Friday, July 30, 2021

The Last Week Of July Was A Weird One Maybe We Are In A New Normal?

The week was pretty good up to Tuesday when it got way too busy . Something every day until today and I was just feeling "ADR" as Dr. D my long time mobile goat and what ever else you got vet would say. For those who are scratching their head that would be "ain't doing right." I kept plugging away as the weather would be fairly decent mid nineties with lows in the high sixties. 

In addition to the once a day leave home for how ever long it took to get it done. Little stuff like picking up the repaired stock trailer to hoisting Sherman into the truck for a visit to the vet. Tuesday night at about 5:00 PM PDT an alert was issued for high winds, potential flooding and thunder storms for 48 hours. I had known I had a large hole in the hay tarp and figuring we don't get wet weather of any kind in the summer I back burner that nasty, dusty chore as far out as I could. Hay  Hey it is hot dealing even with tarps with  holes. So as I watched the thunder heads gather I am balancing on ladder in the wind trying to make the proper adjustments between gust and then applying the new bandaid tarp around the largest holes. All the time for hour and one half thinking stinking thoughts not of gratitude to the NOAA for not sending an alert out earlier. Finally got everything done and back in house while adjusting my cranky attitude and switching my intent to gratitude that even if it doesn't materialize that I won't be up at two in the morning climbing around in the dark because it sneaked up on us.

So how did that work? Dry. Even with another weather alert issued again we never got a drop . It apparently decided it liked the high country better and stayed in place with the bulk of it in Yosemite Park and elevations above that. 

Once in awhile good intentions and plans do come together. This is one of those. Ya'll have listened to me whine and wiggle about jump starting my weaving. Getting back to that part of my life enabled me to go to a place that detoxed me. That took me on vacation without leaving home. Kind of like those middle of the night kidding's in the barn. I got started and stopped on the restart. Or sometimes I just had to vocalize it I guess to not let myself forget that once upon a time this fiber life fed a place in me through spinning, weaving , knitting and dying fiber that everything else in my life no matter how cathartic to my soul didn't touch. I finally decided to accomplish that goal was to buy myself a present. I bought a 36 inch rigid heddle Ashford floor loom. Technically a table loom but I purchased the floor stand so I could be more comfortable when seated in front of hit. So with this goal now in sight I found the best fiber with glitter and bling to jump start the project. The best part of this project is there was none. I just sat and spun daily until I had a pound of two ply  yarn done and figured that the project would revile itself in my minds eye eventually. 


I will happily share the project now but not the recipient as I don't want the cat out of the bag. On the loom is a scarf/shawl . It will be when finished approximately 55 inches long and 14 inches wide. In addition a twisted fringe in the warp yarn will be added to each end. Which will add about 7 inches to the length on  each end.


Let us cover as much territory as we can in this post. After all one never knows when I will become derailed by something that sparkles. Isn't he/she lovely? This is the year of the tomato worm apparently. I had none, nada , no last year. This year they are becoming plentiful. Bless their little squishy hearts. But I have to admit they are lovely. That is what the chickens said as I toss them over the fence to them. 

Ah chickens that is the word. Another reveal in my world. My friend and I are going partners in the very first batch of meat birds on Walnetto Farm ever. Now the reason for that is I always knew someone who raised their own meat birds and would be happy to sell off extras to friends. So I couldn't see the logic in adding one more chore to my list. But I have bottomed out at the new location. Lots of folks doing it but not sharing. So my friend Jessica who I have known since she was two and her hubby are going in halves with me both in labor and $$. We will get 25 Cornish Boilers on October 14th and the grow is on. We will not be processing yet. Since this was a last minute act of insanity we choose to go with a processor who is available to us at decent rate and drop off in the morning pick up the next day. If all goes well we should be set up for processing the next batch in the Spring.

There are a couple of other potential items not quite to the reveal stage. I feel it best to QT these items just in case something changes in plans. So that gives you something to look forward to in the Fall. 

Cracker Jack and the pullets

Miss. Kitty and the Gopher


Saturday, July 17, 2021

Nothing Stays The Same But Change


I often think about people who say "I haven't changed I am the same as always." My silent thought is "well then you must be dead or stagnant for life produces change . " With that said more change here at Walnetto Farm in July. 

