Friday, September 28, 2018

Public Service Announcement


This photo has no significance to anything other than I like it. Well wait maybe it does as we are looking rain in the face. It is supposed to begin on Sunday and potentially go through to Tuesday or Wednesday. Not a lot but enough to settle the dust for which both I and my abused sinuses will be thankful. Trust me living on 42 acres with the wind blowing isn't pretty. Also the temperatures are dropping down again and hopefully they will stick. There is nothing pretty about 93 degrees in September  even for a life long California girl. 

With that said this post is just what it says. Life has gone into high gear again. Loosely translated means I somehow forgot where my "no but thanks I can't do that" button is. And I have managed to commit myself to be overly committed. It in reality began last weekend and will go through the first part of next week. Why? Because next week is  the beginning of another month. "What "cries the crowd "how can that be ?" 😱

So until I wind my through this mess obligation my mouth got me into and the first one to two days of October I will may go underground. I owe a couple of blog friends emails and find myself reading but not commenting on other blogs. I have tried to correct much of that this morning. 

Until then I bid you adieu . Unless I get a rush of energy and time at the same point. Good grief all these variables!!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Bits And Pieces Yeah,Yeah,Yeah

  Miss Flame is getting older but "still the baby!" And being the baby earns being tucked under Mama's wing every night on the roosting bar. Look closely hen pops out at top tail feathers at the bottom. Shows how she has grown. And when I go in each night to check on everyone if she is tucked way under and I call her name she will pop her little noggin out and peep a reply. I do believe she knows my voice now.  

Just for comparison is the one above .

This is Walnetto-Farm ST Wilhelmina aka Willa. But now she has registration papers and a secret.  Stay tuned for more . . .

A volunteer under this 

Each night when I water it I pinch off the older blossoms and the sweet one above popped up.

The new batch of Dinosaur Kale starts. 

And this morning while fruit stand hopping I found this. One pound of Chandler walnuts new crop. I do much better with this variety as it is less acidic than the others. I can eat them raw with abandon as well in baked goods. And I love the label who knew you could go to college by "going nuts"? 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Six Days To Go And It Is Beginning To Feel Like Autumn !

Woke up to a crisp Sunday morning and 46 degrees in the air. The air was there no smoke, no haze. The sky was blue a deep blue I haven't seen in about 10 weeks. It looked a lot like this. But today there were no clouds. 

Remember this cute chick and her Mama?

The first night that Flame was out with Mama they ended up sleeping in the original Chick hotel since Flame couldn't mange to get airborne high enough to join Mama on the big chicken roost. Well the second night mind you I walked in there they were. Snug as two bugs in a rug and I do believe I saw a degree from the aeronautics division of avian sciences tucked under Flame's left wing.

And then last night I went out to say goodnight to everyone and give treats to goats and dogs and yes chickens. Good grief I spoil this crew! I couldn't find Flame I could hear her but couldn't find her.   "Flame " I called and I hear "peep,peep,peep." Then again and again with increased concern as I scoured the coop I would holler again and get back another "peep,peep,peep." Mama and Flame had been excavating a few inches deep area in the front of the coop that afternoon so I am thinking "Darn chick thinks it is Indiana Jones!" But I knew Mama was up on the roosting bar by her sisters and then it dawned on me. She did look a bit rounder than usual I took a look from the bottom, nothing. First the right side and then the left. Mama you are really poofing out those wing feathers. I looked down to the roosting bar . Very very suspicious "Mama hen your left wing has sprouted feet."   Just then she ruffled her wing feathers and out walked Flame. I laughed hard at them " Mama you are just like Mother Ginger in the  Nutcracker ballet." 

 Today in the early morning sun Mama hen and Flame were back at it. A scratching lesson again today. It has been fun watching them When I toss grains and veggie clippings to them it is interesting watching Mama chat at Flame incessantly in explanation as she picks up a piece of lettuce and drops it at Flame's feet and showing her again how to pick it up. I bet Mama hen sleeps well at night.  If you can't see Flame enlarge the photo and look on the outside of the fence to the right(your visual right) of the T post. Where else would that sweet little chick  trouble maker be but on the wrong side of the fence. She needs to put on a few pounds! I have watched her drive Mama to distraction running in and out of the no climb fencing. But she always comes back.

