What a Month! Part 2-Santa Fe, Stomach Bug, SWAT Team, Quick Draw, La-La Land

Like I was saying, August posts have been a little light because August days have been a little busy… Part 1 here, and Part 2 here…

What I want to know is what happened to the “lazy days of summer”? Am I just a girl who can’t say no, or are we all just doing 72,000 more things than we used to do? And yet it’s all good. What’s going on?

August 9: We took off for Santa Fe to go to the opera, which is just spectacular. I mean look at this building.

Santa Fe Opera House, via Santa Fe Opera

I’ve been wanting to do this since I could spell Poochini. A whirlwind trip with Preacher,  Partner, and their son Tanase, who used to work at the opera. We saw the impressive premier of Oscar, about Oscar Wilde. Tanase made an Opera Survival Kit for His Grace (aka my husband for new readers).

Opera Survival Kit by Tanase Popa, use only in emergency.

We did not buy fabulous art like they have in Santa Fe, but I did buy a cutting board. Even the cutting boards in Santa Fe are art, this by Julie A. Medow, whose colorful work you can see at Art and Tile of Santa Fe.com.

Cutting board and art by Santa Fe artist Julie A. Medow.

We also saw a leopard limousine.

Leopard limousine in Santa Fe

Tanase visited the Loretto Chapel with the mysterious and striking spiral staircase.

Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, photo by Tanase

Btw, see Tanase’s up-and-coming cooking blog ChezTanase.com here.

Back home we went to the Ballantines, who are great hosts. Molly sets the prettiest table. I love her fearless mix of warm and cool colors, like a California sunset.

Molly’s beautiful table

August 11: Slept through historic, once-in-a-lifetime, Stephen Hawking-gawking Perseid meteor shower.  I will have to take their word for it.

Meteor shower 2013, Reuters, via IBTimes.com

Meanwhile, blog deadline …

Panic-button, via deadline.com

August 17: Annual Los Olivos Quick Draw! Woo-hoo! Local artists set up their easels in town and complete a work in one hour. The pressure.

Santa Barbara artist Camille Dellar at Los Olivos Quick Draw - 2012

Then they auction them off for charity. Good people-watching, too.

Ready for auction at Los Olivos Quick Draw - 2012. Them are some mighty yeller boots.

SWAT team family picnic at the pond. The rest of the year they practice brave and daring stunts at Rancho La Zaca. I would tell you more but they would have to kill me afterward.

Oh, and family in for the weekend. Sadly I have to log some desk time. But I can only get so much done because for the first time in I cannot remember, I get sick.

via intrigue.com

Meanwhile, Veranda article looms … It’s about holiday decorating, just what I want to be thinking about right now.

August 19: I actually go to the doctor, which I never do (touch wood) except for check-ups. I tell him I am either 8 months pregnant or I swallowed a goat, either of which happened entirely without my knowledge. I am sure to require emergency surgery which is why I pack an overnight bag and bring my computer and Veranda file. JIC.

Panic disorder, via PiecesofAmy.com

A once-over and blood test later I am home. Tummy bug. But do I lose one single solitary ounce of weight? Nosirreebob. Who do I call about that?

August 20: I am half-well and by Tuesday we’re off for Los Angeles. August is “the season” in L.A. Much as I love New York, it is not an August-friendly place.

In a great hotel city, the Peninsula is our favorite, and Room 102 is terrific because of its terrace …

Peninsula Hotel, Room 102 Terrace

… and pretty seating area with hot pink cushions.

Peninsula Hotel, Room 102

We visit friends, including my huckleberry Alex Hitz, who entertains sooooo beautifully–and cooks, too.

Dinner in the Hollywood Hills, hosted by Alex Hitz

August 22: Return home with few friends in tow, for yet another house party.

Ready for cocktails around the campfire by the tents

More horsing around.

Paolo on Gunsmoke cuts quite the dashing figure.

And our sunflowers are blooming.

Sunflowers at Rancho La Zaca. The Staffordshire cow was my mother's. One of my favorite things. It is very happy here at the ranch.

August 31: And now here it is Labor Day. Margaritas and mariachis, but mercifully not at our house.

Mariachi by the pool, Fiesta Fin del Verano

Has your summer been as crazy as ours?

September 1: Go to New York to rest.


  1. My Lord, Frances, I had to go lie down for a spell – and that was only halfway through Part 1. What a beautiful August (except for the bug). Maybe New York will let you sleep for a week. Enjoyed your post!

  2. Traveling mercies, Frances!
    You brought so much summer joy to so many – including us – being who you are and doing what you do in your inimitable way.
    I am so grateful for your generosity with the abundance of your life.

    1. Thank you Randall. How lucky HG and I are that your, Bill’s, and Tanase’s friendship is part of our abundance. Love, F

    1. Far as I can tell you are pretty bizzy yourself Miss Seeker. So if you were my PA, who would be your your PA? We will ask Miranda about that. 😉 xo

    1. You are so welcome Camille. I hated not to be able to stay at the Quick Draw and see your finished piece. Will you send me a picture? Let’s paint soon. Xo Frances

  3. Rest for a few weeks in NYC and then come to the NC Society party on the 26th! Racquet Club as usual…love your blog as usual. It always makes me smile!

  4. Your and HG’s hospitality were highlights of my summer. Thank you. I welcome Autumn’s routines though; a time to settle down, and re-group. A yard sale, and dump run might help too! If it’s any comfort, I too slept through Perseid, missed the Quick-draw, and though I skipped the stomach bug, dog knocked me over and sprained my thumb. Never realized how important they are. I can type so back to work. XO Pete

    1. Well shucks, Pete, thank you. Agree on Autumn’s routines… Take care of that thumb, and glad you are on the mend. See you soon xo F

  5. Wow, Frances, you have been busy! I found you in the new Veranda on the plane to Chicago where I bought my beautiful new pedal harp at L & H; i am so excited! But we also were able to see the Impressionist, Fashion and Modernity exhibit at the Art Inst. of Chicago that you mentioned awhile back; I had no idea that i would be able to see it; and I bought the beautiful book . August has been great for once!!!

    1. Sonya, wow yourself, and congrats on the new harp! You must be thrilled – like bringing home a new baby (that you don’t have to change;) so glad you got to see the Met exhibit and that your August has been great. Thank you for writing! xo Frances

  6. Loved the Opera Survival kit…. we left at intermission and handed our tix to 2 parking lot hangers on. They were thrilled and so were we. It was July steamy with a little drizzle mixed in. It’s fun getting to see and read about your adventures. Are you painting? XO, Linda

    1. Hey Linda! Glad your opera tix went to good use!… Just painted a little painting for Tom for a benefit auction. How embarrassing is no one bids on it! Otherwise looking forward to painting a bit more in the fall. You?

  7. I really don’t know how you do it all. It’s exhausting just reading about it. Stay well and be healthy the holidays are just around the corner as only you know so well. I look forward to my Veranda.

    1. Well thank you sweet Maureen. And the truth is I DON’T “do it all,” and I don’t think anyone does. It is a myth. Blessings and love, and thank you for writing, Frances

  8. Oh Frances…once again..captivating!! I remember well those Holiday Decorating deadlines in July and August…don’t miss those!! How about photographing a full house for Christmas with trees flown in from Oregon or somewhere chilly when it was 105 degrees in the deep South!! Laughed out loud about the losing an ounce comment!! You are the best!! Take a breath and keep it up girl!! xoxox

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