Road to Cousins Joyce & Lane

July 17, 2016 – Continuing up Highway 99 North, we passed a lot of rural lands – fields …

and cows . . . (yeah, these cows stand on bare dirt – not the grass – but at least some of ’em have shade and room to lay down)

and trains . . .

and lots of farm machinery . . .

and graineries . . . grainery-20160716_175722

As we went north we saw more plane20160716_150812orchards . . . and, of course, the occasional small airplane circling.  Crop dusting, maybe?

We did run into a GPS mishap on the way to Cousins Joyce & Lane Parker’s home.  Our Garmin Motorhome GPS told us to turn left and immediately right to continue on the same street — sort of a jog left-right.  No problem, except that after turning left, there was no right turn to be made.  The street actually had gone straight without any jog.  Well, you can’t turn around in a 42-foot motorhome, so we had to continue following the GPS commands in the hopes of getting back to where we almost had been.  It would have been okay, except the GPS took us into a parking lot and told us to turn left where it just so happened that the exit was totally blocked off.  We had to walk around the buildings in the lot to find a passable route … when finally we got back to the fateful intersection, GPS again commanded to turn left and right — while I was hollering NO — GO STRAIGHT!!!    Considering I normally have no sense of direction to speak of, this was a victory.

So … after all that, here is their lovely home.  We find the houses in California overwhelmingly beautiful

. . . and here we are proudly parked right in front of it.  Normally, we don’t go right up to someone’s house, but we park in an RV lot or (if only one night) in a Walmart nearby.  When discussing motorhome parking lots in the area, however, Cousin Joyce suggested we park right in front of her house.  Tom hesitated,  … but she continued, “I’m the President of the Homeowners’ Association, and I don’t mind you being there for a couple of days.”

joyceyard20160717_141438Here is Tom walking with their sweet dog, Max, in the back yard in which are eleven 25-year-old Redwood trees that were planted when they built their home.  And below is a pond full of fish.

From left to right:  Tom, Joyce, Lane, Shula

almonds20160717_132148Lane is an almond farmer. Working with the college, he runs experiments to test different types of almonds and growing conditions.  The almond trees bealmondfarmerlow are either on his farm or one of those he manages. At right are almonds growing on the tree.  Learn more about almonds at Lane’s blog

Here is Tom next to some almonds still on the tree.  BTW, he was excited about having his picture taken next to a real live almond.

. . . and here is an almond in the shell.  Lane explained that while they are shelled by machinery in the USA, when the Chinese import American almonds, they want them shipped in the shell. They then employ Chinese women to shell them by hand – it is a works program.  Further research by myself revealed some high-tech uses for almond shells in China … such as “low-cost, renewable, and environmentally friendly electrode materials … for high energy density supercapacitors.” (Wu, Yang, Cai, Zhang, Zhu, & Zhang, 2016) almond20160717_131119

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4 Responses to Road to Cousins Joyce & Lane

  1. Susan says:

    Good friends, good travels, good almonds & very interesting.

  2. Shula says:

    Thanks Susan!

  3. David Allbritten says:

    Beautiful family.

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