Friday, May 3, 2013


If it is not blowing wind and sand stinging any bare skin in the desert surrounding Borrego Springs, CA, or colder temperatures than normal in Quartzsite, Arizona, it is mountain wild fires that are five to six months early in Southern California.  And we have been there to experience each.  

Yesterday, as we traveled to Upland, California to Mystic Koi and Water Garden with our Nancy Jo (further referred to as Jojo.  She was in need of a few things for the retrofit of the waterfall and skimmer that we brought to her.   The day was like stepping into our past.  John and I owned and operated a like business in Indiana.  She is fortunate to be the recipient of what we had left in our inventory when we retired. What we brought to her saved her about fifteen hundred dollars.  

Saturday, Jojo and John began prep work for the installation of the skimmer/filter. 

Since they are working with an existing pond with Koi, water lilies, etc they had to lift the pond liner and fold it over a board.  In the photo, you see water draining on the ground so that the clay would soften a bit.  More heavy, but at least she could dig.  

Jojo dug through twenty inches of hard-packed California clay.  What a hard job.  

Perseverance and tenacity are the words I used to describe D.D.#2!

This is the daughter that camps with us whenever possible.  She  provides the wheels where the Miata fears to tread.  We all have a ball together.

 This photo shows the view of the pond.  The waterfall on the upper right is going to be icing on the cake.

The box in the lower left of the window is the skimmer that goes into the ground.

Jojo and John checking to see if the skimmer is level.
 Here you see the difference in sizes of the waterfalls.  The new waterfall is going to create great sound and beauty for her koi pond.

All the liner will be covered with flagstone.  We saw some beautiful stone from Utah on our way home from Majestic Koi.

The area behind the pond is where Jojo wants John to help with the design and installation of a pergola.

Then after that, an irrigation system for her garden and trees.   It looks like we will be here for a while.  Just hope it does not get too hot too soon.  Otherwise, we will need to finish the work in the fall when we return from Indianapolis and check-ups at the doctors, visiting with our other two daughters and family.

Jojo refused to let John dig, so he put a new wheel on her wheelbarrow.  

Now to the smoke in our eyes.......and lungs. 

On our way to Mystic Koi and Water Garden, Jojo spotted the first smoke indicating a wildfire up in the mountains.  She was very concerned because it looked to be in the Idlewild  area where she has a cabin.   She rents the cabin the weekends that she and Cathie are not there.  

The summit fire is in Banning and as of this writing is forty percent contained.  It burned 2,956 acres.  The smoke was driven northwest of by the wind.  

Looking southwest, the sky was a beautiful blue.  It looked to be a quiet late afternoon, just prior to sunset.  

Looking northwest, there was a much different picture.  
The setting sun was obscured by smoke from the summit fire.  

The fire department personnel are well trained and must be certified to fight these fires.  

The fires are fought by land and the air.  Bulldozers clear the land of foliage ahead of the fire in hopes of stopping the fire's progress. 

Jojo has asthma and the smoke from the fires has created breathing problems for her.  John is restricted to the motorhome or to wearing a mask if outdoors.  

This morning another fire, the springs fire, was started by a careless smoker who flicked his cigarette butt into the grass.  These fires are making national news.  

The new springs fire is in Ventura County between Santa Barbara and Malabu.  It seemed to start at a strawberry farm and has spread to over eight thousand acres!  

It has created two emergencies: The fire itself and the buildings of the strawberry farm.  The farm buildings are full of fertilizer, pesticides, fuel, irrigation tubing, vehicles and fuel.  All this is sending huge black clouds of polluted air into the atmosphere.  

One item that will interest my RV friends is that many motorhomes, fifth wheels and trailers were in a storage area that was in the path of the springs fire.  All have been destroyed.  I do hope that none of your RVs have been affected.  So sad.  

I wish I had a photo of the last fire of 2013 for my THE END.  I do not.  But I do pray that God will protect the firefighting personnel as they try to stop what one careless person has created with the flick of one cigarette butt.  

If you smoke.....THINK!

God Bless....


  1. The pond is going to add so much beauty to the backyard. I love to sit and just listen to nothing.

    We saw a report on TV that is just heart breaking. Praying along with you that there is no lose of life...human or animal.

  2. I don't remember fires here in Southern California starting this early and I'm a native Californian. August or September, yes, but May??? I feel for all those who lost homes and property. Your pond looks very interesting!
    Cheryl Ann

  3. Amen to THAT sentiment. I am on my way now to relieve some shelter workers at the Ventura fire. What a mess. What a tragedy!


  4. That is a massive project you guys have got going on there. But it is going to be gorgeous when it's finished. I saw all those rigs burning up on the National News. You guys stay safe and hopefully the fires will stay away from you.

  5. I too hope all the Firefighters stay safe. Their work is very hard and dangerous. Careless smokers should be heavily fined.

  6. That is so sad about the fires. We do join you in prayers for the firefighters and all who are effected!

    The waterfall and pond will be so pretty when you get done. Lots of hard work, but well worth it!

  7. The news tonight had lots of pics of the firefighting. It looks like they're in for a long fight this year.

  8. Having lived in the Southern California area for many years I know how bad some of these fires can get and the breathing problems resulting from them. Hope they get it out soon. Enjoyed the Koi pond construction pics.

  9. Replies
    1. I hope it is done by the time you get back!


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