Friday, July 31, 2015


Welcome to the last day of July.  I know I am not the only one who feels the time goes just too quickly.  Several bloggers I read remark on the same perception rather frequently.  I have peppermint to harvest today.  The spearmint I cut yesterday filled my dehydrator so I didn't cut peppermint.  I could have used the old dryer but I didn't have to hurry.

And now for a bit of current events that our news media doesn't mention.  The European Union has had an immigration problem for some time and it is growing.  The linked story deals with non-European peoples coming into Europe but there are also problems with European migrants going between various countries.  The promise of free movement within the Union has created more problems than the founders ever dreamed.

Another story which doesn't cause a blip on this side of the Atlantic pond comes from Italy where the first bail-in of a troubled bank occurred--or didn't depending on how you look at things.  Technically one can say that the junior bondholders took a haircut but then they were made whole "to preserve the  reputation of the sector."  What reputation??  The only thing preserved is the portfolio of the idiots who made the wrong investment choice and were about to be hosed.

Ah, yes!!  Much easier than kidnapping a person for ransom.  As the comment on the link I followed said this is penny ante.  The real extortionists are the junior bankers demanding their bonuses.

A semi-humorous take on a guy who shot down a drone flying above his property.  Unfortunately, the law hasn't caught up with technology.  Given all the stories of perverts using up-the-skirt-cameras or drilling peep holes in girls locker rooms or restrooms, I sympathize with the homeowner here.  I wonder if a slingshot would have done just as well in downing the pest.  Or if it came within range of a baseball bat.

Moving backwards with all possible speed.  And let's do another one just like the other one.  Since Ronald Reagan's administration I thought the Repthuglican agenda was to turn the clocks back to 1900 if not before.  Retrograde seems to be the new forward.

But who says we live in a reasonable world?  We aren't really citizens any more.  We are "revenue streams."

If we lived in a reasonable, crap like this self-righteous assholery wouldn't happen.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Hoping to get more done in the gardens today.  We should still have a high temp in the high 80s but with much lower humidity.  It is fairly cool right now.  I have spearmint and peppermint  ready to cut and dry.  The lemon bee balm is blooming nicely and it is very pretty.  We cooked up and froze another 5 lbs of tomato sauce yesterday.  And I got another two packages of the Gold Marie beans picked and in the freezer.

I am already tuckered out.  I tied the flower spikes of one of the sunflowers up so they weren't flopping so much in the wind.  I found the planter of lavender and marigold on the ground yesterday because the vibrations of the wind nudged it off its supports.  Nothing spilled, thank goodness.  I also had to spend some time trying to get some tomato vines back under some kind of control.  The last week of high temps kept me inside more than I like but the last thing I need is heat stroke.  I have to prune those vines some but I will do that in stages.  The weather last night had an interesting factoid: the last 11 days have been bone try in this south tip of Lake Michigan area taking what had been a very wet July down into the below average category.  I wish I had ignored the weather people yesterday and watered outside.  The cucumbers and the squash look much worse for the rain that didn't come.

This has been a season for wildfires--though, honestly, wildfires don't have a season any more.  Tomdispatch has a post today on fires burning in an area they shouldn't:  the North American temperate rainforest.  Mom commented that she can't remember so many fires burning at the same time.  I remarked that we have been saying that each year for the last three or four.

A look into the future?  The water wars are intensifying in the western U.S.  They died down in the southeast when rains finally filled up the reservoirs feeding Atlanta but will erupt again when the next serious drought comes.  Think I am kidding?  I found this a little while after I typed that previous bit.

I have two of this guy's books.  I would love to do more with them but current circumstances don't make that feasible.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I have been "missing in action" for the last few days partly because of shear laziness and partly from lack of interest.  I can attribute the laziness to the heat--summer has finally arrived--which simply saps mental and physical energy.  I have roused myself early in the mornings to water everything in the gardens and every so often to hunt down Japanese beetles to drown.  I have another month of their "chowing down" season to get through and the more of them I kill now the fewer survivors to lay eggs.  I don't expect or even try to kill every one.  We should have cooler weather today but it rained during the night so I will wait until later to spot water what ever needs it.  But another round of rain should come in for the mid-morning hours.  We'll see.

As to as lack of interest--

Ten years ago during the week I watched the local morning news (2 hours), Good Morning America (1 hour), a mix of channels (Scifi, History, CNBC, etc.) during the day depending on what was on, Jeopardy (half hour), local evening news (from 4 to 5:30), national evening news (5:30-6), and finish up with another mix of programs depending on what was on (PBS, History, Scifi, Al Jazeera, etc.)  But over the years the kinds of programming changed (Scifi and History added more and more "reality" shows which didn't interest us), shows we liked developed in ways which left us utterly uninterested (Lost lost us in the middle of the third season) or ended their run which wasn't necessarily a bad thing (Battlestar Galactica and Eureka told their stories and ended before they became boring rehashes.)  The news has become repetitive and uninformative presented with maximum drama and no real content.  All of that was broken up by repetitive and often annoying ads.

I used to be a "news junkie" but lately there isn't anything really new.  Even "new" developments on an old story are rarely new.  We turned off the morning news after the weather report--the only interesting segment for us.  We have turned off the evening news early because they had nothing new.  For the most part the stories simply drift out of the media's ken without explanation or resolution.  Greece, as an example, has disappeared because the situation has gone from a roaring boil of crisis to a simmer on the back burner.  But the contentious issues haven't been resolved and very little of those issues have been explained.  Or how about this story, totally absent from our media, which reveals the deep fissures in the European (Dis)Union?

On the political front--can anyone really tell me that they find the clowns vying for a Presidential election over a year away terribly interesting?  The news reports of the "contest" leave me angry, frustrated, and very, very bored.  I follow politics mainly to keep a tab on what the bastards (of both parties) are proposing to make my life harder.  As far as commenting--what can I say beyond what I have said repeatedly and often with more profanity.  I get tired of swearing and I have ceased to be amazed by the abysmal level of stupidity.

I like Nimue Brown's blog and today's entry is a good one.  Whether a system, such as capitalism, works one has to define terms.  What do we mean by "work?"  If we chose to define "work" as providing unprecedented amounts of material goods to a wide (though now narrowing) group of people or unprecedented wealth (often ephemeral and to an even narrower group of people) or providing unprecedented profits (same caveats as above), then capitalism "works."  However, if we choose other metrics, as Nimue Brown does, then it doesn't work at all.  And today's capitalism doesn't work like the capitalism described by that patron saint of capitalism, John Lock.

I do love the Contrary Farmer.  I can sympathize with control freak gardeners having been one once.  But no garden has turned out in the fall as I planned it in the spring.  Sometimes things work; sometimes they don't.  All you can do is step back and punt.  Like Logsdon age cured me (to a large extent but not completely) of being a control freak.  I just thank the gods of nature for what I get.

So California farmers are beginning to switch to less water demanding drops.  About time.  I don't mean that pejoratively.  I recognize the reluctance to cut one's losses and shift over to something else after a large investment of time and money--even if the project isn't working well.  And until the last few years the project--growing thirsty crops in a desert--paid off handsomely (for some at least.)  Given that the projections of climatologists calls for at least five years of above normal rainfall to recharge the ground water in California, shifting to less water intensive crops is a good idea.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


A bit of a change of pace.  Here is an interesting piece from the Wild Hunt concerning time.  It drew me in from the first vignette with the old man whose time had not commercial value and a relative who constantly criticized him for wasting money on cable.  The story resonated because for years my own time has really had little commercial value.  When I had jobs my time in those jobs wasn't worth enough to sustain me.  My time when I was unemployed only had potential value--as in if the time I "spent" searching for a job succeeded and I had the potential for a money income however small that income might be.  Now that I am retired I find that my time is far more valuable to me than it would b to any potential employer.  I spend it in reading, needlework, gardening, and writing--and I find that a far more satisfying way to "occupy" myself.

The garden is producing more.  I collected a double handful of cherry tomatoes which I added to the bowl we have on the counter.  Next shopping day we plan to pick up some romas and will combine with the ripe ones we have grown to make another batch of tomato sauce for the freezer.  The last batch yielded six one-pound freezer bags.  I also collected a nice basket of Gold Marie beans which are now in the freezer also.  I saw a little pod developing on the runner vine--finally!!  And the Blauhild looks like it is ready to bloom.  My Moldavian balm has also bloomed and the bees are happily working on it.  The nearby bee balm is ready to burst into blossom.  Should be any day now.  Yesterday I stopped short before I was going to open the patio door because I happened to spy a beautiful male goldfinch perched on top of a Candy Mountain sunflower vigorously attacking the seeds.  He stayed there for a good ten minutes.  I won't cut the spent sunflowers any more so the birds can enjoy them--and we can enjoy the birds.

