Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coffee and Provocation

A Bone Economy: A nice story about the business of collecting and selling buffalo bones for fertilizer after we had shot all the buffalo out. A parable for the modern economy?  Maybe not.  Some say that the buffalo were not shot out -- that they were wiped out by a series of tick-borne plagues.  More on that in a later post.

A New Monkey Species?  It looks like a new species of owl monkey has been discoved in the Congo.

Jack Russell is the kicker for the Badgers. You cannot make this stuff up.

First they banned all badger-hunting with dogs.  Then, when the British found themselves ass-deep in badger, many of which (allegedly) carry brucelosis tuberculosis to cattle, they had to figure out how to locally reduce the badger population.  The answer?  Not to open licensed and regulated hunting in cattle country (far too logical!).  Instead, the British have engineered a massive badger cull in which farmers and activists are sure to clash

Raiders of the Lost Ark was not entirely fiction.  It seems the Nazis did send out archeological expeditions all over the globe, and on one of them they collected a 1,000 year old statue of a Bhudda made out of a meteorite and with a swastika (Indian version) on it.

File in the folder marked "sh*t happens".  French Hunter shot by dog loses his hand.

How thick is rhinocerous skin?  Pretty darn thick!  Here's a picture from the blog entitled "What's in John's Freezer?"

A "jerky renaissance"?  The Wall Street Journal says such a thing is underway as people discover that lean, dry, seasoned meat is a perfectly fine health food.   "Meat jerky is like Greek yogurt for men," says one sales researcher.

A Moose Message for the Gods?  In the Ural mountains, a gigantic Stone Age chalk carving of a two kilometre-long moose, similar to the chalk carvings seen in Britain, could be the oldest ever discovered in the world.

Urban and suburban coyotes appear to mate for life.   It seems that trait is part of their evolutionary success

House work routines

I'm trying to re-establish my routines - the main one that got me through every day before I modified much of it to write my book, but also other smaller planning exercises that remind me to plant tomatoes in a pot so we'd have home grown tomatoes at Christmas, and make soap and cleaning products so we don't run out.

I keep forgetting the bread. I changed to an overnight dough and often

Saturday, September 29, 2012


What are the chances that I would burn my left forearm 
badly..(we're talking big scar ) about two weeks ago 
and then tonight badly scrape the right hand about 3" worth 
and then burn right above the scrape on the oven shelf 
about an hour later?

What are the chances that I would offend at least three
customers (jackasses) at the garage sale today?

What are the chances that after the garage sale, 
I would be so hot and tired that I would 
just drop my pants on the kitchen floor
 and start cleaning up in the garage
 sans pants, and then proceed to 
sit on a chair in my underwear in the garage
 and laugh with my SIL for another 90 minutes after 
we had already spent the day together?
100 %

What are the chances that I would be starving at 10pm
 and be too lazy to put my pants back on
 and drive through the Wendy's drive thru, 
and consider just throwing a towel across my lap?

What are the chances I am even lazier than a person
 who would go through a drive thru with a towel as attire, 
and decide to cook a frozen pizza instead?
100 %

When removing that pizza from the oven
 what are the chances that upon burning hand on oven
 I would tilt pizza paddle and drop pizza face down on floor?
100 %

What are the chances that I would invoke the 2 second rule?
What are the chances that I would sit bare thighed
 on a wooden chair to eat fuzzy pizza 
and peel off the first layer of skin 
upon arising?

What are the chances a good bud would find a darling house
 in CT for me under 200,000, 
within 4 hours of my Daughter talking about 
maybe moving to LA post graduation?

What are the chances that this is my last NEVER AGAIN
garage sale? (I'm taking odds on this one :D)

that I
have incredible
here in my life in lala land
and here
in blog land?


Digging on the Dogs

With Josh M. and Tyler M.   This fellow had a nice little fortress under a small black walnut tree.  Not deep, but enough root and rock to keep it interesting.

This Stuff Will Change You

Chameleon Cold Brew.  Three coffees in one.  Cocaine for middle-aged, middle-class, middle earthers like me.  The last legal high.

Discovering America

Terrier work, 1850.  Thank you Instagram.  With Josh Moran and Tyler Muto.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wake Up!

Not for the kids to listen to, but JUST as it should be said! 

