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Friday, July 29, 2011

Tea for Eighty

As part of my volunteer duties at the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, I donned my apron became a server at the annual fundraiser tea. The weather was perfect, and the gardens looked lovely, an ideal setting for an elegant tea.

Every detail was attended to. The eight tables, each with a different decor, were set with fine china, silver and crystal. The beautifully prepared food was an invitation to forget counting calories for the afternoon and succumb to sweet temptation.

As the guests arrived, dressed to the nines, I had a good time gawking at the elaborate hats and smiling to myself as some ladies teeter-tottered trying to navigate the soft lawn in spike heels. Their fancy outfits perfectly complimented the formality of the elaborately decorated tables. Even the teapots were exquisite!

Service began with a first course of fresh fruit, scones, and lemon curd. That was followed by tea sandwiches and mini quiches served from triple-tiered trays. Finally the sweets made a welcome appearance and were gobbled up by eager patrons.

It was a hugely successful fund raiser, and I was happy to be a part of it. Also, I was delighted to take home some left-over sandwiches and scones, which more than made up for my tired feet and aching calves.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Savoring Sonoma County

Petaluma's Garden Valley Nursery provides an eye feast of blooms of every color, and it is only 30 minutes from my house.  I am amazed that this is my first visit to this delightful 5 acre plant potpourri.

Since I have grown up in this area, I am always amazed when I find a gorgeous spot or fantastic restaurant that has been around for years. Such is the case with this charming nursery, the scene over the years of many a wedding.

We prowled the grounds enjoying the many plant varieties and ended our visit with the attractive gift shop where, I am happy to say, my wallet stayed in my purse.
I'm adding this one to my list of Sonoma County treasures.

Friday, July 8, 2011

An Accident Waiting to Happen

  For the 32 years I have lived in this house, the fire hydrant directly behind my driveway has practically had a target painted on its front. It was only a matter of time until someone, hopefully not me, would make a direct hit. That day finally came.

Joanne, a visiting friend, nailed the unsuspecting fire hydrant as she backed out of my driveway. The explosion was immediate and intensely powerful causing neighbors to spill from their homes to watch the unfolding spectacle.

Help arrived.

And more help, as the crowd got bigger. Cameras appeared. Two men decked out in  rubber boots, seemingly prepared for a minor flood, arrived adding a touch of the bizarre to the scene.

Since it wasn't a dangerous situation, only an inconvenient accident, jolly spirits prevailed and a theatrically inclined cop pretended to cuff Joanne as she pleaded for mercy. 

With the arrival of the water department, a city worker shut off the neighborhood geyser, now named New Faithful, and people began to shuffle off to their respective homes.

Peace returned to the neighborhood; the quiet Saturday afternoon resumed.
And the battered fire hydrant, after being the center of attention for a short while, was once again relegated to obscurity, out of commission and lying forlornly on its side.