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Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Wintery Blasts of December

Winter has arrived, and I, having finished my fall work just in the nick of time!  Friday and Saturday found me ladder-bound, in Ritzy Land, Ohio, cleaning falls leavings from gutters up high.  My sidekick, a seventy-ish fellow of great value to me, helped round up a gaggle of customers on his street, all in need of my services.  What, pray tell, are my services, you ask?  The answer could almost be "Yes".  You see, I am a self-employed, self-governing, autocratic, entrepreneurial, jack-of-all-trades, and I clean gutters.  Okay, to be fair, I've never tried heart surgery, brain surgery, civil engineering, and a host of other potential occupations, and that would be a scary prospect.  But I can drive a fair nail, buck my share of firewood, form, place and finish my fair share of concrete, skin out a deer, raise rabbits, chickens, and more.  I've been known to drive a mean skid-steer, and I'm a passable writer, I hope.  I have a penchant for poetry, believe it or not.  This you could see by visiting my other blog, The Dark Isle Gazette, at, and digging around in there.

But enough of me talking about me, what do you think about me?  No, just kidding.

A friend of mine called yesterday to say that his kid and friend had finally bagged a deer.  That was welcome news.  I'm not sure whether he was calling to actually tell me that, or whether that was just an excuse to call me.  We've had a slight falling out, or perhaps a lapse in confidence on my part, rather.  Some personality types tend to run me over, and trample me into the dust, and I just let them.  I don't know why, but eventually I tend to leave those well-intentioned individuals to their own devices, usually at least for awhile.  This particular individual seems to be incapable of looking beneath the surface of his friends' veneer, unable to plumb the depths of my soul, and find that there is more to this friend of his than meets the eye.  I guess it's just one of those lessons that my friend has to learn the hard way.  Mounted on the post of his front porch is a flag that reads, "Don't Tread On Me".  That is the lesson my friend needs to learn about dealing with HIS friends.  Quiet, quirky, and non-confrontational doesn't equal stupid.  I love the guy like my brother, and feel that we have a shared destiny in the Lord, but I can't follow him.  The lamb must lead the lion.  The foolish in the eyes of man, is the wise in the eyes of the Lord.

That scenario has transpired multiple times throughout my life.  I get shoved into a situation that I look unqualified for, God moves his hand, and the proud get humbled, the humble get lifted up.  Sometimes that's me.

Which one are you?

I read an interesting article the other day, that made me stop and think.  It speaks of the times we're in, where we're going, and what we have left.  Check it out here:

Any thoughts of this sort need to be, if not taken with a grain of salt, then scrutinized with a microscope prior to being considered as legitimate.  So, having said that, I am NOT endorsing any of this as authoritative, but merely food for thought.  If nothing else, it is meant to make christians stop and think, and to make pre-christians pause as well.

That's all the energy I have for this post.  Sleep well, in peace.  May God richly bless you.



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Slatts Paracord Belt

Here is a super cool, super handy belt that could potentially save your life some day.  It's easy to make, and only requires the 550 paracord, and time.  If you have hands that work, you can make this.

Having one of these wrapped around your waist means always having a strong, light rope that is around 120 feet in length.  That is a serious length of rope.  This could come in handy when you really need it.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We are living in a world that is becoming, much to the dismay of many, united.  Is that a good thing?  Is that a bad thing?  Is there one answer?

Looking at things from the viewpoint of so many in society today, the answer to the first question would be a resounding YES!  Yes, a single government, caring for the world is desirable, under this view.  Yes, eliminating multitudes of governments SHOULD bring an end to wars, famines, poverty, malnutrition, the have-nots, under this view.

But, and that's a BIG but, as opposed to a big butt, it may prove true that having one view or another won't make any difference in the end.  To a rather large portion of the world's population, the endgame is set, the results are set, the script of events has already been written, perhaps not every last word, or letter, but mostly.  In that case, will it be a bad thing, or a good thing?  Yes.

The final results and the progressive condition of the heart/soul of some will be very good, indeed.  The getting there, could, or better, will be hard.  The passage or voyage will be more rough, more painful, more terrifying than ANYTHING ever experienced by humanity in all of history - if this point of view is the correct one.