Weekend reading

Thirty-three years ago today, these two youngsters got married in Hamburg, Germany. We still look as goofy as we did then. I used this photo, taken yesterday, because it looks like we have no idea what we're doing with this new fangled technology. Most of the time, we don't.  :- )

Weekend reading

Nigel Slater's baked chicken, tomatoes and olives.

Just how dangerous is knitting? Jaime at

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The GFC and learning to live with less

Before the global financial crisis (GFC) started in 2008, there was rarely anything in the press or on TV about budgeting, going back to basics, frugal living, simplifying, living within your means or anything much outside the consumerist norm. Well, times have changed us, and not only do I think significant change has happened, I think for many of us, this way of living makes so much sense, it

Yard Fox

One of my regular night visitors cleaing up some old eggs that were left in the refrigerator too long.  Boiled and split it half with their shells still on, hardboiled eggs make fine fox food.  Dog food is always appreciated as well!

99 Problems, But Regrets Ain't One


Not Allowed

We have rules, damn it!  You cannot do all of these things at once.  One at a time, one a time...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Like Coked-up Furry Missles

Over at The Last Word on Nothing blog, Erik Vance has a suggestion on how to curb the mice epidemic at Yosemite National Park which is spreading Hanta virus to the masses -- drop a truck load of Jack Russell terriers in the park and just stand back:

How can a yappy little dog help us eradicate this plague, you say? Tell me, have you ever played fetch with a Jack Russell? I have no idea what the all-time world record is for fetching, but I am willing to bet it’s a Jack Russell for more than a week without stopping for food or water. They are like pathological fetching machines. It’s like when you throw that stupid ball, for the first time in their little high-strung lives, they actually understand their purpose. Like they want nothing in the world but to chase it and bring it back so you can do it again.

In fact this is kind of true. Jack Russells were bred to catch foxes and dig for badgers in the late 1800s. They are like nuclear-powered hyperactive killing machines who, lacking badgers, will destroy anything that runs from them. My wife’s aunt trains these amped-up little critters and always struggles to exercise them enough. A couple times a year she takes them to a friend’s barn in the countryside and just opens the doors.

The result is freaking D-Day for mice. Like coked-up furry missiles, these little psychopaths zip from one rodent to the next, leaving a wake of carnage. You know how cats like to kill mice? Jack Russells need to kill them, like meth addicts need a fix. They try to stop but just go for that one last hit. So here is my solution. Before winter, invite the JRTCA for a free week in the Valley to see the fall colors. Have them stay in Curry Village, where most of the hantavirus cases happened. And tell them to bring their best dogs.

P.S., a hat tip to Anthony H. for sending this link to me, and a special commendation to the The Last Word on Nothing blog, which is one of the 150 blogs in my Google Reader.    Check it out for yourself!

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's a Great Day


Keeping a stockpile

Even though I haven't written about our stockpile for a long time, it is still sustaining us. During our busy period with the book and Hanno's accident, we couldn't have done without it. No matter what stage or age you're at, whether single or married, having a stockpile will save you money and time. Of course the size of the stockpile will vary according to how many people live in your home. A

On a Goat on a Rope? Nope!

Where's Dr. Seuss now that we need him?  Goats are naturally sure-footed, but this is amazing!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sights Sounds and NEVER AGAIN Around the Old Homestead

The weeks are rolling by
and I'm not sure if that makes me happy or not.
I suppose any week we're all still here is a good one.

As to the day to day, I have been working
 on some projects and solving "issues".
One issue is Justice falling down and up? 
the stairs in the middle of the night. 
A bevy of night lights has not solved the problem.

Not good for the sleep deprived,
 and no thrill for Miss Justice either.
I had this fencing in the garage for some time, 
waiting to be sanded, cleaned, painted and installed.
It was too narrow for the spot but the shoe basket fits perfectly 
in the gap and the problem was solved.
You would think, wouldn't ya?

Except remember the other pooch that dwells here?
It took him all of 30 seconds to realize
 he could swing the gate open, 
and passage was once again possible.
Until I figure out a pretty solution 
a loop of rope solves the problem at night.
You would think wouldn't ya?

