Friday, May 13, 2011

Rhubarb Pie

We had dessert this evening. Rhubarb pie!

Thirty-eight years ago, with dreams of rhubarb pie, I planted rhubarb for the first time. Shortly after I moved. A few years later I planted rhubarb a second time on rented property with no plans to move. But, shortly after I did. Jump forward another few years. I owned the land so I planted rhubarb. I no longer own the property and I never harvested rhubarb.

Rhubarb Pie.
Rhubarb Pie.

Last year I planted three crowns. Two did well but one was stunted. This spring the three began growing well and endured one night and day of snow. The stunted plant from last year is a fraction the size of the two larger plants. I have them in one bed planted a little closer than ideal. The two healthy plants bolted but I removed the flower stalks.

This afternoon Julie asked for some stalks so I pulled seven from the largest plant. After a few minutes of working together we had a pie in the oven.

While we worked I had two surprises. First, Julie had never make a rhubarb pie. This pie was her first. Second, Julie had never eaten rhubarb! That was a big surprise.

Her first pie was excellent. I've never had better.

Saturday, May 07, 2011


This week I've measured, counted and calculated a few items.

  • The low temperature last week was on Tuesday and was 27 degrees.
  • The high temperature yesterday, Friday, was 87 degrees.

  • I have five compost piles.
  • The total volume in the compost piles is about 12 cubic yards.
  • The temperature of compost pile two on Thursday, 5/5, at 6 PM was 150 degrees.
  • The temperature of compost pile two on Friday, 5/6, at 6 AM was 145 degrees.
  • The temperature of compost pile two on Saturday, 5/7, at 6 AM was 130 degrees.
  • The temperature of compost pile two on Saturday, 5/7, at 6 PM was 125 degrees.

  • I am starting 12 varieties of tomatoes and peppers.
  • Yesterday and today Julie and I planted 12 varieties of vegetables in the garden.
  • There are 20 seeds soaking for 24 hours that will be planted tomorrow morning.

  • This evening I picked 31 tomatoes from the three plants in the utility room.

  • The soil temperature this morning at 6 AM at a depth of three inches was 57 degrees.

  • Yesterday I filled the last cistern and have 9,500 gallons of water in reserve.

  • This afternoon our batteries reached a high voltage of 29.7 volts.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


We had our monthly community meeting last Monday. A month ago Julie suggested the topic of firewise safety. We do not live in a fire district and do not pay taxes for fire protection. It's up to us to be prepared.

As a result of the suggestion a battalion commander from the closest fire district joined us last Monday, did a presentation about fire safety and firewise landscaping. His presentation was informative, useful and enjoyable.

One person present asked about burning the mass of tumble weeds that line the ditches and fences along the road. We learned about permits and procedures necessary to burn materials.

Yesterday afternoon a fire started along the road away from any houses. The fire was northwest of our house about two miles away. I haven't seen the results yet but I understand it wasn't extinguished until it had crossed the line to the Navajo Nation. If I understand the starting location correctly that's a distance of more than two miles.

Fortunately yesterday was a fairly calm day. Winds were forecast at 3 to 6 mile per hour. Tomorrow we're back to winds in the twenties.

Before we go home tonight we'll drive by the area, see how far it went and learn a little more about protecting our house and property.




After posting the above I received two emails that indicate there were two fires and that the one fire did not cross the Navajo Nation line. That was a separate fire. How the rumor mil is discussing arson.


Sunday, May 01, 2011

One Ends, Another Begins

Life has become too busy of late.

Last Monday Julie and I stayed in town to attend a CERT meeting (Community Emergency Response Team). I had to work part of the Friday on my day off, a responsibility that seems to be happening too frequently lately. Friday evening we had supper with neighbors followed by a night of games, a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Yesterday, Saturday, I attended a workshop for well owners while Julie had lunch with a friend, browsed an art show and ran errands. At the end of the day she met me and we had supper with two couples in town, a meal that occurs each fall and spring as one couple stops on their trip between summer and winter residences. It was another enjoyable evening.

I waffled on the well water workshop. I wanted to attend but wanted to spend the day in the garden. As I drove to town I felt a growing sense of anticipation. The workshop was excellent and the time passed quickly because the speakers and material were fascinating. I don't own a well and have no plans for a well but water is critical. Recently the local newspaper published articles about reduced flows in rivers and concerns that we are entering a thousand years drought. The workshop presented information on geology, legal issues related to wells, information about installing a well, water quality, filtration options and cleaning cisterns. At the end a local representative presented information about hauling water. In the unincorporated areas of the county seventy-five percent of residents haul water. It was a good workshop. I'm glad I attended.

One week ends and another begins. Tomorrow we have a local community meeting and on Tuesday evening we are registered for a training session for weather spotters.

All of these things are good but they take time from gardening, reading, necessary tasks, shared time with Julie and personal time. Next weekend I hope the weather is right and we can take an over-night trip on the motorcycle. Just a fun trip with no specific itinerary or route.