Monday, December 15, 2014

...and NOT going into town

Weather on its way in.
We're finally getting some decent rainfall here on the Central Coast, which is wonderful since any amount we get puts a dent in the colossal drought we are currently undergoing. We're not out of the woods yet, not by any stretch of the imagination, but at least we have green hills again and the fire danger has dropped.

But this rainy day also reminded me of the other side of my town/country double life, which is the days I do NOT go into town, for weather-related reasons.  No, we don't get huge Polar-Vortex storms or below-zero temperatures here, but California is flood and mudslide-prone, so we're not completely safe from weather-related problems when it rains a good amount.

Not everyone has the sense to come in from the rain.

It doesn't even bother me that I can't use my solar oven or my clothesline right now due to the weather.  Hanging wash in front of the fire is a practical solution and, to me, a fire is no less cheerful than a sunny day. We get enough sunshine to last a lifetime in one year out here, so believe me when I say I don't miss it on the days it's absent.

Indoor Task #1: Laundry detergent making.

On days like this, it's honestly just safer to stay home because of my fellow man as well. For some reason, we have some of the worst drivers in the country living here (too hard to explain why right now, but maybe in a future post) so when the streets get wet, it's good to not be out there if it's not absolutely necessary. 

There are always plenty of accidents and crazy behavior happening on our highways and roads on days like these, and avoiding all that is one of the joys of living in a place with dirt roads that tend to wash-out in a good storm.  It's a great excuse to stay home. We have a lot of spontaneous creeks which spring up in very inconvenient places along the roads as well, along with minor mudslides, so driving around these grapevine-covered hills on the way into town can be a definite challenge -- even if you are a good driver.

I am actually one of those people who plans their week around the weather; if a storm looks significant, I will be on the internet  checking to see when it will arrive, and make a serious attempt to be back home, inside, with chores done by the time it starts. Our view also gives us a great view of the squall lines of approaching storms, meaning you can time your retreat back to the Great Indoors with perfect timing on most stormy days.

Today's Deep House Day has been about making a huge batch of homemade laundry detergent (enough to last until next summer, I believe, but we will see), some pumpkin bread with some of October's pumpkins, and later on, (I hope) reading some of the library books I picked up in town last week. Oh, and wrapping presents as well.  All good things.

Indoor task #2: Pumpkin bread.

Tomorrow I'm sure the sun will be back out, like a predictable old boyfriend who just keeps coming back around despite the fact that we take him for granted.

  But today is all about the dark skies, the thrumming of rain on the roof, and All Things Indoors.  Fine by me.


  1. How'd you know I've been plagued by a predictable old boyfriend this week? Haha. It's funny because despite our more often than not unpleasant weather, I think of California as having far more dangerous weather. It's easy to stay home in a snowstorm and be safe. It's much harder to gauge things like mudslides and fires! Glad you didn't have to be out amongst the awful driving! Ohioans can't drive in the rain either, and we have a lot of it. Your pumpkin bread looks so good. I tried something new with my pumpkin bread recently that I loved. I had a pan of water on the lowest rack that provided steam and humidity, and started the loaves in a cold oven. I have trouble with mine cooking instantly outside and being gooey in the middle. This worked beautifully! Took longer, but cooked very consistently. I know you had mentioned once that you might experiment with adding natural fragrance to your detergent--did you end up trying it?

    1. I did add some lavender to it and the smell is quite nice, although not as overpowering as Big Ag likes it. Sigh. he loves his laundry SO extra-perfumey, it's awful lol. This batch is perfect for me, though! I am going to try your pan-of-water trick the next time I make this pumpkin bread, the top came out a little crispier than I would have liked. I am spoiled from cooking it in the solar oven, where it's never crisp since there is no circulating air to dry things out. My next innovation is going to be adding some raisins to the recipe, I really think it would marry nicely with the pumpkin flavors. And what's this about the old boyfriend, hmm??? Well, he's just coming back around because he knows he lost a good thing!