Monday, April 23, 2018

It is nice and sunny but doesn't feel like the almost 69F the weather channel says it is. But we do have a breeze and I have been working in the shed and on the patio which are still in shadow for the most part. I put the hibiscus outside so it can get some direct sun for a change. I set up the two shepherd's hoods I had left. One has the bird feeder which is a bit heavy and caused it to list to the side a bit. I anchored it with bungie cords so it is now standing upright. It is so nice to hear the wind chimes again after this interminable winter. They are hanging on the opposite hook. The last hook is set up in the corner and I can only use one of the two hooks. I put a wind spinner on it. So far it hasn't needed any extra support. The shed is almost pretty well cleared and swept after accumulating all sorts of junk over the winter. I had collected a whole bunch of large plastic cartons from yogurt and cottage cheese in anticipation of the strawberries. And I had a bunch of coffee cans and gallon vinegar jugs stored. Much as I hate to they all went in the trash. I simply have't the space for all that and, for now, I have all of those items I need for whatever uses I had planned. If I need more I can keep the next ones. I can't see our commercial producers going to something else anytime soon.

I guess self-centered stupidity isn't limited to our own politicos--as Ugo Bardi can attest.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Welcome to Earth Day.

I plan to rearrange another section of the freezer today and clean out the shed. I can't dig out any more of the large containers because I don't have anywhere to put the dirt till we get some more 5-gal buckets.

I hope the Tohono O'odham can make their decision stick. We don't need #45's damned wall. We need a sane government which I am afraid might be a while coming.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

I was a really nice day yesterday and actually got a bit over 60F. Supposed to get in the high 50s today so some outside work is on my to-do list.

Well, got the pork and chicken sections of the freezer rearranged and sorted. I'll do another section tomorrow. I also put drain holes into two new 5-gal buckets. I will start filling one of them with the soil in the cracked 30-gal tub. The temperature is only 45F right now so I am doing short stints.

Cracked tub emptied and gone. I swept the area and put five of the buckets in their positions. They aren't quite full but I want to put fresh soil in the top 8 to 12 inches. I will have a go at cleaning out the shed tomorrow. Tuesday we will bring in another five 5-gal buckets and I will start digging out one of the other 30-gal tubs that need to go.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Just uncovered the strawberries since last night was the last predicted to fall into the 20s. They all look good--some even have new growth. I won't do any digging until tomorrow because it is way too cold and some needs to drain. I might do some rearranging in the shed after it gets a good bit warmer. The red mini-belle peppers surprised me by sprouting but checking my dates they aren't that far behind schedule. It has been a bit cool upstairs.


The temps are supposed to get up into the high 50s today with sun and no precipitation. Good day, if it all pans out, to get some digging and other work done. I went out briefly to check on the strawberries. Most seem to have made up their minds, for the moment anyway, to survive. A few are still deciding. The temperature went down to about 33F last night. The soil has a frozen half inch but the soil beneath seems to be soft. I hope I didn't take the covers off too soon. But, if the weather predictions are right, last nights low should be the lowest at least for the next 10 days. I hope the overnight temps will go above 45 soon so I can put the rosemary and hibiscus outside.

Well my plans for the day got side tracked. First, a rearrangement of a part of the big freezer. Mom wanted a package of stew beef but after digging for a bit I couldn't find it. So I sorted and rearranged all the beef. Then Candy (our 1-year-old cat) got on one of my shelves and started knocking things off. And her partner-in-crime and mayhem, Lena (the 3 year old) has been trying to find a way to climb behind a stock of jars on two high shelves. So we rearranged those shelves and a couple of more besides to thwart the beasties. And I wanted to take the stash-buster afghan out of the ottoman because the three items in there (and the yarns I am using for them) were getting a bit too bulky for the space. I remembered a basket I had various stuff in in the outside shed so I emptied it and washed it out to receive the stash-buster and it's yarn. That is now sitting upstairs in our craft/planting/storage room. Besides a bit of puttering I think that is it for the day.

An interesting study on the effects of a warmer/dryer climate on agriculture in the U.S.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It is a cold Monday and we have had snow. The strawberries have been covered since Saturday afternoon so I don't think they will suffer. At least, I hope not. The temperature is right about 30F. We have another couple of cool cold days (and nights) ahead before things swing back into the 50s and 60s. Until then I am content (sort of) to merely tend the inside plants and think about what I might put in--besides the tomatoes and peppers.


Tuesday is just as cold as Monday was. We had snow flurries all day yesterday but we should get some sun today.

Interesting Tomdispatch piece today.


Goodness, Wednesday already. We had shopping to do yesterday which, as usual, was the limit of what we had the energy for.

Right now the skies are clear but the temperature is about 27F. The weather people predict snow for tonight which I hope won't amount to much. I got glimpses at the strawberries over the last couple of days and so far none are obviously giving up their ghosts. If we get sun tomorrow and a bit more warmth I will uncover them enough to get a good look.

Vogue has a good article that puts the immigrant crisis in a different perspective. I am not an immigrant. Once I loved this country and was proud to be American and, when I was serving in the armed services, I was proud to do so. But my pride has almost died over my adult life, especially the last 30 years. My love is slowly dying as well. The title asks if "the price of the American Dream is too high." I think the "dream" we have been fed since childhood has become a nightmare that most of us don't want to admit. Somewhere along the way the terms have been changed just like some of #45's business partners found out after they delivered the goods.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Cold and wet. The strawberries are under their shrouds probably for the next week because nighttime lows might go into the low 20s several times. The daytime temps should return to the 50s and 60s a bit later in the week.

An interesting study but many of the real monkey wrenches aren't even considered: rising international tensions with or with out actual war, economic concerns, religious tension, Supreme Court decisions on any number of sensitive issues.

The New Yorker has this opinion piece this morning that is interesting and, I fervently hope, is prophetic.

Another "Internet of Things" story. There are times when "free" is not really free. As the saying goes, reiterated in the story, when something is "free" you are the "product." I am really tired of all the attempts to make me someone's income stream.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Only in the mid-40s today and rain so my gardening is on hold until after this system passes. The strawberries are all potted with the last of them in the little greenhouse. I hope that will protect them from the coldest temps which should come Sunday and Monday nights. I have three areas to cover tomorrow--or today if I get a dry spell. My back is thankful for the rest the weather is providing. As I noted I wasn't expecting the strawberry roots to be delivered for another week or two and wasn't really ready. Plus I wasn't expecting to dig out four pots that have cracked or are in danger of doing so. My patio really is a brutal environment for everything--an oven when the weather turns hot and a freezer during the cold months. Once I get all the fragile/broken containers dug out and replaced with 5-gal buckets the whole garden space will be more manageable. As various joints are reminding me, I am not 25 any more.

The attitude displayed, though not really surprising, pisses me off. I am very skeptical about modern medicine. The costs of the treatments is mind-boggling. I don't know how many ads I have seen for what I call "helper" drugs. Those are drugs patients are supposed to take with another drug that isn't as effective as it used to be or as it was promised to be. Or drugs that, as the ad says, are shown "effective" when taken "with the highest dose of (whatever other drug) plus diet and exercise." And then there are the drugs that may cause the very symptoms they are designed to alleviate. What the article tells me (and what I have come to realize over the years) is that we aren't people/patients we are "income streams" and medicine is an industry that hides its primary focus on its bottom line by pretending to care for people/patients. Goldman Sachs analyst simply stated the case with brutal honesty.

Another good History Unfolding article from David Kaiser.

Ehrenreich's article and book have sparked a number of articles along the some line. This one is from Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism.