Coffee! It starts our mornings — at home, not at a downtown coffee stop.

Glenys’ motto:


For years we have been fine tuning our coffee experience. After a learning curve we chose a Della Corte brewer with a Mazzer grinder. Boring I know….  Growing older however, has taught us the wisdom of effective tools and being part of civilization we indulge in espresso.


Hunting and gathering well roasted and flavorful beans is an ongoing challenge. Once we shipped 2kg of special Ethiopian beans from Max Coffee in New Zealand.  Our local coffee roaster refused to sell such beans as they aren’t Organic.  Reading the US AID report ‘Buying and Importing Guide for Ethiopian Coffee”  we’re told that only “factory” growers can afford the expense of certification.  In our local market branding seems more important than taste to many businesses; “Gluten Free and Support the Troops” is our sarcastic motto.

In both taste and presentation, New Zealand spoiled us. Beyond pleasant taste and pleasant facilities, every barista created artful foam/crema art on top.  Unexpectedly, on the ferry boat to the South Island where the coffee came in a covered paper cup, we jokingly asked “where’s the art”?  He smiled and pointed to lift the lid.  Sure enough.  So now we think that foam art adds to the fun, and since we make our own caffe latte, it’s up to us.

Question:  Making Foam Art; How hard could it be?

Answer:  Harder than it looks.

We watched videos on YouTube. We each make about 3 cups a day so plenty of practice.  Now after ~4 months, occasionally one of us turns out a recognizable design; twice in a row is still a challenge.


Nevertheless, it all tastes good.  And it’s gluten free.

Morning coffee, Glenys, Sigmund and me, May 7, 2014

A walk in the garden with Sigmund the parrot on Tony’s shoulder.   (He likes the foam too.)

Have a good start to your day.


Sculpture in the Garden

First there were rocks. From our favorite site along Lake Superior, we found rocks that were carved by nature. Back home, they were polished and shaped and sculpted. This torso, inserted Italian-style into an escallonia hedge, became an early icon of the garden.


An elm piece aligns with the karesansui garden.


When we started re-designing the area around the pool, we went to Cornerstone in Sonoma for inspiration . . . and found it! We saw a massive (2-ton) weathering steel 3D disk, then met the artist Ivan Maclean, and bought “Mother of Re-invention”. He even agreed to deliver and install it, on his way to see his Mom. Days before its arrival, Glenys looked out the window and said, “Tony, I wonder if the sculpture would look better centered in the garden?” And we quickly agreed. The old swing went to a new home.

Old Swing

And the new sculpture arrived:

Ivan's Mother of Re-Invention

And settled into place.

Tony/Glenys Sculpture

Although we never planned to create a sculpture garden, we both were struck by the subtle and pleasing forms Ivan created.  The still unfinished pool area needed a “big rock” and we were intrigued by the moire’ effect of his spheres.  The wide and narrow orientations formed by curved metals gives a gossamer suggestion of solidity.  We both wondered how Ivan’s large spheres were created so visited his workshop in Portland Oregon to see our new “big rock” in creation.

Sculpture #2 in progress

It is made of silicon bronze.  Here it is polished before receiving a patina of verdigris.   We wanted a weathered green color that would embellish with age.

Ivan's Sphere

With some spherical plants to echo the shape and color, the new sphere is settling into the landscape.