According to the tree rings, these mighty firs started growing up in our camp area after the Gold Rush, but before Ulysses S. Grant became President… Unfortunately, drought and insects continue to undermine their sustained growth, and each year we need to take a few down. Early December, one near Cabin 8 (Butterfly) and one between Cabins 15-16 (Crossroads) and New Moon succumbed to the chainsaw, taking a few Madrones with them. Even Rubee, in the field past the chicken house, reacted to the thunderous explosion when the last 60 feet of the tree plunged to the ground.
Always a bright side….. Madrone leaves make glorious Christmas wreaths… of which there were many created over Thanksgiving weekend. Rosemary, olive, redwood, fir, coyote brush, bay, oak, holly, willow, manzanita, cotoneaster, huckleberry and cedar added immeasurably.
Kashaya and I are nearly finished with jamming for the year… that is, until oranges ripen in January…. and roses start blooming in April….. Well over the 5000 mark.
Thanks to two extremely talented artists, we have new labels for jam:
Over Veterans Weekend our intrepid Rose Pruning crew came for a fall overhaul of the Rose Garden. Gerardo and Lorenzo worked several weekends prior, de-weeding, making it much more fun and far less work… not saying it wasn’t easy! Every bed has now had all the drip irrigation re-vamped, plants moved and augmented, lots of new lilies planted and room made for five new rose bushes. Tom has even put up an arbor and new benches… a perfect venue for watching summer sunsets.
That same weekend, extensions of the Rose Pruning crew began renovations of the deck for Cabin 3 (Mossy Rock). To be continued on a sunny weekend in February.
What is Thanksgiving without Kashaya’s Croissants? Although she has made them at other times, it’s become tradition to help her roll them late on Thanksgiving night. Light, rich, crisp, melt-in-your-mouth decadence……
The big kitchen and the dining room play important roles at Emandal…. no matter the season. Even though issues with the hot water heater and problems with the dish washer became evident, we managed. We chose plastic dishes because we knew they were easier to wash by hand!
Pizza in the rain? Of course! When the temperature hovers around 32°? Sure!
This year we lost my niece, Polly, just before Thanksgiving. Her goal was to make it up to Cowboy Poetry… which she did. What a time! What a woman. Cancer is such an insidious invader. Below is yet another new jam this year…. in Polly’s honor. Her brother, John, asked me to make “Polly’s Perfect PlumCherry Preserves” from his Plumerrie Tree… since, apparently, their grandmother Jessie (my mother-in-law) used to think she was absolutely perfect in every sense of the word (much to her siblings chagrin). So, we took a photo from when she was a little girl, at Emandal for Easter, and asked Ann Maglinte to make it into a label, complete with a Corgi, Polly’s favorite dog.
Trying to get everyone together for a photo is trying…. succeeding is monumental! We did well……
And in the end, there’s always the laundry! In between loads, Kashaya baked me a birthday cake…. Prune Walnut, with a brown sugar cream cheese frosting. Along with a McFadden Rose Champagne…. Happy 72nd to me!