Monday, August 18, 2014


I had thought to take out the pathetic looking  pot of melon plants which has (it seemed) produced nothing other that flowers.  Recently it hasn't even done that.  However, I have to rethink that.  I found one small, lonely melon developing.  I don't know if it will have either the time or the will to develop fully but I will give it the chance.  I am cutting back the borage also.  It has stopped blooming and is now dropping seeds.  I have already collected about 30 for next year.  I expect I will get a a number of volunteer plants next spring.  I should also take off the hyssop blooms that are mostly spent so I don't get volunteers next spring.  I want to move that patch away from the rose.


Didn't do much more than cut back the borage yesterday.  I got very lazy.  It happens every now and then.  But in the process I collected a lot more seeds.  I don't know what I will get done today.  The sun isn't up yet and I am simply enjoying my morning coffee.


Collected a nice little basket of peppers and tomatoes yesterday.  I plan to get the peppers cleaned and packaged for freezing today.  I saw the first fully open cypress vine flower also.  The hummingbirds will be happy.  We have dense fog this morning but I don't think we got any rain the weather people said we might get overnight.

So what am I reading today?

Tomdispatch as always.  I may have to find more written by Eduardo Galeano.

Undernews.  Interesting comparison.

James Howard Kunstler at Clusterfuck Nation.

A thought experiment from the Rude Pundit.  Caution: high tolerance for justified profanity required.

Grist has an interesting way to repurpose a backyard in-ground pool.

Mahablog on the not-distant-enough 2016 Presidential elections.  If were faced with a choice between any of the Repthuglicans or Hillary Clinton, I would write in Darth Vader.  God how I wish we had a "none of the above" option and what would happen if "none of the above" won?

My thoughts on this piece from Firedoglake are much too crude to write down.  One expensive, decade long failure evidently isn't enough.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday.  Our overnight temps dipped into the mid 40s (F).  It is feeling too much like fall.  I am watching the predictions to plan when I should bring in some of the plants--the rosemaries, the eucalyptus, the pesto basil.  The wonderberries are starting to ripen and the lower leaves of the bee balm are turning red.  I find myself thinking more and more often of when to take out some of the plants--like the sunflowers which are pretty well spent.  I got a large handful of green beans yesterday which will be part of supper today.

I don't often agree with Sen. Rand Paul but he is right on the militarization of our police forces.  And on the erosion of our legal rights and protections.

I just had a thought on police militarization:  can we expect anything else when most of our social and political problems are couched in terms of "war."  As in "War on Drugs" and "War on Terror" and "War on Poverty."  We have militarized our thinking and the adage I quoted yesterday is just as true in the realm of philosophical or conceptual tools as in the realm of physical tools:  if all the only tool you have is a tool all your problems look like nails.

Sometimes I wonder if the ACA (a.k.a., Obamacare) was designed to fail.  This piece at Naked Capitalism supports that notion.  How much more intrusive can it get?  A damned good argument for a single payer system that cuts the insurance industry out entirely.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday.  Stewed the roma tomatoes (store bought and garden grown) yesterday.  We decided to include some of last year's peppers as well since the the new crop is coming.  I will finish up today and get the tomatoes packaged in one-pound lots.  Next week we will pick up some more tomatoes--my own are just coming in and I picked all of the ripe romas yesterday.  We also need some more sweet corn.  I checked on the spearmint and peppermint I have soaking in vodka and they are developing very nicely.  I have some beans to pick also.

A couple of thoughts occurred to me as I watched the news reports on the Ferguson events overnight. First, if your only tool is a hammer (as an old saying tells us), you tend to see all your problems as nails.  Ferguson evidently has a well, it seems, militarized police which means they are responding in military fashion.  Second, if the Ferguson PD uses the standard police slogan "to serve and protect" some very necessary definitions are missing.  Who are serving and what are they protecting?  It doesn't appear their black citizens who are a majority everywhere except in political offices and on the police force.  Third, what happened to the cell phones the police took from by standers who recorded the incident?  Haven't heard a mention of them since the first day.

And on that subject the folks at Political Carnival have some excellent observations.

Interesting that someone finally had the guts to make this observation.  And I would go even further and say that even in high paid occupations most college graduates will find their degrees not worth the time and money spent to gain them.

Ah, another conservative lie busted.  I always thought their dogma was doing a striptease on the political stage with this one.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tuesday.  We are supposed to get some more rain this morning and cool temperatures (low 70s which is cool for this time of year.)  We have errands so I probably won't do more that walk through the gardens today.  Maybe take some of the slicing tomatoes that are ripe.

Oh, my--the rain and wind has hit.  I hope it passes over quickly.  We have already dropped our usual trip to the farm market.  It is open air and winds like these make the vendor's canopies dangerous missiles.  My bean tower is swaying drunkenly but so far still upright.

Wednesday.  Supposed to have temps in the low 80s and sun today.  The overnight temps dropped into the mid 50s.  The flooding in other areas not far away (southern Michigan) makes me thankful we are here and not there.  Pictures from Detroit are unbelievable.

I love the title on this Economic Collapse post: "Jobs=Just Over Broke."

I would say a celebration is in order.  As you can probably guess, I am no fan of Monsanto.

Monday, August 11, 2014


We had a short deluge yesterday afternoon.  Though it looked ferocious it didn't drop all that much water.  I doubt it gave us more than a quarter of an inch.  We have more right now so I don't think I will get much done in the gardens.  I didn't get anything done yesterday except for watering.

An old saying: there is no honor among thieves.  Evidently there is no sense of honor in industrial food manufacturing either.  Which raises the question of why the government relies on an "honor system" for companies to report tainted products?  Two parts of this story utterly piss me off.  First, the defense attorney noting that the government doesn't even require testing for salmonella.  Woopty doo!!  The company did test for it and then fraudulently covered tainted batches with the test results for clean batches.  Second, the prosecutors agreeing to not mention the dozens of deaths resulting from this example of corporate greed.  That is obscene.  The company and its owners and executives should be held accountable.

Ah, yes!!  Some very snarky comments on our "do-nothing" legislators.  Thoroughly agree.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I have a dehydrator to empty today.  I harvested a large handful of green beans yesterday and decided to dry them.  I did try a fermented green bean recipe a bit ago but Mom didn't like them.  She doesn't like many fermented foods other than cucumber pickles or pickled beets.  I also picked stevia, peppermint, and spearmint.  I saw a nice bit of lemon balm I should pick so maybe that is a good job for today.

I watered the gardens heavily yesterday.  Everything is very dry.  It feels as though we didn't get all that rain just a bit ago.  And it is really beginning to look like fall.  Some of the trees have more than a hint of autumn color and some of the plants in the containers are starting to show their end of season color. My mind is going through the fall chores and which plants will need to come indoors and when. Overnight temps are running in the low to mid 60s so everything is good for now.  But soon enough that will change.


Quiet weekend so far.  Nothing much to comment on.  Didn't get the lemon balm yet.  On the list for today.

Sometimes Robert Reich comes up with good ideas.  Here is one.

Our own actions coming back to bite us in our collective ass--again.  Didn't we do that a generation ago in Afghanistan and didn't have the same result?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday.  My goodness, where has the week gone?  Like the year (and so many years past) the time has just blitzed past.

Didn't do too much yesterday in the gardens.  Picked some beautiful strawberries  which we ate in our  cereal.  Took a couple of our tomatoes but found a problem with two.  One had definite blossom end rot while the other showed "black heart" disease.  Both are caused by environmental factors or by low calcium.  It has been a cool summer with inconsistent rain.  My soil fertility meter reads on the low side of optimal but it doesn't really measure calcium.  Oh, well--something to think about for next season.  Also harvested a couple of ripe Lipstick peppers.

From Grist--a foreshadowing of times to come?