Nov

25

Thanksgiving-BottlecapPine Cove Water Districts wants to wish all of our customers a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Please drive safe, and enjoy the time your spending with family and friends.

Nov

21

Hello Readers.  I just wanted to let you know that I am still on a blogging hiatus for a few more months.  Due to health issues, I will be off until February 1st, 2015.  Even though I won’t be posting any new articles for a while, all the present information will remain up and on the blog.  I look forward to getting well and returning to my duties here at the water district.

Don’t forget you can go to the water district website at pcwd.org for information as well.

Happy Holidays!  Vicki

Jun

11

Sunday and Monday brought some heat to the hill, but as of yesterday, it has cooled off beautifully!  Day time temps are in the high 60’s or low 70’s and night time temps are in the 50’s.  This is the most pleasant of weather.  Sleeping is wonderful as well with the cooler evenings.  No need for fans or air conditioners up here folks!   It doesn’t get better than this here in Pine Cove.  Now if we would get some rain, all would be perfect with the world.

Summer Sun

Jun

11

Here at the Pine Cove Water District, we send out water bills every other month on the even months.  So June is a billing month.  Bills were mailed on June 2nd and are due on June 25th.  If you have not received your bill, you can give us a call at 951-659-2675 and we can tell you that amount that is due.

We accept cash, checks and Visa, MasterCard or Discover cards.  We can take a credit card payment over the phone or at the counter and there is a $2.50 fee that is charged by the company that processes the payments for us.  You can also pay us through your online banking if that is how you prefer to pay your bills.

If you are a renter you can always call us and find out what the amount due is.  All water bills are kept in the homeowners name and it is up to the landlord and tenant to make arrangements on how the water bills are handled.

We greatly appreciate you paying your bill in a timely manner and paying on time prevents a late fee of $15 from being added to your bill.

 

worried-about-a-bill-clip-art

 

Jun

5

In an effort to reduce water usage out of doors, but still be able to garden, one option is a self watering container.  They are an excellent choice because the water is contained under the plant and therefore does not evaporate and is available to the plant 24/7, which makes over or under watering impossible.  As long as the water reserve has water in it, the plant takes what it needs when it needs us and pretty much cuts the human out of the equation all together.  Which brings me to my next point.  Self watering containers free up your time.  Instead of being a slave to watering the garden, you just make sure the containers are kept full and that is all you have to do.  While you can use a drip or soaker system on a timer, these methods take more effort to install and the squirrels love to reek havoc on drip system parts.  Luckily, they cannot do much damage to a self watering container.

So if these self watering containers are so fabulous, why isn’t everyone using them?  Well, price is a big obstacle.  They are fairly expense when compared to other types of containers of a similar size.  Plus, what if you want to make a raised bed veggie garden for instance?  The amount of containers you would have to buy would be extensive.  So what is the solution?

A self watering raised be garden of course.  I found this video over at mylittlehomestead.com, where they show how they made a self watering raised bed garden using a 55 gallon drum cut in half.  Genius!  Why didn’t I think of that?  Here is the video.
 

I think this is a fabulous way to have your cake and eat it too. All the benefits of a raised bed garden combined with the benefits of a self watering container. What could be better? If you try this in your garden, let us know! Send us pictures or video and we will post it here on the blog. Also if you discover how to make any improvements to this design, let us know. I will be trying this in my own garden. I think it would be great.

Jun

3

The June bills have been mailed and the Stage One water conservation rates will be in effect.  What does this mean for you?  Not much.  Since we use a tiered rate system, the rates in Stage One do not increase until the 18,000 to 24,000 gallon level.  Most customers will not see an increase in their bill unless they use a large amount of water, so most customers will not notice the increase.  If you use less than 18,000 gallons each billing period, your rates will not increase.

Remember, Stage One is voluntary compliance.  We are asking you to conserve water whenever possible.  By conserving water voluntarily now, that means there will be more water later and conserving now could possibly mean that moving into Stage 2 could be delayed or possibly avoided altogether.  Our goal here at the Pine Cove Water District is to be sure that there is always an adequate amount of water for everyone.  If we work together, we can get through these tough water times.

