California

WE HAVE MOVED IN!!!!!

Finally we have moved in to our barn after a year of intense work by Aaron, Tina, Bob and me along with assistance from Larry and members of our Petrolia community, Jim, Will, Jay,  Bill and Norm, the movers, and lots of encouragement from Marcia and other friends here.

It has been another adventure and quite a family journey.

before

 

now ~ with porch to be added

foyer before

foyer now

entrance before

 

entrance now ~ Welcome!!

 

living dining area

 

Cat window over Nana’s desk

dining area

 

before looking down on kitchen and foyer

 

kitchen

 

Bob’s room

 

before ~ Bob’s room piled with boxes

 

stairs to studio and bedroom

 

before ~ studio

studio

 

studio

 

bedroom with Drago and Ljubica

 

bedroom with Drago

 

View from the bedroom

Aaron and Tina’s Wedding
Aaron and Tina were married at the Summer Solstice on a rock over looking the Pacific Ocean.

nuptials A&T2 - Copy

The ceremony was led by their close friend Dylan and their entire community commited themselves to support them on their path together.
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The reception swayed late into the night in the front yard of their homestead. Ali lead a spiral dance around them, toasts and cheers, great music and bursts of flame filled the air.

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It was perfection!
dressing Tina giggling - Copy

We hosted 27 out of town guests from California, Ohio, New Hampshire, Democratic Republic of Congo and Slovenia.
We all gathered in an embrace of these two and held them deep in our hearts as they committed to each other and Hollin and Gillian.
I’m a happy mama and now “official” grandma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March and half of April

WOW what a difference a month makes. Walls are drywalled, plastered and 2 rooms are painted, original barn floors are sanded and finished, electricity is in [yes we will be tied to the electric grid ~ solar is still on the wish list]

Studio painted and floor finished

Studio painted and floor finished

Bob's room painted and floor finished

Bob’s room painted and floor finished

Painting around all these barn beams takes a steady hand.

Painting around all these barn beams takes a steady hand.

We now have had over 120inches of rain since October and have easily collected all the water we need for the dry season [we hope]. We have 9,000 gal. in storage and will have to be cautious about using it for non necessities. We will have a composting toilet that uses no water, no washer for clothes and hand wash dishes with as little water as possible. We are hopeful that we can manage with this amount for the 5 months when it never rains, and should the drought return we will survive. Our grey water will plants/trees, solid waste and kitchen scraps will be composted. I have always been concerned about the need to conserve water, but when we lived an hour from lake Erie it seemed less important than moving to an area that had a multiyear drought. We hope that our system will help us to be sustainable while being conscious of the care of Mother Earth.

Moving crew Steve, Bill, Norm , Kim, Matthew, Stephanie

Moving crew Steve, Bill, Norm , Kim, Matthew, Stephanie

Yesterday Bob’s brother, friends Norm and Steve, nephew Matthew, wife Kim and niece Stephanie loaded all of our worldly posessions from Goldie’s basement into a rental truck. Bill and Norm will drive cross country this week and then take the train home to OH. What a loving gesture, such a gift of friendship and brotherly care. They are going to have a great adventure too. Everything will be stored in the 3 semi finished rooms while we finish the living/dining/kitchen areas. We hope to be moved in by the end of May even though trim will not be finished. We are planning to host guests who come from out of town for Aaron and Tina’s wedding 21 June so the push is on, but still more to do.

kitchen gathering

kitchen gathering

January and half of February
So much is happening at our barn that I am beginning to believe that we will have a home soon. Can’t wait!!!

Studio framed in

Studio framed in

We added the gutters to collect rainwater for water use before the heavy winter rains came. We now have had 90 inches of rain since the beginning of November and our 3 tanks that hold 9,000 gallons are full. We are hoping that we can live easily with that amount of water, but if it gets a little scarce we buy another tank next year. Even with the drought conditions they’ve had the last few years, we will be able to catch enough water for our household use.

Gutters

Gutters

I asked Aaron to be creative when he filled around the front door and windows. I said, “Don’t tell your dad, but I give you permission to use some diagonals or interesting designs.” He took me literally and we have a gorgeous patchwork entrance. [windows above have to be replaced in sunny weather] and Bob loves it too!