To continue the theme of "time" with reference to "The American Dream" consider this piece from Peter Rollins posted at Pathos.  As usual with such posts questions rise in my mind that circle down to definitions.  Specifically definitions of what the American Dream is about and for whom.  And what do we really mean by "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness?"  I won't try to answer those question because my answers might make some people, especially those so invested in hawking consumer products they promise to make us happy, cringe.  And looking back I realize that what makes me happy, what I want out of my life now, and what I want to do with my "liberty" isn't the same as it was ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years ago.  It may not be what I will want ten years from now--or twenty, if I make it that far.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


We did our grocery shopping yesterday which included a visit to the farm market.  Our own tomatoes are beginning to come in and we have more than we can eat so we picked up some romas to make sauce.  All I did in the garden was water plants and drown some beetles.  Today I have beans to harvest and the trimming I put off yesterday.  Was very nicely surprised to meet a neighbor from down the street who came by to see if I could use a few small pots.  His family is moving to Georgia and thought we might like them considering the plants we have.  I noticed several herbs I can take a new cutting from in the next few days.  I looked for some small plants to put in bare spot where the mizuna used to be but didn't find anything interesting.  I think I will take cuttings of the ornamental sweet potatoes to root and put that in.

For some weeks after we got our new-to-us car we kept getting messages on the dash read-out encouraging us to sign up for Onstar and Pandora.  We ignored them.  We are thoroughly turned off by the whole "internet of things" concept.  I agree with the comment Yves Smith (Naked Capitalism) put on the link to this story:  my car will be as old and dumb as I can find.  As will be my phone.

I saw a brief blurb on the morning news on this story.  The rest of the story is a real testament to our (in)justice system.  After all of the news media hullabaloo, the Feds get an "obstruction of justice" conviction that is overturned on appeal.  The whole doping "scandal" got lost in the process.

Caught between high water and none.

I like this notion.  I have read a couple of blogs whose writers have tried versions of it.  I ought to Google indoor gardening again.  Just for the hell of it.


Puttering and maintenance in the gardens today.  I need a new boiling water canner.  My old one sprang a leak so it will become a garden planter.  It is large enough to replace one of the large pots I lost to the winter.  I think I will spend part of today browsing around for a new canner.

An excellent critique of American Christianity.  I have known for a long time that American Christians have cut the cloth of their faith to suit their own purposes and spirit.  And neither is pretty.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


It is supposed to be much cooler today.  We had waves of monsoonal rain last night with lots of lightening and thunder.  At one point the streets on either side of the house had been turned into fast running rivers.  I will check everything in the gardens after the sun comes up.

Garden update:  I took a walk out and promptly drowned about two dozen Japanese beetles.  It looks like they are trying to mount a new offensive.  It is cloudy and muggy so I think I will defer any real work outside till tomorrow when it should be dry and cooler yet.  Making a to-do list.


Been busy in the gardens this morning.  Spread some fertilizer--especially in the cucumber and tomato beds.  Watered the sunflowers and found beans growing on the Gold Marie vines.  Nothing yet on the Sunset runner beans.  Drowned another score of Japanese beetles.  Then I tackled the tomato vines which are going into their jungle phase.  The monsoonal rains and heat have kept me out of the patio for a bit.  I found three Cupcake squash growing to a nice size.  The Moldavian balm has flowers now and I think the bee balm lemon is close behind.  I think I told you all that the hyssop is throwing up its flower spikes and my foxglove is blooming again on secondary spikes.


Planning to tackle the tomatoes again today.  I got the most important ones done yesterday--the ones that were interfering with the gate.  Now I need to get others done.  I trim them so I can more easily see what is developing.  It should be cool and sunny today which will be very nice.  I turned off the air as I usually do when the outside temps drop below 85F.  I spent some time watering all of the beds in the evening and talking to a neighbor who is just starting gardening on his patio patch.  Most of his plants were started late so they aren't as far along as mine.  Since his fence encloses a small patch of bare earth he didn't think about doing containers.

