Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fish and Flowers

Location, At Home

Son Craig was fishing at Lake Cachuma with a friend and they caught some nice trout. Here are two that he caught this morning. Look at the size of them!!! They are as long as the griddle. I slow cooked them in butter for dinner tonight. They were outstanding!!!!

The flowers in our yard have gone crazy the last few days. It is amazing what a few days of heat will do. This cactus is just covered.

This one is a very pretty orange.

Here is a blue Bearded Iris.

How about an orange Bearded Iris.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Back to my “roots” problem

Location, At Home

Budd and Brenda came down Monday afternoon to spend a few days. They came specifically for my initiation in the local Elks Club on Tuesday evening. Budd is my sponsor. Yes, I now am a full fledged member of the Elks. We plan to do some camping at Elks Clubs this summer.

However, as long as they were here, Budd offered to help remove the large Guava stump. I told him “he had planted it 30 plus years ago, now he could help me get it out”. I had chopped around the stump to get through what roots I could find but Budd suggested that we dig deeper until we were below the lateral roots. Using mattocks to do this we managed to get through the roots but now had a large ball weighing several hundred pounds to deal with.

Neighbor Paul suggested using a jack under one of the lateral roots to see if the whole ball could be moved. Darned if it didn’t move! More dirt was removed from the ball and finally three of us managed to tip the ball and get a board under it so more dirt could be removed. Using that process and a chain saw to cut off roots, the ball eventually became small enough to be lifted by two of us to a dolly. It now resides in the back of my pickup along with all the roots we cut and will be transported into the back country and burned next week as part of our evening fires while I am at Ranchero Visitadores.

Budd helped take apart more fence sections so we could check further for roots and also helped remove the back from my woodshed which now gives me access to the entire fence. All the old lumber was loaded on my truck to be burned.

Here are some photos of the process.

Roots exposed.

Root ball partially tipped to expose dirt.

Empty hole after root ball removed.

All loaded on the truck.

Tomorrow I need to mow the grass (weeds) at the Rancheros Visitadores location that I will be at starting next Tuesday afternoon. I normally start on Wednesday morning but the boss wants us on site by 8 AM Wednesday and I don’t want to get up that early to drag the trailer to the site. Hence, the Tuesday afternoon time works best for me. I will be working until Friday May 8th at noon.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Roots and Blooms

Location, At Home

We finished the bedroom yesterday. Clyda bought a new curtain rod and shortened the old curtains. It looks nice. I picked up the new bed yesterday and I really would like to try sleeping on it as it looks like a nice bed.

On the fence boards that were cracking, I did take them back and they did let me replace them. Score one for the big box store.

I took the truck in for routine maintenance and a few other things on Thursday. They finished everything by late afternoon but I didn’t pick it up until yesterday morning. I wanted to put off the price shock as long as possible. They did replace the turn signal module which had been intermittent. That involved removing part of the steering column. It also cost a bundle.

I am still digging roots, some of which are at least 8 inches in diameter. Here are a few pictures of the problems.

The lemon tree will probably be removed also. That is the neighbor's decision.

The large Guava has roots going everywhere. I’m not sure how to get it out. There is cement under the fence which needs to be removed as the roots have pushed it up as much as 6 inches in some places.

The hybrid bearded Iris a starting to bloom also.

The Amaryllis is blooming too.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A warm day

Location, At Home

Boy, has it been warm here. The temperature on our front porch in the shade was 90 degrees today. It was really hot out in the sun. I should cool down some over the next few days.

I’m not sure what I did yesterday. Oh, I know, I started moving rocks and plants from the flower bed next to the fence that needs replacing. I don’t know where we will put all the junk, er, stuff but it all needs to be moved. I know what I would like to do with it but doubt if I get a vote on the outcome.

I restacked the fence boards and it looks like they are drying nicely but some have cracked. I checked with the local big box building center and they agreed to exchange the bad for new ones. I’ll take them in tomorrow and see if that really happens.

We are in the process of buying a new guest bed soooo, that means moving the old bed to another room and moving out the futon which we have not been able to sell. We also decided to paint the room and replace the baseboards. We washed the walls, spackled the holes, and will paint tomorrow.

Of course, one thing leads to another. I will replace all electrical outlets and switches with updated hardware to match the rest of the updated electrical hardware in the front part of the house. The base boards I have already and they match the front part of the house also.

If it is warm again tomorrow, painting looks like a good job. I will let you know.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Real Estate and Blooms

Location, At Home

I hate to let a week go by without posting something to this blog however, we have been fairly busy. We have been in the midst of real estate transactions which required some study on my part due to the new nature of the transaction. Most of the work is now behind us with only a few small items to complete. I hate to be so secretive but those of my friends know what we have been doing in real estate for years. It involves a fairly large part of our retirement income now.

Speaking of real estate, long gone are the days when a hand shake would seal the deal. Now it requires volumes of paper and notarized signatures and the formation of LLC’s (Limited Liability Companies) to protect your assets, and separate bank accounts, and tax consequences. You almost need to be a lawyer to understand the paper work involved.

I was checking back to last year in this blog which is when I started it and I will post a familiar photo. It is of the boysenberries in bloom again. They look good so far and we have had lots of bees so that should help with pollination.

Friday, April 4, 2008

American Miniature Horses

Location, At Home

While camping last weekend we took a drive to Los Olivos and Santa Yenz. After a great lunch at Panino’s (our favorite sandwich deli), we stopped at the Quicksilver American Miniature Horse farm on Alamo Pintado Road in Solvang and watched the newly born horses. These horses are not ponies or Shetlands but a breed all their own.

This one is 16 days old.

This one is 6 days old.

Someone has hi-jacked my comments section. It was done through Google and was putting advertising on my blogs. To stop this I have turned off the comments section. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wild Flowers

Location, At Home

We came home from a week of camping at Lake Cachuma. The campground was full over the weekend but really emptied out Monday and Tuesday. We drove to Figuroa Mountain on Sunday and again on Tuesday to see the wild flowers. Sunday’s trip was made via Happy Canyon Road which is open but only dirt for some distance. Meeting lots of other people out looking at the flowers caused some close encounters between vehicles. On Monday there were few other people on the road so we took advantage of that by going up Figuroa Mountain Road to the Figuroa Lookout and picnic area. Lots of trees near the mountain top appear to be damaged from a late heavy snow. Some of the damage has been cleaned up by Forest Service crews.

The wild flowers on Figuroa Mountain Road near the top were spectacular. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. The purple flowers are lupines and the orange are California poppies.