Monday, 11 December 2017

A day in a life

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

Sunday morning, and the alarm is demanding to be attended to. The time is 7.40am and I'm never at my finest in the mornings. One of my favourite authors, Jack Vance, wrote a scene in a pulp fiction book from 1973, which had three characters interacting in the early morning. Two of the characters were squabbling, whilst the third character dryly observed, that it was too early for squabbling as his mind was not yet clear. I like that sentiment and have pinched that witty line for use on many occasions.

Still, the alarm could not be blithely ignored. The editor poked me in the ribs, and informed me that it was time to get up. I sorted the alarm by using my top secret, Commodore 64 users trick (if you know what I'm talking about, you just know) of pushing any and all buttons in the hope that something happens. Fortunately the trick has mostly paid off with complicated technologies like alarms, and the machine lapsed into silence.

I have to admit that I was feeling a bit more blurry than usual on that fine sunny summers morning. The previous day, the editor and I had been mowing the farm (the editor on the mower and me on the brush cutter) in the hot summers sun. Then because we hadn't worked enough, we decided to get out the stump grinder (a truly dangerous and awesome piece of equipment) and grind up some old tree stumps in the afternoon sun. There are always tree stumps here that need grinding out because of the simple fact that the area has been logged since the 1860's and no reasonable eucalyptus stump ever wants to degrade into soil. And the loggers were clearly busy with the more profitable dropping, cutting and hauling trees business and had no time to remove the dead tree stumps.
Approximately 80% of the farm has now been mowed

After all that work in the hot summer sun on the previous day, by the time 9.30pm rolled around, I had just enough time to reply to comments on the blog, because the editor and I then crashed out and were ready for bed. We sure know how to party like rock stars here at Fernglade Farm!

I woke up with a mild headache which was most likely due to dehydration and heat issues, but possibly could also be remedied by a hit of coffee. The editor and I headed out to visit the local General Store and enjoyed a breakfast of large coffees and scrambled eggs on toast, all served on washable porcelain and consumed with proper knives and forks. The General Store is a delightful business and they also host the local post office. I was able to purchase the newspaper and check on my mail. In my pre-coffee state, I was thrilled to discover several large bills. For some reason, bills tend to arrive at Christmas time. How does that work: "Merry Christmas, and oh and by the way, here are some bills"?

On the way back from the General Store, we were now in a more alert caffeine fueled state and so we picked up some more fuel at the local petrol station. As well as the little dirt mouse Suzuki, we also filled up a jerrycan of fuel which we use to provide energy for the chainsaw, mower and stump grinder. It was fortunate that I did get up early because about half an hour after I left the petrol station, an unfortunate push bike rider was killed in an apparent encounter with a motor vehicle just near to that petrol station.

When we did get back to the farm, the unfed canines were clamouring for their breakfast meals. The dogs were lucky that I had now enjoyed a (large) coffee, as I was able to easily deal with their breakfast issues with aplomb!

After the dogs were fed, the editor and I decided to enjoy a stroll through the farm to observe what work we had completed the previous day. We also patted each other on the back and remarked upon a job well done. Part of the walk was along the road, and so (spare a thought for the hard done by and usually well behaved) Scritchy the boss dog, who was taken on a lead.

A neighbour also just happened to be passing by promenading along the road with his dog, and as such things go in the country, we stopped to have a chat (and the dogs to have a sniff). The neighbour expressed interest in the most recent project (the strawberry terrace) which is visible from the road, and so we all enjoyed a minor tour and enjoyed a general neighbourly yik-yak.

The canines aren't the only animals demanding to be fed on the farm. The chickens had to be fed their greens and grains, the worms were also fed any kitchen scraps that the dogs and chickens would not eat. Whilst I was on my rounds attending to the various animals living here, all of the garden beds had to be watered. It is summer after all, and minor watering does tend to make plants thrive!

Back into the kitchen and two loaves of bread had to be made. After many years of buying supplies direct from the grumpy-bakery-products-ladies, who suddenly closed up shop one day a few years back, I now have a really excellent supplier of bakery products. They send me whatever I need in the mail. Spare a thought for the poor folks at the Post Office who have to deal with the large boxes of flour and other bakery goodies that I regularly order! Whilst my bakery hat was on, I also baked in the electric (and solar powered) oven, a batch of home made dog biscuits for the dogs future dinners. The dog biscuits are very good, and occasionally I enjoy a few of them myself as a snack.

Scrambled eggs on toast and a large coffee is not enough to feed me for breakfast, so I stopped working at that point and enjoyed a small mug of home made muesli mixed with home made yoghurt (it is good). The yoghurt is a Bavarian and Greek yoghurt mix. I also read and posted any comments that had been placed on this blog.

Dog biscuits do not make themselves, and neither does the very tasty dog breakfast mix. I spent about forty five minutes making up this coming weeks batch of dog food. I keep both of those items in the refrigerator, and every couple of days, I bake another batch of dog biscuits. The fluffy collective have told me in no uncertain terms that they will only consume freshly baked dog biscuits. Who am I to argue with those canines?
Freshly baked loaves, dog breakfast food, dog biscuit mix, and lemon booze all await!
The editor (who is also chief brew-mistress) decided today to brew up a couple of demijohns of lemon wine. Lemon wine is an absolute favourite of mine. However firstly, the lemons have to be picked from the trees:
Picking lemons for lemon wine (and freezing for future cooking projects)
Then the lemons have to be pressed for their juice. We have a very old school fruit press and it is a beautiful piece of equipment. I knew I wanted it, the moment my eyes spotted that fruit press. True love is a glorious thing:
The manual fruit press turns lemons into lemon juice
In the photo above, I am sporting my new sun hat from a specialty hat seller in Melbourne. I feel that the cool hat has lent me more mojo (edit: and musician vibes) than the average hetman enjoyed from his tribal fetish!

We grow a few different varieties of lemon trees here and the difference in the amount of juice recovered from the same volume of different species was quite interesting:
The juice from an equivalent volume of lemons. Left Eureka Lemons; and Right Meyer Lemons
The house then had to be vacuumed of dust, which is one of my weekly jobs. Vacuuming falls into the boring, but important, category.

Lunch was then enjoyed. Fortunately, I had already baked a loaf of fresh bread, and so we enjoyed the loaf with a soup of curried pumpkin mixed with fresh garden greens. It was very tasty, and the fresh bread was enjoyed slathered with home made jams and peanut butter. Yum! I felt sad when lunch had been fully consumed....... still, dinner is never far away!

Immediately after lunch we stewed up a small batch of pears which are to be consumed with muesli over the course of the week. Stewed pears are a very tasty fruit, and I look at the fruit trees in the orchard and think to myself, I must not count the multitude of pears before they are harvested!

Unfortunately, with the joys of lunch behind me, I had no choice but to perform about an hour and half of accounting work. Phooey!

As the editor and I had learned the previous day, it is not wise to work outside in the hot afternoon summers sun, so I spent another hour writing out Christmas cards (the Twelve Strays of Christmas cards, purchased from the Lost Dogs Home charity) to send in the post the following day. I am very old school in some respects and the last thing that I want to receive is an e-Christmas card that may possibly have been sent by a robot. You could say that this is my attempt to keep it real, one Christmas card at a time!

A few days before, I had removed a huge number of sugar beets (which contain 20% sugar) and a single lovage plant from a raised garden bed. The beets are so hardy and prolific that they do not require the extra attention that they receive in a raised garden bed. I replanted all of the beets and lovage into a new permanent and much larger garden bed.

The previous night in my heat addled state, I spotted a fox lurking near to the impenetrable chicken fortress. Alas, I was talking rubbish because the field mice recently burrowed a new tunnel under the extensive steel and concrete foundations and managed to break into the apparently rodent proof chicken enclosure. I admit defeat as the mice are clearly more resourceful and intelligent than I! Anyway, I mixed up a batch of concrete and poured it into the tunnels that the naughty rodents had created. That should stop them for a couple of weeks at least...

The editor and I then enjoyed a coffee and a couple of home made Anzac biscuits in the late afternoon sun.

And that was my day off (phew)!

Earlier in the week we managed to harvest a few strawberries.
Earlier in the week we managed to harvest a few strawberries
Unfortunately, some mornings, the local parrots (Crimson Rosella's) sit on the fencing around the new strawberry enclosure and watch for anything that vaguely resembles a strawberry. Then they consume that berry. We purchased a quantity of steel which will be used to form a long lasting and bird proof roof over the strawberry enclosure.
A quantity of steel was purchased to form a roof frame over the strawberry enclosure in coming weeks
On one of the concrete steps leading up to the strawberry terrace, I spotted this rather comfy looking skink (gecko equivalent) enjoying the sunshine. The reptile has clearly also been enjoying more than a few insects.
A very fat looking skink enjoys the hot summer afternoon sun
Summer fruit update:
Another two weeks in the hot sun and these apricots should be ready to harvest
The almonds have reached full size and now, and I only have to wait until the fuzzy green skins split open
This quince is months away from being ready, but it is getting bigger
As are the apples!
Anzac peaches need only a few more weeks in the sun to ripen
This raspberry is ripe, right now!
We pick the various currants and other assorted berries and make mixed berry wine which is a favourite!
Summer flower update:
Olives are flowering and up close they smell like a combination of daphne mixed with citrus. Note the bee!
Bush roses are so beautiful
Pyrethrum is going feral as can be seen in this garden bed
The local shiny cassinia is in full flower
This is the flower from a tall fringe lily
The dandelions are spectacular and the bees are enjoying them this season
The usually unpleasant prickly tea tree produces copious flowers
The temperature outside now at about 8.00pm is 17’C (63’F). So far this year there has been 896.6mm (35.3 inches) which is nothing like last week’s total of 924.0mm (36.4 inches)! The official Melbourne Water rain gauge has recommenced providing data for the mountain range and so this week is a correction.

