Friday, June 29, 2012

Potted plant collections

I'm starting to intersperse groups of small potted plants around the yard.

Here I have two basils in two different pots and a tiny succulent garden.  I haven't had a lot of success with succulents (besides Jade which has to be the easiest plant not to kill).  My succulent wreath died pretty quickly....I think there needed to be less moss and more dirt or just more space for the roots to attach.  I'm going to try it again but with a succulent box that has more layers of soil for the roots to attach.

I have this vision of herbs and flowers in various pots all over the garden.  Goodwill sometimes has good garden containers for about 90% less than Osh or Home Depot.  I also want to get some metal buckets and drill holes in the bottom....but that will be a project for another day.

Today I'm finishing up the blinds/curtain projects for the upstairs of our house!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Garden Overhaul Part I

Yesterday I posted about our yard getting a makeover.  After one day our yard looks like this:

Right now, we have three people digging out the irrigation in the yard.  Pick axes!  Shovels!  You name it!  They are running the lines for the sprinklers.  The yard looks so much cleaner and more manageable without all the excess crap! 

Mt. Tam Photos

I conduct my legal aid clinic generally out of the same room every month in Mill Valley.  The room has a fantastic view of Mt. Tamalpais known as Mt. Tam to locals.  Here are two photos from that room, looking up at Mt. Tam in the background.  The first photo is from January and the second is from February.  Quite a difference!  The fog is beautiful when it gets trapped in the valleys.

I want to do some more photo sequences.  I just always forget to actually do it.  More things for the list!

Mason Jar Obsession and Finding Forgotten Photos

I like to save mason jars that I get from buying pasta sauces.  I reuse them for various drinking and storing purposes.  Recently lots of articles have popped up about using them for storing lunch stuff!  I think I need to buy actual canning mason jars for this to be safe to do and since I rarely keep the lids.

Marin Homestead had a recipe for mason jar salads.  And Untrained Housewife has a whole slew of things you can do with mason jars but I particularly liked the recipes they posted from Preparewise.

In other unrelated news, I just figured out how to download photos from my phone.  I never thought I would use that as my primary camera but it is always charged and always accessible and I have instantaneous uploading and picture mail so the convenience has really outweighed any other factor.  I downloaded hundreds of pictures and realized I need to use multiple redundant backups otherwise I would have lost tons of adorable Ralph photos!

Here are some of my favorites:

1)  The first time I made ravioli by hand.  I have a whole recipe and step-by-step instructions with photos and the pasta maker I need to upload.  These were spinach.
  2)  My first football game ever at Candlestick:


3)   Ralph in our new house on the guest room bed....also known as his day time nap room:

4)  The bathtub from our Napa mini-moon:

5)  Our wedding cake pinata!

6)  The note my husband's boss wrote in our wedding card.  My name is Jessica NOT Jennifer.  And it was a group there where lots of other "Chris and Jessicas" for her to see.  I didn't know I was changing my first AND last name!

7) The coolest shower curtain we have ever owned!  Sadly our new house has sliding shower doors...whomp whomp.

8)  Our trip to Dog Island Farm on the second hottest day of the year.  Yup, that's a goat just chillin on a spool of something...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Things are happening in the garden!

When we moved to our new place the yard was "landscaped."  Basically, someone came in with some fancy mulch and dumped it on what was previously dirt and grass and add some scattered plants.  This is what it looked like.

Due to multiple factors (laziness; fear of using the phone to call people; lack of money; wanting to DIY) this is what it looks like now:  

As you can see, I started to dig some areas out, then put some sod, then the sod died, then I got lazy.  Aren't my raised beds spectacular???  Oh right, there are no raised beds because I am LAZY. 

Today, Jesus (Heyyyysoooos) our gardener is coming in to dig up the yard and get it ready for "sprinkles" (sprinklers) and grass.  I'm hoping to come home to a dug up yard (goodbye crazy privets uprooting our foundation!) that will have beautiful grass in it by tomorrow.  And sprinkles!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I have to go to the DMV today...

I have a bit of a habit of procrastination.  Like I got married almost a year ago and haven't sent out thank you cards (MIL I have a year to do this....okay???)  I also just got around to dealing with my name change, which is only half dealt with.  What do I mean?  I get to enjoy some lovely time this morning at the DMV. 

Did you know that there is an automated feature on the California DMV website that lets you see how long your wait time is if you don't have an appointment at your local branch.  Another thing I've realized about the DMV...don't go to ones in cities, they have the longest wait.  Another win for the suburbs!

My brother this weekend came up to visit from SF.  We had a huge party and he came late so he was bitching that he had to park far away.  He said something to the effect of "When I come to the suburbs I expect to park in front of the house, not down the block!"  Every time I go to his house I have at least a 5 block walk (thank you Mission District) and have to move my car every 2 hours. 

Here is an adorable picture of Ralph being stubborn on a walk.  He's giving his sexy beagle face to the camera.

