Friday, November 30, 2012


Rain in my driveway

Splatter patter splash
Plinkety plunk
Drip drip drip
Roaring, driving, raging
Rushing, gushing

All content by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2012, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Time to go on the hunt

It was a beautiful fall day in the Santa Cruz Mountains yesterday.  We headed up to Crest Ranch to get our Christmas tree.  The sun was brilliant.  The sky was hyper-blue.  The air was crisp.  We could see for miles.  What a day.
Off on the hunt
Setting off on the hunt.  
We are very particular about our trees but we tend to make up our minds quickly.  So, we only considered a few which I took pictures of so we could compare on the spot.  Sometimes there is little doubt and sometimes we wander the whole property before making up our minds.
This one?
This one?
This one?
Or this one? 
This one!
When we found it, we just knew!  It was perfect.  Not too tall.  Not too skinny.  Not too many holes in the branches.  It was just right!

Then the cutting begins.
Greg got it started
Greg got it started.
Gage took a turn
Gage's turn. 
Ruth's turn
Ruth's turn.
Victory 2012
Tree done -- Christmas 2012 can begin.
We got it home and into the house that same day.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Proper forestry management

Our Christmas tree farm has very strict rules about leaving branches when you cut the tree so that the tree can grow back in the future and their farm is sustainable.

We like to take things even further.

The kids counted the number of rings.
Counting the rings on our tree's stump
Love the intensity.
They estimate that the tree we cut down was 12 years old.  So, we decided to replace it with another 12 year old.
Another 12 year old tree
Nice widespread branches, good height.  
Do you cut above the feet or below?
I love the delighted fear on Gage's face as his sister runs the saw against his jeans.
Now, when you cut down a 12 year old boy/tree, do you leave the feet or take the feet?

Fall tree at Crest Ranch
A beautiful place for getting a tree:  Crest Ranch

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Family traditions

The SF Auto Show is held the weekend of Thanksgiving.  For the past several years, the Millers have enjoyed going and doing some fantasy building there.

It's so fun to really get to touch the cars, sit in them, push buttons, open spaces, and really see if a car would work for you.  There is no pressure -- there are plenty of folks there to distract the sales folks on the floor but they are there if you want more information.

We all end up with our favorites, our dreams.

Gage loves muscle cars.
Ruth discovered this year that convertibles are very nice.
Sometimes you just need a break!
Black and sleek always works . . . 
Hi Gage!  Gage still loves a good photobomb!
What's not to like about an over-the-top Lambo?
The Academy of Arts University has an antique car exhibition here every year.  It's really amazing to see these mint condition cars all lined up.
A ridiculously cute old BMW 
MGB GT - just like my parents bought in England when I was a little girl.  Only ours was orange.  

Oh my goodness. Jags have ALWAYS been fabulous.
Greg's favorite of the show.  Wow.  
And, sometimes, based on what we've seen and touched and talked about, our plans (and dreams) may change.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blast from the Past

When 10,000 Birds puts out the call for posts for the latest (newly revived) I and the Bird, I respond.  They are looking for posts with Double-Crested Cormorants.  Not to toot my own horn, but I took an amazing series of photos of a Cormorant waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2007.

Wanna see:

Double-crested Cormorant
Here's the cormorant in a small pond near my mother-in-law's house.
Double-crested Cormorant
I walked around to the other side of the bird and got just too close and it launched . . . 
Double-crested Cormorant
This shot just blows me away whenever I see it.
Double-crested Cormorant
It was a brief take-off.
Double-crested Cormorant
And it's attitude is all . . . what, I meant to do this.
I hope you enjoyed this blast from the past.  Cormorants are pretty cool birds.