Point Arena Light Station

It’s now another day and onto another lighthouse! Friday we visited Point Cabrillo…Saturday morning was Point Arena’s turn!

When I awoke, I saw stars up in the sky and immediately thought YEA! Maybe no fog today! My husband wanted a morning walk so under Hwy 1 we went and wandered the beach where Pudding Creek empties into the ocean. Absolutely beautiful morning…

Then I looked out towards the ocean…ACK!…a Stephen King Fog Bank was rolling in! We gotta get our butts down to Point Arena before it hits!

The lady at Point Cabrillo said it takes 1.5 hours to drive from Fort Bragg to Point Arena…not nah…not in our Pontiac G6 GT it didn’t. We were early. The grounds don’t open until 10 (but the gate was open so we drove in…and was promptly told to drive back out…insurance reasons. LOL!).

Guess what?

We didn’t beat the fog. But isn’t she beautiful? She’s the only lighthouse on the west coast of any height that you can climb all the way to the top!

A little history first…the original lighthouse was constructed in 1870 with brick and mortar with a large Keeper residence (3 stories high) that housed several families. Then along came the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 which so severely damaged the lighthouse and residence that they were condemned and torn down. A new lighthouse was built by a San Francisco company that mainly built factory smokestacks…no longer was the lighthouse a cone shape, but is practically straight up and down. Made of steel reinforced rods encased in concrete. 18 months after the earthquake the new lighthouse began operation.

It stands 115 feet tall!

It housed a 1st Order Fresnel Lens, made in France, that is over 6′ in diameter and weighed more than six tons. (It now sits in the Fog Signal Building) There are 666 hand-ground glass prisms with three sets of double bulls-eyes that gave the lighthouse it’s signature two flashes every six seconds. The light could be seen up to 20 miles out to sea.

That big boy sat on a mercury bearing drive unit that had to be hand-cranked (like a grandfather clock) EVERY 75 minutes! The 160-pound weight was housed in a pipe in the middle of the spiral stair case.

The Fog Signal building from the top of the lighthouse. There’s a Devil’s Punchbowl to the upper right side…it’s been pretty much eroded away, but there’s another one starting to form!

The Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers acquired the light station in 1984 as part of a 25 year land lease from the US Coast Guard…they did such an awesome job of restoring and upkeep that they became the official property owners in 2000. The cost of the tour and roaming on the grounds is $7.50 (YES! That’s it! So please donate more at the gift shop that is housed in the Fog Signal Building!!!!)

OH! You can also rent out the Keeper’s homes on the property as vacation rentals!

Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park

On our trip to Fort Bragg, California over the Thanksgiving weekend, I had three goals…Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, Point Arena Lighthouse, and Glass Beach.

I’m glad I got to see Point Cabrillo Light Station as California has decided to close it down in 2012 due to their budget crisis. 😦

It’s about a 1600 meter walk from the parking lot down to the lighthouse…very nice walk, not hard at all.

The lighthouse was built (starting in 1908) to guide small schooners that carried lumber down to San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. The earthquake damaged the Point Arena lighthouse leaving no lighthouses between Cape Mendocino and Bodega Bay.

It houses a British built 3rd Order Frensel Lens by Chance Brothers and was first lit on June 10, 1909. It is one of only twelve in the United States and has 90 glass prism pieces…it has a 10-second flash that can be seen up to 15 miles out.

The lighthouse sits on the second of five coastal terraces…

Overlooking a very large amount of sea palms!

Looking north towards the 1850 FROLIC shipwreck site.

Glass Beach Treasures

We sent two days at Fort Bragg, California over Thanksgiving weekend. Visited two lighthouses and Glass Beach…which is at the end of Elm Street.

Glass Beach is the leftovers of a 1949 public dump…most everything was cleaned up around 1967, but lots of glass stayed behind and continues to be washed up. The whole beach is covered in glass…I kept throwing the not so tumbled pieces back into the ocean. I picked a few pieces up, along with a ceramic insulator/spark plug and some pottery shards.



