In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now in my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
Mama’s dream, when I was young and single living in San Francisco, was to purchase a two-story house that had been divided into two flats. “You can live upstairs,” said Mama. Whenever she mentioned her dream, I responded with reality, “It’s too expensive.” That didn’t ever make her dream any less. Back then, the thought of living with Mama again, even in a separate apartment in the City, was not what I wanted. So, ha! on me. Fast forward to the summer of 2003, I find myself living with Mama again. Not in the city but back in my hometown of Hollister, which was transitioning from predominantly farmland to a sea of residences. We can thank the Husband for agreeing to move away from the San Francisco Bay Area where he had lived most of his life. By the time we moved, I had lived longer up there. Not any more. This year marks our 20th year living in Hollister. I doubt we’re going anywhere. We’ve paid off the mortgage so we’re sitting pretty in that way. The Husband wanted to get far
Wildfires are happening in the counties surrounding us, two of the biggest ones roaring since mid-August. All the fires are slowly, but surely being contained, thanks to the many firefighters and others involved. We live in San Benito County, part of Central Coast California, and we're very fortunate that our only problem with the fires has been poor air quality. Since mid-August, the weather has alternated between HOT and smoky and cold and smoky. At the moment, the sun is doing its best to break through the layers of fog, ashes, dust, and smoke. Last Sunday afternoon was the hottest day of our last mini heatwave. Our power went off for several hours. No big deal for me. I slept and slept. But, before I fell asleep, I heard fireworks go off in the near distance. Some people.
1. I'm hoping we won't need to turn on the furnace until December 1. 2. Right now we're doing fine with wearing heavy long-sleeved tops and long, warm pants, snuggling beneath blankets on the couch, and turning on the space heater. 3. I baked the first apple pie of the season. 4. Baking warms up the house. 5. We have a gas furnace. It would be more efficient if the majority of the heater vents weren't next to windows. What kind of design is that? 6. I need to renew my driver's license very soon. So, today, I checked out what I needed to do. Make an appointment so I don't have to wait forever in line, I thought. Ha! The next appointment is in January. Way too late. 7. I'll apply for the Real ID, too. That one may be a hoot to navigate. 8. Someone screwed up my name royally on my birth certificate. My last name is misspelled. Instead of showing Mama's maiden surname as my middle name, the certificate has Gusman . Mama's middle name before she marrie
I'm reading Under the Tuscan Sun right now. This is my third start (maybe fourth) in the last 10 years or so. I enjoyed the movie so I bought the book when I saw it on the "buy 3, get one free" table at a bookstore. I finally got to a point that I don't recall having read. This morning I learned that the fig flower resides inside the fruit and a certain kind of wasp burrows itself inside the fig to lay its eggs. If it doesn't succeed, that's okay, it has at least pollinated the flower. If larvae has been deposited, ooh-la-la! According to Wikipedia (yup, I had to learn more), a mature male mates with a female then proceeds to peck its way out of the fig so that all the females can escape. The male, now wingless and, no doubt, quite spent promptly dies. May he forever rest in joyful peace knowing that he did his job well. Frances Mayes is the author of Under the Tuscan Sun . For those who never read the book or saw the movie, Mayes wrote about her exper
A long time ago when I was a young single thing living in the City, one of the things I enjoyed was creating a jungle in my apartment. On Sunday mornings, my church was the house plant section of Cost Plus down by Fisherman's Wharf. Wandering around philodendrons, umbrella trees, and ficus plants, oh my. Pothos, rubber plants, and ivies, such oxygen heaven. I didn't always go home with plants, but when I did it was with the small ones that cost less than two bucks each. With houseplants you can get a lot with a very slim pocketbook. Now and then the Mama gave me a houseplant to take home after a weekend visit. I don't know how many times she sent me home with a ti plant. "They're good luck," she said. The ti plants never made it, which I realize now is because I lived in very cold apartments. I wore a heavy sweater or snuggled under blankets and pillows rather than turn on inefficient wall heaters. Once, sometimes twice, a year, I would repot and propag
It was so gooooood to get home this afternoon. We spent over an hour stuck on a barely moving rural road, which normally would've taken 10 minutes to drive. I feel sorry for the commuters. They have to deal with this every work day. We three—the Husband, Molly the Cat, and I—live in an agricultural area in which the only way in and out of town are two-lane highways and back roads. It was not a big deal until maybe five or so years ago when construction of proposed developments approved 20 or so years ago finally went into full force. The building moratorium was dropped, which was imposed because the City had to fix its screwy sewage system. Bam! Bam! Bam! The bummer about this is that many people who work in Hollister live other places because they can't afford the homes. As for the people moving into the new homes, they drive the two-lane highways and back roads to Hwy 101, the main highway to the cities where they work. Our roads are essentially impacted teeth. The
Note: I wrote this post yesterday from the iPad, then sent it to my computer by email. Perhaps one day I'll learn to cope and paste on iPad. Anyway, by evening, I was too pooped to get on the computer and publish this post. In the end, does it really matter if I had? :-) I'm taking a short writer's break from being a domestic goddess. Brief no doubt because I have been thinking about writing that first sentence for the last 10 minutes. Every so often that sentence repeated itself in my brain when I wasn't distracted by The Solid Gold Oldies music station on TV playing in the background and by the ambitious things I want to complete before dinner begging for mental attention. Sigh. I forgot. What was the intent of this post? Probably to brag about the things I have finally got to and then some. Should that be one word: then some, thensome? To my great surprise the Blenheim apricot tree gifted us—and the birdies—with many branches full of fruit. We can't eat the
I love the way the leaves cover our front yard this year. This may be the first year the yellow-and-red blanket is is thick. The photos show how it looked today. The Husband raked the leaves the day before yesterday. While the Husband raked, I put up a few Christmas decorations around the yard to cheer up the Mama as she looked out the window as she ate her breakfast. This time I did more than add red bows to the tree. See the green bough on the fence? That's new, thanks to the Godmother. She was downsizing her Christmas stuff, so she gave me the bough and a bunch of cool ornaments. The Autumn leaves and the holiday decorations in the front yard are a few of the things that perked me up this week. How about you? I'm linking up with the lovely Jenny Matlock's Warm Heart Wednesday . Click here to join the meme and/or read more warming posts.
