Here in Malibu
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October 31, 2009

Signs of Saturday: OK!

A friend (Hi Diana!) and I were in Chinatown a few weeks back, lost in the maze of an indoor shopping bazaar, when we saw this emphatic sign about the price of these baby blankets. OK?

October 29, 2009

And now, Maisie, the Teacup Lab®

Hot dog

Thirsty dog.thirsty dog

Happy dog.

happy dog

October 28, 2009

Lost and found

lost and found

Things are always flying off the golf carts that, present company excepted, people use to reach the beach here in Paradise Cove. Towels, trowels, bits of surf gear, t-shirts, sunscreen and the occasional bikini bottom have been left by the side of the road. And often enough, here's where they end up, on this concrete wall, our unofficial (and not always efficient) lost and found.

October 27, 2009



Because the guys working on my house are replacing the 1973 mobile home paneling with drywall, and because those same guys are replacing the 1973 single-pane window, which chatters like a talk show host in any gust of wind, with a strong-and-silent (and energy efficient!) window, and because they're swapping my 1973 sink and leaky faucets with a new sink and non-leaky faucets, this all required taking everything out of my bedroom and bathroom so they could actually do the work, which means the rest of the house is, well, you can just imagine.

Anyway, all I have to offer you today is this sunrise.

October 26, 2009

Bang! Crash! Rrrrrrrip!

bye bye bathroomNo walls + no bathroom = no language.


October 25, 2009

Cool and gray

fog rolls in

We've been hearing about the higher temps out there, over there, inland from here, I mean. On our slice of coast, so far, it's been foggy and foggier, cool as an evening breeze.

October 24, 2009

Signs of Saturday: Detour

tree falls

Here's what greeted Cove residents headed out early this morning -- an enormous eucalyptus whose roots gave way in the night.

It's blocking the road now as crews saw it to bits and haul it away, and the people in the houses next door breathe sighs of relief that it fell this way and not the other.tree falls

October 23, 2009

Where the wild things are

Even the citrus vendors are getting into the spirit of Halloween at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market with grapefruit:farmer's market critters

And lemon:

farmer's market critters

And a navel orange:farmer's market critters

October 22, 2009

Show and tell

So the big white pickup is jammed into the driveway and the big black air compressor is roaring on the deck and the two guys who make using enormous power tools look easy are dismantling stuff.

Big stuff.

Like my bedroom.bedroom

Which means the entrance to the house is an obstacle course:bedroom wall -- gone

And the study now holds a bed, which the pets have decided is the only safe place to be. And since everything in the bedroom and bathroom is now everywhere else in the house, this vase of sweet peas has become inordinately important in that it could be all that stands between me a prescription for Valium.sweet peas

October 21, 2009

First light

one second of peace, and then kablooeyDear Internet,

I know, I skipped posting for a day or two. Thank you for noticing. Thank you for not swearing like a sailor yelling in a loud voice in your emails. Speaking of emails, do I owe you one? I will send it. Ditto for phone calls. Also, the check is in the mail.

Here's today's sunrise, the first spill of sun on the horizon.

Ahhh, better now.

So, why are things fraying a teensy bit around the edges? Nothing major really, nothing too big, just the fact that Phase Three of the Great Remodel of '09 has begun and my bedroom is torn up and I'm living out of boxes and sleeping in the study and the cat just had a $200 vet visit and the truck has a flat tire and and oh! Is that a deadline pounding on my door?

October 19, 2009



The days broke gloomy all weekend, a lowering sky, slate gray, light shifting so slowly it felt time had stopped.

Amid the muted, muddied colors though, this lone datura glowed, sleek and white and toxic, a ghost amid the spiky brush.

October 17, 2009

Signs of Saturday: 'Pumpking' soup

'Pumpking' Soup signOne of the best-kept fast-food secrets in Malibu is the take-out window at Tra Di Noi. While diners get table service on the lovely, shaded patio, those willing to stand in line can browse a more casual menu, and get treated to more creative spelling.

October 16, 2009

Death knell for the knoll

Remember this?Knoll before construction

It wasn't easy:Ouch.

They certainly called in the big guns:little dog, big CAT

But now it's this: goodbye, knoll

October 15, 2009

Foggy commute?

Here's the view from atop the Santa Monica mountains this morning, looking over the west Valley:Fog over the Valley

And here's the view over the eastern edge of Ventura county.