I prescribe to the latter view, as anyone who knows me will attest.  I am a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth, who I believe IS the God of Israel, the Messiah.  I believe that he was born of Mary, who at the time was a virgin, that he grew up in several different places, though mostly in Nazareth, that at the age of approximately thirty, he went public-ish, leading a rough band of fishermen, tax collectors, harlots, knuckleheads, and assorted others, and turned them into the most amazing army of kindness that has ever graced the planet Earth.  Then he was executed, buried, and three days later rose from the dead.  All this to provide a means of redemption and union with the Father, Jehovah, Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  All these things were foretold over the course of prior human history by Jewish prophets, everything.

So, I also believe that he is very shortly returning, but that we are going to go through the fire prior to his return, a purifying fire of persecution and hardship.

Recently, I've been reading and hearing of the swift loss of American sovereignty, both nationally and personally.  It bothers me.  As a citizen of the United States of America, I have a deep love for my country, and a great admiration for our constitution, which I believe was handed down by God to our forefathers, a miracle.  I also understand that our nation has sinned and is sinning, greatly, hugely, grossly, and that there are always consequences to that sort of thing.  Nationally, I believe that we are getting what we have paid for, in the blood of our unborn children who have been sacrificed on the altar of Molech, the abomination.  We have been killing our kids by the millions for the sake of convenience.  We have also usurped the position of God by deciding how many children we are going to have, I believe.  Birth control is thought to be a woman's "right", one of our unalienable rights that the founders spoke of.  I am firmly convinced that if ANY of the founders knew what we have now taken to be unalienable rights that they would do their utmost to topple the standing government.

Sovereignty, that elusive mindset.  So many want it, but so many always try to take it away.  I personally know someone who declared themselves to be a Sovereign Citizen and were then dragged through the mud, embroiled in legal battles that they certainly could not win, against the US government.

It seems to have now come down to the question of sovereignty in this country.  Are we still a government of the people, for the people, and by the people?  Or is our government now something else?  We have been the envy of the world for a good while now, but the times, they are a'changin, as Bob Dillon once said.  He hadn't seen nothin' at that point in his life.  Things are much different now, and NOT for the better.

What are your thoughts?



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bunny Factory: Revisited...

So recently, we had a doe, rabbit that is, that gave birth, last Friday or so, and didn't do enough to keep her bunnies alive.  I am not sure what the deal is.  Perhaps the girl doesn't know enough about how to handle them?  It is her second or third litter, and all of them have died.  I am going to give her two weeks to recuperate, then breed her again.  Hopefully she'll snap out of it.

Right now, we have five bunnies, via the sister of the one above.  The bunnies are growing like mad, and at five weeks old, are about half the size of the mother.  They should reach marketable size at eight to ten weeks.

I have yet to check them to determine which are does, and which are bucks.  I will do that this week, time allowing.  The does will be kept, the bucks... not so much.

I am still debating what to do with the other two bucks that are siblings of my two does.  It almost seems like I should pop them, and pick up another buck or two, who are unrelated to any of my present ones???  That would ensure a good mix of genetics in the herd.  We'll see.

It is estimated that a herd with 15 does and 3 bucks can produce 540 offspring in a years time.  That is an amazing amount of bunnies!  If you have an average weight of 5 pounds per individual that is 2000 pounds of meat!  Astounding, and all in a super-small living space.  So, with 100 does, you could produce 3600 bunnies in a year, more or less, assuming that each doe produces at least six bunnies per litter, four times per year.  Some breeders actually breed their does a lot more often than four times per year, but the danger is that they will wear them out prematurely.

Since we're just getting started, all these things are yet to be seen.  It's really pretty interesting.  There is real potential profit in this gambit.  I think I mentioned earlier that two friends of mine, chefs, said that non-organically raised rabbits go for $40 each, while certified organic rabbits go for $60 each!  So, on the low side, at $40 each, our 2 does are worth approximately $2,880!  Pretty good for a couple of rabbits, eh?

Of course, we are going to keep the female bunnies, and use them for breeding stock, till we don't have room for more.  In six months, they will be ready to breed, and things will really get underway.



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The "New" Wood-burning Cookstove

While on my recent weeklong trip to the wilds of one of the Great Lakes States, one of my brothers, to whom I'm in debt for this blog post, showed me a stove that he has been experimenting with.

The stove consists of a paint can which is perforated in three places near the bottom of the can, equidistant from each other.  Into these holes are inserted a section of copper tubing, all of equal length and diameter.  These should fit snuggly into the holes, but not so snuggly that they can't be made to travel in or out as needed during the operation of the stove.

