From the Kitchen Counter…

Home Design, Travel, Vintage, Antiques, Flea Markets, Home Renovation, Crockery and Dishes of any sort–writing, wandering and wondering…. I write about them all.

Category: relationships

Fire Emergency Kit 101 – White Wine for Spritzers is essential.

View From the Patio Weds. Eve:Image 7

Mood Reading: ZZZ’s (now that the embers are out, sleeping much better : ) 

So, there we were on a hot, sultry Wednesday evening this week, preparing dinner as usual with the news on in the background. With temps in the 100’s all week – no air conditioning and humidity hanging thicker than molasses in the normally arid desert, I was more concerned with my now-sticky linen blouse and less-then-alluring hairdo than any forces of nature. As I mindlessly washed the arugula at the kitchen sink, (and dreamed of the downpour that Read the rest of this entry »


As I was saying….

View from the Tuscan Countryside: image As I was saying, (see last blog post), sometimes the things unplanned are the most memorable on a trip like this.  Case in point…we set out this morning to go rent the car that we planned to have for three days of touring through the Tuscan countryside ala Thelma and Louise sans (hopefully) the final cliff scene. Read the rest of this entry »

From Dream to Legacy: A Personal History in the Pole Vault (or Fiberglass Vaulting Poles 101 – now the unabridged version)

View From the Bleachers:


Mood Reading:  zzz’s (catching up on the ones I lost during the holidays)

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  The interview contained herein was posted last night – and appeared as it does in Vaulter magazine.  Due to space and length constraints of the magazine, some of the more anecdotal portions understandably were edited out. This morning however, after a few cups of coffee I realized the only constraints of my blog are my readers attention spans and refills of the respective beverages they may be consuming while reading it. So grab yourself a refill and get comfy — I have included those portions back in. (and thank Vaulter Magazine for posting a link to the unedited version as well) 

It’s that time of year.  With the National Pole Vault Summit quicklyMary Saxer copy approaching on Jan. 17th, (that 3-day epic sporting event celebrating the lifeblood of my immediate family) this space will once again be temporarily diverted from the intermittent ramblings of a rural blonde writer to the musings of a well-seasoned (read that: aging) pit-lizard.

As such, I was recently asked by Vaulter Magazine and friend Bubba Sparks for an interview about my father, his life, and personal observations around the pole vault pit for this month’s issue. (There is an upside to sheer longevity after all.)  I was not only touched to be asked but enjoyed revisiting happy memories of my father, family, Read the rest of this entry »

From My Kitchen Counter to Yours…

View From The Kitchen Counter:


Mood Reading: ZZZZ (Slept well last night – in the mountains)

So…Another year has passed.  Here it is, already the day after Xmas (Boxing Day as it’s known in some parts) and I woke up this morning thinking …wait, what happened? Did Christmas come and go already?  ButUnknown I’m still digesting my Yuletide pudding… wait — I have another bottle of nog that’s yet to be opened!  And what about those last minute little stocking stuffers I’ve stashed somewhere, hmmm, surely they’re around here somewhere… Read the rest of this entry »

Deb and Di’s Fabulous, Frenzied, French, “Non we’re not sisters…” Tour Part II

View From Saint-Michel:

DSCN3443 3

Mood Reading:  ZZZZ’s (unfortunately back into my daily routine, all too soon)

We landed in Paris on Sunday afternoon – the two of us hauling roller bags,  bulging carry-ons and every electrical hair appliance ever invented. Between us we had to buy 2 electrical conversion kits and borrow several converter plugs just to accommodate our morning blonde ritual.  Never mind, land we did, prepared to take the city by storm.  Our strategy was to hit DSCN3475the ground running… no naps, not even 20 winks. Dump the bags in the hotel, grab a double espresso and keep moving to fend off the jet lag or we knew we’d be toast. For the most part, we were successful.  We checked in, scoped out the electrical sockets in the room, (we all have our priorities) and within an hour of arrival were strolling along St. Germaine in search of some much needed caffeine.  Read the rest of this entry »

Deb and Di’s Fabulous, Frenzied, French “Non, we’re not sisters…” Tour

View From the Left Bank (Paris):



Mood Reading:  ZZZ’s (have been sleeping okay considering it’s been a week–but I’m still experiencing occasional wakefulness at 2 am.  I’m hoping the added pounds aren’t as stubborn as the jet lag!)

*Note: This is the first in what could be several installments.  

