Mighty Nature


Slim Paley Photo

A very wet morning



Slim Paley photo

As Mighty Mother Nature continues to flex her powers all over the globe, we are attempting to stay afloat here in Santa Barbara….

The rains have been epic, with more predicted in the next few days.



Slim Paley photo

Lilies outside of the library this afternoon






Needless to say, everything is very green which is nice and seasonal,



Slim Paley photo

We said goodbye to a dear old sentry this morning





But I know that conditions are far worse in other places.

There are friends and family stranded all over the world, so I send good wishes and prayers for everyone to get home to their loved ones, where ever they may be.



Courtesy of Slim’s English Countryside Correspondent


Meanwhile, back indoors…



Slim Paley photo

The lush Angel finally made her way from propping up the bar to a more dignified position  (just this morning!)


Slim Paley photo

Decorating has commenced


Slim Paley photo

Freshly cut magnolia branches await arranging on fireplace mantles



Slim Paley photo

and the Nature theme will be carried over to the Christmas table, including these reclaimed wood chestnuts from “Maison K” in Montecito,




Slim Paley photo

and these charming Hermes mushrooms I found at auction many years ago.




And lastly, in keeping with the green theme, I’m going to share my latest favourite snack recipe with you;.


Slim Paley Photo



Krispy Kale Chips

(trust me, they taste much better than they look!)


1 pound curly kale, stems and large inner ribs removed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic cloves minced

Salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375.  In a bowl, toss washed and totally dried kale with all but 1 tablespoon of the oil .

Spread the kale on two baking sheets and roast in the upper part of the oven for about 15 minutes or until crisp. (Shift the pans from top to bottom 1/2 way through)

Season the kale with salt and freshly ground pepper and transfer to airtight container after it cools.

Lemon Yogurt Dip

I cup fat free plain Greek yogurt

1 tespoon finely grated lemon zest

2 table spoons fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove minced

The last tablespoon of olive oil


In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, minced garlic and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt & pepper and serve with chips.

(Recipe from Food & Wine Magazine)


Note;  We haven’t even tried the dip yet- the chips are so good on their own!!

If the chips lose their crispness you may pop them back into a low temp. oven for two or three minutes and they’ll crisp up again.  (If you have a food dehydrator (brilliant inventions) you can crisp the chips in that as well)



Bundle up, stay cozy and Safe Travels!







  1. Slim, your post makes me feel as if Christmas is near! And those Kale “Chips” look tasty. Can’t wait to make them. Or have someone make them…lol. Glad you’re up and posting again.

  2. I keep reading all around the blogosphere about people waiting for children and relatives to get home for the holidays – hope your son is already there. I feel very lucky that I am not expecting anyone from afar. Your poor tree – so sad – like losing an old friend. Like how you paired the Hermes mushrooms with the Vuitton backdrop. And those chips do look delicious – I’ll have to be trying them!

  3. Yahoo … the tree is up! I knew you could do it. Love those kale chips … make them all the time. So very healthy. Sorry to see the sad state of that big ol’ tree. What a shame. One tree is up .. and one tree is down. Guess it was his time. xoL


  5. SLIM!!!!! WAIT!!!

    That oak tree! I grew up here……and……..often……they continue to grow and flourish after they fall down! I promise you.

    If you cut the part that is blocking your driveway…….that tree……..(that gorgeous old tree)!!

    (One on our lane fell yesterday,also) see…….California Live Oaks are one kind of tree that lots of times……lives on after they fall over. I insisted that Ennisbrook not cut back the part that was back from blocking the street (I am somewhat reasonable)…and they didn’t…….that was 5 years ago…..it is a healthy and flourishing tree next to our lane…..!

    Just try cutting the part that is blocking your driveway…..and see what happens.

    My favorite landscape architect was Tommy Church…….and he did the best book……”Gardens are for People.” ( out of print now….still my bible} he told a story of a fallen oak tree in a client’s garden. It became the star! Be careful! I know that tree! You may be able to save part of it!!!


    Yikes………we should build an ark together!!


    • Thank you Penelope- I have never, ever heard of re-standing a very old oak tree once they go down.
      Willow trees, yes, those guys are like drunken sailors but the stately old oak, I’m afraid he would be way too heavy to even attempt to raise again.

      And still it continues to rain…an ark might be an idea…

      • We lost the most magnificent oak tree as well a couple of years ago. Penny told me the same thing, but it was too late. They had already come and gone with it. Still to this day makes me sad. Like losing someone you really really really liked a lot. We planted a huge sycamore and it has already tripled in size. Stunning…..

        Happy Holidays to your lovely family.

  6. sorry ’bout your oak tree, slim. i know this rain is needed, and whining about it seems pretty ungrateful (it’s not like the deadly floods so many places around the globe are subjected to), but still, i am officially OVER IT!