57 comments:

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Margaret,

It is so good that the kids put on a professional play. I reckon it is a good idea to learn how to perform in public at an early age, before fear of public speaking or performing has set in. The most brutal audience I ever faced was my high school peers. Far out, they were onto any minor slip in delivery and they seemed rather pleased to share their insights - the cheeky scamps! I read something about honing producing sharp blades and that may be relevant to the kids as well. I hope they managed to enjoy themselves in among all that professional delivery?

I'm glad that you endured the long drive in the snow and stayed safe.

Go the doggie bag! :-)! I must tell the doggie bag story one day!

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Lewis,

I can't believe it, I'd almost finished replying and for some strange reason the web page clicked on backwards and the text disappeared. All of it gone. Far out, I said some very un-family-friendly and rather choice words!

Let's do this from memory. That will teach the pesky gremlins. And I’ll save a lot this time… Of course, I may just have been hacked as weird things are going on…

Aesop is an interesting and complex character – what we know of him anyway. It appears that it may not have been a wise move to annoy the Delphinian’s who seem to be a rather unpleasant and overly sensitive bunch and perhaps may have been told something that they didn’t appreciate hearing. Such has been the case for many a historical character. It is good to see that they suffered a pestilence after their treatment of Aesop.

No worries about the sport thing at all and I hear you. I used to know much more about cricket and even used to attend matches, until I stumbled by sheer accident (or chance) upon the surprising complexities of agriculture. I can’t say that I enjoy other people’s complacency in relation to that human endeavour of: growing stuff to eat. It is certainly the most mentally challenging activities that I have undertaken.

I wrote a rather amusing paragraph about how the military would have loved getting the phone call and the job of handling and transporting that volatile nitrate film materials. You’d hope that the people involved didn’t try to talk them down on price… Look this job is going to be difficult, but we have to do it on the cheap! I can see that archaeological digs would be quite exciting events once the quarry is in sight. What did they reckon were the chances of the remaining spools of film being excavated?

Fair enough, I recall projectors in use as a kid in primary school. It used to amuse me when the audio tracks got out of synch with the film. Small things…

It is a volatile mix and I have a maxim about never mixing friends and business. That was hard earned, of course I would also reconsider that maxim, but take a cold hard look at the facts. Well, you know during the Concert in Central Park, I believe it may have been Paul Simon, but it may also have been Art Garfunkel, mention that the following song was the only one they were going to play that wasn’t written by Paul Simon. Even as a kid I recognised that that was an unnecessary addition. Of course the individuals may have been rather insecure that they were more than the sum of the individuals and that may have hit their egos pretty hard.

I didn’t realise that Puerto Rican’s could move easily within the borders. As out resident expert on all things Roman Empire, was such the case during the latter days of the Empire? The folks in the article looked to me as if they’d ended up in a trailer park in Florida…

That situation is only going to get worse as time goes on. Some of the Pacific Island nations are like that too, and the Maldives springs to mind.

That renewable energy stuff is good, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. If the sun can’t grow plants over winter, it is hardly going to produce much solar heat or electricity. I just don’t see why that is so hard for people to understand? Can it make the difference between a life of energy poverty – you betcha! But current consumption is so far beyond sustainable…

I told you a few weeks back that the local landfill appeared to be burying glass products. I note that the steel and other metals are continuing to be taken.

Good luck with the apartment inspection, I’m sure you’ll do just fine. A word of advice, your life will go smoother if you don’t annoy Jeff! Oh well… Exactly too. A good opportunity to move stuff around.

I’m looking into the computer gremlins…

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

Did you miss my last comment on your previous week's blog? I was wondering as I had asked a question.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - "I read the news today, oh boy." Today's ear worm :-). The Beatles could sound so ... poignant. Soulful. "She's Leaving Home," etc.. Even some of their "up" songs have a slight undercurrent of sadness. Melancholy. Angst. Now that I've proven I can use a thesaurus ...

Your retro Christmas cards gave me an idea. I'm copy writing this, of course. Coming soon to a bumper sticker, near you. Here goes! "Keep It Real! Keep It Analog!" :-).

Maybe the skink is ... in the family way? Preggers? Or, to go all Franco-phoney on you, enccente (sp?). I can remember when pregnancy was mentioned in hushed tones, even among the legally married. And, spelled out if the kids were around. Or, my mother's whole tribe would lapse into speaking Finn.

Looks like you're going to have bumper crops of fruits and nuts. Luckily, probably not all on the same day. I seem to detect a theme in this weeks post. Growing food, making food, eating food. It's just food, food, food. Can't fault you there. Like breathing, try and get along without it. Doesn't end well. :-).

And, the flowers as always, lovely and stunning. Hmmm. Maybe you need a bit more contrast. Show us a few plants that are struggling or dead. Some really seedy looking plants. Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, plants. :-).

"Commodore 64 user tricks." Push buttons til it does what you want it to. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Ah, yes. Always exciting when the computer dumps whatever you were working on. I think I mentioned, that besides playing whack-a-mole with pop-up ads, about every two days a brown, smoggy looking screen of death creeps across my screen and I'm advised in four languages that I need to do a hard shut down. All is lost. Working in a document doesn't seem to help. It's just ...gone. It happened just before I posted this, so, I'm fairly relaxed as it won't happen again, for awhile. But I get pretty tense as time goes on, and I know it's going to happen, again. I'm beginning to think it's perhaps and over-heating problem. I'm sure my vocabulary is just as colorful as yours, when it happens. Thankfully, my neighbors on both sides are a bit deaf.

Speaking of bits (not the naughty bits) Mr. Kunstler had an interesting post on Bit Coins, last Friday. Word play warning, ahead. He did a bit, on bits. Which reminds me, I think it was Mr. Greer that speculated that sooner or later, all the free content on the web wouldn't be so free, anymore. I've noticed quit a few sites, of late, begging for money, as apparently something has changed in cyberspace and content, now costs. Or, costs more than it did.

That was one of the perks of the Roman Empire. People could freely travel over long distances. Puts one in mind of the EU.

Digging up the rest of the Dawson City films. Sooner or later, maybe. I suppose someone needs to catch fire (is that a pun?) and have the resources to pull it off. But as of the documentary, no firm plans seem afoot.

I read some more of "The Revenge of Analog." One point the author made was that no matter how creative the software, creativity dies a little. I thought that years ago. Sure, you have all these choices for creating say, business cards. But there are only so many choices and sooner or later, everything has a kind of sameness, to it.

The people who make Moleskine notebooks made an interesting point. "The downside of digital technology...is that it is constantly changing. As soon as you understand and figure out how to do something the next version of hardware or software comes along, and the learning process starts fresh. "With this," he said, grabbing the Evernote/Moleskine Smart Notebook in front of him, "you understand. You pick it up and know how it works." Something else I thought, many years ago. Keeping on top of electronics is like trying to hit a moving target. I've made a few wrong choices and even the right choices end up being pretty expensive paperweights.

The author also makes the point that a lot of the success of old analog forms really depends on working hand in hand with the digital world. Web sites, user groups, YouTube videos, e-commerce. it all helps boost analog interest.

By the way, when I use ellipses (I think that's what those ... things are called), if I use it within a quote, I'm leaving out the boring or confusing bits. If I use them in things I write, I'm usually dithering and trying to catch an idea. Or, I'm just pausing for dramatic effect :-).

Had the inspection. No big deal. Jeff just tears through opening every drawer and door to see that the hinges haven't fallen off. That the fire detectors work, that the toilet flushes. That the garbage disposal works. Not that I ever use that. Scraps go to the worms. In fact, a stray seed must have gotten down there and a green sprout began to grow out of the drain. Actual HUD inspectors come every three years and do pretty much the same thing.

Clear and sunny. And cold. According to Cliff Mass, a lot of our haze is from the California fires. Lew


Beznarf27 said...

I have been following your excellent blog for a while now and love reading about everything that you are all doing there. We live in Tasmania in similar conditions doing similar things and I often get really good ideas from your blog. I was wondering if you would share your recipe for dog biscuits and what you feed your dogs? We currently buy grain free dog biscuits but it would be great to be able to make our own. If you are willing to share the recipe that would be amazing and I would be most grateful :)

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Inge,

Apologies! I erred, and I appreciate the gentle reminder. :-)!

Adolescence indeed! I read such hijinks once described as the exuberance of youth! Wren is perhaps an excellent student of the school of hijinks?

It is funny that you mentioned that action because the editor and I were discussing this very matter recently. In fact we were congratulating ourselves that age had taught us (occasionally!) when it may be a good idea to shut the suitcase and not proffer an opinion. However, in your circumstance there is also the community service aspect. That is a thorny aspect to the situation. With that in mind, I probably would have also let your neighbour know, especially if they are planning to consume (or sell) the vegetables and they made their intentions clear. They can then disregard your opinion at their leisure. Of course being forewarned, there are many things that your neighbours can do to address that particular issue. It is not the end of the world.

And there is also the aspect that we live on a poisoned planet, and any soil or organic materials that they bring onto their property may also be contaminated with who knows what. I generally assume that the materials I bring up here are contaminated in one form or another. The thing is, my gut feeling tells me that the contamination will be less than what may be occurring with herbicides, pesticides and mineral deficient produce with purchased fruit and vegetables. It is a very complex matter.

So yeah, I probably would have said something given those set of circumstances.

Do you now regret having mentioned the matter? I’m also curious as to whether you mentioned (or whether they asked) as to what the particular type of pollution is?

