Racing weather and seasons, we stumbled out the gate. 

Groundbreaking was scheduled for Monday, August 2nd.  I had the bright idea to introduce myself and Sunny to my near neighbors before kicking up dust.  I made up cards letting people know who we were and how to get in touch, taking them door-to-door with an offering of home-roasted Thai-spiced cashews.

First stop was the house with the transformer I’ll be linking to.  Erika and Will were out on their deck enjoying the afternoon when I told them the excavator would start work on the utility line next morning. Glancing around for the transformer, I found it newly tucked behind some very recent landscaping, including a boulder as tall as I am.  Their smiles faded as I explained.

Sunny poses by a large boulder next to the electrical transformer
Sunny posing for scale.

Next up, a visit to the neighbors directly across the street from my home-to-be.  The door opened before I could leash Sunny and knock.  I stuttered an introduction. Sunny ran into the house. Their little dog Ziggy took issue with her impudence. They scuffled, Ziggy ran out, Sunny followed. They raced off, returning to the porch in full chaos. I stepped on Ziggy. “Lovely to have met you….”

As I turned to the next house, the Sheriff pulled up and was on his way to the door just ahead of me.  Enough.

Monday came, but the excavator didn’t.

The excavating machine stands ready to begin demolition on the weedy home lot.
On Monday the excavator (machine) had arrived, but the excavator (person) was nowhere to be found.

When the excavator says he will be there, he isn’t. When he says he won’t be there, he is. He was next scheduled for Thursday. No excavator. Then the timeline got pushed to Monday, with two days of utility line digging before the lot would be dug. My friends Karen and Jon had decided to move a pluot tree from my lot into their orchard. I told them they were safe until the following Wednesday. I had hoses hooked to their water to try to coddle my beautiful young Sequoia in advance of work that would impact its roots.  But by Friday afternoon, a day when no work was scheduled, the pluot, two hoses, a sprayer and a water timer were lost to the giant claws.  

The excavators came Monday and returned again Tuesday, when they said they would be on vacation, displacing an arborist I’d asked to come. But all is forgiven: by noon they got the water line in, the foundation trenched, and we’re back on schedule!

That rectangle is my house! The little island in the forefront is my mudroom. I’m taking this picture from my carport.

The excavator is scheduled to (not?) return next Monday to finish up.


Roasted Thai Lime-Chile Cashews

  • 4 cups raw cashews
  • 10-15 dried chiles de árbol, seeded
  • 10-15 makrut (Thai) lime leaves, cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chiles
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest  (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine the ingredients excluding the lime zest in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 8 minutes and turn; continue roasting another 8-12 minutes until cashews are fragrant and just starting to color. Set the baking sheet on a wire rack until completely cool. If using the lime zest, transfer nuts to a bowl and toss with the zest. Supposedly these nuts store well in an airtight container for days, but I can’t attest to that.