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Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
Friends forwarded our invitation to John Tesar's 3rd and Last Private Underground Dinner, which led to an exhilarating birthday celebration. Texas architect, Steve Chambers, turned "12" on June 2. It happens that both fell on a Saturday; our friends thought this dining experience could be fun. We had tasted Tesar's food at the Mansion and thought his back-to-back Five-Star wins were well deserved.
Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
We returned to Havana Monday night. On Tuesday, there was a discussion on US/Cuban Relations led by Dr. Raul Rodriquez, a professor at the University of Havana who has written extensively on US-Cuban relations.

After the discussion, we walked to the Museo de la Revolución.  The idea of putting the Museum of the Revolution in the former presidential palace of the dictator Fulgencio Batista was clearly symbolic.

Monday, June 4th, 2012
On Saturday, we began a short, 2-day trip to southern Cuba, and the village of Cienfuegos and the city of Trinidad.  On the way, we arrived at the Bay of Pigs and the actual landing point where, in 1962, about 1,300 heavily armed CIA-trained Cuban exiles came ashore, fully equipped to provoke a counter-revolution to topple the Castro regime.
Sunday, June 3rd, 2012
On Friday, we traveled to Vivero Alamar, a state-owned research garden, to learn more about urban gardening in Havana.  The effects of the "Special Period" (as the period following the collapse of the Soviet Union is called) and consequent food shortages have had the greatest repercussions in the city of Havana.
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012
On Thursday, we participated in a discussion led by Ricardo Torres Perez, a macro-economist and professor at the University of Havana, on "The Changing Faces of Cuba's Economic Structure." Monumental changes have been announced by Raúl Castro in the Cuban economic model, including, among other things, the laying off of more than half a million state workers, the privatization of small businesses, a new credit law offering certain Cubans bank loans, and the devaluation of the peso to bring it on par with the dollar.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
From April 24-May 2, 2012, I traveled to Cuba with the UCLA Alumni Association on a "People to People" exchange trip licensed by the Treasury Department.

On arriving in Havana, we immediately realized that we were no longer in the US of A - passport control resemble

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
No ifs, ands, or buts about it: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I realize I may sound like a nagging wife or mom and I don't care. Moms and wives (and dads and other caretakers) instinctively know loved ones need proper nourishment to start the day. If you are the modern American who typically skedaddles out of the house without eating breakfast, it's time to sit your butt down and listen up!
Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
Because it the Easter season, there was tons of beautiful Colorado Lamb in the grocery stores around here. I decided to try my hand at making Arrosticini Abruzzi (Skewered Marinated Lamb Tidbits), like the ones we had in Carunchio the night of our wine tasting. It worked out very well, but next time I will cut the meat a little smaller and get the heat up a more on the grill.
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
Julius Comroe described serendipity this way: to look for a needle in a haystack and get out of it with the farmer's daughter. When I was about to graduate from high school, my grand tour "college visitation" was to drive with my dad to one Texas architecture school, Texas Tech. It was not the school, just a school we thought I might like. I walked around a bit and then my dad said, "what do you think, Steve?" I said, "looks good to me. How do I enroll?" College visitations are not done this way anymore, but neither is the education of an architect.
Thursday, March 1st, 2012

 

For me, insanity is super sanity. Normal is psychotic. Normal is lack of imagination, lack of creativity. Jean Dubuffet

In the second week of February in Switzerland and France, most school children have their "ski holiday." Rental cars are scarce as families pack and leave for a week. As it turns out, this was an unexpected gift for us.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
In late November I saw a Groupon for an exciting 'Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride and Hot Cocoa Experience in the Rocky Mountains'. It looked like fun, but I didn't plan on buying it until my daughter said she thought it would be a wonderful thing to do with her children when they came to visit for the holidays. Since I don't deny my grandchildren anything like that, I bought the Groupon for 4 people.
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
After a wonderful drive down to Tucson, we were eager to get started on our visit. Early the first morning, we took a ranger hike in Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Admission is by the day or week, but the best deal is if you are over 62 because you can buy the National Park Lifetime Membership for only $10 and itʼs good for 2 people at any National Park in the U.S. Sabino Canyon, located on the northeast side of Tucson, is a well loved hiking/biking/running/walking/photography destination due to the outstanding scenery, well-maintained trail system, wildlife viewing, and plenty of restrooms.
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
Living in Colorado is fabulous and I donʼt want to live anywhere else, but sometimes the winter months seem to drag on a little too long. So, for the past 2 years, my husband and I have driven to Tucson for a little mid-winter warmth and relaxation. We've made the drive a big part of the adventure.
Thursday, February 9th, 2012

We land at 7:36 a.m. and Captain “Bubba” Ransom drawls over the PA system on our 767 aircraft, “Folks, get on your coats, it's 10 degrees here in Geneva with a 30 mph north wind. Oh, and, you're gonna have to climb down the stairs onto the tarmac and run to the waiting buses to get to the terminal.” Captain Ransom's Texas accent is homey and reassuring; the howling wind and the crawl down the stairs is not. We packed our heavy coats in our checked bags, as did all of the others on the airplane, except the Geneva residents. They know about this unusually cold winter in Europe. We are here to work with a client, document historic residential architecture, and be test subjects for Whole Earth Provisions' latest cold weather gear.

stress sandwich
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
It was a beautiful midsummer's night on the patio of an Italian restaurant on the Hill in Saint Louis. We were celebrating my mother's 79th birthday. The dinner was fantastic; we had our fill of locally grown fresh green salad, whole grain penne with a homemade marinara sauce and a perfectly cooked piece of Dover sole. Everyone seemed content, until my teenage son looked at his plate and screamed.
Day 19-Brownie pie
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
Looking for a dessert that's both easy and sure to please? This is the one! Serve it with berries and whipped cream for a special treat.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
I can recall as a young boy my fascination with "automatic doors." Stepping on those floor mats was the solution to taking my dad places in his wheelchair...I could keep pushing him, as doors 'magically' opened for us. I didn't know the term Universal Design, yet I lived it.
aging4
Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
According to the newest research at the Longevity Center at Stanford, you will live a lot longer than you may think that you will. The Baby Boomer generation is redefining the limits of aging and have been called, The Zoomers! According to an article in The Economist, you may also become happier as you age. When many young people think about aging, they fear and dread it. New scientific research surprisingly suggests that the reality of aging is the total opposite: increasing happiness. The most unhappy people identified by the study were in their late 40s. After age 50, with careful planning and design, many people enter into renewed serenity and joy.
couple on sled
Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
While vacations serve as great breaks from the daily grind of the working world, they can often make a larger dent in your pocketbook than planned. And, if you don't take a few precautions to protect your finances while traveling, especially abroad, you could fall victim to theft, fraud and a lot of headaches trying to recover your expenses.
liz one
Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Ever since my husband, Lynn, retired, he has talked about us sailing around the world. I've managed to put it off for a variety of reasons: I get seasick, it would take too long, I get seasick, it would cost too much. Oh, and did I mention that I get seasick?
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