Sunday, August 13, 2017

Smokey Mountain Grandma

Sunday, August 6, 2017

3:09 p.m.
The air quality alert is extended through tomorrow morning.


Its a little less smokey than yesterday. The local wildfire dispatch report says that the two closest fires are contained. 

 Rosie and I are waiting for Poppa and Joey to arrive for a stay over. πŸ˜ƒ

Monday, August 7, 2017

5:35 a.m.
Remember what it felt like, when you were a kid, on Christmas morning? You were so excited you woke up at the crack of dawn and could barely contain yourself until everyone else woke up? Thats how I feel this morning. Rosie and I are sitting on the sofa across from the made-into-a-bed dinette where Joey is still sleeping away, buried in a pile of blankets and sleeping bag. He'll probably be sleeping for awhile. We stayed up late. He couldn't sleep, it was so exciting and new. And dark! I told him stories and sang. It was quite precious, after I finished a song he'd say, " Oh, that was a good one!" Or "I liked that one Grandma!" Then he'd make requests, "Sing one about blue and green and pink?"

8:06 p.m.
What a day! That little boy is perpetually in motion! He bounced around the inside of the RV like a superball. Then he would spot a squirrel outside and we'd have to rush out for squirrel patrol. Ron was working hard outside, but I think I had the tougher job, keeping up with a 4 year old dynamo. Ron did put up hot wire with a new solar charger. The charger didn't work. 😟 He'll bring a good one when he returns. In the meantime I'm hoping the cows don't test it. Joey and I helped with the fence. We carried the posts and handed them to Poppa. Well, until Joey got hot. Then we went back to the RV for 5 minutes. That was about as long as it would be before another squirrel sighting. Finally at about 11:30 a.m. I sent a glassy eyed boy up to the cabover and told him to take a nap. I fired up the a/c and as soon as it got cold in here he was out. He took a nice long nap. Grandma rested! It was a terrific 2 days. 


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

There were eruptions of coyotes in the night. They were nearby. It was reminiscent of a platoon of squeaky wheeled shopping carts in a parking garage full of cars with their motion sensitive alarms going off. Not much sleep. Most likely, there were only about 3-4 coyotes. They make a lot of noise.

I was able to limb those trees closest to the generator. Yay! I'm waiting for shade in the wood cutting spot to work on cutting my pile up. 


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

6:36 p.m.
Its still really smokey up here.

We started the morning sleeping in. The cows didn't come by until 6:00 a.m.. They made up for it later when several fall calves busted through the dead hot wire. They launched clips everywhere. I couldn't even find four of them. Some windy day they'll fall out of the trees. I collected everything I could and rolled up the wire. I knew it would happen at some point. I'd just hoped they wouldn't figure it out for a couple more days. 

After cleaning up that mess Rosie and I went down to the corral area and cut thistles. I stacked sun bleached wood. There's so many limbs down, down there, it makes walking hard and pulling the wagon over it harder. We got quite a bit cleaned up. Then we came back for breakfast. 

I've tried breaking up my kindling a couple of times today but the smoke is just too heavy. Did some sketching.

Very smokey sunset. The sun was a red orange ball. It doesn't show up in the photo.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

10:44 a.m.
The coyotes woke me up around 3:00 a.m.. I slept in until 7:00 a.m.. I tried to eat breakfast before I went out, but it was too much. It made me sick. Lost most of the morning to nausea. Its still so smokey I put on my VOC mask and hiked to the front gate and corrals, just for a check. I'm waiting for cooler weather to cut a perimeter trail. 

Ron deposited my pasture renter's check yesterday. Waiting for it to clear before I sign the contract and fax it back. Been assessing the cattle he moved in without me checking them. So far, they seem o.k.. They don't all stay together so its hard to know if I've checked them all. I've done some work near a few smaller groups, no problems yet. 


Friday, August, 11, 2017

The check cleared. So did the smoke. I was able to check the cattle. They seem o.k. I still smell that chemical that smells like permanent marker, but I think its the Bangs vac. It doesn't make my lips and arms burn. Thunderstorms predicted for the next two days.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Coyotes, again. Thunderstorms passed over us with rumbling. No ground strikes, thank God! A light rain. Not enough to wet the ground. The winds cleared out the rest of the smoke. 12 new fires in our area. Guess the smoke will be back.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

I Kinda Wanted to Call This One, Its Mine!"

The Start of My New Life

Saturday, July 29, 2017

5:45 p.m.
I just came in from some afternoon chores. I was cutting dead limbs off trees with a recip saw to reduce fire danger. Yep, I have a long way to go. Not a problem. Before that I trimmed up my walking stick and filed off the knobs. I ripped the synthetic lining and soles out of a new pair of shoes. I replaced the nasty foam insole with a leather one. Rosie and I took a walk out to the front gate to see of the listing agent collected his lock yet. 

I currently have 35 pair, and at least one bull as pasture renters, though we haven't received the first payment yet. But if it all goes according to plan, I'm making money! Jim is still rounding up cattle to move here. When he finishes collecting the strays, I've invited him to ride through. He keeps asking how many pair I can take. I've answered him twice. I told him 60. He didn't believe me. I guess the only way he'll be satisfied is to judge for himself. 

It was a hot, sweaty day yesterday. I was sitting outside to enjoy the breeze and a bumble bee came and started licking the salt off of me! It tickled and her tongue felt cold. Today she came back. She wanted to lick it off of me again. This time, since I was wearing long sleeves and pants, she wanted to lick it off my face. I objected. She got pissy and stung me. Sheesh! Give a bee an inch... 


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

6:20 p.m.
I collected the first months rent today. There was a bit of a hoo-haw when my husband messed up my deal, by telling my renter he didn't have to do all the things I specifically told him he needed to do. We had a 2 hr business meeting down at the corral this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.. He brought back-up. I think he thought it was going to be "uncomfortable." He was doing squirrelly things about paying. He was supposed to come pay when he brought the last load. He didn't. Nor had he signed the contract. So the next day I'd texted him reminding him of those deficiencies and telling him if I didn't receive payment by close of business on the first he'd have to remove his cattle. He promised to overnight a check. It didn't come. Ron had argued that you can't overnight a check on the weekend, so thats why I gave him until close of business on the first. He started getting nervous and decided he wanted to give me a check "incase the overnighted one didn't arrive in time." We got it sorted. I actually had fun with it and I think they did too. I started with a smile, a warm welcome and some honest compliments. I didn't accuse, I asked. My tact and diplomacy practicing is helping. There is hope for me in that area. I was dreading it, though, and it turned out way better than I anticipated. 

Not much else going on other than dead-limbing trees and moving the cattle out of my stuff. I did join an LGD learning group on FB. I got an invite from an amazing woman in Canada. There's a lot for me to learn!


