Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

thistlebloom

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Sadly he got called back to work this morning because of 3 power outages and a major fire that started near San Diego.

That big fire is in East county of San Diego in Japatul Valley. We lived there in a little cabin with a pond when we were young marrieds. At that time it was very rural and the road in only had 6 houses on it. Now it's got to have over 100. Only one way in and out. I'm sure most of them are gone. :(
The fire is up to 10,000 acres this morning.
 
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Bruce

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Family drama can be some of the worst kind of drama.
Yep. It was never fun being in the same house as my mother and younger sister's husband. Fortunately it was a rare occurrence. He got something up his butt a long time back and by the end they could have a disagreement about any statement either one made no matter how trivial.

Other stories are emerging of people taking advantage of the moratorium on evictions, even though those people got additional Covid unemployment payments.
Yeah, I know there are people like that and can't even 0.0001% conceive of being that person.

DH has been stewing about the logistics of a move to TX with all our equipment, livestock, and dogs.
ONLY stewing?? I'd be losing sleep 24x7! It is a big enough challenge to just pack up furniture and personal belongings. And of course the older one is the more likely they have WAY too much stuff to fit in a moving van. Purge, purge, purge.

WOW, I could not take your heat.....
Yep, that is one reason I moved from there. 115° 3 days the week I left in '79 and that was actually unusually high back then. I think the highs are hotter and more often now.
 

Ridgetop

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Well, DH relies on me to arrange everything, pack everything, and so forth. He then loads everything in the truck or trailer and transports it. We never have any breakages since he used to work for Bekins after high school, and was a Loadmaster in the AF. That part I leave to him. Good division of labor. SIL helped pack and dumped drawerfuls of stuff into boxes. :eek: Had to send him out and repack. DD1 is not good either since she can't handle change so packing and moving throws her into a nervous breakdown.

Usually he is very laid back, so "stewing" is tantamount to a breakdown for me! LOL Packing up stuff is not hard for me since i routinely go through boxes and pack up or remove items from storage anyway. In fact I have 3 boxes I brought in from the Connex to unpack and determine what to do with the contents. Some very pretty copper pots that I will give to DD1 to display on the multitude of open shelves in her new house.

Now that FDIL and DS2 are pregnant, DD1 is excited since she has saved her baby furniture for them. I have saved the baby crib and items I used here for DD2 so those will be going eventually. I have lots of 100% cotton gowns too which I will divide and pass on to the girls for their babies. I saved them since for a while you couldn't get 100% cotton, only polyester which were not nice for baby. DD1 got a lot of stuff at showers and didn't want them but I think my other girls might. I loved them for my newborns since they were so much easier to use than onesies. Also lots of handmade blankets and quilts in the Connexes waiting to be distributed to my pregnant girlies,

If or when DS2 and FDIL get an apartment I have lots of other stuff waiting for them too in the way of crystal, dishes, etc. :D =D My Connexes will be emptied out pronto! I might even give them some of my other furniture too. I am considering selling some of my antiques and valuable Persian rugs too. The rugs are very large (13' x 21') and probably will not fit in any smaller house we buy in Texas. I might as well sell them and get the money when we move. I have some smaller Persian rugs that I will bring with me. Some of the furniture will have to go as well although I will keep the antiques that we can use in our new house. Time to start asking what each child wants so we can give it to them now instead of having squabbling once we are dead. On the other hand, DH has tried to give away some stuff that I am not ready to part with! So helpful! :love LOL

It is still 118 degrees here. The heat is supposed to drop to 90's tomorrow but the Santa Ana winds will be coming in. More chance of fires and less chance of controlling them, We had 2 fires yesterday in the Valley, both controlled and put out. Today the air is cloudy from the 2 fires on the outskirts of the Valley. The air is always funny and gives a strange cast to everything when there is fire. No smoke smell yet, but the Santa Anas will bring it in since each fire is on opposite borders of the Valley. Haven't been able to open the windows since last week. At 7:30 last night it was 111 degrees when I cooked the steaks. The BBQ handle was so hot I could hardly open the lid! DS2 worked all night near the fires in San Diego area and at 0:00 am was just getting off to go home for some sleep before returning back to work this evening. First ones due tomorrow! Better set up the fan in the barn and check that the shade cloth is over the windows. Problem there is that it cuts down on the air flow through the windows but with this heat, any breeze is super hot as well. Well every region has it's weather problems. At least we don't have any hurricanes blowing our buildings down. I wonder if we could find a ranch with a small hill where we could put one of the old style barns that have the bottom level built into a hill and the hayloft is at ground level to offload the hay. Then we could run the sheep into the lower level during a hurricane or tornado for protection.

I hope the the heat breaks before my ewes lamb. The last heat wave I had to put a fan in the barn for the newborn lambs, and screw shade cloth over the windows to protect them from overheating. I wish now that I had kept those old livestock fans I had. Thought we were out of livestock - silly me! :rolleyes: May have to get a couple more cheap ones to put in front of each set of jugs with a block of ice if the lambs have problems.

This heat wave is the hottest we have had in 100 years. Better go check those shades and find the fan.
 

Bruce

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It is still 118 degrees here.
That is just crazy! I hope the Santa Anas stay down. I recall it being plenty hot enough without the SAs bringing in heat from the desert. They do have one benefit - when they blow you can see the mountains to the east from L.A. ;)
 

Ridgetop

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The smog here has dissipated so much in the San Fernando Valley that we see the Santa Monica Mountains from our location in the northeast end near the Verdugo mountains. The Santa Anas usually bring so much dust that they obscure our views now. LOL

FDIL talked me into going with DD1, DGD1, and her to look for Flower Girl dresses. Then Staples to look for wedding announcement kits. No announcement kits so will use envelopes that we have with the invitations, and just print up the announcement about Covid cancelling the reception on card stock which I will then cut into appropriate card sizes with the paper cutter.

After 3 hours of watching a little girl twirl around in organza, they settled on a nice little white dress in lace. the bridal gown is lace so she will match a little. We were able to get a sash in the same color as the bridesmaid's dresses though. I will take it to the fabric store and see if I can get ribbons to match and then make the flower girl basket. Also get the silk rose petals in the same blue color. Otherwise I will get white. I will also see if I can get any matching satin rosebuds to apply to the white flower girl dress as well as a matching flower crown for DGD1. She is very excited about being a flower girl. We couldn't get the shoes we wanted because there are no sizes available between child 11 - barely fit - and girls 1- which I stuffed a Kleenex into the toe to help them fit. DD1 was afraid she would trip in them so another shopping trip will have to be planned for those. I will opt out. 4 hours choosing a child's white dress wiped me out. I made an appointment to look for a Mother of the Groom outfit on Friday but don[t have many expectations of finding something. Since the perfect outfit would make me look 30 years younger and 40 lbs. lighter, I don't think it exists. I do have a very nice chiffon pantsuit in navy with beading in the top and a chiffon jacket. I do look fairly good in it so that might be what I wear. I also had bought a pair of navy beaded sandals with a short heel before my last cruise. I returned the outfit I bought them for, but they were on sale cheap so I kept them and they will go with the navy pantsuit, I will look for a new outfit but I am covered with the dressy navy chiffon if I can't find anything new. I also have a similar chiffon pants outfit in pale mint green but the pants are too tight. I will look at the fabric store for matching chiffon and lining and make a skirt to go with that top and chiffon jacket. Or I can add a gore or inverted pleat in the pants to make them fit. I can wear that for DD2's wedding.

With shopping for the flower girl dress, I didn't get the shade cloth removed, cut in thirds, and put back up. DS1 and I will do that tomorrow. We will also pull the new Lewis ewe and her lamb out of Lewis' enclosure onto the big pasture. Then before letting the sheep out on the big pasture, we will put Moyboy in with Lewis. Finally, we will turn the ewes in the front pen out on the big field and then run Moyboy and Lewis into that pen with Axtell. In another month we will put a harness back onto Lewis and run him into the big field to do clean up duty. 8111 is starting to bag up but does not look ready. I do have another due date of September 26 for her so she might not go until then. 0329 is due tomorrow but has no bag either On the other hand, she didn't bag much last time before lambing. Both 8111 and 0439 are huge so hopefully twins but they will need to be in the barn. The 2 new ewes I bought last May are also due between 9/23 and 10/24. He wasn't sure when they marked since the crayon fell off his ram. I really hate not having a more concise date, particularly since they are first fresheners. Oh well.

