A local tv anchor complained recently that the weather had “suddenly” turned cold. That’s the kind of astute observation that marks our local journalism. The school district can lie, cheat and steal, but the mercury drops a few degrees and it’s NEWSFLASH!
Of course I’d already wrapped my outside plants, for fear they would turn to mush.
Aloe vera does exceptionally well in Spring and Fall, hangs in there in Summer, but Winter can be a deal breaker. One good freeze and the leaves all turn dark and wilt, then turn to mush and die, it’s so sad. So I wrap them up in some old freeze cloth, and if it gets below 30, they all get toted into the garage. I’ve had to leave them in the garage, opening the front door for daily sun, for a week at a time.
But don’t worry, the sun will come back. Just repeat after me – “la primavera esta a vuelta a la esquina” – Spring is right around the corner. As if to remind us –
In the meantime we turn to food for comfort. Safeway had cheap whole chickens again – 99 cents a pound, that works out to about $5 to $6 for a bird. We had to give the new smoker another run.
I don’t think the smoker will ever get boring. That chicken was so good we picked it to the bone, eating the last bits with crackers and cheese.
Of course, the grill has become part of our routine already. We got a “party pack” of drumsticks and thighs for $1.89 a pound, a huge pack for less than eight bucks, and ate bbq chicken legs for two dinners and lunch. No, it doesn’t get old – the first night we had grilled baby potatoes, and the second night we had rice – makes it a whole different meal. What was nice about it was my husband only had to stand over the grill one night. We even had left-over potatoes for breakfast.
And a person needs a hardy meal when they have a day of physical work ahead of them. Today we get rid of “Doug”.
I don’t know who planted a Douglas fir right under the power lines 30 years ago, but it was a poor decision. When we bought this place we knew Doug’s days were numbered, but he continued to flourish. So, it was a surprise when he started to turn brown last Spring. By mid-Summer, he was looking pretty dead. We realized we couldn’t take him down ourselves because of the proximity to the power lines, so we called PG&E. They came out, in October? and took him right to the ground. He wasn’t a huge tree, it only took a few minutes, and he was gone.
PG&E will cut down or trim a tree for free but the property owner is left to get rid of the mess. The other tree they removed, closer to our house, was a deodor cedar. Cedar burns well in our camp stove, we’ve been cutting up the smaller branches and having nice fires in the morning and evening. We’ve stacked it next to our green house, so we can bring wood into the greenhouse to dry out. It burns great. But Doug is a real sap – even dead and seasoned he is a messy, dangerous burn. So today we will load most of Doug into the F-150 and take him to the city compost facility. The bigger logs will be rolled to the edge of the property, kind of a reminder to the dog walking neighbors, where public property meets private property.
I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Time for breakfast, wait for the mercury to go up a few notches…