Growing vegetables is not as easy a task as they may assume. I hope they have not spent all their money on the house.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Lewis,

It is a great ear worm isn't it? I mentioned that Sir Paul was in Melbourne performing last week, and of course I'm totally busted as that was the inspiration. I really enjoyed Sgt Peppers, it was beyond a great album. Those thesaurus thingees are quite good. Of course that song about "She's leaving home" is pregnant with meaning? Is that even proper English? I don't know at all now? Oh well... Anyways, she left home so that was that. You know, as a rule I avoid the thesaurus because a lot of writers slip into the dangerous area of alienating their audience - and I don't what half of 'em big words even mean! :-)! I chuck them in occasionally for fun.

Oh that is good! We read it first here and you have the attribution! Love it! Those machines were beautiful pieces of equipment too as they were repairable. If a CD player dies, it is into the pit (or bin) with it. As a teenager I was a bit of a music nerd and I once owned a DBX cassette deck and the quality of sound from that tape machine was superb. The machine uses a similar trick that mp3 compressed file formats use. It never really took off as a medium as it was not widely accepted. But then tragically I also used to recall when AM radio was transmitted in wide band stereo and had a tuner for that as well (still do), but alas that technology never took off either. AM is a better radio format for long distances. It amazes me sometimes how many technologies ended up in a dead end, despite their inherent excellent-ness!

Yeah, people were quite strange about the whole pregnancy topic even well into the 1980's. The editor and I were discussing the other day about just how hard contraception was to purchase even into the late 1980's. Imagine going to the chemist to buy condoms when they'd known you for years and years and most likely knew your parents... Or heaven forbid that young ladies would want to see the doctor to get a prescription for the pill. Convenience stores were actually quite convenient!

Ah yes, three weeks without food, three days without water, and three minutes without air (some practiced folks - free divers - may achieve better results on that front). I love food and everything about it. Exactly too, the huge diversity of plants leads to a very prolonged harvest. Nowadays people seem to think that everything is ready to harvest on one day so as to appease a contract. Not so! I picked more ripe raspberries this evening. Yummo!

I have a great fondness for the long since deceased Commodore 64, that never quite translated for me into the world of the PC. The machine was genius because it forced you to dig into the depths of the system so as to uncover the gold. And gold there was to be found in that machine. I'll tell you a little secret about computers: They may be bigger and better than those days, but fundamentally they are the same. Yup, same, same, but different - as they say in Asia. Most IT people think they are different machines because they muck around with applications, but they have no idea what the kernel/s of the machine actually does.

Here is to deaf neighbours! Hehe!

cont...

Fernglade Farm said...

Ah yes, I am aware of the possibility that the interweb will eventually become a pay to play service and have taken precautions against that likelihood. Of course free content will drop away like a person in free-fall at that stage, but I will hopefully still be standing among the wreckage. Yes, I spotted Mr Kunstlers words and may chuck him some funds. I have to get that idea past the editor first. And yes, Mr Greer has also mentioned that possibility.

Incidentally, as a young child I felt very uncomfortable whenever I watched the naughty bits on Mr Kenny Everett's video show. I knew there was something going on, but just couldn't put my finger on just what it was. Fortunately I had older sisters who were only too happy to clarify these matters - the cheeky scamps. :-)!

That is very amusing about needs catching fire! Hehe! Bad Lewis! ;-)!

Exactly. I mentioned that about the reliance on applications by the current IT crowd. They wouldn't have a clue what a particular bit on a particular memory address was doing, and so they all get shoe-horned (that is definitely a big word that I have no idea what it means) into using only certain applications - most of which are bloated carcasses of once good ideas. It is a dead end for creativity.

The author is more correct than they perhaps realise. I concur with their thoughts if only for the reason that people have immersed aspects of their lives in an unreal substrate. It is a complex matter.

Well, I read recently an article by a serious journalist who remarked that the use of ellipses was a pretentious display of wordsmanship. I was mildly offended as I use ellipses all of the time to signify greater unexpressed thoughts that I may (or may not) be having... Phooey to them! Hehe!

Well done you for surviving the dreaded inspection. Still, inspections leave me feeling vaguely nervous too, and that is an uncomfortable feeling... I have a quality control system that has to be audited every five years. At least you now know what the drill is.

The sunset here tonight was a deep red which is probably due to dust in the atmosphere from the arid centre of the continent. It would be a big call for me to blame the California fires. Mind you, tomorrow looks set to reach 100'F in the shade...

The updates took about 2.3Gb of my monthly interweb bandwidth. How could they get it that wrong?

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Thanks for the reply. I still don't know whether or not I did the right thing. Animals put on the land to graze, have sickened and died. Nobody here knows what the pollution was only that lorry loads of stuff was brought from an excavated site elsewhere and that the perpetrators were chucked off he land by the environment inspectors. It was the intention to grow vegetables that alarmed me. There is no house on the land and it would be hard to get permission to build one. I was initially told that the chap just wanted to use the land for storage which would have been fine.

A visitor has just turned up. I'll read your blog later.

Inge

Fernglade Farm said...

Greetings Beznarf27,

And welcome to the discussion.

Thanks for the lovely words and quickly grab a pen and write this down:

Dogs brekkie rubbish:
1 cup unsalted peanuts
1 cup pepitas and/or sunflower kernels
0.5 cups sultanas
1 cup rolled oats
A dash of dessicated coconut

Blitz

Place 0.5 cups of basmati rice into rice cooker (basmati is low in sugar. Some rice has 80% sugar which is as much as honey so be careful)

Chuck in blitzed mix on top of the rice so that the rice cooks first

2 apples (cored)
2 Carrots
Zucchini
and whatever other vegetables you have access too
1 Banana

Blitz

Chuck that on top of the other gunk in the rice cooker

2 cups of water

Cook in rice cooker.

Mix and put in the refrigerator and that should be enough for a week

When I feed them I also add to their feed bowls:
Some commercial biscuits
A dash of buttermilk
1 egg spread between the dogs
Maybe a splash of milk

They have never turned their noses up at that gear, but then they also eat wombat poo! ;-)!

The biscuits are much the same mix, but with 2.5 cups of rolled oats, 1 cup of flour, a dash of olive oil and five eggs mixed in. The eggs are the binding agent.

The trick with biscuits is you use a spoon to grab some mix and then make balls of individual biscuits in your hand. Oh the other trick, you have to keep your hand wet so that the biscuit mix does not stick to your fingers. I wash my hands every seven biscuits or so, otherwise your fingers clag up with biscuit mix.

Chuck the uncooked biscuits on tray and place in an electric oven for 45 minutes at 190'C. You may want to finish them with a further 5 minutes at 200'C. Gas ovens may be hotter, and wood ovens will definitely be cooler.

Experiment! And I look forward to reading about your journey. Incidentally I make both brekkie rubbish and biscuit chunks at the same time but just chuck them into two separate bowls as it is quicker in the long run and less cleaning up.

Did you get all that? :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Inge,

What a story! That is quite alarming. Of course, the animals can also sicken and die from a serious mineral deficiency in the soil and that has historically been a problem (and still is) in many parts of the world.

Given those circumstances, I definitely would have said something, if only to ease my conscience at the very least.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

You are going to have quite the harvest of fruit!! I'm glad to see you at least had time for a leisurely stroll through your property at least. Reading about your country wines as well as in the book, "The Art of Fermentation" piques my interest in trying some here. Now I'll have to talk Doug the wine/mead maker into it.

I'm pleased to see more birds at my feeders finally. I was beginning to worry but I guess with the warm fall there was more natural food for them. Now that winter has finally arrived so have the birds. I only put out some sunflower seed and suet but that attracts a pretty god variety though I've only seen one cardinal so far.

Please don't overdo in the heat.

Margaret

margfh said...

@Lew

Just wanted to say I love your sense of humor - really enjoy your comments.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Hmmm. I really never think in terms of using big words "for show" when I write. Usually, I'm just fumbling around looking for the exact right shade of meaning. The English language can be so ... nuanced. :-). Sometimes when I stumble on a great word, here, I think, "Oh, Chris will like this one!" I can't think of the last time I cracked open a thesaurus. I don't think I even have one. As nuanced as the English language is, there are areas where it lacks. Emotions. Degrees of friendship.

I had an odd thought (or, more likely, stole it from someone) the other day. Friends and pets. Grief is built in. It's part of the contract.

The only problem with my old Radio Shack turntable is that, early on, I cracked the big old square plastic dust cover. I suppose I could have got a replacement, but just taped it up and made it work. Technological dead ends. Beta, anyone? Years ago I was invited to an evening of viewing video discs. I kept my mouth shut, but didn't really see that bit of business, flying. The cost (both equipment and discs). The careful handling. I remember when I watched my first DVD. I really paid attention to the "viewing experience." Well, the water looked better. That's about it.

I watched an Australian film, last night. "Month of Sundays." It was pretty good. A real estate dealer's (just after 2008) life is pretty much falling apart. Oh, not so much the business. As he says, "There's always money around." But, he's separated from his wife and doesn't relate well with his kid. One night he gets a call from his mum. Only, she's been dead for about a year. No magic realism, here. Just a woman who dialed the wrong number, trying to get ahold of her son. They get that sorted and become friends. He learns some life lessons. End of story. Worth a look. My only complaint was, no sub-titles. Sigh. And with the limited volume on my cheap-o DVD player, I felt I really lost some interesting bits. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Hmmm. About ellipses being a "pretentious display." The author obviously doesn't spend much time around dithering old people. Needs to get out more. LOL. Reminds me of the time someone tried to give Mr. Greer a lesson in "writing for the net." Ohhh. That was a scorcher. LOL. Early on, I "suggested" that, perhaps, he might not want to kick off so many sentences with "still,". I didn't get scorched, but for a long time, he didn't respond to any of my posts. But I did notice he really reigned in the use of the word "still" to kick off a sentence. Oh, well. Live and learn. On my part. :-).

