Wednesday, September 30, 2015

End Of September Photos

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sights From The Bay

Feeding frenzy on Tuesday afternoon
One of several Harbor Seals at the frenzy

An Agave flowering at the end of its life

Roger poses just to give you an idea of how big this flower is.
Sea otter eating something

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sea Otter and River Otter

We are on the road and quite weary from a long day of travel. Drove from Arcata to Capitola, a 350 mile (563 km) journey. We took a walk down to the wharf after dinner and watched some sea otters in the sunset waters. They reminded me that I hadn't posted any photos of the river otter we saw in early September at the marsh. So here are two otters for you, one sea and one river. Both very toothy indeed!

Sea otter eating something

River otter

We came to Capitola to celebrate my mother's 90th birthday this Friday. If all goes as planned, she and other family members will be driving up from southern California over the next few days. There will be more posts very soon and more pictures!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

It Was 45 Years Ago Today

For today's post I had been planning to copy and paste a post I wrote ten years ago. That post is called the Anniversary of the Worst Day of My Life. When I wrote it ten years ago, it was the thirty-fifth anniversary. I've decided not to copy that post here, I'll just offer the link. I will say this for those who are wondering if you should read it or not, I am a survivor of a rape by a stranger. It took place on Thursday, September 17, 1970. If you choose not to read it, I'll put one verse here from the poem I wrote:

On a vastly beautiful fall day
I become a witness
to the state laws
he breaks with my body
A photo of me taken in 1971
I have thought over years that I would like to read a transcript from the trial, but I don't know if that's possible. I do remember that the cross-examination was so insulting and horrible, that I got up off the witness stand, walked out of the courtroom, and locked myself in the bathroom. I had no idea I could be held in contempt of court, but was reminded by someone who the DA sent to knock on the door, trying to get me to go back into the courtroom. I was so flummoxed by the whole experience that the defense attorney actually called me at home to ask me to be a witness for the defense. Seriously. I told him in no uncertain terms and in rather colorful language to never call me again. Yes, I was questioned about that on the witness stand the very next day. I learned firsthand how innocent victims are shamed and blamed. I was only 18 years old.

I am a gray-haired woman now with so many wonderful joyous life experiences between that day and now, but I have learned there are some things that can never be forgotten.

I am a survivor.

PS: When we first started blogging so many years ago, we used Haloscan for our comments. They stopped hosting blogger comments in 2009. We have all the comments from those days, but they are in a mostly unusable format. I did go through those 23 huge files and find the comments that had been left on the original post. I posted those in the comments on the original post.

Monday, September 14, 2015

new house projects

we noticed that we could easily and clearly see people walking on the street behind our house. so we walked out there and could see right into our living room and bedroom windows. the usual fix for more privacy is lattice extending the height of the fence. the usual premade lattice sections are one foot tall. we needed to add two feet.

these are custom made lattice extensions two feet tall. the lattice fits into a groove cut into the two by four frames. the fence is old and slightly wobbly. a couple of posts are shaky at the bottom. so there is a lot of reinforcing hidden on the backside. we now have a bit more privacy.

the yard  is nicely landscaped for low maintenance. and is boring. the dirt may have been fine many years ago when this are was grassland but that was scraped bare to build houses and the dirt has settled into hard clay. a neighbor warned us that shrubs and turf may grow decently but flowers and vegetables require better soil. we decided to go for raised beds filled with good dirt. i built a three foot by six foot box and got a half yard of compost with goat manure, which filled the box and left some for flowers somewhere.

in a modified sheet composting move we put down heavy cardboard, put the box there and filled it with good dirt. we have to do some travelling next week for family stuff so we will plant some starts when we return. the long term plan has many more boxes like this and the removal of the boundary at the edge of the sod.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Monday, September 07, 2015

Love Letters

I got a card in the mail from my mom the other day with a handwritten message that said,
Here it is. 
I enjoyed it and you will love it.
 Inside was this neatly folded full page newspaper article from the Los Angeles Times.
Across the top of the page, she had also written: ROBIN READ THIS. YOU WILL LOVE IT. It was a review of two new books about Lawrence Ferlinghetti, City Lights Books and the Beat Movement of San Francisco in the 1950s. Yes, my mom knows me, and she was absolutely right I loved reading the article. I definitely want to get these books.

When I spoke to my mom on the phone she told me that she also loved the photo of Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg. I agreed, it is such a great photo. It reminded me of the last time I saw Ferlinghetti. I was working at UC Santa Cruz in the late 1990s and was walking into the campus library when I saw an older man with someone walking out. When we walked past each other, I noticed that the older man looked very familiar to me. I thought he reminded me so much of Ferlinghetti, I knew I had to turn around and run back to ask him, so I did. I said, "Are you Lawrence Ferlinghetti?" He smiled and said, "Yes, I am." I said, "I met you years and years ago at the Kerouac Conference in Boulder, Co. I was the volunteer co-ordinator." His eyes twinkled and he replied, "Oh that was a time, that was quite a time, wasn't it?" Yes, it was.

I told my mom the story. She loved it. I have to say that the best part of getting this card and article in the mail is what it means to me to know that my mom sent it. My mom is going to be 90 years old on September 25, and she still reads the newspaper everyday. She read this book review and thought, Robin needs to see this. My gratitude and love know no bounds.

Friday, September 04, 2015

The Light of Day

The new windows arrived on Tuesday. Two window technicians replaced 13 of the 14 windows that needed replacing. The 14th window was the wrong size, so we're waiting until September 9th for that one to be installed. As you can see from the above photo, the difference is pretty dramatic. The new windows light up every room in the house. We are so happy with the results. We may still put in a skylight when we have the house re-roofed, but for now the light is truly delightful. We do wonder why anyone in their right mind would put a bronze tint and solar reflective coating on a window. Being in the house was like wearing sunglasses all day long. CRAZY!

We've been having warm and sunny weather here. A bit unusual for the north coast, and we've been enjoying it immensely. We've seen sunrises and moonrises in clear skies. The few clouds that come in off the coast make for beautiful iridescence and halos. All the things we love to see when looking up.
Even the spiderwebs are a thing of beauty in the morning light. As the seasons change, we are eager to see where the sun will rise and set as the earth spins in its axial tilt toward our winter. We love getting to know our new house and the angle of sunlight in all the seasons.