Sunday, July 24, 2011

July18th 2011- Week off! Goats, Garden & Siding

Lots of exciting things were happening when I got to the house on Sunday... 1 big one was that my neighbor had brought his goats over and they were in the front pasture. But they had broken out at one point and had eaten their way through my wildflower meadow and all of nick's sunflowers... as well as breaking a hose timer off a hose. It was pretty funny because the wildflower meadow out front had a bunch of tall grass as well as the flowers, and they didn't eat the grass at all. Here is a picture of Casey in that meadow area before I mowed it down. 
Casey inspecting the front yard area after the goats went on a rampage. Every single flower was gone..
These goats are much sweeter and friendly than the dairy goats next door.. I have 11 ewes and 1 buck. They are boer goats that are raised for meat and they are pretty big. The full grown ewes were about 80-100 pounds and the buck was solid muscle and at least 150lbs. But the buck is named Tony and he loves you to scratch his nose.. really. Just like a dog..
Goat girls - 101 in the back there broke out twice on me!

here is 101 on the wrong side of the fence - naughty thing!

they are extremely friendly and love people

Rusty

Big Tony

They broke the shade structure that was there and laid on top of it..

Tony eating oak leaves
 I am very grateful to Titus and his family for bringing them over and glad someone is there to check on them daily when I am not.
Upon arrival, I went to check on the garden and the deer had eaten everything but the zucchini and broken one of the sprinklers. Here is what happens when zukes get left to grow on the vine..
3 of these were over 5 lbs... they got fed to the goats
Here is the deer that is enjoying my garden while I am gone.
One matchstick size asparagus shoot - they are perennial plants and will live for years. But they don't produce much until year 2 or 3... patience is needed for them.
Everything I want to grow is being eaten by something but there was a surprise on one of  the trees... once again one that looked close to dead when I got it.
Lots of persimmons and I don't like those either!
One other not so nice surprise was another cracked water pipe... yes another one. Not as bad as the one in the winter thankfully but still... what is going on with these pipes?
Who puts a pipe that close to the surface and then pours a concrete footing for the wall on top?
Thankfully my landscape contractor, Mike Kraft, came out and got it fixed for me. Also good was that we were able to find the crack without tearing up the wall.

The siding work got started on Weds with them basically tearing off all the trim pieces and cutting the window frames to square them off to be wrapped by the product. Here are the before pictures so we will have a frame of reference when it gets finished... which is supposed to be next Friday.. but we will see.
Front

East Side

North Side

South Side _garage

Deck
 Here are some pictures of what it looked like when I left and a close up of the trim being put on the windows and doors.
The trim is white and the main color is that cypress green next to it.

How do you work on a hill? Very carefully.

Deck area with the house wrap

Front with the old trim torn off and the windows wrapped

North side - window and door are trimmed and the house wrap is going up. Casey was not fond of the heat.

Garage
 There is so much going on right now that I wish I could have stayed longer but I have to get back to work. My company has a mid-year sales kick-off in San Diego this week and I have to go to that.
One last "exciting" thing happened on Friday night... while I was watching TV I kept hearing low flying airplanes and started to smell smoke. So I went outside and saw the CDF planes flying and yes smoke in the air...here is the sunset picture I took of it.
Not clouds but smoke
The fire was up by the river so far enough away to not put me in danger.. but still it really reminded me of the fact that the foothills can burn up quickly. This new siding being "not wood" has a pretty good fire rating as does the roof I put in. They wouldn't save the house from an inferno but would give it a better shot at surviving a normal wildfire. Especially with the trees that I cleared out from the front and side that were touching the house before... I always read articles on wild fires firefighters sometimes have to choose a house to defend, and will pick the one that has the best chance of surviving. So the wood cabin surrounded by dense vegetation will lose to a house like mine in that situation. I am okay with that.
One last thing - I made my first "sale" today off the property. I sold purslane to a lady who lives here in Orinda. My first sale is a weed... a nutritious plant but still a weed. I love silly stuff like that, keeps you humble!
$10 worth of purslane being washed


Julie

Friday, July 15, 2011

Quick Beach Trip - July14th, 2011 Marina CA

I took off work today to meet my parents in Marina, where they were trailer camping for the week. We went to dinner at Phil's in Moss Landing Thursday night, and Dad and I went to the beach after to go "fishing". It was really windy and cold but it was still nice. At the beach, we saw dolphins swimming! We took Princess Sophie with us but outdoor activities really annoy her... here are some of the pictures from that trip.
Mom and Dad outside Phil's.. just a fantastic restaurant!
Sophie when we just got there

Sophie hiding behind the bucket to block the wind. She was not amused.
Dad Fishing




I took this holding sophie at the beach. You can tell how windy it was!

I had a good time and I just the beach but it is always so cold. Never fear, I am heading the hills on Sunday as I have the week off.. and it will be toasty there. The home depot installers called me last week and I had a deja vu of the floor installation again. The siding was being trucked from Florida and it was late coming in.. so they are going to start 2 days later than they said. Not to worry they will be done by the 29th... what? I have to go back to work as we have a sales kickoff in San Diego starting the 25th....sigh... it will all work out. The floors may have taken 3 months but they are beautiful.. this will be fine.
Julie

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 4th Parade Pictures

As mentioned before, my camera battery was dead and I couldn't take any pictures... Mom sent me these that she and Denise took with the camera I bought her for her birthday.
The Weber's, Nick and I on main street before the parade started. I was talking to my cousin Larry on the phone..
Hotel Leger where most people sat and waited for the parade.

Start of the parade - the horses have a flag hoof-i-cure!

Dad's Favorite Entry

I call this one - Bleu(yes it is french just being pretentious)- Laine with her blue dress and tongue from the italian ice, wearing Gma's hat, with her mom's flag toes and gma's nails.
The parade and the whole weekend was a lot of fun, although it was blazing hot. July4th was 104 degrees..the parade had lots of characters who weren't marching that were entertaining as well. 
Coming up for the house - July 18th, is the week the new siding is going up... I am taking the week off for that!
Also- my neighbor just put his goats on my property this weekend. And one promptly broke out and joined my other neighbor's goats. No idea how that happened! These are Boer goats that are raised for meat, not dairy. It will be interesting to see if they can get my weeds down and how my dog reacts to them.

I put an ad up on craigslist for purslane, and have a lady who wants to buy some from me. I am giving it away to my friends who are interested as well. Isn't it funny that the first thing to make money for me on this property is a weed? I mean a delicacy? 

julie