Weekend Coffee Share; Carr Fire Update – My Garden – Zen 

I promised you a more positive coffee share this week, and I will deliver! The zen is slowly finding its way back. The coffee is ready, please have a cup! How is your week so far? 

Last weekend I was in shock, when our county was declared in a state of emergency because of the Carr Fire. When a big fire just gets bigger, and gets totally out of control you feel kind of small. I’m a very organized person, that plans ahead, and take care of things in good time etc..well, there’s limits to what you can do in the midst of a raging fire, after you packed your bag. (You don’t want to unnecessarily endanger yourself in anyway, so that precious resources would have to be used to rescue you.) The more positive note is that the fire is getting more contained by the day. Last night (Thursday,) it was 37% contained. The containment lines towards the city of Redding, with the highest population, is strong now. BUT CalFire also said last night that Low relative humidity and an unstable atmosphere have increased fire behavior. I am by no means letting my guard down! My bags are packed, and I’m still ready to go if need be. This is the latest info I have about the fire.

Incident Start Date: July 23, 2018 

Incident Start Time: 1:15 p.m. 

Incident Type: Wildland Fire 

Cause: Mechanical Failure of a Vehicle 

Incident Location: Highway 299 and Carr Powerhouse Road 

CAL FIRE Unit: Shasta/Trinity 

Unified Command Agencies: CAL FIRE, National Parks Service, Redding City Fire, US Forest Service 

Size: 126,913 acres 

Containment: 37% 

Expected Full Containment: Unknown 

Firefighter Injuries/Fatalities: 2 


Structures Threatened: 1,358 

Residential Structures Destroyed: 1,060 

Commercial Structures Destroyed: 19 

Other Destroyed: 474 

Residential Structures Damaged: 189 

Commercial Structures Damaged: 8 

Other Damaged: 61 

Situation Summary:  Low relative humidity and an unstable atmosphere have increased fire behavior. Shifting winds, steep terrain, and dry fuels continue to challenge firefighters. A Red Flag Warning has been issued this evening through Saturday. Crews will work through the night to mitigate potential spot fires across control lines. Repopulation of residents in the areas affected by evacuations will continue as conditions permit. 

When the worst shock subsided, I decided to do my best to stay in a positive state of mind. As soon as I possibly could, I went back to work. On my free time I’ve kept myself very busy in the garden, and taking care of the plentiful bounty from the garden (canning, and distributing the goodies to friends, and family.) I’ve had plenty of time to plan my fall garden this week, and I’ve been propagating some new fruit trees.

I’ve been focusing on propagating citrus trees this week. I’ve propagated California Honey Mandarin, and Meyer Lemon trees. The method in the photos above, propagating from cuttings, in simple tiny green houses made out of plastic bags, is very effective. If you count the amount of work, and the success ratio, this is my favorite method for the majority of fruit trees. My experiment with air layering this spring worked out wonderfully as well, but it is a lot more time-consuming.

My container garden is growing, both in number of trees, and size of the trees. I currently have four relatively big pomegranate trees, a big number of fig trees, lime, lemon, mandarin, two varieties of orange, dates (still very small,) and I just started a couple apricot trees as well. It is very rewarding. I think fruit trees are beautiful. Partly because of the joy of seeing a new tree grow (you can easily see weekly progress during the summer,) and partly because of the promise a new fruit tree gives for the future. I love the nurturing part. Some new baby fruit trees require a lot of attention to thrive. It feels so awesome when it is obvious that they do. I enjoy the challenge. I still consider myself a newbie to growing fruit trees, it’s something I’ve only done for the past 5 years, or so. Still relatively new. It’s kind of exciting not always knowing what to do, and being forced to do research. I document my experiments, and write down what works, a not. That will eventually be a part of my book; Productive Organic Gardening On A Budget. The book is far from finished. I’ve decided to work on my book every week, but lift the timeframe I had in my head. I want it to be both visually appealing, and of good use to my readers. I really like learning about something I find fascinating, like growing my own food. (Yeah, I find the learning process to be very beautiful, and fascinating ..after all, I am a teacher.) Bringing a beautiful tree as a gift to someone I believe would appreciate it, is one of my favorite ideas for a gift. To me a gift is more meaningful if the person giving it have put a thought, and effort into the gift. This gift could potentially help feed a family for years to come. Not even mentioning the joy, and beauty it brings.

