Up on the Rooftop

Richard's house with scaffolding

This is our neighbor Richard. He's having his house painted right now, including stripping down to the wood and fixing a lot of old, weird stuff, and so they have scaffolding up.

Casa Decrepit from across the street

Now, the thing to do if you have scaffolding up is to climb up on the house and take photos of everything. There's our house! From up high! But not a satellite photo (Google Earth has totally ruined the fun of climbing on your neighbor's roof) (though to be honest I only made it about 3/4 of the way up the scaffolding and Richard took these photos for me).

Our neighborhood

And there's our neighborhood. The trees conveniently blocked the view of the ugly apartment complexes that have replaced Victorians in a few spots on the block.

Downtown Oakland

And for those haters who are always saying Alameda is not urban, this is a nice view of downtown Oakland. Over the Port of Oakland and a large former-industrial site a block away from us.

Our front walk, cleaned up by Richard yesterday

In the long list of things Richard did for us this weekend, we also have cleaning up our front walk. Which is awesome because I set out to do it this afternoon and realized I didn't have to. He did that while babysitting our dogs, even.

Lots and lots of tomato sauce

That's because we spent yesterday in the central valley, cooking our brains in 90-someodd-F heat on the farm we get our veggie box from, making our annual tomato sauce supply. That's a 6-gallon pot there; our ultimate yield was about 5 1/4 gallons. This was much easier than growing our own tomatoes, only to have the dogs eat them all. More sauce, skinnier dogs with this method.

The brick border

So instead of cleaning up the front walk today, I started the brick border I've been planning. It actually went quite quickly, but I started late and still have a bit of a headache from the overheating yesterday.

I do have some plans for planting both sides of the sidewalk, thanks to all the feedback from commenters here and on the Facebook re-posting of my last post. Well, maybe not firm plans, but definite ideas. First I have to kill some Bermuda grass, though.

The chickens finally know how to use their door!

In other news, the chickens have finally figured out the door, both coming and going. We had a few dramatic evenings where chickens were found perched on the potting bench outside their window, looking forlorn, and for nearly a week Janis refused to go out through the door and spent the entire day looking dramatic inside the chicken yard while everybody else stuffed themselves with grass. Now everybody knows how to get in and out and they all go in at night without any more hysteria. So far they haven't destroyed anything, but they sure have eaten a lot of fallen fruit.

posted by ayse on 08/28/11