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Monday, May 30, 2016


I have a close friend who chuckles at me!
I tend to say whatever is on my mind.

She was looking for the fat free half and half, and I simply stated... I don't understand, the whole point of half and half is it is half heavy cream and half regular milk!  How can it be fat free?

While I choose not to use 1/2 & 1/2 I sure can't take regular milk in my coffee; and if you expect me to use skim you have got to be crazy!  I'll drink it black like my grandparents did (a left over from sugar rations during WWII)  Yes as a vegan I was trying to use almond milk but it truly aggravated my throat and made me burp too much for comfort!  I refuse to use soy, and coconut is just too sweet for my taste.  I do enjoy hemp milk but... as usual I digress~!

My point of bringing this up is low fat, non fat half and half is a bastardised product.  You think your drinking a better for you cream when in fact its so much worse for you it's ... well a crap storm of a product doing no telling what to your poor body!

I find it funny I can come to these conclusions myself about something as simple as half and half BUT never thought about it as applied to my garden!

YES my garden.

As of late I have had TWO books I can't seem to put down, leave alone and not refer to everyday.

The first being  Integrated Forest Gardening...

ONE of the best and greatest books on gardening I have ever come across.  It is helpful, insightful, and gives examples we all need when getting started with a newer, fresher, and different way of thinking of our gardens.

It is the simple, provoking, and common sense of each of these books I am stunned I have never thought in this manner when it come to ... DIRT and ALL it consist. 

Why it is I can say fat free half and half makes no sense but I expect a man made chemical fertilizer to make real food? 

FAKE fertilizer must give me fake food!  Meaning If I feed my veggies chemicals they are going to contain or consist of chemicals.  SO now I am building up my soil, dirt, and compost with nothing but bacteria, fungus, hummus, and mulches for compost or area needs.  

It is funny how you can read a book a hundred times but you take on something new each time because you are in a different place of your journey each time you open, close, or share a book with anyone.  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

What a week.

Life is funny!
It takes me two days to clean my house now that my arm doesn't work the way it used to.  My vacuum cleaner works so well it hurts my arm so I have to rest my arm and do something else.  Don't get me wrong I LOVE my silly machine but it does such a good job on my hard wood floors I really have to pull it! With its special attachment I barely have dirty water when I mop afterwords.  If I only sweep with the broom it is too dirty too quickly and just causes me more work in the long run.

So I washed clothes, while vacuuming and mopping the house while also taking rest, walking the dog and running to and from the barn to plant things while I could.  My floors are now clean, all my clothes put away, and several perennials put in the ground at the barn.  As well as  a plan of what to start dividing and spreading where next.

My next few days will run like this...

Hay was cut Friday and to be baled Monday! I'll wait for the dew to burn off then run to get some guys to help me at 11:45, go get 200 bails out of a pasture and put into my containers.  I have to say I am eager to see what happens to my arm Monday considering I it here having already taken over the counter pain meds just from having worked my normal day today.

Then Tuesday one of my birds comes to the house for us to watch for the next week which means my dog will be mostly at the barn.

I hope to take a few photos as the days pass... I shall share them as soon as I can.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sunday Mornings

I enjoy a Sunday morning, I get to sleep late!

I've slept without an alarm clock gone to the barn, cleaned the barn area, put the horses out, put out hay; fed them and put them back in.  Multi tasking taking care of the paw paw patch in the mean time.  I put out more cardboard to shade out the vetch in the patch. Tucking it under the previous as if putting shingles on a roof.  As I did that I watered the planted clay pots that keep the ground moist and allow the trees to draw out water as they need it.  But because there is no rain in the forecast I also filled the five gallon buckets for each tree.   I put a pin hole in so they will slowly drip for the next few days.  I'm cooking my sweet potatoes as I type this and my dishes are soaking in soapy water till I get this posted.  After which I will wash dishes, take a shower and get ready for work! Relaxing and breathing as I stand in hot water steam filling the bathroom so the birds get a steam bath as I take the moisture into my own lungs.  Make up?  Only if its a great morning like today where all the schedules come together and allow me a few extra minutes for myself.

I get to work from 11:30 to 5:15 today! Then come home and take care of the horses for the night and go to the house love on the dog, put the birds to bed and finally go to sleep and get up early the next morning for a full day of work again.

I love the little store where I work, but I love working physically on the estate.  How does one get to balance both and have them both pay you for your time?

Doing as my Maternal Grandfather (Paw Paw) did... I work at the store and I do the land morning and evening as I can.  I hope it keeps me younger than I am but... the years are starting to catch up.  My hips my knees and the arm I can no longer use, not even to hold a hammer.  Although most customers don't see me as my age a positive for any woman out in the world!

Getting my day started and I can only hope everyone reading this get theirs going as wonderfully!