My effort to stay in a positive state of mind have been successful. Everything that is happening is beyond tragic. Over 1000 people lost their homes, and people have died, but I can’t go around thinking about that all day, then I would need some serious help myself very soon. I’d rather stay positive, and perhaps I can inspire, or make this tragedy easier for someone. I’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of semi-strangers this week; phone calls, emails, messages, real life conversations with actual strangers while in town. The majority of people are coming together, and showing a beautiful side, that might have passed unnoticed earlier. I see it. Many people are noticing the positive vibrations that this tragedy started. Another unexpected effect of this is, that I actually have been blogging every day since this started. All this turned into a good new writing habit. It started to ease the mind of friends and loved one, and ended up being a wonderful outlet for me. Writing helped me process this tragedy to some degree. Kind, encouraging, daily interaction with my blogging friends, via comments on the blog every day have been absolutely wonderful, and very helpful in keeping my spirits up. I’m going to do the best I can to return that. The goodness in other human beings had me humbled. 

Do you need a refill on that coffee? I think I’m going to have another cup 🙂 Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? 

This was just to let my friends and family know that I’m still here. In good spirit. Thinking of how this week started, I feel so much stronger now. How are you doing?

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about? All are welcome! 


Ms Zen

Published by Sagittarius Viking

It’s all about experiences, and the healing power of nature. Life is about choosing happiness. I entered the magic world of photography when I was five years old. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I believe that you are what you eat, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. A Sagittarius loves to travel, have an open mind and, and a philosophical view. It motivates them to wander around the world in search of the meaning of life. Sagittarius is extrovert, optimistic and enthusiastic, and likes changes. A lot of that perfectly describes me. The fact that my ancestors, on both parents sides, were vikings, doesn’t exactly lessen my desire to explore. Maybe a slightly more mindful exploring, compared to the average viking. My blog, and my art prints is a results of my (inner and outer) explorations. Love, Maria

42 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share; Carr Fire Update – My Garden – Zen 

  1. Good morning! I pray that the Carr fire is contained soon. So much damage! It is amazing how Mother Nature can rage like this. I hope you stay safe out there.

    Your head start on your fall planting is inspiring. I’ve been unlucky in fall planting, especially with trees. I’m in Upstate NY and our winters can be pretty brutal. Early spring planting seems to work better for me. Your baby trees sure do look healthy!

    Have your weekends this summer been busy? It seems like this summer is flying by for me. We have had an event, either a wedding or graduation party or birthday, every weekend. My husband and I just took our son to Williamsburg, Va. We were there for 5days. I was nice to escape for a bit, but as soon as we got home we had a party to stop by. My son also starts Kindergarten in the beginning of September! I can’t believe he is going – where did the time go? He is super excited, but I am a wreck. *sigh*

    Too much coffee already this morning … think I’ll have a tea. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. To be honest, I’ve never been very successful with vegetables in a fall garden. I usually start too late, and fall is such a wonderful time for road trips….. I decided to make sure that I start my fall garden in time this year. I will put up a green house for the container trees, when we go towards cooler weather. When they are in pots they are a little more sensitive, compared to if they were planted in the ground, but it is relatively easy to protect them.

      This summer have been busy. I’ve been working mornings 6 days a week all summer. Saturday is the day that I’m completely free. I’ve been hiking most Saturdays. Mostly in Lassen Volcanic National Park, that is one hour away from me. Then there’s the occasional weekend guest, that like to explore California in the summer time 🙂 and of course the garden keeps me busy every day. Now I’m a little careful with the unhealthy air we have, due to the fire, before that I spent around 4 hours a day in the garden. All fun stuff.