To operate the stove, of course one would need a fuel source to burn.  Our fuel source of choice in this instance is wood shavings, or sawdust.  Before filling the can with the fuel, we will need one cardboard tube from inside a roll of paper towels.  Alternatively, one could use two or more tubes from rolls of toilet paper.  This tube is inserted/dropped into the can vertically, till it rests on the bottom of the can in the very center of the can.  Next, start filling the can with sawdust/wood chips, layer by layer.  When the can is half full (this translates as half empty for those of you who are pessimists), pack it down with your hand.  Then continue filling it up till it is two-thirds full, and pack it down again.  Continue like this until it is full, or even over full, then pack it down.

We are ready for the test.

To use the stove, carefully remove the tube, making sure that none of, or very little of, the sawdust/wood chips falls down the "chimney".  Light some paper, or other tinder, and insert it to the bottom.  By moving the tubes outward you increase the draft.  Pushing them in farther restricts the draft, or "chokes" the flame, thus regulating the size of the flame and the heat output.

I hope to post a video and some photos to compliment this post in the next day or two.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Suburban Farming

Earlier, we wrote about our farming enterprises for the 2010 growing season, specifically the raising of rabbits.  Our rabbit herd consisted at that time of 5 rabbits, purchased in June 2010, or so, from a farm family in SW Ohio.  We had originally purchased 6 rabbits, siblings, supposedly 4 females and 2 males, but it turns out that what we actually got was exactly the opposite, 4 males and 2 females, plus the potential genetic problems of mating siblings together.  My solution to that problem was to eliminate 2 males, and purchase another, unrelated male.  Our herd was at another location, about 5 miles away, which proved to be problematic.  We were unable to observe the rabbits during the day, so we were unaware of whatever was happening at the remote location.  We were completely unsuccessful in the reproduction department over the entire course of the summer.  The host, who is not used to the idea of using rabbits as food, proved hostile to the idea, so the decision to move them was made.  The results are that our herd has now doubled, and actually would have tripled, but for the fact that I was unaware of the projected birthdate of an earlier litter, they succumbed to hypothermia, as I hadn't yet provided the mother with a nest box.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I placed a temporary, plastic box in the cage, but "too little, too late".

So, my friend and I designed and built the following cage system:

The only caveat to I would make regarding our design is that the doors should be MUCH bigger.  Doors of this size make it hard to work inside the cage, and hard to get ahold of the rabbits if you need to move them, or breed them.  The next batch will have doors that are basically the size of one of the walls.

The breeds to get, for meat production, generally are Californian, or New Zealand rabbits, though there is a french breed, Champagne D'Argent, that is considered good as well, or mixes of any of these three. The reason for sticking with these breeds is that they produce more meat, with less food, and deliver a denser, meatier end product than any of the other multitudinous breeds of rabbit.  That's not to say that someone won't come up with a better breed in the future, I'm sure that WILL happen.  But for now...

It is possible to do reasonably well with rabbits while only providing them with pasturage, and not packaged, commercial feeds.  As long as they have freedom to graze on a wide variety of plant life, they will do alright.  I have, at present, not opted to go that route, but purchase commercial, pelletized rabbit feed.  I also supplement their feed rations with a very wide variety of fresh plants.  I give them apple branches, apples, carrots (both cultivated and the wild sorts, i.e. Queen Anne's Lace), tulip tree leaves, silver maple leaves, dock, mallow, strawberry leaves and vines, chickweed, dandelions, chicory, plantain, lemon balm, wild grape vines and leaves, and much more.  They love a treat of freshly fallen autumn leaves, eating them the way we eat potato chips. Just make sure that the leaves you feed them are not poisonous to rabbits.  So, expensive feed costs can certainly be lowered this way, and the raising of their most excellent meat made more palatable, financially speaking.

I have some chef friends who swear that rabbit meat is normally sold, to them, for prices that astound me.  I was told that a rabbit raised in the standard manner, meaning it was fed commercial, non-organically certified rabbit feed, goes for an average of $30/rabbit, and that if that animal was raised "organically", then the price jumps to $60/rabbit!  So, I see a substantial rabbit farm in our future.  That beats the sox off any other farm animal I am aware of, and that coupled with the fact that rabbits reproduce like, well, rabbits, pretty much makes it a go for me.

If one were to search for "organic rabbit raising procedures" on, chances are you would end up finding several videos of Joel Salatin, that famous farmer from Virginia who is rocking the agricultural boat of our nation at present.  Mr. Salatin shows us, in his YouTube videos, how he has created "rabbit tractors", that are mobile rabbit hutches that allow a large degree of freedom to the fuzzy little fellows, and allow the farmer to provide them with fresh green-age each day, all the while fertilizing the soil.  Mr. Salatin practices the same technique with chickens as well, with great success.

