We are back from our trip to Southern California. It was a fun trip. We got to visit friends and relatives, which I always find enjoyable.
Girl is in fourth grade and in California this means studying missions. Things have changed since I was in 4th grade. Sure it was a million years ago according to the grandkids, but so much of history has changed in order. Now the Spaniards were evil mongers where when I was a child they were kind religious people trying to modernize the Indians. Of course I don't believe that they were all kind, in most cases they were very harsh to the Indians. But grandson got it right. The main reason for the missions was to make more Catholics.
I brought the kids to the mission in Ventura last Sunday. We walked through the mission courtyard into the side door of the church during the middle of services. Sshhhh I told the grandkids. They are praying and we need to be respectful. Boy grabbed a palm leaf and started twisting it into shapes just like the other little boys were doing. Then the priest started speaking. What language is it? Latin. In Catholic services they speak Latin. Oh, said the boy. "Those people are Catholics! Just like when the missions were here." We are still in the mission's church, so yes they are Catholics. Boy was very impressed that next year he is going to learn about missions and he already knows that Catholics still use the mission. I realized that the kids know Christians and Jews and Presbyterians (two of our friends are Presbyterian pastors) but they don't really understand that each religion is split into different groups who have basically the same beliefs but different ways of interpreting how to carry out those beliefs. Starting with missions is a good start.
We had dinner with my brothers and sisters last night. Actually one brother called from England during dinner so it counted that he was there. Topics included shopping and the prices of everything. I said that while I was glad I didn't have to work in Southern California on Tuesday, the downside was that I had to drive my own truck rather than the work truck. The trip cost me $150 in gas that I wasn't planning on spending. We somehow got on the topic of self defense. When most were out of the room I pulled out my CCW permit and handed it to my brother-in-law. He was surprised and asked how I got it and if I was armed and how he could get one. I told him that the sheriff in my county encourages people to apply for the permit. I don't know how it is in his county but because he is a business owner who often has to deal with a lot of cash, he probably could get one. He said that they do have a gun in the house up in their bedroom. The house also has an elaborate alarm system and they live in a gated neighborhood. Their home does back up to open space, so it would be easy for someone to hike in to their property.
We got home this afternoon and San Diego sister and nephew caravaned to our house. San Diego brother-in-law is flying in for the weekend. We were talking to each other over the phone during the drive. She was asking about solar power, the different types, and if solar would be a good idea for them. They are slowly coming around.
Once we got home the kids took off playing and I went around to all the animals and plants to make sure it all survived the four days we were gone. After all, Army daughter promised to take care of everything while we were away and I wrote out a detailed list of what to do.
First I headed out to the baby chickens. Son-in-law said that daughter had just watered the chicks before she left for school an hour earlier. I'm not quite sure what she did because there are three water containers in their coop. Two are quart jars that are attached to plastic waterers. The third container is a one gallon milk jug that has a hole poked in the side near the bottom. This container is in a pie-tin. All three were dry. I did have a small 20 ounce bottle on the side that's a rabbit waterer. That was filled with water. The chickens don't know how to tap on that to get water. It's a good thing it wasn't too hot because they were pretty thirsty when I filled their water containers.
Then I headed out to the big chickens. I did say that they shouldn't need food or water but check on it anyway. They did have an inch of water left in their ten gallon water trough so I guess she didn't think they needed any water. None of the eggs were collected. I have two broody hens so the eggs were sat on the whole time I was gone. This means some were sat on for four days. I collected the eggs and I'm going to have to hold each one up to a bright light to make sure that they aren't starting to grow chicks.
Next I went to the big barn to check on the duck nest. I saw two broken eggs about three feet from the nest. I went into the front barn and got the animal trap. I then took three eggs from the duck's original nest (which she abandoned for the nest she is now using) and put them into the trap. Hopefully whatever took her eggs will go for the ones in the trap and get caught. I'll find out in the morning.
Then I went out to the front to check on the sheep. All were well. Finally I checked on the cats. They had food and water.
Then I was off to the garden. None of the asparagus got cut so most of the plants have ferned out. There were some stalks coming up but the season is about over because they didn't cut any asparagus. They didn't cut any artichokes but they are still ok. They'll get cut tomorrow. The newly planted grapes and strawberries didn't get watered. It's a good thing that I watered them well before we left. None of the peppers or tomatoes were watered.
I know it's a lot to expect someone to take care of your plants and animals when you leave but in this case, Army daughter volunteered so I didn't have oldest daughter come over to take care of things. I had everything written down. I'm not sure where the disconnect was. Fortunately nothing died so I suppose all is well. It's good to be home and I'm sure I'll be spending extra time in the garden tomorrow to make it up to my plants and animals.