This is a story. Its cloth is woven from a variety of sources; environment, love, strength, wonderment, beauty, success and learning (nice way of saying mistakes), reality and compromise.

I want to thank Janice & Dennis for thinking of us these three years later…I had just put a call out to the Universe – “we need straw, lots of straw” and within days the email arrived: Hey – Marie  asked me to get ahold of you – she has some straw bottom bales she was wondering if you would like to have them?

Now we can correct some of the mistakes we made this year and launch the outdoor mushroom growing project under the Elm grove.

I’m well aware of Irma as I’ve watched her grow in the last week. It’s been over three months since any post but bad timing or not here it is. I don’t need the MSM hype and adjectives to tell me what’s happening. I follow this: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT1+shtml/012049.shtml? And it tells me all I need to know. That plus a map of the Caribbean. I know what those Islands are like because I’ve been there; on a job hosting the Old Navy VIP annual meeting for 10 days.

We rented these three Cats from the Marina off of Bay Street in Abaco

 

Fresh Water Pools are abundant

I have an idea what kinds of winds most homes cannot sustain.

The Island supports a large population of wild cats and there’s a remnant band of horses left behind by the Spaniards during their invasion of these islands  500 years ago, and I’m not sure how they’ll fare either.

Farrell Cats are in large populations on the Island

Last small band of wild horses to inhabit the Island

It rained down ash in Seattle yesterday and the ride from Missoula Montana to Seattle via 90 is smoke filled the entire way.

Strange times.

So now, come take a ride with me.

It’s 2am in the morning and the air is a reasonable 49o when our clock alarms wake us up. Time to go, it will be a five hour drive and we have a date with the eclipse.  The skies are clear and the Milky Way is brilliant, having shifted its position in a dance with earth’s orbit and with no light pollution – a trillion stars are out.  We, like some of our neighbors 2 miles away, don’t believe in sporting the frightened white people klieg lights so popular in towns, cities, and decaying suburbs across the land. We like to see our stars. Happy to report the smoke from the annual burning down of North America’s western forests has moved off in another direction, for today.

It’s not like we really have the time to do this with so many deadlines bearing down on us and two dozen more we haven’t been able to get to, but a day’s a day and we’re taking this one for ourselves. With the homestead buttoned up we take off for eastern Oregon, and this particular region is one I’ve never seen.

My muscles and tendons have really been sore lately and there’s no mystery to that. When I think about carrying: 12 ton of retaining wall brick (moved by hand at least a couple of times), two mountains of loess dirt hand sorted for the caliche rocks, 4 ton of straw, a couple hundred pounds of chicken feed, another hundred pounds of lumber for scaffolding, and 1 ton of solar batteries I’m really not surprised I’m not completely crippled. All of us are still standing upright. That in itself is a miracle.

 

Tarp City, Brick Hell

This is where the solar panels  go for the Tiny House


More straw for mulch!

One ton of solar batteries for the Tiny House

In a sick way I’m actually looking forward to sitting in a car for 10 hours.

I’ve made sure to bring music for this in-the-middle-of-the-night drive, something I haven’t done for years and we’re both excited. The fact that my partner is awake before 8am is another miracle. The notion of 30 years full of relentless 4am wake-ups as a part of the Boeing ‘team’ and the chance to sleep late has stuck hard, now that that gig is over. Many of his associates chose not to take early ‘retirement’ and stuck it out only to die of heart attacks and strokes within three years or less of leaving. Guess they found out the hard way the money really wasn’t worth it after all. They thought he was crazy. What are you going to do all the way out there by yourself in the middle of nowhere? Won’t you be lonely? Won’t you get bored?

Not a chance. On either count.