Front door design

Front door design

The beams for the second floor span between the kitchen wall and the living room wall that separates the bathroom and study.

Beams going up for second floor

Beams going up for second floor

floor going in

floor going in

Stairs in foyer

Stairs in foyer

Aaron and Tina installing insulation in studio

Aaron and Tina installing insulation in studio

Drago enjoying the drywalled studio

Drago enjoying the drywalled studio

Can’t wait to make some music in here!!!!

December,2016

December in Petrolia is a brightly wrapped package overflowing with goodies and delights shared once a year.

The 1st Sunday of the month lights up the season with carols under the porch at the general store while someone switches on the lights strung in rows from the ground to the top of a tall tree. For the two years I have shared in this tradition, the singers are a beat behind because the tree is lit before anyone even notices, but we start the darkest month with light and song. Then the joy just goes on and on.

Mattole Valley Singers
I directed the choir in holiday songs in the midst of the local craft fair sponsored by the parent group at the school. Lots of home made treasures to be puchased for gifts to beautiful sounds of the season.

Gillian {11} organized a family Secret Santa tradition with written rules for the entire month. We decorated the chilly damp barn for our Secret Santa dinner. Hot soup, steaming cider and the new propane stove helped, but in these dark days the barn gets no sun and we shivered.
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We had a beautiful clear night for Winter Solstice and the hearty gathered at the end of the earth to scare away the dark with a bon fire that could be seen from the moon.

The beginning of the gathering.

The beginning of the gathering.

Aaron and Gillian

Aaron and Gillian

What a great place to grow up!

What a great place to grow up!

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December 25 tradition is to meet at the beach. It was a perfect day, the brave got wet and the whales came to celebrate.
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We had our family Christmas morning a few days later that included deliciously yummy food, perfect gifts and lots of laughter. We are so thrilled to be here with Aaron’s family to be able to share all these wonders.

Gillian and Hollin

Gillian and Hollin

After the White Elephant Party, Christmas Caroling around the hamlet and a caroling party in a home over looking the ocean, the year ended with square dancing at The Grange.
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You can see that living in the wilderness has not hindered our social life in the slightest. Life is GRAND!!!

October,2016

This month has been full to overflowing. We have continued work on our barn, started an addition project at Aaron and Tina’s, I started teaching pre-school through high school music each Wednesday as well as new projects in theatre and music at the school.
Who said I was retired?

The barn has most of the windows, some interior walls, with the siding replaced and water sealed. It is starting to feel like a possible home.

Kitchen wall looking from the studio

Kitchen wall looking from the studio

Studio - tall windows look west

Studio – tall windows look west

Aaron and Tina designed an addition that will include a bedroom, full bath, half bath, laundry and mudroom. This will provide much needed space and Gillian [11] will finally have her own bedroom [and there will no longer be need for the outhouse].

pouring the footers

pouring the footers

Aaron working through the details

Aaron working through the details

at-addition

Tina nailing the plywood - Django hoping someone will throw him a piece of wood

Tina nailing the plywood – Django hoping someone will throw him a piece of wood

And then there was Halloween with parades, costume parties, haunted houses and Day of the Dead altars and celebrations. Someone asked me at the school what I was doing to celebrate Day of the Dead. I said, “I am from Ohio, we don’t celebrate the Day of the Dead. That is someone else’s culture.” But here it is honoring the ancestors who have gone before and inviting their spirits to bless us. I like it and think that next year when we are in our own home we will have an ancestor’s dinner with all the food they liked. My dad; baked macaroni and cheese with Allbran muffins. My mother; scallops. Bob’s mom; breaded pork chops. Bob’s dad; sinfully chocolate cake. Not a very balanced meal, but certainly the things they liked.
Aaron’s family dressed for the occasion.

Hollin

Hollin

Spider Gillian [she designed it totally by herself]

Spider Gillian [she designed it totally by herself]

Tina [she painted her face herself]

Tina [she painted her face herself]

Aaron [and he actually went to the bar as a purple unicorn]

Aaron [and he actually went to the bar as a purple unicorn]


1 September, 2016

Aaron turns 41 tomorrow and is starting to show some signs of gray. Since both of his parents are solid white, he has a pretty good chance of being a snowy color in the future too, but it is odd for mama to see that in her baby. [Don’t tell that I am still thinking of him as my baby]

We are moving forward on our barn. Huge amounts of sorting, cleaning, throwing, and giving are happening. Now we can see the floor and get a sense of how the space will be transformed.

