Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

My, oh my what a week its been so far! Work is b.r.u.t.a.l. But then I again I mostly like it when it is. Lots to do means that I'm not bored, and I *hate* being bored at work. But this particular work is very high pressue, plus I have all kinds of family related work right now. Yikes! It will be like this likely for about a month, then things should settle down a bit.

We are camping this weekend, in the Avenue of the Giants. I feel like I should be looking forward to it more. I'm tired and I just want to be at home. But I know once I get there I'll be glad to be away from everything. It's a nice place, we're going with nice people, and hopefully I'll have some nice pictures when I get back.

In house related news....we are very close to getting new windows! Thanks to Uncle Sam and Gramps we have the money socked away to re-window our entire house. We are nervous about it though, it's a very big investment! DH's friend is a window guy and we've seen his portfolio and it looks really good. He's taking a half day today to meet with the guy and I have to email him a list of questions/wants etc. before he leaves work so I'd best get to it. last thing though, we spoke to our neighbor about the fence...woohoo! I feel so much better about the situation. An old Mexican couple lives there, and they speak no english. But their grand-son owns the house and we finally got to talk to him last night. He's very very nice (and very cute! *cough*) and he's completely on the same page as us. He's not quite ready to do the new fence yet, because his others fences are in much worse shape and he wants to do them first. But we agreed that we'll chicken wire our side, and prop it up with a post. And then we offered to give him what's left of our chicken wire so he could do his side. He's actually going to build a small chicken wire fence within his yard to keep his dogs away from our fence altogether. Then when time comes to build a fence, we'll split the materials and he'll build it. He's in construction and says it will be no problem. Plus he said if we want he'll give us a deal on expanding our driveway when we're ready for that.

Oh...there I go jabbering again...I guess it's okay since this *is* a blog afterall. Hi-ho hi-ho, it's off to work I go!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Angel Island

Our trip to Angel Island was fun! It was nice to be cool after the little heat wave we had. It was downright chilly when standing right on the water. We rode our bikes around the island - only 4 miles - but taking our time and stopping at all the little historical landmarks and buildings and ate a little picnic lunch. Then afterward we ate an early dinner at Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur.
The only thing that would have made it better IMO is if we had been walking rather then riding the bikes. Can I be real and say that I *hate* riding the bikes. Because it hurts! And I'm not talking about the muscle hurt from riding up hills and such. I don't mind that kind of pain, in fact I like that kind of pain. It hurts my butt, really really bad. And I mean bad. Immediately I'm uncomfortable and within about 20 minutes it's like I'm literally bruised and I can't even rest upon the seat at all without it being very painful. On flat ground or downhills I just put my wieght on the pedals and stand up, but on the uphills where you need to sit and pedal it was just too painful. I ended up walking my bike a good part of the time.
DH likes to helpfully point out "nobody else seems to be having any trouble". "Yes, dear. That's clearly true" I reply, as dozens of women and girls of all ages fly by me on all sorts of bike seemingly pain free. His comments don't make it hurt any less however, and only serve to make me feel like a giant wet blanket.
I don't know what the problem is. I used to ride when I was a kid constantly and I don't ever recall having this trouble. I've tried three different seats now and this latest one is the worst yet actually. The problem is that the bones in my butt, the ones you sit on where your legs and pelvis meet, get very bruised somehow by the bike seat. To the point that it hurts badly for several days after even a short ride. Maybe I'm jointed different then most people, or maybe I just have an unusally bony butt? I can't figure it out. I'm not a pain wussy by any means IMO, and I've been told I just need to build up calluses so to speak and get used to it. But the experience makes riding completely unpleasurable so I don't see that I'm ever going to ride enough to get used to it. Ah well. I guess I'll just walk. Which sucks because DH hates walking and loves biking so its going to be hard to get him to do anything with me.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Summer Solstice!!!

Here is to the upcoming warm midsummer night under the light of a full moon. Too bad DH will be off with his band buddies. But I plan on gardening 'til dark this afternoon then dancing under the moonlight in my yard with my poochies! I need to do some weeding and mulching and maybe plant a few things. The garden is doing well. The spinich has completely bolted but I haven't pulled it yet because I think it's flowers are kind of pretty! The cilantro that I thought never sprouted all of a sudden appeared growing *through* a tomato plant. It's flowering too and it's gorgeous. At the farmers market they were selling bunches of it with flowers on top so I'm guessing it flowering doens't spoil its flavor. The leaf lettuce is holding up well, I must have chosen a good variety for heat. Maybe it will hold out until the tomatoes are done! They are a peeking out finally:

And I'm so very glad I threw some snapdragons in with the three sisters as they've been a highlight! The beans are almost ready, the corn is doing amazing and the squash and zucchini are producing faster then we can eat, though we are battling powdery mold on them.