Pea soup.fog over Ventura County

October 14, 2009

Every cloud has a poly-vinyl lining

rainy day dogs

Make no mistake, that's a promise of revenge in the little dog's eyes.

Meanwhile, why is the creek foaming?why are there bubbles?

October 13, 2009

The new lagoon

new lagoon

The creeks around here flood when it rains, funnel every errant drop of water down to the ocean, where the force of the flow breaks through the sandy berm. This time, though, the rain came early. The annual scouring storms that shift the sand have yet to do their work, so the beach still has its summer heft.

Tonight, if the promised second storm arrives, the creek will flood again and this time, the channel will be complete. But for today, anyway, we have a new lagoon.

October 12, 2009

Cloudy Monday

It's still today, the sky so low it suppresses sound, bounces light off the bay, gray all over, a single sailboat barely swaying. cloudy monday

October 11, 2009

Hitting for the cycle

So, the Malibu Pie Festival. A few hundred people:Judging - Malibu Pie Festival

watching judges:pie festival judges

as they sampled several dozen pies:Barry Bostwick and John Savage

Among them, a certain apple pie:apple pie

Not among them -- a fresh cherry pie that was so fragrant, so sweet and lovely it never quite made it out of the kitchen:cherry pie

And look! Another ribbon for the apple pie, 2nd place -- red -- this time. (There were actually two more ribbons in the past few years but I lost one and Maisie ate the other.)
pie fest '09

Meanwhile, here's that apple pie when the slices went on sale a few moments after the judging. A little later, all gone. decimated

October 10, 2009

Signs of Saturday: NO  R SP S    G

no trespassing

A long-held sentiment in one of our more remote canyons.

October 9, 2009

A field trip to Surfas

You can't bake just any old pie for the Malibu Pie Festival. It has to be your best effort, with fabulous ingredients and a visit to Surfas, the baking emporium where all things are possible and, quite possibly, for sale.

Like rolling pins:Surfas -- baking heaven

...and baking pans:Surfas -- baking heaven

...and spices. Surfas -- baking heaven

...and oh! The chocolate!surfas chocolate

And should you make it out alive and perhaps need the sort of drink that looks best with a tiny umbrella, well, Surfas can make that happen, too.surfas tiny umbrellas

October 8, 2009

It's time for the Malibu Pie Festival

As with every event in Malibu, first comes the sign:pie!

Then comes some shopping:See Canyon Apples

See Canyon Apples at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market:See Canyon apples

Absurdly delicious apples, and excellent customer serviceSee Canyon apples

Next comes the fun part -- baking:apple pie time

October 7, 2009


Everything about this moment -- the gathered clouds, the slate gray sea, a horizon obscured:wednesday sunrise

...all of it says autumn in our little slice of coast.wednesday sunrise

October 6, 2009



Even if I'd had something other than my little point-and-shoot with me, I'm not sure I could have mustered the will to do much more than point and shoot at this tractor/dozer/backhoe combo, which is just one of the enormous pieces of machinery presently decimating one of my favorite hillsides.

October 5, 2009

Making tracks

Old Rindge railroad

Once upon a time, before there was PCH, a family-owned railroad ran along the coast of Malibu.

October 3, 2009

Signs of Saturday: the mountain way

Here's an old street sign at the top of one of our canyons, homemade and, so far, untouched by vandals or city code enforcers.murphy's mtn way

October 2, 2009

In plain sight

Jake the Giant Puppy Dog

Jake the Giant Puppy Dog weighs 111 pounds. We know this because he had a vet visit yesterday, where he bravely balanced his bulk on one of those jittery platform scales. In his mind's eye, though, in his deepest secret soul, Jake is sure he's a two-pound chihuahua.

He loves tiny dogs, quivers with joy when he meets them, is ever so gentle as he sniffs their little heads. The tiny dogs, they're thinking helpmehelpmehelpmePICKMEUP! But Jake, he's all ahhh, my people.

Which is just a convoluted lead-in to the look on Jake's face here, a game of catch in Bluffs Park, in which my sweet behemoth is sure he's fooled us all, run and hidden in the two-foot scrub, utterly invisible. How will we ever find him?

October 1, 2009

The great pumpkin

I was pretty happy with the little pumpkin that managed to survive the hungry gophers in my garden this year. Being adorable:little pumpkin

...outweighed being inadequate:little pumpkin

And then, at the market yesterday, we saw this pumpkin (make that PUMPKIN!) which needed not just a pickup truck to haul it:huge pumpkin

...but some serious restraints to block its escape:huge pumpkin

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