Monday, 22 May 2017

What, me worry?



This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: www.ferngladefarm.com.au

Alfred E Neuman of Mad Magazine fame is a good source of sage advice. Here is one such example of his sage advice:
Alfred E Neuman of Mad Magazine fame provides sage advice*
Alfred’s catchphrase line is: “What, me worry?” And in uncertain times such as these, such a personal philosophy as espoused by Mr Neuman, is I reckon quite useful.

There have been times in my life when I have been in sore need of plain old good advice. And sometimes that good advice is not to be found anywhere. In those circumstances, not worrying and simply getting on with the job at hand and/or squaring up to the problem seems to work well for me. I reckon that Alfred E Neuman is onto something.

I don’t really know why good advice is hard for us to find, but I have rather suspected for a long time now that good advice is hard for us to obtain because the editor and I are not following the dominant narrative.

The dominant narrative is a collection of stories which people tell themselves which seeks to define the majority cultural practices of a society. Incidentally, those stories may be true or otherwise. The editor and I are hardly that far from the dominant narrative, yet we are far enough from it because we confuse the stuffing out of other people.

The confusion in other people about our lives most often expresses itself in the form of an interview which is conducted by other people. And the questions posed in that interview are remarkably similar regardless of the person asking them. In fact it is a fair thing to say that the questions that are asked of me regularly are identical. This identical questioning by different people cannot be a coincidence. I have already covered one of these questions in a previous blog essay (It costs a lot to live this cheap). That question is always asked: “So, how many days per week do you work?” I always answer that question honestly and then slowly guide the conversation around to how my situation is possible. If the person asking that question takes the time to understand how I achieved this income situation, they may be able to apply the lessons told to their own life and that is generally an excellent outcome for them.

However, this week I wanted to discuss another question that is regularly asked of me (but interestingly never to the editor). That question is: What will you do when you can no longer perform the physical work which is required around the farm?

For a start it is worth noting that underlying this question is a much deeper assumption which more or less says that the dominant narrative provides a useful role for people who are no longer able or prepared to perform work (i.e. retirement and going on cruises), which may not be available to me here at the farm (maybe because of the lack of boats nearby). And their expectation is that this situation will continue into the far distant future. I’d like to address that issue because it is important.

Recently, down here in the land of Oz, the retirement age for persons of my generation and younger was lifted to the age of 70. I feel that the unstated objective of that policy is that I may be unable to receive a pension before that retirement age. Therefore I will have to work until the age of 70, whether I am physically able to or not. Using Alfred E Neuman’s philosophy of not overly worrying, I have long since accepted this fate.

On the other hand, as time progresses, the knowledge of producing foodstuffs appears to me to be dwindling in the general population (following the dominant narrative). I also feel that the foodstuffs that are generally offered to the general populace is declining in quality.

So in answer to the question posed to me, my obscure and mysterious answer is: that I will be useful as long as I am useful. After that point, all bets are off! Until then, I will take a leaf out of Alfred E Neuman's book and 'why worry'?

Autumn is a time of harvesting and preserving the summer produce. It is a very busy time for us as long term readers of the blog will note, this year has been no exception. Winter on the other hand is a time of building or repairing infrastructure. This week, we have been working on the infrastructure.

The walkway above the rock gabion wall looked like this at the beginning of the week:
The walkway above the rock gabion wall looked like this at the beginning of the week
A day of excavations reshaped the garden bed which falls down to that upper walkway above the rock gabion wall. We didn’t excavate too far in one day because we uncovered a huge old tree stump. We’re becoming quite adept at removing tree stumps and in this instance we used a combination of the chainsaw and wedges to break apart the old tree stump. That job of removing the tree stump from the future walkway took several hours.
The path above the rock gabions was excavated this week
Then we began the long slow process of excavating soil so as to extend the rock gabion retaining wall. This is what the soil face looked like just prior to further excavations:
The clay wall ready to be excavated
After a couple of hours of further excavations, a whole lot of clay was removed from the excavation site.
A further couple of hours removed a whole lot of clay
A new rock gabion cage was constructed. For those who are curious, these rock gabion cages take us about two and a half hours to construct from three flat welded mesh sheets.
A new rock gabion cage was constructed
Then further excavations took place. This time I didn’t find any old tree stumps. Instead I found a huge floating rock. Geologists and engineers call these rocks by the technical name of “Floater” because they float in the clay. It took me a while to remove this floater and I used a combination of the electric jack hammer (solar powered, of course)  and hand tools to remove it from the clay. Alert readers will already understand that the floater will make an excellent addition to a rock wall!
A huge floating rock was uncovered in the further excavations
Eventually, the excavations were completed and I was exhausted, however I was able to place the new rock gabion cage in place. That rock gabion cage is now only waiting to be filled with rocks. It is fortunate that during all of those excavations that I unearthed a plethora of rocks.
The newly constructed rock gabion cage was placed into the newly excavated site
Fans of symmetry and order will note in the photo above that the rock gabion cage aligns perfectly with the existing rock gabion wall! This is one of the benefits of performing excavations slowly by hand.

A huge storm rolled over the mountain range this week. The large Bogong moths took refuge under the house verandas during the heavy rain, and so too did the stick insects. There are both huge brown and green stick insects and the other day I rescued this large green stick insect from the loving ministrations of the fluffy canine collective.
The author rescues a bright green stick insect from the jaws of the dogs
One of the reasons for all of the excavation works is that we intend to move the raised potato beds to that new flat terrace above the rock gabion walls. The potatoes in the raised garden beds have been a phenomenal success and over the past few weeks we have been harvesting tasty potato tubers as often as we need them.
We have been harvesting very tasty potato tubers from the raised potato beds
The autumn leaf change for the deciduous trees is almost done. This week the smoke bush put on a beautiful display of colour.
The red smoke bush puts on a great autumn display of leaf colour
As I was excavating soil this afternoon I couldn’t but help notice that the autumn sun caught this lone cosmos plant and the flowers were almost glowing with energy!
The autumn sun was captured by this lone cosmos plant with its many pink flowers
The temperature outside now at about 9.30pm is 11’C (52’F). So far this year there has been 360.2mm (14.2 inches) which is more than last week’s total of 344.0mm (13.5 inches).

* The image for Alfred E Neuman was lifted from the following URL: http://www.madmagazine.com/blog/2015/08/31/alfred-e-neuman%E2%80%99s-words-of-%E2%80%9Cwisdom%E2%80%9D-for-august-31-2015

60 comments:

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

Using common sense is so much better than asking for advice. Am surprised, as I think about it, at how rarely I have asked for advice in my life. Arrogance!?

As usual the amount of work that you have just done, is staggering. Barring accidents, ones physical decline (in my case anyhow) seems to be a slow process. So one makes a slow adjustment which appears to work quite well.

We are having glorious weather and I had my first plateful of home grown strawberries, yesterday; they were delicious.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Margaret - Usually, when I'm working in the yard, I ask Nell if she wants to help. She suddenly remembers she has business, elsewhere. :-). Nell shifted from inside to outside cat. She pretty much spends most of the days, out and around. The occasional pit stop to get a snack. Inside at bedtime. I don't know how she'll fair in her new home. Fingers crossed. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Hmm. Advise. Opinions. I had a thought and now it's ... gone. I'll have to think on that.

Good ol' Alfred. We knew him well. A philosopher for a whole generation :-).

The stairway and gabion are just beautiful. The stairway sweeps. The gabion holds. The textures and colors of the rocks are striking. I wonder how the floater arrived in it's present location? Swept down some river to sink to the bottom of a prehistoric sea? A huge flood at sometime in the distant past? Here we have the occasional glacial erratics. Stone swept up in an ice age glacier. Eons later, the glacier melts and deposits the stones far from their point of origin.

Some potatoes. Almost as much variation in color and texture as your gabion wall :-). Some good eatin', there.

It hit 80F, yesterday. I mowed. There was a bit of a breeze, so it was pretty pleasant.

Off to town, today. I've done enough scouting around that I can get serious about making a few purchases. Get the show on the road.

Hmmm. Getting older. Well, you "play it by ear." At least in my case. I'd always kind of hoped I would quietly pass away, here. But, circumstances changed. it's not the same place I moved into, 5 years ago. So, I do the footwork, see what opportunities open up and things change. Better to be more adaptable, as you age, I think. Very hard for some. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

No worries, I appreciate your comments. Good luck with the tomato seedlings in that sort of hot and then cold weather. That sort of weather took my tomato seedlings out last spring. What can you do? I hope the young couple will be able to rescue the situation over the summer? Having a smaller garden is a good response to such weather. I worry about the slowly increasing extremes of weather affecting the plants.

Glad to read that the issues with Michael's meds were finally sorted out. That must be hard with him living in a new place and people messing around with his routines and dosages. Were you able to visit him during this time and is he enjoying the new place despite the teething issues?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Ah-ha! Nell is clearly from the push-pull school of feline relationships. Nell is keeping the Siamese competition off balance and unsure of their game. I suspect that she will do well in her new digs, but there may be the odd dust up or twenty whilst she marks out her new territory. She has the advantage where she presently is. Watch out for the other felines in that new collective though - they may be assimilated?

Moody bosses can be a real pain as you never know what trouble the new day will bring. I once had a boss who used to crack the sads and slam the door shut to his office. It is funny, but now that I mentioned that, it occurs to me that I've only had an office once or twice in the many long years that I've worked. Even when I was the senior boss and could have taken the office, I preferred to work out with the team because, well, you sort of have to maintain lines of communication. They were clear that I was the boss though. Now other people feel differently about that matter, but I tend to value practicality over status and just sort of look at what works, rather than spend too much time doing things because it makes me feel good. Dunno. Where did that all come from? Were your library bosses usually ensconced in a corner office?

That piano wire trick would hurt. Ouch! I'm not up for that gear as pay back will occur. Yes, after the original incident I had to post a sign. Signs though are like laws in that they are only good if they can be enforced. Yes, the guy was quite high up on the horse and he didn't worry too much about how I felt on the ground facing him and that large monster. I stood my ground though. Interestingly too, the guy bolted up the road after calling me a very naughty name and it didn't occur to me until much later that after his little bit of trying to scare me with the horse, that he left himself open for me to chase him down in the car. A foolish fellow to act so as now I know what they fear. If they had half a brain between them, they'd politely come and ask for access. At the core of the matter is that they just want free stuff.

Sgt Peppers is a genius bit of music. How are you with the final Abbey Road album? I was always fond of the song Golden Slumbers.

Squirm away, those comedians earned the name and they have reclaimed it for their own. Way back in the 70's that name would have been used as a derogatory label for the Greek and Italian immigrants who came over after WWII. You never hear it used nowadays except by those comedians who have taken the label for themselves. Getting people to laugh at things is an effective defusing strategy. Reclaiming a derogatory word is a slow but effective strategy as it takes the sting away from the label. The youth radio station I listen to has potty mouth warnings before some songs, but then plays them in full as the artists intended the song to be heard. It is an artistic expression after all. The thing is that a lot of US rap artists are using that defusing technique. I hope you track down the film, as you'll see an area I used to live around but had moved out by the stage the film was made. The area (Yarraville) was in the process of being gentrified. I recall seeing a young lady walking around with a white t-shirt with coloured paint splats all over it and the caption: "Yarraville Yuppie" which was mildly ironic.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Ha! Well there aint nothing wrong with second hand furniture! Oh well. Yes, I believe waded is the correct word in that instance. Actually, I do draw the line at a second hand bed mattress as the only reason people get rid of them is that the person has either died or the mattress has died. Either way, something has died... Mind you, when you sleep in paid accommodation, you are sleeping on a bed that others have used.

Really? Wow! Don't you have hardware stores in your area? That search for the knob handle wouldn't be a problem here. Hmm, I wonder why the difference? Did you end up tracking down the authentic style knobs?

Hardwood floors are nice, and they are usually warmer than concrete during winter. That rug sounds a bit super hero's to me! Hehe! It would look cool as. What about a Persian style rug? A few years back I picked up a huge woollen Persian rug (signed by the weaver and everything) for a song. The people who were selling the rug were a bunch of tossers and they made fun of the editor and I for even wanting the rug. It is a great rug and who knows what their problem was. That reminds me that I once purchased a water tank in perfect condition from a bloke and he seemed embarrassed that he was even selling the water tank and don’t let the neighbours see. I don't get that, but it must be a status thing? Have you ever come across that sort of person in your tat trading?

You are in cruise mode with the impending move. Well done with the rent for stuff swap. Nice work.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Your point is valid. The only question I have for you is: how does one learn common sense without the advice in the first place? You reminded me that the other day I was in a shop and asking for something and I could just tell that they had no idea what they were talking about. I said to the bloke: "Mate, it is OK. If you don't know, that's cool". But they were intent on trying to give an answer, when they clearly had no idea. After a short while I just finished the conversation as it was less painful for me.

Is it arrogance? I don't really know. The point I was trying to raise in the essay was that sometimes you are just undertaking a task, project, or activity that is outside the generally understood "norms" and well, nobody has any idea how it will work out. Then rather than being arrogant, you become the trail blazer - which can be an uncomfortable place! Some of the systems here are so complex and different enough that people just don't know how they'll turn out. When we cut the house site into side of the hill here, I asked all of the locals that I knew how we should then manage the cut face of the clay. The site was specific enough and the problem was complex enough that nobody gave me a direct answer. The things we have tried to get that clay retained have mostly worked, although we learn as we go (you may recall the recent landslip).

Glad to hear that! I have often wondered whether keeping your body and mind active, whilst allowing for enough down time (but not too much) slows down the inevitable breaking down process. Dunno. What do you reckon about that? Entropy gets all of us in the end though. And thanks for saying that about the work. It is good fun and keeps my mind sharp.

Yum! Lovely stuff. Home grown strawberries are superb!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I can't quite figure out whether you are being serious or having a joke? You have a rather dry sense of humour which I really appreciate. Yes, opinions can disappear without a trace! :-)! On a serious note, I generally write down thoughts that may be of use for later - my brain gets too full and then there are distractions. What were we saying?

I write down story ideas for the blog too and I reckon there are about 15 of them at the moment. This weeks story popped into my head about 15 minutes before I began writing. You just never know where the creative process will lead. Incidentally I saw Mr Greer's note about his future blog project and platform today. I look forward to seeing what he will (or has) gotten up too. After 11 years, which is a commendable effort, I'll probably be as dull as dishwater. I try not to think about such matters as it is a negative feedback loop and serves no function.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Oh yeah, the history of those rocks would be quite interesting wouldn’t it? There is also a rather likely possibility that the floater was forcibly ejected from one of the nearby volcanoes. The thing is that the state is has a very large volcanic plain, and some of the volcanoes elsewhere in the state are only a few millennia old (the Aboriginals would have witnessed that one go up for sure). Glaciers are fascinating aren't they? I read an account that there weren't really glaciers down under during the last ice age, but I'm no expert. Certainly the soils are poor as a result of that lack. Glaciers are like humungous stone grinding machines on an epic scale and all that rock dust becomes a great fertiliser for the plants (after the glacier has moved on of course). ;-)! Oh my! I'll have to be nice to the fire gods here... There is a web page from the Melbourne Museum which says that I'm currently sitting on the remnants of one of the largest volcanoes (Mount Macedon) ever seen in Earth's history. Devonian: 416–359 million years ago. I'm not sure I want to be around if the thing goes pop again...

Potatoes are the best and they are also the easiest vegetable to grow. I did not water them once during the summer. However, the plants are a heavy feeder. The raised garden beds show me exactly how much soil they consume - although some of the loss of height is due to the compaction of the soil. Did you know that the action of the rainfall can compact soil? Thanks for saying that about the stairs and rock gabion walls. I reckon they look good too.

80'F is a really lovely day. And I would enjoy being outside in that weather too. It was meant to rain here today, but nothing eventuated.

I hear you about getting the show on the road. Are you going to hire a trailer for your ranger or are you just going to move slowly bit by bit?

Adaptability. Respect. What do they say about the tree that does not bend with the wind?

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I am trying to catch up today as the electricity went off for two and a half hours. The whole village was out but I don't yet know why. Son brought me a breakfast cup of tea as he cooks on bottled gas.

I think that common sense, or the lack of it, is innate and can't be learned, which is worrying. The subject never seems to have worried me at all. I liked listening to adults talking when I was a child and probably learned a lot. Now it seems that people rarely have answers when I ask a question.

As mentioned before, cutting into a clay bank and living beneath it, makes me wince.

Activity in old age:- Chop up all jobs into smaller parts, then work awhile, rest a while and continue in that fashion. I do a small job then sit and read a bit and then continue with the job and so on and on.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Just one more minor note of interest. This may be some sort of coincidence - or possibly not - but since I added the page with the Code of Conduct, the unrelenting bot attacks on this blogger site have just evaporated. I have no idea why? I have also been taking other actions in the background which may have had some impact too. Oh well, the interweb can be a mystery.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

I reckon the power went out last night in these parts too as I could not see the usual lights from any of the nearby houses. Who knows what went on in your island, but the wind was really quite strong here last night and perhaps a falling tree took its revenge on the power network? I probably shouldn't have gone for a walk late last night because of the strong wind, but I was very exhausted after the long day of digging and felt like stretching all of my joints and a walk is good for that. Incidentally, you may be surprised to know that I usually carry a torch, but most of the time I don’t use it as you can see perfectly well in the dark if you train yourself to do so. It is a very rare night which generally has no moon to speak of that it is almost – but not quite - impossible to see. The stars of the Milky Way look so beautiful in the complete absence of light. And until I lived with such darkness, I never realised just how many falling stars there were.

It was very thoughtful of your son to bring you a nice cup of tea in such circumstances.

There is a bit of truth to what you say about common sense and I reckon that argument comes back to the nature versus nurture argument. Are you familiar with that? I reckon there may be a bit of both, and some people (Dare I mention: Some mothers do ‘ave em...) just benefit from not developing common sense as it saves them a lot of work. Of course then they have to put up with whatever is on offer. I refuse that path. But you are correct in that sometimes there are more questions than answers.

You did mention that clay wall before. I cannot dispute your good judgement! Yeah, you got me on that one. You may be interested to know that we may be doing something about that problem shortly. You may disagree with the solution to that problem, but we have put it to the test in other areas.

