Persimmon Story

Once upon a time there was a tree bursting full of astringent persimmons. (Meaning they are horribly puckery and basically inedible until very ripe at which point they become gooey sweet, orange flavored and fig textured). So yesterday with Gordon’s help, I picked what I could, cleaned up the mess on the ground, then lay down a tarp to catch some freshly fallen fruit.  …Of course about seven landed on the tarp and about seventy elsewhere.

Persimmon Tree

There was also a cute little caterpillar that Silas and I named Simmy who was out collecting fallen fruit.

Simmy

More often than periodically, we are blessed with the rank scent of shit around our abode. At first we were puzzled by its origin, thinking that some nearby field had been freshly enriched by manure. (Wishful thinking.) Then on my way home from work one day I discovered a sign with a cute little cartoon turkey on it right down the road. And a long barn on the property with cute little turkey head silhouettes showing through a screen. Crap. That’s the source of the stench. Not temporary.

Now that the persimmons are ripening and the renters moved out, I’ve been spending more time at the other edge of the property. And then I realized that my perception was a bit off. The stinking turkeys aren’t down the road at all, but right across the street. Great. Gobble gobble. Maybe this thanksgiving will offer something to be truly thankful for.

SourceOfTheStench

Anyway, I got some ripe little fruit, pulverized it, and am storing it for later. Moved the tarp and will visit the turkeys again tomorrow.

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The end.

Oh yeah, and here’s the rental that will probably be ours one day soon. For Rent: Cute Little House in the Woods (hope that you’re nose blind). Actually the stink isn’t bad in the woods…but there may be ghosts and fairies and angry deer and shit.

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Doubt

I barely fell asleep before I heard a faint sound of distress. Silas crying at the other end of the house in his bed. I ran to him as fast as I could. He was upset because he had to pee.

Forget going back to sleep right now. Or rather, I tried for about 30 minutes, but now I’m here entertaining you, virtual diary with my bullshit tales of woe.

Why did we do this? How could we have ripped Eddie out of his school, his life, away from his friends? We said, “As soon as we move in, we’ll have a party for all your friends to show them where you live. They’ll want to come often.”  Well that was crap. One because we haven’t and probably won’t.  Two because that is just rubbing salt in the wound, “Thanks for coming, good buddies, now go back to my old life and I will go back to my lonely new one.”

It’s day 4 of 7th grade at a new school. He seems ok. Said the kids are all nice and as a matter of fact, nobody has made one disparaging remark to anyone as far as he can recall. Well that’s just bizarre. Nothing makes you feel like an outsider more than being off-kilter in a sea of nice. Who the hell is that happy and fine where they don’t have to talk some trash? Or is it a case of “bless his heart” (whisper whisper whisper)? Of course I share none of these poison thoughts with him. And honestly I didn’t have these poison thoughts at all until I was lying around fretting, digging the anxiety wound bigger and bigger.

I’m terrified of the possibility of climbing out of my warm fly covered dung heap to take a new job. Especially right now. But shouldn’t I join the club and do just that? Especially because of what I’ve forced my fragile-aged son to do?

Or perhaps the better question is why am I down this godless rabbit hole at all? Because Eddie mentioned his friend Sammi and we shared a pang of absence and planned on sending out emails to friends once the kids were assigned their chrome books, (since the whole county is linked)? Is it because nobody’s reassurances mean a thing, except my mother’s, and I can’t ever have one of those again? Or is it because we really did the very wrong thing in coming here? Should we have stayed in hot, plastic suburbia watching House of Cards and just dreaming of trees?

What did I tell him and myself before? What are the nuggets of truth that I’ve forgotten? It doesn’t matter where we are, as long as we are together. Everything will be fine no matter what. You know nobody there today, but will know them all tomorrow. It will be worth it. We will be able to breathe there.

Why can’t I breathe here?

Exploding Head

My dream was interrupted by a grating, industrial-sounding, repetitive clanging that woke me and shook me to the core. “What was that?” I asked a stirring Gordon next to me in our new too-firm bed. He grumbled a reply and went back to sleep. I got up to look around. Something must have happened. Something was wrong. But no. The house was quiet and everyone was asleep.

I spent the next while worried that someone someday would crash into our house and kill us in the middle of the night.  And we’ll never be able to sell this place.  Who wants to live on a highway?  And the bed we just bought was a bad idea.  Too hard, (but I did notice that nothing on me hurt when I got up to investigate).  And now I have to change jobs?!  Or at least look into it. My counselor, of all people (who knows all my crazy) sent me a link to a job she thinks I should apply for and use her as a reference. Which means, if I blow it off, we will have to talk about why I didn’t at least look into it considering my current job is failing the ultimatum I gave it in February.  And what kind of psycho has auditory hallucinations that are loud enough to wake them up?

It’s called Exploding Head Syndrome.  Occurs sometimes when people are stressed combined with mental or physical exhaustion. More common in women than men.  Also, is commonly followed by anxiety.

