A Good Thing

Writer in the wild

I’ve lost my mind writing this latest book. And that’s a good thing. A great thing. It’s challenged what I know, what I thought I had to say, and how I thought I wanted to say it. I’ve lost my mind, and that’s a good thing. I couldn’t be more grateful/excited/nervous/eager.

More to come.

xo Isla



Happy Thanksgiving – A Recap

Yay snow!!

Gigi, my little sled dog

That’s basically been the sentiment around the house since the day before Thanksgiving. We played in the snow, toasted the snow during happy hour, gave thanks to the snow before eating Thanksgiving dinner, etc. We are seriously excited to see fat white flakes falling magically from the sky.

But that’s what happens when you live in California during a drought. It takes very little–simple moisture in the air–to make us ridiculously giddy. 🙂

So Thanksgiving morning we woke in our warm beds, migrated to the living room and sipped hot coffee (that we used to cheers the view of the snow-coated wonderland), then bundled up and headed out on our morning walk through the crunch-crunch-crunch of winter paradise.

The trees were almost happily frozen in place, the roads slick and coated in white, the animals–deer, turkeys–leaving proud marks through the snow. And the smells! Gigi loved smelling the snow (my happy little sled dog) and I loved smelling that chilled freshness tinged with smoke from fireplaces.


Then we made our way back and warmed up (which doesn’t take long for my office manager. She’s  built for this stuff.) and got to work on Thanksgiving meal prep. We had fun in the kitchen–lots of laughter at our creations (oh, we don’t have that ingredient? Try this!)–and made the following dishes:

Roasted Turkey

Traditional Green Bean Casserole

Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Cabernet Onion Gravy

Italian Dean Stuffing (that has nothing to do with me. And nothing I want anything to do with. Turkey is not my thing, and this had turkey parts in it.) (Also, it’s an old family recipe of my stepdad’s and I may be spelling it incorrectly. Just go with it…) 🙂

Cranberry Sauce ~ Olives ~  etc.

Dessert: Thanksgiving Brownies & Vanilla Ice Cream (a request by my stepdad this year)

We ate, relaxed, played in the snow, read, watched holiday movies, ate more, listened as cars attempted to power up the mountain then start sliding in the ice then eventually back down. (A true mountain form of entertainment.)

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. The spirit of it is important to me and I am SO GRATEFUL to be surrounded by loved ones. I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving from me & my trusty office manager!

Much Gratitude,

xo Isla


Nature…In Nature

We’ve had a bug man—whom we affectionately call Cowboy Bug Man given his long, long mustache and because he calls me “babe” and “sweetheart”—who has been tending to the abundance of creepy crawly things in and around the house. He tells us that, because we are in a major drought in California, and because we didn’t really experience much of a winter, the bugs are plentiful as frost, snow, and ice didn’t kill many of the crop off as usually would happen.

I explained this to Gigi so she would understand too. (Photo above)

Now, I don’t mind nature so much. In fact, I quite love it, especially after spending so many years living in cities like NY and SF where to go outside means to go out on the sidewalk where drunk frat boys dressed in santa costumes are passed out from the night before (true story).

And while sleeping drunken santas might be easier to deal with than spiders that descend from the ceiling a foot from my face Mission Impossible style, I still love living in the mountains of California.

Of course, that love is tested when, for example, over the weekend, the animals caught a lizard (or baby snake…couldn’t tell from it’s wiggling place in the cat’s mouth) and tried to bring it inside like a prize, my pup cornered several spiders, and…yep…just now I had to stop typing to go smash two plump carpenter ants.

It took a sturdy glass of scotch to wash away the heebie jeebies in order to sleep. (Photo #2 above)

By the way, we’ve just finished remodeling the home so it’s not like these bugs have been in the shadowy crevices for decades. I’ve only spent 3 nights in the new place!! I I should buy more bottles of scotch…

At the end of the day, when I have scotch in hand, I like nature. When it’s IN NATURE. Not in my house. 🙂

Happy Monday. May it be bug free.