Does anyone feel that somehow, socially and politically, we have gone off the rails?  Who would have thunk it--The Donald leading the Republican polls and retired General Wesley Clark advocating internal concentration camps for Americans who might become radicalized.  But wonder if Clark's sickening suggestion is any worse that the conditions outlined in this Alternet report on employers use of technology to create other kinds of concentration camps for their employees--for the sake of "efficiency" and "team building" and what ever innocuous sounding good they can think of.

Gaius Publius has a long but very interesting article on the factors contributing to the drought in the West.  Many years ago I knew a history professor who studied water law in the west who said that the allocations of water from the Colorado River had been made on the basis of faulty data.  Exactly what Gaius said--they apportioned the water based on the 30 wettest years in the history of the river basin. They knew that in the 1970s and did nothing to change it.

So Kerry is "disturbed."  Why?  Did he think that simply signing the nuclear agreement with Iran would suddenly make them love us?  I can't imagine him being so naive but then so much of American foreign policy (as if a pinball bouncing around has a policy) seems to fit that description.

Another attempt to raid the Social Security "piggy bank."

Saturday, July 18, 2015


We expect more temps in the 90s today with steam bath humidity.  I plan to check everything outside early and I may water everything even though we got what looked like a good bit of rain last night.  I see tomatoes ready to pick.

Garden update:  only lasted about an hour outside before the heat built up to the point I had to quit.  I watered the sunflowers which are the most likely to dry out in spite of the rain we had.  Everything else looks good right now.  Cleared out a lot of the fading lower leaves of on the dragon's egg cucumbers and collected three nice ones we will have later today.  I hope that will open things enough for the peppers planted in the same container can do better.  I pulled the mizuna which was sprawling all over.  I like to leave plants I haven't grown before alone to see how they grow and in what kind of space they do well.  Next year the mizuna will go in its own large pot--as will the mustard.  The shishito pepper I planted behind the mizuna may also do better now.  It does have some nice peppers developing on it.  I also cut as many powdery mildew infested leaves on the bee balm as I could find.  I hope that will stem the spread.  Tomorrow I will spray the affected plants well to curtail it even more.  My basils and chocolate mint are recovering nicely from the attack of the Japanese beetles now that the numbers of beetles have dropped.  A week ago I was drowning thirty or so a day going out several times to hunt them.  For the last few days I have only found one or two.  Right now I am bushed.

Friday, July 17, 2015


Yesterday I did get quite a bit of work in the gardens done before the showers came.  I will grind the dried herbs later today.  Took out two tomato plants which simply didn't thrive after collecting all of the fruit on them.  I put them all together in a covered bowl.  We ate the ripe ones with our salad and will eat the green ones as they ripen.  I think they didn't have enough root room.  Even the small varieties need a lot of root space.  I also found a handful of peas that are now in our freezer.  I got a lot of trimming done and sprayed the squash and bee balm for powdery mildew.  All that rain that has done so little for my plants has done wonders for the mildew.  More errands planned for today.  It has been a week for them and that has really cut down my gardening and reading time.

I love this story from the UK.  The comment about cities/towns treating parking fees as a cash cow is right on.  That is one reason why we don't go some places we used to go.  They have jacked up the parking and entrance fees to the point where the trip is way too expensive.

Anybody else think this is strange?  Athens' police arrested 14 people during the violent demonstrations but 12 were arrested for painting graffiti in the metro station, 2 for assaulting police officers and ALL were foreigners.

For an interesting take on our farcical political circus take a read of Lamebert Strether's late at Naked Capitalism.  I had to look up the term "kayfabe" because I never heard it before.  It fits.

This illustrates exactly why I don't trust anything in the (s)news media.  Even with stories closer to home the reportage is sloppy, muddled, rushed, inaccurate, presented for maximum dramatic effect which often presents a picture totally at odds with the story itself, and biased.

Gaius Publius posted on Naked Capitalism a long but interesting article titled "The Augean Stables--How Corruption Has Amended the Constitution."  Read it and weep.

I think this comes under the heading "Squeezing Blood From A Stone."

I can't add anything to Huffington Post's piece on The Donald's "campaign" and their coverage of it.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Another reason why I am against "privatization" of certain public services and against so-called public-private partnerships.  Those basically make governments and private companies allies against citizens.

This story has us scratching our heads in perplexed amazement.  It isn't the number of pending requests for medical aid from the Va who are actually deceased that has us bemused.  But that the VA can't remove the names of the dead from the list--that is mind boggling.  Who screwed up their computer programming?  And why can't they get it fixed?


