Monday, October 19, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Cozy Cottage!

Four years ago, I bought a little house that I was madly in love with.  It was my first house that I ever bought and I knew this was the one as soon as I saw it.  I jokingly said that I bought Liesl a house because I wanted to make sure that she had a place with a nice yard that was just for her.  We have been so happy here and love this place.  We are very happy that a couple of years ago, Liesl's daddy, my sweet baboo joined us here.  This house has a lovely view of Monterey Bay and I love standing at my kitchen sink with a cup of coffee looking at the Bay.  Today is my four year anniversary of moving in. 

We had a bit of excitement here on the Monterey Peninsula yesterday.  We woke up to no power.  Something had happened to cause a power line to come down north of us, and several transformers to explode. This resulted in the loss of power for the day for 55,000 people.  We had planned on going to church, then I had several hours of work to do since this is my busy season at work.  We lost power at 7 am.  My house has a gas water heater and gas stove so we had the basics covered.  I was able to shower, thank goodness.   Things look worse when you can't take a shower.  A hot shower changes your perspective.  Afterward, I looked at my sweet baboo and said, "You must go hunting while I feed Liesl, and by hunting I mean you must go find coffee somewhere. LOL"  Bill was out with many other desperate souls in search of an open Starbucks.  Most stores were closed because they could not operate without power.  He ended up in a neighboring town in a long line of people with wild looks in their eyes awaiting their opportunity to order a grande latte.  He called me to tell me that it was going to be a while. 

One thing that we have really been stressing about is getting the house winterized before the rain comes.  We both work long hours so getting everything ready has been something we were worried about completing.  While Bill was hunting for coffee, I got the clippers to trim the front bushes to keep them from scratching up against the window in a storm.  I was close to finishing when Bill drove up with a Pumpkin Spice Latte for me.  He said that we should drink our coffee then we could trim the tree.  We got that tree trimmed and cleaned up.  We still had energy, so he borrowed a ladder from our neighbor and made sure the gutters were clear and checked the drain pipes.  I am proud to say we are storm ready!

The power outage ended up being a blessing.  We had fun working together and feel good that we don't have to worry.  I got to take a nap, tidy the house, do some cooking, and read a book.  I had made a large container of homemade minestrone earlier in the week, so we got to sit and have a leisurely bowl of soup together.  It was quite peaceful without TV, or the intrusion of electronic media.  We still did not have power when it got dark.  Luckily, we have our camping lanterns, so we read and I went to sleep around 8:30.  Power was restored around 11:30 pm.

A lot of people were really upset about the outage.  We saw it as an incredible blessing.  We had the blessing of extra time and that time moving a bit more slowly.  Sometimes blessings come disguised in wrappings of something difficult.

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Little Pumpkin Product Hoarding

My sweet baboo and I love anything pumpkin.  Last year we were very disappointed because we started looking for pumpkin yummies in late October, only to find most places were out of stock.  We were bummed.  Yesterday, I was thinking of baking a pumpkin pie, so started down the baking aisle at the local Target for evaporated milk, only to find these.  The stock was really low so we stocked up for the fall and winter.  I think between this shopping trip and some delicacies from Trader Joe's I think we can make them stretch.  :)
 The pumpkin spice coffee creamer is my favorite pumpkin item. 
 Liesl also loves pumpkin treats and these are her favorites.  She loves Fruitables in general, but she gets very excited about these.  We found them at Petsmart. 
 Finally, my sweet baboo is one of the biggest Peanuts fans ever.   For some reason his vast collection of Peanuts did not include "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" which seemed tragic.  He was pretty stoked when he saw this at Target, too.  So we will be cuing up the DVD player in the next few weeks.  I also expect that date night will include the Peanuts movie opening on November 6. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Few Places To Tell You About

It is a cold, gray day here on the Monterey Peninsula.  It works out because I am having a new fence built today.  I think the old fence was original to the house.  It was bowing badly and with all of the rain that is forecasted for California I have been really concerned about safety.  So before the rains come, a new fence is going in, the gutters are being cleaned, and the trees are having to be trimmed so that nothing falls on the house.  I hope we get the rains that are forecasted.  We really need it in California. 
So I have a few last things to share about my recent trip.  Our route took us through the town of Petaluma.  You may be familiar with Petaluma because much of it was the setting for the film "American Graffiti."  It is a very cool and funky town.  I would have liked to spend more time there.  Unfortunately, the day we drove through there was a huge street fair/farmers market even going on so there was no parking.  So I got ten minutes to run into this cool establishment while my sweet baboo and Liesl circled the block in the car. 

 This is the Seed Bank in Petaluma.  It is actually in an old bank building, complete with all of the old marble inlay.  It is magnificent.  The Seed Bank specializes in heirloom seeds.  We love anything heirloom in our garden.  So I had to check it out.

I was actually too overwhelmed to buy anything.  Plus I wanted to honor the ten minutes I told Bill I would take.  The place is huge and carries row after row of amazing seeds.  Here is a link that tells you more about them:
The last couple of places I want to tell you about are in the Sea Ranch Gualala area.  If you ever happen to be in the area, one place that you have to try is Two Fish Bakery.  This place is amazing.  Be warned that you must get there early in the morning, and you will have to wait in line.  Once they run out, that's it for the day.  We actually set our alarm to be there early.  It was so worth it.  I had the most amazing sticky bun.  I don't even like sticky buns, but this was incredible.  We also bought some chocolate dipped macaroons.  They were the best I have ever had. 
As I shared in a previous post, in this remote, out the way place is a little craft store called "The Loft."  I did not know what to expect, but I was really pleasantly surprised.  It is a small craft store, but well stocked with some of the loveliest items.  It is a great little store and had the nicest people working there.  It was definitely worth poking around in.  I only bought a couple little fat quarters of quilt fabric, but then again, I had brought so much stuff with me.
So there were lots of cool little places in our travels...