I wish …

I wish I lived in a world where you do not have to worry about whether it rained or not. Where if you worked hard, you’d be appreciated and compensated. Where people accepted you as you were even if you were a bit different.

We have had no rain for about three weeks now.  The ground is DRY. Wally has been watering the rows we have planted by hand every night.  The rows are holding some water, we did build up the area that we are planting in now with organic matter, but not as much as I would like. The back rows, are BAD. Yesterday, I unloaded what felt like a ton of horse manure compost.  Yes, we are now bringing in compost, ours is mostly gone — for now, I need to clean out the goat shed today to prepare for construction of new rows.  Then once I unloaded the tubs I went to the back area and filled them with grass clods and hauled those down to the lower pasture to fill in holes left from wooden fence posts we pulled up when we first moved here.  I thought I had cleared the area that will be three new rows enough so Wally could till it last night. He did attempt to till it — there was a dust storm as he was doing it, but he said it was not successful.  I was so hot and disgusted that I did not even go up to look.

Then the light bulb went off.  I hate tillage. I am an idiot. I guess I have to do everything the hard way, but our wood-framed raised beds are all no-till.  They’ve never been tilled. On Herter Road, we double-dug them and then filled them with rabbit manure compost.  Here, we filled them with rabbit manure compost and let them sit over the winter and then planted in them.  The plants there are doing awesome. We only have to water them every other day or so. I can go and get more compost and build up the rows like I did with the other area, knowing I will not be able to dig as deep in the rows and then finish off the rows with compost and work that in with my broadfork.  It will be hard labor and take time, but it will work.

If my back holds up.

Today I am going to order a drip irrigation system to install in the rows and exploring bucket irrigation systems for the wood-framed raised beds. Bucket or gravity drip systems are in widespread use in the developing world. Anything that is used successfully in the developing world is of interest to me.

I am still grieving the end of school. That was the problem: it just ended. My portfolio review issues were not resolved. I did not attend graduation — I did not know I had to register for it until it was too late — I was left out of graduation parties.  I contacted my instructor and asked if we could go to lunch one day: I wanted to reconnect with him.  I feel lost — it was there and now it’s plumb gone. He said he wasn’t coming to Hickory over the summer.  I told him I’d come his way at which point he said I could come to an art exhibit he was going to be at this Friday. I can’t do that. I’m not going to try any more.  I will just grieve for what was, what could have been, what should have been and eventually I will get past it.

And then sometimes there are miracles.  Not too long after we moved here, one of our cats, Ted, went missing.  We thought he went into a neighboring pasture and was killed by their livestock guard dog. Of course we looked for him, but no sign. Last week while at a friend’s house getting instructions on caring for her horses while she is on vacation and getting a load of horse manure compost, a brown tabby cat brushed up against me. I looked down and saw it was a big, brown mackerel tabby and then did a double take and picked the cat up. It was Ted! My friend lives about a mile from us, perhaps closer as the crow flies. How Ted ever ended up there is a mystery. The chances of my finding him there were nothing short of miraculous. So now Ted’s home and for now, he’s a house cat. An obnoxious house cat, but Ted sort of grows on you.

I am becoming an expert at crafting employment cover letters.  I sent one out yesterday that I was particularly proud of. Maybe something will come of it.

Meanwhile, I need to make friends again with Norman and Nelson (my trusty Nikon camera friends) again. I see too much that I should capture and share, but all I have with me most times is an iPhone and I am too much of a snob to recognize that as a true camera.

“The difference between the two ways of seeing is the difference between walking with and without a camera. When I walk with a camera I walk from shot to shot, reading the light on a calibrated meter. When I walk without a camera, my own shutter opens, and the moment’s light prints on my own silver gut. When I see this second way I am above all an unscrupulous observer.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Annie Dilliard

Until later …