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March 14, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
It's time for our annual list of spring garden tours and events, for all you planners. Be sure to check organizers' websites for more information and updates, because some events do sell out. Additions to the list and suggestions are welcome via reader comments. April 6-7: More than 40 gardens, each planted with at least 50% California native plants, will be featured in the 10th annual self-guided tour organized by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants . 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
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NEWS
January 2, 2014 | By Lisa Boone
Acorn owners Maggie Lobl, Erin Tanaka and Laura Tanaka said they wanted to open a home and garden boutique in Eagle Rock because of Colorado Boulevard's amiable vibe. “It's so friendly here,” Lobl said. “People really walk in this neighborhood and favor local indie shops.” Indeed, earlier this week, repeat visitors from the neighborhood stopped in to shop for gifts and peruse the sunny, welcoming space. Packed with terrariums, planters, books and ceramics, the former paintball supply store features a refreshing variety of accessories that won't break the bank: graphic Pehr tea towels ($13.50)
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FOOD
July 6, 2010 | By Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times
After Colin Archipley and his wife sold their tiny Venice house and bought 2 acres of land in Escondido in 2005, he started caring for the 200 avocado trees on the land just because they were there. That turned out to be a catalyst for a new life for the Iraq war veteran. After leaving the Marines in 2006, Archipley, 29, had a vision of replicating the teamwork and proficiency of his military colleagues. He found that business: Archi's Acres now grows herbs and greens — and avocadoes — on 6 acres, some of which he owns and some of which he rents, selling at farmers markets and to Whole Foods and other retailers.
NEWS
June 19, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
The annual Dwell on Design show returns to Los Angeles this weekend with some familiar features: prefab houses, Airstream trailers, the latest in green cars. But we're pleased to report the contemporary design expo has some new faces too -- furniture and accessories we spotted last month while covering New York Design Week . If you missed them the first time around, you can see the colorful stainless steel indoor-outdoor furnishings by the Salvadoran manufacturer MarkaModerna, inventive accessories by up-and-coming Norway design students, experimental furnishings in surprising materials by the Guatemala-based Fabrica, stunning blankets by Mandal Veveri and, at the end of the day, rest in a prototype of the comfortable reclining leather VAD AS chair.  This year's Dwell on Design Artist in Residence is Tanya Aguiñiga , who will be assembling and making furniture and accessories on site for people living in transitional housing.
HOME & GARDEN
September 25, 2010
Plotting your pots In inland areas, select thick pots to insulate roots or slip one container into another and fill the gap with gravel. Light-colored pots also help to keep roots cooler.
HOME & GARDEN
April 2, 2011
Stephen Orr's lecture schedule includes these California stops: April 15: Garden Conservancy symposium, "The Way We Garden Now," 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Golden Gate Club, Presidio, San Francisco. $155 for symposium and lunch buffet. Reservations: (845) 265-2029, http://www.gardenconservancy.org . April 17: Flora Grubb Gardens. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1634 Jerrold Ave., San Francisco. (415) 626-7256, http://www.floragrubb.com . April 20: Garden Conservancy event, 6 to 8 p.m. $35. The Ebell of Los Angeles, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd.
HOME & GARDEN
May 14, 2011 | Chris Erskine
After each game, we are asked by our little sports league — run by the usual saints and crackpots — to file a synopsis to the website that is then picked up by the weekly papers. The saints (in whispers) and crackpots (in screams) like to explain that these game reports are important tools for keeping track of our baseball season. Because people largely do what they're told, the coaches mostly follow these instructions, while making secret promises to never sign up for anything like this again.
HOME & GARDEN
April 9, 2011 | Chris Erskine
The front pasture is looking a little tall, thanks to the nearly monsoonal rains, so the 300-pound beagle is doing what he does best, eating it. It is spring succulent, his own personal salad bar. "Would you like a nice wine with that?" I ask. "Maybe some French bread?" But he doesn't answer. He's so full of himself, this dog. "Were you raised by wolves?" I ask. Actually, when you're 300 pounds, and roughly the height of a ground ball, you must graze constantly. I don't know exactly what he eats, yet he eats everything.
HOME & GARDEN
June 18, 2011 | Chris Erskine
As I write, it's three days till summer vacation, but who's counting? Everybody's counting, that's who. The teachers, the crossing guard, even me. Three days. An eternity. Since when did the school year run till almost July? "Hey, Huckleberry," I say. "What, Dad?" "Three more days," I tell him. "I know," says the little guy. "I knoooooooooooow. " It's been such a long year for him that he's taken to calling his pretty young teacher "Mom," which didn't exactly thrill her, or his actual mother, who does virtually everything for him except breathe.
HOME & GARDEN
March 12, 2011 | Chris Erskine
Youth baseball's opening day is like a cocktail party without cocktails, four hours of schmoozing and "Hi, how ya beens?" on a giant field filled with kids. I can't prove this, but at one point I'm pretty sure that time actually stood still. The sun quit moving in the sky. Human digestion stopped. Cells quit replicating. Grass stopped growing. I looked around and saw other parents taking note: "What is this, some kind of purgatory?" their expressions all said. Yes. That's not to say that opening day wasn't a roaring success, for it was. By the time it was over ?
