Apocalyptic Homesteading (Day 259-285)


Hello Everyone!

Apocalyptic Homesteading Day 259-285!

Summer Dreams, Daily Chores, Storm After Storm, Mysterious Fruits, Diatomaceous Earth & Other Musings

The sun is just now coming up and already it has grown quite hot and muggy outside which more or less sums up what the weather has been like for the last several months. It has been several days since I wrote anything and once again I can tell that not writing is not all that helpful for my peace of mind. Perhaps it is the tedious focus that it takes or the mucking about in my mind 'looking for words' that so soothes me but either way (or for whatever reason) I really should stay in the habit of writing and not let these long silences become the norm. It is probably too late to be saying that given my track record over the last many months but I am still holding out hope that I will snap out of it eventually.

Lately the days continue to go by in a blur of naps and occasional playing my favorite video game but I still manage to take care of my daily duties. For the most part I have settled into taking care of everything in the morning and getting the critters fed before the late day thunderstorms roll in. The rain has slacked up a bit over the previous week but the thunder still occurs like clockwork and often it just amounts to a bunch of ruckus without any precipitation to cool things down. Having grown up in the humid south this sort of weather is quite familiar to me and compared to summer in the mountains it is sort of abysmal especially without a creek nearby to cool off in (or just near) during the heat of the day. Thankfully my outdoor tub has been sufficient for the task of having a place to cool off at outdoors and the air conditioned cabin has been an awesome indoor place to be. Even though it is very cave-like inside the cabin (because I have yet to properly sort out the lighting) it is overall quite cozy and I am looking forward to spending a winter in it and seeing how it does in colder conditions. Given that the smallest air-conditioning unit that we could find keeps the place super cool I am thinking that a single recirculating oil heater will do the trick to keep it warm during the winter.

As far as ongoing projects go, everything has still been on pause and although I could probably get in a few hours of work each morning just after the sun rises... I have yet to muster much in the way of willpower in regards to ending my little downtime. I am unsure if there is an actual incentive in existence that could budge me from that stance at the moment and yeah I do not fight it at all and especially so when I look back at the previous year and how I was trying to shift my downtime from occurring in the winter to the summer or at least considering doing so. Not being particularly fond of that large of a change in my yearly routine I doubt that it would have occurred without things working out the way that they did where I worked super hard all through the fall, winter and spring and barely got to a good stopping point just in time before I had some kind of internal meltdown. What I am getting at there is that it was a heck of a long haul to get to a point where I could pause and although the summer downtime is interesting it is also pretty new to me. Although I want to do the stuff that I generally do during my downtime it just seems like the wrong time of year for it besides the gaming of course which is its own oddity given that it provides me some social interaction.

It is a mess when it comes to me wanting to interact or even communicate with folks whilst indulging in my yearly downtime and yeah it is absolute indulgence and pretty much has to be if it is going to balance out against what I do with my time the rest of the year. No matter how many years in a row I take my downtime it is always challenging to actually embrace it and not beat myself up for taking a break. Hell, even this time it took me the better part of six weeks before I was like 'okay you are really taking some downtime' which is just about how long it took for my mind to settle the fuck down and disengage from all the work-related stuff. The ability to hyper-focus on projects for sustained periods of time is cool and all but sometimes enough is enough and my mind begins to yearn for a lack of focus or just a moderate amount of it to get by without neglecting stuff along the way.

Another few days have passed and although it is still very early in the day I have already finished a bunch of my daily chores which I thought was prudent to do because a big storm system is rolling in with a tropical storm heading this way in its wake tomorrow. Thankfully it appears that the brunt of the storm will miss here but we are still supposed to get a good bit of rain and some strong winds. There is not much that I need to do for storm preparation but the current weather (it started raining just before I sat down to write) is impeding my plans for working outdoors today. Basically I would just be shuffling some stuff around that I have in storage but between the high heat, the humidity (it was so foggy this morning that I thought it was a wildfire) and now with the rain I doubt that I will get anything on that project done today. Unless the weather clears up I doubt that I will be doing much at all besides hanging out with the dogs and taking it easy exactly like I have done for the last many weeks now.

