Reflections on packing

Ah, how I long for those heady days of my youth, when my worldly goods could fit in the back of a pickup truck. Now I have so. much. stuff.

Moving gives one the opportunity to make a fresh start, theoretically.

Was it the famous Zen philosopher Yogi Berra who said the difference between theory and practice was in practice?

In practice, we got rid of some of our burdensome possessions and packed others. Now that we have moved – twice! – we have to make decisions about the rest.

Some of our feline companions are no longer with us. Her Grace, Isadora Gopherbane died May 25th of last year. Gus passed away in June of this year.

And the last of our trio of awesome kitties, our sweet ambassador of goodwill, Brr, has lymphoma, and is not expected to last much longer.

As each of these glorious feline creatures leaves this earthly plane, I carefully pack their remains at least 4 feet down, well below the topsoil, deep in the clay. Their mortal remains are buried with flowers, herbs and topped with a living bush to commemorate their lives and convert their dead bodies to new life.


Spice Melange

“In this time, the most precious substance in the Universe is the spice melange.”

– Princess Irulan

Melange means mixture. If you keep the following whole spices on hand, you can crush and grind them in various combinations to go with any foods. You could probably even make sandworm taste okay.

Coriander seeds




Cumin Seeds

Fennel Seeds

Black Peppercorns




Cinnamon (Canela) bark




Tamarind Pods

Cardamom Pods


Aquaponics Build #1: Getting our feet wet

A rectangular object covered with a silver gray tarp. An electrical cord stretches from the pump to a nearby shed.

Our 1st aquaponics build, dressed like an astronaut to protect the plastic from the sun.

Our first aquaponics build is in operation. A few fat-head minnow, some snails, and a pollywog munch algae in the tank.

Water pours into a large fish tank

Very small fish in a big tank.

A pipe leads up from the tank to the grow bed.

The upper compartment, as seen from the outside…

Water pours from a pipe onto a filter.

… and from the inside.

Trays with tiny green plants.

Germinating lettuce, or possibly spinach.

A bell siphon, as seen from the top.

Once the water level rises to its maximum, a bell siphon quickly drains the grow bed.

Water pours into the fish tank.

Water draining from the grow bed into the fish tank.

That’s it!  There are a few things I’ll probably do differently on the next build, but this will do for now.