Thursday, May 26, 2005

accepting the unacceptable


Well, here we are, just about the summer season. No "twin towers" disaster to lead us into the holidays, no new war, no "homeland" disasters or even big threats (as of May 25, 2005, that is). However, reading the news each day, we have gradually begun to accept the horrors the same way we now accept highway mayhem. What's a few more bombings here and there so long as it's Not In My BackYard. You remember the NIMBY attitude? Do what you want, just NIMBY.

Well, the world is now a backyard to everyone. What happens in your backyard is happening in my backyard. It's one world afterall. The NIMBY attitude protested so strongly in the '60's is not supportable. Now, less than ever. Tribalism is nice so long as it accepts other tribes as having equal importance and deserving of equal respect.

We would not accept religious laws instituting a "State" religion yet turn a "blind eye" to countries that do so. I recall the (politically and morally correct) outcry against apartheid in South Africa. Where is the outcry about Saudi Arabia where there are so many laws restricting religions other than Islam? Religious Apartheid is morally correct??? Oh, yes, I know it's politically correct. We do want that oil. So, we accept the unacceptable.

Or the "rebels" in so many of the African countries that are the "blessings" of Islam moving south by force of arms. Killing and enslaving blacks worse than the South African apartheid ever did. Because it's Islam, that makes it acceptable? What if Christians acted in the same manner as Islam? Would that be acceptable? NIMBY!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Purple Salvia about 5 feet high. A good winter and spring plant here in Florida. The heat of the summer will turn it brown. Posted by Hello

Ala and Ken Shin the Hooded Rat. They were close pals until Ken Shin died of old age and now has an honored burial in the garden edge. Posted by Hello

A little more detail. All was from cast-off material. The "pond" itself is from a broken car-top carrier the hurricanes munched. The top still held water so..... the rest is from old sidewalks, broken tile, and so on. A bit of flower power and it looks great. Posted by Hello

The new fountain in the park designed by Ala and built by Dave. Cooperation pays off. Posted by Hello

The last of the black Mulberry. You must get there early or the birds get the black ones. Not so good to eat until they turn black. Red is SOUR! Posted by Hello

Ala with Cinnamon, the ferret. It's either play time or sleep time for ferrets.  Posted by Hello

Shasta Daisy in Florida. A rare sight. Posted by Hello

time for fruit

time for fruit
It's mid-May. The purple plum tree is just about through and has been eaten. The peach trees are now ripening and the first tree is producing wonderful, fresh, tasty peaches about the size of a baseball. What a treat to get up, walk out into the soft Florida morning, pick a peach and revel in it's marvelous flavor. Yesterday we had strawberries, peaches, plums, and eggs from our little (almost an) acre of Florida. Today, the same. Later, there will be nectarines, apples (yes, even the apple tree has fruit this year for the first time), figs (little and green right now), guava (strawberry,tropical, and pineapple), muscadine grapes, pomegranates, and so much more. The black mulberry tree is now about 20 feet high and the birds get them if I don't get out early. The mulberries are about through until next year and only a few are left on the tree.

We had a bag of potatoes that sprouted quite enough so we hesitated to eat them. We planted them and they are growing like weeds. Yes, potatoes are cheap but it seemed silly to waste them when we could plant them, then seed radish and mustard over them. That way we get two crops. Oh, I forgot. We also planted watermelon with them so we really get three crops. Let you know how it turns out.

The early sunflower crop is over and the seed heads are turned up to dry. Some are already out at the feeders being nibbled on by the Cardinal family. We won't plant any more sunflower this summer but will have many volunteers, so many we'll need to weed some of them.

The Confederate Jasmine has been in full bloom for the past 3 weeks. It's like living in an incense shop. Now, the night-blooming Jasmine is full of blossoms and the night is so redolent with the perfume it nearly chokes you when it hits at full strength. During the day, the Tea Olive adds to the mix. I don't know about at night, the night-blooming Jasmine wins the odor battle, hands-down. The lovely little night-blooming Four-O-Clocks have a nice, delicate odor but they are totally submerged in the Jasmine odor.

We have just a small place in central Florida about 35 miles north of Orlando but you sure can get a lot of garden into it here in Florida. We can have citrus and apples at the same time. However, the northern fruit trees don't always do well because it doesn't get cold enough and the citrus sometimes does poorly because it gets too cold. We're right on the edge of both cycles. Makes for hectic and uncertain gardening.

More later (and there really is a lot more on the plants, alone).



Well, it's a new day and the "Pacific" (really not a very peaceful ocean, actually) hurricane has withered to a few rowdy showers in the Caribbean and is no longer a threat. Just a reminder of a summer that awaits.

Was picking up in the back yard area yesterday and found that I was picking up last years hurricane damage every now and then. Still more to go. I might get the previous year damage cleaned up in time for a new year of damage. As "trucker" noted in a comment, there isn't any way to estimate how much it costs in time, money, emotion, and so on to prep for a hurricane, go through a hurricane, and recover from a hurricane. The prep and going through part can be pretty quick but the recover part is long, long, indeed. Actually, the prep can seem very long. As we watched the progress of Ivan last year and felt the threat it represented (after three hurricanes, even a thunderstorm began to feel threatening), we went through long, anxious days until it attacked somewhere else. Then, our joy at being missed was tempered by the awareness of the pain others were suffereing. Are we glad California has earthquakes? No. Are we glad we don't have earthquakes? YES, YES. You get the idea.

Friday, May 20, 2005


It's Florida and it's the start of summer. After the horror of the summer of hurricanes, a hurricane in the Pacific trying to cross into the Caribbean two weeks before the season even begins is ominous indeed. We cannot imagine going through anything like that again.

To be smart about getting ready for a hurricane, we have a list of things to do. It's fairly long and tedious. After the hurricane, the "setting things right" is also long and tedious. Here is a portion of that list:

Double bag all books, papers, and photos.
Double bag all clothing.
Bag computers (everything is double bagged)
Bag all electroic equipment
Bag audio speakers
Bag pillow, cushions, small stuffed toys
Bag all bedding (sheets, blankets)
Plastic sheet covers for bed and furniture.
Fill many, many containers with water.
The list goes on and on.

Pick up and secure anything that can be picked up by a 200 lb man. If you don't the hurricane will.

Hurricane clip privacy (wooden) fence (we have about 700 feet)
Prop from both sides with 2x4 each section of privacy fence.
Tie down things you can't pick up.
Move vehicles to "safe" place (be sure one is in a "getaway" spot).
Tape windows (you'll hate this when it's time to take the tape off)
Get animals secured.
Tie down young fruit trees.
Check neighbor's yard for hazards!!!!
Look for trees or limbs that can reach the house.
The outside is never done well enough.

That's some idea of the effort it takes to prep for a hurricane.
Now, think about doing that 3 or 4 times in a few months.
And, think about putting it all back.

more later