C’est La Vie

Well, 93.4% of 3GB of storage space have now been used up on this site and WordPress is asking me to upgrade, ($$$), to get more storage. I haven’t checked the price yet, but I have to say, I feel a little resentful that they expect us all to pay to provide content that they can then stick ads all over. If we don’t want the ads, yep, we gotta pay for that privilege too. That’s a little more understandable.

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Jaron Lanier, in his book, Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, advises to get off social media altogether since, if some of us don’t, the providers will continue in their bad practices. And he considers this very way I’ve described as one of the ways they use people, bad practice.

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Investing in a server might be in order? Complaining isn’t useful. Either get on with it or get off. I suspect I’ll be getting off since I’m not sure what the point of engaging in any of it is anyway.

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This may be the last post on firstdonoharmfrontyardfarmacy.com.

I quit FB sometime back. I only felt a twinge of regret lately when I realized that I had linked a blog over at SpoolTeacher.com to a FB album and that all those images are now not accessible — to me or anyone else, (other than FB). It’s like a house I thought I owned burnt down.

C’est la vie.

The regret didn’t last long once I realized that it is all just another thing that doesn’t need to be thought about again. Phew! More freedom.

Yay!

It all started when I wanted a way to document my own progress for myself, alone, to see — an online scrapbook, so to speak.

I used to take pictures and get prints and actually assemble them to look at — just me.

As people started to subscribe, it seemed that it might be a way to have a voice for the way I was thinking about how the world was going.

Recently, 2020 in its entirety as a matter of fact, has only exposed the volumes of people who seem to care not at all about anything resembling truth — most everyone it seems. That’s not to say I have a corner on it — but come on!!!, masks!!!, still???, ever. Does anybody do any research?

Zombies. Zombies. Zombies.

The why is clear—the individual has been overlooked. He has been demeaned. He has been grabbed up and drafted into groups. His creative power has been compromised in order to fit in.

The majority of the world still believes in this approach, as if from good groups will flow the ultimate and final solutions we have all been seeking.

This is sheer mind control, because good groups morph into evil, and vice versa, in the ongoing stage play called reality.

Ideals are twisted, infiltrators subvert plans, lessons are ignored, and the whole sorry mess repeats itself again.

That’s all I have to say. There is no point in trying to influence anyone. Everyone has to find things for themselves.

Those who are wearing masks will certainly be the first to go down the drain with the “savior” vaccine on its way to “save the day” and get us back to “normal”. Very sadly, most probably won’t ever catch on and they will drag the rest of us down with them — that’s why those who “know”, fight so hard.

It’s the Cult of Masks Religion.

The only way to save myself is to not be involved. I can’t be any part of it anymore — it’s all too depressing to see that so few see what’s really going on — and refuse to see.

So…it’s been fun being here, but it’s time for this fun to end and just get on with all the doing. Only I need to see it anyway.

Today I split the water irises up and got rid of some of the mass that was their clumps. I’ve been thinking of putting individual pieces in 5 gallon bucket since they propagate so fast and line the back sidewalk with them. For now, they went into cachepots with mosquito dunks to keep those bugs at bay.

The big pot came all the way from Las Vegas with me when a design client I had there was about to throw it in a landfill. The other littler one I’d let my friend Lois take when I was heading up to the northern part of California in one of my attempts to find my style of living. I came back to S. Cal. for just a little while, and then to here, in 2003, where I am now — Arizona. I stayed with her for a week or so in 2012 and mentioned that that little pot was the only thing I’d had any regret of letting go. She sent it back home with me. She was using it for a handy water reservoir and dog lapping water bowl outside near her succulent building station in her yard.

Her Etsy shop. Do visit. You won’t be sorry: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SucculentSalon

I love that little pot and I love her for letting me have it back without batting an eye. That’s the kind of friends we are — 52 years and counting. I can’t believe it! Can it be? Is my math right?! I was a freshman in high school, 14, when she came strutting up the walk like she owned the place. We were in the same French class. She had a scarf tied around her waist through the loops on her pants, fashioned into a square knot at the front. I thought it was just awesome — so clever — so different — non-conformist. I thought she was awesome. Friends at first sight. She was so, so smart. I wasn’t any good at French and she caught me cheating off her paper for a test. I can’t believe we stayed friends. She didn’t like that at all. I was ashamed. I was also very scared of getting a horrible grade too. Awful times — trying to learn a thing — at 14 — with emotional disabilities.

More c’est la vie.

So, thank you — the ones who subscribed and have been giving me the incentive to bother with it all all along. It has helped me a lot to have a place to “go”. I hope I was a benefit to you in some way too.

While I was writing this, I wondered if I’d separated the irises correctly. They all grew from one single little piece that a girl sent home with me from her tank filled with water plants. It was when I was trying to find ways to keep Buster’s pond clean.

I just need to get a pump and filter. Invest in some solar stuff?? That’s all there is to it.

Well, I found this lady talking about her ponds and think you might enjoy it too:

We could all do well to pay attention to the way this youngish man has made himself the comforts of home with almost nothing too:

Au revoir. And may you all be happy and healthy and quit wearing masks.

Tomorrow I Shall

So, sometimes resources dictate what I will do next. Cardboard has piled up. Sticks and logs are everywhere. There are almost always leaves. There are often branches that can be pruned and weeds ripe for pulling.

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“What needs what?” I ask myself.

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For a couple of years now, one place things have been being stacked is at the edge of the pomegranate tree.

This yard slopes downhill from the far side to the nearer-to-the-house side. That means rainwater has an opportunity to be managed some and needs to be.

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I have only had one year where there was a fairly decent harvest from the pomegranate tree. I have had some rather good success with propagating branches though. There must be five or so of them around here and there now, planted in the ground.

Each year, things have been a little different, one from the other. This year, they didn’t get very big and, as far as I can tell, every one of them has split. That is said to be from irregular watering.

Ya think!?

Yes. it is VERY tricky to keep it watered right. That is why things were getting piled around it — to try to berm around it so that any water that did fall from the sky, could stay there and not run farther down the slope.

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As the resources were assessed today, it seemed appropriate to build a bigger berm all around the downhill side there like a giant crescent.

I thought about taking some of the things out of this gully but there was so much all around, it was decided to leave this be and build it up too. I didn’t get to it today. The pomegranate took all my strength and energy and it didn’t quite get finished either — there is compost intended to be the last topping to cover all the other layers.

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The crescent that was built up all around the chaste tree in the front yard seems to be a big, big benefit to it. It has never looked as good as it has this year — berms/hugelkultur mounds works several things to that end. For one, they help keep moisture from evaporating from the ground around wherever it is — they gradually break down and feed the things nearby — they are habitat to many, many things — lizards love them and lizards love bugs — they use up resources that many people feel compelled to take to the dump. Seems like a win no matter how you look at them.

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I love building them. I love the way they look too.

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Some of those logs that were taken away from the edge of the #1HugelkulturBed in the front yard and put under the #ScragglyTree until they could find a better use, came over here today.

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Logs, sticks, leaves, weeds, kitchen scraps, anything that was usable was used to build this one up today.

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It’s like any kind of organic build up that is hoped to break down in compost mode, a good mix of nitrogen and carbon work best.

And, of course, dirt. Dirt, dirt, dirt. Dirt holds it all in place.

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It was watered several times as layers were added.

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Tomorrow I shall go out and add the well-rotted compost. Maybe I’ll throw some clover seeds all over it. Clover is popping up everywhere suddenly with the monsoon rains. I sprinkled them all over in spring. It just hasn’t been cool or wet enough to please them until now.

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Two different shovels, two different rakes, lops and that fantastic aluminum dust pan were the tools of the day. Some of the pomegranate branches were dragging on the ground so were lopped off and used as one of the greener things — nitrogen in the leaves.

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The poor little plum tree in the back there seems to be on it’s last leg. Two branches sawed off the other day went on the new heap too.