HOME & GARDEN
April 20, 2013 | Chris Erskine
So many of life's soupy uncertainties can be settled in or near tiny Toluca Lake, a neighborhood named for a body of water we never see. Ever water-skied on Toluca Lake? Ever caught a bass there, or lay idle on the toasty summer sand? Toluca Lake. An illusion wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a giant fence. People are always asking, "Why do you go out so often now?" and I immediately describe for them the baritone bark of our 300-pound beagle, his atrocious table manners, his inability to hold down a job. Of our five kids, he is the least motivated.
NEWS
March 14, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
It's time for our annual list of spring garden tours and events, for all you planners. Be sure to check organizers' websites for more information and updates, because some events do sell out. Additions to the list and suggestions are welcome via reader comments. April 6-7: More than 40 gardens, each planted with at least 50% California native plants, will be featured in the 10th annual self-guided tour organized by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants . 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
HOME & GARDEN
January 28, 2012 | Chris Erskine
From a magazine cover, a near-naked Molly Sims confesses, "I wasn't born with this body," which right away makes me curious: Whose body was she born with? Carl Reiner's? No, the shoulders look different. Boomer Esiason's? Not with that tan, she wasn't. Let the record show that, whichever body Sims was born with, she has certainly transitioned well to the person she is today, not a chest hair or surgical scar in sight. I was lucky enough to be born with my own body, and I don't even look that good.
HOME & GARDEN
December 24, 2011 | Chris Erskine
So Christmas is finally upon us. We surrender to it the way disoriented French soldiers used to surrender to thunderstorms, humbled and with arms pointing to the sky. "Please, God, no more boom-boom-boom. Merci . " I was in Target the other day, not long, only seven or eight hours, a soldier on his last legs looking for where they hid the ground coffee. One of the things you've probably noticed about L.A. store clerks, particularly now, is that they will not ever look you in the eye. It's like you're a spirit, an angel, an abstraction — something they cannot see nor fathom.
HOME & GARDEN
December 10, 2011 | Chris Erskine
I was putting up the outdoor lights the other day when my wife, Posh, came along and pushed me off the ladder. I thought she was just being playful in that cute, physically intimidating way she has. But no, she really needed the ladder. Her plan: to jump off the roof and spare herself the agony of another holiday season. I thought about it a bit — 20 minutes max — then picked up a bullhorn. To leave me alone with our kids during the holidays, I pleaded, would go against the spirit that the season represents.
HOME & GARDEN
December 3, 2011 | Chris Erskine
You know my favorite drinking glass? The skull of a fallen enemy. I buy them in sets of eight. I mention this because it's so difficult to find the right gift. Another thing I'd like for Christmas is brain surgery. A recent MRI found that my brain rests in what medical experts call "the missionary position," toes to the ceiling, in the laziest cranial pose a brain can assume. They never explained why my brain had toes. Or why it was wearing socks. "I really have a brain?" I asked, "because for years …" "Look here," the doc said, pointing to the scan.
HOME & GARDEN
September 11, 2010 | Chris Erskine
I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a dozen kids playing touch football on a California beach, as their parents cheer from beach chairs, trying to keep their fluids up with their own special Gatorade. This is football at its finest. At one point, the kids pull off a quadruple hike, the center snapping it to another center, who snaps it to the punk behind him, who snaps it to the freckled fifth-grader at the back of the line. In some 50 years of football, I've never seen anything like this quadruple snap.
HOME & GARDEN
October 23, 2010 | Chris Erskine
We call our Honda minivan the Honey Fitz, which is the name John F. Kennedy gave his presidential yacht ? you might remember, you might not. The parallels are obvious. Both are sleek vessels used for family getaways. Both of them reek of old world elegance. When people climb aboard the minivan and it wobbles a little, as if afloat in a big tub of goo, there is just the expectation that memories are about to be made. Usually, what we do is send out vellum invites: "Please join us aboard the Honey Fitz, for a memorable evening of conversation and drinks under the stars.
HOME & GARDEN
November 26, 2011 | Chris Erskine
A freak for fitness, I decided the other day to concentrate on what trainers call the "core muscle groups," the very struts of the human body. In my case, the core muscles are the tongue and the schnitzel. The schnitzel is unfamiliar to many folks, but it's a sister muscle to the hamstring. Twisty like ship rope, the schnitzel runs from the back of the tongue to a spot just under my computer desk. I'm typing with it now, in fact. So what I've been doing every morning is to work my core muscles - my tongue and my schnitzel - then replenish my fluids later in the day with that popular new heart medication, a glass or two of red wine.
HOME & GARDEN
November 18, 2011 | Chris Erskine
I once dated a Pilgrim. A Pilgrim-American Princess, in fact. Talk about crazy Thanksgivings. They have all these traditions, the Pilgrims do. For instance, you can't play knickers (much like marbles) till after dessert. And no Marie Callender pies. Ever. They're purists about their pies, not to mention many of the other traditions we kind of follow today. If it weren't for the hot tubs and the wine, a Pilgrim Thanksgiving wouldn't be worth it at all. Funny what you remember.
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