Thursday, June 30, 2016

Smoke And Masks and Fire

Today the estimated containment date is July 4th
I'm waiting for a full update on the fire.

The fire has grown in some areas
but is being held back pretty much in areas
where there are structures.
The fire covers about 1,500 acres.
The smoke was very bad today nearer the fire
and caused the planes to be grounded for some time.
Not much smoke here today.

It is 9pm now and no smoke here yet..
And it has cooled down to 74 with not much wind.
Very thankful the wind is fairly calm.

I need to get out there and rake some more leaves.

Not looking forward to the heat tomorrow.
It is supposed to be in the 90's and 80's all week.

Yesterday, a drone shut down the fire fighting planes again.
I wish they could shoot the drones down!
Or shoot the drone with something so they could track it back to the operator.

Smoke ...
Now is not the time to go shopping
because the stores are probably out of masks
and we need to stay off the roads...
but I really do need to invest in some face masks and  
store them away for use when it is smoky outside.

I have a mask that works pretty well to wear when I have to take 
Morgan out for a very short walk.
But a really good mask would be great to wear in the Winter
when there is lots of chimney wood smoke
in the air... or when there
is smoke around from people burning brush, etc.
Hopefully, we won't have more forest fires.

I stay in the house when it is smoky outside
but sometimes I need to go out and I hate breathing smoke.
I went on a search for smoke quality masks
and found out a lot.
I guess I will look around for  a N95 mask
or even better would be a hepa mask.
I'll have to check them out at the store and see what they are like.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Poor Frightened Hens

This morning Kristine told me the chickens got a fright when a 
fire fighting plane flew over the house
on its way to or from the fire.

The link above is to a page of photos of DC-10's
that fought the Santa Barbara fire.

This plane didn't drop any retardant here.
We tried to get a photo of the plane
but were too slow.

But the chickens took one glance at the plane
and freaked out
and flew from the end of the run
all the way to the coop

I guess they thought the plane was a giant hawk?
Poor old hens.

We got some smoke today when the wind kept 
switching directions.
Not much smoke.
Just enough to make you sneeze and cough a bit.
The fire is about 5/6 miles away.

Light hazy smoke.

There are almost 2,000 fire fighters
working on our fire.

Today they estimate that they will have
the fire contained 
July 1, 2016
They are amazing!

Right now it is about 12% contained.
There are a lot of planes
fighting this fire.

So far no structures lost.

Hope everyone stays safe
and things just get better and better.

Thank you fire fighters!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fire In The Woods

The planes fighting the fire have been grounded
because an idiot is flying a drone
over the fire.
Taking photos most likely.

No photos here
of the planes
or fire
because all we can see is some smoke.

Smoke behind the trees.
The only good thing going on is
No Wind

Flag not moving... Yay!

Kristine just came in to say that
they are going to start flying the planes again
and drop more fire retardant. 
They want to get as much of the fire contained
as they can before dark.

I hope they caught the drone person!

The thought of sparks from the fire
landing here is scary.

Dead dry leaves, propane tank, dead trees.
We are surrounded by dry dead leaves.
Acres of them.

So, no wind is a very good thing.

The planes will have to stop flying
as soon as it gets dark.
It is too dangerous to fly at night since the canyons
make it hard to maneuver safely.

There have been some evacuations

Hope all goes well tonight.

Our thought are with the 
fire fighters. 
Be safe!


Monday, June 27, 2016

Yarn Under Control

I'm so glad!
Yarn, needles, projects half finished.
If you look close or enlarge the photo
you will see a small blue ball
next to the large grey ball of yarn.

The yarn ball is blue because it has a stretchy blue sock
pulled over it to keep the yarn ball 
from coming apart.

The last time I was at the yarn store
I saw a package of yarn ball "girdles"
and thought,
"I have some socks that might work."
And they did.

Not so pretty as the store bought yarn ball corsets
but the socks do keep the yarn
ball from unraveling.

Takes me a long time to unknot
a big yarn mess.
The socks are doing a good job.

This is my 3rd collection of yarn.
It is made up of partially completed hat and scarf projects.

I had started them before Christmas
and then had to quit because of my eyesight
and because I ran out of yarn. 
No excuses now for not finishing these projects.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mouse Trouble Solved

What's This?

Turned the mouse over last night and saw the break.

Wondered why my computer would suddenly 
go to sleep now and then.

Didn't know the mouse had a kink in its tail.

Love duct tape.

My handy dandy roll of duct tape
came to the rescue.

Amazing, but the mouse works/ed 
with that break.
Aside from the occasional glitch.
And the button doesn't control the pointer 
scrolling up very well.

I put a thick bunch of duct tape  on the cord
to stop it bending.

I have a battery mouse.
But I hate how many batteries it uses up.

I think I need a new mouse.

It's hot today.
In the 90's and Morgan was suffering.

Morgan waiting for ice.

She likes ice in her water on hot days.
I put ice in a plastic baggie
and smashed the ice with a wooden mallet 
then added the broken ice
to her water bowl. 

After she crunched up the ice
 she went down the hall to take a nap.

We got her a cool bed last year
but she wouldn't use it.
Now she just like to sleep on the wood floor.
That's cool enough I guess.

Stay cool!


Saturday, June 25, 2016

What! Leave My Eggs Alone!

This morning I got 4 eggs out of the carton
of pasture raised eggs.
If I can't get eggs at the farmer's market
I get the best eggs I can at the store.
Pasture raised eggs.

Each carton has a little news paper about the chickens.

I stab a hole in the round end of each egg
to keep them from exploding
as they steam.

These eggs have a very tough shell.

See the bent pin stuck in the paper under to top picture.

Yesterday, I tried to get away without sticking a hole in the eggs.
Didn't work so well.
About half way through steaming I heard a 
Messy clean up job getting egg out of the steamer basket holes.
So, from now on I will stab my eggs.
I have a hard time not stabbing myself.
I think there is a egg stabber on the market.
I really need to find one of those.

Then when I went to put the carton away
I saw a sticker someone had stuck on the carton.
Good Grief!

I didn't see the sticker until I was putting the carton in the fridge.

I really wish people wouldn't do stuff like this.
I don't think they know what they
are talking about.

Yes, there are a lot of bad things going on
but putting a sticker on my eggs is 
not going to change anything.

Except make me more adverse
to these tactics and message.

Supporting farmers raising pasture raised chickens
by buying their products 
and /or buying eggs at the farmer's market
would be a start in the right direction.

Down with stickers on my eggs!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Spot The Egg

Kristine went to steam the last two eggs in the carton
and called me over to view
the speckled egg.

Kinda cute.
A decorated egg.
Hadn't seen one like this before.

And here is my 2nd basket of yarn.
There are used yarn balls 
that are just hanging out until I find a project for them.

Mary gifted me with some of that yarn 
to make amigurumi.
Haven't watched all of this video yet.
But I'm going to start with this mouse when I do start.

It has cooled off enough outside
that I'm going to go out
and rake on my paths.

There are leaves, sticks, and stuff that fall out of the trees 
littering up the paths.
And I also need to fill in the holes
the squirrels dig.
I think a mole or snake or some other critter
is also making holes.
Wish they would confine their activities off the paths.
I don't want to trip and fall again.
Bad squirrels!


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Surprise Dinner

What's for Dinner?
I don't know...

So I went on a hunt and found...

My green tea, biscuit, rice, salmon, eggs. peas
This is our unplanned dinner.

First I made some whole wheat biscuits.
Kristine made some sushi rice 
and boiled up a bag of frozen peas.
I opened a large can of pink salmon
and warmed the salmon chunks in a skillet.
Then I scrambled 6 eggs.

Never made all this at one time for a meal before.
But it was very good.
And I am full.

But I think I will go get another biscuit.
With butter and jam.
And some hot tea.

There is a bag of carrots in the fridge.
I found some frozen chicken.
We are having chicken and carrots tomorrow
for sure and other stuff.

there is a trip to the grocery store planned.

It is kind of fun to put together
a meal out of found stuff.

There were two pieces of frozen bread
in the freezer
but no one was interested in them.

Who wants old frozen bread
when you can have hot biscuits?



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My Farmer's Market Basket

A couple of years ago I bought a hand made basket 
at the farmer's market.

The handles are very soft leather
made from goat skin.
The lady said she imported the baskets from Africa.
The baskets are hand made by villagers from 
elephant grass using natural dyes.

At first I used the basket only when I went shopping
at the Farmer's Market.
But it filled up quickly and became very heavy.
I guess I buy too much heavy stuff.

Then I used the basket to hold
my sewing tools and projects.
Then my projects got too large and wouldn't fit.

