Counting Blessings, Cutting Loses, Culling Critters

A respite from the heat, but still no rain. We surveyed our fenced land for grazing and have come to the sad conclusion that our intention last year to grow the herd will not be achieved in the near future.

Seemed like the right thing to do, growing the herd, considering food inflation and especially high meat prices, and the fact that Hubby is here full-time now, and that more bartering/trading could be in the foreseeable future. But, the parched land screams otherwise.

Between the steeply rising cost of feed and the meager forage available, and no guarantees the stranglehold of the weather terrorists will let up any time soon, we come to some difficult decisions.

We will wait another year to freshen the goats, drastically reduce the number of sheep, and breed back only one sow. We will maintain the poultry flock as-is for the most part, but had hoped to add ducks once again to the mix. No rain means fewer bugs means more supplemental feed. So that plan is not looking too good now either.

Planned building projects are also getting postponed. A ‘milking parlor’ was on the list, some much-needed repairs to the deck, rebuilding the greenhouse, a field shelter for the herd, and on and on, plans are easy, implementation, not so much!

We are blessed with an already achieved minimalism: Living seasonally, frugally, well-acquainted with the boom-bust cycles of our overlords and still small enough to be flexible, and with enough local support to know we’ve got each other.

Our most crucial long-term goal remains: Growing our own feed—perennials as well as annuals.

We hear the word ‘sustainable’ repeated multiple times a day these days, but there’s rarely anything truly sustainable being suggested.

It’s 99% hype and green washing. But actual sustainability does exist, and the more self-reliant we can be, the closer we are to achieving it.

How do we measure up?

And it’s not like there’s not plenty for us still to do and learn here, even with squeezing the belt tighter.

I’m still very interested in herbalism, especially as it pertains to our local environment. The best things in life are free, or nearly so, no?!

And while I do appreciate the allure of the consumer life, I’m far more fascinated by the natural world all around me. It’s always a matter of slowing down, observing ever more closely, teasing out the potential of all that is all around me, and some of that certainly means our local community, but that doesn’t just mean the people.

I’d love to learn more wild crafts, as well as more fine art tuning; more science, and more speculation; and much, much more about where and how these endeavors mesh.

There is a different brand of “More!”, isn’t there, than the furious Billy Idol sang about?

Or, maybe it’s all the same, in the midnight hour?

Nature’s Myriad Mysteries

Every day on the wee homestead brings some new mystery, most of which go mostly unsolved. No need for UFOs, Jesus’ image on your morning toast, or Big Foot sightings around here—we’ve got baffling bees, mystical mushrooms, and unexplained murders.

I’ll start with the most dramatic. A rancher neighbor was terribly shaken up and recounted a recent disturbing event at their place, meaning to warn us. They found two calves bleeding, one dead, one still barely alive, which they had to put down, the injury was so severe.

She had been crying, as I would’ve been as well, and told me in their nearly two decades here they had never seen such a thing and had no idea what creature had done it. It wasn’t any kind of injury they recognized or have had to deal with before. Each one had a single tear right up its undercarriage, with the entrails spilling out, and nothing eaten. Coyotes being our typical predators around here, I inquired along those lines and she shook her head, clearly, not this time. We do hear stories about panther sightings on occasion, I myself thought I saw one once too. But again, the gnawing question, predators don’t just kill calves for the fun of it. Two calves killed, no markings or traces of a struggle, and nothing eaten. That is a mystery I prefer not to think too much about.

So, quickly, on to better stories!

I have an update on the bizarre ‘mushroom blob’ from a recent post. Over the last weeks it has developed into typical bracket or crust fungi. While now at least it is generally identifiable, the mystery still remains, because bracket mushrooms grow on trees, not under vines in regular garden soil. There is not even wood mulch on the top of the bed where it’s growing.

The fungi when I first found it above, and again today, below.

My only guess is that the mycelia network is coming up from below this raised bad. We threw a bunch of wood chunks down before piling on the soil. But, that might be a stretch, as I’ve never heard of these mushrooms growing on anything but living or dead bark. I just don’t know.

Mushrooms being my second favorite mystery after bees, we end with a sweeter little story.

This bitternut tree was all abuzz with activity this morning. It’s hard with photos to get a sense of how many bees were working it, so there’s a short video clip below for the sound effects.

We couldn’t help but think it was such odd bee behavior, because nothing on this tree is blooming—no pollen, no nectar. Yet the bees were clearly eating something off the leaves. So, we licked the leaves, and they taste sweet! I have no idea why this would be, but the leaves seem to be exuding some kind of sap. The bees have been all over it all day, so it wasn’t just morning dew.

This sounds like the simple sort of mystery a local arborist could solve for us. If I find out, I’ll be sure and let y’all know, so you don’t loose any sleep over it! 😆

Homestead Happy Snaps

High 90s again this week—will it ever end?!

Kinda hard to stay motivated when we’re melting!

Luckily as mood boosters we have Hubby’s homemade sparkling wine coolers. It’s his own concoction, made from our own ‘new’ wines—pear mixed with wild grape—complete with bubbles! It’s really tasty, not too sweet, and a lovely color. And bubbles!

Delicious!

The goats are still impressively darling and annoying and belligerent at once.

Beautyberries and mist flower don’t mind the late summer heat.

The garden still has many happy visitors, but I’m not one of them!

You’ll find me inside with the air conditioning, an icy wine cooler, and a pile of books and movies to attend to!

Just for You

A cyber-pal wrote to me today that she is finding it tough to find joy in her current circumstances. She is working long hours against the dystopian nightmare that continues relentlessly in her state.

There are many such silent heroes out there and a few of them (I know) read our wee blog.

Two little pieces of joy we are sending your way! With a big THANKS for all you are doing.

We should say so more often.

It takes a (global) Village. 😘

How Lies Land

With all the obvious lies flying around the entire Mediated-Sphere, I got to reminiscing about my former best friend at university who was an unrepentant liar.

The story of the end of our friendship still hurts to recall, 30 years later. I lost not only her friendship at that time, but that of the circle of friends we shared as well. A double whammy, if you will.

While I understand there are always (at least) two sides to every story, I haven’t spoken to her since those days, so how she recalls these events, or if she recalls them at all, I don’t know, and I don’t care.

I’m recounting this story now because I see in the public in general there are FAR too many who are too hesitant to tear themselves away from liars and the clearly corrupt institutions they are running, which I know will be to their detriment in the long-term, as well as to the detriment of us all.

The longer you wait, the more entrenched, and accepted, the lies become.

I share this story as an appeal, yet another one, and a warning.

My little story is inconsequential to everyone else but me. But it does have an accompanying lesson from which anyone could benefit.

This friend and I were so tight we shared a studio apartment and were nearly inseparable for several years. I met her at the beginning of my freshman year, not long after I met my boyfriend.

To make a long and dramatic story short and succinct—she was sleeping with my boyfriend all those years behind my back. After he and I broke up, she still didn’t tell me about the two of them. Then she got pregnant by him, but I still didn’t know. She asked me to borrow money and I asked why. She became very secretive.

I heard from another friend she had been reading my private journal, because she wanted to find out if I was still in love with the ex-boyfriend. I got suspicious and tried to talk with her several times about it all, but she waved me off each time. I refused her the money and she got livid. We got into a screaming fight. I was still baffled by it all because I didn’t know the real issue—that she was pregnant by my ex-boyfriend and wanted the money for an abortion.

Even after all that, I would’ve forgiven her, if only she had come clean. She never did. I wrote in my journal, which I knew by then she was reading, that it’s not the lies that break trust so much as the refusal to face them even when confronted. The cover-up was worse than the initial lies.

Why? Because that’s where I learned every single person in our circle of friends knew about their liaison except for me. For years.

It wasn’t about the boyfriend, either. I’d have handed him over with pleasure, had she ever asked. But then, that’s the whole point for a narcissist, or someone intent on winning at any cost—it’s not as fun if you don’t steal it—fair and square.

She deflected, made excuses, minimized, tried to turn the tables. She showed no remorse, would take no accountability, refused to apologize, or even to listen to me, or show me a shred of compassion.

You might think it was the humiliation, or the betrayal, that caused me so much pain and that guided my decision-making after that point. But as painful as those were, that was not my breaking point.

No. My breaking point was being honest with myself about the content of their characters that had become glaringly obvious at that point, so much so that I could no longer stand to be around them. Any of them. They could not look me in the eye. They would not show an ounce of remorse or try to understand my pain or my position.

It was really, really hard, but I walked away.

I wish I could say that was the last time I made such a mistake. No again. It took another couple of decades for me to correct this issue. It took until the point I realized that it was my fault.

Of course I don’t take any blame away from her, her behavior was deplorable. But, I also knew her moral standards were low. I knew she’d done similar things to other friends. I just thought, because I was more loyal to her, a better friend, more honest, more committed, I could inspire her to not play me that way. I should’ve known better.

Giving such people the benefit of the doubt, and second chances and third chances, is not loyalty, or strength, or courage. It is enabling liars and it is highly damaging to self-respect.

She went on to become a pharmaceutical rep. I have little doubt she has still not done enough soul searching to realize or regret yet another move down the low road.

And this is where we stand in America. We are being lied to by those all around us, by those who have positioned themselves as our betters, our leaders, our trusted officials, our media.

They are lying. The time for excuses is over, already decades ago. The problems we need to face will not be fixed by voting for the next Liar In Chief. To continue on with the charade at this late date makes you a collaborator by every definition, no longer able to claim innocence or ignorance.

LIVE NOT BY LIES
“On the day Solzhenitsyn was arrested, February, 12, 1974, he released the text of “Live Not by Lies.” The next day, he was exiled to the West, where he received a hero’s welcome. This moment marks the peak of his fame. Solzhenitsyn equates “lies” with ideology, the illusion that human nature and society can be reshaped to predetermined specifications. And his last word before leaving his homeland urges Soviet citizens as individuals to refrain from cooperating with the regime’s lies. Even the most timid can take this least demanding step toward spiritual independence. If many march together on this path of passive resistance, the whole inhuman system will totter and collapse.”

by Edward E. Ericson, Jr. and Daniel J. Mahoney, The Solzhenitsyn Reader

Dirty Work

She was as useful as a
China doll in the Saharan desert

As fruitful as a
Damsel without distress

As clever as a
hand-fed toad
As wanting
as a heavy diaper’s load

Someone else to do it
Wash my dishes
Clean my toilet
Bury my dead

Someone else to do it
Fight my battles
Pay my bills
Rub my head

Someone else to do it
Take my stand
Free my hand
Transform my lead

Someone else to do it
Kill my meat
Fix my health
Make my bed

Someone else to do it
Teach me
Learn me
Feed me
Help me
Entertain me
They said,
So, she said

Someone else to do it
Govern me
Harder, longer
I like it like that
They said,
So, she said

The Dark History of the Royals

James Corbett, The Corbett Report

“Queen Elizardbeast is dead, long live King Charles?!

Yes, for those lucky souls who are so blissfully detached from the 24/7 newsfeeds that you haven’t heard yet, I bring you the news that the longest-reigning monarch in British history, Queen Elizabeth II, is dead.

It’s tempting to interpret the double rainbow that appeared over Buckingham Palace when Her Royal Lowness kicked the royal bucket as a sign that her death is indeed a present from God, but—as I am always at pains to observe upon such occasions—the death of an unrepentant sinner is no victory and there is no solace in the removal of but one of the Hydra’s many heads. If anything, the reign of King Charles will doubtless be even more ignoble than that of his mother.

Whatever the future may hold for the loyal subjects of His Royal Highness, the Great Reset-shillingpedophile-befriendingcarbon eugenics-pushing King Charles III, given the disheartening (if predictable) reaction of the normies to this latest royal passing, nothing could be timelier than an in-depth exploration of the lowlights of the British royal family. So, even though I am going to drop an 18,000 word, two-hour documentary conclusion in the next 24 hours(!!!), I have taken time out of my schedule to bring you this.

“Enjoy” is the wrong word, but you get the idea.”

Read more . . .

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