Friday, December 30, 2022

The Weather Outside is Frightful!

Winter 2022.  It's very cold across the world.  It's cold in Los Angeles, but warm compared to other parts of North America.  For me, I'm cold when the thermometer drops to below 65 degrees. Time to get out the bulky yarn and knit and/or crochet a BULKY KNIT item!  I have tons of vintage knit patterns lining my bookshelves.  I've been collecting these old pattern books since I started knitting as a little girl, way back in the 1960's.  I've been rummaging through my books and have come up with some fabulous chunky knits to whip up for this cold snap.  Behold:

Fat yarn, large needles...these sweaters are quick and jiffy to work up!  The only problem with these chunky and bulky knits is that I'm rather chunky and bulky myself.  These types of sweaters just add to that bulky Babushka-lady look of my ancestors.  Oh well...who am I to go against my Ukrainian roots! 
These MEGA knits are coming around again in fashion circles.  Take a look at some recent runway favorites:

Please note that these high-fashion MEGA knits are shown on clothes-hanger skinny models.  
Eh!  Who cares!  I'm freezing.  I'm gonna whip out my size 13 needles and double up some yarn and knit a SUPER-CARDI this weekend!
Happy New Year, my friends.  I'll be here at Chez Bloom Underhill under a pile o' yarn!

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Thursday, November 17, 2022

Thanksgiving at the Office

Kevin's Perky Turkey Sugar Cookies
Happy pre-Thanksgiving to all! I hope you have a marvelous, stress-free day. Next Thursday. About 18 of our family will be convening at my cousin Carolyn's home in Valencia. We're all helping with the dinner.
If you want to contribute to your family's Thanksgiving feast, you can bake Kevin's easy Perky Turkey Sugar Cookies, pictured above. We used to have a progressive Thanksgiving lunch at my office. Everyone brought a dish.

Here's my interpretation of Kevin's recipe:
Get some of that Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough in the deli aisle of your know, the kind you slice down. In the cake section, pick up some squeezable cake frosting in white, orange and black. You'll find candy corn in the candy aisle. Bake the cookies according to package directions. Smoosh a bit of white frosting on the top curve of the cookie, smash in the candy corns. Draw in the eyes, beak and turkey gobbler neck with the proper color of frosting! Done! Proudly serve your Perky Turkey Sugar Cookies!

Another marvy recipe gleaned from a co-worker is Jelled Cranberry Mold. Rochelle brought this divine dish. As you can see by the photo below, I liked it alot.
Office Progressive T-Giving Luncheon
Rochelle's Jelled Cranberry Mold
1 large box cherry Jello
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 can crushed pineapple (blue can with syrup)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Dissolve the Jello in 2 cups boiling (or very hot) water. Add all the other ingredients, mix well and chill...that's it!
Rochelle's tip: She usually switches bowls after dissolving the Jello since it leaves a grainy coating on the bowl. Next, she adds the cranberry sauce and uses a fork or spoon to really mash it up well (so you don't get chunks of cranberry sauce)...then the crushed pineapple and lastly the nuts.

The only bad thing about eating out for Thanksgiving is that there are no leftovers! I love these recipes so much, that I'll probably whip them up after the big day, along with a turkey breast, some yams, stuffing and creamed spinach for my sweetie pie! Barbie has the right idea.  Serve plastic food. No muss, no fuss!

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Tuesday, November 08, 2022


The 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, was ratified in 1920

A few weeks ago I filled out my absentee ballot and mailed it in. It was my privilege to do so! Voting is a sign that you believe in your democracy and that you feel that it is a worthwhile and important thing to do.  Therefore, every time you vote, it is a declaration that you believe in your country.

Before 1920, women in the United States of America could not vote. My own grandmothers could not vote in the years that their children were born. Thank you for fighting for our rights.

Voting day is TODAY, Tuesday, November 8, 2022. I am not going to recommend who you vote for or which ballot measures to support. It is just important that your choices are counted. Your vote can make a difference, especially on the local level.  If you need guidelines on how to vote today, check out this website

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Thursday, November 03, 2022

Fall Back

The saying goes, "Spring Forward, Fall Back."  It's all about that one hour!  The practice began as a way to extend daytime working hours and conserve energy during the World Wars. The time change became a national standard in the U.S. in 1966 with the passage of the Uniform Time Act. It requires states to either change clocks at a specified time or remain with standard time throughout the year. Arizona and Hawaii are the only states to not observe daylight saving time. But in recent years, multiple states have shown interest in having daylight saving time last year-round, citing reasons such as more daylight after school and a decrease in robberies. Eighteen states have passed laws or resolutions to this end.  

I do like Daylight Saving Time, when it doesn't get dark until later in the day. It's good for driving at rush hour.  Whatever.  I just know that this Sunday, we'll get one extra hour of sleep!

