Update: Monday, July 27th, 2015

Whenever I add the date to a post, I have to look at my computer to see what the date is ... that's retirement for you (if you're lucky)!

The Lowell fire in Nevada County is still burning; they're hoping for Aug 1st containment.  I'll put a link to Yubanet here, so you can see the latest fire info for yourselves.  Yubanet has posted some awesome and frightening pictures of the fire, as well as an operations map that, twice enlarged, shows the rugged topography of what the firefighters have on their hands!  Cal-fire and the Forest Service have thrown a super abundance of ground and air personnel at this dangerous blaze, for which we are all truly grateful.  I think the fire is located approx seven miles due east of our place.

We are not threatened by the fire, but a choking smoke layer descends each night, engulfing western Nevada County in a hazy, stinky stew.  Last night I forgot to close one window (oh no!), and  my nose let me know about it at 3am, but by then the burnt smell of fire had filtrated all over the house.  When the sun rises and streams thru our tall trees, it's as if we're in a fog, and I guess we are in a way.  As I look east on our road from the top of our driveway, I can see the white balloon of smoke.  We continue to hear Cal-fire planes flying in and out of our little airport.  One good thing is our friends are all right, thank heavens.

Meanwhile life goes on.  This past week ...

Thursday the 23rd was our first day in the pool at Pioneer Park.  First of many, I hope.  Between 10:30 and 11:30 Mon-Thur, the pool is open for adults only (and swim lessons for a few wee ones), exercise and laps.  Wonderful, Olympic-size pool.  Anybody spot Jimmy in the pool?

Friday was a cooking day for me, as it was cool enough to heat up the oven.  Sweet.  Among other things, I made a large batch of granola and a tray of seed brittle (right), and both went into the freezer in baggies.  Good to have on hikes and this stuff always goes with us on the road.

After Matt carried our inflatable tandem kayak up a long hill at the American River take-out point last week, Jimmy looked up kayak carriers online and found this little gem.  Ordered on Amazon Prime, it was delivered on Saturday.  Seems like it will work for us, if and when we need it.  Wheeling has to be better than hauling.  It folds up flat for storage, too.

Just about my only spot of color in the drought-stricken entire yard!

We're pretty sure a bear visited our yard last Tuesday night, climbing over and flattening the back fence. Nothing was taken or disturbed, and Jimmy straightened out the fence again ...

... but I don't think it was our neighbor's bear!

Smoky conditions early Sunday morning weren't too bad, especially on the other (western) side of Nevada City, so we thought we'd try picking raspberries at Riverhill Farm.  You can see a slight haze in the pictures, but we wouldn't have stuck around if the air was bad.  We managed to pick over three pounds of ripe, red raspberries, most of which went into the freezer.  Raspberry canes are on the other side of the strawberry rows.  

Only $11.00 for over three pounds.

Sunday night was Pioneer Park Picnic and Pops Concert #2, with the Nevada County Concert Band, celebrating a Centennial Jubilee, and we were there.  It was nip and tuck whether we'd go because of smoke.  Downslope winds make the smoke at our place terrible in the mornings, but when the afternoon breeze kicks in, it blows the smoke away from us and the air clears.  So, we packed our picnic and carried our chairs, parked ourselves in front of the stage and enjoyed the cool evening listening to toe-tapping tunes such as Colonel Bogey on Parade, a Salute to American Jazz, The Footlifter and so on.  I know the man below isn't from 1915, but the car might be.

The Centennial Jubilee Concert by the Nevada County Concert Band doesn’t necessarily celebrate their 100th year. Officially, that would have taken place in 1961, a century after The Grass Valley Brass Band formed and unified various local bands that existed at mines, clubs, schools and service organizations. But 100 years ago they were playing the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. And one of the numbers they played that day – The 1915 March, written by one of their clarinet players – will be on the program this time around as well. “We’ll tie it all together,” said conductor Cheryl Woldseth. “We’ll play some of the music from that year as well as things that have happened since. Frank Sinatra was born in 1915. A World War I-era Irving Berlin song. ‘As Time Goes By’ is an old favorite. A little history of jazz, from ragtime – which was really big in 1915 – to modern jazz.” Even the theme from “Back to the Future II,” which took place – believe it or not – in 2015. Officially dubbed the Nevada County Concert Band in 1971, they have been playing the Picnic Pops concerts since the beginning. “It’s our 44th season,” said Woldseth, who has been their conductor for 14 years. “In the park, it’s a time when we go to the band shell and everyone sits on the grass and enjoys a moment with their family. It’s very free and open. Ice cream, vendors, hot dog vendors, people love it. It’s a throwback to days of old.” Like say, 100 years ago.
 *from the Nevada and Placer County Entertainer.

Tomorrow is Jimmy's knee checkup at Sutter in Sacramento.  Hopefully he'll get the green light to take off and live life to the fullest.  Too bad for those of us who melt in the heat -- the temp in Sac is predicted to be 104° - yikes!

Finally, on Thursday, I have a colonoscopy.  The End.


  1. Those temps are something else ... saw that both the west coast and the east coast are going to be hotter than you know what. Glad to hear that there's a containment date ... that means progress is being made.

  2. Loved those raspberries! I haven't had a chance to go hunting in the Rogue Valley for U picks, and I keep trying to get it on my todo list. Great "the end", Nickie, Judy would be proud. So glad the fire is not threatening you. Jimmy and I are both going to get our "green light" during the same week. I go to Eugene tomorrow for the 90 day checkup! Looks like you are managing to have a really good time in spite of the fires and the heat. Life looks quite wonderful down your way.


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