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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

East And West. . . Home Is Best

In my mother's kitchen hung a sign, decorated with the Norwegian folk painting known
as Rosemaling. It read: Ost og vest, hjem er best. East and West, home is best.


If the weather in California weren't so beautiful, it would be boring.
Howard and I were there for 9 days, and never had to turn on the rental car's windshield wipers.

We landed back in New Jersey in a chill drizzle.

But I am a confirmed East Coast kind of gal. Drizzle and all. It's good to be home.

Today it's the great outdoors, with our Southern Daydreamer, Susan, and her blog party for Outdoor Wednesday. You can click on any highlighted word, or the logo at the end of the post, to join all the other outdoor merrymakers!


Howard and I stayed in Newport Beach -- an hour's drive from our daughter's apartment, but near the ocean.
You can't keep us away from the shore!

We explored a bit along the Pacific Coast Highway;
we had not been in that area for 20 years.

Mid-week, we went whale watching with Alida and her boyfriend,
and then to lunch at the cutest place in Newport Beach.

I've got a few pics of that for a food post later this week.

We didn't see any whales; it isn't the season. But we saw dolphins and sea lions, and the best part was just being out on that gorgeous ocean. There was a group of school children on the lower deck; listening to their giggles and shrieks was priceless.


And now, we are home.
There have been a few changes at That Old House since we left on September 25th.

Remember we had some green tomatoes valiantly trying to blush up?
Well, this one is doing his level best to become sandwich-worthy.
Can't you just hear him? "I think I can, I think I can ...."

My rosemary plant is thriving still in its pot outside, but the thyme next to it has died.
Miss Rosemary will have to winter in the conservatory.

The grape vines are fading fast. Once the fruit is off, they seem to just give up the ghost.

And that rudbeckia that bloomed so enthusiastically all summer long has turned into seed pods --
rather Halloween-looking, don't you think? Definitely Addams Family material.

The Sedum plants have gone from pink, to a deep rusty red.

They are so large that they've collapsed outward from their middles.
We'll have to see about good strong girdles for next year.
A good foundation garment, ladies, can make all the difference.

But lookie here . . . along the sunroom walls the humble wax begonias are still pumping it out.
Most of the summer-blooming flowers have folded their tents for the season,
but the begonias just keep on keepin' on.

You have to admire a little plant like that.

I figure it's a kindred soul, and is also reluctant to let go of summer.


I took some video with my camera in California, like this one of sea lions at the base of a buoy . . .
please excuse the shakiness -- I was on a rocking boat!

The voice is the docent's, speaking to the school children.

I even took a couple of videos by mistake, thinking I was taking still pictures. . .
and not checking the settings. I will be kind and not subject you to those.

I also have one of Howard snoring at the hotel, which is quite hilarious, but since I value
my 31 year marriage and would like to celebrate 32 years, I'll keep that one to myself.

Thanks to all who sent good wishes for a quick recovery from my cold. The viral gods must have been listening, as I am feeling just about all better now! -- Cass :-)


  1. Glad you have recovered from your cold. Your vacation pictures are amazing. It is always fun to go on a trip but I agree that there is no place like home. I always like coming back home from a trip too...Christine

  2. Beautiful pictures of the California coast! I loved the sea lion video, don't they just make you laugh? Glad you had a fun trip, and glad that you're feeling better. Kathy

  3. Hi Cass,
    Glad you got home safe and sound. I love the Pacific Ocean, lived in Long Beach for 7 years in "the before times." It's good to hear you're over your cold too!

  4. Great photos - Thanks for sharing your trip. Regardless of where I go, I am always glad to get back home. I have managed to killed a few Rosemary plants - they never last more than a couple of months for me, and I love the smell and to cook with Rosemary. My begonias are still hanging in there and they will probably last til the first heavy front.
    Glad you enjoyed your trip.

  5. Your photos are amazing. I love how you did the first mosaic and then I saw the second one. It looks marvelous. Your trip looks like it was fun, or at least the photos make it look like you had fun. The sea lions are so cute. I enjoyed your post. My husband is a very loud snorer too. Haha.. He denies it though.

  6. You are too funny!
    Feeling better?
    Great pics..I was thinking the same thing about the Susan's today. What could we make with those pods..Did you see my Hydrangea I sprayed black..Tues, post..

    My sedum did the same thing this year...should I cut them down at some point so they stay lower and bushy???

