Yesterday we stopped in at Juan's (picture a very tiny apple barn next to the highway) to look at a houseplant hanging by its wire.
We checked out the plant then stepped inside to see what else Juan might have. What he had was Vista Strawberries, the most delicious strawberries on the planet, (three baskets for six dollars! Yay!). He also had longstem flowers which he brought over from the flower fields. Escondido grows acres of nursery cut flowers for commercial businesses. Avocado groves line all the roads over the hills, as avocados will grow on a cliff. They remind me of a trip we took to Greece where we saw olive trees growing on impossibly steep hillsides. As a matter of fact, the terrain here is very much like Greece and grows all the same oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and tangelos, lemons, limes, limitless citrus. The Valencia oranges grown in Florida are a whole different animal than the California Navels. Naturally, since I grew up in the middle of the groves further north from here, I prefer the Navels.
My old friend, Static Electricity shows up from time to time on the Santa Ana winds that blow from the desert to the sea. Both the desert and the sea are on the other side of the mountain ranges. We're smack in the middle of the valley between them. So there is a teeter totter weather issue--the cold ocean air is sucked in by the hot dry desert during the night, then the hot air blows back out to sea in the daytime. I'm not sure where the name "Santa Ana" comes into play. I've always thought it was because the winds blow from the desert west into Orange County and a town named Santa Ana. But there may be another reason for the name. I will be looking that up on the magic internet today. Anyway, those winds can rage across Southern California, mounting to 120 degrees and causing ferocious wildfires, the scourge and fear of all the people here. Most of the time the winds are more tepid and welcome in winter. But polyester is not your friend when they blow. Very few people wear silk unless they have nothing under their clothing they don't want people to see.
We had a party a week ago for Riverside friends we love. We have three more parties planned as our house is little though our hearth is wide. I can hardly wait for The Darrel's family to come down (they live further north from here) and my mother's family to come up (they live down by the Mexican border). My father's family live nearby, so we'll probably see them in the interim. Unfortunately, now that my husband is a working man again, we're relegated to only weekends, and this one is Superbowl Sunday.
Our new plant looks wonderful on its bookshelf.
* Addendum: I was half right about the name "Santa Ana" for the So. Cal. winds. The name is because of the direction of the winds, or some think it comes from a Spanish name meaning "devil winds." Locals call them "Santana Winds," which fits the "Satan's Wind" description more accurately.