Monday, February 8, 2010

As You Were

The smoldering log was removed and the fireplace damper has been closed and the front of the fireplace has been swept.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

OOPS not so fast

The nearly foot of snow overnite buried our car. So we had some digging to do -- I forgot a shovel but we borrowed the blade from the broken snow shovel from the cabin, which was better than nothing. What did not help was the expensive Range Rover some "kindly" soul had parked just in front of us. I had to back up to be able to get out.

As we were walking out, this big monster was coming along the road. He kindly waited to let us down the bank and across the road before he blasted the snow up the hill where we had been.

And maybe we have the mousie problem licked -- they are running for their lives away from the cabin. About halfway between the summit and Shaver Lake, I saw a mouse running along the side of the road toward Shaver. Maybe he's headed for Mill Valley.

And back to the real world

We have to leave this morning (to get home in time for the Super Bowl). There was a bit more snow so we're hoping we can get the car out ok. Meanwhile, the sheets upstairs are clean again and the damper is NOT closed because the fireplace is still warm. We are leaving 3 eggs (thank you for the rest), most of the tomatoes, the potatoes and avocado and 3 brownies in the freezer. We ate and/or tossed the lettuce and spinach and I put the bread (both partial loaves) into the freezer. We're trying to leave it all as clean as we found it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow keeps falling

Now the trees are covered. It is falling steadily and supposed to keep up until early morning. We hope we can get the car out ok. We may have to borrow a shovel. But we won't take the great new snow shovel that someone has contributed.

By the way, we took out a lot of the recycling (someone has had some good wine and beer) and brought in some heavy plastic containers. I transferred most of the food from above the refrigerator into the containers and put them in the pantry. If they work, we can get more. The pantry is much more accessible for those of us who are slightly height challenged. But I left the chips over the refrigerator so they are less tempting.

Dinkey Creek in the snow

Snow and propane

Today's view of the cabin. Less snow than the last two weeks but still a lot. We saw Dennis and Kim and they were amazed someone was here during the big storm without heat or power or water. We told them Andrew and Becky and Jane are tough. Dennis said it snowed 9 feet in that storm and he was out all night plowing the road to keep it open and saw it snow 14 inches in one hour around midnight.

It is snowing now. We had about an inch overnight and it spit snow a bit while were out but looks serious at the moment. That's fine, we're making soup, have a fire going and ready to hunker down for the rest of the day.

We have both snow and propane. I dug out about 2 feet of snow around the top of the tank and it is at almost 70% so we're in good shape.

Una Noche Tmultuosa

Tio Poderoso paso una noche bastante tumultuosa. Pesadillas toda la noche: fui corretiado por ratas, ratones y lobos que me querian atrampar con "sticky traps" que son condemnadas por People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Estoy bastante cansado esta mañana. Voy a salir para tomar los aires montañosos. A ver si puedo olvidar las pesadillas tan profundas. Vuestra Merced, -- El Tio Poderoso

Horror of Horrors

I'm shocked. Shocked! To find a sticky mousetrap in the cabin bedroom! You, of course, know that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is trying to get those traps banned because of their extreme cruelty to mice; not to mention the psychological scars they create. I am Shocked. -- El Tio Poderoso

Friday, February 5, 2010

The sourdough is rising (a new start without eggs -- did the pioneers even use eggs??), the fire is going, dinner was delicious - in part thanks to the spinach and lettuce we found (the critters outside get the rest of the lettuce that got slimy) -- and the brownies are excellent. I confess to using the last brownie mix. We're hoping to see some snow tomorrow and will bring over some more wood from the pile. Meanwhile, I did see signs of mice under the kitchen sink. Don't know if they are new but I'll move a trap there and also put the Tom Cat poison under there when we bring it in tomorrow. We will prevail over the critters!

Hemos Llegao

Con la sagrada bendicion de Dios, hemos aterrizado aqui en las montañas llenas de nieve, hoy el cinco de Febrero 2010. Aunque haga frio, nuestros espiritos quedan calientitos y en alta nivel. Gracias a Andres y Conchita, el camino fue bastante facil de caminar. Los saludamos y les damos nuestras sinceras gracias. Hay Gran Evidencia de los malditos ratones que me quieren rechinar los cacajuates. Pero no me llaman El Tio Poderso por ser un "Wussy" -- palabra gavacha que da el sentido exacto. Si Dios es servido, esperamos pasar dos dias tranquilos aqui en nuestra humilda residencia montañosa. -- El Tio Poderoso
We made it! Thanks to Andrew's trail-blazing and Becky's tunnel, we got to the cabin without any problems. Water, heat, firewood and so far no signs of mice. So we are happy campers. Thank you for leaving it all so clean and even food in the refrigerator.

