Monday, 30 October 2017

Time out to reflect

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

Scritchy, who is the boss dog of the fluffy collective has a not-so-secret super power - she can predict storms hours in advance of their arrival. The form that advance warning usually takes is that she hides under the bed. And she is mostly accurate too!
Scritchy storm detective was discovered under the bed again earlier in the week
Scritchy may be upset by the occasional storm, but all the wildlife that shares the farm generally love any rainfall. During the storm, I spotted a frog swimming around in a small pool of water on top of one of the water tanks.
A Southern Brown Tree Frog takes a swim in a pool of water on top of a water tank during a recent storm (plus a bonus worm)
The over night storm earlier in the week dropped about half an inch (12mm) of rain over the farm. Then for the next few days, the clouds were low and thick. On Tuesday, the solar panels failed to generate enough electricity to fully charge the batteries. They generated about 4.1kWh, which is less than one hour of peak sunlight for the entire day. Not a bad effort for a late spring day!
The clouds were thick and low over the farm for much of the week
Readers with very good eyesight (eagle eyed) may note in the photo above, one of the local magpies is attacking a huge wedge tail eagle. They can be seen as two dots in the centre of the photo. For those without good eyesight (not eagle eyed), I zoomed in on the above photo and you can see the magpie attack:
A brave magpie attacks a much larger wedge tail eagle over the valley
The family of magpies that lives on the farm are quite amazing. Last week I was meant to be supervising the chickens whilst they free roamed around the orchard. The words "meant to be supervising", describe my recalcitrance because what I was actually doing was not supervising the chickens at all. I was mucking around with a water pump on the other side of the farm. Whilst I was doing that work, a magpie attracted my attention by shooting past me at high speed. I thought to myself that that was a strange thing for the bird to do.

I pondered the big questions in life, like 'why did that bird attract my attention?' The other residents birds on the farm, started calling to each other. I dropped what I was doing and ran over to the chickens as fast as I could, only to see a fox scampering off into the surrounding forest with a chicken in its maw. Without slowing I veered in a new direction chasing the fox with the chicken into the forest. The fox had Cloey the Australorp chicken. Cloey has been enjoying life here for about five years. Unfortunately for the fox, Cloey is a large bird and was possibly quite a heavy haul, because I rapidly gained on the fox. As I ran, I noted that the magpies were swooping the fox and generally harassing it.

I almost caught up to the fox, and it was at that point the game was up for Mr or Ms foxy, who unceremoniously dropped Cloey and then sped away. Cloey was not in a good way, and by the time that I got her back to the chicken enclosure she was dead.

After that experience I now supervise the chickens properly. The fox still appears, but the magpies give me plenty of early warning. The alarm call that the magpies provide is quite distinctive and I listen closely for that call, whilst usually reading a book. And the birds also tell me exactly where the fox is because they swoop it.

The fox appeared again last night. It might ignore the swooping magpies, but it sure took me seriously as I chased it off the farm yelling at the top of my lungs.

Then a very strange thing occurred. The magpie which had been previously swooping the fox, settled in a nearby tree watching the deranged human chasing off the fox. As I returned back to the chickens, the bird squawked once at me. And for no real reason, I replied to the squawk by saying "chook chook". The magpie then said "squawk squawk". That gave me chills, so I thought I'd test the bird and said "chook" and the bird replied "squawk". Magpies are undeniably intelligent birds, no doubts about it and I am lucky to have a family of them living here permanently.

The long deceased Chinese master of strategy may remark that: The enemy of my enemy, is my friend!

Foxes were not the only problem we faced this week. We have now arrived at the time in the season where we have to plant the next seasons crops and maintain the orchard. And yet, we are still in the process of constructing the new strawberry terrace. The editor and I took the last few days at a slower pace whilst we reflected upon the complexities of this situation.
Many self seeded tomato plants have appeared this week which tells us that we are now running a week behind the season
The interesting thing that we have discovered in this brief period of reflection is that:
  • During spring we plant out the summer crops and maintain the orchard;
  • During summer we bring in the firewood for use over the winter;
  • During autumn we bring in and process the summer harvest; and
  • Winter is the time for repairing and constructing infrastructure. It is also the time for maintaining the surrounding forest.
And so it is that in mid to late spring, we find ourselves facing the complicated situation of continuing winter infrastructure activities whilst having done no forest maintenance at all for the year. The grass is growing faster than the marsupials can consume it, the orchard needs maintenance, and the summer crops are ready to be planted outside. It is a predicament!
The twice yearly job of mowing was begun today
The mid to late spring sun shone strongly today (Sunday) as I began the slow process of mowing the farm. Because of the steep gradient of the property, I mow by hand which involves hours and hours of pushing a little red Honda mower. Purpose built ride on mowers with a very low centre of gravity that wont tip over cost more than a small motor car, so I simply get a lot of walking exercise instead. There are some serious downsides to living on a property that is on an incline! One can but dream of flat land, but until then, I must walk!

I often describe the grass in the paddock using the technical term "herbage". This is a fancy name that refers to the fact that there simply are a lot of different plant species growing in among the grass. Outside of winter, the herbage is usually full of flowering plants:
The herbage is full of many different species of plants including a huge variety of wildflowers
Close up some of the flowers look like orchids, and the native dichondra kidney bean plant is a good example:
Dichondra flowers look like tiny orchids to me
Anyway, we have undertaken an epic amount of infrastructure work over the past six months, but the time for infrastructure works is rapidly finishing for this year. The strawberry terrace will be the final job this year on that huge and ever expanding list of future projects! On a positive note, it is looking pretty good so far and the strawberries are growing strongly:
The strawberry enclosure sits on a terrace above the raspberry and blackberry enclosure
On Saturday by sheer chance we passed a plant nursery which we'd never noticed before. The reason for not noticing the nursery was that they previously only supplied the wholesale and landscaping market. They had a very good selection of Japanese maples and they were quite affordable and so we purchased two maples: one red; and the other orange.

It is a bit late in the season to be planting new trees. But another reason I don't like planting trees at this time of the year is because the garden beds are full of insects, and some of those insects (e.g. the bees), don't much appreciate having humans stomping around disturbing their activities. Anyway, the plants were a bargain and so I risked the wrath of the bees and planted them into the garden bed.
There are about ten Japanese maples in this garden bed now. A red and another orange variety were planted this week
That garden bed which is devoted to the Japanese maples looks like a proper wildflower meadow:
The Japanese maple garden bed looks like a proper wildflower meadow
The weather has been almost perfect for the fruit trees. The cherries are getting larger:
Cherries are getting larger
The almonds are producing more tree this year than nuts, but well, most fruit trees are biennial which means that is what they do (one year fruit and the next year wood). Of course, this means that next year there may be a bumper crop of almonds!
Almonds are also getting larger
It looks as though this year may be an exceptional year for the apricots. At least I hope so:
Apricots are prolific this year
The new bee hive looks like they have become well established and that's despite the cool and cloudy week. But for some reason one of the wombats keeps marking the area around the bee hive as its territory. Note the many scats in the photo below:
The new bee colony is doing well, but the wombat leaves calling cards marking out the hive as part of its territory
There is a small army of reptiles that live in the rocks that line the garden beds. We call them Skinks and they are like a gecko and can sometimes be quite large. They consume a huge quantity of insects, so they're alright!
The huge number of Skinks consume a lot of insects in the garden beds
On a warm and sunny day the farm smells of flowers. Enjoy this glimpse into spring:
Pears and apples are producing a great display
Horse chestnuts have a very complex and tall flower
Bees are everywhere and this Echium is a good source of pollen
Californian poppies are as beautiful as they are tough
Ixia bulbs produce beautiful flowers
This tri-coloured Sage is not a flower but it looks great
It is Rhododendron season and they get bigger every year!
A close up of one of the garden beds
The temperature outside now at about 9.00pm is 5’C (41’F). So far this year there has been 738.4mm (29.1 inches) which is more than last week’s total of 715.2mm (28.2 inches).

64 comments:

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

The strawberry enclosure, and the raspberry/blackberry enclosure, looks fantastic. Soon to be yum! We are still getting a few fall raspberries; so are the birds and bugs. My son planted fall potatoes end of this summer; it's our first try. They went in rather late, but he has harvested a few already, small though these first ones are. I just discovered a potato vine that had been overgrown by butternut squash vines, so it was not dug up with the summer harvest. Attached to it was one absolutely huge Yukon Gold potato; I don't think they can grow that big. Which proves, once again, that some of this stuff knows better what it likes than I do.

I sometimes find earthworms in the water bowl that I keep out for wildlife (and neighbors' dogs) and even in the 55 gallon drums of water that we keep in the garden. The drums have pieces of sheet metal on top, not proper lids, and there is a small gap underneath them. How on earth do worms climb up 4 feet (1.22m) and fall (jump? no, it takes legs to jump . . .) in? They never can get out by themselves.

We had a great rain all day yesterday. I am amazed that you generated any power at all through those dark days.

I could see the bird fracas in the first photo, though I did wonder, before you reassured us with your description, if it was some of those spots on my old laptop. Neat! Charlene the white squirrel now has a boyfriend named Frederick. I am so interested to see if there might be white baby squirrels eventually, though Frederick is the usual grey. She is so robust and athletic, but she sure is going to show up once the leaves are off the trees.

I never can figure out how jampacked your "flower" beds are of plants, yet they are so tidy, not like mine, which look like they've just been through a hurricane and are gasping for air. How do you maintain those sorts of beds?

Goodness - what a lot of apricots!

I certainly did enjoy your glimpse of spring. Thanks!

Pam

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

'The best laid plans o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley' Nature does speed on ahead of one; dealing with it is an endless process of catch up and change of plan.

