Sunday, May 18, 2014

Church of the Holy Garden

We haven't attended church in a few weeks.  
I'd prefer to lay blame on my schedule at the kitchen shop
since I've worked the four hour Sunday hours for the past three weeks.

But honestly the main reason has been interference from
"Church of the Holy Garden".

That's what I'm calling the front yard on Sundays!
We do have a saint out there...
St. Fiacre the patron saint of gardeners
came out of a box in the garage and finally found a new home in Virginia.

It wasn't until after we got the plants and really eyeballed the front beds  
that we realized that we still had a lot of prep work to do.

The metal edging has taken days longer than it would have in Louisiana....
Who'd ever think of needing a pick axe to get a little strip of metal a few inches in the ground?  
The rocks and shale are crazy!!

We're still working on amending and raising the beds 
We're on our 5th truck load of soil and compost so far....
unloading it one shovelful and one wheelbarrow full at a time!  
Maybe I should call it The Garden Fitness Center?!

Tempted as I am to just start planting, 
we decided to put on the brakes and get the soil right first.
I may as well give these beautiful things a good chance at thriving!
This is just a smattering of them....
I think I've planted about 40 and have another 40 or so to go.

The weather looks great for the coming week
so hopefully I'll do a grand reveal in a day or two.

We know the limits of our backs (and biceps) however....
Walter and Matt are back 
(much younger and stronger than us!) 
in order to build a low wall and walkway edging on the kitchen side of the house.  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

San Francisco Part Two

Four days sounded like a long time....
but it sped by.  

Now that Owen and Kathleen are proud owners of a condo
with an extra bedroom....
(our first son to have room for us to stay so we don't need a hotel room!!)
we may be able to see them more often.  

A few highlights were attending Easter Service 
within walking distance of the condo.
The Marin Farmers Market.... almost if not entirely local with hundreds of food vendors.  
Point Reyes where we did some shopping 
and I was in awe of  the selections at  local bookstore.....

The Japanese Garden in Golden Gate City Park

 Seeing Fortune Cookies made
and eating warm ones!
Ancient looking Fortune Cookie making machine.
(cookies are the flat discs that are folded while warm and placed in the holes of the tray to cool)
A visit to the famous Wok Shop!
Did I mention that we ate.... 
and ate and ate over our four day visit?

Dim Sum, Thai, Puerto Rican, Easter Ham, 
and lots of snacking!
Taking a break to snack in Chinatown!
Sausalito was a nice change from the big city...
I'm in the market for a new set of everyday dishes and Heath Ceramics
(made right there in Sausalito)
has been at the top of the list so it was nice to see it "in real life."

Guess we're sort of geeky, because we were fascinated 
by the Corps of Engineers Bay Model Exhibit.
A tiny section of the huge Bay Area Model.
Originally built for research, 
(imagine the usefulness of such a model pre-computer)

It spans over two acres inside of a several acre building on the waterfront.  
The tide simulation occurs every 14 minutes.... crazy!  
Golden Gate Bridge at the Bay Model Museum
We had a windy hike at Rodeo Beach.  
Owen was off duty, 
but can you believe that he get to see this scenery daily when he's patrolling the park?
Now we're home again in Virginia.

Good to go;
Good to see new sights;
but also good to get back home.

Isn't that the way traveling should always be?  

Friday, May 2, 2014

San Francisco and Yosemite (Pt. One)

By total chance, 
Owen had created, organized and planned a Public Safety Day 
for children to be held the morning after our arrival!
He was a little concerned that enough kids would attend, 
but he needn't have worried:
it was a huge success!
Patrol cars, jet skis (lifeguard/rescue), 
coast guard boats, fire engines etc
were there for the children to climb in and on.
The patient officers spent the morning explaining and visiting.  
Of course I liked the park patrol horses....
That smart son of mine had thought of it all.....
the kids were kept at a safe distance while a helicopter came in for a landing!
and then it was swarmed by the kids for a close up inspection.
Wspent an hour or so at the park watching Owen do his job 
and the kids play
(and on this day it was hard to tell one from the other!)

Then although we'd only been in SF for one night and one morning, 
it was already time to leave.

We were coming back, 
but first we were going to spend a few days in the mountains with Cathy and Otto!

Cathy picked us up at the end of the BART line, 
and we talked nonstop on the drive to their cabin in Sonora.

The talking continued into the wee hours of the night 
and the next morning we bumped and wound along one lane roads 
seeing spectacular gorges, mountains and river channels on our way to Yosemite.  
Nothing prepared me for the grandeur of the park.
It seemed that I was looking out at a photoshopped "green screen"....

Seriously, does this even look real??
My camera broke a while ago and these are all iPhone photos!!
Imagine if I'd have had a "real" camera!
Yosemite "Tunnel View"
Tired but Smiling Hikers @ Vernal Falls Footbridge
Bridalveil Falls
Cathy, Joe and I on Swinging Bridge
We had drinks and ate on the patio at Yosemite's Ahwahnee Lodge
Ahwahnee Lodge Common Room
Ahwahnee Ceiling Detail
Sort of like Hogwarts isn't it?  
Ahwahnee Dining Room
A trip to Columbia (an abandoned mining town),
and lots more talking filled the next two days.

You never run out of things to say to dear friends....
We debated and discussed 
the problems of the world and our families
the whole way back to San Francisco.

Part Two to follow!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring Travels

Spring arrived
and sadly I've got very few photos to prove it! 

Down at the end of the driveway,
the three newly planted Stellata Magnolias made it through the winter 
and rewarded us with a single bloom.  
Magnolia Stellata "Dr. Merrill"
I'm not complaining since I'm glad that they're alive!

Daffodils should be the state flower of Virginia.
Seriously they are everywhere in the spring!  
Mostly all faded away now, but what a show they put on while they were blooming.
I don't have any yet, but one day......
To prove that it isn't all roses and sunshine here in Paradise, 
I'll include this photo of yours truly on community cleanup day.  
Joe and I took command of 2 miles of roadway that we drive on the way to our house.
Twice a year, a local conservation group coordinates the volunteer effort, 
and provides vests to borrow and garbage bags.
What in the world possesses people to throw trash out of their car windows?
It's a mystery.

No photos of redbuds on the blog this spring
 because we missed the majority of them.
Kathleen, Owen and Joe
We were out in San Francisco!
We haven't done any traveling in ages,
but FINALLY we took a trip 
to see our favorite California son and daughter in law!

Part Two (and Three) to follow....