Welcome to my garlic bed of 2018 . OK then in progress but one has to start somewhere right?The red flowered plants to in the front left above are a gift from my nursery fiber friend Pam. They are a great butterfly/honey bee and hummer attractant. They were also volunteers this year and I just love them. They will stay until winter calls them home.  If you remember correctly this was the  sunflower bed of this summer. If not here is a refresher.

So today I got busy and turned the soil, got rid of the last of the sunflower roots and mixed in some well aged barn cleanings and a few other goodies and watered it amply. That is Rose to the rear a 4 year  old rosemary bush that began very small and loves where it lives. The artichoke plants outlived the area and the asparagus was a challenge but Rose is dependable and the hummers, honeybees and butterflies love her . I do also especially in soft goat cheese I make.

What else got accomplished this day before one o'clock? I cleaned out the green house to the bones. It was in a terrible state of disarray. I had in fact been dreading the task. I wasn't planning on doing it today but the day is so cool only now at almost three in the afternoon has it reached 80 degrees with a wonderful breeze. And I wasn't looking forward to doing it in warmer weather so I jumped in and got 'er done. Of course no camera in this unplanned venture but I got it all out and will be rearranging things and adding new within the next few weeks. I need to get my salad greens going like yesterday 🙀 I will get some photos as it progresses over time.

Wishing all those experiencing inclement, nasty and downright life threatening weather on the other coast prayers of peace and safety. Perhaps we will all see a calm winter with weather that brings a prosperous Spring for our gardens . I am looking forward to waking to more calm, cool skies as we had yesterday .


Friday, September 14, 2018

I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire - I Just Want To Start A Flame In Your Heart

Remember Flame? Flame was laid in the coop just as the Carr fire was getting going. There were two other eggs that her mama produced after laying the first. As I said foolish woman I was I failed to mark the eggs as we used to in years gone by. So imagine my surprise when I found two more (a total of 5) eggs in the nest. Since it was about a weeks difference I simply calculated a five day difference in hatching and hoped she would keep them warm.

Well the twenty-first of August I went out to check the nest and low and behold above is what I found. At that point there were only two other eggs left in the nest and she was keeping them warm. But of course she was nesting in a nesting box that was not a good place for a small chick. No food, no water and about three feet off the ground. So I made a safe place for them and moved everyone including the last two eggs. Worked well but the more active Flame became the more Mama was up and running. Finally on an egg check just before the last hatch date an egg was accidentally broken.Luckily it was an old egg no chick and most lucky because it didn't smell. Nothing like a rotten egg.😷 Then a few days later Mama was done and the last remaining  egg was fairly cold. Lucky another not viable egg. Not that I am fond of bad eggs but I would have felt bad if a viable chick died due to my lack of egg marking. I know livestock = dead stock but still 😪

So here we are almost a month later and Flame is a very precocious single chick. She has learned her Mama lessons well. She can roost about a foot off the ground, scratch with the best of them and steals grape treats from her Mama. And mercy me she is a big girl now!

I took down all the road blocks and put extra steps on the big waterer and feeder. I took the water out of their pen and left the hanging feeder and during the day I open the door so them can go exploring but dash back to home if needed or desired. So far the hens have pretty much ignored them. Mr . Paul Newman was snippy with Mama hen but just gave Flame the eyeball. To which I reminded him he is part of the equation in all this.  Flame is sporting all her secondary feathers and has really long legs perhaps Papa's side of the family?

Forgive the darkness of the photos. I am not sure what went wrong on a few of them but if I dink with them too much there is almost no definition at all. So just click on them and you get a better look when they are enlarged. 

I went out last night to check on everyone only to hear Flame cheeping like crazy. Mama was up about three feet on a roosting board with her two sisters. Little Flame couldn't make the jump yet.Mama kept encouraging her and Flame keep peeping frantically "I can't Mama I can't." So I snagged Flame and with the other hand grabbed Mama set her on the ground cared Flame over to the baby pen and deposited her , scooted Mama in gently with a foot . I then added a small waterer and closed the panel. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh the sounds of silence.

I was unsure of how the first day out would be but I had kept the little pen mostly intact assuming the moving chicks and hens is like moving goats around. Rule number one NEVER NEVER NEVER TAKE DOWN OLD PEN UNTIL YOU ARE SURE THE NEW ACCOMMODATIONS WORK! 
So Mama and Flame will continue to spend nights in the safe pen and the days exploring.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Well What Have We Here?

 If you need it a clue. It is green has leaves and a stem ? Indeed another "matoe" as my second oldest grandgirl called them as a toddler. Always wanting when she visited us "Grandpa's matoe Gammie?"
This one is on the Celebrity .

 And if that weren't enough to make this girl's heart go pitter patter on the Shady Lady next door to the Celebrity what do I spy? Not one but two "matoe's" the one in front and a smaller one behind it a bit to the left.

Just a quick post now out to do chores and milk. More post to follow on Flame and Mama Hen's big day out soon!

Monday, September 10, 2018

I Am Thinking About A New Post

I am known for my dark humor. I have always figured my dark humor developed because of my fairly short but much loved professional time as a veterinary technician. I have know many folks in professions that deal with people, animals and death plus everything in between. I am a firm believer that one needs to place boundaries to survive in those professions. With that said I found considering the situation in Shasta county this summer the signage (especially the top part) amusing. For those older folks with poor eye sight just click to enlarge.

Wowzers! A feed store I frequent has a meet the vendors day and a huge raffle every first full weekend in September. It has evolved over the first few years that in interest of keeping the raffle under two or three days     hours that one is present when the drawing is conducted. Guess who won a goodie bag. It has lots of dog, cat and bling type things. What doesn't get used at the farm will be gifted to someone who needs it. There was also a gift certificate for a large bag of grain free (Taste of The Wild) dog food. That will find a home also. Ok I must confess I had my eye on the 5 bales of shavings and 20 bales of alfalfa but I will be happy to leave with more than I came with . NO WHINING!

Today was a first in awhile for two events. Note the Shingletown Ridge above the tree line where it is foggy smokey. This is the first day in a long while we have had smoke so thick at our place. I have checked multiple times today for Cal Fire updates. None, nada. Well that is a good thing so the wind much have really shifted as when I woke up this morning all I could smell was burning grass and that had me worried.

The second event hadn't occurred in this kitchen since early June.  We have here ladies and gents a rising loaf of sourdough bread. I have missed my bread . Mostly because I love bread baking and secondly because I bake a nice product. I hate to toot my own horn but I will!

It is a 24 hour project in all. Fermentation can't and shouldn't be hurried. I mix the sourdough starter , flour and water to let stand covered for 5 hours. Then I put the whole deal in the fridge to get that sourdough bite everyone loves. So what is that?  Per King Arthur flour it is as follows:
A combination of lactic and acetic acids, created as the dough rises and ferments. Refrigerating the dough encourages the production of more acetic than lactic acid: and acetic acid is much the tangier of the two. Thus, sourdough bread that is refrigerated before baking will have a more assertive sour flavor.

I have used a recipe of King Arthur flour for years. I use my own starter passed down to me from Janet who lived across the way on the cattle ranch. I use my own blend of flour but I like this recipe the best because the comment is "wow this is sourdough!" A nice firm outer crust but a firm soft (yes a bit of both) inner with lots of those air pockets but not holes we are used to seeing in good sourdough loaves.

What may be my last home grown tomato (Shady Lady) of the year. The weather got so wacky with the fires I don't know if I will end up with more than the two that were on the plants when I bought them. But they were worth every penny! 

Don't you agree?

My Celebrity has flowers on it . But now the weather is cooling down and we will see. I may move them into the green house to see if that helps. We are anticipating a 47 degree low  tomorrow night and as much as I am savoring that it may end my BLT season. ;-(