Two hours into the drive we’re still passing the thermos of coffee back and forth watching Venus lead the parade in the eastern sky. Ahead of us are two portions of the same river to cross and we’re seeing more red taillights than usual for this time of morning. One of the discs I grabbed was incidental but entirely appropriate both for its ability to wake us up and for the lyrics throughout the first hour.  The Police: Ghost in the Machine: Spirits in the Material World, Invisible Sun, Too Much Information, Rehumanize yourself, One World, Darkness.

 

Sylvia from South Carolina texts me about the traffic the MSM is hyping ahead of the event; some of which will come true later in the day, and all of which – will not be any different or worse – than what every American City serves up at average rush hour.

18 hours earlier Will broached the subject of how this was all gonna work out. The Eclipse glasses were ordered months ago, but the actual planning part went abandoned because we’ve been so  hard pressed. I used to make maps back when maps were made by humans and did my stint with the government one summer in Vermont charting out the updates on land use so once we got down to the cartographic(s) of where we were headed and which roads we would take, I did the simple arithmetic. Pretty funny. So…we have to leave at 2am.

Garlic and garlic scapes

Oops, OK, so on top of everything else, breathe, we need to get ready for tonight. We can do this. Now The Universe has one hell of a sense of humor and I’ll explain. Dawn was in Spokane with Brody (the dog) but when I stepped outside it seemed funny that Will was using his “nice dog voice” saying “come here boy, that’s a good boy” WTF? And then I saw them – two mutts with broken leashes. Oh shit. Turned out OK, but that fiasco cost us 3 hours until we found out what ye hoo owned them. No cats injured, no chickens killed. Keep going.

Figuring out who lays what

 

Then cracking and freezing them, rinsing the shells, and feeding the shells back to the chickens

Cabbage protection

I must say Brody has been exceptional. We couldn’t have asked for a better dog to join us; gentle, calm, cat loving, chicken indifferent, and pocket gopher obsessed. That’s my kind of dog.

 

He even managed to get a bark out at our Chief of Police who came down the driveway a couple of weeks ago asking if Will could go dig up 2500# worth of pot plants with the back hoe and get paid to do it. We couldn’t, the damn thing is still screwed up from February’s mud & flood fest. Now that was decent money lost. I did have a moment of sober gratitude though, thinking about three people, now in jail, having a very bad day.

 

New Screen Door on the Storage Container

Dawn has been amazing with her get-er-done attitude. The next time you want to complain about ‘how bad your job is”, well here’s a few jobs you might like to try. There’s climbing down a ladder through the very narrow neck of the 12’ deep empty cistern into the dark with a flashlight to see what’s causing the pump to feed so slowly, or maybe moving both the refrigerator from the shop and the chest freezer from the oil house across the parking lot, up the deck stairs into the house, down the basement stairs and into the main basement room, or perhaps if outdoor work is your thing; donning full sleeves, long pants, hat and a mask to shovel moon dust over the rock screen for hours to sort the caliche rocks by size, and then cart & shovel it all back inside the brick retaining wall (you’ve just stacked) in correct order – in 87o temps and dangerously high UV warnings.

Back in February I had the creeping suspicion that this year would be more hectic than usual and after the hour and a half meeting between Will & I, we stood back and looked at the dry erase board and knew I wasn’t wrong. That’s when we made the decision to take this year off from the landscaping program. Our road was closed from mid-February to mid-April and then the very first trip out the fuel pump quit and left us stranded with 6 ton of brick by the side of the road. It’s a back road to Moses Lake fairly untraveled, especially on a Sunday but nearly every person who drove by stopped and asked if we were OK – including motorcyclists. Ginger saw us too and felt terrible she couldn’t do more but her truck was loaded to the gills with supplies for wheat harvest, and regretfully (in her words) she was right in the middle of it. Two bottles of water were OK  by me and the fact that it wasn’t 100 degrees. Six hours later and as little drama as possible, the truck was back after a fuel pump change on route 2. Shit happens. We managed to drive that old GMC beast out of the driveway two more times to pick up the free straw so generously given and then it crapped out again. So it goes.

