Sunday, July 29, 2012
Mr. W and I headed up to our beloved Santa Ynez Valley this weekend to do a little house hunting (more on that later), and after a lovely couple of days spent drinking and daydreaming, we hit a wall on our drive home. A solid wall of traffic.
We were on the 101 freeway almost where it splits to the 33 toward Ojai when we saw dark brownish-grey smoke billowing up from the west of us. The brush that butts up to the freeway was on fire. We weren't surprised when traffic began to slow, and not even when it stopped dead for several minutes.
We were surprised, however, that we then became trapped in place for nearly 2 hours while firefighters battled the flames.
The upside of this was that we got to listen to our audio download of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. The downside was that after about hour, I had to pee.
People were out of their cars, walking up and down the road, taking pictures and chit-chatting, so I wasn't super excited by the idea of wandering over into a bush. Nor was I overjoyed by the thought of going in the car, with windows all around me and Mr. W sitting in the driver's seat. But unfortunately, I came down with a UTI (Hi Internet! I think UTI goes well with TMI, doesn't it?) last week. And any girl out there knows the last thing you want to do when you have a UTI is hold your pee.
It took a little reassurance on Mr. W's part. He offered to hold up one of his shirts to partially block me, and we arranged my car windshield shade up around another part of me. I still felt exposed, but it was that or nothing. And so I went. Crouched on the floor of the front seat of the Prius. Into a disposable Tupperware container that Mr. W had been eating grapes out of 5 minutes prior.
I'm pretty sure our relationship has reached a whole new level now.
Too embarrassed to dump it out the car door (like the lady in front of us did—no joke), I closed the lid on it and held it between my feet the whole way home.
Hahaha that's a picture of our beer from last night but I couldn't resist throwing it in at this part of the story...
Although things felt better after my bladder was empty, it still seemed like we had to sit there for about four more days. I have an even deeper sympathy for those people who get stuck on the tarmac. I cannot imagine... Finally, the fire department brought in some air support, and after about 7 water dumps and the arrival of Cal-Trans, they decided it was safe for us to begin moving again.
I'm hoping Mr. W will be able to recover from everything that happened today. I'm sure being that close to a brush fire nearly scared the pee out of him...
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Mr. W is in the process of relandscaping our backyard right now. And because he accidentally busted a sprinkler pipe with his shovel (that subsequently got clogged and had to be rerouted) it's a complete disaster out there right now. But that's okay because the cultivating we've been doing inside makes up for it.
I wrote a little post on the topic over at my other blog, The Path to Wonderful, if you want to check it out!
Monday, July 23, 2012
When I started to write this post, I immediately thought of Matthew McConaghey's David Wooderson character in Dazed and Confused. I don't actually think he was still a student, though. Just an old perv who liked high school girls. Anywhoo...
If one was to come into Mr. W's and my house and begin inspecting various surfaces, they would quickly realize that the two of us are perpetual students. The areas around our nightstands are cluttered with books we're trying to finish. The windowsill in our kitchen holds dozens of cookbooks. The coffeetable usually acts as a catchall to our paperbacks and magazines. Mr. W even had to build an additional shelf in our guest room to accommodate our growing library.
I think you can tell a lot about a person by the books they keep.
For example, you might look up at The Urban Homestead book above and know immediately that I spent about 20 minutes yesterday picking worms our of compost. True story.
And you might predict by the picture below that Mr. W often leaves overflowing bottles of sourdough starter around our sink.
If someone didn't know I was training to become a life coach, they could probably pretty quickly make guesses about my interests or desired career path if they examined some of my recent reads:
It's not pictured here, but 50 Shades of Grey does exist in our house. And although Mr. W would probably LOVE for me to dedicate my studies to its subject matter, he'll have to wait. Gardening and career counseling currently trump S&M around here...
What are you reading right now?
Friday, July 13, 2012
Our miniature backyard farm is feeling awfully monochromatic these days. It seems everything is still in a nascent stage. Well, except for the zucchini plant that keeps producing fruit like we were a family of ten in need of massive amounts of squash.
The pumpkin plant (that's it trying to take over our yard in the first picture above) has lots of flowers but has only managed to grow one decent-sized pumpkin. The green guy above is about a foot in diameter. Even if he's all we get from the gargantuan plant, I'll be happy. I may not even be able to carve him at Halloween.
Our tomatoes have tons of fruit hanging off their vines—but nothing red. Not even yellow! Except for the crazy rogue that's been producing all year. Although it got infested by some sort of tomato-murdering bug, so its crops have been scaled back since summer hit.
The little olives are coming along nicely. No idea what we'll do with them once they're ready to be picked.
The cucumber has given us quite a few thorny little tubers and a few weeks ago, Mr. W even jarred some with a mix of secret ingredients to make some pickles. We just tried them this morning and although they're a little tart, the flavor is pretty great.
The four avocados we have on our tree continue to grow. They've gotten quite large since the first time I photographed them. We cannot wait to turn them into guacamole!
Our butternut squash has several big gourds on it, which is extremely exciting. I have a feeling we'll be eating lots of butternut squash soup and ravioli this winter!
Our fig tree is covered in babies. They always remind me of old school Christmas lights. Somehow Mr. W was able to track down two purple ones last week, but I've only seen green when I've looked up into the limbs.
I was looking for ripe figs one day when I noticed something else in our other, taller tree. A nest of bees. We don't know if they're planning to make a hive, but they've been congregating here for a few weeks now. Mr. W read online that when bees are in between queens, they'll often just hang out together in a spot awaiting further instruction. We're hoping they decide to call our tree home. They're high up enough that they don't disturb us, but we absolutely love having them around to pollinate the garden.
The one spot of bright color right now is on the artichokes we let go to flower. They're vibrant lavender and seem to be a magnet for the hummingbirds.
I'm hoping the garden adds some new hues to its palette soon. We would love some ruby red tomatoes and bright orange squash. And maybe as the blossoming fruits here change and mature, we'll have similar growth in our own lives. Maybe Mr. W and I will soon add a little more color to our days in the form of coaching clients or a film project or a new home. In the meantime, we'll keep weeding and tending and enjoying the visiting bees and hummingbirds.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
The arrival of summer in Hollywood has brought hummingbirds to our backyard, all sorts of fruits and vegetables to our kitchen, warm breezes through our living room, and pile after pile of unexpected cat poop to my bathmat. I'm not entirely sure what started the trend—I think the balance of clumping litter vs. feline pine may have been slightly askew or maybe cleanliness wasn't up to a certain girl's standards—but my little grey cat suddenly decided to begin occasionally hunkering her hairy butt down and leaving me "presents" outside the shower.
I walked into the kitchen and saw it folded in half next to the washing machine. Helpful husband had removed it from my bathroom floor. Except when I flipped it open to spot treat before throwing it in the wash, I discovered that, although he had taken the bathmat out of my bathroom, he'd left the poop rolled up inside of it.
Seriously, Mr. W?
We had a nice chat about how next time he could just leave it for me to find—unfolded—in its original location.
I'm hoping this poopie problem is soon under control. Because, frankly, it stinks.
In the meantime, I decided to make myself feel better by making a few edits and additions to my bathroom decor...
Just so we're clear here, I may be going through training to become a life coach but I will never stop talking about poop. Have a good weekend everyone!