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

2:35 p.m.
It started out a normal day and took a bit of a turn. Rosie broke her training and chased a cow. We had a little "training refresher course." Then we headed down to the corral with a wagon load of tools. It was harder to pull up the hill than I thought. Especially with Rosie back on lead and sulking. We got the gate temporarily mended. I need deep sockets to rehang it. Then I loaded the tools and headed back. I know I securely closed the socket wrench kit but when I got back to the RV it was open and sockets were loose in the wagon. It has mesh sides and bottom, though there is a mat. By the time I got that picked up, sorted and put way it was 90°F and I was operating on low blood sugar. Both Rosie and I were over heated. I ate before we back-tracked looking for any lost sockets. Its one of those sets where they make one box for 3 different sized sets and I can't remember how many empty spaces I'm supposed to have. That was the first mile we hiked this morning. Rosie and I tanked up on water and rested a minute before making the next hike. I checked the lock on the front gate. Then we checked the back gate. Another mile. We were resting again in the shade of the picnic area when I heard the hum of an ATV turn around at the front gate, drive back and stop in that area above the draw. I figured it was the shooter. I so did not want to chase this person down but heck. So I grabbed my camera and we hiked back to the corral (Rosie still on leash). I waited around for awhile but no shots. We started hiking back along the fence. I didn't see anyone or smell anyone. I got to the first huckleberry patch and it dawned on me it was probably a berry picker. The bushes were stripped clean. Before I got to the place I expected to find the trespasser my blood sugar started to crash big time. I had to divert to the RV for meds. As I was taking my meds I looked out the window to see the cows hustling up to the berry patch. They must have figured that there was something really good up there with all the activity. I hope the onslaught of 30 odd, long horned cattle ran the thief off. I rested looking at video survelliance signs and equipment.

Since I cleaned the dead limbs off my laundry trees yesterday, I rehung my line as high as I could (to avoid horns), rinsed and hung out my laundry. Its been sitting in the bucket since the cows came. Then I brushed out Rosie. She had quite the collection of seeds, burs and beggars lice from all our walks. We're back in under the a/c and Rosie is leash free and contrite.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

2:40 p.m.

This morning I figured out why Rosie thinks she can chase cattle. Every morning they come at 5:30 a.m. and eat the grass under the edge of the RV. Their horns bang against the side. I jump out of bed, and throw open a window and yell at them. Rosie thought I wanted them run off. We did more leash work today around cattle. I'm cutting up the pile of limbs. When we got the wagon level I quit. I need to figure a place to stack it that it won't get soggy, and cows won't get into it. Rosie and I hiked around looking for a good spot. I also did more reconnoitering on how to get quickly to the front. 

Ron didn't get in until late last night. The "overnight check" still hasn't arrived. I called the bank this check was issued from this morning. There are sufficient funds. 

Then I went out to do more laundry and clip Rosie down. There are even more sticky seeds at this time, so I trimmed her really short. I had to stop before I did the feet. Blister forming on scissor hand. She's happier. Even though I recently clipped her, we're both so much healthier that our hair/fur is coming in with less grey and growing fast! 


There are 12 large fires burning in Oregon and Washington. There is an air quality alert until tomorrow morning. Our visibility is 8 miles. Its smokey, but not near as bad as it was at Anson-Wright last year. Ron told me that at home last night the smoke was as thick as a fog bank. Glad I'm not there. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Roger and his wife, Tina, came out to visit. They gave me a lovely card and amazingly a gift card! I was stunned! That was so very kind!! I'm so used to dealing with the hard hearted people around my farm, kindness still floors me! While the compassion was tremendous, the company was fabulous! I think I may have blathered on too much, though. Backlog of words. I'm going to have to work on that. I don't want to be rude. Way out of practice on the social graces!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

I started the day trimming dead limbs that were close to the back of my RV. The wind was right for awhile so that I didn't get gassed. 


I got a call from my step-mother. My father was in ICU. He'd fallen and cut the back of his head open, and banged up an elbow. It was pretty bad. Debby was up all night with him at the hospital. She was pretty traumatized. It upset me pretty badly too. My father can't remember what happened. He's very confused and upset about being in the hospital. They've done 2 CAT scans so far. There is a little bleeding on the brain. It did not increase between the scans. He'll be transferred to a regular room today if all goes well. 

Still no "Overnight check."

Worked on the knitted Yoshi most of the day. Too much smoke to be outside. I did hear a huge explosion around 6:00 p.m.. Rosie and I went up to the gate to check things out. I could smell GSR from the west, blowing down the road. 

Ron is coming Tomorrow. He may get to bring Joey.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Signed, Sealed, Done!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

7:24 p.m. 
It was a fantastic birthday! Joey wanted to spend most of his time relaxing in Grandma's "house." We visited and played imaginary Yoshi's were coming in. They kept popping up everywhere and getting into all kinds of trouble. We'd go to drink our cocoa, there'd be a Yoshi in the cup! We even had a Yoshi battle, throwing Yoshies at each other. Joey started it! (Said in voice of child caught in mischief)  That kid has the greatest imagination! The Yoshies only settled down if you gave them yarn. Luckily I have lots. Joey kept us both entertained! Joey asked me all kinds of questions about yarn, spinning, knitting and all my tools for knitting. So I showed him how I'd cast on and start knitting a Yoshi. He was quite pleased and even understood the concept of which piece I was making. He busied himself with piling up balls of yarn for the (pretend) Yoshies to sleep in. Every so often he'd check, and or remind, me to keep working on knitting the Yoshi. 

He slept that night in Poppa's camper since I don't have any safe (for me) blankies and toys for him. He brought his own from home but they are too smelly for me. Also I wanted to take my shower and my bathroom doors have no locks. No need to risk mentally scarring a 4 year old...

Saturday morning Joey and I had hot cocoa together and let Poppa go back to sleeping in. Then we ate breakfast together outside at the picnic table. Roger and his wife came by at 10:00 a.m. and I signed the closing documents. It was great to finally meet her. Joey played quietly and waited patiently. Ron will sign Thursday when he hands over the check. Rosie was so excited about having company this weekend she forgot her training and ran over to greet Roger's wife. She had residual fragrance and though she didn't touch Rosie, Rosie did all the naughty and came away smelly. Joey and took Rosie to the pond and threw sticks and pinecones in for Rosie to retrieve. I finished cleaning her by hosing her off in the outside shower. Then Joey and I gave his knitted Yoshi from home a bath so he could bring him in "Grandma's house." My daughter and her family arrived before noon. "Toby the Intrepid" marched for miles around the section of woods we are camped out in. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. For my birthday I got a landscaper's cart that can haul 1000 lbs.. I have all kinds of jobs in mind for it. Ron, Justin and Joey put it together for me. Then Justin hauled Toby around in it for an hour. My daughter and her family headed home around 3:00 p.m.. Joey wanted to stay with Grandma "...for days and days!" But I told him he needed to go home with Mommy, Daddy and Toby because they would miss him. He said, "But I will miss my Grandma." Touches my heart. I love that sweet little boy! Ron's planning to ask our daughter if he can bring him back on Thursday. πŸ˜€ We'll have him until Saturday again. Then Ron will take him home. 

Ron stayed over this Saturday night, as well. I let him do a lot of napping. He sure needed it. I did laundry. He had put in several hikes while he was here as well as all the other stuff. He hiked the perimeter of the 80 and found that we really only have 1 1/2 of the sides fenced. Lots of work to do there. I got in another shower last night and put on clean sheets. Ron left this morning. I drove the RV back to town with him and we filled and dumped again. He drove back to the farm and I drove up the mountain. I took lots of time setting back up. I got quite the startle from a huge toad. It was the size of a soup bowl! I wouldn't have even seen it, hiding in the grass where I was about to park the RV except it moved. I took a long stick and herded it out of the way. It had hopped under the coach and I didn't want to squish it. The eat mosquitoes and other insects. I spent the rest of the day doing laundry and writing a pictogram letter to my other 4 year old grandson Gabriel. I also sewed the buttons on my expected granddaughter's romper and sweater. I worked a little on the knit Yoshi I'm trying to make for Joey. No pattern, so I'm creating it as I go. 

