Monday, August 30, 2010

Plum Jam

Because of Martine's regularity and kindness at the Farmer's Market, the fruit lady gave her 3 crates full of unsellable plums. It is good to have friends that share-so Monday we sorted and pitted and boiled and stirred, and by the end of the afternoon 30 beautiful jars of plum jam were sitting on the counter, ready for being enjoyed over the coming fall and winter. It felt wonderful to take something that was headed to the landfill and create something delicious. The too ripe plums went to the chickens and only the rotten ones, which turned out to be maybe a third at the most, of the total plums went into the dumpster. The jars are ones that I have used many times so we can say with honest pride that we recycled, reduced and reused. It was a great day!

Summer Hikes

There have been two hikes this summer by the Trail Ticklers, and that will do for the time being. It is too HOT around here! Earlier in the summer Martine and I hiked the Telegraph Canyon Trail via Rimcrest. Despite our early start the temperature reached at least 100' on the trail, with no trees to provide shade. We did see bobcat and snake tracks, other than that we just tried to finish the hike as quickly as possible! It was so bad that I forgot to take photos to document our plight. Our favorite part of the trip - cold drinks at the Trader Joe's at the bottom of the hill. My suggestion is to do this hike in the snow:]

Our next hike included David and was on the Santiago Trail off of El Toro Road, just past Cook's Corner. It was a bit tricky to find the turn-off road as the street sign was covered by a tree, and the trail head is not marked, just a big steel gate up the road from where you can park. Be prepared, it is about a half mile steep hike just to get to the gate. The trail is very popular with bikers-much to my chagrin- as something, sounding like a mountain lion about to eat us, approached from behind. I squealed, ran up to Martine, (we were on a very strenuous up hill part, me at the back of the line) grabbed her pack in an effort to protect her (how that would do anything I don't know, but hey, I was frantic) and then realized it was just a biker. Ha ha, that was funny...errrrg. I had a small desire to kick his back tire and shout "use your bell" but I refrained. Trail Ticklers are always under control. Still, I'm sure it was pretty funny for the observers, luckily nobody had a Flick-Vid device so I won't be on you-tube.

The view was quite stupendous from the top, we could see to Catalina Island. But it was terribly hot and unprotected. This trail had been a fire road and is in the process of growing over to a more natural state. Our one bit of wildlife was the horned frog you can barely see in the above photo. I had never seen one before, so there you go, another first. This hike has the dubious reputation of being the hike where we decided that Orange County is too hot in the summer for enjoyable hikes. We will resume with our last three hikes (yes, that's right, only three more left in the book!) in the fall, or when the weather turns cool, whichever comes first.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Today, while doing some work in the back yard, I was stung by a wasp. Yes, I too thought it very rude. It was also quite painful. I am doing much better now, thank you and it made me think that I should post my treatment for a wasp sting, just in case you come across an unfriendly one in your yard.
*Wasp stings are base-they are neutralized with an acid.
Vinegar works well
Bee stings are acidic- they are neutalized by a base.
A baking soda and water paste works well.
*Benedril reduces the swelling and lets you
have a nice nap for a complete recovery.
I hope this helps!