Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Painting It Red

Our first house, ca 1995, that's a dark red door!
In a rare moment of not doing everything ourselves, Roger and I hired a crew to paint our house. It was a big break from tradition. The first house we bought in Santa Cruz in 1995 was the most awful yellow-pea-green color with a crazy blue-green door. It was BAD. So, we set out to paint it one fine day, and many of our new neighbors walked or drove by to wave and THANK US for making such an improvement. We painted it a Navajo White, which is really a light cream, with white trim and a barn red door.
We are both wild about barn red. I think we may have talked about painting the Port Townsend house red, but then somehow the idea of shingling it was born, and that was that. Now that was a job. Roger and I must have blue-house karma. That big Port Townsend house was blue blue blue. Long-time Dharma Bum fans know the amount of work that project was, turning that blue house into a shingled beauty. When I was looking around at the old posts, I found a picture of the entry way of that house. Ah yes, there it was, our homage to red. We just love that color and managed to highlight it in the most lovely way here.
So, when it came time to paint our second blue house, we finally decided to paint it barn red (and have someone else do the work!). Here's a little secret about paint. No one can agree on what barn red is. We have swatches of red all over the sauna and the woodshed. Red this, red that. We drove around looking at house colors, "too dark, too light, too brown, too red, too weird…" We finally decided on a color "Brick Dust" and hired a fantastic work crew. It took them nine days to get the job done. We enjoyed their presence immensely, even when they arrived at 7:00 AM (to beat the heat). They were diligent, meticulous, good-natured, thoughtful and easy to be around. We liked them so much we barbecued a homemade pizza for them, and sent them home on many days with homegrown yellow squash and garlic.
What they gave to us was this.

PS-- I haven't even told you about the back of the house. It's the opposite color scheme. I'll do a post about that in a few days.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Where Have We Been?

Here at the coast. Celebrating the wedding of our youngest daughter Elena and her wonderful and amazing partner Jason.
Here they are with their beautiful daughter Delilah.

There are some rituals that evoke the timelessness of our human selves, the gathering of kin at the altar of love. The words we say to the bride and groom, full of every hope and open heart. We wish all good things to come their way in a future that will bring them the sweetest fruits of their dreams.

We have this one thing to surround them with always. Love.

PS: Check out the stunning white foliage from an albino redwood on Jason's lapel. It's a well-guarded family secret where that foliage grows, so it was a treasured sight to see this.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Some Like It Hot

We don't… like it hot, that is. Well, I don't more than Roger doesn't, but both of us hate being cooped up in the house while the temperatures soar over 100 degrees day after day. You know us, we're outdoors people. We like being able to hike around any time and not have to think about the weather. We like to work in the garden, and not just run out in the early morning to check on things, before heading back in to hide. A winter day with 18 inches of new snow on the ground only makes us wonder if we have enough gear to take a walk somewhere. Not this heat though, we live our days inside with the indoor and outdoor shades drawn. That's just plain WRONG.
We're having our house painted over the next ten days or so starting Monday. I don't know how house painters are going to fare. I keep reminding myself that they must know how to manage, it's their job, and it does get HOT in the Sierra foothills. But still, shouldn't they be home in their cool houses with the shades drawn too? We've been planning on this paint job for quite some time. Unfortunately it's coinciding with this crazy heatwave.
In preparation for the house to go from cool blue to deep barn red, we had to move a bunch of stuff like hummingbird feeders and the outdoor shades that protect us from the relentless sun. The birds did not like that little trick at all. Even though the feeders are not more than ten feet away and totally obvious, they complained quite a bit about having to make this outrageous adjustment. I think they were probably saying, "On top of this insane heat, you moved our feeders?"
Western tailed blue in the hot afternoon sun
I know, I know wah wah wah, I'm such a big cry baby about heat. It's true. Still, global climate change is pretty scary stuff, and if this summer is any indication about the future… well, that's the stuff of nightmares.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

More Lightning Than You Can Imagine

Interestingly, we didn't see any of it. The storms were just a bit south of us, but there were 2006 lightning strikes recorded in the neighboring national forests. We were in a "red flag warning" for most of the weekend. You know there's a joke about California having only two seasons: rain and fire. In some ways it's true. If we get the season of rain, the season of fire is much less scary. With climate change, it's hard to know what to expect anymore.

Friday, August 03, 2012

birthday garden

we have been looking back at our posts last year to see garden pictures so it seemed appropriate to post garden pictures on my birthday.
our best onion crop ever! we have 25 or so of these. this is the biggest of course.

the comparison to last year pic. taken from there looking here.

if only i had stopped five feet back dropping this in place would have been easier. it is one of the raised beds from the garden that came with the house. now we just need to fill it.

it has been a wonderful birthday. we got out early to take our long walk. several relatives left stylish singing renderings of "happy birthday" while we were out. my marvelous hippie wife made a delicious breakfast. we purchased salmon AND scallops to satisfy my fish jones and the garden has provided squash, eggplant, onion and garlic (never tried to grill it before). all to be bbq'd.

much more importantly.... thanks to all my friends, met and unmet, for such nice thoughts on the occasion of my entering my 70th year.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Cutest Hippie Boy I Know

August 3rd, is Roger's 70th birthday. Is this not the face of the cutest hippie boy ever? Imagine smiling and looking like this on the eve of your 70th birthday. This is the face of the man I love, and I can't tell you how happy I am that he is still here everyday... working in the garden, driving the lawn tractor, fixing the spring pump by the pond, gathering the surplus yellow squash, putting the roof on the garden shed, dancing in the kitchen, laughing at the internet, loving his family, still dreaming... still dreaming. Happy birthday, Roger!