Monday, July 10, 2017

the nature of reality

sometimes
what begins as a discourse on the nature of reality
culminates in a brief glimpse of some selfless space
and a fair amount of coffee being spilt into one's boots

Friday, July 7, 2017

trailer

i've started working on converting an old camping trailer into an emergency duck hauler.  the trailer was left behind by the previous owner of the property we bought across the street from our place.  it's an old (probably late 1960s) apache mesa pop-up camping trailer.  it was probably a nice little trailer in its day.

found this cute ad online while doing a little research


staal got the tires pumped up and helped me retrieve it from across the street.  i'm happy we didn't have far to go with it.  it's definitely seen better days.


i found an old illustration of the apache mesa floor plan...



... doesn't look like that anymore.




i've gutted the inside which included lots of rotten particle board, filthy carpet, miscellaneous bits of trash, some wire hangers, lots of mud dauber nests, and a mummified cat.  i've also removed the crank out sleeping platforms. 


yesterday, staal gave it all a good hosing with the pressure washer.


now i just have to decide how i want to set it up and then get building.  so many possibilities.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

fire drill

on sunday, july 2nd, at around 1:30 in the afternoon, a fire, which has been dubbed spring fire, started on the south side of hwy 49 about 4 miles (as the crow flies) from our house.  the fire jumped to the north side of the hwy and had a period of rapid expansion as it continued to burn to the northeast.  roads were closed and a mandatory evacuation order was implemented for residents considered to be in the fire's most likely path.  the evacuation zone was expanded a couple times and got to within about a 2 miles from our place.  

mandatory evacuation zone shown in yellow.  our house is on triangle rd (northeast of the northern edge of the evacuation zone) halfway between silva rd and darrah rd.

the fire burned to 225 acres before its forward progress was stopped and some minimal containment was achieved which was about 10% at the time and is now reported as 50% contained.  most of the evacuation orders have been lifted and some roads reopened.  hwy 49 is now open to controlled 1-way traffic during most hours of the day but was closed overnight last night.

map of the spring fire burn zone which is currently estimated at 225 acres

although the fire never became a physical threat to us there was the possibility that it would expand far enough toward us that we would have been included in the evacuation zone.  given the huge load of dry vegetation, which includes acres and acres of drought/beetle killed pines and cedars, there was also the possibility that the fire could have grown more rapidly than could have been managed by fire crews (they did a great job).  wind can be a big factor in how far and fast a fire will spread.  not only will it fuel existing flames but it can carry burning embers to nearby areas.  fortunately the winds have been pretty calm.

the wind carried a burnt leaf from the spring fire to our place

smelling smoke/seeing plumes of smoke in this area is always a bit nerve wracking this time of year.  when i first smell it or see it there is always a brief period of discomfort until i can find information on what is happening.  once i find out where it is and how it's progressing i can settle myself into doing whatever needs to be done which is often nothing.  this time around i was able to find a couple of good sources of real time information on twitter.  given the fire's projected pathway and the encroaching evacuation zone i decided to get prepared to leave if for no other reason than it being a good opportunity to run a fire drill.  the first thing i did (after making sure i was wearing shoes and putting my wallet in my pocket) was pen the ducks and get the cats into their run so i'd know where everyone was.  zane is never more than 50ft away and 95% of the time he is literally underfoot but i did put a leash in my pocket.   next i gathered food and dishes for zane and the cats (there is always a travel crate ready for the cats in their room) and got duck feed and a bale of straw loaded into my truck which i then parked near the duck shed.  i've started working on converting an old camping trailer into a duck transporter but until it's ready if we need to get the ducks out of here it will mean putting them in the back of my truck.  getting them into and out of the truck would require a little work but the bed has a cover on it so they would be safely enclosed during travel.  once i had everything sorted for all the critters i packed a change of clothes, tooth brush, some vitamins, cell phone and gathered together a few seeds i've saved from the gardens. i was prepared to grab some important documents and my laptop if we had to leave.  
staal got the generator ready in case we lost power (the fire did cause a major outage but we were not in the affected area) and a year or two ago he set up some sprinklers on the garage and the mill office roofs which would give us some protection from blown in embers (the house has a metal roof and isn't likely to burn readily).  a while back he also set up our rainwater storage tanks and the storage tank that supplies well-water to the house with hook-ups that a fire crew could pressurize and use to hose a fire here.
we did what we could.  i felt okay with it all---with the possibility which always exists in living in this area that we may lose our house and all of our material possessions to a fire.   while i was preparing for the possibility of evacuation i explored the sense of calm okayness that i was feeling and i realized that even though i've put a lot of time and effort into building and planting in the gardens and for the ducks what is of most importance is not the result of the work but the growth and enjoyment found in the process of the doing and living of it all and that isn't something that a fire or anything else can ever take away.  as long as staal and the critters are safe nothing else really matters.  
it was a good fire drill.  

 *** very grateful to all the men and women who put themselves at risk for the safety of others ***

happy birthday, grover



one of my greatest teachers.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

to my mother on mother's day (2017)

to she who knows
true compassion
for another
to she who is
selfless
embodiment of love
how does one
give thanks?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

round and round

it's always been like this
hasn't it?
you and me
walking together
helping each other along
through those moments
when the path seems too difficult or too long
picking each other up out of the dirt
when we stumble and fall
again
and again
smiling
laughing
crying
together
circling round and round
in some beginningless
some endless
love
i can't remember it being otherwise

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

intention

memories
dreams
like past lives
countless iterations of some self
circle round and round
lives within lives
dizzying
until
in the space between some arising and some dissolution
a clarity
the focal point is found
that moment of purest intention
to give all thought of self away
to devote every thought
every action
to that one pure intention

egg sales

just in time for easter! 





Thursday, April 6, 2017

yardsaling

an afternoon yardsaling
winding along little mountain roads
in search of treasure
we end up in town
parked outside the health food store
you go in for groceries
i leash the pup
and take him for a pee and a leg stretch
he's gone along with our whims all day
so i let him lead
we pass the back door of the health food store
the woman who works in the store's cafe
steps out to have a smoke


Thursday, March 30, 2017

paul klee

in the morning
we sit together on the bed
as we do most mornings
sipping coffee
talking
looking out into the garden
at the plants and birds
you open a book of paul klee's paintings
they seem to speak to you
move you
and i think that's why we're so good together
you and i
those paintings
of strange and beautifully haunting gardens and creatures
look
feel
like who i think i am
or what i dream myself to be when i am most awake
an ethereal landscape
of plants and animals that never were
blossoming and thriving
in the sun and the rain of your love

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

pohu progression

king oyster is a bit quiet right now but pohu (another variety of oyster mushroom) has taken over keeping us in mushrooms...

my index finger and a cluster of pohu oyster mushrooms on  3/14/17

3/15/17

3/16/17

3/17/17

3/19/17

this morning 3/21/17

this cluster weighed 15 ounces...if i'd harvested in the evening instead of the morning it probably would have made a full pound.  we gave them a taste at dinner tonight.  they have a similar sweetness to the king oyster but with a little more earthiness and a more delicate texture.  quite lovely.

Monday, March 13, 2017

'emerald beaut' plum

the plums are in bloom.  the 'emerald beaut', in particular, is putting on quite a show...and seems pretty popular with the locals.


there was a lady bug in almost every blossom on the tree.


several honey bees visiting had trouble getting into the blossoms with all the lady bugs in the way.


also saw one of the biggest bumble bees i've ever seen, maybe a queen recently emerged from hibernation and looking for breakfast.


very cool.