Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Updates and Mushrooms

There's only one thing to do this time of the year: Look for mushrooms. They are brought to us by the persistent gray, rainy, foggy, and wet weather of December. The Sierra Mountain range is 138% of normal snowfall now. I haven't even checked how far out of average we are for rainfall, but we are absolutely soggy here.

This time of the year I go out in search of color. For me, mushrooms are to early winter as flowers are to spring. That beautiful burst of life out of the brown earth. I don't go looking for edibles, I go looking for species, for variety, for shapes and sizes. Spongy bottoms or gills, stems and veils, pointy caps or round? They're all pushing up through pine needles and rain-soaked leaves. It just makes me happy to find them. Six days before winter solstice and the crazy low angle of the sun, I take that happiness how ever I can get it. The photo collage above is of the mushrooms I've seen around the house the past few days. The big one in the middle though is from last winter. A beautiful oldie, but goodie photo.

The local mushrooms that have really caught my attention are these. Out of an old oak stump in the yard, these mushrooms grow in clumps from every crevice and crack. Roger pointed out a new crop growing where he had dug into the ground for the foundation of the sauna. He uncovered part of the oak's root system, and these mushrooms sprang out of there, like they'd just been waiting for the low light and the rain. This perfect moment.

In other news and updates: We did receive a reimbursement check in the full amount from the dealership. We have decided to take that money and buy a woodstove insert for the fireplace. The propane gas insert really does not heat the house in any appreciable way, so we've started looking at woodburning ones. Quite exciting, and way more practical than a useless, fraudulent extended warranty. Win-win!

Bonsai the kitty cat has been responding to the pureed pumpkin lately. I won't go into the messy details, but let's just say that it works incredibly well as a feline laxative. I put two teaspoons in his wet food with plenty of added warm water to make his favorite gravy, and yum yum yum. He's happy, and he's not constipated. Win-win!

Roger starts his fifth round of chemo therapy Wednesday. He took two weeks off to recover from a persistent upper respiratory cough and that foggy-headed chemo brain. He does feel some better, but not completely well. This part of the update is neutrally noted.


  1. smashing shrooms shots. (I'm channeling a british gal). Super.

    Those mushrooms really do provide some color at this time of year. Persistent little buggers. (still the brit)

    Congrats on your refund - I think the fireplace insert is the bloody right thing to do.

    Carry on, youse twos. Good luck to Roger on this next round of chemo. He did look good today, hefting that sauna door around and all.

  2. Amazing number of mushrooms!Love your photos!! Really glad to read about the refund and I think a fireplace would be terrific. Hope all goes well with Roger and this round of chemo! Holding good thoughts for you both! Enjoy the rest of your week, Robin!


  3. Wood burning insert is good. I've never head anyone braging on the propane ones.

    Love those mushroom shots.

    Best of wishes!!!

  4. lovely photos, as always; and you notice the little seasonal outcroppings so very well!

    the insert sounds like a great way to spend the refund!

    roger, thinking of you on this next round. xoxo

  5. the mushroom pics are interesting as I know next to nothing about them.
    Glad you got your refund. Woodstove inserts are great, we had one and it warmed the whole house very nicely.
    Good to hear that you guys are doing well, keep looking up!

  6. Beautiful mushroom photos. That's one thing I don't see down here and miss a little from my former life.
    The woodstove insert sounds like a good choice - practical and such a pleasing thing as well. Good luck with round five of the chemo, Roger.

  7. Sounds like the crooked car dealer was a blessing in disguise. Propane fireplaces are more for atmosphere than function. You will love the wood insert.
    Best of luck to roger with round five.

  8. I'd just repeat myself about your wonderful, fertile, colorful landscape, so I won't. Your collage looks for all the world like a poster of "Mushrooms of Northern California." It's a delight to the eye.

    Yay for Bonsai, love and healing thoughts for Roger.

  9. Great mushrooms! I am always surprised when they show up in clumps in the lawn or other odd spots. Good luck to Roger on Round 5-he's more than halfway to the finish line!

  10. Holding you in our thoughts Roger and Robin and the kittah.

  11. I love those mushrooms.

    Hope the upper respiratory infection clears and the next round of chemo goes well.

    And hooray for Bonsai.

  12. I always enjoy seeing mushrooms popping through the surface, but we don't have many varieties of them here (of which I am aware.)

    Good for Bonsai and for Roger!

  13. Very nice fungi collagi!
    Glad Bonsai is regular regularly.
    Tell roger we always root for his team in this battle.
    Hope the next round of chemo is not too tough on him.

  14. Love the mushroom montage; glad all the beings in your household are bopping along.

  15. It's official. I think we're related from a past life or future life. I LOVE mushrooms, and have dozens of books and photos I've taken of them. I love their earthy smell, and their deeply satisfying taste (and I do forage for them , but only fields, morels, chanterelles and horse). And, we love our wood burning fireplace. A bit dry & dusty mind you,(we have a humidifier too) but the greatest thing is that when it heats up the place (and it does) you can open the doors or windows and not feel guilty! And the cancer link. that too...all the best.

  16. glad to hear bonsai is doing well with your pumpkin puree supplements! hope roger will soon be feeling more like himself and will be over the respiratory irritation and chemo brain fog issues. he has done remarkably well, and i know you are both pleased. sending you wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy and joy filled new year. we'll send you one of our REAL cards if you'll shoot me an email with the CA address! hope santa is good to you guys - don't scare him to death with those screams you've been broadcasting! ;))

  17. The hunt is the best part! Especially when it doesn't end up in a shooting. Cheers to both, good health to Roger.