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Monday, November 4, 2013

Chestnuts and Firewood

Last week several people at work started getting a cold.  Dave was out sick Thursday and Friday.  That meant I got to (had to?) take his dad "to town" for his doctor appointment and a meeting at the drinking water office on Friday.  It was a long day but we did get a lot done while in Santa Rosa.  My favorite things were the restaurant supply store (ever so conveniently located next door to the roofing supply company where we had to buy some stuff), eating out for lunch, and getting an ice cream before driving the two hours back home.  I was hopeful that Dave would be all better by the time I got home, but he wasn't.  So he stayed home in bed all day Saturday, too, while Eddie, John, and I attended the 32nd Annual Zeni Ranch Chestnut Festival.  

I haven't been since before Eddie was born.  This year's was more fun than I remembered--lots of music, tons of food, and lots of people to chat with.  Eddie had a grand time running around with other kiddos.  John and I spent about 30 minutes picking chestnuts way up on the hill where other folks hadn't gone yet.  Next year I need to bring sturdier gloves--the sharp spines came through my leather gloves and poked my fingers too much.
Eddie and Papa heading up into the chestnut orchard.
Me and some chestnuts.  They grow in clusters of about 4 super spiky shells, with about 2-4 nuts in each shell. You can see the yellowish spiky balls all over the ground below me.
Me, my bucket o' nuts, and John's shadow.
John purchased about 3 pounds of nuts for us to take home.  We'll eat some soon and then pop the rest into the freezer for later.  I'm hoping to make some stuffing with them for the holidays.
The open fire on which to roast chestnuts.
Fire roasted chestnuts.
Before we left, John took Eddie and I up a hill to see the small log cabin he and his father built back in the 1960s to use for deer hunting. Every season they'd rent it and spend a few weeks hunting in these mountains.  It still has the old blue and brown painted double hung windows that were taken from the Surf Motel renovation.  The Coast House had the same windows up until a few years ago.
The deer hunting cabin.
John walking down the hill from the cabin back to the ranch festivities.
Eddie was completely exhausted by the time we left.  He fell asleep as soon as John started driving back home.  He woke up when we stopped to collect some sugar pine cones on the road--where we happened to have a nice view of the historic Gianoli Ranch Vineyard.  I pointed it out to Eddie and told him that it's where his great grandmother Ida was born.
You can see the Gianoli vineyard across the valley.
Yesterday we braved the chilly wind on the ridge and Dave's lingering cold to cut firewood for this winter.  Along with a great many other things, this task has been on our list for quite some time.  John pulled two felled madrone trees out of the woods for us to cut up. This is a very dense wood so packs a lot of fuel per volume.  But dense also means it's harder to chop up with the ax.  

Last year for Christmas Grammy and Papa gave Eddie his own pair of ear muffs for working around chainsaws and riding on heavy equipment.  He was excited to use them finally!
Three Bowers, making firewood for their women.
Dave and John cut up the first, larger tree and I got to use the chainsaw to cut up the second one. I did some chopping, too, but dang was it hard!
Dave let him try chopping some of the rounds...he's a little small for that still.
Eddie was a very good helper when it came time to move all the wood.
This picture cracks me up because my hair is positioned to look like Eddie has a really ugly haircut.  Trailer trash boy ponytail anyone?
GOOD HEAVENS HE'S SO CUTE!
We stacked up about half of a cord of wood in the breezeway-turned-future-pottery-studio at the Coast House.  Hopefully it'll hold us for a while.  Of course, we haven't had use of the living room since we moved in because of all the construction and resulting shuffling of stuff in the house.  But last week we had carpet installed in two north bedrooms downstairs so we moved Eddie's bunk bed down into it's proper place in one of those rooms.  And that allowed us to uncover the couches in front of the fire.  So of course we had a nice fire last night.
The living room up until Sunday evening.  It was unlivable so maybe we should have referred to it differently.  You can barely see the stone fireplace at the back left.  I'm excited that we unearthed it and the couches so we can enjoy toasty fires this winter!


1 comment:

Leah Roy said...

Yes, Eddie is SO cute! And I loved the picture and caption under the open fire chestnuts. I was singing that in my head while reading the first part of the post. Its got me curious how chestnuts taste over an open fire!