There is a bit of fresh snow but maybe 2 inches. A wet snow/rain started just as we got out of the car - turned to snow briefly and now has stopped. We are hoping for snow tonite. There is still tons of snow but definitely less than in your last photo.

Monday, February 1, 2010


There is a loaf of frozen wheat bread in addition and 2 oranges. There are some sweet potato chips wrapped and in the fridge (mouse protection)... Off we go, over and through the woods to grandma and grandpas house!

In Sum

Very productive day - lots of work done, lots of house work done on breaks, as well.

Auntie Ann, here is your report, which I'm sure we'll add after we leave:
#1 Both beds upstairs are clean and cooty free. The downstairs bedrooms have the signs if they are clean or not, offhand I don't remember and I know that you guys (like us) sleep upstairs.
#2 You should bring: Sourdough start, vegetable oil. I saved sourdough start before I made pancakes this morning. Of course, the start is contaminated by forgetting to save it the time before, although so far Becky and I haven't died and the start still seems to be active even though I forgot to save it once and it has remnants of sugar/egg/etc.
#3 Here is some stuff worth noting we have up here:
-4 bottles white wine, 2 bottles red wine, 1 bottle of white zin. I'm not sure which category that falls into.
-Coffee: Peet's and Nescafe
-10 eggs good until Fed 23
-Frozen bread (its the partially baked kind meant to be finished at home in the oven. We froze it. Its a half loaf.
-Syrup (maple + gooseberry)
-lots of mousetraps
-6 beers of various types
-cherry tomatoes (10)
-salad mix which we think is good, but check when you wash it
-head of spinach

#4 You should note:
-Last time we were here with mom, she noticed you and Uncle Louie's shoes had been nibbled by mice. She bagged them and put them outside on the porch (kitchen side).
-Becky transported alot of food from the dry pantry to the cabinets up above the fridge (to better mouse proof them). We put alot of stuff in containers. If you're curious where anything is, ask, but its either still in the pantry or above the fridge.

#5 It is beautifullllllll up here. Update the blog for us!

Silver dust?

There is a very fine layer of dust over the snow. Its gray/silver and it almost looks like silver glitter. Its cool but bizarre. Andrew and I can't remember if the layer of dust was already in when we arrived or if its new. I just went out to take a picture (for illustration purposes) and to our surprise we found out that its little tiny itsy bitsy animals!!!!

Who are our visitors?

Turns out that these guys are springtails, or snow fleas:

Snow fleas are commonly called springtails and even though they love the snow, are often present during the colder months of moderate temperature areas. These minute insects from the Hypogastruridae family and Collembola order are known as the Hypogastrura nivicola species. No larger than 1/8 inch long, these stout bodied, wingless insects jump so quickly when they are disturbed that it appears they have simply disappeared. Unlike other fleas, the diet of the snow fleas consist mainly of the mold and fungus found on decaying leaf matter. The best way to observe these amazing little creatures is to place you hand on top of the snow in an area that is peppered with snow fleas. Before long you will notice that the tiny black specks are disappearing from the snowy surface and reappearing on your hand. The minute you move your hand they will almost instantly disappear. One of the best places to find the snow flea is close to any bare spot at the base of a tree that is surrounded by snow...

....In many cases when the snow flea is found on the surface of snow they are preparing to migrate. When this occurs as many as a million of the insects will move across the ground in a relatively rounded mass that extends below the winter littering of leaves. The migration of the snow flea can take several days since the tiny creatures’ rest at night. Even when the migration is over they have only moved a short distance. It is believed that these migrations take place when the food supply in one area is exhausted. Although the average snow flea is a dark, dull gray color some species of this insect are blue, red, orange, gold, brown or green.

Maybe the little guys got the word and are ready to migrate just to open room for the visit of your majesty, El Tio Poderoso.

Another visitor this morning, was a flock of these nice guys:

Morning visitor

Isn't nature amazing?

Work day

Starts... Now!

...With a trip to shaver to buy eggs for breakfast. Auntie Ann, you'll definitely have eggs leftover.

The Grande Entrada

El Tio Poderoso is planning one of his Royal Visits to the Provinces, mainly Dinkey Creek next weekend. He will be ready to have his Regal Ring kissed numerous times. He also expects his equestrian Grande Entrada to be welcomed by the peasants and their children who should be sprinkling his path with rose petals. Oh, you know, The Usual. Tio is looking forward to the peasant dances and song performances, even though they bore him to absolute tears, but which he realizes is So Important for their moral. If he may, he would like to dispense with the ceremonial beheading of the Ox, which he's never Really Appreciated. Also the Human Sacrifice. Oh, Please! Our Hispanic Culture dispensed with this Barbaric Ritual in the 15th Century Spain. Although, you've got to admit, Torquemada would have probably made an excellent Republican!

Above all, Tio Podersoso expects the rat shit to be cleansed thoroughly from His Regal Freeking Bed.

Vuestra Merced