Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Caroline Kennedy: You know, no

That's right. No. There are so many things wrong Caroline Kennedy's quest for Hillary's Senate seat, but the you knows (130 of them in her interview with the New York Times) was the nail in the coffin for me. And the ums. Let's not forget those. 

How important is it for politicians to be articulate? To what extent does clarity of speech reflect clarity of mind? Do Kennedy's stylistic lapses represent anything more than a bad habit and nervousness in front of the camera?

Here's a quote from the infamous interview in response as to whether Bush's tax cuts on the wealthy should be repealed immediately:
Well, you know, that's something, obviously, that, you know, in principle and in the campaign, you know, I think that, um, the tax cuts, you know, were expiring and needed to be repealed.
Let's remove the you knows and ums and see if she makes any more sense. 
Well, that's something, obviously, that in principle and in the campaign I think that the tax cuts were expiring and needed to be repealed.
Shit sakes alive—she sounds like Sarah Palin! And all so unnecessarily given that what I hope she meant to say in answer to the question was "YES." Although what she thinks is far from clear. 

Not that Sophie will ever seek a Senate seat, but I will continue my campaign of terror to ensure that she not clutter her speech with such garbage. Once on the way to an extremely important event in Sophie's view (probably a birthday party) I pulled the car to the side of the road in an abrupt screech and refused to drive any further until Sophie discontinued excessive use of the work like. If only Jackie had just pulled over the car ordered the driver to pull over the car and shrieked "Enough with the goddamed you knows!!!"

Monday, December 29, 2008

In which I am surprised by
getting exactly what I want

Because what I thought I was getting was . . . nothing. Which would have been fine. Really. Husband and I have a big blow-out ski trip to Alta planned for the end of January. Given the expense of that, along with the rest of our crack ski habit and the dismal economy, we reasoned that we would skip giving presents to each other. And isn't every day we spend together a gift in itself? Well, maybe not, but we wanted to save money and hassle. The presents would be for Sophie, and our gift would be watching her open them.

So on the way drive down to my parents' house the day of Christmas Eve, we had the following conversation:
HUSBAND: So you wrapped up that book you ordered me as my present. [Something he heard about on NPR about the building of the Giza pyramids. Yawn.]

FIGS: Yes. If you can't wait for the paperback to come out, you're going to have to wait for Christmas to open it. And there might be something else for you to open as well.

HUSBAND: So we're going to have another Christmas where I have all these things to open from you and your family and you have nothing to open from me.

FIGS: I included your name on all the gifts to my family. And no one will notice that you didn't get me any gifts.

HUSBAND: Your sister will notice.

FIGS: Yes, she will. But she's long since ceased to be amazed by this.

HUSBAND: Well, if you had wanted something, I would have bought it for you.

FIGS: Oh, there are always things I want.

HUSBAND: Really? Such as?

FIGS: I really liked that pancake pan that Pam had at the beach house last fall. The one that makes the round pancakes. You can put jam in the middle of them.

HUSBAND: Oh, I didn't know you wanted one.

FIGS: That's ok. It's not an emergency, and my birthday is in June.

HUSBAND: Where does one buy such a thing?

FIGS: Williams-Sonoma. They have it in the catalog. You don't have to go to the mall.
HUSBAND: Anything else?
FIGS: Well, you can never go wrong with cashmere sweaters.

And so several hours later, what did I open FROM HUSBAND?


One of Husband's most amazing qualities is to slyly observe my interest in certain objects and then squirrel away that piece of information until a gift opportunity arises. I think I'll keep him.

If you do not have one of these pans, you should race out immediately and purchase one. They're very easy to use, and the array of fillings you can use is endless. I used a mixed berry jam I made last summer, but in the summer fresh berries would be nice. So would lemon curd, chocolate ganache, a cooked apple filling . . . The recipe for the pancake is a fairly standard one, except that you separate the eggs and whip the whites until stiff and then fold them in. The result is a very light and airy little puff of a thing.

The leftovers were even good cold later in the afternoon.

