Thursday, July 31, 2008

after Thursday meditation we meet at El Fornio coffee house at the Pine Inn in Carmel. It is foggy and cold and the fire is burning in the fireplace. Only here is it so cold in the summer that we have morning fires in the fireplace. And we all are talkative as we drink our warm coffee.

We spend so much time in silence that when we finally have the opportunity to talk, it is wonderful.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No smoke today.

Saw two blue herons standing on a pin branch over looking the old abandoned nests down the street.

Took the two kids for lunch at Earthbound Farms today. While I got the pizza lunch they pick herbs in the herb garden to make tea later. Beautiful warm day in the valley. We noticed red patches on the sides of the mountains, the poison oak has turned red early this year.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Early morning walk on the waterfront, wearing my fleece jacket in the cold fog. The LADY J is tied to the wharf, a huge hose is slowly sucking out the sardines and blowing them into the ice filled containers. More fish.

Gangs of adolescent pelicans are pushing the limits of the boat and the crew, waiting for a human mistake which could release some sardines.

It is so exciting to have fishing in the bay again.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The fog never lifted today, cold, damp day. The fire is 100% contained and will just burn itself out until the rains come. Was up early for early zazen and then worked on the calendar and fliers. Now I am ready for bed.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I was lazy today. Took a long afternoon nap and then watched the History Boys on TV, in the afternoon. Thick cold fog. The movie was very good. The nap was very good. Now it is time for more bed and more sleep.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Spent the day in Santa Cruz in a day long meditation retreat. Ont he way home we could see huge plume of smoke coming from the mountains near Carmel Valley. The smoke is thick today, The fire is definitely not gone.

The day went well.

Friday, July 25, 2008

When I came out of the movies at 5pm I noticed lots of smoke again. More back burning to try to hold the containment lines. I can feel the smoke in the air when I breathe.

But the movie was great. TELL NO ONE a French thriller with lots of twists and turns. I liked it.

this picture is the big Sur mountains, all burnt.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

drove to Santa Cruz late in the afternoon. At the Moss landing, there were many, many pelican in a feed frenzy in the harbor. Flying, diving, splashing, dodging, playing. The air was filled with these wonderful birds. I was torn between driving safely in this rush hour traffic and watching the bird activity. I drove safely.

Has dinner on main street Santa Cruz. Hundreds of people downtown, music, dancing, conversations, movement. So different then Monterey. We are a military town and Santa Cruz is a student and beach town.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

So I opened a new prescription bottle, or I tired to open the hard plastic container. And I couldn't make it work no matter how hard I push down and turned the cap. Rats.

Well I guess I don't really need high blood pressure medicine, I thought fooling myself.

I took a walk downtown and kept imagining myself having a stroke right then and there.

When I got home, I tried again and this time the cap opened and I took my pill. So maybe I won't die today.

Smoke rising from the mountains this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here is what the road looks like to Tassajara. Picture taken yesterday.

Another cool day. most of the news about the fires have dried up although the fire is still going. Some smoke in the air when the fog finally left.

I watered my front yard today. The young boys continue to do wheelies on my dirt parking area creating dust storms.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Went to see Momma Mia last night. And I am surprised to say that I really liked it. I didn't much care for ABBA music in the past but in this movie it is infectious. I can't quite get the music out of my head.

I left feeling happy and active.

What more do I want form a movie.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Motorcycle races this weekend. Flocks of motorcycles going up and down the streets looking for a place for breakfast. I drove to Moss landing to meet a friend for breakfast. The motorcyclists were already there filling the tables with their bulky bodies, helmets, equipment, laughter, story telling. We found a table in the back where we could actually hear each other.

Lots of cold fog this morning. Turned on the heater in my car for the ride to Moss Landing.

Friday, July 18, 2008

There has been major construction on Pacific street for the las several months. Today as I am waiting to move forward I notice beautiful pink sweet peas growing along a wooden fence to my right. I want to stop and pick some but there is no parking on this torn up street.

Maybe I can find a place to park on another street. Before I pick any sweet peas I will definitely ask the owners. No longer do I steal flowers.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

more of my apricots are gone from my tree. I was gone most of the day so I suspect the boys were back.

Drove back from Santa Cruz and saw a huge plume of smoke near the Salinas Valley. This is good news. The back fires are burning away the access to the fire, I hope.

Cool fog tonight.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An old tepid fruit tree in the back yard has unexpectedly grown about 10 huge apricots. This tree has never had fruit in the 15 years I have noticed it.

The gang of 9 year old boys have discovered the tree and are hungering after the fruit. They knocked at my door, they have climbed my fence. Finally I said they could pick the ones that had fallen and they rushed in and immediately began eating the fallen fruit.

I am going to pick the rest today, it is too much of a draw to these little boys on bicycles.

More smoke today as the forest service is lighting back fires near Carmel Valley.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Went to see WALL-E with the six year old and the 8 year old. They had already seen it once but it was new to me.

They knew the best seats, up in the last row where there was extra leg room. We got a large popcorn and ate and ate and ate until we were a bit sick.

