Thursday, July 31, 2014


For the last 2 days we've been under the cloud literally of lightening storms coming up from Northern California. We had over 2,500 strikes last night alone here in the Rogue and Applegate Valley that sparked 9 fires and counting. So we asked ourselves, knowing what we know (that we live in the fire prone foothills) what could we do to be ready? We might only have 15 minutes to get out. 

So we're packing for a trip that we hope we don't have to take!  

Pets: Water, easy open food and kibble, bowls, a litter box and a bag of litter, cat carrier at the ready. 
Checks, cash, account numbers, our daytimers, important papers
Toiletries to keep us comfortable. Supplements and medications
Clothing for at least 3-4 days
Outerwear and sleepwear, shoes
Our dance bag (contains expensive dance shoes) and some dance clothes
All Jack's special built speedometer tools and his extensive notes in binders
Camera, computer
A few framed photos and mementos

So I've been making a pile on the guest bedroom bed of all that stuff so we can just grab it and go. 
We remember the Oakland Hills (Jack's cousin lost his home in that one) or the Paradise fire in 2008. Our situation is no different 
The forecast: More storms predicted today through Sunday and even beyond! We'll just be very lucky if we don't have to evacuate. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014


 I spied these lamps at TJ Maxx and have been drooling over them for a couple of weeks...a clear lucite column on a metal base with an oval shade...perfect for our bedroom nightstands, I thought. 
 And I was right...the scale is ideal and the style works with our simple teak furniture.
Here is the set...just enough of an accent for our bedroom. Sometimes you just have to go for it!  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


 Yep, it's that time of we took an hour and headed across the valley to the western hills and Old Stage Farm for yummy early peaches. All you have to do, it seems, is put out a sign like this and folks know that peach orchard next to your house belongs to you.
 A 2-car garage converted to a nice fruit stand, complete with a big walk-in refrigerator to keep the picked peaches from ripening too fast in the hot weather. This year's "Peach Girl" comes with colorful tatoos and a big smile. Peaches here cost about $1.15 per pound. Those trays on the table are 10 lb offerings for $13.00. 
 You also need a sign to keep clods from running over your perennial beds.
Ahhh! A 20 pound box of Red Havens for $23.00. Reds are great for freezing and baking because they don't turn to mush. They are firmer and not quite as sweet as the later peaches like Albertas and Sunkissed varieties. That's okay...I always have to get some early ones because I just can't wait any longer. Speaking of waiting, next will be the Gravenstein apples for making great A-sauce and then at long last in August...the succulent late peaches which practically peel themselves. It's what makes August heat bearable!  

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I used my old, leaky and broken garden wheelbarrow to grow a yellow bush squash called "Butterstick." My trusty undergardener drilled more holes in it for drainage and then I lined it with a cut up grow bag from Gardener's Supply. Then I added a bucket full of plastic packing peanuts and put in some good potting mix. I topped it off with some mulch from the dumps and voila...a perfect place for a squash. I was inspired by Carole O'Neal, our local garden guru who writes for the Medford Mail Tribune. She reported on a gardener in Jacksonville who lined her driveway with old wheelbarrows filled with flowers. She probably had 20 or 30 or 'em! So I uncovered my old one and reefed it out of the berry vines (Oregon Kudzu) and pressed it into service. Glad I did!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


 At 12:45 in the morning, we were awakened by our cat having a "blow out" at both ends....a big hairball landed in Jack's slippers and the rest went all over our new bedroom carpet. We turned on the bedroom light, stepping in some of it of course and realized that they was only one thing to do...get "Brenda Bissell" on the job, with a grouchy, sleepy Jack attached at one end. 
So much for a good night's sleep...we were wide awake after that. And the cat? She curled up on Jack's lap and was quite content. We finally got to bed about 2:30am. Good times!  
Well, there are worse having a quintuple heart bypass like our friend Alex Zweede. Thankfully he is doing very well and will soon be back home in Sonora. 
Puts things in perspective, don't you think?