We did our grocery shopping but little else yesterday.  It got hot and muggy very quickly and then cooled off drastically.  I watered everything when it cooled off in the afternoon but the sunflowers got an extra dose.  They dry out so quickly.  In spite of all the rain we got with that last system which has left some areas under flood water, it didn't do much good for the plants.  We have some more errands today but with the cooler temps I should be able to putter about with the plants a bit.


Puttering was all I did yesterday.  The errands took much more time than I had anticipated so I didn't do much.  If the weather cooperates I should be able to get something done today.

Mark Morford is on a good roll today.  I read the article he links to a few days ago and still hadn't processed it totally.  Morford's sarcasm helped.

I noticed the news stories about enraged parents protesting "swearing" minions in McDonalds' Happy Meals.  Really???  Someone can actually make sense of the nonsense sounds the characters make??  I know I couldn't the few times I have seen promos for the newest minion movie.  Then the second thing I read this morning is this piece on the Daily Sheeple about the poor embarrassed dad whose daughters asked him about the Princess Leia in slave costume.  Man up, you idiot, and learn how to deal with aspects of the popular culture you don't like without whining to the rest of us that we need another law.

Garden update: ten trays of peppermint and one of lavender drying.  After a break I need to transplant a sweet basil and a pineapple mint.

This article from the Guardian makes some valid points but at bottom I think the message is that there is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution the the problem of ensuring everyone has enough to eat.  We need a variety of strategies to address such problems.  The school gardens can be fantastic learning venues that teach science (botany, chemistry, genetics to name just a few), math (how many square feed of space does each kind of plant need, how much water, how much of what kind of fertilizer), and engineering (how does a hydroponics system work, how does one build a vertical growing space) as well as nutrition and providing children with needed exercise.  Supplying millions with adequate food is indeed a big problem but sometimes going bigger isn't the solution and creates more waste that useable goods.  Going smaller millions of times might create more good for everyone.  Of course, if everyone grows a large part of their own food I can think of several big corporations that would take a big hit on their bottom line.

Monday, July 13, 2015


What I am reading today--

My now-deceased ex-husband used to complained when I talked to myself.  I used to tell him that "I talk to the smartest person present."  Eventually he learned to shut the hell up--but he was a slow learner.  This article confirms my perception.  People who talk to themselves are smart.

This sounds like a really good use for unused underground spaces.


Expecting thunderstorms today with parts of the area under flood watch.  I did some more trimming on the standard tomatoes and clipped some of the damaged leaves on sunflowers yesterday.  Also sprayed for those Japanese beetles but it looks like the numbers are dropping off.  I certainly hope so since they have already damaged all of my basils.  I think some birds have found my sunflowers because I have found a few flowers with bare spots where the immature seeds have disappeared.  What I do outside and how much depends on when all that rain and wind come through.

Weather update--The rain and wind have come through--first wave.  We expect a second later in the afternoon.  The wind had my sunflowers dancing.  I put in tall stakes and tied them securely so I don't think they will be damaged seriously.  The rain came in a hard deluge.  Needless to say not work in the gardens today.

This is so cute!!

And this one is right on the money!!

Another weather update--we now have sun coming out.  That should push our temperatures up and fuel the possible thunderstorms due later today.  Weather is so changeable lately.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Lovely day yesterday.  Should be another one today.  I got some trimming done and attacked the sudden rise in the Japanese beetle population.  I caught and drowned about 30 of the little pests and missed I don't know how many others.  I have another recipe for a deterrent I will try today.  Next year I have a row cover with support hoops to try out but I bought them too late to put in this year.  I will have to get a new basil plant (or two) and keep it inside if I want any basil when we start canning tomatoes.  I collected another small handful of pea pods which we ate with our supper last night along with the pods I harvested earlier.  The little Tom Thumb plants are producing well for their size.  I found some small Costoluto tomatoes forming and we ate the first two Microtom tomatoes that ripened a couple of days ago.

I saw this yesterday but don't remember if I linked to the story.  I have often wondered how some authors (not necessarily righties) got on the "best seller" list.  I suspected something like what is described in the article.  No one I knew was reading the books and almost everyone I know are avid readers.  I wasn't reading them either.  And, for the record, I haven't read Obama's and Clinton's books either.  My lack of interest transcends the left-right divide.

I am always amazed by how effective a bit of bad (or potentially bad) publicity can be in getting something done right.