Adding a picture of the beach to show HOW MUCH glass is there…there is so much, I just picked a few pieces. I did see families out there with buckets.

English Paper Piecing my Grandma’s Flower Garden Quilt – How To

I’ve had a few people asking how I’ve been putting my batik Grandma’s Flower Garden quilt together…so here’s how I’m doing it!

I found a 1″ Hexagon pattern HERE…at moxyideas. I printed them out on card stock that I bought at Office Depot. I gathered a bunch of FQ’s in batiks and cut them into 2.5″ squares.

Take a square of fabric and place one of the hexies onto it. Fold over one corner and start a running stitch.

Keep going around until all sides are tacked down.

Once you get six of the petals finish and one middle, you place right sides together and start whip stitching them along one side.

Open them up and keep whip stitching the petals onto the middle, one side at a time until they are all on.

NOTE: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS open up after you’ve whipped stitched one side to see where next side should go. LOL! Believe me. I’ve got to talking or took my mind off what I was doing and stitched where I shouldn’t have…they look like wee origami. Those little stitches are buggers to get out too. 🙂

Cut the middle hexie’s running stitches out and pop the card stock hexagon out. You can pop the paper out after all sides have been stitched.

Now you can either stitch another layer of color fabric around the flower or, like me, just start adding the white hexagons.

I’m not really sure how I plan on finishing this…I still have a long way to go! 🙂

Caughlin Fire in Reno ~ pictures from UNR

Update: 19 Nov 2011 ~ The fire is 80% contained. Great job Firefighters!

I took a few pictures from above UNR at lunch about an hour ago. Windy as hell out there, getting colder too.

Still sustained winds of 30-40 mph with 70 mph gusts, around 2,000 acres have been burnt with 20 homes, 1 death and over 9500 people evacuated.

From KOLOTV’s website:

State of emergency declared by City of Reno, Washoe County, and State of Nevada. All Washoe County Schools in the Truckee Meadows area are closed. Current evacuation center is Galena High School and all Washoe County schools in the Truckee Meadows are closed.

The current evacuation area encompasses everything southwest of McCarran and S. Virginia Street, and the entire area between Skyline Blvd., S. McCarran and Plumas.

Donations of no-perishable goods, clothing, blankets, etc. can be dropped off at the Salvation Army warehouse at 2300 Valley Road in Reno.

According to Sierra Front the fire started at 4984 Sierra Pine Drive in west Reno and as many as 1,000 people are without power. The fire has caused McCarran Boulevard to be closed at Caughlin Parkway and Skyline Blvd.

RTC transit services are not affected by fires.

Firefighters say the fire is “hop-scotching” to homes and high winds are making it extremely difficult to contain the rapidly growing blaze. The fire broke off into two directions and crews are battling it from several fronts.

Evacuations are underway in the Ridgeview and Lakeshore Drive areas that includes Skyline apartments. Witnesses report seeing a home fully engulfed on Lakeridge Shore Drive and another on Manazanita Drive near McCarran Blvd. Several homes are threatened at this time.

A spokesperson with the City of Reno says if you are being advised to evacuate from your home, go to Galena High School off the Mount Rose Highway. The evac center at Reno High School is full. Pets are welcome at evac centers. Most Washoe County schools are closed for Friday because of the fire.

For Today ~ 18 November 2011 ~ A Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 18 November 2011.

Outside My Window… The wind blowing everything northeast. Partly blue skies with the start of snow clouds. People driving to work. A bird feeder sideways with all the seed dropped to the ground.

I am thinking… I really want to go out and take pictures, but it’s going to snow! We were at 60F not just a few days ago, 40F today with 34F tomorrow. I hope that the firefighters can get an upper-hand on the fire that is burning in SW Reno. Many homes have already been lost. The winds are just too bad right now. ACK! Power keeps going off…gotta get this posted fast.

I am thankful for… as always, my friends.

From the kitchen… Last night was leftover quiche and bisque. Tonight will either be meatloaf at home, or a 2-for-1 outing.

I am wearing… jeans, tennis shoes, a black mock turtleneck.

