I love the mountains, gardening...is my purpose in life.
If you found this blog, It's not meant to be a literary gem, just a few thoughts I construct each day about what I am doing in the garden and about my life!
www.christine-wood.blogspot.com A blog about my career life.
April 2016...The grasses will be cut down next week! I called the gardeners in this year a little early as I have a visitor coming. I laid the jute webbing on my pathways, and tomorrow I will pick up some more hanging baskets and hopefully some foxglove for the main garden and front boxes. Things are shaping up already. It is going to be a nice warm up next week.

March 27th... What a difference a day makes! Yesterday we had a lot of wind and cold weather, today the same! March is going out like a lion! No point to doing much outside...we may get more rain!
Easter, my kind neighbors once again brought me flowers. I spent Easter shopping for some patio things, plants, umbrella, clothes. It was hot enough to sunbathe on the deck too.

I recently completed a new blog www.kickthecarbhabit.blogspot.com This blog details my new diet plan, sort of 'pegan'. Lost 25 pounds easily on this plan.
It was a pleasant Easter Sunday. My meal...baked chicken breasts and asparagus, really delicious.
I am holding back on a lot of garden work because there is still chance of storms and rain through April I hear. Every time I do a lot of cleanup, it gets 'undone'!
Another day, another challenge! Woke up to problems with the furnace. So I after reading, I put new batteries in the thermostat. Put thermostat back together and this morning, in this unusually cold weather, 35-40 degrees this morning, I tried it out and hurray, it worked fine, no probs.
There has not been a spring as green as this since I moved here 15 years ago!  Yesterday I did some general cleanup, cutting the grass, fertilizing, trimming up grass around pathways, fixing the fountains and sweeping the garage.  However, with rain coming again after the weekend, I will not do much more.  Today, my schedule is to use my heavy duty leaf blower and clean off the driveway...and that's it!
I made a decision to fit out the mudroom with built in cabinets, a desk/serving and wine storage area and a new deep country style sink with granite surround.  After meeting the carpenter who has worked on my neighbor's home and done such an amazing job, I asked him to put me on his schedule for this 're-do'.  This keeps me from hiring an 'unknown' so I feel good about that.  Right now the mud room has storage, a lot of country charm, but an older sink I seldom use and things that I cobbled together to give it a 'look' and some useability.  I would like it updated elegantly to match the kitchen. I look forward to this. 
Tulips for Easter, from my neighbors
A huge amount of cleanup today in the main garden, including cutting the grass... and I washed the mud off the Jeep too! I finally fixed a tree root problem at my front doorstep today also. I took a crow bar, plus a heavy pick and just 'wacked' it out, then I broke up the asphalt I had taken out and refilled the hole, tamping it down level.  It is almost a perfect fix, especially since I have a large entry mat that now lays over it nicely! You would never know I had a problem with this since last summer! Hurray...it just takes a bit of courage to do these things...and I seem to have a lot these days!
A storm is coming in and I am ready. We need more rain. Patio umbrellas down, chair pads inside, and I sheltered my new tomato plants, which have become like babies to me! I always prepare with water, in case we lose power, which sometimes means our well does too. Ok! Bring it on!
The 13th, and I have never seen such big, nor on going rain storms since moving here in 2001.  I think I need to build an ark! The up side to this is the reservoirs are filling and everything has greened up.
I look for the mushrooms on Jarvis Road, this year, scant few, but here is the blog I kept a few years ago, just updated for 2016!! Go to www.cruzinchristy.blogspot.com for mushroom photos.
 February 2016... Sunday, got in my 10k steps, chatted with a neighbor about tomatoes, learned a lot! Fertilized the roses, string trimmed up the walkway out back and have a list of items to buy next week...10 more flagstones, some fish fertilizer, some sacks of gravel for the back garden steps, some bags of asphalt repair for the road!  Rain may move in by Thursday, at least I hope so!
Roses from the Monahan's

Tomato plants from Dave my neighbor
 heavy rain did take a toll on the
plants, but they are hanging on!

