Thursday, August 29, 2013

Windows -Day 4

Today is day 4 of the 1 day window job. I am posting this using my phone app so I hope it comes out okay.
As usual this house is proving to be a challenge with it taking 3 to 4 hours per window installation. They first have to take down the siding trim very carefully and then cut the window opening to fit. While the windows are the same dimensions as the old ones the frame depth is wider. They are making a huge difference though and each one that goes up makes me happy. They all open and close!
I have a picture of the big living room window and the guys on the scaffolding attached here.
The other big news is the smoke from the Rim fire. Tuesday morning it looked like fog that had settled overnight. I worked outside for a bit but my eyes started burning and my lungs hurt so I stayed inside. I attached a picture of sunrise and the smoke. The other days have been good so far but it really is worse than you think.
Julie

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary Party - August 10th, 2013

My parent's party was so big I created a "page" for it - so please go there for the pictures etc.
http://www.mokehillhousefarm.com/p/tonseth-50th-anniversary-party.html

I want to recognize some people and organizations that helped make it a success -

Cupcakes and Cake - Debbie Cunningham 

http://www.thedessertstudio.net/home/Welcome.html

Party Venue - Diana Court

http://www.dianacourt.com/

Egg Rolls - Pho 2006 in Clovis, CA (Amazing spring rolls too!)


South Pacific Dance Company

http://www.kikiraina.com/

Catering by Love and Garlic
http://www.loveandgarlic.com/index.php

My sister Denise did a lot of work on the party including the video and all the decorations - we wouldn't have been able to make it happen without her!


Julie

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vacation! Aug 2013

Sorry for the delay in posting - my luck with computers keeps going!
I am on vacation and the first few days were spent in Fresno for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary party. (that will be it's own post) While I was there I was staying at a hotel next to the party site and I had my laptop there. Well.. I left my power cord in the hotel room. No big deal right? Just go to Best Buy and buy a spare one. After 2 tries I couldn't find one that worked so I went in to Best Buy to the computer sales team and showed them my laptop and asked them what was I doing wrong? Nothing, absolutely nothing because the laptop was so new that Best Buy hadn't started stocking the spares yet. What? I had to buy it off of Amazon and it was just delivered a minute ago. 

After the party I drove up to the house, because my window installation was to start on Monday. I am sooo excited about that... but when I got there, my wild jungle of a garden was stripped to the stems. All leaves were eaten off of all the plants including the prickly leaves of the pumpkins and squash. There were deer in my garden when I drove up! What is worse is that any vegetable that  was possible edible was eaten! My melons and zucchini and tomatoes were all eaten... with just small pieces left. In fact, there was one honeydew melon that was left alone and it wasn't ripe. When I went to bed it was fine but when I woke up, it was mostly gone! The deer don't eat the fruit, only the rats, raccoon, skunks and possums do that. I am going with skunk since I know one lives nearby.




Poor zucchini plant eaten to the stems
The jungle with the pumpkins and such is mostly gone


Zucchini eaten with teeth marks! The goats were really disappointed!

This honeydew melon was fine when I went to bed and overnight was almost completely eaten.

Sunset is really pretty this time of the year. I think it could be due to the smoke from the wildfires in the area?

My small little flock of turkeys is still there - they don't hurt the plants.
There are 2 does and their fawns that are eating most of the stuff - and one is the doe that has been there for a couple of years and really doesn't understand that I own the property. She walked right by the glass door to the front yard area. Funny thing - I am fine with them eating the grass and the flowers in the front since I have to mow that down soon.But the easy meal without any fencing doesn't seem as appealing as my veggies!


Yep - she is really not afraid of me.. I did manage to get one fig off the tree but it is not ripe yet. Wish I had more of them because they are just tasty!

 
Windows 
I started the window saga on Mother's day with a guy coming out and measuring the windows. It took me until early July to get a quote via phone.. and a few weeks later to get a quote via email. Finally I got a commitment to start installation on Monday the 12th of August.. I am not sure why I thought it would go smoothly. About 11am on Monday morning, 2 guys drove up with my 18 or so windows... and got out of their trucks. They were really nice but about 5 mins in, one guy finally states the obvious. He says "This is not a 1 day job for 2 guys..." Really? So they called the office to explain the situation, and now they are coming back with more guys at the end of the month.(They are going to need a bigger crew!)  Nothing in this house goes as expected and it is really comical sometimes. (I take that back - the flooring repair after the water damage was exceptional! They finished in 5 hours instead of 2 days!)

They worked for 3 hours and got one window done. My hope is that this will be faster than the 3 month flooring saga. I will let you know.

Fingers crossed!

Julie

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bat Follow-up and Skunks - July 27,2013

Skunks are pretty - really!

I get up pretty early in the morning, during the week it is around 5:15 A.M. and I "sleep in" on the weekends until 6:30 A.M. or so. By getting up that early and taking my coffee out on the deck, I get to see animals that are nocturnal and just getting a last forage in before heading off to their dens. Saturday morning was like that, with Casey and I out on the deck about 7 am or so. Casey is 15 years old and mostly deaf but man, she has the nose of the fox hound, and she may not be able to see when something is around, but when her nose goes up and she gets excited, I always look around to see what is there. And there it was, down in the pasture just below the fence where the fire pit sits. A skunk was digging around under the trees looking for the things it likes to eats..bugs, frogs, snakes and acorns. I have a lot of all those things. The thing with skunks is that they are pretty much fearless, and who wouldn't be in their situation? I imagine them as the "Hulk" of the animal kingdom. Skunks are docile and pretty when they are calm but you won't like them when they are angry! Here he (or she) is on a zoom picture. I didn't get that close!

Pretty Skunk!

Bats are gone!

We had an extreme amount of heat here for a week or so, with the temps around 112-115 F. Because the bats were roosting in a cavity above the window on the west side of the house, that temp was probably at least 20 degrees hotter. So they moved out on their own! But just to be sure, the pest control company still came out and sealed up the holes and put a "bat tunnel" where they were going in and out. It is a one-way door that allows the bats to leave but not to come back in. Here is what it looks like on my house. 
Plastic Bat Tunnel - they can get out but can't get back in.

Turkeys are stupid!

I had a really scary moment on Sunday morning - I heard knocking on my glass sliding door. I had been dozing in and out but that shot me straight out of bed. All these thoughts were running through my mind, like how could someone have come up the hill and the gravel driveway and I not hear them? And of course, my dog is sleeping away since she can't hear anymore. I peeked my head around the bedroom door and looked to see who it was.. and there they were. My local turkey flock of 2 hens and their 2 teens pecking at the door. You see they cruise through the yard every morning and late afternoon and the sun hit the glass just the right way to make it reflect, so they were pecking at the new turkeys they saw in the glass. They are so dumb! The dog and I stood there and watched them for about 2 minutes until they gave up... here they are moving on to another part of the yard. Probably talking smack about the rude turkeys who moved into their yard and won't even acknowledge them.
My little wild turkey flock - not the smartest tools in the shed!

Sunflowers are cut! 

And finally - I cut the heads off of 4 of the tallest sunflowers to get the seeds to dry out and save. If you are interested in getting a packet of seeds email me - julie@mokehillhousefarm.com

4 bees on one of the giant sunflowers
From the wild hills of the gold country,

Julie