Nowhere to go but up
Monday November 12th 2018, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

Note: there are mouseovers on the photos.

There were three of us that were going to be coming from California, and we booked an AirBnB together for our stay in Salt Lake.

The photos looked good. I’d always wanted to see the inside of some of the quaint old Victorians there and we were actually going to get to stay in one (or was it a Sears catalog house)–circa 1905. And the price was exceedingly reasonable.

As advertised, the two bedrooms were beautifully done.

That’s the good part.

Michelle’s flight landed a few hours before ours and she got there first.

She walked up the uncertain planks that gave a bit under your feet–not quite steps (think gym bleachers) since your shoes could slip between them at any point, but at least they held–and knocked on the door.

The hostess warmly welcomed her in, showed her what she needed to know, and as they stepped forward to the living room apologized over the painting they’d recently hung that had just fallen: the command strips hadn’t been strong enough to hold it. She was so sorry. She urged that we *not* sit on the couch for fear the other would come down too.

(That’s a vaulted ceiling with a whole lot of empty white space so they’d bought huge pictures to try to fill it up some. The walls dwarfed them.)

Oh. Kay.

The attic-type steps to her room were narrow and steep but coming back down, the overhang near the bottom was so low that even knowing it was there, she had a hard time ducking enough and bumped her head. It’s tough being tall.

At some point in the house’s history, air conditioning got invented. Wonderful! Someone smashed out the lower part of the dining area window to put one in. They filled the space around it with what came to hand. The brick broke? Nobody’ll notice, use it.

We tried to puzzle out whether that was a towel or a blanket stuffed up below that obvious one-time leak up there at the ceiling. We weren’t about to touch it to find out (not that I for one could have reached.)

Those kitchen shelves that went way, way up–how on earth did they get stuff up there? How on earth would you get it down? Doesn’t it make you want to scream and run that there are no doors to hold it all in when the earth starts to shake? There was a little folded step stool tucked away that you could use to climb up onto the narrow countertop and reach way up, which even standing on the counter would probably not be enough for me, still, but–just don’t. Even if you don’t have my fear of heights. I looked at the beautiful brown pottery and again felt very Californian: gravity doesn’t always work in the right direction, you just don’t put the heavy stuff so far over your head.

The bathroom tiles were a gorgeous deep green.

The shower was not much more than one hard zap of a stream, and trying to adjust that got a surprisingly heavy head throwing itself down at mine. I ducked and lucked out.

You want an outlet to plug in that CPAP? Then you can only open the bathroom door halfway, and to get in there with the cord going across you’re going to bash your head on the big towel rack hung over the other side of that tall door. Ouch. Everything in there is tall but me. Watch out, that Home Despot sink might fall right over or the flimsy plug-in lamp (the only light source) could land in it.

But this. This is not what we mean when we urge people to go green. That’s the door between the master bathroom and the kitchen. I could just imagine, No no that is not the pantry! (The hostess had already told Michelle about it, no worries there. It was locked.) Four panes of glass with a coat of paint slathered over sideways and a top pane boarded over and painted, too. Please tell me that particular door wasn’t originally in that spot, naked as a jaybird? We tried to figure out where it might have been repurposed from.

The hostess’s room was upstairs too, but for while we were there she turned the house over to us and let us have it to ourselves.

We figured a family must recently have inherited a home that had been lived in for decades by someone who could not manage upkeep and fixed it up enough so that they could get some income off it to help while they rehab it. Those two rental bedrooms are really quite nice. Just ignore the lack of a doorframe so far on the master. Wavy wallboard edges only. But the heating system worked really well and the bed and pillows were quite comfortable, the towels plentiful and thick, the shower curtain one I wanted to copy. They provided every bathroom thing you could think of and I was relieved at the sight of the hairdryer.

You know how they say cool old houses have good bones? I would say this one has started treatment for osteoporosis.

Michelle wondered how to describe the place in any review if she should even write a review, since she’s the one that booked it.

Up and coming? Lots of up. Definitely.

It will be a fond funny memory for a long time to come. That door!

Which time zone is this?
Sunday November 11th 2018, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

We flew off Friday to celebrate my parents’ 66th anniversary and just got home. Tomorrow I find out what happened in the world over the weekend, but what happened in my world was definitely wonderful. All my siblings came and a fair number of their kids and even a few of their grandkids.

Pictures are limited because I left my silly phone back in the AirBnB yesterday for the day, but thanks to my nephew Joel I did get this one taken.

Oh wait. I need to shrink that. Tomorrow. Right now I’m going to go crash in my own bed in my own house. ‘Night, all.

Saturday November 10th 2018, 1:25 pm
Filed under: Life

Up, north, and eastward… You know how the horizon forms a pink line across the top when you’re in the air at sunset?

Except it wasn’t sunset. And it wasn’t on the horizon: it was redder, and in the center of the smokey air that looked like clouds smudged with dirt. It took me a little while studying it to be sure: I was seeing the Camp fire from about 27,000 feet up. It was an eerie feeling to know what was going on below as I said a prayer for those in its path.

An hour or so later the view below was clearer and there was a normal skyscape sunset.

A key moment
Thursday November 08th 2018, 11:55 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

I ran some errands yesterday and the post office was high on that to-do list but I utterly forgot. Got some great Malabrigo at Cottage Yarns, though!

Which is a bit of a trek. Got back home, put my feet up a moment and had a bite, looked at the clock and suddenly realized what I’d forgotten, sighed at the rush hour traffic I could nearly have dodged but wouldn’t now, and headed back out to do that one last errand.

They say that in the last twelve years we’ve had the equivalent of ten cities the size of ours superimposed over the Bay Area.

But going back out again when I did means I happened to be right there when my neighbor was and she was clearly in a bad way. I stopped the car and asked how she was doing. (Another neighbor had seen her fallen in her yard a week ago and had helped her to her feet.)

“Not well,” she told me.

Turns out what she most needed right then was a ride to the car dealership to replace the key for her car. It was right on my way. She hadn’t been about to ask, but I definitely offered and not having to make that long walk right now was clearly a huge relief to her. Neither one of us thought she would have been able to, although neither one of us quite said that.

I’d never seen her using a walker before.

“I can’t take any painkillers,” she happened to mention.

“I can’t take any NSAIDs, my deafness is from an aspirin allergy,” I nodded. I knew what it was like to have to go without. As I put her walker in my back seat I mentioned that mine was in the trunk (even if I haven’t had to use it for quite awhile now.)

“You’ve been through everything.” She said it like it meant I was someone she could say stuff to who could hear it and not flinch. She wasn’t liking this instant little old lady stuff but she was trying to be at her best. She said it again. She was trying to keep her pain from turning her inward, as pain always wants to do.

I dropped her off, did my post office run, swung back on by and picked her up again and brought her home and made sure she was good as best I could. “Alright, my dear,” she smiled, waving me on.

Then into my own driveway.

And was so very very glad that earlier in the day I’d forgotten to run the one errand I’d had to do most. Or that I’d thought was the most important.

Still undecided and neither side’s conceding
Wednesday November 07th 2018, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Garden

The leaves producing food for it vs the tree producing food for us: it’s a race. There’s one last fig.

Hey, Dani, look!
Tuesday November 06th 2018, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Friends,Mango tree,Politics

Glued to the election returns, glad there will be some checking and balancing–always a good thing.

Meantime, the heat is working in the mango tree’s enclosure but, um, not so much in ours. Brrr. Hoping I can reach our HVAC guy in the morning.

So I thought I’d chill out by posting a bunch of tropical-tree pictures so Dani could see how what he instigated into being four years ago is doing. (Don’t worry about that dusting of cinnamon, that’s just anti-ant.)

I need to ask: are you supposed to let them ripen on the tree? (Why the traditional store-it-in-camel-dung method? All my camel comes in yarn form only.) I know pears have to be picked unripe or they’ll go mushy first, and every reference to Alphonso mangoes I’ve found (that would probably be two) said to let them ripen in warm temps, picked. How do you know it’s time to?

I love that I finally get to need to ask.

Monday November 05th 2018, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Politics

Going over the voters guide, newspaper articles, etc tonight. Again. To be absolutely sure on each choice.


North and south
Sunday November 04th 2018, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit

Spencer got his afghan and a matching hat yesterday.

Every child needs their favorite blankie. A hat, maybe not so much near the southern border, but then that means it’s the one warm hat he’ll have should he need it.

His cousin in Alaska could show him how it’s done.

Just as soon as he learns that putting on his mom’s boots doesn’t substitute for putting on pants in order to go play in the snow.

I can just picture the two together someday and the San Diego cousin going, You mean you get cold on purpose??

So we did this today
Saturday November 03rd 2018, 10:19 pm
Filed under: Family

Introducing Spencer.

Maddy made me promise to come back. I promised.

Two for one
Friday November 02nd 2018, 10:27 pm
Filed under: LYS

Needed to be at the audiologist’s by 4:00 and didn’t want to go through all that rush hour traffic.

So I left a little after two. Green Planet yarns just happens to be down that way, and it was Friday afternoon knitting group. That definitely worked out.

At Alison’s Restaurant
Thursday November 01st 2018, 10:54 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Life,Mango tree

After the baking binge.

They came, they saw, and to my surprise they lifted before I even finished writing an Alice’s Restaurant-style note on the door for any stragglers.

Walk right in, come around to the back, just a half a mile from the railroad track…

It was getting dark but they did it.

And then I sent Peter, James, Krys+Sterling, Eric, and Nathaniel off with a chocolate torte each plus one for Bo who really meant to come but was still busy helping a very elderly and quite handicapped woman move out of her home to go to an assisted living facility near her son down south.

Bo had definitely earned his torte.