Thursday, August 17, 2017

New driveway!

The place where I have been parking my car is mud. Our neighbor across the road does dirtwork, so we decided to hire him to dig it up, backfill it, and make us a fancy new driveway.

He dug up about a foot depth, then laid down this cloth to stop the nice fill dirt from migrating into the mud:

Then he dumped and smoothed out three different grades of fill:

Some was actual mine tailings, straight from a local gold mine:

Since he had the front end loader, he also dug out some of our old stumps, including my old splitting stump, which is inrecoverable after eight seasons of beatings:

It was so amazing and effortless, compared with chopping them out by hand!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Fair Photos!

My two primary goals for the Fair this year: Cute things and giant veggies. I think I got 10/10 on the cute and 8/10 on the veggies.

Look at these piggy-piggies! Who know they came in so many colors and patterns?

Mama smiles while they nurse!

Now here is a BAYBEE YAK!

Oohhhhhh Gooooood thooooose eeeeeeeeeyes...

Now, for BT, giant veggies!

Giant turnip!

Giant zucchini! (although I think these are also normal for California)

Giant green onion!

Giant broccoli!

The winning giant cabbage this year was a surprisingly humble 36.2 pounds:

The exhibition hall:


Giant kale!


Giant rhubarb!

Giant kohlrabi!

Pretty carrots!

Giant dahlia!

DL said I should be in there for scale:

All the pretty flowers!

Sunset at Creamer's Field:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Fuzzy things

I have a nice collection of fuzzy things, if I do say so myself:

Especially when Charcoal, the Huge, comes to visit. The last time he did this, we were just headed out the door for our morning walk. So I called his parents to let them know where he was, and we brought him along. He is HUUUUUGE.

Then, because he drools, he had his rawhide on the porch. Then I walked him home. His dad said, "That'll teach him a lesson to wander!"

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summer thingies

Fireweed, rainbows, giant kohlrabis, and using your sister's butt as a pillow. What more is there, really?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Helping 4th graders learn about wind power!

One of my outreach activities is visiting local schools with KidWind kits. I give them a short lecture on energy, then renewable energy, then wind energy in particular. Then I have them cut wind turbine blades out of card stock and mount them into plastic hubs. We connect them to a multimeter, hold the model turbines in front of a fan, and see how much power they make in the "wind".

I love kids in 40-minute doses! My hat's off to teachers who do this 40+ hours per week. If I were a K12 teacher, I'd probably be in danger of alcoholism.

In the midst of this chaos, this particular teacher stepped back, smiled at all of the screaming mess around her, and sighed happily. She turned to me and said, "Don't you just LOVE this? Kids getting all excited about science?" And I had to admit that I loved the *concept* but not so much being present for the *implementation*. However, I am truly grateful that I had the privilege of seeing her joy. Clearly, that is her thing, and the world is an indescribably better place for teachers like her!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Miscellaneous photos

1) Our neighbors' dog, who looks like a puppy, frequently hangs out with us. We don't know them that well, and I'm not sure whether this is okay, or whether this is some kind of Alienation of Affection theft. She is adorable, Starbuck and Cricket don't mind her, and she loves bellyrubs.

2) Good eats:

This here is a multi-cultural place setting: