Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Old And New At The Campground

 Steve is behind the wheel of the rented forklift. He moved this old truck from one part of the property to another. I like the juxtaposition of the shiny new and the crushed and rusted old. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Another View Of Miss Comet

 She spends a lot of time sleeping on top of my computer monitor. I have one of those old-fashioned ones that is huge and weighs a lot. It's nice and warm for her. I just thought this would be a nice picture to share. She will be 15 in August. Posted by Picasa

Aerial Shot Of The Campers

  Kerry took this photo from the upstairs part of the barn that will someday house Steve and Janet. The campfire is the focal point. Well so is the wine, beer and food. Posted by Picasa

Communal Cooking Of Asparagus

  Toss the asparagus in lots of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and toss it on the grill. Yum! Posted by Picasa

The New Barn At Snyders

 Steve and Janet have been nomads since he left PG&E in the mid 1990s. They sold most everything they owned, bought a huge motor home and started traveling. They do come back regularly to enjoy the property that has been in the family for generations. Now they are beginning to put down some roots too. The motor home is still the place they live all year, but they are building a barn in which to park the motor home. The upstairs will one day be a more permanent home for them. The Barn is under construction, but the photo gives you an idea of the size. It's going to be a total of 4,500 feet. All those folks in the photo are campers sitting around the fire. We like the barn, especially when it rains. Posted by Picasa

A Virgin Outhouse

 To get ready for the Memorial Day Bash at the Snyders, Steve and his friend Ron Sheets built two new outhouses to augment the old one. New holes were dug for each. The siding for each of them is redwood. Pretty fancy for the woods. Their virgin status guaranteed a less smelly visit than to the old one. Ah sweet wilderness.... Posted by Picasa

Cozy Tent Tucked Away In The Forest

  Here's where I napped on Saturday afternoon. The door to the tent is on the other side so we would wake up to a view of lush vegetation and trees, not the other camps. The car to the right is my soon-to-be-returned SUV. It's leased. I'm trading my Toyota Sequoia for a Toyota Prius. Posted by Picasa

Camping, Caterpillars and Colorful Socks

Since 1984 I have gone camping on Memorial Day weekend at a friend's ranch near Boonville in northern California. I haven't made it every year, butI've been pretty consistent. Steve and Janet invite about 100 of their closest friends. It's not crowded because they live on nearly 200 acres. Most of the campers used to come from PG&E, the utility in northern California where Steve and I both worked. Times have changed and so have the visitors. Used to be dogs were forbidden. Then Steve and Janet got Abby and all of a sudden other dogs began to appear. It's a mellow weekend. It can be whatever you want. Some hike the property or go for wild and scary jeep rides with Steve at the wheel and children and adults shrieking as he careens around the dirt roads on the property. We cook and eat together. The campfire is the focus of the entire weekend. You can sit and read, stare off in to space or find someone to talk with. I was pretty tired this weekend. I've been traveling a lot on business which always takes it out of me. So Saturday afternoon I took a three hour nap in our wonderfully cozy tent. The photos were taken before I went to sleep (my foot) and after I awoke (the caterpillars). The ambiance of these photos sort of captures my weekend...relaxing.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

"Oreo" Cows

 I really like cows. There is just something about them that is so cute. I know, I know, they smell horrible, etc, etc. We have a herd of them living behind us on 180 acres. Actually this year we have a new herd. The guy who used to lease the land got fed up with the cost of his lease and took his cows elsewhere. For a couple of months we were cowless. But now there is a new herd and it contains one of my favorite cows, which is shown here. I call them "oreo" cows. There is probably some other name, but I prefer my name for them. She's the only "oreo" in the herd. The pasture in which they graze is probably the Ritz-Carlton of cow pastures. There is lots of shade and the ground remains damp for much of the year due to run off from ponds. So if you are a cow, this is about as good as it gets. Well, until the truck comes to take you to the slaughterhouse. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Richard Is Officially 50 Years Old

  Here's my brother in his kitchen doing what he loves best, cooking. He's making a garlic/peanut/red pepper/teriyaki sauce that goes over noodles. He put 30 cloves of garlic in the recipe. He promised Doug, who was his best man in his first wedding, he would make him a batch of this stuff to take home if he would come to his birthday party. Doug and his wife, Olena, came and left with a large jar of the stuff and a big smile on his face. It was a bit too spicy for me. We had a great time. As usual, Charlotte, Richard's wife, was a great hostess. I'll have more later when I collect pictures from others. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My Baby Brother Turns Fifty

We leave for Denver this afternoon to begin a celebration of my brother Richard's 50 years on this planet. People are coming from all over the country to their home in Evergreen, Colorado, which is in the mountains at 8,500 feet. He's a wonderfully talented human being who is general counsel for the largest maker of mozarella cheese in the world. But he's also a chef, baker, stand-up comedian, father, husband, good friend, poet, skier, marthon runner and much more. Here are some of the more embarrasing pictures all will see this weekend. The young girl in the picture is our sister Vicky who is the middle child. The elderly gentleman is our grandfather Ray. He outlived his wife, all his children and his children's spouses. Great old guy who loved whiskey. Lost a won in WWII.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Smaller Iris

  I planted about 30 of these bulbs around the house. They are all different colors. I think I like these best. The contrast of purple and yellow is great. Posted by Picasa

More From My Garden

 I'm new to bulb planting and have certainly made my share of mistakes, but I do love them. This is one of my yellow bearded irises. It's right in front of the house. I also have purple but didn't get any pictures while it was at its peak. Posted by Picasa

Old Betty Is Ailing

 Someone recently asked me what we grow on our five acres. My response, weeds. Every spring we and our neighbors do battle with them. Kerry's weapons are a riding lawn mower and our 1954 Ford Tractor, which we call Betty. Never named the lawn mower. Don't know why. My weapon is an electric weed whacker, which is lighter but only allows me to get 100 feet from an outlet.

Well, Betty is ailing. In fact she's almost always ailing. Her battery (6 volt) is really too small for her engine so she always needs recharging and it's easy to run out of gas. She's a guzzler. Kerry has been out mowing down weeds for about a week now. Betty is right where she died, next to the stream that leads to the lower pond. But help is on the way. Dr. Jeff, our tractor man, will once again resuscitate her. Posted by Picasa

And How Does Your Garden Grow?

 We have two raised beds in the front yard. The soil here is clay so it's not good for growing things. One raised bed is for vegetables. They are not planted yet. Nights are still too chilly. The other bed is for flowers. I can't remember the name of the purple flowers in the foreground. But the ones in the back are Sweet William. My gardens give me great joy each day. My Iris and Ranunculus are blooming too. Beautiful. They feed my soul Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Duckling Update

It's been nine days since Olivia introduced her ducklings to the world. Sad to say but the world has not been that hospitable to them. She started with about 10. Everyday the numbers have dwindled until she's down to just one. That one is fastened to mom like mom's the refrigerator door and the baby is a magnet. And of course the drakes just can't wait for that last duckling to die so they can get their webs on Dame Olivia. They were trying today but she outsmarted them.