That wraps up my wonderful birthday weekend. πŸŽ‚πŸ’–πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰

9:39 a.m.
I received a call from Patrick, the silviculture steward. They will be spot spraying an area for tree planting 1/3 of a mile off my NE corner, this morning. He didn't say what they will be using. I didn't ask. His speech was slurred. I wondered if it was from mixing the pesticide or ??? Hope he'll be o.k. I kept it pleasant. I know its hard for these guys to call me. Him keeping the spraying to ground based, spot spraying is very conscientious. Normally they would use a helicopter. I brought in my damp laundry and hung it in the bathroom. Guess we'll find out if my theory about mountains and trees protecting me works.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

9:11 a.m.
Rosie and I spent the day yesterday in the RV. I took her out just before sunset, after the wind dropped. I'd got some adverse symptoms sealed inside, during the day: nausea, stomach pain, regurge, headache, vertigo, hot flashes, chills, skin burning. Tough to sort out what was the cause of all those. Some of that could be lack of oxygen. Some leaking in CO2. Too low for the detectors but enough to elicit responses in me. Anxiety, PTSD. Going out increased the regurge, headache and nausea. But it wasn't "all that bad." This morning there was a 3 mph breeze from the N, when we went out to potty. I could smell faint chemical and my skin reacted. I developed mild lymph pain in my face and ears, and a resurge in regurge. Still "not that bad," all things considered. Texted my appreciation for all Patrick's efforts to him. Got a response indicating everything they'd used. Then I was really impressed by his careful efforts! My theory has merit!

Rosie and I will spend another day locked inside. The wind will be switching directions later to WSW, at 8 mph, which will help blow the toxins back out of our area and lessen the accumulation of volatizing drift. I'll keep you posted on how that effects me. 

7:24 pm.
Still waiting for that WSW 8 mph breeze. We did have some winds out of the SW quadrant, but its been still for hours. I'm waiting for it to cool down. Today I worked on creating that knitted Yoshi pattern until my brain got tired. That's about it. I did eat 3 times, which is a much faster recovery than I used to have.πŸ˜€ As Patti and I mentioned on my FB page, we're both pretty excited about it! Less hurt, faster recovery! Yes!!!


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

7:15 a.m.
Well! It was an exciting morning here on Grandma Mountain! I got out of bed, dragging. I was not at all thrilled about getting a stronger exposure last night. Still pretty mild reactions comparatively. It was the wind blowing from the sprayed side, then not blowing, leaving it all here. It didn't blow at all last night. I was dreading another exposure this morning. I'm worrying about accumulative effect negating all the recovery I've gained. I shuffled glumly to the blinds over the sofa and shoved them up, "whizzzzk!" Thats the noise they make. Right outside the window, on the other side of the shade pine were two cow elk! They had to be no more than 15' from me. I blinked, thinking when my eyes got open again they'd be gone. Nope. They'd frozen, staring at the RV. I blinked a couple more times trying to clear the sleep from my eyes and my brain. They calmly went back to grazing. I whispered to Rosie, who was also begrudgingly getting out of bed, "Elk." That one word electrified her! She sprang to the sofa from halfway down the hall. We watched for several minutes in pleasure and wonder. Rosie doing the wiggly body dance of joy. I've trained her nit to bark, so she won't scare critters away. Out of the fold of the hollow where the pond rests, more elk came. Old cows, young cows, last year's calves, and this year's calves. They raced, and sprang, and bucked. The chased each other through the trees and across the open spaces. They were having so much fun the yearlings and young cows joined in. I remembered my ipad camera and tried to get some pics, but they were moving.

I snapped this one at what was a very brief pause in the game. Most of the herd was to the left behind the shade pine and the camera kept focusing on the pine boughs and blurring the elk. Sorry. They were impressive. Their hides were glossy and they were sleek. Very healthy. We watched for about 30 minutes, then they moved away up Huckleberry Hill. 


I took Rosie out to potty. I detected lingering pesticide: lip burning, lymph gland reaction. I walked down to the clothes line, waiting while Rosie accomplished her business. Then we started walking back. The woods erupted in wolf hunting song. I could hear 6-8 voices. They were strung out in a semi-circle around me from Violet Way, across the top of Huckleberry Hill, and over to Wolf Top. The nearest being something like 600' away. You can only imagine the primal, gut reaction that sound inspired. The howling is designed to panic the elk into stampeding, so they can pick off a straggler. It worked on me. My adrenaline fired and I mentally calculated the distance/time it would take me to "run" from where I was to the coach door, including the fraction of a second more it would take me to avoid cold-cocking myself on the awning struts. I knew I'd never make it before the wolves reached us. I reigned myself in. Ordered myself to walk, and called Rosie to me, incase they were thinking of a hot dog breakfast as opposed to elk roast. Briefly I considered that they might be tempted to taste a little plump granny, but reassured myself they could probably smell the toxins and would know I would taste bad. I had to tell myself something, to keep myself walking at that calm, assured pace. You know, its like when you're little and you're sleeping on the bottom bunk, you tell yourself all the night monsters are tall and can't bend over, so they won't see you... The howling continued. It was beautiful really, if it wasn't for the fact something was about to die. Rosie seemed oblivious to the threat. That's not reassuring. I did not have my gun with me. I had gotten lax. We made it to the RV, and slipped inside. It was 50 something degrees in here so I turned on the generator and the heat. I could no longer hear the wolves over the rumble. 

So, Patti, how about, "SheHearsWolves?"

9:18 a.m.
I called ODFW (Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife) and relayed my experience to a wolf biology team member, in case they wanted to know. They did, and were very excited about it. They'd send someone out to scout surrounding roads for tracks to verify which way the pack went. She stated the pack was most likely "hunting through." She also said I did exactly the right thing, in faking a calm, assured manner, and calling Rosie to me. I didn't mention the lack of gun...


Thursday, July 27, 2017

8:00 a.m.
Today is the official closing date, where Ron goes into the Title Company, signs the documents and hands over the check!!!!

Sitting around waiting, seems kind of anti-climactic. Please throw a huge party for me with brownies, nachos, guacamole and fizzy drinks.πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„  Enjoy! 

8:52 a.m.
Just got off the phone with the chemical free cattle rancher, Jim. πŸ™‚ Sounds good. He'll bring a load tomorrow. We'll hold them in the corral, and if I can get there (past the timber co. spraying) I'll check them for toxicity. If they're good he'll bring in a second load and release them all.

Friday 10:53 a.m.
Ron's down mending fence by the corral. We messed around with a cell signal booster most of the morning. The results were unimpressive. We're sending it back. We'll try a different kind next visit. 

Ron didn't get here until after dark last night. He stopped to visit long time friends he hadn't seen in years. They immediately said,  "If she  needs anything, tell her to call and let us know. We're a lot closer than you are!" Good to have support like that. 

The Closing was final as of the bank opening today and the funds being available for dispersal. I have a place!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Keep Going Forward!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

7:32 a.m.
Slept hard, woke up with detox twice. Wasn't ready to get out of bed. But I needed to lower the awning. I was so groggy I put my coffee grounds in the percolator w/o the basket.πŸ™„ Strained it through the tea ball.


