Clarke rode on the tractor with Bob down almost to where we cut the tree yesterday. Then Jeff rode for about ¼ mile, doing most of the steering. Later, Rebecca had a ride. Bob dragged the root and stump down the bank onto the road. Pushing it off the road was something else. I put a chain around it so he could try to drag it once but the road became so wet and mossy from the spring that he had a hard time. He finally shoved it off and then spent a couple of hours working on the road. Once again we ate at Big Bar, getting home around 8 o’clock. About 8:30 Bob remembered that he hadn’t drained the tractor so he went all the way down there again.
I didn’t write again until April 24th saying Bob was writing a letter to Biz Johnson and that I’d just gotten back from a nursery school board meeting. “We didn’t get much done.” Then George Halcomb called to tell me that the Board of Supervisors had turned down our request for $3,000 to add a room onto the recreation building. I didn’t know it was on the agenda or I would have gone.
The previous Sunday we had gone out to the ranch where I vacuumed the house—took about 4 hours—and Bob pulled up the grapevines with the tractor.
Barbara Mallett brought a two-day old calf to nursery school, much to the children’s delight.
May 2nd–we spent our first night of the year at the ranch. I was writing by candlelight, having just gotten the two older children to bed. Clarke had been asleep by the time we got there and I carried him upstairs and tucked him in. We’d left town after dinner.
That morning I’d answered the phone four times and called twice, done the dishes, etc. Then driven over to the park where Rebecca and some other children were meeting with Cary Conway (U.S.F.S.). They spent the day there. I left her camera, which she’d forgotten, and took Clarke to Linda Lindsey’s. Started up the Garden Gulch trail and went up to where the old cabin is and tried to follow the old road up. Part of it had been worked on and just past that section came across a fairly new outhouse. Scrambled up the creek quite away and then decided to try to go up on the ridge top to come home as it was getting late and I thought that would be faster. I was getting discouraged but though I saw a road across the hill, then saw an old rusty can and decided I might be right below a road—which I was. Took me a while to get oriented. I was on the road. Weaverville was to my right and should have been to my left. I kept walking and finally things straightened out. Where the road took a sharp turn down and to the left (into East Weaver drainage) I kept going straight and went up on an oak and digger pine covered ridge and knew where I was and how long it would take to get home. Had been up on that ridge a couple of times before. At lunch at Pinky Gulch and didn’t get home until 2:36. Jeff had been home half an hour by himself but didn’t seem to mind.
Took Jeff downtown, picked up Rebecca and Robin at Robin’s house, dropped them off at Lindsey’s so they could get Clarke. Florence and I went down to shovel manure. Got seven bags and put them in the barn.
The children were excited about sleeping overnight at the ranch and Jeff was anxious to try out his new “ranch” sleeping bag.
That Wednesday I’d taken the children to Redding to get new tennis shoes–$37.00 for all of them. We had root beer floats on the way home.
May 3rd—rain and sunshine alternating all morning. We should have built a fire in the big stove last night but hadn’t, just in the cooking stove, and it took a long time for the adults to go to sleep because we were so cold. This morning Bob got fires going in both stoves.
Florence and Leonard were going to come out and around noon Leonard called, saying he couldn’t get in the gate. I drove over to let them in and was glad to see how pretty the drive was—redbud starting, oak leaves uncurling. Sunlight most of the way over to the gate, rain most of the way back. Bob burned a pile of brush and boards in the morning. While Leonard rotortilled the garden this afternoon Florence, Bob and I piled up grape vines and other branches and Bob started burning that. Florence and Leonard ate lunch with us before working. They left around 4:00. They’d brought some trout that Leonard and Rupert Asplin caught last weekend. We decided this morning to stay one more night so Bob could burn—although I hadn’t brought extra food. So for dinner we had the fish, canned pork and beans, string beans, biscuits with blackberry jam or honey and, carrot sticks—really very good! Florence left cookies so we had those for dessert.
Around 5 pm it started snowing and “has been snowing off and on ever since’’-a light skim on the trees. Really very pretty to see it snow out there.
We found some old bottles down at the barn, two broken and one ok.
I found a lizard down there and Rebecca and Clarke collected it and kept it in the house most of the day. It kept getting out of the pen they had it in.
I kept the milk and things like that in the ice chest out on the back porch where it would stay cold. There were lots of birds around in spite of the cold weather, mostly robins and juncos. The pear trees were in bloom and the plums.