Now the traffic was getting heavy as the sun rises in the east and we figured most of the traffic would head south towards John Day using the three lane highways and that’s why we chose to split off onto smaller roads every chance we could. Our destination would place us somewhere past Galena and almost to Susanville at an elevation of over 4500’. At times it did feel like we were part of some strange caravan. Stopping for ‘last gas’ I noticed it was a Geek caravan. That’s the kind of person that would take this much time and effort to watch a two hour event, specifically condensed into a one minute 40 second awe inspiring moment. It’s a rare astronomical moment and depending upon your age and location, only makes itself available once in a human life time. From an astrological point of view the United States was split in half under a fire trine (Uranus/Aries, Sagittarius/Saturn, Leo North Node) and fell heavily upon our latest faker in the white house in his own personal chart. Now it’s been said that in a failing empire outliers are often chosen heavily by the population because of the disgust for the situation of status quo. Let me be clear: that happened on both sides. The word on the Astrological street is; if this doesn’t go well, the domestic insurgency is not far behind; say ten years because in this kind of situation America has the chance to ‘remake’ herself in terms of choosing values that look very different from the ‘values’ we are presently displaying with our asses hanging out for the rest of the world to see.

The other music I chose was perfect for the eastern Oregon terrain. Classic Spanish, Mexican and South American guitar work; fluid, melodic and tranquil to match the landscape I was seeing out the window. The enormous pyroclastic flows showed up on the topo maps and now in real time; same climate, same flora, same rainfall amounts but with the added benefit of over 3000’ elevation and steeply carved canons that carried water along the deep ravines. The same geological magmatic flows in our area happened here too in eastern Oregon, but without the great floods to whisk away most of the top soil, so it was easier to see how nature recovered herself over time.

I’m writing this blog while I have the alarm set for an hour. That’s to remind me to go upstairs and medicate a very young chick that we unearthed from beneath a pile of weeds, after the hen abandoned the nest two days ago. It’s sick and I’m giving it a hefty dose of immune building concoction but the rest is wait and see. The only man I have ever married reminded me kindly one day that on a farm there is a lot of life and  death, and I’m coming to terms being a part of those cycles. I saw that on his family’s dairy farm in Upstate NY, and the same bears true here. We had a really wet spring and now we have a huge population of mice. We trap at least 10 per day and one of the traps behind the refrigerator just went off. The outdoor cats can’t keep up and our two indoor cats Dora and Yoshi, keep bringing the mice they’ve caught outside, inside.

Toy on the left other ‘Toy’ on the right

In March I thought it would be a good idea to double up on our trip to go see Paul Wheaton speak in Yakima. I thought it would be a good idea to buy a different type if chicken. The gentleman, who sold the poults to us, by way of a box in a Coastal Hardware parking lot, bred them to be wild – as in – evading predators (these birds can fly). I thought this is what I wanted because I thought I wanted my chickens to be free range and self-sufficient as possible. I thought. We picked up the 14 little darlings, brought them home and by June I counted 58.

The wild chicken flock turned into a shit show frenzy. This count BTW did not include my mellow domestic orchard chickens (11) and good old one eyed Pumpkin. Thank god I didn’t combine them.  At first I thought maybe just these poults are nervous. Nope.  They’re just nuts. It’s hard to catch a crazy chicken when it’s wounded. And it’s hard to collect eggs when they’re all over the fucking place like some Easter Egg hunt on Mescaline. If I’m not getting eggs to eat, but I’m feeding more and more mouths this relationship is out of balance. Allowing a flock to grow that numerous is asking for disease. I kept looking for eggs and all I got was more chicks.

