My Place

The crusty fresh loaf from Companion was asking for it, so without looking I reached into the pantry and grabbed a can of tuna. The minute the opener cracked the lid it hit me like a campfire.? Smoked albacore!? I looked at the label, grinning, knowing exactly where it came from, heading back there in my mind.

We’d run up one of the Nine Sisters that day. Strong. Fit. In-love. Racing to catch the sunset. Pausing to catch our breath we talked with a CCC member who was all smiles with our appreciation for his trail work.? At the top we belly-shimmied out to the highest round-top rocks and perched there in the dusk, sweaty, smiling, hearts beating from the exposure. We flew back down the red trail through the oaks, laughing, leaping over granite rocks, as the color left the hills.

Deeply hungry, as I was all that summer, we drove past a few of the other sisters toward Morro Bay for dinner.? The smoked albacore tuna melt I got rocked my world so I asked about it.? The waiter, proud of his Morro locale, shared that the fish was line caught just north of there along the wild Big Sur coast.? Diane and Wayne Moody fish out of their lovely family schooner Capriccio and smoke and can their catch themselves.? That night, as a band played on the patio overlooking the water, we walked back to the truck under the stars and headed toward his vineyard home holding hands, satisfied, in the dark.

$980 Master Bedroom, Clean, Great Light, Walk to Santa Cruz Harbor and Beach!

Utilities and shared bi-weekly cleaning service $180/month. Available July 1, 2015 ~ Photos below.

Enjoy the skylights and second story view of this large unfurnished 10? X 13? master bedroom room with full private bath (tub and shower) and large 3-door closet. Vaulted ceilings and skylights let the light and stars in.? The room has been freshly painted and the bedroom carpets will be professionally cleaned before move in.

Share this lovely newly refurbished sunny townhouse off 7th Avenue with one female environmental nonprofit professional and two cool tabby cats. I am currently completing updating the interior in June to include brand new hardwood floors throughout except bedrooms, fresh paint throughout including kitchen cabinets, a new dishwasher and fridge, and new Levelor shades that will all make for a brand-new, fresh shared living space.

There?s a great back deck and lush landscaped garden and yard to enjoy.? The baby fruit trees bloom pretty in spring and I’m expecting a big crop of nectarines this summer. The cozy vaulted ceiling living room has large south facing windows that look out to a big oak tree across the drive. Fireplace. Nice dining table and a well equipped kitchen. The rooms are very private as they are separated from each other by the bathrooms and a hall.? The room for rent is over the garage and shares a one wall with the neighbor?s guest room (i.e. very quiet).

We?re a block?s walk to the upper harbor and just moments away from O?Neill beach, harbor cafes, bars and restaurants. You can hear the coyotes in the evening from Arana Gulch open space which also brings lots of migrant birds to the neighborhood. We have really friendly neighbors for when you?re short a cup of sugar.? You can hear the sea lions and breaking waves at night!

I am looking for an active, friendly, healthy, happy, honest and mature individual with good communication skills and similar homelike goals. I love to enjoy a relaxed and quiet home space with music and conversation, no TV, and occasional gatherings of friends. We will both value keeping the place tidy and clean, living in an eco friendly way, and share occasional meals or activities while having warm, friendly and respectful household relations between us. Professional or mature student preferred.

Washer and dryer in garage.? Bike parking and some storage available in the garage. Shared regular housecleaning and, as noted above, share cost for professional cleaning service every other week ($80 renter share). Utilities and wireless are a flat $100/mo. No smoking. No additional pets.? Month to month agreement with a goal of finding a long term fit.

Credit report may be required. References will be requested. Security deposit plus last month’s rent is $1,600 which can be paid in installments.

Sound good so far? Contact Kirsten via email at kirse(at)greengirl(dot)org with some information about yourself, what you are looking for in housing/roommates and any questions you might have and a phone number where I can reach you. Thank you and be well on your journey.

(The photos below are post-remodel so the carpets in the main area are being replaced with hardwood this month).

Living Room and Dining Room

Available Room, Closet and Bath

Views From the Room

(this was in winter – its all green now! ?I will replace with summer photos soon)

Winter Garden Scene ?

?(its MUCH Greener with veggies and flowers in summer)

Sunset at Our Neighborhood Beach after a walk for fish tacos at the harbor

It all started with me wanting to pull my weight, literally, with a new group of backpacking friends. Invited to a challenging 7 day, 75 mile, 18000′ elevation gain trip that traverses the Sierra Nevada in its highest widest part, I trained hard spring and summer. Two of the ladies on the hike were having birthdays, and while I normally don’t pack in anything extra, I agreed with others to bring in some surprise beer for them to celebrate.? I love how the story unfolded, so this is a special blog excerpt about that part of my High Sierra Summer 2013 trip.