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I’m planning to put one of the chaste trees, currently in tires, in between the pomegranate and the plum tree. Maybe that will get done tomorrow too. They are all asking me for new homes — they seem to have outgrown the tires.

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A little bit of dirt had to be dug out to fit a complicated log there at the end of the crescent on this side. I’ll put that dirt back over the end there tomorrow too.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

There is always something to do tomorrow.

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Starting to look pretty good — at least to me.

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There was only a handful of kitchen scraps to put in, but they went in anyway.

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This was the first load of compost. Tomorrow the rest shall be put over the top.

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This was a little before today’s finish line, but I thought it was a pretty image to end with. I can imagine lizards are already finding their ways to dig in to the nooks and crannies hunting for bugs and a nice cool place to stay.

It was a good and fruitful day of getting more things done.

Getting Stuff Done

Well, we finally got some monsoon rain and, as usual, it came in with a roar. It started out as pummeling hail with gusting wind and then the giant bucket in the sky was turned over, not at all gently. The weather report had been, “Hot, hot with no chance of rain.”

Monsoons can’t be trusted.

These ten dollar tarps are not even good for one season. It was so brittle already that it shredded with the slightest attack.

I did just put one up on the inside of the covered patio because I’ve put my sewing boxes out there and there was too much sunlight coming through — the fabrics and yarns in them might just fade. The tarps will probably fair better there — not in direct sun.

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You could almost see the weeds, and everything else, grow an inch a minute and sense them singing “Hallelujah!”

I shall let them grow for awhile, (the weeds), and then clip them at their bases so that the roots remain to feed soil livestock and the tops become mulch — chop and drop.

There are the usual varieties of purslane — one edible — one not, (that I know of). I pulled a few out by the roots that were around potatoes so the potatoes wouldn’t have to compete.

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Now to find a better remedy for the cattle panel arches to block the sun for summers. Something that can more easily come off for winters.

All sticks from brooms and mops and pieces of PVC, (that were an attempt at something else long ago), were corralled to think about lashing together to make a thing that can be draped over the top and still let wind through. So far, there aren’t enough elements — but seeing them lying there waiting is good for inspiration.

“What would Andrew Camarata do?” I ask myself. “He’d get out his welder and put something together in no time? I imagine.

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I’ve really been getting stuff done these days. It may be because I’ve been addicted to watching Andrew’s videos where he NEVER gives up when he’s stumped and he goes immediately from one thing to the next, almost without catching his breath. He is so inspirational — “Okay, that’s fixed. Let’s go to the next job,” he says to his dog Levi — and the camera.

Today I watched one where he was unhappy with the way a bucket for his excavator wouldn’t curl enough so that when he tried to transfer loads from one thing to another, if the boom was too high up, the contents would just fall out. Well, he just cut the thing up, expanded it, welded more metal to it and away he went.

 

He should be required watching for the up and coming generations.

Another thing that has come to the surface of my consciousness watching Andrew is that, living in the desert has nowhere near the demands as living in the densely wooded hills of Saugerties, NY and its surrounds — Woodstock and the Catskills being among them. Life is much harder where it is cold, cold, cold and snows. They do have lots of resources though — but the resources require maintenance. That is exactly the business he is in, Camarata Property Maintenance.

Right before the first downpour and rip roaring winds, I had put all the sewing boxes in the covered patio on the side that has the metal panels blocking the view to inside of it. I had also just transferred the gorilla rack to be outside of the metal panels in hopes of using it to grow some sprouts over winter?? Another long piece of furniture was put against the panels on the inside and the boxes stacked on it. I thought it was quite secure.

I had to think again.

The wind knocked the metal panels in and in with them came all the tubs. Fortunately, only a few thing spilled out.

I just simply need to learn how to build a better patio. Or, put a roof on the studio. Or…dare I imagine…quit sewing, knitting and crocheting!!! Not a chance.

Heavy jute string, for now, is holding the privacy metal panels to the gorilla rack until I can think of something better.

Slowly but surely, things are getting done.