My love to the world.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 2016

 How I can't believe how fast time flies.  6:18am

I sit at my office desk still in the dark due to the mist and fog outside, but the window is open and the birds are creating a wonderful song.  My office screen is in need of mending due to the most recent Zika virus in the area.  While I do not plan on children this late in life there is no reason not to protect myself and my animals from the pest and the disease they carry.   Coffee on the desk, light for my aging eyes, and bare feet.  Life is as it should be!

I have much to do for Pirates' Lair, a regular schedule at the barn then thankfully a day at the clothing store.   Life is in full speed as tourist season starts in Asheville and life on the estate gets out of control as nature tries its hardest to take back what disturbances I have caused it over the past year and with the recent plantings.

Three Paw Paw trees.  It will take years for them to produce food,

In case you are not aware of what paw paws are, you are not alone.  Once a native tree almost over the US now rarely seen and even more rarely commercialized as the fruit does not travel or save well at all.

I planted three...

1st one closest to the road and closest to my approach of the area is a Pennsylvania Golden Paw Paw.  The company I got it from Stark.com was incredible!  My first one somehow was damaged in shipping and after creating a clean cut below the break it was barely over the graft and wasn't going to make it.  I called them the very next day and they sent me a new one with NO major questions or ANY issues.
Amazing fruit!

The second I planted was the glorious Mango Paw Paw.  I put this one closest to the fence.  As of today it struggles compared to the other two but shows promise.  The leaves are smaller and not up the entire plant like the other two.

The third and final is the Sunflower Paw Paw, planted close to the road once again but spaced aplenty so all will have room AND I will have room to dig and cut suckers for other areas later depending on which one I fall in love with the most. 

Paw Paws are amazing, once covering much of the eastern US,  Life is good with a paw paw tree as the leaves are more tropic in look and texture, and the fruit just as exoitioc in that they taste mostly like a banana custard and have about the same texture when ripe.  

I love they are pollinators are mostly FLIES!  I put them on the outside of the horse pasture and hope to keep most fly pollinators away from the barn as they stink when pollination is needed.  SOME people even hang rotting meat (road kill) in the tree when the time comes!  NOT something I want to be doing!  I'll just allow the flies from the horse barn and the cattle up the mountain do their thing!

I also planted the Persimmon Tree!  I enjoy the American Persimmon much more than the Asian you see in the grocery stores, (if you see any at all, depending on where you live)  I got the Yates American from Stark.com just like the Paw Paws.  

 Only slightly larger than a grape with one seed larger than that of pumpkin size.  As a child we enjoyed eating these out of the yard and then splitting the seed inside to see what type of winter we were going to have.  

These too can be pollinated by flies BUT can use several pollinators to get the job done.  Last year I picked persimmons off the ground at a friends house to snack on all day.  I can't wait to make Persimmon rolls etc... Besides If I don't eat them the animals on the estate will thus keeping all the small and larger animals happy. 

Last year I planted a Mulberry Tree,  The ground hog family on the estate nearly killed it by eating its leaves, but I put a fence around it and it is thriving this year.  

If you have not had a mulberry you really need to treat yourself to a bag of them from a good natural grocery store.  Sweet, easily dried and again feed the wild life and you with no issues.  Meaning Birds normally get all the berries from the top of the tree while humans normally can reach and get the rest.

I had planted the persimmon last year but my barn helpers wacked it, GONE... I also planted a lilac bush but it didn't survive either.  I am NOT wasting my time on the lilac because they do not do several duties and take 5 to 7 years to bloom and give me pleasure!   

Sunday, May 1, 2016

It has been over a year.

My computer crashed and I had not been able to get into my computer for over a year!  Someone came in cleaned my computer but ALL my passwords are GONE.  It took me forever to try to get help, because this is a free site I can only assume that is why there is no real customer service.

Having said as much I can only hope I get to start blogging again; hoping to work on everything every other day!

Please let me know what you think!

Paradise Ridge Estate has gone through many changes!

I planted three new Paw paw trees and another persimmon to replace the one planted last year and cut down by a worker.

We (Don) and I through out seeds for wildflowers and cosmos

I tried to set up a straw bail garden, because ... the weeds are so bad I may have to spray the crap!  I am TOTALLY against chemical as my neighbors have bee's.  SO if and when I have to spray the vetch I have to start all over AND cover the sprayed area so no bee's can get to it! I am not going to be able to plant them with veggies this year because we have not had enough rain to waste it on the garden when I will need it for the horses.

I have also tried my best to start new habits! .. in that I have walked over 16065 steps for today, so about 7,5 miles !!!!

Like so many other people I have a class reunion to attend this year, I haven't been sense the first one. It has been a privilege following or keeping up with so many through facebook.

Oh yea!!!! and we got a DOG!

A bull terrier!
Cyra on her papers but we call her Kerra. While she is biologically a dog she doesn't act like one!  She is SO different; but I could care less I needed a dog, I haven't had one in my house for 14 or 15 years.