Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend 2012

Memorial Day 2012

What does it mean to you? For me it is thinking not only about the military forces who lost their lives but my own family members who have left too soon... and how their passing has re-adjusted my life path. I am not going to go into more of that but if you know the loss of my cousin who died at 42 from cancer, you what effect it had on the family. The first couple of months after she died, I sat on the couch kinda in a stupor and then decided to work for something bigger than me. I raised money for the American Stroke Association and completed the Huntington Beach marathon. Then I bought this house... I am not going to "blame" her for that as I have been a real estate junkie for years, but it was her death that pushed me to do it. Why wait any longer to do something you have dreamed about when you never know what will come next week or next year?

Now on to less thought provoking things... like my garden, the car show in Valley Springs and the view from my deck!

Let's start with the car show at the Valley Springs driving range. It had about 200 cars some were "classic" and some were modified. I love American hot rods and muscle cars.. don't get me wrong, European cars are nice but if you step on the gas and the engine noise makes me tingle.. that is my kind of car.

53 studebaker

my fav - shelby cobra

same shelby

engine that won it an award

another shelby

This guy built this platform on his motorcycle for his dog. Very clever!

My veggie garden is coming up really well... I have taken a different approach to the weeds this year. If you are not in the planting bed itself and you don't have stickers or are going to choke my plants you can stay. I am encouraging the Purslane because more people are interested in it.. and it turns out, it doesn't need any encouragement! It just grows like crazy. I am thinking about what to make with it when it starts getting big enough in a couple of weeks. (If you are interested in Purslane, email me at
Corn and a "volunteer" potato

Tallest of Nick's Sunflowers - if you look on the ground, that is purslane.

Tomatoes.. hard to see I know but I am eternally hopeful that they will do better than last year.
KC on the deck - enjoying the view with me. Ok she is trying to stay awake, but where is the story in that?

Rain clouds leaving the area on Sat afternoon.. this is the view from my deck and yes I spend a lot of time on it!

Same as above, just a different cloud

Sunset - Almost from my deck. I keep trying to capture the light as it hits my trees just before sunset, but the camera can't quite do it justice.
 Other things... mostly I spent the weekend weeding ... and the skunk cruised through again. I have a bachelor Quail living on my back hill by himself with a lady friend that comes to visit. You can't sleep past 6:30 because the roosters start crowing at about 4:30am... some people think live in the country is quiet! I laugh at that... I have roosters, turkeys, peacocks, squirrels, cows and of course dogs making all sorts of noise. But I like it... :)  Sometimes I think this house has been the only thing that has kept me sane for the last few years... my job is amazingly intense and so many people count on me. That I can feel my blood pressure going up and I want to just run away... and I do.. to MokeHill.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Sheriff's Log Entries - Calaveras Enterprise

The local paper up there Sheriffs Log on May 4th will publish in Friday's paper some of the calls that the sheriff gets.. most are boring, fights, theft and drunk driving arrests. But on May 4th there were some really funny ones.. and yes these are real!

- Very low flying helicopter reported
- Person trimming plants from neighbor's side of the property line
- Wagon-mounted flame thrower disturbing neighbors (those neighbors sure are intolerant of your toys!)
- Prowling. Old School Way. (that is a street name but when you read it together it makes me laugh!)
- Suspicious dog barking; would not return when called. (Did you mean to call a dog trainer?)
- Equipment problems (Really? you call the sheriff?)
- 911 misdial; caller meant to call 411 and is sorry; wanted to let dispatch know he is a firefighter for the forest service; sounds somewhat under the influence.

These were all in the same edition of the paper... I had to share because it is one of those things that you don't believe until you read it.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day - 2012

Happy Mother's Day!!

I got a special treat this weekend! Nick went up to the house with me and for my mother's day gift, built me a "hoop house" greenhouse. (Well, it is almost done, we forgot to get clips to hold on the plastic so it will get finished the next time he goes up.) For those of you who don't know what a hoop house is, it is made out of bending PCV pipe in a half circle shape and fastening them on the ground. We used rebar hammered into the ground and just put the pipes over the top. Nick used a greenhouse plan from a book that I bought and it went pretty well. Except for the rebar that wasn't in a straight line and dodging the massive ant hill we were building it next to.

You start out with 2 - 10ft sections of PVC and glue them together with a connector, that will also hold the cross bar.

First hoop is up and Nick is pounding in the rebar for the others.

Using a bigger hammer to get it 2 feet into the ground.

What do you mean that they aren't going in a straight line?

Re-positioning the rebar,
All the hoops and connectors are up, next is the plastic and the clips.
I am very excited to see if I can get my veggies started in there and grow things the deer love, like green peppers in there year round. Thanks Nick!


Garden Pictures May 2012

I have been up at the house the last two weekends mainly to get the garden started and try to tackle some of the weeds. 

In my veggie garden area I planted:
7 - tomatoes
Tons of corn seeds (4 different types)
yellow and green zucchini
Canteloupe seeds
green beans
green peas

And I got 3 more fruit trees - dwarf lemon, blood orange and a full size lime tree.

In the front yard the grasses and wildflowers are finally blooming now that they got some rain and it warmed up a bit. 

Here are the pictures from the garden areas--

Blood Orange (Dwarf)
Lemon - Dwarf

Pale Bluish/Purple Iris
Lime Tree

Lupines in back


Yellow Lupines


Front Yard


Dwarf Mexican Evening Primrose

Poppies in front yard

Nick's Sunflowers
 All the planting and getting the irrigation right, is tiring but I am hoping that this year I will get more from the garden than last year. Last year it was too wet and cold during the summer, and when it finally heated up it was too late in the season to get much. Although I sure got a lot of zucchini!