Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Springtime Sunshine Update

2009 has so far proved to be quite exciting for the Fishers. For over 2 years we've been seriously pursuing buying property to build a small green home on. A number of places have fallen through, but you know how they say...its often for the best.

Last spring we looked at a parcel in Santa Cruz that was in our price range but was very difficult and costly to build on. The property down the hill had a flat open space for building but was almost twice the cost so we didn't even really look.

This was about the time that the markets began to crumble. We found out the good property was going to short sale and we made an offer. Then someone out bid us and we couldn't go any higher so we thought, we'll that wasn't meant to be. Those folks ended up pulling out.

Now the markets were really hurting and we decided our offer wasn't something we'd want to pay. We proceeded to haggle with the bank for the next 4 months. There were many times that we thought, yes this is going to happen and many times we thought it was over.

Well February 19th, 2009 we closed on our dream property in Santa Cruz!! Its 2.8 acres with a mostly flat building envelope. Its 5 miles from the beach and 2 miles from downtown. Behind the property is a protected open space preserve that we hear you can hike through to a state park. Across the street is a river for the dog to play in and we saw a couple small swimming holes. Our neighbors have been welcoming already and they have built green houses using passive solar design, etc. Its really unbelievable. We've been out there the past 2 weekends clearing weeds so they don't take over and I snapped a couple pics to give you the gist, though you'll all have to visit to get the full impact:)

Here's the building envelope for the house. Main focus is its south facing for passive solar heating and lots of veggies and gardening.

To the right are fruit trees planted in 2005. Includes apples, figs, pomegranate, peach etc.

Further to the right and across the street that runs up to our neighbors homes is probably an acre of gently sloping land with Oaks that we may someday turn into a vineyard?

Behind the building envelope in those dense trees is a trail that runs along a ridge and to a very small creek (in the rainy winter).

And right across the street there's the river!

Also, on the same day we closed on the land we found out... were pregnant! Here's the little gingerbread man/woman. There were more human like pictures but this is J's favorite. Little Fish is due Oct. 29th.

We miss you all very much and think of you often. We are blessed in so many ways but we both agree that its your love and friendship that we are most lucky to have. We love you all!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sending the Love

Well, 2009 is upon us and its hard to believe that the Fisher's have been California residents for 6-1/2 & 7-1/2 years. Wow! Where does the time go?

In an effort to stay in touch with so many that we love that aren't here with us, we'll try the blogging thing. Here's a brief look at 2008. It was a fantastic year after all:)

Our first Christmas in California. We missed our family and friends dearly but we're thankful for the time we had with you throughout the year.

The aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences is amazing. They pipe in sea water from the pacific to support this ecosystem. I designed the soil mix for the living roof which is the largest green roof to date.

We went to Honolulu HI in early December and it was amazing! Here's Brutus the turtle and a Monk Seal (endangered) sleeping on the beach together. They were there together 2 years earlier, on that same day! Lovers? The surfers and waves were mighty and snorkeling was phenomenal. I swam with turtles which was a dream come true. Thanks to Whitney for the invite to use the free house.

Before Hawaii, we spent 10 days driving to Arizona to backpack outside the Hoover Dam to a hotspring by the Colorado River. We went to the Grand Canyon, Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin, Biosphere and Joshua Tree. It was the adventure we crave. Thanks to JP and Elizabeth for their great hospitality and hot showers.

In October, we spent time between Georgia and NC riding on the coat tails of Apple as J recruited interns for iPod. We really enjoyed our time with the Wandersons, that Aggie is so incredibly cute. Our fall visit in NC was great. Good times with friends and family. Congratulations Steph & J on their marriage, Greg & Jana on Baby Saur :) and Jill & Parker on their engagement.

Our fall also consisted of a trip to Colorado for Yonder Mountain at Red Rocks, swimming at Lake Tahoe and SoCal for JP & Elizabeth's wedding. Thanks Bonnie for your generous hospitality. J misses O'Maley:) Not to mention a great harvest from our garden.

We had the honor of watching our nieces Rachel & Corinna for the 4th of July. There are absolutely adorable. We danced in our living room until we almost got sick, we played at the beach, harvested fruit trees from a nearby orchard, and played at the playground for hours on end. Jennifer and Dan were great company too!

We had THE best days at the beach. For those of you that know, its more often the case that you leave 90 degree San Jose and its 60 and foggy at the beach, just 25 minutes over the hill. We actually had warm days in the sun, reading on the beach and playing with our nieces. We also went to Frank's Hanna House since we are learning about home designs.

In the spring we ventured back to NC for Tim & Mary's wedding. It was so great to see the ole JoAnne Drive crowd. It always warms our hearts to be with the crew.

Monique visited us in March and we went wine tasting pinot's in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was a great visit and the perfect time of year for a wildflower hike.

We also celebrated our 6-year anniversary in September! We feel so lucky to have each other and the love, and the love that you all so graciously share with us! Life is good!