Ok, so I’m not a psycho.  I’m just tired and stressed and I’ve been smiling and nodding and working and trying to offer stability to my three boys that are feeling their own worry.  Making sure papers are signed and heads are kissed and crock pots are full of dinner.  Gordon is doing all of that stuff too, but has new things going on that take him away from his normal level of domesticity and his normal role of stabilizing.

A Big Old Steaming Pile of Crap: Compost part 3

Hot Compost 1   Hot Compost 2   Vermicomposting

It was getting dark out and I wasn’t wearing my glasses, but I’m pretty sure my compost pile is already looking more dirt like. This is after I pulled all of the cooler external stuff away to prepare for the turning:

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Don’t mind the fresh grass clippings. They are getting their own pile that will probably be a quick stinky experiment, unless I can get some browns mixed in. But eh, I’ve already got one baby to look after and I’m sure we aren’t burning up those brush piles or picking up more leaves any time soon. I refuse to buy compost materials. Maybe I’ll rip up some cardboard. Or maybe I’ll just add some kitchen waste and watch the whole thing turn into a smelly nitrogen-charged raccoon fest until it spontaneously combusts.

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(R.I.P. friend)

Ok, so then I dug into the center and started pulling the hot stuff open, creating a space for the cooler stuff to be rotated in.  Look at it in all its steamy goodness:

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I found quite a bit of white powdery crap that I think means my temp is too high? Not sure and too lazy to look it up. But anyway, the pile doesn’t stink. It smells a bit nice, actually. Or I’m just effed up.

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Lying in my warm pile of rotting junk post turn. This is a good look for me. Gravity is my friend. Oh yeah, this pile is full of piss. Awesome. Oh well, we’re family. It’s nowhere as bad as sitting on a public toilet after some hovercraft of a lady has not been neat or wiped the seat. Of course that lady probably didn’t drop a million centipedes and spiders out of her crotch either.

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Smokin’ Stuff: part 2

Hot Compost 1   Hot Compost 3   Vermicomposting

We used to have a pool. Now we have color coded sturdy lidded buckets. Guess which bucket has the piss in it?  The other two buckets contained my “water supply” (air quotes) and some kitchen scraps.  I thought that since we’d gotten a bit of rain today that I’d end up with a beautifully soaked pile of compost material after a couple of trips back to the hose, which is incredibly far away.  Like stupidly so.  Oh yeah, and look at that “rake”. Ok, so it is an actual rake, but was in no way a proper tool for the job.  Basically I got to my compost site, tossed a five gallon drop of water onto a dry sponge, moved twelve blades of grass with my flimsy plastic rake, and realized that I was way out of my league. The pile laughed at my pitiful attempt. Continue reading “Smokin’ Stuff: part 2”

Brain Pain: a Saga

I see a pattern emerging. When I’m feeling especially posty it degrades into Brain Pain posts. But I’m living in this state right now. I’m not walking around in black or crying a lot, but I’m well within the text book acceptable grieving state. Even early. It’s only been three and a half months since I lost my mother for good. It seems a lot longer though. The world shifted then. To me, it was an apocalyptic event, yet one that the vast majority of existence didn’t feel.  A spidery grayness encased the hearts of some of us, but otherwise life carried on. Jobs, kids, funny TV shows. Regular shit. And then we committed to this crazy incredible dirt quest thing.

Continue reading “Brain Pain: a Saga”

Smokin’ Hot Garbage-y Fun

Hot Compost 2   Hot Compost 3   Vermicomposting

OK — So it’s time to set the foundation of all of our endeavors.  And where better to begin than the plan for our waste?  Everything we do produces a by-product.  And it was never more evident than moving out of one place and into another.  (Mountains of crap.)  So in order to make us more efficient participants of life, I’m going to try my hand at hot-composting.  Eeek.  But I like ratios and trying to perfect formulas.  This should be fun.  So Gordon drove around picking up a bunch of leaves (trying to find our driveway and grass in the front yard) while I made a base of twigs taken from one of the many, many, many brush piles blocking off the more dense part of the woods.  Then we made this:

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Continue reading “Smokin’ Hot Garbage-y Fun”

The Truck Cap Chicken Tractor (Reblog)

Saving this idea. See, I inherited my own truck topper….

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The Quaint Homesteader

Saturday we started to work on our Truck Cap Chicken Tractor, which is a portable chicken coop with a Truck Cap as the roof. We are building it in two separate parts, the Cap and the Run.  We  don’t have a whole lot of carpentry experience, and don’t have the best tools, but we are doing the best we can.  Here are some pictures:

We plan to put four wheels on the base so we can move it, because the cap is kinda heavy. For nest boxes, I thought some milk crates that we picked up on freecycle would work, mounted under that rear window.  Does anyone have any objections to that idea?  Also we aren’t sure how we want to build the chicken door in the front panel.  I would like to have a horizontal door that folds down to make a little exit ramp, but I’d also like…

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