Lately, the basket is doing a wonderful job
of holding a lot of yarn.
Love the basket.

Today we got together with a lovely neighbor lady 
to visit and eat birthday cake.
(Birthday's are such a terrific excuse to eat chocolate.)

She shared lots of great stories,
But the story I remember laughing about the most
was about a song by Ray Stevens.
So, after the visit I searched up the song on YouTube.
Here it is:

Somehow, I missed Ray Stevens and his songs.
I must have heard them but don't remember them.
Perhaps because I was busy with raising two little girls?

Anyway, I enjoyed the song's good natured look
at a simpler time.

My neighbor is a church goer and saw the humor
without taking offense.
Seems to me it is all too easy these days of
to forget how to laugh at ourselves.
Anyway, I don't think there was any ill intent
and I sure don't have any.

I'm sure animals did get loose or wander into churches, schools, etc.,
especially in rural farming towns.

I remember a cat that showed up at my school in the 40's 
and followed me home, stayed and
eventually had kittens in a dresser drawer.
I pulled out the drawer to get some socks and...
That was a surprise!


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Salmon Cakes and Birthday Cake Too

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Salmon cakes for dinner.

And breakfast
I cooked the patties for 4+ minutes a side.
First they spent an hour in the fridge getting a bit more solid
before cooking.

No recipe for these cakes.
I put together the ingredients that I had in the kitchen
that I thought would work.

That included:
1 1/2 cans of salmon, 
(I would have used two whole cans but Kristine needed 1/2 can)
salt and pepper,
other stuff I don't remember,
2 eggs, grated ginger, minced garlic, 
lemon juice, greek yogurt,
minced peppers/onions/tomato/celery, mayo,
and I used whole wheat biscuits instead of bread crumbs.

Anyway, they tasted really good.
I think all you have to do is put together stuff that you like.

As far as the salmon goes...
I poured off most of the liquid
and just dumped all the fish in from the cans.

Fish, skin, bones
and I would have used the liquid too
but it would have made the cakes too wet.
I didn't have enough biscuits
to soak up all the liquid.
Hated pouring off all that good salmon juice.

And lunch
Since I really don't like to use plastic that much
I use dishes and bowls for covers.
Works for me.
It is what I remember my family doing in the 40's.
These 5 are all that are left
cooling a bit before going in the fridge.

I hadn't made fish cakes for a long time.
They were really good!
I think I will go on a fish cake kick for a while.
Until we get tired of them.

We had German Chocolate cake for dessert.
We had some last night too.
Half the cake is gone!
Happy Birthday, Kristine

Last night I looked for the stars and moon
but didn't see them.
Maybe there were clouds.
I'll try again tonight.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Strawberry Moon And Have A Happy Solstice!

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Google says that tonight is a Strawberry Moon.

Two pairs of sunglasses and two pairs of close up glasses.
And since I now have my new lenses for distance
(and if there are no clouds)
I should be able to get a good look at it.

I gave up trying to see the stars
a few years ago.
And was happy to be able to still get a glimpse of the moon.

After the cataract surgery 
the lenses they put in my eyes correct for distance.
So, Strawberry Moon 
I'm going to be looking for you...


New Shoes

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Sandels for Summer

They are very comfortable
and cool!

Tomorrow if all goes well
we will go down to pick up my glasses.
And some sun glasses too.

Happy Father's Day


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Farmer's Market Trip

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We made it to the Farmer's Market this morning.

Blueberries and Boysenberries picked this morning!

These are just some of the great things we found there.
They tasted so good!
And were even still warm from the sun.
I would like to think the warmth was from when they were on the bushes
but probably not.
But still very yummy!

We then had several other errands.
One of them was to stop at the yarn shop.
I got yarn and a set of needles.

These are not the needles that the knitting teacher recommends.
But the other needle set was all white
and I like being able to see the difference by color.
Anyway, I like these. 

Since I don't get to the stores that often
when I do get down there
I tend to get a lot of stuff.
If I had been shopping once or twice a week,
it is really not that much.
(I keep telling myself)

More photos tomorrow
off neat stuff.


Friday, June 17, 2016

It's Too Early!

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Well really. it is too late in the day for me to go out and take photos.
So here are some inside pics.

