Monday, July 20, 2015

what's new?

Absolutely nothing, you must be thinking, since I haven't posted here in I don't know how long.  But in fact, there has been quite a bit of activity since I went to ~ and returned from ~ La Jolla.  Here is a brief rundown of the past 3 weeks.

LA JOLLA:  Did everything I had hoped to do, saw everyone on my list, took walks, finished book (bio of Audrey Hepburn), got caught up with Phemie, went to a spectacular Evensong and got all the latest from sister Vicky, and had an all-around fine time.  A few photos from my Sunday trip to the local farmers' market.

It is held on the playground of an elementary school so it's big and paved and flat.  Fruits, veggies, plants, flowers, crafts, clothing, and lots of food trucks.  Crowded and bustling.  Festive as all get out.

There is an orchid vendor with the most exotic blooms I've ever seen.  Even Phemie, an orchid grower herself, found these beauties intriguing.

I bought some of these bright, sweet peppers to stir fry for our dinner.  So delicious.

Sunday evening, as I mentioned, we drove into San Diego to go the church at the Cathedral of St. Paul.  The service, usually attended by about 50 people, was absolutely packed.  Seems there was a convention of church organists in town and the service was to be followed by an organ concert. The music was gorgeous, soaring, uplifting.  As I looked around at the congregation, the beautiful cathedral building and its glowing stained glass windows, I thought of the nine worshipers in the church in Charleston who went off to their spiritual studies with glad hearts, and never returned home.   " O Death, thou comest when I had thee least in mind."  Everyman, Anon. 1485.

I think about these things, too, every time I go to an open market.  We come and go, stroll up and down the aisles and never think that someone might burst in to do us harm.  How lucky, so far, we are.

OK, enough of this mournful dirge.  On to other doings of the past weeks.

BACK IN THE VALLEY:  After getting back home it was time to get busy with the garden.  It's hard to keep it going when we are now around for so many months.   I decided to turn it over to our landscaper/gardener Tim, the fine chap who does his best to keep it alive in our absence.  I made a long list of what I need done ~ new plantings, emended soil, repair of the watering system, take out some things, cut down a very messy tree that is buckling the fence, repair of the electrical system, and anything else I can think of along the way.  He came over, made many good suggestions, gave us a date he could start and the rest is waiting.  Meanwhile I got the new succulents potted and positioned outside the front door.

 I put some things in pots, repositioned pots that were getting totally fried in our valley heat, planted hanging baskets and two wall-hung baskets, took a few dips in the pool to cool off, and generally cast a critical eye at how things look (not so hot in some places) and made more plans for the future.

This is the trunk of our very messy volunteer privet tree.  It's along the west side of the house.  Across the walkway are two surviving star jasmine shrubs that get NO sun and will be removed.

No more privet (looking south)!

Cleared bed (looking north), old jasmine gone, watering system repaired, awaiting row of dwarf pittosporumshrubs.  They'll be planted on both sides of the walk and, in spring, will give off a wonderful perfume.
The other beds will be refreshed, repaired and replanted with perennials.  It should be much prettier by next year.

ON THE ROAD:  Then it was time to pack up and head for Montana and Walla Walla to visit Cait and Alex.  First stop was Elko, NV so we could go to dinner at the Star Hotel Restaurant, a famous Basque eatery.

Whipped cream clouds over Elko
 I can't find an on-line photo but suffice it to say it's funky, busy, and not very good.  If you're on the road, want Basque food, head for Winnemucca instead and the Martin Hotel.  Really good!  Next morning it was off to Pocatello, ID for an overnight.   Most uncomfortable motel bed EVER, but it was only for one night.  And so here we are, in beautiful, green, cool Bozeman at the best little inn in town!

We took a different route this time.  Instead of going through the Galatine Canyon we headed for West Yellowstone and drove along the Madison River.  It was crowded with trout fishermen (and women, I presume) and floaters, even though the day was cool and overcast (Mike says that's the best fishing weather).  We stopped in Ennis, MT at this little spot, an inlet of the Madison.   Nice picnic area under the trees.

Next stop was Bozeman, Cait and Mike and the granddogs.  Everyone is well.

Saturday night sunset

Sunday morning, 6:30 AM, looking across the meadow
I took Mr. C to his favorite restaurant ~ Ted's Grill ~ for a birthday luncheon on Sunday.  Bison meatloaf sandwich and IPA suds.  This coaster is his memento from the occasion.

I don't have much to report on the "culture" front in the way of reading or watching.  Currently reading Sarah Waters' "The Paying Guests" read by the wonderful Juliette Stevenson.  Next up will be "The Art Forger" set partially in the Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.  Watching "The Crimson Field" on Masterpiece Theater and loving it.  Took my friend MAS's advice and watched "Red Dog" on the Flix instant watch; she didn't warn me about how much Kleenex® I would need.  Wonderful tale.  I'll have "Wolf Hall" waiting for me when we return; loved both it and vol. 2, "Bring up the Bodies."  Wish she'd finish up vol. 3!

That about does it from here except to add that I had a tiny little accident with Dorothy, the Smartie.  I turned into a parking lot too sharply and creamed her right front tire.  Have to get new tire and have the alignment worked on.  I hope I didn't do any further damage.  But there she sits in the garage, listing to the right, looking so pitiful.  And then I left town . . .


mary ann said...

Great writing and wonderful pix - Thx !

Liz said...

Sooooo glad you are back! Lots of good news, all enjoyable reading & pix. Please don't strand us without your great musings for that long again-- sorely missed you! I read The Paying Guests, and thought it was excellent. Such a strange story, and gripping... I'm loving Crimson Field, too, although most of the PBS things of this nature have such lousy sound. Can't understand much of what is said unless I turn the volume way up.

Have fun on your trip to visit Cate & Alex!

Alexandra Jordan said...

Thanks for the update! The joys of Walla Walla await you and a relatively comfortable bed as well!