 The lady above is Allison. She is setting up her supplies for a round of bobbin lace making at the 37th Jubilee for the Tehama county historical society. The loom to her left is the same one pictured below. It is the loom the shawl was woven on in our just for fun Sheep to Shawl event. But back to Allison. She hopped in her vehicle and came down from Lakehead to join us. Impressive? Well yeah it is a good 2 hour drive but Allison didn't need to worry about traffic she was the traffic. You see Allison and her hubby live within three miles of the Hirz fire. And after the Delta fire started that has totally cleared north/south traffic for 10 miles it made Allison the only girl at the dance 'er freeway. Since she is below the Delta fire and was going south she had I5 all to herself until she reached the southern blockade. Allison is a British girl here by marriage. She is gutsy , old enough to not care and takes calculated chances. She regaled us in her dry British wit with fire stores and we laughed and she did too. Good hard belly laughs that friends do together when the danger is near but we are strong country women who are old enough to have seen enough to know laughter with friends is stronger the whatever these fires can throw at us. Then later in the afternoon Allison drove home clear sailing. Gods speed.
The beginning of the shawl in plain weave on a 8 dent reed. The plying of the multicolored singles creates the pattern. It is a good representation of what I have talked about before. Letting your yarn do the pattern not the pattern bling the yarn.

This is Colleen the weaver. Marching down the row of spinners. I am far to the left out of sight. The sweet lady last in the line is Patty she was our ply spinner spent her day collecting our singles from our bobbins and plying them two ply (twisting two single strands of yarn together) and putting them on bobbins
for Colleen to work her magic with the shuttle. And yes you can shoot me now but I had to leave before the shawl was cut off the loom. But I will get a photo of it. The shawl was to be donated to the Tehama County Historical Society to raffle off for some needed income to further their cause.

That is it folks for now. The end of the week I will be back if not before with a post about Flame's big day. She is almost a month old and Friday Flame and her Mama Hen get released into the flock. She is much larger than her last photo and wiser. She is roosting and stealing grape snacks from her Mama. So I shall gets photos and post them up for you all to enjoy.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Third Time A Charm?

Here is a link for anyone interested. From where I stand the Mrecury has done some excellent reporting. At this point there are three small communities potentially in the direct path of this fire. If this one does what the Carr fire did this could become beyond awful for many. I will post again with other goings on unrelated to the fires.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Fart In The Woods

Well well well next.

This is not a Cal Fire incident . This is in the area where the cattle ranch across the street runs cattle often. Someone remind me not to get too smug until oh , say December. And then only if there is rain. 😝


Can You See What The Eye Sees?

Don't you just love the topiary rabbit at Golden Leaf nursery? I do it made my day a couple of weeks before when I dropped into visit with my friend Pam who works there.  And being a smart rabbit it is wearing sunglasses to protect its eyes.

I mentioned that there would be an update on this fellow. I am using the same photo from the original post to share with you all that he has Shingles of the optic nerve. I will not use another photo until I get one that reflects him in a better light, um, so to speak. He sorta looks like the Walking Dead at the moment, poor guy.

To recap here is what our friends on the internet have to say about this

We are at roughly week 8 , week 7 if you are counting only visits after the first visit with the O.D. and subsequent visits with the ophthalmologist.  However it was somewhere between week 1 to 2 that he began having symptoms but did share them until week 2. Whatever ;-0 I don't believe I posted the last visit with the ophthalmologist which resulted in his not needing to have the eyelids on the left eye sutured together for a month. As they began to open and close helping decrease the dry eye syndrome on its own. However on the week 6 visit he was given a new drop prescription as he had an increase in the pressure of the  inneroccular area and the attending ophthalmologist referred him to see the specialist in the group dealing with that after a week on the drops.

Well ( I know Susan a new paragraph ) today was that visit. The take home from it was the pressure is decreasing (thankful) and the news this week is as follows. Keep using the new drops but decrease to twice daily from four times daily. And that the doctor is concerned that the nerve damage to the left top eyelid may be permanent. That is something that only time will tell. Still with us is the relentless discomfort, sensitivity to light , somewhat elevated pressure in eye (but danger of permanently distorting or explosion of eye is less)   and lastly unbearable fatigue.

The good news is he began walking the English and BC / Aussie two days ago. The bad news is that is all he can do for now still remaining horizontal in pain most of every 24 hours. The good news is he is not hard to find. The bad news is the firewood needs another couple of cords or more for winter. The worse news is I may end up learning how to use a maul and sledge hammer. In which case I may end up horizontal also. But the upside is "country girls can." Stay tuned as he has graduated to biweekly appointments so another installment can be expected in two weeks.

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