Our California Home

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This is the front of our CA home. We replanted in 1999 and it is filling out nicely. I have been carving "petroglyphs" on the rock to the right for the past few years.
Looking at the backyard from left to right, it is hard to believe that this was barren soil with just patchy grass when we bought it in 1993.
The koi pond contains 5 fish named after Hollywood celebrities. The view is about 6 miles across the Ojai Valley to the Santa Ynez Mountains.
In the winter of 2002 we purchased two rough bentwood chairs from "Chuck" out of his pickup truck store at the side of the road. We made cushions and now have a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the front yard.

In 2001 I built a solar hot water preheater. The collector consists of a metal box with a glass window at the same angle as our latitude and pointed to true south. This gives the maximum exposure to sun light. Inside the box is a 40 gallon metal tank painted black. Water from the water main normally would enter the hot water heater to be heated by gas. Instead, the water goes up to the roof through insulated pipes and into the black tank in the solar collector. There the water is heated by solar energy. When the hot water tap is turned on somewhere in the house, water drawn from the gas fired hot water heated is replaced by the solar heated water rather than the cold water from the water main. As a result less gas is needed to supply the hot water need of the household. The whole system cost about $500 and should pay for itself in 3-5 years.

In 2004 we added a pottery to our home. The medium size kiln is located outside. Karen uses the wheel at the garage entrance. I built a counter, shelves and a sink at the back of the garage to store the many supplies and provide a work area.

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