Tag Archives: Gardening

March 6, 2016


This is the final installment in the brief life history of the little maul oak tree I purchased from Theodore Payne Nursery back in the late fall of 2008 to commemorate the election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States. I actually didn’t get it planted in the ground until the day Hillary Clinton was sworn in as Secretary of State. Whether planted in the ground or in a pot, no matter what I did, I couldn’t make this tree thrive. I just barely kept it alive. Obamas’ uplifted face proclaiming “HOPE” on a decal on the back of my Volvo is now a faded white rectangle. I’m not blaming him. I think we all know how hard it is to get anything done today let alone with the lack of support he is getting with the loudest voices in the Senate trying to cram the entire nation into their angry time machine to repeat the mistakes we’ve made before. But wait, I’m getting a bit too political here. This is about my little oak tree that I envisioned, yes and HOPED my kids could climb, maybe fall out of and slightly fracture an arm, lob water balloons at unsuspecting speeding cars from, have birds build nests in and hatch their eggs.

Sadly, the maul oak tree is dead. I just put it in the green waste bin to be recycled with the rest of our compost to be picked up early Wednesday morning with the rest of our bins. So what do you do? You start over again. You get your butt out of bed every morning, wake your kids up for school and warm up the espresso machine and hope the things you do  make a difference.


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August 1, 2013

We’ve been back from Kauai for 2 weeks and been grappling with a blown head gasket on my Volvo, plumbing problems, rodent issues, sprinkler leaks and a pinched nerve that’s taking a long time to heal. I heard mention of a beer garden on the radio yesterday. I love that term. It’s like the beer grows on trees.

Vintage John Boyer, Costa Rica early 90's

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October 10, 2011

Fireing a pasilla pepper

Studying and Rescuing

Moring coffees

La Pavoni


More coffee

Ocean and no coffee

No coffee, tea


Smoked chickens

Tomato season is over

Day is done

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Do you ever get up when it’s still dark outside, think (dream) you look at the clock say it’s 2:30 in the morning only to be brought back to the reality that it’s really 6:30. Time to get up. That’s what happened this morning. You feel a little gypped. It’s day 2 with Ollie and Simon who come bounding in bed with me to snuggle and keep warm. It’s cold this morning but the sun is out and after making only 1 lunch for Ollie and packing Simon off to his friends’ Sookie’s house I got a million things to do I decide to sneak out to surf.

My Okazaki is on succulents

Speaking of cold. The water temperature has dropped a few degrees in the past week. It’s ice cream headache time. I surfed at El Porto- It was shoulder high, the wind had already shifted onshore so it was a bit blown out but it was nice being in the ocean on a sunny day. Yeah I even saw a porpoise.

Self portrait with ice cream headache

The day goes by quickly. I have decided to remove a section of our lawn and replace it with decomposed granite(DG). Now let me explain. Our grass barely classifies as a lawn. Their are bald patches  in the lawn where our boys have compressed the ground so tightly with, bikes, skateboards, toboggans, pogo sticks, wagons and other miscellaneous wheeled vehicles that not a root could penetrate downward and not a blade of grass could ever force its way towards the sun. To put it mildly, if it’s growing in our yard it had better be hardy.

Now batting, #4 Ollie

I’ve spent the past week digging out the afore mentioned grass to be replaced with DG and a few well placed stepping stones which I’ve collected from the beach. Oh yeah, I didn’t forget home plate boys. It’s swim practice for Ollie then off to pick up Simon and then Thai food at Poom Thai.

Ollie waiting patiently

Chicken Satay

I have only gotten food to go from Poom Thai. The food is real good. The decor is strange in a nice sort of way. You walk in and there are 3 giant fish tanks. These tanks are huge. There’s a pvc plumbing system running along the ceiling of the restaurant over each tank pumping fresh water in constantly. Giant aeration bells are seen and heard pumping air into each tank. The fish in these tanks are huge too. There’s something strangely perverse dining next to these lugubrious giants. There’s a small t.v. with the Laker game on- that’s cool.

Bop at Poom

Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah, there’s writing all over the walls from floor to ceiling. Things like, “Home is where the Poom is.” and how about this original, “Poom, your Pad See You Rocks!” Hanging on these walls are 2 lonely t-shirts on hangers. One is a Michael Jackson “King of Pop” shirt and the other is a Target t-shirt with the store hang tag and S,M,L decal still stuck on to the garment.

Steamed Dumplings

There’s also a large photo of Elvis Presley sitting with the King and Queen of Thailand. And finally as I’m paying our bill I notice 2 small turtles near the kitchen. I tell Ollie and Simon to take a look at them. Ollie says in his raspy voice, “Daddy they’re tortoises not turtles.” He’s right.

Simon watching Ollie watch the laundry

We get home a bit late from Poom, get washed and watch 101 Dalmatians. I had never seen this film before. We all loved it. It’s getting late again. Time for bed.

Simon, dreaming he was a Lego

Ollie, wishing he can read

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February 26, 2009
Daikon Root Radish

Daikon Root Radish

Hopefully it’s not too late for our little ones to see progress in the past. That being said, there is a sprinkling of spring in the air. The wildflowers we planted this winter are starting to flower, it’s lighter when we get up in the morning (except for Debbie who gets up at 5:00am to go swimming.) I planted sweet peas and poppies in the parkway in front of our house. Ollie and I harvested the radishes we planted from seeds in our “public garden” around our plumeria tree. They look like weeds and nobody seems to know what lurks beneath the soil.

A Vertical Crop

A Vertical Crop

What is really going on beneath the soil? Everyday as people pass by on foot and cars tuned in to cell phones, radios, and iPods our little hidden harvest does nothing but grow if given enough water.

Earth Power

Earth Power

I am reading The Alchemist by Paulp Coelho to the 5th grade during woodcarving. In the book, a boy meets with a gypsy fortune teller to talk about his dreams. A dream is a homonym whose meaning changes with the sleeping or wakened state. Can one know of the future by looking at the past. How do we realize our dreams? Questions, questions, questions…

Sometimes you need to look underneath, behind, in between, above, beyond and yes below. In the meantime, take care of what you plant.

Hand Held

Hand Held

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