Monday, 28 November 2016

Hey Dude, where’s my Ruth?



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

The word “Ruth” can mean many different things. Sometimes it can be a first name, but in this instance I’m thinking of the definition of the word that refers to the feeling of pity. Pity is something that you don’t hear a lot about these days, and because of that general lack of use, it might be worthwhile recalling what that word actually means: “the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the sufferings and misfortunes of others, or a cause for regret or disappointment”. And the opposite of Ruth is where a person is ruthless in that they have no: “pity or compassion for others”.

There is a time for ruth and there is also a time for ruthlessness and it is worth considering that there is also a whole lot of middle ground between those two extremities. And it takes discernment and experience to know when to employ any aspect of those two character traits. I’ve been thinking about this recently as my experiences on the farm over the past few years has permanently changed my perspectives in this matter.

Scritchy who is the boss dog here, has a minor health matter. I like Scritchy and she has a great life here and she is full of energy and spends most of her days instructing the other dogs in what they can and can’t do and where they should be at any one point in time. Scritchy, however, is an old dog at about sixteen years old. The editor and I took Scritchy to the local veterinary clinic to see what could be done about her minor health matter. The local vet really didn’t know what was affecting her. Scritchy was placed on a course of broad spectrum antibiotics and anti-inflammatories which we strictly followed, and now, to be totally honest, she is not better.

Despite the minor health matter, Scritchy is still a very happy dog and she enjoys herself immensely. The local veterinarian (or veterinary surgeon) made me feel like total dirt because I didn’t want to subject Scritchy to a whole raft of tests and observation time so that they could understand what was causing the minor health matter – all at our expense of course. I meekly protested by observing that Scritchy was indeed an old dog and that I wouldn’t be pursuing such options. However, I was still made to feel like dirt for having voiced my unspeakable opinions in this matter.

If that was an isolated incident then I probably would not have thought about the subject again. However, a local doctor recently scoffed at me when I refused to agree to a battery of pathology tests as apparently that is what people who are my age are supposed to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against pathology tests, and those tests can achieve great things, but in this instance, I didn’t feel ill at all – not even remotely - and I was visiting the doctor for the rather pragmatic purpose of getting a chunk of stubborn wax removed from my inner ear (was that too much information? Apologies to the squeamish readers in the audience – I feel as if we have now shared something and have bonded over ear wax!) I was starting to feel as if I was being asked if I: “want fries with that?”

In the past, I’ve subjected older dogs to surgery and from my experience, it is rarely to their benefit. It may extend an older dog’s life, a bit, but they are surely not happy or comfortable about that time.

The thing is though, I know from the experience of living here that a season eventually ends. And then a new season begins. That is life and it can’t be ignored or talked around. Some seasons are far longer than others, and this past winter has extended beyond any winter that I can recall. However, the summer that lead into this winter was also far longer and far hotter on average than any summer in my memory. All I know is that seasons end in their own sweet time.

An old timer once quipped to me that: “if you have livestock, then sooner or later you’ll have deadstock”. And that old timer is not wrong. I have kept chickens for many years now and I know from experience that when any chicken becomes visibly ill she will generally not recover and most likely will soon die and her season will then end. Occasionally in very rare circumstances, a chicken will recover from a visible illness, but that is rare. Nowadays, if I judge that a chicken which has a visible illness, is not recovering and is clearly suffering, then I kill them out of pity for their suffering. On the other hand, I have chickens that are now at least seven years old and they show no signs at all of slowing down.

As to the plants - well, a few weeks back I found myself clearing a perfectly good raised garden bed full of winter and spring vegetables (the chickens enjoyed the greens!). The reason for clearing those winter and spring vegetables was because if I hadn’t done that, then the summer vegetables would not have had the chance to become well established before the serious heat of the summer arrives. Summer vegetables that have not become well established tend to suffer greatly when the day time air temperature in the shade exceeds 40’C (104’F). All I know is that the season for winter and spring vegetables does not extend into the summer down here.
A raised garden bed had recently been cleared of all of the winter and spring vegetables in preparation for the summer
The infrastructure and systems here also get subjected to that ruthlessness. Over the years, I have had to abandon or rework infrastructure and projects because they simply did not work well enough. Walking away from a project that you have invested time, as well as physical and emotional resources, takes a level of clear headedness and just plain old ruthlessness. And I have had to do that many times now as both the editor and I have learned from the very hard school of: “trial and error” that some projects and systems here could be better. It just wasn’t that particular project or system’s season!

One thing that is improving over time as the seasons go on, is the sheer diversity of life here at the farm. This week a brand new never before seen here at the farm, parrot, turned up to make a special guest appearance. The parrot is an Eastern Rosella. The farm is normally home to a family of Crimson Rosella parrots (which are largely red coloured with blue markings). However, the Eastern Rosella is the sort of parrot that would have been created if a bunch of drunk twelve year olds were allowed to go crazy with a colouring in book featuring parrots and a vast collection of different coloured pencils. This parrot has to be seen to be believed. A red head, white beard, yellow guts, dark blue mid-riff and light green under carriage. Well done, that about covers every colour.
An Eastern Rosella made a visit to the farm this week and I was lucky to spot it and ask the hard question: What the?
But that clearly wasn’t enough colour for those twelve year olds because as the parrot flew away (who would have thought that something that looked like that was a shy and retiring creature to take flight at the merest sight of a camera?) I spotted a bright green back with light blue and dark blue spots. It is one impressive looking parrot.
A photo of the Eastern Rosella as it takes flight. A Crimson Rosella is on the right hand side of the photo and to be honest it looks rather pedestrian
The marginally warmer weather has caused many huge Bogong moths to visit the farm and they are attracted to the house and garden lights. Poopy the Pomeranian (who everyone by now knows is a Swedish Lapphund) and his dodgy mate Toothy the long haired Dachshund are enjoying this time of year because they are gorging themselves silly on the hapless moths. Then vomiting. And sometimes re-eating.
A huge Bogong moth is attracted to the house lights
In the ongoing crapification saga, this week not only did my computer die, but so too did the weather station. Now I have to out myself here as a complete weather nerd and the weather station was 100% crucial to this most important hobby of mine (i.e. weather nerd!). Anyway, the computer was fixed at great hassle and expense in both time and money. But, even more importantly a new weather station was installed. Excellent! New weather station! Yay! And even better the outdoor measuring unit thingee looks like the Starship Voyager, or perhaps a tug boat. I’m not sure which one really.
A new weather station / tug boat was installed this week
I took the opportunity to locate the new outdoor measuring unit thingee a bit further and deeper into the garden bed and mounted it on a sturdy treated pine post which was cemented into the ground. Speaking of ruthless, I had to hack away many plants in order to clear a spot for that treated pine post.
The new weather station outdoor unit was located further and deeper into the garden bed
We also installed a run of 12V cable from the current machinery shed up the hill to the next higher terrace where the recently completed berry enclosure and raised potato beds are located. The 12V power will eventually be used on that terrace to power a water pump.
A run of 12V cable from the current machinery shed up the hill to a higher terrace was installed
The cable is protected from damage and water ingress by the orange conduit. However, where the cable runs under a pathway, it is also encased in PVC piping for extra protection.

The cable then runs up the garden bed in a deep trench cut into the side of the hill. We used some steel plant pegs to hold the orange conduit which contains the 12V cable firmly down to the ground.
Steel plant pegs hold the orange conduit which contains the 12V cable firmly down to the ground
Then a cubic metre (1.3 cubic yards) of mushroom compost was placed onto the side of the garden bed. We even managed to plant a whole lot of chance seedlings into that mushroom compost. In another year the garden bed will look as if it has always been there.
A cubic metre (1.3 cubic yards) of mushroom compost was placed onto the side of the garden bed
In breaking tomato news… Two new tomato seedlings germinated on the one very hot day last week before a massive storm hit! We now have at least ten tomato plants growing. Yes, things are that bad for the ongoing tomato situation.
Two more tiny tomato plants germinated this week bring the total plants to ten
One year ago and this month, the tomato enclosure looked very different. It is a timely reminder of the differences in each season.
This month and one year ago, the tomato enclosure looked very different
In other plant news, as we had one hot day earlier this week, the citrus responded by suddenly regrowing leaves on the many branches where the wallabies had consumed all of the leaves a few months back.
The citrus responded to a hot day earlier this week by suddenly regrowing leaves on the many branches which had been stripped by the wallabies
The globe artichokes are just about ready to harvest. Globe artichokes are fiddly to eat, but they taste very good. Anyway, these globe artichokes are surrounded by flowers and I reckon it looks quite good!
The globe artichokes are just about ready to harvest
Poppy-gate has become an even more complex scenario this week. Long time readers will recall that Poppy-gate refers to the accidental purchase of a truly epic and quite expensive seed pack of poppy seeds. Anyway, mixed in to all of that riot of colour that is now Poppy-gate, are many vivid blue corn flowers. Go figure that one out. How did they get there?
The poppies are starting to produce abundant and many coloured flowers – along with vivid blue corn flowers
In other areas, the poppies are an almost solid bank of red flowers with the occasional pink flower.
In other areas the poppies are an almost solid bank of red flowers
The temperature outside now at about 8.30pm is 16’C (61’F). So far this year there has been 1,140.8mm (44.9 inches) which is the same as last week’s total of 1,110.6mm (43.7 inches).

66 comments:

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

The funny thing was, because of your past experiences with the pheasants and their interactions with glass house, I was sort of considering that perhaps it was those birds that knocked the onions out of the ground with their scratchings? Dunno.

Hope you liked the photo of the Eastern Rosella - what a stunner of a bird? Could it possibly have any further colours in its plumage?

Alas for us, we not the right people - or perhaps we do! ;-)! Yes a wood stove would make quite a considerable difference in a caravan over the winter, although to be honest, I have no idea how a person would squeeze a wood heater into a caravan without the ever present danger of burning themselves or their kids. It is a shame that the house is too big. Such projects start with high expectations and end in despair at the sheer enormity of the undertaking.

Best of luck with your computer and travels!

Cheers

Chris

Damo said...

Your gardens are looking terrific! Sorry to hear about the computer and weather station. Hopefully you did not spend too much on an old machine (which is better, repair or recycle...? They can both go wrong and soak up precious resources).

I somehow contracted a mild form of gastro. I have been incredibly lucky to last this long in Laos, but i guess the bill comes home eventually. Still, it would be nice if it didn't arrive on the same day as a trip to Vietnam! Sympathy from Mrs damo is in short supply, she thinks my heavy drinking two nights ago kicked my immune system down letting the nefarious bug take hold. She might have a point, but maybe i am still deserving of Ruth?