The days have been undoubtedly rather hum-drum and nothing all that special in and of themselves which is absolutely the point of taking a break and although I have already been ramping myself back up to working more outdoors I have yet to get my sleep cycle to not include two or three naps a day! I swear I have a hard time knowing what time of the day it is after waking up from random naps and it always takes me a little while to realize 'oh yeah I already did my daily chores' and 'yup it is still the same day that it was when I fell asleep' which is no big deal or anything but it sure makes for a sort of surreal mindset as far as time goes. I do not mind it at all and especially so given just how rested I feel and how downright calm that my mind has become as the long hot days of summer begin to wane towards autumn and I slowly start begin to psyche myself up for the next phase of things to be done around here.

Since my gardening endeavors did not do all that well this year I have yet again begun thinking about setting up some kind of small greenhouse to grow stuff in during the winter when the place gets more light due to the limited tree foliage. The thing is that I also need to finalize on a site for my own setup and keep thinking that I should consider holding off on all other projects besides finishing the site I am currently in and working towards setting up the next site. I often take on a lot for one person to do but I am also looking at doing things quite slowly over a long gradient of time so it never seems all that overwhelming or anything. The way that I see it is that there are always so many damn steps to doing anything worth doing so I may as well take my sweet ass time doing them and just focus on taking one step at a time with as little anxiety along the way as possible. As much as that is all 'easier said than done' the old saying about 'practice makes perfect' tides me over quite nicely as I make the inevitable mistakes and give it all my best.

Well, I wound up getting outdoors and shuffling some of my stuff in storage around yesterday once the rain let up in the morning and before it began pouring again in the afternoon. It was quite the mess between the rodent activity and the mold/mildew but I at least made some good headway on sorting things out and shuffling some of it into a better storage location. After a few hours of working on the storage scenario the rain began again so I wrapped everything up and climbed into a hot bath which I had prepared for myself before beginning the dirty work. With all the gross stuff involved I was sure to add a good bit more bleach to the bath water than I normally would just for good measure and afterwards I immediately washed all the clothes that I had been wearing in the same heavily chlorinated water. I am not exactly looking forward to working on the storage stuff more over the coming days but I am going to try to work around all the foul weather and see what all I can accomplish regardless of how much laundry that I create in the process.

On a different note. The chickens have all been looking better since I began using the diatomaceous earth and although I never mentioned it what I have been doing is leaving them in their coop. I not only coated everything in the coop with the stuff but I also put a few large cardboard flats of it for them to dust in which seems to have worked even though the cardboard flats were a bit on the small side. The main reason that I have been keeping them cooped is because they were not letting enough of the fledgling vegetation get established in the dog yard and were keeping it quite bare. After just a few weeks a lot of stuff has been able to take hold in the dog yard and although the erosion is still problematic there is at least some vegetation to help hold the un-eroded areas together. That Kentucky-31 grass seed that I used here never did all that well and at this point I am leaning heavily towards sodding the dog yard and just being done with it. Getting some grass growing is pretty important not just for controlling erosion but also to cut down on the dirt and muck as well as providing some grass for the dogs to eat.

The morning is dragging on here and I am going to have to get on with my day one way or another but as I write this the weather is turning more foul by the minute and there is the heavy rumble of thunder in the distance.

Well, I never got anything else done after writing that last bit yesterday and it wound up storming for much of the day. The rain let up by the early evening and although there was a bunch of 'heat lightning' there was not much in the way of an actual storm left by then. Other parts of this region and the states north of here got hammered pretty good by the tropical deluge and in some places there has been a massive amount of flash flooding as rainfall totals that would usually happen over six months (or more) occurred over a matter of hours. It is some dodgy stuff from looking at the pictures and videos that folks which I know have posted and it seemed to catch many by surprise altogether and they were caught totally un-prepared. Having lived in a few of the places most heavily affected by the flooding I gotta say that seeing those images and understanding the scale of the flooding leaves me at a loss of words to adequately describe my feelings.

