Friday, June 30, 2023

Tikkun Olam

 Blessings Darlings!

As I'm sure all y'all have noticed - I have a big focus on my garden this summer. 
There's a reason for that.  One that was strongly reinforced today.

Our finances are finally stable, now that the Chubby Hubby has a job that can pay the bills for his business.  Go Chubby Hubby!  BUT - 

Exceptionally destructive Capitalism continues unabated.  The Oligarchy continues unabated.  Climate change continues unabated. 

Us having disposable income that we can use TO HELP THE OPPRESSED - and increasing our disposable income by things like growing our own food, buying everything used that we can buy used, buying less in general, etc - means that while we work to change the system, we can better help mitigate the effects it has on others. 

We can contribute more money to the local food bank.  We can contribute more money to environmental groups.  We can patronize local small businesses where the money stays in West Virginia.  We can keep our money in the LGBTx community.  Our contributions can help smooth the path for climate change refugees.  

This is the goal we are working on.  One step at a time.  The best we can. Tikkun Olam - rebuilding the world.  The Kabbalists who read this know the Qliphoth we all have the job of dealing with.

It sort of feels as if we're finally getting some traction in getting past the Vice of Malkut (yeah, I was taught ancient, not Modern, Hebrew back in Hebrew school.)  Maybe even getting close to the Virtue of Malkut - discernment.  Maybe.

It's the Good Stuff.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, June 29, 2023

How about this weather? Or - smoke gets in my eyes. And sinus's. And Lungs.

 Blessings Darlings!

Those of you in the US, since we now have the 'usual' west coast fires going as well as the smoke from the Canadian fires, how are you coping with the air?  And for those of you in the southern heat dome - how are you coping with the heat?

I was going to do a lot in the garden today.  But the air quality is so bad - in the Red Warning zone, halfway to the Purple Warning.  So I masked up to put laundry on the clothes line and water the potted plants, then retired to the indoors.  The 'haze' is visible everywhere - making the landscape hard to see.  The Blue Ridge Mountains are totally obscured, and they should be visible.  The weather service does not figure particulates (I don't know about Ozone) into their 'visibility' figure.  I'd say it's under a mile here.  Weather service says it's 5.5 miles.

Mind you, I was out in this muck all yesterday, because my job requires it.  So I spent all yesterday breathing it.  That was not fun. At least today my eyes aren't burning.

I don't know what the air quality is here in the house.  The windows were open late yesterday afternoon 'to let the cool air in', so I'm sure it got bad.  

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out what 'minimal use of air conditioning' is.  It's only 87 out side, and the dew point is low.  The AC was at 80F until 5 pm, then I turned it down to 79 because it felt stuffy even with ceiling fans.  We don't have an air purifier, alas, the only air filter here is the AC (or running the HVAC on 'fan only'.) 

Now, intellectually I know that the setting on my AC isn't a big impact on the environment.  Manufacture of all the 'stuff' is, so buying less stuff is a more effective action.  But we're living in the third stage of collapse, and, fundamentally, I'm going to have to learn to live without AC in the future.  Working outside in summer heat (and smoke) will help my body adjust to dealing with temperatures (even as it damages my lungs, right.)  

And even tho' I'm FAR from the highest consumer of ice in my household, I'm still using it while feeling that it is a First World Indulgence.  And keeping my ice water in an insulated cup (bought used.  Just like almost all my clothes other than my undies, shoes, and socks.)

But I'd still wish I could sleep in mid 70 temperatures, with a dew point of under 60.

Frondly, Fern

Friday, June 9, 2023

Home made olla options

 Blessings Darlings!

Since at THIS moment, Wunderground says that we will get nice rain next week, I'm considering putting in some 'home made ollas' if the ground gets less hard.  Ollas are an unfired clay based watering system - I'm going to let you google it yourself.  I'm going with re-using stuff that others throw out.