Tomorrow after we move the rams and ewes around, we will remove the ewes that are due to lamb and bring them into the barn. We will ether put them into the jugs, or leave them in the creep pen where they have more space to move around. If we have to retrieve lambs, at last they will not be at the bottom of the gully.
 

Ridgetop

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:oops: OOPS! Well I made a mistake reading my calendar. Those ewes are due NEXT week. It is a better mistake than due last week and surprised! LOL I wondered why there was minimal udder activity in those second timers! All 3 of the are HUGE so hopefully twins. The first kidding date is next Tuesday. Learn to read, Ridgetop!

OK, so got two rams pulled out from the ewes last night and put in the smaller pen together. Moyboy and Lewis spent the night deciding on hierarchy, both with bloody heads this am. DS1 pulled Axtell this morning and he can now join the fray. We will move them to the Field of Celibacy tonight. All 20 ewes and ewelings are now out on large field to finish grazing off the dry forage.

After taking off the harnesses, i had to clean them, I like to do it immediately so rinsed off with very hot water then into a 5 quart plastic ice cream bucket with dish soap. Dish soap is formulated to degrease so it is the best and cheapest to remove the lanolin from the harnesses. Half a dozen washings in the tub, rinse well, and finally the tub water runs clean. Then out to the wrought iron fence to hang them up to dry, Angel is still in the kennel for another week of season so they will be safe. 2 i did last night are dry and repacked in storage container with crayons. Last one is on fence drying now. For some reason if you wash them as soon as they are off the ram, they wash easier.

RATINATOR - 27 RATS! SQUIRRELINATOR - 13 GROUND SQUIRRELS! :weee
Too late for garden survival, but at least we are getting them under control. There are still more round but at lease we seem to be catching them regularly This last batch of 7 looked like half grown youngsters from same litter - a same size. Today's 7 and yesterday's 6 all caught in barn overnight. Hopefully we can catch the breeders. Still some around the house and possibly under and in attic although have not heard massive thumping, scratching, and chewing noises while in office and bedroom in last few days. DIL has 4 kittens, 2 females that will not be spayed so they can have kittens. In a ranch area kittens always wanted. We have asked for one whole litter! When we had lots of cats - no rats. Cause and effect. Since DGSs will play with them and tame them they will stick around. We will have to feed them at first, of course. I will ask her to give us the half grown ones instead of the adorable new ones, The half grown ones will have a better chance of survival and the DGSs will enjoy keeping the babies. Have to introduce them to the dogs though. o_O

DH is picking up another load of hay today. Went last week and it was $.50 per bale higher cost than time before which was $50 higher than first time. He doesn't listen when I say get several loads at the lowest price to save for winter and cut hay costs. He insists it won't go up in price and is always surprised. Oh well. We really need a hay barn since one reason he doesn't want to bring it in is that he doesn't want to store it out in the weather. We need to cover area between 2 Connexes and block off ends for a hay barn. For now we will only feed the rams until the ewes lamb and are in the barn pens. There is enough forage for them. DS1 wants to move another double sided feeder into the sheep fold since there ware so many sheep coming in at night. Keeps the fighting down between heavily pregnant ewes. Hopefully we will get heavy rains this year. If it really floods badly, we will have to arrange a better shelter for the sheep. The Tipi shelter has a gap at the top which allows water to run inside and flood the shelter floor. DS1 has some ideas how to reuse the corral shelter panels to provide larger shelters for the sheep and lambs instead of the Tipi formation. Since we will be lambing all winter and into the spring, I can't disassemble the jugs and use the whole barn as a night shelter. During the day the ewes can seek shelter under the trees and brush but t night when we pen them up I need to have a better covered area that won't flood for the sheep and lambs to lay in. Maybe put them into the smaller fold with the old trampoline. It made a great cover for the sheep during the summer. Tractor supply has stock panels and we might have to do the tarp covered hoop houses this winter, DH and DS1 are worried that our high winds will rip the covering tarps off but we might have to try it anyway. Maybe the area outside from the toolshed where DH is putting his retaining wall to level the area would make an additional sheltered area for a hoop house to avoid the winds. It is adjacent to the field and we could feed easily from the barn. It would require removal of some old chain link fencing that is damaged and needs removal anyway, and the addition of a gate to close them in at night.

