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I raked off the winter cover-not too many weeds to pull-at first....Shadow knows a job is at hand.

I raked off the winter cover-not too many weeds to pull-at first….Shadow knows a job is at hand.

I’ll use the wood stalks seen here above Shadow as climbers for pole beans and tomatoes–they’re from our indigenous jasmine that grows 14 feet high a year during summer, and then dies off in the winter.

These are the only two tools I'll use to plant this garden-my dad's 65 plus year old , American made rake and shovel.

These are the only two tools I’ll use to plant this garden-my dad’s 65 plus year old , American made rake and shovel.(Broccoli in background is from fall planting, and still yielding.

Being thirty-five is sooo different from being 65. I was always in such a hurry back then-“No time to play kids, I’ve got to garden!” Now, Shadow makes a game out of shoveling, raking and, yes, it screws me up, but this is so joyful!

He's gonna get that rake if it's the last thing.....

He’s gonna get that rake if it’s the last thing…..

Whew! First time through the garden--all the top weeds have been pulled

Whew! First time through the garden–all the top weeds have been pulled

I timed the process-It has taken about 1 and 1/2 hours to get to this point…..

The soil's been turned once by shovel, and now the bags of top soil /composed are laid out

The soil’s been turned once by shovel, and now the bags of top soil /compost are laid out

Turning the garden over shovel-by-shovel is laborious… It took about two more hours to get this part done. (3 1/2 hours total to this point)There’s a rhythm to that task though, and it gives me time to think about the beauty of our world as I go. Red Tailed Hawks circle above; Sand Hill cranes fly by: I listen to their calls and the soft sound of my shovel turning the earth over.

You might wonder-why not a tiller? It would do the trick, but also it would be loud, and heavy-not me at all, and I think I’d lose my spiritual connection to the earth that the old-timey method of hand shoveling brings to mind.

AND-there’s this. A tiller would chop up the weeds I’ve missed during the first weeding-those underneath the ground as well.This first shoveling helps me unearth the problematic roots (Florida Betony)….How many roots?  Here’s the collection and their weight after this first shoveling.

25.6 pounds of Florida Betony root pulled i none shoveling---they'd be about 3 times that much if allowed  to grow through spring.

25.6 pounds of Florida Betony root pulled in one shoveling—they’d be about 3 times that much if allowed to grow through spring.

Next, I shovel the rows, quickly flipping earth into raised lines—this took another 30 minutes.(4 hours total now)

The rows are ready

The rows are ready- I once asked my squash and zucchini seeds and they said they like rows as well as they like mounds.

I hitch my shovel under my arm and pretend I'm a plow horse as I drag it over the rows to flatten their tops.

I hitch my shovel under my arm and pretend I’m a plow horse as I drag it over the rows to flatten their tops. I sometimes neigh, if I know the neighbors aren’t listening-that could be bad.

It took ten minutes to flatten the tops of all the rows

It took ten minutes to flatten the tops of all the rows-Whoa boy!

All my victory garden needs now is seed holes, seeds, sun and water….

I use the top of my shovel to make the seed holes.

I use the top of my shovel to make the seed holes.

The holes take about ten minutes to make--but dropping seeds in takes another 30 minutes, at least.

The holes take about ten minutes to make–but dropping seeds in takes another 30 minutes, at least.

There’s more to do,( It’s taken about 5 hours so far) but for now I’ll wait for the plants to sprout, and then use mulch neighbors from all around have conveniently raked and bagged and put along the roadside for my taking!(actually for the garbage pick-up.) The mulch will go between the rows, and I’ll use about 30 bags I manage to find curbside over the next two months.-Stop, load those bags into my car whenever I see them, and drive away….

Thank You for raking....

Thank You for raking….

There’s more garden fun coming—-stay tuned and enjoy your time outside, growing food.

In all, by the time I first got the tools out, did the deed, and then cleaned up and showered off, it was about 7 hours later when I sat down and smiled….

Franque23

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.
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The Lake Bonaparte amp 2/1/2015

The Lake Bonaparte Camp 2/1/2015

Follow the road at the bottom of the first shot below that veers right until you pass one point, and then a second. Now you’ve reached our small nook of a bay, and past our bay around a third point is a large bay that forms the right side of the lake(right side of picture)-that’s called bull rush bay. .. go back to our small bay and move left and up a bit across the water and you’ll see an Island that looks like an inverted ‘T’…that’s Birch Island, the one my ex-brother-in-law owned for many many years until this year. Moving past that Island you’ll see way to the left and at the top of the picture, the outlet of the lake-that’s called Mud lake, and that’s where I most often fish….the fifth shot in this series is one Dale took in Mud lake.

the lake from above

the lake from above

no roads in sight....Lake Bonaparte-mid summer

no roads in sight….Lake Bonaparte-mid summer(not!)

same shot as above...different season.

same shot as above…as the ice moves in.

mud lake-the picture works right side up of upside down!

mud lake-the picture works right side up of upside down!