Something has to be done. That’s the mantra I’ve been repeating for three months now. I could sell them and then what – transfer that nightmare for both chicken and owner to other persons? Not ethical. Meanwhile the local feed store loves us. Also meanwhile we’ve learned that we pulled the chickens from their free range business too late in the season. Up side? Less bad bugs next year, plenty of nitrogen for the 3 acres we’re working. Down side? I live in an arid climate. Heavy doses of nitrogen without the rain in arid climates can be harmful to plants. I usually get lots of mushrooms poking their fruiting bodies up in May. The chickens managed to shred up most of the old mulch, including all the fungal hyphae, tear down hills and dig deep ditches in their favorite places – under trees… None if it that helpful. That’s why I prayed for more straw last week. To repair the damage we unwittingly created.

It’s just after 6am now and we’re winding our way up through the high pass in between the Umatilla National Forest area and more specifically the section of 395 that weaves through the Ukiah Dale Scenic corridor. I am in love with the scenery; rugged outcroppings of pillow lava stacked two to three hundred feet tall, ponderosa, fir, and hemlock.

The under-story is filled with elderberry, dogwood, native rose, snowberry and wax current. There are no guard rails and at 3900’ I can’t imagine this road in winter. Death defying. No houses, only the occasional outposts grandfathered in before the park was established and then the best thing I could have imagined happened as we broke out of the trees onto a high valley one hour later; no power lines and we lost all cell signals. I felt reborn. I felt free.

We both did.

The same way we feel when the power goes out in the house, only better. The humming stops – which Autistics’ can really appreciate. We’ll include cats in their appreciation for total quiet in the absence of electronic clutter.

Dora’s Hyperethesia has gotten 98% better

Even more; in an area as remote as this, the constant vibratory angst of humans’ mental machinations ceases to impact itself on the air waves. I’ve experienced that before in altitudes above 4000’ and out to sea, thirty miles offshore and beyond. Bernard Moitessier alludes to this, so does Proenneke and Joshua Slocum, all men who sought specific environments for the intentional purpose of living more in a non-human centered world. There are antelope here and I’m certain; bear, cougar, coyote, mink, red squirrels, mule deer, white tail, and all manners of rodents, reptiles, amphibians and songbirds. They make their home here, year round, in these grassed valleys and old tree covered flows of magma.

I’ve spent the last two years learning everything I can about chicken care. They get drops of oregano oil and cloves of garlic in their water, they get regular coop cleanings complete with food grade diatomaceous earth, sprigs of Artemisia, lemon verbena, & mint to keep the mites and flies away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m even attempting to grow my own maize to  grind and provide homemade scratch. Yes they get fresh water twice per day, gleaned fruit and sweet corn during the week. I have an entire chicken medical kit to treat severed toes, skin injuries, frost bite, worms and coccidiosis. Pumpkin the one eyed chicken has her own large enclosure shared with Yoshi and Dora and she eats out of my hand. I’m the one who suggested we go get these beings, now I’m the one who has to fix it. I’ll let you know how it goes.

395 traverses its way on a north south access  route just west of the Umatilla National Forest and through the Bridge Creek National Wildlife area. We threaded our way with the caravan past Ukiah, Dale, and signs to Range until just before Long Creek where most of the cars would continue on to John Day, one of the (unlucky?) towns on the totality map. We chose to split off of the John Day highway at 20, which headed us in a winding south east direction, sure there would be a line of cars following us, none did. Highway 20 for those who have never been there, is magical. The two way paved road is tucked deep in the canyon of some rather large mountains and follows the main drainage river for at least two dozen smaller tributaries. Names  like; Lick Creek, Willow Creek, Eliot Creek, Bullrun Creek, Slide Creek are among them, and slips past at least three named canyons; Hanson, Paradise and Bum, where I myself wouldn’t mind being a bum for a while. Only those who were familiar with wandering had found their way, days before, to set up small camps along the river and with every wind in the road each view was as breathtaking as the next. It was around 8am now and the camps had coffee brewing, tripods set up, breakfast fires going and conversations happening. A few people spotted  us passing by and waved with big smiles. Our destination on that 28 mile trek towards Galena would have us turning off again on National Forest road NF 914 at Elk Creek. Now we were told that Galena is a ‘ghost town’ but it sure didn’t look ghostly to me. The buildings were well kept, old barns and orchards, gardens, huge willows and black cottonwoods stood sentry between homes and most of those homes respectfully displayed old faithful – not the geyser – the American Flag. The river now had a new name; the upper middle fork of the John Day river. We were in National Forest territory and had passed the 45th parallel some hours before. That’s the line that marks the exact equidistance between the equator and the North Pole. The turn off onto NF 914 became dirt road, typical for most NF roads in the US and led us higher in elevation with each mile. All we would lose in the coveted Totality amount was a matter of a few seconds. It was worth it; now I could smell the earth and all her trees. Negative ions, there’s nothing like them.