And my gift from my mom? A cashmere sweater. Black. Turtleneck. Perfect.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Adventures behind the Orange Curtain

For Christmas I almost always return to the home in which I grew up in Newport Beach, CA—the most conservative city in the very conservative Orange County. When Arnold Schwarzenegger defeated Gray Davis in the gubernatorial recall, the Republican side held their election night party in Newport Beach. I was horrified but unsurprised.

My parents, very possibly the most liberal household in Newport Beach, still live in the same house, have the same phone number, have the same popcorn ceilings, and almost nothing else is the same. Houses that go on the market are almost immediately torn down to be replaced with McMansions that extend to within six inches of their property line on each side. Their street is lit in a riot of color and light that rivals Disneyland's Electric Parade if only because most neighbors hire companies to design and engineer their holiday lighting installments. It is impressive if not bizarre. Conservation is not a factor here, and if there's a recession, these people are not talking.

Christmas morning was grey and drizzly but looked perfect to me for a good wog, a fast walk combined with a slow jog—the best I can do on the concrete that was once a perfect surface for roller skating but now wreaks havoc on my aging knees and joints.

I traveled up the greenbelt, a park that runs through the center of my parents' housing development and is so large that it includes not only children's' parks, soccer fields, and a community pool but an elementary school. Leaving our development, I decided that some hill would be good to warm up my hamstrings. But the road up led through the gates of the neighboring gated community. To drive through, you must use a card or be on the list of people residents have called in. This policy was very inconvenient when we were high school children trying to organize raging house parties, but somehow we always managed. If one is on foot, I wondered, can one just walk in? Without a card? Without being on the list? I turned on a street labeled Yacht Coquette to find out. Turns out in a neighborhood where a person with dark skin standing on corner has a lot of 'splainin' to do to a police cruiser on its patrol, the answer is yes, provided you look like me. The guard at the gate stepped out of his post to wish me a merry Christmas and wave me through.

Did you know that all the streets are named after some yacht? Maybe America's Cup contenders—I don't know. I turned right onto Yacht Coquette, then left onto Yacht Truant. Then Yacht Defender, Yacht Enchantress, Yacht Grayling, Yacht Maria, . . . you get the picture. Can you imagine giving directions to a house here?? "Take a right on Yacht Coquette, the left on Yacht Grayling, right on Yacht Truant, and we're the third yacht house on the left." Aren't these people embarrassed?? I'm embarrassed just jogging there.

But things got really crazy when I tried to leave the gated community. I turned a corner, jogged down a hill, and was met by an iron fence that extended not only across the street but across the sidewalk as well. And that was locked. I was locked in a gated community. Go figure. Refusing to submit to such an indignity, I decided my 46-year-old body was as capable as ever of hopping a fence. I pulled away wet shrubbery and destroyed a spider wed (sorry) to make my way up an embankment where the fence was at its lowest point . . . just as a car pulled up. The driver of course had a card, and waved me down from the embankment and through the gate ahead of him, laughing the entire time. He was older, certainly old enough to remember a life without gates.

Blogging has caused me to want to take everyday experiences and put them into words to communicate what I see, think, and feel. But it has also pushed me to go beyond this to reach for what it all means. But today I'm not sure what this all meant. Other than this is how it is here, and I live somewhere else. It must be almost time to go home to Berkeley, that often unreasonably liberal ungated place with soft dirt trails.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pssst, Sophie!

Hi Honey.

I know how much you love our Christmas village,

so when the collection went on sale today I couldn't help adding another building,

the Apple Farm!! What do you think? It's much cuter in real life.

I'll let you decide where to put it in the neighborhood when you get home.

Maybe on the lower level between the windmill and the chicken house? Your call.

Don't tell Daddy though because you know how crazed he gets about all the Christmas stuff, especially when we have to repack it and fit it all back in the closet. We'll just slip it in, and he probably won't even notice.

But that's not all! I also gotsome fencing (two packages),

street lamps that really light up (!),

some shrubs,

and a Santa! 

We miss you very much. Our house is sad and lonely, and even our Christmas tree doesn't sparkle as brightly.

Be a good girl: say please and thank you, practice your violin, mind your grandparents. Daddy and I will see you tomorrow.


Monday, December 22, 2008

A Liza Minnelli load of emotions

The holidays can do that to a person, no?

Yesterday afternoon I put my precious daughter on a plane for her grandparents'. Without her our house is quiet in a way that we do not enjoy. I am sad. I watched the plane taxi down the runway and finally lift into the air. I then raced across the concourse to catch site of it out the opposite windows as it banked a turn and vanished to a tiny dot. Wandering to my car I felt adrift.
But then I look at her most recent school picture, and how can I not be happy? She is happy and confident and loves to explain to people in line at the airport that she is flying as an unaccompanied minor, which—she hastens to add—she has done many times before.  

But at the airport I was also worried about the future of our country after meeting numerous college students who were standing in line to reschedule flights after having missed their scheduled flights because they did not arrive at the airport on time. WTF? Do they show up to exams late too? Will they show up to job interviews late? As one young man exclaimed as he insisted we go ahead of him in line, "I miss my plane all the time!!" If these young people know the meaning of anxiety, it surely has no connection to punctuality. What will happen as they enter the adult world? Will they adjust to the world, or will the world adjust to them? I hope the former. Being on time makes me feel smug and accomplished.

Later that night I was also feeling peevish, cross, and exhausted as Husband and I worked at the MIL's until nearly midnight last night, Husband doing electrical work and I installing miles of shelving paper to the newly repainted kitchen cupboards. I put shelving paper in a few of my drawers that were all rough and splintery; the MIL just had all her drawers and shelves painted in semi-gloss paint. Isn't the fact that you can wipe this clean the point of semi-gloss paint?! "Oh, no!" says the MIL. "We need to protect the paint!"  Sort of like my great aunts who covered all their upholstered furniture in plastic sheeting (seriously—your ass stuck to it) and had plastic runners on all the wall-to-wall carpet thoroughfares of their house. There is something about that generation that does not think things are protected unless they are sealed in plastic. So now the MIL has plastic shelving paper lining every shelf and drawer in her kitchen. "Did we have to do this now?" the MIL wondered (wringing hands). YES, goddamn it! We did! When the hell else would we I do this? I have a JOB. I have Christmas shopping left to do, nothing wrapped, twenty loads of laundry, a trip to pack for, Sophie's skis to be taken into the shop, and the MIL's drapes to be taken to the cleaners. And did I mention I have a job? I did. I AM FUCKING BUSY. So let's add exasperated and just plain pissed.

But then I did experience a moment of blissful joy when these arrived at my door from genius baker and blogger extraordinaire, Laura at adonzeneggs. She generously offered those of us who yack it up on her comments sections a discount of $5 on each tin of holiday cookies. Whoohoo! Who says I can't delegate? This year, Laura was in charge of my cookies.

She was also kind enough to send along a few treats for Sophie, one of which I tucked into her knapsack to take on the plane, and a few nekkid cookies. Sometimes the best way to appreciate a truly good cookie or cake is without the frosting.

Thank you, sweetie!

And the cookie tin just may be the perfect house for the Fleur de Sel Caramels that she has on her blog today and that I want to make when I recover from the holidays. Note that it's when, not if. There's a whole season of skiing ahead of us. Crazy joy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

What's cooking: Fennel leek potato soup

It is my enormous fortune to have a kid who likes fennel. She is no doubt influenced by that fact that it is one of her dad's favorite vegetables. When she sees a large display of fennel at the produce market, she always suggests we buy him some.

Husband think sliced raw fennel drizzled with olive oil is a perfect way to enjoy this vegetable, but the cold weather we have been having has had me thinking SOUP.

This recipe has two great things going for it that really give it a rich full fennel taste:

Steeping fennel seeds and dried tarragon in the cream added at the end of the soup (fine to use half and half or whole milk)

Sauteing the fennel and leeks until they are slightly caramelized.

Along with pannini grilled sandwiches (goat brie, havarti, and prosciutto) and a green salad, this made a perfect chilly weekday night dinner. 


