Home Sweet Home

Sigh. We’re home, after 11 days on the road trip from hell. Given that I’m a) exhausted past remembering my phone number or the day of the week b) trying not to remember the past 4 days, and c) anxious to get outside and experience the new blossoms and flowers I missed while on this road trip from hell… …I’m not going to get into details right now. But here is a summary, borrowing from that familiar ad campaign: Four-wheeling for 3 days in the Hammers in Johnson Valley, southeastern California: $300 8-day road trip to get to and from the Hammers: $5000 Getting home in one piece: priceless. And for everything else, there’s our credit card and our sense of humour. After the last dive into our wallets, I made Richard laugh ’til there were tears in his eyes, by quoting one of my favourite lines from White Christmas. Bing Crosby finds out how much their Christmas Eve show is going to cost their production company. “Wow” he says and hangs up the phone. Danny Kaye pipes up, “How much is Wow?” and Bing trys to change the subject, so Danny grabs him by the lapels. “How much is Wow?!” The answer: “Somewhere between ouch! and POIN-N-G-G-G”. “Wow.” And they carry on. And now I am going outside to enjoy beauty, fresh air, peace, and quiet for FREE. And don’t anybody bring up the mortgage payment! More on the vacation including photos later. Cheers.


Spring at last! In spite of freezing overnight temperatures this past week, my garden is responding to the slightest sunshine at a feverish pace. The daffodils have begun blooming, the tulips are not far behind, and every lilac bush is covered in buds. Purple, I think. The mountain ash is the leafiest tree, but the newly-identified chestnut isn’t far behind. My biggest thrill this week was looking up from a bed of irises into the bare branches of our apricot tree, to see white petals where I didn’t expect anything but twigs. I didn’t know apricots blossom just like Japanese sakura, with blossoms first, leaves second. The contrast of white and red blossoms against the bare boughs is heavenly. It reminded me of Koranke, a park near the town I lived in while studying in Japan. The plum trees in the mountains there bloomed earlier than most trees in the city, so I got to see sakura, very briefly, before I left Japan at the beginning of spring. Only a few apricot blossoms have come out, and it’s been grey and rainy most of the week… but in the sun this afternoon even the cherry tree was showing a few white petals amongst the leaves. If the weather goes back to last week’s pattern, rain at night and sun all day, then it will be spectacular by the end of next week. I hope it lasts. My next post will be full of outdoor photos again, I’m sure… some of our garden, and some desert scenery, and some 4x4s. But that’s all for now!

The Great Outdoors

Another update delayed… I’ve had connectivity problems for over two weeks now, and my current upload speed is a whopping 0.5 k per second. If that sounds ok to you, read that again. That’s “k” as in kilobytes. Dial-up really rots my socks! But the end may soon be in sight – I finally heard confirmation that two-way broadband satellite may be available here as early as July. Keep your fingers crossed for me. In the meantime, given my current struggle just to perform my job, I’ve stopped trying to get online in my spare hours. Instead, I’ve spent more time outside in the past three weeks than I have in the 7 months since the last four-wheeling trip. (The next trip is coming up soon, by the way.) While Bev was visiting last weekend we spent two and a half days working in the garden and feeding the neighbour’s animals. It began Saturday morning with a present from Bev: pansies to brighten up the front entrance. She also showed me (with only 3 casualties) how to transplant tulips to fill out the centre of these old planters we hadn’t gotten around to throwing out yet.