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Author Archive for Ann Christoph

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Village Matters: Savoring a Mother’s Kitchen

Village Matters: Savoring a Mother’s Kitchen

It was a “Leave it to Beaver” kitchen, Mexican style. Simple stained and varnished plywood cabinets, well-loved and clean. They had the original 1960s slim copper handles with the tapered ends. These and the matching hinges were polished bright. Aqua tiles and the aqua walls and ceiling added intense color, the Mexican touch. Ruffled cherry […]

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Village Matters: The Gift of Surprises

Village Matters: The Gift of Surprises

I had just washed my hair and was at the beginning stages of getting ready to go to work when the phone rang, “Channel 9 is down at the garden. They’re going to do a news story on saving it!” After a quick blow-dry, off I went to check it out.  Yes, indeed there was […]

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Village Matters: Turtle Consommé? Or not.

Village Matters: Turtle Consommé? Or not.

Do we need the holidays to understand our world and our life? We usually get a healthy dose of new perspectives. This year I return home with these: the details we stew over in our day to day lives are not all that important to most people; we confront recurring themes and conflicts; and we […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Undecided on Laguna How must Mitt Romney and his family feel, having fought so hard for so long?  Out there day after day, setting everything else aside, in the spotlight, pushing for his point of view. Now he and millions of supporters are terribly disappointed. That story repeats all across the country as everyone settles […]

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Village Matters: Down to simple questions

Village Matters: Down to simple questions

Life lessons seem to be highlighted at every turn. Last weekend I saw the real faces from our high school yearbook, some I hadn’t seen in 50 years. Yes, it was Alfredo’s 50th high school reunion, and since I was a year behind at the same school, I at one time knew all of the […]

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Village Matters: Not only good, but exceptional

Village Matters: Not only good, but exceptional

Saving open space in Laguna with Measure CC is not only a good idea, it shows exceptional leadership, not only here in town, but statewide. “Why don’t people get involved? There is so much they can do if they would only take some initiative!”  This is the refrain I heard in landscape architecture graduate school […]

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Village Matters: Keeping the Gleam on Goodness

Village Matters: Keeping the Gleam on Goodness

There on the deck of Brock and Marci Lyster’s new Lamont Langworthy house a woman stood next to the sinuous iron railings.  She recognized me, yet it took a moment and an explanation from her before I could reciprocate. Ginny Worthington, who I knew because of her devotion to the Hortense Miller Garden, had changed […]

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Village Matters: Nudging Toward a Miracle

Village Matters: Nudging Toward a Miracle

Sometimes things are meant to be and they fall into place just right.  Sometimes they are meant to be and they need a serious nudging.  A lot of what we are involved in seems to be in the latter category, but after the nudging is over and everything falls into place it still seems like […]

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Village Matters: Harvesting an Unexpected Crop

Village Matters: Harvesting an Unexpected Crop

It’s been three years now since we started the South Laguna Community Garden.  The project has grown from what could have been just a little neighborhood improvement project to a focus of community activity, creating surprising benefits. On Aug. 15, 200, we met to clean the vacant lot of weeds and debris.  That was the […]

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Village Matters: Luxury Accommodations

Village Matters: Luxury Accommodations

Accommodating the inconveniences and downsides that shadow our every choice, especially the ones we love the most, leads to some creative coping. Forget about the swimming pool, spa, wine cellar, those passé luxury adjuncts to the upscale custom home. The latest in luxury customizing is a cat toilet room. This one is a 4’ x […]

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Village Matters: Facing up to SONGS

Village Matters: Facing up to SONGS

It’s one of those issues. What will we say to our kids when they ask, “Did you speak up?”  I hope they don’t have to ask, “Why did you let that happen?” It was that kind of night at the City Council, one to remember.  We had our own locally broadcast “60 Minutes” program with […]

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Eagle Scouts Rock Community Garden

Eagle Scouts Rock Community Garden

Eagle Scout candidate Alec Niccum organized the construction of a rock revetment at the South Laguna Community Garden.  After months of planning, Alec and his crew, supported by moms with drinks and pizzas, mobilized last Saturday and completed the rock work in less than a day. Alec and his friends Ben Whittle, Andrew Stefaniak, Austin […]

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Village Matters: Harvesting Common Purpose

Village Matters: Harvesting Common Purpose

It could seem puzzling that at the low price end of the culinary spectrum we can go to a buffet and have unlimited plates of whatever items we choose, but at the higher price point we may be served only a small exquisitely arranged exhibit of tiny bits. Is it a match between quantity and […]

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Village Matters: What is Laguna?

Village Matters: What is Laguna?

It’s summer and the trolleys are running. Riding them and being under cover, being inconspicuous eavesdroppers, we can witness impressions of our town and of ourselves,  residents playing tourists. “They say that if you live here, you go to the beach all the time for the first few months, and then it gets old and […]

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Village Matter: On the Edge

Village Matter: On the Edge

“I’m on the edge, the edge, the edge…of glory,” Bronwyn shouted as we rumbled through southern California looking for the best landscaping and maintenance projects of the year.  This was the second of three days, each day started at 6 a.m., and our assignment as landscape judges was to see and evaluate more than 80 […]