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 cups sliced cored fresh fennel bulbs (from about 4 large)
4 medium leeks, sliced using white parts only (save green tops for the stockpot)

8 ounces white-skinned potatoes, peeled, diced
4 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup cream, half and half, or whole milk
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

Heat oil and butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add fennel and leeks. Saute until softened, then reduce heat and continue cooking, stirring often, until vegetables are slightly browned and caramelized. 

Add broth, lemon juice, and potatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, bring cream, fennel seeds, and tarragon to boil in heavy small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 20 minutes so that flavors blend. Pour through sieve to remove herbs.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream mixture. Simmer until flavors blend, about 5 minutes, thinning with more broth if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more lemon juice to taste. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The great ameryllis exchange

Traditions are good things, right? Except perhaps when they signal that your parents may be losing their minds.

My parents get along very well with my MIL, and they exchange gifts at Christmas. Even though they see each other (we pack the MIL along with us for our drive down), they like to take care of things by mail order. Fine.

The MIL sends them an ameryllis bulb kit. Just add water, and a few weeks later you have a ginormous (usually) red flower. Fine.

And do you know what my parents send her? An ameryllis. Seriously. And what's really crazy is that both parties appear perfectly happy with this exchange.

Could they possibly skip the mailing and each buy themselves an ameryllis? Of course not! That's not the holiday spirit!!

Bring it on.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Saving the citrus: What we do in a frost

Last winter we saw on a local gardening show this handy tip for saving citrus trees from a frost: Giving them a good watering and stringing branches with little white Christmas lights. So much easier than trying to haul the split wine barrels they are in into the garage or covering the trees in plastic sheeting.

And don't you think this looks nicer?

Our wee orchard consists of two figs (black mission and brown turkey), a persimmon, a Persian lime, and a Meyer lemon. The figs and persimmon are perfectly happy with the cold weather, but the citrus are easily damaged, and once they've been zapped good by a frost, it's hard to bring them back.

With their lighting systems, we're hoping they will be bringing us fruit for many years to come.

Snow in Berkeley!

It's lovely and all, but part of me wonders if this is leading to a scenario like the one in the movie The Day After Tomorrow where a Russian tanker cruises through a Manhattan entombed in ice.

This is the view east from my front yard, and in the evening there's nothing more beautiful as the colors from the setting sun reflect on the golden hill. But you have to admit, it looks nice with a dusting of snow as well.

Just up the road there was even more. My neighbor took this picture on his way to work this morning.

No, that's not the Sierras—it's Tilden Park!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sophie's carousel party: The menu

Spoiler alert! If you're coming to our party tomorrow evening, leave this post at once. Unless you want to know exactly what you're going to eat.

This year I'm mixing up the menu for this party:

Hot butter rum is OUT! Champagne cocktails are IN!
Vast arrays of cheese are OUT! So are crudites and dips.
Small baked one-bite appetizers are IN!
Homemade macaroni and cheese are OUT! Spanakopita is IN!
Pears poached in Riesling are OUT! Pear granita is IN!

So here's the menu. I'll add pictures as they are available.


Sparkling wine cocktail: Poinsettias
Christmas ale
sparkling cranberry and apple juice
Wines with dinner


TJ’s crab cakes & aeoli (surprisingly good for a store-bought item)

Shrimp puffs

Marinated Manchego cheese, quince paste, and fennel flatbread

Stuffed mushrooms (I thought they looked like poo, but they tasted great)

Chocolate peppermint bark

Fruitcake (no jokes, please!)


Cream of tomato soup
Green salad with clementines and pear

Cranberry tart
Pear Riesling granita
Candied rosemary garnish

Oh, and can't forget the favor bags.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A quick appetizer; a perfect hostess gift

Tonight's preparations for Sunday's dinner included this easy appetizer, which needs to be made a few days in advance: marinated manchego cheese with herbs and orange zest. I'll serve it with quince paste I made in October and sliced baguettes.

And what hostess wouldn't be happy if you showed up with this? She can serve it or put it in the fridge to enjoy later.


