Tuesday, December 25, 2007

holiday tingle

happy holidaze everyone! i hope you all are surviving.

i'm glad we've really made an effort to take the commercialism out of the holidays. this year we decided to "thin out" an area of our property to help with fire control and better growth of overcrowded trees. we found a congested cedar grove and picked this beautiful baby. cedars are very soft and easy to cut.
we decorated the tree solstice eve and had an impromptu fire party on solstice day. visiting with friends and neighbors and just being together. it was wonderful.sunday we had a nice relaxing family day with a hike as the weather was gorgeous.(sorry all you folks east of the rockies!) what a tree, eh?then we carved and decorated our yule log lit another outside fire and built our traditional family solstice cave in honor of the rebirth of the sun.
it was so magical with the sunsetting and the full moon rising at the same time. i took pictures but they don't do it justice. you'll just have to imagine. it was awesome! we stretch out the gift giving over many days. so it is not just a shark feeding frenzy- with major let down when it's over.

now all of you fiber addicts out there know-that no matter how huge and colossal your yarn stash is you can barely stand the tickle and tingle of excitement-the rush of exilheration of new projects to come when someone bestows upon you the perfect gift-more yarn. yes!!!!!! anne treated me to 3 skeins of rowan kidsilk haze(with pattern for a fir cone stole) and 4 skeins of koigu KPPPM-OH MY GOD! that deserves capital letters. and Birdsong gave me the CUTEST felted bell ornament kit. thank you anne and birdsong for tickling me. sorry for the blurrs-i just couldn't hold the camera still-too damn excited i guess.

jesus mary and joseph! i can hardly stand it! i want to start all three projects right now!!!!!!!!!! simultaneously. now, the big dilemma hits-do i finish my current projects or dig right in. shit. i know what i should do but it's not what i want to do.

now yesterday was xmas eve. we wanted to do something fun. the weather again was nice. too nice.(no, i'm trying not to rub it in -honest) so we decided to head up the road to find snow and cold-after all it was officially winter. we found it!!!!!!
first stop-downieville-we love it there. especially the hardware store. i bought myself- uuhh oops! i mean the family a new toy-don't tell anyone-but it was actually for ME -i've wanted one for years!!!! i guess i'm still a tomboy at heart. wild turkeys look out!!!!! you'll have to wait for the next post to see what it is-no picture right now. any guesses?


we played in the snow and got real wet and c-o-l-d! we kept heading north to sierra valley-no that is not a lake-it's the valley.

we ended up at the sierra hotsprings for a nice warm mineral soak in the outside pool. ahhhhhh!
it was special as it was not planned. we just went on an adventure and ended up there. snow piles around the pool-steam rising with the moon-peaceful indeed.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

yes, i survived the rat incident.

i can't do any fiber posting at the moment as any fiber thing happening now is a gift and i don't want to spoil any surprises. what's up here???? we've been sick and busy. i'm a snot machine right now.

life has been consumed with homestead issues. we have had a horrid problem with manzanita taking over. i'm talking fields of it!! meadows of it. manzanita is a hardwood shrub that burns at an insane high temperature. and since we live in fire country-it is a scary thing to have more than an acre of high fuel tinder that you can't even walk thru that also harbors ticks(creatures from hell) in the rainy season.
this is what it looks like-this is how tall it got:
we have been pulling it out with a hand tool- before it got this big-it grows effin fast! the tool is the best $100 hand tool for land clearing you could ever wish for-it's called a ''root jack'. we got it from peaceful valley farm supply. we own 2 so 2 folks can do it together and get some good talking done while your you are clearing the land.( i.e. my kids-hee hee) no, i do my fair share of root jacking too. in fact some times my hands are so sore i can't knit or practice banjo.
well, the meadow got away from us-there was just too much of it. and we realized it wasn't gonna happen by hand as it was already too big. we needed the "machine." we found this awesome guy ''tim" who did this horrendous chore at an afforadable rate-worked well over 5 hours but only charged us for 4 hours. thank you tim!
we've also been busy with burning slash piles(another fire hazard)-left over from the previous owner-thank you very much! but we have to get these fire hazards out of the way!

hubby made it fun-he found some champagne in the fridge-from LAST years "new years". remember- we love beer here-champagne is like some unknown thing growing in your fridge-we only noticed it cause we were out of beer- AAAAHHHHHOHMYGODHOWCOULDTHISTRADGEDYBESTOWUS! but we still managed to enjoyed the bubbly grapes:

okay-i.m sick and need to go to bed and i can't get the damn picture to post above-damn the computer! good night!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

not for the squeemish!

AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH! ah that feels better. i have survived the horrendous hideous chore of all times. let me rewind a bit. a few of you know that i have been dealing with a very intelligent neotoma fuscipes.-aka wood rat. now, for those of you who don't live in northern california- summers are blistering hot here. our family doesn't use central air- all we have is a few fans-it's bloody hot. we don't use our oven all summer. this fall i turned the oven on to bake a pizza. gawd! what is that horrendous smell?- my older boy, carey says-"it smell like urine"(burning warm urine-there goes dinner) sure enough-i open the oven-and there is a nest-"jesus mary and joseph!" i was shocked. no smell before hand, no poop, no visible signs of rodent!

okay-i try and be humane and use the live trap-no go-this rat wasn't going for it. okay-deep breath-we try the snapping traps-licked the peanut butter clean, but did not set it off-for like a week. now i'm pissed. this varmint is stealing all my nice cloth napkins dragging them under the stove top and shredding them and pooping and peeing galore! i'm not gonna clean this mess until this beast is dead-cause i'm not gonna keep re- cleaning this mess. it's disgusting. then we try the dreaded glue traps.-still no luck. there is even little feet marks on the glue-i'm totally freaking at this point! we even hit it with a broom once or twice. i was avoiding the poison cause my cats can get into anything and everything- i didn't want to kill the cats. but it was my last resort. i was not gonna have a exterminator come and poison my whole house-no way!!!

so it was d-con all the way!! behind the fridge, behind the washer and all three layers of the oven. damn it! i was done with this vermin! i wanted to use my oven!!!!!!my god-it took weeks!!! the rat that would never die! i finally started noticing green posion poops in the oven-scabbers(the boys named it that)was hopefully meeting it's maker!

i noticed the cats were done sniffing the oven and figured it was safe to begin the cleaning process-god help me! i'm armed and dangerous! it was a 3 day process.
day one: scrape and clean poop and urine out of oven/stove/broiler. lovely huh?
can you see the poison poop? bright green. okay-it's still day one-i'm scraping and cleaning fighting back the gag reflex to vomit. when i come upon deep in a hidden corner a big soft squishy thing-aaaarrrrrrr-i yell in discust(i'm Not a screamer-Not a girlie girl)-i let out a hardy yell that alarmed the boys. this is what i find- the squeemish can close their eyes now:scabbers dies!
day two: recover from day one and spray toxic shit. it's gotta sit for 8 plus hours.

day three: not wanting to to continue. gotta homeschool the kids-put it off some more. fret and fidget and complain. gotta keep pushin! have a beer. do it damn it! almost vomiting- the smell of wet rat urine and poop mixed with cleanser is about to kill me. i push ahead-the journey is hard- BUT
it's done:i effin did it!!! and lived to tell the tale!!! i have my oven back.
i'm so tired. i'm supposed to be at my fiber guild cookie exchange xmas party right now.-yeah right-like i was gonna bake something after this affair. i'm gonna heat this oven at 500 for about 3 days till i even think of using it.

birdsong and i were going to go together. i just couldn't get it together. it's a long long drive in the dark-i'm so blind at night-the canyon road just too much-and it's an everyday to town week not to mention(again) no cookies! so, i took a loooong hot shower and put my jammies on an wrote this instead. sorry sue-i was really trying this year!

Monday, December 10, 2007

sign of the times

it's 8:00 p.m. my children(ages: almost 16, almost 10) are playing "political prisoner." one is tied to the chair wanting his holy book-he is given it. he starts reading from "THE PROPHET" BY kahlil gibran. he needs his holy blanket too. they take turns being the prisoner. younger son is more brutal to the prisoner-(they often play 'border patrol' and "slum bum" too.) ahhhhh! help me! prisoner is being denied a pillow. fresh produce is given-a dried up carrot. sammy davis jr. is singing "mr. bo jangles" in the back ground. am i dreaming?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

holiday craft faire

well, i did pretty good at the craft faire despite the small crowd. this craft faire is a wonderful venue in an old one room schoolhouse-called the north columbia schoolhouse.( see previous post for a picture.) i believe it is technically considered nevada city but it seems more like north san juan-it is on the "ridge" as in "the ridge." folks around here know what that means and where that is. i live on a different "ridge" i live on "rebel ridge." lot's of "ridges" around here. wow! i'm tired-i'm rambling.

anyway, i always forget to get pictures of my booth. so here are a couple-about 1/2 way thru the day. my favorite baby sweater sold-so it's not in these pictures.

i had fun trading at the end of the day too-i got some handmade soap, a water color of the yuba river and the cutest bunny fairy for my neighbor raena-she's 7.(my boys don't like cute girly things-ha!) wish i could post pics of those too but i'm not at home. birdsong came a got one of my favorite rovings. can't wait to see what she makes with it. well i'm plum tuckered out and this computer screen is doing some major eye burn so i'm gonna be unplugged for the rest of the night.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

insulators

today my younger son liam and i had a great day traveling one hour to the auburn glass insulator and bottle show. liam collects glass insulators. most people look at me totally confused when i tell them this. they don't know what they are. they are the cool glass thingees on old power, phone and telegraph lines. here's a pic i took at the show today to give you an idea:


we had a great time and liam got a bunch of freebies. the old collectors love when kids are interested. i'll try and post later what we scored. i collect swanky swigs. they are glasses from the 40's and 50's the old processed cheese containers that are cool little drinking glasses when you are done with the cheese-that good ole pomento cheese spread. i scored a deal -will show you pics later.

anyway-tomorrow i will be a the north columbia school house holiday craft faire-selling my wares-hand spun yarn, hand dyed rovings and hand knit items. it's a wonderful venue. check it out:i'm excited and hope to make some holiday funds. oh i almost forgot. i never spend time in auburn and today after the insulator show we decided to hit old town auburn-another gold country historic town. not only did we find antique stores but a new brew pub-yes!!!! it was awesome-good tasty beer and awesome food. i had a double IPA that was to die for. it's called the auburn ale house. so nice to not have to drive all the way to sacramento to hit a brew pub.
have a great weekend!