Yes, I'm glad the inspection is over, and now I know what to expect. Not much, really. And didn't seem all that concerned with general cleanliness or organization. Although, I suppose if things were running out of control, in those directions, he'd drop a bee in The Warden's ear.

Shoe horning in. Square peg in a round hole? Mmmm. Not quit. But, close.

Read a bit more in the analog book, last night. Paper, board games. Coming up next, bookstores. :-). It seems like what's going on, maybe, is that a big industry collapses (camera film production, newspaper printing). And, someone comes along and picks up the bits and pieces of industrial machinery and scales down to a profitable smaller market. Or, that book I read a couple of months ago (name escapes me) that we talked about, a bit. How luxury items become desirable, when intrinsically, they might not be that much different from something else from another manufacturer. That legacy, nostalgia, perceived scarcity all play a part. And, display.

Magazines, newspapers. As the author observed, "There were strong logical reasons that people chose print-readers paid more attention to it, advertising worked better on it, it looked nice and it's financial model was straightforward-" And then there are all those intangables. (sp?). Nostalgia, display, status. Interesting stuff. To me. :-). Lew

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

A day in your life was delightful; much enjoyed! We also order our baking supplies by mail (well, online to be delivered by mail); most of them, anyway. We order an unusual assortment because of all the gluten free cooking that I do now. Dog biscuits are a great snack; I often ate some of the ones I made. It certainly made me hungry reading the recipes that you wrote down for Beznarf27. I hope that Mr. Poopy was not reading your thoughts.

Look at all those lemons and you in your shorts and short sleeves. It is snowing a bit right now. I'd actually rather have that, at this moment anyway, than 100F. When I mentioned what we mow last week I forgot to mention that we do take the Weed Wacker to the outlying stiltgrass; how could I forget that stuff . . . Ellipses, you say . . . ?

That pumpkin soup sounds really good. Today I made butternut squash (tastes like pumpkin, not chicken . . .)/sweet potato/green apple soup. Secret ingredient - Lew alert! - a dash of maple syrup.

Your pears are already ripe? Ours ripen in the fall.

I am just finishing up my Christmas cards. The computers at my mother's post office weren't working the other day (in the Christmas season, yet!) and they were only taking cash and could only provide postage by sticking actual postage stamps on the packages. I am probably the only person that found that humorous.

So many apricots and so many beautiful flowers. I was explaining to somebody yesterday just how lucky your bees are. What a floral smorgasbord!

Pam

Beznarf27 said...

Cheers for that (recipe for the dog grub) sir! Our dogs eat raw meat for their meals but the biscuits will be a really good alternative to the commercial ones we are feeding them and as we don't eat eggs and have a feral squad of ninja chooks, adding eggs to the dogs biscuits would be a good way to prevent them from turning into chickens. Thank you for your timely answer and I am really enjoying your posts :). We are trying to cut water use down to the bare bones on our property and experimented with wicking beds last year. As middle aged penniless student hippies we don't have a lot of moola to throw around and attempt to use our brains most of the time and what is around us on our property to affect solutions to our problems. Wicking beds are trendy and thus expensive so we had to come at the solution to our problem from side left this time and we decided to create wicking beds out of old fridges. We got 24 from the tip shop for under $50 for the lot. They were most happy to see the back of them as they have to pay someone to haul them away for salvage. Just before Christmas we got most of them filled and experimented with growing veggies in them. It was a great learning experience and we finally finished filling the last few (so that they are no longer mosquito breeding grounds) last week and have planted them out as well. I am publishing my comments through my ancient (no longer used) Blogger account as I can't publish them through my WordPress account for some reason. I blog about what we are doing here as well as I want to share what we are learning with other people out there who may not have a lot of cash but have a strong desire to get back to growing their own food etc. I do learn a heap from your blog and cheers for sharing what you do with us all. We are all very grateful :)

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I just lost my started comment, drat. I also hate alarm clocks but have to use one when I am being taken out otherwise I would still be asleep when I am supposed to meet my lift. Up very early this morning though as the temperature rose by 20 degrees F during the night and this disturbed my sleep. It is very difficult to adjust to our yoyo temperatures.

I really love the photos that you put up. My favourites are those of the native animals; which is not to decry those of your hard work.

As you read ADR, I assume that you read the comments. There was mention of Findhorn. I had a friend who spent time there. She said that never before or since had she ever seen people who worked so hard. She said that she saw nothing there that wasn't explained by the extreme work that went on.

Inge

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Margaret, Lewis, Pam, Beznarf27, and Inge,

Thanks for all the lovely comments, but I got back late this evening after having spent most of the day in a warehouse, which was quite warm. My brain is fried and bed is calling. At least I was bright enough to go in today wearing shorts, t-shirt, and sandals. And yeah, it made it to 100'F today. Ugh - whatever that means. I promise to reply tomorrow... I should have stopped for a gelati...

Lewis - Hot day. Very hot actually, and right now here at almost 11pm it is still 75'F / 24'C. I suspect that there will be many sore heads in Melbourne tomorrow morning as it is even hotter down there due to the heat island effect and the cloud cover is holding in the heat. Oh, the web is recording the current temperature there as 86'F / 30'C. A bit hot for my tastes.

The mountain range was in the newspaper twice today!

'We don't want it to become like Melbourne': New rules to protect Macedon Ranges .

Have I mentioned that I suspect that there are some heavy weights living over in the more fashionable end of the mountain range? They may have just flexed their muscles. Incidentally, the article reads as if they may not want folks like the editor and I living where we do and are prepared to legislate against future opportunities for that. Of course I have not yet seen the planning legislation. It is very possible that we have annoyed some people up here.

And charges appeared to have been laid against someone who is alleged to have dumped a body in the more fashionable end of the mountain range: Borce Ristevski charged with the murder of Karen Ristevski .

Apparently nobody over there investigated the smell of decomposition... I would hate to imagine what may have occurred if the fluffy collective were anywhere near that situation - which is a long way from here - they would certainly have been curious.

Cheers (is that appropriate? Perhaps not!)

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Margaret - Thanks! When I'm hot, I'm hot. (When I'm not, I'm abysmal).

My buddy Scott (friendship of 25+ years) and I have just started swapping e-mails. He's gob smacked that I have this well constructed, interior life. I'm putting him on by pretending to be offended that he couldn't see my light under a bushel, all along. I credit this blog with keeping my mind limber :-). Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - How do you tell when a cooked head is done? Meat thermometer? :-). Hmmm. May be some zoning and C&Rs in your future. Probably not, as I'd assume you'd be "grandfathered" in. More likely, there would only be problems if you wanted to subdivide and build view estates at the bottom of your property. Not likely.

I wouldn't worry too much. Your place can't be seen from too many angles, and it's not like you have piles of junked cars sitting around on blocks. Everything neat and tidy. Both you and the Editor are gainfully employed. Model citizens :-).

Mr. Risteski's lawyer may be able to get the case dismissed on the grounds of prejudicial court sketch. Any way they could have made him look MORE shifty and sketchy? If the case happened here, everyone would be whispering "Russian Mafia." Lew

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Re: Protection of the Macedon Ranges. Perhaps there is just a wee bit of selfishness involved in the decisions? But it is a good idea anyway. I've watched rampant growth around here. Thankfully the council did rein it in some and created designated growth areas for the county, for commercial enterprises and housing developments. We were very thankful that our area is not in it. They did enact stricter rules for things like the placement of driveways; ours would not be allowed now as the grade is considered to be too steep. I guess that's because of water run-off? We have had no issues with that, though.

It looks like a long daily commute from that area into Melbourne; I can't really tell. I forget - how far are you from the big smoke? "It is very possible that we have annoyed some people up here." Now, now - what have you and the editor been up to?

What is a tree changer?

What a gruesome murder story. I found it interesting that the police had CCTV footage of the car that carried the body away. Are CCTV cameras common around there? We have them in town, but I am unsure about suburban neighborhoods.

Pam

Damo said...

Hi Chris,

I belatedly made it here this week :-) Thank you for the kind words on my story - I have some great ideas on what unfair circumstances befall our (anti) hero and may write another installment when I finish the OSS story.

Our tomatoes, and other plants, survived the heat although it required a lot of watering. A few days ago the weather turned and we now have 18 degrees and rain when it was 32 and blue skies on the weekend!

I am excited to report that the brief murmurings of community integration is now occurring for myself and Mrs Damo. The suburb we live in is actually more like a little town, protected from the neighboring city of Christchurch by a modest mountain range. Mrs Damo and I have joined the local Facebook group and used that to buy a couple of used goods locally. One of the people we met is a volunteer firefighter and invited us along - I am seriously considering it, seems like a good way to bed into the community etc. etc. Not sure if Summer is the best time to join up though :-p

Another contact from the Facebook group is an owner of a small (hobby?) farm. He thinks it will be a bit dry this summer and will be culling some of the sheep herd. Free meat for anyone who helps with the processing! As a proud owner of a large, but relatively empty, chest freezer, I called him up yesterday and will hopefully be the recipient of some fresh mutton/lamb and basic butchering skills this Sunday.

My friend with depression/anxiety issues arrived last week. So far it has been relatively smooth and it has been nice to catch up again, but I see a long road ahead for him to get into a good headspace. I suspect there is little that Mrs Damo or I can do - we just keep asking open questions in an attempt to make him question his previous assumptions. There seems to be a lot of anger under the surface and I am not sure where it has come from, except that is mostly directed at women (he admits to treating his mother very poorly). Far out, I thought I was a bit of headcase but it is all relative I suppose! Brings to mind a great quote I saw yesterday, "People only seem normal until you get to know them".

Damo

Damo said...

Chris,

Your photos of the apricots and anzac peaches have made me question my previous assumption about our fruit tree. I thought it was a peach, but perhaps it is actually an apricot! Either way it has fruit :-)

Damo

orchidwallis said...