July 17, 2017

8:56 a.m.
Yesterday was a routine day. Weeding, knitting, called my Dad (I do this at least every 2 days or when ever Debby texts me and asks me to for various reasons, even if I don't mention it). Rosie and I hiked about 3 miles. This old body is slowly getting back in shape. 

Another shooter was in the forest south of the road. 


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

12:12 p.m.
Nothing different to write about yesterday,  so I didn't. More hiking, more weeding, more knitting.

After dark the wolves were howling in the meadow not far from the RV. 

I either got an exposure, this morning, from residuals from a low flying plane, or I'm trying to fight a virus. Chilling, achey. Hiked out to the corral to warm up, encountered toxic cattle smell, guys aftershave and girl's soap smell. When I got down to the weak spot in the fence, it was torn up. Possibly Bob had a cow out and when the kids tried to put it back in, it came over here (through the fence and back out the same way). Not feeling very good at all now.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

11:28 a.m.
Climbing out of the pit. It was an exposure not a virus, compounded by the second exposure. I texted with Bob, yes a cow was out and got in here, and was rounded up by his "cowboy and girl. I asked that they warn me if it happens again so I don't walk into the cloud of toxins. Upside for him, his cow's insecticide is still working. I got the new owner's (for the piece south of us') number from him. We need to get together to work on building a fence between us on the 80. I called the silviculture steward to ask if he had any idea who might be flying across me. He got cranky and I had simply asked him to help me run down who it might have been. He gave me the spiel about lots of ag here, I shouldn't be trying to live here... @@ I called around and discovered there is only one commercial ag sprayer that works this area. He was really nice and informed me he hadn't been contracted to spray anything up here in more than a year. So that kind of blows the timber company's argument out of the water. The ag pilot asked for my contact info and location so he could put it in his flight manifests for future jobs in this area. Since pesticide poisoning is now a known hazard of their job, most of the "younger guys" get it. I contacted the forest service to ask if they use planes for smoke chasing and the director told me no, but the helicopters could have been his. He'd check, and gave me a great lead. He advised me to try to get a "permanent restricted airspace" from the FAA. I've tried that years ago, but its worth trying again. I got a gentleman at the FAA that shared the difference with me between a restricted airspace and a NOTAM. That's a NOTICE TO ALL AIRMAN. It would simply be an inflight message telling them why they need to exercise caution and not fly over this area, or they need to exceed the minimum allowed ceiling. That would work!!! 99.9% would respect that. There's a chance I might be able to get that one! He's sending me the contact info! πŸ˜„ Its been a busy morning. 

We are officially closing on the 27th! Whew! Finally! Everybody has their ducks in a row! We sign, fork over the cash, on the 27th but it takes effect on the 28th.

It was close there for a few hours. Ron panicked when I got toxed and wanted to pull out of the sale. He calmed down after I broke over the worst of the symptoms late that night. He realized that this is still the safest place for me.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

5:55 a.m.
I got awoken at 4:00 a.m., or there abouts, by the timber company's equipment whining in the distance. Sounds like a mosquito. Boom! I'm awake. Not because I fear a mosquito borne virus. I find the pitch highly irritating.

On Tuesday while I was suffering the nasty, painful symptoms of that day's exposures Ron called me. Well, technically Joey called me from Poppa's phone. He wanted to tell me how he had fed the "itty-bitty baby lambs." With a little bit of prompting from Poppa he counted them and told me how many he'd bottle fed (3). Then this sweet little voice says, "I miss you Grandma!" I teared up, but told my little buddy I miss him too, and I love him. 

I can not express how much pain and heartache it gives me to be forcibly excluded from their lives like I've been. The Bible tells us that, "Where your heart lies, there your treasure lies also." My children and grandchildren are my treasures. I've been robbed. I try not to focus on these things because it destroys me, but its very real. Ron tries to arrange visits as much as he can, bless him. He wants to bring Joey up on Friday and they'll spend the night, with the rest of my (very pregnant) daughter's family joining us on Saturday. The very pregnant part is why she (and the rest of her family) are not spending the night. Tobes isn't quite old enough to camp out without mommy or daddy, and 2 little boys in a camp trailer is a little much for Poppa to handle. We're celebrating my birthday. My age, you ask? Just put down, "Old as dirt." Anyway, I'd love to have them overnight, but I don't think the gas, RV dump and water refill station right next to the highway is a very safe place for a 4yr old boy. Poppa hasn't mastered the art of doing 2 things at once, yet. So him watching Joey while trying to take care of filling, not a good idea (its giving me anxiety). Much too long for an active little boy to be contained.  I'm operating "in the black" on the fresh water tank. In other words, its so low it doesn't register. I do have a little laundry water left. I've been conserving it. Thats what I'm using for dishes. 

I'm on my second full cup of mocha. Yes, the water situation being what it is, I drank the dregs from yesterday's pot this morning. You know me so well now. We've come a long way together. 

Before Tuesday's toxing I was actually thinking about changing my "handle." You know, since I've reached a turning point. I've been singing the "We're Out of the Woods" song from "the Wizard of Oz" to myself off and on. I was thinking of maybe changing my screen name to "ToxedandFound." Or even "OffGridGrandma." My husband likes "GrandmaWithWolves." But if I go that route I'm more inclined to go with "DancesWithElk." Anyway, it seemed, or maybe I was just hoping, it was an end of the Toxed2loss story and a beginning of a brighter new story. Now I'm mentally humming "Somewhere a Place for Me," and I feel like I've found it. I doubt I'll ever be completely safe from exposures. But I'm so hopeful they will be a lot more rare. 

I want my story to be less about dealing with toxic exposures, and the bigotry and compassion involved when encountering people who've never dealt with someone like me before, and more about over coming the obstacles in living off grid in the wilderness. Is that too optimistic?

9:33 a.m.
I went outside for my call with Ron this morning. The flock of turkeys was traversing the meadow. A cow was mooing out near the road. After my call I walked down the drive to cautiously check on the cow. I didn't see her and her voice was coming from over by the west corner of their property. I weeded my way back. It was a very pleasant morning. When I got back I decided it was time to address a repair issue. The fantastic fan wasn't opening again. I figured the pin had come loose. I don't have a crimping tool. So I took it apart, again. Reinserted the pin, and applied a little "farmer's friend." Duct tape. We'll see if it holds. Only three dead flies fell in my face, or down my shirt. Progress.

2:16 p.m.
I got another email from my FAA guy. Its a no go. Bummer!!!!!!!!! 😭 He suggested I ask the airport manager. Another bummer. The manager knows/works with Ron and I can't ask for anything that has the appearance of special privileges. I also have to be careful I don't ask for anything that will make him uncomfortable in his work relationship with Ron if he has to turn me down. You guys know I have no tact! I'm going to have to talk with Ron about how to proceed with this. 


Friday, July 20, 2017

1:18 p.m.
Today is refill day. Ron and Joey are coming to spend the night! 

When I went out to take my call from Ron this morning I heard a plane coming. It was close by. Right on the other side of the mountain! I was instantly filled with dread and sick to my stomach. I was much too far away from the RV to make it back before it got here! It never did come on this side of the mountain. My stomach hurt so bad I couldn't eat for hours. I had talked to Ron about talking to the airport manager. Its the same guy handling the road vacating. He's the "Public Works Director." Ron says he'll talk to him after the public hearing on the road. Thats next month...

