Sunday, March 18, 2018

March Madness 2018 - Weather wise I mean


When I moved the blueberry plants up to the garden, we were in the middle of another drought year. No rain, no snow, no bueno. This month, March, has been wild in terms of weather. We have had some low snow levels and lots of rain, and yesterday, I got hail for about 15 minutes. 
Video of it coming off the roof of my house, it was so loud!

In the garden a few weeks ago, I took off all of the citrus from the trees ahead of all this cold weather and set about juicing them. My little lemon tree gave off about 200 lemons!
Yes this is a wheelbarrow full of citrus.. it was an amazing amount of fruit.

During the juicing process, first I rinse and scrub all the fruit really well in water with a tiny splash of bleach. There is a lot of mold spores out and I don't want to ruin my juice with mold. I juiced lemons and blood oranges and froze the juice.

First carrots of the year!
Warning - Plant Geek ahead!
I have a small patch of carrots because the seeds really didn't germinate this year as successfully as last year. (Carrots are notorious for being fickle to germinate.) This first bunch didn't taste too good I think because it had been so warm this winter, until these last two weeks. Next week I will pull a couple more and see if they taste better. Carrots are a winter vegetable, and need cold to taste better. (When it gets cold, they pull nutrients and energy from their leaves, and store it in the root.)They are also good for storage because you can leave them in the ground over winter, as long as the ground doesn't freeze really hard. Or you have voles that eat them all up! One other fact about carrots is that they are not annual or perennial, they are biennial ; which means they grow for the first year, and if you leave them in the ground, they will flower and set seeds the second year. I have never done this but I might do it this year with 1 or 2 of them. Just to see what happens.. of course, if the plant is a hybrid  even though it sets seeds, the results will be different than what you were hoping for. They will take the characteristics of 1 of the parents, not both. 

Okay enough plant talk! 



Sunday, February 18, 2018

Garden Bed for Blueberries Feb 2018


Last year, I went to a whole lot of trouble to create an area to grow blueberries and blackberries, where the old grape vines used to be. I worked on building that soil up, putting up a deer fence and even chopped down a tree branch that was hanging over the area. I planted them all and I was very happy.. until summer came around. My garden area is where I spend most of my time, but this large planting area was on the other side of the citrus trees and by the time I got finished with everything I was working on in the main garden, I never made it down to see them.  They suffered quite a lot I am afraid.. totally my fault. This winter I decided to move them up to the main garden, and built them a planting bed that used my old deck boards. I knew that I wanted something skinny and long so that it would fit in the area next to the strawberries.. so I found 2 each of the 16 foot boards for the sides, then cut 12 inch end pieces. I used corner brackets and screws to put them together because they hold better than nailing or just screws. I used the same technique when building up the strawberry beds as well, they just hold better especially when you have wood that is older.

Then of course you have to out in gopher wire which means staple gun time! You lay it out and just start stapling it to the frame, this was a narrow bed so I have the wire going down pretty deep. 

The view from my deck looking down at the completed frame for the planter, minus the dirt and the plants!

This weekend, I added the peat moss, the dirt and transplanted the blue berries. The like acid soil which is unusual and why I added the peat moss. I am not sure if they will make it since I so neglected them last year. If not, I will try and plant more next year and pay attention to them! They are bit hard to see because they are just sticks right now.. since they are dormant. Soon they should leaf out and I will see who is still alive. 
They are there I promise! They just blend in with the dirt right now..

This has been another really dry year, so I am not sure what I will be able to plant in the outside garden. I was really hoping to plant the Stupice tomatoes because they canned up so well and they taste wonderful still. When I open a jar of these beauties, it tastes like summer again!

We have some flowers blooming and of course I have to share the daffodil pictures before I go..

Thanks again!


Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree 2018

Hello All!

As you guys now know, as well as being an obsessed garderner and fervent fixer-upper, for the last 7 years or so, I have been assisting my mother with our family history. When the technology started replacing paper records, and when DNA really started to show results, it was too much for her to deal with on her own. So she leaves me to uncover the new family members (Hello Adam, Janet and Shasta!) as well as the deeply buried internet records, and she is now telling the story of the family to the rest of our family.

To that end, we are going to attend a conference at the end of May in Southern California, which has me excited because of the heavy presence of DNA talks! I wish there was more on how to become a genealogist as a career but hey, I will be learning a ton of things here!

If anyone is interested in coming to the this with me, here is the link;
Registration Page



Saturday, December 16, 2017

The man that started it all - Karsten Strom Tonseth (1889-1941)


My diversion into genealogy started with my dads grandfather, my great grandfather Karsten, who died before my father was born. (Just like my grandfather died before I was born, but that is another story.) The family didn't have a lot of knowledge about his life before America, only that he came from Trondheim, Norway and had 2 siblings. There were also rumors about he left Norway to avoid the draft and so on. We had 1 clue which was a letter from his mother, written in Norwegian when his third son Richard was born.  My mother had been focusing on her family for years and really didn't get far with my dad's family. Norway in general is difficult because even though they have great records, they are in Norwegian and frequently not digital. (This is rapidly changing and I am happy to see it!) So, here is the story that has created about my great-grandfather.. it is not complete but when you look at the documents and the details you can see that he travelled here at a young age following his cousin Svend. His cousin, is our cousin Kaare's uncle, so the whole thing came back in a circle. My dad and Kaare are good friends and cousins, just like Svend and Karsten. Karsten's Story


Life Story Narrative

When Karsten Strøm Tønseth was born on March 6, 1889, in Trondheim, Sor-Trondelag, Norway, his father, Ole, was 36 and his mother, Amalie, was 27. He married Edna Sandven on December 25, 1913. They had three children during their marriage. He died on July 26, 1941, in Westminster, California, at the age of 52.

Family Relationships


Life Story Events

  • 6 MAR



    Karsten Strøm Tønseth was born on March 6, 1889, in Trondheim, Sor-Trondelag, Norway, to Amalie Carstine Marie Rohde, age 27, and Ole Kristian Strøm Tønseth, age 36.

  • 22 APR


    AGE 0


    The Church of our lady

  • 1 JAN


    AGE 20

    The Americanization Movement

    Karsten Strøm Tønseth moved from Norway to the United States at a time when immigrants were expected to quickly assimilate into American society.
    • prescale The Americanization Movement
  • 11 JUL


    AGE 22

    Ellis Island passenger arrival Records (1892-1924)

    Arrival of Karsten Tonseth from Trondhjem, Norway at the age 22. year of birth 1889
    • not Ellis Island passenger arrival Records (1892-1924)
  • 1911

    AGE 22


    City record says that he was an unmarried masseur and left for New York 6/12/1911. Ship was the Oscar 2 - he went with Svein on the same boat.

  • 1911

    AGE 22


    According to the city record he left in 1911

  • 25 DEC


    AGE 24


    Karsten Strøm Tønseth married Edna Sandven on December 25, 1913, when he was 24 years old.

  • 1913

    AGE 24

    Death of Father

    His father Ole Kristian Strøm passed away in 1913 in Trondheim, Sor-Trondelag, Norway, at the age of 60.

  • 18 MAY


    AGE 28

    Registering for the Draft in World War I

    After the Selective Service Act was signed in May 1917, Karsten Strøm Tønseth registered for the draft.
    • prescale Registering for the Draft in World War I
  • 20 FEB


    AGE 28

    Birth of Son

    His son Karsten Waldemar was born on February 20, 1918, in Canton, South Dakota.

  • 6 JUN


    AGE 30

    WW I Draft Registration

  • 1920

    AGE 31


    Karsten Strøm Tønseth lived in Canton, South Dakota, in 1920.
    Age: 31; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head

  • 10 MAR


    AGE 35

    Birth of Son

    His son Robert LeRoy was born on March 10, 1924, in Canton, South Dakota.

  • 10 SEP


    AGE 37

    Birth of Son

    His son Richard Leon was born on September 10, 1926, in Canton, South Dakota.

  • 1928

    AGE 39


    Karsten Strøm Tønseth lived in Norfolk, Nebraska, in 1928.

  • 1930

    AGE 41


    Karsten Strøm Tønseth lived in Canton, South Dakota, in 1930.
    Age: 40; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head

  • 1935

    AGE 46


    Karsten Strøm Tønseth lived in Long Beach, California, in 1935.

  • 1937

    AGE 48


    Karsten Strøm Tønseth lived in Long Beach, California, in 1937.

  • 1939

    AGE 50


    Karsten Strøm Tønseth lived in Long Beach, California, in 1939.

  • 1 APR


    AGE 51


    Karsten Strøm Tønseth lived in Long Beach, California, on April 1, 1940.
    Age: 50; Marital Status: Divorced; Relation to Head of House: Lodger

  • 26 JUL


    AGE 52


    Karsten Strøm Tønseth died on July 26, 1941, in Westminster, California, when he was 52 years old.
    Buried in Westminister Memorial Park