Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lattice and Life

Yesterday and today I finished my garden construction work.  The greenhouse is complete, I built two sets of stairs up to the deck, repaired the the old deck, and put up lattice along where the deck was chopped off from the house that once was here.   I don't think I've ever told the story on the blog, so for those of you who don't know, we bought our land in foreclosure three years ago.  The previous owner had given the land over to an "investor" who took everything off the land he could (house, barn, well and spring pumps, etc.) and stopped making mortgage payments.  The deck was one of the few things still left here when we bought it.  The lattice along the deck creates a bit of closure; it patches up a wound.  It is also fulfilling to see the garden green growing up from what was once bare, sterile dirt in the old foundation site. 

This evening, Juliana and I sat on the newly-patched deck and watched the sunset as we surveyed the land.  It was a beautiful day.  While we were enjoying the view, Sophia and Grace let the ducks forage in the garden for a bit as well.  Grace posed with one of the ducks in the sun's last light.

Juliana and the girls made cheese with our goat milk this afternoon.  The milk is so good, we seldom want to use it for anything but drinking.  But the cheese is pretty good, too.  They used rennet and citric acid to make a mozzarella.  The stuff in Grace's spoon is curd and the liquid left behind is whey.

Sorry that the picture below is out of focus. I had to get it quick because the cheese was getting eaten so fast. 

Tomorrow, I'm taking Eli and his friend, John, to play in their first ever ultimate tournament with Coach Mark Pletcher's Marin "High Fliers".  A historic day!

Looking back, it was a busy week of school events, 4H, outings, skiing, music lessons, play rehearsal, ultimate practice, building, an Earth Day fair, community service, sleep overs, a play in Nevada City, and post-Bar Mitzvah wrap-up.  A major highlight was a visit from Uncle Bob and Aunt Jo.  Grace made them biscuits and they sampled some scrambled duck and chicken eggs with goat milk.  After walking the StewZ Loop, Bob encouraged me to fully utilize our land's natural resources and go into the firewood and spring water business.  As business is not my forte, I suggested he come live in Juliana's future gypsy caravan/ guest house and get us up and running.

While I got my ramble on, I have another thought to share.  About a month ago, Juliana and I went on a date and saw a movie with Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston.  I tend to avoid Anitson movies, but I think Paul Rudd is hilarious so there was no stopping me.  The movie was pretty decent, but the biggest impression I came away with from watching Aniston is that she felt like a friend!  She was there in the 90's, living with her other twenty-something "Friends" (like I was doing back then).  I've followed her relationship ups and downs over the years (albeit, not particularly closely) and here she was again on the big screen, a fairly down-to-earth forty-something (like lots of my friends).  It was a bit bizarre to feel a connection with someone I don't even know personally, but I did.   For a Hollywood star, at least she does seem to be fairly genuine.  I guess it means I'm getting old that I feel connections with celebrities (see my Whitney Houston blog from a couple months ago).  I thought about writing Aniston a letter to tell her she sort of has a friend, but I didn't.  While I suppose it would be nice to make a real connection, I didn't want to come across like a weird fan.

Last thought of the day: this has been a really, really cool year.


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