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Really? OK. The virtual street tour was very eye opening. Glad to read that things are a bit better now. Large and empty commercial buildings are quite disturbing in a down town area. You know, I was thinking about your reply today and down here that doesn't happen much because large populations and cities never really became established in the first place down here. There are a few large inland towns - Ballarat for one example which you are familiar with. But mostly the population hugs the coastline - and even then it is generally concentrated in large cities. It makes you wonder why that is the case. Certainly the availability of water is a real problem in rural areas. I reckon you are right about the doomed bit, as there are so many costs in running a small business and retail is tough, no doubts about that. There have been many recent scandals down here about underpayment and over work of students who are on restricted visa's which limit them to 20 hours of paid work per week. Because they are working greater than 20 hours per week at well below minimum wages, they face deportation, or threats of deportation if they make any complaints. I actually thought that we were better than that - and it is usually very large corporates behind it all, not the little mums and dads businesses. Shame on them.

Sorry to go all Monty Phyton on you, but we could kind of imagine the Juniper bush stoning scene from the Life of Brian and imagine zombies eating the juniper bush instead? Hey, that's my juniper bush... Sorry...

Fair enough, fan boards can be a little bit scary - what with the true believers and all. Nice to see that the cows survived the zombie apocalypse. Blessed are the cows... Sorry for the Monty Python reference... Look, you started it!!! Hehe!

They used that choice bit of rhetoric down here too. Certainly it sounds good doesn't it and it also implies that some kids are left behind. Of course, some kids are left behind. It is just that the policy wasn't referring to those kids.

Yeah, there is a bit of good and bad in Flight of the Conchords, and I really struggle with musicals of any variety. The Blues Brothers and perhaps also the Commitments was about the very limit of what I can take. I went to see Andrew Strong when he toured down here, it must have been in the very early 90's. Great voice - very strong.

The herb butter sounds like the best bet to me. Really? No way. You know it is funny, but the feed bags of chicken food I get have labelled on them "No antibiotics contained" or something like that. And really, for them to have to print that on the bag is a bit disturbing. What did they say in Food Inc. All you have to do is cook the meat (a favourite quote!). It is a bit of a worry.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Stuffed bears! Oh well, I mean what do you say to that gift? Dunno. When I was young my grandmother used to give me cotton handkerchiefs for Christmas and birthdays and that is a really rubbish present. (I recall we have had this conversation before? Maybe?). Anyway, I could never work out whether she reckoned I was snotty or something like that. As a kid, a mate of mine used to be nicknamed "Spotty", but he was rather snotty until he had his adenoids removed and then it all cleared up. Absolutely epic snots can create a lasting impression. I'm with you about the dark chocolate. Excellent choice. I tried white chocolate in some Anzac biscuits a few weeks back and it was quite disappointing to say the least - and it actually tasted a bit weird. The dogs weren't fussed so it wasn't poisonous, I guess!

How funny would that be. Go Nell! It would be a scene like one of those mechanical bulls. My money would be on Nell going the distance. of course using claws is perhaps cheating a little bit don't you think?

Hey! Oh no! The tomato seedlings disappeared last night and I spotted slaters at the scene of the crime. Hmm, I'm going to have to do some research but it doesn't look good. Do you get slaters?

The stove top / microwave version sounds quite tasty to me. Yum!

Speaking of sage and thyme, have you ever tried dumplings in a stew? A very English dish which used to be served to me as a kid, but you don't see it anywhere now. It was very tasty.

Hope you enjoyed the Eastern Rosella? Some birds are just complete show offs!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Bukko,

Yeah I reckon you are spot on the money with that observation about our Tony. He knew how to brawl that guy, but unfortunately that seemed to be the only tool in his toolbox. I often reckon he is like the little kid that acts as if he is a hammer and everything around him is a nail. I've met people like that and they tire me out.

Hey, just as a little bit of administration. You know I swear and I know you swear, but I get a lot of readers here from all walks of life and ages, and so I followed the Archdruid's sensible policy of no profanity. I write paid articles for other publications from time to time too and the editors can get a bit weirded out if they turn up to check out the blog here and we are all having a major case of potty mouth explosions. Hehe! Anyway you could say he is a tool, or perhaps use Latin? Anyway there are plenty of options, get inventive!

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

(From last week)
Our turkey was one of ours and turned out quite well as Doug is an excellent cook especially when it comes to meat. As I avoid gluten and my brother and sister in-law are on low carb diets I tried a cauliflower dressing. It's made with the usual ingredients in stuffing just substituting cauliflower for bread. It turned out quite well. For breakfast we had an egg casserole along with bacon and breakfast sausage from our pig.

The tree farm outing was quite fun. The weather was nice and we took the dogs along as well. As they rarely are on a leash their behavior was less than optimum though mostly when there were other dogs in view. When we got to the parts of the farm with few or no people they did quite well. Dogs are allowed there on a leash. We found quite a bit of deer damage where the farm borders the woods. The place was mobbed and remained quite busy for the entire weekend. We went and cut our tree on Saturday just before they officially opened. I had picked and marked it a few weeks ago. We usually get a nice discount but this year the owner just gave it to us.

Doug had a huge amount of honey this year and he took advantage of the tree farm traffic to set up a stand at the end of the driveway for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. He sold almost $600 worth of honey.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I am on the same page as you regarding pets. There is no reason to extend their life if it means excessive treatment. When people do that it's more for them than the pet IMO. I must admit though we've let a couple of ours linger a little too long.

As far as tests for myself I kind of pick and choose which I'll do and which I'll skip. I'm lucky that my doctor doesn't push anything. They have to ask/recommend I suppose.

The Eastern Rosella is amazing. Any colorful birds around here (and there aren't too many) mostly have only one color or one with some white/gray/black like the cardinal or blue jay.

Glad to hear the computer is up and running. Our refrigerator is dying and we've ordered another one which is still expensive even without bells and whistles. It's back ordered and won't be here for a few weeks. Fortunately we have a second one in the garage that we use when there's lots of produce or we're having a party so if it dies at least we have somewhere to put the food. Also it's getting pretty cold out so we can store on the screened in porch if necessary. The fridge is 16 years old and has some computer board in it with an alarm that goes off often for no apparent reason sometimes in the middle of the night.

Margaret

Bukko Boomeranger said...

As the noted 1960s philosopher James Morrison said, "No one here gets out alive."

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - There was a bit of a scandal, last year, when the Hershey Chocolate Company did the same fiddling with students on visas. Speaking of chocolate, your right. White chocolate is pretty bland. I think it's more about "mouth feel." And things they add to it. The blueberry white chocolate is quit nice.

Cities here first started out on the coasts ... and then inland cities. It was all about transportation, shipping ... and natural resources available for industry.

Ah, gifts. I had an old aunty who every Christmas gave my brother and I the same thing. Picture puzzles. By the time I was a gormless teenager, I'd receive the box, give it a good rattle and proclaim loudly "I wonder what this is?" She did make the best oatmeal raisin cookies. A tin of those would have been much more appreciated :-).

Nell's getting to be quit the venerable old lady. She's five, now. Not nearly as playful and into things. But, every once in awhile... I have to really watch it if she's sitting in my lap and I'm having a cuppa tea. She's libel to make a lunge for the dangly tag on the bag and I end up with a very wet tea bag in my lap.

What's a slater? You may have to bite the bullet and resort to picking up some tomato starts. Hard truths, but it may either be that or no tomatoes. Which is not an option.

My German grannie used to make really good chicken dumpling soup. I thing I tried it a time or two and the dumplings came out pretty pasty. But I may tackle it again, now that I have more culinary experience under my belt. I have been having a craving for turkey noodle soup. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. I thought that ruth might be the flip side of ruthless. Took your time getting there :-). I've tossed out a couple of things, recently. No use in sight, so worthless that they couldn't be sold in a down sizing sale. Still, it's a wrench. I also started fretting about Nell. Sure, she'll go to a good home but will the other cats eventually let or in, or will they run her off? The lady she'll be going to is quit elderly. I she passes before Nell, will she end up a feral cat and come to a miserable end? I hope not and it's useless to dwell on such things.

Dealing with vets, dealing with ear doctors. I have the same go arounds with my dentist. He just doesn't seem to "get" that I only have so much money and that there's a limit to my inclination to have work done. Be seeing him in about three months to see if the bone in my jaw grew back. If not ... I'll just take my chances. And, yeah, I should probably have one more extraction, but I'm getting along ok with it.

The Eastern Rosellas sure are pretty. I think I've seen them, every once in awhile, in the pet section at the local feed store. But if I get a bird it will probably be a cockatiel. Less expensive and I've kept one before, successfully for a good period of time.

I think your new weather station looks a bit like Darth Vader in his formal wear :-). There's a cartoon character I can't quit put my finger on, from way back, that drove a ship of that shape. He was purple and wore a helmet the same shape as the ship. But all you could see of his face was his eyes.

The Globe Artichokes look like Triffids. The corn flowers (aka Bachelor's Buttons) were probably a bit of seed that got mixed in with something else. There seeds are so tiny, it's easy for them to get where they're not wanted. They are one of my favorite flowers. Blue, you know :-). The last time I planted them, all I could find was a mix of blue, white and pink. So, I pinched off the white and pink before they could flower, saved the seed from the blue ones, and they bred true.

I got more than half the turkey in small freezer bags and they're on ice. Two of the mules got out, yesterday, so I didn't get to it until the evening. Didn't want to be up to my elbows in greasy turkey and have someone show up at the door. Lew

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

You go, Scritchy girl! I mean - keep after all the naughty ones at Fernglade Farm! A couple of years ago, when our last two old dogs were alive, our vet was seeing a patient named Mr. Kringle, a 26-year-old dog. I kind of think that Mr. Kringle may no longer be around, but not to worry, Miss Scritchy - you may have 10 more years!

Is "ruth" in common use in Australia? I've never heard it used here before. Ruthless I hear a lot.

That is one crazy kind of parrot - sort of a Picasso bird, but tidier. What an amazing in-flight shot. Looking down on them, they look like a pair of giant eyes, if somewhat cross-eyed.

New weather station! Yay! I think I'll have to vote tugboat.

Now just be SURE not to dig where that cable is buried!

I didn't even think that those wallaby-eaten citrus branches were alive. Your flowers match the parrots!

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Margaret:

Cauliflower is so useful. We make a gluten-free pizza crust out of it that has no grain in it at all.

Good for Doug and his honey. Fantastic!

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Nice work and glad to hear that the effort involved in raising the birds and the processing turned out well in the kitchen and at the table. Thanks for the suggestion about the cauliflower being used to replace the bread products - and glad to read that it turned out well. One of the things I enjoy about the blog here is that other peoples ideas can be quite good and we get to all share them. You could have left me for a hundred years and I never would have worked that one out about the cauliflower. Is an egg casserole what we call an omelette? It sounds intriguing. And yummo with the breakfast sausage and bacon from your own pig.

