Friday, February 22, 2008

We're taking the plunge!

After a winter of looking at many properties for sale here, we found a house to buy! Part of me wonders if we must be gluttons for punishment. It's not enough to move across country with two small children. We are also choosing to live in the mountains AND we're buying a fixer-upper. Not to mention that this will be the second time we move in six months. But, truly, we'd love a place to call our own. Since Doug likes his job, and we're just getting started on getting to know this area, we want to stay a while. So, we found a place we can get excited about. The house needs loads of work, but it's a nice sunny property with a ton of fruit trees. And it has a guest house! With a studio! This, to me, sold the house. Forget the house, here's the guest house.

Nice front door. Doesn't that door say "studio" to you?

Upstairs is the studio-to-be. When this photo was taken, I was touring it with my real-estate agent extraordinaire (you rock, Carol!). The space is full of the current owner's stuff, and it's completely unfinished. Note the bare beams, lack of insulation and plywood floors. I really don't care. Look at those windows!

Do you think they'll leave that crazy light fixture? Or the wooden horse? I can only hope so.

Winter update, with lions

Apologies for the long delay between posts. Of course, life gets in the way, and somehow writing about art-making, when one is not making art becomes less of a priority. We've been here for four, almost five months now. I can tell you that this is an incredibly beautiful and interesting place. It's been quite a hectic four months, and things are finally and temporarily settling down. The first few months were a whirlwind of just simply settling in. Looking at preschools for my son, ferrying my daughter to and from school, finding us new doctors (hello Strep!), school activities, errands, unpacking, sorting our stuff, and getting through the holidays. Then over the school's winter break, it seemed like we were run through the gauntlet with our choice to live here in the Santa Cruz mountains. With the winter rains, we've gotten crazy storms, downed trees, and lots of mud on our dirt driveway. We've had frequent power outages, with the worst being an extended 6 day outage right around New Year's. We've had our first earthquake, and we've also had snow up here in the mountains, which doesn't really happen that often. From what I've heard, it only rains in the winter here. Come spring, it won't rain again AT ALL until next Fall. So in some ways we're enjoying the dramatic weather. The kids got new umbrellas & rain boots, so they're happy.

To add to the overall mountain-living experience, our sweet chickens (which came with the rental house we're in) were all killed on Christmas eve. We think raccoons or a fox got them. My dear husband managed to get a spectacular case of poison oak, which took about a month to run its course.
Then there's the wildlife. We've seen lots of critters just in our yard and on our driveway: deer, hawks, a large owl, quail, and coyotes. Then about two weeks ago I came driving down my driveway. It was late afternoon, and this large brown thing jumped across the road in front of my car. I thought it was a deer, but no. It was a mountain lion. In my driveway. I was stunned. So many people have told me that there are lions here, but no one EVER sees them. Well, I saw it AGAIN, two nights ago, Again I was in my car, and this time my daughter was with me.
Me: "Look at that fox honey! Can you see it, down on the left?"
Skyler: "Mama, that's not a fox"
When the big cat slinked up on the road and I got a good look, I realized that she was right. Not a fox indeed.

I'm fascinated by the moss here. It's this grey dormant moss that hides on the trees & rocks, until it rains. Then the color pops into this amazing vibrant green. It's stunning, and it's everywhere.

Mostly we're busy these days with every day stuff: school, work, etc. We're also enjoying getting to know this area. I'm thinking that this is a pretty cool place to land. Besides, there are jelly fish here.