Tag Archives: california

Petrified Forest Reprise

manzanita new growth

The red leaves are new growth on this Manzanita branch


A pretty meadow




Gesturing Manzanitas

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Next Stop: Old Faithful

One of the several faithful geysers of our great country is in Calistoga, California.  It was my first geyser experience!  Very fun to watch, and frankly an amazing spectacle.  It truly engaged my sense of wonder around geology.  Can you believe that there is that much pressure just constantly ebbing and flowing beneath our feet?  Makes you feel a little insignificant–in a good way.  Plus they had fainting goats and llamas.  Not sure what the connection is.  


Threatening steam


and spouting!



A major perk of the visit was that the gift shop carried Vernors–my favorite ginger soda!!  Particularly exciting was finding it in the bottle.  A first. 

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Palm Desert

viewthe view

fridge1the walk-in fridge

fridge2walk in fridge: everything from Goji juice to Bud Light

bloody-maryThree types of Bloody Mary mix…jic


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We are in a Drought

In case you hadn’t heard.  For updates on “how bad [it is]” check out the California Department of Water Resources

I’ve had to seriously ration my bathing-for-relaxation habit.  Not soothing.

On the other hand, I feel I’m doing a good part of my “part” with my lavender and gravel garden (and never watering the roses that have survived on their own probably a good half-century).

If you aren’t a big gravel person, another great option for ground cover that is both functional for A Rockridge Life and beautiful is Fragaria chiloensis, or beach strawberry.  Some of my neighbors have used it in their gardens.  As I was walking by today I noticed that the little guys have actually starting blooming, in spite of all the dryness:

strawberriesAren’t they gorgeous?

I’m strongly considering it for the back garden that I’m currently reworking.

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Flowering Fruit Trees

I’ve been reveling in the warmth of the past two weeks.  So too have our fruit trees apparently.  SF Citizen reports on the early flowering of our fruit trees due to the unseasonable weather.  More evidence is available all over Rockridge.  Here’s one early bloomer on Lawton en route to College Avenue:


It’s hard to know whether to be happy or terrified by the onslaught of pink blossoms.  

Perhaps in Obama’s high profile first 100 days he could ratify the Kyoto Protocols.  I didn’t see this speech, but the rest of the world took note.    

Here’s to a summer of serious water rationing in California.  Plant some lavender.  


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Right Now I’m Googling:

How to fight Prop 8.

Click here to sign the pledge to fight Prop 8.

“We, the undersigned, are united in our refusal to accept a California where discrimination is enshrined in our state’s constitution.

We pledge to repeal Prop 8 and restore marriage equality to California. ” 

Click here to learn more about CREDO Mobile, history, and how it works.  


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We Still Have a Lot of Work to Do

Last night 2000 people gathered for a candlelight vigil in San Francisco to mourn the passing of Proposition 8.  Yesterday was a bittersweet day for many.  

I was heartened by the perspective of Kate Kendall the executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.  She reminds us all of the progress we have made in the fight for equal civil rights for gays.  She reminds us of Proposition 22 in 2000 that prevented the state from recognizing same sex marriages, which passed with 61.4% approval.  There are many gains to be recognized when looking at the slim margin that Proposition 8 won by this week.

Let’s not forget the cornerstone of President-elect Obama’s campaign: Hope.  There is a lot of sadness, and that is important and true, but we won’t be able to continue our fight for equal human and civil rights for all without maintaining our faith and our hope.  Let’s keep fighting.

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We made it to Pasadena.  Here’s the gorgeous view up the boulevard to my parents’ home. 

North Hill Avenue, Pasadena, California.

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The (gulp) Madonna Inn

I. and I stayed at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo on Friday night.  While the Madonna Inn, among everything else horribly tacky and generally considered other people’s trash, is I.’s favorite place this side of Solvang, it is not my idea of a soothing getaway.  I gave it to I. as a birthday-week-month present (birthday-week-month being a long standing tradition in our family to ensure that everyone is adequately spoiled).

I. was in heaven.  Last time we stayed in the “Everything Nice” room:

The dual level room and rock wall were not soothing to me.

This time we stayed in the erroneously spelled “voux,” which is part of a trio of rooms known as a unit as “Ren,” “Dez,” and “Voux,” as in rendezvous.

This is the official picture from the website. 

While the bedspread has faded (again, kind of disturbing, not very soothing), they have updated the room with new wallpaper, which is overwhelming in the best of ways.  Out of focus, but you get the picture.

The highlight of the night was the fish at Tsurugi–REALLY impressive.  Their rice was of amazing quality as was the fish.  

The sushi was only overshadowed by our screening of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”  It was amazing.  I highly, highly recommend the film.  I was laughing out loud most of the time.

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The Eucalyptus of California

I love the history of the eucalyptus in California.  Like almost everyone here, it immigrated here from somewhere else.  The eucalyptus came to California in the late 19th century.  Ellwood Cooper, a resident of the Santa Barbara area, was a eucalyptus enthusiast and was among its proponents.  Robert L. Santos, the librarian and archivist at Cal State Stanislaus has written extensively on the subject of eucalyptus and Mr. Ellwood Cooper:

Cooper was president of Santa Barbara College, a small private school. On the occasion of a library benefit, November 26, 1875, he delivered a stirring lecture on forests and spoke of his favorite tree, the eucalyptus. In his address, he argued that California, and alas, the world, needed the eucalyptus for the planet’s well-being. He believed that a perfect climate could be generated by planting the right vegetation in the proper locales. To quote, he wanted to “moderate the winds, increase the rain, and we have perfection . . . How is this to be done? By planting forest trees.”

I too enjoy the eucalyptus, though perhaps I’m not as passionate as either Mr. Cooper or Mr. Santos.

Eucalyptus trees in silhouette in the afternoon sun on the 101

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