Now, they’re all doing it

by fourteenergirl on July 10, 2016

in Home, Uncategorized

Some time ago, I showed you our Sago palm which seemed to be growing a brain. Out of that brain came the next row of branches. That was a coupla years ago and now it’s happening again!

Even more interesting, the little twin palm we rescued from a dark corner of the yard is also sprouting new branches. No brain-like activity with this one, however, which makes me very happy. That big pink thing is so creepy!

Sago palm

Twin palm


We had a visit from the kid

by fourteenergirl on July 9, 2016

in Sailing

It was really great to have Elizabeth with us last weekend. She came in around midnight and her poor parents had a hell of a time waking up and going to get her, but once home and after some sleep it all went great! We took her to the beach first thing in the morning and then to breakfast and then into Santa Barbara for some brewery hopping.

The next day, we visited one of our favorite wineries, Rideau, and sat on the lawn in the sunshine and sipped a glass of vino. Later that night, it was back to the beach for oysters by the moonlight. Monday was the fourth of July and it was sailing and fireworks. We invited friends to come sit on the boat with us and enjoy the up-close-and-personal view of the fireworks right over our heads. It was great fun and we were super tired the next day.

A terrific visit all ’round.

Rideau winery

Wine tasting

Oysters by moonlight

Night at Goleta beach

Sailboat Santa Barbara

Liz and I sailing


Steve and Liz sailing


Summer Solstice Parade

by fourteenergirl on June 30, 2016

in Just Stuff

The summer solstice parade is a big deal in Santa Barbara. Some time ago, it was quite risque with some nudity, but these days it’s very family friendly. We hadn’t been to it yet, having heard the stories of less desirable behavior, but we braved it this year with some friends.

Our friends dressed up their dogs to go to the parade. One of them is a foster and up for adoption, so this is a great way to get him loads of easy exposure to people who might want to adopt him. Plus, they’re just cute.

The town closes off State street – the primary street in Santa Barbara – and they let all the kids decorate the street. It’s one big happy hippy fest in celebration of summer. Lots of bubbles float through the air. Big balls are lazily tossed from person to person. Girls wear flowers in their hair.

We end with a public service reminder – Gold is the New Green. This is how they’re ‘selling’ the fact that we’re in a drought and it’s cool to let your lawn go yellow-brown and die. So there you have it.

Solstice dogs

Solstice costumed dogs

Chalk on State Street

Solstice parade

Child State Street

Chalk on State Street

Solstice parade

Flowers in the hair

Solstice parade trojan horse

Huge ball

Solstice parade

Gold is the new green


Patio furniture re-do

by fourteenergirl on June 29, 2016

in Just Stuff

We have a lovely set of metal patio furniture and an umbrella to go over it, but it was green (not my favorite color) and showing a lot of rusty wear. It was time to re-do the patio furniture and spruce it up to look nice with the refinished deck and other work.

We decided on navy blue. The house it white stucco with dark blue trim. All the flower pots that aren’t half wine barrels are blue, so blue it is. We spread out the plastic and had at it. Then we realized something. The umbrella is orange. We’re painting Broncos colors! Oh well, what the hey. It will look good next to the carved bear from Colorado.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been outside quite a bit – at least on the weekends and I’ve been wearing my yard sneakers. We have to wear shoes on the beach because of the tar spots, which you don’t see until you’ve stepped in them and then you have to get that sticky black stuff off your feet. Trust me, it’s really hard to get that black stuff off your feet although baby oil usually works well. To avoid the tar entirely, we keep our beach shoes around and use them in the yard too. So I have a silly tan.

Patio furniture

Painting patio furniture

silly tan


Walk by the beach

by fourteenergirl on June 28, 2016

in Just Stuff

On Sunday, we unpacked and put everything away again. We were not to be evacuated. The fire is 70%+ contained and we were tired of staying around the house. The kitties were very glad to see their transport boxes put high and away. They nearly wouldn’t go in the garage where we had staged everything to evacuate for fear they’d be headed to the vet.

We headed to the beach to walk and relax. We hadn’t slept well most of the weekend and a beach walk was just what the doctor ordered. This is Haskell’s beach, which is a super short drive from our house. We could see the planes coming in from Santa Maria and dropping retardant on the hills in the distance.  That red tint along the top of the ridge is the retardant that’s keeping the fire contained.

As you can see from the last picture, this is a locals-only beach. 🙂

Fire retardant on the hill


Haskell's beach

Haskell's beach

Steve coffee at the beach

Haskell's beach

Haskell's beach

Haskell's beach

Haskell's beach

Locals only


Farmers Market with Music

by fourteenergirl on June 27, 2016

in Just Stuff

Does your farmer’s market come with a band? Ours does. Last week, there was a young girl playing the cello. She was apparently practicing for an upcoming rehearsal and needed to get used to people watching her play. Why not at the farmer’s market? It’s never the same musician, so we never know what to expect.

