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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Some perspective on California's budget

Those who like to bash California have been tsk-tsk’ing at California’s budget problems, trying to blame California’s “public sector.” California’s budget shortfall, at present, is estimated to be about $22 billion. For comparison, the bailout of one bank alone — Citicorp — means that American taxpayers have now given $60 billion in direct assistance to […]

Kitchen cabinets

I haven’t felt inspired to take a lot of interior photos because there’s still so much missing detail, clutter, and a saw table in the middle of the living room floor. But here’s a preview of the kitchen cabinets, which my brother finished last week. With luck, the plumbers will install the dishwasher and faucets […]

Chicken gym

Formerly I had a ramp, with toe-holds, for the chickens to move from upstairs to downstairs. But, for whatever reason, they would use the ramp to go up, but they would refuse to use the ramp to go down. So today I put in small pine limbs arranged as steps, hoping that the limbs feel […]

Tulip poplar

The tulip poplar, Liriodendron tulipifera, is one of the most common trees in the Carolina woods. It’s also one of the tallest. According to the Wikipedia article, it grows up to 165 feet tall in virgin Appalachian forests. I have a lot of them in my woods and around my house. These trees like a […]

Le honeysuckle nouveau est arrivé!

I first became aware that the new honeysuckle had arrived when I awoke during the night and caught the scent of it through the bedroom window. And the grass just gets better and better.

Dealing with downpours

Grass after today’s downpour: If I’d had it last year I’d have saved some soil and some hard work. One of the things I’ve learned from building a house is that half the problem, both for the house and the landscaping, is water security. Rain comes in two types, I figure. Just plain rain, which […]

A number we've been looking for: 2.3%

Corporations and their propagandists are always complaining, with great shrillness, that the United States has one of the highest tax rates in the developed world (35%). To which advocates for tax fairness always reply: Nominal tax rates are one thing, but actual taxes paid, because of loopholes and shelters, is something else again. To figure […]

On letting grass go to seed

Of all the billions and billions of pages on lawn care to be found on the Internet, it is exasperatingly difficult to find information on the practical and biological consequences, pro and con, for letting grass go to seed. Apparently there is a small school of thought that it’s beneficial to let grass go to […]

The chickens' first day out

The chickens are now big enough not to get through the wire, so today I let them go downstairs and check out their small coop for the first time. They were nervous at first, but soon they were contentedly pecking at the ground. Yesterday I installed an electric fence wire around the bottom of the […]

What's growing at the abbey, May 2, 2009

A green exuberance returns to the area around the house which a year ago was bare after the elderly pine trees were removed. The garlic bed The chickens are growing a new set of feathers and look pretty ratty at the moment. “Knockout” roses Blackberry blooms Carnations Purslane, to be eaten for its omega-3 A […]