The dogs would have thoroughly enjoyed the outing! Lucky you with being able to pick the tree before the farm opened and that price is a total score in anybodies book! It pays to be nice to your neighbours (I helped one out today splitting firewood for most of the day) - it was an enjoyable day. Yup, farm dogs can seriously play up on a lead, however, when I went to pick up the mail on Monday morning, the day was warm-ish and the sun was shining so I took Poopy and we sat at a table and enjoyed a coffee (of course he was on the ground and on a string). Well, wouldn't you know it? He was attacked by two Corgi's! Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. Poopy sort sidled away from them and pretended that they were beneath his dignity to notice them. What a carry on...

Go Doug! What an awesome strategy with the honey. Total 100% respect for his business acumen.

Exactly, the only way you know you've done wrong on that front is to actually do wrong and then have to live through it. Other people may have different perspectives in the matter and that's cool too.

Yup! There is plenty of middle ground and it is best to pick and choose when you use resources like those. The dentist is always at me about getting x-rays... And I haven't had a filling since I was a very young adult.

I've run out interweb bandwidth this month and can't check out what a blue jay looks like... It is a bit sad that as I have the most expensive interweb connection on the planet - there just isn't that much of it to go around some months. Fortunately normal programming should resume on Friday (until then 64Kbps is the max)! Oh no, it did load a few pictures. That blue jay sure is a stunner. It has got flouncy head gear! :-)! The Rosella has to be seen to be believed...

Re-installing the software on the new computer over the past few days hoovered all of my 15Gb per month of Interweb limit (that is a $115 per month too!). That alarm is a real drama on the refrigerator - it is similar to the silly smoke alarms here. Fair enough too, it is a bit of a shame to have to wait though, but at least you have a spare refrigerator.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Bukko,

Thanks for the Doors reference! Nice one. I had no idea that the punk band Green Day in their outstanding album "Dookie" had ripped that chorus line from Mr Morrison. :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Really? It is a bit of a disgraceful thing to do. There is a lot of it going on down here and it appears to usually be much larger corporations and I mean how much money do those guys want or need? Blueberry anything is very nice. I have some blueberries that are not too far from ripening. Yay! White chocolate. Pah! I'd much rather have solid yoghurt that has somehow been turned into a chocolate consistency any day. Actually, it does make you wonder how they actually do that?

That makes sense. It was all about gold down here and the pickings were apparently pretty good. The agricultural land is a bit boom and bust depending on the rainfall which can be very variable. Most of the inland of this continent is arid land. If you look at it from space using the google map thingee it is quite dry looking. Rivers usually run to the coast. There just never was enough water for inland towns, plus your soils are superb in parts of the country.

We were all gormless teenagers once. Well, some weren't but they exist to make the rest of us mere mortals all look bad. Yeah, it sounds a bit mercenary, but forget about the picture puzzle and give us the oatmeal cookies!!! Hehe!

Oh no, I've completely run out of interweb bandwidth this month as reinstalling the software ate it all. I don't have much to begin with and now the connection has been throttled to 64Kbps - which isn't much at all. It reminds me of the bad old days of the Bulletin Board Services from which the interweb sprung...

Nell, you naughty cat. I hope you don't yell at her in response to her mischievous activities? I'd probably be a bit grumpy as a response to that one.

A slater is like a millipede with a flexible shell that has many sections and they apparently spend their nights consuming tomato seedlings. The funny thing about the whole drama is that the tomato enclosure is the most typically agricultural system here - and I have the most problems with it. I rarely get any insect problems or pests here. I need to grow up some cover plants in there so that the skinks (the local gecko) can eat all of these critters.

Yeah, the dumplings are not as easy to make as you'd imagine. But they sure do taste nice. And the longer the casserole sits, the tastier they get.

My pleasure - and sometimes it takes a little while to work through a history of a word. :-)! The seasons bit was a euphemism I believe (is that the correct word?). It is hard to know what can stay and what has to go on your journey. You never can know in advance what Nell's future will be, but whilst you have shared your lives she seems to have done quite well for herself.

Exactly, there is a conflict of interest inherent in the over supply of services. You know, the dentist is always at me about having an x-ray - like they're lollies or something like that. At the back of my mind I keep wondering whether they are trying to recoup the cost of that machine? Dunno.

Cool! The down under parrots are quite cold hardy, and I do believe that cockatiels come from down under too? Not 100% sure though. The cockatiels are a much smaller bird so yeah they would be cheaper to keep. Have you ever wondered how many bird species have travelled to the far corners of the world and then set up homes there?

Darth Vader!!!! I love it! :-)! I'd have a look on the interweb, but I'm afraid it is text only until Friday morning.

They do look like triffids don't they? Oh, I might not turn my back on them... The chokes are very tasty though. To me they have a slightly nutty flavour which is very pleasant. They can be challenging to eat though.

Well done with the blue corn flowers and thanks for the tip. I'll keep an eye out for other colours on my strolls through the garden.

I've never known turkey to be a greasy meat. Interesting. Glad you managed to freeze a couple of freezer bags of the meat. Yum! Does that mean that you managed to get the mules back into their paddock? Are they being ridden much these days or are they in retirement?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Yes, I'm cheering for Scritchy too and she is a little fighter and someone has to keep the very naughty Toothy in check. They are of a similar size and temperament and are good mates despite the occasional (play?) fight - of course Scritchy always wins as is to be expected of one of her social standing. Mr Kringle at 26 years old is an amazing dog (although possibly now deceased). You can never tell. It is interesting but the dogs here generally survive to about 16 or 17 years and that seems to be about it and I've been wondering recently whether it is the environment, social matters and general level of care that dictates that age? Dunno, but it is interesting to consider it.

No Ruth isn't common in use at all down here. I just finished two books by the author Ruth Park - and well, I became curious as to whether the words Ruth and Ruthless had something in common. The derivation of the word Ruth is from the old English word "Rue" and I do recall someone saying to me as a kid that: "I will rue the day..." I'm not sure what they meant, but I kind of got the idea that it would be good if I was suddenly elsewhere... I reckon you know what I'm talking about! Hehe!

Thanks, the bird stood out so much because of the colouring and I really had to rush to get the camera.

A tugboat it is then! I love my weather station - it is shameful to admit it...

Well, I try to be careful, but I take photos too and they really help. I collected all of the photos for service pipes and cables and keep them in one place. It has been an invaluable resource.

Yeah, I felt as if I should have pruned those branches, but they really came back from the dead. Now if only I could get the tomatoes back from the dead...

We love the flowers and so does everything else here.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Thanks mate! It is a great time of year here and the place is really jumping with life. Unfortunately the tomato situation is casting a long shadow. It looks like slaters were the culprit. Have you ever had problems with them?

Yeah, some things are not repairable. But given the modular nature of computers, I pulled the old one apart and used whatever I could and just replaced the broken parts. The interesting thing is that now the old video card a GeForce GT610 is not keeping up with the computer. That is a bit of a pain. I see that GT710's are quite cheap though and may pick up one of those. Sorry for the digression into techo talk. The SSD is out of control and crazy fast...

Sorry will continue replying soon.

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Sorry to read that you are not feeling so well. Yup. I had a bad case of gastro in Laos too and to be honest, you've done really well so far to avoid it - you are clearly of far hardier stock than I. Hope you are feeling better today?

Well, I believed that Mrs Damo would have understood the preserving and bug killing aspects of alcohol? Hehe! Not much lives in that liquid. e-coli which is one nasty which you may have consumed in your travels comes from other unmentionable in polite company sources. My recommendations: Drink Beer Laos and stop consuming unmentionables. Personally I avoid uncooked vegetables (i.e. salads) and other under cooked items when overseas. That still is no guarantee though.

Hey, nice tie back to the story too. Very nice.

Cheers and hope you get better.

Chris

margfh said...

Chris and Pam,

Not only did Doug sell a lot of honey this weekend, yesterday he got a big order from Twin Garden Farms who will be giving honey to their big customers for Christmas. They developed Mirai corn which is now distributed world wide. They are one of the largest farms in the area and own quite a bit of land including land in Central America from what I understand. When we first moved here they had a trailer park for the migrant workers who came up from Mexico and Texas. Many of those families became permanent residents. Being a large conventional farm I'm not thrilled with many of their practices but we've known the manager and his family (his wife is the daughter of the owners) since we moved here. He has always been a very active member of the community. He told us that they ship a dozen ears anywhere in the country for $50.

Chris,

An egg casserole is similar to quiche but just in a bigger baking pan. You can make it either with or without a crust. I saute onions and whatever veggies I have around and maybe mushrooms. Then mix up a bunch of eggs with a little milk or cream, mix in the veggies and shredded cheese and bake. It's a nice dish when you have a bunch of people to feed and reheats well too.

I forgot to answer your question from last week about the Christmas tree. We get a Frasier Fir which is quite popular here though the farm has 8 or 9 different kinds of trees.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - That was quit a tip about the cauliflower in gluten free stuff. I'll pass it along to my GL friend in Idaho.

My dentists were pretty tight with the xrays. At the poor people's clinic, dental division, I had to identify the problem tooth, and then they took just one xray. An alert dental tech noticed "something" down in the corner of the film ... and then it was off to get the whirly xray around my whole head. Which launched the whole epic of my teeth. To get a chest xray, I had to go over to the hospital. I guess the clinic doesn't have a chest xray machine. Even my oral surgeon is pretty tight with the xrays. I was surprised that when I went in for my post surgery check up, he didn't even take one. But then, there seems to be a "sensitivity", in general, to the bad effects of too many xrays, here. Shatter your DNA, or something.

Oh, there are several places in the US where "exotic" imported birds have established themselves. Quit awhile back I mentioned the book and film about the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill (San Francisco). Quaker parrots have established themselves in the Carolinas. Of course, Florida. I see the occasional canary, here. Even New York City has flocks of exotic birds.

I think the purple cartoon martian might have made an occasional appearance in Bugs Bunny cartoons. Maybe. I'll go down the rabbit hole and see what I can see. :-). But won't send a link, if I find anything, until after Friday. When you get your band width back.

Roamie, the owner of the mules showed up and got the mules back in the paddock. I just kept an eye on them til he got here. They didn't head for the road, like last time, so I didn't have to try and wave the back. There are six critters back there, now. One horse, I think, and 5 mules. One mule is so old it's blind and gray. I don't know how much he uses them. I know he "guides" and uses the mules for pack animals. But I don't know how much, anymore.

Like humans, you always hope your animals will pass away quietly in their sleep. Without much pain or drama. Beau's about 15 now. Still in pretty good shape and not in pain. Hopefully, I'll be out of here before I have to plant him.

