Sunday, September 20, 2020

Sunday Wisdom


“Be slow to speak, and only after having first listened quietly, so that you may understand the meaning, leanings, and wishes of those who do speak. Thus you will better know when to speak and when to be silent.” –Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), Spanish Catholic priest and theologian

Monday, September 14, 2020

Monday Morning


Coffee on the porch with a twist of smoke and ash

Look who is here for a short visit to help Gammie with more wood stacking chores.

And on the back porch the weather is cool with a touch 
of  ash and smoke

Greetings and beautiful blue sky’s with big puffy clouds .  My brother in law is with his Mama in her home in Mexico. She and her late husband have dual citizenship and her son is helping her with some items there.

On the fire front 212,744 acres gone as of last night. 10% containment. The heavy smoke and clouds of the last week have kept the spread of the fire suppressed but with the winds expected today that could change. So we are living with a double edged sword.  The air gets better the fire could become more aggressive. 

Miss. Claire and I will brave the great outdoors and see what we can get done in her short time here. 

For anyone who wants very accurate information here is a link to the CalFire incident page. I hope I takes you directly to Creek Fire our current fire.


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Welcome September Or Maybe Not

Lookie there last post end of August and we are now staring the last three months and twenty days of 2020 smack in the keister. And allow me to be the first to say so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen ,good night.  Ok I may be jumping the gun but no more than whoever it was on new years day this said "Wow , 2020 already? What could possibly go wrong?" I am sure they didn't realize probably due to heavy imbibing  too much adult beverage that in that brief moment they changed the history of the world and off we went.

Top of my post this wonderful excessively smoke filled ash laden day is a updated fire report. And again I will repeat "better to have the smoke than the fire."  However after over 30 days of this going on my throat is begging for some clean air. The Creek fire as it has come to be known by Cal Fire is another amazing monster. It had a meager beginning in the forest by Big Creek on Friday September 4th  within 48 hours it had become a raging , roaring inferno of 135,300 acres and today currently is 5 days active now in two counties  Fresno (starter county) and Madera.  The fire has now consumed 175,893 acres with 0% containment. Losing 60 residences and damaging 6.  Mixed commercial/residential 0 damaged with 277 destroyed. Nonresidential commercial 2 damaged 4 destroyed. Minor structures 1 damaged and 20 destroyed. 

                                        View this morning about 7 AM from my front porch.

Now why am I sharing all this less than pleasant news? I am not jumping on the drama rama team . Two fold because this is my life and life is what we post about. If  the fire goes into Madera county physically , right now they have called mandatory evacuations as a precaution, then  we are the next county in its line . Also because I feel that as a whole the media has done such a poor job of becoming the new Facebook that often the information we get sounds more like the National Inquirer than fact. Lastly because this year the number of wildfires is so unprecedented that out of 28 national forest in this state 18 of them are involved and the forest service recently closed the remaining 10 parks to protect them. The state I have lived in my entire life is going up in flames. And by the way remember the picturesque town of Paradise? Without going into rehashing the details of the 2018 fire is again in the line of fire from the Bear Fire.   

 Clucking good signage. My sister gifted me with this new sign and after I cleaned the coop last week for the winter season it has a home. Not a gate but it works. 

Let us take a look at what the Lil' Dude Marmalade is up to. 




Pretty much yup. I must say he is the most incredibly creative sleeping cat I have ever seen. He does get out of his X pen several times a day. He sits on the porch with me, on the sofa with me and also does garden and chicken checks with me. But because he is not neutered yet until that day (Oct. 14th) I cannot give him free range . Open doors pose problems with a loose cat around . Especially as fast as this one is. 

Last but not least Fall planting began. I planted kale, spinach , assortment of salad lettuce, beans, peas and lastly radishes. The photo is of the bean planting and each row of anything planted got a nice layer of finely crushed egg shell to grow on.  I keep my shells and ever so often when I have enough I run them through my Cuisinart to use in the garden in some manner.  I still have one tomato plant Indigo Rose , herbs, a lingering honeydew maturing and a pepper plant that took forever to go from seed to mature. Now it has multiple small white flowers on it and we shall see. I don't give up easily so no harm no foul . 


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Cleansing of the Garden and "here kitty".



Hopefully in a  week or so to rest fall planting will begin. Not a lot but a few beans, a
few  a good deal of radishes and some kale. Maybe a few other this 'n that. But today I removed all but the Sun Gold Cherry tomato, the Indigo Rose tomato, the melon as one was picked and another needs just a bit more time. Oh and my loved Persian cucumber mostly heat/smoke damaged removed but a few blossoms coming on and heck yes I will baby it on for a bit longer.