      I have not spent much time in VA at all. I’ve seen photos from Williamsburg, it looks so green and lush! Kindergarten, that’s exciting!! I used to be a Kindergarten teacher before I had my daughter. I loved it. It such a fun age!

      Enjoy this weekend 🙂


  2. I saw the high alert about the high winds for Friday and Saturday. Thank goodness David will be home tomorrow evening. I believe that the Ferguson is about the same containment as the Carr. I am relaxed until I see one of my cats sniffing the air and then I am outside looking. Relaxed but alert is good. So good to hear that your Zen is coming back. 😊 So good that you have some wonderful outlets such as your horses and garden. Blessings! Now for my first cup of coffee, hehe I slept in this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for your beautiful posts, for your positive attitude. (My coffee is delicious — I’ve started adding powdered ginger and cardamom to my coffee, along with honey and butter, so it tastes like Chai :)) Love it more than ever now!)
    So sorry about the fire up your way — so much seems to burn up these days! There is little we really have control of outside of our own behavior and internal thoughts. Sounds like you’re doing a great job of it! Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dawn!
      You are right, we can only control how we react. I’m renewing my First Aid and CPR certificate tomorrow. I feel that it was way to long ago.
      Your coffee sounds delicious, I may have to try that. I have tried with cardamom in before, and I like that a lot. I usually have my coffee black, and very strong. Enjoy your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All is well — have my pick up truck loaded with (newly purchased) hay in the driveway, bought a couple new work shirts at Target last night, and sipping my spicy coffee right now. I am RICH!!! :)) Take care :))


  4. I’m glad to hear that both communities (online and offline) are rallying round and that you are feeling the benefit of writing, which can be a great release, as you say. Sending you more good wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jane. Yes, the smoke is pretty bad. I still wear a mask outside. When I forget I get dizzy. The air feels slightly better now, compared to a week ago. Maybe I’m imagining, getting used to it. If it gets unbearable I’ll drive down to your area. Enjoy the weekend ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Watching the news we can get really depressed about how bad humans can be. I guess you’ve proven that when push comes to shove most people are decent and helpful. Glad you are safe. Hopefully they’ll continue to get ahead of it. Still, over 1000 residential structures (homes!) destroyed is awful. I hope you have a good weekend and that the air is more breathable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right my friend. The news can be terrifying. I try to keep myself posted about what’s going on in the world, but not as close as I once did. That would be too depressing.
      Have an awesome weekend, and send some of that clean air my way 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I wish I could send you the pouring rain we are having right now – it’d douse the flames quickly. We’re in a weather pattern that is hot and humid with downpours, mostly at the end of the day. Too bad we couldn’t conjure a cloudburst for Redding and the other fires.
    Your fruit trees look great and your activity in the garden/kitchen is productive as well as taking your mind off of something you can’t control anyway. It’s one of the many things I admire about you!
    I haven’t been very active in the garden this week due to the weather. We had an old beaver dam burst upstream on Tues. night and a scary flash flood ensued, scouring the stream bed, taking out our footbridge on our walking trail and widening the banks, leaving a debris field in the river. Too wide for a bridge now, we’re going to have to figure out a ford, which of course, will only be passable when it isn’t storming. Oh, well, such is Nature. She rules!
    Be well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo yes! I’d love some of that rain! Was the flash flood close to where you live? That can be scary too. When I lived in Reno the roads sometimes got completely covered with water, and a few days later things were back to normal..mother nature.