April and May were pretty much about getting Dawn moved and getting the annual garden in. As far as annuals are concerned, I rather help Dawn move. I’m still at the stage where growing my own vegetables is more of a pain in the ass than an experience filled with wonder and awe. Around these parts, the ‘awe’ is mostly assigned for “wow, it lived”. That doesn’t guarantee it will produce as in produce. That comes much later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh the fun we had; clearing starlings from the AC unit in the temporary trailer, erecting fences and screens, digging a 30’ ditch in the hard packed driveway to lay the electrical line, new box, post and all, pulling out all the drip irrigation equipment to repair and replace defects in each of the 18 watering zones, going for more U-Hauls, guiding the 40’ cargo container into place, blowing hoses in the heat, chasing chickens, vacuuming all the spiders out of the basement, setting up 4 more food safe shelving units, coaching annual starts along, on our knees hacking away at the dirt, building beds for the garden until our hands hurt, more manure, more mulch, organizing where to store the cardboard, glass, and coop straw, fucking around with the back hoe, hauling cats to the vet, outfitting the cargo container with a new door, and always cleaning the house in a pushback against the relentless loess dust. Fun times. Could explain the mindless clicking on Amazon.com orders.

I’ve wandered all over this country and, as the saying goes, have never been lost. I’ve never met a tree that lied to me or a wild animal that didn’t clearly state their intention. I’ve never met a flower or an insect that told me a story to suit their purposes, wind, water, or snow that didn’t give me a warning, or a stone that offered me a place to rest only to bite me in the ass later. The places where I lost myself belong to the world of humans, who as individuals are a miracle, but when they get together in too big a circle, it’s guaranteed one of them is going to have ‘an idea’ to their benefit and to the detriment of everyone else. They’re cute as babies but a seriously fucked up bunch in herd form. I’m pretty damn sure that’s why my youngest brother tossed me and the rest of my family years ago – I was knee deep in herd bullshit and I don’t think he had the energy it took to point that out. Looking back I don’t blame him one bit. I hope wherever he is he’s got a good vista, good clean air and some negative ions to keep him healthy.

If I had seen a For Sale sign on anyone of these remote properties I would have considered moving, but I didn’t. Those days are over. I can plan to visit again and even stay the night if we do it right (meaning try to find a day off). Instead I will make the place where I live as beautiful as possible no matter what the circumstances are at the present moment. Vision is a powerful tool and I’ll take Vision over circumstances any day. When Ginger, who is one of the nicest persons I’ve ever met, stopped by the farm to make sure we got home ok after the truck broke down she was visibly impressed by how much work we’ve done since her last visit here. Thank god for her non-judgmental way of being. In June of 2012 during the height of my own personal shit show we became acquainted when a mutual friend nearly burned down both sides of our respective properties by accident. Local fire trucks still in the yard, a U-Haul in the Quonset Hut, and general retardation for all, I invited her inside to talk about the situation – into the ‘living room’ that looked like a cross between a frat house with five couches and a work shop sporting a monster turquoise lathe with taped up boxes everywhere. The only thing missing were the red plastic drinking cups and a half tapped kegger in the corner.