At any rate, it looks like raising rabbits is going to work out well for us, whatever direction we take from here on out.  Take a good look at raising rabbits, it could keep your family in food if things go really sour for us here in the USA, or elsewhere.



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fun On The Bunny Farm

Installment one of the The Bunny Farm:

Several months ago, I purchased 6 Californian rabbits, meat rabbits that is.  Supposedly, they amounted to two males and four females.  That did not, in the end, turn out to be factual, as it turns out, the truth was just the opposite.  So, two males became dinner fare, a French recipe from a very good cookbook called "The French Country Kitchen" by the illustrious chef, James Villas.  As it turns out, my family was NOT crazy about how that dish turned out, so it's back to the drawing board with the rabbit recipes.

The bunny ranch is growing.  We now have 5 little bunnies.  There was a sixth, but it didn't make it.  I found it when I looked in the nest box, all rotted and stinking.  Ooooh!  Somehow the momma didn't bother to take the little thing out of the nest box, but only move the other bunnies to the other side of the box.

We had another litter born earlier, via "Dutchess", the name that the girls gave to the other doe, but I was not prepared and hadn't built a nest box for her, so they perished, the poor little things.  I think she is now pregnant again, since the 11th of October.  That puts the next delivery at or near the 10th of November.  I will have another nest box built before then.

A Hispanic friend of mine said that his father kept a male and a female together all the time and they just cranked out the bunnies.  Something to consider.  Tomorrow, time permitting, I'll post photos of the rabbit-works.



Thursday, October 7, 2010

And All Fall Down...

I spoke to some kids today.   The topic of my oration was being part of the solution.  The response was lackluster at best.  What's gone wrong?  The kids I spoke with are exceptionally good kids, really!  But they are still SO self-focused, so concerned ONLY with themselves.  Not even their family's well being was all that important to them, it seemed.  

The above didn't actually happen, as such.  But, it did happen, many, many times now.  I did speak with someone today.  Well, actually it was yesterday, the time now being past midnight.  I spoke with MY kid!  I spent the better part of an hour talking to my kid about commitment to family, contributing to the wellbeing of the family, working toward family goals, going out of one's way to make the family a success, putting your back into it, etc.  Several times I asked the kid whether he/she was "ready" to actually DO the deeds necessary.  The response was a weak, "I think so..."  My kids are, as stated above, exceptional, and not just in MY eyes.  We get kudos continually from all directions, and have for years.  But...

How do we get our kids on board?  That is my question of the day, sort of the "Question du Jour".  Some say we just need to invite them into our adventure, and that will be good enough.  Hmm???  Others say we need to be a strong leader, and make them do the deeds.  Hmm???  I don't know.  Maybe I need some training?  Maybe I needed it a long time ago?  Probably.  Are there any companies out there that can help me with my dilemma?  Couldn't afford it if there were, probably.  I've seen the military work wonders with a few of my nephews, as well as my friend's sons.  Perhaps there's something there?  They say the military tears them down and then builds them back up.  I think perhaps that's true.  Maybe a stint in the service would do them good?  Maybe not...

Well, enough for now.  Fair thee well!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Life

This evening I ventured out, after peeking out the back, kitchen window, to close the garage door.  After closing the door, I realized that I had failed to complete my last task for the day, feeding the livestock.  I realized that only upon hearing a little squeak coming from the pens.  I knew the sound, though the sound was new.  Babies had been born today, September 28, 2010!  The problem was that they had snuck up on me, I was not prepared and had not prepared the pen for the new arrivals, no brood box had been introduced.  Consequently, 6 pink little babes were crawling around the pen quickly losing body heat.

I had to think fast, and come up with something quickly.  I scooped up the babies, one by one, and set them in the makeshift brood box I had provided the doe with.  I'm considering adding some straw to the mix, to help keep them warm, but am not sure whether the doe will accept the intervention.  We will know in the morning.

Rabbits.  Rabbits are the livestock.  A perfect choice for our suburban setting.  They make no noise, make no real mess ( or at least no mess that can't quickly and easily be cleaned up).  They breed and reproduce like mad.  Those are all very desirable characteristics in a livestock choice.

So our first babies have been born.  I'm excited!


Adios, United States of America!