Before

Before

After

After

The main part of the barn was piled high with wood, tools, scraps of wood, art supplies, even more odd shapes of wood and tools from the last owner and Aaron. It is a tad cleaner now.

View from to the west to the pile of wood taken from the barn

View from the west to the pile of wood taken from the barn

We have lots of wood we can use. Quite a bit is redwood and smaller pieces of hardwood, but most is not the size we really need for building and may be too small for trim. But I am thinking about trim in patterns with varieties of wood – still thinking.

To move Aaron’s shop to the lower part of the barn, we started with a concrete pour shared with willing new friends. Many hands…….. It’s really true.

The truck just fit in the door

The truck just fit in the door

The two sides first

The sides first

Aaron doing the finish.

Aaron doing the finish.

This is what the shop looks like now!!!!! A much nicer work area.

Lower Barn shop

Lower Barn shop

Before the concrete came, we started on the walls in the studio. I caulked the cracks in the board and batten and Bob and Aaron framed to increase sheer strength and covered with tar paper.

Studio walls

Studio walls

And finally the first new wall was framed in between the main room and the workshop. [I promise not to post each wall as it goes up, but I am pretty excited.]

1st wall

1st wall

The location is agricultural and often there are organic calves grazing in the pasture before they are returned to the organic dairy. We also have a brood of wild turkeys who come for a visit.

View to the north

View to the north

View to the East

View to the East

It is starting to feel like home!

1 August 2016
Our beautiful Thistlefink Gardens has finally sold!

West Salem house

West Salem house

Papers have been signed, notarized and money has transferred. The new owners are the perfect inhabitants of this bit of paradise. They delight in the goats and chickens, his mother is using the parent suite, they are valiantly keeping the gardens blooming, they expanded the vegetable plot, they are devouring the raspberries, they are in love with the magic of the place and charmed by Henry [the ghost]. The process took 18 months, but in the end, we are thrilled to have passed the deed to the owners of the renamed “Rolling Meadow Farm”.

Now we can look forward!!!!
And we are renovating this.

Bob on the East side of the barn

Bob on the East side of the barn

South East side

South East side

Aaron has used this space as a studio/workshop for the past 5 years.

Main part of barn and loft over new workshop

Main part of barn and loft over new workshop

The plan is to shift Aaron’s shop to the lower part of the barn, create a living space in the main section, add a second floor for the bedroom and use the existing loft for my studio.

Leveling the floor for the workshop before gravel and then concrete.

Leveling the floor for the workshop before gravel and then concrete.

And now we begin!!

20, July 2016
Once again I have gone months and months without writing. No real reason, except we have been in such a holding pattern that it is hard to think of things to write.
Looking back, the news is:
We had 82 inches of rain this winter [so glad it was not snow] and now the aquifers have been replenished after many years of drought.
Bob is struggling with some health issues that affect his sense of well being each day.
We have become more a part of the lives of Aaron, Tina, Hollin and Gillian and they have enriched every single day we have been in California.
I taught music pre-school through high-school, directed a community chorus of enthusiastic singers, and created an original show with the students in 3rd-12th grades.
Maybe the reason I have not written is because we were so incredibly involved in our new life and loving it.

We spent 3 weeks the beginning of July visiting in Ohio. A great trip, but so happy to be home.

Leskovec Family Reunion [Bob's mother's family]

Leskovec Family Reunion [Bob’s mother’s family]

Bob and brother Bill

Bob and brother Bill

My sister Judi with her family

My sister Judi with her family

3 of Judi's silly grand children

3 of Judi’s silly grand children

Lake Erie sunset

Lake Erie sunset

A visit with our goat Sonce in West Salem

A visit with our goat Sonce in West Salem

Goodyear Blimp landing right before we got on our plane.

Goodyear Blimp landing right before we got on our plane in Arcata.

Lots of fun!!!!