We have water saving kits available here in the office, free to all Pine Cove water customers.  Just stop in and ask for yours today.  Our office is located at 24917 Marion Ridge Road here in Pine Cove.  We are right next to the fire station.  Our blog and website also offer many excellent tips and suggestions for saving water indoors as well as outdoors.  So we hope you will comply and voluntarily conserve water.

water-droplet-th

May

28

Last week we had quite the wild weather!  The thunder and lightening storm on Thursday afternoon was pretty intense.  The thunder was so close and so loud it sounded like it was sitting right on top of Pine Cove.  The hail was a surprise as well.  I actually saw the snow plow go by my house!  You just never know what is going to happen here on the mountain.  While all moisture is welcome, that was a bit much for the end of May.

This week the forecast is for something much calmer luckily.

Detailed Forecast

  • Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 73. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 55. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Thursday Sunny, with a high near 72. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon.
  • Thursday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 56. West wind around 5 mph becoming north after midnight.
  • Friday Sunny, with a high near 73. West wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Friday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 53.
  • Saturday Sunny, with a high near 68.
  • Saturday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 46.
  • Sunday Sunny, with a high near 64.
  • Sunday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 50.
  • Monday Sunny, with a high near 69.
  • Monday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 52.
  • Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 69.

As we move into the summer season, please be mindful of the extreme fire danger that is ever present.  Over Memorial Day weekend, one of our board members spotted 3 different visitors to the hill, flicking cigarette butts out of their car windows.  It will only take one to light a forest fire.  Please remind all your guests who visit you here on the hill, to be mindful as well.  And be sure to do your fire abatement around your mountain home and property.  It is important that everyone comply with this because if you don’t, you can put not only yourself in danger, but your neighbors and the whole hill as well.

 

0808-0710-1617-3417

 

 

May

28

I have completed the CERT training that was held at the Nature Center on May 16th, 17th and 18th.  It was an intense, 20 hour course on emergency preparedness.  They cover a lot of information in 20 hours and at the very least, you will learn how to take care of yourself and your family after a disaster.   Some people will go on to form teams and help their community after a disaster.  The main focus is on being prepared and keeping yourself and your family safe as well as how to help others in a safe way.  We learned what is safe for us to do and what is not.  CERT team members cannot do the same things that trained fire fighters or paramedics can do, however, they are an important link between those who need assistance and the professionals.

Any adult can take CERT training classes regardless of their physical abilities.  After a disaster there are many jobs to be done and there is something for everyone to do.  Perhaps you can’t perform physical rescues, but you could do paper work.  CERT is not just about running into buildings and saving people or putting out fires.  While those things are important, there are many other tasks that need done as well. Volunteers trained in CERT also offer a potential workforce for performing duties such as shelter support, crowd control and evacuation. The role of a CERT volunteer is to help themselves and to help others until trained emergency personnel arrive.

And even if all you learn is how to take care of yourself and your family, that is a huge help after a disaster because it means you are part of the solution and not part of the problem.  By being prepared and taking care of yourself and your family, you are freeing up resources that can be used elsewhere.  After a disaster, there will be so much need that emergency services will be stretched to their limits and here on the hill, we will be one of the last areas to receive help because there will be so much need off the hill.   I believe the ratio quoted to us was one emergency services person for every 1500 people.

So, as you can see, it will be rough getting help after a disaster.  It is best to be prepared to fend for yourself for several days, if not a week or more.  Learn what to do and how to prepare now.  Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.  Next time there is a CERT training class, sign up and go.  It is free of charge and you will take away tons of helpful information.  An investment of one weekend, could save you or someone you love’s life.

Here is a link to their websites so you can read all about CERT, the training and what it’s purpose is.

www.riversideca.gov/readyriverside/cert/

rivcocert.webs.com/

May

14

Hold on to your hats!  We are under a high wind warning until 4 p.m. this afternoon.  There is also a red flag warning until 8 p.m. tonight.

* WINDS…AREAS OF EAST WINDS 25 TO 35 MPH…WITH GUSTS UP TO 65
MPH. ISOLATED GUSTS UP TO 85 MPH ON WIND PRONE SLOPES.

WIND…AREAS OF EAST TO NORTHEAST WINDS 25 TO 35 MPH…WITH
GUSTS TO 65 MPH. ISOLATED GUSTS TO 85 MPH. WINDS STRONGEST ALONG
THE COASTAL MOUNTAIN SLOPES AND IN THE INLAND VALLEYS.

Hopefully, there will be no ill effects from all this wind.  Batten down your hatches and hope for the best!

Windy

May

13

We have a couple of great events going on this weekend.  First is the 24th annual Idyllwild Earth Fair.  Normally, the Pine Cove Water District would have a presence at the fair, but due to another event, which is also scheduled for this weekend, we had to bow out this year.  But we will be there next year to help them celebrate 25 years of earth fairs.

