Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Closes

It's the end of spring and the days are so long, there's almost too much of them to enjoy. I find myself going to bed while it's there's still a bit of dark blue in the sky, like the nursery rhyme.

Our little garden bed is growing pretty well. It's breezy almost every evening, which seems different than previous summers, making it hard for some of the peas to climb, but I help as best I can, rappelling twine down from the tops of poles, cramming their little tendrils into the cracks in the bamboo, hoping they'll have enough time to grown into a hold before the evening breezes start up again. The chard is prone to leaf miner, but I'm determined to rout it out. The tomatoes are all looking hearty, but none has set yet. We've started adding chard, kale, lettuce, and herbs to our meals regularly.

A golden snow pea
Vulcan chard

We've learned a lot about gardening in just this short amount of time, chief among them: soaker hoses on timers is the way to go.

M is busy teaching himself to weld. He's made a couple of machine stands already, one from one of my brake rotors, which he was good enough to change for me. He found a bucket of rusty used horseshoes at a garage sale and is already using them for few household projects.

Potholder corral
Star art in progress

He wants plenty of welding practice before attempting to plug the hole in the Chevelle floorboard. It's good to see him so excited about his projects although the wine bottles into glasses effort has subsided, unfortunately. I think we've drawn about even in terms of crafty dilettantism.

Memorial Day weekend was quiet. I did meet the PA Gals for lunch and a wander through the Rosie the Riveter Museum in Richmond. It was interesting, though of course we did more talking amongst ourselves than museum-ing. I'd like to go back. There was a "Rosie" there, and I think there is most weekends - that would be a fascinating conversation. She and M could have compared learning to weld notes! I have been doing a lot of museums this year. I don't have any more visits currently planned, so I better get cracking. Maybe I should make at least one per month my goal for the rest of the year.

I just got back from a conference in Santa Clara. It went well. I'm glad it's over.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Life, Continued

My life continues to be divided along the very stark lines of working and not working.  Work is very intense. Deadlines loom and pass like thunderstorms, sometimes just threatening, sometimes providing relief, sometimes darkening, sometimes sharply illuminating. But the undercurrent is always gratitude, that I have lovely people to work with and that I'm employed. And hey, it's not like anyone dies or anything. I bring roses to work and stink up the joint with their perfume. I crack jokes with coworkers and I'd say smiles outnumber frowns 2-1, even my own. I go to the gym. Walk the dog. Listen to podcasts. 

And hey, there are weekend adventures, resetting the stress clock.

We took a long, foggy ride to Bolinas, a place I'd never been, which is crazy considering how long I've lived here. We rode through dripping pine and eucalyptus forests. We edged the Lagunitas reservoir and imagined how wonderful the vistas must be when they weren't gray-wooled with fog.

Low tide at Bolinas

Bolinas public shrine

The town of Bolinas itself is lovely, if remote and chilly and filled with hipster surfers, an almost inconceivable breed of humans. But even Bolinas is exclusively expensive these days. As we had lunch in an outdoor cafe, a golf cart pulled up to a parking spot on the street, a surfboard on top and two bulldogs riding shotgun. I'd like to go back on a sunny day, spend more time at the beach.

Last weekend we were in Chico, celebrating Mark's 55th and Sophia's 5th. 

Dad and Ginny came out from Texas. We went to Sierra Nevada for an early dinner, as per our tradition. It was graduation weekend for Chico, so lots of crowds, but we went at the perfect time.

In just about a month, M and I will celebrate 10 years of marital (mostly) bliss. Everyone was kind enough to stop by the Stansbury Home on the way back from dinner to pose for a portrait.

Same ol' view from the Motel 6
A brief but satisfying visit. Rex did not chase Mark and Glo's chickens, thank goodness. 

In other news:

The garden bed is coming along nicely. There's a lizard who, yes, I'm going to say it - lounges between the deck and the hay bales, soaking up the sun. He's the color of oak leaves and clay clods, the shape of the mulch, so I almost step on him every evening as I inspect the vegetables. I wish I could make him my pet, but he's probably pretty freaked out by my clomping. 

I also recently had a meet-up with the Pointy Pals, my writing group, and I have been challenged-slash-inspired to write a poem. It really has been too long! So I hope to have some poetry to share in the next couple of weeks.

M is working hard on the hotrod. I don't know if there's any kind of timeline to completion, but it's wonderful (mostly) hearing the clang and whine and rumble of power tools ripping it apart so we can put it back together again. And yes, I think I'll have a role to play, if a minor one.