A stack of shirts...  clean dry laundry.
All layered nice and smooth and waiting to be
taken upstairs to the closet.
On the porch behind the plastic lattice is a little rose plant
We are trying to keep it shaded
in hopes it will survive?

Chicken barley veggie soup for dinner.
We are trying out chicken broth instead of beef broth.
We didn't exactly plan to switch from 
beef to chicken
but that's what happened.
So, were going along with that and will see how it turns out.

This is a pile of quilt sandwiches 
that I'm going to take to Idaho.
Wonder if I will get some help stitching them together.
Maybe tie them together?
I like tied quilts!

Tomorrow we go to Farmer's Market!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

How I Reheat Biscuits

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Biscuits soon to visit microwave
I put the biscuits in microwaveable dishes.
And use one dish as a cover for the other dish and
then microwave the biscuits covered
for a very short time...
from 10 to 20 seconds depending on
size and number of biscuits.
Just until the biscuit is warm.

But first I make my ginger green tea.

I snap off and peel a piece of ginger root.
Then slice it up and put the pieces in the teapot.
Put some loose green tea in the basket and add hot water.
No sugar...I like the ginger tea without any sweetner.

Biscuits and tea are welcome!

The reason I have been making biscuits 
is that I wanted to gain some weight.

I think I can cut back now because it doesn't take very long
for me to gain weight if I start eating
a lot of bread.

I got down to 120 lbs and scared myself.
I'm back over 125+_

I can gain and loose weight very fast.
On one vacation I gained a pound+ a day. 
That was fun!
I ate so much yummy fast food.
But I was young and didn't know any better.
No junk food allowed these days.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016


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This morning I got these shots of the downed tree.

It was a tall tree.
Pieces of the dead tree.
Yesterday, Tom got a surprise
when he was getting everything ready
to cut down the tree.

When he started up his small ride on tractor trailer 
that he uses to haul firewood, etc. around the property
there was a flat tire.

This meant that today 
he had to take a trip down the hill
to civilization and get a new tire.

So, by now (it is 7pm) 
he has putted around with the tractor thingy
 and picked up and 
hauled all the cut up logs away 
and put it in the firewood stack to be split.

Much better to cut the dead trees down
before they fall down.
Tricky business cutting down trees though. 
I wish there weren't so many dead trees.

I did make biscuits.
And have eaten lots of them!
I think I will have another.
With butter and jam!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Framed Baking Sheet

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This is what faced me when I walked into the kitchen tonight.

Tom had taken the chicken pies out of the oven.
And artfully framed the baking sheet
with the oven mitts.

Tom and Kristine had the pies while I had chicken soup and rice.
I had to go find it and listen...makes me smile.

Tom and his friend spent today taking down a large dead tree
and then cutting it up (at least that is what I heard.)
It made a huge crash when it landed.
Quite scary taking down trees.
There are a lot more dead trees to remove on the property.
The drought was not kind to the trees.

I must admit that I was rather desperate
for something to post.
If I miss posting a day I'm afraid
that I will go back to not posting at all.
Thus the above photo.

And I admit to sleeping a lot of the day away.
I got up early and ended up
going back to bed because it was cold.

And every one else was asleep.
Even Morgan.

I'm making biscuits in the morning
so hopefully
the smell of baking will bring people to the kitchen?
And I'll stay awake.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Clear At Last...

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Love the quilt design wall

One lonely little block.

I made it myself!
Quilt batting stretched on white board.
Nailed and stapled on the wall.
And measuring tapes stapled 
around the edges.

My sewing table is cleared off again.

This time I'm in hopes of keeping it free of stuff 
other than sewing stuff.

I still have sewing and knitting things 
to sort through and toss.

Making myself post something everyday
really is a good thing.
Otherwise I probably wouldn't even clear the table.
Bad me.

I did make chicken soup today.
Love home made soup.

I got a call today to come pick up 
my new prescription and sun glasses down in town.
Not my town.
The big town a half hour away.
Down the mountainy foothills...
Maybe tomorrow we will drive down there?


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ducky Doggy Stuff!

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When I was cleaning off my kitchen counters,
I kept finding dog meds and stuff.

Dog Stuff!
Instead of putting all the doggy stuff
in a cabinet or drawer
I remembered that I had this little duck basket.

I used to keep sewing stuff in the duck.
But having all the doggy stuff
in one easy to get to spot
works great.

I have lots of sewing stuff 
and it has out grown the duck a long time ago.