20 March, 2016
Oh my it has been a long time since I posted. I have been having some Internet aversion issues [has that been established as a clinical diagnosis?]. I could list a bushel basket of excuses, but mostly the Internet was so slow that I was spending hours downloading pictures and then it would die part way through and it just seemed like too much time in front of the computer and not enough time at the beach or walking in the woods or listening to the birds. Then an internet miracle happened. Because of a grant from the school the Internet went from hand cranking and asking Sarah for a connection, to super high speed. WOW!!! I am really in deep now. We can now watch a 3 minute YouTube video and there is no longer time to make coffee while it is buffering. Actually we can even stream movies and all the inane things Donald Trump says pop up instantaneously [maybe high speed is not such a good thing]. The Mattole Valley, where Petrolia resides, did not have public electricity until 1948 so it is not a surprise that the Internet creeped along until 2016, but the community has a Google group to stay informed and of course lots of folks are on Facebook [including me – I finally took the plunge kicking and screaming into the 21st century].
This is why we are happy, happy, happy to be living in CA.

Avana - my great niece turned 2 - with mom and dad

Avana – my great niece turned 2 – with mom and dad

Winter Solstice fire on the cliff to the ocean

Winter Solstice fire on the cliff to the ocean

Christmas at Aaron's

Christmas at Aaron’s

Christmas morning at the beach

Christmas morning at the beach

Using my Christmas present with Aaron

Using my Christmas present with Aaron

A singing at our house

A singing at our house

A daily view

A daily view

September/October,2015
Birthdays!
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Aaron turned 40!!!! Bob turned 65!!!! and we partied!

What a joy to be together to celebrate each other and share the joy with our neighbors. For Aaron’s party, he and Tina organized a BBQ potluck at their home with horse shoes and bocci, lots of animated conversation and kids playing in the creek. The day was perfectly sunny and hot and their friends lingered past dark.DSCN2008 (640x464)DSCN2025 (640x480)DSCN2028 (640x480)
For Bob’s party we rented the community center for a Slovene dinner and then a Polka Dance Party after the meal. The guests were mostly our new friends from the choir who learned 2 Slovene songs to sing for the occasion. Bob was toasted with “Kolko kaplic tolko let” and then eyes were teary with their beautiful rendition of “Kje so tiste” [they should be awarded a Slovene choir honor and given flowers for their joyful willingness to sing Slovene]. He and I sang V Dolini Tihi and he played his button box for dancing along with a play list of Slovene and Cleveland style polkas. His entire body radiated light throughout the night and he honored all by acknowledging the rich sense of community we feel here.DSCN2174 (640x354)DSCN2182 (640x411)
We are so grateful and blessed that we can share these public moments with Aaron and his family, but even more precious are our private times; the morning calls or visits from Aaron, knowing that Tina will decorate the tables at the party to my liking, sitting with Gillian reading a book together, playing washer toss with Hollin, the entire family playing Kings Corners after Sunday night dinner [a tradition started by Bob’s parents], watching a movie crowded on the sofa around a small lap top and the knowledge that we are here together sharing the sunshine, the farm work and anything that comes our way.

31 August, 2015
County Fair
The Humbolt County Fair was this past week. Bob and I have always enjoyed observing the culture of fairs and we always faithfully attended the Ashland and Wayne County Fairs. We like to look at the animals, watch the people and Bob get’s his annual corn dog while I search for something not fried or sweet, without much success. We don’t go on rides, but we like to go in the evening when the lights lend a magic glow to the space in harmony with the screams of delight from the children going round and round on the rides.

Fairyfort Booth

Fairyfort Booth

This year Aaron and Tina took their Fairyforts to sell at the Everything Humbolt booth so instead of wandering the grandstand we sat in the booth and sold fairies.
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When Tina was growing up her mother sold hand crafted toys at the store in the Waldorf School Tina attended. Tina has followed in the same creative path. Tina and Aaron make the fairyforts and Tina and I make the fairies.
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Children are delighted with the flexible arms and legs that can hold on to swings or climb ladders, and without faces, the child can imagine any and all looks and expressions. Unfortunately the county fair was not the idea place to sell hand crafted toys, but everyone who walked by said “Cute!”
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check out their website www.fairyforts.com

23 July, 2015
Random Thoughts

According to the locals, last week was really hot here, and “it never gets this hot,” they said. The hottest day was 84[28C], 0% humidity, with a nice breeze. That’s not hot!!!! That is comfy!

