fuzzy feet

Posted in cat's meow by nikkipolani on October 6, 2015

How about an entirely gratuitous post dedicated to one my favorite feline features?

Of course, Sammy and Emmaline (above) have the fuzziest feet and speckled toes — some pink, some black.

Wimsey’s feet often look long to me because of his “socks.”

Samantha likes to streeeeeetch with front paws in Superman formation.

Emmaline’s new favorite spot is under the coffee tables among legs of the two step stools that are parked there.

Wimsey’s favorite way to play “feather” — with his paws poking out from under the bed.

This may be Sammy or Emmaline squeezed between the fireplace and the chair.

No difficulty identifying these fuzzy feet.

fff oct 2

Posted in five faves friday by nikkipolani on October 1, 2015

Another “Thursday already” week has flown by, though some of it felt like molasses while parts of it was gone in a blink. Thanks to Susanne for hosting the Five Faves to remind us to pause and note down the blessings of the week.

1. Wednesday was my last day at my old job. It was time to go and God not only made it clear but provided a new scary-exciting adventure to start next week.

2. After my exit interview, a few now officially ex-co-workers and I spent a leisurely late lunch together reminiscing. It was a sweet ending.

3. I was glad to have a few days between jobs to relax and decompress. Roomie and I went to an Indian buffet but were disappointed that palak paneer (greens – usually spinach – with paneer cheese) wasn’t among the buffet options.  Roomie asked the man who’d seated us about her favorite dish and he said he’d see what he could do. Moments later, he brought out a small bowl just for her. Wasn’t that nice?

4. Returning from our window shopping outing, we expected lots of rush-hour traffic, so I used Waze to help me navigate the best path home. If you’re familiar with Waze, you know that users can post alerts to help other drivers like “heavy traffic” and “car on shoulder”. There’s also a “complete standstill”. We laughed when this notification popped up every time we were stopped at a light.

5. On the evening of the lunar eclipse, roomie and I met up with our neighbors in the street to chat and watch and photograph what we could see.  Turns out many of our neighbors were on their porch, too, and we visited all evening until well after the eclipse.
0700 0853

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

coming into focus

Posted in other stuff by nikkipolani on October 1, 2015

I don’t have any illusions that this space is private, so I’ve been mum about work details here. However, long months of anticipation and many fervent prayers and fidgety waiting have come to an end. I start a new job on Monday.

The image above is an outtake of my attempts at a proper photo for LinkedIn. Back in February, my brother reviewed my resume and gave me a list of 17 things to do, with number 15 being an updated head shot. A few weeks later, I finally managed a quiet hour or so under perfectly overcast skies. After dodging curious cats, taming clothing wrinkles, fiddling with focus, I got three shots and uploaded one.

Then began months of start-stop communication with one particular company — one that God clearly ordained. They found me online and never publicly posted the position. My particular niche in this industry is fairly narrow so it’s not surprising that the opportunities are few. One of those difficult meetings I mentioned in the FFFs was my resignation conversation with my boss, the one who’s made the FFF list for his calm and sanity. It’s true that transitions like these are hardest on the relationships that get severed. Yes, we can keep in touch, but it can never be the same.

But with great joy and trepidation and nerves and exhilaration and thankfulness, I’m ready for the new adventure.

fff sept 25

Posted in five faves friday by nikkipolani on September 25, 2015

If I had to choose between introvert or extrovert, I’d say I lean more on the introvert end of the scale. Which means being with people a lot (training other people for hours on end, for example) tends to tire me out. This week has been a whopper in terms of training sessions. There’ve been good things to celebrate, though, and I don’t want to miss recounting them.

1. A fun (albeit belated) birthday lunch for my mom this past weekend. In the busyness, I haven’t seen my parents as much as I’d like. Plus, my brother could join us.

2. My brother, whose love language is apparently gift giving, had a present for me, too: a lovely leather bag that will also hold my camera. Does he know his sister, or what?