Santa Ana Valley We use the term Xanadu to refer to "an idealized place of great or idyllic magnificence and beauty". So, today, I'm posting photos of the real paradise where the Husband, the Mama, Molly the Cat, and I live—Hollister, California, our Xanadu. Nearby Southside Road Fairview Road Enterprise Road Garden at the San Benito County Historical Park Monterey Street Sixth Street nearby Versailles Drive Today is the letter X on Alphabe Thursday , which is hosted by the awesome Jenny Matlock. Thanks, Jenny! To participate in the meme or to read what other bloggers have written about the letter X , please click here .
Check out other A to Z Challenge participants by clicking here . No, I'm not talking about the store. Nor am I talking about the fake beach town that the company that owns the store imagined. Yes, folks, Hollister, California does exist. It is a small city in the middle of farmlands and nature. I was born and raised here. I graduated from the local high school, which has as a mascot a Haybaler, the farmer who bales hay, not the hay baling machine. While in high school, I wrote a newspaper column called...are you ready?... The Baling Wire . After a couple of years at the local community college, I transferred to San Francisco State University and lived in the City for many years. When the Husband and I got together, we lived in cities across the Bay until we move to Hollister. This summer will mark our 10th year living here and with the Mama. She is the reason we moved down. Do I miss living in a metropolis? Only when I want to eat out, see a movie, or browse in a
"Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right then it's not the end." That is one of my favorite lines in the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel . After doing a Google search to find out the correct wording, I learned that the phrase has been around for quite a while. Who said it initially? Someone named "Unknown" comes up a lot. Who ever you are, thank you! A lot of not-so-cool stuff has happened this past week. And, that phrase has been my mantra. It is keeping me insanely sane. So is having immediate access to the Internet. There is the work. As some of you know I make my living as a writer. The project I'm currently working on requires me to write on many different topics, of which I'm no expert. Too many topics to research, understand, and write about that I've taken to whimpering just before giving in to sleep that I'll never ever see the glimmer of light on the other side of this tunnel. "Ever
As the lemon snapped off, the robin flew from the slightly bouncing bough bowing heavy with lemons. (How's that for purple prose?) The red-breasted bird landed on the fence and scolded me. "Excuse me," I said, and continued gathering lemons for lemonade. Several days later, Molly the Cat and I were wandering near the lemon tree. Two robins swooped by and landed on the neighbor's roof. The bigger bird stared at me, as if saying, "Out! Now! Please." I understood immediately. "Come on Molly, let's go inside. These guys have a nest in the lemon tree." As you can tell from the photos, the robins hid their nest quite nicely. At first, I thought it was precariously situated on the limb, but, hey, if nobody picks the lemons, it's safe. And, that is what has happened, which is too bad since there are some nice-looking lemons on that branch. The mama and papa robins have been taking turns sitting on their babies. I wonder if they like
Nothing. Today, I have nothing to say. Well, I do have a lot of ideas, but I've just run out of steam. So, I invite you to go to my other blog and check out my hometown, Hollister, California. No, not the store. The actual place that is no where near the coast. I was born and raised in this still kind of rural small city. It's a nice place to have come back to live. When we used to live up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the husband often said, "I want to go far, far away." Hollister turned out to be it. For now. So, on to my other blog you go: Take 25 to Hollister.
If I were more ambitious, I would nudge myself to actually take the time do the following ten ... five ... three! things within the next...uhm...let's say five weeks. Sew the "bridle" for Molly the Cat. It's not really called a "bridle". I just can't remember the correct term right now. But, it's the thing to which you attach a leash. Yes, the Husband and I have visions of walking with Molly the Cat. So does the Mama. I've already bought the "ingredients" (again, I can't remember the correct term) for the project. If you're curious about my vague description, check this link . Okay, the bridle is a harness. Bridle sounds so much nicer. Pedal my bicycle to and from Tres Pinos. Every morning before breakfast, too. Tres Pinos is a cool, tiny village about five to seven miles away from the house, depending on what route I take. This would be a very huge commitment as well as a complete overhaul of my schedule. It would mean
It's not that I don't have something in mind to write about. I do. Lots. But, work words must be written first. So, for today, I give you photos of a pink sky on the last evening of 2011. Until Monday, dear readers. The Husband and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. As we wandered we wondered if we would come across Mr. L. Gatto Cat in one of his favorite hang outs. We were quite surprised to see him hanging out on the fence when we got home. (This was two nights before he left our lives forever .) Such an amazing sky, don't you think? Hollister, California, that's where we live. Nope. I'm not talking about that silly store.