If you saw my last published post with the backhoe visit you know that I had some ground work done. Part of my reasoning was to take a prepared action for one of my mostly aging herd of LaMancha dairy goats passing. I now confess I knew that time was coming on us faster with each passing day. 

On Monday last Walnetto Farm 2 Cute 2 Be Bad or as I called her KC when she returned to me from the 4H'er who had both bought and named her as a kid took her leave from the farm.  She was ten  years old but she had taken a turn last Fall for the worst. And nothing I could toss out to her was going to change the outcome of her  journey.  I have a few photos of her but they are a filed way back in Google land and I haven't got my skills up to speed yet on the Chromebook to find them. She was a large correct pure white doe with a lovely udder. She had a even disposition and was never pushy or mean to her herd mates.


Some of you may remember Tubby Tabby shown above with her partner in barn cat antics Snowy River. Both Tubs and Snowy were stray kittens brought in at the SPCA where I worked as a vet tech during cat/kitten season. They found a home with me and made the move from the Golden Westside of Fresno county to Mendocino county , Shasta county where Snowy passed on and Tabs made the trip to the new homestead in Mariposa county marking her fourth barn to run in her 16 years. Tabs was a herpes kitten as so many street kittens are and with age her episodes became more intense and more frequent. The last intense heat event we had last weekend came on a collision course with her most trying event. She took her leave on Monday also and has earned a place in front of her favorite tree where she always laid out her lines of tolerance to any new recruits that were added to the barn patrol since we moved to the cabin. Let me add Tabs always ran a tight ship and brooked no nonsense from any of the new crew but seemed to have a soft spot for the Dude. 



The barn is now in the capable paws of Mama Cat and Essi her daughter and Dude's sister . They are joined during the day by the Dude and our newest recruit Miss. Kitty . All of my cats over the last 20 years have all been stray turn ins either to the shelter or to a rescue . I find it interesting that I have caught all of the current barn patrol resting on Tab's grave by her tree at one point or the other in the last week. And when I gave Sherman and Yarrow and opportunity to see her before she was laid on a bed of Pyr hair and straw her favorite mattress that lined her red cow mineral container that doubled as a bed for her when empty. Yarrow kept sniffing her and Sherman went manly on me with a quick sniff , a quizzical look in my eyes and walked away. 

For the most part I entertain the livestock and working dogs and cats as valued employees. But like employees tend to do they become family. They deserve respect and gratitude for the services they provide us and the companionship they give us. Some leave larger paw or hoof prints in out hearts but they are always shown kindness , gratitude and are part of the family. They will be missed.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Here Is One I Bet You Didn't Know.


What does this large hole in the ground have to do with ants? Also what do ants have to do with not having water for almost 24 hours? Anyone? 

As macabre as this may sound it really was a case of preparing for the worse. Ever since I moved here  in the back of my mind was the thought of what would I do if one of my small herd were to die ? If I had no one to help me how would I possibly hand dig a hole large enough for an adult doe or worse yet one of the two bucks? Geoffrey was a stickler for doing things what he considered old fashioned. I considered it just pretty much stupid as we had now "modern " tractors, backhoes, etc. However for the most part he did all the work and if that was his choice who was I to tell him come into the 20/21 century mister? 

Therefore my concern with what could become a big , stinky issue was pretty much justified. It was always in the back of my mind and finally I found a fellow with a backhoe about twenty minutes from me to come over and for an extremely reasonable amount dig a hole large enough to accommodate multiple deceased when using the bottom up method . Used very successfully in many places looking to accommodate everyone in rapidly becoming crowded cemeteries . 

Engine started the earth rumbled and the digging began. That is until on about the third bite the bucket snagged what appeared to be a DIY waterline. Confirmed by a loud sound of moving water which indicated a strong potential for the pipe breaking several feet up the line. All of that because no water was visible in the area below us. I began to sing "gotta love multi owned old houses that no previous owner made note of what they did." Now the race was on to the front yard (my house has three meters for electric in place this one was in front. It services the pump and the shop.) to shut off the water main and the electric to the pump. Beginning to see the light? The tall lady in the back hollers "but what about the ants?" 