In the evenings it is too cool to sit out side. Night time temperatures drop to the 40s[4.5C]
We always take a sweater because even on the bright sunny beach, the wind off the Pacific is sometimes too cool for comfort.

We need to drink lots more water since there is no humidity to keep us dripping moist.
Grass gets beautifully golden when there is no rain, but it will start to green up again beginning in November.

Wild fires are something to take very seriously, so no burning, or camp fires are aloud and campers need a permit to light a cook stove. But a cigarette can be a dangerous weapon.
Tina's Garden (640x480)
I water Tina’s garden for an hour each morning and know each plant intimately.
With the cool nights, garden vegetables grow much slower, it takes a full two weeks for a zucchini to grow to an obnoxious size.

Generally people in business here are sincerely friendly and nicer than those in OH. Why?

If I listen real carefully, all I can hear is the wind whispering in the trees. When a plane flies over it is an occasion to stop and stare.

Water comes from springs and everyone has elaborate collection systems that sometimes includes an above ground pool [but too cold to swim].

You don’t want to get poison oak! Trust me, I am highly experienced, it is worse than poison ivy because it is everywhere!!!

Driving more than an hour to town is not so bad, it ends up being a change of pace, but we are awfully glad to return to “peace in the valley”.

4 July, 2015
Where have all the hippies gone? For years I have asked myself that question. Living in Republican born again Christian land in Ohio, I often wondered what happened to my peers of 1968 who joined me demonstrating the war in Vietnam and civil rights, fought to preserve the environment and were trying to live their lives with tolerance, understanding and without judgment. For years I have found it hard to find friends of like mind and I wondered over and over again if the hippies were now wearing 3 piece suits and focusing on materialism. Well, I’ve found them!!! Petrolia is highly populated with people who are socially and environmentally conscious. Elders who came here during the “back to the land” movement, those who came to save the big trees, the river, the salmon and those who wanted to get away from the material world. People here live a life lacking in the greatest luxuries and conveniences, but they stay for decades because of the beauty and the community of like minds.
So what do old hippies do to celebrate the 4th?
They square dance at the grange.
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3 July, 2015
My niece and her two boys Maliq [4] and Bangaly [16 mo] stayed with us for a month. Our little apartment could not accommodate them all so we pitched a tent in the back yard for them. Jasper [6] lives in “the big house” and he was a regular playmate for Maliq, together they wandered barefoot in the yard, climbed around the barn, ran naked in the sprinkler, bounced on the trampoline, pushed and shoved and played Thomas the Tank Engine trains for hours on end. Maliq has always lived in the city under the watchful eye of his parents so this was the first time he had a friend next door with great freedom. Maliq learned to get dirty [a classic condition of kids in Petrolia], he learned to run free with Jasper and his friends [after asking permission] and he learned to pee outside. A memorable month! It will be interesting to see what he remembers.
Bangaly learned to walk backwards, express himself with continuous gibberish plus a few almost recognizable words and trust Bob and me without crying for his mom.
They’ve gone on for a train ride to Seattle, then San Franscisco, then back to Ohio and finally to Kinshasa in The Republic of Congo where Sondra will teach 3rd grade at an International school.
Their adventure continues and life is much too quiet without them.

Riding Skooter

Riding Skooter

Making pasta at the barn party

Making pasta at the barn party

Sharing a book with Jasper

Sharing a book with Jasper

Searching low tide pools for sea creatures

Searching low tide pools for sea creatures

Standing in a Redwood tree

Standing in a Redwood tree

Reaching around a Redwood tree with Bob

Reaching around a Redwood tree with Bob

Sitting on a Redwood

Sitting on a Redwood

Bangaly, Maliq and Jasper

Bangaly, Maliq and Jasper

At the beach with Bob and Drago

At the beach with Bob and Drago

6 June, 2015
We’ve been in Petrolia for a month. What do you do in the wilderness 90 minutes from town living in a furnished apartment you ask.

