bayareaAfter a month’s hiatus, I’m back to the blog. It wouldn’t exactly be correct to say I dropped the blogging ball because I’ve been busy. In truth, half the time this past this month, I just haven’t known where the Hell I am. As I mentioned in an earlier post, for various reasons that were not necessarily well thought out, we now find ourselves with three places — the house we’ve had in San Francisco for 25 years, the land in Sonoma that we’ve been developing for several years, and now, a place in San Jose. We meant to get a little San Jose crash pad for Andy, who has commuted for upwards of three hours a day for nearly 30 years now. Finally, a combination of increased international travel — which means he lives in a perpetual fog of jet lag — as well as getting older led him to decide he just couldn’t do that San Francisco to South Bay commute five days a week any more. But on further reflection, we realized having him live in San Jose five days a week on his own wasn’t really a good solution. If he was going to be in the South Bay, I was going to be there at least part of the time. And, of course, where I am, two terriers follow. As you can imagine, the terriers pretty much nixed the idea of a little bachelor pad in Santana Row. That idea evaporated the minute I contemplated how it would work for 5AM emergency wee breaks trying to wrangle two terriers into an elevator and out into a parking lot. To wrap it all up, the paradigm has reversed. Andy is enjoying a 10 minute weekday commute, while the terriers and I are wearing a groove in miles and miles of Bay Area freeway.

dogs in crates

The terriers will tell you, “Freeway travel sucks.”

It was supposed to be easier. I’ll be with Andy in San Jose for some days. I have to be in Sonoma some other days to work with crews, organize projects and do farmer and wine stuff. Not a problem. San Francisco is between them where I also have to do stuff. Easy. And no more than an hour’s commute on any given day. As I said, that’s how it was supposed to work. It hasn’t. Somehow, when I’m on one end of the Bay Area, I’m always finding that I need to get way to the other end that same day. When I have several days work in Sonoma, somehow those days seem to get interspersed with several last minute trips to San Jose then back up to San Francisco. Good thing I drive a Prius.

It’s at the point where I wake up for that 5AM terrier wee break and it takes several minutes to figure out where I am. This is more important than you might think. If I’m in San Francisco, I have to bundle up because I’m probably going out into fog. If it’s San Jose, I have to put on running shoes because I need to hoof it several blocks to get the dogs to the grounds of the local middle school (you don’t even want to know how jealously San Jose people guard their perfectly manicured lawns from terrier potty breaks.) If it’s Sonoma, since there’s no one to see me but coyotes and foxes, well, I can and do go full Grey Gardens in a nightgown with a parka or a pair of pants wrapped around my head if it’s raining. You can see the issues if I mistake where I am and throw on the wrong outfit.

So anyway, for the last month, I haven’t really been sure where I’ve been all the time, but stuff happened. Stuff that I didn’t write about. I promise to do better. I pledge three times a week posts. Even if I have to pull over and blog from a rest stop somewhere on the I-280, or 101 or 680 or wherever. Anyway, here’s some stuff that happened.

1) We got some bees. Lots and lots of bees. At least 50 hives. Well, they aren’t really our bees. We let, Hector Alvarez, a pretty famous Sonoma beekeeper bring some of his hives here.

bee on corn

I provided the non-GMO organic corn, though. The bees love it.

2) We went, as we do every year, to the Sonoma Fourth of July Parade — which I have long declared the best small town parade in America.

Sonoma 4th parade

There are always a lot of horses, and cowboys, and Sons of the Golden West and vaqueros.

3) I made a huge dent in my Great 25 Year Clean Out in the San Francisco house. Took four of us. Three Guatemalans and a Gringa. We’re The G Team.

omar cleans windows

This is Omar doing the scary work of cleaning second story windows.

4) We endured more than a week of record heat in Sonoma.

oscar is hot

It got up to 112 degrees! Bad weather for terriers.

5) I did some more hikes with my South Bay hiking group buddies.

Old Spanish Trail Portola Valley

This is the view from The Old Spanish Trail in Portola Valley looking toward the old salt drying flat on the Bay.

6) And we logged a LOT of miles in the trusty Prius.


Smooth Fox Terrier in car

If you see us on a freeway, somewhere between San Jose and Sonoma, wave a paw!