      I do my gardening much faster now, due to the air. I do enjoy it very much though. I reap from the hard work I did before this craziness started. The garden is very productive. I’d say at least 5lbs cherry tomatoes/day, and some cucumbers and yellow squash. However, it does not look as neat as it did a couple weeks ago. The tomato plants are 10ft tall, but the stakes only 7ft, you can figure that one out 🙂 It looks like a jungle sort of. I enjoy propagating fruit trees, and I can do a big portion of the work inside. I’m thinking that realistically it’s a couple more weeks that i can propagate new trees. I’d like them to have a good root system before we reach cooler weather. Then they are moving into a greenhouse for the winter. I’ll build the greenhouse in a few weeks. Probably using a kit. I’ll reorder one that I’ve used a couple times before. Since I don’t own the place, it doesn’t make sense to make permanent improvements.

      I hope you get to enjoy some sunshine as well this weekend ❤


      1. Thank you – it only gets hotter the next few days. I think we are in this weather pattern for the next week. Ugh.
        The waterfall and stream bisects our property (thus the footbridge to access the other side) before it spills into the river along our northern boundary. The waterfall is about 50 feet from the house. I had just showered when I heard the roar of water and guessed what had happened (we’ve been here 28 years and a dam broke once before and we’ve had a hurricane, too). I ran out with my flashlight and could see a huge, muddy torrent pounding over the waterfall and overflowing the banks. Luckily, our neighbors bridge and driveway made it through okay, but lots of mud to clean up and fresh gravel will need to be laid. Nature keeps us on our toes!


          1. It was pretty much over by the next morning. The water is still a bit muddy. I expect all the rain we’re having is adding to that. The stream is usually low this time of year, but not this summer! It’s flowing like when the snow is melting. Very noisy!

            Liked by 1 person

              1. 2″ fell yesterday… time to build the Ark! 😉
                The waterfall is what sold me on this property …I had to have it! While New England has an extensive watershed, not everyone has a waterfall and the energy it brings is wonderful.

                Liked by 1 person

  7. So glad you are feeling stronger, shock & surrounding tragedy is never a pleasant thing to manage at all, it does show that you are a kind caring person with a big heart.
    I love the zip lock bags over the cuttings I have been trying to think of an economical sturdy product to use over pots, thanks for your brilliance, I have fish tanks that I flip over top of seedling trays which works well, now I will use the bags for my larger cuttings, when I get around to it. I enjoy our morning coffee I’m about to get my 2nd cup. Well its morning here in Aus & afternoon for you, have a pleasant arvo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kindness. I enjoy our coffees as well. (Remind me again, how do you take yours?)

      The ziplock bags works great. I use, and reuse, them for all kinds of cuttings. I’d love to hear about it, if you decide to try. I believe I saw it on a Youtube video the first time (years ago,) if I remember right.

      Enjoy your weekend my friend ❤


  8. Glad things are looking up out there! Hopefully they will continue to get better, and you won’t need those bags after all. Good luck with the fall garden, it sounds amazing!

    And thanks for the coffee, things are pretty slim for me right now! Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The wild fires have been terrifying. My father-in-law sent us a picture form his back deck and it was all fire in the distance (not distant enough from him) and they were evacuations started in his area to a few weeks ago. So scary. Sending thoughts of rain.

    Thank you for the great coffee post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Greetings for another week, Ms Zen. I haven’t been watching the news much lately, but did catch something about Australian firies heading to the US. THe destruction from these fires is horrendous. We get massive bush fires here in Australia but you might lose a couple of houses and it’s rare for hundreds to go up in one fire. The largest recent fire was in the beach community of Tathra: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Tathra_bushfire. The biggest fires I recall were the Black Saturday fires in 2009: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Saturday_bushfires My friend’s sister was right in the thick of it and it really did seem like the end of the world. We also had a serious local fire at the time too and houses were lost. Hope the fires are starting to die out and that you have a good week ahead.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, another Australian friend told me that Australia sent fire fighter’s to help California. It’s not only this fire, there’s many huge fires going on all over the estate right now. That is scary. The latest report tonight said that 1080 residential structures are completely destroyed in our fire, and 1800 are threatened right now. Not counting commercial structures that burned down. On a good note, the containment of the Carr fire increases every day. The firefighters are working extremely hard. Thank you for your kind wishes. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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