Ahh yes the ants. When Bob opened the breaker box to shut off the breaker we encountered ants. Yes it is summer and yes I have ants but no I have never checked my breaker boxes for ants before. I ran for my spray bottle of Bac Out. Yes it is disinfectant as I had no ant spray handy and if you look closely note the word disinfectant has the root word ant in it.  I am only joking I know that is not really the root of the problem. HaHa!

So ants abated and water line capped off project was finished and we proceeded to turn back on the water and of course flip the switch. I checked the hose closest to the pump as I leave nothing to chance. Good  thing I did no water. I checked several more and determined no water anywhere. SIGH. Bob couldn't get the breaker to stay on nor could he get it to come loose of its attachment to the box. I thanked both Bob and his lovely wife Tammy who had run down earlier to bring him the cap and gluing compound for the broken line. Decided to call my electrician leaving a message for him to call me asap in the AM. 

Lance called me at 6:30 prompt and after a short conversation at his urging I called my pump guy because logic dictates that if it was more than just the breaker and included something going wrong in the process of trying to right this caused an issue with the electrical workings of the pump they could address that also. Not to mention but I will because my electrician is a super guy he had his entire crew committed to a job at the other end of the county. He would come if the pump guy couldn't but not until after his full day work. What a guy!

On close examination there were even more ants in the box when Beau got here than were there the night before . He hit it with serious ant spray and gave me a detailed lesson on how and why ants have caused more than one electrical issue . I am well educated , the ants are ding dong dead and gone, the pump is fine and I can take care of and wrangle this issue if and when this ever happens again. 

I am also happy to report that currently all goats are still standing and Bob very generously offered to come by if one should met their maker and bring the backhoe to cover them up. Of course leaving an appropriate amount of social distancing for the next victim deceased.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

A Walk Back In Time

I have no idea if this will work or not but I tripped over an old video I took of been our last home it was just kind of a fun ride to watch it so I’m posting a link to it I’m hoping it works if it doesn’t I’ll chalk it up to another act of the Internet. Enough time goes by you forget about all the fun stuff and this was an amazing trip and I am grateful to have done it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Yes We Have Chicks Plus This, That and The Next Thing

I was a slacker when the chicks arrived right on time.  I got organized and took a few photos and then poof be  gone. I will share my small offerings above. I will also after the loggers leave go out and  take some adolescent photos of the nuggets.

Loggers? Yes I had loggers today. I realized in early Fall that the three  eucalyptus trees close to the common fence line were not doing well. They were losing leaves and small branches that begun to look very dead.  I watched them through the winter and they continued to decline. I have always figured that with the height that they had the trees were at least as old as the cabin which went up in 1981. It took awhile to find someone to come out with the all the downed trees from late winter and the early Spring Mono winds events the need was great. I didn't mind at all taking a back seat to my neighbors in the our county who had trees literally in their kitchens, bedrooms etc.

I finally located a family who were 3+ generations in out county .  I like dealing local and especially the ones other highly respected their work and work ethic. So today was the big day the trees went down. Three eucalyptus and two incense Cedars that were planted by the previous owner .They were younger trees but unfortunately they were planted in the wrong place. Incense Cedars don't do well at elevations lower than 2000 feet and need full sun. So they went also and dead branches hanging over PGE lines that are deemed my responsibility were also removed.  They did an amazing job and at a very fair price. I am hopeful that in late winter we will light the burn pile and roast some marshmallows.

I will not use the eucalyptus to burn in the wood stove as the oils increase creosote and the chance of chimney fire. So I now have a huge burn pile patiently waiting for next February or so for the availability to burn without setting the world on fire. 

June has become  bnb month at my cabin.  It actually started with Genna over Memorial Day weekend. 

Next was my daughter in love , Genna's mama, Robin. We had a great time spending a day in Sonora and Jamestown. Had a great lunch at the Diamondback Cafe in Sonora if you are ever in the area great food at a great price. Next up a day trip this Friday from my sister , Annie my daughter the end of the following week . Potentially and old friend from True Northern California the last few days of June. I have a feeling that come July and August I will be my own best company! 

