The 2010 apricot harvest.

Yup, all 5 of them! There were heavy rains and wind just a few days after the tree bloomed and all the blossoms fell off. I assume it didn't get pollinated. So sad.


long over due post

I've not posted in forever. wow. Mostly the same ol' thing going on. Trying to get more stuff done around the house. The big project we just completed was refinishing the deck. I'll let the pictures tell the story:


as it turns out, the sander may have been a waste. I'm not sure how we would have done it without, but it was pretty severe and damaged the wood a bit.


luckily we got this all done before the weird rains we've been having.



kirby insists he will like the rain if i let him out.


this weekend we need to move all the stuff back up on the deck. and it's time for me to get hanging all the lights i've been buying! it'll be our own little solar lit paradise!


I've been trying to collect photos of other projects and hope to start updating a little more regularly.


a story in pictures.

This is Stuffie:

Bacon loves Stuffie.




So I decided to make a new Stuffie. I have decided my new hobby is going to be felting sweaters! and what better first project than a little toy for Bacon. I figured he didn't care if it was ugly, and the wool is pretty safe for him to chew on. he doesn't *eat* Stuffie's parts as he dismembers him, but i'm sure he does consume a little. Buying weird poly-whatsitcalled toys seemed weird to me.

meet Stuffie v 2.0:


I didn't bother actually stuffing him. With Stuffie v1.0 he was filled with some natural grass or something safe for dogs. After Bacon had him for about an hour we were picking up stuffing scraps from all over the house. Stuffie 1.0 hasn't been stuffed for most of his life. I think Bacon just likes a soft thing to chew on. So Stuffie 2.0 is two layers of felted wool sweater, sewn together with upholstery thread in a pretty tight zig zag. I'm curious how long the little guy holds up.

but first, does Bacon even like him???

the offering:

now, a test! who will win??




Poor Stuffie 2.0. But he is serving his dog with honor.


the end.


Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!!!


Hosting 13 people for xmess eve dinner, 8 for xmess dinner and 4 house guests for a week went surprisingly well!!

I was amazed to find that we could comfortably squeeze 13 people into our dining room (with the help of rented tables). We were planning to set up a second table in the living room, but with meatballs on the menu and my new beloved white carpet that i spend most of my free time spot checking, i was a little overwhelmed at the idea. throw in 2 kids and a dog, and i think you'll understand where i'm coming from.

having the little guest house, which i think i'll now start calling the south wing, was such a wonderful asset. I think my parents appreciated being able to seek refuge in their own little private home, let alone not having bathroom issues (too few) to deal with. My parents are early risers and my dad walks at 6 am, so it was nice for them to be able to get up and scoot about without disturbing the household.

Little Bacon was a star. He left everyone alone, wasn't overwhelmed by all the guests, and even chilled on his pillow (with a bone) while we ate dinner. As far as i know, he didn't touch even one of the hors d’oeuvres that spent hours on the coffee table.

So yea, i was really happy with how our first xmess turned out. all the work we did is a distant memory now, and it turned out so well. looking forward to a few weeks off, then i think we'll start up with smaller projects on a more forgiving time schedule.

Ooo! and! I've been loving the 1977 copy of "How to Preserve Everything" my mom brought me from her collection. Fruit trees, this summer, you will BE MINE! ohhh how i have plans. BIG PLANS! Meri, book your flight. I'm going to put you to work ;)



I was really surprised to see how pretty the trees were this fall. Being in California and all, we really don't get much color.

I just love that little roundy top thing. I should probably find out the official name of it

after a long day of work on Saturday, Jack and I made it out to the waterfront for the tree lighting (we actually missed that) and the boat parade. It was small, but it was fun nonetheless.

this little guy kept spinning.