I am envying you your Spring, it was 34F here last night and we are only in October still, dear dear. Mind you the sky is blue which does lift the spirits.

I like the little blue orchid like flowers. Actually I always look forward to your photos.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Scritchy the Storm Detective is a hoot! Make a good kid’s book. I have an old break in my leg that gives me a twinge, every once in awhile if there’s going to be a big change in the weather. Speaking of weather, it’s supposed to get down to 34 tonight ... 2 degrees above freezing. I’ll get the last of the sweet basil in, harvest the pumpkins and throw a tarp over the tomatoes. Of course, after tonight, the overnight temps are going back up, again.

Cute frog! Wonder if I’ll be able to hear frogs, down here? I could sure here them out in the boonies. There is a little gully up behind The Home, in the park. No running water, except when it rains. Maybe enough moisture to support a few frogs?

Maintain orchard, plant crops and strawberry terrace. So, to decide, do you throw the I-Ching? :-). More likely, weather determines what gets done, when.

Ah, herbage. I’m trying to decide if to plant a cover crop. Sounds like a good idea, but my winter gardening book and the veg book for the maritime NW say it’s more trouble than it’s worth. But I’ve got the seed. Maybe just try a patch and see how it goes. Hmmm. I may just bag up enough leaves for a good layer. Mulch.

Let’s hope the wombat isn’t developing a sweet tooth! We have bears, but a wombat could probably do as much damage. You may be putting up a bit of an electric fence, yourself.

The blue echum is a knock out. Wonder if they would grow here? Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

PS: We don't have magpies, here. But every other year we used to go to Montana to visit. They have them there. They can be taught to talk. I'm surprised they haven't picked up a few choice tidbits from you, already :-). You might settle on a word, or short phase, just to see if they'll cooperate.

Here, I've seen tiny sparrows going after and battling crows. The crows will eat their eggs and young. it's a real aerial David and Goliath battle. The crows fight to maintain their dignity while being bested by the little fellows. Lew

foodnstuff said...

Just being a bit pedantic here, Chris, but that Dichondra (common name Kidney Weed) is actually the Native Violet (Viola hederacea). Great post as usual, so won't take off any marks for the small error. :-)

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Inge,

I always wonder what people get out of joining the local council which implements the states planning scheme. Politics down here has turned quite bizarre because a few naughty politicians have been ruled ineligible to sit because they had dual citizenship. The constitution expressly forbids that and the High Court sided with the constitution - as they should have (as that is where their power derives from).

Yeah, they use plastic window frames down here too, but I have never seen one installed. I would have thought that the extreme UV would eventually make the window frames very brittle, but again I have no experience with those. I'm not sure they'd work well in a bush fire! And the salt air in a location close to the coast? Dunno…

There is something to be said about tall trees keeping away helicopters and balloons (both would definitely get snagged in the trees).

Nature can be quite the challenge and the seasons are very inconsistent from year to year. On the other hand, learning from nature keeps a mind sharp, don’t you reckon? :-)!

Well the moons have aligned because the overnight temperature dropped to 37'F which was a bit cold for my liking too. I went out this morning to see whether the cold weather had played havoc with the fruit, but no, it all seems good. I mowed, weeded and fed about 10% of the orchard today. So many fruit trees...

Those flowers are lovely aren't they? It is a real pleasure all the unexpected wildflowers and it is nice to share them with you.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Pam,

Hehe! I'm assuming the squirrels are pretty clever? I hope they don't cause too much trouble in your garden? The voles and groundhogs seem a bit scary to me as you never quite know where they will turn up? It would be quite unnerving watching a carrot or potato get sucked into the ground. I assume they eat the root and leave the leaves poking out of the ground. Do they consume the roots of fruit trees?

Thanks! The new thornless blackberries are getting a bit of a regular drink of water now which they seem to be enjoying. I'm going to watch the birds to see how they respond to the blackberries and raspberries. I hope I don’t have to net the raspberries…

Small potatoes are a gourmet food item and they're pretty tasty. How did they taste? I have heard them called Chat Potatoes. Very true! Inevitably the plants know their own business and who are we to argue? Ours is but to set it up, watch and see how it goes.

Yeah, the worms are feral aren't they? I'm always amazed by that trick too. In really heavy rain, they'll slither up onto the veranda - usually at night. The next morning some of them return to the soil, whilst the birds have other plans in mind. They get into the water bowls here too, but then so do a huge number of insects and I have to wash the bowls out regularly. In hot weather the bees will drink from the dog and wildlife bowls which doesn't appear to concern the dogs, but they may be made of sterner stuff than I.

Good for you with rain and I am glad you are on the other side of summer unscathed.

Solar is an amazing technology. It really is good. All the sun has to do is shine (not a hard ask for the sun, you have to admit) and that is it. :-)! Oh yeah, and don’t use more than you generate.

Well, the spots could potentially have been from a combo laugh and tea spit incident (sounds like a dodgy junk food meal, huh?) Such things are not compatible with clean screens. Go Charlene and I look forward to future reports of their romantic encounter. Yeah, the possums down here have the same problem and they come down out of the deciduous trees over winter. There are none at all here because the owls pick them off, but in the city the possums have to eat the winter grass. Do you have grass cover over winter, or is it too cold for that?

To be honest, I feed the soil for about three years whilst planting up a random collection of plants that self replicate and then just let nature go for it. Mind you, we do trim the garden beds from taking over the paths. A first year garden bed looks pretty dodgy and you may be able to see one of those in the berry terrace photo (maybe not, I'll have a check - maybe not. It is to the left hand side of the photo below the blackberry terrace which was extended). I have no idea why it takes three years, it just does. I asked Mr Greer about his experiences and he reckons it takes about the same time there too. How does that sound to you?

It has been a better apricot year than I have previously experienced so I don't know how it will go. They look great don't they? An excellent fruit to preserve.

A pleasure to share the photos with you. I mowed another 10% of the farm today and fed about 30 fruit trees with compost... It is a huge job.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Lewis,

Ah yes, you are lucky with the leaf peepers (sounds a bit dodgy doesn't it?) I reckon the problem here is the concentration of deciduous plants in this particular mountain range in the old hill station gardens. I mean elsewhere it is evergreen and very few people make the journey to see the forest in its usual clothing. They don't turn up in this unfashionable part of the range and I'm very grateful for such small mercies. The inhabitants are really under siege over on the western end.

Ouch. Your description of the tat trade sounded exactly like the gardening folks I know around here. I used to know a local bloke who was pretty good value and entertaining and he used to help me with the bees, but he was getting on and he retreated away as he had the beginnings of dementia. It was like when I read the US book by the author Ruark who wrote a story about the old man and the boy (my granddad gave the book to me). There were days when the youthful high spirits really annoyed the old man. Mate, now I'm the old man. One of my hopes is that eventually need will drive folks back into productive gardening, but we are nowhere near that need.

I reckon the word "estate" has some sort of legal definition which is probably why it turned up in conversation... But yeah, I hear you! I once was involved in a job that had to deal with a particular item that people left behind if they had died overseas. A very strange business that. It sounds a bit morbid, but I once knew another accountant who worked in the funeral business. How about those guys getting an edge in marketing! There used to be a mob down here that had a business name: Lifestyle Funerals. No disrespect to them, but that name always made me laugh when I saw it. I wonder what they were thinking? Nothing good.

That show is extensive and has been going for decades. It has had an enormous surge in popularity in recent decades and I used to work with a group of ladies that were very much into the current story line (at that time). That female Doctor Who regeneration change was an item in our news down here. I have to admit such news articles beat the stuffing out of more serious matters.

A number of our Federal politicians have been given the boot because they had dual citizenship and the Constitution prohibited that. They challenged the outcome in the High Court and lost. So they should and it is nice to see the old document throwing its weight around.

It would be such a good idea to get the yoga class off the ground (is that a yoga pun?) Dunno, it seems a bit of a stretch!!! Hehe!!!

Hey, happy Halloween too. I hope the dinner is nice and that everyone enjoys themselves. There are plenty of people who are thin and are not very healthy at all. I used to work with a lovely lady who remarked to her co-worker (they were good mates), doesn't matter if she smokes, as long as she is thin (the comment was said sarcastically). You know, my grandmother was a little round lady and I suspect her longevity and robust good health came from being active. I understand that diabetes research has indicated (and you may have opinions on this matter) that incidences of type II is associated more with a sedentary life than diet.

How bizarre! Sorry... :-)! We call them flea markets; garage sales; and car boot sales down here. I couldn't tell the difference between the three, but surely size determines which descriptive label is used. Maybe? You have a very good sense of how to avoid trouble. I'm genuinely impressed. I used to know a guy that always said at the local fire brigade: "I'd really like to help, but I'm flat out the moment. Maybe later". He was good, I lack such smoothness that you are displaying.

Ha! Who knows about your Idaho friends observation? They may be onto something? I hope the auction market is good for your excess stuff. I hope you are not having second thoughts about any of the stuff you've put up for auction?

cont...

Fernglade Farm said...

Scritchy the storm detective would make a good kids book wouldn't it? There is a lucrative market in kids books and some of the best paid authors are in that market. Alas, my fiction skills are not good and I'm busy writing a million words here, although if you add in the comments, we're probably well past that number. ;-)! I haven't felt inspiration to continue the Magic Toilet story, no doubt the story will strike, but I'm not sure what the characters are doing yet.

37'F here. It is official, the moons have aligned! Far out that is cold. Today was cold and overcast here too. At least I was able to mow another 10% of the farm and feed compost to about 10% of the fruit trees. It is usually at this stage of the year I question the wisdom of planting so many fruit trees... Sweet basil. Yum! I reckon the tomatoes will be fine. It probably won't happen in your colder part of the world, but they keep on going well into May here (your November).

