Archive for the ‘Reasons I don't live in New England’ Category

The August 5 (and a half) and Mission Peak

The August 5 lbs challenge is officially over. The tally this morning was 5.6 lbs! I didn’t reach my stretch goal of 7, but at least I comfortably made the 5! Woot!

With one virtual sugar bag less than I was carrying around with me a month ago, l’avocat suggested we hike Mission Peak this morning. I was slow, but eventually made it to the top. Three miles of steep up hill, then back down. I’m now safely laying on a towel in the backyard while Perl runs around. Trying desperately not to fall asleep under the tree. If you can’t find me later, please come wake me and gather my dog.

Here are some photos from the way up and the top.





Tahoe Ski Trip

A couple of weeks ago, a group of us went up to Tahoe for a ski trip. I didn’t actually ski, I cooked. I played cook for the weekend. Three breakfasts, a big dinner, and leftovers for lunch cost everyone $17 per person. Pretty good deal if you ask me. And everyone helped with the preparation and cleaning. It was fun. Cooking dinner for 9 people took a lot of effort. Good thing the house we rented had huge pots and pans.

You can find the full set of photos on my MobileMe page.

Ginko Biloba

Image from Greenspade.

I saw a tree like this while “walking the dog” today. It was the sun, brought down to earth, on an otherwise dreary day. The colors on the trees and on the ground this morning were spectacular.

A difference between fall here and on the East Coast is that we don’t get a lot of wind, so the leaves don’t mix. And since the leaves of all the trees don’t fall at the same time, I’ll see a tree spread its color from the sky above to the ground directly below. Ten feet away will be a different color. And then another. And then another.

You’d think, coming from Maine, I’d be better at recognizing species of trees, but I seem to lack this ability. Of course, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ginko biloba tree in Maine, so that might be why it took me some researching to find it. I’m not usually a fan of trees that turn yellow. The trees that people normally “oooh” and “aaaah” over are often the reds and oranges of maple trees. But the Ginko Biloba tree, standing alone in all of its yellow glory, was spectacular. It made me appreciate yellow trees in the fall.

By the way, this has been my view for the last week.

Fall Colors

Every year, East Coasters ask again, “Don’t you miss the fall colors and crisp weather?”

No, no I don’t. East Coasters mistakenly think that all of California is like San Diego. It isn’t. It would take me almost 8 hours (of driving the speed limit) to drive to San Diego.

We get seasons in Northern California, but they are much more muted than the extreme ranges experienced by the East Coast. Our fall includes leaves turning colors and dropping, however, instead of it all happening within a two-week “leaf peeping” season, it takes almost two months to lose all of our leaves. And they do change color. Each species of tree changes color at different times. It seems that the maples are turning right now. I call the Japanese Maple the Firework Tree because the leaves are amazing colors and range from green to yellow to orange to red all in the same tree.

Here are some more of the wonderful trees that are turning this week, and one of the best parts is that when the trees are losing their leaves, others things are growing!

Reasons I don’t live in New England

Saw this on this morning and it made me laugh. It is wicked accurate!

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Fall foliage

I know that New Englanders will all tell me that the only place for leaf peeping is in the northeast, but California has it’s own special fall season. Instead of all the leaves turning and falling at once, they change by variety by week. So each week, while walking the dog, I will discover a new tree is losing it’s leaves. This one is pure fireworks. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

Posted from my iPhone

Crazy weather, part two

Forgot to send the link of the tree we lost in front of my place from the storm on Friday.

See, we do have weather. Check back next year for the next weather update.

BTW, I had lunch outside today like I do almost every day. Just wanted to rub it in a little. :-)

Reason #3 I no longer live in New England

The lack of good [ Thai || Chinese || Indian || Mexican || etc ] food. And people.

Today at lunch, I played the role of the token white girl, which never happened when I lived in suburban CT, or backwoods Maine, or upstate NY. I might have had that role if I lived in Boston longer than I did, but I wasn’t ever there, so I didn’t make many friends. Here, the groups of people I hang out with are mixes of all kinds of race, creed, and orientation. It adds “flavah” to my life. Something that was absent growing up in Maine.

