Brian and I had a, well, interesting break. We had one giddy day of fun down in San Juan Capistrano. We took the train down, roamed the Mission gardens, ate lunch at the best little Italian café in the old train station building, and then wandered the kitschy shops before hopping the train home again. I trounced Brian at Lost Cities, and then he trounced me at Love Letter.
The rest of vacation we spent putting the house in order. I did massive dishes, put the all-year decorations up after the Christmas decorations came down (thanks Brian!), and cleaned out my closet. Brian dug up sprinkler lines, marveled at the stupidity and redundancy of them, and then installed a billion anti-siphon valves (okay, just 4) so all the random cut-off lines we found can be useable lines. I feel a lot of gardening in my future. In between, there was much catching up with friends, tons of cookies, and a little bit of D&D.
I am NOT ready to come back to work. It’s times like these I wish I was independently wealthy.
I am tripping along on my resolutions. One of my gifts was a Kindle, and I am THRILLED with the way it syncs to Goodreads. So much easier than trying to put them in one by one as I finish them. I think getting to 100 books will be easier than ever this year. I have written 3 of 4 days of the new year, too. Considering a couple of those days were weekends (when I usually don’t write), so that’s pretty good.
It feels right to be back in the swing of things, though, in some ways. I’m looking forward to the new year, and all the things it will bring.
Oh the summer weather. And I don’t mean that in a good way. It’s been HOT here. And weird. Brian managed to get some fancy drought-tolerant plants at a local fair, and we did some minor gardening this weekend. It was already 89 degrees out at 8:00 am when we went out there to dig in the dirt for a while and make sure everything had a decent soaking. About 10:00 am, a huge cloud rolled in. Along with an atmosphere of mugginess not usually experienced in Southern California.
I don’t know why it’s so much different in Redlands. It’s only 30 miles away from Claremont. But when the summer clouds come up, the whole world smells like the sweet molasses of desert rain. It didn’t drop anything on us, but it stayed hazy and dusk-like until late in the afternoon, making the mountains that surround us like a bowl look purple in the distance. Like someone had ripped them out of construction paper, and not like they were real mountains at all.
I feel like such a Californian in Redlands amid the eucalyptus, the orange groves, the palms, the trains and the hills.We planted California Poppies this weekend. You know, just for extra good California goodness. Unless we started keeping quail, we can’t get more representative.
The tomatoes are insanely huge now. I bought the big tomato cages, and they have outgrown even those. The Roger’s Red grapevine is taller than the house. We’ve been slowly adding drought-tolerant things to the front yard, and trying to nurse through the things that are already there in the heat. The roses are burning before they even have a chance to bloom. The lawn is brownish. But the Roger’s Red seems to be thriving with just a very little bit of hose help, and has sprouted volunteers all over the front planter. I’m thrilled, since gophers ate both of the plants I had in the back yard. Come fall when the weather is cooler, I’ll re-plant them in back again. This time in gopher-proof chicken wire pots. California natives for the win, I guess.
Now if we can just get all the plants through September, I shall be a happy camper. Cross your fingers for them. They’re going to need it.