Friday, July 27, 2012


Hot dog, we're both officially unemployed! Woo hoo!

IB is gonna kill me for posting this because she's busting up laughing but thinks she looks constipated instead.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

folks, we have a winner!

Well whaddya know, we're under contract with a buyer. How about that!

We passed our septic inspection on Tuesday.

We passed our termite inspection today.

Next is the appraisal (no appointment set yet - fingers crossed they'll wait until after we leave).

Then the final home inspection is scheduled for August 3rd.

If all goes well, we're scheduled to close escrow on September 5th.

And now, for something completely different.

The goodie box my co-workers put together for Jay and me, which was presented during my going-away lunch.

Sriracha sauce, whiskey, chaser (aka, cola), gourmet beef jerky, Deschutes Brewery brew, real Korean seaweed snack (not that Trader Joes garbage ), Orbitz White, Icebreakers, Twinkies, candy, chips, and Moon Pies (and a suction-cup sun screen for driving comfort).


Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Barker "Bad Dog" Noce

1997 (?) - July 23, 2012

Rest in peace, my big lovable puppy dog.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

not-scary terraces

Through the magic of the internets and some fascinating people on my favorite forum site,, I came across this lady that is doing a lot of what I want to do in terms of gardens (food, herbs, ornamental) and food forests and permaculture and all that jazz. Her name is Irene Kightley, and her blog is not being currently updated, but her Flickr site has a lot of information mostly just depicted through pictures. There are a few things I'm unclear on with regard to her methods, such as how she accesses some of her raised/terraced beds that are too deep to reach across without stepping into (and thus causing soil compaction), but I have a conversation going with her online that I hope will clear some things up.

The reason I find this lady so interesting is because very little of her property is flat, and almost all her gardens are on hilly/sloped terrain, which is something that I've been concerned about with our land because it is all sloped as well (except for the immediate area around the cabin, which is not enough to base our future food growing spot on).

I worry that my plan of trucking in compost (in order to get up and running quickly) and building borderless raised beds would eventually end in them just washing away with any measure of heavy rain, and even if the beds stayed put, the nutrients would likely end up in the creek, and all would be sad in Mitsy Garden World.

I was opposed to the idea of terracing an entire half acre to acre of future garden space because it sounds A) expensive, B) time consuming, C) potentially difficult to plan and D) way too sophisticated for my taste. We're supposed to be farming here, people! Not building sissy gardens that are all fancy and whatnot.

So through some online conversations with other people in the same predicament, I had concluded that one thing I should focus on is utilizing as much greenery as possible (cover crops, fescues, wildflowers, etc) to make sure that the least amount of soil in my very un-level future raised beds is exposed to the weather and elements, thus helping to ensure that the soil and nutrients stay put for the most part.

But I still worried that this approach would be problematic because it would take time to establish all that greenery. I resolved that if my soil and nutrients started to run down hill and wave my garden sayonara, that I would reconsider terraces. They just seemed so daunting, though. All I could think of were my glossy Sunset magazines with their images of perfect concrete or stacked stone or fancy copper terraces designed by some snobby landscape designer that looked like they were holding up five hundred tons of rock and dirt and being scary and I don't like to think about things falling down and NO.

Then I found Irene on Flickr and thought I should give terraces reconsideration now, not when my beds are washing away. Like, these are working-man terraces. Not fancy-Sunset-scary terraces. I can do this. Let me show you what I'm talking about. I call it "soft terracing" (as opposed to hard, scary terracing). Pictures describe it best:

Not-scary terracing. [ image credit ]

We have lots of downed trees in our woods,
which would help make this be not-expensive terracing. [ image credit ]

This is what I'm not clear on: how does she access the middle of these beds?
Surely she doesn't walk in there. [ image credit ]

A winter-time view that shows more structural elements. Not scary at all. [ image credit ]

I want to copy this in its entirety. [ image credit ]

Chickens in the garden. Whodathunkit. [ image credit ]

She claims that she lets her chickens actually free range in her garden. In my experience, chickens are pretty much the worst thing to have near any type of greenery, but in hindsight, that might be because I had some of their area covered in gravel pathways, and the few plants I did have certainly did not cover the landscape. My chickens may have been... ahem... bored.

So she lets them free range anywhere they want, they poop all over and spread their fertilizer around through scratching, they keep the paths weed-free, they do eat some plants and fruits (I'm not quite sure how she curbs this behavior, but you could look at it as being a pruning method), she does have to cage off her lettuces and cabbages from being ravished (which you can see in the last picture), and she gets company in the garden to boot.

One of her techniques is to jab sticks in the ground around young seedlings or cover newly seeded areas with some sort of wire barrier to keep the chickens from scratching and dust-bathing, but once a plant is established, she really doesn't give it any protection from them.

I think that I would also be able to incorporate swales into this type of design if they end up being needed for our climate (I'm told by the old codgers that no one irrigates, so I'm not too concerned about this... yet).