Around two 2 am, having just shut off the bed lamp, 
a light scratching could be heard..
Upon investigation I discovered it was not scratching, 
but chewing, as Howie attempted to chew his way
 through the basket to get to me.
Now they are both spoiled and have always 
had total access to the house..
well except for the bathtubs. 
Justice likes to jump in and out of them
 and I find the dog hair remnants gross... so no tubs..
Anyway they come and go up and down all night
so I felt the separation would be OK 
as they have four dog beds on the first floor. 
You would think wouldn't ya?

When I let Howie up to join me to stop the chewing, 
Justice woke up, realized she was alone and started to howl.
Howie joined in and once again I'll owe my neighbors
 some damn good cookies at the holidays..

Justice having all her bones unbroken is a priority,
learn to deal with it Howie.

My car was broken into (again).
(So insurance, police reports, fun stuff)
It was parked in the driveway because my garage
 is filled with stuff for that garage sale
I am NEVER going to have again.
The 2nd annual NEVER AGAIN sale is the 29th.
You remember I even threw away all my special flower signs
 after the last one? Well...what can I say....
some other gals wanted to have one
OK OK no excuses..I really don't know why?

The first couple piles, waiting to be sorted and priced.
I could cry..
"GoodWill I'm coming"

My 20 year old ash tree is succumbing to some horrible disease that has struck the majority of ash in lala land, and I am so saddened by it's condition.
Sadder still will be me up in the tree with a chain saw.
How old do you have to be before you 
stop thinking you can do anything?

When I decide to do these umm... "projects" I call up 
my SIL or my daughter on my cell and make them listen
 for my scream or fall so that they can then call for help..
from across town or 2,000 miles away.
What? You see a flaw in my plan?
I do this for gutter, roof, window washing and trees....
The chatting keeps me from being nervous and I like 
to speculate that I might actually survive the BIG FALL...

Made a couple more of these
in several sizes, some may show up on Saturday.
just in case I get bored this week...
Thinking of repainting the kitchen cupboards-
yard work needed - about 2 full days-
toilet repair-
sprinkler repair-
recover free chair given to me-

dogs groomed
carpet cleaned pre holidays
(these last two from sale proceeds)

oh, and play Tarzan in the ash tree.


Far better than riches

My sister Tricia is visiting from the Blue Mountains so we took the opportunity to invite our cousin Susie and her husband, Nick, over for lunch. They live nearby and we don't often see them but when Tricia is here it always seems right to invite them over for a meal.  Tricia came up to collect a very precious piece of our family's hertitage - the bassinet that our mother bought for Tricia and I

A Life Worth Living Comes With Risk

In his book, Edible Wild Plants, John Kallas has a very nice disclaimer that I think is worth giving a tip of the hat to:

If you venture out of your nuclear-proof, earthquake-proof, asteroid-proof bunker into the real world, you might be at risk. Yes, it’s true! You may be hit by a bus or get E coli or staphylococcus poisoning from a church potluck. If you kiss someone, you may get herpes, mono, or worse—a tragic relationship. On the golf course, you may be hit by lightning. If you go ice skating, you may break your neck. If you go on a hike, you may trip on loose rocks, fall over a cliff, and die. Or you might be in the World Trade Center at the wrong time.

Look, you can either curl up under your bed covers and live a safe, dull, insulated life reading about other people doing things you wish you were doing. Or you can join the real world. If you venture into the real world, you risk living your life to its fullest. You risk the rush of climbing that mountain, of dancing all night, of scuba diving in reefs of mind-blowing color, of standing in the rain on an ocean viewpoint, watching huge waves crashing against the rocks, of meeting the partner of your dreams. You risk getting exercise and breathing fresh air. You risk making life worth living.


Kallas' book, by the way, is a nice read and available for the remarkably low price of $1.99 from Amazon's kindle store. 

Whether you ever intend to forage or not, this book will at least let you know the names of some of the more common field-weed plants found everywhere in the U.S. and quite edible if harvested at the right time and in the righty way:  Wild spinach, chickweed, purslane, sorrel, field mutard, wintercress, dandelion, mallow, and shepherd's purse, among others.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bijou By a Nose

A very dead groundhog with a spot of mange is the prize for Bijou, who worked her first one like a champ.  The groundhog is hanging as dead weight while Bijour holds her by the nose. 