We still haven't had a good frost! If the forecast holds, we will get through November with no frost. Without looking at my calendars ... well, we've had first frosts in October, but mostly November. But I do know that we've NEVER had a first frost as late as December.

Well, I better finish stripping out the turkey. Maybe not so much fatty as greasy. Is there a difference? All I know is that I have to wash my hands three times and scrub under my nails after working on the bird. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Well done to Doug for his entrepreneurial work with the honey. Unfortunately because of the very limited interweb bandwidth here I can't look up what mirai corn is - otherwise I would have. Fair enough, honestly I'm no purist and so I don't harshly judge big ag practices. My only concern with them is that we as a species have become overly dependant on them - and from a historical perspective those practices can only ever be a short term option for farming. But you know, I use fuel here when I need too and am only too happy to bring up other peoples organic wastes up here to enrich the soil. You only ever have to do the best you can and don't worry about the rest overly much. :-)!

The egg casserole sounds lovely! Yum! We fed a quiche to the Green Wizards last weekend and yeah they do sound very similar and very tasty.

Thanks for the explanation about the trees. I'll check it out on Friday, when the big bad telco lets me look at anything more than text...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

It was a pretty good tip wasn't it? I get a lot of joy out of this blog and the contact it affords with people such as yourself and also the sharing of ideas and stories. It's good fun and a worthwhile use of the interweb thingee! Although, I must confess to learning just how many websites chuck on photos these days. Those things take a lot of bandwidth!!! Oh well...

You were very lucky to have had the alert dental technician notice that dark lump in your jaw before it had progressed too much further. I don't actually know what the effects of too many x-rays is. When I was a kid, the dentist used to wear a hugely thick - almost blacksmith's looking - apron on when they ran the x-ray machine. One suspects that the side effects of prolonged exposure are not good?

Of course, I recall that discussion. Those sorts of movement of species is a part of the history of the planet, I guess - and not many things survive not being eaten for very too either because as their numbers climb, the selection pressures on them increase too. Didn't New York once have a crocodile living in the sewer system? If I had more interweb bandwidth... Perhaps it was an urban myth?

Oh yeah! I loved those Warner Brothers cartoons as a kid. They were always a bit more edgy than many other very sanitised programs - well except there wasn't much more subversive than the Rocky and Bullwinkle show - and there were always rumours about HR Puff N Stuff. And you probably weren't subjected to the mind bending UK show: The Kenny Everet Video Show. Mate, that one was a bit off...

It is nice that the mules and one horse can enjoy a quite retirement in the country, well unlike the horse in the book Animal farm - I occasionally have pause to consider the fate of that horse.

Beau's probably got years left in him yet. Usually you get some warning, unless it is an accident or other unusual event. Sir Scruffy is a bit crunchy in his joints, but last night I saw him chasing a wallaby off into the forest at high speed, so it is a variable thing that crunchiness.

The climate in your area is starting to sound as if it is an awful lot like here. I wouldn't expect a frost until about June (December for you). Of course all things are subject to change. The summer weather here has shifted from the north to down here and so the seasons all feel whacky to me. It is like daylight savings change over - objecting to it is a waste of time, you just have to ride through the dislocating effects! ;-)!

I dunno really, because I don't really cook with meat much, but I do note that when I do - usually for other people's benefits - it takes a lot more effort to wash up all of the plates and crockery etc.

It is strange, but I wash up everything here by hand in the sink, and I read an article in an environmental magazine spruiking the benefits of washing up by hand. Now I really respect that author and they walk the talk - far more than I do - but it never occurred to me that that would have been an issue worth discussing, until I considered the audience that was intended to read that. It sort of concerned me a bit.

Thanks for the excellent laugh too with your signature block over at the ADR. That was hysterical! Nice work.

Cheers

Chris

TalkingTrees said...

Hello Chris

Thanks for all of the work you do to create such a treat of a blog. I enjoy your writing and that of all the commenters. You've opened up the space for an interesting world.

I really need to find my ruthless. We have now lost four geese to fox attack. Our geese a are so traumatized that they refuse to come out of their enclosure. We walked them down to the creek when we were out in the garden yesterday morning but they returned immediately. The only fox we have seen is very small but very fat! We have never before been under siege and I hate to see the geese lose their free range days. The ruthless aspect is emerging today in the fox trap that we have now set up outside the goose enclosure.

We also have a feral cat passing though and prowling around on a daily basis. I think he is diseased because he regurgitates food all through the front garden bed; not something I've experienced before. There has to be something about cat psychology to explain that?

After such a wet Spring it is disappointing to see our creek almost stop running. However, other water supplies are good so we will be able to keep a judicious watering program up. After a frosty start we have had success with our tomato plants, the more advanced ones are growing strongly and flowering, the later ones, which were a range of fairly advanced heritage tomatoes gifted from our Swiss friends, are doing well too. We have some zucchini plants that come from an Italian neighbour of our Swiss friends, called Leo's zucchinis and they are like no other zucchini plant that we have planted. I'm very interested to see what the fruits are like. Our potatoes are very slow to pop up. Not sure what the problem is.


Warm Regards, Helen

Damo said...

Well done on the computer repair job! SSDs are indeed awesome and are well worth the money I think. Of course, as with all things there is a trade off, in this case storage and cost is sacrificed for performance, but worth it no? Did you get XP working ok on the SSD? I am not sure about your graphics card, there should be no issue with even an old one keeping up with your usage scenarios. Maybe the driver has not being installed?

Re: Dishwashers
I remember years ago some 'research' pointing out a dishwasher uses less water and energy than hand washing. At the time I latched onto it because our family had a dishwasher and getting to feel smug about saving the environment *and* using cool gadgets is a tempting proposition for many (see Prius, Telsa cars, greenwashing etc). Nowadays obviously I am much wiser and question if that study bothered to include lifecycle costs, water used in pre-rinsing and pot scrubbing etc etc. Living in homes both with and without dishwashers, I am not convinced they are even that quicker..

Everyone will be happy to know I feel better now. I took it easy yesterday, walked around old town and had an afternoon nap. Few close calls with the toilet though :p today we travel to Holang Bay. On my wanders I found a shop selling prints of old communist propaganda posters. Some of them are great, I might be tempted to buy the one that says bountiful rice, healthy chickens and fat pigs make for happy village life! Hard to argue with that!

margfh said...

Hi Lew,

Cauliflower is great for those on a gluten free or low carb diet. I also make a cauliflower "mock" potato salad.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - The New York crocodile in the subway story is an urban legend. Supposedly ... :-)

Ah, Bugs Bunny and Marvin the Martian. But he's not purple, as I remember. I really have to look into Gerald McBong Bong and Crusader Rabbit. They were supposed to be very subversive and "adult." Back in the 50's, they aired them at 11 PM. Right after "Confidential File." :-).

Beau is pretty crunchy, at times. Sometimes he runs up the deck stairs like a pup ... other times he kind of takes it slow and easy. I think it depends on how recently he's got up from a nap.

Well, as far as the weather goes, I don't think we'll be growing lemons any time soon :-). "One swallow proeth not that summer is near." (Northbrooke, "Treatise Against Dancing", 1577). Or, Aristotle, if you prefer :-). Or, the more alliterative "How many swallows does it take. One does not a summer make." Thought it was Shakespeare. No ... Maybe an old English folk saying.

Well, now that I've completed my very greasy course in turkey anatomy, I have 18 packets of meat in the freezer. Nice mix of dark and light. Two sizes. Now, onto the stock .... I do dishes in the sink ... mostly. Maybe once or twice a year I have enough to run the dishwasher. I'm pretty good about cleaning as I go along. It does take a long time for hot water to get to the kitchen sink. Given the water situation, that's worrying. So, I usually let it run and fill a bucket to flush the bog. To get grease or oil off of dishes, I usually use soap and a splash of white vinegar. Same if something is baked on.

Well, I'd better scrape myself together and get onto the Little Smoke. Lew







SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

Mike and I spent Thanksgiving week on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This is a spit of land, long and skinny, that is a barrier island between the freshwater Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. We went because my siblings declared it was time for a family reunion and this was where they wanted to gather. This stretch of the Outer Banks features plenty of huge houses with multiple bedrooms - the one we rented for the week had something like 10 of them. The houses are apparently investment properties for their owners, managed by property management companies on the island. Because the houses have large kitchens and entertainment spaces, including amenities like pool tables, as long as folks cook for themselves it's cheaper than staying in a motel or hotel. My family cooks and it's off season so even for us and even though it was a 1000+ mile drive there and the same back again it wasn't out of the question financially (in season, however, it would have been out of the question for us). We split up dinners between me and my siblings and my youngest brother cooked the requisite turkeys for Thanksgiving, with others cooking the side dishes. It was quite a good time. We get along well with my family and we saw several sunrises over the Atlantic, from the beach (it was across the street from us), and several sunsets over the sound, which was less than a mile's walk to the west. A good mix of family and nature time for me.

I'm sorry that your tomatoes are having such issues. Perhaps planting out fewer but bigger seedlings and protecting them against frost would help in future years. I suggest planting out 6 to 8 week old seedlings that you have individuated, first into a six pak at the 4 to 6 leaf stage and then into 5cm diameter pots when they outgrow the six pak. Let them grow in the pots another 2 to 4 weeks, then plant out. Plastic milk or juice containers with the bottoms cut off and the caps left on make good cloches for frost protection overnight. If you need them on during the day but it's sunny, remove the cap so it doesn't overheat inside the container. I think the little seedlings you plant out are more susceptible to cold and pests than bigger seedlings like the ones I plant are. The bigger seedlings might catch on and grow faster too.

Computers are a pain; I'm sorry you are having difficulties with yours. It's a good thing Mike and I got another used but much younger computer this summer, because I couldn't log into Blogger from the 15 year old computer this week. The computer works fine, the browser continues to be updated, but Blogger didn't seem to care. I still have a lot of file transferring to do and have to get the latest Apple OS downloaded onto the newer machine, but at least we have another 5 to 10 years (I hope) before I have to deal with the question of whether or not to get another computer and/or keep internet access at home.

Claire

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

Thank for writing those lovely words. It is a nice interweb space isn't it? :-)!

Sorry for the loss of your geese to the foxes. The good winter rains have produced a bumper season of all sorts of animals including foxes. I see the young fox cub eyes at night on the edges of the forest - they are very alert and very cunning, but also very curious. The wombats growl and hiss at them if they get to close to them and the wallabies bounce away. The kangaroos are big enough to ignore them, although there has been a mum with a joey (who bounces in circles around the mother once out of the pouch) and she takes her joey elsewhere when the fox cubs are prowling around. Honestly, I would not come out of my enclosure either if I were one of the geese too. As steward to the geese, you do have to pick and choose and I would have chosen the geese too and put out the fox trap. It is funny that you mention that aspect of food production as I'm planning on writing about it on Monday. Fingers crossed for success with the fox trap.

The cat may have consumed 1080 fox bait? It is possible. Dunno though.

Yeah, it is 25'C here right now at about 6pm and the windows are wide open letting the warm air into the house. And the creeks here are slowing to a crawl too, but at least there are tonnes of water in the ground. Just below surface level the soil here is quite damp still - which is reassuring and the tanks are full here too. They reckon it may storm on Sunday night? The storms further north than you have been quite big.

Lucky you with the tomatoes! Nice work. I went to the Diggers Club today and they took pity on me and helped me out with some replacement tomato plants. They are very good that club! Yeah, your Leo zucchini's will be very interesting to see the sorts of fruits that end up growing. Dunno about the potatoes, but given the wet year, they may have wet feet? Just at a guess? I have no idea really and am still learning quite a lot about potatoes. I scored some additional seed potatoes too today which I'll get in the ground soon - probably tonight.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

I'm very glad to read that you are feeling better. Gastro in another country can be very challenging and it is good to know that you are made of tough stuff - although don't stray too far from the toilet...

Yeah, the SSD is crazy fast and I picked up a 240Gb one so it has Win 7 on it. I do run an XP machine but it isn't connected to the interweb - ever. Thanks about the graphics card and I have the latest drivers which consumed about 380Mb of bandwidth... It was a losing battle exceeding this months Telstra bandwidth and the interweb is now almost useless until tomorrow.

Yeah, everyone I've ever seen use a dishwasher pre rinses anything that goes into it so the whole saving water thing cherry picks data rather than looking at how the things operate in the real world. The thing that I am uncomfortable about is the chemicals which look to me to be some sort of bleach. The worms would not enjoy that load at all.

And really, when you get down to it, people use them as an extra storage cupboard! :-)! Hehe!

How good is HoLang (not sure either of us spelt that correctly) Bay? Good stuff and very enjoyable. It is hard to argue with that sentiment.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

I heard a good school story which never even occurred to me would happen. A child had failed their exam and I overhead the mother complaining to the school about the harshness of the marking in the hope that the mark would be revised. Who would have thought that that went on? I was very uncomfortable overhearing that conversation.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Mate, the interweb is a total disaster story here as it is now just so sloooooooow! Who would have thought that so many web pages have lots of pictures which take forever to load. If this was the normal state of affairs I would disconnect from the giant interweb monster. Grrr! Even the ADR has lots of pictures on it and it is not even loading. Musn't grumble!!!! :-)! Hehe.

Well, like who would go and check to see whether there is a grumpy crocodile in the New York sewers? You can go first. Actually, I find the increasing use of those baby wipes to be an amazing sewer point of interest. They really are a serious problem. And then there are the truly astounding fat bergs. I was on a street once that got hit by a fat berg on Christmas eve. No doubt that the cooking was to blame for that gear.

I thought Marvin the Martian was green? But he could well have been purple? He was always quite devious as a character. I bet they had fun making those cartoons. Yes, with a name like Gerald McBong Bong and Crusader rabbit they would have been quite a lively and subversive pair.

Go Beau! I'm feeling your pain, bro! Mornings are a crunchy time and it always takes a little while for the world to come into focus of a morning so Beau is in good company. The dogs here are like whirling dervishes first thing in the morning and they are far too over excited (breakfast is the best time of the day for them, after dinner, of course!)

Ha! Well, you never know about those citrus trees. My gut feeling is that within 50 to 100 years they will be possible in your part of the world - they'd certainly enjoy your rainfall. Thanks for the quotes and of course, it is wise to be conservative in such matters which is what they're pointing out, I guess.

Well done you with the bucket. I put a jug under the hot water tap and use that cold water to top up the dogs water and the coffee machine. Waste not, want not as they used to say quite wisely! I've never lived in a house that uses a dishwasher - although I do recall one from when I was very young. I never liked the feeling of glassware that has been through the dishwasher as it just feels wrong somehow to me. The vinegar is a great idea to cut the grease.

Hey, I went to visit a local plant nursery and garden where I'm a member. I told them my tale of tomato woe and they too are having tomato woes. Unlike me though, they had some plants to sell, so I picked up about 17 tomato plants which I'll get in tomorrow morning. It has been a glorious sunny spring day today. The air temperature is cool, but the sun has some serious bite as the UV is now into extreme levels most days. The sun bites in Australia like nowhere else on the planet that I've felt.

Hey, we went last night to see the film Bad Santa 2. It was just wrong from start to finish, but also very funny. For dinner I picked up a burger with mustard and pickles. Totally yum! Incidentally the editor is now reading Empire Falls and enjoying it. I'm reading Overshoot which is like watching a car crash in that you want to turn away but you just can't. It is an easy read though and I'm about a third of the way through it.

Hope you enjoyed your trip into the big smoke. Hope the interweb returns in full strength tomorrow?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

Wow, the Outer Banks sound fascinating. I can't recall why, but I have looked at that spit and the houses on it held a fascination because I was wondering about the sort of storms that would have rolled onto that spit during the winter. It'd be pretty impressive you'd imagine? And I was also wondering about King Tides too as it looked very low lying? Dunno.

Those houses sound like just the thing for a family gathering and it is great that you all had a good time. You would have seen a lot of the country too on your drive. Did you enjoy that?

Everything that you wrote about the tomatoes is correct and excellent advice which we will follow next year. Slaters have been consuming the new seedlings when they pop their tiny leaves out of the soil. Hubris has been the main problem really as we have done the plants easily for the past five years and now the chickens are home to roost. A garden club provided us 17 replacement plants this morning which we gratefully paid for (as members though!) ;-)!

Yeah, computers are a total pain and the interweb is almost unusable for me today as the service provider throttled me despite the fact that we pay for the most expensive and limited connection on the planet. But it is fast when we haven't used too much!

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

I am back in the internet world again. This is a third very cold day. The sky is blue, the sun is shining and the world around me, is white. I love the sound and feel of the white frozen leaves as I walk on them; it makes a lovely scrunching sound.

I learnt 2 new words from you or rather the meaning of them. I only knew of the biblical Ruth and had never heard the word as the opposite of ruthless. Had also never heard of spruiking and had to look it up, it appears to be an Australian word.

The Eastern Rosella is indeed a very colourful bird; I always love your photos and am sorry that you are having so much trouble with lack of internet speed. My internet is very slow and sometimes I have trouble looking at photos.

@ Margaret

Your egg casserole recipe sounds great, I am keeping a note of it for when I have eggs; at the moment the hens have stopped laying.

Inge

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Oh yes, that practice by parents is not uncommon. I recall a very influential parent who got an nontenured math teacher fired because the teacher did not give the grade to the student the parent thought she should have. The teacher didn't back down. There are some valid reasons for tenure and this is an example. Some parents can be as much trouble to teachers as their most difficult teachers.

Margaret

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

What is a fat berg? And how does it hit streets?!

So glad that you scored more tomato plants. I had to look up slaters. They seem to be our "pill bugs". Maybe they are to blame for some of our plant losses. How ruthless are you being with them? We have made it to December with still a few ripe tomatoes that we had brought in; quite a few green ones, too.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, I guess winter is going to arrive, next week. Colder temps (maybe our missing first frost?) and snow (?). Cliff Mass the weather guy explained why it's so hard to forecast lowland snow. Mostly the influence of Puget Sound and the Pacific.
I'd better get my woolies washed and ready to go.

Yeah, pictures, vids and adverts are always a problem on my computer. The slow download speeds ... etc. Some work better in Chrome, than Safari. It's all a mystery, to me. I'll probably spring for a lap top in January. Retire the old beast. Back in the 50s I used to stay quit a bit with my uncle's family. A "farm" family. Four kids. They had a dishwasher. Even then it didn't make sense to me, all that fiddling around before you could use the machine. I mean, if you couldn't just throw everything in, why bother? You're right about storage. I mostly use mine to store a good chunk of my "good" china. :-).

Glad you got the tomatoes covered. A life without salsa is .. well ... just not worth living :-).

I generally avoid holiday movies. But, there are a few classics ... I did watch "Krampus" a couple of months ago. Liked the book better. More "Stephen King." I did watch a really good movie a couple of days ago. A food movie!!! "Sweet Bean." Japanese. Worth a look. I watched King's "Salem's Lot", last night. Vampires! There are two film versions floating around out there. This one had a very interesting voice over through much of the early part of the film. I wonder how much of it was taken directly from the book. About the worst aspects of small town life and society in general.

My friend in Idaho sent a picture of the ingredients in a candy cane she'd picked up. She was a little concerned. It had very few components, but in big letters said "Product with Genetic Engineering." As near as I can figure out, that referred to the corn syrup. Probably made with GMO corn. But, GMO is such a hot button topic, that they couldn't just come out and say that, could they? :-).

Stopped by The Home to do my monthly look in. The Warden was at a meeting, wouldn't be back til one, so I reshuffled my town trip stops and hung out at the Club, longer than usual. When I got back, she was in the building, somewhere, but I talked to her Minion, who I hadn't met before. Still number 10. No surprise. I didn't expect much movement during the holidays. I'll check in again, mid January. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

It is good to hear that you are back in the land of the interweb! My monthly allowance of interweb traffic reset this morning so at least the thing is now usable here! It was so painful to use this week that I have not even had the chance to read the ADR yet. I may write about life without the interweb this week. That should upset people. Hehe!

Frost is audible isn't it? And that is the exact sound that it makes too. Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch! It is partially cloudy here but very warm in the sun and Sunday will be quite hot. The house is completely open right now to the warm afternoon breezes. Because it is so warm in the sun now, I got up early to work about the place and then stopped for a late lunch at about 2pm. I must confess to falling asleep in the bath this afternoon as it was a big day’s work. We're considering starting an epic project.

Thanks. I wasn't aware of the biblical derivation of that word until this week. Ruth in this case was extrapolated from the old English word: Rue. Yes, well, when I was a youngster people used to say to me: "You'll rue the day!" It sounded a bit scary really and a bit like a threat, but you know it may or may not have been good advice... You never hear that word used any more, probably because people aren't trained to think about the future, I guess.

I'm not sure whether spruiking is an Australian word or not. I do recall seeing characters in an English film doing that very job in a department store, but that may be called something different up your way. Not sure.