Good work, Ducky!


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Garden Abuse

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Well, at least it is garden neglect.

All I managed to do in a year
was cover the herbs with the black plastic flats this Winter.
At least two herbs survived the drought and then the rain and snow.

Climbing Ivy
This ivy is amazing too.
It survived the drought without being watered.
And seems to love the rain and snow.

I thought I would put these photos on my blog 
in hopes I would become motivated
into doing some gardening.

I do feel guilty.

It is just that all the leaves on the spa house roof
were supposed to be removed
before I raked up the garden.
and that roof job is only partly done.
And the workers left the roof rake in the middle
of my lavender plant.

I have good excuses.


PS: We gave our two next door neighbors most of the
small home grown tomatoes.
Good neighbors!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Tomato Surprise!

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Tomatos, lots and lots of tomatoes!

These are lovely store bought tomatoes
that Tom got yesterday.

These are lovely home grown tomatoes
that Kristine brought home today.
A sweet gift from Mary.
Thank you, Mary.

The biscuits?
Since the eye surgery my sleep patterns
have been off.
I couldn't sleep last night so at 5am I got up
and decided to make myself biscuits.
If I can't sleep, at least I can eat something I like.
So I did.

Wonder what I can make with all these tomatoes?


Thursday, June 09, 2016

Sorting Stuff

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Stuff has been collecting on the guest bed
for about a year or so.

After I cleared off the sewing table
I sorted through the stuff 
on the bed and moved it to the table.

I found my yarn.
All good stuff on the bed.

Stack of quilts that need quilting.
And lots of lovely material to sew up into quilts.

Popa Bear and Kitty Kat
are happy to have their bed to themselves.

I'm taking my time and doing a little bit each day
to straighten things up again.
I'm feeling better and I can see.

I really want to move things around in this room
and make a space for a treadmill for walking.
I don't want to run or jog.
Just walk.

I'll search around online for reviews.
I don't know anything about treadmills.


Wednesday, June 08, 2016

My Ox-tail Soup

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Today is soup day.
I asked the butcher to package up some ox-tails
which he did and I froze the pkg.
Many months later...

It took a couple of days to defrost in the fridge.
So, today I cut up carrots, onion, and celery.
Found the last little bit of barley.
Put the tails in the pot and covered with water. 
After I boiled and skimmed the tails,
I added a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, 
the veggies, barley and a pkg. of 
organic beef broth.

The pot is simmering.

This soup is so easy to make.

I'm sure there are recipes with much more things to do and add 
but I just put stuff in the pot that I have 
and to my taste.
I like easy.

Today is in the 70's 
and such a lovely day.

Not too hot, Not too cold.


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

My DIY For Today - I Voted

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Voting is my big accomplishment for the day.

These are my four little pot lid pot holders.
I need to make some more.

I voted!

I still think that Australia has the right idea
on how to deal with non voters.

If a person doesn't have a valid reason for not voting
in a Federal Election in Australia.
They will be fined $20.00.
If they don't pay the $20.00 they can be fined up to $180 dollars
and also end up with a criminal record.

Voting is such a privilege.


Eggs And Ice Water

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See the two handles white.
The while handle is newer 
and fits best on the newer corning ware.

This little white corning ware pot is older and so 
the black handle fits best on the older corning ware.

I remember when I got my first corning ware in the 60"s
that it came with black handles.
The white handles didn't show up until
corning came out with the newer designs
on their pots.
At least I didn't see them in the stores until then.

Second...steaming eggs.
Do a search on Google or YouTube
for lots of info 
about steaming and peeling eggs.

Here is what I do:
Steam for 6 minutes with lid on = soft boiled egg
Steam for 10 minutes with lid on = hard boiled egg

To make eggs easy to peel.

After steaming put egg in ice cube/water
for just half a minute or so if you want hot/warm eggs.

Leave the steamed egg in the ice cube/water
until cold if you want cold eggs.

I tap my eggs with the back of a spoon to crack them.
If I am going to make a bunch of cold eggs.
I crack them before I put them in the ice water.
I start peeling on the round end.

The fresher the egg the harder it is to peel.
Since I have been buying store bought eggs
I have noticed they are easier to peel.
I do buy pasture eggs when they are available.

No work on the freezer.
Maybe next week?
I did do some work clearing up my sewing area.
Yay! I can see the top of the table.