Dog Balls with the IPhone 5

No, not bollocks.  Throwing balls for the dogs.  No, not the most interesting picture, or the best shot, but the first

And YES, for the first time in my life I am on the cutting edge of technology, having bought an Apple IPhone5 on the first day of issue.  I showed up at the local Apple Store at noon, and was out the door with the purchase about 50 minutes later.   I have no idea what those fools who camped for a week were doing.  I simply rolled over my Sprint plan as I was two months out of contract.

The I-5 phone seems to work, but it not yet life changing.  Basically, it has all the features of my Android phone.  I am hoping it is a bit more reliable and easier to use (the screen is bigger), but we will see.  The two features this new phone has that the Android did not is a very nice movie feature and a panoramic photo feature as well, plus the camera resolution is much higher (8 megapixels whatever they are).  I am still setting the phone up with the right "aps," etc., but I got Gmail up and that's half the battle.  I do not have music on it yet, but that would be nice to add.  Maybe later today.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekend reading

Imports of fruits and vegetables into Australia have increased 60 percent in seven years.

Cappers - traditional American grit.

Interesting and helpful - UK Handmade.

The hive habits of bees.

A delightful blog at joy and comfort. 

This is Ale's blog and it's written in Spanish. Just click the Google translate button at the top of the blog and it will translate it instantly for you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Simple milk and beer

It's been a busy week here. I've been making soap and cheese, we had all the therapy and doctor's visits and then yesterday, Hanno's birthday. He asked me to thank you all for the warm wishes. We celebrated last evening, just the two of us, with pork cutlets, red cabbage and new potatoes freshly dug in the backyard. It was followed by a custard dessert and washed down by non-alcholic wheat beer

Drone & Ammo Magazine?

Photo source:  Wired magazine.

Back in August, Chad Love at Field and Stream wrote:

Forget those old-fashioned stationary game cameras. Personal scouting drones will be the next big thing for hunters. Maybe not now. maybe not in five years. But at some point in the not-too-distant future, some enterprising company is going to design and market a personal drone geared toward hunters. Bank on it. According to the story, right now anyone can cobble together a viable home-made drone using off-the-shelf components for less than $2,000. And with advances in technology and miniaturization, the cost to do so will only continue to decrease.

Crazy talk? Of course not. We already use drones for hunting -- ask al-Qaeda. And nowdays anyone with a few hundred dollars in their pocket can buy a drone and put a GoPro camera on it and get the kinds of video shots once only dreamed about by Hollywood directors.

How hard would it be to put a small gun on a drone and fly it into forest or field... or through a window for assassination purposes? Not hard, I can assure you. Sure it would probably be a one-shot deal (blow back and all), but you can bet that little problem will be fixed soon enough.

Imagine a world with everyone flying cheap drones with guns on them. The possibilities for extortion, murder, and mayhem are legion, and so too will be the desire and rationalizations of the police, and others, who are likely to use them to invade privacy and snoop in all kinds of ways now unimaginable.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why do you blog?

It's Hanno's birthday today. He's 72!  Happy birthday Hanno. :- )

I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately. I'm not thinking of subject matter, it's rather the ins and outs of blogging, what makes a successful blog, choosing the platform on which to blog, how long it takes each day and what I get out of it. These musings will be part of a series of blogging workshops for beginners that my

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shoes and Sighs

Dearest son was here for the weekend.
We dined out and at home,
chatted much, sipped white wine one day,
red the next,
...watched the Steelers.
Heavenly stuff to a Mama who misses him so.

I glanced down at his shoes yesterday, and was
shocked, appalled, dismayed at their condition...
Not just old and shabby,
but literally falling apart.
"Oh BEN!"


"Your shoes!"

"Yeah, so?....
They're comfortable."


I expected to see newsprint poking out a-la Depression.
He loved  loves these shoes.
Had them resoled once.
Then couldn't a second time..
SHOULDN'T a second time..
in Mom's opinion anyway.

I have to beg my kids 
to let me buy them anything.
Perhaps they fear that in old age I will descend upon them 
if my funds run dry...

But I wheedled and pulled out the big guns..
"But it will make me so happy to do this for you."

BIG sigh son...OK

Off to the stores this morning.
Now I don't DO malls...EVER..

so we started with smaller independent places
 and when that failed, I was forced to venture
into the most dreaded of places.
a Mall..ugh, spit, retch...
After up and down escalators
and the lengths both ways,
Beautiful new boots that he pondered over 
for some time.
I swear I've bought cars faster.

