I've been laying low since I returned to California from Beijing, and just now have uploaded my book, Beijing Abduction, to Amazon.com for Kindle! An unexpected delay at the last minute has been infuriating to wait, but I now have a Chinese editor in Beijing who has proof read my manuscript. The quality of the product is worth the wait!Read More
The beans have germinated. Basil, mesclun and black seeded simpson lettuce have been up for a few weeks. I live everyday to its fullest. Sitting on the front porch, late afternoon sun through a roll down screen and occasional puffy cloud, reading: (left to right) Flanders Panel by Perez-Reverie, Beijing city map, Age of Insight by Kandel http://news.columbia.edu/kandel , 2011 Journal, China's Political System by Zhongoing, 2010 Journal, Bonsai Focus, Short Stories by de Maupassant, sipping hong cha, unwinding after a long session on the internet, researching for Tsinghua.
Several Stellar blue jays nag us for peanuts every time we walk into the back yard. A scrub jay tries to bully his way in and take all the nuts.
When I go into my little studio nook, I am preparing for the next picture. Now I am testing different media. I want to see if I can use a red ground for most of the new design. I need to test how various media will react, latex paint, oil paint. Savoring every day.
The Overseas Office at Tsinghua found a replacement for me. I won't be going back in Fall although I am still working remotely, doing research from here.
This July 4 Bruce and I were visited by Yun from Mt View. The first day we drove up to the old ski bowl and picniced on Mt Shasta (Bai Shan) http://www.siskiyous.edu/shasta/out/ski/skibowl/index.htm
An avalanche destroyed it in 1978, but the road is still good and the old parking lot is a popular staging area for people climbing the mountain at 7,600 feet. The top of Mt Shasta (Bai Shan) is over 14,000 feet (4,267m).
The picture that looks like on the moon is actually from the parking lot at the old ski bowl. Few trees this high, only stunted specimens growing in the light pink andesite and crushed concrete from the old resort foundations. In the background you can see some white, that's snow behind the flag. We stopped on the way down so Yun could get a cup of snow. t's still in our freezer. The wide angle camera lens distorts the near ground in a hilarious way.
That night we drive up to the city of Mt Shasta and watch fireworks. It's a perfect night velvety warm, usually freezing cold after dark. The next day we visit the Mt Shasta Buddhist Abbey. They have five men and fifteen women studying to be monks/nuns. Thirty to forty lay people visit regular services on Sunday.
Tiny flick of a lizard tail under the old shed door just as I step outside. Sun has just gone down behind Mt Bradley. It is 85-degrees (29C) at seven-thirty pm, high 106-degrees (41C), inside the house its cooler 75-degrees (24C). We finally open the windows to get cool mountain breezes. low 59-degrees (15C)
I sometimes get home grown araucana chicken eggs from a friend in yoga class, $4 for a dozen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araucana The apples and pears are starting to weigh down the tree branches, still small, two fit into the palm of my hand. The peas are finished. I'm leaving them to make seed for next year. The pole beans are up a good 12-inches (30cm). The tallest sunflower is over 6-feet (182cm) taller than Bruce.
Can you see the bear trail on the right of the garden wall? I make ratatoille out of eggplant, peppers, onions, zucchini just like I used to in my Puji apartment in Beijing, Julia Child style. http://cooking.knopfdoubleday.com/2009/08/03/julia-childs-ratatouille-recipe/
See you later
Monday I went downtown for the 10th time to pick up my passport. I saw some interesting vehicles on the busy streets. The most interesting one I didn’t get a photo of, was a mule pulling a cart of melons right downtown. I made it up for you with a mule pulling a cart of bricks on the highway near Phoenix Hills. There were six of these brick carts.Read More