Nature Has No Idea…

Hey. It’s Saturday, right? I’m currently watching a webinar on the SAQA virtual conference that was supposed to be in Toronto…the opportunity to hear and see the speakers is nice, although I missed a lot of yesterday. They were recorded though, so I can watch later. I’ve never been able to actually attend a real conference, so this is nice, plus maybe it helps SAQA cover some of their conference costs from canceling. It’s really important that we try to give back to some of these groups and companies that are hard hit by the community and state shutdowns. As much as we can, anyway. I’m lucky to still be paid under contract, but the future is making me a bit nervous for all of us, in terms of health and money.

Yesterday was a strange day, highs and lows…trying to ignore the lows because they don’t deserve my energy right now.

The boychild and I went for a 6 1/2-mile hike locally, at Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch. It’s not as busy as some of the other locations in the area (just down the road from Iron Mountain), which is better for social distancing.

There were about 4 or 5 other groups we saw over the whole hike, but otherwise it was pretty isolated.

This is obviously a yucca pre-bloom, but it looks different than what I’m used to seeing…

The weather was perfect…not too warm, not too cold, no rain, although it was cloudy for much of it.

Trying to get enough exercise to sleep well and push some of the anxiety away has been difficult. My next step is to try and bookmark some of the videos from the gym and pilates studio and get my butt in gear.

We were really looking forward to our Spring Break trip of California National Parks, but with a cancellation of one of our Airbnbs and yesterday, the parks themselves are closing campgrounds, it seems that we are not going anywhere.

And we’re not sure when that will change, unfortunately. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later, but certainly watching the numbers on COVID-19 is not promising. Although California is supposed to be shut down, there are still lots of people going out and doing things…100 kids out in our mountains hanging out together yesterday…because kids think they are immortal, yeah? That’s what they think. Sigh.

For this hike, we go along a ridge and then down into that valley…then through that valley and back up and out. Like twice. It was a bunch of up and down, but nothing undoable.

My legs feel better today. Although this sign makes me laugh every time (it’s for bikes, not humans).

Pretty sure I never hit the 5 MPH mark. And I jogged a little bit (it’s easier to jog going downhill sometimes than walking, although my brain kept saying ‘Now is not the time to break your damn leg, woman!’).

A bunch of fungus among us…

These are fascinating…

This area burned in a wildfire 17 or so years ago…this is a burned log keeping a whole host of fungus alive.

There are signs all over, but this warns me that the next up is that piece…Cardiac Hill.

It’s actually not horrible. I stopped a few times. It’s up. Boychild often ditches me in these situations…

He waits for me at junctions. Lots of flowers around…

Spring is coming…and signs of deer!

Although we didn’t see one in person. Wrong time of day.

We got to the top and found we were victims of assholes…

Apparently this parking lot has an issue with break-ins. It’s pretty isolated. In all my years of hiking, this is the first time we’ve had this happen. There was nothing of value in the car…they just rifled through the glove box and the console. Unhappy with my about-to-expire National Park Pass, my sunscreen, and my umbrella. They got nothing. Stupid. Pain in my butt.

Oh well. I believe in karma.

Seriously. Even when we are locked down in a pandemic, people will be assholes. Hence the lack of toilet paper in our stores. Still. So today, a guy is coming to my driveway and installing a new window (apparently that is an essential business) and I will hand him a check and then disinfect the glass? This is so difficult. Could I live without a window? Sure…


We came home, we tested a Discord server for gaming next week, and the girlchild came home…

It looks like she’s reading to the dog, but she’s not. She was laid off by her company and we suspect trying to get a job is somewhat impossible right now. She’s trying. She’ll try applying for unemployment. And yeah, we flew her on a plane with like 8 other people (JetBlue is starting to ground flights soon, so that might have been one of the last flights that didn’t get canceled). We’re keeping her away from the older people in the family, but we still have two going to work between the two households (mine and my ex’s, and the kids go back and forth until someone gets sick), because they are also apparently essential. I’m lucky to not have any requirements right now beyond checking email, although that may change in the future. She’s not here forever. Just until we figure shit out. By WE I mean HER. Meanwhile, she gets doggy love.

My lemon tree has new leaves…

Nature has no idea. And that’s OK. This bird was bathing in the water in the tray under our Christmas tree, which lives outside on the deck for most of the year.

Now I need a birdbath.

These arrived yesterday, the newest shipment in the Anna Maria Horner Applique Stories. I’m going to make another woman block…and then embroider it.

The fabrics are a challenge. The solid peach is the easy skin color, so I won’t be using it for her flesh. I stared at the fabrics for at least a week last time before deciding what to do. I can use one as a background, although last time, I decided to use something very bland and calm from my stash (maybe that’s what the peach is for?), because the rest of it was so out there. Anyway…expect something to happen with these in the next few days. Because I can. I really like most of them…solids are not my favorites and the lavender roses are Eh, but that’s the best part of this…the olive fabric is such a stretch…I love it.

Maybe this virus lets me just make what I want. OK, I’m still having a hard time with that.

Although I stitched wool for a bit last night (sorry, forgot about a photo…try tomorrow)…I eventually got up off the couch with my post-hike tired self and came in here and started the stitch down…

So meditative. So relaxing. So hard to stop.

Hopefully I can finish today and then sandwich today or tomorrow. The floors need cleaning first. I vacuumed everything even though it’s not my month. I’m sure someone will cover me at some point when I am busy (cough cough).

So yeah, I stitch down all the pieces, because no fusible lasts forever. I’m not halfway done, but I got a good chunk done. I spent the first 20 minutes fighting with the machine to get it to stitch correctly.

Kitten action…

They play any way they can…

There was some play before this.

I was up early this morning because I thought I’d have to take my car in to get the window replaced, but then he called and said he’d be here later…probably safer for both of us than having me sit in a lobby of some repair place (I was going to bring a chair and sit outside).

Nature doesn’t see this morning as any different than any other morning.

Tonight there is a Netflix DVD here, plus we will be supporting some small food business, and hopefully there is stitching and maybe a hike/walk as well. Plus more webinars. And trying to finish my book before it gets returned electronically to the library. Hope you are all healthy and well, and if you are on the front lines in some way, we appreciate you and send you lots of love.

Sycamore Canyon (aka Brush in My Underpants)

I finished a quilt last night, finished the binding. I’ve been calling it Bathtub 2 because it’s the second drawing I did of the apparent bathtub series. Even though I don’t think Bathtub 1 will ever be a finished quilt. But when I was getting ready to measure it this morning, it named itself…finally.

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This is In Deep. Yeah, there will be official pictures taken eventually…like when I get the other one done that’s supposed to be finished in July. It’s cheaper to do two photos at once. Money is tight.

Then I cut out Wonder Under for a while…I think this one is actually going to be pretty quick.

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It better be. I don’t have much time. I was watching Helix while cutting. Still trying to figure out what the freak is happening in the second season. I should pay closer attention. Or not.

I have a list of tasks today, but mostly want to finish the Wonder Under and start picking fabrics, since I’m going to lose most of tomorrow to driving to LA for the Diverted Destruction 8 opening at The Loft at Liz’s.


The opening reception is tomorrow night from 7-10 PM. The exhibit is open through September 5, 453 S. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

So yesterday we hiked in the middle of the day. Kinda crazy, although today it would have been awesome, because NOW there are clouds everywhere dammit. So I’m sunburnt even though I put sunscreen on twice. Bastard sun.

We went out to Sycamore Canyon…it’s been on my list for a while, but never got out there or it was too hot or it closes too early. There were lots of people there…

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As you can see (that is my car). Very busy on a Thursday.

It was warm…we analyzed this sign and saw no evidence of anyone but us and the park ranger, who apparently lives on the property.

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This is on the ridgeline trail, looking back at the lonely car in the parking lot.

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Most of the ridge trail was very rocky, to the point that having poles going up and down the hills would have been helpful. You can see part of the trail going up the hill to the left.

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This is looking down towards the valley we might eventually get to…it was warm, over 90 degrees by the time we got back to the car.

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Boychild found this on the trail.

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There were many signs of the Cedar Fire that came through here in 2003…the lower plants have come back, but a lot of tree damage.

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Well, honestly, not a lot of trees at all. There was this crazy chainsaw bug that annoyed the crap out of us.

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The trail continues (kids had ditched me by now).

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Evidence of the fire at one of the trail intersections…

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Here we headed down into the valley.

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It wasn’t a super-steep descent…but again, poles would have been helpful because of all the rocks on the trail.

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Down there, you can see where we’re headed…into that valley.

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The area has a lot of colorful rocks.

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And a very very dry river bed…

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We found this sign amusing. I don’t think I could have gotten to 5 mph even if I started running downhill (obviously for the bikers).

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We got down into the valley and told girlchild there was a windmill, and she took off skipping. She likes destination hikes.

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But not poison oak. Not a lot of it (too dry up top), but down in the riverbed area, definitely saw it.

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The random, creepy-sounding windmill…it creaks really scarily.

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The meadow of the valley…

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The original Goodan ranch house built in the 1930s…

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Burnt in 2003…

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Sad to see…but this is desert…we forget as we water everything that it’s supposed to burn…

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Apparently we were on a special trail (it did not feel special)…

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OK. Julie. I know you’re reading. What the hell are these? Wells? We saw about 6 or 7 of them, all different heights, with elevation on them and some codes. These two were making clanking sounds, like chains were in there banging around. Girlchild actually said “hello” like there was something alive in there…

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What? We never saw evidence of this…but this was the start of the service road that climbed back up to the car. Because when you go down? You have to go back up.

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It was not as bad of a climb as the other direction would have been (notice no rocks), but it was a mile long and HOT.

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Another one of those weird concrete baby bunkers…

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The kids got way ahead of me…well, the girlchild waited for me at one point. I don’t do heat well…

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Looking back at the valley…

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And again…as we climb higher…

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Up the hill…on the top, is my car. Really. I know it’s there.

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From the top. One thing you can say…even the desert view…it’s beautiful.

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Gorgeous summer blue sky and mountains across the whole horizon. I don’t think I could live somewhere else.

That said, we’re sticking to night hikes if it’s warm from here on out…until? I don’t know, maybe October (both kids will be gone then). The hike only took about 2 hours, although the heat made it feel like longer. It’s about 4 miles with a 600-foot descent, apparently. Not sure if I believe that. The trail info is here. Oh NOW I look at the map and find that the last section is called Cardiac Hill. Nice. Oh, and there’s a porta-potty at the trailhead off State Route 67. Me? I peed off the trail behind the bush. There’s also a nice bathroom down in the valley near the ranger house. For future reference…you don’t have to have pieces of brush in your underwear like I do.

Yeah. You wonder why you don’t have as much fun as I do (sunburn, brushy underpants, and recovering from heat exhaustion)…