Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just Like Riding a Bike

 I finally got back on the trails today.

 It's time.

 Jess will soon be 8 months old and the baby weight has got to go!

 It's more than fitness I seek.

There are answers out there in the desert, there's peace, too. 

I left a piece of myself out there when I became pregnant with Marshall over three years ago.

 Now it's time to go out there and find it.

Incidentally, I ride a Santa Cruz Superlight...and her name is "Yes."

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Post with Practically No Foul Language

This may be what I get for saying that I refuse to give up on gardening, saying that I refuse to get discouraged... 

The other day, I went outside and cut some lettuce and picked a few beans. I trimmed my herb garden so it would grow full and not get leggy or go to seed too soon. There's a pretty little rosemary, a few thyme, cilantro, melissa, and some scented geraniums. The basil smelled rich and buttery, the chamomile like honeyed apples.

 The aromas of the fresh herbs lifted my spirits, I returned to the house with a lighter step. I felt thankful for my sweet little garden growing magical charms to change my mood. 

The very next day, this is what I found...

Holes a foot deep, plants thrown to the side or buried topside down. It looked like a rototiller had run across my herb garden, through the veggie patch and even torn up our grass.

For the next two nights, the damage got worse. The mystery creature(s) kept coming back. It was giving me the creeps because our yard is surrounded by block fence. I could not figure out what would do this amount of damage without a sound. It looked like a pack of dogs had run wild.

AZ Fish and Game said it was most likely coyotes. They love the manure in freshly planted gardens. 

Javelina (nasty, mean, hairy desert pigs) couldn't get over our wall. They are usually the culprits.

Bobcats are common.  I found evidence of pack rats. They had hoarded a bunch of mesquite pods in an old camp stove out there. 

I did a little searching and feel pretty confident now that it was skunks They were digging for grubs. I wish I could shoot the SOB's. I would stay up all night for the chance if I wasn't sure it would end BADLY. All I can think to do is add some fine wire mesh to the gate and drains to secure the perimeter. Know any tricks?

Last night the smell of skunk woke me up at 2am. I diffused essential oils and finally got back to sleep 4 hours later. I'm mad just thinking about it.

So, if I look on the bright side,  there are two good things. I have learned just how secure I will need to make my dream garden. With all the battles I have fought this summer, I know it will need to be caged completely. Birds, jack rabbits, coyotes, javelina, deer, bobcats, pack rats and ground squirrels are all looking for a meal. The other thing is, now I don't have to buy the expensive grub-killing soil amendment. 

Forget the bright side, I'm still mad.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dump Shopping

     We lived on very little money in New Hampshire. Most things we needed were created on the homestead or bartered for with neighbors. Cordwood was traded for gasoline to put in the car we rarely used. We went to a community center and traded clothes with other families. We made old things new. 
     Another thing we did is what I like to call "dump shopping." It is pretty self explanatory. It wasn't the sort of smelly dump that you might think of. I would have remembered a bad smell. What I do remember is enormous piles of stuff mixed in with sticks. maybe it was going to be burned. We crawled across the treacherous mounds of tangled trash and found treasures to take home.On one occasion, Walt found many pieces of a metal Erector Set, and I found a damaged dollhouse.
         I was too young to understand how this might have been perceived by the world. It was like going shopping, only I could actually HAVE anything I could find. 

     I have more to say about this, but the words aren't coming. Part of me, a big part, misses that freedom. Freedom from shame.  Freedom from societal pressures.  The freedom of a VERY simple life.

where is everyone?