6/5 Arrived in CA
6/7 Appointment with new doctor in Eureka [1.5 hours from Petrolia]
6/9 Playing grand parents and watched Hollin’s track meet in Eureka + shopping
6/10 Community Center breakfast and farmer’s market
6/12 Fabulous concert of Carolina Chocolate Drops at Humbolt State University with Aaron’s family
6/14 Choir practice – I am directing this new group of very enthusiastic singers
6/15 Drago’s appointment at the vet in Ferndale [1hour from Petrolia]
6/17 Pancake breakfast at the grange
6/21 Choir
6/22 My sister Judi and her son Scott came to visit – Bob went to Ferndale to pick them up + Made dinner for Rathbuns the people who own the apartment as part of our trade for living there
6/23 Choir sang as one of the acts at the Cabaret at the Community Center preceded by dinner
6/24 Brought in hay for horses + Bob rustled cattle
6/26 Spent the day with Judi in Ferndale
6/27 Niece Sondra came for a month with Maliq [4] and Bangaly [1 ½] + dinner for Rathbuns
6/31 Community Center breakfast and farmer’s market
7/5&6 Four performances of Oklahoma!
Rehearsals filled the afternoons, working in Tina’s garden in the mornings and making many dinners for Aaron’s crew filled the days that were not listed. We are amazingly busy and with Sondra and the boys sleeping in a tent in the back yard, it is wild and woolly. We are loving it!!!
To figure out what is going on and why I had the stroke, I am having lots of tests, physical therapy and appointments with the new doctor.
The house in West Salem is still under land contract so we are not able to find a permanent home. Fortunately the apartment at Rathbun’s is very comfortable even with 3 extra.

The move has been good!

5 June, 2015
My afternoons have been dominated by the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma! My least favorite, but Bob’s favorite musical was performed by the entire school of 3rd through 8th graders in Petrolia. The qualifier is that this show is much too difficult for young children who have no music program and very little musical experience, but despite that, the kids did a great job. The staging was well conceived, costumes were appropriate and fit well [cowboys wore real chaps], the set worked beautifully and the town came out in full force with great enthusiasm. The best part for me, was the opportunity to get to know these wonderful kids. I have worked with thousands of kids and dozens of school groups, but this was the nicest group I have ever worked with. Each time I finished working with a soloist or a large group they made a point of thanking me. In addition they were kind to each other and respectful to the adults leading them. What a joy!!! I just wish the music had been at a more accurate level.

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Surrey With the Fringe on Top

Surrey With the Fringe on Top

I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say No

I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No

Poor Jud is Dead

Poor Jud is Dead

Thanks Amanda for the pictures.

25 May, 2015
This weekend we brought in hay for Tina’s horses, Drago and I drove the truck while the others lifted the hugely heavy bales.DSCN1423 (640x480)
In the same day Bob also rustled cattle on top of the world. DSCN1463 (640x480)
A dream come true!
35 calves need to be branded, inoculated, tagged and ½ were also castrated. Most of the work was done by restraining the calves in a shoot, but a larger bull calf had to be lassoed from the horses and brought down to the ground. After all that, they drove the cattle across the river for summer pasture. Unfortunately Bob was too tired to ride with the cattle drive, but he had a day of great “Western cowboy” experiences.

Calf in the shoot

Calf in the shoot

Horses patiently waiting

Horses patiently waiting

The cows have the best view

The cows have the best view

His comment was that there is an awful lot of work that goes into a hamburger.

20 May, 2015
We’ve been in Petrolia for 2 busy weeks. We really hit the ground running… there were meals to fix for Aaron’s family and our house family, fences to put up for the horses, grass to mow, garden to weed, kids to coach for the musical Oklahoma!, choir to conduct and sing in, plus organizing our stuff and making our apartment feel like our home.

large group rehearsal for Oklahoma!

large group rehearsal for Oklahoma!

The cast

The cast

Town Choir's 1st performance at The Petrolia Cabaret

Town Choir’s 1st performance at The Petrolia Cabaret

10 May, 2015 MOTHER’S DAY!
I have not celebrated Mother’s Day with my son since 2004.
What a joy to be with him this year and with his precious family. Tina is a wonderful mother to Hollin[14] and Gillian[9] and Aaron is joyfully embracing “dad” responsibilities with tender loving kindness. I’m a proud mama!!!

