Sunday, July 3, 2016


View from deck

Good morning from Napa, everybody! It's my second morning here, and I have to say it's been a bit of a ride so far!

The night before I left Eugene I had a really good, sound sleep and woke up with all the angst and tension of the past month gone, happy and well-rested. Almost bouncing with unaccustomed energy. That made for an easy drive south. The good weather didn't hurt. No rain to limit visibility, or wet pavement, or ice, or any of the weather possibilities that make driving that stretch of Interstate less than pleasant. Easy peasy.

From gas station in Weed
It didn't hurt that the mountain showed itself in full glory as soon as I started down the California side of Siskiyou Pass. There is a moment when the road rounds a turn through the mountains and there is a long southern view from a great elevation. And there it was. Clear blue skies, not the first wisp of a cloud hiding the summit. always a glorious sight that never gets old. I've passed this way many times over the last 20 years, by car, Greyhound and Amtrak, and the best part of the whole trip is the sight of that mountain for hours, wending my way south and even in my rear view mirror long past Redding. With apologies to Lassen, there is only one mountain in Northern California, and that's Shasta. Morning is not the best time to photograph, as light is behind. But still gorgeous!

Shasta Lake was almost full, for the first time in years. That was so great to see. And they are building new bridge over a wide span of the lake, alongside the current bridge. Looks like it's going to be a beauty when it opens.

Arrived in Napa with no snags and in good time, although it took a hour and a half to cross town and make three fruitless stops searching for a particular wine I wanted. Never found it, but of course I was able to 'settle' for something else. Got into the house ok, settled in. Put my computer on the desk/counters in my friend's office, and not 10 minutes into using it I heard a loud 'crack' and when I looked, there was a 6" crack in the thick glass underneath. Presumably from heat -- the darned thing always runs hot, but I didn't think it was that hot. So I moved it to the granite kitchen island and propped it up a bit for circulation. All seemed well, I downloaded all my photos and after an hour or so got up and did something else for a few minutes. When I came back, the screen was black and the thing would not (will not!) turn on. It seems to be deader than a doornail. So much of my life is on that thing, that I feel kind of lost without it. Fortunately, my friend had left me the passwords to her laptop and new iMac. I wouldn't even have a clue how to turn on the iMac, so I'm using her old laptop. Slow, but I'm grateful to have it. And all my photos other than the above are on the dead one. I actually copied this from a tweet I'd sent out before it died, or I wouldn't have that, either. Alas. Update: apparently the battery just ran low! It was plugged in, but I'm guessing that the plug was dead and I had no way of knowing that. Moved to a new plug this morning to try and troubleshoot, and it started right up. SO happy to have my stuff back!

I had gremlins with me, clearly. I couldn't get the big TV in the den to work.  Turns out my friend had given me wrong info on using the remote, since corrected, and it works fine).The garage door opener she left for me to use doesn't work (but I can get in and out with entry codes and manually pushing door open/close buttons), and when I got into my car yesterday morning to drive into town there was a very disconcerting, loud clicking/knocking sound from under the hood while it was idling. I've never heard the first sound from that car other than the engine purr, so this is a bit scary. Fortunately, when I started driving it went away, and I hope it doesn't come back. I need a healthy car in order to get back home, after all.

Today I'll be driving to Sonoma to help my bhikkhuni friends. I should probably get started with that pretty soon, actually. I hope the gremlins are finished with their pranks.

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