We caught a quick lunch and headed home where
 he could hop in his car and head back to LA.
I said let me shoot those shoes..
I wanted proof and agreement from other Moms
that these shoes sucked, no really..C'mon!

Hugs and kisses, I love yous all around...and....

"Uh Mom, you know I'm still gonna wear these right?"

BIG sigh Mama...Yeah

Slowing down for a cruise

We had a delightful day out on the water last Friday. A short drive over to the coast, then a 90 minute ferry trip along the Noosa river and a picnic on the shore. I took chicken sandwiches and some homemade coleslaw, buttered cinnamon loaf, black tea and water. We dined like the king and queen and we had a day out to remember.

Simple pleasures.

We live in the area of Queensland called the

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sharks and dinosaurs

I think the only times Hanno and I have eaten breakfast out was when we've been travelling but last week we had breakfast at a local beach cafe. Hanno had an OT appointment at 7am and as we had other things to do during the morning while we were out, instead of going home for breakfast, the OT recommended a nearby cafe and we went there. I thought there'd be only one or two other breakfasters

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Zeus, World's Tallest Freak Dog

Zeus is the World's Tallest Dog, and stands at 44 inches at the shoulder. The good news is that they have him on video, because Great Danes are dead at age seven, on average.

Freaks often die early, and the creation of freakishly large dogs like Great Danes results in much-shortened life spans.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Introducing a new sponsor, Gumboot Garden ...

Jason operates Gumboot Garden and blogs at Zuchinni Island, this is his story.

About nine years ago, when I met my lovely partner, I was inspired by her little vegetable garden out the back of her inner city unit. It wasn't much a few vegetables surrounded by concrete. But something sparked, and along with developing a love for each other we also developed a passion for growing our own food.

Is There Another One In There?


Jack Russell Had Some Interesting Ideas

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Good Mom

Look Justice, 
Mom put a gate across the front door so we can look out 
and bark at everyone going by.
I bet they think we're fierce.

Mom did it so she could mop the floor and keep
us distracted so we wouldn't track through the wet.
She's a good Mom.

Weekend reading

I have grave concerns about our dairy industry. I'm not the only one - The Milk Maid Marion.

Why real buttermilk is so good for you.

Food freedom - the right to choose.

Loneliness is a health risk. Get out, make friends and connect with your community.

The casual summation of the family unit - I love this idea.

From our comments during the week:
Donna at Little Acorns is getting ready for

Pearl Before Retirement

This is Pearl before she retired.  She did her bit for cause and country, and now she lives the life of luxury with my parents, just a few blocks up from where I work.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Natural raspberry cordial from scratch

I love making our drinks from scratch. In summer I always have a few concoctions ready and waiting in the fridge, along with cold water and ice cubes. Whoever visits is offered "tea, coffee, water or cordial?" In the midst of summer, most of our visitors choose the cordial.  We're lucky to have a prolific lemon tree and when I'm organised in winter, when the main lemon season is here, I strip

An experiment

Couldn't sleep 


With tv on in the background, watching very sad
911 stories....
and web surfing
I had a notion about the things
 I say...
I write
all day every day

So I went to my sent folder and opened them one by one
 since Sept 1st to see my pearls of wisdom.
This is an experiment you all should try.
A little insight into self and how we may be viewed
 and how we share..

So here are snippets from emails that I sent to family and friends.

I'll be making an appointment with
a health care professional tomorrow. :D




Copper is hard to watch..makes me nervous.. :D

you're still my bestie 

when I like something, I really like it

damn that's cute

After all these many years I am still trying to shape the person I will become. :D .. It's a lot of work! 

Ya gotta love Peter O'Toole.

I think we should go to NYC for Christmas....hmmm?

if Halulas was still there on Route 30 I would make you stop and have a rolling rock on me...

If you ever need help or ideas just holler

It feels good doesn't it? I have to get my endorphin rush somehow

you still up?
things ok?

Sorry to hear of your troubles. Sarah filled me in

Are you still jumping up and down?

If I'm awake for one more sunrise I may have to kill myself by sundown.

I had been asleep about an hour @6:36... I'm so tired today I could cry.


certain days I just miss you guys more than I can bear...
other days I just miss you oodles 

.....damn I'm old.

