Roughing It in Paradise

Every two weeks I head down to Monterey to water my plants and visit my little beach house.  With 60 mph winds last weekend that toppled a decades-old tree next to my yard, I figured I’d have a hundred or so pine cones to clean up in my other front yard under an 100-year-old pine tree.

As it turns out, Monterey didn’t have those high winds. I only picked up two dozen pine cones.  What to do with my free time?

  1. I read the 5th book in the Little House on the Prairie series of nine books that I loved as a kid, just because that’s the kind of thing you can do when you’re sort of retired.
  2. I went thrifting to seven different thrift stores over two days. Carmel always brings me good finds, but today’s jackpot was right in town at the Methodist church thrift store called the Church Mouse. It was two ancient sets of book ends with the antique store prices still on the bottom. The $165.00 set with matching cast iron Scottie dogs was priced at $8.00, and the smaller brass set of dogs’ faces, originally $85.00, was priced at $4.00. The pricing lady who is eighty plus must’ve missed those original prices on the bottom, or maybe she didn’t care. At any rate I got a couple of deals.
  3. I chopped up a dead rosemary bush and put it in my green can and put it on the street.
  4. I read two Sunday papers and two local papers.
  5. I wrote two blog posts.
  6. I mailed a package from Carmel – no lines on a Monday.
  7. I baked 100 apples with cinnamon and then quartered them, removed the stems and seeds, and will take them back home with me for some good eating.

But what I couldn’t do this trip makes me cold just thinking about it. My water heater decided to stop working.   There is water in the overflow pan. My contractor says there must be a leak. He will replace the w.h. on Friday. In the meantime, there is no hot water for washing dishes, doing laundry, or taking showers.

I washed my hair in 54 degree water this morning at the kitchen sink. BRRR! My head actually ached from the cold. I drank lots of cups of hot water to warm myself up plus layered myself in three tops and a vest when I was done.

No hot shower for tomorrow, either. I could’ve gone home a day early, but I’m not that much of a weenie. It was 68 degrees today and sunny.  I can make it another day with no hot water coming out of the faucets.

The contractor told me to shut off my main water supply when I leave so that I won’t have any flooding damage. I just paid the guy $3000 for roof work, a new garage side door, and some electrical repairs. This 90 year old house is a money pit.

But the money pit is in Monterey County, with seagulls, and ocean views, and rich-lady thrift stores.  I have no internet here, because internet costs money, and who needs it for two visits a month?

This trip I had no hot water, either.  It’s a bit much for a 21st century woman to bear.

Oh, those pioneers! How did the Ingalls family do it? Only three books to go, and then I will know all of their roughing-it secrets.

Ma, or at least Laura, would’ve been proud of my baked apples.
















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