April 25, 2012

In Excess

                                                   Flowers on the Prado in Balboa Park, April 2012.

Myrtle the Toyota is in the shop.  We ferried her over yesterday, and she can stay there till there isn’t a rattle or roll to be heard.  With G putting 200 miles a day on the odometer, all sorts of things gave out just recently.

Having one vehicle changes things a little tho.  He was determined to go to the gym.  I was determined to go to the gym too.  He has the job; so I went with him at 0630.  By going with him on all Tuesdays, it lessens the insanity of trying to write a blog, go to the gym, print a poem or piece of prose, change clothes, pack breakfast, pack lunch, and get to school soon enough to get a parking place all before 9.  Going with him gives me an extra hour of sanity.  Thank you.

After class I tidied.  The house was quiet while I made the bed with the new summer bedspread.  Way too conservative, but there it is.   Sunshine poured through the windows while I cleaned up my messes.  Perhaps once long ago he left messes, but not now…they are all mine.  Piles of books went downstairs, others were put away in order, and still more were just shelved to look good.

Books are my downfall.  But you knew that.  I went to shelve three new cookbooks and discovered there was no room.  This is flat out a terrible situation….no room in the inn.  I just finished David Kamp’s The United States of Arugula, a catty but fascinating history of how we learned to appreciate food in America.   There’s no room to shelve it.  Now I am really enjoying White House Chef by Walter Scheib and Andrew Friedman.  It’s a more current look at the foods and happenings in Americas House during the Carter and Bush years. 

I just have discovered that Roland Mesnier, the Pastry Chef during those exact years, has also written a tell all book.  Since I collect white house cook books, I can’t let these volumes remain unbought or unshelved. 

If you want me, Thursday I will be downstairs culling the cookbooks.

Links to White House Cook Books


  1. I enjoy reading about the White House. I read Roland Mesnier's book and found it very interesting. The new pastry chef doesn't have Roland's personality flair.

  2. Your photo is so rich it looks like a painting!

  3. I would like to clean out and redo the flower garden at Balboa Park. I like purple, but someone went nuts in their design. OK, I've said my piece, but when I think what you can grow in that wonderful climate, I want to shriek. Dianne

    Cook books, I own a few, mostly for their pretty pictures.

  4. I should post a photo of my bedside table. Piled high with books and magazines. I am reading two or three at a time that I intersperse with my poetry books!

  5. I can't imagine that you would get rid of those cookbooks since you love them so much. I hope you can find a special place for them.

  6. Beautiful flowers....I am so jealous of the California climate.

  7. You are very ambitious to get up and go to the gym so early, yet look at all you accomplished. I need to get some ambition and try doing the same.

    Love the photo.

  8. Sigh... I have a shelf of cookbooks too. You'd think it would make me a better cook... alas...

  9. So many things caught my eye (and imagination)here--the picture, isn't it amazing that nature (or maybe the landscaper) put all those colors together that we think of as clashing, and it all looks so perfect! Books, they're my downfall too, and I'm running out of space too. That explains my nook. I don't exactly collect white house cookbooks, but I have Jackie Kennedy's from her early widowhood. What surprised me was the simplicity of the menus she served her family when she had not only a cook but the money to buy whatever fancy foods she wanted. The Arugula book definitely intrigues me as I'm very interested in the politics of food. Good subjects all.


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...