We went to the beach together on Mother’s Day. It was cool and windy and the sand has a stinging edge when it propels against skin, so it was a short stay. Fun none the less
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Bob and Aaron

Bob and AaronHollin, Django, Gillian Hollin, Django, GillianGillian and Aaron Gillian and Aaron

Hollin

Hollin

GillianGillian

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We were in Slovenia and Italy from 6 February through 5 May.
Check out the Life in Slovenija/Italy page.
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30 January, 2015
We have been experiencing everything within our reach and our sleep is deep.
Dark is the deepest black with no ambient light, street lights or security lights. Everyone carries a camper’s headlamp when the fog rolls in or during the dark of the moon because we all are really afflicted with impregnable blindness.
But our days have been sunny and are overflowing.

Bob standing in The King Tide

In addition to walks on the beach, sighting gray whale spouts in the distance and then catching the moment of breaching, we’ve felt 3 earthquakes 4.3, 4.4, 5.7, we’ve had walks in the hills, shared meals with new friends, I participated in a gathering of women, and I’ve become a musician again. I have been directing the new local choir for rehearsals, coaching the young singers as they prepare for the spring musical of Oklahoma! and teaching a few voice lessons. For the past 5 years, I have not been involved in the community of musicians and I really am delighted to be able to dust off the cob webs and again guide beautiful music making.

Bob has been helping Aaron with 2 man projects around his house and he is more delighted than I have seen him in years.

Batten board on the front porch

Almost done – next is fire proof stucco over the tar paper

We both have been sharing precious time with Tina, Hollin [14] and Gillian [9].
The streets are not paved with gold [actually pretty muddy when it rains], but Life is REALLY GRAND!!!

Community Center, formerly the one room school house

Mattole School

18 January, 2015
So you ask….
What is there to do in the Hamlet of Petrolia on a beautiful Sunday morning.
Well you could take Drago and Bob for a walk to the beach.

Two fluffy white guys

Walk the beach.

Lost Coach Beach

Visit with a seal in the estuary.

Seal in Mattole River Estuary

Have breakfast at the community center Farmer’s Market.

Petrolia Community Center

Walk on Tina’s property in the woods.

The Back 40

Such luscious choices!!!!

17 January, 2015
This is why we moved across the country!!!!
A belated Christmas dinner of fresh salmon with Aaron’s family and then opening wonderfully thoughtful presents.

Christmas dinner

15 January, 2015

Sunny flat – Petrolia, CA

14 January, 2015
Home is now Petrolia, California!!!
We have a bank account and a post office box PO Box# 171 – Petrolia, CA 95558. The other things that will actually make us legal residents of CA will wait until we return from Slovenia. We no longer have cell phone connection or the capabilities to text here in the wilderness but the apartment phone is 707.629.3283. Our lives have instantly gotten quieter, but I miss the message text bells that reminded me that I was connected to someone important in my life.

Petrolia apartment

The apartment is attached to Ruth’s house. Ruth is the matriarch of the valley who celebrates her 92nd birthday today. Aaron lived in this apartment when he first moved to Petrolia and helped to care for Ruth’s dying husband. Now we are here and trading 2 meals a week for Ruth and her family of 4 adults and 1 child and some gardening for the privilege of staying at Ruth’s house.
Did I say gardening?? Yes dear friends it was 62 degrees yesterday. The rains will be coming again this weekend, but our first few days have been gloriously sunny and warm. I will be able to garden year around. This is indeed paradise!!!
Here are some of the common every day views of our world.

The morning view from Ruth’s front door

The view of the flat above Aaron’s house

The Mattole River on the drive to Honey Dew

The mouth of the Mattole River at the Pacific Ocean

Seven mile beach – the view on the trip to town

December, 2014

The move has begun!!
This is what our great room looked like when we began the process of selling the homestead this summer.

Great room summer 2014

This is what our great room looked like when we were getting ready for the household tag sale.

Great room November 2014

This is what our great room looks like now.

Great room December 2014

We are getting rid of lots and lots and lots of furniture, collectibles and books, but keeping the treasures. The difficult decisions are….                                                                                                                                             What items are treasures?                                                                     What items connect us to our ancestors?                                                     What items do we hold for future generations?                                                 What items can we live without?                                                               What items bring irreplaceable joy?                                                           Some decisions are easier to make than others.

November, 2014

Home is soon to change!

Kay Oct 5th 2017 08:31 am No Comments yet Trackback URI Comments RSS

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