Sunday, December 2, 2012

Flooding December 2, 2012

The wind and rain has been relentless.  I was up early this morning because of the howling wind through the slightly cracked bedroom window.  Brian has a cold so slept through everything.  I headed downstairs to brew some coffee and go through pictures from yesterday's Paws & Claus Christmas event to benefit the Calaveras Humane Society.  With a huge cup of coffee in hand I turned on the computer and watched the sun come up over our rapidly rising creek.  Soon Brian was downstairs making a huge plate of waffles.  Then the downpour started.  It rained really hard....blinding conditions for about three hours.   Brian went in the dining room and the floor was soaked.  The wind was blowing the water against and under the door.  I started finding puddles around the house.  Several of the door window panes couldn't handle that amount of water and wind. While checking the windows I noticed the lake that was forming in the backyard under the dining room window.

Taken through the dining room window
As it started to die down...a little... I decided to put on my raincoat and boots and take a walk.  I grabbed my little point and shoot and out the door I went.............

One of the seasonal streams

I guess the doggies won't have a pasture to play in for a while.
The fence is almost gone.

The fence between the neighbor and us.  It's almost completely gone.  We'll need to get out there and repair everything before "Ricky & Lucy" are delivered on the 14th.

The neighbor's property
Property next door
I headed down the road to see how our little bridge was handling the water.............It wasn't!

View from our driveway to the end of the road.
The bridge is down by the entrance to the neighbor's property
Tree on my neighbor's property.  They are stuck in their house.  You can see their driveway to the right. It's completely flooded.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Great Reno Balloon Race

At midnight we hit the road on our way to Reno.  We tried to sleep before we left but I think all the minutes added together might equal an hour.  Going over Highway 88 I couldn't believe how many deer we saw.  Around every bend in the road there were deer.  If I had counted I'm sure it would have been over 100.

We arrived in Reno at 3:30 and promptly got lost because there was highway construction and off ramps were blocked.  We ended up on the strip, which is peaceful at that time of morning.  Finding  Rancho San Rafael Park was a little confusing because its in the middle of a sleepy little neighborhood.  We didn't even know we were in the right place until we saw direction attendants with glow sticks.

We parked our big noisy diesel truck in front of some poor sleeping peoples home and walked about a mile to the park.  The vendors open up at 4:00 so Brian got his coffee and we headed down to the field.  Within 30 minutes the place was filling up.  No one wants to miss the "glow show."  The first balloon out on the field was the Wells Fargo Stagecoach.  It was huge.  I asked my sweet sleepy husband to go stand in front of it.  He obliged but doesn't look too happy about it.  You'd think he'd be used to having his picture taken by now.  He still grumbles as much as he did 15 years ago.
There are only a handful of balloons that participate in the "glow show" where they burn special fuel to make the balloons "glow."

The panda inflates and glows
5:15 a.m. and it's getting busy..........
The Pepsi can came late
Then the Dawn Patrol gets inflated.  They take off at 5:30.

Once they are ready they take to the sky choreographed to music.

The moon was beautiful.
At 6:00 a.m. with the sun coming up the Dawn Patrol lands and everyone gets ready for the mass ascension at 6:45.  The last of the balloons makes its way down.
Mass Inflation
Almost ready
 And they're off.
Darth Vader (from Belgium) takes off
And the Panda
The rest get ready 

and the rest of them..............
As you can tell this is a huge event.  Last year they said 150,000 people enjoyed the race over the three day period.  I will definitely go again.   I don't know how they manage to keep the event "free"  with all the traffic control, law enforcement, fire and medics.  Even if they just charged the photographers they would make bank.  I have never seen so many camera's and tripods in my life. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cheesy Saturday Night

Yep, we're one hip happenin' couple.  We spend our Saturday nights doing exciting things like.... making cheese.
We started by boiling milk at a very low temperature for what felt like two hours.  I swear it's more boring than watching water boil.  And you have to stir it constantly so you are just standing there....forever!  It has to reach 175 degrees.

Halfway through boiling the milk I looked out the window and saw a family of deer moving through the property.  Oh, I had all the time in the world to look out the window since I wasn't the one stiring...

Once it's at 175 you add buttermilk and then lemon juice.
Within 30 seconds it will start to curdle. 
Remove from heat and let it set.
After 10 minutes pour it into the cheese cloth in a strainer to get all the whey out. (Yes, it's gross looking.  It's curdled milk you know!)
Once its all drained it's time to squeeze it...................
Then tie it up to hang........... (we had no twine so I found the prettiest little pink ribbon my husband could use :-)
Let it hang for 30 minutes than put into container and add in whatever spices or flavorings you like.
 For this first batch we decided on Black Truffle Salt.
Once you have your spices mix them in.
Stir them really well then press the curds together with a spatula and put in the fridge overnight...unless you like warm cheese curd.  (Ick!)
Sunday morning we went to Jackson for breakfast and the farmers market was in Mel's parking lot so stopped to get some yummy tomatoes, berries, jam, pickled onions and lemon curd.
We came home and did some housework then plopped down on the couch to watch a movie.  Halfway through we remembered the cheese and paused the movie to check on it...and taste it of course.
We ate the whole thing with our fresh tomatoes.