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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Rosh Hashonah - New Year

Sundown tonight is the beginning of the Jewish High Holidays. Tonight and tomorrow we celebrate Rosh Hashanah which is the Jewish New Year. The following is from the Judaism 101 site.
In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. This name is somewhat deceptive, because there is little similarity between Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year, and the American midnight drinking bash and daytime football game.
There is, however, one important similarity between the Jewish New Year and the American one: Many Americans use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, making "resolutions." Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year. 

It's always good to review your life for the past year and think ahead to what you'd like to accomplish in the coming year. We all make mistakes throughout the year. The difficult thing is to try and correct those mistakes or to not repeat them.  I'll give it my best shot this year!

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Saturday, September 03, 2022

Labor Day

Female workers in Labor Day Parade, NYC, 1936. NY Daily News, Getty Images  

Happy Labor Day! Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century became a federal holiday in 1894.

I am thankful to all the workers who came before me, standing up for equal rights on the job.

I spent over 45 years in the work force. Some of that time was spent as a union member, working at various movie studios throughout Los Angeles. Today, I am reaping the benefits of full-time, corporate employment thanks to the labor movement's accomplishments over the years for equal rights, better working conditions and equal pay. Thank you.

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Thursday, August 04, 2022

BHHS Class of 1970 - WELCOME!

We are ready! The Reunion Committee for the Beverly Hills High School Class of 1970 has been planning our 50th reunion for 3 years! We started planning in 2019, one year before the supposed event. Well, you know what happened in 2020 and in 2021...the PLAGUE! We could not hold our reunion! FINALLY, in 2022, we are ready to par-tay! We're holding the reunion this weekend at The Skirball Cultural Center in their OUTSIDE Taper Courtyard. The name-badges are printed. The centerpieces are ready. The dinner choices have been selected. Now, all we have to do is gussy ourselves up and get over to the event! On Sunday, August 7th we've invited the Classes of 1969 and 1971 to join us in a BYO-Picnic at our beloved Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills. We will be showing our school movies, The Norman Newsreel and have a few other fun displays.

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Monday, April 11, 2022

Art in the City

"Floating World" by Ferne Jacobs, Coiled Waxed Linen Thread

"Craft in America" is a wonderful PBS television series showcasing different crafts-people all over our country and the work that they do. I've been watching it for years. There is a Craft in America Center on West Third Street in Los Angeles associated with the show. The storefront holds lectures by artists, hands-on workshops with artists and gallery shows! Last week I attended the exhibition called "Building the Essentials: Ferne Jacobs."  Jacobs is a fiber artist who has been working since the 1960s. Her work involves basketry, weaving, knotting, coiling and twining. Many of her pieces are sculptural and quite large. Her colors are riveting. The show will be on view through June 18th.  Go see it! 

"Flight" by Ferne Jacobs, Coiled Waxed Linen Thread

"Interior Passages" Ferne Jacobs, Coiled and Twined Waxed Linen and Thread

The shapes that Ferne creates out of mere fiber and twine are magnificent. I was also quite interested in her drawings and notebooks that included collage and other elements. 
Ferne Jacobs, Notebook, paint, collage

Just next door to the Craft in America Center is the store Free Hand. The shop is connected to the exhibition space and showcases original work available for purchase. There are jewelry items, paintings, clothing, ceramics and more. Many artists are represented, displaying an array of pleasing items for sale.  Really, the Free Hand shop is almost like a museum display. 
Seeing the artwork of Ferne Jacobs and visiting the Free Hand space was like being in an artist's cocoon for an afternoon. You must visit!

Craft in America
8415 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA  90048
Tues-Sat, 12pm -6pm

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Thursday, March 17, 2022

Irish in Los Angeles

St. Patrick's Day is not really my holiday, but the spirit has reached me. Our Mid-City L.A. neighborhood must have had a strong Irish population during the 1920's and 1930's.There are more than a few Irish establishments nearby, many of the homes are built to look like Irish and English country homes in the Storybook style and there are many Catholic and Protestant congregations in the vicinity.

I found this darling St. Paddy's Day Barbie Doll online. She looks ready to hoist a pint at Tom Bergin's!

Supposedly, EVERYONE is Irish on this day. Have a great ol' time in Irish L.A. today!

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Thursday, January 27, 2022

The Corner Market

 S/E corner of Sunset & Fairfax, Los Angeles, 1933

Once a market, always a market. 
The corner of Sunset and Fairfax in Los Angeles has been a small market since the 1930's. The photo above, the SunFax Market, was taken in 1933. In later years, probably in the late 1950's or early 1960's when the A-Frame architectural style was popular, this building was re-designed and called Chalet Gourmet. In 1999, the Irvine Ranch Market Company and Chalet Gourmet merged. This location then became a branch of Bristol Farms Market
Unless some MAJOR redevelopment happens on this corner, this will, most likely, always be a small neighborhood market, catering to the locals.

