And back to it; digging ditches by hand (cause we don’t do enough of that already),

cleaning coops, adding another level ‘up’ for the baby chicks (head room – they got a lot taller in 8 days), harvesting seed,

Swiss Chard Seed

drying seed,

Ithaca Milkweed

 Here’s a link to their incredible Milkweed community-wide program: http://cyradiogroup.com/2016/05/12/code-name-monarch-press-release/

chopping  & dropping weeds, cleaning up the patio,

prepping the new fire break road in advance of dropping the gravel,

cleaning & seasoning parts & pieces of the wood stove. My guy over in NH hooked us up to properly care for cast iron pans and in this case the top parts of the stove: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlbmA2nIpIM

chopping wood, harvesting hops & tomatoes,

Look! It’s a Hops Topiary

Roma ‘maters

AND receiving guests for a visit in two days. Oh yeah, and wrangling an ‘artistic’ builder down in California to stay on track with the Tiny House project. Sheesh.

Two more jars of vinegar started. These are peach & nectarine. Trying to figure out a way to keep the birds off the last Loaded peach tree.

Why are the peaches hard to see? Because this cultivar ripens green, it’s the only peach pit when replanted stays true to it’s genetics (no grafting necessary) and looks like this on the inside.

Playing with color, that’s the peach on the dish.

The patio beds and patio in general looked like hell prior to cleanup. Nobody needs to see that before pic. Happy to see my mint rebounded from the summer.

Now I can get 3 harvests in before Winter. Looking forward to mint tea with organic honey using my new Red Tea Pot.

God it’s good to be back on uneven ground! Two years ago I jammed a trip to Boston and spent the whole week walking on sidewalks and pavement and wondered half way into it what the hell is wrong with me I’m walking like a drunkard? Ever been on a boat for a few days then stepped onto land? Same phenomena – for athletes the term is – motion sickness, which can happen in reverse when the muscles are firing to regain balance.

I spend my life now walking on uneven ground and I love it. So this time on my trip to Ithaca, I was ready for it.

It took all day Saturday to get re-acclimated back to this life style and get my bearings, and by Sunday it was all good. Went to turn the water on in the sink (my turn to make dinner) and heard that dreaded hissing sound sans water. Luckily I had just made my last cup of coffee, so I wandered out to see what the deal was.

Yep, we found the water main.

 

Had to rent a backhoe to stay on schedule

Oops…he he

Two hours later with a few minor repairs we were back on line and dinner was on the table. Here’s the reason why I live like this; I don’t ever want take anything we get in this centralized culture for granted. It can go away in a heartbeat. Harvey, Irma and Maria are showing us how that works. Humans can get along without a lot of things – water is NOT on that list. Water, clean water, is absolutely essential for life and is a non-negotiable need.

After five years of doing what we’re doing I’ve also learned that nothing kills a life of dreams faster than Debt and Unnecessary spending – two mandates of the Liberal Capitalist Economic model – that is driving this country off the GDP cliff. Our Keynesian economy has completely detached itself from reality; the gold standard – printing money out of thin air – and for now, hitched to the Petro-Dollar our economic system is completely detached from the laws of Physics and fancies itself as above it all.

Until it isn’t.

Those persons on the ground are finding out the hard way how brittle our system actually is, whether by weather or economic downturn (or both) and that’s why I’m working on an upcoming post entitled: Pockets & Islands.

Knowing this I’d rather choose a life of some sacrifice and some uncomfortability (yeah that’s my word) grounded in physics by switching from a centralized fossil fuel powered life style to a LIFE of self-accountability towards all things water/soil/food/fuel/ shelter; the more distance I can make between me and the centralized system the better. I don’t need a hand-out for ‘convenience’ or ‘make it go faster’ way of being when it includes complete entrapment in a system destined for failure. I’d Rather use the brains between my own ears to re-design new systems (which are actually really old) but are far more resilient given what’s up around the bend.

When the once-a-year plane thing can’t happen anymore I’ll accept it for what it is, and be fine with it. And BTW we’re not the only one’s with a mouse ‘problem’ – I took this pic while waiting for a connecting flight in the Detroit airport.

I’ve flown all my life and let me tell you – the air travel industry – ain’t what it used to be and that’s part and parcel of energy and economic decline, so ‘nuff said for now…

Did get some shots of upstate NY (for those of you who have never been there) from the plane and happy to report most of NY is farm country.

 

With all of their connected water ways and renewed local food networks they’ll fair just fine in the next five decades. Other parts of the country, not so much, but that’s all about the pockets and islands of where we live.

The migrating birds are moving through now. What a confirmation of success that they’re choosing our Oasis to rest and refuel; Oregon Junko, Nuthatches, Red Shafted Flickers, Gold Finch, Yellow Warblers, Vireos, Buntings, and the occasional Great Horned Owl.

Cheers,

sheila