3. Deutsche sprache, schwere sprache*. Typing that is a lot easier than pronouncing it. Though language learning has slowed a bit, Duolingo tells me I have 15% fluency ;-)

4. Roomie and I were walking home from church when two of our neighbor’s boys (cousins aged 2 and 3) came hurdling down the sidewalk to thrust plastic fork and spoon into our hands. “These are for you!” they cried. Roomie got closer and saw that they’d set up a tiny stand with two kids chairs and an overturned bucket to sell Oreo cookies. “We’re selling food!” and promptly plunked two cookies on a plate with napkin. Absolutely adorable. I don’t think their food stand lasted long. Temps were headed to 100F and after an hour or so, they and their big sister came knocking at our door to bring pomegranates and play with our cats.

5. After a long long week, I’m really really happy that it’s Friday. The cats have the right idea.  I plan to join them (though probably on the sofa and not the carpet). Happy happy weekend, friends.

* German language, hard language; i.e., German is hard!

fff sept 18

Posted in five faves friday by nikkipolani on September 18, 2015

Iceberg rose buds starting up again — in the rain!

Another whirlwind week. Seems like it’s been months since I could run errands during my lunch hour, those errands that now pile up for Saturdays. But change is in the air and a terrific time to recount the week’s blessings with Susanne’s Five Faves.

1. At the last minute, a friend couldn’t make use of her tickets to a Gershwin and Berlioz concert at the Hollywood Bowl and gave them to roomie and me. We juuuust caught the commuter bus in time to enjoy dinner under the stars and to the mesmerizing accompaniment of pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (as well as the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra, of course).

I couldn’t take my camera inside because the lens was deemed “too long” (35-105mm??). So these are from the bus and as we arrived at the Bowl.

2. The M and B-sisters joined us for movie (Hundred Foot Journey) and dinner at home. Our meal was put together for convenience (steak and salads), with a nod to the Indian (naan) and French (bonbons) elements of the movie. Besides, it’s always a good time of sharing and encouragement with these friends.

3. Rainy days and Tuesdays — a surprise tropical rain storm deposited steady inch or so of rain during the night and half the next day. Traffic was a bit snarled but I smiled at the drenched freeway signs that admonished: Severe drought, limit outdoor watering. Glad the skies weren’t limited!

4. Remember those stellar neighbors who cared for our cats while we were away? One of them works in a vet’s office and observed our cats’ food intake and behavior and offered some good advice that will actually make their mealtimes easier. And then they went out and bought four cases of the food they’d recommended. I’m amazed by their generosity.

5. There’ve been a couple of difficult meetings this week. I’m thankful they went well and they’re behind me.  To balance those out, I’ve also had several encouraging notes and conversations.

Hope you have something encouraging to look forward to this weekend.

fff sept 11

Posted in five faves friday by nikkipolani on September 11, 2015

I had many intentions of posting more during the week, but the evidence points to failure on that front. But my heart’s been filled right up with encouragement in many quarters. Let’s get started with these five.

1. Though it was a very hectic weekend for several of our Cambria friends, we still found time to lounge over iced coffees and and pleasant ocean breezes. This is what summer vacation feels like to me.

2. Two of the girls has been share-cropping with a local farmer, growing tomatoes to sell and experimenting with other vegetables for home use. They’d just harvested some 80lbs of tomatoes to sell to nearby restaurants. We spent part of one morning processing some that hadn’t sold — sauce, roasted tomato soup, slow-cooked spaghetti sauce. The farmer also gave them 50lbs of oranges that weren’t aesthetically perfect. Our taste buds didn’t have any trouble at all.

3. This lovely lunch featuring lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and oranges from the farm — even the cheerful zinnias. Bliss.

4. On the drive home, we stopped in Buelton on impulse and stumbled onto Industrial Eats, a wonderfully eclectic lunch spot with communal dining tables and menu items listed as “Pizza” and “Not Pizza”. I had a plate of the freshest mussels in a lime cilantro curry sauce that made me swoon.

5. And while roomie and I were away, we had the best cat sitters ever. We’d known our neighbors loved cats, but they outdid themselves with three-times-daily visits to play and feed our herd. They brought new toys and sent daily email updates.

Remembering this day 14 years ago, I’m all the more thankful for those who gave their all. Hope you’ve had a good week too!


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