2:44 p.m.
Rosie's been having a terrific time sticking her head into every interesting nook and hollow. My only objection is I'm brushing seeds and burs out of her ears and face multiple times a day. So I gave her a "puppy cut." I cut off all her long ear hair. I trimmed her face, neck and chest down too. I'll finish the rest of her up when Ron hooks up the propane generator so I can use the clippers outside. 

I've finished the sweater, except for the buttons and blocking.


Ron and Joey are on their way!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Longing for Independence

Saturday, July 8, 2017

8:23 a.m.
I need to be more independent. Supporting me is wearing Ron out. Its been bothering me for some time. I need to locate safe locations for me to get/do: Fresh water, Septic dump. I've located accommodating: Gas, Groceries. 

Ron is fishing today. I wish it was for more days. 

8:28 p.m.
It was good to have food and water again. πŸ˜‹

Rosie and I hiked up Cell Hill to upload the next chapter because it has 4 pics. Since I changed to a spot deeper in the trees, I don't get enough signal to get on the internet most of the time. Rosie went swimming in the meadow pond on our way over. Other than that it was a laundry day, and general fussing about. It was easier to keep it cooler in here, now that we have morning shade, too. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

8:03 p.m.
A cooler day. I worked on temporarily shoring up that down fence by the corral and weeded along the road. 

I called my Dad. It was short. He was in good spirits but couldn't track conversations very well.

I  set the snaps on the inseam opening of the romper and started the cardigan that goes with it. It was a nice, relaxing day. 


Monday, July 10, 2017

8:43 a.m.
Last night, just after I ran the generator for the last time, as the light was fading, the Fantastic Fan cover broke. The knob wouldn't open the vent cover. I looked at it from the inside. I tried tightening the screw in the knob (that works on the back one). Didn't help. Nothing that I could see from inside. The mechanism was inside the housing. I thought maybe it was easily accesed from the top. The wind was blowing, and it was switchy, so I figured I couldn't climb the ladder without getting gas fumed. I decided to wait until morning...

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. And lay in bed screwing up my gumption to climb up on the roof before coffee, and before the wind came up. Before coffee because I'd have to run the generator, and that would increase gas fumes... I got dressed, loaded up with tools and went out to do the chore. I got passed the gas fumes, no problem. I only had to come down for additional tools once. I unbolted the aerodynamic shroud and lifted the vent cover. The lift arm came clear out of the housing. It had a geared end. I inspected the exterior housing. It was riveted. Dang. I knew then I'd have to dissemble the unit from the inside. I replaced everything, and climbed down. Before I continued with the repair, I needed coffee and Rosie needed breakfast. It wouldn't matter if I ran the generator now.

I took it apart from the inside. Dead bugs and filth rained down on me.  I was trying to avoid that... A "pin," that held the geared end of the lift arm against the corresponding gears on the knob drive shaft, had vibrated out. Nothing was actually broken. Problem solved. Parts put back together. Mess cleaned up. 

Proceeding with regularly scheduled program...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

7:09 a.m.
Good morning. The sun is shining, the birds are squawking . Its a beautiful day here at "Grandma Mountain." 
 
There are tweeting and warbling birds as well, but there seems to be a major hoo-hah of the upland game bird variety going on this morning in the Eastern Pine Woods.

Yesterday was wonderfully overcast all day, and therefore cooler. I weeded off and on all day: Hawkweed and Sulfur Cinquefoil. Rosie and I made forays into parts previously unexplored sections hunting the elusive "Meadow Hawkweed" and the not so elusive "Common Hawkweed." The Cinquefoil are more prominent. They kind of shout, "Here I am!" And its a resounding chorus.

At close of day yesterday 2 deer came out and grazed the house site. Rosie was laying in the open doorway and spotted them first. She jumped up and was staring so absorbedly I peered out through the branches of our shade pine to see what had her attention. I had expected it to be a sassy squirrel. But they were right out there, about 60' away. Unfortunately it was getting cold and I had to eventually reach out and shut the door. They didn't spook! The next thing on my evening agenda was dishes. I needed to heat the water. I started the generator. I looked out the window. They were still browsing! I turned on the water heater, the generator revved up. Deer still calmly eating. Set the timer. It was the beeping of the microwave buttons that sent them running.😐

Anyway, moving on to other things... I washed my granddaughter's romper and laid it out to dry. I made it using a Dale of Norway pattern, #19108. I modified it. Remember? I made it so the inseam opens for easier diaper changes. I would have used white snaps but when I checked with my daughter and son-in-law they voted for really obvious one's that sleep deprived parents could easily locate through bleary eyes in the semi-dark of a nap prepared room. I'm still waiting for the buttons. Here's the pic.

 
12:18 p.m.
I finally walked the road to the eastern end of the 80. I was weeding. Boy does my body hurt. Resting now.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

8:04 p.m.
I was having a lovely day yesterday, though the woods were unusually quiet. It could be because the wolves are back. I heard them Tuesday night. Rosie and I walked down to the end of Violet Way (weeding). Later, I was doing laundry, my second set of sheets that had been in the bag since they (via my body) got toxed out in the spring. This was the first time I've had the spare wash water to tackle them, since I've got all the other laundry finally caught up. It was around 10:30 a.m. when a helicopter came over the top of the mountain suddenly. Then went over us low and slow. As soon as I realized what was happening I headed for the RV. I didn't make it before they arrived. I got hit. It didn't turn out as bad, since I'm getting a chance to recover, but it still felt pretty miserable. 

It took me all day to sort out my thinking and decide it could have been ODFW tracking wolves. I couldn't think of anyone else who'd have a reason to go over that low and slowly. I called them today and asked if the receptionist could check with the wolf biologists and see if they did a fly over yesterday. They were out. I let her know that I'd like to know if it wasn't them, so I could figure out who I need to call and ask for accommodation from. If it was them then to please let me know ahead of time if they have to fly over. The call went well.

Roger came out with another extension. Ron has gotten written notice of the counties support for vacating the road. Now we just need to get the title office to set the date for closing!


Saturday, July 15, 2017

6:25 a.m.
I think there were 2, non-consecutive hours without thunder storms last night. We did get a little rain. I had all the blinds open and the awnings rolled up so I could watch for nearby strikes. Most of the storms were 12+ miles away. We had a few within 2-3 miles. A lot of the lightening was sky lightening, from what I could tell here in the trees. 

The rest of yesterday was weeding and knitting. I did get a text from a very anxious longhorn rancher, wanting to know if we've closed yet. Nothing monumental, unless you count wildflower identification...

7:52 p.m.
Rosie and I went out to the east boundary in the morning and checked to see where we smelled smoke from. It was coming down the canyon from a fire to the NE of us more than 12 miles away. Later the wind shifted and blew 10-12 mph from the NNW. I put up the awning again.

We kept it low key the rest of the day. We did have the person shooting into this property from the road again this evening at about 6:00 p.m.. 

So tired! I can barely keep my eyes open...


