We're other home, back to Kirkland from Santa Cruz. Both here and there are sky blue so it looks like we chose the worst week to visit: rain at both places. Oh well, meeting friends offset the bad weather. Now though it is blue skies in the Seattle area, the temps are 29-31F; it is COLD (OK, OK, west coast cold does not stack up to a midwest -25F cold, but heck, I had to wear a coat!)
Anyway, Skyote Place is all tucked in: I swept the grounds, dressed the dead zone around the house and knocked down a couple of termite mud tubes; I can't imagine why they bother as the place is cement stucco, high silica content rice straw bales, which will kill them, and plaster. I noticed water trickling down the outside of one of the down spouts was wetting the stucco - fixed that quickly (can't have the bales get continuously soaked). The backup generator looks good; topped off the oil reservoir, tweaked the cooling fans, and turned off the hot tub until March until there is enough sun again to heat it without burning propane.
I trimmed back the Salvia as it was crowding the front walkway. This is a wonderful plant because the creepers take root, so it is quite easy to rip out a chunk of it and replant it elsewhere successfully. I planted a couple of clots near some blackberry runners to see who will win.
On my way through airport security, one of the TSA guys noticed a thick book as it fell out of my carry-on bag when the x-ray machine conveyor belt thudded to a sudden halt. He looked at it suspiciously then asked me "What is that? Is it a religious book?" I was dumbfounded for a moment, for this wasn't a religious book but if it were, why should it matter anyway (or so my thoughts churned for a couple of seconds). He asked again, "What religion is it?" I replied "Oh, uh, it's Elvish" [his eyes widen] "Linguistics, [blank stare] you know, Lord of the Rings? [shakes head]" Several seconds later he waved me on, saying not a word.
Damn, I almost got pulled for knowing Elvish! I think it was the Tengwar script on the cover; it probably looked like Farsi to him: