Thursday, October 23, 2014


Rainy season is starting. I always heard that it never stops raining here, but that's not entirely true. Rainy season means it will rain a lot but the sun comes out, too. It's quite pleasant when the sun comes out.

So, what is it like to live in the Redwoods? The old saying, "I can't see the forest for the trees!" comes to mind. Honestly I prefer to see the forest, not live directly under it. A house in the sun will have less mold problems than a house in the shade. Our bedroom enjoys midday to afternoon sun. I can open the windows on any sunny day and enjoy sparkling fresh air and temperatures in the 70's inside. The front of the house is shaded by redwoods and pine trees, so it stays cool all the time.

The back yard has 2 baby redwoods. The north side of the front yard has two youngsters. I made one Redwood "hold" a yardstick while I took a picture.
More than a yard in diameter

Future Giants, side by side

On a sunny day

Redwood leaves....lots of them

Redwoods drop lots of leaves. I will take some close-up pictures later. They are a bit messy to live under.

Another thing we have is coastal fog. Fog is one prime ingredient for good Redwood health. One night I took some pictures of the fog.
 The streetlight on 101

With camera focused on droplets of fog...suspended little balls of water!

We also have lichens. They only grow where the air is super clean, as any pollution will kill them.
Beard-type lichens growing in an Almond tree.  

 Here is one that fell out of a tree.

 Another type of lichen growing on an old bird feeder.

Lots of thorny blackberries, too thorny to pick.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


My husband is in Kosovo. I told him he should go now, before starting a new job, because it might be years before he is able to take four weeks off, if that. The trip costs the same, whether you stay one week or four. So I said go....go see your mom and family and friends. His parents are elderly. You must grab opportunities when they come.

So I am alone for the first time since he immigrated. I was not prepared for how sad I would be. I didn't think I was sad, but I felt sick and slept much of the time he was traveling. With the layovers and delays, a 15 hour flight turned into 26 hours. At last we spoke on cam, and then he had to go, and I cried.

So here I sit, not feeling much like doing anything, and telling myself to snap out of it and write something.

Tuki, our bunny, is sleeping in the closet. He is a darling lump of cotton soft white fur who begs for attention and cereal. He sleeps on the rug next to the bed every night. He doesn't care where he lives, as long as it is with us. He is a surprisingly good pet. He uses a litter box full of hay. I keep all cords out of reach and give him lots of things to chew on.

The weather here has been dryer than normal. I thought it rained all the time, but I have been enjoying perfect, sunny weather nearly every day. I can open the windows almost every day and smell only fresh air, no car exhaust, no steel mills, no oil refinery, no aluminum recycling. The fresh air is good for my health. No more chest pain from polluted air. My daughter told me summers here are like this. Glorious!

California does not have the autumn colors of the Midwest. I knew that. But for my health I needed a milder climate. We have driven around town and seen cute houses with rows of mums blooming in fall colors. I have seen succulents, agave and palm trees and fruit trees. My daughter tells me it's beautiful when everything blooms in the spring. My mom always had a beautiful outdoor garden in southern California. I was never able to replicate it in the Midwest. On my list of must-haves...Night Blooming Cereus and Jade tree. I really didn't think succulents would grow here with the wet winters, but I see them everywhere. Succulent happy dance!!!

They really do have "Happy Cows" in California. Well, dairy farms and cheese factories. I thought the California cheese commercials were a joke, until I came here. I'm munching on RUMIANO  PEPPATO (aged dry Monterey Jack with Peppercorns), bought locally from the Rumiano Cheese Company. The stores carry many fine cheeses and yogurts from the Tillamook Dairy in Oregon. Rumiano has a retail store right here in Crescent City.

Our airport is tiny and downright endearing. Where else can you drive 10 minutes, park, walk in and weigh your luggage, as many times as you wish, until you get it right? We stopped in at 3 PM, when the room was empty of passengers. Two friendly agents were on hand to answer baggage questions and make sure the scale was turned on. Before flights, a TSA agent does a full inspection of all luggage. They x-ray AND hand search! The security is just as tight as at a major airport, with the advantage of fewer passengers to scan.

When entering the parking lot, one passes a fleet of FedEX delivery vans. Small FedEx planes also land and taxi to the FedEx building there. I guess the large Cal-Ore Life Flight (air ambulance) building must be a hangar for maintenance. At the other end of the parking lot is Cal-Ore office, and in the same building, Hertz Rent-a-Car. In the middle is a small terminal that handles the few flights in and out of Crescent City.
Looking west toward the FedEX area. The passenger terminal is out of view to the right. My hubby's plane is in the air in this picture, maybe out of view.

My hubby's plane. Small planes operated by SkyWest in alliance with United are the only services in and out of Crescent City.

Looking east, Hertz and Cal-Ore Life Flight office. That's my hubby's plane zipping down the runway.

Del Norte County Regional Airport in the distance under a big, beautiful sky with trees and mountains in the background. The Pacific is behind me. 

Crescent City has many attractions, considering its small size. We have yet to try the seafood restaurants. Many artists live in the area. Apparently wealthy people do, as well, judging from the small row of million-dollar houses overlooking the harbor. Affordable housing can be found here, unlike many other places in California. 

For the most part the people are friendly. I have been complimented on my hair, my scarf and my earrings all by various ladies I don't even know. People say hello. Most people here appreciate nature. The overlooks almost always have a car or two, or more. Many are locals who drive (or bike) down to the waterfront to meditate on the ocean. It is a daily lunch routine for some.

So, I've written about many good things. Is there a downside? Of course there is. Every place has a downside of some sort. We have a homeless population living behind Walmart. Food prices are much higher than in the Midwest. Gas prices are higher. There is no Aldi store. I miss my older daughter and her husband. I gave away too many things. I wish I had kept my mother's wooden mortar and pestle. Silly, maybe, but sometimes the little things are what nag you.

Our blessings....being gifted with the chance to live here in my younger daughter's house while we get on our feet and get a place of our own. God willing, my husband has a possible job waiting for him when he comes home. I will write more another time.