Thanks. I'm particularly pleased with the frogs and toads that live here. They survive the dry, but this lot may be adapted to regular dry months and heat. Yeah, so maybe the winter creek will have enough rainfall for them to survive and thrive.

That is funny as! And you know, it is probably as good a method as any other. But yeah, I'll look at the weather first, as those forecasting folk do a good job of divination.

It isn't a bad idea to plant a cover crop, but given your access to fall leaves, I'd probably go with a huge pile of them. Massive, as many as you can get your hands on. The worms and other soil critters beneath the toasty insulating layer will appreciate the feed and protection.

Wombats have rather large brain to body ratios and an outstanding sense of smell. How do they smell, terrible (sorry, bad joke...) Well, they don't seem to have a sweet tooth, but let's not tempt fate. :-)!

The Echiums survive snow. I wont mention that they are related to the dreaded Patterson's curse... Oops, broke my own rule there. They really are a good plant. I'm learning that I need to chop them back hard once every three years. The bees adore the flowers.

The magpies have the most beautiful song too. It really is something special to hear them seranade the early morning sun. I'm a bit nervous the parrots might pick up some choice words too. No doubt the parrots would like to share those words with visitors which may be embarrassing for all concerned.

It is like The Red Baron is it not? They have amazing courage.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi foodnstuff,

Thanks for the correction.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Do your planning laws vary from state to state or is it a federal matter? Ours are local but if refused, one can appeal further up the chain.

Plastic window frames do become brittle here.

I have watched a strawberry being dragged down a hole. On another occasion I saw an abandoned strawberry which had been too large for the tiny hole. The thieves are mice.

Learning from nature may well keep the mind sharp but so do many other things. Temperament probably comes into it as some seem incapable of learning!

Inge

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Voles sometimes eat our potatoes, as they like to tunnel underground. Perhaps you are thinking of gophers, which are fairly small (.5 lbs), whereas the groundhog weighs about 13 lbs.; they do look alike, though. Our groundhog lives underground, but only feeds on the surface and my, does he have varied tastes. He lives in a fortress built among fallen trees at the edge of the woods. There is so much dirt piled up around the outside of his entrance that you would think a badger lived there. I daresay he has many secret exits, also. I've never seen a groundhog make such an excavation. He even has a plank that serves as a ramp up to his door. I can see where Beatrix Potter got her ideas for some of the fanciful animal homes she painted.

We do have grass cover over the winter. It just depends on choosing the right variety, if one plants it. The wild varieties die back, though.

No, I couldn't really tell much from the blackberry terrace photo. I think you and Mr. Greer are right about the tidiness of flower/herb beds. My older ones do look better than the ones that are a couple of years old. Maybe I just need to be patient.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Happy Halloween to you too! “Come gholies and ghosties and long legged beasties an things that go bump in the night ... Good Lord, deliver us!” :-).

I never quit “got” the old Doctor Who series. But when they re-booted ... Theres’s been some interesting spin off series, also. My second hand flying police box is the only piece of “merchandise” I’ve tumbled to.

Speaking of diabetes, a couple of weeks ago I watched a DVD called “What the Health?” The young fellow who made the film kicks it off by saying, “I’m a hypochondriac.” :-). Well, he had reason, given his family history. Lots of early deaths due to heart, cancer and diabetes. So, he started looking at the web sites for the national organizations. The diet bits. And something just seemed a bit “off” to him, as far as their food recommendations. And then he found all these studies that supported his feeling. So, he went to the national headquarters of these organizations to ask why. Phone calls and letters just got him shuffled around. They wouldn’t even talk to him. Except one fellow who got quit upset, yelled “I won’t discuss diet!” And slammed the door in his face. He was a bit confused. Then he started to Google these organizations with the added “sponsors” to his search. Well. That was an eye opener. They take hundreds of thousands of dollars from the dairy industry, the National Beef Council, Pizza Hut (!), the egg industry, the chicken industry, the pork people, etc. etc.. Given all the gelt flowing around, you can’t expect them to be to ... objective.

Bazaars, here, usually involve non profits, and usually involve purpose done crafts and food. Gosh, I see these things in BBC series all the time, usually involving churches or village festivals. There’s a term for them. Fetes? Seems there’s another word we don’t hear much here. If you look at the ads, we have estate sales, down-sizing sales, garage sales and flea markets. “Boot sale” never caught on, here. If they did, they’d probably call them tail gate sales.

Yes, I saw that about your politicians problems with dual citizenship. I don’t think it’s in our Constitution. I’ve never heard of a case, here, where it was an issue. Sometimes, there’s a dust up when a politician doesn’t live in his district. I’m surprised no one challenged that bit of law in your supreme court. If that was the case here, sooner or later someone would bring a court case and ride it all the way to our Supreme Court.

LOL, I’ve had more second thoughts about what I kept, rather than what I let go. :-). Not many.

Yesterday afternoon they revised the overnight forecast down to 29! Well, I hustled around harvesting the last of the basil and covering the tomatoes. I see our temp got down to 32 last night, so probably a good thing I did. I can’t tell from my window if we had a frost, here, or if it’s just condensation on everything. I also gathered a stuffed big plastic bag of leaves. I was going to do two, but my back told me to stop at one. I paid attention. The basil tops are drying on newspaper on top of my book shelves so I can save the seed. The basil is hanging in bunches, here and there from the ceiling. I bash my head into one, every time I stand up from the computer :-). The place reeks of basil. Not a bad thing. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. I ran across an article about the giant mushroom. Quit by accident. It's down in the Maheur National Forest, in Oregon. It covers It covers over 1,000 hectares and is 8,650 years old. I had to look up what a hectare is. Not a unit of measurement we see here. One hectare is about the size of a good rugby field. One hectare = 2.47 acres. Or, one hectare also = a square, 100 x 100 meters. The article was on the Atlantic Magazine website.

And, from our All Things King Arthur department ... I read through some of the posts over at Mr. Greer's website. I noticed at least two people recommended a book called "The Age of Arthur." I also get a book catalog, from time to time. (Sometimes I'm even successful in tossing it away, without looking at it. Otherwise, I end up buying books or getting too much from the library) and it had two books that sounded pretty interesting. "King Arthur's Wars" and "Scotland's Merlin." Of course, our library has none of these. :-(. I'll have to get them on interlibrary loan, if I want to read them.

As a side note, doing searches in our library catalog sometimes drives me nuts. When I did the search for the Merlin book, mixed in with any book on Merlin was also every book on Berlin. Due to the similar spelling. I was looking for a new series called "The Crown," and all things "Father Brown" popped up to mix in. I think there search algorhythms need a bit of tightening up. I'm saving examples as the library does do a survey, once a year. I can rant ....

Also, in the lectures there was an interesting bit (to me). Before the Romans came to Britain the locales had huge hill forts. Most of those were stormed and destroyed. They fell into disuse. After the Romans left, they still weren't used. Except (so far) for one. Cadbury Castle (no, it's not an enormous mound of chocolate) aka Camalet Hill was reused and refortified. Between 470 and 580 C.E.. It had a great hall that was 10 x 20 meters (66x33 feet). Whoever lived there must have been plugged into a fairly extensive trade network as Meditierranean pottery from the period has been found there. It's located close to the border between Cornwall and Wales. Prime Arthur territory. They excavate there, from time to time, but nothing definitive has turned up. It's all speculative and circumstantial. I noticed there was 9 library "holds" on that series of lectures.

Well, I'd better get out and uncover my tomatoes. Don't want the little darlings to smother. Lew

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Inge,

Yup. The State Government enacts the building and planning legislation, whilst the local councils enforce the planning side of things and issue planning permits. I'm not sure about your part of the world, but planning permits provide for how the building will look on a particular property and does the building accord with the planning legislation which is both a simple process, but with many complexities. Disputes can be taken to the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal which to be honest is a pretty reasonable and common sense tribunal.

Interestingly, the planning process also involves getting permission from several government bodies (water, fire brigade etc.) and they may veto the permit - and property owners will have no idea in advance what their concerns may be. They introduce a level of uncertainty in the process and I believe can't be argued with - although that is not always the case as I discovered. You have to be like a terrier and go in for the kill... A property can have the legal right to construct a house under the planning scheme, but one of those government bodies can scuttle the idea.

The building permit is another process which describes how the building is to be actually be constructed using what materials, all given the planning permit for where it will go on the property and how it will look. Building surveyors issue those permits. We found ourselves in the situation where the building code said to use certain materials that were theoretical and not actually available. It was a very weird time... Oh well. But there is a state government body that makes rapid decisions on those complexities and provides an alternative construction material. Thankfully.

It is a complex road that. How does it compare to your part of the world?

I thought so. The deterioration of the plastic may possibly be far worse here. I guess they're cheap...

Mice are amazing aren't they? I was going to mention in the blog story this week a story which didn't quite fit the tone, but... The chickens uncovered a mouse nest the other day and the chickens were feral. Everything is food for something else. Chickens are not vegetarians!

That is true. Some people are able to learn more rapidly than others. You know sometimes I come across people with very fixed opinions that don't seem to correlate with the evidence at hand. That probably gets down to temperament. What did they use to say about: Stubborn as a mule?

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Pam,

Voles look pretty cute. Like little chunky mice. Surely they wouldn't be naughty enough to consume your root vegetables? Look at the little innocuous smiles on their innocent faces! Hehe! There is a similar critter down here which is a marsupial though: antechinus image.

