A long, drawn out move next door 7-17-14

By Heather Hacking

My stashed and saved treasures of 45 years have been sorted and stacked, shifted and shoved.

Last week I spent every non-work hour cleaning the inside of the old house and this week I will focus outside.

This means moving potted plants, tools and half-full bags of special potting soil, useful but empty five-gallon buckets …

They’re heavy, but I transported the cement stepping stones we made with my nephew, then age six, now a senior in high school. His little hand-print and plastic army men are now in my new back yard.

With only a little regret, I ripped an established morning glory vine from the ground to rescue my dragonfly trellis – a birthday gift from a friend.

One night this week I looked at the plants overflowing from my former front porch.

Ficus trees are funny. When you change their environment, even slightly, they react by dropping leaves and acting like they are going to die.

I can really relate right now.

These plants have learned to live with where they were placed. They grew to the point where they were comfortable with each rotation of the sun and change of the season.

Now they are being moved to the nearest empty space in a new yard.

Other really important questions are racing through my head: How did I collect so many ceramic frogs? Is it rude to return to the old house in the fall it divide the lavender? Will the gophers track me down to my new house?

Actually, I’m just moving next door; I’m confident the gophers will track me down.


Last weekend my sister and I were temporary ambassadors for Butte County.

Debra Lucero sent out an email blast that volunteers were needed at the county’s display at the California State Fair. This included a parking pass and an admission ticket.

What a hoot. I was really proud to represent our county for a few hours, and spend some quality time with my sister.

The county’s booth at the fair was extremely well done, and even won a gold ribbon by the judges. A giant Italian waiter is in the middle and rotates in a dizzying circle. Along the edges are all of the products we know and love — many brands of olive oil, wine, Lundberg Rice snacks, Sierra Nevada Beer and nuts, nuts and more nuts.

People had interesting questions. The most common was “what is there to visit in your county?”

Luckily, I write stories about things including the Snowgoose festival, http://www.snowgoosefestival.org/, Oroville Salmon Festival, http://salmonfestoroville.org/ and Sierra Oro Farm Trail, http://www.sierraoro.org.

News of the Paradise Chocolate Festival has spread, and two people were sad they had missed it this year, http://www.chocolatefest.us.

My sister, who lives in Paradise, also had a pitch for Johnny Appleseed Days, Oct. 4-5.

One woman who visited the booth wanted to know about olive oil storage. She had placed the bottle in the fridge, which made it turn cloudy. I told her to put it in the cupboard and to use it within six months.

Another woman wanted to know how rice grew. As the farm reporter, I gave her way too much information.

I’ve never been to the state fair, which continues through July 27. It’s similar to the ones we have locally, only bigger, of course.

The highlight was the California Department of Food and Agriculture farm, which is so robust you wonder if they are somehow cheating. The food is grown for local food pantries.

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