Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Break

Good Friday is like the "Sunday Afternoon" of Spring Break to me, besides it religious significance. I've had a wonderful break, but I'm starting to feel that little bit of angst connected with the fact that I have school work to do that I will probably postpone until Sunday night. Oh well, it's been fun while it lasted. Russ and I started the week by spending a day on the coast on Saturday. We went to our favorite spots mostly, including a walk near a beach called Pirate's Cove. When I was a kid, it was known as a nude beach, but now that there's easy access to it, I think those days are gone, if they ever existed to begin with. Some rather obnoxious-sounding twenty something men on the trail asked us if we knew where the nude beach was. I told them that it was just a legend. They were very sad to hear that and had to use the F-word a little more excessively than before as they turned around to go back to the parking lot.

Monday, we went on a hike we've been meaning to go on for years. It's called the Rock Fort Ranch Trail, and it's a popular place for rock climbing. We just hiked. In over two hours, we only saw one person. My cell phone worked though, so I didn't feel too isolated.

 I hadn't anticipated how strenuous the trail was going to be. It was a nice wide trail, but steep most of the way, so steep that it was kind of slow going, even going back down.

 I was thinking that this footprint was a vulture's, but we saw a big turkey later, so that solved the mystery. We also saw some bobcat tracks, which was kind of neat, but it made me wish that maybe we'd brought along some pepper spray in case we ran into some of its larger relatives.
I managed to watch several Netflix movies too. One of them was Bottle Shock, which is about how wine from the Napa Valley beat out French wines in a competition during the 1970s, and ended up helping to start the Napa Valley wine boom. It wasn't a very well-acted movie, even Bill Pullman, who I usually love just didn't seem that good to me. But, it did get me more interested in Napa Vallley wine, and it is the reason that somehow Russ and I left Trader Joe's on Tuesday with a $44 bottle of Grgich Hill Estate Cabernet. We've never come close to paying that much for wine, but I'll say it was worth it, although I'm thinking we better go back to our normal $10 dollar bottles for quite a while.
I did manage to do a little bit of knitting this week too. I even actually finished a sock.  L'amour et la Morte is one of my favorite patterns, even though I'm not really a skull fan, so I just did the heart part for these. Now, if I can just complete the second one, even though I won't be wearing these until next year.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

There's Always Something

    Our beloved beagle Rowdy, died a couple of weeks ago.  He was only eight,  but we called him "the Old Man." He had pancreatitis and almost died a couple of years ago, but he's been healthy and happy most of the time since then. On the other hand, we weren't that shocked when the vet said that he had it again and that his kidneys were failing, but we were so sad.. .He was Kai's dog, and they were a perfect match for each other.  I don't really want to write about it too much, but since I've used this blog to record milestones, I wanted to at least mention Rowdy's passing. He was an incredible dog!

I told Russ that I was even going to miss saying the name "Rowdy." Kai chose it because it was the boy's dog in Summer of the Monkeys, a book by Wilson Rawls, the author of Where the Red Fern Grows, two books we all loved. I do still get to use it a little though. The picture above is of Rowdy Jr., Rowdy's son. A good friend owns him, and we're dog sitting him this week. It's been nice having a Rowdy "Look-a-Like" around, especially for his sister Gidget, who's keeps looking for Old Rowdy everywhere.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Spring Time Rituals

 Yes, as a matter of fact, I do knit. I just don't finish anything. I bought this pretty Lornas Laces yarn last year some time, and I've started several sock patterns with it. I've always had a little trouble with "perfectionism," not that I strive for perfection really. It's more that I don't usually think that my finished products are good enough. So, this is "Friday Harbor" from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road, and I've successfully knit socks from this pattern at least three times. Somehow, though, this just wasn't what I wanted with this sock yarn, so I unraveled it. And started another pattern, which I am about to unravel again. Focus, Caroline, Focus. I don't know if unraveling projects is an actual ritual, but I sure do a lot of it, especially when it starts getting warmer, and I'm just knitting because I like it, not because I think I'm going to actually wear anything I'm knitting, in the near future.
One of my true spring-time rituals is to visit The Malibu Getty with my honors English students. Actually, that's a lie. My friend, who teaches A.P. U.S. History arranges the trip for our students, and I just tag along. If I had a million dollars or so, I might consider living in Malibu because of the beautiful weather and scenery, but I'm pretty happy to live close enough to just visit a couple times a year.

My favorite part of the Getty Malibu is the gardens. They're Mediterranean, which means that most of the plants and trees they have growing there can be grown in the Central Valley of California, where I live. There are innumerable herbs, and fig, peach, and citrus trees. There's even a citron tree, which is intriguing to me since I've never tasted actual "citron" other than in a fruitcake at Christmas.

Another springtime ritual for me is to go to swim meets. This is the first year that I don't have a kid in the pool, but I went to the first swim meet of the season last week, and who should show up but my  son Kai. I think he misses it a little too. I know he does since he's been working with the Master's Swim team for the last coupe of weeks. I used to bring knitting projects to swim meets, but this time, I just came and sat and enjoyed myself. Maybe next week, I'll do a little knitting...or stay home where it's warm since spring swim meets are notorious for being cold and wet places to be.