With this heat the last few days I've been watering a bit more then I should probably with the drought we've had. I know that I haven't cut back the requested 19%, but I don't really see how that's possible considering that we already conserved. I plan on picking up a few buckets for the sinks (to catch water while it heats up) and I bought a toggle switch for the shower but unfortunately it would not fit. I need to find a low-flow shower head with a shut off valve that is the kind that is on a hose that you can take down and hold in your hand. I find it's much better for dog washing, even though we only do that a few times a year it's still worth having.
Anything that has not gone in the raised beds is or will be generally drought tolerant or mediterranean climate friendly (I love this book that DH got me for xmas), but I find it interesting when you read the fine print that in general most drought tolerant plants are drought tolerant "once established". So some of the things I've planted definately exhibit this need and I've realized that I have to water much more often then I hoped, at least this season I suppose. I read an article a few weeks ago about how Xeriscaping can be a misnomer because often those gardens require more water then a lawn of a less thirsty strain of grass would. At the time I found it a bit contrary (it was on a blog where people argue about stuff), but I'm kind of starting to see their point a little bit. I've mostly talked DH into redoing our front yard next year, but it did occur to me that were I to landscape it as desired, using the recommended plants for our climate, that the first year or so it would probably require watering much more often then we water our grass/clover patch that we have today. I wonder if mid-drought is the most prudent time to make the change. Hopefully we'll have a wet winter this year!
Anyhoo - Sunday I have a date! YAY!! I have managed to agree to drag DH away from his motorcycle to take the ferry to Angel Island for some bike riding and picnicing! I'm so excited! Hopefully the air will be clear I'll have some nice pictures for you come Monday.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Cascade Hops:

Corn (and squash, and beans and snapdragons)! They have earwigs all up in them though...we are going to spray them out with the hose, then put out traps of wet newspaper. I guess they normally eat aphids, which is good...but they also eat corn silk which is bad! We were out in the yard tonight and I told Joe I wanted more raised beds and it occurred to us to put matching ones to these against the retaining wall (which would be directly to the left of the photographer in this picture). It's the perfect spot, making use of the last truly full sun area of the yard, w/o impeding on the clear path through the yard that DH and the dogs favor. Excellent, it will look rad too with a little path of stepping stones in front of the beds winding toward the hops and the side yard.

Yellow room! It's done, yay! Well...almost done. I'm painting the doors this weekend and DH is putting in a new light fixture. Moving on to the bathroom next I think.

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. Cheers.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Wow, I'm tired. Faire was fun. Here's a summary of the events:

Camped and played with friends:

Met new people, wandered around the shire, and generally drank too much (at least I did):

Enjoyed the majesty of Lake Tahoe:

Enjoyed the serenity of the forest:

Scored cool loot:

The end, time for bed.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Huzzah for Faire

The Valhalla Ren Faire weekend fast approaches! (as if you reading, didn't already know that!). I'm very excited, I do love faire and it's yummy's and frolicking. Camping is included which is even better. I need the smell of trees and Tahoe is one of my favorite places on planet earth. I am a bit nervous going with a group of people I don't know so well...friends of miss Gypsy Junk. It's not that I've never met them, it's just that I tend to get a little social anxiety around people who aren't in my inner circle. It's all good though. It will be fun no matter what, and she and I are having fun planning our foodies and such.

I'll go and visit mom first. Carson is a quick drive from Tahoe, and I feel bad being so close without dropping in. Poor mom is all alone now, after all these years. :(

So back to faire. What shall I shop for?? I love shopping at faire! I always spend a stupid amount of money just on beer and food. But WTF, I only go once (or twice) a year and I actually set money aside for it. So I'd like think I'll be shopping for (beware, bullet points imminent)

  • yummy smelly soap
  • yummy tea
  • any cute decorative gardeny whatnots
  • perhaps a new necklace, my current go-to necklace is a year old now - though I still love it
  • always on the hunt for potential new costume, or current costume additives
  • possibly some faire shoes - i currently wear icky rotten birkenstocks...uh oh, did I throw them away after last year???

That's right. Faire, bitches.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Rock on

The rocks, at last! I believe I've worn out every single possible rock joke this weekend aside from the title I'll spare you. I'm so glad they are finally in, it's starting to look so much more finished out there! I had searched craigslist etc. high and low and the only rocks I found were either lava-rock (ick) or they were in far away places, and DH's truck won't hold more then 1/2 ton so it would have required mucho gas and effort. So instead we purchased them from the landscaping supply place right down the road and had them dumped in the driveway. This is 3/4 of a cubic yard which at first sight seemed like there was no way it would be enough. But it stretched out nicely. We have a couple of thin spots, but nothing too bad.

We had great fun this weekend! We BBQ'd with friends on Friday night at home and used our outdoor fire pit for the first time. It was soooo fun! Then Saturday we had a nice breakfast and played disc golf at Lake Chabot with DH's friend that stayed with us. Then we rocked for a while (oh sorry...I promised no rock jokes), then we went to the Cherry festival with some friends. I bought this lovely solar light there, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be working. Hopefully it's just the batteries or something, because there's no way for me to return it:

Yesterday I got up early and went to the nursery and planted a few plants - just for fun! Then I went and bbq'd with more lovely friends while DH worked on the electrical in our garage. We are now ready for the new garage door to be installed! I must call Sears and arrange it. Here's another pic of the rocks - this time dry. Not so pretty as when wet, but still lovely IMO.

Now back at work. But it's okay because it's another short week which ends with camping and Faire in Tahoe, one of my favorite places on the planet. I must work hard this week. New projects are coming my way and I'm still trying to get caught up. Here's to a fine week for you all.