To say our weather has been wonky is an understatement. Cooled off beautifully after a week long warm spell and now we are marching back into a  heat up again. My garden is so confused it doesn't know if it is supposed to be setting veggies or going to seed. I snapped a few photos today . This garden has been in the ground since I believe late April? I didn't put last years in the ground until late May last year. Just flippin' crazy I say.

The bare root fruit trees I set in January are doing great. But I know until they are in ground for two years not to expect fruit or assume they all will live to tell about it. I am just delighted that they don't look like dead sticks I paid a nice sum for at this point! 

Need to get back at it. I will pop in again with more to share as it happens. 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Who Does Short Post? We Do Short Post!

 We are here life keeps throwing us in front of the bus. Spring sprang and that slow lazy Spring eluded us this year. 

More garden news and only the news worth publishing .  This is my Spring of contentment and only about a week away is another post .

What are you doing to make this your Spring of Contentment?

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Just When You Thought She Was Never Coming Back


The Dude has become my Ginger Maine Coon companion. No I don't know if he is any Maine Coon but I do know he weights 15 to 20 pounds . Trust me when I heft him my back protest loudly. He is NOT FAT he is solid as a rock at a bit over a year old. He is also a amazing hunter most likely due to his early months  living in a feral colony. But he loves me intensely and his favorite spot at night is on my lap getting a paw massage. Pathetic ? Yes but who cares not me!

I don't believe I ever posted  a photo of the new wood stove. It is from Pacific Energy and AMAZING. Am I excited? You bet it heats up to 2000 square feet and my living area have migrated up into the 72 degree range with repeated accuracy .  It also has a fan which pretty much manages to push the heat around my stubborn corner that goes around the kitchen island and then down the short hall to my bedroom.  Since installment wasn't until early March I haven't used it as much as I would if the weather was colder. But the times it has I give it an A+.

Flowers are a Spring passion. The wreath on the front door ( please note mat below) was one of a two piece set on sale for 50% off at Creekside Nursery in Mariposa. The nursery is one of my happy places.

The kitchen window cuties are from one of my stops to Trader Joe's when I happen to be in Fresno for appointments. Good price and very fresh. They have become a picker upper for me . I will eventually plant flowers galore but this year there are other fish to fry.

In descending order geraniums and the planter also Creekside Nursery. The planter another 50% off end of season find.  The signage is of course family and was made by Aubrey grandgirl number one. The adorable piggy sponge was in a basket of fun from one of my sweet "adoptive " grandgirls from long time friends.

                  My new hummer feeder that hangs in the garden in progress with one of my hummer family                                                                                   giving it a go.

Another surprise in store  mid May. You have most likely guessed but wait till you see who is coming.

The two photos above is what you don't want to see when you open your stock trailer door. This is not my first rodeo with this issue. It is a good trailer but the company should have made adjustments to the style of hinges they used for a door that large. That is all I am saying as I look for a welder who can handle aluminum.

New orchard! Front is an Arkansas Black and behind it a 
Johnathan . 

The Stella cherry tree.


Two tiny bare root peaches an Elberta Peach.

Lastly a Black Mission Fig. 

With guarded optimism I am calling the orchard a success for now. As we all know anything can and will happen in the orchard and garden!

Speaking of garden. Spring sprung early this year . We have cool to chilly nights still but days are in low to mid seventies. I need to do confession time now. No false advertising here. I added a new above ground planter. I needed more space and with all going on at this point something had to go. I found the lovely 48 square inches at the nursery. The price was good but it is p-l-a-s-t-i-c. The price of wood has shot up exponentially and I have just about used most of my left over pieces so I purchased it for a fraction of what wood would have cost to make it. I also gave myself some grace and and purchased starter plants for the most part. There I have confessed my cheating ways now I can sleep tonight. 

There is more much more. Which is partially why I have been a flake of late. More on that later. Hope you enjoy the update and that my momentum doesn't fail me now. Enjoy the coming week!