Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The big weekend is almost here. As I have been preparing, I realized that the last time my entire family was all together was more than 12 years ago. I usually try to go back to El Salvador every two to three years but it has never worked out for all of us to be together. I see my parents more often than that since they will make the trip to CA to visit me. This is the BIG weekend. My sister Cristy, my older brother Billy, and my younger brother Tony (not pictured) will all be here. So will Marco my youngest brother and my Step-Mom Maria del Carmen. So we are taking a huge family picture, both families (pre- and post my parents' divorce) together for the first time.

Hot enough

Bees need a source of fresh water. When we first got the bee boxes we worried that we would hear complaints from our neighbors with pools. We were glad to discover that the bees have been enjoying the water fountain in the front yard.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I want samour sleep!

Isn't she so cute! Lily gathers her toys and sleeps this way most every day. On this particular occasion I just had to take a picture because she had 3 out of 5 of her toys with her. They are all her favorites and she knows were they all are. I have been trying to give each a name and get her to bring them by name.

I have to confess these days I am jealous of how much sleep she gets. I want to sleep! This is my final week of our Med-Surgical clinical rotation, next week we move on to Psych rotation. Lot's of work = little sleep.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Taking some time off, mushroom hunting, and another beautiful sunset.

After a relaxing morning on the beach with Lily and after Thomas had gotten his fill with the waves, we headed back to our campsite at the Gualala State Park.

We love our weekend escapes up north, mostly cause we get to sleep under the trees, hear the calming ocean waves in the background, hover over a roaring fire, and forget about our cell phones--they don't get any reception here.

We prefer our tent any day over a hotel room. Call us crazy.

Thomas made breakfast, that always makes me happy.

I got in some knitting. Working on a Celtic vest for this winter. I am biting my lower lip, I was working on my set-up row for the pretty cabled front.

Then we headed for a hike. Our destination for the day was the Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve just 18.5 miles south of Gualala.

Even though the Rhododendrons are in bloom April-June you can still get an idea of how spectacular the forest would be if these giant plants (most were taller than 6 feet) were all dressed with their pink and white flowers. We will definitely be back for the show.

We have been interested in mushroom hunting and the Mendocino/Sonoma coast is perfect for that. It didn't take long for us to spot some fungi.

Really they were everywhere. These particular mushrooms popping out of the ground are not edible. Still we were fascinated by them.

Thomas' spotted this variety and from the looks of it, something or someone was busy eating it up. Edible?

Yes, we were all smiles.

We were mostly looking down, but we managed to spot some wild huckleberries. Slightly tart but sweet and delicious.

I counted a total of 15 mushroom varieties spotted on our 4 mile hike. After talking with the locals at the Point Arena Pier the next day, they assured us with much excitement that it (the abundance of fungi) gets better after the first rain. Now the pressing question are they edible?

Oyster mushrooms, growing out of dead bark... totally edible. This winter I am going to come back with some local fungi folk for a day of mushroom foraging to learn about mushrooms. Want to join me?

We spotted this plant. With orchid like foliage and berries?

As promised, I learned to use the timer on our camera. Can you spot the worried big eye look on me, I was wondering if it would work as the camera took the picture.

We opted to leave all fungi in the forest. After our hike, we arrived at our campsite in time for the sunset.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Seaweed, yummy!

It was a gray day at the coast last weekend.

We took some time to take a break from school, work and all the W***ing planning to take in some fresh sea air.

While Thomas surfed huge waves, I took Lily for a walk on the beach. For the last year I have been interested in harvesting seaweed and this was a great day to test the waters. A low tide is crucial, since it is best to pull the seaweed off the rocks while it is still live.

The piles of seaweed on shore are amazing but all too far gone to consume. The tides are so strong that these shells were still attached to the kelp. I wonder what happened to the yummy abalone?

I am easily distracted. The rocks and landscape of the northern coast are so dramatic.

There is so much variety and only one or two types of seaweed are not edible. I stand corrected from an earlier post. A fishing license/permit is needed for certain types of seaweed or kelp and certainly if you are intending to harvest for profit. You can harvest up to 10 lbs./day of seaweed without a permit.

Seaweed is great in soups, with rice or vegetables, as a snack and much more.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Getting ready

The day is soon to approach, Thomas and I continue to get ready.
We are both excited to have family and friends in from out of town. The last time my sister came to CA was over 15 years ago. Nothing can replace a hug, kiss, and laughter with those you love and cherish the most. I cannot wait!