Saturday, May 17, 2008

goal setting and productivity unknown

I've been goal setting. A card carrying member of the ADHD type like me needs those things and has precious little experience in such matters. Even at 49 years old I've got significantly less of it than might be beneficial.

So on the model of my daughters I've been goal setting my little butt off. It's not been overly manic, which is always a bonus. It's been sustainable more or less for a few months. An unusual number of tasks have been stroked off the "to do" list.

All this began with the wood. I normally cut wood for our heating, but this winter I began from scratch. We had very little wood put by when the heating season began so I just started in on things that needed cleaning up around the yard. It's now a lot cleaner of dead wood and left over scrap than it was last year. I got through the winter heating and set to work to put by the wood for next year. I don't want to post images until I'm done splitting, but it's almost over. I've got some miserable oak to contend with, but the end is in sight and the pile even impresses me.

Felling, limbing, bucking up, hauling the branches away and stacking those, still leaves a lot left to do. It's kept me out of trouble. Hear my smile?

I've typed out all but a single page of a 38 page introduction to Thomas Cleary's book on Dogen called Rational Zen. I've wanted to have that in digital format for too many years! It's the best insight into Zen practise told in a Western voice I've ever come across.

Since 1990 when we bought this place we've turned the light on and off in the back porch by turning the light bulb. We have a switch now. Did you feel the earth move? I did!

I helped a young woman with some tree felling a few weeks ago. I think we dropped 30 or 40 trees in a couple of hours. It's nice to be in shape for that type of intensity. She was very grateful and I was pumped to be so useful. Life in the slow lane.

I cleaned my down bag. It was a bit ripe and it took some attention to get the job done, but it's all fresh smelling and lofty just like it should be once again. Why wait? I'm not sure, but that task is over too.

I'm sure my mother will have difficulty keeping her eyes from rolling all the way back in her head when she hears that I've bred my bitch to another stout face full of muscle in hopes of having puppies in the first part of July.



Bonnie is home and we've been enjoying our kitchen time. She pushes me and I love the input. My latest trials have involved the ever humble corn tortilla. I made a decent chili and having been given a small press for tortillas a while ago needed to master it's use. I'm still batting about 500, but it's definitely coming along in the right directions. Bonnie and I bought some the other day and all memory of our collective failures vanished in the face of the pasty dry patties of whatever was in the bag marked as tortillas. Wretched they were and from that point on ours have all been terrific, even the failures.

When they are working well, they blow up like balloons and steam themselves from the inside. Toasted grain is such a tasty thing. Like oat cakes, or shortbread. Bonnie found some shortbread in the freezer this passed week. I'm surprised she told anyone about it. What grand addition to the arterial bogging that was and ever so tasty.

All the wiring in the guest house got straightened out this winter and today I took advantage of that to put up security lights on the north corners of the outside of that building. What a treat to be able to see where you're walking at night. Life is in the doing apparently.

I cut the last of the stumps in the front of the house bush and south of the garden today. The new chain and recently solved mystery that had been preventing the chain oil from being delivered, made things go very quickly. The stove lengths got hauled to the splitting blocks and that brings that part of the massive intervention to a close.

Manon had to have her own axe this winter. Once she learnt how to swing the big one I figured she's get a thrill out of swinging something a little closer to her available strength. She's gotten a lot stronger on all fronts for a number of reasons. Can it be any sweeter to watch a teen lean into the load of her age and time? We're very happy parents. If you've ever seen the movie "Juno" you might have a peek at our life with one left in the nest. She's a big kid in a small package. There is never a dull moment and her wit is lightening fast. She's all about differed gratification. She'll wait years to find exactly the right time to deliver a line. I'll be very curious to see what life will hold for her. I love her very much.

I'm chair of the MHS now. It seems strange to be the one that's organised and clear of vision. I guess I just wasn't hanging out with a chaotic enough crowd. We're pushing hard to be in a position to support our non profit status. I like the board just now. Lots of young horse power there.

After I finished with the stumps today I set to work on felling a few more trees. I need a few straight ones for a wood shed. I'm not sure of the joints just yet, but I'm sure it's not brain surgery. When Manon came out to begin salvaging my garlic for me, she said "You look like you know what you're doing" and walked off to get the wheelbarrow. I must admit that the logs look cool.

Pierrette got 15 generous yards of some nice looking dirt and the driver dumped quite a bit of it on top of my garlic. All is well and it's all enjoying the sun again today thanks to Manon.

Instead of buying lumber I bought a bark spud when the time of year is right with the sap running to peel logs for construction. I want to make a simple pole shed for my wood to bea able to be stacked and to have it season under cover. Another long over due bit of pleasure in my life, the wood shed. I'm not even sure where it's going to be erected yet, but I took a huge step toward making a dent in that task today. I got four 3.6m logs, two 2.5m logs and a couple of thinner spares peeled and squared up. The trees were straight and the bark came away nicely so they look pretty spiffy if I do say so myself. Now if I just knew enough about joining logs. I've got one 3m on the ground and another one to be felled before I'm done that part of the job.

I've met a friend. We're talking tattoos.

I'm absolutely cookoo for coaco puffs for this one.

I traded him one of my baby corn snakes. I knew the breeding was to test out the breeding pair as heterozygous for hypomelanism which is a reduced black. Many of the traits for het hypo don't show up well until several months after hatching. I wasn't in any rush. I've won the jack pot with the female I bought gravid being het for three out of the four most popular morphs. The albinos she hatched have some really pretty pinks to their colouring and the hypo anerys have some pink to them too. Nice looking snakes.

anery, possible ghost

My bargin bearded dragon is gonzo. He's been a bit neglected for handling lately and he sure pulled out all the stops on defence last weekend.


The Manitoba Half Marathon is only a few short weeks away for me. I'm working it! There is a lot more going on and going well, but it's beddies... shine on you crazy diamonds.

morels / praying mantis nymphs

I'm being productive so I'm not writing much. I'm slowed up a bit tonight by a painful back. I abuse it and it forgives me. At least so far, but it always takes time to reconsile our differences. I hope we can talk about an eight mile run tomorrow sometime.

Joe came over the other day with a couple of liters of nicely cleaned morels. He came by today to get Pierrette to tag along. I don't suppose he covered as many miles as he might have on his own, but who knows. The morels are just getting started so there wasn't but a few for dinner tonight. They sure were in nice shape even if they didn't have a lot of siblings. Yum is not too strong a word.


A couple of praying mantis egg casings began to hatch out this afternoon. I think they are the Chinese mantis (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis) which will grow to 10 or 11cm if I can find some wingless fruit flies soon.