Monday, 18 September 2017

Ship of Fools

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

This week, two chickens have become broody. A broody chicken is a chicken that sits in place for about three weeks. Underneath that hot and sweaty, broody chicken, is a clutch of eggs which the broody chicken is keeping nice and toasty warm. In a chicken enclosure with a rooster, the fertilised eggs would eventually hatch and the broody chicken may take those young chicks under her wing. I do not have a rooster and so the eggs are not fertilised. Chickens still go broody whether the eggs are fertilised or not.
Two broody chickens face off against fluffy head the Silky Australorp cross who wants to lay an egg
In the above photo you can see that the black chicken known as “Fluffy Head” wants to lay an egg. Fluffy Head wants the large grey chicken (Boss Plymie, the Plymouth Rock) and/or the small grey chicken (a Silkie) to keep her egg warm during the three week incubation period. Chickens are quite clever creatures in their own way, because they share the responsibilities involved in raising new chicks.From what I have observed over the years of their behaviour, they seem to have an organised roster system between them all for that purpose.

However, it is not all nice in the world of chicken, as some of the social arrangements of the chickens can be pretty brutal. For example some of the “cool kids” in the chicken enclosure have never gone broody. And I have reports from friends who raise chicks, that some hens will actively harm and/or kill chicks that are not their own. The world of chicken is indeed a complex place full of intrigue.

So in that world of chicken I noticed the other evening, that I have somehow managed to trap a lone mouse into the rodent proof enclosure. How the mouse came to be in the apparently rodent proof enclosure is a sad tale for the mouse.

You see, a few months ago, the local mice were looking for an easy feed and so they burrowed a tunnel under the very thick concrete slab and broke into the chicken enclosure. Those mice enjoyed massive night time parties for a few weeks because they'd hit the food jackpot. The mice enjoyed free access to as much grain and clean water as they could scoff down every night. Of course during the day, the mice were unable to freely roam inside the chicken enclosure because the chickens would kill and eat them (not necessarily in that order). Chickens are most certainly not vegetarians!

“We're setting sail to the place on the map
from which no one has ever returned
Drawn by the promise of the joker and the fool
by the light of the crosses that burned.
Drawn by the promise of the women and the lace
and the gold and the cotton and pearls”

The mice were reasonably canny though, because as the morning sun appeared in the sky, they exited the chicken enclosure via their tunnel. The chickens and the mice were happy with the arrangement, and nobody ever got eaten. Unfortunately, I was not happy with the arrangement as the mice were eating the chicken’s grains, which cost me my hard earned $.

The mouse situation was easily resolved. Many weeks ago, I mixed up cement at the start of a work day and poured it into the tunnel that the mice had dug. Then I poured even more cement over the general area where the mice had managed to get access into the chicken enclosure. The mouse problem was solved, for now.

Little did I realise at that time, that I’d somehow managed to trap a mouse inside the – now once again – rodent proof chicken enclosure.

“It's the place where they keep all the darkness you need.
You sail away from the light of the world on this trip, baby.
You will pay tomorrow
You're gonna pay tomorrow
You will pay tomorrow”

Inside the chicken enclosure there is now one rather nervous mouse! The mouse has plenty to eat and water to drink, but it can’t escape the enclosure and it has to hide from the chickens during the daylight hours. It’s trapped with no immediate possibility of escape.

“Save me. Save me from tomorrow
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools. No, no
Oh, save me. Save me from tomorrow
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools
I want to run and hide right now”

The brilliant and long since deceased Mark Twain once quipped that: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” In last weeks blog comments, there was a minor discussion about how the future of the electricity grid would look. As a general rule, I don’t put much faith in peoples plans because plans are quite simple to make, but very difficult to implement, and so I dismissed the visions that were being served up to me in the comment section. My reaction was probably baffling for people who are used to being comforted by the thought that someone, somewhere, has a plan about some matter that requires a plan (maybe like the government, or 'they', whoever that is).

I’ve noticed that plans are very soothing to people and they are regularly thrown about in the media. However, as the Australian punk band Regurgitator sung in their modern classic song, Bong In My Eye: “How can I f&*# the system, when I’m sitting on the couch? I'm not a threat, not a danger, when I'm stuck inside the house.” An honest observation from the irreverent band and perhaps more relevant to the story than you would at first think!

The mouse probably has a plan to escape from the rodent proof enclosure, but the question remains, can the mouse implement the plan? Or is it too comfortable on the couch?

“Avarice and greed are gonna drive you over the endless sea
They will leave you drifting in the shallows
or drowning in the oceans of history
Traveling the world, you're in search of no good
but I'm sure you'll build your Sodom like you knew you would
Using all the good people for your galley slaves
as you're little boat struggles through the warning waves, but you don't pay
You will pay tomorrow
You're gonna pay tomorrow
You're gonna pay tomorrow”

With winter on the way out, and spring on the way in, the weather this week has been very changeable. Some days were extra windy, and one night a huge branch fell from a very large tree. It was very thoughtful of the forest to provide us with free firewood!
Big winds dropped the top off this tall tree. I call that free firewood!
The next minute, the spring sunhsine was glorious to behold. Spring sunshine has an almost sparkly glint, and the plants eagerly reach up to the sky to receive that post winter warmth.
Spring sunshine sparkles
Winter means that the insects are absent or in hibernation and their continual droning noise is absent. However by spring, the native and European bees all begin buzzing around the farm enjoying the feed from the early spring blossoms:
A native and European bee enjoy the early spring blossoms of this apricot flower
The dogs are likewise happily cooking their heads in the spring sunshine, even when an ominous storm is lurking in the background.
Toothy cooks his head in the spring warmth whilst an ominous storm builds over the valley
Fortunately the editor and I had completed repairs to the path around the now much larger tomato enclosure before the storm hit. That path took an additional half cubic metre (0.65 cubic yards) of local crushed rock with lime. All weather paths are an invaluable chunk of infrastructure on a farm.
The path around the recently extended tomato enclosure was repaired
Then the spring storm landed. The rain was torrential for about an hour.
A short, sharp and very heavy spring rainfall landed at Fernglade Farm
Most of that heavy rainfall was captured in the soil, and the above rainfall is directed into a swale (the fancy name for a ditch which slows water allowing it to infiltrate into the soil) just below the tomato enclosure.
The run off from the recent very heavy rainfall is directed into the swale below the tomato enclosure
I have not mentioned the rock gabion project - which is located behind the wood shed - for a while now. Rock gabions are a technology for retaining soil on steep embankments, and they are usually constructed from a steel cage which is filled with randomly sized rocks. On the farm we have a combination of steep embankments, lots of rocks, and a need for rock gabions. Some may call that a perfect storm? Whatever, rock gabions are enormously strong and I reckon there is a real beauty in their form. This week we finally filled the fourth rock gabion behind the wood shed.
The fourth rock gabion was filled this week

The editor was joking that sewing up the upper edge of that completed rock gabion with heavy duty steel wire was a good use of the sewing skills that she learned in home economics at school! I certainly had to learn quickly in order to keep up with her.

We then constructed the fifth rock gabion cage from some scrap and a few sheets of welded steel mesh. The two sheets of welded steel mesh were bent using our leg muscles and a straight edge which was provided by the tiles on the fire retardant veranda.
Two sheets of welded steel mesh were used to create a new rock gabion cage
After a couple of hours work (and another change in weather) a brand new fifth rock gabion cage was sitting in place on the ever extending rock gabion wall. All we have to do now is fill that new steel cage with more rocks!
A brand new rock gabion cage awaits to be filled with more rocks
Did I mention that this season we have a lot of lemons? Eighty seven lemons were apparently picked and the lemon trees look the same to me. Fortunately, I have craftily worked out a way to convert lemons into muffins (oh, they're good!) At this time of year, we generally press a whopping great big mass of lemons for their juice which is used in cooking, preserving and wine production for the remainder of the year. This is a good start.
Plenty of lemons for juicing
Juicing huge quantities of fruit is very easy, if you have a quality fruit press. The entire job takes less than half an hour.
A fruit press converts lemons into lemon juice for use in cooking, preserving and wine making
We have again started some of our summer vegetable seeds inside the house. We always use a mix of saved seed and purchased organic seeds as the germination rate of the seeds is very high (at a guess I reckon it is above 80%). This year we are experimenting using egg crates sitting in plastic trays to raise the seeds in. There is one seed per egg holder and each egg holder has a hole for the roots to exit and the water to enter. We figure that as the seedlings grow we can cut apart the egg crate and simply plant the chunk of crate with its seedling outside in the tomato enclosure thus incurring less transplant shock than in previous years. We don't really know how it will turn out and for all we know, it may not work.
Tomatoes and eggplant seeds were started this week
As is usual, I would like to conclude the blog with some photos of the many flowers growing about the farm:
Apricots are beginning to blossom this week. They are second to the almonds which precede them (I appreciate the trees considering the intricacies of alphabetical order!)
This hyacinth bulb is producing beautiful flowers
Respect the hellebore!
Jonquils make up for their diminutive size with sheer mass
Daffodils are in showy clumps all over the farm
The very first rhododendron flowers appeared this week
Can anyone guess what this intricate stunner is?
The final words of the week go to the band “World Party” for their genius and truly outstanding 1987 song “Ship of Fools” from which I borrowed the lyrics from for this weeks blog. Total respect guys!

“Save me. Save me from tomorrow
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools
Save me. Save me from tomorrow
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools
Where's it comin' from?
Where's it goin' to now?
It's just a, It's just a ship of fools”

The temperature outside now at about 9.00pm is 7’C (45’F). So far this year there has been 665.8mm (26.2 inches) which is more than last week’s total of 641.6mm (25.3 inches).