So I'm wavering what weight to put on my driver's license since the one I have now has my weight from when I was 16 and that is no where near my weight anymore.  I don't want to lie but I also don't want to put the actual number because it is just so ridiculously high.  I've been working out non-stop for over a month and have dropped zero lbs.  It is very frustrating.  We bought an elliptical and I have been using that and watching Netflix on my i-Pad.  I've gone through one season of Grey's Anatomy and four seasons of Gossip Girl.  That is a ton of working out just FYI. 

Hope everyone out there has a good day.  I just need to make it through to Friday at noon.  Everything will be alright.  Everything will be alright.  Everything will be alright!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Looking for Book Recommendations

I would love some reader comments about books to read.  I just finished the Hunger Games trilogy and would love a series that is fast-paced like that. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Waiting at the airport

Waiting at the airport for my sister in law to arrive from Germany.  I am staring at a row of limo drivers and thinking that might be my next career!  As long as I could wear sweatpants and listen to Sarah and Vinnie.

So far I've seen someone with bright purple hair....another with short shorts who shouldn't be wearing them....and a whole lot of people hugging and kissing hello after a long absence.  So nice to see all the love!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Small herb garden

Our house came with a large planter that was already on the deck with casters for easy moving.  I decided we should make it a small herb garden with easy access to the kitchen.  I included our last name monogram on a whim and think it adds a cute touch.  And everytime I leave the house or come home I smell rosemary!  I planted one big rosemary in the middle surrounded by two basil plants and two mint plants.  Mint starters were surprisingly hard to find this spring.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dogs on BART

Husbando took this picture on his commute yesterday.  An adorable service dog asleep on public transportation.  Ralph is not this behaved!

When I was young, my mom and I raised a service dog for Canine Companions for Independence in Santa Rosa.  We had a half lab half golden puppy that we raised.  Every month we drove up to Santa Rosa for intensive training.  We had our pooch for a year before she went back to be further groomed to assist.  She ended up having a bad hip rating so she didn't end up being a full-fledged service dog, but she did assist a family who needed a companion dog.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Divorced from reality

My marriage is important to me.  I work hard on it everyday.  I make sure my husband has dinner on the table and his laundry is done and folded.  I make sure our bills are paid and the dog is walked.  All he has to do is get up and go to work and come home.  I also work, but not as hard as he does.  We are both lawyers, and the seepage of the traditional role of "homemaking" is something I resisted for a long time.  But I honestly enjoy it and I'm not going to apologize for it, despite the sneers and eye rolls from people who judge me for having so much education and liking housework.  Apparently, if you have a brain you shouldn't be cleaning toilets.  I disagree--I do my best thinking while I'm cleaning.

I respect my husband.  We are a team.  Getting divorced would be the hardest thing--forget the financial entanglements--the emotional ones would kill me.  I now have an identity that is forever linked with him.  And I am changing my name today.  How would we ever extract ourselves from each others families?  The families that we bike with and have gone to funerals with and celebrated anniversaries and birthdays with and supported through multiple hospital visits and births of babies and triumphs at work and school.

Last night,  clients e-mailed me that they are getting divorced.  I found out at dinner with a friend where we were discussing our marriages and how much we loved our husbands and couldn't stand to live without them in our lives.  It was depressing to hear.  And kept me up most of the night.  I know either I will die, or my husband will die and the other will be alone.  But I would never do anything to speed up that process. 

I feel that it's a novel thing to actually find someone you can be compatible with throughout the various stages of your life, yet so many people get married every day.  I don't think people really accept it as a lifetime commitment.  Before, our lifetimes were so much shorter, people rarely living into their 40's let along their 100's, and "lifetime" wasn't as big of a commitment because you died of cholera or while you gave birth.  I hope for decades of marriage.  Growing up, many of my friends parents were divorced and remarried and divorced and remarried.  Many of my clients have had at least one previous divorce.  The unraveling of a life together is as sad as a death.  I'm very very sad for my clients.

Appreciate the people you love right now.  Don't rush into marriage if you don't want to commit to that person forever.  And why has DOMA not been ruled unconstitutional?  Everyone should have the chance to have an amazing marriage.  Or get divorced.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Morning walk

Ralph and I are out sniffing the world!  What a beautiful day today!  I have some work stuff and errands to take care of....but after that....all kinds of crafting and gardening!

I also have an elliptical now and have been working out for a few hours every day.  Thanks to watching 2 seasons of Grey's Anatomy...and now I'm obsessed with Gossip Girl.  Yes, I am a 14 year old girl at heart.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Big old pile of weeds! Ugh...they are taking over my yard!

The neighborhood

Out on my morning dog walk, I saw three sort of bizarre things:

1)  A man walking with his son on his shoulders.  There aren't any houses around where he is walking for at least .75 miles...and he looked like he was walking to the market, so that is at least two miles round trip with a kid on your shoulders?  Maybe it's a workout?

2)  Neighbor was bbqing.  At 8am.  HARDCORE.  At first I thought her yard was on fire and wondered why no one else was concerned....

3)  Two people hottubbing.  Again, at 8am.