Anyway, this morning I dove right into working on sorting out my storage scenario more and wound up making several trips with the wagon hauling stuff from one place to another. It was pretty damned grueling pulling the heavy wagon in the heat but thankfully there was only one short section of the journey that was uphill and the rest was rather flat. Lately I keep thinking about how 'awesome' it is to have so much 'inadequate storage space' and so much stuff crammed into it... that navigating through it to find what I am looking for is often more trouble than it is worth. I know that this is a re-occurring theme in my life (having too much stuff and not enough space for it) but it is not like I am hoarding stuff or anything and I know that all total I do not actually have many possessions compared to most folks. During all the shuffling of stuff I noticed that the rodents sure did a good bit of damage to stuff (as well as the mold and mildew) but somehow my journals seem to have made it through it all unscathed which I guess is about as best as I could hope for in the situation.

Alright, it is another day (the two hundred and seventy-seventh day here) and I slept in pretty late after at first waking up for all of two minutes around five this morning and thinking 'just a little more sleep' before promptly zonking back out for a solid three more hours! When I finally did get up I was like 'well that happened fast' (the passing of three hours) and I was so quick to get out of bed and get my day started that I wound up fumbling the espresso making process in such a way that I spilled a palm-full of coffee grounds which is an absolute rarity for me! At that point I knew immediately that I should just take a deep breath and not let it bother me if I wanted to remain feeling even mildly chipper especially given how achy I was feeling after yesterday's activities. Thankfully I was not feeling all that stiff and after just a small amount of stretching both the stiffness and the overall 'ache' receded noticeably. It is a small wonder that I am feeling as good as I do after moving hundreds of pounds of stuff around over the last several days.

Ah, I do not know how to dive into much of what has been on my mind the last few months as I have sunk further and further into my downtime which at this point I can only surmise as 'an ongoing experiment in cohesive disassociation whilst maintaining awareness of non-beneficial maladaptive coping mechanisms that ultimately signal neglect of therapeutic practices that make things easier' or something like that. In the grand scheme of things neglecting myself and all that jazz is not like some damning thing but whoa in my little brain it sure feels like it is. I mean just because I have not done my laundry does not mean I am some despicable creature but that is more or less how it gets translated in my head. What a sordid mess that I make of things when in all reality I make an incredible amount of good choices each day and actually take pretty damn good care of myself along the way by resting, eating, drinking fluids (mostly watered down coffee of late just because that seems to be what I will drink the most of) and overall my life is better than it has probably ever been... so what gives. The question that I keep asking myself is: Are you unhappy because you are dissatisfied or are you dissatisfied because you are unhappy? After weeks of persistently asking myself that I landed on a startling answer which was that I am neither! I mean hell, I have had plenty of enough 'adventures' now in life to realize when I am not on one and simply need to accept that I am where I need to be doing exactly what I need to be doing and somehow have my priorities straight enough that questions of happiness are more indicative of past trauma than present experience.

I do not know about anyone else but shit is so visceral feeling in regards to the zeitgeist of the planet that maybe it is important to acknowledge that collectively we should take a step back and re-examine the very nature of why we are asking the questions (or forming the opinions) that we are in pseudo-isolation and then being so vehement about them in public where they do not quite mesh with what is considered 'acceptable narratives' and instead of embracing the opportunity to become more informed I have actually seen folks portray that they are less informed than they really are so that they can appropriately defend their un-defendable position, supposition or subjective opinion. This is all pretty ludicrous to me because it signals that folks are not actually of the temperament to debate the subject matter in a pursuit of truth or whatever the hell passes for truth these days. Lets not candy-coat nor water down what is going on and instead embrace it with the stark truths that we know about our own behaviors, biases, prejudices and so forth and so on. The very foundation of civility is written in an agreement that basically says: Here we are and where do we go from here in pursuit of what all parties want. What it has to account for is human error, bad behavior and the possibility that yes folks can get along... its a stretch, I know and but I also think that perhaps it is a 'stretch' worth making on most occasions.

Life itself is always as easy as breathing, eating, sleeping, shitting and pissing (hopefully not in our beds nor on ourselves) and fundamentally doing whatever it takes to meet our most basic needs. Beyond that lies the dimension of 'what the hell are we doing' and while some folks make art and others toil at the mundane as if it were heroic there are indeed others doing their very best to make the way for a better future that sees abundance in regards to the basic necessities of daily living. It is a brutal truth that the world is far from wholesome and one that is best swallowed with a sober state of mind because otherwise it is just too damned much.