​In all, there’s 22 miles of shore line…and the lake is ninety feet deep(deeper) in places….When I was young, I was told that divers claimed the lake was 300 feet deep–but , I think invasive weeds have lessened the readings–Mud lake stays shallow–4 to 15 fifteen feet deep.

A yoga dock class,,, and my small fishing boat is behind us. We built the dock, our family/relatives in 2004, and now my sister has bought a party boat, so we will be redoing the dock in the next two years to allow for more docking space.

Yoga at the lake-fun times.

Yoga at the lake-fun times.

Our set of sixty steps down to the lake from our camp has a 1/2 way dock-seats, resting, great view….this shot of the sunset and Birch island out in the lake was taken from this place of tranquility…

Our docks face the sunset...The lake calms down to a glass top nearly every evening....

Our docks face the sunset…The lake calms down to a glass top nearly every evening….

These are the dangerous people…..some are bark eaters*…but I say they’re misunderstood. They mean no harm, and they don’t bite-not often.

But don't worry-you don't usually run into them all at once. And a lot of them sleep in.

But don’t worry-you don’t usually run into them all at once. And a lot of them sleep in.

Right now, I’m fishing through old shots you’ve seen if you read my blog(as if-right!)

Not in the lake......not up there.

Not in the lake……not up there. These big boys swim around with us down here in Florida.

It's hard to have fun up there.

It’s hard to have fun up there.

I've known some people up there for over 60 years!

I’ve known some people up there for over 60 years!

Others are gone, though they live through my memories, especially when I’m around the lake.

Time is a funny thing. For me, when I'm up at the lake, the days feel eternal, and way too short!

Time is a funny thing. For me, when I’m up at the lake, the days feel eternal, and way too short!

Ed and Chris had just returned from  Peru for a visit, while I stayed put dreaming of lake time.

Ed and Chris had just returned from Peru for a visit, while I stayed put dreaming of lake time.

Here’s two Morgan bark-eaters from way back!

For all I know, these two could be Vampires....(BTW--This subject, Vampires, draws over 2500 hits on the catalog of the library where I work!)

For all I know, these two could be Vampires….(BTW–This subject, Vampires, draws over 2500 hits on the catalog of the library where I work!)

Until my next visit….

I'll be dreaming about the lake.

I’ll be dreaming about the lake.

Sans the snow!

2004 vintage....white out!

2004 vintage….white out!

It’s been fun—-I’ll keep you posted with some new shots, later.

*Bark eaters are all explained(exposed) in a previous blog.-this one…..https://franque23.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/the-morgan-low-down/

Cheers and More.

Franque23

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

(click on pictures to make them larger.)

No, the country didn’t land in our lap, our daughter and family flew in from Johannesburg, South Africa to help pick and eat our oranges.  My daughter has been picking oranges all her life, starting with my dad’s trees in Satellite Beach, Florida. She’s an absolute pickin’ pro, and when she heard about our crop this year, she had to come( She may have had one or two more reasons for making he two-day flight.) About that orange crop in our yard this year! Boom! Smash, whoa-what a doozy, who could count all of them? Well, me-almost down to the last orange-those are still left to pick.

We've picked over 1200 oranges form our property since Nov. 1st*

We’ve picked over 1200 oranges from our property since Nov. 1st* This tree has about 200 more on it, the Valencia will ripen now through February …

We have so many oranges, I’ve started throwing them for Shadow to chase instead of using tennis balls—it’s all good!

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits bye

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits by.

Then, I fling an orange and wait for its return.

At first, I didn't think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything....

At first, I didn’t think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything….the oranges are fine to use after double tasking as balls

Speaking of eating, like I said, Kelly and her family came to eat.

The plane flight was worth it

The plane flight was worth it—-her daughter didn’t fall far from the tree! She’s not letting go of that orange.

But, it wasn’t all about eating oranges. Reading was a foot!

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning....

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning….Shadow, however, only wanted to watch his ‘T.V.’

Fun Times in Bookville...

Fun Times in Bookville…

Of the 1200 hundred we’ve picked so far, only about 55 have gone to waste, thanks to our daughter’s families appetites, our neighbors, church groups and workmates got bunches, too. Heck, even our doctors got oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

So it was an orange you glad to see me kinda of Holiday this year. Next season-who knows?!?! It’s mostly all in the weather.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit form Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit from Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It’s such a joy to see family, and to grow food, too.  See one another whenever you can, and plant those trees and seeds as well.

