Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Early Mist and Lupine

My apples are in bloom! Apple pie, baked apples, applesauce in October.  That is if the neighbors and passers by leave any for us!

I headed out really early this morning while v stayed behind in his blanket cocoon.  The lupin is in bloom along the Monterey-Salinas Highway and I wanted early shots.  It was very wet and misty, but beautiful. And I wasn't alone...

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Friday, March 22, 2013

Marmalade and Mendocino

A marmalade morning here at our house.  While we were in Mendocino we walked through the old wooden framed screen door of the Mendocino Jams and Preserves Shop and found ourselves in what felt like a corner of a well stocked pantry and kitchen.  The shop is at the end of the walk so she has sunlight from sunrise to nearly setting and sea breezes from two directions.  Like many of the shops along Main Street, this was once a small house.  I asked the owner how long she's been in business here. 38 years. The house was converted to one large display and sales room in front and a smaller room in back for the canning.

Along our drive up the coast we saw much evidence of how badly these remote, secluded communities of this Northern California coast have fared in this depression we've been in since '08. We haven't ventured further north than San Francisco since before the crash, having our own economic downturn.  Although the news is full of recovery announcements, we didn't see much evidence of that in towns like Gualala and Point Arena, or even Bodega Bay.  They've changed and many of the businesses and places we'd patronized and stayed at have shuttered windows and doors. In some places it appears the entire population has recycled. Gone are the old hippies that used to hang out on the sidewalks and doorways looking colorful and slightly menacing. Small places like Olema and Point Arena don't seem quite as arrogant in their insularity.

Mendocino seems to be holding itself together.  The community has a history of banding together for the protection and preservation of the village.  Through their efforts back in the sixties and seventies the town, or village, of Mendocino was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.  In 1972 Proposition 20, the Coastal Zone Conservation Act was passed.  This act protected the coastal zone environment and maximized public access to the coast.  At the same time the State Department of Parks and Recreation acquired the land for the Mendocino Headlands State Park.  The town is also designated as a Historic Preservation District of Mendocino County.  The folks living in Mendocino have strict preservation rules, but they have a community that is sustaining. We talked with one resident who told us of some members of the community who wanted to put even tougher restrictions on life in town: they wanted to ban cell phones from within the town limits.  They're not banned, but we had a "no service" message on our phones the entire time we were there.  It was land lines if a call needed to be made.

I'm thinking of giving the Jam & Preserve shop a call to inquire on whether she's taking on apprentices.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Knitting Break

I've had a long hiatus from knitting.  Recently, however, I felt a couple of small projects wouldn't break the bank. So I started a hat for v (just in case). The yarn is such a vibrant red which he chose, to my delight, and the wool is so very soft and comforting just to knit.

This is a little project for me. I've wanted to try this pattern for a long time (from Madder at Swatch Diaries--see link).  The yarn is from Quince & Co.  It is American wool from this little American company in Maine (also see link).

Then, out of the blue, I received an email telling me that our local yarn shop has been sold and the owner is liquidating stock at really terrific discounts so....

v is getting a new cardigan from some sumptuous wool from Uruguay: Manos del Uruguay.

Just to let you know how the weather is here on the Central Coast.  As I  looked through all the gorgeous skeins of yarn to choose from I kept saying this, or that, would make a wonderfully warm sweater for the summer.  Where I come from, honey, that would be unheard of!  But here, it feels like July is far colder than February sometimes with our wet, dark fogs that roll in for days on end.

I'll be having some more shots from our recent get away soon, but I just had to take a knitting break.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Sun, the Sand, and the Sea

A favorite stop along the coast highway, north, is Bodega Bay.  I especially love the area just north of the harbor.  It's a vast beautiful beach.  This is where v and I look out and really feel we are at the end of the earth.  There's also something quite eerie in the atmosphere of this place.  It isn't enough to scare me, but I'm glad to have his company ever so much more.

The sun was just at the right angle as we pulled off the highway to stretch and take some pictures.

Hitchcock filmed The Birds in Bodega Bay and the nearby community of Bodega.  I'm sure I've mentioned that I'm a huge Hitchcock fan.

The sun, the sand, and the sea.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Just getting back.  More to come.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Road Trip About to Happen

We're going on a road trip.  Taking off this morning and heading out with an itinerary of "North along the coast".  We're taking the camera and will return with, hopefully, better photos than these.  It has been so long since we really went away that these pictures are kinda old!

We do plan to visit little coastal towns and see the redwood forests. What else?  Hmmmm...

We'll share next week.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Almost Spring, again!

For Becky, get well...

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Trees and Cows

Here I am sharing some of my favorite things: trees and cows.  Not all cows, but once in awhile I'll see a group of contented bovines in the perfect bucolic settings and I think they are beautiful.

The drive to my Thursday job has many beautiful site. We've seen bobcats, quail, deer, fox, raccoon, and squirrels. This past Thursday I came upon a small group of cows that were contentedly lying on that hillside until I pulled up and pulled out my camera.  It's such a remote location that cars aren't that common, and someone walking up to the fence is even more rare, so they decided to take on the 'better part of valor' and leave.

We attend services at the Carmelite Monastery where the tree shots were taken this morning.  I love the branches coming over the wall of the cloistered garden.

Just pretty pictures today.

In bocca al lupo. m & v

Thursday, March 7, 2013

First Blush

Not quite spring, yet, but the apricot is beginning to bloom. Last year we had a frost just after the majority of blossoms opened and for the first time since I moved into this house 15 years ago, it had no apricots!  Fingers crossed for rain and no frost.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sewing Day

We call it Sewing Day, this day that my friend and I meet every other week, but lately it has been more toward fiber art.  Sometimes it's a garden day and we spend our time checking out the local nurseries.  It is always friendship and sharing of ideas and any new skills either of us has picked up.

More often than not, I'm the one on the learning end.  She comes from an incredibly talented family with four sisters.  Someone is always learning something new and passing it on to the others:  Jewelry, spinning, wood working, sewing, needlework, collage, canning, preserving...

They cause me to miss the sisters I never had.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v

Friday, March 1, 2013

Translate Button Added!

My morning this morning.  v is off on assignment and I crept back into bed, after he left, to savor my coffee and the early morning sunshine.

I have added a translate button to this blog.  I've also added one to the blog that is just for chronicling my  growth (hopefully) with photography: Biondography.  I notice that I have had visits from several other countries which I find really exciting and gratifying.  I want to make it easy to share our thoughts and experiences here.

As for v's cancer; we are in a sort of limbo.  We know from the CT scan results that the tumors remain present, but we don't know how active they may be.  His physical condition is so good that the doctors are offering alternatives for us.  He can take a break from treatment for the time being.  He can begin another round of chemotherapy with a new combination of drugs, one of which will cause hair loss.  He can, if authorized by his insurance, begin a maintenance regimen.  All with close monitoring and, all of the above will depend on the outcome of another PET scan.  The doctor's office is attempting to obtain authorization for that test.  As best I can explain: the PET scan will show metabolic activity of the tumors and let us have more information about what is actually happening.  As what most people who know what v is going through generally remark: he looks far too healthy to be dying.  He gains weight consistently, he has no difficulty eating or swallowing, his energy and activity level has improved, and he has little, or no, discomfort.

We have decided that, as much as possible, we aren't going to live under a cloud. 

Mostly this morning I just wanted to introduce our new "translate" button.  Now I hope to hear from some of those people in countries I have to find on a map when I see them listed as having visited.

In bocca al lupo.  m & v