Chalet Gourmet Newspaper Advertisement

Chalet Gourmet was innovative for the 1960s and 70s. It was a specialty grocery carrying higher-quality and harder-to-find items than the average supermarket. It catered to the owners of the more expensive homes in the Hollywood Hills, much like the Bristol Farms Market of today.

S/E corner of Sunset & Fairfax, Los Angeles today

I plan on visiting my local grocery store this weekend. Which local market do you like best?

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Monday, January 17, 2022

Words to Live and Knit By


Suzanne's sweater honoring the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This has become a tradition on "L.A. Is My Beat."  For the past decade or so I have been featuring Suzanne's MLK sweater on my blog in honor of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I will repeat  again this year because I'm so in love with this idea and in awe of Suzanne's mad skills. 

The sweater pattern is from "Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines."  The name of this sweater is "Margaret," designed for the book by Mary Neal Meador.  The instructions state that the sweater may be embellished after knitting with chain stitched quotations of the knitter’s choice.  The sweater in the book has poetry added to the front and back. 
When I saw Suzanne's ("owlknits") sweater, I was touched by the words she chose.  This is from Suzanne's project page on Ravelry: 

I knit this sweater for a local art exhibition that was organized to honor the ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I used quotes from his “I have a dream…” speech to embroider on the front and back of the sweater: Front: Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. Back: The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the day of justice emerges.

I am still blown away by Suzanne's sweater and her choice of quotations.  One day I will make such a sweater for myself.  Bravo!  Excellent work, Suzanne, honoring an eloquent man and his ideas! 
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Marin Luther King, Jr.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2022


Happy Birthday to Larry! This is a big one! This is also his second birthday during the pandemic.  Ugh! Will things ever go back to normal?

This year, we decided to take a short trip out to the desert to celebrate. We arrived yesterday. Today we will be cruising all the oddities in the tri-city area of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and 29 Palms. On Thursday, we'll dip into Palm Springs to visit with friends and stop by the Palm Springs Art Museum.

This day belongs to you, sweet husband of mine. I'm so glad to have such an amazing person in my life! Thank you for always being there for me. May your special day bring you huge joy and true happiness! I'm thrilled to be celebrating you!

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Sunday, January 02, 2022

New Year's Day 2022

Yes, we're still experiencing the pandemic. Recently, there has been a surge of the virus. Our New Year's Eve was fine, but we didn't meet with neighbors and friends, just to be on the safe side. On New Year's Day, it is our tradition to visit a local park. This year we drove to the L.A. River and went to Lewis McAdams Riverfront Park in Atwater. This is a park planted with native vegetation. The park meanders along this portion of the river. We liked it a lot.

There is outdoor exercise equipment set up in one portion of the park. There is a pavilion, walking paths and access to the L.A. River. Since we've had lots of rain lately, the river was flowing nicely. There were even a few people fishing at the river's edge.

We wandered through various portions of the park. It wasn't busy, but there were families enjoying this fresh day.

Beautiful tiles representing the park, set into concrete benches

Creative park entrances
Larry, down by the river

Happy New Year 2022!
Read about Poet, Lewis McAdams here
The Pavilion 

The Riverfront Park is a wonderful example of how a city park can be sensitive to its surroundings. I really like this park and will definitely visit again!

After our park visit, we drove downtown for New Year's lunch at Philippe's, the French Dip. Delicious!


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Monday, November 08, 2021

Last week Larry and I attended an exhibition at the L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA) entitled, "The Obama Portraits Tour." Two portraits, one of President Barack Obama by Keninda Wiley and the other of Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald are on loan from the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.  Both paintings are massive and are displayed together on one large wall.  Both portraits are excellent and totally different in style. Read about them HERE and HERE.  

In addition to the Obama portraits, there are a few large galleries containing many wonderful portraits by black artists throughout the years. This exhibit is called "Black American Portraits, Remembering Two Centuries of Black American Art."  There are so many wonderful paintings included, along with sculpture, etchings, drawings, quilts, tapestries and more. I've wanted to see the Obama portraits, but this secondary exhibit is so worthwhile!

"Forever" by Bisa Butler (2020), Cotton, Silk, Wool, Quilted and Appliquéd Velvet
"Madame C.J. Walker" by Chelle Barbour (2019). Mixed Media Collage on Paper

I was awed by this collection, so I really didn't photograph that many pieces. You must see the show for yourself! Go during the week if you can, when the Museum isn't quite as busy.

Of course, upon our departure from LACMA, we took the obligatory photo in front of Chris Burden's "Urban Light" (2008).

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery