Halo+ Celtic XI Stainless Steel Handpan by Pantheon Steel.
My husband, Chaz, says that he believes “gardens should be an evolution.” Being Scottish born, “garden” to him is the back yard, front yard, and side yards with any landscaping. Your Basic Garden that surrounds you. What Americans call a “garden” is a vegetable garden in Scotland. So from the Scottish definition of a “garden”, he is referring to our surrounding landscaping. In the example of us though, it is all combined. I have a tendency to plant herbs next to flowers, vegetables with bulbs, and fruit trees and bushes with annuals and perinnels. No where is there a gardening handbook or a gardening police that says you can’t plant a lovely lettuce next to a lily!!
We have about 20 Acres on the Michigan Alba Ranch and it is all deep woods except for a small area around the house and barns and the pond area. Because you can’t have a tree growing up in the middle of the pond or it isn’t a pond. Once we bought this property, the first thing that started as soon as Chaz went off shore was for some of the trees to start falling….on the buildings!!! The first one fell on the lean to roof where Chaz vintage 1970 VW bus was parked. Over this last year, we have taken down about 180+ trees. This is barely a dent in what needs accomplishing. We could have it logged but than it would be about 60% gone with no fire wood left for us. We will probably continue working on it ourselves instead. Just this last 10 days we have had 2 maple trees fall. Both were broke off about 10-15 feet in the air, no other trees down around them, and in a middle of a grove area. We do wonder if those were lightning strikes with the recent storms???
The trees that we have cleared maybe opened up about 1 acre of land. It was a very uneven topography, steep hills, drop offs, low bits, flooded areas and stumps everywhere. Working with a chain saw, wheel barrow and by hand only gets you so far. I decided to get a quote to bring in the big guys…..just for research as I didn’t think that we could afford it. Well to say that excavation costs and operations in Michigan are different than in Colorado is an understatement. We ended up moving the rest of the firewood out of the low old orchard area and burning the huge piles of brush.
It took over 3 days to burn all the brush. After being in Colorado for 7 years, I still haven’t gotten over fear of wild fire and even lit my fire pit for a camp fire yet. So burning the brush was major….efficient…but scarey for me. Chaz did an excellent burning the brush and keeping everything under control, complete with having a water hose on and down at the site for fire suppression safety. All those years working offshore and those fire and safety courses paid off!!
We had the Beckman Brothers come and with a bulldozer, loader, trucks, and excavator they made quick work of the job. It was like big Tonka trucks playing in the sandbox. I was fascinated and set up a chair to sit outside and watch them. I didn’t go so far as to pop any corn, but almost. Amazing. I was used to watching excavators dig for WEEKS and make very little progress compared to this few days with my 1 acre looking nothing like it did before.
Once the excavator left, we got down to work. We raked most of the acre by hand and seeded it. Certain sections will be pasture in and around the orchard trees for the goats. That was seeded with alfalfa, wheat grass and sun flower seed. Chaz keeps saying all he can envision is this field of grass and alfalfa over 2 feet high and can’t see any of the goats….only occasionally see the grass wiggle because they are so short and the kids are even more tiny. The other areas were seeded with regular grass seed. Chaz had to put a fence around the entire area as the deer were trying to move in the night the excavators left!!
We have planted about 9 varieties of apple, 2 crab apples, 4 mulberries (white and red), 5 cherries (sweet and tart), 4 peaches (white and yellow), 8 plums (6 European varieties that most folks here have never heard of but are familiar to Chaz), 3 apricots, and 2 pears. A partridge in there probably as well. Also I have planted 9 sea berries, 10 fruiting Blue Honeysuckles, 6 Service Berries, numerous other blueberries, 10 red and white currants, a contorted mulberry, and am about to plant the last 2 trees which are a weeping mulberry.
I hope to be making loads of jams, jelly, preserves, chutney, pies and such later on. We did have the excavator raise, fill in and level an area off the house that was eroding and steep enough that with the constant walking that I do on it, my back and knees were having some severe issues. In that area, the bull dozer took one nice chunk dug right out of the side and Chaz is out there building the platform to set up our Snorkel Hot Tub. We have been waiting to get this hot tub for over 5 years. It is a red cedar tub that has a submerged underwater wood stove to heat the water. No electrical maintenance or running. Since we don’t have a bath tub and our house is too small to add a tub, it really is a necessity that the Doctor has told me repeatedly to soak in Magnesium flakes. Now I will be able to and will change the water frequently enough that we don’t have to use chlorine at all since I am allergic to it. I can’t wait. We deserve this bit of fun.
Chaz just said to me last night, “I believe a garden should be an evolution.” I responded that this was as about 5 weeks ago I hadn’t even thought of doing what we were doing and he responded, “No honey, this isn’t an evolution….THIS is a REVOLUTION!!”
I have made a decision to try disconnecting from social media. I have noticed with using both Twitter (although very little since I started with FB) and with using FB, that most of the other ways that I used to stay connected have fallen by the wayside. My productivity has fallen as I am spending more and more time on FB. My husband and I watch TV together and we both read FB at the same time. We go out and I have said to him more than once, can you get your nose out of FB! He has looked at me in exasperation when we need to go somewhere or do something and I say “oh just finishing this FB thing”. It must stop. How can someone be so connected via social media and still so DISCONNECTED in real life?
I think it can be very fun to get the up to minute status updates of your friends and family, but I have also noticed that less and less actual communication occurs as more and more status stuff happens. With many of these new locator apps, folks don’t even need to do a status update. They can just click a button and it updates to the entire world their exact location via GPS and satellite. Talk about being on an electronic tether. Do you ever think about how EVERYONE knows what you are doing all the time? It has been said that you can control what you put on social media. Although this is true to a certain extent, the real addiction is that to truly experience social media as it is designed to be you are involved all the time. You become an open book, with your “knickers” so to speak hanging out there!!!
I realized that I don’t like this. I want my private stuff private, and my personal things for friends and family for them, and my public things for others on my blog. I wish to control my media. FB has repeatedly changed their privacy settings so that I need to continually check to make sure that my private stuff is still private. I have had to turn on the notifications that I have specifically set for various people and businesses back on repeatedly because FB turned them off yet again. The amount of times that I have had to specifically turn back the notifications for my OWN HUSBAND because FB shut them off escapes me because of the sheer number of times I have had to do this.
It has been said to not punish those that do wish to stay connected with me because of FB bad behavior. If I can not control FB, which no one can even control their own profile and you are delusion if you think you can, than my only way to “rebel” against the liberties FB takes with my information and photos is to DELETE FB and NOT engage. THAT IS THE REAL CHOICE. FB has said that it is free and will always be free. They are giving special priority to those updates that folks PAY to have boosted. My views on my Fan page plummeted when FB started that procedure. My friends will update their status with a comment and photo and I will see the comment but can’t see the photo even when I go to their profile page and LOOK for it.
All of this is frustrating. It creates tension. It creates negative energy. It creates time wasting as you search for ways to get that information back that you had before and FB took away. Have you ever tried to search for something that you posted on your own timeline a year or so back and couldn’t remember the exact date? Good luck trying to find it. It is so much easier to look for it in my blog or my calendar.
I don’t have time to spin, weave and dye fibers because I am on FB. I don’t even watch any of my TV shows or a DVD with hubby because I am on FB. I don’t hang out and walk the dogs like I want to (OK in all fairness that is a lot to do with being eaten alive by skeeters more than FB right now). I don’t make cheese, soap, lotion or even cook the way that I want to because I keep getting sucked into FB. I am going to return to real life, ranch life, holistic therapies, fiber arts and just breathing.
Have you noticed how FB and FaceBook have now become both a verb and noun. REALLY?
I haven’t deleted either my FB or my Twitter account, but I will not be posting or tweeting. I will not check them and I will be sharing my adventures here, or by phone/text, letters the old fashioned way with paper and pen, or……shock horror….FACE TO FACE!!!
*I reserve the right to change my mind if I find that I can’t live without FB and am freaking out. This is why I am not deleting the account right this minute. But FB be aware, the writing is on the wall!!*