I promise it won’t be your dry, average, Fodor-esque travel log – Rick Steve has seemingly cornered that market in Biblical proportions. But what his thoroughly researched travel guide lacks, we have made up for via this uniquely ‘blonde’ IMG_5190perspective of two otherwise demure (ahem) middle aged females blazing the continent with hairdryers, curling irons, an extensive array of requisite electrical converters, roller bags the weight of VW bugs,  carry-on’s the size of a small ottomans, and every cosmetic and beauty potion known to man in tow. If IMG_5189you’re looking for the no fuss, wash and wear, low maintenance guide to international travel, you’re definitely on the wrong page. This is the mega watt, hair vs humidity, “of-course-we-can-cram-it-all-in you-can-sleep-when-you’re-dead” version of FRANCE ON 100 EUROS A DAY (as long as we can hit the ATM 3 more times before sundown and the bank doesn’t freeze our account….) Read the rest of this entry »

Dinner Guests Are Welcome — Unless They Want Me As The First Course!

View From the Dining Room:

CIMG1051 10-01-52 2


Mood Reading:  ZZZZ’s (Slept much better than I did on Wednesday night!)

We’ve all had them — the unexpected visitor that suddenly appears just as you’re getting ready to prepare dinner, and seemingly wants to hang around.  My unwanted guest was all the moreimages-3 unwelcome (and creepy) when I realized he’d been silently lurking around the house for some time, retreating into the shadows so I couldn’t see him.  When I finally did notice him,  he tried to skirt the confrontation but alas, it was unavoidable.  When he made his presence known in the middle of my dining room late last Wednesday afternoon, all hell broke loose… Read the rest of this entry »

Little Prince George Conquers the World…(even before arriving in it!)

View from St. Mary’s hospital steps in London:


Mood Reading:  ZZZZ’S (woke at 4 am and contemplated the world for all of 23 seconds.  That is the last thing I remember until waking again a 6:15.)

So bonnie Prince George hadn’t even been born yet much less named, when he’d already made quite an impressive little spectacle of himself. For days before his ratherimages-1 ceremonious world wide debut, the press — hailing from far and wide — camped out on the steps to St. Mary’s Lindo wing like eager tech hungry teenagers lining up for Apple’s latest i-something, days and in some cases weeks before the eagerly awaited, highly anticipated and ridiculously over-hyped inaugural royal appearance. What better marketing opportunity for salivating tabloids than that of the little royal bum being escorted into a celebrity crazed world via Internet, twitter, and god forbid, the Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve Discovered Victoria’s Little Secret – (and no wonder she’s not telling!)

View from the Models Runway:


Mood reading:  ZZZZ’s (slept great, but admit that self esteem took a bit of a hit when viewing photos to use in blog…)

Now that I’ve got everyone’s attention, let’s talk.  I mean, if you’re a regular visitor to this sight, we’re friends…right?  We can be candid, we can be totally frank, we can be…what’s that?  This is your first visit? You just saw the above picture on my facebook link and had to click on it? (If you’re one of my male pole-vaulting fb buddies, you may be disappointed to learn that I’m not discussing a 510m/14.5 flex, but a 98 pound 42-DD instead.  Sorry to disappoint…wait, what? Well aren’t you nice, thanks for staying tuned, I know you’re sacraficing precious training time) Anyway, as I was saying, I feel I know you well enough to have an honest, intimate discussion and would appreciate some discretion and sensitivity here.

(And lest you be confused, no, that is not me in the above photo.  I know, a mistake anyone could make.) Read the rest of this entry »

When You’re Not as Thick Skinned as You Think.

View from the dermatologist office…

Day Before:  Photo on 4-8-13 at 4.11 PM #3                     

Directly After:           


Mood Reading: ZZZ’s (slept okay last night considering)

I am going to take a moment here to whine (not wine, that comes later) about the minor surgery I had to remove skin cancer from my face yesterday.  For anyone raised in imagesSouthern California, with a passion for outdoor activities, or who was an enthusiastic former sun worshipper replete with baby oil, iodine and a reckless disregard for your mother’s overwrought nagging about same, you know what I’m talking about. My sister and I have often lamented the fact that just about all the things our mother warned us about which we thought at the time were alarmist, exaggerated and totally nonsensical, have without exception come true. Every thing from our own inevitable skin cancers, god-awful insect borne illnesses (can you say West Nile or Lyme Disease?), to the nations big banks going bust and if you believe the Republicans, the communists taking over the country – mom predicted it way back in the ‘60’s. Read the rest of this entry »