That is interesting about the groundhogs. You know, the wombats live in similar conditions, but the interesting thing is that wombats rarely dig new underground lairs. They usually occupy existing (but unoccupied) burrows. On the other hand, they do renovate those burrows and can kick soil out all over the place. Just like the description of your groundhogs activities. Sir Scruffy is an old fella now and could use a ramp up into the house so ramps are a good idea! Over the past two months or so, I've been occasionally lifting him up the stairs. Mind you, I don't know whether that is an act that he is putting on as I've seen him chasing wallabies around the farm. Dunno. He is a bit crunchy though, so he probably isn't putting it on.

As a comparison, most of the grasses here are imports from other parts of the globe and so they stay green during winter but dry up over summer. Apparently the historical accounts reported the exact opposite - which is sort of like what you see. I watch the plants over summer to see which ones are dying back.

Ah patience I'm told is a virtue, but I personally don't know much about that. Hehe!

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Lewis,

Those ghosties and ghoulies sound pretty scary. I hope they don't come and get us! Know any good methods for dealing with their types - other than running for your life?

That show has been enormously successful. I hear good things about the new series, but there is only so much time, and Grand Designs UK is calling for my attention! I haven't even watched the two new Star Trek spin offs yet. Getting time to do everything involves constant compromise, and that isn't a complaint at all.

Mate, I'd be a hypochondriac too if I were borne to a family with complex medical histories. Life being what it is though, it is a bit of a crap shoot (did I use that term correctly?) Well doesn't that underscore the complexities of receiving sponsorship (Fight Club scenarios excluded). Doesn't it make you wonder how we got the whole donation thing so wrong as a scoiety? There is a place for donations, but if there are strings attached, it can introduce conflicts of interest? Dunno. That may be a form of idealism? Oh, the Nearing's wrote about the subject of health too. Of course, they had an agenda, and would have broken my bits in never ending lectures, and I would have yawned and tried to think about something else whilst pretending to be attentive. That is not as easy as it sounds you know. Sorry, I digress. They wrote that they couldn't get a handle about what it actually means to be healthy - and the word itself is actually an undefined misnomer. I'd never really thought about the word from that perspective before and they do have a valid point, but that also introduces the concept that the word itself is an emotional concept that can only be understood from a relative perspective which everyone interprets differently. Certainly that may explain a thing or two. Most likely the entire concept is an abstract concept anyway that conveys a feeling, but no real information and other than that it might not mean anything? Dunno. I hope I don't slip over and drown in these deep philosophical waters...

Fete's. Yup those are usually attached to church or school sales of all sorts of stuff - most of it edible. It is an old school style fund raiser. Ah yes, the truck, of course a tail gate. That truck business is catching on down here... Something, something about freedom and the open road...

Haha! Very funny.

Interesting news. The traditional owners of Uluru have announced that they will close climbing the rock to the public.

Far out that is cold as. But the sweet basil drying in the kitchen would make up for all manner of wintery conditions. I'm sure your place is very clean but for some reason I recalled an amusing line in the World Made by Hand books where a young lady walks into a house and says something along the lines of: This place looks a like trappers house. Far out I laughed at that. One of my concerns is that people unthinkingly use hospital strength cleaners in their houses. The only reason I mention that is because they are unwittingly breeding up some very nasty customers...

cont...

Fernglade Farm said...

Go the giant mushroom, and may it enjoy another 8,650 undisturbed years. I like the metric system as it converts most units into series of ten and that works for my brain. On the other hand, people down here talk about acres of land and inches of rain. Measurements are just one of those things that are good if they're actually used.

Just heard on the radio a funny thing. Another politician has resigned due to the dual citizenship debacle. That brings the number to eight which is quite impressive really. Anyway on the radio, they said that eight worked well for the Fast and Furious franchise (the eighth film was apparently the best received)! I don't reckon you can argue with that logic. I wonder who is in charge in our Parliament now? We may find that they do far less than they say!

Speaking of the comments over at Mr Greer's. I cracked it with the "apartment" argument - in a nice way of course. Such questions are from folks seeking comfort rather than answers.

Well, that book sounds interesting. I'm looking to see how the PO Box ruse works out with sellers before ordering the Camulod series (a good summer read). Next on the list is another Robert E Howard compendium of stories. Mate, that bloke was prolific.

Google does that too for searches. Apparently, schools aren't required to teach spelling to students these days. I don't see how people can run, before they are taught to walk, but that is an unpopular view. I sometimes wonder whether a certain learned helplessness and inability to frame thoughts is being taught to the population, but that just sounds too weird and too 1984 to be true. The reality may be different again.

Wow. What a rabbit hole you just led me down. I wouldn't want to have to storm those ramparts, but surprisingly the Romans must have had systems to counteract those established defences. And the Great Hall. Wow. Well 9 holds is not too long to wait. I look forward to your review of the lecture.

The Maoris of New Zealand used fortified hill tops too called: . The similarities of defences are striking.

Cheers

Chris

Coco said...

Hi Chris,

Outstanding work on the strawberry enclosure!

None of the fluffy hoard help you with foxes? Perhaps better that they don´t if they might go shooting off into the woods and not return.

Our japanese maples are sad. They don´t like the drought or the amount of sun they´re getting so are on the list of things to be moved around. I´m justifying lack of progress on garden re-arranging by thinking it should be colder.

Cheers

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I have never personally dealt with planning but I am sure that ours are every bit as complex as yours. The Island got into trouble some years back as they were refusing far too much and the appeals system became annoyed with them. Complexity does seem to have been heaped on complexity during my lifetime in all fields. It would be nice to have laws start from scratch again.

I am delighted to hear that Uluru will become a footprint free zone. I used to wonder why it didn't just shrug its shoulders and dislodge the ants.

Inge

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I think I mentioned before that one of our past dogs, Crowley, was a wonderful predictor of thunderstorms too but he would just start whining and pacing.

We don't have magpies here but did see some in Alaska.

I have a couple areas of native plants and have also found that they look better as the years pass.

Our RV trip was without mishap. It was cold though with two nights in the 20's. Good thing the furnace worked. It was an interesting to have such small living quarters compared to the big house but we did quite well. The dogs were rather stressed though at least at first. They had to get used to walking on leashes as that's required at both the campground and any parks one might like to hike in.

On the drive down though I got a call that Michael was going to be taken to the hospital where he ended up staying for four days. He had several cardiac symptoms - shortness of breath and atrial fibrillation. Nothing significant was found but now he's on yet two more medications to control his heart rate. Luckily my other sisters mostly stepped up and filled in for me though there were numerous phone calls and texts throughout our trip. My sister who is a pharm D is very concerned about the interaction of one of the new medications and his psych drugs so now there's that to address. He was very happy to return home yesterday. He obviously has made many friends at his new place.

As always enjoyed the pictures of the beautiful flowers. Temps here are mostly in the 40's during the day. There has been a light freeze so the brussel sprouts are now sweeter.

Margaret

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Margaret:

I am so sorry to hear about Michael; the poor fellow. It is interesting that nothing significant was found. What on earth could it be then?

Best wishes in dealing with this,

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Your antechinus looks more like our only marsupial, the opossum, than our mouse-like rodents.

Sir Scruffy would tell you that everyone knows that walking up and down stairs is harder on the knees than dashing about after wallabies . . . When one of our dogs (the 92lb/42kg one) developed arthritis we built him a ramp to go up and down the front steps (there is no other way to enter or exit our house except up or down steps). Rex decided that a snake lived under it and never would touch it. We still use that ramp, though, when wheeling loads of firewood up to the front porch (it is portable).

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - A rather tame Halloween. Our postie did show up in full wolf man regalia and uniform. “Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers at night, will become a wolf when the wolf bane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” :-). “Wolfman” film. We had our KFC feed and then I absented myself as some activity involving children was planned. Then I went out to the pumpkin patch to await the arrival of The Great Pumpkin. :-). Went to the men’s meeting. We’re all cracking the sads, as a community, as one of our old timers (50+ years of recovery) has passed on. It wasn’t unexpected.

Yup. You used “crap shot” correctly. It means uncertainty. Luck? A gamble. “Craps” is a game played with dice.

Hmmm. I think the best kind of donations, are anonymous donations. :-). People want to be remembered, or, want their relatives to be remembered. “Donated in memory of my (mother, father, whoever.). But a lot of donations are given with the expectation of something in return. A wealthy man donates a new wing to a university library to insure his rather dim child gets admission. Some donations are given to insure social status. “Gifts”. Are they freely given, or is their some expectation of “return on investment?” :-). It is a rather complex issue. “Follow the money.”

Oh, I finished the Arthur lectures. I had put in a “request to buy” (for the collection) to the library, so I was first on the hold list. I thought the lectures quit good, given it was kind of an overview. And, given the vast amounts of material, pretty thorough. Some places, I wish the professor would have gone into a bit more detail ... but those are my own particular hobby horses. But the professor has her’s, too. :-).

Oh, the Roman’s did their usual in overcoming the hill forts. Siege. Lots of softening up with all kinds of siege weapons and then lots of storming the ramparts. The whole siege of Massada in Israel was a well documented text book case. Write large.

I planted my 8 varieties of garlic, yesterday. Harvested my pumpkins. The Master Gardeners were about and I asked a few questions of the head honcho. I didn’t mention my land maneuvers. We’ll have a meeting in the late winter to hash out next year’s land assignments. I have the dreaded tomato blight. Well, not all that dreaded. No one seems to have got too excited and it doesn’t seem to effect the quality of any of the tomatoes still in evidence. He suggested I not plant so tight, next year. Better air circulation.

The weather is going to take a turn. But, warmer temperatures. Lew

Damo said...

@Lew
Thanks for the auction/estate sale suggestion. At the back of my mind I knew these things existed but have not pursued that course of possibilities! I hope your tomato is not serious - they can be a bit fragile. Ours were perhaps planted a little early and had some yellowing leaves (cold, or wet roots I don't know) but now seem to really taking. Will we be the first on our street with fruit though, that is the question!

