The monsoon storms have arrived with a vengeance causing damage throughout the Rim Country. Tonto Village was fortunate in that no major damage has been reported. My back yard rain gauge measured 3.75 inches of rain since Tuesday morning.
Bear Flat totals are amazing ... That small community has received whopping 7.38 inches of rain so far for the month of July. Their average rainfall amount is 4.28 inches. So far they are three inches above normal. For the year, the rainfall amount is 19.18 inches of rain, making the total four inches above normal.
The forest opened as of 8 a.m., Wednesday, July 17 according to a press release from the U.S. Forest Service. In addition to lifting all fire restrictions, the Coconino and Tonto national forests will reopen the Fossil Creek area, which had been closed since July 1 due to wildfire risk.
The rains also brought out all kinds of creepy crawlies such as worms, snails and those 10-legged creatures called centipedes. My great-grandson Isaac was visiting from Yuma and he had a great time collecting these creatures. Has anyone found out why there are so many beetles? The very large ones stick themselves on our screen doors.
Hellsgate Fire Department
My great-grandson had an unusual experience watching the Hellsgate and Christopher/Kohl’s fire departments practice extracting water from the bladder that sits in the median between Johnson Boulevard and the Control Road. The firefighters took turns holding on to the hoses with great water pressure. No easy job!
Fire Chief Gary Hatch, Battalion Chief David Bathke and finance officer Angie Lecher are attending the Arizona Fire Chiefs convention in the Valley this week. Captain Nick Fitch and EMT Rick Heron left Saturday morning, July 20, for the forest fire in Idaho. God speed guys, stay safe.
The next Hellsgate fire board meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 14 at the Star Valley Fire Station.
Garah Monich has been appointed to fill the seat on the fire board left by the passing of Richard Pinkerton. Welcome Garah.
The Shelby School is all abuzz with preparations for the new school year, with teachers setting up their classrooms and lesson plans. Enrollment spaces are filling up quickly, so be sure to call (928) 478-4706 to reserve a place for your student. The annual open house is from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 30. Come find out what the school is all about and meet the staff. There will be registration, tours and refreshments. Ahead of time, you can see a three-minute promotional video on facebook.com with a “like” of The Shelby School. Classes start on Aug. 1.
A belated birthday greeting to Tonto Village III resident, Mike Shaw. Sorry I missed yours, Mike. Here’s hoping you had a great day on July 14.
Hellsgate firefighter Nate Mercer adds another candle to his birthday cake on July 30. On a personal note, our grandson, Jonathan Porter of Yuma will be 33 on July 31 — happy birthday, grandson! Hellsgate board member Charlie Conover starts off the month of August with a birthday on Aug. 4 — happy birthday to you.
I am still receiving reports of wandering dogs in the Village; a few of them actually have attacked people as they are passing by. There is a leash law in Gila County, but some refuse to acknowledge that fact. It would be shame if there was an attack and an animal or person is injured. Please help keep the neighborhood safe for other people to enjoy walking with their animals.
Odd & Ends
A few antidotes for the week: Happiness is like jam ... you can’t spread even a little without getting some on yourself. Keep in mind ... Stressed is desserts spelled backward.
A little extra
Up to your knees in zucchini? Here’s a recipe from the “Fireflies Can Cook!” cookbook for zucchini bread.
Zucchini Squash Bread
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
plus sugar to make enough to cover two loaves
Mix all ingredients and fill two greased and floured loaf pans one-half to three-quarters full. Sprinkle topping over dough. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.
This recipe is from Janet Snyder’s sister, who lives in Yuma, so some high altitude adjustments may need to be made.
The Fireflies’ cookbook is filled with great recipes and only sells for $10. Get in touch with Janet to purchase one, (928) 478-9935.