Friday, November 27, 2009


I'll get the bad news out of the way first. The wee girl chick died as well. The flock stays at eight for now.

We just got back from a visit to my northern California family, which involved a little tiny bit of scoping out potential places to live if Dan is offered a job up there. I don't want to get my hopes up, even though we saw some beautiful places and in comparison to Orange County it's CHEEEP up there. There are some opportunities for him, and very close to my Uncle Alan and his wonderful daughters, plus within 1 and 2 hours of my other paternal uncles. So of the list in out head of where we want to go if we leave OC, norCal is tops at the moment.

Fantasy: Dan's company sells, at which point his stock vests fully and we sell it. He lasts a couple more months with the new owners, but is then laid off and still gets two month's severance pay. We then head for Chico, or whichever Cal State has the cheapest cost of living and a masters/credential program in math or computer engineering. We live cheapo for 2 years and then Dan comes out double-barreled: MSCE and credentialed for teaching. I'll finish my degree someday too, one course at a time...

In the meantime, all is well here. We have enough backup plans that I'm back to not being worried about the future. The garden mostly survived me being gone for six days, but it needs water today or I'll lose a few more seedlings. Salt the hen is still broody, I'll have to go back to locking her out of the coop all day now that I'm back. If she keeps this up much longer than a month, she may have to fulfill her destiny sooner than we'd bargained for. I hope not, as I am still very squeamish about slaughtering. But I reckon I'd be hypocrite if i couldn't do it - after all, I haven't been able to quit eating animals, so I should be honest about it and be willing to do the dirty work myself. Ick.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Fall! It's downright surreal, but this has almost felt like a real Autumn, not just an angry extension of summer. Of course I'm cold all the time, but that's because I am apparently a reptile woman.

The raised beds in the front yard are almost all planted in with collard greens, cauliflower, four different kinds of lettuce, cabbage, bok choi, cilantro, arugula, and chard. Today I will be ripping out the last of the pumpkin vines, except for the Cinderella, which at some point actually decided to give me one beautiful little pumpkin. I will let her go until she dies out herself. The "winter tomatoes" are growing beautifully, but I fear that this wonderfully cool Fall means the tomatoes will never ripen. The eggplant is full and lush, but sloooow to fruit, again because of the cool weather.

We were given two black sex-link chicks that a young lady I am acquainted with found in a box on the sidewalk. One little rooster and one little hen. One of our full-grown hens, Salt, is broody right now (meaning she wants to hatch eggs, which is NEVER going to happen), so I tried to "graft" the chicks to her. Failed. The little rooster died in the night and the little hen is back inside under the heat lamp next to the snake, who is VERY interested in her. We had to block his view, which calmed him down. The poor girl is all alone and I will probably end up buying her a sister to grow up with. I am a sucker extraordinaire. At least I said no to the turtles I was offered! Although if they had been tortoises I would have been tempted...

And Dan still has a job. A letter was finally issued: Dan's division is up for sale, but nobody is losing their job. For now. I told Dan to do whatever he wants - stick with it and be optimistic, or look for other opportunities. He's choosing to be optimistic. For now.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Campin' Out

Phew! Full weekend. Went camping with our relatively new friends the Wilsons on Friday night. Paul and Eli LOVED having other kids to play with - typically we camp alone and other kids are in short supply. It was coooold and campfires were banned, so we used a fake propane-powered campfire thingy Dan bought a while ago, similar to this one. I teased him horribly when he bought it, but now I officially eat every one of those words. I married a visionary. That fake campfire saved the evening. The kids burned marshmallows over it, I played the guitar poorly while we sat around it, and we stayed up waaaay late just talkin' and scooting closer and closer to it as the night grew colder and colder. In the morning, the Wilsons cooked everybody breakfast and then we hiked to the Ortega Oaks candy store. After that, we finished the San Juan Loop trail, broke camp and headed home.

Saturday night Dan and I went to the O'Briens for a digital slide show of a backpacking trip Dan, another Dan (Julia's Dan), Brett, and Terry went on back in August. I wasn't able to go on the backpacking trip, but I still enjoyed the re-living. Although by 9:30 I was almost asleep on their couch. Remember I am an old woman now and can't handle that much excitement in one day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Ain't Quit Yet

Life's just boring. Dan still has a job. I put a whole bunch of plants in the boxes in the front yard. I've started a lot of stuff from seed, including lots of fun asian winter crops - kailan, mitsuba, red mustard, mizuna. Paul started cross-country training today. My guitar playing improves at a slow, painful pace. We're going on a camping trip this Friday night with some friends from our ward. I'm going to build either a langstroth or a tanzanian beehive, once I find some super-idiot-proof instructions, because Jessica (who I have never even met!) has offered me a hive nucleus from her holyhoney brood. The pumpkin vines are coming out. I need to plant peas. Blah blah blah. Off to guitar class now.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Never heard anything about the house. Oh well.

The hostile takeover is happening. This just means continued limbo. Dan is considering updating his resume and looking outside of CA. I'd settle for looking elsewhere in CA, but am open to adventures in other states.

We finally closed escrow last week. We are extra glad to be rid of it now, given the job insecurity.