So Tom Selleck basically received stolen goods.  I wondered when I first read the story if that might be the case.  If you buy a stolen TV does that somehow absolve you if the owner comes looking for it?  Just because you didn't steal whatever yourself doesn't make you innocent.

Friday, July 10, 2015


Supposed to be near 80F today and sunny.  Good day to do some work outside.  The herbs really liked the cool and wet weather.  The Candy Mountain sunflower has started to bloom and it has some really pretty color.  More bees are showing up and they really do like the sunflowers and basil.  They may have found the lavender but I didn't see any on it when I stepped outside.  We got to sample the first two tomatoes from the Microtom.  More are ripening while the larger tomatoes are blooming well.  The peas have bloomed again and I saw some pods I should pick.  Mom suggested snow peas for next year.  I will look at those when I make up my winter seed order.

This study confirms what I have seen here--far fewer bees, including the bumblebees.

Nimue Brown says here what we have said often over the last few years.  We do have a few "frivolous" expenditures but they don't dominate our budget.  Mom has bought two cars in the time we have lived here--both used and both for cash.  She has one credit card for convenience and the balance is paid each month.  I have none.  We use things until they irreparably break and are unusable.

I think I have said before that I really like Pope Francis--not enough to seriously consider converting because he hasn't (and perhaps can't) change some of the doctrine I find problematic.  The statements reported here however are right on point and long overdue.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Still cool and wet.  The weather people keep promising warmer temperatures and sun but someone else is laughing at them.

This is interesting.  The rationale most often used to justify co-pays in health care insurance systems is they ensure the patient has "skin in the game."  If patients bear at least some of the costs of drugs or treatments they are more likely to make more "informed" choices.  However, "informed" here means simply making the least costly choice not necessarily the most effective choice.  And those choices can be dangerous both for the patient and for society.

Another idea that sounded good but which was carried far beyond common sense.  I have seen all too many accounts of police seizing peoples money and property without ever charging much less convicting them--of anything.  Such asset "forfeitures" have become a major income stream for various police departments and an encouragement for thievery under a very thin cover of corrupted law.

I noticed Jeb! thinks it would be a good idea if Americans worked longer hours.  Echidne of the Snakes asks a good question:  work longer for whom?  The fastest growing category of jobs are minimum wage jobs which don't provide a good living for those who have two or even three of them.  As noted at the link, productivity growth over the last couple of decades hasn't yielded wage growth.  The benefits have mostly accrued to the top of the economic pyramid.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I will take a day off today in the gardens.  We have rain coming through so I don't need to water this morning.  I will check later after the rain moves out.  I got quite a bit of trimming done and got some of the wayward branching tied up.  I found some flowers on the Gold Marie bean vines and the Sunset runner beans.  Saw another bumblebee on the sunflowers--YEAH!!!


Today continues as yesterday ended--unseasonably cool.  We had rain also.  Nothing planned for outside today.

The idiot decided to light off some kind of fireworks from his head.  Now his mom wants "stricter" regulations.  You can't legislate against stupid.  I don't know how drunk he was but that is just more stupidity on his part.  Sorry for your pain, Mom, but your son was stupid, drunk and irresponsible.  His bad!!

Monday, July 6, 2015


Nicely summer-like yesterday and supposed to be warmer today.  I had some unexpected gardening to do yesterday.  I think someone came in the patio Friday night because two of the small tomatoes were toppled over and the mizuna was crushed down.  It looked like someone bumbled into the tomatoes and searched for something in the mizuna bed.  Irritating because I lost one of the two trying to repair the damage.  I will continue getting things cleaned up in the little greenhouse.

Just put lavender, bee balm, and strawberry in the dehydrator.  Nothing else to harvest just yet.  Saw one single little tomato turning red.

A story to reinforce any skepticism I have (and I have a lot of skepticism) concerning our use of nuclear power.  The author writes about problems with a remote storage facility containing highly radioactive waste from nuclear bomb testing in the Pacific but think a moment about the highly radioactive waste stored at the various nuclear power plants.  And then think about the pretty much worthless promises that we can construct storage facilities that will keep it securely isolated for longer than humans have walked the earth as humans.


We should have another sunny and summery day today with increasing clouds and, possible, thunderstorms coming tonight.  I will continue getting things cleaned up and straightened out in the gardens.

