Monday, 19 June 2017

Bring me my Chariot of fire

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

Continuing my previous school tales:- The more English than the English high school, where I was unceremoniously transferred as a teenager, practiced compulsory sports for all students. Since I enjoyed distance running anyway, I joined the schools distance running team. The running team trained after school two nights per week and then competed all over the countryside on Saturdays. That school managed to consume a lot of my previously “free” time. Fortunately that loss of free time did not hinder my little capitalist ways, and I was able to continue working paid jobs. Unfortunately that meant that I had to get up earlier in the mornings for the daily newspaper rounds, and I hate early mornings!

Back in those days marketing was less sophisticated than it is today. A good example of that is that 'Way Back Then', adults used to lie to kids and tell them that they could 'Do Anything'. Competing in the sport of running, proves just how preposterous that lie is because there is always someone who is faster, or who can run further, than you. And it just doesn't matter what you or your parents may believe about potential running performance because every single week the placement results gave you a reality smack in the head!

Fortunately, such concerns were far from my mind because I was the second fastest runner in the school. The kid that was the fastest runner in the school was marginally faster than I was, but I knew deep down that he was just a better runner. Being a better runner, he never had any serious concerns about his hard won status as the best runner in the school. However for me, I discovered that being second best in anything is a cool place to be, because there is absolutely no pressure to constantly perform at your best. And who performs at their best all of the time? Especially first thing in the morning.

My favourite distance to run was 10km (6.2 miles) but I also occasionally ran 20km (12.4 miles). Over such distances, you get to enjoy a lot of free time in your own mind. Sometimes I used to sing songs in my mind that set a good cadence, and to me the experience is a lot like meditation. As a minor digression, in later years I was rather fond of the artist Moby's song, Bodyrock which had a thumping dance beat which suited my running pace. I have heard that some people struggle with that lack of noise when they are running (and swimmers too), but I am quite comfortable with the quiet of my own mind. As another interesting side story, the editor and I once walked a 130km (80 mile) forest walk over five days in the south west of this state carrying all our own gear on our backs. We headed off on that long walk with great expectations that we’d somehow have awesome thoughts and insights, but no, nothing materialised. Mostly I was thinking about when the next chocolate snack would be. And more importantly which chocolate snack would it be (edit: Chris always got the Turkish Delight because I didn't like it, but I told him that I saved it especially for him as a treat!) I reckon my time would have been better spent down at the local pub enjoying a tasty meal and a full pint of dessert stout! 

Some cheeky wag penned a story many long years ago about an anthromorphised tortoise racing an anthromorphised hare. The tortoise won that race against the much faster hare in what was an unlikely outcome. Clearly the author knew a thing or two about distance running, because a runner has to pace themselves and take into account their abilities and limitations. Over the long years of running, I knew many runners who like the hare, bolted away from the start line early and hard. However, after a short while, those hares were surprisingly easy for me to chase down as they ran out of puff (usually very early on). The tortoise’s strategy however, produces consistently good results. It is a bit of a shame that few people these days want to be identified as a tortoise. I'd be happy to be known as the little tortoise that could (clearly a pint of very excellent dessert stout may assist that imagery)!

Anyway, the more English than the English school trained me well for the workplace because a lot of big organisations have surprisingly competitive cultures. And many of those workplaces have lunchtime running teams which compete against other workplaces. I have spent many lunchtimes running around Melbourne’s botanic gardens. Some people may know Melbourne’s botanical gardens as a delightful historical garden with which to spend a few pleasant hours. I on the hand recall that botanical garden as being surrounded by a gruelling and fast paced running track (with an steep incline at one point) where corporate folks compete against each other for bragging rights. One year, the team that I was running for won. Just saying... (not that I'm competitive. Whatever!)

Over the years, I began running with older people (easier to win!!!) as part of the corporate world so I got to know plenty of them pretty well. I also noticed that a lot of them were showing signs of wear and tear from all that running, and it started me thinking about the process of entropy, and I was forced to consider my own future response to all of that wear and tear.

So it was that one day many years later, I found myself in the physiotherapists clinic seeking help for knee problems. That event was a turning point in my life, and I knew I had to let the sport of running go before it consumed me.

This week we have begun the process of expanding the berry and tomato enclosures. Wallabies are a local marsupial akin to a slightly smaller kangaroo and they love to eat all of the plants in those enclosures. Keeping them out requires some heavy duty fencing materials as they are quite shifty. Heavy duty fencing support materials means in this case, large treated pine posts cemented into the ground. Anything lesser than those posts and the wallabies can push the fencing over. They are a truly fearsome beast!
We sourced treated pine posts and cement which will be used to expand the berry and tomato enclosures
Installing the treated pine posts which are cemented into the ground means digging holes where the posts will be located. I use my hand auger for digging holes in the clay, and that tool produces a surprisingly clean and deep hole. Of course turning the hand auger takes a fair bit of effort on my part, but I find the physical work to be quite rewarding.
A hand auger is used to dig nice round deep holes for the treated pine posts
The hand auger also cleverly compacts the clay soil inside the auger where it can be lifted cleanly from the hole and relocated elsewhere. I usually dump the clay into a crate which I then carry to another location to use as fill.
The hand auger can also be used to cleverly lift the clay from the hole
Six of the treated pine posts were placed in the holes next to the berry enclosure and then they were cemented into place. Observant readers will note in the next photo that the treated pine posts are a lot higher than they need to be. These posts will be cut down to a height which is consistent with the other fence posts in the future. Readers concerned about any potential waste will be pleased to learn that nothing goes to waste here and we have a future project in mind for those treated pine off cuts.
Six of the treated pine posts were then placed in the holes and the cemented into place
Another two posts were placed into holes and cemented into a garden bed today. One of the posts will be used to relocate a garden tap which is currently located in the walking path. The other post will be used to anchor a bushfire sprinkler. Incidentally the post that has the garden tap will also have a hose hanger to get the 30m / 100ft hose / trip hazard, off the walking path.
Two other posts were cemented into a garden bed so as to remove a water tap from the path and also to anchor a bushfire sprinkler
Unfortunately, the 12 Volt water pump which is used to pump water to that particular garden tap and bushfire sprinkler failed today without warning. So far I have tried about five different types of 12 Volt water pumps and other than one particular water pump which is performing very well, I am reasonably unimpressed with the other types of 12 Volt water pumps in terms of their quality and longevity. The water pump story is quite a frightening one, because every time I upgrade a water pump, the cost doubles over that of the previous water pump. On the other hand, if the water pumps don't work, they are a complete waste of money.

We adjusted the rocks in the garden bed below the berry enclosure and next to the machinery shed. The reason for that adjustment is that some of the soil had been washing off the garden bed and flowing over the rocks holding back that soil. The original rock wall was placed too close to the sloping garden bed to be effective in holding the soil in place. All of the rocks were moved away from the slope of the garden bed by about 25cm / 10 inches so that a more defined lip would catch any falling soil.
The rocks in the rock wall below the berry enclosure were moved further away from the slop to provide a more defined lip
A good dose of composted woody mulch was then applied to that steep garden bed. Previously we had applied a layer of mushroom compost. However over time, we observed that composted woody mulch is a much better material for a steep garden beds as it initially produces a waxy substance which binds the composted woody mulch together. This waxy substance stops the top soil from sliding off a steep garden bed. Mushroom compost on the other hand produces fines which get washed downhill, only to end up on the walking path.
A good dose of composted woody mulch was then applied to that steep garden bed
Water is everything here and I noticed that a garden hose which was 30m / 100ft long had developed cracks and was in danger of failing. Anticipating that this may have had unpredictable and very wet consequences for the editor who may have been using the hose at the time, I took action! This is not a good situation for me and so the failing hose was replaced. It is interesting to me that the original hose was only slightly more than ten years old, but the UV in the summer sun here is quite extreme and it breaks materials down very quickly. Anyway, as hoses have been failing over time, I have been replacing them with more durable hoses that can be expected to have a much longer life than ten years.
A failing hose was replaced with a more durable hose this week
Observant readers will note that in the photo way way way above of the expanding the berry bed, a raised potato bed was in the process of being dismantled. And that means fresh home grown potatoes were harvested from the soon to be completely dismantled raised garden bed. Yum!
We have been harvesting home grown potatoes (and baking bread)
The citrus trees produce well during the winter here although they have been very slow to ripen for some reason this year. The first grapefruit for the season is almost ripe, and look at how many more fruit are on that tree.
The first grapefruit for the season is almost ripe
And I leave you with some lovely winter flower photos from about the farm:
African daisies put on a good show
I believe this is some sort of native fireweed which a daisy (Senecio)
The temperature outside now at about 8.30pm is 9’C (48’F). So far this year there has been 397.0mm (15.6 inches) which is more than last week’s total of 394.8mm (15.5 inches).

56 comments:

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

The Summer is continuing here. The temperature in my bedroom didn't drop below 80F all night and I finally got to sleep at 1.30. Am wishing that I had a swimming pool.

The vegs are doing well and thank goodness I have mains water.

Yesterday I took a walk along the beach and once I had passed neighbours who were dealing with boats and jetties, I never saw another soul along the beach, up through the woods and along the road for about an hour. Rural living becomes ever quieter!

Inge

Steve Carrow said...

Any idea why the pumps fail? Going off grid is a probable event here in a couple years, and I will be researching all things 12v in the mean time, but hearing of real world experience is the best.