If I had the money to pay someone to fix things up right would I appreciate it?

I don’t think so. There is something about the doing that is all about what life seems to be about — being innovative and creative — using imagination. There is nothing quite like it.  It is fun to watch others do things too — but only insomuch as it is useful to inspiring you to do it too.

I’m never short on ideas. The only thing I’m ever short on is materials — so, I have to work hard to make what I have work even harder.

Freedom or money? I never have to think twice about that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All That Matters

I’m always glad to see big, beautiful Mr. Shire lounging around somewhere. He is here frequently and seems to be less skittish of me — approaching him is down to about six feet before he acts like he wants to run away, but locks eyes with me instead for a second or two before he does. It’s not at all uncommon to come upon him unexpectedly, lying in the vinca on the eastmost sidewalk bed or sitting up on a chair under the scraggly tree. I put out food for him routinely. He’s very welcome here. He’s far too independent to think of anything other than letting him be free.

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Monsoon season hasn’t amounted to much yet — but it is impossible to know when there may be a major event. This is really a hard time to figure out watering. I’ve just about concluded to water regardless as it’s so hot — waiting only stresses things too much and, often, what rain does show up isn’t enough.

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The plants tell the weather. Petuny seems to like the heat.

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Even as hot as it is these dog days of summer, I’ve been out working on things every day. I try not to be troubled by the heat because, in the blink of an eye, it will be too cold. I just try to think of it as weather. Actually, I prefer to feel the elements — it seems to make life more real.

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The strawberries that were in the wheelbarrow over in Buster’s yard were all taken out and put into individual one gallon nursery pots to see if I can get them to perk up. So far, so good. It was getting very hard to keep them stable in that metal vessel.

I’ve been doing the hand washing routinely so that things don’t pile up as much. It’s a matter of pure discipline — even if I don’t want to, I do it anyway. The area that has presented itself, finally, as the best place to do it is the eastmost sidewalk area since it has shade all day long and soapy water draining there won’t hurt anything that matters. Vinca is pretty darned hardy. We’ll see how it does. It may like it.

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Under that seat-less, purple metal chair is a round spot where there had been a planter — so it is just dirt right now with a little jungle of vinca growing up around it that Mr. Shire plops down to hide in and rest. That is where I find him almost every morning. He seems to come from the alley, jumping up onto the block wall and makes his way into my yard. He goes out that way, too, when he gets scared of me or bored. I just put the purple chair there today as I was washing and needed a surface to let things drip through. Now that spot will be cooler for tomorrow as well as a little more private for him.

The main goal these days is to get the covered carport organized and some shelves made so that the tools, hardware, parts and gardening stuff that have managed to get heaped up in the covered patio can go over there and make the patio strictly for the clear boxes filled with sewing stuff. The ultimate goal is to clear the studio out so that when the roof falls in, the sewing stuff won’t be in there. Long, long range plan is to make the studio space some kind of greenhouse. It has needed a new roof since I’ve been here — 2003 — but just hasn’t been possible to do or worthy because there is so much else wrong with it overall.

It’s all so much fun to do and witness progress — though likely very hard for anyone else to see.

All that matters is that I know.

I found this old 1940s film about how best to manage hedges between mixed farms at that time in England. It’s immensely enjoyable to see how much more responsibility and actual handiwork was done in days of old. I hope you enjoy it too.

There are still people who take pride in their work and work very hard to realize their dreams. I’m inspired by this young man, Andrew Camarata — he’s absolutely amazing. He’s about 35. Don’t know how he found the time to increase his talent to this extent — though his father was just like him it seems and had Andrew by his side from his beginning. There doesn’t seem to be anything that this young man can’t, or won’t do.

I have no excuse to not, at least, do my laundry and the dishes as they’re needed doing. It seems to be an issue of mind over matter and braving the elements no matter. Andrew doesn’t let anything stop him and he has the brightest, happiest attitude. Did I mention, he loves dogs?

