Saturday, December 19, 2009


I finally found the hasp and lock I'm going to put on this rustic-type chest I'm building. I can't wait to finish it now that the hardware is here, but the holidays have me too busy with other things. Rats!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tsk, tsk

"Where I come from, the description of a nation that leaves its children behind in hunger while showering its upper classes with lavish amounts of more luxury than they know what to do with evokes pictures of present-day Somalia or latter-day Rome and the let-them-eat-cake France of Marie Antoinette. Not of a socially and politically highly developed society of the 21st century."

Ilargi at The Automated Earth makes point that should be blindingly clear to all of us...where this is going, and where it will end. Eventually.

Are you and your family ready?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Meyer Lemons...I can't wait to try you!

Looking good, finally getting yellow! Just a few more days...maybe a week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What price will we pay for our modern world?

Are we living as the rich during the final years of the ancient Roman empire? Are we sowing the seeds of our own destruction by maintaining bloated, gluttonous capitalistic lifestyles and steadfastly refusing to change more than a little, along with the many who refuse to change at all? Is it disbelief of the true horror? An unwillingness to look the unthinkable straight in the face – utter desolation of the earth and all living things we know on it? Or perhaps defeatism – that one person, one decision, one change can't change it all, so why bother? Some just don't want to take the time, too busy with their own private lives - and I know that some just don't want to give up what they have to share with others, either those around them or the yet-unborn who will be sharing what's left of this place after we are dead and gone – our children and their contemporaries.

According to the latest by climate scientists, to save our world from near devastation, we must stop carbon emissions now. Not slow down, not gently curtail. Stop. Now. Or else, a new, scarier number of 4-degree change – scattered in various locales planet-wide – will come, and quickly.

So, can we do it? Can we downsize, scale back, power down, go back to doing things the way our ancestors did? Can we learn to live in partnership with the globe and nature, instead of raping and pillaging the earth and weaker nations like 17th century pirates, taking everything we can and destroying what's left?

Unfortunately, as much as I believe in the ability of our race to do so, to drastically change our lives to save those who come after us, I just don't see it really happening. Humans have an immense and unimaginable capacity for love, compassion, and selfless sacrifice. But the flip side of that is also present, the dark and miserable world of greed and fear, that can blind and even paralyze those who allow such malignancy to permeate their thinking and their lives. Our modern culture exalts covetousness, makes ever changing new standards for material possessions as tokens of power and success, and, sadly, promotes the ideal of outer beauty being the pinnacle, making all that fall beneath that level not valuable, disregarded, and destined to be thrown on the waste heap. These twisted ideals will not help us easily change from years of wanting the newest things or our sense of entitlement ranging in scope from a latte at Starbucks to air conditioned houses in 70-degree weather. It will be too much sacrifice, too much forgotten. Not many are strong enough to give up today so that there IS a tomorrow. Our urge to hold on to that which we have grown to like or accustomed to, that which defines us and our niche in the complexity of life, is the culprit. We feel comfortable in routine. Yet, our kind has the ability of incredible adaptability, which would give us the strength brave the unknown and give up our comfortable complacency, if we cared enough.

So what if the scientists are wrong? What if climate change is no threat, and we all drastically change our lives for no reason? It is possible – nothing is guaranteed right, in my experience, even coming from those who have studies things for decades. So let's look at the gamble. Okay – we don't change, and the scientists ARE right. We made a wager and lost – not lost our lives so much maybe, but lost the future of all who may come after us. Our children, their children, the future of mankind, one might say? Hmm...what a bet to lose. That's more irresponsible than the Wall Street bankers gambling on sub-prime mortgage securities using credit derivatives with the potential to blow the whole financial system wide open. For us to wager that the scientists are wrong is a worse crime – affecting not everyone here today, but the unknown children of unknown generations – the potential vision of our race, swept away by a tide of corpulent greed and fear of regressing, fear of the unknown. Too bad, humans. Better luck next time, eh? Let's not lose this bet. Who knows what might be lost?

Blog Action Day 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Not doing too well on the gardening side (and doing really, really bad catching gardening photos) so here's a little aside.

Old and new friends from out of town visit and everybody gets a chance to relax. Life is good :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Small but luscious

These are nifty little tomato family ground cherries - they do taste an awful lot like a cherry when ripe - the more ripe they are, the sweeter they are. I love tearing open the little lantern package to get to the fruit....until I have to open more than 4 or 5. How in the world am I going to make jam out of these????

july 25 jog

I didn't want to go, but I did! I'm SO glad now. A total of 19 minutes, with a couple wicked hills. I did go easily at first, then around halfway the difficulties kicked in - also going back up all the hills! I wanted to stop for a walking break again about halfway home but didn't - and finally got a little quickie runner's high - oh yeah, baby! Chills and everything! It was only a couple of minutes but man was it worth it - it almost got me all the way back up the BIG hill. Exquisite.

Friday, July 24, 2009

July 24 - fourth day jog?

I was really stiff and sore this morning, even tho we went on a bike ride yesterday around noon, to pick up some hamburger buns for dinner. So, instead of jogging outside in the nice, cool, air, I decided to stay in and stretch with some weights for a while and then do 21 minutes on the elliptical, and boy was I feeling that 80 degree thermostat setting! Good cardio and I do feel all warmed up and stretchy now. My breathing is getting better!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 23 - third day jog

Whew! Okay, time was 14 minutes total - 7 minutes in, 7 minutes back. Again, it took less time to return so I was reduced to running in a circle in the driveway while I waited for the next minute on the clock. I guess tomorrow I will have to run out a minute or two longer, so I can run right up the porch, to the door and in when I'm done. I had a few episodes of serious enjoyment this time - when your body is moving but nothing hurts and even your breath is fairly quiet, and it's as if someone else is doing the work and you're just along for the ride. This was only when going downhill, though...I guess that's to be expected. I did really haul it up one section of hill because there was no shoulder so I wanted to get off the road as soon as possible - it made me feel good I could do it without choking up a lung. Exuberant!

July 22 - jogging second day

I made sure to time it today, so I can increase my time each day. Total running (running? who am I trying to kid? a tortoise could outrun me right now) time was 12 minutes. I just went straight down my road - I've never even biked down this section - only been on it in a car. I actually got further than I thought I would, luckily for me my halfway time (6 minutes) was up right at the top of this hill - so I got to turn around and coast all the way back! Now that I did enjoy, and my breath didn't burn so much this day. Unfortunately, it was faster going back downhill, so I got back to the house with a minute or two to spare, so I had to keep going back up the NEXT hill, then turn around and finally go inside, elated.

July 21 - First day of jogging regimen

I forgot to look at a clock when I ran out the door, so I guess maybe I was out for 10 minutes? That might be a really high estimate, though...It was hell! My lungs burned with every heaving breath, my thighs felt like they were on fire. I couldn't hear the birds for the raspy bellow I forced out at each step. I kept thinking it would get better shortly, but I don't think it did except when I glided down a particularly steep hill. That one section was actually fun for a few seconds! I did drop to a walk for a minute or two to catch my breath about halfway through, but I'm not going to count that. Those'll just be part of the package.

Monday, July 13, 2009


It LOOKS like poison ivy...and I'm scratching like mad (or, trying not to)



Monday, July 6, 2009

The canning challeng met!

I will have to wait 2 weeks to try the pickled green beans, to let the flavors meld. If they're good, I hope to make a lot more...we love them here and my sisters do, too. The recipe for the cucumber pickles suggested waiting 6 weeks (6 weeks???) for full flavor appreciation...I just might have to dive into a jar before that....besides, I need to know if they are good enough to make again, right?


Thursday, July 2, 2009

a little here, a little there...

On the top, my ugly but free, homemade tall potato planter. They are getting bigger, and I hope feed us for a while after harvest! To the right of the potato planter is a green pepper plant...also doing well, but as I don't particularly like them, I didn't waste the film. It's bad enough I'm going to have to eat it. HA!

The cucumbers are LOVING this weather, even in partial shade. I guess this is a good spot for them...Note to self: Remember this for next year.

The return of the dog!

Since she came back after her wild and stormy adventures, I took advantage to get more and better pix of Sadie.

Hmm, still more work to do I guess. At least she was safe in the house during this storm, though you wouldn't know it to hear her. And she drooled all over my foot pedal. Foolish girl!

I guess I'll actually give this post a name...

Do these artichokes look ANY bigger than last time???

Some pictures of lovely fruit and veggies, ripening in the warmth and sun!

I had no idea chickens were so neat! (uh, in the cool sense, not the clean sense)

In the top picture it looks like Thorn has some sharp words to give Cheeks...Thorn is the biggest of all the chickens, now...but not the head o' the bunch. At least she can hold her own...since she gets preferential treatment from me, the bringer of the food...I wonder sometimes if the rest of the hens are jealous of her special status. Or do they think she's just crazy?

i is not a college graduate...just a piece of paper, anyway

Potato harvest from the back garden - just 1 section of 2. Yummy! and I think I have again been misspelling "potato" (sorry, Bill, I keep trying to remember) We all have those mental blocks...I just have VERY heavy ones...

Growing Challenge update! (along with all the other posts)

These are June 26 blue ribbon green beans (climbing) - thanks, Mary C.! in the front are various types of bush beans.

Next are my favs, the purple podded beans...but they aren't as prolific as they were last year. Maybe they just need some time, I hope!

On the top are the potatoes growing in tires...I only saw a few blooms, but I am certain they should do fairly well. The harvest from the back garden (mostly shade, remember) was okay, and very tasty. These ought to produce quite a bit more, if I'm lucky.

second story view of the back garden

Finally, a picture of the whole back garden. This is quite old, though, as I have since harvested the garlic (right front), first potatoes (just behind that), and most of the brassicas (white cover). I only got about 4 servings of broccoli, and I had to pull up the cauliflower before it even blossomed. The cabbage looked to be doing well later, but then the green caterpillers found, I'm afraid, it is destined to be compost. The chickens don't care for the cabbage...hmph.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Front garden quickie

The front of my house has more real sun than the back, but is on a main street. So I do a lot of container gardening, but also have started to amend the flowerbed soil and plant directly in it, too, like the artichokes. I think I planted them too close together...ah, well.

These front pototoes are part of an experiment to see A) where they grow better, back or front B) If you really get more yield the higher you hill them, and C) if there is enough sun right here to grow ANYTHING (if so, that decorative bush is gonna have to go!)

There is more planted here, but the pictures were really hard to identify (to the untutored eye, of course. I knew exactly what they were). There are 2 thriving cherry tomatoes, several peppers, a couple kale (for the chickens) and several celeriac. A couple asparagus crowns are here against the brick, some sunflowers, and lots of herbs on the steps. Also some very failed leeks that I am hoping will miraculously start growing. Hmm.

why are you growing ears already?

This multi-color corn (seeds from sister - thanks!) is growing little tiny ears with big kernels. The plant is only 10 inches tall. What the.....?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Feeding frenzy!

The chickens love their treats...and I love giving them lettuce that I don't want to eat, as the slugs attacked these poor plants mercilessly for months. I handpicked so many slugs off I dream about the nasty things at night sometimes. I'm sure the rain washed all the snail trail goo off, but I still don't think I can actually put it in my mouth. sigh. Maybe fresh lettuce for me in the fall, then. Hopefully all the slugs will be chicken feed by then.

Growing potatoes in tires!

This is the pototato tire experiment. I will keep tract of the yield from the many plants in the doubled tire stack as compared to the single tires, since they are in the same area, and see if I get more potatoes! Hedging my bets - I also have several rows in the back garden and a cage in the front garden bed, too. Pix later!

Bean and asparagus bed

I planted six different kinds of beans, but the black beans haven't come up at all. Surely the slugs didn't get them all! I replanted but still see no signs of life. Guess I need to sprout those guys in a paper towel to see if they really are viable. I wonder if I can get my money back? The cowpeas were seriously devastated by the great loss. It's the green beans and purple podded green beans I am craving, and we want to make pickled green beans later this summer, a great way to start canning, I think!

The asparagus bed is right next the beans...ferning out and looking good! Next year we can harvest a couple of stalks, but the real harvest starts in 2011! I'm excited already.

The corn is on the other side of the fence from the beans (chain link fence). Oddly, some of the tiny plants have started growing little ears already but the plants are less than 10 inches that normal? I will take a picture soon to document this occurence. If all else fails, I will eat it as baby corn in a stir-fry with the other baby corn that is growing well (not started as a transplant).

green growing stuff

Okay, I have a garden full of green stuff that I'm not so inclined to year, I'm planting more things that I like! I need a good greens recipe...I guess not growing up being served such things, I don't really consider greens (except lettuce) food at all ...or else I haven't found a good enough recipe for my discerning palate.

Good things are in store eventually, though....garlic (almost up to my waist!), tomatoes thriving, brassicas doing the best they can in the shade (poor leggy things), and I hope all these potatoes make lots and lots of tubers (and I hope they store well)!

I have started celeriac (never tried it, too expensive at the store) and it seems to be pretty happy. I hope I like it! The cucumbers are growing, slowly, and even have a couple of blossoms. Some herbs are finally sprouting but I forgot what I planted! And I have one lone carrot. That's okay, I'll plant some more when we get back from Michigan. I did harvest one turnip but I need more to actually cook something! The beets are coming along fine.