Why are you awake? shrug..menoPAUSE!!! Of course you could have called me ..I was reading until 4:15

until then I hibernate in reverse

I am still miserably hot at night. Sheets in a ball by morning lol

I am a fall/winter girl living in the desert....damn.....

I'll take em I'll keep em..and never give them back

we love them, they love us and life keeps on going...

be easy on yourself for awhile

You'll do great. I'm a tiny little speck in your back pocket cheering you on 
love you

even though I have no excuse not to do it myself...

no worries... life is a roller coaster

I love me some fall leaves and crisp air

do I hear an amen?

when they discover a pill that will keep you thin,  I will be long gone, and am I gonna be ticked off!!!!

for 90 minutes I have been watching 911 stories..what is wrong with me? now I have to go eat pasta....

still watching - now 150 minutes - no pasta to eat. made ham sandwich instead..thank god I have no ice cream..I would eat the half gallon

weeping weeping.....rips through my heart..but watching makes me feel that I have not forgotten, that I am respecting the suffering, the loss, that happened to so many thousands..does that make sense?

I won't leave you there - 

Pictures of a puppy will help.
Howie before he became incorrigible.
and yes, one blue, one brown eye

What have you been saying?


Machete Types, Use and Sharpening

A repost from this blog, circa 2005

One of the tools I use at almost every dig is a machete. In hedgerows, nothing works faster to cut away multiflora rose, kudzu, wild grape, errant brambles, honeysuckle, wild cherry and poke berry. In the middle of a dig, a stray root can simply be loped off with a stroke of the machete. When dispatch time comes, a hard hit to the top of the skull with the dull back edge of the machete blade ends things pretty quickly.

A machete is not an axe. This tool is not designed to cut firewood or trees, but to hack through thickets of soft, fast-growing vegetation of the sort we generally find in hedgerows. No easily-transportable manual tool has ever beat a machete for this type of work.

Even an expensive machete is quite cheap, so get a decent one which should run you around $30-$40. You do not want a "cane knife", which looks like a machete but is too light, nor do you want or a K-Bar knife (too small and light), or any other of the other dizzying substitutes you might come across in a store or online knife shop.

I use an Ontario Machete, and have no complaints. One new style of machete I have seen comes with a saw edge along the back edge, which seems like a good idea if the soft steel of a machete will, in fact, hold a saw edge.

Some people prefer various odd types of machetes, like the kukri, but I prefer a simple straight blade which is easy to pack and useful in more situations than a kukri.

No machete should ever come with a pommel guard -- such a thing is real trouble in the brush. A machete is not a sword or a knife -- it is a machete. They are a perfected design, and you want the version that has stood the test of time.

Machetes are made of soft metal and are designed to be sharpened a lot. When cutting a lot of sugarcane or hard brush, they are sharpened once or twice a day.

Oddly, none of the machetes sold in the U.S. come with a sharp blade, and in fact getting one sharp the very first time takes some effort.

Do not use a grinder or belt sander to get a machete sharp -- there is very little chance you will get it right, and a very high chance you will permanently burn the blade.

What you need to sharpen a machete or shovel is called a "flat bastard" file. Put the machete blade in a vise, and draw the file across the edge of the blade at a 45 degree angle away from the center of the knife. Or do it the other way if you prefer -- put the file in a vice and draw the blade across it.

Putting the first edge on a store-bought machete will take time -- don't be in a hurry. When you have it right, be sure to oil the blade with a little motor oil.

When using a machete, always cut away from yourself. Always. Nothing will ruin your life faster than hacking your leg with a machete -- if you survive it at all.

A machete blade has a tendency to glance off thick vines and branches, which can be dangerous. The trick here is to not to try to cut straight across the vine with a single whack of the blade, but to hit the vine or branch with a scarfing blow, designed to cut along the stem in a kind of flat notch. The second whack will generally cut it through, with the blade in good control the entire time.

Your machete should have come with a scabbard of some type. Some are cloth, some hard plastic, some leather. Many of the old jungle machetes (many of which were made in Connecticut, believe it or not!) had light wood scabbards, but these are rarer now.

I keep my own machete sharp with a $1 D-handle knife sharpener bought at the local Dollar Store. The same sharpener helps keep an edge on my shovels, and can be bought at a kitchen supply store for about $10. Try the Dollar Store first -- why pay more?

