Yesterday was a bright and cheerful day in the canyon and after walking the dogs, I started weeding on the north side of the house. There used to be grass here, but it dried out before we moved in. With the draught we are experiencing in California, I'm more interested in preserving water than in growing grass, but the area still needs to be cleaned up and weeded. I set out to cut down two dead bushes, remove all those clumps of weeds, very tough weeds, and also rake so it would look nicer.
I knew it would take time, so I did what I could before the sun made working uncomfortable for me. This is what I accomplished.
Coming back to the house, I encountered this little fence lizard. Since Soldier has killed several lately, I tried to encourage it to go on the other side of the fence, without success. I also wonder, with winter around the corner, why are there so many tiny ones around?
This morning presented an entirely different view of the sky. And it was much colder.....a perfect day for yard work, but I was tired and decided to stay inside and do paperwork instead.
But first I wanted to pick up some more wood so I took the wheelbarrow up to the woodpile and loaded it up again. As always, Princess came with me; here she sits and waits, while contemplating a tiny rabbitbrush.
The wood is in the house, sort of messy looking, but it's OK for country life.
I also baked two salmon steaks this morning. I use a lot of butter (maybe too much), sprinkle garlic salt and Far East Sesame and Ginger Blend on top and finish it off with sprigs of rosemary from our garden. I'm a morning person, so I usually cook in the mornings and heat it up for dinner. It works as long as I'm here alone.
After that, I remembered that a friend asked if I had read any good books lately. Ask me about books and you will not get a short answer, I just can't do it. Books I recently read are pictured below:
Of these, I recommend The Daily Coyote. Loved it, the photos alone are amazing and the story will touch you. Admission is about the admission process at Princeton University, a place I'm familiar with from long ago, when I lived in town for 10 years and was associated with the University for part of that time. I found some parts of the book interesting. Right now, I'm reading a library book: The Lighthouse by P. D. James. It must be 15 years since I last read one of her books. As I'm reading this book, I'm struck by all the words she uses that I don't understand! That hardly ever happens to me, so by now, half-way through, I'm writing them down and will look them all up later. I'm in awe of her beautiful sentences; the words she uses to string a sentence together are a joy.
Finally, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire are the two latest Swedish mystery novels that have stirred up some interest in the US. I thought they were astoundingly good and imaginative, but maybe not for everyone. While the books are pretty brutal in parts, I feel the author's ability to imagine such creative story lines and plot twists, not to mention the amazing Girl, herself, by far makes up for anything over the top. The fact that some of the action takes place on my beloved South Side of Stockholm doesn't hurt either. While they may not be for everyone, I loved them. The author, Stieg Larsson, wrote three books, turned them into his publisher, and soon thereafter died of a heart attack. As strange a twist of real life as any taking place in his novels. I can't wait for the third and last book to be published in the US.