Sure, we had a couple kids in town who weren’t white, but there were no adults. I always wondered what would happen to them when they turned 18. Did they have to move? I had one friend who thought he was dark because he drank too much chocolate milk. He didn’t look anything like his two white “aunts” he lived with. Of course it took me until college to question whether or not they were really sisters or if they were a lesbian couple.

Somehow we got on this topic at lunch. R is originally from Japan. It was refreshing to learn that she had a similar problem growing up. Everyone in her town was Japanese, except for one family that “had some Korean blood.” That was it. Occasionally some white people would pass through, but there were rarely even people from other parts of Asia.

After having lived here for a couple of years, I have this expectation that the whole world is multicultural now. But it isn’t. There is still a lot of mixing to do. So get to it!

Posts revisited

Two things that have invoked comments or discussions over the weekend.

Reason #1 I no longer live in New England
Okay, you New Englanders are really starting to wear me down. I love weather. I love listening to the rain on the lanai. I love snow storms; the excitement preparing for being stuck in the house for days, and the blanket of quietness that comes after. It is absolutely amazing. I love the lush, lyme green colors of spring or the spectacular colors in fall. I even love a cloudy day because it gives me a good reason to go see a movie.

What I don’t love is weather forcing me to change my plans. I don’t believe in God, but when things are bad, I make pacts with him. One was during a blizzard when I was trying to drive from Boston to CT. It was midnight. An hour out of Boston it had started snowing. By the time I crossed into CT, you couldn’t see ten feet in front of the car, but big trucks were still wizzing by my little honda. I stopped under an over pass for just a minute to catch my breath and make a promise to God that if he helped me get to the rest stop, I’d never drive in bad weather again.

Obviously, I made it to the rest stop. Slept in my car for a while, then sat inside. A bus load of old folks had been run off the road and were now stranded there. A couple trucks had jack-knifed and closed off the road. One truck driver tried to convince me to put my car in the back of his truck because he was carrying catsup packets and they weren’t weighing his truck down enough. Out of all the people there, the manager of the place took pity on me and let me sleep at his desk which had a space heater under it. I think it had to do with me being from Maine and his daughter was at Bowdoin. Whatever the reason, I was grateful.

And if that isn’t enough, I get really depressed in winter. I sleep constantly. I don’t get enough exercise. I try to hibernate. And to top it off, the Raynaud’s disease in my toes flares up. Besides, it is after the storm that I hate. Shovelling. The dirt put on the road when plowing. The constant days of cloud cover like someone trying to smother me with a wool blanket.

I’ll just have to survive with the muted seasons I have here.

Was there any question, part 6
By spark, I’m not talking fireworks. I’m not talking lust. I’m not talking about that primal need to reproduce in the back of a Mercedes (I would have picked something like a Chevy, but lets get real—would I make out with someone who drives a Chevelle?). I am talking about that smile on your face when you hear from them. Or the butterflies in your stomach when you see them again. I’m talking about meeting someone and thinking that your life would be better if they were a part of it, in any capacity. Knowing that you would regret not making an effort to keep in contact with them.

The other side of spark is when it does turn into a relationship. Those are the hardest ones to let go because it is that spark that keeps you together longer than you probably should have been. And it is what keeps you thinking about them past when you should be thinking of them. It is difficult to transition it from love back to friendship. It is possible. It just takes time. Patience is a virtue.

Reason #2 I no longer live in New England

Saw Gone Baby Gone tonight. I didn’t have high hopes for it, so maybe that is why I liked it so much. I think what I really loved about it was the scenery and accents. Everything looked so familiar, except for the drug addicts, murderers and rapists. And the accent just kills me. I was made fun of recently for not having a Maine accent. It is slightly different than the Boston accent, but you still leave a lot of your ‘g’s and ‘r’s at the border. And the swearing. Right now, I can’t get the sound of my Aunt K chuckling while she says, “Fuck you, D” to my father. The kind of swearing that isn’t an insult, just a way of life.

I work hard at leaving the swearing and picking up the rest of my consonants every time I leave Boston. We will see how I do at Christmas.