It all started at the local Whole Foods.? I’d dated a beer officionado for a few short weeks this summer and one of the things I learned was that the beer selection at Whole Paycheck rocked.? I walked in and asked the gent stocking the cooler for his favorite IPA in a can.? He turned, walked past me without hesitating and palmed a pretty rusty orange colored box.? “This is my favorite IPA in OR out of a can” he said, handing it to me with a flourish and smile.? I grinned back, “no way!”: the logo is a backpacking tent, and the beer is called Wyld (by Uinta Brewing Co out of Salt Lake City).? It could NOT be more perfect for my backpack birthday mission and I told him so.

It looked good in my bike basket all the way home. I tucked two cans in amidst my water filter, dehydrated food and sleeping gear and I managed to keep it hidden most of the trip. I tried not to think about it as we sweated our asses off climbing up to Precipice Lake, our most stunning campsite of the trip at 10,400 feet.

We chilled the beer in the lake while we ate dinner.? At sunset we popped the tops to enjoy them while we waited for the Perseid meteor shower show to begin. Sarah and Paige were stoked and touched that we carried the extra weight that even they – major beer fans themselves – had decided not to pack in.

Up in the backcountry its the simple things, and even to me who’d choose whiskey-over-beer any day, that cold Wyld IPA tasted fantastic. Thank goodness the birthday girls were good sharers!

(Afterword:? With some other backpacking friends Paige attended CanFest in Reno in the weeks following our trip and was able to tell this story in person directly to the folks at the Uinta booth. Fun!)


luffing like a sail

at land’s edge

Yesterday was summer-hot here and the beaches were packed, so I waited until night when I could visit by myself, and went down to the water. It was no-moon dark. It was vast no-horizon. It was a little mist and a lot of stars. Just me and all that space. I walked and then sat by the water in only a long sleeve top, curling my arms around my legs and settled into the comfort that is all that dark and the susurrus of the surf. Satisfied in the quiet. It confirmed that my happys back. Been at my side pretty regular for a few weeks now, so I’m feelin’ I can count on it. So grateful! The ladies in the photos below are to be thanked immensely.

We ladies in fact had a wonderful time together last weekend at the Patty Griffin concert.? Of course her bus would be gorgeous. I tried to honor the occasion in a lovely dress and laughed to find that it matched the wallpaper at the historic Coconut Grove.? The super Strawberry Moon rose above the water out the windows of the place. What could be better? Oh, Patty at Fall Strawberry this year!? I can’t wait. And tonight’s cowboy country eve with Janell and Chad dinnering at the 19th Hole and then trolling the San Benito County Rodeo shouldn’t be too bad either. I’ve got my short shorts and my tall boots packed and ready to go.

Big grins for Amee Chapman, as ever, for getting me out late on a school night. Its my birthday week, so why not got big? She and her boys sounded great. Lucky Tubb showed up with his Troubadors from Texas offering an authentic country sound to our sea shanty town, and some serious bass fiddle slappin’ rythyms to boot.

When I bought my place, I felt I’d married the town in a way. Said “YES you have been good to me and I can see that continuing”. Saying “I DO want to be part of this place and always have a place to come back to”. There have been a few days I felt let down, when I doubted this commitment, but they have been few amidst so many deeply satisfying ones living here on the Central Coast with so many of my lovely tribe.

Headed after work today up the coast not far from this town I love with a good bottle of red and a Picnic Basket dinner in the back. We watched as the fog rolled in toward us and then motored on through it for awhile looking for sun that never reappeared.? Disappointment turned into a joyful discovery of something new in my old backyard I had not known before; a steep pull up a bumpy country road led us to? a picnic in the sun overlooking golden fields quiet except for birdsong and a deep spring reservoir reflecting rock walls as if in a mountain canyon.

It reminded me how much I don’t know, how I should always approach those we think we know with a fresh view, when a long time love surprises as my hometown did tonight.

This last weekend I so enjoyed our little hometown Redwood Mountain Faire. Two small stages with nice acts, quality crafts, friendly food vendors with great eats and local wine and beer all staged in a sunny redwood surrounded meadow with trains rolling through and benefiting local nonprofits to boot.? Great to lounge around listening and visiting with friends who were unable to make it to Strawberry.? And, at this point, the Bean is a total pro at this stuff.

And the whole thing reminded me of a little Strawberry which I had just enjoyed (mostly) the week before. This year was interesting:

– The logo was a snow globe but it actually was sunny, dry and fairly warm the whole time.

– Great line up of bands, and being kid-free we got to hang out in front row chairs for the likes of Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands.? We really enjoyed the return of Birds of Chicago who upgraded to a mainstage evening act this year (and followed that a week later at our Redwood Fair!), and a new to us group the Black Lilies.

– I got a wicked cold and was tucked away in my van for most of the first three days, in bed by 8 PM most nights. No fun.

– Our camp was small, but mighty, as many have fled the cold weather for Fall. Still, we had quality pickers and enjoyed some sweet camp jams and wandering to other camps to meet new folks too.

– Amee brought her stove oven and we made delish blueberry scones for breaky.

– Heather brought Sydney for his first camp trip and a first Strawb for both of them – a great success!

