Posts tagged ‘Shell Beach’

A Shell Beach Fiery Sunset

The Universe treated us in Shell Beach on November 14, 2012 when the California Coastal Commission gave a unanimous thumbs-down to PG&E’s permit request for seismic testing that would have decimated marine life.

November 17, 2012 at 7:09 pm 2 comments

Caprese Salad with Purple Basil

Avila Beach CA has a trendy little Farmer’s Market on Friday afternoons with a handful of produce booths selling only top quality. A real find for me was purple basil which is incredibly rare.

I wish I had adequate words to describe the rich, heady aroma with almost a hint of licorice or anise.

Sensing the potency of the taste would match the scent, I chopped it fine on a caprese salad instead of using whole leaves as I would with standard “green” basil.

Result? WONDERFUL.

Cari and Craig Clark at Chaparral Gardens in Atascadero CA grow the basil to use in their artisan vinegars. Check out their website at CGVinegar.com

The tomatoes came from a local farmer and the mozzarella cheese from DePalo and Sons Deli in Shell Beach CA. The cheese is hand-crafted daily from grandfather Dr. Tedone’s recipe. The good doctor, retired now, starting making the cheese to work out his grief after his wife passed. DePalo’s is a family affair with an excellent Italian-California style deli, tremendous wine collection and shelves stuffed with every imaginable delicacy.

August 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm 1 comment

Sandra and Sabrina Writing Space

Sandra and Sabrina writing space

I’ve had several people ask me where and how I write – “how” meaning the creative process.  The “practical how” is that I use a laptop connected to a larger screen so that I can work off of two screens at once.

This photo is of my writing space.  As you can see, a lot is going on.

Egyptian stuff is part of my getting in the mood to write my novel which takes place in modern day Las Vegas and in Ancient Egypt during the Late Period.

You’ll see:

  • colored map of the Nile
  • a photo I took of the shore from a boat on a Nile Cruise
  • several books, including English translations of ancient Egyptian literature and art books on Pharaohnic Egypt
  • the necklace I wear which is a copy of  an original Late Period piece

I’m working on a new cover for Sex and the Zen of Shopping.

  • You will see a couple of printouts hanging above, plus the front cover on the big computer screen which is displaying Photoshop.
  • I’m also considering a slightly new title – something shorter.  Sex Zen and Shopping:  Live Rich by Shopping Smart
  • I’ve been working on the interior and cleaned it up a bit.  It will have less of a “homemade scrapbook” look about it.

The screen saver on my laptop is the view from the front terrace of our house in Shell Beach California.

I love boats. That’s pretty obvious from the photo.

The bookcase contains:

  • My library of cookbooks in English, French and Danish.  You might be able to just see Julia Child’s “Mastering The Art of French Cooking.”  I bought my copy in 1973 at a garage sale in Los Gatos California!
  • copies of  Life Choices:  Navigating Difficult Paths.”  This is an anthology of great stories put together by Judi Moreo and published by her new publishing company Turning Point International.  She’s already at work on the next anthology which will be about putting the pieces back together again.  My contribution to Life Choices is the story of how I  met my husband and shamelessly pursued him. It’s a true story of hitchhiking on land and sea,  taking chances and going after what you want.
  • My many copies of the I Ching
  • Books by female authors written for the female market which I have read in the last few months.  The genre is pretty much romantic fiction of all kinds.  This is part of my research for my new novel.
  • On the top shelf I have copies of books of authors that I know or have met.
  • The small orange book with black binder that’s turned on its side is the scrapbook I kept of my world travels – especially North Africa, Paris, England and Mexico/Central America.  Most of the entries are from the early 70’s.  I’d like to put it into a memoir form.  But right now I am really loving writing fiction.

Non-book items on bookcase:

  • The stone statue on the bookcase is Toltec and over a thousand years old.  It was a wedding gift when we married in Mexico City the first day of spring (March 20) 1975.
  • The briefcase on the top of the book case was a gift from my First Reader (Sex and the Zen of Shopping) Barb Johnston which she gave me at the book launch of Life Choices in January in Las Vegas.
  • The name plaque Sandra Nielsen is from my days as a School Board Trustee 1994-1998.  It reminds me that trying to do good can be very costly personally.  It keeps me from getting involved.  It’s time for someone else to play Joan of Arc.  I admire all politicians even though their politics can make me crazy.  I once heard it said, “In the world of politics, friends come and go, but enemies collect.”  Amen.

You probably didn’t miss my Japanese Zen priest who sits directly over my head and hopefully guides my spirit.  I bought him at a little “antique” shop in 1999 in Shell Beach.  The owner loved his stuff so much and had so much of it that you had to stand at the doorway and point to what you wanted to see.  He also wanted a $20 deposit before he would bring it to you!  Needless to say, he didn’t make a lot of sales.  He was found dead at his desk one morning by his son.  He hadn’t come home the night before.  89 years old and he died of a heart attack in the midst of his beloved treasures.  From the position of his body, it seemed that he put his head down and went to sleep, never to wake up again.  We should all be so blessed!

March 5, 2010 at 7:13 pm 3 comments


Follow me on Twitter!

Flickr Photos

Recent Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,487 other followers


%d bloggers like this: