Monday, August 20, 2012

He Was There From The Start


My brother, John, was two years older than I, so he was there to show me the ropes from the first.  We grew up in Pasadena, California and spent every summer in Newport Beach, California. John was there to introduce me and our brother, Stuart to all of the important things. He showed me that eating sand might not be the best thing in the world, but that standing up tall was always good.....


John was a different sort of brother. He was smart and creative. He was the chief sand fort builder and fireworks starter every summer. The best egg finder every Easter and lead toy train engineer every Christmas......



He was a very happy camper in his youth....


John was an athlete, and won the Best All Around Player in our football league his last year of High School. He was a sailor and an artist, a music aficionado (Moody Blues, the Beatles, Eric Clapton...he was the expert.) He taught me about all the greats....



John lived in New Mexico in Santa Fe, and I would visit twice a year at Christmas and in the Summer. He loved the wide open spaces and walking in the desert. He taught me to love it too....


John went off to college in Las Cruces, New Mexico and made the town his home. But he would come and visit every year.

John was there for the important things. He stood by me at my wedding......


He was a doting uncle and could not wait to hear what my girls were doing and looked forward to seeing them every Christmas.....


 My brother John was so many things. Gentle, compassionate, caring and grateful for what he had in his life. He had a very simple life compared to most, and yet it was what he wanted. John was all of these things, and yet, he was different. John was also challenged with schizophrenia. His condition made for some very difficult moments, especially before medications became available that were more effective at keeping the demons at bay. But medications did improve, and John had a life that worked for him, friends and a community who cared for him. Yet, these same medications that helped him so much also created health issues that finally took their toll.

John unexpectedly passed away last week, and I will miss him so very much. My big brother.

John would walk in the desert every day and gaze at the beauty of the Organ Mountain Range on the east side of the Rio Grande's rift valley. We would talk about how beautiful it was. He passed away in a place he loved, and we will place him to rest there this week.

I like to think of John with his happy grin, like we had cruising in the back of our station wagon before we had seat belts, when we had it all in front of us without a care....


John Stevenson Ferrier, Junior
April 18, 1957 - August 13, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stowing Some Cargo


Last week, we got back from a trip through the Pacific Northwest, and packed a lot into one week. Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. were the big stop-overs with college tours all along the way. Yes....another daughter is getting ready to make her way out of the house and into the great big world. Those of you who've been there will understand. Those of you yet to watch your kids fly the coop.....hang on to every memory, cuz it goes by way too fast. But I wouldn't miss any of it .....even the tough bits. 

So, on with the journey......... After a tour of Chico State University ( Go Wildcats, whoop whoop!) we headed up to Oregon. After a stop at U of O in Eugene (beautiful campus!) , we headed up to Portland for a little tourist break. After checking into the Benson Hotel (more on that later!), we wanted to walk the Pearl District....it was time for a little shopping. I had not been to Portland for many years, so was very excited to see the city. Just by chance, we ended up HERE at Cargo. It turns out it is my new favorite store. At least for now. You know how fickle shoppers can be.


We ended up spending more time here than we had planned, but it is easy to get lost in the 10,000 square feet of  "showroom, flea market and international bazaar all rolled into one". I had to search for my daughter more than once when we each wandered off to look at another eye-catching shiny thing......


Cargo imports from China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Nepal, Vietnam, Africa and Mexico. Get a load of the goodies.....

High fives....


Baskets of baskets....

Baskets of birds....


Birds that can whistle....if you add water....


I was particularly taken with the eyes on a chain...proof positive that mother's really can see what goes on behind their backs.....


I have always wanted one of these.....


Rows of robes.....


Bits and pieces.....big pieces.....


Pairs of pairs....


Fans to cool off after hiking through ......


And plenty of foo dogs to go around...


This guy will tell you.


CARGO. Check it out. Tie a string to the front door to find your way back out. Or not....you may want to just stay.

Monday, August 13, 2012

European Flavor in Carmel: Georis and La Bicyclette


A couple of weeks ago, I posted about a delicious restaurant in Carmel, California called Casanova. It was not until Tim and I rediscovered Georis in the Carmel Valley that we found out that the founders of Casanova are also the founders of Georis, a wonderful wine purveyor and bistro, as well as La Bicyclette in downtown Carmel, a casual take on a European Bistro. It is no wonder we were captivated......  


Once upon a time, many years ago, Tim and I had chanced upon a garden where we drank wine and shared a picnic of cheese and crackers under the shade of a cork tree. We wanted to find the place again on this trip. When we did, it was just as charming.......


We found a table under the same cork tree......


And shared another bottle of wine....and a picnic of cheese and fruit.....


And wandered in the garden......imagining we were in a place far from home.......



We bought more wine to drink another day when we get home.....


Reluctantly leaving, but taking the day with us. Thank you to Georis.

The next morning, we were to head home, but only after having breakfast at La Bicyclette. This cafe is equally as charming as Casanova and Georis. 



A bit more casual than Casanova, but every bit as mouth watering, La Bicyclette boasts a menu that changes daily with the seasonal changes in ingredients. We started off with tea and hot chocolate, and I an still so taken with how each item is served here with such unique and special care. Our drinks came each on a small tray with all of the things we needed....spoon, sugar, small bowl for the teabag. My smile did not leave from beginning to end.....



Only to get bigger when our breakfasts arrived.......


Poached eggs with house made sausage and brioche French Toast with fresh berries.....


My smile lasted all of the way home.

Please do make a stop in when you are next in Carmel. You will be as charmed, I have no doubt.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Be Back Soon, but for now, Jan de Luz


Hello all!

I know posts have been spotty of late, but I am "out of town" at the moment. We are up in Vancouver, B.C. enjoying the beautiful city. I have never been here before and we are trying to fit everything into a couple of days: Granville Island, Stanley Park, lots of restaurants and the amazing Celebration of Light International Fireworks competition (we got to see Brazil's entry). Much more on all of this later!

After a restless night punctuated by the second fire alarm at our hotel which got us up at 3:45 AM ready to run down the 26 flights of stairs from our room this morning....quite the thrill in the middle of the night.....we are getting ready to head back to Seattle to play tourist again in another gorgeous city.

So for now, I leave you with images from the bit of Europe in the Carmel Valley from our last excursion..... Jan de Luz. It is place full of antique fountains, urns, fireplaces and chandeliers all brought back from France. For the full story on the who, what and why,,,,click on over HERE. I hope you enjoy!












Miss you all and be back soon!