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Friday, September 23, 2022

Last



This is the last of Dwight's clay creations: a Green Man. His original idea was to "perfect it", fire it then hang it somewhere on the wooden fences surrounding the property. He did not get to complete it to his liking. Chris fired it as it was. When she returned it to me, the left side of the Green Man's face was in pieces. I glued them back on the best I could. He now sits just a bit South of the California Pipevine leaning against the wooden fence along the West side of my property. To my ascetics he seems to fit ever so nicely. I frequent that path along the West side of the house often when picking ripe strawberries as well as when I do some hand watering.


Strawberries planted along the West wooden fence: 

     Albion

         Chandler

         Seascape

Sequoia



It is very sad, sad, sad to me that this is the very last clay piece ever to be created by my husband of some 35 years. AND he was always so excited to bring home a new sculpture he had created to share with me. Finding just the right placement for each piece was always a joint venture. I am so fortunate to have so many of his creations about the outside of my property and in my house as well: lucky, lucky, lucky me! 

Grandfather,

Look at our brokenness,


We know that in all creation

Only the human family

Has strayed from the Sacred Way.


We know that we are the ones

Who are divided

And we are the ones

Who must come back together

To walk in the Sacred Way.


Grandfather,

Sacred One,

Teach us love, compassion, and honor

That we may heal the earth

And heal each other.        

OJIBWAY PRAYER


My house AND my life feel so very empty without Dwight sharing both with me. Yet I am ever so grateful that he is no longer struggling to breathe! We did have a very full life together. We also allowed each other to have our independence to pursue our own interests and individual patterns of BEing in the world. His love of beauty was contagious as well as reflected in his clay work.


The appreciation of life does not required wealth or plenty, It required only gratitude for the beauty of the world. 

DENG MING-DAO

As I continue with my grieving process missing Dwight's physical BEing in my life, I have a frequent good belly 



Monday, September 19, 2022

Fall in 2022



Autumn is coming. The air becomes fresh and crisp.

The fruits of summer are being harvested; the heart of 

labor is beginning to cool. There is a more relaxed feeling

in the air: The fiery activity of summer is replaced by the 

celebrations of autumn.


In spring, we all had to struggle to make the ascendancy of

the year. In summer, we reveled in the glory of fire and

vigor. Now, we can begin to let things relax. Just as the

pumpkins are beginning to fill out, the squash is hanging

heavy and golden on the vines, and the leaves are starting

to hint of warm colors, so too can we look forward to

mellowness and quietness.


This is the time for harvest. But every planting and growing

season also leaves behind excess and inevitable waste. The

dust of summer still lingers. The stubble in the fields will 

have to be burned. We must harvest fully and then clean up

fully. Harvest is also the time for cleansing and taking stock.


DENG MING-DAO



On Thursday, September 22 the Fall Equinox arrives here in the Northern Hemisphere. Wether we call it the Autumnal Equinox or September Equinox or Fall Equinox matter none. It seems to me the question is whether we are aware of the turning of seasons, the changes all about us in the vegetation and feel in the air; not to mention our BEing in tune with nature.


Mother, Father, God, Universal Power

Remind us daily of the sanctity of life.


Touch our hearts with the glorious oneness

of all creation,

As we strive to respect all the living beings

on this planet.


Penetrate our souls with the beauty of this

earth,

As we attune ourselves to the rhythm and

flow of the seasons.


Awaken our minds with the knowledge to 

achieve a world in perfect harmony

And grant us the wisdom to realize that we

can have heaven on earth.


JO POORE 


Here in Cotati we have already received some 1000% of our "normal" rainfall for this month of September. All the plants in my garden are shouting out "hurrah, keep the raindrops falling!"

Due to the very hot, hot, hot
spell 10 days or so ago,
the leaves on the Japanese maple tree
are just turning brown instead
of the vibrant orange/yellow of last year.

As we all honor Fall and all her glory may we have a hearty, fully joyful as well as emotionally releasing belly





















The Japanese maple tree's leaves
were not very colorful this year.
The Fall color of the leaves
are not as spectacular as last.


 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Scorching


Viewing a spectacular early morning from 
the dining room double doors.
                                           I do so love what I call "popcorn" clouds.

This week here in Northern California the temperatures outside have been scorching hot . . . literally. My outside thermometer has read as high as 118 degrees in the mid afternoon . . . yikes!  It has been too hot to be outside caring for the garden. I do water either right after breakfast or in the late evening. Last evening as I tended the garden in the rear of the house I discovered all of the Scarlett Runner beans leaves essentially fried. I cut them to the ground and transported them to my compost pile.

The Stupice tomato plant in the
East most raised bed.
The tomatoes do not
seem to be affected.
The leaves on the other hand
are another story.

The single rhubarb plant,
a cultivated plant of the dock family,
that grows beneath the plum tree.
As you can see the leaves
have indeed been fried by 
the hot temperatures
now stretching almost into a week.

The recently planted lemon tree in the front yard is looking very droopy inspite of regular morning watering. I do hope it not only survives but flourishes since its name is "Dwight"! Tanis decided we should call this lemon tree she brought me Dwight since he is the person who really wanted a Meyers Lemon Tree growing in our garden.

Lonicera involucrata (Twinberry honeysuckle)
planted last Fall against the West
outside wall of the garage.
The most recent leaves have
been seared by the hot,
hot, hot 
sun.

Luckily the temperatures are to be returning to "normal" (mid '80's) for this time of the year by early next week. I have noticed that each day the temperatures are a bit lower than the previous day. For those who believe "climate change" is a hoax, they are now experiencing often drastic changes in their previously usual everyday weather.


On this note of accepting our changing climate AND doing something about it . . . those who live in Sonoma County (and I am sure elsewhere in Northern California) are early adopters. When we sought a replacement for our Subaru whose engine needed replacing, I had my heart set on Prius, a used one of course. We did find one and purchased it on the spot. Shasta was none to sure since she could not tell when the engine was on then turned off. She asked Sandy, "how am I suppose to protect the car?" 


At that time Prius was the chosen car people to reduce fuel consumption thus affecting the production of greenhouse gases. Presently, as I am about the county, I find the chosen car is Tesla. I see them plugged in at the local charging station as well as in people's driveways. I am sure those of you who live elsewhere are finding similarities.


                                    Monardella villosa (Coyote mint ‘Russian River’),
                                        Epolibium canum  (California fuschsia ‘Calistoga’,
                                                          & bird bath Dwight created.
                                  These plants seem unaffected by the hot temperatures.

With this incredible heat I am so fortunate that we decided to install air conditioning when we had our ducts and furnace replaced. The house remains fairly cool. When I get up in the very early morning, I shut all the windows and pull the window coverings down. Still my "crazy" dog Shasta likes to have an outside regular midday "baking" in the sun. When she's in the house she finds the coolest spot . . . "go figure" my long time friend Lynette would say.


As I walk about the garden and survey how the literally baking hot temperatures are affecting the  garden, to blunt the sadness, I have a frequent

                                           





Saturday, September 3, 2022

More Than I Can Possibly Eat Fresh

Begonia hybrid 'Summerwings
Dark Elegance'
purchased at Emerisa Gardens 

Please note that the
beautiful red blooms
match the red in my gardening
Birkenstocks.

Even though a number of the tomato plants have been pulled out and have found their way to the compost pile, there is way more ripe tomatoes on the remaining plants than I can possible eat. So yesterday all the ripe tomatoes were picked, cleaned and cut in half.

1/2 cup of organic olive oil
is poured over the halved tomatoes 
then chunky sea salt is sprinkled over
the top before sliding them into the oven.




Once the oven temperature reaches 275 degrees. The prepared tomatoes are slowly roasted for two hours. When all three of the Corningware cookware filled with halved tomatoes completed roasting, they are removed and cut with two very sharp knives. Quart jars are then filled with the "tomato sauce" that will come in handy during the Winter months. 

The yellow tomatoes are Blue Gold Tomatoes
The red tomatoes are a combination of
Chadwick's Cherry Tomatoes,
Stupice Tomatoes and 
Silvery Fir Tree Tomatoes.

When fresh tomatoes are unavailable I use a quart for soup. A defrosted quart jar of roasted tomatoes are whirled it into a relatively smooth consistency. This makes for a wonderful evening meal. I also use a quart for pasta sauce which once heated is ladled over Bionaturae 100% organic gluten free rice and lentil spaghetti. Grated Asiago cheese is sprinkled over the top. Delicious! And brings memories of the abundance of fresh tomatoes in August and September.

Through the entire day of picking, cutting tomatoes in half then roasting and jarring up the roasted tomatoes, I had an often and frequent belly



Wednesday, August 31, 2022

PageRefuge's Plant List

 MOSTLY NATIVE HABITAT:

GRASSES

Elymus glaucus (Blue wildrye grass)

Festuca idahoensis (Blue fescue)

                F.rubra (Red fescue)

Muhlenbergia rigens (Deergrass)

Sisyrinchium californicum (yellow eyed grass)

S. bellum (Californian blue eyed grass)

Stipa pulchra  (Purple needlegrass)


ANNUALS

Clarkia amoena (Farewell to Spring, Godetia)

Claytonia perfoliata (Miner’s Lettuce)

Collinsia heterophylla (Purple Chinese Houses)

Gilia tricolor (Bird’s Eye Gilia)

Helianthus annuus macrocarpus (Hopi Black Dye Sunflower 

Hopi name: Tceqa' Qu' Si)

