Sunday, August 31, 2014

another year gone

Victoria Ann Brown Strane
1947 - 2009

Sunday, August 24, 2014

shake, rattle, roll

Yes, we had an earthquake up here in Northern California early this morning.  It was centered in Napa and that fair city sustained some serious damage.  But here in the valley, 44 miles north, what we had was some shaking and some rattling, but no damage.  I was already awake but on my way back to sleep.  Then I felt the shaking; I thought Mr. C was rolling over in bed.  But then the wooden blinds began to rattle, the roof creaked and I knew it was something more.  By now I had awakened Mr. C and we lay in bed listening to the neighborhood dogs bark and feeling the gentle rolling of the house.  And then it was over.  I would say here that it was about 20 seconds but, like most reporters, it seemed much longer.  A quick check of the internet confirmed an earthquake, 6.0, centered in Napa County.  So we went back to sleep.   Not us this time.  We've been waiting for a BIG one down in Mexico for a couple of years.  So far, so good, but maybe this is just a precursor to something much worse there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

tree damage

I received these photos this morning from our friend in Cuyutlán.  You can see we've lost two of our big front trees.  They may sprout, they may not.  We'll  decide what to do when we get there.  Meanwhile, the front of the house looks quite bare without those leafy canopies.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

don't go hungry

What I mean is don't go to this movie while you're hungry.  Delightful story, gorgeous ingredients, incredible cooking.  On the big screen is the tastiest!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

slow week

I don't have much to blog about this week ~ just a wonderful lunch with friends last Sunday at Le Garage, a quirky bistro in Sausalito . . .

where I had a big bowl of garlicky mussels.  It was cool and overcast so we ate inside, but it's definitely a popular (and quite noisy) spot.

This morning's walk took me by the gorgeous garden that has something new every time I go by.  If there's a square inch of bare ground the constant gardener adds an eye-catching gem.

The other piece of gardening news is not so pretty.  According to Jack, there was a short but violent storm at the beach and the high winds, reported at 100 MPH took out two of our almendra trees in the front of the house.  They were not totally uprooted, just broken.  So a neighbor with a chain saw removed all but about 2' of trunk.  I don't know if they'll sprout again or if we'll have to take them out.  They had finally grown up above the wall and although they are terribly messy (and a magnet for the squirrels who love the nuts), they looked very pretty.

This picture was taken a couple of years ago and the trees have gotten taller.  I don't know which ones we lost but probably the one on the right and one on the far left, out of the picture.  They were the least well protected.  Alas.  At least the huge palm (fronds visible upper right) didn't come crashing down in the back.

Currently reading The Master Spy by Phillip Knightly about that scoundrel of scoundrels Kim Philby, who, along with his scoundrel-ly mates, Guy Burgess, Donald  Mclean and Anthony Blunt, spied for the Russians during WW II.  Absolutely fascinating.

Bon weekend!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

hot summer nights

It has been very hot here in the valley for the past week.  Even the nights are not cooled by the blesséd Delta breezes.  But here's a sweet idea that makes the warm evenings bearable.

We're heading up to 103º today.  Stay cool, wherever you are.