Exactly, pacing yourself is an excellent skill to acquire and develop. I may write a story about that so it is funny that you mentioned it.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Just a quick comment: I place nature way above nurture and admit that this makes it difficult to blame anyone else for one's shortcomings. Inheritance is another matter of course but ones parents don't choose which genes they pass on. Ah but they usually choose their mate. Oh dear, one could go on and on.

Inge

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I may have to replace some of the plants but luckily the Farmer's Market has some of the same varieties. It looks like the weather will improve after tomorrow but then we've heard that before.

Michael is adjusting very well and overall I'm very happy with his new home. I visit him once a week to check in and maybe take him out. He informed me last Friday that he has a girlfriend and I met her that day.

As far as worrying, I know many people that never make changes in their life that are obvious to me because they worry about every possible negative scenario. I have to admit I've done that too from time to time.

I also firmly believe that keeping yourself active slows down the aging process.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Some library building heads would pretty much hide in their offices. Some not. Building heads of really large buildings, did have a lot of administrative work. But those of us in the trenches, knew which building heads would pitch in and lend a hand, when necessary.

I can't say the "early" Beatles did much for me, but the later albums. The Whit Album, Sgt. Pepper, Revolver ... were just genius. "Golden Slumbers" is quit nice. I think what I really liked about their music were the sudden shifts. "Boy, you gotta carry that weight ... carry that weight a long time." A day without sunshine is like a day without ear worms ... :-).

The past couple of years we've been suffering The Great American Bed Bug crisis. I'm not sure how much is media hype and how much is real. Still, one should, perhaps, be careful. I guess travelers spread them around. More on beds, later.

Oh, we have hardware stores. But I noticed a few years back that they tend to carry the same "lines." I really can't say that I've ever run across anyone embarrassed by having to sell stuff. It might be an American trait. There's this enthusiasm for buying and selling. Or, maybe it's just that I haven't had much contact with "the upper crust." :-).

Wasn't joking, much :-). I love your term "lost the plot." Here, there's a term "senior moment." There was a sit-com here that popularized the term "vascular flow problem" (to the brain.) Sometimes, I'll be sitting at the Club, talking to my friend Scott. I'll have a thought and by the time it's my turn to speak, it's gone. Usually I tell him "When I remember it at 3am, I'll give you a call." Given we're about the same age, and have similar neural damage due to misspent youth, he knows exactly what I'm talking about. I keep a slip of paper next to my computer, and jot down stuff I want to mention, to you. Old library hold slips are great for that sort of thing. Oh, and shopping lists, too. Of course, sometimes my handwriting is a bit of a problem ... :-)Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. No, I won't have to use a trailer, with the Ranger, to move. It will be gradual. And, for the big stuff (not much of that) there's help offered.

Well, yesterday was a mad trip to town. How many stops did I make? Let's see. Ten? I dropped off a chair at the antique mall, to be repaired. I took the plunge and ordered my new bed. Plopping down that much money made me slightly nauseous. $725. But that includes mattress. I'm not (mostly) much of an impulse buyer. I want to look at things. Think about things. Sleep on stuff. LOL, when woke up this morning, one of my first thoughts was "Now why didn't I just make due with my old futon?" Oh, yeah. It's almost twice the size of the bed I bought (all that floor space) and doesn't have under bed storage. It's done. The new bed will arrive Friday or Saturday. The finish? Expresso. :-).

I took a second look at a lot of stuff and made some decisions. Not that I acted on them. I took another look at the carpet I wanted for the bedroom ... and decided I didn't want to spend $300. And that doesn't include a under pad. 5 stops later I saw a carpet at K-Mart for less than $100. Blues and white ... geometric pattern. I took another look around the big box Home Depot. Tomorrow I'll go in and buy the living room rug (dark blue Persian looking, a microwave and freezer. Arrange to have them delivered. I've decided to go with the 2 1/2 inch knobs for the dresser. And, not mess around with wooden wheels for toys that would be 3 or 4 inch.

I stopped by The Home, yesterday. LOL. Sometimes when I walk into the apartment, it feels large. Sometimes, small. Yesterday was a small day. :-). I was checking out the bathroom. A plethora of grab bars and towel racks is going to make additional storage a problem.

When I got home I had a message from The Warden. Yes, I have a garden spot. And, in one of those cosmic coincidences, it's already got potatoes in it. Did I mind. Well, no.

I read the Code of Conduct. I'd say you've covered your neither regions, pretty well :-). For me, I agree with Inge. If I miss step, just delete my post. No problem. And, yes, thanks for the head's up on Mr. Greer's new blog. Doesn't sound like it's going to be near as fun as the last one, but time will tell. As he pointed out, it may take off in unexpected directions.

Well, here I am at the bottom of my chicken scratchings and I have the cryptic "...running, small sad joke." Hmmm. What was that about? When I remember at 3am, I'll give you a call." :-). Which may be the small sad joke I was referring to. Or, not. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thanks for the explanation. I'd never considered the matter from that perspective before, although it makes a lot of sense. Curve-balls can be chucked out of that mix from time to time, but on average the apple rarely falls far from the tree. Dunno, we could go on and on about this subject as it is quite interesting.

It has been a very cloudy autumn down here! I'm cooking in the electric oven as I write this, but also looking out the window and wondering whether the solar panels will generate enough today to cover my profligate oven usage. Dunno.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Hey, egg production is slowly on the rise here. What is interesting is that since I finalised the psycho chicken, all of the other chickens have rapidly regrown their feathers. I suspect that the psycho chicken was plucking and eating them and the other hens were having to then regrow them. What a story that hen was...

You are lucky to have a farmers market with a lot of good tomato varieties for sale. The diggers gardening club covers that supply matter here nicely which I was grateful for. At least you can replace the seedlings if the weather turns again. Have you ever used Diatomaceous Earth to protect seedlings (or for any other reason)?

Well done Michael! Wow, he moves fast and glad that you could meet her. It is good to read that you were able to get him into a house so quickly and also so close.

I have seen worry take over peoples lives. It can be debilitating can't it? Worry I reckon eats energy and saps strength. So yeah, I hear you. My preference is to discuss a course of action with the editor and then act. Some people have been surprised from time to time at just how fast I react when the need arises. I live in a high risk bushfire location and so, well, you know, you just have to plough on!

Exactly!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Oh, beware the corner office. I reckon the Peter Principle applies to some of those folks. I'd make a terrible General as I wouldn't want to be leading from the rear. And like you say, people know who will muck in and who won’t when stuff hits the fan.

The early stuff, well I'm not much into it either, but the depth in the later stuff is sheer genius isn't it? The key and tempo changes are applied perfectly. Yes, once there was a way to get back home. And we all carry weights, don't we? An appropriate song for the final of the album.

Yuk! Fortunately I have never encountered a bed bug, but a mate of mine was in New Zealand and had the unfortunate exposure to them. What a horrific and itchy story it made. You can apparently see them... Speaking of such things, my mate who used to be in Ohio drank from a clear stream in a remote part of California and ended up with I believe a giardia infection. He was warned too... Oops!

Actually the guy in question was hardly upper crust, he lived in an aspirational outer suburb - large houses etc. It was weird that he was embarrassed. Oh my! It is raining outside and I was going to climb onto the roof after replying. I guess not!

Mate, I'll tell you what - I have seniors moments from time to time. Hehe! Sometimes there are just so many things going on, the old brain gets full and all. Yeah, lost the plot is a goodie isn't it? I've seen a few of those over the years. Fortunately it is usually a temporary situation for the afflicted! Good luck with the handwriting! Someone once managed to get the idea into my head that if you're writing something down for someone else to read, make it legible. I had a boss years ago who wrote things and the team had to decipher the code. What a pain and the interpretations did get a bit silly after a while. If I don't write ideas down, they go back to wherever they came from. We have a list of future projects which gets reviewed quite regularly so that we don't have to recall what we intend to do here in the near and far future. And then there is an annual list which shows what has to be done month by month. This place is too complex for me to remember all of the details.

I'm cooking a batch of muesli and another batch of Anzac biscuits right now and I'm hoping the sun shows its face from behind the clouds so that I can replace the power that I'm using. Oh well. The winters here are becoming cloudier than previously in the past few years.

Nice to read that people have offered help for the bigger items. :-)!

Nice joke: Sleep on stuff! Yup what is done, is done. I quite like futons as they are usually quite firm. Way back in the late 80's there was a shop down here which used to be called: "Back to the Futon". Of course they sold futons - and they may still be around, I never thought to check. I bought a futon from them when I first moved out of home and it was pretty good. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the branding for the logo appeared to be a rip on the "Back to the Future" movies. That always amused me. I'm still wondering where my hoverboard is. Those scientists need to get their act together.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

The biscuits just finished cooking and they're on the cooling rack. More rain is rolling over the valley so perhaps getting up on the roof is a bad idea. Always other stuff to do. I may write a letter which I've been putting off.

Are these all the same stores as in the Captain Fantastic film? I can almost see your travels in my minds eye! :-)!

How much space do we all need is an important question for today's population. The house here is small, but being on a farm I live in constant amazement at how many sheds one needs... You on the other hand sort of don't have much choice in the matter and all your stuff sort of has to fit the available space, and not the other way around. The grab bars will certainly reduce the space.

