Monday, June 25, 2007

Best things in life...

Sometimes the best things in life are free...that has been my belief, well...always...I just came in the house from picking peaches and I am fully convinced of that truth now more than ever!!! Two years ago my friend Holly called to tell me her neighbor had purchased a bunch of bareroot fruit trees, but had realized he didn't have enough room for all of them, would I want some? I do not turn down too many plants...let alone free plants. Fruit trees had been planted here by the original owners but with the growth of the landscaping trees (one dozen sycamores, 1/2 dozen willows, two HUMONGOUS Cottonwoods, and a rogue elm or two...sun was scarce. The PG&E bill is wonderful...but fruit trees have struggled. I took a couple of apples out...yes...sometimes you have to say goodbye to a plant or tree that just doesn't perform. The remaining sad peach trees, the nectarine I misplanted, the pear tree from a poor nursery (right down the road from the house), the two cherries that pick and choose how they will perform, the fabulous pomegranates, and that was the extent of fruit at this acre and a half of prime ag land...I needed more...I planted a was not seedless as labled and as beautiful as it loves to eat orange trees. The orange tree...never sure what it is...sometimes it tastes great...sometimes...I pick and chuck them to the goat...the blueberrries died...NOT thinking they can be grown here...despite the boasts of many's Chico...and it's hot!!!! Planted another mandarin...NOT seedless again despite the labeling!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So...I planted those little sticks (ever seen a bareroot tree naked?). Ok...put those little trees out. Ok...I put them wayyyyyy out. Put them near Meghan's field of dreams (the softball field in the back created for her). Put them along the fence line...knowing there was no way I was going to run irrigation out here...but the neighbors irrigate about 5 feet from the fence line every week or so. I babied them the first year. I ran the hose out there and talked to the cows in the neighbor's field. This year I bought the Plant Barn...SOOOOO....I never made it out there. I never checked on them...I never watered them. I forgot they existed!!! Sooo...yesterday I checked on them...three trees planted very closely (my neighbor thought they were too close) I mentioned that you can actually plant three altogether in one hole...which I would have but when I rec'd them they seemed a little too far gone for such an experiment. Sooo...again... I checked on has fire blight...I am convinced Pears will not make it on this land, one has a few apricots...but the peach...ohmygosh...I had a skirt on and I loaded up...I probably harvested about 10 lbs before I realized...I need to get to work!!! I fretted all day... hoping I could harvest soon before they were ruined. Did you know that birds know the exact time of perfect harvest for all fruit???? They do...they can strip a cherry tree at harvest time in less than an hour...and it will be an hour that NOONE is awake at!!! So when I got home...I did some chores and cleaning...and it was still I waited...I headed out at dusk...That silly lab puppy came with me and kept picking up the fallen peaches...I bet I harvested 25 lbs plus...I ate some too. They are sweet and warm when you harvest them...Picking a peach at dusk and eating it has to be the best dessert anyone has ever tasted. You can't help but end up with juice down your chin and all over your fingers. You are warm...but the fruit is sooooo sweet, so perfect...I don't even like peach fuzz, but eating them fresh off the tree is such a perfect event you never notice the fuzz...I am going to make cobbler, and freeze some for future smoothies, and I may make some jam...they are the best peaches I have EVER tasted. Perfect in size, flavor, and the timing could not be more perfect...I needed to be reminded today...that the best things in life are free!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Da..on Father's day...

Not sure I can do this Da...he's only I share him with two other siblings...and they have their relationship with him...but I have mine. He is clever, silly, sarcastic, infuriating, surprising, knowing, loving, understanding, silly...oh I said that already, we talk, without talking, we communicate sporadically, we know the other is there...just an arm reach away. He has opinions, some I agree with some I am still pondering. He has a heart...and it is soooo big...I'm sure I am part of that heart, but know I share space with so many others. He is a forward thinker who makes others think too. He has opinions...and shares them all. He understands me even when I don't understand me. He is frustrated by me...and I get frustrated by him. He is an artist. He is a writer. He is beyond intelligent. I can't write with out thinking he might spy my misspells...sp? We butt heads, we hug, we cry together. He is sarcastic and raised me well to be just as or more so...He challenges...he strives...he pushes...but he loves...and he loves...and he loves...even when I feel like I don't deserve it. Thanks Da...for being my Da...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Disposable socks

I did my quarterly? Semi quarterly? Sock sorting. I have this problem. I don't mind sorting laundry, washing it, putting it in the dryer and even grabbing the warm bundle out of the dryer (burying my face in and smelling the softener and warming my cheeks) and then tossing it on the bed...this is where I start getting bored and distracted...even if I make it through the folding process that next step looms ahead and I...well I procrastinate. I work on the next load to be washed, I clean the lint holder, I get a drink of water, I see the sink needs to be scrubbed, then I think maybe I should cut some flowers for the kitchen, then I look for my clippers and realize I should sort the recycleables. I take out the recycleables and see that the plants by the barn need water. Weeding is always an option...soooo....that laundry stays until I need to go to bed...then I am I place it on the window seat...the socks...well they go in the basket to be sorted...soon...well when I need a pair...I wear my Keenes alot these days so the sock pile sits. I get the basket out for sorting here and there...why is it there are so few matches? Well...I should wait for another day and sort when there are more matches, surely they will all be there when I do more laundry? Where would socks go? They must be in the next load??? I resolved to match them all this week and started my piles...darks, lights, athletic socks, dress socks, printed socks...that black sock with the red roosters...surely it's match will be found today??? I began to realize that the piles were growing but very few matches were being made...but it's been months since I did this heavy sorting...surely all the socks have been washed??? My little one Meghan for all her type A tendencies and influences (not from me) shares my aversion to sock matching...she mentioned one day...why can't we just have disposable socks??? How wasteful I thought??? Haven't I brought her up believing everything in the world can be recycled??? Hello??? She was yard sailing before she was born!!! I am the queen of recycling...everything has a use until it is nearly gone and there is very little to be seen of it...But...I sat there with those piles and realized I was holding on to some silly things...a single sock that had a heel that was nearly transparent...a green sock that was just a mistake to buy in the first place...Plus...there were so many...I have two feet and most of the time I prefer to be barefoot...why so many socks??? Let go I heard myself say...But...but...maybe I could use them for dusting? Maybe I could make toys for the dogs? Wash the cars with socks????? Hmm...Let I did...I gathered the pile and walked directly back to the laundry room...and ceremoniously dumped them in the trash can. felt good...I have been in a mucking out frame of mind lately. Letting go of things that just aren't of use anymore, or have been a source of frustration or pain, or simply never going to fit me regardless of how hard I try. Missing socks won't come back after a certain amount of time has passed and that is ok. I don't believe we should have disposable socks...although it sounds fabulous at times...I do believe that sometimes you just have to let go of things...which can be scary...I really need to take the trash out...just so I don't go digging in and pulling out that black sock with the's mate is gone and it's time to move on...maybe I can find some socks that match my bike basket liner????????

Monday, June 4, 2007

What's ahead... on my new seemed like enough adventure??? But me being me...had to set out on another. Bought a kayak. Hmmm...kind of a random purchase??? Well...sort of. Miss Megs took a water sports camp last year which was my first introduction to the world of kayaking. At the end of the session she toured around with me at Lake Oroville's forebay, or afterbay I never remember which is which...just know how to drive there. I was so impressed with her skills. She showed me how to get in, how to steer, and just how to glide along in the water. I sat behind her and watched, and did my best to put the oars in when needed and tried not to "mess up". It was amazing to float along...knowing it was up to us to get us where we needed to go...and back. I watched her shoulders tense and relax and met that rythym as best as I was able on the way back in. We giggled and splashed and floated along. I love my time at the cabin in Almanor and fill it with reading, walking, swimming, sleeping, drinking and eating. But thought...what else can we do here? At the end of the season last year I went for a mini vacation with my friends Rebecca, Dan and Nancy. There we were...right next door to where I have been vacationing for almost 20 years...RIGHT next door. Nancy's family owns the cabin next to the Ahlswedes!!! One of the evenings there we decided to go on an adventure. It was almost dusk. Nancy's cousin's gave us permission to take there kayaks there we were...headed for the island!!! You can glide along in a kayak...with no goal in mind...or paddle furiously to reach the goal. We did it all. We laughed at the different ways we all paddled. Rebecca paddled hard and true...not sure where she was headed. Dan...headed out...straight and strong...being the leader then falling back. Nancy paddled fast and furious...panting in between. I paddled sometimes fast, sometimes slow...making my my own way. We all made it to the island and back. We giggled and laughed and pushed ourselves here and there. At times we all stopped paddling and just floated. It is sooooo quiet on the lake at dusk in comparison to all the busy-ness during the day. The lake is smooth as glass at that time. Not knowing when it would be completely dark was also a factor we all had at the back of our minds. Would we be out in the water when it got dark? What if a boat came by? What if we couldn't find each other? Where exactly was the shore? It all added up to a fun little adventure...that hooked me to the world of kayaking...and I haven't even ventured into the world of white water kayaking!!! My new kayak and I have many adventures ahead...but in the meantime...I had sooo much fun with Shannon, Meghan, and my sister on it...too much sister??? Wet velour is such a great look on you??? Shannon even got to see the lake from the view she has always ridiculed..." know what I always hate when I am at the lake????? 'kayakers' "...We both giggled at that and then splashed each is your thumb now kiddo??? Then I heard just how much fun Sheesha's family had with the kayak this weekend...and I got to watch Kyle and his dad paddling in sync last weekend...concentrating on moving forward together...their paddles seemed to be tied together...even if they were at two different levels. It was if they were conversing with out a word...Not sure where I am headed these days...on my kayak, on my bike, in my life...but as Shannon says...ready for an adventure...and yes...I am a little scared...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Special places