It also appears that my herbs continue to do well except my peppermint who were healthy and growing like crazy until the fires covered the sky daily and now it it a mess of black little dry leaves. This comes as no surprise in Spring of 2019 I found that four of seven of my lovely rose bushes had fallen to not the heat but smoke laced air from the Carr fire 2018 . Remember this?

Air like this day after day makes it difficult for plants to breath add high temperatures and it will take a toll. 

But as so many are doing daily we get up and  get going and hope this country rights itself and that the sun will come out tomorrow and it is only a day away. 
So carry and I look forward to less smoke, less fire and lower temperatures.  Toss in renewed growing area and a Fall garden with some goodies to hold us over until the orchard gets started and the Spring garden gets going. 

I didn't go looking for him. But he called and then came and now well meet Lil' Dude Marmalade a 5 month old orange boy cat who is the epidemy of what my sisters friend calls a "lucky ginger cat". He went to the vet on Monday was declared healthy, wormed and confirmed he has a pair. A snip and chip will be held in October to remedy that. 

He was one of three at my sisters little country school. His loving ways set him up for a quick catch and now he is an indoor kid until after the chip and snip in October . Then he will be slowly integrated into a indoor outdoor kid. Right now his favorite activities are eating, sleeping, eating , sleeping and hugs with lots of purrs tossed in.  How could I say "no"?

Only 27 days to Autumn and I must say I for one am looking forward to a change. 

I apologize for the unfinished appearance to this post. I am unable to navigate the new blogger for some unknown . Wish they would just leave well enough alone. I have decided to post anyway you all will get the drift. 


Friday, August 21, 2020

Dry Lighting Here We Go

As most of you know my California has again been hit  with a copious amount of dry lighting strikes resulting in well over one hundred active fires .
Everything from the easily controlled and extinguished to hundreds of thousands acres . Some in desolate areas of  BLM wilderness areas to fair to heavily populated. 

My breath was taken away at the photo of I80 a major link between Sacramento and the Bay Area thickly populated and a stones throw from the University of California at Davis.  I unfortunately was on the valley floor at the time and didn't think to save it. Let it suffice to say the flames were almost on the freeway and just shortly after that stretch of interstate was closed to traffic. 

The 2:00PM sun yesterday

     Somehow the critters manage to play in the smoke pretty much oblivious to any potential danger. 

For now our biggest issues are thick smoke and heavy cover that is a bit uncomfortable. We do have a fire at 2800 acres last I looked that crossed county boundaries and an evacuation center was opened at the local fairgrounds.

We have had a fire advisory warning in place the last almost 24 hours. I think for now we are ok except to hear the loss of  stock, homes and old stand redwoods which are heart breaking. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Hot, Humid and Humble

Remember The Nuggets? Well they are now known around the coop as The Chicklets and are wild and crazy. They are at that weird stage where their bodies and legs don't match but they are becoming very good at zooming in on the scratch goodies in the morning and evening and on occasion just about taking it out of one of the elders mouths. 

I have taken to giving the coop yard a good soaking under the eucalyptus trees every morning as it creates a nice cooling effect for Mama hen and the Chicklets plus the other chickens that makes it easier for them to make it through the hot afternoons until the early evening cool offs.

 These ladies are digging it literally.

And Mr. Newman struts his stuff in his avian Speedo's.

My  pickings from my Sun Gold this morning . The larger one in the lower left is an Indigo Rose that is very ripe.  See the elongated Sun Gold to the upper right of  it?  I am finding more and more of these since last end of week when our toasty heat wave began.  It is almost as they are morphing in shape potentially the high heat sucking the moisture right out of them? I picked all that were ripe today as I have found if I don't I end up with tomato raisins from the elevated temps. And they are indeed long, wrinkled and the water leaves the sugars concentrated and the resulting effect is very chewy and super sweet. 

The herbs are all doing remarkably well  and are growing up a storm.

The cukes and zucchini not so well. In fact I will be pulling them up on the next cool morning. I am certain their time is past. Not a lack of water just too many days of triple digits.

Take note of the green to the left of the zucchini. It is my little Patio Baby Eggplant. Still producing its little eggplants. Why? I think because of its leaning toward Mediterranean climate. Which is known to be in abundance here.    

My lovely Persian cucumbers not so much but I still have one in the fridge.

I will hope that my Sun Gold along with the Indigo Rose tomato make it through the next few days and both of them along with the eggplant continue to produce a bit longer. The beans are walking out the gate as I type this post. But I do have a lovely  almost ripe Honeydew melon waiting for me.  I am hopeful that the ground squirrels continue to respect the boundaries and the dogs.  In years past I have seen a group of ground squirrels carry off pretty good sized watermelon and cantaloupe. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020


What else would native Californians do in the 107 degree aka Monsoon season of August?

If you guessed make peach jam you are correct. Raising the kitchen to only 121 degrees which I think beat out Death Valley at 120.