strummers is a ukulele club that meets twice a month to play and sing.  These are not traditional ukulele lessons, just strum-a-longs.  The song list is sent via e-mail a few days before the meet-up, just in case you need to practice.  This past Saturday we played mostly country and western songs from Book 1, "The Daily Ukulele."  We also play tunes from other sources.  Sheet music is provided at the meeting.  Brett "Tooch" Santucci leads the group.  
This is not my favorite ukulele group, but it was a chance to play a few tunes and brush-up before the big Ukulele Christmas Orchestra extravaganza at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Music Center later this month.  It was also an excuse to spend time with my friends!
"Tooch" on the left


 
Mary Jo and Ellen


We contacted Brit during break-time to see if she could meet us for lunch after Strummers.  We met at the nearby Tam O' Shanter Inn
Tam O' Shanter Inn

On Saturdays the Tam has a Bloody Mary Buffet in the bar.  PERFECT for post-strumming!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday

I'm thinking about my cousin, Audra who is getting married this weekend.  Best of luck to you and Robi!  Weddings have changed in the last 40 years. They can be informal and a vacation for everyone involved.  Audra and Robi are having a destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico.  Most of their immediate family is attending.  I can't wait to see all of the photos.
My FIRST wedding was a formal affair, held at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1974.  The wedding was held in the Venetian Room, which was all decked out in gold and olive green colors.  We added pink tablecloths.  The bridesmaids wore hot pink.  I had pale pink roses on my dress and in my veil.  Bernie Richards and his orchestra played for over 200 guests. It was a big deal, fancy-shmancy wedding and a day to remember.  Too bad the marriage only lasted four years.

Venetian Room, Ambassador Hotel, September 15, 1974


I do love this photo.  I'm laughing at something hilarious.  Left to right:  Cousin Janet, best friend Leah, Sister-in-law to be Harva and other best friend Michele.

I should have married Bernie!

This was six years after the assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel.  Thankfully, the stigma had worn off a bit.  Most of my friends at the time were getting married at westside hotels, synagogues, churches or country clubs.  I wanted to be married in a historical landmark of my beloved home town of Los Angeles.  


This landmark is gone and that marriage is long forgotten.  NOW, I know what a happy marriage is all about.  I waited a long time to find my Prince Charming.  Larry was worth the wait.
Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles.  Demolished 2005

Have a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving weekend my friends.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fabric Shopping

click to enlarge

We've been searching for just the right fabric for our teak dining room chairs.  Thanks to my high school friend, Laurie, we've "inherited" six of her Mother's Danish Modern chairs.  The chairs were covered in a needlepoint design, a bit worn.  The cushion on each chair had been flattened after years of use.  Time to reupholster and recover!
We have a black, white and gray theme going now in our living and dining rooms.  We used to have lots of brown and gold tones.  I thought it was funny, going through the upholstery fabric shops that most of the selections were in the brownish tones.  It wasn't easy to find something good-looking in non-colors!
Seen in the manufacturer's photo above, these chairs were traditionally covered in a plain fabric or leather.  I thought that a woven tweed would look modern.  We drove over to Diamond Foam and Fabric on La Brea and looked around.

Diamond Fabrics is huge!


I like both of these tweedy fabrics.  Very practical.

We took a few samples with us then drove across town to F & S Fabrics on Pico Boulevard.  F& S also has a super-huge selection.  Lots of "fun" fabrics too. 


Graffitti Fabric!

Between Diamond and F & S, we came away with lots of excellent samples.  

Possible Upholstery Choices


Larry is having foam cushions cut at The Foam Mart on Sepulveda in Culver City.   He also found a reasonable upholsterer in our neighborhood.  It's all coming together!
We've decided to go kinda' kicky with this dotty fabric (below).  The little circles go with the rounded edges of the Danish chairs.  We'll be using it on the side with the dark background for the chairs.  I love that this fabric is reversible!  I will have extra fabric for couch pillows, using the light background.  Excited.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Prep

Must not forget the veggies!


It's all about the sides, 'bout the sides, no turkey.....  Just jumping on the bandwagon with all the parodies of Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" song.   Really, I do like the turkey on Thanksgiving, but after loading up on sides, I usually only have a few bites of turkey.  Turkey is best for the leftovers:  Turkey soup, turkey tetrazzini, turkey sandwiches, turkey enchiladas, turkey salad and more.
Most of these side dishes are wacky and fun, but you may just find some gems among my skewered recipes! Click on each photo to make really big!

I'm guessing you could do this any flavor Jello! Easy-peasy, no clean-up!

We tend to serve fresh green beans today, but this casserole always disappears!

More marshmallows than yams.  Yum!

Stove Top is great, just add a few fresh ingredients and no one will know.  Be sure to destroy the boxes.
A gift card from Audrey and Jeff one year.  I still love this!

Turkey Sugar Cookies made with Pillsbury ready-bake cookies!  Easy, Festive!

I still serve this pumpkin ice-cream pie with a prepared graham cracker pie crust.  It's light, refreshing and delicious!
Don't forget to wear your drumstick hat!

If you really do not want to fuss, just pick up that old stand-by from Swanson's!

I probably will not be making any of the above, except, maybe the hat!  I look forward to spending Thanksgiving with 30 members of my family.  We don't cook anymore, we go out!

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