We talked for a while and got around to the subject of The Survey that Dawn had commissioned. The results of the survey shocked us. We honestly thought we would lose acreage and were Ok with that outcome. Instead it gained us quite a bit of ground to the eastern side which is good and bad.

It gives us an extra barrier against the overspray, but leaves us with new toxic acreage to reclaim which will take years, and a lot of scythe work to knock down an extensive amount of weeds. We are quite sure the southern survey – if it were ever done – would secede about the same amount of ground that we just gained, back to her cattle field. She didn’t seem to care too much and didn’t think our neighbor was going to be all that surprised or upset about the new lot line. We want to be good neighbors and not piss anybody off. The good bit of news is: word on the street is that all that acreage the Feds demanded the owner to put back into cultivation after 14 years in CRP will be going back into CRP. God our government is stupid. On the sensible side the extra ground allows us to finally (with confidence) put in that eastern fire access lane if ever, god forbid, there’s a fire to the east, we want the local fire department to have access as easily and quickly as possible. With all the crap we’ve got going it will be 2019 before we’re able to drive our own fire truck out into any field and act like we know what we’re doing. That’s another matter altogether. The restoration will be awesome either way.

For those who haven’t hung out in the west lately, there may be some disconnect as to why we’ve got fire on the brain to the extent we do. I’ll tell you why. In the time it has taken me to start writing this today, the wind has shifted and we are down to less than one mile visibility. Geese I’ve never been ‘socked in’ by smoke until I moved here. Pull up a chart of fires for any western state and you will see that from Canada south the entire west is on fire. Connie knows this – she’s just northwest of us across the border and Sylvia had the privilege of living in southern Idaho a decade + ago. Glad to report nothing has changed since you moved Sylvia. From mid-July to mid-September we can count on it and so I say with all my heart Fuck you Summer, glad to see you go. It may seem immature to blame fires on a season, but trust me – you don’t want my alternative version based on reality that has to do with the USFS under siege from every fucktard extractive private business (lumber, minerals, etc.), bad ‘land planners’ who sell properties to even dumber buyers, and a useless White House who for the last 40 years has continued to cut the USFS budget. They now have to spend (at last count 2015) over 75% of their budget to fight fires. That’s not what the agency was created for but as I said…when humans form herds…

Just after 9 am we stop the truck. This will be the spot. It’s a large sloping field surrounded by ponderosa pines half way down the hill. We have more than enough time to stretch, pull the coolers & chairs out, have a spot of coffee and walk the road in awe.

Will has planned a long time for this and being an engineer doesn’t hurt. He has accurately speculated the sun angle at the time of the Totality and we not only have a completely clear shot, but if we want to, we can take photos of the surrounding trees and hillside to chart the effect the eclipse will have on shadows. Cattle wandering across the road and down the hill in the wooded area are wondering what all the fuss is about. Finally, after five years of studying the flora of these eastern desert parts I know who I’m looking at and can call them by name; lupine, wood rose, yarrow, service berry, wild violet, and if I’m not mistaken: mistletoe. Man they must get a lot of snow up here at 4700’ or at least a tremendous amount of fog.

We put on our special glasses and feel very confident. We can’t see shit. If my memory serves me right the eclipse starts around 9:40am and reaches Totality at about 10:23am for just under 2 minutes. I’ve included the photos we took as the eclipse progressed. Disclaimer: I forgot to take a physics class at Cornell so I can’t explain the change in clarity of the shadows being cast in the photos by the same trees at the same distance from the cooler.

Seeing the solar corona live (with glasses on) is unforgettable. I was so focused on watching the last sliver of light disappear I didn’t think about having them off at the moment the ‘lights’ went out – because it was spectacular. The group on the hill 400 yards from us let out a yell when it happened and then everything and everyone became totally silent; even the birds. It was eerie. I pulled my glasses off and could see less landscape than I would have had I been there at two in the morning on an un-moonlit night.

