Tuesday, May 23, 2017


The County Fair is symbolic as a place to have fun. My youngest daughter had a horse, a couple of hogs, and multiple dairy goats at this fair. She worked the fair in high school cleaning horribly gross restrooms for FFA and decided she’d never come back after graduating high school.

But she did. Her two boys loved the unique experience of jumping a frog. The frog is placed on the lily pad. You can slap your hands, scratch the mat behind it or holler at it but you can’t touch it.

The monitors measure the distance of the three jumps and a collector (probably a kid from FFA) gathers up the frog and sends it back to the frog hotel. Ahhh! So it goes, for 4 days until the finals on Sunday. A $1,000 prize is offered for the longest jump.

I went with a friend who has bad asthma and can’t walk very much in the spring. We stayed atop the hillside and sat on the grass and listened to music and peeked into the buildings that had booths for aroma therapy, jewelry made from bullets, leather shoes and buckles.  We didn’t see anything we couldn’t live without.

My goal was to find some purple earrings and eat junk food. The garlic fries with Parmesan cheese and parsley were excellent. I tasted Karen’s and  ate a huge polish sausage with lots of onions and bell pepper, mustard and ketchup. Yum!

The carnival looked like fun, but you have to walk back up that hill and it wouldn’t due for Karen. The hay filled barns and rodeo dust were off-limits, too.  I didn’t mind. There will be another fair next year. I was glad to get away and spend the day in the sunshine and wear my trashy biker clothes and earrings. I looked for a one-day-only tattoo and couldn’t find where I hid them. And, I actually didn’t have any leathers, but I pretended.  I didn’t find any purple earrings to buy. I’ve got my eye on a funnel cake for next year. It takes two to eat one, but we watched a young girl polish one off. (Shouda took a pic.)

I came home to “grass power.”  These beautiful grasses are California native bunch grasses. They don’t need water summer or winter, but this winter they got plenty of water and showed how powerful they can be.

You can barely see my chicken coop. They have overpowered my yard and have managed to spread everywhere on my three acres. I absolutely love them. I bought 5 different bunch grasses for their special attributes but only two actually liked my property. Normally, I wait until they dry and go to seed, then have them mowed or use the weed eater. But not this year.

My lower gate is blocked and I can’t open but about 8 inches,  just to squeeze through. This is a driveway. So, today, the mulching machine is coming to chew them up. Even when they are young plants, the roots are so strong you can’t pull them up. And that is what I wanted. I’m Certified Wildlife Habitat and I don’t ever spray or poison things. And when I walk my property, I feel the loamy, soft, rich soil. I walk through a wonderland of lady bugs and ear wigs and other beneficial insects.  I have bees buzzing about, huge lizards, a couple of toads and birds nesting. All is good and healthy and it makes me feel wonderful to have saved a patch of native grasses that once kept California a green state. The native grasses were long ago overcome by Spanish grasses that migrated with cattle coming from Mexico.  A few patches were rescued from cemeteries and other hilly areas where cattle didn’t graze.

The grasses have strong roots; they hold the soil; they are fire resistant. They make good forage for grass-eating animals. What’s not to like?
The mulcher will do in two days what would take me a month with a machete to do. The birds and the bees and the bats are making babies and feel welcome and safe here. I love it.

Monday, May 15, 2017


It is no secret that Jim and I had a wonderful nearly 8 years of travel together. We have shared memories that I will always treasure. And though we’ve gone our separate ways, we remain good friends. He stops at my place on his way north in the summer and on his way south for winter weather. Typical full-timer. I usually get a picture of him in the motor home driving away. I decided I wanted a picture of him with his new haircut and new bod-he has lost 40 pounds, probably  more by now.
Lifestyles change and on my trip to Oregon, I picked up a new boyfriend and here is his picture:

He is handsomer than Jim. He has a lisp. His name is Humphrey. He doesn’t talk much, you have to turn on the television to hear him. He is very low maintenance. But hey, I thought it was a fun Idea to have a Humphrey Bogart to say hello to everyday.

A friend sent me an email with Boyfriend 101. I couldn’t find it this morning to add to the laughs, so this is a short hello-good-bye, because I’m feeling silly.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


A wild mustang occupies the other side of the fence from my front yard in Oregon, where my son built me a house.

I was lucky to find Susan Scott to work with me, painting and cleaning out my storage building. She also hand-picked designated  weeds for me, since I don't spray anything poisonous on my property. She was helping me get a picture of this wild horse, who won't hold still for a picture.

She dropped the carrot, but I caught the tattoo on the horse's neck from the BLM round-up and sale. She is temporarily pastured here to munch down the weeds and she is doing a good job. Why I didn't take time to shoot the work we did? My brain doesn't always function on all four cylinders.

Saturday morning turned out to be cool and I started for home late, after 8 a.m. and dawdled, enjoying the beautiful mists that drape the mountain sides surrounding Evans Valley.

My neighbors get mists like these since they live on the river side of the road.

Beauty that burns off within a couple of hours.

About the time I snapped this photo, the weather report warned of snow over the pass and I had to quit dawdling and press the metal.

Then I had to stop again for this photo. I've never seen Mt. Shasta surrounded by a ring of clouds.

Glimpses of Shasta poke through periodically as you drive. The best view is from Weed Airport, on the opposite side of the freeway.

The mist lifted as I got within range. Even from the wrong side of the freeway, with the light shining on my camera's viewing screen, I took the picture out the window-blind. She is a stunning piece of nature and I have better pictures of her than this. I have to return in a couple, maybe three weeks, to finish the storage building. I need the sheet rock taped and textured and painted before the electric fixtures are installed. I finished the inside because it was hot in the afternoons and freezing in the mornings. It stored things, but no one could work inside of it. When finished, my building will have a place to rinse brushes and plug-in and use power tools.

The Evans Valley is turning into a very popular place for permanent residences and I keep meeting new neighbors every trip I take. Like Susan.
 I also brought home with me a new boyfriend. More, tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


In April, we had two mega storms. There is a joke going around the neighborhood. "What's the weather report today? Answer: Partly cloudy and 50 degrees, but call back in ten minutes and it will be different."  Yeah!

This hailstorm came on so strong and so fast and unexpected it was like an attack. Moth ball sized hailstones sounded like explosions on the roof and deck.

You can see them bouncing in the air. They bounced up onto the bench. From eight feet under a covered part of the deck, they hit my screen door. The roadway a fairy tale, pure white in less than 10 minutes.

The aftermath, a blanket of green leaves pounded off the trees.

My front sidewalk, even with  the partial shelter of the house, covered. My driveway and the street the same.

When it dried out enough, I swept just in front of my doorway and to the steps. I couldn't believe the pile of leaves I had to compost. The previous week, we had a torrential downpour of rain that lasted two days and half of another.

Now I'm dealing with oversized grass. I've plowed through it to get to my empty chicken coop. I hoped to find the hose buried in the grass so I can put water out for the wild birds. Their receptacles are empty.

I had to stomp a new path to the coop.

Several grass plants are taller than me and my fence. I've lived here for 38 years and I've never seen anything like it. The high country has seen 91 inches of rain this year,  a new record. And there are people who don't believe the climate is changing from the misadventure of humans and our polluting devices? We all have to adjust. It is folly to ignore it.
We can all do our little part by supporting harmless power initiatives and reducing our own use of carbon fuels whenever possible. It takes global action, all world populations to cooperate to blunt this robbery of the norm.
More on that subject later. I've gotta go pull some giant weeds.