That which follows……

After writing my first post in 10 months, I got to looking at my other posts and was amazed to  discovered just how honest and frank I was in them.  I was also dismayed that over the years, during this naked display of my inner angst, due to my state of mind, I was not all that careful to keep my name, or the names of the people in my life, private.  At times I guess I didn’t give a shit who knew who I was and what I was thinking.  At other times I was extremely careful about the identity of all those involved.

After giving this problem some thought, I decided to make all my posts private until I can go through and edit them to change my name to my on-line pseudonym  and to somewhat alter the names and places that are significant to my life.  I will not however remove any of my photos or otherwise change any of my posts because I feel this process of bearing my soul has had a profound impact on my life and may help someone else get through what they are going through because they will not feel like they are the only dumb ass in the world.  OK, maybe my purpose isn’t so altruistic, maybe I actually  find my life rather humorous and glory in my chance to laugh at myself as I make the same mistakes repeatedly then whine excessively about how unfair the world is to me.  Now, I realize that with pictures intact, it will be easy enough for someone in my community to come across this site and recognize me which could cause me trouble and great embarrassment.  But isn’t it because of the fear of shame that we hide who we really are and thus never live an authentic life? Besides, wouldn’t that make a most righteously funny post?  So welcome, my friends, to my Pseudolegendary Life.

Yours Truly,

Zenobia Quambush


Its hard to be a human being (Baby Blue Sedan–Modest Mouse)

Not much to say right now, thoughts flying through my head but no way to put them into a cohesive pattern that would make any sense to anyone but myself.  Until the time is right for me to find my voice once again, here is another song to entertain you through this long intermission.  Love ya all, Zen

Experiment in Hugelkultur, Humanure, and Biochar

Decided to take the day off from projects and just play while I got the laundry on the line. So what do I decide to do? Play in the dirt of course! When Alex first arrived this summer he dug a sleeping trench but never finished it. I needed to fill it back in but thought since the dirt had been dug might as well use the hole. My plan was to just throw some chips in the bottom for a hugelkulter experiment which was implanted in my brain when I moved a bale of moldy hay the other day and found the bottom was still wet AND when I moved the branches I cut up with the DR, they were still wet at the bottom of the pile despite 2 months of high temperature and no rain. Well, as I was gathering up the wood chips my mind started playing and here is what happened.

Apparently my way of filling in a trench is to dig it to twice its width and twice its original depth which leads to a hole about 6 feet by 3 feet and 18 inches deep. The bottom of which I loosened with my garden fork another 6 inches.

Next I add a barrow full of humanure from my curing pile. This excited the chickens to no end because they finally got a chance at the kagillion earth worms that make the pile their home. Those birds gorged themselves!

Next I added three barrows full of wood/bark chips from the area where we pile and split our wood. This will become the sponge that will hold and retain water during the long summer months from which the plants can delicately sip with their roots. I put the layer of compost below it to encourage the roots further down past the water level.

Next I layered two more cart loads of compost/humanure with the dirt from the hole making up the body of the bed.

Then I topped the bed off with one more cart load of humanure which I let the chickens work down into the soil. Little rototilling monsters! Might as well put them to work.

While I was in the shower getting cleaned up, I thought about how I should water the bed to activate the microorganism in the soil which made me think “Damn! I forgot the biochar!” My source is the charcoal left over from the twigs I burn in the rocket stove. They have no nutritional value but the micro-holes gather and store microorganisms that do increase the fertility of the soil. I mixed it in with my weird two pronged fishing gaff. I don’t know if it is a fishing gaff, or a potato digger or an instrument for a torture chamber but it works well for tons of things around this place like pulling over piles of branches and stripping composite roofing off roofs…..

So here is where I left it. A little muddy because I watered it thoroughly…..with buckets of water that I hauled over by the way adding even more to my daily mileage count….I will let this soak in over night then add some more. I am thinking that I will make a fence around it then cover it in straw. Next spring I will plant it with the three sisters and see what happens.

Cake: Sheep go to Heaven

Due to some technical difficulties I have not been able to post much lately.  Here is a bit of music to entertain you through the continued intermission.  I should be back on before long.  If you want you can come visit me in the woods.  You will find me playing on my pan pipes and drinking my wine.  Guess I am a goat!

Past and Present: Two Songs By Modest Mouse

As I was cleaning my cabin, preparing for the arrival of my son and his girlfriend, I listened to Modest Mouse’s Making Nothing Out of Something.  There are two songs on that disk that fit superbly into  my current introspective mood.  First is Medication, the lyrics are written out below the video if you would like to read a long.

This song reminds me of how I was for the majority of my adult life.  Broken up into one hundred different compartments in order to survive each instance of existence with no real self, no drive, little happiness.  All that was inside of me was dull boredom and blankness. Is it any wonder I needed to escape?

Next on the disk is a song that fits where I am now.  It is Working On Leaving The Living.

A year ago I made the choice to let go of 20+ years of emptiness.   Now, as I walk out my door in the morning and stand in the sun with the trees all around me, I truly feel that I have died and moved to heaven, as imperfect as this heaven is.  Each day I am working on leaving the living; the living consisting of that which is considered the social “norm”.  Each day I am working on driving my dreams.

Thank you my friend

I needed some perking up and my favorite Irish bloke knew just what I needed.  Thank you my dear friend.

Dad’s Birthday Present

For the past three mornings I have been working on my present for my dad’s birthday.  Through a confluence of events–little shit teenagers taking it upon themselves to tear out all signs in their vicinity, and a three day delay in getting those signs replaced–the county trucks came by and sprayed poison along our road front killing all the bushes and trees in a 6 foot by 100 yard swath in front of our home.  Mom and Dad were furious.  They have spent 30 years developing the hedge along the road to  add beauty and to reduce the dust that flows from the gravel road into the yard.  This 30 year effort, killed in a matter of minutes because of a few missing “owner will maintain” signs.  Beautiful lilacs, roses, oregon grapes and choke cherries reduced to dead stems and brown dead leaves.

Fortunately the hedge is wider then 6 feet so all is not lost, but the gross evidendence of man’s ignorant use of poison to try to control the environment was a slap in my dad’s face every time he walked by with Kodi Dog, which is every day.  I can go on about human stupidity and point out that one could cure many of the cancers we are afflicted with by merely closing down the poison plants and outlawing the use of toxic chemicals and herbicides on our food supply and roadsides but that isn’t what this article is about.  It is about one step into the home base economy.

Dad’s birthday is coming up.  In a work base economy I would earn money, take the money to the store, then buy dad something like a tie or a pair of socks.  In a home based economy instead of devoting my time to standing behind a counter smiling at people and taking their money for my boss, I spent 6+ hours working on cutting down dead bushes that continued to upset my dad and created anger in a portion of each of his days.  The time spent at my job would have provided me with $54 which could have bought a couple of dozen socks and a coffee.  Instead, I spent the time removing an eyesore and making my dad’s morning walks more pleasant which improves his life in a small but significant way which puts the value on the activity much higher then the money I would have earned in the same amount of time at my job.  This is something I feel rather good about.

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