 

For an event like this, as Will says “it’s the fastest 2 minutes of your life”. My brother Steve sent some incredible photos from his part of the world in Virginia. I have to say even despite the traffic on the way back it was all worth it.

June and July were gone so fast I don’t remember much. I suppose they were filled with daily chores, Tiny House logistics, adjusting to a new three person household, learning pottery, working with concrete, researching – every time we had a question but no answer, and the minutia of; adding shade protection for cucumbers, tying up string for beans plants, checking trees, watering the nursery, cleaning coops, and all the other stuff that comes with endless cleanup, organizing and setting up new systems.

As I stand in this field, I’m incredibly grateful to the sun and moon. They will continue this dance until all the light returns to ‘normal’ – and not because I’m a big fan of full sun in the summer – but because neither one of us wants to break the spell we’re in. We have a brief moment in time to just be; something that hasn’t happened very much this year (if at all) and we know it. Even after its all over we linger. Drinking in the intoxicating smells of the high altitude forested earth, pines, and water – something else we’re in short supply of back home. And we know that too. 

I remember one morning, while we were visiting my brother Steve in Sandpoint Idaho, we woke early and made coffee. Standing together at the window over the kitchen sink we held our mugs and looked out over the lake towards the mountains. He sighed and said “I miss the water”, I sighed and added “I miss the mountains”.

August.

I haven’t eaten chicken in over 15 years, disgusted by the way the commercially trucked chickens are treated. Have some fried chicken. Participate in outright torture. Enjoy. But I had to come to terms with what was happening with the burgeoning wild chicken flock.  To ignore the situation wasn’t indicative of compassion – it was cowardice. I would be leaving in mid September to see my family and by the time I returned there would be more to do and be ready for the Tiny House deadline in October. After that – Winter – and you can’t start off the winter with an overpopulation of chickens in a small coop.

For the first time in my life I slaughtered an animal. This was much different than the pork order put in at a local farm. The pork in our freezer came from a lovely organic farm just over the state line, and was compassionately cared for, handed over to the butcher, and we spent a day sitting outside under an umbrella eating lunch before we drove to pick up the neatly wrapped packages of pork. Farmer’s markets and FB accolades of this wonderful organic farm’s delicious healthy pork – with all the blushing stories from the foodie community – was as close as I’ve come to dealing with (any) reality of the situation. Now, for the first time in my life I’ve taken first hand responsibility, not as a consumer, but as a participant.

This summer brought some successes, some mistakes, some gifts; pottery, two Olas for the mushroom forest,

 

a beautiful new red tea pot,

freezers full of cabbage, potato, onion, leek, stock,

greens, pesto,  jam, syrup, I’ve got; vinegar from scratch, a fully painted living room, a brand new paper bag floor, and for Will; a 1920’s impeccable waffle iron made for the woodstove cooktop,

a cleared out shop, two new triumph collectors for his café racer projects, and two perfectly restored pieces framed; one of him at 17 alongside his first car project and the other a cold war poster – so apropos of today’s recycled fabricated hysteria regarding Russia.

 

Some governments will do anything to distract their populations from the real issues. After all, no one wants to talk about how eventually we’ll run out of FF energy or the fact that once Syria successfully defies the Anglo Zionist attempt and the US dollar is no longer hitched to the Petrodollar wagon we’ll have a much smaller influence on the world. At least that’s what the rest of the world is praying for right about now.

I really enjoyed myself the other day, standing alongside a very special lady and her work associate as we kicked the dust on a 94o day and talked about the weather this year. We were there to get the second load of straw. I mentioned to her how nice it was to go from one quiet place (our property) to another quiet place (just down the road from her property). Unfortunately I had to call Doug back and let him know we’re still struggling with the truck (and back hoe) and trying to get them to run right. He understood completely and said “well, that’s just the way we live”.

I believe that’s true. Do no harm, do your best and see how the rest shakes out.