Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter Blue

Kristine took this photo on Tuesday with my camera trying to capture the beautiful deep blue sky. I have seen the sky like this a few times and the blue is hard to describe and even more striking than in this photo. Almost all the snow is gone tonight in the heavy rains we have been having, but we may have snow tonight if it gets cold enough.

There was a break in the rain this morning which allowed me a chance to let the chickens out in their pen. The hens walked calmly out and stood on the wet straw, looked around, fluffed up their feathers and then strolled back inside when it started raining again. I left the bottom of the windows uncovered so they can go outside when they want. I thought they would be more excited to get out.

I found a rainfall map here and thanks to the rain we are having I'm sure we will be over the 50% mark this year. I lived in the Santa Cruz Mountain through the wettest and second driest years on record.

During the heavy rains of 82/83 the mountains turned into peanut butter and slid all over the place blocking roads and doing all kinds of damage. The hill above us broke away and slid down and crashed into the side of our house, knocked in the wall and came more than halfway through the house. Amazingly the second story wall held, the rest of the house acted as a retaining wall and held back the hill. That was scary. That was the year Love Creek went and buried homes and people. Lots of people lost their homes and lives. One of my neighbors was killed when his tractor tipped over when he was trying to clear the road.

Correction: Kristine just told me I got my mudslides mixed up. 78/79 is when the mudslides hit the side of the house, knocked in about 24 feet and went inside. 82/83 is when, after the retaining wall was built and the house repaired, another mudslide came around the back of the house and filled up the backyard three and a half feet, right up against the back of the house, but didn't come inside. There were other mudslides, but these were the biggest.

1976/77 I remember as hot, dry and uncomfortable. Our home was on well water and the well ran dry and we had to haul water from Los Gatos or Scotts Valley to fill the tank. We became major water conservationists. If I could think of a way not to use water I didn't use it. The girls were told not to flush the toilet unless really necessary and to pee outside was advised. Peeing off decks into the forest was also enjoyed by the fellows in the area, but a bit hard for the girls. We used paper plates and picnic stuff we could throw away so we didn't have to use water to wash dishes. Simple cooking: baked potatoes, lined pans with aluminum foil to cook roast, etc., salads. We went to weekly baths and clothes washing. No watering which meant plants died. I remember our neighbors leaving to drive down to Santa Cruz to sleep on the beach because it was too hot to sleep at night. I remember being very afraid there would be a forest fire. It was so dry the forest would have exploded.

Then there was the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that cracked the house down the middle, the other mudslides, the forest fires, the road cave ins, etc. Yep! I guess it was just one disaster after another living in those beautiful redwood mountains, but it was worth it being surrounded by all that beauty.

Tom and Kristine are watching Rio Bravo. Love that movie. I think I will watch The Ladykillers with Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, and Katie Johnson. I like movies that have great dialog.

I made chicken soup with rice for dinner tonight. We had garlic bread, so that made an easy dinner. It is not even 5:30 and it is already dark. I'm going to go check on the chickens again after I post this. Maybe there will be an egg? I'll have to wait for a break in the rain because it is coming down in buckets.

[no eggs today]


diane said...

you certainly have experienced some harsh weather over the years. We get the cucles of flood and drought. At the moment its very dry and very hot.

DayPhoto said...

Weather is such a part of our lives that sometimes it seems normal.

You have had an amazing life, Dear Friend.


Callie said...

diane: Ah, yes. I have led a very interesting life. Interesting as in the Chinese meaning. I should write a book.

Callie said...

DayPhoto: It has kept me on my toes.