I mean, look at her flipping gardens! Everything is lush, beautiful, and tidy but still retains some level of wildness to it. I'm very much a visual person (if that isn't already obvious), and while I can wing it if need be, I prefer lots of reference sources when it comes to this kind of thing. Irene Kightley has been added to my list of permaculture studs.

Friday, July 13, 2012

moving lists

Terribly uninteresting to anyone but myself, but here's some lists.

Done so far:
  • PG&E will be disconnected on 08/02. Goodbye forever, you shitty conglomerate! In case I haven't already mentioned it, we are the first without power and the last to have it restored during every storm. Every single one. The good news is that we have two killer generators as a result, although we probably won't really need them anymore (we do plan to use the little Honda to run the a/c in Komfy at night during our travels).
  • Water company is an asshole and won't take the account out of our name until close of escrow (we have no buyer yet).
  • Returning cable internet modem on Saturday, at which point speedy cable internet will be never be available to us EVER AGAIN, most likely.
  • This depressing fact is made better by the ultra-friendly guy that I spoke to today on the phone that's going to install our Exede satellite internet. I don't even care if satellite internet sucks - that dude was super chill and had me saying y'all during the course of our conversation.
  • Cancelled our Chase Sapphire Preferred credit cards just in time before the annual fees came up. Those first-class seats courtesy of our sign-up bonus miles were mooonnneeey!
  • Last pickup for trash service will be 7/27.
  • Homeowner's insurance at the holler is paid up for a year.
  • Suburban Propane is also an asshole because they won't refund us for the propane we're leaving in the tank. I didn't feel like arguing. Fuckers.
  • Confirmed that our mover will be here within the time frame we agreed upon.
Still to do:
  • Put new tires on Komfy.
  • Make sure everyone comes and gets the shit they want out of our house this weekend (if you're on my give-away list, and you're reading this, and you haven't picked up your item(s) yet, I implore you to do so pronto).
  • Finish boxing everything up.
  • Continue wondering whether it really will all fit in the moving truck.
  • Sell Mean Green.
  • Pay registration for Komfy (DMV, Monday, 9am).
  • Disassemble the IKEA furniture we're keeping (I know it's sad that we're keeping IKEA furniture, but we're going to be poor, and the nearest IKEA is five hours away in the ATL, and I like my shitty IKEA furniture, so THERE).
Already given away:
  • Sofa table
  • Small white storage cabinet in guest room
  • Weight set
  • Antique desk
  • Danish chair
  • Schwinns
  • Greenhouse windows
  • A zillion plants
  • At least 30 paper grocery bags full of stuff donated to my favorite thrift store in Los Gatos, The Happy Dragon. The lil ol lady there actually gave me a hug when I told her it would be my last drop-off.
Yet to be picked up:
  • IKEA filing cabinet
  • IKEA brown storage unit
  • Big ass television
  • Reproduction Marcel Breuer Wassily chair 
  • Piano (we all know this thing is going NOWHERE because no one wants to move a piano)
  • IKEA blue bookcases
  • Smaller computer desk
  • Foot stools
  • Miscellaneous wall art
  • Lawnmower (ironic)
  • Pressure washer
My BiL and SiL are in town this weekend, so hopefully they'll take some of this garbage off our hands. I'm a little sad about the Wassily chair, even though it is a knock-off, but I simply cannot justify lugging that hunk of chrome and leather out to the holler. And people would probably look at me funny anyway.

Wassily and Nekkie.

Me and Ali wii-ing in front of the absurdly large 42" television, which is actually not that big compared to what
some people I know have but would dwarf our entire living room at the holler. (There's Wassily again.)

At least I know that Dany, my Danish armchair that I scored at
Goodwill for $17 and recovered, is in good hands with Mandy.

Dang, my floors look good in that last picture. They are not that clean anymore, I assure you, with all the moving and whatnot.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Got us some sweet new wheels today:

She's a slim gal at only around 2,000 lbs (very comfortably below my towing capacity of 6,000).

Komfy will serve as our accommodations on wheels during our move, allowing us to take naps at whim, stop and go for food fixins whenever we feel like it, and sleep on an non-gross bed nightly instead of having to search for motels that take giant breed dogs without fuss but that are probably infested with things I don't wish to think about.

That A/C unit hard cover on top tried to blow away on me when I was taking it back to my work this morning, so that needs replacing, but an online search suggests that they're only a hundred bucks or so.

Pathy looks a little dwarfed by Komfy, no?

In other news, we started packing up the kitchen yesterday, and it now looks like a tornado blew through.

It's funny how this chaos doesn't even
bother me because I'm so excited right now.

Sorry for the shitty phone pictures. My camera is buried somewhere. actually, i was just too lazy to go get it - packing is HARD work

28 days, people! Here's to hoping the zombie apocalypse doesn't happen between now and then.