My Jibber Jabber

One of the benefits of eating only one meal a day, (self-rationing since I won’t wear a muzzle so therefore have limited resources from where to collect food), is that a pair of work pants I was having trouble zipping aren’t so hard to zip now. It also makes me want to stay distracted by doing something that is otherwise equally as rewarding as stuffing my face.

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I had been thinking of giving up my sites for posting things about gardening, sewing and writing, but the darned auto-pay kicked in before I could decide — so, I may as well use the sites since I’ve paid for them. But, I wasn’t in post mode when I started this project so didn’t take any shots of the mess it was before I dug right in.

The act of engagement, in short order, lifted my spirits and I felt more compelled to share the process for anyone who’s interested to see what I’ve been up to.

Right there where the potatoes are was a heap of several layers of deposits of kitchen scraps and other more carbon type debris, as well as some dirt kicked over it all, sitting there slowly decomposing because I was too lazy/hot to dig a trench. The cardboard near the lower right side was in between the layers too.

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As soon as I sensed the nonsense coming our way about muzzling, I stocked up on a few things to make myself feel a teeny, tiny bit better about the ongoing and escalating lack of freedom. One bag of the two bags of potatoes that I hoarded turned to mush in the blink of an eye — it’s awfully hot in my house.

Boy do dying potatoes stink!!! And make a mess on a shelf and all along the floor from where they’re carried to the sink.

So much for hoarding.

The second bag was on its way to turning to mush too — so it was decided to plant them as seeds and see what might just come of them.

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This big tub is where some of them will go. It has holes drilled all around the bottom about an inch up and a few on the bottom bottom.

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A closeup of some of the matter that was put into the trench

So, anyway, in between the #1HugelkulturBed and a little Palo Verde tree that was planted early spring on a mound was a path going somewhat northwest to southeast that looked like a good place to dig a trench — maybe not the best place for planting — but another path can be taken instead of it and the Palo just might like the extra nutrition.

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The image above was after all the stuff that had been sitting there lazily decomposing was raked from where it was sitting and put into the trench. The dirt that was dug out is sitting on the left. Below is after it was covered over with that dirt. Voila, a happy little compost trench full of lots of pincher bugs and such.

Now that path is level between the hugelbed and the palo tree.

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The palo tree is inside the ring of the pot that had no bottom.

A pile of logs that had been lining the edge of the hugelbed went under the #ScragglyTree for now to be used for something else sometime later.

Everything looks a little neater now.

I’ve been getting lots and lots of things done but haven’t been very motivated to bother posting much about it. Blah, blah, blah. I’ve just been trying to stay a little happy, sorting through the happenings and thinking to myself.

Someone I know who claims he knows some secrets he can’t speak of says “Humans have ten years, max, before they won’t exist anymore.” Since he won’t say how he knows, I’m.not.buying! Besides which, whoever knows, how much time they have? The best anyone can do is to stay as happy as they are able, for as long as they possibly can. “Always look on the bright side of life,” is what I say to myself now and to anyone who’s listening to my jibber jabber.

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Here’s a little bright side — quite awhile back, I stuck another bunch of sprouting spuds in among the trees in the #RaisedBed — to feed the soil livestock if nothing else.

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Right after the Monsoons first came along, several of them sprouted. There is just something about Monsoons that everything falls in love with.

There are lots of weeds around them too.

Who knows how far they’ll get — but it sure did please me to see them. It felt like they were saying, “Hi, Mom!!”

So, needless to say, I’m in the house and hungrier than when I started. It’s just about time for my single meal. In between, it also helps a lot to have a lot of drinks of water or some wonderful flavor of sun tea over ice cubes. I have a tiny bar-type fridge with just a top compartment intended for freezing. The only place the ice really freezes in at the front — so I rotate three different plastic tubs with lids and break the one that’s turned to ice with an awl. I can’t find the awl, so I’ve been using a screw driver.

And, I love to drink out of jars.

Life in the fast lane. That’s the way we roll.

Mickey caught in the middle of a sneeze, on the unmade bed where I’m about to join him for a nap and a movie while my rations cook.

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