3/4 pound Manchego cheese, rind removed
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely cracked black pepper
3 one-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf, torn in 3 to 4 pieces
2 strips orange zest
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Cut the cheese into bite-sized cubes. Put the cheese in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir well. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, stirring often to redistribute the seasonings. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cheese cubes to a serving plate. If you don't use this after 24 hours, refrigerate but bring to room temperature before serving. The cheese is best after 3 to 4 days in the marinade.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We conclude our discussion
of cards and make soup

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The blogger community is a powerful thing. Many thanks to all who replied to my queries about Christmas cards. Your combined wisdom astounds me. And makes me realize how incredibly impressionable I am. I read one comment: Oh, yes. That's right! I'll do that. I read another: Well, that's a very good point too! Ok, I'll do that! And so on.

I like the idea of sending something after the Christmas holiday: sort of a New Years or Valentine card. I truly like the idea of making cards, but I am impressed by the digital slide shows and cards some people shared. And Katie's right: I could include more people. And at this point, everyone in my realm is pretty hip with the digital. My 70-something aunt just notified family members that her husband entered the hospital on Facebook (very practical—no time to call everyone). But to do something nice my technical skills would have to be kicked up a notch or two. We'll see.

In the meantime, returning to an area where I feel somewhat competent, I'm getting ready for a party I have hosted for the past few years: Sophie's carousel party. The Usual Suspects, five families with an unusual affinity for each other, gather at our house for cocktails at 4:00. When
it gets dark, the kids are carted off ride the carousel, sporting all its holiday fanciness, in Tilden Park, near our house. Everyone returns for a simple dinner and a book exchange for the kids. (See that tree? It's real.)

I'm still working on my appetizer menu, but for dinner I'll be serving cream of tomato soup, spanakopita, and a green salad. Dessert will be a cranberry tart with pear Riesling granita, which I will garnish with a sprig of candied rosemary.

Last night I made the candied rosemary, which is now packed away in an airtight container. I'm all about planning and prep, so I also got a jump on the tomato soup.

I started the recipe last night by roasting my tomatoes. Canned tomatoes are drained (reserving the juice) and then sliced open, seeds removed, spread on a foil-lined baking sheet, sprinkled with brown sugar, and baked until most of the liquid has evaporated.

The roast tomatoes and juice went into the refrigerator until I arrived home this evening from my very dull work holiday party (I kept thinking "I could be home finishing my soup!").

This evening I had only to saute the shallots, etc., add stock, and simmer everything for a while before zipping it through a blender. I don't mind using a stick blender for soups like cream of broccoli where you don't mind chunks, but I like this soup to be silky smooth and find a regular blender works best.

I complete the soup up to adding the half and half and sherry and store it in the refrigerator until a few hours before serving, when I'll add the remaining ingredients as I heat it up.

This recipe ran in the November/December 1999 issue of Cook's Illustrated. I've modified (and simplified) slightly. Everyone who has tasted it says this is the best tomato soup they have had. It freezes well, so make lots!


2 cans (28 oz. each) whole tomatoes, drained, juice reserved
1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large shallots, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
pinch of ground allspice
2 tablespoons flour
1 3/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cup half and half
2 tablespoons brandy or dry sherry
salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spread tomatoes and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until all liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to color, about 30 minutes. Allow tomatoes to cool slightly and peel them off foil. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until foaming. Add shallots, tomato paste, and allspice. Reduce heat to low and cook while stirring until shallots are softened, about 10 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Whisk in chicken stock and add reserved tomato juice and roasted tomatoes. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.

Remove mixture from stove and allow to cool slightly. Ladle into blender in batches, placing pureed portions in another saucepan. Add cream and reheat until warm. Off heat, stir in brandy or sherry and season to taste.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Questions about cards—HELP!

Cards yes? Cards no? Here is what is for sure: I HAVE NOT DONE ANYTHING ABOUT CHRISTMAS CARDS THIS YEAR.

Now that that's off my chest, allow me to explain. I haven't had time and will have even less time in the next few weeks. In past years I have spent so much money on cards, even when I buy them at the end of the season the year before. This year I was thinking about making them, but I know by the time I buy all the supplies and pay for mailing, the savings will likely be insignificant. And the time—did I mention that? Very little time.