We are almost finished installing a 4.9 kW array ( grid tied for now) and will be paring down our loads and tweaking our lifestyle for the next couple years.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Let's see. Little Capitalist. After the paper route when younger, and berry and veg picking before that, we're up to about 15 or 16. I worked at the local regional library (Fort Vancouver Regional), set up at a flea market on Sundays, with a mate, refinished a bit of furniture for people. Occasionally, I'd drive into the city. "Hippie Stores" (Head shops?) were popping up about then, and I'd load up on underground newspapers, exotic incense and buttons. Take it back to my rural high school and flog them at twice the price to my incredulous class mates. A bit of naughty in the boonies. :-). I ghosted the occasional collage paper for one of my dodgy English teachers. I think I'm missing something. It will come to me.

I have no problem with the quiet in my own head. I'm always a little credulous when people in prison go bonkers at the thought of being dragged off to solitary confinement. All sounds rather restful, to me. Now I've been out of the ebb and flow of the liquor trade for a number of years, but "dessert stout" sounds ... kind of awful. But, maybe you're referring to it's place in the meal (the end) rather than something alcoholic and sweet. I've heard of dessert wines. And, the creme de' liquors, were as I remember, quit nice.

The lady who is going to take Nell is going to bring me a Tomitella (sp?). One of the purple variety. Hmmm. Wonder if she knows, according to what I read, that you need two for pollination? Interesting that in Mexico, where they're native, they are considered a "field weed." As you've said, a weed is a plant that is somewhere we don't want it." :-).

Timber rounds are sometimes used here as path "stones." The cedar ones last the longest. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Of pumps and hoses. I do the same thing. Start off with something "on the cheap" and end up trading up to something more expensive that has better longevity. And, waste a lot of money along the way.

I worked for a couple of hours on my garden space at The Home, yesterday. Tilled it all up and got the weeds out before they took hold. Planted some pumpkin, mixed lettuce, two kinds of red bulb onions and some sweet basil. I don't know where the soil from the planting boxes comes from (Probably hauled in by the Master Gardeners). I appears nice ... organic material and very fine sand. But, I didn't see a single living thing in it. Not a worm to be seen. That will have to change ...

On my way home, right at the bottom of my road, there was the tiniest deer I've ever seen. Frolicking around on the pavement. I stopped and he practically licked the grill of my truck. Not good. I gave a little honk on my horn and he took off, bashed into a bit of fence and then slipped through. Hope his mom finds him. Lew

TalkingTrees said...

Hello Chris

Lovely post again. We're really struggling at this stage of the year with virtually no rain for several weeks and so much to do and less time with various family and friend claims to our services. I think your fruit cage is splendid. I don't think it would keep the deer out here though, perhaps something a bit taller might work.

We also have had a series of pumps over the years here and have one very cheap one that keeps our old cottage supplied with water, the rest are expensive, recommended by the local water shop people but still issues arise. One very expensive pump was fried by a baby red belly black snake getting caught up in one of the fan parts. We also have to insulate our house pump against freezing. On that subject we've had a run of minus 5-6 C morning here in contrast to last year where we barely had a frost.

My husband and I walked the South Coast track in Tasmania in the very early days of our relationship. It was, in the end, a trial of fire. We learned a lot about each other. As the vegetarian I managed the food. Lots of dried Chinese veg, ground nuts, rice, lentils, muesli, dried milk, a couple of onions, carrots some oil, honey and fresh eggs. The meals were great. No chocolate but we did carry in a packet cheese cake that we had on the third day. It was ghastly but such a treat - we enjoyed every mouthful!

Before I forget, I wanted to say that I wasn't offended by your comments about my daughter's rehab, probably just providing you with too much information. She is recoverimg quite well but still lots of frustrations with things that remain on the forbidden list.

We have black wallaroos here (as well as wallabies and kangaroos), they are short statured but built like little tanks, they are very powerful and aggressive when they are cornered or fed up, otherwise they keep to themselves.

Warm regards, Helen

Cherokee Organics said...







Hi Inge,

Absolutely. There is a whole lot of nature in that question of resilience. Oh yeah, I totally agree with you. However, on the other hand I have noticed that people don't tend to be teaching resilience to their young and I'm very disturbed by that. Interestingly too, I am rather concerned that students are being instructed - and I have this story third hand - to write stories without first learning the absolute language basics such as grammar, spelling, and even hand writing seems to be on the way out these days. It reminds me of nothing else than being taught to run where the student can barely walk. It is very disturbing and please hang with me as the idea does work back to the discussion of resilience.

Perhaps it was about a month or so ago where I listened to a podcast where a person posed a question that was asked in a voice that can only be described as "stream of consciousness". I have been pondering what that all meant ever since I heard that form of quasi-question. I rarely encounter that mode of speech. I have a vague feeling that the sort of "stream of consciousness" mode of communication is a result of the current teaching practices. It is a dubious practice because if a person is unable to ask a coherent question, then they are also displaying an inability to formulate possible responses to the question that they could not ask in the first place. Please note that this does not mean that the person in question may not be in a highly emotive state and/or possibly frustrated (or inconvenienced by the problem) at their inability to communicate a question.

This does get back to our discussion about resilience, because as a contrast - if I am faced with a problem, I seek to: define the problem; come to grips with the various parameters; and then formulate a response or compromise. Resilience may be too much to ask of people who have not even been trained to define and communicate problems in the first place.

I'd be curious as to your opinions of this matter?

Yes, a hand operated water pump is a pain, but it is also resilient. Unfortunately, I may have to manufacture and test my own hand water pump, but this is a job for the future.

Incidentally 80’F would be a very hot summers night here. I use an overhead fan and simply open all of the windows and doors on those sorts of hot nights, and that seems to work. The heat does take a bit of getting used too. My, those fires in Portugal were something else. I looked at the footage and thought to myself, there but for the grace…

Vegetables love that sort of weather, as long as they have access to regular water. Over summer I water the vegetables for no more than ten minutes per day, but the varieties grown have been selected and bred for that occurrence.

I enjoy the quiet of the woods too. Do your neighbours have multiple jetties and boats or do they hire those facilities out?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Gravity fed systems work very well and are very resilient. I have a few of the water tanks operating on that basis as it just works nicely. However, gravity fed systems require the water to be stored at the highest point where it is anticipated to be used. At some point, you have to collect the water at a high elevation, or pump it up to that elevation. And you may be surprised to know it but, the sort of mains pressure that most people are used to is the equivalent of a fall of I believe 70m (230ft) drop in elevation. Generally that is why water is captured and stored high up in mountain ranges, otherwise we'd have to pump all of it, which would be very expensive. Desalination plants have that problem as they are usually located at sea level.

Actually no, the fire sprinklers require pressurised water simply to work. I have tried lower pressure water pumps just to see what happens and the results were not good.

I'm going to have a look at the pressure switch just to see what is going wrong with the pump, but they're not much good. And my previous experiences with them is that thereafter they work intermittently. I may keep the water pumps minus the pressure switches and use them as a transfer pump connected up in parallel with just a basic on / off switch. The pumps are very good quality, shame about the switches. You've given me an idea. Maybe there are higher quality on / off relay pressure switches? Hmm. Something to look into. Thanks! I’d never thought about that before.

John Denver was pretty cool. I fondly recall singing: Take me home, country roads way back in the late 70's as a youngster. I reckon you're onto something. The whole chicken and egg question is a tough one. I reckon the movement came first and Denver spoke to the passions. What was your favourite track of his?

What a find, and a cabinet maker would know a thing or two about repairing furniture. You've mentioned that you have restored furniture before so I wasn't doubting your skills. 25,000 selections makes for a tough decision. I'd be a little bit overwhelmed at the sheer volume of choice. Far out! How did you approach that matter and did you make a selection?

Enjoy your rain and cornbread. It has been quite dry and mild the past few weeks here which is quite odd. I hope this is not a sign of things to come. I was looking at the footage of the fires in Portugal with a sense of horror. There was one video of drone footage and I just knew what had happened to all of the vehicles. The trees surrounding that road also told a fascinating and yet morbid tale.

Ah Lewis, I am in the presence of greatness and I take my fancy new hat off and doff it in your direction as you were the superior little capitalist! I am not worthy of that name, and doing the reselling was pure genius. Nice work. Interestingly, I never knew that there were jobs going at the library. I used to visit the library quite a lot and rumage through their sci-fi collections which was quite extensive and more than I could ever read. It is a shame that people aren't exactly encouraged to read these days, what with all of the other forms of media (mediation anyone?) available, because I reckon people pick up writing skills a bit by osmosis. I am disturbed by what I hear of teaching practices these days because it fails to work upon the very basics of language. It is interesting to me too, because I noted that when I went to Uni, nobody thought to teach a subject about how to study or even how to respond to a question. It was all a bit free form for my liking, even though the lecturers and tutors marked work according to specific criteria - otherwise how could they possibly even grade work? Pah.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

You know, I could make money by answering other peoples Uni assignments. I am aware that such practices go on, but I would not be involved as it is an unethical way to earn money and it also devalues the undergraduate degree that I did earn through hard work.

When I was a young adult, I used to enjoy going off into the remote alpine forests and just camp for a few days of quiet. It was a good way to recharge my batteries. It was hardly an imposition, so yeah I hear you. :-)!

Well of course tastes may differ and dessert stout is not for everyone. The bartender lead me to the conclusion that it was quite a polarising of opinions sort of drink. Mind you, I still have fond memories of the Magical Christmas Unicorn beer. Ah, the good old days...

I have tasted tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) and they're OK. The local native kangaroo apple is also of the solanum family of plants, so there are a massive variety about. The last one I had was very astringent. Talk about pulling a face! I promise no lectures about weeds!!! Hehe!

I was speaking with someone today who told me about timber sleepers used as a retaining wall and the fate of those during a bushfire. Well, they sort of burn and the soil falls out of the retaining wall. I noticed some treated pine posts that survived bushfires and I have sort of wondered whether the increased minerals (Copper, Chrome and Arsenic) from the treating process also protect the timber a bit from burning. Dunno.

Well done. Remember to go slowly with changes to your garden plot, especially if nobody else is adding composts and worms to their vegetable plots. Some people believe that soil is some sort of inert substance that keeps plants upright and they don't want to recall that it is chocko full of life and icky stuff. :-)! Is the fine sand black in colour or more of a grey? No worms equals nothing for the worms to eat and possibly a toxic environment. More organic matter will solve all of that in no time at all. Maybe dig some in so that the other residents don't see what you're up to? No point freaking out the neighbourhood! :-)! Do you have any plans along those lines?

Nature is tough. Hey, the editor told me a funny line: Boredom can be cured by curiosity. But there is no cure for curiosity!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Steve,

Yeah, the water pump mechanism is quite strong, but the pressure switch is a bit dodgy. I do have replacement pressure switches for that pump, but repairs in the past have not given me confidence that the repairs will be good for long. As an interesting side note, if the pressure switch on the pump fails or becomes faulty, the water pump can cycle and the energy use drains the batteries. I have one very good pump which I recommend highly and it is a Johnson pump 12V variable flow 5gpm unit. The exchange rate down here has blown that option out of the water for me. I'll let you know how the new unit which is a Seaflo 12V 5gpm unit goes. I wouldn't touch anything cheaper as my experience has not been good. Shurflo has a very good reputation, but for any serious flow rate, they are expensive.

Interestingly most grid tied panels are suitable for multiples of 24V battery systems eg: 24V, 48V etc. You would do well to examine your usage and the output of your existing array during about a month either side of the winter solstice. Of course generators are an option too, but they're expensive. If you went 48V batteries then you'd have to track down a mains to 48V battery charger. Not an easy or cheap task from what I understand.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

Lovely to hear from you, and yes, it has been a very dry June here too. It may rain this Saturday and Sunday from what I understand. Fingers crossed that some of that rain drifts north.

Of course, you are correct about the fencing being a problem for deer as they can jump huge heights. Deer are a minor annoyance here rather than the more regular wallabies, wombats and kangaroos. Having deer in the orchard all of the time would stress me out as they damage the bark of apple trees for some strange reason. Poopy and the furry gang tend to send deer running for their lives, so the deer don't visit here much. Thanks for writing that about the fencing.

Yes, insects can other creepy crawlies can be a real problem for equipment, but a snake in a pump is something else altogether. What a find. I hope that the snake wasn't active when you found it wrapped around the pump fan? Really? Wow, I have not seen colder than about 2'C yet this winter, but that is pretty cold. How is the garden surviving those sorts of frosts? Last year was a much colder year down here. It is funny how the weather shifts around so much from year to year.

The South Coast Walk is an epic walk. Wow! And thanks for sharing your experience. I find these things become a sort of endurance test more than an enjoyable walk through the forest. What do you reckon about that? Oh yeah, that cheese cake would have been revolting, but so very good at the same time! :-)! I won't complain about the chocolate, but after a while it didn't seem to satisfy the hunger.

No worries, we're all good. Rehab is a tough bit of gear and glad to read that your daughter is recovering. Being incapacitated is a frustrating experience.

Most of the marsupials will go you if a person is ever unfortunate (or foolish) enough to corner or threaten one. Wallaroo's are fascinating as they look like a little stumpy kangaroo. Down in Tasmania, they have pademelon's which are even smaller again. It is amazing to me that the marsupials all happily grow to whatever size the local environment can support. Some of the red kangaroos to the north west of here are massive.

Cheers

Chris

Damo said...

Hi Chris,

I was too late to comment on your solar panel/battery observations last week. We were very busy engaged in a final burst of socialising before moving to the Clarence, providing moral support to sick family members, car shopping (result = nothing yet I am happy with) and packing and driving south to my grandparents house on Sunday.

I can report the rain here (here being Lawrence, about 20km north of Grafton) has been very heavy, causing all sorts of delays on the road project and more critically, preventing the locals (predominantly of retirement age) from playing golf. Several water features on the course merged into very large body of water, but my Pop tells me everyone heroically retreated to the meeting hall for cards and beers instead. A resilient people, these retirees of Lawrence! I was just informed the course is now dry enough for play and a full round is scheduled first thing tomorrow morning.

My brain is still frazzled from the first 2 days of work. Day 1 was a 5 hour powerpoint style induction, complete with group activities and butchers paper. Day 2 was a 8 hour round trip to head office to sign a few bits of paper and bring back my work vehicle. I then got home to find I had *another* powerpoint induction to do online. Almost identical to Mondays induction, but with a different contractors logo on each slide. Unfortunately it is only a precursor to another induction tomorrow morning at 7am. No doubt at some point I can start working, but who knows!

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

No worries and I'm glad that you have had some time to catch up and socialise with family and friends. It is not like you've been in Laos for 12 months or so. I'm not saying that you are moving from one beautiful part of the country to another, but it sure looks that way to me! Hehe! Speaking of car shopping, have you had a chance to watch the War on Waste on the ABC iView? It is frightening stuff. I hope that the sick family members recover and also that they don't seem to have come down with a mysterious case of dengue fever? Just kidding. I do hope that they recover and it is a nice thing to be able to provide moral support in such a circumstance as that really helps.

Your pop is your grandfather? I used to call my grandfather by the sobriquet "poppa" and for the life of me, I never understood how that came to be. Once I became of voting age, I just called him by the name Geoff and left it at that. And the change was unchallenged, which was a real relief for me. Nice to read that the heavy rain produced some delightful groundwater aquifer recharge zones otherwise known as undocumented water features. And yes, cards and beers would certainly assist with coming to terms with such an eventuality! Hehe! Good on 'em.

So much induction processes would absolutely 100% do my head in, but then perhaps that is why I prefer small business nowadays. It is all cool though and whatever works and who knows the end point.

I had to take a break from heavy reading and so I cracked out Jack Vance's book: The Face. A month or so ago I caught up with an old mate whom I've known for almost 30 years now and our conversation was just easy. Reading Jack Vance is like that for me.

Have you heard anything about your recent story? I really enjoyed the tale as it was spiced with SE Asia as only someone who has spent time there can feel it.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

It's evident that you have been very industrious from an early age. I know quite a few people who compete in 5K races and other longer marathons. One of my sisters does competitive stair climbing in the skyscrapers in downtown Chicago. Most benefit various charities.

I would like to comment in more depth on some of the topics discussed in the last couple weeks but life is getting in the way. This is week two of Michael appointments. Last week when he was at his pre op physical before cataract surgery this Thursday something irregular was found on his EKG which then meant an appointment with a cardiologist. Fortunately it's nothing that was too concerning at this time. It's not been a good year for us. Three of our four pigs become quite sick and one died last week. It looks like we may lose one more as well. The vet thinks it was some noxious weed in their pen which seems strange as we've raised them the same way for years. This pen, however, was the old goat pen. It looks like the same stuff growing in at as the others but who knows. The bees aren't doing great as all the rain washed off nectar early in the year getting them off to a slow start and it was quite cold in May as well. We're in the midst of the siding repair as well. We've also had two sets of out of town company in the last two weeks. I got a pretty attractive offer on the farm offer adjacent to our property that is owned by the family trust. I need to sell it fairly soon as it will help support my brothers. The owner of the tree farm is interested in it and possibly our house as well so we'll see. After this week things will slow down some I hope.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, that's a bit off putting about the "stream of consciousness" response. Maybe someone trying to be "arty" or develop the "next new thing." An attempt to be opaque (as do some computer people, scientists or people who write Literature (note the capital "L".) All about power and control. Then again, there is a brain condition / injury where everything comes out just scrambled.

Well, as rain falls from the highest elevation ... I'm just being cheeky. :-). I hadn't really taken the pressure into consideration. Here when we get a good downpour, water shoots out of the downspouts at a tremendous speed and distance. But maintaining that kind of pressure ... Pompeii had a number of "water towers" that maintained pressure. I don't know quit how they worked, but Harris' book "Pompeii" has some pretty good descriptions of Roman hydro. In the "back to the land days" I remember seeing a lot of articles on ram pumps, lifting screws and gravity fed systems. I've never seen a ram pump in action, but I always thought they'd be a bit noisy.

I was never a big John Denver fan. So picking out a favorite. I don't know. They were ... pleasant, catchy little tunes.

Well, I think the best approach to the chair cushions conundrum is to explore what the major retailers have on offer. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Yup. Portugal was pretty horrifying. That fire must have moved really fast to trap so many people.

Some of the colleges here have "pre-courses" to get students up to speed for college work. I remember when I went to Uni, there was one on "How to Use the Library." Our local college, here, tests incoming students. If they are found to lack skills in math or writing, they have to take an "introductory" course to get them up to speed. Sometimes referred to as "bone head math" or "bone head English." :-).

Oh, I took an Introduction to Anthropology class for a mate of mine when I was at Uni. I'd already taken the course and scored high. It was one of those enormous "Introductions to.." courses. Hundreds of students in a lecture situation. Basically, all I had to do was show up for the first couple of days, take the midterm exam, write a paper and take the final. It was the 60s. "Stick it to the man", etc.. Plus, I have a touch of larceny in my soul. :-). These days, I think there's a certain amount of ID checking, involved.

Oh, I'd already thought about being a bit sneaky adding worms to the soil. A bag of kitchen scraps isn't too appealing a sight. When I was working on my plot, it was a quiet Sunday afternoon and I only saw one other person, the entire time I was there. Nap time at The Home? :-).

I liked the Editor's line about boredom. One I cam up with (though I'm sure someone, somewhere, said it at some other time) is "Boredom is a failure of imagination."

Animals in machinery. I had a mate once who lived in an off the grid place in northern California. Had a propane hot water heater, stove and fridge. It burned to the ground. A chipmunk had built a nest in the hot water heater, too close to the pilot light. Squirrels manage to fry themselves in the electric system and bring down the Centralia power system, from time to time. It's never happened to me, but a snake in a lawnmower can be quit a problem. Messy clean up, too. :-).

Well, Nell pulled off a first (as far as I know), yesterday. She killed a small rabbit. Odd how she went about it. What she left on the door mat was ... well, she ate the rabbit from the waist up. Nothing left at all other than one unidentifiable rejected internal organ. Looked like Mr. Rabbit had left his pants and booties, behind. Took a minute to take that all in. Later, she turned up with a mouse.

Painted the gate leg table top, yesterday. Not bad. I'm going to move it down, today along with some boxes and the bath stuff. Wonder what I'll miss? Lew

Jo said...

My kids also go to a more British than than the British school with compulsory sports. My theory is that the school keeps the kids really busy so they don't have time to get into trouble and ruin the school's reputation..

I am going to put in some posts and fencing too, as trellises in the vegie garden. Your wee farm is becoming an absolute gem of organisation, order and convenience. It reminds me of the very organised kitchen gardens and home farms of the English aristocracy.. clearly something from your school rubbed off..

Damo said...

Hi Chris,

You are right about the beauty in this part of the world. Was driving home tonight along a small lane on an island (Woodford Island) in the middle of the Clarence river with the sun setting over it, quite nice all things considered.

I have not seen that War on Waste show, but I have seen some of the numbers for plastic pollution in the oceans and it is not pretty. Short version - most plastics break down to sizes very similar to plankton, and are now in every ocean.

The car shopping experience has been interesting, but disappointing. It seems many new cars have extremely clever and fun automatic gearboxes which unfortunately require incredibly expensive services around the 150,000km mark (for example, 2012 Ford Mondeo wagon for <$6000, but very high chance of $4,000 gearbox repair in near future). I feel a lot of otherwise well designed and lovely cars will go for the scrap heap early as their maintenance costs exceed replacement value. We have looked at and eliminated the Mondeo, Subaru Foresters and Volvo V50. Preferring a manual makes the search even harder. Right now we have temporarily given up, there are family cars we have borrowed. Maybe will look at the Corolla Wagon later, some of them float about for $4000 and will fit surfboards, fishing gear etc :p

/cont

Damo said...

/cont

Hmm, if family members suddenly contracted strange dengue fever like symptoms fingers might be pointed, questions could be asked. Good thing we moved on already! In our family, grandparents on my fathers side are "Grandpa and Grandma" (now just Grandpa sadly). On my mothers side it is Nan and Pop. Age is no barrier to labels!

I ended up doing some work today, although I can say after only one day it looks like this project will be plagued by constant delays. After 5 inductions I still couldn't tell you who is really in charge of the whole show. Venn diagrams, innovation, vertical packaging all sounds nice in a powerpoint maybe, doesn't really explain to the excavator operator why he can't dig a hole today, and probably not tomorrow either. Oh well :-p

Half way through The Blue World, his lead male and female characters are pretty much identical in each book, but I don't care. Great stuff!

Was at an op-shop in Grafton the other day and saw a set of bathroom scales for $2. Keen to track my soon-to-be decreasing waist line I picked them up and was happy to feel a nice weight and solid construction. Country of Origin, "Made in West Germany". Guess that makes them at least 30 years old. I nearly bought it, but they had a carpet surface with some disturbing stains. Instead ], I will make a best effort to guess my weight, although I find myself thinking how hard it would be to glue another covering onto them...

Lew - small mammals are rare in Laos, so the communal apartment cat would bring us the remains of small lizards as tribute. We think it may have felt sorry for us as we clearly had no idea how to hunt! Once it found a birds nest and we got a still alive sparrow chick. Disturbing, but I think they mean well.

Damo

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

Those were incredibly long running distances. I lived in a desert at that period in my life, and I never ran for a sports team, but every chance I got I used to run and run in the desert. I used to take one of the dogs with me sometimes. Once she got pooped and I had to carry her home - an English setter - and I took a companion no more, after that. My father was a runner - and had trouble with his knees. My husband is a runner - and had trouble with his knees. Both learned to pace themselves more carefully, and had no more (generally speaking) knee trouble. No surgery necessary as doctors had, of course, suggested.

We use a manual post-hole digger. I mean "they", as I seldom use it. That hand auger is a clever thing. Do you think it is easier to use than a post-hole digger? My son just bought an electric miter saw; it comes with its own table. He also bought a circular saw (I think. Will have to re-inform if that's not what it is). We've never had either one before. They will both live in the basement, which is the workshop. Which brings to mind the thought: Do you have a separate outbuilding for use as a workshop?

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

P.S. We are eating our first potatoes, zucchinis, peppers, and green beans, and have harvested the garlic. All looks extra good this year and is about 3 weeks ahead of normal. The brassicas look horrible, as usual. I can't tell you how many cabbage worms I have picked off; row covers next year for sure. We do lots better with them in the fall.

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret, Lewis, Jo, Damo, and Pam,

Thanks for the lovely comments, but I travelled into the big smoke tonight to enjoy a Japanese feed with the editor. Oh, Japanese food is good, and who doesn't love wasabi (which is actually dyed horseradish in the sort of restaurants I go too). There is a market for proper wasabi if anyone can get around to growing it. The water requirements for the plant would do my head in. I am too slack to have water plants that much. Oh, sorry I digress as is my wont. I promise to reply to everyone tomorrow evening!

Lewis - speaking about plants, Poopy and I went to the local cafe / post office this morning to pick up some parcels relating to the solar power upgrade project. And wouldn't you know it, driving back home again I spotted a few little rainforest saplings in an area that will definitely get mowed. So I ripped them out and planted them in the fern gully. That is my good deed for the winter solstice. Plus as per your advice, I did speak to the plants nicely after they were planted, but importantly I gave them a solid dose of seasol (fish or seaweed solution) mixed in a goodly dose of water.

When I turned up to the railway station to catch the train into the big smoke, everyone on both platforms were staring at their phones. It felt a bit like a scene from Dawn of the Dead...

Bed is calling.

Cheers

Chris

Coco said...

Your fence posts are looking excellent! At some point, I will have to do something more permanent for the veg patch, but that will have to wait until after the barn is dealt with.

I took up jogging for about six months when we were still in Madrid. My hamstring flexibility hasn´t been the same since, and my knees were making alarming cracking sounds for a long time afterwards. I need a yoga for gardeners tutorial.

The potato beetle infestation is taking up my mornings squishing and picking into a bucket of soapy water, and fighting off clouds of flies at the same time. And while I´m wreaking havoc on the critters, I´ve noticed signs of blight, so perhaps I should just hack off the vegetation and eat the potatoes. A shame, as they haven´t finished flowering yet.

The Portugal fire hit close to home. The newspapers are saying that rural depopulation led to no management of the forested areas, causing rampant undergrowth and, combined with the hot weather, strong winds, and lightening strikes - disaster. Spain has had 4-5 days of intense heat. It´s been 90 degrees (30-35c) since last Saturday, and, at least around here, high humidity. Supposed to break tomorrow.

Just started reading ¨A Place of Greater Safety¨ by Hilary Mantel, about the French Revolution. Let´s just say the parallels to the present are not subtle. She also wrote ¨Wolf Hall¨, about Henry VIII and Cromwell, and they´re dense, lots of characters, lots of plot, lots of pages, historical fiction.

Cheers

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Damo - Just a tip for vehicle shopping. Though, you probably know. Shop at the end of the model year, and shop at the end of the month. It's when you get the best deals. The dealers usually have quotas to fill, so, the end of the month can be crunch time. End of the model year, there's sometimes excess inventory. If they leave you alone in the office for long stretches, as they "check" this and that detail, haul out a book and read. Appear quit content to "stay the course" for as long as it takes. Drives them wild :-).

Nell always looks like she doesn't quit understand why I'm not nearly as excited about her gifts as she is :-). So, I make over her. I always let her in the house (making sure she's not dragging the gift along) and dispose of it out of her sight. I hope she thinks I've quit enjoyed a nosh. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - ZOMBIE MOVIE ALERT!!! "Girl With All the Gifts." I watched it the other night. Worth a look. Your story of the train platform reminded me of it.

Pretty much moved that bathroom to the new place, yesterday. And, the table. Took my first nap and first shower in the new digs. Nothing is in the "right" place. :-). The usual living between two places. Odd bits get drug back and forth. Odd bits get forgotten to be drug back and forth.

Off to Shelton, tomorrow, but Scott can't make the trip. Boooo! But, he can help me unload at this end.

Waiting for me at the library, today, is a documentary with Martin Clune (a find actor.) "Islands of Australia." It ought to be a zinger.

Cliff Mass had a post yesterday about the crazy temperatures from the California coast into Nevada and Arizona. Most places well over 100F. Palm Springs hit 121 and the forecast is for 115F, for the week. Crazy. He had an interesting post on 6/17. "Should Scientists and the Media Exaggerate Global Warming?" I didn't have time to check, but that probably got some interesting comments. :-). Lew

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I have never heard of a stream of consciousness question; it sounds addled to me. Certainly there seems to be a lack of structure in language these days and I don't doubt that that leads to lack of structure in thought. While I don't think that resilience can be taught, it has to be discovered; I agree that featherbedded young would not have the opportunity to discover it.

Does that deal with your query as to my thoughts on the subject?

We have just had the hottest June day for 40 years. While I love this weather, it does make thought and activity difficult.

Inge

@Pam

I am also eating my first potatoes and green beans. I don't know whether or not this is earlier than usual, maybe.
I gave up attempting to grow brassicas long ago.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi everyone,

I got home much later tonight than I expected (it is almost 10pm here now) so tonight's replies may be somewhat lesser than the usual quality and hopefully you also forgive my lack of clarity of thought and also my goodest English, which perhaps on relfection won't be so good tonight! Hehe! Too much sailing the wide accountant-seas makes a person tired...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

I salute anybody who can run a 5K as it is no small matter. And stair climbing is an entirely different set of skills of endurance. I feel tired even contemplating such an activity... Yawn!!! About two decades ago, there used to be thing for ultra marathon runners and they would do insane distances like run between Sydney and Melbourne (it is only 800km or perhaps 900km). They used to do those runs for charity. Nowadays down here the charity is covered by the entrance fees for the run, although I have seen one or two people look for sponsorship.

Best of luck with Michael's appointments. Yes, you and your family have been doing it hard this year on that front and I do send you best wishes that things will settle down. How is Michael going in his new digs?

The other day I read an article suggesting that lead poisoning was causing an increase in droopy wing conditions in chickens. I have seen such a condition in a chicken, but the little leg horn recovered and seems very well now. The lead comes in with the woody mulch and compost at a guess. We live on a poisoned planet, so you don't really know what is in the pig feed either and I have noticed that the chickens suffer more problems in very damp and cold weather (but usually just damp) and perhaps your pigs are also having troubles because of that? Dunno. Best of luck with the sale!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

You know the stream of consciousness question (if that is what it can be called), troubled my mind for unknown reasons more than I care to admit. If I have any free time over the next week or so, I'll type out the text and we can have a look. It was fascinating to hear, but also troubling, but I just can't put a finger on why it troubles me. Dunno.

That opaque situation is quite common and I get to experience people telling me porky pies (i.e. lies) on a semi-regular basis. I had that sort of experience yesterday as I dropped into an electronics shop in the city and I was asking them a technical question and the answer sounded vague. And me being me, I said: Mate, it is OK if you don't know, does anyone else around here know? Sometimes blunt produces good results. ;-)!

Yes, you are being cheeky! And I appreciate your cheekiness! The problem is big really and is one that I have to consider and act upon over the next few years. The Aboriginals used to work on the hydrological cycle of the landscape and slow the flow of water across the landscape. They also used to sink wells. In our enlightened times we do neither... Of course one is not good without the other.

We use water towers these days too, and many people down here install water tanks on high stands and use wind power to pump the water up to the tank. The stand has to be strong as there is a lot of weight in a full water tank. I don't know much at all about wind driven pumps and it is probably not a bad idea.

Fair enough about John Denver. I have fond memories of singing in class in primary school. incidentally, back in those days we used to sing our times tables and our alphabets. Unfortunately in these enlightened days... I'll tell you a funny story, in the more English than the English school my classmates all used to roar the hymns in church. I reckon it sounded pretty cool, but occasionally we took it too far. Detentions ensued... We got used to being detained!

The fires seemed pretty intense. A lot of cars seemed to have crashed into one another on a bridge. That was not good. People get what used to be known as lights and sirens and they panic when faced with an unfamiliar situation and accidents ensue.

Bone head math sounds OK to me. My gut feeling tells me that more of such things will be needed in the far future.

Yes, you are very naughty. Where were you when I needed help at Uni? Phooey! Hehe! I once had an employee working for me, who I always suspected that her sister did her studies and exams. Photo id can be a tough call in such a situation. Anyway, she seemed harmless enough and I gave her a job where she could keep out of trouble.

Those worms need the kitchen scraps to eat otherwise they may go hungry. Of course buried organic matter isn't really there is it? Quiet sounds delightful to me! I have endured noise enough on occasions and I appreciate quiet.

So true! Who works at developing an imagination these days? I reckon that is a downside of all of these screens about our society. I walked past a bar in the big smoke and two walls were covered in screens all displaying different things. I wonder if anyone could hear the sound? It is very eerie.

Ouch. The poor chipmunks and squirrels... A nasty and quick finish. You'd sort of hope that no other animals decided to try and taste the fried chipmunks and/or squirrels. Drownings down here can be a lot like that. Someone who can't swim dies trying to rescue someone else who can't swim. It really does happen. Do they teach swimming much in the US?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

That is genius. Who would have guessed that there was a point to it all? :-)! I do hope your kids enjoy the sports, and to be honest, I didn't mind it. It does acclimatise a person to being busy, don't you reckon?

Excellent! You may wonder why I chose treated pine as distinct from rough sawn hardwood? The hardwood turns to rich black soil within two years here. And who wants to do fencing every second year?

Ah yes, well now you know my secrets! The Green Wizards group asked me a tough question what I'll do when I'm older (the same question was posed here a few weeks back). Well, order, neatness, convenience and just general orderliness is one such response to that concern. Of course it may well be that I just like things being tidy! Hehe! No doubts at all that they are to blame.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Oh yeah, that spot is the sweetest spot on the mainland I reckon in terms of climate and soils. It is very expensive though. I wonder how all of the hippies around Byron and the hinterland deal with that expense? They looked like they were enjoying themselves when last I visited that part of the world. But, are they winning? That is the question.

It is horrendous. Yes, the technical term I believe may be noodles.

Haha! Stick to manuals and perhaps head north to Brisbane or south to Sydney where the choice will be better. It is like people buying a horse and then not using it for transport - like the things can walk themselves. I'd be certain the new dual clutch automatics would be horrendously expensive to repair. Far out.

Run, Damo, run! Well, only if there are signs of symptoms. You'd be like one of those carriers in a zombie film. Incidentally the editor showed me a funny shower curtain with a printed blood soaked stain on it with the words Help Me scrawled in red ink. Looked very cool.

Well, the question that you have to come to terms with is: Why are the projects run in the way they are run? It may well be that a possible answer is that they are run that way so as to provide employment and too much efficiencies will lead to unemployment. It all depends on what the unstated goal of the project is. I wouldn't rock the boat too much in such a situation. Just my twenty cents.

Yup, mate I once removed six layers of mouldy carpet off a timber floor (which had partly vanished) so you don't have to convince me of the nature of second hand carpet with unusual looking stains.

Mammals in Laos get eaten. I saw them for sale in the markets.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Thanks, your mind sort of adapts to the distances as you repeat the experience of them. Out of curiosity, did you run in the mornings or evenings? It would have been quite beautiful in the desert at those times. Poor you, and the poor English setter. That is a very large dog to have to carry. I hope it wasn't too far?

Well done to both of them and yeah, adapting a running style can really help in such a situation. Sometimes I see runners who don't appear to be very symmetrical or they can even have knocked knees where the knees are turned inwards and that can seriously damage a person. I was told recently that replacement knees can only be done twice and they provide ten years. I decided not to risk my knees in that activity any longer.

I assume your post hole digger is a gas powered unit? The kick back from those can be a bit of a hazard if the clutch gets at all dodgy. It takes a lot of strain. I try to not use too many power tools, but I may just be stubborn or something like that. On the other hand, an electric mitre saw is a beautiful piece of equipment. I used one when I constructed the house and the unit is still going strong today. I love that tool. And you are spot on with the circular saw.

A workshop, hmmm, there's an idea for the future! Hehe! I hope he enjoys his workshop. Nope generally I just use the tools out in the open. Even the arc welder I use under the too small to be a car port, car port. It is better to be in the open air with those toxic fumes.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Coco,

Your stone ruins in your garden are a thing of beauty. How is the barn coming along? I reckon only fence what you need to fence. Some things here have to be fenced otherwise the birds, insects and other animals would eat all of them no matter how much I produce. The mice got into the chicken enclosure too. I can't believe it. They are certainly far smarter than I am. I guess that is why they say "rat cunning"?

Ouch. Yup, it is a very hard exercise to start. I hope you do regular daily stretching to repair the hamstring? Yoga is not a bad idea, although it has become a bit too fashionable. The editor and I do a daily stretch routine otherwise I'd probably seize up.

Hmm, The potato beetles are tough and I have no experience with them. What are online forums saying about them? Far out, blight! Ouch. As a suggestion, well before next season give the potato beds a serious feed and can you get a new batch of different variety seed potatoes?

Yup, I manage the forest here as much as I am able to. It is not a small or simple process. And they were growing eucalyptus trees. What surprised me about the photos was that the trees were very uniformly aged, too closely spaced together, and they weren't that old. I really send my sympathies to anyone affected by those fires.

High heat and high humidity are a rough combination. Stay hydrated.

Thanks for the book recommendations.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Mate, I'm winding down now and crashing towards bedtime... Thanks for the zombie film referral and I will definitely add that to the list. Who doesn't love a good zombie film. Although John Carpenter's remake of Dawn of the Dead was terrifying. The film didn't stop at the credits and the sheer futility of it all? Maybe the zombies were a new stage of evolution? Perhaps that is what people are going on about with the dawning of a new age of evolution for humanity? We may not like the results! Hehe!

Well done and you are very lucky to be able to enjoy the experience at a sedate pace which is at your leisure.

Good luck and I hope the supply of antique stuff there is good? Did you purchase any furniture?

Thanks for the heads up about Cliff Mass's blog. We had reports of those heat waves down here. Far out, it sounded hot. Mostly the articles seemed to be focused on how the airports were affected more than anything else. Which seemed a bit strange to me.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Yes, the stream of consciousness thing was very strange and if I get a free hour or so I will type out the question and post it here and see whether anyone can make heads or tails of it. The questions disturbed me for some reason which I can't put a finger on. Maybe.

How hot is hot? How are your vegetables coping with those temperatures? Are you noticing any increase in coastal erosion? I saw a lot of that a few weeks ago when I travelled to the coast.

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Another thought on that stream of consciousness post. We shy away from outright signs of madness. There's also "I don't have time to deal with this nonsense." :-).

I don't know about now, but back when I was growing up we took several courses at the local YMCA in swimming. Been years ... decades since I've been in any body of water. I suppose I can still figure out how to float, or dog paddle around.

I watched "Martin Clunes Islands of Australia, last night. I really enjoyed it. He started in Sydney and worked his way counter clockwise around Australia. He visited around 15 islands. Every been to the tiny (fairy) dusk penguin parade on Phillips Island? That looked like fun.

Well, I've got to head out to Shelton. See if I can bring down the willy wardrobe :-). Lew

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Hot here is 82F. But my bedroom stayed at 80F all night. The hottest day for 40 years was (I think) 35C but not here.

The vegs are loving the weather but I keep them well watered. No coastal erosion here because there has been no wind. I believe that there has been a bad cliff fall elsewhere.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Those are both true observations. On Wednesday night there was a bloke selling the "Big Issue" which is a magazine sold to provide funds and employment for the homeless. Did I mention that there seems to be an awful lot of homeless around the city? Anyway, I bought a copy off him and asked how he was going. Winter is a tough time down here as the days are OK but the nights can get pretty close to freezing even in the big smoke with all its heat island effect. However, I honestly don't know how the homeless camps (which you described sometime in the long distant past) in your part of the world cope with winter conditions. The rise in the homeless population down here is a relatively recent phenomena. There were interesting downward movements in the stock markets down here last week. I don't play such games as to my mind it is like going to a casino - what could possibly go wrong? :-)!

Fair enough about the swimming. Some people have no idea at all about how to swim and what to do when caught in danger. The editor was once sucked out into deep water by a rip in Port Phillip Bay and she knew to relax and not fight the current but try to swim slowly out from and away from it. Not good. The funny thing is that I used to swim in the ocean, but the swells, sharks and jellyfish incidents became a bit too exciting for my tastes. The sharks are a fun thing because people say: Oh we spotted a bronze whaler shark at the beach yesterday, but it hasn't been sighted today and I wouldn't worry about it. Mate, those sharks are huge! Not to be trifled with. Do you get sharks in your corner of the world? Incidentally, as fish stocks apparently decline I notice that sharks are being sighted closer to the shorelines around the coastline.

The fairy penguin parade on Phillip Island is quite something else. At dusk, all these little penguins march up the beach in waves. They've put the days fishing behind them and off to their little burrows in the sand dunes. There are a surprising number of penguin and seal colonies along the coastline down here. The Phillip Island penguin parade is a huge tourist attraction especially with overseas visitors.

Did Martin Clunes make it to Fraser Island?

I wish you well with your hunt, my friend! Let's go huntin wabbits! :-)! Did you find what you were looking for?

We removed an old wood heater from one of the sheds today. The unit is in excellent condition and we're probably going to sell it off. We haven't used it for years and it was taking up a huge amount of space. It is much better to get the unit back into circulation before entropy works her magic! ;-)! Removing the wood heater flue left a huge hole in the roof of the shed. Fortunately, we can fix things with scrap (plus we had a matching piece of scrap roofing).

I hope to get some more timber posts in over the next few days, but the weather is looking a bit dodgy with rain predicted.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Oh my goodness that is a very warm night inside the house. That makes for some uncomfortable sleep. If it means anything to you, I tend to sleep better in the cooler weather.

That is the trick with hot weather. As long as you have water to burn (an unusual choice of words, but there you go), hot weather is survivable for the garden. If you don't have water then, well, let's say it is not good.

I can't grow any brassica's over summer due to the cabbage moths, and if the plants survive the moths, the heat forces them to bolt to seed. Over the years we have been selecting for very heat and extreme sun hardy greens. It is time well spent. Do you get those white cabbage moths and green catepillars on your brassica's?

Out of curiosity, are you using the greenhouse given how warm the summer is? They don't work so well down here over summer.

We're heading off to the pub for a pint and feed. Yum!

Is there any rain forecast for your area?

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Everything seemed to eat brassicas but the only name that I knew was 'white fly'.

I am using my 2 small greenhouses for strawberries and tomatoes, they are doing fine regardless of the hot weather. There is rain forecast but I haven't had any yet.

I saw the evening penguin parade many years ago when camping on Kangaroo Island with my elder daughter. No tourists, just us. She had set up out camp at that spot with this sight in mind.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - We always seem to lose a few homeless, if the weather gets extreme in either direction. Too hot or too cold. I've read a few books by Actual Homeless People and there are tricks to survival that they freely pass around amongst themselves. It's the completely addled who go off by themselves that are usually done in by the weather. The authorities (police and social service agencies) do the best they can to get out and "beat the brush" when the weather gets extreme. But some of the homeless are very good at hiding. Authorities in some places ... well, under a "danger to themselves or others" law, they can run them to a hospital for 24, 36 or 48 hour "observation" period. Mileage varies from place to place. Sally Mae = Salvation Army. :-).

As global waters warm, we're getting Great White Shark attacks, further and further north. There's been some along the Oregon Coast.

White knuckling it all the way, I made it to Shelton and back. And, brought down a willy wardrobe. And, a Deco display cabinet. Ohhh, there was some nice furniture. Wish I had more money, and space :-). The wardrobe has linen fold panels. The two items just barely fitted into my truck. :-). Three guys bungy corded everything all together and everything was padded out with blankets I had brought and cardboard they had. When I got to The Home, I called Scott and he came over to help me unload and wrestle the stuff up to my place. While waiting for Scott, the Warden's right hand woman was making lunch for the Inmates. She's kind of new, I guess, and is from India. I was invited to join in. A rice, veg and Spam (!) dish with a good curry to go on it. Looked like refried beans. Quit good.

I also found one "small" that had come over from England. A Staffordshire figure of Little Red Riding Hood! I had seen pictures of them, and you have to watch out for reproductions. About 8" tall. Red is sitting with a rather unthreatening looking wolf tucked under one arm. Probably circa 1850. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Martin Clunes did not make it to Fraser Island. Australia has 8,220 islands and Clunes made an 8,000 mile trip. Factoid: If you visit one a day, it will take you 22 years to see them all :-).

1.) He started off kyaking out to Fort Dennison Island in Sydney Harbor. (Small). 2.) Lord Howe Island (Kentia Palms) 3.) Norfolk Island (Convicts) 4.) Restoration Island (Hermit). 5.) Torres Straight Islands (Music culture and pearls). 6.) Tiwi Island (Aboriginal culture, art and bush tucker). 7.) The Muirons Islands. (Diving, turtles and sea birds). 8.) Hontman Abrolhos Islands. (Cray fish). 9.) Rottnest Island. (quokka, another marsupial and a rather haunted place, due to it's convict past) 10.) Carnac Island (Tiger Snakes!) 11.) Mundoo Island (Beef and horses). 12.) Phillip Island (Race cars and penguin parades). 13.) King Islands (Harvesting Bull kelp. Used as a thickener for everything from pudding, cake, sauces and ... beer.) 14. Tasmania (an island in itself) to Maria where they have an isolated a population of Tasmanian Devils to prevent them from getting the cancer face tumors. Then, back to the mainland to check out where they have released vaccinated Devils. Saw a quoll, actually, a cat, and not another marsupial :-).

Whew! Quit a trip. Fell like I need a nap, but will mow, instead, before it gets to hot. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Oh my! I've have never seen or heard of white fly before. The images on the internet of a white fly infestation look pretty scary to me. Are they a seasonal insect or do you enjoy their presence over the entire growing period? White cabbage moths down here look quite different: White cabbage moth images. The little green caterpillars on the undersides of the brassica leaves do all of the eating. Interestingly too, I get a parasitic wasp that lays eggs in the green caterpillars (it is a tough world for those insects) like a scene out of the film: Alien where the alien young burst out of the guts of the haplessly infected carrier. The small fairy wrens that spend their days bouncing through the vegetable patch also eat their fill of insects, but essentially the hot summer sun forces the plants to bolt to seed and not much can be done about that.

Now, I do have sympathy for your record heat wave, but far out, five consecutive days over 30'C / 86'F and nobody down here would notice. A few years ago, I noticed three days in a row where the air temperature in the shade exceeded 40'C / 104'F. However I do understand that these things are a relative experience and if prior summers have been different, then it can be quite shocking to experience the weather you have just experienced. And to be honest, when heat waves hit here, I am a little bit anxious due to the increased fire risk. You are very fortunate to be surrounded by an oak forest as those oak trees have an adaptability to extreme temperatures which may surprise you. When I see them growing down here on a hot summers days I often wonder at the sort of environments they must have experienced in the far distant past to have built those defences into their genetics.

I do hope you receive some rain soon - as do I here too! June has been dry. Your tomatoes would be adoring that hot weather and I hope you enjoy a bumper crop of very tasty sun ripened fruit? I will be doing something about the strawberries here over the next month or so, and hopefully it is of interest to you. Fresh strawberries are a beautiful fruit. One year the crop was so large that I was taking small containers of the fruit from here for other people that I know to also enjoy.

Yup, I loved Kangaroo Island. The great expanses and the sheer quiet of the island. There are some days that I consider the option of disappearing into the far forests and just turning my back on the world – and I could actually achieve that outcome, no dramas – but then there are other days that it all seems good and connecting with people is truly rewarding. Your camping experience would have been lovely. The penguins and seals live a delightful existence on that island and it is great that you got to enjoy them too – a rare treat. I am always curious about that island because it is from memory about 60 miles long, but the Aboriginals apparently abandoned that island and I have always wondered why. There are also colonies of European honey bees there that are very isolated there and have not had other genetics introduced to them. Oh, and I visited a sheep dairy. How good is sheep milk cheese? Yum!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I get that, sometimes they just want nothing to do with help and they turn their backs on that help even at great peril to themselves. You see that in play down here with evacuations in the face of a large scale bushfire. Completely addled can be another way to describe mental health issues. You know some people just aren't built to survive in the world as it is and the narrow narrative that is offered to those people just doesn't fit well and they fall through the cracks. I tend to believe that a lot of our energy and resources goes into enforcing that narrow narrative and for some the outcomes are not so good. Oh my goodness, I looked up the definition of Sally Mae (which is clearly a colloquial term) and instead the interweb returned: SLM Corporation (commonly known as Sallie Mae). I looked into the eyes of evil and I saw...

The GW meetup today was very good indeed. There was quite a good turnout for the middle of winter. My experience with groups has been that numbers decline in the winter months only to surge again in the in between months (autumn and spring). Do you see that at the meetings or does the weather play no role? My train was late today which is unusual so I had only just enough time for me to scoff down a pizza and tiramisu which impressed not only myself, but others! ;-)! Forget Aliens and their nasty ilk, just don't get between me and good tiramisu and perhaps that is a good chunk of advice! We had a talk about community and what I felt was the emotional and physical preparedness for the future. Sometimes I have to balance my contributions to the discussion and I manage that more or less well. It is a fine balancing act. Overall, I believe that people enjoy the group and the discussions.

You downed that willy wabbit wardowbe. :-)! Apologies for my silliness! From your account you scored pretty well. Did the deco display cabinet have glass? I assume it did. Was the glass the original pane as it would be quite old now. I have seen glass run in 100+ year old windows and they have the most beautiful natural flows and forms - unfortunately the glass can be paper thin too by that time.

That is funny as we were discussing spam not that long ago. To be honest, the meal sounds pretty good to me. Curry powder can be quite hot too. I purchase my curry powder from an Indian bloke at the market and mate, the Tandoori curry powder will knock your socks off! Far out, it is explosive.

It is interesting to me that the wolf in the small is presented as an unthreatening beastie. What a rabbit hole the interweb is. So I started reading about wolves and the UK and they have been gone now for quite a long while. What did attract my eye was that one of the last bastions of the wolves was Sherwood Forest which cannot have been a coincidence for the Robin Hood stories.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Well, I had no idea at all that there were so many islands. One of the islands that we claim which is closer to Antarctica is an active volcano which is pretty cool. Far out, that is a massive amount of time spent exploring islands. It sounds exhausting to me. Hehe! Interestingly too, I've previously read about the hermit on Restoration Island as he sounds quite the character. Phillip Island hosts the motorcycle GP and a mate of mine is quite the fan of that day. I don't travel a huge amount anymore, but have been to see the penguin parade on Phillip Island. As a fun fact, one of the GW folks lives on the adjacent island to Phillip Island which is the very quiet and large island of French Island. I'd probably enjoy myself there too as they have no local council. Fun times! I have visited Maria Island off the east coast of Tasmania and I really enjoyed the experience. I hope the devils survive the facial tumours.

Enjoy your mowing! I intend to cement in a whole lot of treated timber poles into the ground tomorrow which should be good. Originally, I'd planned to help some mates with a mass tree planting exercise, but they haven't got their tree guards sorted yet. I was planning to write the blog: Weekly notes from a very big shed, but I still have to ask their permission which is the polite thing to do.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Before I forget, I thought you might enjoy this article (from the disaster junkie perspective): Abandoned flood-ravaged restaurants at Brisbane's South Bank to be demolished .

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

First off I wanted to comment on the cabbage moths. I am plagued by them as well but I dust with Bt as soon as I see them about every 7 to 10 days and it works quite well. Of course I wonder how long that'll work now that most corn has been genetically modified so every cell contained Bt. I plant my brocolli early - it's just starting to head now. I grow varieties that produce many side shoots so I get brocolli pretty much up to frost if I attend to it well. However in fall I'll let it go to flower as the honey bees love it. The plants don't look too good by then. I know overall we're cooler but it can get pretty hot in the summer - days well over 90 and even 100.

I'm really glad the last two weeks are over. Michael came through the surgery just fine. Yesterday he had his first follow up - less than 24 hours after surgery and wow I couldn't believe how much he could read now. When we returned to his residence we were going over what has to be done for the next week and with a big smile he said to the nurse "I can read your name tag now!". The goat and chicken classes are done now too so it's time to catch up around here. We lost two pigs but the third one that was sick is really turning around. We've had a fair amount of rain but not so much that it's a problem. Now the weather has turned cool with highs only in the low 70's and even a few days in the 60's.

We're off to look at the tree farm owner's 11 acre property near the town just west of us. It used to be another tree farm and he wants to get rid of it. He's proposed that in the negotiation for our house maybe we would like it. It does have a building, electric and water but no house. Our latest idea is to purchase a small house in one of the nearby towns and maybe keep this property for bees, some gardening and a "country get away". Maybe we'd keep the RV after our trip and camp out there from time to time. Lots of changes going on.

Today we're off to our daughter's and her boyfriend's new place in Chicago with our truck loaded with some of her stuff that has been stored here for years and some of my mother-in-law's furniture as well.

Margaret

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

We have had a tiny amount of rain over night.

I don't know whether white fly have a long season or not. If I don't grow any brassicas, I don't get them.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - It's supposed to get to 90+ over the next couple of days. Oddly, overnight lows plunge to around 55F.

Hmmm. Maybe the homeless refer to the Salvation Army as Sally May? I'll have to check into that. What a difference a bit of spelling makes. :-).

Groups tend to decline, here, in the summer. Lots of people tend to feel cooped up, in the winter, so they want to get out in the sunshine. Then there's all the yard work. When I was watering my plot, yesterday, I noticed the pumpkins are pushing through. Go pumpkins! Wonder if there's a sports team, somewhere, called the Fighting Pumpkins? Probably :-). I used to quit ramble on, in meetings. All quit thought out. Now I just ramble on and blurt things out. Or, if the lights are on and no one's at home, I just pass. Someone actually told me the other day that they liked that I just kept it short, sweet and to the point. Believe it or not :-). Some of our members have the tendency to ramble, but they take good natured ribbing, pretty well. There's usually a couple of reminders, from the chair, to "limit sharing to 3 to 5 minutes, so all can participate." An hourglass may be called for .... :-).

The curio cabinet has a glass door (broken up by some fret work in a geometric pattern ... but not too obtrusive), glass sides and glass shelves. Hard to tell if it's all the original glass, but probably. I was hoping for mirror on the back, but no such luck. I can always slip in a glue down a piece later. I could always light the interior, but probably won't get around to it.

Staffordshire figures are kind of like Currier and ives prints. They reflected the topics of the day, in an inexpensive form and brought a bit of "art" into the homes of the more common folk. They're sometimes called "Fairings", as they were sold, or given as prizes at fairs. The most common one's you see (and, heavily reproduced) are pairs of spaniels, usually hanging about the fireplace. But the variety of subjects is mind boggling. Famous people, highway men, religious figures, murder cottages (scenes of famous crimes), the sailor (or soldier) departs, and then a matching return. lots of Scottish / Highland tat. If I became truly crazed, I could put together a set of Victoria, Albert, and ALL their children. And, extended family. :-). Cont.





LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. I don't know if you've heard the story, but I referred to Rottnest Island as haunted, due to it's history. It separated from Australia, about 7,000 years ago. Aboriginal people did not live there. They could see it from the mainland, and believed that thats where the spirits of the dead went. So ... where does the government decide to open an all Aboriginal penal colony? On Rottnest Island. Martin Clunes is a great "presenter." So enthusiastic. And he's got a real affection for animals, in all their forms.

Got my mowing done and couldn't help but reflect that once I'm gone, it will all probably return to wilderness, again. Probably thinking that due to going over to the abandoned farm and cutting rhubarb. The old place is sliding downhill, pretty fast.

Well, I'm off to the new place. I'm determined to bake up a strawberry rhubarb crisp for a potluck on Sunday. So, making sure I take enough of my kitchen to do that will take some thought. Wonder what I'll forget? :-). I saw an interesting suggestion for the topping part. And, since I can't leave a recipe alone ... adding some broken up, toasted walnuts to the oats, flour, brown sugar and butter. So, I toasted up some walnuts, last night.

The Indian assistant at The Home is named Tara, and she's from Sri Lanka. Part of the great Indian diaspora, I suppose. I like exploring different ethnic cuisines, but can't say I'm really enamored with Indian cooking. I'd guess nothing has seized my attention ... yet. :-). Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

I'd never heard of Bt before. What a fascinating bacteria. Yeah, that would work quite effectively. Excuse the bad pun, but you have to go with your gut feeling in that matter. ;-)! Such widespread use will most likely result in adaption by the moths, I mean the breeding cycles are quite fast, so that situation always lends itself to random adaption. I can't grow brassica's here during the summer as the extreme UV and heat sort of stops them anyway. I probably need a shade house for summer growing of those plants, but the water requirements increase with every artificial environment I set up, so I just eat other plants. It has taken quite a number of years to select summer heat hardy greens, but I seem to be OK on that front now. Interestingly, the brassica's grow well from about autumn, right through winter and into spring. You may find that with a bit of global warming your growing season will extend quite a bit. I reckon the growing season here is longer than I can remember from a decade ago.

90'F or 100'F is hot in anyone’s language. Such weather knocks me out and if it goes on for weeks and weeks.

Excellent and I'm so pleased to read that about Michael. He must be pretty pleased with the outcome too?

Out of morbid curiosity, pigs from my experience can get quite large, and I was sort of wondering what do you do with a dead pig? I've never had to face that particular problem. With dead dogs (which is very rare) I bury them and plant a fruit tree over the body. The fruit tree and its steel cage help stop the foxes from digging up the body, which can be an unpleasant experience for everyone. Ah, the practicalities of rural living...

Yeah, that is a great idea. Before property prices were so crazy, and there were less people, that arrangement with the land was how things were done. Few if any people lived out of town in remote spots, but that doesn't mean that the land wasn't worked.

Enjoy your trip to Chicago! It is funny that you wrote about such things...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

The small amount of rain overnight would have been a bit of a relief for you. Did it cool the forest air down at all? There has been a tiny amount of rain here over the past week too. Today I was digging holes for new fence posts and it was pleasing to see that there was good soil moisture despite the very dry June.

Yeah, I hear you. Some plants are just not meant to be grown in some areas and at certain times. I can't grow brassica's here over the summer months and so they've become a winter green for me. I tend to find that every time you fight nature, there is a cost that has to be borne, and so plenty of times I just go off and do something else instead. There are other plants to consume, but I've just had to spend the time finding out which ones they are. I'd grow silver-beet, but the editor believes that the leaves taste like dirt, so they become chicken feed.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Hot days and cool nights are ideal. 55'F would be quite cool for a summers night here, but you know, you can capture that cool air in the house overnight. That practice and heavy insulation is how I survive the summer heat.

The kitchen was invaded by tiny little ants today. The ants were everywhere. Apparently there is meant to be a super colony of those little ants which stretches under Melbourne and it may be that the ants have worked there way up here. It has been a real nuisance cleaning out all of the kitchen cupboards, but you know, there wasn't much in the way of damage. Their expedition was for naught.

Oh yeah, the spelling revealed a whole different entity. I was speaking last week with a young lady who told me that she had a huge student debt and I was gobsmacked at the size of the the thing. And I wondered to myself how will she ever recover financially from that debt burden? My gut feeling says that the system is so structured that recovering is not necessarily the desired outcome. Imagine if AA had that goal as an unstated objective?

I reckon ten people was a good turnout for the event, but the opposite is true here for the winter months if only because people feel that the conditions are far colder than they actually are. A lot of it is all in their heads. I live for the yard work. You'll be pleased to know that I was again busy digging holes for fence posts today!

Go the pumpkins! Cucurbitaceae are real givers of plants. Over the next few months I'm planning to set aside a growing area for them and the melons because they love sprawling all over the place. And who are we to deny those plants prerogatives? Ha! That is funny about the sporting teams. There used to be a 90's grunge rock band called: The Smashing Pumpkins. I thought they were very good and they expressed serious emotions with the song: The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979 . The meaning of the lyrics is just not there, but listening to the song you can almost feel some expression of loss which is never quite touched.

Thanks for the good advice. I too avoid rambling these days and just try and chuck in a king hit or two and then leave the floor for others. I do believe you, age has that affect! ;-)! It was funny but yesterday I said jokingly to one of the GW folks: "Simon, did you just say: Too big to fail?". Of course I was being silly, and the point was taken and there were a few laughs, but I have to be careful not to dominate the conversation as people have to work their own way through the mazes and labyrinths. It is not for you or I to pull them through by the scruff of their collars. They may hate you for that experience when the problems are of their own making.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Talk of your curio cabinet brought to mind some old houses that I'd visited where the bookcases were in built with either a ladder to access the higher shelves or the most beautiful and ornate glass and timber doors so as to protect the leather bound books from dust. One day I may have to rebuild the book shelves here with more durable materials. I'm not necessarily sanguine that the current ones will stand the test of time.

Thanks for the history of the Staffordshire figures. In the long distant past I have seen them on display in houses, but not so much these days. In fact not at all. They are a product of a more sane time.

Ouch. Yup, the unstated goal of our civilisation is to squash any and all alternatives and it appears to me that such is the case in that circumstance. It is nothing short of disrespectful. Anyway, the whole mess will be a victim of its own success and it takes serious resources to insert and enforce a dominant narrative.

Maybe the evil step son and company will step up to the plate? Maybe? We expend a lot of resources in this society trying to hold back nature. It is not an easy or cheap thing to do.

Yum, I'm totally salivating at the thought of strawberry and rhubarb crisp. I will mention that we stewed up a batch of rhubarb this morning as well as another batch of quinces. Yum! The walnuts sound like a great addition. They tend to do that with almonds here for some reason despite the fact that not many people grow almond trees. Mind you, the almonds we harvested this year were really tasty and far beyond my expectations. I bought an English walnut tree a few weeks back and have been providing it with a lot of attention as they are really tough trees to get established.

Yeah, Sri Lanka is an interesting place. You know they had a civil war until only very recently. I wonder whether the food that you have experienced has been watered down to suit US tastes? My mate that spent two years in the US in Ohio mentioned that interesting comparison with ethnic cooking. He's a bit of a foodie and spends a lot of time growing his own produce.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

The temperature has dropped 15F degrees and I can get work done. I definitely adapt to eating what I can successfully grow. I refuse to use any chemicals so trying to grow something just because I love it, won't do.

There are laws here relating to the burial of dead livestock. I have no idea what they are. Nuff said.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - The flooded restaurants in Brisbane were quit something. And, it's an old World's Fair site! Looks like they did a pretty nice conversion, after the fair. Some of those become real white elephants. Not enough "long view" to develop the sites for future civic use. Pity to loose the buildings, but a nice green space will be of value. Was the flood damage entirely river caused, or was their some sea surge involved? I don't even know where Brisbane, is. :-). It was 91F (32.77 C), yesterday. Supposed to be slightly hotter, today. Then mid to low 70s, the rest of the week.

I've had tiny ant infestations from time to time. Borax knocked them back, the first few go arounds. But this time, I've just thrown in the towel and used ant bait traps. First it was the kitchen, then Nell's food in the bathroom. Now, back to the kitchen, again. How did you get rid of yours?

Hmmm. I vaguely remember Smashing Pumpkins from some early MTV music vids. Some bee song? It's late to get pumpkins started, but I figure if I lope off the vines after two or three fruit set, I'll be ok. Also, I'm growing a smaller, pie variety.

When I worked for Walden Books and B. Dalton's, we had these rolling ladders to reach stock, high up. Great fun. Other than when I was in a leg cast for 6 weeks :-). Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Well, I made a total hash of the Strawberry / Rhubarb crisp. I burnt the walnuts a bit. Then, when I went to The Home, discovered I'd left behind the rhubarb, strawberry and walnuts. Sigh. So, back home. Besides the burnt walnuts, I left out the vanilla. Then, I discovered that what I thought was a jar each of nutmeg and cinnamon was two jars of nutmeg. After measuring it into the mix. I'll be eating botched crisp for quit awhile :-). Oh, well. At least I'll see if the sugar / fruit ratio is right. So I'm headed back, this morning to do it again.

One thought I had while watching the islands of Australia. So much seems so dependent on gas powered energy. Everything from ATVs to round up cattle to engines to pull in the bull kelp. You can't really see it, but there's oil/gas sloshing around everywhere to keep everything ticking along. Lew