And I got this pleasant surprise on the way home from work earlier this week. Due to all the ICE all over my car I got to the ferry in Vallejo too late to get my bike out of the locker. I had to run about two blocks from the car to the ferry to make it on board. Thank God there was another man that pulled into the parking lot at the same time as me. He was much faster than I was, and I think was the real reason we got on the boat. Anyyyyyyhow.... since I was on foot that night, I caught this sight. I would have missed it otherwise.

We've been working like dogs to get the house all geared up to host both our families this holiday. I'll post pictures of all that once we complete everything. NO SPOILERS!

stay tuned...


Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving at the Casita with my sister and her family.

I frantically whipped up a few table decorations the week of. I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out!

The leaves are from the tree in our front yard. I'm told it's a liquid amber...

and this is especially for Bev:


Garden update

Really, really, truly! I am going to try to be better about updating. We're getting so many little things done each weekend that I would love to tell you about, but then the work week sets in, and blah blah blah, I don't.

Today; I'll tell you about our garden!

this is what the garden looked like in March, when we first saw the house:


it may look interesting, but really, they're all weeds:


then in August, Jack's mom came to visit. we put her to work:


she suggested we paint the tired beds red, and she was right!


then we started planting:


we have a really strong work ethic:


hard work pays off!


sugar peas!!! my FAVORITE!!!


then... it grew. this is from over the weekend. some stuff has been harvested already!


and my PEAS! OMG! soooo good:


the bok choi was harvested a few weeks ago. also, SO GOOD! bok choi, IN ACTION:


next on the agenda before the holidays is to get our in law unit up to speed so my parents can sleep out there and it wont creep out my mom.

hmmmm. it's worse than this picture (from the day we first saw the house) depicts:


stay tuned....


it could be worse...

So my new commute is about an hour and a half door to door. An hour of that is on the ferry from Downtown Vallejo to the SF Ferry Building. Yes, it's long. But I would have to argue that I have the prettiest commute there is to have. I was feeling lazy today, so I took the later, 8:45 am, ferry in. Next to the 7:45 this boat is nearly empty. It's pretty much only tourists. it's a more mellow ride. I didn't feel so silly today gazing out the window snapping photos. I saw sea lions jumping and playing in the bay. If you've been to Fisherman's Wharf, you'd think they just sit around and yell all day. Turns out the play and jump in the open water like dolphins.

Very pretty.


Meet Bacon

Well, we did it. I've been threatening to for years and years with the excuse that I've never had a big enough house. Well, now I've got a big enough house.
Last weekend Lynn and I went down to the Benicia Vallejo Humane Society to look at adoptable pups. Now, mind you, we went completely with the intention only to begin our search for and possible adoption of a pooch....we didn't think we'd actually meet "The One" on our first day out looking. Well, at least not until we saw this little guy.

From Bacon!

We spent a little time with him at the shelter and agreed that he seemed like a good boy, and that we'd keep him in mind, but that we should also look at a few other shelters before making a decision since there are lots of little guys and gals out there that need a good home.
Well, we did look at the other local shelter that was open on a Saturday, and certainly met a few likely candidates, but nobody seemed to resonate with us (me, really) as much as litte Bacon ( they called him Merlin at the shelter, but we named our dog, well, long before we had a dog) did.
I thought about him all week long, and even went to visit him on my lunchbreak on Wednesday. While there, I submitted an application, and called Lynn to see what she thought. Let's just say that I left a deposit for him and he came home with us yesterday. It's been a hectic and unproductive weekend, but I think we scored an awesome little buddy and look forward to many years of happiness and love for and with him.


a brief history of The Casita

The story begins back on March 22, 2009, when we first saw The Casita. Immediately we both knew this was the house we loved and wanted. We made our first (yes, there were two ) offer on March 25th. We modified the offer and made the second one on the 31st.

Now. Insert three solid months of drama. You name it, it went wrong. It was such an emotionally trying period for both of us, I care not to document/remember most of it. This process was so wild that I actually can't remember the close date. It was around July 1st. The photo below was taken July 4th.

We'll continue to document our little triumphs in making The Casita our own.