Banana Slug! The damp weather is bringing them out.
Friday, cooler weather! Many items on my list of outside chores for today: string trim grasses near the driveway, trim up oleander shrubs against the fencing. Trim the lavender, oleander, rosemary and daisy that are encroaching on the edge of the driveway. Using my heavy duty leaf blower, clean off the driveway, dump large carts of debris and trimmings and of course watering is always on my list here! Glad to report, mission accomplished today! But I may have to take tomorrow 'off' and take a walk, perhaps do some shopping. My days are very busy here starting NOW! 2.5 acres of stuff 'to do', everyday.  I will call in the landscape guys for weed cutting on the south west side and some tree trimming. I am also contemplating more 'special' gravel for the main garden. Washing the deck is a priority as is getting some junk from storage hauled away. Every year it seems I have a stash of broken umbrellas, old hoses, pots etc. and stuff like that piles up fast!
Hot and sunny during last week, put those umbrellas up! Resisting too much clean up outside, March winds could bring April showers!
The new umbrella matches the house color! More chair pads, pump for the  big fountain.  Slowly getting it together! ...Cut the grass, raked, new solar lanterns, dressed up the patio area outside my front door.  I love to sit there, have tea, read my mail!
Weather was gorgeous, rain not expected for another week or so! I feel so accomplished and in charge right now.  Later this spring I will call in the gardeners to help cut the tall grasses and trim some trees.  Happy I am strong to do this work and people are commenting on how good the garden looks so early in the season!!
Monday, the 22nd..Met up with wonderful neighbors. They took me to their beautiful meadow to pick narcissus! They own 80 acres here.  The mountains are beautiful this month.
Sunday, great day for a walk. Met with my long time friend and neighbor 1/4 mile down the road, as he works on his house, had a nice chat. Pleasant day.  Sale at the hardware store, picked up a lot of supplies!
Last week, storm! Ferocious wind up to 40 miles an hour, rain, thunder, hail, lightening all night. Trees down, some roads are blocked, and our water tank is down and I am on bottled water!  
Valentine's weekend, sunny and warm here! February 15th may get as high as 80 degrees! Get out the shorts and flip flops and wash the car! Everything has greened up and is blooming.
The front retaining walls...fragrant rosemary is blooming and covered with bees and yellow finches.
Some flowers from my good neighbor
We have been hit with many days of rain. The ground is soft and workable. Now we are experiencing lots of good, warming sunshine.
My front patio table
Primroses, could be deer food
During this dry weather, I walk a lot, try for 3 miles a day. I am starting clean up and trimming around the property already.

It's a 'water' day, clean out the fountains, wash the car...I enjoy the work outside. I also have to renovate the lawn, cut, rake, reseed, fertilize and water! That should help its appearance.
'My peacock at the front door'
Nice day for soup. This is lamb stew, so delicious, meat 'on the bone' as they recommend. Lots of veg, a tomato base, seasoned with smoky paprika, turmeric, garlic.
Eggs from Dave and Maria's chickens. Just had 3, cooked in butter for dinner....better than chocolate! You can taste the love.
I'm Christine! I live in the mountains!
Christmas 2015.... I have a good life in the mountains, love the garden, and my neighbors are kind!

Lots of turkeys visit, but this
one is NOT on my table!
Thanksgiving meal for one~cook a lot, freeze the leftovers!
A new use for some glass canisters in the kitchen.  Below, right, for the coming year in 2016, new hobbies and endeavors....starting with my sewing center below.........Just set up this area in what was formerly my office. First project, alterations on my wardrobe.
My mother was an expert seamstress, I made all my clothes and my daughter's, but gave that up when I went back to work years ago....

Had to shift furniture when I removed my Christmas tree...I like the leather chair, have a pair of them with matching ottoman. The desk, opens to a gaming table with an inlaid chess board! Recently hung new gold draperies at two windows in that part of the room.
This video is wonderful 'Bucky' He is no longer around and I miss him.
A rainbow over "Wood's End" Jarvis Road, Santa Cruz, CA.

Rain, long anticipated!
Here is a great little video of 'my' peacock who visits daily now!