Wednesday, May 15, 2013


We had many discussions about what should come first---home renovation or garden. We are still moving forward on the renovation part, but we had to take some time out to put a garden in. It was just too painful to let a growing season pass us by when we've been itching to get our hands in the dirt. So, we're using the garden space that was there already and have revamped the fence and ripped out rotten wood beds to replace them with mounded rows and straw mulch. Since the space used to be part garden and part animal pen, the soil has been nicely amended with years of manure. Good news for us! We've reclaimed materials from the property to use as fencing, which is cheap and convenient but not as pretty as it could be. We think the plants will be pretty enough to make up for that, and no matter what the wire fencing is prettier than the hanks of old plywood that had been used as fencing before! We're just keeping our fingers crossed that the fence is high enough to keep the herds of deer out. I'm a sucker for anything furry, but I don't want to share my veggies.

Kiwi is always ready to help dig. He's also always on the lookout for lizards to hunt. 

happy gardeners

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rough & Ready Estates

I am surfacing after several months of packing, cleaning, moving, cleaning, unpacking, and cleaning some more. Work was mixed in there, too, and that's been monstrous, so the camera (even the phone camera, which is all I use these days) didn't come out often. Only the occasional shot of the Cutest Dog in Existence, which is to be expected. There's only one of those below. Consider yourself lucky or unlucky, depending on your persuasion. I don't have many shots of the house(s) interior yet. Things are in utter disarray, but I will take you on the iPhone photo tour anyway. I'll need better light than we had yesterday evening, which is when I took the pictures below. At least it's a taste of Rough and Ready Estates (name subject to change). 
Main house, guest house, pond

It's been decidedly spring-ish, so the buckeye thinks it's time to bloom.

Clams from the pond! I didn't eat them.

Bridge #1. The deer like to cross this one.

Deer Highway

Turkey feathers.

Grauitous scenery photos mixed in.

Location of future garden! I'll have to upload some "before" shots of this one. While it looks unfinished here, it was truly ugly before, with plywood fencing that blocked all sides.

Jed's favorite way to start the day? Fire, of course. It was still smoldering come evening time and very convenient for warming my frigid hands.

Here he is. A photo series is never complete without him.

This is going to be a sweet spot in the summer.

Pocket cave.

Another view of the houses and the pond.

Diving board remnant. We might just resurrect this baby.

Jed's favorite building on the property: The Shop.

Remnants of turtle island. It's a spa cover that was used as a perch for the turtle, whose home you see pictured below. It didn't make it through the last storm, so we have to figure out how to get it out of the creek bed. Who wants to help?! :) 

Turtle house.
Wetland. This is where all the froggies live.
Some of the plywood remnants. Future project! 

The master of the estate.

The mistress of the estate (my yearbook shot). 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Those dramatic skies I've been craving are finally here. The view from my office window is pretty damn nice this morning.

He wouldn't budge from the blanket to admire the view with me.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wild Plum.

It's hard to imagine that it's been six months since I last posted. Six months! Blog slacker, you say? I say maybe. Maybe not. I have been posting on Tumblr. Have you been to Tumblr? If you haven't you really should check it out. It's glorious in an endless-online-magazine sort of way. It does take some digging to get it to give up the stuff you really want to look at, but it's fun to dig around. Also, it's really easy to post on Tumblr from my phone, and busy, undisciplined people like me do best with things they can do from their phone. Sad but true. I don't mean this to be a Tumblr celebration and Blogger bad mouth. Just trying to explain away six months. My main point is that instead of posting little stories here, I have been taking lots of pictures and posting many of them elsewhere. Lots and lots. Not that they are great or particularly inspired, but I love it so much. I don't even know why I love it, but I do. So, if you're still out there...I'm glad you've waited all this time. I'm back! Yay.

*Anyway, the change of seasons (sooooo slooooow here in California, where it's been scary hot for weeks), although it's barely noticeable still, has me thinking about dramatic, wet skies and changing leaves. None of those things are happening right now. Right now it's dry, dry, dry, and hot enough that we're still turning on fans with the windows open wide in the evenings. We console ourselves with time at the river (swimming in October!) and getting outside as much as we possibly can. Like camping at Wild Plum and Sardine Lake this past weekend. There's really nothing like sleeping under the stars, is there? On our way home we stopped a Sand Pond and waded carefully into creepy, sucking mud and cooled ourselves off deeply before heading back to work and our house, which feels more and more confining as these hot days wear on and on. At least it's forcing us outside. Fingers crossed for photos of dramatic, wet skies and changing leaves...soon!

What I look like when I'm expecting a bear to burst out of the undergrowth any second. That's really what it sounded like.
Looking for golden fall color anywhere I can.
and shapes and shadows
and mini still-life scenes