Tag Archives: in the hills

Giving Thanks

I wanted to take a moment to ‘not bitch’ or complain about my life.
It seems every where on the planet people are being hammered. It’s getting mighty cold in Pakistan where 1000s are homeless after the earthquake. The whole gulf coast is flattened by Katrina and Wilma and 1000s of families there have lost everything as well. Between the floods and now snow and record cold on the east coast with the cost of heating oil rising, how are many to live? I have read about $500 a month heating bills alone. There are many people doing without… heat, light, food, meds….many with out a home at all.

I try to help in my small ways… send food here, donate clothes, send money..but it is not even a drop in the bucket of wealth… meanwhile the talking heads report that ‘black friday’ shopping was good and up and that more people where using their credit cards…geez, and the stock market almost hit 11.

So with all that, my little world is just wonderful. Yes the gas prices effect us too, and the cost of food and everything else that finally makes its way to the north coast is way overpriced. We won’t be doing any Christmas shopping or buying of anything that isn’t necessary..no frills this year.

But in a few hours I will be back at home, in the hills, with wood heat (wood cut from our land), our solar panels, even in a cloudy day, making enough juice to keep the lights and dvd player on. I have a solid structure around me, I won’t be cold or live in the dark, we can eat a lot of rice, pasta, and beans. We can conserve the amount of propane we use (refrigerator, camp cook stove, water heater), and the amount of driving we do. We are doing well compared to many on the planet and for that I am very thankful.

The more independent we (as a planet) become of the ‘oil’ industry the better. It is a hard thing to do for sure and we (us) are not there yet either, but we are working toward that goal. And we are working toward a goal of more self reliance, it is hard work, but the feeling of security it brings far out weighs the work.

Now, if only I can turn off the ‘I want’ ‘I need’, ohhh ‘I really want that’.
And focus on the big picture of our little lives, then maybe when the shit really flies we will be in a position to help others who have not prepared as well.
And we still have a long way to go. More on that later.

I love my life. I am a fortunate being. I am thankful and grateful.

Many blessing to who ever you are that come here and read my ramblings.


Playing Catch-up

I have spent most of this week in town and All day Tuesday in Eureka. It has rained most of the week, which is highly unusual for us this time of year.
This weekend, starting now actually, is the
Redwood Run – Harley event. The growl and roar of bikes is every where.

I was planning on going out the the house in the hills tonite, but I had the most fantastic massage this afternoon, and just couldn’t face the drive and the generator.

I have had many massages and body work sessions in my life, and this was a first for me. Cynthia Gutierrez is her name and she works here in Garberville. Hot rocks and deep tissue, but she went light on me as I asked for ‘feel good’ not ‘detox’. I was in heaven. I really still am. The best ever massage I have had..you know I will be going back for more.


Living in the hills

It seems this has become a monthly blog of mostly pictures. I hope to some time soon update my gallery, EyeSee with more of them.

Not any real ‘news’ just juggling ‘town office’ and land home, trying to keep both stocked and clean in itself is a struggle.

We have started the process of putting in our solar-battery array-generator power system. Will have the first onsite consultation within a couple of weeks.

Here’s who’s been visiting lately:

deer-we call him Spike
baby squirrel

All of these were taken through windows, so some contrasting and levels were used. I can’t seem to get a good picture of the raven pair — they are just to flightly, but I keep trying. There are about 3 more deer in this herd, who weren’t present. But there are always shots that got away…


Finally a new ride and spring delights

1995 Toyota 4 Runner

1995 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4×4, V6, manual – fully loaded and exceptionally clean in and out!! Wheeee… finally independence from sharing Russel’s work truck. I have been without a vehicle for 5 years. The 1971 VW bus runs, but doesn’t do the roads to our homestead well. So it became a town only ride and a rolling closet 🙂
I am really excited about this. Having my own vehicle that will take me where I want to go will really free me up.

Spring has come very early and very hot..80 degrees the last few days. We need more rain, but I am enjoying the nice weather too. Maybe we will have peaches this year!

Peach blossom

I could tell you more boring homesteading stuff… like getting the pressure tank in line with the pressure pump so we will stop blowing out the pressure switch in the pump…stuff like that, there’s just days full of that sort of thing.

Living in the hills .. it’s like living in a wildlife refuge. I love it.


Home Interior Shots

Here are a few small pics of the interior of the house. You can easily see that it is totally not-finished, or for that matter really started, except for the paint and the absolute necessities of living. We have a long way to go.