I love the title on this FDL article.  I was skeptical of the whole (s)news "terrorists are coming to ruin your holiday" theme that permeated the airwaves.  Didn't you just love the pictures of the heavily armed and armored police patrolling the streets of New York?  Maybe CNN (and the rest of the idiots in that industry) will get bored, or maybe the audience will simply yawn and move on.

Did anyone not see this coming when the Texas jackasses (starting with their under-investigation Attorney General) began braying that clerks, judges, and justices-of-the-peace should rely on their "religious convictions" to refuse to issue marriage licenses?

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Happy Fourth everyone.  Truth is I am already sick of the patriotic music attached to exhortations to buy whatever and patriotic sentiments issuing without thought or sincerity from every talking head on TV.  Just as bad as the rote expressions of "gratitude" to those in the military.  People have been lighting off fireworks for the last three days and, I expect, will continue to do so for the next week.  At least that is a shorter time than when the economy was more robust.

Nothing much planned except to hunt down and drown some more Japanese beetles and spray the plants they seem to like.  Expecting warm temps so I will water everything early.

I like Neil deGrasse Tyson.  I also agree with the point Katherine Hayhoe makes:  science can tell us what is happening, and how and why it is happening but how we respond comes out of our values which isn't the province of science.  There is no reason why a religious leader, any religious leader, can't have an opinion on value judgements.  Or any political leader.  Or any businessman.  Or any ordinary person anywhere.

If they feel they have to deny something, it is a pretty good bet that something is coming down the road.  The precedent was set in Cyprus and most advanced countries have enacted legislation that encourages this kind of looting.

Friday, July 3, 2015


Drowned my first 8 or so Japanese beetles.  I have a couple of formulas for homemade repellants and plan to mix one up to try out.  If that don't work I will try the other later.  I also want to look at some companion plants they don't like to encourage them to go elsewhere.  Time to get the little greenhouse and the shed cleaned up and straightened up now that the spring planting is done.  I have sage, peppermint and spearmint on my harvest to-do-list.  Perhaps some more trimming especially on the tomatoes so I can see what is happening with them.  I changed out the door wreaths hoping that the summer wreath would convince spring to move on and let summer in.  We are going to have more normal temps over the next couple of days.

I like much of Nimue Brown's writing.  Here she makes a lot of sense on what modern life is doing to us--and it isn't good.  I can remember when I did much of what she describes:  driving through dangerous weather to get to a job that really didn't pay be enough to risk life and limb, skimping on sleep and rest to work/study 18 to 20 hours a day until my body and/or mind simply shut down, eating whatever was handy that I didn't have to fix because I didn't have time.

For the last five months the Troika insisted that the Greeks pay up and ignored the Greek pleas to restructure their debt.  Now it appears that the IMF has been sitting on an in-house generated report which says what the Greeks have been saying all along:  further bailouts without restructuring would be worse than useless.  I hope the Syriza government plays it up and the Greek electorate vote no on their referendum.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Errands today: farm market, grocery shopping, and a trip to the garden shop.  The rain should be moving out and things drying out.  Only puttering in the garden--tidying up and such.  I am hoping to find some herbs to put up on the fence in place of the tomatoes I had to take off because of the winds.


Very cool and cloudy right now.  I will wait for a bit before I do anything outside.  I have a new herb--feverfew.  I know exactly where it will go in the gardens.  I also have some herbs I want to put in pots for the fence.  For all the rain we got Monday I had to water some of the plants yesterday.  Herb harvesting on the agenda also--sage, peppermint and lemon basil.


Cool again.  I just remembered I should take down the spring wreath on the door and replace it with the summer wreath.  We are still wondering what happened to summer.  It is July after all and the morning temps today and yesterday are in the mid 50s.  I don't think we got out of the 60s yesterday.  I took out the last stand of mustard yesterday and planted the feverfew in its place.  Also transplanted the St. John's wort, one of the rosemary plants, lime basil, and oregano into pots that fit in the fence hangers.  We'll see how they do.  With that I decided to postpone the herb harvesting to today along with some trimming and clean up.

I don't often read conservative posts but this one at the American Conservative is well worth reading. The author makes two points I have noticed almost from the beginning:  terror is a tactic anyone can use and applying it obscures who the real target of our so-called Global War on Terror is, and the definition of what constitutes terror is incredibly slippery and can be trimmed (or expanded) to suit the needs of who ever is applying the label.