Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Changing my mind

In more ways than one. I had written a post about today's market convulsions, as I've been glued to the Internet this morning, reading fascinating and frightening commentary about what's happening. But I notice that each time I do that, I ruin my enjoyment of the day and skew my perspective on life in detrimental ways, so I think instead, I will let the world's economies do what they're going to do, and head out to a community garden planning/seed ordering meeting with the kids. It is, after all, a glorious day here, and in many other places in the world. And gardening is the best antidote for economic crises, both in spirit and in pratical returns! So I'm changing my mind -- all *is* well, sun is shining, children and chickens are happy, and I feel much better realizing all that!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Does the Dog Whisperer pick up his dogs' poop?

It's one of those questions that nags at me each time I catch Sunny giving me the eye as I stoop and grab her poop in my bag covered hand. What is she thinking? Am I undermining my status as pack leader by picking up her poop? WWtDWD?

I brought this up with Steve the other morning, as we were walking in circles on the schoolyard, getting a little exercise before our kids were up and before the school kids were heading to school.

I said I was pretty sure Cesar didn't pick up after his dog pack, didn't seem like a pack leader-ly thing to do, but then I remembered that dogs are coprophagic and decided that maybe he could pretend to eat the poop and still retain status. And then Steve really grossed me out by saying that he's such an authentic pack leader that maybe he actually does eat... eewwwww, nevermind.

We're doing fine. It's been a mild, dry winter and I'm giving in to the gardening urges and planting spinach in a cold frame. We've got greens started in a windowsill and will finish erecting a hoop cover over our new long raised bed this week, to let the soil heat up and speed the composting process so that we can plant out in another few weeks.

The kids and I have been immersing in all sorts of survival skills reading -- from My Side of the Mountain (one of my very favorite books growing up), to Bear Gryll's new book, Man vs. Wild, based on his TV series, to the first two seasons of Survivorman on DVD (thanks Grandma and PopPop!)

We're inspired to learn some fire starting and knot tying skills at the very least, and Maddie would like to construct a small building in the backyard, so she and I may build a larger coop for our growing flock, though she is also drafting ambitious plans for a two-story home.

We're trying to get more organized about our garden records and the kids and I are going to track how many eggs we're producing and perhaps even weigh our garden produce as we harvest it, if I can find a little kitchen scale at a reasonable price.

We're also going to participate in a co-gardening venture at the mini-ranch of a friend of a friend who lives a couple of miles away. She has chickens goats and horses and is going to plow a bunch of aged manure into an acre or so of unused paddock, which we and a few other families will plant and tend over the summer months. The kids will enjoy going over there, for all the animals and the wonderful barn full of rope swings. Even though we'll have a lot growing in our own yard, I'm thinking I'll learn a lot from gardening with others and may end up growing things I didn't know I liked. Plus, we'll have all the more surplus to share with neighbors and there's always dehydrating, canning and freezing that can be done.

Steve's working a lot these past couple of weeks and both he and the couple who publish Nexxus are breathing sighs of relief that not only are ads coming in, they're actually reversing the decline of the last couple of years! There are four more pages of ads this issue than last, and last issue had more ads than the previous. At least for now, Nexxus is in good shape and people are willing to spend on advertising to keep their businesses going.

That's most of the news that's fit to print (okay, maybe the Cesar Milan stuff was a bit libelous, but I doubt he reads my blog....)