The Santa Anas did not arrive on Tuesday as feared, and the weather cooled off to 85-90 degrees. Windows open and a pleasant breeze. Big relief!

TRUMP NOMINATED FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE! :celebrate
 

Mike CHS

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Finally! I’m back on BYH!! I had to go to BYC to find out that the security was updated and it is so good, that it blocked the members! Also SS and TEG were blocked. Yay!!!!
I was wondering what was going on.

@Ridgetop - we used long tarps a couple of years ago and wound up with about 1/4 loss of several bales from mold. We are fortunate now to be able to buy from a friend who also delivers it.
 

Ridgetop

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Mold is what DH is afraid of. Last load of hay up to $13/100lb bale.

RATINATOR NOW UP TO 38! SQUIRRELINATOR UP TO 18 GROUND SQUIRRELS! :weee

DS1 moving trap around to new locations as rats learn about it. Luckily when he catches them he gets about 5-6 at a time! Moving into the old milk shed next. I heard them scurryng around in there when I was looking for something Also in the tool shed and other locations. Not so much noise under the house or in the attics now though. :thumbsup Trash went down yesterday, thankfully, since those rats were getting stinky even in the plastic bags. :sick

Haven't been on in a while, getting things arranged for the wedding. Odyssey is now saying 50-60 guests on patio with food, No choice of menu as originally arranged, but will serve salmon and prime rib together on plate. Cake ordered I think - not my job, final invitation list finished and calls made to determine attendance since many are not coming due to Covid. Invitations will go out tomorrow.

Flower girl dress was chosen (4 hours!) but fun with FDIL, DD1 and DGD1. It apparently had to "twirl" properly. I had to remove the horrible satin ribbon used as a sash and attach the large sash in the color matching the bridesmaids dresses I tacked the sash on but it can be removed easily. Since this ishould b DGD1's First Communion year, it can be used for that as well. I will sew white satin rosettes with pearls around the waist line instead of the ribbon sash. Will also make a veil for her First Communion, but that comes later. No flower petals are allowed to be scattered in church, so flower girl basket has will just hold flowers matching the wedding colors. I did make the the fancy ring bearer pillow. Original ring bearer is not coming so have gotten in replacement - first was to be DGS4, age 6. Then determined that he is too shy to walk down aisle so DGS3 was recruited. He is 9. He is also shy, but if he suddenly changes his mind, he is same size as DGS2, ge 10, so they will be snatched out of their clothes, and DGS2 put into tux, DGS3 into DGS2's clothes for ceremony and DGS2 will go down aisle. he has had his eye on that ring bearer position since his sister started campaigning for the flower girl spot. Since FDIL is Filipino they have some special wedding traditions. One is that they have a large veil that is wrapped around the couple during the ceremony by their sponsors, and tied with a white cord or rope. I found a large length of fine tulle in my fabric boxes left from DD1's wedding and luckily also had enough narrow satin cording to whip stitch around the edges - 24'!!! Then it wasn't pretty enough so I went back and edged it in pearls. It is pretty large, so Ii may have to cut it down and reapply the edging and pearls, Told FDIL to take it to her mother for approval. I had bought the cord already so those two items are done, although the cord probably has to be shortened too. FDIL ordered the little box of coins (came yesterday) that the groom presents to the bride signifying he is endowing her with his worldly goods so that is taken care of. The favors are ordered. Good friend of DS2 from 4-H goat showing days is making decorated bars of goat soap and wrapping them. She kept her dairy goats and has a small "on shares" goat dairy now. She also has an on line business making goat milk soaps and creams. She is the friend that hitched her trailer during the fires several years ago and came out with DS2 in the middle of the night to evacuate the sheep. I am looking forward to seeing her again. FDIL needs to make final arrangements with florist now that wedding has been made so much smaller - down to 50 from 200. I still have to make place cards for the tables. And make the flower girl basket. Spray paint a basket white and decorate it with lace, ribbons, etc. Thank you, God, for inventing glue guns.