I've got empty 16 oz water bottles that folks throw out at work.  If I can dig holes, bury one next to every plant that needs water (with the top sticking out for easy refill, and poke some holes in the bottom, I can get water to the actual roots of the plants.  Less evaporation = less water used.  

I suppose I could use any 15 - 28 oz cans, or the 24 oz plastic bottles from spaghetti sauce that we slowly accumulate, too, in the same way.

I also suppose that after I put this in, rainfall will stop being rain fail, and I won't need them any more.  Because life be like that.  And that's okay.  Better I put it in place (if I can) and not need it than not put it in place and need it.

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Lost Plants

 Blessings Darlings!

I just added up what my garden has lost to the drought so far............

One blueberry bush.
4 out of 6 transplanted Swiss Chard (I was just trying to add to the one's that survived the winter.)
Two out of 10 sweet peppers.
All but 4 of the carrots seeded (probably around 45 lost)
All but 30 of the turnips seeded) probably around 20 lost.
All but 1 of the beets seeded (around 50 lost).
All the radishes seeded.

I'm currently harvesting lamb's quarters from where the carrots, neeps,beets, and radishes were seeded.

This is on top of all the early things I started as seeds that didn't get moved in during a bad frost - a LOT of tomatoes, peppers, Swiss Chard, etc.  Those were just due to lack of communication that I needed help from the family.

Yes, I keep records about what works and what doesn't work in the garden.  Memory fades.  The internet (or well kept notebooks) last forever.

Frondly Fern

Monday, June 5, 2023

Drought. And a damned Plantar Wart.

 Blessings darlings!

I have a little time to blog today, since I'm off my feet - well, off one of my feet - due to a plantar wart that is making it very painful to walk.   It's a shock how it went from Nothing to Can't Walk without PAIN in under 7 days!  Urgent Care couldn't treat it (no liquid nitrogen), and getting an appointment with either my doctor or my husband's dermatologist (where I'd be a low-priority 'new patient') can take forEVER.  So I'm doing the OTC treatment the Doc in the Box and I discussed and am off work (where I'm on my feet getting 12000+ steps in a day) today but can't be very useful at home.  Doc in the Box gave me a note for 3 days off of work, but I'm hoping to be able to work tomorrow.  The first three hours back at work will pay for the OTC stuff.  Then I'll need to cover whatever the copay turns out to be - and there WILL be one, tho' I went to the Urgent Care that is part of my plan. 

So I shouldn't go out and water the garden, since doing that hurts.  BUT - we have drought conditions.  So the garden, especially the stuff in pots on the patio, need water.  OTOH, I don't have very much water available for the plants, since the plumbers who replaced the water pump took the hose spigot off the pump head.  All the rest of the water around the house goes thru' the water softener.  I've been going to a friend's house and filling 2.5 gallon jugs every few days and bringing them home to water with.

I could walk over to the cattle barn since that water isn't softened and Chris has okayed it to fill jugs (I sure don't have hoses that are that long, even if they were all attached into one MegaHose) but that, too, is more steps.

It's 'only' a moderate drought here at this time.  My lawn is a mid-August dead brown in color.  The clay soil is dry for inches down, and unwilling to give any of that moisture to plants.  The blueberry bush I planted two years ago seems to have died from it.  IF we get the rain forecast for Sunday and Monday (and we have less than a 50% chance of rain those days) they predict a total of maybe 0.1 inches.  What we need is an average of 0.5 inches a week.

The landlord is going to talk to his plumber next week about connecting the outdoor taps ON the house in a way that routes around the water softener.  He didn't mention anything about my request to add a rain barrel splitter to one of the downspouts, so I can save water when ever it DOES rain.    

This being Monday, I suppose I should do some offerings to the watery Moon for some rain, but weather patterns and global warming are a bit much for a simple one-off working as I know you know.

If you're in the US and want to see if your area is doing okay on rain, check out the Drought Monitor site  It will also give you info on row crops being affected, and grazing/haying area effects.

Frondly,  Fern