:thursday:

Thursdays are always the day I put the most time in behind the wheel. By the time dinner rolls around it’s all I can do get something on the table. This is tonight’s effort, a fry-up. I cannot remember where I learned to make this, but it’s a lifesaver when your too tired to be creative.

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Eggs, breakfast sausages, tomatoes, and kale.

When I called them in from the dinner, my boys came in bearing a sprouted chestnut they found out in the side yard. We have two chestnut trees in front of the house. They are beautiful and big, but I haven’t a clue about what kind of chestnut tree. Chestnuts are not native to California. The American chestnut is actually called the “Redwood of the East” and is native only east of the Mississippi. In trying to figure out if mine are American, Japanese, Chinese, European or a hybrid I’ve become fascinated by these trees.

The day we came to the open house, and first saw what would be our new home, we had to wait for the selling agent to sweep a path from our car to the front porch due to the thick carpet of chestnut burrs all over the ground. The trees are only just now starting to show signs of waking up after their winter sleep. Green is peeking out from the buds here and there.

I’m looking forward to roasting chestnuts for yule at the end of the year. If anyone knows anything about chestnut trees, please help me figure mine out!

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The kids want to plant it. 

Have a lovely night everyone.

 

:getting dirty:

Thank goodness for California’s long growing season. I am just starting to set up my vegetable garden. The area set up for the kitchen garden is quite a generous size, but I just do not have it in me to go big right from the get-go.

As I have said before, there is just too much to do.

So, we are going to go this year with a no-til or no-dig garden. It was Doug’s idea. He found a blog on permaculture gardening, and we figured why not give it a try.

The weekend after the move, we took a bale of hay we found in the little hay loft, moved it to the garden and covered the area we were going to plant. Then we let it sit.

The theory is to cover the ground with straw or cardboard. Then build rows or mounds of soil on top of the straw, and then plant. The straw suppresses the weeds and as the plants grow the roots dig down through the straw and anchor themselves. This is supposed to keep the soil from becoming weaker (especially season after season) from disturbing the soil’s ecology.

This morning we started building the rows  and mounds where we will plant.

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It won’t be the prettiest garden in the world, but I’m so happy to have it!

I am by no means an experienced gardener. I was raised in the suburbs, and my mom always hired someone to do the yard work. My experience consists of a small garden in Georgia, some five gallon buckets I used to grow pole beans and tomatoes on my balcony when we first moved to Cali, and helping my much more experienced neighbor plant a big (for me) garden which produced beautifully that year.

It was a glorious way to start the morning!

Then the rest of my day consisted of chauffeuring the kids to their activities…and knitting while I wait.

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Working on my Rikke hat. We are getting a cold snap next week, and I am so looking forward to a last bit of cold before the heat of summer hits.

:greeting the day:

A new morning ritual

Cassie-girl loves it out here.
Cassie-girl loves it out here. 
I love having my morning coffee out here.
I love having my morning coffee out here. 

The lilacs are blooming.
The lilacs are blooming. 
This old tractor was set up at a lawn ornament by a previous owner. I just love it! We also have a few other antique farm pieces around, some of them we can’t even recognize.
This old tractor was set up at a lawn ornament by a previous owner. I just love it! We also have a few other antique farm pieces around, some of them we can’t even recognize. 
The first fruit in the orchard...I just wish I knew what it was! I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
The first fruit in the orchard…I just wish I knew what it was! I guess we’ll find out soon enough. 

 

:saturday list making:

Hello, dear readers!

Today was a day of making lists and seeing just how much work has to be done around here. Doug and I walked the property, taking turns pointing out to each other the buds and new leaves on trees and grapevines, wondering where this irrigation line runs to, and whether that section of fence will be easy to repair. It is almost overwhelming when we look at it. Then we take a deep breath and grin at each other like loons.

There is nowhere else we would rather be than looking a years worth of work.

One of the things on my list is to go see what the library has on growing grapes. I’ve grown a vegetable garden before, but wine grapes are totally different. Thankfully, I just need to let the vintner who tends the vines do his job, and then I get to enjoy the fruit of his labor, as it were. People have asked me why I don’t make him pay be, but to have a knowledgeable vintner tend the vines and then give me cases of wine as payment is more than a fair deal. Heaven knows if I had to do it, these vines would be in a sorry stated and there would be no wine! However, I do think I need to educate myself on what grows on my land.

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List, list, lists! Today was trying to get it all down on paper. And, yeah, that’s my trust Lamy. It’s ruined me for all other pens. 

Today I also met a neighbor. I have to say, I have never lived anywhere where the people actually came out to meet you. We have met five neighbors on our road so far, and most of them went out of their way to come welcome us. Despite the fact that we are so close to the city, it really is rural living here. I just love it.

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The gorgeous Cali sky through the budding branches of one of the big chestnut trees. 

Now we are going to watch a movie together. I hope your Saturday has been as lovely as mine!

Good night. 🙂

:scotch broom:

Oh, my! This stuff is a menace. And. It. Is. Everywhere.

Every day, I try to get out there with a pair of gloves and I just pull, pull, pull. They have to be pulled out by the roots or they come back. The worst ones are the ones that grow from the cut stumps that were not pulled. Some of those I can’t get out at all.

I am loving doing it though. The day was sunny and warm, the breeze cool. When I pulled the root of the plant out, I could smell the damp earth. Sometimes even tasting the scent in my mouth when I breathed in.

Sun on my skin. My muscles working hard.

I found myself using “deadlift form” when I pulled the big ones out. Flat back, shoulders straight, pushing through my heals. Tomorrow morning my hamstrings are going to feel this.

It’s going to feel good.

Functional movement at its finest.

This side of the vineyard had some damage during the Loma Fire in 2016. The fire department actually worked hard to save this property, but trees still came down on the fence and some of the vine posts got pulled down. 

I’ve managed to work my way down the fence. I’m only about half-way, but the recent rain and humidity makes the soil have more give. Hopefully I can get the majority before it all dries out. 

:thursday morning high and low:

Good morning!

This morning we had the low of a small panic attack after seeing smoke. I turned the car around and hightailed it back to the house to call it in. Thankfully it was a reported controlled burn, and the kids and I were able to get to their riding lesson on time.

Then, when we got to the stables it was to find the kittens big enough to walk. One of the barn cats (showed up as a stray) managed to get herself pregnant before they could get her spayed. It’s actually lucky for us because we are going to get to bring two of them home!

I’m actually sitting here writing this post on my phone with two of them napping in my lap. The tabby is one of ours and the black one has already been claimed by one of the riding instructors in another barn. Actually, all four kittens have already been claimed.

It’s not even noon and the day has already been pretty eventful.

:first blackout:

So we just had our first blackout. It only lasted about half an hour, thank goodness! We have not yet gotten a generator. The giant diesel one on the property was fried long ago. We just lit some candles and the kids decided to make a “prepper” list of things we need to do if this was a serious situation. LOL!

Sitting around talking in the candlelight was a great way to end the day. Here are a few photos I took of our day. Have a great night everyone!

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Bone broth I made in the crockpot overnight.
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A walnut. We do have a walnut tree, but it is far from where we found this one. Maybe a bird or a squirrel carried it. Breezy thought it looked like a little owl.
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Spring leaves on the oak (?) tree!
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I have no idea what this bush is, but those are some looooong thorns!
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Cassie-girl taking a break after she chased the kids around on our morning walk.