Going to See the Mouse!
May22

Going to See the Mouse!

This summer is shaping up to include more traveling in three months than I’ve done in the last year. In addition to my long-planned epic Western roadtrip, a sudden opportunity arrived to glom on to one of Andy’s business trips and fulfill a long-standing bucketlist item: visit Iceland. So why not make it a trifecta? And if you are in California, where is the happiest place on earth? It’s Disneyland, set to pull out...

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Ice, Iceland, Baby!
May07

Ice, Iceland, Baby!

I just found out I’ll have the chance to cross a huge item off my Bucket List. I’ve wanted to go to Iceland for decades. Just this year, since I’m making a concerted effort to achieve some travel related list items, I’ve been telling Andy that I wanted to glom on to any business trip he has in Europe and take the short flight to Iceland while he works to keep us in terriers. Well, that trip has shown up on the...

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What a Drag It Is Getting Old
May05

What a Drag It Is Getting Old

There’s a certain age, and I guess I’ve reached it, when, even if you still feel pretty good, you start to worry that you are kind of at the last point where you can easily get back in shape. Did I say “easy”? No, there is no easy at this stage. In my twenties, if I wanted to lose five pounds, I skipped dessert one night and walked three miles. Not quite that easy today. No, not easy at all. In fact, I’m...

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General Custer and My Dad
Apr10

General Custer and My Dad

My late father was the living embodiment of the adage: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” It didn’t take long for everyone in his family and all his acquaintances to learn that when he said, “Well, I don’t really know him very well”, he meant, “I can’t say anything nice.” I think in all my life, I only ever heard him speak harshly about two...

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Native Wisdom
Mar20

Native Wisdom

In our great conversion from thirsty Bluegrass lawn to appropriate drought-tolerant California native garden, it’s all over but the tweaking. That’s not an insignificant thing. But first allow me to let you in on a little secret: the whole process isn’t that hard. Now I may be oversimplifying out of ignorance, because of the people involved in this project, I know the least. Well, I did research sheet mulching which...

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We Walk the Line
Mar07

We Walk the Line

We continue the slow progress of building our home in Sonoma — well, besides the living loft above the barn that we stay in now. So far, we have completed a cabana and a very large retaining wall. These structures went up relatively quickly because they aren’t in what Sonoma County considers a “scenic view area”. Basically, the county doesn’t want houses perched up on ridge lines of the rolling Sonoma...

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Project Lawn Be Gone: PROGRESS!
Feb20

Project Lawn Be Gone: PROGRESS!

Now the fun begins! We went through the arduous task of sheet mulching, then we spent weeks planning, rounding up plants and, finally, shopping for decorative elements and doing last minute prep work. When I say “we”, I basically mean “Ranch Manager Louis” who was the mastermind here with his right hand man, DJ. But I rode around in the truck on several trips and took pictures, so I guess I made a contribution....

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Feeling All Dakota
Feb03

Feeling All Dakota

Thanks to an upbringing as a Military Brat, plus an insatiable wanderlust, I’ve visited or lived in all but four of the fifty states. And when I say “visited”, I only count a state when I’ve traveled at least 100 miles in it, had a meal there or stayed at least one night. So my upcoming roadtrip, planned for August, is designed to knock some of the remaining four off the list. For the record, those four states...

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Farming is Hell
Jan22

Farming is Hell

Well, actually, it isn’t. It’s very pleasant and rewarding. But it does involve a lot of killing. At least if you are trying to farm crops organically in a native plant ecosystem. Anyone who reads this blog knows that we’ve spent years defending this little patch of original Sonoma ecology from the ravages of invasive, non-native plants. So far, our greatest line of defense has been minimal to no irrigation, except...

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Start as You Mean to Go On
Jan01

Start as You Mean to Go On

I love the feeling of January 1st, with a crisp, shiny new year ahead of me. Time to make those resolutions and tick some items off the Bucket List. Just because I haven’t been that good about keeping resolutions doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try it again. Hope springs eternal and this time, this time, I really believe I’ll make it happen. I know you are supposed to make small incremental goals like “put on...

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