    I will look for the onions on the North Fork..haven't seen them yet. I usually buy a big bag at Costco, but the North Fork onions should keep better...
    Give me sedum advice..please!

  7. Great photos of a beautiful place...loved the video also...glad you're feeling better...Did you try a fried green tomato???

  8. Wow what a great post. I love your pictures of your plants and your trip to CA is making me want to go out west too for a visit. I too am a east coast kind of gal. Your house looks lovely. First time I am visiting you. I need to poke around some more. Good night.

  9. I am from SoCal and I am glad you have enjoyed your vacation and the beach scenes. It is true you hardly turn the wiper on. Your garden tomatoes are lovely!
    Take care!

    Ebie's Outdoor Wednesday.

  10. Great to be with children.

    "A thousand days at home are a pleasure; an hour away from home is a trial." Chinese Proverb

  11. Your garden look just like mine. Not much left. Well the sedum and mums are nice. anyway.

  12. I am happy you enjoyed your visit. My husbands office is in Newport Beach and we live about 30 min. from there. Your pictures of your flowers are just wonderful. I am glad you all had a nice vacation and I agree, theres no place like home...

  13. Looks like you took some great photos of California and your garden. Thanks for sharing.

  14. What beautiful pictures you made during your vacation. Wonderful.
    Have a nice day

  15. Great photos, thanks for sharing them with everyone.

  16. Wonderful vacation pictures. Love your mosaics!

    Glad you're feeling better.


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  18. I am glad you have recovered from your cold. Your vacation pictures are amazing! I love how you put them together in a collage. Loved the video!

    I agree - it is always fun to go on a trip but there is definitely no place like home. I always like coming back home from a trip too. I walk around taking inventory so to speak and then love to climb into my own bed.

    Thank you for sharing your vacation with us!

    ~ Tracy

  19. So glad you're feeling better! That ocean water is just so "blue!" I'm lucky with my rosemary here. It makes it through the winter fine. Course I'm in Texas. Many of my plants have given up the ghost. While others are still pumping it out. But not many. Guess it's really fall!

  20. Your vacation pictures are amazing. I can see you had a great time. Isn't it amazing what weather does to our hard work.. I'm looking forward to your email.. hope all is well with you.
    hugs ~lynne~

  21. Oh beautiful pictures! I always enjoy seeing all the different photos. It's almost as if i'm right there too. :)

  22. I love Newport Beach. It is one of our favorite places to go. Thanks for sharing. Denise

  23. What absolutely gorgeous photos. The collages you made are terrific and make me think it might be time for a road trip. I hope you are having a great day.

  24. Welcome home! happy Outdoor Wednesday! What beautiful mosaics of your trip! The video was fun..I love the "whoop whoop whoop" sound of the sea lions.

    LOL ..I'm sure Howard was glad you didn't post the snoring video...I'll have to remember using that function on my camera to prove to my hubby that yes, indeed, he does snore!

    Hope that tomato make it!

  25. Your so funny Cass! Sounds like a wonderful trip but it's always good to get home too! Your sedum is gorgeous, they look fabulous and all your other outdoor lovelies! Loved the video too! Cindy

  26. Darn it! I missed your visit. I've been MIA from blogging so didn't even know you were coming out to Cali. I'm a native :0) Not many of us anymore. I only live about 35 mins from the beaches so I would have loved to have met up with you. What a blog post that would have been. Next time. Our weather is still beautiful. Crispy mornings, light dew, and breezy afternoons in the 70s. Nothing beats a Cali Autumn/winter when it comes to temps, but I know for the "changing of the leaves and all it's glory" I'd have to travel to your end of the country.
    Hope you truly enjoyed our fair state. Enjoy your day!

  27. Oh the poor tomatoes this year. Nobodies are ripening.
    Some of my family were just down in California and sent a picture of a dock and surrounding area so thick with sea lions it was unbelievable.
    I love the garden shots. Fall is my favorite season.

  28. Glad you had such a wonderful time. Great pictures. I love the way you posted them.

  29. Never been to California, but I'm determined to make it there someday. Your photos are just gorgeous!

  30. Exciting collages of your California trip. Glad you are feeling better.
    Joyce M

  31. What a great Outdoor Wed!! You covered it all, near and far. "A good foundation garment, ladies, can make all the difference." LOL!!

  32. I loved the sea lion video, don't they just make you laugh? Glad you had a fun trip, and glad that you're feeling better.
    Work From Home


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