Thanks and it is a real pleasure to share the photos. I noticed that the tree ferns are producing new fronds in the warmer weather and I'll try and chuck in a photo of those. Sorry that your internet speed is a bit slow and this blog is photo heavy. To be honest, I often wonder how Google affords to carry all of the photos that I upload.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

That is a shame to hear. I recall a University lecturer telling me way back in the day when there were very few international students at the University I attended, that international students in particular requested that their exams were re-examined if they had only just failed. The word pressure was used. I did not realise that that issue had filtered down into primary and secondary schools. It is very strange because to my mind, a fail is a fail and that is life.

Back when I was a late teenager, young adult, a mate of mine at the time had the belief that he could talk his way out of any problems and into any advantage. It was an alien concept to me. He didn't amount to much, if you were wondering...

That poor maths teacher. The teacher is in a catch 22 situation and there is no upside for them. There is another word to describe those sorts of situations: Corruption. Yes, tenure does afford an ability to speak ones mind and provide an even handed approach.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Hmm, a fat berg. OK. It's a serious thing. When people wash too much fat and baby wipes down the drains and they collect in the sewers it solidifies and blocks the sewer. I'll see if I can track down an article which should tell you everything you ever wanted to know about them (and also the stuff you forgot to ask!!!): Fatbergs: One tonne balls of wet wipes and fat block sewers. It is frightening stuff.

Yes, I hadn't known that. The slaters are pill bugs and they're also known as wood lice. Interesting. They are quite common the cheeky little blighters and they also seem to have enjoyed a good harvest of tomato seedlings this year... Lots and lots of the seedlings! I'm being very ruthless and will write about that on the next blog. It should be interesting. They consume seedlings and don't seem to be able to eat older plants. (Maybe!)

Well done you for getting to this time of year with ripe tomatoes (the green ones should still have all of their sugars). We would almost be running at the same stage as you are at now with them. It must have been a warm year for that to happen to you?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Yup, get them woollies washed, dried and ready to go. Mate, I'm sitting here with a warm breeze blowing into the house and reading about your weather is making me feel cold! Brrr! Hopefully the transition from your warmer weather to your cooler weather is not too brutal? Hope you get some snow too. How nice is snow, it is really nice. Mind you neither you nor I have to worry about being snowed in for weeks on end. That would be a very bad thing here as nobody would be prepared for that eventuality and no one would clear the roads of snow - we wouldn't even know how to do that.

Yay for faster interweb today. We're back!!! It was unusable earlier this week, but fortunately I grew in a time before the interweb and I no how to keep myself and the editor amused without all of the interweb thingee stuff. Mac's are a total mystery to me so who knows what is going on and that always leaves unanswered the most important question of all: but why? ;-)!

No way, did they have dishwashers in the 50's? Wow. They weren't common place down here until about I reckon the mid 80's. Before then they were considered to be a bit of an oddity. And exactly, if you have to rinse everything before you put it into the dishwasher, because the machine can't get the chunks off, then what is the point? It is like learned consumerism and something that people do out of habit, because apparently that is what you are meant to do. Ha! You are busted! Of course, if you are using it is a cupboard then that is cool. It would be a pretty nifty cupboard really.

It is tough isn't it? Salsa is yummo! Very funny! ;-)! You know we normally harvest about 220 pounds of tomatoes per year. Most years I have so much that we are giving the things away. Not this year though. I hope I can manage expectations on that front. We really stuffed this tomato season up - completely. It is funny that sometimes you can do things very simply and then when you go back and repeat it, conditions have changed and then it is totally difficult as. The tomatoes are like that.

I haven't seen any of those films, but Salems Lot was a very scary film. My thinking is that if your mate is floating in the air outside your bedroom window, then things are not so good and action has to be taken that is swift and decisive. Vampires are pesky critters, but the inherent flaw in the current mob is that they act as if they are superior to everyone else. Hubris is a dangerous conceit, don't you think? You know small town life has its ups and downs, but that is like everywhere really, I reckon people enjoy the annonymity that they get in the city, but that comes at a cost too. Neither is really better, each is just different. What do you reckon: Big city or small town?

It is funny that you mention corn syrup... I like how ingredients are given numbers nowadays rather than simple English language descriptions. Can you imagine a product label saying something like: "The following ingredient is not good for you"? :-)!

Good luck, and to be honest, you are moving up the list. You are almost in single digits and the numbers are moving quite fast really.

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Egads! Your fat berg article has done me breakfast in again! Astounding! Having our own septic field (and generally being our own plumbers) we are super careful what goes into our pipes. I guess they are going to have to run an enlightenment campaign to make people more aware of what is actually a big problem.

We did have quite a warm - and very dry (and we watered a lot) - summer, more in length than intensity, though. It has been a warm fall, but we have had 6 or 7 nights (spaced apart, not all together) just below freezing. Oddly, Oswald Avocado Tree in his very large pot in the garden is looking dandy and I picked a few peppers yesterday that had been missed. I expected Oswald to have succumbed by now since he didn't get brought in like Mamacita Mango.


Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I can only remember one time, asking for the review of a grade. When I first went to Uni, I was taking a History of Architecture class. One of those huge lecture / survey classes with a couple hundred students. The term paper was a large part of our grade. Given the size of the class, it was mostly TAs (Teacher's Assistants) who did the actual reading and grading. Any-who. We had to write on some aspect of architecture or urban planning. So ... I picked cemeteries. I got a very poor grade. So, I made an appointment with the professor and stated my case that I thought the TA had either 1.) not thought I was serious or 2.) was put off by the topic. The professor took a look at my paper and, being a sophisticated European, agreed with me and I got a much better grade.

Well. We're heading into a full blown arctic outbreak that will effect most of the northern US. It should arrive Sunday night.

A quick trip down the rabbit hole (Wikipedia) reveals that the first patents for automatic dishwashers were taken out in the 1850s. But the first really successful machine arrived in 1887. Invented by a rich lady who worried about the servants breaking her fine china :-).

Well, with all your ups and downs with computers, someone referred to an essay over at the ADR. It's not that long and rather amusing. "Calvin Trillin on the Scariest Word." From the NY Times Book Review. But, it's not a review of a book. The scariest word, by the way is .... upgrade. :-)

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/25/books/review/calvin-trillin-on-the-scariest-word.html

Hmmm. Big cities or small towns. I think one could write out a (very) long list of pros and cons for each. After living in large metro areas most of my life, I discovered that I was "ready for a small town." My friends in Portland thought I was mad. I'd just tell them that a.) I never had to look for a parking space and b.) my dentist took payments. :-). I think I also "romanticized" quit a bit. And, the whole descent into alcohol was in play. We have a saying, around the tables. "Pulling a geographic." Thinking you can move and get rid of your problems, when the problem, is you. Looking back, I wish I had perhaps found a small town that was a bit more "blue." But, I also think that I'm exactly where I'm "supposed" to be and everything fell out the way it was meant to. Although at certain times it didn't seem that way :-).

Well, I'd better get to doing the final button up for the arctic blast. A lot on my plate, this weekend. Finish off the turkey stock, get the tree up and decorated. Etc. etc. :-). Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Exactly, those wipes don't get a look in here either as you have to be very careful what you chuck into your sewerage system - it may come back to bite you! Speaking of which a mate of the editors once had a soiled plastic nappy which had to be disposed of and that just isn't possible here - other than burning it of course. We could have dealt with a soiled cloth nappy - easily.

It is astounding isn't it those wipes? And I believe things are far worse in New York... I saw a video on the subject once, it was pretty horrific just because of the sheer volume of the things... Oh, here you go (if you dare!): Wet Wipes Box Says Flush. New York’s Sewer System Says Don’t. It is very scary. I used to work for the water authority, way back in the day and got to tour some of the facilities (the only sewer I saw was one under construction). It is amazing what is underground.

Thanks for the explanation of your summer. Well done to Oswald and fingers crossed for the winter! You know the two here survived the brief heavy snowfall and many frosts. What gets them, I'm told by a good authority on the subject (Jackie French - who used to run an avocado farm in her younger days) is that they can handle the cold down to 15.8'F but they won't tolerate cold winds. You never know with your avocado!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

What an awesome subject for a History of Architecture class. I'm with you, as discounting a cemetery as not being worthy of consideration as an item for urban planning is a bit rough and out of order. A bit of a dog act, really. I'd give you 10 out of 10 for tackling an urban planning subject that few would want to consider. It very much is worthy of consideration as I've noticed that the authorities get a bit weirded out about where bodies are disposed of and they like to keep a close check on such things - until they can't of course and then anything goes. Good for you for righting a wrong. Out of curiosity, how do they plan where to establish a new cemetery? I've noticed that down here they tend to put them on hill sides which seems a bit of a waste of a good view, but each to their own. Hey, I really enjoyed Six Feet Under too! What a great story that was. You know when I was at Uni someone did a presentation as an assignment for Management Accounting on the funeral business. What a fascinating business it was too - and the marketing... It was a real eye opener for me.

Ha! You must be pushing all of the warm air down here because Sunday is going to be warm to hot for us. Stay safe with the Arctic blast and keep warm. You know when the delightful lady at the club plant nursery sold me the tomatoes she made a comment along the lines of: "Perhaps you should keep them in pots for the next few weeks just in case we have another cold snap". And well, I planted them out despite that comment and am now nervously watching the weather forecast... Oops! She could tell that I was going plant them out regardless as there was recognition of that impetuousness in her face. Hope your propane is topped up?

Oh! News just in. A super cell storm passed over Brisbane. The photos are quite impressive: Brisbane storm: Thunder, lightning hit Queensland's south-east; thousands without power. Years ago, I got direct hit by a super cell storm and unfortunately I had the entire kitchen in the back yard and everything got very wet – myself included. I had to borrow a mates water pump just to pump all of the excess water out of the backyard. And the backyard was full of deep stump holes at the time and of course I fell into a few of them - as you do. The funny thing was that I was warning the editor at the time to be careful as you couldn't see the holes in the murky water! She just laughed at my misfortune. :-)! At least it was warm but very dirty water.


cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Speaking of which, I read in Overshoot that back in 1974 during the Oil Embargo, the National Forests in the US were opened up for the harvesting of firewood because heating oil was so scarce. Green timber does not burn well down here, but exotic species may be different? Dunno.

Thanks for looking that up about the dishwashing machines. Wow! Who would have thought that they were that old a technology. That information has blown me away.

Speaking of upgrades - and thanks for the link which I hope to check out tonight as it is the first night that I have a quiet night for many days now - I hacked apart a very large item of Chinese furniture today. It was a cupboard which was too large for the purpose I intended to put it too. The funny thing was that person I got it from said that they no longer wanted it because it was too large for them. And I just agreed and said, I'll help you with that! ;-)!