@Marg
I hope Michael is OK, it is good to hear your sister 'mostly' stepped up.

@Chris
The Wardruna music is pretty intense isn't it? One commenter remarked it makes him feel human. I tend to agree, although maybe it is just the nordic metal band styling!

Your prompt for me to re-submit my story has opened up another exciting possibility, but more on that if developments pan out.

Damo

margfh said...

Hi Pam,

Thanks for the kind thoughts. I (and others) suspect it's mostly due to his medications. He's on very high dosages of three different psych meds and they all have pretty significant side effects. He's also on high blood pressure med, a thyroid med and one for reflux. The last one was prescribed because he has a persistent cough and sometimes complains of heartburn but the cough persists so at his next appointment I'll request that he be taken off that one. Now he's on two more to control his heart rate. Psych meds make a person quite lethargic and sleepy and cause weight gain so he's also obese which doesn't help. He can't go off his psych meds as the auditory hallucinations return. Even with them he occasionally hears voices. Really don't think there's any solution to all this and problems increase as he gets older.

Margaret

Fernglade Farm said...

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

Thanks for all the lovely comments. I am unable to reply this evening but promise to reply tomorrow night!

Lewis - The tree dudes came around today out of the blue to do some work which was good. Unfortunately I had to work very late as we are planning a week and a half off paid work to get the strawberry enclosure finished. One must make sacrifices from time to time, and there wasn't much scope to avoid the work... Oh well, something, something about having done something very bad in a past life. Anyway, from tomorrow it is project street - and at least tomorrow night should be quieter. It rained for most of the morning - the place is rapidly turning into a jungle!

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - The tree dudes needed some $$$. For, something. I got my first auction checks, yesterday. Per usual, more for stuff I thought would go low ... low for stuff I thought that would go high. There's going to be a lot of my stuff in tonight's auction.

I watched a DVD a couple of nights ago about the 1904 St. Lewis World's Fair. It was pretty interesting. Just huge. They wanted to show up Chicago, which had a world's fair, just a few years earlier. The 3d modern OLympics were held at the same time. In discussing the new technology on display at the fair, in the technology section of the film, out of the blue and not seeming to apply to anything before or after was this: "100 years ago, knowledge was gained through hard, laborious reading." Maybe it's just me, but that seemed like such an odd statement. I am seldom exhausted after a stint of reading. :-).

"Time and strawberry enclosures wait for no man (or woman.)" Don't know where that's from. The Bible? Shakespeare? My feavrid (sp?) imagination? On tap for this evening is "War for The Planet of the Apes." Popcorn will be made. I went on a white vinegar run (it's carried in a store off my usual "track". Cheapest in town) yesterday, and much to my surprise FINALLY found the Hersey pumpkin kisses. As it's a discount grocer, I bought 6 packages. Most in the freezer. I'll see if I can make them last past New Year's. Lew

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

It's been a busy week. We had our first freezes, down to 25F/-3.9C two different mornings. Fortunately we had plenty of advance notice so I dug out all the sweet potatoes and harvested all the remaining beans and raspberries before the first freeze. Like Pam, I have voles and the voles really like sweet potatoes. The foliage is so thick that their feeding on the roots can't be detected, until you remove the foliage to dig up the roots. But I can't complain too much; I still dug up over a bushel of sweet potatoes with little or no damage.

The computer glasses saga has finally ended successfully. It turned out the lab put the wrong prescription into the lens for the right eye the first time. I picked up the new pair yesterday and it works great! (Funny thought: why do we say a pair of glasses, anyway? It's only one piece of medical equipment.)

Then on top of everything else, the newer of our two computers suddenly died. I took it to a local Apple sales/service shop. It turned out the motherboard died - and Apple quit manufacturing those motherboards earlier this year. It wasn't 7 years old yet and we had had it for only a little over a year. So I came home with a used but newer version of the same computer. Sure hope we get a few years out of this one.

I still have some planting to do in the garden, garlic and potato onions, and I'm trying fenugreek out since it's supposed to grow in cool weather and survive down to -10F/-23C.

We ate the rabbit and it was good; expect a fuller report next time, as I need to do the garden work during the current warmer spell.

Claire

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Coco,

Thank you, I hope that the berries produce in quantity this year! The blackberries are in flower today.

Your roses are looking superb too despite the adverse weather conditions they suffered. The photos are really something.

No, the fluffy collective are pretty good at chasing off foxes and they rarely travel beyond the borders of the farm. That is a thing that they themselves learned. Eventually I'm going to have to train one of the dogs to assist with the chickens, but I judge this lot as being not up to the task. Sir Scruffy is the most intelligent and the most likely to succeed, but he is getting on in years. I don’t let the dogs out at night because they’ll chase off the wildlife.

That is interesting to read about your Japanese maples. They are one of the hardier plants here and will cope with temperatures well over 40'C. Out of curiosity, have they been in those locations for a few years? I had to move a few recently, and they have very fine shallow surface root systems. Dunno. I mulch and cover from the trunk to the drip line with compost though.

I wonder if you experience the sort of very short autumn and then after a couple of weeks of nice weather, you find yourself in winter? That regularly happens here.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Inge,

You were very lucky not to have dealt with planning, and there is a certain resistance to change in rural areas. That is so true about complexity getting heaped up in all sorts of areas. At some point the entire edifice becomes subject to diminishing returns. From there it goes to failure and from failure a simpler and more appropriate system takes its place.

Many years ago I met a bloke in Tasmania who had a heritage apple farm and he told me that all he originally did was purchase the land and build the house on it. The requirement for the building to stay upright was clearly his responsibility!

It is a bit like folks climbing Stonehenge, don't you reckon? Plenty of climbers have fallen to their deaths. It is a very steep climb at points. I vividly recall a huge collection of hats that had been clearly dislodged by the incessant wind. I have to out myself as having climbed the rock, but I now understand that the rock is the Aboriginals: Omphalos, although they themselves would not use that word. I have walked around the rock and from memory it was about 9km (5.59 miles) – the rock is massive.

Anyway, my opinions on the matter are not relevant because legal ownership under our system has been returned to the original inhabitants, and therefore it is really entirely up to them to decide - and they have made a choice.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Margaret,

Ah. Sometimes life presents us with mazes and it is up to us to find a way to work through that maze.

A very long time ago, I had a girlfriend who from time to time heard voices, and I was never sure whether those voices were her own internal workings and discourse, or whether they were completely external to that? Dunno - and I never thought to ask more probing questions.

I hope you get a good outcome.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Margaret,

I'm completely out of synch here! :-)!

You have indeed mentioned Crowley's super special powers of storm detection before. What I'm left wondering is: Was the canine named after the Aleister character of the same name? The images of Mr Crowley (not the dog) show a very troubled but complex mind.

Go the magpies in Alaska! I read somewhere once that European honey bees are also kept in Alaska and that blew my mind. I wonder if the bees adapt well to the increased summer sunlight?

Good to read about your experiences with the native plants. I'm not really much of a stickler for the whole native versus non-native vegetation argument and to be honest I believe I inadvertently horrified my very pleasant neighbour on that minor matter today. One does the best they can...

Dogs adapt to leads. I walk the dogs here at night on leads too, otherwise they'd make a point of chasing off the wildlife - until a kangaroo cornered one of the fluffies. I'm unsure which one to put the bet on, so it is best that leads are used. Living in close confines does present certain challenges doesn’t it, but historically our house sizes are unprecedented, so clearly we are up for that job! :-)! The editor and I travelled around Australia for six months in a small hatchback and just camped out. It was good fun.

Sorry to read about the complications in relation to Michael. I hope he is OK? Your sister is probably a voice of reason given her background. Often our health system does not seek to reduce complications and it certainly lack a holistic approach.

Thank you for the nice words and also for the Brussel sprout tips as they are beyond my skills as they always taste so bitter.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Pam,

No doubt that they're probably related. South America used to be connected to Australia. Imagine the journey those little opposum's have undertaken over the years? It is pretty awesome to think about for such a small – but highly toothy - critter. To be honest, they do sound rather like the Spotted Quolls which are a native cat. I’d like to have a few of them around here.

Now that you mention it, Sir Scruffy has commented upon that fact! :-)! The weather barely got past 53'F today and by late this afternoon, Scritchy was shivering outside with the cold. She is now happily on the couch behind me as I type this, but she did not look good earlier this evening. Age is a tough thing. I put the wood heater on tonight it was so cold today. Brr! I felt pretty toasty working outside though as we cleaned up after the work that the tree blokes did yesterday. I had no idea that they had done so much work and I was glad to have finished the cleaning up by about 5pm.

The ramp is a good idea as stairs are hard on old knees. Old Fluffy used to have a ramp that she could walk up and down. Staircases are rarely found in nature! ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Lewis,

No way! Good to read that your postie has a good sense of humour. You had me wondering about whether wolf bane was an actual plant. And it is! Cool. Were you tempted to supply your postie with some wolf bane? Obviously acknowledging that such herbs would be hard to come by during Halloween? It seems only right to me! Hehe! I used to grow the herb dog bane, but the wombats took serious issue with that plant and no matter where I used to grow it, they would stomp the living daylights out of the plant. Wombats have a good sense of smell, and no doubt the plant offended them.

Yes, you are a very wise man to do so. Respect! Can you believe that people request my presence at kids parties? What is wrong with them? Anyway, I went to a few and then decided to do something more productive with my life. Such things are always about them.

Sorry to hear about the loss of an old timer. Did you know the bloke well? How are you coping with the loss? You have my condolences.

I didn't know the derivation of that phrase. Thanks for the explanation. At one stage in our history: Two-up was a popular game. Entertainment need not be expensive.