The theater was mostly empty. The movie was great. I missed one part when the 6 year old had to go to the bathroom and I had to go with her. She was wearing a complicated gym outfit. She told me what I had missed.

Still smoke in the air but we are now accustomed to it and it is no longer the first part of any conversation.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Jane, Tasha and I drove down to Big Sur for lunch at Napenthe and to look at the burnt mountains. There was still a lot of healthy trees by the road but the hills were devastated.

I started thinking it was strange that we were going for lunch in a disaster area and expecting to be fed. Shouldn't we be bringing food for the Big Sur residents. We justified our actions by believing we were supporting the local businesses.

The food was great and the staff seemed glad to see customers.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Another day of smoke and fog and wind. The fires continue,

I took an early morning walk in the fog this morning. Stopped at Reds for donuts, went to the post office to mail some stuff.

I didn't mail the package to Jamesburg because I realized that it was being evacuated.

I came home, took a nap and then went to the movies.

Breathing in smoke and breathing out smoke.

May all beings be safe.

Friday, July 11, 2008

he day started cool and foggy but now the fog is evaporated and the dirty smoke fills the air. The fire continues even though my favorite places are OK, other places are in danger.

Took a walk on the waterfront. A Santa Barbara boat was unloading sardines into raspberry plastic containers. It's been a long time since fish have been unladed here. And sardines. All the old Italian men looked happy and I am happy too.
The fire has swept through Tassajara with minimal damage. Also Big Sur now seems safe. But the fire is still running and threatening other areas. I am too tired to worry about them today.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's cooler today. Blue sky, some wind. I keep looking at the fire web sites to see what is happening next. Five Zen residents are back in Tassajara and the fire is there.

After waiting several weeks the fire has arrived. They are putting out small fires.

I grab onto various bits of information but I don't have a clear picture of what is actually happening. Another day of waiting.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

This is the latest information from Tassajara. I am so sad.

On the advice of the experienced Fire Service people at Tassajara we have decided to evacuate everyone. While they have not yet left, we expect them at Jamesburg shortly. The fire has not yet reached Tassajara or the road.

We do not know how long Tassajara will remain empty but the current Red Flag warning does not end for a couple of days. Fire crews have told us of strong winds at the ridge. These winds together with the extreme temperatures and little or no recovery in humidity overnight produce ideal conditions for the fire to move faster than we had hoped.

We appreciate that this news may cause concern but please do not call the Tassajara or Jamesburg numbers as we need the phones.

We have places to stay for the current round of evacuees for a short while.

The wrapping team finished their work shortly after lunch.

There is now a Highway Patrol vehicle at Jamesburg preventing non-residents from driving up Tassajara Road.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

the smoke is thick today, grey sky, low visibility and smoke everywhere. This is the worse day that we have had. Maybe the fire is getting closer. I check my regular web information but there is no information about the fire being closer.

It's the waiting that is difficult, waiting for the final what, burn out? disaster? life to happen.

And yet life is good.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The weather has shifted again and now we have smoke, lots of smoke in our air. No blue sky today. I am breathing heavily.

I now know where the best books are in the library, under 813.54 is the Dewey number for American Literature after 1945. Great stuff there.

I saw a man driving a car this afternoon holding a cell phone to his ear. This is a no no now. Yea, maybe we are safer on the road now.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

For months I have been checking out the large fishing boat by the wharf that has been taken over by nesting comerants. The name is GENERAL PERSHING. I can barely read the print because of the bird messes. The birds are using the boat as an island and seem to be quite happy. I keep wondering when the owner will notice the hundreds of birds that are living on this boat.

The fire continues. We had fog but it was warm inland. I follow the progress of the fires on internet blogs.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The fires continue, weather is sunny and calm.

I have rediscovered frozen grapes. I buy purple grapes at Trader Joes and wash them and put them in the freezer for several hours.

And then I take out a handful and munch on them. They are crisp on the outside and mush on the inside and very cool. I love them.

Friday, July 4, 2008

more fire, ummmmm

Went early to Alvarado street to reserve part of the sidewalk for the parade, I go early so everyone else can sleep in and come at 10.

I have done this for years and always go into a panic just before 10 when I think they are not going to show up.

I am being crowded by families who want the prime shaded spot and I stand up and make myself as big as possible so no one will mess with me. And finally they come and we settle down on the blanket and talk and enjoy the parade.

Must be an easier way to do this.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The fire continues. Such a slow disaster. Big Sur community has now been evacuated and a shelter set up at Carmel Middle school. And the day is sunny and warm.

I am distracting myself with a new book, NOTES ON A LIFE Essays by Eleanor Coppola. What is wonderful about this book is her reflections on the struggle she has as woman in defining her life within her responsibilities as a wife and mother. I find great comfort in how she is thinking about life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The fires continue. We now have blue skies since the wind has shifted but in the distance there are plumes of smoke.

Finished reading THE DREAM OF WATER a memoir by Kyoko Mori. this is a touching story of a family that suffers much loss from the eyes of the writer who emigrated to the United States as an adult. She is a good writer and the narrative is well done.