The fair will take place on Saturday, May 17, 2014, and runs from 11 am until 5 pm.  As always, admission is free.  So stop on by and support everyone who is participating and who give up their time to organize and run the fair.  For more information, you can go to their website at earthfair.com.

The other event that is happening actually starts on Friday evening.  Riverside County Fire Department Office of Emergency Services is sponsoring  CERT training and the Idyllwild Nature Center is hosting the event.  CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team and is all about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number.  Participants will be taught how to react after an emergency and through CERT training, they will learn to manage utilities, put out small fires, treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding and treating for shock, provide basic medical aid, search for and rescue victims safely and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.

There is no cost for this training and if  you would like to sign up, please go to www.rivcocert.org to register.  You can also register by calling 951-955-4700.  Class size is limited to 40 people and those who successfully complete the practical exercise with hands-on instruction in fire suppression, search and rescue, cribbing and medical will receive a certificate of completion and a free CERT kit.  The class schedule is:

Friday, May 16, 2014 from 5:30 pm until 9:30 pm

Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 18, 2014 from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

Classes will be held at the Idyllwild Nature Center located at 54000 County Park Road, Idyllwild CA  92549.  Register today because you can never be too prepared!

May

13

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 is our monthly board meeting.  It starts at 10 a.m. sharp and takes place in the board room here at the district office.  Our address is 24917 Marion Ridge Road if you would like to attend.  We are right next to the fire station an the public is always welcome to attend.

Our board meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every month.  If you can’t make the meeting, you can check out our website at  www.pcwd.org to get the minutes from the meetings as well as all sorts of other information and helpful tips.  Hope to see you at the meeting!

board meeting audience

May

8

Here it is Friday again.  Hope your week was good.  With the weekend ahead of us, it is time to turn our attention to the garden.

Since we will spend the summer in the grips of a drought, now is a good time to review your outside watering needs and do something to reduce them.  How is this frugal you may wonder?  Well, sometimes money well spent can save you money in the long run.   Here are some tips to help you prepare for a long, dry summer and save money in the process.

  • Amend your soil.  This may not seem like a water saving tip at first glance, however, well amended soil absorbs and retains water much better than soil that is not amended.  So if you are going to be watering outside, be sure the soil is in the best shape possible so you get the most out of the water you are putting on your garden.
  • Mulch.  After your soil is in tip top shape, adding a layer of bark mulch will help retain moisture and prevent soil erosion from wind and rain runoff.  The bark mulch will also keep water from splashing up onto plants and will help keep water from running off in downpours.
  • Install soaker hoses or drip irrigation.  If you have a garden or outdoor watering needs, you can use water more wisely by applying it right where the plant needs it.  By laying a soaker hose under the bark mulch, you will let the water slowly seep into the ground and avoid any evaporation at all.  Drip systems deliver water right to where the plant needs it without spraying anything up in the air.  Both of these ways of watering are much more efficient than watering with sprinklers or a hose.
  • Water in the early morning or late in the evening to avoid water evaporating before it gets to the plants.
  • Use water that would otherwise go to waste.  Put a bucket in the shower and collect water while you shower.  Use a basin to scrub veggies instead of washing them under running water and then take the water in the basin out to the garden.  If you have outdoor animals or dogs, put their old water onto the garden instead of just dumping it onto the ground when you are giving them fresh water.
  • Cut back on water use altogether.  Try showering every other day if you aren’t doing dirty work.  Wear clothes twice before laundering, especially in the winter when you aren’t outside getting dirty.  Take shorter showers.  Only run clothes washers and dish washer with full loads.  Compost instead of using a garbage disposal.  Install a low flow toilet and use the mellow yellow rule.

These are just a few ideas you can incorporate into your daily routine to save water. Check the page at the top of the blog for even more ideas on how to save water inside and outside of your home.  Remember using less water is not only good for the environment as well as your pocketbook!

 

May

8

Everyone here at the Pine Cove Water District would like to wish all the mom’s out there a very happy Mother’s Day on Sunday May 11, 2014.  Being a mom is the hardest job in the world!

 

Mother's Day 2

Mother's Day 3

May

8

Hope you made it through the storm ok.  I wasn’t too bad.  On the cool side, but not much rain or snow came out of it unfortunately.  Looks like we are back to sunny skies for the next week or so.  Enjoy!

