Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gas Lines and Butt Massages

Did the title throw you? Considering that gas and butts do in fact go together, it seemed appropriate to just couple two recent stories together under the umbrella of body parts and bodily functions.

The first story involves some fun weekend activities over here on the Maris Ranch. You might remember that I mentioned us not being connected to the street's main gas line—which means we've been without a dryer for nearly 3 months now.

But I'm happy to announce that progress has been made on the gas front.

Friday a plumber came and ran all the interior pipes so that once the gas company does its thing and hooks us to the main, we'll be ready immediately to connect the hot water heater and (blessed be thy) dryer. We'll also be connecting the gas range after we remodel the kitchen, and eventually we'll get central heat. But first things first...

Although the gas company will happily come dig the trench for the gas pipe they install, they will also charge you an arm and at least half of your lower leg. So, being the frugal and highly capable guy he is, Mr. W decided to dig the ditch himself.

I'm fairly certain it's just because he wanted to play with a piece of heavy machinery.

If I had rented a ditch witch, she would have come with a broom and cauldron.

At the crack of dawn Saturday morning, he rented a "ditch witch" and went to town burrowing out the trench for our future pipe.

He seemed to be having a grand old time—particularly because he didn't have to break his back and use a shovel. Until the thing went catawampus (yes I looked up the spelling for that) and ended up laying on its side.

Is your ditch witch pointing north or are you just happy to see me?

All the king's horses and all the king's men (that is, one wife) couldn't get the ditch witch back upright again. So we called in the big guns.

I love our next door neighbor so much. He took me off-roading in his golf cart Saturday morning so that I could pick persimmons in his backyard. And he always "knows a guy" for everything. Need a pizza oven installed? Tom knows a guy. Need a vineyard consultation? Tom knows a guy. Think you're the only one in town who moved from Hollywood? Tom knows a guy who knows a guy. He's the best.

So Mr. W hot-footed it over to Tom's and came back with the tractor trailing behind him. In minutes, the ditch witch was in the tractor's grips and upright again.

We're going to develop a Bat Signal for Tom so he knows when to come.

Tom saved the day. And Mr. W finished his trench. Which means all we need is the gas company to come work their magic and I can start drying my bath towels so they no longer feel like astroturf.

For those of you who don't want to hear the butt massage story, stop reading here. And I hope you have a lovely day.

For those of you who remember some of Mr. W's greatest hits from the past, you may enjoy this (Big Sister, I'm thinking of you...) The last time I was visiting LA, I had worked out and my gluteus was feeling maximuscally sore. So I asked Mr. W if he would give me a little cheek massage.

As he went to work, I laughed and said, "Do you feel like you're kneading dough?"

"Well I've never kneaded this much dough before," he replied.

And we have a new entry on the things-not-to-ever-say-to-your-wife list.

It's a good thing he's so handy with power tools and heavy machinery!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pumpkins and Bumpkins

Autumn in the country is a lot of fun, doggone it. The pumpkin patches are going full-tilt, hay bales and corn husk decorations are adorning winery and shop entrances, there was even a scarecrow contest in the town next door to us. Life just feels more festive out in these parts.  


A couple weeks ago, Mr. W and I checked out another fall festivity in the area—the 33rd annual Los Olivos Day in the Country. There weren't pumpkins, but there were tractors. Truthfully, the tractors were the main reason we went. We kind of dream of being able to drive one around in the lower portion of our backyard. I'm now having a lovely vision of Mr. W doing some sort of number from Footloose that involves high kicks off the tractor and a sprig of wheat between his teeth...


Anyway... There we were admiring John Deere's fine craftsmanship when I told Mr. W to take my picture. I posed with a cheesecake grin, careful not to touch any of the machinery.

"You can sit on one if you like," a voice came from behind me. 

I think what he really wanted to say was, "Little girl, you can pretend to drive one of these if you want." So of course, I leaped aboard and made Mr. W take more pictures of me fake-driving.

Totally fueled the tractor-owning fire. 

After I got my fill, we wandered down the street to one of our favorite garden shops. Our main motivation wasn't just to check out their cute merchandise—but to steal see their chickens. 

The girls didn't disappoint. They were quite social with each other and with us. 

Some people dream of naming their future children. I dream of naming my future chickens. Are Farrah, Kate, and Jaclyn too weird for chicken names? Farmie's Angels?

As you can tell, the country air is having a spectacular effect on my brain. 

Whilst we wait for the right time to buy chickens, we'll keep doing our best to grow other goodies in the garden. Since my last post on our miniature plot, the greens have gone crazy. We ate kale salads twice over the weekend and I accidentally picked some immature radishes while I was weeding, so I'm going to eat them this week. Beets and Brussels sprouts should be coming soon.

It's really exciting to think that someday in the not too distant future, we'll have planter boxes filled with all kinds of goodies. We won't even have to drive to the grocery store anymore. 

Or maybe if we do, we'll just take the tractor.