Cool! What a score. Do you know how big the garden plot is?

I'm comfortable with unexpected directions. I hope Mr Greer recalls to perform regular backups. Well, what more needed to be said? How many more times does a person ring an alarm bell, whilst others nod sagely and carry on? It is a really complex matter which I have thought upon for a very long time. I used to talk a lot of rubbish with my friends, but then there came a time when my talk had to hit the street of action. Not an easy transition. I'm looking forward to see where Mr Greer takes his writing.

Thanks for taking the time to read the code. The laws operate differently here and in the UK to those of the US which is unfortunate for me as I am not free to say what I feel. It is my gut feeling that the laws are there so that people make the conscious effort to self regulate. The consequences are unpleasant. I have taken other steps too.

No don't call at 3am. I appreciate my sleep. Hehe!

Cheers

Chris

Damo said...

Hello everyone,

I am sorry I deprived everyone of my witty and insightful banter last week, I was pretty busy undergoing an international move from Laos back to Brisbane, Australia!

Chris, I used to love Mad Magazine. In my misspent youth I would often visit my grandparents (the benefits of growing up on the family farm - I could walk to visit some of my extended family) and shamelessly paw through the left behind childhood belongings of my uncles. One of them had an extensive Mad Magazine collection from the late 70s. I must have re-read all of them dozens of times. There were a lot of movies I never needed to watch as I had already read the Mad magazine spoof in comic form! Who could forget Spy-V-Spy, or the clever folding page at the back. I think I even ended up buying new ones from the newsagent for a while as well. Good times!

RE: What me Worry indeed. Sage advice for those who already have a firm grip on the realities of life, but what about the rest of us? :-) Joking aside, I know a lot of people who seem to use "What me worry" as a way to escape making hard decisions, which ironically is a decision in itself and often a bad one. Best not to think about it :-)

Fun game for everyone: today I made two batches of white bread. I am staying at my mothers place and after spending a day cleaning and organising the kitchen I found a bread maker machine. I must admit to in general not really liking additional kitchen appliances, but figured I would give it a whirl anyway. Being an experimental type, I made a batch by hand at the same time. Which bread will turn out better? (Keep in mind I have never really made a good batch of bread, so there is that!!)

Cheers,
Damo

TalkingTrees said...

Hello Chris

I've just spent an enjoyable few hours catching up with your blog. I'm hoping to get to the comments soon too.

We've spent the last few weeks doing a week in Melbourne and a week on the farm. Each place has it's challenges (so much to do, so little time) but suffice it to say we are looking forward to our daughter getting the all clear to drive again this week after wrist surgery. She still has a few weeks to go with rehabilitation until she can weight bear in a normal way. Her house has stairs and I can say quite definitely that my fitness levels have increased through their use!

I've read your code of conduct today too. I try to comment thoughtfully, with consideration and a desire for genuine exchange and care for others. I've always had a great deal of trepidation about commenting on blogs but the community you have created seems a safe one and so worth fostering?

Warm Regards, Helen

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Just to continue a bit as you found it interesting. The Greek philosophers believed in the 'tabula rasa' the newborn child as a blank slate; they obviously never talked to their wives. The child already varies in utero from the one who seems to spend months trying to fight its way out to the one who seems never to move at all. This is exactly as they are when they arrive.

Later on I was too strict with the first and I eased off when I realised that I was making her tense and anxious. One day the younger of the two boys that I took on, told me that he thought that I wasn't strict enough (he must have been 12 or 13). I told him that, to me, he was number 5 and I had come to the conclusion that what I did made very little difference.

Inge

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Great to hear about the chickens. That psycho one was really a piece of work.

Still rainy and gray here and cooler than normal. Doug was talking to one of the larger local farmers yesterday. He said that in 48 years of farming this is the worst spring he has experienced. I am glad to have the farmer's market to take up the slack. This particular one starts very early in the year - the beginning of May and runs twice a week. They also open two Saturdays a month throughout the winter.

Patrick's estate was finally opened in court on Monday so I can now move on with that.

Margaret

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

Thanks so much for this blog essay; I sure did need it! Now I won't worry!

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - If the lists of tasks get a bit ahead of me, I can break them down into smaller bits. With the move, and all, there will be lists. Oh, yes. Lots of lists. :-). And, I always work from a shopping list. LOL. My handwriting is so bad. When I'd write for other people's consumption, I always used big block letters. I'd still get the occasional "What's this say?" My usual response was, "Try harder." :-)

Well, I really quit like my futon, as far as comfort goes. They seem really good for my back. Back when I traveled more, people were always a bit thrown when I'd say that all I needed was a bit of floor and some blankets. When I bought the new bed, the salesman tried to talk me into something a bit more cushy than what I bought. Nope. Give me something tough as an old boot. Again, one of those areas people don't seem to "get." For MY back, hard and solid works best. Pillows to elevate my head, though.

Yup. A lot of those stores I was running in and out of were in the "Captain Fantastic" film. Bought a carpet from the K-Mart, yesterday. Major purchases today. By the weekend, all the major purchases should be in place and I can get serious about moving other stuff down. Speaking of film, "Wild" popped up on the library catalog, this morning. No holds! I didn't think I'd be interested in it. But, you thought highly of it; my hold list is way down. So, I'll give it a flyer.

The Master Gardener's seemed to have vanished, yesterday. So, I couldn't figure out which plot is mine. Maybe, today.

News from Vindolanda. They're excavating the commander's digs. Looks like he had a bit of a private bath suite. :-). Lots of excitement as they found a small intaglio with a bull on it. No info on what it was made out of. Something black. Maybe jet. Lots of Roman jet jewelry in England. Probably popped out of a signet ring or off a piece of jewelry.

Off to the Little Smoke. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo, Helen, Inge, Margaret, Pam, and Lewis,

Thanks for the lovely comments, however I'm trying on my irresponsible hat for size, and am heading off to the pub for a feed and pint tonight. Happy times! I promise to reply to all of your lovely comments tomorrow evening.

Lewis - With the master gardener absent and given you can't figure out which plot is which, it begs the question: Have you lost the plot? ;-)! Sorry mate, I just couldn't help myself! Hehe!!!

Continued digging today and the new potato terrace is coming along nicely. Unfortunately, it looks as though it will rain heavily from Saturday night onwards, so I'm trying to get as much digging done as possible whilst the weather is good.

Wild was a pretty good film. I ignored the background story as to the "why" of it all. That does not mean that it wasn't important, it is just that, well, we all have problems as nobody is problem free (well, anyway I've never met anyone who is problem free, but they may be out there somewhere?) and we choose to live with those problems in different ways. What was interesting to me about the story was that the protagonist moved past the problems and taught herself to find purpose in her life and then set about achieving that purpose. I thought that was interesting. A heroes journey perhaps? The scenery was superb too as the west coast is a really beautiful part of the world.

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Damo - Your witty and insightful banter was missed. Glad you're back! Lew

@ Chris - Lost the plot ... well, that was a groaner :-). How can I loose the plot when I haven't found it yet? Hmmm? :-). At least I still have my plot at the Salkum cemetery. It doesn't seem to have gone anywhere.

The Pacific Crest Trail passes through our county, not far from here. I don't think it's very well marked. I can't remember ever seeing a sign on Highway 12. But then I wasn't looking for it. Maybe I'll see some more local scenery. It ought to be more interesting (or, at least prettier) than our local K-Mart.

I didn't make it to the Home Depot, yesterday, to make the big purchases. After dealing with the electric company, buying the recliner, rounding up Scott to help me move it to the new digs, doing the weekly shopping ... well, I was frazzled and ready to head for home. Frazzled it the technical and scientific term :-). I'll give it another go, today. Lew

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

I had a subscription to Mad magazine in the 1970s, when I was in high school and college. My favorite movie parody was "The Poop-Side-Down Adventure." But I don't remember anything I didn't like in the issues I saw.

Not long ago Mike commented that I don't worry like I used to, which I think is an effect of sustained spiritual practice. Life feels and works better when I can avoid obsessive worrying.

Not too much to say this week except that I am trying to prepare the area for and plant corn in between rains. It hasn't been as cool here as it has been farther north where Margaret lives (my tomato plants are starting to take off), but I think it's been just as wet. Both the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers remain in minor flood in the metro area, just a couple of feet over flood stage, but that's enough to prevent agricultural work in some of the bottomlands. It's supposed to rain again this coming weekend, a holiday weekend here in the US.

Claire

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Yes, your witty banter was missed. How are you coping with the move from Laos to Brisbane, I'd imagine you'd be feeling a bit of culture shock? I would. Hey, have you heard anything about the recent story submission?

How good were those magazines? And the movie spoofs always captured the essence of the film but in a very humorous and twisted way. Back in those days movies used to take a lot longer before they were released in Australia and the Mad Magazine spoofs were often ahead of the curve. I liked Spy V Spy too as it was very silly.

Well, the rest of us just have to make do, I guess! :-)! Hehe!!! You are spot on too as there are a lot of ostriches about the place. But then who wants to be the one to burst the bubble? That is not as easy a question to answer as it first appears. It would be interesting to read up on how Iceland managed its debt jubilee, as to be honest I've read very little about it. A lot of our media appears to be mediated to me.

Exactly, choosing not to make a decision is actually making a decision. Not many people get that.

So how did the experiment turn out? I wonder how the knives are removed from those bread machines without leaving a hole in the side of the loaf? Of course, I do appreciate neatliness and orderliness...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

Thank you and it is a pleasure to read that you are enjoying the blog. It is a lot of fun (in between all of the hard work)! Do you plant much of a winter garden? I’m harvesting citrus and potatoes plus huge amounts of greens and herbs right now. But winter is an infrastructure time for us.

Glad to read that your daughter is recovering from the recent mishap with her wrist and it is very nice of you to provide assistance during this time. Not being able to bear weight yet, would drive me bananas, and I hope that your daughter is taking her rehabilitation earnestly.

I'd like to keep the comments that way too. Your comments have always been of the utmost decorum. The whole thing popped into my attention because I became aware that apparently there is a class of investor who funds actions for a return on that investment. The blog is a hobby if you get my meaning.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

The tabula rasa as a pre-condition for the young. Ouch! Yes, I am with your opinion of this matter in that most likely the philosophers did not indeed confer with their wives on this subject. I'm slightly confused on this subject as I always believed that the gentle art of nurture was applied to individuals in order to round out the rougher edges of an individuals personality. I reckon, a whole lot of traits are hardwired into a person and that it is a very mixed bag, otherwise we'd all be the same wouldn't we? Dunno. Being a very mixed bag, we adapt better to changing circumstances. Have you ever considered the matter from that perspective?

Ha! What a profound conversation to have with a child, I hope he took the conversation well and understood its meaning (my guess is that he did). You know, it is sort of funny, but I have never talked down to children because I clearly remember being a young child and thinking to myself that adults must think that I'm pretty stupid the way they are all talking to me. I sort of felt sorry for the adults. Respect to you for having that conversation.

On the other hand it is all too easy to instil issues such as tension and anxiety in children by our very actions. I see a lot of that and I have noted that many, many parents have expectations that their children exceed their own achievements, but to me it looks like a lot of bullying. And the children rebel in their own ways. I see a lot of that too.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

What, you worry? :-)! Glad you enjoyed the blog. How is your garden coming along this spring? Has it rained much lately?

This May has been strangely dry but very cloudy, which suits me fine as I am able to dig in the clay without becoming covered in mud. I hate mud!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

Ah yes, who could possibly forget the spoof of the Poseidon Adventure film? Funny stuff, and some thoughtful person produced a video clip with all of the individual clips from the original Mad Magazine spoof: MAD Magazines tribute to The Poseidon Adventure. At one point I noticed a giant rat standing in the queue waiting to escape, and to be rather honest, the kid barfing up his dinner is perhaps the least of their problems! What a classic, and it was very much the style of the magazine. Love it!

It is nice to get a bigger perspective of things isn't it? It is funny that you mention that but I conjured up a blog essay this evening on "work as a form of meditation". You can tell that for the past few days, I have hauled rocks and dug clay. The funny thing is that it is very restful for the mind. Anyway, the new terrace for the raised potato beds is coming along nicely. Potatoes have performed far beyond my expectations this year. I reckon worrying is an important activity, but like anything else it is possibly not a good idea to ever over indulge. Mind you, some things worry me, whilst others don't - and who can ever tell which is which and what over indulging even means?

Out of curiosity, do you have to feed the soil for the area that you planting corn into and will you plant them out in a block style? I have struggled with corn here (the wallabies have consistently eaten the shoots). Glad to read that your tomatoes are taking off, and enjoy the holiday weekend!

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Oh wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same. Certainly the survival?advancement of our species must depend on different abilities and characteristics.

'The gentle art of nurture!' One way of describing it I suppose ha ha! Yes, I have never talked down to children; they should not be underestimated.

Perhaps I should say that I was strict if one compares me to todays laxity. Courtesy within the household and elsewhere was simply assumed.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Yeah, I do the same thing too, and break larger goals into smaller activities. Otherwise things can become overwhelming and then nothing gets done. Lists are good. You know, lists help me to let things go so that my mind can ponder other matters. I have been using them for so long that I can't even recall when I first began using them. With my business, I keep a whiteboard with all of the things to do, otherwise I have rather noticed that people get rather upset when things don't get done! Missed deadlines are a pain, and well there is a certain loss of credibility with those? Imagine if I forgot that it was Monday evening and I forgot to post (or even write) the blog? I'd never hear the end of it... Hehe! Actually, once I almost did forget, but we shall not go there.

Shopping lists are great too. I read somewhere long ago, and I forget where, but the author said that shopping lists tend to be useful tools so as to avoid the impulse purchase. I rarely do impulse purchases as there really isn't much that I'm hankering for. Dunno, do you reckon that maybe the definition of a satisfied consumer: One who knows when enough is enough? Dunno.

Oh, you are very cheeky with the "try harder" joke! Very funny. You know, now that I think about it though, when I hand write for other people, I print, but for myself I use cursive script. The many years of night time Uni destroyed my nice hand writing. Back in the day I recall a few people who were very fluent in shorthand and the whole thing was like a mystery language, and the adepts were deliberately mysterious. They were also uncannily accurate. Mind you, that was a few decades back now. There are probably more people fluent in Klingon today than shorthand!

Firm mattresses and pillows suit my tastes too. And I can't help shake the feeling that such things are better for your back and neck? Dunno. Tough as an old boot is the way to go! A single high and firm pillow does the trick, and I have to confess to owning a latex pillow, which was enormously expensive, but doesn't actually wear out quickly. I have to also confess to taking it with me when I travel, which may be a rather quixotic choice, but I just like my pillow! Confession is good for the soul, they tell me!

Have you finalised all of the major purchases? I would soon tire of the exposure to the shops. I had to go to a shopping mall the other day and the psychic aura of the place is quite disturbing for me.

I'm really impressed that you'll give the film Wild a go. Even more impressive is that you recalled our discussion on the subject. I thought that the matter would die there, but I am impressed that your cognitive processes are so good. Someone remarked to me once that I had the mind of a filing cabinet. Anyway, it takes one to know one! :-)! Respect.

I enjoy silly word plays, and you response was excellent! Lots of laughs here. I am clearly outclassed and also well out of my depth! Hehe! The editor also has a very sharp tongue and has delivered some very funny lines to people over the past week or so. I am not worthy!!!

The local scenery looks superb in the film. The trail starts in the south west of the country, so you have to remember that as the trails winds north, the scenery becomes greener with every passing mile. There was a really touching scene towards the end of the film where the protagonist meets up with a young child and his grandmother in the forests near to your part of the world.

Frazzled is the word alright! I hear you. I have spent the past few days digging the clay for the new potato terrace. The whole area is starting to look really good. The funny thing is that I never really know how any of this stuff will end up looking like. The land sort of speaks to me, and reveals what can be done given the space and my knowledge of how to live here. I really enjoy extending the productive space here too. And potatoes are awesome.

I've gotta bounce as I plan to write the speech for tomorrow. Should be fun.

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

It has been quite cool and rainy most of the spring, except for these occasional 3-day blasts of really hot weather - then it goes back to cool and rainy. The plants seem quite happy, maybe a touch behind where they would be if it had been warmer, as it "normally" is. I love this cool weather, as it is bound to be scorchingly hot eventually (and humid).

The spot for our house was cut into a clay bank (with very large trees on it still on the bank above us), but when the fellows excavated it, we had them leave us an extra 15 feet (4.5m) in front of where the front porch would be (our house faces the bank, drops off at the back). We have a very pleasant, very shady, moss-covered "yard" there.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I never talk down to children. Heck, I don't even talk down to the dog or cat :-).

Well, when I was a kid they thought I was allergic, to something. Tests and more tests. And the bottom line? Chicken feather pillows. So, I've always sprung for something synthetic. I have to be careful when I travel. There are a few times when I wasn't "pillow aware" enough, and ended up waking up in the morning with swollen eyes and a stuffed up nose. But, there's something else going on. Most of my life I've had bad "post nasal drip" in the mornings. Usually, until I brush my teeth and that seems to flush my head out, good. Too much information? :-). What's odd is that my Dad was the same way. I tried elimination diets, but that didn't seem to help. Couldn't quit figure out what was causing it. But, perhaps I just didn't give it long enough. I've noticed that since I've cut out all commercial baked goods, mornings are a lot better. Or, at least dryer. :-).

Yup. Most major purchases are done. I went to the big box Home Depot, yesterday, and ordered up a rug, freezer and microwave. They will be delivered to the new place, today. Now, this is interesting. I could have got free delivery ... but any time from 6am to 10pm. A two hour window cost $20. A four hour window cost $10. I sprung for the 4 hour window. But it seems kind of ... smarmy. Back in the good old days, you'd usually get a day ... and, either morning or afternoon delivery.

There are a few more largish items I need. Table to eat on and maybe another display cabinet, or two. But those are from the used market, and I can't just waltz into a store and order them up. I went to the one antique mall in town to try and find a drop leaf table. The one that was the right color and style was in too rough shape. The really nice china cabinet I wanted was $1,900. Boo. If I hold out for a good auction, that would probably be $200. I can wait. After I receive delivery of my new stuff, I may wander over to the big Yard Birds flea market and see if I can spot a good drop leaf table.

I really liked Stephen King's "Dream Catcher." The part where the hero's mind is an actual warehouse stuffed with filing cabinets. Memories. That he can move around or hide.

Well, I'd better head down to the new place and await delivery. Wouldn't want to miss it. I guess for the toll they will also call ahead, one half hour. Lew

TalkingTrees said...

Hello again

We have a small winter garden this year as most of our energies are going into extending and doubling the size of the exiting veggie garden. We have cabbages, broad beans and onions in. Spinach failed to grow as did broccoli seedlings. This is also the year of the big push on our ornamental garden. Not sue how that will go but the deer have currently moved on so we are hopeful that more of our plantings will survive. I do enjoy watching your terraces grow and look forward to seeing the new potato growing area. Our potato efforts last season were scupered by rabbits and deer. This Spring we are thinking of a contained plot that we can at least temporarily fence. Buying potatoes at $3 a kilo or more is painful when you are used to growing your own and they are never as good. Lots of the potatoes we see for sale aren't even named except for being calked 'white potatoes'.

Our daughter is a health professional who's worked in the rehab area for about 17 years so she's very serious about her own rehab process. She is allowed to drive again finally and that is a relief all round. We're hopeful that her recovery will be a good one but the rapid nature of muscle wastage has been a bit of a shock and there is damage to tendons and ligaments right through the arm and hand and into the shoulder.

We have resurrected our garden mulcher to try and speed up composting. It will be interesting to see how it goes.

Warm regards, Helen



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Yes, it would most definitely be boring if we were all the same and completely agreed with each other on all matters. What a horror story that would be! For some reason I'm getting a mental image of lemmings all following each other off a cliff in exacting lockstep! Exactly, evolution is simply the adaption to circumstances, and without a diversity of stories, well let's put it this way, our chances of surviving any change of circumstances is not so good. It is funny that you mention this important issue, but I was talking today about what community actually means. I hope the audio turns out OK? Dunno yet. I’ll look into it after I reply and then will listen to it tomorrow and delete any embarrassing disclosures! Hehe!

Like you I never underestimate children. That would be an unwise thing to do. Glad that you enjoyed the description.

Sometimes I contemplate that concept of courtesy in the household on the larger scale. Respect too, as I would do no differently! Some of the polarisation of thoughts and opinions and lack of compromise I see over in the US and even here is a manufactured form of communication. In the workplaces that I have had control over, I have always insisted upon courtesy to others. At the same time I have allowed people to vent their frustrations and swear like troopers, but always at the core of that communication has been an underlying understanding that courtesy will prevail. And things get done. People are not always happy about the outcomes, but things got done.

I miss the days when someone could deliver a proper verbal smack down, but delivered with the utmost of courtesy.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

I hear you about the variable weather. But yeah, I also love the cooler and damper spells during a possibly hot (and even worse humid!) summer. Sometimes I find that the humidity makes work harder than high temperatures. You know, I reckon that plants are far more adaptable to such conditions than we even realise, so it is good to read that you too are not noticing any ill effects from those sorts of variable weather conditions with the plants (other than a bit of delay). Like you, I face these sorts of variable weather conditions every year and I'm trying to understand how best to live with those, so I appreciate the feedback. Are you noticing that your annual food plants are adapting to the variable weather conditions? I save seed from most of those annual food plants so they really are getting hardier and some of them are a real surprise. This year, I have somehow bred the best crinkly leafed parsley plant that I have yet to come across and so there are lots of little wins year by year. Do you find that is your experience too?

What a lovely story about the cutting into the bank at your place. That was a thoughtful touch leaving a space between the cutting and the house. No such luck here. Have you noticed that over high summer, your cutting radiates cool air? I like the moss too, and I get a lot of moss in the orchard during most months other than summer. It feels nice under foot!

Terraces are a part of life on the side of a hill! :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Me neither and if it means anything to you, I reckon Poopy knows, so talking down to him (or kids) or even messing around with that delicate balance that I maintain here with the canines is a fools errand. It may interest you, but I institute and enforce training only when it is in my interests to do so. i.e. the dogs are annoying or possibly inconveniencing myself or others. Poopy is currently in the process of being trained out of one unpleasant behaviour and both him and I acknowledge that he is being a nuisance, however I am trying to instil into his head that it is in his interests to align his interests with mine. The war is long, there may be many casualties... I'll tell you a funny story: Sir Scruffy's was once described as being old and easily confused. After spending ten minutes with the dog I knew he was the smartest dog I'd ever come across. Any behaviour that gets rewarded, he will instantly adopt for his own. If that is the definition of confused, then mate, we all must be confused!

I'd never heard of chicken feather pillows, but it makes sense. You know they also use duck feathers too down here, especially for quilts. No, that is not too much information at all! We may learn or discuss something valuable. Did you know that coffee is good for opening pores and reducing inflammation - which you may find valuable of a morning? Chocolate has the opposite effect and so may exacerbate a migraine. Ouch. Latex is proper rubber from rubber trees, I believe, but could well be wrong in that belief. Plenty of people have latex allergies though. I have wondered for quite a while about reactions to gluten, as to be honest I get a bit of a mild sleepy reaction to bakery products, but have always put that down to flour being hard for my body to process – as it is for most people. Dunno really. I don't generally consume bread products of an evening, for that very reason.

Oh yeah, who is going to wait 16 hours for a possible delivery? I do tight with money, but that story is the whole next level. Hehe! Yeah, you sort of picked the sweet spot with the delivery cost. I recall times from yesteryear when the delivery of an item was included as part of the cost of the goods. To be honest, your cost seems like good value to me.

The question I have is how can they possibly deliver goods for that price? The reason I wonder about that question is that if I drove to the city from here, the fuel cost alone would be about $15 and that would increase if I had to drag the bright yellow trailer along. I went into the big smoke and back again for the Green Wizards meetup today on the train and I reckon that set me back about $13, although to be honest I don't know the fare structure that well as it changes depending on the day and it is a weekend here and the system is entirely electronic.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Drop leaf tables are a great idea aren't they? And they have been around for ever and a day. Nowadays they are usually antique items and I used to own a beautiful old round Blackwood (Acacia Melanoxylon) round table which split in the middle and had a sliding mechanism and you could add two inserts to extend the table for guests. It was a very elegant idea from the days when living spaces were generally smaller. The table was at least 80+ years old by the time I got hold of it. Out of curiosity, given you are our resident Roman expert, is much known about Roman furniture or was it all burnt for firewood? Did they ever have a drop leaf table?

Good luck with the $1900 cabinet, my resources and desires would not extend to such an item either. Did you attempt any haggling about the cabinet, or did you just play Mr Cool and Mr Disinterested? I'm curious as to how you would negotiate such a purchase should you decide to pursue it.

Mr King has a good understanding of the human psyche given that he provides his protagonist with the ability to hide memories. You know, I knew I was onto something special with the Captain Fantastic film when it began with a proper initiation ritual. And then the film continued to turn every tired trope onto its head. Did you notice that it was the boy that was injured in the film? Did you also notice that they sent the girl onto the mission to recover the sulking boy? Hey, the other night I went to the cinema to see the film "Get out". It was a fun film and to be honest, speaking of romps, it was a fun romp. I didn't find it scary at all. It reminded me of the 80's horror film Invasion of the body snatchers or even the more recent film Skeleton Key. All good stuff. Best of all, I have now "progressed" from hamburgers with beetroot, to hamburgers with pickles and mustard. Oh yeah, you know it is good! :-)!

That is a pretty good delivery service for the coin, and if they call ahead well, that is even better. Deliveries here can be an exciting and unpredictable activity being so far from anywhere sensible. Sometimes freight courier deliveries can take up to a week for the company to accumulate enough packages to make the trip worthwhile. I don't complain, it is just life here.

Hey, I recorded the audio from the talk today and have "worked it" using the software here. I'll listen to it tomorrow and if there is nothing that needs deleting, I'll hopefully post a link to it. Should be fun, if you have the time! It was really lovely having the opportunity to take a talk.

It is going to rain here tonight and tomorrow, so alas for me, no digging. I'm really excited to get the potato terrace project going.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

Well you are in good company as we are undertaking similar projects and extending some of the growing beds here (potato, berry, strawberry, melon/pumpkin, and tomato/capsicum/egg plant). Maybe even in that order too? I reckon you are onto something by extending the existing systems based on what you have learned. Very wise.

Do you reckon that the spinach may have been a bit dodgy due to your dry summer? I find that spinach enjoys cool weather and a good drink of water. Has the weather broken yet in your corner of the country? Winter certainly is exerting a strong grip on the climate here. Brr! Glad to hear that the deer have moved on in your part of the country. Word on the bush telegraph here is that someone conducted a big cull of the local deer population, but I have no knowledge of the details.

Ouch! Sorry to read about your potatoes and I won't mention that potatoes are available here at a $1/kg at the farm gate and some of them are named varieties. $3/kg would hurt. Temporary fencing is a good idea. You know, there are just some plants that have to be fenced if you want any productivity from them. I have not found any way around that dilemma. I'm considering purchasing a whole new batch of seedling potatoes from the Diggers club over the next month or so as they have a very good diversity, and home grown potatoes are outstanding for taste.

Good to read about the rehab. I was not casting aspersions on her good self, it is just that I have seen people not take rehab seriously and it costs them in terms of future pain and disability. Glad to read that your daughter can drive again. Good news!

Out of curiosity, do you use a petrol or an electric garden mulcher? I have a 2kW electric mulcher here and it does an adequate, but not exacting job. I once used an 8Hp chipper and it was good, but some plants even troubled that cutting flywheel.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I keep lists as well. I make them out for the week or I would miss a lot of things. I took typing and shorthand in high school. I used shorthand for taking notes in college though never in a job. The typing class I believe was a manual typewriter. I was able to type 90 wpm with no more than 3 errors. I'm still very fast on a keyboard - maybe 60 wpm now. I remember taking typing tests while applying for jobs.

Like many places in the US it's still rainy and mostly cool. Everything is slow growing in the garden except asparagus, kale and beet leaf spinach. Like you I may have to replace the tomato plants. I spent 3 hours yesterday digging out quack grass and bindweed. When we move I will if at all possible situate my garden where these don't exist. It's virtually impossible to get rid of unless you totally herbicide the whole area which I won't do. Quack grass in particular just loves this weather.

Margaret

margfh said...

@Lew,

Michael's new residence runs a large resale shop which has mostly furniture. I finally checked it out this week. I thought of you when I saw three recliners in very good condition all priced at $45. Michael has a recliner but he's really hard on it and I'm concerned it may not last too much longer so was very happy to see them in the resale shop. Residents get a 20% discount too.

Margaret

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Each year we do save seeds from pretty much anything that bears seed. Yes, each growing season we are seeing that the plants that we grow from those seeds are better adapted to our particular soil, climate, and the lack of sun on our site.The produce from these plants evens looks a bit different each year. And I've noticed that the skins of some of our tomatoes and peppers are now a little thicker and seem a bit less prone to insect damage. Occasionally we bring in a new variety and it is fun to watch for its attributes to show up the next year - or not. We haven't had very good luck with fruit trees, though. The deficit of sun is very hard on them. Spring frosts are very hard on them. Berries do lots better.

Our bank cutting is not so much a cutting, like yours, but a slope, so - no - I don't notice a cooling effect from the bank itself, but the woods grow right up to that small clearing between the house and gentle bank and that keeps it quite cool.

Terraces - oh, yes! We begin - I can dream - to look like Fernglade. The whole garden is terraced down the hillside. Our oldest son - who has taken over that project in a big way - got tired of building rock walls (I haven't sprung the rock gabion idea on him yet as I know who will be gathering the rocks . . .) and shifted to concrete. He made some great reusable forms and has accomplished a lot this spring. There is a large terrace on the back of the house, also, for working and sitting.

I, too, have read your code of conduct. Very apt. I will do my best.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Inge:

Oh, Inge - pick me up off the floor!

"The Greek philosophers believed in the 'tabula rasa' the newborn child as a blank slate; they obviously never talked to their wives."

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Beau, being an old duffer, occasionally puts on his goofy and adapated (sp?) face. He has quit an expressive face and can even convey emotion with his eyebrows. He's really wasted, here. He should be in Hollywood :-). Nell is just, sometimes, sly. My mother always said she didn't like cats because they were "sneaky." Well, they are, but that doesn't bother me.

Well, I settled into my n*e*w* recliner with a book, yesterday, to await the delivery. Hmm. There's a church in the neighborhood that "rings the hours." Quit nice, really. Wonder if they go through the night? Wouldn't bother me. Any-who, at 10 I got a call from the big box guys and they would deliver in 10 minutes. Seconds later, I got another call from the bed place, and they would deliver in 20 minutes. Their window was either Friday or Saturday. So, I went down to the lobby and gassed with The Old Babes (that's a reference of respect and affection) until they arrived. So everything was delivered and in place, well before 11. The rest of my day was free! I hit a lot of thrift stores, but no dice.

The bed came from a place called "Just Wood Furniture." They have expanded beyond "just wood" and have been around, for years. I asked one of the delivery guys (son of the owner) if they had any drop leaf tables. They do, or can order. So, that's my fall back if I can't find an old one. Would be the "path of least resistance." :-). Don't know why I didn't trig to it sooner, but there is a drop leaf at the Visiting Nurses Thrift ... that someone put a coat of sponge pain on in pastel colors. :-(. Hmmm. Why not just repaint it dark brown? What a concept! :-). I'm heading to town, today, to check out some opportunity stores I missed. Might give a look in to check condition. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Darn. At least once a day, a brown curtain falls over my computer screen, and in 4 languages tells me I need to restart my computer. Everything freezes and I loose whatever I'm working on. Oh, well. Just a couple of paragraphs.

Now, where was I? Roman furniture, I think. Well, not much Roman furniture has survived, except in Pompeii. But, there's plenty of wall paintings and sculpture. Well off Roman's had quit a choice. Beds, couches, fancy chairs, cupboards. Lamps. Lots of lamps. Sometimes, beds or couches for dinning were built right into the architecture. There were fancy chairs woven out of willow. A rather grand wood chair was found in Pompeii, highly carved with myths. A sad little cradle, was found. Metal furniture "fittings" are always turning up in excavations. Some furniture was decorated with ivory or exotic woods. Of course, the poor got on with pretty simple stools, benches and wood tables. A small marble table was found in Pompeii .... and an identical matching one in Israel. So there were apparently workshops that turned out "standards."

Hmmm. Somehow I missed "Skelton Key." I wonder ... Stephen King's son, Joe Hill, wrote a series of graphic novels by the same name. I got them from the library. Quit good. I'll have to look into that.

I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your potato terrace. I still haven't run down anyone at The Home who can point out my garden patch. I hope the potatoes already there are getting watered. The temperatures here have been 80F. Cliff Mass keeps saying we'll get our usual "June Gloom." Not much rain but cooler temperatures and overcast. We'll see.

I made a pan of bread, last night. Kind of an experiment. Like corn bread, only no corn meal. A yeast bread that I could just pour into a pan and let rise. Turned out pretty good. Tonight I've got to make a blueberry cobbler. For a monthly pot luck at the Funny Farm, our local, kind of, halfway house. The main course is going to be barbecued pork ribs. Ought to be good. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Lists are also good in that they also free up the mind so that you can get things done - and as you correctly note: you don't tend to miss things! Well unless the list gets lost and then all bets are off! :-)! Hehe! Your shorthand skills would have been very handy during college. So many notes, so little time, plus I recall that the physical activity of writing stopped me from falling asleep during particularly dull night lectures, but shorthand would have been an excellent asset. That typing speed is pretty fast. Respect. I reckon I'm about 40wpm but I have to consider all of the replies and the storyline so writing here is a different process as I both write and edit at the same time. Fortunately, there are further edits down the track.

Someone sent me instructions today and I had to stop myself from re-writing them! Hehe! The written language is different from the language that we speak, and sometimes they don't translate well.

Oh yeah, asparagus grows well in swamps down here, so those weather conditions would really favour that particular plant. Ouch! I hope your tomato seedlings make it through this patch of rainy and cloudy weather. On a positive note, tomato seedlings are very fast growing and my experience last spring taught me that even very late plantings in a cool and damp summer will produce a buper crop.

Oh my. Down here we call quack grass by the common name of Couch grass, and not to stress you out, but I have known people choose to grow that grass species in very tough areas. It is very invasive isn't it? I don't have such grasses here, but grass in general seems quite invasive to me. I once knew a lady who used herbicide in her small orchard around the base of each of the fruit trees to kill off the competition from the grasses. I must say that I wasn't a fan of that technique and clearly there may be long term consequences to such regular applications, but far out her fruit trees grew at almost three times the rate of growth here. I run a very grassy/herbage filled orchard and the trees grow very slowly as a result. On the other hand, because the soil is not ever exposed to the summer sun, the fruit trees are generally very drought hardy. Every minor decision has impacts, and who can tell what they will be up front?

I'm definitely not a purist and a one off treatment of herbicide can be an appropriate tool in some circumstances. Mostly, I just tackle the grass problem by living with it, manually pulling the plants out of some growing areas, and then just out competing it in the garden beds. Plenty of plants will give grass a run for its money. Grass is a pioneering plant – as you would realise.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Many thanks for sharing your excellent observations. I am observing the same responses from the plants here too. And your observation about the thicker skins and resistance to insect attack is something that I have noticed as well. I was unsure whether this was a result of selective plant breeding or simply healthier and deeper soils for the plants and the soil life to draw upon. I really do not know. Do you regularly add manures into your soils where you grow these annual plants? I top up every growing bed with additional manure every single year, and the top soils have been getting deeper as a result.

It is funny that you mention the fruit trees, but I have two separate orchards. One of those orchards is a very shady orchard, whilst the other receives far more sunlight. You may be interested to know that my notes compare favourably with yours in that the shady orchard grows far slower than the more sunnier orchard. On the other hand, the shadier orchard is less affected by droughts, so it may well be that your fruit trees are slower growing, but they are more resilient to the hotter and drier extremes of the weather? Dunno. Time will sort that mess out.

Thanks for the explanation. Shade works well in reducing the ambient temperatures. As an interesting side story, I was reading a local gardening club magazine the other day and they were offering for sale the: Virginia Oak. The photo of those trees planted in a row in that link makes me want to go out and purchase some of those oak trees! It may be a bit too cold for them here though... I’m apparently 9B, but do grow some 10 plants.

Haha! Ah grasshopper, when you have constructed the rock gabion wall, then you shall have collected enough rocks to... Hehe! Yeah, they take an inordinate number of rocks. Not fair at all! Well done to oldest son for producing the terraces. Top work! Please convey my respects. I have been working on a new terrace this week. It would be nice except for all of the digging. Clearly I have done something very bad in a past life to have to dig so...

No worries, the code has little effect on US commenters as you have superior protections.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I have just read an excellent book review 'Behave' by Robert Sapolsky. I mention it because it deals with the nature/nurture debate. The review gives more weight to nurture than I would have done.

Very noisy here this morning, helicopters, aeroplanes and a speedboat doing goodness knows what but its engine has a high pitched whine which is hurting my ears. Always too much activity on bank holiday weekends.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

It is funny that you mention Beau's: "goofy and adapted (sp?) face"; because Poopy is giving me Cold Shoulder Manoeuvre Number Six, as he is just now faced away from me whilst directing his posterior at me. The reason for such an outrage? Well, Mr Poopy enjoyed left over custard tart for his dinner this evening and the unfortunate part of that story was that he still wanted his usual dog biscuits. Now I had only just made a batch of the dog biscuits and may have said something to the dogs along the lines of: "Too bad, so sad for you" and fed them two day old home made custard tart instead. Are they happy with a change in their routines? Nope!

A few years ago, I read a joke essay on the difference between dogs and cats. For the record I like both of them as they bring different tools to the table. Anyway, one part of the story was written from the perspective of the dog. The dog kept saying: "You guys are the best ever. This is the best ever". The cat on the other hand began the story with: "Day 3,000 of my captivity" and then went on to describe the many sneaky activities that the cat was up to. I'd happily have a cat, except that the cat would possibly attack the local small bird population, whilst leaving the rodents alone due to the difficulties. Mate, the rodents are smarter than I am, as they keep outwitting me. The war is long and there may be many casualties... ;-)!

Far out, I just stepped outside to bring in some firewood and it is 39'F outside right now. Brr!

Well done with the new recliner. What were you reading? I'm currently reading a book on the practical applications of welding. I've learned a lot from that book as for some reason people involved in that art love their acronyms - which confuses me, until I find out what they are going on about.

You'd certainly hope that the bell does not toll the entire night through? I've noticed that machines are much harder to bribe than the average bell hop! ;-)! The deliveries all worked out well didn't they? Neat as. Did they bring the furniture into the apartment or was it dropped at the front or goods lift? Thrift stores are like the old school game of lucky dip in that regard.

It is nice that drop leafed tables have not gone out of vogue and that you can still purchase one new. It does make you wonder what the people were thinking with the finishes on that particular table. Maybe they were thinking: This will be the best idea ever? It is funny but if a bushfire burns this place down, I will refurnish with a lot of second hand items because the quality of some of the marginally older and used stuff is incomparable with the offerings of today as it is just so superior for the dollar. Plus you can finish them really easily. It always surprises me that nobody seems to notice that. Of course, the tide may turn one day on that little caper. It would make a decent business down here.

Your computer scares me a little bit! Things are tightly wrapped here on the security front. But I am not complacent in that regard either.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Did you just write: Roman lamps? I assume those were oil lamps? Out of curiosity, has anyone ever deduced what oil they were using in those lamps? It is interesting that you mention the furniture being constructed into the building itself, but my mates who live in an architecturally designed pod inside a huge shed have that sort of furniture. I haven't seen it before, except for some Victorian era houses had bay windows with day couches built into them. Most of those that I saw were covered in pillows. Hmm, I can see the use of rushes / wicker in seats etc. as they are very comfortable options if done well. I have read that the Romans standardised and centralised a lot of their manufacturing. I wonder if the pillaging of the surrounding areas to the Empire reduced the demand for those manufactured goods?

Yeah, it may be the same author? Who knows? The Skeleton key was a film so I failed to note who the author actually was.

The potato terrace is coming along nicely but I'm unsure whether I will work on it tomorrow or Tuesday. I'm just not sure yet as it depends on the weather which seems to have come in from the Southern Ocean as it is very cold (well, by my standards). I reckon I would have been an early casualty on Napoleon’s retreat from Russia! Brr! But T. E. Lawrence, yeah, I probably could have handled that sort of weather a little bit better. Maybe…

Those pan breads, we may call them pancakes down here? The yeast is used to get air and fluffiness into the texture.

Hope you had fun at the funny farm!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Yes, I believe it may be an appropriate thing to write in this instance that: Opinions may vary! What did they used to write about: "spare the rod and spoil the child". I don't know anything about such things, but I do see a lot of spoiled and expectational people about the place and for the life of me I cannot understand why? ;-)!

That description of your holiday sounds a bit too exciting for my tastes. Why ever would there be helicopters of all things? Sometimes the air ambulance flies overhead here and you wouldn't want to be involved in that business. You can't ignore the helicopter either as it is gaining altitude to get over the ridge.

I feel a bit summer soft still as the air outside is now 3'C / 37'F and it feels very cold to me. Brr!

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

That Virginia Oak is also known as a Southern Live Oak (as they are mostly evergreen). They do not even grow in Virginia, as they can stand virtually no freezing temps. We had lovely - and huge - ones in Texas. The stuff hanging on it is not its leaves (the leaves are very small), it is Spanish moss, which I believe is a parasite of sorts (the way mistletoe is).

Yes, we do put composted manure in and around everything. I could never in this world get enough of that stuff.

Pam

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

We have the coastguard helicopter and a hospital one that takes patients to the mainland if our hospital isn't up to the job and there are private ones.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Animals do have their routines. Last night when I let Nell in for bed, she was very restless and wanted to go out, again. Unusual. So, I let her out and moved my go-bag closer to the door. It's been an awful long time since we had a good shake. But, Beau wasn't stirred up. Well, Nell doesn't seem to have made much of a dent in the bird population, here. Oh, she gets the occasional bird. But far more mice, shrews and moles. I don't know how a cat would get on with your dogs. Nell steers well clear of Beau.

While waiting for the delivery, I was reading "Martial Bliss: The Story of a Military Bookman" (Colt, 2015). It's about a man and is wife who left the corporate world and opened a military bookstore in New York City, in the mid 1970s. I was in the library the other day (always a dangerous proposition) and ran across "We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America." (Daloz, 2016). Haven't got very far into that, yet.

The delivery guys said they weren't under any obligation to deliver stuff above the first floor ... but since I had an elevator...Later in the afternoon, I got a robo call asking me to rate the delivery in a number of areas. I gave the guys a round of fives (best rating). They were efficient and pleasant. Why not?

I forgot to mention that when I was dealing with the deliveries, the Priest (who I haven't met yet) was giving a talk to a group of ladies at a table in the common room. About bees. I couldn't hear what he was on about. He is, I suppose, the chaplin for the place. There's also a part time social worker, that I've met once in passing. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. The Roman's burned mostly olive oil in their lamps. Sometimes, fat. The finer (and more expensive) the olive oil, the less smoke. They used wicker or reed in the bottoms of some wooden chairs. But the one's I was thinking of were rather throne like an composed entirely out of wicker. Over a light wooden frame. I've seen pictures of similar chairs that were made well into the Middle Ages.

I looked into "Skeleton Key" and don't think King's son was connected. The Internet Movie Data Base was a bit muddled, but I think the movie you saw (2005?) was about an asylum in our American South. His series of books was about a family living in a very haunted ancestoral home up in a small town in New England.

Here pancakes (sometimes called flap jacks) are a very thin batter poured in rounds into a frying pan or onto a griddle. They also use just baking powder and soda for a "rise." The stuff I made was poured into an oblong baking dish, about 3" deep. Yeast for the rise. I think I've heard the term pan bread. But not very often. Regional variation? I made up a big pan of blueberry crisp, last night. Turned out well. I picked up a gallon of vanilla bean ice cream to go on top. I sprung for the good stuff :-). And, I remembered to put in the corn starch, this time, so it won't be as runny.

Sometimes, I'm dumb as a post. But, occasionally, lucky. I went roaring into the Visiting Nurses thrift, yesterday. The table was still there. A drop leaf gate leg. I've probably walked by it three or four times, given it a glance, and was put off by the blue sponge finish with stenciled ivy vines. Oh, argh. It's the same style of the chairs, probably about the same age. Highly turned legs. In good shape. 1 x 3', unfolded. 3'x 3 1/2 ' extended. Squarish with rounded corners.My original idea was to slap a couple of coats of darkish brown pain on it, so it would match the chairs. So, I bought it. Now, having lived with it over night, well, I'm beginning to think a bit different. I'd planned to pick up some tie on seat and back cushions for the wood chairs, blue, of course. Well, the legs of the table (all those turnings ... and eight legs) are a solid nice shade of blue. So, maybe, I'll just repaint the top in a darker shade of blue. With the blue cushions on the chairs, a blue table cloth, and the identical style, I think it will all "hang" together. We'll see. The lucky part? Being the holiday weekend, everything in the store was 1/2 off. I got the table for less than $40. :-). Lew