Tag Archives: friends

Dear Tom, I haven’t been around much becuz…

moving to Montana and a baby! Our first granddaughter – Dylan Rose.

Here she is~

Dylan Rose 1

Oscar, Julia and little Dylan Rose.

Dylan Rose 3

A perfect angel, for now…

She came on her due date. Her mommy had the easiest pregnancy in history- and labor. We are so grateful and so very blessed. Dylan Rose A. 7′ 11″. We all forgot to ask how long she is. 🙂

The sale of our home and the move could have gone smoother but one can’t have everything, right? Some things must go wrong. That’s life.

We love our new home in Montana. It’s beautiful. It has amazing views on all sides. The dog loves his full half acre? Three quarters of an acre? Not entire sure. But he stays outside all day long, just enjoying his view through the invisible fence. He can watch sand hill cranes and cows and eagles and deer and super cute bunnies. In Napa Jake rarely wanted to be outside without us and he was territorial about his yard. Here, his yard is just part of the vast open countryside. He seldom barks for any reason. He’s in awe! (As are we!)

Jake montana

A happy doggie!

Jake Montana 1

A smidge of his view!

So friends, it’s been a challenging yet rewarding year thus far. I’ll try to be more available. (Ha!)

XOXO! Julia

P.S. Do we miss California? Nah-uh. Not one bit.

 

Dear Tom, New Year’s Wishes…

1. Wish you were here.

2. Wish (and hope and pray) 2016 will be a whole lot better than 2015 has been. Not just for me and for those I love, but for the entire world.

3. Wish I was drinking. (Pity I’m not much of a drinker.)

4. Wish good things for all my family and friends and, yes, even for complete strangers.

5. Wish Vikings, Game of Thrones, and Orphan Black were already here!

And I do have a few writer-ish twitter-ish people to thank– You, Ishbel, your wonderful children and grandchildren (Marie has been a most dependable touchstone!), my doggie muse, Jake, Stephane and My French Heaven, Jaye, Penny, Lawrence, Annie, Stephanie, Anita, Tina, Marylin, Steven, Mat, Sandra, Lex, Greta, Roberta, Alicia, Passive Guy, Ray, Tim, the Iowa Hawkeyes, the San Francisco Giants… plus anyone and everyone I may have forgotten to mention.

To 2016 and new beginnings– Let us see if an even number can trump the odd 2015!

2016

I miss my friend Tom. I have so much to tell him!

Today I’m making wild plum jam. In the past when I’ve made wild plum jam I’ve told Tom, via either email or Twitter and he’s said – “Wish I was there!” Or, “Send me a jar!” Or “Would love to taste it!” But Tom died a few months back, long before his time, so there’s no point in writing to him. Even though I’m tempted to do it anyway. I met Tom four or five years ago on Twitter and we became fast friends. My husband and I visited Tom and his wife, Ishbel, in London, well, Essex, actually. We had the most excellent wonderful adventures! But people get cancer and they die and it sucks.

Tom and I were mates, as in, I know that in numerous past lives we were best friends forever. Still are.

So Tom, I’m making wild plum jam. I’ll set aside a jar for you.

Oh, and here’s what I harvested earlier in the week:

fresh picked

I harvested so much cabbage I fed the neighborhood. I’ve dried jars and jars of cilantro, parsley, chives, basil, thyme. I’ve cut all the celery but one– the root stalks are already regrowing. The asparagus is done producing– I’m leaving the rest to provide food for the roots. My potatoes are ripe, harvested more today, along with a couple onions (boy have I given away onions) and some green garlic. My potatoes, red, purple, Yukon gold and russet are totally ready. I’m picking them as needed, along with lettuce and arugula. Now I just have to wait for the squash – kabocha, the only squash I will eat, my eggplant, my chilies and yes, my tomatoes. I broke down and planted a single tomato plant. It’s funny. Compared the the garden we had in Iowa, these beds look so small to me, and yet I literally produce enough to feed a couple dozen people. Plus it’s fruit season. The wild plums are ripe. My neighbor’s apricots are almost ready- they give them all to me. The blackberries look pretty good this year, although I need a suit of armor to pick them. I’ll get loads of peaches from another neighbor, not to mention my two apple trees and my quince.  Wow. I love growin’ stuff!

Oh! Big news! Mr. Robin did it! Well, actually his wife did it. Remember how he tried and tried to build a nest on my downspout? He succeeded. They succeeded.

So here’s what happened. Mr. and Mrs. Robin built a nest in one of our redwoods. They managed to raise one baby, a really cute speckly baby robin. Sturdy little thing. He’s been fluttering around my backyard with his dad, along with the baby towhee and his dad. They kinda hang together. Which is cute. Last week I was upstairs feeding my birds. Their cage is right next to our big sliding door which opens onto a small balcony off our master bedroom. I look out the door and there’s Mr. Robin on the railing, all puffed up. He was so proud of himself his head feathers were in this mohawk hairdo. He looked right at me and I swear he said to me– “And you said it couldn’t be done…”

The next day I happened to be outside playing with the dog when I heard a noise. I looked up and sure enough, he’d done it. I suspect his wife is the real architect. According to what I read the male robin brings nesting materials and the female figures out how to put them together. She’s up there sitting on her nest on my downspout right outside my kitchen window. I’ll try to get a photo but the nest is under the eaves so you can’t see much, but the fun thing is, I get to keep an eye on her. She’s already laid three eggs. She’s in the process of laying a fourth. It’s a real treat to watch robin behavior. The dad is still feeding the older kid while the mom sits on the nest most of the day. She leaves every couple hours for 20-30 minutes, I assume she heads off to get something to eat. But then I worry, what if one of the neighborhood cats gets her? Scares me when she’s gone too long. My yard is safe but there are three cats stalking the court. Fortunately two of them are super fat. The skinny one concerns me.

Here’s the best photo I can get. Click to enlarge. Yeah, she’s laying an egg.

robin

That’s all the news! Miss you, Tom! XOXO!

P.S. Jake and I went for a hike to day and after I got home I found a tick crawling in my hair. Ewwwww! I hate ticks!