That was very funny about the parking spaces and dentist. Yeah, I hear you man as I had a bit of the romanticism going on too. It is very different from my earlier expectations, but I have erred and adapted (as perhaps have you?). Ah well, I have a saying which sums that up nicely but aren't really sure whether I ripped it off or made it up myself (Dunno, corrections are welcome?): Darkness of the soul is not lifted by taking it elsewhere. I reckon I pulled a geographic too when I decided to move here. It must be very common. I do note that many people who live up here have a slightly lost air about them, but on the other hand I have found that the forest, wildlife and mountains have reinvigorated me in ways that I wouldn't have contemplated in an earlier life. Exactly, changing your consciousness is all about addressing your own short comings. Too many people start trying to fix other people because that is easier than looking inwards and acknowledging the darkness. I tell you what, I know a few cultures like that. Maybe you needed to see the "Red" to understand the "Blue" within yourself? I understand that feeling of fatalism in being where you are meant to be - that makes perfect sense to me.

Did you manage to get the tree up? Thanks for the reminder too. Hey, I noticed that the ultra crazy Christmas lights were turned on the other night down this way. I love that gear and will include a few photos over the next few weeks! :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

The upgrade article was quite amusing. :-)!

Thanks for the reminder too as I switched off automatic upgrades. Call me a control freak, but the powers that be recently tried to install an upgrade to Win 10 option that looked an awful lot like malware to me. No doubt, I'm wrong, but it was the style of delivery that really annoyed me.

The PC changeover recently was because of hardware failure on a catastrophic level. The old software works fine on the new machine. Thankfully.

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Of course you fell in the tree stumps holes. Of course your tomatoes didn't stay in their pots . . .

Phenomenal cloud photos in your super cell story.

Thanks for the wet wipes article. As one sewer worker put it: "It's kind of gross." What an understatement.

A neighbor whose house I can see through the trees has done up her house beautifully with Christmas lights already. I was wondering if I was going to have enough lights to put up (each year a few less work in the strands I have - no surprise). I just hate to buy more of such stuff, which must be a huge pain in a landfill. Now somebody has passed on some to me - so let there be light!

Disposable nappies are such a nightmare, but they can be a godsend to a desperate mother, especially when traveling. I would suggest burying a soiled one, but - oh,boy! - it would have to be deep or the dogs would think that Christmas had come early, and bring it home as a gift.

"Darkness of the soul is not lifted by taking it elsewhere." Exquisite.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

We pulled a geographic when we moved to rural Virginia from inner-city Dallas, Texas. I've never regretted it for a second.

Thanks so very much for the NY Times article. It was hilarious. I have passed it along big time.

Pam

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Want to write some more about tenure and grades but not enough time to do it justice. Hopefully I won't forget to do it later. I've seen (not surprisingly) both the good and bad sides of it.

As Lew said the weather will definitely be winter like in a few days. We are expecting our first snow 1-3 inches tomorrow. I am heading in toward the city to see my granddaughters in "Alice in Wonderland" tomorrow. One had the part of Alice and the other is the Red Queen. I'm glad to be able to take the train (well two trains) mostly all the way with the weather forecast though I still have the drive into town.

Finishing the Christmas tree today so all decorating will be done.

Margaret

Hi Inge,

Hope you enjoy the egg recipe. You can really add anything you have to the basic mix of eggs, shredded cheese and a little milk or cream.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - If the forecast holds, our cold snap won't last very long. Starts tomorrow night and by Thursday, we're supposed tobe back to 40sF at night and 50sF in the day. Woolies are washed :-)

I don't know how they decide where to put cemeteries. I know certain zoning either allows, or doesn't allow cemeteries. There's a big hoop-la down in Georgia, right now, over a Moslem cemetery going into a rural area outside of Atlanta. Lots of demonstrations and guns being waved about. There's been a lot of hoop-la about a cemetery in Centralia. The caretaker was a pretty crazy guy with a drug problem who looted the "perpetual care" fund. Maintenance slid to such a point that some people were moving their loved one's out. There's a rich and powerful man in Chehalis who acquired a little pioneer cemetery to "preserve" it. Then he built a massive house on the edge ... as cemeteries pay no property taxes ... The local newspaper just glossed that over. I really enjoyed "Six Feet Under."

I may have had a bit on an "in" with that Architecture professor. The first day of class, he showed a lot of slides of buildings and asked us to identify them. One slide ... out of a couple of hundred students, I was the only one that recognized it. The magnificent county courthouse out at Port Townsend. Had a picnic on the lawn, as a matter of fact. Don't know if he remembered that by the time the papers came due.

Mmmm. I don't think, for me, it's exactly fatalism when it comes to "being where you're supposed to be." Can't quit put my finger on the feeling. Hopeful? Acceptance? For downs there are ups. Things seem to work out ok in the end. Overall, I think I've fallen face down in good fortune a number of times. But I had to go through the rough spots to get there.

Well, the stock is merrily bubbling away and the house really smells good. It looks "rich". I got all the furniture moved around. That involved a lot of dusting / vacuming. Took the opportunity to trim up the houseplants. Tying the display shelves to the curtain rod in case Nell decides to take a climb. So, the tree is ready to go into place. Will probably put it up tonight. Artificial tree, and the limbs need to be positioned in place which takes awhile. Will decorate, tomorrow.

Forgot to mention about The List, at The Home. Usually, The Warden says the computer says I'm number 10 ... but she seems to know about other vacancies that aren't "official" yet. I got to thinking about it and being there 20 years, she's probably well plugged into the grapevine. Probably in touch with the families of The Inmates, too. Knows when Mum and Da are getting frail and vague and it's time to move on to assisted living. May even have input into those decisions. The Minion either doesn't know, or didn't feel comfortable telling me about that. So, next month, I'll keep going back until I get to see The Warden. Lew

SLClaire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

I'll write a longer comment on your next post, but yes, we did get to see several different ecoregions on the drive to the NC Outer Banks and back.

The Arctic blast is to hit here too, about next Wednesday (Dec. 7). We may get our first snowfall of the winter Wed. evening (just cold rain here this weekend, the snow will be farther north). Then it looks like the temperature will drop below freezing late Wednesday afternoon and not come up above freezing again till sometime during the day on Saturday. We've had frosts and freezes already but this will be our first killing freeze and begin freezing the ground solid for the winter. Because of that I harvested the rest of the leeks today, am in the process of harvesting and freezing the mustard greens (they won't survive the low of 13F predicted for late next week but the kale should), and pounded in all the rest of the fence posts for the garden fence I'm slowly rebuilding this afternoon. Hope to finish attaching the fence to the posts over the next couple of days and then start shredding the piles of branches and limbs as the ground freezes, making it easier to roll the chipper/shredder to the piles.

Claire

Bukko Boomeranger said...

Re: dishwashers -- David Suzuki, who's one of Canada's national envirotreasures (kinda like a Canuck Bill McKibben with a touch of Pat "Karate Kid" Morita sensei thrown in) says dishwashers are greener than hand-washing. Takeaway stat -- could you wash and rinse a dirty plate with just one cup of water? A dishwasher can. The newest ones are engineered to be super-efficient. They use less water, and a lot less energy than hand-washing. Turn off the heated drying part of the cycle to achieve that. If you're worried about pre-washing, don't do it. Soak a little and scrub the thick stuff but don't wash your dishes before putting them in the dish washer. That's like cleaning your house before the housecleaners come over because you don't want them to think you're a slob.

I was reading a novel titled "True History of the Kelly Gang," written from the perspective of Australia's beloved bushranger outlaw Ned Kelly, who made himself a suit of armour in the 1870s when he went on a stagecoach-robbing spree. The book is fiction, but the author is known for his great research into how his characters lived. There are several mentions of Ned going to the creek to wash his Irish mother's pots and pans, scrubbing them out with sand. Sandpapers off the scraps and grease. With my cast iron pans, I sprinkle coarse salt into them and rub like howl with a paper towel until the crust comes off. Same principle as what Ned, and probably people from time immemorial, did. The cooking surfaces of my cast iron are beautifully seasoned, no rust or pits.

Bukko Boomeranger said...

"There's a big hoop-la down in Georgia, right now, over a Moslem cemetery going into a rural area outside of Atlanta. Lots of demonstrations and guns being waved about."

Muslim is the new Jew. In Trumerikkka, mosques, businesses plus the cars and homes of Muslims are going to be burned a LOT. And there will be a lot of police forceSS that slow-walk the investigations. "Who could have torched those places? What a shame it is! But the department's got many things on its plate, and there have been a dozen similar incidents in the state, so our hands are already full..." Like how it was when black civil rights activists were getting murdered in the Amerikkkan South prior to the 1960s. It was lawmen and judges from the U.S. federal government who established some actual LAW in regards to that, finally. That won't happen with the Orange Fire Demon's acolytes running the federal (white) sheetshow.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Hehe! I was far too busy telling the editor to be careful, to actually be careful myself... An excellent lesson was learned there! :-)!

Those super cells put on an outstanding show in the sky. And they are always accompanied by lightening - and lots of it. It looks like there may be a thunderstorm passing this way tonight. The photos of a city without electricity and a huge storm are always a bit surreal don't you think?

A truer word was never spoken. :-)! Yup - gross as! Yuk!

I love the Christmas lights and they are uncommon enough down here that they become a tourist attraction in their own right. Lucky you for scoring the additional lights. I hope the place looks good.

Oh yeah, I can well understand the need for the disposable ones when you are travelling. I get that. Yes, the dogs have a nose for trouble. I just baked up a huge batch of dog biscuits and Poopy is pestering me for dinner, but he has to wait until they have cooled down. Pester power is strong with the dark force!

Thanks! It sums things up nicely does it not?

Cheers

Chris

Bukko Boomeranger said...

BTW, the Ned Kelly 'splainer is for the Merkin readers in your flock, Chris. I noUno all that historikelly stuff already. Ned never made it over to your mountain, did he? His hideaway was in the Wombat Ranges, so I'm told. You've got wombats ranging all over your fruit trees instead. They're not bushrangers, they're bushrooters! Is that last neologism too cheeky for your unseen readers? It might be, but only if they're dinky-di.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

It is a tough system where everyone is not on an equal footing in terms of employment. There are a few teachers in the Green Wizards group and I reckon they do it tough. No worries, when you get a chance.

Did you end up getting your snow? That is quite a lot, but perhaps it may melt rapidly (at this time of year anyway)? That is lovely to hear and I hope that the production is good and that your grandchildren have a good time too. They're clearly very talented to have scored those two roles.

Oh no! Note to self... Put up Christmas tree. Nice to read that you are more organised! Hehe! It was quite warm down here today. I reckon the temperature climbed past 90'F, but it has cooled down now and there may be a thunder storm tonight? Dunno.

Cheers

Chris

Bukko Boomeranger said...

