Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bed & Breakfast, Banana Split and Compost: Possibly the Lamest Title Ever

I haven't had a chance to update the blog of late so here goes nothing...this month I am up at my family's Bed & Breakfast outside Yosemite National Park trying to provide "home away from home"-like accommodations to tourists from around the world visiting the crown jewel of the Sierra Nevadas.  And I am happy to report that thanks to one Miss Oprah Winfrey upper middle class white women from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area are flocking in droves to see the majestic granite edifices of Yosemite Valley.  So without further ado, here is a photographic essay of activities around the property.

This is Coulterville...made famous by it's presence as
my place of residence on my driver's license.  According to
the sign at the town's limits the population is 115...but rumor has
it that we have come up in the world...making a
210 person-strong showing in the 2010 census

So here is what the park looks like right's okay I
guess...ya' know if you're into spectacularly beautiful
Despite being so close to this amazing natural wonder, I don't venture into the valley much as we have plenty of work to keep us busy back at the old homestead.  We have important things to do like wage war against gophers, make compost and build more space in which to live (a barn in the next construction project on the list).  I have to brag that I have become quite handy at laying a granite tile floor and I am happy to report that I have made some new friends along the way:

Meet little snake buddy.  
When we need supplies we have to head down from our spread up on Greeley Hill, down through Coulterville and over to the bustling 4,100 person-strong metropolis that is the town of Sonora.  Passing through Coulterville, my adopted hometown is a distinct cultural experience.  I often liken Coulterville to something out of a movie.  It just seems too adorably tiny, quaint and rustic to be real...but I assure is most definitely real.  In fact, people think that when I describe it as having Beverly Hillbillies-like jalopies on the streets that I am exaggerating for comedic effect...I assure you I am not...and here is the proof:

This is probably what I will be driving in five years.

After passing through Coulterville en route to Sonora, along Highway 49, there is this awesome old barn that I just think is so charming.  I couldn't help but stop to take a shot of it.

If I were a musician this would the image on one of my album covers.
Last week I had been having a rough couple of days and had been sort of down in the dumps so to cheer me up my Dad decided that a trip to the old fashioned ice cream parlor in Jamestown for banana splits and malts was in order.  It is amazing how some frozen dairy delights can make all of your troubles feel a million miles away...that is unless of course you are lactose intolerant, in which case this much ice creamy goodness would likely only compound your problems.

On the way back from the ice cream parlor my spirits were also lifted by a new little friend who crossed my path in the driveway of the B&B.  I tried to shake hands and be cordial but apparently Mr. Cottontail had bunny places to go and rabbit people to see and scampered off on his merry little way.  

I didn't get a chance to ask him but I think his name is Keith.
One of my nightly routines is to walk the quarter mile driveway that wraps around the house and pull weeds.  Oh and by the way, it's an awesome workout, if anyone is interested.  Anyway, at the eastern end of the driveway sits one of my five vintage 1956 Flying Cloud...which I am fixing up to live in.  I suppose many people dream of moving from a trailer into a aspirations are totally reversed.  This little gal is my dream home.  I mean think how little time it would take to vacuum!

I call this Airstream the "Thelma Lou".
Another necessary skill I have been cultivating up here on the mountain is gardening.  Don't worry though...I am not going to start wearing ugly gardening clogs and strange printed sweaters and cut my hair into a Dorothy Hamill bowl-cut...but I am totally committing myself to beautifying the property.  Here are a few of my babies:

This is a Japanese Maple I planted.
And these are the leaves of the smoke tree I planted
I have no idea what these are but they sure are pretty.
When I have a fresh batch of primo compost next week I will update the blog with the mutant plant life I will be cultivating.  Of course I can't compost and plant all day...I have to attend to the hummingbirds too.  Every day about a dozen of little ruby-throated hummingbird dive-bomb the porch to greedily drink up the sugar water we put out.  They're adorable but so darn fast I can't seem to get a decent shot of them.  This picture was the best I was able to do:

My little hummingbird friend...I call him Peep.
As I have alluded to already in this post, every day at the B&B I am faced with one of life's greatest challenges...the challenge of what to do with one's compost.  Yes, that's right...compost.  I used to laugh and poke fun at the informercial for this product called the Compost Tumbler, in which an older woman who was a satisfied customer would look into the camera and say, "It just simply gives me more time and more compost when I need it."  At the time I thought, "Who the hell has that strong of an opinion on compost?"  Well I feel that strongly about compost.  When you start planting little trees and nurturing them you start to get really passionate about compost. [Note:  As I write this I am fully aware that I am a total since we have that straightened out go ahead and read on.]  For a while I had just been gathering the leftover food up from breakfast and depositing it at the base of my darling little trees...only to find that the next morning some pesky woodland creature had come along and totally destroyed my neat little pile to steal the bacon strips and watermelon rinds I had set there.  So I started storing my food scraps to protect them from said woodland creatures...but then the house started to smell and flies were attacking my hidden treasure trove of composting materials.  Thus, my wonderful Dad came to rescue with...wait for it...a genuine Compost Tumbler!  

Look at that awesome Dad of mine assembling the
Compost Tumbler!
After assembling the Compost Tumbler we set it up on the hill behind the main house and I deposited all of my liquid compost gold into the plastic drum and shut it up for the night.  Tonight my attempts at composting would not be interrupted by any black and white bandit-faced fur ball.

The next morning I found the evidence of my raccoon nemesis'
nocturnal visit to the Compost Tumbler...back off Raccoon!
So after declaring "Mission Accomplished" in the war on raccoons, fruit flies, and inefficient composting there was really only one way to celebrate...with another trip into town for banana splits and malted milkshakes.

Until next time...

1 comment:

Johann said...

Frank is going to be so mad you called him Keith! Don't worry I'll break the news to him gently, if you're lucky he'll just sneak in and eat all your lettuce.