Detailed Forecast

  • This Afternoon Sunny, with a high near 53. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 43. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Friday Sunny, with a high near 62. West wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Friday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 46. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Saturday Sunny, with a high near 62. West wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Saturday Night Clear, with a low around 45.
  • Sunday Sunny, with a high near 57.
  • Sunday Night Clear, with a low around 48.
  • Monday Sunny, with a high near 67. Breezy.
  • Monday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 53.
  • Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 71.
  • Tuesday Night Clear, with a low around 55.
  • Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 74

 

 

Summer Sun

May

6

Is there anything better than fresh, red, juicy, straight out of the garden strawberries?  Well, maybe winning the lottery, but apart from that, I would have to say no the above question.  Strawberries are so good and are fun to grow as well.  As many of you know, there are wild strawberries that grow around the Idyllwild, Pine Cove and Fern Valley areas.  So growing them in our gardens should be a piece of cake, right?

strawberries in bowl

As most things in life, this is easier said than done, although I have had way more success with berries, including raspberries and blackberries, than with most other things up here, so strawberries are always part of my garden.  The biggest problem with strawberries is the amount of space you need to get a large crop of berries.  However, the good thing about strawberries is that unlike raspberries or blackberries, they stay relatively compact if you remove the runners.  And since they do grow so many runners, they are extremely easy to propagate and so it costs virtually nothing to expand your strawberry garden.

The bad news is that you will probably run out of space in your garden before you run out of strawberry runners.  So what is a strawberry lover to do?  Containers of course!  The great thing about strawberries is that they can be planted just about anywhere.  Hanging planters, pots, rain gutters, baskets, PVC pipe, you name it.  So don’t worry if you don’t have room for a large strawberry patch in your yard.  Let your imagination run wild and before you know it, you will have a fabulous strawberry container garden and you will be enjoying fresh, picked strawberries!  Here are a few pictures from Pinterest to get your imagination going.

strawberries in rain guttersLove this space saving idea.  Strawberries in rain gutters!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStrawberries in rain gutters hung on a picket fence.  What could be cuter?

strawberries in guttersThis is very clever.  Strawberries in rain gutters raised up on rebar supports.  This sure would make picking easy.

strawberries in PVCHow about some vertical strawberry towers made from PVC pine?

strawberries in PVC 2Here is quite an ambitious vertical strawberry garden.

strawberry tower 2A raised bed strawberry tower.  This could be made out of bricks or stones as well.

strawberry towerA beautiful tower of strawberries!

strawberries in hanging potsAnd there is always the traditional option of hanging planters.

strawberry basketCute country cottage basket of berries!

Hope this helps getting you thinking outside the garden and planting strawberries everywhere.  Just remember that they do need a lot of sun, so a shady spot won’t work.  So go forth and plant strawberries and then enjoy the fruits of your labor!

 

May

6

Well here it is, 10:00 a.m. and there has not been a single drop of moisture yet.  No rain and certainly no snow.  While it is a brisk 31 degrees and very overcast with the occasional wisp of fog floating by, it is still bone dry.  So it is anyone’s guess as to whether or not we will actually see any moisture out of this cold, little storm.  We should be back to our normal spring temperatures by the end of the week, so I am hoping we at least get some rain today.  But as we all know, we are not in charge.  Mother Nature is, so we will see if she favors us with a shower.

spring_clipart_rain_umbrella

May

5

There must have been a lot of yard work and gardening going on over the weekend because when we arrived this morning, both piles were depleted!  This means Pine Covers are amending their soil so it retains moisture better and putting down wood chips to keep the moisture in the soil.  We are working on getting more compost as well as wood chips, so if you didn’t get yours, do not worry.  I will post here on the blog as soon as our supplies are replenished.  We are so happy to be able to provide these items to Pine Cove Water District customers free of charge.

Compost

Remember, if you need a large amount of either item to check in with us at the office first, as we want to be sure there is enough for everyone.  Now is the time to be outside cleaning up your yard, doing your fire abatement, amending your soil and adding a layer of woodchips to keep moisture in.  These are all very necessary chores that need done, so get them done now so you can enjoy the summer with peace of mind knowing you are doing all you can to keep your mountain home safe and that you are helping to conserve water.

Wood Chips

Jerry & Stitch

May

5

Well, believe it or not, they are predicting that we could possibly get 2 to 4 inches of snow tomorrow!  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the forecast, but there it was.   A snowflake graphic was posted on Tuesday’s forecast.  Naturally, I just planted my tomatoes yesterday and I cannot bring them into the house now, so I will be outside tonight covering everything with plastic or buckets.  Such is the life of a gardener.

See the forecast for yourself.  Luckily we will be back up to warm temps by the end of the week and hopefully then our tomatoes will be safe!  If it stays warm enough, we will just get rain instead of snow.  Cross you fingers!

tomatoes

Detailed Forecast

  • Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 60. West wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Tonight A chance of rain showers, mainly after 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36. West wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Tuesday Snow showers likely, mainly before 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. Breezy, with a west wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 20 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
  • Tuesday Night A chance of rain and snow showers before 11pm, then a chance of snow showers. The rain and snow could be heavy at times. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34. Breezy, with a west wind 20 to 25 mph decreasing to 10 to 15 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
  • Wednesday Partly sunny, with a high near 49. West wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Wednesday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40.
  • Thursday Sunny, with a high near 56.
  • Thursday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 46.
  • Friday Sunny, with a high near 64.
  • Friday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 51.
  • Saturday Sunny, with a high near 70.
  • Saturday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 52.
  • Sunday Sunny, with a high near 70.

inclement-weather-md

Apr

28

The weekend storm came and went as Old Man Winter gave it one last shot.   It was quite chilly out over the weekend,  but it seems to be warming up a bit today.  The weather station up at the Rocky Point tank site says it is 54 degrees out at 10 a.m., so we are getting back to normal.  Hopefully this will be the last cold & snow storm of the season.  While moisture is always welcome, it is getting late in the year to have snow and freezing temperatures.  Let’s hope for lots of nice rain for the rest of the spring and some summer monsoonal moisture this summer.

Summer Sun

Here is the forecast for the coming week.  Looks like temperatures are going up but we are going to get some wind.

Detailed Forecast

  • Today Sunny, with a high near 64. West wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Tonight Mostly clear, with a low around 52. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming northeast 15 to 20 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph.
  • Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 67. Windy, with a northeast wind 25 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph.
  • Tuesday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 51. Windy, with a northeast wind 25 to 35 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph.
  • Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 63. Windy, with a northeast wind around 30 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph.
  • Wednesday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 53. Windy.
  • Thursday Sunny, with a high near 70. Breezy.
  • Thursday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 55.
  • Friday Sunny, with a high near 73.
  • Friday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 54.
  • Saturday Sunny, with a high near 70.
  • Saturday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 53.
  • Sunday Sunny, with a high near 64.

Apr

25

Time for another Frugal Friday tip.  I have talked a lot about raised bed and container gardens.  But there is one other way to grow a few veggies or some flowers.  Window boxes.  Window boxes are a great way to grow cherry tomatoes, lettuces and other small or mini varieties of vegetables. They are also perfect for flowers and ivy and add a charm to your home that not much else can.   They are  also excellent for making an herb garden.  What could be better than the smell of mint or basil or rosemary wafting through your kitchen window from a window box full of herbs.  Plus your cooking will improve as you will be able to just walk outside and snip fresh herbs to add to your dishes.

Window boxes are very easy to make and you can use scrap wood you have laying around or can find cheaply.  Old fence boards, plywood and other things like dresser drawers, can all be used to make window boxes.  They can be as plain or as fancy as you like.  Add trim or appliques for a shabby chic look or leave them plain for a more rustic approach.  You can even buy them pre-made and just hang them.  There are as many styles as there are budgets. Let your imagination run wild and just remember to design them so that they will co-ordinate with your home’s décor.   Here are a few examples:

Shabby Chic window boxThis example is from the blog My Shabby Streamside Studio and was made from scrap wood.  An applique was added and then the whole thing was painted shabby chic white.  Plastic window boxes tucked down inside the wooden box,  hold a variety of plants and can be changed out from season to season.

Rustic window boxHere is an example of a rustic wooden window box that was hung on brackets.

Window Box CottagesAdorable cottage style window boxes on a shed give it charm.

dresser-drawer-window-boxesHow’s this for creativity?  Old dresser drawers make perfect window boxes!

I am sure if you do a quick search online, you can come up with many more ideas, especially on sites like Pinterest.  So why not go out and rummage around  in your garage or at the local thrift store and see what scrap wood you can come up with to   create some lovely and useful window boxes for your cabin, cottage or castle and then get planting!