Monday, July 10, 2017

Counting Blessings

Counting Blessings

Sunday, July 2, 2017

6:33 a.m.
Good morning! It seems like the perfect day to count my blessings. Perfect because I needed to be reigned in. You see, yesterday I didn't post because I didn't do any work. We are still waiting for written word from the county on their intentions about this road, and I'm out of garbage bags. So I was moping a bit. But, But! I started thinking about my blessings, and that always kicks moping's hieney. So, 1.) even camped out here, with no improvements, I'm safer and have more freedom. 2.) even with the timber guy burning nasty stuff and/or spraying it gets filtered through the trees, hurts me less and doesn't last as long. 3.) I'm getting healthier: I'm losing the toxic fat, my finger nails are stronger than they've been since I was 6 yrs. old, I'm getting exercise again and can do more. 4.) My friends and family are visiting more since I can get out of my RV, and its safe for my TI friends. 5.) I do have (limited) cell and internet. 6.) I can do laundry regularly. 7.) During the height of spray season, which is fire season,  there's a "stop all industrial work in the forest"policy! That doesn't includes spraying and burning is limited. July and August are the ONLY spray months! 8.) It's beautiful here which restores my soul. 9.) I have food, water and shelter. 10.) God is in control.

I could go on with stuff like I'm finally sleeping through the night, and I'm keeping food down better (less regurge), but I figured 10 was good. Your turn, list 10 blessings. πŸ€”

I did get lots of calls yesterday. That was really nice. Ron called me a couple of times, I spoke with my daughter about the romper I'm making for the baby girl they're expecting, a woman I, and my husband, have known for years through our business called just to chat. 

After that I put together puzzles on my ipad app. Its pretty close to the real thing, plus you can't lose any pieces.


Monday, July 3, 2017

6:02 a.m. 
I woke up to a unique Great Horned Owl call. It must have been an alarm call of some kind. When we went out to pull down the awning there was a strange faint whirring noise. I mean really faint. I have no idea what it was. 

With the warmer weather an egg yolk yellow fungus bloomed on one of the logs outside my window. I noticed it in several other places in the forest. If its the one I found on the net, its edible!


I downloaded more books yesterday and read after our hike. I discovered a few of Bob's cows were out. They were still too toxic for me to put back in so I called and left him a message.

Did I tell you that Ron is extending the length between visits so he can get some farm work done? Its tough to get anything done on the farm with just one day a week, as he spends the other weekend day resupplying me. He is taking this whole week off to get caught up. I also ordered him to go fishing. He says he'll go Friday and Saturday. I only hope he does. He needs the stress release.

3:37 p.m.
I finished reading my new books. Rosie and I went out and played stick. I decided she needed a "bath" as she had dirt in her fur. I tossed stick in the pond and laughed myself silly as she tried to figure out how to get it back from that tricky water. First she tried bounding out to it, like she normally does, but she didn't like the water's reaction. She was quite perplexed that it wouldn't hold her up. She tried circling around from all kinds of approaches but couldn't find one that got her closer. She waded out there a couple of times but when she grabbed it, she got her mouth full of water so she'd let it go and come back to dry land. She had a great time and eventually figured it out. While she gnawed stick I balled the red yarn for the next baby project. I'd brought it and the equipment out before we went to the pond. I wanted something to do outside while waiting for her to dry out.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July!

I had a busy day. Rosie and I went down to the corral and deconstructed that fire circle. It was just so tempting, I worried about it constantly. I used a ziploc bag that I had sweet potatoes in to bag up the trash. I pulled up all the rocks and put the cinders into a mud puddle. We pulled sulfur cinquefoil on the way back.

I made Rosie sweet potatoes, we're walking so much she's getting too thin. She needs the added calories.

I pulled a furnace vent tube from under the dinette bench to make more room for drinking water jars. Later I pulled the one under the sink to make room for groceries. 

Someone was shooting on the road. So I put on my hiking clothes and we checked it out. They were gone by the time we got there. More weeding while hiking.

I repaired some broken places on the seal on the coach door. 

Finally, I stitched the ribbons on the legs of my expected granddaughter's romper. I've ordered snaps and buttons. Ron said the snaps arrived yesterday. The original pattern didn't have the inseam opening. But I've changed enough diapers to know its a "must have" feature. I modified the pattern.

I talked with Justin, my Daughter, Joey and Tobes this morning, and Ron, Joey and Tobes this evening when he went over for bar-b-que and to watch the fireworks. The boys got new beds and bedspreads as Mommy was redecorating the Nursery for the new baby. Joey had to take Poppa up to show him the new bedrooms (again). Apparently he's pretty thrilled with them. Tobes, not so much because he had to give up his crib. 

Ron said he'll be coming up Friday, with supplies, on his way to go fishing at Brownlee. 


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

7:26 p.m.
It was a beautiful day here. Sunny, 97°F. Too hot for me, but I do have a/c. Rosie and I got out by 7:30 a.m. and hiked/weeded sulfur cinquefoil, meadow hawkweed and common hawkweed for 3 hours. The last 2 are on the "A" list. We returned to the RV and did chores. At 10:00 a.m. I called the ODF guy Mitch about the burn barrel specs. I asked him a few questions about neighbors burning. I had uploaded an incident report for fires and noticed the slash burns weren't on it. He told me they won't be. The incident report won't cover that unless they lose control of it. Darn! Mitch did e-mail me an excellent hand out on the burn barrel specs. I also tried to call my Dad but he was unavailable. I did get to talk to him in the evening, and he did really, really well. πŸ˜€ 

I discovered two of my 1/2 gal drinking water jars were moldy. Ron's not coming until Friday morning. We're already low on drinking and wash water. We're low on food too. I have enough eggs for Rosie's breakfast, and one more bowl of gruel for me. Don't know what I'm eating after that.

Got a call from the longhorn rancher. He was checking to see if we still intend to rent pasture to him. We had a nice, and lengthy chat.


Thursday, July 6, 2017
6:30 a.m.
I had an interesting evening. Rosie and I were outside, last night. I was trimming her fur down again. It's growing like weeds! It's so hot, she's really panting between a/c runs. The elk showed up. It was full daylight! They were fine with us being out there. I was sitting in my camp chair with Rosie standing in front of me. They were fine with me standing up and moving around to clean up the clipped fur. They were not fine with me opening the RV door and windows to cool it off in here. They protested loudly with booming barks! 

Then this morning when I stepped out of the RV to pull down the awning (I put it up in the afternoons so if the wind comes up in the night it doesn't wake me up. And I wouldn't have to put it up in the dark... Anyway, I step out of the RV and due west of me I hear the "puppy whining!" The sound is coming from the meadow. I look over there and see... 2 white tail deer! No way! 

Way!!! 

I'm going to have to investigate this more! Deer make puppy noises! SMH. I still don't quite believe it, but I've learned that deer say a lot more than I ever thought. I even went out to the area where the sound came from (and the deer were standing), no puppy of any kind.

5:47 p.m.
Roger brought the next extension out for my signature this morning.

I got my first activity notice from ODF. I called several of the guys listed as contacts. One was retired. One, the guy that the official paper work listed as requesting the permit knew nothing about it. I talked with the boss of the retire guy, who was very understanding and gracious, and am tying to make contact with the silviculture steward. 

It's 99°F! It was so hot in here last night I didn't get to sleep until after 1:00 a.m.. Even with opening the windows and doors I couldn't get the heat out. I'm parsing the fuel for the generator, too, so I didn't run the a/c. I'm out of wash water. I remembered Ron had some water in a cooler for guests, so I'll use it. I ate my last gruel custard mid-morning and then a bowl of runny yogurt mixed with maple syrup, mid-afternoon. Still hungry. I have enough meat and sweet potatoes for Rosie's meal tonight, and 3 eggs (+ 1 white) left for her breakfast. We'll split the remaining yogurt in the morning. 