I awoke quite late this morning and after shaking off the initial sluggishness I hiked to where I had my lawnmower stored and hauled it back over to the shelter site where I plan on giving it a tune-up over the coming days. Overall the vegetation is not all that thick along the roads but now that we are heading into the snakes more active season (the fall) I want to go ahead and trim everything down. The other thing that I am thinking of doing is seeing if I can cut (probably with the weed-eater) a bunch of the tall grass growing near the center of the property so that I can turn it into hay/straw depending on what sort of grass it is. Timing is going to be everything on that because I need to cut the grass during a time when there will not be very much (or any) rain so that it can properly dry out before I collect it with a rake and haul it to the shelter site with the wagon. It is going to be quite the task but I am hoping to use the hay/straw to cover the dog yard and hopefully it will be laden with seeds and begin growing in before the winter arrives.

After the hike I went ahead and cleaned the chicken coop out real good and let the chickens out to roam. Hopefully they are not too destructive of all the fledgling vegetation growing in the dog yard before their coop dries out and I can add pine shavings and diatomaceous earth to it and get them back inside. Last time that I did that I used some cardboard flats to put the diatomaceous earth in and since that seemed to work rather well I will probably do it again unless I think of something better to use between now and then. In all honesty I am thinking that what I should do is consider building a bigger coop further uphill that is setup not just for roosting and feeding but also for breeding. Of course adding onto the current coop is also appealing but ultimately I am leaning towards turning that coop into a rabbit hutch. If I go the rabbit hutch route I would have to lift the structure further off the ground than the mere one foot (0.3048 meters) that it currently is but that should not be all that difficult given its construction.

The whole setup of the coop is still kind of wonky but so far it seems to have been working well enough for the chickens because they sure do produce a lot of eggs and are in moderately good health besides my ongoing battle with the mites and lice which as a side note I was 'winning' until a few days ago when all the high heat and muggy weather combined with needing to clean the coop seemed to make the lice/mites in the coop have a population explosion. All that I can really do is to continue dusting the birds, the coop and the ground around it with the diatomaceous earth and look at how to create a better environment for the birds. Besides that one big nuisance those critters look fat and happy and I often wonder at how I have managed to keep them alive this long!

Well, I have not written anything for a few days now and since it is still too wet outdoors to do any mowing (or weed-eating) and all my morning chores are already done... I should try to get out whatever is rattling around in my mind. These summer days are still going by in a blur but I have at least been getting a good bit of physical activity in between doing random stuff around the shelter site and taking one or more hikes each day. Considering how much time I have spent indoors over the last few months it is a wonder that I am still in such good shape and still have quite the tan to boot! Getting out in the sun each day has assuredly been good for me and I am really looking forward to when things cool down and the fall weather begins so that it is not blistering hot outside.

The sun is already up here and although I have been up for a few hours now I have yet to do anything besides sip a bunch of espresso and check out what is going on in the news. That last bit is quite the rabbit hole these days and for the most part all I can say is: What an ongoing mess the world is! I do not get much further than that with my thinking before my mind 'jumps track' and I begin thinking about my own scenario and what I can do in it to make it better. Although that provides me with a good amount to focus on my mind always seems to gradually gravitate back to the larger difficulties of the current times and what (if anything) can be done to shift the trajectory of humanity towards a better future. All that jazz is of course way out of my own hands and at this point in things there does not appear to be any obvious solutions besides a massive change in human behavior.

Anyway, the day before yesterday I had no luck getting my weed-eater running after several hours of tinkering with it. I may need to remove and clean the carburetor but I have not ruled out that the kill switch has gone bad or the possibility that the fuel I am using has got water in it. So instead of spending more time on it I used one of my swing-blades to cut down a bunch of vegetation in front of the shelter site and along the road to the hangout area located on a different part of the property. Since much of what I was cutting was grass I am hoping that when it dries up that it will make for good hay/straw that can be spread around the dog yard. Some of the grass and other vegetation was bearing seeds at the time that I cut it so that will definitely be helpful in my vegetation growing efforts. I should probably get out and do some more trimming with the swing-blade this morning before it gets too hot outside and see if I can get a good bit of hay/straw laying on the ground to dry out before the next round of storms hits the area.