Festival gates open in another 84 days for Fall and Patty Griffin will be there – so I will too! See you there on the flip side of summer.

Full pics here, and a few below.

It was a good year for them to come; a handful of sorrowful homicides, continual challenges of the homeless population, drug users, and the overall chaos of the world challenged us in our beachside town.? They arrived and brought us together unexpectedly with wholesome fun, high production value and professional atheleticism that inspired and encouraged us.

I didn’t get a pic of us at the opening night of this inaugural season, but I do have a t-shirt.? I had a blast working with Matt DeNesnera, their Community Relations guy during NBA green week and rallying the EA crew for a rowdy Monday night nationally televised game in the stands (above) in late March.? I caught the last home game of the seasons with Holly and Beau (big Oakland Warriors fans) during this week’s finals (Idaho Vipers) which they lost in a heartbreak of a final 89 seconds.

Thanks Warriors for making good on your promise to be a part of what we are about here in Santa Cruz. You may not have won the finals, but you definitely won our hearts.

The words “he didn’t pay me much attention” are not what you usually would expect to hear describing a great date.? This, however, was anything but expected.

I met him a mile and a half from the trailhead, me running back to my newly returned Ellie.? I’d pulled up short to photograph some Butter-N-Eggs and when I stood back up there he was, 100 yards ahead of me emerging from the meadow onto the trail.

Look close at the top of the trail


He gave me a half a glance, then proceeded to eye the tall grasses across the trail from him, inching forward.? I watched for just a few moments and was treated to the sight of him jumping from an all-fours standstill at least 6 feet in a perfect arc, disappearing into the tall waves of green.? He emerged with a catch in his mouth – way too far away for me to see what it was – and paused, again looking my way.? He sought a bit of privacy.? Walking around a bunch of scrub he settled on the other side and went to work.? I could see his hindquarters but nothing else.? Less than a minute passed and he emerged, giving me again a casual glance, and started lazily swaying his way up the trail in that long limbed walk bobcats have.

I had worked my way closer as he ate. As he walked between tree shadows I saw the slanting sun light up his healthy fur, some russet, some white and brown spots, tawny above.? He’d walk a few yards, listening and eyeing the grasses along the trail, then stop, turn and look over his shoulder at me. As he glanced he’d give me a few swats of that curled short tail of his before resuming his stroll.? As I passed the spot he hunted, I looked and found a neat pile of entrails in the otherwise spotless and undisturbed grasses. They were absolutely beautiful.? The kidneys were feather thin and winglike. They were all still warm.

I was so bummed to find this picture blurry because I was tracking him.

We continued on that way; his lazy long limbed walk and look backs.? My soft quiet steps following then pausing.? He squatted to mark the trail in a few spots, not shy of me being there.? At the next trail junction he resumed his rapt attention into the meadow and I got a repeat of the same show:? standstill, leap, catch, eat. This time I counted the time:? 29 seconds start to finish.? Predators are brutal, clean.? I wondered how that would feel, imagining a Tyranosaurus Rex leaping from the forest nearby, giving me the same treatment, part of me still alive on his insides, part of me warm in the cool field.

I continued to move closer while he ate and then we picked up the walk-pause-follow dance, him letting me draw slightly nearer all the time.? At the next trail curve he walked downslope into the grass. I thought he had for sure dropped into the scrubby drainage and out of sight, but as I cautiously approached I found he was standing just 20 yards off trail. I paused another dozen yards away, watching his ears work the field, black with their white arrow stripes, his eyes relaxed almost shut as he pulled the dusk air across his tongue and nostrils. He tracked an opportunity and almost jumped twice.? After awhile of no action, he actually settled back on his haunches, not going anywhere. He finally turned full my way and all of a sudden he was an owl’s wide face, surprisingly all grey mottled, the warm tones gone.

I stood. He sat. The fog bank rolled in down the coast, eating up the sun. I shivered, my animal body needing its own dinner, its own winter coat.? I wasn’t sure the next step was, never having had the opportunity to be the first to leave a wild animal date.? I gathered my energy into my bones, quieting myself, and slowly started along the upslope edge of the trail, closing the last gap. I did not making eye contact as I came broadside, within 20 yards.? A quick shot of fear arose as I realized I was not watching this wild thing that could dismember a mouse in 30 seconds. A slow look sideways showed he had not moved.? He tracked me all the way by but did not really pay me much mind.? As I moved out of close zone, my breath let out and my heart broke open into tears: at the beauty of the gift, at the sadness I did not stop at that closest midway point and just settle back, too, on my haunches and smell him, watch the field, sit through the night. I thought to go back, but remembered his wildness, respected his space. I again gathered myself, turned toward him with a deep bow, and moved on into the last of the light.

At the car, I found a little boa (?) snake curled cold in the drive, which I moved out of tire-harms way.

These pictures too from the oh-so-warm evening hike on the Enchanted Loop Trail.

Poppy covered slopes.???????????????????? Trillium.

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