Exactly, gifts are best anonymous and with no strings attached. There is a guy that busks and he plays a decent violin and I always chuck him a few coins every week. Then there is the "Big Issue" guy that I buy the magazine from - it is a very good publication. Mr Greer wrote about that issue this week, but perhaps not expressly. It is a form of control really. Mate, I'm so far kicked out of any inheritance that it is not even on my radar. I get easily bored by people trying to exert control over others. It just doesn’t feel right to me, but then I have spent large chunks of life being unsupervised. I’m reading book 2 of the World made by hand series and I never really considered the matter, but most of the kids in the book are plopping around doing their own thing.

I'd be interested in your opinion about this scenario: I once sold a computer to a mate on the cheap. After a few months, my mate sold the same computer to someone else at a profit. I then had a number of people ask me whether I was aggrieved by that situation. The thing is, I'd sold the computer and that was that. On the other hand, I did not repeat that situation with that person given their proclivities and thought that I'd earned that lesson on the cheap. Dunno.

Thank you very much for mentioning the lectures and they are on the "to get" list. Everyone comes at matters from their own perspectives. I sure have my own hobby-horses too! Don't you reckon that makes for a more interesting world? :-)!

The siege of Massada looks like a truly inhospitable location. You wouldn't catch me fighting over that Mars like landscape! The Romans must have had very good supply lines for their armies to have maintained such a siege even for only a few months. What a sad and pointless ending for those folks.

cont...

Fernglade Farm said...

Very wise not to bring up land allocations during such a time. You know, I often suspect that timing is everything in such matters. Tomato blight? Hmm, they have that in Western Australia (I believe), but I sometimes wonder whether such things are due to the soils being slowly played out? Dunno. I see blight here, but it doesn't make much of an impact. On the other hand, I put the seedlings outside today to begin to harden them off and the wind knocked some of them flat... I'm slowly beginning to feel that seedlings are a mugs game for me in this situation. Direct sowing may be preferable. Dunno.

The last gasp of summer for you, perhaps? They call that an Indian summer and to be honest I have no idea why?

Glad to read that you got some of your auction cheques! Good luck with the remaining items. When I sell stuff too, I have no idea what will be well received and what won't be. Sometimes I suspect people buy the stuff just so they can have a day out in the countryside? How did the nights auction go?

Well, I sort of feel a bit of an obligation to the tree dudes and they work hard for a fair pay and everyone appears happy with the arrangement. I was amazed at how much work they did and I spent the day outside today with the editor cleaning up. That is a huge job and to be honest I'm feeling a little bit tired tonight. Clearly I'm now an old fella and have earned my old fella stripes! Scritchy is feeling it too tonight. She may have consumed something that does not sit well with her.

It isn't just you, I feel that that is an odd statement too! I've put down books that I could no longer be bothered completing (or didn't want to be subjected to the ongoing story-line), but exhausted - that is a big call. Mate, whoever wrote that line needs to spend a day down here cleaning up after the tree dudes. Then they'd know the true definition of tired!

It is true that time waits for no man. A bit of a shame that, as a ring of power would be a handy thing. Unfortunately, there are always undocumented features with those rings of power, and well, we'd probably come a cropper! And that wouldn't be nice at all would it?

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Damo,

Yeah, intense!!! Far out, my blood was stirring after that music. Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow, something, something... I can see that about feeling human, although it begs the question as to what they usual feel like? I'm rather enjoying the band Vallis Alps at the moment. Good stuff, not Nordic folk metal though.

Haha! Well done, words are not to be wasted (I was once told that)!

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Claire,

Oh my that is cold - and I have not experienced those conditions here so can't quite get my head around them (-1'C / 30'F is about as cold as I've seen). Brr!

Sweet potatoes are an interesting choice. Some people do not have enzymes that process the starches in potato, but cooking them sure does help (I do, but the editor doesn't). It is a bit like the Jerusalem artichokes! Oh well. Do you cut your raspberry canes back to just above ground level for the winter?

I'd never heard of a bushel but it is an excellent harvest! Yum! I assume the tubers store well over the winter?

Hehe! That is a good observation and I have no idea either. They did used to make glasses as a single lens item with a chain which was kept in a pocket like a fob, so maybe that has something to do with it? I'm just guessing though as I have no idea. Glad that they sorted your glasses out. I see (excuse the pun) more such circumstances as time goes on.

Well done picking up a replacement second hand machine. I reckon that is really good.

OK, I'd be really interested to hear how your fenugreek experiment goes as that is way cold for greens (it has a bulb too does it not).

I look forward to the full report on your rabbit stew!

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Crowley was named after the road where Doug and our youngest daughter used to deer hunt together. We got Crowley after the passing of Caro, maybe the best dog we ever had. We actually waited almost a year to get another dog. This was during the several years that they went hunting together. Actually they often were with a large group of hunters, all males except our daughter. They thought it was pretty cool that she hunted as not many girls/women do.

I'm with you about native plants. I do have a few that aren't mixed in the beds. There are many in the local conservation organizations around here that think this is a no-no. As long as the non-native plant isn't invasive and attracts pollinators I say go for it.

Michael is OK now but his medical issues are many. The voices he heard were very disturbing and sometimes frightening to him. He remembers well the hospitalizations he had in the psych wards and doesn't want a repeat.

A freeze or at least a frost really change the taste of brussel sprouts. I generally roast them with olive oil and either dijon mustard or balsamic vinegar or I have an easy recipe using thyme and chicken broth.

Margaret

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

St. Lewis - ha, ha!

Pam

margfh said...

@Damo

Thanks. As I've said Michael has a myriad of health issues which I suspect are mostly caused by the combination of all his meds, obesity (probably mostly caused by meds) and his lack of activity. I have four sisters and they help to varying degrees. I think responsibility for disabled or aging relatives fall disproportionately on the oldest child and/or women. I'm the oldest and Doug is as well. We took on the responsibility for his parents as well.

@Lew

I've been plagued by late blight for years. Fortunately the plants still produce fairly well but by late summer/early fall they look pretty bad. Sorry for the loss of your friend.

@Claire

A young man who we give permission to turkey hunt on our land gifts us a rabbit each year. They are really quite tasty.

Margaret

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Re: your interchange with Lew: I have often sold things which were later re-sold for more money; it worries me not at all. Practically always happens with property of course.

I am currently struggling with 'The Big Short'; differently from you, I preferred 'Liar's Poker' and am wondering whether we each enjoyed the first one that we read the most because it can get tedious with the second book.

Someone is painting my windows at present. He tells me that a dog fox appeared and that they gazed at each other eye to eye, then the fox sauntered off. It made his day.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - My knees have been giving me a bit of trouble, lately. Nothing major. I take the steps, here, every chance I get. Keep in shape, etc. But I think they’re hard on my knees. Gotta keep moving and stay flexible. Some of my morning exercises have to do with knees.

I guess the postal department isn’t so concerned with uniforms, these days. Not like the old days. Our postman also has an interesting straw hat he wears in summer. I’m heard of postal employees who employ a kilt :-). Ah, yes. The boys and girls in the postal department play a bit fast and loose with the uniforms.

Yeah, the old guy in our little recovery community had 55 years, of recovery. He was a venerable figure. I didn’t know him too well. It always amazes me, in our small community as to who doesn’t know who. Paths just never cross. About six months ago, I happened to sit next to him at The Club, and struck up a conversation. I guess the memorial service is Monday. I probably won’t go. It ought to be quit a turn out. My buddy Scott is taking it pretty hard. His recovery birthday is Saturday. 30 something years.

I saw two-up being played in one of the Australian mysteries I watch. “Dr. Blake Mysteries”, I think.
Someone bought it after a game, which I gathered was illegal at that time. So, sorting out “who done it” was a bit complicated.

Your mate who bought the computer? He just couldn’t resist bragging about it. Discretion, in those situations is best. If I’m asked how much I got for something, I usually just say, “Oh, I got about what I paid for it.” No hard feelings, all round. Once, I sold something to a dealer. Later a mate and I were in her shop and when we left he said, “Did you see the price she put on your platter?” “No”, I said. “I never look. I was happy at what I got for it.”

Re: Hobby horses. My mother always used to say (ad nauseum) “Wouldn’t it be a terrible world if we were all interested in the same things?” :-).

The Romans supply system was quit something, as near as we can tell. Fortunes could be made from military contracts. And the military did a bit of their own supplying. Brick kilns and bakeries. Keep the squadies busy in down times. Some of the Vindolanda letters have to do with supplies. Apples, and such. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. LOL. The Master Gardener dude suggested I had crammed too much stuff in my little plot (7.5' x 4'). Lack of air circulation can contribute to blight. Moisture. I just smiled and nodded. In the first place, I didn't know the two little tomatillas would become a tomatilla jungle :-). And, things were so tight it was difficult to ground water the tomatoes and not get the leaves splashed when I watered other things. That's the point where I bit my tongue and didn't say something like, "Well, next year I'll have far more space." Discretion ... discretion. Not that I'm pure as the driven snow. There are times in my life where I've blurted out something, and regretted it.

I really won't know how the auction, last night, went, for a couple of weeks. When the check and accounting come in.

A fellow I know mentioned he's going rock climbing in Australia, next year. He really was a bit hazy as to where, as he's been invited but doesn't have the details yet. Might be in your neck of the woods.

Bazaar kicks off, today. Ought to be mad. The residents got to do a bit of shopping yesterday. Residence has it's perks. I bought a few odds and ends. Mostly food. A bit of peach jam. Something called a "peanut butter buck-eye" which is a chocolate and peanut butter candy. "Buck -eye" is a slang term for chestnuts. And, it did look a bit like a chestnut. Really, a home made version of Reese's peanut butter cups. A few DVDs. I really don't keep many DVDs. I don't collect them, as some people do. I'll watch them and probably donate them onto the library. Lew

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Margaret,

Then Mr Crowley has an auspicious name! We used to own a Jack Russell with the name of Denver as he was found on a country road...

I don't know about your experience with dogs, but some dogs have natural talent and the inclination to be "best dog", others get trained to that high status position in the pack, and others you kind of know that they're delightful, but not "top dog" material! What do you reckon about that? The training takes many years too.

It does sort of have the sound of an ideological debate. And people get really razzed up about it too. I tend to squash (excuse the pun) them by asking how many of the plants in their diet are from native plants?

That isn't good, but the self realisation is a really positive thing. It is the folks that aren't aware and get off their meds that can be the biggest nightmares. It is rare down here, but I have heard of a few that do that.

Tasty stuff! Thanks, you may have changed my mind about those plants!

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Inge,

Ah of course, that major point was lost on me about property. These things are obvious from hindsight. Anyway, there seems to be little point in hanging onto the feeling as the item was sold in the first place...

Well, it tells the same story from different perspectives so that makes perfect sense. What troubles me is that there are really not that many games up their sleeves. I mean take SLAB's for instance. They look the same, but have apparently far higher default rates...

I assume the fox spotted itself in the reflection of the glass pane? No doubt thinking to itself: what a handsome fox that is? When I was very young they used to say: A fox smells its own smell - whatever that means.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Lewis,

Hearing that, I do hope you get the yoga class off the ground. Stretching is a very useful activity and gets even more important as we all get older. Incidentally, have you discovered the hiding spot of out lost youth?

I mowed another two hours this morning and the job is slowly getting done. I reckon we are about the 40% of the farm mark now. I really like these petrol mower thingees as a scythe is a nice tool, but very slow relative. The little Honda has used about 6 litres of fuel now which is quite a lot when you think about it.

Uniforms don't seem to make much of an impression nowadays. In fact upon consideration, I reckon dress standards have dropped markedly as has the quality of the clothes and the materials they are made from. I remarked to someone recently that their puffer jacket was predominantly plastic - and they had no idea. The editor tells me that cut and fit in clothes is an unknown thing nowadays because people have no idea how to sew.

I am sorry for your loss and the loss for your community. Did Scott know the bloke well? Sometimes deaths like that can remind us that we are next in line and I've seen a fair bit of that around. It is a frightening realisation and we are not encouraged to ever consider that aspect of our lives.

Ah yeah, we have mentioned that before haven't we? Gambling has a long history here. The advent of the phone apps has had disturbing impacts on the community. Whatever social side there was to gambling has gone.

Oh! I'd never considered that he was bragging about it. You're right, he was. I need to ponder that. Yeah, well it ain't my style doing that sort of thing, so of course other folks live their lives differently and that was how he went with things. Mind you, he never had a second chance. Inge made an interesting point too about inflation leading to higher prices so it is a complex matter. I had to haggle with the tree guys and that is an interesting thing to do, and I reckon a lot of folks are out of practice with that skill. I don't see a lot of it going on in the World Made by Hand novels so far, but there are plenty of folks setting out to cheat their fellows. It is an unwise move in a land devoid of basic law.

Your mother was correct! No point arguing against common sense is there?

That Roman supply line story is an old one. The folks who made reasonable money on the gold fields were those that supplied the miners. Miners can't produce and mine can they? If ever I offer advice to others then it is usually to plod along on the sure thing rather than going for the big wins. Big wins often equal big risks. Some people are incapable of hearing that story though but they sure can hear the win big story.

Ha! Well, if I remember I'll take a photo of just how densely planted a raised garden bed can be. My gut feeling - and I can never be sure - is that your soil was flogged to death before you turned up and the blight was indicative of a mineral deficiency. It takes years for the soil life to tap into the organic matter you chucked in there. But once the soil life is established, I reckon additional organic matter disappears really quickly. There are diminishing returns though, but neither you nor I will be around to see those.

They do a bit of climbing on the Camels Hump at the top of the mountain range. It is the core of the volcano and the mountain has receded around it. I reckon your contact may end up at: Mount Arapiles. There is meant to be a very well respected foodie pub near there too: Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld. A Scottish sounding name that town!

How did the bazaar end up? Hope the food was good?

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

'Slabs': Theoretically they should be able to continue forever as mathematically it never reaches 0. Theory and practice are never the same though. Do I know what I am talking about? Probably not.

@ Margaret

My half brother who had schizophrenia was thin, brilliantly intelligent highly creative and hauntingly beautiful when completely off his head. In those days they didn't have the current medications. He had electro-convulsive treatment, insulin treatment, ice cold showers and whatever else they thought up. At one time he vanished for over 30 years and lived rough for some of that time. Then came modern drugs which dealt with the voices and hallucinations. The side effects were that he became fat, ugly, non creative and of mediocre intelligence (though he was almost certainly brain damaged by then). Regardless of a terrible life, he lived to be 89!

It seems to me that we have got virtually nowhere when it comes to dealing with such conditions other than to make things more comfortable for ourselves. It is incredibly sad and there seem to be no good answers so far.

Inge

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I would go with natural talent/inclination for a "best dog" though training can certainly move a dog towards that category. One persons best dog might not be someone else's though as it depends what you're looking for in a dog. All our dogs have been shelter dogs except Crowley. Caro was our first. We went to the local shelter looking for a dog that was good with children because at that time I was doing day care in our home for 4-5 one to two year olds (this probably sounds nightmarish to you haha). The people at the shelter said they had some that they felt would fit the bill but only one that they could just about guarantee and that was Caro though her name was Mambo there. Here's the kicker - she was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, one of the breeds referred to as pit bulls. She was amazing. The kids could mall her and she never once snapped, growled or anything rather when she had enough she got up and left. She had an inate sense of how to treat young people or animals. She loved to chase cats so much and not just for play but when we had a kitten she cuddled it between her paws and licked it. At a gathering when someone's baby would be on a blanket on the floor she would lay there and give the baby little gentle licks but could roughhouse with older children. The Rottweiler across the road who was a real problem ripped her twice but she never backed down. Then she would just jump into the truck to be taken to the vet. These are just a few examples illustrating why I call her our "best dog". What characteristics are important to you in a dog?

The thing about brussel sprouts though is they get considerably sweeter after a heavy frost or even a pretty good freeze and I don't think you get those too often. I've left mine in the garden well into December and they tolerate temps in the low 20's (F) even over a stretch of days.

Margaret

margfh said...

@Lew,

Hope the yoga class happens. I take a class once a week here in town. The studio is small and there's usually only 5-6 in the class (I think only 7 max can fit). It's all older women like myself and as it's so small the instruction is very individualized. Each pose is modified to accommodate each person's ability and physical issues. The emphasis is on improving flexibility and balance though strength is also improved. Anyway I find it beneficial, relaxing and calming.

Margaret

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Crapification at its finest - the state of one U. S. railroad:

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/business/2017-11-01/norfolk-southern-railway-sues-over-defective-wooden-ties.html

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - No sightings of lost youth :-(. I have no couch (sofa?), so it can’t be hiding, there. Apropos of nothing, I’ve always wanted a siege (sp?) lounge. Something to throw myself on when I get the vapors :-).
With a bit of re-arranging, I probably have space for one.

OHHHH! You use a GAS push mower. All along I’ve been polishing your halo and thinking you were using a ... well, non-motorized push mower. Sigh. Our gods have clay feet. So much for pedestals. :-). Well. I’ll leave that bit out of the unauthorized biography.

Yeah, my buddy Scott knew the old fellow, pretty well. My friend who visited, yesterday, seems to think he’s taking it hard. Thanks for the reminder. Today is Scot’s birthday, and I’ll drop him an e-mail. And, I’m taking him out for lunch, sometime next week. I’ll lend an ear. I’m pretty pragmatic about my own demise. I think because of the bit of hospice work I did during The Plague Years. The 1980s. It’s interesting living here in The Home. I mean, realistically, it’s probably the last stop for many of The Inmates. That goes for me, too :-).

I hate haggling. Bad for the business I was in, from time to time. I especially hate sales where there are no prices marked, at all. At least, that gives you a starting point for a bit of offer / counter offer.

Oh, organic matter does break down. It’s quit a bit of magic. When I had the worm box, it was just a big opaque. So, when I dug stuff in at one end, I could see it. It would sit there for awhile, and then just over a couple of days, disappear. When the worms got at it. Poof! Gone. Just like magic. I’ve noticed in my garden bed that the little mounds of stuff I dig in have become depressions. The bacteria. The worms. A couple of times there was a pretty healthy mushroom crop, in places. More breaking down of organic matter. The Organic Master Gardener Dude said he has a soil testing kit he’ll bring in the spring. I’ll be interested to see what the results will be. I hear during the bazaar, there were three ladies looking at the garden spots ... and it looked like they were trying to figure out what I had hid under my leaf mulch :-).

I think the bazaar went well. Some of the stuff for sale goes to the tenants, some to the general fund. They are raffling off a quilt for the sewing group. From what I could see, there wasn’t a big crowd, right off the bat, but a steady stream, all day. I’ll check it out, today, to see how the food moved. I’ll recap when it’s all over and I get a chance to talk to some of the women who are running the show.

There was snow, yesterday, to the south and north of us. Lots of talk about that. I referenced Cliff Mass (credit where credit is due) and observed that low-land snow is just about the hardest thing to predict, especially at this time of the year. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Margaret - Thanks for the mention of the tomato blight in your garden. Now I know it's not just me ... :-). No one seemed to get particularly excited. Just a reminder to not compost it, but to get it off the property, when it comes time to clean them up. Lew

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Inge,

It's all good, I don't no nuffin bout 'em complex instramants eiver. :-)! Hehe! I suspect that the share, real asset, and bond markets will hit higher notes as the real purchasing power for currencies declines. From my perspective that appears to be an obvious outcome of the policy of regularly increasing the money supply, although people conflate and therefore confuse paper wealth and real wealth. It doesn't matter though.