Re: disposable babypoopants -- it was mucking out cloth diapers that made me into the successful medical profession I am today! My first Xwife and I were Greenies, so when our daughter was born, of COURSE we weren't going to clutter up landfills with those plastic wastebombs. Many was the fragrant hour that I spent with yellow rubber kitchen gloves on, wringing those thingies in a rubbish bin by the outdoor water tap. I was a newspaper reporter then. When I was forced to change careers, it was easier to go into nursing because of my defaecatexperience. Dealing with incontinent old humans in care homes as a new nurse was not shocking to my system. Same substances, just larger volumes. And the producers aren't as cute as a kid. Non-medicaltypes don't consider this, but there's a lot of adult disposonappies going into the landfill too. I can't be bothered to look up the estimated volume of old vs. young disposables. If they went by weight, though, I'm sure the oldies would be the champeens.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Excellent work getting the woollies ready for the cold snap. I sort of forget whether you actually call them woollies (or jumpers) in your part of the world? In winter in cold weather I'm a big fan of natural materials over the synthetics for keeping warm. Woollen jumpers, ugg boots, woollen hat etc. You might laugh, but I call my sheepskin jacket - the dead sheep! It is very toasty all that sheepskin and it is now over forty years old and still going strong. They don't make them like that nowadays - and it was manufactured over in the US too.

Ouch! Every time I visit a cemetery it is not lost on me that people seem to want to continue grievances on into the next phase. Clearly nobody has yet come back expressing the relative merits or hassles of this division into belief groups within a cemetery. Personally, I have instructions to be cremated. There is always the risk that you may come back and zombies make for poor company! Not to mention the creepy and slightly off (well actually very off) returnees from the Pet Cemetery of Stephen King fame! It worked so well for the cat...

Yeah, I have wondered about what happens in the situation where a trustee goes rogue with the combined money of a community thing? I'll bet that has happened in a multiple occupancy (commune) situation? A lot of local councils in Australia lost a lot of their rate payers money when they purchased derivatives (CDO's) before the global financial crisis. That money disappeared never to be seen again!

That is pretty sneaky about avoiding the property taxes. And the neighbours are quiet too, well unless the odd zombie or vampire is lurking around?

Well warm fuzzy feelings count too and you were very perceptive to have recognised the building in Port Townsend. Travel is a funny thing and not many Australians actually see much of their own country as there is a bit of a cultural cringe - and also the belief that they can see it later. They tend to head overseas instead, particularly Europe or the US/Canada. Maybe I'm just contrary as I wanted to see a bit of my own country instead? Dunno.

I get that feeling of being where and when you are meant to be. Makes sense to me.

Yummo with the stock! We're cooking falafel's for dinner (hopefully we don't die with one in our hand - that is a bad book pun!) and they smell pretty nice as well. Ha! You are having the opposite of a spring clean what with it being winter and all. I had to move some furniture yesterday and yup, a lot of dust accumulates behind furniture. Naughty Nell! Honestly, it is just youthful exuberance. Hehe! More likely, Nell just thought that it would be a good idea at the time. Let's hope she doesn't accomplish that feat. Yeah, the tree here is plastic too and is well over thirty years old now. They made stuff to last back in those days.

Oh yeah. The Warden is not a person to annoy, but then the squeaky wheel does get the oil and that is a truism. Yup, no doubts that the Warden probably knows everybody’s business on that front. It would be an occupational hazard.

It is drizzling here now after quite a warm to hot day (over 90’F today). The place is growing like a jungle!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

No worries, when you get the time. It is all good. You have an observant eye given your profession and I was rather curious as to your opinion of the different eco-regions given the dry year that has just passed.

That sounds really exciting! And I hope that the snowfall is pleasant and enjoyable (as distinct from being locked down for days and weeks on end?). Ah yes, I would be harvesting the leeks and mustard greens too given those conditions. You may be interested to know that both of those are now in flower here. Leeks are very reliable self-seeding plants once they are established. I'm assuming you had to alter your fence to get the chipper into that area? Out of curiosity (and apologies as I always have more questions) do you find that the area that has received a cover of chipped material is more attractive to frosts than other more established garden beds? I find that mulch attracts frost here.

Good luck with the shredding and it is an awesome thing to do for feeding your soil. When spring eventually comes around again I recommend poking around gently in the chipped material and you should see huge quantities of worm activities.

The light drizzle here after the warm to hot day has sent the birds off into a hugely loud chorus of song!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Bukko,

Oh yeah, David Suzuki is a pretty cool dude. Oh, I get that. The concern I would have with a dishwasher machine is not the amount of water or energy used as both are negligible, it is the bleach used in the chemicals. Everything here washed down the sink ends up in the worm farm and the worms can cope with a little bit of bleach and other chemicals etc. but not every single day. I know a local plumber who's wife used too much bleach which washed into their system and it killed all of the worms and everything else in it! Hehe! Oh no. You can re-inoculate the systems with worms by throwing some more in worms, compost, and worm eggs are viable for two years, but they really will die with too much nasty chemicals and antibiotics.

Yeah, go Ned Kelly! He was alright by all accounts, a real gentleman robber. You know, if the cops were not so heavy handed with him and his family early on the whole episode would have gone unnoticed in the history books. You know that the powers that be selected the next cops in that area more wisely after the whole incident so they must have known what a small minded, power crazed pedant that was employed in that area and the ramifications of that choice.

Oh yeah, cast iron is the bizz for cooking especially if it is well seasoned! A mate of mine who was born in Hong Kong and is a genius in the kitchen always refused to wash his cast iron cookware. He just scraped out all of the gunk and then re-applied sesame seed oil to the steel.

As to your next comment, I believe you may be referring to Lewis? Not sure really. Honestly, I doubt it very much. When I was a kid the Vietnamese boat people arrived in the country and yeah there were problems which they brought with them, but after a while the country absorbs them and their culture. This country is a way harsh place and the various ideologies will never trump the ecological realities. Future trouble does not look like you believe that it will! Just sayin.

Cheers

Chris

Bukko Boomeranger said...

I excerpted part of Lewis's quote about trouble for Muslim cemetery in the U.S. South. It's Amerika that I can see going down the pogromroad, a la YugoslavRwanda. I have more faith in Australians to do the decent thing. "Romper Stomper" was just a movie, after all. Go the Crowe!

Steve Carrow said...

Late to the party this week, but still want to share: We have also endured veterinarian shaming, and we feel comfortable in declining lots of tests on aged pets, as we feel the pet has had a far better life than if lived as a feral one, and will, as you say, we all have our season, and one aspect of wisdom is knowing when it is time to accept that it is time.

Having grown up on farms, we saw life and death close up, and I think are more able to navigate these events in life than city dwellers?

Ear wax- I have the same problem with wax build up, and for years have been treating myself. It's pretty easy to do, and there are cheap products at the pharmacy to enable one to do so. TMI?, nah.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Where's my Baby Ruth? (Candy bar .. sorry, I couldn't resist :-).

Here, they're woolies are usually called "Long Johns" or "Union Suits". Dunno why. Mine are made of some fabric not found in nature :-). Cheap, easy to care for. I use them so infrequently. Cliff Mass is predicting a 75% chance of snow. And, more later in the week. The usual. When we shift from warm to cool ... and again when we shift back again. Supposed to get down to 22F, Tuesday night.

Dead sheep seems like a spot on, descriptive term. Apparently, Hillary has only been spotted wandering in the woods. In a sheep skin jacket. That she's had for 30 years. There's photographic proof! Someone has too much time on their hands.

Bad news from the library. Budget crunch. Gotta reduce costs by 10%. So, they're dropping a bunch of computer programs (streaming vids, electronic books, some teaching courses) which I don't use, anyway. But most worrying, the buying budget is also taking a hit. So, fewer titles and less copies. As it is, I'm surprised when I find some "holes" in the collection. I'd like to see King's "Needful Things" but they have no copies.

Speaking of the library, I watched a Smithsonian documentary, the other night. "Building Star Trek". Gee. The 50th anniversary of the original show. Time flies! The Smithsonian has the original model of the Enterprise, used in the series. But, it needed serious renovation. It was falling apart and in danger of bursting into flames, due to the old electrics. So, over a year the Smithsonian restored it ... it's about 3 meters (9 feet?) long. Once done, it took it's place in the Hall of Flight, right along with the Spirit of St. Louis, original lunar lander, etc..

Another part of the documentary was about a pop culture museum in Seattle (who knew?) that was putting together an exhibit. With as many original props and costumes as they could find. Not much left. It was a low budget show with cheap props. Most of it went into the dumpster. But, they scrapped together a pretty good showing. There were several talking heads, including our favorite Fan Boy, Simon Pegg. The only original cast member was Nichelle Nichols. She's looking pretty frail.

Also picked up a book that's worth a look: "Why Did The Chicken Cross The World: The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization. (Lawler, 2014). More of a cultural and genetic history. Quit well written, informative and amusing. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. I had to make an extra trip to town, yesterday. Stuff to get at the library and things to pick up at the store before the snow flies. And, drove straight into the annual Chehalis Christmas parade. It was madness. Detours, crazy traffic and I couldn't get anywhere near the library. A high school marching band of about 50, taking their own sweet time crossing the road. They were all in very spiffy bright red uniforms. Looked like refugees from the Sgt. Pepper album cover. :-). I went home, gave it a few hours, and then went back. I love the holidays! (Tone, dripping with sarcasm.)

Got my tree up and roped into the curtain rod. Will decorate it, tonight. Nell is really funny. If I make changes in the house while she's outside, she doesn't seem to notice. And, she doesn't climb around as much as she used to.

I finished off the stock and it's all in the freezer. There was a lot of meat in the bottom of the pot so I picked through the bones and came up with another three packets ... mostly dark meat. And, lots of pan drippings to go on Beau and Nell's food. They ought to like that! Well, I'd better get moving along. Nell left a big pile of feathers on the porch, right where I sit and have my cuppa. Lew

Bukko Boomeranger said...

Re: ear wax (buried at the end of an old thread because it's a daggy topic) -- do you use an ear syringe, Chris? Small hand-held bulb that narrows to a squirty tip, kinda like a mini turkey baster. You can buy them at the chemist for cheap. Fill it with warm water when you shower, stick the squirty end in your ear canal and squeeze away. Two squirts per ear generally works a trick. You'd be surprised at the clags that come out! Make sure you clean the shower. I've been using those things since my uni days when I had to go to the campus clinic to get my ears blasted so I could hear the lecturers. And don't use cold water. It will shock the ear drum, make you dizzy, maybe even pass out and slip/fall in the wet tub. I think that's one of the torture techniques the Amerikan CIA uses in its black site prisons. Neo-torture, that doesn't SEEM like old-school ripping out fingernails, beatings, slashing with knives, etc. The Amerikkkan way!