Friday, July7, 2017

8:30 a.m.
I started the week counting blessings, and I'm ending the week the same way. I just spoke with the silviculture steward for the timber company. He was very understanding and very willing to co-operate! He was willing to notify, watch wind directions and take steps to minimize pesticide drift! Praise God!! He even was willing to direct his ag pilots to avoid flying over, or near, my property. I'm so relieved!







Saturday, July 8, 2017

Rotting Meat, What Is It and Who Did It?

Saturday June 24, 2017

8:30 p.m.
Today was a long day. I heard a motor out front this morning and snuck up on it. The new neighbors across the road were driving around their property with a UTV. They were too far away to see the people. They did have a white pickup like rancher Bob's.

I hiked half way up Cell Hill to call my Dad. I didn't get him. They were out "Joy Riding." 

I did more weeding. We hiked over to the corrals. The sheep I've been hearing were right on the other side of the fence. Lots of sheep. I went over because I heard the LGDs barking. I thought they'd be further away.

It was also  "Supply Day." I enjoyed my company, but I was exhausted by the time they left. I've been resting and knitting. I went out to push laundry. Rosie was sniffing and looking anxiously t'ward Huckleberry Hill. I sniffed: Rotting meat. Ron says if there's a carcass I should expect evening and night time diners. This could get interesting...


Sunday, June 25, 2017

7:45 a.m.
I slept in! Clear 'til 7:30 a.m., and I slept hard. If there was any growling, howling or carrying on, I missed it. The only thing I did hear was a bunch of wheezy honking by a deer, around 10:00 p.m. just before I went to bed. How disappointing. πŸ˜’ 

9:45 a.m.
Rosie and I finally went out this morning. Its already too warm. I pushed laundry while Rosie took care of her business. I did something I've never done before. I put out the big awning. The refrigerator side gets the full morning sun and it causes the refrigerator to lose cold too fast. Usually I haven't used the big awning because its something else I'd have to spend time taking down in a "toxic emergency," like the cows. But I think everyone's on board with this being our place now, so there shouldn't be any more toxic exposures (They took down the for sale signs yesterday). Anyway, I read how to do it years ago. I couldn't remember all the directions, but I figured it out. I'm quite pleased with myself. ☺️

I couldn't smell any rancid meat this morning. I want to go take a look, but I'm still tired from yesterday. I think I'd better rest. I wouldn't want to run into trouble in a depleted state.

Ron bought me a really nice machetΓ© for hacking weeds, better than the one I had as a kid. I'm eager to get out and use it. This one has a serrated edge on the backside of the blade. Nice! Still, I need to rest. I have to be good and wait. Maybe this evening, when it cools down a little, and I'm rested up, I can do a few. 

I talked to my Dad this morning. He sounded tired, though he was coherent. Debby had taken him to Dairy Queen on Friday and out for a ride yesterday. It was good for his mental health, though physically taxing. He was cognizant that there were things he wasn't remembering. That's an improvement. 


Monday, June 26, 2017

6:30 a.m.
I spent yesterday resting, knitting and pushing laundry.  I'm at the point where they say, "Weave in ends." Not my favorite part.
=

Rosie and I smelled the rancid meat smell again yesterday, at about 6:00 p.m.. We didn't smell it at 5:00 p.m.. So either there was a significant wind shift, of the "rancid smell" itself is mobile. As in "a bear." I asked Ron what a bear smells like but he said he'd never smelled a bear. He's had several bear encounters over the years, so he should have smelled them. Dead nose. We should know something later this morning, after our breakfast/colding up the refrigerator routine,  as I'm feeling ready to weed. 

We did see 6 cow elk and a yearling calf at dusk yesterday. It was so dark the pics didn't turn out very good. The camera had a hard time focusing. Here's the best one...

(Animals were closer than they appear) I lightened the pic so you could at least see the "elk blobs." They didn't come through all at the same time.  They straggled through. Just when I'd think they were done, here'd come a couple more. The naughty little yearling went through way behind the others. 

9:40 a.m.
Whew! I weeded for an hour (which is fantastic for me). Then we walked out Violet Way with a garbage bag an picked up the Houndstongue we'd weeded the other day, until the bag was full. They hadn't seeded out yet, so they were o.k. to leave in piles. I have one or two more bagfuls up there, and plenty more to hack down, then dig up their roots. I didn't dig up or pull very many today. I focused on hacking off the seeded tops and stuffing them in garbage bags. I did half the area where we're going to put the house. My new machetΓ© made it super easy! Did I tell you Houndstongue like full sun and disturbed areas? I know I told Ron that.  

We didn't smell any rancid fat or rotting meat while we were hacking weeds. That's the direction its been coming from. Maybe its a bear coming down to the cattail pond for water in the evening? I looked at one end of the pond for tracks in the mud, but didn't see any (Rosie went wading). I'll look around the rest of the pond later. Rosie showed a lot of interest in going up Huckleberry Hill, but I'm not up for that yet. 

I hauled 2 black garbage bagfuls back from the house site. I left one that still had room left in it for tomorrow. I was too hot to keep working. When we got back to the RV I had to bathe my face and wash up. Toxic sweat, as well as over heating. My body still can't regulate its own temperature yet. After I got my body temp back down I brushed out Rosie. She had lots of Beggar's Lice, grass seeds and dirt. Then I shook out the throw rugs and swept the floors. Pretty good morning's work for this old lady. 

Now for some breakfast. πŸ˜‹

4:26 p.m.
We had a downpour, with thunder. After it poured for 30 minutes we got some lightening. Mostly sky lightening. It continued to rain. We did get one strike. Either on or behind Cell Hill. After most of the storm had passed we got gusty wind. I went out and put up the awning. While it was pouring I collected 3 gallons of water for clothes washing (off the awning). 

8:00 p.m.
Good thing I put up the awning when I did. The wind really came blasting through. It was a real tree bender. 


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

8:58 a.m.
I slept in again, waking up around 7:30 a.m.. The sun was already beating on the side of the RV with the refrigerator. I jumped up and threw on a T-shirt and sweat pants. Rosie and I went right out to unroll the awning. As soon as we were out the door we heard very loud whimpering and whining. Like a puppy. It was right behind our guest trailer, 30 ft. away. Rosie wanted to immediately investigate. I ordered her to leave it alone. The last thing I wanted was for either Rosie or I to get between a mother wolf and her cub. I didn't even have my gun. Rosie obediently went off to do her business and the whining quit abruptly. I'm guessing the momma slipped up and collected the pup. I took care of the awning. Rosie climbed the bank by the pond. She watched something for a moment and then came racing back, very excited. She must have seen a critter at the pond.Everybody needs water. We'll investigate after our morning routine. 

10:28 a.m.
I filled my leftover bag, plus 2 more. Since it rained yesterday I pulled roots on the smaller ones. The tap root can get up to 3', so I didn't bother on larger plants. We finished with all the blooming and seeded plants in that location. Tomorrow we'll start machetΓ©ing them on Violet Way. I didn't go collect the rest of the pulled weed piles from Violet Way. Too pooped. Too hot. Maybe this afternoon, weather permitting. I picked Begger's Lice out of Rosie's fur again.