Out of curiosity and since we are discussing economic matters, are pundits discussing labour productivity in your part of the world?

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Margaret,

Ah, I had not considered that aspect of the discussion, but of course that makes perfect sense. Everyone has different expectations of canine behaviour. All of the dogs I have known have also been rescue dogs and they come with their own personalities already formed. It is interesting, but down here, Staffy's are not referred to as pit bulls. They have a reasonably good reputation too, but people often dump them at shelters because they are considered too high energy for some families. I suspect that people razz the dogs up and then get tired by the dogs energy, but don’t really know for sure.

Just for your interest, there are restricted dog breeds down here which include:
Restricted breed dog definition

Restricted breed dogs are defined as dogs that fit the Approved Standard for Restricted Breed Dogs in Victoria (standard). These may be pure or cross bred American Pit Bull Terriers (or Pit Bull Terriers), Perro de Presa Canarios (or Presa Canario), Dogo Argentinos, Japanese Tosas, or Fila Brasileiros.

Restricted breed dogs have not attacked a person or animal or displayed signs of aggression, but they are considered a higher risk to community safety than other breeds of dogs.


Hmm, characteristics: Intelligence; Willingness to learn and adapt; and Sociability (minimal displays of anti-social behaviour such as unwarranted aggression). They should also display a modicum of common sense.

Thanks for the explanation about brussel sprouts and I reckon you are spot on about the lack of frost. Interesting.

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Pam,

Oh my goodness! Yup, him one huge crapification, that one. In a funny (or perhaps not so funny coincidence) when I read the words in the article: ""make them black by whatever means necessary", it reminded me of a football team down here that was involved in a long running chemical performance enhancing saga. Their motto used be (from memory): "whatever it takes (or something along those lines). Not good, and what could possibly go wrong? ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Lewis,

Well that situation is not good. We shall have to make do in the interim until our lost youth is uncovered. :-)! Thanks too for the new word "Apropos". Like it!

I can't honestly say for sure that I understand what a "siege lounge" is. Google provided some images that looked more as if it had something to do with CCTV footage of unpleasant hostage situations. Did you mean what we call a "sofa bed"? We have a couch that converts into a bed in case either of us are very sick or a guest stays over. It is very nice and not at all like the dodgy wire sprung frames of yesteryear (may those nasty contraptions die the unhappy memory that they are).

I am totally busted by my own confessions as to using a fossil fuel powered mower. Thanks for leaving that bit out of the unauthorised biography as I'd be embarrassed for you as the ghost author to have to lie on your behalf! Hehe!

Look, you know I'm no purist. It is just too late in the game for that mindset. Now if I'd had the chance to begin in the 70's when such hats could have been worn with total pride, well that would be cool and I could have expanded bit by bit. But to be honest, I'm a little late to the party. And whilst I'm kicking the stuffing out of some sacred cows, you know a couple of handfuls of superphosphate (NPK) or rock dust in your garden bed would do total wonders for your soil. Just a touch though, and not too much. You never really know what minerals you are missing from a soil, so I really do hope that your master gardener folks get around to testing your soil. I will be very curious to hear how it turns out.

It is a really nice thing to take Scott out for lunch over the next week and lend him your ears. All most people want to do is talk through their pain, few ever want answers or alternative perspectives. I have been guilty in the past of blurting out an uncomfortable and embarrassing disclosure relating to other people. I mean, what can you do? I loaned an ear or two to a couple last evening that had had only just come to the conclusion that they had to walk away from their dreams of pig farming. They were emotionally raw and in the process of working out what to do with the wreckage. I was cool with that as few people get things right first time, every time. The times I have managed that trick, I never understood that that was what I was looking at. It ain't easy.

The skinny bloke wearing a going out hoodie and holding a rather uncompromisingly sharp scythe comes for all of us in the end. Unfortunately, as you experienced it happens for some earlier than others and through no fault of their own. Mate, I totally feel for you as that would have been a very unsettling experience to feel and witness the death of others. It is hard too because the living can be in denial until they are unable to look away at anything else.

cont...

Fernglade Farm said...

Yeah, it is amazing isn't it? And to be honest it is very ungentlemanly to look under another persons leaf mulch! You never know what you may find there. ;-)! I've noticed that the ground shifts and moves as the soil builds and the plants extract minerals and then re-supply the soil life during leaf fall. It is a very fascinating cycle of life, and at the moment in some places, the grass is full of seeds and is knee high and needs to be cut back.

We went up north into the next shire to see some open gardens today. It was nice to have the day off whilst the sun shone and the air temperature was only 68'F. It was a really nice day. There were a couple of edible gardens open and it was nice poking around and talking to the owners. One of the houses (you couldn't look inside) was a mud brick with post and beam construction. It was constructed in the 1970's I reckon, and I realise it is a sweeping generalisation, but those sorts of houses often contain the happiest, or perhaps most content of all folks. It is a real pleasure speaking with them.

I look forward to reading your re-cap.

One can accidentally take credit for another persons ideas, but yeah, credit where credit is due is a sound bit of advice. Glad that you are in your new digs which are hopefully warmer and snugger than the previous ones - especially if you get a cold winter. Snow north and south at low altitude sounds pretty cold to me!

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I am not sure as to whether or not labour productivity is being discussed here. It probably is, along with all the other talk talk. Brexit and harassment have taken everything else over. I was most surprised at the fact that our minimal interest rate rise caused the stock market to rise.

Inge

margfh said...

@Inge

"It seems to me that we have got virtually nowhere when it comes to dealing with such conditions other than to make things more comfortable for ourselves. It is incredibly sad and there seem to be no good answers so far."

So true. I feel that there's got to be a better way. Michael, however, has an intellectual disability (IQ 68) as well. There are limits to his understanding. When he would have his "episodes" it generally was quite ugly and torturous for him. He sometimes teetered on the edge of violence as well. He's very sweet and has a great sense of humor.

Sorry to hear about your brother. That must have been difficult for you to watch.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

When we first got Caro there was much talk of "dangerous" pit bulls in the press. Can't say if her breed is still categorized with pit bulls now. There are tons of pit bulls/pit bull mixes in the shelters now. In fact the fee for adoption is often lower as it was for Leo. He looks to have quite a bit of pit bull in him but is not aggressive at all. He's got the "look" though so people think twice when they first meet him. He was at the shelter nine months when we adopted him and we asked why so long. They said he didn't "show well" meaning he jumped up and barked a lot so seemed intimidating. The only reason we found him was because he was recuperating in a hallway as he had gotten his paw caught in the gate of his run at night and proceeded to chew off part of paw. He only has three toes on one of his front paws. We had asked some of the staff who they might recommend for our situation and that's when we were introduced.

Margaret

orchidwallis said...

Hello yet again

I have just placed my first attempt at a pumpkin cake in the oven. Son has grown lots of pumpkins. Recipes tended to be American and said 'take a can of pumpkin pulp' which was hardly the point of my attempt. They also express measurements in cups which I consider to be a nightmare. So I found a UK recipe. They now use grams which mean nothing to mean, so I had to translate everything into ounces. So weird that those of us old enough to still know how to cook, are presented with such problems! Enough of this rant, let's see how the cake turns out.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Saw a short article about a seed saver, in Tennessee, over at NPR.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/11/04/561862062/the-big-stories-behind-small-seeds-this-man-wants-to-save-them-all

Rom-Com Altert!!! With coffee! :-). I was at the library, checking out the returning DVDs cart, when I spotted "Coffee Shop." (2014). The tag line is: "Love is Brewing." The things we do for our friends. It's about a young lady who runs a very cool coffee shop in a small seaside village. Somewhere north of New York. There are evily evil investment bankers and foreclosures. To say more would be spoilers. Was it good? Well, given my antipathy for these things, dunno. It must have been a real indy film. No extras, trailers or subtitles. Production values were pretty good.

Yup. Just call me word-a-day Lew :-). Better than one of those desk calendars. Chaise lounge. Finally! Got it. Also called, mistakenly, a "fainting couch." One rolled end, or arm with a half back. The Victorians / Edwardians were mad for them.

Sweeping generalization alert! Purists are often crashing boors. No fun at all. No sense of humor.

Odd you should mention the hoodie. I finally broke out my ponchos. They're woven and have a hood. Quit easy to slip on and off and are quite warm. I had one I wore to rags and bought two new ones, I hadn't worn, yet. I commented to one of the ladies that next Halloween, if I tuck a skateboard under my arm, and fly my pants at half mast, I can go as a skateboarder. Well, it's a thought.

Daylight savings time started last night. Oh, argh. At least this is the "add an hour" end of things. I stayed up late as snow was forecast, down to 200 feet. Around 2am, we did get a flurry. Didn't stick. I finally looked up the elevation of The Home, again, AND WROTE IT DOWN! Our airport weather station is 177'. The Home is 272'. Where I lived before is 600+. I harvested the San Marano tomatoes, yesterday. All green, but there you go. I'll try a few in the window, but I'm afraid it's going to be fried green tomatoes. I found a recipe to do them in the oven. Less mess. It's supposed to be a nice day, tomorrow. I'll probably plant my iris and add another bag of leaves to the garden. Lew

Hazel Marchant said...

Hi, Chris and Lewis

I'm just about to run out the door to an appointment, but wanted to let you both know that Lew wants a chaise longue. You need the right equipment for an attack of the vapours!

Cheers

Hazel