Terrier and Man

A pretty good shot of Mountain and I doing what we like to do best.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Terrier Work Inside


My Head Just Exploded

My head just exploded.  Clean up on aisle three!


It's easier at home

I've had many opportunities to think about my simple life over the past six months and to meet and talk with others who are living this way, or who want to. I guess what has come from that is the feeling that our decision, all those years ago, to change from our high spending life to something more modest and productive, was the right one for us. I have had no regrets about our change, I think I

The Most Important Tool and Debate

The most important tool is information, and the most important development in the history of the world is that information can can now be easily and quickly shared across time and space. 

Answers to almost any question can be had in a few minutes provided you have access to the internet or a cell phone, or at least know someone who does.

The most important debate is what this marvelous development means for the future of mankind.

Past is not prologue, of course, but the history here is long and optimistic.  Sadly, it is also the most important story most folks know little or nothing about.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just Missing Charles Darwin

The sad part is that some of these people will breed.

Slowing down to a quieter and gentler life

Today is a new beginning for me because yesterday I did the last of my public appearances. I made a committment to myself to promote the book for six month and to stop in September. So I had two wonderful days at the Real Food Festival in Maleny, met many people who came along to listen to me talk about simple life and bread-making and now it's over. I have to tell you that although I enjoyed it

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I Don't Care

I don't care what the calendar or anyone else says.
It's fall.
I need it, I want it, I NEED it.

I want to turn off the annoying air and fans.
I want to burn candles everywhere.
I want to wear my wooly socks and flannel pj's.

Hunkering down inside my cocoon does not seem
as quirky (or psychologically damaging), in the fall
 as it does in the blaze of summer.

I want the kids home for the holidays,
and the pooches to stop panting
especially when Howie rocks the bed..
pant pant pant
"Get off!"

I want soups and stews and crusty breads
and an adjustable waistband.

I don't care, it's what I want.

Perfect Petzzz for Romantics and Pretenders

As I have noted in the past, dogs are over sold:

Do you really want a dog? This is the first question that needs to be asked. You see, most people want a puppy; they do not want a dog. A puppy is cute and triggers both maternal and paternal instincts. They seem like no problem at all. A dog, on the other hand, will get you up at the crack of dawn, will bark in the back yard, will eat your couch, and may occasionally urinate or defecate on your rug. Here's a test: If you will not consider getting an adult dog from a local shelter or over-stocked breeder, you do not want a dog. You want a puppy. And what you need is a cat.

Nows comes the perfect solution when even a cat is too much:  Perfect Petzzz, an animated puppy that "just fell asleep," and in which "the tummy actually goes up and down as they realistically 'breathe'".

They come in in two dozen "just like" breeeds.  Every puppy comes with a puppy carry bag, brush, bed, adoption certificate, and a pet container-style box.  The puppies "breathe" for 2-3 mos. using just 2 D batteries.

Now available from Amazon:

  • Cavalier King Charles Animated Puppy
  • Schnauzer Animated Puppy
  • Bully Bulldog AnimatedPuppy
  • Pug  Animated Puppy
  • Golden Retriever Animated Puppy
  • Black Labrador Retriever Animated Puppy
  • Border Collie Animated Puppy
  • Boston Terrier Animated Puppy
  • Rottweiler Animated Puppy
  • Chocolate Lab Animated Puppy
  • Mutt  Animated Puppy
  • Chihuahua  Animated Puppy
  • Yorkie  Animated Puppy
  • Corgi  Animated Puppy
  • Jack Russell  Animated Puppy
  • Shih Tzu  Animated Puppy
  • Cocker Spaniel  Animated Puppy
  • Portuguese Water Dog  Animated Puppy
  • German Shepherd  Animated Puppy
  • Lassie Collie  Animated Puppy
  • Primar Donna Poodle  Animated Puppy
  • Alaskan Husky  Animated Puppy
  • Beagle  Animated Puppy

Friday, September 7, 2012

Real Food Festival on this weekend ...

... at the Maleny Showground, I'll be there giving a talk on Simple Living at 12.30pm today and on baking five minute bread tomorrow at the same time. If you come along, say hello and introduce yourself. If you have a Down to Earth book at home, bring it along and I'll sign it for you. The books will be on sale there and I'll be signing after my talks on both days.

