Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Every year, our good friends who own Wind Dance Farms in Avila Beach, have an olive picking day. They invite a bunch of friends and family to strap on buckets and head out into the olive orchard to pick every last olive off of their trees.
Every year, Fred and I find ourselves chatting with people we would have never met about a crazy array of topics while gathered around and olive tree. I have to look it up, but Fred was wondering if the origins of offering an branch in peace may have something to do with the social aspect to harvesting olives. During this particular harvest, they had an amazing guitarist serenading us- in past years there have been other musicians. Two years ago it was the most amazing Mariache band.
So, we start at 8:30 am and pick until it is difficult to find any remaining olives. Then the sorting begins- the squashy ones are discarded as well as any that have any pest issues or other issues because they will effect the flavor of the olive oil. In fact, when we are in the orchard, we are instructed not to pick the olives from the ground because if they have been on the ground longer than 24 hours they will effect the flavor. This turns out to be the reason why the harvest has to happen so quickly too. The moment they are picked, they start to oxidize. By 12:30, our friend Scott was taking the sorted olive to be pressed.
While the olives are off to get squished, the family feeds the harvesters. It's always delicious.
The result of all of this - a beautiful, delicate, balance olive oil that has won awards and for the harvesters - new friends and shared memories. Good stuff (as my dad would say).
Saturday, November 09, 2013
A Carl Sagan bobble head on my editor's desk.
When I watched Cosmos when it aired in 1980- my world changed. After that my Dad handed me a copy of Brocca's Brain - my world view was permanently changed for the better.
Here is my favorite video about the Voyager spacecraft/ Carl Sagan/Ann Druyan and message in a bottle sent out into the bigness of space:
Reminds me of Fred *smile*
HAPPY CARL SAGAN DAY!
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
The room from our hotel window.The main reason for my visit was to meet with my publishers. See all of those water towers? I just wrote and illustrated a book with scenes in Brooklyn, NY. Anyhow, I had thought that I had included an ample amount of water towers in my illustrations- after seeing this I added more. The funny thing was that no matter how ornate or plain or rundown the building, they all had the same wooden water towers on top.
Look at this! An elevator for cars. Have never seen this done before.
The Highline- this wasn't built the last time we were in NYC in 2007. It's a transformative space to the neighborhoods that surround it. We loved it.
Leonard Marcus put together an exhibit: The ABC of it: Why Children's Books Matter. Fred and I had so much fun going through and seeing original art by Ashley Bryan (we both love him) the original Winnie the Pooh and friends and and entire room of rare and not so rare children's books was a total treat. I'll post more about it with pictures in an upcoming post.
The Highline winds up taking you to the Chelsea Market- and to spices and oysters on the half shell and craftspeople and a great variety of things for the senses to be enlivened by. An this this horrible- possibly the WORST restaurant we have ever been to called TAO- which was an assault to the senses, food that tasted like old reheated chinese takeout with extra salt added (but placed on nice dishes), a thumping sound system so you couldn't hear conversation at your own table and really no thought to the diners' experience.TAO was in direct contrast to all of the other food we had on our stay- everything else was delicious, from the Korean BBQ to this gorgeous plate of carrots (yes carrots) that were the best carrots I have ever eaten because they were fresh and thoughtfully prepared.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
I especially love the part about having to "seek shelter" from Michelle Bachman :) Made me giggle- perfect.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Sunday, September 01, 2013
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Sunday, August 04, 2013
Saturday, August 03, 2013
This year is the first year in many that I have not attended the Annual SCBWI LA Conference. An extremely busy schedule and the fact that I have seen many of the speakers before brought me to the decision to stay home this year. I have been following the action via the SCBWI Conference Blog and through friends who are there. The big meeting of our tribe- as Linn Oliver says every year. Miss all you so much! Next year :)