July 4th 2015

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Happy Fourth of July! A very productive day. I met Raven as usual at Starbucks for coffee. Off to the farmers market for more pickles, beets and onions for Raven, tomato for lunch. Into my truck with a gander at Raven’s Mom’s car borrowed for now, a red Toyota Corolla, nice car. To town, Walmart for the deep cycle battery for Raven’s half birthday and Harbor Freight for a solar cell to charge it. I have a spare wall charger to keep it topped, tested it works. I’ll need to figure out the set up and switches under the sink, mind I’d prefer to have the actual battery in the passenger side cabinet for weight balance. We’ll need to build or buy a battery box, to do.

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With a short stop at Safeway for supply’s and the car, home and hungry, we fried up hamburgers. Sliced tomato, a ripe avocado, beet greens, fresh SW rolls, special sauce and dill pickles. Served in the room with a view.

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Here’s the view of my back yard. The Russian River is just past those trees behind the grape vines. Basket supplies back there, willow shoots, difficult but true wicker, and newly tried yesterday (Holiday off work), California wild blackberry brambles. These things are a challenge to harvest with gloves and a cheap towel to strip them of small thorns. But once harvested while sitting in the sandy shade these work well. A same diameter very long stranded fiber, slightly brittle but very pliable enough for a fine simple basket. A little bit of tooth left from the thorns, “Feels like pretzels” says Raven.

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The peaches are on, Raven picked a bunch to freeze. After lunch I pulled out the grey water tanks to seal them better, later. I reconnected the straps for transport. We hooked up the vardo to my truck, back and filling until it dropped onto the ball hitch clean. I skipped the chain as we’re only going hundreds of feet at most. I drove it out slow and wide, clearing the far fence and into the field not stopping. I pulled in behind the garden and stopped. Raven thought it would be better closer into the trees. I can drive under the trees and clear the other side, pulled it in until I was in the branches but good. We lowered the jack sharing the work, got it up above the hitch and fairly level front to back. The driver side is a bit low, but in place. I drive under the tree and out, closing the door as I clear the branches, around and park in the now empty driveway. We pull out the boat awning that’s been stashed for years at the front of my trailer, brush it off and hose it down. It’s hot, the water feels good. Raven decides a simple tarp is enough for now, the blue one fits perfect. I dig around and find a couple cleats and screws to fit them, the right size drill bit and screw driver bit. We string the long electric cord through my bedroom window out to the vardo, it reaches. A short ladder and we’re on. The screw driver is misplaced, found near the trash can work surface floor. The cleats up, I get some choice short ropes attached to the long corners of the tarp, a perfect fit. For the long far end I go with the cheap yellow spool rope. One end to a branch of the tree, the other to the new tree by the garden in deep and solid. This is good, a fine awning.

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The view from the back is cool too.

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I like this view through the trees.

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We are in a comfortable place. Close enough to the house for electric and water, but cushioned by the trees, shade the hot half of the day and an awning for an outside space, add a rug, table and chairs, perfect. With the garden right out front. I fixed the sprinkler too, the controller screen was clogged and the battery low, only a partial water supply was killing the front garden, happy now.

We moved the boat awning back next to the trailer for future considerations for now. Raven is on her way home with peaches to freeze in her new borrowed car, thanks Mom. I chopped cucumbers, green and red peppers and sweet onions, salted for another batch of bread and butter pickles tomorrow.  I expect the fire works will start soon in the distant towns nearby. Happy Fourth of July!

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