59 comments:

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Oh no! Not to worry, my brain simply does not work that way, so I just don't think those sorts of "holier than thou thoughts" in the first place. If anything, in some ways I am a hypocrite - as are we all. So not to stress, we are all good. :-)!

I prefer that we are all very different anyway. Someone has to get up early, whilst others have to get up late. Otherwise the cafes would all be full at the same time each day - and then empty for the vast majority of the remainder. They can't be expected to run a business that way, can they?

Your description puts me in mind of an early morning coffee zombie, but unfortunately I can sort of relate to that description... Hehe! Do you reckon that there is something in the genes that bring about that sort of reaction to the mornings, or do you feel that it is a learned function? Dunno.

Exactly, we are back to front in that regard, but in a strange twist of synchronicity, we tend to be commenting here at the same time in real time, so who knows the answer to that? Aren't we all? Yes, the exact same thing goes on here at the local cafe and early on the place is packed. I have to pick the sweet spot in-between that activity which you describe, and the after school drop off groups. It is a small window of time which changes with the seasons - I do so enjoy my quiet read. Lucky you two with the passes. I'd make good use of those as the parks are special places.

Well done to Salve and Leo and their indomitable alarm services. If you'd left me for a hundred years to ponder the matter, I'd never thought to take dog biscuits when confronting other dogs. Very clever, those drivers. What could possibly go wrong with people reading their own meters? Far out! Down here, years ago there was allegedly a dodgy collection of water meter readers who used to make up the readings based on previous data. Again, what could possibly go wrong in such a circumstance!

Absolutely, yes I too am heartened to hear of such things (for you and the younger folk in the audience). Respect.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Hazel,

It is horrid isn't it? I once lived in a rental property whilst building this house. It was in a street in a new housing sub division. The street got hit on Christmas eve by a fat berg, and before that time, I'd never heard of the things. I can report that the toilets do not flush in such a circumstance. Horrific.

No worries, tier five seemed pretty lively to me and quite pleasant. Yes, there is a huge amount of synthetic clothes around and people seem to have this strange lack of understanding as to why they feel so cold wearing such stuff. You wouldn't want to get too close to heater in that stuff! ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Ah, the question becomes this: Is the ungodly hour early in the morning, or is it late into the night? On such important matters are events decided! Hehe! I do struggle in the mornings... That is funny what you wrote about cheques and the denominations in writing. Last week I was listening to a radio program on problem gamblers and some bloke was on the radio telling his tale of woe. Anyway, the nice gambling folk apparently used to give the bloke ever larger credits with the apparent purpose - as he said - that he became acclimated to ever larger bets. It is quite clever really. I wonder if the banks are pulling the same trick with those cheques? Dunno really.

No beware the strange companies or persons proffering unexpected gifts. Yup, the collection costs can stack up pretty quickly if you turn your back on that gift bill for but a moment. You have to admit that it is a bit like zombies really, if you turn your back on them, they seem to multiply without warning! Far out, I'd pay the thing, or query it. Such businesses do not like queries, but I would get some sort of acknowledgement via a query reference number. You do have to play the game - if you are bored enough to attempt it? In debt collection I always got rid of such small values as it costs more to collect than it recoups, but some people feel differently and historically strange things have happened for such principles.

Hey, I assume you can open the windows on your building and let the fresh air in, given there was previously no air conditioning. Large buildings like that really require mechanical cooling because they have such huge external surface areas facing the sun. Plus there is the chimney effect whereby heat rises through a building. The old Victorian mansions down here used to have a tower which not only looked cool, but it used to vent out the hot air in the building during summer. Such a system really works well, but the air has to flow through the entire building in order for that system to work. There are always ghost stories too about the ghost of the wife waiting in the tower waiting for her husband (possibly a pilot or captain) to return from his sunken ship... Anyway, the towers look cool, and they all had them.

I'll be interested to hear how the new digs work out over winter. You know, there is always the impact of the people in the surrounding rooms heating up the thermal mass in your apartment. When I lived in a narrow terrace house in the inner suburbs, there were four layers of bricks between our rooms and the neighbours rooms on both sides of the house (massively thick walls, huh?) Anyway, the neighbours on both sides used to heat their houses and we got to enjoy the benefits of that heat and rarely had to heat the place...

Did the autumn rains arrive? I hope the rains put the fires out over the next few days. You have had an awful fire season up the north of your way this year. The smoke really impacts the repertory system after a while.

Nice work with the organic matter and the pruning and I'm really impressed to read how quickly the worms have become established in the garden beds. Good stuff. Hey, you may find that they disappear as the weather gets colder. They may either dig down deep into the soil, or die off. A die-off is no bad things as worm eggs are viable for at least two years and possibly more. Imagine the sort of planet conditions where that adaption became necessary! Fancy a direct hit by a meteor? Not good.

Not to stress, I accidentally put the shears through a fig tree yesterday. I was absolutely gutted by that, but I mean what do you, accidents happen...

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

How did the Tomatilla taste? I've never tried one before? Can you make salsa out of them?

Well I believe it is well known that money performs that function because once money disappears we have to move back to social arrangements and understandings in order to work out exchanges of stuff. It is a scary thought that such a policy could be pursued further than that point. I will have to contemplate it for a bit. Dunno. You may be onto something, although at first glance, I feel that such a policy would be an unintended consequence of selling more stuff rather than an actual goal.

Remember to wash your hands after using that Mac. Nobody wants cooties! Far out, a mate of mine is always stirring me up about cooties... Yes, cooties can extend into the banking sector with unpleasant consequences! :-)!

Your social life sounds quite fulfilling and you get to enjoy quiet patches too. A nice balance all up don't you reckon? You know I reckon there is far more to what you say about "getting social contact where you can", than at first glance. I've noticed that that is how things work a bit in rural areas and for a long time I have been wondering about it. Dunno. No answers yet, just more observations.

What is this new Simon Pegg movie? I hope it is good! If you have the time, I'd kindly appreciate a review?

I'm starting to feel that Inge spoke truly in that I write in terms of allegories and stories! I saved the quote for next week as a story popped into my head overnight about surfing (I don't and have never surfed).

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

I haven't read the blog yet as I am seething with irritation and can't concentrate. It is one of those times when the fates cast their beady eyes on one and decide to have fun. First my television gave up the ghost and now my landline phone is out. I didn't even know until worried friends turned up to see why their phone calls weren't being answered. Have acquired a new television and an engineer is supposed to deal with my phone line by Thursday morning. Not till then?!

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - The friend who took Nell (still no sightings. Sigh.) often says she stays out of Kitty Politics. And, sometimes she refers to Chicken Politics. Whole books could be (and, probably are) written about the ebb and flow of power in the chicken yard.

As far as systems go (electric or otherwise), there’s an old saying. Don’t know where it comes from. “What can go wrong, will go wrong.” :-). Yup. The seasons changed yesterday. We had quit a bit of rain and a bit of wind kicked up. Everyone is quit relieved that we finally got a bit of rain. Give some of us two months and we’ll be complaining about the rain and cold. :-). And, before I forget, Cliff Mass put up a tentative prediction for this winter. La Nina. And, although he makes it clear that any forecast beyond three weeks is kind of a shot in the dark, he gives it a go, anyway. As far as our part of the world, a La Nina year means colder than average and more rain than average. But, he seems to think that we won’t have as much rain as last year. BUT, he seems to base that only on the idea that records for rainfall fell, left and right, last year, and it couldn’t possible happen again. He may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Gambling. There’s a 12 Step Program, for that :-). Of course, there seems to be a 12 Step program for whatever bothers your head or messes up your life. It’s a template that keeps on giving :-). I’ve noticed that theres a new GA (Gamblers Anonymous) group forming in the county.

I’m not bored enough to spend amounts of time on the phone chasing down that 13 cents. The story of the stupidity of that corporation, which I will spread far and wide, is worth the 13 cents. :-).

Yup, I’ve got a couple of windows that open ... but they face due south and all I get through them in summer is two floors of heat rising up the external wall and into my apartment. Oh, I’m sure the building is designed for air circulation, but I think the doors to all the apartments would have to be open.

I really wonder if the worms can “sense” stuff to eat over any distance. Say, 8 feet, or so. They’d move from one end of the worm box to another, but I don’t know if it’s chance (stumble on the good stuff and tend to pile up in that area) or if it’s an actual magnet to some sense they have?

I haven’t tried any of my Tomatillas, yet, but the one’s Julia brought me were .. I thought, rather mild. Salsa is always at the top of the list for “things to do with Tomatillas.” I think you can do about anything with them, that you can do with a tomato. But that they lack the intense flavor. I’m speculating here.

The new Simon Pegg movie went through a couple of title changes. I think they finally settled on “Absolutely Everything.” I’ll pick up my copy of it from the library, on Wednesday. Lew

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

Yes, the Cumbres and Toltec is the steam train we rode on, from Chama NM to Antonito CO. It follows a portion of a longer route that steam trains took from the late 1800s through the mid 1900s to supply this part of the US with goods not produced locally and to ship out what they did produce in excess to other areas.

It's very scenic for most of the way. We climbed from about 7800ft/2400m at the start to about 10000ft/3080m at two different passes along the way and then down to about 7800ft again. The plant communities change depending on altitude and exposure. Where we started featured mostly deciduous trees (I didn't recognize them, maybe something we don't have in the eastern US) with a good-sized mountain stream running through town. At some points along the train ride we were in a subalpine meadow, at others among spruce and fir trees, at other times aspens and spruce, and occasionally small oaks and pines. The underlying rocks changed too. When we traveled through the Toltec Gorge the exposed rock was over 1 billion years old and arranged in very dramatic and steep folds. Sometimes we traveled through less hilly terrain with pleasant mountain streams and small ponds; this part of the ride featured the few homes and lodges we saw along the way. Parts of the area allow free range cattle grazing during the summer. We were very impressed by the steepness of land that cattle can traverse; in places they acted more like mountain goats than cattle. The train had to slow down and blow its whistle a few time to move cattle off the tracks without hitting them.

The last 45 minutes or so of the ride goes through a rather flat, high altitude, very dry valley, the San Luis Valley. The predominant vegetation in the valley is sagebrush in patches and some other low plants as well, with bare soil between the plant clumps. We'd driven across the valley to get to Chama, which is on the east side of the mountain range forming the west border of the valley. Only a very few, very widely scattered houses and ranch buildings could be seen while we drove across the valley and during the valley portion of the train ride. The few cattle present congregated along water sources. The ranches here are over 10,000 acres/4500ish hectares in size (if I did the conversion correctly) because the sparse vegetation can support only a very low density of cattle. At the eastern end of the valley are found huge sand dunes which are protected inside a national park. We stopped briefly at the park on the way back home. Here I learned that the San Luis Valley is the driest high-altitude valley in the US. It looked it. The scenery was striking but not beautiful to me, rather it seemed desolate and unwelcoming to humans. The mountain portion was greener and more pleasant but only because it is still summer, and summer is quite short there. The area is covered with multiple feet of snow during the long winter season.

To be continued ...
Claire

SLClaire said...

Hi again Chris,

We drove to and from Chama, the first time Mike and I drove through the US Great Plains. The farther west we got, the drier it got, the less green, and the more thinly populated. I was reminded of something JMG said in ADR about the failure of European colonization of the Great Plains. On the way to Chama we traveled along US 50, which parallels the Santa Fe Trail, one of the primary routes of European travel through and settlement of the Great Plains back in the mid 1800s. Driving through the small towns, we sometimes stopped at county museums filled with artifacts and buildings from the settlement period up to the 1930s or so. The museum personnel were unfailingly welcoming to us, often chatting with us and the occasional other visitor. What wasn't discussed out loud but seemed to me just underneath the surface was a sense that the Depression and Dust Bowl had blown the way of life on display away and that those curating the museums mourned the loss. As the aquifer depletes and the Great Plains reverts to dryland farming and ranching, the museums and those who celebrate the old way of life seem as if they will dry up and die too.

Claire

Jo said...

Ok, I'm entering the Guess the Flower competition - is it a broad bean flower??

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Oh yeah, it is surprising how difficult it can be to concentrate when one is irritated isn't it? I slightly worry for the sanity of those who believe that they should somehow be happy all the time. Far out! What's with that? Oh well. I reckon the best we can manage is to find some sustained contentment in between all of life's little (and massive) dramas.

A couple of weeks ago I was waiting for the editor in the city for what must have been around an hour and half, and it was a very cold night. I believe it was the coldest day of the year down here. Anyway, I got colder and colder as time wore on despite wearing thick woollen clothes. I don't often feel ratty, but that night I was a bit ratty... And I felt the cold that night in very bones. I’ve seen people get very irrational when they suffer from heat exhaustion.

That happens with technology. Good luck with the phone line. Wasn't the line cut accidentally about a year ago, or am I misremembering that? Out of curiosity, how is the neighbours house construction going? It is very nice that people check in on you. Good people to know. :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I hope Nell is OK with whatever she is up to? Your friend is wise to stay out of kitty politics. Hey, you know what, the dogs continually attempt to pull me into their politics. I find such situations to be quite annoying. Recently, they've begun congregating in the kitchen as I cook. Secretly I feel they are playing the game "death doggie" as they attempt to trip me up so I drop our food on the floor for them to eat. This new behaviour is something they cooked up only recently and I've taken to threatening them with a wooden spoon so they scuttle out of the kitchen and peer at me from around cabinet corners and then ever so slowly sneak back into the kicthen. The whole situation came to a head because there was a minor dog fight underneath my feet whilst I was cooking, but the ostensible purpose of the dogs fracas was that they were trying a distraction technique aimed at depriving Sir Scruffy of his food bowl (he is a slow eater and has to be protected from his erstwhile friends who would otherwise starve him out). Doggie politics is complex as. Fortunately the chickens don't integrate me in their politics. Oh yeah, ebb and flow in the chicken collective is the right way to put that. I still haven't told the story of the psycho chicken... Speaking of which I note that the film "IT" based on the Stephen King short story has been remade. Clowns are nightmare inducing material and they aren't really part of the culture down here.

Exactly! And so true. For some reason people consider that the electric grid is this sort of fixed monolith of a system that just works. But far out, everything component in that system has a finite lifespan and the system itself can be subject to the occasional cascading failure as it is hideously complex.

Hmm. Thanks for the heads up on Cliff Mass and I'll have a look. I sort of feel for the guy as he has to walk a fine line between academia and the embarrassment and reduced credibility of failed prediction. Part of the discussion last week was that I have no desire to speculate about the far future, but I am happy to talk about the way current strategies may possibly play out in the short term. And pipe dreams remain just that.

Ah yes, peddlers of financial products - whatever those things are - always provide the disclaimer: past performance does not indicate future performance. Of course they still point at past performance don't they? Oh well. A La Nina would be interesting for us down here - and you there. The last word from the Bureau of Meteorology down here was that it is looking like an El Nino year but that was a few months ago. The problem is that the Indian Ocean is heating as is the Pacific and so I'm not necessarily sanguine that the previous patterns may hold true in the future. Certainly the reach of the tropical storms in the north of this continent seem to be getting larger, but I am no expert.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Fair enough. One day there may be a 12 step program for folks that believe that house prices can keep on rising forever - and they may, who knows? I've been wrong before on that subject. Of course this does not mean that there will be no consequences if that happens. It is a no win situation.

What a silly problem and yup, some things aren't worth pursuing. A sound strategy and it is best not ignored. Imagine if ambit claims were made from such companies as a source of revenue... And they hope that you ignore the claims. I read somewhere a year or two back about some rogue who was allegedly bankrupting unassuming folks and seizing assets.

Well the older large houses generally allowed for a lot of internal air flow, but for obvious reasons security was not much of an issue for them.

I read a book on worms a few years ago and to be honest I can't recall any description as to how they sense food. It is a bit eerie thinking about how a worm may sense its way through the dark soil. But of course worms probably see the soil as a living breathing entity and so may have a different opinion on that issue. They're pretty accurate though as far as I can tell. As the years go on, I find more and more worms in the ground here. Even the clay areas contain a lot of the longer earthworms.

Tomatillos sound like a very useful plant to grow in your cooler area, especially given you got some fruits even though they were planted quite late in the season.

I hope you enjoy the film Absolutely Anything. Sounds like fun. The editor was considering going and seeing the film "Mother". The film is meant to be very intense. We'll see.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

Thank you very much for sharing the description of the steam rail journey. The description was vivid and the description matched the images on the internet. Just for your interest there is no land here on this continent that is that high above sea level! Don't you feel that it is interesting that settlement patterns follow the arable land and available water? Your description really talks to that. Certainly down here most the majority of the population lives along the coast, and most of those are on the east coast.

I'm not sure, but such high and dry places are very fragile environments and anyone drawing down on an underground aquifer faster than it is replenished is on borrowed time. There isn't any easy way around it. I once saw a cave in another state where the water level in the cave was marked with years and the water level was dropping in the cave.

The big emote cattle runs are huge down here too. Interestingly, I believe that some of them are being purchased by overseas interests. I'm genuinely amazed at the descriptions of the extremes of weather in your journey, but I guess that is part of the elevation above sea level with all of the interesting effects that has.

Just for your interest, I reckon extreme rainfall is far more difficult for agriculture than a hot and dry summer where you have access to a reasonable amount of water.

Thanks very much!

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Thanks for the superb Mark Twain quote which I had not heard before, it is spot on.

My phone rang a few minutes ago hurrah! It was funny though, because I had said to Son 'at least ... can't ring me' and who was on the phone? Of course it was ... .

It is really cold here, in fact it seems to have been much too cold all September so far, very disappointing. Things have stopped growing apart from the leeks and now it is a long tidying up process.

I have been thinking about people's attempts to live a greener more sustainable life and it seems to me that many are trying to do it while maintaining an incredibly high standard of living. So much of what we have is really quite unnecessary and could even be considered a burden. Perhaps more emphasis should be placed on simplicity and I do mean a serious increase in simplicity. What do you think?

Neighbour's house is up. I did ask whether they had moved in, but no. They want to do all the further ground works outside before they finish the house internally.

There are frequent problems with the phone line and I now hear that neighbour's phone also went out on Saturday but only for a short time.

Inge

orchidwallis said...

@ Claire

That evocative account of your train journey was wonderful, I enjoyed reading it.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Well done! You picked that flower. That earns you the elephant stamp! :-)!

They are really lovely and intricate flowers the broad beans aren't they?

Cheers

Chris

Coco said...

Hi Chris!

I wish they would re-run the Two Fat Ladies show, we loved it. Always bathing things in butter or cream on the Aga.

I know there are a few Miss Fisher fans who read you, so I thought I´d add a link for the kickstarter for a movie! They´ve probably reached their 2nd goal by now, but still interesting.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/468758721/miss-fisher-the-movie/?utm_source=Every%20Cloud%20Website%20Mailing%20List&utm_campaign=4b5b0bcd32-CROWDFUNDING_CAMPAIGN_2017_09_13&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cf2ca8add0-4b5b0bcd32-&mc_cid=4b5b0bcd32&mc_eid=%5BUNIQID%5D

Also, Breo has just been diagnosed with a ligament blown out in his other knee. So we´ll be going through the surgery and recovery again. We knew it was 50-50 that it might happen, but still, not looking foward to it.

While investigating what we might do for his aches and pains, I read (on the internet, so it must be true) that while aspirin initially helps, over the long term it actually degrades joints. Just a thought for your furry possee.

The garden is a jungly mess, but I´m having trouble motivating myself to do anything about it. One good thing is I believe I may have achieved parsnip seedlings at long last! Will have to wait and see how they do.

Enjoy your spring and your lovely flowers!

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

notayesmanseconomics blog has dealt with house prices in Australia and China in his 19th Sep. blog. I mentioned him to you before, way back and sadly the time changes make it virtually impossible for you to comment as he blogs 5 times a week. I do regard him as worth reading always and am happy to let you know whenever he mentions Australia.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Pretty soon they’ll be a 12 Step Program for people addicted to ... 12 Step Programs :-).

About once a month I check out the Atlantic Monthly magazine website. Not near as good, now, as before they changed ownership. But, every once in awhile ... There were two articles, both about technology, that were quit interesting. “Is Google Making Us Stupid? What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.” And, “Have Smart Phones Destroyed a Generation?” The first was about how technology (printing press, the typewriter) actually changes the way our brains process information. The second was by a scholar who pretty much “takes the pulse” of each generation, from Boomer’s forward. This latest generation she calls the iGen. Wonder if that will catch on? Any-who, there’s some pretty startling statistics and trends that clearly start when the iPhones hit the market.

Speaking of phones, I sent off the 13 cents to Century Link, last night. I really had to think a bit about how I was going to write the check. I finally settled on “No dollars and 13/100”.

I lost about 1/3 of my Tomatillos to the wind. Crashing down like giant Sequoia :-). So, yesterday I roped up the rest of them. Something to keep in mind for next year. But the one’s I lost didn’t go to waste. Most of the fruit was just about ripe. Got a good sized bag full. And, I cut up all the leaves and stems into small bits. Not going to waste all that nice bio mass. Once I got the bulk of Tomatillos out of the way, I discovered that I don’t think I killed the one pumpkin. I think it’s still attached to a viable vine.

It rained yesterday, it rained most of last night, it’s raining now. I heard geese fleeing south in the dark, several times, last night.

I forgot to mention how much I like your rock gabons. Quit a colorful monumental feature for your landscape. And, useful. I bet they’re pretty when it rains and they get wet. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Claire - Thanks for the travelogue. That's exactly the kind of thing I want to read when people travel "out there." It wasn't so long ago when those areas had pretty good sized populations.

Local history museums can be so interesting. We have a county museum, here, in a wonderful old Amtrak station that was built in brick about 1900. It has had it's problems. It seems like the director position is always turning over. And, about 5 years ago, there was quit a scandal when one of the board members (treasurer?) gutted the accounts, including some trust fund money.

Thanks for the heads up on the Miss Fisher mysteries. I remember it was claimed that it cost one million dollars to produce each episode. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Coco,

Thanks for the recommendation for the series! Butter makes stuff taste better. Yum! Cooking on an Aga is a real skill, and I reckon food tastes better when it is cooked with wood heat.

That kickstarter campaign for the film was in the news this morning! Looks like the project may get off the ground.

Poor Breo, may he recover rapidly from his surgery. Thanks for the heads up about the aspirin and dogs. I only feed small doses to the two oldies and to be honest, they may not have enough opportunity to get to the point where they live long enough to suffer from those possible joint conditions. I accept that every medicine has side effects whether they are known or unknown. Someone once quipped: There's no such thing as a free lunch and that seems appropriate. My main hope for those two is that they get to romp around the orchard and paddocks up to a right old age and then...

Well done with the parsnip seedlings. Are you tempted to dig some of them up just to see how they are growing? I find parsnips and carrots grow best from seed as they deform when transplanted - of course that may be lack of skill on my part. :-)! Are you tempted to let some of them go to seed? That worked well here.

Thank you and spring is a lovely time.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thanks for the link - and yes, I probably would never have seen that article and really appreciated reading it. As an observation, the author may hold shorts on the Australian property market? Dunno, it is a possibility that should not be ignored. But by and large what he wrote accords with what I see going on down here. I can't fault his analysis, but there was no projection based on the data, just hints and possibilities. I reckon what we are seeing is the consequences from the ever expanding money supply which is fuelled by the apparent disregard of the possible consequences of that policy - both here and overseas. You know, our major trading partner, who the author quite delightfully referred too (he has a way with words, does he not?) has a problem with too much foreign exchange reserves. The interesting chart at the bottom of the article shows in no uncertain terms just how much poorer we are getting every year. People often forget that the difference between an expense and an asset is an arbitrary one.

Thank you. And I am curious as to your thoughts on the matter?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

That is funny as! The problem is that Chuck Palahniuk wrote about that in Fight Club. Oh no! What do you reckon you could call such a 12 step program? The mind boggles at the possibilities.

I heard a song on the radio about love in real life being the desire of the female singer (Duke Dumont and Gorgon City). I sort of suspect that real life will intrude when it needs to do so. Until then folks will walk around with their heads down staring at little screens. I wish they were taking more interest in their surroundings and people driving and looking at phones does not seem to work so well. Sometimes I wonder whether those little screens work on the same psychological principles as pokie (slot) machines? Or Pavlov's dogs? I have heard anecdotal accounts that such devices are disturbing peoples sleep and that is not a good outcome as it may take a lifetime to get over such a problem. Dunno. I'll have a look at the article after replying.

You definitely have a dark sense of humour to pay the account by cheque. That'll teach them as it will definitely cost the company more to process the physical cheque than the bill was for. Nice one. I once heard a story about some dude who was annoyed by council rates and so he allegedly paid for them with a huge quantity of five cent pieces. I believe the laws were changed after that incident - it was a long time ago and a wheelbarrow may have been involved.

That happens. Wind is natures free pruning and thinning tool. The plants recover, although they may not fruit again for the season. You should see what happens to a laden grapefruit tree when the wind picks up. Oh yeah, nobody wants to be anywhere near a crashing sequoia! Definitely a squooshing incident that one. Roping the plants up is a good idea. Planting them more densely can work too as they support each other. Although fields like what I saw in the film "Children of the Corn" of the Stephen King short story is probably not quite as ecologically diverse as it could be. Hey, I have to rope up the asparagus spears too when they get huge. Interestingly, I'm noticing what looks like a few self seeded asparagus plants appearing as they send up little thin ferny spears rather than the more chunky spears of the well established crowns. I keep both the male and female plants, but to be honest most crowns are only one of those - and I forget which, the others were planted as seedlings as I wanted them to escape. A good reason to start them from unselected seedlings if ever there was one. I'll bet they grow well in your part of the world, but they may not be a good idea in an area where you want to grow a lot of different plants and space is limited. You were right too about the horseradish - triffid alert! They’re growing…

Well done with pumpkin too. Is it putting on size? Keep an eye out on the area where the pumpkin is in contact with the ground especially given your rain is returning.

Nice! I hope the geese find a warm refuge in the south.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Thank you. Those rock gabions are awesome and they hold a huge mass of soil back from what would be a slope which is otherwise way too steep for my comfort levels. And they provided support for another terrace which the potato beds are sitting on. Hopefully tomorrow I get to turn the first soil on the new strawberry terrace and move the new water tank up to that location. Pushing the water tank up hill will be interesting. I'm planning to slide it up the hill on its side. And I’ll probably fill the water tank from the house system and just hope that the spring rains refill them. It is a sort of safe bet at this stage of the year although nothing is guaranteed on that front.

You may be interested to know that I read the occasional article suggesting that some inland towns are emptying of their populations. It may be raining down here in this wet corner of the continent, but up north they are having a very dry winter. I read a report from the Bureau of Meteorology suggesting that the rain may arrive soon in that northern part of the country.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Yup not good. In cynical moments I feel that the arrangements in place with those devices continue because those social arrangements support the economic arrangements in place. Dunno.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

This spring/summer has been the year of the broody chicken. I think there have been seven so far. Of course this was when I didn't want or need any new chicks. When I have an empty pen I put the broody one or three (three broody hens at one time this year which was a first) in that pen for about a week and that usually does the trick.

The cats do a pretty good job keeping the mouse population in check but I have a major issue with English sparrows. They like to nest just under the ceiling. A couple of years ago we had to put heavy wire up to the ceiling in each pen due to raccoons getting in which prevented the cats from harassing the sparrows enough to keep the population in check. So now I have quite the flock of sparrows which really leave a mess in addition to helping themselves to the feed.

Yesterday the painters were here and today the carpet cleaners and that's the last of outside help.

We have a stretch of very warm weather (close to 90 degrees) starting today. Here in Northern Illinois we are officially in a drought so it's been one extreme to another.

You commented that we might be writing at the same time and I think that is indeed the case.

Enjoy all your pictures as always.

Margaret

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I suspect that 'projections based on data' are not so different from 'hints and possibilities'. I don't really have anything to add to your comments otherwise as I agree with you. Difficult for me to comment much as I am not really au fait with the appropriate language.

I am currently reading Michael Lewis's 'Liar's Poker' and shall move on to 'The big short'. Lewis structures some of his sentences very oddly which makes his meaning unclear sometimes.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Raining puppies and kitties, this morning. Again. Do I detect a theme? :-). Broke out my light coat and favorite flannel shirt. For the first time since last spring. I seem to remember that Palahniuk also took a romp through the more ludicrous aspects of 12 Step Programs in his book “Choke”. Great movie, too. Well, I suppose it would be TSPA - Twelve Step Programs Anonymous. Not to be confused with the STPA - Seattle to Portland Anonymous. Those are the people who have the overwhelming urge to ride bicycles from Seattle to Portland, once a year :-).

The little glowy screens provide (I’ll probably get this wrong) intermittent gratification. It’s the same now and again reward system that keeps gamblers, gambling.

That’s kind of a perennial slow news day story. About fines, large amounts of coin and a wheelbarrow. :-).

I mentioned to the Garden Goddess that I’d like another bed, next year, if one is available. Then I can do a bit more with perennials. I’m going to slip inverted small plates under the pumpkins. They really don’t have much size, and I still think the soil is missing something critical. For fruiting. I found a small cluster of pearl like orbs in my garden spot. I’m pretty sure they might be slug eggs. I disposed of them and may have to do a little dawn or dusk patroling, with a bottle of ammonia, at hand.

Trucks going into the mechanic today. Oil change, a bit of a tune up and throw it on the computer to see if anything else is pressing. Big glass and antique auction on Saturday. Three or four items that caught my eye. There are two other auctions going on in Olympia and Vancouver, Washington on the same day. So, maybe the competition won’t be so keen. We’ll see. Lew

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

How amazing - I never realized that a chicken would try to convince another chicken to sit on her egg, and that the other chicken might willingly do so. Uh oh - what if your mouse is a pregnant female, as was the one that got trapped in our house?

The chainsaws are busy in our neighborhood and over the last week and a half my son has brought home 26 truckloads of oak firewood that he has cut up at a neighbor's. This neighbor is moving soon and said that my son could have all the wood that he could cut and carry away.

Hi, Toothy! Soon you will be able to cook your head a LOT!

I always love seeing what new progress you have made on your rock gabions. And what a nice fruit press. What other fruits do you press in it?

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

A second chicken pen would be a great idea for broody chickens. Thanks for sharing your experience with them. I chuck them outside into the orchard with the other chickens in an evening so they can stretch their legs and remember to eat. Of course the door to the enclosure has to be closed otherwise they look angry, shake themselves, and then casually toddle back to their broody business. Broody chickens have defeated me, and so - resistance is futile! - and nowadays I let them go about their broody business. Do you find that your chickens lose condition when they get broody - even for that week? I reckon it may be a learned behaviour and broody chickens are selected by the cool kids to go broody? Dunno.

Oh yeah, I've seen starlings perform that trick too. And every niche gets taken advantage of, whether we agree with that or not. I had that problem with sugar gliders for a while. And in the old enclosure the parrots could get into the enclosure and consume the chickens grains. Interestingly they knew how to get in, but getting out was a whole different problem for them. From time to time a parrot would get caught in the bird netting around the old chicken enclosure and the dogs would go feral until the parrot was killed. I rescued a huge number of them, but overall, I had to concede failure with that original enclosure and move on with my life and construct the present one.

Well done you with the house preparation! :-)! That is pretty fast. How is Michael going with all of his doctor’s visits?

Far out! Your weather is starting to sound like the sort of weather we get here. You know what? I reckon we get a long spring and summer, and that is followed by a very short autumn. By late next month, I reckon your weather is going to turn very cold very suddenly. Dunno. Today was almost perfect here 73'F! Happy days. So we dug soil and moved a new and hugely heavy water tank up a hill so that it will be close to the soon to be strawberry terrace. Yum! Life is too short to not have fresh strawberries.

I reckon it is pretty close. It is 8.45pm Thursday night here. It is intense living in the future! ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thank you very much for yet again expanding my vocabulary. "Au fait" is a beautiful collection of words and I shall remember that.

I rather suspect that you are correct about hints and possibilities being the same as projections. You know, I reckon you have a better grasp of economics than your claim. Out of curiosity, have you ever studied economics, or is it a hobby (or interest) for you? For your interest the editor received a prize at Uni for the top mark in macro-economics for her year. We often end up debating the complexities of economics and to be honest, I for one never expected the current economic policies to turn out the way they appear to be playing out. My gut feeling is that we are in uncharted waters. Oh well.

I'm really chuffed that you are taking the time to read both of those books. I felt that "The Big Short" was a better read than "Liar's Poker", but you are reading them in the correct order. I read them the other way around. Oh well. I am very curious as to your opinion of the stories? I wonder whether the author was unable to shake the tool of obfuscation given his background? I read an interview with the author who intended that the Liar's Poker book was meant to be read as a cautionary tale. Unfortunately a goodly chunk of graduates saw it as a "How to" manual. What a strange world we live in.

Has the fallen tree posed any further uncertainty?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Just completed a batch of Anzac biscuits in the oven and they are now on the cooling tray. Then I chucked in a Pyrex dish of toasted muesli into the oven. Fortunately the biscuits cooled and I was able to scoff one down without burning my mouth. Yum! The cooking here seems to be a task that is never completed. I must say though, you do get faster at the process, the more of it you do and it doesn’t ever take as long as people fear that it will. And fresh biscuits taste the best!

We finally moved the new 1,060 gallon water tank up the hill today. Seriously, I thought my eyeballs were going to pop out of my head due to sheer exertion as we chucked the water tank on its side and then pushed it up the hill. Rolling it would have been easier, but there was just not enough space to do so. An electric winch on the car would have made the job easier... Alas! Plus the spot where the water tank was placed had to be excavated into the side of the hill and a layer of rock crusher dust was placed onto the clay. A big job that and I'm glad that it is now done with no incident. The water tank will be used to provide water for the yet to be dug strawberry terrace.

Fortunately the weather was superb here today and the thermometer recorded 73'F which is just so nice given the moderate UV.

Went to see the film “Mother” and well, it was an assault on my senses to say the least. Jennifer Lawrence is one of the great character actors of recent times, but far out. The camera shook through the entire movie and I started feeling unwell. Closing my eyes and not watching it seemed to help. Generally I have never suffered sea sickness, but shaky camera action is not good. The last one of that ilk that I sat through was The Blair Witch Project. Yuk!

Yes, I likewise suspect a theme! Blessed are the felines and the cheese makers! (a very dodgy Monty Python quote). Has the rain cleared the air of smoke from the brush fires to the north?

Flannel shirts are occasionally considered to be de rigueur. You know I recall the grunge days of the early 90's and I too wore the requisite flannel shirt and walked around looking rather dissatisfied and annoyed with the world. Nowadays, I am much more sophisticated as I feel that way after reading the business section of the newspaper! :-)! Hehe!

Thanks for the heads up about the Choke film. I read a synopsis of the film. What ever happened to Readers Digest? :-)! What a fascinating and rather dark mind Mr Palahniuk has.

Ouch. As spring has sprung here, so too have the bicycle brigade on the weekends. I often come across hordes of them in the most unlikely places and am essentially rather grateful to the local council that they never saw fit to Macadamise the road here which crosses the mountain range - there are only about three roads which cross the mountain range.

My point exactly. It is the same programs after all. The article you recommended suggested that doing anything else away from a screen would improve mental well being and who can argue with that? What a world that we live in.

Well, the wheelbarrow story was a long time ago, and I rather suspect that not many people nowadays may remember. Economic objectives can sometimes be unstated and not obvious at first glance.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

I do rather hope that you get the additional garden bed. Energy can be an infectious thing don't you reckon? And it is hard to mix up annuals and perennials due to the digging and disturbing of the soil. Of course annuals can be cut at the soil level and the soil life ends up feeding upon the root systems without disturbance. I'm not too fussy either way about that sort of thing though as there is a bit of pragmatism involved too. And huge outputs in a garden often require huge inputs.

Does anyone else have those “small cluster of pearl like orbs” in their garden beds?

The engine computers take a bit of the guess work out of such matters - although if something goes wrong that is outside the diagnostic computers attention then that is a problem. Good luck with the glass and antique auction and I hope that you score a bargain. How does that work with your now reduced space for your collection? I hope that there is some spare capacity?

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Did you miss my comment asking you what you thought of attempts to go green while maintaining a very high standard of living?

I have never studied economics which is why I don't have the language at my finger tips. My hobby interest was finance and inevitably that drags in economics. I dislike the assumption that economics is a science; I regard it as anything but.

The very large fallen branch is still indulging in a life of its own. Son has asked me to be careful. I always am. We are waiting for it to lose its leaves when it will be easier to see what the problem is.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Oh yeah, the chickens are very non fussy about who is looking after their eggs - as long as another chicken is doing so, they're cool. And when the broody chickens have too many eggs to sit on, the other chickens lay their eggs in boxes and nobody at all sits on them. Sometimes I find eggs in the deep litter mulch in the run.

I never thought of that possibility. Thanks for the heads up. Not good. What ever happened with your house mouse? And how does a mouse get trapped inside a house? There are more questions than answers here! Mice are the sneakiest creatures of the lot and they can get through spaces that are so small as to defy the imagination.

That is an awesome score. 26 truckloads should be enough to see you through a winter and then some. Of course that depends on what sort of truck that we are talking about? I hope you get a chance to let the wood season and dry, or does your local timber burn green? Some eucalyptus species used to do that trick, but they're now extinct as the settlers knew which ones they were.

Toothy is looking forward to the future head cooking. It got to 73'F here today and he certainly enjoyed sleeping outside in the sun. On hot days, I pull him and Scritchy out of the sun in the afternoons as some dogs know no boundaries. :-)!

The new rock gabion scored a goodly quantity of rocks today from the latest excavations. The excavations took us through an old and broken up lava flow and it was rock central! Unfortunately not many excavations took place as a huge water tank had to be pushed up hill and settled into place. I have definitely something bad in a past life...

Oh! I also crush up apples and limes in that press. The apples have to be either cut into quarters or blitzed in the food processor before squooshing in the press. We use the juice to make lime wine, apple cider, and apple cider vinegar. The press is enormously strong and well constructed but I'm not sure about its upper limits and have no desire to break it. The citrus doesn't need to be cut and can be chucked in whole as they pop as the pressure is applied.

For other fruits I stew pears in cinnamon and I try to bottle (can) at least half a years supply of apricots. The rest get eaten fresh, turned into wine, or turned into jam.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

You are absolutely correct. The system fails...

Well I reckon you are spot on about that assertion. A thoughtful architect once remarked to me that there is no such thing as an "eco mansion" which should be obvious, but isn’t to most people. Of course to conserve means to take less than what you put into a system. Try mentioning that to people nowadays and they may question your sanity.

You may be interested to know that I am reading Scott and Helen Nearing's book "The Good Life". The book that I have is actually a compilation of two books, the first was written about their early life in Vermont. The latter book was written after about twenty five years of living in Maine. I'm enjoying the second book a lot more than the first, as somewhere in the quarter of a decade in between, they appear to have learned how to tell a story. And I do so suspect that Helen has had a greater hand in the second book than the first, as the voice is different.

Anyway, my point is that those two lived a very good quality of life without many modern conveniences so that supports your discussion point. The thing is, I'm constantly amazed at how many people they had working on their property. At one time, they were writing about digging a farm dam (pond) by hand and they had twelve people working on it.

Simplicity will be forced upon us in the future whether we accept that or not. Given my learning experience, all I can add is that I would not want to be faced with a steep learning curve and have to carve out infrastructure to do so in a hurry. Not good.

I rather suspect that a lot of energy has gone into providing comfort when it could instead have provided resilience but with less comfort. The choices we all made.

And then I sort of wonder, what is expected by people? That is an important question as different cultures have far different impacts on the planet. I suspect that the stories people tell themselves are not matching up well with the lived experiences these days.

I wonder if your neighbours are considering completing the inside works during the winter? Ground works take years. You know, as an estimate, I reckon it takes about two years before a new garden bed becomes more or less established. But that is here, and I don't have the experience to comment about elsewhere.

How did the repairs on the phone go?

I'm with you about economics too. The basic assertion that people make rational decisions does not stand up to much poking and prodding. And from there... I was once concerned that I did not understand some of the more obscure financial products available. Of course if you look at it from the perspective that that is not a desired outcome, then it all suddenly looks very different and you can apply basic common sense rules to the product.

Good luck with the fallen branch, and I note that they often fall in the calm after the storm – rather than during the storm. I have no idea why that is either.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I just let two broody hens go as both the other pens were occupied with turkeys and meat chicks. They went for about four weeks and one of them was brooding by a wall in the barn outside of her pen. I have about four to five hens who are regularly out of their outdoor run. Neither seemed any worse for wear.

The darned English sparrows are so numerous now that they leave a disgustingly large amount of dropping - particularly in the winter.

The carpet cleaner came yesterday. Much of the house has hardwood floors but all the upstairs bedrooms have carpeting which (another stupid decision) is light beige. There were numerous stains from various dogs with gastric distress that my small carpet cleaner couldn't get out. This was the last of the outside services except for a neighbor who is a carpenter and is going to repair the two wood stairs that Salve chewed the corners off.

Michael has his last follow up appointment after his cataract surgery this afternoon. Hopefully we can have a break from appointments for at least awhile. Thanks for asking. Tuesday I met the psychiatric nurse that visits people at the facility where he lives. She can order tests and prescribe medications. I was so pleased with her as she actually wanted to get to know Michael and his background and spent a half hour with him and me. She comes once a month. This is quite a contrast to the psychiatrists he has seen in the past. He would have a 10 minute appointment every three to four months primarily to prescribe his medications and that was it.

Yes it's quite hot here and continues to be very dry as well. It's been about two months since we've had rain of any significance. It's probably my fault because I put my summer clothes away.

Thanks for the review of the movie, "Mother". I read conflicting reviews. One thing I do know is that it wouldn't be a film Doug would enjoy.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, just back from the Safeway. In search of ... pumpkin anything! Tis the season. I will avoid the pumpkin Oreos, as to me, they taste like ca-ca. No sightings yet of the Hersey pumpkin kisses, which are yummy. I did score two packs of pumpkin M&Ms, which I’ve heard of, but never tried. Up til this year it was “selected markets only” and, apparently, Chehalis is not a selected market. Mr. Thomas, the freezer guy says the pumpkin ice cream is on order. All is right with the world. I also picked up something called “Belvita Pumpkin Spice breakfast biscuits.” Also a Nabisco product, and after the performance of the Oreos, well .... The packet promises “Natural Flavor with other Natural Flavor” (is that overkill?) and “4 Hours of Nutritious Steady Energy.” I have not worked up the courage to check out the ingredients list.

I was also up for some nice Stilton cheese. First all I could find was Stilton with mango and ginger. No. I’ll take my Stilton neat, thanks. Straight up. Then I found another Stilton. OK, I know it’s a blue cheese but these looked beyond blue and into the dodgy fungus area. I don’t think the rind is supposed to be pink ... I also discovered some Australian cheese! All Natural Old Croc ... “Australian cheese with a delightfully bold bite. Made with milk from grass-fed cows. Non GMO. It was in 3 flavors, but I just went for the sharp cheddar. Start with the basics. Maybe a nice rice casserole with lots of veg?

Due to the rain, the smoke has disappeared. It should start clearing up in a day or two. No autumn fogs, yet. At least, not in town. Well, the grunge rockers just borrowed the flannel from the loggers, so, here, it’s been around for a long time. Wearing flannel on stage really didn’t set them apart, in this neck of the woods. My Idaho friend repeated an interesting comment from her daughter, who works fire suppression for the Forest Service. “Rain takes the fire out of the treetops and puts it back on the forest floor where it needs to be.” Never quit thought of it that way. Makes sense.

Someone in one of my groups said he was retiring and returning to his childhood home in JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA! Madness. Jacksonville is up north so, I thought, maybe its got a bit of elevation? Average above sea level is 16’ (about 5m). The Daily Impact has a bit about the State of Florida and solar power. Guaranteed to run your blood pressure up. What no one mentioned is, besides all the other problems, won’t the winds just rip the solar panels right off their moorings?

“It’s intense living in the future.” Shot tea out my nose. :-). Well, someone has to lead the way .... Cont.

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Every nook and cranny and hole on the outside of the house was sealed up and we just didn't know that there was one mouse left in the house, till we saw her run by. We couldn't catch her in our Have-a-Heart trap because she had gone to the maternity ward. Mouse mothers, after giving birth, apparently don't need to eat for awhile, or their was a nice food service in the maternity ward, because we didn't see her for a few days even though we put out some enticing treats.

So, we were kind (umumumumum . . . are the men in white coats out there . . .) and let her rear her children and then caught the whole family one by one and sent them out to the Barn Village. This was Mrs. Mad Dog, and we could do no less.

This wood will have to season for a year or two. We already have 2 or 3 years of seasoned wood. Son thinks this will add another 2 or 3 years (it will be kept covered). He is using my normal-sized pick up truck. No, none of the wood here will burn green.

Have you made some nice apple cider vinegar, then? We drink a bit for our health and cook with it. Son is trying to make kombucha vinegar.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Cooking does take a lot of time. Never mind the constant washing up. Sometimes I get a bit overwrought and have to remind myself I’ve got all the time in the world to play with the food. Anthony Bourdain has a new cook book out, “Appetites: A Cookbook.” More or less how he cooks for his family and friends and “moves” he’s picked up over the years. Looks pretty good. I’ll have to pick it up, eventually. Not family friendly. His usual case of potty mouth. :-). But, hey, that’s just Tony. He usually deploys it when he’s trying to make a point. And, since he can’t grab his readers by the shoulders and shake them until their teeth rattle ...

I picked up the new Simon Pegg, yesterday, but haven’t watched it yet. It’s a sci-fi. The tag line is: “With great power comes total irresponsibility.” Eddie Izzard is also in it. Voices of the Monty Python team. Robin Williams as the voice of Dennis the Dog. Must have been one of the last things he did. There’s a lot of chatter over the film “Mother!” But I have yet so see a hint as to what it’s about. Will probably pass due to the shaky camera stuff. Is it one of those “found footage” things? I won’t watch those. Besides being generally irritating, I think they’re kind of cheap and lazy.

Yeah, I think our annoyance sources change with age (see above :-). I quit liked the movie “Chock” Not very family friendly, as I remember. But, funny. To me. Angelica Houston is in it. If you watch it, keep an eye out for the big tree mural on the wall in The Home she’s in. The bed/sit area of the store I was camping out in was the old break room from when it was a paint store. Had the identical mural on the wall. It always kind of throws me (and, there’s a certain sense of wonder) when something in your “real” life shows up in a film. I guess like seeing our local K-Mart in “Captain Fantastic.”

I don’t think the wheelbarrow meme is all that forgotten. I think most people that I know have seen that little bit of footage. it’s kind of there ... in the mind ... just below the surface. The Time Team series (archaeology ... Britain) did a little experiment. There was a huge Roman coin hoard, and they gathered a comparable amount of English pennies that were comparable size and weight and it took a wheelbarrow to move them. There was a book just a couple of years ago, that I think hit the best seller list for a couple of weeks, about inflation in Germany in the 1920s. Charting how and why it happened, people’s personal stories. How it effected other countries.

Well, when I moved I got rid of a lot of the “lesser” tat. And kept more of the “grand” tat. :-). But there’s a lot packed away, that I’ll trot out for the holidays, and then put back out of the way. Rotation. There’s about 225 lots in the auction. 7 items caught my attention. But in thinking long and hard about them, I’ll probably only buy 3, for one reason and another.

I’m glad you got your water tank moved without mishap. Or bursting a blood vessel. As one ages, one must get in the habit of asking for a bit of help. No shame in that.

Well, I’ve got to be off. Free lunch, today, put on by whoever set off the fire alarm. It’s an “I’m sorry.” lunch. As Alton Brown (a very funny chef with very good books) says, “I’m just here for the food.” :-) Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

That makes sense and is quite a practical response. You know the meat birds and turkeys are a more beneficial use of the space than a couple of broody chickens. I just sort of bend with the wind in that regard, but I probably will have to construct a nursing enclosure at some far distant stage in the future. I have troubles with how variable roosters can be though in their natures. The chickens here don't seem to be bothered by the rain and wind either and would be happy for me to spend time in the orchard with them on a rainy evening, but I don't really share their views.

The droppings are fertiliser, but there is a minor risk that wild birds can spread disease too, although in all honesty I've never noticed that that is the case. The wild birds here look pretty healthy to me.

Dogs will be dogs and do what they do. The real question is why do they choose to do that business on carpet and/or rugs? Surely it would be obvious to them that timber floorboards are easier to clean? :-)! Naughty Salve. No doubt the teeth required a bit of sharpening?

I hope the cataract surgery has improved his eyesight. You are lucky to have found a professional who is interested in Michael's well being.

Ha! Funny. No doubts you are correct and will be more careful next year with the clothes. ;-)! Seriously I reckon you will have a very short autumn this year (a couple of weeks at most). That is how it rolls here. 77'F here today and I excavated all day long and tomorrow promises to be 84'F. Much better than up north in the next state, which seems to be having a record breaker at 104'F.

I can't in all honesty recommend the film. I reckon it was done for the art and the striking impact it has on your senses. Some people revel in amusement rides, but alas I am not one of those. ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Pumpkin flavoured Oreo's is a tough sell here too. You never see pumpkin here being sold as a dessert flavour, it just doesn't happen. Generally pumpkin is served as a vegetable (roasted or boiled) or as a soup. And the soup has an undocumented feature of being akin to a pipe cleaner in your guts... I get plenty of fibre in my diet but far out, pumpkin soup is akin to a giant hit of lentils. Apparently it is all about the roughage they tell me.

“Natural Flavor with other Natural Flavor” - the manufacturer doth protest too much! ;-)!

Nope, blue cheese I just can't bring myself around too. Alas for my weakness as my friends in the big shed make their own cheese from their own cows milk and inevitably they produce blue cheese. Just sayin, I can't go there. My mum once substituted blue cheese in a macaroni cheese dish when I was very young and I can't say that I enjoyed it. Not the economical option that one... Yeah, on the other hand there is a huge cheese industry down here and we have finally legalised some raw milk cheeses, but cheddar and tasty are my preferred options. Yes, I admit that you are the master, and I am but a softie! Hehe! Hope you enjoyed the sharp cheddar cheese? I would enjoy that too.

Oh, there was a fog here this morning and I awoke to find a thick layer of cloud in the valley below. Nice! Give it a week or two and you will be feeling a brief autumn.

The daughter is absolutely 100% spot on with that comment. Crown fires do not do any good to forests, but ground cooler fires build top soil, provide feed for the animals living in the forest, and clean up the fine fuels. It is a complex matter, and folks have such strange opinions about what a forest is. I am unable to attempt that trick and so I use the next best device which is the motor mower. The outcome is 100% the same, but probably better. And the animals are very happy with the results.

I'm not sure that I would do that same permanent journey. Maybe the person will end up on Jacksonville island? I wonder what they will do for water and food then? And the alligators look pretty unhappy with us humans.

Beware the trail blazer who is leading the way!!! Hehe! Glad you enjoyed my little joke. I do rather amuse myself. The editor and I were going to go to the pub tonight for a feed, but a warm Friday night may bring out the hordes, so we decided for another cooler night. I intend to write the blog tonight instead. Let's go surfin', everybody's surfin...

Anthony Bourdain has such a delightful way with words, and I reckon you called that correctly too, he swears for emphasis and to shock people out of their reverie. It is a tool. I never thought about it that way until I had an old timer at the local volunteer fire brigade explain that he didn't really enjoy swearing much, but he said that I only swore to add colour and emphasis to a conversation and so it wasn't over used or meant meanly. A very astute bloke, and I once watched him pull a large knife on a huntsman spider who reared up at him. Neither of them intended harm to the other, and I can't quite get it into city folks heads that being "green" does not mean quite what they think it might.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Speaking of which, last night the spring pheromones in the orchard must have been rather strong because there were four wallabies and three kangaroos. The kangaroos who live in mobs were happily minding their own business and enjoying the spring grass, but the wallabies who live as individuals were out in the orchard having punch ups over the poor lady wallaby which some uncouth wallaby had split her ear. Far out, things are rough out there, and there are lessons in there for us humans as far as implementing a social structure based on individualism...

From my perspective the film was a thinly disguised critique on western cultures and especially the desert religions interactions with nature. The thing is, I feel that the script writers under estimated the ability of nature to chuck us off the ship with impunity. And the shaky camera work just makes me want to barf the otherwise excellent coffee and New York cheese cake I'd only just scoffed back earlier. It so weird that feeling because, I have never felt sea sickness and I have experienced some horrendously rough seas. Dunno.

Hey, I really enjoyed the Captain Fantastic film as it turned every meme we hold dear onto its head by going to the polar opposite extreme. Then the film ended by reaching a middle ground between the two extremes, and that is no bad thing.

I'm genuinely surprised that people could read such a book about the German inflationary experiment and somehow believe that they themselves are isolated from such a fate? Dunno. It just seems weird to me.

I have to write the blog tonight for all sorts of pragmatic reasons and so have to curtail my replies...

Good to read that you are still enjoying your tat.

No worries at all about moving and lifting heavy stuff. The editor and I spend a fair bit of time planning exactly how we do that gear as we want to avoid major injuries if we can help it. Of course accidents happen from time to time. We eventually got the water tank into place and filled it today. I always ask for help and other peoples opinions, so no fear on that score. Some people have died of pride... The Alamo didn't end so well for example. Mind you, I am quite short on people to ask for help because most people feel that I work too hard, and that may be the case for now.

How did the lunch go? It was a nice gesture.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Wow! Yup the poor mouse, and I'm glad to read that it all ended well for the rodent and her offspring. I'm curious as to how you caught Mrs Mad Dog the mouse and her offspring? There has to be a children's book in there don't you reckon? Some of the biggest selling books these days are kids books. Mice are too fast for me to capture!

Incidentally, top work sealing the house. Did you find that that effort paid off in the winter time? The house here is very well sealed and insulated and that makes it quite pleasant in the extremes of temperature which occur outside the walls from time to time in both summer and winter.

Good work. I season the wood here for a minimum of two years out in the weather and then cut, split and stack the firewood and move it out of the weather into one of two sheds for use over the winter. How long does it take to work out the intricacies of firewood? Far out, that stuff is complex for so many reasons.

And I just wanted to add how impressed I am that your son is working on bringing in the firewood. I reckon if given the chance, most kids want to assist with the various systems that keep life comfortable on a small holding. It sure must beat screen time don't you reckon?

Oh yeah, one demijohn of apple cider vinegar gets produced most years and we add that to salads as a dressing. The editor is more of a fan of the vinegar than I am. It is so easy to make...

I've tried Kombucha and I'll be interested to learn your opinions of the drink once the fermentation process has completed. Fermented food stuffs are very good for your general health.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

My last comment appears not to have come through, drat. I'll do it again later.

Inge

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

We caught the Mad Dog family in the smallest of these: http://www.havahart.com/store/animal-traps. Before that, when we had lots of mice in the house, each one we caught got painted with a dab of different colors of paint. That way we could tell if the same ones were coming back in. They were.

Sealing the house made an enormous difference to keeping the temperature inside to a more pleasant, even level. At that time we also sealed all the spaces between the logs in this log house, inside and out, with log-colored caulk. Most important for any log house owners out there!

Our kombucha - just as kombucha - is, at its best stage, a total rival to champagne. We don't have any vinegar ready yet, so I can't comment on that. Could you please tell how you make your apple cider vinegar?

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I’m surprised (as far as I know) pumpkins haven’t been touted as a remedy for irregularity. “Pumpkins! For the Ultimate in Regularity!!!” Put it in a pill, or something. :-). The belVita biscuits (wonder how long it took some ad copywriter to come up with that name and lack of capitalization?) weren’t bad. We have a cookie (biscuit) here, that taste similar. Quit crisp and they’re stamped out to look like Dutch windmills. They’re a bit hard to find. The belVitas are milder and won’t be around long, either. “Special Holiday Flavor.” The pumpkin flavored M&Ms are quit nice. Also a rather mild flavor.

So sorry about your aversion to the blue cheeses. Oh, well. There’s plenty of other things in the world to eat, that you like. It’s kind of the way I feel about sushi. :-). It’s something I don’t eat often, as it’s so expensive. Hmmm. An entire mack and cheese with blue cheese. Wonder where your Mum got it in such quantity. Gifted? Won it at bingo? Sounds like she might have been “putting on the dog”, a bit. Now there’s a saying I don’t hear much any more. Don’t know where it came from, but it means doing something for a bit of “show” to impress other people. It’s not a ... heavily critical comment. More, gentle teasing.

The Australian sharp cheddar was quit good. But I always forget that it’s tough to cut a good cheddar. More of a crumble, than a cut :-). So, I slice it a bit thicker and managed to go through half a 7oz chunk just to get a taste on the top of my popcorn. Not cost effective. I wonder if I gravitate to strong flavors due to my somewhat dead taste buds? I’d like to thank the tobacco industry, and my lack of moral fibre ... :-).

People here, at least older people are pretty aware of inflation. Especially when the yearly pension raises are tied to inflation. And, they’ve been so small. The Government always tells us that is because there’s no, or little, inflation. But that’s not what we see in our housing, health care costs or grocery store. The Government claims the low energy prices put a damper on all that. Also, we got a little bump up, this year, but the Medicare costs (that the Government takes out of your check) dumped up almost the exact amount of the small increase. Funny how that works ....

The lunch was very good. Kind of an Asian theme. Rice (with veg), noodles (with veg) sweet and sour meatballs, some kind of little dim sums and fortune cookies. Ice cream for desert. Our Warden’s right hand woman made all the tucker. I think I mentioned she’s from Sri Lanka and I’ve speculated on her religious background. Turns out she’s a Seventh Day Adventurer (as Archie Bunker referred to them). Wonder how that happened? You may remember them from “Blue Zones.” They’re vegitarians as a point of dogma.

I watched “Absolutely Everything”, last night. Worth a bowl of popcorn. Some very bad (and funny) aliens have snagged our golden calling card that we sent out so many years ago. They have to decide to either invite us into the Galactic Council, or, destroy the Earth. Which they rather enjoy. So, they have a test. They give one earthling unlimited power to wish things and see how they do. Pegg, or course. Like some fairy tales, wishes are taken a bit too literally. Hence, the humor. It’s a bit of a “lads” movie, but that’s Pegg. Nick Frost is nowhere in evidence. The movie was a nice little romp, but I don’t know if I’d watch it again. On the other hand, I thought the same about “Paul” and have recently detected an urge to rewatch it. :-). Lew

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

My phone line is fine now and BT clearly knew that there was a problem as I was not put through the usual interrogation in which they try to assert that the problem is at my end.

The neighbour is putting in layers and layers of decking in preference to a garden. My son has told him that he is creating a rat hotel. Worse, he will not know what the clay is doing underneath and there will be nothing to hold it on the sloping ground.

I certainly think that resilience is most important but I don't think that simplicity has to mean less comfort.

inge

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

One of the things I paid attention to on the drive was the agriculture being done on the Great Plains, since I was aware that yearly rainfall steadily decreases as one goes west from here toward the Rocky Mountains. Where I am, near the western edge of the Corn Belt, we average about 40 inches of rain a year, and rain falls during the growing season. Nearly every year that’s enough to bring in a good crop of water-hungry corn and soybeans on rainfall alone. There are few center-pivot irrigation systems in Illinois except for farms bordering the Mississippi River, which has so much water that a farmer might as well drop a pipe into the river and pump some water out of it to ensure the crops mature. No one will notice.

By the time one reaches the Missouri-Kansas border, yearly rainfall is down to about 30 or so inches. By the Kansas-Colorado border, it’s about 15 to 20 inches. Once we got west of the Flint Hills in Kansas (a little east of the middle of the state), most of the crops were being grown under center-pivot irrigation. They didn’t grow much corn and even less soybeans. We saw some milo, but it seemed that most of the irrigated cropland during summer was in alfalfa. On our way home, we stopped overnight in Colby, KS, near the western end of the state. The county museum here included the Cooper Barn, the largest barn in the state of Kansas, which was moved to the museum from nearby. Inside the barn there was a display on drylands agriculture, which I read with a great deal of interest. The Dust Bowl was discussed and also the new farming techniques developed out of it, like terracing. Most of the farms I saw were terraced. I learned that lately Kansas has become a big cattle-growing and cattle-finishing state, which likely explains the alfalfa since it’s part of the feed for the feedlots. We drove past quite a few feedlots on US 50; we could smell them before we saw them.

to be continued …

SLClaire said...

Hi again Chris,

While in the barn I read of some newer irrigation techniques that apparently reduce the use of water compared to center-pivot systems. That would be a good thing. The Arkansas River meanders around the area that US 50 runs through; we crossed over it several times on the drive west. It rises in the Rocky Mountains and travels southeasterly, so each time we crossed it was farther upstream. The first time we crossed it, all I saw was a grassy ditch. I wondered where the water was. But each time we crossed it we saw a little more water, till the last time we crossed it, it looked similar to streams here, with about the amount of water I’d expect for the size of the stream. The displays in the barn mentioned the lowering of river levels due to irrigation demands and aquifer depletion. That was the effect I’d been seeing. It reminded me of how the Colorado River goes dry quite far upstream from excessive demand. Apparently it’s not the only river that does so.

Claire

SLClaire said...

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the Rocky Mountains are very young, geologically speaking, which explains the high altitudes compared to what you have in a much older land mass. Colorado has something like 53 peaks of height 14,000 ft/4280 m or more. We saw two of them during our trip. But they didn't look that high because we were already at 7000-10,000ft of altitude when we saw the mountains.

Claire

SLClaire said...

@ Lewis - I liked that the county museums were not slick, like museums with big budgets. The items exhibited often didn't have much identifying info, but there were plenty of them so it gave us a feel for how each place might have looked and felt back when the town was more prosperous. The preservation of the one-room schoolhouses, tiny churches, and the Cooper Barn (see my comment to Chris) spoke volumes about the culture and values the people held dear and still try to maintain. Two of the museums featured re-created sod houses. As one of the folks who read and cherished Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, I was glad to see how the sod houses were constructed and again, it spoke of how that heritage was still valued.

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Blue cheese is absolute heaven. I am currently eating a very good Dolcelatte and it is impossible for Cheddar to be too strong.

Son has sold 6 of the 7 puppies. He was hoping that the 7th wouldn't go because 'he is so cute'. Son says that he doesn't usually fall for cute. Someone rang up for the 7th yesterday and Son says that had the man been a few hours earlier he could have bought the puppy. Too late because the puppy had been given a name and it appears that that settles it. So Son now has 4 dogs.

Inge

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Pam, Lewis, Inge, and Claire,

Thanks for the lovely comments, however I am unable to reply today and promise to reply tomorrow.

Lewis - Oh my goodness! I don't reckon I've stopped since I woke up this morning. Green Wizards was in Melbourne today and we discussed various articles in the newspaper which was a fascinating round table discussion. Good stuff + tiramisu! Yum!

I got back on the train had a coffee on the veranda, and then had an invite for dinner with the editor and I at a lovely neighbours who have the most amazing garden which was planted by the former owner. Very nice with a small mix of mature fruit trees and a huge diversity of ornamentals.

Gotta bounce, bed is calling!

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Claire - Yeah, the tags at those little community museums are usually short on info. "Donated by ... the family of Who-ever." Probably has great significance to the locals, but to travelers? And there always seems to be a "Guess What It Is." Which is usually a glove stretcher or a hair curling iron that you pop into the top of a kerosine lamp. :-). Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - So, the Green Wizards got together, grabbed a newspaper and read the omens? :-). A lot less messy than disemboweling a chicken on the table, I suppose. Also, attracts a lot less attention.

I'm off to the auction! Lew

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi everyone!

Apologies, I did promise to reply to all of your lovely comments this evening. However, reality has intervened: Records smashed under summer-like heat. Nice one nature, I acknowledge that you are the boss! :-)! Oh well. I'll drop the replies at the bottom of the next blog.

Anyway with that in mind, the editor and I went flat out like a lizard drinking over the past few days and did a monster amount of work which you shall see for yourselves tomorrow. I wrote half the blog Friday night and tonight I plan to write the other half. Far out, it looks like it may shape up to be an Engine Summer (those who know what I mean, will know what I mean by that reference) down here!

Lewis - Far out, I filled the new water tank today from the house main water tanks. It is a coincidence, but I had to empty an equivalent quantity of water into one of the garden beds. Basically, I'm fixing up another water tank that had been originally placed too high and whilst the drains have fall (i.e. a drop in height), there is not enough fall and the drain gets clogged up at the slightest leaf - and there are a lot of leaves flying around here.

Hopefully, all being well over the next few days I'll drop the height of that water tank and then refill it from the house too. Battle plans rarely stand up to engagement with the enemy forces!

How is the autumn weather going in your part of the world? Is it still raining?

The library folk would probably never let us rent out the meeting space again if we disembowelled a chicken. Tea leaves are far less messy! And newspapers are far less messy again! :-)!

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - First morning autumn fog of the year. We've had a couple of days of no rain. Mild temps. Cliff Mass had a couple of radar shots of birds beginning to migrate south.

I went to the auction and got everything I was interested in buying. And, talked myself out of a couple of things due to condition, once I saw them up close and personal. :-). I only went overboard on one item. Everything else I got for quit a bit less than I thought I'd end up paying. People come and go but there was only about 25 people in the sales room. There was a harvest swap meet going on at our fair grounds, and a lot of the usual dealers you'd see at the auction where flogging their merchandise, over there. Overall, prices were pretty depressed. An old, but in good shape rectangular oak table, 6 chairs with 6 leaves to extend went for $90. A beautiful Gov. Winthrop style desk (colonial revival style) went for $85. There was a sketch by John Wilkes Boothe's (assassinated Lincoln) niece that only brought $20. Lincoln's doctor's daughter's dog had no items in the auction. :-).

The Inmates here at The Home have a bazaar every November (tis the season.) They were telling me that they used to rack in a pretty good amount. Not so much anymore. Food items still sell, but not crafts and tat. Tight money. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

PS: Cliff Mass also mentioned that it's official. Last winter was the wettest on record. This last summer was the driest on record. Lew