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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.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Going away

Going away makes me appreciate what I have; what I have learned of our tiny plot of land; how healthy and beautiful my animals are; how selfish I have been.   I got to do nothing... I took in the area the first day & the rest of the time I lied by the pool covered in sun screen. Ate till I could eat no more. Slept till my body would allow... and started over again.   I did cheat on my horses while I was gone, having a short run on the beach with Jerry's grandson Bryson. Other than that I calmed my heart mind and hopefully enough for my soul as well. It had been too long since my last get away and my body revolted as soon as I arrived shocking itself to a stop with no phone, internet, or electronics in our suite. Life is so much better having now been away again. Something I now long to do again sooner than later.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Our Parents

My parents, your parents, and all parents... they all do the same thing!
They do the best they can with what they have.  

Why does everyone blame their parents?
No I'm not saying my parents were perfect, no one's parents are, but they all put one foot in front of the other and do the best they can while more likely they were losing their minds.   You likely have no idea what your parents were going through as you were growing up.  Money, jobs, marriage, love, religion, social norms, social expectations, you likely have no grasp of the details.

Some how with their own luggage/ baggage/ scares or whatever you call it; they did their best to expose you to the world.  It may not have been the world of your choosing, but it was the world to which they had access.  Are you able to expose your children to a restaurant where each person has a private waiter? Are you able to fly your children around the world first class? Are you able to provide your children with anything and everything the disire?  No Not 99% of the world!

BUT you can teach your children what each utensil is for if they ever get the chance of eating at a restaurant with individual waiters.  You can teach your children HOW to act and take in a new situation.  YOU can make sure your children read what ever subject is your child's passion at the moment.  YOU can be a good example only by doing your best.  

If like many your parents didn't teach you how to act by example you can follow and learn from examples of people who are successful in areas of your love, attraction or passion in life.

The point is your parents do NOT make your choices for you.  They either showed you a path or they were not able to, don't EXPECT them to do more than they can; only YOU have to power to make your choices from today out, not your parents, friends or family.

EVERY choice YOU make determines your future NOT the choices of your parents... they did the best they could

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

TOO much going on.

Yes I know I am always on the go; in the middle of a project; and about to pull my hair out.

Yesterday was the straw that broke the camels back!

List of projects. 
1. deck railing... ( I have enough up to keep codes off my back) but not completed.
     a. needs 5 more file cabinets, and needs to be painted once again.
     b. brackets / mountings to be finished as well
     c. the chairs and table need to be painted to match.

2. Concrete patio for dry footing for the horses.
     a.  needs another 2/3rds done, I only have 1/3 completed and while it is great it is NOT done and not the look I am going to settle for.
     b. While I can more easily drive up to the barn I need to pour a concrete RAMP up to the pavers so the truck doesn't displace anything!

3. NOW the Container...
     a. needs to be painted with cool sealant.
     c. needs support on roof so I can plant things to over hang the container and HIDE it!
     d. needs trees from the property cut and placed next to the container till the plants work their way DOWN to the ground for hiding!!!
     e. I may plant hops (hops grows 20' a year and comes back IF mulched over winter)
     f.  I will also NEED shipping pallets to put on the ground and on the walls of the container ALSO for air ventilation.  So I will be on the look out for these as cheaply as possible.  

4. Lets not forget the normal mulching, caring for plants and trees already in place, the horses (getting in hay, feed, and medical care cost) , the compost piles, and trying to keep the place looking from looking like white trash...

SO like everyone else MONEY is a major issue right now and deck and patio will have to wait.  My next step is finding roof fans for the container.   I can't put hay in it if there is no circulation. 
WHY... because no matter how great your hay is it has a little moisture in it and will still dry out as time goes on.  My plan is to make the container perfect for hay and then start back on the other projects. 

While all my plans were to be around food this year for the estate it is NOT going to happen....
I have canceled all my plant orders and requested a refund so I can spend all my money on the container and making life easier for me over winters and safer for the horses.

Just yesterday I had someone offer to help around the barn.  I love having help but right now I can't have someone around that is not horse savvy that I am going to be more worried about than what ever project is on hand. 

So I have said NO.
I am saying no to myself and anything else till I get this thing DONE! Life is too short to worry as much as I am at this moment having SO MANY fires going at the same time.  I have got to get this under control before I can walk another step!


Monday, January 19, 2015


There are two kinds of talent, man-made talent and God-given talent. With man-made talent you have to work very hard. With God-given talent, you just touch it up once in a while.   by Pearl Baily

At this later stage in my life I choose to focus on my God-given talents and stay simple and in the dirt.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tolerance... ? ... wish I had more!

This morning like every day started at the barn.

Horses were fine, wet but not needing blankets.  I gave them plenty of hay, nice hot feed, and warmed their water a little.

On my way back to the house driving my little red car I was tailgated by a large truck.  Now please understand I call my truck little; it's a 250 4x4 but "she" is little to me!  so this was at least a 350 from what I could see of the hubs, before it got so close I could no longer see them. As it got closer and closer to my little red car the only thing I ended up seeing was his RAM logo that was ramming up the back end of my car.  NO he never touched my car, but he was so close all I could see was his grill.  Likely so close he didn't see the finger I was putting in the air.

I have NO tolerance when it comes to an idiot driving a large truck when in fact I could have tapped my brakes and he would have hit me.   I can't stand it when ANYONE drives SO close to the car in front of them, but especially if one has the ability to stop so much more quickly than the aggressor and in this case my lovely little old insight weighing less than 1000 lbs can stop on a dime compared to a heavier truck like that one.

Having said all that... in order for me to keep life easy at the barn I needed more extruded fat for the horses so 4 bags of 25% weigh a little much for my old car so I drove my little 250 into town and got the feed on the way into work.   Dressed almost like a girl climbing up into the truck, the 10 ply's hum along with the drum of the diesel engine, but I can see so much more sitting high in the old truck.  While I rarely ever drive the truck without the horses behind me which add about 9,000 lbs, or workers sharing the front cab, making shifting gears fun!, today I was alone and no reason to worry about everyone else only rain, slick streets, getting my feed, and making sure I got to work on time.

But I see how this idiot was in a trance being behind the wheel of an incredible machine.  I enjoyed the power, the ease at which my old truck drives, much less a nice new model like this guy had.  The power and view go to your brain and you forget how fragile the human in front of you in a lesser protected little car is being subject to your auto pilot mentality.  I'm not saying EVERY large truck driving 300 lb+ over compensating man is an absolute idiot while behind the wheel, but history and their actions continue and continues to say just as much.

I wish I could tolerate such actions, I wish I could tolerate such idiotic behavior, I wish I had the tolerance and not the anger it brings out in me.  Trying to learn, trying to accept, trying to tolerate such beings in my world.