Sunday, February 23, 2014

Week 8

 Inspiration.  That's what I think of when I think of this past week.  The Olympics, of course, play into this sentiment.    We have really enjoyed them.  They inspire by the hard working, humble athletes and by the whiners and show boats too remind us how not to be. 

I remember starting last Monday all excited about the day and I rushed out in my purple robe and red crocs to gather eggs from the hen house.  I remember when I began sliding across the smelly mud and realized it wasn't going to turn out well.   Down I went with legs splayed out.  Splat!  It smelled and I was covered in the stuff, but I jumped up and finished my job, just like those ice skaters that fall.  Haha.  Of course,  I did take a shower before I scrambled those eggs.

Tuesday I looked out to see this.  Mark had been wanting to remove these tire planters for years because he hated mowing around them.  I had always convinced him how charming they were, but not this time.  They are out of there.  All 13 were removed in about an hour and then Mark began removing the sod and leveling the ground were they had lay for over 30 years.    

Wednesday had us heading into Eureka for a workshop provided by the Agriculture Center on livestock health and protecting our range land during this time of drought.  We learned a bit, and had some good discussions.  We made some contacts and hope to soon have a NRCS range land official out to give us some cross fencing suggestions with, hopefully, some matching grant money. 

We also picked up about 250 dollars in supplies for what was to be our future raised garden bed.

 Thursday the raised bed project began.  Inspiring isn't it?  The plan was 2 boxes 40 feet long.  One almost 4 feet wide the other along the rock wall 2 feet wide.  We rolled out the hardware cloth to keep out the gophers and then placed our beautiful 4 x 12 redwood that Eric donated for the project.  He cut it on our sawmill last year from an old redwood log that was left back when the place was logged in the 50's! Redwood is an amazing species.   The wood was a bit soft in a couple spots, but otherwise just perfect for our project.  We folded up the edges of the hardware cloth and stapled them in place.  Then a 1 x 6 board was attached to the top of the board to hold the sides together. 

And we stoutly stood them up and attached the end pieces. We had to grunt a bit because they were heavy.  Next Mark attached brackets inside to hold the boards together sturdily.  The box was then lined with some sediment fabric cloth that Cal Fire left on the ranch after the 2003 fire mop up.

 Friday we filled the box with layers of dirt that was full of worms, sawdust from the sawmill and barn manure.  We covered the whole bed with some plastic and are hoping the worms work some magic in the next couple of months.

 Now, this is small scale ag.   On Saturday we finished up the project by getting the ground leveled again and tilled for grass seed.  You can see the other raised bed we made along our rock wall.  I transplanted all of our strawberry plants in this bed, so it didn't get the plastic wrap.  We hope that these raised beds do well.  If they do, we might make another next year. 

Saturday night had us back in Eureka at the yearly Cattlemen's dinner and dance.  I was pooped and only good for one dance, but we really enjoyed the people and the beef dinner.

Today,  Sunday, we slept in and then were back at it in the yard for part of the day.  This wonderful weather has us inspired to clean things up.   I did some weeding and Mark mowed the lawn for the first time of the season.  He was happy to not have to drive around and around those tires. 

Flowers are popping out around the place, like I mentioned we've had incredibly warm, beautiful, sunny weather.  I think it was over 70 degrees today.  It's nice being in California.  Instead of stressing over our lack of rain, I'm just trying to be inspired by it.  It helps that rain is forecast to be coming in on Wednesday.

The grass and especially the clover is really starting to grow.  Only saw a few cows this week and they all looked pretty happy.  Inspiring.  I know. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Week 7

Since this last week we celebrated Valentine's Day  we thought we would share a list of:                            

(in no particular order)

1.  God:  God is love
2.  family and friends
3.  verdant, abundant,  life
4.  water
5.  a graceful balanced curve
6.  our animals
7.  nature
8.  hiking
9.  laughter
10. freedom

We each brainstormed a list and then gracefully combined them.  Something you get pretty good at being married as long as we have.  We celebrated 33 years of marriage on this past Valentine's Day.  WooHoo!  We have always been corny, sappy, hearts-wide-open people, which is why we chose that date for our marriage. Or it could have been because Mark didn't want to ever get in the dog house for forgetting our anniversary.  Which he never has, I might add.
February 14, 1981
We went hiking on our anniversary.  The mushrooms are bursting forth in varying shapes and colors.  I have no idea what they are called.  Maybe Henry or Fred. 

It's been a bit muddy, and that is a very good thing.  It means rain, and lots of it.  Over 8 inches so far.
Mark  pushed some 'mud' around at the barn this week with a grin on his face.  It brought out the kid in him.  He is reshaping and leveling a bit before we begin the corral rebuild.

On our Google profile ( I didn't even know we had one)  I found a video entitled 'sounds like spring' that I recorded 11 months ago.  Just this week those same sounds burst forth.  Awesome.  We love sleeping to their nightly opera full of romance and love. Well, probably mostly romance.

When you get love right,  you get life right.  Love... Just do it!

 I pray out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.   And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.    Ephesians: 3:16-19

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Week 6

Blessed Rain!  It's been raining all week and we love it.  A good old Humboldt gully washer.  The sound cheers the heart as it refreshes the earth and fills the streams.  It's a beautiful thing.

It also allowed us to burn our old corrals this week.
You might remember last year when Mark began cutting them up for kindling wood.  Our pile of kindling got pretty big so we decided we would pile and burn the rest.
I have to say it was kind of fun. Burn, baby burn!   
Having the skid steer made a tiresome job easy. A few sections lifted off as one piece, but most of the wood was really rotten, so we would stack it on the forks and Mark would drive over to one of the 3 fires and dump the load on top.
At times the fire got pretty hot and we were thankful for the rain to protect the barn. 
By day's end all the corrals were gone.  Now, we begin the planning on the rebuild.   We are leaning toward some sort of pipe corral, either welded or portable panels.  We love wood, but they don't last too well here in the north coast.   Time will tell. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week 5

We've been enjoying our second week on Maui.   We camped on the east side for a few days and one of the mornings were treated to this sunrise.  

We also enjoyed waterfalls and swimming and lots of birdsong.  The nice thing about camping out here is you can plan activities before or after the hoards of tourists arrive driving the 'road to Hana'.  We hiked trails all alone that later in the day were packed. 

Then on to a small condo in Kihei.   We like the southern part of Maui for its pristine beaches and amazing snorkeling spots.  It rained a bit during this time so we also hiked across lava to secluded coves and vistas.

Now, we are enjoying the generosity of a friend on Maui and woke up to this amazing view.

Then we had a wonderful morning with our New Mexico friends, Dan and Betty.  

You might have noticed Dan's comment last week on this  blog. Providentially they were on Maui too!   What a wonderful blessing.  

We met at this lovely church that has a Polynesian/Hawaiin element to their worship service.  It was a real treat to share it with Dan and Betty and I would recommend this service to anyone visiting.  This sweet little church shared Aloha in a big way.  ( Btw: these last 2 photos are Dan's).

Now, we are preparing our hearts for home and are excited to meet two of these little cuties.

One of Eric and Jo's ewes delivered twins.  A boy and a girl.  They are calling them Dinner and Replacement.   Original, huh?!   Gotta love it.  

We love too, that it actually rained some while we were away and we see rain in the forecast.  Yippee!  

This week I'm blogging from Maui Paradise, next week's  will be from our own little paradise.  Aloha.