Door entry
corner living room
living room

No pics yet, but we did get a new mattress, sleeping on broken down 5″ of foam was hurting both of us. We got a Spring Air with a tempur-pedic pillow top.

But the biggest step ahead has been… A NEW PROPANE REFRIGERATOR …!!!! A Servel, and now we are out of the 5 coolers we had going and the constant upkeep and runs for ice, pics next time maybe. The kitchen area is really not ‘too pretty’ right now.

That’s about it from the ‘living in the hills’ files. We are working on the water system, our pressure pump keeps dying and even the replacement pump does too, so we need to rethink how that is set up. And I am researching the whole home generator we will need for the battery array and inverter for the power system. I bet we end up with the generator first, which isn’t the way I wanted to go, but … time will tell.

And, Russel enlarged our fenced garden area in front of the house. He has wanted to do that for a long time. Raised beds I had planted years ago, had gone fallow due to either summers blast furnace heat and the deer. Now that we have all that enclosed, I may just get a bit of the gardening energy back that I used to have.

As for deer, we have a small herd of about 5 bucks who visit us almost daily. If my windows were clean enough to shoot through, I would have gotten some great shots. We have a couple ravens who we feed as well as juncos. The prettiest bird we’ve id’d though has been the Varied Thrush, which is much more striking than the common thrush that looks a lot like a robin.


It is Fall

Well, I am spending more and more time at my house in the hills. This little town house has has just become a stop over place, with the exception of my computer and refrigerator and maybe more than one tv station, I don’t miss it.

We brought, Kaya, our cat who we love, out last week. I feel she feels a captive as we won’t let her out of the house until we know she won’t run off and try to come back to town. She is handling it all very well, I could do with out the litterbox. Although I found a recyled newspaper litter that works great.

I have some ‘buggy’ pictures, but no time to work them up to post here or at my gallery, maybe next time in town.

Getting a good solar/battery power system together for the computer and lights and all is a high priority, I hope we can swing that this year. I really want to take my new computer out there with me, I may never come to town again!

I am turning off ‘comments’ on this blog for now 🙁
Spammers!! I am not here (in town) enough (like every day) to update MTBlacklist, and keep the spammers away. Last weekend I had 50 or so to deal with. (I know that isn’t much compared to many bloggers, but it took computer time that I would of rather used in other ways.) Any way if any one wants to ‘talk to me’ feel free to email me, I am sure you can figure that out!

That’s it for now, gotta go pack up all the laundry and food and ice and stuff and head out. Out to the sunny high top of the ridge wind blowing through the trees silence except for the birds and ravens ..we have a flock of wild pigeons!


Getting Ready for the Coming Rains

Today Russel finished insulating all our water pipes under the house. Tight crawl space under there, with his bruised rib and bad back, not really a good time, but good to have it done. I pulled all the dead squash and tomato plants out of the garden. Last weeks rain and coldness did them in. There is still more to do in the garden but no time.

We also need to move the solar panel that powers the battery that powers the little pump that lets us have water in the house for good things like showers and flush toilet.. we had to charge the battery today with the generator. We will be out there all week end so it will eventually get a good charge. Russel also did a pump, (we pump water from a lower gravity fed holding tank) to a tank up by the house. Full tank… lots of showers 🙂

With the bathroom happening there I like staying out there more and more. Power is still an issue. I miss not having my computer there. Once that happens I will most likely shun town and only come in when i really have too.

We leave tomorrow (Wed) for the VA clinic in SF again. The pain is still there. We are leaning towards thinking this is GERDs.. and hope to get some help. Prilosec hasn’t helped. Diet change hasn’t either.

Wish us luck.


Weather Cool Down Day

Finally a day of cool temps and clouds a good day to run the oven. I started early with baking zucchini breads. Then went to the farmers market and Chautauqua the local organic food store, to get some more progest cream. Came home and made an Italian tomato sauce.. all organic and all from my garden or friends gardens. And that is to be used later today when i put together an Eggplant Parmesan.
Both of these recipes are straight from the Moosewood Cookbook,
which is by far my favorite cookbook. I am not much of a cook, but following her recipes is a breeze and makes me look good 🙂

The cooler weather also reminds us here in the hills that the time is upon us to get the firewood in or covered for the rains.
Harvests are happening and will continue for another month or so, but getting the gardens ready for bed can’t start too soon.
Making sure you have enough rock on the roads/driveways is a good thing.
It seems like we barely had a summer.. although next week we are suppose to have triple digit weather again !