Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Meeting fellow bloggers has been a consistently pleasant activity over the years, one frequently accompanied by good food and conversation. And that’s exactly the way it was last evening when Doug of Gossamer Tapestry and his husband Leon came to the house.

The plan had been for them to arrive mid-afternoon and then we’d go out to explore some abandoned mines in the area where Doug could explore and take pictures; he’s an etymologist currently interested in tiger beetles:

That’s a photo borrowed from his blog—-he’s a skilled nature photographer, and his work is quite beautiful. Tiger beetles are apparently plentiful in the sandy remains of old excavations, but a huge traffic jam on the way had them arrive a couple of hours later than planned. So, after a tour through the house, we went out to dinner in neighboring Fremont at what’s nominally a pizza place that’s really a very respectable Mediterranean restaurant. And we hit the jackpot—one of the rare weeks during the year when they have their own, very special version of paella on the menu.

It’s big, it’s full of mussels, shrimp, chicken, sausage, even some calamari, and it’s topped with a light sprinkling of shaved, hard parmesan that nicely finishes off the savory rice/sauce base of the dish. We were there for close to two hours, talking and laughing and finally exploring the dessert menu, which we had no business doing with all that had come before, but we were having too much fun.

I’d first contacted Doug a couple of years ago when I found his blog and read that he makes his own cheese. It’s something that I’d like to get into and have plans for doing so once we get the exterior work completed and I can build a new set of storage/project shelves in the mechanical room. Doug has family in the general area and we talked about getting together again when they come out from Chicago for another visit, this time to hit the mines (mica and/or feldspar was taken out of the ground in at least there local excavations) in pursuit of the tiger beetles. Two nicer guys you couldn’t hope to meet.


Speaking of the exterior work, we’ve hit a snag or two. The following projects are in the works—the 10x10 shed from Reeds Ferry that was supposed to have been installed tomorrow; the walkways and exterior steps that will be done by the two handsome brothers who did the concrete floors in the house, including the acid dye coloring and finishing; and paving the road up the hill and the parking areas around the house.

Weather having been consistently bad this August, everything’s off schedule. The walks could begin late this week, but they’re so backed up with delayed work for others that it’s not certain (we’d all planned on their being done in late July). The paving will probably happen the week after Labor Day. But the shed! Our excavator couldn't come and prepare the site in time, so I had to cancel tomorrow’s installation. The first available date the company could give me for the installation now is October 28th. At least it’s before the really heavy weather sets in.


The Wit and Wisdom of George W. Bush

We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do our job. That's what I'm telling you.

I have not met any blog writers yet but I have spoken to a few. It is a great way to make friends from all over.
DAMN IT! And I wanted us to be the first visitors at your new house. Crap.
Will, thanks so much for the kind words. We both really enjoyed meeting you and Fritz and seeing your beautiful new home. We look forward to seeing you both again sometime. Off to the Vineyard in the morning.
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your visit with your blogger friends. The paella dinner must have been amazing!

I think you'd make a kick-ass cheese maker. :)
I adore Paella. If you and Fritz come to New Zealand you must look us up!
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