Thursday, December 21, 2017

Weekend Update

So much time has gone by since last post, not sure where to start.  I was part of the Equifax breach/identity theft thingy and sheesh what a pain.  As a result I retreated from social media.  I doubt the thief has found this blog and there isn't much useful to thieves stuff here that I can see but who knows?  The internet is an increasingly creepy place.  I also pull back from Facebook this time of year anyway.  The whole Christmas/holiday cliche thing grates on my very last nerve and the fewer pictures I see of dogs in antlers and awkward photos with Santa the better.  Now if only there was a way to avoid the horror of treacly X-mas music in the grocery store . . .  Anyway, yeah, I'm a holiday grouch so it's best I just keep my head down and away from my poor Facebook friends who are into it all and we'll agree to meet up again after New Year's.  Or maybe not.  Can't say I miss it one bit so maybe I'm finally done with Facebook unless I need some quick info. about something because it is handy for that.

Anyway, Tess!  She turns a year old in a couple of weeks.

Photo from Nov. 26

She seemed to go through a fear period the last week or two but this week seems much improved.  She was happily going up to the instructor and assistant at agility class this week whereas last week she was fear barking at them.  A couple things were different this week so it's hard to say if it's environmental or a true shift in confidence.  Both she and Ruby are doing well in class and I'm enjoying it.  So thankful for a great facility and instructor.  She's been great working with Tess' fear issues, not necessarily a given skill with agility instructors.  I love the One Mind methodology but wow, it feels like I'm starting all over.  Really fun though, I love learning new stuff.  The instructor told me she can do online instruction for me when I move and it occurs to me that One Mind has online classes as well so I won't have to give it up.  We have snow today, finally, and I've spent the day binge watching the One Mind videos.  So much stuff, it sometimes feels overwhelming, like these dogs will never ever learn it all, let alone me.  But I'm eating that elephant one bite at a time.  Patience patience patience.

Speaking of agility, I have videos from class, some are up on YouTube and I can post them on the blog.  If anybody is for sure interested, leave a comment and I'll post them.  Otherwise I'm debating with the idea of whether or not to put them up because I'm not sure if this super basic foundation stuff is interesting to anybody.

 Not sure how she manages to carry that Jolly Ball around like that.

Something else that is starting to feel overwhelming is all the homestead stuff.  I've been pouring over these books:

Finished 'The Resilient Farm and Homestead' by Ben Falk and currently slogging my way through 'The Permacultre Handbook' by Peter Bane.  Both of these books are very dense and yet touch on most topics very generally.  They're a great way to get a general idea of permaculture principles but don't have a lot of specific information to guide you through setting things up.  Unless you want to know how to grow rice.  Ben Falk has lots of stuff about how to grow rice.  In Vermont!  I looked at a piece of land that I joked would be good for growing rice but the realtor said it was too cold in Colorado to grow rice.  Now it may be possible but it's not for the meek.  All I can say is that if anything, Ben Falk convinced me that I don't want to take on growing rice.  I don't even like rice all that much.

I haven't even touched the 'Holistic Management Handbook' by Allan Savory yet.  The other 3 are from the library so I need to hit those up first but I bought that one for myself since the library didn't have it.  They do have his 'Holistic Management:  A New Framework for Decision Making' book which again has more general information about his theories but is light on the details of setting up an actual, specific grazing system.  The book I bought should do the trick.  Allan Savory is amazing, he is going to save the planet with livestock.

Coincidentally, an interview with him popped up on a health themed podcast right about the time that the TED talk popped up somewhere else, probably related to Joel Salatin, who credits Allan as his inspiration.  He's a fascinating guy.

Anyway, my head is spinning with it all and I don't even have a place to move to yet.  But I suppose I should learn as much as I can first.  And there is so much to learn.  The more I learn, the more it smacks me in the face just how far removed I am (and most of us are) removed from our food.  I watched a video on how to kill and process a chicken and realized I had no idea or appreciation for what is involved and this was common, everyday life just a few generations ago.  Never mind killing and processing a sheep or a pig.  I'm saving those videos for another day.  But at the same time I'm beginning to realize that even if you raise animals humanely for food, their 'one bad day' can be made even worse if you send the animals away to have someone else do the 'dirty work'.  The most humane thing is to do it yourself, provided you are sure of what you're doing.  I'm not sure I'm there yet but I'm starting to feel a certain responsibility towards getting there.  If I'm going to eat meat, shouldn't I fully own it?  But maybe I should focus on getting some land first.

I've been doing a LOT of hiking, so many photos, don't know where to start.  Maybe with yesterday's buffalo since I'm already yammering about livestock.  These were taken during yesterday's bike ride, in the 60's with bluebird skies.  On December 20th.  So not normal but may as well take advantage of it.

Typical East Boulder County.

Some nice lenticular clouds over the foothills.  We've had many other days in the 60's these past few weeks with way more dramatic clouds but I never seemed to have my camera with me at the right time.

Meyer's Gulch Hike

Boulder's iconic Flatirons from a climbing access side trail at Chautauqua Park.  We did a little exploring on some unmarked trails to escape the weekend crowd.

Button Rock.  Kind of an odd hike, the first part was on a dirt road then there was a dirt trail eventually.  An odd mix of man made structures (the pictured dam) and nice surrounding views.  It's nearby and we'd never been there so we wanted to check it out.  It was interesting for a one-off but I don't think I'd go back.

Looking back at photos I realize I didn't take that many.  Lately I've been leaving my camera behind or in my backpack and enjoying things as they are in the moment without worrying about documenting everything.  So many of the hikes were places I've been to a million times so I didn't feel the need for yet more photos of the same old same old.  Looking forward to having a whole new world of trails to explore, if only the right house would come along.