It is an odd time in my life and lately I have been thinking about what sort of future that I want for myself. It seems like I have been 'making do' with whatever I can for so long that I have lost sight of what I really want for myself like a functional studio, a shop to fabricate stuff in and so forth and so on. That sort of stuff is just unreachable when having basic things like food, adequate shelter and so forth are problematic and I can totally understand how I have prioritized those goals over the years but at this juncture I am trying to bring some other goals back into focus. I guess it is practical to give up on the impractical as long as I know that it will one day become practical again. As funny as it is just putting my writing table in the attic and telling myself it will make a nice place to use as a studio in the winter did wonders for my peace of mind in regards to making progress on the studio front and it is little victories like that which remind me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Alright, I just got back indoors after going and doing all my daily chores as well as swing-blading a bunch more of the road. Two days in a row of swinging that tool around has me feeling almost nostalgic for the days when it was the only tool that I had to 'mow' with and how it took me a lot of practice to get reasonably good at it. All that old muscle memory must be paying off because I did the task almost mindlessly besides watching out for snakes, fire ant mounds, burs and thorny stuff. Honestly it was quite soothing and nowhere near as dirty of a job as using a lawnmower or weed-eater would have been and thankfully I got finished just before the heat of the day really began to set in.

Super early this morning I went ahead and fabricated a cardboard enclosure for the chickens to dust themselves inside of and after lining it with some pine shavings and a large heap of diatomaceous earth I got it setup for them inside the coop. The enclosure is hard to explain but it is basically a closed cardboard box with an opening on the side for the chickens to go in and out of. Considering how long that I wracked my brain for a solution I hope that it works and they start using it routinely as a place to take a dust bath. The only thing left to do for it is to burn a bunch of cardboard and add the ashes to the mix so that the diatomaceous earth does not clump up so much being as fine as it is. If the design works I think that I am going to use it as a template for making a few dust boxes with plywood which would assuredly last much longer than the cardboard.

The morning is quiet and although it is only five thirty I have drank most of my espresso and am wanting to get the hell on with my day by doing something... so here I am clacking away at the keyboard and thinking my ponderous thoughts. Thankfully my mind is rather still so far today and my gears are turning pretty dang slowly. When I was laying in bed half awake I began picturing how I could add another room onto the solar shack by putting in some footers on the downhill side of it and building off of them. Doing so would make the wall (which would adjoin the building's downhill side as it now is) rather tall and easy to slope new rafters off of in such a way that they would not interfere with the existing roof or the other building. I am not set on doing it or anything but once the sun is up I think I will look at how feasible of an idea it really is.

On a different note. There is always too much to spell out in these entries and I often glaze over all the little details that make up my lifestyle and in doing so I often wonder if those details are what are really important and I am totally missing it... or I have already written (or recorded) such details before and find the repetition stifling. At this point I have to wonder if it would be best to look at things from a new angle in the hope of finding a way out of the maze of words that I have boxed myself in with. That sounds a bit dramatic but in essence what I am saying is that finding new 'ways and means' to accurately express myself kind of draws me on or at the very least keeps me motivated to keep moving towards a clearer perspective. Doing so in such a way that it can then have a shred of hope of being conveyed is another matter entirely. What I eventually realized just recently is that I have to write more than just these entries and when the mood takes me to write fiction, poems, songs or whatever little things pop into my mind that seem somehow noteworthy to just do it and get it out of my system! I briefly entertained including some of it in these posts but decided against doing so with how long they already tend to be.

Well, it is now a little after dawn on the following day and I am ever-so-slowly getting woken up all the way as I sip my espresso and listen to the roosters crowing outside. I was dreaming something pretty intense just before waking but I have yet to recall a single shred of what it was about or what was going on in it. A part of not recalling my dreams probably has to do with waking up with my right hand being asleep still because I was laying on it (or something) and it took me a bit to get the circulation flowing in it again. I did drift back off afterwards for a brief time and kept dreaming but its all just background noise at this point. Whatever the heck it was I awoke feeling rather clear headed and at ease so that is pretty nice.