@ Damo

I loved the quote 'people only seem normal until you get to know them'.

Inge

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Margaret, Lewis, Pam, Beznarf27, Inge, and Damo,

Thanks for all of the lovely comments however, despite promises to the contrary, this evening I had good intentions, but instead went to the pub with the editor. Yes, I disappoint myself sometimes too! Actually they had a very good double chocolate plus hazelnut stout. Yes, you read that correctly. I have absolutely nothing planned tomorrow night and despite my increasing lack of credibility in these matters, I will reply! :-)! I have worked overly much this month.

Lewis - Mate. Far out. December is a hard month as it is a short month and all of the normal work gets compressed into fewer work days. Whomever said something or other about the joys of Christmas, well, I have to conclude that the joys of Christmas are making me work like a dog. Not a dog like Mr Poopy who is perennially lazy, but more like a Scritchy boss dog who is forever - despite her advanced years - marshalling the troops with promises of new and interesting adventures.

There is a meme in the population that says, this task whatever it may be, must be completed by Christmas. I have been unable to balance all of the competing demands and, well, things have gone awry and some have not seized the initiative. Anyway, the whole "do unto others" thing got reflected back at me today because the dirt mouse Suzuki was meant to be receiving new brakes and discs, but the local mechanic failed to get onto the job. They'd already put me off a week as I was booked in last week. This is perhaps not a positive sign?

Yours is an interesting question too. One of the common questions that I have fielded about this property is: When are you going to subdivide it? Seriously, I have heard that question on many different occasions. Some people just can't get their heads around the fact that rural property can be used in very productive ways that does not produce a flow of income, but it can return a flow of produce. Why people insist on converting everything into monetary flows is beyond me. Interestingly too, the planning laws are such that subdivision is not a possibility for landholdings of this size (need to be 100+ acres).

Anyway, the new planning laws look as if they will affect future dwellings rather than existing dwellings. That is how these things usually work out (Grandfathered is the appropriate legal term!) The thing is, if the dwelling is destroyed in a fire, a person has to reapply for a planning permit. I suspect the whole thing is to encourage people into urban areas where they are perhaps more dependent on services and can be more easily mediated. I'm a cynic though.

Do you see much of that push from rural areas into more urban areas in your part of the world? A lot of fear is used to push that barrow here – especially the bushfires. But it is worth mention that they affect outer urban areas too and most people don’t give that a second thought.

People are annoyed because this house is visible from below the mountain range. I looked up into the forest and spotted this white house and sprained my eyes. Someone has to be responsible for this outrage! (I’m joking around, but I have heard similar things said about this place)

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Interesting that you can't subdivide your land. I can divide and sell my land in as many teeny weeny ways as I wish. Should ones house burn down or be destroyed in any way then one is okay so long as one complete wall is left standing. People have come a cropper who didn't know this and therefor pulled a building completely down and then couldn't get planning permission to re-build.

Inge

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Damo:

I, too, love your quote: "People only seem normal until you get to know them". Will pass it on.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Double chocolate hazelnut stout? Sure you weren't looking at the desert menu? :-). Even in my worst drinking days I don't think I ever would have ...

Mechanics can shuffle the que (sp?) for all kinds of reasons. Some humanitarian, some not. Of course, the festivities distract, this time of year. A traveling family of 12's RV breaks down and they're going to be camping in your parking lot til they're on their way. A handsome bird says she MUST reach dying grannie by Christmas eve. You finally get you're shiftless brother-in-law off your couch if he has a dependable vehicle to get to a job opportunity. Pick any Hallmark Christmas film. :-).

I thought of the difficulty of having to replace a house due to disaster ... but didn't want to mention it. Oh, I don't think your being cynical, at all. Herding people into urban areas certainly makes for easier population control. Rural types tend to be a bit more ... independent. And, infrastructure business would have a better bottom line if they didn't have to serve all those low, or no profit rural folks. Tela Com companies have certainly made that clear.

Visible house reminded me of when I was in the book biz. All that storage areas, up above, accessed by those rolling ladders? My district manager was always going on about how we should keep them filled with interesting displays when the back stock got thin. Yeah, in my spare time. if we didn't the customers would think we were going out of business. At least that was her reasoning. I finally told her that really wasn't a problem, because if we caught anyone looking up there, we just put their eyes out. :-). Foggy as, this morning. Rain is supposed to come back, tomorrow. Got some things to do in the garden. Lew

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks, but we must not count the harvest before it is sitting in a huge basket on the kitchen bench, and possibly I'm wondering about how to process all this fruit! :-)! Actually, I am looking forward to the apricots as they have such great flavour. The resident parrots are pretty clever though and I note that they have knocked some fruit to the ground where they can consume it at their leisure whilst it ferments in the heat. It is nice to take a stroll around the place and plot our plans for world, I mean mountain, I mean just this tiny little corner, err, domination and stuff! Hehe! It is a beautiful way to spend time. Didn’t the old timers call that activity promenading?

Yes, I sincerely endorse that hobby, and a mix of black and red currant makes the tastiest of country wines. Of course strawberry is pretty good too, but those pesky parrots again... I reckon Chilean Guavas would work too.

Well done with the bird feeder and it is a great thing to do for the local birds who do it so tough at this time of year.

Thanks for your concern and we are adapting to the heat, but every year it is a lesson to be remembered.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Lewis,

Yeah, the English language is very stilted in some respects and it really reflects the culture in a lot of ways. Do you reckon language precedes culture and shapes it, or perhaps language reflects the culture as I posited above? Or is it something completely different again? I do enjoy our word plays too and look forward to reading them. Occasionally I have the thought that I have nothing really to say, but then it all pours out. Our conversation over the years has been like a huge unfolding story, life is like that don't you reckon? I see stories everywhere and sometimes they appear in the strangest of circumstances and conversations.

Exactly too, I have a few friends and many, many, acquaintances. But try and put a finger on the exact difference between those two words and the English language fails abysmally. And not all acquaintances are of the same value. Don't you reckon it is similar to the word "happy"? I'm more content than happy, because for me the word happy appears as a peak, whereas other people assume that it is a constant - which to me is more an expression of contentedness. Dunno. I was happy at the pub last night, despite lacking any time to reply here, which brought a certain uncomfortable note to me. I missed the ongoing conversation.

This evening did not plan out as I first intended it would be. The car repairs were completed by about 7pm (on a Friday night of all things). Then I took a quick visual inspection to see that the work had actually taken place and drove away. Well, it sounded as if a chunk of stuff was eventually going to fall off the vehicle any time the vehicle encountered a bump in the road (which is remarkably common here). I turned around and they put the car back on the hoist and by 8pm the job was done and the mechanics went home as did I. Apparently, you rightly suspected that a few unexpected repairs had arrived during today and yesterday. They run the Roadside repair membership thingee which is part of their business (the editor and I are both members). I was a bit alarmed by the sheer number of strange goings on with this job, but they went over and beyond to get the job done, so nobody can ask for more than that.

It is a complex thought because you have to remember to enjoy the time that you do have and also the people that you do know that bring you joy. But you know, you are right, grief is built in to the arrangement. I feel that it is right that we all eventually pass. The long lives of the Elves were a burden to them. Seasons change... Mr Poopy is at risk in that regard.

Plenty of plastic covers have been repaired with the enormously strong duct tape or the even stronger and stickier cloth tape. I can almost see your turntable with tape repaired plastic cover in my mind. The tape itself may well have been an indicator that the turntable was well loved - or squooshed. I'm unsure which is the correct response! :-)!

Anthony LaPaglia is a big name actor who lives in Santa Monica. It sounds like an intriguing film which I had not come across. Thanks for the reference. The Australian drawl is a tough thing to decipher from time to time. Mate, sometimes by the end of recording the podcast my voice starts to need a break as I don't generally speak for fifteen minutes flat out without taking a breath. How radio DJ's do their thing is beyond me.

cont...

Fernglade Farm said...

Haha! That is funny. I have heard someone mention in the past to Mr Greer that the long form essay is dead and perhaps could he cut it short for the benefit of the Twitter-ocracy? I wouldn't be caught dead suggesting such an outrage. I see that the Twits have doubled their character numbers recently. I'm not keen to join their unhappy parade... (and I managed to get an ellipse in to the paragraph too!)

Running out of control is akin to a story I once told to a staff member with an unfortunate habit of falling asleep at their desk. I went for a sports meme and said: "Here are the goal posts of normality. Mate, you are kicking outside those goal posts". It seemed an apt metaphor, what do you reckon? I suspected that he was up late at night playing online games and as such he had little sympathy from me.

The editor has a real live shoe horn and knows how to use it!

The book we discussed a few months back was titled: "Luxe" And yes, the trajectory is the same. I have observed people spending up big time on buildings and fit outs only to fail in business under that weight of previous obligation. Someone else then comes along and picks up the pieces and sets things in motion on a cheaper, less burdened basis. Until they make the same error down the track. And so it goes until we reach, I dunno, somewhere. I'm reading the third book of the World Made by Hand series, and I'm really enjoying it and I've nicknamed this particular book, the mental health of the future. It is an engrossing read.

Status. Absolutely. In the aforementioned book, one of the central characters: Robert Earle, gets a bee in his bonnet about wanting a horse just because, despite the excellent advice about the realities of that situation from his more experienced and younger partner, Brittany. To be honest, I have given such advice before and some people take it on board and others blithely ignore me.

Meat thermometer indeed! Hehe! I have a built in one that demands a salty / sugary drink like Gatorade (and I usually only drink tap water during the day) otherwise it clubs me over the head with a headache. Such is life with extreme UV. Some people do it worse and over the past few weeks I have read some disturbing reports regarding dehydration of farm labourers in other parts of the world.

double secret cont...

Fernglade Farm said...