So this year I have two ideas for cards:

1. No cards. Will people hate me? Will they even notice? Will they drop me from their list? I usually give people a couple years of not sending me a card before I consider axing them, but these are tough times.

2. Digital cards. I once received a card from someone by email. It was a beautifully designed image, complete with pictures of the kids, and carried a note "No trees died to bring you this card." I liked that. A few questions: Do you think this is tacky? If this is all I could manage, should I just skip it this year? If not, do you know any website that has templates for creating something like this? Shutterfly and all those sites seem geared strictly to print products. I'm not a designer, and my computer graphics skills are nonexistent, but I could probably work with a template in the way we do with Blogger. Evite has Ecards, but they're all pre-fab ones, and I would like to include a photograph and have some design flexibility. Is there a business opportunity here (not for me but for someone with actual skills)?

Please help!!

A tree, some seafood, and pear granita

Really, they are all related.

On Saturday, we survived the Art Faire at Sophie's school. This is one of my favorite events of the year. Our P.T.A.-like group does the lunch; one of the teachers organizes and vendors and takes care of everything else. This year we serve spanakopita and soup. I made tomato bisque and cream of potato leek and fennel, and another parent made minestrone. Several of us gathered Friday evening to make the spanakopitas, and the author of the recipe we used will be guest blogging that recipe here shortly. Stay tuned for the best and easiest entertaining recipe ever!

On Sunday Husband, Sophie, and I headed down to Half Moon Bay to cut our Christmas tree. This has been a family tradition since Sophie was a toddler. We head first to a Christmas tree farm, where we marvel at the bad trees we see before selecting our perfect tree.

This one is missing its top.

This one is is too small.

But thank goodness we had our family mascot Grinch doll along to help us find the perfect tree. He is only allowed out of the closet between Thanksgiving and New Years, although he has been known to sneak out at other times.

This year Sophie was big enough to hold the tree while Husband and Grinchy sawed it down. 

We always follow tree cutting with a trip to our favorite Half Moon Bay eatery for the world's best fish and chips.

While we're waiting for our table, we head next door to pick up our traditional tree-trimming dinner, fresh Dungeness crab.

I always request crabs that are good and mean, figuring those will be the most fresh. The fish monger assured me that the ones he selected for us were downright sassy.

We finished a dinner of crab, garlic bread, and green salad with the perfect dessert: a fresh pear granita. It's a perfect finish for any rich holiday meal this time of year. 

I started with a standard granita recipe and substituted Riesling for the water. There is enough water in the pears that it does freeze all the way. I also added a few cardamon pods to the simmering pears.


6 pears, about three pounds, peeled and cored, coarsely chopped
1 cup Riesling
1/2 to 1 cup sugar, depending on whether you are using a sweet or dry Riesling
2 or 3 cardamon pods, crushed gently to open up
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Place the pear in a saucepan with the Riesling and cardamon and simmer for about five minutes. Cool slightly, remove cardamon pods, and puree mixture in a blender. Add lemon juice. 

Pour mixture into a shallow 13x9" glass an and place in the freezer until ice crystals begin to form. Remove and whisk with a fork. Put it back in. Do this for the next couple of hours until mixture is slushy. Serve immediately. 

Friday, December 5, 2008

The girls and I bling in the season

I went to my first Lori Bonn jewelry friends and family sale last year with my girlfriends. I had declared myself Not Much of a Jewelry Person and was content to tag along for the company involved and dinner that followed. But I bought a ring. And so this year I attended the sale much more gamely, now as Somewhat of a Jewelry Person.

This time I knew what to do. With champagne flute in hand, I immediately picked up my little velvet tray and swiftly cased the room, selecting everything I might possibly want and working down from there.

My girlfriend Diana, an experienced jewelry shopper, chose these lovely earrings.

And this necklace and pendant combination, which I must note I selected from their "create your own necklace" collection.

This was featured on my little velvet tray until it occurred to me that I rarely wear necklaces other than this locket of Sophie.

I did buy this new chain for it though.

And it also occurred to me that I would  like this bracelet,
which I could not have in addition to the necklace. So you can see why I'm feeling a little better, right? Fa-la-la-la-la.