Late in the afternoon yesterday I got some non-ethanol fuel brought out here and although I was thinking to put it off until (what is now) today... I instead took the carburetor on the self-propelled lawnmower apart and gave it a good cleaning as well as the spark-plug, the air filter shroud and the air filter itself. It took some time to get it running though and in the end I wound up squirting a little carb cleaner into the carb itself and where the spark-plug gets screwed in at. Overall it is not the best starting technique but it sure works and even though I laid out a big piece of cardboard next to the exhaust to absorb any oily mist... the mower did not spew out much of an oily mist this time. It barely misted oil at all and as soon as it was done belching smoke I headed off with it down the road and got to mowing all the areas that needed it. Since the mower deck is set to what I call 'bush-hogging' level it never stalled and I got in a good hour or more of mowing before calling it quits for the day and slipping into the outdoor tub to wash off and cool the heck down.

It is yet another morning here and I am slowly getting in motion for the day even though I have already been awake for a few hours. Although I kept meaning to open the text editor and start plugging away at writing... I kept getting distracted by looking at stuff online. Finding out 'what is up' each morning can get quite time consuming if I let it and I often look at the weather last which is probably the only thing that I really need to be looking at anyway but go figure!

Anyway, all the activity over the last few days has left me feeling rather invigorated and thankfully with only some minor aches and pains. Since my garden has not done well this year I went ahead and dumped all the flower pots with soil in them into the raised beds. The potatoes were the only thing that did reasonably well out of it all and I wound up with a bunch of tiny seed potatoes that I planted in one of the raised beds. In the other raised bed I planted that cactus that I salvaged several months back from the garden area. Once all the flower pots were out of the way I cleared out all the fallen tree branches and gave the garden area a good mowing. I also got all the roads and the communal area mowed. Since I was already in the area with the lawnmower I also cut some of the taller grass in the meadow to use as hay/straw. I could probably cut a few small bales of the stuff from the meadow but honestly I am hesitant to do so given what a snake (and wildlife) habitat that area is.

Okay, it has been a few more days and overall it was a really nice weekend but now that it is over I need to get back to working on stuff in earnest. I did do some minor things over the weekend which all amounted to cutting back more vegetation from the roads and the new trail that I made in the garden area. There were also a bunch of small sapling stumps left from the lawnmower that I removed with my good pair of handheld loppers that I recently found while organizing the shop. It is kind of funny but during all my walks since finishing the mowing and vegetation trimming it is like I am seeing the place for the first time, which I kind of am because it is assuredly the first time that I have seen it mowed.

During all the landscaping work I finally solved the mystery of the fruit tree that I could not identify. If I had been paying closer attention I would have noticed for months now the ripening persimmons on a bunch of trees out here but I somehow did not notice until a week or so ago! Since noticing them I have been eating some of the fallen persimmons and cutting loose all the strangler vines growing on the trees. There must be at least a hundred or more of the trees (at different stages of growth) scattered around the property and now that I know what they look like I can begin tending to the groves of them (as well as the lone trees) and see what I can do to get them to flourish. Once I really noticed how prolifically they are growing I got very excited about just how much fruit they can produce not to mention that it is a prized wood.

Anyway, I have finished my morning chores for the day as well as taken two hikes around the property checking out whether I could find anymore persimmons or other fruits like grapes growing. There are either some of the largest fox grapes here that I have ever seen or they are the smallest muscadine grapes that I have ever seen. Whichever they are they have a sweet taste and would make good wine (or vinegar) given that I could find them in abundance. So far I have only found either single grapes or two to three at a time and not located any growing in large clumps but I still have a few more areas to hike so who knows. They (much like the persimmons) are getting ripe quick so if I am going to gather either I better do it soon. Most likely I will just eat a fruit here or there as I am hiking and leave the rest to the wildlife for now.

Well, I never quite finished this entry yesterday like I was hoping to and instead I hiked around the garden area, collected the sticks out of the way and gave more of it a mowing with the lawnmower. Before all that jazz I also walked around and took some pictures mainly to have some for this entry but also so that I would have some comparison images for help with identifying some of the flora. Although I initially thought that I had solved the fruit tree mystery... on closer inspection that particular tree type is different from the persimmon tree so I guess I could say that I solved a single mystery... the persimmon trees! I still need to get a positive identification on the other trees which are (I think) either plums, peaches, pears or maybe even figs. Even though I saw those small fruit on one of those trees many months ago, I missed the opportunity to see them ripen and thus learn what they were. I think that they got ripe during the early part of summer while I was holed up in the air conditioned cabin taking some downtime. Next time that I do that I will need to take more hikes so I do not have a gap in my observations.

