Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fire! Fire!

Our View
 Less than 4 miles away and burning out of control for three days 1,200 acres burned before firefighters were able to contain it.  This was our view from the ridge. was the view from our ridge.....
 Total fire personnel 1,016, 88 engines, 37 fire crews, 4 air tankers, 6 helicopters, 7 bulldozers and 14 water tenders.

Fortunately, there were no deaths involved. One barn was destroyed and 250 homes evacuated... Pretty hairy, but we have gained some valuable knowledge about an escape plan and what we would take with us.

Arial View

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Last Look Back

Remembering our old homestead back in Wisconsin and some of our old feathered friends.. We sure miss them.
 1908 Victorian country home

Catching bugs in my gardens-Aurther and Guinnevere
Silkie and Sultan in my flower bed

Popcorn-He was a tiny little sweet fairy rooster!

Lancelot-looking in the screen door

Back Porch Sunsets

Our Furry Family

Ling Ling- Still so painful. We lost him the first week we arrived in CA-to snakebite

Luna the Great Explorer -Goes on all the walks-never gets's tired-amazing! 
 Briar - A little big for that basket! Lazy, lazy boy (Tucks Brother)

Onyx in his favorite spot-the recycle box

Luna in her hanging basket-8'high!


Max and Ling
Kilroy Was Here

Rio-(Luna's sister)moved out and in up at the neighbors-thriving as their only pet-Spoiled Brat!

Tansy the Bearded Collie



Tuck-Briar's brother-was a bottle fed baby feral

Luna finding all the possible perches in the yurt

Lilly-Calla's sister



Wiggles-aka Willow

Onyx-the perfect car passenger.

Rio in her hanging basket

Cuddle Puddle

Skywatching and Swimming Cats

With Spring slipping into Summer, I've created an open air bed for star-gazing, nite writing and better sleeping at nite. The nite noises are amazing and Luna sleeps with me in here instead of in her hanging basket which hangs from the ceiling in the yurt. It always surprises us when she jumps waaay up, basket swinging, as she settles into it.  Well, as I type away and Luna is snuggled into my neck, we listen to the coyotes, crickets and bullfrogs, It's easier to remember why we moved out here.
During the heat of the day, I sometimes forget, and wonder what we could have been thinking.....

My gardens are doing ok, I guess...winning some losing some-to be expected when one moves 6 zones in either direction. We knew we would make some mistakes, and find out what works in this dry heat. I'm still seeding things out in cells though, and continue to free seed my four  herbs that I never have enough of...Parsley, Cilantro, Basil and Dill.  I only got one single Lovage baby to make it and I'm babying the hell out of it in a pot. Bummer-it's my most favorite!

More settled in, Solar is up and running pretty well, but we need two more panels to handle our water pump,( which is solar) the swamp cooler (which is not), but IS A NECESSITY when the  temps get up in the 90's and 100's (like today)

We run it when we run the pump on the generator so it handles both on a daily basis, so we're anxious to get off of gas completely.

Learning alot about which flowers hold up in extreme heat and shade. It's pretty surprizing, actually...Snapdragons, Petunias and Calibrachoa (million bells) are all doing great in dappled sun. It's been fun mixing shade and sun flrs and with great success! I have succulents in quite a bit of shade and they too are florashing, and I'm working on enlarging the patio/planting topicals and mist system for our personal oasis. Can't believe what is hardy here! Also hoping to install a small water fountain/garden-just a glorified bubbling watering hole for the animals to have fresh moving water available at all times.

The heat is taxing on the animals so.... I've begun taking them swimming...I'm trying them all to see who enjoys it (or not)


I took Luna  in the water yesterday and once in the water, I floated her a bit and released her. She appeared to like it so much that this morning when I had Briar in the Pond she came running over and this time she did was totally calm when I took her  out and released her. She really enjoys it. Not a big surprise though-she has also jumped onto my air mattress from the shore and hangs out at the pond a lot.

Only one of the four I tried was an awkward swimmer-Lily. Big tubby Belle, was amazingly graceful and Briar also seemed to enjoy. I'll try the other three tomorrow, perhaps...Pond water sure makes their coats silky and a lot easier to remove those doggon stick-tites that plague everyone but Max!  I'll try to get pictures next time.

John is really enjoying doing the Farmer's Markets. He takes his succulents to two a week and he's building a nice clientele and making friends. Between that and our website sales, that's what we're living on...

John's Succulent Collections


Garden #6

Our Morning Walk-up on the ridge.

Kale & Onion Garden & Tansy