Phacelia tanacetifolia (Bee’s Friend or Lacy Phacelia)

*Taget erecta (Cempoalxochitl Marigold aka Day of the Dead)

*Tithonia rotundifolia (Torch Tithonia)

*Tropaeolum majus (Nasturtium)


PERENNIALS

Achillea millefolium (White yarrow)

Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly everlasting)

Aquilegia formosa (Western columbine)

Asarum caudatum (Western wild ginger)

Asclepias speciosa (Showy milkweed) 

*Begonia hybrid ‘Summerwings Dark  Elegance’

*Berlandiera lyrata (Chocolate flower)

*Calylophus drum mondianus (Sundrops)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple coneflower) 

Epolibium canum  (California fuschsia ‘Calistoga’ & ‘Everett’s Choice’)  Erigeron giganteum (St. Catherine’s Lace buckwheat) 

E. glaucus (Seaside daisy ‘Cape Sebastian’)

E. grande rubescens (Red flowering buckwheat)

Heuchera maxima (Alum root)

Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm)

Mimulus aurantiacus (Sticky monkeyflower)

Monardella villosa (Coyote mint ‘Russian River’)

*Penstemon eatonii (‘Firecracker’ penstemon)

P. heterophyllus (Blue Bedder penstemon ‘Margarita BOP’)

*P. strictus (Rocky mountain penstemon)

Phacelia bolanderi (Bolander’s Phaceli)

Plantago subnuda (Coastal plantain) 

Salvia apiana (White sage)

                S. spathacea (Hummingbird sage)

S. clevelandii x (‘Pozo Blue’ Sage)

                S.clevelandii (‘Winnifred Gilman’ Sage)

Satureja(Clinopodium) douglasii

Scrophularia californica (California bee plant

  Viola odorata (Wild violets)

SHRUBS

Arctostaphylos bakeri (Manzanita ‘Louis Edmunds’)

A. uva-ursi (‘Point Reyes’ Bearberry)

Berberos aquifolium AKA Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape)

Baccharis pilularis - female upright form (Coyote Bush)  

Calycanthus occidentalis (Western spicebush)

Carpenteria californica (Bush anemone ‘Elizabeth’) 

Ceanothus (California Wild Lilac ‘Dark Star’)

Cornus sericea occidentalis (‘Tomales Bay’ Western twig dogwood)

Corylus cornuta californica (California hazelnut)

Heteromeles arbutifolia (California toyon)

Holodiscus discolor (Cream bush)

Lavatera assurgentiflora (Tree mallow from Channel Islands)

Lepechinia fragrans ‘El Tigre’ (Pitcher sage)

Lonicera involucrata (Twinberry honeysuckle)

Physocarpus capitatus (Western ninebark)

Prunus lyonii (Catalina Cherry)

Rhamnus californica (Coffeeberry)

        Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum(1Pink flower currant+1‘Heart’sDelight’)            

                R.speciosum (Fushsia flower gooseberry)

                R.viburnifolium (Catalina currant/Catalina perfume)

Romneya coulteri (Matilija poppy)

Styrax redivius (Snowdrop bush)

Symphoricarpos albus (Common snowberry ‘Tilden Park’ +

1 dug up along road during Shasta’s & my morning walk)

TREES

*Acer ?? (Yellow leaf Japanese Maple)                    

Aesculus californica (California buckeye)

Cercis occidentalis (Western redbud)

*Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow)

Pinus monophylla (Pinyon pine)

Umbellularia californica (California bay)


VINES

Aristolochia californica (Dutchman’s pipevine) 

Clematis ligusticifolia (Western virgin’s bower) 

Lonicera hispidula (Honeysuckle, aka Hairy honeysuckle)

Vitis californica x European grape cross  ('Roger's Red' California grape)


FOR HUMANS:


*FRUIT TREES

Apple

Cox Orange Pippin

Pink Pearl

Spitzenberg (Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple)

Apricot

Blenheim

Lemon

Improved Meyer

Plum

Santa Rosa


*BERRIES

Blackberry  

          Rubus (subgenus Rubus Watson) ‘Black Satin’ Thornless

Elderberry

          Nova 

          York

Raspberry

           Boyne (Rubus idaeus) Summer bearing raspberry

Strawberry 

         Albion

         Chandler

         Seascape

 Sequoia

*HERBS

Basil

Chives

Marjoram

Oregano

Rosemary

Salvia officinalis

‘Berggarten’ sage

Common sage

Tarragon

Thyme


MEDICINAL HERBS

*Borage

*Comfrey

*Echinacea

*Peppermint (chocolate)

Wide leaf plantain

White yarrow


OTHER FOOD PRODUCING PLANTS

Rhubarb 


* = nonnative