We had a new roof put on the house recently. It isn’t like getting a kitchen remodeled. Nothing fancy or glamorous, but it had to be done. There are before and after photos, but a roof is a roof. Living on the mountain, we have a window in the spring/summer to get a repair completed like this. This means that we will be ready for the wet and snowy season that comes in the winter. Now we have completed most of the major projects.

Old Roof
New roof


The wall of the original house got painted! If you drag the white bar back and forth, you can see the difference.

In some ways, all of the things you see from outside the property have been renovated. This wall may not seem like a huge change. If anyone drove their vehicles down the street beside us, they would see the wall before it was painted white.

This small house was the original house built on the property in the 1920s. It survived a major earthquake in Tehachapi mid-century. We debated about all the options of what to do with it and ended up deciding to save it back to its original state.

Our vision for the future use of the house will be to create an art studio space for David and an area for entertaining. The goal is to connect it to the small house where we live by building arbors in the backyard between the two structures.


Photo by Pixabay on

Recently we watched a documentary about movie scores. Someone in the documentary said, “Music is the one thing that we all understand that we don’t understand.” Everyone responds to music in their own way. I watch E.T. on Elliot’s bicycle once a week. I watch it and rewind it to the point before it happens. It is always ready for me to watch those few moments.


Music has always been part of my life. I started with piano lessons with Ms Pegg in my hometown. After that I started with the band in 5th grade. That followed me through until college.


While the video above is from another year, the pregame performance has stayed the same. Here is a photo of me in my college band uniform on the 9th of October, 1986

I was fortunate to travel to various college football games with the band. The band had many members. On trips when we traveled to away games, we went with at least two state trooper automobiles, sometimes four. With this trooper escort, the bus caravan of six to eight did not have to stop for traffic lights. The troopers would turn on their hazard lights and block off the intersections to allow us to travel together.

“On the East Coast, football is a cultural experience. In the Midwest, it’s a form of cannibalism. On the West Coast, it’s a tourist attraction. And in the South, football is a religion, and Saturday is the holy day.”

Thinking back, this may be why my favorite musical is The Music Man. My favorite part of the musical is when they sing “Wells Fargo Wagon”, which in my opinion, is about hope and surprise. Now we track packages. Often there is no surprise when the delivery truck stops in your driveway.

Playing For Change has many songs on YouTube. This one is my favorite.

It does not matter if you understand the language of the song. Music impacts us all in many different ways. We remember the words to many songs that we listened to throughout our lives.

This is a link to the full version of the documentary I mentioned at the top of this post.

Score: A Film Music Documentary

Wits’ End’s Garden has a life of its own!

Early morning dawn at Wits’ End

This Spring marks the tenth anniversary of the purchase of our home and the beginnings of the gardens here at Wits’ End. When the house was purchased, the yard was a vertual wasteland. Weeds, an old trumpet vine, patches of Bermuda grass, and junk dominated the whole corner lot. Around the original house at the back of the lot were some wild lilac bushes and some long neglected rose bushes. But in all this disorder all I could see was potential. I was inspired by a beautiful book I had been given about the history and restoration of Claude Monet’s Garden at Giverney. I knew I wanted an informal garden one you could stroll through, that had places to sit and contemplate and was rich in color and life. So I laid out the first Garden in the front yard in a relaxed English cottage style with curving gravel paths planting roses and iris to be the “stars.” I hunted for benches and interesting bits of yard art to add structure, texture, and function.

Over the years, two solar-powered fountains were added; A tiered Mediterranean style in the front garden and a French country style in the back garden. Both provide a soothing splash of water and give a place for birds and the occasional dog a place to get a drink. The Gardens provide refuge to all sorts of birds. Colorful finches, blue jays, black birds, sparrows, and more take a pause or make a home at Wits’ End. Like life itself there have been good years and a few bad years for the garden, but it keeps on growing and changing. This spring saw many changes in my personal life that allowed me to devote much of my free time to the gardens. Going to work early and getting off in the afternoon gave me many hours to spend on the gardens. I was able to utilize our greenhouse and begin a vegetable garden this season. The extra time allowed me to continue on irrigation projects and expand the plantings in the back yard. After all these years, the gardens have taken over our entire corner lot. They are moving into the street medians with the addition of Raywood ash trees planted in celebration and memory of friends and family. Where ever we can plant and add life and color, we do! I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the last few seasons and keep will keep you updated on changes in the Garden!

From: David

May 2020

We are excited about the coming year. We are doing many things on the property that will improve things over time. Our neighbor mentioned putting an insert in the fireplace. I wish we had thought of it earlier. The plan is to have that installed by the end of summer.

photo of gas fireplace insert

That allows us to get rid of the wall heater. That will allow us to fully utilize the front of the house during the colder mornings and colder months.

By getting this project completed in the summer, it gives us time to patch the wall and paint the living room by end of summer.

In June we are having a new roof put on the house. This will be a major step towards getting the critical maintenance jobs completed. Now we will work on the remodeling of the house and plan for other upgrades. Things we have on the list are upgrading the electrical service, replacing the sewer line (preventative), putting a tankless water heater in the house. Completing those steps will allow us to put a deck on the back of the house next Spring!

Once that is completed, then a doorway onto the back deck will be added.

All of this will allow us to create a space that allows us to age in place. When David was taking kitchen design courses, this was a topic that was mentioned. Often people seeking to remodel their home were also hoping to invest in creating a space that would continue to function for them as they aged. This is what we are doing.

David has been working hard on getting the flower gardens in shape. He has also been working on getting the vegetable gardens ready. I will let him write you about all of these changes.

existing fireplace

From: Dalton

The Trip To Bountiful


Today auditions start for The Trip To Bountiful.  David is directing this production and I am the producer.  This is ending a chapter of our directing and producing shows for our local community theatre.  As I said chapter.  This does not mean we would never do another show again, but we have other things we want to focus on during our free time from work.  We need to complete the renovations and remodeling on the property.


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