DD1 and I spent a very pleasant time Friday afternoon and evening finding dresses for the wedding reception. DD1 has a rounded figure but has a nice small waist. She found a lovely mermaid style dress in navy blue with an off the shoulder shawl collar and spaghetti straps. Immediately took off 30 lbs from her and the navy blue color was superb. She also tried on the same dress in a deep cranberry which also suits her but not as flattering this time, and a deep green dress with the same bodice but not a mermaid style skirt. Side wrap which was also very flattering, but the navy was the choice. Absolutely stunning!

Then I tried on a column princess cut dress which 8 months ago looked great . . . . :hit Curse you Covid and the extra pounds you have brought with you! The soft greeny blue color was perfect but I looked like sausage stuffed in a casing. One down. The next one was a nice shade of pink, also a good color on me, with a cape arrangement which covered the pounds. BUT like DD1 pointed out it was obvious that I was trying to hide a large amount of flab. Looked like a large pink cloud. Back to the racks and found a dress that I knew would look right since it had the flattering side wrap, but the color was a funny gray. I did not like the color very much, hard to tell if it was slate blue gray or greeny gray, but our allotted time at David's Bridal was running out so I tried it on. STUNNED SURPRISE! It immediately removed the extra pounds, gave me soft curves, the lace bodice and cap sleeves drew attention up but not as far as my chicken neck, and the high collar dropping into a sweetheart neckline was very flattering. Once on, the odd color looked very good with my naturally platinum blonde hair and Yes, it is my own color since I pay for it every 4 weeks! So while I had not planned to buy a new dress for the reception, I went ahead and got it. It will be usable for many cruises in the future too - which is the argument I used to convince myself to spend the money. In addition, when we were paying I remembered to mention that FDIL had gotten her dress, bridesmaids and flower girl dresses, etc. from David's and we should be eligible for a discount. Sure enough got a 10-15% discount! DD1 and I made a pact to not show our dresses to our DHs but instead to WOW! them on the night. FDIL has arranged a hair and makeup artist for everyone to meet at our house 9:30 am on the wedding day for hair and makeup. Since the wedding is at 12:00 noon I will wear my navy chiffon beaded pantsuit to that and the dress to the evening reception at 5:00pm. Getting my natural color touched up the week before.

After leaving David's Bridal DD1 said she wanted me to go with her to find a shower gift for FDIL. I suggested a date next week since it was 6:00 pm but she informed me that the shower was that night. Mothers and aunts were not invited since it was in the nature of a combination Bride's Bash and personal shower. DD1 hopped into my car and I drove to Macy's where she bought a cute combo nightie and robe with "MRS." embroidered on the back. While there we saw all the dresses in their formal wear section marked down and the dress DD1 had just bought marked down t less than half what she paid We frantically searched for the size but naturally they were all sold. We did find a lovely purple dress with a side sweep skirt, cap sleeves, cut out back, and sweetheart neckline from high collar which was marked down from $200 to $19.73!!! I made her buy it since I can borrow it If she had not bought it I would have. It needs to be shortened but that is no problem.