Cheers from Florida! Franque23

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

I can’t figure out if it’s better to be a smart ass who’s calling people names, or be a dumb ass who’s hated for speaking their own point of view.  Anyway, a recent thread on my FB page had one guy complaining about President Obama’s intent to meet with the King of Saudi Arabia, while another was all about the meeting, praising President Obama for his détente efforts. Fart-head, numb-skull, stupid ass, shit-head, ignorant, nuts, crazy, worthless idiot, those were a few of the nicer names used during the exchange.

The discussion goes on.....

The discussion goes on…..

It all got me thinking…

The situation is complicated in the middle east. And, if I could only date a country, I wouldn’t pick Saudi Arabia. Still, this is a quick review of political affairs in Saudi-

2013 October – Saudi Arabia turns down a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, accusing the world body of double standards on account of what it sees as an international failure to act on Syria, where it staunchly backs the rebels.

2014 February – New anti-terrorism law introduced which activists say will further stifle dissent.

2014 March – Saudi Arabia designates several Islamist groups as terrorist organisations and bans funding or support for them. The groups include the Muslim Brotherhood, the Al-Nusra front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

2014 September – Saudi Arabia and four other Arab states take part together with the United States in air strikes against Islamic State militant strongholds in Syria.*

Here’s the thing, one thing, or a few things that some may not know. It’s true that the Saudi’s have a lot to consider when it comes to holding the price of oil below 50 dollars a barrel.** Getting a strong foothold in the rising Chinese market is one of them. Also, they’d like to slow down America’s investment in fracking. However, mainly, though it isn’t mainly printed, the Saudi’s are fed up with Assad, head of Syria, and also Iran, and Russia as well.

Of course, recent history-going back to 2000-reveals that 17 out of 19 hijackers of the planes involved in 9/11 were from Saudi. In truth, it wasn’t until about 2006 that the Saudi government began a systematic reversal of its look the other way policy when it came to terrorist, or extremist groups, that organized in their country. Today, things have changed.

As of 2006, the Saudi’s may not care so much about what happens in other places around the globe-I don’t know-but they want no terrorists in their land, period. Their current view is that the U.S., along with other powers, should invade, and destroy Syria and Iran. America, Russia and European nations have refused to do so. The Saudi’s have, in turn, come up with a plan of their own—

By keeping prices below 50 dollars per barrel, the Saudi’s have set a bench market price for crude that is below the cost production of oil in both Syria and Iran. This means Syria and Iran lose money with every barrel of oil they produce.  The Saudi goal in this endeavor is to bring Syria and Iran to their knees until those countries eradicate terrorist organizations from training and organizing in their land….they want  to put an end to those groups that jeopardize the Saudi oil fields and world-wide distribution of oil. That’s the simple face of it, though more extensive ends for the Saudis, like destroying their competitors on the world-wide market for oil production, can’t be over-looked.

How long can Iran and Syria go on losing money on crude? A vague answer is about three years for Iran, and then things get wishy-washy for Syria time-wise since Russia may print money forever to help Syria survive the Saudi’s economic invasion of their economy.

Americans are currently reaping the rewards from the Saudi’s plan to carry out their own economic war on terrorism  every time our citizens fill-up at the pump! Three cheers for them!!! Oddly, though, even lowly, upper middle-class Americans may be losing more in the value of their stock pro-folio by low oil prices than they’re gaining at the pump! But that’s another story,  like this one- low barrel oil prices that take profit out of fracking should(should) lessen interest in that kind of development here in the states and turn heads more toward renewables. I.E. Solar and wind….we’ll see.

Maybe, the dumb ass person on my FB thread who praised President Obama didn’t know this stuff? However, the smart ass name caller on the thread doesn’t know much, either. Why? Very few people, (and I’m not one of those), not smart ass, or even dumb ass can know much about who, when, or why the President of the US talks to any foreign King, Lord or country ambassador.  Basically, the smart ass name caller on my thread doesn’t know crap-not really-and along with the rest of us he can fit what he really does know about foreign affairs, the motives, maneuvering, or the wins and losses our foreign policy makers experience, on one, small sheet of toilet paper.

Name calling? That verbal flatulence is worthless.

Cheers for the Saudis! I think for now, at least…….maybe. The human rights issue and the plight of women in that society is just weird-right!?!?!.

Franque23

*http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14703523

** Some of this comes from a recent editorial posted in the New York Times, and further research into the subject.

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

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