This is where we usually have breakfast on Sundays. So many people come to Anna’s or Starbucks and then sit in the sunshine and feed the little birds. Then, they get their fruits, vegetables, honey and lavender and head home. Kids and dogs are everywhere. We got our updates on the fire containment at the same time. They do a tremendous job here keeping the public informed. I guess they have to. Fires are a fact in the west much like hurricanes are in the southeast.

Farmers market

Little birds eating crumbs

Farmers market Goleta


Little birds


Sherpa fire update


After the fire

by fourteenergirl on June 26, 2016

in Just Stuff

So, last week we were busy waiting. Waiting to hear if we’d be evacuated. The Sherpa fire raged west and north of us and everyone in that direction – farmers mostly – were already evacuated. As I headed home on Friday, we were already packed up and ready to go at any time. I snapped a few photos. We could see the flames burning along the ridge about 20 miles in the distance. Later that evening, I snapped some photos of the sun pushing through the smoke. It was eerie and quiet and everything smelled of smoke.

We set our alarms to check the phones for alerts a few times through the night. We stayed close to home all weekend, hunkered down and ready. Watched way too much Netflix. We weren’t even trying to paint the patio furniture or do more work on the back yard project. We did trim the tree in the front of the house as it had branches hanging over the roof. When the helicopters and planes are flying low and loaded down right over your house, you kinda get weirded out.

But, we’re safe. The danger has passed. We are grateful for the firefighters and others who protected our little neighborhood. Some photos for you to see below.

Smoke from the Sherpa fire

Sherpa fire coming over the hill

Sherpa fire close to home

Sun burning through the smoke


Wine in the Sunshine

by fourteenergirl on June 11, 2016

in Just Stuff

The May grey has launched us firmly into June gloom around here. Clouds, clouds and more clouds, so last weekend we escaped up the hill to the Gainey Vineyard member event. You’ll remember last year’s event. This time, we took things more mellow. No bouncy jeep tours, but plenty of barrel tastings inside in the cool, dry tasting room and sunshine outside where the band played.

What’s a barrel tasting you ask? It’s where you get to taste the wine before it’s really ready. Sounds weird, I know, but some of it was amazing! For the wine snob, it’s a way of knowing what the wine is going to develop into and for the wine merchant it’s a way to sell futures. Just like in the stock market. You can buy the wine before it’s ready.

We had someone else take two pictures of us in the tasting room, but either the photographer or the camera was wonky (musta been the wine) and both photos came out blurry. Darn it.

They gave us a lovely basket with bread, wine, and cheese and we snacked, sipped, and savored before heading down the hill and back into the gloom.

Gainey member event

Gainey vineyard


Gainey barrel tasting

Gainey barrel tasting

Gainey band

Steve at Gainey event

Basket at Gainey event

Me goofy shot

Even the dogs enjoyed it

Gainey sunshine


Chalk Painting in Santa Barbara

by fourteenergirl on May 31, 2016

in Just Stuff

The iMadonnari chalk festival was this weekend, and with the light rain the night before, there was no more deck finishing work we could do, so we headed out to have a little forced fun. The artists will work on their chalk painting all weekend, in many cases. This blog post is all about the photos, folks.

Madonarri SB

Madonnari SB

Madonarri SB

Madonarri SB

Madonarri SB

Madonarri SB

Madonarri SB

Madonarri SB

Madonarri SB

Madonarri SB

Madonarri SB

Madonarri SB

Madonarri SB

Madonarri SB



Bloggable moments with chickens

by fourteenergirl on May 30, 2016

in Home, Just Stuff

So the neighbor’s chickens get out (or are let out?) of their coop pretty regularly. You’ve seen the rooster on the fence and he’s even dropped over to wander around the yard once or twice.

This week, we came home to find one of the hens wandering our backyard.

Hen in the backyard

Again, I don’t mind chickens. Would love to have them myself, but I don’t believe that farm animals should be living in this close proximity to people. Just a personal thing, I guess, plus the noise is annoying.

With her visit, however, was there is another reason not to want chickens in your yard.

They’re darned destructive!

In her very normal chicken way of scratching around for seeds and things to eat, she managed to toss nearly all of the mulch out of my beds into the lawn. She scratched big holes and dug up several plants.

Hen loose

When she saw us in the backyard, she began running all around, looking for a way back to safety. We gave her a ladder to climb.

Hen ladder

She hopped up on the steps but couldn’t quite figure out how to keep going up and over the fence, so she hopped back down.

Hen ladder

Emily got involved too. She wasn’t quite sure what that thing in her backyard was, but she was very curious.

Emily watching the hen

She got closer and thought about her plan of attack.

Emily chasing hen

And then the neighbors came by to get her. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t have let the cat get the chicken – Emily might get hurt and the chicken wouldn’t be any wiser. After a couple of visits and a near cat encounter, she hasn’t dropped over the fence, so I’m hoping she learned her lesson that the grass might be greener, but it’s way more dangerous on this side of the fence.

Now, to put all that mulch back – sheesh!