My sock's had their own collection. 

I did walk around the pond looking for tracks and sign. Nothing. I looked behind the guest trailer, too. Nothing. In movies there are always tracks. But densely weeded meadows, with rocky soil and deep pine needles don't leave obvious tracks. There is disturbed ground, but not in any way that I can determine what disturbed it. In our walk around the pond I watched a squirrel try to chase two Hungarian partridges out of his tree. He'd run right at them, where they were on a branch. If they didn't move, the squirrel would shove them, or bite at them. They'd fly to another branch. The squirrel'd get so mad, he or she, was cussing up a storm. 


2:53 p.m.
We went out Violet Way to pick up the piles. I ended up hacking a few more that had seed heads. I needed to fill my bag. I'm feeling pretty good about myself. Sometimes I feel pretty useless. I just sit around and barely do anything. Today I worked both morning and afternoon. Thats better than I was doing. 

6:30 p.m.
We went out and weeded along the road to the west of the drive. We'll try to do the east side tomorrow.

8:00 p.m. The elk were grazing across the meadow again this evening. I got a better pic.



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

8:17 p.m.
Today went pretty much according to routine. I machete'd Houndstongue on Violet Way. I only did one bag. Thats a long way to carry a full bag of fresh weeds. I went up Cell Hill to post a chapter and call my Dad. I took weeding supplies since I knew there was Houndstongue. On our way up the hill I spotted an LGD on our property. I hollered to run him off, since I didn't know if he was pesticided. The sheep were pretty close to that fence today. We weeded our way back down the hill. 

When we got back I called the forestry management company that holds the title on that property, to get the name and number of the sheep owner. I talked with the grazing lease manager, Mr. McClellum. I explained why I wanted it. He was a little hesitant, but finally gave it to me. Then I asked him to notify me when they spray. I got a peeved lecture and was told that I had no business even buying property right next to a timber operation. I (amazingly) stayed calm and polite. I stated that I'd been looking for years, there were timber operations next to all mountain properties, and had researched properties from Spray to north of Waitsburg. I'd found that this was the best option. He continued to complain, so I just repeated myself. I asked him again to please notify me as I didn't want to get hurt, or "walk into it." He did not take my contact info...

Then I called the sheep owner. He doesn't use chemicals on his livestock, or his dogs. He produces for the "natural" market. He only gives the mandatory vaccines. He wants to rent summer pasture for his longhorn cattle from us, after we close. πŸ™‚ We talked sheep, wool, shearing and cattle. 

I was a little stressed from my call with McClellum, so I stayed in and worked on my knitting. Still weaving in ends.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

6:18 a.m. 
Last night just before dusk morphed completely into darkness, the elk advanced (closer than ever before). Four cows and a calf. They'd screwed up their courage; they were set on investigating this strange invader (the RV). It was the most bizarre behavior I'd ever witnessed. They danced. Some parts of their movements resembled the minuet: step forward, nose reaching high, step back, step forward, high nose, mince back, pivot, stumble back, curtsy. It must be a behavior similar to the wounded bird routine, when a bird is attempting to lead a predator away from its nest, because the next part of the elk's dance involved hobbling, limping and leg dragging. The lead elk would turn her flank to me and appear to nearly collapse, then stagger away. Everybody behind her would move up and back and pivot with her also, looking back over their backs to see if a predator took the bait. Sometimes she'd repeat the whole presentation several times. Then they'd all run off a few steps and conclave to discuss their next move. Pretty soon they'd be back and somebody else would take the lead position and they'd dance the routine again. I can just hear the elk's discussion in my mind, 

Elk 1: Well. What do you think? Safe?
Elk 2: I don't think you did it right Francine (for that is Elk 1's real name).
(Elk's 3 & 4 get big eyes and inch backwards, out of the line of fire.)
Francine: What do you mean "...didn't do it right?" I did it perfectly. Only a dead eater or a rock could resist my dance! Do you think you could do better Melva (Melva, being Elk 2)?
Melva: In my sleep! Honey, you just don't have the haunches for it. Your's are all skin and bone! Now mine, umm, umm, umm, um, uh, uh, uh!...

 Anyway, thats what I imagined them saying. They danced for an hour before darting off leaping and kicking like frolicsome steers. It was pretty cool! I've named this part of the meadow "Elk Dancing Lawn," 
with a nod to C.S. Lewis.

I saw fat bats winging past the window while the elk discussed their next move. Very fat bats. They're doing an excellent job keeping down the mosquitoes! 

10:10 a.m.
I filled my last trash bag. I didn't finish hacking the Houndstongue on Violet Way. I have to wait for more bags. After we delivered that bag to the pile at camp, we searched the Eastern Pine Wood (east of the drive) for a stout, long pole with a forked end. I need one, or two to replace the cement board under the generator. Did I mention it was browning the grass underneath it? I was concerned about it eventually catching fire. So I asked Ron to bring me a piece of cement board. Then I had him fasten a removal cord with baling twine and put a stout stick in it for a handle... This sounds really familiar! I could swear I shared this, but I read back over the week and didn't see it. Maybe I erased it, as it wasn't relevant to the discussion at the time. Anyway, I found a few long poles with forked ends that might work. I can't leave it there when I have to leave, because if I drive over it I'll break it. So I have to pull it out. I don't want to get that close to the stinky generator, hence the need for a long pull cord with a handle. When I get everything arranged so Ron doesn't have to do it, I want to be able to put it back without exposing myself. That's where the forked poles come in.  I can push the board back in with those. I also had Ron put a small log as a roller under one side of the board, to ease it in and out. πŸ˜‰

I hadn't previously explored that part if the forest, so that was a good excuse. I found old bear scat. Yesterday when I was on the net I downloaded a bunch of bear scat images. Some of those piles of poo Ron told me were "elk diarrhea," and "elk poo," aren't. I'm assuming he just didn't want me to be alarmed. There's a lot of bear poo! 

After that hike I still wasn't ready to go in. I decided I needed to take a trip out to the corral and check out things on that end. I found that someone had used the fire pit that someone else had made right by the corral.😠 I strung up my downed barbed wire. They were obviously crawling through there to gather fire wood. I'd smelled smoke yesterday. Now I know why. 

I hiked down the road to look for weeds. More Houndstongue. I need more bags. I started feeling puny, and decided I better come back for breakfast. On the return hike I discovered fresh bear scat. Looks like the most likely candidate for the rotting meat/rancid fat smell was a bear. The poo was only a few days old, upwind of the trailer by a couple hundred feet. The smell would come from blood and guts left on the bear's fur after eating. Bears being messy eaters and all. Mystery solved. 


Friday, June 30, 2017

5:45 a.m.
Yesterday afternoon they burnt slash piles on the timber property. They only burned for a couple of hours.The wind was blowing from that direction. The smoke smelled of diesel. I had to stay in. Later that evening and during the night I got painful skin reactions.  I'm going to have to amend my notice request to include burning. I figured I'd have to make a formal, written accommodation request anyway, since Mr. McClellum basically blew me off. 

12:57 p.m.
I contacted ODFW about spec.s for burn barrels, and found out there is a permit notification site on ODF. I signed up. I'll get notified when anybody files for a permit for forest activity, like burning and chemicals. πŸ‘