Monday, June 27, 2016

Fee Fi Fo Fum!

A lot has been happening here. NOT in order of importance:
I'm working on my lesson plan for after school art that I will be teaching in the fall for Madera County School District through the Madera County Arts Council.
I am experimenting with making root beer completely from scratch. That is, from herbs and roots. No store bought extract. Good luck to me.

We got a new roof and windows by participating in a State Program that loans us the money and we pay it back at property tax time. Being poor has a couple advantages and this is one. Other than that you can have it. Being poor that is.
Then we get a hefty rebate from Pacific Gas and Electric for becoming energy efficient. And energy efficient we are now! BWR (Before windows and roof) the air conditioning would not go off on a triple digit heat day. Now it does so we know it's working.

The other advantage of being poor: we're getting a new wood stove completely free! There's this county program to promote clean air in the valley and through it we get a voucher that will pay for a brand new energy efficient woodstove to replace the old decrepit one we have.
We had a great visit in San Jose with my old friend and boss Lisa. Robert and Carolyn, who were co-workers, were also in attendance. Lisa pulled out the stops with food and it was great to reminisce and be amazed at the changes to our old company.

My friend Georgia continues to defy the odds in her fight against The Brain Tumor. It's been over 3 years since she had the seizure in the middle of the span of the San Mateo Bridge that was the first clue to what was going on.

Happy the horse is getting more so. We can now approach him without him running off. Marty has a few rides on him and has performed what I call "Going Through The Motions" even though that's not quite correct. GTTM is walk, trot, canter and the canter is a mile stone as that is where The Buck usually comes out if it's going to happen. But it didn't come out. Marty the Horse Whisperer. Don't tell him I said that. He hates that moniker.

We attended a Career Day at Keller Williams. We're going for it. We're going to sell real estate. We have to do something. The home stead will not be self sufficient for a few years and I'm telling you Social Security is not even near enough to cover expenses. Neither are my savings is going to cover expenses. The good thing about real estate is that we can work when we want (for the most part), it pays really well and is not a commodity that is against life. That is to say, it is not something that no one needs which is what most of the things sold these days are.
I am reading two great books. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Die Wise by Stephen Jenkinson.

My art room is finally ready to use after a delay of 3 months. None too soon as I now have a commission from the First Christian Church to render 3 views of their altar. For pay, by the way. They need visualizations for how 3 different remodels will look so they can decide which one they like best.

Which brings me to Fee Fi Fo Fum.
We took a day trip to Huntington Lake in the High Sierra. It's at over 6,000 feet so it's pristine and extremely cold being exclusively filled by snow melt. I got in but not for very long I can tell you! I am kind of a polar bear but I have limits. To really swim we went down to Shaver Lake which is not as pristine but warmer. It's at 3,000 feet.

Huntington Lake is very beautiful. It is above the bark beetle devastation that is afflicting the trees farther down the slope. Down there they are all dying and it looks like fall. So many orange trees. Awful. The drought is what did it. The beetles took advantage.
Here's the thing about Huntington Lake though. They want you to pay for everything.

I'm not sure there's any way around this. You're taking a chance bandito-ing a parking place to walk down to the lake for a quick look-see or commune with nature. Rangers patrol like hound dog Beagles. If you own a cabin I suppose you could walk in and not have to pay but that's not an option for us. I guess we'll hop in the car and go even farther up the road to Florence Lake or Mono Hot Springs and see what's happening there.
Love this gnarly old cedar.. or juniper?
A sight for sore eyes that live in the dry San Joaquin Valley.
High Sierra granite.
By the shining Big-Sea-Water...

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