The United States of America has, for it's entire history, been an independent, sovereign nation, beholden to no other.  As such, we have also, at least for the last 60 years or so, been the envy of the world.  It would seem that that envy has now conjured up a great need to conquer said nation.  Witness this latest piece that I found on the internet:


It is basically a capitulation to the rest of the world, Obama giving over our rights as an independent nation.  INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) now has COMPLETE diplomatic immunity, is housed in OUR Justice Department, and has jurisdiction over the Justice Department's personnel.  We are no longer free, that's the bottom line.  Our constitution has been overthrown.

INTERPOL now has complete freedom of search and seizure on OUR soil.  American citizens will now, or more probably, have already been, arrested and hauled off by a foreign entity while here in our United States.

The question is, what are WE going to do about it?


Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Politics of Living Life

In my last post, I wrote about my plan to begin mapping out the locations of edible, wild foods.  I have indeed begun working on my plan, albeit slowly.  So my suggestion to you, my faithful readers, is to follow my advise in this matter.  Perhaps, in the end, we could have a way to create a national database focused on just this subject?  Perhaps some savvy individual would be able and willing to work with me to create a google map with these locations on them, and we could slowly, but not too slowly, start filling in the map in our area, then the general region, then the country.

On the other topic which I introduced in my last blog entry, namely the seeding of the entire area with food-producing plants, whether trees or otherwise, I am working on that front as well.  If anyone has the ability to procure acorns from the species of white oak that is found in Idaho, which has low-tannin, edible acorns, please let me know, as I would like to introduce them in my area as well.  If they don't do well here, perhaps we could cross them with local species to produce a hybrid that WILL do well here, but still produces good nuts.  Oak trees produce huge quantities of high-quality nuts.  Unfortunately, they usually have to be processed extensively in order to remove the tannic acid which occurs in high concentrations to make them edible.  Red oaks normally have a much higher tannic acid content than their white cousins, rendering them somewhat useless, at least in my opinion.  Most white oak acorns ARE edible and useful, but it would be nice to have a variety that has little or no tannic acid content naturally, as it would save much time and effort in the preparation thereof.

Other nut trees native to our area are black walnut, which occur here in great numbers in certain areas, and white walnut, or butternut, which is somewhat more rare here, though they DO exist.  Beech trees are also fairly abundant, but I personally have never had great luck with finding a tree that produces large quantities of nuts with meat inside.  Most beechnuts I've found have turned out to be empty inside.  That bites!  There may be a cultivar of beech that consistently produces good nuts in large quantities.  I'll have to check that out.

I also need to check with our local cooperative extention agent to determine which apple, pear, peach, plum, cherry, and other rose-family fruit trees will work best for my area.  You do the same!

So, why did I opt for the title, "The Politics of Living Life"?  I feel that our country is undergoing a sort of squeeze at present, or an attempt to be subjugated by larger outside, and inside, forces.  I think that the idea of "food security" that is being espoused at present by a number of well intentioned groups and individuals, how ever well intentioned, is naive at least, foolish or deadly at the worst.  If, as I suspect, our nation falls under the control of the UN, or it's minions, the easiest way to control a people is to control it's food supply.  So, if our country is literally COVERED with food-producing plants, trees, etc., it will be very hard indeed to control us, let alone subjugate us.  These are the thought that I think...

Time for bed.

Cheers, my friends, and may God bless!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Survival Food Prospecting

I have been an avid wild foods enthusiast since my childhood.  I've hunted the elusive Oregon Black Truffle in the Santiam Valley, collected Giant Puffballs in Ohio and Michigan, munched on Miner's Lettuce in Colorado, eaten Strawberry Spinach in Palmer, Alaska, and Thimble Berries near Marquette, Michigan.  This and much more over the course of my 47 years.  I've been around.

I was thinking about the times in which we live, how so many are out of work.  I thought about the fact that our country is in reality bankrupt, and how so many are struggling to just get by, myself included.  I have, without really putting much thought into it over the past decade or more, collect info regarding the whereabouts of quite a number of unused fruit trees, "decorative" sweet potato plantings, cattail stands, arrowhead colonies, pawpaw thickets, Apio americana stands, and much, much more.  I know where most of the blackberry, black raspberry, and strawberry patches are in my area as well.  So, I came up with an idea that I'm going to put in to action, namely, mapping out all of these resources on an actual map, as well as on google maps.  I want to have a database that can continually be added to by my family.  I'm pretty much the only person in my area that I know of who actually has an interest in, or knowledge about, this sort of thing.

A second thought also came to me, and that is that I want to sow seeds of as many different, edible plants and fruits, and seed-producing crops in as wide an area as possible throughout my area of the country.  I want to select plants that are specialists at reproducing themselves reliably, year after year, without any input from me.  I am looking for meadows tucked away in parks, abandoned factory areas, abandoned farm-sites, roadsides, creek beds, and other, out-of-the-way places.  I'm talking MAJOR seeding.  The idea is that I should be able to, secretly, create an insurance plan for my family.  I don't own much land, although what I DO own I am diligently working toward putting into use in multitudes of different ways.  This despite the highbrow area in which I live.

So stay tuned, and I'll report back on my progress on this front over time.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Experiment

I am by nature a tinkerer, an inventor, a public nuisance perhaps (to some).  I like to invent things, try things, dream.  Creativity exudes from my very pores, constantly.  Am I conceited?  No!  Certainly not!  I'm just done denying it.  I've kept quiet for most of my life, afraid of what people might think of me if I shone too brightly.  What a waste!  No more!  I am what I am, whatever that is.

I want to convert all my vehicles to run on ethanol that I produce in my very own still, from food scraps garnered from all the local restaurants.  I think I can do that.  Just imagine the possibility.  Thumbing my nose at all the oil baron thief guys.  Those who sit in high towers, some of whom wear towels to work.  Take that, you wearers of variously patterned towels, and suits!

Unfortunately, that day has not come yet. I have not deemed myself ready to dive into that big one yet.  That is for another day.

Today, I am writing about another topic, namely, creating beauty via decorative gardens.  I can imagine the nay-sayers jumping to their feet, jugular veins popping out on their necks, screaming at me, "NO.  That is wasting time and effort.  Food production only."  Well, that would have been me, till lately.  I have come to the realization that you can catch more bees with sugar, than you can with horse manure, which only draws flies.  I have been struggling with my family for all these years to try to get them involved in my various projects, with naught to show for my efforts.  Now I see that they need positive incentive to draw them in.

My friend and I are also attempting to create some sort of consortium of like-minded individuals to start farming, on small acreages.  We want to create a CSA.  What, pray tell is a CSA, you say?  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  It's sort of a buying club for those of you/us who want to feed our families food that isn't poisonous.  It's also a way for farmers to preserve their way of life, and retain their farms, while earning a good living, without going into debt to do it.  It is a good thing (thanks, Martha!).

So what do you mean Panchito?  I mean that I think that creating a pleasant sanctuary for my family will encourage them to participate in my endeavors, if even for selfish reasons.  Same goes for the CSA.  It seems that folks don't see the benefits of a CSA because of the work and/or expense involved.  So, they need to be given incentive, value.  Things aren't yet bad enough to where folks can see the writing on the wall, that things are going to get much worse.  Now I don't hope that they WILL get worse, I just believe that they will no matter what we want.  It's nearly time to pay the piper.  But not yet.

So, last year, I allowed my neighbors to cut down my honeysuckle bushes.  They served as a privacy screen. They thought that they would gain a good bit of space in their yard that the bushes were then taking up.  They were mostly mistaken, as the property line was much farther East, toward their yard, than mine.  But, what happened is that both of our families began to work to improve the area, planting wildflower seeds, decorative bushes, garden flowers, perennials, and vegetables, greatly beautifying the area and improving our lives in the process.  The area is really quite lovely now.  It was something less than lovely before.  I salute my neighbors for their efforts and vision.

Last year, due to reasons beyond my control, well not perhaps completely beyond my control, some other neighbors sicked the cops on me.  I had allowed my back yard to become a bit unsightly, and that is a criminal offense in our little, uppity village.  You see, there are very many very wealthy individuals here, I being possibly not one of them, yet.  Obviously, and it was somewhat less obvious a short while ago, a guy who is constantly building various contraptions, parking large trucks in the back yard, plowing up more and more of his grass to increase planting space, keeping bees, growing fruit trees, and more, has no place, and no right to be living in Uppityland, USA.  Tis the place for those with executive qualities, the movers and shakers (and here I thought the Shakers were extinct).

So, despite the shortsightedness of some of my neighbors, I have decided to bless them, with flowers and beauty.  In the midst of the flowers and beauty, I will raise food.  I will grow so much beauty that they won't be able to see past that beauty, and therefore my other activities will be hidden from their eyes, and I'll be free to create!  Good plan, I like it.

So follow along as I create a photo journey from where we are today, to the mini-farm of tomorrow.  It's gonna be fun!


P.S.  The photos are coming soon.  Hang in there.