The festival will have good

Sympathy for the Devil

Lynn S. sent me a note a couple of days ago:
The most recent issue of Today's Veterinary Practice came at work today, and the cover story was questioning the practice of yearly heartworm tests. Since I didn't get to read it today, I checked the website to see what all's available to read without a subscription, and lo/behold: Doxycycline in the Management of Heartworm Disease.

Still have to find the HW test article, but haven't you been saying this for a while now?!"

Yes indeed. 

Yearly heartworm tests are simply not needed if your dog has been on a regular heartworm medication.  Your dog CANNOT get heartworm if you are simply a few weeks, or even a month or two, late.  Every vet knows this.  Yearly heart worms tests are simply part of a long-running scam in the the world of veterinary care -- a big dollar cash cow they will milk as long as we let them.

As for doxycycline combined with ivermectin, it remains a low-cost cure for heartworm, and this too is not closely held information.

Is curing heartworm expensive and difficult?  No it is not. Any veterinarian who tells you otherwise is not keeping up with the literature. It turns out that even if your dog has adult heartworms, if the dog otherwise appears healthy (i.e. it is active, not lethargic, and does not have a chronic cough), a monthly dosing of Ivermectin at a dosage normally used to kill roundworms (a dosage that is 3 times higher than that used to simply prevent heartworm), plus a once-a-month 5-day dosing of Doxycycline (the same antibiotic used to treat Lyme disease) will kill all the adult heartworms if it is sustained for a period of 18 months. This treatment works better than previous Ivermectin-only treatments because the Doxycline wipes out the Wolbachia microbe that grow in the gut of the adult heart worm, essentially sterilizing all of the female heart worms. A round-worm strength dosing of monthly Ivermectin will not only prevent new heartworm microfilaria from taking hold in your dog, it will also work to dramatically shorten the life of any existing adult worms in your dog. Bottom line: after 18 months of treatment, your dog will be heartworm-free at very little cost compared to other remedies.

On the upside, my heartworm, ivermectine and doxycycline post is read by a couple of hundred people a day and has helped a lot of folks save a lot of money over the years. 

On the downside, this post is also a magnet for illiterate, knuckle-dragging morons who are too lazy to read the post to the end, and/or who are too dumb to follow or understand directions. 

Of course, the doxy and ivermectin post is not the only one that seems to attract the hazy, lazy and crazy.

For example, earlier this week I got this question in an email written by someone who was so lazy and disinterested in her own dog that she did not even bother to type in a subject line:

Hello I know your not a veterinary but I have a dog that has a cut ( I think from a wild hog) on his upper back leg its about 3 inches long and I would say an 1 inch or 2 thick. Do you think putting glue would help? I have been cleaning it it myself every day but I want to make sure I'm doing something right. Its not bleeding anymore kinda looks like its healing. Thank you.

Notice the complete lack of information. No mention on the breed or size of the dog, no information on when this occurred, no pictures, etc.  

What am I supposed to do with stuff like this?

What I do is delete it and move forward. Life is too short to get in a discussion with a fool who has a dog deeply gored by a pig, and who has still not taken the dog to a vet. I feel sorry for the dog, but I managed to disenthrall myself of the notion that I can rescue every animal that is owned by fool some years back.  Rescue Ranger I am not.

Want another?  How about this email I got yesterday?

Hi there:

I just read the information you have posted regarding Ivermectin and dosing. I have a small terrier mix dog that was diagnosed almost 2 years ago with heart worms. He has been absolutely fine with no symptoms until recently. He coughs now, quite a lot. Is it possible to still treat him without him getting sick or dying? I don't want to kill the baby and the treatment from the vet is very expensive. They told me it was hard to treat after they've had them for so long. I have not had the money to do it and would like to try if possible. What do you think? I have 13 other rescues and want to try to treat them myself with Ivermectic as a preventative. I do all vaccinations myself. Is this also good for flea treatment?


You want the gravy on this one? This knuckle-dragger had the stones to embed the contact information of the law firm that employes her on to the bottom of her email!

So, let me ask you:  What do YOU say to someone who has left her dog untreated with heartworm for TWO YEARS, and only now thinks to take action, even as she whines about treatment costs?   And does it matter that this person has 13 dogs?

Guess what I said?

Mitt Romney Tells a Gay Vietnam Vet...