Well, when the whole messy view from below business hit the pointy end of the process, the people involved took a look around and remarked at how beautiful it looked here. I was feeling a bit un-gentlemanly by that stage, but took it all with good grace albeit a bit sullenly. Anyway, neat and tidy is the order of the day. I know folks who have been clobbered over the head with a clean-up order and such things are used against people.

Down here, nobody cares less what the Russian's may or may not be up too! Well, Accused murderer Borce Ristevski bashed on first day in prison. He appears not to have had a nice first day at school.

Well, I have to report that the double choc, hazelnut stout was a particularly fine brew, despite your misgivings. The flavours are subtle, not club you over the head like an icecream or gelato! :-)! I enjoyed your ellipses too...

The current strategy for this house hinges on the likelihood of an insurance payout in a worst case scenario. Mate, I'm really putting some serious brain cells and sweat towards the water systems here. I understand reading the World Made by Hand series of books that many houses in the US have plastic siding which would last about 1 second in a bushfire – maybe less. This place is constructed like a telephone book with many non-flammable outer layers, but then the combinations are tested, but not the whole, and therein lays the complexity for me. Whichever way it ends up, we did our very best with the house construction - which is far beyond the standard.

I enjoy a good fog. How about you? Sunny and cool here for the next day or so and then the heat will return.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Pam,

Many thanks and I'm glad you enjoyed the day too! It really was my day off. The order for bakery products here is also online and delivered in the mail. It is a good system and I note that they are taking almost a month away from that business, so the logical conclusion is that it is also a lucrative business.

Yeah, home made dog biscuits are very tasty aren't they, and when they are fresh out of the oven... How does your recipe stack up to Mr Poopy's? Mr Poopy is a nuisance in the kitchen when they are baking. I guess the smell is notable for a sensitive canine!

It is shorts and t-shirt weather here. As a bit of a joke I often tell folks up this way on particularly cold days that it is shorts and t-shirt weather. Hehe! Bad Chris. The weed wacker is the tool for that job. Do you use the rotating blade or the plastic line? I use the plastic line as the electric trimmer won’t take a rotating blade (which I could sharpen). Oh well.

Nice soup and I like the sound of a splash of maple syrup as an addition. Yum!

No! The Asian pears will ripen in mid to late summer. The European pears are much slower and also like yours ripen in fall. Can you grow the Asian nashi pears?

I would enjoy all of the printed stamps going onto the packages too! Fun stuff and harking back to a gentler time. I have reliable and credible reports that some of the cards were received on Tuesday!

The bees are exceptionally happy creatures and enjoy a huge diversity of flowers. Although I must not ever bad mouth them as they can get pretty grumpy. :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Beznarf27,

Go the feral squad of ninja chickens! Your ninja chickens would perhaps be a force for Jackie Chan to confront? He was always unstuck by the lady martial artists!

Wicking beds work pretty well, and cutting water usage down is an excellent idea. We as a society are growing 100lb weakling plants which require too much care and attention, and all for a minor increase in yield. I hope you are saving seed too? As to being penniless, well any old organic matter can assist a garden - given enough time. I regularly score a huge amount of coffee grounds which feed the orchard - and they were otherwise being paid to be thrown away.

I'll have a look at your blog and post a link to it, but perhaps not this evening!

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Inge,

That is the worst! I lost a 1,000 word reply to Lewis the other day and I was pretty grumpy about it. It looked as if ghosts had taken over the computer (as they may well have).

Exactly, alarm clocks fall into the necessary evil pile! Hehe! You know that is one of the difficulties here too. The temperature fluctuates quite greatly depending on where the prevailing winds blow in from. I suspect that people living in a more consistent climate have an easier time of things? But I don't really know as that is pure speculation.

No worries, there is something for everyone in the photos and I do tend to cluster them in groups and have certain themes which I repeat.

To be honest, I had no idea what Findhorn even was and thought that it was some sort of mysterious Nordic reference given the words used. Ah, they have a website, I'll take a peek and see what they're about. Yes, who wrote the wise words: "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." Like the folks at Findhorn, he too was onto something. A lot of life is like that, don't you reckon?

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Mr. Poopy would enjoy my dog biscuits. They are like his, but I always saved drippings from any meat cooked and added those to the mix. I have always cooked meat for some of the family members, so I have always had such stuff. But surely you bring back the occasional beet burger for Mr. Poopy . . . ?

We use plastic line on our weed wacker.

I have never tried growing Asian nashi pears. I sure would like to, but have made a deal not to plant any more fruit trees (that is a weak spot of mine - always trying to slip in another fruit tree where there is no room) until the garden is fully expanded. I tend to stick them here and there and then they end up shading too much area. I should be kept away from nurseries and garden catalogues, the same way that I do not visit the animal shelter, if at all possible.

My neighbor who has finally finished moving gave us one last hand-me-down-gift: a clotheshorse. I have always wanted a clotheshorse. My goodness, the laundry dries quickly when placed on it in front of the fireplace!

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - The development of language. Got me. :-). It's a topic that's launched a thousand dissertations. I find bits of language development interesting. How two words can mean the same thing, and the fancier, vowel laden one has Norman French roots and the word with more "low class" consonant laden one has it's roots in Anglo-Saxon words. Still reflects society after the Norman Conquest.

Yes, language reflecting relationships gets pretty muggy (a highly scientific term). Friend, friend with benefits, husband, wife, partner, life partner, long time companions ... and my all time favorite, significant other. :-).

Yeah, my mechanic took quit awhile to sort my truck after the deer incident. But then, it ran fine. Just looked like hell :-). Which didn't bother me. I made it clear that the repair was low priority, and could be done whenever he could squeeze me in. Also, in the back of my mind, I think being a cooperative client, and, having an unstressed mechanic working on the truck yields a better outcome. Frank has also taken on the maintenance of a small fleet of rental trucks to smooth out the peaks and valleys of his business.

Twitter is for twits. :-). One of the archaeology blogs I check out has moved to posts that are all tweets. Oh, there are links to full articles or papers. But it's not near as interesting as it was in the past, and I don't go there much, anymore. Some other new messageing app, has appeared. Something called "kikme" (?). So, to communicate with some people, you've got to sign on to whatever that is, figure out the ins and outs. And, the whole thing will probably die in less than a year, and they'll be onto something else. Nope. Not going there. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Metaphors are fun. Either making up new ones, or discovering old ones and spreading them around. One of my golden moldy oldie favorites is: A few brick shy of a load. :-).

Does the Editor have a license to carry that thing? (The shoe horn). Does she have a conceal / carry permit? Has she taken the safety course? Have you invested in the shoe horn safe to keep it out of the hands of stray children? Or, worse yet, what if it fell into the hands (paws?) of the hounds? :-).

Other than a few minor irritations and reservations, I quit liked "The World Made By Hand", series. I don't remember the part about Robert Earle and the horse, but I've often had reservations about investing in animals. Goats, bees ... yogurt, sourdough. House plants. All those long term commitments that can end in tears. Usually, a good romp through the "For Dummies" or "Complete Idiot's Guide to.." can bring me around to rational thinking. They don't sugar coat it.

Oh, I wasn't referring to the latest, supposed Russian tampering in the election. That's just a distraction from paying attention to the really important stuff. A distraction and wedge issue. Pay attention to all that nonsense and you can overlook important stuff like Net Neutrality or, the new tax package that may ultimately destroy Social Security and Medicare. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian organized crime developed here in the US. Lots of turf wars, etc.. It seems to have clustered in the Brighton Beach area of New York City. And, has entered popular crime fiction and movies.

Well, the stars finally aligned and I baked a batch of banana muffins, last night. In part to discharge my obligation to Steve for helping me haul the furniture up to my apartment. I put walnuts in some, sunflower seeds in others and a few with pumpkin seeds. He got nine, I held back a few for me. Not a bad batch.

My friend Julia called yesterday to tell me that ANOTHER stray hen has shown up at her place. The first two were a light, orange/red. This one is a little black hen. Quit fine looking, according to report. I really think someone must have dumped a bunch of hens out along her road. As they often do with dogs and cats. Lew

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Pam,

No doubt that there is a bit of selfishness involved in the decision, but I have noted that when things are gone, they are gone. Where do they go... ;-)! Actually a large running group appeared out of nowhere and took over the local cafe this morning. I observed many unusual antics going on from that endorphin fuelled bunch and it did not reflect well upon them. Yes, it appears that the growth areas are being compressed into the townships in the area. There was I guess one notable development to construct a housing estate in an otherwise agricultural area which was separated from the nearest township by a freeway. That one did seem a bit odd and out of character to me and perhaps not close to infrastructure.

Water issues appears to be one method to stop development in the sort of area we live in. The worm farm system here is superb and the water infiltrates the ground providing nutrient rich plants for the wildlife to eat all year around. Now their manure then gets scattered around the local area so everyone wins. Septic tanks can fill up and then if they're not pumped out, the anaerobic bacteria which is pretty unpleasant can then run over the surface of the land so you wouldn't want one too close to a creek – especially a water supply.

From the door here to Melbourne's Southern Cross Station it is probably about 40 miles. Maybe a bit less. It is quite a remote spot given the close distance. How would that compare to your part of the world? This side of town is not as developed as the south and east.

Just doing anything different seems to be enough to annoy folks who don't enjoy any change. Some of the old timers applaud us, and for others we represent change. It is complex. Do you see that in your part of the world?

A tree changer. That arose when city folks moved to the rural beach areas and became "sea changers"...

Common enough actually. It appears as if the person in question may have lied about being in that location and was driving a distinctive vehicle. He probably should have driven a white Toyota Corolla or common as muck SUV. Just sayin...