While we were in the checkout line, DH called. Did I know what time it was? 7:30 pm. Where was I? Macy's. Why hadn't I told him I was going shopping after my nail appointment? I had. (DS1 in the background was yelling "Yes she did".) When was I coming home to feed him? Soon. I told DH to get out the lasagna that was in the fridge and unwrap the cellophane covering and put it in the oven at 325 degrees. DH whined that he was hungry. i hung up. 10 seconds later DS1 called. Dad was asking him about dinner. DH had not heard what I said and couldn't find the lasagna in the fridge. What did I tell DH to do? I repeated the instructions. DD1 and I would have liked to go out for a drink, abandoning our families, but nothing is open in Los Angeles county so we both just went home.

Tomorrow DD2 and I go looking for a dress for her and Maysie (DGD2). We will go to Ross first, and if nothing there, will have to go to Nordstrom Rack or Macy's which had lots of stuff on sale. The problem is that DD2 is a size -0! However lots of dresses are available in that size since there are very few of us that size for longer than 30 minutes. DD2 is still having problems with intense vomiting. She apparently has a condition that is worse than normal morning sickness. I don't remember the actual name but it refers to uncontrollable nausea vomiting, and of course, results in dehydration. She has now been to the emergency room 4 x and is just approaching her 12th week. She told me that it apparently gets worse through the 4th month before getting better. Poor baby. :hugs

DD2 is planning to get married after DS2 and FDIL tie the knot. FSIL is insisting that they marry soon before the baby comes. The courts are closed for marriages in L.A. but FSIL's friend got married in a little chapel. They are checking that out and also the neighborhood Presbyterian church. They are not practicing Catholics so can't get married in the Catholic religion, but we will figure something out. DS3 and DIL got married in the local Presbyterian church, but I knew the pastor and had worked at the preschool for years. This pastor I don't know although she seems very nice. I will call about it for DD2. They are not sure of a date yet. Poor DD2 is so sick she hasn't had time to consider a date.
Then I will have to arrange for a reception here. Can't do much until the fires are gone - too much smoke. I hope they are out before October 10 since we have to be outside at the Odyssey!

The fires are inching closer but are still about 40 miles away. The smoke is very bad though and visibility is so poor you can't see 10 miles. We re staying inside. The only plus is that the smoke is shading the sun and has lowered the extreme temps. I don't think we are in any danger from the current fires. However I have advised DDS and DSIL that if they want a gender reveal party, we are doing a pinata. I never did like those fireworks reveals - dangerous and stupid. DD2 wanted to have it as soon as possible but I told her she would have to wait till after the wedding and Thanksgiving. When she started to whine I said "in the olden days you had to wait 9 months". LOL

This morning we sorted out the 3 ewes that are probably due this coming week. An extra one ran in with the last one that was wilder and hard to catch. We will catch her and remove her when we feed tonight. They are not in the barn pens, but in the smaller night fold. The trampoline gives them shade and I can see them from the bathroom window with my binoculars. It is level there so they can lamb in that pen. As they lamb, I will move them into the jugs. No need to get those tiny jugs all wet and poopy until necessary. No need for extra feeding and watering chores until the lambs arrive. They have more room to move around out there too. I hate confining the ewes in the jugs until they lamb and then the lambs don't come on the first marking date and the ewes are confined in 5' x 8' pens for a month waiting.

Anyway, DS1's college friend is arriving on Thursday for a few days. We are getting the trailer ready for him and his wife since there is no longer a double bed in the spare room. I figured it would be better for them in the trailer than on the sleeper sofa, but will discuss it with DS1. Just remembered that they will be trapped in the trailer with Bubba on the loose all night. He has to be loose at night for predator control. We will be wondering where they are for breakfast in the morning! :lol:

Angel is home at last. She is growing up. She apparently growled at Rika last night. She better watch out. She may be young and agile, but Rika is agile, cunning and the Alpha bitch - after me, of course. Does that mae her the Beta Bitch? :gig

SIL showed us on his phone that Costco Business center store has Halal lamb and goat carcasses for sale. Goat is only $5.89 lb. Pretty reasonable and we love goat. Halal is just the way of butchering like Kosher so unless it is some nasty old buck, it ought to be good. I might buy some. I think you have to take the entire half. SIL said it apparently comes wrapped in a burlap sack.

Gotta go. Lots to do.
 
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