Half Moon Bay


*click all photos for large view*
the front yard
a hummingbird rests in a bottle brush tree

the unbelievable density of gorgeous vegetation before the dunes

very "western" plants 

the beach trail full of rabbits and little birds

I am in Half Moon Bay California. It's cold, foggy and misty wet and I am thrilled at the refreshing break from endlessly heavy and humid sunny sunny days. I am here to build a website for my Mom - V's mom actually -but we have agreed that we will be "daughter" and "mom" from now on; neither of us likes tacking on "in-law" to the titles. She has so many fun things planned for us to do that I am a little worried about getting the project completed; the idea is to also teach her to manage and update this site so that she is no longer reliant on another person -and also will not have to pay them anymore either.

I hope to post often the next 10 days. I know we are going to a goat farm in Pescadero, a poetry reading, a full moon ceremony, a folk music thing, and the farmers market. The first thing I want to say about this landscape is if you do not have a rocking garden here? Then you should be spanked. Because literally, amazing flowers are like weeds here. Native geraniums, wild fennel, thistle, red hot pokers, agapanthus (millions of them!), yellow mallow looking flowers, all kinds of pink wildflowers. It's crazy! The conditions are perfect for flowers. And food actually. We passed lush fields of brussels sprouts just a mile or so down the road. There are lots of succulents, and grasses - the grasses! And I thought I had a lot of grasses. Wait until you see all the kinds I can gather in just the "front yard". Down the path is a vast eucalyptus forest that is always shrouded in fog. It is on a high cliff over the ocean.

I do intend to host Haiku Monday for 8/15. The theme is "Pacific". You can enter as many as you like (Fishy!) and all will be judged; by a panel of california people at dinner where we will drum, make a zen garden and burn sage. grrherhahaha.


  1. Can you post an audio clip of drumming by those dining Californians? :)

    Enjoy that gorgeous country, your respite from the weather you've been dealing with, and family time where neither in-laws nor out-laws need me mentioned :)

  2. Half Moon Bay!! One of my most favorite places in the world. We lived in San Jose for several years and spent a lot of time in SF and beyond because it felt like home. You're so right about the flowers and what you have there (and I don't) is the fabulous Pacific Ocean. It just makes me dizzy when I'm lucky enough to be close to it. Your ten days sound very "Northern Californis" which is NOT Southern California. Full Moon Ceremony? Will you pick me up at the airport? :-)

    Finally, after my Mother died, my MIL called me and said "you're my daugther now" and I'm glad you have your other Mother in your life. How lucky for both of you. xoxoxo

  3. Looks beautiful. I would love to explore more of California before it falls into the ocean. Such a blessed land, but the locals ...??? Enjoy your trip, sounds like you might be visiting for site maintenance again :)

  4. so, this week california doesn't get to fall into the ocean?

  5. As a California transplant, I miss northern CA much more than southern (where I grew up). Don't get me started about Yosemite! As for moon ceremonies, will you be able to see it on the coast up there? They should have a fog ceremony. But then, maybe that's the fun - finding the moon! Have a great time! xo Pam

  6. Hmmmn..ya mean, ya left two dawgs an' a coop full o' chickens in V's care in order to loll around on the Pacific? What kind of marriage is THAT?

    I seen how them full moon rays is affecting yore mind already--cat armor as art.

    Ya better watch it, Pup. soon youse gonna ditch them boots fer barefoot tai chi on the dunes, drinkin' sage tea an' swishin' around in ankle length tie-dyed see through muumuus, Tibetan bells hangin' from yore ear lobes, wif' a circlet of daisies in yore hair.

    Go home. I'se alarmed.

    Hey to V's Mom from blogger world.

  7. Chickory goes hippie! Groovy!

  8. Bwahahahahaha to Aunty on "what kind of marriage is THAT?"

    Northern California is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I could easily live there, given enough cashola, but S.B. resolutely refuses to place himself anywhere near California of any longitude for more than a few days.

    Oh, and the perfect perfume to accompany those foggy, sand sprayed, lushly vegetal days: Dior's Dune. If you ever have a chance to smell it, you'll see what I mean.

  9. Wait a minute . . . hold up. Zen garden? Sage burning? DRUMMING?

    Walks away quickly before I have an Eric Cartman moment.

  10. yesterday, the MITM was looking at real estate ads for santa barbara. he's starting to miss cali...something about us being grandparents next year....xoxoxoxox

    blow a kiss to the pacific for me, darlin!

  11. eggy: there is actually a recording of my mom's husband drumming calling the great spirit. He was in a men only drumming circle.

    boxer: V's mom said the same thing after I lost my mom; be we have always been good buddies. NorCal is nice - even with all these lush plants it is still somehow too brown - I mean the greens of Chickory are so lush in comparison. Its heavy fog today. heavy. They say we might get some blue sky next week! Last night J, my mom, went to meditation. she asked "can you meditate?" I said "not really"

    Pam: last time I came here it was with V for a week long visit. by around day 4 I got weepy because it rained all day everyday. It was harsh. I didnt have things to do on that trip though. I have a mission so no matter what I am good. (i think)

    faery: it is. rocky cliffs. dunes. rabbits everywhere.

    foam: im ready to go anytime. its a sacrifice - but Im willing to crash for the greater good.

    Pam: my mom says even if the moon isnt visible "the energy is still there". They can't see the moon more than half the year here. V says he would like to move here. I dont know about that. Property tax alone would give me pause.

    aunty: grrrrrrehahaha.. My guest bedroom is the meditation room. Last time I was here, the time where is rained the whole time? I read the life history
    paramahati yoganandi - the indian saint. He watches over my bed, prayer flags too -theres also Jesus and Quon Yin the Goddess and assorted Ganesha figures. Im covered. We're going for Chai later, and I will pick up a gauze dress and chunky earth jewelry to bring back for ya.

  12. lx: with the transcendental wind just a blowin' in my hair....

    moi: i remember Dune! they still make that? I started wearing some fragrance that V has. I like it because like a hug from him. SB. I understand. grherhaha Its pretty here...its seriously overcast and I realize how much I rely on the sun to indicate passage of time. here there is no change (or not one I am tuned into yet) and its weird. Oh yes - so many California things I will be doing. I once painted J (V's mom) as Mother Earth. She epitomizes Cali culture. You'll see. I am documenting everything.

    savannah: I will send your kiss on, and you give the Beautiful South my fondest regards. *sniff*

  13. So beautiful! wish I could hop on a plane and go visit John's parents in Calif. I need massive amounts of pills though so I don't flip out on the plane. I'm much happier when my feet are on the ground.

  14. Master Basho's Ghost8/12/2011 11:40 AM

    Rough English Translation:

    The Wild Pacific.
    And over Sado Island:
    River of Heaven.


    Some partially credit the revival of taiko drumming by the famous Sado Island Todo Drummers to the influence of Cali hippy gaijin banging mindlessly on drums.

    Small World.

  15. Eric Cartman's Ghost8/12/2011 11:42 AM

    The drums. The music. The horror. The horror.

  16. Eric Cartman only drums when invited by members of Tool to sit in on a session.

  17. Are you sure you are not the dinner offering to the drum gods? If you come home tattooed, pinned and bolt holed will Nephew still stalk you?

    Thanks for the generous offer to be specific... er ... be pacific as often as I wish. Are we including visuals with our haiku?????

  18. A very cool little town that was once a one-stoplight affair but now is fully "Cali-fied" I'm afraid. My wife grew up there and my mother spent her last years there, too.

    Makes me really crave a 3 Amigos burrito with some of their fresh carrot juice. Make sure to go "over the hill" on hwy 84 and maybe stop by Alice's Restaurant or cruise Skyline all the way to Santa Cruz. Amazing country that is simple way too unbelievably ridiculously expensive to inhabit for most.

    If you need some sun, over the hill with you away from the marine layer, or head up into the hills for some great ocean views. I recommend the Purisima Creek Trail just south of town.

  19. Good afternoon Chickory,

    Gee whiz it's beautiful up there. Is it possible they've not overbuilt and destroyed everything the way they did in South CA? Hope so.

    Have a great weekend!

    High translucent crest,
    roaring into the shoreline
    Cowabunga dude!

  20. Beautiful photographs of another landscape, gosh, so many grasses and plants and it all looks unspoiled by developement.
    I have two red-flowering bottle brush trees in my front garden, the birds love them.
    Have fun with your Mom helpimg her set up her blog and posts.
    xoxoxo ♡

  21. dani: take the pills and get on the plane. I hate flying because of the security routine. I always thought a plane crash death was a good one: you get a few minutes of forwarning, and ya done.

    Troll: nice marriage of the cultures and homage to the master. Is this your official entry?

    ECG: tonight is the moon ceremony. I will report back.

    Moi: im not even sure which one is cartman. darn fat line drawings...they all look the same

    Fishy: you certainly can post visuals. Pacific covers a wide range of ideas....I am excited to see how far it is taken. Of course visuals never hurt. I might try and post haikus on my page depending on my progress. I have the skeleton of J's website in place already. Lots of fine tuning to come.

    Zoner: welcome! I have been on the 84 - it is lovely. It always seems to be sunny over the hill. The hills are dotted with clumps of brush and it reminds me of Ninas paintings. Today is day three of heavy overcast. I saw some breaks of blue sky yesterday. I am going to hike up in those hills this afternoon. HMB has grown a lot. They have a really nice grocery now (new leaf) and a ton of new restaurants.

    Karl: its not overdeveloped - the state owns everything in front of my moms house its all dunes and ocean. the town isnt too much either. There is a lot of real estate for sale here. Im guessing the taxes are the problem - you could get a place here...keeping it might be tough. Love the haiku - sounds like you are talking about the Mavericks!

    dianne: I love that bottle brush tree. teeming with busy fat brown birds hanging upside down to harvest seeds. Im wondering where all the goldfinches are - theres a lot of thistle out there!

  22. Wow, that is beautiful. It will do your soul good to be there!


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