Wednesday, September 30, 2009

a few sites and sounds

ten days now in California and i figure it's about time to get back to keeping everyone up to date on The Only Boy. It has definitely taken me a while to find my stride after a couple weeks on the road. They were definitely marvelous days though, with nothing but moby dick, dusty miles, and other people's couches ahead of me. great nights with cool mountain breezes, laughter, wine, and new places to explore. Amazing time at the lake to figure out the west coast again and get inspired to be unemployed - just means time to be outdoors, cook dinners, do projects, right?
now - out here in dusty davis. where people careen around on cruisers like elephants on a tight rope. some of these people should not be on bikes. and because there's so much emphasis on bikes, they make bikes follow the rules: they'll ticket for stop signs, lights, not having lights at night, etc. Bike friendly is not bike fun.

Moving and accompanying details have kept me over busy the last 2 weeks and have yet to fully feel unemployed. we got out here and then discovered that the place we lined up was dirty and cluttered and just kinda nasty and just wasn't going to be the place we wanted to hang out. unfortunately, we discovered this after I moved everything from the car and storage container into the house. so we talked the landlord into terminating our lease, promptly found a tiny, but amazingly cute little cottage really close to town and campus, and then started moving again. we're just about done with that. to the point of setting up utilities - trying to prove to the post office that our house exists, trying to clear up a $2,000 phone bill that someone in utah rang up with my social security number, trying to not crawl through the phone line and strangle people who work for comcast - you know, that sort of thing. but finally, the rugs are on the floor, the kitchen has been consecrated with an espresso from the stove top (though we found a replacement carafe for our coffee maker - exciting) and two beautiful dinners from the central valley bounty, and I just built a hanging rack out of salvaged 2x4s and copper pipe. when you come visit you'll scream about how cute it all is. looking forward this week to cracking the norcal cookbook that mom gave us.

in other hysterics - last week I tried to put the bikes together (after they were totally disassembled in the storage container). It was an amazing day - just like Saturday in the bike shop. Hot hot sun, and every project turned against me - the wrong tubes, broken stems, grease melted in the sun, wheel damage from shipping, and all other manner of mishap. it felt great to have gresy hands again - though I have been staying in touch with phoenix through some proposal writing etc. as well.

anyway - that's the fun list. other highlights: riding around san fran, sitting in parks, laughing with our friend Mat (visiting Sf from DC), going on a sweet hike only an hour and a half from Davis (made it to treeline - pic below), finding 2nd hand stuff for the new cottage, 100 degree days.
so that's the update - hopefully starting the real fun soon.

the hike was to "twin lake" - an appropriate first hike down here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I just want to say that I have had the best birthday week ! I gave myself permission to spend a fun day Friday playing in the kitchen because Kyrsa and Dave were coming for tapas and wine on Saturday. Since I was cooking and cleaning, I also got to drink a glass of wine in the afternoon so I could pretend to be Julia Childs.

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day, more like late summer. Kyrsa and Dave came over with a big bouquet of flowers. We sat outside and enjoyed first-course tapas with Spanish wine and Dogfish beer. As the temperatures fell, we moved inside for the second-course of tapas and more Spanish wine, followed by cups of espresso and meringues topped with roasted fruit and creme anglaise.

The full Tapa Menu included: grilled bruschetta with mozzarella and roast tomatoes, Spanish olives, fava bean spread and pita chips, roasted pears wrapped in prosciutto, gazpacho, mixed greens with avocado, Italian potato salad, fresh crab and cocktail sauce, meatballs in saffron sauce, pork cubes in peach sauce, and meringues with roased fruit and creme anglaise for dessert.Now, today, I have a beautiful day to do what ever I wish, in a clean house filled with flowers. I had dessert for breakfast with coffee and read in rocking chair. If only I can keep this plan going for 12 more months! Enjoy your days as they come, each one new and full of opportunities to choose to smile. The mantra for the coming year:
You choose how you see yourself and the world around you and are able to change that world by your vision.
Let's all make good choices out there! (Smile)
Love, Mama Llama

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Time flies when...

It is hard to believe that a month has past, to the day, since Colin's birthday! Today is not nearly as entertaining in Kingston but I certainly can't complain. We have had the "BEST SUMMER EVER" with sunshine following sunshine into September. We even managed some sun for lake visitors, so skiing, kayaking and bike riding were enjoyed by all.

On September 9, Colin and Susan drove into the lake driveway, continuing an already week long trek across the nation with stops for friends and family along the way. They really did see the best places in our land, deserving the rewards because of the sheer number of miles in between stops. We had a great bike ride from the cabin to our new favorite town, Spirit Lake. We also worked in some dock time, cooking time and a little skiing as well. There is never enough time to relax at the lake and never too much time with people I love but we did our best.

I really needed that time to gather up energy for the car shopping that faced me on my return to Kingston. The little blue Forester died on the mountain top- really the nemesis for that little car- and was not worth fixing. Bye bye little friend. So with much trepidation but with lots of support from "Saint Barbara of Theresa" I hit the dealerships. Of course I did my online work and went armed with sheaves of paper. The dealers didn't know what to do with the 2 crazy women facing them. In the end David and I drove off a lot in Lake City with a 2007 Toyota Rav4 with only 15,000 miles. I hope it will last at least 10 years because I really don't want to do that again. You KNOW how cranky I get in dealerships!

Now fall is here and pears are being processed in the canner and the dryer. The house seems empty with only David and I. Fortunately Kyrsa and Dave are coming this weekend to ease my way into the fall focus on teaching, remodeling and fiber; all the activities of the last throws of summer mixed with winter preparations. So, walk in the leaves when you find them in piles and remember continue summer explorations into the fall. Happy adventures and exploration to everyone.
Love, Mama Llama