  7. I love rainy weather, but not THAT much! I bet your house is just gorgeous for Christmas. You know what I did this year? 2 Magnolia wreaths, a centerpiece, and stockings on the mantle! (I’m gonna love the cleanup!!!!!) Merry Christmas Slim! oh,,,and a tree 🙂

    • You best lay off those early morning “Toddys” Kendall!

      No, just kidding! You do see snowflakes- you really, really DO!
      (It’s a little feature WordPress provides until January 4th)

  8. Welcome back and Happy Holidays!! Thanks for the birthday comment . . . it was soooooooo true and
    caused me to laugh out loud. Will be waiting for the sequel to the ‘ole oak tree’ merle

  9. I think the Christmas- tree angel looks a little like you Slim!!

    Just got back from a trip to Sweden and even for a country so used to snow, we have not seen anything like this year’s weather. You’re right it’s epic. Trying to get back London, Paris and Frankfurt airports were shut down because of snow.
    On a happier note, so glad you are back, your blogs always make my day!

  10. The mushrooms remind me of a joke our flight attendant told on the way out here: “Mushroom walks into a bar. Bartender says we don’t serve mushrooms here. Mushroom says, “But I’m a fungi.”

    I hope you can save your oak tree! Crossing my fingers for you. Merry Christmas!

  11. I am relatively new to your site—your “estate” is amazing. I hope Penelope’s suggestion for saving the old oak tree works. How sad to have had it fall over. We had a post that was buried some feet into the ground do that (I live in Orange County)…and yes, we’re celebrating Christmas on an ark this year!

  12. Yes ever so sad to see such a beautiful tree taken down , not even by the wind? Just too soggy to hold the roots. Never heard of kale chips , but can’t wait to try them.
    The rain is a drag for sure, i guess because we are so spoiled with our weather in S.B. Many airports are closed today, so let us all send our positive and best wishes that they all make the best of it, make new friends, just be safe.
    Your home will be a feast for the eyes as always & family all home safe & sound.
    Wishing you all a magical holiday and a very healthy New year.

  13. After all the shade and beauty that old oak has given you there is still more to come. In a year or two you will enjoy oak bonfires in the summer and warm fires on cold winter nights. Those majestic oaks
    are truly magnificent, if only they could talk… just imagine the stories they would tell!

    Merry Christmas Slim and blessings to you and yours.

  14. a magnificent, heartful, soulful, loving, humorous and wonderful post as always-
    your generosity astounds me every time
    to say nothing of your many talents
    thank you so much for doing this

  15. Thinking of you…please be safe during the deluge! We lost so many magnificent trees around the Broadmoor with high winds on Monday/Tuesday. Such a shame to lose the beautiful one in your yard. : (
    I luuurve kale chips! So delicious, and pretty guilt-free, too.
    Merry Merry! xo

  16. Love the special effects…..very fun.
    I will try the Kale chips…if I close my eyes real tight I can pretend they are Fritos.

  17. Ouch! Whats’s that saying the bigger thay are the harder they fall?!

    But now you will have the opportunity to plant a new tree and it will grow up to be somthing just as beautiful and special….. for everyone to enjoy!

    kelley : )

  18. Poor Sentry 🙁
    Glad I missed the rains, did you see my pic of the tartan airplane seats? You have a tartan blog coming up soon dont you? Im happy to sport my Kilt for you sometime!

  19. Slim gorgeous images and thoughts!! I read your guest post at Sande’s A Gift Wrapped Life…wonderful!

    Come and enter my Giveaway from My Sparrow, you will love it!

    Joyeaux Noel!

    Art by Karena

  20. HI from Lapland Slim, It’s raining BUCKETS at home in Townsville Australia too, hope you have a happy Christmas in wet SB.

    Meanwhile back in Lapland, they are not getting any snow, well according to the Lapps (seems to be plenty enough here for me). It’s minus 20C, and there are 200 over excited kids waiting for Santa (the REAL one because he lives here in Lappland as we all know) to arrive here in the Santa Claus Hotel in about 3 hours time.
    He sees the kids here early, because then he has to trip around the world.
    If you come and visit Santa’s village here in Roviniemi, the head Reindeer Herder ceremonially marks you, then Santa has your name and address tagged for, well forever, even after you grow up.
    Interestingly, we found out today that Santa still does not use GPS, TomToms or even drive a BMW with Global Navigation.

    So to all those Mums who were naysaying Santa recently, he really is here and he’s heading your way tonight!
    Sorry this is so long, but I thought it was important for you to be ready for Santa.
    Merry Christmas
    and thanks for a wonderful blog this year,
    Louise from Townsville

  21. No! I don’t mean stand it back up! I mean just cut the part that is over the driveway! And most of the time; it will start growing upward from the trunk and branches. Don’t stand it back up! Oh, I hope you haven’t cut it all up yet!

    I can show you two trees on our lane that kept growing……..beautifully; after falling completely down!!!


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