Monday Musings

Another beautiful morning in the desert. I love it here. I said I wanted to stay home from traveling and enjoy winter in the desert—there are a lot of things to do and the weather is nothing less than perfect. Since we are not traveling, we’re spending our money on house stuff. It’s slow going but we are making progress.

We finally found some rugs we BOTH liked. The dining room: IMG_6416-1

The table screams for a table runner and I am going to start on that very soon. I have been waiting to get the rug first. Next is the hated chandelier--can’t wait to get that gone. We are shopping for lighting.

We got a rug for the family room. Love, love love it! And I finally talked J into getting rid of that dated old grandpa recliner for something smaller, lighter, and more contemporary. IMG_6418-1

We even got a new rug for the powder room. Finally! The old one was left by the previous owners. It doesn’t come across in the photo, but it’s silk and has a lovely sheen to it, and some texture.  IMG_6422-1

Well, the new DR rug clashed mightily with the entry hall rug, so we moved it under the K table. It looks fine there. It was perfect for the last house, not so much for this one, and Riley had had a few accidents on it that multiple shampooing couldn’t fix. So now it has a new home and it adds some much-needed focus and color to the monochromatic kitchen. I love the pleated shade I had made for that glass wall. The afternoon sun is wicked.


But that left us with an empty entry. We liked the round rug there, it widened the area. So we are shopping for a replacement. The door, by the way, is being replaced by one that is being made as I type this. I’d like to get the four columns in the entry faux-painted to look like granite.IMG_6421-1I’

Changes have been happening outside, too. We took out the pepper tree and put in some more desert-looking landscape. Now the light shines on the house, but it looks neat at night.IMG_6423-1

In other news, we are gearing up for several groups of houseguests at La Casa A, and very much looking forward to it. Of course I have been playing a lot of golf, too. Tis the season! However, my golf swing has gone missing, if you see it please tell it to go home.

We have slowly been making new friends; it’s challenging because this is a seasonal area and our street is NEVER fully occupied, and our neighbors only visit their houses a couple times a year. But we went to a neighbor’s house for dinner Saturday and I took this salad. I lost the recipe for this terrific salad ten years ago and couldn’t remember it, but the other day it came to me (thank you), and I am quite sure I got it right. I want to share the recipe with you.

Fabulous Spinach Salad (serves 4, all measurements approximate)

8 oz pkg baby spinach
3-4 slices bacon, cooked crisp, chopped
4-5 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 cup candied pecans*
1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries

3 TBS good balsamic vinegar
1 tsp finely chopped shallot
salt & pepper
1 TBS maple syrup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

*You can buy candied pecans, but I just toasted plain pecans in a skillet and sprinkled on a tiny bit of brown sugar.

Have a great week!


  1. Want to make that salad! As I've said before, "If I'm gonna eat meat, it's gonna be bacon!" =-)

  2. Love the family room rug alot! Of course, it looks like a modern artquilt! Great choice.

    Are the walls in the powder room tile/marble?

  3. I love all the changes you made. Your rugs add a lot to your rooms. I always laugh how changing a few things can start a dominoe effect.
    I am making the salad w/o the bacon.
    Sounds good.

  4. Really like the dining room rug! Don't let the kids have snacks or drinks near any rug! They have zero respect.

    I love spinach, but cooked. Is your dressing warm or cold? Sounds yummy!


  5. What fun to be in the MOOD for decorating! That is when things come together for the right reasons, not just something to accommodate.

    I LOVE spinach salads. I get all my vegetables in one fell swoop: broccoli, sliced baby carrots, green onions, zucchini, tomato, and of course, almond slivers, boiled egg if I have them ready, and feta cheese. I don't always have all of these things, but I add what I have.

    Now I can add raisins and dried cranberries which I'd never thought of!


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