Warming Trend on Zen

Temps have been a little lower than normal so far this spring.. Which, of course, kicked in the day after I planted the gardens…………Jolly.

With less rain than normal, the average winds, around 20ish mph and cooler temps… Basically… all of the veggie plants are piss at me for jerking them out of the house and tossing them into veggie Siberia…

The tomatoes are actually holding up fairly well..as in, they are all still alive, save the one spot.. two down in a row.. I can not figure out why that particular spot is not supporting a plant when it is exactly the same as the areas of the raised bed on either side of it…So.. We will try it again… good thing I have still a fair wee nursery on the Morning room counter. I have backups for everything at this point….

Asparagus is doing great, considering.. When it is warm, we get a meal and change a day.. when it is cold, the sprouts pop up, look around and crawl back under the soil… I did see today, after I cut today’s batch..that I had nicked the soaker..Awesome…one of my Asparagus had popped up close enough to the hose ( which is buried) that when I cut it. .snip snip… So I had to toss on overhead water real quick …crap… ON the bright side however…We had had several of the over wintered stalks that produced berries and I saw a handful of new plant starts…The oddest stuff goes nuts up here , making babies when pretty much nothing else survives…

The Zukes…welllllll.. not so happy.. Again.. I put them in the ground , which is in a fairly sheltered area in Lil Eden and, literally as I was washing my hands from planting them, a rogue wind came through and tatered them. I have been hitting them with a little water every other day just trying to get them to stop glaring at me. I went out yesterday, after our little adventure, and it looked like someone stomped on all of them….No one had…but they sure looked it..Again, I have as many in the house as I planted. .on purpose..

The weather started warming yesterday, and is suppose to continue through the week.. Now that is good and bad..

It is great because the plants need some warmth to shake off the damages from the winds during the chill wet that we had…The down is, I see another cooling trend coming in in about a week….which , of course , means winds… a 20 degree change from one day to the next means pretty stiff winds…So Hopefully I wont be replanting again in a couple weeks….

We still have the cantaloupe under the grow lights.. They were on the counter for a bit, but they grew way too slow and I can’t put them into the ground until everything stabilizes .. then hope we don’t get thrown into the Summer smoke yet again this year…

The cherry tree is full of little green cherries. One of the Pear trees has a bunch of pears on it as well.

Apricot.. nothing at present. I didn’t “see” any prunes or plums.. but then… I can’t even track a soaker hose at my finger tips soooooo….

The apple trees are growing great. Golden is still grumpy with me for cutting all the excess off her, because of the small apples last year that covered the tree and made our deer waaaay happy..and spoiled. Significant growth on the Granny and Honey crisp, not to mention the wee what once was a Braeburn and now * shrug* may be what ever the Braeburn was grafted to.. but she grew a few feet already so yay…

It is still too early to see what this trend will actually look like. They are talking upper 80s…beings we have had highs in 40s and 50s for ..??… a couple or more weeks after the last warm run we had….I am actually expecting more or less the same trend beings for the last few years we have had weather changes every two weeks that are out of character of the past.

Road Trip!

I was on FB some time back now when a friend of mine from work, having retired a year before me posted pics of his sheep. Wellllll I, of course, made a comment about them..Which led to a quick conversation about fleece….Which led to a notice when they were sheered and off Ma and I went yesterday on our first ride for fun in…heck.. forever…several years..

With me having drove a couple hours a day for work five days a week and to town on one of the other two pretty much burnt me out on driving…. as my dumb eye makes me puky even on the tractor… But.. not driving much now, generally two trips a week and then only to the village or to Gotham and having had the surgeries , driving isn’t as bad now… right eye is still crap, heading back to the doc and tests this week.. Hopefully I can not have to continue with the drugs from hell…


We had fleeces to look at. Don raises sheep for meat so the fleece is more of a bother than anything for him. The pics looked like the Cross had some Suffolk in them and Shropshire to complete the cross.

Of course, there was no way to know what we would get into, so I prepared for the worst…what a pleasant surprise. Ma ended up walking away with a single fleece though she could have taken some five times that. She felt greedy with what she had and I was feeling bad that we didn’t make any more of a dent for him than we did as the bulk would go over the bank…

The plan today, well, here when I take a break, is to start the skirting of the new fleece…She is BIG… I have been washing fleece for ? going into the second week? Once Ma got me started, I try to put out new fleeces for her as the previous finish completely drying on their racks… This new fleece was divided into four parts; neck/shoulder, right side, left, and breach . Ma and I did a quick skirting to get off the absolutely won’t be using parts..which, there really wasn’t that much. Size wise, once we laid it out… going by size, not weight. It is over eight times the size of our normal fleeces.. or more. It pretty much covered the deck not even fully laid out. It is all basically sock wool..so we should be good for a pair or two , I imagine.

Nowhere near as dirty as I was figuring on. A lot better crimp than we expected… and this fleece had gone long since its last sheering so it was a lot longer… It stuffed a 55 gallon bag… I think their may have been some bison in the cross’s wood pile somewhere along the line.

The trip was fun and the morning was pretty.. Sadly, I started with too little in the gas tank to make more of a trip of it. .stupid gauge goes from 1/2 to 1/4 just going down our drive and she doesn’t get great mileage to begin with… But it was pretty. and Don’s place is beautiful .. It was nice to see him again after, I imagine over a year now with everything going on, I have a hard time remembering when I saw folks last.. But Ma had fun and as we have always been going to a store or work or doctor’s appointment or surgery , we never have time to just look around the area…I don’t think too much about it as I have worked in, lived in and or, hunted in most all of the areas, until Ma mentioned she hadn’t seen any of this, it never caught me up on it… So, we have been thinking about doing some more driving for fun.. assuming that we don’t , once again, get hammered with wildfires over the nice weather seasons… I may have to break down and contact a few folk to see about visiting as we go through…. It wouldn’t hurt me to find out how far I can drive right now anyway, before I try to make the run to the Home Town again. I have a lot of folk up there I’d like to visit with.

Lunar Eclipse

We had the lunar eclipse this last week..and yes, of course we saw it…Did I take pics? Umm no… Ma woke up at 4am to see it, I hopped out of bed to look. We had missed the complete by some minutes I think. I had the camera set to go… But.. as soon as I hopped out of bed I was freezing, winds coming through the open windows made me think again about going out and trying to keep the tripod steady while the wind was blowing and I was shaking… I looked back at my warm side of the bed and jumped in, covered my head and waited till almost 5 to get back up..when we saw it was still going on…ooo-sss-ppppp… Oh well. We did get to see it above Mount Hood from out our bedroom windows though. It was pretty cool.

Final thoughts

I’ll head in Tuesday to find out where we are at with my stupid eye.. again… Wednesday I imagine I’ll head back into Gotham again for some groceries.. With the testing on Tuesday, I wont be able to do much other than get back home..which is usually rough enough, especially with me finishing up around rush hour on the far side of Gotham, so I normally can barely see well enough to get the rig home.. shopping? Hahahahahaha…..

Hopefully we actually get the weather they are talking about and I’ll just spend the rest of the week on mostly outdoor chores… Have a ton of them.. I also have to start getting things ready for St. Vinnies and or Good Will . I want to go through ” Innie” and the things that have been stored since we put up the new house…

Finally talked Ma into getting herself a Drum Carder to work on all the fibers we have been picking up that she can’t just spin from the locks.

Ma finally talked me into picking up a new wood lathe which will make things a lot easier than MacGyvering things on the drill press…. I see new spools in Ma’s future.

Hopefully we can get our veggies to start perking up, I’ll do some liquid fertilizer on them which should help those in the older beds.. The brand new ones , I don’t know but we’ll sure try. I just, once again.. third time’s a charm? replaced the one tomato plant.. the rest, today. look pretty darn good. Peppers are still looking a little weathered, but not bad.. The basil also got hit hard.. it doesn’t like to be bothered too much so the winds, even though it is fairly protected along with the cold; so that it can’t keep growth up with the beating, has them looking pretty sad. We have to hope they will kick in before the sun cooks them down to nothing… Basil is incredibly hard for us to grow outdoors up here.. Too cold.. too windy.. too dry.. too hot.. too windy.. too smoky…snow.. pretty much covers our growing season.

and Zen Da made me lunch

We ALL know that my eyes are not the best.. BUT.. at least I can see through them, if only relatively from out my right eye.. It started out great after the surgery but by the time the smoke season was over it was getting yucky again.. Thing is, with a good scope, or binocs.. I can see decently for a bit until it throws a fit and glazes over again…. So.. I am on varmint duty once again…This time, I have all day, for the most part.. to keep an eye out for the dang wood rats.

I had set up Ma’s .22 cal rifle as the East/South rifle. Mine old green hunter as the North rifle.. for when it is too big or far off for the pellet guns…

I had one of the dang critters runnin about to the North, grabbed mine and found that I can not see out of that scope..I may have to think about replacing that eventually. and the beastie , once again, got away to tear up insulation, dig holes into everything as well as wiping out what harvest we have a chance at.

I had Ma’s set up and by the back door. I had finished for the day and was getting ready to get cleaned up when I heard one of the rats chirpin about. I looked out the bathroom window to see it on top of the brush pile 50 yards out. Throwing on a pair of sweats, I ran through the house, grabbing up the rifle to sneak outside.

I stood on the deck, trying to focus the scope in…The best I could see was a large grey thing ( brush pile ) with a black little spike poking out ( The wood rat ) I know the background of the shot and as I can actually see the only place the bullet travel to, I wasn’t concerned …all of our open field all the way to where the slope rises again.. so only place it can go is into the ground…So I started to aim….meanwhile, my sweats were sliding down my hips… I will grant you, there is no one to see but I have a problem with trying to take out vermin with my pants around my ankles. .prude I guess…sooo I had to stop, pull them back up and try to find where to shoot once again.. sighting in on the black thing, I tried to focus the scope again… and the sweats started sliding down again..


Before they got dangerously low, I took the shot and heard it only catch air…

” Crap!”

I put the rifle down, pulled the sweats up and grabbed Ma’s binoc…

” Ahh there you are my wee pointy teeth varmint.”

I put down the binocs , pulled up my sweats and brought the rifle up…couldn’t see crap again.and this isn’t a junk scope.. just not good enough for me at 50 yards now. Tugging my sweats up with one hand as they got down to my hips, my eye cleared and I took the shot.. dropping the sweats. I let the rifle down, pulled up the sweats again all at the same time I heard the “whap” as the rat went down.

I put the rifle away, walking with one hand on my waist band , walked in to get cleaned up and Muninn had already gotten to her lunch…. She had, of course, been watching from their nest.. as soon as I walked in, she flew down for some fast food.

I could hear her chattering away as she ate;

Oh Man! You rock Da…This tastes almost as good as the way Ma makes it.”

She hopped around the brush pile to grab up some bugs…cause.. ya gotta eat yer greens before you leave the table.

Muninn then flew back up to the nest to wake up Huginn .

Hey! Fat and Lazy, Da made lunch. Get it while it’s hot.”

What? What now? Da made lunch? Chicken? Chicken is my favorite!”

Nah.. Wood Rat tartare…and it was delicious…I think he used Ma’s recipe.”

What? Take them down in the sun?”

Ohhhh yeaaahhhhhh. Better go get some before the coyote kids find it.”

Well crap.. I was sleeping. Ok .. geeze.. I have to fly all the way down there?”

Muninn glared at him.” Well, I’m not bringing it to you. You get it and bring home any leftovers.”

You know how I feel about leftovers.”

Oh yes..You aren’t sharing.. got it.. hurry up. I heard Dennis singing a bit ago.”

That was Dennis? I thought someone ran over a cat’s tail.”

Nah.. A cat carries a tune better.. You know he will be coming up to mouse any time now and a wood rat would be way better a find so get your lazy butt down there and eat.”

Huginn, stared at her a moment, until her withering gaze made him flinch.

Fine fine.. crap, I’m going.. Bossy old hag.”

What? What?”

I said..umm. I’m going.”

Noooooo The other part.”



That was the ; I’m going. part”

After that..”

Errrrr… before I gag?”

Muninn glared at him a bit more, squinting .

With a chortle, Huginn glided down to the brush pile for lunch.

I was still watching the two, their little discussion echoing around the saddle. I laughed and got cleaned up. Looking out the window once again, I saw Dennis padding up the saddle, heading towards the wood pile when he stopped , sniffing the air. Turning to look at the brush pile, a grin came over his face and he whispered;

Great big mouse.”

Dennis sat at the base of the brush pile, trying to figure out how to get to lunch as it was sitting high a top the mound. He walked around to the right and north, then back, looking up again. Then he walked left and to the south, circling around only to sit and stare. Dennis finally saw a few heavy branches to stand on as he half crawled the pile to stttttrrrrrrreeeeettttch his neck out, even his lips until he got hold of his meal. leap back.. falling over, rolling and back to his feet looking around to see if anyone saw him, then looked about to find where lunch had gone.

Huginn and Muninn sat in their nest watching and chuckling at Dennis. He then looked up to see me at the window smiling too. Shaking his head , he began to laugh as he found the rat back up and on another high spot on the brush pile..

Mice are more fun.”

He walked about the pile muttering.

You know.. You guys Could help. Da, you Could have waited till it was lower.”

Just hop up there! “ Called out Huginn.

Not helpful.”

Just flap your arms.. Like this” Muninn called out, chuckling again.

Dennis started waving one fore leg before he put his paw back down to glare at the ravens..

I can’t fly. No wings.”

Have you tried?”

Of course.”

Right.. Dennis.. what was I thinking.” Muninn laughed.

Finally Dennis backed up and ran at the pile, leaping into the air…..

Ooooooppphhhh” Dennis landed, all four legs buried in branches and his meal just beyond reach as he tried to nip at it.

Huginn fell out of the nest laughing. Muninn in tears giggling. I stood at the window trying not to laugh though a snort escaped.

Dennis tugging his legs about.. Called out;

A little help here…please.”

I thought about it, but figured he probably was talking to the ravens as I would probably embarrass him worse.

Muninn glided down to stand on top of the pile staring down at Dennis, grinning.


Muninn looked at him, then at the dinner and began to peck at it.

Really? Seriously?”

She tossed him a scrap..which landed on his forehead.

Gee.. Thanks..”

Muninn gobbled down a bit more, watching Dennis, then began to hop down the side of the pile..

Where are you going? What are you doing? I don’t trust you if I can’t….FRIGGIN OOOOOWWWEEE!”

All four of Dennis’s legs in the air as he leap straight up. Muninn grin behind him with a tuft of tail fur in her mouth. She hopped back up the pile, grabbing the rat and tossing it to the ground while Dennis sat, tail under his butt, glaring at her.

There. All fixed.” She flew off chuckling. Huginn sat on the edge of the nest laughing so hard, he fell out..again.

I stood laughing as I looked out the window. Dennis turned to glare at me, then began to giggle himself as he thought about it. Munching his lunch , Dennis just kept stopping to laugh, shaking his head…

I grin watching the kids and said

It’s just another day on Zen Mountain

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