Cat Update

Last week was fairly traumatic around here. We learned two scary things–the first was that we might be living on a Superfund clean-up site, and the second was that something was seriously wrong with our kitten, Phoebe. As Erik just posted, the lead issue remains up in the air, and will be for quite some time. But we did find answers regarding Phoebe, and while it is bad news, it is not as bad as our worst imaginings, and it’s good...

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Building With Adobe

Architect and Root Simple friend Ben Loescher, along with Kurt Gardella, is teaching a class on adobe construction. I’m going to attend the second day, November 6th, and hope to see some of you there. Adobe has a storied past and a promising future in the Southwest U.S., in my opinion. Here’s the info on the class: adobeisnotsoftware is pleased to host Kurt Gardella for the first in a series of classes on adobe construction within C...

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Dave Wilson’s Top 21 Fruit Trees for the Southwest US

...ance. We sourced almost all of our trees by mail through the Bay Laurel Nursery, which carries Dave Wilson’s trees (Dave Wilson is wholesale only). Get your orders in now as Bay Laurel sells out of many varieties by the time they ship in February. You can read the complete list of Tom Spellman’s low chill fruit suggestions with his  comments here. If you have mature versions of any of these trees please leave a comment and let us kn...

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2011 in Review: The Garden

...For 2012, I’m putting in raised beds to deal with the heavy metal issue and we’ve already planted more native plants. But most importantly one of my New Years resolutions is to plan the vegetable garden ahead of time. And I’m going to take better notes (though I’ve been saying this for ten years now). Those notes simply being, the date a veggie is planted and the first and last harvests of said plant. That info will make...

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The CDFA’s Pesticide Theater

...by a big infusion of cash from our tax dollars and the citrus industry. During their backyard spraying campaign in our neighborhood in the fall of 2010, the CDFA and TruGreen showed up at a neighbor’s house who, at the time, had over 50 citrus trees in pots (she was operating a mini-nursery and selling the trees).  CDFA and TruGreen were overwhelmed by the amount of trees and ran out of imidacloprid. They promised to return but never did,...

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Kelly’s 2012 To-Do List

...year, as opposed to “staples.” -No internet surfing until after supper. No email in the morning. Email at noon and in the evening. -Repaint the living room, hall, two bedrooms and the breakfast nook. -Spend more time outside loving the garden–just being with it, regarding it with joy instead of judgement. -Learn to identify trees. -Take up archery again. This means starting with practice in the back yard once or twice a week,...

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The Sun Comes

photo credit: Henry Mühlpfordt Happy Winter Solstice! It is the darkest day of the year, and the shortest day of the year.  But from now on, every day will be a little longer and a little brighter, until the year turns once more. This is a rough time to be a gardener, even in Southern California. Everything seems to be sleeping. You, perhaps, wish you were tucked in a warm bed, sleeping, instead of frantically rushing getting ready for...

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How to Memorize Numbers

...ng with a ball that you can put into a room in your memory palace. For a longer strings of numbers it’s best to “chunk” them into groups of four to make them more manageable. This is beyond the amount of time I’m willing to put into this, but you can also commit to memory 100 images to represent double digit numbers between 00 and 99 to be able to memorize longer numbers faster....

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Scott’s Pepsi-G Stove

...le call a bug out bag–emergency gear that is ready to grab and go. I’ve taken one with me backpacking, as my only stove. It works fine, but it is limited in its capabilities. It can boil a cup or so of water at a time, enough to make one person a hot drink, or enough water to rehydrate a pouch of something. You certainly can’t make pancakes over one, and if you have a family to serve, you might want to consider carrying more th...

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