On May 15th, the next time I wrote, I’d just returned from attending a music program put on by the elementary school that evening. There was band music, chorus and two plays. Rebecca sang with the chorus and also played the piano for Yellow Submarine. The children did well and seemed to enjoy it. The building was packed. Rebecca did beautifully and seemed quite calm.
That was a busy day. After nursery school I took money for pictures up to Brigitte and talked to her for a few minutes. Came home and had lunch. After Jeff came home we went over to the elementary school where I attended a “tea” for helping mothers, for 15 minutes. Took Jeff to piano lessons and drove out East Weaver to get Clarke who was at McClurgs. Picked up Jeff and went home to fill out my time card and the attendance sheet, that had been due the previous Friday. Went to get Rebecca from her piano lessons, 20 minutes late, and took my papers to the high school. Came home and had a glass of wine and read the paper. Started dinner…left over pizza, salad, carrot sticks and a berry cobbler that I made before dinner. Then we went to the music program.
The previous day I’d gone out and pruned along the ranch road for a couple of hours. The day before that I’d gone to the Board of Supervisors again. And that time they said our building hadn’t been submitted on the Park Board budget—which it had. I talked to George Halcomb and he called J. Larken who talked to the board—still no go. So George had to write them a letter.
The previous weekend was the March of Dimes Walk-a-thon. Rebecca entered and walked at least 10 miles; she was marked down for the 12-mile checkpoint. They got rained out. So now Bob and I each have to pay her $10 because we pledged 50 cents a mile, not thinking she’d go very far. She stayed that night with Florence who also invited Robin Meyer and the two played there all the next day. Bob and the boys and I went out to the ranch. “It is so pretty out there this spring. The apples are blooming, as is the redbud and down on the gulch below the house, the dogwood. Lupine is beautiful this year. On the Knob above the house it looked as if someone had painted purple near the fence and pink (from a little pink flower) in a band next to it.”
I got tomatoes, more peas, summer squash, radishes and cucumbers planted and shoveled up some more space for the strawberries. Also mowed the lawn.
Bob worked on stovepipe. He went to replace the piece that fits into the ceiling on the big stove and found it was too small so drove all the way back to Weaverville Saturday afternoon to get the right size. Sunday he worked on the roof with both chimneys but still needs to finish the inside part on the cook stove. We ate dinner at Big Bar.
At some point, on a Friday, I substituted at Douglas City. The kids were really bickering a lot so it was a long day. Saturday I had laryngitis.
May 21st I hiked up Garden Gulch and by the time I got the van to our driveway knew I had a flat tire. Couldn’t get the lug nuts off so went up to the house and called Bob who came home and changed the tire for me.
Saturday we went out to the ranch. Mowed the lawn. It was a warm day but windy and Bob made parachutes for the kids out of Saran from our lunch. They had a marvelous time with them all afternoon. By wrapping the string around a small rock, or in Rebecca’s a little doll (and Jeff later around a one—legged doll) and throwing it in the air the parachute would fall and then open up.
Sunday, morning I planted a lot more in the garden—beets, chard, lettuce, green beans, another row of corn, etc. We ate lunch down at the creek, except for Rebecca, who decided she didn’t want to go down. It was cool and pleasant at the creek in the shade of the alders. Jeff and Clarke played in the shallow side pools but Clarke eventually fell into his little pool. It was cold!
Bob finished fixing the kitchen stove pipe and spent a lot of time down at the creek figuring out whether the trees on the bluff would fall on the new bridge after it is built.
We had another flat tire Saturday, the same one as last time. When I took it to the Shell Station Monday I was told both holes were in the side of the tire and were undoubtedly from an ice pick.
Monday I also went over to the nursery school and took pictures of Brigitte’s class. She taught Mondays and Wednesdays.
Bob called from Bakersfield where he’d gone on Monday and would be back Friday afternoon. The previous Thursday he had talked to the children in Jeff’s class and Friday had shown a few at a time how his computer worked.
The next weekend we were out at the ranch again. We stopped on the way at Irene and Abe Nunn’s 40the wedding anniversary party for a couple of hours. After all the snacking at the party I just fixed soup and bread for dinner. Saturday morning I had made bread and chocolate chip cookies as well as packing clothes and food for the weekend. On Sunday I planted more in the garden, trimmed all the grass across the front of the house and around the rose bushes and started the water running down the little ditch through the orchard. Bumblebees swarmed around the place where the pipe exited into the ditch in the orchard and I thought maybe they had nested in there. Bob spent most of the day down at the creek doing calculations for the abutments.