It is nearly afternoon now on the following day and I am in super slow motion after a long night's sleep filled with some rather wacky dreams that were 'action packed' and very engaging to say the least. The wind picked up pretty early in the afternoon yesterday and the wind gusts had all the pines swaying like crazy so the rest of the day was pretty much a bust as far as working outdoors goes. Even later in the day the outer-bands from that recent hurricane began arriving here and although it rained some it did not storm for nearly as long as I thought that it was going to. It did however sprinkle rain on and off the rest of the day and into the evening which is nice given how much seed that I spread around while doing all that mowing.

Now that the fall is nearly here I really need to get to working on the grass growing projects and procure a bunch of straw, seed and perhaps even a seed spreader. It would be really nice to have a bunch of hydro-injection done around the place to better ensure seed growth but honestly that is an expensive route and unnecessary for the time being. I think that if it comes to that I may as well just buy a few pallets of sod instead and have instant grass... which is probably what I should do anyway to solve the problem of so much exposed topsoil in the dog yard! One way or another I have to get something adequate growing to counter the erosion in the dog yard before it gets washed down to bare clay. At the moment the polk weed seems to be doing a good job of holding everything together but it is bound to go dormant over the coming weeks or months and there will not be much in the way of vegetation once it does.

Okay, this entry is assuredly going to be a mess to edit but I need to wind it down and dive in because I am already running a day late on my monthly deadline. Whoa! That was indeed a lot to edit but it is now as 'done' as it is going to be so I better wrap it up. I hope that everyone is doing well and has a nice day/night!


Just one sunny spot as the clouds closed in!


The little garden in the pine forest after mowing it.


The largest clump of polk weed growing in the dog yard.


Polk weed berries!


I turned one of the raised beds into a cactus garden.


I have no idea what this bush is but it has berries!


A close up shot of the unknown bush's berries.


Persimmon Trees!


There are so many ripe persimmons on the ground!


A yummy persimmon!

Thanks for reading!

More about me: I have been doing property caretaking (land stewardship) for many years (decades) and live a rather simple life with my dogs doing what most folks would consider to be an 'alternative minimalist lifestyle' but what I often just think of as a low-impact lifestyle where I get to homestead and spend the majority of my time alone with my dogs in the woods doing projects in the warmer months and taking some downtime during the colder months.

Nearly four years ago I began sharing the adventures (misadventures) of my life via writing, videos, pictures and the occasional podcasts and although my intention was to simply share my life with some friends it undoubtedly grew into much more than that over the years and now I find myself doing what equates to a full-time job just 'sharing my life' which is not even all that glamorous or anything but hey folks seem to enjoy it so I just keep doing it!

The way that I look at it is that I give it all my best each day and while some stuff I write is better than others I think that for the most part I do a pretty good job at doing what I am doing which is simply 'sharing my life' as candidly as I possibly can and whatever folks get (or do not get) from it there is always the satisfaction of me doing what I set out to do... which is to simply share my life.


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That Is All For Now!

Cheers! & Hive On!


It's good to see you back writing. Is this your longest post yet? I'll have to come back to finish reading, as I have my own daily chores now and it was longer than my breakfast lasted. 😆

I'm interested to hear how you go with the chickens and the dog pen after you've sodded it. They can really decimate greenery in a small area, depending on how many you have, unless they're those little bantams that are more decorative than layers.

Sounds like you've made steady progress and have a good shelter in place now.

By the way, thank you for the delegation, although I wonder if you could use it more than me.


I think there is actually a longer one from a few months ago and since then I have been trying to keep them a little shorter even though they span a one month period.

My two roosters are big and the two hens are mid-sized but yeah they are rough on the vegetation. I will assuredly post about the sod if I go that route which is probably the only thing that would work anyway given the scenario.

Yeah, the new shelter totally rocks and has been super cozy all summer long! The material cost and my labor investment was steep but so worth it given how well built it is. Definitely my best shelter yet!

No worries on the delegation. I do not vote all that much so I decided to make some delegations with it.

Cheers and all that jazz!


You could build a chicken tractor and move it around where you want the grass cut and fertilized, then put them up in the evenings.