I am creating… working on quilting…still have 3 to finish before starting a new quilt.

I am going… to make myself a pot of hot tea as soon as I’m finished with this post. Lemon Ginger.

I am reading… Mitch Albom’s Have A Little Faith. Love that guy.

I am hoping… my friend April has a WONDERFUL time while her husband off impersonating Elmer Fudd in the woods looking for a deer. 🙂 Alone time is always welcomed…especially with so much fabric in the house.

I am hearing… copier machine and the WINDS..this building is creaking. Powerpack beeping…the power keeps going off and on.

Around the house… Nothing much.

One of my favorite things… I can tell you it’s NOT the WINDS.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… stay inside.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

Leaves from yesterday…

Thanksgiving Quiche and Winter Squash Bisque Recipes

I’m in a group of twelve women, at work, that meet once a month for a potluck lunch. It was my turn as the ring-leader today. I did some searching online to find a few different items that I could make to add with a salad, rolls and dessert. I found a Thanksgiving Quiche from Hillbilly Housewife (is that a cool name or what?) that uses stuffing for the crust of the Quiche! It was a HUGE hit! Also great for all those leftovers from Thanksgiving.

I pretty much followed her recipe and used the following:

3 cups cornbread stuffing with one egg for crust
layered 1 cup of chopped cooked turkey breast
1.5 cups of shredded swiss, cheddar and Monterrey cheese
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup of sliced green onions
then mixed up 4 eggs with 1 cup of non-fat half and half

I wanted to make a soup/bisque to add with the Quiche. Couldn’t really find one that sounded “great” so I combined a few recipes with some ingredients I had on-hand. This recipe served 16 people with small bowls…so if you have nice size bowls at home, 8-10 people would be a good guess.

Winter Squash Bisque

1 Butternut squash, quartered and seeded
1 Acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 large Sweet Potato, halved and wrapped in foil
4 large carrots, chopped (leave skin on)

Place squash upside down in a roasting pan with water in it…throw in the potato and carrots too. Roast in a 425F oven for 45 minutes.

In a stock pot saute, in 1/4-1/2 cup of butter, the following:

2-3 green apples, peeled cored and chopped
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4-5 stocks celery, chopped
Fresh Ginger, shredded (I used one the size of my thumb…2″ long?)

Add scooped out squash meat, carrots and sweet potato. Cover with 6+ cups of either veggie or chicken stock. Bring to boil then simmer for 30 minutes.

I don’t have a large food processor nor an immersion blender…so the whole kit n’ kaboodle went into my blender, which took me a bit longer to smash everything together. Once I got it all smooth I added my spices:

1-2 teaspoons of Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon of Nutmeg
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
LOTS of Fresh ground pepper

It all goes back into the pot to simmer until it’s time to eat. You can add more stock until it’s as thin or thick as you want it to be. This is pretty creamy without cream or milk…but you could add some Almond Milk if you’d like.

You Tired of Sunrises Yet?

It’s been getting dark after I get off of work so the only time I get to play with my camera is on the way to work…and we here in Northern Nevada are never short on pretty sunrises.

First two are taken before the sun is up, around 6:10ish. Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150. All I’ve done is sized the picture…no sharpening, no color enhancing (outside of the camera).

Just click on the picture to enlarge it.

#1 – taken with the Creative Control Mode set to Expressive.

#2 – Taken with the Intelligent Auto Mode.

The next two were taken right before 7am.

#1 – taken with the Creative Control Mode set to Expressive.

#2 – Taken with the Intelligent Auto Mode.

Tale of two different sunrises

Both from my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 shot this morning here at work. Reno, Nevada.

The first, taken from the post office here on campus with the setting on night shot. True to color.

The second, taken in front of my building with the setting on Creative Expressive. The setting added yellows and did away with the blues and pinks. Not true to color.

More photos from my first outing with the Panasonic DMC-FZ150

All taken on Sunday afternoon at Rancho San Rafael Park in NW Reno, next-door to the University of Nevada. The day was overcast off and on.