Tag Archives: baguette

Robins and presidents


After a late morning visit to my favorite French bakery, and one rustic baguette and raspberry-apple tart later, I opt for a stroll since the weather is so nice. Funny enough, I see a street called Pleasant, which aptly describes the day. I decide to walk down Pleasant Street, and it turns out that it is a u-shaped street, making it a quiet walk, as there are no cars around. One of the houses I see is overgrown by ivy and there is loud commotion coming from it. At this time of the year the ivy has berries, and it seems that this is a delicacy for the robins. I observe them, as they perform their landing and take-off maneuvers, devouring all berries in sight. My own attempts at berry picking could be described as clumsy and blunt by comparison. The robins seem oblivious to me. Bon appetit!

Exiting the u-shaped street, I hear church bells ringing. But it is not the usual ding-dong tone one normally hears, but an entire hymn, that resonates over the rooftops filling the air with musical joy.

I come to a crosswalk, and the driver of a light truck that stops, motions for me to proceed. As I walk in front of the truck, the driver grins at me and says “I was waiting for a clean shot”. The sunny day has brought out his sense of humor it seems. I grin back, reaching the other side, thankful that I have not become roadkill.

At home, I find among the bills in the mailbox, an advertisement from a purveyor of musical instruments. Gracing the cover of  the advertisement, President Abraham Lincoln can be seen in quadruplicate, playing bass, drums, guitar, and piano, wearing his customary stovepipe hat, and matching outfit. A virtuoso on many instruments it seems. Not only has Mr. Lincoln long been relegated to the smallest denomination in the form of the copper penny (although ranking higher on bills), but now poor old Abe has to hawk musical instruments as well. The frosting on the cake though is dished out during a commercial break in the evening news, where we see presidents Lincoln, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin together at a gas station tending to and conversing about the gas mileage benefits of a Honda. God bless America, and may the souls of our dear departed presidents rest in peace.

Have a berry blessed week,

Matthias Leue

Hearts and blossoms



I woke up last Thursday morning to the sound of raindrops, our first rain of the year. It was a really dry January for California. Thank God we had so much rain in December, that the Sierras are storing up in the form of snow. My cat Calvin was lying on “his” bed observing the rain, with no intention of getting up to go outside, which is normally his custom at this hour. After I opened the back door and the fresh moist air came streaming in, he changed his mind, and after stretching as only cats can do, decided to go out to investigate the goings on — perhaps there was a squirrel to be put in its place, or other business to attend to. On days like this I keep a paper towel next to my computer, for wiping his feet when he returns, as I get tired of wiping off his footprints from the top of my desk, something he seems oblivious to, despite the fact that he is the perpetrator, and that they are clearly visible. On a side note: I finally saw the extraordinary movie “Life of Pi”. A gem among the maze of junk out there. I will have to rent it, so Calvin can see his big brother, hopefully without emulating some of the poorer behavior.

It is February, the acacia trees are starting to bloom all around my loft, exuding their sweet spring smell.

Thursday afternoon — I take a stroll, stopping in at the French bakery for a rustic baguette. The bread slicer I have been told about still has not come in to do its slicing duty, so manual bread knife mode will be the home remedy to this situation. The cold air is definitely an unwanted guest from Alaska once again this year, but the sun is out, patches of blue sky can be seen through the puffy marshmallow clouds, A house I walk by still has an eucalyptus wreath on it — in February! The different species of magnolia trees are in various stages of bloom now, their leaves however still playing peek-a-boo. A red camellia I pass has shed itself of numerous blossoms, the petals bringing color and life to the drab concrete sidewalk.

I see some paper Valentines in a window — a little girl has been very busy. Hearts for the world to see.

Have a blessed week and a happy Valentines Day,

Matthias Leue