Pam! Naughty. Mr Poopy read that bit about the dripping and is now demanding a biscuit upgrade! :-)! Mr Poopy enjoys regular snacks of beef jerky, butter milk and fresh eggs. He wasn't complaining until he learned of the dripping! Hehe!

The Asian pears are good trees and they seem reasonably compact to me, but then space is not an issue here. That is really sweet. Yes, seed catalogues, plant nurseries and pet shelters are a source of temptation! ;-)!

Go the clotheshorse. Do you know, if you need to turbo dry the items, you can chuck a sheet over the lot and arrange it so that the heat can get into the sheet (like keep the front open and facing a wood heater whilst covering all else) and that will turbo charge the drying process. You have to watch out that any exposed timber may leave stains on clothes.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Damo,

No worries at all, and I hope our anti-hero gets up to further mischief and in and out of scrapes in his future adventures. It doesn't even need to continue on from the previous story as you could just assume that that is now all in the past (or the future).

Yeah, that weather system hit here too. Stonking hot, and then cold and wet. Go figure. It is pretty nice outside right now, but I'm dodging the late afternoon sun and will work outside a bit later. Tomatoes are hardy as. Interestingly too, the plants begun from seed and not transplanted are hardier again to heat and dry.

I recommend it as a good way to meet the local community. Plus you'll learn heaps and get some good experience. They'll never send you off to a big fire if you're a noobie. That'll require a few years. You'll be fine (maybe)!

Well done you. That is a great experience and I have never processed an animal before for meat, but a few friends can do that. I'll be really interested to read about your experience - and free meat. That is awesome.

Yup! What a great quote. My little radar went off at your description and it tells me that males that are angry at females often feel that they are owed something that they are not getting and that can be a huge range of things. Interestingly, Mr Greer once wrote that the best love spell was to first make oneself loveable. Some people are not capable of that feat. Good luck!

Lucky you with the mystery fruit tree. Yeah peaches and apricots can look quite similar (fruit and leaves), although the bark of the trees is very different. Interestingly, apricots are closer to plums I believe and they do not suffer from curly leaf like nectarines and peaches. I don't bother spraying for that as it seems like a waste of time to me. The trees inevitably drop their first batch of leaves and then get on with the job of growing new ones. Not spraying probably slows their growth down a lot, but I'm not in a hurry.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Inge,

That is an interesting difference about the subdivision. Generally our property laws sound an awful lot like yours - which is hardly surprising. The minimum land size for subdivisions in my zoning is 100 acres. Some people around here have far more land than that, but I reckon they'd have trouble getting a planning permit to construct a dwelling given what I've read. Still, you never know and the law is a strange beast. Hopefully the law does not bite any of us! Ouch!

Absolutely, that is a real problem with the demolition. Down here you have to get a demolition permit as part of the planning permit process, although people are quite unaware of how the system works. I have heard that sad tale too...

After the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, I recall that one property had two old dwellings on it and the council only provided a permit for one replacement. The state government eventually weighed in an allowed the two dwellings. There is an appeals process, but not many folks can remove their emotions and treat the system as a process. I'm unsure about why that is, and I hear a lot of beliefs and "not fair this" and people fail to follow the legal process. That is weird because the whole thing is impersonal.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Lewis,

The Norman and Anglo-Saxon language probably reflects the social relationships and status among those defeated folk. Interestingly, I read that the Anglo-Saxon governmental systems were more sophisticated than their counterparts in Normandy. Sophisticated systems does not prevent a wholesale takeover though, and King Harold was perhaps from hindsight unwise to split his forces especially during winter when the invaders supply lines would have been very long indeed. A wiser move would be to offer no food.

Muggy is an excellent technical term which intuits so much, but says so little. Like the much scorned ellipse!

cont...

Fernglade Farm said...

Well there is always the boon companions too and I have met a few of those over the years. At uncomfortable wedding tables, the editor and I have been known to sing for our suppers and provide an entertaining backdrop to an otherwise dull event. It is all part of the service.

I moved outside into the orchard and am now sitting among the fruit trees with the chickens bok, bok, bokking around. Do you miss your chickens and their fresh eggs? I was considering the concept of status as far as language goes, and status is often a measure of the historic victories of past events. I may have mentioned in the past my enjoyment of the annual triple J hot 100 and it has been something that I’ve enjoyed every year since about 1992. Anyway, the radio station moved the day of the countdown from 26th January which is the day that the first fleet landed at Botany Bay in 1788, to the Sunday of the fourth week of January. The 26th of January has become politicised, but then it always was I guess.

You know, I had a strange perception today. As I was replying earlier this afternoon, I looked out the window and rather than seeing individual fruit trees in an orchard, I saw a young forest growing. It was a strange perception, but I reckon the fruit trees have grown a lot this season – and more than in any other season previously. The weather has been a factor, but I reckon the soil has grown in depth and life forms as an entity this year in ways that I do not understand, but I can see a marked difference.

In the cooler early evening sun and before the chickens were set free to roam around the orchard, I finally had a couple of hours spare to upgrade the water pump for the garden water taps. The water pumps have benn

cont...

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Shouldn't it be 'ellipsis'?

Inge

Fernglade Farm said...

Well that was an interesting intermission. So, I was out with the chickens and they called out their predator alert call, and I looked up from the little laptop screen and spotted a fox stalking "fluffy head" the Silky-Australorp cross chicken. I dumped the laptop mid-sentence and ran yelling at the fox. Fluffy head flew ahead of the fox. The fox got three close snaps at the chicken who was only slightly ahead, but I was also on its tail, yelling and gaining ground. I eventually chased the fox off into the forest, but that is it for typing away in the orchard. Done. Finished! Mr Poopy has to accompany me now on chook activities despite the fact that he is unreliable where chickens are concerned. I need a much smarter and much more reliable dog. Fortunately, Fluffy head seems to be ruffled, but otherwise OK. She is made of tough stuff for an older chook (about seven years).

Taking on-board a fleet of vehicles is an excellent way to smooth out the peaks and troughs of such a business. The old timers used to say: When it rains, it pours! And they weren't far wrong. The thing that bothered me about the experience with the mechanic was that the guy looked as if he was in a high state of emotion which to me is a very bad sign. I may check in next week and see if he is OK and see what comes of that. Dunno.

Hehe! Twits! Of course. 280 characters... Far out, I can barely restrain my thoughts to 280 words and even then would fail at that limitation. I'm not going there neither! Is that proper Norman English, or the more base Anglo-Saxon? :-)!

I like the brick metaphor. One that I hear a lot of is: A few choccies short of a box, which more or less means the same thing as your metaphor. I enjoy mixing metaphors too, and one of my favourites is: That ship bolted!

The thing about the shoe horn is that it is made from plastic and as such should be kept away from naked flames. The hounds of hell would surely chew the horn if they were ever given the chance. The editor would be displeased.

I'm enjoying the World Made by Hand series too. Each book has a theme and the many stories revolve around those themes. The social interactions are particularly good. But yeah, animals of any kind can make for a complex existence. I have not worked out yet how to get away from this place for longer than a day, but then I don't know where I'd want to go anyway (ellipses alert!) ... They do bind you to the land.

Of course. In between all of the posturing and nonsense too down here, strange things are afoot. A politician recently appears to have fallen on his sword because he was on the take from foreign interests. The funny thing is that he appears to have taken money directly unlike the political parties who took the money and then disclosed that they had done so. The difference appears not to be as great to me as they may imagine.

I'm salivating thinking about banana muffins. Yum! We enjoyed a coffee and shortcake (an early Christmas from a very lovely lady) earlier this evening. That reminds me, I have to spread several bucket loads of coffee grounds in the orchard tomorrow.

A few stray hens is a bit of a blessing really, as long as they don't turn into roosters. But then, roosters are part of the reason people eat chickens. Speaking of which, the fox is still prowling around the edges of the farm and I sent Mr Poopy out again to run it off.

I have had to increase Mr Poopy's intake of food as the diet appears to have been too successful. At least he seems to be losing his very lazy streak. We'll see how that plays out. Dunno.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Inge,

Thanks for the correction! Ellipsis it is. :-)!

Has your son spotted the fox recently. I must confess to not being much of a fan of that creature. It takes the term "rat cunning" and elevates that concept to beyond the rodents.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

@Inge & Chris

In an effort to protect farmland a person cannot construct a home on less than 40 acres. There are from time to time exceptions. Our road was subdivided years ago into narrow lots of 5-6 acres. A double lot down the street is now for sale but it's grandfathered in so someone could construct two homes there. About five years ago the county adopted a comprehensive plan that attempts to keep new construction near municipalities and prevent farmland from being divided into estate lots (lots around 5 acres). It covered many other things as well i.e. placement of signs, keeping bees and chickens.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Apricots are a favorite of mine but unfortunately they really can't be grown here and are very expensive in the store.

I've been a bird feeder for decades. We have a pretty good variety that visit the feeders. The care center where my MIL lives has bird feeders and they nicely placed two right outside my MIL's window. Being a pretty small facility they try to cater to the residents interests as much as possible. Speaking of my MIL she's taken a bit of a downturn lately. She seems to have developed more breathing issues and needs to use her oxygen more. She also can only use her walker for very short distances now when before she could get down the hallway. When we bring her home for a visit she was able to get around with the walker but now is going to need her wheelchair. We're having Christmas #1 on Sunday, primarily so she can spend time with my older daughter and family as they don't come to our house on Christmas day.

The weather turns pretty warm today and will remain so until next Friday (in the 40's F). Still no snow to speak of which is OK with me.

It's nice to be able to live in a fairly remote area yet have access to a city by train as we do here as well. The weekend schedule isn't too great though - especially Sunday. I have missed trains in Chicago and had to wait 2 hours for the next one.

That fox is quite persistent. That's about the only predator we haven't had here.

Margaret

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

I know many people who commute by car to the state capitol of Richmond, which is 60 miles (97km). I also have known a few who commute to Washington, D.C. by car - 120 miles (193km), though a few years ago they finally started running a daily train to D.C. I know other people who commute to either place driving 1-2 hours each way from other towns. The traffic is horrendous up there. I try to avoid going up there at all costs.

Well, it takes all kinds, where change is concerned. Some people want nothing but change, so I reckon it sometimes takes a person not so keen to take risks to point out the flaws in some plans. But it does no good to resist change just for the sake of resisting. Some people get really bad about that as they get older. I think maybe the energy output required to constantly make adaptations is too much for them. Don't most things come down to energy?

Thank you so much for the sheet-on-the-clotheshorse tip.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

My goodness! That was a hair raising experience that you and Fluffy head had with the fox. Things are getting really hairy in that department. I hope Mr. Poopy realizes the seriousness of the situation and cooperates. If not, perhaps one of those giant - yet relaxed - sheep dogs that has been bred for guarding flocks? But where to put him in his non-working hours? Your house is pretty full . . .

Seven years sounds quite old for a chicken, especially if she's still laying.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Yup. I miss the chickens ... and the eggs. Every once in awhile, I mutter to The Warden that it would be nice to have a chicken, wandering around the garden plots. She usually ignores me :-).

Yeah, I'm supposed to feel all guilty about my turkey and pumpkin pie. Another contingent wants me to feel REALLY guilty about the turkey. I don't focus so much on The Pilgrims. They were johnny-come-latelies, anyway. For me, it's more about harvest, bounty and making good food that I don't make every day. Counting one's good fortune. Sharing.

To tinker with another old saying, you're finally seeing the forest, for the trees :-). There's always a little bit of wonder when you see something from another angle. And, the Editor and you had a hand in creating all that.

Lucky the laptop didn't get flung at the fox! :-). I'm glad your chicken was ok. Probably rattled and off the lay for a few days. You know, you might ask around for an old, crunchy, crusty hunter/trapper guy. There must still be some about, in your part of the world. A quiet word, a few pints ..

Kind of you to want to check in on your mechanic. Maybe stop by, use "Just wanted to let you know how well the truck is running, good job, etc. etc.. Might carry along a bit of nosh. Tis the Season, and all that. "The wife made way too much of this and it will just go to waste ..." Digging into blokes emotional states can be a bit tricky, but I'm sure you're up to the task. Lew

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Margaret,

Those are very sensible regulations and they really talk to what the land should be used for. Of course, enforcement of those rules is a bit on the complex side. When we put in the planning permit application, I did mention that we would be growing an orchard, vegetables, chickens etc. That may have counted for something, who knows? Most people living up here really commute to elsewhere, when this once used to be timber, berry (wait until you see the raspberry haul) and potato country. Perhaps it will be again in the future?

Apricots are my favourite stone fruit too, and they preserve the best of all of them due to the firm flesh. Nectarines and peaches fall apart with bottling (canning). Purchased apricots down here are usually picked green and thus have no flavour at all. I reckon we have about twenty apricot trees of various types. Yum!

Nice to hear about the bird feeding - and they appreciate it as competition is fierce for our avian friends. Sorry to read about your MIL's downturn. Your family has been doing it tough and you have my sympathies. Hope the early Christmas day was enjoyed by all. :-)!

Yeah, snow is nice and all and I enjoy it here, but it is really of the sight-seeing variety and the citrus shrug it off and still provide their winter fruit. I cannot imagine several feet of snow. Still, a white Christmas would be nice... Images of Reindeer, Penguins and polar bears is just weird down here in the heat of summer. Oh well...

Two hours is a bit of a wait for a train. The country trains run every hour from about 5am to about 11pm-ish. They're very comfy.

Gotta write!

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Pam,

Those commutes sound horrendous to me. To be honest, I have little tolerance for sitting in a car for hours and hours on end. I would avoid heading there too if the traffic is as bad as you suggest. The only time traffic is bad near the city is perhaps Friday afternoons, and that is generally because some people working for big corporates commute between Melbourne and Sydney (generally either way, people stay in the alternate city for the week) and they all descend on the airport at the same time. I can't really criticise them because I once worked for a company that more or less forced me to fly to Sydney once per month - and I hated it because it was such a long day and not much was actually achieved.

An excellent summary of the situation. I reckon you are spot on about the energy, but there is also the situation where change can bring the old timers own choices into question - and they may be very uncomfortable about that. That discomfit can take many different forms. Doubling down is one of those forms and we all see a lot of that. You know, sometimes areas become stale and you need new blood and energy into shake things up a bit and show possibilities that may not have been considered previously. ;-)!

My pleasure! That trick never works (who said that: was it Rocky or Bullwinkle?) Actually the trick always works.

Mr Poopy has gone from the laziest dog on the farm, to a true champion. More on this later (hope the photo does not shock you).

The oldest chickens that I am aware of are seventeen years old. I keep the older chickens as they teach the younger chickens the way of Team Fluffy (TM Pending)! Hehe!

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Lewis,

I reckon the chicken business all comes down to getting the right angle. This here chicken business would be good for turning the multitude of food scraps into manure for the gardens? Plus, could the Warden ignore a proper meringue made from locally sourced eggs? The struggle! The trick would be how to keep the chickens out of the vegetable beds as I reckon that would ruffle some feathers. Hmm, this chicken business of yours is not as easy a problem as I originally considered it to be... (the dreaded ellipsis again). Have they got room for a proper chicken house and all weather run? Chickens would do winter tough in your part of the world. Incidentally I recall a huge compost production facility in your part of the world, that ran Australorp chickens and used the bacterial heat from the compost to keep the chickens going all year around. The chickens also ate directly from the compost and they kept turning it - as they do. It was a very clever system. Now it just has to be made fox proof.

Incidentally, old scores have been settled thoroughly with the fox collective. More on this story tomorrow. ;-)!

I couldn't care less about whether people eat turkey - or any other meat for that matter. That is their business with the animal and not for me to put my nose into. Have you got any idea why people feel that passionately about such matters - whilst they go about indulging in other matters that may do them no credit? That has always been a mystery to me. As I mentioned before, I ain't no purist! As a side matter, I don't actually use the word "ain't", but it somehow sounds appropriate in that context, so we can make an exception on this occasion. I once heard someone declare that they: "ain't no townie" and for some reason the sheer genuineness of that outburst stuck with me. Sorry for the digression... (the frickin ellipsis has struck yet again, but does it work? That is the real question?)

Thank you and that is high praise. I wish more people took a look at the forest. Incidentally, the American Indians were also onto the same management techniques, simply because they work. I recall reading about their meadows which are an ingenious web of life and also a critical edge. Forests are beautiful living entities in all their lovely messy diversity of life. And we can be a big part of that - if we choose to do so. :-)!

I checked in on Fluffy Head this morning and she was looking OK to me. Fluffy Head is an unusual chicken in that she is higher up in the pecking order, but just gets along with her own business. It was a close call, but as I mentioned earlier there has been a bit of an eye for an eye outcome which was completely unexpected. Higher order predators perform useful functions from time to time. I'm learning about all this stuff as I'm experiencing it and observing what is going on and who is who in the zoo (that sounds a bit Dr Zeus to me!)

Far out, absolutely, yeah! I'm nothing if not diplomatic. ;-)! Yes, the Gnostic's would enjoy the fact that so many gentleman seem to have cut off their emotional states as if they were the source of all evil. Cutting them off does not mean that they do not exist! Oh well, we do what we can.

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - A fox tail would look rather sporty, flying from the aerial of the Dirt Rat :-). Another option would be to trek up to the rich end of the mountains, hat in hand (back door please), tug the forelock and beg the assistance of local hunt club. :-). Throw a few "aint's" in your request, just to appear authentic. But it sounds like you have soled the problem, and I look forward to the tale.

Sometimes I throw in an ellipsis to signal that I've reconsidered something more ... colorful :-) in an effort to keep it family friendly.

I think I've mentioned the Conrad Richter series, "The Awakening Land." A trilogy of "The Trees," "The Fields," and "The Town." It follows the life of a pioneer woman, circa 1750-1800, around Ohio. He life is a constant struggle to push back the wilderness. In the last chapter, or two, when she's an old lady, she feels something ... missing. And, plants a tree. It becomes a town wide yearly effort (Arbor Day?). As I remember, the series was a great read. I think one volume won a Pullitzer.

Besides the various bubbles (student loans, Bit Coins, used cars, real estate, again) I discovered another bubble. Cupcakes. I so enjoyed "The Revenge of Analog" that I checked to see if the library had anything else, of interest, by the same author. They did. "The Tastemakers; Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes But Fed Up with Fondue (Plus Baconomics, Superfoods, and Other Secrets From the World of Food Trends.) (Sax, 2014). I read the introduction and first chapter, last night.

Sax seems to believe that food trends arise from four areas, the first being "The Cultural Trend: Sex Appeal." The cupcake mania seems to have been launched by a tiny little clip in the tv series "Sex in the City." (Never watched even a single episode.) Even though cupcakes have been around forever, and were dependable fodder for women's and cooking magazines, that tiny film clip seems to have kicked off the craze. From individual shops, turf wars, chains, franchise, public offerings of stock to world domination. So, flash in the pan? Sax seems to think there will be some sorting. And, a return to more of the basics instead of flashy flavors and toppings.

Speaking of bubbles, I watched a fairly recent movie the other night. "Tulip Fever." Quit good, I thought. Worth a look. It's set in Holland in the 1600s. The Tulip Bubble plays a major roll. It revolves around a rich man, his barren wife and an artist. It's beautifully photographed and the sets and costumes, quit nice. I started watching "The Story of Film", last night. 5 discs, 15 episodes. A global perspective of the history of the movies. Engrossing. Lew