I sat on my screen porch last night and caught up on my magazine reading...yes I still had bookwork to do, could fold some laundry, and put some laundry away!!! BUT...I chose to relax. Not a choice I make very often or very easily. I like to stay busy. I like to be on the move. I can't go to the movies very often...that is way too long to be sitting doing nothing in my opinion. I've been accused of keeping this constant motion so I don't have to think. THAT is so NOT true. I am always thinking. I wish I could stop...but I am ALWAYS thinking. Too much. Ideas, thoughts, to do lists, excerpts from books, numbers,'s a tornado in my brain at all times. So sitting and just being takes sooo much effort it almost isn't worth the extreme labor it takes. BUT...I have some special places that I find I can stop and settle in the moment for nanosecond or two. My screen porch is one of those places. Evening is best since there are fans to move the air and I purchased an outdoor lamp. I have some lumpy chairs that squeak a little when I move and a coffee table to put my feet up on. Feet up is a signal to my body to relax I guess. I have tons of pictures I have taken of me at my special places...and my feet are what I take the picture of. There is a picture of my feet next to Shannons in San Luis Obispo, Megs feet with mine at the Nutcracker Ballet, My painted toes with my friend Hollys at the SF Garden show...and some of just my happy feet in one of my favorite special places-The deck at Lake Almanor!!!! I have this one corner of the deck where I position my chair just so, I can put my coffee cup right next to me (or Wine at night). Between my toes I can see the peninsula. In the early mornings there is fog that swirls at that point. I give my toes a visual massage with the fog swirls curling in the background. I can sit there undiscovered for hours if I get up early enough. I start with a blanket wrapped around me. Then I shed the layers. By the time everyone else starts to stir I am down to my jammies sunning my toes in the sun. That place for me is where I relax and am actually in the moment for a brief, brief time...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The feeling

Well...I am sure day 3 sorry...but hello...I am a business owner these days...entrepeuner as they call me...but here is my number three blog, my 3rd blog, etc. As I mentioned, I really knew how my new bike was going to make me feel(but I envisioned pure joy) , and as usual, I felt guilty. Hmmm...need to work on that issue too. I feel guilty when I feel great-what is up with that??? My bike sat at the Plant Barn a few days, but that was ok...I spun around to the back (Chico Propagators) and rang the bell...oh did I mention the bell? It sounds like....DIIIINNNGGG......DOHHHNNNGGGGGG.....Loud and clear. They all laughed and giggled at the crazy lady who bought the Plant Barn riding a colorful bike through the gravel. I was just plain happy. I can't explain why it brought me such joy...maybe deep down...I am just such a simple gal. My parents brought me out of the "OC" but maybe I really am a Lassen County girl!!! That bike just makes me smile...but sadly I couldn't figure out a way to get me, my car, and my new bike home. My Da came by the Plant Barn to drop some things off...and said well if you don't need anything I will take off and do whatever he does for (insert one:Library, Seniors, irrigation district, and whatever else)...I said...well I would love to get my bike home, would you mind taking it? Of course he was honored to be given the "honor"-acutally it seemed like he really was...My Dad "gets" my bike purchase...and for that I love him more...if that was possible. So, now my bike was home!!! The first day I couldn't figure out how I would get Megs to school, go to work, run to costco, pick up groceries and make Megs game by 6. Harumph....the next day ended up the same....BUT...the next day...I said nothing is getting in my way!!! I thought about the grad party I wanted to make an appearance to, the banking I still needed to do, and of course, wondering when and how I would get lunch??? I woke up, Showered, put my hair in a pony tail, and realized...ohhhh....miss megs is home...would she want to join me? I asked, She there we went. Did I tell you it is about 6+ miles to work? Not that it is a looooonnnnng way. But hey! I had pictured myself riding along, timing the route for future rides, and of course hoping I would make it to work on time...since Miss Megs took a little longer than expected to get ready! But you know what...another ride was in store for me. Miss Megs is my little one. She is a hard nut to crack...a mystery at all times. A thinker...but leaves you wondering just what she is thinking. She's not an open book by any means and getting in takes tactical maneuvers. She is witty, kind, and sweet. She has so much to offer in intellect, wisdom, and comedic relief-it just takes a jack hammer to get there. BUT....that ride was different for both of us....First, the's all around airconditioning on a bike, but we could not have been more comfortable. smelly smells....scents...our ride to town was filled with scents. Lavendar, freshly mown hay, soapy scents from people washing their cars in the driveway...We breathed it in...I made Megs take a deep breath...Such a mom thing to do. Sights along the saw houses I had never seen. Noticed newly planted gardens and even some trash left alongside the roadway. So much to see, and notice, that I had not noticed in my drives along the same road. BUT, the very best part of the drive??? Miss Megs and I talked...I realized quickly this girl opens up when you are doing something together-duh-she is my competitor...not that the other two aren't she just is wired to compete. So...side by side we rode, and talked. It felt so amazing, the breeze, the sun, the ride, everything I imagined. We rolled along and talked. I saw cars, houses, people, gardens, but it was just Megs and me, having a chat. I am easily distracted-ask anyone who knows me...but with all of that...I just listened...and smiled and was thankful for the opportunity to be just tooling along on a bike on a saturday am...with my daughter. NOone could have orchestrated such a perfect moment. BUT it happened and it was soooo real, and so ride home was almost as great or better...but I am ttfn!!!