Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What a day!

It was Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday in the U.S. But for Rancho Kuma, it was Disaster Day.

Horse Girl and her mom are living in the Big House now -- we are still so transitory -- and Horse Mom is on one of those crazy diets: only vegetables one day, only fruit another, fruit AND vegetables the following day, etc. She can have all the vegetable soup she wants anytime and so she spent Sunday making a huge pot of the stuff.

"I heard from Old Timer that the septic tank stays clean if you add cabbage now and again," I mentioned when she was chopping up some cabbage.
Old Timer used to live on this ranch, two owners ago, as the caretaker. He and his wife are in town visiting their daughters/grand-daughter/great-grand-daughter and has been stopping by his old stomping grounds every few days to have a look around. I think that in the process, he's developed a keen desire to move back. Though at 77, I'm not sure what he can still do around here, Big Dog and I are both keen on having him back, even if it's only for a few years so we can learn the deep secrets of this ranch. Like, where all the water systems are. On one of his visits, he boasted about how the septic tank stayed clean during the 17 years he was on this ranch, thanks to cabbage.
"It's got all sorts of good enzymes!"

Cabbage is one of my least favorite vegetables so we rarely have any, so I thought we could try a little scrap cabbage in the disposer while Horse Mom was preparing the soup. A little chunk of outer leaf went in, got ground up and forgotten about.....til the next morning.

"This side of the sink is plugged up," Horse Mom tells me as I stumble into the kitchen to make coffee. "But the left side seems fine, so we used that side."

Can't imagine how a little chunk of cabbage in the disposer could plug up the drain so badly, but there it was, calling us to crawl under the sink to fix the problem.

But as soon as that problem was fixed and BD had finished swearing at the pipes, the disposer, at me and the whole situation, Horse Girl calls from outside. Water is spewing from a busted pipe in the back orchard.

There's been a freak cold spell in Central California for a few days now. Citrus and avocado farmers are taking a royal beating. All of the succulents on our ranch are limp or dead, the calla lilies and cannas are dead, geraniums suffering badly... During the day, the temps go up but the early mornings are cold enough for plenty of frost, unusual for our valley. And now a busted pipe.

"We're selling," BD snarls as he goes off to stop the geyser.

The rest of the day was relatively uneventful but that afternoon, we get a call from Glass Guy, the glass blower who now lives on the ranch. He wanted to know if it was safe to come home.
"Apparently there's a huge fire in Montana de Oro."
"I think a caretaker's mobile home in Diablo Canyon started the fire."
"Wow. We didn't see any smoke. Or smell anything..."
Far enough to feel safe, but close enough to make you wonder.
Maybe we can hike up there and get warm.


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